Thursday, January 29, 2009

“Opening” Remarks

I’ve noticed these days that more and more cans now have pull tab openers. First it was beverage cans that started off with pull tabs, thus making metal beverage can openers obsolete. Now it’s getting more and more evident that soon can openers will be an endangered species. In spite of the fact that the older I get, the more I resist change, this is one change that I laud. One big reason is tuna fish cans. I’ll sure be glad when they finally come with pull off tops. It has always been an irritant to me that every time I open a can of tuna, the can opener smells like tuna for weeks. Just in case you’re wondering, I always wash the opener in hot sudsy water, but it never seems to do any good until the tuna aroma finally fades away on its own. It’s like cutting onions or being sprayed by a skunk, it just takes time for the smell to pass in spite of repeated washings. The one big difference between waiting for onion smell on my hands to naturally pass is that unlike a skunk smell, I don’t lose friends. One the other hand, one consolation for skunk smell is that I can always find a back seat in church.

Since it is inevitable that in the future can openers will be obsolete, I intend to save some for posterity. In several years they are sure to be very valuable especially to a can opener collector or to someone who has old cans socked away that still need an opener.

As I get older, I get wiser. I remember when I was a kid, my grandmother was always telling me, “The things of today are the antiques of tomorrow”. I sure wished now that I would have listened to her. If I had, today I would either be very wealthy or have the biggest collection of junk in Berlin Township. Therefore, in light of that, I am starting to save things here and there that I’m sure will be “the antiques of tomorrow”. Years ago I saved a Rubik’s Cube in the box unopened because I was sure that one in that pristine state would be very valuable someday. Unfortunately, I misplaced it years ago! Oh well, whoever finds it will make a lot of money no doubt.

In order to prevent loss, I’m planning to put a few brand new can openers in their original unopened packages in my safety deposit box at the bank. I have no doubt they will be valuable someday, at least in China. I’m very pleased that I am finally getting far sighted and practical in my old age, although in the opinion of many people that’s still debatable. If I’m mistaken, at least I’ll become an expert poker player in the distant future. I’ll be able to show my “openers”. I’ll bet the other players won’t be able to do that!


Safe Bicycling

I’m making great progress on my winter exercise program on my recumbent stationary bicycle. I’m now “riding” 201 feet, 4 ½ inches, which is 0.038 miles, which sounds much further and thus much more encouraging than feet. By April 1st, I’m planning and working hard to be up to 212 feet, 2 1/8 inches which is 0.040 miles which is a nice round number and a worthy but difficult goal for me. I am confident I can reach this goal by hard work each day.

While doing research on the Internet about riding bicycles, they highly recommend wearing a bicycle helmet for riding safety. Since I do not own a bicycle helmet, I figured my motorcycle helmet would suffice. Now I can have confidence that I can ride my stationary recumbent bike in my living room in ultimate safety.
Mike ;-)

No Switch Switch

Remember in the good old days when everything had an on/off switch. However, I have noticed in the last several years that most powered things these days do not have an on/off switch. I’m sure it is obvious that this is a cost saving device used by manufacturers.

As a result of this cost cutting (i.e. cheapness), it causes a great deal of aggravation to the consumer, it least it does to THIS consumer. For example, I recently obtained a snazzy digital cooking timer which of course has no on/off switch. The directions state: "In order to save batteries when not in use, remove one of the batteries". This little marvel of Chinese engineering has 4 batteries. Removing the rear battery compartment door and removing and installing one of the batteries before and after each use is a real pain in the neck, not to mention the fingers! Part of the major conspiracy by non on/off switch manufacturers is not only putting batteries in and out before and after every use, but have you ever tried to remove battery covers. No easy task if you have very short finger nails like I do. This cooking timer has 5 different timers including one for each burner and an oven timer! This also creates a mystery as to why there are 5 separate timers and 4 batteries.

Of course we all have several things without on/off switches these days and I’m sure I am voicing universal aggravation. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that someday everything will lack an on/off switch. As far as I’m concerned that would a real emotional “turn off”. (After removing a battery of course).


Friday, January 23, 2009

For Guys Only!

If I had to surrender all of my DVDs and had the option to keep only 1 series, it would unequivocally be The Three Stooges. I have been watching them on either TV or DVD for 50 years. During this entire time, I have never tired of watching them. For the most part, all their fans have been dominated by guys. It's a "guy thing". Being such a devoted fan, I have thoroughly scrutinized every book written about them. I have an extensive Three Stooges database I have created through the years. Recently I have added some fascinating figures to my database. This is esoteric information I've always desired to know and now finally have. The following figures will be germane to us ardent fans. The following data encompasses all 190 episodes the Stooges made.

