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September 11, 2013

"What's My Line, Dorothy Kilgallen?"


Last night, President Obama told us he's reserving the right to attack Syria because 'it's still on the table' and that 'Bashar Al Assad crossed the line.'

ObamaSpeaking.jpgOn the table

Off the table

Over the line

On the line

Cross the line

What line

Moving on down the line

It ain't my line, officer

Who stole my line

Roses are red, violets are blue, cross my red line and I'll do you.

bashar-al-assad.jpgWhat's my line, Dorothy Kilgallen?


September 02, 2013

When 'Free' Ain't So Free At Your McDonald's

McDonald's Discount.jpg

When “Free” Ain’t So Free

At Your Local McDonald's

Here in Michigan, the local McDonald’s promotes this “Buy Five, Get One Free” coffee program.

The only problem is that you may be paying nearly TRIPLE for that “free” Large Hot McCafe or Premium Roast.

In Kansas City recently, I went through the McDonald’s Drive In and was surprised to find the same cup of coffee 60 cents cheaper than here.

 “Is that coffee on some special discount,” I asked the Kansas City McDonald’s window clerk.  “Regular price,” she replied.

I noticed they weren’t offering the “buy five, get one free” program.

So redeeming that “free” McDonald’s cup of jo, after you paste in the five stickers on that promotion card, may actually be costing you, in aggregate, about $3 more – compared to other McDonalds.


Where is Ronald McDonald when you need him?

August 23, 2013

"Isn't it nice to be remembered for something in your lifetime, Jim?"


“Isn’t it nice to be remembered

 For something in your lifetime, Jim?”


Last night, I’m leaning against the meeting room wall, relying on it to prop my body and spirit a bit… to offset back pain, a bit eager that the “corn roast” recognizing a nonprofit organization’s volunteers draw to a close after nearly 3 hours. 

My job duties and role had been largely “in the background” -- as preferred these days –- but instead of an attitude-with-gratitude, tonight I feel a bit like grumpy old man  with bad back and  sore feet.

I’d spent the day buying groceries at Sam’s Club for the event, assisting with food preparation, and greeting the evening’s guests and volunteers.

I’m chatting with my boss, when a late-60s age man suddenly appears before us.

          “Hi Bill,’ my boss says to the man, “great to have you here.”

Bill turns to me and quietly, almost intently says: “My wife and I have hoped to meet you for years.  You wrote that wonderful history and people column every Monday in the (news)paper.  We read every one. Every Monday.”

I replied: “You know, Bill, I’ve done many things, had many jobs.  But people still remember me for that little newspaper column.”

“Well, we loved your writing, your stories about local history and everyday people,” he says. “Isn’t it nice to be remembered for something in your lifetime, Jim?”

August 22, 2013

Thank you, Mom. Thank you, Dad.



   Parental Love

A steamy, humid night here in Battle Creek, Michigan USofA and the window a/c is on the blink.

     I lay in bed, with crazy cat Dinky spooned up against me like a newlywed, and recall other hot nights in Kansas City, Missouri during the early 1950s.

     We had no air conditioning -- barely a fan in our family home. Only rich people did back then.

     In spite of the cloying,  late August Midwest heat, our Mom would still iron Dad's dress shirts many mornings.

     And as a 9-year old, I'd sometimes stretch out on the inviting,  cool wood floor in the upstairs bedroom where, while ironing, she'd casually pummel me with questions -- like the good cop in a criminal investigation --  'what were the other neighborhood kids up to?' 'did I have that reading assignment finished?' and then she'd slowly digress into simple stories from her own childhood of long ago in Atchison, Kansas.

     Approaching age 69, how thankful I am tonight, and all nights, for my parents and those memories.

     How sad too many young people today seem to lack the engaged and loving role models that helped shape our values, corrected our mistakes, and provided unconditional, self sacrificing love.

July 26, 2013

Growing Old With (A Little) Dignity



by jim richmond


I've noticed a gradual collection of small physical humiliations, slights as well as changes of attitude and emphasis as I approach age 70.  (I KNOW, CHERYL,  ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE! BE HAPPY!!!!!) 

