RSS

Tag Archives: humor

Frank’s Big Dance Ticket

IMG_20151225_083401

Frank’s not happy that the Villanova Wildcats are the #1 seed …

It’s that time of year again! And being the roundball fan, Frank has made his picks for the NCAA tournament.

Frank’s Final Four is:

The University of Nevada Wolf Pack
The Butler Bulldogs
The Wisconsin Badgers
The Gonzaga Bulldogs

He has an all Bulldog championship game, with Gonzaga beating Butler, 77-71.

Do I detect a theme here?

I pointed out to him that badgers aren’t really in the same family as dogs and wolves. He mumbled something like, “close enough,” and headed into the Nutshell to take a nap before the games started.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised Frank said anything to me at all. He’s still upset that I have two Wildcats in my Final Four – Villanova and the University of Arizona.  He didn’t feel any better when I told him that I had the University of North Carolina beating Iowa State in the other Final Four game,  and that I was picking the Tar Heels to beat Arizona in the final. “At  least I didn’t pick a Wildcat to win it all,” I told him!

He gave me the same look he does when I’m ready to go to bed and he’s already laid out in the Nutshell’s cabin, unwilling to move over to give me some room. That blank stare of disgust. I can only imagine the sulking I’ll have to deal with if a team with a feline mascot winds up winning it all.

legalbeagles

Frank’s dream NCAA Tournament team – the Charlotte School of Law’s Legal Beagles!!!

Frank still longs for the day when the Charlotte School of Law has a basketball team,  and that they’re good enough to make the tournament. Their mascot? The Legal Beagle, of course!

He says the same thing every March. And I do the same chant, just to mess with him:

Go Beagles!  Fight That Bail!  Appeal That Sentence!

Sorry, buddy … like I said before, it  just doesn’t quite have that “ring” to it.

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Frank Speaks

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Travel Plans 2017

Now that you’re all caught up on where Frank and his chauffeur have been, here’s an idea of what we have in store for 2017. We’ve got the year planned out through the end of August. Actually, it’s the second itinerary we’ve created! But I’ll talk about that down a ways.

ac

Our last encounter with the Atlantic – Avalon, NJ

First stop, Flagler Beach, FL. We’ll be there for a week. This little town supposedly has some of the nicest dog beaches on the Florida coast, so Frank and I plan on staring into the Atlantic as much as we can while we’re there. We’ll also get a chance to visit with Jeanie, whose family lived around the corner from my old house growing up in Pompton Lakes. We’ve communicated online for almost 20 years now, going back to the old Classmates website. But I don’t think we’ve actually seen each other for 50 years. So that will be cool!

Next stop will be at Lake Hartwell, on the South Carolina / Georgia border. There’s a Thousand Trails campground on the north side of the lake, where we will be staying for almost two weeks. While there, we have plans to connect with Gary, a former business associate up in New Jersey, who recently relocated to the Atlanta area; and Mark, a Facebook friend who I’ve only “met” online. I actually don’t remember how that came about, or who our mutual friend is.  But I’ve enjoyed talking sports and current events with him quite a bit . As an aside, it’ll be pretty cool, putting faces to names. That’s going to happen quite a few more times over the next year.

By the way, it’s a bit of a juggling exercise in managing our length of stays at each campground. Ideally, whenever we stay at a Thousand Trails Park, we would stay for the full 3 weeks we’re allotted per visit. But because we have a couple of “fixed” items on the calendar, that simply wasn’t doable. So I’ve tried to manage the itinerary where we aren’t feeling rushed while staying at any particular place.

otter creek road

Backroads are so much better than Interstate!

The other thing we’ve decided … Frank had a lot of influence in this … is that we’re going to hold our drive time to no more than six hours a day. This allows us to travel back roads as much as possible. It also helps keep me in the “present” rather than the future. I want to focus on enjoying the moment and not feeling in a hurry to get to some particular place by a certain deadline.  That’s become my personal goal for 2017.

