@IKEA. #WorstCustomerService. In 54 tweets

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For my dad, Bill Bromberg

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Time always wins. Early Saturday morning, it beat my dad. But my dad took it to extra innings, and it was a great ballgame … from a day at the beach with the woman who would become his bride all the way to last Thanksgiving, when they met their great-granddaughter.  Continue reading

2014 – It ain’t over till it’s over

The great American philosopher Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Don’t believe it? Ask Jared.

Jared, you should know, was a one-man band at FoxNews.com on Christmas Night, 2004. He was flying solo on the news desk for two good reasons:

No. 1, he was very, very bright and very, very good at his job.

No. 2, he was Jewish. And like I said, it was Christmas night. Continue reading

Happy birthday, Grace

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Grace Slick, a spectacularly beautiful woman with a voice to match, had a milestone birthday a couple of days ago, and it brought back some vivid memories of the only time I saw her in concert.

This was in the early Seventies, sometime late in my college years or shortly thereafter – or as I like to think of it, just a few days before yesterday. Continue reading

Take me out!

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My friends, today is a religious holiday. And, as I have for the last 30 years or so, I will be attending a house of worship with my sons, Josh and Ben.

Every year, Linda and I would pull them out of school on this day and we’d all head to the ballpark. Their principal would give them a dollar and ask them to bring him back a bag of peanuts. Never mind that a bag of peanuts cost around six bucks . . . He got it. And we brought him back the peanuts.

I said then — and I say now — that there was nothing they would miss in class that day that would be as important or as meaningful as this family tradition.

Today is Opening Day, and I’m heading to the ballpark. There will be hot dogs. There will be beer. I don’t care if I never get back.

And here’s the best part . . . This year my sons are taking ME!

Great memories last a lifetime. Let’s go Mets!

— 30 —

Shoveling snow after eight years of leisure

We made our move in 2005. Josh was gone, Ben was going, the wood playground we’d assembled in the backyard had rotted away, unused for at least a decade. We needed a new roof, a new sewer line, a major repair of a leaking wall in the basement . . .

Clearly, the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath Dutch colonial on a third of an acre in Upper Nyack had outlived its purpose. Let somebody else deal with all that stuff.

And what was more … I’d had it up to here with shoveling the driveway and the walk and the steps in the winter and mowing the grass in the summer and, because we had dozens of trees on the property, raking the leaves in the fall. Or, more often, paying people to do all of the above. 

And I’d had it up to here with finding people to deal with the inevitable problems of owning a home – the guy to clean the gutters, the guy to clear the branches overhanging the house, the guy to replace the bushes that were destroyed when a kid under the influence plowed his car through them and wound up dazed from alcohol and exploding air bags, sitting in a stupor at 2 a.m. in our front yard. Not once, but twice.

So Linda and I decided to do what empty-nesters in situations like that do: Sell the lawnmower, toss the snow shovel and get out of Dodge. Continue reading

The worst New Year

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Journalists have to work on holidays, because cops and firefighters and doctors and nurses and EMTs and soldiers work on holidays, and someone has to report on what the heroes are up to while the rest of us are drinking ourselves silly.

And that’s why I always worked on Christmas. It’s not my holiday, so to do otherwise would be selfish.

But because I always worked Christmas, I always had off on New Year’s Eve. Quid pro quo, and all that.

Except for New Year’s Eve 2000, a night of work that still infuriates me, 14 years later. Continue reading