Archive for June, 2023

The Interstices of Solstices

Notes on June 21st:

I just don’t get it. How can this be the longest day of the year? Don’t they all have 24 hours in them. Is there some leap hour I don’t know about?

I understand the shortest day of the year is only 4’8″. That I get. And I know when workers want shorter hours you start by shortening their lunch hour to 30 minutes. For me the longest day of the year has always been when the in-laws visit.

Solstice, equinox, either way I feel I should be wearing a robe and milling about Stonehenge with the rest of the Druids. Or maybe listening to the song “Aquarius.” Those pagans – God lov’em.

Before there was Beatlemania, there was Stonehengemania. Although Stonehengemania was not quite as pulsating, they both really rocked.

Can’t Take a Joke – Beckham

If they can’t take a joke – Beckham.

Mail You Never, Ever Have to Open

If a letter makes it to your mailbox with any of the following phrases, acronyms or hieroglyphs on it, you may send this JUNK straight to recycle:

  1. ECRLOT – ECRLOT stands for Enhanced Carrier Route Line Of Travel. This is an internal code used by the USPS and designates a discounted postal rate for junk mailers. Although if you’re interested in “commemorative” orangutan plates from the Kingdom of Siam, maybe this letter is for you.
  2. Electronic Service Requested Junk mailer wants this vital mail forwarded to the correct person. Screw them and the air mail they flew in on.
  3. Time Sensitive Material Enclosed Junk mailer is attempting to promote a sense of urgency in marketing Urology Today’s new streaming service
  4. Hand Deliver Only All mail is hand delivered (unless it’s email). It’s part of the job. Don’t bother with this method, unless you’d prefer a hand job.
  5. Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat.) – This is supposed to legitimize and imbue the mailer with the imprimatur of authority by quoting a 75-year-old statute. Toss it.
  6. You Poor, Dumb Sap. You Need to Buy this Crap We’re Selling – Points for honesty, but chances are you don’t need the elbow deodorant they’re peddling.
  7. Doctors Without Bladders Fundraising Drive – Borders yes, bladders no.
  8. From the Desk of Kanye West – Ye are not amused. Can it.
  9. These Bible Foods Will Double Your Lifespan – Double your waistline maybe. Cast this mailer out into the darkness.
  10. Resident, Occupant or Felon – Wouldn’t bother opening it. Of course if you are a felon, it might be of interest. Just sayin’.

Dave Responds to Your Questions

  1. What do you call fake Vietnamese soup? – Faux Pho
  2. What do you call fake witchcraft? – Bogus Hocus-Pocus
  3. Which craft is the source of sorcery? – Witchcraft
  4. What do you call fake cold cuts? – Phony Bologna
  5. What do you call silly chatter on a cell call? – Phone-y Baloney
  6. What do you call the distance from the sun to the earth? – 1 Astronomical Unit (Not all of these are supposed to be funny folks)
  7. When does a thing become a thing? – When Larry David says so
  8. If Larry David was dyslexic, would he be David Larry? – Bropably
  9. What would happen if everyone was named Otto? – Otto know.
  10. Is it extra difficult for claustrophobic gay people to be closeted? – Otto know.


And finally, this Pee Wee Herman quote sums it all up:

“There’s a lotta things about me you don’t know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand.”

Random Things That are a Kinda Funny and Mildly Provocative

Conversations You Don’t Hear Anymore:

  1. Sea Captain: These dodo birds are delicious.

        First Mate:     Yeah, and there’s so many of them we’ll never run out.


  1. The Skipper: Hey little Buddy, maybe you should spend more time in my hammock.

       Gilligan:  No and Hell No. I hope I’m never shipwrecked on a deserted island with you. Oh wait…damn it.


  1. Are you still on the phone?
       No, you can use it now.


  1. Boy, my iron lung really gets in the way when we go camping.


  1. And when you meet Mr. Shakespeare, please, don’t call him Billy


  1. No one is going to want to pay extra for airbags.


  1. (Translated from Italian) Leonardo, there is no such thing as a heavier-than-air machine. That idea just won’t fly.


  1. There’ll be a Big Bang and galaxies will form and life will arise from a Primordial Soup and it’ll be so cool.

         OK, but what would be the purpose of it all?


  1. (Translated from Ectoplasm language) An amoeba feeling horny and coming on to itself: I’m up for a little mitosis. Are you? Let’s have a little fun and split.





 Conjugating the Verb “Amtrak” and “Amish”


Standard English

I                 Amtrak                         I                 Amish

He/she       Istrak                            He/She         Isish

They          Aretrak                         They                  Areish



Least Popular Sleep-Inducing White Noise Sounds

  1. The sound of a hummingbird that can’t quite find the tune
  2. Gentle rain falling on a corpse (Once they tell you that, you can’t get it out of your head)
  3. William Shatner singing the Beatles “Why………Don’t-We-Do-It-in-the-Road”
  4. A recorded loop of “Please listen carefully as some of our menu items have changed.”

