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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Cane I Make a Decision?

At this point in my life, I feel my next big decision will be to either start using a walking cane or training for a 5K run. I can go either way. I think canes look cool, and can double as weapons. I used a cane many years ago when I vacationed in Ireland with a broken pelvis. I felt good and quite jaunty when using a cane, even with a broken pelvic bone.

Despite my love for canes, I am not able to make the decision so easily. I’m feeling some pressure. This 62 year old Chicago area guy just set the planking record.

Old men should not look like this.

Plank

Too muscley and wrinkly at the same time. And at the 1 minute mark in the video, does that show him catheterized? Ew. I would have chosen an adult diaper while performing an inverted plank. Something like this …

plank reverse

I have unofficially gone well past 8 hours numerous times already in the inverted plank position. Maybe I need to get the Guinness people back here to Chicago, and this time they should bring some of their beer. I definitely cane support that.

 

New Music for Old Rockers – Prime Real Estate

My business travel plans were to take me back to St. Louis next in mid-April, where just coincidentally I planned to see Real Estate in concert. If you are not familiar with that band, I was introduced to them through this song a few years back.

That song breaks a major rule of songwriting about introducing lyrics within the first 8 seconds of a song, and the one about not having a horse contribute to your music video. Regardless, I fell in love with their soft, indie, jangly, pop-rock sound. My oldest daughter advised me to stay away from the band because one of the band members was too sexual assaulty. They bounced his abusive ass from the band, replaced him with a new lead guitarist, and have a new album to be released within days called The Main Thing. Here’s a single released from the new album called “Paper Cup” that I highly recommend.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Pearl Jammin’ Edition

I’ve never been much of a Pearl Jam fan. I like some of their music, but it really never moved me much. Pearl Jam is officially 30 years old this year, and their last album was released in 2013 to modest reviews, so I figured they had packed it in as a band. Oops, was I wrong. Welcome, Gigaton, due to be released in March. If the rest of the album is like the first 2 songs made available, then watch out.

“Dance of the Clairvoyants” was the first song released and it definitely cooks with propane. Take a listen.

Love the bass line and drumming that drive this song forward with a vengance. And just when I thought the song was ready to end as a tight 3 minute tune, the song morphs into a dreamy jam for a tasty ending.

WARNING: Dad joke ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

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Time for a New Phone!

I’m starting to think about getting a new cell phone which means that I should get one within the next 2 to 3 years. I tend to take my time on big decisions like that. The hot new phones on the market are flip phones. Wait, what? Didn’t we do flip phones already? Ah, but these have foldable glass, like the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

samsung flip

I got news for Samsung. Glass doesn’t fold. If it did, I wouldn’t have a nasty scar on the bottom of my foot from when I stepped on a fish bowl. Long story.

And isn’t it going to be hard to touch those icons that are in the fold unless you have tiny fingers?

Samsung galaxy flip

If we are going back to flip phones, how about we go super-retro back to a rotary cell phone?

Cell phone rotary

Yes, it actually exists, and can be yours.

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A Disconcerting Effort to Start the Year

2019 was a great concert year for me. I went to 11 concerts, maybe more but my memory fails me on additional ones. Here they are ranked from worst to first.

11) Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple – Imagine playing only Deep Purple songs from the time when you were in the band and the group was no longer making memorable music. I walked out.

10) Black Keys/Modest Mouse – Disappointing.

9) Mt. Joy – Fun.

8) War – Free concert in the park performed with enthusiastic joy.

7) Car Seat Headrest – An pleasant evening with my oldest son listening to music by a band I was unfamiliar with on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront.

6) Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw on lead vocals – Surprisingly good blending of talents.

5) Beatles White Album Tribute – Todd Rundgren, Mickey Dolenz, Christopher Cross, Joey Molland of Badfinger, and some guy formerly with the group Chicago performing all songs from the Beatles White Album with fun and style.

4) Heart/Sheryl Crow – Crow > Heart.

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Another Sign of the Apocalypse

After surviving a coldpocalypse last night (-10F/-23C), I noticed this sign of the coming final apocalypse …

Frog Pepper

For full article, click HERE.

For a discussion of various explanations as to how a live frog was found inside an intact pepper, click HERE.

You can believe what you want to believe. I know the truth.