A few collected from recent self reflection:

1.  Because you could ride a 3-speed bike in grade school in 1954 does NOT mean you can ride a racing bike in 2013  with pencil thin tires, 14 gears, and requiring a posture only acquired in old age after a  6-month course of yoga stretching.

2.  Those press-and-turn "child protection lids" on the pickle jars and aspirin bottles are anti-senior people plots by Justin Beiber and Lady Ga Ga.

3.  You feel socially alienated by mores and a lack of public civility -- almost walking out of the Columbia Ave. Meijer self-serve line at 4 a.m.,  after staring at the two EMO Boy/Girl Toys in the next line feeling-each-other-up, and doing an open mouth, tongue-down-your-throat version of the Lee Strasberg Method of stand up sexual intercourse.

4. You put an empty Masonjar on the bedroom floor to cut down on carpet wear from bathroom pee visits.

5.  You call the neighbor kid to pull your lawn mower start cord.

6. You quit cutting the grass at all because of the mower start cord.

7.  You look in the mirror and see the profile of the Walmartian you joked about with friends on FB just five years ago.

8.  The McDonald's clerk stops asking if you qualify for the Senior Citizen Coffee Discount.

9.  You feel comfortable hitting from The Ladies Tee.

10.  You play 'Winter Rules' in the summer time, generous to a fault in bestowing Mulligans, and give yourself every putt under 8 feet.

11.  The kid clerk at the Marathon station calls you "gramps."

12.  Your son asks for a copy of your burial insurance policy.

13.  You are no longer eligible for a burial insurance policy.

14.  You quit hyperventilating when there are Fools On The Hill or one in The White House.

15.  You are pleasantly surprised and thankful every morning when you wake up, can get out of bed, feed the cat, and kiss the misses.

16.  You feel lucky to have a misses to kiss.

17.  You think "phone sex" is a reference to a call from the doctor about your enlarged prostrate.

18.  You no longer worry about the Social Security Trust Fund going broke.

Well, naptime.

July 20, 2013

80 Percent of Life Success Is Not Just Showing Up

80 Percent of Life's Success is Not Just Showing Up



I want to give the lie to comedian Woody Allen’s often quoted observation that: '80 percent of life success is just showing up.'

Or at least, I hope not. 

Showing up can’t be worth more than, say, 40 or 50 percent. 

Although I know some people who have made a career of showing up.

Showing up everywhere.  Always on time.

Of course, that doesn’t always translate into positive, productive action or engagement on their part.

 You may be able to fry eggs or do open heart surgery by their ontime clock. 

But they disappear right before the shovels are handed out, the plate passed, or there’s a call for raised hands to dig out snow from  the Church steps after Sunday Mass.

I much prefer people who keep their word about showing up and can be counted on when times are tough, needs apparent, the cause just and important.

Most of us have a few lifetime role models like them. 

And you know who you are.

Runnin Shoes



For over 10 years, northside buddy Mike Dougherty and I would meet at the corner of Elizabeth and Sherman at 5:30 ever weekday morning for a 4 to 8 mile run.

No excuses: Rain. Snow. 80 degrees or -23 below (actual one morning).

Because we knew that if one didn't show, the other ran in the dark, in the weather, alone.

Those days are long gone.

But like going to college, serving in the military or just getting up and making your bed each morning, life experiences offer good lessons and stay with you.

SO, I'm puttin on my walkin shoes, at near age 69, and heading out the door.

Even tho I don't really want to....


And wherever my ol friend Mike has landed these days, I hope he's doing well.

June 16, 2013

Phil Mickelson Deserves A Special Father's Day


Today is Phil Mickelson's 43rd birthday, as he leads the final round (by 1 stroke) of  the U.S. Golf Open.

Many golf "experts" put Mickelson in only the top 15 or so of all time golfer greats.

He may not quite be a Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus to most people, but he's #1 on my list --- not just for his golf scoring, which is remarkable for this leftee.

But how he reflects the values of golf.

