2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.





SUGGESTION: Read this whilst drinking a steaming cup of hot chocolate -spiked with Bailey’s, of course.

Thought I’d repost this little diity from a few years back given that those Albertans have sent us a bit of a BIG white present called a CLIPPER. Imagine, a CLIPPER can cause all of this havoc. As for me, I’ll be on shovel duty. No problem, because Grumpy has been shovelling it for years both here and other places.

Stay Classy . . . and do stay WARM!


Today it’s snowing again. . . and again. . . and again. Those great fluffy whites are giving us a snow job of major proportions. There’s no doubt, the blow job will come later tonight. (The high winds that is!) Then there’ll be snow drifts and white outs to contend with.

I shovel, and I rest.

Three freakin’ shovel-jobs later and there’s still snow coming down like someone exploded a humongous feather pillow somewhere above us. The plow is nowhere to be seen. The roads are like great rivers of marshmallow, ready to suck your tires from the road and throw you in some God forsaken ditch. The very thought of what that entails causes my sphincter to quiver.

I shovel. I rest.

I’m hoping that the Big One isn’t lurking just around the next snow bank for me. My wife’s Chinese horoscope (The Dog) this year says they’ll be a funeral in her future. She’s to avoid working or investing in funeral homes. I didn’t read that part to her. There’s no sense tempting irony to rear its ugly head.

I shovel. I rest. And rest again.

So far no chest pains, no dizziness, just a lot of expletive deletives. How many ways can you curse the snow? I don’t know, but the snow is surely cursing me! It laughs as I throw each shovel load to the wind, only to have it slap me in the face in return.

I shovel. I rest.

Here comes the blasted snow plow, roaring down our street like some great hewer of ice bergs. The monster throws snow in avalanches that tumble to the side in blocks that are frozen as hard as concrete. They tumble into my driveway SNOWPLOWentrance creating something akin to the Great Wall of China. I curse the driver as he passes, throwing invectives his way, as if they had the velocity and intent of a well aimed snowball.

I shovel. I rest. And rest some more, cuz the next shovel job is the Mother of All Shovels.

Yes, it will take a pick-axe to demolish this icy barrier, perhaps a wheelbarrow and a few sticks of dynamite. Luckily, my neighbor has a gas-powered snow blower. He often arrives in the nick of time, and like a great de-fibulator, he rescues my ass with one powerful blast. That is one rewarding snow job, my friend.

Yet, I shovel and I rest some more.

My hands feel like frozen steak, my feet are wet and soggy and the great snot icicle that dangles from my nose threatens to reach my mouth. This long driveway frustrates my effort, for as soon as I reach the end another layer of fluffy white has covered the beginning. I feel that I’m in a continuous spin cycle.

I rest and I shovel.

After this snowfall they predict warmer days, perhaps even a few above freezing. Praise the Lord!

But these great mounds of crystallized water will slowly transform into great puddles and the yard will begin to look like a landscape suitable for a mud-run by motocross bikes and four wheelers. I pray for spring, even though spring clean up here could easily be featured on Dirtiest Jobs. Scooping up four months of dog droppings, frozen to the grass, thawing gradually with odiferous results, is not my idea of a spring break.

I shovel. I dream. I rest, again.

But alas, the cold will come again freezing everything into a treacherous ice rink of tremendous proportions. There will be the fog banks, then ice rain, some sleet, the slush and all manner of weather, duly summarized as loads of bovine excrement. I will curse every one of them.

Yet I shovel on!

I’ll be walking in a winter’s wonderland for the remainder of this day; slugging and chugging like an old steam engine going up a steep grade. And if I can avoid the big one, I’ll live to see another snow storm or three this season. All I can hope for is a series of snow blows from my neighbor, otherwise, I think these expanding banks are gonning be the death of me.

Thank the Lord for spicy Jack cheese, hard salami and ice cold beer. That is the engine that might just see me through this.


But, if these blog posts suddenly end , you’ll know the winter and the Big One has got the better of me.


Grumpy is Sick and Tired of W-I-N-T-E-R!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grumpy was looking out the window at the back 40 today. What wasn’t white was frozen like a popsicle! Indeed he waxed nostalgic about flowers, sunshine and green grass. That’s why he posted the Garden Tour video in the space below. Take a peek if you too long for those good old days of summer.

