Author Archive

Been Thinking

Friday, July 13th, 2012

This past year, I was required to show my photo ID, to board a plane, board a cruise ship, check luggage, rent a car, rent a hotel room, rent a Post Office Box, rent a carpet cleaner, apply for a loan, write a check, cash a check, use a check card,  visit a doctor, pickup a package, mail a package, enter a school, enter a federal building, take an exam, get a library card, get a gym membership, get a rebate, buy medication, buy gas additive,  buy propane, buy insurance, buy a Bic lighter, buy a handgun, buy a bullet, buy drain cleaner, adopt a dog, and even to buy a 12oz bottle of horse liniment at the local feed & seed. Well, at least #1) I didn’t have to show a photo ID of my horse #2) The liniment helped my sore shoulder, and #3) I will not be required to show my photo ID when I vote. That all makes perfectly good sense to me.

I Have Experienced March Madness

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

This passed Sunday, Rita and I went to the newly openedBuffalo Wild Wings Restaurant. We’ve tried going several times before, but the parking lot has always been full, and people waiting outside the door. So, this time we went mid-afternoon expecting the crowd to be small.

The parking lot was crowded with cars, trucks, 2 Harley’s, and 3 Moped Scooters. You could tell they were Mopeds, because each had a paper tag on the rear that said, “MOPED”, Maybe that was to help them identify their ride when they came out. After all, they were parked next to the Harley’s, and it would be easy to confuse them. Anyway, we found a parking place and went inside. Even though they were busy, we were seated without a wait.

I was amazed at how many TV’s were hanging on the walls and from the ceiling. I counted 57 TV’s and that’s not counting the 5 hidden around the corner. My first thought was, “I wonder what their monthly cable bill runs?” Each and every TV was tuned to a basketball game that was going on somewhere else in the world. As if the players could hear them, the people in the restaurant were shouting, screaming, and applauding for their favorite team. While others were booing their not-so-favorite team. On top of all that, it sounded like the volume of the 57 TV’s was running at maximum level. It was evident that these people were not there just to eat chicken wings. They were there for basketball.

We screamed our order to the waitress and after a lengthy time, our food arrived. I guess the cooking staff had basketball TV’s hanging in their kitchen too. Once we had our food, I had the waitress change the channel of the TV closest to us. It wasn’t even one of the big ones.  I mean they had 56 other TV’s to watch. All I needed was one medium size. You’d think they would just quietly pick another TV to watch. But no, not that day. I can’t believe I was the only one in there that wanted to watch “The Home & Garden” channel. I also can’t believe how painful well thrown chicken wing bones are. Yes, I experience March Madness”. Must have made about 150 basketball fans mad at the same time. Don’t they know March is the time for planting not watching 57 games of basketball at once.

The 3 Rules of Real Estate Investing

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I recently visited my friend Danny Williams. Danny’s a great guy. He runs a very successful third generation family-owned hardware store. Danny’s granddaddy, Louis Williams, opened the store back in 1928. During World War ll, the business served as a collection place for people to bring their scrap metal for the war cause. Today, the business is still going strong as a hardware store. Even with stiff competition from the nearby giant chain hardware and building supply stores. One reason Danny’s business is success is that Danny loves people and always goes out of his way to give great customer service. Everyone that comes in the store is made to feel welcomed and appreciated. The day I was there, Danny was all excited and telling me about a nearby house that was for sale at a ridiculous low price. He’d heard about it from Tony Bell, one of his plumbing contractor customers. Danny hadn’t seen the house, but he was pretty sure he was going to buy it as an investment.

Several weeks go by and I’m back in Danny’s store.  I asked him if he bought the house he was telling me about.  He said he had, but he was beginning to have second thoughts about it being a good investment.  He said he had to hire a crew of 4 men to haul off the junk and trash that was in and around the house. Everything from a front porch harvest gold Whirlpool refrigerator, to a Ford Econo mini van lawn bench, to the Walmart shopping buggy that had been modified into an open fire BBQ grill. They lost count of the beer cans, somewhere around three hundred fifty. Filled up five dump truck loads, not pickup loads, but dump truck loads of junk.  They started working at 6:30 that morning and at 4:30 that afternoon, the head cleanup guy called Danny and ask,  “What you want to do with your dog?”  After a long silence, Danny’s reply, “What dog – I don’t own a dog?”  “The one that’s in the backyard chained to a dog house,” answered the head cleanup guy. Danny instructed them to take the dog to the County Humane Society Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, and to hurry, because they close at five on Fridays.”

