What Storm?

Well, the flood here was worse than Sandy and not as bad as Sandy. For some, it was worse. For others, it was not as bad. We fell into the latter group. During Sandy we had 2 feet of water in our garage, but this time, we only received 1.5 feet. Hardly a cause for celebration, but we only lost a few things this time, so I guess that’s something. The garage is still a mess though.

I didn’t expect the storm of this magnitude coinciding with a flood tide for maybe another 50 years or so. After the March 1962 storm it took about 50 years for another storm of that magnitude to come along. In 62 strong Northeast winds came during a new moon, and persisted for several days. Sandy wasn’t quite as intense in this area, although Central Jersey got hit pretty hard.

We get out of town before the storm reached here, fearing a power failure, which came to fruition. Apparently the power was out for a considerable period of time because our security company called us and told us that the battery had run down, which only occurs after an extensive outage.

We holed up at my niece’s place, along with her husband and two young boys. The youngest talks quite loudly, starting early in the morning and ending late at night. It’s something to get used to, and not that big a deal. The nine-month-old baby, however, insists on maintaining his identity as a baby, meaning he cries a lot, especially when he wants attention. Ignoring sage advice from me, someone always is quick to pick him up when he starts bawling. That’s what he wants. That’s how he controls people, even at that ripe young age.

We slept on the sofa the first night, although not intentionally. It just happened. I woke up in the morning and realized it was morning! The second night found us sleeping on an inflatable bed, which might be comfortable except for the tendency to roll toward the middle. I suppose a more queasy person could actually get seasick!

So whatever happened to waterbeds? They used to be all the rage for some people, mostly young people. I guess I shouldn’t say weird people, even if that’s what I really meant. I suppose not everyone who slept on a waterbed was weird, but the ones I knew certainly were, at least to a degree.

Waterbeds work best when the house is built on a slab construction, especially on the first floor. The weight of all that water could seriously challenge the structural integrity of the house. Anyway, let’s just say that after four years in the Navy, with most of the time spent sleeping on boats or ships, I felt no reason to continue that experience in civilian life.

The Navy served up pretty good food, at least on ships and boats. In land-based chow halls, not so much. I guess they had too many civilians working there. Now I have my own personal chef who happens to be my wife. Her specialty is Italian food, but she covers a wider base than that. The other night she made me a stuffed pork chop which may have been the best I’ve ever had! And my mother made pretty good stuffed pork chops, but her stuffing didn’t use sage sausage. It was a new experience for me.

Well, I drifted away from the storm for a while. Safety sensors on our garage door got wiped out again, but for some reason the remote will open the door but won’t close it. Closing involves holding the switch down and exiting through the front door. A slight inconvenience. The other way is to get out of the vehicle and enter the secret code on the keypad and hold the button down until the door closes. I don’t like either method.

So the Lobster House got hit, and we frequent the coffee shop there, meaning we go there from time to time. For a number of days no one answered the phone and the message said nothing about being closed. Today someone answered the phone and told me that they expect the coffee shop to open tomorrow, January 28, and the restaurant is scheduled to be open by February 9. It would’ve been nice if they had put something on their website or put a message on the phone to let people know what’s going on. We live only about 10 miles away, but people come from all over to eat at this restaurant. I’m not sure why anybody would drive a long distance just to eat there, but I never understood the Zaberer’s experience either.

Yes, back in the day, people from faraway places made the pilgrimage to North Wildwood just to get Zaberized, whatever the heck that was. I used to see the signs fluttering behind the airplanes, telling everyone to Zaberize tonight! I never made it behind the closed doors there, but I went once to the brother’s place in Hamilton Township on the Black Horse Pike. A friend of my wife’s came to visit, and she insisted on going there, so we went. I don’t remember what I ordered. Does that mean it wasn’t memorable?

Anyway both places are long gone so no one can Zaberize a drink anymore, and that may not be a bad thing. And with that I’m out of here!

The Front Porch

Our front porch got more use during the summer than the winter. The mailman walked across the front porch after trudging up the nine steps, that is, whenever he couldn’t find one of us kids on the street. It never occurred to me that the mailman would try to avoid climbing steps. Mailmen and mail women climb a lot of steps on the island. It just comes with the job.

But this is about our front porch, mostly. Nobody sat on our porch during the winter months, but not just because the rocking chairs weren’t there, although that’s as good a reason as any. Relatives from afar used the front door, and when I say afar I’m talking about Cumberland County.