With that in mind, there will be a number of times along the way where we’ll be taking advantage of a Walmart parking lot for an overnight stay. For you RVers out there – most of you already know that Walmart parking lots are a great place to stop while en route to an end destination. What you might not know is that not all Walmarts allow this! The ones that don’t are typically located near tourist attractions (like Orlando or Anaheim, for example), or are at a natural stopping-off point (like Homestead, FL, the last town in Florida before heading out into keys).

I plan ahead because I’m on a tight budget, and it gives me the illusion of control. So when I made our itinerary, I figured out which drives would take more than 6 hours between campgrounds and then found Walmarts in between where we could potentially stay. I also called ahead to find out if that particular Walmart was cool with overnight campers. For the record, I batted  about 90% – there were places that actually said they didn’t allow it. That’s something for you RVers to keep in mind. Even if you’re not planning out your trips to the degree that I am, I’d strongly recommend you call ahead while you’re driving to make sure the Walmart you selected for that evening will let you stay. It would be a real pain in the ass to get rousted at 10 p.m. and be told, “No overnight parking” and then have to scramble to figure out what you’re going to do. (You can buy an online guide that gives you this information. But it costs something like $50. My genetics includes a bit of Scottish DNA, which means I’m a cheap bastard- there’s no way in hell I’m paying $50 to be told something that I can find out myself with a phone call!)

Anyhow, back to the itinerary. We’re going to drive cross-state to get to our next stop – Myrtle Beach State Park. I’m really looking forward to this three days because we’re going to be camping with another old high school friend from New Jersey – Val and her husband, Bill. They purchased an RV last year, but weren’t able to use it as much as they wanted. So they’re going to drive down from Wilmington, NC with their three standard poodles and camp alongside the two of us!

12593782_10209029176704822_2389711171118732716_o (1)

Easter, last year – at Lake Park Campground, Lewisville, TX

From there, we’ll drive up to Littleton, NC, and the Lake Gaston RV campground, another Thousand Trails Park. We needed a place to light for Easter and this seemed like the best location for that. My birthday happens to fall on Easter this year, by the way. Frank wanted to make me a treat for my birthday. But after asking me, “Where does one purchase poultry by-product meal and dry beef pulp anyhow?” as he was reading the back of his dog food bag, I figured I’d cut him some slack and told him that a treat wasn’t necessary!

Once we leave Lake Gaston, we have two more 3-day stays that I am really looking forward to! The first is another Tearjerkers event – this one at First Landing State Park, near Virginia Beach, VA. Frank and I had a great time at the Florida chapter’s get together in February and if this one is anything like that, I’m sure we’re going to have a great time.

From there, we head out to the North Carolina headlands for a stay at the Bells Island Campground. We’re going to see another old friend. Dave lived around the corner from me in Pompton Lakes, across the street from Jeanie. He and I used to walk to school together and talk baseball. I  like to think that Dave and I are an example for the rest of the world. If a Red Sox fan and a Yankees fan can become lifelong friends, then surely world peace is possible! LOL

13323333_10209580483767154_572854732579994575_o

Our last Pennsylvania campground – serenity and peace, riverside

After that, we head back to Thousand Trails campgrounds. In succession, we plan on staying at campgrounds near Williamsburg, VA; Gettysburg, PA; and then finally in the Pocono Mountains, right across the border from New Jersey. That’s where we’ll spend Memorial Day weekend. I’m really looking forward to that stay – we’ll have a chance to get together with guys from the men’s group I belonged to at my old Parish in Wayne, NJ. Frank and I also plan on visiting  my old hometown of Pompton Lakes (about an hour away) and see other old high school friends while there.

After that, the plan is to stay at Thousand Trails campgrounds near Lake George, NY; Wells, ME; Bar Harbor, ME; and Rochester, MA, with a possible stay near Sturbridge, MA. Again, the beauty of this membership is that I won’t have to pay anything extra beyond my monthly membership fees while visiting these campgrounds. I’ve mentioned it earlier, but this is really saving a ton! Without that savings, managing this little vagabond journey would be a lot more difficult. There are a couple of little things we have to deal with, though. For one, I can’t reserve 4th of July until we’ve begun our Memorial Day reservation – you can only have one major holiday reservation on the books at any given time (major holidays are Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day). So I’m not quite sure which one of those parks we’ll be at for the 4th of July. It will depend upon availability. But it’s all worked out so far, and I’m not going to allow myself to stress over this one little thing.

