Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wise Cracks

Yesterday I received a telephone call from a childhood friend that lived in my old neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago. I hadn’t seen nor heard from him since my cousin’s funeral in 1973. He found my number through a Google search of my name. We spent more than an hour chatting about the “good old days”. In particular our school days where we shared many classes together.
He asked me if I had ever pursued my childhood dream of becoming a Stand-up Comic. He mentioned how funny my classroom retorts once were and also my ability to mimic and do impressions of famous people.
In Grammar School I was always considered to be the class “cut up”. This is not to be confused with the class clown, the class buffoon, the class fool or the class idiot. A class “cut up” would interject humor when the teacher posed an inane question to the students in the class.
My dad would call this wise cracking. And I would receive the back of his hand to my jaw when I did this at home, especially at the dinner table. I quickly learned that my dad, as most adults, had a very limited sense of humor.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Grammar School”, in pre 1960’s Chicago, it was what the Public School System called grades 1 through 8 or Elementary School. Back in those days the emphasis was put on learning the English language, therefore it was called Grammar School. What a concept!
In High School, grades 9 through 12, I continued to be the “class cut up”. Most of my fellow classmates admired my classroom behavior. My irreverent and often comic comments were usually well appreciated and welcomed by many students as well as a few of my teachers (because my comments were usually of a humorous intelligent nature). It broke up the doldrums of sitting in the classroom. I used both wit and charm to win my fellow classmates friendship. Needless to say I became a fairly popular person in High School because I shot barbs at some of our stodgy educators.
Of course my actions did not go without paying a penalty. I was the King of Detention during my junior year of High School. I spent most of my detention hours in the Library studying and doing homework. This pleased my parents. However they never knew the real reason why I was spending those extra hours at the High School. Had my Dad found out the truth, I would have gotten his famous backhand to the jaw more often.

The Beach Bum

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Very Funny Movie

At 2 AM this morning the USA Network broadcasted one of my all-time favorite movies, Blazing Saddles. I have the movie on video tape and could have watched it commercial free, but I didn’t want to go digging in my treasure closet again. Who knows what I might have found that would sidetrack me from watching the movie.
Even chopped up and full of commercial breaks, the movie is still hilarious. I’ve seen this movie at least 20 times and still find myself laughing throughout the movie. If you like comedy, satire and parody, you’ll love Blazing Saddles. Sight gags, slapstick, well written verbal repartee and Mel Brooks’ use of Yiddish terms all blend well together.
This movie is the epitome of political incorrectness. Racial slurs, ethnic jokes and stereotyping. I believe that it was the first movie that I had seen that used the word nigger to describe “a person of color” (my dad always used this term to describe Black Americans e.g. “a person of color came into my store today.”).
Richard Pryor was one of the screenwriters for Blazing Saddles, so this use of this language doesn’t surprise me. Although he is not credited, I believe that Woody Allen added put some of his shtick into the screenplay. Allen and Brooks collaborated together, as writers, on the old Sid Caesar television program in the 1950’s.
This afternoon I ordered the DVD version of Blazing Saddles from for less than $10 plus shipping. It’s the 30th Anniversary Edition. Amazon also has DVD’s of the old Sid Caesar show for sale. They are not inexpensive, but well worth owning and watching.
As always, if you are interested in purchasing anything from Amazon, please link to them through my Amazon button in the right hand column of this Blog.

The Beach Bum

Monday, January 29, 2007


I read a Blog today and the Blogger stated in her profile, that she was, among other things, a certified SAT (Standard Achievement Test) tutor. This is an important test for College placement.
In a way this scares the hell out of me. What we have here is a person who has been trained to allow undereducated and unprepared students to enroll in a better College.
If they couldn’t learn the basics on their own in High School, how at they going to learn anything at a College level? Perhaps God will give them the “Divine Inspiration” to learn at a College level. I doubt it! This tutoring actually cheats the student by ranking them a level above their academic achievement rating. It impedes the student’s progress rather than helping them.
Back, many years ago, when I was a senior in High School, it was mandatory that we take the SAT’s. I scored in the 86 percentile group. My verbal skills were much better that my math skills. This allowed me to enroll in most any University with the exception of Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford or Yale. I was looking for a scholarship, just to prove to my Dad that I knew “Shit from Shinola”.
I never studied for the SAT’s; I relied on what my 1960’s Chicago Public School education had taught me, or better yet, what I decided to learn while attending High School. I never had a tutor, nor did I need or want one. I didn’t cheat nor was I cheated.
Today’s higher educational system has regressed rather than progressed. Admission standards have been lowered to the point that any idiot or moron can attend a College, especially if they can play Basketball or Football. The schools need the money to continue to pay their tenured professors. What a system, it’s almost as good as the church’s hierarchal system.
Years ago, I attempted to teach and disseminate my knowledge to the younger generation. I didn’t stand a chance. I became frustrated with the lack of my student’s interest and desire to learn the basics. Unfortunately, my former students probably are now College graduates and some of them are in the teaching profession. This is a frightening thought!
Teaching a student is one thing, but tutoring students to get higher test scores is another thing, which I cannot readily accept. Silly me, but that’s the way it is in today’s society and something that I’ll have to live with!

