The Long And Winding Road

It was ten years ago today – November 21, 2011 – that I burst upon the wide and welcoming WordPress landscape.  I immediately began spewing forth bullshit to fertilize the fields, and bring in crops of creativity, contentment and controversy.

A WHOLE TEN YEARS?

IT’S BEEN AN ENTIRE DECADE?

I can’t possibly know all two million WordPress participants, but of the popular, well-known blog-sites of ten years ago, faint few are still posting.  AFrankAngle has ceased his social/political observations, and in his retirement, has re-invented himself as Beach Walk Reflections, offering more philosophical meditations.

Like me, although more lucidly, the Coastal Crone is still pumping out rants and rambles on a wide variety of interesting subjects.  After you’re finished reading my work, you might have a look at each of them.

While my blogging was to be a way to occupy my time in retirement, and give me a chance to be creative and tell my little stories, I have treated it as at least a part-time job.  With no-one to answer to but me, I still work hard to guarantee that scheduled posts are ready and published on time.  While I treasure my visitors, I still also do this very much for me, to keep me organized and thinking clearly.

Other than a few, extra, bonus posts like this, I long ago settled into a steady three-a-week, Monday/Wednesday/Friday publishing schedule.  Tallying it up, it means that this is my 1475th post.  I recently turned 77.  With good genes, and increasing medical support, I hope to still be doing this in another ten years.  I look forward to be still attracting someone’s attention.

As I threaten, at the top, I offer rants and rambles about many things.  I have provided history, humor, insights into language development, politics, religion, and some peeks into growing up in both a small town, and one that is crammed with big-city summer residents.

As The Beatles say, it’s been The Long and Winding Road, and I have enjoyed every twisted mile of it.   A big shout-out and thanx to all my visitors, both past and future.  Excelsior!!

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 10 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

A Blast Of One-Liners

I just replaced the can of air freshener in the office washroom….
….With an air-horn.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself….
….And stupid – we should fear the shit out of stupid.

Stop shaming fat people….
….They have enough on their plate already.

My wife made me join a bridge club….
….I jump off next Tuesday.

I stayed at a really cheap hotel….
….They stole my towel.

Another name for the Highway to Hell….
….Is the Route of All Evil.

I removed all the bad food from my house….
….It was delicious.

My housekeeping style is best described as….
….”There appears to have been a struggle.”

In wine there is wisdom….
….In water there is bacteria.  You decide.

People just write ‘Congrats’….
….Because they can’t spell ‘Congrajlashins.’

A procrastinator’s work….
….Is never done.

My wife asked me how I was going to feel when our son starts dating….
….Apparently jealousy was the wrong answer.

I often question my sanity….
….Occasionally it replies.

A Frenchman asked a librarian for a book on warfare….
….She replied, “You’d only lose it.”

Who invented fractions?….
….Henry the 1/8th

I just memorized six pages of the dictionary….
….I know next to nothing.

Many things can be preserved in alcohol….
….Dignity is not one of them.

My stomach is flat….
….The L is silent.

My friend brags that his 3-D printer can print a gun….
….Big deal, I’ve had a Canon printer for years.

I have a joke about fireflies….
….That most people say is brilliant.

My dentist asked me when was the last time I flossed my teeth….
I said, “You should remember.  You were there.”

This old-age stuff….
….Has come at a bad time of my life.

Anti-racism is when white people protest….
….Against other white people, for being white.

Flash Fiction #267

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

WHY IS A MOUSE WHEN IT SPINS?

Please ensure mind is in motion before engaging mouth.

I’m tryin’ to think, but nuthin’s happenin’!

Did I actually have my shit together in my youth, and only now is it coming unravelled quicker than a knitted sock the cat found?

Or was I always this spun, and I have just finally achieved clarity?

Old age is like waking from an epic drunk, on someone else’s couch.  It takes at least an hour for reality to come into sharp focus.

Do not operate heavy any equipment while under the influence.  Squirrel-brain is normal.  Afternoon naps are a proven effective treatment.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

I Am Crabby

What better treat to sweeten up a Grumpy Old Dude like me, than some lovely Crab-Apple jelly?

