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 & 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 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