Danny told me, he’d learned the 3 Rules of Real-Estate Investing,  “First, don’t buy a house after sundown. Second, don’t buy a house that’s cheaper than a motorcycle, and third, don’t buy a house that comes with a dog.”

I Once Saved a Man’s Life

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Have you ever heard the saying, “Boy, he is a chick-magnet.”  That’s me, a magnet.   Yep, I’m a magnet all right. Not a chick-magnet, but a wine-o magnet. The only way I know to describe, “It’s just a gift.” Been that way all my life. My wife, Rita, was the first one to bring it to my attention.  One day, she asked, “Have you ever noticed that when we’re in a crowd of people – in a mall, down town, at a festival, or wherever. Someone always comes up to you to bum a dollar, a cigarette, a stick of gum, or just ask you the time.” Up until then I thought being approached by alcohol breath smelling men was something that happened to everyone.

It was a beautiful sunny crisp December morning and Rita and I were downtown, having a fun time, Christmas shopping.  We had just left the toy store and we were walking down Main Street on our way to Rita’s favorite clothing store. When I saw him at a distance.  I told Rita, “Don’t look, he’s seen me and he’s coming this way.” Now, she knows from past experience that means, “Keep your head and eyes looking straight forward and walk quickly because a wine-o’s coming.” Sure enough, he must have been a good football field distance away, and someway, somehow, just a gift, I don’t know, he spotted me.  Out of all the other Christmas shoppers on Main Street, that December morning, he picks me. I don’t know if it’s my face, my body language, or maybe it’s because I remind him of someone that once loved him. His eyes are locked dead in on my eyes.  His eyes are open big and wide, he’s not blinking, not one time is he blinking. He’s traveling straight toward me, but he’s not walking straight. It’s like God is messing with him and he is jerking the earth back and forth beneath his feet. First to the left, then to the right, he looks like he could fall at any moment, but he keeps upright by swinging his arms like an Olympic speed skater with equilibrium problems. He’s determined, and nothing’s going to stop him from getting to me.

Finally, he stops about 10 feet directly in front, so I’ll have to walk straight into him if I don’t stop. Then he starts talking.  They all start out the same way.  Must be a wine-o 101 class that they all take at drunken colleges, because they all start the same way. “Hey buddy …  hey buddy … hey listen … listen to me buddy … hey look man, I need your help …. Listen to me man. So, I stop about 3 feet in front of him and I say with discuss in my voice, “Yea, what is it that you want?” So, he’s standing there wobbling back and forth, round and round, with the smell of cigarettes, and Budweiser on his breath. He reaches in his front paints pocket and comes our with a hand full of coins.  He opens his left hand palm up, and his right index finger he’s pushing coins around to show me how much money he has.  He looks at me with the saddest look I’ve ever seen on a man’s face, and in his slurred voice, he starts, “Hey buddy …. Listen…. I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve been drinking. In fact … I may be drunk. All I need from you is twenty six cents. That’s all I need  … just twenty six cents.” He is still moving coins around with his index finger.  “Look … my wife sent me to town, two hours ago, to get her a pair of panty hose.  I stopped at that bar around the corner and I’ve been drinking ever since.  I just went in that panty hose store across the street. (It was actually a major clothing store, but he called it a panty hose store.) and they tell me I don’t have enough money.  See … I drank her panty hose up. All I need is twenty six cents. If I go home late….. drunk …. and without her panty hose, she’s goin kill me. I’m serious … she’s going kill me … I mean it …kill me.”

So, I gave the guy a dollar and told him to keep the change because that was the best story I’d ever heard.  With a huge smile on his face he said, “Thank you buddy,” patted me on my back, and wobbled on across Main Street.  Rita and I went into a nearby store and stayed only a few minutes.  As we were coming back out of the store, I heard a familiar voice calling from across the street.  I looked and it was my new buddy…. still wobbling He was exiting the panty hose store, and he was happy with excitement.  Waving a small bag above his head, he shouting “Hey buddy … I got them … see.  I got them … thank you man, thank you…. you saved my life!”

The Perfect Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

After years of searching, I’m happy to announce I’ve discovered the perfect Christmas Tree.

1)  No Searching Christmas Tree Lots

2)  No Hiking In Woods

3)  No Chainsaw Required

4)  Never Have To Buy or Borrow a Truck

4)  No Aggravating Tree Stand

5)  Eliminates the Attic Crawl

6)  Sets Up Quickly

7)  No Messy Pine Needles To Clean Up

8)  Never Needs Watering

9)  Stays Decorated

10)  Fire Proof

11)  Eco-Friendly

12)  Dog Friendly

13)  Easy To Store

14)  Fresh Pine Smell

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Well, this Christmas I’ve decided to give all my friends and family something very special. Something that no one else will think to give. Something that will make their Christmas stand out above all the rest. I’m giving, “Gasoline”!!!! No, not one of those cheap, red and green paper envelopes containing a thoughtless plastic gift card, good at the local Gas and Go station, but an actual wrapped 5 gallon container of real gasoline. This is something they’ll all use and appreciate.

