Welcome to my updated site. I hope you enjoy my gentle brand of humor. If you made it here, please come back for more of my simple observations of everyday life.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Simple Observations - Almost, Out of this World

Here are a few more snippets from my new book, Simple Observations - A Humorous Look at the Absurdity of the World Around Us. I hope you consider getting the book as a present for someone special in your life who is near and dear, but may be just a little messed up. My wife has already bought thirty copies for me. I keep telling her that I wrote the darn book, and I kind of already know what's going to happen next, but she won't listen. The book is available anywhere in the world. I was hoping to get a copy into outer space, so I wouldn't be lying when I said, "Simple Observations, is out of this world." Unfortunately, all the rocket scientists at NASA where so busy passing it around, and trying to figure it out, they forgot to put it on the last load of supplies for the space station.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about my international book tour. It is so exciting. On March 23, I'll be telling outrageous stories, passing out flapjacks, and signing copies of my book at the International House of Pancakes in Embarrass, Minnesota. This appearance will be followed by stops at the IHOPs in Mosquitoville, Vermont, and Intercourse Pennsylvania on the 25th and 27th. Wish me luck -  I'm going to need all I can get.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Lunch Meat Wars

How many of you regularly visit a local delicatessen to procure fine meats, chesses, and assorted hot and cold items? Here in the United States we call them delis, and many are located inside major supermarket chains. Delicatessens originated in Germany during the 18th century, and then spread to most of Europe, before becoming popular in America. I heard that the word was derived from the French word, “delicatesse,” which means, “delicious things to eat.” I think, when I finish writing this simple observation, I’m going to hit my favorite “delicatesse.” It’s called – Burger King.

I was at my local supermarket yesterday to pick up some lunch meat, or what is also called sliced meats, deli meats, luncheon meats or cold cuts. I also needed an assortment of some of my favorite sliced cheeses. Whenever I’m at the deli, it always seems to be a little crazy. People are pushing and shoving each other, everyone’s jostling for position in front of the big glass cases, words I can’t mention on this blog are volleyed back and forth, and fights are breaking out after people butt in front of someone else. It’s exactly what happens at my family’s wedding receptions, when the buffet line is officially opened.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

My New Years Resolutions

Now, that the new year is almost here, I’ve begun thinking about all my New Years resolutions for 2018. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have the same ones every year, and they usually only last about a week or two. I looked up New Year’s resolution, and it said, “It’s a tradition, most common to the western hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life.” Undesired traits or behaviors? That’s all I have. If I get rid of all of them, I’ll be nothing more than a lifeless mannequin, propped up in the corner!

I also learned that only 8% of people keep their resolutions. The most common are: to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, drink less alcoholic beverages, stop smoking, save money, and spend more time with family and friends. I always have trouble with these resolutions. First of all; getting me to achieve a healthier lifestyle, by putting down that big piece of chicken at the Old Country Buffet, is like rescuing an unfortunate seal from the jaws of a ravenous polar bear. Of course, with a kid in college, I won’t be saving very much money, and that family and friend thing scares me. To be honest; my wife is my best friend, and my mother-in-law is……. Let’s just say, I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for “more” quality time with either of them.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Memories

Christmas tree

I started writing my last, Christmas-themed, simple observation of everyday life today, and it got me thinking about all the wonderful memories I’ve accumulated over the years during the Holiday season. My mind often drifts back to thoughts of being a young child on Christmas morning. I then think about my own children growing up, and now my first grandchild. I’ve seen Christmas through their eyes, and it brings back memories of the innocence of childhood, the wonder of Christmas, and a belief in magic, as well as in Santa Claus. I’ve put together a few observations of Christmas. Of course, as always, I try to put a humorous twist on things. I hope you see yourself in some of these simple observations.

As someone, whose been married for over twenty-three years, I wonder if any of you, have had your spouse, partner, or significant other say, “Sweetheart, what do you say we don’t get anything for each other this Christmas? We can save money, and concentrate on the kids.” They might have even said, “I don’t need anything, your love is more than enough, or this Christmas, why don’t we set a fifty-dollar limit on what we buy each other?” Did you ever listen to these suggestions? If so, are you still regretting the decision? One year, I played along with my wife, and said, “Okay honey. This year, we’ll only get each other lovely Christmas cards, and we’ll spend the day cuddling by the fire with a good bottle of wine.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

You are Not Alone

A week or so after Thanksgiving, and once the Black Friday insanity has abated; a slow and steady migration begins. It is much like the great movements of the African Wildebeests, as they single-mindedly make their way across vast savannahs in search of food and water. At first, there are but a few individuals wandering aimlessly, as if desperately searching for something. Soon, large numbers gather in groups, as if seeking comfort from others of their own kind, and also protection from many unknown dangers. By early December, department store parking lots are filled with these creatures, who stand outside their cars, pause for a few moments, as if time itself has stopped its steady march forward, and gaze at the enormous mall in the distance.

