Monday, February 19, 2018

The Eulogy After The Funeral

The Funeral Is Tomorrow

On Thursday Morning I received I received word that My Good Friend Don’s Funeral Services were to be held the next morning at 10. I had known him since June 1966. The first thing I said to myself was, “Wow! That’s 418 miles away!” The second thing I said to myself was, “You better start driving!”


Technically This Is Not a Eulogy

A Eulogy is spoken at a funeral. This was not a Delivered Eulogy but is the result of remembrances that floated through my mind on the 836 Mile Trip to and from Don’s Funeral Services.


Meeting, Losing Track Of and Finding Don Again

I met and worked with Don at Ford Motor Company from June 1966 until I left Ford in November 1975. We were always friendly toward each other but for the last 15 years we have been friends...Really Good Friends.


I had a business contact with him in about 1985 and that was the only time we saw each other until I got a call from him out of the blue in 2003.


I don’t know how he found me but I am so very glad he did. He called because he needed help with his computer. How he found out I knew more than he did about computing I never asked. I was too busy being his friend to bother asking.


The Coffin Room

Every time I made a trip back to New Orleans (where he and I were born) I always stopped and spent two nights with he and his wife June. I was always glad I was there when I arrived and a little sad when I left.


I always slept in The Coffin Room. You can bet I asked why it had that name the first time I heard Don tell me where I would be sleeping and this is that story...

Ø One day Don saw an ad selling coffins that were for sale at a very good price.

Ø Don always liked a bargain.

Ø He made contact with the seller consummated the deal for two bargain priced coffins.

Ø Time passed and the Coffin Seller called and asked when Don was going to arrange to take possession of the coffins.

Ø Don told him that he had no need for the coffins at this time.

Ø The seller did not want to hear about his needs and he told Don that he needed to take the coffins off the seller’s hands as soon as possible, whether he needed them or not.

Ø Don complied with the coffin seller’s demand.


That’s how The Coffin Room got its name. There were two coffins in one of the room’s two closets.


I probably stayed in the room about 15 times but I never did open the door to that second closet.


I finally got to see one of the two coffins at Don’s Funeral Service. It was a fine looking coffin. It may have been a bargain but it did not look cheap. Don sure knew how to buy coffins.


Don Was 12 Years Older Than I Am But He and June Had Been Married 2 Years Less (52) Than I Penny and I Have Been Married (54)

Don was not dragging his feet about getting married. He was looking for June.


Being In That Number with Don and June

Shortly before the Saints played in their only Super Bowl on February 7, 2010 I called Don and said I wanted to watch the game with someone else who had been in Tulane Stadium when the Saints played their first game on September 17, 1967. I then proceeded to invite myself and my wife over to Don’s house to watch the game (another 836 mile drive).


For that first Saints game I hired on as a Security Guard for Pinkerton Detective Agency so I could get to see the game. At the kick off I was in one of the end zones in my nifty uniform looking secure.


My job it turned out was not to keep the drunks from spilling beer on other drunks because that was an impossible task. My job was to attempt to keep the drunks who had been spilled on from getting mad because they had beer all over him.


Don was somewhere else in the stadium in better seats without having to wear a secure uniform. Even then Don had more money than I did because he always was an excellent businessman.


Let’s get back to the Super Bowl in 2010. We had a Super Time because it was a Super Game, it was a Super Day and we watched the Saint’s Victory with Super Friends.


Charities Are Going to Miss Don

Don not only knew how to make money but he also knew how to give it away. Several times on my visits I took note that there was a Charity Stack on his desk. It was made up of solicitations for his money Don had received for which he had yet to write a check. The checks were certain to be written eventually.


Some might say he was a Soft Touch but I rather think of him for what he was. He was a Generous, Caring and Sharing man who always tried to give back.


A Fitting Passing

Don liked all things Military. He had been in the Navy in his youth. His office has pictures and replicas of Ships and Military Aircraft all over it. He was not an Admiral. He was an ordinary man but he was a Very Special Ordinary Man.


He had a strong belief in his God and he died with his God. He was in his Big Chair watching a Catholic Mass on his TV. It was a Fitting Passing for a Generous, Good Friend, Good Businessman, Good Father, Good Husband, Religious, Ice Cream Loving and Very Special Ordinary Man to Pass Away.


He wasn’t an Admiral but he could have been.


Pay Our Respects

When people go to funerals they often say they go to “Pay Their Respects”. For those who attended Don’s Funeral Services it is only fitting that they go to Pay Their Respects because Don Deserved Respect.


Don’s Friend,


Friday, February 16, 2018

Are Leprechauns Victims Of Racism?