I sometimes used the front door, although it wasn’t my normal mode of egress. However, a small mailbox stood atop a post at the corner of Wisteria and Park Boulevard, a short block away. Remember those things? First it was post office green then became red white and blue, and then disappeared forever. I guess it was way too convenient.

The front door was one of the least used doors in the house. The two doors leading from the sunporch to the outside were almost never used during the winter. Our side door on the north side of the house, leading to the porch, also was rarely used during the colder months.

Things changed significantly starting in the spring. The rocking chairs came out of the back apartment, but not by themselves, as I can verify. Sometimes the first step was getting them into the yard to be repainted. It never varied from a medium green color. Next, they were carried out to the sidewalk, down to the corner, then north to the steps. Yes those nine steps! We carried most of them solo, but some of the heavier ones required two people for the job.

Originally we had one glider. No I don’t mean an airplane. For anyone who doesn’t know, a glider is a three person moving seating device, for want of a better explanation. It hangs from a frame, and glides back and forth, which is probably why it’s called a glider. So we had one on the south end of the porch, and it sported nice, wide, armrests. We kids got it going pretty good sometimes!

Eventually that glider made it down to our end of the porch on the north side, when a newer one arrived. Unlike the old one, which ended up being painted black, this one was white with red cushions, and looked rather cheaply made. But it matched the new chaise lounge that showed up at the same time. This glider didn’t look very sturdy, and it really wasn’t. It was assembled from that cheap yard furniture piping, covered with a shiny white coat. We kids liked the old one more.

Our grandmother always made cushions for the rocking chairs, and padded backs for some of them. Some of the rockers| had vertical spindles, so she added loops on the pads. She was always a whiz with a sewing machine! She once made complete suits for Larry and me, except for the shoes of course, but that’s a story for another time.

I forgot to mention one of the most important rites of spring for our front porch, and that was putting up the awnings! I loved the change when the awnings went up. No more nasty sun! I used to help my dad put up the awnings, which meant dragging them from the back apartment to the porch. First the canvas, then the pipes. No sense in going into any more detail, but for a few years I did the whole job myself while my dad was working.

The guests staying in our house loved the front porch! Rocking chairs, awnings, and a nice westerly breeze coming off the bay! They gathered there in the morning, waiting for the rest of their clan to come down from upstairs. Unlike modern times, the guests shared a single bathroom, with the exception of a half bath on the third floor. That’s why not everyone could get ready at the same time, as they do in modern hotels and motels. It’s quite different sharing one bathroom with the family in a motel, rather than sharing one bathroom with all the other guests.

The bedroom where I slept had windows opening to the porch. Venetian blinds blocked sunlight, but allowed sounds to flow freely through the cracks. Often, before getting out of bed, I knew what type of day it was, and I often knew the plans of many of the guests.

Prior to suppertime many of the guests would appear in the rockers, almost like chickens coming home to roost. I remember the mouthwatering aromas emanating from my grandma’s kitchen! Eventually, she would stick her head out the front door and say, “Come and get it!” They would jump up and head for the sunporch, and grab a seat at the long table there.

Everything was served family style, with each food item on a serving dish. The guests would pick their own, often with their own fork. Iced tea always sat in two pitchers, one sweet, one unsweet. Forget about artificial sweeteners!

Getting back to the porch, I sometimes spent quite a bit of time there. I used to “travel” around from the porch, using my father’s binoculars. One of my favorite destinations was the salt marsh across the bay. There used to be two duck hunters’ cabins out there, and I found myself a frequent visitor. It would be years before I actually saw them close up, from my little boat, they appeared to be much bigger than I thought.

I also spent time on the porch during or after a rainstorm. The rockers were always turned around and flipped, and put on the floor up against the house. In my younger days, some of us would crawl around through the chairs, for what reason I still don’t know. But the awnings were always pulled up during a rainstorm. When the storm was passed, I liked undoing the ropes and letting the water rush out of the awnings.

We also played Chinese school on the front steps. That seemed to be a favorite game of my friend Rocco’s sister Margaret. I don’t know what you have to call that game now, but I still like Chinese school. Guess which hand the pebble is in and move up a step. Guess wrong and move down.

Rocco and I used to watch lightning from the front porch at night. Later we figured out it was probably a bad idea. Oh well…

Guests also often gathered at night on the porch to drink beer, eat pizza, which was just coming into vogue, and to tell jokes I didn’t understand, although I figured out some of them years later. Others still remain a mystery.

I could probably write quite a bit more about our porch, but the important thing to note is that I always felt safe there, above the sidewalk, shielded by awnings and the shrubbery. No one can see me there or so I thought, and that was enough.