As an occasional treat, on nights that I post a blog, I have come to like a couple of Costco croissants, warmed in the toaster-oven, with crab-apple jelly and a mug of hot chocolate.

Several times in the course of our marriage, I have helped the wife make a batch of crab-apple jelly.  She initiates it, organises it, and gives directions, while I do most of the donkey-work, since I am so admirably qualified.  With a little luck, and some greed, I often get all or most of a batch.  It’s okay.  The wife prefers strawberry or red currant.  With some self-control and rationing, a batch lasts me several years

Crab-apple jelly is almost impossible to find in a grocery store, and when you do, it’s three or four times as expensive, because of shortage of crab-apples, and extra labor.  Near where the daughter once lived was a Mennonite church.  On the boulevard of the side street, they had planted four crab-apple trees.  At harvest time I just went over and picked enough.  A couple of years later I returned, to find that the city had widened the street, and destroyed the trees.

The home the daughter moved to, backs onto a community trail.  A block away, one house whose property also edged the trail, didn’t have a back fence – but they did have a crab-apple tree.  The owner graciously allowed me to harvest all I wanted – because then, he didn’t have to pick them all up.  A couple of years later I returned…. to find that the Region had widened and paved the trail, and removed the tree.

An occasional Mennonite at the Farmers’ Market MIGHT have a few six-quart baskets of crab-apples, if you get there at the right time, (I only had four baskets, and I sold the last one an hour ago.) but I might as well be paying for black truffles.  Two women offer jams and jellies of many flavors.  The wife bought a jar of red currant – which included some of the little twigs that the currants grow on.  I passed on their apple jelly.

Another man also offered a wide variety, including crab-apple jelly – at a merely outrageous price.  Real crab-apple jelly should be so clear, that you could read a newspaper through its red/gold beauty.  This stuff was more apple sludge, full of unfiltered apple fiber.

This is the cost of old age – having to live in the big city, close to all the medical support.  I’ll bet if I lived in my small home-town, I’d know someone with a crab-apple tree or two.  How about you??  Do you have a particular treat that you like?  Is it readily available?

***

Chapter 2

Almost 20 years ago, when we first moved in, at the back of my property were a spruce tree, and a lilac bush, for added privacy and noise attenuation.  Back then they were barely as tall as the six-foot sound-berm.  Now they both tower 15/20 feet.

This summer, I was mowing the lawn, and stopped to catch my breath and look at the lilac…. and I lost my breath again.  There were crab-apples growing on my lilacWTF!!  Close inspection (the lawn can wait) showed that two of the lilac’s trunks (?) were actually a crab-apple tree.  This is the first year that it has produced fruit, so I’d never previously noticed that the two were intertwined.

How did it get there??  A squirrel burying an apple??  Some idiot in the neighborhood puts out peanuts for them.  We find peanuts buried in our planters and flower beds – along with dead flowers from the digging.

I’ll be discussing Theology with Saint Peter before this tree matures.  There are only half a dozen bunches of apples this year.  I couldn’t get six quarts/liters.  I will do well to get six cups this fall, but the wife says that she/we can make a mini-batch of one or two jars for me.  I’ll still be grumpy – just better fed.  😀  😎

FBI Find That Funny

Badge

I enjoy buying complete sets of toddler clothes at garage sales. I don’t do anything with them; I just put them in plastic vacuum seal bags and throw them in the closet, because I enjoy the thought of the time and money the FBI will waste when they are found after I die.

***

Two thieves break into a house. They go into the master bedroom, and tie up a naked woman that they find there. A startled naked man comes out of the bathroom and sees what has happened. He says, “Please! Please! Take whatever you want and go. I will even give you the combination to the safe. Just untie her and let her go.”

The thieves were surprised by how heartfelt his pleas were. One of them says, “You must love your wife a lot in order to beg like that.”

The man replies, “I do – and she’ll be home any minute!”

