Category Archives: Relationships

Are you a Square?


I’ve been around a few years. I was 11 years old when JFK was assassinated. I lived in what would be considered a small town in Nebraska. The whole world outside of that town was something on the other side of a television screen.


Then I joined the Navy in 1974 and began to travel the world, or portions thereof, and was able visit and experience those TV images for real.


It was extremely breath-taking for me. Being in places that before were places that had a glass window in front of them. Some in Black and White. Some in Color.


But being in these places, for real, showed me that much of what I watched on the boob tub were tinted in a different way. Some were more awesome that I could even imagine. Some were so much less. But from experience I learned that  the real thing is much more than the experience you get from just reading and hearing about people and places on planet earth.


Cultures of every  area in the world are different. I don’t care if it is a town 9 miles from where you are or 200.000 miles where you are..,things are different!


The change in culture, such as government, laws, atmosphere, attitude, and most importantly people’s attitudes toward life, religion, and every other thing is always different.


Prejudice exists in all areas and in all people. complacency, Concerns, Cares, Rejection, Attitudes towards Race, religion, Sexual orientation, and everything from where you hang out to how, many teeth you have, all the way to your personal habits are evaluated by everyone.


And the reaction to these observations, based on what one believes or thinks, is held against those that are different.


When you live in an area, regardless of your a new resident or long time resident,  anyone that does not fit into the mindset/stereotype of the your community is considered an outsider.


In my travels I have learned this the hard way. And that to me is a good thing. Why? Because, had I stayed in the same place all my life, never gotten out and seen the world, never lived in a place different than where I spent the first 20 years of my life, I would have become an over opinionated bigot solely based on the center of my world and not the real world.


The lesson I learned is there is far more in this world, many many more people that have many many more morals, mores, cultures, habits, attitudes, social interactions, beliefs, and just plain old way of dong things than I could ever imagine.


And to this day, at the ripe old age of 61, I’m still learning.


I have come to realize that in my small town, in which I grew older,  for the first 20 years of my life that it was not perfect. I have come to realize that in the places I have visited and lived in the past 40 years that the world, as I know it now, is also not perfect. I have come to realize that all the people I have met are not perfect. And from that I have learned this lesson:




Sure I may agree with some, I may disagree with some and I may become confused by some. And that gives me room for exploration of humanity. Not for automatic rejection because someone might disagree with what I presently believe and hold to be true.


Life is a learning process. To fail to consider that others might have something to offer  is to cut yourself off from understanding what this whole life thing is. And that is just plain … well stupid.


To prejudge anything in life where everything is wrong unless it agrees with what you know is not only a lazy cop-out, but an action that robs one of the opportunity to gain knowledge of  what life is all about.


We are given the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. That’s our five senses. But with these five senses there comes a sixth sense or perhaps a human trait. And that is … “THE ABILITY TO THIN!”


To turn off or ignore our ability to think, reason, comprehend, analyze, compare, accept or reject anything we see, hear, taste , smell and touch is wrong, we rob ourselves of a leaning experience, the ability to gain more knowledge of the world around us and we tune out instead of tuning in.


It has been said that we need think outside of the box. We’ll I’ll put it this way. Yes we need to think outside of the box. We have to consider all things and learn from them.


To not do so traps you into being (a phrase from some years past) “A SQUARE!”



Hey guys, am I right or wrong here. Hey Women… I already know I’m wrong!

Regardless of the lyrics in a song, sung by a woman, that goes “It’s a Man’s world…”  I’m here to tell you it’s a woman’s world. And Women will tell me I’m wrong, which is part of the problem. In fact I think it’s a conspiracy against us.

It is said that in a relationship all a man wants to do, when a woman has a problem (known as an issue) is to fix the problem. It is also stated that women don’t want a fix it man, they just want you to listen and understand their feelings…unless it has to do with a leaking faucet, broken appliance, lawn mowed, take the trash out ,… and poof now they need a fix it man. Don’t listen to my feelings … just take out that damn trash.

