Saturday, May 31, 2008

Me and My Colaborator, James Whitcomb Riley

 " Chuck, I need a poem to go on the bulletin board, for Father's Day.  Can you find one on the Internet?" Kathy, the activity director at the Old Folks' Home, asked the question while staring at the blank board.

   "Sure," I said automatically. One can find anything on the Internet. Right?

   Well I looked and was directed to book sellers and anthologies of epic odes.  "I could make up one quicker than this," I thought So I did.

   It was simple, told a little story, and was sentimental. "What if she asks who wrote it," I asked myself.  She doesn't want home grown junk.  She wants a classic. Quick I thought, who wrote sentimental stuff. Ah, I will tell her that it is from James Whitcomb Riley. That will satisfy her as to it's worth...he is a genuine author.

   She didn't ask.  She merely said "It's too long. I need one page."  Back to the drawing board. I edited it like mad making compound sentences out of whole paragraphs.

   "Is this all right?"

   She barely glanced at it,....Heck, if fit the space. "Fine," she said.

   So here is the prose piece that James Whitcomb Riley and I wrote for the Father's day bulletin board.


I was too tiny to remember, but Dad took me out of the play pen and put me on the carpet to learn to crawl

Dad held my hand when I began to toddle and held my hand when we went for walks

Dad lifted me high when the waves broke around us and held the back of my swim suit so I could dog paddle and clapped and cheered when I swam across the pool alone

Dad cheered when I ran my first race in high school.,.. And cheered when I came in third…..from last.

Dad taught me to drive and gave me the keys to the car so I could go on my first date.

Dad was my Best Man and held the wedding ring so I could place it on her finger.

Dad walked the waiting room when I waited for my first baby and Dad took the baby out of the play pen so she could learn to crawl.

Two New Photos


   Things have calmed down since my last frenetic entry.  I have located and talked to my Cousin Bertha. Yep, she was in a hospital and resting comfortably.

   I was able to log into Photobucket and upload my two neat pictures.  The first by a professional photographer Roger Wyan who took it as part of a documentary he is making about Hospice Patients. It went along with a long interview and I guess I did all right.. I only cried twice.  It is a neat photo of me at my daily job... adding entries to my blog.  He let me use it here.  thanks Roger.


                                Copyright2008 Roger J. Wyan

   And this homemade photo of me visiting with my great-grandson Evan.  It was the first time I had seen him.  He is four months old and as happy a baby as I have seen.  He smiled at Great-grandfather, and that  means a lot

Shown are Evan, four months, his dad, Luke, his grandmother and grandfather Jo and Steve and me, Great-grandfather.  I guess you can figure out who is who.


I cnnot explain how ctushed I feel this morning.  M toolbar is gone AGAIN and I cannot connect to Dribble without a battle.  Then I try to reach olf familiar photobucket to add a picture of my new great grandson.. and I cannot.  Bucket has about four different main pages and I always reache the wrong one... the tool bur used to keep me straight.  Finally I rech the log in oage and try to log u=in.. it wont accepot my password... somehow I have THAT wrong too.  fo I ask for my opass word and it says..NOT in database.  I paid them real money..twenty five bucks or more..and they dont recognise my name anynore.  so I come back here and thpe this without  proofingin it.  It just shows how depressed I am.  I feel the frustration in the oit of my stomach.  and I dont mine whining about it. sorry angie

   And, that's not all.  I tried to make my usual morning call to my Cousin Bertha, age 92, at the hospital where I talked to her yestrerday mornng, and am told "She's NOT a patient here."  I understand... maybe they/ve moved her to another hospital.. sure..but where?  Can the operator tell me? No, of coursse not. 

   At least she didn't tel me to call the "looooong distance" operatoer.  A grim joke like that wojld have been all I could take this morning. 

   Cursed... I TOLD THE MACHINE... 14 POIHT. And it came jp tiny ten or something less.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hey, I Didn't Get No Brown Sugar

   The first thing we learn as children, as soon as we can speak sentences is "please" and "thank you". And judging by the conversations in the dining room of the old folks home, it is the first to go when we get old.  Here, as a convenience to those you you who may visit an old folks home is an interpretation from old folks lingo to normal polite English.


Hey, I didn't get no brown sugar

Translation: May I have some brown sugar

You forgot my grapefruit

Translation: May I have some Grapefruit, please.

You're in MY chair.

Translation: If you'd like to sit there toeay, I will move over here.


Translastion: May I have a refill, please.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Year and a Half

Answering your question. How many nights does it generally take George to finish the whole alphabet?  Jackie.

George is a wonderful volunteer.  He comes weekly, seats himself aa the piano and plays for TWO HOURS. Most musicians play for an hour when they come, but George is just getting warmed up at the one hour mark.  And he holds his senior audience too,  remarkable feat.

George doesn't take requests...he plays alphabetically through his immense catalogue of songs. Show tunes popular songs ballads, and sing-alongs all order of their titles. If there are four torch songs in a row, that's the way we will hear them.

He used to take requests. He would write down the title of the tune you wanted to hear. During the week he would find it in his library, and bring in and play it the next time he came.  But he found that, even when he done the search, brought it, and played it...the person who requested it forgot to come that evening. Then he had to replace it in its exact spot in the library. So now he sticks to the alphabet.  And we love it.  We hear songs we would never have heard if he used any other system of making his play list.

