Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The 19 Year Mark!

Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife!

It's funny, but on our wedding day I had turned to my wife-to-be just as we arrived to say our vows.

"Twenty and Out," I whispered. "Gotta' take it like a prison term."

Kathy laughed.

She often reminds me that we are getting close to the end of our run.

She also knows that Twenty and Out isn't going to work...

...at least for me...

...because we have had a wonderful run...

...no prison-like-conditions!

We have shared so much.

We have battled through epic sadness and have enjoyed the best of what life has to offer.

When I was just a teenager I walked in on my Dad and Mom doing a slow dance to Kenny Rogers song, Through the Years.

Dad, who had a wonderful voice, was singing along with the words.

Mom was looking up to him...

...smiling.

I can recall how emotional I was at that moment.

Just a beautiful moment.

And recently I heard the song again...

...and while I thought of Mom and Dad, of course, I started thinking about the song as it now applied to my marriage.

My wife has been a beautiful companion for this part of the ride.

Happy Anniversary!

(Now look at your freaking phone every now and again when I'm not by your side!)

I love you.

Through the Years- Kenny Rogers

I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you
I swear, we've been through everything there is
Can't imagine anything we've missed
Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do

Through the years
You've never let me down
You turned my life around
The sweetest days I've found
I've found with you

Through the years I've never been afraid
I've loved the life we made
And I'm so glad that I've stayed with you
through the years.

I can't remember what I used to do
Who I trusted whom, I listened to before
I swear, you've taught me everything I know
Can't imagine needing someone so
But through the years it seems to me
I need you more and more

Through the years
Through all the good and bad
I knew how much we had
I've always been so glad to be with you

Through the years, it's better everyday
You've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay
I'll stay with you,
Through the years.

Through the years when everything went wrong
Together we were strong
I know that I belonged
Right here with you
Through the years.

I never had a doubt
We'd always work things out
I've learned what life's about
By loving you
Through the years.




Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

My Memorial Day memories are of the parades in the small town of North Collins.

All of the veterans would march.

As a child I was drawn to the uniforms and the formations.

I knew that it meant more to our country than what I could comprehend.

I also knew that men went off to war and they didn't always come home, and that some who did come home weren't the same as when they left.

The looks on the faces of the men was deadly serious. I could tell that the holiday meant more to them than just cooking out in the backyard.

And I knew that a lot of those men were friends with my Mom and Dad.

But I was confused, of course.

Why did there have to be wars?

I recall being glad that my Dad never had to go.

I remember asking a nun...if it was murder to kill a man...what made it different if it was in war.

She stumbled over the answer.

And I think of all of those things as an adult.

Even now, with all of the turmoil in our own country, with all the back and forth between the two political parties...

...can't we all come together for one day?

Memorial Day.

Hopefully everyone puts all their petty little questions aside...

...and remembers.

And memorializes.

Those who gave up everything...

...for the good of all Americans.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

We Made It!

To Memorial Day Weekend.

The sun felt nice on my face on Saturday, but there was a lot of work going on at Camp Clifford as we tried to make some progress on the weeds.

Thankfully I had boys to handle the heavy bags of mulch and stone, but the two who were with me were very liberals with their breaks and I had to buy a pizza as well.

As we worked I thought of how difficult it all would've been for my three boys if my Dad were the one cracking the whip.

They wouldn't have survived.

And I think that was the reason I was so fired up to make some of the changes to the look around the yard.

As a kid Memorial Day Weekend was the official weekend to plant the garden. We used to plant a huge garden. The same words were often repeated over and over as Dad implored is to stop screwing around.

I was always the guy who actually sat on the ground and planted everything. I wasn't allowed to try and run the tiller.

(I had a complete weakness when it came to operating the equipment).

I also wasn't the guy who made the rows.

(They'd be a little crooked I set them out).

So I planted.

With Dad standing behind me...telling me to give the plants a little room. He'd also tell me stories about when he'd plant the garden with his Dad.

My boys weren't interested in banter.

"It's too hot," Sam said.

"Why are we putting the plastic down?"

"So we don't have to pull weeds," I said as I pulled some of the weeds that they were supposed to pull.

I wondered about their future work with their kids.

They will eventually see the value in trying to present a decent look to the neighborhood.

But I know why the kids are so essential in such a deal...

...I have an ice pack on my back as I type this...

...bending over isn't for the middle-aged.

"We got more to do," I texted Matt an hour after we were done.

"Oh joy," he answered.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Watch Out For Moose In the Roadway

I've been driving through Maine a bit over the course of the past three months or so.

And it's a beautiful place.

Think green and clean. It looks like a great place to camp out, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

I'm not.

My beautiful wife and my terribly wimpy children aren't either.

Yet I have always smiled about the "Watch out for moose in the roadway" signs that are posted along the way. I've also enjoyed my trip through Poland because I'm usually sipping on a Poland Spring as I drive by.

Well, this trip made me think a little more because the day before I arrived I read an article about the poor woman, Geraldine Largay, a hiker, a wife and a mother, who got lost on the Appalachin Trail.

The poor woman left the trail, got disoriented and was missing for a month before they found her dead of starvation in a spot where she had set up camp just two miles from being saved.

It's an awful story.

I glanced at the comment sections and someone had said:

"At least she died doing something she loved to do."

That's a tad idiotic!

She loved to die a slow, painful death due to dehydration and starvation???

Not how I'd like to go.

Yet as I drove the 2 plus hours through the beautiful state I kept looking at the heavy woods that lined the roadway.

I could see exactly how it all went down. I have a putrid sense of direction. I have to leave bread crumbs to find my car in a parking lot...

... 10 steps off the trail and I'd be toast.

I visited the job site and talked to one of the local guys. He, of course, did some hiking himself. He had also followed the poor woman's story and had even helped in the search for her one day.

"It only takes a minute to get turned around in there," he said, "but you always need to be prepared and you should always have a partner traveling with you. So, if your wife wants to go, you better go with her."

I laughed.

