Saturday, November 29, 2003

Being Thankful 

It was a brief but happy sojourn to central Pennsylvania to visit the in-laws.

My kids love the mountains, and streams, and countless animal encounters. The grandparents have 2 cats, a dog, and we saw plenty of horses, cows, pigs, and chickens on the neighboring farms. It was a happy time for all, and only one visit to the emergency room!!

I love the country, but getting there is a bitch. Thank God for EZpass. I think it's my favorite part about driving. When I go through the tolls, I get to pass all those "crazies" who passed me about 10 miles back. I sort of smirk as I go by; sure you're faster, but I'm smarter!

My favorite toll is the one that connects the NJ Turnpike with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It's a high speed EZpass, so you get to zoom by doing about 45 mph!
This isn't it, but it's best pic I could find that describes the power I wield as I bore through the standing traffic.

I noticed lots of deer carcasses as I went west on Route 80 in Pennsylvania. I counted about 11. Coming home I only saw 1. I guess they must do some sort of deer carcass clean up, since I couldn't think of a deer-death vs driving-direction correlation.

Being a guest, it's sort of rude to sit around and watch TV, so I missed seeing the footage of Bushs' trip to Baghdad on Thanksgiving. I have a lot of admiration for he guy, that took guts. Although Hillary did it, so maybe it wasn't so special....then again the Iraqi's don't hate her like we New Yorkers do!

Those Iraqis, I thought they were all ungrateful. Then I saw this and realized they are starting to come around.

( ok, it's probably the worst "jobbed" photo ever. But I worked on one for over an hour, then lost it. damn! So I threw in a substitute. Today's my birthday and I simply refuse it waste the WHOLE day on the computer!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Me Too 

Yes, I am a conformist, a regular slave to convention. I too, am compelled to post my thoughts on the most recent plight of Mr Jackson.

You've all read about his problems by now, so I 'll keep this brief.

No, I don't think it is right to take away his kids. However, it's the law, and it's for the kids protection, so yes he has to give them up. As you can see, I am a bit conflicted on that issue.

On the matter of his guilt or innocence, I'm with Liz Taylor. (Wow, I never thought I 'd say that). I just don't trust anything a kid says to a psychologist. I'm familiar with those types of sessions. Often times, one says, whatever the hell one wants, just to get those idiots off one's back! If the kid told his parents something was wrong immediately, that would be a different story. I think it's all some sort of mix up or exaggeration...which when it involves Michael, is pretty understandable.

On his defense strategy, I think he can move right to "innocent on grounds on insanity". Remember the MTV Artist of the Millennium award, that wasn't an award at all!

Oh, and on the actions of the District Attorney....who is acting like this is some sort of game show.... "Like the sheriff and I are really into that type of music", uh..yes you are an idiot. You are representing the citizens of a county in California, not launching your comedy career.

That is all.

Learning from Larry 

I have a cousin named Larry. He's my favorite cousin. Last week we caught the Lakers vs. Knicks game, like we do every year. Larry really likes basketball. In fact, he likes all sports. He's sort of like a sports savant. He can recite all the box scores from baseball, basketball, football, even hockey - which I was surprised to find out actually retains box scores. It's really amazing to listen to him rattle off the scores from last week, the statistic's of a particular player, or recall last year’s standings.

Larry is truly amazing. He works in the mailroom for a fortune 500 company. Previously, he was commuting to work in a limousine with the company president! On weekends he is volunteering at the local fire department, and has been the manager of the local HS school football team for over 15 years. Last week, when the football team made the state finals he was featured in the New York Times for his long standing commitment and dedication to the team.

I noticed the movie Radio was out and getting good reviews. In it, Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a HS football team manager, who was initially rejected, and later embraced by the team and heralded as a inspiration. Similar to Cuba Gooding Jr's character, Larry is mentally impaired.

What makes Larry truly inspirational to me, beyond the massive retention of sports trivia and his legend of community service, is his ability to connect with people. Not just build relationships, but meet new people – complete strangers.

