Remembering This Past Year

What I loved about 2022 was the investigations done by the January 6th commission that investigated the insurrection recommended that former President Donald Trump should be barred from ever holding office again.  They put together an 845-page report that was based on 1,000-plus interviews, documents collected including emails, texts, phone records and a year and a half of investigation and they concluded that Trump was ultimately responsible for the insurrection, laying out for the public and the Justice Department a trove of evidence for why he should be prosecuted for multiple crimes.

I have a few regrets, as we still have a lot of trouble with immigrants at the Southern border and although America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, we don’t have enough jobs here for everyone, so we have to control how many people are allowed in.  The problem is that these illegal immigrants are being persecuted in their own countries and we have to figure out a way to stop that from happening.  Violence and corruption are driving people to migrate here, so they can live a better life.  All of these people are entitled to have all their human rights protected and respected and we need to figure out a way to do that for them.

I lost a tooth last year and it is my only missing body part, which is not bad for a 69-year-old.  I did get a new crown installed and with the root canal operation and the crown, so I lost some money doing this.

I think my overall health is improving as my blood sugar is under goo now and I look at that as being a gain.  Well at least it was better than gaining a lot of weight.

My greatest accomplishment last year was going on a vacation to see my relatives.

I consider myself to be a very happy person and sadness rarely enters my life.

I bought a new bed last January and I am happy to leave behind the old one as I am sleeping much better now.  I look forward to my writing, as that is enough to keep me satisfied.

I would like to add that I am thankful to everyone who reads my posts.  I would also like to add that I think Cassidy Hutchinson is one of the bravest people from last year and I am so happy that the Ukrainian people have turned the tide in Putin’s war.

Written for Throwback Thursday #70 which is hosted by Maggie this week and her topic is “A Year In Review.”

School Haze

1.What do you remember as the most interesting, required reading assignment you had? What class was it for?
The only books that I can remember reading in school are “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl”, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, and “Call Of The Wild” and I guess I liked the one about Buck the dog the best.  All of these were for English Class, but I don’t remember the grade.

2. Were you required to write a book report or were you required to give an oral presentation? What do you remember about it?
I vaguely remember having to do some book reports, but I don’t know what books they were, and I don’t think any of them were oral reports.

3. What did you consider the worst book or article you were required to read? What made it the worst?
I imagine that I must have been forced to read some Dick and Jane books when I was young, as this kid’s series was very popular back then.  I really don’t remember anything about them, but I am certain that they were lame.

4. Were you ever required to debate other classmates? If so, what class was it for? Do you remember any of the subjects and your ‘side’ of the debate?
I was never in a debate that I can remember, but I was the campaign manager for a student who was running for class president, and I had to give a speech introducing him and point out his good qualities and why the students should not vote for his opponent.

5. Were you ever required to do a science project or enter school science fair? What was your project? Did you do it alone or did your parents help you? If you were graded, how did you do?
This is really a good question, but I am coming up blank here.

6. Did you have a Home Economics class or a Wood/Metal Shop class? What types of things did you make?
I had wood shop in High School, l and I made a small storage box.  The class got cancelled a few months into the year, as one of the students started a fire in the shop.

7. Did you frequent the library? Was it for class work or for pleasure? What book that you read for pleasure had the most impact on you?
In High School, I only went when I was required to go, but I did make use of the library in college.

8. What was your most creative class? Band? Chorus? Art? Drama? Writing? What standout creative project do you remember most?
When the wood shop class was canceled, I took a speech class.  The only assignment I remember is giving an instructional speech on how to tie a tie.

