Dabbling in Poetry Again


Fly Eagles Fly

A pre-spring thaw lasted for a couple of days, melting all the snow away;
But as I write these words of wit, below-freezing temps returned for a bit,
To stay until Tuesday, when a high of forty-three (6°C) is what it will be,
And dip back below thirty-three (.5°C) for the rest of the week.

After all it is wintertime,
When many of the birds fly south, and some stay behind,
To try and stay warm, find food, and hope to survive,
While not being eaten by a hawk that might be soaring by.

Speaking of birds, the Philadelphia Eagles won their NFC division championship today,
By beating the Atlanta Falcons in a fine game, I must say.
All of Philly and the burbs pray they win again in seven days,
So in two weeks they’ll face the AFC champs on Superbowl Sunday.

Two more entries for Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes are awaiting to be mailed,
Sometimes thrice-weekly I’ve completed entry forms, sending them back without fail.
This one’s to award a prize of $5,000.00 a week for the rest of my life,
By glueing on respective stickers, provided my assigned sweepstakes’ number is right.

If someday I would answer my door to find the Prize Patrol outside,
And their holding a large cardboard check with my name printed on the top line,
My luck, I’d probably drop dead from a coronary resulting from my surprise,
Or have to use up all the money for life-support to keep me alive.

Two hundred and fifty-three words are used up thus far,
Rhyming and reasoning, wondering how is my poetry? I hope it is par,
With those who are known as bards, song writers, minstrels or rap stars,
Bands like the Beatles, who sang, “Baby, you can drive my car.”

I’ve got another two hundred words to go,
Still thinking of all that dough. Shall I make a pot of Joe,
To inspire my fingers to type fast and not slow,
And make my Saturday-night deadline with this poem in tow?

It’s 10:53 p.m. Do you know where your children are?
They used to say that on TV, many years afar.
I was just a kid back then, and would hear that line while sitting at the bar,
Drinking white liquor from a mason jar.

This is getting ridiculous, grabbing words from mid-air,
To fill my quota by trying to be coherent, which can be rare,
Or cooked medium to well-done, if I really dare,
So long as not too many will tend to stare.

Flu season is here. Have you gotten your shot?
Personally, I’d rather not.
For you see, the last time that I did,
In bed I stayed for days, sick as a dog. I do not kid!

I’ve been lucky so far, avoiding a fever and chills,
Making sure to dress warm outside, and paying all my bills,
Washing my hands often, eating well and taking Vitamin C,
And trying not to hang out in places where the flu bug may be.

Five hundred words have come to pass,
This silly rune is done at last.
I bid thee good night, and thanks for stopping by,
To read this nonsensical verse without giving a big sigh.

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How Cold Is It?


The Long Shadow and the Frozen Delaware River

If you’ve made any, how are your New Year’s resolutions holding out?

We’re almost a week into 2018. Has it been tough not falling off whatever wagon you may have jumped on?

The temptation to stay indoors during this incredible cold snap is almost overbearing.

For us in the Philadelphia area, the last time it’s been above freezing was at 2:54 p.m. on December 26th of last year with a balmy 33°F/.5°C, according to Northeast Airport’s weather data.

The coldest it’s been since was 6°F/-14°C at 6:54 a.m. on New Year’s morning, and that’s without considering the “real feel,” or wind-chill temperature. Overnight tonight, or Sunday morning, should be the coldest of them all thus far, with readings to hover around 0°F/-17.7°C by daybreak.

If your resolution was to lose weight, staying indoors certainly isn’t advantageous to your goals, especially when the cupboards and refrigerator are within several short steps straightaway.

To shed some pounds is one of my resolutions for 2018. Over three years ago, I went on a green-coffee-bean diet, during which I lost 45lb/20.4kg/3st 3lb.

Stopping here, allow me to go off on a tangent. Why is it the government of the United States insists upon using the Fahrenheit scale for temperature as our standard, while the rest of the world uses Celsius?

Why hasn’t the metric system been adopted as well? Probably the reason is that so much of American manufacturing’s processes would have to be retooled at a great expense. Laziness for learning an entirely different measuring system, or fear of change may be the common denominator.

