Monday, December 31, 2007

Some awards not available at press time

In announcing the Top Bananas last night, these were announced after the deadline to go to press. So this special post is to announce those we regrettably missed.

The Mr. Kotter award goes to WZZP and BizDecision, two local guys who do their best to expand the minds of our youth.

The Thinker award goes to Amias, of Liquid Plastic, for her thought provoking views of life as she sees it.

The other awards are in the post below.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Top Bananas

As promised, here are the 2007 Top Banana Awards. I have many winners that come to this blog, so I have many awards to give out. I have awards for bloggers and non bloggers alike. So without further adieu, let the ceremony begin.

Non Blogger awards: these go to the following folks, all supporters of this blog, given by their forum names:
Rich from Medina, David5258, WZZP, JimOhio, newsnomore, CollegeDJ86

These are given to those whom I have contact with on a routine basis:
Brenda, Mary Ann

This one goes to a sorta blogger, meaning he has a blog, but hasn't posted on it in months:
Mike Dane

Now I will present these special awards by geographic region:

From the West coast, the Better Than Good award goes to Mel Kaye of Attitude, the Ultimate Power. Also from California, the Mad Magazine Meets Cosmopolitan award goes to Valley Girl of Life of a Valley Girl.

Now on to the Midwest we go. Receiving the Windy City award is Curmudgeon of Second Effort.
The Petticoat Junction award is awarded to the Terre Haute Gang: Sindi of Life is a Roller Coaster, Stacy of My Thoughts, and Michelle of Rusin Roundup. Michelle also gets special recognition for enduring Christmas shopping season, working at the Evil Big Box Store(tm).

Heading south, we have several awards to give out: Suzanne of Liquid Illuzion gets both the Gateway to the Blogosphere award and the Celebrate Good Times award. The second award is in recognition of all the posts she put up in my honor on the one year anniversary of this blog.

Frasypoo of This and That gets the God and Country award, for both her Christian testimony and and her support of the political system in this country, even though she wasn't born here.

Bella, of It is What it is gets the Southern Cuisine award for her recommendation that I try boiled peanuts on my trip to Florida.

I award the Proud Mother-Good Devotions award to Kathy of Kathy's Klavier for her posts that glorify the Lord and keeping us up to date on her son who is a member of the Christian metal band A Plea For Purging.

The Fit and Trim award goes to Diamond of A Day in the Zone, once again the featured link for January, for helping others with her research of resources on weight loss on the web.

Incognito, the Closet Republican gets the Hen in the Fox House award, for giving political views that are contrary to others in her chosen profession.

To Michigan I go to give a special award. Best Band Mom, Corps Division goes to Jessica, of Five Pines and Through the Viewfinder.

I will go back to Ohio to award these: The Philo Farnsworth award is given to Tim Lones of Cleveland Classic Media.

The Homer Simpson award goes to Springfield's own Pat Jenkins of Pat J.(at least in my mind)Knows it all. For those who aren't as up on culture as others, the Simpsons are from Springfield.

Here are some international awards: Warren Peace of Peace of My Mind gets the Canadian Devotional award for his sharing of his Bible studies with the rest of the blogosphere.

And last, but not least, Amel of Amel's Realm receives the Intercontinental Good Friend award for her blogging from Finland, the land of some of my ancestors.

All those who visit my blog are winners. These awards are given with a very light heart and I hope we can all be good friends as we go into 2008 and beyond.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Featured link for January and coming post

New Years is three days away and you know what that means either resolutions or remorse from too much celebrating over the holidays. People will be spending a ton of money on health club memberships, diet foods, and exercise equipment. I have something for you that's free. All it takes to find out is a mouse click.

If you notice to your right, I have a featured link for January. The link is called "A Day in the Zone." The blog's author, Diamond, pictured to your left, is on a mission to lose weight and is chronicling her efforts and giving tips for losing the needed pounds. This is in the true Zig Ziglar style. Zig has said "You can get what you want if you help enough other people get what they want."

Thanks to Frasypoo for going over there and leaving comments. I urge others to do the same. Also add her to your link list.