9. Were you Required to write a term paper or an end of year report in any of your classes? Did you remember what you wrote about?
As a freshman, in college I had two term paper assignments, one for my course on the history of North Americans and the other was for English class.  My English teacher said that I could use the same paper for both classes, if it was formatted to her specifications, which were different from the History class specs, so even though it was the same paper it had to be typed twice.  I was lucky as my sister volunteered to do the typing for me, so all I had to do was the research and the writing.  I chose Watercraft Structures of the North American Indians, and I covered the birch bark canoes, buffalo skin boats, and the dugout canoes.  I knew that my English teacher was in love with Henry David Thoreau as most English teachers are, so I included a preface section on my term paper from his book “Walden’s Pond” where he talked about how beautiful and peaceful it was and that did the trick for me.  I got an A+ on my History paper and I received an A++ on my English paper.

10. Bonus Question: Did your teachers ever offer extra credit assignments? Did you do them to help improve your grade?
One year I got a C in Math class, and my mom thought that was the most important subject, so she made me go to summer school to raise my grade.  They take the average of your two grades, so I had to get an A in Summer School to raise my grade up to a B, which I did.

Written for Throwback Thursday #66 which is hosted by Maggie this week and her topic is “Class Assignments.”

When I Was Young

1) When you were a kid, what were your creative outlets? As an adult, what have you created that you are most proud of?
When I was young, I had a scrapbook and I collected pictures of animals which I cut out of magazines and newspapers.  I enjoyed it, but I think that my dad tossed it out when we moved.  As an adult, I am proud of some of the posts that I have written, and I take satisfaction in my 3 unpublished books.

2) Have you ever saved someone’s life? Did you ever witness someone’s life being saved? Did someone save your life?
When I was young, I went to sleep with chewing gum in my mouth and I woke up choking.  My brother heard me gasping for air, and he woke up my mom.  I guess that I could have died if my mom didn’t reach her hand inside of my mouth to pull the gum out.  My general practitioner is specialized in Diabetic care and with her help, my Diabetes is well controlled, so I could say that she has also saved my life.

3) Did you ever get lost as a child? How did you handle it? Do you get easily lost now?
I was a pretty goofy kid, but I don’t remember ever getting lost.

4) Did you search out presents your parents hid from you? Did you get caught? Do you hide presents from family members as an adult? Are they ever found?
I never did any of this.

5) Do you have a special song that was sung to you by either of your parents? Did you sing to your children? (or pets) Care to share the tunes?
When my family went on trips, we used to sing and the only songs that I remember are ‘Three Little Fishes’ and ‘Ragtime Joe’.

6) What’s something you were afraid of as a child? What is something you are afraid of as an adult?
When I was a child, I was afraid of having an accident and making in my pants, because this happened to me in the Third grade, and it was a real mess.  The other kids teased me about it, and they called me poopy pants.  As an adult, I am OK with heights up to a certain point, but anything over three stories high does frighten me.

7) What do you wish you would have learned more about in school?
I wish that I would have learned more about how to pick up girls.

8) Is there something outside of school you were so interested in you taught yourself about it as an adult?
There are many things in my field of Electrical engineering, that I learned by myself.  I had some courses in computers in college, but they were no help for me in learning how to use a personal computer.  I learned MS DOS commands and taught myself how to use Windows computers.

9) What made you laugh most when you were a child? What makes you laugh out loud now?
I enjoyed watching the Tonight Show with my dad and the roasts really made me laugh.  I think my sense of humor hasn’t changed that much and I still laugh at movies that I think are funny.

10) What’s something from your childhood that helped to shape your outlook on life?
I think that because my family moved a lot, that helped me to make new friends.

Written for Throwback Thursday #66 which is hosted by Lauren this week and her topic is “That Was Then, and This Is Now.”

Recreational Use

Unlike Lauren, I was exposed to alcohol and drugs.  Alcohol has been around a long time, and I don’t think it will ever disappear as it is ingrained in our culture.  The term honeymoon is derived from the Scandinavian practice of drinking mead, or fermented honey, during the first month of the marriage (measured by one moon cycle) in order to improve the likelihood of conception.  The father of the bride was responsible for providing the newlyweds with enough mead to keep the couple happy for a month.  Most things that are used in moderation are probably not going to be bad for you, but if you become excessive, breathing too much air, or drinking too much water, or even getting too much sunshine, that could end up killing you.  Consuming alcohol and taking drugs can be bad for you, but gambling is so much worse, as it will take time for alcohol and drugs to ruin your life, but gambling can destroy everything in a second.

