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Halle story

August 28th, 2014 No comments

I am a story guy. It’s great to be a Grandpa and be a story guy. My youngest, Kim, gave me three grandchildren and the oldest is Halle who is four. I probably haven’t mentioned, the home they were to move into blew up. The house was totally destroyed. It’s a sad story and I don’t write sad stories.

It was a freak accident. Two days before they were to move into their new home the terrazzo cement floors were in the process of being reconditioned and polished. The chemicals used on the floors were mixed improperly and a spark from a rheostat ignited the floors. It was just when the worker went out the door and boom. It was all over the news and it’s a blessing no one was killed.

Halle spent the night with me last Saturday after her first week in school. We make a game at nighttime, making shadows with our hands with flashlights, and sneak up late to go to sleep. One of the last things she asked before going down for the final count is “Papa, tell me a story”.

Once there was this boy named “Oscar”. It was Oscars’ first week in School and, unfortunately, he had a humongous nose. All his short life he lived with this huge nose, but it was especially tough his first year in school. Normally he was by himself and sat at the playground, on the bench, watching the others play. The children did not pay any attention to him because he looked funny. One day, a few weeks after school had started, they were having an end of the week Class Barbeque. Oscar was at his usual place on the bench by himself. He smelled something funny. got up and followed the smell and found a fire had started in trash by the gas grill they were using. He went to the cooler, took the sodas out of it, lifted it up and poured the ice water on the fire. Oscar became a hero and everyone was saved because of his huge nose and ability to smell trouble.

So I said to Halle, “What did you think of that story?”

“That was a good story Papa. You know what I wish?”
“What do you wish honey” I said.
“I wish I would have been a friend to Oscar.”
“That’s nice. And you would have been a good friend too.” I replied.
“Yea, I would. And maybe our house wouldn’t have blown up.”
Spyder McCluskey – Great mystery writer, former hockey player, living in the Keys

WEiRd WeDneSDaY, August 27, 2014

August 27th, 2014 No comments

We are awash in weird. It surrounds us. It engulfs us. Ultimately it may drown us. In the meantime, let’s have a laugh on the morons and criminals who share our air. Usedtoy and I participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge this week. It didn’t work out so well for one other participant. Other do-gooders this week include the granny who took down a criminal, then stood over him and taunted him till the cops came. Love it. Besides that we have the disgruntled babysitter who torched her clients home, jail pizza spiced with pepper spray, a guy who faked his own kidnapping so he didn’t have to go out with his GF, and last but not least, the lady who was shot in the back by her friend on the way to pawn the gun. Gotta love it. It’s Weird Wednesday at Bolognabrain.com. Hey, now…

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 25th, 2014 No comments

I’ve been watching this event take place on Facebook the last couple weeks, thinking if I just keep my mouth shut and stay under the radar, no one will notice me. It worked for a while but yesterday mi amigo, Bahama Bob, threw my name out there and, staying within the rules, I am participating within 24 hours. I’ll have my challenges, too.

I realized I was fairly ignorant about ALS. I had heard of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but didn’t know very much about it. This is what the ALS web site has to say:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Pretty technical, but as you can see it is uncomfortable and, ultimately, fatal.

There has been some negativity regarding this fundraising effort for ALS. They have referred to it as “Slacktivism or Clicktivism”; activities that take little time and nominal effort. Still, it’s difficult to dismiss the results. Estimates of the fundraising, since the end of July, claim donations of nearly 22 million dollars compared to less than 2 million during the same period last year.

The celebrity aspect has also been overwhelming. Everyone from former President George Bush to Lady Gaga, Jennifer Anniston to Eminem, the “Justins”, Timberlake and Bieber, everyone but me, it seems, and today I correct that. BTW… Mr. Obama passed in favor of a donation. I intend to participate and donate.

Donations are the intended result. Awareness and education regarding ALS are positive bi-products of this effort. In the end… we all win. So either open your wallet or get wet. I’m doing both.

Feel Good Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22nd, 2014 No comments

American Legion

In 1970 I received my letter from Uncle Sam inviting me to come have a physical and prepare to serve my nation in whatever manner he deemed fit. Most draftees in those days saw time in Viet Nam. Too many never returned.

