Some Days You’re the Table and Some Days, You’re the Toe!

31 12 2018

Tim Burton has nothing on my wife and me. Christmas 2018 was our own nightmare before Christmas.

It all started when our fully decorated Christmas tree fell over…not once, but twice. I finally solved the problem after realizing the trunk of the tree was too small for the stand I was using, but not until after breaking two of my wife’s favorite ornaments. At least my leg lamp and “fra-jee-lay” ornaments survived unscathed.

“It’s a major award! Must be from Italy!”

The following week, my wife fell, in a cold rain, shattering her right wrist. The injury was so bad, she had to have surgery the following week; four days before Christmas. She was given a nerve block for the surgery and we were told that when it wore off, after possibly as long as 32 hours, her pain would return with a vengeance. On the morning following her surgery, my wife was in the bed asleep while I was in our den reading when suddenly, I heard one of those help, the monster has grabbed me! screams. The scream was loud and terrifying. I tore from my chair and ran at full geezer-speed, which is toward the lower end of the speed spectrum, slightly faster than pushing a Chevy Silverado out of the mud, to get back to my wife. My fear was, the nerve block had worn off and she was in the throes of severe pain. As I made it through the bedroom door, I felt a searing pain in the back of my right thigh and went straight to the floor. When my wife realized I was on the floor at the foot of the bed, writhing in pain, she assured me she was okay. “It was only a bad dream,” she told me.

I told her I was having a cramp. When she realized there was no bone sticking out and all my body parts were still intact, she began to laugh at the situation. But the cramp wouldn’t go away. I soon realized I had pulled a hamstring and limped around the house the rest of the day, caring for her. A clear case now of the lame helping the lamer. I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.

But, we’re a strong family and everyone pulled together so we could enjoy a good Christmas celebration in spite of my wife’s drug-induced stupor. Merry Christmas!


Oh No! I’ve Lost My Phone!

13 02 2016

Admit it. You’ve done stupid things. We all have. You, just like I, have done things only to look back and say, Boy that was dumb!


If you can’t think of anything, then allow me to help you.


How many times have you reached to pull your cell phone from its holder, your pocket or your purse, or wherever you normally carry it, while you were talking on your cell phone?


I was on a business trip to some far off land and, as usual, when I returned to my hotel room following dinner in a nearby restaurant, I pulled my cell phone from that annoying, yet essential, plastic holder attached to my belt to call my wife. As we spoke, she asked me if I had gotten a text she had sent me earlier in the day. Instinctively, I reached down toward my hip to grab my cell phone.


Now, had things stopped there, I would have probably been able to get away with that little mind cramp and my wife never would have known what stupid thing I had just done. But, no! I wasn’t satisfied to buy a cabbage from the “stupid farm”…I had to buy the entire farm!


Shift to Panic Mode!

My heart jumped into my throat as I panicked. After feeling the empty holder, I said to my wife, “I left my phone at the restaurant!”


“You what?” she asked.


“I left my phone at the restaurant! Either that, or it fell off somewhere. I have to go and see if I can find it!”


Now, I do have a reputation as a bit of a practical joker so I believe my wife’s initial thought was I was up to something. She never told me so but she had to be thinking, This can’t be real.


Finally, she said something like, “Maybe it’s on your ear.”


Suddenly, I realized where my phone was and we both had a good laugh.


Since then, I have come to learn that I’m not the only one who has done that. If that has happened to you then leave a comment to let me know I’m not the only one who has suffered such a momentary lapse of awareness. Maybe the studies are wrong after all-perhaps cell phones do affect the brain. I have to blame it on something.

She’s Not Siri but She’ll do!

8 03 2015

It’s almost embarrassing to share this, but then I realize there are probably many in my generation in the same boat. I have technology available to me, which I have simply made no effort to learn. As long as my computer or my smart phone does what is essential, I make little or no effort to learn any of its other capabilities. In other words, I’m satisfied with the status quo.


Tuesday evening, I had to get from Plattsburgh, in upstate New York, to my hotel in Burlington, Vermont, in the snow and the dark; so, I pulled up my handy-dandy Droid with its electronic brains and unparalleled geographic knowledge and punched in the coordinates. Okay, I entered the addresses but punching in coordinates sounds so much better. It’s a guy thing. Now, all I was trying to do was pull up the map showing me the recommended route to take. I figured, as always, just give me the map with the road numbers and names and I can take it from there. But then I noticed something on the screen I had not noticed before. There was a message reading, “Begin Navigation Now.” Wondering what would happen, I gave it a gentle touch.


Speak to me, Droidett.

Speak to me, Droidett.

“In 1000 feet turn right onto Wall Street.” Hey! It speaks, and with a female voice. My Droid is a Droidett! Until that magic moment, I assumed that only iPhones did that. I followed the precise directions turn-by-turn until I reached the street on which my hotel was located. Then, just as I was about to turn into the driveway of my hotel, “In one quarter mile, your destination will be on your right.”