I’ve been wrapping all week and I just finished the last one. The presents look great under the tree. Each wrapped with bright red paper and a big gold bow attached to the tip of the poring spout. So many, they take up most of the living room. 14 huge wrapped packages with bows …… 70 gallons of gasoline under and around the twinkling Christmas tree.  As pretty as a picture on a Hallmark card. A couple were leaking, but I fixed that. I just lifted them off their side and sat them up straight. The carpet should dry before Christmas Day.

When you first walked into the house, you did notice a slight odor. But, I fixed that. I bought 3 dozen of those little green tree, air fresheners down at “Gentle Fingers Car Wash and Fake Tanning Salon”.  You’ve seen them before.  The ones really cool people hang on their rearview mirror. They’re perfect. All 36 of them hanging through out the house.  No one will, ever suspect they’re there to cover the gas order.  They look like normal Christmas decorations. This is going to be the biggest Christmas ever!!!!

The Stickler

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Not so long ago, I was flying from Atlanta to Killeen, TX. Upon boarding the small jet plane, I noticed something different about the flight attendant. She was around 50 years old, standing just inside the doorway of the plane, and not letting anyone board until she verified each boarding pass. Once she approved the boarding pass, she would thrust a 6 oz bottle of water toward you, as if to say, without saying a word, “Take this, you must drink it, do not ask any questions.”

Once seated, I watched as the other passengers entered the plane. All having their tickets verified and a 6 oz bottle of water thrust upon them. No one, not a single person, turned down the water. It was like a FAA regulation that everyone must have a 6 oz bottle of water before the plane can leave the terminal.

Once the passengers were seated and just before the plane door was closed, she began going through some of the standard things that all flight attendants are required to do. But, her standard information was different. She used her own words and interpretation, plus her tone of voice was what really got your attention; a cross between a burned out junior high school teacher and a Marine drill sergeant. It was one of those tones like, “you’d better listen to me and don’t you dare question anything I have to say. I’m in charge, and don’t you forget it.”

She started out with a mean sounding question, “Okay, where do you want to go to today? Want to go to Hawaii? Somewhere tropical and warm? How about the Caribbean? Well if you do, you’re on the wrong plane. We’re going to Killeen, Texas. So, if you’re not supposed to go to Killeen, get off my plane…..NOW! I like to keep things lively on my flights. I like a good laugh as well as anyone. But, there’s one thing you need to know. I’m a stickler about my safety regulations. You know it has been medically proven that laughter can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and extend your life. So, you might as well burst into laughter for the next five minutes ‘cause I’m about to shut the door and you’re going to be stuck on this plane with me for the next two hours. So, everyone laugh, now!” No one made a sound. We were all shaking in our seats, wondering, “Why is this woman acting this way, and what else is going to come out of her mouth?”

Then she started again, “According to FAA regulations, all your personal items, must be stored in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. The items on the floor must be totally under the seat in front of you. They cannot be sticking out of the rear or to the sides. They must be completely under the seat.” Now, I could not see everyone’s personal items, but I could see about half the heads on the plane go down out of sight and I could hear plastic bags being poked, rammed, and forced under the seats. I was pretty sure someone still had something sticking out in the aisle just a little. Because again, she said, “FAA regulations require that all items under the seat in front of you, not be sticking out to the side. This is FYI.” More heads went down and bags rustled. “I repeat, FAA regulations require that all personal items be stored in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. Not sticking out to the left, or right, or to the rear of the seat, but totally under the seat. This is FYI.” This time even more heads went down and the rustling of plastic bags got even louder. And again she said, “Federal Flight Administration regulations require that personal items be totally under the seat in front of you. Not sticking out on the sides.” This time each and every head (including mine) went down out of sight, and not only could you hear the rustling sound of plastic bags, you could hear the grunts, groans, and sound of low muttered curse words. Well that time, the item that was sticking out must have been found and poked back under the seat, because she moved on to her next bit of business.

Before the plane left the terminal, she must have made 6 or 7 trips up and down the aisle, checking for FAA violators. Kind of like a jailhouse warden, looking in each cell for anything suspicious before turning the lights out. She would take one step at a time and do a visual check of each row. Several passengers on the right side of the plane had lowered their window shades to keep the bright morning sunlight from shining in their eyes. “No windows shades are allowed to go down as long as my plane is on the ground”, she proudly explained. I couldn’t tell what was going on at the midway exit row. All I know is she was switching and swapping people around like a life size human chess game. Finally, she got that squared away.