A day does not go by where we do not read a newspaper article about someone being offended, see a news piece on TV about someone being offended or even have someone tell us that we have offended them by saying what we just said.


In the cases where we have done the offending, we frantically try and figure out what the offended was offended about. Many times we never do figure out what caused the offense. All too often we find ourselves apologizing for whatever we said that was offensive when we really want to say what our parents would have said in this situation, “Get over it! You sure are sensitive! Want a beer?”


We are often told that the most offended class in the Good Ole USofA is the American Indian (now known as the Native American). The interesting thing about the Native Americans being offended is they are often unaware they have been offended, until someone who knows more about being offended than they do, informs them that they need to get upset.


There are a whole bunch of advocates that are ready, willing and certainly able to carry the Native Americans’ Cause forward for them.


Here’s a good example. When the Washington Post polled Native Americans in 2016, it found 9 of 10 were not offended by the name of Washington D.C.’s NFL franchise—the Redskins. The results did not vary much by age, income, education, politics or proximity to a reservation. And the results hadn’t changed much since a similar 2004 poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.


Maybe because the Native Americans do not seem to care much about getting upset the Advocates for the Offended are now looking elsewhere for “victims” and, believe it or not, they are now getting upset on behalf of Leprechauns.


Since Leprechauns are not real, you would think that Advocates would quickly lose interest. Don’t count on it because, once these things get started, they seem to develop a life of their own.


A hot under the collar Advocate for Leprechauns recently said, “Many Irish-Americans are not offended, but many are. Should that also change? The answer is yes! Unequivocally yes. Pernicious, negative stereotypes of marginalized people that offend, even some among them, should be changed.”


The Fella is very confused...

Ø We are being told that Irish-Americans are offended.

Ø We know that Irish-Americans are not Leprechauns.

Ø Irish-Americans know that they are not Leprechauns.

Ø We also know that Leprechauns do not exist.

Ø How can Irish-Americans be offended about something that they are not that does not exist?


Also take notice of the use of big words by the Advocates for the Offended...”unequivocally”, “pernicious”, “stereotypes” and “marginalized”. People with weak arguments often use big words to hide the weakness of their argument.


Finally, I would like to zero in on the words “even some among them” in the above quote. How many hoops are we to jump through for “some”? How many is “some”? Could “some” be one? Are we destined to tie ourselves in knots for “some” when “some” is only a few and the few do not seem to be paying much attention anyway?


How far away are we from hearing an impassioned lawyer say to a disbelieving judge...

“Your honor, this is unconscionable! Quoverts have suffered long enough under the yoke of this pernicious stereotyping. Their whole existence is being unequivocally marginalized. The prosecuting attorney has attempted to make a point of the fact that Quoverts do not exist. I ask you what difference does that make at this point. If they did exist, they would exist and, having made the point that they do not exist, it certainly follows that they would be offended if they did exist by all of what did or did not happen to them. Quoverts are people too!”


Would I kid u?


Monday, February 12, 2018

California’s Affirmative Action for ‘Marijuana Entrepreneurs’

The Source for this Blog Posting is...


Jason L. Riley

Wall Street Journal


(Excerpts from Mr. Riley’s column are in Italics below.)


In California, a criminal record can prevent you from obtaining a liquor license but give you a leg up in obtaining a permit to deal dope.


It’s all part of an effort in the Golden State to help more minorities become “marijuana entrepreneurs”. On New Year’s Day 2018, California became the ninth state to legalize cannabis for recreational use, but officials are worried that not enough blacks will qualify for the permits needed to sell weed legally.


To address this “problem,” Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities have created “equity programs” that offer no-interest loans and other perks to people who live in poor black neighborhoods and have been convicted of drug crimes.


If you’re a white applicant, you can improve your own chances of receiving a permit by “incubating” an equity applicant, which means making him a 50% partner in the business or giving him floor space in your establishment, rent-free.


The people who dreamed this up sold it as a way to compensate blacks, who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. But what about the disproportionate number of blacks who have been victims of these drug dealers? What about all the law-abiding blacks who reside in poor neighborhoods where drug gangs have taken over playgrounds and street corners and school yards and made the sound of gunfire a summer-night norm?


Above is what Mr. Riley had to say about those who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.


Below is The Fella’s Wise Guy Retort...Will all those who have been negatively affected by the actions of those who have been disproportionately affected now be positively affected proportionally?


How far are we away from hearing this conversation in courthouses across the Fruited Plain?...

Ø Potential Entrepreneur: Good Morning, Mr. Bureaucrat, I would like to fill out the required paperwork to open a bank in our fair community.

Ø Potential Entrepreneur: This is a big day for me.

