Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Editorial Letter

The following is an editorial letter to the papers written by my friend Bruce. He has authorized me to post it on my BLOG. I felt it worthy of sharing and I hope you feel the same.
October 17, 2008

Subject: Upcoming Election

An open letter to American voters:
The upcoming election is nearly at hand and we all know that the results will have a historic impact on our country and our state. This writing is not intended to endorse any candidate, rather, to provide some factual information, education, and contrasts between the parties on the performance of the United States economy. I believe that it is not only important to us as Americans to vote, but also to vote based on established fact rather than opinion or innuendo.
There is no question that the upcoming election is first and foremost a referendum on the state of the economy in the United States. We are facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression (1929-1939) and history is in grave danger of repeating itself. The Great Depression in the United States began on Black Friday, October 29, 1929 and is said to have lasted until the onset of World War II and was accompanied by world wide economic collapse. Political and economic factors leading up to the Great Depression are eerily parallel to the current situation in the United States. The Great Depression started in the first year of the Republican Presidency of Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) following two terms of the Republican presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding (1921-1923), who died in office and was succeeded by Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929). Conditions of high unemployment, poverty, and deflation continued through Hoover’s term in office. Americans elected Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) in 1933. In 1935 Roosevelt created by executive order the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a relief agency to put unemployed American workers back to work and build American infrastructure. Also in 1935, President Roosevelt, with the backing of a Democratic Congress and Senate, signed into law the Wagner Act, today known as the National Labor Relations Act, which offered workers the ability of to organize unions and bargain collectively to improve their wages, hours, benefits, and conditions of employment. Union membership in the United States grew from one million workers to 12 million workers in the ten years following the passage of the Wagner Act and predicated the largest growth of the American Middle class in history.
As a matter of local parallel, the Great Depression occurred also ten months into the first term of Republican Indiana Governor Harry Guyer Leslie (1929-1933) following the term of Republican Governor Ed Jackson (1925-1929). Indiana was led out of the Great Depression by three terms of the Democratic governorships of Governors Paul Vorie McNutt (1933-1937), Clifford Townsend (1937-1941), and Frederic Schricker (1941-1945).
History is both a good teacher and a reliable predictor of the future. Facts of history clearly tell us that workers and the economy in general always fare better under Democratic leadership than they do under Republican leadership, and that it was Democratic leadership that led our country and our state out of the Great Depression. According to the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), unemployment has peaked in every Republican administration and been at its minimum levels during every Democratic administration since World War II. Characteristic differences in the economic policies of the parties are widely known and detailed in a new book called "Unequal Democracy," by Larry M. Bartels, a professor of economics at Princeton University. In a New York Times article dated August 31, 2008, Alan S. Blinder, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and a former Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve cites two key historic factors from the work of Bartels, which relies on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The first, which Blinder calls "The Great Partisan Growth Divide," is simply stated that the growth of the United States economy, on average, has grown faster under Democratic Presidents than it has under Republican Presidents. The unprecedented economic growth during the Clinton years and the historic decline of the economy during the Bush years is fresh in everyone’s mind. The current administration has presided over the loss of more than 700,000 American jobs in the past eight years and has yet to address that as a crisis.
The second, which is the focus of Professor Bartels’ work, is referred to as the "Great Partisan Inequality Divide." In his work, he unearthed what Blinder calls a stunning statistical regularity in regard to income inequality in the United States. Income inequality is defined as the gap in income between the poor and the well to do. Over the 60-year period since World War II this income gap widened substantially under Republican presidents and narrowed under Democratic presidents, resulting in an overall widening of the income gap. The New York Times Article of Alan Blinder (view this article at www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/business/31view.html) includes a chart adapted from Bartels’ work. This chart illustrates family income at various income levels and clearly shows that lower income families experience slightly faster income growth than higher income families when Democrats are in the White House, and in stark contrast much faster income growth for the better-off when Republicans are in the White House, a key factor in widening the income gap.
Many voters place their votes on issues other than the economy, such as gun and pro-life issues. It is important to note that there has been no significant legislation in recent history affecting these issues, save the ban on partial birth abortions and a ban on assault weapons lobbied for by national law enforcement in the interest of protecting our country’s public safety officers. Many of us do fairly well in terms of wages and benefits with our employers, a factor which I believe takes our focus from the economy. But every one of us has a parent, a sibling, a child, or a friend who is struggling in the face of the current economic crisis. We should consider them and all who are struggling when we cast our vote in this election. I would ask that every voter weigh the issue of the current state of our nation’s economy, along with the aforementioned historical data, against other issues when casting your vote on November 4th. According to Alan Blinder, " . . . statistical regularities, like facts, are stubborn things. You bet against them at your own peril."
If driving at speed toward a brick wall, normal human reflex would be to turn away from the wall to avoid a crash. There are clearly two choices in the upcoming election. We, as American voters can turn away from the wall or crash into it. We can put the Republican Party in power, which would effectively align the stars, so to speak, by putting in place every key political and economic factor that led us into the Great Depression; or we can put the party in power that led us out of the greatest economic crisis in the history of our country. The choice is ours.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Forever In My Mind – Maybe – What’s In A Title?

