Unsocial Media

I was so excited when I received the notification that a couple comments were made in response to one of my older blog posts. My blog posts don’t elicit many comments. I don’t blame you readers. I make it a point not to comment on anyone’s blog who is so obviously mentally ill. But finally, I was getting the conversation started. The excitement lasted until I read the comment …

Blog Comment 1

So many questions filled my head:

  1. Did their auto-correct change “ray of sunshine” to “piece of shit?”
  2. Why is my name not capitalized and enclosed by quotation marks? Am I not Jim?
  3. Why did Kim end the comment so politely? Maybe because of #1 above?
  4. Is Kim a disgruntled male with weapons or a hot female who is stalking me? Uh, asking for a friend.

Of course, I’m no stranger to nasty comments as I regularly navigate the waters of Twitter while throwing out anti-Trump chum. At least this comment from Kim Nho didn’t include a wrestling challenge like this Twitter throwdown from Texas Senator Ted Cruz …

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Hard Water

I retired our pool liner last year. It had gotten brittle over several seasons of use (I can relate) and had started springing leaks (I can also relate) that I was patching. I figured there would be no problem purchasing a replacement liner for a 4 year old pool. Boy, was I wrong (I relate too often).

Apparently, my old pool liner was a death trap because of only 1 filter intake line. That design was deemed unsafe for some reason, discontinued, and replaced with a dual filter intake line. So, I couldn’t get the replacement liner I needed. The simple solution seemed to be to just buy a complete new pool. Nope, that was also not an option.

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, pools are in short supply. And when I found one like my old $350 pool, they were priced over $1000. A discount grocery store near us advertised a reasonably-priced pool, and people were lined-up at 6AM waiting for the store to open at 9AM to get a pool. Back to the replacement liner option for me.

By studying replacement part lists for the various styles of pools from the manufacturer, I decided that by enlarging holes using the precision of a brain surgeon (I cannot relate) and slapping a patch on another hole, I could make a current model pool liner fit the hardware from our old pool and make the filter system a death trap again. Except … pool liners are in short supply. I calculated that by adding cable ties and duct tape, I may be able to make a random liner from another model of pool fit the hardware from our old pool. That was a sketchy plan at best, especially when I accidentally ordered a 15 foot liner rather than the 16 footer that I needed.

I could sense something was wrong as I was assembling the pool. It didn’t seem quite right (I can relate). I got to almost the end, there were leftover parts, and the pool hardware wouldn’t fit. I cut down and drilled one of the metal parts, and voilà …

Pool 15 foot

Not only do I have a 15 foot pool, but it seems sturdier than the original 16 footer. As a bonus, I did not have to use duct tape and now have a couple spare metal parts.

It looked great. I was ready to enjoy it and get some exercise. Only 352 laps to a mile! But then, the weather got chilly. Oh, and I got cancer. I’ll explain … about the cancer part. You should be able to figure out the chilly weather part yourself.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Michael McDermott channeling Billy Joel

Maybe you like that old Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” I’m not a huge fan since it didn’t really say anything. It was just a song with a list of headlines from his life as lyrics. Still, it was a huge hit, and it was clever how he wove all the people and events into the lyrics.

I get a similar vibe from this new Michael McDermott song, except McDermott definitely has something to say. What’s that? Who is Michael McDermott? He’s a Chicago guy making music with an Irish-tinged sound. He’s not my favorite musical artist, but how can a Flanigan not like a McDermott from Chicago.

There’s no doubt on which side of the political landscape that McDermott has chosen to stand. Take a listen …

Despite only being released 3 weeks ago, I hate to admit the lyrics are already a bit dated. McDermott sings, “Dark days coming for the USA.” Sorry, Michael, they are already here.

This video is only averaging 1000 views a week. Please share it. It’s a cautionary tale worth a listen and watch by many more people.

 

A Powellful Endorsement

Just recently, retired General Colin Powell endorsed Joe Biden for President. Yes, the same Colin Powell who served as NSA under Reagan. Yes, the same Colin Powell who served as Commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bush 1 and Clinton. Yes, the same Colin Powell who served as Secretary of State under Bush 2. Still don’t believe me? See for yourself …

jaw drop

Definitely a shocker and also a great opportunity for some excellent Biden campaign slogans tied to Powell’s endorsement. It all hinges on the fact that Powell pronounces his first name like one says the word colon. That leads me to these slogans for the Biden camp to consider.

#1) Listen to your head, heart, and Colin – Vote Biden 2020. Huh? What do you think? No? Oh, don’t worry. I have more.

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Mulch Ado About Nothing #8

As I opened the back of my car to load some groceries, I realized just how bad this looks.

Tarp car

I swear, I am not planning to dump a body in a shallow grave. I would definitely dig a deep grave. I really am only planning to get mulch later this morning. I have no plans to use the bone saw in my basement to cut the body up that I would have stored in my freezer if there was a body. Really, I haven’t even chosen a victim yet. You could say that this is mulch ado about nothing, which is a great segue to a Mulch Ado About Nothing cartoon about death …

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A Ticklish Problem

I went this week for a semi-annual full body check by my dermatologist. I have some history of skin cancer, so I can usually count on my dermatologist to take a few bits and pieces of me every visit. I was not disappointed this time.