Finally, Something!

Note: I wrote both parts of this many days ago. During this time I was unable to access my blog. I’m not very tech savvy, so after hours and days of trying to figure out what was wrong, I finally called tech support. They fixed the problem.

So I thought it would be easy to write this blog today. Boy, was I wrong! Windows installed a lot of updates and wanted me to reboot the computer. It spent a lot of time at 15%. When it finally got to phase 3 it finally rebooted. But it took a long time. When I brought up my word processor everything was running super slow, so I ran system mechanic, which took up more time! Now everything is working at normal speed.

Well, we survived the flood! When I say that, I mean days of flooding! The experts predicted tides higher than we experienced during Sandy. I was skeptical. During Sandy, we evacuated, and during the height of the storm 2 feet of water leaked into the garage and we lost a lot of items. I didn’t want that to happen this time. My main concerns were one bicycle, an expensive one, and my mobility scooter. We planned on getting out of town just to save our vehicle. Just a few weeks ago, we lost another car parked in the street. Floodwaters totaled it. In the end, we decided to stay. This was unusual for my wife, who usually wants to get out of town at the first sign of a major storm.

Okay maybe it was risky, but I didn’t think it was that risky. I remembered the storm of March 1962, and the main things missing this time were a new moon, and torrential rain. Also the winds in 1962 were much stronger, although the experts predicted stronger winds this time than what we actually got. Yes we had sustained winds in the 20 to 30 mile-per-hour range with gusts somewhat higher, and this pushed tidal waters into the back bays. In 62, the winds were so strong that the tide never really went out. This time I was heartened when the marshes reappeared after each high tide. Tides never reached their normal low points but it was obvious that there was some tidal movement.

Okay, to the garage. The water actually made it to the door, but never came in. The reason I was so concerned about water coming into the garage was because after Sandy we had to have the garage mucked out, and the garage door sensors weren’t working. We’re on our third freezer since we moved here. At first we were devising a plan to temporarily move it to a higher location, but I said freezers are so cheap that we would just buy another one if we lost this one. When we bought it we put it on concrete blocks to protect it from minor flooding. We are quite thankful that things worked out the way they did!

So the millennials came up with a new way to demonstrate their stupidity. It’s called pinching a cell phone. Yes they hold the phone between the thumb and forefinger and hold the phone over something dangerous to the phone. I saw one person putting it inside the grate of a catch basin, holding it with most of the phone sticking through the slot. Another was holding the phone over a fire. Or, just for a thrill, one held the phone or the edge of a dropoff on a mountain. Yes, pinching it over deep water, such as off a fishing pier. One young lady had hers on a selfie stick over a toilet. The phone fell in. What did she expect?

Here we go again. Everything above was written over a week ago, and I intended to finish it much sooner than now. Instead of just finishing it, I’ll see how much I can add.

Here on the island, all three municipalities keep many of their traffic lights working throughout the winter. I find it interesting that so many people complain about exhaust emissions, yet I find myself sitting in my car with the engine idling at traffic lights where there is no traffic! How many traffic lights do they need on the island during the winter, considering the anemic flow of vehicles? Why is there, at any time, a traffic light at Aster Road and Park Boulevard? In fact, why is there a traffic light anywhere on Park Boulevard, with the exception of Rio Grande Avenue? And what’s with all these no turn on red signs? Yes, more wasted gas for no apparent reason. In the past, NJ DOT used to require meeting a certain number of warrants to justify a traffic signal. I understand that is no longer a requirement. If the municipality wants to put up a traffic light it just puts up the traffic light. Who cares that there is no traffic to regulate? In the past, I’ve heard that they do this to slow down speeders. I thought that was the job of the police, right?

If you think you’re crazy, you’re probably not. Idiot in England had his ears surgically removed so he would look more like his parrots! His face is tattooed to look like feathers. Nothing wrong with that, right? Now he says he wants a beak. What comes next, wings? Believe it or not, he has a girlfriend who must be as loony as he is.

I don’t usually eat hotdogs, but when I do they’re almost always all beef, and that’s pretty much what they sell at hotdog joints. Right, all beef, very healthy, right? Wrong! Anyway, I remembered what hotdogs used to taste like, you know the ones with all the nasty parts ground up, with not a trace of beef? Well, I told my wife to buy some of those, and yes they taste much better. Well, why not? They have more fat in them, and that gives them flavor. I think the best hotdogs were the Burk’s hotdogs that used to be sold all over the boardwalk. That company is no longer in business.