    Q. What’s your favorite color noise?
    A. White.

  5. Another recorded loop of “No, YOU listen carefully. Nobody in their right mind had any of your stupid menu items memorized in the first place.”
  6. The sound of watermelons dropped from the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  7. A recording of the men’s bathroom stalls at Taco Bell after a biker rally
  8. Repeated sound of a cat scrambling to escape a bathtub with only 2 inches of water in it
  9. A symphony of leaf blowers playing “YMCA”

Maybe this list should be retitled: Annoying Sounds Keeping Me Up at Night

Should I Get Onboard with Amtrak?

Some say being a lover of trains is a choice. Others say it’s an interest you’re just born with. This argument is often applied to other deeply-seated orientations. The point is, I can no longer deny my interest in trains and I choose to express it publicly, despite the risk of becoming a social outcast. I believe my passion for trains is healthy and hip, but the trainophobic think I’m off the rails here. They worry I’ve become trainsgendered. For too long I’ve been a closeted train admirer – practicing my secret passion with other nerdy train enthusiasts in dark basements on small scale equipment while sipping on juice boxes. No longer am I willing to operate on the fringes of society while living this double life. Therefore, I hereby publicly declare my love of trains. I’m finally “coming out of the caboose.”


We all have hobbies we’re drawn to for reasons known only to our original manufacturer. For me, that magnetic force has been trains. Why I have such an affinity for these steely behemoths that lumber through the night, is a question for Dr. Lionel, my train whisperer (and my psychologist). Dr. Lionel and I have held many earnest and penetrating discussions on trains. We’ve covered everything from the dichotomy of sitting backward while moving forward, to the carnal symbology of trains entering tunnels. I cherish Dr. Lionel’s sage advice as he guides me through the mixed signals and missed switches of railroading. As you may have surmised, trains are a very moving topic for me. Still, I find it hard to believe, that in all the time Dr. Lionel and I have spent together, he’s never once failed to bill me for each session.  


I can’t account for my unbidden fascination with trains. All I know is that train has left the station and I’m forever enchanted. In fact, at this juncture railroading is so appealing to me, that even at the advanced age of 62, as I begin collecting Social Security, I nonetheless seek employment with Amtrak as a conductor. More on this later.


So, let’s go for a ride and hope I stay on the rails in describing the depth of my railroading passion and the height of my Amtrak adoration. In any event, near the end of this story I solicit your opinion in helping me formulate a mighty decision. Much like Dr. Lionel does, may you offer me sage advice; in addition to maybe some parsley, rosemary and thyme.   



New Train Smell – A Whiff of Heaven or a Hint of Hell


“You haven’t lived until you’ve inhaled the magical must of ‘new train smell’,” declare railroad enthusiasts infected by the train bug. “Once bitten, you’re forever smitten,” say these inveterate train buffs. However, some wonder if there is, or ever has been, “new train smell.” It’s hard to tell these days because Amtrak hasn’t put new trains into service in so long, there is no one left alive who remembers what new trains smell like.


Complicating this is that not everyone has the “new train smell” gene, enabling them to sense this alluring aroma. It’s kinda like the “asparagus” gene that way. Sadly, these scent-deficient souls will never know the pleasure of this intoxicating sinus sensation – and no amount of training can change that.

A train by any other name…

…would smell as sweet.











Neolithic carvings from the Olduvai Gorge indicate that the last person in the conga line was known as the kaybus, which eventually morphed into our present-day caboose. This theory of the “new train smell” gene mutating in the conga lines of God-fearing hominids has become known as Critical Nose Theory and has become a flash point for present-day cultural warriors.


Neolithic carvings from the Olduvai Gorge indicate that the last person on the conga line was known as the kaybus, which eventually morphed into our present-day caboose. This concept of the “new train smell” gene mutating in the conga lines of God-fearing hominids has become known as Critical Nose Theory.



What is New Train Smell?


Nosey railroaders describe the heady bouquet of “new train smell” as, “an intoxicating swirl of stamp-pressed steel, outgassed Naugahyde and delicate notes of diesel vapors culminating in a transportive smellucinogenic aroma.” Admittedly, it’s a developed appreciation. This salmagundi of smells, this obstinacy of odors, all come together in a crescendo of bracing olfactory satisfaction. It summons a vestigial calling within me that says, “All aboard Amtrak!” Then again, maybe that’s just my inner-hominid speaking.



Train Besotted and Loving It


I’m hesitant to admit all this because you might think I’m a little loco, but in my narrow-gauge railroad mind, there’s nothing as nostalgically charming or kinetically gratifying as train travel. My loco-motive for telling you all this, is to share the shiver of infantile delight that shoots through my body while chugging along the tracks in the protective womb of my train car (as long as I’m not in India). When I’m warmly embraced in compartmentalized comfort I feel like a little baby traveler, all swaddled snuggly in Amtrak’s ever-lovin’ rails. Alright, so maybe I am a little loco. Read the rest of this entry »