Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Recent Pictures, Part Deux

It's me with my little buddy, Bobo. He's a pureblood miniature Smith Dachshund.

Mike and Jeannie Blakemore. Dear friends.

Old friends. Karen Savage, Suzi Walthall, Bob Menge.....reunited after fifteen years to sing together again.

Recent Pictures

Karen Savage and her husband Darryl. Love them both.
My "little sister" Karen. I have two sisters, and as far as I am concerned, Karen makes it three sisters.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ready for Papa Barack to dictate your lifestyle?

Universal health care is not all it's cracked up to be. Read this.

Ready for Papa Barack to dictate your lifestyle?

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another New Link

Check out a brand new site. Bri McIntrye, a young mother with four active children, is using her talent for photography to document her family's lives. She is quite good. Click on the link under Sites I Like, or try clicking on the title of this post.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maturity beyond their years

I have added a new link to the sites I like. Snyder Family Blog. I have known Tony and Heather since birth. I have watched them grow, fall in love, marry, have a beautiful daughter, and have to deal with heartbreaking circumstances. Click on the link to read about them. Your heart will break, and then shout for joy. It's extraordinary.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Dr. Mike Adams : Sunday's Breast -(not about politics)

This article is worth your time, especially if you are a parent with daughters, or sons, or if you are a husband, or a wife.

Mike Adams : Sunday's Breast - Townhall.com

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Monday, August 24, 2009

United States:'Too big to fail'?

Interesting thoughts from William Murray, the son of deceased famous atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hair.

United States:br'Too big to fail'?

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do we deserve this?

Commentary by legendary entertainer Pat Boone.

Do we deserve this?

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Discipline your brats

The latest from World Net Daily columnist Patrice Lewis.

Discipline your brats

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I didn't think there would be any reaction to my last previous post.

Evidently, I was wrong.

To those who have responded by various means, thank you.

To those who read without comment, thank you.

I was in the midst of a bad day. That being said, I also revealed the truth as I see it. Most people don't put all their bad qualities out there for all to see. I did. Let the chips fall where they may.

Yes, there are problems. We all have problems. I have always been told to compare my circumstances to those of others, and I will see that I don't have it so bad. Perhaps. But I'm tired of comparisons. The fact remains: my life has unfolded, in the manner it has, mainly as a result of my own choices, for good or bad. That was my point. I only speak for myself.

Call it clarification, mea culpa, CYA, whatever.

Let's move on.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yada, yada, yada.........

It occurs to me that lately, I haven't really written anything myself on this blog. Shared a few articles that I personally liked....but nothing original from me. There's a reason for that, I suppose. Maybe just laziness.....but it's more than that.

I have been fighting with negative personal feelings. You wouldn't know it by seeing me during the day, or at work, or even at home or church. But inside my head. I really wonder at times if I'm clinically depressed. There are times when the things I really enjoy, don't seem to mean much to me. On TV commercials you hear that that is one of the symptoms of depression. I believe I'm depressed because of the poor decisions I've made over the years, and the consequences and repercussions of those decisions. Also, I am not confident in myself and my abilities. In truth, I have very few abilities. I'm not handy at anything. I don't hunt, fish, or do any other outdoor activities that would be associated with being a man.

And perhaps there is the root of it. Growing up, really, from age 8 to 16 without a dad around. Oh, Mom had guys she dated, one long-term, but none of them invested in me real time and effort. Simply put, I wasn't their son, so I didn't matter.

This is coming off as a pity party. I'm sorry for that, but I am telling the truth as I see it. I am the type of person...that when something negative happens, there are two ways to go: rise above it, or let it sink you. 99% of the time, I let it sink me. Because I simply DO NOT KNOW HOW TO OVERCOME IT. Most everyone else I know seems to have the innate ability to know what to do in any given situation. I don't. Plus add to that, the fact that I really don't want to offend anyone (yet I seem to quite a lot), and that's a recipe for a messed up human being. I wish I had listened to, and learned from, the people in my life. I didn't. I went my own way, and where I am now is a result of that. No one did it to me. I did it to myself. There are times though that I wish someone cared enough for me to offer real practical help in any and all areas. I need help. Some of it is I just don't know what to do in particular situations. It's as simple as that......but frustrating to me. But at my age (44) I'm supposed to know how to handle everyday life. If I were a drug addict, or a drunk, or any number of other things that you can get help for these days, then I'm sure I could receive help. But my current state is one that has been many years in the making, and if I were to share all of it with people, they would say that I just need to work harder, do what's right, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, blah blah blah. To me, in my head, IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE. If it were, I would not have written this post.

This is just me venting. I have no illusions that anyone else will read these words. I guess I'm still bitter about losing my factory job. There was supposed to be options for schooling and retraining. I didn't know how to 'work the system,' so I missed out on that......and now I work at Walmart, and my wife has been unemployed for almost A YEAR.....and I feel like I'm sinking ever deeper into a bottomless hole that is suffocating me little by little.

I'm scared. Scared of losing my wife, my family, my friends, my church, my home....scared of losing everything. If people understood and knew, REALLY knew, me........they wouldn't like me. Why?

-I have a smart mouth. I use it to say mean things.
-I'm a selfish b******. Have been selfish ever since I can remember.
-I am a cynical person. A real downer. No fun to be around.
-I may know facts, but otherwise, I'm not very smart.

Okay. Enough self-loathing for now.

Someone,.......anyone.......please help me.

I'm sinking.....further and further down.

Reilly: Camp Sundown shines with the Yankees in the

Reilly: Camp Sundown shines with the Yankees in the

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Jerry Springer nation

The latest truth-filled article from entertainment legend, and born-again Christian, Pat Boone.

A Jerry Springer nation

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I thought dissent was patriotic

Good followup to previous post.

I thought dissent was patriotic

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Unmistakable evil

I hearby assert my Constitutional right to dissent by declaring my solidarity with the following article. I will not call you names; please do me the same courtesy.

Unmistakable evil

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Establishing presidential eligibility

As a citizen of the U.S., as well of Illinois, I want to know why "President" Obama, our state's former U.S. Senator, refuses to respond appropriately to the question of constitutional eligibility for the presidency.

Establishing presidential eligibility

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Remembering My Favorite Teacher

I found out earlier this week that a former teacher of mine passed away last month. Here is his obituary as it appeared in the August 6 edition of the Daily Gate City of Keokuk IA. I will share my thoughts and memories afterward.

Robert Ross Cates

BELLEVILLE, IL---Robert Ross Cates, 71, died Friday, July 17, 2009, in Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Il. He was born in Glendale, Ky., the only son of Sallie Cates and Robert W. Cates. He is survived by his mother, Sallie Cates, his wife, Rosalie Cates, and their son, Jon Cates.