My dad drank beer and I guess it rubbed off on me and although it may have done some damage to my kidneys, it didn’t destroy my life, like it did to others.  Some people are able to build up a tolerance for alcohol and that allows them to be able to better handle the effects than others.  Alcohol is something that people take to make them feel better or be more relaxed, but since everyone’s body is different, it could produce adverse effects on certain people.  If alcohol was made illegal, people would find ways to get it, just like they did during Prohibition and restricting the supply will probably just increase the urge to drink.

I was exposed to all types of drugs, as my friends were smugglers and dealers.  I was caught with marijuana, but I didn’t get into too much trouble.  One night there were five other guys in my VV Beatle, and we were going to this party, but it hadn’t started yet.  I got tired of driving around and I wanted to smoke some of the opiated hash that my friend Jerry had, so I pulled over in this new development which was close to these woods where we could go to party.  I knew this spot, which was a perfect place to party, so I led the way.  One of the kids in my car, the one who I didn’t know so well, left a pack of cigarettes in my glove compartment with two joints in it and on top of that, one of the idiots that got out of the passenger’s side door, did not close it properly.  The hash was really good, and I told three of the guys to wait by the road and I would come and get them in my car.  As I walked up to my car, I saw all these flashing red and blue lights and I wondered if it was some type of carnival.  Nope, it was the cops, and somebody called them, thinking my car was abandoned, because the door was left open.  Long story shortened, I took the rap even though it wasn’t my weed and I ended up with 6 months’ probation.

I know that cannabis has medical uses, but I think it should also be legal for recreational use, as I see it as a mostly harmless drug.  New research is being done with psychedelics to try and help people that are severely depressed, and if this could help them, I am all for it, as nobody should have to suffer.  If pot was legalized, it would take money out of the hands of smugglers and dealers, and it could provide tax revenue.  There needs to be a certain minimum age just like what we have for alcohol, but every adult should be allowed to do what they want, as long as they stay out of trouble.

Written for Throwback Thursday #62 which is hosted by Lauren this week and her topic is “Suds, Buds and Vino.”


I enjoyed trick or treating when I was young, but I wasn’t that into costumes, so I usually wore beat up clothes and said I was a bum.  Halloween was all about the candy for me and never about the costumes.  One year my mom asked me what I wanted to be for Halloween, and I told her that I would like to be Underdog, because he was my favorite cartoon character.  She got me a red shirt and red pants and a blue cape, which was pretty cool.  She sewed a white letter U on the front of my shirt, and she made these floppy ears attached to a head band.  I went around saying, “There’s no need to fear.   Underdog is here!”, as I really felt like I was Underdog.

When I was working in Brazil, I got invited to a Halloween party and I knew this girl who was a seamstress, so I asked her if she would like to make me a costume for the party.  There was a popular Australian children’s television cartoon called Bananas in Pajamas where the two main characters were dancing bananas named B1 and B2, and this show was syndicated in Brazil and called Bananas de Pyjamas.  I asked her to make me a costume so I could look like the other bananas, only I would become B3, the third banana.  It came out really well and I had a good time at the party.  I wore that costume again after I came home from Brazil for another party, but since nobody ever heard of the Bananas in Pajamas, everyone thought that I was either a convict or a rodeo clown.

Written for Throwback Thursday #61 which is hosted by Maggie this week and her topic is “Costumes”.

Visiting Family

1.Did you live close by or far away from close family or grandparents?
I had East Coast family and centrally located family and since close and far refer to distance, that is a relative term, but nothing is too great for relatives.  My grandparents on my mother’s side lived in Milwaukee about 10 miles away from my immediate family (mom, dad and siblings), so that was the closest.

