Monday, July 30, 2007

"Hoist that Load"

On the left- a car motor lift On the right-a people lift

Friday night I had a fall and they got me up using a Hoyer lift. I told the nurse and my wife that I felt like a car engine being pulled from the engine compartment! Looking at the pictures you'll see a piston on each lift. The car lift is electric the people one is like a car jack. A pad goes under you and they hook straps to the hoist and "jack you up." Then you're rolled to the drop point. (I didn't care for that phrase) You're centered on the chair or bed and lowered in place.

It also reminded me of my Aircrew training - moving effortlessly room to room, like flying in a Huey bag or basket.

I can stand with aid but my last steps have been taken. It will be all lift and wheelchair now. It's o.k. , at least I can get around. My kids moved my Kraftmatic bed, yes I have the vibrating magic fingers feature, to the living room. This way I have fewer transfers.

It is truly amazing what apparatus and things are out there to assist the handicapped. My mobility has changed but this stuff helps maintain my quality of life. I may look different but I'm still me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


We were talking '50's and early '60's and came up with this list of toys and stuff you had to have.
  • hula hoop
  • slinky
  • frisbee
  • silly putty
  • coon skin cap
  • cap gun
  • tang
  • Dr.Seus book
  • comic books
  • baseball cards + gum (also for bike spokes)
  • 3-D movies + glasses
  • transitor radio
  • rockets
  • sling shot
  • Red Ryder BB gun
  • 3-speed bike
  • bike handle bar streamers
  • Revel car models
  • 45 rpm records/331/3 rpm Hi Fi albums
  • pocket knife
  • roller skates
  • baseball bat, glove, ball, hat
  • basketball, football
  • sled or saucer
  • ice skates
  • Stolen Playboy magazines
  • black Chuck Taylor's
  • Tonka heavy equipment
  • plastic WWII soldiers and tanks etc.
  • plastic cowboys and Indians
  • chemistry set
  • Black buckle rain and snow boots
  • bright yellow buckle rain gear
  • green rubber "hunting boots"
  • earflap winter hat
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • Cooties game
  • Sorry game
  • hobby horse (the one on springs)
  • fishing gear
  • a cool lunch box
  • a girl to have a crush on ( my first Janine, in kindergarten)

I'm sure there are many more but that's what I got!


Thursday, July 26, 2007


A friend shared with me that years ago another person we know wrote her a letter not only questioning her converting to her husband's faith but telling her by giving up Christ she would not go to heaven. The more I think about this the angrier I become! Rattling around my head are phrases and words like holy war, pogrom, crusade, Dachau, Crucifixion,
hate, ignorance, jihad............................
First of all it shows a lack of understanding of Christianity. I believe that's the last thing Christ would say.
It also shows disrespect and lack of understanding of one of the world's oldest religions - Judaism. Jesus of Nazareth was a Rabbi = Jewish. So does this person equate Christianity with being antisemitic? Jesus was preaching his religion to the common man. He took it to the street not the temples. There was no Christianity until after, when man made it a religion!
I was raised Christian and became Catholic by choice. I even worked for the Albany Diocese for along time. Knowing I was a lapsed Catholic, non - church attender, Bishop Hubbard had a running joke with me. In meetings he would ask," Glenn, what parish do you belong to?"
I'd always answer," I live in the St. Gabrial's Parish, Father." He'd laugh each time.
One time when I was driving him somewhere he told me that even though I wasn't going to church it was all right since I lived my religion and that I was a better person for it. I believe that.
Back to the point. So, if you are not Christian you go to hell. JUMP'N JESUS H. CHRIST HOW STUPID IS THAT? That takes out most of the world.
The person who wrote the letter would tell you she's a good person and she is; she's just very poorly informed and must have blind faith. That makes you a robot not a thinker. I know she's
reading the King Jame's Version, it's a version! Not etched in stone, no burning bush; a bunch of men sat down and decided what would go in their version. So if you are following "the word" you need to check out whose mouth it comes out of.
Just be a nice person and follow the big 10 - by the way they're from the Old Testament.
{Janice - if you don't get it call me and I'll explain it veeerry sloooooooooooowly tooooooooo youu}

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Ed Sullivan!"

