Friday, August 29, 2014

Rant #1,279: The Need (For Things) To Work

Yesterday was as exasperating a day as I have spent in my entire life.

Dealing with government agencies can't ever be easy, but when you actually have to sit down and deal with them, well, you really see how government bureaucracy mucks up everything we do.

I got a first-hand, up-close example of that yesterday, and it is truly sad that a country that is as good as it gets on the face of the globe allows this type of nonsense to go on.

But it does.

It relates to my son getting Medicaid, something he so desperately needs to move on with his life.

It just pains me to see how the process is slower than molasses, and so muddled.

The burden of proof is on him, and since I am his official representative--another story about bureaucracy that I won't get into now--it is also on my shoulders, and let me tell you, the weight of proof is a burden that is very difficult to bear.

I truly wonder how others get the resources they need from our government to survive.

All my son needs is Medicaid, which will provide him programs so that he can survive as we makes that leap from student to an adult in need of a job.

It isn't easy.

He actually applied for another job yesterday at a local establishment prior to our appointment.

He is eager, he is willing to do what it takes to get the job done, but alas, he also has a learning disability, and it is difficult for a potential employer to work their way past that and see that this is someone who deserves a chance.

But he hasn't given up, which is really a good characteristic that he has had since he was a baby, when he tried to roll over on his own and couldn't, but he always tried, even then, to do that.

He has been a fighter his whole life, and I am sure it will lead to something good.

But right now, all that we are getting is exasperated.

Long waits, ineffectual staff, lack of answers ... they all go with the territory when you are dealing with a government bureaucracy so full of red tape that it is strangling the system.

We are hoping that yesterday was the final step in the process, the last step in a steep stairway to my son getting Medicaid.

But we got no assurances yesterday, and certainly weren't heartened by the fact that we did more sitting and waiting than anything else.

Hours in waiting for 15 minutes of work; it doesn't seem like a fair tradeoff, but that is what happened yesterday.

But heck, if this is the way it is, then this is the way it is.

We will just grin and bear it--we don't really have a choice--and we will have to wait, patiently, to see what happens.

There is nothing else we can do.

Patience is a virtue, and well, we have to be very, very virtuous in waiting for the state to make a determination.

If it leads to my son getting what he needs, great, I can say that it was, in a sense, worth it.

If he doesn't get what he needs, then we have to move on.

And whatever the case, I can guarantee you that we will do just that.

Speak to you again next week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rant #1,278: Driving Home a Point

I had my major car accident on May 10 of this year, where my car was totaled by a kid driving another car who, evidently, never saw me when he plowed into me.

My family and I are lucky to be alive.

I think of that day--really that moment--often, when I am driving and sometimes when I'm not even behind the wheel.

It was life changing, to say the least.

Even though I was not even a scintilla at fault during this episode, have my own personal driving habits changed at all as a result in being in such a horrific accident?


I can be as aggressive on the road as the next guy, but when cars are coming out of corners, like that kid did to me, I am extra cautious.

I have also been one to make full stops at Stop signs, which as you know, for some people, is an amazing revelation.

Yes, you have to make full stops at Stop signs.

I have always done this, whether I am in a rush or just out for a casual drive.

With the summer winding down, I have witnessed, up close and personal, how this really is something out of the ordinary for many drivers.

I guess it is hard to get the concept that a Stop sign is placed for the driver to Stop, not to ignore and not to go right through.

And these incidents have happened on the very block I live on, so they happened literally, steps away from my home.

It has almost been a tradition to go through the Stop sign on my block. Over the nearly 40 years I have been driving--November is my anniversary--I have seen so many things happen at that Stop sign, because people simply do not make full stops at it.

Crashes, near crashes, people nearly being run over ... you can't imagine the havoc the presence of that sign causes for some people, simply because they do not understand what to do at a Stop sign.

Anyway, last week, I made the turn from Merrick Road--one of the busiest roads on Long Island--into the block that connects to mine. As I was making the turn, I noticed that another car also made the turn just about concurrently with mine, but I also noticed that he was tailgating me pretty badly.

I made the full stop at the Stop sign, which obviously infuriated him.

He literally was on my bumper, and went through the sign when I turned, nearly hitting me in the back.

I stopped my car after making the turn, because I was getting pretty angry myself.

Why is this guy not only tailgating me, but going through the Stop sign to boot?

I stopped momentarily, peered behind me--the guy knew exactly what I was doing, and that it was directed at him, and I then quickly proceeded to turn into my driveway.

The guy stops his car, as if he were looking for a confrontation.

I simply stayed in the driveway until he left. There was no way I was going to get into it with a crazy driver in a mad rush.

He drove away, and that was that.

Yesterday, again at the same point on Merrick Road, it was ultra busy, with cars coming from all directions.

The car in front of me had to wait, admittedly, an extra long time to turn into the connecting block to mine, but I, like others behind me, waited patiently for him to make the turn.

He finally did, but when it was my turn, again, it was ultra busy, and we had to wait.

There was a car behind me, and then a motorcycle.

Finally, I made my turn when the path was clear, and drove up to that Stop sign, ready to make the right turn onto my block.

Well, little did I realize that the motorcycle had sped up, and was on my tail, and he, too, did not like that I made a full stop at the Stop sign.

He proceeded to go on my left, passing me, and sped through the sign without stopping, waving his arms as if to say, "Let's speed it up here. You are holding me up."

You know what? Tough tomatoes, as they say.

I have always stopped at Stop signs, the accident hasn't stopped that practice, and I will continue to stop at Stop signs until I cannot drive anymore.

Years ago, when I was a teenager, I actually got a ticket for going through a Stop sign.

The problem was, I never went through it.

A cop was firmly placed on a street, and I was completely bemused that he stopped me and gave me a ticket, because I never went through the sign.

I actually stopped--and I mean a full stop--and went on, only to be given a ticket for something I didn't do.

I protested the ticket, went to traffic court, and found out from others that the cop was simply giving tickets out randomly that day to just about anyone who passed that particular street and where he was parked.

Others were protesting for the same reason, I found out, and I pleaded guilty to an "equipment violation," paid $15, had no points taken off my license, and was on my merry way.

I should have held out to pay nothing, because I did nothing wrong, but I gave in and paid that slight fine.

The cop should have been ticketed himself for his actions.

Anyway, if you see me on the road, just understand that I stop--make full stops--at all Stop signs, so just bide your time. You will get to your destination, even if I am holding you up by following the law.

Let me drive that point home to you.

Anyway, I have to take the day off tomorrow for a private matter, so I will next see you again on Friday.

Speak to you then.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rant #1,277: Whopper North?