Canada went through it, starting in 1970 when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of the current Canadian PM: Justin Trudeau, began metrication implementation. My father moved back to his hometown in Canada from the US in 1977, and he had to learn it. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

England still uses the “stone” as a unit of measure for people and large animals, which dates back to a royal statute made during the reign of King Richard II in 1389, fixing the weight of a stone at 14 pounds each, comparable to a good-sized rock.

Returning to the essay, since losing all that excess fat, I had regained it all, hitting the original pre-diet weight during the Christmas holidays, prompting me to go back to counting calories. Not using the green-coffee-bean extract, I’ve cut down on everything again; for I had been eating many sweets, lots of carbs, consuming a load of dairy products, and sitting on my rump more than I should have been doing.

Seems to be working. I’ve lost five pounds so far.

My main resolution is attempting to be less of a wiseguy and constant complainer. My cynicism hasn’t waned any, however; but biting my tongue has been a constant endeavor, as well as curbing my ballyhoo on Social Media.

There have been plenty of occasions where I almost slipped and posted a typically belligerent thought or observation; although, sarcastic digs when appropriate don’t count.

To help with controlling my weight, I’ve been hiking about actively to burn up calories, hence all the picture-taking along my beloved Delaware River lately. The cold weather hasn’t stopped me. I just look like the Michelin Man when all bundled up in layers with the big coat, long handles, pants, shirt, sweatshirt, scarf, gloves, boots, hood and toque.

Michelin Man

Facebook/Michelin UK

The river has frozen over in spots, not so much in the lower tidal areas near Philadelphia; but I bet by tomorrow morning, the waterway in Andalusia will be. We’ll see.

Today was a lazy one for me, staying inside all day, taking a nap and doing not much of anything beside writing this and perusing the net, considering the temps made it barely into the mid-teens; and I took a deserving break from the arctic vortex, whose blustery temperature is presently 11°F/-12°C.

Again there’s no cover tune for this week. I have not felt inspired, but permit me to share some photos of the area’s winter’s wonderland from the past ten days:

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and for your continued support.

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My Final Tirade for 2017


Pick any New Year’s resolutions yet? Oh, you say you’re perfect and don’t need to? Well, bless your little heart. Wish I could feel the same way with my being far from it.

Although, every year it’s the same thing: unrealistic resolutions that I know I’m going to break before January is through.

Earlier today on Twitter, I re-tweeted a Pearls Before Swine cartoon that Stephan Pastis had posted. The strip showed Pig and his writing down goals for the new year: sleep in more, and remain fat. The punchline was, “It’s important to set realistic goals.” How true!

I’ve been reflecting about picking realistic resolutions I can keep. My biggest problems are bellyaching too much, and sticking a size 10½ foot in my mouth while being a smart-ass, even to those about whom I care.

Today, also on Twitter, I announced my number-one resolution: to stop being a wise-ass; and declaring number two here in this essay: to stop complaining all the time. With that in mind, I have until midnight on New Years Eve, Sunday night, to remain a weisenheimer and bitch about my every petty annoyance. So, let’s get started while there’s time left, shall we?

To the cigar-smoking, cop-calling, absolute jerk of a neighbor and his ignorant live-in girlfriend downstairs, I’d love to send the Mr. Clean lookalike an exploding stogie, and tell him to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. For the dim-witted concubine, may her ugly mug get uglier and enormous butt get bigger.

For whomever is key-scratching the paint job on my Cooper, I’d like to attach a hot, positive electrode to the car, capable of putting out 480 volts of electricity, so that when the marauders touches anywhere on the auto with their metal key, they’ll get zapped on their arses.

Pardon my vulgarity, but that’s another one of my resolutions to keep: watching my profanity; so I’ve got until tomorrow night as well to say what I damn well please, within limits, of course. See the lead-in illustration above.

The aforementioned shocking development also goes for whomever was letting the air out my tires until I got the locking valve-stem caps, which seems to have put a stop to that, thank goodness.

To the supermarket customers who block aisles with their shopping carts, meandering about listlessly at a snail’s pace, stopping unexpectedly everywhere: may the wheels of every cart they grab from this day forward be wobbly and pull to the right or left. I hate when that happens. I get that cart a lot.

To those oncoming drivers who never slow down while in a long line of rush-hour traffic, so that—heavens forbid—I’m able to pull out in front of them from a parking lot: may a flock of seagulls fly above their vehicles and crap all over the windshields! That should slow them down, by golly!