It’s elementary my dear Watson. Several people have asked me why I chose to name my BLOG what I did. They found it unusual, yet somehow strangely interesting as one reader told me. At the time I decided to do the BLOG I was at a cross roads in my life. I had the realization that where I was wasn’t where I wanted to be. I also made the realization that although I was happy I wanted change and I was on the road to making those changes. I had started that back in the fall of the previous year. Life altering changes though don’t come over night and sometimes take years to see out and carry through. One thing that happens when you find yourself at a cross roads though is that you start thinking about all the things you’ve done, places you’ve been, people you’ve known and things you’ve seen. You go through your memories in search of that which may help you interpret your life and where it is and how to get it where you want it to be. No wax on wax off at this point. I’m not trying to be deep, but it might go there. One memory that is vivid in my life is of Mr. & Mrs. Mathias. Devon and Amy were their first names, but I didn’t ever dare call them that. Mr. Mathias was a seventh grade history professor at Kekionga Middle School when my brother and I first met him. He truly is and was a soul that wanted to help children not only with their school, but also to better himself or herself as human being’s. One of his favorite past times was listening to Paul Harvey on the radio and another gardening. The year my brother was in his class Mr. Mathias took him in under his wing and mentored my brother somewhat. It was a friendship in the making that lasted until the last year. My brother would go over to the Mathias home and mow the lawn, help with gardening and do various chores. Soon afterwards I started helping Mrs. Mathias by doing vacuuming and other house chores as well. At the time we were doing it I thought very little about the fact that these two people really didn’t need our help. They were simply trying to provide lessons in life on earning a dollar and living honest. Amy was a more “proper” type of person who expected the napkin in the correct place and the proper foods for ones diet to be eaten. I liked her but I really wasn’t fond of the foods she would fix. No pre-teen or teen child really cares for clam chowder. Least not any teen I knew of liked clam chowder. Amy passed away this past year and my brother and I went to her funeral. They asked members to share memories of her, but there were none that stood out as something I needed to share. I kept thinking of how many I had of him though. One of my favorites is of the many times Amy would be off all day, either at her school (Pleasant Center I believe) or shopping. I never really knew where she was. She would leave a pre-made meal for Mr. Mathias to warm up. It wasn’t food I looked forward to, but then again no one said they had to feed us either so I guess I should just have been thankful. What Amy didn’t know was that Mr. Mathias was very in-tune with the kids. He would often throw out the pre-made food and make hamburgers or hot dogs or chili for us. He would always wink and say: “Don’t tell Amy.” I honestly believe he tried to see the good in everyone and he often found the good he was looking for. This couple truly loved each other too. Mr. Mathias worshipped the ground Amy walked on you could tell when you were around them. I guess I really shouldn’t speak of him in past tense. He’s not dead, not really. He’s still here for the time, but yet unreachable. You see a few years back Amy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. What an awful disease that is. I went to see the Mathias at the Winchester home about five or six years back. Amy was talking to me at that time, but she couldn’t remember how many children and grandchildren she had. She asked permission of her husband to use a walking stick to help her walk. As he reminded her of how many children and grand children they had you could see the look of fear on her face. Knowing she should know that, but not knowing all at the same time. When we went to the funeral we were shocked to find out that Mr. Mathias, Devon now has the disease as well. Can you imagine being those poor boys of theirs and having to live through the same thing with both parents? Parents that slowly forget who you even are. He didn’t recognize who I was or my brother either one and he’s known us and been well involved in our lives for more than thirty years. I could read the pain on my brother’s face when Mr. Mathias didn’t know him. They had been close on a level that wasn’t an everyday thing but I think a mutual understanding of admiration. I’m sure there was regret for not having been in touch more. That is life though. We all get busy and caught up and we forget how precious life is and how quickly it goes by. We all do it. It was obvious though that the disease had not robbed him yet of his love for his precious Amy. He still had that, but for how long. We go through life with so very few things we can count on. I believe most of us count on having our memories at our disposal. We count on being able to look back on days gone by fondly in our time of need. So when I was trying to come up with a name for my BLOG I thought the things I write about are things I will remember forever and look back on, or will I? They are things I hope I can hold on to. Things I hope I can remember, but we aren’t promised that which we take so easily for granted. We are not guaranteed that we’ll remember the past. We are not guaranteed we will remember the good times or the people we’ve shared them with. So I cherish each day as it comes. It doesn’t matter if I feel good or bad I thank the good Lord for each day and I go through each day realizing that it may not be there tomorrow either in my mind or in reality. So these are the things that will be forever in my mind, maybe, if old man time doesn’t take them away from me. If they don’t get lost in the fog of what was. So there you have it. The story of a name for my memories, my thoughts, my hopes and fears that I share with those who chose to read them.

The Name of The Game is Blame...