I am sure that you have heard that Burger King is set on buying Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee powerhouse which has been likened to Starbucks, in a deal that will expand its reach both here and in our neighbor to the north.

Nobody drinks Burger King coffee--my wife, the coffee maven, says it is horrid--and by having Tim Hortons under its wing, Burger King can better compete for that market with McDonald's, which is so proud of its coffee that it is going to soon sell it in a supermarket near you.

That would be all fine and good, but then comes the kicker to this whole ball of wax--

Burger King will relocate its headquarters to Canada to get tax relief from inflated taxes here in the U.S.

Other companies have done this, but whether you like it or not, Burger King is as American as, let's say, apple pie, baseball and Chevrolet--wasn't that a commercial a few years back?--and it has put people in an uproar.

Even legislators have said that they will boycott Burger King if this happens.

Laws are being looked into, loopholes are being studied, to try to prevent Burger King from abandoning the U.S. for lower taxes in Canada.

They wouldn't be the first company to do this, and yes, as you know, very wealthy individuals go to places like Monaco, where they set up residency and are immune to the taxes of the U.S. and elsewhere.

But they reap their livelihoods on the American dollar, so it doesn't seem quite fair.

Honestly, not being a tax lawyer, I really don't know what the U.S. can do to block such a move by Burger King.

I don't think it can claim a monopoly, because it's not like Burger King is buying McDonald's.

It is simply buying Canada's top coffee house, and everything that goes with it, but Tim Hortons doesn't make hamburgers.

I am sure that legislators and lawyers will figure out something to keep Burger King right where it is, whether the company likes it or not.

You simply can't have major American corporations--which is what Burger King has become--run away to another country to escape taxes.

I am sure Burger King's lawyers are looking into this, too, trying to find every opening for the possibility that the fast food giant will run for the north.

And what can the average American citizen do about this?

Nothing, except not eating at Burger King anymore until, and if, this thing is resolved.

On my end, my son loves Burger King, much better than McDonald's or Wendy's or any other hamburger chain.

I can live without it, although I do eat it on occasion.

My wife hates it, so there you go, it won't affect her at all.

And overall, it won't affect most Americans, whether they like Burger King or not.

Whether they are based in the U.S., Canada, or wherever, if you are in need of a quick fix for your appetite, Burger King will always be there.

It's just the way they are trying to escape this country that is getting some people angry, all the while they still love American greenbacks.

It's a Whopper of a story, and I wonder how it will all work out?

Extra pickles, please.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rant #1,276: Dreams and Nightmares

We all have dreams and nightmares, and me, personally, I usually don't remember them at all.

However, this weekend, I am convinced that the power of Dairy Queen overtook my mind and set me on the course to have a couple of memorable/notorious dreams/nightmares.

Let me explain.

On Saturday, it was my son's birthday, so among the festivities that we arranged was that we would have birthday cake after we ate dinner out in late afternoon.

We ate out, came home, and about an hour later, we had cake.

But not just any cake, we had Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake.

And it was very good.

We chose their sort of "cupcake" arrangement, where they have about a dozen cupcake-like ice creams all set together. It looked really good, and it kind of portions out the ice cream better than a cake can.

Anyway, we ate the ice cream, and hours later, went to bed.

I then went on to have a couple of the most vivid nightmares I have had a in a long time.

I had several that night, waking me up about every hour on the hour. But the two I remember were pretty lucid.

The first one that I remember is that I was at my son's now old high school. He was with a friend, and we were together. I told him that I had to do something (I don't remember what it was), and that I would be right back, and that he and his friend should stay right where they were.

Of course, being that this was a nightmare, you know what happened.

They were gone. I looked all over for them, but they vanished.

I woke up around the time I exhausted places to look for them.

Then I had the next nightmare, which was that I took my car to the local gas station to fill up my tank.

I got out of the car, went in to pay, and came out, and the car was gone.

I looked everywhere, but I could not find the car. Heck, I even looked under cars to find it.

I woke up when, again, I exhausted every possibility.

OK, that was Saturday night going into Sunday, but it continued last night.

Yes, we had more Dairy Queen birthday cake last night, and yes, a while after eating it, I fell asleep.

Again, I had a few dreams last night, but just remember this one.

I returned back to high school as a 57 year old. I didn't need to be there. But it wasn't just returning to my old high school, it was going to the high school I should have gone to before we moved from Queens to Long Island all those years ago.

Springfield Gardens High School was the high school I was supposed to go to, and in reality, the school doesn't even exist anymore.

But in my dream world, it most certainly did exist, and it was quite different than it ever really was.

In 2014, it was pretty much gentrified, as in my dream, my old neighborhood had, out of the blue, become a very hip place to live for people of all colors and backgrounds.

So SGHS was a mixed school in my dream, and for whatever reason, I went back to high school, but back to a high school that I never actually attended.

It came with all the first-day jitters about finding your room, meeting the teacher, seeing who was in your class, all of that, and I actually met another Larry there.

I took some type of film class elective, and I woke up as we were watching some type of presentation, of which I really don't remember.

That one wasn't a nightmare, but it was scary nonetheless.

Why would I want to return to high school? Yuck, that is the last time in my life that I would want to return to!

Anyway, I got up, kind of got back my bearings after a few minutes, and then went back to sleep.

I am sure somebody well versed in dreams and nightmares would be able to make heads and tails of what I dreamed, but whatever it means, it was pretty chilling.

I have to blame it on eating Dairy Queen so late in the day. We never have Dairy Queen in the house, only on special occasions like we had this weekend.

Why would I dream like that--it had to be the Dairy Queen.

I think we have a little left, but I won't be eating it this time around.

No, I have had enough of weird dreams and nightmares the last two nights.

Tonight, it is dinner and I am done!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rant #1,275: The First Day of the Rest of His Life

Tomorrow is my son's birthday, his 19th birthday.

Goodness, I can remember when I could pick him up with one hand.

He is now almost as tall as I am, he is skinny as a rail, and he is about to embark on a journey that is the most important thing that he has done in his entire life.

And that journey will lead him into finding a full-time job, an occupation, a career.

He has been fairly lucky thus far.

After graduating from high school several weeks ago, he went right into his summer job, working for a local camp as a "video game expert."

So he basically went right from ending his formal education to a summer job, but that ends today, as the camp ends it 2014 summer schedule.

So beginning today at about 4 p.m., my son--shown here with my daughter, his beautiful sister--is unemployed, but it goes beyond that.

As I have told you, he has a learning disability and ADD, and these things make strange bedfellows, we have found, when one is searching for a job.

He has put in numerous applications for work, he has gone online to apply for jobs, but so far, the only thing he has to show for it is one single interview, which didn't lead to employment.

I am in the process of trying to get him into various programs that can help him, including, and most prominently, Medicaid.

