Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quick Post.

I had started a commentary post, but it is taking a little longer to write than I had planned, so I will work on it today and post it tomorrow. So to go with a completely different direction I am linking to a blog by one of my favorite sports writers, Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. He was in Dallas last week for the Falcons-Cowboys game. While there he took a tour of the new Cowboys Stadium. He took a lot of pictures and you can read about it here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Ownership.

After being on the market for two and a half years, the Chicago Cubs have new owners. Yesterday the Tribune Company sold the team and Wrigley Field to the Ricketts family for $845 million. Not a bad investment considering they bought the team from the Wrigleys in 1981 for $20.5 million. The price paid is the most for any major league team.

How successful will the Cubs be now? We will see what moves are made this winter. Hopefully Milton Bradley has played his last game. The Cubs have a decent core of players and don't really need a lot. There were too many injuries this past year and there really isn't much you can do about that. I remember getting my hopes up when the Tribune Company bought the team. Hopefully this year will be the one we have been waiting for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Still Trying.

This summer I mentioned a lawsuit being filed in California claiming a person was duped because the crunchberries in Captain Crunch with Crunchberries was not real fruit. The judge in the case rightfully rejected the lawsuit. A very similar suit has been filed again. This time the plaintiff is going after Kelloggs because there is no fruit in Froot Loops as well as the Crunchberries. California is probably the only state that will allow this type of suit. I am in favor of consumer protection laws but when they allow this type of nonsense they are not very effective. I haven't discovered who the attorney is who filed this suit. I would not be surprised to find out it is the same man. If it turns out to the same man, and he is shopping around for a person to put their name on these suits, then in my opinion he should be disbarred.

I mentioned yesterday about my copy of The Stand disappearing almost two years ago. Today actually made two years. This is the second anniversary of the day the She Who Left In The Middle Of The Night left. I am not sad about it. I have a wonderful relationship with My Lady. Life is good and like I hinted about yesterday will soon be getting even better.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fortune Cookie.

Last week I paid an old debt. A friend of mine got a used PlayStation 2 for me. When I asked him how much I owed him he told me to take him a Chinese restaurant. We had ate a few times at one in Dalton, but a few months ago they got an F from their inspection by the Board Of Health. I have a personal policy of not eating anywhere where they fail. The place did score higher on re-inspection, but I still won't go. We decided instead to go to Rome. Sam's Club had a DVD that I have been looking for for almost 2 years, Stephen King's The Stand. The Chinese Restaurant was across the street.

We ate and had a good time. When they brought our fortune cookies each one had two fortunes in them. I don't believe in the lucky numbers posted on the backs, but if you do which one would you go with? The first of the two fortunes read "You will enjoy doing something different this coming weekend". Well, I did something different, but I really didn't enjoy it. I got sick and missed two days work. Not very enjoyable. I am feeling better today and plan on going to work tonight. The second fortune was your standard "You will be coming into a fortune". Most of the time when you get something like that it is good for a laugh and not much else. However, in this case there is more truth to that. I am not getting a fortune but I will be getting something else that is worth a lot. As for exactly what that is, I am not going to say at this time. If everything goes right by the end of the year I will reveal the answer. The only comment I will make about it is it is something I never thought I would have. Life is good and getting better.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Doing The Right Thing.

Some people have a hard time apologizing. It doesn't matter how wrong they were, they simply don't want to admit it. It seems to be even harder for those who deal with the public. It is refreshing to find one who will actually issue an apology and reverse themselves. Linda Tisdale is the managing director of the Springfield Mass Transit District. She is the one who suspended the bus driver for wearing the pink tie. Wednesday she wrote a letter to the Illinois State-Journal Register. This is what she said:

I write to express my sincere and profound regret to the patrons of the Springfield Mass Transit District and the entire Springfield community regarding the events that occurred after an operator wore a pink tie with his uniform and my decision to suspend him. Unfortunately, my decision has left the mistaken impression that the SMTD and I do not support the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and, even more regrettably, has hurt and insulted the many families who have had to deal with this horrible disease.

My decision to discipline the employee was based entirely on an application of the SMTD policy that allows a deviation from the standard operator uniform only with prior approval. This policy is designed to assure that the attire of operators is appropriate and that all operators receive equal and even-handed treatment with respect to their uniforms.

When I made the decision, however, I failed to consider the importance to this community of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and the activities associated with it. I, too, have lost family and friends to cancer, and I understand the suffering and hardship breast cancer inflicts upon its victims and their families. Consequently, I am truly sorry that my decision appeared to indicate an unwillingness of the SMTD to participate in the breast cancer awareness activities or an insensitivity to those who are or who have been afflicted with breast cancer.

Because that was never my intention, I have reversed the suspension in an effort to resolve this situation and to correct the misunderstandings. All employees of the SMTD work hard each day to provide transportation services to the Springfield community. Hopefully, their diligence and commitment to this community will not be overshadowed by my initial decision.

Linda F. Tisdale
Managing director
Springfield Mass Transit District

It is nice that she has recognized the mistake and it has been corrected. Hopefully the lesson has been learned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mail For The Dead.

For about the last year I have been receiving mail addressed to my wife. Considering she has been dead for nine years I consider that rather strange. Even stranger is the fact that it is the address on it is my current address. She had been gone three years when I moved here. I am curious how that happened. The tale gets even better. Who is sending her mail? Baby manufactures. She is getting offers for diapers, baby insurance, and ads from childrens clothing stores. I laugh every time another one arrives. I did call an 800 number to inform them they were wasting their money. How did that work? I am getting even more mail for her. The coupons they send are not going to waste. One of my co-workers is expecting a baby so I just give her the letters.

