Category: Uncategorized

US Open

I drove the wife down to Queens for the US Open. I’ve never been to a sporting event like it. It had the feel of a fancy county fair. Instead of going into a barn to look at a pig, instead of going to the bleachers to see a tractor pull, we went into intimate stadiums to watch world class athletes.

We walked around the grounds. We bought hats to keep the sun off, and I took a peek into court 17. There was Jalena Jankovik practicing. Then her coach said something about the Grand Stand, and she ran off with her staff.

Jelena Jankovic on Court 17

The original plan was to get to Louis Armstrong early, and camp there for a few matches.

Louis Armstrong Stadium

Louis Armstrong Stadium getting ready

Aga Radwanska

Aga serving

Aga Serving in the First Round

Andy Murray

Andy Murray serving in Louis Armstrong

It was hot. We left Louis Armstrong, got some smoothies, and cooled of in the shade. We then sauntered through the crowds to the smaller courts. I found Camila Giorgi on Court 5. She played a great first set, but the match didn’t end well for her.

Camila Giorgi

Camila Giorgi on Court 5

Still Hot

Back on Louis Armstrong Still Hot

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

Globe at Astoria Park

Thanks to Astoria Park

Beach In France

Let’s see, I think I remember. It was 1997, my first trip to Southern France. Actually, I even remember returning to work after that trip was over. At that time I was very fortunate to work at a State College that was located in my hometown. I was a lecturer. My title was “Visiting Professor.” Yeah, there were people who actually called me “professor.”

Shortly after my return to work, one of my mentor professors met up with me in the corridor near out department. I had known him for quite a while, and he was one of the people that recommended me for the position. The hallway was crowded with students. While we talked, he leaned in close and whispered, “did you see any topless young ladies while you were on the beaches of Southern France.”

“Of course!” I replied unabashed, “I also saw many topless old ladies on the beach.” He responded by doubling over in pain.


At that time, my parents visited a village in Southern France called Gassin every August. They still go to Southern France to this day, and I’ve taken my family there with them a few times.

There was one day where my son, who was a young child at the time, was quite tired from the trip and adventuring. This same day, my wife was feeling under the weather. Mom and dad took me and my son to the beach, while my wife got some extra needed sleep. The beach was, I guess, Pampelonne Beach or at least a beach near there.

You see, as I understand it, Pampelonne is a long stretch of beach just south of St Tropez. I guess we visited somewhere from the middle to the southern end. I was lead to believe that as you go north on the beach toward St Tropez, the beach goers get more and more topless and nakeder.

Of course, my mother bought a bathing suit for me, just for this trip. Now, I was a slender guy at the time. I’m about 5 foot 8 inches, and I probably weighed about 160 or 170 pounds at the time. Now this bathing suit was a “medium.” However, when my mother buys clothes for me, I believe she goes to a big and tall store along with profession athletes who play football, basketball and sumo wrestling. I vision her elbowing her way up to the men’s bathing suit rack blurting out, “Out of my way, Tubby!” She finds the first suit with the key words on it: “Ralph Lauren” or “Polo.” Mom always gets me that Ralph Lauren stuff.

Now, imagine my mother, all five feet two of her, holding a pair of navy blue and olive green swim trunks by the waste band high above her head. Now, imagine the hem of the trunks brushing the floor as she stretches her arms up as high as she can. Now, imagine my mom saying to herself, “Yeah, well, I guess these will fit him.” Off she goes to pay $120.00 or more on enough fabric to set sail in a three mast square rig tall ship.

So, now, here I am on Pampelonne Beach on the Mediterranean coast of Southern France. Speedo land, and here I am wearing a circus tent around my hips. I just know there was a trapeze act going on between my knees, and clowns were piling out of a VW then pointing at my ankle and laughing. I couldn’t feel them, because there was a lot of room, but I just had a feeling they were there after the show with the dancing elephants’ was over.