Once he gets into Medicaid, there are an array of programs he can use to help him find employment, but we have found that it is not easy to get Medicaid.

In fact, we have been put through the wringer on this.

We have had to fill out form after form after form, go for various interviews--we have another one next Thursday--and it has been hell.

He can get other programs without Medicaid, but he cannot get the majority of these programs without getting Medicaid one way or the other, so it has been tough to say the least.

But through it all, he has been resilient, wants to work, and is never thwarted in trying again.

But he does ask me, "When will I get a job?" and honestly, I have no answer for him.

We will push on as a team, myself, him and my wife, and between the three of us, maybe something will turn up.

I think in the end, it will all turn out fine, but my wife and I do ask ourselves about what our son is going to do in the interim, and we don't have any ready answers.

He will continue to look on his own, hope the programs that he can get will help him, but like I have told him many times, the first job is the toughest job to get, and it certainly has been for him.

But being that as it may, happy birthday to the greatest son a parent could have, a kid who has never given up hope anytime throughout his soon to be 19 years about anything.

He will make it, and you will find out when he does.

Speak to you again on Monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rant #1,274: Kick the Bucket

One of the wildest crazes around now is the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Unless you have been under a rock for the past few weeks, you know that this challenge is linked with ALS, the disease that kills thousands every year, and is most famous as being the ailment that did in baseball's Lou Gehrig more than 70 years ago.

The disease has mystified humankind for decades.

We don't know what causes it, why it comes about, and we don't have a cure for the disease.

It seems that we have been running in place with this disease for decades, and we aren't much further in its research than we were when Lou Gehrig made his famous "I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech.

It took Gehrig, one of the greatest and strongest players ever to play baseball, from a Goliath to somebody who had trouble walking in a matter of months.

His link with this affliction has always made it a high profile disease, with the public donating millions of dollars each year for research into finding a cure.

But during the past few weeks, donations have skyrocketed due to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

What the challenge is is that someone sits or stands and has a bucket of ice poured over their head.

The original conception was that if you didn't want to go through that, you simply donated $100 to ALS research.

But what has happened is that people are taking the challenge, donating the money nonetheless, and than passing the challenge over to other friends and family ... and thousands of people have taken the plunge.

And like ALS, the origins of the challenge are quite mysterious. There have been similar events held during the past few years, but it is inconclusive about where this actually started, and how it got hooked up with ALS.

Lots of celebrities have also taken the plunge, and with our society's fascination with stars, many just want to replicate what their favorite actors, singers and athletes--and even politicians--have done, so they go ahead and get doused.

It has pushed up donations at least 10-fold, and it is a fun way to try to tackle an absolutely horrible disease.

There has been some controversy with it.

Groups representing other horrible diseases have said that the challenge is taking away focus from their diseases, but to me, that is pretty much sour grapes.

Nobody has forgotten that there are other diseases besides ALS, and let's be honest about it, this is nothing more than a fad, and it will go away as fast as it came upon us.

But for now, it is THE thing to do.

No, I haven't done it yet, but I know several people who have been doused.

I am not opposed to doing it, but I don't know yet if I will.

Let's see what the weekend brings, and even beyond that.

Probably by the time I decide to do it, the fad will have passed.

But whatever. It is a personal choice, nobody is forcing anyone to do it, but I must admit, it does look like a lot of fun to do.

So to those who have done it, good work, and to those who have thought about it, think a little more.

I think Lou Gehrig is looking down from the heavens and smiling, and smiling a lot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rant #1,273: Keeping the Peace

I have read the frustrations elsewhere and on Facebook, so I am going to add my two cents. 

I put this up in response to a post on Facebook, but I am going to put it up here on my blog because I now see that a lot of people feel the same, exactly the way I do.

I don't think anyone is saying they condone what happened to this kid in Ferguson--who was no choir boy like he is being made out to be by some, including, of course, Mr. Rabble Rouser himself, the Rev. Al "I just love to get involved in these things because it keeps me relevant" Sharpton. 

I think what a lot of people are saying is that the behavior of some people in Ferguson--and those who have come there looking for some "fun"--is atrocious. You do not rob, loot, pillage and steal if you disagree with something. I do believe Dr. King is turning in his grave not only for what happened, but what is happening as a result. This is not what he stood for.

And where is the Rev. Al in the recent Florida incident, where the Orthodox Jew going to synagogue was gunned down by thugs who probably shot him because he wasn't carrying any money on the Sabbath? They refuse to call this a hate crime, haven't apprehended anyone yet, but remarkably, the people there haven't torn up the town to take out their aggression.

What I am saying is that there is a right way to do something and a wrong way, and businesses that are destroyed for no good reason won't come back, which will make the problem in Ferguson even worse.

For once, I agree with our President. The actions taken by some in Ferguson is making matters worse. The family of the young man have pleaded for the violence to stop, and it should, and should immediately.

There is nothing wrong with peaceful protest. 

However, there is something wrong when protests have morphed into riots and are leading not only to looting, but to carnage--and that carnage has nothing to do with the police there. Shots rang out on Monday night, and they did not come from police guns.

Nobody has been killed as part of these protests, but the window is growing short for civility to ensue.

I heard one woman on the evening news yesterday say that while she did not condone the violence, she said that it was because of the violence that people were sitting up and taking notice.

That might be true, but just think of how many people would take notice if the protests were peaceful? I think many more would feel comfortable participating if things were civil.

So many facts of this case are still out, or at least are not being told to the public, that to make assumptions is simply the wrong way to go now.

We do know the kid was shot several times by a white officer. 

We don't know what precluded the shooting; the officer said that the kid was skirmishing with him and going for his gun. The kid and his friend were stopped for some reason, and whether it had to do with a robbery that they committed a few minutes before is unclear.

That is pretty much all we know.  

Until that time, you want to protest, fine. You want to destroy, not so fine.

Keep the peace until all the facts are out, and then, still keep the peace.

You want to honor this kid? Act like adults.

'Nuf said.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rant #1,272: Mixing News and Entertainment

I want to write today about a disturbing trend that I have seen happening, at least locally, with news broadcasts in my neck of the woods.

I will bet the trend is a national one, and it is pretty disturbing.

Sports presents a fine line for local newscasts, because it is both news and entertainment rolled into one.

Baseball, football, basketball and hockey, and all the other sports, are entertainment, but they also produce headlines, as any news topic does.

But when you mix the entertainment aspect of sports with hard news, well, you may have gone over the line.

Well over the line.

CBS is taking a gamble with its fall schedule. It has slated several weeks of NFL football games on Thursday nights, normally its biggest night of comedy during the week.