He taught instrumental music for 26 years, directed high school bands and played professionally in a number of jazz and dance bands. He began playing music professionally as a teenager and at an early point in his career he opened for Ray Charles. He played in bands such as The Richard Tucker Orchestra, The Skyliners and The Noblemen, and with musicians such as Clark Terry. He taught instrumental music in Warsaw, Carthage, Brown County and East St. Louis in Illinois, and in Cave City, Ky. His longest tenure was in Warsaw where he recently celebrated his career and his colleague Lynn Johnson's retirement from Warsaw High School.

His students went on to teach, direct and play music professionally in bands such as Stan Kenton's orchestra.

His family continues to be grateful to everyone at Memorial Hospital in Belleville who provided him with life-saving health care for the last five years.

A memorial celebrating his life will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Bethelehem United Church of Christ, Sutter, Il.

Donations can be made to The Musicians Monument in Rand Park, Keokuk. Contact Nancy Ballenger at 319-670-9203.

I am, of course, saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Cates. I first met him in 1976, after starting sixth grade at Warsaw Middle School. He was, in point of fact, my first music teacher. I wanted to learn to play an instrument. My mother wanted me to take up the trumpet. I was, however, more interested in the saxophone....mainly because of my mother playing record albums of the tenor sax player Boots Randolph. Mr. Cates agreed, and suggested the alto sax. I came to find out later, that Mr. Cates himself was a sax player. He never bragged or talked much about his experience professionally. He sought to bring out the best in each of his students, no matter what instrument they played.
In physical appearance, Mr. Cates could be described, charitably, as 'rumpled.' He was short, balding and not overly handsome. Yet when he smiled, as he did when something went well, or a student learned something new, there was no better affirmation. He could sometimes display a short fuse, but only when he knew we were not giving our best. Afterwards, he felt worse about it than we did.
His bands were always among the top in the area. During my two years in his HS band at Warsaw, his reputation was such that our band was invited to many, many events. We could choose only five events each year to participate in. One year our band was invited to an event in Baltimore, Maryland. Too bad we couldn't go to that one.
I can honestly say that during my six years living in Warsaw from 1975-81, the single most positive male influence in my life was Robert Cates. He didn't just teach music; he taught us life lessons too. At a time when my own father was distant, Mr. Cates was seemingly there when and if I needed him. He would not have been comfortable with this adulation, I'm sure. It is true, nonetheless. Bob Cates cared for his students. I was reminded of this one last time the day of my mother's funeral. As those in attendance filed past Mom's casket at the end, through my grief and tears I looked up......and there was Bob Cates. He quickly filed past, and gave me a nod of the head. I had not even seen him come in.......yet there he was. That spoke volumes to me.
I saw him for the last time, as it turned out, in the summer of 1983. After I had graduated from Triopia High School, I visited Warsaw and dropped in on a rehearsal of the summer band Mr. Cates was working with. It was great to see him again. I hope that I told him how much he meant to me. I don't remember if I did.
Recently, Mr. Cates was in attendance at the retirement party for Miss Lynn Johnson, vocal music teacher at Warsaw for 33 years. Selfishly, I wish I could have been there. (I have had opportunity to tell Miss Johnson how much she taught me, as well. If not for her, I probably would not be doing any singing today.) Anyway, if I had been there, and could have addressed those in attendance, perhaps I would have said something like this:
I am proud to be part of the legacy of Bob Cates and Lynn Johnson. They have had a profound influence on who I am, and what I do.
Bob Cates is more than a teacher, an instructor. He is a friend, to all who have the privilege to know him. His professionalism and character shone through in all he did. He wanted the very best out of us, musically.....but more importantly, he wanted his students to be their very best no matter where they went or what they did. We knew that he cared about us, not just as students or band members, but as people. He loved us........and we loved him. He was always our teacher first; but when we needed a friend, he delivered....time and again. He is one of the finest men I have ever known....and it is my honor to have been one of his students.
Here's to you, Mr. Cates. Your place in the hearts and minds of your students, is secure. As the song by Dan Fogelberg states, "I am a living legacy to the Leader of the Band."
Rest in peace.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Remembrance of Dad

Charles Arthur Menge
May 1, 1926--July 30, 2002

My dad was the third of four children born to Frank and Lydia (Ring) Menge. When he was three years old, the stock market crash of 1929 occurred. The family made it through, although life during the Depression was hard. Only those who lived through it can truly understand.

Dad graduated high school in 1944, and immediately left for seventeen weeks of basic training in the Army. He was eventually assigned to the Phillipines, and served honorably until 1948.

Around 1950 or so, he married his first wife, Velma. Three children were born: Linda, Don, and Tari. He went to work for Burlington Route railroad. Dad and Velma later divorced.

In 1962, Dad married Ruth Tripp Glines in Warsaw, IL. Three children were born: twins, Jerry Lee & Julie Ann (died same day of birth 6-2-63), and Robert (me).

1968: Dad transferred to Beardstown IL, nearer his home town of Arenzville.

1972: My folks filed for divorce; finalized in July of 73.

When I was little, my dad and I spent time together as he was able. As a railroad engineer, his typical schedule was something along the line of four day trips, with maybe two days in a row at home.....it depended on how the trains were running. After he left our house, I didn't see him a lot, even though we were still in the same small town.

1975: Mom and I move back to Warsaw. Later that year, Dad marries Dorothy, my stepmother. Time with Dad is less and less.

1980: Dad is in a train accident. Some jackass decided it would be fun to put an obstruction on the train tracks. The engine hits it, and Dad is thrown nearly out of the train. A few feet more and he would have been dropped down a steep ravine. My mother contracts hepatitis, and becomes diabetic.

1981: Mom passes away. As a minor child (16), I was forced to go live with dad and stepmom. Dad's health was very precarious still. He had suffered major damage to his back as a result of the accident. That, and the gap of eight years of my life when he was not a major part of my life, results in not really being able to have the type of father/son relationship I wanted, and needed.

I am sad to admit that I didn't know my father well. I accept responsibility for my part in that. I'm not unique. Many, many boys have grown up without a real father figure. I am one of millions. Things happen. I understand that. I only wish I had taken advantage of the time after I left his home, following HS graduation and into my 20's and 30's. I did not, and that is my fault.

Having said that, he was a fine man. He was like most men of his era; he could fix anything. He knew how to do so much. He tinkered with cars. He collected antique cars. He had many friends and acquaintences. He loved his family: kids, stepkids, grandkids, everyone.