2. How often did you see or visit extended family?
I would say on an average, we visited relatives several times a year.

3. Was the coming together cheerful and celebrated in some way?
It always started out that way, but sometimes the s..t hit the fan.

4. Which relative did you enjoy seeing the most? Why?
My cousins on Long Island were the most fun to be with, because we were all close in age, but my grandmother in Milwaukee was a great cook, so that was also very enjoyable seeing her.

5. Were there relatives you dreaded visiting? If so, why?
Not really.

6. If you were the visitor, was the trip short and easy or was it a journey?
Life is a journey, and you have to make the best of it.

7. Were your visits short or extended? If extended visits, where did you sleep? Bed, sofa bed, couch, floor?
Mostly day trips, but there were some sleep overs also.  When you are young, you sleep wherever you are told to.

8. When it came time to leave, was it difficult to say goodbye?
I don’t remember it being so.

9. How often do you visit extended family now?
I made a trip to North Carolina to visit my sister’s family in July, but it was a few years since I had seen them and that was for a funeral.

10. If you could see a relative who is no longer alive, who would it be? Why?
That would be a tough choice between my mom and my dad, as they are both deceased, and I love both of them.

Written for Throwback Thursday #60 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is “Visiting Family”.

Passing on the Stories

1) Did you have multiple family generations nearby when growing up?
If grandparents count, then the answer is yes.  I never knew my paternal grandfather, but I did know my paternal grandmother and in fact, I was born in the same house that my father was born in.  Our family moved and I got to know both of my maternal grandparents and we visited them often.

2) What are some of the earliest family stories you remember hearing?
My father had one of those Bell and Howell Super 8 mm movie cameras in the 50’s and I guess my best early memories are watching myself, my brother and sister in the movies that my dad filmed.  My dad would tell stories as we watched the movies, and we would all laugh as I chased pigeons around and I was never able to catch any.  He inserted text into some of the movies that said things like “Watch this!” and it was clear that he enjoyed his hobby, although he was far from being the next Cecil B. DeMille.  He spliced his films and ran some of them backwards and I was always amazed that I could go up the slide instead of sliding down it.

3) Did your parents tell you the story about how they met? Did you share with your children your own love story?
I never had any children.  I do know the story of how my parents met and my dad and his friend went to this dance where my mom was with her friend.  The two guys started dancing with the two girls, but my dad’s friend wanted to switch partners, because he thought my mom was too short for him and my dad complied, and the rest is history.

4) Did aunts, uncles, or grandparents ever share embarrassing stories about your parents when they were children? Were the stories fictionalized or factual?
My Aunt used to enjoy telling the story about my dad’s first day at school, where the teacher called his home because he wouldn’t stop crying.  My aunt was like 15 years older than my dad and she went down to the school to see what was going on.  The teacher had given my dad a small American flag to get him to stop crying and when my aunt arrived, he was smiling and waving it around.

5) Did your parents or siblings ever tell your kids embarrassing stories from your youth?
Like I said, I don’t have any kids, but I do have plenty of embarrassing stories.

6) Were there tales you wish you had asked your parents or grandparents, but never did? What would you like to have asked them?
I learned a lot about my parents, so I would say that there is nothing in particular that I wish that I would have asked them.

7) If you had a magical way to speak to a deceased relative, what would you most like to ask them?
I would ask what is it like being dead?

8) Do you share stories about your time growing up with your children or grandchildren? Is there something you don’t want to be lost when you are no longer in this realm?
Again, no children.

9) Have you ever done research to find out more facts about your lineage? Did you ever find anything surprising?
In college I took Sociology, and I did a three generational analysis of my family, and I did learn some surprising stories.

10) Have you kept journals, records, or important information about your family, that you want to be handed down for future generations?

Written for Throwback Thursday #59 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is “Passing on the Stories”.

