The Scenario:

     You’ve arrived at an elevator, and you press the “up” button.  Another person arrives, sees the “up” button is lit but presses it anyway.  A third person arrives and also presses the “up” button.

The Question:

     Does an elevator arrive faster the more times the button is pressed?

The Answer:

     Several studies have been done on this, and it was found that elevators do not arrive faster the more times the button is pressed. It should be noted that the results were the same for both the “up” and the “down” buttons, so it appears gravity has no effect. 

     The studies also revealed that certain conditions will actually slow the elevators response and shift it into another mode, and its arrival will actually take longer.  Elevator companies can’t explain why this occurs except to say there seems to be some type of intuitive sensing programming involved and it seems to follow a time-response spectrum:

The Certain Conditions Spectrum:

  • You aren’t in a hurry. As a matter of fact, you are looking forward to a nice ride while listening to some soothing music. Mode: Normal, all the way to…
  • You need to get checked out of the hotel quickly so you won’t miss your flight. Mode: The absolute slowest. And then there’s the pathological…
  • You become so impatient you machine-gun the button (known as “elevator button rage”). If you do this it’s been found that the next elevator will actually bypass your floor. Mode: You’re basically screwed.

     Hotels receive lots of complaints about slow elevators, and some have even hired engineers to address the problem.  The engineers suggested such things as additional elevators, express elevators to certain floors, higher degrees of computerization, adding sophisticated equipment to speed up the elevators, etc.  These are all very expensive solutions, but what they found worked best was installing mirrors in the elevator boarding areas.  That’s right – mirrors.  Immediately after installing mirrors, the complaints always go down.  It works every time. What Carole King has sung about is true; we’re so vain. 



First of all, to be absolutely sure 2018 has left, and that the door was locked behind it.

To have surgery done on my index fingers so they are more iPhone texting friendly.

To learn even more about the Kardashians.

To cut down on my Starbuck’s order. No more blended decaf mocha cappafrappacino topped with whipped cream and dusted with nutmeg. This year it’s just coffee. Black.

Here’s one I copied from someone else’s list: “To start eating more mindfully.” Does anyone have a great recipe for mindfully?

Here’s another from someone else’s list: “To get my affairs in order.” Now that I think about it, I don’t think I had any in 2018. If I did, they evidently weren’t worth remembering.

To extend my run of not doing a 10K to 24 years (a new personal record).

To participate in an ironman competition where you actually have to do some ironing.

To change my wardrobe to one that has items with more elastic and less buttons and zippers.

New Year’s resolutions are pledges of good intentions. The road to hell is paved with good intentions while “The Road to Mandalay” was written by Rudyard Kipling… I’ve forgotten where I was going with this.

I read recently where “there are now more overweight people in America than average weight people. So overweight people are now average, which means, if one of your resolutions was to get down to an average weight, you’ve already met it.” You can check that one off.

I just showed my list of resolutions to Dorothy who told me not to send this out yet. She apparently has a few she would like to add to my list to make me a better person in 2019.

And lastly, to live according to the Dale Marcovitz Quote: “Life is not measured by the number of beats our heart makes. It’s measured by the number of moments that take our breath away.” I want to have lots of breathless moments happen in 2019.

Happy New Year to everyone!!! We hope it turns out to be a great one.

From Bob and Dorothy



Gary Gilmore. “Let’s Do It.”

Elvis Presley, “I’m going to the bathroom to read.”

Nostradamus predicted, “Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.” He was right.

Marie Antoinette stepped on her executioner’s foot on her way to the guillotine. Her last words: “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur.”

Drummer Buddy Rich died after surgery in 1987. As he was being prepped for surgery, a nurse asked him, “Is there anything you can’t take?” Rich replied, “Yeah, country music.”

They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist. . . .Killed in battle during US Civil War. – General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, d. 1864

And Leonardo da Vinci was also overly modest, saying, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” I guess the Mona Lisa isn’t good enough?


     There’s an advertisement on the internet that simply says “Senior Citizen’s Flight.” To me, it conjures up a picture of old people with wings soaring overhead. It’s probably an airline advertisement, but a senior citizen’s flight could also mean:

  • Anything more than two steps up or two steps down.
  • A wine flight which can be three or more different varietals before the meal. It beats lettuce with ranch dressing.
  • Bill Cosby shot out of a cannon.
  • An escape from the mundane: flight destination – Vegas, Wayne Newton, and the slots.



     From Aristophanes’ Speech from Plato’s Symposium: “People were once whole, but because they didn’t properly honor the gods, they were split apart and doomed to be forever searching for their other half. To find one’s missing half is to once again experience harmony and happiness. And so we search.”



     While I was watching the movie, Airport 1975, I noticed that background music would always set the scene whenever the situation was becoming dire. It occurred to me that it might be useful if I had background music playing as I moved through life. This would alert me to critical times by creating a feeling of danger or foreboding. Whenever I would hear broad crescendos and diminuendos along with dark chords (especially if played on an organ), I would know that a possible disaster was imminent, and I could take the appropriate preventive measures.