From the beginning of my memories until after I married, every Sunday night at 8 was the Ed Sullivan show. Monday we'd all talk about what had been on. All the greatest singers, bands, comedians, numbers from Broadway shows, he'd talk to actors and athletes both on and off the stage and he had the greatest variety acts ever. Senor Wenses "It's alright? O.K.!", Topo Gijo "eddie!" in that mouse voice, tightrope walkers, jugglers, knife throwers, the June Taylor Dancers, magicians, he'd introduce the College All-American football players, acrobats and my all time favorite - the man or woman that would spin and balance the plates on top of the wooden dowels - " Da, da, da, da, da, ta, dadadada, da! daaaaaaaaaaaha da!"It was phenominal when they'd get 8 or 10 up and have to run around and respin the dowels.
It beyond any doubt was the BEST variety show of all time. I miss it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"The Sound of Popping Corn"

Every night I hear, " put..pu..pop...pop..puta...phut...", the wife making popcorn. 40 years ago it was hot oil in a big pot with lots of butter. Next it was an electric popper with oil and lots of butter, then less butter. Eventually, post children, the move was made to an air popper still butter. Finally, the air popper no butter.
She lost me with the last step - popcorn no butter! Not on your life!
Where ever we went there was popcorn in her hands - movies, drive -ins, fairs, theme parks, truck stops, cruise ships, country stores........... She had it in a box, butter cup, paper bag, plastic bag, cellophane bag, big can, bowl, pot.............. Our daughter used to think that we had parties after she went to bed because she'd find evidence in the morning!
So when she turned 50 I decided to get her something special. Our basement is built out with a bar, so I bought her a theater sized popper at no small expense. It smelled fabulously. My friends and I would play cards, drink and eat some popcorn like in a real bar. She used it once!
She said it upset her stomach - "my ass!" I say. The old girl has had more popcorn pass through her than regular food.
She didn't want to clean it.
She's back to an electric popper. The bar one is in a home that appreciates it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"You Ain't Gonna Believe This - Again!"

I am now on my 4th lift chair. At least each one has died a different death. So, there's been
variety in my anxiety.
#1 literally broke and crashed in the down position in April.
#2 broke in the up position in July.
#3 died slowly but with panache. After #1 & #2 we decided to buy new since the others were loaners from the ALS Center. It cost $1100. In the first week it lost power and the service man came. Parts were ordered. The new parts didn't work so, more parts were ordered. The new parts worked for less than a week! This chair would go up or down without anyone pushing the button. Of course it was a Saturday and I had to abuse the on call service man to get any satisfaction. They came and switched #3 and #4 and it's still July. I'm averaging 1 a month.
Is it possible that my butt is possessed or haunted by a comedic poltergiest? Could it be the ghosts of all those pond frogs we bb'd? Maybe it's the parents of all those kids we harassed or maybe just Helen Bailie or Hatty Zubal! Kathy says it's my "Mexican barking spyders", this is what I used to call a fart when my kids were little. She may have something, I have noticed an odor now and then.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Retraction on Distraction"

I received numerous comments on yesterday's blog. My daughter blames beer and rain for her cell dilema. It was organic yogurt; French Vanilla but after drying out or coagulating his cell now works!
Also, I was reminded of some distractions that we did have. We used to install "reverberators" on our car radios. It made the radio sound like it was in an echo chamber. It wasn't right for every song so you constantly turned it off and on. I was also reminded what a pain in the ass I was! Nick reminded me about the time we were on Altamont Ave and I turned his car off and threw his keys out of the window.
My best was in the '70's when he had a huge fully optioned Pontiac. Inside the glove box was a button that would electrically open the trunk. I would push it at every opportunity.
Lastly, we used to turn everything on - the heat, radio as loud as it could go and the wipers. When some started the car they would all come on.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I heard on the news that 5 young women were killed in a car accident near Rochester because the driver was text messaging while driving. Is that freak'n crazy or what? When I was a kid the radio was an option. Not the fanciness of the radio, the radio itself. Many families had cars with no radios.

Today cars have hands free cell phones, On-Star, radios, satellite radios, cd players, dvd players, playstations; some large vehicles have multiple items, and GPS systems. Now your cell phone can play music, videos, games, take picture and videos, text message, store info and take notes - oh yea, it's a phone too!

The distractions to driving are numerous before even adding a phone. Plus the cars are faster and more powerful today.

My wife and I worry about our kids but neither can keep a cell phone very long. Our daughter may have a record - she lost three in a two week stretch and our son destroyed his latest in three days. You ready for this - it died in a tub of yogurt! I believe it was organic. You think it may have been the bacteria?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"Roy Rules"

For you young snots that have no idea, this is Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger. For my 10th birthday my mother and father took me to New York City to the old Madison Square Garden to see a rodeo. Roy and Trigger made an appearance. The ushers got all the little kids down near the fence and we were allowed to pet Trigger as he went by ever so slowly. That was almost 48 years ago and I can still feel his Palomino coat if I close my eyes.

