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Showing posts from July, 2011

Do Over ... What Happens in Vegas

originally published 1/14/10 I was born with a gambling gene that many of my fellow New Orleanians share (my mom had it for sure). The technical name is the "Seeya-Raiseya-Splitem-Hitme Blazing7s gene". Not familiar with it? Then you've probably never been to Vegas.

I visit "kind of" regularly ... although last year, we cut back to 14 times.

On our last visit, we decided to see a couple of shows (a major compromise for me) ... one of which was Donny and Marie at the Flamingo. Debbie was a big fan of Donny's when she (and he) were going through puberty together. I was never a real fan of either ... then again ... I only discovered puberty in the last few years.

Actually ... I had met Marie many years earlier.

When the Childrens' Miracle Network Telethon was first organized, 28 years ago, I was in Chicago with the 10 other childrens' hospital foundation directors who decided to take a chance on a new concept in fundraising ... a national telethon design…

It's Not Your Daughter's Tea Party Any More

I'm not at all happy about the tea party.

I can't even capitalize when I write the name because unlike the Tea Parties that we all know and love ... the ones that our daughters held with their dolls and the one with the guys dressed like Indians throwing boxes of tea overboard ... this party is really not a party at all. More like a movement.

Who are these people?

Well ... turns out that most are registered Republican, who like the Republican Party and don't like the Democratic Party ... 40% of Tea Party supporters are 55 or older; 79% are white, 61% are men and 44% identify as "born-again" Christians.

By the way, they are wealthier and more educated than the rest of the population.

Wikipedia says: The Tea Party movement endorses reduced government spending, opposition to taxation in varying degrees, and reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit.

An October 2010 Washington Post canvass of 647 local Tea Party organizers asked "which national fi…

Sammy's Birthday Part 2

Sunday was Sammy's actual birthday ... 90 years young.

To celebrate, we invited him to the house ... and three generations of Mumboigs watched the Rays defeat the Royals.

I picked him up at the "Manor" at 12:30. He was singing Happy Birthday to himself in the lobby with an audience. His walker had seen better days ... scratched and bent where Sammy had bumped into furniture, walls and other residents. Actually he ran over two of them on the way out.

His disconnected conversation started as soon as he buckled in the car.

"You know ... most of the people I know from New Orleans are dead ... Just Bert Stolier and I are still here ... I was just sitting in my room with nothing on ... just thinking about that."

"You were naked?"

"What? Of course not, Joel!"

"You said you had nothing on."

"I meant the TV set."

"Good."

We kept the rest of the car conversation brief. It took me a while to try to erase the visual from my…

Debt Schmedt

So, about this debt ceiling issue ...

You know ... the $14.29 trillion ceiling that we've exceeded. The one that congress is "negotiating" with the President on the "terms" of how to raise it higher.

Yeah, that one.

It's just like your debt ceiling at home. Well ... maybe the numbers are a little lower. Let's say that you make $30,000 a year and your credit card is at $32,000. You know you probably won't be able to pay it off so what do you do?

Naturally, you ask Visa to raise your limits.

We are very familiar with it in my household. My wife thinks that I singlehandedly caused the national debt. SHE is the practical one ... paying cash for everything ... getting all the home renovations done when we can actually pay for them. I ... on the other hand ... spend what we don't have on gambling, cars and liquor.

I ask you ... who has more fun?

Okay ... I exaggerated ... I don't really buy a lot of cars. I'm really trying to slow down. I even…

It's Not For Sissies

A really scary thing happened to me today.

I was shaving in the bathroom when I saw a fat old guy looking right at me. At first, I didn't recognize him although he did look a lot like my old man. I called for Debbie to help me out.

"Debbie. Who is that?"

"Um .... off hand I'd say it was you, honey."

"That's not me ... that guy is so much older than me."

Stupid mirrors. Never liked them. There's only one thing worse than mirrors ... cameras. Funny how we never picture ourselves as being older. In my mind ... I'm still skinny, have hair and look maybe ... 40. In the mirror I'm ....um ... older.

Facebook does the same thing.

Many of my former students (from 30 plus years ago) have found me on Facebook. They were 12 ... now they are in their 40s. One student, Katherine, who is as honest and straight forward today as she was 30 years ago "friended" me. I wrote her a message that she truly looked the same, I couldn't believ…

When (Will) I Grow Up

Ever think about the impossible dreams and goals you had when you were just a kid?

You know ... those great, unreachable goals that you could never hope to accomplish ... I'm not talking about being an astronaut or explorer or even the President of the United States.

Those might come true.

I'm talking about the ones that you can only dream about. l'll give you some examples of mine ... and why I haven't really grown up yet.

Goal 1: To marry Ann-Margret

Sure she's 100 years old now ... but when I was 13, she was the sexiest actress alive. She's still pretty hot by the way. Back then, she was really hot.

That scene in Bye Bye Birdie when wears that sweater is still the one I remember today. Man ... it was big enough for two and I wanted to be in that sweater with her.

I sent her the only fan letter I ever wrote to anyone. It was filled with lies. I said that I was 21, I had broken up with a girl that looked just like her, I was a doctor (I think) ... maybe I said …

Two Stories of Courage: Women's World Cup Soccer

Christie Rampone


She's a 36 year old mother of two -- the captain (and only mother) on the U.S. women's soccer team -- whose daughter Rylie lost her first tooth the other day. 