What this basically means is that it is displacing TV's top comedy, "The Big Bang Theory," moving it to another night while it shows football in its place.

This is a major gamble, because by doing so, you lose a lot of audience which tunes in to laugh, but, of course, you also pick up a lot of audience, which wants to watch football.

Nonetheless, it is a gamble, because CBS is shifting around one of its biggest moneymakers by showing football on Thursday, and when that schedule is done, they plan to shift their comedies back to that day, right in the middle of the broadcast season.

It is confusing for the viewer.

But what is even more confusing is that CBS is promoting its Thursday night football not just by having its entertainment stars pushing the schedule, but its news people too.

Locally, several of the news people are being featured in a commercial for Thursday night football, resplendent in football jerseys and lamp black under their eyes.

I cannot locate the commercial now, but if you live in the New York area and watch TV, you have undoubtedly seen it.

By doing so, CBS has inextricably linked news with entertainment, making them one, and I don't know about you, but I find it kind of offputting when one of its news anchors, Kristine Johnson, is shown in the commercial with her jersey and face paint on, and she closes the commercial with a close up of her face.

This is not "Entertainment Tonight" we are talking about here. Johnson is one of the local anchors who reports on stuff like the racial tension in Missouri, the events in the Middle East, and the random shootings that occurred in New York City this past weekend.

Her, and the other news people's, appearances in these ads takes away their street cred, if you will, and dilutes their abilities and talents as news people.

It puts them on the same level as any actor in any show on CBS, an entertainer and nothing more.

I do believe that Edward R. Murrow is spinning in his grave at the site of news people being used in purely entertainment situations, and well, I am not in the grave yet, but it really roils me when I see this happening.

CBS has every right to promote its Thursday night football lineup, but it is really going into dangerous waters when it uses local news people as participants in its promotions.

The next thing you know, they will actually be doing the broadcasts in football jerseys and lamp black, and don't think that time isn't coming.

It most certainly is.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rant #1,271: Boring

This weekend was my "boring" weekend.

I simply kept up with everything "boring," and let it go as a two-day vacation from my heck at work.

That made it palatable.

After hearing more and more Robin Williams tributes and analyses--yes, he had the beginning of Parkinson's disease, but my God, the talk almost seemed to infer that all his ailments justified what he did, which it certainly did not--I tried to get into better things to do than to listen to this trash, but ultimately, it was boring this, boring that.

My wife worked the entire weekend, which makes things boring from the get go.

Yes, I had off, but when my wife works the weekend, it is like Saturday and Sunday is taken away from me.

We hardly see each other, and I really don't like it--and neither does she--but she has to work a lot of Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.

Anyway, with her away, I did the usual mundane chores of food shopping and laundry, and I spared her having to come home and cook by going out twice to bring in dinner.

She is a great cook, and usually, she gets a break on just Saturday, but I was so fed up with her working that I went out not only Saturday, but Sunday this time too. No reason to come home from work and go to work on the weekend, if you know what I mean.

I was on the computer a bit, trying to move on with my "Bubbling Under" stuff that I described to you several posts back.

It is fun to do, and it really is a time killer.

But after a while, that gets to be same old, same old too.

I watched a lot of baseball.

The Yankees are awful this year, but they somehow managed to take two of three games from one of their divisional rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays.

They didn't play exciting baseball--I know that during the Sunday contest, I actually took a brief nap--but at least they won, paying me back for several hours of watching the two teams plod through nine innings on both Saturday and Sunday.

A win is a win as they say, so I am not complaining.

On Sunday night, my son was invited over to a friend's house to watch WWE's SummerSlam event. It is the WWE's second biggest event of the year--after Wrestlemania--and the card was a good one, highlighted by the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match.

So I took my son over to his friend, and later on, I watched SummerSlam too.

It was, actually, as good as it was billed, and I found myself really getting into it.

And Cena lost, which is always a bonus.

I picked my son up, went to bed, and here I am, awaiting another exciting week.

No, I should say, another BORING week.

How long until my vacation ... 50 some odd days.

Heck, I really can't wait, I really can't.

Once again, I feel like that rat that runs around the wheel in the cage endlessly.

I definitely need a break ...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rant #1,270: Co-Star Pam

In the aftermath of the tragedy of Robin Williams, I am going to cover an eerie, unfortunate footnote to this episode.

It is really a non-story, just somewhat interesting, because I haven't seen it brought up elsewhere.

It involves actress Pam Dawber, who now, because of her work history and absolutely nothing else, is linked to two of Hollywood's worst tragedies.

Of course, she was Williams' co-star on "Mork and Mindy," the show that brought Williams to stardom.

They co-starred, but honestly, Williams was the real star of that show, and Dawber's character was there, but it was Williams' show.

Fast forward a few years, and Dawber co-starred with a young, very up and coming actress by the name of Rebecca Schaeffer in "My Sister Sam," a semi-successful sitcom that ran for a couple of seasons.

If the name Rebecca Schaeffer does not ring a bell, let me ring it for you.

I am sure you will remember the incident when I describe it to you.

If I remember correctly, "My Sister Sam" had been cancelled, but Schaeffer's star was rising anyway.

One day, someone came to call on her, she opened the door to her home, and she was blown away, murdered in cold blood by a stalker.

It made lots of headlines 25 years ago or so, but now is pretty much a forgotten, rotten piece of Hollywood history.

So the link between two unfortunate Hollywood tragedies is Dawber, and very unwittingly so.

Due to the tragic circumstances of her former co-stars, she has had to answer twice right after their deaths about what it was like to work with them.

Neither was family to Dawber, who is married to actor Mark Harmon, but each is forever linked to her through countless reruns of these two shows.

It is kind of strange, isn't it?

Nothing more, nothing less.

And before anybody gets crazy about this, I am NOT reading anything into this. It is just an unfortunate, no, make that a very unfortunate, coincidence.

I just thought I would bring it up because, quite frankly, I am surprised nobody else did.

Speak to you again on Monday.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rant #1,269: And the Rains Came

Yesterday morning, in my neck of the woods, it rained ...

And rained ...

And rained some more.

In fact, I heard on the news last night that it rained so much that it was the biggest recorded one day rain in theses parts in decades, with some saying that the 10-15 inches of rain we got actually set the record.

It was teeming at 4 a.m. yesterday morning, but I have seen worse.

When I left for work just before 6:30, it was still coming down pretty hard, but like I said, I have seen worse.

I turned onto the major road here for me to get to the highway, which is Merrick Road, and it was closed to a certain early point in my departure.

So I had to turn around, double back to get to another major artery I can use, Sunrise Highway.

I went through the back streets, and saw people going through stop signs, driving 70 miles an hour on residential streets, and doing generally crazy things.

