November 20, 2008

Remembering Junior.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:57 pm


When Dave mentioned Junior in a comment to a recent post, I thought it was time I said a word or two about ol’ Junior, the cat that was NOT our cat.

As I detailed here (including the basis for his name), from a very young age Junior managed to work his way into the House by the Parkway for two gourmet (thanks to Mrs. Parkway) meals per day and a long comfy nap after each one. Sometimes, he’d hang around until late in the evening when he would meow to let us know that it was time for him to go out and work the night shift.

He clearly didn’t live here. Rather this was his comfort station when he needed something to eat and a break from being a wandering bum an “outside cat.” He showed up like clockwork, including one or two times when living the wild life got him pretty well beaten up.


Here’s how he looked last Christmas after having been pretty badly banged up somewhere, somehow. He was a resilient sumbitch. He knew that there was always good eats here and that it was cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The House by the Parkway also served as a place where he could kick back after a long night of carousing.

When we returned from our cruise in August, ol’ Junior was waiting for us in the driveway. He looked a bit thin from having to fend for himself for a week. We saw him for two or three days, and then he stopped showing up. We figured he probably was on a major tear somewhere, or that he managed to work his way into the house of a neighbor. We convinced ourselves that he would return, being the regular beggar that he was.

After about ten days had passed without seeing Junior, we asked our neighbor whose grown son was the person who claimed title to the cat (even though he never exercised dominion and control over him), what was up. The neighbor replied that he didn’t know, as they had never let the cat into their house. He opined that his son, who moved out to live with his girlfriend, may have taken Junior with him. I satisfied myself with that explanation until about a month ago when I saw the son while he was visiting his parents. I asked if he had taken the cat with him, and he replied that he had not.

So, the conclusion became at once inescapable: after having been a regular around here for more than a year, ol’ Junior was gone, really gone. I assume he tangled ass with a moving car and the car won, or that he got a fatal ass kicking from another animal.

I hope he didn’t suffer.

We’ve since given the gourmet cat food (wet and dry) and all his toys (Oh yeah, there were toys) to a relative who has cats. We speak of him now and then, and we always end up smiling, at least on the outside.

Even though he was never really our cat, I miss his sorry ass.

August 8, 2008

Look Out, Junior: Here Comes Prince Chunk.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erica @ 9:09 am

Ya know, with all your steaming rivers of raw sewage, babbling brooks of bleccch, and choking pollution that makes breathing in Beijing’s atmosphere feel like inhaling the cool, clear air from the peak of a Swiss Alps mountaintop, I was not one bit surprised to learn that New Jersey had spawned a 44-pound cat. You peeps in Jersey constantly outdo yourselves. Rock on with your bad selves. Really, I mean that.

In fact, as if most don’t already know this by now, “Princess Chunk,” in all her corpulent glory, was apparently such a big girl that it wasn’t until days later that they were able to locate the congenital nub which forced Camden County Animal Shelter peeps to rename the beast “Prince Chunk.”

Well, be that as it may, Prince Chunk is a mighty fine lookin’ feline and, as a free service resultant from the Wiseass Jooette being so exceedingly awed by this Jersey phenom, she has volunteered to perform a complimentary hair transplant because, when one is suddenly thrust in the spotlight of the national media, one should absolutely look their farookin’ finest.


Well, am I right or am I right?

August 30, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:10 pm


Farookin’ cat.

Let me begin by saying that he’s not our cat … sort of.

Very shortly after Junior ceased being a little kitten, but still not a cat, he would show up out of nowhere, block the front door and flip over on his back, legs akimbo, just begging for a tummy scratch. I have since learned from a friend of TJ’s, who is an owner of more than one cat, that this is called the “Cute Trap.”

Let me say at this point that we are not Cat Peeps. We had a dog for many years until he had to be put to sleep about eight years ago (Don’t ask. It was awful.), and while neither of us would harm a cat, we know zip about cats and really didn’t care to learn.

I was better at ignoring the Cute Trap than was Mrs. Parkway, but after only a few of Junior’s performances Mrs. Parkway decided that “The poor thing must be hungry.”

Oy, here we go.

For a few days it was a saucer of milk outside on the deck, which Junior eagerly lapped up. Then one day I opened up one of the cabinets in the kitchen and found an ample supply of gourmet cat food, both wet and dry. WTF?