     I’m hoping it works better for me than it did for many of the characters in movies I’ve watched. For example, I could never understand why, despite the fact that it’s the dark of night and the music is intensifying, this girl gets out of her car. And then, to seal her fate, she enters the garden shed even though she knows there’s a chainsaw killer on the loose. You’d think she’d be picking up on some of these clues and just get back in the car and drive away.

     Along these same lines, I’ve also thought a theme song would be a nice to set the stage whenever I leave the house. I’d like something upbeat and positive like Mary Tyler Moore had on her show. The lyrics kind of extolled Mary’s virtues as she left her apartment to bravely take on the world, and “with nothing but a smile you were certain she was going to make everything all worthwhile.”

     And you know, you just couldn’t help but love Mary.



     If I were to fashion a t-shirt specifically communicating to everyone how I personally view myself, I think it would read “Sugar Whore.”  I continually crave sugar.  ‘Always have, and there are times when I simply have to have it. 

     I’ve learned to control it somewhat over the years; for instance, I no longer eat several large pieces of cake, whole pies, or bags full of pastries in one sitting.  I’m more into morsels now.  I will eat a couple of squares of chocolates or several caramel soft chews to try to satisfy my habit. 

     But once in a while, I have to go big, and the excuses to do so can get pretty flimsy.  I seem to be most vulnerable in the morning hours, so when I think I deserve a treat, my car will turn in to Daylight Donut (almost as if it has a mind of its own), and I will purchase my usual Old-fashioned Cake Donuts.  In a crazed frenzy, I will devour these in a matter of minutes, cutting each bit of gooey goodness with sips of black coffee. 

     When I’m done, I’ll sit there among the crumbs, pieces of sugary glaze, dirty napkins, and spent wrappers, feeling dejected with that post-sugar-OD sensation.  Then the self-loathing will start.  I’ll feel guilty and cheap like I’d been had, and I’ll think to myself, “Sugar has once again seduced you, used you, and had its way with you.  You are such a whore.”



     When Fred Astaire talks about “Puttin’ On the Ritz, that’s one thing – When I talk about “puttin’ on the Ritz,” that’s something entirely different. I’m talking about the cracker.

     Ritz crackers were introduced in 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression, and they sold at 19 cents a box.  It gave the people a “bite of the good life.”

     They were named after the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City. It smacked of wealth and privilege, and the taste of a Ritz cracker gave everyone the hope of better times to come.

     A bit of trivia: It was also in 1934 when Benny Goodman put together his own orchestra. By the end of that year, he was able to secure a contract with NBC to appear on their new Saturday evening Let’s Dance radio show. It was sponsored by the National Biscuit Company to introduce Ritz Crackers.

     The crackers are still popular today. Buttery, crunchy, salty, with a touch of sweetness, this balanced flavor is not overwhelming.

     Its size also makes it the perfect cracker for cheese, meats, peanut butter, etc.  So, WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MOOD FOR PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ, WHAT DO YOU PUT ON YOUR RITZ?


     There’s swimmer’s ear, ringing in the ears, and football ear. You’ve probably heard of the first two, but what is football ear? It’s when one of your ears swells up because of excessive amounts of couch time lying on that respective side of your body. I for one am troubled by that affliction.

     The onset begins about the first of September, and problematic symptoms set in about November. I start to feel soreness, and then when I check it in the mirror, I notice that my left ear is appreciably larger than the right. This may be coincidental but this time interval of symptoms could be superimposed over the months the pro football season is in session.

     The reason the affected ear swells could be due to a pooling of blood in the down ear. Also, the fact that my head (which is heavy) is pressing my ear against the pillow could be either restricting circulation or inciting inflammation causing the affected ear to swell.

     What am I going to do about it? Well, for me to stop watching football is not an option. And I have to lie on my left side because lying on my right side would put my back to the TV leaving me with just the sound.

     I’m certainly not going to seek medical advice because this is embarrassing to me. It would be interesting to know if other people (probably men) have this same problem. This could be another one of those problems no one talks about.

     What is there to do? After careful consideration, I think I have the solution. If someone would sell a pillow with a hole cut in the middle commensurate with the size of the user’s ear, I think the problem could either be solved or at least helped. I have contacted Mike Lindell, Inventor, Manufacturer, and CEO of MyPillow®, Inc. to see if there is any interest on his behalf. I’m hoping my contact will have results, and with luck, it will be before the first week in September in 2019.


The QUESTION: If I write humor that some would think jocular, does that make me a jock? I’ve asked around and most people don’t think so.



     In the history of the NFL, there have been some great football names: Bronko Nagurski, Andy Robustelli, Ray Nitschki, Deacon Jones, Night Train Lane, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Conrad Dobler, and my all-time favorite Tedy Bruschi (pronounced brewski like a beer).