Anyway, I reached Sunrise Highway, and it was pretty clear, so I drove it to the highway I use to get to work, Wantagh Parkway, a generally two-lane highway which connects me with Old Country Road, where my work is located.

As I came onto the highway entrance, I could see that literally hundreds of cars were stuck on the other side of the Parkway, and I could see that the water buildup was probably two feet. Some cars were literally buried in the water.

My side appeared to be clear, so I drove right onto it. It was still raining, but again, I have seen worse.

Let me backpedal a bit.

Every day, before I leave for work, I watch the local CBS News. I like it, I like the reporters--I admit it, most of the female reporters are real eye candy, and very talented to boot--and I watch the traffic reports.

Yesterday, I heard that the other major arteries on Long Island--the Long Island Expressway, the Northern State, and even parts of Sunrise Highway--were closed due to flooding.

But nothing on the Wantagh Parkway.

So, I figured I was free and clear.

Well, let's move forward.

I am in my car, turned on the Wantagh Parkway, and I think I am OK.

At this part of the Parkway, it is three lanes, later turning into two for the rest of the length of the Parkway.

Well, about a quarter mile down the road, I drive into water that had to be a foot deep, if not more.

The depth of the water took my car and literally shoved it over to the far right lane.

I thought I was in a boat, not a car.

If there had been another car there, I don't want to think about what might have happened, but I literally cascaded from the far left lane to the far right lane.

This proved to be a blessing in disguise.

The water was less steep on the right side, probably because there is grass on that side of the road, and the grass soaked up much of the rain on that side of the road.

I got my bearings, waded through the natural lake that had formed, and was on my merry way.

No sooner do I get out of this mess, and once again move over to the left lane, I nearly have an encounter with a pickup truck that bolted over three lanes when entering the Parkway, never seeing me and nearly smashing right into me.

It is never a dull morning, is it?

I got to work maybe just 10 minutes later than I normally do, the rain stopped, and I had my usual merry day at work.

In the interim, the rains fully stopped, the sun came out, and it looked like a decent day as everything quickly got back to normal--

Or so I thought.

I took the Wantagh Parkway home as I always do, and it was clear sailing most of the way home. Evidently, a lot of people just gave up yesterday, so the bumper to bumper traffic I usually encounter on the way home wasn't there, so I moved quickly down the Parkway--

Until about a mile away from my exit.

The traffic stopped dead, as what was normally three lanes of traffic was being pared down to one.

Myself and probably hundreds of other cars just sat there, inching our way along a stretch of road that is normally free of such delays at this point.

There were such problems on the road earlier in the day that there were numerous trucks all over the roadway, so even though the weather was fine, work had been done on the road hours earlier to rid it of water and cars, so much of the road was closed off.

I had to get off at an exit that was before the one I normally get off on, and it put me in the wrong direction, so again, I basically had to double back and proceed the right way.

This more than doubled my return to home time, and when I finally got back home, I was happy, happy that I was there and happy that my car passed its first real weather test.

Heaven knows what the winter will bring, but at least I know that my car can take it. It did what it was supposed to do, getting me there and back without much trouble.

I think the people on Long Island are looking forward to sunny days hereon in. I know that I certainly am.

I have driven in worse, though.

A few years ago, driving home from my family's vacation in Florida on I-95, we encountered the worst storm I have ever been in.

It happened in North Carolina, I believe, or at least South Carolina moving into North Carolina.

It rained cats and dogs and other animals during that rain.

You could not see an inch in front of you, forget about a mile.

The rain was so intense that I basically followed a pickup truck for miles and miles in the distance, because it was the only thing I could see.

It lasted for about an hour, and then we were free and clear, but that rain was scary.

Yesterday's rain was more of a nuisance, but it was a nuisance that I can live without.

Let the Sunshine In! as the old song goes, and boy, after yesterday, I hope it shines for a long, long time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rant #1,268: Snail Mail, Part 2

Remember last week I told you the story of a wedding invitation that was somehow delayed more than five months in reaching its destination, namely, my home?

Well, there is a part 2 to this.

I went to the post office over the weekend, and asked why the letter was delivered so tardily.

I really didn't expect a definitive answer, and I didn't get one.

"It might have been stuck in the machinery. When we get a letter, we deliver the letter," was basically the line that I got.

I told them that this was a time-sensitive parcel that needed to be to its destination as quickly as possible.

They told me, "Things happen that are out of our control."

They asked me if I wanted to speak to the postmaster, and since I had absolutely nothing to lose, I said, "OK."

The postmaster called my place of work on Monday.

I explained the situation to her, and she said to me, "It might have been stuck in the machinery. When we get a letter, we deliver the letter."

I said, "How can the letter have gotten stuck in the machine for more than five months, and nobody sees it?"

She said, "Things happen. Perhaps another machine was used during this time," which basically castigated her entire claim, because if that was true, doesn't a postal employee check a machine to make sure nothing is stuck in it?

Anyway, she said that they don't sort the mail there, it is sorted elsewhere, and she reiterated, "When we get a piece of mail, it gets delivered."

We have had some problems with the mail before, with letters (bills) not being delivered on time. We were also one of the areas that made national headlines some months ago when a deliverer was arrested for not delivering tons of mail on their route.

Anyway, that was basically the conversation, and I ended it by saying, "You know, if there are further problems with the mail, you are going to hear from me," and she basically said fine, apologized for the problem I had with this particular piece of mail, and that was that.

Yes, she had sort of a nonchalant attitude about the entire thing, but I guess there really wasn't much more that she could do or say to me.

Perhaps when I got off the phone, she made it her business to tell her staff that all machines must be checked for stuck mail.

I don't know if she did anything.

My problem is that the Postal Service always cries poverty, and you want to sympathize with their plight, and then something like this happens, and you can only find one word to describe it:

And that word is "incompetency."

Plain and simple.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rant #1,267: Robin Williams

As I am sure you already know, comedian Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday.

He was 63 years old, and had suffered for years from drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and probably things we never knew about.

According to police, he died of asphyxia, so I assume he hung himself.

I have to tell you flat out that I was never a fan of Williams.

I remember him right from the get go as the only standout performer of the short-lived, and deservedly so, revival of "Laugh-In" in 1977. (So many reviewers of his work forget his role on the this show, proving that they haven't done their homework.)

Then he went right into "Mork and Mindy," a show I disliked, and it didn't matter whether I liked him or not, this guy was on the move upward to major stardom.

He went into the movies, and had hit after hit after hit: "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Good Morning Vietnam," "Good Will Hunting," etc.

He was completely frenetic, the type of person who couldn't stand still, always moving, always changing dialects, probably trying to keep up with always being the funniest person in the room.