Well women … practice what you preach and listen to this and fix it.  (Like that will happen.)

First I believe (no proof) that most of the companies or researchers that developed a medication for men who have parts of thier body that, for whatever reason, won’t come to attention at the apprioated time are owned by woman.

One product introduced last about 3 days unless a guy ends up at attention for more than four hours. Selling point. It will physically enhance your ability to ‘BE READY’ when the time comes.

OKAY GUYS …. you know that predicting when that ready time is, is totally impossible. Ready 24 hours a day for 3 days, another pill, 24 hours a day for 3 days, etc..  And after BEING READY all this time you run out of your months supply and then and only then… IT’s TIME!  BAD JOKE LADIES.

What a man needs to do is develop a product for woman to be always ready. Called EXTRA EXTRA STRENGTH ASPRIN .. Take daily so a woman will never ever get a headache.

Moving on, women comment on men .. they need to wear this type of clothes, button your shirt, straighten your tie, don’t where those pants, comb your hair, shave, don’t say this don’t say that, don’t shuffle your feet when you walk, don’t use this language, don’t embarrase me, and on and on. And they set you up for the big fall by asking the question: “DO THESE PANTS MAKE ME LOOK FAT?”

And what do we do.. We do as we are told because we stupidly hope that perhaps, just pehaps that if we do all these things, this is the night that 29 days of being ready will come to fruition. We know the odds are against it.

What we should do is eveytime we are told how we MUST improve ourselves say “HONEY, YOU SOUND LIKE YOUR IRRATATED. HERE  HAVE AN ASPRIN.”

And further more. What if we do clean up our act. Go take a shower. Shave, put some nice aromatic cologne on (we call it aftershave), dress as we are told.

Well we can do that .. IF AND ONLY IF we can make it sanely through the shower process.

Man shower …. Get Wet. Use Soap, Use Shampoo, and if you have crappy hair like mine, or even you even have hair on your head by this time, conditioner.

Yup .. Just go for the soap and shampoo and conditioner in the shower. We know what that is. It’s a bar of soap and a bottle of shampoo labeled “SOAP” and “SHAMPOO”. Hard to screw that up.

BUT WAIT there’s more to this. Woman have a shelf in the shower with colorful bottles of STUFF. Many colorful bottles of stuff.  Some sit right side up, others upside down, some hang from the shower curtain rod, some on a rope.

And as we get older, this goes for both men and women, our eyesight gets worse. The Women know what is in what bottle, and in some way most are secretly color coded for each product.

So as we guys take a shower we grab one of the bottles. Not only can we not read it in the shower, with our bad eyesight.  THE DAM PRODUCT LABEL IS WRITTEN IN SOME FORIEGN LANGUAGE.

If you squirt the stuff out of the bottle and the liquid is opquae.. there is a chance it is conditioner. This is only a chance. If it is clear the chance it is shampoo or some kind of soap. And if it smells like amonia … DON”T USE IT BECAUSE YOU WILL COME OUT OF THE SHOWER AS A BLEACH BLOND. And you will end up the your little primed frend that lives with hopless anticpation to be burned to where any excitment will make it feel like a crispy fireplace fire log.

And even if you succeed in getting it all right or even come close and end up coming out of the shower smelling like an orchid, chances are there is a headache in someones future.

But guys we got to do what we got to do. Stand up for ourselves and protest this type of male bashing.  But if we know whats good for us, we’ll just keep going along with it.

All we have to do is this. If you take the little blue pill – take an asprin with it. Aspirin Lowers Blood Pressure, decreases chance of heartattack (which could occur should our partner not have a headache), and calm the nerves.

And then again … REVENGE… Don’t take out the trash, dress as you wish, use inapproiate language with her friends, just ignore honey do’s … AND HIDE THE ASPRIN!

Will I get in trouble from my woman for writing this. Maybe .. but when it comes to what is called MAKE UP SEX…SURPRISE!!!… I”M OUT OF PILLS.


