"...it's like Will Rogers, Jean Shepherd and some grumpy Jewish man all rolled into one."

Monday, December 28, 2015


Horses are pessimists. I guess they can't help it since they're all born neigh-sayers.

I asked for a pony for Christmas and found a 7-ounce bottle of beer under the tree. It took the edge off my disappointment.

It's inadvisable to saddle a horse with your problems. Makes for a rough ride.

Likewise, you should avoid trying to stirrup trouble, unless "Trouble" is your horse's name.

Someone asked me if I was interested in horse racing. I said of course not; certainly the horse was going to beat me every time.

A horse's teeth take up a larger amount of space in their head than their brain. Same with Donald Trump.

As many times as I've heard someone use the phrase, "She was rode hard and put away wet" -- it was never in reference to a horse.

Did you know horses love to sing? That's why you find them in a chorale.

A Jewish horse who loves to sing is called a "canter".

Horses don't believe in the institution of marriage. That's why you never see them included in a bridle party.

Every time I ask to borrow $10 from a younger horse, he says he has nothing to lend. I suppose that's because a foal and his money are soon parted.

Someone who shoes horses is called a farrier. If he overcharges for the service, he's called an unfarrier.

I've got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle. For that I was referred to an orthopedist.

I went to see a horseplay once. It was Othello, with the lead role played by a dark horse.

Wild horses couldn't drag me away. But my wife's hairdryer trips the bathroom circuit and suddenly I'm expected to jump up from the couch.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Settling the Snore

Carol woke me from a sound sleep last night, shaking my shoulder and saying in an urgent whisper, "There's someone in the house."

I leapt out of bed and headed for the closet. "Where are you going?" Carol shouted. "To hide," I responded. "The baseball bat is under your side of the mattress."

"Do you still have your earplugs in?" she asked. She then informed me she had not said, "There’s someone in the house" but instead "Your snoring is so loud." "Jee-zus..." I muttered under my breath. Well, it sounded like a mutter to me because I still had my earplugs in but she claimed I was shouting, which she did not take kindly to.

I returned to bed, where I now inferred a delineation between "her side" and "my side". I presumed Carol was upset about the shouting and that I hadn't been more aggressive in my defense of her and our home, but please keep in mind:
  1. I was sound asleep and wasn't permitted any time to process her comment, preferably while being offered coffee and a sweet roll.
  2. There was no actual threat underway.
  3. I believe men and women to be equals; therefore she could have taken the initiative to chase off the interloper. And did I mention the bat was on her side of the bed?
Adrenaline was coursing through my system as a result of the incident; that, combined with the fact Carol had quickly gone back to sleep -- and, in a cruel irony, immediately started snoring -- unsettled me to the point where I got up again and headed downstairs to watch TV until I felt calm enough to return to bed.

On my way through the kitchen in the dark I stepped in a puddle of something lukewarm and sticky, which I knew from experience was the gift of cat regurgitation. I cleaned up the mess from the floor and my bare foot and headed for the couch. I wanted to avoid bright lights at that wee hour and so was navigating around with only the glow of my cellphone to guide me. Now I needed to find the remote for the television. This is often a challenge when Carol has stayed up later than me since she has a tendency to leave it "wherever" on her way to bed. Sometimes it's on the coffee table, sometimes the ottoman, occasionally the bathroom sink, and once I found it in the refrigerator next to the water pitcher. This time I was fortunate to spy it on one of the end tables and turned on the set.

Once the cable box and television had come to life, I heard sound but saw no picture. I flipped up and down a few channels and all were sound-only. I hit the "guide" button to bring up the program display and saw a string of detail-free "Not Available"s in place of the listings. "Cable's on the fritz again," I thought to myself. "Great..." I then recalled I could perhaps watch via the cable company's app on my tablet. I stumbled back up to the bedroom to retrieve it from my bedside table. Carol was still asleep/snoring and I don't believe heard me cry out another "JEE-ZUS!" when I banged my shin on the corner of the bedframe. Tablet in hand, I banged my other shin when leaving, adding His middle and last names to my excited utterance, and gingerly hobbled back downstairs. 