Ø Potential Entrepreneur: I have always wanted to own a bank and, as long as I can remember, I have had this burning desire to enrich my fellow Smithvilleian’s lives by granting hard working and ambitious members of our community loans to start new business ventures and allow them and Smithville to prosper.

Ø Mr. Bureaucrat: Have you ever robbed a bank?

Ø Potential Entrepreneur: No.

Ø Mr. Bureaucrat: Sorry. If you have never robbed a bank, you are not entitled to become a banker.

Ø Potential Entrepreneur: Sigh.


Would I kid u?


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

In Recognition Of Our Volatile Stock Market

Here are 2 Blog Postings I wrote in 2009. They may be old but they are still Right On Target with a Touch of Humor Thrown In...Or are they?...Or is there?

June 2009...

The Stock Market Is Predictable…Or Is It?

I have always distrusted the Stock Market. I don’t like having my money subject to unexplainable influences.


Sometimes the Stock Market moves because of actual, factual and understandable forces. Sometimes it moves based on rumor, innuendo and statements or non-statements from anonymous sources whose brother-in-law’s neighbor may or may not know what he is talking about.


My unease about the Stock Market was verified yesterday. General Motors filed for bankruptcy and the Stock Market took a dramatic downturn … Right? … Wrong! The Stock Market went up 221 Points. Someone please explain that to me.


Years ago I pulled my meager resources out of the Stock Market. Considering what is currently happening to our Stock Market, the Smartfella, at present anyway, is proving that he is a Smart Fellow.


Now if only I could remember where I buried that coffee can, I would feel a lot better.


Would I kid u?


October 2009...

Why Do They Look So Happy? (Or More Puzzling) Why Do They Always Look So Happy?

There is one thing about the Stock Market that has always puzzled me. It happens at the closing of the New York Stock Exchange each and every day.

There is an overhang that looks out at the exchangers who have just finished their day’s exchanging.


If the Stock Market has gone up dramatically that particular day, there is a group of people standing on the overhang that are applauding and smiling and smiling and applauding. They look really happy!

On those days when the Stock Market has fallen like a heavy rock, there is another group of people standing on the overhang and they are applauding and smiling and smiling and applauding. They look really happy!

This does not seem to make sense. Why are they happy when the Stock Market goes up and are just as happy when the Stock Market goes down?


On those horrible down days do they not understand that fortunes have just been lost? Do they not see that lives have just been ruined? Do they not comprehend that in the next several hours a number of recently-used-to-be-rich people will be jumping out of tall buildings all over the country?

Maybe that is it! The people applauding on those crash days are the people who rent window space to that day’s jumpers. The used-to-be-rich are desperate to end it all and the Jumpers R Us Industry is always ready to serve. They advertise...

Space is limited. Take a number. Have a donut on us. We promise to move you through as quickly as possible.

Would I kid u?


Sunday, February 04, 2018

The Fella Has Been Saying For Years, “It’s Not That I Don’t Trust My Fellow Man. It’s Just That He Keeps Stealing Things From Me”.

Google has built a massive business organizing the world's information but it's having a lot of trouble keeping track of its own bicycles.


Google maintains roughly 1,100 free bicycles known as Gbikes (does the name surprise you?) for its employees to get around on its sprawling Googleplex Campus Headquarters in Mountain View, California. (As you read this Blog Posting, remember this underlined part.)


However, Google's bikes consistently go missing from its campus. The company estimates that between 100 and 250 a week leave the campus for parts unknown.


Among the solutions, the company hired a team of 30 contractors and five designated vans whose only job is to retrieve Gbikes from around the community.


Some bikes are simply stolen. Other bikes have shown up throughout the town at local schools, on neighbors' lawns, at the bottom of the town creek, on the roof of O'Malley's Sports Pub and at outside local movie theatre where the Town Mayor left it.


One 68 year old unauthorized user who rides the bikes several times a week says, "It's like a friendly gesture. They don't really want us to use it, but it's OK if you do." (The Fella does not want to sound picky but did she just contradict herself?) When a bike is available at the train station she rides it 10 minutes to her house and keeps it overnight behind her gate. The next morning, she rides it back to the station, where she catches the train to her job at Google’s rival Oracle Corp. She was quoted as saying, "I rent it for a day". (Now the Fella is wondering how Google chooses to spend the “rent” proceeds.)


Still, Google is trying to slow the losses. Late last year, it started adding GPS trackers to the bikes, which revealed thieves were taking them as far as Mexico, Fairbanks, the snows of New England and the Nevada desert.


