Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Merry Christmas and may you all be blessed with peace and happiness this holiday season.
Friday, December 19, 2008
No good wishes, but no bad ones, either.
You see, you no longer exist to me.
You left my heart and the place you held there years ago.
I feel no remorse over these feelings, but I feel no happiness to be having them for that matter.
You are not really dead to me, but are no longer real to me as well.
Memories of you are fading, and they are fading fast.
The memories that were good now seem like distant dreams.
The memories of you which were bad are similar to nightmares from long ago, and you can't quite remember what it was about them that scared you so.
I know it wasn't meant to be this way, but you left me no choice.
A heart can only stand so much pain that it finally either has to break, or it has to defend itself in the best way possible so it can avoid the hurt, the pain and, of course, the eventual breaking that comes along with it.
There is nowhere that you stand within the confines of my heart.
You're actually now on the outside and you hold no true place there anymore.
I know you'll never read these words, that doesn't bother me in the slightest.
Part of my healing is to put these words down and purge that last little bit of you out of my soul, and that has now been done.
I can't wish you good.
I won't wish you bad.
How can I?
You aren't really real anymore, are you?
I don't care if you're happy.
I don't care if you're sad.
I don't care if you are alive.
I don't care if you are dead.
You are, after all, no longer real, so what does it matter?
I'm so much better off without the unrealness of you in my life.
Who were you, really, anyway?
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
And what I wouldn't give
To spend that time
With loved ones
Who departed this life
As I sit dreaming of such a reunion
Alive and well
I can't understand
Of those who seek
To rob the gift of love
From those who fantasize
Of sharing the love
From those too selfish
And who don't even
There are those
Who do relish
With no strings attached
And it is with those
Whom I now
Let into my heart
For they seek not to hurt
But to give.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
His mouth shut
They heard from mountains away
His smile, heartfelt that it was
Beckoned to no one
Was seen by all
He was an
To those around him
He was a well read
Could he find himself
Amongst those who mattered?
Only if he was trying to hide
Saturday, November 08, 2008
He had made an entry regarding his health and his weight and what he needed to do to get both under control. This particular entry tugged at my heart because I am now facing similar circumstances in my life.
After my vacation a few weeks ago, actually, the first day back to work, I went to the family doctor for routine bloodwork and a flu shot. After the nurse weighed me, and me discovering that I now weigh more than I ever have in my life, she took me to the examination room and took my vitals. The first thing the doctor did when he came in the room was to take my blood pressure for a second time.
This had never happened before except on one other occasion, which was when they discovered I had developed high blood pressure.
This time, they discovered my blood pressure was the highest it had ever been. The bottom number had moved into the three digit category, which isn't a good thing, especially considering I already take two different blood pressure meds.
He informed me I need to lose a minimum of 25 pounds, and more desirably around 40 to 45 pounds. I need to lose that first 25 before my next appointment in February.
He explained to me that I am placing a strong amount of strain on my heart, and because of the increase in my blood pressure, I'm flirting with having a stroke.
Maybe I had too much on my mind during vacation and was letting some things worry me more than I should have. That would probably make a few of my enemies happy to know that, but to me, having that type of a burden added to my already hectic life isn't something I'm all that keen on.
So, in the last three weeks I've had only one beer, maybe two, which isn't all that big of a deal, but I do enjoy a cold one occasionally, but I enjoy living more.
I've cut out my snacking, or at least the size of those snacks, and I'm leaving candy entirely out of the picture. I'm eating smaller portions at mealtime, and I'm doing my best to walk more and be more physically active.
A few pounds have gone away, but I need a lot more to go the same way.
With the onset of cooler temperatures, I'm going to have to force myself to do more activities outside and ignore the fact that I totally abhor colder weather.
It's not going to be easy for me, because frankly, at my age, I have developed a lot of bad habits and it's harder to change now than it used to be.
I can only hope I can make these changes and make them before it is, indeed too late.
So, if you see me out and I seem to be a bit preoccupied, trust me, I am. I'm in a battle here that I truly desire to win, and win big. I need to eliminate as much stress from my life as I can, and for anyone who knows me, THIS is going to be my biggest challenge.
If you see me, encourage me, support me and let me know that can and will do it.
After all, it appears as if my life does indeed depend on me making it work.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sodom and Gomorrah
Beasts loosed upon the unsuspecting.
Spittle flying from lips
Spoken fragmented lies
New York Transit
Breath coming in short gasps
Lost and searching
Desert sands as strong wind blows
Monday, October 13, 2008
Quite a day today for myself and darling bride Peggy.
Thru the efforts of one of our board members on the Riverside Park Summer Concert Series, we have secured our stage sponsor for the 2009 season. This will give our sponsor the naming rights for the stage during the entire 2009 season.
While we are awaiting official word to be given, I would like to at least post pictures of the partner of this sponsor on my page. Indeed, this man is Rupert Bonham of CBS' Survivor fame.
Today, he and his partner were in Rushville to present their sponsorship check and to have their photos taken to publicly announce their sponsorship for the 2009 season.
Not only was Rupert the perfect gentleman and quite the conversationalist, he was also very polite and allowed all of us there to have our picture taken with him. This was a very thrilling moment for Peggy and myself because Rupert has always been our favorite from all the seasons of Survivor and it was grand to finally get to meet this million dollar winner, shake his hand and have our picture taken with him.
Yes, indeed, quite a moment for us on our vacation!