Given the availability of Five Star Dining, it is not surprising that Junior began showing up for breakfast and dinner served on the deck.

I said, “I really don’t want this damned cat in the house.”


Once Junior learned how well the Cute Trap worked, he also learned how to run into the house at warp speed, where he did his “Rub Against Every-Friggin’ Thing, Including Us” trick. Within days, Junior was now taking his breakfast and dinner in the kitchen in the House by the Parkway.

He then began staking out a comfortable chair for long post-prandial naps. After these naps, he would try the “Scratch the Couch” routine. This invariably got him the immediate Bum’s Rush, which didn’t seem to bother him at all, as he would show up for the next meal at the appointed time. His thing is to sit on the railing of the deck, stare into the kitchen window and “Meow.” He is a handsome devil, and I believe he knows it.

One day, as Junior was getting the Post-Couch-Scratching Bum’s Rush out the front door, when one of my neighbor’s grown children said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Jim. Is he bothering you? ’Come here, Corrado!’”

“Is this your cat?” I asked.

“Yes, it is,” she replied.

“What did you say his name was?” I asked.


“You mean, like in the Sopranos? Corrado Soprano? Uncle Junior?”

“Yes, that’s his name.”

Note: Prior to this time, he answered (sort of) to the name “Pain in the Ass” or “Douchebag,” but from that moment on, he became “Junior.”

The problem with this is that two of the indicia of ownership of personal property (and, alas, cats, like dogs, are personal property – a special kind of personal property, but personal property nonetheless) are the exercise dominion and control over the property by the owners. My neighbors, nice folks though they may be, exercise neither. Claiming ownership of something without exercising dominion and control over it is not unlike claiming ownership of a distant star.

So, that’s why I say that Junior is not our cat … sort of, because, while we don’t own him, he regularly takes his meals and periodic snoozes here. I have heard people say that no one owns cats, but rather cats own people. I’m beginning to get it now.

To this day, Junior has not spent the night in the House by the Parkway, but as the summer is coming to an end, and as I think about the oncoming single digit temperatures and snow drifts several feet deep, I have a feeling that, even though we don’t “own” Junior, he will show up outside the window freezing his stindeens off, and I will hear, “We can’t leave him out there.”

In short, I have a feeling that a litter box (blechhhh) is in my future, and I’m not thrilled.

Having said that, this week, for forty-eight hours or so, Junior didn’t show up. I began to think, “Did the sorry ass get himself run over? Maybe his ‘owners’ gave him away? Where is he?” When I would come home from work, I’d ask, “Any sign of Junior?”

The answer was, “No.”

Last night I decided that if he didn’t show up for another day, I was going to ask my neighbors if they had given him away.

I realized that I missed his sorry, aloof, come-around-when-he-feels-like-it ass.

When I came home from work tonight, I saw Junior’s bowl in the kitchen, and asked (happier than I care to admit), “Did Junior surface?”

“Yep, after you left for work, he came for breakfast,” and while we were outside having a pre-dinner cocktail, ol’ Junior showed up for dinner.

Farookin’ cat.

January 7, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:01 pm

Dammit, I did it again. I said I wouldn’t, but I did. It’s like picking at a scab until it bleeds, or exploring a missing filling with your tongue until it’s raw.

Yeah, I read Maureen Dowd’s Column.

The point of the column (“Sweet on Caroline”) was to extol the qualifications of Princess Caroline to be the Junior Senator from the State of New York, which, in itself, is laughable and oh-so-very Upper East Side.

But, maybe MoDo’s BDS has so metastasized that she cannot write anything without spewing venom at the outgoing administration. Get a load of these gems (emphasis mine):

Congress, which abdicated its oversight role as the Bush crew wrecked the globe and the economy, desperately needs fresh faces and new perspectives, an infusion of class, intelligence and guts.

She’s smart, cultivated, serious and unpretentious. The Senate, shamefully sparse on profiles in courage during Dick Cheney’s reign of terror, would be lucky to get her.

It isn’t what your name is. It’s what you do with it. Or, in the case of W., don’t.

I understand that Ms. Dowd has been away for a couple of weeks, resulting in what appears to have been a serious bilge backup that just had to be released. It may well be that this represents the beginning of the pre-January 20th venom purge as she prepares to do a one-eighty and write glowing columns about The One and Senator Kennedy, the Younger.