I'm generally a person who believes everyone has a right to their own political viewpoints. As long as they are making them on sound, well informed judgements. I don't mind that half my friends are republican and the other half democrats with perhaps one or two independents in between. Nothing wrong with that. I for one though am completely and totally over the blame game that is going on with politics of all offices. Who gives a flying fig who caused the problem or the issue. All I want is someone to go in and fix it. What am I looking for in a president? Well if I had my idea president he or she would be someone who said "I don't care who caused it, I'm owning it and I will fix it." This person would be someone who would look at all these damn government rules and say: "You know, sometimes too many rules defeat the purpose." What am I saying. Our children are a prime example. We are raising a society of delinquents who think that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter without their having to work for it. Why? Not because the mom's and dad's want it that way, but because Uncle Sam has decided in school our children don't need to learn how to budget their money. Gee not like they will need that skill. They also have decided that they don't need to learn that sometimes we lose. Little Johnny needs to think he's a winner even when he can't read and he's a freshman in high school. They have decided that we should shelter children from the harsh reality that life isn't fair. Gee don't they think they will figure that out the day after graduation? Oh and heaven forbid our kids learn that there are prejudices and inequalities in life. We are raising children who have no imagination. Why would they need one. The government does all their thinking for them. It's not only our children. Look at how we handle our welfare offices. People who will lie and cheat are practically paid to stay off work and have little to no motivation to go back, but let someone honest go in there and they have a hard time getting the assistance they need but may have gone forty years without needing to ask for. Oh and here's a kicker. If you file bankruptcy there is a cigerrette allowance for you in the mix. When did the government decide that we have to allow for and supply someones habitual needs? Our government it seems to me is so screwed up I'm not really sure any person out there can correct all the blunders they have made over the last thirty years. I'm pretty sure that covers both parties. Then there is the fact that our government looks out for the physical needs of children to a exaggeration that they take children away from parents for things that had nothing to do with abuse, yet leave children in homes with extreme mental abuse. I want a president who can walk a mile in my shoes. One that says it's not ok to drop out of high school when you're sixteen. One that says mom and dad guess what you're responsible for your child until they are eighteen and they aren't going to hold a job until then or drive --- they are going to be kids and get an education. One that says it's not ok that Little Johnny got to freshman year without being able to read. One that says we are not going to do job qouta's based on sex, health or race, but rather on qualifications and how hard you work. I want a president that says HELL NO you are not shipping U.S. jobs over seas. If you want to do that move your Ass over seas and become a citizen of that country. I want a president that says if you try to guage us on oil then guess what... our products we are shipping that you need just trippled in price. I want a president that says our country and our people come first. Let us feed our own and cloth our own then give help to other countries. I want a president that collects on our debts, lives within the means of the country and promotes family values. That means encouraging family time and making it so that it can happen. I want a president that says I may not believe in abortion but I can't force a woman to do something with her body she doesn't have the strength of character or health or mind to do, so I'll pray for her and leave her to her own affairs. I want a president that says no to the over whelming debts that are increasing due to banks lending to easily to people who can't afford. One that will promote an old notion that we need to learn to live in our means. I want a president that understands our borders need to be secured and if you came into this country illegally you do not belong here. We welcome those who took the time to go through the appropriate channels and we aren't paying for those who came over with no thought to how it affects our country. Harsh words? Yes, they probably are. I believe we need some harsh restructuring of the way things are though. I believe we truly need change. More than either candidate that is running at this time has proposed. I suppose baby steps though. I know one will stay the course of our current administration. That sure as heck has not done anything for anyone over the last eight years unless you have millions. Either way you're planning to vote I respect your rights to your opinion and your vote. I want you to all know that. Just vote! It's important to get your voice heard. It's important to express your opinions. I believe one choice will lead us to more job loss and one will get us on the road to recovery. That is my belief. It's no secret to anyone who knows me that Obama was not my first choice, but given the choice of him or McCain he is my choice. I don't believe Sarah Palin can step in should something happen to McCain, which is very likely given health and age. I do believe Joe Biden can. Whether you agree with me or disagree I still encourage you to vote. Hopefully we can all stop the blame game. I know everyone can agree we are all sick to death of it. Next Tuesday polls are open until six pm. See you there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Heavenly Banana

Sweet yummy banana's. Sigh. Last night I had dinner with friends around eight-thirty. I'm glad I ate kind of late because let me tell you if I hadn't I would have been laid over somewhere from hunger today. I got up as usual and did my merchandising. Finished up with that around noon and came back home to rest a bit before going to the Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Doctor. Dr. Schreck. He was really cool! I had never been to an ENT before so I wasn't sure if I should eat or go on an empty stomach. So I headed over to my appointment shortly after 2PM. Simply put my ears are good. My allergies are confirmed. I have to schedule a precautionary CT Scan and I got a prescription for steroid nose spray that if I take it as directed should help my headaches, sinus drainage and sore throats go away here within two weeks or so. I am conflicted about it somewhat though as I have heard bad things about taking steroids in any form, but what am I to do I guess. I've been having these headaches and sore throats so long that I have come to the conclusion that it's worth a try. I was at the ENT's office for about an hour after which I took myself to Meijer to fill my new prescription and shop. Let me remind you it's the previous night since I ate. I was like a fox in the hen house. I was starving Marvin as they say. I walked the isles knowing what I needed, but a few things I really didn't need made their way into my cart. It's like they were signing to me and calling my name. You know like that snake in the basket and the snake charmer! I bought salsa and thought my friend Joe would be proud. Along with tortilla chips since they are on sale this week. I bought a bunch of soups and a ton of other items. All I needed was cereal. Well, I was waiting on a prescription in my defense. The stuff just jumped off the shelf into my cart and then it held me at gun point as I took it to the check out lane and paid for it. Yeah that is it. That is my storey and well, unless sworn in under oath in a court of law I'm sticking to it. Finally I thought time to go home and I can eat. Well, wrong. I had my car to Evan's Toyota yesterday for an oil change and today the glove box on my car wouldn't close. I got home and talked to my friend on the phone for about an hour and called Toyota as soon as I got off with her. They had me bring the car down and they put it back on track. They had it out yesterday to check the cabin filter. So down there I went. Five thirty-five PM I was back inside my house and was having dinner heated up. I was so very very hungry. I keep fruit in my house for obvious reasons. I love apples and banana's. So while my dinner was heating in the oven I decided a banana would have to get me started. It's amazing when you're so hungry how heightened your senses are. I was so super aware of every second. I remember pealing back the banana peel. I remember raising the banana to my mouth and taking that first bite. I took in every ounce of flavor. I also caught the humor in the symbolism of what I was eating and the feeling that was coming over me as I was eating it. Yeah, but lets not go there. Anyway. I believe that was the best thing I've ever eaten in my entire life. It only liked a couple of hours until it would have been twenty four hours without food. It was the most heavenly banana I've ever had. It also brought me right back around to thinking about how we don't really appreciate the little things in life like we should. At that moment in time that tiny banana was my world. It was a wonderful experience and one that filled my mind and my senses with sheer delite.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Inside The Person