Also, it occurred to me that up until now I had never posted a picture of my wife of over thirty years, Peggy, until today. So, yes, indeed, this is the woman who blessed my life all those many years ago when she said yes when I asked her to marry me.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
We had written a few original tunes as well. As the years have gone by, I've forgotten a few of those tunes, but I do remember two of them. One was "Quicksand Mother," which I always thought would have been a killer of a name for a band. The other one, which Jay and I wrote together was "Sounds From 46,000 B.C." Jay had worked out the melody, I wrote the lyrics. It was basically a Viet-Nam war protest song and a nuclear bomb war protest song at the same time. Funny thing about that tune, I spent a large amount of time picking out just the right words to get our message across in just three verses, and I felt I had done quite well. Jay did as well, but when it came time to perform the song, Jay pretty much winged the verses because he never quite got a grip on my lyrics. He had the chorus down pat, no problem, but he never did get the verses down, so to speak. Hell, it didn't matter, the band performed our song at each dance we played, so that was good enough for me, just to hear it playing each time we took the stage.
We had a great night going one particular evening, the audience was huge, truly one of the biggest ones that had ever played at the Community Building, and they were a truly receptive audience as well. The crowd hadn't thinned at all as we made it into our final one hour set. The band was so tight this particular night, the sounds we were playing were awesome. Jay's vocals were so good that night; I'm not sure he ever sounded better. I felt like I was right on it with the lighting effects that night as well. The guitars were melded together, the keyboards sounded awesome, and Jim's drumming was excellent. Denny was enjoying the night, smiling more than I think I had ever seen him. Mike seemed to have been transformed to a higher plane, his guitar work was mesmerizing.
As the magic hour of the end, 11 PM approached, I had a very creative idea that I thought would prove to be awesome. I walked over to Jay as we finished a song and told him my idea. "When the vocals are done in this next song, have the band keep playing, and let's start tearing down while the song is still going on, and tear down one instrument at a time. What do you think?"
Jay started laughing and looked at me and said, "Charlie, you crazy son of a bitch, I love it! Let's do it, man!" He walked over and gave the instructions to Mike and Denny and I walked over and told Jim.
I told Jim, "We'll tear everyone else down and leave you playing drums at the end, all by yourself." Jim, while a bit apprehensive, picked up on the groove we were in and agreed.
As the years have gone by, I don't remember how we did it, where we started or who we started with, but I remember Jay and I opened up the doors while the band played on, and we pulled the van up to one of those huge overhead garage doors, opened up the van doors, and began tearing down the stage and loading things up in the van.
The audience again crammed the stage to see just what the hell Summer Heat was up to this time, and several times during our teardown, we received approval in the form of applause from a large number of those in attendance.
As each part of the band was removed from the stage and their instruments and amps were loaded up, a few more of our audience walked out the doors, realizing the show was ending. This entire scene took place as our strobe light flashed away, and it was an electrical feeling, doing what we were doing, because it had never been done before, and it never would again, we knew. It had to have been one of the coolest things we had ever done to end our show, and again, it was purely a spur of the moment idea that came about and that we acted on collectively.
When Jim finished his impromptu drum solo, around 60 or so people remained in the audience, and the majority of them clapped and hollered out encouragement to us, although I have to admit we did have that usual handful of smart asses in attendance that had to make their rude comments, although they were pretty much silenced by the approval of everyone else in attendance.
It was such a magical time, such a great time to be alive and performing for people, and it seemed the longer we played together and worked together, the more our ideas grew and the creative forces just seemed to blossom for us.
Our second Greensburg High School dance was in the near future, and on that particular night, even though our creative forces would be in full bloom, the audience this particular night would not be quite so receptive.
to be continued.....
Friday, October 10, 2008
Al did a marathon job of driving after the race was over, and instead of stopping after a few hours of driving after leaving the track, he managed to drive straight thru all those miles and brought us safely back home at 4:45AM Monday. Needless to say, after being up well over 27 hours without sleep, Peg and I spent the day in bed resting up.
We've had a few mini trips, spent last night at the Argosy Casino and Hotel in Lawrenceburg (no, not a profitable trip, either) and we've got another week to go yet. Will we get to do everything we planned on? Hard to say at this point. All I know it's been a great vacation so far and hopefully next week will exceed all expectations for us as well.
We do have another overnighter to the Argosy coming up, this time including a free trip to the Prime Rib Buffet. Anyone who knows me knows that I dearly love prime rib.
Also, a dear friend of mine started his own blog this week, and here's hoping he gets it right this time. JBE, aka ems, aka Kingfish, has once again started blogging with a new page. I'm hoping he sticks with it this time around because he really is talented when he sits in front of a keyboard and shares his words.
Okay, with those words out, it's time for me to embark on week two of this glorious fall vacation.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
I hope to find a video to post showing the final result being announced, and I'm sure I will, and it will be posted here when I find it.
Congratulations to Neal E Boyd, a truly remarkable talent.
Also congrats to Eli Mattson, who will no doubt be picked up by a major recording company and no doubt soon to be doing a tour of his own.
Yep, it's fall again and this one seems to be off to a great start.
As many of you know, my wonderful wife of over 30 years and myself love to vacation in the fall. This year is no exception. We are about to embark on our annual two week vacation.
