Thursday, August 30, 2007


Alot of people have become concerned about my spirituality lately. I've been searching the web for further insight.
Above is Hotei or "the Laughing Buddha". I thought "hotei' was how Buckwheat said O.K.
When you first read Buddist teachings it sounds like you would imagine Yogi Berra or Homer Simpson might sound trying to explain the theory of relativity.
"There is no tommorow or yesterday, only today." So why do we need newspapers or weather forecasts? "The road of life winds uphill." Turn around - aaaaah - like downhill dude! "Listen for the sound of one hand clapping." Still listening?
Hotei is the God of good fortune and the guardian of children. The belly is the "center" of strength, so it is large to signify his abundance of inner wealth and a joy filled soul. His ears are big because he's all hearing. Rubbing his belly is supposed to bring good luck. The bag over his shoulder is for alms. Is he an eastern Santa?
I've been reading alot of religious material, tomorrow - Zorastrianism!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Aannd They're Off!

Saratoga rocks! Kathy put $100 in an OTB account and we're still playing. I've found that I'm excellent at picking first & third and second & third. Kathy actually hit a race and won $20 on a $2 bet that came in second & third! An part of an entry; 2 & 2a, scratched so the remaining horse could only run for the purse. It won but didn't count in the pay out, so Kathy won.
When I'm not sure and want action on the race I bet the five horse and win often.
It's fun from home but I miss the crazy people screaming their horse home, the smells, the sausage, peppers and onion sangueech's, and watching for a horse to take a dump while walking to the post. Uncle Fred says they win, so we watch. A big gray that dumps out is a sure thing.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Unbelieveable stage act! Check it out.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Environmental Irritants"

Watching so much TV, I see the same commercials repeatedly. The Astilin commercial has coined the phrase "environmental irritant" while showing a cigar burning in an ashtry. those of you who know me, know that I took immediate affront to this. Being a cigar smoker, I know that any cigar smoker worth his weight knows when and when not to light up. I have never met a group of people more willing to ask the people around them if they mind that they smoke a cigar. One of the most common responses that I have received when I have asked, especially from women, is that it is fine, that it reminds them either of their father or their grandfather. this is really not the comment that a middle-aged man wants to get, but since it allows me to smoke I don't mind. Other than the one time I got a comment from a dealer at a crap table marked as a smoking table, have I ever been asked not to smoke.
To me, again in the context of TV viewing, the "environmental irritant" is more the repetitiousness of being forced to watch the same commercials repeatedly. Last night my wife and I watched 3 prime-time television shows on two different major networks, without exaggeration we saw the new Old Navy women's blue jean commercial at least 12-15 times, at least 3 times we saw it back to back. That is truly irritating!
For the last two years, I have become very concerned about the mental health of the men and women who write the Burger King commercials. The King has become quite strange. I am now beginning to worry about Wendy's. The idiot with the red wig chasing the chicken in the old Road Runner -- come on, no chicken can reach the pedals!
Having been an Engish major, I understand the concept of "the willing suspension of disbelief". This is where as an audience member when watching a play or movie, you agree to believe what is put in front of you. This is why we accept characters such as Peter Pan, Puck and Batman. The scenario, though, has to be one where the story line explains the character's abilities. For instance, the Nasonex commercial where the bumblebee talks about the product with an Antonio Banderas accent. Is it that bees pollinate and they are talking about allergies so we are supposed to label the bee as a romatic latino lethario?
I have begun to DVR alot of the shows that I could very easily watch but I would rather fast forward thru the commercials. Half hour shows become 20 minutes, hour shows become 40 minutes. It is amazing how a DVR takes care of "environmental irritants". Another plus for Time Warner

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"I Hate Meeses to Pieces!"