Tightly clutching, hastily scribbled lists of items, and clothing in various sizes and colors, they reach for their back pockets for reassurance that their credit card filled wallets are there. Moving slowly forward as one, they completely ignore each other, as they focus on reaching the large doors, and decorative entrance to the massive mall before them. Though, they consist of many different races, ages, and ethnic backgrounds, they share a common feature. All their eyes contain, not only a look of uncertainty and confusion, but an underlying fear as well.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Just a Fruitcake


A few days ago, I was cleaning out a hallway closet, when an extremely heavy, brick like object, fell off an upper shelf, and landed on my large, and usually indestructible cranium. I was surprised, when the impact nearly sent me to my knees. After regaining my senses, I retrieved a solid, rectangular object, neatly wrapped in bright red wrapping paper from the floor. Examining the mysterious package, I noticed a small white label attached with a few, neatly printed words that said, “To My Favorite Nephew. Merry Christmas from Uncle Ned.”

I could only imagine, when I had received the gift, why it was unopened, and how it had ended up in my closet. Stranger still, was the fact that my Uncle Ned, had died under mysterious circumstances, nearly twenty years ago. I slowly opened the package, and was surprised to find the item was encased in a faded type of cloth or linen that looked very old. Delicately removing the wrapping which was dry and brittle, I was astonished to find what looked like  –  a fruitcake?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Kiss Me You Fool

As we make our way through the Christmas season, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Holiday traditions. It’s the hanging of mistletoe above doorways, in order to possibly procure a kiss from one’s spouse, partner, significant other, friend, or possibly a complete stranger. As I always do before writing a simple observation of everyday life, I did some research on what mistletoe is, it’s history, and how it’s used in today’s modern world. I did find out that mistletoe is a parasitic plant, which forces its roots into the bark of a host tree, and sucks the nutrients from it like a vampire. It is a white-berried greenery, found in bunches the size of a large cabbage. It grows high atop hard wood trees such as oak or elm. It has also been known to infest apple trees. Many people don’t know this, but the leaves and berries, are extremely poisonous, and can cause harm, or even death if eaten.

How then, did a parasitic, and harmful plant, become an important part of Christmas traditions in many countries. Many historians trace mistletoe's origins to either Scandinavian legends, or to pagan Druid priests, in what is now modern day England, who revered it as a central part of ancient Solstice celebrations. In many European countries, it was seen as having magical powers, could bestow fertility on newly married couples, was useful as an aphrodisiac, and could protect against evil and unforeseen occurrences like plague, bad harvests, and visits from in-laws.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

A few nights ago, I was feverishly writing down my wish list for Santa. I had already listed comfortable, white, Fruit of the Loom underwear, warm socks, a new snow shovel, a knit ski hat, and a heating pad, when I paused for a moment to reminisce about being a child, and the anticipation of good old Saint Nicks visit. My family had a tradition of reading the poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” in front of a roaring fire, as we all sipped hot chocolate, and stared in wonder at a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and colorful stockings hung above the fireplace. I’m not sure, if I’ve ever experienced that feeling of wonder and magic since. I still have memories of lying in bed on Christmas Eve, hearing a noise, looking out the window, seeing snow fall from our rooftop, and envisioning Santa Claus disembarking from his sleigh with an enormous bag, as eight tiny reindeer waited patiently nearby.

I remember from the poem, how Santa Claus was described as being dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. He had a broad face, and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. His eyes how they twinkled. His dimples how merry. His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. Wait a minute….. I just realized something. Except for not having a beard, I look exactly like Santa Claus! I guess that explains a few things. In November, I took a much-needed two-week vacation, stopped shaving, bundled up in my fur-lined red jacket, and enjoyed a few delicious alcoholic beverages. Well – maybe a little more than a few. I kept having, smiling small children rush up to me, jump on my lap, and recite lengthy Christmas wish lists, before departing with their frazzled parents, who usually gave me disapproving looks.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Excessive Christmas Spirit

Christmas - 1

My new book, "Simple Observations - A humorous Look at the Absurdity of the World Around Us," is almost here. The book cover has been designed, the final edit is complete, and it's nearing publication. It probably; unless I have a Christmas miracle, won't be out before the 25th. In celebration of the Holidays, and the promotion of the book, I'm publishing one of the stories, here on my blog. I hope you enjoy it, and it possibly peaks your interest in reading the entire book in the coming year.

Like most of you, I love the festive mood, the spirit of giving, and the sense of family during the holiday season. I also love the tradition of fresh-cut Christmas trees decorated with shiny spheres of glass, long strands of silver tinsel, bright and colorful strings of lights, and topped with a radiant golden angel siting majestically, upon the highest peak. On cold December evenings, I’ll slowly stroll through my neighborhood, bundled in layers of warm clothing, as I enjoy the wonder of subtle, yet beautiful Christmas decorations. I especially enjoy brightly lit candles in the windows of houses, a single tree aglow in the front yard with either white, red or blue lights, candy canes standing tall and proud like soldiers lined up along the walkways, and a few silver icicles hanging like thin frozen spears of ice.

Over the past few years though, I’ve been observing that Christmas decorations have made a slow, but steady change from simple, yet lovely displays to more garish scenes. Houses have become adorned with thousands of blinding lights, windows plastered with dozens of Christmas images, and roofs loaded with the crushing weight of multiple yuletide figures. I have also seen once barren lawns filled with what looks like a cross between a Macy’s Halloween parade and a Disney character convention.