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31 January 2005

No, I Didn't Goof Up Again!!...


hen you came on here you saw the new banner and thought this guy has really cracked up, right? Especially after the Saturday/Sunday deal. Nah, I just couldn't wait until January was over. I wanted the new month to start faster. I think every month I'll put up a new banner... who knows, maybe they'll be collector items on eBay when I become famous!

It's Still January, I Know

I got a phone call from my Dad yesterday... ( you remember the last call I got?)

Dad: Is there something wrong with you?

Me: (thinking) is this deja vu?

Me: Why? What's wrong now?

Dad: That thing you wrote about Grandpop, right under the Blob's name. (that's right blob, it's not a typo.)

Me: What thing? I didn't write anything about grandpop.

Dad: Yes you did... That thing on your blob about him having died in a car crash... you know he died in the hospital, in a bed.

Me: Dad, it's just a joke.

Dad: You shouldn't be joking about your grandfather like that. I even asked your mother if you could have been talking about her father.

Mom: (in background) No, Denny wasn't even born when my Dad died. I don't know who he's talking about... must be your father, but he died in the hospital, not a car accident.

Me: Sigh, then laughing.

About an hour goes by and I decided to call my sister in New Jersey.
(ring ring ring)

Sister: Hello?

Me: Hi...

Sister: hahahaha hahaha hahahaha hahahaha

Me: Okaaaaayyy, what's so funny?

Sister: I just got off the phone with Dad and he was a little upset. He told me you were writing about Grandpop Shane on your blob and how he was in a terrible car accident, and everyone was killed and Grandpop was sleeping in the back seat of his car. (wow, talk about poetic license)


After Thoughts and Questions

So... is there anyone out there who has similar conversations? I'd like to just know that I'm not alone...
30 January 2005

L'Uomo di Risposta Viene - Separa Quattro


lease pardon my Italian. As I said last week, The Answerman Cometh was going international. Therefore, translation for the linguistically challenged: The Answer Man Comes - Part Four. You could say, The Answerman is multi-tongued... kinda, sorta.

This was a rough week with questions. I had to dig really deep in that part of my brain that is really reserved for old, dusty articles and things that I learned in school, heard about on street corners in Fishtown... just in case I was ever a contestant on Jeopardy! Problem is that as I get older, it keeps getting harder to pull the answers out.

First question...

Dear Denny: Rubber Cement: is it hard rubber or soft cement? Signed Always sticking, blue2go

Dear blue2go: This question confuses many people blue2go. Should it be hard? or is it better soft? It continually goes round and round, up and down, all over the place. Actually blue2go, it's both. However, I checked with Monique at Home House Calls and Stucco Siding and she said the best method is to mix it around and play with the mixture. She said pretty soon you'll see that while it starts out as soft cement, once you keep playing with it... eventually it does turn into hard rubber. Let me know how this works out for you.

Now here we have magicfingers... she keeps asking where her question is... her question first appeared here 2 weeks ago, AND I answered it on 16 January... "well little miss magicfingers, I gotchur question right here, yeah baby.. right here... See below please...

Dear Denny: Could you explain the "separation of church and state?" Signed, Religiously Curious, magicfingers

Dear magicfingers: At first I thought you were being funny and trying to trip me up, but then after a lengthy discussion with my friend Jack Daniels, I realized you were serious. I threw away all the humorous answers and went straight for the serious one. Here it is. Separation of church and state is extremely hard to explain, however a diagram might be more helpful. Get a pencil and paper... ready? Now write the word "church", then on the same line write the word "state" Done that? Finally, draw a simple plain line between the two words. Viola! You now have a graphic display of "separation of church and state" If you followed my directions carefully, you should have something like this: church | state If not go back and re-read the directions.

Moving along...

Dear Denny: Why? Signed Life is a sexy question mark, Jen

Dear Jen, Why Jen? Why?... ok, one last time: Hit it maestro!!... M - I - C (see ya real soon) K - E - Y, (why? Because we LOVE you.) M - O - U - S - E. Now that's it Jen.. no more, not gonna sing it anymore, even if you are a cute, hot and sexy female and I love your blog.. oh ok... M - I- C... laugh
(As a side note: when I was ummm about 10 and my sister was 6 we would watch the Mickey Mouse Club with our MM ears on. When we were bad, my father made us watch it without our ears... so traumatic..)

Next question from a newcomer...

Dear Denny: What is the meaning of Life? Signed MiKell

Dear MiKell, This answer is so easy I'm almost ashamed to put it here. Please refer to Jen's signature above. She summed it up nicely when she signed her question "life is a question mark." So let me know if that cleared your quandry up a bit.

el baño, por favor?...POR FAVOR!!

Dear Denny: Donde esta el baño? Signed I can't hold it anymore, Kat

Dear Kat, There are just so many ways I could answer your question. However, in the sense of urgency, let me pick just one, very quick answer... por el vestíbulo y a su izquierda.

Now for something historical...

Dear Denny: Who said this? "...It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts... etc. Signed, I regret that I had but one question to submit, NowDanny

Dear NowDanny, I really had to think about this one... I reached way down into my brain for this... then it started to come clearer to me... It was a beautiful spring day in ole Virginny, right around Richmond. The blacksmith was toiling away at his shop when he saw the distinguished man approach... "Morning there Mr. Pat, beautiful day, care for a shot of ol' granmas' Elderberry Wine? "No thanks blacksmith" Pat replied, I'm due at old Saint John's Church. I'm giving a speech today... hey blacksmith, tell me how this sounds..." Ole Pat took in a deep breath and billowed out, " is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men engaged in a great and arduous' struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who having eyes see not, and having ears hear not, the things that so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anquish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past." "Wow Pat, sounds so statesman like Pat, hey ya know, just last night Mrs. Blacksmith was complaining about all the house chores and she shouted, "Give me liberty or give me death"... soon as I heard that I thought of you and you might want to use it sometime" "Blacksmith I thank you, I'll work on it. Well, I need to git now." Just then the town preacher came along, "Morning there kind sir, and how is Mr. Henry doing?"

On his way into St. John's Church, Henry picked up a paper laying on the ground. It was the day's newspaper, 20 March 1775 and the headline read: Better luck next time Now Danny! laugh!

Well thank you folks for trying to trip up The ole Answerman... stay tuned because I'll be Cometh again next Sunday.

Unabashed Plug
Remember guys, Valentine's Day is a few short days away. Don't forget to visit our Not So Normal Mall. The florists are all on the Mezzanine Level waiting for you. Oh, and you too girls... you can send guys flowers, or moms, dads... even a bottle of wine with YOUR special label...hmmm
29 January 2005

Hooray! It's Finally Saturday... Again!!...


his time I even checked the calendar, just to make sure. After that, I checked the calendar on my computer... my answering machine, then online to Paltalk and asked people there (what an angry bunch they are a 3AM).

29 January 2005

Departure from the Norm

Given the sobriety of the elections in Iraq, I'm going to depart from my usually sarcastic, humorous observations and light-heartedness for a second. As we all know, we are on the eve of the first elections in the country of Iraq. The dawn of real freedom... the price to and for these people, not to mention us... not to mention other countries of the coalition, has been monumental to say the least.