Saturday night after dinner with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, we were relaxing in the living room when my wife began to scream like a little girl on her first roller coaster ride. Her eyes as big as saucers, she looked at me and said "I just saw a mouse!". Here I am, bed-ridden, can't get up without my Hoyer Lift, and she wants me to do something about a mouse. Fred saw the mouse go behind the television and I saw it dart behind a chair in the corner. Fred was up like a shot, pulled back the chair -- no mouse. This routine repeated itself a few times, each time Fred would grab the chair and no mouse. Each time Kathy and Carol would "eek" and bounce up and down pointing at it, while keeping their feet off the floor. I never could figure out why women did this, I never knew that mice had a penchant for eating feet. We finally figured out, the mouse must be inside the chair. We had stored the chair for a long time in our basement and felt this might be a reasonable explanation. So Kathy told Fred to take the chair out of the house. It sits now in our garage, no mice have been sighted since Saturday, but not taking chances Kathy's cleaned the old Fox B, double barrelled shotgun.

Thursday, August 16, 2007



In honor and memory of all the Idiots that were nurtured in Rotterdam, we've decided to have "TWO IDIOT THURDAYS." This weekly blog is brought to you by the original two idiots so named by their fathers and others in the early 1960's. Nick and I will walk through the episodes of our lives weekly. We will trace origins and mythical like humble beginnings of the legend that continues even today. Ugly can be changed but once an idiot you remain an idiot forever. Idiotism is a prideful thing but a cross we carry willingly.

Due to our admission of being guilty to some mayhem, destruction, vandalism and thievery names and exact locations have been altered.

Volume 1 - Gary Bailie's Basement - located on Hollywood Avenue.

You always went in through the garage to the back door and then straight down the stairs. Mr. Bailie, Lew, looked like Koukla from the Koukla,Fran and Ollie puppet show. He called everyone by their last name - "Hey, Nichols, get your bike outa here." Nick's famous line was, "He could eat an apple through a tennis racket." Mrs. Bailie wore a "house coat" constantly. Lew would wander down stairs but I never remember Mrs. Bailie there. I guess they figured if they don't see it.............. They were good people and great with their kids. It was just a mellower time then.
As 12 year olds, this was the site of sexual fantasies, reading Playboy and Oui magazines, cigarettes and where 4 could catch a buzz on one 6-pack of Piel's Real Draft or Reingold Wide Mouths. Later it became a make out pit where many of us succumbed to the sins of the flesh. Where we first tasted pink lip stick, learned how to unfasten a bra with one hand, touched female flesh for the first time, one girl taught someone to only take one leg out of his jeans so that he could get his pants on quickly and ultimately our virginity was stolen from us by the rapidily maturing beautiful flowers that seemed to bloom early in Rotterdam. I'll never forget the smell of hairspray and how it stuck to your face when making out.

All the above while waiting for the ever present feet shuffling of Gary's Grandmother across the kitchen floor where she would open the door and shine a flash light downstairs yelling," Gary you down there? You won't go away and leave me will you? I'm afraid of snakes and lightening!"She'd shuffle back to her livingroom chair.

Sunday night was Ed Sullivan night in the basement. We watched an old Holocrafter console black and white t.v. with rotating rabbit ears with aluminium foil for better reception. There was a full length mirror that Gary would dance in front of to practice his moves - spins, splits, head bobs and face distortions. If his father saw him he'd explode and yell,"That's enough! You look like a moron!" Gary believed that he was the spitting image of George Harrison; not so much. Most week nights we stayed home. Friday and Saturday were hang out nights. Sometimes there would be 5 people and others 20. By the time we drove, you couldn't find a parking spot.

Many summer days and nights we spent hours playing cards, smoking cigarettes, telling jokes and calling up girls. Also you had the "would you?" conversation, along with things like Samantha or Genie?There was always the 1-10 scale (Ladies you did it too!). Boys extended it to include less than attractive girls if they had a nice figure. This game was also broken down by body part - for instance, "..... but she's got great legs," I'm sure you catch the drift.
When we acquired the new found freedom of driving we didn't go as often. We found the parking spots. Our girl friends made us do things like double date, take them to the movies, dances and parties. Sometimes even worse things, like going to her house.

We argued about bands, movie stars, Viet Nam, hippies, drugs and most everything else. We read our first Rolling Stone magazine and I turned him on to Dylan here. But event planning was his thing.