Each year as we sit there at MSG he must interact with a half dozen people. They share comments and laugh, and become friends. I have had season tickets for years and have made a total of 3 or 4 friends, he does that in one game! It is truly unbelievable.

But it all begins with Larry. He’s so open , so ready to initiate conversation, or to add to a conversation. Typically, he’s filling in the blank when some guy says ‘where did they get that new guy’….”drafted 9th, out of Georgetown. We have 2 other Georgetown players Mutombo and Harrington,” Larry pipes in. It‘s as simple has that , just giving yourself, your knowledge, your information, or just sharing a laugh. At some point in the game Larry and his buds are all doing high fives, jumping up, shouting, and making fun of the “suits” that stand up in front of us. Typically I have a suit on, as well, so I keep a low profile.

But Larry doesn’t leave me out either. All the while he’s talking with me, answering questions and catching up on family news. I wish I had his ability to connect to people, or at least had his free spirited nature. Life seems so mush more fulfilling when you’re open to others.

Overheard in NYC 

I must admit I am bit rusty on taxi talk these days. I don't rely on the daily NYC taxis to ferry me to work or GCT, as I used to when I actually lived in Manhattan. So, I couldn't quite make out the entire exchange between two taxi drivers stopped at a light on Park and 48th. As I crossed Park, I did notice the two having a heated argument. They were both splitting jabs back and forth in their native languages. Since one was of Asian decent the other Middle-eastern, I wondered if either one knew what other was saying.

Then I heard the universal phrase...."mudder fooker"....and I knew they both understood exactly what was being communicated! The guy walking in front of me was amused as well. He turned and said..." I guess that's the first thing you learn in taxi school; green light = go, red light = stop, and how to say "I really don't care for you driving etiquette" in English!

Taxi Memory flashback. In the early 90's, my friend and I were driving home after a night of pickup basketball at NYU. He was dropping me off at 32nd and Lex, and then heading home to the burbs. We were pulling up to a light at Park and 28th when we noticed a guy had stopped his car, had gotten out, and was yelling at a cabbie who was stopped behind him.

They guy was yelling all kinds of crap about the cabbie being an asshole, etc, etc. The cabbie gets out, and with a tire iron in hand, chases the guy around the guy's car. Now, the guy is no dummy, he runs around the car keeping it between him and the cabbie, no one likes a guy with a tire iron anyway right?. They play ring-around-the-car for about 30 seconds. The cabbie then stops, and just starts wailing on the guy's car with the tire iron. He takes out each window as he continues to chase the guy around the car. The cabbie did have a little trouble with the windshield. He had to slow down to take a few swings before it broke completely. This was a bit surprising since it's the biggest window and the easiest to hit, I think he went at it from a bad angle initially.

Anyway, the cabbie, after "opening" all the guy's windows, calmly got in his car and drove away.

As we drove past, from our safe position about 100 ft back, the guy pleaded with us to go after the cabbie. "Tough luck buddy" my friend said, and kept driving. That may not seem like a friendly thing to do, but in NYC everyone knows you don't mess with taxi cab drivers. They usually don't owned their cars, they have their own version of driving etiquette, and they are not afraid to use their tire irons. Lesson learned.

Monday, November 24, 2003


Gone but not forgotten. I have been busy as of late...being soon-to-be-unemployed is surprisingly more time consuming than being fully employed! I forgot how much time it takes to track down headhunters, set up appointments, and send out resumes, plus these 2 hour lunches are murder!

I will be back soon, probably tomorrow with a few inspirational posts. See ya.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Crime Gone Bad 

Certainly we've all read stories about the criminally insane, or is that inane? With Michael Jackson at-large is anyone really safe? Anyway, the point is stupid people commit crimes. Kurt has a good example.

Which reminds me, when I was in high school one of my contemporaries had a spell of poor judgment as well.