Having spent 20 years of my life in politics and extremely close to the electoral process... I can't help but draw correlations between Iraq and the United States. One only needs to look at our own history, at the beginning of our formation to see almost what it is like in Iraq. Countless numbers of election officials have been killed and the day hasn't even started and I am sure more will follow... all for the sake of pulling a little lever. Those that vote will go home, hopefully, and be honestly proud of what they did... some will vote and not make it back home... but even their voices will eventually be heard.

I can't help but think and wonder... will Iraq, after all the fighting, all the killing, all the destruction, all for freedom, end up being just like us in 229 years? We don't vote, we don't care, we're too busy, it doesn't make any difference anyway... my people don't win anyway... it goes on and on... Folks, we are witnessing our past, right now in living color on the nightly news. Granted it's not exactly the same, but I think the principles are the same.

So friends, what do you think about this entire mess? ... and it is a mess.

But... on the bright side...
Today is the day to leave all of your burning questions for "The Answerman Cometh." Tomorrow is a new day and I'll try and answer them with aplomb and whatever.

28 January 2005

Hooray! It's Saturday!! Duh...

Geez folks, I am sooo sorry... laugh... when I wrote this I honestly thought it was Saturday! Thanks to regular reader NowDanny for mentioning it was Friday. I'm going back to bed.


kay, when I spotted this offer I thought it was pretty cool. You go to this website and can order good wine, AND create your own label. The label will be professionaly printed and afixed to your bottle.

Holiday wines with personalized labels

I went, designed my label, selected my wine and it came to about $25.00 for 2 bottles, plus appropriate postage.

This prompts 2 questions:
1. Girls, if you went to dinner at a guy's place on Valentine's Day and he pulled a chilled bottle of wine out with his label... would you think it cute or self-serving?
2. Guys, same question but in reverse... If you went to a woman's place, etc.?

When I went there, I thought I could cheat by designing my label and then download it... laugh... they knew I was coming... you can't download it, and that sucks. But if I could download the label, print it, cut it out, bought 2 bottles of wine, soaked the bottles to remove the real labels, smeared glue all over, afixed my labels... geez by now I would have opened both bottles, drank them and would have served soda or water for dinner. Anyway, check it out... maybe it's just what you were looking for...

While I was sitting around writing my blog for today I somehow got side-tracked at A Major Distraction If you go there, you must promise to come back here! Ummm, make sure no children are in the room with you when you go there. laugh.

As you read in yesterdays Blog, I took this test and was labeled a "Menace to Society" Hmmm Is this something I should write home to mom and dad about? I have taken several of these test recently and thought I should start a section on the sidebar with my results. That way girls, you'll know ahead of time if you want to continue our relationship. laugh But here are a few to get me started. I think I'll just put the results... when it goes to the sidebar, I'll put the links and you can take the test:

1. You are a: Menace to Society. (ok, we know about that one)
2. You would make a good: porn star or politician. (Hmmmm, ok)
3. You are not: Suitable to have pets, ever!(I think my pic is now hanging at SPCA headquarters.)
4. You are a: Perfect husband. (See, wife #1 and wife #2... I told y'all!)

Ok, they are the results so far... I think I am a very interesting person.

Hey, Guess What?
You know what today is don't you? Saturday duh!... today is the day where you can ask me any question that's been burning a hole in your brain. Then tomorrow Sunday when "The Answerman Commeth", your answer will be printed here and your life will be back on track. Remember all questions are allowed. So take off the gloves and let 'er rip!

27 January 2005

Strange Request..:

T his was probably one of the strangest requests I've received... well maybe next to the strangest. I got an email from a regular visitor to this Blog. They wanted to know if I had any pictures of my apartment.

So I figured, no harm I guess.

The picture over to the right is Blog Central, the nerve center of the operation. This is where I sit and develope these awesome postings. laugh

After a really hard day of Blogging, here is where I relax. The 2nd picture is my living room, well part of it anyway. I prefer dark, rich tones for furniture.
I live in an apartment on the southwest side of Houston and in a very nice neighborhood and I like my complex. Let's see... I have a living room, dining room, 2 bedrooms... one of which has been turned into an office of sorts, kitchen and of course a bathroom. I love artwork and have paintings all over the place... pretty much on every wall.

My taste runs from Picaso to Toulouse la Trec to my own paintings.

On the right is one of my paintings. It's ok but not my best. The only reason why I am showing it is because it's the only one that would fit on my scanner. I'm not sure why but in real life the painting is not as drab as it appears here... the colors are brighter.

One of these days I'll take up painting again along with a few hundred other things.

I'm smack dab in the middle of the city. I have access to all the major highways and all within a few minutes of my front door. So that's a quick .25 tour.

Thought for today: Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington. And they tracked her calves to their stalls. So why are they unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country?

I was just on scooterdeb's blog and I took this test. You'll be happy to know that I have been labeled as a Menace to Society and there are only 4.7% of people that took this test in this category. And to think, I thought I would be in the Savior of the World bunch. I suspect most of my group are on death row somewhere.

Leave me a comment, and let me know if there's anything YOU want to see... laugh If you DON'T leave a comment, please see preceeding paragraph.
26 January 2005

And the winner is:

I counted the votes, over and over. I thought it was Florida all over again. I sat up all night counting but with sumo casting the final vote in the Maroon vs Blue controversy, the nightmare was finally over. The controversary that gripped the readers for dunno... minutes could finally be put to rest once and for all. Maroon won, by a very slim margin. However, being the former politician that I am I decided to throw give the Blue people a bone an integral say in this blog...and granted, it's meager but...
Are we in Florida?
On Sunday "When the Answerman Cometh" column runs, the submitted questions will be in Blue.

Update! Update!

I eventually broke down and faxed a letter to the manager of HEB regarding the cigarette fiasco. It was a very nice letter for the most part, until I got carried away and threatened to contact the BBB and License & Inspections in City Hall. Within the hour I had an email waiting for me from the General Manager. I was vindicated... there was no such policy whereby you were to be charged for 10 pkgs. when there was only 8 in the open carton. Duh! He didn't quite like the punishment of her being stripped down naked and made to walk around my apartment. He suggested that he would speak to her when she reported in for work. Additionally, he indicated that he would also speak to the other two cashiers involved, as he did not like my punishment suggestion for them either.

This has been another small peek into My Anything But A Normal Life. I was thinking about changing the name of this blog to Denny you NEED a Life. We'll put that to a vote next time.

My new book "Blogging with Psychopaths" states that you should always end your blog with a question to solicit comments. So therefore... just pretend I am asking a question but you really put your answer in the comments section. Thanks. Oh, and I am way ahead of you... "pretend I am writing an answer" isn't allowed...

25 January 2005

When Does 8 = 10 ?...

Don't get all excited, I am simply trying this color font out as suggested in the comments yesterday. So when does 8=10? When you shop at HEB I think. Yesterday I ran out for some items at the local supermarket. I also needed cigarettes. I asked the cashier for a carton. .
New math at HEB, 8 = 10...

So she went over, unlocked the doors and looked for my brand. She found them and brought them back to the register and pointed out that there were only 8 packs instead of 10. I said "ok, give me the eight then"

She turned to the cashier next to her and spoke in Spanish and asked a question. The second girl turned and asked the cashier on the other side of her something in Spanish as well. Now I've got 3 cashiers all speaking Spanish. Finally, my cashier turns and enters a price... for a full carton.

ME: Excuse me Miss... was that for a full carton?
CASHIER: Yes, I have to charge you full carton price.

ME: But I am only getting 8 packs
CASHIER: I know but I have to charge you for 10 packs

ME: Can I ask why?
CASHIER: Because that's the rule...

