Things That Continue To Befuddle Us…


Actor and Comedian Eddie Murphy was correct when he said the mind was a terrible thing.  Mine gets really terrible at times.  I like to think of the things most of us think about, but rarely talk about.  I remember my mom unloading our GE Filter-Flo washer back in the 1960’s – lamenting the clothes were inside out.

She was plenty flustered, having to turn all the clothes right side out.  This was a pain in the ass in 1965 and remains a source of real rectal discomfort today.  We had those traditional classic American-made washing machines with their oscillating and reciprocating agitators that rarely needed repair and lasted more than 20 years.  Where they fell short was that bizarre “clothes inside out” phenomenon. I swear you could load clothes inside out and they would emerge from the machine inside out.

It’s a conspiracy…

Fast forward a half century to 2020 and these new-fangled water-saving washing machines with “Tilt-A-Whirl” agitators, which do nearly everything short of hanging clothes up for you and offering you a drink and what happens?  Clothes still come out of the darned machine inside out!  And now, it is I who is lamenting clothes being inside out.  And, yes, I do the laundry in the household.  I vacuum and I clean too.


Because I enjoy cleaning.   I like the time-honored custom of taking something cruddy and making it nice.

I confess—I am textbook obsessive-compulsive and deeply nuts.


In the 50 years since I was an impressionable adolescent, we’ve put humans on the Moon, invented night-vision laser-guided weapons, developed global positioning to where there’s nowhere to hide, and improved the average bowl of chocolate pudding (that makes your poop green for St. Patrick’s Day) yet we can’t develop a washer that delivers clothing right side out.  There needs to be a multi-million-dollar government study with strobes and stop-action cameras to determine why this continues to happen.


Take A Step Back 

This is but one thing I’ve been thinking about that has me perplexed. Can anyone explain why—when you can’t find your glasses—they’re always on your head? Or here’s another one. Why when you’re coming down a flight of stairs, you think you’re at the last step when you’re actually at the next to the last step and you trip and fall on your face?  My staircase has 16 steps.  Normally there are 13 steps with an 8-foot ceiling.

What keeps us from mentally counting steps on the way down?


Package Store

This one pertains to men only.  For decades, perhaps centuries, men’s underwear has been equipped with that little fold access door in front that enables men to pee standing up at a toilet or urinal.  Ditto for most men’s pants and pajamas.  Men are equipped with outdoor plumbing.

Seems straightforward to me.

Can anyone explain to me why that little access door has vanished from some men’s undergarments and pajamas?  Man, when I gotta pee in the middle of the night I don’t feel like searching for access, then find I’m forced to sit down.  There’s nothing quite like marching up to a urinal fumbling around with your underwear and personal parts only to discover the that little access fold isn’t there.  If you’re lucky, there will be an empty stall for you to reserve your seat.

A woman conceived this idea for men’s underwear because no man ever could –  especially if they’ve been half asleep in the middle of the night and pee’d all over themselves, and had to mop the floor and change pajamas afterward.

What the hell is this—gender-neutral underwear?


Taking A Brake

How many times can anyone release a parking brake?  For me—dozens of times it seems.  I hop in my truck, start the engine, release the brake, put it in gear, release the brake, start backing up, release the brake, begin to drive, and release the brake again—just to be sure.  It’s a strange form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) where you’re not sure you’ve released the parking brake—so you keep checking to see if you released it again and again.

Senior moment?  Perhaps…

Except I was doing this 20 years ago…

There’s a reason for this madness.  A good friend of mine was participating in the Cannonball Baker Sea To Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash (a coast to coast road race from New York City to the California Pacific) in a 1965 Shelby Mustang when he stopped for gas in New Mexico.  He forgot to release the parking brake and wound up with no brakes.  That cost him any chance of winning the race because he had to stop and get it fixed.  The spoils went to a guy with a Porsche Turbo Carrera, who probably remembered to release the parking brake.

Repetitive Speech

Remember when your grandparents told the same old stale story again and again?  Do you find your kids and grandkids saying, “You’ve already told me that…”  Best to keep a computerized list of stale stories you’ve told.


Doing All the Same Stuff Your Parents Did

Man, are you kidding?  When you entered adulthood, did you ever find your parents decidedly annoying?  Perhaps, more annoying than when you were growing up?  My parents never put plastic over the upholstery or kept the same Western Electric dial telephone—but they did lay guilt trips.  “It would be nice to hear from you, Jamie…”  and “Only a real creep forgets his mother’s birthday…” or “You really hurt your sister’s feelings…”  All this by age 35…

My mother never allowed me to forget…

Leaving Home Movies as…Home Movies

We live in such a digital age.  Seems everyone is converting home movies, audio tapes, and snap shots to some form of digital media.  Are you one of those who refuses?  Time to see Super 8 home movies of that trip to Cypress Gardens in 1966.  Where did I last store that old Bell & Howell movie projector?  And, the screen.  Where the hell is the screen?  Oh—down in the basement.  Damned thing’s all moldy.

Are you one of these?

Dozens of home movies still in film format.  Cassette and reel-to-reel tapes still in their boxes.  Photo albums full of snap shots from the time you were born.

If you’re like most of us, the parents are gone and who you gonna share these old relics with?  Do you think your kids are going to want to see them?