No, that wasn’t true. It was right there in front of me. I was parking in the parking lot of my destination. Still, the voice repeated, “In one quarter mile, your destination will be on your right.”


Well, I just wrote it off as a mistake on the part of MapQuest or whoever was behind this geographic faux pas and got out of the car into the blowing snow and minus 5 degree wind chill.


At the front desk, my concerns of being at the wrong Hampton Inn were allayed when the desk clerk had my reservation. So, as I stood there registering, I heard a muffled voice coming from my coat pocket…“In one quarter mile, your destination will be on your right.”


I looked around and although there were plenty of people, none were close to me. It took me a moment to realize where the voice was coming from and, when I finally did, I ignored it. But then, two minutes later, there it was again; so, I pulled my phone from my pocket and tried in vain, amid the crowd in the lobby, to shut it off. How on earth do you shut this thing up? What was a comforting voice only ten minutes ago was now an embarrassing annoyance. Will I be forced to get a new phone because this voice won’t stop trying to get me to drive another thousand feet? Finally, I noticed another message near the bottom of the screen saying something like “End Navigation.” That did it. She finally stopped.


Now jump forward. The next day, I flew into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. I needed to get from there to my hotel du jour, which was 20 miles from the airport. Hey, I’ll use my newly found navigatetress to direct my way. I entered the requisite information and headed out. My electronic way-finder worked beautifully. After parking my car at the Hilton in Lisle, IL, I sat there behind the wheel for several minutes waiting for the voice to continue, while trying in vain to find that message, “End Navigation.”I didn’t want a repeat of the embarrassing moment from the night before. I finally gave up and went inside to check in. After getting registered, I was standing inside the elevator on my way to the fifth floor when I heard singing. My first thought was my SIRI sound-alike was continuing to give me directions only now in melodic harmony. Then I realized I was hearing Taylor Swift piped into the elevator.


After giving the whole situation some thought, I concluded that the Navigator shuts itself off when you reach your destination; but, until you reach your destination, it will keep blasting out directions until the Rapture occurs or the charge dies, whichever comes first. So let that be a warning to you…if you use your GPS to get you to a funeral, you’d better darned well make sure you get to the right funeral.


Manhood in a Jar? I Doubt it!

14 04 2014

Well, I’ve seen it all now. Recently, I saw a TV commercial for a testosterone deodorant. That’s right-testosterone deodorant. I couldn’t help but give thought to what might happen if this miracle product was misused. For example, what would happen if someone rubbed some of this stuff on their dog? I considered a number of possibilities. I envisioned the dog lying on the couch, remote control in hand watching Lassie re-runs all night. Shortly, the words began to flow resulting in this:

Every day for several months
Bubba had been depressed.
He didn’t like the way he felt.
Or the frilly way he dressed.

He’d fallen in love with chick flicks
He’d cry at the drop of a hat.
His voice was growing higher
And his middle was getting fat.

So Bubba went to see his doctor
Who ran every test that’s known.
And sharing his diagnosis said
it was low testosterone.

So, Bubba tried everything
that his doctor had prescribed
But his self esteem continued to fall
And his voice continued to rise.

Then one day Bubba saw an ad
For what he thought might do the trick.
It was some new testosterone cream
but you roll it on your pits.

So Bubba went on Amazon
With Master Card in hand
And ordered up some Axiron
And rubbed it on his glands.

After several weeks of daily use
Bubba was still depressed.
His voice grew even higher
And he started growing breasts.

He finally decided that all was lost
And that his fate was set.
So Bubba went to city hall
and changed his name to Bubbette.

I’m All Thumbs!

28 09 2013
Flash Thumbs!

Flash Thumbs!

I stood in line at Dunkin-Donuts at Lambert Airport in St. Louis watching a thirty-something young lady in front of me texting. As she composed her message, her thumbs moved so quickly they were a blur. It looked like she had six thumbs. Remember that scene from The Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj all dressed up as the Flash, and Raj suggested they walk in single file so they would appear to be one person moving really fast? I mean letters were appearing on her phone screen faster than the rising numbers on the national debt tote board. I have seen young people text before, and I emphasize young people because, although my generation does text, few can text with the speed of a Smith Corona. That’s not a beer, young people-it’s a typewriter. It seems that most of my generation, myself included, uses the single digit technique or SDT. I prefer the right index finger. My wife, I have noticed, is a pinky texter.



Then, I asked myself, why not me? I have two thumbs which are just as nimble and mobile as hers, so why can’t I text with both thumbs? Oh wait, I don’t text. But, I could compose my emails faster by using both thumbs and kicking them into passing gear.

So, after I bought and ate my breakfast, I checked my email and had one I wanted to respond to. With my Droid firmly seated in both hands, thumbs at the ready, I began.

