Why I Want Trump

My 26-year-old truck has been sitting in my driveway for the past couple of weeks.  I decided to take out yesterday, and it doesn’t start.  It’s been giving me trouble these past few months and I’ve taken it to my mechanic several times and it just doesn’t get fixed right.  I just want her to function like she used to.  My friends tell me about this mechanic in town that is the absolute best.  But they tell me the guy smells, he swears, there are empty beer cans scattered around his shop, he’s been married a few times, he usually has a plumber’s crack showing, and he’s a big Obama supporter.  I figure this won’t stop him from getting my truck fixed.  I have the truck towed over to his shop and he guarantees he’ll make my truck great again.  So I tell him to get it fixed.  I don’t care how he looks or what he does in his personal life, I simply want my truck running.  If I want it fixed, he’s the guy.

And here’s why I want Trump. 

Yes, he’s a bit of an ass, yes he’s an egomaniac, and I really don’t care. The country is a mess because politicians suck, the Republican Party is two-faced and gutless, and the Democrats are even worse. I want our country fixed.  I don’t care that Trump is crude, I don’t care that he insults people, I don’t care that he has been sued many times, I don’t care that he’s been married 3 times, I don’t care that he fights with Megan Kelly, World Leaders, or the media.

This country is weak and bankrupt. We have been invaded by illegals and we are the laughing stock of our enemies.  We have become a nation of victims belonging to some special group with special rights.  We don’t even recognize the country where we were born and raised and we just want it fixed. Trump is the only guy who seems to understand what the people want.  We’re sick of politicians, sick of Democrat and Republican promises, and we are sick tired of all these special interest groups with hurt feelings.

I want to see America great again. Trump may not be a saint, but he isn’t beholden to lobbyists and he sure doesn’t have political correctness restraining him either.  We all know that he has been very successful, he’s a good negotiator, and he has built a lot of things.  He’s also not a cowardly politician, and if he says he’ll fix it, he will. I believe him because he is too much of an egotist to be proven wrong or to be called a liar. And I sure as hell don’t care if the guy has bad hair. 

I just want my truck running great again. 

 

 

Open That Bottle Night

Tonight is Open That Bottle Night.  It was conceived more than 15 years ago and is celebrated world-wide today.

Two wine lovers found that a great many people have a special bottle of wine stashed away for some special occasion.  This bottle is to be opened to celebrate a promotion, the birth of a grandchild, or a special event with your spouse.  Over the years, they heard stories of people who were laid off, had a daughter-in-law who opted not to have kids, or had their spouse pass away way too early.  The bottle of wine was no longer looked upon with hope and joy but with the sadness of unrealized dreams.

They postulated that sharing and enjoying the memories we have built with each other is far superior than waiting for some special day.  We have built many memories with family and friends, let’s celebrate the good times we have enjoyed while we are all still around.

Great bottles of wine go to waste every day waiting for that special event that never comes. This night was set so that we would open that bottle and enjoy the moments with those we care deeply for. 

The opening of that bottle is itself the special occasion. We wait long enough for the “right moment” but that “right moment” might never come, so just Open That Bottle.

Picks From the Porch

As you get ready to head out to attend your Oscar Party this evening, don’t forget to take this Cheat-sheet with you.  I have spent a considerable amount of time doing the research (so you don’t have to) to determine who will be taking home the Oscar this evening.  Please note that this cheat-sheet is a compilation of who will win, not who should win.  This info has received a somewhat warm blessing from those gathered on the porch this afternoon.

Ballot2015

Have fun, and please don’t forget who provided you with this free advice.

How to Celebrate Valentines Day on the Cheap

Love is in the Air

mjccupidMe being the romanic that I am, but also being a cheapskate,I thought I would share some thoughts with you to help you celebrate your day with the one you love.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Plan a picnic. If the weather is cold, spread a blanket on the living room floor. Add flair to the occasion with some wine, a rose, and mood music.