Yet I somehow always felt like an outsider. No one but me can make me feel that way, I know that. It's just that after Dad left us for Dorothy and her family, it seemed to me that he bonded with them in a way that I never felt happened with me. As a result, when I would be at his house, and among the step brothers and sisters, it always seemed to me that the attitude there was that THEY were his real kids, not me. At ten, eleven, even twelve years of age, I kept wondering why my dad left me for five other kids. Irrational, perhaps, but that's how I felt. Of course I could never have expressed that...to Dad or anyone else.

I could go on, but I have thoughts that I believe should remain private.

In 1998, I took Ingrid home to meet the folks. Dad treated her with respect, although he would have preferred I bring home a white girl. I later received a letter, written by stepmom, indicating their disapproval with my decision to marry Ingrid. Dad signed the letter, but I could tell by the handwriting that SHE wrote the entire letter. Thus began a four year period with no contact with them. I pleaded with them to reconsider. On my wedding day, I asked the ushers (my uncles Bud and Denzel) to look for them, and if they arrived, seat them in their place of honor that I had for them.

They didn't come.

Ingrid told me frequently to call him. I wouldn't do it, partly because I knew that she always answered the phone, but partly because I was so hurt and angry. In 2002, we received an invitation to my niece Kara's wedding. Kara is Don's daughter. Of course we accepted. It would be the first time in four years to see Dad. We came in after Dad and Dorothy had been seated. We sat near the back of the church. I could see him. It turns out Dad had left the hospital that morning to attend the wedding.

After we filed out, I went to where they were seated. I went up to Dad. We exchanged greetings. Then I broke down. I hugged him, and told him how sorry I was. He and I were reconciled at that point.

As I figured out at the reception, it was STEPMOTHER who had the problem with Ingrid and me. She snubbed Ingrid the whole time we were there. Dad came over to the table where we were seated, and sat down and talked with us. Not Dorothy. She did not even acknowledge Ingrid's presence. Everyone else, and I mean EVERYONE ELSE, was kind and respectful.

I did not know until that day that Dad lost half his right leg in 1999. Plus he had bone cancer. A few weeks later, stepmom calls. Dad is in hospice care at his home; can I come? I did go for a weekend, but had to return to work on Monday. 9:30am Monday, another call from Dorothy. Come back after work; it won't be long. Ingrid and I both went this time. Dad died around 9:15 the next night. We, along with Dad's kids, and Dorothy's three daughters, were at his side when he drew his last breath. During this time, stepmom was respectful.

I have not spoken with Dorothy since October of 02. She talked of gathering us all together....but she never called to let me know. I was so hurt, that I made no effort to contact her. Understand this, she never had any use for me. I reminded her of the wife (my mom) she had pretended to like, in order to steal her husband. Dorothy was considered by my mom as her best friend for a time, until it became apparent that Dorothy was after my dad. I think every time she looked at me, she was reminded of Ruth, and she didn't like that. Every day that they were married (over 26 years), she ruled the roost. I could not truly access my own father, without going through her. He loved her. I don't fault him for that. I only wish he could have understood how I felt.....how I felt like an outsider, when all I wanted was for him to be my dad, and I wanted to be his son.

I miss my dad.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Memory of Mother

Ruth Oraleen Tripp Glines Menge
July 28, 1935--July 27, 1981
My mother was born in the middle of the Great Depression. She was the seventh child (and fifth daughter) of Raymond and Lulu Tripp. She lost her mother at the age of eight. She was close to her five sisters: Dorothy, Norma, Esther, Inez, and Mildred.
She married Lester Glines. A daughter was stillborn.
In 1962 she married Charles Menge. On June 2, 1963, twins, Jerry Lee and Julie Ann, were born. They were premature, and they died within hours of birth. Her only surviving child, Robert (me) was born February 27, 1965. Her marriage to Charles ended in 1973.
In 1975 Ruth packed up her son and her belongings and returned to her hometown, Warsaw IL. It was not easy, and she struggled. She was a wonderful mother. No matter how bad things were, we had a home, and food. She took care of me. She did what she felt she needed to do in order for us to survive.
In 1980 she bought her first home. Mere weeks later, she fell ill with what was first diagnosed as hepatitis. After being sent to another hospital, she underwent surgery to remove her spleen, gall bladder, and pancreas. Before falling ill, she was 163 pounds. She was released from the hospital several weeks later at 107 pounds. As a result of the pancreas removal, she became diabetic. She learned to give herself insulin shots. She wanted me to learn....I hated needles, and at 15 I couldn't fathom giving my own mother shots. I wish I had learned.
More than once I thought she was dying right there at home. In one particular instance, ......it was around 3:30am when I was awakened by Mom crying out in terrible pain. She slept on a hide a bed.....a couch with a bed hidden inside. I was sleeping in her bedroom.....I moved in there several months after moving to the new house. To be closer to her. My room was upstairs. You get the idea.
Anyway, when I went out to the couch, she asked me to hold her. I did. As time went by, she began speaking to me in terms of her not being around anymore. I don't remember her exact words, but I think she was trying to prepare me. I began crying and saying for her not to talk like that. I pleaded with her to let me call for help. She didn't want me to. I was up with her until morning. I finally called our friend Beverly Miller and told her what had happened. She told me she would be there in a few minutes......and she was. It was a school day for me....I was in 10th grade at Warsaw High School.....I had no intention of going that day. Beverly arrived, and she said she would care for Mom....that I should go ahead and go to school...things were better after Bev got there. I will always be grateful. Bev passed away last year. She was a good friend to Mom.....and to me.
When Mom was so ill that she would be hospitalized, my Aunt Norma assumed responsibility for my care. As Mom's illness progressed, Norma gradually began taking care of other things for us. Mom would do what she could, and Norma was always there to help, and to take the lead when Mom couldn't. Mom's other sisters were always willing to help whenever they could.
Mom was gradually getting worse, but I did not fully understand the extent of it.
Late July of 81......not sure exactly, maybe around mid-month or so.....Mom went into the hospital for the last time. I had become accustomed to her going in for a couple weeks, every few months. So this time was not much different to me.
Except it was different. Mom would not recover this time. A few days after being admitted, her blood sugar level (a struggle for all diabetics) went from 155.....an acceptable level.....to 376......not acceptable. She fell into a diabetic coma.
The last time I saw my mother alive, I still held out hope for her recovery. It was July 27, around 3:30 or so in the afternoon. She was blind at this point. She could not see any of us. She could not speak. But she could hear us. As I spoke to her, she would squeeze my hand in response. I told her I loved her, and would be back the next day, her birthday.
Later that evening the phone rang at Norma's, where I was staying. It was the hospital. Norma needed to go back. She asked me if I wanted to go.
I said no.
It is the one regret I have.
At 9:45pm, Mom passed away.
At 12:45am, Norma came into the room where I was sleeping and told me that Mom had gone to be with Jesus.
After the initial shock, I tried to go back to sleep. I didn't sleep much.
The next few days were tough. I was 16.....and even with my aunts and family around.....I felt like I was alone. Mom was everything to me. Now she was gone. What happens to me?
In her will, Mom named Norma as my legal guardian. However, because my father was still living (although he nearly died in a train accident months before, but that's another story) he was regarded as my natural guardian, so I was to go live with him. I didn't want to go back to Arenzville, for many reasons.....not because I had a problem with Dad.....but I didn't want to be taken away from my home.
Warsaw was my home.
But I had no choice.
I went.
I miss her yet today. Twenty-eight years later. I wonder how things would be if she were here. I wonder, but I don't dwell.
Mom was a great woman, and a terrific mother.
I love you Mom.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Class reunion

This is a picture taken of several of the members of Warsaw (IL) High School Class of 1983. There are several who joined us at various times, who did not get their pictures taken.