Then, quickly back to the front of the plane, she turned sharply and began the standard flight attendant safety speech. There was the normal low volume passenger chatter and shuffling going on within the plane. About two sentences into her spill, she stopped, paused, and said in a louder tone, “May I have your attention?” She started her spill again. Then she stopped, and with an even louder voice she said, “May I have your attention?” She paused and waited a good 20 seconds until every eye and head was turned to her direction, and the plane was as silent as a funeral home at midnight. Then, in a very low and slow voice she began her safety speech. At the seat belt part, she said, “I will now demonstrate the proper way to buckle and unbuckle your seat belt.” Several people on the plane turned their head away. Again, she stopped and with a tone of voice like God’s coming from dark moving clouds you heard, MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION!”

Well, we finally lived through that and we’re now in the air. She starts going up and down the aisle again, one row at a time, making an individual visual check of each and everyone’s seat belt. If anyone’s blouse, shirt tale, or coat was covering their seat belt, she would stop and ask, “Do you have your seat belt buckled?” A simple yes was not enough. “Let me see”, she would demand. At which time the passenger would move whatever was blocking her view.

Surprisingly, refreshment time was almost normal. Except for the fact that she was complaining the entire time that no one was asking for coffee. She would say, “If I had not gone to the trouble of making coffee, everybody and his brother would want it. I’ve made a pot of fresh coffee and no one wants coffee.” She repeated her statement for each row as if no one had heard her coming up the aisle.

As soon as she had parked her refreshment cart, she grabbed her plastic bag and began collecting trash. Most all passengers were still drinking their drink and eating their peanuts. Normal flight attendants would have waited several minutes before starting trash duty, not Miss Stickler. Much like the Energizer Bunny, she marched up and down, again and again, until every piece of trash was collected in her plastic bag. If someone was close to finishing their drink, she would stand beside their row until they took their last drink and then thrust her open plastic trash bag toward them to collect the cup.

After trash duty, passengers were ready for a nice quiet plane ride. Not Miss Stickler. She was walking up and down the aisle for the rest of the fight, still visually checking the seat belts of anyone that had just returned from the lavatory. She was instructing people on how to adjust their air flow nozzles. If someone was napping, she would reach across and put their window shade down. If someone was reading, she would switch on their reading light. This woman was either on drugs or needed to be.

As the plane approached the Killeen airport, she jumped into high gear. Up and down the aisle, again and again, making sure seats were in the upright position, seat belts buckled, table trays returned upright, and she was back on personal items must be completely under the seat in front of you, put those window shades up & we’re about to land. Then, she gets her plastic trash bag out again. She took away water bottles, newspapers, magazines, candy wrappers, and whatever else that wasn’t under the seat in front of them.

Finally, we landed in Killeen, Texas, and I’ve never seen people leave a plane as fast as those people did. They couldn’t get away from her fast enough. It was like kids leaving school at three o’clock on a Friday.

It was passed 1:00am before I got to bed that night and then up again at 4:00 am to drive to the airport for my return flight.  After going through airport security I was thinking how nice it was going to be to catch a 2 hour nap on the flight to Atlanta.  Soon, boarding started and my zone number was called. The lady scanned my boarding pass and I quickly walked down the boarding bridge.  As I got closer to the plane, I could see her, there she was. I couldn’t believe it. It couldn’t be. No, no, please no.  Yes, Miss Stickler for Safety. There she was, same outfit, same hairstyle, same evil tone of voice. It was like I was in the Twilight Zone. It was all starting again. Rerunning over and over in my head. First verifying my ticket and thrusting a 6 oz bottle of water at me. I go to my seat and kind of doze off as Miss Stickler is verifying each passenger’s ticket. In a few moments I’m awakened by her voice over the loud speaker,  “Okay, were do you want to go to today? Want to go to Hawaii? Somewhere tropical and warm, how about the Caribbean? Well, if you do, you’re on the wrong plane. We’re going to Atlanta. So, if you’re not suppose to go to Atlanta, get off my plane….Now.  I like to keep things lively on my flights. I like a good laugh as well as anyone. But, there’s one thing you need to know. I’m a stickler about my safety regulations ……….. WELCOME, YOU ARE ENTERING ANOTHER DIMENSION ….. YOU ARE ENTERING THE TWILIGHT ZONE ….