I was dumbfounded. I told her to remove the cigarettes from my order. I drove over to Walgreen's and got my smokes. I mentioned this to the cashier at Walgreen's and she laughed. "That's a new one" she chuckled.

Four questions:

1) Has anyone ever heard of this before?

2) and should I go through the bother of writing the store a letter of complaint?

3) and should the cashiers be made to speak in English when dealing with the public?

4) What's the verdict on this color font? Should I stick with blue... I think I am caught in the middle.

24 January 2005

My Brain is Blank...

Yesterday I thought of a good column to write about for today. Guess what? Now I can't remember what the heck it was about. Maybe I need to start writing these things down.
Think Denny, Think!

In the mean time while I am thinking what to write about... Did you notice the color change on here? Somehow I accidentally changed the type from black to blue... Do you like it? I think I do, so it might stay this way.

Also I re-organized the advertising on the sidebar. Rather that just blatant advertising, I tried to make it into a mall type thing. Do you find the advertising helpful or a nusance? Valentine's Day is right around the corner and there will be a few Florists advertising there. If you send flowers to your sweetheart, why not stop by the 6th Floor at the Not So Normal Town Mall and order them.

Have you read our group participation book "The Memoirs of Gasper deMornay"? It's been a lot of fun and you should join in the adventure and write a paragraph. Have you been reading it and what are your thoughts?

If I remember what I was going to write about today, I'll save it for tomorrow. In the meantime... I've got three questions... err, a FEW questions:

1. Do you prefer the new blue type or the old black type?
2. Is the advertising on the sidebar helpful or a nusance? And would you use it?
3. What do you think about our on-going novel?

22 January 2005

L'homme de Réponse vient - Sépare Trois

Please pardon my French. I'm trying to attract a larger, worldwide following here. Translation for the linguistically challenged: The Answer Man Comes - Part Three. If French doesn't work, then we'll go to Spanish, Italian and eventually I'll resort to Pig Latin

Now let's move right along to your questions.

Dear Denny: when someone says a in 'yes, I have a few of those' are they talking about two or three? And a a couple only two? I get very confused by this often and dont want to be taken incorrectly should it be a life or death situation and I have to say.." no, just give me a few shots of morphine" or " well officer, Ive only had a couple of drinks...".... if you can help me out with this I would be so thankful...Signed: Been confused a few couple lot, KC

Dear KC: ... Thank you for submitting your question. The old couple/few problem. This has confused man, woman and child since the beginning of time, ever since Adam said to Eve, "Sure hon, I'll have couple bites but let me put a few or couple shirts on here, I think it's gonna be cold tonight."

Anyway... First let's take the easy one. FEW: If you noticed there are THREE letters in the word FEW. So therefore FEW means THREE. It's gets a little confusing here however for COUPLE. If you notice there are SIX letters in COUPLE. Therefore you divide FEW into COUPLE, or 6/3=2... you get TWO. So therefore just remember that little equation COUPLE / FEW = TWO and you'll be just fine.

Question # COUPLE divided by FEW = TWO

Dear Denny: I want to know how you can give responses to the comments on your blog so fast. Signed Happy and Blue

Dear Happy and Blue: ...Well, who is/are asking this question... Happy and/or Blue? I always get confused, are you a COUPLE? or is/are there a FEW of you bouncing around in there? You want to know my secret huh? I just can't come right out and tell you. B. Gates tried to get me to reveal the answer as well and failed.

However, if you/y'all really want to know the answer to that question and answers to all of your blogging questions, you/y'all may want to purchase my new book "Blogging Secrets Revealed for Dummies" at a bookstore near you. This helpful book is well worth the $59.32 price.This hot off the press book has informative chapters such as: "How Blogging Saved My Life", "So, You Want To Have A Blogging Affair", "How Blogging Ruined My Marriage" and the popular "Denny's Blogging 10 Step Program. Call within the next five seconds and I will personally autograph it for you. Ready? Set? Go! Crowd, 2 Pairs, Few, Couple, Lonely... times up!

One Last Navy Story...

Honest, I'm not trying to put you to sleep with old war stories, but yesterdays' story reminded me of this little gem. This will be the last story from my Navy files until... dunno... next month maybe.
What do the US Flag, the St. Thomas flag and the Danish flag all have in common?

The ship was on a Carribbean cruise and pulled into Charlotte Amaile on the beautiful island of St. Thomas. To the residents of the island it meant simply "home"... to Rich and I it meant, new bars, new people to meet. New people meant "girls". However we soon discovered that they took the name Virgin Islands to heart.

Our first night on "liberty" was a great success... well, as far as the drinking part went. We had managed to spread good ol' American charm in every bar we visited. While we were doing our own rendition of the "blind leading the blind" we came across an extremely well lit building. Rich asked if I was getting hungry. Sure why not, this place look clean. We walked in and found ourselves in a small dining area with one table. That fact didn't have any bearing on us at all. So we sat down and waited patiently for our waitress to arrive with the menu. Within seconds she arrived... looked at Rich and I and said, "what the hell are you two doing?" We explained that we were hungry and thought we would pop in for a meal. The waitress: "you think this is a restaurant? It's my house and your sitting in my dining room!" We looked around... pictures on the walls... very nice nic naks... oh crap... we got up, apologized, went outside and nearly peed ourselves laughing so hard. I mean we were falling down laughing so hard. The pride of the US Navy, strikes again! You would think we'd have enough sense to just go back to the ship and turn in for the night. Well... we did, kinda/sorta.

The Royal Danish Flag

On our way back we found ourselves in front of City Hall. Nice little building in the middle of town. On the flag poles, 3 of them... there were 3 flags... the US flag, the Virgin Islands flag and the Danish flag. Originally St. Thomas belonged to the Danes. For whatever reason, which escapes me now, the Danish flag looked really cool. It didn't take long for us to realize just how cool this flag would look onboard our ship. I had just enough Cubre Libra drinks in me to begin my ascent up the flag pole while Rich was the lookout. After a few tries, I finally got to the top and unhooked the flag. We were proud of our aquisition! and we went back to the ship and turned in for the night.

Next morning I woke up with one HUGE hangover. I also realized my blanket was all bunched up around me. I tried to straighten it out. "What the hell was this?" I thought. It started coming back to me. I had the Danish flag wrapped around me... keeping me warm... as if it were freezing in the Carribbean.

To this day I often wonder what eventually happened to that flag. Neither of us can remember what we did with it... Now... do YOU have any aquisitions you would like to admit to?

Thanks for listening and reading. Y'all come back again soon!

20 January 2005

Part 2: The Mailman Hates Us...

If you're joining us for the first time, Welcome! In order to get the right perspective on this article you really need to read the one from yesterday first, then come back for this one.
We were drowning in an ocean of letters

As I said yesterday, one dollar for a normal, boring letter... Two dollars for a letter with a picture and Five dollars for a letter with a REALLY ahem, good picture! Business was great! At that time we also had about 150 Marines onboard the ship and word got to them about what was going on and they wanted in. Rich and I started to feel like pimps. Laugh. Some days were slower than others and we had our own 2 for 1 sales.

Throughout this ordeal we did have a goal. We tried to at least read the first paragraph of each letter after which it went into one of the piles or categories. There was a special pile that wasn't for sale. These were letters from extremely perspective "dates" and girls we became quite interested in and possibly even visiting.

