Con Chapman's Blog (2,042)

For Extreme Ice Cream Fans, Master Comes Through in the Crunch

SOMERVILLE, Mass.  When Dave Forsh sold his innovative ice-cream shop in this near suburb of Boston two years ago, long-time customers who’d become addicted to his creative flavors and mixes were distraught.  “I just didn’t get it,” said Darov Kukov, a professor of Slavic languages, at the time.  “Why would someone take millions of dollars and give up the privilege of serving me six nights a week?”

ice cream 150w"…


Added by Con Chapman on June 28, 2017 at 4:37am — No Comments

Surprised by the Fed

The Fed Should Surprise Us.

Headline, The Wall Street Journal

I have come to the headquarters of The Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank, on a mission: at a time when the nation’s economy is humming along with full employment, low inflation, and a booming stock market, something has to go wrong–and soon.  I want to be at ground zero when it happens.


It was this lurking feeling of looming disaster that caused The Wall…


Added by Con Chapman on June 27, 2017 at 5:00am — No Comments

My Yoko Ono

Physicists currently believe that all rock bands–nay, all human groups composed of four men–can be broken down into elemental particles first identified by study of The Beatles through an electron microscope.

There is the Cute One–Ringo. The Dreamy One–Paul. The Actual Musician–that would be George. And the Verbal One–John. It fell to me, as a charter member of Otis & the Elevator Company who was neither cute, dreamy nor a good guitar player–to be the Verbal…


Added by Con Chapman on June 26, 2017 at 4:39am — 6 Comments

Your Food Freshness Safety Advisor

Have a question about a multi-colored piece of cheese in the fridge?  Stomach rumbling from a heaping helping of leftover tuna noodle casserole?  Before you head for the bathroom, ask Your Food Freshness Safety Advisor for help!

Dear Food Freshness Safety Advisor:

Yesterday, I made a ham sandwich with two pieces of rye that I’d totally forgot about in the bread basket.  They had a little white and green mold on them which I scraped off before I ate it, I’m no…


Added by Con Chapman on June 25, 2017 at 6:23am — 4 Comments

Jets Owner to Brits: You Need to Spend More on Cornerbacks

NEW YORK.  When President Donald Trump announced today that he would nominate New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to be U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, he did so in a way that reflected his scrappy “bridge and tunnel” upbringing in the borough of Queens, where the football team had its home for many years.

“Woody’s gonna be great, just great, okay?” Trump said.  “He’s gonna go over there and remind them we had a war and they lost, so they’re losers.”…


Added by Con Chapman on June 24, 2017 at 7:16am — No Comments

Swamp Thing Film Festival

At the impressionable age of 17 I left the rural town where I grew up to attend college in the big city.  There I soon learned that movies weren’t just a convenient occasion to feel up a girl and, if she turned you down, to blow into your empty Milk Duds box and make a fart noise. No, they were “films,” a form of entertainment that, when molded by a master director–an auteur–could achieve the status of art.…


Added by Con Chapman on June 23, 2017 at 4:34am — 3 Comments

Apache Dance With a Fellow Computer

It is 7:20 p.m., time for the last train from South Station to the western suburbs of Boston. My point of embarcation, a once-proud civic landmark, is despite its grandiose re-christening as the Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center, a scene of degraded desolation. Over there, a homeless man mumbles to himself. Here, a familiar street person approaches me to compliment me on my suit–a boxy chalk-striped number. “You lookin’ sharp, guv’nor–nothing like charcoal grey,” he says. I wonder…


Added by Con Chapman on June 22, 2017 at 4:34am — 2 Comments

Ask Ms. Wedding Lady

The day of your wedding should be the happiest day of your life, or at least the day of your first wedding. But the customs, folkways and by-laws of matrimony are so darned confusing, it is easy to “slip up,” with disastrous consequences. Ms. Wedding Lady is here to help sort it all out.…


Added by Con Chapman on June 21, 2017 at 5:30am — No Comments

For Some Artistic Parents, Summer Camp Choice is Serious

NEEDHAM, Mass.  Joy Olivet-Scramm and Martin Scramm are creative types who survive in the notoriously impecunious world of the arts by holding down full-time jobs in academia, a double-life that lends an air of seriousness to their otherwise whimsical natures.  “Shaw said those who can, do, and those who can’t teach–but we do both!” Joy says as she waits with other parents for a tour of the grounds of a possible summer camp for their son Miles, 10, and daughter Daphne, 9, after a…


Added by Con Chapman on June 20, 2017 at 5:05am — No Comments

As Other Taboos Fall, Earlobe-Nibblers Still Face Scorn

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. This quaint town on the outermost point of Cape Cod has historically been known for its location on the extreme end of another measure; the liberality of its residents’ views on matters sexual. “The first settlers ran the Puritans out of town when they came up from Plimouth Plantation,” says Matt Skerkel, using the original spelling as he drapes his arm around his husband, Tom Skerkel-Manning. “We’re got every variety in the GLBT produce section–even dogs and cats living…


Added by Con Chapman on June 19, 2017 at 4:27am — 4 Comments

Me and Baudelaire in the Backseat on Vacation

I first encountered Charles Baudelaire as a sophomore in college when I read Les Fleurs du mal, and to say that dawn broke on Marblehead, as the expression has it here in Massachusetts, would not be an understatement. No more “patter of little feet” poetry, all was changed, changed utterly to quote my buddy Bill Yeats. Check out Les Metamorphoses du vampire, par example: “the woman, in husky tones/Twisting her body like a serpent upon hot stones/And straining her white…


Added by Con Chapman on June 18, 2017 at 6:49am — No Comments

Barbie and Me

Typical Saturday for me, browsing through the thrift stores in my new home town, looking for old books and records, when I spied a familiar face out of the corner of my eye.