It’s not easy being green. Oh, wait! That would be Kermit the frog. What presses us to go after things in life? Anyone out there ever wonder where we get that fire or that drive to press on even in our darkest hour? I do. It’s been a trying couple of weeks for me. I’ve had three infections, a nasty cold, an allergic reaction to some kind of food that is as of yet undetermined and now I have a cough that takes my breath away from this cold I am trying to get over. Yet I have managed to walk some every day. Maybe I didn’t walk as much as I am suppose to, but I managed to walk some. Today I got up not feeling the greatest. I kind of feel blah, but I put on my walking shoes and took a forty-five minute walk. Why? Because I was told I should. Because I was told it was in the best interest of my health. Right now I have that drive to continue even though it would be so easy to say no, not today and let it slide. What happens when the cold and the snow come though? I’m thinking it’s only going to get harder with each pressing day. Right now the fall colors cheer you on. Old man winter is not that supportive. He often beats us down more than he pulls us up. Then there is the fact that I am afraid to walk or drive on ice. I have a fear that just grips me so hard that I can literally feel my heart beating in my chest when I have to do either. So that is going to be a blocker. I could walk at the mall or walk in the building at work I suppose. I still want a treadmill so I can do it in the comfort of my own living room, but I suppose unless we get another stimulus check here shortly that will have to be a pipe dream for now. Either way I want to press on. I want to feel better. I want a healthier life style. So inside there is something driving me. Something I’m not sure I really understand. It’s an inner strength I didn’t know was there. A strength that’s there when you’re walking, even listening to the radio you have time to contemplate. So what is it that is inside the person? What is it that can pull us through and give us the strength we need? I believe it’s a guiding force. I believe we don’t ever walk alone. I believe God is there to help us if we let Him. What ever your belief you have to admit that no matter what you always feel something inside you that is driving you to do the things you do. No matter what you want to call it, it’s there. There is an inner struggle to do the right thing for yourself or for others. It’s a gorgeous day out. Writing this believe it or not has helped my blah feeling and I’m starting to feel better. So what do you see when you look deep inside yourself? What inner strengths do you find? Is it easy? Is it hard? Is it something that makes you stop and wonder? What is inside the person that you are?

Pizza Hut Sunday's

So Saturday, October 18, 2008 my niece Ashley turned five years old. From all accounts she had a good birthday. As you may remember I was quiet sick not only with a cold, but an allergic reaction to something I ate and I had to work. So needless to say I didn't get to see her on her birthday, but in my mind I could see her playing at Chuckie Cheese while I worked. As the storey has it she wanted to eat at Golden Corral on her birthday and the rest of my Family wanted Kentucky Fried Chicken. So my dad took her to Golden Corral and sat with her while she ate, then when she was done the rest of them went to KFC. It was as Ashley pointed out her birthday and she should get to eat where she wanted. Then they went to Walmart where she warmed my dad's heart into spending money on a Dora doll and horse that from what I hear was a little pricey, but worth it. They ended their night at Chuckie Cheese with her yet again warming someone by telling some older people it was her birthday and they gave her their points they had won so she could get a toy. So she had a great birthday on one respect. I met my family at Pizza Hut at Northcrest on Sunday. They have a pizza buffet on Sunday's from 11am to 2pm. Ashley recounted the tale of her special day, and although I think she enjoyed it you could tell it was missing one very important thing... her mother. Ashley today talked about her mother and she pointed out some of her quarters she had that were from Tennessee. Her mother went on vacation on Friday and will be back next Friday. She went to Tennessee. I understand it's a vacation and I know the kids had school so they couldn't go but I don't understand how a mother could not want to see her daughter on her birthday. I know this will probably tick her off if she reads it, but I just have a hard time with that one. She could have had her all day on Saturday until my brother got off work. Yet she's in Tennessee with her significant other while her daughter celebrates her birthday here in Fort Wayne. Children are only little for so long and I just can't wrap my brain around why you wouldn't fight to be with your child even if for a little bit on their birthday. I love my ex-sister-in-law very much, but this one is beyond me. Either way Pizza Hut Sunday's is something my family does once a month. I went today, just made sure the kids stayed back. I don't think they could catch my cold I had, but I didn't want to take a chance. If you go to Pizza Hut on Sunday's and you want the absolute best service then ask for a waitress named Heather. She's charming and she's great as a server. You won't be disappointed I guarantee you. For the average adult the buffet is going to cost you around $10 if you have a drink. If you drink water then it will be around $8. My nephew enjoys the pasta and the pizza quiet well. I think he would eat pizza three hundred days a year if he could. He has always loved pasta. Today's lunch was enjoyable and as you can see from the pictures even the outside of Pizza Hut has a lot to offer. My niece and nephew love to play on this clump of trees. Little monkey's both of them.. Another weekend is gone, so Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I've been through a lot of things in my life. Some of which have been pretty scary, but nothing compared to last night. What do you do when body parts start swelling to three times their normal size with no knowledge of why they might be doing that. Last night at work I had hives break out on the back of my neck, my scalp, behind my ears on my arms, legs and across my belly. Now work has been stressing me out so a girl and I were talking it's probably just nerves. I itched like a son of a... well you fill it in, from head to toe. I was miserable. I figured it would go away. Well, about 12:30pm last night my mouth was hurting so I put some ice on it. Didn't know why it was hurting until about 3AM when I decided I was exhausted, not feeling well and needed to lay down. I took one look in the bathroom mirror and freaked out. My face and neck were swelling. I took some pictures. None of them pretty I will warn you. Then I fretted about what to do. I contemplated calling my friend Chris or Joe or my brother or my mom and dad or a bunch of other possibilities. I thought about driving myself to the emergency room. That would be a costly endeavor if I was over reacting. I finally decided I was tired and I was going to lay down and go to sleep. Maybe it would be better on it's own in the am. After all it could be me causing it from nerves. Right? Of course the thought did cross my mind that I may not wake up if the swelling kept going. I prayed the Lord my soul to keep then I laid my weary head down to sleep. Anyway I work up at 10:30AM this morning ten times worse than I was. I literally could not feel my face and forget calling anyone on the phone. My lips were so swollen they wouldn't even stay completely shut. My hands had joined in and so had my feet. Fun fun. Something was definitely wrong and Redi Med was open so I showered and took myself to Redi Med. They took me in almost immediately. Now for anyone who knows Redi Med that is not the norm. They did some checking and diagnosis is that I had an allergic reaction to some type of food, but what. The only thing out of ordinary for my diet yesterday was a cheese pretzel from Target that I had grabbed because I didn't have time to get anything else before work. Nothing different that I can think of in diet or habit yesterday. Anyway. I was given Alevert under the tongue to dissolve right away. Then I was given an Eppi Shot in the arm and a good old steroid shot right in the - well you know... drop your drawers please as the nurse so politely put it. Then I was told to take two Benadryl every 8 hours for the next couple of days and make sure I take my Zyrtec. I'm betting you could sell my blood on the drug market right now and my blood might even glow in the dark. Heck I don't know. The swelling has gone down a lot, but not completely and now my face feeling is coming back with pain. Joy joy. Who ever said Saturday's couldn't be eventful without a game plan? Anyway. Lutheran was going to be my next stop. So far so good though. Redi Med kept me for a half hour after the shots to make sure I wasn't allergic to the shots. Now all I want to do is sleep. Maybe if I find out what caused my reaction I could eat some of whatever on Halloween and dress up as Mick Jagger? Just a thought.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Second Guessing Is Rarely The Answer

