High-Handed at the Shopping Mall

Dear Tracy,

I’m sorry that you high-handed me at the shopping mall while you were walking with all of your friends last Saturday. I want you to know that I’m a much more mature person than you are and that I have added you to my nightly prayers.

Another weird palindrome:

I woke up at 3:11am from a dream where I was questioned about the source of my fortitude. My answer:

Dog DNA and God.

I need to stop eating before bed.

Another day, another sestina

Not sure why but sometimes these (very technical poems) can be very easy to write.

Sorry if this has a ton of mistakes… the guy that I used to run these by is still very deceased and irreplaceable.

On This Day In History

On this day in history the market for the Semper Augustus Tulip collapsed and ended the first financial bubble in recorded history.

Apparently the gap created by the collapse of “Tulip Mania” left people with enough free time to search for other speculative activities to park their money in.

It needn’t end in peers

My daughter said that one of her friends at school was upset – telling her that he’d just been kicked out of his band.

I told her to tell him to form a NEW band called “FU to my old band” and then write a song called “I hope you all die in a bus accident!”

Fortunately she didn’t listen beyond telling him to form a new band!

One from the vault

This is a really short story that was embedded in a chat message to a friend.

And YES – I know there are errors… it was written more or less in one continuous string of words…

“I know that man”

I was just in the middle of a comment battle with someone who doesn’t believe some of the things that I said about my father (in conjunction with a video about racism in the military…)

On the one hand – it is kind of infuriating to have someone flat-out accuse me of lying about my dad… especially when I didn’t.

On the other hand – I can see why a person wouldn’t believe some of my little quips about my dad; he was a really strange guy and did things that don’t always sit comfortably in day-to-day life. That’s not to say that he walked around with a tin-foil hat or made the sign of the Cross when speaking (he only did that while driving past churches…)

Dad was strange because he was so very, very normal. He didn’t have much of an education, only four years of formal schooling. He was apprenticed to a woodworking shop when he was seven and THAT was the foundation of his real education. After he immigrated to the United States in the 1950’s he started working right away (as in he arrived in New York on a Monday, drove up to Boston on Tuesday and had his first job making caskets on Wednesday).

The workshops that he worked in had lots of other people from lots of other parts of the world. Consequently, his English never got that polished, but he was suddenly able to speak Spanish and Portuguese on top of his native Italian. (I have to admit that it was really weird to watch dad talk to folks in his other languages… it was like watching a movie where the movements don’t track with the sound!)

Back to the point!

My initial point was that my dad would sometimes say weird things that seemed completely improbable … but as he was a person who didn’t tell lies (he did like to play tricks – those aren’t exactly lies but if we’re splitting hairs I guess it represents a certain verifiable level of mendacity.)

One night we were in the kitchen eating dinner dad pointed to the TV and said “I know that man!”

“Dad … you know Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn???” Thinking that it was about as probable as it was for him to have that night’s winning lottery numbers.

”I made some furniture for his office when he lived in Vermont.”

I always get a kick out of that story. It shows perfectly how bad it is to serially UNDERstate the things you do in front of people while at the exact time showing how wrong it is to automatically disbelieve things that fall 5 or more degrees off-center. I should have known it was true – dad wasn’t a liar. I also should have know it was true based on some of the other prestigious woodworking ‘gigs’ he went on in his career.

More fighting inside the War Room

I’m sorry folks. Apparently I used the same cartoon TWICE (with two different sets of copy)… though to my credit both subconsciously reference back to Kubrick’s “2001”.

I can’t believe my editor/writer/artist and quality control person (all me) could let that happen… I’m as incensed as I am saddened by this breech of basic blogging etiquette.

Some Confusion

Apparently Senator Schumer was confused; actually he just used GEICO to save a bunch of money on his car insurance.

And a Child(ish) Shall Lead The Way

Sorry to break the silence (been busy with stuff that isn’t funny… nothing bad – more like ‘work’ (I hate that word!).)

I just read something that hit the nail on the head of how I’ve felt for a while. (Keep in mind, what I JUST read was originally written 5 months ago… I’m a slow readr.). Responding to the latent “Cancel Culture” and it’s attacks on everyone from Rocky and Bullwinkle to Dave Chappelle, “Childish Gambino” aka Donald Glover made (and then deleted) some posts on Twitter. The parts that struck me were:

“Saw people on here havin a discussion about how tired they were of reviewing boring stuff (tv & film),”

“We’re getting boring stuff and not even experimental mistakes(?) because people are afraid of getting cancelled,”


I wrote a piece that I never got published about the role of satire in the healthy development of a mind, a person AND a community. People need to feel safe enough to explore all of their thoughts – even the really stupid ones.


I’m not advocating that everyone acts on their first inclination towards violence or hatred.


