Saturday, June 22, 2013

Unusual America...get out and drive around.

From October 20, 2012

Occasionally I like to get in touch with campy and do something real cheesy.

Make time and take a day trip to an unusual attraction near you, or plan a trip for next year.

These unusual curiosities are scattered throughout the highways and back roads of America.

Take roads less traveled and you may see unique and different sites in that you may never had known existed.

Rube Goldberg Redux

From October 28, 2012

Rube Goldberg (1884-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated cartoonist who for more than 50 years' delighted his readers with his humorous drawings depicting very elaborate means to accomplish the most simple tasks (think the "Mousetrap" game).

The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) is a team effort open to students ages middle school-college using physics & engineering principles combined with zany, bizarre humor to invent in the spirit of Mr. Goldberg.

If you are interested in learning more about Rube Goldberg, or obtaining details on how to enter the RGMC, follow the link here:


The worst Christmas ever!

From December 2, 2012

I recall as a young preteen riding with my father to his workplace to pick up a care package for our family. He was a union member at that time, they were out on strike and it was the Christmas season.

Somehow it was arranged that the union members could pick up a box of groceries as the strike had been on-going for quite some time and the troops were getting a little anxious having no real income for awhile.

I recall the groceries consisted of some strange "army rations", peanut butter and beef stew that smelled so terrible even the dog would not touch it. We would have preferred to eat the family pet rather than the contents of the package. I guess we somehow survived that crisis (although I am not certain what REALLY happened to the dog).

As tough as that Christmas was for us, the only year that I remember we would, in unison, consider the worst Christmas on record is when Dad decided that it was a good idea to eliminate the traditional Douglass Fir and bring home a hip, modern aluminum tree complete with color wheel.

We could have handled the demise of Old St. Nick himself or coal in all of our stockings rather than have to look at that hideous eyesore.

Who would have thunk that today you could fetch a small kingdom in exchange for a pristine original.

What I find strange is that my in-laws recently purchased a modern table-top tree complete with fiber optics that changes the tree's colors in a similar fashion our old aluminum tree did many years' ago.

Even stranger is that I find I am attracted to their tree, so much I am considering a purchase. I may buy 2 and keep one in pristine condition to sell many years from now.

The investment may be better than my 401K.

Anyway, here is a story about the aluminum trees.

Urge to Invent Something

From December 5, 2013

I am not an inventor, but I have always had many strange ideas.
When I was a child, my pretend inventions were made from empty toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes and paperclips. They were total imaginary solutions to life's complexities.
I once received an erector set and played with it for about 3 minutes. I gave up as I could not seem to master lefty-loosey, righty-tighty.
So I was floored to learn that I am genetically, blood-related to an actual inventor, my maternal great grandfather.
The family legend goes that this man broke free of the shackles of the Irish potato farms and Pennsylvania coal mines and went to school!
He arose from the primordial sludge that was his ancestry to become an engineer and inventor.
While cleaning out my grandmother's attic, years' ago, I came across a bucket full of one of his creations. I always heard he held patents so this week I decided to go on a search and was surprised to find how easy it was to search the US Patent Office.
I became curious about other inventions and soon was searching for Alexander G. Bell, Thomas A. Edison and the guys who invented the Slinky and the Monopoly game.
Another very nice feature is that you can print a copy of these drawings for yourself or frame it for a child's room, den or give one as a cheap gift.

Here is a link from that provides details. You can also go to Google and enter "patent" in the search and you can find just about anything you ask.

Happy searching.

NewYears Party Hounds

From January 1, 2013


Did you stay awake for the big moment?
I didn't, I was sleeping during all the neighborhood ruckus.
I was not always a kill-joy.
I recall many a New Years Eve party attended, usually with disastrous results so I eventually weaned myself from the festivities.

My parents were notorious New Year's Eve party hounds. I can recall one year, at least a foot of snow outside, watching my father head out the door wearing nothing but a large diaper, a new year baby sash, a pair of boots while chomping on a large cigar. (Those were the days that babies were permitted tobacco products, Mr. Potato Head smoked a pipe and the "Smoke-Police" were still far from our shores.)

I did spend quite a few New Years' party nights at my grandmother's house.
All my brothers and sisters were with me, left to spend the night while the diaper baby and his wife went twisting the night away. I also remember my cousins occasionally joining us giving my grandmother at least 15 darlings in her care.

Our grandmother was fantastic and encouraged us to stay awake so we could all stand on her porch at midnight, screaming, yelling and banging pots-and-pans at the big moment. It was years later that I finally realized why her cookware never actually stood level on her stove.