The Beach Bum

Sunday, January 28, 2007


A neighbor, who noticed that I drink alcoholic beverages (usually in mass quantities) every day, asked me if I was an alcoholic. My reply was no; because “I do not go to meetings”. Alcoholics go to meeting and drunks don’t. When Rick Blaine, in the movie Casablanca, was asked his nationality he replied “I’m a drunkard”. I too am a drunkard.
Why do I drink? Actually, this is a two part question. The first part of the question is “why?” This is a question that philosophers have been posing for more than 2000 years. There is no definitive answer to the question why. The second part of the question is do I drink? The answer is yes.
In veracity, the consummation of alcoholic beverages helps me to think more comprehensibly. It empties my mind of muddled thoughts and allows me to focus more clearly.
This brings us to the Buffalo Theory. In one of my favorite episodes of the television program Cheers; Cliff Clavin explains the theory to Norm Peterson:
"Well ya see, Normie, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."
The learned Doctors tell me that I am deluding myself with this notion because I am addicted to alcohol. These are the same guys that prescribe addictive drugs as if they were penny candy. If I must have an addiction, I’ll take alcohol over the other alternatives.

The Beach Bum

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Trivial Pursuit

I lived in the city of Chicago for the first 19 years of my life, it’s my hometown. I lived in the city itself, not the suburbs. The Cubs are my favorite Baseball team and Da Bears are my favorite Football team. The “Hog Butcher for the World……. City of the Big Shoulders”. As “Old Blue Eyes would say “It’s My Kind of Town”.
Yesterday I visited one of the few Blogs that I have bookmarked: The author of this Blog calls himself “The Curmudgeon” and is almost as overly opinionated as I am. I admire this quality, or what some of my friends would call a human failing, in a person. The Curmudgeon can also write a cohesive sentence or paragraph. This, in my eyes, is another admirable quality.
On his Blog he placed a quiz about Chicago Trivia. This quiz was geared towards the over 50 year old native Chicagoans. My answers were only 76% correct, but I am refuting one of my incorrect answers as being erroneous.
I pride myself on knowing unimportant fact and figures. Friends have said that I have a great knowledge of obscure facts and near total recall of events and things that happened forty to fifty years ago. Some say that I have the gift of a near photographic memory. I wish that I did have one.
As a child, my parents taught me how to be observant and how to train my memory. At 88 years old, a year before he passed away, by Dad could recall things that we did when I was 10 and 11 years old. However, he couldn’t recall what he had eaten for lunch the day before.
My ostensibly excellent memory has been nurtured and is not of an inherent nature. I enjoy remembering trivial things and revel in good memories that I have of the past. It’s the hard facts of life that I prefer to forget. Unfortunately these things are also imprinted on the hard drive in my cranium.
The Beach Bum

Friday, January 26, 2007

Java Junkie

A molecular scientist in North Carolina has discovered a way to add caffeine to baked goods without the bitter taste of caffeine. He has already contacted Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks about using his product.
I really love caffeine, but unfortunately it doesn’t love me in return. It has given me, among other gastrointestinal problems, a hiatal hernia. I would drink three very strong cups every day for breakfast. At night I’d drink another six to eight cups; the last two or three being laced with Kahlua, Tia Maria or Grand Marnier, not for the flavor but to bring me down from my caffeine high.
I learned about caffeine in the Army, I had never drunk coffee before that time. In fact the Army also taught me about my other favorites; alcohol and nicotine. All three are a major cause of digestive tract disorders and the food in the Army wasn’t that good for you either. One older guy, a lifer, told me that the three major food groups in the Army were Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine because they all curb your appetite for mess hall chow.
I also love Donuts. The French Crullers and the Chocolate cake donuts with chocolate icing were always my favorite breakfast. There is nothing tastier than a piece of bleached flour cooked in animal fat and covered with a refined sugar glaze. I can no longer eat these tasty gems. Not because of their high cholesterol, but the other damage that they caused to my digestive tract.
Now here is a dream come true for millions of Americans. The cardiologist will also be happy; as it means more business for them. Imagine drinking a triple Espresso Latte and having two chocolate donuts laced with the equivalent of two cups of coffee worth of caffeine in them.
I wish that this scientist had invented this process 10 years ago, when I could still enjoy his product. I now drink only one cup of instant Decaf coffee and a piece of dry whole wheat toast for breakfast. If I want to go wild, I’ll have a Bran Muffin and a second cup of Decaf. Caveat emptor!

The Beach Bum

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

State of the Union

I won’t be watching this year’s State of the Union address tonight. I’m tired of hearing the bullshit that our president has been trying to feed us. The rebuttals from the Democrats will be just as bad; basically a crock of shit.
In the State of the Union address the President traditionally outlines the administration's accomplishments over the previous year, as well as the agenda for the coming year in upbeat and optimistic terms.
I’ve seen no significant accomplishments that were made this past year by the Bush Administration and I see no possible optimistic agenda for 2007. With a Democratic Party controlled Congress, Bush will be going nowhere with his agenda for 2007.
I didn’t vote for Bush in the last presidential election. Neither did I vote for Kerry, who I feared more than I did President Bush. I voted for the Libertarian candidate, and I don’t even remember his name. This is a sorry state of affairs.
Politically, I am a liberal Republican or perhaps I’m a conservative Democrat. I’m for big business and against welfare. But I’m also for our First Amendment rights and a card carrying member of the ACLU.
Tomorrow morning I’ll read Bush’s State of the Union Address. I’ll probably laugh about what he had to say. Tonight I will be watching reruns on cable television.