But to answer your question... what was the question?

How many nights does it generally take George to finish the whole alphabet?

Oh yes, thank you.

We have gone through the alphabet with George at least once... and it took A YEAR AND A HALF.

Shall We Dance?

   John, nearly ninety, loves to dance.  When there is music of any kind he is tapping his toe or bouncing.  He is married but he'll ask any lady handy to dance.

   It is fun to see the ladies he chooses.  Ladies whom you would never suspect could walk across the room will dance with him, polka, foxtrot, jitterbug, or waltz.

   The other evening I was playing a Memorial Day Tribute to our honored dead on my keyboard.  I chose to read In Flanders Fields, a somber poem and play soft elegiac background music.  However I had just started the funeral music when John appeared and started to dance to  the dirge.

   I had to seat him next to me and actually hold his hands to keep him from snapping his fingers in rhythm to the hymn. It was amusing, but it somehow spoiled the seriousness of the moment. Some people were born to matter what.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial DAy

  I have a feeling that Memorial Day will not be very memorable. It started at breakfast with the "silent treatment".

ME Oh, great the pancakes are served with strawberries and whipped cream.  I love 'em like that.

TABLEMATE. (Stares silently at me)

ME (Hearing some some coughs) Do kids still get Whooping Cough? I know they still get measles and mumps but I don;t hear about Whooping Cough anymore.

TABLEMATE (Stares silently at me)

   So I left and began reading journals. My daughter IM'd me and asked "How was 'Fun and Fitness'?"  I had complexly forgotten I was supposed to play my keyboard for Fun and Fitness.  I hurried to the parlor, but nobody was there.  Zero.  No Fitness...No Fun

   The housekeepers are off today... no room cleaning, no bed making.  The laundry lady is here, thank goodness, and picked up clothes to be washed.  But there is no staff, no activity director, the activity board is blank. Even our Rummy game is player got her feelings hurt and has quit, and she was the only one who talked there.  It will be a silent game without her.

Just Dribbling

I sit in my wheelchair dozing. I am just another old man, lost in a dream world. I am still in my pajamas; I had a good night’s rest but still I doze. A dozen ideas for journal entries swirl through my head but I lack the incentive to try to get them typed. I sit by my picture window and look at the world outside. The wild winds have stopped and been replaced by gentle rain and overcast sky. There will be no star or moon gazing tonight.

A mocking bird has built a nest in a bush just outside my window. It is strange to be so low, but it is all right, there are no cats in our court yard. She dashes back and forth, in an out of the bush. I wonder if she is still nest building, or is she busy feeding hungry fledglings. Will I get to see the babies try their wings. I’d love to see that first frantic fluttering flight.

Time to dress and go get a pancake; it is pancake day at the old folks’ home. I wonder which cook is on duty this holiday; well done pancake chef or under-done flabby doughy mess-around in the kitchen self-anointed would-be cook. Pity I finished my store-bought bran muffins yesterday.

The care givers just came in and dressed the old man, and they told me I am an hour early. It is seven, not eight am. Time for more reflections.

I had a nice day yesterday; grandson who lives in Phoenix and his wife, grandson who is single, daughter and husband were all here, and we went to lunch. Grandfather sat in the middle and was the center of attention. I was puffed up plenty. Later we came back to the old folks home and had a good visit with laughter and reminiscences.

In the evening I was responsible for getting our volunteer pianist. George, set up with lights and coffee. I went to the dining room and got some Lentil soup, a favorite of mine, in a coffee cup and took it to the parlor where George was already playing.

George has a peculiar way of choosing the songs he will play in an evening. He has an extensive library of sheet music, sixty one hundred selections in fact. They are all catalogued and in alphabetical order. And that’s the way he plays them, alphabetically. Last night it was the W’s. Every song started with W, and proceeded in alphabetical order. It makes a funny mix. The ballad Waiting was followed by the rousing Waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee with the practically unknown Waiting at the Station alphabetically in between.

Last night in an hour and a half George played one half of his collection of songs starting with W. It takes four evenings to play through the I’s, with all the songs starting with I, I’ve, I’ll, and Is. Is you Is or Is you ain’t my baby.

After George was through and headed for home my responsibilities were finished and I tried to watch a bit of television but I finished the evening with a pain pill and a flop into bed. It was a glorious and fun filled day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Life During a Depression - Meterological, That Is

   There are several kinds of depression. There's the Alan Greenspan type - economic.  We used to blame depression on hapless Herbert Hoover, but now we can blame it on Alan Greenspan although he has retired. And there is clinical psychological depression that incapacitates unlucky folks who could otherwise lead normal lives. But I am talking about the meteorological type.

   A great low pressure area settled in over Las Vegas Nevada and the winds blew like mad trying to fill the void.  The wind knocked down three enormous trees at the old folks home.

   Then that low pressure moved backwards, that is from East to West and settled in over the Pacific states. There it brought rain, welcome rain.  It was our first rain in 86 days. It is strange to wake up in the morning and NOT see the sky. It is a gray day, and it makes our moods gray.

   Gray sky in California used to be limited to June, so that it could sprinkle on outdoor graduation exercises. Strange...when school boards moved graduation to May, Mother Nature moved the rains to May, too.

   Strange as it is, I am glad to see it, but my scooter will have to stay parked for a while. The Low pressure area is due to move eastward again and bring some welcome rain to the rest of North America. Yay, for the depression.