It was a unique era in American history. It was an unpopular military conflict and I didn’t want to go to Viet Nam. I figured with my luck I would buy it in some rice paddy half way around the world. After all, people die every day in auto accidents, when elevator cables snap; reasons for which we have no control. I just figured my number would be up if I purposely put myself in the line of fire.

Luckily, depending on how you look at it, I failed my physical with high blood pressure. They gave me a one year medical deferment and a year later re-classified me as 4-F. I don’t know all the technical jargon but I think 4-F means women and children go to war before me.

My father was a veteran and did two stints in the Army during WW ll. For him it was the best his life had been. It was during the years after the depression, coming from a family of 12 brothers and sisters; he always loved the clean clothes and hot meals. He thrived in the military. I’m not sure I would have.

Now, all these years later, I have just joined the American Legion. As a son of the American Legion I can support our veterans in ways our government does not always accomplish. As an added benefit, there is the social aspect of The Legion. I have many friends there who would encourage me to stop by for a drink. I never did.

I didn’t think I had any business there, not being a Vet. I didn’t know about The Sons. I am humbled to acknowledge the sacrifices of all who served and defended our great nation and hope I can bring some positives to this unique group using my meagre talents.

I have great friends and family who have served and I couldn’t be more proud. Spyder McCluskey re-defined the Navy. His son, Captain America, is a Marine. One son-in-law is currently in S. Korea serving in the Army the other is an Air Force veteran. My good friends Mr. and Mrs. Colonel from West Point and their family are all worthy of our thanks.

So it’s Feel Good Friday. I am feeling good about having the opportunity to support the efforts of friends and family who do their best to ensure prosperity and freedom for the rest of us. I am supporting the United States military today, and I feel good about it.

WEiRd WeDneSDaY, August 20, 2014

August 20th, 2014 No comments

It is a far, far weirder thing we do than we have ever done. It’s that time again, friends, and we have some tasty tidbits for you today. Have you had your tidbit lately? We offer lots of “boobie” stories as we keep you abreast of all the news. From the woman filming porn in a church to the weight management doctor so proud of her chest she had people “motorboat” her, to the pro life activist who says bare breasts promote gay pride, we got it going on. Then to fill out the show we have the groom who faked his death to get out of his wedding, the fishy bomb at the pop festival and last but not least, the guy arrested while wearing a t-shirt with a photo of his last mug shot. Oh, baby… it’s Weird Wednesday at Bolognabrain.com…

Where is the “Bully Pulpit”?

August 19th, 2014 No comments

America is losing her identity. There seems to be no one left who stands up and represent us. There is no one left but all of us. We have become complacent and uninformed. To our American detriment, our Legislators (mostly attorneys} are catering to their self-interests. Legislators, who are supposed to represent us, instead partner with the wealthy and their lobbyists until Congress is no longer recognizable on either side of the aisle.

This is not our first rodeo with corruption. In the early part of the 20th century and latter part of the 19th century, during the industrial revolution, our representatives were handpicked by industry and Americans lost their footing. What was the key to pulling us out this quagmire? In one word… LEADERSHIP.

Option 1:
We could resurrect Teddy Roosevelt, though there are two graves, one for him and another deep hole just for his testicles.

Option 2:
Get informed and vote. At this point we are the only ones capable of creating change. Get up. Get involved and reclaim this country…
Spyder McCluskey… Great mystery writer, former hockey player, living in the Keys.

Feel Good Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15th, 2014 No comments

All over America, kids and families are getting ready for the return to school. This morning I was driving down a street that happens to be my newest, most efficient route from here to there. Suddenly there were cars and kids everywhere and I realized my new route may not always be the best route.

It’s an analogy for our lives. The most efficient solution still may not be the best solution. How often do we take the easy way instead of the best way? Of course sometimes we don’t recognize the best solution at the moment and it’s understandable that we opt for the easy way out.

When education is on the line we cannot take the easy way out. It is imperative that our children receive quality educations. The future of our nation depends on it. Oil is not the answer. Technology is not the answer. Smart kids who possess the ability to think and reason hold the key to the success and strength of our people.

So as kids head back to school, I feel good about the teachers we have directing these young lives and instructing them in the lessons they will need to succeed in life.

Now if we can just get our national, state and local politicians to put the pieces in place to insure those teachers can do their jobs to the best of their abilities, we can anticipate the brighter future we all want for ourselves and our posterity.

