Friday, December 8, 2017

But Regrettable Fun Is The Best Kind

Now there is one more reason I'm happy to be retired.  Holiday office parties, always a ready source of delightful misconduct, are on the verge of getting sent home in a cab by the growing posse of fun police determined to rid this great country of any and all behavior deemed "not PC".  Human Resource nerds are now riding herd on the suddenly less than festive workplace end of year meet-ups like referees at a high school prom.  No kissing, dirty dancing, faxing your ass to clients, or getting drunk and telling off the boss for today's employees.  Why attend?!  Half the fun was watching Marty and Larry get a skin full of booze and hit on the manager's wife while the big guy slipped off into a closet with his secretary.  Bad behavior at its finest!

Perhaps it was because I toiled in the morally bankrupt world of broadcasting, but I can recall several yuletide office bacchanals that involved fist fights and broken bones.  One party featured not only broken bones due to slippage by guests on several gallons of spilled punch but also the historical first  squad car ride for some of the women in the sales department.  You're welcome ladies.  Good times!

Why have we become so damn averse to good not so clean Animal House fun?  As a nation we used to be able to let the badger out a couple of times a year, but no more.  Now the killjoys of political correctness have us lashed to the mast of good behavior and refuse to let us party down.  I say we stop this nonsense right now!  So what if you lose your job?  It's the season to monkey around and the circus is still in town baby!  I think I hear sirens.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Need A Wooden Overcoat?

I read newspapers.  It's an old habit that I'll likely never break.  The idea of starting the day without first having at least scanned a local and a national daily makes me feel, well, unprepared.  Sure I read papers on line too but it's never quite the same.  Often the various layouts are hard to follow, the print is too small or the clicks too tedious for digesting entire stories and I simply quit.  Give me ink stained fingertips anytime!  

Local papers are the quickest way to discover what makes a community tick.  They are a veritable piƱata of local scandals, government issues, sports, schools and just about anything else of importance to a town or city.  If you want to speed up your adjustment to new environs, have the local paper hit your front porch every morning.

In retirement I am delighted to be living in the panhandle of Idaho.  The Coeur D' Alene Press is easy to navigate and seldom takes long to peruse yet there is no doubt that it reflects the essence of its hometown.  Most of us in the Inland Northwest are here by choice and the letters to the editor appearing in the Press are seldom ambivalent or bashful when it comes to expressing an opinion.   Lots of exclamation points and cockeyed logic.  I love that!!! The classified section, long diminished by the Internet in many metropolitan dailies, is often the most entertaining reading in the Press.  Classic cars, RVs, puppies and even an occasional fire truck or two are advertised for sale or trade.  Today's offer of a Cowboy Coffin may just be the Black Friday answer to the question of what to get that hard to buy for aging relative.  Try finding this one on Amazon!

The rope handles are a nice touch.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Minnesota Can Have Him Back

The smug look on my face as I contemplate the well deserved comeuppance of the only SNL cast member who never once made me laugh nearly matches the one Al Franken sports during his too frequent grandstanding Senate performances.  His condescending badgering of any and all conservatives  is often embarrassing in its lack of sophistication or even basic understanding of the constitution.  Naturally this never stops him.  He plays to the cheap seats. 

Like Ted Kennedy, he'll likely avoid censure or condemnation for his piggish behavior.  He carries water for the left and that is all that matters to limousine liberals who cling to their bankrupt philosophy of identity politics.  

Thanks Minnesota for electing this miserable waste of taxpayer money and, for that matter, air. Whatever happened to people like Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale?  Though too far left for my taste, they were at least honorable and decent men.  Recall this idiot, give him a bait shop in Bemiji and elect someone who can tell a joke, not be one.

Friday, November 10, 2017


Not that many years ago--okay 30--I often wondered why the world seemed to have run out of transformational inventions.  It was reasonable to assume that the invention of the horseless carriage, airplanes, indoor plumbing, radio, television and rocket ships capable of landing a man on the moon were more than enough excitement for my grandfather's generation, but I was hard pressed to think of  any particular life changing technological contribution produced by mine.

"Dad, there is this thing called the Internet that we use for homework, term papers and communication with our professors," my oldest daughter explained to me after her first semester of college back in 1989.  I recall saying something like, "that's nice honey" and moving on.  I hadn't a clue that what she was giving me was an introduction to a watershed of societal change that continues to this day.  The Internet, at least in my estimation, appeared to seep into our lives like flood waters.  First a small trickle under the door; then waist high and ultimately a tidal wave that changed how we live, do business, have fun, travel and pretty much EVERYTHING.  Daily there seems to be a myriad of new ways to apply the plethora of tools now available to us via the Net.  Our phones have become the most important tool in our possession.  Instant information and entertainment are available whenever we want.  Music, a camera, instant contact with friends are all right there in the palm of our hands.  Appliances, homes and our cars are rapidly becoming part of the growing "Internet of things."

Certainly we are more distracted.  I notice it most in, of all places, New York City.  When I first started visiting the city there was an energy and bustle unlike anyplace else.  People walked with determination at a high clip.  A couple of years ago I began to sense that something had changed about the pace of the city and then it hit me, literally.  I was bumped into by a man so engaged in checking his email or something on his phone that he plowed right into me.  He was one of the many New Yorkers who now, instead of walking a straight line, amble all over the sidewalk while either chatting on or looking at their phone.  The Internet and all the multi-tasking it invites slowing down the city that never sleeps?  No time for sleep!  There's too much to do on the Net.