For the motorists who never use their turn signals, may the respective bulbs blow out, causing their vehicles to fail state inspection, because they’ll never know they were faulty anyway. Better yet, may the signaling relay or chip burn up so it will have to be replaced for a costly repair. Maybe that would teach the derelicts to use them.

To smartphone zombies everywhere: may the batteries on their cellular devises contunually go dead and become nonchargeable, or may their phones short out.

OK, I think that takes care of it all for now. The problem with my resolutions is, what will I write about in future tirades? It can’t all be about cats, puppy dogs, love, positive motivation and living in happiness forever after, can it? That’s what Social Media is for.

Perhaps I should revise my goals to being less of a smart-ass, and not complaining as much. How’s that?

Please wish me good luck. Happy New Year and thanks for your continual support. No musical cover this week. Giving your ears a break for New Years.


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Time to Air Out the Dirty Laundry


Rags for the Week of December 17, 2017

Here we are on Festivus, a day for us to air our grievances, my kind of day by golly! Although, everyday is a day like that for me. Why should today be any different?

For instance, when I’m counting calories while trying to shed some unwanted weight that’s detrimental to one’s well-being, why is it that some foodstuff packaging has listed the amount for an individual serving as being, for example, two ounces?

Like I have a scale handy on the kitchen counter to weigh each morsel for figuring out how many pieces of meat to put on my sandwich for tallying how many calories I have to burn. Why doesn’t it just say, “One serving equals three slices”?

The cheese packaging divulges how many calories per slice. The mayonnaise label tells me how many calories there are per tablespoon, even though I use a knife to spread it. I can guesstimate that. Even the bread package shows the amount of calories per slice.

What else, while I’ve got the floor? Oh, yeah, then there’s doing the dreaded food-shopping, one of my favorite gripes, for which the dastardly deed took place yesterday afternoon.  I had planned on putting it off for another day or so, but figured with the Christmas rush by other procrastinators, I had better do it right away.

Wouldn’t you know it? Everyone in my neighborhood and surrounding area must have had the same idea. The market was mobbed. To make matters worse, I kept running into this annoying lady who parked her shopping cart wherever I needed to grab an item.

First it was in front of the produce cooler at the cucumbers while she was looking for the largest one, I presumed. Now, now, I know what you’re thinking, because that what I was thinking at the time.

Then it was at the fresh-rolls cabinet, followed by the meat case, dairy aisle, Mediterranean-salad bar, and sundry other places as well.

After all that, she had the nerve to tell me to watch my behind at the condiments as she brushed past with her infernal shopping cart where I was standing. I should have told her to watch her own butt, as I was tired of looking at it while waiting for her to get out of my way.

Another regular gripe is about pricing. The manufacturer of my stack of paper plates I buy in order to avoid washing dishes, had lowered the package count again while charging the same price as previously set. When I first started buying them, one hundred pieces were provided.

That changed to ninety-seven, next at ninety-four and now it’s at ninety. I bet they think I don’t notice these things. It’s a shame I can’t do anything about it but complain while they are filling their wallets at my expense.

The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer. I tried telling that to my senators and congressman, but they don’t listen: case in point, the latest tax bill that just passed in the US, but that’s argumentative, depending on which side of the political aisle one sits and how fat one’s annual salary and investments portfolio are.

Getting back to the grocery aisles, the supermarket had run out of my favorite bread, no longer carried my brand of deodorant, and had a case full of over-ripe bananas.

OK, I’ve had my say for Festivus. Happy holidays for the rest of you, and may your new year be prosperous, healthy and happy as well. And may the world reach an agreement for peace instead of destruction.

With that in mind, allow me to share this ditty by John Lennon, covered by yours truly and the Steampunk Boogie Band. Cheers!

Thanks for stopping by and, as always, for your continued support.

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My, How Time Does Fly


Image Borrowed from the Net

Getting in this week’s entry a bit early this morning.

‘Twas purging the inboxes of my various e-mail accounts, which had loaded up with messages left over from the past few years since I bought my latest laptop.

The last one died going on three years ago. Can’t believe it’s been that long already. It’s almost time for a new one, the way I go through them.