Roy Rogers was my hero. His show was on every Saturday and I wouldn't go anywhere until it was over. I would always sing "Happy Trails to You", at the end, with Dale Evans and Roy.
I want to share the ROY ROGER'S RIDERS CLUB RULES with you:

  1. be neat and clean

  2. be courteous and polite

  3. always listen to your parents

  4. protect the weak and help them

  5. be brave, but never take chances

  6. study hard and learn all that you can

  7. be kind to animals and care for them

  8. eat all your food and don't waste any

  9. love God and go to Sunday school regularly.

  10. always respect our flag and country.

" I reck'n I did em all. That's right varmint. I was a good boy.....Hell, it don't say noth'n 'bout no whiskey, women chas'n, smok'n, cuss'n, drink'n, raslin, tobacky chew'n, danc'n or loud sing'n! Does it? You flea bitten galoot! So there, this town aint big 'nough for the both of us, draw partner, slap leather, cut'em off at the pass, "You, Johnny, stay with the horses", you back shoot'n weasel, stay away from the School Marm, but that's injun territory, thank ya Mam, beer for my men & whiskey for my horses, don't care who it is - the gun stays at the town line.........."

Had enough? Oh really!

" It's the calvary, he's a gun for the double bar t ranch, stagecoach's a come'n, they dun robbed the bank, get the women in the back, not in my town, hurt real bad, them's injun tracks, where'd you get that saddle, reach for the sky, hired hand, tie um up boys, string'm up boys, shoot'm boys, hold'm for me boys, keep those hands up, throw down the strong box, give me the money, get a posse and follow'm, we're gonna have us a hang'n, he's plum loco, Pa get your gun............"

Friday, July 13, 2007


This is LuLu from Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, I do realize that there are no parrots indigenous to Kentucky! Her species is from South Africa but I actually bought her when she was still an egg from a breeder. He hatched her and her brother and after they were weened he hand fed them . She was shipped to me when she was 4 months old. LuLu flew up here on her own - no - American Airlines, in a crate!
LuLu can mimic cellphone rings, a "wolf whistle" and the "come here" whistle. We were a little worried about what her first words might be since her cage is right next to my chair. Since they tend to learn through repetition, it's lucky that it appears my most used words are Kathy, Kate and Kat . LuLu also is close to saying "scratchy scratch", what we say when she wants a feather rub, "knuk,knuk.knuk"and "LuLu."
I spend alot of time with her and she's very entertaining. The only downside is she's a really sloppy eater. Her food goes every where.
If you are looking for a different kind of pet , I highly recommend a "hand fed" parrot. The "hand fed part" is critical. They are used to people and will "step up" on to your hand willingly. She loves our Lab. She's always flying down to the floor and trying to climb on him.He's not thrilled but does tolerate her.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"You Never Forget the First One"

The cars above are 1964 Corvettes; the top is a roadster and the bottom the coupe. In 1966 my father and I bought a roadster and believe it or not, it cost us $2700. It was the color of the bottom picture - " satin silver" with navy blue leather seats. It was a 327 cu. in., 325 h.p., with a four speed transmission. It was the first car I ever owned with an am-fm radio. I didn't even know what fm was and the only fm station I could pick up was WRPI in Troy.The engine was ported, polished, balanced, blue printed, had a 3/4 race cam, Holley double pumper with an Edelbrock hi-rise manifold and Mickey Thompson headers. This car screamed! Fortunately gas was about 30 cents a gallon.
I just about lived in this vehicle. 40 years later people still ask me about it. My father sold it when I was in the service. I came home and there was a brand new Chevy Malibu in the garage. It gone though for good - the kid that bought it hit bridge abutment and totalled it.
God I loved that car!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Remember these guys? I new them as the "Our Gang" kids, others
know them as "The Little Rascals." We watched them every morning before we left for school .
I can remember being small enough that Steve Dondalski and I would sit in the same chair in my livingroom watching them. Spanky was every ones favorite. The girls liked Darla the main reason that the "He-man Women Haters Club" was started.
They were filmed in the 1930's during the Great Depression so everyone was poor. Also notice that the films are mixed race. We grew up knowing this was the way it should be. Go to and watch a few. "The Teacher's Beau" is one of my favorites. There is one about them at night with ghosts, that's hysterical and there's always the "Wish I had a watermelon" episode! Buckwheat',"Oh-tay", was so funny and not one character mentioned his speech impediment.
Their antics were all good fun. No one got hurt or shot and though they walked a fine line with the law they were great role models.
I think it's fair to say that the infamous "Two Idiots", Glenn and Nick, owe them some credit for many of their pranks. It's crazy to get my age and realize that "Our Gang" and "Looney Toons" were a large part of forming my values as a youth.
Another time we'll talk 1950's cowboys!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"What Time is it? How can that be?"