As I sat in the waiting room before my appointment, I was taking a mental inventory of all the suspicious spots on my body that I wanted my dermatologist to take a look at. Temple, chin, chest, back, and left leg all harbored spots I didn’t like. And then I saw an unknown spot on my right leg. I was genuinely startled. That one looked nasty. How could I have missed it before? It looked something like this. In fact, it looked exactly like this because this was it …

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Do They Give Liquor Loans?

I’m old enough to recall events back in the day featuring quarter beers. Yep, I remember quarter beer nights where you would get a blast of beer in a small paper cup for 25 cents. But am I so old that a bottle of cognac costs $145,000 these days? This bottle in particular …

Cognac-1762_1-920x609

C’mon, I can’t even read the label. It’s a 1762 Gautier Cognac that went for that much at auction. Full story HERE.

So, if a 250+ year old cognac sells for that much, how about a beverage 8 times as old? Specifically, this one …

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Short (on quality) Story

I hope to publish another book this summer. No, not a sequel to My Parasitic Twin Wants to be President. You wish! This will be a collection of short stories on a common theme.

I send my stories to my cousin who also happens to be a professional editor. She seems to take great delight in finding and editing my mistakes, and then typically provides some words of encouragement like “this one should definitely be in your book.” She is my mentor. I am her … mentee? manatee? mental?

I’m down to my next-to-last story, and this one didn’t go as I had hoped. I received no edit. I received no encouragement. I did not pass GO or collect $200. Instead, over the course of several emails, my cousin/editor described the story as:

  • Not engaging
  • Boring
  • Preachy
  • Saccharine
  • Unlikable
  • Opposite of uplifting (would that be downlowering?)

Gee, I hope she wasn’t holding back so as not to hurt my feelings. Her guidance and edits have made me a better writer. I absolutely value her opinion. But so far, two other test-readers have liked the story. Hopefully, I will get more feedback from other test-readers this weekend.

Maybe my cousin/editor was too busy with editing projects. Maybe she didn’t even read the 4,000 word story. Maybe she just glanced at this blog to get a general idea about where my writing is today. If that’s the case, I heartily agree with her assessment.

A Defeated Hero

I ventured out early morning today to the grocery store. Every grocery trip is a death-defying experience in the Age of Covid-19. The store I chose used to be open 24/7/365. Now it opens at 8AM per the guard at the north entrance. Yep, that’s what I read on the sign behind him. He told me I could wait in line. It was 6AM. I chose to walk back to my car past the south entrance where I was told by the guard there that I could walk right in. I’m guessing he recognized me from this blog as a major social media influencer. He probably feared that I could shut down their regional chain of 242 stores with one bad review on this blog.

I returned home as a hero, primarily because of this treasure I had plundered from the store …

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Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back 10Ks

I was busy this past Memorial Day weekend. I finished four 10Ks over four consecutive weekend days. No, not 10K (6.2 mile) running races. My running days are over. Steps! 10,000 steps minimum a day for four consecutive days. I noticed on Friday that I just barely broke 10K steps after cutting the front lawn after work. Could I do it for 3 more days? I only had one more lawn. I surprised myself, even topping 16K steps on Saturday.

Walk steps

To my utter amazement, I may have also made a shocking scientific discovery. I lost weight. I’m starting to think there may be some weird connection between exercise and weight loss.

I was unwilling/unable to continue the exercise/weight loss experiment after the weekend. On Tuesday, I decided to take a step back and rest. I’m going to need to be well-rested if you expect me to make the scientific health discovery of a lifetime and win a Nobel Prize.

 

The Three Amigos

There are people everywhere appalled at this pic.

3 presidents

Not me. I see a couple obvious common threads. First one:

  • Lincoln freed the slaves.
  • Reagan freed the rich from taxation.
  • Trump freed Republicans from common sense.

But the one that really jumps out at me is …

  • Lincoln was assassinated.
  • Reagan survived an attempted assassination.
  • Trump is trying to assassinate himself through the use of hydroxychloroquine and refusal to wear a mask.

My only advice is … try harder.

Jesus Visits the Second City

Chicago is a world-class metropolitan area, despite New York snobs looking down upon us as “The Second City.” I feel privileged to have lived in various suburbs within a short car ride of Chicago my whole life. One of the suburbs I haven’t lived in is Forest Park. It is close to Chicago as you can see here …

Forest Park

Although I have never lived there, it appears that Jesus does. Take a look …

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Life in the Slow Lane

For the first time in 9+ weeks since I injured my right knee, I awoke this morning and felt my knee was finally looking normal again. It had a nice dimple on the inside of my knee where it used to be swollen with fluid. I still get a little pain from time to time, but I think that is a good warning to never run again.

