This category contains 25 posts

Hard To Believe – It’s Been NINETEEN YEARS…

Yesterday was the anniversary of the accident.

2014-03-19 07.32.29Nineteen years ago, today, her life support was turned off.

Had she lived, she would be 31.  Instead, she is permanently 12.

She was a terrific kid, blossoming into a terrific young woman.  Smart, funny, aware, and a good citizen.

I love you and miss you Molly.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  .



(and no place for comments today – you’ve all been kind enough, thank you! - Guffaw)


The Art of Manliness (my go-to place for classic wisdom on the Web) recent posted 20 aphorisms, abhored (or ignored) in youth, but appreciated as I got older.  (Sometimes)

An aphorism is a short, pithy statement that conveys a principle or contains a pearl of wisdom. Part of what makes them so powerful is that they can stand on their own without context; as the philologist Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel put it, “An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.”


Here is one.  CLICK on it to link to the remaining 19.

be kindI always thought it should end in rewind.  Obviously, I’m old.

The Interloper

The Interloper

The Interloper


Roomie and I return from a short trip the other day, and were met by a cat outside the back gate.  We already have a cat.  She doesn’t play well with others.  Or us.

HOWEVER,  THIS new cat was friendly and welcomed affection.  She appeared to be well cared for, and either had recently had surgery or given birth. (this due to the appearance of a floppy undercarriage.)  We opted not to feed and water her, lest she stay and disrupt the ecosystem of our home.

AND, she’s more likely to go home if we don’t offer treats.

So much for THAT idea!

She’s been hanging around outside, making the inside cat VERY upset.  There have been a few faux battles – save the Arcadia door glass in the way.  Lots of yowling and hissing from the indoor car.  And, the girl chihuahua treed her in the back yard, barking viciously the entire time.  (As vicious as a chihuahua can be, under the circumstances.)

Roomie keeps making noises about getting a kitten.  Considering the indoor car is clamoring for more attention and acting more lovable in the outdoor cats presence, this could happen.

If the girl chihuahua doesn’t stroke out, first.  The boy chihuahua is just a big stupid lummox who doesn’t care as long as he gets food and attention.


big, stupid lummox

For better or worse, the interloper stayed two days and then apparently went home.

h/t Warner Bros.


It was two years ago today…

Time flies (and all that)

I miss you, brother.


Mark Bell – click to remember

Take time today to hold those you love close, and tell them you love them!  Because you never know…

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Today is my Big Bro’s Birthday!  Happy Birthday, Joe!

joeAs he is 12 years my senior, we never bonded as siblings very much.  My Dad married my Stepmother and we moved into her house with her almost grown children. (I’ve also a stepsister, Karen, who lives with her retired Army LTC in Alaska.  I’ve written of him in these pages.)

He, much like my Father was, is a sports nut.  I don’t think he’s as obsessed as my Father was, though.  He’s always kept in shape, and looks great considering his age.  I’m certain that’s because he still plays sports and is very active.  He spends Summers back in Illinois at a relative’s place ‘working the farm’.

Not exactly a Summer a couch-potato like myself aspires to!

He followed his Mother into elementary education, and retired a few years ago after years of teaching the 6th Grade, predominately Math.  Had to have been a labor of love, right?

I’ll always be grateful to him.  When we moved into my Stepmother’s home, everyone had to double-up.  My sister’s shared a room, and my brother and I shared a room.  As a newly-minted Third Grader I liked it.  I cannot image my college man brother appreciating it, though!

But, he never complained, at least to me.  We spent many a Friday night watching TV together (Friday Night in 1960-61 was replete with Westerns!) and sharing a bag of potato chips.

And he spent many of the past twenty years caring for his mother in her declining years.  I admire him for his selflessness.

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Today is Charlton Heston’s Birthday!

OldNFO posted this yesterday (I’m certain with forethought of today).

His point was we might have won some battles, but may ultimately lose the war because of the lack of proper education of the young, who will eventually inherit this mess.