     In 2017 the Chicago Bears added a quarterback to their roster named Mitch Trubisky, and I thought, now there’s a football name. At last.

     Even their new coach, Matt Nagy, has a football name. There’s a nasty tinge to it which is a definite improvement since the firing in 2012 of Lovie Smith. Lovie Smith was not a football name.

     Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and even though they aren’t playing today, it’s been lots of fun watching the Bears play great football again. They were 12-4 and won the black and blue division (NFC North) well ahead of the Vikings at 8-7-1. It should be noted that the last time the Bears were in the playoffs was in 2010, and according to many of the experts, this year they had the best defense in the NFL.

     I’m disappointed the Bears didn’t make if further, but with a quarterback named Mitch Trubisky I think the future is bright. Some advice for the Bears front office: keep filling the roster with names that sound like football names, and please, whatever you do, during the off season don’t trade for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is not a football name.



Quote: “If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.” – Erma Bombeck

Well, I’m still among the living, so I’ve evidently cheated death again. Erma’s observations always seem to be painfully right on, and I often wonder how does she know me so well? I mean, we’ve never met.



     Several years ago, Dorothy and several of her friends started attending pedicure parties.  With all of us husbands left at home we thought we could form a club and meet on the same nights as the ladies.

     After some discussion it was decided to form a fraternal group. Since all of us were either native Nebraskans, or have lived here long enough to consider ourselves Nebraskans, we thought a good name for our club would be “The Bastard Sons of Frank Morrison.”

     For those of you who are under sixty years of age, Frank Morrison was the 31st governor of Nebraska serving from 1961-1967. He wanted to erect a monument to those pioneers who followed the Platte River. His dream was finally realized in the creation of the Archway Monument.

     We decided governor Morrison could serve as our idol. While we may not share his DNA, we could certainly share his visionary spirit.

     Word went out and there seemed to be a lot of interest. We had one meeting, and it started out well. One of the members had composed the BSFM anthem sung with gusto to the tune of The Holy City by our own to be organized BSFM All-Male Doo Wop Chorus:

Chorus:        Frank Morrison.  Frank Morrison

                        We are your bastard sons.

                        We’re bonding, and responding

                        To Nebraska, we love you.

     Those attending offered ideas for future programs such as:

Learning the correct way to jump from a moving car.

A recipe for making 8,000 pancakes.

And a special program on how a dad or granddad can chaperone a teen dance entitled, “PDA? Not On My Watch.”

     The evening took a turn when someone suggested that it would be much simpler if we just joined our wives and had pedicures with them. I personally thought this was a terrible idea, but someone made a motion and it passed. So, the BSFM Club died before it had a chance.

     I was disappointed, but not all was lost. At least now we husbands are sporting the best cared for toes in town.


ME: Yesterday was so unbelievably cold.

AUDIENCE: How cold was it?

ME: It was so cold….

I spent most of the day standing in front of the open door of our freezer just to warm up.

The polar vortex seems to be another wall we now have to deal with.

I like to drink outside. In 15-minutes my vodka martini had turned into a popsicle.

My soup spoon stuck to my tongue.

Polar bears were spotted on ice flows in the Platte River.

The snowbirds that are left here are thinking about traveling to Fargo to escape the cold.

Frances McDormand is planning to move to Buffalo county and running for sheriff.

The national weather service is telling everyone to add an extra 30 minutes to your commute time today to allow for adding and removing layers of clothing.

In Kearney Truckee faux fur trapper hats with ear flaps are now the fashion rage. And that’s for women.

While most every service shut down, the postal service stayed true to its creed: “Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” We got mail. What a guy!!!



     Comedy writer, Calvin Trillin has always had quirky approaches to interpreting the news and life in general. I like him because his ideas are always on the side of the cockamamie.

     His wife, Alice, is the voice of reason in their household. They are much like a certain Kearney couple I know named the Millers. If you know Bob and Dorothy, you’re probably thinking, “Oh, yeah. That would be them.”

     One of Alice’s economic theories is entitled “Alice’s Law of Compensatory Cash Flow.” It says that NOT buying some luxury item you can’t afford is the equivalent of a windfall income. Dorothy also believes in this theory, and I fell victim to this just the other day.

     We were killing time in Omaha, so I turned into the Mercedes lot. I’ve always liked their E-Class sedan in obsidian black metallic. All tricked out it costs over $69,000. Well, needless to say, we left the lot without one.

     So, Dorothy says, “Well, since we saved a whole lot of money by not buying the Mercedes, we can now afford to replace the shower door (only $1200) that I’ve wanted for a long time. I had been dreading spending the money for a new shower door (the one we have seemed to be doing the job), but now that I was looking at it from her perspective, it didn’t seem so bad. Anyway, Dorothy saw her opening, and she went for it.

     Installation is scheduled for next Tuesday. The law of compensatory cash flow prevailed. These females – they’re a cunning lot.



“Gin, not vodka. Stirred for 10 seconds while glancing at an unopened bottle of vermouth.” – from Kingsman: The Secret Service.