This year we're starting off with a much anticipated trip to Talladega, Alabama and a Sunday attendance at the Talladega Superspeedway and the Talladega 500. We were invited to go with friends and that will make the trip an adventure with them as well. We leave Friday morning for Birmingham where we will be staying both Friday and Saturday nights. After the race Sunday, we start back and our driver tells me he'll drive until he's too tired to drive anymore and we'll stay wherever on Sunday night.
After we arrive back home Monday, we've got the remainder of two glorious fall weeks to enjoy as we see fit. There will be trip to the Argosy Casino down by the Ohio River and an overnight stay along with a trip to their prime rib buffet.
We usually make a trip to Nashville, Indiana and a visit to the Moonshine Leather shop and a visit with the owner Mike. We'll work in a trip over to the Brown County Winery and of course a sampling of their array of wines. That morning will start with breakfast at the Daily Grind and a cup of their fabulous Sledgehammer, which is not for the weak at heart because it is smack dab loaded with caffeine and in bunches to boot. It features a mug of dark roast coffee with a double shot of espresso in it. YUMMO!!!!
We'll make an annual pilgrimage to buy pumpkins and gourds from a lady that sells these items at her farm in Union County. A trip thru Whitewater Memorial State Park, a trip to Mounds State Recreational Area and Mounds State Recreational Area will also be done probably that same day.
A trip down to the Ohio River for a second time, but this time instead of going to a Casino, our trip will take us to Clifty Falls State Park for a dinner and a walk in the woods. Clifty Falls is where we stay each year for our anniversary, so a nice day visit there before our trip in late winter will be much anticipated as well.
Other than that, there will be other day trips, cookouts, bonfires and trips to our hottub as well as a Completion Party for those of us on the board for Riverside Park and our volunteers as well.
It will a time of love, renewal and fun, and it will be spent together in our favorite season of the year.
That two weeks will simply fly by, too.
Anyway, preparation for that vacation has kept me busy and away from postings, but I assure you, more is coming and I hope to keep these interesting, and for those of you who have been asking for another installment of "Remembering Summer Heat, I assure you part nine is indeed coming shortly.
Again, thanks for the interest, the questions, the comments and most of all, I thank all of you who are in my Faithful Few.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
he realized how much he had lightened his load
and his journey became much easier.
he found himself smiling more
and liking himself more
and he realized
before it was too late
that the sunshine he was seeking
was right in front of him
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Here is the final performance of Eli Mattson on AGT from September 24, 2008. Will he win? Won't know until next Wednesday night, October 1st. He is up against some truly fabulous talent, but from day one, this has been the talent I have been hoping wins. That hasn't changed for me one itota.
Good luck, Eli! You're the champ for a lot of us out here. One way or the other, this young man has such a great future ahead of him, win or lose!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Hope you enjoy!
I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....
* If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential
* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* N ame your kids Willow , Trig and Track, you're a maver ick.
* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well
* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become
the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a
voter registration drivethat registers 150,000 new voters, spend
12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a
State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people,
become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services
committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing
a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and
serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and
Veteran's Affairs committ ees, you don't have any real leadership
* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city
council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000
people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000
people, then you're qualified to become the country's second
highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his
* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while
raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches,
you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and then
left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month,&n bsp;
you're a true Christian.
* If you teach responsible, age appropria te sex education,
including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the
fiber of society.
* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with
no other option in sex education in your state's school system
while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very
* If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position
in aprestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner
city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's
values don't representAmerica 's.
* If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one
DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to
vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated
the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely
OK, much clearer now.
LET'S GET BACK TO THE REAL ISSUES OF THE CAMPAIGN!!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Another update to Eli Mattson on AGT. This performance from September 10, 2008. Another stellar and amazing performance from him. Such power in his voice, such power in his delivery, and such powerful piano playing. Regardless if Eli wins this competition or not, he will be a national recording star, very, very soon!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The TIME magazine article
The list can be found below, and at this link
Let's spend a few moments browsing the list of books Mayor Sarah
Palin tried to get town librarian Mary Ellen Baker to ban in the
lovely, all-American town of Wasilla, Alaska. When Baker refused to
remove the books from the shelves, Palin threatened to fire
her. The story was reported in Time Magazine and the list comes
from the librarian.net website.
I'm sure you'll find your own personal favorites among the classics
Palin wanted to protect the good people of Wasilla from, but the
ones that jumped out at me were the four Stephen King novels (way to
go Stephen, John Steinbeck only got three titles on the list), that
notorious piece of communist pornography "My Friend Flicka," the
usual assortment of Harry Potter books, works by Shakespeare, Walt
Whitman, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain (always fun to see those two
names together), Arthur Miller, and Aristophanes, as well as "Our
Bodies, Ourselves" (insert your own Bristol Palin joke here), and
the infamous one-two punch of depravity: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
and "Little Red Riding Hood." But the cherry on the sundae, the
topper, is Sarah Palin's passionate, religious mission to clear the
shelves of the Wasilia Public Library of that ultimate evil
tome: "Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary." That's the one
with "equality," "free speech" and "justice" in it.
Go over to your book case and take down one of the books you'll find
on the list (I know you've got a couple) and give it a read in honor
of the founding fathers. Then tell me I'm not the only voter who
doesn't want this woman within thirty feet of the United States Con
Sarah Palin's Book Club
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter20and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
M y Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughte rhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John20Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
Symbols by Edna Barth
Monday, September 08, 2008
This is a follow up to my posting on Eli Mattson a few weeks ago. This is semi final performance from September 3, 2008. The judges comments at the end really say it much better than I can. All I know is he is tremendous and I certainly hope this young man wins the competition this year.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Red glow upon her rising, pregnant
Mad dogs, howling deep into
Her aimless wandering finding
The route unbeknownst
Until this moment.