At one point we kind of looked at each other and thought "this has got to end" We were too busy unloading and selling letters that we were ignoring our "hot letters" department... the ones we were hiding away for ourselves. I think towards the end we were having "handfulls of letters for $5" sales and many were virgin letters, never even opened.

We started to narrow down the special letters. We were going for geography... girls near Little Creek... ever see the maps on TV in detective shows with the circles? laugh. We had circles and X marks the spot deals.

Unbelievably we managed somehow to get the special pile down to one letter and she had a girlfriend also and she started writing as well. In a non-conceited way we thought that these two girls were the lucky winners. Plus both were from New York... very close for travel purposes and Rich's hometown.

The correspondence became mini-olympics as to which side could write the more interesting letters. One time we received a letter from these two written entirely on a roll of toilet paper. We responded with a letter typed on a typewriter using wax paper. Rich and I even taped an entire radio show that we told the girls we had onboard the ship. Of course there was no such radio show. Rich and I were awesome catches, even if we thought so ourselves. Laugh. The one thing about this is that we based our interest in these girls strictly on their written words and ingenuity.. we never saw pictures of them as they never sent any. We kept asking but they never sent any pictures.

The shocking pictures arrive!

Finally, an envelope arrives and Rich says it feels like photos. He rips open the envelope and goes right for the pictures. I'm looking at his face for reactions, any reaction at all. Nothing... his face was so solemn. He looked at me and said. "we've got a problem... a big ^$*@*&% problem." He handed me the pictures. The first thing I saw was a hand-written note on top of one picture and it said: "we love seafood" To be brutally honest, to this day I'm not really sure if they were females or 2 guys. Very stocky and a tad muscular, all in the wrong places. We felt dirty... we felt used... violated... We were stunned. I wondered if we had stashed away any other letters somewhere we could fall back on.

Naturally we never wrote back. But these two in N.Y. kept writing. We got tired of getting the letters from them. Rich and I agreed we had to take care of the situation. It was the only honorable thing to do... so we flipped for it. I won the toss and he was elected to write a letter back to them, telling them this was going nowhere.

I didn't even get flowers

About a week later Rich told me he took care of it. "Oh?", I said. He said, "yes... I told them you died in a car crash and I was too broken up to continue letter writing." Hey, good one Rich... that must have taken all of 3 seconds to think up... laugh. Instead of being astonished and horrified at what he had told them I simply said: "Good idea, think they'll buy it?"

Apparently they did... we never heard from them again. I was kinda upset that they didn't even care enough to send sympathy flowers. For about a week or so after that, we were both depressed... all of our efforts... up in smoke. About this time our ship was pulling into Naples, Italy. We went on liberty and met two Italian girls... REAL girls... but that's another story.

Every time Rich and I talk on the phone now we always go back to that time and start laughing, just like I've been laughing and shaking my head as I've been writing this article. Just too, too funny.

Thanks for listening and reading. Y'all come back again soon!

From My Past...

From time to time I think I will take some of the advice freely given on this blog and write something personal. I think as I write these memories you'll understand why today I am who I am, how I got this way and now on industrial strength Venlafaxine, Mirtazapine and Trazodone...
Venlafaxine, Mirtazapine and Trazodone--Oh My!

This story goes way back, WAY back in my life during my Navy days.

My ship, would be departing Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia and head towards the Mediterranean Sea. This cruise was going to take 8 months, stopping and visiting places like Italy, France, Spain, Corsica, and Sicily and I was so looking forward to it. Just getting to our first port, Rota, Spain took almost 3 weeks... Three very long weeks aboard an LST, which was flat-bottomed and which made it rock back and forth, back and forth, back and forth... Ugh! I had a lot of friends aboard the ship but my closest buddy was Rich from Brooklyn. As time would reveal, he was just as goofy and nuts as I was.

Anyway one night, before we left the States, Rich and I decided to each pick out a school in the U.S. and write a letter. We both picked an all girls college... I forget where now. We sent our letters to the student body class president. We explained that we were two sailors heading to the "Med" and we would like to correspond with any girl that wanted to write to us. We both figured this was a good idea and we could have some fun with it. About a week went by and we finally got 3 letters, from 3 girls from 2 Catholic colleges. They were nice letters but kinda not what we had in mind. We considered the project a flop. Rich and I being the adventurous duo pondered, "How could we have improved this project to make it a success? what did we do wrong? maybe we needed something on a grander scale?" Little did we know what was in store for us...

It hit us like a ton of bricks. We sat down and typed out a letter... made copies and mailed those copies to EVERY all girls college in America! Every single one! I forget now how many, but trust me it was a lot... maybe a couple hundred... shrug.

So now we pull out of Little Creek for our "Med" vacation defending our country" cruise. Three weeks later we finally arrive in Rota, Spain. When you arrive in a port of call they always call for "working parties" to bring aboard the food, ship parts and the mail from home. Over the PA system we heard "Five man working party report to the main deck" No big deal, normal proceedure. Everyone on the ship is always excited when the mail arrives. Letters from home, boxes of goodies, lonely heart letters from girlfriend and wives... sometimes letters from both girlfriend and wife. Finally it came "Mail Call" Rich and I were sitting in the office coniving some idea I'm sure when our mail clerk came into the office. He looked at me, then Rich and said, "there's some mail for you guys at the post office... go get it." Rich and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders... Ok, no big deal. We go out and of the 5 big canvass mail bags, the entire ship received 1/2 a bag... the other 4 1/2 bags were for Rich and I. We were dumb-founded. Hundreds and hundreds of letters. There was cookies, candy, underwear...and a few self photos... Everyday in port it was pretty much the same thing... it just kept coming and coming... it never stopped. The mail wouldn't stop. I was having nightmares that Freddy Krueger was delivering my mail. We had mail falling out of our lockers, stuffed in laundry bags, bras, panties and letters under our mattresses.. if a space was empty there were piles of mail. We did they only thing that 2 sailors knew what to do and how to handle the situation... we started selling the letters to the guys onboard the ship. We tried dividing the letters into categories: virgins and non-virgins. Those were the days when the non-virgin pile was much bigger. Not a good selling point when trying to sell to sailors. We tried geographical... nope... guys wanted females close to home or base. Finally it just boiled down to content.

One dollar for a normal, boring letter... Two dollars for a letter with a picture and Five dollars for a letter with a REALLY ahem, good picture!

(To be continued)

Special Note: Last night I got a phone call from my father in Jersey. Forget Hi, how are ya? The first words I hear are:

DAD: Is there something mentally wrong with you?
ME: Geez Dad, after all these years you really have to ask that question?

So I took the bait...

ME: ummm why?
DAD: You are writing too much about naked male statues. People might talk.
ME: Well, I don't want to write about naked male statues but I couldn't find any naked female statues to talk about.

DAD: Well, you not only shouldn't be writing about naked male statues but you shouldn't be writing about naked female statues either.
ME: thinking to myself: I just knew there was a "God forbid what would the neighbors think?" coming any minute.

It was a No Win/No Win phone call for me.

ME: So dad... how did you like today's story? laugh.

19 January 2005

Part 1: My Blog... Part 2: Another Naked Statue

Thank you all for your constructive and informative comments in the "comments" section listed under "This Could Be Fun" below..
It's all about... me, me, me or is it: you, you, you or perhaps: us, us, us...