LINE IN A MOVIE: “I want to slip out of these wet clothes into a dry martini.” – from Every Day’s A Holiday

I like to drink martinis,
Usually two at the most.
After three I’m under the table,
And after four I’m under the host.
By Dorothy Parker of Algonquin Round Table fame

“Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” – Homer Simpson
“Martinis. Is there anything they can’t do? – Bob Miller

GEORGE CLOONEY DREAMS: I bought a piano once because I had the dream of playing “As Time Goes By” as some girl’s leaning on it drinking a martini. But it hasn’t worked out. I can’t even play chopsticks. But I’ve got a nice piano at my house.

GEORGE BURNS OPINES: Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman… or a bad woman.

RODNEY DANGERFIELD OBSERVES: “I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample, it had an olive in it.”

AND JUSTICE RUTH RULES: If unique is what you seek, head to New York City to the Madcap Café and order a Ruth Bader Gin-sburg martini.
This is not the first time Justice Ruth and an alcoholic beverage made it into the same sentence. “As you may recall, at the 2015 State of the Union Address, Justice Ginsburg made headlines by falling asleep during President Obama’s speech. At the time, she presented a very honest answer as to what happened, stating that she ‘wasn’t 100 percent sober.’ ‘Justice Kennedy brought in … it was an Opus something or other, very fine California wine that Justice Kennedy brought,’ she explained.
Seriously? ‘Opus something.’ That’s like me bragging that I was hanging out with my buddy ‘Kanye something.’ If you’re going to brag about how expensive the wine you drink is, just go with it. You’re one of the most powerful people in the country! And maybe you’ll get a free bottle or two out of the plug.” – Mike Pomranz

“Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” – Homer Simpson
“Martinis. Is there anything they can’t do? – Bob Miller


   I never really cared for school. To say I was a lazy and a reluctant learner would be an understatement. Somehow, I got through high school and college without mastering even the basic rudiments of good writing. And then in this later-life phase, when I decided that I wanted to write, I found I was ill-equipped to do so.

     Then a miracle happened. I fell in love with someone who possessed all of the skills I lacked. I told her we should get married, and that I thought we’d make a pretty good team (reminiscent of The Graduate).

     One night with great trepidation because I was already aware that she didn’t suffer fools gladly I presented some of my work to her. I could tell she wasn’t impressed, and she said, “I think I could help you make this better.” “Oh good,” I replied, “I do have some questions. For example, I’ve always wondered if the terms ‘splitting infinitives’ and ‘dangling participles’ had sexual overtones.” I was set straight that there would be none of that. She said, “Writing is serious business.”

     I gave her a piece I had written. I got it back the next day covered in slashes, arrows, question marks, and circled words all written in red ink. Yes, red ink. My paper ended up looking like a roadmap of Massachusetts. And then there were the comments in the margins:

 “You’re hyphen-happy.

“You seem to be trying to turn murkiness into an art form.”

 “Capitalize this…, don’t capitalize that…”

“Needs a semicolon here.”

“Where’s your voice? You seem to have lost it about a page ago.”

“You’ve started the last three sentences with the word “it.”

“This paragraph is too long. Limit it to 150 words. Less is usually better.”

“Eliminate the ‘fluff’ words.” Did she mean fleece, dust bunnies, and down?

“Tone it down just a bit. There COULD be repercussions.”

“You’ll lose half your readers if you send it out this way! Say it differently.”

And occasionally she would simply write “Hmmm.”

     Also, proper judgment has never been one of my strong suits, so she checks the appropriateness of the content. While I think it’s mostly a subjective call, there’s no gray area in her mind, and she is not bashful about letting it be known.

    Fast forward to the present. If I’ve written something new, I usually read it to her during our cocktail time in the late afternoon. It’s always interesting to hear her impressions.

     I have learned that I usually get a more favorable response if I wait until the second martini before I present my writings to her. And then I sit with breathless anticipation waiting to see how it plays. If she laughs as she is reading it, that’s a good sign. If she doubles over, then that’s even better. And my God – how I love to hear her laugh.



When seniors get together, and one starts to tell a story, by the time he or she can complete it, it becomes another instance of it takes a village.


“The problem with winter sports is that — follow me closely here — they generally take place in winter.” – Dave Berry

“Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.” – Dave Berry

Meanwhile in Canada: “There can never be too many hockey rinks.” – This is evidently a quote from a Canadian. My response: What!?!! And my question: Where the puck’s the logic in that?

