A Tale of Two Countries

charles_dickensCharles Dickens visited me in my dreams last night.

Dickens: “hey, kid, I have an idea for one of your blog posts.”
Me: “uh, aren’t you, like, dead?”

Dickens: “yeah so what?No one is going to believe that you really dreamed this anyway.”
Me: “okay, so wazzup?” Continue reading “A Tale of Two Countries”

Reader’s Digest Bankrupt Plan

By Larry Teren

readersdigestReader’s Digest is a great magazine (or was?). It caters to those of us who like to exercise our brain muscles while waiting to be probed by a medical person. It has short articles, abridged versions of longer stories, humorous anecdotes, lessons in improving word power among other features. It is a toned down hand-sized piece of literature for those of us who don’t live in New York and cannot relate to the styling and inferences of a certain monthly periodical.
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Universal Site Advisory

By Larry Teren

I’m guessing that most of us use an internet browser plug-in that identifies questionable sites to visit. When we click the link, rather than seeing the home page, instead a screen appears that may read: “WHOA! ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO GO THERE?” And then it explains what type of trouble you should expect to experience.
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Drink to The Riddler

By Larry Teren

frankgorshinIf you are a baby boomer and someone mentions “riddler”, you most immediately think of the great comic and impressionist Frank Gorshin. In the 1960s’ Frank brought the arch-villain The Riddler to life in a couple of episodes of the campy Batman series starring Adam West. He was so good at his craft that he was nominated for an Emmy on his first appearance. Still, the producers could not figure a way to bring him back the second year for an additional episode. He finally made another appearance in the final, less artistic year of the show’s run.

However, I bet you dollars to donuts that most of you will not know that the term ‘riddler’ has a meaning that goes beyond one who is apt to talk in riddles as did the Batman fiend. Those who make wine or more specifically champagne very well know that to be a riddler is to every day do a specific chore that takes just moments.
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Catch a Bee With Honey

By Larry Teren

A famous television actress wrote in her autobiography that she learned the best way to get what she wanted was to lean in on someone, talk in a calm voice and act vulnerable. She then proceeded to give a sketchy example of one time when it worked to her benefit.

She did say that until she got that advice, she would usually come on like a female bull (if that was possible) in a china shop. Sometimes it would work out but she would be in such an aggravated condition she would not enjoy her victory. I’d be the first person to admit that I have too often used the “take no prisoners” method to get the outcome I hoped for.
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Saturday Delivery Goes Postal

By Larry Teren

magazinesCome August 2013 no more Saturday delivery of first class mail and magazines from the U.S. Post Office. Or at least, so they say. After hearing this pronouncement the other day, I happened to catch a substitute letter carrier in front of my condominium. I asked him how this change in service affects his job. He said his regular work is to deliver small packages, a service that will continue on Saturdays. But, he did think that the stoppage of regular mail delivery will not pass union approval since many jobs will be lost.mailbox

Supposedly, the US Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in 2010. In the 2012 budget year, it suffered almost double the loss- $15.9 billion. Dropping mail delivery one extra day will save $2 billion a year. Others predict it will save even more- up to $3 billion including reduction in energy use.
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Monopoly’s Permanent Press Solution

By Larry Teren

Hasbro Gaming Company recently decided to replace the least popular token in their Monopoly board game,monopolyprobably to jump start new interest in the game. (Similar to when M&M’s made a big deal about adding a new color to the candy mix.) They conducted a contest to replace the least favorite game piece or token with a new creation. Results: the iron was voted off the island and replaced by a cat.m&m
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Three Cheers for The National Garage Association

By Larry Teren

garage1“Gentlemen- and ladies, of course- I’m proud to be a member of the National Garage Owners Association. (Not to be confused with organizations of a similar sounding name.) I won’t deny that we have been taking it on the chin lately but maybe it is because our members do not know how to express themselves adequately as well as you members of the distinguished press.garage2 You have been taking pot shots at our constitutional right to enjoy the amenities of keeping a car or two comfortably parked in a garage. A garage, as we all should know, is a wonderful structure that protects our metal transportation vehicles from the outdoor elements.

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Coffee or Beer?

By Larry Teren

coffeeWhat if the government decided to make the public vote on which of two beverages – coffee or beer- would be banned from use? Which would you be willing to give up? beer

You laugh off the notion of a ban on drinking coffee but it actually did happen in Eighteenth Century Germany during the reign of Frederick The Great. Fredrick II (1712-1786) frederick_the_greathappened to like coffee. He drank it boiled in champagne. He just didn’t like the fact that it was imported from England and other European countries and that it was killing the Prussian foreign trade balance, such as oil used to do here in the late 20th Century. Continue reading “Coffee or Beer?”

Method Acting at the Rehab

By Larry Teren

There we were, the three of us- Ma, cousin Carl and I- sitting in his private room at a rehab facility. Three people in search of a method acting coach to supply us with the lines to speak in a too often repeated scenario. Carl fell down in his house and broke his leg. Surgery pieced back together the broken shards and now they had to heal. The surgeon told him he would stay at the facility for three months until his leg was strong enough so that he could stand on his own two feet without someone monitoring his every movement.

This scene was somewhat a rerun from an earlier time. Two years prior Carl had heart issues. The doctor back then gutted him like a halibut in order to clean out his arteries. At least this time he was on the first floor. The second floor was an inconvenience to traverse to at the facility. You couldn’t take the stairs unless escorted by a worker who knew the pass code. There was no service elevator. Even when either of the two elevators would finally show up half the time it was filled with rolling carts.
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