I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3


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blah blah blog

Dan Hen:

To blog or not to blog .

Originally posted on itkindofgotawayfromyou:

Start writing a blog .

Don’t start writing a blog .

I started this blog a couple of months ago . Maybe a little longer ago than that , but not much .

I don’t have a focus yet . Probably never will . I write stories from randomly returning memories as they pop up somewhere in the recesses of my brain . Some people write political blogs . Some  post only photographs . Some focus on travel , or family events , or religion , or sports . Or literature . My friend Joe writes a literary blog . He makes reference to literature and music and he posts another one every so often . I try to do one every day . So far .

It’s good practice posting  a blog . Practice writing . Practice writing for the world , world access , even when there might…

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ray ray

Dan Hen:

This one from 2012 .

Originally posted on itkindofgotawayfromyou:

More  Raymond Chandler :

” I shook the rain off my hat and looked at the building directory beside the case of false teeth. Numbers with names and numbers without names . Plenty of vacancies or plenty of tenants who wished to remain anonymous . Painless dentists , shyster detective agencies ,small sick businesses that had crawled there to die , mail order schools that would teach you how to become a railroad clerk or a radio technician or a screen writer — if the postal inspectors didn’t catch up with them first . A nasty building . A building in which the smell of stale cigar butts would be the cleanest odor .”

Our favorite private detective , Philip Marlowe , goes there to the Fulwinder Building , Western and Santa Monica , four-twenty-eight at the back , to meet Harry Jones , the grifter , to get information…

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foot massage thoughts

Hey , Dan , tell me about the foot massage business .

I have big feet . There is a foot massage place on a corner a block away from my house . I walk past the place often with my big feet . Think about it . Put two and two together . I’m an expert .

Asian guys are usually standing outside the foot massage joint when I walk by . They are smoking . I’ve never spotted them peeking at my big feet as I pass . Too busy puffing on their cancer sticks  , I guess , to notice . Therefore , I’d give them a slim chance of staying in business long .Pillbox

Hey Dan , tell me about how things are going in the US these days .

I only know what I read on Facebook :  Everyone hates with real passion and anger . Hates someone , or some group . The whole place is going to  has gone to hell . Depending on which website you choose to view , it’s been happening for twenty years , or fifty years, or , perhaps , most of the problems since about six years ago . I can prove it , too . I’ve read the headlines and I’ve heard the spokesmen and women . They’re incredibly sure of themselves . That means they’re right . Right ?

And , the baby kitties are cute , too , by the way ,  with  such good advice for me to live my life by . Bunker helmets

Hey , Dan , let me tell you what’s wrong with this country . 

The foot massage place never seems to have any customers . The building used to house a perfume store that had no customers either . It’s not that it’s a bad corner . The CVS across the street is always busy . Ada used to say the perfume place  probably was a tax-dodge scam of some form or another .  Probably the foot massage is , too .

I used to work for C & R Clothiers when they just started out in business . Corrente and Reisbord . I never thought they’d make it in business . No way . Then , suddenly , they opened hundreds of C & R stores around southern California . Maybe I’m not good at predicting business trends . Don’t ask me about the economy . German sign in bunker
Hey , Dan , here’s a primer on what’s wrong with the economy . So-and-so lays it all out ; tells you who to blame for it and who sold us all down the river . Everything you need to know . Best ten minutes I ever spent . 

Hey , I don’t need to know . I read the headlines of the blurbs and blogs and rants and videos that scoot in over the internet . That’s enough . I’ve already blocked the sites that are afraid to tell the truth to the American people .

Tomorrow I’m planning to hang out with the Asian guys outside the foot massage place . I’ll ask them if they’ve heard of C & R Clothiers . Or CVS . I’ll give them a few web links so they’ll know what to think and who to blame . I’ll make sure that they notice my feet , too ,  just so’s they know the authority from  which I speak .


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Thursday Door

door cathedrea;This is the door to the cathedral in Szczecin , Poland . door cath 2

The curious public , and worshipers , enter the cathedral  not by this door but through a less impressive side door where everyone is required , nowadays  , to pay  4 zloty ( about  $1.25 ) to get in . Kind of a pay-to-pray arrangement , I suppose .

re: Norm’s Thursday Door Challenge.


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in search of the perfect burger

I had a dream about you. You were storing my brain in a pickle jar in the fridge and I only discovered it when I went to garnish  my hamburger .  —-Jarod Kintz

Sometimes a guy needs a good hamburger .cow sign

The urge may not come often , but , while hanging around in a hamburgerless land for awhile , the unexpected urge may suddenly hit . I know . I’ve felt it . I felt like that old Popeye character Wimpy , stumbling around town looking for a hamburger . I felt it last year big time after being a couple of months away from the USA.

Poland is a world away from the cold hard reality of American hamburgers.

I hunted last year for a good burger after  the urge eventually got me in it’s merciless grip  . I searched high and I searched low . I search here and I searched there . I searched  the meadows and I searched the dells.  I looked under the beds and in the back of the closets .  I almost found one , too , after trying a few disaster/imposter “hamburgers”.   What I eventually found after all of that hinting  would have to do . It looked like a burger ,  at least , but it was a poor imitation of the real thing .

I’m not blaming the Polish . What do they know about a good ol’  American burger ?  Why should they !   I can’t really complain when the signs above the food stands say ” Hamburger ” and the thing served is even in someone’s wildest  imagination not even close . It’s probably tasty , that Polish thing , whatever it is , but it ain’t a burger . Wimpy would never have been content with it .

Well , this year’s  good news is that  I found a burger here in Szczecin worthy of the name . It’s prepared and sold from a little food truck owned and operated by two brothers . They call their business Bro. Burgers , and I have to say they’ve earned the name . HAMBURGER 010


I came upon them by chance while walking around the city . They were busy . A small crowd had gathered . The buns toasting on the grill looked like real American-style hamburger buns !  That’s a clue that these guys knew hamburgers . I wondered about the meat , though . The burgers looked good but maybe the meat tasted funky . One never knows . What twinkles  brightly in the sunlight is not always gold, eh ?  . I decided to try the truck burgers another day . I’d let the dream roll around in my noggin in the meantime . I’d let the burger hope simmer for awhile . I didn’t want to  get my hopes up too high  in the meantime .

But , today that day came , and I tried a Bro. Burger burger . I ordered a ” Mariachi ” . It had jalapeno and onions , tomato and mayonaise , and it was good . It was very good . It cost fourteen zloty , which is about  $ 4.25 . I could have had a number of other choices , but my Polish is not  good  enough  non-existent, and I wasn’t sure just what the other choices included  , so I thought I’d stick with the Mariachi . HAMBURGER 004


Imagine the joy of finding a bit of home so far away from home in the form of a good ol’ American-style burger . What could be better !HAMBURGER 011

I told the guy in the truck what a great burger it was . It was the least I could do . I was representing everyone over in the USA when I delivered that message , I knew , so it was a big responsibility . My praise was  accepted graciously . International relations between our two countries, you’ll be happy to know ,  appear to be doing well .

Poles  still need to acquire a visa to visit the USA , though . The French don’t need a visa . The Czechs don’t need a visa . The Germans don’t need a visa . The Slovenians………………….That’s a sticking point even a good hamburger can’t resolve .



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tweaked tuesday

man beard old 4RAVEM ( Manet)


car 1920

swan dive sign

dante inferno 1

girl norway

native american mural

femail frizzer caricature

Los Angeles flood of 1938 (15) (1)

Sam Houston

Mushrooms 2 and bike lanes, etc. 113

INDIAN signal

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Views of Szczecin

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