"My wife isn't going traipsing through the woods," I said. "Unless she has her i-pad and large screen television with her."

"Mine either," he said. "But a whole bunch of amateur hikers do come through here and it really isn't a game."

We chatted a little while longer about Geraldine, the 66-year old hiker.

"I can tell you one thing, that's a horrible death, but you know what's worse?"

"What's that?" I asked.

"Running into a full-sized moose with your car. You won't win that battle."

I drove really slow...

...back to Boston.

Not a moose in sight.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hey, Hey, Hey! Guess Who's Going On Trial

Bill Cosby will have his day in court.

He doesn't want to go to court, mind you, but he will be prosecuted for a sexual assault that was said to have happened in 2004...when he was 67 years old.

Some 50 or 60 women later.

There are so many disturbing aspects of this story.

Let's recount:

1). Cosby was beloved.

I'm talking everyone! When he was Cliff Huxtable we all talked about his brilliance. He was one of the top grossing comics on tour. He worked clean! He lectured the black community. He implored the fathers to stand up and be men! Colleges stood in line to award him doctorates and the entire country grieved with him and his wife when they lost a son.

2). Everyone covered for him!

People were whispering about him, and in a day and age when some of the accusations could've been investigated and proven...he was allowed to skate!

He may have paid his way out.

Judges and prosecutors may have just let him slide cause he was famous.

It took a fellow comic, Hanibel, to actually stand up and vocalize that Cosby had indeed, allegedly raped women.

A lot of women.

3). His wife is still denying it!!

He is on record as having copped to sleeping with women outside of his marriage. In fact, the acts are actually out there for all to read.

Yet Camille is having no part of it!

She either believes that it's all a vast conspiracy, or she can't read, question or even think for herself.

Woman after woman after woman has told the same story:

He drugged them...they awoke to find him naked, or they were naked.

How, Camille, can it all be just a misunderstanding?

I'm fascinated by that aspect of the story. I'd even feel a little bad for her...if it weren't so freaking preposterous!

4). Sadly, he probably won't settle in behind bars.

He's 79 years old. The trial may kill him. He's not likely to lose either because 12 year old sexual assault cases aren't typically big winners for the prosecution.

He'll spend big money to impede the case.

The media will turn it into a reality show.

He'll claim that she took the drink and the pills of her own free will. The judge probably won't allow the other 50 women to tell their story.

So, it's all for naught.

Poor Fat Albert.

He crapped all over his own legacy...

...and he devastated a whole bunch of women.

What a mess.

A disaster of a life, actually.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy Birthday, You Dopey Bastard

The 27-Time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports gave Matt an early birthday present last week:

They swept the hapless, putrid, desperate, pitiful, vile team in green and gold:

The Oakland A's (the 'A' stands for atrocious).

Matt had the distinct pleasure of watching one of the four games with me.

He actually had the gall to argue balls and strikes.

I reminded him that he's a dopey bastard.

And he argued.

A couple of days after that we talked about the Bills chances for the 2016 season.

I'm not kidding here: he thinks they will win the Super Bowl.

We argued some more.

I taught him to accept nothing, to argue everything...

And while that is mind-boggling to me what isn't is that he's grown to be a man in a lot of other ways.

He works hard.

He treats his family with respect.

He is good to his girlfriend.

He usually thinks things through.

Yet...I would be remiss if I didn't embarrass him a little on this his birthday.

A couple of weeks ago there was a mouse in the back room...the tiny little thing was trapped in the exterior room where the dogs make their way outside.

This is how it all went down.

Sam: Dad, if you get home don't open the dog's door. There's a little mouse trapped in there. I don't want the dogs to kill it.

Me: Matt is home have him pick it up with a shovel and toss it.

Sam: He doesn't want to. I'll do it when I get home.

Me: Just tell him to do it.

Sam: He can't.

Me: Why?

Sam: He's scared.

Happy Birthday.

Watch out!!!

The baby mouse is coming for you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Floppy is Back!!!

LeBron James is a terrific basketball player.

Just ask him.

I watched an interview with him after the Game 3 loss to Toronto (my new favorite team) and in a 3-minute interview he must have said "I" at least 50 times.

LeBron loves LeBron.

But that's not my least favorite thing about him!

In Game 3 there was a bit of a scuffle between a Toronto player and a Cleveland player. Their names aren't important.

Well, the Cleveland player threw an elbow.

LeBron thought the Toronto player threw it...

...because although it grazed LeBron's chin...

...he flopped as though he had been hit with an impact wrench.

I'm not exaggerating!

Find the footage!!

The point of impact was about 40' feet from where Floppy the Crybaby actually made contact with the floor.

That's what I hate the most about him!

He has been on record as saying that "flopping is a strategy".

How is that different than putting pine tar on the ball to get an advantage?

Or God help us...taking a little old air out of the ball!

Floppy is trying to cheat!!

Plain and simple.

But what was funniest about it was that Twitter went nuts.

Thoughts and prayers were sent out to LeBron.

God!

He's such a tool.

Go Raptors!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Let's talk about the devil in our midst:

The NFL!

1). Tom Brady is taking them back to court to eliminate the 4-game suspension for allegedly taking air out of the ball that led to a 45-10 win.

This has obviously been the most ridiculous suspension in the history of any sport anywhere, ever. But there's no compromise on the horizon because the idiotic leadership of the Devil League decided to drag their best player through the mud...because.

People speculate as to why, but Brady is sticking to his guns because he said he didn't do it.

Who's on the edge of their seat for the outcome?

2). Erik Kramer is out talking about shooting himself in the face after writing suicide notes to his family because he suffered from horrible depression after his NFL career ended.

He's not sure if it's because he was knocked senseless for years, but he's glad he isn't dead.

Once he does die...they'll test his brain and find it damaged.

Which brings us to #3.

3). The Devil League decided to join in the fight against concussion-damages that were displayed by the former players that they didn't want to carry on their medical.

So...they made a huge pledge to a research grant that would study brain injuries.

They made a press conference to tell us how serious they were.

