Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Raising My Glass In A Special Toast

Back when I wrote Remembering Summer Heat Part Five, I spoke briefly of a young man we befriended that night named Val. Val was the Scout who took a liking to us and us to him as well, and he kind of attached himself to us that night.

I only recently learned Val's last name, which was Drake.

I thought of Val from time to time and memories of him always brought a smile to my face. Out of the two times we played at Greensburg High School, Val was only there the first time.

A couple of hours ago, I was reading the online edition of the Rushville Republican and came across Val's obituary.

I was dumbfounded and heartbroken, even though I had only met him the one time over 40 years ago. Val was just one of those nerdy guys that was looking for a friend back then, and that night, he had six.

Val, my long lost friend, you now have the best seat in the house for any concert you wish to see, and I hope that you and late Jay McGinnis have already met up and talked about that night down in Greensburg all those many years ago.

You were never forgotten, my friend. That I can assure you.

I now reprint Val's obituary here.

Godspeed, my long lost friend.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

For The Eighteenth Time!

For the eighteenth time since 1977, I have tickets to see Kiss live!

This time, it's a dual headlining tour with Motley Crue!

On Saturday night, September 1st at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, IN, my friend Rick and I will be sitting under cover in the Pavillion to see the greatest rock show of all time!

We will also be blessed to have Legacy Parking Pass which gets us into our own private parking lot a short walking distance from the entrance and we will also be in the first lot to be emptied at the end of the evening as well. With our own exit drive and the fact that we will get out of our lot before any of the other lots are allowed to drive out, we will avoid the heavy traffic that always comes after a concert there.

The last time we went to a concert there to see them, we had the same parking pass and we were out of there and on our way home on the highway in mere minutes.

So, even though Spring has just arrived, I now have something to look forward to as Summer 2012 begins to draw to an end on Labor Day weekend.

"You wanted the best, you got the best...the hottest band in the world: KISS!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Remarkable Spring So Far

Buds and blossoms, grass growing and getting mowed, a harvest of kindling for the firepit and the promise of many a peaceful evening overlooking the road while a fire burns and crackles and provides the atmosphere for many a nice and relaxing Spring evening.

Unbelieveable warm weather has been the order of the day for the past two weeks. Temperatures have soared into the 70s and 80s and 8 out of the last 9 days have seen record setting high temperatures here in East Central Indiana.

I've been able to get a vast amount of outside work done in preparation of the upcoming "outdoor" season. Good thing, too, as the weatherman is telling us rain is moving in for the next 24-48 hours and the possibility of up to two inches of rain, which will only promote even more Springtime growth. Temperatures should drop into the 60s and 70s for the next week or so, which is still 10 to 20 degrees above normal.

I guess a couple of days of rain won't be a bad thing since I need to be getting tax items ready to go to the accountant in another week or so. It will be a nice thing to be able to get that work done, but I have to admit, I'm looking forward to more days outside and more work getting done in the fantastic weather we are having.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg Is All But Laid To Rest

I've been saying for years that Nascar wouldn't be content until they killed the goose that laid the golden egg. I believe they have finally done it!

The above picture shows attendance at this past Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Considering that this race used to always be a sellout and that people NEVER gave up their tickets, and in most cases willed them to family members after their deaths, to say that attendance was down a bit would be a gross understatement.

A change in the track surfacing and a move to progressive banking has allowed for more side to side racing and less of the old "bump and run" style that Bristol used to be known for.

In consistencies in the handling of rules violators as has been evidenced against the Jimmie Johnson #48 team has also driven a lot of fans away. Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48, has been caught cheating in various ways in Nascar at least nine times in the past. Last year at Talladega he told his driver, on camera, that if he won the race to make sure he wrecked the back end of the car. Nascar did nothing about this, of course, because this is their only "five times in a row" champion. Sorry, but as many times as this team has been caught cheating, I put no value in a single one of those championships because I truly don't believe any single one of them was won without cheating in some way, shape or form.

At Daytona this year, before the car ever made it on the track, it was found that they had altered the body area behind the C post in an effort to make the car more aerodynamic. Nascar fined, penalized points and suspended Knaus and another member of the team. Team owner Rick Hendrick filed an appeal, which they lost last week, and then filed a second and final appeal, which today resulted in no docking of points, no suspensions and the $100,000 fine against Knaus left intact.

So, basically, Nascar told Knaus and the #48 team, if you cheat, you're going to lose some money out of your pocket(right, like that's really coming out of Knaus's pocket) but you can keep your points and keep right on working and doing your best to cheat again.

Had this been any other team, I think all the penalties would have stood up. Nascar just doesn't want to take a chance away from their fair-haired boy and his team not winning more championships, regardless of how they do it.

However, I'm sure as any true fan of the sport will concur, it's costing them far more in the long run. Looking at the empty seats at a race that was always sold out should tell Nascar something. They don't even sell out their Crown Jewel race anymore, The Daytona 500.