Each of you have provided your thoughts about this Blog and I really appreciate the words. "I understand you're trying to get a feel for blogging..." wrote Amanda. And she is right... I have been trying to get a feel for doing this Blog thing. Some ideas work and some don't. I do keep track of everything. I guess that's a throwback to my days in politics. I kept information and stats on everything and I find myself doing exactly the same thing here. How many people visit the Blog... the number of "comments", the date and the heading. I figure that way after awhile I'll be able to see what prompts responses and what doesn't.

KC wrote: "everyone has their own reasons for blogging...yours seems to be bringing people to a common ground..." That's exactly what I try to do, bring people together... hmmm maybe I shouldn't, but that wouldn't be me.

"So...point is...I came over to you via Magicfingers...and I also look forward to each new post of yours...I do find it pleasantly diverse. You are appreciated Mr. Denny believe me." said sumo. That was really nice to hear sumo... thank you and I look forward to your visits and comments as I do all of you.

Another very thoughtful comment was from Jen. "I come to your blog because of the social interaction. It's like a dinner party. A casual conversation with friends. Talking about issues and opinions, no matter the level of the topic. You have a way of making every person feel included..."

It will take some time before I settle into what this adventure will be about and involve. But in the mean time, come on over, sit down, relax... a chilled wine? ... fasten your seatbelts and we'll see where this road takes us... all of us together. I am always open to criticism constructive advice.

And to think, when I woke up this morning I was going to write about another nude statue going up... laugh

Oh ok, if you insist...


A Seattle man with a strong sense of humor has left the city $1 million on condition it be used to create a statue of a realistic, naked man.

Stu Smailes was a retired computer analyst who died in 2002 at the age of 69 with no immediate family, the Seattle Times said Tuesday.

His lawyer, Tim Bradbury, said Smailes had supported arts groups in the past, but none of his previous gifts were on this scale.

The will was quite specific about the bequest, to be used exclusively for the purpose of designing, constructing and maintaining a fountain or fountains located within the city of Seattle. The fountain(s) shall include one or more unclothed, life-size male figure(s) designed in the classical style, i.e.: realistic... meaning "in full glory" (I can only wonder where the water will be coming from)

The city is now in negotiations with the Seattle Art Museum to transfer the gift to them for their new Sculpture Park.

In the meantime, Bradbury wouldn't elaborate on his client's stipulation.

He was a very funny man (with) a very strong sense of humor, he said.

Ok, that's it, no more nude statue stories... well, except: where are the women statues?? Plus, the will states for one or more naked male statues... I can see a water fight coming... oh geez, I don't even want to get into this.

Naked Male Statues: 2
Naked Female Statues: 0

18 January 2005

This Could Be Fun...

Sitting here and browsing other people's Blog... so many talented people... gifted writers... I sat back in my chair, staring out the window... I wondered how we could all participate in something together as a group.
Once Upon A Midnight Dreary...

An ongoing project that would keep people coming back to this Blog, day after day.

Then it hit me... a novel... a book... a tome of sorts. Everyone would participate in the creation! It could be as long as we want or as short as we want. I prefer long, drawn out, but well-written scenarios. I'll start the novel... then whoever wants will pick up where I left off and write a paragraph or so. The next person comes along and picks up where the last person stopped... Hey, who knows... maybe someone will read it and want to publish it! laugh

I'll start it off, the link is over to the left on the sidebar. Click on it and start noveling away. I'll not edit or delete content... unless it is very, very off the wall... Good idea or not?

Anyways, here it goes... (click over to the left "Memoirs of Gasper DeMornay)

My Brush With The Law...

Yesterday started out as such a pleasant day. Sitting here playing around on the computer, I decided I should go to the supermarket and get some needed items. (my first mistake)
Shaddup ya mug... you're going to the electric chair!

As I approached the red light and being the conscientious driver that I am, I slowed to a complete STOP... turn signal on, indicationg a left turn. Over on my left, under the freeway and hidden until too late, I spotted a Houston police car with a careless motorist pulled over. She was getting a ticket for something I am sure she deserved. I really abhor reckless and uncaring drivers. Poor girl... I made my left when the light turned green... (my second mistake)...trying not to make eye contact with the cop standing there...(third mistake) with a ticket book in his hand... looking directly at me... all while his partner was writing out "War and Peace" on his ticket pad for the poor girl.

COP: Hey you... pull over...
ME: (pointing to myself so innocently) Me?
COP: Yes, you...
ME: (Thought to myself... I didn't do anything... I waited for the green light... my turn signal still blinking. Obviously only a routine stop.
COP: Good morning sir, license and registration please.
ME: Did I do something wrong officer?
COP: You don't know?
ME: ummmm why no...(I couldn't think of a thing I did wrong)
COP: You sure?
ME: Positive Officer, ( and added as an after thought): sir...
COP: You don't have your seatbelt on...
ME: oh shit (I got a really sick feeling in my stomach)
COP: You know it's against the law to drive without a seatbelt?
ME: ummmm (I hand him my license and registration)
ME: (I also pull out my Fraternal Order of Police membership card)
ME: (I also hand him my Phila. Traffic Court I.D. card)
ME: (These items have always served me well... except that one time where I was doing 50 in a school zone.)
COP: He begins to walk around my car and notices my Gold FOP plaque on the dash. Finally, he'll stop writing the ticket! Geez, how many "courtesy" things does this guy need?)
ME: (under my breath "Please don't walk in front of my car" I mumble as I straighten out my blue handicapped parking sign hanging from my mirror)
COP: Where's your front license tag?
ME: Right here on the floor... the holes don't line up with the holes in the front of the car. (I'm waving the plate at him through the window and pointing at the holes.)
COP: Uh huh... ever try string? (he continues writing)

The girl originally getting a ticket, drives past me smiles and waves
ME: ummmm wow... she was a cutie...

ME: (Now I think I was getting chest pains. Maybe it was a "good luck" heart attack and I'd have to be rushed to a hospital without getting a ticket.)
COP: (Rips off ticket and hands it to me) Have a nice day and buckle up. NOW
ME: ummmm (I am stunned. What kind of reciprical cop was this? None of my little "get out of ticket" cards worked. I take the ticket and throw it on the passenger seat.. didn't he ever hear about "honoring the unwritten code"? You don't give a fellow FOP member a ticket! Never!)

I finally get to the store and look at the ticket. Holy Crap! $90 for no license plate and $125 for no seat belt! I looked down at my license plate on the floor... which was glaring back at me...

ME: "shut up... what the hell you lookin at... you troublemaker?"

God does have His ways, as strange as they may be: My lesson in all of this? Never, ever smirk at a pretty girl getting a ticket.

17 January 2005

HP 2005 Houston Marathon

Congratulations to all 17,206 marathon runners who participated in the 2005 HP Houston Marathon. There was a sizable increase in the number of runners this year... by 3,000 runners. They all ran in perfect 42 degree weather beginning at 7AM.

As you remember I wrote about Amanda Adamo, 32, who survived 27 stab wounds about 3 years ago. She was my favorite for yesterday... and she did an absolutely wonderful job! The Tomball, Texas runner finished the 26 mile marathon in 5:52:53, placed 5609th out of the record 17,206 Yea Amanda!!! Way to go girl!!

Houston's hometown favorite Kelly Keane, 32, achieved her personal best and took home the title. In the men's division, newcomer and last-minute race addition, David Cheruiyot, 34, took the lead at mile nine and never looked back en route to his first visit to, and victory in, the U.S.