I Got a Ticket

Well it’s time for another rambling on Stuff. I once called these things …. Sermon from the Couch. Today it’s Ramblings from the Lanai.

Subject : To Be Determined after I get done.

So what’s bothering me you ask? Or if you didn’t ask your going to hear about it anyway. Just paid $25 to update my blog Domain Name for another year so I get to rant, rave, complain, complement, criticize, put down, build up, and just generally blow steam now for another whole year.

Where we live now, Ayrshire Circle in Port Charlotte, FL. is having a yard/garage sale today and tomorrow. Bonnie said she had to be up by 6 a.m. to put things out by 7 a.m. for this event. I said nobody comes to these things that early. And that’s where I erred.

Since Bonnie, being a retired language arts teacher, has more books in boxes in the garage than library of congress, many of the items we put out on the driveway for the sale were books. And some other items.

We’ll I was blown away by  the number of people who stopped by between 7 a.m. and 12:55 pm. And not only was it the number people …it was the  people.

I have never ever in my life met people who were so warm and friendly.

I am not Mr Verbal Conversation .. but I did not meet one person that I could not carry on a conversation. People who could share stories  with me and I with them.

Southwestern Florida is a considered retirement area, a Snowbird Area, and certain portions, a tourist area.

After Bonnie’s and my careers ended we moved here for reasons that I have written about before and will not go into now. The stress level here, compared to where we have lived and what we have experienced in our lives, well on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest stress, is -1!


There is this BOOK that talks about love. One of the translation of a statement on the four types of Love one is called AGAPE. Agape is considered unconditional love. It is a form of love that I, regardless of what I just said, that humans are not totally capable of. But, if we were, the people I met today and have met since moving here, it is close. Really close.

Just the fact that anyone will accept you for who you are, who you where, will share stories without prejudice, will say a kind word, laugh, smile, wave, and not mention what you need to do to be something different is not only foreign to me but so unexpected and such a bizarrely pleasant experience.

We sold some stuff. Made about $80, but more importantly made some new friends. In fact we actually gave away some things for free.

So what’s the morale of this story? Forrest Gump said the famous line of “Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what your gonna get”

My Life?

I think that statement holds a bit of truth, but I’ll change it based on my life .. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never get what you expect!”

And now, at retirement age, the golden years they call them, this baby boomer, presently, not only has a great box of chocolates, this baby boomer got the GOLDEN TICKET!


Last week, I read a posting on John Heald‘s Blog.  John is a Brit, who has a sense of humor that is, well,  British.  John also, just happens to be the Senior Cruise Director of Carnival Cruise Lines.

If you ever decide to read one of his  daily blog postings and are not ready for his style of writing you are gonna be laughing your ass off or totally grossed out.

But this posting is not about John. This article is about Chuck.

In a blog posting last week John, who was having to do some work at the Carnival Cruise Lines Home Office in Miami wrote that it’s a shame that in today’s busy world there were just not enough “inter office practical jokes” taking place.  He gave a few examples of some during the time he “had” to work in an office and he provided a list of suggestion for Office Practical Jokes.

Unfortunately, by now,  he knows that I was in the Submarine Service and is rapidly finding out that British Humor has to some work to do  to become as devious and crass as Submarine Sailor humor  (or at least as itwas in the ’70’s/’80’s)

All of his suggestions regarding office humor I have been taken part in, either as an instigator  or a victim. And I have been a witness to or participated in or been a victim of far more bizarre events.

So to keep it fairly clean, I responded to his blog with an example of a practical joke within a practical joke.

But now it may have resulted in the ultimate. It sadly may have ended up as a practical joke in a practical joke in a “Gotcha”.  (Just who got who is yet to be determined)

The two people involved in the events described below were, of course me, and Chuck.  I call him Chuck, because that’s what we called him.  An awesomely friendly guy, with the personality and (almost) the looks  and speaking voice of the lead singer of Alabama.  (Don’t think Chuck could sing and didn’t want to know).   He also, at one time managed one of the busiest and most profitable McDonald’s in the Country. That career ended when he reportedly fell of the roof of the McDonald’s restaurant while attempting repairs. That ended his McDonald’s career and it also ended any normal use of his knee.

