This category contains 18 posts

A Last-Ditch Knife

My roomie’s birthday was recently.  Last year, I had no funds, so we went out to dinner, and I grew a beard (she’s a hairdresser).  (NOT in the same night!)

I didn’t know what I was going to do this year – then I saw THIS on Gearhog!


It’s a Mantis Cyclops knife.  Worn on a neck chain, it’s deployed by putting a finger through the center and pulling.  The separates the knife from the chain, and opens the hawk-shaped blade!


The circular sheath is aircraft-grade aluminum; the ‘key’ (attaching the knife to the chain) is titanium!  It is quite strong, and very light.

And stealthy…

FORTUNATELY, my roomie collects knives – she always has two or three in her purse (along with the tac flashlight and Nighthawk, of course!)

This could add another option.  (I got one for myself, as well!)

AND, it’s made in Taiwan, not the PRC!  :-)

(FTC – look elsewhere.  I paid for them both.  Gearhog and Mantis have given me bupkis.)

More Tonsorial Splendor!

(or perhaps not.)

As some of you know, my roommate is a renowned hairdresser.  As such, she is an artiste’, or at least artistic.  She is also (by her own admission) an old hippie was a hippie in her youth.

As such, she tends to lean toward pushing the envelope stylistically.

Last Summer, around the time of her birthday, it occurred to me that I had no funds with which to acquire a birthday present for her.  Nada, zip, zilch.  And, as she is a good friend (among other things, she provides me with a room to rent!)

I had to do something.

I decided to grow a beard.  She likes beards.  Until her next birthday, which is in July.  You have seen it’s progress here. (Tonsorial Splendor)

And she recently decided to tweak it!

Here is the result:

Snapshot_20150427Kinds of ‘biker meets old man’!

The good news is she also cut my hair shorter.  I can probably live with this until July – Hey!  it shows I’ve lost weight, too!  :-)

Thanks, J.!

Life Is Loss

From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things.  Food, warmth, love…stuff.  It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.

yin yangThe Yin to the Yang.

And, most of us don’t understand or like that.  In fact, most of us hate it!

And, it becomes a matter of degree.  That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book.  The dog that died.  The high school girlfriend who moved away.

And we choose to suffer for our loss.

But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.

If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.

My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated.  He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe.  Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him.  I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.

And grief over the loss of his foot.

Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty.  A blister, a bunion, a corn.  Calluses.  For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip.  And, I too, am diabetic.

I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though.  You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!

Molly 1986 2Today, is my daughter Molly’s 32nd birthday.  I spent most of her 12 years on this planet operating with the assumption that, as nature intends, she would outlive me, and would suffer with my passing.

I was wrong.  And I survive here to do the suffering.

I love you and miss you, Molly.  And sometimes grieve over you.

But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you.  I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths.  Because of the yin and yang.

And I’ve my memories to keep.


Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them.  Because you never know.

And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.

You Remember How I Love Character Actors?

I also love to hear when they are still alive, and kicking!  So often when I hear about them, it’s in an obit, or an almanac mention of years ago, when they passed young.

Then, last night I came across THIS on Facebook:

l storch 92Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a birthday photo (yesterday, with cake) of LARRY STORCH at age 92 (today)!  Those unfamiliar with Mr. Storch by name might remember Corporal Agarn in F-Troop, or the Maharishi presiding over the funeral in Blake Edwards’ S.O.B., or a wonderfully inept criminal in an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.  Or the voice of Mr. Whoopee in his life long friend Don Adams’ cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo.



So glad you are still with us, Larry!  And such a rich life…(link)

Where Were YOU In ’62?

Rather, 1952.

It’s November 24, GUFFAW’S Birthday!  I’m 62 !

AND, it’s time for a tonsorial update.

Remember, June 26, 2014, the post entitled Tonsorial Splendor?

Well, here’s an update:

20141118_154201Geez, Louise, I look like a bargain-basement Santa Claus!