!@#$%^ My Tooklbar is Gone - AGAIN

NOTE TO AOL. My toolbar has been erased Again. I simply cannot understand it, and you do not explain it to me. I am one of the fools who still pay $24.95 a month for service you are offering free to some people, but you cannot tell me why my tool bar disappears.

  Why,Sob, can't I have a tool bar that I can trust.  It is difficult to reconstruct it time after time. At least tell me why it crashes.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


The winds have finaly died down I went ou to take pictures of the trees that had fallen, scaring some residents, and found the landscapers had alrread cleared away one tree and were woring on another

This LOG is all that is left of the giant patriarch of the trees on our place.  The trunk is three feet in diameter.   The tree must be sixty years old.  I loved to sit under this tree and watch the traffic go by whioe sipping my Starbucks frozen drink.  I am going to mis its shade tis summer.





Friday, May 23, 2008

Lucy 77


   Here is my T-shirt with Lucky 77 on it.  It is hard to make is after all a T=shirt with syrup stains from breakfast added.  I don't know an Indian from a Harley so it is up to you folks to decide for yourselves... is this the street bike that saved a dozen lives or not?


   It is calm outside...for the first time in days.  The storm is inside, also the first time in days.

   I cannot access my photobucket account. And after I paid for an upgrade/renewal..  So I opened another account under another screen names and managed after several tries to upload a picture of Lucky 77,  the motorcycle on  T-shirt I wrote about recently.  Then I tried to post it in a Blog entry and it wont take it. Curious. Anyway it has made me stormy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Gods are Angry

The high winds cntinue, exceeding all forecasts.  You'd thin the high pressure area would have emptied into the low pressure area by now but no.

The trees continue to bend and drop branches.  no more collapsing though.  I like extreme weather.  If it is windy, I like a gale.  If it is fog, I like it so thick you cannot walk about. I like torrents of rain, and hot days.  However, that does not extend to cold.  I have seen below zero woeather, and I dont like it at all.

Blow ye winds Heigh Ho

High Pressure

   There's a high pressure area over the Pacific and a Low pressure area over Las Vegas.  All that high pressure air has to rush to fill that low pressure area.  And what stands in the way?


   And the rest of the San Joaquin valley.  My God how the wind blows.And blows.  A huge tree crashed down just missing one wing of the old folks home. It was right outside Emma's room. Emma who used to think that people were out to get her, now thinks the world is out to get her.

   The gardener is programmed to use the blower to collect leaves on Wednesdays brought out his blower to blow leaves into a pile, but he was not match for the wind.  He was blowing from the South and the Wind was blowing from the North and the leaves were caught between and swirled in a sort of reverse tornado and swooped up and were caught by the wnd overhead and carried off to somewhere in the next county..

   I went out at four am to look at the Moon.  It was beautiful. /Thy sky was clear, the Moon was full, and the wind rustled the trees steadily. Within the next twenty four hours the moon will pass within a few degrees of a bright star. I don't  know the name of that bright star, but I can Google it.  You can Google the sky, just like you can Google the whole Earth. I will find a sky chart and see what bright star is due south at 4 am, I was enthralled, but I had to retreat because of the wind chill.

   The ride in my power chair was rough bumping over fallen branches, and a bit spooky, knowing that at any moment a huge branch could break off and fall, or that another whole tree could give up the battle and topple down where you were passing  It was a rewarding adventure and I made it all in my pajamas.  I came in and the caregivers gave me a hot cup of fresh coffee.  I enjoyed the high pressure over the Pacific..

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cast Adrit on a Sea of Insanity

   I live in an unreal world.  My neighbors, all as aged as I, wander the halls looking for their parents, or ask directions to the dining room even in their second or third year of residence, or laugh hysterically at spilled milk or dropped tableware.

   Charlotte and I used to stay afloat on our own little raft of rational thought looking at the waves senility that broke around us. Now she is gone.  I miss her terribly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lucky 77

   Some time ago I bought a bargain T-shirt. It was on a close-out rack. I chose it because it was cheap. I paid no attention to the colorful illustration that was on the front, and I have worn it many times without noticing what it said.

   However a motorcycle buff  stopped me and looked closely at the illustration. "What model is that," he asked.

   I looked at the illustration as though for the first time.  Lo and Behold is was an antique motorcycle and the legend printed beneath it was Lucky 77. He said that it looked like a Harley something or other and asked, "Why was it called Lucky 77?"

   "Oh," I said, lying in my teeth, "I wear this shirt to try to keep the legend of old 77 alive."

   "I never heard that legend," said the would-be biker.

   "Lucky was a street bike, that the owner used to ride to hill climbs. Seventy Seven was the number he had painted on the side for competition. He went right  from street to hill climb without even taking off the license plates."

   "Was he called Lucky because he won a lot of competitions?"

   "Oh, no.  He rarely won anything. He was a street bike remember. He was called lucky because his owners were never seriously hurt.  He rolled down the mountainside more times than..."  I paused trying to think of a metaphor for things that rolled down mountainsides, but before I could my listener said, "Wow."

   I was on a roll myself and I made up some more of the  legend. "He was used by at least three owners for hill climbing.  Long afterother bikers had specially adapted bikes they brought in trailers with imported knobby tires and no license plates or rear view mirrors, Lucky 77 was ridden to the meet, then up the hill and rolled down, without breaking it's owners arms or legs. Few bikes could make that statement."

