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Tuesday, August 04, 2015
  • Sunday, August 02, 2015 11:48 PM

    Our friends Len and Helen invited us to their house to play Bocce with some other folks from church. Len thought he read somewhere that this was a great sport for Unitarians. But it might have said septuagenarians – he wasn’t sure. The game is kind of like croquet, lawn bowling and shuffleboard all rolled into one. You begin by tossing an initial sphere, called a pallino, down the court (or just down your lawn) and then teams compete to see who can throw additional balls, which are a bit larger, closest to the target ball.

    Seems simple enough, but within a few minutes a dispute arose when Myrna heaved the pallino over onto the neighbor’s lawn and we didn’t know whose turn was next or how many points her team lost, and Martin wanted to know if we all stunk so much it was time to find another church activity.

  • Sunday, July 26, 2015 6:55 PM

    Our kitchen renovation continues. Stuff from the fridge and pantry had to be moved to the garage and in the process we cleaned out several drawers filled with exotic spices. Most of the spices I have never heard of: anardana, advieh, amchoor powder and ajwain, to name a few. (Yes, Mary Ellen had them in alphabetical order.) She bought these when she went through her, “I am going to learn to be a gourmet cook” stage the week after we got married. The stage left the following Monday.

  • Sunday, July 19, 2015 11:17 PM

    There is new information on the science of napping. It’s really big snooze. Once again, research confirms the benefits of the daily siesta. A year or so back, when I had lost interest in this daily respite, I headed straight to the doctor, concerned that there was something seriously wrong with me. I told him I was often awake 10 or 12 hours in a row.

    “This is very troubling, Dick,” said Dr. Coss. “So, you don’t fall sleep at night?”

    “No, I sleep great at night. It’s all day that I can’t sleep.”

    I started successfully napping again and I was beginning to get even better at it than before—but now, I’ve had another setback. (Geesh, I used to be able to accomplish it with my eyes closed.) I should never have read this new scientific study.  It’s very technical and there’s so much to think about that it’s keeping me up all day.

  • Sunday, July 12, 2015 9:36 PM

    The Wolfsies’ refrigerator has been relocated to Habitat for Humanity. We don't have a dishwasher or a stove, either. The Salvation Army took them away. We threw out the microwave that was over the oven. Nobody wants an appliance that's been stuck on "Popcorn" for two decades.

    Preparing for our kitchen renovation first required cleaning out the pantries. We found a bottle of Bookbinder Cocktail Sauce for shrimp. It was stamped: “Use by October l997.” I opened it and gave it a sniff. It smelled better than the fresh shrimp that had been in our fridge for only 36 hours. We also found some Orville Redenbacher Popcorn. Under Orville’s picture it said “Expires May 1995.” (That might have referred to Orville and not the popcorn.) There was a jar of tartar sauce that had no expiration date. Backwards, it spells rat rat, so I threw it out. We found an unopened bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing. The name tells it all. It had hidden from us for 17 years.

  • Sunday, July 05, 2015 9:09 PM

    Time magazine named it the greatest comedy sketch of the 20th century. At the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, a continuous loop runs to the delight of fans. In 2005, the line "Who's on First?" was included on the American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest movie quotes of all time.

    When I was about eight years old, I first heard it performed on the Abbott and Costello TV show and I remember thinking, Wow, baseball AND funny. What could be better than that?

    The origins of this timeless piece of comedy are a bit sketchy, but even Abbott and Costello conceded that the premise of confusing names with other parts of speech had a long history in Vaudeville. 

  • Sunday, June 28, 2015 10:46 PM

    I don’t want to spend the money; I don’t think we will get a good return on our investment; the house will be a total mess for six weeks; it will be extremely stressful; and, I really don’t care if we have soft-close cabinet doors and roll-out pantry shelves.

    I only agreed to remodel the kitchen because I was sure that once the construction began, I’d find lots of humorous things to write about, which is way more important to me than granite counter tops with beveled (or did we decide on rounded?) edges.

  • Sunday, June 21, 2015 7:48 PM

    This month marks my 35th year in television. It seems like just yesterday I was nervously standing in front of a camera, not sure which direction to look, unprepared for my segment and babbling incoherently. Wait a second – that was yesterday!

    I originally wrote that paragraph in 2009, lamenting that after all my years on earth, I had failed to improve in 10 specific areas. I pledged to make strides and then update readers on my progress in about five years. So, as promised, here goes . . .

  • Sunday, June 14, 2015 11:46 PM

    My wife informed me the other day that she was top heavy. “I have to be honest,” I told her, “but I never noticed this.”

    “That’s because you are a man,” she said.

    Mary Ellen came to this conclusion not by looking in the mirror, but by looking in the kitchen cabinets. “You wouldn’t have known about this problem,” continued Mary Ellen, “because men never look inside pantries.”

    Things were getting weird, even for me.

    Mary Ellen’s revelation about being top-heavy came about when we decided to redo our kitchen. By the way, I think that “redo” is the wrong word. If you are redoing something, that means you did it once before. (A woman sometimes gets a hairdo, but it’s really a hair redo.) I have no memory of ever doing our kitchen. We moved in 20 years ago . . . and there it was. We haven’t done another thing to it since 1992, except replace the toaster. Now, apparently, we are redoing it. 

  • Sunday, June 07, 2015 7:11 PM

    This is Part Two of my highlights of the newest Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog. Just in time for Father’s Day, it includes some items that might make dad wish you’d gotten him a tie.

    Insect Blunderbuss: This is a rifle-type weapon that when loaded with salt can be used like a shotgun to pulverize flying insects. It offers a great lesson to pests about the dangers of a high sodium diet.

    The Selfie Toaster: Here's how it works. You upload a photo of yourself to the manufacturer and they send you a customized heating insert that imbeds your likeness onto the toasted bread. Many women returned the item, claiming they looked old and wrinkled, so now the company is recommending against using English muffins. 

  • Wolfsie gets his plate back
    Friday, June 05, 2015 8:26 PM

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