-- He's stood by and supported his wife through her breast cancer.
-- He's a family man who flies home, just for the overnight, and in the middle of golf tournaments to attend his kids' school events.
-- He loves and respects his golf fans, smiling, shaking their hands, giving them time and "hi 5s," signing autographs.
-- He never complains about his arthritis or has excuses for poor play.

And he's hit some of the most exciting golf shots ever.

So Happy Birthday, Phil. Hope you take it all at the Open today.



I can't think of another golfer who deserves it more on Father's Day than you do.

June 07, 2013

'Are you laughing yet?' CBS Sunday Observations by Ben Stein


The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS
Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think
Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think
People who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around,
Period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an
Explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I
Don't like it being shoved down my throat...

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that
We should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as
We understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.
But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities
Came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is
A little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny,
it's intended to get you thinking.
In light of recent events... Terrorists attack, school shootings,
Etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was
Murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want
Prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better
Not read the Bible in school... The Bible says thou shalt not kill;
Thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they
Misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we
Might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We
Said an expert should know what he's talking about.. And we said

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why
They don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to
Kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it
Out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the
world's going to @#!*% . Funny how we believe what the newspapers say,
But question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes'
Through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start
Sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through
Cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school
And workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many
On your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or
What they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us
Than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it... No one will know you did. But, if you
Discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what
Bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

June 04, 2013

"Nah, wouldn't look good in that red bandana"



Fifth in check out line early this morning at the Family Fair super on W. Michigan. Everyone is paying with their orange bridge/food stamp card. 'What are the odds on that?,' I think to myself. 

Old, dirty, gray grizzled wanna be biker is in front of me. 'You have a nice day!,' the clerk says to him. 'Oh, I always have a nice day. Don't let nobody or nothin bother ME!,' he replies. 

Walks out in steel-tipped boots, to his beat up old H-D, parkied illegally on the sidewalk outside the store 
door, jumps starts, and roars across the parking lot at about 60. 

'Maybe I should go down to the Toeller Human Services Building and get me one of those bridge cards today, instead of to my little 3-day a week, part-time job?,' I think. 'Nah, I'd kill myself on that bike. And I wouldn't look good in that red bandana.'

May 26, 2013

Have An Hour? Take A Walk in Battle Creek History.

Have an hour this weekend?

Talk a walk in Memorial Park Cemetery (on Territorial Rd near Helmer.  The walk around its outer pathway is almost exactly 1.5 miles.).

Kiwanis have all the flowers and flags out and placed there.

Many families adding their own flowers and visiting graves.

Lots of friends and memories to recall and appreciate during the walk.

The Cemetery has an interesting history, as well.... a later timeline to that of near downtown Oak Hill Cemetery,  with its plethora of Posts, Kelloggs and other earliernotables.  

For more about Memorial Park Cemetery, its uniqueness and role in local history, go to my blog:



May 23, 2013

The Luck of Life's Draw

The Luck of Life's Draw


If lucky, at some point in life you stop, look around, and realize that 9 out of 10 of your best grade school friends, G.I. buddies and many family and friends are gone.  

Dead.  Buried.  

And you ask: "WHY ME?  Why am I the lucky one to STILL be here?"

And from that point, you have a little better appreciation of each day, of the luck that has been your life draw, greater patience in the face of pettiness, walk a bit more gently across life's pathway of egg shell existence. 

And your eyes are better at noticing the goodness in other people...and less...much less willing to criticize or complain. 

May 13, 2013




"Cell phone talk or text while ordering? Go to the back of the line!"

Friends had children and grandchildren over yesterday for Mother's Day, and made EVERYONE check their cell phones and I-Pads at the door.


OMG, what next, check handguns at the door?  Where's the NRA's phone number when you need it?

Do I hear an AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?

May 11, 2013

Pay Telephone Scuffle Early Tripwire To Eventual Closing of Eaton Plant?


Pay Telephone Scuffle Early Tripwire

To Eventual Closing of Eaton Plant?