“Thsrxb, ///donht gaaspr?/.” I looked at what I had typed and quickly decided I could type faster, or at least with some semblance of accuracy, if I use my SDT. Even my autocorrect was confused. If autocorrect was human, I have no doubt that old adage- didn’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt- would be appropriate here. I tried again and this time dropped my Droid. I looked around to make sure no one was watching as I picked it up. That’s it. I gave it the old college try. Back to reality.

I guess my brain can’t keep up with two thumbs working in total disharmony. I’ll be happy peck, peck, pecking along with my right index finger, ya’ll.

My, my, my, my, my Corona! Forgive me, I couldn't resist.

My, my, my, my, my Corona! Forgive me, I couldn’t resist.

Celebrating Dooty

13 07 2013

My youngest granddaughter reached a milestone yesterday when she had her first successful poop in the potty. Though not a milestone she’ll

It's potty time!

It’s potty time!

celebrate such as reaching teen-hood on her thirteenth birthday or graduating from college, it is a milestone nonetheless; one her parents can celebrate. The sad thing about it is she’s too young to appreciate the meaning of that new-found skill. Imagine the joy she would feel if she could realize the full impact of no more poopy diapers. Imagine the exuberance she would experience if she could see how this will enhance her social life. So while my wife and I Face-Timed lavish praise for this life-accomplishment, which is sure to save her from a lifetime of embarrassment, I was inspired to take a major step of progress of my own.

I had written my latest blog post and was planning to post it later last night, but wanted to insert a link taking my readers to a YouTube video so they could hear the song Sukiyaki. Back in March, I was happier than that Geico camel on hump day when I figured out how to insert video (see No Do-Overs posted on March 17, 2013) into my post. But a link, although I was sure would be simple, as simple as pooping in the potty, was still something new to me. Only Graecyn can imagine the pride I felt when I figured out how to do it and actually saw it work. To those of a later generation, such as my kids, it’s hard for you to realize the sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching a computer milestone, even one as elementary as inserting a link into a blog post. To my generation that’s as good as it gets. That said, if you didn’t click on the link when you read the previous post, Made in Japan, then do me a favor and do it. After all, you’re the reason I put it there. Besides, it’s really a great song.

A Great Song
That brings up another issue. I told my wife last night, during my moment of victory, that Sukiyaki was one of my favorite songs of all time. I

The computing geezer's best friend. Get your copy today!

The computing geezer’s best friend. Get your copy today!

can hear some of you now with the same thought that my wife voiced last night…”why?!”

I enjoy the voice of Kyu Sakamoto. I love the orchestral sounds. It’s soothing. It’s relaxing. It’s nostalgic. It reminds me of a different age; a time when you didn’t have to lock your doors. It was A Christmas Story-like time when you could leave your keys in the car while you went from store to store doing your Christmas shopping. A kid could mount his or her bicycle and ride across town without fear of being kidnapped. It was a time when a computer filled a room, a mouse was cat prey and a link was a single element of a chain. Yes, by today’s standards, it was a bit archaic but that’s what makes it so exciting. My generation didn’t grow up with the computer so we find the technology exciting and challenging and even minor accomplishments are major victories as rewarding as moving from diapers to big-boy, or should I say big-girl pants.

Getting Old

3 04 2013

Age sneaks up on you. One day you’re running across a field shagging fly balls with your sons and before you can say senior citizen’s discount, you find yourself moving a lot slower from the bed to the shower each morning. They say sixty is the new forty. Well, I’m sixty years old, nearly sixty-one, and I can say that I did not feel this way at forty. While I’m not at all sensitive about my age, I have come to realize that we don’t usually see ourselves the way the world sees us. If you are one who cares and you really want a true picture, you won’t find it in the mirror because in the mirror, good or bad, you see what you want to see. Instead, you have to see yourself through the eyes of others. Since you can’t see through their eyes, you listen, instead, to their words, like a blind person listens intently as a sighted person describes a sunset.
I was teaching a class last week in Florida and one of the students, a young lady who appeared to be younger than at least two of my three kids, was telling me a story about something. I can’t remember what it was. (There’s your first clue you’re getting old-bad memory). Her story started out, “These really old people, no offense, were…” That’s all I remember about her story. After “no offense” she lost me; not because it bothered me but because I realized I could see myself through her eyes. No offense taken. In fact, I thought it was funny and my first thought was… blog post!! mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-kres53jz-161720-500-326

What are other ways you can tell you’re getting old? You might be getting old if:
• It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
• You go from the den to the bedroom and forget why you went to the bedroom so you retrace your steps and forget why you returned to the den (when I get up to leave the room I try to remember to tell my wife where I’m going and why so she can remind me when I forget)
• Your belt begins to rub blisters under your armpits
• You never finish a story because you always forget the ending
• You know the words to any Tennessee Ernie Ford song
• You know who Tennessee Ernie Ford is mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-229t
• You have to get your body rocking forward to get off the couch
• You know the meaning of vertical hold and can remember getting off the couch to adjust it
• You’ve ever used a fake ID to get into a movie
• Young people tell stories about really old people and ask you not to take offense