   When I finish here, I think I will Google Lucky 77 and see if the real legend is any better than mine.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Just Fooling Around

  Just fooling around witn an idea for another quiz.  Don't know what to call it.

  Left click your mouse and run the cursor over the answer to reveal it.


Forrest, Forrest Gump   Tom Hanks

Mickey Mouse  Walt Disney  Created the character and did the voice

Rainman   Dustin Hoffman  Tom Cruise was there too but Dustin was the curious character

Tarzan   Johnny Weismuller  and a dozen others have done that role

Th- Th- That's all, Folks  Porky Pig

"Be vewwy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits,"  Elmer Fudd

"I tot I taw a putty tat." Tweety Bir
"meep meep"  Roadrunner

Sorry about that Maxwell Smart as played by Don Adams

Well you see why this is a work in progress.  Your contributions are welcome.  And Include the Answers, Please.

Public Domain

   Some folks say "Please don't steal my photos. They are copyrighted". Then they show wonderful scenes and florals that everyone would enjoy. My works and writings I love to share. Please copy. I declare tham Public Domain. Enjoy, copy, proliferate. You can find my drawings in Photostream...the link is to the left,... and in Photobucket...I'll post a link when I find it. Look it up and search for Chasferris pictures.

   You're welcme.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mickey Finn

   I don't know who Mickey Finn was, nor why his name became attached to "knock out" drops.  But as kids we all knew that if some one slipped a potion in your drink you passed out immediately. That potion was called a Mickey. Obstreperous customer at a bar? "Slip him a Mickey" and he'll bother you no more. He's out like a light.

   I gave myself a Mickey last night.  I have these new pain pills and I had stomach pains last evening. "Well," said I,"It's time to try the new pills." So  I took one.  A few minutes later I lay down on my bed, fully clothed, to rest a moment before watching late evening TV. Un-huh.  I woke up six hours later, at four am, still dressed on top of my bed. I stopped the pan by passing out.  I guess I snored a roar for my throat is dry and sore.

   I just remembered the name of the "knock out" drops.  It is not the same as the pain pill.  I may ask the doctor for some knock out pills.  They might come in handy when the infrequent but extreme "phantom pain" hits me in my missing foot.  How can you get a pain in a foot the has been gone since 1945?  I don't know how, but it comes from time to time and nothing stops it. A knock out drop could be very handy.Just put yourself to sleep until it passes.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

(Nearly) Perfect Breakfast

   Saturday is Corned Beef Hash day at the old folks home, and I love my hash. When I wheeled up to the table there was coffee before me in seconds. They came by with the mush...cream of wheat. I am laughing because it was so thin, I drank it from the cup.

   I ordered two lightly poached eggs on toast and, of course, hash.  In a matter of minutes here they came, just as ordered, a phenomenon. The eggs were on toast but there was toast for butter and jam too.  The jam was orange marmalade. And there was orange juice to drink.

   It was a perfect breakfast.

   Except, my tablemate, Charlotte, was not there.  She has passed away. I miss her.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Earth, from Chuck

   Hello, from where ever  I am.  I am still on "nerve medicine".  That means that most of me is out past Pluto somewhere, and my body is still in the old folks home.

  I took my medicine and went to bed at ten pm.  Someone woke me for breakfast at eight am.  That means I had ten hours of sleep.  I should be alert and lively.

   Well, I am functioning.  I ate breakfast, played music for the exercise class, played with the visiting dog, Lucy, visited with the visiting nurse, visited with the visiting social worker. And my body was there and acted normally.  I do wish the inner self was there too. 

   The world looks good from here, outer space.  I know what the kids meant when they said someone on drugs was "spaced out".  They knew he was here where I am...somewhere beyond planets.  My, the gala y is big.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


   Driving under the influence, even a handicapped person scooter, is treacherous.  Under drugs, you are"not there". 

   I was driving my scooter down the hall and thought, "Oh, look.  I am driving into the wall."  It was like watching a movie of someone else drive his scooter into the wall. I continued thinking, "That's not good.  Hitting wall is bad. I should not hit the wall." With that thought I became myself again and turned the scooter.  Fortunately I was going slow enough for my impaired brain to recognize danger, and to talk it over with myself, come to a conclusion, and then, after all that, act.

   Interesting reaction.  It says on a lot of my medicines, if you take this don't drive,  I see why

Lucy in the Sky

   Started a new medication last night.  Well, I slept.  And slept.  Eight hours....without bathroom visits even.

   This morning I am drugged higher than a High School Junior on Prom night.  Feeling no pain... or much of anything.  Just floating.

   I usually have two tablemates for breakfast.  Alas, one has passed away and the other did not show up.  I do not like to breakfast alone so I joined a lady nearby who was also alone.  We had a nice chat.  Then she left and her usual tablemate lady showed up. We had a nice chat, too.  Or rather I had nice listen.  She was loaded with things to say... her husband is the hospital and she hasn't had any good listener for a I was it.  But I was able, being drugged, to listen and seem to attend to her plaint.

  I took my morning allotment of the jolly pills and my regular assortment of pills.  And here I am...  Well part of me is... another part is out flying in his old Ercoupe looking down at the world from above like Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

   You are too young to remember Oscar Levant.  He was visible to all of us dally on television. Early he was an irascible outspoken blunt person famous because of his remarkable piano skills.  He was talented and respected for his musical skills even though his interpersonal socializing was rough.  Then he started pain medications.