In seventh and eight grade Tim Brinkman was a super cool, smart, athletic, good looking guy. All the jocks identified with him for his athletic achievements, the smart kids admired the way he could get grades and girls, and the girls, well they fell for his sense of humor. In ninth grade I transferred to another school, and lost touch with Tim. Whenever my new school played Tim's in sports, I noticed he wasn't on any of the teams, and someone said he started running with the "hard guys". These were the less desirable leather jacket slackers, destine for a spot in BOCES.

One night, I was watching the local "Eye Witness News", I think I was in eleventh grade, and the announcers said, "stay tuned to hear about the Sweet Tooth Bandit". When I heard the story I couldn't believe it. Tim and his new friends had broken into the local Seven Eleven. Cleverly, they pried off the iron bars of a small back window, which was about seven feet off the ground. Once inside the trio stole the contents of the register, about $14 bucks, a few cases of beer, and a box of Tootsie Rolls.

They left out of the same small window. Apparently, they had no urgency in getting home, and strolled the 5 blocks eating mini tootsie rolls along the way. They also didn't "give a hoot", and decide to "pollute", leaving the tootsie roll wrappers behind.

The police had no clues, no fingerprints, and no witnesses. They did have a suspicious pile of wrappers at the base of the window, and upon further investigation, a trail leading down the block. The police followed the trail down the block right to Tim's front door. They opened the door, and on the coach was Tim and his 2 buds, with a box of tootsie rolls at their feet and a mess of beers lying on the floor. It gets worse, the cops gently awoke Mr Brinkman and his pals and informed them their rights.

The TV broadcasters and newspapers had a field day with the story. The "Sweet Tooth Bandit" was lambasted; "maybe he should've has grabbed a cup a coffee as well, candy never pays, etc."

I wonder if he still likes them?

Seeing Kobe 

I am diligently going to all the home games for the Knicks this year. I sit there, in pain, watching their pathetic attempt to earn their paychecks. It isn't easy....being a Knick's fan that is.

Tonight they play Kobe and the Lakers. The prospects aren't good, even with all of Kobes' distractions.

I wonder if Kobe will get booed?

Monday, November 17, 2003

Odds and Sods 

Did you read about this blogger and his misfortune? It's hilarious. For me, it's the opposite. I wish I could get my mother to read my blog. I guess I'm a "G" rated blogger, how sad.

If my wife found my blog, well, that would be a different story. If she read this ( ie the feet part), I would be in big trouble. Actually, come to think of it, I'm down to about 2 or 3 conjugal visits a year, so what am I really worried about?

....in other news; the San Diego Chargers, and Doug Flutie, got pummelledby the Denver Broncos. I few days ago I was spouting off about how a lil' bit-o-Flutie magic might help the Bolts win a few games, and save Marty Schottinthehienie's job. No midget magic, no San Diego win.

But still, having Flutie in there was a good thing. I figure, the Bolts were going to lose anyway, no matter who was QB'ing. So why not save Brees the embarrassment and let Flutie take in on the chin! OK, that was a stretch, but just for the record, no one on San Diego played well. I was glad Marty S. didn't shuffle Brees in there just for posterity. The midget experiment has a few more weeks to run...stay tuned!!

..the golf course I was inquiring about purchasing..actually it's a multi purpose county club...is not up for public bidding. They have a local buyer who they have been working with for a few years, and if they can agree on a few details the deal will get done. Damn. I was hoping to swoop in and steal the place, but I guess the seller wasn't "distressed" enough.

It's probably for the better. I would have put too much money into the place, making it the "Augusta of the North". Meanwhile, since the average per capita income in Broome County is about $25k and shrinking, I wouldn't have been able to raise greens fees ( now $30 bucks) to cover the costs.

Oh well. I am off to Ballyowen tomorrow to golf. Price of the round, $130+....and it's November!!

Friday, November 14, 2003

It's a Game of Inches 

Look again. They seem to be the same height. But for some reason, that slightly larger angle in the tilt of Flutie's chin causes everyone to question his abilities.

It may not help Marty S. save his job, as Kurt pointed out, but a couple of "Flutie wins" never hurt anyone, right??