Now’s the time to digitize.  Yes…really…


Finding Yourself Hobbling Along Like Amos McCoy…

Ever find yourself hobbling around the house because everything hurts?  You don’t even realize you’re doing it until your grandson says, “Granddaddy, did you hurt yourself?”  “No why?”  “Because you’re walking funny…”

Time to take another look at your stride… 

Obsessing Over The Squirrel

You know you saw your mother do this—and swore up and down you’d never do it.  Welcome to the gateway of old age.  My mother sat by her bedroom window at age 75 and watched nature outside.  If I heard about the squirrel once, I heard about it five thousand times.  I wonder what she did when the squirrel went into hibernation.

Fast forward to the here and now.  At 64, I find myself obsessing over the weather in a place where there is no weather—California.  I am an East Coast Mid-Atlantic guy who used to watch for the weather.  It varied from day to day.  Warm and Humid.  Chance of rain.  Severe thunderstorms expected.  Winter storm warning.

It gave you something to look forward to.

Los Angeles is one of those places where it is pointless to look out the window to see what it’s doing.  Yet, I continue to do it.  Define insanity…  Los Angeles TV news proudly announces Triple-Doppler radar with digital technology.  What are they looking for?  Not a cloud in the sky and they have Triple-Doppler radar?  Why does Los Angeles even have weather forecasters?  There’s nothing to forecast, yet I keep looking out the window for something that isn’t there.  It’s like my mother looking for a squirrel that has died or moved on to someone else’s yard.

Good grief!!!  I’ve become my mother!!!



Talk about something more pointless than California weather?  Leaving a voicemail for young people.  They never check their voicemail and their voicemail is always full.  What’s more, they never leave a voicemail—they just hang up.

Their cop out?

Caller ID meaning you should know they called.


One More Thing About Voicemail

Back when answering machines were a new phenomenon, callers needed instructions.  “At the tone…leave your message…”  Someone please explain to me why we need extensive detailed instructions today on what to do when you hear the tone.

Too Much Choice

Find yourself irritated with multiple choice?  You call the bank and are presented with an array of choices known as prompts.  Anything to keep you from reach a human.  And, another thing….stop calling tellers BANKERS.  “To speak with a banker…press 4…”  What the hell is that?!

Trying to return an item?

Good Luck…

You are presented with more prompts than anyone could ever remember, not to mention the cost of shipping something back.  They’re hoping you will just go away.


Due To High Call Volume…

Know what’s getting my bowels in an uproar?  That recording advising you that due to the high volume of calls there’s a 20-minute wait or you have 46 people ahead of you.  Does anyone really buy this malarkey?  Truth—they’ve laid off 462 phone staffers and there are three left to handle call volume.  Keeps stockholders happy.

The best of luck to you.

The Elimination Of Phone Numbers

Have you noticed the disappearance of telephone numbers from websites?  There’s email and there’s chat.  Good luck on that.  Rarely do they respond to an email—too easy to ignore.  Or an automated chat where you think you’re actually talking with a human.  Technology has made it such that you perceive there’s a person on the other end when in fact you’re chatting with a server.

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Synthesized Human Voice

Ever experienced this?  Phone rings and it looks like a local number when, in fact, it’s a robocall.  The voice is synthesized—fake—usually beginning with “Hi!  Just calling to tell you about new lower mortgage lending rates!!!”

Yeah…tell your story walking.


Here’s another attempt for Wall Street to eliminate humans from the retail process.  Lowes, as one example, has a bunch of checkout stands and four self-checkouts.  Self-checkouts are out of order or cash only or card only.  There are all these checkout stands with the hopelessness of the light out—on a Saturday when people are doing that home improvement thing.

Someone explain to me why anyone should engage in self-checkout.  Hey Lowes, you gonna give me a discount for doing your job?  Self-checkout…  Eliminates jobs and forces the customer to double as a checkout person.

I refuse to use it.


There’s always a line of hopeless patrons without a prayer at Lowes and at Home Depot.  Six feet apart to where few customers understand where to stand.  There are those unscrupulous characters who like to cut to the front of the line claiming they didn’t know where the line began.  That’s always good for conflict and Jerry Springer Show style fist fights among the uncivilized.

The economics of America.  These big mega stores like Lowes and Home Depot managed to run all of the Mom and Pop hardware stores out of business to where they’re the only game in town (at least where I live).  And now, being the monopoly they are—“Unhappy with our service?  Too bad…”

And now…Amazon is running them out of business.

Too bad…

Investors Who Don’t Invest

True investors actually invest in something that will grow.  At least that’s the way it is supposed to be.  These short attention span, attention deficit types who hopscotch from one investment to another in a matter of days don’t invest in anything.

They take…

Real investors—like Andrew Carnegie, J. Paul Getty, Henry Ford and like industry titans saw the value in investing in people and in communities.  They conceived companies that provided good paying jobs with benefits that enabled their employees to afford and buy the products they made.  Henry Ford clearly understood that if he paid a decent wage, employees and their friends and neighbors would buy Fords.  The circle of success.  Take good care of your people and they will take care of you.

We’ve lost our way.  It’s all about now and to hell with the future.


This Won’t Hurt, Did It?

The human mind hasn’t changed much in 100 years.  It takes a certain amount of time to process what’s placed in front of your face.  Yet—millennial mindset seems to be in nanoseconds.  This won’t hurt, did it?  With the speed of a rabbit having sex.

Sorry, Gang, I am a baby boomer who thinks at “33 1/3” vinyl record speed.  Watch the news and you will see what I mean.  They post a graphic that vanishes before you’ve even had a chance to read it.

Good grief!!!

Slow your roll…


These are but a few things befuddling me this morning.

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