I booted up and was pleased to find the app permitted me to view the entire channel array, with picture and sound intact. Since the tablet's speakers are small and tinny, I broke out my noise-cancelling headphones and plugged them in to listen with richer timbre to the snappy dialogue of a Law & Order rerun. I flicked on the headphones and heard nothing -- dead battery, urrgh. I went back into the kitchen to grab a replacement, stepping in another cat puddle on the way. After completing that clean-up I returned to the couch, swapped out the battery, placed on the headphones and returned to L&O. Except by now the episode had ended and some reality show was already in progress. In this program, a couple who may or may not be legally married, each with children from multiple prior relationships, runs an upscale boutique employing an alarming number of heavily-tattooed and oddly-coiffed men and women, some of whom appear to be "transitioning" (to and from what was not clear to me). Rather than actually working, this crew appears to stand around the shop ridiculing their co-workers and bitching about any customers who are foolish enough to wander in during the day. Not surprisingly, the business is losing money ass-over-teakettle, so some titan of industry who apparently has enough spare time on his hands to step away from his Fortune 500 company to appear on this show serves as a "consultant" to the business in an effort to stem the flow of cash going down the drain as he collects a hefty fee for his alleged services. All this while everyone quaffs from a seemingly endless supply of champagne.

I scrolled through the other channels but could only find infomercials for products I had no interest in buying or other "reality-based" programs I had no interest in watching. At this point, I decided to give up the ghost and turn everything off, thoughtfully leaving the remote behind one of the couch cushions so Carol could find it. I tip-toed upstairs once again, stepping on a suspiciously warm spot of carpeting but lacking the initiative to investigate further, and stealthily slid under the covers while putting my earplugs back in. Carol was still snoring, so I added an additional layer of soundproofing by placing a pillow sham over my head. Just as I started to doze off, our cat Miles decided to take up residence on the sham, curling his eleven pounds into a ball pressing down on the side of my face. I tossed both sham and cat toward some undefined location on the other side of the bedroom and attempted to settle back in for some much-needed sleep.

With my return to a restful state now mere breaths away, Carol's alarm went off. She rolled over, hit the snooze and, by the sound of things, immediately went back to sleep. I sighed deeply and attempted to relax again, at which point the alarm rang for the second time. After three more snooze cycles I gave up, getting out of bed for good and heading downstairs to prepare the morning pot of coffee. I skidded on a puddle of you-know-what while grabbing filters from the cabinet.

While waiting for the coffee to brew, I went to watch the morning news. Where was the remote? In my fuzzy state it took a few minutes before I recalled its placement behind the cushion. I turned on the set and went back to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of java -- of which there was none because I'd forgotten to turn on the machine. After correcting that oversight, I realized Carol was still sleeping and went upstairs to make sure she got up in time for work. I shook her shoulder and said, "There's a burglar downstairs." She didn't stir, so I leapt up on the mattress and began bouncing around, landing on the floor on her side of the bed with a thud. Startled awake, she asked what the hell was happening. I said I'd just come up to check on her and let her know the coffee was almost ready. She eyed me suspiciously, saying she'd be right down. I returned to the kitchen, smirking all the way back since I'd now exacted my revenge for a poor night's sleep. 

I was pleased with myself right up until the moment I found hot coffee flowing all over the counter since in my exhausted haze I'd also neglected to place the pot under the drip basket. You know what they say: "You snooze, you lose." In my case, I'd lost a night's sleep, a full pot of coffee and what
little remained of my wife's and one cat's affection for me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Goal All The Way

