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Showing posts from April, 2011

Was That Shave For Here ... Or To Go?

Check out this story in Key West. You may have read about this ... if not ... it's a "cut above" the rest:


We all know the dangers of driving while texting or talking on a cell phone. Now Florida Keys law enforcement officers add a new caution: Don't try to shave your privates while driving, either. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say a two-vehicle accident on Cudjoe Key was caused by a 37-year-old woman driver who was shaving her bikini area while her ex-husband took the wheel from the passenger seat. It wasn't a close shave -- it was a total wreck. "She said she was meeting her boyfriend in Key West and wanted to be ready for the visit," Trooper Gary Dunick said. "If I wasn't there, I wouldn't have believed it. About 10 years ago I stopped a guy in the exact same spot ... who had three or four syringes sticking out of his arm. It was just surreal and I thought, 'Nothing will ever beat this.'…

Easter Rerun

I wrote this last year at Easter time ... it was too good not to republish:
Keli was driving her two daughters home after a visit to the school's science lab. Her younger daughter showed her the "lion bunny" who just gave birth to 8 new little lion bunnies.
Here is the conversation that  followed in the car:
Keli ... "Eight Bunnies, huh? Did you see the eggs?"
Daughter #1 ... "Eggs? What are you talking about?"
Keli ... "Eggs ... you know the things that the bunnies came out of?"
Daughter #2 ... "Mom, there weren't any eggs."
Keli ... "Oh yeah? Well, then ... how were the bunnies born?"
Daughter #1 ... "Seriously mom? They have babies like you do."
Keli ... "Well ... um ... I knew that ... I was just testing you ..."
Daughter #1 ... "No you weren't ... you thought they came from eggs."
Later that night ...
Keli ... "You know when I asked you about the eggs ... here's the thing. …

Bionic Sam

Sam had surgery on Thursday.

He had a small tumor on his bladder that was discovered last week. It was not really causing him any discomfort. For most normal people, this tumor would be painful and irritating. Sam feels no pain. He really doesn't. The man has had both triple and quadruple bypass surgery and never felt a thing.

His recovery a few years ago from a life threatening lung infection surprised the entire medical staff of the hospital. His breathing was so labored for so long that the nurses who were caring for him said it was like he was running consecutive marathons every day for a week.

On the day that we thought would be his last, Sam looked at me and said through his breathing mask, "Joel, can you turn up the volume on the TV ... I'm missing the Bucs game."

Days later, he had no memory of the entire hospital stay.

So on Wednesday night before the surgery, I talked to him on the phone.

Me ... "Dad are you doing okay?"

Sam ... "Listen ... y…

Easter Memories

Easter is a really cool holiday.

I remember when I was growing up I was so jealous because I thought it was the day that Catholic kids went to the store to buy those little chickens dyed blue or green or purple or yellow.

My brother and I would plead with our parents to buy us a couple ... to no avail. Apparently, Jewish children were not allowed to have chickens as pets (according to my mother). They are dirty animals who scratch and poop alot and Catholics don't mind the noise and the mess. Chickens are what we cook for dinner.  

The last statement was the one I remember so well because I KNEW it was just an excuse to not get us one. Our oven had never been used ... well, maybe to store packaged goods. Esther didn't cook.

And there were those awesome easter eggs!

We loved those too. Wayne and I thought that maybe that was where the chicks came from ... so we begged for those too.

We got plastic instead.

I knew at a young age that I wanted to marry a Catholic girl

... or two.

It's Truly an Art

This weekend, we took a stroll through Vinoy Park to enjoy the sights, tastes and sounds of The Mainsail Art Festival.

(Translation ... Debbie told me we were going to the Art Festival to buy a painting for one of our 23 blank walls ... on the way to Home Depot to get a leaf blower.)

We didn't make it past the first tent.

Myles, my "former" brother in law, was passing out flyers for his son Shane's business venture. Pam, his wife and daughter Kimmie trailed behind. Shane has a website for artists ... great concept ... with a few exceptions ... there is no cost to the artist, Shane gets no commission and his dad has to buy a piece of art from each artist.

More friends strolled by to talk.

Scott and Beth ... Janie and Ron ... Troy  ... Kathy ... Bill ... about 30 more people we didn't even know but pretended to because they seemed to know us .