But like his cohort and sometimes drug buddy John Belushi, he had demons, and a lot of them, and they followed him throughout his career.

He was a very well known drug and alcohol abuser, and had been in and out of rehab numerous times.

He had many relationship demons, too, and in a well publicized episode, dumped his wife for his kids' nanny.

He retained his popularity to his dying day, though, and his fans just loved him.

The past few years were rough on Williams.

His projects weren't well received, his last TV show--ironically called "The Crazy Ones"-- was a bomb that barely made it through a single season, and his movies stiffed if they even made it to theaters.

Evidently, those demons finally ate him alive, as yesterday's events show that in the end, the demons won out.

You don't like to hear about these things, but I do believe that if a person wants to take his life, it is the coward's way out.

Confront those demons head on, and beat them.

By doing what he did, he left his family in a lurch, and I am sure if he were thinking rationally, he would not have done what he did, if for only their sakes.

But a person pushed to this level of emotional drain is not thinking rationally.

And let us not make this guy a martyr, as we did with Belushi.

This guy was sick, needed help, and didn't get what he needed.

He was a fatality of drugs, drink and his own excesses.

He may have fought, but he gave in way too easily.

May he rest in peace.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rant #1,266: Going Back to Mexico

In the world of sports, this episode was really nothing much, but in the world of professional wrestling, where the real is blurred by the made up, this was really big news.

And it was real.

Alberto Del Rio, the heralded Mexican wrestler who was a mainstay on the WWE card for the past four years or so, was released from his contract.

Not a big deal, it happens all the time, but the reason he was released was another matter.

Evidently, he slapped a fellow WWE employee--not a wrestler--because the person told what Del Rio thought was a racist joke in front of him.

Look, WWE is entertainment. Reality is often mixed in with show business.

Wrestlers, and other on-air talent, often play characters, both good and bad and often, somewhere in between.

For instance, right now, Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of the owner of WWE, Vince McMahon, is playing one of the all-time heels. She was supposedly arrested for her actions a few weeks ago against another female wrestler, who she slapped while on air.

Stephanie McMahon is well known in entertainment circles as one of the nicest, most kind people on the face of the earth. She is a WWE executive, and she plays her role to perfection, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Del Rio played a character, too, but his WWE personality pretty much mirrored his on-air personality.

He was brash, nasty, thought he was the greatest thing to come out of Mexico since refried beans, and was often rumored to be at odds with his fellow wrestlers and WWE executives over a variety of things, including his aversion to holding back in the ring.

Yes, WWE is entertainment, and wrestlers play into that, often holding back, or at least telegraphing, what they are going to do to their opponents.

Del Rio did that to a certain extent, but less often than the other wrestlers, and one thing that the WWE does not want is for wrestlers to get hurt due to other wrestlers unnecessarily pummeling them.

It's bad for business, as they say.

Anyway, Del Rio is now gone for his latest actions, but he leaves a pretty good legacy as a champion in the WWE as he goes back to Mexico and wrestles in the professional league that he originally came from.

He leaves behind a championship legacy, and also one of the great introductions of all time.

With his then partner Ricardo Rodriguez, he would come out, usually in an expensive car, as the tuxedoed Rodriguez would introduce him, in Spanish, in less than dulcet tones.

It was like a bullfighter was coming to the ring, and Del Rio played off that introduction with his playboy looks and obvious talent.

But this time, in the real world, things evidently got out of hand, and the WWE had had enough of his true-life antics, which were evidently many.

He was at the near end of his contract, anyway, and rumor was that he wasn't going to renew it.

Now he played the WWE's hand, and they had had enough, and Del Rio is gone.

He will be remembered, and yes, missed, as one of the great heels of pro wrestling.

"Hasta la vista, Alberto Del Rio. Usted grande."

(No, I can't remember much from my high school level Spanish, which is obvious here. I just wanted to say, "See you later, Alberto Del Rio. You were great.")

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rant #1,265: What's In a Name ... ?

My name is Larry Lapka.

Actually, my name is Lawrence Scott Lapka, but that is another name for another time.

Just call me Larry.

That's my name and I'll stick with it.

Some people, however, don't.

Take former NBA star Ron Artest, who was once Defensive Player of the Year in that league, which is a very big deal, but evidently, his name isn't.

Artest changes his name like some people change underwear--often--and he has done it again.

No, he will not be playing in the NBA this year. He was released last year by the woeful New York Knicks, and if you are released by a team that was really bad last year, well, you are pretty much done.

And yes, Artest is done with the NBA.

For the past few years, he has gone under the name of Metta World Peace.

But he is out of the NBA now, so what name should he go under?

Well, his fate was pretty much sealed when he signed with a team in China.

He has changed his name again, this time to (drum roll please)--

Panda Friend, later updated to The Pandas Friend.

Yes, The Pandas Friend, I guess in honor of the Chinese Panda.

So his first name is The, his middle name is Pandas, and his last name is Friend.

No more Ron Artest, no more Metta World Peace.

Hey, The!

What a name!

And by the way, I have decided to change my name too.

I thought about Barack Obama, but that name is taken.

How about Larry Baseball?

It says on the Internet that during the early days of the Cold War in the 1950s, Russia claimed that we stole their game called "lapka" and turned it into what we know as baseball.

Yes, this is on the Internet, so it must be true.

So I will keep my first name, which I have always liked, but no more "Lapka"; I am now Larry Baseball.

And I have the kujonos to do it. Oh, that means balls.

Larry Baseball ... now I have to convince my wife, son and daughter to do the same name change.

Nah, it won't work.

Back to Larry Lapka.

And Mr. Friend, sorry, I like Ron Artest better, but it's your call.

Speak to Mr. Friend, and you, on Monday.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rant #1,264: Snail Mail

Remember last week when I managed to find money and an old keepsake photo that I thought was lost forever?

Well yesterday, something else related to my family was found, and this time it was courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

And I am not happy about it.

Earlier this year, an invitation to a wedding was mailed out to my home. It was for my daughter, and it was mailed to my home, and not hers, because those mailing the invitation did not have her correct address, if I remember correctly.

It was an invitation to my nephew's wedding, slated for late May.

The invitation was mailed in early March, March 5 to be exact, for a late May wedding, over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The same invitation was mailed to our family, at the same address, at the same time, and we received our invitation within days of it being mailed.

But my daughter never received her invitation.

This provided a lot of consternation between the sender and us and my daughter, and we wondered where the invitation was all of this time, because she never got it.

The wedding was held, everything was hunky dory, but the invitation never came, and we basically forgot about it.

Until yesterday, when it was delivered to us via the U.S. mail, more than five months after it had been originally mailed.