Anyway, the Big Ball in Times Square is so boring. New York ain't got nothing on these folks and their celebrations.

Other towns like dropping things. Maybe yours can start another tradition and give those fancy-pants city folk nothing to crow about.

Read on.

Monsters, Zombies and Horror Flicks

From January 19, 2013

When I was a child Alfred Hitchcock movies always scared me. It’s hard to believe that “The Birds” is turning 50 years old. What a great movie and I will probably make the effort to see it in the near future.

I think, as an adult, the movie that frightened me the most was the original “Halloween” with Jamie Lee Curtis. I was home alone, my wife was in the hospital and the youngins’ were spending a few days at the grandparents. I had arrived on the sofa after a long workday and a hospital visit; I turned on the cable looking for a movie and landed on this thriller.

I thought I was desensitized from horror movie panic after an incident that occurred when I was 11 years old.

My cousin Johnny told me about an event that would be taking place at a local movie theatre. This theatre was huge, the largest in our neighborhood and probably held at least 40,000 people (kid math, more like 800). On this particular Saturday afternoon there was to be a Horror Movie Marathon, 3 movies, some cartoons and a special “March of the Zombies”, real Zombies at the theatre along with Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy and the Wolfman, LIVE (or dead) and in person. Since we both lived in different sections of the city we agreed to meet at the movie and after we would walk to our grandmother’s home to shoot some hoops.

I arrived a little late and could not see Johnny as he was somewhere in the already darkened theatre. I had to take a seat in the back row, right next to the aisle, usually reserved for the ushers.

All of the sudden the curtain opened, the projection engineer began showing the beginning of a movie. I can recall an old mansion with the words “FRANKENSTEIN” blazoned across the front, along with the usual audio-video effects; lightning, thunder etc. From the left side Frankenstein appeared, walking slowly across the stage followed by an assortment of the living dead. An announcement came over the speakers that the “Walk of the Zombies” would now commence. At that moment I witnessed 30,000 screaming kids (kid math 700) exiting the theatre en masse, reminiscent of the scene from “The Blob” where the audience ran from the Colonial theater to escape the pending doom.

I sat there eating my popcorn and laughing at those scared little cowards, and then it happened.

I could feel a presence behind me, breath on the back of my neck whispering to me “are you ready”? I turned and saw a real Zombie, a real ugly, honest to goodness Zombie, now with it’s bony hands on my right shoulder. Behind him there was an army of ghouls ready to march down from the back of theatre.

Popcorn flew in one direction, I in the other right out the door joining the other 30,000 pants-poopers. Since I could not find my cousin I decided to head on to my grandmother’s house and we would somehow catch up.

Johnny eventually arrived a few hours later wondering what happened to me. When I told him of my dilemma he laughed and mocked me. He stayed there along with a handful of others and watched all the cartoons and movies much to the dismay of the Zombie actors and theatre staff who were probably hoping for an early departure.

It was at that moment I vowed never to be frightened again, and it worked until the evening I watched “Halloween”.

I don’t know exactly what in my psyche caused a momentary uneasiness. I enjoyed the movie, and of course how can you go wrong with a young Jamie Lee Curtis, but as I moved from the sofa and headed for bed, for just a split second I cautiously and slowly peeked around the living room door just to see if there was a goalie mask peering in from the other side.

No food went flying, underwear OK but it was just a small tense moment. I laughed it off and told my wife about it the next day.

She mocked me!

It was at that moment I vowed never to be afraid again (or until next time).

Anyway, thank you Alfred Hitchcock and here is a little scene from the birds.

Pants-Poopers circa 1963.

My 1st childhood friend

From January 23, 2013

Donnie was my very 1st childhood friend. I recall I was about 6 years old when he knocked on our door asking my mother if her little boy could come out to play.

My mother, God rest her soul, was an extremely kind and loving woman who actu
ally wanted 15 children. I was the oldest, “the experiment’ that convinced her that by the time Donnie came calling the 4 of us she already had would be plenty. 

She eventually settled on 6.

I was very independent, adventurous and wanted to escape to that unknown kingdom I could see from my living room window, namely across the street where Donnie and other humans dwell. The macadam is always blacker on the other side of the street and I could not wait to arrive and see what was in store for me.

My mother reluctantly allowed me limited freedom and fortunately since there were 3 others home-bound under the age of 6 the reprieve would do us both good. She was still somewhat pensive; I on the other hand was finally out of the nest and ready to soar.