Research research research. Any decision you have to make in life one should make sure that they are are armed with all the facts they can possibly get their hands on. This can include information from friends, but as good as their intentions may be, they could be wrong, so always be sure to check the facts. In this day and age of technology where you can go to the library or even the congressional sites on line it should not be that hard to check information. This is especially important of life altering decisions on things such as surgeries or becoming a parent or even buying a house. Hum even perhaps on things like the election on November 4Th. It would be easy to just listen to the commercials on television or to listen to the gossip around the water cooler and base an opinion off of that. I urge you not to though. The commercials on both parties parts are full of misconceptions. The water cooler gossip may or may not have legitimate foundation in that it will often be filled with multiple opinions that may or may not be founded on accurate information. Be sure this year when you're voting for a president that you take the time to find out what issues they may actually affect. It's not going to be gay marriage or abortion. Both of those are done on a state by state basis, not a federal level. So before you start voting based on morals or our president be sure to know if he can have an impact on them or not. Personally I'll check my own morals, I just want my economy back. So when I vote I'm definitely going to be doing so based on who I think can effect it in the most positive way. The facts, go check them for yourself, are that McCains policies will give us more of the same old same old we have right now. How have the last four to eight years served you? How are those stocks doing? Do I know if Obama's economic plans will work. No, but they are a change from what we have and that is what I feel I have to do and no I won't be second guessing. Second guessing one's decisions in life rarely turns out well. Often we find our first impulse, our first "Well informed" decision was the correct one. So once you're researched, you have your information and you've made your decision dig your heels in and don't look back. If it turns out it was the wrong decision then at least you did your best, but usually your first decision is the correct one. So don't second guess, but do arm yourself with information. And whatever you do, no matter who you are voting for get out and vote. It's your right and one you should exercise!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ultimate Laziness

OK.. remember me saying that the cart thing in the store parking lot is like the ultimate laziness and erks me to no end? This woman yesterday literally was right in front of the cart return. Nothing wrong with her and apparently she wasn't in a hurry as she sat in this car for a good five minutes going over her receipt before she left. Yet her cart as you can see is at the front of her car. She looked up at me as I took her picture with my cell phone and shook my head. I took the cart over to the cart return as I walked by her. Gotta love it don't you?

