Which way did he go….

Recently I heard on the news that the car companies are coming out with a so called “black box” for your car.  It doesn’t record the conversation in the car I don’t believe but it does record the car’s vitals.  Vitals like speed, direction, turns, time of day, braking and etc.  It may, and I don’t remember, record where the car’s been much like a GPS would.  Seems as if it would though?!?  Regardless I can hear it now.  The American public going crazy that Uncle Sam is spying on them. I believe the only reason for this is to make it easier in the event of accidents.  Assisting in the investigation of and feeding data back to the car companies to improve the safety of the vehicles we drive.  But there are always going to be the paranoid few that swear the Feds want to know their movements.  That they’re activities are so interesting that they are cause for constant surveillance.  If the Feds want to know what your doing and where your going they can follow you, or simpler yet, they can track the GPS in your pocket.  Damn near every warm body in the US carries a cell phone and if they want to know what you’re doing and where your going it’s as easy tapping into your account.  Let the bragging begin from your buddies about how they “disconnected it”.  Whoo don’t tell anyone.  You know if we had GPS on our children we wouldn’t have so many missing.  But let’s not go into that.  Quite honestly I don’t care if they track me, hell they can ride along if they want.  I’d enjoy the company.  These boxes are still in the trial stage and will probably not be introduced for a model year or two.  People need not worry though, recently a 767 jetliner disappeared and it had four black boxes, and no one can find it.


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

Monkey Officially Gone, Our Trip To “The Big House”….

100_0688Seven years ago I traveled to the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a football game as a Birthday present from my wife and to myself.  The trip was great, not a flaw or minute’s problem with any of it, except for the ballgame.  Michigan was upset that day by a good Appalachian State team.  Now it’s the not the upset of the century that people think it was as AppState was a good football team at that time, three National titles in a row in their division and about seven future pro’s on the team.  But that’s subject for another debate.

Back in July I decided I had to go again and this time around was another story.  It was noon kickoff which I love.  Isn’t it tradition to kick at noon?  Michigan started early to leave little doubt that this day was going to be theirs.  They clicked on all cylinders both sides of the ball and had a 35-0 halftime lead that eventually ended at 52-14 even though they pulled most of their starters midway through the 3rd quarter.  My wife and I enjoyed the total game experience, shopped, tailgated, yelled, sang “The Victor’s” a thousand times, did the wave, enjoyed the band concert after the game, took pictures of everything and a hundred other things.  The weather that had been a concern all week turned out to be a non-factor, it was great, sunny, warm and NO humidity.  The wonderful thing was that with the game in hand most of the way you could sit, kind of relax and really enjoy the stadium experience.  Seemed we were one of the last one’s to leave.  We were wandering around Ann Arbor and the campus the day before and stumbled upon the band practicing and getting ready for the opening game the next day.  We stopped, got out and wandered around enjoying the sounds from Elbel Field where they practice, rightly named after Louis Elbel who wrote the fight song “The Victors”.  My wife said this was one of her favorite parts of the trip.

2013-09-14_10-48-00_771After the game when we were returning to the car and the tailgates going on, it seemed to me to be kind of subdued.  Not the usual yelling, singing, music blaring and such.  There was some for sure, but most everyone was just kind of kicked back chilling out.  My thought was that everyone was now relieved that the monkey was removed from our backs. The so called “Horror” from seven years ago was gone.  It just didn’t seem to be the time for cheering or smack talk.  I was as happy as they were, not so much from seeing a dominating game effort, but the fact that maybe the AppState back of your mind what if was finally over.  Technically speaking Michigan had to do exactly what they did this day, meaning they had to route AppState.  You see scheduling them again was a no win situation, but in hindsight I’m glad they did.  If they beat you again, OMG!  If you win close there would still be doubters.  So the only way to see the chimp gone was to beat them soundly, which was nothing to brag about, but you didn’t have to listen to any nay-sayers any longer.  Some say that the game seven years ago was the beginning of Michigan Football’s downslide that we have seen over these past 5-6 years, and maybe it was.  With this game and chapter behind us, hopefully this can be the start of the programs resurgence and get back to Michigan Football as it once was!!!


Posted in Michigan Football | Leave a comment

What a Difference a Year Makes….

August 2013

August 2013

August 2014

August 2014


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

Hang up on Technology….

Technology has taken huge leaps in upgrades and improvements in the last few years, and new gadgets and ideas continually flood the market. But with more people being ever dependent on smartphones, tablets and social networks, is the connectivity between individuals suffering?

Dr. Ted Stiger is a clinical psychologist who believes there is a fine line between having and using technology, and being addicted to it on an unhealthy level.

“People can easily get caught up in technology,” Stiger said. “If someone values a gadget more than a person, it then becomes a problem.”