The baying hounds,
Bringing back the memory
Of her encounter with
Remembering the pain
As it ripped against her inside,
The fruit of the attack
Now growing inside her.
Shunned by all she ever knew,
Alone in this life
Forever and foreboding,
Needing, yet not desiring the companionship
In her head,
Stronger and more
Purposeful with each day,
Reminding her of how special
She is and how special
She will be,
Being chosen as a vessel
For one so important
And one who will shape
Friday, July 25, 2008
Lying in bed around midnight Monday night, I heard continuous, and I do mean continuous thunder off to our west. It was several miles away, but I was amazed at how it just continued without breaks. My wife, who I truly believe could sleep thru Armageddon was lying next to me, and I asked her very softly if she was awake. She answered me that she was.
I asked her if she had been listening to the thunder, which she had, and I told her at that time that if this storm didn't weaken, we were in for a heller.
It didn't weaken one bit.
Within ten minutes, deafening thunder, still continous, was booming. Constant lightning which reminded me of a strobe light was flashing, the wind was blowing fiercely and the rain was pouring down. Lying on the bed and looking up at the ceiling, I couldn't believe my eyes. The lightning made the fan look like it was indeed in the beam of a strobe light and it appeared to be stopped although it was running on high.
I tried lying there closing my eyes, but they wouldn't stay shut because of the ferocity of the lightning and thunder. At times our bedroom was totally lit up like a lamp was on. In a matter of moments, our power was out and we were without electricity for the next two hours.
The storm seemed to go on and on and on, which I guess it actually did. About the time it seemed it was going to let up and stop, another wave would take the place of the one that had just gone thru.
Around 2:30 AM our power came back on, so the wife and I reset our alarm clocks so we wouldn't oversleep the next morning for work.
At 4AM, our power was out again, this time for another hour.
With alarms reset with less than half an hour before getting up for the day, needless to say we neither got much sleep thru the night.
After my shower I went outside to see how much rain was in our rain gauge. As I dumped the 1.95 inches of rain out, I noticed our lawn chairs on the back porch were tipped over, moved about five or six feet, and I remembered I had two chairs out in the front yard that were probably blown over into our neighbors yard, so I went to retrieve them.
That was when I knew much more than chairs had been moved.
Three large tree limbs had fallen from one of our cottonwood trees, one over thirty foot long. Two more, probably in the vicinity of 20 feet in length had also fallen. Bark lay everywhere. If you've ever had a cottonwood tree, you probably know all you have to do is breathe on one of them and they lose limbs, bark and leaves immediately. The hill that is our front yard was covered with debris from the trees.
I started looking around and realized it wasn't just our lot that was messed up, but every neighbor I looked at had limbs down. As I walked back around the house, I saw leaves and limbs covering the road to the west of our property.
It wasn't until I made the 8 mile drive to work that I discovered that entire drive to work showed me nothing but more of the same. Actually, the closer I got to Rushville where I work, the more I saw that was damaged.
Rushville had lost power as well during the night, parts of it would be without electric until mid afternoon Tuesday. Tree limbs were down the entire drive to town, in town trees were down, not just in yards, but on homes, cars and blocking the streets.
It was estimated that the winds early Tuesday morning were in excess of 85 miles an hour and were straight line winds out the northwest. Considering what I saw, I believed it.
Needless to say, the weather was the topic of conversation all day at work. My day started off very slow but picked up as the day went on. I heard more and more stories of damage and fear all day long. One thing most people agreed on was that it was the most violent non-tornadic storm they had ever been thru.
I know of no injuries or loss of life, but some of the damage is extremely extensive. We're talking an area over ten miles in length that faced the brunt of these unbelievably strong straight line winds. The length of the storm was also very long, lasting several hours with very little breaks in the action.
I'm thankful things were not worse than they were and I'm thankful we all came thru this one as well as we did, but I sure as hell hope I never have to go thru another one like this.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Can be so
Can be such lies
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I don't know how many of my Faithful Few get an opportunity to watch America's Got Talent on Tuesday evenings during the summer, but they have been the launching ground for an young 11 year old girl named Bianca Ryan two years ago, and last year, they launched the career of remarkable ventriloquist Terry Fator, who just recently signed a 100 million dollar contract in Las Vegas.
This past Tuesday night this young man named Eli Mattson appeared and totally blew the audience away. I have to admit I was so stunned by his remarkable performance that I have a feeling that this young man will be this year's winner, and the auditions are still going on. In a few weeks we'll find out if I was right or not.
In the meantime, take five minutes of your time and watch the video of this incredible 26 year old musical genius.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Annually this little burg held a celebration known statewide as the Moscow Covered Bridge Festival. Moscow was the home of the longest covered bridge in the state of Indiana, spanning 330 feet. On the night of June 3rd, this piece of history which stood the test of time for some 122 years was reduced to a pile of debris at the bottom of the river.
Clean up in the area has been going on for the past 11 days. If you don't live there or if you aren't involved in the clean up process, you aren't allowed in the area, for obvious reasons.