The Beach Bum

Monday, January 22, 2007


I’ve been reading the comments that have been posted to my blogs. With the exception of Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey and Blog master Bobby Griffin from “The Bestest Blog of All-Time, I haven’t received any legit comments to my blogs.
What do I consider as a legit comment?
It’s definitely not “This is a nice Blog and please check out my Blog @ wherever”. If I place a comment on someone’s Blog, it will pertain to what they have written in their Blog. Basically it’s my opinion about what they have written. This is the way it should be with all comments that are placed on a Blog.
My Stat Tracker (which I install last Wednesday) shows me that the bulk of these people only visit my Blog in order to place a link to their blog. Common sense tells me that they haven’t really read my Blog and they just visited it to leave a comment that links to their Blog. This is Bullshit! Most of these people have been coming from “The Bestest Blog of All-Time”.
I linked to the “Bestest Blog” to attract more readership and solicit legit comments about what I have written. So far, for me, it’s been a dead end. It seems that more bloggers are more interested in placing a link to their Blog (on my Blog) than the content of my Blog. And this really honks me off.
Hey people out there in Blog land, if you want to leave a comment on my Blog, please make sure it is pertinent to what I have written. Take the time to leave a few sentences. Something besides "Nice Blog". I don’t care if the comments are complimentary or derogatory; I just want to know what you think about what I have written.
The Beach Bum

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Today on there was an article about an Iowa woman who was denied unemployment compensation because she kept a journal of her daily activities. At first this journal was handwritten, but after a supervisor forbid her to write the journal on Company time she began to keep it on her office computer.
This journal was 300 single-spaced pages long and was about how she avoided working at the highest paying job that she had ever had. One quoted entry was;
"This typing thing seems to be doing the trick, it just looks like I am hard at work on something very important."
And better yet; "I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access. I haven't really accomplished anything in a long while ... and I am still getting paid more than I ever have at a job before, with less to do than I have ever had before. It's actually quite nice when I think of it that way. I can shop online, play games and read message boards and still get paid for it." At least she writes fairly well!
She has also brought slacking in the workplace to new unimaginable heights. Hopefully our Federal Government employees in Washington, DC will not read this article will while they are surfing the internet on our tax dollars.
Years ago, a friend of mine (who calls me his mentor) had a temporary position (a 6 month position with no Federal benefits) at the GSA in DC, while working on his Masters in Accounting. He was taught by his parents to have a good work ethic and tended to do more than his job actually required. His Supervisor at GSA told him that he was working too hard and that it made it look bad for the other employees. Two weeks later he was discharged because they needed to hire another full time minority employee. He is Puerto Rican; isn’t that a minority? We just laughed.
In our conversations about his working for the GSA, he mentioned that the supervisors were greater slackers that the employees working under them. He told me that his supervisor actually promoted slacking and incompetence at the workplace. This supervisor probably assumed that it made him look better in his supervisor’s eyes; who was more than likely also incompetent.
Which brings us to the Peter Principle. In the late 1960’s Dr. Laurence J. Peter wrote a book about the level of competence of the human resources in hierarchical organizations. The principle explains the upward, downward, and lateral movement of personnel within a hierarchically organized system of ranks. Hierarchical Organizations exist in Government, Corporations and the Church.
The basic premise of the Peter Principle is that employees will rise to their highest level of competency and then be promoted to a level of incompetence. According to my Dad, I reach a level of incompetence before my time. Therefore I was never a victim of the Peter Principle.
Needless to say this book is available on – click on the Amazon button on the right hand column.

The Beach Bum

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Buried Treasure

I reside on Treasure Island, a small barrier on The Gulf of Mexico west of St. Petersburg, Florida. Treasure Island, is named for its early history of pirates taking sanctuary here and burying their treasures while taking a break from their buccaneering activities. It was a good place to vacation back then and still is today.
No treasures have been found here for years. I’m told that some had been found in the past, but that the remaining pirate treasure is probably either underwater (due to Beach erosion), under some Motel or other dwelling on the beach.
But I beg to differ, as I know where the real treasures are on Treasure Island. I am speaking of the Treasures that I have been recently finding while attempting to clean out my junk closet. The cleaning of this closet was supposed to be a one or two week project. I seriously doubt that that I will finish this project before the end of March.
The latest treasure that I have found is a box of old books. Before moving to Florida nine years ago, I gave away most of my books. I gave some to family and some to friends. The books that I brought with me were the books that I could read again and again.
In this box of books, I found a Paperback written by Don Novello in his pre Fr. Guido Sarducci days. The Lazlo Letters is a collection of letters written to politicians, corporations and famous people under the pen name of Lazlo Toth. The letters were full of deliberate misstatements, outlandish advice and ridiculously stupid questions.
The thing that surprised me, as well as it did Novello, was the serious and courteous replies that he received to these letters. Several of them to then President Richard Nixon were hilarious. A letter to McDonald’s President Ray Kroc about serving jelly with an Egg McMuffin is still one of my favorites.
If you haven’t read this book, you should. You can order it from You know the drill; just click on the Amazon button in the right hand column and search Amazon for Lazlo Toth.

The Beach Bum

Friday, January 19, 2007


Six years ago, the learned Doctors at my local VA Hospital forced me to take a psychological examination. Their assumption is that all Viet Nam era Vets are somewhat mentally disturbed. I had three sessions with the resident VA shrink. None of my problems were resolved, but I did learn that I had a lot of Phobias. Supposedly more than “normal” people have. Who are normal people? Everyone has some sort of Phobia.