Then without any attention whatsoever they backed out of the financial commitment because they didn't like the researcher assigned to the study.

The Devil League was told that if they backed out the study would still go on, but the taxpayers would be forced to fit the bill.

So they did the right thing, right?

Wrong!!!

They backed out.

Then they denounced the study.

Brain damage isn't caused by repeated blows to the head!!

Why is everyone picking on the great game???

Leave us alone!!

I hate football.

I hate the lying scumbags who run the Devil League!

Now who wants to bet that Brady beats Goodell?

Disgusting!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Spring Work

This is the time of the year when everyone starts on the projects outside in an effort to get the house in shape.

I must admit that Camp Clifford needs some work, but the campers don't seem to care, and the camp counselor struggles to do said work.

The trim on the house needs painting. The garage needs paint and some woodwork done. The landscaping always needs to be handled after a Buffalo winter...

...and...

Freaking Weeds!!!

The weeds need to be picked!

"You pick 'em and they grow back," Ssm said. "Makes no sense."

"Then why cut the grass?" I asked. "Why even get a haircut?"

But weed-pulling is still not popular...

...I have to beg them.

I actually try and grab a few each time I step outside...it is a bit of a losing battle for me mentally.

"It's you! Not the weeds," Sam tried. "Look around...who needs EVERY single weed gone?"

"Me," I said. "And you too if you want to see the inside of Ralph Wilson Stadium this year."

So that got a few weeds picked...

...yet what is even more dreaded is the paint at the interior...

...because that will inconvenience the campers even more!

Ah well.

My neighbor was in her side garden yesterday...tilling the soil and planting flowers. She smiled and waved.

She's in her 30's.

I could almost feel her looking at the weeds in my flower bed.

I'm in my 50's and broken down.

"Sam!" I yelled. "Pick some weeds!!

He laughed.

Camp Clifford needs repair!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What the Hell Is Madonna Doing?

The New York Post ran a couple of photos of Madonna this week...

...I'm not grabbing the photos for you...

One shows her breasts through a see-through shirt.

The other shows her ass...

...also see-through.

She's 57 years old!

Do we wanna' see that anymore?

Haven't we all seen it about 50 times by now?

Back in the 80's she was a young superstar...

...she played the slut to an extreme and made hundreds of millions.

She also had a few good songs and I kind of looked when she appeared half-naked.

Now?

Well, I looked again...

...but that's not the point.

What is she doing?

What's the career trajectory here?

Shouldn't she have taken it another way?

She has kids.

One of them, reportedly, doesn't want anything to do with her.

Could he be embarrassed?

Ah well...

...there has to be an audience for it, right?

She really doesn't have much left to show us.

Does she?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Class of 2011 Jeffrey Fazzolari Memorial Award by Carol Wittmeyer


Simon Dietrich, student honoree, and Paul Rose, Director of Buildings & Grounds & Dear Friend of Jeff!

My cousin Carol attended the Gow Awards Ceremony...she took the time out to document the day's events and how she felt as she listened to the special moment when Gow awarded Jeff's award. Thank you so much for sharing, Carol!

Class of 2011 Jeffrey Fazzolari Memorial Award - By Carol Wittmeyer

This award is given by the class of 2011 to honor that student, faculty, or staff member who always exhibits a positive attitude and humor, no matter the circumstances. This award is given in memory of Jeffrey Fazzolari, Gow's former Executive Chef and a cherished friend to the Gow Community.

So I was able to attend the Gow event on Thursday, for the 2nd time. Once again, I enjoyed it immensely.

Taking some time out of life to honor my special cousin, Jeffrey Fazzolari, was enough of a reason to enjoy the event...

...but there were many other gifts there for me at the ceremony!

Like so many others I often go through life appreciating all of the many blessings that I have.

I would like to focus on one:

Parenting healthy, happy children.

The foundation of the American Dream is that if we work hard, and do our jobs properly, the next generation will have it better than ours.

It turns out that not everyone is able to realize that dream.

Whether it is because of illness, or disability, or other battles (and there are many) it takes special parenting, teaching and coaching to provide the tools to some of the children who are faced with tremendous challenges - and it turns out, opportunities! - with the right support!

Years ago, when I heard that Jeff left a big Executive Chef job at a large organization to take the position at the Gow School, I was perplexed.

Why would he give up the chance to build a big program, and make his mark, to take the position at Gow?

It turns out that I had it all wrong!

Jeff had figured it out!

Jeff found a place where his life's work mattered!

In a profound and lasting way!!

A mother of one of the Gow Students asked me why I was recording Jeff's Award Presentation. She asked me if I was a parent, like her.

I explained that I was Jeff's cousin, and that I was representing the family this year because they were unable to attend. I asked her to tell me about herself and why she was there. She told me that her son is a student and then she stunned me by saying:

"This place saves lives."

She spoke of the changes in her son since he enrolled, and she told me of the caring people, who, in her mind, were the only ones on earth who were equipped and motivated to help her boy...and other students like him.

Her son is a "day student" because the family lived close to the school, but she explained that the cost of the tuition required a significant sacrifice.

A sacrifice that these parents made so that their children could enjoy the American Dream that the rest of us can so easily take for granted.

Simon Dietrich and Julie Struzynski were the recipients of the 2016 Jeff Fazzolari Memorial Award.

Simon was a student leader and Julie was honored as a Gow staff member (she is also related to the late Father Bob of St. Bonaventure - a small Franciscan world!).

I was able to speak with both Simon and Julie, and Julie, who knew Jeff, told a story that I would like to note:

"It was just before Cinco de Mayo, and Jeff decided to try some new dishes and he set up several food items with small cards in front of each plate. The student headwaiters asked Jeff about the cards and he stopped what he was doing and took the time to explain and teach the students. The students thanked him for taking their diner experiences to the next level."

Jeff would not have been able to enjoy that teaching moment at any other place.

As simple as the example seems to be it symbolize the love and learning at Gow, where folks like Jeff were able to prepare them for the real world.

Jeff was investing in the life of the students. His life and work providing a huge Return On Investment!