While I was sitting there on a beach, I witnessed a behavior that I felt was totally unexpected on a beach. A young, college aged man, wearing nothing but tight red speedos and a straw hat, is walking up and down the beach yelling, “Beignets!” at the top of his lungs. No no no, not “big nets.” It’s French. Some of the letters you say, and some other letters you don’t mention. The word sounds more like “ban yay.”

What is a beignet? It’s a doughnut. (That’s right. It’s spelled doughnut. Do not spell it donut). A beignet is a rather large, sticky, sugary doughnut filled with chocolate or cream filling or jelly. If that sounds good to you, that’s okay. On my more recent trips, I’ve seen beignet vendors selling … doughnuts … to very sexy, bikini clad girls and young women from special carts that can be pushed through the sand.

This guy in the red speedos, however, had a huge tray of beignets. These doughnuts were piled at least three layers deep. They were getting squashed. The hot sun beat down on them melting the sugar and frosting. They were exposed to the sea breezes full of grit, sand, and salt. The very sexy, bikini clad girls and young women bought them up like mad. Imagine your favorite ever February Sports Illustrated cover model, wearing a top optional bikini that barely holds itself in place, gnawing on a warm and squashed éclair the size of a large submarine sandwich from you favorite Italian deli. But, they eat whatever in France, and everybody stays skinny. Maybe the ingested sand gives them extra fiber.

The attempt a swim

After the beignet boy goes away, and after the German women go by (I was told that you can tell when there German, because they’re completely naked), I felt it safe enough to traverse the sand to take a dip in the sea. As I walked, my legs swung back and forth like clappers inside humongous church bells, that were the pant legs of my enormous bathing suit. I slalom my way around people in tiny skintight swimwear, half on and half off.

I enter the water. The azure water was warm and lovely. I slipped in about belly deep, and there I saw this woman. Yes, she was topless, and her small perky breasts were exposed for all to see. She was petite, slender and fit. She played and splashed in the water. Her hair was short and blonde. But, there was still something rather ugly about her.

following me

Der Mann mit dem großen Badeanzug verfolgt mich.

Well, this sounds mean, but I didn’t want her to catch me looking at her. Well, yes, I’m sure women say the same thing about me all the time. Anyway, I turn away from her. I hold my breath, dunk fully under the water, and swim away. I pop my head above water. I get my footing. I wipe my wet hair and water from my face, and there is the same woman in front of me continuing to splash and play. I immediately turn around, dunk and swim away. I pop up from the water, and there she is again. I immediately turn, dunk and swim away. I pop up from the water, and there she is again. Only this time she’s with a … paramour wearing black speedos. Nothing came of it, but they were look at me as if I was a prowling letch. Normally, I am a prowling letch, but hey, I got standards.


I retreated back to the blanket and chaise next to my parents. I think it took the better part of the week for my swim shorts to dry.

Now I come to the most intriguing part of my recollection. I’m sitting in a chaise, surrounded by a crowd of European beach goers. Yet, over to my left, I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. Well, I did see them once or twice venturing back and forth from the cabana for cold drinks and snack. These were the cutest college aged partially bikini clad French girls on the beach. The exact kind of sweet, tender young things – douces jeunes filles – that a fellow would fantasize about when thinking of travels to the French Riviera. Of course!

Now, I can’t see them. The sounds of the beach – the talking, the sea birds, the breeze, the crash of the waves – are all quieting down to a low hum. I can hear them giggling away in French.

Then, they are visited by a man, un hom. Now, they were speaking in French, and my grasp of the language is limited. However, I’m certain that the conversation went as follows:

Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Bon jour.
Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mah classeek Mediterranean features?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mah curlee dark har?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mee?
One of the sexy filles: Non!

Then the poor fellow left all dejected. As soon as he left, the sexy French girls return to their giggling in French. That is, until the next fellow comes along.

Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Bon jour.
Three sexy filles:
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak Leetel red speedoh?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mah beeg tray of beignets?
One of the sexy filles: Oui!
Le Hom: Doo yoo lak mee?
One of the sexy filles: Non!