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:35 pm

This year was quite special. The Grand Marshall of our parade was a member of our Post, Sol Lipkin, who is a WWII Navy Vet and who is 102 years old. I have written about Sol before. He is slowing down a bit, but he still manages to walk away a winner in our regular penny ante poker game.

After the parade, members of our Post fire the ceremonial volleys while taps is being played, and, I must say, we looked pretty farookin’ good out there firing our 1903 Springfields (unplugged). One of the shooters will be deploying to Iraq next month.

Once the ceremonies were done, we returned to the Post for a veritable feast, which is open to the public. We were joined by the Junior ROTC, a couple Girl Scout and Brownie Troops and Revolutionary War Re-enactors. (They say those clothes are not hot, but I’m not buying it.)

When we were left pretty much with Post members and spouses, I dragged out the guitar and played with “Chuck,” who is Captain Arthur’s seriously tattooed son-in-law. Turns out that he plays very much like I do, and I have a blast playing with him. (Sol loved it, and managed to do a bit of dancing – at 102).

I had been looking forward to playing with Chuck again. In fact, while in Florida, I idly suggested, “Yo, Chuck and I could probably go out on the weekends and turn a few bucks.”

Mrs. Parkway remarked, “Oh yeah, you could call the act, ‘Chuck and the Old F**k.’” After laughing my ass off, I decided I kinda like the idea. I could wear a tee shirt that says “Chuck.”

It was a good day, particularly since, despite the party atmosphers, we all know what Memorial Day is all about.

May 6, 2008

Captain Power Wash.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:02 pm

Yes, that’s me. Captain Power Wash (spoken in a deep baritone and pronounced CAPTAAAAAAAAAIN POWWWWER Wash).

A few days ago, I wasn’t Captain anything, but in no time, I skyrocketed to the rank of Captain Power Wash, skipping right over the rank of Lieutenant Power Wash. Here’s how it happened.

My deck had become rather dingy looking and was in need of some serious power washing. In years past, I hired someone to do the honors. Since then, my friend, Usual Suspect Jeff, bought his very own power washer. Having watched the hired power washers do their stuff, I boldly figured that I might just be able to handle the job myself.

I called Jeff and asked if I could borrow his power washer.

“Absolutely,” he said and was even kind enough to drive it to the House by the Parkway in his truck. He showed me how to hook up the hose and the water blaster piece, then he showed me how to fire up the gas engine, and finally how to actually use the thing.

We did a bit of the deck together and then he left me on my own. That’s when I began gleefully blasting the grime off the deck and, amazingly enough, enjoyed the process. BLAST here!! BLAST there!! I was blasting my ass off. Ol’ Junior, who is NOT MY CAT, took one look at Captain Power Wash’s blastfest and .decided to go elsewhere for dinner.

Yo, Jimbo, you’ve never been a do-shit-around-the-house guy. What’s up with this?

Fair question. Here’s the deal:

1. It’s a bit like shooting a rifle. In New Jersey we can purchase high-powered rifles (after going all the legal hoops), but discharging them anywhere in the state could get you arrested. Goofy, I know, but that’s the way it is. The water blaster piece of the power washer has the feel of an assault rifle with a foldable stock. It even produces a little bit of a satisfying kick when you pull the trigger and blast away. BLAST!

2. It’s not as dangerous as a chainsaw or other power tools. I don’t do chainsaw and most power tools. Sure, if you were to blast away at your toes, with the blaster, it would not be cool, but I don’t think I’m likely to lop off any extremities with the blaster. Not so with a chainsaw. You want something chainsawed, call this guy. You want something power washed, call Captain Power Wash.

3. It actually cleans dirt away, big time. I hate breaking my ass “cleaning” something only to see that, once you’ve finished, it doesn’t look one damned bit different than it did before you started. As you can see from the photo of the deck above, Captain Power Wash really cleans shit, big time. BLAST!

I just finished the deck project, and I hate to return the blaster to Jeff, because I can already think of lots of things that need power washing, such as every rat bastard politician in Trenton.

Perhaps I shall buy my own power washer and blaster and design a super hero costume for Captain Power Wash. No spandex, or course (yeef!).