Monday, October 13, 2008

*****Sometimes In Life************

In my life one thing that I think most of my friends would agree upon is that I'm stubborn and opinionated. Just a fact of my life as one would have it. The thing that might surprise them is how I've actually mellowed over the years. There was a time when I wanted anyone who crossed me to pay. I didn't really care how, just so they paid. I didn't care if it meant loss of their money or possessions. Whatever worked. Cold and callus as it appears to me now it is just the way it was. I suppose a lot of people get that way if angry or hurt though. Once provoked they see it as a you've hurt me so I want you to hurt type of scenario. What would surprise most people to know is that I don't feel that way anymore. I get angry. I strike out sometimes. What I don't want is for any ill harm or harsh burdens to befall the person no matter what they do to me. That can be a tough one as a union steward or anything else. Sometimes no matter how hard we wish for resolution with out an ill fated verdict befalling someone, it just can't happen. It's something the old me would have little problem with. The me that is here now struggles with the issues that I deserve to be treated with respect. I deserve to not have to be stressed out at the hands of another. Yet part of me would take it if it meant not having someone fired. Not having to see someone else in pain. I don't know when it happened. I don't know when I started caring about the pains and problems of people I know nothing about or even people who are not kind to me. I use to be someone who fed on conflict. Fed on the fight for the sake of what I felt was right. I still do to some degree; however, I must admit I prefer a more quiet resolution to things now. I prefer to find a peaceful coexistance that works for both myself and the other party. That isn't always possible though. Sometimes no matter how badly we want the peaceful resolve, it can't be there. It can't happen that way. Sometimes we have to stand up and say enough is enough and it's not getting better. Sometimes we are out of chances and options. Sometimes backed into a corner with no way out. Don't get me wrong. My fight is still there. I came to terms with the fact a long time ago that if it comes down to me or someone trying to kill me, I could take their life. I don't know if I would even think twice about it. The thing is I would have regret and remorse even if in self defense. I somehow don't think the old me would have. So many changes I have been through in the past few years I don't think I saw it coming. I'm happy about it though. I think it makes me a little more human. I always admired my mother because she held no ill will towards anyone. Those of you who know her, know that is the truth. She's one of those people who would litterally give you every single thing she owns if you needed it or even just asked for it. I always looked at her and saw so little of myself in her, but now I'm thinking I found some of her kindness and warmth. It's sappy at best I suppose but I really do want everyone happy. I want peace. I want no hunger out there for anyone. I want the dream I suppose. Sometimes I can't help in this life but wonder why that can't be. I suppose it's because as human beings we get enthralled in our own needs and sometimes don't see the needs of others. Then again I also suppose there are a lot of sometimes in life statements one could make though aren't there?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Milton Bradley and McDonalds

Fast food chains may come and go, but there will never be another McDonald's or even another game like Monopoly. The memories that both of these items holds for me is as long a list as President Bush's wish list of things he now wishes he hadn't done or said while in office. Some of my fondest memories growing up were of a family ritual. Every Wednesday night dad took the family to McDonald's. We didn't have a lot in my earlier years. Sometimes money got pretty tight but dad always managed to get us there. If it were your birthday and you were in there whatever change was left (and back then that was a pretty good sum) was yours after paying for the meal. It wasn't necessarily the food that holds the memories so dearly as the time spent with family. In the earlier years when I was little we would always eat in the car. My brother and I in the back of course. But as time got along we started eating inside. It's not even just my immediate family that I have memories with. I remember being there with friends, some still alive some not, and my grandmother on my mom's side. With aunts and uncles and on school trips. I remember the commercials about two all beef patties and the big mac when it first came out as well. I also very clearly and vividly remember playing McDonald's Monopoly game. My grandmother Jezzie won $100 way back in the late 70's. I have won food items before. Somehow just the daydream that maybe one might win made it exciting. I don't think people get as excited about the little things anymore. We have too much and do too much. I'm remembering that more and more as I walk and think each day. I'm reconnecting with some inner roots and music that I had forgotten I enjoyed so much. Monopoly in case you didn't know it is back. It's got a twist this year. There are two ways to play. You can play on the paper boards and keep track of your pieces, but on each piece is also a code that you can enter at the web site and roll the dice to pick up online pieces. So you have two possibilities of winning. Online I won 25 my coke rewards points today. That was pretty nifty. Not money, but I'll take it. I do want to tell everyone if you eat there I know how tempting it is to order the value meals, just because it's easy, but they really don't save you much money. I usually buy my hamburger, small fry and a large diet. Their soda's right now if you didn't know are all $1 no matter the size. Value meals just make it tempting to over eat. I find my meager meal usually fills me up. Every once in a great while I'll splurge and buy something else, but too much salt and too many calories to want to do too much. Either way McDonald's will always be my favorite fast food restaurant. They have memories and they have food I like and now they have options like salads and yogurt. Is anyone else out there playing McNopoly as I call it? Just curious. Roll the dice, but don't over indulge for a chance that is probably pretty slim that you'll win the millions. Good luck!


I think I have the no pain thing down.

MeatBalls and Sketti - New Target Opens

Target was always one of my nephew's favorite stores when he was little. He never called it Target though. He always asked if we could go to the meatball store. Why? Because of these big red balls they have outside their store. For whatever reason they reminded my nephew of meatballs and what he called sketti. One time we went to Target and my nephew looked at me and said "Aunt E, do you have your wallet?" I knew I was in trouble then. He had me wrapped around his little finger and many a Thomas train came out of that Target store at Glenbrook mall. Today I went into the new Target store again to do a little shopping and check things out. I couldn't help but smile at the big red cement balls out in front of the store. Another thing I also noticed was that the Target store has a Star Bucks right up front of the store. I had never noticed that so I text my friend Joe and I guess apparently they all do? I must not be the most observant person. Anyway, tomorrow (Sunday, October 12, 2008) is the official first day for Target South. If you need something adventurous to do on what is suppose to be an absolutely gorgeous day why not check it out?