First and foremost was my “fear of flying” AKA Pteromerhanophobia. I don’t actually fear flying in airplanes, I fear crashing and dying in airplanes, especially during takeoff and landing. But airplanes are a far better mode of long distance transportation than the alternative; driving or riding in a car, which happens to be my second greatest Phobia; Amaxophobia.

I am also afflicted with Vertigo (Illyngophobia) and Acrophobia. I've also been diagnosed with having Pharmacophobia (the fear of taking medications), and Opiophobia (the fear of Doctors prescribing the aforementioned medications). I don’t trust Doctors because most of them have sold out to the pharmaceutical companies. Many of the drugs that are prescribing hurt us more than they help us. Read the labels and the warnings.

The one exception is the VA Doctor, who does not benefit by prescribing drugs. If you are eligible for VA care, this should be your choice of Medical Services.

If I checked on a list of Phobias, I could probably find at least a dozen more that I have. It doesn’t bother me that I have all these Phobias; however it does bother my family.

The Beach Bum

What Have I Been Smoking?

The other day, on the online version of the Chicago Tribune, I read where three southwestern Chicago suburbs are temporally lifting the smoking ban that they had placed into effect on January 2nd. Why? Because the Chicago Bears are in the playoffs. The local bar owners in these three Chicago suburbs claim that their sales last Sunday were down more than 30% below normal, when they actually should have been higher than normal due to the Bears being in the Divisional Playoff game. Their customers complained that they had to go outside into the frigid Chicago air to smoke their cigarettes.

Chicagoans enjoy watching their local sporting events with friends in local bars and pubs. This is a tradition passed down from father to son. My Dad, who rarely drank alcohol, would take me to the “local saloon” to watch the Bears play on Sunday afternoons. The bar had a Color TV and ours, at home. was Black and White. We drank Cokes; mine with several Maraschino Cherries in it them. It was father and son bonding, plus a good reason for him to get away from my Mom’s nagging him, for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

I’m a smoker and have been for 40 years. I went from smoking a pack or less a day in the late 60’s (costing 78 cents per carton, when purchasing them in the military commissary overseas), to my current habit of smoking 2 to 3 packs a day at $30 per carton. I’m an anti smoking advocate, as I know that I am killing myself slowly, but surely. I can not stop and I have tried to do so several times: so I preach to others, especially young people, not to ever get started on this addiction to tobacco and the foul habit that I have incurred. I have tried to quit several times with no lasting success. Cold Turkey, Nicorettes and the Patch, let’s face it I’m a nicotine addict.

Smoking and drinking, as Forrest Gump would say, “go together like peas and carrots.” I increase my cigarette consumption whenever I am out drinking with friends. I also increase my consumption of alcoholic beverages when being out with friends. There is definitely a correlation here, which I do not understand. However, my bad habits puts more money in the pockets of the service employees and the Bar owners. Believe it or not, my drinking and smoking is good for our economy.

The State of Florida passed a smoking ban for drinking establishments that had more than 10% of their gross sales in food sales, three years ago. The effect has been devastating to a lot of the local establishments here on Treasure Island. Smokers, like me, now tend to frequent bars that do not serve food or establishments serving food with outdoor facilities, where you can smoke your cigarettes without harmful second hand smoke. This has been a boon to some of our local businesses, but the kiss of death to others that do not have outside facilities. Several local restaurants have closed due to the smoking ban. Tourism here on the Islands is also down.

Regardless of what they say, smoking bans, however good they may be for the health of employees in Bars and Restaurants, have hurt these same employees financially in the long run. The European tourists that once had frequented Treasure Island every winter are now rarely seen; most of them were heavy smokers who didn’t mind spending $100 per night for their dinner and drinks, during the week or two that they had spent here annually. They generated a lot of income for local establishments and their employees.

Unsurprisingly, smokers also have a tendency to drink more, spend more money plus tip a higher percentage than the average non-smoker. In addition, the smoking customers will rarely, if ever, complaint about odors emanating from behind the Bar, the dirty carpets or the loudness of the music in the bar.

I have been told by service employees in the Bar and Restaurant business that non-smokers will usually complain about everything imaginable, including the price of their food and drinks. Then these same non-smoking customers will cheat the bartender or their server out of a decent tip for services rendered, because they were supposedly not happy with their food or their service. According to the local service people, Non-Smokers tend to be “constant complainers”. Many of these employees do not smoke, however they prefer waiting on smokers rather than non-smokers.

Non-smokers seemingly are the bane of the bar and restaurant business here in Florida, that is, if you listen to bartenders and servers, who would rather take in the second hand smoke and make more money, than work in a smoke free environment.

At my favorite watering hole, the bartenders all vie to work in the outside open air bar. Why? It’s simple; they wait on smokers and therefore put more money in their pockets!

The Beach Bum

Thursday, January 18, 2007


One of my favorite Chicago writers, Finley Peter Dunne, once wrote that "Alcohol is necessary for a man so that now and then he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed by the facts."

My Dad was an avid reader of Mr. Dunne’s work, and he often quoted him when attempting to make a point. Dunne died 10 years before I was born. I had never read anything written by him until I was in my senior year of High School.

That little light bulb in my skull lit up when I saw his name; “I know this guy, he’s the guy that my Dad has been quoting for years.” In actuality, Dad had been misquoting Dunne for years. My Dad had a tendency to change a quote to tailor it for his need to make his point to his children. His speech was peppered with colloquialisms and verbiage. On the other hand, my Mom tended to be concise and more to the point; she never mince her words.

