Kids have bad attitude, middle aged men have a crisis, and old men have the grumps.

Kids have bad attitude, middle aged men have a crisis, and old men have the grumps.

The most difficult thing to avoid as you become older is becoming a crotchety old fart. You know the drill. That old guy that is not only miserable but also carries around an attitude of, “I’ve paid my dues so everyone else can get the hell out of my way!”

CROTCHETY: subject to whims, crankiness, ill temper, odd notions, whims, grouchiness and capriciously stubborn or eccentric.

OLD FART: a person who is regarded as being set in his or her ways and lacking a sense of humour.

high pntsWhat a combination that doth make! Put them together and what have you got – well certainly not, “Bibbidy-bobbidy-boo!”

No, what you have is someone who might get profiled on, “America’s Most Wanted.” CONSIDERED ALARMED AND DANGEROUS!

The Urban Dictionary has an entirely different take on OLD FART:

What you smell when you smack your hand on your couch, car, or dining room chair, seat cushions.

I was doing spring cleaning and beating the dust off the couch when that old fart hit me right in the face.

Oh, my!

You can actually do an online QUIZ to see if you qualify as a crotchety old fart here:

And, Grumpy has discovered there are some perks involved when you become an old fart.

1.  Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2.  In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

3.  No one expects you to run–anywhere.

4.  People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

5.  There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

6.  Things you buy now won’t wear out.

7.  You can live without sex but not your glasses or Metamucil. imagesCAUYZPG2

8.  You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

9.  You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

10.  You sing or whistle along with elevator music.

11.  Your eyes won’t get much worse.

12.  Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

13.  Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national          weather service.

14.  Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

15.  Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

When it comes to multi-tasking you are an expert. I once saw a T-shirt that read, “I’m So Old. I Can Cough Fart, Sneeze and Pee All At the Same Time.” And, of course, “Old is when getting a little action’ means you don’t need to take any fibre today.”

But the real issue for me is the crotchety part; the “becoming difficult and feisty” syndrome.

I realize now that a lot of this has to do with aches, pains and stiffness and a general frustration with the vagaries of aging. For instance, you drop something for the fourth time and “cuss” because now you have to bend over for the fiftieth time that day.  You wish you had retied your shoe when you were down there picking up the results of your dropsy because the laces are flailing out to the sides. And, where did that dust bunny come from, Easter was last freaking week.

I think you catch my drift.

The biggest loss in your Golden years is the loss of “patience”. Everything takes too long, people talk too much, lineups are too slow, the print on boxes is too small, life is too short and those, “Damn kids today can’t make change unless they’ve got a calculator in hand!” Really, it’s all about time.

‘Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.’  Will Rogers, Autobiography, 1949.

Grumpy would like to illustrate this with a few examples.


Drive through lines that meander – putting the idea of “fast food” in the category of an oxymoron.

People who can’t seem to get their money in hand at the checkout and then pay everything down to the penny, whilst the lineup behind them grumbles and mumbles ad infinitum.

imagesCAFJ621ZPeople who can’t make up their minds at the burger joint despite the fact that all of the food is displayed on huge pictures designed for morons and dyslexics.

Myopic drivers with tunnel vision who have no clue there are any other cars on the road in front, beside of behind them. They must be vampires because they never look in their MIRRORS!

Cell phones with touch pads you need a microscope to decipher and the over-the-hill all-thumbs syndrome that can’t type worth a delusional chimpanzee.

Indeed, as you age the old adage of, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get!” becomes your mantra. “I’m retired, damn it, I’ve got places to go and people to see!” Heck, your time might be hastily running out so every second counts, right?

As Thomas Fuller (1608 – 16 August 1661) decried, “Abused patience turns to fury.”

Well you %4#@$* well got that right. Mess with Grumpy’s patience and you’re liable to be strafed by “F-Bombs”.

Oh my, there’s that “crotchety syndrome” raising its ugly head again. Maybe there’s a pill for that! But really, crazy as it seems, Grumpy could give up drinking because he can get the same feeling from just standing up quickly.

But, he won’t? And, he doesn’t need MORE pills!

Grumpy may sound like a broken record on this topic but, when push comes to shove, it is a smile, a good laugh and a young at heart outlook that prevents the GRUMPS and the CROTCHETY OLD FART SYNDROME.

For this purpose I will leave you with two things to brighten your day.