To celebrate the return of my knee dimple, I took an early morning walk without the dog. I could walk at whatever pace I wanted for a change. Little did I know I would be race-walking.

As I headed north on one street, I found myself less than 1/10th of a mile behind a middle-aged woman who was also walking. The race was on. Does it count as a race if the other person doesn’t know they are racing? Little did I know that I was not only racing to finish first, but also to preserve my pride and retain what little dignity I could find.

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Chip In Your Thoughts

I do my best to avoid Nestle brand products in protest of their ravaging of western Michigan’s groundwater. Click HERE for details in case you are interested in why you should buy a Hershey’s Krackel bar rather than a Nestle’s Crunch bar, besides the superior Hershey’s favor.

So, when Nestle announced a contest to find the most unique recipe for their semi-sweet chocalate chips, I was unmoved. Someone is going to win a year’s supply of chocolate chips and probably 50 extra pounds of fat in their ass for some weird receipe using chocolate chips in a mole sauce. Ugh, I hate that. This is how to eat chocolate …

chocolate chip eating gif

And if you must eat chocolate chip cookies, buy Chips Ahoy. They taste great and do not use Nestle chocolate chips. But stay away from this version …

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I Broke Walking

Decades ago, I used to run pain-free and measure myself by my mile splits run over long distances. In recent years, I have measured myself by the total distance I ran, biked, walked, and swam. These days, I find myself retired from running, the weather too cold to swim, and my bike badly needing new brakes. And so, I walk.

I hear that you are supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day. I can’t seem to do that. I’m very satisfied when I get in half that amount daily. I have enjoyed seeing how many steps I can take in a day, setting new personal bests from time to time. And then on Saturday, this happened to ruin that forever …

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A Job Fur Her

My wife works at a school, and there are big questions as to what school will look like in the fall. Maybe like this classroom in China with kids in masks and with social distancing hats on …

School in China

If there is no in-school classroom, my wife may be out of work. We just don’t know at this time. Taking matters into her own paws, our dog got my wife a job offer today by looking like this …

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Not Insane?

This Kansas man has been ruled “not insane.”

David_Ostrom

That’s right, he’s not insane despite filing a trial by battle request in an Iowa court to fight a duel with swords with his ex-wife or her attorney to settle a child custody suit and to “rend their souls from their (corporeal) bodies.” Well, what man hasn’t wanted to duel with his ex and especially her attorney? I’ve had dreams of dueling with my ex’s lawyer that go something like this.

duel

In addition to not being insane, he claims his ex-wife and her attorney are the crazy ones. Full story HERE in the Des Moines Register.

But this next guy may want to hold off on the scrubbing.

Insane

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So Many Doobies!

Doobies are dominating today’s news. First, this happened …

Jet Kills Man

Full story can be read HERE. Sounds crazy, but who reading this can honestly say that they haven’t accidentally wandered onto a runway while a jet is landing?

So, where’s the doobie? That would be Airport spokesman Bryce Dubee who said officials do not believe the man was supposed to be on the runway at the time, but they’re working to confirm that and determine the events leading up to his death.

I know of only one person that should be anywhere close to an airport runway, and that would be the aircraft marshall directing the jets to the gates. You know them by their wands, ear protection, vests, and crazy dance moves.

Aircraft Marshall

Hey Bryce Dubee, stop wasting time and close the investigation now. There is no reason for anyone to be on a runway while a jet is landing.

This next news item was possibly the result of a significant amount of doobies. This California man went under a tanker truck full of wine … at highway speeds … to drink the wine … right from the tank … in his underwear. And best of all, there’s video …

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Animal Stories

Researchers have infiltrated gorilla society using a robot spy gorilla (good name for a band) and discovered it is definitely not high society. They found that gorillas sing while eating. But who cares? The more important discovery is that they also fart non-stop. Head directly to the 1 minute mark for the prolific tooting.

The narrator describes them living in a “semi-permanent state of flatulence.” Coincidentally, I think the name of the latest 3 Doors Down album is “Semi-Permanent State of Flatulence.”

I hope you watched to the end and caught the added bonus at the 1:30 mark when the gorilla eats boogers while farting. Sounds like a Sunday afternoon for me during football season.

Okay, that was fun. Wait, what’s that? Oh, right, the title was plural, promising “stories.” Here you go. It’s a gator story for you from the US South that promises to be tasty and provide a social distancing lesson.

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My Wife is Trying to Kill Me

My wife is trying to kill me with this …

Mac1

No, she didn’t take the popsicle stick from the garbage and sharpen it into a stabbin’ shiv. She’s trying to kill me with the mac & cheese. No, she’s not trying to poison me, but she just about killed me by putting it in the garbage.

