Jul 152016


Gosh it’s hot.  At least, it’s hot around here in good ol’ western PA.  I hope things are a tad cooler elsewhere.  But, even in the midst of this heat and humidity, vanity marches on!  For example:


I LARP for those who cannot!


OK, you can, but…should you? That’s the question.



Joh-na-than. Joh-na-than! JOH-NA-THAN! (You HAVE seen the orignal ‘Rollerball‘, haven’t you?)


I’d stay and offer more, but I’m just too drained from this heat.  Yeesh.  Still, it beats winter, right Sly?

Jul 052016


Happy belated 4th and summer in general, folks!  I’ve been busy with other things, but vanity, like rust, never sleeps.  So, let’s take a look at how things are shaping up out there:


Here’s a thought: What if all of us *are* awesome? It would explain why we look so average to each other, wouldn’t it?



Momma be wasting $$$ on vanity plates instead of spending it on something nice for her family. For shame!



Well technically you were parked, but let’s not quibble. But this plate begs an important question: Yes, you drive, but do you drive well?


Wow, it must have been the incessant buzzing of insects that comes with summer what put me in this frame of mind.  Now I can’t get this infernal buzzing out of my head.  Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I say:

Jun 292016

Per today’s Daily Prompt.  Here’s to better days for the people of Istanbul.  It’s been a tough year for the people of that city and for Turkey as a whole.  I send them my best:


I don't usually like how I look in pictures. This is a large exception. I was tired enough not to try too hard to pose, if only for one photo.mop

I don’t usually like how I look in pictures. This is a large exception. I was tired enough not to try too hard to pose, if only for one photo.mop

Grand Bazaar Entrance

Abandon all cash ye who enter!

 Posted by at 6:14 pm
Jun 172016

King’s County had its own special appeal to him that won out in the end:

Stavros Gianottis

Stavros Gianottis. Stavros loved to hum catchy little jigs and reels. When asked who wrote them, he’d just grin smugly and say “Oh, you’ve probably never heard of them.” He then moved to Brooklyn on his 24th birthday and was never seen in these parts again.



Jun 062016

Passion without purpose
Regret without focus
A need for change
A desire for routine

Funny what happens
When one shakes things up
A change in routine
Sparks confusion

 Posted by at 6:27 pm
May 022016

I feel sad, but this is coming from fatigue and job stress as much as anything else.  I must remember this so that I don’t succumb to the temptation to wallow in all this sorrow.  I also have to remember to practice better self-care, by which I mean keep up the exercise and prove my sleep hygiene. 

Ok, enough angst for now.


Apr 062016

Cassius was a fun relative but a terrible neighbor:

Cassius Lump

Cassius had a habit of getting roaring drunk and vociferously quoting Revelation. It was not uncommon to see him with a bottle of Rye in one hand and a King James Bible in the other on Friday and Saturday nights.


His expression of his religiosity was unique to say the least.

Mar 312016

“It all averages out” is one of the most nebulous phrases that I know.  On the surface, it sounds fine, but if you take a deeper look, you begin to see that’s there’s more to things than just the “average.”  Take my neighbor situation, for example.  I live in a townhouse which sits between two others (out of a block of five).  On my left, one of my neighbors practices on his piano sometimes.  I’m not infrequently greeted with soft, dulcet tones as he practices.  I’ll grant that there are times when I can hear his TV through the wall, but that’s generally the bass portion of things and this is infrequent.  The house to my right is a different story.  It’s inhabited by a shouty drunk man.  This guy frequently blares his stereo, loudly scolds his cat, and converses loudly and/or argues with a parade of low-level low-lifers and the occasional paramour.  For example, I was treated to an overheated argument that centered around a lady friend of his not being able to float him $500 right away last Saturday evening.  This eventually ended after what sounded like three iterations of the argument.  Three loud iterations.  The next night a man came by to tell him not to touch his sister while yelling into his house while ol’ Shouty McDrinkPants yelled back out a window.  Good times.



Somewhere between this guy…


…and this guy, things “average out” to about a five. But, the whiplash is Hell, man!

Thus, if you “average” these two neighbors out, you get something approaching calm.  But the reality is that I have to deal with wild swings in my auditory intake.  It “averages out” but that’s not the issue.  The issue is one of variance.  I’d happily trade silence on my left side for a corresponding cessation of drunken yammering on my right.  That sort “averaging out” would result in the general level of quiet being more consistent.  I’d happily trade pleasant piano music for a lot more quiet from a late-stage alcoholic.  In short, you can’t just look at the mean, but the variance as well.  Thus endeth the lesson.