First of all, the link below will take you to Donald Mill’s BLOGSITE, “THE PROBLEM WITH YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY IS . . .” Take the time to explore his humour blogs because his tirades make Grumpy’s rants sound like Jiminy Cricket on sedatives.


And here’s a little joke that really puts all of this in perspective.

Surely I can’t look that old?

Have you been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, “Surely I can’t look that old?”

I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his D.D.S. diploma, which bore his full name. Suddenly I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my High School class some thirty-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?

Upon seeing him, however I quickly discarded any such thought, this balding, gray haired man with deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate, Hmmm, or could he??

After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Central High School.

”Yes, Yes, I did.” He gleamed with pride.

“When did you graduate?” I asked.

He answered, “In 1967, why do you ask?”

“You were in my class!” I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely.

And then, that miserable, near-sighted, ugly, wrinkled old-fart jerk-off asked, “What did you teach?”

REMEMBER: Old is when you are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.

So, slow down and fill each second with joy and laughter. The minutes, hours and days will take care of themselves.


Tales from the Grumpy Gardener #2: Be on the Lookout for Jack the Nipper

Way back in May Grumpy introduced you to the challenges of dealing with Jack Frost, otherwise know as Jack the Nipper. Here we are in September and Old Jack has made his way back into our lives. All of the framers around Grumpy Villa are scrambling like squirrels to bring in their crops. Little Old Jack is rubbing his hands together in glee with the prospect of taking all of these plants down. So, in case you missed this one, give it a read. Just click the READ MORE link above to get the entire blog.


WARNING: Be on the lookout for Jack the Nipper

There are a lot of “Jacks” that Grumpy likes including “jumping Jack flash”, “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick” and, of course, actor and AAAAJackimagescomedian, Jack Black. But, when it comes to this time of year and Grumpy’s garden, he completely detests that guy know as JACK FROST. He’s the guy you sing about at Christmas. You know the one that’s “nipping at your nose” while “your chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.”

Well I say, “Nuts to that!”

Jack Frost is persona non grata and totally unwanted in my garden.

Consider this:

Jack Frost

By C.E. Pike

Look out! Look out!

Jack Frost is about!|

He’s after our fingers and toes;

And all through the night,

The happy little sprite

Is working where nobody knows.

He’ll climb each tree,

So nimble is he,

His silvery powder he’ll shake.

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Grumpy Longs for the Time when Most Engineers Drove Trains

 This blog is not funny.

Actually, if you’re a nervous type of person, a little bit paranoid and prone to “worry-wart” syndrome, I suggest you pick up the entertainment or the comics section of your preferred newspaper right now.


Martha, run quick! I need the comics section -STAT!

If not, then Grumpy is here to tell you he had an Epiphany today.

Have you ever had something you experienced gobsmack you because it connects to something you heard or read in the distant past: sort of like Deja Voodoo?

It’s as if your brain is zapped by a bolt from the blue and your Eureka moment is like a chill of ice water trickling down your spine. Suddenly you are aware and cognizant of a truth: a truth that scares the bee-gee-bees out of you.

This happened to Grumpy this morning. This giant spider web connection of ideas nearly blew him off his feet. Thank God he was belted in and driving the Clown Car well below the speed limit at that particular moment.

First of all, Grumpy read an article by Lorrie Goldstein (SunMedia), about Ontario’s failed Green Energy plan and the resulting penultimate cost to consumers, and then he listened to a report on CNN that the jobless rate is dropping in the U.S.A., not because more jobs are being created, but because fewer people are looking for work. It seems as if companies are accustomed to downsizing and like it, while at the same time new technology is gobbling up jobs like some robot army.


OMG Captain, this planet is know for its energy poverty. The government has been taken over by entities known as Reeks and Wrecks.

Bottom line –new jobs are few and far between, yet technology runs rampant.

“BAM”, Grumpy experienced his Eureka moment, right then and there. Words bloomed in his head in an electroshock storm of understanding.

 “My God, we’re becoming a world of Engineers/managers and Reeks and Wrecks!”

Grumpy’s Spockian eyebrows were raised to a new height.

Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was dead right, my friends. That’s why Grumpy was zapped with the connection. Science Fiction had become science fact!

You see, back in the late sixties and early seventies, Grumpy read everything Kurt Vonnegut wrote, became a particular fan of Kilgore Trout, and enthralled with Kurt’s oft used literary bridges of , “Hi, Ho!” and, “And so on!”