Total Face Slaps: 2,695
Total Eye Pokes: 222
Total Head "Conks": 187
Total Pies Thrown: 224
Most Slaps in one Episode: 69 (Fright Night)
Most Eye Pokes in one Episode: 11 (Woman Haters) (This figure is the most pertinent to me because this is my favorite Stooge antic)

The previous statistics are just a few of the comprehensive ones I have gathered over the course of many years.

All right guys, I know you have always wondered and now you know! Moreover, most (if not all) people say my Blog never contains anything useful! That shows what you know! Unlimited praise and adorations will be gladly accepted via any of my many email addresses.

I imagine most of you lady readers are now no doubt thinking, "This stuff is atrocious"! I must point out that I had a disclaimer at the onset and I must reiterate. It's "A Guy Thing". If you ladies are really serious about trying to understanding all this, you will have to get a testosterone plus an anabolic steroid injection. BOING! Upon pondering this concluding point, at my age, I think I will get in line for one of those injections too! Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk ;-)


Electronic Apron Strings

In my last post, I mentioned schools having web sites these days. In keeping with this electronic theme, I shall now examine the subject of cell phones. I am really into all sorts of electronic gizmos these days and wished we had had them back "in my day".

However, the one exception to this desire is cell phones. Cell phones are not bad in themselves, but I was amazed to learn recently that most every kid has one. When I was a kid, the last thing I needed or desired was to have a means of communication from home. The main reason for this is due to the things I did and the places I went. For example, if I had had a cell phone at school, I would have been caught doing all kinds of "shady" things that I normally got away with.

I can imagine my mother calling me at school on my cell phone:

RING RING....... This is your mother calling. You haven't lost your lunch money have you!

Me... Absolutely not! (I would never have admitted that I lost it that morning playing marbles at recess and losing a 25 cent bet that I could roll one of my marbles and hit my opponent's marble 175 feet away).

Mom... You wore your coat outside for recess like I told you to, didn't you? You know it's -6 and the wind chill is -45

Me... Sure mom, I'm not stupid you know. (In order to impress my guy friends that I was a real man, I never wore my coat outside at recess).

Mom... Now do like I told you this morning and come straight home from school because Aunt Horetense is going to be here.

Me... I would really like to, but I asked my teacher if we both could stay after school for some private tutoring in spelling, which you know is my worse subject. (Actually, I had detention for not wearing my coat outside for recess).

Mom... Well, OK. You're such a little angel!

Me... I sure am Mom. Well the bell just rang and I wouldn't want to be late for class. Bye Bye mommy dearest. (I sure couldn't tell her I have to go and hide in the restroom during spelling which was my worse subject).

Now that I think about it, I'm sure thankful that cell phones were not invented way back "in my day".

High Tech Homework Avoidance

Earlier today, I was doing some "spring cleaning" of all of my superfluous bookmark links. I'm sure we all have these in our web browsers. While checking all the links to see whether they were still operational, I checked out several websites I haven't been to in a long time.

One bookmarked web site I went to was our local high school. They have a great web site and I enjoyed browsing through it. It's amazing how high tech is influencing our daily lives. I pondered the pros and cons if we had had a school web site in my day. The best pro I would have enjoyed would have been sending anonymous crank emails to our high school principal and teachers. I can think of one example email I would have loved to have sent to my high school English teacher:

From: John Q. Student
To: sophie@berlinhtsschool.ed
Subject: You

Hey Sophie! I think you are too cruel to all of us students in your 4th period English class and that you are a cranky old bag. Just to really bug you, I'm going to use improper English on purpose. Heey, yu,.. eye thnk of u whenever Ie usse wrog speling or gramer. I realy lik to use dangling partysipels to. U aint never ganna know who this iss. I'm even going to give you my name and you will NEVER EVER be able to figure out who I am because I'm going to misspell it on purpose. YOU OLD BAG. HA HA!
Mikke Tillinghaste

On the con side, I noticed a section that listed homework assignments from each teacher. This would have really caused me much trouble. Since I rarely did homework, this would have nailed me for sure, because I could no longer use the lame excuse that I didn't know what the assignment was. On the other hand, since I was a genius in coming up with award winning lame excuses, I could still have circumvented the on line homework assignments. I would have said that I tried to download the homework assignment, but since I only have dial up Internet access, the assignment had not completed downloading at the time I had to leave for school.