   Drugged, he became mellow, social, easy going, and amusing. Half asleep he chatted amiably, though sometimes his jokes were understood by himself alone.  He was still loved for being himself, even though he struggled to make the piano behave the way it once did.

   Perhaps that will happen to me. Hopefully the drugged out-of-it me will be able to charm my friends and I can be a good listener for folks who need to talk..

   Stay tuned,  Watch the show.  I don't play the piano much, but the computer keyboard still works.  Learn to "read through" the typos...spell check can't catch them all..  I am hiving fun and the world looks good from up here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Couldn't Find Email Address

   Pardon me while I use dribble for parsonal letter -- I couldn't find Angie's email address...but you can listen's okay.

   Angie asked if my Mother had remarried and how I lost my father at such and early age.  Father drowned before I was one.  Mother dated several fellows, who befriended me, but one was my favorite, Bart, and they were married. I continued living with my Grandparents and they lived next door.

   But here...this link tells trhe story too.

  And, Oh, Mary, I did not shoot any Italians in WWII.  I shot at a German tank, but the shells bounced off.  The rattle of bullets on the outside of their tank may have given them a headache, though.

Chuck's Amazing Answer Machine

   I actually love the consternation I cause with my magic answer machine.

Two comments...

 1 No answers were revealed for me   ;o(

2  These are great and the way it reveals Jan xx
  The answers are printed right alnng with the questions... except they are printed in the color of the background and so are invisitble...until you use your mouse to "select" them.  Then they are visible.  Makes it seem like magic...and adds, I hope, to the fun.
Here are lot more to play with....


Guess to whom each quote is attributed. Left click your mouse and run cursor over the answer to reveal it.

You're Fired -- Donald Trump

Kiss My Grits -- Flo (in Alice)

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn -- Rhett Butler

It was beauty killed the beast -- Denham (King Kong)

I'll be back --Terminator

Tora! Tora! Tora! -- Yamamoto

Sorry about that! -- Agent 86

Life is like a box of chocolates. You Never know what you are going to get -- Forrest Gump

Me, Tarzan. You, Jane -- Johnny Weismuller

If you build it, they will come -- Field of Dreams

Blondie! -- Dagwood Bumstead

They're ba-ack! -- Little Susie

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto -- Dorothy Gale

George, tell me about the rabbits, George -- Lenny Small

I was a better man as a woman, than I ever was as a man -- Michael Dorsey, Tootsie

Bring me an empty horse -- Samuel Goldwyn

Ready when you are, Mr. DeMille -- Old Joke

Make them an offer they can't refuse -- The Godfather

One night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know -- Groucho

I want to be alone -- Greta Garbo

Go ahead, Make my day -- Dirty Harry

Elementary, My dear Watson -- sherlock Holmes

Win one for the Gipper --Knute Rockne

Phone Home -- E.T.

If you want me, just whistle. You do know how to whistle, don'tyou? -- Lauren Bacall

Snootchy bootches ----- Jay & Silent Bob,

This is the begining of a beautiful friendship - Humphrey Bogart

""Did I do that?" --Steve Urkel

Boldly go where no one has gone before --Star

Quiz - Contemporary Quotes

   Had trouble going to sleep last night but once I made it slept all night. Great.  Yesterday I spent the day re-reading old Journal entries. There are about 1,500 of them in all. I found some that I can use for re-runs.

   More Contemporary Quotes

See if you can guess the person to whom this quote is attributed. Left click your mouse and run the cursor over the answer to reveal it.

Got any cheese -- Steve Urkel

I am a wee bit psychic -- Daphne Moon

I am the master of my domain -- George Costanza

I’m king of the world -- Leonardo DiCaprio

You had me at ‘hello’ -- Renee Zellweger

There’s no crying in baseball -- Tom Hanks

When is the next swan due?-- Leo Slezak as Lohengrin

Include me out -- Samuel Goldwyn

That’s a shame -- Jerry Seinfeld

The Dr. is in 5¢ -- Lucy

Fasten Your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night -- Bette Davis

Come up and see me some time -- Mae West

You can't cheat an honest man -- W.C. Fields (?)

You can’t handle the truth -- Jack Nicholson

You’re Fired -- Donald Trump

I tot I taw a puddy tat -- Tweetie

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


   Answers to few questions asked in comments.

   Yes, that is I in the the pictures of my mother.  I am a fat old man, but I was a skinny teen-ager.  The skin and bones teen I see doesn't seem familiar.  I am also the chubby shy two year old clinging to my mother's hem. My. I was cute. The gentleman with her is my father.  He died accidentally before my first birthday.  The dog is Zig, the family Pekinese. I wonder how he got the name Zig.

   When I was stationed in UK in WWII, our units were based at Wells and Glastonbury in SW England. Only we didn't call it WWII then...just "The war". In Wells I saw the Oldest Cathedral in England and took a trip to Cheddar Caves, where the cheese is aged.  In Glastonbury I saw the Glastonbury Abbey where King Arthur is supposedly buried, and I climbed the Tor behind the town to mount the ancient tower.  In fact we were encamped in the Abbey park at the polo field.  I wonder if it is still there.