Donnie was only 1 year older but very savvy, and street smart and a great teacher. I learned basic aeronautics’ by jumping off porches while extending my arms and attempting flight just like an airplane. He only charged me a nickle for those lessons.  

What a deal!

He taught me how to read even before I entered elementary school by explaining the meaning of 4-letter graffiti words spray painted on the mailboxes.

He had extensive knowledge of human anatomy and showed me pictures from gentleman’s magazines hidden under his older brothers bed. He knew the names of all the parts.

Boy was I going to be ready to enter Catholic school at St. Attica's next year. Mom would be so proud.

Donnie was also minister, funeral director, veterinarian and archeologist.

  • His veterinarian skills enabled him to know when the baby bird or goldfish was dead. 
  • As a funeral director he was able to find the creature a proper casket, usually an old shoebox. 
  • There was no cremation or flushing as all of God’s creatures deserved a proper burial with graveside services led by minister Donnie.
  •  As the neighborhood archeologist we were able to return to his yard, daily, and excavate the burial site to see what happens to the dearly departed.

To this day I find archaeology fascinating. 

No I personally do not care to venture into some foreign land, desert or jungle and spend months fighting the elements and nature to uncover the hind quarters of a prehistoric bony-eared saber-toothed bumble cricket, or the crock pot of an Aztec wet nurse but I sure do enjoy watching others sweat it out from the comfort of my la-z-boy.

A few weeks ago I received an email about an excavation on Easter Island showing the infamous heads on the island actually had bodies.

Who knew?

I never realized there were so many of these heads scattered throughout this tiny island, or how large and impressive they are.

If you have an interest, put on your pith helmet, prop up your feet, pop open a Yuengling and join my armchair expedition.

It’s free, no muss no fuss and no fundraising needed.

Here is the Easter Island Statue Project. Island Projects

My Father's Tool Box

From January 26, 2013

As I watch how my toddler granddaughters play and learn, I realize just how smart young children really are and how well they are in tune with their surroundings.

It was many years’ ago, actually decades when our daughter, then age 3, utte
red what I thought was a very astute observation regarding her immediate family.

My wife was reading a children’s book to her when all of the sudden she paused when this sentence was read “while mommy does the dishes daddy fixes things around the house”.

My very bright little girl contorted her face in puzzlement, looked at my wife and questioned “Daddy fixes things around the house”?

Kids know, they may seem innocent but they know. They absorb EVERYTHING.

My father had only 4 tools, and was able to destroy any attempt at home repair with this fix-it kit from Hades.

His arsenal consisted of the following:
· A claw hammer without a handle and ½ a claw.
· 1 needle-nose pliers
· A regular pair of pliers.
· A Phillips Head screwdriver.

Pictures hung on walls without the benefit of a level, and we pretended not to notice.

Needle nose pliers were used to hold the nails as his lame excuse for a hammer pushed nails into the now cracked plaster.  Using a flip-flop in place of that hammer would have been an improvement.

 His “regular” pliers pulled the bent nails from the plaster since ½ a claw was insufficient to do the job.

Henry F. Phillips (1890-1958) invented the cross head screw and screwdriver. This innovation must have left my father with a sense of amazement and bewilderment, as I never recall him owning a regular screwdriver.

He would always say, “That’s why dimes and butter knives were made”.

He was forever bellowing out instructions to fetch his “Phillips Head” when he was involved in any project, from room painting to trimming the Xmas tree.

I was never certain if he ever really used the tool or just preferred to have it in his pocket should the need arise.

He was so proud to own a state-of-the-art tool (well when it was new 30 years' ago) he just could not seem to understand its purpose, and if he did he didn’t care. He was a hipster home-repairer and probably just waited for someone else to ask if they could borrow it.

Unfortunately his Mr. Fix-it genes did not skip a generation. I not only inherited his skill set, I took it to new lows.

Many years ago, when I moved in to my 1st apartment I purchased a brand new set of Sears Craftsman tools. I had it all, wrenches, pliers, socket sets, screwdrivers (both regular AND Phillips Head in a variety of sizes, no dimes and no butter knives) everything a state-of-the-art hipster MR. Fix-it could ever want.

I amazed myself, I impressed my friends and Dad even drooled over all those Phillips Head screwdrivers. I was set for life and ready to tackle whatever repair the future had in store for me.

I remember opening the steel toolbox only once. Whatever disaster followed must have been horrific, as my mind will not allow me to recall the event. All I know is that I moved the kit to a far corner and it remained closed for almost 20 years. When I finally opened Pandora’s box I found all the tools not only rusted, they somehow fused together into a big pile of steel.