Both of my parents were very well read. My Dad graduated from college in 1936; back when a college education really meant something. My mom was a High School drop-out, who left school to support herself after running away from her sadistic father. They both forced me to read books and to acquire knowledge. It was something that I wasn’t too fond of doing at that time. I do thank them now that they are gone.

Back to the Dunne quote; it’s not a quote that my Dad would have repeated to me, as he was a teetotaler. He had criticized my drinking habits for years, as well as my caffeine and nicotine addictions. I usually retorted back to him with a quote attributed to Frank Sinatra, one of my parent’s favorite singers; “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

I do feel good today. I had my first Bloody Mary at noon and chased it down with a beer followed by several other bloody marys and beers.

Today, I have a good opinion of myself, undisturbed by the facts. Thank you Mr. Dunne and Mr. Sinatra for the enlightenment!

And thank you Mom and Dad for allowing me to write semi-comprehensible while enjoying a few cocktails in the afternoon.

The Beach Bum

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


My lunch today was reminiscent of a movie that I saw about 25 years ago. The movie was “My Dinner with Andre”, starring Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory. Shawn was basically an unknown actor/writer (several years later he came into the public eye as Vizzini in Rob Reiner’s the Princess Bride). At the time Andre Gregory was a Broadway director who later became an actor.

A young lady that I was dating at the time literally dragged me to the Artsy Theater that was showing this film. She said that Siskle and Ebert, on PBS, had given it two enthusiastic thumbs up. The choice that was given to me was either that I go to the movie or we would not have sexual contact for a week. It was a no brainer; therefore I decided to go to the movie with her.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie. It consisted of Shawn and Gregory sitting at a restaurant table and talking about their life experiences. Shawn asks most of the questions and Gregory does most of the talking. The repartee, whether scripted or not, was excellent.

Today my lunch, with a former co-worker and friend, had much of the same overtones. He came to visit me to drop off a gift from one of my former customers. I suggested that we have lunch at one of my favorite Treasure Island watering holes.

During lunch we began by talking about our lives; I doing most of the questioning and my friend doing most of the talking. We traded many anecdotal stories about our lives and our past. We bonded closer as friends by telling one another about our most intimate feelings.

I had worked with my friend for nearly 6 years. But it wasn’t until our lunch today that I really got to know him as a person and a real friend. It was one of the most enjoyable lunches that I have had in years. The food was good, the Bloody Marys were good and the conversation was excellent.

By the way, the movie “My Dinner with Andre” is available on It’s well worth watching. There is a link to on this blog. And yes, I do get a referral fee if you buy something from them when linking to them through my blog.

The Beach Bum

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Blogging for $$$$

About 16 months ago a close friend of mine encouraged me to begin blogging. He told me that I had a good style of writing and more so an opinion on just about everything. I read this as that I am over opinionated and dogmatic. He also told me that there were Bloggers that were making money with their Blogs.

I gave him the usual lip service saying; “I’ll check it out”. As I was still working at the time and earning enough money to support my hedonistic lifestyle, I didn’t check it out. Being a procrastinator, I didn’t sign up for blogging until last September. It was one year later, and three months after becoming unemployed, that I signed up to be a blogger. And as being the procrastinator that I am, I didn’t post my first Blog until the last week in November 2006.

Now, at this point in time, I need to make some extra money by blogging. Therefore I signed up for Google Ads. After one week they cut me off for violating the Terms of Service. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the TOS agreement and promoted visiting their Ads in my Blogs, as well as telling friends via email to check out the Ads that were on my Blog. This is a big No-No with Google AD Sense. There are no second chances with Google, so I’m barred from any future use of their service!

I have recently added a link to The Bestest Blog of All-Time and a link to I plan to add other links in the near future. This was done in my quest to make a few bucks by blogging.

Bobby Griffin, a school teacher, runs the “Bestest Blog” and he is seemingly a money making machine. Not only does he charge (in the disguise of donations) for better placement of your Blog on his pages, he also places Pay Per Post Ads on his Blog. His whole site (Blog), in my opinion, is just another Money Making sham. So why do I keep the link to his site? I admire his ingenuity and the time that he spends in making his money. I am seriously thinking about starting a mirror site titled “The Second Bestest Blog of All-Time”. Using Bobby’s success formula, I may be able to make a few dollars to support my increasingly bad habits.

As for the Amazon link, I’ve made many purchases from their site and have never had a problem with their products, services or delivery. Their prices on books, videos and electronics gear are some of the best that you will find on the net or in your local stores.

The Beach Bum

Monday, January 15, 2007


Today is another Holiday Monday, Martin Luther King Day. There have been three Monday Holidays during the past four weeks. Monday holidays do nothing for me, since I am terminally unemployed and every day seems to be a holiday.

But how do Monday holidays affect me. Number one; there is no USPS mail delivery. Number two; there are no trash pick ups. Number three; there is more traffic on Gulf Boulevard; the main drag on Treasure Island, than normal.

I don’t care about the mail delivery as I only get about 5 or 6 pieces of legit mail per month. My trash pickups are three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I rarely drive my car; therefore the higher volume of traffic doesn’t really bother me.

I propose that our government find a reason for a Monday Holiday 52 weeks a year. Those wonderful three day weekends, would exist throughout the year. The only unfortunate people would be those that work in the service industries. However they will make more money by working on the holiday eve.

