Growing up in the Northeastern US during the '50s, I remember watching migrating geese flying south during the fall, then return, flying north, presumably back to Canada.

Why aren't they still doing that?

It seems even colder here than when I was a kid.  So, the geese think its warmer, I think its colder.  The geese have stopped , and I've started, going south.  Has the generation of geese I've grown up with gotten as lazy as mine?  Since retiring, I'm starting to go south more often during the winter, so I think it's fine that the geese stay north in the Winter.  It's the Spring, Summer, and Fall that ticks me off.  I wish I could convince them to time share my lawn in Florida after I've headed North.  Ever heard the expression "don't shit where you eat"?  The geese haven't.

My house in New Jersey has a lake across the street.  It's also the local geese airport.  The community hired a "geese patrol" to chase them.  It's like watching the Keystone Kops.  That's when they actually come while the geese are there.  I told the guy, "They know when you're coming, and when you're not."  I've watched them try dog cutouts, border collies running around the lake, remote control motor boats, etc.  The geese just play checkers with the dogs, and the boats.  Its only funny if you don't know what we're paying these guys.

I don't know the answer.  Maybe a Presidential order that replaces the turkey with geese on Thanksgiving for the next five years.

Then maybe the geese will start flying south again, maybe to Mexico, which doesn't celebrate.... Thanksgiving!


Junk mail

Anyone else out there that wants to see junk mail go the way of the dinosaur?  Can the Internet age save enough trees for the planet to survive?  Spam is a nuisance, but you can kill it with a click.  If you're security conscious like I am, and you should be, junk mail is a little more involved.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm taking a bunch of paper rats out of my mailbox and bringing them into my house everyday.  Then each day I'm a coroner at my desk, dissecting each one.  First, I slit them open.  Then, I probe their vital organs, for my address, like it was a tumor!  I keep searching, most times there's more than one.  Search, tear, shred.  On to the next.  Oh no!  Return address labels!!

There's a new meaning to the term light year.  You know, the distance light travels for a period of one year, right?  Well, I think its the same as all the return address labels I get, stuck end to end, during the course of one year.

Over the years, I have found that these paper rats breed like the real ones.  I don't get just my own junk mail.  I get my name spelled wrong junk mail.  My wife's name misspelled.  My son's, and he doesn't even live here any more.

I'm a charitable person.  I give what I can.  Why do these charities think I'm holding out on them?  As soon as I give a donation, within two weeks, I get 4-5 other requests from the same group.  Plus some more with my name spelled wrong!  Then more requests from similar charities that bought my name from the first group.  On and on exponentially.  Also, stop with the free "gifts", the pennies, nickels, dimes, medallions, blankets, tee  shirts, note pads, etc.  It doesn't make me feel any better wondering how much junk mail Bill Gates gets, either.

Recently, I had a very helpful idea.  I called my son, my very own personal Internet shopper, and said, "Get me the Great White Shark of shredders.  One that can swallow whole junk mails and is always hungry.  I'll call him Bruce, or whatever."  So after I feel for metal objects, I feed Bruce, and he doesn't care how my name is spelled.

Since I got Bruce, I feel like I'm winning again, even if I'm not.



Our 13-year-old Maltese, Snowball, had to be put down three weeks ago.

Hell of a way to start a humorous blog, isn't it?  I can explain.  The dog was almost too funny for words, but I'll try.  In fact, for that reason, his passing made it much easier on my wife and I.  He's made us laugh the past three weeks each day, just as he did in life.  For example, I've had a pet store worth of dogs and cats over the years (and a spider monkey), but Snowball was the only one who could walk backwards.  Here's what he'd do.  When the dinner bell in his head went off, usually a half hour before the scheduled time, he would confront us in the family room, start with a low moan, take a few steps BACKWARD, then sit.  A few minutes later, after being ignored, a slight grunt, a few steps back, sit.  Ignored.  A low growl, a few steps back, sit.  Then a desperation bark, a few more steps back, and he's in the kitchen with a look that says, " Hey dummies, I'm in the kitchen!  Guess what time it is?  If I could talk, I would have come right out with it."  Occasionally, we'd forget the time.  I said to my wife, " Snowball keeps better track of time without a watch than we do with one."

We got Snowball at age one and a half from a shelter, but get this.  It just shows how very bright some of us can  be.  The way we understand it, this young family had a toddler, a year old Maltese, and a newborn baby.  Here's the part where some genius in that family decided to get a Maltese puppy for the baby.  The young mother has enough hours in the day, right?  Who needs sleep?  True story, unmake-up-able.

Snowball was neutered before we got him, but that didn't stop him from "going through the motions".  He never met a leg he didn't love.  We had a pet sitter who took Snowball when we vacationed.  Upon returning him the first time, she asked, " Are you sure he's fixed?"  We were sure, and also sure that when Snowball got to Heaven, the first thing he asked God was when he could have his balls back.

We gradually came to understand that Snowball regarded us as HIS pets.  We became his treat dispensers.  If he did something that made us laugh, he'd want a treat.  About the only thing we trained Snowball to do was wait at the front door when he had to do his business outdoors.  He gradually, over the years, added "treat times".  It must have been his way of amassing a fortune.  He played us like a drum.  Had we a grandchild already, things might have been different.  The last spoon of my oatmeal was a treat.  My wife getting out of the shower, shower cookie.  Clean his ears, give a cookie.  Brush him, cookie.  Jump on the vet's scale, get a cookie.  Yes, he had them trained also.

He did save his best caper for last.  A couple of months ago, we went into town for a show, and had a dog sitter come to the house to walk and feed him before we got home.  She left us a note saying he did his business, went for a walk, and ate his supper.  When we got home, Snowball barked like he hadn't been fed in days,  trying to con another meal out of us.

You get the picture by now who are the sappy ones, but like I just said, it was like spoiling our first grandchild, and when he was gone, it felt like we lost our first one.

I hope you dog loving readers got a kick, and I'd love to hear about any other canine, or feline, comedians.