Look, the U.S. Postal Service is being attacked on all fronts. It is inefficient, losing ground to electronic mail, or email, it is bloated with too many employees for what it does, offers these employees over-bloated salaries and benefits for what they do, and also provides incredible retirement benefits.

But to the general public, it may simply be antiquated for these times.

Everyone enjoys email, but there are certain things that simply must be sent via regular mail, and a wedding invitation is one of those things.

I cannot understand how such a letter, with proper postage on it, can take more than five months to reach its destination, sent out from one end of Long Island to another location on Long Island.

It boggles the mind.

A few months ago, my wife and I mailed out a bill, and it was very swiftly returned to us. We could not figure out why, because there were no markings on the envelope, so I took it to the post office.

They told me that for whatever reason, their machinery read the return address as the destination address, and that is why it was returned to me.

I was fuming, because this was a bill--it was time sensitive. They took the envelope back without questions, and the bill arrived to its destination, barely on time.

Look, the post office is not what it once was. My grandfather worked for the post office during the early part of the 20th century, and it gave him a steady job during the Depression and afterward.

He was a postal inspector, was generally looking for bootleg liquor being sent through the mail, among other things, and he carried a gun.

He rarely spoke about his time with the post office, but my grandmother used his benefits until the day she died, decades after he left the post office and even decades after he passed away.

I am sure he was proud of his work, and proud of the mail, where supposedly no matter what, the mail gets through.

But in 2014, evidently, that is not the case anymore. The mail is horrific--we have had other recent incidences where letters should have gotten to their destination on time, but evidently haven't, including bills--and I don't have the confidence in the U.S. Postal Service that I once had.

And if anything, this latest incident proves my point.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rant #1,263: Black and White and "Red" All Over

Yes, I do mean the color.

I love to read the newspaper in the morning.

This has been a life-long thing for me, reading the newspaper when it is delivered.

It wasn't always in the early morning. You might remember that years back, most newspapers had several editions, and your newspaper was often delivered in the afternoon, after the kids got home from school.

In fact, often those same kids who got back from school were the ones delivering your daily newspaper to your door.

I have been reading the newspaper since I was probably four or five years old.

I just love the newspaper, but that gets me to my point:

I love it when I get it, and when I don't get it, I am not happy.

Newspapers are generally delivered by adults now, and the newspapers get delivered in the early morning, generally before 6 a.m.

My local newspaper guarantees delivery by 5:30 a.m., which is perfect for me, because when I am done writing this column for the day, I go down and get the paper ...

That is, if it is there.

With a guarantee of 5:30 a.m., I expect the newspaper to be there by that time. If it isn't, I call the customer service line of the newspaper, and I complain, and I get a credit to my account.

That is just what happened yesterday.

I was steamed. The paper was not there at the guaranteed time, and it came about 10 minutes later.

I leave for work early, and I want the paper by 5:30 a.m.

No, I am not being a hard ass.

I once was an adult deliverer of The New York Times.

I had to wake up early to get to the depot to deliver the paper. I went to sleep at 7:30 p.m., woke up at 11:30 a.m., and was at the depot by about 12:00 midnight, and that was on weekdays and Saturdays.

On Sunday, I would often stay up on Saturday night, deliver the Sunday paper, and come home and go to sleep.

I did this for about a year, and it was the easiest, hardest job I ever had.

It was easy once you knew the route, but it really did numbers on my body and my sleeping patterns.

It all worked out because my son was a baby then, and I would come home, feed him, and go to sleep for maybe an hour, and then wake up to go to my regular job.

Yes, it was a very long day, but I did it.

And people expected their papers delivered to them on time, seven days a week.

People complained about everything--where the papers were placed, delivering the paper too early, too late, not on time, not finding the paper (people would steal the papers), etc.

So I know what these people are going through as adult deliverers.

Been there, done that.

All I want is my paper delivered to me on time, because I leave for work early, and like to have a good outlook on what is happening in the world before I drive to work.

That is all that I ask, to have the newspaper delivered on time.

The old paper deliverer we had was nasty, rarely on time, once even threw the paper at me as I waited for him to deliver it.

Admittedly, the new paper deliverer is pretty good, has been on time most of the time.

But I know from experience. Things happen.

Trucks get the papers late, so they do not get to the depot on time.

You are not feeling well. It is certainly harder to deliver when you are under the weather.

There is a police action afoot, so you can't get to where you have to go on time.

I get it.

But I want my paper on time.

When I was a deliverer, I got every complaint in the book thrown at me, but you know what they say, "The Customer Is Always Right."

I am right.

I want the newspaper delivered to me on time.

I hope it is there today, I really do.

But if not, I will call for a credit.

No excuses. I want the newspaper here on time.

Get it?

Yes, I hope I do.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rant #1,262: Back to Reality

After yesterday's pipe dream of a column, today I am back to reality.

My electric razor broke on me today.

Woe is me.

I have used electric razors for years. I have sensitive skin, and using blades rips up my face where I look like the Frankenstein monster after I shave, so I have used an electric razor since I was about 15 years old, and had to shave pretty regularly.

The problem is, I also have a heavy beard, or could have a heavy beard if I didn't shave.

What happens is that after a relatively short time, the blades in the razor get worn down, and it becomes extremely difficult to shave.

This is not what broke the razor this time.

Although I did notice lately that the blades were starting to wear down, today, that was not the problem.

I opened the razor to clean it out, and almost immediately, the inner workings of the razor--the three heads and the thing that keeps these heads in place--literally fell off, right into my hand.

The mechanism that keeps the heads in place cracked, and for anyone else who has been through this, you know that that is the end of the razor.

I could probably buy a replacement, but I figure I may as well buy a brand new razor, and literally start from scratch.

So after work today, I am going to have to buy a razor, and these things do not come cheap.

Sure, I can probably get a $30 razor, but I have had them, and they don't cut well, and they don't last at all.

So I am going to have to go with the pricier razor, near $100.

And since the one I had that just died on me was about that price, I can say that they don't last either.

I think I had this razor maybe six to eight months, no longer.

I remember that these types of razors used to last for years, but they don't anymore, and I have to wonder why?

Manufacturers don't make them as well because once you are shaving with an electric razor, it is difficult to use a regular blade, so they know you will be coming back for more.

It's not just razors.

My mother's refrigerator just died on her after about 10 years, and she bemoaned the fact that these appliances don't last 20 or 30 years anymore.

Even though she bought a good make and model, the installer said that this unit probably won't last much past seven years or so.

Don't tell me that manufacturers can't make a refrigerator that will last decades or a razor that will last a few years.

They can, they have in the past, but they know their marketplace better now, and they know the public will come back for more.

So tonight, after a long day of work, I have to empty out my bank account to get something decent.