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill
  • No wonder Churchill was in politics, since that kind of attitude got me dismissed from several prior positions in the "real world".
The obstacle is the path. --Zen saying
  • Turn around and head back to the car. --Just saying.
Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them. --Vaibhav Shah
  • And aren't we all thankful for that?
Success? I don't know what that word means. I'm happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody's eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That's a good day for me. --Denzel Washington
  • I like Denzel as much as the next guy, but he should stick to a script.
Opportunities don't happen. You create them. --Chris Grosser
  • Hence some unverifiable entries on my résumé.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. --Eleanor Roosevelt
  • I'm more of an Us Weekly fan, but I get your point.
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. --David Brinkley
  • I don’t believe our local building codes permit this.
There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. --Beverly Sills
  • Sounds like someone who should download Waze.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
  • These affirmative consent guidelines on college campuses are really getting out of hand.
If you're going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill
  • Hang a left when you reach resignation and then take the exit for despair.
Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. --John D. Rockefeller
  • Rockefeller made his fortune scooping up all those abandoned goods at rock-bottom prices.
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. --Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Break's over -- back to work.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. --Albert Einstein
  • Oh, I understand it perfectly -- it's my boss who's no Einstein.
There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed. --Ray Goforth
  • There are actually three types of people but I'm afraid to tell you about the third one.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. --Arthur Ashe
  • Canadian doubles is for sissies.
It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself. --Hyman George Rickover
  • But, in my case, not for lack of effort.
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better. --John Updike
  • Any activity becomes better when it includes Dewar’s and soda.
Eighty percent of success is just showing up. --Woody Allen
  • So why then is 50% of my bonus tied to productivity?
Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so. --Philip Dormer Stanhope
  • What if I say I received "anonymous complaints" that they're all dumb as rocks?
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. --Eleanor Roosevelt
  • The present belongs to those who believe in marrying the beauty of their dreams.
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. --A.A. Milne
  • "Look – I found clean underwear in the bottom of the laundry pile!"
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it. --Thucydides
  • I'm happy to be certified as second-tier brave and just go out to meet the glory.
Fortune favors the brave. –Terence
  • I'll settle for a 60/40 split since you handled all the danger stuff.
One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. --Will Durant
  • “          .”
The speed of a runaway horse counts for nothing. --Jean Cocteau
  • Unless you're the horse.
No one ever gets far unless he accomplishes the impossible at least once a day. --L. Ron Hubbard
  • This is why Hugh Hefner is so grateful for Viagra.
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. --Thomas Alva Edison
  • Remember he said this before indoor plumbing was in wide use.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. --Ellen Parr
  • A fatal diagnosis if you're a cat.
All good things which exist are the fruits of originality. --John Stuart Mill
  • That’s great, since I hate vegetables.
The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. --Cecil B. DeMille
  • Unlike the elderly gentleman driving the Cadillac in front of me.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. --Confucius
  • Confucius – I'm going with Cecil. You can ride with Gramps in his Coupe deVille.
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. --Paul Valry
  • Believe me -- waking up because it's time to go to work is not a dream come true.
You'll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. --Wayne Gretzky
  • Hasn't this been adopted as the motto of the NRA?
The dreadful burden of having nothing to do. --Nicolas Boileau
  • Here's something to keep you busy -- try writing complete sentences.
I learned much from my teachers, more from my books, and most from my mistakes. --Anonymous
  • Mistake #1 - forgetting to sign his name to this insight.
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. --Sir Francis Bacon
  • Breakfast irony: one can never make enough bacon.
Measure twice, cut once. --Craftsman's aphorism
  • Count your fingers immediately afterward.
What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere. --Ovid
  • And yet when you throw a hard rock into soft water, it sinks right to the bottom. Perplexing.
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. --Sir Isaac Newton
  • Admittedly, at the risk of pissing off the giants.
When in doubt, win the trick. --Edmond Hoyle
  • Is this about Bridge or prostitution?
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow. --Woodrow Wilson
  • You weren’t using yours, anyway.
There is no disinfectant like success. --Daniel J. Boorstin
  • A co-worker keeps rubbing my nose in his success -- but come to think of it I haven't caught a cold in, like, three years.
Nothing succeeds like success. --Alexander Dumas
  • Or, apparently, disinfects.
The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven't made up their minds. --Charles "Casey" Stengel
  • Remember this before you sign up for another “Leadership Skills” workshop.
Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on earth. --Will Rogers
  • Nope – “Special Assistant to the CEO” is.
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter." --Lewis Carroll
  • The only directions less useful than these come from Apple Maps.
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied 10 minutes later. --George S. Patton
  • If this were true then I wouldn't have participated in so many exit interviews.
The manner in which a man chooses to gamble indicates his character or his lack of it. --William Saroyan
  • Gamble? Never. I stick to “skills-based gaming.”
Clear your mind of can't. --Solon
  • Screw you, Solon. -- Kant