Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pesky Doesn't Write Here Anymore

Yup, it's the same guy who used to write about TV News in ShopTalk ages ago.

The same guy who saw his collection of 75 essays from there come out in the hardcover book "A Few Marbles Left" the day after 9/11. 

And who did not feel sorry for himself about that because a namesake "John Corcoran" died in one of the airliners that went into the World Trade Center.

But Pesky Gadabout doesn't write regularly about TV news anymore. 

You can find the same writer on www.breakingsatire.blogspot.com (the primary blog), on www.cork360.blogspot.com (short humor) and, sigh, updating his diet progress and helping you lose your fat assets on www.corkisfat.blogspot.com 

Also on the North American Continent's most renowned publication THE SAGE 

So come visit. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013


With increased air travel during the holiday season, many are winging long distances for the first time since last holiday season.  It’s awful, but is it really worse?  I came across a log I kept during one of my most memorable cross-country experiences. This was before TSA Agents, before airlines stopped serving meals, and back when airlines would lose your luggage without charging you a fee for an “Extra Service.” Read and compare to modern day travel—if you dare.

The YEAR 1997. The FLIGHT:  Los Angeles (LAX) to New York City (JFK).

4:30 AM: Picked up at home by Phil's Speedy Discount Airport Shuttle. Motto: "If we're more than fifteen minutes late, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised."

5:45:  Arrive Los Angeles Airport. Curbside check-in offers high tech Computerized Tracking System (CTS) which assures your luggage will arrive in Nepal twenty minutes before you land in New York.

6:00: Ticket counter uses new Random Queuing System (RQS). Queue is a British term meaning "You're in the wrong line, stupid." I queue up in "Odd Size" line, then am booted out when told "Odd Size" refers to luggage, not body type.

6:15: Security check. Foreign passenger ahead of me is asked: "Did person or persons unknown to you pack your luggage, pat your butt, or recite lyrics to anything by Puff Daddy?"  He responds: "My salad shooter has an embolism" and is waved through.

7:30 Pre-boarding begins for pre-boards who need assistance, assistants who need pre-boarding, first class, business class, no class, private first class, menacing youth, passengers on the wrong plane, and those who play dumb and pretend their row has been called.

8:15: Pilot announces "the fine folks in maintenance have informed me they have to re-calibrate and functionalize the leading edge hydraulic spoiler actuation pressure stabilizer, and will get on it as soon as Chief Mechanic Fat Mel finishes his donut."

11:45: Takeoff.

11:47: Emergency landing to remove Fat Mel from engine cowling.

12:15 PM: Re-takeoff.

12:45: Breakfast. Choices are: "Runny eggs with Sumpthin' Green in 'em" or "Fruit Loops 'n' Curdled Milk."

1:45:  Pilot asks if anyone has seen his keys to the liquor cabinet.

2:00: Edited for airline version of "Showgirls" begins.

2:05: Edited for airline version of "Showgirls" ends.

3:15: Pilot says "Passengers on our right side can see Columbus, Ohio. Passengers on our left side can see a hideous monster dismantling the engine."

4:45: Surly flight attendants collect breakfast trays and play Goose the Elderly.

5:00: Inadvertently land at Teterboro, N.J., long term parking lot. Pilot says he'll taxi aircraft to JFK.

5:15:  Skippy the co-pilot collects spare change for turnpike tolls.

5:30:  Detour to Hackensack so Skippy can drop off laundry and tuck in the kids.

6:15: Arrive at gate.

6:45: Computerized Tracking System claims I don't have any luggage, I never had luggage, I'll never have luggage again, and it's not that fond of my tie.

7:45: Take cab driven by man whose name has seventeen consonants and an umlaut. Ululates show tunes all the way to the hotel.

11:45: Luggage from previous trip delivered to room.

 # # #

 A Version of this appeared in the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed section in 1997

Copyright 1997, 2012

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Ten Crises Still Bugging Me as 2013 Begins

10. Baffled why there hasn’t been a Constitutional amendment outlawing either the word “flammable” or “inflammable.”

9. Stupefied how the Media can report the pregnancy of Kim Khardashian without including the phrases “affront to civilization,” “anti-Christ” or “no-talent publicity whore.”

7. Worrying will the new tenant in the spare bedroom, Fiscal Cliff, ever pay his rent on time.

6. Curious how long my profound sense of relief will last that no one is asking: “What will Romney do when he takes office?” .

7. Realizing that I never have known how to pronounce and probably never will never know how to pronounce the words “Synclavier”, “onegin” and “yclept”

5: Concerned my Thanksgiving day cold of 2012 will never go away.

4. Continue asking myself why I post carefully crafted, exhaustively shot, precisely edited works of video art on YouTube and get 26 hits if I’m lucky, when I could entice a kitty with a ball of yarn and go viral overnight.

3 Puzzled why people who believe intelligent life forms occupy UFOs actually haven’t figured out why they haven’t contacted “intelligent” life on earth.   

2. Wracking my brain why anyone believes in or otherwise gives a rat‘s ass about Zombies.

1. Rethinking my decision to turn down the gig as the new Chief Administrative Officer for the Large Hadron Collider, and wondering if women really care if their boyfriend has a small Hadron.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Carpet Bombing for Fun and Profit

The great Carpet Brouhaha of 2012 is over--pending my bride’s search later today for missing silverware and gewgaws. As usual, I've apparently made a big deal out of nothing. Of course, making a big deal out of nothing has provided me with a rather handsome living over the years as well as helping me become moderately reviled.  

