Sunday, July 26, 2015

You Never Know When Inspiration Will Be Delivered

Once again I have bamboozled an editor into believing I have talent. I am in the Boston Herald this morning (and this afternoon, this evening and the foreseeable future, if you buy a hard copy, which you should because being able to present same at the door will entitle you to admission into my party celebrating a Pulitzer being awarded to me - perhaps sometime in 2043 - wherein there will be free Cream of Wheat!)

As for the title of this piece, I wrote the newspaper piece immediately upon returning home from a store where the incident described in the newspaper piece took place. It was entirely happenstance and I was able to write it in about ten minutes. Thank you, God.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Additional thanks will be headed your way should you go to the Boston Herald website and leave a comment telling them what a wonderful fellow I am. I'm not actually tracking your internet movements, so I won't be able to tell for sure if you do, but I'll trust in your innate goodness and generosity.

Soon, with more better stuff.

P. S. The Cream of Wheat photo came from Mommy Noire. It features a recipe for "Grown Up Cream of Wheat" (which I hoped might contain brandy, or something else intoxicating, but no such luck.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Yes, pudding.

I am in the Boston Herald this morning. As a matter of fact, I'll be there all day. And, yes, you'll have to go to the website - or, even better, buy the paper - to find out what in hell I'm talking about.

Now, if you don't want to find out what pudding has to do with the price of tea in China...

(No, I'm not actually doing an investigative piece concerning how pudding affects the price of tea, although I suppose it may in some roundabout way. Anyway, why is everybody so concerned with the price of tea in China? In this country, you get it free with the meal in Chinese restaurants. Yay, America!)

So, now that I've filled up some space with nothing of any value, why not go to the Boston Herald website and try to figure out why they pay me? Of course, if you buy the actual paper, it may pay dividends down the road a piece. When I win my Pulitzer in 2029, you'll gain free admittance to my celebratory party by showing a hard copy of today's column. And there will be FREE canned spinach!

(There will NOT be free pudding, unless you bring it.)

(Come on, people! I've stomped all over the pudding here. You have to be just slightly intrigued, no?)

As always, I thank you for reading me. In addition, I shall close with the traditional lie.

Soon, with more better stuff.

P.S. The photo of pudding came from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. I'm not quite sure why anyone would want dairy-free pudding, but I'm not lactose intolerant. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty tolerant of just about everything. And it looks pretty good, I have to admit. You should probably go there and get the recipe, AFTER you read my piece in the Boston Herald.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

101 Things I Love About America

This was originally published in 2010 and was entitled 100 Things I Love About America. Since then, I've added one more. A tip o' the hat to Uncle Skip for suggesting I run this again today. Visit him and tell him how right he was.


A little while back, MY WIFE and I were reading a magazine that touted, on the cover, an article concerning 100 things the editors loved about America. As a fun exercise, we decided to compile our own lists of things we loved about America. We thought we would then compare our lists to the one in the magazine, seeing how many of ours matched theirs. I wrote out my list, train-of-thought-style, and so did MY WIFE.

It turned out the list in the magazine was far more specific than we had thought. It named particular places and things – Joe’s Diner in Weehawken, perhaps, or some weirdly built house in a cornfield in Omaha - whereas our lists were much more generic. It was an interesting article, but our writing of lists had turned out to be an hour wasted. We felt somewhat cheated.

But, wait! I saved my list, thinking of perhaps using it as a text for a blog post, and here it is!

The following is only a list. I’m not going to elaborate on any of the individual entries. If I did so, we’d be here until next year. You might read through it, agreeing or disagreeing with my choices. You might consider compiling a list of your own (and then letting me know about it, thanks, as I’d love to read it.)

(If you live someplace other than America, I’d probably like to see a list about your own country even more. I find patriotism and a love of one’s country tremendously appealing, so long as it isn’t at the expense of someone else’s lovely country. And, having said that, I hope my list isn’t overly jingoistic. It has to approach that territory, to be sure, but the intent isn’t one of forcing you to acknowledge that I live in the best place on earth – even though I do.)

If you think some of these things aren’t specific enough to my country, you’re right. Many of these things can be found in other places. However, they are here and I enjoy them. Also, a fair number of them were INVENTED here, and that’s why I included them.

So, enough preamble. Here’s my list of 100 Things I Love About America. My things won’t be your things, but that’s just fine. One of the great things about America, which I didn’t include on the list because I felt it was self-evident, is that we don’t have to walk in lockstep.


If you get sick of me, you can click onto any of the links and probably find something entertaining, educational, or both.