FB_IMG_1489538245967

While in Massachusetts, I hope to make a pilgrimage to Fenway Park, too.

If everything works according to plan, this takes us up to the second weekend in August. We’ll spend that weekend at another Tearjerkers event. This time, it will be with the New England chapter at a campground in Central Connecticut. I actually planned on going to this event last year, but had to cut our travel short and return to Texas due to a medical issue. So I’m really looking forward to finally getting to meet these people!

Remember my mentioning that this was the second itinerary we had planned for 2017? This is where we veer off from our original plans, which had us working our way back down the East Coast over the remainder of 2017, to winter again in Florida. Then I heard about the big solar eclipse that will occur in August. When I was a kid, I loved astronomy! Actually, I’m just a big kid now, and STILL love astronomy! I’m one of those idiots that would go out at three in the morning to watch a meteor shower. Well, when I heard about this solar eclipse, I started to stress a bit. How could we fit this into the schedule?

About the time this was all having a muddling impact on my brain, I talked to my buddy Larry out in California. It’s funny how I can get all bothered by something and Larry has a way of just cutting right to the chase and help me see something that I need to see!

“You realize the only one who is holding you to this itinerary is you, right? I mean, Frank doesn’t give a shit. And isn’t this why you chose this lifestyle, anyhow … so you can basically go where you wanted to? If you want to see the eclipse, go see the eclipse! If you don’t, then don’t. But don’t stress over it!”

Now for most of you, this is a no-brainer.  Larry’s advices something you already know. But for me, this was a major breakthrough! I think it goes back to my not being able to live in the present for most of my life. To getting so tied up in “plans” and becoming so rigid that you wind up hurting yourself.  I know it seems contradictory to be talking about that in the post that is totally about our plans for the upcoming year. The Breakthrough though, is seeing them for what they really are – just plans.

So,  if the plans materialize, we’ll be heading to Western Kentucky after the Tearjerkers event to see one of the biggest solar events that’s occurred in the last 30 years, and possibly won’t occur again while I’m alive.

After that? We’ve got to figure that out. Right now, it looks like we’ll head back through Dallas and visit with friends from my second high school again. When we left last November, I told them that we weren’t going to be back for a couple of years. From the looks of it now, that won’t be the case.

20161129_080841

No more freezing my tail off? Sounds good to me!!!

After that, we’ll be heading west. We’ll incorporate a few stopover visits with friends in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona along the way.  I’d also like to spend a little time in Western New Mexico. I’d like to check that out as a possible landing spotFor when we come off the road at some point in the distant future. Ultimately though, we intend to spend next winter in Arizona and Southern California. There are a whole lot of Thousand Trails campgrounds there so that makes perfect sense. Quite frankly, given how cold it’s been in Florida, I’ll be ready for some better temps. And I’m quite sure Frank will agree!

So that’s it. And you know what? The beauty of all this is that I know things will potentially change between now and next winter. And that I don’t have to stress about it! The planning will help us maintain our budget, but it won’t be the end of the world if we have to go a different direction. Again, that may be a “well, duh” idea for most of you. But that represents a huge breakthrough for me! It’s not the first one I’ve had over the last couple of years on the road. I’m grateful for that! Here’s hoping it won’t be the last.

By the way, if any of you are interested in meeting Frank and his chauffeur, you now have a general idea of where we’re headed. Drop me a line and let’s see what we can work out. Or if you just have questions about where we’ve been and want to compare travel notes, drop me a line on that, too. We’re always willing to help out a fellow vagabond.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2017 in 2017

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bad Puns

Actually, that’s simultaneously redundant and oxymoronical! By their very nature, puns are “bad” … and the worse they are, the better they become!

frank and ernest

A typical Frank and Ernest strip … ©Thaves

I used to keep a manila folder filled with comic strips that I’d cut out of the newspaper. It was a lo-tech version of what we do today, where we save stuff in folders on our laptops (at this moment, I probably have a few hundred jokes that Larry’s emailed me over the years). Anyhow, my favorite strip was Frank and Ernest because you could always count on Bob Thaves to deliver a really bad pun. The one I remember the most was where the two guys were dressed as monks and the following exchange occurred:

Frank:  Do you know what happened to the guy who fell behind in payments to his exorcist?
Ernest:  He was repossessed!