Regardless of the undertone of the message, I post it today to honor the memory of a great man, who grew in his lifetime from a proponent of gun control to become the President of the National Rifle Association.

Watch and listen.  Remember and learn.  Thank you, Mr. Heston, for all you did.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

OldNFO, NRA News

Goodbye Sweet Crosby

When I first met J, my current roomie, she advised me she had many pets.  Specifically a number of cats and three dogs.  Chihuahuas.  I thought crap, chihuahuas – little annoying barky, bitey things.

But, I was wrong.  Each has proven themself special in their own way.  All have unconditional love.

One of the dogs is Crosby, a tiny, tri-color Chihuahua long hair, who can pretty much fit in one hand.  She’s quite old – 19 years(!), old for any dog.  And is deaf, blind and has no teeth.  She pretty much resembles the letter Q face-on, with her tongue playfully hanging to one side.

And, when I moved in a year ago June, Crosby adopted me.  For some reason, she likes being around me.  And she’s very quick and stealthy – one minute she’s asleep in the living room, the next laying immediately behind my heels while I make breakfast.  So stealthy that I’ve almost broken my neck suddenly noticing her proximity and trying not to step on her.  And she likes sitting on my chest looking around while I’m in the recliner.  Not as though she can see much.  And I have to hold on, because she’ll try to jump off, as though it’s 6 inches high.

And when you let her out with the other dogs, she will do her business in about ten seconds, then turn around and bark incessantly to be let back in.  And she won’t stop until you do.

But now, she’s begun losing her footing, stumbling about as she walks into things.  And she sleeps most of the time.  crosby 2She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, but she is having more-and-more difficulty with the daily stuff of life.

So, the decision was made.  Yesterday.

I’ve lost previous pets, but she wasn’t even mine to lose.

Goodbye Sweet Crosby.  Who am I gonna trip over now?

Sometimes, The Runner Stumbles

(NO, not the underrated Stanley Kramer film with Dick Van Dyke in a non-comedic role!)

I should have said, “Sometimes, the cripple falls – and food is less than perfect!”

A few days ago, J. left for California to assist her older sister who had just lost her husband.  This left me again in the role of Dog Wrangler, and caretaker of the homestead.  I’m okay with that.

Now, I’m a pretty self-sufficient guy, considering I’m on minimal disability and have some physical ‘issues’. Long time readers remember ‘Ed’, aka the really big shoe, which helps me to walk, unquasimodo-like (?)

Most of the time.  Once in a great while, it doesn’t.  Thursday, I just came in the front door when my right ankle turned and my 3 1/8″ built-up shoe went sideways.  And I went down.

pyramidNow, normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, as my roommate would be there to assist.  But, she’s assisting her sister in California.  and the three amigos (chihuahuas) don’t have the muscles or skills to block-and tackle me back to vertical.  It would be like mice building the pyramids!

So, it took a bit for me to get up.  Inventory bones and joints to make certain nothing is sprained or broken – CHECK!  Pull myself over to the stair landing (next-to which I’d conveniently fallen) to get a purchase, and VIOLA’!

Some bruising and minor abrasions, muscle pain, and EVERYTHING hurt.  More than usual.

Thank the gods for ibuprofen!  And a short nap.  After all, walking in the door takes great effort.  So much for the plans I had to vacuum and dust on Thursday!  (Hooray!)

About an hour later, I awakened to a telephone call from a good friend in Chicago.  This reminded me of yet another task I had on my list.  PORTILLOS recently opened just a few miles away!

For the uninitiated, Portillos is a famous Chicago Hot Dog chain.  Visions of Chicago beef, hot dogs and Polish sausages went through my addled brain.  I’d not had a good red hot in some months!  Hmmm…..

SO, bent, but unbroken, I made my way to the car, and found out some additional muscles used for ingress and egress of said vehicle were also involved in my fall.  Ouch!  Nothing serious, though.  And off to Portillos!