By Jim Richmond


The huge, tightly fenced, long vacant and unused land on the west side of 20th Street in Battle Creek has been a puzzle as I frequently drive by the location -- until the other morning.

eaton's. empty.jpgTurns out, the land may be a silent, sad witness to the all too familiar refrain in Michigan history – corporations and unions blindly fighting each other, and then killing working people’s golden goose of good jobs with high pay and benefits, as well as the law of unintended consequences.

“Let me tell you about what happened with Eaton’s,” my 81-year old friend and self described “retired Eaton’s factory rat” said to me over breakfast in Ritzee’s restaurant recently.

He described “pork chopper” union plant reps at Eaton’s  in the 1930s to 1980s, who the company paid regular hourly wages, but  “pretty much didn’t do anything but union business in the plant.”

“They were the real power, not the company people or the shift supervisors,” my friend claimed.

EatonPlant.BC.jpgOne day in the 1970s,  -- when he along with hundreds of others worked in Eaton’s 20th Street plant making car valves -- a management person from AT&T telephone, whose local union employees were on strike at the time – came into the Eaton’s plant just to empty the coins from the plant’s AT&T-owned pay telephones.

The Eaton’s union shop steward raised hell, physically barred the AT&T management person from the telephones, and then filed a union grievance with Eaton’s management over the pay telephone incident, my friend alleged.

“And before long, we (Eaton plant union employees) were on strike in ‘sympathy’ to our AT&T union brothers and sisters,” he said.

The U.S. automakers relied on the Battle Creek Eaton’s Plant for many if not most of their auto valves at the time. 

And, my friend claimed, he and other long time union employees watched as Eaton’s management quietly began a slow, steady process of dispersing its auto valve manufacturing out of Battle Creek, to other, new U.S. locations and throughout the world.

In 1983, Eaton’s closed the 20th Street plant facility in Battle Creek, after what the corporation described in news stories as “fruitless discussion with union officials to save the plant.”

Industrial pollution and contamination have kept the property from being used or sold for other purposes.

“You never know how something small -- like that scuffle over the pay phone incident -- can have unintended consequences,” my friend concluded.

Finishing coffee, getting up to leave, my friend’s wife touched the sleeve of my shirt and laughed: “Don’t let his libertarian comments, today, about the union fool you, Jim.  He (her husband) was right in the middle of all that stuff and as big a (union) supporter as any of those other people.”

Ironically,  nearby Ft. Custer Industrial Park is today home for a huge, seemingly ever expanding regional DENSO plant, which makes auto parts for Toyota and others.  Its non-union – like most plants in Ft. Custer Park – and pays a fraction in wages and benefits, relatively, to what Eaton’s union employees made on 20th Street during more than 5 decades of that plant’s existence.

Within the past year, Michigan has become a Right To Work state, over state capitol protests and demonstrations by union employees from auto plants, schools, hospitals.

May 09, 2013







A new national study released this morning reveals that women drivers (by 8 to 1 margin) are much more likely to cell phone and text while driving, and are responsible for 40 percent of all related accidents.

The study, appearing in the latest issue of The Onion, noted: "Women, by their very nature, put on lipstick, smoke cigarettes, comb their hair, drink coffee, text and cell phone while driving. It is a problem of epidemic proportions and second only to the National Debt in seriousness."

Men, on the other hand, refrain from texting and concentrate on driving and the work at hand, the study reports. "Men has much to put up with. Not just from women drivers, but from women in general," the study concludes.

May 08, 2013

"And Make It Look Like An Accident..."



".... Richmond Struck Dead by Lightening at Local Prayer Breakfast"

At a friend's invitation, I'm attending the 31st Annual Battle Creek Prayer Breakfast this morning, before going on to work. I tell myself, it won't HURT  to stretch a bit, like attending funeral wakes, bar and bat mitzvahs, or a friend's retirement party at Eaton's.

But, if breakfast organizers and prayer leaders knew my life background, and some of my views on organized religion, they'd bar me at the doors. 

If the Enquirer page 1 headline reads tomorrow: "ATTENDEE STRUCK DEAD BY LIGHTENING AT PRAYER BREAKFAST" you won't have to read below the fold or the jump page to figure out the victim's name.