With a record prize purse of $118,400, runners competed in the HP Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Houston Press 5K, Runners also will raise a record amount for charities with the total expected to exceed $750,000 - nearly $200,000 more than last year.
16 January 2005

The Answerman Commeth Again...

You all forgot about it didn't you? I didn't! I have been busy searching the blog for your questions and today I am spreading the knowledge... Can I get an "amen"?
I've found a few questions that I thought you might be interested in reading the answers I've come up with... then again, maybe not.

Then again, who cares??

Dear Denny: Don't you think the world has enough female nudes? Signed Always Looking For a Blatant Bulge, Jen

Dear, dear Jen... Michaelangelo to David: "Well Davey, I charge by the inch... how many ya want?" I have lived in Texas now for nearly 14 years and I can honestly say I have never, ever seen one female nude statue here and believe me... I've searched. None, zippo, zilch... Maybe I should move to dunno... Tulsa?

This is fun... I think...

Dear Denny: I was wondering if you could explain the whole ass-slapping thing football players do? Signed Yearning for a good pat, KC

Well dear KC, I heard a directive was put out by the football league on this very subject. Originally the guys started out patting "other" areas of the players but that lead to some players complaining that there were way too many balls in play. It was confusing everyone. This was also about the time the "illegal use of hands" penalty was created. Therefore, they switched to the butt. I hope this clarifies your question. If you need a demonstration, email me...

And Finally...

Dear Denny: Could you explain the "separation of church and state?" Signed, Religiously Curious, magicfingers

Dear magicfingers: At first I thought you were being funny and trying to trip me up, but then after a lengthy discussion with my friend Jack Daniels, I realized you were serious. I threw away all the humorous answers and went straight for the serious one. Here it is. Separation of church and state is extremely hard to explain, however a diagram might be more helpful. Get a pencil and paper... ready? Now write the word "church", then on the same line write the word "state" Done that? Finally, draw a simple plain line between the two words. Viola! You now have a graphic display of "separation of church and state" If you followed my directions carefully, you should have something like this:
church | state If not go back and re-read the directions.

This was a lot tougher than I originally thought. I hope next weeks' questions are a tad easier.

15 January 2005

Live Chat

I tried this feature when this blog first went up. It didn't quite catch on... however now that more and more people seem to be stopping in and checking the blog out... I figured I'd give it another try. On the left side of this blog you'll see a little blinking icon that says: "Live Chat" Give it a try... you'll be asked for a screen name and a short description. You don't need the description however.

Maybe I'll be there... maybe someone else... maybe no one... but after a long hard day of blogging, come on in... put your feet up, sit back, relax, have a nice cool drink... or hot drink if you're in the frigid north and chat with fellow bloggers.

We'll see how it goes... shrug.

BlogPower... the Mayor Caved In

Our collective voices were heard in City Hall yesterday. Houston's Mayor changes his mind... again. Stupid flat tire law is changed!
Flat Tire in Houston =
Ok now!

Remember the other day when I wrote about the new flat tire law in Houston? You had 6 minutes to change the tire or a tow truck would tow you off the freeway... no questions, no prisoners? Well... the Mayor has rescinded that order. Laugh... here's the new deal.

Any motorist who stalls, breaks down or has a flat tire and is not in a moving lane of traffic will receive a free tow for up to one mile of the freeway.

If a motorist runs out of gas, he or she will receive a free tow to the nearest gas station. A motorist who has a flat and a spare tire in good condition will receive a free tire change from the wrecker driver.

But now the basic rule of the service is -- if a vehicle breaks down in a moving lane of traffic or a driver abandons a disabled vehicle, it will be towed for a minimum charge of $75.

by Denny Shane 1/15/05

Now I'm not saying our little blog here had anything to do with the Mayor's change of heart BUT it sure looks suspicious... I write a blog condeming the stupid tire law and next thing you know, the mayor is changing the law!

Ahem... oh who cares if I take the credit... Houston city hall doesn't read my blog anyway.
14 January 2005

I'm Coming Back As A Pig!

Have you seen those lists that are circulating around other blogs? You know the one: List 3 things, etc... I was going to do that but then discovered this list instead. I think it's much more interesting than my life, however if there is anyone reading this that would like me to answer any of the questions on that list, or you want to make up your own... just send me an email. I'll answer... promise! Laugh.

Thirty Minutes, Huh?


If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. (Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months,
enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic
bomb. (Now that's more like it! I'm saving up!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out
to the body to squirt blood 30 feet. (Impressive!)

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(Whoa! In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head
before it starves to death. (Creepy.)
(I'm still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an
hour. (Do not try this at home...... maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its
head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by
ripping the male's head off. ("Honey, I'm home. What the....?!")

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's
like a human jumping the length of a football field.
(30 minutes... lucky pig... can you imagine??)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
(I still want to be a pig in my next life...I strongly believe in quality
over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet.
(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. (If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
(OK, so that would be a good thing....)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.
(I wonder who was paid to figure that out?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains.
(I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have
sex for pleasure. (What about that pig??)

Ok, I admit curiosity got to me and I once again did indept investigation and found this medical study.. A female averages 12 minutes from start of sexual intercourse to climax point, while a male averages 2.5 minutes. Furthermore, females can attain multiple orgasms within 2 minutes of the first climax; males have a refractory (recovery) time of 30 minutes from his first climax to his second erection. (What was God thinking when he created man and woman?)


1) The pig is STILL having more fun than men and women combined!

2) It is obvious now that men are NOT pigs!

3) OINK! OINK! baby...
13 January 2005

An Exhaustive Study...on Sex

According to the clock on my computer it's 4:20AM and I've been doing a very indept analysis for you. Trust me, you'll need these facts and figures today and you'll be up to date. Your boss will be impressed and you'll be #1 for a new position. At lunch today you can throw in the facts I lay out... people will be amazed at your knowledge. Let me know how it goes and if you still have a job after lunch!
Does Sex Really Sell?

You couldn't help but notice the comments regarding yesterdays column about the naked male statue in British Columbia. That got me to thinking... Does Sex Sell on Blogs... (Duh...) So I had nothing else to do this morning when I woke up at 2:30AM. Viola! Hence this article. I looked through all of the data... names of articles, total page visits, number of comments... and I fed all that info into my computer. After I figured out why my computer was all of a sudden freezing, I got the answers that I was looking for...

See Extremely Detailed Chart Below...

by Denny Shane

I looked at past articles and pondered how I could have improved on them to attract more people and comments. The words bolded are the addons... Examples:
The Sexy Answerman Commeth
Something Really Cool... Sex, Sex, Sex.
I Have a Decision to Make... Who do I want Sex With?
Be A Hit at Your Office Party... Go Naked.

The possibilities are limitless. So dear friends here is my question: Should this blog contain more Sex and why?

Tomorrows column: I Had An Affair with Rhonda McDoogle in her Drive-Thru.
12 January 2005

Public Nudity?

But did he use the Mayor as a model? No one in the little town of Penticton has asked that question as of yet.
Cover Your Eyes Kids! Nude Statue = Bad Slasher Flick = OK!

So I guess I have two questions for today: If they erected a male nude statue in your town and placed it in the town square, would you admire it or close your eyes when you drove past it?


Penticton, British Columbia, Jan. 11 (UPI)
A nude male statue erected in a British Columbian town square has aroused controversy over its cost and propriety as art.

The statue, called The Baggage Handler, went up a week ago. It shows the man's nude figure surrounded by a number of colorful suitcases meant to represent emotional baggage.