The first time my wife and I drove cross country in our motorhome we left at 5:30 a.m.. I'm a morning person, she's not! She slept in the passenger seat with her blanky and pillow until I stopped just southwest of Buffalo for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
When we got back in the motorhome Kat took out our road atlas and the three ring binder that I set up over the spring. I had gotten trip planning software and made a trip tik which included a map, directions and our camp ground reservations for each day. This was a well thought out plan!
Almost every stop I had been able to get a site with electric, water, sewer and cable hook ups. Livin' large! We were set both ways. I had planned a leisurely drive both ways with sight seeing stops along the way. This was our long shake down cruise - our first big trip I wanted to be prepared.
Our first stop was in central Ohio, arriving in the earling afternoon. We had a nice dinner and relaxed.
Still excited, the next morning I broke camp at 5:00a.m. without waking Kat. We were headed to Iowa next. I pulled out quietly, figuring I'd drive a couple of hours and then stop for breakfast. Which is exactly what I did. Just after crossing in to Indiana, I saw a billboard advertising a Cracker Barrel. I stopped there and woke Kathy up. One of the nice things about this chain is they have large RV parking spots. No one was parked in the RV reserve.
Other than one other customer, we were it.
Kat asked what time it was I said 7 and our waitress said, 6.
The waitress informed us that the time changed when I entered Indiana. We'd lost an hour or gained one, whatever!,
All my planning and I hadn't figured in time changes. Good news - extra time going out - less time going home. All Kat heard was it really wasn't necessary for me to leave so early.
It turned out for the best. I spent many beautiful mornings drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a nice cigar watching the day come to life in places like South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. One of my favorite early mornings was on our second trip when my daughter-in-law and I went into Sequoia National Park just after sunrise and watched a young deer feed.

Monday, July 9, 2007

This weekend I watched some of the Earth Live concert and saw all the stats on plastic water bottles. They talked about how much energy can be saved if we would refill an empty bottle. I've never understood why we bought water. Rotterdam, New York, where I grew up, still has award winning tap water. No lie! It was actually decided in a blind taste test.
When I was a kid if you were thirsty you drank water. In grade school we had the old fashioned porceline drinking fountains with the silver handle. It wasn't even cooled. Junior High and High School you knew better than to drink from them. We even had one outside at Bigsbee School near the playground.
Everyone had a "water bottle" in the refrigerator so you'd have really cold water.
Sometimes if you needed to, you drank directly from the outside faucet on the house. You know you're old if you can remember the taste of water from a garden hose - how about the taste of warm water from a garden hose! Yuck!
So just a thought - how about we all stop buying bottled water?

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Have you noticed that all the reality shows are hosted and judged by Brits? How did this happen? Idol, So you think you can dance, Dancing with the stars - damn - now that I think about it there's Canadians on too! Paul Schaefer, Alex Trebeck - but they're really Brits - sissy boys!

I'd like to see Simon Cowell, Nigel Lithgow and Len Goodman get dropped off somewhere in a large American inner city area, like Detroit, NYC or even Albany . Imagine them getting dissed by a group of little brothers and sisters and them trying to just defend themselves verbally. "I say young man, you're a bit cheeky." or "Young lady lower your voice it's pitchy." or Simon telling them,"I didn't understand a word you just said. It was just awful!"

You want a good laugh? Check out BBC On Demand. The shows suck. I get their humor, it's like their teeth - bad. Monty Python was a classic but name a couple more really good Brit shows.