AND, blogsphere friends, I WILL expect you at my wake Friday morning. "Contributions may be made to the JIM RICHMOND GOOD TIMES FUND, c/o The Las Vegas Community Foundation. All donations will NOT be tax deductible.


Author's Postscript.  Turned out to TRULY be an inspirational morning, and talk! And no lightening inside or outside the location. :-)

Don't Listen To The Special Interests

Don't Listen To The Special Interests

The World Health Organization now ranks the U.S. health care system 38th overall;  but #1 in cost.

And U.S. hospitals are the worst, the very worst contributors to our out-of-control system.

We wonder why lawyers, physicians and hospitals in Michigan are tripping over each other, trying to kill HB4936, the effort to limit personal injury coverage?

Do we think it's because of their concern for accident victims?

Don't listen to the special interests.

Michigan is the only state in the Union that mandates unlimited protection -- and it's why our auto insurance is so high. (Let's crack down, too, on the 1 in 5 Michigan drivers who are roaming our streets behind the wheel with no car insurance.)

For another example of U.S. hospitals 'at work', see story in today's NYTimes:


May 05, 2013

Life's Lessons


Life's Lessons Learned.....

Some of life's lessons are learned hard, while others we stumble into and through from ignorance and naivete.

For example, when we innocently volunteered our personal email address to Walmart or Match.com 20 years ago, how were we to know that our email boxes would STILL be crammed full of their nonsense each morning in 2013, or that they would be harder to shake than a recurring case of Navy gonorrhea?  

Not that I have PERSONAL experience, mind you.

April 17, 2013

City Water a Public Rip-Off?

City Water A Public Rip-off?

Like on TV’s Dog The Bounty Hunter or Operation REPO, the Battle Creek Water Department agents can be seen many 7 a.m. mornings in Urbandale, flashlights at the ready in the dark, turning off City residents’ water at the curbside, because of their overdue water bills. 

(Truth is, I wouldn’t want residents catching me either disconnecting their water, any more than Operation Repo snatching that 2003 Ford Escort from Car City that’s in the driveway.)

But the real turnoff and shocker for all City residents – bill slackers and prompt payers alike – isn’t at the faucet, but when we open our monthly City of Battle Creek Utility Bill.

Here is a real life, recent example. 


Total monthly utility bill: $38.08,

Actual Water and sewer consumed/used for the month: $3.68.

Then an additional $22.83 charge for “water and sewer readiness.”

Maybe this readiness has to do with providing new flashlight batteries or orange traffic cones for the 7 a.m. City Utility Department Shock and Awe Squads.

Not to be labeled a naysayer, I’m sure there are good reasons why we should support City “water and sewer readiness.” 

Some might consider such support patriotic,  like standing  for The National Anthem or when The President enters the White House Press Room.

So, as the City perhaps searches for new “readiness” charges to tack on to our future water bills, may I offer a suggestion? 

* The Dingo Ate My Baby Public Services charge 

            When we compared our City water bills last night, my next door Urbandale neighbor suggested:

* The City Police Alcohol Rehab Readiness charge

Now, now, I chided him:  water or no water, trash in/trash out, we don’t need to be trashing our local law enforcement. 

I’d be satisfied with a moratorium on Utility Bill Readiness charges. 

            But, we all know it’s tough these days to come-by five (5) City Commission votes for most anything.

April 06, 2013

Clean Underpants


Clean Underpants


It’s amazing how we're our parents' children, even in our own old age.

My dear little Irish Mother, bless her heart and her memory, now 10 years passed, had a ritual before taking us kids to see the pediatrician in the early 1950s.

She'd lay out sparkling white and clean underpants for each of us. 

Our clothes might have been a bit thread bare, but she didn’t want the Doctor to see our bare bottoms, unless he had to pull down clean underpants first.

So, I was out at the VA Medical Center the other day, approaching age 69,  getting checked out by my (as always)  proficient and efficient (and attractive) Nurse Practitioner on “Clinic Team A.”

“Drop your drawers, Mr. Richmond,” she said casually.

My blood pressure rose and face flushed red.