I don’t actually believe that a sane/competent person can have opinions for or against a subject without at least taking their thoughts right up to fulcrum where the fundamental issues reside and spin.


There are people who are eagerly wringing their hands with unimaginable delight at the idea that American society is in decay. The fact that everyone has the right to express an opinion has been weaponized and finally used to suppress those opinions. Those people are laughing because the saw it coming and think that they were able to deftly avoid the same problems by way of unifying thoughts and deeds.


When we are eliminating hatred for people based on their color or religion or how they like to dance in public – that IS a good thing. But when we mandate that you can’t make fun of people for dancing in public – that is a terrible thing.

I learned my racial tolerance in a two-fold way: 1) I was raised in an extremely diverse city where from one year to the next there could be influxes of people from different parts of the world. On the playground we were not ‘black’ or ‘white’ – we were just children and as long as you didn’t condone dancing in public you could play kick-ball with us.

2) I had a home life that was guided by my parents who were keenly aware of the snide remarks that people made at them when they first arrived in America in 1955 (that’s not actually ‘that’ long ago if you think about it in the context of music… anyway.) My mother and father didn’t like being made fun of and I didn’t like that they felt ‘less than’ anyone else. When my first inclination was to return the favor and persecute OTHER people who were different, they stopped me. But they also SHOWED ME that making someone else feel bad isn’t going to make them or anyone else feel better in a lasting way. The only way forward was and still is to take people as they are.

There HAVE been situations where I simply didn’t like a person. But I didn’t decide to widen my circle out to target everyone who came from that same country or county. My angst began and ended on an individual level.

I’ve also poked fun at people who are very, very close to me because of their dancing and their sexual proclivities. But that was always only people that I knew extremely well and NEVER as a means of achieving some kind of weird dominance over a situation.

I’m circling round and round here…

What I want to say is that if you don’t like Dave Chappelle then I think you need to tell him that. I’m pretty sure he’s mature enough to understand that it is part of the social contract. But don’t cancel him. I happen to love his work. It makes me laugh most of the time. It makes me cringe some of the time. And occasionally (because I study the things that comics say) it makes me sad to listen to. His most recent monologue on “Saturday Night Live” was painful to listen to in parts because it was true. People with power exploit and exploit and exploit and deplete and then they dispose of. Dave Chappelle is simply fighting back by getting paid – let him get paid! Let him fight back! His words are not those of a role model… but his blue-print for ‘flipping the bird’ to the entire system IS something that we can adopt and use for our own means.

If we don’t have that ability to make fools of ourselves by saying stupid things or by busting out our best “Saturday Night Fever” moves at a wedding we can’t ever learn. The people with the power will simply point the cancel cannon at us and we’ll be gone. POOF! Back to my desk, jockey numbers on a spreadsheet, pretending I really give a crap about hedge funds.

(NO – I haven’t seen his latest special yet. I won’t watch it because I find it offensive.


Look at where I live; stuff like that is a slow grind to get hold of. And that slow grind is brought to you by the people with the power of the cancel cannon.)

File under “editorial crisis”

Part of the problem with decentralized work arrangements is that when you don’t all drink from the same water-bubbler you can’t share insights about what you’re working on.

Clearly if the two authors of these stories had had 5 min to chat about their current list of topics neither one of them would have been so shocked.

The Bitter End

Is it just me or is it ‘fun’ to see when the OTHER PERSON will finally go under the sink and pull out another tube of toothpaste?

(this is like leaving exactly 1 sheet of toilet paper on the roll)

It is a metaphor for marriage

The genesis of these toothbrush diplomacy posts comes from my own medicine cabinet. Just the other day my blue toothbrush was gone and replaced by a very nice moss-green unit.

The problem is my wife replaced hers with a really cool looking pink brush! And every day I almost grab it to brush MY teeth… then I come to my green senses.

SLEEP! Now With Enhanced Sheeting Action!

I’ve got to say – I’m not prepared to get old. Life isn’t what I thought it would be when I was 20 years younger.

For one thing – bed isn’t what I thought it would be. Last night before turning over to go to sleep my wife asked me a really provocative question:

“Are we using a drying agent in the dishwasher?”

I guess it was the idea of sheeting that got her going.

“See the flower of youth disappear and hide”

My son’s school had a small event for parents today to open their “Edible Playground”. They’ve inaugurated a full time garden that all of the students will take time each day/week tending to.

There was a large sign commemorating the event with pens for the parents to write something to pass on to the children.

My inscription was as such:

”The fruits of youth are nourished with the sweat of old age”

I suppose I could have written something ‘kind’ instead… I think by the age of 5 and a half he knows that daddy is marching to the same drummer as the other moms and dads.