Gary continued with younger disciples. He, like Peter Pan, never grew up. His place is where we misspent our youth. It has a fond place in the memories of alot of people. It's almost as if he knew he'd never get old - he died in his mid- 20's in a car accident.

We still think of him and remember it all! Thanks Beetle!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What's in a Name?

Ever notice how when someone or something is a little different there's always someone right there to point it out? I was guilty of it as a youngster and am now embarassed about it -- you know "fat","too tall", "chicken legs" etc. All the things that would hurt. We never stopped to think about that.

Nicknames tend to stay around overtime - hunch, polecat, fly, boner, thumper, bones, the stain, hoss, ...... I know you can think of more. My first real girlfriend had "buck" teeth, so alot of people called her 'Bucky". She was a really nice kid, quiet, smart and funny. I stopped going out with her because "my friends" told me that I could do better. Isn't that a sad thing to admit?

Some nicknames are funny and some people accept them. My brother in law has a friend with a peanut sized mole on his forehead, so they call him "Goob", short for "Goober." I was sometimes miserable, so I got tagged with "Grumpy." One little skinny woman that I used to work with was called "Double D" because it seemed like she was always holding a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. My all time favorite moniker is "Pukey". A kid gets sick in class once and he's marked for life.

The cigar shop had some characters - Larry the Fenceman, Dr. Fred also known as the Wizard, Black Jamaican Larry, Johnny O, John the Heat, Big Waz and Little Waz, Murph, Spooky, Mini,
Iggy, Tony Pizza, Sweaty and the Hurricane.

Since we're all older now let's try to be a little kinder - "Honey could you stop calling me ............."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"I Think I Peed My Pants"

Remember those times you laughed so hard you'd actually cry? Think about it and I'm sure you'll think of a few and smile. Here's a couple of mine:

Mr. George Walbilig was one of my teachers in high school. We were all talking about what we had gotten for Christmas when he told us that his mother was so excited about her present. He said she couldn't keep her hands off it, played with it continually and hoped to use the new one more often then the old one. George had bought his mother a new organ.

Ronnie Morris worked with me at Carol's Drive-In. One weekend night when he wasn't working, he stopped in drunk as a skunk. Right after he arrived we heard girls screaming outside of the back of the store. Our manager was very big on keeping the restrooms clean. We had a men's and women's room at the back of the store that you entered from outside. Two doors down the street was a very popular bar that had very small bathrooms. A lot of the girls would come and use ours instead of waiting in line. Ron had already started laughing so we knew he was involved. Arriving outside, we found a crowd of girls still screaming and hollering. One girl was saying that an animal had attacked her when she entered the bathroom stall. " I think I peed my pants," she sniffled.She had run out without getting a good look at it. Jeff Pryor went in to see what it was but first he had gotten the handle off of the push broom for protection. He returned with a smile on his face and asked me to hold the door open. The girls all huddled together in fear. Shortly, out waddled two white domestic ducks. Ron had kidnapped them from the pond at central Park. We laughed as they walked around the parking lot.

I think everyone has a similar memory as this next one.

Mark and Bruce Crary, Jerry Dawson, Gary Palma, John and Everett Gorden, Doc Bucci and I had been playing 4 on 4 basketball behind Bigsbee School one day in about 4th or 5th grade. We stopped to take a break and each of us bought a soda at Gabrial's Market. During the summer months the Town of Rotterdam would hire high school kids to be at each park to watch over the little kids. Hell it was the 1950's , at the time, I was only 9 or 10 and my mother let me come to the park alone. It was a different time. We sat at the picnic tables with the park staff drinking. John was sitting on the end of the table top with is feet hanging over the side drinking an Orange Crush. He took a long swig and laid down on his back. John immediately started to choke. Twin geysers of orange soda shot straight up in the air from his nostrils, two or three times. Each time it decreased in height and quantity; 3 feet, 1 1/2 feet, 1 foot. Doc sat him up and smacked his back to help him catch his breath. We just laughed ourselves to tears.