I also learned one other thing!

It runs out that dyslexia can be an asset.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson was interviewed for a Fortune Magazine Article. He also penned a blog post to raise awareness for dyslexia, and how it inspired him to be a better businessman:

"I struggled with dyslexia when I was at school, long before it was widely known - my teachers believed that I was just stupid, or lazy, or both. Words just looked like jumbles of letters on the chalkboard to me."

He added:

"There are still many dyslexics out there, especially young people, who feel held back by their condition. I used my dyslexia to my advantage and learned to delegate those tasks that I wasn't so good at. This fired me up to look at the bigger picture, and is one of the main reasons I have been able to expand the Virgin brand into so many different areas."

Former Cisco CEO, John Chambers, disclosed that he had dyslexia, accidentally, at a work event, and it led to his becoming a spokesperson for it. Chambers said that the condition allowed him to become a more savvy and efficient person:

"Because of my weakness I've learned other ways to accomplish the same goal with faster speed. So in math I can do equations faster by eliminating the wrong answers quicker than I can get the right answer."

It is too early to know the accomplishments of the Gow Students who were coached by Jeff.

But it is clear that Jeff understood that he had the ability (and the humor) to help them to gain the confidence and experience to understand that dyslexia can, in fact, be a gift that may distinguish them from their peers.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Joey Bats

Back in October I made a prediction.

Jose Bautista had hit a huge homer for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Texas Rangers.

He was going to take one in the ribs for celebrating the homer.

And I was wildly ridiculed as an old man who was in touch with those who believed that baseball needs the spark of men celebrating their accomplishments.

I argued far and wide.

Maybe even a little too hard.

Now let me be honest here...I hate all celebrating...in all sports.

I can't stand when LeBron beats on his chest after a dunk.

I don't like when wide receivers make the first down signal after making a catch.

I can see celebrating a hockey goal, but even when they take their stick and point it like a rifle...

...it's a little much.

So I made my prediction.

"I can't wait until Texas pays him back," I wrote.

But my pleasure was more than doubled by the Rangers second baseman, Rougned Odor (yeah...that's his name).

Odor punched Joey Bats in the face.

And it was a helluva' punch...a solid right cross.

Odor probably went a bit too far, but it was bound to happen.

Baseball has always policed itself.

Celebrating is yours to do...just know that there is a price to pay.

And back then I didn't have a real problem with Bautista being happy...

...but he scowled into the Rangers dugout and out at the pitcher.

That's garbage.

He got one in the ribs for that...

...but he wanted the last word...so he slid late...

...and Odor popped him.

Just making baseball fun again, right?

Will he bat flip again?

He might think twice.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Daisy, Doris & Mary Ellen

Was in Indianola, Iowa checking a job.

I decided to grab a newspaper to glance at as I ate lunch and while I ate enough...this story isn't about lunch.

I passed on the USA Today and instead grabbed the Indianola-Record-Herald instead.

Why not learn a little about the place?

And that's where I met Daisy, Doris and Mary Ellen. They were all in the obits. The youngest of the 3 was 85 so I didn't feel any pain in reading the accounting of their lives.

Nice, simple lives.

Doris and her husband, Stan, sold cream and butter.

Daisy and George operated a cow/calf operation.

Mary Ellen met her husband, Nellie, when he scooped her off the floor at the roller rink in 1947.
They were together ever since.

All three of the obits spoke of a love of God. Daisy, Doris and Mary Ellen were shooting hard for everlasting life.

Mary Ellen had 10 great grandchildren, Doris had 8 and Daisy won that competition with 12.

And I must say that life in Iowa does seem a tad slower. There is a lot of flat, green land, and farm after farm after farm.

Doris liked to crochet and give afghans away to her friends. Her rememberance told us all that many of her friends are still enjoying the afghan that she presented to them as a gift of her friendship.

Green Acres anyone?

But I kind of liked the feel of all of it.

There was a full page recap of the school play...all 80 kids were mentioned.

A man wrote a letter to the editor to let the community in on the secret of being better men and women...more neighborly.

Yet I thought about the people in the town in the context of what they see out in the big, bad world...presented by the horrible media.

I can understand some of the fear of the unknown.

It's kinda' neat.

Rest in peace, Daisy, Doris and Mary Ellen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I Don't Do Stairs

Read a story about Mariah Carey.

Evidently she was appearing somewhere recently at the ungodly time of 12:45 p.m. and she announced to the crowd that she was gonna' 'wake everyone up!'

Apparently she usually sleeps until 3 p.m., so...she assumed...everyone was put out by the "early start."

By 12:45 on most days I've already been awake for 8 hours...

...but different strokes.

Yet Mariah gives 'Divas' a bad name.

She was actually carried up a set of stairs by two men...

...carried!

Her rider allegedly says:

"Mariah doesn't do stairs."

Come on!

I hope it isn't true, but I sort of believe it. Mariah has always appeared to be a tad over-involved in her own self, and she's lived her life under a microscope of sorts...

...it can't be easy.

I mean, if you had to get up at the ass crack of dawn to make a 30-second speech...

...damn right someone best be lifting your ass up the stairs.

The story went on to say that there was a crew of people gathered around her as she walked...

...they would powder her nose at a hand gesture.

What a life!

The stories have followed Mariah around for years...

...some of them have to be true.

"Carry me up the stairs."

How can you even ask another human being to do that for you?

Ah well...

...good work if you can get it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everybody is Sorry!

I recall flying to Tampa, Florida back in 1974.

We were served a real meal on the flight. Everyone was smoking cigarettes in a confined space. We had all sorts of room to move and the flight attendants were cool.

A couple of weeks ago I got left in a city on a Friday night, without a bag, and I was being served by a whole bunch of people who could barely pretend that they were mindful of my inconvenience.

They pretended to be sorry.

Through the years my favorite meal go eat in a restaurant has always been breakfast. Eggs over easy, hash browns, coffee and a water...

...easy.

Who can screw that up?

