A Place In The Sun

It’s amazing how many things millennials and their offspring are missing out on.

Take toys for example.

When I was a child, things were much more primitive than they are today. We played outside. Not for 60 minutes. But for as long as our parents would let us. Rain, snow, tsunami…it didn’t matter. We just had to make sure we took our shoes off before running across the shag carpeting in the den. It was ludicrous to think of us sitting inside, watching TV all day. That just wasn’t going to happen. It’s not good for you. And besides, Mom wouldn’t allow it. So we spent our waking hours outdoors.

And do you know what we had for toys? We had a few pieces of wood nailed to a willow branch ten feet up. A rubber ball, cracked wooden bat, and a front yard. A wooden sled (the ones with the red, metal runners, remember?) and a hill that ran down the right side of the house all the way to the street. We had lawn darts. Metal and plastic projectiles. There is no way in hell that you could even find lawn darts, let alone let your children play with them. A plastic wading pool, green garden hose, and a sprinkler. The list is endless. But all these objects, from a bright yellow Tonka truck to a cap pistol, have one thing in common. All we’re fueled by imagination.

So when I see todays youth running around with smart phones and tablets, I can’t help but feel sorry for them. This advance in technology is causing our hope for the future to become lazy, fat, and sedentary. We are helping make their young minds become stagnant. So parent’s, do this world a favor. Limit your kids indoor activity. Limit the time spent online, playing Xbox, watching TV. Force them out in the sun. (They won’t melt.) Make them use their bodies, their minds. Make them imagine.

I’m thankful I did.   k

Why paying $7.85 for a half gallon of milk is not so bad.

Nothing major happened today. Overall it was fairly mundane. Now don’t get me wrong, something happens every single day that makes me shake my head. Some days are just more entertaining that others. I guess the one thing that stuck out to me today was….What makes people stop in the middle of the aisle to chat like they’re at a weekend BBQ???

This happens to me all the time, and I know for a fact it’s happened to you.

Say you’re out of milk, and you really don’t want to pay $7.85 for a half gallon at the local 7/11. You figure “I’ll just pop into the %^$*!&# and grab what I need and fly right outta there. Shouldn’t take but 10 minutes.” Wrong.

Just for fun we’re going to assume (I know, you’re not supposed to…so sorry.) that traffic is somewhat manageable during this excursion and you arrive at the “%^$*!&#” in decent time. Now you enter the parking lot, and by some miracle you find a parking spot up front. You start getting cocky, strutting toward the entrance. You mutter to yourself, “Hell, I’ll be out in no time.”

You silly, silly fool. The “manageable” traffic and “ideal” parking spot were nothing but a ruse. When you enter, the vestibule is cluttered with empty carts. You weave your way through these, picking up steam as you power walk up the grocery action alley toward the back of the store. The milk is always in the back. Always. You now realize that this place is packed. You knew it was to good to be true. This is what happens when you get cocky.

The milk cooler is only a few feet away. You got this.

No, really you don’t. Because smack between the butter bunker and the dairy case stands a cluster of them. The group of “We’re just going to park our little wagon train here, and catch up on things”. You say “Excuse me.” They ignore you. You attempt to go around them, come in from the backside. Nope, they have that covered, too. You clear your throat several times, to no avail. Finally, out of frustration, you worm your way between them, throwing elbows. Trying to reach your allusive prize…one half gallon of 2% milk. Ahhh…Success.

I told you we’ve all been there. And it won’t be getting any better.

Now try following a shoplifter through this mess. This swarm of people who will not move.

You get the picture.   k


Hey, can I try that on???

I was over in cosmetics today, bent down behind an end cap watching several woman shopping for makeup. As anyone who’s ever even met me, it’s obvious that this is something I don’t use, let alone purchase. So in a way I find it fascinating, these multitudes of woman who spend endless hours trying to decide on Passion Pink or Sex Kitten Red (I just made that up…not bad, heh?). But what really puzzles me is how they can go in an aisle, crack open dozens of packages just to test them on the back of their hands. And when they decide this shade was not to their liking, they just pop it back on the shelf.