Why would you want to sit and watch a race where certain teams are given every chance to cheat and win? Why would you, as a sponsor, want your name on the car that obviously likes to cheat to win?

The empty seats tell the tale, the slip in television ratings tells the tale and the number of diehard fans that now tell you they don't watch it all that closely anymore hasn't been enough to get Nascar to start treating everyone the same.

Until that happens, more and more people are going to quit going to races and quit watching them on television.

I, for one, along with a lot of others, will never frequent a Lowes store as long as they continue to give millions of dollars worth of sponsorship support to a team that refuses to play fairly.

I have no respect at all for Chad Knaus or the #48 team, I have no respect for Jimmie Johnson as a driver and I have no respect for any of his five championships.

I also have no respect for Nascar simply because they themselves refuse to play by the rules that they themselves have written.

And while I might watch a half dozen or so races a year from now on, I will no longer watch it week in and week out and I won't be supporting all the sponsors of the sport like I used to.

And like I previously mentioned, I will never walk into a Lowes store ever again as long as they have their name on Jimmie Johnson's vehicle.

Nascar, you took aim on that goose for a lot of years and you kept taking shots at it, and finally, after a lot of misses, you made a direct hit this year.

The only thing left to do is bury the poor animal before it starts putrifying!

Springing Into Spring

The first day of Spring 2012 has arrived, and unlike most chilly Indiana Spring's, this one feels like a day in Summer. We have been experiencing a most unlikely warm Spring so far, and several records have been broken as temperatures for the past week have been in the upper 70s and lower 80s. Today, another record should fall as we creep into the mid 80s with temperatures forecast to hit 85.

This past Saturday I mowed for the first time, and if memory serves me correctly, I have never mowed that early, ever! As green as that grass is and as quickly as it is growing, I am pretty certain either later today or tomorrow I'll be mowing yet again.

The nice thing this year, I have all the time in the world I need to keep up with the grass. I'm not locked into mowing on weekends or after work only as I can now mow whenever I take a notion to.

I have several outdoor projects in mind and all the time in the world now to do them. I can have my coffee out on the porch, build a small fire in the firepit and cook meals and I can take my Bose outside and listen to tunes while reading a favorite book.

Hopefully this will be the nicest Spring I've experienced since I graduated from high school 42 years ago. These small little things that don't seem important to many mean the world to me and these are the days of my early retirement that I have been looking most forward to.

And with those words out of the way, it's off to venture the world of Spring 2012 and the first Spring of my retirement. To each of you, my Faithful Few and those of you who may have ventured by on your first visit, I humbly wish you a wonderful first day of Spring and hope you enjoy yours as much as I'm sure I will mine.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Zayden Update

Zayden's RSV swab came back negative, so they are ruling out RSV as the cause for today's health issues. However, they still aren't certain what is causing the little 16 month old so much respiratory distress. It's quite possible it be asthma, but it's not certain as of yet.

He is slowly improving and his Dad told me that earlier while holding him Zayden managed to give his Daddy about a half a dozen little punches.

That's a good sign to me, for sure!

Get better, Zayden!


I just received word less than a half hour ago that our 16 month old nephew, Zayden, was Lifelined by helicopter this morning from Richmond to Indianapolis with a severe case of RSV. That's all I really know at this time.

I would like to ask those of my Faithful Few who read this today to please keep him in your prayers. Hopefully those prayers will be answered and answered quickly.

Thanks so much for the prayers, the postive karma and good vibes.

He needs them all this morning.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Words aren't invented
Words are begat
Of feelings that are
During times without limits
And emotions awaiting
To be free
I call upon the depths
Of night's legions
To aid my heart
And compel me to cope
With unchained passion
That's depths remain
In days without
And smiles without

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness, 2012

Up until last year, I never understood the hype of college basketball.

Then, on March 2nd, 2011, I underwent shoulder surgery and began that painful recuperation period at home with absolutely nothing but therapy to do.

So, I took advantage of the March Madness broadcasts and got caught up in the frenzy of college basketball, and that hooked me!

This year, being retired, I have the ability to watch the games without the distraction of the pain I was in a year ago. I also have the ability to enjoy some cold ones and have some delicious munchies in the process.

Two hours from now, CBS begins the broadcasting, along with other games televised by TruTV, TBS and TNT.

The next few days will be busy with the games, then a few days off followed by more games next weekend as well!

Let me heartily say, "Let the games begin!"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Great Day For A Parade!

Enjoyed yesterday so much! Got together with our crew from the Concert Series and participated in the 2012 St Patrick's Day Parade in beautiful weather in Rushville!

After a nice 6 block ride on our Concert Series Trolley and the tossing out of a bunch of candy and bubble gum, the parade ended at the local Knights of Columbus where the big party started shortly after the parade and ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

This picture is of Peggy and myself and my close friend Rick shortly before we began the parade in the mid 50's temperatures.