A week ago Sunday six of us went to our favorite breakfast place. The waitress seemed absolutely disinterested and after we ordered we couldn't find her for more than a half an hour.

It took us over an hour to eat.

They said they were sorry.

So.

This week, with limited time home, I decided to invite my beautiful wife to breakfast.

"What can I get you to drink?" Our waitress asked at 11:15 a.m.

"A water," Kathy said.

The waitress walked away and then, apparently realizing there were two people at the table, looked at me over her shoulder. I actually yelled, "coffee and a water" at her.

She came back ten minutes later with one water and two coffees.

"Did I get it wrong?" She asked.

We explained.

"Sorry," she said.

Five minutes later, 15 minutes in, she took our order.

15 minutes later she topped off my empty coffee.

10 minutes after that she said:

"You're next."

5 minutes later she actually stopped at our table to explain how busy she is.

"I don't care," I said.

5 minutes later another waitress stopped over and asked what we had ordered.

She was sorry too.

"I'll go back and check on it."

10 minutes later we walked out.

We didn't see either waitress and no one tried to stop us.

The moral of the story?

Service sucks.

Everyone is sorry.

And it's starting to piss me off.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Weather Sucks

Coming off a bad weekend in Buffalo.

Hail in some parts and snow in the forecast.

I've driven by a couple of golf courses...

...that's about it.

Legs feel like garbage anyways...

...but it's the point!

I want to be able to golf on the weekends if I can manage it!

I'm not golfing when it's 28 degrees out...

...I have enough trouble getting the ball to carry.

But what the hell can you do about it?

Just grab a coat and a hat and mittens if you need to and head out and do like everyone else:

Complain.

"I wish it would warm up."

"This is awful."

"Where's the sun?"

I suppose that weather is a great place to start when you have absolutely nothing to say to the other person.

I'm hoping I'm not getting to the point where the weather forecast on the news isn't the most important part of the day...

...but there are some very attractive weather girls on the national feeds.

And they haven't had any good news yet.

28 with the chance of some of 'the white stuff' isn't what I need to hear in May.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Three Free Punches

Stuck in the airport last week and was doing the walk through the terminal when the woman 2 feet in front of me did what people sometimes do while walking along.

She changed her mind about where she was going.

And turned around quickly and we smashed into one another.

"Oops, sorry," she said.

I returned to my seat and told my travel partner:

"We should all get 3 free punches every month."

"Like the purge," she said.

"I'm not talking murder," I said. "Just simple aggravated assault."

The guy seated beside me laughed.

"But they keep count somewhere," I said. "Which leads to a bit of rationing. You have to decide who is worthy of your punches and if you punch people on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of the month you have to wait 4 weeks before you get another pop."

"You'd probably get punched every day for the rest of your life," my friend said.

Whoops!

I hadn't thought of that angle, but she had a solid point.

I waited a long while there at the terminal trying to hone my idea and then I made another trip towards the rest room. About halfway there I noticed a bunch of Yankees gear in one of the little shops along the way.

I made a dead stop.

The guy behind me sighed heavily and walked around.

Good thing my rule had not yet been passed.

He was a big dude.

I would've missed my flight.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Prom Photos

Must be prom weekend.

I'm seeing a whole bunch of photos of young adults all dressed up to go out, and I know how old I'm getting because all I'm thinking is that I hope they're safe!

But after that initial thought I always consider the proms that I attended and how much of a big shot we all were.

I remember a bunch of things about the nights.

How the junior prom was messed up because we all were unsure about all the dating things and we ended the evening at one big party in town where we wound up just hanging out with the boys on one side of the room and the girls 'over there.'

By senior year we were all so serious!

Jeffy won prom king. We danced to Air Supply and I spent a lot of time with my brother John and his date.

Big shots!

Life seemed stressful then!

But life is never as bad as its gonna' get!

That is why when I look at those 'children' I can only hope that they're safe and that they have fun!

It's just a prom. They're just fancy clothes, and it's just a limo ride.

33 years down the line and life is about exchanging a 'Hello' on Facebook to that gal you couldn't fathom living without.

That's how life goes, but minimizing their night from an 'old dude' point-of-view isn't cool either.

I look back on prom nights and I smile inside.

Now I check how the kids of my friends look all dressed up.

One last thing on my prom.

I remember my senior prom photo.

I was unbelievably skinny (yep, graduated high school at 6' and about 130 pounds). I was pale. I wasn't smiling. I looked scared out of my mind!

My date looked good, but I ruined the photo.

I know that because I recall showing it to my Dad.

"You look like a cancer patient with a load of shit in your pants," he said.

All these years later I remember how hard we had laughed at that.

Thanks, Dad!

I think of it every single time 'prom' comes up!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Buying Zimmy's Gun

How much more despicable can George Zimmerman be?

He stood his ground and killed a man.

Trayvon Martin was a man who had people who loved him. He died after meeting Zimmerman and (depending upon how you look at it) stood up to Zimmerman who was playing cop.

A fight ensued.

Zimmerman had a gun and he used it to either defend his life or simply to end Trayvon's life.

The story was a real black eye on our society and no matter which side you fell on:

Zimmerman was in the right!

Or Zimmy was a straight up murderer.

There is one fundamental truth:

Trayvon was shot by George Zimmerman's gun.

Now Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun with an opening bid of 5 grand...

...he's doing it so he can cause the demise of Hillary.

God help you if you can defend that action in any way, shape or form.

And who the hell wants that gun?

It's not like buying Jeter's spikes from the '96 series.

It's a collectible because it ended man's life?

Or is it because it made Zimmy a star?

When I heard the news about the auction my stomach did a little flip.

It's disgusting, disturbing, horrific, tragic and more than a little troublesome.

From the moment I first heard this guy's name I have been disgusted by his actions.

He spent some time in jail.

He stood accused of hammering his girl.

Please God...

...don't allow a single bid on that piece of equipment that was used to kill a man.

It's just not right!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Think New Thoughts

It's pretty easy to stay in one spot in your mind.

I had lunch with a friend the other day and we took a little time to talk about the Trump phenomenon that has taken the country by hold.