Now, in the next couple of days, I plan to announce the Top Bananas of 2007. Last year I almost called them the Golden Bananas and was going to do the same this year until I did a Google search of Golden Banana and found one of the first results was a strip club called the Golden Banana. I immediately scrapped that idea. Come back for the presentation and be prepared to congratulate the winners.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I have made contact with another WIXY School Grad

I was taking a stroll through the blogosphere this morning, and while I was reading the comments section at Ohio Media Watch, I come across a name that sounded familiar-Andrew Boggs. I clicked on his profile and found an email address and had to ask him if he was a fellow graduate of the WIXY School of Broadcast Technique. He shot me a response and said that he was and not ashamed to admit it. I remember him because I briefly dated his cousin in 1976.

Only difference between Andrew and myself is he actually used his schooling and was a radio news anchor in a market outside of Northeast Ohio. He is now retired and runs two websites as a hobby- Mall 727 and House and Cottage.

And I thought I was the only one to admit that I went to the WIXY School. But then again I have successfully used 74WIXYgrad as a branding for myself.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We are now Inter-Continental

A new blog I have placed on my blogroll is called Amel's Realm. The author of this blog is a native of Indonesia, who now is living in the land of some of my ancestors, Finland. Amelia is a friend of many on the blogroll and left a message for me last week over at Seek Him First. My guess is that she discovered me through the Terre Haute Gang.

Check out Amel's Realm. Today she has posted about her long Christmas weekend, a good read.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa was here

We've had a good Christmas at the WIXYranch so far. I got what I needed-socks and pants. A new toy-A digital voice recorder. And a big sack of awards from Mel at Monday Morning Power.

Now with my new toy, I can again attempt to get a podcast together. I had me a headset already, complete with a microphone, but I felt like an idiot sitting at my computer talking to nobody. It's been awhile since my studio time days at the WIXY School of Broadcast Technique.

I have Audacity software on my computer and an account at podomatic, so all I have to do is get off my *hee-haw* and do it.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A quick Christmas Eve Question

Which do you prefer:

A-Batteries not included?

B-Some assembly required?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dual Posts: Terry Pluto on Joseph

This being the weekend before Christmas, I want to share with my blogging family an article that Terry Pluto wrote in this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer, and also available on

The article is about how churches sometime beautify and sanitize the Christmas story. Terry also writes that the story of Joseph should be an example for people of all faiths to follow.

It should be of interest to those who find themselves raising a child that they didn't bring into the world themselves.

Take some time to reflect on the very humble beginnings of the greatest man who ever lived.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Jeff Foxworthys 12 days of Christmas

Here is some humor as we go into the weekend before the big day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santa Comes to the IGA

The WIXYcam was recently inside the Rittman IGA as we heard that the one and only Santa Claus was paying a visit. Even though we could not find a sleigh and reindeer, we did see the jolly one himself.

A Link to an Inspiring Story

Yesterday I posted about our newest friend, Diamond's blog, A day in the Zone. Yesterday was also the season finale of The Biggest Loser. Judging by the comments on that post and the other on my struggles, we could use all the inspiration we can get.

My wife had grown up with a man named Tim Dockery. The first time I met him, he had to be tipping the scales at over 400 pounds. His top weight was 547 pounds. He had many health problems and had to be disabled. One day he decided that enough was enough, and started walking on a treadmill. first day he lasted a minute. from there things progressed. Tim ended up losing over 300 pounds and in 2006 he was proclaimed the TOPS(Take Off Pounds Sensibly) national weight loss king. Click here to read his story.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Blog in the Zone

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my lifelong battle with my weight. Last week I was looking over at Mel's blog, Monday Morning Power, and saw this comment by a poster called "Diamond." I clicked on her profile and saw she had a blog called "A Day in the Zone." This blog is dedicated to Diamond's weight loss efforts. I read some of her posts and saw some content that I could use.

Diamond is a young mother, who seems dedicated to her family. I think that she can be a real help to those who need some tips to losing as little or as much as they need to. Remember New Years Day is only 2 weeks away and I'm sure that there will be some who will be making those resolutions to lose weight. It's always easier to do it with someone else.

Check it out. Her post today is regarding the Biggest Loser season finale. Leave some comments and give this young lady some encouragement.

Oh, I forgot to mention this. Diamond is a southern belle.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Post number 400


I was originally going to let this occasion pass quietly, but decided that it needed to be marked.

You may ask why I felt the need to do this. Well, maybe not. Well I did.

You have to realize that I have written 400 posts without the use of any illegal performance enhancing substances(let's hope that caffeine never becomes outlawed.) I have written about performance enhancing substances, with some posts about pro wrestling, but never taken them.