Ingrid and I just returned from a reunion weekend. I had not seen these people since 1981. Due to my mother's death, I left Warsaw after sophomore year, and graduated from another school in 1983.

When we arrived in the area, the first person I made contact with was Melissa Keltner Mathis. Melissa and I missed being classmates by a year. She attended WHS for senior year only. I phoned her to let her know we were nearby, and about fifteen minutes later we met face to face, for the first time.

After getting settled in, more people began to arrive. Melinda Clothier Bosworth arrived from St. Louis with her daughter, Julie. As others flowed in, it became a festive party atmosphere. The afternoon was spent talking, laughing, and reminiscing. Several bottles of fine Missouri wine were opened, and consumed. Stories were told, good times, remembered, and wine and munchies polished off.

Around eight PM, a group of us totaling nine went to the Brewery restaurant. For many years Warsaw was the home of Burgemeister beer, and the brewery was located just north of town on the banks of the Mississippi River. The brewery closed in the late 60's and the building sat empty for years. Just a few years ago, it was remodeled into a restaurant. It is a great atmosphere, and really good food. There was a brand new local band playing called Hangover. They are mostly comprised of 17 and 18 year old guys. They played classic rock and newer hits too.

After dinner, we returned to the cabin with more stories, talking and laughing. I was up with the group until 3:15 AM, when the last ones not staying at the cabin left. I haven't had so much fun in a very long time.

A plan is in the works for another gathering in November, right before Thanksgiving and the same weekend as opening of deer season.

I think I will have more to say about this weekend in the coming days.

Until then, keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


We're getting ready to take a trip. We are headed to Warsaw IL, my hometown, for an informal reunion of the Warsaw High School Class of 1983. I did not graduate with them, due to moving away after sophomore year. A few have maintained contact over the years, with even a few more thanks to Facebook. We will be leaving within an hour...and returning late tomorrow (Sunday) evening. I will have more to say when I return.

Not counting this past January when I was injured and unable to work, this is the first (!) full weekend, Sat./Sun., that I have had off since I began working at Walmart. I am not complaining, mind you. I accept working on Saturdays in order to have Sundays off. When I began part time, I made clear that I wanted Sundays off, for worship. They have complied......except for six weeks last Aug/Sept when my boss would schedule me to come in at 1 pm. It did allow me to attend morning service. But, I digress.

I have not seen these people since 1981. I don't use this term as a rule............but I am excited to see them again. As I said, I will have more comments (and maybe pictures) when we get back.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Death....is a part of life"

The title is a quote from Forrest Gump. Sally Field, as his mom, says those words to him as she lays dying. It has always been true....I just hadn't heard it put that way until that movie.

I first began to learn about death at age seven, when my father's parents died within 3 months of each other. It continued through childhood, with the death of a classmate at age 13, and a classmate's mother the same year, along with a seven month old cousin.

At sixteen, I lost the person closest to me, my mother. It altered the course of my life. Everyone has stories like this; they are unique to the individual.

In the last two weeks, several celebrity deaths have made headlines. Some of those I have mentioned here. The latest: British acress Mollie Sugden, best known in America for her role as Mrs. Slocombe in "Are You Being Served?" and "Are You Being Served? Again!" She is the third cast member in the last two years to pass away.

Each person who passes away leaves grieving family and friends. In that regard, ordinary people and famous people are the same. We should appreciate and live the lives we have....with gratefulness, humility, and service to others.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The unexpected continues

Good day at church today. Always a pleasure to be with my church family.

Got home and the headlines on the internet was "TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead in Florida home." Commercials will never be the same........BILLY MAYS FOR OXI-CLEAN!!!!!!

Cooled off around here today. More of the same through most of the week. Good.

Cardinals lose 2 out of 3 games to Minnesota. Humph.

Joey Logano, a rookie, wins the rain shortened NASCAR race today.

I'm tired. Seems like I have been for years. Oh well.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big News Day

So far this week three popular entertainers have passed away. Tuesday, Ed McMahon. Today, Farrah Fawcett and, shockingly, Michael Jackson.

Farrah Fawcett was the iconic pin up girl of the 1970's. I was not one to have posters on my bedroom walls. But I had her poster. :-) She later showed that she was more than just a pretty face; she could act as well, evidenced by three Emmy nominations. Cancer, as with so many others, took her life at the too-young age of 62.

Michael Jackson most likely was the most talented of the Jackson clan; Janet runs a very close second. His albums "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" are some of his best work. The strangeness that engulfed the last half (or longer) of his life, sadly, is what some will remember most. Even with all that, he should be remembered as a talented performer. The King of Pop......gone at age 50.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day Off

Even though Thursday is my day off, I had figured on working today. There are four of us in the meat department @ Champaign Walmart. One of my co-workers lost his mother this past Sunday night; the funeral is tomorrow. Another (the least senior member of the team) took 3 days off, yesterday, today, and tomorrow for a family wedding. I asked about working today, and was told that the store manager does not want any overtime. Which today would have been for me. So, I am home today while the department lead works alone. Not ideal, but what can you do?

I still am stoked about yesterday and seeing my friends the Dowells. They came all the way from Virginia as a result of connecting with a few former church family members here in Rantoul. As I said yesterday, an example of the correct use of Facebook.

Tuesday evening, my niece Elexus hit a GRAND SLAM home run and pitch the first 3 innings of her game. Immediately after the homer, she was taken off the mound and put in center field. She had a five run lead at the time. The other team came back to win 12-11. Bummer. Another game tonight...if it doesn't rain.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Renewing Acquaintences

I worked today from 6 am to 3 pm. Not my normal shift, but it worked out wonderfully. I was able to visit with an old friend. Not old age wise, but in years known. Anyway, Facebook can be a great thing. It had been twenty years since I had seen Greg and his dear wife Mary. They are living in Virginia where Greg has pastored a church for the past six years. They had been on Facebook and found a few friends from the past on the site. In response, they took two days and came to Illinois to renew old friendships. Ingrid and I visited them at my aunt and uncle's home; they had visited other folks earlier in the day.