There are about 6 weeks to go before the Grumpy’s make their annual Florida trek. Grumpy hopes he makes it until then.






A little break from these PHILOSOPHICAL meanderings is in order. Grumpy’s brain is starting to hurt!

Nevertheless, Grumpy does feels that his garden relates well to what he has most recently written.  The gardens at Grumpy Villa are important to the family because these paths provide a place of relaxation, respite and reflection as well as a playground for the little ones who visit. (Including Max the Killer Cat)

Chillin” and Swillin’ in the great gazebo tented room is the name of the game where quiet conversations, naps, reading a book, listening to tunes and downright reflection and meditation are required activities. Bring your “PITY PARTY” there and our Sergeant at Arms, Pumba the Farting Dog, will be nipping at your heels as you make your frenzied escape.

So, I you’ve got four minutes to spare, why not take a trip on GRUMPY’S GARDEN TOUR.

It’s FREE!

Stay mindful,

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Getting Bilked in Niagara: This and That and all the other Niagara Rap

Getting Bilked in Niagara: This and That and all the other Niagara Rap

imagesCAHJZFJJPrepare yourself because Grumpy is about to rant. This is his rap about some of the negatives experienced in Niagara.

You’d think that in the dead of winter there would be discounts galore in this tourist attraction city. Grumpy knows that most of the visitors in winter are there for the two casinos but really, going to Vegas for the weekend might just have been cheaper.

Here are the top ten things that bothered Grumpy the most whilst celebrating the Good Wife’s 50th Birthday in Niagara Falls, Canada.

TEN: Where are the tax dollars spent in Niagara?

In a city that has a huge tax base garnered from the mini-Vegas construction beside the falls and the Casino, you’d think someone could be paid to keep the sidewalks free of snow and ice. With Grumpy doing the “tippy-toe-waddle-waddle” he was taking his life in his own hands each and every time he ventured out.

NINE: Losing money before you gamble is just not right!

How can it cost $25 to park in the garage adjacent to the old casino? That puts you $25 in the hole before you even shake hands with the one armed bandit. And, why is the price a mere $10 to park in the underground lot at the Fallsview? (SUGGESTION: Get one of those plastic card thingy’s you plug into the slots at the casino. You can plug that same do-dad into the gate at the lot and get free parking.)

EIGHT: You can’t sell me the Brooklyn Bridge?

AAAAAAmoneyWhen you check in to your hotel (Marriot Courtside) you are told there is an $11.00 per day charge for parking on the hotel lot. TWO NIGHTS – $22.00.

Say what? Where else WOULD WE PARK?

Looks like the discount we got on the room was quickly negated by this fee. And, the stub that you display in the window says the hotel is not responsible for LOSS or DAMAGE.

For $22.00 I’d half expect armed guards, wouldn’t you?

SEVEN: Some bottomless cups of coffee cost an arm and a leg!

Some businesses value their customers while others don’t.

The Good Wife and Grumpy, while waiting for Willy Boy and Kimmer to arrive, popped into THE KEG for some take-out cups of coffee. (The Keg is a rather pricey eatery.) The hostess handed us the coffee along with a paper cup filled with milk, cream, and sugar and said, “These are complimentary! Have a nice day!”

Then, while Willy Boy and Grumpy were finishing up their finger-food platter at the London Arms, the waitress said, “I’m not going to charge you for the coffees, guys!”

Meanwhile upon receiving our check from Denny’s we discovered our coffee cost $3.40 per cup. Hell, Grumpy can get two Timmies for that price!

SIX: Mall stores are conspiracy laden cults!

I’m thinking that women’s stores have a new ploy. You buy an item but they slightly damage it as they slip it in the bag. This happened to the Good Wife.

Thank the Lord for PENNY slots!

Thank the Lord for PENNY slots!

“We’ll have to go back to the mall and exchange this before we go home,” she cooed.

That we did but, during this simple exchange, THREE MORE ITEMS were purchased.

So, do you catch my drift?

The CULT OF SHOPPING rears its ugly head in many forms. Its power is all encompassing and, in the end, exceedingly costly.

FIVE: Wasting Away in Margaritaville.

The Grumpy’s and the Waggle’s are Parrot Heads of the first kind. We love Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Restaurant in Niagara Falls: Home of the Cheeseburger in Paradise! We had a great meal there before heading to the casino.