What a place!.  Think Arnold’s from TV’s Happy Days on steroids.  Clean, well organized, busy.  At 2:00 in the afternoon!  Glad I didn’t come for dinner on a Saturday!

Quick, efficient service.  Good looking food.  BUT lukewarm.

It was still tasty, but would have been 75% better in my estimation had the Polish been steaming hot and fries as well.  And if the poppy-seeded bun didn’t look as it I’d fallen on it!  The malt was excellent, chocolaty and malty.  And cold.  At least they were consistent, temperature-wise!

I do plan on going back, to try the onion rings, and maybe the Italian beef.  But Yelp will get my opinion, one way or another.

Perhaps I’ll clean house Friday (having written the draft Thursday)…

PS – It’s Sunday, still haven’t cleaned!  :-)

FTC – get your own Chi-town food.  I paid for mine.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

(Michael Corleone – Godfather III)

Siddhartha reminded me (by commenting on recent post) about the seduction of certain foods and chemicals.  Drugs – certainly.

Coffee – the low end of the speed spectrum, I grant you – George Carlin

Some years back, I was on a ‘health food’ regimen.  The specifics aren’t important, but one of the many things I denied myself (after years of thoroughly enjoying it) was caffeine.

Withdrawal was, what’s the quaint phrase?  Hell-On-Wheels.

But after about six week of withdrawing from pretty much everything I liked, I suddenly awakened feeling better.  And speaking of awakening, I slept like a rock, no interruptions, and awakened refreshed and energized!

This was not the insomnia-ridden, no-bladder-control, wake up tired experience I was used to!

And it was marvelous.  For a few years.

But, all good things must come to an end.  One of the things I’d NOT denied myself was television.  And with television came commercials.  With all her sexy, image-laden taunts of cheeseburgers, doughnuts, steak, ribs, french fries, and pizza.  And most importantly coffee and soda.

And soon I had another troop of chemically-laden, empty-caloried monkeys on my back!  Caffeine (and other things) in all her glory.

I’ve been thinking about giving it up again.  At least the caffeine.  Certainly all the diet soda I consume cannot be healthy for me.  (Not to mention the chemicals).

But, not today!


God give me chastity.  But don’t give it yet – Saint Augustine

(Now, seriously – where else will you see images of The Godfather and St. Augustine in the same essay?)

Building Character

I’m all about building character.marvin

Not THIS kind…

Largely because of errors-in-judgement I’ve made in my own life, I find myself drawn to other’s opinions with regard to how one should live.  And I sometimes even try to apply them to my standards, and see how (or if) they fit.

I’ve occasionally referred to The Art of Manliness in this blog.  While much of what is written there is a how-to, some of it is a paradigm-breaking thing.  Thinking outside the box, as it were.

This recent essay challenges the mold of modern parenting.  The one wherein a parent tells the child they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it.  Now my parents tried their own version of this which was I wasn’t living up to my potential.  Not exactly a positive message.  I tried to encourage my own daughter, but let her figure out her own limits for herself.  She wasn’t necessarily supposed to live my dreams.  She was to live hers.

“You can do anything you put your mind to!”

“The sky’s the limit!”

“You’re the best!”

“Follow your dreams!”

Did you hear these kinds of things growing up? Your parents sure meant well. They really felt like you were the most special creature to arrive on planet earth – a beautiful boy full of limitless possibilities. You could do anything in the world!

But now that that boy is grown up and in his twenties, you might find that such encouragement has become more paralyzing than motivating. If your possibilities really are endless, how will you ever decide which path to take and what to do with your life? (TAOM)

I would encourage you to visit the link above and also read the other essays.  I often learn things there – and I’m old!

Better than thinking I can blow up the Earth because it blocks my view of Venus!

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw



guffaw1952 (at) hotmail (dot) com

What ‘They’ Are Saying About Guffaw…

"Guffaw is 'controversial' " - Vietnam-era Green Beret 'Doc'

"One of my favorites, I love the old P.I. stories. They have a nice Mickey Spillane feel to them." - Siddhartha

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Certified EVIL!


"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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