What should you get rid of, that would make your new year better, and why?
I could use a new bed, as the one that I am sleeping on is about 8 years old now and of course when I get a new one, the old one must go.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
One time, I dove off of a cliff, but this may have been more stupid than brave, however I would qualify it as daring as my friends dared me.  It was Anthony’s birthday and Ed, Jack my brother, myself and Anthony, or ray face as we liked to call him, all went to this bar and we got hammered drinking shots and beer.  This was one day when I wasn’t driving as we went in Ed’s Chevelle and after our stop at the tavern, we went for a cruise.  The tunes were blasting, but I actually can’t remember everything that we were listening to, but I know it was rocking.  This was May 1972 and rat face was turning 18, so if it was the radio it was probably the Stones ‘Tumbling Dice’, or Paul Simon’s ‘Me and Julio’, or Elton’s ‘Rocket Man’, but the one song that I do remember was the Allman Brothers ‘Midnight Rider’, because I was singing, “I’ve got one more silver dollar, but I’m not gonna let ‘em catch me, no
not gonna let ‘em catch the midnight rider.”  We may have heard ‘Midnight Rider’ in the bar and we could have been listening to some Dead in the car, but none of this is important to the story.

Ed saved three joints of this killer pot for Anthony’s birthday and we smoked two of them in the car and we finally ended up on Johnston Drive in Watchung, NJ, a place that everyone referred to as 13 bumps.  There is a crazy story that says these thirteen bumps were put in the road for the thirteen witches that once lived there, but the real reason is that they were added to the end of this twisting down hill road to slow speeders down and prevent accidents.  We used to drive over them and everyone in the car would bounce around a bit, which was always fun.

Just before you get to the bumps, depending on which way you get on this road, there was this sort of scenic overlook.  It wasn’t all that scenic, as there wasn’t much to see besides Route 22 below, so it was more like a rest stop where kids would pull over to party.  We stopped there and finished up the last joint.  I looked down the cliff and I figured that I could do a flip off of it and everything thought I was a jerk, or a brainless idiot and they said that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  I took the dare and rolled into a summersault and then untucked and grabbed this branch hanging down from this tree, or otherwise I may have ended up on 22.

I climbed back up the hill to everyone cheering and laughing at what a nut I was.  My shirt was ripped and I had some glass stuck in my back, but in the state that I was in, I wasn’t feeling any pain.  I dusted myself off and then Bergen, Phillips and DiDario, these dudes also from South Plainfield pulled up in the rest area, as they spotted Ed’s Chevelle.  They got out and we exchanged greetings and everyone told them that they just missed me diving off of the cliff.  They didn’t believe that I did it, so I turned around and pulled a chunk of glass out of my back.  They were stunned and Phillips said that he has this camcorder and he wanted me to do it again, so he could film it.

I told him, “Been there and done that, but for you I will dive off the cliff backwards.”  Phillips got his new toy and I turned my back on the cliff and dove off tumbling down and grabbing onto another branch.  All the guys were amazed that I would attempt such a thing, but stupidity knows no bounds and I enjoyed being the entertainment.  I got back up and Phillips was mad because he ran out of film, but he did capture me just as I went over the edge of the cliff and I would love to see that video again someday.

Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?
Not really, but my dad was a clean freak and I guess it could have been, “Pick it up or it will be thrown out.”

On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?  (this does not mean ‘smell’ or looks; because this is a judgment free blog!) 
I used to be funny and as a matter of fact this guy on the High School yearbook staff told me that I came in second on the vote of Class Clown.  Yes, I know this superlative is not what most students strive for, but that was my life back in the day trying to make people laugh.   Nobody knows who came in second as they only show the photos of the winners.

Gratitude Section
I am going to try again to get my Covid vaccine and if I do, I will be grateful.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

My Life as A Bear

What’s a relationship deal breaker for you?
I love it when I think that I have found what I consider to be ideal qualities in a potential partner, but certain things will make me reevaluate my choices.  If a woman does not shave her underarms, or has long hair coming out of her nostrils, or if there is hair on her back, this would be a deal breaker.

Do you believe in extra-terrestrials?
Nope, because there is no proof or evidence of them and if they existed, then why are they hiding?

In the morning, do you hit the snooze button on your alarm (sometimes repeatedly) or do you leap out of bed, ready to face the day?
I have an alarm clock, but I never set it, I get up out of bed when I am done sleeping.

If you came back in the next life as an animal, which animal would you choose to be?  (and even if you don’t believe in that, let’s suspend belief for a moment just to have a little fun)
If I had to choose to be an animal in my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear.  When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate, you sleep for months and do nothing which is something that I could deal with.  Before entering hibernation, I would eat myself stupid.  I would probably even collect some extra food to store inside my den just in case I woke up from my long nap.  When you’re a bear, everybody knows not to mess with you, nobody wants to be the one who poked the bear.  People  realize that a bear should not be provoked and if I were a bear, I could can swat anyone who bothered me.  Only a stupid person would try to antagonize a bear.