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48 > 50

We have a problem in the USA much bigger than Donald Trump, and that’s an awful big one. We have 2 Senators each coming from states with fewer people than many cities have. I’m talking about you Montana, Wyoming, North & South Dakota. Most of those Senators are Republican. There is absolutely no reason for us to have 4 states that are so lightly populated, and no reason to have so many Republican Senators representing those states. Our map now looks like this …

us-states-map

The solution is simple …

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The Single Biggest Threat to Democracy

There are those that think that having a cruel, vindictive, racist, sexual predatory, dementia addled, Adderall snorting, Fox News watching, fast food & Diet Coke guzzling, fake tan and hair wearing, popular vote losing, foreign government conspiring, forever impeached moron in the White House is the single biggest threat to our democracy. Maybe. I think a case could legitimately be made.

However, consider this …

Ballot 2020

Yes, I am running again for a position nobody wants. The fact that a dope like me can get on a ballot should also get some consideration as a threat to our democracy.  I highly suggest some guardrails be added in the future to prevent this abomination from ever happening again.

A Tempting Offer

My small import/export business is always being offered money to pay down debt that we don’t have. These 2 offers just came in.

Checks

I’m really tempted to take the combined $1.5 million and run. I could give you a hint that if there is no Mite Be Funny this Sunday, you’ll know what happened, but then you’d be rooting for me to take the money and run.

Brace Yourself for my Flip-Flop

I have 5 kids and consider myself fortunate that I have only paid for braces for 1 of the kids so far. My youngest son probably needed braces, but never got them. He was born with too many teeth in his mouth and had to have several extracted including the one growing from the roof of his mouth. Something like this, but only one extra tooth in the roof of his mouth, not a whole second set of choppers. Yikes!

teeth too many

Geez, you could go broke just buying toothpaste for that mouth, but you might be able to chew your food twice as fast. Anyway, my son never got braces for several reasons:

  • I am cheap.
  • He was playing sports that required mouthguards.
  • He didn’t want them.
  • I am cheap.

Now my wife tells me our youngest daughter who is 11 needs braces. I immediately began spewing reasons why she didn’t need them. And then I did a complete 180 degree flip-flop after I heard this …

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I stumbled across this article on Twitter.

It leads me to a troubling moral dilemma. Should we stay silent and allow the QAnon morons to seriously hurt or even kill themselves, thus making the world a better place? Or do we save the lives of the QAnon pond scum by telling them not to drink bleach? If we choose the latter, they won’t believe us, and that may cause them to drink even more bleach.

I think my decision is made. What article?

A Questionable Record

No, the title of this post does not refer to the Trump Administration. If it did, the title would be “A Criminal Record.” This post is about clearing out some of my old records with a focus on my religious albums. Although a “criminal record” definitely would apply to Trump campaign ally George Nader who we saw earlier this month pleading guilty to more child porn charges.

records3

Maybe, Greg. Wasn’t one stretch in a Czech prison on child porn charges enough for Nader? Who knows how many in the Trump administration would approve? How about these guys?

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My Brain May Be Melting

We don’t subscribe to movie channels with our cable subscription. Every once in a while when the stars align properly, we get free HBO for a few days. I record a bunch of movies, and we watch some of them until the next time we get free HBO. It’s a perfect system, except so many of the movies suck. I use the Rotten Tomatoes website to sort the viewable from the unwatchable.

I recorded Rock the Kasbah from 2015 starring Bill Murray because, well, I love Bill Murray and most everything he has ever done. I didn’t see the movie when it was released, because I heard it was terrible. And this did not look at all promising per Rotten Tomatoes …

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Plunging into a War on Toilets

This past week was historic. We went to the brink of war with Iran. The Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump began. Documents and testimony became public showing how agents of Donald Trump conspired to remove and possibly harm former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. But at Trump’s latest rally in Milwaukee, what did he identify as a danger to the USA? That’s right, household appliances. Toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, light bulbs, and even refrigerators. Here’s a transcript of that part of his speech or rant or dementia-addled diatribe attacking the appliances. The bolding is from me at crucial parts.

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My Search for an Alternate Reality

The past few days have been horribly dingy, dark, cold winter days with occasional precipitation thrown in. For someone like me with seasonal depression, those days are hard to handle. I need an alternate reality with sunshine and warmth. I guess that’s called going on a vacation holiday. But my wife is working and my youngest daughter is in school. I could go to St. Louis again on business. Ugh, no. What am I thinking? I can’t find any good concerts playing there until February.

So here I sat, shivering in the dark. The TV show Stranger Things offered the upside-down world as an alternate reality.

upside down world

Okay, so that doesn’t look too good.