The nearly 16-foot tall figure (hey, I know what you're trying to figure out) has only been up for a week in Penticton, but many taxpayers are already angry at the $5,000 expense, while others are miffed at the nudity of the publicly funded art, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday. Some drivers narrowly avoided accidents because they were distracted by the display. Artist Michael Hermesh was told to cover statue's sex organs. "I was furious!", he recalled.

The city then had a change of heart, with officials voting 5-1 Monday night to tell Hermesh to uncover the genitalia.

Curtis Collins, a curator at the South Okanagan Art Gallery, thought the controversy was much ado about rather little: "He looks like he just got out of Okanagan Lake." (hmmmm... methinks ole Curtis is a little preoccupied)

My other question would be: Since they erected a male, would it be ok to erect a female statue as well?
11 January 2005

Don't Get A Flat in Houston...

The city of Houston has passed what I think is one of the stupidest laws around. I've never seen the city so divided on a new law.
You Have 6 Minutes... Or Else!

If you get a flat tire within the city limits and you are on a freeway... you have 6 minutes to change the tire or a tow truck can now just pull up and tow you off... $75.00 No fighting, no nothing... pull up, hook up your car and off you go. Now the clock starts ticking from the time the tow truck sees you and your car. He then calls in to the local police and they ok the tow. So now the truck pulls in front of your car and the race is on. Bingo! Your 6 minutes is up and he's clamped on the tow rig... who cares that your flat tire is off the car and laying on the ground. You're done as far as the city/tow driver is concerned and you need to now fork out $75 bucks.

It would take me at least 3 minutes out of the allowed 6 minutes to get out of the car, curse at the tire, kick it a few times and then find the spare in my trunk. You read that right... 6 minutes... That's your time limit according to the city. The thing that kind of amazes me is that not one word from AAA. That's one of the reasons why I joined the AAA... just for situations when I get a flat. Since my stroke I'm not as co-ordinated as I once was and it's just easier to call the AAA's.

Many people brought up the fee... especially elderly drivers who might not be able to pay $75 or extremely poor people. The city of Houston has said that in those cases, the person can ask for leniency, fill out a form detailing their situation and the fine may be lifted. Now I already know that the friggin form will take more than 6 minutes to fill out. This brainstorm is the baby of our new mayor. I'm afraid this new law will stay in effect until the next mayor's race, he is kicked out and someone new is elected. His rationale is that this procedure will make our freeways safer.

Does any other city have this going on?

by Denny Shane

The above is my editorial cartoon... which I might use from time to time... when I have nothing else worth-while to say. laugh

This just in: The AAA of Texas will reimburse you the $75 charge and towing up to 5 miles from the initial point.

10 January 2005


What a response. I only received a few suggestions for The Answerman Commeth on here, but my mailbox was over-fulleth..

I think this may have to become a Weekend Special from here on out. That's right... every Saturday leave a question, come back on Sunday for your answer! Actually, hold on a sec here... some people don't have a computer at home so that kinda limits the Saturday deal. Ok... leave a question any day but just mention it's for The Answerman Commeth. Cool, huh? I think the only rule is you can leave up to 2 questions and I'll pick the one I want to answer.

I'm trying to fill up space here because I don't have a thing to say this morning. Have you figured that out yet? However, I do have an excuse... I thought of something to write about yesterday but now I forget what it was... and dammit... it was a good subject.

I was just sitting here admiring my church sign and it dawned on me... is Commeth spelled with 1 or 2 m's? laugh But you know what? This whole thing is "anything but normal" so who cares if it's not spelled right?

You know what... am I creating a monster here or will this be an entertaining feature? The last thing I want to do is bore you to death. So, should The Answerman Commeth become a weekend feature?
08 January 2005

The Answerman Commeth...

Man -o-man...the response to the challenge yesterday of sending me questions to answer was simply over-whelming.
How Do I Measure Success? It only takes one!

I think the exercise was a huge success. I only had 1 request. Out of the 100 or so people that came through here, only 1 person had a question. I can handle 1 question... if there were more I probably would have freaked.

So here in its' entirety is the one question I received yesterday and it was from regular visitor Now Danny.

Dear Denny: What happened with the group in the basement with cash and guns? Signed, Now Danny

Well, first off for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the story and why Now Danny is asking that question. You really should go to Thursday, December 16th comments. As I had previously said, I was invited down into the basement of this church and there were neat piles of money, pictures of guns... you name it. There was even a wood carving of a beautiful Harp which was hand-made by a prisioner in a Belfast jail. It was going to be raffled off at the next general meeting upstairs. I was taken around and introduced to many people... many with very thick Irish brogues. I was amazed... I never knew anything this organized was in operation. Ireland, yes... but Philly? ...never. Why me? you ask. Well, at the time I was very heavily into city politics... I had contacts, knew people and was involved in all kinds of organizations. And being Irish I guess they thought I would be helpful and sympathetic to the cause.

I think I knew where the money was going but I never asked. Actually, I don't think I ever asked a question... I think I just knew... The more I looked around the more things looked like an army barracks... I wondered if the were democrats or republicans? The one thing I was sure of... they were definitely Irish.

For all of their faults, the Irish have been played as a drunken but happy, argumentative lot. However, the one thing they never, ever did was reveal a secret... and this organization was a well kept one. I attended a few more of the "secret" meetings but the more I saw, the more I didn't think it my cup o'whiskey.

I preferred staying upstairs with the regular folk, who were enjoying their beers, whiskeys and story-telling.

Ok, before I go I have one quick Irish joke

An Irishman's been at Malloy's pub all night drinking.
The bartender finally says that the bar is closed.
So he stands up to leave and falls flat on his face.
He figures he'll crawl outside and get some fresh
air and maybe that will sober him up.

Once outside he stands up and falls flat on his face.
He decides to crawl home and at the door stands up and falls
flat on his face. He crawls through the door and up the stairs.
When he reaches his bed he tries one more time to stand up.
This time he falls right into bed and is sound asleep.
He awakens the next morning to his wife standing
over him shouting at him.

"So, you've been out drinking again!"

"How did you know?" he asks.

"Malloy's pub called, you left your damn wheelchair there again."

If anyone would like information regarding Ireland's struggle for independence, please visit Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin is in no way connected, to my knowledge, with the organization previously mentioned.

And now for the benefit of any arm of the law, domestic or international, that might be reading this blog... due to my stroke in April, I'll not be remembering much of anything about nothing.

And just for good measure: No animals were hurt or maimed in the typing of this blog today.

...Slainte'... Gaelic for "good health"

Ok, Yes, I Lied...

Well... Here I am, sitting alone at my desk... head bowed, feeling very remorseful... I need to admit something... Yes, I'm guilty. At the end of yesterday's column I said today I would talk about "express line" tactics and diversions, at your supermarket.
Bait and Switch? You Betcha!

Actually, I had no intention of writing anything about that today... at all.

I merely whetted your appetite just enough to get you to come back here. Ok, ok... so shoot me. But this leaves me with a problem... I have to think of something to write about now.

I know... do you have any questions for me? I can be good at offering, both good and bad advice. You can ask me anything your heart desires on the comment page and I'll answer them all in tomorrow's blog! I studied this technique, in depth, in the Big Black Blog Book (go ahead, you know you want to say it 10 times fast) Chapter XXVIII: "Being Lazy While Encouraging Reader Participation". Pretty sneaky huh? You will actually be co-writing this blog! No subject is taboo... And as an added bonus, I don't have to think about writing anything! It's a WIN/WIN situation for both of us! You write your questions today and then have to come back tomorrow for your answer. How cool is that?