I enter this picture as the first piece of evidence …

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Words Matter

For my upcoming book of short stories (available later this year), I just finished the next-to-last story that included such grim topics as:

  • Exotic animal parts trade
  • A seedy Bangkok marketplace
  • Robbing a dead woman
  • Drinking from poisonous plants
  • Pregnancy out of wedlock
  • Body modification
  • Testicular implants (this is not the body modification mentioned above)
  • Gambling
  • Grave desecration

Oh, and I almost forgot … country music. *shudder*

And yet, my editor called it “sweet.” Do I need to get a new editor?

 

It All Adds Up to the Mark of the Beast

A very learned, scholarly friend sent this to me.

MAGA Hat Bible

I summarily dismissed it as a clever meme, but utter nonsense. And then I took a closer look at the numbers using ancient secrets of numerology. My eyes were opened.

First, I assigned numbers to M A G A according to their position in the alphabet.

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No Signs of Intelligent Life

This push to “liberate” states and reopen the US prematurely is ridiculous. This place doesn’t want to have to choose between libety or a tranny. Wait, what?

Sign Tranny

I think they may mean liberty and tyranny. At least this next guy knows he has rights, but unfortunately also some spelling wrongs. Continue reading

Hello, Neighbor

Our internet tends to be annoyingly spotty at times. As soon as this isolation is over, we’ll be changing internet providers. So, occasionally I must click on my computer to see what’s up with the internet connection. In the past, I’ve spotted the FBI with a van in the neighborhood.

wififbi

Should that really be discoverable? Isn’t that a tip-off to criminals that the FBI may be coming, so flush the drugs? Not that I would know anything about that.

The other day I was again trying to see what’s up with the internet. This really got my attention.

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A Pie Caught My Eye

I love discounted pie (good name for a band, but perhaps a bit derivative considering Humble Pie). Despite the band name controversy, just bought one yesterday on the 15th that expires on the 17th.

Pie Discounted

Here are the Top 5 reasons I love discounted pie.

5) Pie is awesome. Duh!

4) Pie has been successfully used as part of a band name. See above.

3) Cherry pie > apple pie. Okay, I guess that has nothing to do with the discount, but I was short a reason.

2) The expiration date being so close encourages me to eat more pie quickly. That’s always a good idea.

1) 1/2 Price is almost 50% off!

Why Do Republicans Support Trump? Mystery Solved!

Why Republicans support Trump has confounded me over the past 4 years. Seemingly intelligent family and friends blindly follow Trump regardless of what idiocy he spouts or does. It is truly bewildering. But I’ve finally solved the mystery, thanks to Facebook.

I noticed this Facebook challenge that one of my Facebook friends did.

Triangle D

That Facebook friend is a staunch Democrat, hence the blue D. Okay, I’ll admit it. 24 is not the correct answer. There are 18 triangles. How can I be sure? I used to be a math major in college, I’m an annoying smarty-pants, and in my spare time, I enjoy looking at brightly colored geometric shapes for hours on end. 18 is the correct answer.

Now take a look at how a loyal Republican answered.

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RIP John Prine

I’m not feeling very funny today with the passing of folk-country-rock legend (at least round these parts he is) John Prine due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. He was a mailman from the Chicago suburbs and may very well have delivered mail to my house when I was a kid. Let’s go with that story. He did. I feel better with that connection.

I only saw him in concert once. That was the first of many concerts my wife and I have seen together, but only once to see John Prine. That’s okay. It makes it very special. He was a cancer survivor – twice. His body and voice suffered a bit in recent years from the results of the cancer as well as the cure, but he continued to write good music. He was the best lyricist I have ever known. Bob Dylan wrote wonderful lyrics about sprawling stories like “Hurricane” and “Tangled up in Blue.” John Prine wrote personal, intimate lyrics about people that touch your heart and soul.

So, here comes my John Prine tribute post. Click to read more about this amazing musician.

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Show Me The Money!

We’re not rich, but it turns out my ancestors were. While my oldest daughter shelters-in- place, she delved further into our genealogy. She found my great great grandfather’s will from 1899. He appears to have come to the USA during the Irish Potato Famine (bad name for a band) and amassed a small fortune. His $4000 cash on hand would be worth about $125,000 today. And the real estate that he owned free and clear would be valued at about $600,000 today. And the real estate generated over $30,000 a year income for him in today’s dollars.

Will

I never have cash on hand, although there may be loose change in the couch cushions. My real estate is valued about half of that, which I guess is okay since the bank owns most of it. My adult children living with me pay no rent. What happened?

Somewhere along the way, my family tree became diseased and never produced money again. I guess I am as much to blame as anyone. In my post yesterday, I vowed to donate all proceeds from my political novella. That is no way to get rich.

My Parasitic Twin Wants to be President

The long-dreaded novella is finally released. I have teased it on this blog before with excerpts. Despite all the warnings and pleadings from my psychiatrist, adviser, priest, therapist, mentor, rabbi, psychologist, consultant, minister, counselor, guru, internet stalker(s), pastor, life coach, wife and kids, I decided to publish anyway. Why would they protest? If the title doesn’t tip you off, maybe the book cover will.