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Year & A Season of Change

I don't think I could have had a more ah-ha type of year if I tried. You know. The ones that make you go: Oh, that is why that is. Or OK now it all makes sense. As I was noticing the changing trees yesterday at work, and some ducks in a pond on my walk I took a good hard look back at the year and the person that was there and the person that is here. I would like to think I have grown in so many ways. I can honestly say I don't ever recall taking note of my life as much or making as many realizations as I have. Two years ago my family dynamic changed in a big way with my brothers divorce. I know people who get divorced often think they are the only ones to feel the effects. Not so. I felt it a lot. I wanted to make everything better for everyone, which is a pattern I had fallen into. One way I thought this could happen is if I solved all their financial and possession needs. I tried to make certain my brother, my nephew and niece wanted for nothing. I wanted to attempt to still be there for my ex-sister-in-law because she had been a part of my life for nearly sixteen years. Although I didn't like her at the time my brother was dating her and not for a good year after they were married, yet over the years I had grown very close to her. Although I knew deep in my heart it would not be easy to maintain any type of relationship with her I wanted beyond all to try. I think a divorce is one of those things that is so full of emotion for both parties that anything and everything can upset them. It's been a strain. For a A bit she and I were apart after my finally explaining my position to her, not that I wanted to, I didn't. My brother means the world to me and there isn't anyone on this earth that can make me choose them over him. That was a big fear. I kept thinking: "Don't try to make me choose." Although I think you can love many people on many different levels there are some bonds that are permanent and so strong they outlast superglue. My brother and I have that kind of relationship. My ex-sister-in-law and I have become almost like sisters. And right now our relationship is doing OK. We don't do hardly anything like we use to together. Life has taken us on different paths. I do wish her well though. I have gratefully gotten to do a lot more with my brother though over the past couple of years. We don't have a lot of money, but we have gotten to spend a lot of time and time is a precious commodity. I'm so blessed on that respect. I want all my family to be happy and for the longest time I have spent so much energy on trying to make sure that happened. So much so I lost track of trying to look out for me. Trying to make sure that I was healthy and financially well. So this last year has been a journey of correcting financial mistakes. One of trying to get my health back, my life you might say. I've reconnected with old friends. I've gotten a good start at organizing my house. I have been exercising more and watching out for my emotional needs as well. It's a journey full of wonderment. One I suspect will take me a few years to completely resolve into contentment. I'm happy now although still stressed at this point. So many things have happened in such a short time. I lost an uncle. I've watched a friend go through financial difficulties and a debilitating illness. I've lost my precious cat Basil who kept me centered with his loving nature. I've watched a neighbor lose his wife and an aunt lose her mother. I've watched friends and family struggle to come to terms with their own emotional issues. I've watched business's that once flourished turn to a point of demise and old neighborhoods vanish to business's that you wonder how they can open up in this economic mayhem. Another spring and summer are gone. Halloween is right around the corner, then Thanksgiving and Christmas. Another year I don't have to live, yet another year that with all the disappointments and pain, had a lot of happiness and joy as well. I have been blessed with time this year. Time spent with family. More time I've had with friends. A friend I've reconnected with that probably doesn't realize how admired he is for his strength of character and his warm inviting nature. A friend back from Texas that I had missed and still don't get to see enough. Friends made through work same times and emails that give me strength probably without realizing how much I admire their time they spend with their children, even if it is hunting, which is something I'm not really fond of. It's been a year of growth and rebirth on so many levels. Other friends that just make me laugh or smile. It's been a time of discovery and growth. One that I am sure is not even close to over yet. The journey of life continues and my journey to resolve those lost emotions and feelings are yet to be completed, but they are better. Change is a part of life. One that we must adapt to. One that we start out being readied and prepared for from day one. It's a cycle that makes us wonder and think. One that makes me just amazed at the beauty and the ugliness of the world all at the same time. I've had a great summer though of watching my niece and nephew grow and prosper. The simplicity of childhood. It's a beautiful thing isn't' it?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day Two, One Word - PAIN!

I promise I won't write about my walk everyday, but I wanted you to know that day two went on without any hesitation. Well, maybe a little.
As you can see here on the left, it's not quiet as pretty as it was yesterday, but I guess it gave me some diversity in my walk. I got home from my part time gig of merchandising around noon. In case you don't know what that is it entails lifting boxes, and replacing old merchandise on the shelves with new merchandise. Requires a lot of reaching and bending. I did that for two and a half hours this morning. Yippee. Upon getting home it was time for all the medicines and they require food so I took care of that. Put in some more laundry. Didn't really want to deal with the walk due to the fact that cold, wet weather and my arthritis are not friends. My body was aching from the arthritis. My feet have blisters from yesterdays walk and my legs and back were sore from my morning activities. Not the least of which there was the weather. It was raining out when I got home. But the doctor told me to find a way everyday. Now I will admit he's going to have to settle for 6 out of 7 cause I really don't have any free time most Fridays if I work, so some Fridays yes, some Friday's no. I almost didn't do my walk today, but then I got to thinking and we all know that is dangerous for me. Yet what went through my mind is that nothing in life is free or without pain if it's worth having. I have learned that lesson way too many times. I do want my blood pressure to regulate. I do want to be medication free. I do want the constant infections (lets face it three at one time is no where near normal) to stop. I want to buy a pair of slacks and not have to shop in the "PLUS" sizes. I don't want to be one of those statistics that dies at fifty because they didn't take care of themselves and have everyone talking about poor Sheila. So, I put on socks and tennis shoe's, grabbed my umbrella and my Walkman and out the door I went. It had stopped raining, but it was still really gloom. Since WOWO does Rush Limbaugh from noon to three I had to choose another station. Just as well, I needed something more upbeat to keep me going today. I chose an oldies seventies and eighties rock classics station. Yeah that would push me along. First part of the walk wasn't bad. My new found favorite sign was
cheering both me and the weather on as it beamed "Brighten UP". I know it was an advertisement, but it just seemed so appropriate. Funny thing is I think the weather listened cause when I got back to the Indiana Department of Transportation and was ready to turn around the sun came out and up as if on command. The pain in my legs was pretty bad at this point. Believe it or not I looked up and another sign cheering me on. It said don't let knee pain slow you down. I know another advertisement, but you have to admit it's kind of funny. As soon as I got in, got the socks and shoes off, got some liquids I sent my friend Ida a note to let her know that I had completed my walk for the day. Today's walk was one hour in length. She says she hasn't done hers yet, but as soon as her daughter gets home. Come on! You can do it Ida! Anyone else out there walking? Anyone found me that treadmill yet? Well, that is my walk on day two. Guess I just need to keep trucking. Get up and get moving, isn't that what the Indiana health website says?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Me, WOWO and You!