It started as these things usually do with long time couples—a misunderstanding. Who shall stay with the carpet cleaners and who shall wannder free as a bird?  My wife argued  that since she had scheduled the carpet cleaning, it should be my responsibility to be there when the carpet cleaners come and go. I argued the rug wasn’t that dirty. I lost the argument, as I always do. She didn't even have to play the "your grandchild will be playing on that carpet in two weeks" card.

Long Story short? Carpet Cleaners were here and gone in 90 minutes. Short story long? Read on.  

As we say in the Journalism dodge, here's what we believe to be true at this juncture:

Hanz and Geraldo, the carpet cleaner team, arrived on time and smelled just swell. Okay, I have a cold, but they seemed to be well-groomed, professional, uniformed and not-drunk. This is all I ask of service people who come into my home to service my people and vice versa.  

Apparently my bride found these fine folk at reduced cost by using a coupon from an organization which, if I'm not mistaken, is better known for returning wandering children to their original owners--or if the parents refuse to accept them, to the Police Athletic League. 

As I understand it, Hans and Gretel will be doing the entire house for $29.95 and a plate of Mashed Yeast. This seems an odd choice as both cleaners have heavy Mid-European accents, are clad in Putinwear Sweats, and sport a bulge under their left underarm.  (I have since learned both Frick and Frak originally hailed from Chernobyl.)

They asked if I wanted anything "Scotch-Guarded." I replied "only my stomach" and we laughed until we wept.

I spent the time they worked here ensconced in my office. According the California EPA--my workspace is officially listed as both a Historical Site and an illegal Biohazard. Our home itself was added to the Historic Registry recently, which in California, includes any edifice built before Madonna first donned her conical yahoos.. 

Because of this historical status, I am unable to make structural changes to my office or its original wall-to-about-a-foot-from-the-other-wall carpeting. Interesting mucilage fact: My office carpet is epoxied to the floor with old cigarette wrappers and gum resin.  

Over the years, rank sentimentalist that I am, I had mentally catalogued the spills on my rug. Coffee stains, wine stains and whiskey stains, mostly. Unfortunately, the HMS Recall weighed anchor years ago, sailed out of my mental harbor, hit a reef and sank with all hands and numerous other body parts lost.  

So, should the team clean my office carpet? Speaking words of wisdom, I suggested George and Ringo let it be. It was a moot point anyway as both had left their Hazmat Suits at their office.

So now they are gone, all the windows are open, hoards of locusts are winging dry the overflow carpet cleaner fluid, and in two-three days the rugs will be dry enough to begin staining again.

Small criticism: The Carpet is now Puce.

HOUSEHOLD HINT: Few potable liquids such as Ginger Ale will actually remove set-in stains caused by another liquid. However, the old wive's tale that "red wine poured on a club soda stain will remove it" is true. Okay, maybe not "remove" it so much as "replace" it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Helpless in the New Oz?

One of the threads on Linked In is fuhkoktuh. My buddy Lin said  the issue just only on that thread. He said he thought I would blame him for the problem. I told him my paranoia is much wider and in fact i blamed veteran character actor J.K. Simmons for it. So...I thought maybe I should start and begin to ruin a new thread. 

So this piece is about computer technology and old farts like me and fellow old-farts-well-met like Chris and Linton and Tim.

Chris said he hated new technology when he doesn’t understand it. Agreed.

Here’s my theory. The fault dear Brutus is not in ourselves, but in the idiots who write instructions about installing and working with new technology

I actually installed a router once. I could do it BECAUSE THE INSTRUCTIONS WERE BRILLIANT.

It took only one clarification phone call, picked up on the first ring. The guy’s name at the other end was not "Trey" and he did not have an accent that made it seem like everything would be allright, when in fact it never was. This guy answered my question clearly. I was not told to go to some Freakin’ FAQ thread were idiots like me who are confused come up with wrong answers for other idiots like me.

All us old farts require is logical, linear, sensible directions. And maybe a nice glass tea.

The instruction that got me most was when I needed a new keyboard. I bought a new one and rented a laser cutter to burn through the Plexiglas -strength plastic wrap it came in.

Instructions said to insert the installation CD that came with my keyboard, and detach my old keyboard and mouse. I did that. Then of course I could not go on to the next instruction on the CD because I HAD NO FREAKING KEYBOARD OR MOUSE!!



And why the HELL is the tally light so goddam tiny and out of my sight line so I don't know I've locked my caps which I do often because I'm a shitty typist?

Now I want to do an audio book. record it myself. I dread figuring out how to do it and get it distributed. Halp!

Now, iof uyou’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go listen by golden oldie by that dead astronaut, Neil Young: “Helpless, HelplesS, HELPLESS.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Paulie sez: Newtley May Remarry

In this pre-SuperTuesday Editorial MOBPAC spokesman Paul E. Almonds warns a depressed Newt Gingrich is not a happy camper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNigIhFJGgI&feature=youtu.be

Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Coot's Crackin' Christmas Collection

Old Coot Hat & Camera
The Old Coot with a  Camera presents his Top Five Great Christmas Presents to give to friends and loved ones. Here's a hint: Number Two is "booze." He also unveils a hitherto undisclosed talent--music. Accompanying himself on his Mighty Organ, OC-WAC presents bold interpretations of Holiday Classics. Look for an album soon.