The Man in the High Castle TV show offered numerous alternate realities as part of the multiverse.

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Emasculation Conversation

I feel so emasculated, but any emasculating done was self-emasculation. I love football, but had ZERO interest in watching the college football National Championship game on Monday night. I rated these 4 TV events as “must see,” well above the college football game.

1)  Jeopardy Greatest of all Time finale. I was rooting for James since he is from the Chicago suburbs, but all props to Ken as Jeopardy GOAT. I felt sorry for badly overmatched Brad until hearing he is a multi-millionaire thanks to Jeopardy. Boo-hoo. And he won another $250K for being bad. Geesch.

2) Tonight’s Rachel Maddow interview with indicted Trump associate Lev Parnas. I expect a lot of “no comments” from Lev’s attorney, but I hope Rachel elicits a juicy tidbit or two.

3) Last night’s Rachel Maddow dissection of the Lev Parnas document drop showing just how mobbed-up the Trump crime family is.

4) The Democratic debate. I thought they all did well and nobody did terrible. Yawn. They are all so much better than Trump. Sounds like a new blog post on Winnowing the Candidates is overdue.

And then, the LSU-Clemson (I hope I got the teams right) game checks in. Oh, I forgot that Seinfeld rerun I watched. And Trump and Melanoma wearing a raincoat were at the indoor football game. Football just got bumped from my Top 5.

War with Iran has weighed heavy on my mind this past week. I think I have figured out how this Iran mess transpired. Here’s my recreation of possible actual, imaginary conversations.

January 2

Advisor: Happy New Year, President Trump. Impeachment chatter will start again soon.

Trump: We need a distraction. What’s the craziest thing I can do in response to pro-Iranian militants storming our embassy in Iraq?

Advisor: Well, the military’s most extreme option, which they only submitted to make the other options look more attractive, is to assasinate Iran’s #2 in command.

Trump: Hmmm, taking out the Iranian Pence. Sounds good. Let’s do that.

Advisor: But, Mr. President …

Trump: My gut tells me that’s right and that I need a Big Mac. It’s go time on both.

January 8

Advisor: Missiles launched by Iran have landed at 2 of our air bases in Iraq.

Trump: Hmmm, Iranians must like their Pence more than America likes ours. More importantly, how do the polls look?

Advisor: Republicans and Democrats polled are united in their opposition to war with Iran.

Trump: Hmmm, let’s take a look at that sanctions thingy.

Goodbye USA, Hello Talossa

I was in a fit of pique Tuesday night over Trump’s potential war with Iran. I felt like that was the last straw. I was done with the USA. Sure, I will be on the ballot in Spring of 2020 as a candidate for Democratic Precinct Committeperson. But do I really want to live in a country that would elect me for any position?

First things first though. I needed to get my middle daughter up to Milwaukee for some dance thing in preparation for her dancing in Milwaukee over the summer. Yes, she’s majoring in dance in college. That’s the good news. The bad news is that she’s returning to college for a fifth year so she can also major in history. I’m not sure if she plans to be a dancing historian or a historical dancer.

After dumping my daughter off in downtown Milwaukee, my first sightseeing stop was the Arthur Fonzarelli statue. Who, you ask? That would be Fonzie from the old Happy Days television show, as portrayed by actor Henry Winkler. I’d love to show the selfie I took with The Fonz, but I couldn’t find the statue. In fairness, I didn’t look hard and didn’t leave the car. So as not to disappoint this blog’s readers (as if I could disappoint you even more than normal), here’s a pic I found on the internet.

Fonz Bronze

Looks fun … until you get close. Take a look.

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The Day the Ornament Died

It’s New Year’s Day. Happy New Year to you. It turns out that my wife is allergic to the Christmas tree that has been up in our house for 3 weeks now. Nothing too serious. Just her throat closing up when she’s in the same room with it. But we entertained company on 5 different occasions over the holidays including last night, so up the tree stayed. Until today.

The tree is coming down today and heading out for chipping and mulching. No longer do we live in the neighborhood where we attach trees to old toilets and dump them in the neighborhhood lake for the fish to use as breeding grounds. That’s a blog post for another day. Nope. Out to the curb with it, maybe with an ornament left on it.