   On our troop ship, the Aquitania, formerly a luxury liner, the first queen of the Cunard line, the bunk beds were stacked five high. I chose the top bunk which I shared with my duffle bag stuffed with a gas mask and all the clothing we were issued. I was so close to the overhead (ceiling) that I was able to write on it.  I wrote:

Charles Ferris,

Inducted March '43,

Going overseas March '44,

Expects to be wounded and return to U.S. in March '45. 

  That sounds like a grim self-fulfilling prophesy since it came true, exactly like that, March '45.  But consider, that was the less grim outcome since most of us expected to be killed in combat.  We were going overseas with a high expectation of never returning. That graffiti probably remained on the overhead until the Aquitania was scrapped in 1950.

   Why don't I publish my essays about life in the old folks' home?  Well, I do...right here on AOL in my journal. Dribble.  They are all avaiable.  You have only to click on the Archives link and it will take you back to any issue, starting in 2003.  Happy reading.

   Any more questions?

Monday, May 12, 2008

An Atheist on the Power of Prayer

   When I posted my entry, Bittersweet, in my journal, I received as many as eight comments before I could even sign off, and even more since. That was amazing to me and several responders said they were praying for me.

   If you have read many of my entries you know I am a non-believer in anything supernatural.

  AND YET, since I posted Bittersweet and many of you have said you were praying for me, I have not needed a pain pill.  Not one Tylenol or aspirin.

   Thank you sincerely. Your Faith has shaken my Non-faith.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

RX - Laughter is the Best Medicine

  Sorry to so blatantly steal a line from Reader's Digest: Laughter is the Best Medicine.

   This afternoon I was pain free.  Why?  Because my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson came to visit.  We played two games of Scrabble.  I won one. Great therapy.  And, Lo and Behold, grandson beat his mother and me for the first time.  Better therapy.  The next generation takes over.  During our family games we laugh a lot.

   I forgot to hurt.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Ancient Mariner, a character by Coleridge, used to catch people and make them listen to his story. Although they would beat their breasts and try to escape, he held them like a spell.

.He holds him with his skinny hand,
"There was a ship," quoth he.
"Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye --
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner

We have several Ancient Mariners here who have stories to tell, and once they begin, it is difficult to escape without hearing their tales. And like the Ancient Mariner, their stories are fascinating to hear..

For instance there is Charles, an ex-pilot who built his own plane and flew it regularly to a cabin he had built near a lake in the Sierras. He tells his story with enthusiasm, and gestures explaining just how to make an aerial approach to the little lake shore airstrip. Alas, he also tells how many pilots died because they didn‘t make the right approach or take off. And once he begins it is difficult to excuse yourself from the rest of the tale, no matter how often you‘ve heard it.

There is Earl, who was a teamster for fifty years, and tells you who hired him to haul how much of what to where and what he was paid to do it, and, alas, how much they still owe him. He had a beautiful Harley motorcycle. As he holds you to tell you the tale, he points out each Harley motorcycle passing the old folks home and identifies its model number. He hauled the gravel to make I-5 from the gravel pits of Snelling to the road site on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Unlike the Ancient Mariner, Charles, or Earl, Jim is difficult to get started about his tale. He was in England in WWII and as a quartermaster, was pressed into service to distribute to scattered Army units all the vehicles shipped from the US to England. He had to prioritize the army‘s needs and decide which outfits needed the jeeps and trucks and armored cars and get them distributed.

Grace was a Wave and was assigned to a top secret unit in Washington D.C. that was kept isolated from the rest of the Navy as they worked on breaking the Japanese Navy code. It was their breaking of the code that enabled the US Navy to discover the Japanese plan to attack Wake Island, and prepare the defense. That battle was the turning point of the war in the Pacific. Her unit received a special commendation from the War Department. That is a tale that is hard not to listen to…the first time.

We old folks are part of history. We old folks like to tell our histories. We capture our listeners when and where we can.

We are the Ancient Mariners. Coleridge could have been talking about us.

Mother's Day

  A few pictures of my mother on Mother's Day

Crossing the Atlantic

   I have crossed the Atlantic twice.  Once by air...coming home for WWII and once on the way... in the Aquitania.  (<-LINK) Worth a quick look.


   This is a bittersweet time of life.

   It is bitter because... colon cancer has made my belly ache hard to take much too often,  Little knife blades stick me in my tummy. charming tablemate, whose company made meals a pleasant experience, is in the hospital in a coma. My cardplaying buddy, 87, with whom I played our silly kid's game of Rummy every single night, fell in the shower, broke his hip and is also in the hospital. neurothesia has reached my hands and made typing hard to manage,  Writing is my escape, my job, my hobby, and it is growing increasingly hard to do.

But it is a sweet time too because...

   ...I am surrounded by friends and family who understand and support me, comfort me, and do the things for me that I can no longer do.  This old folks home is the place to be when you can no longer do for yourself.

   ...I still sleep well, albeit in four hour periods between visits to the bathroom, and escape the pain for eight hours a day.

   ...It is a time of remembrance and reflection of my life.  It has been a full life.  It has handed me the best and worst life has to offer.  I have had delightful companions and raised wonderful children. I have swum in two oceans and walked on two continients. I have piloted my owh airplane, captained my own boat, driven cars, trucks, tanks, and motocyles. I have never been without food or shelter. But I have been blown up, crippled, divorced, hospitalized, arrested and jailed. I have been a hero and a pariah. I have had the best and worst of life.