  “But,” I blurted out in protest, “I don’t have on clean underpants!”

“Mr. Richmond,” she said, struggling to hold back smile and laugh, “clean or dirty, there aren't any surprises in those underpants.”

March 15, 2013

March 18 Crime Worshop A Chance for Learning, Dialogue



March 18 Crime Workshop Chance

For All To Listen, Learn and Share


The City Commission of Battle Creek is holding a workshop on “Crime and Perception” Monday, March 18, 6 p.m., in the multipurpose room  at the Department of Public Works building, 150 S. Kendall

This is an important and unusual opportunity for residents of Battle Creek to listen to City officials’ comments on current status of crime and its prevention in our community, and also to share their own views. 

It is NOT intended as a forum for bashing the City police or any other public official.

I plan to attend and hope others will as well.  A great chance to learn, share and perhaps consider new priorities about an issue that affects our children, our families, our neighborhoods, and the total community. 

March 03, 2013

'Great Escape' Stage Company Is A 'Great Surprise'


C39StepsGESC (1).jpg




Last's night performance of "The Thirty-Nine Steps" was a tour de force by local writer and thespian John Sherwood (former editorial page editor of the Enquirer and now Oaklawn Hospital executive) at the cozy, close-in and comfortable 30-seat Great Escape Stage Company in downtown Marshall.

The two-act comedy and spoof of the famous Alfred Hitchcock film was like Young Frankenstein on Ritalin.

Featured were Sherwood as Richard Hannay, the square-jawed hero with a pencil mustache; and Amity Reading as the myriad of dangerous and seductive women he breaks the hearts of.

Chris Blackford and Randy Lake played every other character they crossed paths with - including the diabolical Man With No Top Joint of his Pinky Finger and "Mr. Memory", a MacGuffin in the whole spy-thriller plot!

Talented, high energy, and versatile group of actors, who handled more costume and set changes than backup singers at an Elton John and Tina Turner concert.

A very fast paced, funny MontyPythonish production, too; held back only by a somewhat confusing, drawn-out second-act plot line and close.

We're going to run not walk to the phone, ordering tickets for the next Great Escape production, "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead"  by Bert V. Royal. Starts March 15th and runs through March 30th.

The Great Escape Stage Company: a delightful surprise and   terrific local entertainment resource.

Times and ticket prices: 269.781.2700.  http://greatescapestagecompany.com/home

February 27, 2013

Love Livin in Michigan!



Breathtakingly beautiful (and warm!) day at Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek,Michigan.

Birds are cherpin!

So, kids, get those sleds out. Adults, put those walkin shoes on.

This is why we love livin in Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 22, 2013

Dr. Russ Mawby's 85th Birthday

RGM.6.14.12.jpgDr. Russ Mawby's 85th Birthday


Tomorrow, 2.23, is Dr. Russ Mawby's 85th Birthday.  A great Battle Creek civic leader, philanthropist, educator, and patriot.

If you know and would like to call Russ or send him an email, saying "Happy Birthday", I will forward his phone number and email address to you.

For his email address/phone #, send me an email at: jmadisonrichmond@gmail.com

February 14, 2013




I'm probably among the minority of Americans who look on the latest Cruise Ship mess with fondness and yearning.

In the two years I spent on a WWII-era US aircraft carrier (Coral Sea, '68'69) -- most of it steaming in the steaming hot and humid Pacific -- clogged toilets, no shower water, no a/c, and crummy food were, well, the norm, not the exception.  

We worked 16 hour-days.  

I don't recall the Captain handing out free drink tickets when the heads (toilets) didn't work.

And we paid a lot more than $3,000 apiece for ourUSS_Coral_Sea_cv43_1986.jpg cruise tickets.

So, stranded passengers... suck it up ... make the most of it ... you may look back with fond memories and new friends on what today seems like a really shit*y cruise experience.

I do.

February 12, 2013

Sports Apparel Just Fun For These Two "Volunteers"




Sports Apparel Just Fun For These Two “Volunteers”

Americans spend more than $8 billion a year on sports logo apparel – 60 percent of them men and most have never set foot on campus or in the classroom of the university or college emblazoned on their chest, their undershorts, socks, and ball caps.