Needless to say ... we didn't get very far ... didn't even see the whole show. But we did talk to Harvey and Kathlee…

Lunch With the Boys

Monday is our kinda-quarterly-when-the-mood-hits-ya lunch with the boys at Wing House. We've been doing it for years ... sometimes the group is big and sometimes not. The guys include four attorneys: Tom, Doug, Bob and Phil ... two judges: Mark and Jack ... a bank president: Ward ... two developers: Ken and Dewey ... a financial planner: Cooper ... and two who defy description: Ray (a fence company owner) and me.

Tom started the group. Restaurant locations have changed over the years (although Wing House has been a consistent player because of the quality of the .... um ... food ... yeah ... the food.) One of us gets stuck with the check.

So here's how it works:

1. Tom sends out an email that reads:

"Gentlemen, it's been too long since we got together for lunch. Let's do it on April 18th at the WH. Let everyone know if you plan to attend."

2. The email trail (from these "community leaders") begins:

Ken ... "I'm in."

Ray ... "I'…

Adult Truths

Below are some Adult Truths that were sent to me. Wish I would have said them first ... but what the heck ...  Adult Truth # 25 is ... "Steal from me and you've stolen twice".


1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there…

Another Sammy Sunday

As we pulled in to pick up Sam from Menorah Manor, he was chatting on the cell phone we bought him. I was overjoyed. He really seemed to understand which end was the earpiece and which end he was supposed to speak in. Every time I called him, I only spoke to voice mail on which he gives instructions on how to leave him a message "Please leave your number at this number (which he repeats)."

"Hey Dad," I yelled to him as I got out of the car.

"Joel ... this is your daughter Alissa on the phone."

"Tell her hello."

"Here ... talk to her." He hands me the phone as he steadies himself on his walker.

To Alissa ... "Hi honey."

"Hi Dad ... "

"Grampy called you?"

"Yes ... I'm not sure I understood what he was saying (hmmm how unusual). It was something about his penis."

"Oh great ... I'll explain later."

I hung up and caught him as he tried to back into the front seat. I helped him buckle …

Check Please

We eat out alot.

In my profession, it comes with the territory. And now that the kids are grown, Deb and I enjoy trying out new restaurants (and frequently visit ones that we enjoyed in the past). We appreciate great food and have little patience for the bad stuff. Even when the food is okay, there are some things that the staff does that drives us crazy.

I put together a list of my pet peeves for restaurant owners that care what their diners think (maybe it's just me ... but here goes) ...

- Choice of table. Ever go to a restaurant when the place is less than half full and get offered the table that squeezes you in the middle of the only section that is full? Sure ... there are a dearth of servers and/or the hostess is supposed to seat people according to the server rotation. We get that! But what about comfort, ambience and not having to look at the fat people whose elbows are in your food? If you question the hostess and ask for another table, the staff avoids looking directly …

Da Friggan Cake Boss

I "discovered" another show yesterday. (Translation: I saw a show that the rest of America discovered years ago ... and yes ... I am a slow learner).
It's called CAKE BOSS ... a food show. 
No ... that's not a fair description ... it's so much more. It's like Goodfellas meet Jersey Shore while creating baked goods. 
 Buddy Valastro, the owner of Carlo’s Bakery is the star. “Cake Boss,” which debuted in 2009 (it is now seen in 160 countries), is a reality show that follows most days in the life of Mr. Valastro, a talented baker, as he decorates 50 wedding cakes in a week (black stencils on white fondant, try that at home) or takes on challenges like replicating the Tuscan villa where Rachael Ray spent her honeymoon — in cake. He constructed a confectionary Sesame Street for the show's 40th anniversary, with all the characters sculptured out of modeling chocolate, and reproduced the Leaning Tower of Pisa as a 4 ½-foot-tall wedding cake.
Buddy (Bartolo) Valastr…

Write or Wrong

I'm sitting in front of my computer ... staring at a blank screen ... while my wife Debbie is doing many useful things in and around the house.

I have only four choices: finish the taxes, rewrite my novel (for the 128th time), answer email or do some mindless blog entry...

So ... just when an idea hits me and I start to write ... I get the strangest phone call.


"Hello .... Is Joel there?"

"This is he." Why do people always say that? Sounds so affected. "Who's this?"

"Well ... let's just say that I'm a voice from the past and I have been looking for you for a long time."

Okay ... now I'm creeped out. This is a male voice, I have no idea who it belongs to and the list is so short of anyone who would be looking for me ... that I never borrowed money from.

"Okay ... Mr. Voice ... I need a little more than that."

"I left you a package in the mailbox that will explain everything."

"What? You lef…

They Finally Got It Right

From my good friend Alan ....