I realize there is nothing terribly profound in all of this but it is interesting, if you are old enough to recall, what a different world we lived in before the Internet.  Business, leisure, entertainment, shopping, how we plan our day...all have been forever changed by this all encompassing new universe.  And, if you're like me, it all happened while you were thinking that maybe we had finally run out of ideas.

Friday, November 3, 2017

When October Goes

Military Drive in the Fort Grounds neighborhood of Coeur D' Alene, Idaho

Nothing lets the air out of the year like October coming to a halt.  At least for me the loss of the leaves, hours of daylight and baseball really puts a rather rude and abrupt cut off to one of the more enjoyable months of the year.  Baseball always seems to take a hike when we need it the most, though not having to watch the insufferable Larry King masticate peanuts behind home plate in Dodger Stadium is certainly a bonus.  I guess it's better to be thankful for a sensational World Series and, at least here in Idaho, an abundant and certainly colorful Fall palate of leaves.

It isn't lost on me that the holidays are coming and soon we'll all be complaining of time constraints, expanding waistlines, what to get the grandkids and where the hell to get enough money to pay for it all, but we still seem to like it.  This will be my first Christmas without my wife so the plan is to stay busy with friends and travel to San Diego to experience it through the eyes of my eight year-old grandson. Since it already looks to be another snowy year up here in the Idaho panhandle, I'm sure it won't be tough to take the dependably warm and sunny San Diego clime.

Everything about Fall invites reflection.  The cool nights, crisp air, waning daylight and approaching holiday season suggest a conclusion of yet another year along with the anticipation of the fresh start of a new one.  All of the projects and new experiences we didn't get to this year we're certain to accomplish beginning January 1.  Or not.

As I write this, as if on cue, it has begun to snow here on Lake Coeur D' Alene.  The flakes are fluffy at present and don't seem to be sticking but the Canadian geese, at least those still around, are bunching up on the beach.  I think it's time for a long walk in the wet leaves.  As Kipling said, "smells are better than sights or sounds to make the heart strings crack."  The loamy fecund smell of the leaves takes me back to the woods of the Midwest and a time when I was young and the world  a very different place.  As I mentioned, it's a time of reflection.

Friday, October 20, 2017

This Calls For Drastic Action!

I'm in New York.  There is work to be done and I must do it.  The hideous and painfully dreadful Dodgers have dispatched the clueless and clumsy Cubs to seize the National League pennant; now  all that remains standing in the way of a Dodger/Yankee World Series is the upstart Astros.  I arrived yesterday in the city so big they had to name it twice and have been roaming the boroughs with a Mets cap on my balding pate just begging Yankee fans to take a swing.  I have no idea what would happen if they did, but it makes me feel good to be doing something completely stupid and pointless. 
That's right Yankee scum, I'm callin' you out!

The Queensborough Bridge as the sun sets on the Cubs
Please, no World Series here!
 Yankee fans are naturally in abundance in the Big Apple and they sport the smug and certain look I remember oh so well from the 1950's.  A Yankees/ Dodgers series is the moral equivalent of trying to decide whether to root for Hitler or Hirohito during World War II.  I refuse to participate!  A baseball pox on both of their dugouts!
Should the Astros fail to stop this miscarriage of sports justice tonight, I'll be at the White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village ordering doubles and wearing my Mets cap.  Feel free to call, I'll be the guy next to Mr. Met.

Friday, October 13, 2017

NO, Not Again!

Baseball is always tough for me to let go of.  It's that last whisper of summer before the return of long cold nights, snow, rain and the holidays.  I cling to it like a life preserver.  Sure the games are getting way too long (Umps, call the high strike!) and it's hard to remember just what channels are broadcasting each  playoff game, but we eventually make it to the World Series.  There is something satisfying about witnessing the best millionaires money can buy competing at a level far beyond those of us less skilled.  Hell, I didn't even have a decent Little League career! 

The series is special, but this former scrub will NOT be watching if, as the Fox Network hopes, this year's big tilt comes down to a dance between the Dodgers and the Yankees.  I HATE THOSE TEAMS!  They ruined my childhood!  Growing up in southern Michigan in the 1950's meant that my baseball world revolved around the woeful Detroit Tigers who were always dependably out of the American League pennant race by Memorial Day.  When the Fall Classic rolled around it invariably seemed to be a Dodgers-Yankees shoot out and that was that.  My wife, like many non fans, thought that there were only two baseball teams in the whole country.  It was that bad.  The Yankees and the Dodgers have met 11 times in the World Series; six times alone between 1947 and 1956.  It's just not right, and I say we need another century or two without a re-match.  Sure the TV network will make a ton of moola if the country's two largest television markets play host to the contest but it sure will be a lot more fun for those of us in the hinterlands who root for underdogs like the Cubs or Astros if the Series is Dodger and Yankee free.  We want a central time zone World Series!

I do believe, like most men of my years, we are happy to have known some good women, a great cigar or two, the inside of a Corvette, the bottom of a glass of Jack Daniels and, with luck, another World Series that is Dodger and Yankee free.

Cubs!  Astros!


They've had quite enough, thank you!