Shaken, Not Stirred

Humorous Essays and Other Stuff
APRIL 14, 2014 4:47PM

Titanic Explained to 12th Graders

(The Titanic sank on this date in 1912. This is a repost, with a tweak or two, of  a piece I did in 2012 to commemorate that event. Not much has changed in the interim as to the fate of the ship or our educational system)

A recent survey shows thatRead full post »

APRIL 11, 2014 12:57PM

The Eagle

The bald eagle sat on a sturdy branch that hung over the South Branch of the Raritan River about a half mile from the Ken Lockwood Gorge.

There was nothing majestic about it, because it was soaking wet and looked like it was having a bad feather day. Apparently, it… Read full post »
That's right, it is time for more Fun With Puns. This time the theme is pets. I hope you will all join in and do your worst.
There are no awards, just the thrill of embarassing yourself in public.
Here are a few to set the… Read full post »

After my sister's funeral, the cold bleak winter began to further crush my already crumpled spirit. The urge to flee the metaphorical and actual frozen tundra of northwestern New Jersey became overwhelming.

We had planned a trip to Bradenton, Florida in mid-February to visit Kathie's sister and hu… Read full post »
JANUARY 16, 2014 3:34PM

Taking Down the Christmas Tree

I am always sad when I take down the Christmas tree.
This year more than ever, since my dear sweet sister passed away last week at the age of 70.
As I unwind the lifeless lights, I think of how much she loved Christmas.
Although, we
Read full post »
JANUARY 3, 2014 2:59PM

A Grumpy Old Man's New Year's Rant

As I enter the living room with my coffee on New Year's morning, I am greeted by my wife who is already there with her tea and her laptop.
"Well, there are no more light bulbs," she says.
"Really?", I reply."I'm sure I saw a couple of sleeves of them on… Read full post »
DECEMBER 26, 2013 1:07PM

A Post-Xmas Card from Weird New Jersey

I came across this scene on one of my rambles in the vicinity of my home. I think it pretty well sums up how I usually feel after the last relative has gone on home after Christmas and the last family get-together has ended.

photo_2It got me thinking that it would… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2013 12:38PM

Have Yourself a Merry Walmart Christmas

I learned from my daughter that "Elf", her favorite Christmas movie, will not be seen on NBC  this year because someone bought the rights. I also learned that the only time and place "Christmas Story," my favorite holiday movie, can be seen is on TBS on Christmas Day because Turner owns… Read full post »
DECEMBER 7, 2013 11:54AM

The Night Before Christmas at Open Salon

 (My contribution to Fernsy's and Daisy's open call for an OS inspired poem.)
T'was the night before Christmas at Open Salon.
Not a bossman was stirring, all fired...and gone.
The bloggers hung stockings by the chimney with care,
In hope that dear Santa soon would be there.
All the little… Read full post »
DECEMBER 4, 2013 12:14PM

Mystery Object


I found this little cobble on the side of the trail while on my walk this morning. As you can see. it is nearly perfectly egg shaped. It doesn't appear to be a river stone, and if so, I have never seen one this perfectly shaped. 

I found it not… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 18, 2013 5:08PM

A Small Sailboat in Dorchester

The small wooden sailboat sits on a patch of lawn dwarfed by the Kennedy Library at the University of Massachussetts Dorchester that rises up behind it.

Only a low slung chain fence separates it from the hustle and bustle of the University and the Boston Harborwalk. It looks vulnerable, back seat… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2013 11:46AM

Remembering With Leo

Weekend Fiction
Prompt: write a story about something worth remembering
The scene: A modest apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan
The characters: Ruth and Leo, a senior married couple
Ruth: What is it I just told you I wanted you to remember?
Leo: You don't remember?
NOVEMBER 10, 2013 6:50PM



 A hard day of raking, blowing, vacuuming, and bagging leaves. Many more ahead. I earned this: the first fire of fall, Frank Sinatra on the stereo, and a tasty libation. Cheers to all!

first fire of fall Read full post »

NOVEMBER 7, 2013 11:14AM

The Donald and I

donald and i

Recently, I was cleaning out some old photos and this one popped up.

I am sure you recognize the chap on the left, but the bespectacled lad on the right is the… Read full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2013 8:56AM

A Minor Haunting

Weekend Fiction
He knew he was invisible from the moment he died.

As he stood in the corner of the living room watching Sophie shake him as he slumped in his chair, he knew that she could not see him. "George, George, don't leave me," she cried. "I'm right… Read full post »
OCTOBER 12, 2013 4:01PM

Sister Raven Hair Surprise

"I am scheduled for a C-section at 8:30 tomorrow morning," our daughter said.

Her due date to deliver her first baby was not until October 21, but the news was not a surprise to Kathie and I. Her blood pressure was spiking and the baby was breach, so
Read full post »
OCTOBER 4, 2013 8:47AM

The Song of El Toro, Redux

As I sit here in Boston awaiting the birth of my granddaughter, the first child of my beloved daughter, I know my yard back home is being invaded.


All of those leaves, which now are hanging out on their limbs going "look at us, aren't we pretty," will at first… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 12:08PM

Ask Mister Big Head

Mr. Big Head is a blogger with a jumbo cranium who once thought about taking the Mensa qualifying exam, but didn't, but if he did he might have scored higher than Marilyn Van Zant, the highest scorer ever, and author of the weekly column Ask Marilyn, from whom he borrowed theRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 12:55PM

The Mystery of the Ancient Sweater


Photo: Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Marianne Vedeler.

 A recent edition of the newsletter reports that a 1,700 year old sweater has emerged from one of the rapidly melting glaciers in Norway.

According to the article, scientists are at a loss to explain… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 6:05PM

My Date with a Fairy (Warning: Photos)

Early one morning last week, I was heading down the little used back way to the park. On a side trail, I saw something bounding, leaping, and dancing in the path. A rabbit? No, too big. A squirrel? No, still too big. A bug? No,no,too small.
I whipped out my… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 8:28AM

Am I a Genius?

In a recent OS comment thread, several of our members got involved in supporting their side in a flame up by quoting their impressive IQ scores.

This got me wondering if I may be a genius as well, not that anyone other than my mother, who I think was just… Read full post »
AUGUST 29, 2013 8:35AM

The Tale of Tubba and Tonto's Tin Can

Weekend Fiction

Prompt: Write a story that involves the end of summer.

Jack sat on the end of the dock with his best friend, Warrie, and looked down his dangling legs at his own  sneakers.

The rubber ribs on the front had completely worn away, and the canvas was rotting and splitting… Read full post »

AUGUST 27, 2013 9:05AM

My Cell Phone is in a Museum!

"Hey, look at this," my wife, Kathie, said holding the lap top screen up for me to see. "Our cell phones are in a museum!"

And sure enough, there was a picture of a flip phone that is a dead ringer, excuse the pun, for our's sitting in the display… Read full post »

AUGUST 23, 2013 12:14PM

Twisty Things

Twisty things these memory halls
Once brightly lit now darkness falls

Where am I, where have I been?
My life behind me only dimly seen

June bug moments flit and fly
Faces laugh just beyond my eye

Joyous times all leached and gone
Childhood fears leeched firmly on… Read full post »
Here is my entry in J.D. Smith's Iron Poet Challenge. The challenge: write a poem about your brave new life, reference three OS avatars, no words starting with "w", extra credit for mentioning a planet in our solar system, and some other stuff I don't remember. I doubled down on avatarRead full post »