I took this as a sign from the Almighty and sold the pile for scrap.

It is Friday night, a time when real daddy’s already have their Saturday honey-do list at the ready, plans to hit the local Home Depot 1st thing in the AM, anxious to tackle that annoying leaky faucet or squeaky floor board.

I will probably join them. Even though I lack skills, I can still visit the local Ace Hardware and get a few keys made.

While there I know I’ll ask to see the Phillips Head Screwdrivers.


From February 6, 2013

I am considering adopting a new hobby this year.

I can sometimes be very fickle so focusing on one or two hobbies have been difficult.
I have boxes, neatly stacked on wooden shelves in my basement housing my many half-interests. I have sp
ent precious dollars at IKEA and many many many hours in assembly of these wooden shelf-mausoleums that store these treasures

Now before I go any further I feel the need to address my thoughts on that mainstay of today’s hipsters, immigrants from the world over, and my immediate family, namely that wonderful, marvelous import from Denmark, Scandinavia, Vermont (someplace very cold and very far away) namely IKEA.

I HATE IKEA! In my mind it is nothing more than a four-letter word.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE I know just loves IKEA, including some of my own flesh and blood. 

I know I am the only person on this big blue marble that feels this way.

People plan their life around spending a day at this furniture amusement park. Every time I had to visit it was reminiscent of Six Flags, Disney or another theme park.

You ascend from a long escalator ride only having to be herded along floor arrows probably designed by
Dr. Temple Grandin.  It is planned so you lose all sense of direction, (similar to an amusement park’s “house of mirrors” or a cornfield maze) where your only hope is to continue on the chosen path, follow someone else or fall to the floor, curl into a fetal position and wait for guard assist.

There is even a “Kiddie-Land”, a room full of colorful plastic softballs where diaper-tots and toddler panty-poopers leave their bacteria for your children to roll around.

At the end of the ride you can even enjoy some Swedish meatballs, hot cocoa or a good old American hot dog.

Although there is no entrance fee, no hand stamping or tickets to purchase, nevertheless you will leave wondering if you maxed-out a credit card.

The fun does not end there, next is the challenge of trying to determine if the last two “gotta have these impulse purchases” will now fit in the little clown car in the parking lot. And let’s not forget the potential of an imminent hernia or the unraveling of 10 years worth of Dr. Chiropractic’s handiwork.

I won’t even begin to address the problem of “some assembly required”. Fortunately my wife has a keen eye for design, the mind of an engineer and knows her “Righty-tighty”, “Lefty-loosey” using tools that look like monopoly pieces and dealing with cute names like Zvone, Gorf, Svent or another bizarre furniture name in the IKEA-to-English dictionary. 

I lack all patience for this and consider IKEA her hobby. Left up to my skill set I would be sitting on three-legged sofas, using uneven end tables and have entertainment centers still in their original cartons.

So I return to my new hobby and that is hoarding. I have watched the programs of those poor souls who cannot navigate their home without climbing on a stepladder to enter a room or must use a shovel to go through their front door. I won’t go that far, I will probably continue to organize stuff and store them on my IKEA shelves because I cannot seem to part with most of my possessions.

I have always advocated the Freecycle-recycling program, so why do I have difficulty ridding my basement of these wonderful collectibles?

I fault my younger brother for implanting into my deepest thoughts the possibility that I may have something of real value stored away in the many labeled cartons on the rows of my theme-park shelves.

We once had a discussion about the possibility of having a yard sale; he was vehemently opposed to the idea. He was certain that someone would eventually obtain one of his worthless pieces of junk only to discover finding the buyer sitting on camera at a taping of PBS’s “Antiques Road Show” proudly boasting that their buy-of-the-century purchased from his table for $.25 was now worth millions. YIKES!

The media loves to reinforce this fear. After daily dog stories, an item always gaining attention is the $5.00 purchase of an original Warhol at a local Goodwill, or a pristine Honus Wagner baseball card found in the bible belonging to somebody’s great granny (at least she did not throw out the shoebox full of cards like most mothers).

We have a new story today, another baseball card from 1865 purchased at a yard sale.

I think I am going to just lay down, curl up in a fetal position next to my shelves.

Someone please cover up my body in boxes.

Fighting the Fat

From May 8, 2013

Like most people today, I too struggle with repeated attempts to lose weight and maintain good health.
Conquering weight issues has been like a real-life video game for me, as I zoom in on my target it usually eludes me then I refocus and a
cquire the additional arsenal of the latest fad diet weaponry to combat my taunting foe.