Having 5 kids, our tree features a lot of homemade or kid-centric ornaments. I’m guessing a child may have made this one …

ornament1.jpg

Heck, there are even ornaments that I painted many years ago on the tree …

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Christmas Wrap-up

Now that Christmas is over, I don’t want to do any more wrapping for a while except to wrap-up a few holiday loose ends. And if you somehow make it to the end of this post, I have a very special gift for you there.

for me

Yes, a gift just for you (and the tens of other readers of this blog). WARNING: Gift receipt not included. Don’t waste your time looking for it.

First, the mystery of the mini wine gift basket coming my way has been solved. It wasn’t tiny bottles of wine after all. It was this in the 2 lb. box …

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A Small Gift at Christmas – Literally

Do you know any of those people that give valuable gifts at Christmas and then say, “It’s nothing really, just a small gift to show my appreciation?” If you do, can you introduce me? Anyway, I thought I was one of those people getting a valuable gift today. I got this UPS notification yesterday …

UPS Notification

How festive looking, and classy. Wine country, huh? Our extended family comes over to our house Christmas Eve, so this basket of wine may be coming just in time for me to get my booze on before they descend upon our humble abode.

But then I tracked the shipment and saw this …

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Who Ate Chocolate Jesus?

Is this to become a beloved Christmas tradition or just a quirky annual post from Jim Flanigan Looks at the World? This is indeed a repost from December 2015 that continually gets lots of views. I’m lazy, and I have to start Christmas shopping, so I’m reposting it again. I hope you enjoy it and Merry Christmas.

While waiting in line at a local sweet shop, I could not take my eyes off their chocolate nativity for sale. Continue reading

SAD is Bad

A couple years ago, I wrote about having SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It was bad this year with some cold weather and snow coming early after Halloween. I was having such a hard time getting up in the morning in total darkness. I have 3 SAD lights in my office designed to simulate sunlight and help elevate my mood. In the mornings, I’ve been like this …

Light Box.gif

Except, without turning the lights off for much of the day. My lights do help me during the dark days of winter. However, I use them so much that I am concerned about sunburn and skin cancer.

After the winter solstice with the days lengthening, I expected the problem to be immediately solved yesterday. It wasn’t. It never is. Disappointment set in. However, I did come up with a solution that was brilliant for an idiot like me. I woke up 90 minutes later in the morning today. Voila! Sunlight greeted me. Starting work late won’t help keep my small business afloat and successful, but first things first. Mental health is most important. Take care of yours during these dark days of winter.

New Music for Old Rockers – New Yorn Yule Yarn

Christmas can be a fun time, but also a very stressful time. There are gifts to buy, MAGA relatives to rub shoulders with, and decorations to put up outside often in less than ideal conditions. But Pete Yorn is back with some sage advice for this season.

Where’s Yorn been since he captivated us musically a decade ago with lyrical tales of his “Strange Condition?” Well, he’s been making music, but just not super memorable. This new tune from his 7th album may not be memorable, but it excellent advice to just calm the hell down.

If you aren’t calm after listening to that tune, then there’s something seriously wrong. Calm down. The gifts will get wrapped. The tree will be trimmed. You’ll get to go a-Wassailing, whatever that is. Ask Uncle George in his MAGA hat about his health. He won’t have time to talk about Trump. He’ll be too busy talking about his gout and the root canal he needs and the fried foods he can’t eat anymore because his cholesterol is too high and … well, you get the idea. When he’s done, just tell him to calm down because he looks great. Okay, that’s probably a lie. What is that spot on his head? But, what the hell, it’s the holidays. Maybe that Christmas lie will help him enjoy a Merry Christmas, like all of us will if we just calm down.

 

Elf on the Shelf to Unionize – Repost with New Content

Work is surprisingly busy this time of the year when I thought business would be winding down a bit. That is actually good since my income is directly linked to my sales, and I just got a peek at my wife’s credit card bill with all the Christmas gift charges on it. I’m swooning just thinking about it. My charge card is also filled with holiday gift charges, but mostly from the Dollar Store so the total hasn’t hit triple digits yet. The bottom line is that I don’t seem to have much time to generate clever posts. I know, you’re asking yourself, “What’s his excuse for the rest of the year?”

Anyway, it seems like a good time to dust off an old Elf on the Shelf post from 4 years ago that continues to get a lot of views around Christmas. Our youngest child is now past the Elf on the Shelf stage, so that frees up some of my time at night that previously had me occupied finding clever hiding spots for Holly, my daughter’s Elf. I still regret perching Holly on the toilet that one time.

elf toilet.jpg

 

I wish my son had paid more attention before peeing in the middle of the night. No big deal. A couple flushes and Holly was rinsed nicely.

