To the Moon Alice!

I recently stumbled along a piece pointing out famous astronomer Stephen Hawking’s advice to establish a colony on the moon before it’s too late for good ol’ planet earth. (See this link  Permanently occupying the moon and expanding humanity into space while momentous, is also of course tricky and thus comes w/some important questions:

Question 1: Who and how many of us earthlings will establish and occupy the moon biosphere?

Answer: While there’s more than a few people I’d like to send on a moonshot, it’s important to get this right so I’d like to leave it up to the consensus of the people who’ll actually be there. The moon compound will obviously need various types of scientists, engineers and laborers to keep things running smoothly, but who else do we send?  Perfect human specimens of health and beauty would seem the obvious choice just based on most of the Hollywood characters I’ve seen in the sci-fi genre but is it wise considering that those films often wind up in disaster?

Question 2: How will our moon friends be attired?

Answer: Taking advice from Gwyneth Paltrow surprisingly ain’t gonna cut it insomuch as her sticker idea is a load of “BS” according to NASA (see link: so were gonna have to go with Plan B. I applaud her effort anyway ‘cuz writing about women’s cosmetics has been a stunningly consistent source of laughs for me. Seriously, I think I could make a living writing about it.  This quote had me laughing out loud:

“NASA, which typically doesn’t even bother to address ridiculous pseudoscience like what Goop is trying to peddle, was looped in thanks to Goop’s claims that the “Body Vibes” stickers utilize “NASA space suit material” made of “conductive carbon” to perform their magical healing feats. Gizmodo went right to NASA to ask for clarification on this mythical material and got a rather blunt response.

Apparently, NASA astronauts “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits,” according to a rep from NASA’s spacewalk office. Pressed further, and presented with this counter-claim, one of the people behind the Body Vibes stickers claimed that he “found a way to tap into the human body’s bio-frequency,” while hedging his claims by saying that all the research that proves he’s telling the truth is confidential.

A former NASA human research scientist responded to Goop’s claims by simply calling it “a load of BS,” which is really all you need to know about how close to reality any of the company’s claims actually are. Upon learning of the Gizmodo story, Goop pulled any mention of NASA from its website.”

Ouch. While my motto when writing a new piece can be described as “there’s no idea too stupid” this series of assertions has admittedly proved me wrong.  Now whadda we do? Seeing as I can’t do any worse than Goop in the moon attire category, I’ve thought of a few more ideas…

How ’bout futuristic spacesuits like in “The Forbidden Planet” that seem to protect ya from everything but bullets, death rays, alien monsters and whatever else our moon people might need defending from that quickly proves corny and useless.

Robots: We can consider athletically challenged robots like “Robot” in the 60’s series “Lost in Space” but does this mean we gotta put up w/insufferable dimwits like Dr. Smith? I prefer an R2-D2 character that can not only relay messages from beautiful far-flung princesses and wise old Jedi knights but zap any hapless evil enemies at will.

(Which raises the question: Why do the Imperial Stormtroopers even bother wearing armor when they’re susceptible to getting wasted anyway?  This is an important thought.)

Sorry, I’m losing my train of thought here (to the extent I ever had one) and will once again try to take this buffoonery seriously.

Food and Lodging: Efficiency is everything here so I recommend barrel after barrel of green gloop labeled with the word “FOOD” on ’em.  “Anybody up for more green gloop!”  shall be our motto which I’m sure our moon units will never tire of and’s gonna be great for morale.

As far as lodging goes and given near zero gravity conditions, it’ll be important to strap everyone to their space cots at bedtime lest they fart in such a way as to deliver thrust and thus send themselves thru the top of the biosphere. I’ll bet the engineers have thought of this one already, but hey, can’t be too safe man.

Leadership: Clearly this issue can’t be taken lightly given my wish to send Kim Jong Un up there only to watch it all backfire as he decides to invade earth once he gets death ray capabilities.  So who else? It’ll hafta be someone who’s gonna be calm, nurturing and crazy enough to agree to this. That’s a rare combination but fret not readers for I do have some candidates in mind.

Given her credentials, Yoko Ono would be the obvious choice here, but she (like myself) ain’t the proverbial spring chicken anymore.  Cindy Lauper and Morgan Freeman were additional guesses and while I love their qualifications there’s really no one who can do it like Samuel L. Jackson. If anyone of our moon units gets outta line or scared he can lay lines on ’em like from Pulp Fiction:

Jules: Now Yolanda, we’re not gonna do anything stupid, are we?

Yolanda: You don’t hurt him.

Jules: Nobody’s gonna hurt anybody. We’re gonna be like three little Fonzies here. And what’s Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda what’s Fonzie like?