Personally, I've only been thru that bridge once in my lifetime, and it was during my childhood. I remember at that early age as my father and I drove thru the bridge that I was amazed at the sheer length this structure was. I couldn't imagine how anything so long could hold up to the weight of countless vehicles as they passed across this bridge.
Although no funds are available for the reconstruction of this amazing piece of Kennedy Brothers architecture, it is the desire of those Moscow residents to see this bridge restored and rebuilt. Hopefully this can be done and hopefully those who lost their homes and watched their town destroyed can also rebuild and start their lives over again.
As this destructive storm was occuring, here, just a handful of miles away, it was lightly raining and no wind was blowing to speak of. All you could hear was the occasional rumble of thunder to the south where the intense storm was occuring.
While watching the news on television about the storms my wife and I heard the shocking news that not only was the bridge gone but that the town was basically gone.
I don't understand God's plans at times but surely there was a reason for this to happen and hopefully over the course of time that plan will be revealed.
For now, our thoughts and prayers are with the folks of Moscow, IN.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
To morph out of one body into another
To become one that is new,
Healing and mending
Spiraling into a new shell
Without the wear of the old one
Weighting one down.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I've much planned, both in the way of home chores and jobs that seem to never get done (maybe not this weekend, either. We'll see!), cleaning out the garage, putting flowers on the graves of our loved ones and probably a trip to the farm to give our alpacas some shots.
Sunday, however, promises to be the day I'm most looking forward to as I always do. Sunday, for those who live in a cave, is RACE DAY!!!!
Early Sunday morning the Formula One race is broadcast live from Monaco. While not a huge fan of F-1, I will be watching the race because I've become a huge fan of Lewis Hamilton, last years most successful rookie who nearly won the championship.
After that, the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500, is set to run at noon. Since I only live less than an hour's drive from the Speedway, the race will be blacked out here from TV, so I'll be tuning the race in on radio as I have for countless years.
Shortly after the Indy 500, the Coca Cola 600 will be broadcast from Charlotte, NC on television as well.
For innumerable years now, this has become an annual event in our household. My great friend John will be here, as always, and him, my wife and myself will be grilling out, pigging out and listening and watching auto racing, all day long. It's something I never tire of, something I look forward to and it's a day that has it's own special excitement.
We've had a houseful on more than one occasion, we've had a handful on other occasions, and this year, as far as I know, it will just be the three of us, although that could change.
We might sit outside for the Indy race, we might sit in the garage and listen to it, or we might do our cooking out and come back inside, depending on the heat and humidity. Hopefully we can be outside for the two afternoon races since this day seems to set the start of summer here in Indiana.
My wife will begin cooking tomorrow in preparation for the day's activities. She makes a killer potato salad and an equally killer pea salad. My mouth is watering now in anticipation of those two specialty dishes of hers.
We'll be grilling hamburgers, hotdogs and brats Sunday, and John and I will have ice cold beer on hand to make the day even more fun. Something about grilling out and auto racing requires ice cold beer near at hand. Again, my mouth is watering in anticipation.
The Indy 500 has been in my blood since first going to the Speedway in 1963 and I have not missed a race, either being there or watching or listening to it since then. It's hard to imagine ever spending a Memorial Day weekend without the Indy 500.
The Coca Cola 600, Nascar's Sprint Cup longest race has been an annual tradition in our household now for about a dozen years I would imagine.
The Monte Carlo Formula One race is not a part of tradition because I'll be watching that one all alone and with no fanfare or special menu involved. I just like to start my day off with that one race under my belt.
My wife and I will be spending our 33rd Memorial Day together this year and I can think of no one I would rather be spending it with. She makes everyday something special for me.
My friend John and I have been doing so many different things together for so many years now and the annual raceday the Sunday before Memorial Day has been one of those things for so long now, I can't remember exactly when he started getting together with us, but it wouldn't be the same without him here, either.
I feel so very blessed to have them both in my life.
Anyway, I felt compelled to write this short entry about the upcoming weekend and these two very special people. If you got thru all this, wow, you amaze me!!!
If you're still reading, have a great and safe Memorial Day weekend and I hope you have a very special weekend, too, as I know I will.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Yeah, and the tooth fairy gives green stamps and Santa Claus paints Easter eggs.
We're supposed to believe this crap once again as the price of gasoline now moves ever closer to the $4 a gallon mark.
Seems like just last month they told us on the news that gasoline would spike around $3.69 a gallon and then go down.
Oh, yeah, that's probably because last month they DID tell us that lie.
Meanwhile, as prices go up on everything imaginable to try and recover ever-escalating fuel prices, the middle class stagnates, the lower class begins starving, the upper class feels a tad of pinch in their budgets, and the fat oil cats and oil stock owning politicians smile all the way to the bank.
I sincerely hope the American public takes this crap we're being fed with them when they go the polls in November and cast their votes accordingly.
That is, if we can all afford to drive to the polls.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Since our son is grown and moved away and with a family of his own, my fatherly instincts became renewed over a year and a half ago when I was asked to serve on the executive board of the Riverside Park Summer Concert Series.
After my first season last year, I felt like I had become a father again and watched as our concert series grew, matured and blossomed in its own way. At the end of the season, even though very tired mentally and physically, because it truly is a lot of work, I felt an emptiness that even our monthly meetings couldn't replace.