It’s getting harder and harder to find food that isn’t genetically modified. No, don’t tell me that GMO food tastes the same, because it doesn’t. Jersey tomatoes used to be exceptional, but I certainly haven’t found them the past couple of years. In fact, the last really good tomatoes I had was when we lived in Woodstown and grew our own. We grew some on our deck two or three years ago, but they didn’t taste as good as the ones we had grown in Woodstown. Monsanto is making a fortune with this stuff! They are selling biotech seed to farmers for most crops.

Monsanto sues farmers who save seed. They say their seed is patented. Okay, so even if it is, the farmer already bought the seed, so why must he buy it again every year? It reminds me of the record industry, which has changed considerably due to a number of factors. In the past the artist made money from record sales, but someone decided that recording a song should be the gift that keeps on giving, so they started charging commercial enterprises for every time that song was played. Of course, no one kept track of that, so they came up with a system. Representatives from one of the music systems would inform the business how much it should pay annually, based on its profits.

Anyway, farmers always saved seeds, and it makes sense. They bought the seed initially so they shouldn’t have to buy it every year. What a country!

Recycling

Well the shoobies are mostly gone, but like hemorrhoids, they keep coming back. Unlike hemorrhoids, they now limit themselves to weekends. I don’t know who thought up the shoulder seasons, but obviously it wasn’t someone who lives here year-round.

I remember when Labor Day was it. Everybody cleared out and the town was empty by the next day. After a hectic summer, it always seemed very peaceful when they left. There were some exceptions however. My friend Rocco and his family came down on some weekends, with all five, then six, of them packed into a dark green Buick and then a light blue Lincoln. We mostly played outside, and I have photos of Rocco wearing a heavy jacket, so it was certainly not during the summer.

However, the town was not filled with crazies attending festivals. Those were, for the most part, good times. Not everything was good, in fact many things were pretty bad in both of our families, but other kids went through some of the same things.

No, I don’t want to go back, and I don’t think most people would. That would involve reliving many unpleasant experiences. On the other hand, I remember kids were proud of their country, we all said the Pledge of Allegiance in school, and mention of God was not banned from school or the classroom. It was exciting whenever we were leading up to a holiday, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. Our classroom activities in elementary school usually devoted part of the time to activities related to the upcoming holiday, whichever one it happened to be.

Now it seems there’s always someone who’s offended by something, no matter how many others like whatever the gadfly happens to be offended by. For some unexplained reason, one person becomes a majority, and I’m quite certain that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Although our country wasn’t founded as a pure democracy, I believe that when 90% of the people want something, it shouldn’t matter that 10% or fewer of the people want something else. This is how we lost school prayer, and the Bible in school, or any mention of God unless it happens to be Allah.

But here we are and the traffic lights still are not blinking, but things will change after Columbus Day weekend. Yes people object to Christopher Columbus also, as they object to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Next I suppose they’ll take George Washington off the dollar bill and the quarter, and rename Washington state and Washington DC. Yes uncle George owned slaves, but who didn’t?

Okay, I drifted off the island again. The Vegas diner closes after Columbus Day weekend. Jim’s Lumch, in Millville, opens for the winter. Different geographics.

So the Crest, in a brilliant move, installed sidewalks on New Jersey Ave. south of Rambler Road. The annual Hydro Fest, scheduled for early October, canceled now and forever because of the revisions to the street. I never attended the event but it brought a number of people into town and especially into the Crest. I’m sure the motel owners and business owners are quite impressed with government.

Wildwood of course thinks everything is just fine in that part of the island. About the only thing Wildwood has going for it are the amusement piers and Laura’s Fudge. Whenever the city repaves a street, you wonder what happened? Soon after, they dig up the street for water, sewer, or gas line and try to make the patch job even. Bump bump!

As far as local government is concerned, it seems to be a revolving door. They reelect a Mayor who was recalled, and think he’s suddenly going to do a good job. Due to spending, taxes go up, and the officials think they have to think up a scheme to generate new revenue. Now they have some other recycled people running. They didn’t do a bang up job the last time, but here they are again. If the people who own summer homes could vote locally, these politicians would be out of here. Conveniently, out-of-towners who own property here are not allowed to vote.

Anyway, the old days won’t ever be back, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t harbor some nostalgia for them.

The Climate. It Ain’t A-Changin’

The highest recorded temperature for this particular date in North Wildwood New Jersey, was 95°F. This occurred in 1953. The lowest recorded temperature of 46° occurred in 1986. I lost the data for yesterday, but it was also a high temperature in the 90s during the early 1950s. On August 28 the high temperature was 95°F that occurred in 1948! Low-temperature for that date was 53° in 1986. On August 27 the high temperature was 95°F, also in 1948. On August 26 the highest temperature was 94°F in, you guessed it, 1948! Low-temperature was 57°, recorded in 1969.

