Archive for the ‘Conversations on Blogfinger’ Category


This lucky bug sits contentedly in a rare OG driveway. Don't be rude and block his egress, or his people will be very mad. Paul Goldfinger photo. Undated. ©

This lucky bug, Mr. Blue,  sits contentedly in a rare OG driveway. Don’t be rude and block his egress, or his people will be very mad.  His theme song, by the Fleetwoods,, is below  Paul Goldfinger photo. Undated. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net


This conversation was begun in the context of storm news, as a snow storm hit Ocean Grove on January 27, 2015.  Comments are posted  chronologically here instead of the usual location.   Editing might be required for clarity, grammar, spelling, and sanity.

Mr. Right   Jan. 27, 2015 —–“Something needs to be said about parking etiquette. If one neighbor spends 30 minutes digging his car out only for his **#$@% neighbor to pull into that spot as soon as he leaves, that is wrong! In the past, diggers have placed garbage cans, etc. to hold their spot, and as far as I am concerned, that is perfectly ethical to do, even though the police will not back you up if someone removes the can and parks there anyhow.”

Marie Coppinger. Jan. 27, 2015—-   “May I comment on “parking etiquette”? I have been in O.G. for many years and this comes up every year. These are public streets. You cannot “hold” a parking space just because you shoveled it out. How would I know who shoveled any given space? And if I do park in my neighbor’s spot, it is because some one has parked in the space I recently shoveled. Let’s be reasonable.” 

Blogfinger.  Marie is correct that this topic has appeared before, but some subjects are worth rehashing.  Here is a link to July 2013 when there were many comments about this subject.   holding spaces link

Plump Mike.  Jan 28.   “I guess Mary took her neighbor’s parking spot. If each homeowner took the time to dig out one space near their home, making it easy to enter and exit, then this wouldn’t be as much an issue. It’s  a shame that OG taxpayers don’t have a space reserved for each home like they have in many north Jersey towns. If you could dig out your space, it would be there for you when you get home from the grocery store.  Taxpayers should get a break from the town on the parking situation, especially in the winter where it can be a hardship to walk four blocks in the cold.” 

Pam.  Jan 28.  “It is a shame that as tax payers we aren’t entitled to one parking spot. Nevertheless my husband and I try to show courtesy to our neighbors even in the summer and other seasons. We try very hard to park in the same spots every time thus leaving spots free for our neighbors to park in front of their houses.

“I wish something could be done for our OG elderly who should be able to park in their spot. It’s hard for them to have to carry groceries or maneuver in the snow if their car is a ways from their houses; and they shouldn’t have to search for a parking spot during the height of the summer. If only a little civility could be shown to our neighbors and the elderly. Then we could get busy figuring out a way to provide parking for tourists and for those owning commercial trucks so they don’t take our spots away.”

Mary Lou.  Jan 28.  “We are all pretty respectful of each others “parking territory” on my street. I like to park in the usual space nearest to my front door because I leave for work at 6 am in the morning. On a dark, icy winter morning, I appreciate the fact that I have a short distance to get to my car. During the summer, I don’t care if I’m parked at a distance.”

Doubting Thomas.  Jan 28.  This reminds me of internet etiquette, which is still evolving.  Rules of politeness  must be written down and acknowledged by most civilized citizens if they are to be honored, but such rules don’t exist for Grovers with snow drifts.  So we must rely on the instincts of residents who perhaps have certain values in their DNA, or, at, least in their subconscious where common themes exist based on our culture.  Having said that, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, because the NTPD won’t get in the middle of this unless there is blood on the snow.

Embury Resident.   Jan. 29.     This is intended for the parking etiquette conversation. I have a driveway and only come down on weekends. I try to be a good neighbor and pay someone to clean my (empty) driveway & sidewalk after a snow fall. I did this yesterday. He cleaned everything, only to call me today to let me know that one of my “neighbors” threw all the snow he shoveled from his property onto my driveway. Not very neighborly.

Paul Devine.  Jan. 30.  I am not in OG many weekends in the winter. Without reserved spots neighbors are able to use the spot which eases parking for our wonderful neighbors. I do agree that something should be done with cars that are warehoused on the street and not used.

Jo Ann Marino. Jan 30.   Homeowners in Lavallette who do not have a driveway pay an annual fee to the town for a designated parking space on the street near or outside their home. A win win situation.

Paul Goldfinger.  Jan 30.  Jo Ann—There are a number of constituencies in Ocean Grove including tourists, homeowners, renters, merchants and others.  The group that is ignored in this conversation are the homeowners who live here year round or part time. They have been ignored as far as the parking situation is concerned.  I totally agree that we too should receive a reserved space in front of our homes. This is a common solution around the state of New Jersey.