Yes I have learned the lessons of yo-yo dieting the hard way, evidenced daily in my bathroom mirror.

Like many others I can rattle off a long laundry list of past efforts, including the “just eat everything in moderation, and exercise” mantra usually echoed by some perpetually skinny smug little twerp with the metabolism of a blast furnace.

The other grand plan usually promoted is the “listen to your doctor” approach. My lord, most of the fad plans I ever followed were written and/or endorsed by the medical gods of our age. My own physician actually acknowledged his ignorance in these matters (for which I forever admire and respect him). I should be a little more tolerant and understanding with the medical profession as the term “Practicing” is in their title. They too need to continue on until they can get it right, acknowledging their ignorance.

My very first attempt at weight loss was when I gained my “sophomore 10” and was gasping at the gain. I was about 20 years’ old went to my doctor, at the time, and he put me on an amphetamine program. I lost weight with an additional bonus; I could now work 4 jobs while attending college full time.

After that fiasco I went to another doctor who gave me a tired copy of a 40-year-old mimeographed sheet that consisted of a weight loss program of 500- 800 calories/day.

My next venture was the late Dr. Irwin Maxwell Stillman who was making the talk show circuit promoting his “Doctors Quick Weight Loss Diet”. Hey if he was on Mike and Merv and Johnny he had to be good. The program consisted of lots of hard-boiled eggs and cottage cheese. Yes I lost the ten but at what cost? Back again plus more.

The list goes on and on,

Physician heal thyself!

Am I painting all doctors with a broad brush? No, I use a paint gun as I get better coverage!

I currently do record my food intake, try a light exercise program, and avoid purchasing gallons of Breyer’s All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream (at least daily) and yet I am still not convinced that I have found the secret, that one piece of the puzzle that eludes me in defeating this real life Whack-A-Mole game I am forever chasing.

I am about to embark on another adventure, not changing my current strategy, but incorporating another tweak in the program that hopefully will ramp up the process.

Yes, I can see and actually hear eyes rolling out there. I will not divulge additional details but I will let you know if I am successful, only then I will share with you.

Yes, developed by another physician.

I am forever hopeful, after all my blood type is B positive

Where Does The Time Go?

From May 17, 2013

It has been almost 7 months since I took a needed vacation south of the Mason-Dixon.

I am ready for another trip, ready to finally meet a granddaughter born 5 m
onths ago, and visit her twin sisters who I met only twice during their 1+ years on this earth.

The idea of family closeness has been impressed onto my subconscious my entire life. The stereotypical battle around the family Thanksgiving gathering is unknown to me. We are surely not perfect since you could never put six individual siblings in a household and expect anything close to perfection. We have all grown to a closeness that solidifies our relationship; blood is truly thicker than water.

It pains me to realize that I join many others who must deal with family members who live in other states. Yes, email and Skype has softened some of the blow, but there is nothing like personally gathering together every few weeks for a meal, conversation and laughter. Bonding with grandchildren is ever so important, you really only get a handful of years to do so, and then they are off with friends, college and onto lives of their own.

These years vanish quickly. The fleeting of time has hit home this week while watching a Ken Burns video.

I watched “Horatio’s Drive” and was held hostage by the story depicting a man’s struggle to be the first to successfully navigate across the continent in an automobile.
After listening to a discussion regarding the benefits of horse-drawn carriages vs. the newfangled invention, the automobile, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, on a $50 wager, and a whim, decided to go purchase a Winton automobile, secure a driver-mechanic Sewall K.Crocker, plan a journey in only 3 days and embark on a quest.

Dr. Jackson’s journey began on May 23, 1903, exactly 49 years before I was born!

I was amazed at the realization that less than 50 years before my birth there were no real cross country roadways, and also in that year the Wright brothers were launching their airplane at Kitty Hawk, NC. The passage of time made me realize that the small town I adopted as my hometown where I moved only 40 short years’ ago seems like yesterday.

Every visit to see distant family members is precious, and too short. There is always a sense of loss at departure time, a wonder if any bonding was solidified, if grandchildren will miss you, remember you with fondness and look forward to your next gathering.

I can only hope for the best, and look forward to this reunion and a first meeting, long awaited.

If you want to see an outstanding video, watch “Horatio’s Drive”. It is a great story of hope, determination, and overcoming obstacles. A historic drama sprinkled with warmth and humor.

You will not be disappointed in the time spent.