It's a crazy thing, actually, if you really break it down because there has been a pretty sweeping change in the political landscape. By calling detractors names and smashing through all sorts of barriers Trump has brought a new reality to how we see politicians.

Which has brought changes.

Good, bad or indifferent we are now looking at things differently. We'll find out if it was a change that was needed, but it certainly is different, right?

Thinking new thoughts is actually not one of my strong points.

I have kind of cemented things in my mind and to me, 'that's how it should be.'

Are we always right?

Where do our unwavering convictions come from?

Is change of thought even possible?

"Why are you always right?" My son Sam asked me one day.

"I don't know," I said. "That's just how it works out most of the time."

But there is a real chasm out there.

What has been lost in some of the political debating is the idea that we are all Americans and we all supposedly want the same things.

Right?

As I went through lunch that day I thought about seeing things from the Trump side.

Sadly, I didn't make much progress on that front.

The name-calling and the overall scheme has kind of lost me, but I at least considered all of it.

Perhaps that is all we need to do to move forward a little.

Asking one another and then listening without prejudice might just move the discussion forward.

But the name-calling doesn't seem to be reserved to one side of the political aisle.

Everyone is guilty.

"You actually AREN'T ALWAYS right," Sam reminded.

And that's an important thing to remember.

Even if he's dead wrong.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kill the Umps!

On Friday, with the bases loaded and the Suck Sux down one to the 27-time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports,David Ortiz took a 3-1 pitch (that was actually a strike) and then he went absolutely batshit because he thought it was a ball.

The ump didn't throw him out of the game.

But the next pitch may have been a ball...

...and the ump punched out the big PED cheat who was never called on it.

The Suck Sux manager went nuts and got tossed.

Ortiz came running back out and finally got tossed.

The Yankees won.

Theeeee Yankeeeeeeeessssss won!

Which was nice.

On Monday night Bryce Harper got punched out and he thought it was a ball.

He got tossed.

Then he gave the ump a "F&*% You!"

Listen, I'm not arguing that the umps don't deserve some angst...Billy Martin and Early Weaver and Sweet Lou Pinella were entertaining when they dressed down the umps.

But there is a whole lot of complaining....

...after every sporting event...

...on social media.

I checked in on the Suck Sux sites after Ortiz was run.

Boo-freaking-hoo.

Man, the fans were screaming.

Of course, there are a lot of screaming fans in every city in every football town and the refs are lousy there...

...so what is the answer?

I don't know.

I just loved seeing Ortiz jump up and down!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What's Going On?

Dwayne Wade continued to shoot baskets as the Canadian National Anthem was being played.

What was he thinking?

Imagine if a Canadian player did that while the American anthem was being played.

Americans would be screaming for him to be tossed from the league.

The Bills are thinking of bringing Ray Lewis in as a coach.

He can stare longingly at Orenthal's name on the Ring of Honor.

He should fit right in, right?

Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon are giving up on marriage after 33 years?

I can't believe that Ozzy was cheating.

He appears barely conscious to me.

Had some good tunes though.

Good luck, kids.

Paul Ryan is fighting with Trump

Will there be a unified front presented?

Or will The Donald just tell them all to go to hell?

Should be fun as hell either way.

David Ortiz hit 3 more homers against the Yankees this weekend.

Now I'm not for braining people, but why don't they throw inside on him?

He hangs over the plate like he's eating dinner.

Make him move his feet!

It was 28 degrees on Monday morning.

That's enough.

Where is the heat?

I wanna' golf!

Where's Renaldo????



Monday, May 9, 2016

Airlines Suck


I was seated in the airport for what was supposed to be a very quick layover.

Less than an hour!

Then I would be home. Earlier than I thought!

I glanced at the departure board and saw a word flash next to my flight:

CANCELED

"What?"

Yet...I had a backup flight out...they had actually handed me two boarding passes...just in case. I was still good. I just had to wait an extra hour.

Twenty minutes later...that flight was also:

CANCELED

"Now what?"

I headed to the American Airlines desk.

"We're closed," the woman behind the desk said. She was eating something.

"Where do I go?"

"A36," she said.

"Where is that?"

She pointed...went back...to what she was eating.

It was three concourses away.

I walked...and walked..and walked...and that's what I saw when I arrived.

There were three hundred of us in line!

I had another problem.

My bag...which didn't have to be checked...was checked...just in case they didn't have enough room on the plane that was no longer going anywhere!

I could rent a car and drive if I had to.

I just wanted to be home!

An hour and a half after getting to the line I stood before the clerk.

"Before you say anything we don't offer any hotel expense relief as this was not our fault - it's an air traffic control problem."

"Is it my fault?" I asked. "Where is my bag?"

"That would be at Terminal E. We have a lot of options for your flight home."

"Really? Tonight?"

"Not tonight," she said. "But tomorrow!"

"Where do I stay? That hard plastic chair?"

"I don't know," she said, "But we can get you out early."

"Oh, that's just wonderful," I said.

She was able to grasp the sarcasm.

"We'll get you to Chicago and you can get home relatively early in the day."

"I don't know how I can possibly thank you," I said. "Can you get them to hold my bag so I can pick it up?"

"It's at the terminal in the office. No problem."

I actually thanked her.

Then walked...and walked...and walked...to the concourse where I had been two hours before.

I stepped in the office. I wanted my bag...wanted to check into a hotel and wanted to get off my legs which were absolutely devastated.

I handed paperwork to the man.

"Oh, your bag has been rerouted. It's already being loaded onto the plane for your flight."

That was when I lost it.

"ARE YOU F*&$ING KIDDING ME? Did you have someone sitting here waiting to run away with my bag? I just booked the flight!"

"That's how it works," he said. "I can put a trace on it and you will have it within three to four hours. Would you like me to do that?"

"Yes," I said. "And when it gets here, jam it straight up your ass!"

(I wish I would've said that).

Instead I walked out.

I ended up in Chicago to get home from New Hampshire.

30 hours after I got to the airport.