All the reliance on gadgets and social networking has changed some perspecitve on the meaning of friendship and the importance of actual social interaction.

cell phone friends“It’s a sign of the times seeing how relationships and friendships are defined on social networks,” Stiger said. “The question that needs to be asked is if friends are designated for quality or quantity?”

Some people would merit that technology faciliates relationships, Stiger said, which can be true, and sometimes a relationship can form with the help of technology. Friendships in social networks can be a different area of needs altogether in a relationship aspect.

“What is the gratification in having hundreds of friends on a social network, but not knowing any of them personally or on a deeper level?” Stiger said. “With that many friends but no quality friendships, all you get is an artificial or superficial sense of self esteem. Is the connection through technology going to facilitate further deeper connections, or is it a matter of having more friends than someone else?”

Not only can technology be used to facilitate friendships, it also can be used to avoid actual human interaction.

“I can use technology to protect myself from the risk of close relationships,” Stiger said. “Those type of relationships can lead to feelings of loss or rejection, and can be avoided through technology.”

So why the need to be engaged in a device or gadget 24-7? Stiger said people have been trying to get ahead in the rat race, and leaps in technology have made the race even quicker.

“Technology has added to the race, therefore making a more competitive rat,” Stiger said. “The problem is if you’re just involved in technology and racing along with the other rats, that isn’t a very good or exciting existence.”

When it comes to the usefulness of gadgets, one device can often take the place of many, with Internet access, phone capabilities and even cameras built into a handheld connect-all.

“The key is to reach a balance with your devices and the other aspects of your life,” Stiger said. “Be self aware. Take notice of when you should be on your device, and when it shouldn’t be out. Understanding that technology is a given and needed for most occupations is common, but being able to see there are more important things then checking for email or sending messages or playing games all the time is very important.”

Dependency on gadgets can lead to health issues and have negative effects on relationships, Stiger said. The culture today is stressed, and in this fast-paced world it is important to keep up, but peopler need to realize life is more than trying to reach the next level on Angry Birds or Candy Crush.

“I challenge people to be able to put away the phone or computer and take a deep breath and look around,” Stiger said. “Disconnect yourself and look out a window, meet with friends and leave your phone at home, have human interactions.”

Stiger also warned of the negative effects overuse of technology and games can have on children.

“Make sure children aren’t more interested in games and technology than an actual person,” Stiger said. “There are distractions everywhere 24 hours a day. Set limits for your children. It’s great for them to keep up with technology and advancements, but communication without technology has to occur.”

Parents need to make sure they aren’t using technology as a “babysitter” for their kids, and Stiger explained why personal interaction without devices is so important for developing youngsters.

“Children need to learn how to read body language and how to engage with another person,” Stiger said. “They learn to read expressions through human interaction and playing games with friends and parents, not through phones or video games or even television.

“I think technology use is something that needs to be monitored closely by all parents. Another disconnect occurs when parents have their own technology, like cell phones, and children have their own such as video games, and each are disconnected from each other by not being involved in their own type of technology and not paying attention to one another.”

Stiger recommends setting limits to technology time and increasing personal interaction with children as much as possible.

“Technology keeps developing, and we try to keep up with it, but it’s important to notice the things in life that are all around you by turning off the cell phone and focusing on people,” Stiger said. “Notice how you feel when you leave your phone at home. If it’s effecting emotional responses, sleep, or relationships with others, it’s time to put the gadgets away and focus on what’s around you.”

These gadgets won’t be disappearing any time soon, so finding a happy balance between life and technology use will most likely continue to be a struggle as devices become faster and more connected every day. Remember to stop and enjoy what is actually happening in the moment, without having to check or update a Facebook or Twitter account.


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

It’s Not Michelle’s Fault….