This proposal would create a four day work week for many people. Studies have shown that productivity on Mondays is usually lesser than it is on the other weekdays. Fridays are also known as lower productivity days.

We all want a more productive society. Our next move, after making all Mondays a holiday, is to make every Friday a holiday. This will create a three day work week, where workers can produce and exude their maximum effort after a four day weekend. This theory sounds good to me; the terminally under employed. So I am pushing for the three day work week. The bottom line is that we need more Holidays on Monday and Friday.

The Beach Bum

Da Bears

I am not a Football addict. My Sundays do not revolve around watching the game. Yet I can remember back to the time when I would never miss a game that was broadcasted on a Sunday or a Monday. At one time, in my life, I could call the penalties before they announced them. Therefore I must be a Football Fan.

Today I watched my favorite team nearly escape being eliminated from the playoffs. The Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. Growing up in Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s you were either a Bears or Cardinals fan. The Cardinals first moved to Saint Louis and then on to Arizona. Then the Bears moved from playing in Wrigley Field to playing in Soldier Field.

I lived in Maryland for nearly 30 years. At first, I cheered for the Baltimore Colts, and after they departed to Indianapolis, I cheered for the Washington Redskins. However, the Chicago Bears were and always will be my favorite football team. I grew up watching the “Monsters of the Midway”. Can any real Football fan ever forget Dick Butkus (an old personal friend of mine), Gayle Sayers, Walter Payton, or even “Fridge” Perry?

The Bears haven’t been to the Super Bowl for 21 years. And, I’m getting excited. I haven’t gotten this excited about watching Football for years, since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, my current local team, went to the Super Bowl.

Go Bears!

The Beach Bum

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I did something today that I rarely, if ever, do in the month of January. I took a walk on the beach. This is something that I usually enjoy only doing between March and November. But the weather was so beautiful today; I had to make an exception.

Treasure Island’s Public Beach was packed with bodies sunning themselves. For a change, there was actually some good eye candy on the beach today. Usually in January you only see overweight Canadians and Wisconsin heifers lying on the beach.

The Beach Bars and the Tiki Bars at the local beach front Hotel/Motels were also packed. This is the best tourism January that I have seen during the 9 winters that I have been living here. I was so excited that I stopped at one Tiki Bar, had a beer, and talked to a few female tourists.

There were actually people swimming in the Gulf water, which is in the low 60’s. I usually don’t go swimming until mid June, when the shoreline water temperature reaches 80 degrees, and I stay out of the water after it drops below 78 degrees. Six months of pleasurable swims.

Going back to the eye candy that I viewed today! I totally enjoy seeing scantly clad women lying on the beach, especially if they are young and slim. In fact, I rather see these women wearing tiny bits of clothing than seeing them being totally naked. It leaves more to the imagination. And I have a very vivid imagination.

I enjoyed my walk on the beach, I hope that the fair weather holds up and the beach tourists will stay for another day or more.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is better than today’s, so I’ll walk on the beach again tomorrow!

The Beach Bum

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sorry about that, Chief

In the news today there was an item that caught my eye. The U.S. Department of Defense has found 3 Canadian Coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside of them. These coins were carried into the Pentagon by government contractors, with security clearances, who had recently been to Canada. The transmitters were tracking devices.

“Intelligence and technology experts said such transmitters, if they exist, could be used to surreptitiously track the movements of people carrying the spy coins.” The experts also think the coins may have been made in France. The French supposedly have a large spy network working out of Canada. If these transmitters were built into White Flags, I would be more apt to believe these “experts”.

It appears to me to be more like something that the Q Branch of MI6 would make for a James Bond movie. Or better yet something that Maxwell Smart would use to track KAOS agents.

Let’s face it, Canadian coins are worthless. Even with a pocket full of them you can’t even buy a beer in Canada. They are more worthless in the States. Vending machines don’t even take them.

So what do you do with your Canadian coins when you return from a visit to Canada? On my prior visits I gave those coins to the border crossing guards (Customs Agents). If not, I gave them to my coin collecting nephew. Or perhaps you could throw them into a bureau drawer. Either way, to me they seem to be worthless as a tracking devise.

My questions are: Why would anyone want to track the movements of a Defense Department Contractor in the first place and why would any Contractor keep these worthless coins in his pocket?

The Beach Bum

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pal Joey - I Think Not

Joey Buttafuoco is back in the news and back in jail again. He surrendered Monday to begin serving a one-year jail term for illegally possessing ammunition. The ammunition charge stemmed from an August 2005 search of Buttafuoco's home by the Los Angeles County Probation Department. He was on probation for Auto Insurance fraud at the time.

For those of you that don’t remember or are too young to remember Joey Buttafuoco, he gained notoriety for his affair with a 16 year old High School girl named Amy Fisher (AKA “The Long Island Lolita”) in 1991/1992. He was 18 years older than Amy. Joey was married at the time and Amy didn’t want to share him with his wife. He must have been one hell of a stud. Therefore Amy shoots the wife in the face at the Long Island Buttafuoco residence. The wife lives and Amy goes to prison for attempted murder and Joey gets off severing only 4 months for statutory rape. There have been a couple of made for TV Movies about their affair.

I remember thinking at the time. “Boy did he get off easy”. I had a High School friend that was bonking a 16 year old; he was 19 at the time. Her parents pressed charges for statutory rape and he spent 14 months in the Joliet Correctional Facility. His original sentence was 18 months. That’s why girls under the age of 18 years old are rightfully called “Jail Bait”.