Gratitude Section

I am grateful that all of this election crap will soon be over.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Easy Questions

Pick three words to describe this past year.   (please keep them PG. Thanks).
Worst President Ever!

What were the best books you read this year?   Or the best movie you saw?
The only book that I finished reading this year was Bill Kreutzmann’s book DEAL: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the GRATEFUL DEAD.  I am about one third of my way through David Browne’s book SO MANY ROADS THE LIFE AND TIMES Of the GRATEFUL DEAD.  I did order Paula Light’s book Ghosted Disappearing Acts and Dennis McNally’s book A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead, on Kindle but I have not got the chance to read them yet.   I ordered Phil Lesh’s book Searching for the Sound, My Life with the Grateful Dead, on Google Play and this is on my to read list.  I read a about half of Cage Dunn’s book Diaballein, but I put it down because horror is not really my genre.

Because there was lots of time for looking inward, what is one big personal lesson you learned this past year?
Stock up on toilet paper.

Do you think Covid has strengthened or weakened societal bonds?
This could go both ways, as the lockdowns and social distancing have isolated people which have made society weaker, however immediate families have been stuck in the same home with each other and this has made the more compassionate for each other.

Gratitude Section
Since I am a research writer, most of my reading is connected with the posts that I write, but I want to give special thanks to Max of Badfinger 20 PowerPop who has renewed my interest in reading books and he has given me some E-Books to read.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Damn Reindeer

What news event do you vividly remember hearing about as a child, and where were you?
When I was in fifth grade my mom told me about JFK being assassinated when I got home from school and I remember that she was crying as she told me the sad news.  Six years later, I watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon with my dad on a Sunday afternoon.

What is a Christmas song that makes you cringe?

What is one place you shop(ped prior to Covid) that might have surprised people?
I am not big on hunting, shooting, fishing, or anything outdoors, but I have shopped at Cabela’s a few times and they have nice clothes and one time I ate a buffalo bratwurst there.

What is your least favorite holiday side dish?
I won’t go near anything that has onions in it, but you already knew that about me, so I am going with Sweet Potato Casserole as being my least favorite side dish.

I would like to share something heartwarming that’s happened to me lately and this has to do with one of my prescriptions.  I know that 2020 was rough for a lot of people and many had it worse than me, but this turned out to be a very expensive year for me.  I have to fly up to North Carolina in January for a funeral and I had some very expensive eye surgery done and I was forced to buy a different car this year.  I usually pay better attention to my Diabetic injections, but when I took my dosage the other day which was supposed to be 45 units, all I could get from the pen was 35 units.  I looked into my refrigerator and realized that was my last pen, so I went online and ordered another batch.  The problem was that my prescription had expired and I had no idea how long it was going to be for me to get my medication.  I called my doctor the nest day and asked her if she had any samples and she told me to come done and get some and that warmed my heart.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Activities, Charities and Covid

Do you enjoy skiing or ice skating or if it’s warm where you are, hiking or enjoying outdoor sports?
It is warm by me and just the other day I swam a few laps in my pool.  I used to be more interested in physical activity when I was young.  When I was young, I went ice skating all the time and I guess I have time for a few stories.  One day I was playing hockey on the ponds in the woods with my friends and we made the goals the area between the stumps that were at each end of the pond.  I got control of the puck and I was going to score a breakaway goal as the goalie had left the net.  It was clear sailing for me till this guy hooked his stick into my skates and my neck landed on one of the stumps.  Sometimes we would go to the lake in the center of town and one day this kid fell in where the ice was getting thin.  Nobody bothered to help him, but like an idiot I tried.  He ended up pulling me into the freezing water and my clothes froze like a popsicle.

Do you give to charities or homeless that you might encounter, during this time of year, more than you do otherwise?
I always drop a dollar into the Salvation Army Red Kettle every time I see one and they are usually in front of my grocery store this time of year.  I give them the money on my way in and I wish them a merry Christmas.  I have this thing where I can’t pass up any Girl Scouts without buying cookies.  When times are good and I have money, I will give to other charities.  I have given money to homeless people, but I mostly think that they would do better getting a real job, instead of begging because they are too lazy to work.

What is the most enjoyable activity you engage in during December?  Is it a tradition for you and your family?
I enjoy watching football to see which teams will have a chance to make the playoffs.  Things are looking good for my Giants now, only because they are in a division of losers.  My dad got me interested in watching football, so I guess that this is sort of a tradition

What changes will C-19 bring to your festive celebrations this year?
I purchased all of the presents that I am giving out and all of the decorations are up and the cards are in the mail, so I am basically done for Christmas and all I plan on doing is relaxing, which Covid-19 shouldn’t have any impact on.  Christmas is on a Friday this year and I am scheduled to write a post for the MM Music Challenge that I host and I will discuss the Wham! Song ‘Last Christmas’.  Please stop by and join in with some of your own Christmas music.