“I think camping in the winter is not a sport – it’s basically survival. My son, Pete, likes to camp outdoors in the winter. As I reflect on this, I’m trying to remember, when he was a baby, did I ever drop him on his head?” – Bob Miller

“To Everyone Who Thinks Figure Skating Isn’t A Sport:

  • I don’t like you.
  • You’re wrong.
  • I’d like to see you do it.
  • Did I mention I don’t like you?” – Quote from a figure skater. Hiya, folks.Ya say you’re tired of scooping snow and your car hasn’t started for days?Ya say both your nose and your furnace are running all the time, ya got frostbite, chapped lips, and your hip aches because you fell on the ice, and your voicemail is full because all of your snowbird friends are calling you to tell you how glad they are to be in Arizona and not in Nebraska? 
  1. Is this what’s bothering you, Bunky?
  2. Ya say the mail’s always late and today you’ve braved the elements four times just to be greeted by an empty mailbox when you peeked inside?
  3. Ya say you’re sick of our Nebraska weather?
  5. My choice for a winter sport? Curling. “It’s the only winter sport you can play in your pajamas.” – Pinterest.

My parody of The Old Philosopher to fit the present. To hear the great Eddie Lawrence, click on the following link, and remember, don’t ever give up, ever give up, ever give up that ship!


     I know. It has been a miserable winter. And the last person you want to hear from is someone who is too cheerful and is always looking on the bright side of things. There are times when having a rosy disposition could get you beaten up. And these are those times.

     Our weather extremes have made everyone a little edgy, and I think our humor has changed as a result. Normally our jokes would be, it’s so cold:

Igloos are being built with lifetime guarantees.

Mailmen are having to watch out for polar bears.

Penguins are starting to appear in pet stores.

     But now our jokes are turning mean. For example, it’s so cold:

Muggers are calling in sick.

When I dialed 911, a recorded voice said they aren’t making house calls.

Graves can’t be dug in cemeteries because the ground is too hard, and meat lockers are now filled to over-capacity.

The most popular overheard comment is “what the hell happened to global warming?”

     But February hasn’t been a total waste of time. There was beauty everywhere. Many of the snowfalls were mesmerizing with flakes as big as quarters. I’ve always thought of snow as mascara: it covers the imperfections, age spots, and blemishes of mother nature and overs many of the messes we’ve created. I look outside, and I see a winter wonderland.

     Don’t forget the ice and icicles. They were spectacular. It turned nondescript houses into ice palaces, and there were times the trees shined with awesome beauty and majesty.

     And it could have been worse. I don’t think any records were set as far as temperature or snowfall amounts. Anytime I hear records mentioned; they were set in the 1930s which must have been a miserable time to be alive.

     It also gave us opportunities to brag about how tough we are. And as a result of bearing witness to our awful winter, next summer we will get to wear T-shirts with the message “I Survived February 2019.”

     Well, I’m signing off with good news. It’s the last day in February, and each day brings us closer to spring. Contrary to what I’m hearing, spring will arrive. And when it does, it will be a time to rejoice and the terrible winter of 2019 will soon be forgotten.


     I grew up a country kid. My education began in a country school. It was a world of wood heat, outdoor toilets, snake eradication, and a no-nonsense approach to the three Rs. I was educated with and often taught by fourteen other kids scattered among eight grades. 

     In the middle of my second-grade year, my family moved to another farm, and I transferred to a school in a small town. I loved my new school. There were seventeen of us in my class (nine boys and eight girls), and it always seemed to be teeming with activity. 

     Each day we would have thirty minutes devoted to music. On one particular day, all of us were assembled in the music room when the teacher announced it was Thursday which meant we would be square dancing. 

     There was a sudden shuffle of boys pairing up with girls, and when the dust settled, I was left standing alone which meant the teacher was to be my partner. For the next thirty minutes, I found myself do-si-doing and allemande-lefting with my adult partner looming over me. I didn’t know much at that age, but I was sure dancing with the teacher was not perceived as being cool.

     I made a vow that this was not going to happen to me again. I had a week to find myself a partner, and I immediately went to work. So, as an innocent second grader I entered the morass of social relationships between genders. And, without the aid of a, I went looking for a partner. Of the eight girls in the class, I thought the cutest was a skinny little-bespectacled girl with reddish-brown hair. I approached her at recess and asked if next time she would be my partner. She said yes. 

     I surmised square dancing was done basically to cowboy music, so to impress my partner I decided I needed to dress the part. I raided my father’s dresser drawer and borrowed one of his large red handkerchiefs. 

     On that memorable Thursday, after I had secured my partner, I reached into my pocket and removed the handkerchief. I tied it around my neck in the manner of one of my favorite cowboy heroes. So not only was I dancing with the cutest girl in class, but I was dressed for the part. It was a duel triumph: my first social coup as well as my first fashion breakout.    



     I just checked the temperature, and it’s a -2 degrees. Do you know how to tell when we’re having a really cold winter? When it gets down to two below in Tupelo.



     Regarding Tina Fey’s mattress shopping commercial for American Express, she is in a store advising two shoppers to “not skimp when buying a mattress because this is important. It’s where you will spend over half of your life and eat most of your meals.”

     I laughed, but then I got to thinking, with my lifestyle change, if I added my regular night’s sleep plus the naps I take during the day, I’m probably spending about half of my life in bed as well.