As I cut them out, I’d share them with my staff, with the typical response being a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head. And I couldn’t figure out why few other people thought they were as funny as I did! I’d take advantage of any chance I could to tell some of these puns, just to see whether I’d run across someone else who enjoyed them as much as I did. (As an aside, one of the benefits of my impending vagabond lifestyle is that I’ll have a whole new audience for my bad jokes.  I’m looking forward to it!)

Anyhow, that’s really just a backdrop to a story I wanted to share.  Back in the late 80’s, I was getting ready to drive back “over the hill” to San Jose, CA after spending the day in Santa Cruz, but had to stop for gas.  It was a few days before Christmas.  I went inside to pre-pay my gas.

I had just heard what I thought was a really funny story / joke … it was stupid (like a pun), but it had really made me laugh.  I decided to share it with the two gas jockeys that were standing in the gas station’s office:

A department store Santa has really gotten tired of his gig: all the obnoxious kids, being pestered by parents, gimme, gimme, gimme. He looks at the kid they’ve just plopped on his lap and resignedly says, “Kid, I’ll give you anything you want for Christmas – you just have to answer three questions for me.  First: How many days of the week start with the Letter “T?” Second: How many “D”s are there in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?”  Third: How many seconds are there in a year?” Come back tomorrow with the answers and I’ll give you anything you want!”

The next day, the kid comes back and says, “Santa, two of them were really easy, but one was hard. So Santa says, “Okay, let’s hear the answers.”

The kid says, “Well, the first one is easy – two days of the week start with the letter “T”. Today and tomorrow!” Santa stops for a moment and finally says, “Okay, I’ll give that one to you.”  The kid then says, “I can answer the third one.  There are 12 seconds in a year:  January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd …”  Santa shakes his head and says, “Okay, that wasn’t what I meant, but I guess I have to give you that one, too. But I thought that would be the hard one for you.”

The kid starts crying and says, “I just couldn’t come up with the ‘Rudolph’ answer!”  Santa’s astounded: “Why couldn’t you figure that out?”  The kid says, “I kept losing count” and then starts singing …”

(to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) “Dee dee dee dee DEE dee dee …”

Okay, the joke comes across much better verbally than it does on paper. Sue me! :o)

rudolph

This story has been approved by Rudolph!

Anyhow, the two gas jockeys look at each other, shake their head and start chuckling a bit … I figured it was just showing courtesy to a customer rather than telling him to eat shit and die for wasting their time with a really bad joke!  I walked out and started to pump my gas.

A few minutes later, one of the guys comes out of the office and walks over to where I’m pumping gas.  “I have to thank you for telling me that joke,” he said. “I was really having a bad day. It’s Christmas, I don’t have a lot of money and can’t buy the presents I wanted to get for my kids. And I was feeling really down about it.  So that joke made my day and it lifted my spirits up a bit.  Thanks – you did a good thing!”

I was completely taken aback.  That was the last thing I expected to hear.  I wished him a “Merry Christmas” and told him that I was pretty sure his kids would appreciate whatever he brought home to them and to just be there for them – that’d be the best Christmas present he could give them.  He replied, “I know they will – it’s more about me than it is them!”

Man, ain’t that the truth? The stuff that occupies our own thoughts is what drags us down. Let it go, right?  But sometimes that’s easier said than done.  You need help from others … and sometimes it comes from the least expected places … like some corny guy walking into your gas station with a penchant for telling bad jokes.

The moral of the story – never miss an opportunity to tell a really bad pun.  You never know whether it’ll brighten up somebody’s day!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Musings

 

Tags: , , , , , ,