Chuck, then changed careers by attending computer programming school and ended up at the same company I was working after I got out of the Navy. He was surrounded by a office atmosphere which consisted of mostly ex-submarine sailors. And reluctantly but, with a not to be whipped spirit attempted to keep up with our shenanigans.

Chuck also met a man who worked for the company and found out that he was the was the founder of the Redskins Hogettets.  A weird group of guys who dress up in women’s dresses, wear pig noses, strange hats, suck on plastic clown size cigars and take over a section of redskins stadium for each game rooting for the Redskins Team. The name Hogettets, I assume, came from the fact that  at that time,  members of the Redskins  team were called the “HOGS”.  The Hogettets were and still are not only great team supporters but were and are extremely involved in charity work.  And Chuck was part of that.

After I wrote below comment on John’s Blog,  I had a posting on my Face Book page from the Hogettets  regarding Sunday’s game. So I went to the their website to see if Chuck was still involved.

I didn’t find him so I wrote to the email address provided to inquire about his status.

I was told CHUCK passed away a few years ago.

Chuck, an awesome friend. A guy, regardless of what your first impression of him was,  would never let you down.  A friend who, since I left that company where we worked from 1986 to 1992 I had not seen since.  And for the whole time since we worked together, he lived less than 5 miles from me.  A friend whom I had never made the effort to get together with since. Except  one time in the late 1990’s he called me and invited me to lunch .. but I couldn’t go because of prior commitment.  And missing that lunch, I truly regret.

Regarding the incident described below perhaps,  in a strange  sort of way, perhaps Chuck is now “rolling on his heavenly cloud laughing his ass off” and saying “Steve! – “GOTCHA!”

Read on —


This is my comment on John Heald’s  blog regarding Office Practical Jokes

Never have liked practical Jokes. They aren’t really Practical. However, if you are a victim of practical joke .. the best reaction and response is NONE … THEN TURN IT ON THE JOKER!

Case in point … Office workers where I worked had a thing with doing things to peoples offices while they were away on travel.

I returned to my office after being gone for a week and everything, including my phone, was missing from the top of my desk. Pictures, phone list, …everything. Everyone in the Office New who did but where playing along.

My reaction … I didn’t react. And waited. The Criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. For two days people would check me out for reactions. I acted like nothing had happened.

I suspected that the person who was checking me out the most would most likely be the culprit.

After HE left work one afternoon, I check out his office, and low and behold there was my stuff.

So I stole it back .. BUT I RE-HID it somewhere else.

Next day I told him I heard thru the grapevine that he had taken it. We laughed and he went to the place where he had hid my stuff and it wasn’t there. I got about three days of him sweating and apologizing, while searched for my belongings.

On Monday I came in early, before he did, placed all the items back on my desk.

When he came in and saw it I just looked at him and thanked him for returning my stuff.

He just blubbered something and walked away.

To this day, he never knew what happened.

(And JOHN .. (pulling the SUBMARINERS CARD AGAIN) .. That’s the difference between a submariners sense of humor and that bland British Humor!)


So perhaps we should not put off getting together with old friends and share memories and good times and bad times.

And for some strange reason, I’ve got this feeling Chuck will be preparing a place for me!

Miss ya Chuck!

What The ….?

Now that I have a few minutes to spare after our move to FLorida, I thought I’d share with my (as of this date) 477 potential readers of MY STUFF, my take on the “nature of our existence” sometimes called survival of the fittest or the ecological life cycle or the early bird gets the worm. Some simply think of it as the natural food chain. While others abstractly and honestly profess that “Shit Just Rolls Down Hill!” Continue reading