As winter passed thru the end of last year and into a new year, we began meeting twice a month and began the planning stages for another set of concerts for this summer. An idea I brought up blossomed and grew into something much bigger than I had anticipated. I took a simple idea about having a community picnic and it has turned into a huge event that takes place today, at long last, announcing the beginning of our series of summer concerts.
To say I'm full of anticipation would be an understatement.
This year, my most wonderful wife of over thirty years has joined me on the executive board which brings us together for even more time to spend as we venture into this new season of concerts. She has brought to our board an excitement much like I felt last year when I first began serving.
We've lost a few members from last year but they have been replaced with some really motivated and special people and working with them this year will be a joy and an honor. When we met together at the park last night and began setting up for today's event, I felt that same spark of joy kindle within me again, and I can't wait to get started.
Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate today and we'll get a great day of weather and a huge turnout for our free hog roast and all the fixin's to go along with it. Kids events, a silent auction, a live bluegrass concert and a dj fill the afternoon with plenty to do for those who attend and for those of us who will be working the event as well.
Yeah, I'm a proud papa as I watch this series kick off again today with this small idea I hatched at a meeting at the first of the year and I can't wait for it to get going today. Speaking of which, I guess I best be getting myself ready to go as we plan on arriving a couple of hours before the celebration starts.
I can't wait to see the thrilled look on my wife's face today as she begins her first season as a proud new mama. I can only hope it is half the thrill I felt last year as I began my new role in life.
And away we go!!!
Monday, May 05, 2008
This should prove to be a more eventful year this year since the two major open wheel factions have bonded together under one umbrella for the first time in over a decade and the Indy Racing League is now the premier series in the United States. New faces, new names, new teams and most importantly new drivers will take to the track this year adding more cars to the task of filling the field of 33 starters.
The price for practice at the Speedway is very nominal. You can carry in your own food and beverage, saving you more money, and for me, the major expense is what it usually is: GASOLINE! But I won't bitch or moan this year, because when you only live an hour's drive away from the Speedway, you can save back in advance for the expense of driving back and forth.
Mother Nature may rear her ugly head this year, once again. The forecast for Wednesday and Thursday sounds like it might be wet, but Tuesday should be beautiful, as well as Fast Friday, although temps on Friday sound unseasonably cool. That, however, is better reason to partake of warming beverages, and I'm not speaking about coffee, either.
The crowd will be small until Fast Friday arrives, and that makes it even more fun, actually. You can pretty much sit where you want and it's simply a great atmosphere for the most dedicated race fan.
Hopefully this year with the rejoining of Champ Car teams to the Indy Racing League, interest might climb and more butts in the seats might start happening again.
Regardless, I still swear that there is no other thrill greater than the start of the greatest specatacle in racing, The Indianapolis 500.
I just can't believe it's been a year since the last one.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
In my many conversations with people day to day as I work, I find this to be just about the number one topic of conversation.
Gasoline, liquid platinum it is becoming.
I have people tell me they are giving up food to be able to meet their gas expense. People are telling me they are cutting out one meal a day to meet gasoline needs. Cutbacks on frivolities in life is one thing, but when you have to start cutting back on food, that tells me this has gone on long enough.
$120 a barrel for oil today seems extreme, but think if we had a hurricane even hint at going thru the gulf with prices already this high.
No doubt the rich oil baron running this nation from DC would continue to take it in stride and act like he never heard rumors regarding gas prices going up to over $4 a gallon.
Does he truly believe we are all that freaking naive?
As we head into mid spring, what comes next?
Oh, yeah, summer vacations, right?
Another excuse to raise prices yet again!
Last Saturday evening my wife and I went out with friends for some r and r. It was amazing at how few cars we saw on the highway in our 23 mile drive.
Yeah, people are cutting back on driving as well. Lord knows my wife and I have had to, because I'm not giving up food so I can make the rich bastard oil industry folks even more billions in profit.
The oil industry is destroying the economic structure of our economy and there is nothing being done to stop it at present.
I can only hope the time is coming when we as a nation finally come together, put our feet together and take a solid stand and vote the rich out of Washington and put new and fresh people in there who will do something to end this madness we have had to endure for the past seven years.
When the time comes and people can no longer afford to drive anywhere, what will the slick capitalistic money mongering oil folks do then?
My biggest question about all of this is why wasn't something done years ago when this all started getting out of hand?
The answer is so obvious is bites one on the ass.
Ever hear the one about the Texas oil man who.....
Monday, April 28, 2008
A very nice crowd gathered in one of our city's parks, by no means our best park, but a nice one, and Chelsea delivered her speech and answered questions for a period of one hour standing on the park's gazebo. This young woman impressed me with her knowledge, her ease at answering a barrage of questions, and she was a great ambassador for her mother's presidential campaign.
Considering I live in a predominantly Republican county, I was worried that maybe someone in the crowd would attempt harrassing her, but much to my delight, the crowd was kind, responsive, and applauded several times as Chelsea spoke of the shortcomings of the past nearly eight years of the George W Bush administration. Her answers hit home, brought many cheers of agreement, and again, many rounds of applause.
At the end of her presentation, Chelsea spent at least another half hour, meeting and greeting people one on one, and having countless pictures taken with people in attendance. She was most gracious and attentive to all who took a few moments to meet with her.
When you listen to someone who speaks knowledgably and someone who takes the time to totally answer a wide variety of questions, you have to admire them if they know what they are speaking about, and trust me, this young lady indeed knows what she's talking about. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see her hold a political office in the not too distant future.