Thankfully, my beautiful wife was going to pick me up.

She left me standing on the curb for 20 minutes.

I was a tad frustrated.

I hate Airlines.

Hate...hate...hate!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

The love of a Mom is a tangible force.

It's actually one of the greatest, strongest bonds in all of the universe.

I know this for a couple of reasons.

My Mommy, of course.

I asked Mom recently about what it was like when we were all young ...

..."How bad was it?"

"It was challenging," she said. "You guys were brutal."

But her eyes told the truth.

She loved every second of it.

Still does.

And she is an unbelievable Mom!!!

Cut to when my kids were young.

There were days when I'd leave for work with my last image of the morning would be the kids surrounding Kathy...

...and I'd return home and they'd all be in the same spot.

15 years later and it's exactly the same.

"Where's Mom?"

"I need Mom."

So, I have been blessed to be a witness to the most powerful of all love...

...all of my life!

Happy Mother's Day!

It's a lifetime job, of course, but I know all the greatest Mommy's...

My Mom...My wife's Mom, My wife, my sisters and sisters-in-laws. My nieces and my wife's sisters.

Perfect love!

And every husband has repeated one sentence over and over again since the beginning of time.

"Go find your mother!"

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Trump V Clinton

Admit it...

...you didn't think it was possible, did you?

And now you're gonna hear the "neither one is worth a crap" statement about 5,000 times between now and November and the nicknames and the name-calling is going to be off the hook as the kids used to say.

I'm worn out.

I really am.

I'm waiting for Donald to announce who his running mate will be, but beyond that it's grown stale.

Does Donald ask Little Marco?

Or Lying Ted?

Chris Christie has already swallowed his pride and is now at the right hand of the man he called a fraud...will all the others bend too?

And will Hiliary stop shrieking when she speaks? She's a little like listening to your least favorite Aunt babble on...

...can you imagine 4 years of that?

And what will Bill do as he roams around the White House with few responsibilities?

That could get real ugly.

So many questions...

...so much at stake...

...and the game show is just beginning!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Airplane Fun!

I had a decent seat.

I was at the front of the plane -8th row - and would be able to get off the plane quickly enough once we landed in New Hampshire.

I was also seated next to a smallish Asian woman who gave me a big smile as I sat down. She was at the window, (my preferred spot) but it didn't matter.

I had enough leg room.

A Asian man across the aisle leaned across me to speak (in rapid-fire Chinese) to the woman beside me. He was actually leaning on me a bit and I flashed a look of annoyance that made him step back.

It was then I realized that of the ten or so people in the immediate seating area I was the only non-Asian.

Which meant nothing to me.

I put my Yankees headphones on and closed my eyes. A few minutes later, I felt a pat on my right arm.

I opened my eyes and the woman was holding a large tumbler up and saying something.

(I don't speak Chinese).

But it appeared that she wanted a drink of some sort. Then she said, very clearly:

"Juice."

How could I possible tell her that the flight attendant would provide juice shortly?

I didn't even try. I smiled and nodded. She smiled and nodded back. I closed my eyes again.

One minute later she was leaning across my body.

Eyes open!

She was leaning across me to hold said tumbler out to show it to the flight attendant, who ignored her.

"Sit down," I said.

She smiled and nodded and pointed at the tumbler again.

"Juice."

A bit later the flight attendant ambled over. I opened my eyes.

"Would you like a drink?" She asked.

"Water," I said.

The flight attendant may have not heard me because my seat mate was in MY SEAT with her tumbler extended as she said:

"JUICE!!"

"She wants juice," I said.

The woman nodded wildly.

"I can't fill her cup with juice. That's a half gallon."

I laughed.

Moments later, I was handed a small cup of water and guess who got a small cup of juice...

...she wasn't happy.

She held out the tumbler. The flight attendant said 'No!'

The woman chugged the juice and leaned across me to hand the cup to the attendant.

I sighed heavily.

Three cups of juice later, guess who tapped me to go take a piss?

I was listening to my phone...my headphones were plugged into the phone that was in my seat pocket. I stood up slowly and the woman jumped from her seat, taking the auxiliary cord with her, and my ears too because the cord was still plugged in.

"WAIT!" I yelled.

We landed.

I was ready to strangle the juice-drinking woman.

She would be out of my life in ten minutes.

But she wanted it to be quicker.

I'm not kidding here!

She actually poked me in the ribs and pointed to the aisle that was quickly filled with people who were in line to get off the plane first.

"Stop!" I yelled. "Sit the $&@" down and RELAX!!"

At least 10 rows of people heard me.

The woman said:

"Oh!"

She sat down...and didn't move.

The flight attendant met me at the door.

"I'm sorry you went through that," she said. "When she got up to visit the rest room she actually asked for more juice."

We both laughed.

Good times.

Good times.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

He's Not A Pedophile!

Hunter Osborn, who is a football player and a senior at a high school in Arizona, pulled a prank.

While they were taking the yearbook photo he flashed the camera.

A front shot.

It was a small photo.

His prank went unnoticed by everyone, including the editor.

They put the photo in the yearbook and it went out. The yearbook was delivered to minors. For that, Osborn is facing some major trouble.

He has been charged with 69 counts (they couldn't find one more or one less?)

Including a felony!

The kid feels awful. Some people in town are rallying behind him. Others are talking about hanging him. Almost everyone agrees that it is going to be stuck to his name for a long, long time.

Stop it!

He's not a pedophile and shouldn't have to identify as one for the rest of his life.

I've known some pranksters in my day. I certainly have known a number of people who might have actually tried such a stunt.

Back in my day...

...if caught there would have been some trouble.

But not 69 charges!

Not a felony charge!!

The kid was a knucklehead...

...no doubt about it...

...but someone else should've caught it.

He didn't distribute the photo...

...they did!!

"That's classic," Jake said. "That kid is a flat-out rock star at that school."

And he probably is.

Here's hoping they don't ruin his life over it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Baseball Bad Behavior

I attack the NFL and their bad apples...