One of the things I love about the internet is you can find almost anything here. I always search Google for images to match my posts. I typed in mailbox in a cemetery and found the image that you see. I figured somewhere there would be one and you can see it exists. I like going to cemetaries and looking at the different stones. Since I now have a digital camera I will be periodically I will be posting pictures of stones that I find interesting.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Zero Tolerance, Work Edition.

Zero tolerance isn't found only in schools. Bill Jones, a bus driver for the Springfield, Illinois Mass Transit District was suspended for one day without pay earlier this month for violating the District's dress code. The offending item of apparel? A pink tie. He was wearing it in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In Springfield St John's Hospital and The American Cancer Society have been promoting a "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign which encourages men to wear pink on Friday's during October. That didn't matter to the head of the Transit District. After his suspension a memo went out stating it was all right to wear pink, but the suspension and the day without pay is still in effect.

In one sense it is good that they recognized the over-reaction, but not to return the mans pay is ludicrous. Why is it a lot of bosses have a problem admitting that they made a mistake? Trying to fix it half way only compounds the problem. It ends up leading to unwanted publicity, including about a two minute discussion on The View. It is not clear whether he mentioned he was going to wear the tie before he did it. Regardless, docking him a days pay is overkill.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zero Tolerance, Zero Common Sense.

Last week a six year old boy in Delaware took one of his favorite possessions to school. It fell out of his pocket on the bus and a teacher asked for it. It was a boy scout camping tool, similar to what you see here. The reason the boy took it to school was to eat his lunch with it. Since it had a knife he immediately fell into the school systems zero tolerance policy. He was facing 45 days in what the school actually calls reform school. In my opinion, that is a very harsh punishment for a six year old. Had he been wearing a leather jacket with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth I would have agreed with them. However, this is a good student who occasionally likes wearing a suit and tie to school.

I do realize that schools have to be careful with what comes in. Yes, the tool has a knife. But since the boy was not a known troublemaker, what would have been wrong with simply keeping the tool and calling his mother to let her know? Blindly following a policy leads to this type of situation. Things should be addressed on a case by case situation. One size does not fit all. To give the school board credit, they acted immediately. The 45 days in reform school was canceled, and a new policy has been set for kindergartners and first graders. I applaud them for their approach to the problem. as for the little boy, he has learned a valuable lesson. He will always check with his mom before taking anything new to school.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Washing Windows.

Washing windows isn't too tough of a job. I worked in housekeeping in hospitals and nursing homes for 16 years and in that time I cleaned more than a few windows. On Dirty Jobs last night Mike Rowe washed a few. You could not pay me enough to clean where he was. Below is a picture of the building.
45 stories. They were 408 feet in the air. The building is in Honolulu, Hawaii. They don't have platforms to stand on. They swing down using block and tackle. I don't like heights to start with. There is no way I would have done it. One of the cameramen on the crew refused to go down. Mike told him he didn't blame him. On average, 12 men die each year on this type of job. One of the cameramen had a problem coming down. His hair got caught in the winch he was using to lower himself down. He was 200 feet in the air. He was told to remain as still as possible or he would lose a piece of his scalp. One of the window washing crew scaled down, gave the cameraman a quick haircut, and they made it safely down. This is my favorite Dirty Jobs episode so far. While looking for a picture of the building I came across a photo of Mike as he was starting the job.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Is This Allowed?

Almost two years ago Scott Zeilinski entered Nick's Short Stop Party Store in Clinton Township, Michigan. He was armed with a knife which he held to the throats of several employees and threatened to kill them. He took some cash and cigarettes. As he was leaving one of the employees grabbed a pistol and shot Scott in the back and the arm. He is now suing the store for $125,000 for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. He is currently serving an 8 to 22 year sentence.

I don't understand why this type of lawsuit is allowed. When someone is committing an illegal act and they get hurt that should be their problem. Scott is claiming emotional distress. What about the people who had a knife put to their throats? If anything, they should be suing him. He is not the first criminal to try this. I would like to think a reasonable jury would drop him like a hot potato, but when it comes to that there is no guarantee. Most states have laws prohibiting criminals from profiting from their crimes. Another law is needed to prevent this kind of nonsense.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time To Get Dirty Again.

I have mentioned before that Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel is my favorite television show. The new season starts tonight. Mike Rowe has had over 200 jobs since this series began. I am not sure what other jobs he can do, but it will be fun watching. I enjoy the way he respects the people who do those jobs. Some people look down on others because of their jobs. I experienced that during my marriage. I was working for K-Mart at that time. My mother-in-law kept asking my wife why I didn't go to a factory and get a real job. I always thought that working in retail was a real job. With the economy today my job at Wal-Mart is more secure than a lot of factory jobs. It doesn't matter what your occupation is. After all, if you weren't doing it someone would be.

I am very glad that I don't have some of the jobs that have been shown. If you think you have it rough imagine having some of those. One job that he had last year I was very interested in seeing. He worked at a rendering plant. In case you don't know, that is where they take dead animals, bones, fat, and grease and turn it into a usable substance. My Dad worked at one for several years. I knew a little about it from him, but it gave me a better understanding of what he had done.

There will be no Fifth grader question today. I have managed to misplace my calendar. Hopefully I will find it before tomorrow. I truly would lose my head if it wasn't attached.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I am not feeling well. I will be back Monday.