Our nation is in trouble right now, mere words can't begin to describe all we are facing at the present time, and I won't go into it right now because it is such a depressing state we are in. And that word depressing, well, it reminds me so much of the word "depression." I can remember growing up and hearing folks talk about The Great Depression and how they hoped we never saw another one. I can't help remembering those words each day as I watch and listen to the daily news. We're facing such hard times right now, and it doesn't appear that the present administration in Washington is doing much to help it out.
I can only hope when people do go to the polls this year they don't forget these things and tend to be party blind. Our nation can't face another four years of where we are right now and where we are heading. We need a change, and we need it now. It is my earnest hope that it is precisely that they think about when they cast their votes this year.
I took the time last Saturday morning to absentee vote in our state's upcoming primary election. I carried those thoughts with me Saturday morning and I kept them in mind when I cast my votes. I can only hope others follow suit.
I also hope that true change is right around the corner before it's too late.
Please, vote like your life depends on it, because truly, IT DOES!!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Just what are we truly accomplishing in Iraq other than watching our soldiers die?
If we quit spending money on manufactured goods just so we can afford gas in our cars, and if manufacturing jobs dwindle away because of this and if these people end up out of work, how in the world will anyone be able to afford to do anything anymore?
When people tell me they are cutting back on groceries and turning down their thermostats just so they can afford gasoline and to heat their homes, isn't there something totally wrong with this picture?
If we can afford billions on foreign aid why can't we spend that same money right here on domestic aid?
If our nation is so fed up with the leaders in Washington how come so many get re-elected every 2, 4 and 6 years?
Hopefully, with a clear choice being presented to us this year for the first time in nearly eight years, quite possibly we have a chance to start our nation on the right road to healing.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Case in point: Two people who have worked closely together and have become quite good friends are suddenly at odds because one of them brings to the attention of the other one that they have been acting strangely for a few weeks and that the strange behavior has them concerned that there might possibly be something causing a change in attitude and also might be causing them to not understand the simplest of things.
The one who brings this to the attention of the other does it out of genuine concern.
In less than one hour, a relationship is damaged beyond repair because the one who was notified takes strange offense at being told they might be having problems which could be anything from a blood clot or a tumor in the brain to possibly an early onset of dementia.
So the person with the good intentions is now treated like they have the Bubonic Plague and they have turned an additonal friend against the informer simply because the informer was worried about the well being of the other.
No, I'm not making this up. This entire stupid scenario is actually going on right now.
Personally, if someone thought that much of me that they would take the time and concern to talk to me about it I would be forever grateful to them and I would admire them for their courage to have taken the step of a true friend and to have let me know.
Apparently this isn't always the case in the course of human nature.
I do have a feeling, however, that the informer will probably NEVER make mention of any thing else they notice might be wrong in the other one's life.
Who the hell could blame them?
Obviously the friendship must not have been that good of a friendship to begin with, at least on one side that is.
I wonder how the sorehead could feel that way when the good intentioned friend helped them get their job?
Again, go figure!!
Some people never catch up in the human race, huh?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
And then I ask you why
Yet you never take the time
To give me a reply.
While I don't dig it either
Sometimes it seems best to do
Some quiet time, some cooling off
So my words don't cause hurt to you.
You tell me you hate the silence
And then you go and abscond
I await your answer as I always do
And then, YOU don't respond.
I guess silence is indeed golden.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Quite badly, indeed.
My wife and I took a much needed vacation two weeks ago and made an escape from reality to celebrate our 30th anniversary(yes, I know, she does indeed deserve a medal for putting up with me all those years) and then last week I had arranged a week off from work, beginning on my birthday, to take care of her after her undergoing shoulder repair surgery last Tuesday. I felt it was the least I could do having had similar surgery 8 years ago and knowing full well what she was in for in the department of not only pain but of the limitations having only one useful limb can have.
The day before her surgery, I began feeling a creepy feeling coming over me, sniffles, cough, etc. The day of surgery, I put on the best front I could and acted my way, an Oscar winning perfomance, no less, and acted as if all was well. She came thru surgery with flying colors, was released from the hospital, and I got her home and fixed us supper that first evening.
I was really feeling subpar by this time.
The following day I did all the things I was supposed to do, fixing meals, cleaning house, doing dishes, etc. As the day wore on, I began to wear down. By evening, I was full blown sick but trying my best not to show it.
The following morning, her first therapy appointment at hand, and my fever had reached just shy of 104 degrees. Needless to say, I didn't get to take her to therapy, make a meal, or anything else, either.
After two days of taking care of someone who has cared so much for me over the years and gone way above and beyond the call of duty, I had to rely on the efforts of family and friends, as I could do nothing more than take trips to the bathroom. I slept nearly all the way around the clock for the next few days.
I discovered my family doctor was out of the country, adding insult to injury, and finally, after being nearly nagged to death, I went to a walk in clinic at the local hospital last night and received my diagnois of severe respiratory viral infection plus a round of antibiotics to take as well as some killer cough medicine with codeine.
At my insistence, I asked the doc if I could please get back to work as soon as possible. He gave me the go ahead to return to work this Thursday, warning me that I was still probably a week away from feeling like my old self and also warned me that this particular virus is hard to shake. Trust me, I believe him.
Anyway, my intentions to be a good guy were once again thwarted by cirumstances out of my control. Such is the cruelness of life, sometimes.