Cover Final

You can purchase here … https://tinyurl.com/BuyTwinBook. Just 3 bucks! If you are outside the USA, try your local Amazon site and search for “parasitic twin.” All you need is an Amazon account. You can download this digital novella to your phone, computer, tablet, or Wang word processor.

ALL proceeds will be donated to worthy candidates and causes in advance of the 2020 election.  In other words, Democrats. You will be donating over 2 bucks (our royalty from Amazon after Jeff Bezos takes his cut) to excellent causes.

For more background on Ray & Gary Czyzylck, visit www.elect-ray.webnode.com.  If you want, you can email Ray at rayczylzyck@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @czylzyck.

WARNING: This novella promises to be unlike anything you have ever read. Keep medical supplies close by when you read it just in case your sides split from laughing too hard.

Buy this book. Ray and Gary are waiting patiently. Come on. Stop reading and order. There are no more jokes in this post. Order now.

 

 

 

 

 

Quadruple Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

I have a brother-in-law who donated a kidney to his brother-in-law. Not sold. Not lent. Not rented by the hour. Donated. Free! He’s a good guy.

Now I hear that he gets blood platelets drawn every 2 weeks. I didn’t know that was even a thing. But the first thing that came to my mind was “How much does it pay?” Am I a bad guy? (#1)

For your information, he gets nothing for it. The difference between donating blood plasma and blood platelets is that red & white blood cells are retained by the donor when donating platelets only. Of course, my immediate thought was that donating complete plasma > donating blood platelets only. Am I a bad guy? (#2)

It turns out that my brother-in-law donates the platelets only because that allows him to donate more often, every 2 weeks. From the Red Cross website, I see that blood platelets can be donated every week. I wondered why my brother-in-law wasn’t donating more often. Am I a bad guy? (#3)

I guess I can cut my brother-in-law some slack since he only has one kidney. The bottom line is that he’s a great guy. I don’t even donate blood because … I’m diseased.

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What Wood You Call This?

After a successful hike in the woods on Wednesday, I returned for a longer COVID-19 coronavirus therapy hike on a different trail yesterday. It was just me and Lola the dog yesterday. My daughter was too tired to hike after playing some backyard badminton. Is that possible, getting tired from casual badminton when you’re 11 years old?

On Wednesday, we may have stumbled upon our future forever home. If that doesn’t work out, Lola and I found a potentially less expensive, albeit smaller, place we could call home.

Lola Shelter

And then we discovered what I though could be the most important archaeological find of the 21st century to date. Dinosaur bones or maybe teeth? Take a look and decide what you see.

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Flip or Flop

My wife and I are considering downsizing our home. She watches the home shows and elbows me in the ribs so I can see people buying dumps and flipping them into their forever homes. But for now, we still have 5 people living in the house. How can I encourage children to leave so we can downsize? Anyway, we are scouting out possible areas to relocate.

In order to keep what is left of my sanity during this COVID-19 coronavirus, I have taken to walking in the woods. I dragged our dog and youngest daughter along yesterday.

Lola woods

That’s our dog, not my daughter for those of you who are species-challenged. It was good to walk the hills and hear the frogs croaking in the wetlands. And then we stumbled upon what may be our future dream home that just needs a little flipping magic.

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Trump Fails Another Test

Some people were shocked that Trump rolled out the My Pillow guy, Mike Lindell, during the COVID-19 coronavirus press conference yesterday.

mypillow-main-foxnews-810x610

Not me. Let’s see, what is on the My Pillow guy’s resume?

  • Admitted ocaine & crack user from late 80s through the 2000s.
  • Prior to starting the drugs, he had accumulated several DWIs for alcohol abuse.
  • Owed the mafia tens of thousands of dollars due to gambling debts. Paid off his gambling debts by gambling sober for a while and winning.
  • Multiple bankruptcies to his name.
  • Divorced in 2008.
  • First arrest for domestic assault in 2008. Order of protection was given to his alleged victim.
  • Second arrest just a couple months later for violating that order of protection. He pleaded guilty to this charge and the assualt charge was dismissed.
  • Third arrest in 2008 was for passing bad checks. Charges were dropped when he agreed to pay restitution.
  • Late in 2008, his drug dealers staged an intervention on his behalf.
  • Second divorce in 2013 after a 1 month marriage.
  • He agreed to pay a one million dollar settlement in 2016 for fraudulent health claims related to My Pillow.
  • Better Business Bureau lowers its rating for My Pillow to F in 2017.
  • He received an honorary doctorate from Jerry Falwell Jr’s Liberty University in 2019. Yes, the same Liberty University that just reopened and is spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus amongst students.

Mike Lindell is perfect to stand with Trump. Both have been drug users, criminals, and continue to be grifters. Do not buy any My Pillow product.

What I was pleasantly surprised at was the unveiling of the new Abbott COVID-19 coronavirus test.

abbot

Abbott Labs has passed the test in this time of crisis. Thanks to Abbott for stepping-up. However, when Trump unveiled the new Abbott test, he failed miserably.