Breaking All the Rules

  1. Who in your family was the person who made and enforced rules?
    I wouldn’t say that my father made the rules, but he was the one who enforced them.
  1. Did you grow up with many rules, or was your life a little more flexible?
    Most of the rules concerned chores, like cleaning my room, cutting the grass, walking the dog, or taking out the garbage and I guess they were flexible.
  1. Were you a rule follower or a rule breaker?
    I had a reluctant attitude about doing chores, but I eventually did them after much procrastination.
  1. How were discipline and – in contrast – rewards managed in your household?
    Discipline involved getting yelled at and spankings were used to deter bad behavior.  I did get money for doing certain chores, which was kind of like an allowance.
  1. Were you given the opportunity to plead your case in matters of disagreement?
    My parents were understanding, but they didn’t always see my point of view.
  1. What tools did your parents use –  ‘I’m going to count to three‘ or ‘don’t make me get up‘ or a time-out chair?
    My mom would often threaten me that my dad would hit me with his belt when he came home, if I failed to listen to her.
  1. Did fear of discipline curb your desire to break or bend the rules?
    There was nothing scarier than watching my dad take his belt off, so I usually behaved.
  1. Did your upbringing influence the way you (as an adult) managed rules in your own home?
    I never had any children, but I think my parents taught me good values.
  1. Were you ever ‘grounded’? Do you want to share the story?
    I will share the story of my last spanking, which took place while I was still a Freshman in Hugh School.  After that I got big enough to take the belt away from my dad and that ended all of my spankings.  I was on the bus coming home from school and my next-door neighbor called me a jerk for sending her a Valentine’s Day card in school.  I thought she was cute, and this was my way of flirting with her, but when she received it in homeroom, she got embarrassed, because all of her friends teased her.  She went off on me on the bus and I got so mad at her that I told her that she should keep her legs closed because her breath smelled.  I didn’t know a lot about girls at this point in my life and I think I read this phrase in a book.  This shut her up and everyone laughed, and I felt good for a while.  As we walked from the bus stop to our homes, she told me that she couldn’t wait too my father got home.

She sat on my front porch and when my dad arrived, she told him what I said to her.  My dad grabbed my arm as he started taking off his belt and he whacked me good several times while telling me that he did not raise me to have a dirty mouth and talk like a pig.  My neighbor got the last laugh watching me getting spanked and that was the last Valentine’s Day card that I ever sent out.

  1. Did you break rules your parents never knew about? Want to confess and leave with a clear conscious? No?
    Ok, what the hell, another story and although this does not involve discipline and I have a totally clear conscious about this, I think it is a funny story.  We never had a rule that said I was not allowed to bring drugs into my house, but common sense told me that this was wrong.  My mom never liked wasting anything and one day when my sister came over with her family and her dog, my mom said that she was going to see if the dog wanted to finish up the last of the turkey soup that she had made from the Thanksgiving leftovers.  It was about 10 days old, and the dog loved it, but a half hour later it laid down on the kitchen floor kicking his legs around.  Everyone thought that the turkey soup had gone bad, and they rushed the dog to the veterinarian to get its stomach pumped out.  I always hid my weed in my closet, and I discovered that the dog got into my stash and ate a bunch of my buds.  I knew what was wrong with the dog and I told my brother what happened.

This remained a secret for about 20 years, long after the dog passed away.  My dad loved to tell stories and every year around Thanksgiving he would tell the story about the dog getting sick on the bad turkey soup.  My brother couldn’t stand keeping this secret anymore, so he let the cat out of the bag, and he told everyone that there was nothing wrong with the soup and that the dog got sick from eating my marijuana.

Written for Throwback Thursday #50 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is “Are Rules Made to be Broken?”

The Difference Between Then and Now

1) When you were a kid, did you like your name? Would you have changed it if you could? Do you like it now?
I have always liked my name and it is common in my family, as I have a cousin named Jim and I had an uncle named Jim.

2) As a kid, what always brought a smile to your face? What about now, as an adult? (family-friendly please)
I always enjoyed listening to the stories that my father would tell as a kid.  Now I tell my own stories.