Mar 302016

There’s Vanity, and then there’s outright Narcissism.  These plates aggrandize the driver in such a way that they cross that line.  Behold:


A legend in his own mind, an object of derision in everyone else’s.



Unless you’re Sir Paul or Ringo, you most certainly are not. FAIL.



Yeah, sure. You’re a real wild and crazy guy, no doubt.


Self-glossing is not the way to go.  Show, don’t tell.  Maybe you all need to take a long, hard look at yourselves, like this guy did:








Mar 292016

Ol’ Percy was ahead of his time in his own way:


Pretty Percy Feldspar

“Pretty” Percival Feldspar made all the girls in town swoon. But he did not return any of their affections. How could he when they didn’t even know who Oscar Wilde was much less what he stood for?


Mar 052016

Electricity done got the better of old Ezekiel Hardmeat:


After being struck by lightning, old ‘Zeke insisted the next family photo shoot be handled with the utmost solemnity as he thought it was his funeral. He thought this way for the next 50 years.

Feb 242016


We’re a pious lot here in Pennsyltucky, even when we’re committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  So, look upon these with Agape, yes?



Make a joyful noise and all of that, eh? Well, I feel ya on that one, pal! Why, I even saw Stryper back in the day, so I get where you’re coming from.





It took me a while to figure this one out, but months after I first snapped this pic I realized it meant “Church of God Pastor.” I guess the spirit was not upon me when I took this picture. Does this mean Predestination is a thing, then?



Okay, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an official vehicle of the Papacy but an ironic statement about the little white Nissan that bears it. That, or the Pope was *really* diligent about his advance team covering the region for last fall’s Philly visit. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen it since then. Hmm…


I know some of you heathens are laughing.  That’s ok, though, I could use the company once I get to where I’m headed.

Feb 202016

Granny Feldspar had moxie – and one hell of a temper.

Granny Feldspar was the area's women's arm wrestling champ. While the local clergy railed against her as being 'unnatural', suffragates lauded her. That is until she punched out one Susan B. Anthony in a heated argument.

Granny Feldspar was the area’s women’s arm wrestling champ. While the local clergy railed against her as being ‘unnatural’, suffragettes lauded her. That is until she punched out one Susan B. Anthony in a heated argument.

Feb 072016


What better day to celebrate greatness and bad puns than Super Bowl Sunday?

PLEASE tell me that you didn’t buy this for yourself. Please.



Well, bully for you! What’s your secret? Let me guess, part of it is a terrible sense of humor, right?



‘BATES-BALL’? Is Norman the umpire? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.


Speaking of bad taste in good fun, remember this little football gem from back in the day?

Feb 042016

Today’s Daily Prompt asks “Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?”

I get anxious when I speak in public, but that begins to fade fairly quickly, especially if I’ve had some consistent practice.  And therein lies the key to it all.  It may be cliché, but practice does make perfect.  And I have Hugh Ringer to thank for that.

The gentlemen of whom I speak was my high school’s speech team coach (we didn’t have debate as he was also our high school’s athletic director) for several decades.  And he fit the bill, a dapper dresser with a stentorian voice and dynamic manner, he was almost the prototypical protagonist in 50’s musical.  He would see to it that a system was in place.  You were encouraged to join in 7th or 8th and stay until 12th grade, and while you did, you practiced twice a week from December until March or early April.  This was my pattern; I started in 7th and stayed on until I was a senior (12th grade).  In short, I had a lot of practice during my formative years.

Speecifyin' JFK


Another way that being a member of the speech team helped was our exposure to those who were closer to what we call the “1%” today.  We were a group of small town kids of whom little was expected, and yet we won numerous tournaments that we entered and collected individual trophies by the armful year in and year out.  And we won by beating kids from other schools who being groomed to apply to – and be accepted to – Ivy League schools while most of us were encouraged only to shoot for a State of Pennsylvania-sponsored school.  We learned to see past that sort of class difference and not let it intimidate us.

So, yeah, I still get a little nervous, but after a while, I’ll do just fine.  One of my grad school professors even told me after a presentation that I “had a great future as a televangelist.”, so I thin I’ll be juuuust fine  with the Speechifyin’ , thank you.  And thanks, Hugh!

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