Four on the (flour-covered) floor

Our youngest kid started his first real job this week. (I don’t count the weekly community newpaper route he had for a couple of years, because a parent had to drive him around for that.) He’s 15 and a half now, and he’s working at a restaurant. The same restaurant where his 17-year-old sister works. Oh, and his 19-year-old brother… and his 20-year-old brother as well.

Yes, we’ve got a real pizza parlor pipeline going on. (Uh, not like the hoax one in D.C.) Our oldest even serves as the shift manager a couple of nights a week.

My kids are all gainfully employed. I love it! (So does my wallet!)

Ramundo’s is about five blocks from our house — easy walking distance (although our kids rarely walk it). The business is still doing well during the pandemic (more deliveries, less dine-in), the owners are great folks and they treat their employees well. (“They’re making tons of dough!” #DadJoke)

Photo source: New York Times… that means it’s New York style pizza

There’s only one problem with this pizza payroll situation: some of the pizza slices that are left over at the end of the shift make their way into our house… and into my belly.

I suppose packing on a few extra pizza pounds is a small price to pay for having someone else pay my kids.

Baby, we were born to… putter?

I can’t decide which is worse. The fact that “The Boss” is on the cover of the latest issue of AARP Magazine

… or the fact that the AARP Magazine is mailed to my home address every two months.

Time is NOT on my side, no matter how much I try to deny it.

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce is now oooooooooold. Eddie Van Halen and Neil Peart are gone, along with dozens of other rock heroes of my youth. I’ve gone from Rage Against the Machine to “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”

How did this happen? When did this happen? Who am I and what am I doing here?

I suppose there’s no sense lamenting it. Father Time is undefeated. May as well embrace my senior status… and my AARP discounts!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go impart some words of wisdom upon the youth of America.

Like there’s no Tom Tomorrow

Yes, I’m a 55-year-old man who still loves reading comic strips. And I’m not ashamed of that at all. (Mainly because I don’t read the crappy strips like Marmaduke. I have more discerning tastes.)

If you think comics are for kids, I suggest you read the book Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.

This Modern World, a weekly political comic strip by Tom Tomorrow (a.k.a. Dan Perkins), is consistently funny and thought-provoking — a tough combo to pull off.

I used to read This Modern World in the local alternative weekly until budget cuts caused the paper to drop it. Now I subscribe to Sparky’s List, Tom Tomorrow’s subscription-based weekly email that includes the weekly strip as well as some notes about the work and other musings on life. It’s $10 for six months – a bargain at twice the price. If you don’t care to spare the ten spot, you can check out each week’s strip Mondays on the Daily Kos or Tuesdays on The Nib.

Make fun of me all you want for reading the funny papers. I don’t care, I’m still gonna read ’em. You may think it’s a waste of time, but I sure don’t.

The Old Man Olympics

Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve done a kayak/bike ride combo. I lock up my bike near my kayak destination (#1 below), then drive upriver, launch my kayak (#2), paddle down the river about 4 miles, lock up my kayak and pedal back to get my car. (Actually, it’s my son’s SUV, because his has a roof rack and plenty of room to stow the bike.)

The fact that the starting and ending points are near breweries is merely coincidental.

The launch point and the destination are both along the same bike path, so I don’t have to dodge cars on my bike ride. And the bike path extends far beyond the kayak launch point, so I can tack on more bike miles if I want. It’s a nice way to spend a weekend morning.

I also bought a $20 waterproof speaker, so the past couple of kayak rides, I’ve been able to listen to music as I paddle along.

If you count the steps I take hauling the kayak to/from the river, it’s basically the same as the Ironman Triathlon. Or the old man equivalent.

This ad is a bit too lively

OK, time for a guessing game – if you saw this photo in the Sunday newspaper (anyone under 40: you’ll have to Google “newspaper” first), what sort of business or service do you think it would be advertising?

Airline perhaps? Vacation destination? Megachurch? Political ad?

If you guessed “cemetery” go to the head of the class… and then walk out of the class and immediately schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist, because clearly you have issues if you see a family jumping for joy on a sunshine-drenched beach and think of death.

But yes, it’s true, that photo was part of an ad for a “burial package” at a couple of Cincinnati-area cemeteries.

Help me understand how you can make a connection between that happy family and a burial package.

The “WE STAND WITH YOU!” line is creating some cognitive dissonance too… no one in the photo is actually standing.

I guess they’re going with the “sell the sizzle” approach. It reminds me of those old print ads for Newport cigarettes.

The headline was “Alive with pleasure!” because that sounds so much more appealing than “Dying of Lung Cancer.”

The cemetery ad has ruined things for me. I love the beach, but now when my kids ask if they can bury me in the sand, I’ll get scared that they really want to bury me.

An old soul

Chuck Cleaver is one of the best songwriters in the known universe. He’s also a funny dude, in his own unique, gruff-yet-lovable way.

Chuck’s in a band called Wussy, and he and the other lead singer/songwriter in that band, Lisa Walker, do a live set of songs every other Friday night on Facebook. (On the alternate Fridays, their bandmate Mark Messerly plays a set. All the videos are here and are well worth checking out.)

The songs are brilliant. The between-song banter is the icing on the cake. It’s funnier than most network sitcoms. Here’s Chuck from a few weeks ago, going on a rant about old folks. (At age 62, he counts himself among that number). I can relate. My daughter drags me up to St. Vincent de Paul nearly every Sunday because if you’re 50 or older, you get a 25% discount:

Preach on, Brother Chuck! This old man loves it!

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