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Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I am a stealth bird watcher.  I’m not an expert, and I don’t go on excursions or keep track of varieties I have seen, but I do keep my eye open.  My mom always loved birds, I learned to appreciate the birds from her.  We always had a backyard feeder and we could identify the usual suspects.  For anything new we relied on a book, actually two books, one was strictly sea birds “Birds of North America.”

If a new bird flew into view, which was not often, we both always got excited and ran to the book.
“How big?  What were the colors? What kind of beak? Topnotch?”
With our collected memory and help of the book we would identify the new avian.  We also kept our eyes peeled for other varieties we knew from the book but had never seen. 
Apparently, I am not the only stealth bird watcher around.  On a fishing trip one year, Frog almost drove off a cliff as Catfish and I were sure we had spotted a scarlet tanager.  We followed that bird around for fifteen minutes.  That’s fifteen minutes of no fishing which is a big sacrifice for Catfish.
Last week during the big winter storm, I peered out the door to see if the walk and driveway had been shoveled yet.  In a tree, not far away, was an unusual brown blob.  If not for the white background I would not have even noticed it.
“What is that?” I asked myself; and then it moved a little.
It was a bird.  A large bird for this suburban area.  Not as big as the red tail hawks I often see around the golf course (all large hawks are red tail hawks to me, just sounds better than “a big hawk”) but way larger than our usual song birds and even bigger than a crow.  I opened the door for a closer look and he took off and did not return.
These days I don’t run to “Birds of North America,” I run to the internet.  I found a small hawk that does reside in New Jersey.  They are about 12  inches tall, about the size of what I saw and the colors could be right. 
I’m calling it a sharped-skin hawk, though it could also have been a Cooper's Hawk.  Apparently, they both hang around suburban areas, often picking off the song birds that are attracted to back yard feeders.
If I still put out a feeder, I would be feeling bad about chumming for sharped-skin hawks with song birds, but I have to say it was one beautiful bird.
It’s been a few days, and I’m still excited.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Why I can’t Be Left Alone

Why I can’t Be Left Alone
Mrs. C has been away on business. She is manager of a ballroom dance studio and it is having a big four-day competition in Connecticut, which means she has been away for five days…she left early to avoid a big storm.

I have been a bachelor for all that time.  The first day I lived the bachelor life.  Watched TV, practiced guitar, went to the gym, grilled a steak (it was too cold for a cigar) and had some scotch and even a little wine.  Being a bachelor is nice.  I enjoyed it for a day.  From then on I missed Mrs. C. 
Shhhhh, don’t let her know.
So, now I was all by myself, cooking and eating alone was not such a big deal, getting a little buzz was not all that great, and sleeping alone was weird.  I had no one to tease and have my nipples twisted.  No one to hide deserts under a towel.  No one to explain what was happening on TV, and I had too much time to do stupid stuff.
What stupid stuff? 
Why is grooming stupid? 
Well, I hate having Brezhnev eyebrows.  You know those overgrown bushy things on the 1970’s Russian Premier.  I trim mine from time to time with scissors and a comb. 
Well now I was all alone, and I thought, “Why use scissors, I have a special razor for trimming my beard, why not also use it to trim my eye brows?”
Mrs. C would have said “Don’t do it!”
Mrs. C was not here to say “Don’t do it!”
I did it.
So now one brow is kinda shaved real funny.  It will grow back, but for the next few days I will have to adjust my glasses, and angle my head in just such a way that the shaved eye brow will not be too obvious.
Mrs. C is going to give me the business for this mistake.
I say it is her fault. 
She shouldn’t leave me alone!

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Thus cranky re-run is from March 2013
There are certain things that every young man thinks he can do and do really well.  Experience should tell most people that if you haven’t tried something or if you only tried something a few times you will probably not be very good at it.   This fact of life is true for all but several areas.  There are some things that for some reason every dude under the age of 28 thinks they can do really well.

There is something manly or macho about these events that young men will never admit they cannot do them well.  All young dudes think they can:

Hold their liquor – You will never hear a twenty year old dude say, “Better water that down a bit, I can’t hold my liquor.” 

The truth is, most young men cannot hold their liquor and they don’t know how to drink.  The average college age kid cannot drink fast enough.  He is in a hurry to get loaded.  The result is they are sober and then the booze all kicks in at once.  These kids go from sober to bombed in a short time. They experience black-outs and are capable of being incredibly stupid. 

Dude save yourself headaches and pain, do yourself a favor and admityou don’t know how to drink!  When it comes to holding your liquor YOU SUCK!

 Shoot pool – This is a phenomenon for which I have no explanation.  Very few people can really shoot a good game of pool.  A real pool player can do things with a cue ball that are astonishing.  For some reason all young dudes think they can play this game, and a good player can act like he stinks and is really just lucky.  This is why pool is the ultimate hustle game for money.  Give the young shark a few drinks which he will not admit he cannot hold, put some money on the table and a real player will take a young buck for all his bucks.

Dude, you may know the rules, you may have won a few games of eightball, but as a real pool player, YOU SUCK!
  This man will take your money

Play poker – Like pool, poker is very complicated and difficult to master, yet is easy to play, can be macho in its nature and is a game that all young men think they are really good at playing. There are lots of people who take advantage of this fact and they never have to work.

Dude, you may think you can play poker, but as soon as real money hits the table you are going to became very unlucky. Actually it is not luck; dude YOU SUCK!
The odds are this guy is going home with your money

Making Love – The young man has not yet been born who will admit that when it comes to sex they do not have a clue. When it comes to sex it is not just young men, all men think they are experts in bed.

Dude, you thought you could hold your liquor and you ended up hugging the toilet bowl. 

Dude, you thought you could shoot pool and you lost your shirt.

Dude, you pushed all-in and you ended up all-out.

You suck at drinking, you suck at pool, you suck at poker; ten guesses at how good you probably are in bed.

That’s right; same as me…Freaking awesome!
 Picture removed ...(it wasn't pretty)