What would Mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie do?

My son, Timmy, will be six on Friday and Emily, Cathy’s girl, will be eight on Saturday.  So many kids in the family and that means way too many birthday parties and that means my wife and her sisters are doing the same thing that my mom and aunts used to do with all the kids’ birthdays: they group the birthday parties. It’s easier for the family and a whole lot cheaper, too.

Cleveland is having a good year.  The Cavaliers are in the playoffs and if you’re in the playoffs you have a shot at making the finals and the championship.  The Indians are also playing pretty well so far and staying healthy. With a better start than last year they might make the playoffs this year and again, if you’re in the playoffs you’ve got a chance to play in the World Series and win the championship.

Two contending sports teams and the city is also hosting the Republican National Convention  this summer so Republican delegates and Black Lives Matter and Occupy youngsters will be coming in from out of town.  Possibly two sports championships and a national convention and that means three potential riots.

I’ve sent a letter to the mayor about how my mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie consolidated birthday parties and have asked him what he thinks about waiting until after we know if the Indians make the playoffs to plan a big riot/looting extravaganza for Cleveland.  You know, thinking about it if the Indians do get into the World Series and win that will be close to the Presidential election in November and that means another riot if Donald Trump wins. Four possible riots in one year, wow.  Help, Aunt Ruthie.

I know what mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie would do, they’d plan one big event and that could be what the mayor might want to explore.  Fewer riots and less mounted police overtime cost for the city and a chance for Black Lives Matter and Occupy to tear up Cleveland and then go home with a big screen TV.  Seems like a sensible idea to me.

The only down side is if the Black Lives Matter and Occupy kids come in for the convention in July and then postpone their rioting and looting until later in the year, possibly in November, will they be able to get off work in order to come back for the riot and looting activities?

First Merle then Prince

Merle Haggard died a couple of weeks ago.  I was surprised but I wasn’t shocked: he was 79. I can’t say I was a big Merle fan but I liked his music and his sound brought back a lot of memories.

Prince died last week and I was shocked.  He was only 57.

I thought about Prince when I heard the news and the next day I was still thinking about him.  Friday night, when I was watching the Indians play the Tigers on TV, the game was in the bottom of the first inning and after the Tiger’s third out I decided to turn off the game and listen to my favorite Prince songs.

I turned the game back on just before the Indians came to bat in the top of the second.

Welcoming in 1986

“The amount of money that this company will spend on our new computer systems next year is more than the total sales of the company just twenty years ago. Wow”, said company president E. Walter Craghouse as he turned and pointed at a screen behind him with the logos of all the IT vendors which are involved in the various projects.
“I don’t really understand all of the details of how it works but what I do know is that we have to be an industry leader, we have to use the latest technology and link up with our customers and create true twenty first century electronic partnerships going forward. I’ll let our experts Bob, Charlotte, Martin and Ellen go over their vision, give you the details and open the conference to questions.”
The rest of the morning was much the same with commitments from all the presenters to make the company the best and brightest by developing the best and newest and describing our future with the best and greatest clichés. One after another we heard, “new, best, cutting edge, ground breaking, future, user friendly, powerful” and they just kept coming.
Did I tell you that we’re the best and the brightest and ready for to go forward as we move through the twenty first century?
Finally you could see the end coming if for no other reason than the presenters on stage were squirming in their chairs just like the rest of us.
Mr. Craghouse stood up and took the microphone from Ellen who had just finished telling us about new and better and greatest, “I want to thank all of our presenters today who have done a fabulous job of showing us the company’s vision for the future. We are new, we are now and we are marching into the future. I hope you are as excited as I am” and with that the lights came up, everyone stood and clapped and started to do their waddle out of the room.
“Oh, oh. Wait everyone, hold on, one more thing.”
Helen, the president’s secretary, took the microphone and nervously said, “I want to remind everyone that I need an address list of your customers who you want us to mail them our 2016 desk calendar and planner. Our customers really love them so let’s all be sure we get them out early this year.”
“Thanks, Helen, said E. Walter. Let’s make sure we do it, folks, real important.”
I wonder if that desk calendar/planner is for 2016 or 1986?

Pretty great

There is no doubt from watching the various protests which have taken place over the last year that there are Americans who hate their country. As the TV news reports showed businesses being looted, buildings being burned, police cars being set on fire, police being attacked with rocks and gun fire coming from those rioting in the streets we heard their chants calling for dead cops, heard their foul language, saw their obscene gestures and read their signs which condemned America as a terrible nation. The rioters spit on the flag, burned the flag, stomped on the flag and one bright light even demonstrated how to use the American flag as toilet paper.
It’s funny though that as we watch these anti-American demonstrations and riots we never see any of the America haters pull out a pair of scissors and cut up their EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card. I guess we can all agree that free groceries are pretty great.

Where were you?

“Where were you?”
“I remember I was…”
“I’ll never forget…”
But we have pretty much forgotten except maybe every year on 9/11 when we remember the three planes used to attack our country.
And now millions line up to invade Europe and get ready to be brought into the United States. This time we get to pay to for the invasion, for the attack.
“What did you do to stop it?” our children will ask. “Where were you?”
“I don’t remember, I forget”.

Do you have Tom’s number?

“Do you have Tom’s number?” I asked. “He told me to call him and now I can’t find his number” and with that my wife pulled out her iPhone and began pecking away.

It really is amazing. She didn’t have to dig in her purse for her old green and yellow address book, all she had to do was make a few clicks on her phone.

“Did you get Tom’s number?” I asked after about ten minutes.


“Do you have Tom’s number, his phone number?”

“Oh yeah, Tom, sorry. I went to get it and saw I had an alert about a chocolate chip cookie recipe and remembered that Judy had asked me about my chocolate chip recipe a few weeks ago. I was going to send her a better one on Pinterest but then when I went into Pinterest to get it I saw this really cute bathroom soap caddy that I’d like to make for the upstairs bathroom and now I’m trying to get on Amazon to order some of the stuff I’ll need to make it.”

“Give me a minute,” she said, “Now I’ve got to change my Amazon password for some reason, passwords are such a pain. I think that I’ll get one of those password keeper apps. I saw one yesterday that’s free and it really looks like it could help me stay organized. I can’t believe I should have to carry around a piece of paper with all my passwords. There it is, Passkeeper. Got it. Done. You should get this too” she said. “You’re always complaining about forgetting passwords.”

“Probably so”, I said. “I know what you mean about having a piece of paper with the passwords. It sort of defeats the reason you have a password in the first place.”

A couple of clicks, a new password and I was all set up with Passkeeper. The app really does look like it’s the way to go to keep things straight.

“I’m glad I took care of that. Thanks, sweetheart, you’re always looking out for me. Maybe I should take care of you, too. How about we get a pizza and go to a movie?”

“I’d like that”, she said. “Maybe we should call Tom and Judy to see if they’d like to go. We really don’t talk to them much anymore.”

“Good idea, do you have Tom’s number?”