How to Eat Yogurt

Step by step instructions on how to eat yogurt in the office:
(This is why I can’t get anything done)

1. Go to little office fridge, and select a single serving yogurt container.
2. Bring the container to your desk.
3. Open drawer, find box of plastic spoons, and select one.
4. Peel off foil lid from yogurt container.
5. It will not come off in one piece like it does in advertisements; it never does.
6. Pick off remaining pieces of the lid.
7. Fruit flavors are layered at the bottom of the yogurt container. Use the spoon to stir and mix the contents.
8. As you stir, realize that this liquid is splashing out of the container onto your plastic desk blotter.
9. Calmly, place the container on the desk, and retrieve paper towels.
10. Wipe the surface of the ink blotter with the paper towels, and notice that the fluid is not immediately absorbed by the towels. Rather it just gets smeared around.
11. Get more towels, and repeat this process until the fluid appears to dissipate.
12. Throw the used and now messy paper towels in the trash. (If you are repeating steps 10, 11, & 12 by following instructions from step 24, you may now proceed to step 25.)
13. As you turn back towards your desk, notice the eerie gray film that is still left behind, which will surely get sticky and smelly later on in the day.
14. Grab the canister of wet naps.
15. Open the flip lid of the wet naps and notice that you’re the first person to use this canister.
16. You will have to open the main lid of the canister.
a. Find the roll of wet naps inside
b. Take the leading edge of the wet naps and feed it through the slot of the main lid of the canister.
17. At this point, if someone enters the office and asks you, “Hi, what are you up to?” Reply to them, “I’m just eating some yogurt. Isn’t it obvious?”
18. Re-assemble the canister of wet naps.
19. Pull the first wet nap out of the canister.
20. Close the flip lid and return it to shelf.
21. Wipe the eerie gray film, leaving a dewy mix of ammonia, water, alcohol, and lemon fresh scent behind.
22. Throw the wet nap away.
23. Return to paper towels.
24. Pick a paper towel, and repeat steps 10, 11, & 12.
25. Sit back down in office chair, and retrieve your yogurt cup.
26. Holding the yogurt cup in your left hand over a trash container, take the spoon , and finish stirring the contents of your yogurt.
27. Your yogurt is now ready to be consumed. Enjoy!!

For Concerned Blippers

InnerRythm & Hawknoise

Thanks for the concern.

I’m just spelling this out here, because explaining stuff over blips is too difficult. I was diagnosed with a heart murmur when I was 25. I just turned 48.

The murmur was later diagnosed as aortic insufficiency. It’s not an uncommon condition. Aaron Boone or the NY Yankees had an aortic valve replaced. It means I have a heart valve that leaks, and it’s the valve that controls blood leaving the left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps blood back to the entire body.

In short, the leak allows blood to backtrack into the heart, putting extra pressure on the left ventricle (the chamber). The heart has to compensate and work a little harder to keep the blood flowing through the body. Over time, the chamber starts to expand and get tired. Over time it doesn’t pump as efficiently. That’s the point I’m at.

At the same time, I don’t have symptoms of heart disease. I don’t get dizzy. I don’t have shortness of breath, and I don’t get chest pains. I lead a rather normal life. I work in the yard, and go for walks. I went for a short kayak trip just recently.

It’s not a matter of do I need surgery. It’s a matter of when. The way my cardiologist was talking, I thought I would be having surgery this summer 2013. As of this writing, my dr’s believe I can hold off.

One Tough Pansie

Tough Pansie 1

Tough Pansie 2

Olive Oyl

All the cook books say you should put a little Olive Oyl in your pan.

Olive Oyl

Palm Trees

Palm Trees

Don’t you – sometimes – wish you could pull off a Gauguin? You know, just drop everything…I mean everything…, and take off for an island in the south Pacific. “Hey ho! Just skipping off to the Tropics to paint pictures. See ya!”

Olive Oyl

The cook books always say to put a little Olive Oyl in your pan.

The cook books always say to put a little Olive Oyl in your pan.

Pretty Women Out Walkin’ with Gorillas

Pretty Women out walkin' with gorillas

From my window I'm staring...

Striking the Pose

Striking the Pose

Striking the Pose

Ringbinder theme by Themocracy