My Final Tirade for 2017

Fook-off

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.

Later!

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Time to Air Out the Dirty Laundry

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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

time-flies

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.

Live-Journal-Slicker

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!

cat

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

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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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So Much Wasted Time!

Best-wishes02

Happy Holidays

Thanksgiving has passed; so has Black Friday. Someone said today is called “White Saturday.” I don’t believe them. Then there’s Cyber Monday on the day after tomorrow.

The next specifically designated day after that will be Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras on February 13, 2018, followed by Ash Wednesday. Several weeks later there’s Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday on the Christian calendar.

That covers all the days of the week, by golly. One can add Blue Monday whenever they like, or Stormy Monday on an inclement first day of the normal workweek.

Heard my first radio-broadcasted Christmas song on this past Friday: Billy Squire’s “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You.” Actually, my first Yuletide tune heard for this newly arrived festive season was in Bristol on the previous Friday over the wharf’s PA system. It was Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”

They sure didn’t waste any time, although, it’s sad to mention that, according to David Cassidy’s daughter, her father’s last words were, “So much wasted time.” I can agree with that, especially since being introduced to the Internet in the early 1990s, roughly 25 years ago.

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Smartphone Zombies All In A Row

Spent too much time and I’m still at it. That brings to mind Smartphone Zombies, those who can’t put down their phones in public view.

Seems like the devices are glued to the palms of the zombies’ hands, never out of their sight while they sit or walk around with dazed looks on their faces, glaring at the smartphones’ tiny screens.

One of my boards at Pinterest is dedicated to the so-called walking dead. It hasn’t gotten much response from my faithful Social Media followers though. I guess the truth hurts, for most us fall into that category, I suppose.

I wonder where my life would be now, had I not gotten so involved with the Net for the past quarter of a century. For many like David Cassidy, who was 67 when he died, 25 years is more than 1/3 of a lifetime, and for me it has flown by like a gust of wind.

Sure, I’ve accomplished a lot otherwise, but how much more could have been put to good use besides that which took up so much of my time? I kind of wish the Web had never materialized. Life seemed so much more fulfilling before it.

Granted, mundane tasks like paying bills, shopping, banking, information–gathering, entertainment and communications are a lot easier because of it, but personal, face-to-face interactions with family, friends and acquaintances sure have suffered as a result, at least in my own experiences.

Yet, whose fault is that anyway? Nobody else but mine.

Then again, without the Net, who would read my diatribes? How would I get my nonsense out there for the masses to appreciate, all 1,731 of those listed on the sidebar of this blog as following me on WordPress.com?

How about all those YouTube stars, Instagram celebrities, and Social Media giants? Where would their claims to fame be found otherwise? And what about all the self-published authors, like myself? Where would we be without the Internet? Just a lot of frustrated wannabees, I assume; although, many of us still are. I doubt traditional publishers would pick us up.

And what about Internet musicians and cover artists? How would we publish our art to be appreciated by others outside of ear-reach? Speaking of such, allow me to share my latest cover with you, a tune written by the band, Garbage. The song’s about a stalker. Hope you enjoy it. You’ll probably not tell me anyway. Nobody does.

 

So now we’re fully into the holiday season officially. Hopefully yours will be delightful. Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to rant and rave as usual; and, as always, thanks for your continued support.

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The New Moon News

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Full moons all have been given names. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, this forth-coming, last full moon for 2017 is called December’s “Full Cold Moon,”or the “Full Long Nights Moon.”

Their reasoning for naming it such is quoted as follows:

The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

Tonight hosts the new moon for this cycle. Names for these unseen lunar events aren’t listed anywhere on the Net.  Can’t say rightly it’s the “Full Cold New Moon” because we’re not in December yet.

Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived, but it’s close: coming next Thursday, the official start of the holiday season; although, many commercial outlets have already been celebrating with Christmas music, merchandise and decorations.

Yesterday was considered, “Light-up Night,” when scores of cities around the U. S. lit up their Christmas trees in a gala tradition that dates back to 1960. Sorry, even though the custom has been around for over fifty years, I think that’s rushing things still.

Ironically,  Friday’s Light-up Night followed Thursday’s Great American Smoke Out.

Doesn’t it seem like the holiday season is ushered in earlier each year as it is? I’ve been saying that annually since reaching the age of around eighteen. Before that, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years couldn’t get here soon enough, probably because I didn’t have to do all the work and was mostly on the receiving end of it.

Following that rate, the heralding of the period should be starting now at the early part of October, at which time many conglomerates have started to do so. “Holiday Creep,” is what Money magazine has labeled it, mentioning companies like Walmart, Kmart, Toys R Us, and even Home Depot, who are guilty of the trend.

My apologies are in order for going off on a tangent again. Getting back to my original premise, I’d like to call this new moon, “The Holiday Season New Moon.” Seems appropriate, doesn’t it?

How about labeling it as the “Thanksgiving New Moon”? Nay, sometimes it falls after the day of epic gluttony.

December’s new moon falls on the eighteenth as well. Perhaps we’ll name it the “Jingle Bell New Moon,” a generic title for both Hanukkah and Christmas. If, in the future, December’s new moon falls after the twenty-fifth, then it should be known as the “Can’t Wait Until the Holidays Are Over” New Moon.

On the sad side of this month’s hidden lunar extravaganza, today we lost Malcolm Young of AC/DC, a founding member of the Australian hard-rock band, truly a loss for rock-‘n’-roll fans worldwide. He was sixty-four.

David Cassidy, sixty-seven, was listed in a coma, suffering from a life-threatening, multiple-organ failure; remember him from the TV series, The Partridge Family? He admitted to suffering from dementia earlier this year, and retired from performing.

Charles Manson was falsely reported—in my opinion—by the Texas Express website to have died today. No other reputable news networks have published such an account, leading me to my suspicion of the article’s authenticity. According to MSN’s website, he was admitted into a local hospital at Bakersfield, California, for a mystery illness and is  listed, “Still Alive,” as of yesterday. Manson is eighty-three.

For this week’s cover, allow me to re-post something I did a while back. In honor of Malcolm Young, here’s a silly ditty written by him, his brother Angus, and the late Bon Scott:

That’s the New Moon News. Happy Holidaze prematurely; thanks, for reading this nonsense; and bless you for your continued support.

 

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