So I managed my first walk today. Did a fifty minute walk in my own neighborhood. I put on my Walkman and listened to WOWO radio. I Love to listen to them except for when Rush Limbaugh is on there and I personally think he's a complete idiot so I won't listen to their radio program when he's on it. The other hosts I don't always agree with their opinions but I respect most of what they say so I listen. In my walk I saw a lot of things, like this auto or digital sign up above that is right in front of the Indiana Department of Transportation. I really think this sign is way too cool! The plot of land that sits in front of the Indiana Department of Transportation though has been for sale for the last ten years that I have lived in this neighborhood. I think they have trouble selling this property because there is only one way in and out of this neighborhood making it not the easiest place in the world to get in and out of for a business. Either way I am happy it sits empty because less traffic. It would be a good location for some business though and look at it this way they wouldn't have to worry about the ice and snow in the winter not being plowed. Those guys are on top of it, I know. I saw a lot of things on my walk. Two dead snakes and a dead chipmunk... along with two praying mantis. What a cool insect the praying mantis is. I love looking at them. They are way too cool. I did help the one out of the road and onto the grass. I was afraid he would get squished. So I made it through my first walk. I do need a treadmill really bad so I can walk after work in my house and being that I am infinitely poor if anyone knows of where I could pick one up cheap I'd be happy to know where. I thought it only fair that I took you along for my walk though so I made sure to click several pictures with my cell phone and posted them on here. It was also nice to see neighbors throwing up there hand in support of my walk. I also stopped and took the time to talk to one of my neighbors who is still going through his wife's stuff. He lost his wife in September after sixty three years of marriage, but he's doing his best to go on. I admire his spirit and spunk. So I challenge each and everyone of you to get a walk program of your own going and if you feel so inclined send me some of your own pictures that you take on these walks to post. I would love to share them. What is it they say... Get up and get moving! Oh and try not to lose your heads like these guys here below.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Personal Update on Me

OK, so no new picture here. I really don't like my pictures so if I find one I like or find OK it's probably the one you're going to see. This one was taken about 4 years ago. Went to the doctors today, something I rarely enjoy in any form or fashion. I was pleasantly surprised that my doctor was currently out of the country ( I like my doctor, but a new perspective never hurts) and there was this other doctor there to check me out today. He sat there and went through my entire folder with me. He reviewed every surgery, every illness and all my test for the last couple of years with me. He took my blood pressure, he gave me a physical and actually asked questions and listened. I almost had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I liked him a lot. What he found is as usual I have multiple issues and infections. Nothing new. The one most worrisome at the moment is a sinus/ear infection and a polyp found in my nose. Yippee... Good news when I weighed in today I am currently 96 pounds down since November last year. Yeah Me! Still a long way to go. So I have new meds. The antibiotic is Aomoxicil and Clavul 875 mg twice a day with a Mucinex DM Maximum strength chaser. Sigh... I would do anything at this point though to get rid of the sore throats and headaches. I also have an appointment with an ENT on the 23rd of October. We'll see how that goes. Oh and does anyone feel like walking? I have been told that it is imperative that I start walking thirty minutes - uninterrupted walks every day. Gotta work that into my schedule somewhere. Always more fun with a friend. Well, that is it for now. Guess it's time to head off to work. Sunny so I can take it!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sunday, October 5th Marks 10 Years

I made it! Ten years at this company tomorrow. Whew! So far about 9 1/2 was about my limit. I hope to retire from where I am now, but you never know, especially with this wavering economy. I have worked a lot of jobs over the last, ugh, twenty six years. Mostly part time jobs as I worked full time jobs and most of the time went to school while doing that. I guess I just never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, besides a millionaire. Nope haven't made it to that one yet. Guess I have to just keep trying. Would be nice to work at something you love and not just have to work to pay the bills. I wonder if the few people out there that have it that lucky actually realize just how lucky they really are. My guess is they don't. Believe it or not I still remember what it was like to work when I really didn't have to. Those carefree days of living at home with mom and dad. When of course I was a teenager and knew everything. So much so that I couldn't wait to get into the working world and get out of their house and start living my own life. Boy what I would give to go back to those days of living under their house and just working for money to get the items I want instead of need. As Irony would have it too, no matter how much we try to tell today's youth that this is indeed the best years of their life and that they should relish the pre-work days, they won't listen. Remember they know it all and we are just a bunch of silly people who couldn't possibly understand. Either way I look forward to and dread retirement all at the same time. I mean what do you do when you finally don't have to work? Not to mention my fears that so many loved ones may be lost and gone by then. Living in the here and now sometimes is so hard, because I know how fast the approaching future will be here. I know how much today will seem as if it were merely a dream. How I will long for these days back even though one might wonder at this moment why. I know why. It's a fleeting thought to think that some day it will all be gone and I'll be basically counting down to my own demise. For now though I celebrate my own achievement of making it ten years at a company that is really good to work for. I know some of the people out there that work with me may be saying "what is she talking about?" but trust me I have worked a lot of jobs and they all have their frustrations, but this one is paid well and has good benefits. I've worked harder for a lot less. I'm thankful for my blessings you might say. So for now I'm going to enjoy life the best I can and I'm counting down to Wednesday when I can go to the new target and look at purses. Below here is a picture of one of my favorites in my collection. Well, happy trails to you, until we meet again. Or at least until tomorrow. Ten years! Whew Who!