Change my Gravatar, Please!

When I started my blog, I chose a gravatar to represent an old, grouchy curmudgeon.   Statler the Muppet seemed a good choice.  Now I wonder if my image as a Curmudgeon-at-Large needs an update.  But what should I choose?

Here are some possibilities concocted after a late night of heavy medication:

In order, they are:

Chad the Chippendale?, William Powell,
Caligula, Walter Brennan,
Fulgencio Batista, High School nerd,
William Henry Harrison, Tiny Tim,
Vlad the Impaler, Vlad the Impaler?! (Honest, this image came up when Googling Vlad the Impaler),
Jude81 (justmakingconvo’s boyfriend), Jude the Obscure,
BK Bacchus, Gangster Bacchus,
Grade B movie warrior (from veggie macabre), Gomer Pyle

What do you think?  I am open to suggestions.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with Statler   …or me with a paper bag over my head.

Bad Decisions

We all have bad days and we all make bad decisions.  I, myself, have had bad decades.  I often feel that I walk around with a black cloud over my head like the L’il Abner character Joe Btfsplk, who brings bad luck wherever he goes.


I invest in stocks the day before the stock market crashes.  I buy land that turns out to have toxic waste under it.  I keep my money in a bank that is NOT too large to fail.  I buy high and sell low.

My friends (friends, HAH!) encourage me to create my own mutual fund – The Curmudgeon-at-Large Fund – so that they can do the opposite of whatever I’m doing.

Whatever line I choose to get in is always the longest and slowest.  The slot machine pays out immediately after I turn it over to someone else.  Like Barney Google, my horses come in three days late.

If I decide to have a benign wart treated, it grows back in the shape of Newt Gingrich’s butt and the dermatologist tells me that it can no longer be removed.

Nevertheless, when I am feeling down, which is most of the time, I remind myself that there are people in this world who have made really, really bad decisions, even worse than any I have made.

I ask you: “What were these people thinking?”







Now, I don’t feel so bad.  I think I’ll go to the casino and bet it all on 21 red.

My Big, Fat, Cheap Vacation

As a Curmudgeon-at-Large, I can’t afford expensive holiday trips.  There are no Ritz-Carlton’s or Waldorf Astoria’s in my future.  I needed to get away but I needed to economize.  I kept looking and looking and finally found one of those inexpensive, all exclusive vacation packages – courtesy of FBN Travel – that sounded too good to be true.  It was.  Only later did I find out that FBN stood for fly by night.

My first clue should have been the name of the ship on which we were booked.


This is the last time I take a cheap vacation by booking a room on a freighter!


After our rescue, we arrived at port.  I was provided with a rental car that fit my budget.  (They gave me a tarp in case of rain.)


I drove to our destination.  It was advertised as a remote, exclusive getaway off the beaten track.


I had been told that accommodations were authentically rustic.


Economy lodging certainly has its drawbacks.


The beaches were not exactly pristine.


Dining was a unique experience.


After a relaxing vacation, we looked forward to getting back.  We only needed to traverse the TSA conga line at the airport.


Yes, I know that all of this is lame but surely you can outdo me with bad vacation experiences.  I await your responses.

The Beautiful Women of the Australian Open

A recent article in advertized the beautiful women of the 2013 Australian Open.  If these women weren’t top notch athletes making beaucoup bucks, I would have thought that I was looking at the latest contestants in a girly magazine or an enticement from an on-line dating service called Eastern European Brides.

Many of the tennis stars pictured had names like Azarenka, Sharapova, Radwanska, Kvitova, Ivanovic, Cibulkova, Kirilenko, Zakopalova, Pavlyuchenkova, Pironkova, Hantuchova, Govortsova, Hlavackova and Puchkova.

Petra Kvitova, Karla Zakopalova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova represent Italy in the Australian Open.  Yes, pretty common names in Italy, I think.

I ask for your candid opinion.


Olga Puchkova of Russia starts her warm up session.


Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is ready to serve (you).


So is Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.


Yalina Wickmayer of Belgium is advertizing a new sports bra.


Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands is advertizing – well – a new anti-itch cream.

I’m sold.  What are the dates for the 2014 Australian Open?