May 31, 2013


So Earl and I went out on a little date night to the Armory Square area of Syracuse. We had a few cocktails, we enjoyed a nice meal together at the Empire Brewing Company and we had some great conversation. After our little adventure at the brewery, we decided to go for a walk before returning to the Jeep.

That’s when I discovered that I needed to find a restroom. Beer has that effect on me.

I quickly navigated us to a nearby Starbucks, where I hastily ordered an unsweetened green iced tea and asked for the code to gain access to the men’s room. Armed with the code and with Earl installed to pick up my tea, I made my way to the restroom and did what I had to do.

A sigh of relief.

As I started to get myself back together and presentable to the public, I was disheartened to discovered that the one-seat restroom was completely out of toilet paper.

Oh noes!

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I looked around and found no place anywhere in the small room where extra toilet paper could be hiding. There was no cabinet under the sink. The public restroom certainly has no need for a medicine cabinet. I guessed I would have to settle for paper towels.

Except I was in Starbucks.

Where every thing is “green” and “environmentally friendly.” (Plastic cups notwithstanding).

No paper towels.

No extra toilet paper.

No tissues.

There wasn’t even a well-read copy of Reader’s Digest.

The only thing available was a hand dryer and I had no idea what I was going to do with that in this situation.

I improvised. How I improvised shall be left to the gentle reader’s imagination, but I will say this, from this day forward I shall always grab a napkin or two before entering a Starbucks restroom. Just in case.


Far and away, the most popular blog entry on “Life Is Such A Sweet Insanity” is an entry about the old WT Grants Department Store chain, as inspired by my spotting of a former GRANTS sign on the side of a barn at a place called Grant’s Farm Market.

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Through the original blog entry, I have learned that the pictured sign came from the store at the current Shoppingtown Mall in the Town of DeWitt outside of Syracuse.

The blog entry has given many former Grants employees the opportunity to reconnect. I’m happy that I was able to provide them this opportunity.

There are worse things in the world to be popular about.


My friend Tim sent me two clocks for my collection of school clocks made by The Standard Electric Time Company.

This clock is from 1939.


This clock is 29 years newer and ironically, the same age as I am, as evidenced by its date stamp of July 1968.


Despite their difference in age, both clocks are completely compatible and interchangeable with one another. The newer clock is considerably louder than the older one when it advances on the minute, so I’m still considering what room it will be added to.

Both have been refinished to a remarkable level. Tim and his partner Kevin are quite the handymen when it comes to this stuff.