Player Piano (Published in 1952) was Vonnegut’s first book. And, that is the very book that tied everything together for Grumpy, which in this case, was nearly 40 years later.

PLAYER PIANO: The Readers Digest Version


Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The time is the future, after the next big war and a second industrial revolution. Machines now do most of the labour that people used to do. Indeed, machines define what job you are permitted to do.

If your IQ is tested high enough, you can become an engineer (or manager) of the machines. If not, you get assigned to the Reeks and Wrecks: Reconstruction & Reclamation Corps, or basically, manual labor: fixing the roads and other maintenance projects.

Player Piano imagines a future where machines can do everything, life is mundane, and all work is boring and mind numbing. It’s a depressing world, where machines dictate what goes on, and there’s no room for personal autonomy.

In Vonnegut’s world there are the “haves” (ENGINEERS/MANAGERS) and there are the “have-nots” (REEKS AND THE WRECKS).

Take these quotes, for example.

“Those who live by electronics, die by electronics. Sic semper tyrannis.”

 “If it weren’t for the people, the god-damn people’ said Finnerty, ‘always getting tangled up in the machinery. If it weren’t for them, the world would be an engineer’s paradise.”

 Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano (1952)

So, how did Grumpy make a connection to Vonnegut’s world? Why was he gobsmacked?

And, can you see the connection?

If you don’t, Grumpy will explain this using the two morning blasts of Epiphany that resulted in his gobsmacking this morning.


We have all heard the bafflegab surrounding the Ontario Liberal Party’s GREEN ENERGY PLAN. You know, you see it everywhere, solar power farms and windmills are spouting like winter wheat.

Our enlightened politicians have paid a bonus to all of the developers (Multinational Corporations) to make this happen, assuring the public (Auditor General, Jim McCarter) that, “their initiatives would add a modest 1% annually to our electric bills.”


How much are these suckers costing YOU in the pocket book?

Lorrie Goldstein reported that a year later the projections suggest quite the contrary.

“A typical residential electric bill would rise 7.9% annually over the next 5 years, with 56% of the increase due to the investment in renewable energy.” (GREEN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY – ENGINEER DESIGNED AND MANAGED MACHINES)

In Europe this increase in cost is forcing industry to move off shore, look for better deals and bail on their native lands. Better known as “fuel poverty”, we are all feeling the pinch.

In the not too distant future energy cost will be more than 20% of our monthly expenses, or even more if you throw in gasoline pricing and the purchase of candles, firewood and coal.

The promise of 50 000 jobs being created through GREEN ENERGY is bogus at best. In fact, because industry may decide to relocate (Energy Costs/Energy Poverty), any gains will be negated by job losses from manufacturing migration.

Besides, even though it might take a bee’s nest of workers to build these systems, once they’re up and running, an Engineer/Manager and a laptop will keep them going and very profitable.

So, how does this relate to Kurt Vonnegut’s World?

  1. The Engineer/Managers, Government, Big Business Corporate conspirators develop machines (technology) with the promise that all is good and it, “Ain’t gonna cost you much, Bubba!” The Reeks and the Wrecks build these machines and maintain them but at the cost of “energy poverty”, which keeps them and their families in their economic place (Middle Class), struggling to make ends meet.
  2. The rich get richer and spend their spare time thinking up ways to build new machines to make life easier, except that they don’t care that, in the end, it makes life more expensive for the Reeks and the Wrecks. No matter, the Managers coffers will continue to “runneth over”.
  3.  The gap between the Managers and the Reeks and the Wrecks widens. There are HAVES and HAVE NOTS, society is becoming bi-plural and the gap between these classes continues to widen.


Simply stated this new economy in North America has a hard time creating new jobs that are well paying. Technology has replaced people in the workplace, where machines can do the jobs that many hands of scores of people once laboured.


Dr. Billy Boomba, Ph.D. in astrophysics at your service.

Grumpy remembers his father working in the Cost Accounting division of a large manufacturing firm. Upon visiting him at the office, young Grumpy noticed that there were about 25 people sitting at desks handling all the paper pushing. Grumpy suspects that one person with a decent computer could handle all of that work now.