Well not empty it out, but at least put a big crimp in it.

So woe is me today.

I could decide to grow a beard, but I itch like crazy when I have tried to do this, and the beard comes in funny, so fuggedaboudit.

No hair on my head, no hair on my face, heck, at least I don't shave my head like some men do.

That would really wear down the razor even more. I would probably have to buy a razor a month if I did that.

But God has taken that choice away from me, I guess.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rant #1,261: The Flying Nun

Being Jewish, I did not encounter many nuns when I was growing up.

I would always see them at baseball games. It seems that nuns are drawn to baseball like bees are drawn to honey.

But I did have a crush on a nun.

Everyone did back in 1967-1970, or at least everyone in my age group back then.

No, it wasn't a real nun, it was a TV nun.

Yes, "The Flying Nun," starring a very young, engaging actress at that time, Sally Field.

The story goes that ABC knew they had something with Field, who took to the camera like butter takes to bread.

She was on "Gidget," a very popular show among pre-teens, but a relative flop in the ratings.

When ABC abruptly canceled "Gidget" after just a single season, they didn't know what to do with Field, but they knew they had something that they wanted to pursue.

Acknowledging that they made a major mistake canceling "Gidget," they looked for another project that would star her, and they looked to the local library in trying to find something to suit her talents.

They came up with "The Flying Nun," based on the book by Tere Rios that was popular with pre-teens.

The book was about a nun who could literally fly when the wind was right. With her headpiece, or cornet, billowing under the wind, this nun could use those winds to fly.

She couldn't always control her flight, but since she was basically a 90 pound woman, the winds would take her about, and she kind of learned how to use them to her advantage.

Preposterous, yes. Doable, absolutely.

Field, who was very slight in stature to begin with, was cast in the role, and the show, although never a huge ratings winner, was once again popular with pre-teens.

It lasted three seasons on ABC, and for a good portion of that time, it was paired with ABC's other other-worldy show, "Bewitched," on the schedule

Although Field was well cast in the role, she supposedly hated being Sister Bertrille.

She was a young woman, and felt that a show like "Gidget" more fully suited her talents. She was able to wear the clothes of the day on "Gidget," but on "The Flying Nun," it was just her nunly robes and her cornet.

She actually had to be persuaded to accept the role in the first place by her family, who told her that she might never work again in Hollywood if she turned down such a role.

She took the role, and the rest is history.

Stocked with an excellent cast, including Marge Redmond, Madeleine Sherwood and Alejandro Rey, the show, if nothing else, showed off the broad comedic and acting talents of Field, and was surely a stepping stone to her leap to film (although she did do a lot of television prior to her early 1970s move to the big screen).

Why do I bring all this up?

On a very lazy Sunday, where my family and I really didn't do very much, I had a chance to sit down and watch two episodes of "The Flying Nun" on Antenna TV, where it reruns back to back with "Gidget."

Yes, I have watched the show off and on on Antenna TV for the past two years or so, but I really watched the show yesterday, and you know what?

I found the show as engaging as ever. It has good themes--which were looked over by the Catholic Church, which had a hand in the development of the series--the storylines are good, the acting is good, and even the dollar-value special effects of Sister Bertrille flying are just right for the series.

And Field, as ever, is fantastic, and I know why America had a major crush on this nun way back when, and still does, in the mosaic of roles she has had since then.

Anyway, I got to thinking ... if any show could use a reboot, it could be this series, either as a TV show or as a major film.

With a larger budget, the beauty of Puerto Rico really could be used to even a better advantage than it was in the original series, where it was used minimally.

Yes, scenes were shot in Puerto Rico--if you take a tour of San Juan, the tour guide will even point out to you where some of the show was shot--but with a bigger budget, maybe the whole show could be shot on location, rather than just bits and pieces like in the original program.

The special effects would be better today, but you know what? The less high-tech special effects of the day were perfect for the show, so it might not add to the rebooted project to improve too much on them.

The original show had an extremely engaging cast, in particular Rey as the disco owner, who owed his upbringing to the very church Sister Bertrille was a novice nun at, and through her, got into all types of adventures, things he didn't want to get involved with.

And then there is Field herself. How do you replace her in such a show?

Here is how I would do it: I would cast her as the Mother Superior--I mean, more than 40 years have progressed since she was a novice nun, so it is a very distinct possibility that if she stayed with the church, she would have progressed to that position by now.

And then have a new nun join the church, who also possesses the ability to fly because of her slight stature. Yes, lightning would strike again in this reboot, but who to cast as the "new" Flying Nun?

I have the actress, and I saw it the moment I caught her in those popular AT and T commercials.

She is Milana Vayntrub who plays the "know it all girl" in those popular TV ads.

She has the build, the look, and even though only seeing her in short samples, the ability to carry off such a role.

As I said earlier, Field hated her role on that show, but as an older actress playing a different role in the reboot, she might be open to such a challenge.

She has never, it has to be said, shirked away from acknowledging her TV past, like some actors do, so maybe it could happen.

I am not a TV producer, but if I were, I might just pursue such a reboot.

If done correctly, it could be a success.

I guess I missed my calling, like they say, I should have been in pictures ... .

Friday, August 1, 2014

Rant #1,260: Suffering Allergies

Today's Rant is going to be a bit short, but not sweet.

I am really suffering today.

My allergies are killing me, I can barely see, and I feel a bit miserable.

I do not feel sick, just not myself.

This happens when my allergies get the best of me, and I am afraid that today is one of those days.

I went to bed last night at 10 p.m., as I always do, but that was preceded by what I thought was a minor allergy episode.

I was watching TNA Wrestling with my son, which I always do on Thursday night, and we were both having a snack.

Then, all of a sudden, I felt as if something was caught in my throat, and I coughed several times and blew my nose a couple of times, too.

It seemed to last a few minutes, and then I seemed to be OK.

I fell asleep on the couch for about 45 minutes, went into the bedroom, and went right to sleep ...

Until 2 a.m., when I woke up not being able to breathe clearly, my eyes extra watery, and not feeling that great.

And I have pretty much been up since then.

I don't feel much better than I did two hours ago, so this is just one of those days that I am going to have to grit it out.

I have a long day ahead of me, and somehow, I will get through it.

I have been through far worse episodes than this, and it usually takes my body four to five hours, at worst, to get back to some semblance of normalcy, whiich means I probably won't feel any better until about 7 a.m.

Having allergies is a curse. If you have them, you know exactly what I am talking about. They effect you top to bottom when they hit.

And today, I not only got hit, I got blitzed.

Speak to you again on Monday. I am sure I will be better then, but I better check the pollen count today and throughout the weekend--I bet it is as high as the sky.

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