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Just Say No(se) to Magnets

This Australian scientist, Dr. Daniel Reardon, tried to invent a device that keeps us from touching our faces during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. His reward?

nose magnet guy

A visit to the hospital, magnets stuck in his nose, and a magnet down his throat. For full story details, Click HERE.

Here’s his hospital info upon discharge …

Nose Magnets

I think the last line is telling … Denies further magnets. I don’t blame him. He nose better now.

New Music for Old Rockers – Quarantine Edition

Many musical artists are releasing live versions of some of their songs during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a twist. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day just released this cover of a Tommy James & the Shondells hit. I like the vibe. Take a listen.

I think we’re alone now, indeed. He recorded this in his bedroom, a place where a lot of us are spending more time. At least we have some new music to keep us company. Thanks, Billie Joe.

DIY Masks

Healthcare workers and hospitals need masks. They are desperate for any masks to protect themselves and patients from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Fo NOT use this one though.

Trump mask

Too scary.

A dear friend sent me instructions on how to make my own masks from old cotton tee shirts. Seemed like too much work for me when my old cotton underwear could work just as well. First, I tried this look with a pair of boxers and a shoelace …

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When & Where Are They Performing?

I saw this news article yesterday.

Pablo escobar cocaine hippos

Click HERE for full story.

My initial thought upon reading that there are such things as Pablo Escobar’s Cocaine Hippos … GREAT NAME FOR A BAND! Can you imagine that PELIGRO text with the hippo on the bass drum? I want to see that band … NOW!

What is somewhat overshadowed in the title and story is that there were once giant llamas. Not as good a name for a band, but I want to see them, too. Not the band, the real thing.

A Dreaded Top 10 List

I was going to start 2020 with the Top 10 List in this post below. And then I thought, “No, let’s not start 2020 with a classless post. Let’s stay classy and have a great 2020.” Well, you know that’s a pipe dream now with the COVID-19 coronavirus crashing our 2020 party. I’m currently eating corn on the cob for breakfast so we have cobs available for when we run out of toilet paper, and I’ll soon head out to collect filth for our dinner tonight.

filth cropped

And what do watch as we eat another filth casserole for dinner? Netflix is so strained that all we can get to stream without constant buffering is a documentary on the Republicans race to the White House in 2008. You know what that means? You betcha’ … more Sarah Palin.

sarah palin

So, it has come to this. The Top 10 list I didn’t want to use in 2020 follows. Sorry.

Top 10 Hair to Transplant to my Head

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Flanigan Fiction Finally Freed!

Well, the big Book Release Party for the book that has my short story in it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. I am somewhat relieved that I don’t have to be in a social situation with other nerdy writers. Being with myself all the time is bad enough. The book is being released online initially through the publisher’s website at Crow Woods Publishing, and eventually through Amazon, etc. Here’s a mention of my story from the publisher.

Elvis Listing on Crow Woods

I find it so fitting that there is a misspelling in the description. And just a touch of humor? Maybe it would have been funnier if the publisher hadn’t removed a joke.

Anyway, here’s the pic that inspired my story …

Elvis - Eric Semelroth - Imitation A La King 1998

If you are interested in an unabridged version of my story with all jokes intact, contact me.

Details coming about more Flanigan Fiction due for release soon. Consider yourself warned.

 

Tread Lightly

I was unsure of whether I would be able to walk again, let alone feed, bathe, or clothe myself. That’s right, I recently had a sore, swollen knee. Spare me your pity, but monetary contributions are always welcome. It was only through sheer will, grit, determination, and my wife’s nagging that I found I could walk again, if you can call what I do walking. And it was my dog, yes, my dog, that got me to use my treadmill again.

It’s a great treadmill that was sitting idle while I writhed in pain as I ate ice cream and my family urged me to “get off my fat ass and do something for God’s sake” or some encouraging words to that effect. Even the treadmill taunted me regarding my potentially burgeoning weight without activity.

Treadmill text

But it wasn’t my family’s “encouragement” that got me to use the treadmill again. It was my faithful dog and her chunky vomit that got me to use the treadmill again. I’ll explain.

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I Visited an America of the Past

I took a drive yesterday for business purposes. I headed west to a town called Mendota in north central Illinois. Mendota is not a particularly pretty town, or maybe it was just the rainy day that made it appear a bit bleak and rundown. But it looked like any other town in any part of the Rust Belt in the USA. And it was comforting.

First, the COVID-19 coronavirus had not started infecting people in the area yet. I still took extreme precautions as I was out and about. It wasn’t a good business call. My appointment hated the product I presented.

While out, I carefully explored some stores out west. I found toilet paper in Mendota. 2 pack limit, but plenty on the shelf. I remember that time in America when clean butts were a given. As I headed home, I stopped in Earlville and found ramen noodles on a store shelf. Amazing discovery. Another nostalgic blast from America’s past. I grabbed some and arrived home to be hailed as a returning hero with a bounty of both toilet paper and ramen.