"Eh da unna stun mooch a wa shi sez," but I do like Cat Deeley! She's really the only good thing to come out of this latest Brit invasion.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Yesterday I did something really stupid, knowing the whole time that it was stupid. That's what makes it so stupid.
When I first saw the cartoon above, I thought of my father. Every night after dinner Bud would go in the bathroom with a magazine and his Camel cigarettes. Our housing development started to be built in the late 1940's, so we had a window in the bathroom but no fan. Let's just say no one wanted to follow Bud! As a teen I would volunteer only because I could get in a smoke without getting caught.
Well on with my "stupid" story.
Kat had an evening appointment at 5:30 and left the house about 5. The last thing she did was give me the phone. She feels better when I have the phone when I'm alone. She told me she'd be back at 7.
About 5:20, I had to go to the bathroom. As most of you know this is an adventure for me! I got up with the lift/recliner, transferred to the stair lift with my walker, up the stairs, transferred to the electric wheelchair, in to the bathroom and transfer to the toilet. Did my business and then tried to get up to transfer back to the wheelchair.
I used to work with a man named Mike Sudolski. We used to call him the "Polock" simply because he would do stupid stuff and then come to work and tell us. This story I feel Like Mike!!
I realized, almost immediately, that I wasn't able to get up on my own.
This only happens occassionally but I can tell right away. It has to do with fatigue. Some times I can tell before hand, others not.
I had to wait 1 hour and 20 minutes until Kat got back at 6:40!
Now you know me. I didn't just sit there calmly waiting. I tried everything I could think of - I even tried to stand on the foot pads of the electric chair and tilted it to try to lift me - I yelled to Dozer to get help, you know like "Lassie get help Timmy's in the well." Nothing!
I then concentrated on not allowing my legs to fall asleep. I rocked my butt cheeks back and forth and raised and lowered my legs to keep the blood flowing. It's now the next morning and I can still feel a circle on my butt!
Of course I did not bring the telephone with me! As you can Imagine, I've had a "talking to", threats were made and I will now travel with the phone. You all be ready for the "I'm stuck and can't get up" call.
I hope some one learns from my stupidity' If you know your limitations, live within them. Just like Dirty Harry - "Unless you feel Lucky, Punk."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

"The Pink Lady"

Our son, also a Glenn, is a luthier. He makes acoustic guitars at Tippin Guitars in Marblehead, Massachusetts. This is a small 3 person shop that makes highend guitars.
Check out their newest - = click on featured new instruments and scroll down to Tippin, it's listed alphabetically.
Pretty nice, uh! We're proud of him.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"The Sound Track of my Youth"

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - from Woodstock on - they were one of my favorite groups. I have a Hospice volunteer, Dr. Ricki Lewis, who is helping me complete what l call "my memoirs"

which I'm compiling for my kids. She's a professional writer and has helped me alot. She's a geneticist by education and writes amazingly readable genetics and life science texts. Since much of my youth is the 60's, we've talked alot about that time and what it represented to us.

Ricki shared an essay she authored for a local paper where she discussed how Springsteen has been able to create new art successfully and how through her personal experience she's found that C,S & N have gone Hollywood.(please notice Neil Young is not included - he still rocks)

This essay took my thoughts in a couple different directions.

First of all, I always look at the past using the same criteria I use when reading a book. You take out of a book in direct corelation to what experiences you bring into a book. For instance, I read Robinson Caruso when I was 10 years old. I loved it and got lost in, what I thought was a great adventure. Being a child I saw it as fantasy and adventure - different from my normal day. When I reread it in college as an adult, I had a different take. My experience base was now wider and I could now bring the necessary emotions with me to fully understand the whole message of the book.

The past is the same. I naturally look at CSN&Y as men as well as musicians. Having watched and listened to them as young men, from their concert audience and reading Rollingstone and eventually their books. We bring experience with us to the table. My kids hear their music and may have read about them, but Ricki and I were there - we felt the "time a chang'in" right along with them. Many of our generation had a vision to make a difference in the world.

I chose "........ teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by...." but many of our generation, and I think Ricki would argue CS&N, went the way of the dollar! Look at people my age and try to figure how their life affected others in a positive way. Yeah - not a hell of alot of them is there?

These were the same people who 35 - 40 years ago sat around smoking dope, drinking Boone's Farm wine and bragging about how they would change the world. Soon, when we're gone the measure will be made. I'm not saying that you had to live poor to reach the goal but most everyone lost the idea of doing for others. They did for themselves.

This idea of my generation being measured took my thoughts to politics.

I have another friend, Susan Schlossberg, who sends me political e-mails. Fortunately, I agree with most of the propaganda. I say that because isn't that what most political writing is? Propaganda?

Politics = frustration. Locally - statewide - federal - all the same. The people who yell the loudest do the least. Our ancestors set up a form of government for the people. A system, well thought out, to speak the voice of America. But most American's remain mute by not voting.
So politicians rule.

How did I get here from CSN&Y? The mutes are the same people that were going to change the world.