Flutie, as spontaneous and creative as he is, he's, well, predictable. Yep, after a few weeks of watching him jitter-bug around, toss a few "jump-passes", and flick a bunch of behind-the-back laterals, defenses can build a game plan to stop him.

The problem has always been his inability to go down field with any sort of consistent success. This is ironic since his long ball, the 50+ yard "hail mary" in college, put him on the map! In addressing his weaknesses, defenses stack the box and stop the running game. Also, receivers are all jammed at the line, since defenders know his only throwing lanes are the sidelines. This leaves Doug with few options but to "dance for his dinner!"

I have a fair amount of confidence that Marty is simply trying to get the team (i.e. all players), to player better. Drew Brees is not the only problem the Bolts have. Their defense is ranked 15th out of 16th in the AFC, comparatively their offense is 7th. The defense is their main problem. Check it out here.

Now, how does starting Flutie help their defense? Simple. For a few games he keeps them off the field, provides leadership that only a 41yr old midget scrambling for his life can, and he adds a few wins to get the team's confidence back.

As I pointed out, you can only perform the same magic show for so long, before people start to catch on. So look for Marty to slide Drew back in after a few games when the magic fades. Hopefully, that will be after the rest of the team, ie the defense, has picked up their game a bit.

Note: Along with Flutie the other former Bills playing in sunny San Diego are; Steve Christie and Marcus Wiley...which is sort of why I pay any attention to them at all.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

What is in a Name 

So NYC is pimpin' itself out to Snapple for $160mm over 5years. Lots of others have named their price, whats yours?

Build It, and They Will Come 

It was only 19 years in the making, but the Jets are determine to stop it, before it gets to "Bambino" like proportions. Yes, the "curse of New Jersey" is set to stop in 2009. Read about the NY Jets plans to move their stadium back to Manhattan. (You didn't think it was the owners/players/coaches fault did you ?)

I think it's a good thing. The prospects of maintaining a stadium built "over" a rail yard is dicey, but economically it works. It will be a multi-purpose facility, so it can throw off about $2 billion in revenues a year. Over 70% of Jets fans will take mass transit to the games, this will keep them off the road on Sundays which, trust me, is a huge blessing.

Once up and running the facility will be the centerpiece for a push to get the 2012 Olympics and future Superbowls in NYC!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Bring Back Rachel 

Although that is the goal over here, I doubt it will happen. Very creative minds at work, go read these and vote.
As a side note, I am trying to map entrants to entries. It is easy to discern male from female entries, but after that I am not quite sure. Hmmm?


Not much new today. Well, except someone got his 50,000th visitor!! Congrat's. I wonder what it's like to have 100,000 blogger eyeballs on you?? Sort of like being a rock star, but without the groupies for sex, the assistants to wait on you hand and foot, the road managers to arrange free drugs, and the fans willing to give you millions of dollars! Oh well.

I, at the other end of the visitor spectrum, have good news as well. I am losing my job. No worries, this has long been anticipated, and is well planned for. It now allows me to explore new career opportunities and challenges.

First up, anyone think I should buy this golf club? They say its a Country Club, but theres nothing exclusive about it. My wife is against the idea, mainly because of the poor location. I doubt the numbers will pan out either, but I am checking into it anyway.

Interestingly, my first query was; how many golf courses are there in Broome County, pop. 200,000? I figured about 5....wrong. Ten. Yep, ten golf courses and I didn't even check the whole country, just 10 miles around of Johnson City. It doesn't look good. I get the P and L information and other stat's tomorrow.

At least I can dream.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


When I was a teenager, about 13 or 14 years old, I looked forward to these "federal holidays". I would get the neighborhood gang together, and we would play sports all day long. We typically gathered behind the VFW hall. It was a bit further away from our neighborhood, but no one would come along and chase you away, like at the field behind the library or the one next to the local elementary school.