   This is a bittersweet time.  Life is (was) worth living.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekend Blahs

  You've heard of the Monday Blues. Well, that comes up in a couple of days.  What we have now at the old folks home is the weekend blahs.

   The Activity Director is off for the weekend.  So is the regular staff.  Even Bingo is called by a substiture.

   What we need is a lttle imagination to perk up the weekend.  Any suggestions?  My own suggestions would only get us in trouble.

P.S.  Suggestions so far...Stinkbomb in activiity room  REJECTED and quiz game, or raffle of unusual itrems, or picnic.  ALL GREAT IDEAS

Thanks folks


Friday, May 9, 2008

Hot and Cold

   I sure run hot and cold in my journal keeping.  I posted entries in Dribble for six days straight, and then nothing for four.

   I have a belly-ache that stays with me for hours, and my Chevy Astro van had a battery-ache that needed attention. Poor old Chevy sat so long unattended that the battery went dead, completely. Also it became so dirty that it looked like a lump of clay.  By coincidence a guy with a portable car wash came along do someone else's car and I snagged him.  He washed the car in place since we couldn't move it. It looked magnificent.  He spent two hours cleaning it up.

   And a friend of a friend is mechanical enough to remove the battery, recharge it, replace it, and start the car. His only problem was that the car had sat in one spot so long that a Black Widow spider had built a nest in the engine compartment.  Getting rid of the spider took time too.  You don't mess with those ladies. The mechanical friend hates spiders.

   That is enough whining, Angie will get turned off.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Food Shortage

   PEOPLE SAY there is going to be a food shortage.  They also say prices are going to go sky-high.  However, my latest trip to the market found things that I buy are the same price as usual -- or less.  I hope that continues.

   My General Foods International Orange Cappuccino,, my self-indulgent treat to myself, stays the same ghastly $4.85 for a 10 ounce can. What that comes to per cup I have no idea, nor do I dare figure it out, for fear that I would give it up if I knew.  My store brand raisin bran muffins were the same $4.29 for four.  I eat one per day, so I can afford that.

   But three things were cheaper.  Limes have been 25 cents each for a long time are now 10 cents each. That is a remarkable drop percentage-wise. The 10 cent limes are hard little green lumps with no taste, but maybe a spell in a paper bag will soften them up some.

   Avocados had been $2.00 each. Well, $1.99 actually...nothing is priced in even dollars.. And the crop was sitting on the shelf so long they were getting gooshy, The new crop is less,, $1.67, and they are firm and fresh.

   Store brand mayonnaise on sale is $2.09 per quart, compared to $4.85 for Best Foods Brand.

   Mind you, I live in an old folks' home and they feed us, I don't need any of this stuff.  But shopping is something to do, so I indulge myself, and call it my "entertainment allowance".

   If food prices do sky-rocket in the near future, I will have to change my hobby to bird watching or 99 cent store cruising.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Turnabout is Fair Play

Mrs E and Mrs L are constant companions, but none of us other residents can understand why. It seems to us that Mrs L would eventually kill Mrs E.

Mrs E constantly berates, nags, and scolds Mrs L.   Mrs L, through stroke or advanced age has lost most of her expressive speech and is somewhat confused. But Mrs L seeks Mrs. E’s company. She’ll walk into Mrs E’s room.

Mrs E: Good Lord, you scared the pee out of me. What do you want? Why do you walk in like that? Do you think I want to be scared? If I wanted to be scared I would look for a roller coaster. What do you want?

Mrs. L: Come on.

Mrs E: Come on where? Where do you want to go? Why don’t you say where we are going? Tell me.

Mrs. L: Down there.

Mrs E: Down where. Speak. Tell me where down there is. Am I supposed to guess? Jabber, jabber. All you do is jabber. I don’t know what you are saying.

…and it goes on like this for hours. It is a strange symbiotic relationship. Mrs E needs to scold, and Mrs L needs to be scolded.

Mrs L comes to breakfast but Mrs E likes to sleep in and have her morning coffee in her room.

Mrs E sent Mrs L to fetch her coffee this morning.

Mrs E: Go get me a cup of coffee.

Mrs L was going down the hall with a cup in her hand and Mrs E was standing in her doorway waiting. Halfway down the hall Mrs L stopped, holding the cup, looking confused. Mrs. E waited a moment, then grew impatient and stormed down the hall in her nightgown to where the bewildered Mrs L was standing.

Mrs E: Where’s my coffee? This is empty. I asked for a cup of coffee and you brought me a coffee cup.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Rare Whine

   If I whine rarely it is times like this when a whine is in order.  I've done it again: spent an hour carefully typing an entry with quotes and tabs and fussy spellings.  And then erased it all with a careless keystroke.

   I am swearing too, as well as whining. 

My Dog Spot

I am amused by things that are named for something they are NOT. A television salesman used to include his dog in his commercials. His dog was named Spot. Of course, Spot was a German Shepard and didn’t have spot on him. He was called Spot because he was spotless.

Even more amusing are the people who don’t “get it”. They look at the dog and say incredulously, “He hasn’t got any spot.” Right. It’s a joke. See?

My parents lived on a rural road which was often used by thoughtless people who wanted to get rid of their pets. They would drive along, see my parents’ place and say, “Here. These people look like they will take care of you. OUT.” And they would dump their pets on the roadside, leaving them to find someone who would care for them. And my parents did. They had several pets who arrived that way.