You get your deepest, darkest questions answered and I don't have to think...

NOTE: Due to the massive outpouring expected, please only 1 question per person.

07 January 2005

Something Really Cool...

Want to try something really, really cool? Nothing to do at work? This is sure to fill up your entire afternoon. You can't stop doing it! You need to go to: Montage-A-Google

It's Addictive

You can put in one, two words and it will search the entire Internet and then show you a montage of things it found with those words. It even works with your name. Now don't be blaming me if you get fired or get home from work late.

The Other Me Won the Battle...

Now here is where you'll begin to see that my brain is really screwed up at times. This story however isn't all that bad compared to other things I've done. If you didn't read yesterday's column "How To Ruin A Perfect Day" then you need to stop right here, read it, including the comments section, and then come back. I'll wait... honest... doobey doobey do... Ah ok, you did come back...

I Went Back!

Late yesterday afternoon I realized I was running out of coffee and some other items. I drove over to the supermarket and when I got back into my car I realized I was only 2 blocks away from TexDot. That's when the fighting began: Go ahead, drive over and look at that plaque... No, that's stupid. Coward, go look... On leaving the parking lot instead of turning left to come home, the car all on its' own turned right towards my paranoia... Please let them be closed...please... No such luck. They were open. So out of the car and across the parking lot I go. What if she sees me? Will she remember me?

Now I am thinking 'how the hell am I going to do this since that stupid plaque is on the wall behind her?' Then I am thinking that I hope my psychiatrist does not read this blog. Oh geez, she is soooooo hot... Ok, back to this story... Talk about compulsive...

I go inside... There are about 50 people in line and I swear they are all Charlie Manson look-a-likes. Then I see her... sitting there... so nice... so in control of the universe... little miss linguistics expert... my heart starts beating faster (thump thump) the music from Psycho begins playing in my mind. Then I see it... the object of this entirely stupid story... the plaque. (thump thump thump) It's too far away and I can't make it out, the music is playing louder... I move closer... my heart beats faster (thump thump thump thump) <---for theatrical ambiance only...

It comes into focus and I am quite taken aback. The music stops! My heart skips a thump! I stop dead in my tracks and lean heavily on my walker. January was just a blank brass plate, waiting for a name... any name... HER name... Her real name (Ms. Bleigh was a ficticious name I used... betcha didn't realize that, huh?) was engraved for December and NOVEMBER, in addition to March '04. The only explanation is that while when I saw it yesterday my eyes took in all three months, but by the time I got home only December and January stuck and when I wrote the article, I forgot about November?

The lunatic side of my brain publicly thanks Zulu for her quick observation... her comments... her making me use up gas... the other Me part of my brain also kinda, sorta thanks her as well... for making me search out the truth and putting this to rest.

Tomorrow I will discuss the burning issue: "How to go through the 10 items or less line, looking very non-chalant, when you have 27 items."

06 January 2005

How To Ruin A Perfect Day...

First off you go to the Texas Department of Transportation. I needed to go there this morning to get my disabled parking sign for my car.

Birth Certificate? Blood Type? Genealogy? What?

Ok, I admit there may have been a few things wrong with my application. I originally began filling it out in November with blue ink. But I forgot it and left it home. I brought it with me next visit, but the doctor wasn't in so his nurse filled out some of the information needed and she used red ink. Yesterday when I was at the No. 1 hospital in the system with the lowest death rate, I remembered the form and brought it. My doctor signed it with no problem. He used a pen with brown ink. Trust me, the ink colors are significant here. However, when he went to fill out the mandatory prescription for the handicapped placard his pen started running out of ink and finished in blue ink.

Ok, you've got some background now. So this morning I looked the form over and realize my license plate number isn't written on the form... I only had a pencil. Anyway, I hop on over to TexDot and while standing in line, I realized that back in November I put that date on the form and today was January 6th. I didn't have a pen with me and borrowed one... it was black ink. Ok, ok, maybe my form looked a little like a techno-colored movie but all the info was correct. I was number 32 in line. Finally I make it to the window and present my form and doctor's note to Ms. Bleigh. This is where the trouble started. She obviously didn't like all of the different inks on the paper and questioned me about every single line item. Who signed it, who filled it out, why all the different inks and hand-writings. Why was the date crossed out? (Being in this country for only 6 months, she hasn't caught on to our quirky-ness yet)

By now my handicap was starting to cure itself. She stands up and tells me she has to show it to her supervisor and get her approval... as she looks me over. I felt like saying, "look, I have a cane, I limp!" laugh... Well, if you guessed the supervisor had to come out and throw in her 2 cents... you're right. I had to try and explain the whole thing all over again... and God forbid I screw up or deviate one iota from the story I gave Ms. Bleigh. Now it was a toss-up as both the supervisor and Ms. Bleigh discuss the whole matter. Finally they both walk away. Ms. Bleigh comes back and lo and behold has the placards in her hand. Do I get them? Not quite... as she's typing she stops and examines everything again. I kept thinking, "God please don't make me punch her..." It's finally done. I give her my $10 and she gives me the placards. Very nicely I said, "Thank you... I am sure you'll make Employee of the Month... She smirked and pointed to the wall.

She WAS Employee of the Month for December and January.

I Just Had To Laugh...

Yesterday afternoon I had my regular doctor's appointment at the VA Hospital here in Houston. As I was sitting there in the waiting room, I glanced up at the wall behind the secretary's desk. My right hand to God, I am not making this up!

They Have Awards For The Number of Deaths?

There was a huge banner... It said in big letters:

"Celebrating the M. DeBakey VA Medical Hospital for being Number 1 and significantly lowering the mortality rate during surgical operations"

I actually had to re-read what I saw three times to make sure I wasn't seeing things. You get an award for you having a lower amount of people that die on the operating table?

Now imagine that you are sitting somewhere else in the country waiting to be admitted for heart surgery and reading the sign behind your nurses station:

"Sorry, Houston Beat Us and We Finished Last... More People Died on Our Surgery tables than in any other VA Hospital"

Congrats Houston... ummm, Keep Up The Good Work??

05 January 2005

I Am So Psyched...

Do you remember last month when I wrote about Amanda Adamo? She was the woman who was stabbed 27 times about 3 years ago? Given up for dead in the ambulance and even had a toe tag? And will now be running the Houston Marathon in a few weeks?

Ready... Set... GO!

Well, because of her determination and spirit I signed up for the marathon... no, not running in it but working it. I wonder if they have a stroke division? I'd look a little out of place trying to run with my 4 pronged cane thing. Anyway, in yesterdays mail I received my official marathon pullover, patch and bumper-sticker! I really wanted to volunteer for the Beer Tent but those positions are premium spots and go fast. I can't imagine why... As it turns out, Amanda and I have been emailing each other and a friend of hers, Brian will be running in the Phoenix marathon this weekend for stroke victims. She told me he will be running in my honor! I am flabbergasted. Go Brian! and may the wind be at your back! I will definitely let y'all know how he does and in the meantime if you live in the Houston area and can either get to the marathon or watch it on TV (Channel 13) on Sunday, January 16, 2005... look for me rooting at Westpark and Newcastle Sts., and Amanda running... this is just too cool!