Wisher. Feb. 1—I am bothered that few people shovel. Now ice and snow have solidified around cars, and cannot be removed. So instead of winter in New England, the scene looks more like Arctic Station Ocean Grove.  There are many able-bodied hipsters renting in my Asbury Ave. neighborhood with nice cars and no shovel. Out of the whole two blocks around me, it was just me and another older guy shoveling our spaces. Then we pull out, and someone is there in the space when we get back.

It is a shame because it is great exercise and a way to meet people through simple acts of kindness.


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“City sidewalks dressed in holiday style.”  Washington Square Park. Greenwich Village, NY.   By Paul Goldfinger © The lyric is from “Sliver Bells.”  Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Scene:  At Wegmans–a very busy place on Dec. 23.   Snippets overheard.

Little boy says to his father. “Who’s Tiny Tim?”

Me:  I overheard this, and I thought, “Who is Tiny Tim?”  I mean, I knew the name, but who is he?

Eileen:  “He’s the poor boy in the movie A Christmas Carol.  Scrooge makes an about face and gets into the Christmas spirit.”

Me: “Oh”

In the crowded Wegman’s parking lot, a man and woman (grandparents) and a toddler are walking, the child is holding Grandpa’s hand,  and all 3 are making progress to get back to their car with the packages and ride out of town.  All 3 are wearing red and white Santa hats.  All of a sudden, the tyke drops to the ground and cries loudly.  He refuses to get up despite Grandpa tugging on his arm.  Grandma rushes over to the rescue.  Grandpa picks the kid up, but he keeps crying.  They are creating a scene.  This is the joy of grandparenthood.

Grandmother says to her granddaughter who is sitting in a shopping cart,  “They celebrate Hanukkah.”   That’s all I heard.   Wow, somebody at Wegmans said the H word.  You can buy a menorah and candles at the weg man’s store.  Eileen is a weg woman.

Looking back:   I grew up in the 1950’s in Rutherford, NJ. It’s a waspy town, a bedroom community of New York. There were many churches, 1 synagogue, no bars, and just 6 Jewish kids in my class at Rutherford High.  Christmas time was full of Christmas cheer, visuals and music. But Hanukkah was never mentioned. It made no difference; it was all fun. I actually was glad that they didn’t bring that up. We 6 understood that we were a minority in a Christian town, and that was fine.

I went caroling with my friends from the band and chorus. People tossed money to us from their windows.  We went to the garden apartments at the west end of town, near the Passaic River, where one carol could entertain maybe 20 people looking out from their second floors.  Then we went to Carl and Henry’s for ice cream sodas  (about 50 cents each. with a dab of whipped cream on top.)

A Jewish girl from my class played the virgin in the nativity reenactment in the RHS  auditorium.    I thought it was amazing that she got that job, although it was historically accurate.   I even got to date Mary  (actually it was Phyllis) once. I didn’t know if she was actually a virgin, but as far as my friends and I were concerned, they were all virgins at RHS in 1959.

Wondering about the music choices playing at Wegmans…

I may be one of a small number of shoppers who actually notices the music playing overhead in stores.  At Wegmans they are playing wall to wall Christmas music, but not any of it is a traditional carol.  It’s all pop songs  which are about romance at Christmas time:  “All I Want for Christmas is You.” and  “Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart” and “Christmas. Baby Please Come Home,”and “Christmas on the Beach For Two,” and  “All Those Christmas Clichés,” and my favorite—- “It’s a Marshmallow World” by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin from  Christmas With the Ratpack.

I miss the “First Noel,”  “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” and all the others which I knew by heart.  I call my friend “The first Joel.”    I had two best friends–we were the Three Wild Men.

Eileen says, “This is Wegmans trying to avoid offending anybody.”


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Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

I guess a recorded phone message playing in your ear could be considered a form of conversation.

Today I was left a message from a call center in India. The man was named Janel, and he left me a brief message.  At the end of the recording he said,”Have a gay day.”

I listened to it over and over to see if he said “great day.”   But no, it was “gay day.”  I asked Eileen for a second opinion, and she agreed as to what he said.

I know that call centers often are from India, and his accent definitely proved the point.  I don’t know what is politically correct in India, but I assumed that the caller was just being kind in wishing me a gay day.

So I concluded that I should have a happy day and not one that involved any change in my usual preferences.

JOHN SEBASTIAN  “Welcome Back”

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