I have never written while under the influence of anything Illegal, or immoral. I have written while under the influence of things that were fattening.

Unlike a certain home run hitter who supposedly has a big head from what people think are performance enhancing substances(he says it's flax seed oil,) I only get the big head when I read my comments section. Keep them coming!

On to 500

Saturday, December 15, 2007

About Retail

In my years of working, I have spent quite a bit of time in retail. Most of this time has been as a second job. I started at Montgomery Ward, as a lawn and garden salesman. I fell into disfavor with management due to my inability to sell service contracts. Personell decided to put me in a non commission job in the paint department. That worked out better for me, but I did miss those commission checks, but the pressure was off to sell those things designed to give the store 100% profit.

The Monkey Ward store where I was at closed their doors, but the Sears store in the same mall, Rolling Acres, hired many of the former employees. It was there where I started perfecting my routine at the "cash wrap" or registers. I was very entertaining as I would ring up someone's purchase. As the terminal would come up with the total. which took a couple of seconds(this was 1986), I would point my index fingers as to shoot the register and give the total. If there were Kids around, I would really pour it on. My time at Sears also included stints in the electronics department, and automotive.

I spent a whole five weeks selling cars. The less said about that the better. Let's just say I have too many scruples to sell cars.

From the car dealership, where I got fired, I went to Fretter Superstore. It was working there when I was introduced to Prozac. I spent 3-1/2 years there, 3 months as an assistant manager. I was probably one of the most knowledgeable salespeople in the Akron, Ohio area. But what did it make me? Probably the lowest paid teacher. When you have to push a Goldstar VCR over Sony, something is rotten in Denmark. I played the game for a while and was being groomed as a manager, but I couldn't reconcile being a Christian to some of the practices being done there.

We had a training session conducted by the district manager. It was about selling service contracts. He told us to take the customer, bend them over the counter. **** them, and break it off. And do it in a way that they will thank you for doing it. Is it any surprise that this company has been out of business for many years? I left there with no intent of ever going back into retail. During the last three months I was there I also worked at the K-Mart Super Center in Medina during night shift stocking shelves. I will cover this in a future post.

Once again I needed some extra cash, so I applied at Wal-Mart. This was to be very temporary and vary part time. I had originally planned to work there on Fridays and Saturdays during the Christmas season. I was assigned to the electronics department and my act was well received. A three month stay turned into two years. It was then that I perfected my public address skills(gooooooooooooood evening Wal-Mart shoppers).

The 2 years that I was working there, the store transformed into a Wal-Mart Supercenter. I will explain why I cal it the Evil Big Box Store, which is more tongue in cheek than anything else.

I can say that in my two years at Wal-Mart, I was able to now able to leave retail on my own terms, and that was to leave them wanting more,

Friday, December 14, 2007

Alvin And The Chipmunks (Christmas Song) David Seville

Enjoy this one from my childhood.

Santa Claus Is Watching You

He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

Another sign of changing weather-And some irony

My turn today to feel yucky. I woke up with a sore throat and I know all too well what means. I'm catching a cold. But then again the common cold in Ohio sometimes lasts from November until April. No consolation to me though.

I'm the type who likes to suffer alone. My wife is the type who wants to make it a group effort.

I know the drill. Drink plenty of water. Take the pain reliever of your choice. Suck on some lozenges. Go to bed early. Yada yada yada.

I'll groan and Mrs74WIXYgrad will ask me if I want to go to the hospital. I will say no.

Last time I had to go to the ER was when I put a knife through my finger in May. I was trying to separate some frozen hamburger patties. There was an irony about that one. The knife I used was from a set of knives we received as a wedding present. That was also the same knife that Mrs74 used to slice a frozen English muffin for me when we were married for about 2 months, back in 1979. Her cut required 2 layers of sutures. Mine only required 2 stitches. she had to have her middle finger immobilized. There were snickers from the little boys in church over that one.

We still use that knife, but cautiously.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Let's go back in time...1973

Bella posted today about her first job, which was in the fast food industry. This has inspired me to post about mine.

I was 17 years old and a junior in high school. I was somewhat active in school activities and had just played the lead role in our junior class play, "Life With Father." But I was tired of not having money and decided to look for a job.

Unlike Bella, my mother didn't coerce me into getting one. In fact she discouraged it.