Although I am known to date women much younger than me (some of my friends jokingly say that I hang around the local High Schools searching for future lovers), I haven’t been with a woman under the “Legal Limit” since I was 17 years old. And she was my first love.

Buttafuoco is looking at an additional 5 years in prison for the violation of his probation. I sincerely hope that he will get what he so justly deserves. In my opinion he is a Scum Bag that will never change for the better.

The Beach Bum

Monday, January 08, 2007

Beam me up, Scotty

Yes, I am a Trekkie! I actually still have the Star Trek; Star Fleet Technical Manual, which I purchased in the mid 70’s. Besides giving a detailed layout of the Starship Enterprise, it also gave information about every other thing that any Star Trek Fan would desire to know.

I’ve always been a SI-FI fan; in literature, movies and television. As a kid, my favorite television programs were the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits. My mom subscribed to several science fiction anthology magazines which I read with awe and amazement.

Then in the late 1960’s Gene Roddenberry came up with the concept of Star Trek. This was the best written SI-FI program on television at that time. The characters were unique and the plots were extremely interesting.

William Shatner portraying Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy portraying Mr. Spook were a match made in the heavens, so to speak. Shatner and Nimoy still do television commercials together nearly 40 years after the inception of the original program.

Forty years later I still watch the old original Star Trek series whenever it’s on television. Today, while browsing, I found the availability of several Star Trek videos and memorabilia. Therefore I have included a link to Amazon. If you click on the link it will take you to Type Star Trek in the search section and you’ll find some great deals on Star Trek programs and memorabilia.

The Beach Bum

Going Postal

I have finally realized where the check that my Grandmother sent to me for my High School graduation is and why I never got it. I’ve been pondering this for more than 40 years. It was only for $50, but then again, $50 was a good chunk of change back in the Sixties.

What led me to this discovery was a small newspaper article that I read today. A man living in rural Pennsylvania received a letter, addressed to a former occupant of his house, and it was postmarked October 26, 1954 and it had a 3 cent stamp for first class mail.

The man said that the letter appears to be sealed and has not been damaged, and that he will not open it. However, he hasn't had any luck finding addressee. A spokesman for the Postal Service in Pittsburgh said he could not comment specifically on the letter without investigating.

The spokesman also said "Sometimes pieces of mail do get lost behind equipment or transporting equipment. It is infrequent, but every once in a blue moon, it does happen, no matter how old it is, we will deliver it." He’s basically saying Shit happens!

Somewhere behind some piece of equipment in the Chicago Post Office or one of its sub stations lies a card and a $50 check from my Grandmother. I sincerely hope that if the USPS finds this card and delivers it to the Mexican family who are now living in my boyhood home, that this family will make the effort to try to find me. I’d like to have it as a keepsake!

The Beach Bum

Saturday, January 06, 2007


If you, as I do, watch television (in particular the Cable channels) between 1 AM and 4 AM you’ll get to see a lot of commercials. More so than in the late afternoon and during the prime time hours.

I actually enjoy watching good commercials, sometimes they are seemingly better than the program that I am watching. However, there are no good commercials on Cable television after midnight. For that matter, there are very few good commercials on Cable before midnight. Perhaps I’m just watching the wrong channels.

What commercials do you get after 1 AM? Commercials geared at the geriatric crowd. Life Insurance (Burial) sponsored by AARP, the Hovearound and similar scooters, Erectile Dysfunction drugs (Viagra and Cialis) and don’t forget about Bob; who has gained new respect from his entire community by using Enzyte, the once a day tablet for natural Male Enhancement.

Wake up Cable Television advertisers! Most of the people that you are targeting, go to sleep before midnight and don’t arise until 6 AM.

That life insurance that they are advertising is really death insurance. I’m not ready for a Scooter quite yet, although I’ll admit that I have been having problems with my knees lately. I have no problem with Erectile Dysfunction, as I usually wake up erect every morning; my problem is that I have no where to put it, but in my hand. So if I took Enzyte tablets to make it larger and thicker, I’m sure that it would cramp my fingers even more so than it does now.

But they do have a commercial that may remedy some of my problems. While I was watching the James Bond Marathon on early AM Spike TV last week they would show a commercial for “Girls Gone Wild” every 12 to 15 minutes. It was only $9.95 for two videos of young attractive women who were baring their breasts and butts. This, in my opinion, was a good commercial. So I placed my order.

Now, when I awake hard in the morning, I can click on my DVD player and masturbate rather than wasting a perfectly good erection.

The Beach Bum

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ring A Ding Ding

I am one of the minority of people that do not own a Cell Phone. I have no need for one and therefore I don’t have a desire to own one. My house phone works just fine and cost me far less than what using a cell phone would cost. I do not spent a lot of time on the telephone. My average long distance bill is usually less than $12 per month.

I’ve argued this point with family members, who all have cell phones. They claim that I’m living in the Stone Age and averse to changing with the times. I agree; I’m set in my ways and I enjoy my “status quo ante” way of life.

I also do not have Call Waiting nor do I have caller ID. If a person really wants to speak to me they will call back after I have finished my current telephone conversation. If it’s an emergency they can get the operator to break in on my call. As for Caller ID; if I want to avoid a caller I just hang up on them after saying a pleasant hello and goodbye. That’s basic telephone etiquette, something that most of the younger generations do not understand.