Speaking about how time flies, while sifting through the above assortment, saving those noteworthy communiqués or official documents, storing them in respective folders on the external hard drive, I came across a note from LiveJournal.com, on which my first blog resides.

LiveJournal congratulated me for being on their service for 17 years, going all the way back to the year 2000. That’s like an eternity in Internet-speak, but seemingly only like yesterday to me.


Slicker was my Internet handle back then.

My first dealings with the Net go back to 1994, basically at its infancy, as the Web had been around commercially only since around the start of that decade.

A good portion of  today’s denizens on Social Media don’t know what life was like before the Internet, having been brought up on it all of their lives. I make jokes about smartphone zombies, those who can’t put down their Internet-connected devices, carrying them always in their hands as if the wireless contraptions were a life-support system.

In a way it is for most of them, which is really sad in my opinion. I’m speaking about the Millennials, a generation of people who were born around the spawn of the Internet, through the time I started my ranting on LiveJournal. However, this anomaly effects those of many from the generations before them as well.

Generation X had their hand-held video games, Walkman or boomboxes with which they never seemed to leave home without them. Now, a large portion of those individuals are included in the smartphone-zombie set, as most of that generation have been brought up on similar electronic devices to occupy their lives and steal away face time with others.

Baby boomers before them are now part of the geriatric set, how that pains me to say. That’s my generation. We had transistor radios as our hand-held devices.

In parochial school, I would have the tiny radio placed inside the inner pocket of my suit-jacket, with the earphone’s wire threaded through the garment’s sleeve to the palm of my hand, which covered the ear to conceal the inserted listening device, so I could keep up with the World Series during class. Got caught once and never saw that radio again.

However, many of the boomers have become addicted to their cellular devices and have also joined the ranks of today’s smartphone zombies. It’s quite an epidemic, or plague for turning ones mind into mush. Even a portion of those from the Silent Generation—born in the mid-1920s through the mid-’40s—are guilty too.

How did we ever live without smartphones, cellular phones, or the Internet? Life was a lot less expedient before them, I can tell you that. We had beepers as a form of instant communication; although, finding a landline was necessary to make the final assessment of what was so urgent, buying time in between.

Now, everything is immediate: no excuses for not being able to find a pay telephone (what in tarnation is that?) to return a call. Electronic mail has virtually replaced the postal service for communications between humans everywhere. Even though it’s a lot more convenient, e-mail has certainly added additional stress to one’s daily well-being.

OK, I’m stepping off my soapbox from another week’s tirade. Who gives a damn, anyway?

As mentioned the last time, Rie Waits and I were working on our holiday duet, which we finished in fine fashion, if I do say so myself. Please allow me to share our hard work with you. Don’t be shy about leaving a comment.

Happy holidays to those who stop in to read my weekly diatribes. Best wishes for a stellar and healthy New Year as well. Thanks for your continued support.

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Bah, Humbug!


Happy Holidays!

Trying to get into the holiday spirit by putting together Rie Waits’ and my annual Christmas duet. Making progress. Got the basic tracks down and tweaking it here and there. Hope to have it ready by next weekend, maybe sooner. We’ll see.

Snowed a bit today in the Philly area.  We got only about 2″ in Andalusia, not enough to plaster pictures of the snow onto Social Media like most everyone does when even just a coating exists. Planning on visiting Sarobia tomorrow to get some exercise and photographs. Probably the white stuff will be all melted by the time I get out there.

Been sitting on my backside all day, playing with musical instruments. I guess that can be considered exercise, especially with the drum track I put together. Felt like the Little Drummer Boy.

Was lucky that the pains-in-the-butt downstairs went out today, allowing me to pound on the electronic drum set and not worry about getting evicted by their renewed complaining to the apartment-complex management office about my noise-making, like the last time I drummed while they were at home during the day.

This afternoon I heard their front door slam as usual when the left. Peeked out the window to see their driving away. Hallelujah, it’s party time!

I learned not to drum at night from their calling the cops on me; definitely not pleasant company to be found knocking at my door at 10:30 P. M. The first time the neighbors called them, I had headphones on and didn’t hear the patrolman’s initial knocks, which turned into pounding before I realized the policemen were there.