Ingrid and me with Mary and Greg Dowell.

At Greg's insistence, a pic of the two of us. Brothers in Christ.

All in all, a really good day. An example of how Facebook, used correctly, can be a positive thing.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Slowly doing better

During the past week, I have worked even in the midst of the gout attack. Today was the best day I've had since the initial trouble. A few more days and I'll be back to normal (or whatever normal is for me). It appears that I will be working one more day this week, and going in very early on Wednesday. My coworker in the meat dept. lost his mother Sunday night. She had been hospitalized for nearly 2 years. I am not sure at this time when he will return to work.

Went to a cookout tonight after work. Our church has a Men's Bible Study on the third Monday night of each month. We met at our pastor's house for food and bible study. I merely had to walk across the street in order to attend. Good food, for body and soul.

That's all for now. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fighting Through

Gout, that is. The nemesis of half my life began to rear its ugly head Sunday morning. I made it through church just fine. By mid afternoon, the pain and swelling was such that it was difficult to stand and walk. Even with various OTC meds, (for those of you in Rio Linda, that means over the counter medications...lol) by early the next morning I was in no condition to work. So I stayed home.....using ibuprofen to relieve the swelling....I was finally feeling better at around 8pm that night. So I went back to work today. The gout pain remains in the left ankle. I was able to get around at work, but took longer to get things done. The saying I have heard is true.....

When your feet (and ankles) hurt, your whole body hurts.

So here I sit in my recliner.......I like my recliner. :-)

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Softball Update

Elexus, my niece, played softball tonight. It was their first win of the season, 7-4. Elexus started at shortstop, and had two hits, a walk, a run scored, and a run batted in. She can really hit. It was the best game of the season so far.

I'm Tired and Weary

It's my day off. I'm tired...........physically and mentally. And even culturally.

I am tired of what America has become. No longer is there common sense, civility, restraint, or any other virtues. These days, the only thing that seems to matter............the number one "right" in America today..........is the right NOT to be offended. Certain people cannot say anything out loud, it seems, for fear of swift retribution. We see it politically, in business, in dealing in everyday life. Certain people cannot express opinions without fear of the "thought police" ruining them.

Now I agree that there are things that are harmful.............using disparaging words about ethnic groups, and such. Even with all the awareness of the last 20 years or so, there is still bullying. It is constantly said that "educating children about bullying being wrong will stop it."


Bullying still exists. Name calling still exists. Hazing still exists.

That's just one example. "Political correctness" is a stench in the nostrils of what America should be about. It is nothing more than the silencing of people who hold moral and conservative views.
What makes me maddest is this: The very same people (who tend to be liberal politically) who preach 'tolerance' and 'acceptance' will vociferously shout you down IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH THEM. They have no problem loudly and constantly pushing their ideas, opinions, and beliefs, but anyone who disagrees better shut up; they say "don't you push your ideas down my throat.' IT IS THEY WHO ARE PUSHING THEIR IDEAS DOWN MY THROAT, AND I AM SICK OF IT! IF THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO IT, SO DO I!!!!!!!!!

I am tired of media of every sort giving only one side of important issues. Why does this happen?
Because every person only cares about their own agenda. It used to be that reasonable people could come together for the common good. Not any more. The only thing that matters these days is our own agenda. Yes, there are times we have to be concerned about things that matter to us. But must we be SO self-centered that nothing or no one else matters? Is it necessary to hurt others so that we can have what we want?

America is done as a decent, moral, powerful country.

That's my opinion.
What's yours?

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Change of plans

After a long day of work, Ingrid and I were planning to go to my niece's 8:30pm (!) softball game.

At 7:55pm, it started raining. It is such that we are not now going.

Instead we have on the tv the show "18 Kids and Counting" on TLC. I can handle this show better than Kate and 8 plus Jon.....the show jumped the shark when the network.......the NETWORK.....paid for Kate's teeth whitening and tummy tuck. Plus she treats Jon like crap. Whatever he may have done (and he acknowledges bad decisions), I have never observed him disrespect her on the show like she disses him. Plus, no matter what anyone says, the children pick up on this. We are all products of the environment we were raised in. We take on in our own lives those things we observe in our parents (or whomever raised us). Remember the old line "do as I say, not as I do?" If we're honest, we all have times when we either heard that or feel like that. Those who recognize negative things and have resolved to make changes in their lives are to be commended. (Full disclosure: I am not a parent; but I have been a child, raised by a single mom, plus I have over 20 years of observing parents raising children.) I am not elevating myself to some pedestal. I'm just expressing my opinion. Which, since this is my blog, I am entitled to. I do not wish to push anything down anyone's throat, so to speak.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Now I have a headache.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

5-31-09 (Random Thoughts)

Today is Sunday.

A day of worship for some, the second day of the weekend for most.

For me, I see it mostly as a day of worship. In my current job, I work every Saturday in order to have Sunday off. Otherwise, the world's largest retailer would have me working both Saturday and Sunday and give me days off during the week. As it is, my days off are Sunday and Thursday.

I miss the routine of the former factory job. Monday-Friday, every once in a while a Saturday, no Sunday. The pay was better too. But that's the past.

I was going to make comments about politics, but I changed my mind.

Sometimes I feel like..........

*I don't have a brain in my head.
*I'm the biggest idiot on earth.
*I'm not worthy to breathe air.
*I'm just a drain on society.

It is at those times that I must remember......God loves me, no matter what I've done, or thought, or said. That is what matters.

Just remember......God is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to eternal life. That means you.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A new entry

Wow.....what a concept.

Most of my activity online has been on my Facebook page. Facebook has been great for me because I have found many friends and acquaintences I had lost touch with over the years. So it's been mainly there that you will find me. If I ever have any coherent thoughts again, I will post them here.

Tonight marks the end of the line for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. Seventeen years and one week after taking over for Johnny Carson, Leno steps aside for Conan O'Brien. My personal feeling is that had Carson been making the choice 17 years ago, David Letterman would have been his successor. Carson was pushed out by NBC, and the network chose Leno. Mainly because Letterman's late night show was turning a profit. The fact that Letterman continued on "Late Night" for 13 months after Leno got 'Tonight' speaks to his sense of loyalty. Finally, he could take it no more.

Just as the show changed when Leno took over, it will change again beginning Monday night when Conan becomes host. He has two things going for him right away: his band, the Max Weinberg 7, is making the move with him, and Andy Richter, his sidekick on Late Night for 7 years, is the new announcer.