No Guns Allowed

From June 7, 2013

Well another year and we now left my favorite month, May.
My birthday falls on the 23rd (feel free to send cash) and I love sitting outside in the early morning drinking coffee in the fresh crisp spring air.
May also brings to mind great ch
ildhood remembrances; the near-end of the school year, playing baseball, swimming, summer camp, and the opening of water pistol season.

We could not wait for the water pistols to arrive at the 5 & 10, as we would rush to get the latest model, the best squirter, and be at-the-ready to retaliate when a friend would inevitably throw down the gauntlet and begin the summer-long battle.

Now the mere mention of the word “pistol” today may heap upon me all sorts of unspeakable horrors. As kids at St. Attica’s elementary the punishment inflicted for bringing a water gun to school was the confiscation by Sister Jack Palance and the return at days end along with a stern warning to not act like a real child.

Today a 7 year-old student sitting at the lunch table, playing with a piece of shoelace licorice and forming something that remotely resembles a gun will find himself shunned by his classmates, banished to the schools dungeon tower, having to meet with counselors & therapists, while his parents will be looked-upon with shame by the other soccer moms and spoken of in hushed tones by family and friends.

He will probably make the local 5 o’clock news just after the daily dog story and the investigative journalist who discovers some granny was over-charged $30 on her phone bill.

There may also be a YouTube video that “goes viral”.

This will all go on his permanent record forever preventing him from holding office, entering an Ivy League University or even the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

The kid is doomed. Sorry junior, you should have been born in simpler times.

Well I am now going to post a history of water pistols. I acknowledge my sin; throw myself on the mercy of my readers, as I go on-the-lam before government officials wearing jackets with acronyms on their backs, invade my home, confiscate my meager possessions, and attempt to round up my arsenal of water shooters.

When I go underground I still will never be able to escape the image of Sister Jack Palance. Today she would be telling me to act like a real adult. That punishment is eternal.



Thanks Dad

From Father's Day  June 16, 2013

When I began playing little league baseball I was probably the worst player on the team. I wanted so much to be great but I lacked the training I needed to hopefully not become the last player picked for a pick up game, even behind Jerry with his coke-bottle glasses, Roger who at 10 weighed 200 pounds and Doug who always seemed to have at least one limb in a cast.

I had a horrible batting average (I believe it fell somewhere in the negative numbers) and was always stuck in right field, where balls never wandered. My fielding ability was so dismal I would close my eyes, stick out my glove and believe the ball would somehow magically fall into it, which it never did.

The ball field was just ½ block from my home and I could not understand why my father never attended any games. I knew he loved sports, especially baseball and he also knew how important the game was to me.

I remember lamenting to my mother about how I wished dad would somehow appear alongside the other parents. I knew he arrived home late from work each evening,  his daily trek being 30 miles each way, but it would sure be nice to have him see me play.

I had a rare Saturday game the next week and who showed up? Dad!

I was so proud to have him there. He sat quietly observing all my great moves;  my strikeouts, dropped balls, bad throws. I was so proud, Dad on the other hand, was probably trying to convince everyone that he had no son on the team but was just stopping by to watch a ballgame.

After the game we had a long talk. My father apologized for not being able to attend more games. Work was surely an issue but he also never wanted to become like some of the parents who I saw on the sidelines yelling at their kid, the umpires, coaches, opposing team members and making absolute fools of themselves while humiliating and embarrassing their children.

My ball playing could have embarrassed my father, but he never mentioned it. He did, however, begin to work with me. My hitting and fielding skills improved dramatically, so much so that I eventually became one of the better players on the team.

I learned that he was actually a great ballplayer, played into his 20’s and was offered a position on a farm team. He refused because he was now married, had a growing family with responsibilities and settled for a more stable life as a husband, father and provider for six children.

Dad has been gone for many years, passing while too young, but I want to thank him for being there when I needed him.

Happy Father’s Day!

Here is a great Father's Day video

I needed something to do

Hello.  The name of this blog is jaygerardtoday and it is designed to connect you to both my Podcast , Twitter and possibly a Web site.

I do have a Facebook page that just directs people to this blog.

I am entering "semi-retirement" both kicking and screaming so I wanted something to do for the sanity of both me and my wife.

I am the type of person that needs plenty of activity (or so she says).

I am interested in just about everything and also what interest others so feel free to share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.


The podcast is still in the planning stages, and hopefully will be up and running in the very near future so I will keep you posted.

 I will now include a sampling of some of the facebook postings from recent months.  I hope you enjoy.

Until later,