More often than I care too I have to stop to fuel up in the mornings.  I remember one time riding with my Dad way back in the early 70’s passing by the gas stations, there were no convenience stores at that time, that were having gas wars.  How many folks remember those?  Anyway there were signs in front of almost every one of them that stated “fill any tank $2.00”.  What I wouldn’t do to see a few of those posted now.  Anyway while I stand in the cold and wait while the tank fills I see car after car stopping up by the store, a child or two hopping out and into the store.  What are they getting?  Mountain Dews, Cokes, chips, candy, doughnuts, etc.  Did I mention these are school mornings?  Is this their breakfast or lunch or what?  I can’t believe a parent would do this.  Why?  What happened to cereal and a glass of orange juice to start the day?  Years back when you went to school, you went to school.  There was no stopping for snacks.  What the school had for lunch or what Mom packed in a brown bag was it.  Hell the thought of stopping for a snack would never cross your mind much less come out of your mouth.  Michelle Obama instituted a program to get healthier foods into the schools, I don’t know the outcome but I’m sure it met with resistance in more than a few places.  Programs like this rarely make any real impact, even under the best of circumstances, but you got to respect the effort.  The effort to get our young people healthier is not Michelle Obama’s responsibility, It’s the parents, and look at what their doing.  I’d bet these same young ones are in front of the TV or video game station immediately after school as well.  Snack close at hand.  I never see kids running through the neighborhood, I never see them riding bikes, I never see them playing pick up games of anything.  Even on Saturday’s.  Where are they?  All the things that keep you in somewhat good health regardless of what you ate are gone.  All gone because Mom and Dad are so afraid to take the kids off their hip and turn them loose for a few minutes and let them be kids.  Of course they would have to put their cell phones down for a few minutes.   And God forbid they should get out of sight,  goodness they may miss a tweet from some self centered idol.  Michelle I know you get bashed for a lot of things but the health and welfare of our nation’s youth is not your fault or responsibility.  But I appreciate the effort.


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

Lawsuits in the news….

So a guy goes to a McDonald’s drive thru and gets whatever he gets.  Must have been messy meal because he asked for extra napkins, and the manager refused.  His order was a one napkin order and that’s what he got.  Well one thing led to another, it got ugly and now the man is suing McDonald’s for $50,000.00 for emotional distress.


Teenage girl can hang at home because of the folks unreasonable requests.  You know, dishes, cleaning and generally pulling her share of the weight around the house. Chores young folks should do when living under someone else’s roof.  So out she moves to a friend’s house.  Now she’s filed a lawsuit against the folks for college tuition and living expenses.


Parents buy junior a bike for whatever reason.  Dad assembles it and off junior goes, “into the night” to ride it.  He goes down a hill, I did mention “at night” didn’t I, loses control of it and crashes into a light pole at the bottom.  Now the boy’s parents are suing the bicycle manufacturer for damages because there was no warning on the carton or in the instructions warning against this.


Young lady get arrested for DUI after a night of whatever.  She’s booked and has a mug shot taken.  Apparently this young lady is a looker and some website reposted her mug shot picture stating she was ‘Hot”. Well she is suing this website for defamation of her character.


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

Where’ve I been….

My God it’s been over a month since I last posted.  So much goes on in a persons life that every once in a while it catches up with them that all the usual things suddenly go to the back burner and the new take over.  I guess the newest thing is my Grandson Zander.  That boy is outstanding.  I see him enough but not enough if you know what I mean.  As much as you want to I’m not going to be that Grandparent who is an every weekend all weekend pest.  I’ll pick my moments and that suits me just fine. His folks got it handled, believe me they are all in.  Keep the pictures coming though.

As Alice Cooper used to say, “Schools out for summer”, or been out, and one thing that caught my attention over the graduation days was this one young man who was, get this, offered scholarships to all eight Ivy League schools, and a few outside big name University’s to boot.  Think about that Alice, a full ride of his choice to any one of those eight prestigious institutions.  Never did hear what one he chose.

Did I mention that I am no fan of graduations from any grade outside of leaving High School or College?  Like my son in law frequently says, “participation trophy”.  A kindergarten graduation?? Get real.

Our dog’s hearing is almost gone.  It’s sad that you can walk right behind him with ease and he has no idea your coming.  What I don’t like is him heading somewhere I don’t want him to go and having to yell his name over and over in ever increasing decibels until you have to actually go get him from whatever it is that he headed to.  At times he gets rather barky, and I mean Mr. Barky Schnauzer.  I wonder what that sounds like to him?  Mark!  Mark!  Sure doesn’t sound like that to me, sharp as ever.  That was cruel.

When summer was out way back during my formative teenage years all I wanted was to earn money and spend money.  I had paper routes two at a time, (early morning ones too), I washed mail trucks at the Post Office, cut grass, shoveled snow, pumped gas, you name it.  I use to cut my sister’s yard, which with that size yard was an all day event with a push mower, for $5.  Yes $5.  And I was happy to get it.  Really!  That was big money back then.  Two nights spending cash.  I didn’t even think of crying over that amount, I’d do most anything to make a buck.  You see I didn’t mind working all day if it meant having spending money for the night.  In 1978, one of my formative years, US Labor Bureau statistics showed that 3 in 4 teenagers had a summer job, now it’s 4 in 10.  It’s declined ever since, even in the boom years of the late 90’s.  How do the young folks get such nice cars, clothes, and cell phones if their not working?  Participation trophy.  Mom and Dad got them one for being born!!!