The most valued companies in the world like GOOGLE, MICROSOFT and the like produce no physical product other than gigabytes. They are all about what they “can do”, not what they can physically produce. And, it takes a handful of people to run the whole sha-bam on a Worldwide Basis. Machines are running these companies almost wholeheartedly. Of course, they do need Engineer/Managers to keep it all operating smoothly.

And, of course, the next time you go to your favorite fast food emporium the guy or gal serving you might just have a Ph.D. in astrophysics.

So many more people these days are underemployed and consequently underpaid!

My friends, there is no telling how many good paying jobs have been lost to computers and robotics.

So, how does this relate to Kurt Vonnegut’s World?

  1. Look around your town at new construction. Grumpy bets most of it is of the commercial variety – stores, retail parks, fast food joints, and big box bonanzas. These retail outlets sell the products produced by other Reeks and Wrecks from faraway lands. Most of the available jobs advertised are for these retail establishments – low paying, part-time, no benefits work.
  2. How many new large manufacturing plants have you seen built lately in and around your community? How many actual widgets are made in the ivory towers of Bay Street and in the huge office complexes in our biggest cities?
  3. How many recent university graduates are working in menial jobs well below the pay scale suggested by their qualifications? How many of them have huge debts to repay because of the cost of higher education? How many qualified teachers are flipping burgers these days?
  4. Who in society is getting ahead and who is lagging behind?

It says here that we are becoming a dualistic society of Engineer/ Managers and Reeks and Wrecks. Technology is fueling this division and commerce is widening the financial gap between them.

Can you see now where all of this might be heading? Are these not warning signs that might predict that a Vonnegutian world is looming large? Will more of our children, despite their sound upbringing and expensive educations, join the ranks of the Reeks and the Wrecks? How much more technology do we need before we all become REDUNDANT?

Grumpy has actually been thinking about this a lot lately. He boldly predicts that the next big revolution by downtrodden citizens will occur in North America and it will all be because of the effects of technological poverty. The “have-nots” are going to be seeking a bigger piece of the wealth the “haves” have been accumulating. And, my friends, “it ain’t gonna be pretty”.

And so on!

You see, when push comes to shove, Grumpy longs for the good old days when most of the engineers in the world drove trains and his phone number was 82OM.

Why not tell me what you’re thinking? Or better yet, give Player Piano a read! Leave Grumpy a comment! He’ll get back to you.

Hi! Ho!


The best engineers drive trains. They DO NOT run corporations.

One Year and Counting: Happy Birthday Blog


A note from Grumpy’s Man Cave.

On September 21st Grumpy’s World celebrated its one year anniversary. The celebration was low key as Grumpy spent the day with his pal Willy Boy, taste testing craft beers and spinning tales of bovine excrement. Since Willy Boy had given blood that morning and Grumpy was still feeling the effects of his new medications (Both prescribed and procured), a nap loomed at the end of every sentence uttered. It was a “put your feet up”, vegetative kind of day. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all, especially the Good Wives, who had a gab session of mega proportions. The boy’s ears are still ringing!

If this Blog survives a second year, Grumpy promises a bigger celebration, perhaps including coffee, Timbits and a performance by Pumba the Farting dog.

Have a Good One,


STATS: 173 post, consisting of approximately 250 000 words, and 11 173 visitors. Man if everyone paid a buck to visit here, Grumpy could update the Clown Car and be driving a mini van.

Yee Haw, to that!


Even though he’s shaped like a cello, Grumpy is as fit as a fiddle. Here’s how he does it. GRUMPY’S BOOT CAMP (CLICK THE READ MORE LINK ABOVE)


In an earlier BLOG Grumpy indicated that a naked session in front of the mirror exposed some soft tissue issues with his 63 year old body. Indeed, there were areas of sag and lag, which in turn made him look like a bag of new potatoes: frumpy and lumpy.

So he decided, at that time, that the only way he was about to improve upon his profile (Picture Alfred Hitchcock in silhouette) was to embark on a radical fitness regimen.

zzzzzFATBack in the day, in another BLOG, “Wearing Your Pants like Hip-Waders”, Grumpy mentioned how it seems as if his bulbous butt had been lopped off with a sharp sword. Then, all of those fat cells somehow migrated to the front of the body to produce a middle-aged protuberance.

Grumpy sees old guys at the mall whose pants droop at the back like empty backpacks, whilst their bellies bulge in rollovers of dramatic proportion. He doesn’t know how they walk without falling flat…

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