Whatever happened to English? I’m not referring to the citizens of a certain country who cried “Uncle” in the late 1700’s and then again in 1812 or so. You know, the ones who said that the sun would never set on the British Empire? Our European forefathers made a point in saying that we do not speak or write English but an American jive.
Continue reading “English Ain’t What it Used to Be”
Remember when Peter Pan enthralled a generation of baby boomers with “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” in the 1950’s and 60’s? Well, I’m still living the dream. Here I am in my mid fifties’ (okay, late fifties) and I still act the way I did thirty years ago. Immature you say? Nah, just a free spirit with a blend of impishness to go.
As I get older, younger people look at me and think of me as cranky. It’s like the average middle class guy who does weird things and people call him crazy. He wins the lottery and then all of a sudden he is called eccentric. I’m cranky because I have developed a lifetime of piques and interests and don’t care if other people share them or not. When I do what I want to do, act as I please, all of a sudden I am cranky. If I went in the other direction and just tried to please everyone but myself, they would say I have low self-esteem. Hey, esteem comes out of a radiator (sorry). It’s like that old song, “I do something to me, something that really mystifies me.” Okay, that’s not exactly how it goes, but I sounds it better. It’s like the schizophrenic who walks out of a psychiatrist’s office singing, “I gotta be me, and me, I gotta be me, and me.”
Continue reading “I’m Not Getting Older, I’m Getting Crankier”
The expression “pay as you go” can mean a lot of things. It can refer to getting laid to rest in a cemetery only after a surviving family member coughs up enough dough for the burial plot and funeral services. It can also allude to the former practice, at least where I live, of the local airport having pay toilets. They had to cut it out because people made a stink (sorry).
For me it means using a debit card more often than using a credit card. When I tell friends that I do so they usually roll their eyes and indicate that only poor people or those with bad credit use debit cards. I reply that it is just the opposite. I have the best of credit. Why? Because I only use a credit card for items that have big ticket prices or where I need an element of protection. By that I mean when I buy something that I am concerned it may not work properly or it may not get shipped so quickly, I use a credit card as leverage. How so? I can always tell the credit card company that I am challenging the sale. No merchant wants to get into such a hassle.
Continue reading “Debit Cards – Pay As You Go”
The Economy is on everyone’s mind more so than ever. We read and hear how things are getting better but Unemployment is still way too high and many are working jobs below their skill level and collecting pay that does not keep up with the Joneses. I have it on good word, though, that Mr. Jones has been out of a job for the last eighteen months as his wife tries to hold the fort down with her meager salary. Jonesy is thinking of asking about that greeter’s job opening at Walmart.
Around the beginning of this century, baby boomers figured we would continue to hold our own in eking out enough of a living to pay current expenses even if we were not putting much away for the future. We also figured that Social Security benefits at age 65 would help when we retired and that Medicare would take care of health payments for our old age ailments and drug prescriptions. But, of course, that all changed.
Continue reading “Is Social Security a Silver-Haired Lining?”
As a kid in the early 1960’s, the tv shows I watched were part of a group decision. There was only one set for a family of four kids (for the time being) and two parental units. My three sisters had their preference for girlie shows, but, we all always wanted to watch what we thought must have been meant for adult viewing. As if we got extra credit for trying to make ourselves seem more sophisticated than we were.
In those days, if a show got good ratings, it stayed on the air for several years. Good ratings meant that they were drawing lots of people on a regular basis. Of course, this was before cable and dishes that give you anywhere from 50 to 150 channels to choose from. In the big cities, you were glad to have five or six channels. In 1973, All in The Family one week drew a 33.7 rating which translated into a 54 share. This meant that fifty-four percent of all tv’s in use were watching Archie Bunker pontificate. Today, the most watched shows are ecstatic to get up to 25 percent of the sets in use.
Continue reading “Bring Back What’s My Line”
By all rights, I should have received my drivers license when I turned sixteen in the fall of 1968. The problem was that I flunked the driving test portion of driver’s education class. I got an A in the classroom portion but apparently it did not hold much weight against the fact that I didn’t know how to drive within the lines and parallel park. You’d have thought they would have given me a second chance. But, no- it was tough times in the ‘hood and no one wanted to hang around to re-test me. This was during the summer at Austin High School on Chicago’s far west side a few weeks after the riots in the area just to the east of us in the aftermath of the murder of Martin Luther King.
Continue reading “A Driving Lesson Learned”
Back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, there were more than twenty western shows on TV at one time. Each one had a gimmick. There was Bat Masterson with his cane and derby hat, Chuck Connors with a sawed off shotgun, Richard Boone with his unique calling card, Nick Adams wearing a rebel hat and so on…
Continue reading “Whatever Happened to TV Westerns?”
When I was young, not even ten years old, my digestive system as well as my psyche told me that I did not like milk. It’s not easy for a kid to tell his parents that he doesn’t want any dairy products. The process of eliminating that stuff from my diet was a slow wean. I quickly stopped drinking regular white milk, eating butter, cheese and related ichy edibles. I still drank chocolate milk, chocolate shakes and sodas and ate ice cream cones into my early teens. I even gobbled up milk chocolate candy bars until my thirties. And then I stopped cold turkey.
I remember at age six my father trying to force me to eat a cream cheese sandwich and I practically glued my mouth shut until my mother came home from wherever she was to save me.
Continue reading “Soy milk comes from vegetarian cows?”
By Larry Teren
It doesn’t pay to die- no kidding. Even with prepaid burial plots accounted for, a service and funeral procession could easily go for close to six thousand dollars. Continue reading “Funeral Costs Could Kill You”
When I was younger, I had a best friend named Perry. He was a buddy for close to twenty-five years. What killed our friendship? I found out that he was doing nasty things to me that until then I chalked up to coincidence.
The demise began when he announced he was getting married. We had been sharing a place so I knew everything he did. This included going out with the same woman for close to ten years while he was actively pursuing the dating of others. At the time, I didn’t understand why he was so two-faced. If he didn’t think he could make a go of it with the steady, why not just end it?
Continue reading “Can You Really Have A Best Friend?”