For those of you who have had to deal with this virus, I can identify and sympathize. For those of you who will be getting it, I don't envy you, I can only warn you to get to the doc as soon as you feel the first signs coming on, it's a nasty booger, for sure.
There will also be those of you who manage to miss it entirely, and for those of you, I admire you and am happy for you because you've no idea just how lucky you are.
And with that having been written, it's back to the blanket, the handkerchief and the big mug of water I keep putting into my body.
Come on, spring!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Kick the dirt off
Your muddy boots
And begin the new journey
Of a thousand new suns
And thousands of new miles
And add distance between the pains
With no regrets
And no looks behind me.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I thank you for your continued support and look forward to adding more in the not too distant future. Until my return, as always, I wish you
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I don't deserve
Expectations I cannot live up to
The same words that make one smile
Can also make them feel so
And so small
I don't deserve the accolades
I don't deserve credit
For only seeing
What others failed to see.
I am, after all,
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Congrats to a class act Eli Manning and the New York Giants, 2008 World Champions.
You made a nation smile last night.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Since I stood amongst an auburn forest
And nearly drowned in one of two green
Pools that robbed me of my breath
And pulled me under the shimmering
And now, almost a decade later,
I find myself once again
Dreaming of that forest and those pools
And wondering this time
If I could tread the water
Or once again nearly drown.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Set up in the deepest recesses of my mind.
The conductor waves his wand,
The private music begins to play
No one hearing it but me,
No one responding but me.
Alone I stand,
Alone I listen,
A symphony playing,
Music written for only my ears
And my mind to hear,
No one else invited,
No one else in attendance,
No one to applaud
No one to appreciate and enjoy
So hard to understand
Why I can't share this music,
So hard to comprehend no one
Hears this but me.
Tired of standing alone,
Tired of the million wishes
I carry in my heart,
Tired of the life I lead
And can't escape from.
Encore, I cry,
And the music plays on for only
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
No time for living anymore
Always something taking up my time
Just feel like walking out the door.
Rundown and seething
Confusion gets me so down
On the outside I always wear a smile
But on the inside it's a drawn down frown.
Rundown and feel like screaming
Can't seem to make things work
The harder I try to make it right
The more I feel like some jerk.
Rundown and feeling mean
Not like me to be so confused.
I'm so low down right now
Cause I got the Deep Winter Blues.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I find myself in a rotten mood so much of the time, not wanting to really get out and do anything constructive. Thankfully I do have my job and my responsibilities to the committee I sit on which keeps me active but doesn't tend to provide me with the beams of sunshine I seem to really need this time of year.
I become pessimistic, which is not something I enjoy being. I would much rather be optimistic and see the good in things, but again, it's this sunshine thing and this cold weather thing I seem to suffer from.
Christmas and New Year's are always a great deal of fun for me, even with my job and the hectic pace it sets for my life during the holidays, I still find so much enjoyment celebrating them. There are always those who come along, though, for whatever reasons they might have, and they try and ruin them for others. I try to fend this attack off and usually pretty successful when that happens. I find the best response is to make NO response. It takes two to quarrel and I refuse to do that if I possibly can.
I'm facing a time in my life where there is a great deal of future uncertainty. My career I've enjoyed for the past 29 plus years could be winding down if I can figure out a way to continue to make the same amount of money by retiring and starting a new job. Tomorrow I take the first step in that direction and begin the venture of trying to find a promise of a job that I won't be actually starting until a year from now. That in itself should prove to be quite a challenge in itself.
The Summer Concert Series committee I sit on is hard at work setting dates for our concerts and trying to decide on musical genres and artists to perform. Our meetings have moved from once a month to twice a month because there is so much work to be done to be ready in time. Donation raising is underway and such an important part in the process of providing a community with FREE concerts and concerts that we want to think will be memorable ones for those who attend. Though a lot of work, it's a labor of love and one that I consider very rewarding since one of the purposes my life has chosen to take is the sharing of music with others.
Distractions seem to come along right now in an effort to throw me into an even deeper funk. People try and use me in an effort to bring me down and throw me into the middle of their own karma and use me as an excuse for whatever purpose lies in that. Again, it takes two to keep this going and I refuse to do so when I'm already suffering from a bad case of DWB. So, for those of you who think I'm the cause or the reason for your own bad karma, give it up because I can assure you, it just isn't so. Maybe I don't run on your time schedule, but that's not my doing and it's not under my control. Your own destiny is what you make of it so please, just leave me out of it, ok?
Hopefully next month when vacation arrives and we get away from the daily grind of day to day reality that the setting my wife and I use in February to get away to will provide the comfort and cure to my case of Deep Winter Blues.
At least the sun is shining today, it might be below zero outside and windy as can be, but I'll find something to escape to today, even if it's just for a few hours.
And best of all, Nascar season is less than a month away and that in itself will provide me with a much needed emotional lift I'm sure.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The path we danced held a necessary
That proved too much to overcome
As the music we listened to
Finally came to an end.
As the music played, we kept step
With each other,
Matching our steps in unison,
But the music was winding down
As were our steps.
As usual, my lead wasn't enough
And you tried to set your own pace,
Feel music that wasn't playing,
At least to my ears,
And we fell out of step yet again,
Only this time it would be the last.
Finally, the band ceased playing,
Our hands broke apart
And we separted from each other
On the dance floor,
Our dance over,
The connection over,
The magic gone.
Our last dance completed.