As I got back into my town, I stopped at a local store for some frozen veggies to throw in with the ramen I had scored. But first I peeked. Still no toilet paper. No ramen noodles. But worse, no frozen veggies except for …. brussel sprouts. Ew. I grudgingly purchased the last bag in the freezer.

I felt some guilt as I made ramen noodles last night. Perhaps I should save them for possible grimmer times ahead. I have no return trips to Mendota or Earlville planned, thankfully. I did discover that brussel sprouts are palatable in small doses. I enjoyed that bowl of ramen noodles. It reminded me of an America I once knew.

A Gold Medal Response to Coronavirus

Almost all sporting events have been canceled. I guess that’s one way to cure my sports gambling addiction. Wanna bet on that?

I hear that the Olympics may also be canceled. I think that may be smart, and it opens up a unique opportunity for all of us to make our own Olympics. I love watching the explosiveness of the 100 meter dash. So why not participate?

olympics sprint

Maybe add some hurdles in to exemplify the hurdles and obstacles we encounter in life, like the COVID-19 coronavirus.

olympics hurdles

Perhaps you favor the distance races.

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I Was a Coronavirus Zombie

Schools are closed. Bars and restaurants are supposed to close at the end of business today. Hey, what about restaurants that are open 24/7? Do they have to abide by the ban if they don’t close today? Food and paper products are in short supply. I know my family is debating if they should eat me now while I am still fat in order to conserve the rest of the food in the house.

I took matters into my own hands last night at 10PM as I went out to feed. Just to clarify, I pretty much self-quarrantine every winter after dark. Last night I felt like I had been turned into a coronavirus zombie, going out after dark to feed when there would be no lines. Oops, I was an hour early. It turns out that many others had the same idea around 10PM. I kept to myself, huddled in a fetal position on a barren shelf in the canned vegetable aisle next to a solitary can of okra until the crowd cleared a bit by 11PM.

This is one of the first sights that greeted me when I walked in …

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Responsibility is for Suckers

I pushed an old lady out of the way today so I could buy the last package of toilet paper left on the shelf due to the coronavirus panic-buying with the money I took from the Children’s Cancer contribution container on the way in. But it’s all good because as Trump says, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

Trump Sun Blame

Well, this was a lovely, mish-mash of a jumbled post. But you get the picture. Donald Trump will always take full credit for anything good that happens, but never take any blame or responsibility for anything bad. Ever.

 

A Decision I Kneeded to Correct

A few posts back, I mentioned that I needed to make a decision between walking with a cane and training for a 5K race. I decided on the 5K race. I soon came to regret that decision this past Saturday.

I injured my right knee while walking the dog on Saturday. Then I further injured it while walking through the store to purchase a knee brace. Why would I need a knee brace? So I could go on a planned run Saturday afternoon which went well with minimal pain. The brace worked! And then my knee inflated like Trump’s ego at one of his rallies.

This is not my knee, but this pic is highly representative of what mine looked like.

Knee swollen

The kneecap is under there somewhere. So, I rested and iced and expected it to get better quickly. Nope. There was no way I could exercise and do my deep knee bends.

knee bends

So I bit the bullet and went to see an orthopedist specializing in sports injuries which is a stretch. That’s like Trump going to see a psychiatrist specializing in geniuses.

We jointly decided on a treatment protocol and this is what she pulled from my knee.

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Coronavirus Stock-up

Now that the coronavirus has hit our local area, the stock-up has begun. We drink our tap water, so we don’t need to stock-up on that. I could survive off my winter blubber for months, so at least I don’t need to stock-up on food. My wife did decide to stock-up on toilet paper.

Toilet Paper

She was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t more excited about that. Am I supposed to be using that stuff? I thought that was more of an extravagence that the ladies use. Oh well, I guess I can learn.

Party Time!

I had sort of forgotten about a book of short stories being published with one of my stories in it until I got an email with an invitation to a Book Release Party! I imagined getting fitted for my tuxedo for the event. Leave it a bit loose in the crotch for dancing.

Tuxedo

Visions of my red carpet arrival danced in my head.

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RIP Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow died yesterday. RIP to a great actor. I know I should have immediately thought of one of his roles in an Ingmar Bergman film or at least “The Exorcist.” Instead, my mind immediately flashed on his role as Brewmeister Smith in “Strange Brew.” I found that role odd for such a great actor, but I think me remembering it first says more about me than him acting in such a bad movie.

Or is it a bad movie?

Yeah, it is. Yet another guilty pleasure of mine.

Too Much Iron(y) in the Water

Having been raised Catholic, I wanted to visit Lourdes to solve my acne problems of adolescence. I was convinced that just one face-washing in the healing water of Lourdes would zap my zits. But now this news article …

Lourdes

Shouldn’t we be bringing coronavirus patients to Lourdes to bathe them? Apparently, there’s not only iron, but irony in the waters of Lourdes. Oh well, back to drinking bleach.