The second time they called the law, I was playing my guitar softly, not drumming at all. Maybe it was my singing that got to them. This time I heard the knocks on my front door right away. I couldn’t believe they had called them again. I was making a concerted effort to be as quiet as possible, but no cigar.

The management office served me a notice, stating I had violated my lease after over twenty-one years of living here, by making excessive noise; and I’ll be out in the street the next time they receive a complaint. Nice to have friendly neighbors and an understanding landlord. With the rent I’ve paid during all that time, I should be owning this flat.

Most likely, I’ll be out of here anyway when my lease is up in the spring. Someone had been letting the air out of my car tires. Fortunately they are “run-flats,” meaning they’re roadworthy without air temporarily for about 50 miles. I’m willing to bet on who has been doing that; although, I’ve yet to catch them, not to mention people keying the still, almost pristine paint job, leaving new scratches every time I look at my automobile.

Ended up buying locking valve-stem caps and put them on the Cooper. Haven’t had any trouble since; however, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a knife-puncture. Sucks to have enemies.

Anyhow, ’tis the season to be jolly. Bah-humbug!

Got my Christmas cards mostly done. Still a few to send out. Been shopping for gifts throughout the year, so I’m finished with that already. Used to wait until the last minute, forcing my having to fight the crowds on Christmas Eve.

‘Twas an annual tradition for me to do that. Didn’t feel like Christmas otherwise; but I’ve gotten older and much wiser, methinks, and try to alleviate whatever stress that’s unnecessary. These old bones can take only so much anymore.

For this weeks cover, I redid one from a while ago, called, “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” exactly the way I feel right about now. Allow me to share it with you.

Hopefully next week’s journal entry will include Rie’s and my Christmas duet. Until then, thanks for stopping in to read this, and for your continued support.

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Just a Friendly Pinch on the Butt


Almost a Full Cold Moon: shot at Lemon Hill in Philadelphia on 1st December 2017.

We’re on the eve of the full moon with a local-weather outlook for an overcast sky again through the end of next week. The viewing of Sunday’s Super Cold Moon is in peril of being obscured by clouds. Happened last month too in the Philadelphia area.

Figures that since it’s a super moon, which appears larger than most of the others for being closest in its orbit to Earth, I’ll probably miss the event. Not really the end of the world, however; there will be others.

This month’s lunar peak is named after the typically cold, outside temperatures in December, as winter sets in with short days and long nights, when the proverbial “Frost is on the Pumpkin.” Yet, the solstice is almost three weeks away, so the frigid weather has yet to appear.

Actually mild temps have blessed us thus far, with the thermometer expected to reach into the low 60s F (18 C) by mid-week, but then going down into the low to mid-30s (6 C) during the day, and mid- to upper 20s (-4 C) at night for the remainder.

I’ve taken out the long handles already and worn them on some chilly days recently. That’s the trick for surviving the cold and not becoming housebound for the whole season when not having to be anywhere. Dressing in layers is the secret to remaining warm.

When in doubt about what to write for a weekly tirade, talk about the weather. That works in real life too when trying to strike up a conversation with someone. Two hundred and sixty-nine words have been used up antecedently. How’s that for small talk?

Moving along, the news hasn’t been very good lately, especially about movie actors and producers, TV and talk-show personalities, politicians and even musicians who have been accused of sexual harassment. They seem to be dropping like flies. Good for them! No woman deserves to be treated that way.

I have to confess, before my being subjected to any accusations, that I pinched a coworker’s butt once, while we were posing for a group photo, timing it right as the photographer snapped the picture.

She was standing in front of me and the devil made me do it. Brenda, not her real name, whooped, hollered and flailed her arms like a bird taking a bath in a puddle of water. She raised herself off the floor by about two feet (over one-half meter) and was in mid-air when the flash went off.

I never knew a woman’s face could turn such a crimson shade of red. Fortunately, we were friends, and I didn’t end up with an imprint of her hand on either side of my face; although, she did punch me while overhearing my asking the photographer for a copy of that snapshot. He didn’t part with the picture, especially after seeing Brenda’s uppercut to my gut.

Too bad, I would have loved to share it with you. However, allow me to share my latest cover tune, called, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.”

Happy Super Cold Moon! I hope both you and I get to see it. Thanks for reading, listening—if you did—and for your continued support.

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