April 30, 2008

Crossing the Feline Line.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:16 pm

Let me just say that if Junior (who is NOT MY CAT) pulled this shit, it would mark the end of the gourmet morning and evening victuals and a place to sleep off his nighttime carryings on, the particulars of which I dare not consider.

Farookin’ cat.

Thanks to my pal Randy for the pic.

April 24, 2008

This is Not a Cat Blog.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:02 pm

In fact, this is not even MY CAT.

But he still shows up at least twice per day looking for the gourmet cat food that Mrs. Parkway serves up. Here is a photo of ol’ Junior taken one morning a few weeks ago during his post-prandial nap, presumably after having spent a rough night at being … well … a Tom Cat.

It’s not a particularly flattering photo, but it’s fair to say that none of us would be very photogenic while in stage-four sleep after a big meal and a night of Christ knows what.

Note: All indications are that the WordPress 2.5 image issue was solved by using a fix recommended in the WP Forum for IE users. There is no need to tell you that somebody else was kind enough to execute the fix. Now, I just have to learn to work the application.

February 25, 2008

Clinton Deadbeats.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:55 pm

We’ve all been reading about the spending excesses of the Clinton Campaign, everything from rooms in the Bellagio for $25,000 and the Four Seasons for another $5,000 to $11,000 for pizza in just the month of January.

Just because the Clinton Campaign ran up huge tabs, does not mean that the people who extended them credit will ultimately get paid.

Consider the case of Peter Semetis. Mr. Semetis owns a deli-catering business in lower Manhattan, which was forced to close down following the attacks on 9/11. He struggled to re-build his business, which required some downsizing. Imagine how thrilled he must have been to be contacted last year by the Clinton Campaign to provide catering services (various breakfast trays with coffee and juice) to an upcoming Clinton rally.

What’s not to like about being asked to do business with the organization that is headed by the Junior Senator of your state and a candidate for the presidency. Perhaps he even envisioned getting his picture taken with the candidate, which he would be able to display in his store.

So, Mr. Semetis provided the goods and services ($2,300, plus $192.63 in tax) on the promise that he would be paid by check or credit card in “a couple of weeks.”

A couple weeks went by and no money came. He began to make calls to the Campaign. He was either ignored or he was told not to worry, the payment was being processed. When he learned that Mrs. Clinton had to loan her campaign $5 million, he became nervous and began calling every day to ask about payment.

Finally, after having been jerked around for too long, he sued the Campaign in Small Claims Court, and got the attention of the press. It was only when a member of the press called the Campaign that Mr. Semetis was paid.

I can only wonder how many others who extended credit to the Clinton Campaign are having the same problem. Maybe the Bellagio and the Four Seasons can afford to take the hit from extending credit to deadbeats, but I worry about the pizza guys.

Perhaps I shouldn’t worry, because, after all, the Clintons are looking out for the Little Guy.

December 24, 2007

A Few Happy Thoughts.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:07 pm

After yesterday’s bit of gloom and doom, and seeing as how it is Christmas Eve, here are a couple happy and gay notes – happy, anyway.

Cousin Jack grew up in Jersey (Down Neck), before he migrated to the Left Coast many years ago. He tells a wonderful story about buying Christmas trees in Jersey from “Whitey” down the block, with special emphasis on the year his family ended up with a particular stinky tree.


I found this over at Suzette’s site, and I will definitely be ordering one, even though it has no wick.


Remember Junior? He’s the cat that’s not our cat, but who regularly shows up for morning and evening victuals with a very long nap in between. Well, a few days ago, he showed up, obviously all banged up. He was not walking on his right front leg, his face was scraped and his coat looked like hell. I suspect that he had a run in with a car, and the car won.

He ate a little and crashed on his spot (even though he’s not our cat, he has a spot) and barely moved. I walked over the neighbor who has asserted dominion over owns the cat and told them that the cat was in my house, and I thought he should be taken to a vet.

The neighbor came by and took the cat, stating that he would take him to the vet. Frankly, I had my doubts. Junior didn’t show up for a couple days, and I figured that that was the end of him.

Well, I don’t know if he ever was seen by a vet, but he appeared yesterday and, although he still slightly favors his right front leg, he looked just fine. In fact, he effortlessly made the leap from the deck to the deck railing.

After morning chow, he made himself comfortable under the tree. Sorry that the picture is blurred, but, as you can see, the feline ne’er do well looks pretty good.


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