     And the meals, well that also makes sense to me. It’s the most comfortable area in the house. We do have a television in our bedroom, and with a little engineering on my part such as adding a cupboard and small refrigerator which would be reachable from my side of the bed, I thought why not.

     I hadn’t planned on going shopping for a mattress, but this makes perfect sense to me, so now I’m considering it. Next step; convincing Dorothy this is a good idea. This could be a tough sell.


“I was shocked the other day when I found out that WTF has another meaning. I always thought it meant ‘Where’s the Food?’” – Anonymous.

     It took me awhile to figure that out also, but these weren’t the first initials that have had me stumped. When I was a pharmacist, I came across the initials FLK in a chart I was reviewing. I asked the doctor what FLK stood for. He replied, “Funny looking kid. Occasionally when I’m examining a child, and he or she doesn’t look quite right, and I can’t quite put my finger on what’s wrong, I will note FLK.”

     I think I was an FLK. When I look at pictures of my youth, I see this runt of a boy with his ears sticking out, a rather large nose, and a cone-shaped head. My mother told me my coned-shaped head was due to my VERY difficult delivery. Whenever my mother and I went someplace together, I always felt people were thinking, there goes that poor Edna with her son, Bobby. You know, he was such a difficult delivery. I would think this because she would tell this story often to anyone who would listen. She would relate it in great detail, and then end it by saying, “I didn’t think that big head would ever get through there.” This produced a graphic image in my mind that still haunts me to this day.

     I mostly grew out of this although I still display some physical vestiges of my youth. It hasn’t handicapped me though. I have a beautiful wife and none of these noted problems have been passed on to my progeny. To this day I still wish I were better looking – someone like Robert Redford would be nice. And you know, it certainly could be worse, and then with resignation I think, “Oh, well. WTF.”


Reason #67 – The snob factor.  When people ask me how I’m going to be spending my winter, I can respond, “Well, actually, I’m going to be dancing Argentine tango…” along with an unspoken “…and you’re not.”

Reason #87 – It beats the hell out of golfing. I get to do things with my partner that you can’t do with your putter.

Reason #3 – One for the ladies: where else can a woman wear fishnet stockings and a skirt with a slit up the side and not be labeled a slut.

Reason #55 – I’m old, but I still want to be cool. I can participate in flash mob tangos which are perhaps the coolest things I’ve ever been involved in.

Reason #16 – No more holding my partner like I’m dancing at the prom. I get to violate her space, wrap her up and hold her close, and in public – things most men would get slapped for if they weren’t dancing the tango.

Reason #31 – As we are returning to our table, I can whisper to Dorothy, “Wow! THAT was SO tangooey.”

Reason #1 – Everyone needs to experience a great tango at least once in their lifetime. Tango can create this beautiful moment where two souls meet, merge, and become lost in each other to the extent all reality is shut out and oblivion occurs.  For three minutes the acquired subsidiaries (the music, the dance, and our heartbeats) combine and we feel like we are the center of the universe. My true confession: I LIKE to be the center of the universe.

Taken from my list of 100 reasons to take Argentine Tango Lessons


     I used to. As a young adult I had a huge crush on Barbara Eden, and I did dream of Jeanie. But that’s not the subject I want to write about now.

     Since I’ve retired, when I awaken, I can usually remember my dreams in vivid detail. I now can replay them, especially the good parts, as I’m lying there waiting to get out of bed. This is a new thing for me.

     I’ve also noticed that my dreams have dramatically changed. They now are “nice” dreams. They’re kind of grandpa-like. I no longer have odd ones such as my recurring dream of driving a 3-wheel vehicle where the seat is 30-feet in the air, and if I turn it too sharply, it will tip over. The anxious dreams of going to take an exam I haven’t studied for, the panic of not being able to find the classroom, or the worst ones where I find myself at the mall and I’m not wearing any clothes are also gone.

     The night terrors of my youth are ancient history, and no one dies in my dreams or is threatened. Everyone is civil and no one is mean or excludes me from the crowd.

     And my dreams are no longer the stuff of which Harlequin novels are written. In a way, that’s nice. I’m not complaining, but a little spice from time to time would be nice.

Note: If you want to read more about dreams, I recommend you click on the article below, Perchance To Dream:


 I calculated in my lifetime I have enjoyed at least 36,000 cups of coffee. I think that makes me a bit of an expert. – Bob Miller

Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love. – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

Wake up and smell the coffee. – Ann Landers

I need a coffee to go with my coffee. – Zooey Deschanel

I love coffee. I love a midday espresso on set, just for the energy. – Carrie Brownstein

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? – Albert Camus

Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Coffee arrived and the espresso was excellent, like an aromatic electric fence. – Ben Aaronovitch

Coffee drinking without cream and sugar is an acquired taste. – Author Unknown

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” ― Dave Barry


     It’s a known fact: chaos ensues when everyone in a household has the right to adjust the thermostat. When I still had children residing in the house, for anyone to have the right to change the thermostat, they had to (1) possess a driver’s license and (2) to monetarily contribute to the general household income on a regular basis.