Now if I would go over to the candy aisle, unsure of what I’m hankering for, and rip open a half dozen or so bags of candy so I could “sample” it and decide which one I was hungry for, people would blow a gasket. I’m sure every Assistant Manager in earshot would be running down that aisle, explaining feverishly to me why this is unacceptable behavior. And it is. The candy I had “sampled” would have been technically stolen. The bags I opened would be damaged property, in no condition for sale. So why is it okay to do this with makeup?? You wouldn’t go down the toothpaste aisle, grab a toothbrush from it’s packaging and take it for a test drive, would you?? So why do woman believe this is something they can do when they shop for makeup??

What if that bottle of Nude#6 foundation that you finally decided on and purchased went through it’s own test run?? Kinda gross, heh?? Well, what if that bottle was cracked open by a tweaker?? What if she put her crusty finger on the mouth of that bottle?? You know, the one she scratched that open sore on her arm with?? Then she dabbed some out to try ?? Down right nasty. I know not all woman do this. But it happens more than you think. Thought you might want to know. Oh, and by the way…Your welcome. k


A couple of weeks ago, the wife and I were returning from Clearwater Beach on I-4. Now I-4 is a relatively new experience for me. The only interstates that I have regularly navigated would be the ones in the Midwest, like I-29 or I-90. Let’s just say, the difference is night and day. Anyone who complains about traffic in the Midwest should be dropping to their knees and thanking whom or whatever they thank. Thus, road rage here is completely understandable. And to be expected. I suffer this affliction EVERY time I’m forced to travel on any of Florida’s interstates, but especially I-4.

Don’t believe me???

Well picture yourself in the middle of traffic, six eastbound lanes, traveling at a crawl. You take your foot off of the brake, and idle forward inches before braking again. This goes on for minutes which seem like hours. Suddenly the flow of traffic is sped up. It’s appears at this moment the vast majority of commuters have decided that they don’t like the lane they’re in. You don’t know why, nor do you care. Now there are blinkers going on all sides, trying to merge with the urgency of patrons fleeing a burning building.

Your dash thermometer reads 93. The sun is pounding down relentlessly as you sit in your car. You move the visor, hoping to swing it in the direction the sun is beating down, only to fail miserably. The air conditioner is already on 4. It’s making a high pitched whine as it struggles to keep up. You rub your temples, trying to stave off the pounding headache that is coming on, a bead of sweat dripping in your eye.

Suddenly, the Escalade to the right of you jerks into your lane. Instinct takes over as you slam on the brakes, and throw your right arm over to the passenger’s side. You pound your open palms on the steering wheel and a string of obscenities spew out of your mouth. You check to make sure there are no injuries and get back to the task at hand. As the tide of vehicles crawl’s forward, the Escalade once again swerves, this time back into his original lane. Now you clench the steering wheel, knuckles white from the strain. Just when you think you can’t take any more stupidity, any more blatant inconsideration, you glare over to your right.

Sitting calmly in his Escalade, this gift to the gene pool, this hope for the human race… is cool, calm, collected. He is staring in his rear view mirror, mesmerized. With an electric razor to his chin.

This is I-4.

This is Florida.

And Let The Games Begin!!!

And so it starts…a New Year, a new career, a fresh start. I suppose it was only fitting that I begin this blog on the first of the year, but that didn’t happen. Blame it on technical difficulties. My heart was in the right place, though.

So I embark on my journey on the 2nd of January.

Contemplation of this little adventure began about two months ago. I had just moved to Florida, and honestly, I was feeling lost. Homesick?? Yeah, I’m sure that’s part of it. But there were other factors. For one, I had hit the “I’m in my 50’s” stage, and with that inevitably enters the nagging thoughts of “What am I doing here? Where am I going? Why haven’t I accomplished more?”

My job also had become stale. Well, not so much the job as my employer ( From here on I will refer to it as “The Netherworld” for legal purposes.). I know I need the paycheck. I know I need the benefits. I know it’s the responsible way to behave. But…

Sometimes ya gotta say WTF.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Now before you go applauding my bravery, let it be known that I have yet to leave “The Netherworld”. That was just too ballsy for my first step. I do plan on escaping as soon as possible, maybe with the help of a 12 step program. Besides, it provides excellent fodder for my daily observations.  I did do some introspection however, and decided that as I love to write, freelance copywriting would be a good fit for me.

So sit back. Enjoy the ride. I have a feeling this is going to be an interesting trip…..    k