Formative years working story; Onetime during the winter we had a large snowfall, probably a couple of feet.  I usually cleared the neighbor lady’s porch, steps, walkway to the sidewalk, the sidewalk in front of the house and the walkway from the sidewalk to the street.  Anything near the street was tough after the street plows came through.  Anyway after this particular clearing which took some time I went to the door to collect whatever payment she chose to give me.  You see back then it wasn’t “how much ya going to give me” before you started, it was, do the job and take what they offered, no questions asked.  Well anyway she gave me a quarter.  I took it and normally I didn’t complain, but a quarter? Come on.  I told my Dad and he told she was old and didn’t really understand the work involved and the proper pay.  You know what, the next snowfall I was right back there shoveling.  I remember one time she paid me a dime for something.  Another neighbor paid me $3 an hour, I even had to shovel the patio for their dog, no matter $3 an hour was high cotton.

Read the book “To Kill a Mockingbird”.  It’s excellent.


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

Sign of the times….









Saw this near the beach.  Same Church, same day, same time, different sides of the same sign.  I especially like the little “Jesus Saves” sign next to it, nice touch.


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

You know I’m no fan….

I’m no fan of Nancy Grace by any stretch of the imagination.  She is the definition of tabloid television I don’t care what you say. She exploits the victims and accused, in my opinion, to further her shows ratings.  How come everything on the screen, no matter the importance, is “Breaking News”?  One thing I always joke about is to never trust anyone with two first names, well I may make an exception in this case.  Nancy has also proclaimed herself the “advocate for justice”.  Recently she went behind bars of soome prison to interview a group of women inmates.  I have no idea what they did but these ladies were all tattoos and very heavy makeup.  Female thugs most would say.  Anyway in the commercials they all ended up crying and it gets very emotional.  Two thoughts pop to mind.  One, on the outside Nancy would be crucifying these same ladies for whatever they did night after night if given the chance.  And two, if she is the real “advocate for justice” why is it she never sides with the defendant.  Hell, there are innocent people being accused of wrong doing.  Face facts if your being tried for anything and Nancy is in the courtroom your dead meat.



Posted in general posting | Leave a comment

Bigotry in the Church, True Story….

A long distance friend of mine whom I speak to time to time related this story to me some time back and it really makes me think about the people around us and how prejudices die hard.  My friend, I’ll call M, is of the Jewish faith.  Now I have no dog in any fight and what religion a person chooses if fine with me. Who am I to disapprove?  Anyway M is also a Rabbi and had a synagogue but over time the Jewish community where he lived shrunk to the point it was just best to close it and move on.  And so he did.  He did services for other synagogues when he could, but the travel to and from them was getting further and further and even that slowly came to a halt after a while.  M was very active in the community and his wife had a good job so it was not a matter of needing a job but rather wanting one and he easily filled his time with community activities.  Of course outside of moving there was no employment for a wanting Rabbi to get.  Like I said M was very active in the community and for whatever reason he began attending the local Episcopal Church. He liked it there and they seemed to like him.  Now there is no doubt he was not going to switch religions, he just wanted to have a spiritual family to worship with.  M is very outgoing and fitting in came easily to him.  The preacher occasionally let him read the Old Testament reading during the service.  He was welcomed into the choir and loved it.  He taught, once again, the Old Testament during Sunday School.  At Christmas time when they did their Lessons and Carol’s program he was always given a lesson to read.  I cannot tell you how many times he bragged on this Church to me.  Everything however was not as rosy as it seemed.  There were, I believe, two couples who did not want him there.  Two German couples.  Now whether they were direct descendants or a generation or two removed I cannot say, but they wanted him gone and were at the time somewhat reserved about it.  The preacher was a strong man but his time had come and he moved on for reasons I don’t know.  During the interim and as the new preacher was to come on board the couples made it known, either he left or they did.  How strong a connection they had with the church I don’t know this either.  There may have been a couple more, but regardless their feelings were out.  The new preacher being a man of God was not going to turn anyone away from his Church, especially telling someone they had to go, and whatever the couple chose to do was of their doing.  M was terribly hurt by this as he had never wronged anyone there and everyone knew it.  By hearing this pronouncement from the couple he left the Church terribly hurt.  He could not stay regardless of everyone else almost pleading with him to remain.  He got phone calls and when he ran into members on the street they would ask him to return and don’t worry about the bigoted couple.  But he couldn’t, the damage had been done.  As far as I know to this day M has not returned.  Ask yourself if you were a member, or even the preacher, how could you face these bigoted folks and not have it ever present in your mind what they did or how they believe?  Have them sit amongst you praising God and knowing how they believe. And from the preachers stand point blessing them every Sunday, forgiving them of their sins while knowing their real beliefs.  If I were a strong member in good standing I would have a tough time holding my tongue.  Would you???


Posted in general posting | Leave a comment