Anyway, here’s the original Elf on the Shelf post from 2015 (with some punctuation corrections) …

The popular elves from The Elf on the Shelf fame have had it with working conditions and are organizing a union. Continue reading

Got Questions? I Have Answers!

Yesterday, I announced that a short story of mine had been accepted for publication. As a bonus, I found out that I get to supply a short bio and answer some questions. Of course, I plan to submit a totally ficticious biography describing me as a left-handed, free-thinking Methodist with a proclivity for public outbursts in pig Latin. Okay, so that last part is true. Oway ymay!

Here are the questions I have been asked to answer …

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One Small Writing Step Forward

I signed my first writing contract this past weekend. I’m trying not to make too big of a deal out of it until I ink the movie deal. I’m sure that will be coming shortly after publication.

I’ve been writing this wildly uneven blog for 4+ years now to hone my writing skills. I have tried anything and everything that has crossed my suspect mind. Some things have worked. Others, not so much. I mean, really, cartoons about mites and mulch?

But all the practice must have worked because the short story I submitted for consideration was easy to write, and it was accepted for publication in an anthology of short stories. Take a look …

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Treemendous Christmas

My daughter and her friends sometimes play an Expectations vs. Reality game. They talk about what they expect to do, and then spectacularly fail in the reality of attempting to do it. For example, they can talk about expecting to make a perfect dive like this …

dive good

And then in reality do this at the pool …

German dive

Except without all the somersaults. Just the flop at the end is more like it for them.

I had grandiose expectations to decorate a tree outside this year. My wife decorated the outside of the house and it looks great again this year. It always does. She’s an awesome decorator. Not to be outdone, I eyed a large tree on the side of our house that would look incredible decked out with any leftover lights. I suggested to my wife that some icicle lights would look good on that tree. Nope. She pointed out that the white wire on the green tree would look terrible, and those icicle lights should only be used along the gutter. Well, duh. I knew that. Of course, I was just testing her. She passed along to me several old sets of appropriate lights and off to work I went.

My expectations were something like this …

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Best Hotel Ever?

I was on the road again this week, and may have discovered the best hotel ever. Okay, so maybe some Trump Hotel properties are nicer, am I right?

vomit baby

Agreed.

I walked into my hotel behind a business dude all dressed up in a fancy suit. I saw him look at me with a bit of disdain. In fairness to him, the jeans I had on were super-faded, threadbare, and frayed. I am sure the biz guy was wondering who the homeless guy behind him stole the nice luggage from that I was rolling behind me.

The biz exec checked in as a Gold member. I saw the welcome sign in the lobby with his name on it under the Gold Member column … right next to my name as a freakin’ Platinum member. The hotel counter worker greeted the biz dude with “Thank you for being a Gold member.” I wanted to somehow, someway keep the businessman in the lobby as I bellied up to the counter to check in just so he would hear the counter guy greet me with, “Thank you for being a Platinum member.” Yes, I can be that petty. However, I let him exit the lobby and I had to be satisified with my Platinum member bonus points.

I was a little bummed until I saw this on my hotel room door …

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A Twitter Mystery

As the election cycle heats up, Russian Twitter bots are starting to swarm. If I get a new follower with a Twitter name including a long string of numbers, bad grammar in their tweets, and pro-Trump tweets, I’m pretty sure that it’s a Russian bot. They get an automatic block. I follow an outstanding political cartoonist, @repeat1968, who imagined what those pro-Trump Russian bots look like …

yolo4

Terrifying. I always keep my eyes to the skies now.

When I got the following notifcation from Twitter, I immediately thought “eat” because I was hungry at the time. And then I thought “bot” because of the Twitter name. But that’s when the mystery started. Take a look …

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Don’t Look Back

In 1978, the band Boston was urging us to “Don’t Look Back.” However, recently I have been looking back because what’s behind me is more than what’s ahead of me. And I’m not referring to my fat ass. I’m taking about life. In 1978, I looked to my life ahead of me. In 2019, I do tend to reminisce a bit.

Recently, my elementary school was holding an all-alumni school reunion before it closed forever. I didn’t go, but after seeing on Facebook who went from my grade, I waxed a bit nostalgic. If only I had waxed my neck and shoulders before the reunion, maybe I would have gone.

But then, reality hit me in the face like a fish out of water. I think I’m mixing metaphors, but that allows me to use this gif …

fish in face.gif

I think I know what Boston was getting at back in ’78. I’ll explain.

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