zzzztenthousandToday marks Grumpy’s World 10 000th hit. Grumpy is humbled by that number and thanks his readers for their visits and their reads. He will continue to stumble and grumble through life and report his finding to you. This he will do on a regular basis.

Please remember that you can share any of these BLOGS on Facebook and Twitter, they may be easily printed, and by entering your email – each new blog will be sent to you instantaneously.  Please DO leave a comment if you feel so inclined. Grumpy promises to get back to you.

Again, thank you for your support.




Earwigs and Potato Bugs, Oh My!

Earwigs and Potato Bugs, Oh My!

AAAAearwigLast evening whilst running the descaling cycle on Grumpy Villa’s Tassimo coffee maker, Grumpy was horrified to find that, said maker, spewed out the corpses and body parts of several earwigs.

That explains the brackish floaters he’s been finding in his morning cup of coffee recently.

“Honey, does that look like a bug head to you?” Grumpy whined to the good wife. He had just taken a huge gulp of his morning Joe.

“Coffee grounds,” she replied. “I think it’s just coffee grounds!”

“Isn’t that a leg?” he continues.

“Coffee grounds,” she repeats, as she pours her coffee in the sink. “But, maybe it’s time to descale the darn thing?”

Well grounds it surely was only in this case it was ground up earwigs. Grumpy had consumed many a leg and torso of the Jimmy Hoffa of all summer bugs, otherwise known as Mr. Forficula Auricularia Linnaeus (European Earwig).AAAAearwig

This summer has provided great conditions for this little “Bugger” to proliferate. Every time Grumpy removes his barbecue cover there is a mad scramble of earwigs scurrying this way and that. Guests are totally unaware when Grumpy announces, “Tonight I’m going to barbecue up some delicious STEAK AURICULARIA.”

“Mmmmmm, that sounds appealing. What is it –Greek or something?”

Pick up a pot, or turn over an object in the garden and you are sure to find a wiggling mass of earwigs that would even put Indiana Jones on red alert.

We all abhor this tiny creature because we’ve all heard how earwigs can crawl in your ear and bore into your brain and lay their eggs.

Grumpy was happy to disprove this notion when he read this.

“The name “earwig” derives from a popular superstition that earwigs crawl in people’s ears, burrow into the brain, and then lay eggs. However, this myth has no basis in fact. Earwigs do prefer dark, moist areas, so it is possible for them to crawl into sleeping people’s ears, but there is no danger that they will bore into the brain or cause any damage at all.”


It’s good to know old Grumpy’s noodle is not under attack but for now he will continue stuff cotton batten in his ears before he hits the sheets.

I also learned this.

Most earwigs are nocturnal and inhabit small crevices, living in small amounts of debris, in various forms such as bark, fallen logs and coffee makers.

Here’s a trick to catch the little nuisances. Just lay down a newspaper on the ground and the next day pick it up and it will be infested with earwigs. What you do next is totally u to you! But, be forewarned, I’ve seen swarthy men scream like little girls when they uncover a squirming hoard of Forficula Auricularia.


“Don’t worry Mr. Schwarzenegger. They’re just harmless earwigs!”

“I vill NOT be back!”

And, don’t get me started on the Potato Bug. I’ve found more of them this year than ever before. Great masses of them!

Indeed, the Gardens at Grumpy Villa are undergoing “bugaggedon” of the worst kind. There are creepy crawlers everywhere.

I suggested that the next episode of FEAR FACTOR might be filmed here but the producer said they weren’t allowed to go that far – to gross for a mass market audience.

Nevertheless, Grumpy has decided to put his “icky” feelings aside. He is not going to worry the next time he brews up a cup of Java. He’ll remember what his good friend Freddy would say when he swallowed a bug, or found one in food, “Just a little more protein for me, Grumpy!”

Or, my cousin the Godfather’s take is that “it gives you something to chew!”

“What’s that floating in my coffee, Grumpy?” a friend may soon ask.

“That’s not coffee, my friend,” he will reply slyly. “It’s Grumpy’s version of a protein shake! And, don’t forget to chew!”

TODAY’S RANT: Grumpy wants to see more Structure in Ontario’s Infrastructure

TODAY’S RANT: Grumpy wants to see more Structure in Ontario’s Infrastructure

Bumptity- Bumptity -bump!

If you’ve driven anywhere in Ontario this glorious summer you’ve travelled on the maze we call the Provincial Highway System. These highways and byways can lead you to good times and adventure. But, this year, they may also lead you to the repair shop and despair.