     Proper thermostat adjustment is tricky business. For example, in the fall and spring, the outdoor temperatures can have wide fluctuations. Highs for the day can be in the 70s, but drop down to a crisp mid 20s at night, a change of 50 degrees in a very short time.

     As a result, maintaining indoor comfort becomes quite a challenge. I personally consider habitually running BOTH the air conditioner and the furnace during any 24-hour period to be an over-indulgence. And this is where my special talent kicks in.

     I think it’s an art to adjust the thermostat mode (heat/cold), the thermostat setting (indoor temperature), the blower setting on the furnace (summer and winter), window shades (open or closed), windows and doors (open or closed), ceiling fans (on or off), and to know when to issue sweaters or hand fans so we can all be comfortable and cozy. As you can tell, that’s a lot of balls in the air.

     I know I’m parsimonious by nature, which I think is a better use of words then to say I am stingy and frugal, but I think it’s a terrible waste of resources (and money) not to pay attention to this. As you can tell, I take this VERY seriously.

     There is also one other issue to consider. There are settings to be adjusted on all three levels of our home which requires many trips up and down the stairs before I get it right. At the end of the day I always wonder if I really need to do the treadmill, and that my aerobic requirements have probably been met. I usually assume they have, so instead of exercising, I will make a martini and sit down in my chair to enjoy the perfect 72 degrees. I then raise my glass and toast myself on a job well done.


     I’ve noticed a trend, and that is that more and more things are becoming expandable. There are expandable files, dining room tables. luxury vans, garden hoses, and suitcases just to name a few.

     Along these same lines and in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, whenever we gather with friends and family, I have always tried to wear some article of clothing fitting and befitting of the holiday. I haven’t actually made the purchase yet, but I have my eye on a pair of tan cords embroidered with pumpkins. They look comfortable and roomy, but the main selling point seems to be their ample elastic waistband. This is important, because I know on Thanksgiving, it will be more than just my mind that is expanding.


     Regarding pleasant Thanksgiving dinnertime conversation, most everyone agrees there are certain topics that should be avoided to keep the peace such as sex, religion, and politics. To this list I’d like to add gossip, your personal finances, your health problems, and most recently I’ve added where and how you spend your winters – also, I think it’s best not to mention Brady and Belichick. If you follow these rules, this doesn’t leave much to talk about, so be prepared for long periods of silence. And if you want to have a REAL old-fashioned Thanksgiving in the style of Norman Rockwell, declare tomorrow a no-iphone day.

COLD TURKEY – According to the dictionary “it may be that the original cold turkey was a combination of cold (“straightforward, matter-of-fact”) and the earlier talk turkey, which dates back to the early 1800s and refers to speaking plainly. Regardless of its ultimate origins, the phrase manages to vividly capture the initial dread and discomfort that comes from immediately quitting something that’s addictive, from drugs to dating apps.”

     There’s another definition that the dictionary didn’t cover, and that involves THANKSGIVING DINNER LEFTOVERS. I love those days when we creatively find ways to use them up. And I don’t think I’ve ever met a leftover turkey recipe I didn’t like. And the options are way to numerous to mention here. 

     When you’re preparing the Thanksgiving dinner, or you’re garnering plastic storage containers to haul the stuff home, be sure there’s plenty of soppy (gravy) to ladle on the meat. The turkey gravy itself is a whole ‘nother universe. As a matter of fact, I have my own personal gravy boat with my name on it. Actually, I don’t, but if there’s anyone out there who wants to give me something for Christmas that I would treasure for the rest of my life, this is it.


“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” – Erma Bombeck


     I had an opera phase in my life. Not so much anymore, but I will occasionally get out my opera discs, crank up the volume, and have the music from La Boheme wafting through the house. While I still love opera, I find there are three things wrong with it:  It usually has a rather simplistic story line (libretto).  It seems to take a performer forever to die.  And you can’t dance to the music.

     But if you want a taste of the best of the best, click on the link below. The selection is the Queen of the Night Aria from The Magic Flute. It is how all great sopranos are measured. As one critic said, “It can swallow them whole!”        


The Scenario:

     You’ve arrived at an elevator, and you press the “up” button.  Another person arrives, sees the “up” button is lit, but presses it anyway.  A third person arrives and also presses the “up” button.

The Question:

     Does an elevator arrive faster the more times the button is pressed?

The Answer:

     Several studies have been done on this, and it was found that elevators do not arrive faster the more times the button is pressed.  It should be noted that the results were the same for both the “up” and the “down” buttons, so it appears gravity has no effect.  The studies also revealed that certain conditions will actually slow the elevators response and shift it into another mode, and its arrival will actually take longer.  Elevator companies can’t explain why this occurs, but it seems to follow a time-response spectrum:

The Certain Conditions

You aren’t in a hurry. As a matter of fact, you are looking forward to a nice ride while listening to some soothing music. Mode: Normal

You are exhausted, and you can’t wait to get to your room so you can relax. Mode: Slow

Your aching arms are filled with packages and shopping bags. Mode: Slower

You desperately need to go to the bathroom. Mode: Even slower

You are intoxicated. Mode: Much slower

It is important to get checked out of the hotel quickly so you won’t miss your flight. Mode: Molasses isn’t this slow

You are intoxicated and you desperately need to go to the bathroom. Mode: You are convinced the elevator is stuck.