After looking for quite some time, I finally landed a job. I was going to be the lot boy at the 42 Drive In, located in Brunswick, Ohio. My job was to try to catch people trying to sneak into the theatre and to help clean the lot two days a week.

The pay was a whopping $1.25 an hour. But then again, I got to see some good movies. I also got to see some action going on in the cars-if you know what I mean. Problem was on cold nights, turn signals would be turned on by mistake. You knew what was happening if the windows were fogged up. I could go on but I am still trying to maintain a family friendly blog.

There were some lulls in the action so I would sit in my car and watch the movie. A couple of times I fell asleep.

Cleaning the lot the next day was some disgusting work. Reread two paragraphs above to get some of the gist of one of the items that needed to be removed. Other items were food wrappers, pop cans, beer bottles, half eaten food, and other pieces of refuse. Sometimes we found money there.

The manager of the place was a real piece of work. I was convinced he was someone's funny uncle. He always brought his poodle to work. His poodle's name was "Mouse." He also had a very animated voice. But the thing that endeared me to him the least was his liberal use of the F verb. I almost quit after my first week, but he talked me out of it, telling me that I would hear worse words than the F verb. 35 years later, I still haven't heard one worse.

Anyway, I lasted there for about three months before I decided that enough was enough. I told the boss off, he paid me in full and I went home. My mom told me that I could not use the money I put in savings and I had to find another job.

Side note:I will try to find the yearbook from my junior year and scan the picture from the class play.

It's beginning to look like...

Monsoon season here in Northeast Ohio.

In hopes to feel festive, I am going to force myself to help put up the tree this evening after work.

But I am enjoying all the Christmas posts on other blogs.

Keep 'em coming. And a little snow would help.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A weird quirk I have

Everyday on my way to work I buy a copy of either the Akron Beacon Journal, or the Medina Gazette. When I buy the paper I never take the top copy because I think someone might have messed with it.

Of course, on most days, I only read the funnies. Someone pays me for the papers once a month.

I was looking for a catchphrase...

But "Get it finished" never quite caught on.

Monday, December 10, 2007

WIXYmobile back on the road

After several months looking for the necessary parts, the WIXYmobile is back on the road-not a moment too soon. With the price of gas nowadays, I need the gas economy that car provides. It's not the best looking thing on the road, but it does take me there and bring me back.

This leads me to another question. Here in Ohio, there are special license plates for those who have DUI's on their records. This prompts me to ask this: Why are most of the cars with these tags better cars than the one I'm driving?

Update: I will post before and after photos of the WIXYmobile soon.

And as far as our "special" DUI tags, if you travel through Ohio, look for yellow plates with red numbers. One thing we are known for in Ohio are some very ugly license plates.

Benefit for some friends

As most of you know, while I was on vacation three weeks ago, I had received the sad news that a friend of mine, Waneta Hoover, was killed in an automobile accident. Her husband, Dan, also a friend of mine, as well as many in Rittman, has many expenses from this unfortunate event.

This coming Tuesday, December 11, there will be a benefit lasagna dinner at the Rittman High School cafeteria.
Dinner will be from 5:00-7:30. During this time there will be entertainment provided by the Rittman High School Choir, Steel Drum band, and High School Concert Band.

Suggested donation for the dinner will be $5.00 If you went out to eat, you couldn't get a good lasagna dinner for that.

Anyone who would want to contribute, but can't attend the dinner, go to the Rittman office of FirstMerit bank and make a donation to the Hoover Fund. Rittman High School will also be accepting donations. Make checks out to Hoover Fund.

The Hoovers have been friends to the community for many years. Dan has driven bus for most Rittman school students. I really got to know the Hoovers from my involvement with the marching band.

Note to Brenda: If you have anything to add to this, please do so in the comment section.

Friday, December 07, 2007

An introduction that should have been a while ago..

Most of my southern friends here more than likely are familiar with Amias and her writing. I would call her a new friend, but we have crossed paths before, as we have a common friend in Liquid.

The first time Amias commented here was in a response to a comment I made on her blog, Liquid Plastic. She was respectful to my style and almost apologetic of hers, as she told me that her content was somewhat raw. Difference is the occasional swear word isn't there for shock value, it's more there for life value.

The first time that I commented on her blog was on an article about the Confederate Flag. With all the controversy surrounding this issue today, Amias gave a unique perspective as an Africian American.