She's the middle player in the photo at right and a lockdown central defender who has been terrific in her fourth Women's World Cup. She's a remarkably fit player who, despite being the team's oldest member, has the No. 1-rated fitness level on the 21-player squad (based on the eight tests everyone has to complete).

And ... she's doing all this despite having Lyme disease.

A sometimes debilitating infectious disease spread by ticks, Lyme disease can cause fatigue, headaches and fevers. Rampone noticed that she was exhausted last year, and finally in December she took action. 

Rampone has been on medication, she says that she "... has good and bad days, but when it's tough I just push through it," 

Think about that when you watch Rampone in action tomorrow for the championship…

Happy Boithday, Sammy

Sammy turns 90 in a few days.

Today was the monthly birthday celebration at Menorah Manor and Sam was in rare form. Actually all the attendees were in rare form. It was a full house.

The program started with the presentation of all the birthday celebrants for this month. They started with Rose:

Social Director: "We have a special birthday today ... she's the oldest birthday girl this month and we have a special gift for her. Rose is 98 years old."

Rose's son was standing next to her and started to help her up when she said, "What did he say? I am NOT 98 I'm only 88."

"No mom ... you're 98." Her son whispered.

"I AM NOT."

Sammy hadn't gotten there yet. He was still upstairs. The social director told us that sometimes he likes to make a grand entrance and he's usually fashionably late.

He finally made it during the name that tune/spin the wheel game. Each name is posted on the wheel and randomly called when the wheel spins.…

Day 4: The Game

Today was amazing. 
I'll actually start from the end of the day and work forward. We ate at the NYY Steakhouse. It's right there at the ball field (Yankee Stadium). Dinner was really the last thing we did today as part of our great NY vs TB USF Athletic Auction package that we bid on a couple of months ago.
The Rib Eye in my hands was their specialty and as you can see ... they carved TB Rays in the bone ... just for us. I carved the rest right into my mouth.
What a meal! 
It's part of The Hard Rock but owned by the Yankees ... didn't quite understand ... but since I didn't find any poker tables or slots ... I figured the Indians must have pulled a fast one on old George.
Jeter hit #3000.
The crowd went wild of course ... as well they should. It was a home run (the only other time a player ever hit a home run on his 3000th hit was our very own Wade Boggs when he was playing for Tampa Bay). 
Jeter went on to get 5 hits this afternoon ... another tied record ... and the Yan…

Day 3: More Jersey and Some Manhattan

Got so caught up with the Cake Boss I forgot to tell you ... We had a great lunch in Hoboken yesterday. It was a place called the Clam Broth House.

I posted a picture of the back of the check ... dates back to the 1800. By the way, if my brother-in-law Tom is reading this I want you to know ... IT IS A FINGER HANGING DOWN.

I know this is Jersey ... but dere are limits, you know what I mean?

Throughout lunch we were treated to the sounds of the town's best known celebrity ... Frankie Sinatra.

Very cool.








Outside the restaurant there is a great shot of Manhattan across the water. I shot this just as a bum passed in front of me after he rifled the garbage can.








Last night we saw a great play: Catch Me If You Can. It was based on the movie by the same name.

It follows the exploits of a real guy, Frank Abagnale, who was a check counterfeiter ... turned pilot ... turned doctor ... turned attorney ... all when he was still only a teenager.

The cop is Carl Hanratty and is played by an actor…

Day 2: Hoboken

Today we visited THE CAKE BOSS.

Yes ... I'm a fan. I admit it (check out Da Friggin Cake Boss in one of my earlier entries). Buddy and his family run Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ. The greatest cake baker/engineer/designer in the business ... well at least ... I think so.

So ... we hop the subway at Radio City and head to 34th Street where we catch the Path train to Hoboken.

Pretty slick huh?

Except we missed Hoboken.

So ... we hop on the next Path train ... but this one has a whole different route. We jump out again ... cross the terminal and finally get on the right one to Hoboken.

Just a few short steps from the exit ... and there it is ... Carlo's ... wow ... hardly a line.

However ... Little did we know.

A Carlo's tee-shirted employee stopped us and said: "You got tickets?"

"Tickets?" I said.

"Yeah ... you need tickets."

"Where do we get them?"

"See the line down there?" He pointed across the street a b…

Day 1: New York

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Unfortunately, we will not be able to land at LaGuardia Airport due to bad weather ... we will instead land in Baltimore to refuel..."

WHAT? Oh great ... Here we are once again in airplane hell.

Our New York trip was supposed to be a semi-vacation and a chance to connect with daughter Alissa ... followed by a trip to Yankee Stadium to watch the Rays beat up on the Pinstripe boys (hopefully). It was all part of an auction package that I bid on a few months ago.

This 3 hour flight actually took 6 hours by the time we landed in Baltimore, refueled and finally landed in LaGuardia. During this time, we also had the pleasure of sitting in the middle of a terrific threesome: an obnoxious salesman, a crazy Puerto Rican and a stoner who kept saying he had to throw up.

The salesman was named Adam. I knew this because he used his name in the third person whenever he told a story...

"So I had this boss when I was just starting o…

Porn .... for women