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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Hubbard and her dog

She went to the baker’s

To buy him some bread

But when she got back

The poor dog was dead.

She went to the joiner’s 

To buy him a coffin

But when she got back 

The poor dog was laughing .

She took a clean dish

To get him some tripe,

But when she got back

He was smoking his pipe .

She went to the barber’s

To buy him a wig,

But when she came back

He was dancing a jig .

She went to the alehouse

To buy him some beer,

But when she got back

He sat in a chair .

She went to the tavern

For white wine and red,

And when she got back

He stood on his head .

She went to the hosier’s

To buy him some hose ,

But when she got back

He was dressed in his clothes .

She went onto the internet

To buy him some chews,

But when she got back

He was reading the news

She went to the Congress

To buy him some laws

But when she got back 

He had sharpened his claws . 

Old Mother Hubbard and her dog


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Hubbard and Goose

The Dame made a curtsey ,

The dog made a bow ,

The Dame said  : Your servant “,

the dog said ” Bow  wow “.

—–Old Mother Hubbard

I was figuring out the world today . I’m not quite there yet , I’m on the cusp  , but it’s coming . I can feel it . Revelation ? Enlightenment ? I’m not sure what’s it’s called . I think that I almost know what it’s all about .

Old Mother Hubbard and her dogYou may be surprised . I’ll warn you first .

I maybe should publish this knowledge in several installments . I considered putting it out in Facebook posts . Twitters  I do not  do , and I think they’d be too short , anyway . This is meaty stuff and will require some serious space dedication  somewhere .

I considered publishing a book on the topic , but books are almost a thing of the past , anyway . Yeah , of course , an e-book might do , but who reads e-books ?  Who reads ?

I determined , after all , that short , to-the-point Facebook posts would do the job . I would , of course , as is standard practice , include a provocative headline which may or may not have anything to do with the content of the post . People would see the headline and react .

Well , I don’t intend to shock the world with this so-far-unannounced stuff . About Mother Hubbard and Mother Goose . It has to come out , though . As John Lee Hooker said in a song : ” I heard Mama tell papa : It’s in him and it gotta come out “. Sometimes you gotta like it or lump it .We can’t molly-coddle the populace forever . .

And , this is not right wing or left wing, by the way ; it’s  not partisan or non-partisan  . I’d say it’s the TRUTH , but that would be incendiary language . I , therefore, won’t say that . I won’t call you an evil idiot if you won’t accept my TRUTH . I won’t use several of the more incendiary , condescending, and insulting  words I see in Facebook posts . You see, I am not trying to convince you of anything or to reinforce my own beliefs  . The TRUTH is , simply , the TRUTH . There is no further promotion , explanation , or justification necessary .

She went to the baker’s 

To buy him some bread ,

But when she came back

The poor dog was dead . 

It all has to do with Mother Goose , you see. I think I’ll leave you with just that much of the TRUTH for today : Mother Goose and Mother Hubbard .

She went to the joiner’s 

To buy him a coffin ,

But when she came back,

The poor dog was laughing . 

Coincidence ? Nonsense !

Try this one on for size :

She went to the hatter’s

To buy him a hat ,

But when she came back 

He was feeding the cat .

None of this has been reported by major media outlets anywhere in this country . Coincidence ? Nonsense !  Even more telling is the fact that NO bloggers have posted this information either . Think about that for a minute . Nix , nada , none .  Yes , now you begin to see , I think .

Look around at what is happening in the world . Why , then , in view of all of that , have both Mother Hubbard and Mother Goose been effectively shut out ?  Why indeed .

Now you will begin to see the TRUTH , I think . Need more evidence ? Read this :


She went to the joiner’s 

To buy him a coffin ,

But when she came back 

The poor dog was laughing .czech dolls
Ah , then !  Need I say more ? I think not , but okay, here   :

She went to the fruitier’s

To buy him some fruit ,

But when she came back 

He was playing the flute . 

Got it ? Ah !



Filed under humor

a few strange characters around Szczecin


This sad guy stands in front of a school . Must be a teacher .

ODDs and ENDs Poland 2015 004

ODDs and ENDs Poland 2015 005

ODDs and ENDs Poland 2015 006

ODDs and ENDs Poland 2015 008

ODDs and ENDs Poland 2015 009

Scott cemetery 006Scott , from southern Cal .,  who now lives in Sweden and is teaching English there . He flew over for a short visit .

Robert in Szcz. 2015 218

This is Robert , our mechanic back home , and world traveler , who passed through the city on his way to Berlin and spent the day with us exploring .

Robert in Szcz. 2015 219

This is some guy who hangs out near the river waiting , I think , to rescue someone .

Finally , Phil and Sun , Korean friends from Los Angeles , who spent two weeks with us in June .

Krakow 2 etc. & castle Szcz. 037


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American firefighters in Szczecin


One of the many summer events here in Szczecin along the river included an international firefighter  competition . There were several Polish teams , teams from towns in Germany , a team from Slovenia , from Lithuania , and who-knows -where else .