 2. “Tech-free” night. Turn off your cell phones, computer, TV, and lights. See what’s left to do without electricity. Sing old songs, recount stories of how you met, plan for the future.

3. Be a tourist. Pretend you’re a tourist in your own town. Visit a museum, a scenic overlook, or a quaint neighborhood. Discover something new together!

4. Midnight bowling. It’s more than just bowling! Some places have special music, lighting and gimmicks. Even without these, it can be a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.

 5. Down memory lane. Look through old photos and tell each other stories of your childhood and families. If you feel really energetic, begin to put those lose photos in albums or on a disc. Your children will appreciate it one day.

6. “Evening at the Ritz.” Dress up and go to the lobby of an elegant hotel. Sit in the lounge and order a drink or snack. Check out the expensive shops and resist the urge to buy. (This is my favorite, but don’t forget to budget some funds for parking)

7. Home spa. Create a home spa for the evening. Put on soothing music, light some scented candles, give each other a massage.

8. Cheap gift challenge. Head to your local department store and challenge each other to come up with the most romantic gift possible. Two requirements: It can’t cost more than $20, and it must be used that night.

9. Shall we dance? Visit the local music store and pick up the latest hot dance CD (maybe your kids can help you choose). Buy a few snacks and plan your own party later that evening.

10. Find-My-Heart treasure hunt. Cut out some paper hearts and hide them around your home. On each heart write an endearing statement about your spouse plus a clue to the next heart. At the end enjoy a heartfelt treat together.182243_1694370772838_7584536_n 

 

 

Avoiding the Uncomfortable Decision

As a young parent, my wife and I made this decision fairly easily and comfortably. Now as a grandparent and approaching the final quarter of my career, I realize that we were rather flippant in making this decision.  We did take great comfort in knowing that we were one of the few who did make the decision, poorly thought out as it whas.  If you are a parent of minor children, or deeply care for someone who is, the uncomfortable decision of who should be named their children’s guardians in the event of their untimely death should be made.  If the decision has been made, perhaps an update may be in order.

While young parents may fail to grasp the concept of mortality, the importance of naming a guardian cannot be understated.  In the event of their deaths, a court will appoint a guardian.  More than likely, it will be someone they would not prefer.  Why not face this uncomfortableness now and have the peace of mind that your children will be in a household of your choosing.

There are numerous factors that should be considered when naming a guardian.  First and foremost is the financial status of the considered guardian.  Will that individual or family have the financial means to meet their new responsibilities?  Can they provide the lifestyle they want for their children?

A guardian’s income will decrease as they take more time away from work as they care for more family members.  A guardian’s expenses will increase as they will be incurring additional medical/professional fees, daycare/educational expenses, not to mention the additional moneys spent to melt two families into one.  Will this family have the financial ability to carry this new burden?  Life insurance is an excellent way to create this needed wealth that will be needed.  Have you considered this and adjusted your insurance needs accordingly?

Second, you should decide if the guardian is one person or a couple. If you want your brother as guardian, what about his wife?  A couple named as guardians would allow both to have the legal authority to access school records, attend parent-teacher conferences, and make medical decisions for the children. Problems surface when one spouse is running around taking care of these things, but does not have the other has the legal responsibility to handle these matters.

Third, you should decide whether to appoint a trustee.  You probably decided on a guardian because you feel they are the best for raising your kids as you would want them raised.  But, they may not be the best at handling money.  Guardians are tasked with raising their own kids and now yours as well, why burden them with the financial decisions as well?  A trustee will handle only the financial decisions.

The trustee will make unbiased decisions about your children’s money. Should the guardians be compensated? Should a new house be bought, or additions be made? If your children can afford a private school or college, but the guardian’s children do not have those means; should moneys be spent or not spent to maintain the new family’s harmony and avoid resentment?  A guardian may not make the best decision.  A trustee that is impartial can make those decisions that are in the best interests of only your children.