For some reason, during the late 1940s and early 1950s, no one was shrilly screaming about global warming or climate change, yet the temperatures were as unpredictable as they are today. Could it be that it’s just weather and not some $1.5 trillion scam? No, I don’t think 1948 was the hottest year on record at that time, nor do I think 2014 or 2015 are anywhere near being the hottest year on record.

Personally, I thought 1969 was a pretty hot year. I’m wondering if being in Vietnam could have had something to do with it? Hey, I think that’s it!

Of course, in 1948 we didn’t have 24 hour news stations on cable, partly because we didn’t have cable. Okay, mainly because we didn’t have cable.

While I was a youth growing up, and what else would I have been except a youth while I was growing up, the news didn’t come on at 11:00 PM. No, it came on at 10:45 PM, and lasted for a total of 15 minutes, which seemed long enough.

Now, the news comes on at 11:00 PM and lasts for a half hour. The weather girl, oops! The meteorologist, often a female, but sometimes a male, for some unexplained reason, has to do at least two weather forecasts, sometimes 2 1/2. Here in South Jersey we get Philadelphia weather. No, that’s not it, we get the Philadelphia weather station. Our weather is usually quite different from Philadelphia.

Do you old-timers remember Gabby Hayes? Well, now we have Gabby weather person. She or he tells us about highs and lows, cold fronts, hot fronts, warm fronts and many other things we know very little about, pretty much everything except the weather forecast which she eventually gets around to. The latest rage, by the way, is a pop-up thunderstorm! From where do they pop up? Do they come out of the ground? A storm drain? I’ve been around the block a few times, and I’ve never seen a thunderstorm pop up, to the best of my knowledge.

Weather people who I watch are Cecily Tynan, who gives her report in cadence with her hands, An Irish lady, I suppose, Melissa Magee, okay, okay, I guess she’s not Irish, and a guy with two first names who thinks he’s married to another guy. Okay, it could be he has two last names.

We are also treated to two sports reports often. Much like the weather reports both sports reports pretty much cover the same things. One thing I don’t like about the sports telecasts is that they tell you the outcome before they even report on a game! Like, why bother watching after that?

The news is usually a compilation of number of homicides that occurred that day. The roving reporter often stands outside a police station or hospital to give his report. Why? Nothing is happening now. It already took place, there’s nothing the reporter can add by standing there. I’ve also seen them standing outside one of the sports fields when the lights are off and no fans are present. I guess it makes somebody feel important. Maybe the reporter, perhaps the camera people, or, for all I know, the driver.

Anyway, I guess we had global warming and climate change in 1948 but didn’t realize it. Not only that, we didn’t care, nor should we care now.

Dragon’s Here!

The Dragon arrived yesterday, about two days early. It showed up on our doorstep sometime after the insurance adjuster left. She said our car was a total loss because it had been flooded with saltwater. She told us how much we would get and we were comfortable with that. I had bought gap insurance when we bought the car. This company will pay the difference between what the insurance company offered and the purchase price.

The Dragon acted rather petulantly and took some time to install it. However, it appears to have been well worth it.

On to the boat, which still sits in the slip. It’s August 25 and we haven’t had the boat out even one time. I called the electronics guy yesterday and he said he would try to get everything installed before the weekend. We don’t take the boat out on weekends, but at least that’s a target date.

The Dragon types much faster than I do and makes fewer mistakes. It works as advertised. However, whenever I bump the microphone accidentally it tells me it didn’t recognize that word. It also seems to be pretty good at punctuation.

I should try this thing out on Facebook. It would allow me to make a lot more silly comments that seem to upset some people. One guy unfriended me because I wouldn’t correct a comment. I’m thinking he was probably never my friend anyway.

This was the time I used to dread when I was going to school, the end of summer! I hated seeing all of the Back-to-School ads in the newspaper. Some of my friends would be heading back to the city. The crowds on the boardwalk were no longer crowds. We spent a lot of time standing around waiting for customers for our rides.

During the time I lived in the South my daughters had to go back to school in August. However, they got out in May. I would’ve liked the May part, but not the August part. Anything before Labor Day would have been devastating to me.