Yolanda: Cool?

Jules: What?

Yolanda: He’s cool.

Jules: Correctamundo.

Having wrapped that up, there’s only one last issue left (actually, there’s a lot more but my fingers are getting pooped.)

Communications: Unless there’s an improvement in cell phone usage from our moon people, my daughter ain’t goin’ seeing as she won’t be able to use her mobile phone for less than sixteen hours a day.  As tragic as it apparently is, (to her anyway) there is nonetheless, a simple solution…

Let’s setup a Space Shuttle-type program whereby we shoot cute, fuzzy creatures such as puppies, kittens, wombats, etc. to our moon habitat (yes, I’m deliberately saying this to get responses) in space modules (hey, maybe they’ll get the hang of it after a while and guide the modules themselves) with notes tied to their collars. Upon their moon arrival, our spacefolk can review loveable footage of their 275,000 mile journey which they hopefully survived.

As always, I’m happy to help with these complicated questions and will (unless shouted down) will supply a part II.









The Lowdown on Highlighters

Had the following conversation with my 11 year-old daughter the other day as we were getting ready to head to the beach.
Erin “Daddy, do I need sun block in between my fingers?”
Me  “No, sweetie. We’re not going TO the sun.”

A Pre Dinner Observation Made To My Wife:

Explaining to Diane why I’m less than thrilled with my new yellow Cape May t shirt.
“I have two problems with it. One, I can’t squeeze my giant head through the head hole. And two, when I have it on, I look like a big fat highlighter.”


Note from Jimmy:  “Diane” is Chuck’s wife and yes, if ya painted his head yellow he would seem to be an oversized highlighter.  Even tho I’ve told him to send stuff in (“SIZE 14 TIMES NEW ROMAN DAMMIT!)” ,  he defiantly insists on torturing me in the editing process.  HO, HO, not this time mi amigo!

In reality, I’m always glad to post his thoughts insomuch as he makes feel normal by comparison.


On a Hoof and a Prayer

My daughter recently disavowed meat in all it’s glorious forms and went full-on vegan.  I didn’t know it at the time but she also banned herself from any animal by-products such as eggs, milk, cheese, caviar and honey. As she explained to me the reasons why (“it’s unethical, Dad”) I countered with the argument that ya don’t have to kill the cow/goat/fish/bee (the bee’s the one that really sent me over the edge) to get the God-given fruits within.

Well, I never considered myself to be unethical while chomping on my Big Mac but I felt it my duty as Dad to try to see her point of view.  Yet I have some questions:

What is a “vegan”? I always thought they were people who dressed as a banana on city subways passing out pamphlets.

Is this a dietary/health choice or a full-on movement born as a way to stick it to fat, overindulgent slobs?

What about the ground-born sustinence?  While we all know the pig might let out an anguished oink, the cow a despairing moo and the moose emit an, (er, whatever mooses do when they’re slaughtered.  Stunning fact.  People really do eat moose meat.)  How is the average fruit or vegetable considered to be less alive?

Consider the humble watermelon and it’s more formidable cousin, the pumpkin.  I’ve heard it said that more people are killed/maimed each year by falling coconuts than sharks. (Does this make the coconut the hit-man of the fruit and vegetable world?) The watermelon doesn’t object too much while I hack it apart while the pumpkin has a funny way of staring back at me as I carve a face into it heading into Halloween.

Coconuts aside, the veggie world has a way of fighting back.  Nettles, poison ivy (“try eating ME motherf@#ker!”), cactus, the elusive yet wily mushroom where either yer in for a treat or in for a gastrointestinal disaster of biblical proportions and most importantly, poison berries. This one cracks me up insomuch as somebody had to be the first to try it.  (“Thog no wanna try.  Thog scared. Me know! Have Gloog try! Him idiot!”)

I’m not trying to fight back against veganism as I’m just trying to understand it. It’d be cool if someone approached me as I “seek help” for my carnivorous ways while serving me a heapin’ helpin’ of kelp.  After I’m done saying “what the f#*k is the matter with you?,” I promise I’ll try to calm down but I eatin’ that s@#t.

Gregg Allman died over the over the weekend. Quick story. While I was drivin’ my semi-trailer (cool yet scary job) I’d tune in to the weather conditions and then put in my Allman Brothers tape as I drove on down the road. Lemmee see if I can attach a good one of their videos to this post.


My Bucket List

While others may wanna go skydiving, travel the world, join Greenpeace, meet a famous celebrity and signup for sports fantasy camps before they keel over, I have different ideas of what a bucket list oughtta look like. This is largely based on stories from friends, my own experiences that were unfulfilled and stuff I think woulda been cool if they happened but never panned out.