Last, these decisions should be revisited annually.  Financial situations of the guardian may change, but children’s needs will change for sure. A 5 year old may need the emotional security of a loving grandparent, but may not have those same needs as a rebellious teenager.  At some point in time, a child may feel the need to continue living in the same neighborhood, with the same friends, and going to the same school.  Is that need more important than living with a beloved aunt and uncle?  What are the children’s needs now and who is the best choice to care for them if something happens the next couple of years?

These are all uncomfortable decisions.  They are uncomfortable not only because you are dealing with your mortality but because you are taking so many emotional, financial, and legal matters into consideration.  A skilled legal and/or financial professional with the emotional sensitivity will guide you through these uncharted waters.

So take the time and energy and take on the uncomfortable and then enjoy all the burdens raising your family and take comfort in knowing that their rearing will continue in manner you have chosen.

Obliviots

I was in Orlando this past week and had the opportunity to enjoy the sights of the obliviots at the Los Angeles and Orlando airports.  I use the word obliviot* because  they are very selfish and act as if they are the center of the universe. It’s not that they don’t care about their fellow man, they just fail to think about them. Tonight, I would like to share with you some thoughts on how you can avoid being the obliviot. 

Pay attention to people around you, don’t assume that because you don’t see them they aren’t there.  Stopping while walking is great way to upset people who are walking behind you.  They falsley assume you will continuing walking.  A person walking behind you may be using a cane, a walker, or carrying a few cups of coffee.  They will be forced to either collide with you or in avoiding you, collide with another sane person.  If you need to stop, give a quick look behind you and make sure it’s OK to stop suddenly.  Or better yet, pull off to the side, out of the path of traffic.  Those folks who give you a forced smile and say they are sorry really think that you are an idiot.

When they announce that the handicapped, families with small children, and the elderly needing a little extra time are welcome to pre-board, that does not mean that first class and priority status are free to huddle up and force those pre-boards to get lost in the crowd.  If you like massing up in front of the boarding gate, fly Southwest, be with the folks who like the cattle treatment.  But if you are traveling on a regular airline, wait  in an area away from the gate until your group is called.  If they haven’t called your group, you are not allowed to muck up the process.  When you are standing around blocking the gate before your group is called, I’m betting there are people behind you wearing a forced smile thinking you are an idiot.

When boarding the airplane, pull your carcass into a row and get yourself settled.  Don’t get situated or look through your carry-on while standing in the aisle.  That line of folks waiting patiently for you, with forced smiles, thinks you are an idiot and really wishes that evil things would happen to you.

When you are in the air, just because your seat reclines, doesn’t mean you need to recline it.  I can’t tell you how many times they guy in front of me will recline his seat, forcing me to be a T-Rex, all the while he is hunched forward reading a magazine.  I will adjust the air vent so the cold air blows on your head, or I will kick the back and underside of your seat like a 6 year old.  You are an idiot and should be treated like one.  Before reclining your seat, turn around and ask your fellow traveler if it’s ok to do so.  9 times out of 10, my forced smiled means I think that you are a nice guy.

Anyway, that’s my rant from the porch talk this evening.  Please don’t be an obliviot!
mjc   

* obliviot (n) Oblivious idiots. People who are completely unaware of their surroundings, even though they should be.

The Parade

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 ccp

Tonight is the 64th Covina Christmas Parade,.   A big event for my little town.

Saturday mornings the town is a buzz with folks putting up their lights and setting up their lawn chairs along the parade route.  At 6:30pm, the parade kicks off.  There are numerous high school bands, city dignitaries, a grand marshal, and various floats from the local religious and n0n-profit organizations in town.  The parade is capped off with Santa Claus and a cadre of city street sweepers Awards are given to the best bands, floats, and other entries.  Roughly 25,000 people will invade the streets of my little town.

 Originally, the parade route went down Citrus, past the numerous stores in downtown Covina.  It was a kick off of the Christmas shopping season, a 1950’s version of today’s Black Friday.  The route was changed to Badillo in the 70’s to accommodate the growing crowds.  People come from all around and it has been said that it is one of largest nighttime Christmas parade in Southern California.  The evening is a big deal for many people.