Well the climate alarmists are at it again. After a brutally cold winter, they are predicting 2015 to be the hottest year on record. What records are they looking at? Some of the hottest days here occurred in the 1950s. I understand that this climate change industry is now about a $1.5 trillion industry, so it’s easy to see why some people are pushing it.

Climate change is a figment of someone’s imagination. It came about when it became obvious that global warming was not happening, although they still try to push that message. They also still call it carbon instead of carbon dioxide. Carbon sounds so much dirtier does it not? Well it is, but it’s not what power plants are spewing into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and some real scientists question whether or not it’s even a greenhouse gas.

Let’s see, Al Gore is neither a scientist nor a climatologist, and that goes for Obama, Kerry, and other politicians who want to take your money.

Back to the Dragon. It seems to be smarter than many of the people I encounter online. It knows the difference between a possessive pronoun and a contraction. It’s amazing!

So this blog was a bit choppy and not very interesting, but allowed me to test the Dragon, and performed well! Maybe I’ll do better next time.

Thinking of Dragon

Tomorrow is August already and we haven’t had the boat out even once. During the off season (we think) someone stole our radar, chart plotter, and fish finder. We contracted to have a new multi-unit installed that covers all three, and I finally called the guy today to see what the deal is. He said he hadn’t heard back from the insurance company. I told him we don’t have to wait for the insurance so he said he would have the proposal to us by Monday. Meanwhile, black sea bass season ends today until October 22, and I don’t intend to fish in October.

I read the fishing reports and they’re catching flounder and just about everything else all over the place and we have no boat, for all practical purposes. They say the crabs are running good, too.

One more complaint. My chair broke again, meaning the second time in two years. The guy came today and fixed it, but it cost us over a hundred bucks. I have a five-year extended warranty that covers all the components as well as the leather. La-Z-Boy says it only covers the leather, but it covers all components too, which was one reason I took it at $15 total. I went through this the last time it broke, and proved that it covered the components too. This time I couldn’t find the papers, and it seems that no one else can either. Do they really think I’m that stupid, to believe they don’t keep copies of their transactions? I guess they figured if I paid that much money for a recliner I must be an idiot.

I found out about metered handicapped parking. I knew that Cape May passed an ordinance that allows anyone with a placard or plate to park in any metered space for free. Then I learned that Stone Harbor has the same policy. North Wildwood, where I live, follows the state stupid policy that says you have to put the maximum amount in the meter before you can overstay it, even if it’s designated as a handicapped space. Wildwood and Wildwood Crest both have the same policy as North Wildwood, but neither of those two issues tickets for parking in a metered space with a placard. In other words, don’t park in North Wildwood, and everyplace else is fine. Avalon, by the way, has the right idea. It has no parking meters. I remember when the meters downtown took pennies!

Sometimes I almost wish I had an eight-foot pram with a three-horse Evinrude. Had some great times in that little boat, but took forever to get anywhere. I didn’t care back then because I had plenty of time both in the day and in life. Now my days seem as if they’re three hours long, and a week lasts about three days. The years are flipping by like one of those old hand-cranked movie things with all the pages simulating animation.

I’ve been lax in my blogs lately because it’s hard for me to type with the neuropathy in my hands and fingers. I’m considering buying Dragon software, but two things are causing me to hesitate. One is that I have to figure out which version to buy. The other is that people have a hard time understanding what I’m saying, and I don’t expect software to be any better at it. I offer Siri as an example. Half the time it thinks I said something ridiculous, and sometimes it tells me it’s sorry, but it didn’t catch that.

So this guy writes that he ran the Roto-Jets on Sportland Pier in 1978, when the girl was killed on the Super Sonic roller coaster. Um, the Roto-Jets were in the Arcade in ’78, raised on a platform. I think the fatality with the girl was in the early 70s. Well, my brother, Larry, has a summer place (great song!) a block from us, so I hollered around the corner, the way ventriloquists do, and asked him. Oh, wait, I guess I called him on the phone, but either way, he agreed with me.

I don’t remember exactly when the Roto-Jets showed up on what became Sportland Pier, but the pier started small, and that was one of the first rides there. I’m certain, though, that it was late 50s, but was subsequently moved to the Arcade, where they elevated it, probably to try to make it as exciting as the Satellite Jets on Hunt’s Pier. Well, it wasn’t pretty, but it worked, as long as you didn’t mind climbing stairs to go on a ride. Back then, I didn’t, but stairs have become high on my list of enemies these days.

It’s ironic that I have a hard time walking half a block, but we used to walk everywhere! We walked to the beach, to the boardwalk, and all over town. While in the Navy I walked all over San Diego, Newport, Jacksonville, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and other Far East cities, Barcelona, Palma, Athens, Naples, well, you get the picture. In Vietnam we mostly walked, but sometimes hitchhiked.