Post Super Tuesday Voices

The voices I hear normally tell me to practice good personal hygiene and try to stay semi-sober. However, in the wake of Super Tuesday, they have been overshadowed by new voices as I contemplate my upcoming Illinois primary vote.

My wallet had been telling me to vote for Mike Bloomberg, but how can I trust my wallet? No matter how much money I put in it, I always find it empty. Moot point now as Bloomberg is out. Hey Mike, you can always look back and know that American Samoa was all in for you. I think him being in the race was good. He showed the rest of the Democrats exactly how to attack Trump. His anti-Trump ads were clever and effective. I hope they continue.

My heart has been telling me to vote for Elizabeth Warren. However, my heart is also responsible for me ending up with … Continue reading

Winnowing the Candidates – Super Tuesday Edition

When I last winnowed, I had no idea that we would be talking about a new candidate when I winnowed again. I also had no idea that I wouldn’t winnow again until Super Tuesday, but the candidates were doing sufficient self-winnowing. I really like that word … winnow. Anyway, welcome to the race, Mike Bloomberg, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you leave … quickly … like right now. Consider yourself winnowed. We don’t need 2 non-Democrats in the Democratic primary.

I’m not surprised Elizabeth Warren is still in the race. I love her as a politician and would be proud to vote for her for President. However, I appear to be in the minority. I have heard her described as shrill. The Return of Shrillary? I think the USA still has a ways to go before accepting and electing a female as President, and that makes me sad.

Over the course of this campaign, I have personally supported the candidacies of Beto O’Rourke, Eric Swalwell, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete, Liz Warren, and Joe Biden. Boy, can I ever pick the quitters. You may notice one big name candidate missing from that group. That candidate is who I voted for in the 2016 Democratic primary. That candidate is …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Acronym Edition

I’ve never been much of a Radiohead fan. I like some of their stuff and respect them as artists, but their music has never been fun enough for me. God, that makes me sound so shallow, so I guess it’s fairly accurate. Along comes Radiohead’s guitarist Ed O’Brien with a new EOB album called Earth to be released in April, and I’m having some musical fun with this EOB single just released this month. Take a listen …

I love the slow layering of tracks over the first 2 minutes of the song. Then the tune heats up, cools off, heats up, cools off, heats up, and finishes as layered tracks get stripped away to nothing. It’s not exactly a sing-along song, but this blogger’s toe was a-tappin’.

And if you want more EOB … Continue reading

You may have heard the news that Earth has picked-up a new mini-moon in its orbit. This new mini-moon is a former asteroid no bigger than a car that is now trapped in Earth’s orbit. For me, this generates 2 important questions:

  1. How does a new mini-moon affect our werewolf situation?
  2. Will the mini-moon only affect mini-werewolves?

Oh, sure. You think those questions are dumb, right? They’re not. You can howl in protest all you want, but I don’t think I’m barking up the wrong tree with this potentially hairy situation. Fangs for your understanding.

My Non-Tide Pod Facebook Challenge, Part 2

After yesterday’s Part 1 post, I am sure that most readers would have preferred if I had taken the Tide Pod challenge to eliminate any possibility of a Part 2. Sorry, but here it is. Let’s get right into another 6 albums that shaped my musical landscape.

royal scam

Before Steely Dan fans stone me, I know this is not their best album. But it was the Dan album that caught my attention with the funk of “Kid Charlemagne” and opened my eyes and ears to their whole catalog. No regrets. Listening to Steely Dan has helped refine my musical sensibilities.

I regret I never saw them in concert. Walter Becker has now passed away, but Donald Fagen is still touring as Steely Dan. I don’t feel good about that. I think he should tour as Donald Fagen or Steely or Dan, but not Steely Dan. RIP Walter.

Now this next guy looks out of place on this album cover …

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My Non-Tide Pod Facebook Challenge, Part 1

Finally, I received a Facebook challenge that didn’t require me to eat a Tide Pod or dump a bucket of ice over my head or eat ice or dump a bucket of Tide Pods over my head. One of my nieces who will remain nameless to protect her anonymity challenged me to name 10 albums that influenced my musical tastes. Thanks a lot, Karen. I am supposed to offer 1 album a day over 10 days, but I fear that between my short attention span and memory loss, I won’t make it past 2 days. So, I am going to offer 6 albums a day for 2 days. I know what you’re thinking. Math? 6 x 2 = 12, not 10. Consider it coloring outside the lines and refusing to make hard decisions. Oh, I am also not supposed to comment on them. Well, that’s not happening. So, here are the first 6 in no particular order with full commentary.

London Calling

Okay, so I lied. London Calling is the most influential album for me, hands down. The sprawling musical genres and styles contained within this masterful double album greatly expanded my musical horizon. It’s an album that still sounds fresh and timeless to me when I listen to it today. I regret I never saw The Clash in concert, but one of my bosses went to see them (I’m recalling at the Aragon Brawlroom maybe?) and was thrilled when they spat upon him. Good times.

Okay, now the rest will be in totally random order …

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