As a kid, I marched in several parades playing my clarinet.  My wife and sister carried the two E’s of the “Traweek” banner pieces, announcing the coming of our Jr. High School.  In my later years, I rode atop a float as the Grand Knight of the Fr. Maguire Council. This float took the top award for a religious float in 2003.

But, I am not a parade person – never have been never will be.  So my parade evenings are spent on the porch, which is located one block off the parade route.  My evening is spent with non-parade goers, smoking cigars, drinking martinis, playing Christmas music, wishing parade watchers a Merry Christmas, and opening the house to cold revelers with weak bladders.  Cars carrying the City Councilmen and other dignitaries will usually speed down our street on their return, I play the grumpy old guy in yelling at these folks to slow down.

The lights are up and the house is decorated, thanks to an energetic son and grandson, so if you are looking to smoke a cigar, have a drink, have a weak bladder, or want to kick off the Christmas season in a Concialdi way, stop on by–the porch is open.

Merry Christmas
mjc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Martini

Folks ask me how it is I’m able to mix up the perfect martini—Well read, watch, and learn.

The Parts:
Ice
Dry Vermouth — Martini & Rossi or Cinzano
Olives stuffed with garlic, blue cheese, or my favorite, anchovy filets
Gin – Tanqueray (nothing fancy)

Assembly Instructions:
1.  Fill up your mixer with ice
2.  Pour in the gin. I give it the 8 count, although in proper circles, it’s 2 shots-3ozs-or the count of 4
3.  Add a dab of vermouth and a splash of olive brine.
4.  Skewer 3 or 4 olives on a pick. I prefer the metal ones sold in liquor stores
5.  Strain into a martini glass.

Check out this video to see how. (May take a few moments to load-Be patient)

Enjoy
mjc

 

Note 1. Again in proper circles, you’ll want to swirl (or stir), not in a violent manner. You just want the gin to pick up the cold from the ice. Shaking the gin violently will bruise the gin. Gin is bruised when you introduce air into the gin, altering its flavor. Bruised gin appears cloudy (but adding a splash of olive brine will give it the same ‘dirty’ look). When with the high society set, mark sure you swirl. But, if you are on the porch, violently shake works well with this crowd.

Note 2. Get some good music. Always to go for Sinatra, Dean-o, or Sammy. Pandoa has a  nice station— “Rat Pack Radio”,  and in the Christmas season —“Dean Martin (Holiday) Radio”

 

“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

—–Frank Sinatra

 

 

Hello world!

Welcome to MJC’s Porch.  I hope you enjoy reading these posts half as much as I enjoy sending them out.

Tonight’s topic was the 2 big games tomorrow.  Indiana hosts Purdue (12:00 pm ET on BTN) and Notre Dame visits USC (3:30 pm ET on FOX).  The consensus is that there will be major disappointment on the Porch tomorrow.

In the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket, I don’t think the Bucket will be staying in Bloomington.  IU has played well all season, but just can’t close the deal.  Coleman has put up lots of impressive numbers, but the poor guy can’t do it all.  IU has been starting its 3rd string and Freshman QB and the kid is decent, but he needs 2 or 3 more playing years.  Sorry Hoosier fans, it’s another loss.  Of course this won’t change our belief that Purdue blows.

The fighting Irish started the year off good, but these last 3 weeks have been heart breakers.  SC started the year off very poorly, but things are looking up for them.  Turnovers and bad calls in give SC the win and another jewel in the Jeweled Shillelagh.  Should grow very tired of hearing SC’s annoying fight song by half-time.

We will be on the porch pulling for the Hoosiers and the Fighting Irish, but there will be many “Ahh Sh*t’s” and  “Oh Come On’s”  shouted at the TV tomorrow afternoon.  The drinking will start early.

mjc