One of the Google employees charged with retrieving the bikes (a full time job) started carrying a lock to secure bikes he finds around town. When he tries that in front of his family, they reprimand him because they say he’s going to leave somebody stranded.


When an elderly person who was spotted with one was asked what he planned to do with it, he said, “Oh, I've got a whole garage full of them”.


Send in the Lawyers…Gbikes (up to $300 purchase price, repair, replacement, retrieval) are costing Google a lot of money. The Fella is wondering, if Google decided to scrap the whole idea, would the Thieves, the Town People, the Town Mayor, the People Employed to Retrieve Them, the Mexicans, the Alaskans, the New Englanders and Desert People in Nevada sue Google.


Would I kid u?


Thursday, February 01, 2018

My Grandpa Was A 7 And 7 Kind Of Guy

Here are 2 stories about my Mother’s Father...


Grandpa’s house was divided into several different living sections. Most of his family lived there after they got married. Some lived there for a short period of time and some lived there for many years…

Ø My own family lived there before I was born.

Ø Uncle Leon’s family lived there a long time.

Ø Aunt Josephine’s family lived there twice.

Ø Uncle Guy’s family lived there.

Ø Aunt Carmela lived there before her marriage, during her marriage and after her divorce.

Ø Aunt Sarah’s family lived there.

Ø A couple of cousins lived there.

Ø The Little French Girl lived there. I never knew her name. The family always referred to her as The Little French Girl.


Grandpa even lived there.


Why was he a 7 and 7 kind of guy? That’s because he raised 7 children by delivering Ice, Coal and Wood Door To Door and he played cards 7 nights a week.


My cousin, who lived in Grandpa’s house, told me this story…

Ø One night Grandpa got a Royal Straight Flush.

Ø Another player got a very strong hand that he thought could not be beaten.

Ø They started betting against each other.

Ø Neither would give in.

Ø They kept raising and raising the bet.

Ø It got to be a really big pot (probably about $10).

Ø Eventually they laid down their hands and the garage went crazy!

Ø All these Old Italian Men (I say “old” but they were probably far younger than I am now) got up and started dancing around the table and around the garage.

Ø They eventually took the Royal Straight Flush and nailed it to the garage wall.

Ø Then they nailed the pot to the wall also.


The Hand and the Pot stayed there for many years to come and I bet they all smiled every time they looked at what they had nailed there and thought about the Night My Grandpa Got The Big One.


Would I kid u?



Lagniappe: I contacted a cousin of mine before I published this Blog. He and his brother (also my cousin Smile) grew up in Grandpa’s house. I asked him if there were any inaccuracies in these stories. He replied, One night the card game was raided by the police. Uncle Johnny talked to the police and they went away. They shut down the game for that night but the game was back on the next night. Smile


Lagniappe Another: As I pecked out the above Lagniappe I could not help but wondering if those cops’ 50 pound blocks of ice were not a little light the next morning. Smile

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Is The State Of California In A State Of Open Rebellion?

The Fella used to live in California (actually lived there twice) and I don’t remember it being as radical as it is now because it was not as radical as it is now.


The second time I lived there (1990 to 2000) I read a lot of articles in the newspapers about the high number of people from California that were moving out of California. The legislators in California looked at the large number of people who were leaving and said, “We can do better!”


Silly me, I thought they meant they could take action to slow the Exodus. I was wrong about what I thought they were thinking. What they meant by saying “We can do better” was that not enough were leaving and they could and should get more to leave.


Many of my Dear Readers are Lawyers. Below I have posted three Legality Questions for you Lawyering People to ponder.


The people who rule California seem to have moved from Silly and Confused to Open Rebellion against these United States of America...


Ø Is this Legal?...Lawmakers from California have proposed a bill that would compel companies making more than $1 million from the recently passed Federal Tax Reform Legislation to turn over half their tax-cut savings to the State of California

Ø Is this Legal?...The State Senate President Pro Tem has introduced legislation that would allow Californians to get around the State and Local Tax Cap, which is part of the recently passed Federal Tax Reform Legislation, by making a voluntary donation to a charitable fund created by the state of any amount of owed taxes above the $10,000 cap. That donation — in lieu of taxes — would allow donors to write off the gifts on their Federal Tax Returns.

Ø Is this Legal?...The State Attorney General warned employers in California that they must comply with a New California Law that limits their cooperation with Federal Immigration Officials. He said, if they assist Federal Immigration Officials in any crackdown in the State of California, they will face fines of up to $10,000 from the State of California.

It looks to the Fella as if California is doing its level best to remove “United” from the United States of America.


Would I kid u?



Lagniappe: Follow The Money. I wonder who or what entity will benefit from the “charitable fund created by the state” in bullet #2 above.