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Straight from my mind to your screen—here’s a collection of my thoughts, from the heartfelt to the odd, and everything in between.



Salad Oil King; Stories of greed gone mad. Rip-off # 24.
How to create windfall profits in the black market.

During World War II every American contributed to the war effort by receiving and using ration stamps to ensure everyone shared the pain. But, there were those like Alfonso “Fonso” Gravenese and his Mafia cronies who made a handsome profit in the black marketing of goods and services through the use of... Learn More

DATE: Oct.14.2019 | CATEGORY: My Books

Salad Oil King; Stories of greed gone mad. Rip-off # 17.
How to cheat school kids out of a free lunch.

It was a simple, despicable, immoral, elegant scheme. Alfonso Alfonso” Gravenese, AKA The Salad Oil King, paid off government officials to get awarded contracts to provide underprivileged kids with a balanced free lunch. Then to reimburse himself for the bribes, and make a crapload of “bonus” profits, Fonso reduced his operating... Learn More

DATE: Oct.07.2019 | CATEGORY: My Books

Salad Oil King; Stories of greed gone mad. Rip-off # 13.
How to always win at yo-yo contests.

Alfonso “Fonso” Gravenese AKA The Salad Oil King, loved to gamble...on sure things. Growing up Yo-Yo contests were held daily in Little Italy. The entry fee was 5 cents per play. Fonso knew his opponents were bigger and older, but he had a streak of larceny in his ice water veins. Minutes... Learn More

DATE: Sep.30.2019 | CATEGORY: My Books

Salad Oil King; Stories of greed gone mad. Rip-off #4.
How to overcharge customers for fresh fish.

When Alfonso “Fonso” Gravenese, AKA The Salad Oil King, was a 9-year old kid, his father asked him to help sell fresh fish from ice-filled cart to their neighbors on Spring Street in Little Italy after school. “Fonso” quickly learned if he stuffed ice into the fish’s mouth with some of the ice... Learn More

DATE: Sep.23.2019 | CATEGORY: My Books

Project Zebra Diaries. Entry # 51:
Boys will always be boys.

(Circa 1944. Russian Zebra Captain pauses after winning a scooter race along the Project Zebra runway in Elizabeth City. Imagine Joseph Stalin and Theodore Roosevelt envision a top-secret mission at a conference in Iran? Imagine America factory workers in Philadelphia build 185 of WWII’s largest and deadliest warplanes? Imagine a select team of... Learn More

Summit #12:
Donny and Vladdy discuss resolution of the Syrian crisis.

Imagine Donald and Vladdy meeting in the latter’s presidential suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in central Damascus to share a song and a coke as they resolve their differences on how to end the Syrian Crisis. After a little friendly banter, the now good friends identify a way for each country to... Learn More

Project Zebra Diaries. Entry #45.
Sometimes, there’s just nothing else to say.

(Circa 1944. Entire Project Zebra Team (300 Russian pilots and 11 US Naval trainer) stand in front of a state-of-the-art warplane, the Nomad, built in America to Russian specs.) “FASCINATING. CLASSY. HEARTFELT. HISTORY DONE RIGHT.” ___ “UNIQUE MOMENT IN TIME. SKILLFULLY CAPTURED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.” ___ “LIKE SITTING ON A PORCH... Learn More

Summit #10:
Donny and Vladdy discuss east-west Ukraine conflict.

A horrified Donny sits on a US weapons box next to a dismayed Vladdy in the once ultra-modern Donetsk International Airport in Eastern Ukraine. Donny denounces terrorism of all kinds. Putin admonishes Donny’s lack of sensitivity to international matters. Donny disagrees, explaining he is “best friends” with the leaders of every major country... Learn More

Project Zebra Diaries. Entry #34.
You are looking at one of the world’s most unique pictures.

(Circa 1945: Russian flying aces raise the Ameican Flag on Victory Day in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.) Given the endless anti-Russian tirades in the media about Russian election manipulation and Russian collusion, it’s hard to imagine they sacrificed over 30 million citizens and soldiers while having our back against Hilter’s ground advances. Imagine a... Learn More

Summit #6:
Donny and Vladdy discuss American creativity.

Vladdy is fascinated by America’s historical ability to blend creativity and capitalism to maintain a robust economy. His goal is simple: to determine what Google innovations could apply to Russia’s brand of Social Democracy. Donny decides the best way to demonstrate American creative exceptionalism is to sit a holographic rowboat in a Google... Learn More