Check it out with an open mind and open heart. And if you feel inspired to do so, leave her a comment or two. She will appreciate it.

The photo in this article was taken from Suzanne's Liquid Illuzion blog. I hope she doesn't mind.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Thursday, Another Birthday

Today I pay tribute to one of my blogging friends, whom I met via the discussion boards in my pre blog days.

Tim Lones, the brains behind Cleveland Classic Media, hits the big five-oh today.

Tim has a great mind for television and radio history here in the Northeast Ohio area. Tim's blog is a very popular one with the media history buffs. Like most of us, Tim's work is a labor of love. Like most of us reading this, Tim is a committed Christian who loves the Lord.

Tim lives in Canton, Ohio. Sometimes he will go to the Cleveland Public Library or the Youngstown Library to do research on stories he will post. This is very time consuming for Tim as he takes a bus to these libraries. Tim doesn't drive due to coordination problems and poor eyesight. Despite these challenges, Tim puts together a product that is read by many, including many area media professionals.

Right now Tim is in the midst of posting several stories pertaining to Christmas specials of the past.

Go over to Cleveland Classic Media and wish Tim a happy 50th. While you're there take a look at some of his impressive posts.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Best of the Rittman Indians Marching Band-WGBB

After yesterday's post I wanted to put a face on the person. Brenda is on the right, sitting next to her life long friend, Luann. The two of them were the main faces of the WGBB for a couple of years. This past season there has been some new people being involved with the boosters. Brenda has taught them one of the basics-Take good care of the announcer.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Off Blog Friend Award

Will also be known as the Andrew Gold Thank You for Being a Friend award.

I just made this award up and if anybody wants to follow my example, go right ahead. If you want to make a cute image to go along with it, that would be great.

Right now I'm more grateful than artsy craftsy.

The winner of my off blog friend award is one of my best friends and most loyal readers. She doesn't have a blog of her own, but comments on mine regularly. Sometimes she will go and look at other's blogs as well. Her name is Brenda, and she lives in Rittman. I have made reference to her many times here, mainly in her role as part of the World's Greatest Band Boosters, or WGBB.

The reason I give her this award now is because she took time out of her busy day yesterday to help lift my spirits. I had just gotten through a very rough weekend and was really feeling sorry for myself. I sent her an email where I really opened up and was worried after I hit the send button that I was risking losing one of my best friends.

Brenda then sent me a very well thought out reply. That was a big help in lifting out of the funk I was in.

I once heard a preacher say during a sermon that a friend is someone who know all about you and loves you regardless. I can say Brenda is that type of person.

Thank you Brenda!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Local Television News

Seeing that I am in a funny mood this weekend, I don't want to risk offending any of my blog buddies, so I am going to play it sorta straight and go with an idea that reemerged in my mind this morning.

I have a few who read this blog who have been employed in television in Northeast Ohio. Most of the folks whom I associate with on the Ohio media discussion boards are "old school," and I am as well.

By "old school," I mean that I prefer my local news 1/2 hour. Nowadays, we get as much as 2-1/2 hours of what is called "local news." Local news could be same stories as much as 4 times, American Idol happenings, "dirty dining," someone painting road kill, or many other things designed to further dumb down society.

We just got through "November Sweeps" and were treated to gems, such as the "Orgasm Diet." A few years back Spencer Tunick was in Cleveland to do a mass nude photography session. One of the participants was a news anchor from one of the local TV stations. The station did a feature on this and aired it during November sweeps. Only problem is this shoot happened in June.

Another TV station had an anchor who was on vacation in Florida. She participated in a wet t-shirt contest and had removed the t-shirt and danced on the bar. Only problem was someone taped her performance and put it on the Internet. She was fired by the station she worked at in Youngstown. She reemerged in Cleveland at the same station where the other "nude anchor" worked.

Do we need all this material? Does this news entertainment send you elsewhere for information? Does the news in your location have "features" that insult your intelligence? If you comment, please also give your location and the market you get your local TV news from.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Now the waiting.... And a find

I am waiting for an ice storm to be coming through the area. We've been watching the weather reports. By now Chicago has already been hit. From what I see, the Terre Haute gang will be spared this time. WIXYjr should be driving home while it's occurring.

If we get some ice hanging on the trees the WIXYcam will be there to bring you the latest.