After a full day of baseball, then football, which always morphed into a game of "tackle the guy with the football", we retired to the picnic tables. They were a set of matching wooden tables with new tubular steel frames set on a nice patch of crisp black asphalt. We sat exhausted from 6 hours of "survivor sports" (that's no scorekeeping, and you play until the other guys quit). One of the fellas, John Britton, sarcastically said, "wasn't it nice of someone to put these tables here for us". "It was the VFW, stupid," snapped Tom Moore. "OK, smart ass. What is the VFW anyway?" Long pause.

I could have just provided the answer right away. I don't really know why I didn't. Next came a flurry of spontaneous leaps for attention, "very fine women", "vulgarly flung waste" and "victory finally won"...were some I remember. I said quietly, with a glazed over expression, almost like I was in a trance, "it means Veterans of Foreign Wars," I mumbled.

For a few minutes the chatter turned to what a veteran is, what do they do, why they need a hall, and "sure glad they don't use the field." We talked about what it would be like to fight in a war, and really need to rely on each other. This morning I read this article, and it brought back a lot of those feelings. ( its' the cover story on Capt. Harry Hornbuckle's efforts during "Objective Curly.")

As a soldier, it appears, you don't fight for personal wealth or some other homeland reward. You fight for the mission's success, and you and your fellow soldier's survival. I guess there is no way to pay back veterans for their efforts, in a monetary sense. But I am glad we at least have this day, Veteran's Day, for them. I hope it keeps alive the spirit of what it means to be a soldier, and make life-sized sacrifices for your fellow man.

That day, as we moved off the picnic tables and headed home, I didn't say much. I remember thinking my friends were stupid (yes, I was the smart one), but I would fight like hell for every one of them.

.....War is a ridiculous, but necessary, consequence. I am proud of all those who have undertaking the responsibility of defending our way of life. Read more about it here.

....Also, I am glad the holiday was returned to it's historically significant date.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Good Fun 

This is supposed to make our fun more fun right? Then why is everyone so upset? Well, that might be an overstatement, but it is drawing lots of interest. Everyone has an opinion. Aside from the incorrect reference to economic theory he is correct. (Hint: you incorrectly applied "Says Law").

I can see how a fuss over Ecosystem rankings can happen. Someone once said..."if they keep score, you're supposed to try to win"...or something like that. So "actively" trying to win was bound to crop up sooner or later. Forming common interest groups, i.e. alliances, is also normal. You put the two together, and you turn yourself about, thats what blogging is all about! Seriously, it's somewhat sad, but perhaps it's all just a big misunderstanding. Now is a good time to refresh everyone's understanding that we are here for fun, entertainment, amusement, etc.

NZ Bear is correct for heading off this situation, and hopefully finding a way to just keep the fun...uh... fun.

To me the Ecoshpere rankings are a lot like a golf handicap. You want a good one ( i.e. a low golf handicap) so you are known as a good player, and everyone wants to play with you. However, if you can't live up to the ranking, everyone will think you are either a liar, a cheater, or an idiot...and, btw, they will happily take your money!

Finally, let this measly little microbe, or some other insignificant little Ecosphere creature, remind you all of another famous quote....Worry less about your reputation, and more about your character.

Sunday, November 09, 2003


in Tagalog:

na buoton Kaayo. Buotan kaayo Sila, gi swerte ra ko ani nila, padaplin usa ang malas...hee, hee, hee.

OK. I understood the "hee, hee, hee" part. But can anyone tell me what my Phillipino nanny is telling her friends??


For the last few years it has been decided by about September, but this year it’s November and it’s a mystery. The Player Of theYear is a big deal to us golf junkies. It is the only award which is decided by a vote by the players. It carries the weight of the “admiration of your competitors” cache.

I just love golf. Not only playing it, but for the spirit of the game. No cry babies, a la tennis. No thugs, a la basketball. No fighting, a la hockey. No illegal drugs, hand guns, salary-cap, luxury tax, or shirt hanging out your back. It is just a great sport were the game still bigger than the players, and professional respect is earned - each year. Which brings me back to the POY award.