Now that I think about it, it was probably just as well we didn't have the Internet in those days. Hence, I can honesty say that things were indeed better in the "Good Ole Days" at least as far as homework assignments go.

mike {;0)>

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction. I have certainly observed the truth of this platitude over the years.

For example, we all are familiar with the comic strip cat "Garfield". Since I like cats so much, I always make it a point to read it every day. One of our house cats is an orange tiger and looks a lot like "Garfield". His name is “Punky”, aka “Little Orange” ska (sometimes known as) "THAT DARN CAT!!!”

All cartoon characters have certain characteristics that are exaggerated. With "Garfield", it’s sleeping upside down on his back with his feet sticking up and his rear toes bent. At any rate, I have always thought that was just a cartoon thing. However, I was very surprised when I saw “Punky” sleeping the same way as Garfield i.e. upside down with feet in the air and rear toes bent. This time I snapped a photo and posted it below. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cats Don’t Grow on Trees

I just returned from the barn after feeding the horses and cats. As a rule, a certain number of barn cats always run away, get sick, or get run over in the road, etc., which thins out the population by natural means. However, this immutable modus operandi has not been the case for the last several months. I’ve had 17 barn cats since last spring and I still have 17. It’s apparent that all the cats are happy and content and have no need nor desire to seek happiness and contentment else where. I have always liked cats, but 17 of them are a bit too many even for me.

Most people wonder why I don’t practice unnatural population control and instead of cat food, give them a diet of “lead”. Oddly enough, I have no difficulty shooting varmints such as raccoons, woodchucks, skunks (only at a great distance using my military issue high powered rifle with a powerful scope), rats, mice, or even lions and tigers and bears (Oh My!). For some reason I have never been able to shoot cats, nor do I have any future plans to do so.

One reason among many I choose to keep all of them is because every time I go into the barn, all 17 cats start to meow and gather around my feet which makes any further walking very difficult, indeed. The one very valuable benefit I have gained from this is that I can now gracefully and lightly waft through and around any objects blocking my path. Just as “grasshopper” in Kung Fu learned to walk on the thin rice paper without tearing it, I have now mastered the fine art of walking through cats without squashing any of them. Among many practical applications of this rare talent is that if any bully placed several hundred eggs ahead of me in an attempt to block my path, I could walk through them without breaking any of them thus instilling both fear and awe in the mind of the bully and as a result gaining his respect and admiration. At this juncture, I must humbly state that not just anyone has the ability to do the aforementioned amazing feats. This gift is only attained by years of diligent and patient practice of wading through a solid mass of meowing cats.

I believe God has a reason for everything and He has given me this extraordinary gift of walking softly through a gaggle of cats, which contributes a very valuable service to the well being of all mankind. Cats and eggs don’t grow on trees you know!


Like most people my age, I am convinced I am getting a little hard of hearing. As a matter of fact, I'm even having trouble hearing what I'm typing. I'm going to have to type a little louder. THERE, THAT'S BETTER. NOW I CAN HEAR IT MUCH BETTER.


Since I'm convinced that the hearing center did not properly adjust their hearing equipment, I'm going to request a hearing hearing and have them look into it. I should be hearing soon about the hearing hearing and if I hear anything, I will pass it along right "here", so you should be hearing something soon. This kind of mistake is unheard of, at least I've never heard of anything like this. If any of you have ever heard of this kind of thing happening, please let me hear about it. I'll be listening.
If you email me about hearing anything, please type your message in all caps, since I am getting a little hard of hearing. At least that's what I've heard lately...

mike (I think I just typed my name, but I couldn't hear the keys. If not, it's me)

Friday, January 16, 2009

"squid" pro quo

A few years ago, I got tired of microwave cuisine, so I have been doing home cooking ever since. In my case however, it could be called "homely" cooking. In fact, I now consider myself a gourmet cook. Although anyone who ends up eating my cooking would debate that title.
Lately I have desired to venture into more exotic cuisines rather than the usual dishes I whip up like home boiled hot dogs and so forth.