A pair of unwanted kittens who grew to cat-hood being loved by my parents were named This-one and That-one.. Worked well enough but I don’t remember if they knew their own names.

Later another orphan arrived and my mother looked in the encyclopedia to see what breed she was. It said, “Common Domestic Shorthair“. So that kitten became Common. That worked too because it was fun to say, “Come on, Common.”. That’s pronounced “Common Common”.

A Collie named Gale, not Gail, arrived the same way. They also had a Boxer named Bouncer. Another waif was Ittybit. Ittybit is baby talk for Little Bit, and Ittybit was tiny when she landed on the roadside near Parent’s gate.

My daughter and her husband got a Pit Bull puppy as the family pet. Knowing that Pit Bulls have a bad reputation they wanted the most benign name they could think of. The considered Blossom but settled on Possum. For a couple of years Possum lived up to her name and was the calmest cutest pet one could want. Then she started growling at the children in the family. Possum came to me. Possum and I got along well together, and I always felt safe in the car when she was along. It was like having a loaded gun on the seat beside you. When strangers approached the car, Possum’s growl would warn them not to touch the car or me.

Having a Pit Bull is like having a loaded gun. It is protection but it is an awful responsibility You don’t know what might set it off. Possum with the benign name eventually had to be put to sleep because she became vicious. A vicious dog with a sweet name is a joke, but not one to laugh at.

Naming things for something they are not is fun. If I had a Mexican Hairless I would call him “Harry”. (Hairy-- get it?) And one fond memory is of the lady who had the tiniest Chihuahua in the world with a squeaky little bark. His name?


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Here's a Thoght

May 3, 2008





Expecting good helps make it happen

Friday, May 2, 2008

Proud as a Peacock

   Pardon me while I spread my tail feathers and strut.  Angie, Guest Editor of Magic Smoke (<- LINK) this week paid me a wonderful compliment. 

   She said I was funny, to the point, and an inspiration. Whew, that is a load to carry and a lot to live up to. She said she found no whining here.  I guess she hasn't read my back issues... I whine plenty about my health, my age, and especially about my printer. And that doesn't even take into account my reports about AOL.

   You can find a link to Angie's Journal there in Magic Smoke and links to her other recommendations

   Thanks, Angie.  I think you're pretty neat yourself.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Latest Sign on My Door

  The latest sign on my door is handwritten and says...







Yes, It was Lovely

   My mother wanted to live, to go places, to see things.  Her husband, my step-father, had been places, seen things, had lived through WWII on a tanker in the South Pacific, seen neighboring ships torpedoed.  He wanted to stay home.

   Mother wanted to go to Hawaii, but not alone.  So she took my daughter, her sixteen-year-old grand daughter, with her to tour Hawaii.

   They met people, and saw things, lots of things.  But no matter what they saw, there was always someone who had seen something else, that they liked better. 

   A conversation might go like this:

MOTHER AND GRAND DAUGHTER: We saw the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

OTHER TOURIST: But did you see the soaring Nene birds which never land?


OTHER TOURIST: Oh, too bad, you have seen those.

MOTHER AND GRAND DAUGHTER: We saw the spouting blow hole shoot water fifty feet into the air.

OTHER TOURIST: Um-hmm, Did you see the Minihuni Trail? Wasn't that wonderful?

MOTHER AND GRAND DAUGHTER: Well, no, I guess we missed that.

OTHER TOURIST; Oh, what a shame.  It was lovely.

  Mother and my daughter soon learned what to say when asked if they had seen this or that sight, tasted this or that food at a luau, or sipped this ot that drink on the lanai.  They learned to answer all such questions with, "Yes.  It was lovely."  With that response they were spared the details of something they had missed.  They had a wonderful time, and they saw, tasted, sipped plenty.  They didn't feel they had missed anything.

   Today the old folks were invited to go on the bus to a fabulous restaurant in town, one that all the local folk used to gather at. It was a famed gathering spot, and "be sure to taste the cole slaw.  They are famous for their cole slaw." I went, and I was pretty hyped up about this local legend.

   We arrived.  The entrance was through the parking lot in the rear. To this out of towner it looked pretty ordinary. It looked to me like any non-chain burger joint.  It had a ranch theme and had some pictures of horses around the walls, and had a "saddle room" adjoining, whatever that is. The menu looked good, but...

   "Do you have ribs," I asked.  No, they didn't.  One sandwich sounded good -- Our Special Ranch Sandwich, with sauteed onions.  I ordered the special.

    "How do you want it cooked?"


   "It is a burger. How do you want it cooked?"  The so-called special was a hamburger.

   "Do you want fries or cole slaw with that?"

   "Cole slaw," I ordered immediately.  I wanted to try their famous cole slow.

   After a while the hamburger came.  It was served with a huge pile of cole slow.  Happily I dug into the cole slaw.  It was quite ordinary. Nothing special about it.  One bite was plenty.  The hamburger was okay, but t was just a hamburger.  I pushed the sauteed onions out of the way and ate the burger patty with A1 sauce.  At least they had genuine A1 sauce on the table. I rate the burger the same as the McDonalds and Carls Jr burgers I reported on in earlier entries here.  Four golden pickles out of five.

   The activity Director of the old folks home came bay and asked, "Did you try the cole slaw?"

   "Yes, It was lovely."

   "Did you have a sandwich?"

   "Yes, It was lovely"