You become so impatient you machine-gun the button (known as “elevator button rage”). If you do this it’s been found that 75% of the time the next elevator will actually bypass your floor. Mode: The absolute slowest

Handling Complaints

     Hotels receive lots of complaints about slow elevators, and some have even hired engineers to address the problem.  The engineers suggested such things as additional elevators, express elevators to certain floors, higher degrees of computerization, adding sophisticated equipment to speed up the elevators, etc.  These are all very expensive solutions, but what they found worked best was installing mirrors in the elevator boarding areas.  That’s right – mirrors.  Immediately after installing mirrors, the complaints always go down.  It works every time.  


     There has always been a certain disdain for us poor nine-to-fivers by the people who either play games or entertain us for their livelihood. This was brought to light by a story Jerry Seinfeld told (and I’m paraphrasing):

     In the 1950s a small dance orchestra was traveling across country when their bus broke down. This was before AAA or cell phones, and they could see no headlights or other indications of civilization, so they started walking. Several miles later they noticed a farmhouse with their lights on so they started walking towards it. As they got closer, they could see the residents inside the house. A family just setting down to dinner. It was a handsome man with his beautiful wife and their two perfect children bowing their heads in prayer. There was a fire in the fireplace in a quintessential Norman Rockwell setting.

     The band members stopped for a minute and took in the events that were happening inside the house. One of them turned to the other, and with pity in his voice said, “How can people live like this?”


     Synergism occurs when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Take Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix for example; it contains peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. And it all seems to be lightly covered with a coating to either make it taste better or to preserve it longer (or both).

     It seems to me, to get the full essence of the trail mix, each serving (the whole) should have as many representative constituents (the parts) as possible. In other words, the accomplished action should be a blind grab. There should be no selection process at the time of procuring your serving either visually or tactilely. If this is done, you’re messing with the “whole.” And Aristotle would not be pleased.

     Ideally, trail mix should be eaten when you are involved in a separate activity that has completely captured your attention. tactilely. Another behavior that shouldn’t be allowed is for someone to cherry-pick the parts. If you like peanuts, buy a sack of peanuts. If you like M&Ms, tear open a bag of M&Ms. You need to be aware that there are people walking around who take this seriously, and there have been incidents of violence when cherry-picking has been detected.

     A noted infraction isn’t important enough to call a cop or to issue a citizen’s arrest, but you would be doing society a favor by simply yelling, “STOP. BACK AWAY FROM THE TABLE,” and then lecture this person that what they have just done is not socially acceptable. Once they have had time to digest this, I’m sure they will come around and see the error of their ways.


I don’t know, but there are probably just as many ways to fillet a fish. For a novel way to do this along with a recipe for fresh fish poached in butter , click on the following:


     To my father sweat was a class indicator. He didn’t think in terms of “blue collar” or “white collar” workers. He thought, if you didn’t “crack a sweat,” you weren’t really working. He referred to the people who never sweat as the “never sweats,” and he had a certain disdain for their ilk. To him sweating was noble; sweat was the indicator of “an honest day’s work.”

     While I don’t subscribe to my father’s beliefs, I think cracking a sweat on occasion is good for us. I also think it is cleansing. It seems to rid the body of toxins and impurities that have accumulated, and working or exercising hard enough to sweat seems to alter my neurochemistry in a good way. 

     Sweat isn’t always associated with hard work, exercise, or recreation; there’s also nervous sweat.  Extreme anxiety can cause one to sweat profusely, and there’s also something called “flop sweat.”  Flop sweat is “nervous perspiration caused by a fear of failure before an audience.”  If you want to see an extreme example of this, watch Albert Brooks in Network News (it’s hilarious) or Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential debate (‘not pretty).

     What causes me to break out in a nervous or flop sweat? There are needles, dentists, physical exams, the unpredictability of panhandlers, the IRS, boarding a plane, my relatives on my mother’s side, holding crying babies who can’t be comforted, performance anxiety, public speaking, public transportation, being ignored by the wait staff in a restaurant, and asking me to play the game charades.

     I have to admit there isn’t enough physical activity in my life to cause me to crack a sweat, and I never dance hard enough or long enough to soak a shirt. I do work out which involves vigorous exercise, but that’s always done in private, so I hardly ever sweat in public. 

     If you do ever see me drenched in sweat, it’s because I’ve encountered something or someone from the above “nervous sweat” list. You know, even thinking about the list causes me anxiety. Hmmm…Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?