You might recall Grumpy’s description about hitting that huge pothole in Detroit; the one that nearly ate the Clown Car. You’ll remember that there were several vehicles with flat tires along the side of the road that day. It says here that the roads in Michigan would challenge the best of our off-roaders with their jacked-up, Gerry-rigged four wheelers.

“Yee-haw! Let’s give ‘er, Bubba!”

After our recent trip to the Wilson Retreat in Muskoka, I’d say Ontario now rivals Michigan for the worst driving conditions in North America. Our roads are going to pot (holes) as the asphalt crumbles and blacktop surfaces become hazardous minefields.

Bumptity- Bumptity -bump!

When you drive a rinky-dink little Clown Car like we do each ripple in the road is felt like a mountainous speed bump by the passengers inside. The five hour trip to the cottage was like riding in a jet plane through constant turbulence.

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is your Captain, please fasten your seatbelts.”

Grumpy recently installed barf bags in the seat pouches conveniently located in his vehicle. He also advises the wearing of helmets given that a good bump in the road usually results in your melon hitting the roof or the interior light.

Believe me, you don’t want to experience post-concussion syndrome whilst paddling a canoe. Remember what happened to Grumps when he was, “Tipsy in Muskoka”.

And, if you’ve got lower back pain, be prepared for that pain to move even lower because these deteriorating surfaces and the resultant agitation are becoming a big pain in the as-phalt for all of us

Grumpy found this suggestion refreshing, though.

Since there isn’t enough money to fill all the potholes, how about painting the edges red so we can at least dodge them?

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., April 22, 1980.

Grumpy likes this idea because he doesn’t have the means to enter the famous Baja 1000 off road race.


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The Day Grumpy was Hapless and Tipsy in Muskoka

Grumpy is heading up North to his in-laws cottage in a few days. Here’s what happened a few years ago when he got tipsy in Muskoka.


After the good wife, the grade two teacher, finished school and the Phenom finished Basketball Camp at Humber College, we headed north to the land of the loon. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had invited us to their cottage for five days of rest and relaxation. Even though it’s a five hour drive to get there, we jumped at the chance to stay in one of the most beautiful parts of Ontario. Their cottage is across the Lake from Port Loring on desolate Highway 522.

I love it there. Getting up at 6am each morning, my usual plan is to grab the canoe and head out on the waters until the rest of the clan crawls out of their slumber sacks. All I hear is the chirping of birds and the gentle lapping of water as the sun rises above the lake – the totally silent moments actually offend my city bred ears…

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Adventures of the Crabby Cabby

AAAAAAADevitoNot unlike Danny DeVito (Louie De Palma from TAXI), Grumpy is, has been, and will be for years to come, IN THE TAXI BUSINESS.

His lot in life has been to drive his family this way and that in a moment’s notice. Indeed, his 2012 Clown Car (Hyundai Accent) has turned over 125 000 K’s in LESS than two years. The “TAXI AVAILABLE” light is always lit.

Take the other day for example.

Grumpy had settled down to watch the Blue Jays play the Red Sox. The game was to begin in 10 minutes. Life was as it should be.

In sauntered the Phenom and with his finest 19 year old happy face aglow, then right out of the blue he said these exact words.

“I think I’ll go to Kyle’s tonight.”

Grumpy sat silent whilst the boy shuffled his feet and nodded his head affirming what he just said.

Sometimes Grumpy feels as if the Phenom thinks his father is Sky King and can rev up his plane, the Songbird, at a moment’s notice and fly deep into Australia to the outpost of Purnululu. That would be difficult considering Sky King lived in Arizona.

But, Grumpy knows from experience that Kyle lives a long way from Grumpy Villa. In fact, he lives on a farm just about at the County Line, at a distance crows refuse to fly. We’re talking the outback, folks. We’re talking a road trip to Purnululu.zzzzzSky King

“Ya, that’s what I think I’ll do,” he repeated, looking for Grumpy to respond. “Ya, I’ll go to Kyle’s.”

“So, how do you think you’re going to get there?” Grumpy finally asked.

“Well I thought you could drive me.” He sports a big glowing smile now and the expression on his puppy dog face reads, “PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP!”

“I was just about to watch the baseball game. You know it’s at least a thirty minute drive to Kyle’s. Why are you asking me to drive at the last minute?”

Sheepishly the Phenom replies, “Well I didn’t know I was going there until a minute a go, dad! And, really it’s only like 20 minutes to get there –TOPS!”

“And, it will be a 20 minute drive back for me –more like an hour altogether. Geeeeeeez, Louise!” Grumpy groans.


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