3) What was the most important lesson your parents taught you? Did you pass that lesson down to your family?
They taught me to treat people the way that I would like to be treated.  I don’t have any offspring, so that lesson will die with me.

4) Are there talents you started as a child that you still have? If so, what are they?
My mom gave me a lot of connect the dots puzzles and I developed pattern recognition skills from this, which I still have today.

5) Is there something you regret not doing or starting when you were young? What was it?
I wish I would have learned how to play a musical instrument.

6) Did you have more close friends as a kid or as an adult? Any idea why?
I don’t have any close friends now, but I had many growing up.

7) Where did you go to think as a kid? Where do you go now?

8) What would be the name of the chapter of your life from 10 – 18? What would the name be the name of the chapter of your life currently?
Lost in Space would work for my years from 10 – 18.  Cast Away is probably a good name for the life I am living now.

9) What wonderful thing happened in your adult life that your child self could never have imagined?
I never thought that I would go to college and that became a wonderful thing for me.

10) Would your child self like your adult self? Why or why not?
As a child, my life revolved around having fun and I don’t do many things that are fun related anymore, so I feel that my child self would be greatly disappointed in what has become of me.

Written for Throwback Thursday #48 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is “That Was Then And This Is Now”.

Fireworks Excitement

1) What are your earliest memories of watching fireworks?
My early memories are kind of foggy, but I do remember my parents driving my family to a park where we watched fireworks.

2) Were you more afraid or excited at the time?
Fireworks have always been exciting for me.

3) What occasions were celebrated with watching fireworks?
Independence Day, Labor Day and New Years Eve.

4) Did you travel to fireworks shows, or did your family have their own, safe and sane explosives?
When I was really young, my family drove to fireworks shows.  I had punks, snakes and sparklers as a kid, which were pretty safe.

5) Did you ever light off illegal fireworks?
Around the age of 10, every kid in my neighborhood had their own fireworks, which included fire crackers, poppers, bottle rockets, ash cans, cherry bombs and M-80s.  I lived in Staten Island and everyone there was a transplant from Brooklyn or the Bronx and this was normal for everyone.  The guy on the ice cream truck sold them to the kids.  The whole block was filled with smoke, but I don’t remember anyone ever getting hurt.  I did get hurt on the 5th of July, as we always went out to look for the duds, the ones that didn’t explode.  We would break the ash cans apart and light them off with our punks and watch the powder shoot out of them.  I found this ash can and my punk had already gone out, so I decided to light it with a match and the flames burnt my thumb and it hurt for at least a week, but I didn’t suffer any permanent damage.

6) Did you typically have a family celebration before the nighttime display? What did it include?
My nephew was born on the 4th of July, so we always celebrated that with a cookout.

7) As you grew older, did your feelings about fireworks change?
After I moved out of Staten Island to New Jersey, fireworks were not as easy to get, and I used to go to China Town to purchase them.  I had to give my money to a person who told me to wait in a certain spot and that he would come back with my stuff and a couple of times the guy never came back, so that was disappointing.  It has become too much trouble with worrying about neighbors that think their house is going to be set on fire or having the police come around, that a lot of the fun has been sucked out of having my own fireworks, so I don’t get them anymore.  I still think that they are fun, but I can do without them.

8) Now the thinker: Many places are restricting fireworks now because of the trauma it can cause to pets, young children, and sensitive adults. How do you feel about restricting fireworks?
I live in Florida now and people around here seem to be shooting them off all the time.  Our Governor Ron DeSantis made it legal for adults over 18 to shoot off larger aerial fireworks, Roman candles, bottle rockets and other pyrotechnics.  I can hear the fireworks being shot off at Disney every night.  I see them being sold in the supermarkets and there are road side stands that also sell them.  I see this as being a lot like guns, as people are going to have them and shoot them off no matter what the laws are.

Written for Throwback Thursday #44 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is “Fireworks Celebrations”.