The reason for this post is that I saw a Google Ad, on one of the sites that I regularly visit, for free ringtones. It seems that everyone with a cell phone wants to have a special ring tone. So much so, that if you Google “free ringtones”, in quotes, you’ll get more than 2,400,000 sites offering free ringtones to visit.

Personally, I like to hear the old fashion Ma Bell ring on my phone.

The Beach Bum

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Live from New York, It's ........

I spent this afternoon attempting to reorganize one of my closets. You can read this as trying to get rid of some of the treasures that I have accumulated over the course of the years. My main mission was to shred some old papers using my new paper shredder, a Christmas gift from my daughter.

In the process, I ran across a Rubbermaid storage container full of old video tapes. If you can remember, those were the things that we watched before the advent of DVD players and TIVO. Therefore I got sidetracked away from my main mission; to clean out the closet.

Years ago, I had put some great movies and television programs on video tape, both VHS and BETA. I also found two stereo BETA tapes of music videos (from MTV) taped in the mid 1980’s.

But the best discovery was of a tape that I had made of segments from the “Best of Saturday Night Live’s" first four seasons, which I taped off of the Comedy Channel before they started calling themselves Comedy Central. I couldn’t resist putting the tape into my antiquated VCR and watching this video.

All the classics were on this tape; “The Coneheads”, “Samurai Futaba”, "Cheeseburger Cheeseburger",“Two Wild and Crazy Guys”, The Land Shark, The Blues Brothers, Robert Klein’s “I Can’t Stop My Leg” and many cuts of my favorite SNL segment “The Weekend Update”.

The Weekend Update was always my favorite segment of the SNL programming in the 1970’s. I have Chevy Chase segments; with Garret Morris repeating the top story of the night for the hearing impaired and Chevy talking dirty to his girlfriend, supposedly not realizing that he was on the air.

Other of my favorites are on this tape:

Point/Counterpoint with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain doing a parody of the famous 60 Minutes segment; “Jane, you ignorant slut”. Gilda Radner as both Emily Litella and Roseanne Roseannadanna. Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) and the “Last Brunch”. John Belushi’s commentaries on St. Patrick’s Day and Chirstmas Music.

I haven’t laughed that loud in years. Maybe I’ll get back to cleaning the closet tomorrow. Hopefully I will not find some other treasure that will sidetrack me from the task at hand.

The Beach Bum

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Supernatural President

I read a blog today that said that Pseudo-Psychic John Edward of “Crossing Over” fame has announced his candidacy for President in 2008. A picture of his book jacket cover was included. This was either an attempt at humor (a fairly good one) or the work of a totally uninformed blogger. I hate to think that it was the latter.

I believe in the supernatural. I believe that there are ghosts; spirits that are have been trapped on this earthly plane between death and whatever places that they might go in the afterlife. I also believe that UFO’s and that Alien Life Forms have been making visits to our Earth for thousands of years.

What I can’t believe in is psychic ability, especially those psychics that claim they can speak to the dead. John Edward has made his fortune talking to the dead. What a scam. But there are people who believe Edward is for real. People believe what they want to believe and I’m not knocking those beliefs.

In the early 1980’s I was enticed by a young lady, that I was dating at that time, to visit a psychic. This psychic was about 90% correct on my past; and I was impressed. She told me three things that would/should happen in my near future. She struck out on all three predictions for my future. I had spent $50 for a half hour of entertainment.

My feeling is that psychics are really mentalists, such as is the “Amazing Kreskin”, who I have seen in person several times. He is amazing! Kreskin claims to have no psychic ability whatsoever, but that he has trained his mind to do the amazing mental things that he does. He debunks those that claim to have psychic ability, saying that, like him, they are just mind readers and mentalists, whether innate or trained.

Perhaps John Edward should run for President, he can’t be any worse than the candidates that we have seen in the past two Presidential elections. With his ability to talk to the dead, he could possibly get some good insight and advice from Lincoln, Roosevelt and Jefferson about running our government.

The Beach Bum

Monday, January 01, 2007


For years I have made New Years resolutions. It is a habit that was passed down to me from my parents. Until 5 years ago I usually broke every resolution that I had made before early March. I had made promises to myself that I knew that I could not keep.

They say that with age comes sagacity. This is definitely true concerning me and my New Year’s Day resolutions. Subsequently, I’ve lowered my standards and therefore I do fulfilled what I have resolved to do for the following year, on New Year’s Day.

Making resolutions on New Year’s Day is a tradition, albeit a stupid tradition. But as Forrest Gump once said “Stupid is as stupid does”. So I got to thinking, which is dangerous, why not attempt to make resolutions that I could keep rather than the ones that I had no shot in hell of keeping.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet said to Laertes “This above all: to thine own self be true”. For years I made resolutions on New Years Day that I had no intention of keeping. I wasn't being true to myself.

That being said, here are my resolutions (in descending order of importance) for 2007:

I Resolve
5) Not to watch any daytime television talk shows; Dr. Phil, Oprah, Rosie the Dike etc.
4) Not to attempt to transform myself into a kind caring person.
3) Not to lust after women that are older than me.
2) Not to masturbate more than 3 times each day.

And first and foremost
1) Not to believe everything that I read in then newspapers, on the internet or hear on the cable news networks.

I will keep true to my resolutions again this year; I’ve made it easy for me to do so, as I have done during the past five years. The lesson to be learned here is, that you shouldn’t make resolutions that you don’t intend to keep.

The Beach Bum