***

An elderly couple go to their doctor, and complain about failing memories. He explains that it is normal for people their age, and suggests that they write things down, to help remember.

A while later, they are sitting in their living room, when she says, “I’d really like a bowl of ice cream.” He says, “I’ll get it for you.” and heads for the kitchen. She says, “Now write that down.” He replies, “I’m only going to the kitchen. I’ll remember.”

He is gone for some time, and when he returns, he hands her a plate of bacon and eggs. She says, “I told you to write it down. You forgot the toast.”

***

An Irish man, and his ever-nagging wife, were on a holiday to Jerusalem, when the wife died suddenly.

The undertaker told him that it would cost 50€ to bury her there, or 5000€ to ship her home.

The husband tells him to ship her home.

The undertaker said, “But sir, why don’t you have her buried in the Holy Land and save the money?”

The husband says, “Listen here pal, a long time ago, a fellow named Jesus was buried here, and three days later He rose from the dead. She’s fuckin’ going home!”

***

A Scottish workman arrived home a bit late, and out of breath. His loving wife demanded to know why. “I saved six-pence by running home behind the bus.”
“Ach, ya fool! Ye coulda run home behind a taxi, and saved a pound.”

***

A doctor accidentally prescribed a laxative, instead of a heavy-duty cough syrup.
Three days later, the patient came back for a check-up.
The doctor asked, “Are you still coughing?”
The patient replied, “No! I’m afraid to.”

***

I didn’t sleep well last night, so this morning I put Monster energy drink in my coffee.
I was halfway to work before I realized that I’d forgot my car.

***

Some sad, sad people on our street are still letting off fireworks, and it’s the end of October.
Our poor dog gets so frightened that he hides under the Christmas tree.

Happy Birthday 75

Birthday Cake 75

Click below to hear

Swedish chef happy birthday

Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthdayyy dear Archon
Happy Birthday to me!

Happy or not, at my age, I’ll take any birthday that I can get. I almost can’t believe it. I’ve been hanging around this planet, making a pest of myself for ¾ of a century. I’ve seen Century 21 Real Estate become a reality. A 75th birthday is something special to be celebrated. Not everyone gets to do it. I don’t plan to repeat the feat, although a recent study proved that people born later in the year have a better chance of living to be 100.

I felt that an extra, out-of-normal-sequence post was justified. All contributions gratefully accepted. Cash and checks (cheques) would be nice, but I will happily settle for visits, views, likes and comments.

Dad & Danny
Early August 1960, Detroit (Ferndale) MI
I am the handsome one on the left, not quite 6.
The sulky one on the right is my 3-year-old brother.
I’ve come a long way, Baby.

For those who may not have seen it, HERE is a further explanation of how I got here.

Tombstone 2

One Jackass – Or Two?

Jackass

An Old Man and His Mule

An old man walked up and tied his old mule to the hitching post. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No,… I never did dance… never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fart, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.

The old prospector — not wanting to get his toe blown off — started hopping around. Everybody was laughing. When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air, and the crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old man and the large gaping holes of the twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No Sir… But I’ve always wanted to.”

There are five lessons here for all of us:

  1. Never be arrogant.
  2. Don’t waste ammunition.
  3. Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
  4. Always make sure you know who has the power.
  5. Don’t mess with old people, they didn’t get old by being stupid.

 

’18 A To Z Challenge – W

Get Off My Lawn

Old Man

I write ‘old,’ because I am old, but also because I read even older writings when I was young.  I love the new technology (what I can understand of it), but I miss the grace, style and solemnity of bygone days, and bygone manners, and bygone speech.  When/because I was younger, I never had the opportunity to call someone a

Whippersnapper

Now that I am old enough to do so, life and language have moved on, and I have missed my chance.  I might as well speak of button-hooks, or buggy-whips, or Marcel hair treatments.  People would regard me even more strangely than they already do.

‘Whippersnapper’ is a word which has been used since the 17th century. The word can be used in two different contexts. One, it refers to a person who is very lazy and has no ambitions. The other context is used to denote young people who live on the streets and are indulged in wrong practices. However, the usage and meaning of the word changed over time. Now, it is used for a person who is very confident, or for a child who keeps questioning.