As I did on Mr. Carson's last night, I will watch Leno's final show. I prefer Letterman, but for historical purposes I want to see how Leno goes out.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gout rears its ugly head

Being overweight (or in my case, morbidly obese), I have a condition known as gout. Crystallized particles collect on bones, resulting in terrible arthritic pain. I am thankful that it is on the top of my right foot. If it were in a toe, or the sole of the foot, I would be unable to move. As it is today, I am using a cane. I am able to get around; we just got back from Walmart about an hour ago. It has been a beautiful day, but still wintery cold, even with a temp hovering around 40.

Rantoul is being hit hard again. The local pork processing plant, employing 600, has been closed for close to a month, and most likely will close for good. Financial troubles.....just another in a long line of casualties in the job market around here. It has been 15 years since the air force base closed for good, and the town still struggles to bring jobs in. The climate in Illinois is not great for potential employers looking for locations. I keep wondering if I should go to the Amish country about an hour south of here, and buy a horse and buggy and REALLY simplify. But I digress.......

Having taken a very strong pain pill a few hours ago, I am beginning to nod off. Thanks for reading, and.....

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A legendary voice is silenced

Radio broadcasting pioneer Paul Harvey died earlier today at his winter home in Phoenix, at the age of 90. Mr. Harvey lost his wife and producer, Angel, last May, and never seemed to fully recover from the blow. He began his "News and Comment" on ABC radio in 1951, and he continued in the role (albeit in a limited capacity the last year) until his death. His program "The Rest of the Story" premiered in 1976. No word yet on what will happen to the broadcasts. His son Paul Jr. and Ron Chapman have filled in during Mr. Harvey's absences.

He is survived by his son Paul Aurandt.

Another legend is gone. People under 25, or even 30, do not understand the significance of losses like this. Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, George Burns, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson.......the list goes on during the past 35 years. I understand that everyone's frame of reference is different...........but I can't help thinking that this generation's popular performers cannot, and will not, measure up to the standard set by the aforementioned performers and their contemporaries.

Being a radio enthusiast, this is a loss that hits hard. Paul Harvey is the last link to the so-called 'golden era' of broadcasting. He is now gone. Even if we don't realize or sense it, we have all lost a national treasure.

Rest in peace, Mr. Harvey. You are now with your Lord, and with your Angel.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's your birthday.................

or in this case, mine. I was born in Keokuk, Iowa this day in 1965. Forty-four years ago.......@ 7:26 am. Son of Charles Arthur and Ruth Oraleen Tripp Menge. Raised an only child.....mom & dad lost twins, Jerry and Julie, in 1963. Moved from Warsaw IL to Arenzville IL in 1967 when dad transferred with the railroad. Parents divorced in 1973.....mom and I moved back to
Warsaw in 1975. Lived there until Mom's death in 1981.....moved in with Dad and stepmother in Arenzville....graduated HS in 1983. After washing out of army basic training, I moved to Springfield IL in January 1984 to attend community college. Got a part time job at Hardee's which became a full time job.....I dropped out of college. Continued working at the restaurant until i was let go in July 1987. After a futile attempt to find work, I moved to Rantoul IL in October 1987. Three days later, through a temp agency, I got work in a local factory. I was hired full time in January 1988, and remained there until the plant closed August 31, 2007.

I became involved with, and joined, Bible Baptist Church in Rantoul in November 1987. Easter Sunday 1988 I led singing for the first time. I have done so (with a few brief sabbaticals) ever since. I first met Ingrid in 1997 when she visited the church with her mother. We got to know each other later that year, after she came to faith in Jesus Christ. I proposed on Valentine's Day 1998, and we were married six months later.

Over the years we have had highs and lows. We have each lost a parent; yet we have had wonderful times with family and friends, and with each other. I am so grateful and thankful for my wife. I cannot adequately convey what she means to me.

This has turned into a brief biography of my life. I hope I have not bored you. Just some insight into this life placed here by God.

Happy Birthday to me.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not your ordinary day

Today started out like any other day. Went to work.....just another day at Walmart. And then................

3:30pm--I have five minutes left on my lunch period. The store manager makes an announcement over the sound system telling associates and customers to leave the building immediately. He then repeated the announcement. When I joined some of my co-workers, I learned that the reason for the evacuation was the fact that a bomb threat had been received. The police were called in; some blocked the entrances to the store, others (including a police dog) inspected the building. We were allowed back in the building at 4:35pm. The employees were asked to move their cars to the farthest away parking lot, which we did. After we were cleared to return, we got great parking places. ;-)

Things returned to normal pretty quickly, but I lost an hour where I could have gotten some work done. Oh well............I still got most everything done I needed to.

Tomorrow's another day. Perhaps it will be more routine. Perhaps not. Looking forward to it.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I don't deserve her.

Last night Ingrid and I attended a Valentine's Dinner at our church. We had the opportunity because another couple (who had already paid) was unable to attend. And so we were invited to take their place. It was a lot of fun, with a very nice catered meal and desserts prepared by the men of the church. Ingrid and I had planned to meet in Champaign after I got off work, to have dinner and see a movie. Thankfully, we were flexible enough to see a wonderful opportunity, and adapt.

Ingrid and I exchanged Valentine gifts late last night. She gave me a card {I forgot a card :-( } and I want to share with you what it says.

To My Husband

My definition of happiness is really pretty simple. It's being with you, my partner and best friend, sharing the everyday moments that shape our lives, the someday dreams that fill our hearts, and the remember-when conversations that tell the history of our love.

My definition of happiness is us.

I don't deserve her. But Thank God I have her.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abraham Lincoln: 1809-2009

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. He was a self made man, known for honesty, which is rare today, especially in politics. He was a lawyer, U.S. representative, U.S. Senate candidate, and eventually President. His entire presidency was wrapped up in war; specifically the War between the States. Nothing 'civil' about it. He was one month into his second term, about a week after Gen. Lee surrendered, when he died at the hands of an assassin. Today, he is regarded as one of our greatest Presidents; at the time, though, he was not seen that way. As the years went by, his actions were studied through the lens of history. I have visited the impressive museum in Springfield IL, and it is worth your time.

It is a very nice day today. Cooler than it was on Tuesday, but nice for February. I am off work today and tomorrow. Work is going fine. I am 97% recovered from my fall in December. I have some slight numbness around my left knee, but not in the joint itself. And sometimes I get a bit of pain in my lower back, which shows up about an hour before I go home. Overall, though, everything's cool.