I’ve never been able to quite figure out the attraction of the sports clothing thing. 

Tennessee.jpgAnd the two guys I ran into today didn’t help.

“Does that “T” on your caps stand for Tulane, Texas, Tennessee, or Tufts?,” I asked Jerry Tillman (photo, right) and Gary Steiner.

They laughed, looked at each other liked I’d just asked how many pennies are in a nickel.

“We were traveling through Knoxville, it was cold, so we stopped in Wal-Mart,” Jerry recalled, “looking for the cheapest cap in the store.”

They paid $1.98 apiece.

And the Tennessee Volunteers gained two new fans in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Or did they?

February 11, 2013

"You Feel So Good There"




"You feel so good there," the aging single male, whispered to his first time date, as he spread four fingers across the valley of her back, caressing, nudging and guiding her, like a beached dolphin back to sea, onto the senior center dance floor.

My long time friend twisted her lips ever so slightly in revulsion and the memory.

"He'd no idea what I was really thinking," she said. "God, I hate dating at my age."

February 07, 2013

The Mailbox

Virginia, honey,

let me tell you a story about 'The Mailbox'

Yes, Virginia, honey.   It's all so very different now that we just communicate with people with our cell phones, I-pads, kindles and computers.

It used to be that people actually went out to dinner together and talked, or visited with their parents at the family dinner table, instead of texting all the time, checking Facebook and Twitter.  

We also put our sympathy, our congratulations, our  fondest love expressions down in writing, and shared them in a very different way, honey.IMG00238-20101101-0808.jpg

We used what was called a  “Mail Box.”  There was one in almost every neighborhood.

Odd as it might seem today, people wrote down their thoughts on what we called “paper.”  They used something called a “pen” or “pencil.”

Grandma or Grandpa would then put the “paper” with their written thoughts into a wrapper, called an “envelope.” And stick a little glued photo on the outside.

And put the envelope in the “Mail Box.”

A strange lady or a man would stop at the “Mail Box”, usually once a day, and remove all the “envelopes.” The lady or man were called “Postmen.”

The “Postmen” were a proud people. 

They picked up and delivered the envelopes even when it rained, or snowed, or flooded.

They wore strange blue and grey tribal clothes.

The envelopes went by train, truck and airplane, to another person, in another neighborhood, city, state or even country, somewhere around the world.

It would take three days for this to happen!  Occasionally a week or more. And, once in a while, the envelope got lost and never arrived at all.

Imagine that!

Then the world changed. 

The Postmen disappeared.

So, too, the paper and the envelopes.

And, so, too,  but a few of these now relic “Mail Boxes” scattered in obscure, hidden away places.

Now, Virginia, honey.  Time to turn off that I-Pad and let Grandpa tuck you into bed.

Sweet dreams, sweetheart.

February 01, 2013

Mr. Kellogg would be proud!


I don't put anything on this blogsite that involves any personal remuneration or might be construed as such.

But let me say Mr. Kellogg would be proud of the new Kellogg's microwave sandwiches now available at Meijer's. They are BETTER than fresh breakfast sandwiches at Burger King and McDonald's -- and only 240 calories. If you've tried frozen breakfast sandwiches (like Jimmy Dean) you know they taste like cardboard.

Not's Kellogg's!!

Great job "Kellogg's of Battle Creek"!

January 27, 2013

Shopping at Meijer's

Shopping at Meijer's:



So I do my monthly staples trip to Meijer's early this morning. And go through a line. A woman with lots in front, and another in back of me.

Evidently Meijer's having a two-day sale, and the gal in front was questioning why there was no discount on an item.

The Meijer's clerk replied: "I don't know. It's all automatic. I just shove this crap into the plastic bags."

I laughed and said, motioning like I was reaching into my cart, "Well, maybe I should take some of this 'crap' back to the store shelves."

I am not humorless; but I think customer service and employee attitude is REALLY important.

Maybe I should look for a job as a "mystery shopper."