...and will continue to do so, but I have to bend a little here and throw some crap where it belongs...

...at a few players in the greatest game ever invented.

My boys are still raging at me about Aroldis Chapman, the new reliever for the Yankees.

He hasn't pitched yet because he's serving 30 games (or the equivalent of letting air out of the football) for shooting his gun empty following a fight with his girlfriend. There was also talk that he put his hands on her too, but Chapman has fervently denied it.

Another guy who is denying hitting his girl is former All-Star Jose Reyes. He has been suspended indefinitely...and may get the whole year off.

Last year's leading hitter in the National League is sitting for 80 games for steroid use. Chris Colabello (who just got cut from my fantasy team) also got an 80-game ban.

And now...

...Carlos Martinez, a pitcher for the St.Louis Cardinals is being sued for...

...get this...

Knowingly spreading STD's (allegedly).

Whatever happened to rooting for players and not knowing what idiots they are?

As a kid we pick sports stars as heroes.

As adults we understand how crazy those choices appear to be.

Now, this is a post about bad behavior in baseball, but the NFL Draft was just held.

Fans held their breath as the players were picked:

Then we all checked out the arrest records of the new guys coming to town.

After Gordon received his 80-game suspension he told us all that he:

"Didn't knowingly do anything."

He received a $50 million contract based in last year's performance.

Getting busted will cost him a couple of mil.

He gets to keep the rest.

He doesn't have to do even one more cycle of the drugs that got him generational money.

Yeah...

...he didn't knowingly do it!

My opinion has changed as I've worked day after day after day for the last 30 years.

Would I knowingly break the rules for $50 million if it was only hurting myself in an obscure, years down the road manner?

Sign me up!

I can fake apologize too.

Come on, baseball!

Behave better!

This isn't the NFL!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Wire

We finally got access to the show The Wire.

I know.

We're about ten years late to the party, but I know what all the fuss was about.

It's a really good show.

For years and years we kinda' sat around thinking that television sucked because it wasn't anything more than game shows and reality shows...

...but one series after another is great.

The Wire takes a little time to develop the characters and that's where the investment of time becomes worthwhile.

Yet I wonder how much of the show is actually true to life.

I am pretty cognizant of the fact that there are drugs, gangs, murders and all kinds of other forms of torture on the streets.

And it saddens me when I think that there are thousands and thousands of kids on the street who don't see another way out.

The Wire is based in Baltimore, but I'm sure the scene plays out in almost every city in the country.

The sad part of the show is that we have been going around the house speaking in the slang of the drug streets.

Instead of 'all right,'

We now say:

"I-ght."

I must've said that fifty times in the last week.

The other thing that seems funny about the show is that it took place in a time before everyone started using a cell phone.

The Wire is about tapping the lines.

The cops bungle...

The criminals are the masterminds.

Drugs everywhere.

A good show.

I-ght.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Smoking Pot While Wearing A Gas Mask...

...might hurt you as you start your career.

Who hasn't seen the photo of Laremy Tunsil, the new Miami Dolphins football player?

Just before the draft a photo of Tunsil with a bong and a gas mask surfaced.

They are saying that the photo cost him about $13 million as his draft stock slipped.

That's an expensive post.

The NFL Draft is interesting to me for one reason:

It allows me to look up the arrest and disciplinary records of the new guys coming to town.

"Armed robbery?" He said he was sorry.

"Drug bust?" He was in a room where other people were smoking.

"Domestic violence?" His step-father was asking for it.

Ahhh...God Bless the new millionaires...I'm sure it'll work out fine.

Every GM in every town tells their fan base:

"This is the guy we wanted! We would've taken him in the first round!!"

And the fans eat it up!

"Perfect draft! We're gonna' be a force!!"

But back to Tunsil.

The photo was definitely him.

Did someone in his circle post it to mess with the guy?

He was certainly guilty of being a little stupid, but in this day and age a kid smoking pot might not be the worst of all possible scenarios.

Social media can certainly come back and bite you, though...and I have had that discussion with my boys until they've yelled out:

WE KNOW!!!!

Now, I write and say pretty much all that I want on social media...but there won't be any photos of me and a bong popping up.

Beer?

Jamesons?

Thank God there weren't cell phones in every pocket back in the 80's.

That's another story.

This kid should be okay, eventually.

I'm sure he's embarrassed.

But people forget.

Just try not to be dumb again.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wake Up Yankees!!!


Years ago I was listening to an interview with Uncle George Steinbrenner.

He said that he put money into the team because he loved Yankee fans.

"The fans have a better day when the Yankees win," he said.

And that's undeniably true around Camp Clifford.

For me, Sam and Kathy.

The other nitwits are happy when the Yankees lose.

(So are a few of my idiot friends).

So far this year the nitwits and idiots are happier than the baseball geniuses.

LET'S GO!!!

The games haven't been a whole lot of fun to watch so far:

Two guys get on and then Chase Headley hits into a double play.

A guy gets over to first with just one out...

...and Chase Headley strikes out on three pitches.

And the MRI's!!

Stop with the freaking MRI's!!

It takes an act of God to get an MRI for a real medical problem but if A-Rod feels a twinge when he's hitting off a tee...he sits for 5 days after his MRI comes back clean.

And the pitching hasn't been great either.

The baseball world starts counting pitches in the first freaking inning!

"He's already thrown 10 pitches!"

Dear Lord!

And the days off for the relievers!!

"He's unavailable today because he threw 12 pitches yesterday and 9 pitches the day before!"

Poor guy!

"We need to give guys days off!"

How about I get a day off???

Ah, crap!

I miss Uncle George!

Of course, I BILLieve that they will be just fine...

...but they better get moving!

Because I'm getting pissed.

So is Sam...

And forget about it...

Pops is livid.

"Bah!"

"Bah!!"

"Bah!!!"

Put me in coach.

I'll play through all kinds of pain!

I can hit better than Headley.

"He Wants to Hang 'Em All"

Every day there's something nasty. So sick of the nasty. Sometimes the nastiness is passed off as a joke. Other times it's locke...