In the last week since I joined Facebook, I have reconnected with several former classmates who I have not seen or talked to since high school. It has worked out well so far. Plus I have connected with those who I see occasionally and keep up with them during the week. So in this case, technology is really working well.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I am now on Facebook!

Who woulda thunk? Not only am I on Facebook, but so is Ingrid. So if you want to see us there, join Facebook yourself. To see our profiles, search "Robert Menge" or "Ingrid Menge" and get in on the fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

NoiseTrade Widget

It's been a while.....

since my last post. And in that time, there has been some upheaval in the state of Illinois. Rod Blagojevich was removed from office on January 3o, and Patrick J. Quinn was sworn in as the new governor. Blago pled his case before the impeachment trial in the IL senate on 1-30, but it was nothing more than a stump speech. But you know, he wasn't removed from office because of the federal allegations; that was just the tip of the iceberg. Illinois residents know that Blago tried to run the state by fiat; bypassing the legislature and trying to rule by himself. Yet they elected him twice because 1) the IL GOP could not muster a strong candidate, and 2) negative ads work! People believe negative ads. He used them well. Yet he never cared about IL located south of Interstate 80. He lives in Chicago. His office is in Chicago. He rarely appeared anywhere else in the state, especially in Springfield, the capital.

He says it's not his fault. He has done nothing wrong. He learned that attitude from his political benefactor: his father-in-law, Chicago alderman Dick Mell. Blago had delusions of grandeur; he really believed he could become a Presidental candidate.

I am glad he was removed. Yet all politicians have their problems. Their own personal agendas for one. But that's true of us all to some extent. We would be better off, all of us, if we would just work to do the right thing, in every area. It's tough. But it's worth striving for. What do you think?

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just Another Saturday Night

After a busy day at Walmart, I came home at 5:30pm. I'm still sore from the injury to my sciatic nerve that affects my left hip and knee, but I am able to work a full shift. My dear wife had a delicious supper ready; shrimp alfredo with bowtie pasta and broccoli, which is not my favorite vegetable, but tastes good in alfredo sauce. After the meal we settled in to watch my new favorite "reality" show, My Big Redneck Wedding on CMT.
Yes, admittedly, I could (and should) be doing other things the night before church. This show makes me laugh.....even with the bleeped out bad language. Watching this show makes you feel better about your own family. Check out the show...new episode next Saturday night at 7:30pm, repeats throughout the week.......it is cable, after all.

Our new president is busy on the job. Closing Guantanomo bay, releasing terrorists, restoring funding for abortions on overseas military bases,.....on and on. Some would say that Christians should not pray for this president. I disagree. We should pray for President Obama and his administration, and those who hold Cabinet positions of leadership. God placed him in this position, for this time in history. We do well to remember that. Of course, having said that, I favor a GOP ticket of LA Governor Bobby Jindal for Prez, and AK Gov. Sarah Palin for another run at VP.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Finally........Back to Work

I'm happy to report that indeed, I have been cleared to return to work, which I did after receiving the required release from my doctor this morning. Clocked in at 11:36 am.......doctor was running behind schedule, plus he suggested eating some food with my pain pill before going in. So I did. Left at 7pm........very tired. But very glad to be back on the job, and to STILL have my job. That was the important thing.
Now that I am back on schedule, I am off the next two days. My days off typically are Sunday, Thursday, and Friday. I am still part time, 32 hours a week. I will discuss more hours with management when I am completely recovered from the injury. And I received my 1 year evaluation today. My official 1 year anniversary is March 11. They do these early. I received very nice comments from my department asst. manager, and beginning the pay period that includes 3-11, I will get a 40 cent per hour raise. I am thankful.
I'm tired...........so it's time to rest. More later.
Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not quite yet

I reported to work at 10 am. I was told by personnel that without a doctor's release without restriction, I cannot return to work. I see the doctor tomorrow @ 9:30am, at which time I will implore him to give me said release. I cannot be off work any longer. I still have pain, which is to be expected, but it is manageable. So I need to get back to work. My co-workers in the meat dept. have been shouldering the load, and I need to get back and do my share.

Former Illinois senator Barack Hussein Obama is now the 44th President of the United States. May God's hand be upon him, and those who work for and with him, as they take on the task of governing this nation.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, January 19, 2009


If you want a feel good story today, go to the ESPN widget at the left, and click on Gainesville State. You've got to read this. It will bring tears to your eyes. Maybe it will inspire you to great things.

Just click it. It's worth the time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting Better

Since my last post I have been feeling better. I am able to walk short distances without the cane, which is a lot of improvement since Thursday. Of course, I am not yet fully recovered. That is made plain within about 2 minutes............but it is improvement. I am very thankful.

Today at our church a young boy, almost 8, who had received Christ as Savior last month, was baptized. We don't have many occasions like this, so when it happens, it is always special. In our church, we believe that baptism is an act of obedience to God which occurs AFTER the individual has trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation. Many churches teach sprinkling which, in their view, actually 'washes away sin,' then the person gets confirmed as a member of the church through classes typically taken as a young teen.

The previous 2 sundays I have sat on a stool behind the pulpit while leading worship. Today, before the first song, I symbolically put my cane on a nearby bench and walked to the pulpit, and had complete freedom of movement. I am grateful and thankful to God for this. I still have pain, but not nearly to the level of even 3 days ago. I go back to work at Walmart on Tuesday. I won't be 100% ready, but I must go back, or face losing my job. Which I cannot afford to have happen at this time. I see my doctor on Wednesday morning before work. If he had his way, I'm sure he would have me off work until I recover completely. These days, that's just not an option.

Good NFL playoff game in progress.........after 3 quarters: Arizona 24, Philadelphia 19.
Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore later, @ 5:30 central time.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Scout.com Football Recruiting Widget

Complete Scout.com Football Recruiting Coverage

Bitter Cold

Woke up this morning to bitter cold. It is, at the time of this post, -11 degrees in Rantoul. I don't recall it being this cold since at least 1996. Makes me want to stay home.

I still am having pain, especially in the left knee. I am getting concerned that I might not be fully ready to return to work............yet I must. And so I just go day by day, and see what happens.

How bout those Illini!!!!! Bruce Weber's team beat Michigan AT Michigan last night 66-51. Illinois' record is now 15-2. Michigan was ranked 25th. I wonder if the Illini will be ranked now.

Only 5 days to go until the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. No matter what your political views are, this is an historic occasion in America.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Men's Rules

Saw the doctor today. He says to continue the meds. I need to be ready to go back to work on Tuesday, January 20. My feeling is that the doctor does not believe I will be ready. I have to be ready; there is no other choice. The saga continues..........................

I was doing some cleaning and sorting today when I found this gem. Read, enjoy, and apply in everyday life.