While I was in Norwalk the other day, I happened to drive down the "seedy" part of town and I spied an old rusty van sporting a sign that said, "Fresh Sea Food". Since the license plates were from another state, I figured that all the seafood was imported. I parked and walked up to a guy who was sitting on the rear tailgate. He was all scruffy with long greasy hair and I assumed that he was a professional fisherman. My rationale was that a typical fisherman would certainly look disheveled from days at sea. There was a sign that read "Fresh Squid". Since I hadn't had squid since I was in the Navy, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to have it again after so many years. In spite of it being very expensive at $19.99 per pound, I nevertheless decided to splurge and get 5 pounds of it. Since he didn't accept credit cards or personal checks, it was a cash only sale. Fortunately I had enough cash to purchase my find. I excitedly rushed home in time to prepare it for supper. It was delicious and tasted a little like hot dogs, only much much better.

I went back today to get 5 more pounds but the van was gone. He probably went out fishing for more of that delicious squid!

We all enjoyed my very first gourmet meal!!! I was so proud of my accomplishment that I took a picture of my squid meal to share with all of my faithful readers in Blog Dom.

Check out my creation!...

Global Warming Where Art Thou?

I sure wish man made global warming were a fact. It's been so cold here since last night, I would pretend to believe it at least for one day, hoping "mind over matter" would make it feel warm for a change. Of course man made global warming is a myth perpetrated by the government to gain more control over the populace (that's us average folks). Even though this would be a most appropriate time to refute the greatest deception of the century, I shall digress to what is germane at the present time and effectively and categorically refute this foolishness in a future Blog posting.

It hasn't been above zero here all day and last night it was minus 13. As I was bundled up and waddling out to the barn this morning, my brother yelled something to me, probably commenting on how cold it is. Unfortunately, I heard no words at all since I'm quite certain they froze in the air. I'll have to wait until spring for the words to thaw out so I can find out what he was trying to say to me.

You know its cold when I filled the horses' water buckets with ice-cold water from the frost proof faucet and there was steam wafting from the surface of the buckets. When I finally arrived back in the house, my hands were so cold that I had to put them into the freezer to warm them up. Yeowwww! Now that is cold indeed. Not to be outdone, on the way back from the barn I saw a polar bear asking directions how to get to Miami. It could have been my imagination, but it sure seemed real to my cold numbed brain.

All right, in all seriousness, just to put all of you at ease who are convinced I have finally "gone over the edge" and that I am seeing delusions, I must admit that I didn't really see a polar bear asking directions to Miami. (It was a penguin).

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I have recently been pondering the subject of first names and how they have changed over the years. When I checked the Internet for popular boy’s and girl’s names in 2008, I found all kinds of cool names. I really like the names that parents give kids these days. I also did a check of popular boy’s and girl’s names in 1948, which is my era. I found the following top 10 names:

Ethan (My favorite name of all) (My grandson’s name)
Landon (The name I picked out in 1980 for our deceased son)

Ava (Great name, indeed)

Michael (The best name of all)


All in all, I think kids' names today are much better than they used to be. I always wished my name was a bit different (to match my personality). Some of the first names for me I would rather have had are the following: “Best”, “Greatest” “Wonderful”, “Cool”, “Genius”, etc.
So what’s in a name anyhow?

Mike (alias: “Best”, “Greatest” “Wonderful”, “Cool”, “Genius”, etc.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


These days it is extremely difficult if not impossible to find any electronics made in the USA. There are some reasons for this; however, this is not my scope for this treatise. Perhaps I will get into that subject on a later post.

My emphasis this time is to point out something that has always puzzled me. On the one hand is my befuddlement as to why manufacturers don't make the instructions for their products clearer and more easily understood. Be that as it may, on the other hand, why are there so many spelling and grammatical errors in the vague instructions?

I shall point out a case in point. I received a small portable heart monitor today to use with my recumbent stationary exercise bike. Like most electronic gadgets these days, there are all kinds of electronic readings with this thing. After pondering the vague instructions, I did what I always do with useless instructions these days; I figured it out for myself since some of the features were not even mentioned in the so-called "instructions". If that weren't bad enough, the instructions were infested with incomplete sentences and several misspellings. Since this little electronic marvel was made in some "sweat shop" in Taiwan, I could understand the problems if the instructions were composed by some Taiwanese guy since some foreign language terms do not always translate well into English. I've noticed this is especially true for Asian languages. Now the aforementioned is bad enough, but even the outside of the box had a blatant misspelling of the word "weight". Check it out in the photo. I have underlined the blatantly misspelled word "weinght" (i.e. "weight") with a red line. Although this product is made in Taiwan, it is manufactured for an American company in Minneapolis! I would think that the CEO's would have at least sent a copy of the instructions to the Taiwanese "sweat shop" with proper English to print.