For instance, I have a friend who’s car was parked in his driveway but suddenly could accommodate only two gears; Park and Reverse.  While the rest of us mortals would throw up our hands and call a tow truck he decided to take the initiative and drive a mile and a half in reverse gear to get his vehicle over to the local transmission shop.  This, my friends is no mean feat insomuch as he had to cross a major intersection and take a right (left for him) on to another major road and eventually pull in backwards to the Aamco parking lot.  (Let’s say you were sitting on a red light, waiting for the light to change.  Cars pass in front of you normally and there’s suddenly one that’s going backwards. Wouldn’t you be impressed?)

Secondly, I have another friend who was doing work on a house only to step on a failing section of floor, plunge through two equally iffy stories slamming into and penetrating each successive level while finally landing in the basement where he was bitten by the family dog.  Even the 3 Stooges and Bugs Bunny didn’t think of this one.

Thus is the premise of a doable bucket list that I think might be attainable or at least worth the minimal effort, despite the consequences:

Invent a new type of car horn that really captures my emotions at the time instead of a simple HONK. Let’s say for example that the driver in front of ya (to be mentioned henceforth as “Driver A”) isn’t paying attention at a red light turning green and needs a little prodding (from me, henceforth know as “Driver Q” (expecting me to call myself Driver B, weren’t ya?). In order to get things going you hit yer horn and instead of the old-fashioned honk the aforementioned Driver A motorist hears the chorus of the Stones “Get Off My Cloud”.  (“HEY, HEY, (you,you) GET OFFA MY CLOUD!) . This inoffensive nudge obviously applies only as a simple reminder.

Yet there are harsher honks that need to be considered.

Let’s say “Driver A” ain’t exactly cooperating and requires further incentive to get his/her ass in gear so to speak and could spark a road rage incident. Instead, why doesn’t “Driver Q” simply hit the secondary horn option that explains to “Driver A” that their on “The Highway to Hell” if they don’t friggin’ move it already.

Driver A still not moving? Horn option C will come equipped w/Alice Cooper’s “I Love the Dead”. What it lacks in subtlety more than makes up for in terms of getting things moving along.

Get rich- yeah, yeah I know this is on a buncha people’s bucket lists but I have a specific reason for getting this done.  I always wanted a butler/lackey to order around. For instance:

Me (wearing an ascot and smoking jacket while relaxing in my comfy chair): “I say Piffington, you provided me with subpar crumpets yet again, you groveling insect. Have you no concept of the fact they need a certain poofiness?”

Piffington: “I am most unworthy, Your Awesomeness. I will procure you such poofy crumpets and as soon as I can arrange for a suitable replacement, I’ll have myself executed. ”

Next, I’d like to establish a national “Brutally Honest Day”, where instead of the counter person at your local fast food joint asking “May I help you?” they say “Let’s get this over with.  I’m making minimum wage, wearing a uniform that fat people wearing Speedos on a Mediterranean beach would consider undignified and you’re lucky I have no snot left in my nose to put on your burger so whaddya want?”

Additionally, I’d like to go my doctor without him insinuating that I’m a borderline moron. While I understand that I’m apparently supposed to sequester myself from stress, eat healthy, exercise (all great advice) and take my meds, I start to wonder what the greater point is.  Does the person who lives the longest “win”?  People who tell me that “you’re gonna die” once they find out I smoke now get the response “Yep, I will die, but I’ve got some bad news for ya, so are you.”

What I really want is for my kids/family to live happy lives. That’s it.



Continue reading “My Bucket List”

Guns and Where to Get ‘Em

I was watching the ID channel this morning w/my brother Bill and given where we were, we decided that there’s no obvious places whereby we can exercise our 2nd amendment rights and blow stuff to smithereens.  While not particularly interested in forming a militia, I DO insist upon being able to purchase weapons, for personal gratification issues of course.

He had no idea where to purchase a firearm while my best guess was a place a mile down the road called “Gun Store”.  As succinct and to the point as this name is, I feel something a little jazzier might boost interest and sales. Here’s some ideas…

“Wally’s House of AK-47’s- Where We Never Say ‘NYET!'”

“Machine Gun Alley- You’re Always the Kingpin Here”

For the more passionate collector how ’bout “Luger Lovers!”?

“At Grenade Launcher Larry’s, We Just Explode W/Values!” (free mortars w/every purchase!)

“Pistolero Pete’s-Our Savings Will Blow Your Brains Out!”

For anyone in my area who doesn’t mind the possibility of accidentally discharging their weapon resulting in a shot thru the wall, possibly maiming a neighbor or blowing a hole in their own foot, there’s some real possibilities here.