Men's Rules
At last a guy has taken the time to write all this down. Finally, the guy's side of the story. We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now, here are the rules from the male side.
These are our rules! Please note, these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!
1. Men are not mind readers! As much as we try to be connected with you, men and women are not wired the same way. We are not alike. The differences are there for a reason.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides; let it be.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Crying is blackmail. 'Nuff said.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work!
1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days. Mainly because we don't remember most of what we say within a few hours of saying it.
1. If you won't dress like Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.
1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
Just don't ask us. Fewer hurt feelings that way.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry,.......we meant the other one.
1. You can either ask us to do something, or tell us how you want it done. Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
1. Christopher Columbus DID NOT need directions and neither do we.
1. All men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
For example, peach is a fruit, not a color! Pumpkin is also a fruit.
We have no idea what mauve is.
1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that. Rather vigorously and enthusiastically at times.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
1.If you ask a question you don't want an answer to,
expect an answer you don't want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine......Really.
1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as the infield fly rule, the shotgun formation, or the overtime shootout.
1. You have enough clothes.
1. You have too many shoes.
1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!
Thank you for reading this. Yes I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight.....but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.
Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A good day............finally

A pretty good day today. I have been able to sleep relatively well the past 2 nights, and I didn't have near as much pain today as I have previously. Hopefully, I've turned a corner in dealing with this injury.

My dog, Bobo, went to the vet today for his yearly distemper shot. I was surprised because when it came time for his turn to see the doctor, getting the shot didn't seem to bother him. But when the doc began to clip his claws,.............
well let's just say this wasn't his favorite part of the day. He is doing fine though, and he's my little buddy.

Later we went to lunch with Vernon, Ingrid's step-father,at his favorite Italian restaurant in Champaign, Biaggi's. He and Ursula (Ingrid's mom) were frequent diners at this establishment. The entire staff fussed over them and would bend over backwards (is that really possible?) to cater to their needs. Last year, when Ursula became sick, the restaurant would send food to their home. On the house. Gratis. Pro bono. Free.

After we got back to Rantoul, Ingrid and I went to our church to prepare the bulletins for tomorrow's services. Between the two of us, we type and print the bulletin folders, prayer memos, and any other inserts that have arrived during the week. This is just a part of the activities we are involved with in our church.

We just got done watching the 3rd season premiere of "My Big Redneck Wedding" on CMT. If only once, you MUST watch this show (Saturday nights 9e/8c). After seeing it, you will feel better about your own family..............I guaronteeeeeeeeeeee.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another day............another wasted day

Well, maybe not 'wasted,' but there is little to no change in my condition. Saw the doctor again today, and had more 'therapy' using heat, and will go back on Monday. Doc says that I
"did myself up good." Which means that it is more serious than even he had thought. He wants to continue with rest and therapy; since I am not insured, he wants to avoid an MRI until and unless absolutely necessary. That would be big bucks, that we simply don't have.

Less than an hour ago, the special committee, convened in the IL General Assembly for the purpose of impeaching the governor, voted unanimously to do so. But because the new General Assembly will be sworn in on Jan. 14, the vote may have to be taken all over again, and then sent to the Senate for action. In case you haven't heard, IL's governor is accused of corruption. Following in the footsteps of the great cases of corruption and wrongdoing over the past fifty years or so in the (once) great state of Illinois. The saga continues................

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On Leave

I am on a 2 week leave of absence from work. This should give me ample opportunity to recover from the injury I have. It's something that I'm not used to, with pain and such in the hip and knee. I do have gout, and I know that pain and the symptoms very well. Thankfully I have not had a major battle with gout for several months. I hope that will continue indefinitely.

After meeting with my pastor this morning to help choose worship songs for our Sunday morning church service, I came home and plopped down in my recliner. Sometime after 1 pm, I laid down in bed for a nap as the muscle relaxer kicked in.
I stayed there until 6 pm.

Patience is not something I have in abundance when it comes to my physical health. I must learn it in a hurry if I want to go back to my job. I took leave from 1-5 to 1-19. According to the paper I signed, I go back on Tuesday Jan. 20.......yep, the inauguration of a new US president. (More on that later) If for some reason I am not able to return to work on that very day, Walmart is not compelled to hold my job for me past that point. I need to get better..................fast.

It seems that the honeymoon is over for Mr. Obama already. One appointee withdraws, the fiasco over his former Senate seat.......etc. Look, I think Gov. Blagojevich is a blockhead, and NEVER should have been elected ONCE by the people of Illinois, much less TWICE. However, he has only been charged in a criminal complaint; he has not yet been indicted. As such, he is still the governor. Yes, I realize that it looks bad; I want him out as much as everyone else. But until he actually goes on trial and evidence is presented,..............he is still the governor. As such, he has the authority to make appointments to the Senate, and to sign bills, and to do what the office of governor calls for. I don't like it any better than anyone else, but I'm also EXTREMELY tired of the current system of American justice based on public opinion. Furthermore, I don't care what the US Senate's "rules" are, they cannot keep Mr. Burris out just because Blago appointed him. Harry Reid and every other senator should be ashamed of themselves for what is going on right now.

The only way any of this garbage in politics changes is IF WE THE PEOPLE STOP ELECTING THE SAME DIMWIT LIARS AND DEMAND CHANGE AND ACCOUNTABILITY. At ALL levels of government. If you really look closely at government these days, at all levels, you will find the stench of corruption, cronyism, racism, sexism, and all the other '-isms' still exist. It is frustrating because the vast majority of people are just trying to get by each day. We think we elect these people to represent us; but the longer they serve, the more entitled they believe they are. It's a vicious circle,.........the same circle my little dog Bobo runs around in until I let him out to poop. And right now.......in American politics.......the circle remains unbroken.

Those are my thoughts. What say you?

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Health Update

Went to see my doctor........or as they say today, "primary care physician." He remains so even though neither Ingrid or I are insured. Anyway, he pretty much confirmed the diagnosis and documented the story thoroughly. He will be treating me at least twice a week for the next 2 weeks. I am on a leave of absence from Walmart through January 19. I have told work I will return on Jan. 20. My job is secure to that point. If I inform them that I need more time, they are under no obligation to protect my job past that day. Employment in the 21st century in America...........

I got a new prescription of hydrocodone/apap tab 10-650mg, and a muscle relaxer, cyclobenzaprine, 10 mg. Yesterday before seeing the doc, Ingrid said that she didn't understand why I had not been given a muscle relaxer. This morning, without prior consultation, the doctor said the very same thing. That's my wife...............smart cookie.

I am writing this before taking the muscle relaxer for the first time........because Ingrid tells me that once I do...........I won't be doing much of anything. Like maybe going to la-la land.........LOL

That's today's update. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.