Real Boys Don’t Wear Sandals

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

by Glenn Strange

written before 2010


There’s nothing more attractive than a naked-footed woman. Now, that I have your attention. Sorry, I can’t help myself. It all started when my next door neighbor, Barbara Poteat was my babysitter.  She was 16 and I was 5. Barbara went barefooted durning the summer. Mama made me wear sandals. And, to make it even worse, I had to wear socks with the sandals ….. white socks.

All the other mom’s let their son’s wear tennis shoes, or better yet, cowboy boots.  All I ever had were brown leather strap buckle-up sandals.  I’m not sure why Mom wanted me to wear sandals.  Maybe it was because sandals cost less money than real shoes, or maybe it was because she wished her second and last child had been a girl. Sandals … just hearing the word still causes me pain to this day. I remember trying to run and play games with my neighborhood buddies. Near the end of every summer the front sole area of my sandals would have become week and worn.  If I walked fast or ran, the soles would turn under my toes, and cause me to fall to the ground. Every year, by the first week of August, I was averaging 4 falls a day. My knees looked like a cheap pizza with burnt cheese.

Anyway, as I was about to say, “It was Barbara Poteat that convinced my mom I should have real shoes like all the other boys in the neighborhood. Barber was also the one that took the time to teach me to make a bow-knot with my shoe strings. She was the older women in my life and she made me feel like a real “Big-Boy”. If it had not been for her I would still be wearing sandals to this day.  Sandals, white socks, and who knows, maybe even a dress. I’m sorry, you didn’t need to hear that. It’s just, I’ve always felt mama wanted a daughter. If you’ve got time, I would like to talk about it.  It’s just childhood memories.

In the News: Watching TV Shortens Life Span. Say What?

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

The Los Angeles Times reports about a study claiming, “For each hour of TV watched, you are at risk of shortening your life by 18%.” Well, I DON’T THINK SO!!!  What “less than brilliant” person came to that conclusion? Smells like someone justifying their federal grant money.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a TV repairman to figure this one out.  Think about it for a minute:  It’s on public record, that most dead people were sick when they died. Now, what’s the first thing people do when they get sick? That’s right; they cut on the TV and go to bed.  Watching TV is of the few things sick people are able to do. Plus, it can actually be therapeutic and comforting.

Every hospital room in America comes standard with a remote controlled TV, an adjustable bed, and a flimsy plastic bed pan. The bed pan is there to keep the sick in front of the TV and out of the bathroom. Have you ever tried to use a flimsy, one-size-fits-all, plastic bed pan? Besides being extremely embarrassing, it’s a struggle, it’s exhausting, and extremely strenuous. The act alone is enough to make a healthy person wish they were dead. So, I’m here to tell you, the study is incomplete and 100% incorrect. Watching TV does not shorten a person’s life. Life is shortened by the exhausting strenuous struggle that’s required for a sickly person to mount and dismount a flimsy, one-size-fits-all, plastic bed pan.  I encourage you to write your congressman and insist that WARNING LABELS be required for all bed pans. I’m sure bed pans even shorten more lives than cigarette smoking. Watching TV doesn’t shorten life – it’s the Bed Pans.

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times article…

Written by Glenn Strange 9/11/11 thru 9/17/11

Speak First – Think Second

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Sometimes my mouth starts movin before my mind starts thinkin. Recently, I experienced this seconds before I was to be introduced on the TV show, “Your Carolina with Jack and Kimberly”. The guest coordinator informed me that my segment would follow the 10:25 commercial brake.  I would then have 2 minutes to move my props into place and be set for the cameras to go back live.

Just as promised, at 10:25 on the dot, the commercial brake started. As I was quickly moving my table and magic props to the front side of the cameras, a thousand things were running through my mind. I was checking pockets, wondering if I had everything I needed for the tricks. What will they ask? Will I know the answers? Don’t stumble on your words Glenn? Stand straight. Relax. Have fun. Smile.

Then suddenly, a friendly voice from the dark side of the camera ask, “Glenn, can you count from 1 to 5?”  This caught me totally by surprise and with mouth in gear and mind not, I sharply answered, “Sure ….. been countin since I was in the first grade ….. been walkin since I was 2.”

I no sooner heard the words exit from my mouth and I realized I was asked to count so the sound technician could do a volume check on my microphone. Boy, did I feel like a smart mouth.

This reminded me of the time when I was 15 years old, and seconds after my quick words made my mother cry. That’s when my wise father said to me, “Boy, one day you’re gonna learn, it’s sometimes better to just keep your mouth shut.”

Your Carolina TV Show

watch demo

Newsletter & Updates Signup!