Anyway, as kids, we used to ride our bikes to the boards frequently during the winters. We always knew what was new or what was coming. One chilly day, we watched the test run of the Wild Mouse on Marine Pier. A worker took the first ride, still wearing his hard hat. I remember him giving an okay wave as the car traveled back and forth on the top section. We considered ourselves fortunate just for those little things.

When I look at the state of things in this country, where perverts can marry with the blessings of our government, where many have forced health care inferior to what they had and were promised they could keep, and where we’ve murdered more than 57 million babies, I think, yeah, I’d gladly go back to three black-and-white channels, no cell phones or computers, no ATMs, when stores closed on Sundays and most people went to church. Schools celebrated the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter seasons, and no one refused to say the “Pledge of Allegiance.” We never missed any of this crap because it didn’t exist, and most of us never thought the government would actually condone murder and perversion.

Poor People of DC

Let’s see, Alcee Hastings, a Democrat congressman from Florida, says that Congress needs a raise, so that those who aren’t rich can serve. God knows, he has a point! In 2011, he was called the “poorest man in Congress,” with a paltry net worth of $4,732,002, based on 2010 figures.

Why become a Congressman? Well, he used to be a judge. Yes, Mr. Peanut appointed him as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. He seemed to thrive as a judge, and was accused of accepting a $150,000 bribe in return for a lenient sentence for 21 counts of racketeering by Frank and Thomas Romano, in which seized assets were also returned. He was acquitted in 1983 when his co-conspirator refused to testify. William Borders, the alleged co-conspirator, went to prison. Oh well.

In 1988, the U.S. House of Representatives decided to investigate, and he was impeached by the Democrat-controlled House for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413-3.

The Senate voted on 11 of 17 articles of impeachment and convicted him on 8 of the 11. Borders went to jail again for refusing to testify in the impeachment proceedings, but Bubba pardoned him on his last day in office. Nothing to see here. Hastings became the sixth federal judge removed from office by the Senate in the history of the United States.

Well, in 1992 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the same august (ha-ha’s inserted here) body that impeached him. When it comes to elected officials, America has no shame. The only qualification for being elected to Congress is a person’s age. Arrest record? No problem. Conviction? No big deal. You don’t even need common sense or a triple-digit IQ. Take Hank Johnson, a representative from Georgia, who questioned sending 7,000 Marines to Guam. He asked about the length and width of the island, and then expressed concern that the island might capsize if that many Marines showed up. He has a point, but it’s at the top of his head!

So you can see why these morons and criminals keep getting reelected, right? No, I can’t either. Background check not required. All that’s necessary is to get enough people to vote for you, and if you’re black, it matters not whether or not you have any real marketable skills. No, don’t get me started on Obama.

Congress, both the House and the Senate, is full of scumbags on both sides of the aisle. Mealy-mouthed, Moron, Mitch McConnell, makes me sick, sort of like Lindsey Graham and the war hero, John McCain. He’s about as heroic as Blumenthal, from Connecticut, who has been elected twice, even after admitting that his claims on more than one occasion about being in Vietnam, were just lies. Menendez is yet another crook, as is Charlie Rangel. The list goes on and on. Yes, let’s give them all more money!

This could be a rumor, but I heard that a contractor was charged by the DOJ under the new and improved, female Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch. This guy was building spec houses for a 55 and older subdivision. The FBI arrived at the site and hauled off power saws, drills, and other implements, claiming they were weapons of mass construction.

The builder is mounting a claim based on an Obama tenet. He says, “The president himself said that I didn’t build this, that other people made this happen. For once, I agree with him!” When questioned further, he said that, no, he didn’t know who built the homes, only that he didn’t.
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Political Grammar Guy

Q: What is a gerund? I think it’s sort of like a verb, but I’m not sure.

A: If you think it’s sort of like a verb, you would be correct. You would also be correct if you think some verbs are sort of like gerunds. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, which is why it’s important to diagram the sentence and see where the gerund pops up. Or down. The main thing about gerunds is that they’re always like verbs, but verbs aren’t always like gerunds. So now you know.

Q: Why is it not okay to end a sentence with a preposition?

A: Sometimes it is okay, depending on the context. A better question would be why nobody has a problem with starting a sentence with a preposition. I hope this clears that up.

Q: I think I know what a subject is, but what exactly is a predicate?