Monday, August 13, 2007

" George Buhrmaster the King of Stink"

George, Nick and I, occasionally others, used to hunt weekly. At some point George always had to go to the bathroom; always! It didn't matter, indoors or out, woods, fields, over downed trees, from tree stands, in the bushes, behind bushes, once in an old vehicle, diners, truck stops. It could be winter, summer, spring or fall - 100 degrees or well below zero. We started thinking that maybe his wife didn't let him go at home. If you were ever around when he went you'd understand.
One fall morning I walked out of the woods to see George sitting on a toilet in the middle of the field. His pants were down around his ankles, his shot gun across his lap, all he needed was a magazine. Only he would find an abandoned toilet with a seat! Naturally, being George, he produced a roll of tp from his hunting vest. We just laughed.
George owned a Brittany Spaniel named Bernie. He was a great hunting dog and we took him every where we hunted. Once we went upland hunting for woodcocks near Saranac Lake. Nick rode both ways in the back seat with Bernie sleeping on his lap. George worked at the local Buick dealership, so we always had a big car. Bernie slept all the way up and back.
Unfortunately for Nick the dog was wet and smelled like only a wet dog can smell. Some where around Chestertown, Bernie started to fart. Not to be out done George followed soon after. Farting, after a while, eventually becomes like yawning, every one starts. Nick opened windows and tried mouth breathing before begging George to stop the car. We took fresh air breaks in Lake George and Clifton Park.
Nick did a comedy routine about a guy test driving the car on Monday and another about George teaching Bernie to fart. "What happened to the blind skunk? She fell in love with Bernie." Then he started naming farts = ass-sparagus, bench warmer, air biscuit, barked beans, Mexican barking spider, cheeser, colon quack, gassius assius, mud cricket, tree frog and thunder down under are the ones I remember.
It was one fun trip, a total sensory experience.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

"Finally - Pictures"

, Belle Margaret Nichols will be 13 months on Tuesday. She can walk, talks, loves books, stuffed animals and Lulu our parrot. Belle likes hard boiled eggs, unfortunately she puts the entire thing in her mouth at once. Bananas disappear at light speed and Cheerios are a hit too.
I don't get to play much when her crazy Aunt Kate is here you can't her to give her up and of course there's her Grandmother!
Being a Pop Pop is fun.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Samson Diesel Bulldozer- 8/93 -8/07"

Dozer with his "kids" Christmas 2006" He passed about two weeks before his 14th b-day.

Blog below from July - reposted for Dozer.

It's crazy but true. We see a field of cows people moo. So why then do we talk to our pets as if they can understand us? My father-in-law used to speak baby talk to dogs. Picture this 6'2", 275 pound cop on the floor going,"Who wuves you? You a good doggie aren't cha. Yes you is. Yes you is." Scratching the dog the whole time. It didn't matter what dog - his or anyone elses. He loved our Lab Dozer. Dozer in his prime went about 115-120 pounds. Dad used to pull him up on his lap and scratch his belly, talking baby talk the whole time.

Now my wife, his daughter, has a different take on Dozer, who is now 14 years old(the dog not my wife). He 's literally on his "last legs." We have him on pain meds for his hips. He's got cataracts and can't hear well but head towards the kitchen or come in the door with food and he's right there. Since I'm chair bound Dozer follows her around constantly.

The ultimate turning point came a couple of weeks ago when Dozer ate my wife's lunch right off her plate on the coffee table.

The other night I had to talk her down. She was sitting on the stairs, with her arms crossed, pouting, saying"I hate him." I'd say,"No you don't" and like a little kid she just kept saying,"Do too, do too."

We also have an emerald parrot named LuLu. My wife is thrilled because the first word the parrot said clearly is "Kathy", my wifes name. She now plays with the bird and buys it special toys and food.

Maybe I should try to teach Dozer to talk!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

"Slowpoke Rodrigez"

I am alive and well and waiting for my wife to download pics of Belle's B-day! Tay-Tooned!