Alright kids. That’s the first bell. Time to get in your seats.

WEiRd WeDneSDaY, August 13, 2014

August 13th, 2014 No comments

Iron stomachs and fertile imaginations are what you need to bring to Weird Wednesday at Bolognabrain.com. Todays stories range from UsedToys’ brief tribute to Robin Williams. Then all hell breaks loose with stories of drunken teachers showing up first day of school with no pants, a Chinaman walking around with a knife sticking out of his head, the actress who had her ribs surgically removed so she’d look skinnier, the family kicked out of a restaurant for changing the baby’s diaper at the table and… last but not least… the man arrested for making ghost noises in a cemetery. Didn’t know that was against any law except the one defining good taste. Oh well… You know why you come here on Wednesdays. It’s weird and wonderful… Enjoy.


August 11th, 2014 No comments

A few days ago I needed a glass baking dish for something I was making for friends who were coming over for dinner. I went to a number of really cheap places like Dollar General and some of the thrift and consignment shops near my home. I didn’t find what I was looking for so I eventually ended up at K-Mart.

I went straight to housewares, found what I was looking for priced at about $8, thought that was a reasonable price so I got it and proceeded to check-out. That’s where the issue came up and provided the subject matter for this post.

You see, in the last few years I have decided it is important to do little things to impact our lives and planet in a more positive way. I understand we can’t all do everything, but we can all do something. My idea was to use less plastic and paper. There is so much that gets trashed, fills landfills and litters our streets and highways I thought I can make a difference.

At Publix, I have them use fewer bags. Put it all in one if you can. Then I re-use them for my trash can, under the sink. It’s not a lot but it’s my small part of being the solution rather than the problem.

So back to K-Mart. When I checked out and paid my 8 bucks for the baking dish. This is the receipt and additional trash they printed out and sent with me. Receipts
Around the world rainforests and old growth forests are being decimated for wood pulp for paper products as well as creating space for more condos.

That’s really what we need… more condos.

When Neil Armstrong proclaimed, as he stepped on to the surface of the moon… “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, he hit upon an idea that has many connotations. My pledge to use less plastic and paper is my small step towards a global goal.

I don’t want to just pick on K-Mart, but they are an easy target. There are so many other businesses overwhelming us will products that never get recycled. They all need to cut it out. One I hate the most is all the junk mail I get in my actual, as opposed to virtual, mailbox. All that paper, not to mention the postage, is a waste. If I want what you have, I’ll come get it. Clogging up my mailbox with unwanted, unrequested crap is a waste of time, money and materials. Cut it out.

Mine is a small effort. Making the world better for future generations is a goal we should all embrace. It’s our kids. Do you do anything to make the world a better place? You should.

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Feel Good Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8th, 2014 No comments

Last night a bunch of us were talking about places we have lived. I have a fairly eclectic group of friends who range across the country from north to south and east to west.

Personally, I was born and raised in SW Ohio. It is a great place to grow up and, typically, if I meet someone new and I like them immediately, I soon find out they are from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, W. Virginia, etc. That midwestern segment of America must have something in the water that just makes people nice.

So I moved from Ohio to Frankfort, Kentucky to Owensboro, Kentucky; WFKY radio to WVJS radio. Then back to Ohio for a year, then to Florida for a year. Then to Cape Cod for a couple years, wintering in the south and summering in the North, then back to Florida where, so far, I have lived happily ever after.

It was snowing and nearing blizzard conditions when I left Ohio back in January 1975, and the further south I got, the more I liked it. The jacket came off in Tennessee. The flannel shirt came off before Atlanta and I cut the legs off my jeans and made cutoffs somewhere around Gainesville.

When I got here I hooked up with some other Ohio boys and we ended up going swimming. Not in the ocean, of course. We went to a gravel pit. Later that day someone told me there were 2000 places to get a drink in Ft Lauderdale. I thought to myself, I’m home. I can work in this town for a long time. Turns out I was right.

Now I know I’ve said it before, but there are few things I look forward to more than opening my curtains in the morning and looking out at the tennis courts and palm trees.

Makes me feel good. And isn’t that what this Friday post is all about? Hope you have a great weekend. Feel good.

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