I was surprised to see on the schedule an American team . There was J.J. Gonzales from Austin , Texas , competing at 14:30 . FIREFIGHTERS Szcz. 038

I thought at first  that Gonzalez might be the only one on the team . Then I saw a group of chairs with the Stars and Stripes arranged under a canopy . Yeah , a group . FIREFIGHTERS Szcz. 020

So I thought that I might be in luck . As it turned out , there were four Americans on the team : one woman and two men from Austin , Texas , and one guy  from an Air Force base in Germany . FIREFIGHTERS Szcz. 028


They all went through a series of tasks , racing against another team . The Americans beat  German teams while I was there . The event lasted two days . I don’t know which teams won overall .


It was a hot day . Very hot . I told the Texans that at least they came from a hot climate . These other teams were not used to these hot ( 90-95 F. ) conditions .

I asked Gonzales if this was fun for him . He shook his head slowly back and forth . ” I should have trained , ” he said after his bit in the competition . He’s over 40 and was competing against guys in their twenties .

I told him I’d look forward to him competing next year . I don’t talk to many Americans in Szczecin and it was nice to meet these fellow countrymen ( and woman ).  The event happens here every year , sponsored by the Szczecin Fire Department . He said he’s like to come back .

” See you ! ,” I said . Same place same time . You never know . You never know .

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Thursday Door

My entry in Norm’s Thursday Door Challenge .

I was walking in a forgotten little part of the city when I saw this door . It’s forgotten only in the sense , as they say , of hiding in plain sight . It’s across the highway from the river , where the tour boats leave from and the river cruisers full of Germans arrive and dock . There are busy restaurants along the river bank there . Up the street a few hundred yards is a huge fountain and crowds of tourists snapping photos . Brides-and-grooms pose for professional wedding shots on the massive steps there and tour guides give lectures at the top of the steps to groups that have temporarily abandoned their busses .

This door is just off the tourist route , just down the hill from the Polish Theater building , a little too far away from the tourist traffic to be noticed . And so , as you see , the vandalism . No one repaints . A sad door , therefore . Neglected and forlorn . One of the simple , sad , abused survivors in the universe .

door xxx


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the Szczecin burger quest

Certain things in life are more important than the usual crap that everyone strives  for . ——–James Taylor


I published a post about burgers in Szczecin a while ago . I had found a good burger here in the city . Last year I hadn’t been so lucky .HAMBURGER 004

A local resident commented on my post , telling me that burgers were around and becoming more popular than I might think . . And he was right , of course . It took me awhile to discover some good burgers in the city .

I had a good burger today . There are a couple of young guys who began a business cooking burgers in a truck . They , as the other burger truck I wrote about previously , provide only burgers . Drinks , fries , chips , anything else , would have to be found elsewhere . Just burgers . BARBEER

Today I had the # 1 , the basic burger : meat , mayo , barbeque sauce , lettuce . It was tasty .

A few days ago I tried the burger up at Cafe 22 . That’s another place that now has burgers on the menu . They call it the   “classic burger” and it was tasty , too .

There are two small restaurants that I know of in town that specialize in burgers  . I haven’t tried either one  yet, though . One is in Old Town . My local commenter said this place is frequented by hipsters , but has good burgers . I wouldn’t be put off by hipsters . I was put off so far, however ,  by the steep prices . There is another place I plan to try sometime in another part of town  . Maybe that visit  will have to wait until next year .

I was telling my recent American visitor , Scott , about my burger quest . ” Don’t they have MacDonalds ? ” he asked . Sure , there are at least three locations . And a Starbucks . And KFC. And , at least a couple of Subways . Who knows what else . Irrelevant to my quest for a good burger , though , I had to tell him , so  why bring that up ?

When I approached the second-discovered food truck a few days ago , there was a young woman asking the burger guy questions . She was using English and was getting replies . She got her burger and sat with a guy and I  went over and asked them where they were from .When I hear English in Szczecin I approach . That drives Ada crazy . Well , maybe not Ada’s crazy . She thinks I’m crazy .

Spain .

They were from Spain . As we talked , the burger guy left his truck . He asked the three of us ( didn’t know any of us from Adam , of course ) to watch the truck for him and he walked away . We were all a little stunned . After a few minutes he returned with three Polish beers he had bought for us in some nearby shop . He handed them over and then  went back into his truck to wait for another customer .

Good burger and good beer . Need I say more ?Dan and beer

I saw the burger guy beer-buyer again today and I mentioned how nice it was of him to have given the beers . ” For the Spanish people ,” he explained . ” They only have crap beer in Spain so I got them some Polish beer “. Thoughtful , I thought ; and I liked , somehow , his use of the phrase ” crap beer “. That guy speaks my  language .


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haakon’s crew

Dan Hen:

Oh, but I don’t do this kind of stuff any more .

Originally posted on itkindofgotawayfromyou:

Ada and I and her sister and her cousin and a group of others were gathered in the apartment on Wojciecha Street . Everyone was  having a great time talking excitedly about who knows what . I sure didn’t know what because the excited conversation was all in Polish . So I decided after a time to take a little break .

I told Ada I’m going down to the Dublin Pub for a beer  .

” One beer and then come back ,” she said . ” I’m worried . Maybe you shouldn’t go . It’s dark and if something happens you don’t know the language . Maybe you shouldn’t go .”

” One beer ,”  I said , and I took a set of keys . I locked the apartment door . I turned the key twice to lock the door .

I walked along past the park…

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