Politics-It’s All Sunshine & Rainbows!

I prefer to write about happy stuff like rock ‘n roll music, comedy and cute videos of Koala bears.  No more dammit! I will now tackle heftier topics in the hope that I can obtain more readers by intentionally sliming myself with idiotic, ill-informed opinions just like you get from CNN, CNBC and Fox News.  As long as yer hair is combed right and yer reasonably attractive and you are capable of reading off a teleprompter, yer gonna sound not only intelligent but well informed!

Here’s the rules as I see ’em…

Don’t ever admit defeat, even if you just got clobbered in the last election.  As a matter of fact, accuse the opposing party of nailing Jesus to the cross if you think you can get away with it.

Take advantage of being the winner.  It seems to rile the opposing party when you look like you don’t give a s%#t what they think.  A presidential golf outing is traditionally the popular option here.

Deny, deny, deny- These are the famous words from Bill Clinton and to his credit almost worked.  This strikes me as such a simple yet devious underhanded approach that I’m surprised I didn’t think of it myself.  The great ones stand alone I guess.

Hold a rally- Here’s a no-lose situation if I’ve ever seen one. Supporters come out in droves and opposition supporters look like a collection of unruly hooligans when they show up.

Speak to the common man- Here’s where Hillary screwed up.  She didn’t exactly rev-up the folks in rural areas to put it mildly. Allow me to paraphrase if I got her message correct here…

You racist, coal-mining sons of bitches are about to be out of a job as soon as I get elected and there’s nothing you can f&*%ing do about it!

Well spoken! Say Hillary, while yer trying to destroy these people’s visions of what there tradition is, has been, and will be in the future I hear that there’s also a newborn, right-leaning panda in the Washington Zoo that needs assassinating. Ha, ha! Did I say “assassinating”?  What I meant to say was “strategic removal!” (Very wise. This’ll also cut down on our bamboo imports.)

(Hangonna sec, I almost applied toothpaste to my aching calf muscle.  Luckily I reached the Ben-Gay in time. (Glad it wasn’t the other way around! For any Berke Breathed fans out there I’d like to say that yeah, it really happened.)

Maybe I should start my own news channel. That’d be cool. It’ll be based on what I think you need to know irregardless of what the news really is. In exercising mind control techniques upon ya, we’ll be telling you what kind of food what you should eat, what kind of shoes to wear, how despicable you are for not updating your bathroom and what your overall morals should be. We’ll color that with stories about kittens chasing laser lights just to let ya know it’ll all be ok in the end. Now there’s a groundbreaking news show!




The Doors Revitalized

Robby Krieger. A Concert Review…..

Last night, Miss Ruth and I were sitting 30 feet from an icon. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robby Krieger kicked off his “Doors Greatest Hits” tour in Collingswood NJ. When you get the opportunity to see someone in the upper echelon of rock some 45 years after their pinnacle of fame, a part of you wonders will he still be able to bring it.

The answer here is a resounding yes! His guitar work last night ranged from fantastic to jaw dropping to mesmerizing. Ruth and I shared two major concerns prior to last night’s show. One, were they going to be able to replace the musical inventiveness of Ray Manzarek and two, were they going to be able to find a solid lead singer. We didn’t kid ourselves. A voice like Jim Morrison’s only comes around once in a lifetime so you can’t replace him. What they did, however, was very effective.

Robby’s son Waylon handled the lead vocals and instead of doing some sort of lame Morrison impression, he just used his own exceptional voice. And it totally worked. Nathan Wilmarth on the keyboards did a very solid job at channeling one of my musical heroes. The rest of the killer band, Phil Chen on bass (even though The Doors never had a bass player. Astonishingly, Manzarek handled the bass lines on the lower end of the keyboard) and Ty Dennis on drums, did the legend of The Doors proud. They opened with the unmistakable samba beat on “Break On Through to The Other Side” and rolled through a good portion of The Doors eclectic catalogue including almost half of the tracks from their seminal debut album, “The Doors” .

This was such a great approximation of one of rock’s greatest bands, I’m sure they were both looking down and as smiling almost big as Ruth and I were. For Ruth and I, the highlight of the evening was the final 3 songs of the show. “LA Woman”, “Soul Kitchen” and “Light My Fire”.  The energy and musicianship that was on display for those 3 songs was straight up amazing. Robby even threw a little Rogers and Hammerstein (“My Favorite Things”) into his extended solo in “Light My Fire”. Despite the absence of Ray (he passed 4 years ago) and Jim (he joined the Dead Poets Society in 1971), this was such a great approximation of one of rock’s greatest bands.

I’m sure they were both looking down and smiling.

Almost as big as Ruth and I were.