A: I’ll answer both. A subject is a British citizen, I think. It can also be something to talk about, like, “We talked about world famine, an important subject.” A predicate, on the other hand, is something you don’t want to find yourself in. For example, “A thug tried to rob him, and he realized it would be difficult to get out of the predicate.”

Q: My English teacher said that possessive pronouns don’t get apostrophes. Can you explain that, being that if I say, “The cop told me its too late to recover it’s wallet, but your okay.” The possessive pronoun seems to have the apostrophe she said its not supposed to have.

A: I see your problem, and it seems to be not your teacher, but you. I would just remove all the apostrophes from your pronouns and call it a day.

Q: What is a contraction?

A: A contraction is when something gets smaller or tighter. Although you weren’t aware of it, you were born because of contractions. Ask a doctor, or your mother.

Q: What’s the deal with colons or periods?

A: I’m the Political Grammar Guy, not a gastroenterologist or an Ob/Gyn. Stick to grammar questions.

Q: What’s a dangling participle, and why should they be avoided?

A: It’s a participle that dangles, and, as I told someone else, you’ll see it when you diagram your sentence and the participle dangles. They should be avoided because things dangling from your sentences are not very attractive.

Q: What does, [sic] mean, and how should I treat it?

A: It’s Latin for, sera iba chi, or something like that. You should always treat it with respect. Some writers put it in sentences so you’ll know to respect what’s being said. I’ve known this since second grade, when Tommy Gillespie, a classmate, told me. He seemed to know what he was talking about, most of the time. I have to go now, so later!

Mayday in South Jersey and Maryland

Mayday! Wow, May 1 already! Yep, it was in the 50s today, one of the hottest days on record. Let’s see if global warming is kicking in. The hottest recorded temperature on this day for the island was 79 degrees, in 1974. Oh, and the lowest was 35 degrees, set in 2000. Definitely a warming trend! Oh, wait, no, I guess it’s just good ole man-made climate change. Let me stop breathing for a short time – maybe that will help. Well, it would help if carbon dioxide (not carbon) actually caused warming, but it has been proven not to. However, 97 percent of politicians say it does anyway.

It would be nice for me to just write about the upcoming summer season here on the island, but Baltimore occupies my thoughts. I used to live in Cockeysville, a suburb, for what it’s worth.

Anyway, once again, we see things backwards from what they should be. Six police officers have been arrested for allegedly killing a guy with an 18-count rap sheet. I keep hearing that he died while in police custody, but I also hear he died a week later in the hospital. Which is, it, huh?

The police in America are under attack, mostly thanks to the Holy Trio, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Al Sharpton. Instead of helping assuage the situation, their rhetoric and actions actually fan the flames of discontent, giving blacks even more reason to riot, loot, and burn. The mayor, black of course, said she had to give those who wish to destroy room to do so. The next day she denied saying that, but it was there on video, quite clearly.

I harbor the same questions here that I had about Ferguson. First, how is it justified to loot and burn places of business whose owners had nothing to do with the arrest of Freddie Gray? Or, even if they had been involved in his arrest, how does that quantify burning down their businesses and stealing their livelihood? This was done blatantly, on camera, and some even took selfies! Some were actually arrested, but because of technicalities, the police had to let them go. Or maybe that’s what the prosecutor said.

She happens to be a young black lady (just like the mayor), but she’s married to a city official. The blacks in the streets all chant the same narrative, that the Baltimore police force routinely engages in police brutality against blacks for no apparent reason. I assume they also shoot them at random, just to adjust the sights on their weapons.

Obama never misses a chance to ramp up the anti-white and anti-Christian narrative, and he never skipped a beat this time, saying that there’s a larger problem in the country. Well, there wasn’t that much of a problem until he got in office and started weighing in on events that were really none of his business. At every prayer event, he slurs Christians, and he rarely misses that opportunity.

Now, the main black advisor to Obama, Al Sharpton, wants a national police force. I think we already have that. It’s called the military.

And now we hear directly from the horse’s ass. Yes, John Kerry, while trying to give a nuclear weapon to Iran, says he wishes the U.S. was run by someone like Iran’s Supreme Commander! How did these morons ever get these positions? Kerry proved a long time ago that he sympathized with communist regimes, but who cares? He got elected over and over until he got this job. Liberals seem to be brain dead!

The island’s starting to wake up a little, but the weather isn’t cooperating, due to the global warming, I mean, global cooling, I mean climate change. If you study the weather history, it’s not getting any warmer or cooler than it’s ever been, and the climate isn’t changing anymore than it has in the past from year-to-year. It’s time for the May flowers!