1 – Baseball
2 – Sitcoms
3 – Plentiful Food
4 – Varying Climates
5 – Air Conditioning
6 – Rock ‘n Roll
7 – Jazz
8 – Musicals
9 – Comedy Teams
10 – Sneakers
11 – Basketball
12 – Football
13 – Generosity
14 – Heroes
15 – Electric Toothbrushes
16 – Watermelon
17 – Norman Rockwell

18 – Public Parks
19 – Subways
20 – Trolleys

[courtesy Track Twenty-Nine]

21 – Beaches
22 - Ice Cream
23 – Cheeseburgers
24 – Paved Roads
25 – Shoeshines
26 – Money That Doesn’t Have This Year’s King Or Queen On It
27 – The Internet
28 – Bass Guitars
29 – La-Z-Boys
30 – Good Coffee
31 – Porches
32 – Decks
33 – Grills
34 – Cold Beer
35 – Tube Socks
36 – T-Shirts
37 – Jeans
38 – TV
39 – Radio
40 – Fried Chicken
41 – Electric Lights
42 – Popcorn
43 – Ice Water
44 – Public Libraries
45 – Mailmen
46 – Gambling
47 – Air Fresheners
48 – Mark Twain
49 – Q-Tips
50 – Breathe Rights
51 – Just Enough History
52 – Voting
53 – Funny Pages
54 – Pornography

(No, you don't get a link. If you can't find any yourself, you're just lazy.)

55 – Peanut Butter
56 – Thanksgiving
57 – Capitalism
58 – Rubber Duckies

59 – Cheap Stuff
60 – 50 States, So If You Don’t Like Where You Are, You Can Move To Another One And Still Be Here
61 – Inventiveness & Ingenuity
62 – The Right To Bear Arms
63 – Plain Food, Served Flat

(That is to say, not THIS...

(courtesy And Then We Eat)

But, yes, THIS...

(found at From L.A. To LA)

64 – Holidays That Celebrate Ideals
65 – The Freedom To Be Weird
66 – The Freedom To Call Someone A Weirdo If They’re Weird
67 – Americanized Chinese Food
68 – Big Honkin’ Trucks
69 – Nostalgia
70 – Amazing Medical Breakthroughs
71 – Netflix
72 – Professional Wrestling
73 – Roller Derby

74 – Cartoons
75 – Stand-Up Comedians
76 – Long Hot Showers
77 – Wikipedia
78 – A Distinct Lack Of Man-Eating Tigers
79 – You Don’t Have To Bow Down To Some Asshole Who Inherited A Throne
80 – Not Too Many Volcanoes
81 – No State Religion
82 – Photo Booths
83 – Pie
84 – Wonderfully Silly Self-Importance
85 – The Ability To Laugh At Ourselves
86 – Amazing Diversity Of Cultures
87 – Frozen Foods
88 – Second Chances
89 – The Ability To Quit A Rotten Job
90 – ONE Great Idea Can Make You A Rich Person
91 - Drive-In Restaurants
92 – Motels
93 – The Johnson & Smith Co.
94 – If You Don’t Like It, You Can Leave
95 – If You Don’t Like Where You Are, You Can Come To It

96 – If We Don’t Like YOU, We Can Tell You To Go Away
97 – If You Don’t Like US, Tough Shit
98 – No Matter How Silly Your Idea, You Can Always Find At Least One Person Willing To Seriously Discuss It
99 – I Met MY WIFE Here


100 – If You Can’t Think Of 100 Things, It’s OK. As A Matter Of Fact, If You Make A List Entitled "100 Things I Hate About America", You Won't Get Thrown Into Jail. That, In And Of Itself, Is Worth The Other 99 Things.

And now, #101...

101 - You don't have to be one thing your whole life. You can reinvent yourself at any time. Sometimes it is involuntary, but still. When I was fired from my job of 22 years, as a producer/voice, I had to find something else to do. I became a writer. I'm not getting rich doing that, but I'm at least making enough to pay my half of the rent. And, if you weren't here yesterday, I had a piece published in the Boston Herald. Go there and read more of me because America is great!

Soon, with more better stuff.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy 4th, Everybody!

Even if it's the 3rd. And especially for me, as I am once again in the Boston Herald.

My column on the op-ed pages concerns a citizenship ceremony I attended with MY WIFE.I hope you find it interesting and, perhaps, encouraging. While many things of late could possibly have you feeling down politically, we live in a mighty fine place.

Thanks for stopping by. As always, kind words at the website, or in a letter to the editor, are appreciated. And, as always, you should remember that having a hard copy of one of my columns in hand will gain you admittance to my Pulitzer celebration party, tentatively scheduled for 2037. There will be free tuna salad subs, so an investment now will certainly pay dividends!

Soon, with more better stuff.