Thursday, September 20, 2018

Letter to the Editor

Daily Breeze - Letters - sent 9/20/18 - now we'll see if they run it …

Dear Sirs:

Welcome to a new period in American politics - the rise of sexual (female) predators/blackmailers.


Nina Murphy

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An Epic Battle Looms - Heloise and Her Beloved Vinegar vs. WD40!

In this corner wearing red and yellow trunks - WD40!  In that corner we have the slightly superior, but virginal household vinegar in white!

To get the odds on Heloise - simply Google "Heloise + Vinegar"  The stats on WD40 are from an article online.   And the first round bell sounds!

WD40 strikes first …yelling, " Use me to clean your silverware!" followed by "Winterproof your sneakers!" "Pesky squirrels robbing the bird feeder on a pole - spray the pole!"

Heloise fights back with the top 10 uses for vinegar!

WD40 ripostes with a right cross on your windshield in winter as a de-icer

Heloise ripostes with the top 20 best uses for vinegar and both head for their respective corners.

The bell sounds and WD40 comes out swinging - fixing a stuck zipper with the right and then a left cross for a too-tight ring.

Heloise fights back with 100 uses for white or apple vinegar.

Referee calls the fight a draw, but the real winner is us!  Best kind of outcome.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Convenience

For those of you that would prefer my book - "And the Best Blog Is - Word of Mouth" in Kindl version - $1.99 -  it is now available.  An alert reader and fellow author, told me about this glaring omission from the original deal for both paperback and Kindl and am much obliged to him.

I am looking forward to reading his book when Amazon thumps it on the front porch and will give you a head's up if it is as good as I think it's going to be.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Does This Intrigue You?

I ran across a very interesting story some time ago and turned it and my own additions into a screenplay.  Knowing nothing about writing these things, I turned for help to a pro who has submitted numerous outlines/treatments/log lines into finished works.

He explained to me that a log line is one long sentence describing the entire plot/story of said screenplay.  You have to include the place, time, characters.  Since I "write short" this took a few minutes.  Below my effort:

Romantic Comedy  The Swish Alps/Beverly Hills where Cliff, 44, has lived in great style with Harry, 65 for the past 25 years until … Harry starts showing signs of Alzheimer's which troubles Cliff who owes Harry big time for supporting them both for the past 25 years and now … should he pay largesse back or run for his life which is tough because Harry is getting crazier by the day.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Useful Information - 10 Tips for Working with Contractors

1.  Hire only state-licensed contractors - many have it painted on their trucks; if not, they should have it on bills and correspondence.  If not, ask for proof of existence.

2.  Check it at or you can call 800 321-2752.

3.  Always get at least three bids (and if you kids are going to sell the parental house to one of you, get it appraised by three appraisers and go with the average of the three figures.

4.  Get three references from each bidder and review their past work in person (if the home owner will let you.)

5.  Make sure that all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely and truly understand all of the terms.

6.  Confirm that the contractor has workers' compensation insurance for employees.

7.  Never pay more than a 10 per cent down or $1,000 whichever is less.  Do NOT pay in cash.

8.  Don't let the payments "somehow" get ahead of the work.

9.  Keep a job file of all of the papers relating to your project including all payments.

And lastly, don't make the final payment until you're completely satisfied with the job done.

Thank you, Dave Silva Construction, San Pedro, for this very good advice.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The People Side of Reunions

Or:  our hotel bar tab was $176.50 for three nights.  Richie was drinking a cabernet - $12 a pop and I stuck to Lunetta sparkling prosecco at $11 per.  I mention our choices of beverage because I do not want to contemplate the amount of draft beer that would cover.  Or the person that could do it.

Friday night was the meet and greet in a hotel "guest suite" which as nearly as I could tell was the same as a hotel suite minus beds.  A living room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom.  It was not a spacious area, any of it, and with 45 people in the room, it was crowded.  The dining room had a big table that further ate into available room to breathe.

So warm was it from the crowd of yelling-to-be-heard people that one poor guy passed out.  He came to quickly, and did not want the paramedics, but the only medical person among us (an RN) reasoned that to pass out indicated something amiss.  So another class member stepped up and said, "Jack, here's the deal - one of the kitchen workers passed out from the heat there and as long as the paramedics are going to be here anyhow, let's let'em take a look at you."  which was an inventive lie from git-go to whoa.

They were coming in as we exited the elevator and I helpfully yelled, "He's awake and smiling."  Ah, the CERT instructors would have been proud …

But now perched at the bar, we looked around for other entertainment.  We had had dinner at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse which come to find out (bar tabs) also owns the hotel bar.  As one so frequently does, we got into a conversation with a man who turned out to be a retired police officer.  Having heard references to the high school reunion from passers-by he asked what graduation year?  "1958!" we promptly responded.

At that he perked up and yelled, "That's the year I was born!"  So I promptly invited him to the next morning's class brunch, saying that he could be our Poster Child!  He had to regret, but you could tell he really would have enjoyed it.

He's now a Private Investigator, working cold cases - previously I believe he was Internal Affairs as he said he investigated corrupt cops.  Or "dirty cops" as he referred to them.  He said that the police brutality on Law & Order is shocking and that it annoys him no end.  He went on to say that many of the cases he investigated were "she said; he said," but even some of them are rather bizarre.  He cited the case of three 14 year old girls in a foster home, who hated the house rules and regs so they put together a plot and accused an older girl there of sexually harassing all three of them.  Age 14!

Two classmen and a wife came in as he left and the five of us closed the bar.  This was not as foolhardy as it may sound.  The bar closes at 11 p.m.  We were in Kansas which has strict liquor rules.

The Saturday morning class brunch was given a private room with five tables of eight. Once again we were dropped into an apocalypse of conversation noise.  A great innovation of this brunch was silver chafing dishes - big deal, you snort - with a window in the lid!  None of this walking up and down, flipping lids!  A great idea!  

Dinner Saturday night was in a great reception area with the bar, a spacious outdoor patio with cushioned chairs and a separate dining room.  The program was innovative - a movie with photos of old haunts during out days and funny as hell due to old people cartoons that had been fitted into the DVD.  We were all given the DVD of the program which was incredibly generous on the part of the guy who made it.  .

Sunday the excitement was officially all over (after the same private room for the brunch) and we packed up and split for the airport.  I can safely say that a good time was had by all except for the guy who passed out Friday night.  Turns out after a night of observation in the hospital, he was just fine, thank you.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Reunion - Statistics

Compiled from various sources:
Southeast High School Class of 1958, Kansas City, Mo.

284 graduated
157 have died in the 60 years since then

That leaves a total today of 127.
 A final 82 were either un-findable or unable to attend.

Of the 45 at the reunion, there were 58 of us together with spouses or single guests.  The three events - Friday's meet and greet; Saturday's brunch and Saturday night's dinner - had a mix of people attending; some for one but not the other two.  The flight or long drive aways tended to hit all three.

From previous research at the 2008 reunion, I discovered that 50 per cent of this group had never lived farther than 50 miles away from Kansas City, Mo. and environs.