Alas, another mystery that could be so easily rectified...


Since it is near 12 degrees outside, this presents yet another auspicious occasion for me to whip up another batch of my famous "4 Alarm Hotsy Totsy Chili", which is guaranteed to warm both the inside and outside of anyone who has the courage to eat a bowl. (Or even a teaspoon.)

Now that it is simmering away on the range, I shall take this opportunity to make a quick entry in my Blog. For more details about my famous chili, I invite you to peruse an earlier story I posted on my web site germane to this subject.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Exercising and Not Getting Anywhere

My physician recently informed me that my cholesterol was too high and that I’m at risk for heart problems. I’m not too concerned because my psychiatrist has been telling me for years that I am at risk for brain problems. Nevertheless, I’m still as mentally sound as I have ever been. (Rebuttals will be accepted for the next 2 minutes). I have recently started to take “industrial strength” prescription fish oil in addition to several “over the counter” herbs like flaxseed oil and a bunch of other stuff that promises not only to dramatically lower my cholesterol, but will also cure my arthritis and will make my body and prostate gland immortal.

My physician also said I need to exercise during the winter months. As a result, I recently purchased a stationary bike. It’s a recumbent which means I can practically lay down when I am using it which sounds good to me. I used to ride my “non stationary” “non recumbent” bike all over the place, but I eventually found it was too dangerous due to all the traffic on the highways these days. Now I can pedal away in the safety of my own living room with the only danger being the possibility that one of the cats or my foot getting caught in the revolving spokes.

My new recumbent stationary exercise bike also has the latest electronic “bells and whistles”. It tells me how many miles I’ve “ridden”, the time “ridden”, miles per hour, and heart rate (which is something I’d rather not know). It even has a cup holder (What thing doesn’t these days). This will come in handy to park my lard and butter milkshakes while I’m “riding”.

I’m intending to use it daily. I’m hoping by this summer I will have bulging muscles and the heart and arteries of a 5 year old (to match my brain) so I can finally look forward to going to the beach and not have some muscle bound guy kick sand in my face. Up till now, I have been the world’s foremost authority on the study of the effects of swallowing sand.

See you at the beach this summer. (I’ll be the guy with the sand covered face).


Cartoon Physics

In the last posting I looked at Hollywood 1950s westerns physics. I will now ponder cartoon physics. This is where the laws of physics really take a back flip.

I shall illustrate cartoon physics with my all time favorite cartoons, The Coyote and the Road Runner. In my opinion these are the funniest cartoons ever made. If I were stranded on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and asked what one DVD I could take with me, it would be the Road Runner. However, with my fading gray matter, I would likely forget to take a DVD player and probably a TV as well! In addition, even if I did remember all these accoutrements, I would have no source of electricity to operate them. My only hope would be to try and recall every episode of Gilligan’s Island since the professor would surely have had an electric power generating plant made from palm tree logs and drift wood. Oh well, be that as it may, now to the subject at hand.

The Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons comprise all of the cartoon physics. For example:

One - When the coyote paints a picture of a tunnel through a mountain, the road runner passes right through it. When the coyote tries to go through the painted tunnel, KAZAM!

Two - All cartoon characters have the ability to defy gravity and walk in mid air, until they realize it and then suddenly the law of gravity kicks in and they immediately fall to earth. The universal exception to this law is the “good guys” who are being pursued by the “bad guys”. The falls of great distances never result in any injuries.

Three – All characters have to ability to get hit by boulders, trains, trucks, automobiles, etc. and only see stars thus avoiding any injuries. The only consequence of being hit by a giant boulder or safe is an accordion effect on the body which passes when the next scene starts.

Four – All characters have the ability of being injury free when being shot by guns, cannons, explosions, etc. The only visible consequence is a black sooty face.

Five – My all time favorite cartoon physics is when anyone’s nose gets pinched, it always honks like an old time car horn.

Well, I’ve only given this subject a perfunctory treatment. There are many more instances of cartoon physics. The main thing about these is that they are funny, very funny indeed, and that’s the bottom line.

It is very unfortunate that one rarely if ever sees any good old fashioned Looney Tunes broadcast any more. Fortunately, I have recently acquired 6 volumes of Looney Tunes DVDs with some Road Runner cartoons! I’m now going to watch a few as soon as I post this which will be immediately since after contemplating this thesis, I am approaching cartoon “paradise”!