Grumpy is just a little upset with the prices in the gift shop, though. Why would a true Parrot Head buy anything there when you can buy the same items 40% to 50% discounted online from Jimmy’s Website? I’ve been in this store many times and NEVER have observed anyone buying anything!

Go figure!

FOUR: Children Should Be Physically RESTRAINED in Elevators!

imagesCA5PUVMWBy now you all are aware of Grumpy’s phobia concerning elevators, especially after being stuck in one in Indiana a few years back. The Grumpy’s room was on the TENTH floor at the Marriot, meaning the old guy was required to make many trips up and down.

On more than one occasion, as Grumpy cowered in the corner, some little kid took it upon themself to play with the elevator buttons, causing extra stops, jolts, ding-dongs and certain consternation. Fortunately, Grumpy was able to restrain the primal scream burgeoning in his throat and he never once shouted, “We’re all going to die!” or “Madame, put your kid in a full restraint, or I will!”

THREE: No peeing in the Freaking Ferkin.

The gang decided to have a pre-show drink prior to entering the Fallsview Theatre to watch the “Jersey Night’s” show. There’s a nice English pub there called the Niagara Ferkin. Willy Boy treated us all, given that he and Kimmer and scored some wins at the casino.

As per usual, natured called and Grumpy ventured deep into the pub looking for the loo. He decided to ask the waiter about theAAAAAdvert location and was told, “We don’t have washrooms in the Ferkin. You have to go out and walk past the escalators, way past the courtesy desk and it will be on your right.”

This was like telling a four-year old child – sitting in your vehicle – that the next rest stop is 100 miles away. Grumpy’s kidneys were floating.

But, you know the drill.

Because of his affliction he had to “tippy-toe-waddle-waddle” all the way. The moaning, groaning and cursing under his breath nearly caused security to go on Red Alert.

Isn’t it a given that “pubs” and “peeing” go hand in hand. Well, apparently not at the Freaking Ferkin.

TWO: Window Blinds are for Privacy, are they not?

During one of our R. and R. breaks, Grumpy ventured over to his window to take a peek at the view from the tenth floor. He parted the curtains slightly in order to not compromise his and the Good Wife’s privacy.

Something caught his eye and his head swiveled in the direction of another high rise hotel.

OMG! Grumpy’s eyes bulged and grew to the size of dinner plates.

There in an eighth floor window stood a huge fat guy, completely naked and exposing his package to the Greater Niagara Region. With a smile he turned and “mooned” the world as if to say, “Niagara you can kiss my butt!”

I guess he dropped a load at the casino!

ONE: If it weren’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all!

This might refer to Grumpy and the Good Wife’s luck at the casino, but it does not.

What this really refers to is the high costs of Niagara that Grumpy so duly described in the introduction. Here is the primetime #1 example of this idiocy.

(As my father, Old Joe, would ask, “What did you get? The Idiot’s Delight?”)

GOOD EXAMPLE: We ate our first meal at Tony Roma’s, an excellent and classy steak, rib and seafood establishment. Total


. . .

cost for four, with a couple of beers was $80. We felt this was good value for the excellent meal we had.

BAD EXAMPLE: We had FREAKING BREAKFAST at Denny’s the next morning. The cost of breakfast for four people was $84.00, including those $3.40 coffees.And friends; Denny’s is the place seniors go to in the US for value not for shake downs and muggings. Again, we’re talking breakfast here. Grumpy got the SENIOR’S special for crying out loud!THE REAL DEAL MEAL: On the way home we stopped at Tim Horton’s for breakfast – total cost for two – $8.35

(2 coffees, a muffin, 1 hash brown and a turkey sausage breakfast sandwich)

Oh, my!

Was it the glitter and glamour of our Vegas-like weekend? Was it the lure of the US Denny’s that sent us into a state of numb-nut-notions? Was it the happy glow of our wives after shopping?

To this day, Grumpy will never be able to explain why we all ordered four plates of the “Idiot’s Delight” breakfast that day.

But, I guess getting bilked in Niagara becomes part and parcel with a visit to any CASINO town. After all, you know what they say about “dumb luck”! Grumpy surely puts the dumb in that little phrase, wouldn’t you agree?