Or Gabby Hayes*…

(*Children, ask your parents, or use that Internets thing!)

Today in History, Again

Many of you know part of my daily routine is to visit Ref Desk and view the subheading Events, Births, History.  This almanac sometimes educates me, sometime shocks me and sometimes amuses me.

And some days just seems replete with events – births, deaths, famous stuff.

Like today.

A few select examples…

Birthdates which occurred on July 03:

1883 Franz Kafka Czech, author (Metamorphosis, Trial, Amerika)

1913 Dorothy Kilgallen Chic Ill, columnist (What’s My Line?)

1941 Gloria Allred feminist attorney

1943 Geraldo Rivera aka Gerry Rivers, nosey newsman (Geraldo)

1962 Tom Cruise Syracuse, actor (Risky Business, Color of Money, Rainman)

Deaths which occurred on July 03:

1969 Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowns to death at 25

1971 Jim Morrison rocker (Doors), dies of heart failure in Paris

1981 Ross Martin actor (Mr Lucky, Wild Wild West), dies at 61

1989 Jim Backus actor (Magoo, Gilligan’s Island), dies at 76 of pneumonia

On this day…

1841 John Couch Adams decides to determine the position of an unknown
planet by irregularities it causes in the motion of Uranus
(insert joke here)

1861 Pony Express arrives in SF with overland letters from NY

1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes “The Adventure of Black Peter” (BG) (insert joke here – I know, I’m a sick puppy!)

1898 US Navy defeats Spanish fleet in Santiago harbor, Cuba

1911 Ty Cobb hits in his 40th straight game. Does not get a hit next day

1915 US military forces occupy Haiti, remain until 1934

1939 Lou Gehrig day; Gehrig makes “luckiest man” speech

1950 1st time US & North Korean forces clash in the Korean War

1976 Israel launches rescue of 103 Air France crew & passengers being
held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian hijackers

1988 US Navy shoots down Iranian civilian jetliner over Gulf, kills 290

Other days, not so much.

Please Keep A Good Thought In Your Heart

or say a prayer, if that’s what you do.

Mary C.Dave-the-mechanic’s mother passed away Father’s Day, after a short illness.  She was 88, having had her birthday that Saturday.  Her memorial is today.

Mary was longtime volunteer at Desert Samaritan Hospital, serving for 24 years in many different offices and was Volunteer of the Year for the State of Arizona in 1983. She was an active member of King of Glory Lutheran Church, singing in the choir for 35 years and serving as choir librarian for 20 years.

Mary is survived by her husband of 62 years, Al; her children Mick, Dave, Ruth, Karen; 8 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

To have been the center of such a great family, and been a giver of such service…

She will be missed.

My thanks to all of you who commented, wrote or at least stopped for a moment in your day to think of Dave and his family. – Guffaw

…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.  :-(

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

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!

Celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes Today!

Per my daily almanac, today is the birthday in 1915 of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.

Whether or not you love or hate the guy, his music, his style, and his connections made him a force to reckon with in both the entertainment industry and politics.  My high school choral teacher said he had the best phrasing, except for the whole “do be do be do” thing.

He came from nowhere, got ‘connected’, and the Mob allegedly paid girls to scream when he first performed live.  He went to Hollywood, and it was thought his career had tanked.  Then, he showed he could act.  And he was renewed.

He was friends with mob guys like Sam Giancana, politicians like Jack Kennedy, and beauties like Marilyn Monroe.  After Bogie passed away in 1957, he assumed chairmanship of The Rat Pack – a group of cool dudes including a black guy, Sammy Davis, Jr.  This integration was unheard of in 50’s Hollywood.

He was a loyal friend.  When Sammy got in trouble with the IRS, he didn’t tell the guys.  Frank found out and called him, and asked, “How much are you in for?”  $15 million was the reply.  “I’ll write you a check.” said Frank.

He passed in 1998.  Way too soon for my taste.

He did it his way.


"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



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