Here is a good article providing the history of the award. The issue is how do you pick a winner the POY for 2003? Basically ,the players are voting for the guy they would like to switch places with in terms of professional performance. Not surprisingly, money is NOT the defining achievement of the season. The Majors are what define your greatest as a player. Next is the number of victories attained during the 45+ week season. If those two measures don’t single out one player, then scoring average is referenced. Although money is what sustains their careers, and pays the rent, it doesn’t really figure into the player’s decision for POY.

Note: In 1990, Faldo was NOT a member of the PGA, and Wayne Levi had the most victories. In 1991, no major winner had a memorable full season and Fred Couples was tied with 2 victories, thus it came down to the scoring leader.

This year is complicated. Four different players won Majors ( Weir, Furyk, Curtis and Micheel), and a different player won the most times on tour (Woods). In my humble opinion I think Weir gets the nod. Although he and Furyk both won Majors, he edged out Furyk with more victories, 3 to 2. I realize Woods won 5 times on tour, but none were Majors, and bar is higher for Woods.

In the end, pro’s would take one Major win (and less money) over a half dozen other tour victories, and that is what makes this sport special.

Here is a recap of what ESPN thinks about the POY 2003 race. They pick Tiger.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Pull a Reagan 

Actually, that should be "Pull a Moonves"?. What an idiot. The Reagan miniseries had pay per view written all over it from the beginning . Written by liberals, acted by liberals , and ultimately watched by liberals. Gee, I wonder why it took so long for CBS to wise up. Psst, it was't just the conservatives holding their nose, it was anyone with a distaste for lies. At least CBS never had the shortsightedness to call it a documentary.

Anyway, it reminded me of a previous Moonves blunder, (which was also carried in today's WSJ). He planned to launch a reality series called "The Real Beverly Hillbillies". The show called for importing a group of real life Appalachian hillbillies to Beverly Hills. Overmatched by the sophisticated lifestyle, the group would quickly create a plethora of stereo-typed comedy. When the news got out, the project got squashed by just about everyone. But not before Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia got in his parting shot at Moonves. He suggested Moonves create a reality series in which a group of television network execs get dropped in the Appilachians and have to make friends, find jobs and actually work for a living.

Although probably not acceptable for primetime viewing, that is one show that IS worthy of network programming!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

We are Blogging in a Material World 

This article, flagged by her, and promulgated by her, got me to thinking. Well, at first it got me a bit concerned; is Blogging really just a sport for teenage girls gossiping about what TV shows they watch or which classmates are doing X, as the article suggests? God I hope not. If so, my wife, when she finds this blog, will probably NOT be amused!!

I decided to take a closer look at my fellow bloggers. I chose to focus on an aspect of blogging I understand, money. I looked at 60 blogs, split equally between men and women, and analyzed who was soliciting for free hand-outs. (Well, not free, but I am not about to get into the value statement with regards to particular blogs). I looked for those Pay Pal buttons, or "if you want to be nice to me" hot links. I also took note of solicitations of "other revenue generating sources"...t-shirts, mugs, thongs, etc.

I tred to go into this with an open mind, but I did have some strong pre-conceived notions. I assumed that women would be less likely to solicit for funds. But, if they did have the nerve to hold out the old "tin cup", they would couch it in the form of a cutesy "gift list"..the odd assortment of books, DVDs, CDs, etc. Likewise for men, I figured most had a Pay-Pal button tucked away somewhere. It would undoubtedly be some sort of hubristic statement about the value their ideas/opinions, plus a convenient place where their adoring public could exhibit it's devotion.

Once again, I was wrong.

The results:

A whopping 53% of women bloggers had links soliciting for material items they coveted. This compared to a mere 7% ( or 2 out of 30) for male bloggers. OK, this isn't good for women, but it gets worse.

In terms of cold hard cash, the Pay Pal or equivalent button, women ( 40%) were only slightly behind the men ( 47%). Yikes!

Are women that much more brazen about getting paid?? Are they really more likely to view their blogs as "creating value" for the reader??

I looked harder.

In a further analysis of bloggers advocating "other revenue generating" links. I finally found some respite for the women. In this category men out shadowed women, 27% compared to 7%. Finally.