This parade usually ushers in the warmer Spring temperatures, and apparently, with temps forecast in the 70's for the next week and half or so, it appears that annual tradition is safe as well!

And with that: C'mon Spring!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Everybody's Next One - Steppenwolf

John Kay: guitars, harmonica, vocals.
Rushton Moreve: bass guitar, vocals.
Michael Monarch: guitars, backing vocals.
Goldy McJohn: hamond organ, piano, electric
Jerry Edmonton: drums, percussion, vocals.

Gabriel Mekler: Producer.

Bill Cooper: Engineer
Richard Podolor: Engineer.

♪♫ She's all alone, just lost another one
Met him yesterday and he's already gone
And though tonight she'll swear it was the last time
A smiling face will come that knows the right line
And then she'll do all the right things with the wrong guy
And when he's gone, next day she'll sit and wonder why

She doesn't know why she's everybody's next one
'Cause she's afraid that the truth is gonna hurt some
All the pity in the world ain't gonna help none
She has to realize that to keep one, her ways have to change some

She tries too hard and she comes on too strong
Digs herself too much and thinks she can't be wrong
She's too impressed by things that do not matter
To be the Queen of hearts is what she's after.
And then she'll do all the right things with the wrong guy
And when he's gone, next day she'll sit and wonder why

She doesn't know why she's everybody's next one
'Cause she's afraid that the truth is gonna hurt some
All the pity in the world ain't gonna help none
She has to realize that to keep one, her ways have to change some.

I am posting this for one of my Faithful Few, Dominic, who really thought I was kidding when I told him Steppenwolf has a song by this title.

Dominic, here is the proof for you to see, and the tune is actually quite good. If memory serves me correctly, this was the flip side of Born To Be Wild. If anyone finds me to be wrong on this one, please let me know.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Good Luck, Peyton~

At noon today, the announcement that everyone who follows Colts Football knew was coming took place.

Peyton Manning and the Colts have parted ways by mutual agreement.

Jim Irsay made the announcement and after Peyton's emotional farewell speech, Peyton himself told the audience at his press conference that money was never an issue when coming to the decision.

Yes, it's sad to see the 14 year veteran Colts quarterback leave, but, apparently Irsay and the new coaching staff have other ideas as to the direction that Colts are now going.

Peyton, ever the class act that he is, said he would always be a Colt, would always be a part of the city of Indianapolis and that his dedication to the city would continue, as well as his childrens hospital and his numerous charities.

He stated that he and Jim Irsay were the best of friends and would always continue to be and that he respected Jim and the decisions he has made.

It's a shame that a lot of Peyton's fans can't display the same class he has been and stop the accusations and name calling against Irsay.

I wish Peyton the best in whatever direction his career now takes and can only hope he finds the same support and success wherever that may be.

I wish Jim Irsay and the Colts the best as they begin a transitional period and can only hope in a few years the Colts can rise back to the top of the NFL.

I also hope that the sour grapes fans, who sometimes tend to only be fair weather fans, can grow up in their actions and be more adult in their behavior as Jim Irsay and staff move into a new direction for the team.

Life goes on and so does pro football, with or without Peyton Manning.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Get Away Negativity

Five months retired now and just recently I came to the realization of just how much negativity I was exposed to everyday while I was still working.

Customer complaints were actually very infrequent, but some customers actually brought my mood down when they talked about how bad their day had been going. I always tried to make that person's day brighter, and sometimes I'm sure I didn't succeed, but other times I'm sure I did.

Since I retired, I've found so much negativity in a lot of facets of my life. Whether it be watching the news, going to websites on a regular basis that tend to only talk of the negative or sites that try and bring others down for whatever reason or the usual group of naysayers on Facebook who seem to think the only thing worth talking about is how bad their health is, how bad their life is going or just how bad one particular political party is making life miserable for so many.

Back in December I decided to limit my news intake to less than an hour a day and I quit frequenting negative websites and blogpages that I normally used to go to each and everyday. My happiness and state of mind isn't in competition with anyone so why should I read sites or pages that seem to think otherwise?

Last month I began the task of eliminating friends from Facebook who are totally into the habit of being a bigot or a finger pointer against everyone of a particular group of affiliation. This was the hard one for me to do, because, quite frankly, I do have a lot of people I consider friends but I simply got sick of being drug down by all their negativity.

I've also, at the same time, tried to be very careful what I post as well, whether it be on Facebook or on this page as well. While I've not been 100% in that effort, I feel like I have passed that endeavor close to 80% of the time.

I don't see this as trying to put myself above anyone or thinking that I'm any better than anyone else, I just see it as an act of self-preservation. And while I am by no means in a totally positive frame of mind all the time, my mood is better and I tend to see most things in a brighter light than I did before.

Now that I am seeing things in a more positive vein, I hope that what I post both here and elsewhere can be of a more positive outlook as well.

As always, time will tell.

Also, I find myself spending less and less time online and spending more time doing those things that I just didn't seem to have time to do.

That right there has made this entire change in my life worth it!