“Barbie?” I asked tentatively.

She rolled over in the toy bin where she lay and looked up at me.  “Oh–hi,” she said as she brushed her blonde hair out of her eyes.  “It . . . it’s been a long time.”

She looked like she’d seen the wrong end of too many little bottles of gin, her skin…


Added by Con Chapman on June 17, 2017 at 7:20am — 2 Comments

For Victims of Post-Ice Cream Truck Syndrome, Silence is Golden

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo.  Jim Hutchinson would prefer it if you set your cell phone on vibrate and kept your handheld device on mute.  He doesn’t like car horns, and when he goes to work every morning in Kansas City, he takes the stairs rather than hear the bell tones that signal when an elevator has arrived in the lobby.…


Added by Con Chapman on June 16, 2017 at 4:35am — 5 Comments

Lucky Thompson, Hard-Luck Tenor

Accounts of the life of Eli “Lucky” Thompson frequently begin with the observation that no man was ever given a more inappropriate nickname.  He played in the shadow of the towering giants of the swing and bop eras, beginning with the unenviable task of succeeding Don Byas as lead tenor sax in the Count Basie Orchestra, then serving as an insurance policy with Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band for those nights when Charlie Parker was (as they used to say euphemistically of refined ladies)…


Added by Con Chapman on June 15, 2017 at 4:58am — No Comments

Jack Garner, Parsley Farmer

Jack Garner gazed out over the farm that had been in his family for three generations and let out a sigh of exasperation. He looked down the rows of curly leaf parsley, often used as a garnish, and thought back to the lessons he had learned bouncing on his father’s lap as their old tractor made its way over the fields.

“Stay away from fad fruits and vegetables like endive, pomegranates and kiwis,” the old man had said. “Stick with something that people need,…


Added by Con Chapman on June 15, 2017 at 4:52am — No Comments

The Old Curmudgeon Gets Some Protein in His Music

Summer is here–the spring rains have finally ended in Boston–and you can see people opening up to the season, like flowers. And then there’s my partner, the Old Curmudgeon, who makes do with his usual all-weather grumpy demeanor.…


Added by Con Chapman on June 14, 2017 at 4:33am — No Comments

Summer Jobs for Cats

It’s the end of the first really hot day of the summer.  I take off my coat, drop my briefcase and turn around to find the usual scene; two cats sleeping.  Rocco, the young tuxedo cat on the back of the couch, barely troubles himself to turn in my direction.  Okie, the older grey tabby on the floor, opens his eyes and prepares to flop over for an obligatory tummy scratch.  Forgive me if I have trouble working up much sympathy.…


Added by Con Chapman on June 13, 2017 at 4:49am — No Comments

My Quest to Bring Karaoke to Mt. Everest

Sometimes, it takes a tragedy to change the way we view the world. For me, it was the story of David Sharp.

Sharp was a climber in distress who died 300 feet from the summit of Mt. Everest. A number of parties, including that of double-amputee Mark Inglis, passed him by, oblivious to his plight as they sought the small beer glory that comes to those who scale the world’s highest mountain long after the feat has become commonplace.…


Added by Con Chapman on June 12, 2017 at 4:54am — No Comments

Nazi Muff-Diving: It Could've Happened Here

With summer comes beach reading, and a by-product of the season’s lower intellectual standards is that one’s literary risk-reward ratio expands exponentially, the way pole vaulting records were shattered by quantum leaps when athletes abandoned aluminum for fiberglass. Pick a mildewed paperback off a bookshelf in a vacation house–one that you’d be ashamed to check out of your local library for fear it would be cited in a future Senate confirmation hearing–and you can be transported to realms…


Added by Con Chapman on June 11, 2017 at 7:39am — 1 Comment

Ask Senor Besame-Mucho

The women of America suffer from a lack of passion in their lovers, the phlegmatic sons of Angles, many of which are 90 degrees, and Saxons, so stolid in their romancing. It is for this reason that I, Senor Besame-Mucho, answer questions from those who wish to be kissed much more times, even if it is by the cold lips of a man who has just removed a bottle of beer from his mouth.

“You have spinach between your teeth, my darling!”


Dear Senor…


Added by Con Chapman on June 10, 2017 at 7:46am — No Comments


Healthcare Shmealthcare

Posted by cheshyre on June 27, 2017 at 8:11pm 7 Comments


Posted by Rosigami on June 27, 2017 at 5:53pm 17 Comments

there is no joy ...

Posted by that angry buddha guy on June 27, 2017 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Question for a Tuesday Evening

Posted by Ron Powell on June 27, 2017 at 3:30pm 10 Comments


Posted by Valerie Lynn Stephens on June 27, 2017 at 8:10am 0 Comments

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