Gratitude Section
I will be changing out my propane tank because it is empty now and I am grateful that I will soon be grilling up some juicy steaks.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Melanie’s World

What would you enjoy if you could do so without someone getting annoyed with you for enjoying it?  It MUST be something you aren’t supposed to enjoy because it is “bad for you”.
Belching, and farting.

Is it okay for men to wear the color pink?
Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play during a regular-season game in one of college football’s Power 5 conferences by booting a kickoff on Saturday for Vanderbilt to start the second half against Missouri.  Thus, if a woman can play football then men can wear pink, although it really isn’t my color.

Can you curl your tongue?
As a matter of fact, I curled my tongue today when I was getting my teeth cleaned.  My hygienist used the air blaster to clean my stained teeth and it stings like a sand blaster.

What, in your opinion, is the best room to put a fireplace?
Home is where the hearth is, so what ever room you like to spend time in would be a good spot for a fireplace.

I am grateful that I will finish up the last of the Thanksgiving Day leftovers tonight, as a person can only eat so much turkey.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

SYW Thanksgiving Edition

  1. What is worse than a dentist with bad breath?
    That would be when your dog drinks out of the toilet and then licks your face (especially if you forgot to flush).

  1. Have you ever been rejected by someone that you liked, or been told that you were not good enough for somebody else?
    This one girl stopped taking my calls and never gave me any reason why and then the next time I saw her, she was pregoed.
  1. Did you ever want to have toast for breakfast, only to find that all your bread was covered in green mold?Z
    That happened to me just the other day and I was forced to make pancakes.
  1. Did you ever sneeze so hard that your whole body hurt?
    The chances of hurting yourself while sneezing are extremely low, but it does happen and I hate when that happens.  It happened to me several times where I had back spasms that felt like whiplash and other wonky things happened inside my body that led to excruciating pain.
  1. Did you ever buy clothing on the internet that did not fit, but you wore them anyway, since you didn’t want to pay the $5 shipping charge to send them back?
    If it doesn’t fit, you should be able to send it back without paying a charge, but I am not good at sending stuff back, so I would probably keep it and end up dropping it off at Good Will.

I am happy that I finished cleaning all of the windows today.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Oddball Questions

Is cereal soup? Why or why not?

Since soup can be made with milk, maybe this is a legitimate question.  The thing is that you never boil cereal, like you do with soup, because that would make the milk curdle and nobody wants to have milk that is sour and chunky.  Cereal would be too dry without the milk, so it is used on cereal to coat it prior to consumption and milk keeps cereal from getting soggy, like it would get if you just used water.  Milk was always added to cereal before some people discovered that they were lactose intolerant.

What are some interesting ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?

You could say, “It’s going, but why is this any of your business”, or you could say, “I do as little as possible, but why are you so curious”.  Other answers that you might use could be, “No comment, I’m not at liberty to discuss this with you as it’s confidential, let me get back to you on that, why are you asking me this, or you should mind your own business.  If someone asks you a personal question, you could just decline to answer them, or try to change the subject, or start asking them questions to make them feel uncomfortable.  The best evasion technique is to answer every question with a question of your own.

What was your favorite toy growing up?

I had a pogo stick and a hula hoop and baseball cards and a Mr. Potato Head and a Slinkey and Playdough and a Gumby, but I think that I had the most fun playing with a Frisby.

If you have a pet, and you could ask it three questions, what would you ask?

  1. Why do you assume that every time somebody rings the door bell, that it is for you?
  2. Why do you like to smell poop?
  3. Why do you go around sniffing other dogs’ butts?

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Golly Shazam

  1. Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?

I guess that I like and dislike surprises, as I like surprises that turn out to be good news and I dislike the surprises that turn out to be bad.  As to why I am this way, I guess it is what it is.

  1. What’s your favorite zoo animal?

I have never thought about this, but I think that koala bears are kind of cute.

  1. What three things do you think of the most each day?

I used to think about sex all of the time, till my computer caught a nasty virus from watching porn, no I just said that to be funny.  Covid-19, my writing and the cats occupy most of my thoughts.

  1. When, if ever, is taking a human life justified?

I guess if a person has been convicted for committing a horrendous crime and they have no chance of ever being released, then it might be best to kill them, as it could make the prison safer and it may save some money.  There might be other reasons pertaining to terrorists, or if some SOB hurt a member of my family, but human life should be sacred.

  1. Do small miracles exist?

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.

Food, People and Regrets

Which meal is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I think that I enjoy breakfast the most, but I am not one that would pass on any meal.

Who do you admire most in the world?
I really like President Obama.

With the obvious restrictions in place, what do you regret not doing in the last year?
This Covid year made it really rough for somebody like me to try and start up a new relationship.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s Share Your World.