At this point I thought perhaps men were just less materialistic, but equally, how do I put this, umm, opportunistic. Unfortunately the combination of men who either looked for cold hard cash or participated in a revenue sharing deal, still only accounted for 53%. This was still well behind the women's 67%, for possessing a call for either cold hard cash or material items.

I tried cutting the numbers lots of different ways..."figures lie, and liars figure" sort of thing, but no luck. Our lovely and talented female blogging compatriots are simply more eager to seek some sort of economic return for their efforts than male bloggers.

If the correlation between "asking for compensation" and "getting compensation" is strong, which one would expect, and compensation fuels blogging, which seems logical since blogging typically takes away from one's normal compensation making efforts, female bloggers may have a leg up in the race for blogging longevity...and it's untold rewards.

Damn their smart.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Halloween Memories 

It's sort of routine now, but when I was little, Halloween was a very exciting time. I have some very vivid memories of those days. Knowing the impact Halloween can have you, I am keen to ensure my kids enjoy the event.

1) I can remember being a clown, age 2. see pic. ( that’s my sister age 3 next to me)

2) I can remember being a spaceman at age 4. see pic. (spacemen had guns??)

3) I can remember when my sister, above, had her candy bagged “knifed”. She was seven years old, and I six. Getting “knifed”, is when someone ties/tapes a knife to their foot and proceeds to kick other trick-or- treaters’ bags of candy, in hopes some will fall out. This was a very real threat, since in those days we all used brown paper grocery bags (which we had colored with crayons). You had to be wary of the older kids. My sister was dawdling behind the rest of us, and got nailed.

I was sad she got her bag knifed, but I was on a sugar high and could not be bothered to stop and help her. I was even sadder when I got home and my father made me and my two other sisters share our candy. Apparently, my sister who got knifed, was traumatized by the event, and went straight home with no candy. In an effort to avoid giving away too much candy I pleaded with my parents, “but she could have gotten a new bag and went back out”. That didn’t get anywhere.

4) When I was 10 I had the chickenpoxes on Halloween, along with two of my 3 sisters. My lone healthy sibling, coincidently the one who had her bag knifed, had to collect candy for all 4 of us. She was dressed as an Indian and carried two bags and asked for extra candy. Even with the extra time my parents allotted her, she still didn’t get very much candy. We all pleaded with her to go back out and get more. She complained to Mom she was tired, and stayed in. The 3 of with chickenpox called her “Cry-a-watha” for a week or so.

5) That same year my costume caught on fire. I was dressed as an Olive. I have no idea why, I think I was going through an identity crisis. I had bright red hair at the time; I guess I thought I should use this distinguishing feature in my costume. I found a bunch of green cloth-like material my mother was using to make Girl Scout sashes. It was used to display their merit badges or something, and I wrapped it around by entire body. Come to think it, being only 10 yrs, I must have looked more like a sting bean than an olive.

As I stood teary eyed in our bay window, watching all the neighbor kids run across our lawn, I felt a warm glow on my back. I turned and noticed that a piece of my “olive skin” had brushed against the jack-o-lantern on the coffee table. My stupid costume was on fire, I was on fire. Since my legs were wrapped tight I couldn’t run. I remembered from school, “stop, drop, and roll”. After a quick “alligator” on the living room carpet, I called out to my parents and my father released me from the green felt. I thought I was going to get punished for making burn marks in the rug, but my parents were never prouder of me. I think it was the first time I actually had dome something right.

6) When I was about 11 years old. My father took all our candy away. My sisters and I came home from school one day and our neatly stacked piles of candy were all gone. Instantly we ran to our mother, and she told us "your father took it all and gave it the kids at the orphanage". We had never been to, or heard of, the orphanage, but it sounds like something he would do.

It was quite devastating to have all that loot, snatched away. We objected to his playing fast and loose with our riches, but it was hard to argue with the nobility of the gesture.

Years later our parents told us they didn't want us to have cavities, so my dad took the candy into his office. For the longest time I wished they hadn't revealed that. I laugh about it now though.

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