Nowadays, society moves so fast that many of us don’t have, or take, the time to actually say or write things.  OMG!  For those who deserve this epithet, (and they are numerous, and greatly deserving) I will have to settle for a firmly applied “Asshole,” or a solid smack with an appropriate acronym (PITA = Pain In The Ass), or Emoji. Thumbs Down

’18 A To Z Challenge – Puppy Love

 

Challenge '18 letter-p

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been proved wrong – again!

I told the wife, that when our Wheaten/Schnauzer/Poodle–cross cur was gone, we would not get another dog.  I explained a thousand times that we are too old, too weak, that we didn’t have the strength, the stamina, the patience….most of all, the money, to buy a purebred, non-allergenic puppy.

Puppies Parents

Our two new little handfuls, with their black Daddy, and white Momma.

By ‘we’, of course, I meant ‘me.’  Suddenly, one day, while I was composing a previous A-To-Z post, she called to me to “come see something on my laptop.”  Halfway down the stairs, I saw the picture of Mom and Dad Scotty Terriers.  Before I could even protest, she shifted to more photos of a bundle of the cutest puppies.  Ohhh, no fair!

Scottish Terriers are usually black, but some of them are white, and a few of them are brindle, which is white, with blonde/gold highlights.  Mom was white.  Dad was black, and the puppies were some of each.  Could we just go to look at them??  They were only a 2 ½ hour drive away.  I’m doomed – doomed I tell you.

Puppies

Aren’t the two new Scottish terrors Terriers cute??

We brought the son – and his checkbook – along.  They valiantly held out, but we all knew that we had not come just to look.  The wife picked the little black female, above.  Then came the hard sell.  Unlike the previous litter, this time the breeder was having trouble getting rid of the males.  If we would also take a male, she would give us a screwing deal on both dogs.

The wife launched a piteous appeal to his heartstrings, to get the son to further loosen his purse-strings.  When he finally bowed to the inevitable, we became a two-dog family.  Happy birthday, Mothers’ Day, Arbor Day, Thanksgiving, anniversary, Christmas, and Leonard Nimoy’s bris.

The next day, we got a panicked phone call.  “Is something wrong??”  Well….  Another couple had come to look at the puppies, and she was attaching ribbons to ours, to assure that we got the ones we’d picked out.  The male the wife had chosen, the only brindle one in the litter – had turned out to be a female??!  Would we accept any other male?  We chose the happy, chubby white male, as a Mini-Me.

We named the male, Duff, a Gaelic word that means ‘black.’  We called the little female, Guin, a Welsh term which means ‘white.’  So, our black dog is White, and our white dog is Black.  At least we’re not out Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog, as Norma Tanega did, back in the mid-60s.

No Chew

Here’s a liter of IRONY!

Plug

I only hope that the male pulled that plug from the socket, before he chewed it off.

At just over six months old, they recently got their first trim.  We had to be vetted by our new groomer.  She was recommended by the wife’s hairdresser.  The woman came to the house to see the dogs in their ‘native environment,’ before she would accept us as clients.  I feel so 90210. 😯 Oh Yeah!  We’ve got two new puppies.  Be thankful that you’re only stuck with me.  At least I’m house-trained.  😉

Puppers

They’ve gone from being a mere handful, to being A Real handful.

Flash Fiction #165

Nostalgia

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

Perhaps the loss and blurring of memories from old age isn’t entirely a bad thing.  We can look back on our lives through the filter of contentment for a life well lived.

We can remember the happy birthdays, the important anniversaries, the great grandkids, and forget the nosy, incompetent co-workers, the uncaring, slave-driver bosses, the crazy neighbors, and the arrogant politicians.

They say that ignorance is bliss, and it can be – in a way.  Just remember that living well is the best revenge.  Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.  Don’t worry.  Be happy!

***

Click above to hear the great Ella Fitzgerald tell you how to do it.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story