I've been in a blue funk today, so I decided to go to the Goodwill and look around. I have to do this once in awhile in order to maintain my standing as white trash. While I was there I found two books in real good condition that I think I would give my younger brother for Christmas. My brother has been wheelchair bound for the past 20 years and now resides in a nursing home. Since both my parents are deceased, my wife and I have guardianship over him. He likes sports and can discuss statistics with anybody, although he is mildly retarded.

The books were "The Stone Cold Truth," by Stone Cold Steve Austin and "Mankind-Have a Nice Day," by Mick Foley. Both books are in like new condition and if new, would cost together $52.00. I bought them for $2.00 a piece. My brother will appreciate them regardless, maybe even more if I tell him, which I won't. I have told my wife if Ricky was normal, he would be independently wealthy because he's so tight with his own money.

Oh, we will buy him some other gifts, probably from the Evil Big Box Store(tm).

Update: My friend from that state up north, Jessica, had posted this past Monday in her blog, Five Pines about finding some books in an antique mall. The post is titled "I Found a Treasure".

I have been awarded.

Kathy of Kathy's Klavier has awarded me with the Blog Friend Award.

I have proudly displayed this at the upper right.

Thank You Kathy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Some weighty matters

I had to go to the doctor yesterday. I was called in because my blood pressure and blood glucose were too high. Yes, I am a diabetic and have hypertension. I blame this on two things-Heredity and poor life choices.

I have been overweight off and on since I was 12 years old. I went from being just under 100 pounds at age 11 to over 185 at age 13. Over weight kids have to have a sense of humor or they have a painful life ahead of them. Not being very athletic, I spent 3 years on my high school football squad, sitting on the bench. And believe me when I say some football coaches can be worse than kids when it came to berating those who had weight problems.

In the blog My Thoughts, Stacy wrote a post about her daughter Kelcy. Kelcy had taken a lot of meanness from her classmates because of her weight. Kids are too mean but I also think that some of this can be attributed to their upbringing.

One of the things that people say that makes them assume that they can say something mean is "I'm telling you this for your own good." Some may call this constructive criticism. Still hurt when I was growing up and the subject was my weight.

I've been feeling that there isn't enough positive motivation among families and friends of those who feel hopeless about their weight. I tried to lose weight at least three times when I was in high school with no success. I would announce that I was trying to lose weight and then all the teasing would start. I would lose a few pounds then gain back more than I lost.

There is the opposite end of the spectrum. That's those who aren't overweight but still feel the need to diet constantly. You have models that are so thin that a good stiff wind would blow them away. Karen Carpenter died at the age of 32 due from the effects of anorexia. A record executive had told her she looked chubby, and she took it to heart so much that before she died, she about looked like a human skeleton.

A good read about weight struggles from one who has never described herself as overweight or obese, but has gained and lost since her teen years would be Valley Girl's post, Weighing in on Weight.

About the time I turned 21, I was tired of not being able to date. I was 260 pounds, all baby fat, insecure as all get out, and no young lady would give me the time of day. But one day something happened. I started losing weight. My lunch at work was the same thing everyday-A fish sandwich with nothing on it and a can of Tab. The pounds started coming off, as I was also walking a few miles everyday. Girls started thinking I looked cute as I also had a full head of dark brown curly hair. I was now actively dating. It was after I lost 60 pounds that I met this young lady at work. This was Thanksgiving week, 1977. The young lady is now Mrs74WIXYgrad.

I told people that I lost 60 pounds chasing women. I gained some of it back when I caught one. Here is a picture of me with my mother on my wedding day, March 10, 1977. As you can see, I had gained some of the weight back.
But I still had my full head of dark hair.

My weight had hit a high of 240 when I decided to stop smoking. My decision to stop smoking was made because my wife was pregnant with our first child. I decided to quit shortly after Election day, 1980. I thought for sure I was going to have to go out and buy larger clothes. But instead, I started to lose weight!!! I was taking a sandwich and sliced fresh vegetables for my lunch, sometimes washing them down with a V8. Man was I felt great. I made it down to 184. I was wearing a 34 inch waistband.

Problem with getting down to a desired weight. You have to maintain it. I didn't. Back up to about 240. Marrying into a southern family does have it's tasty hazards. My mother in law happens to be one of the best cooks around. Church dinners have more than their fair share of fried chicken. And speaking of chicken, I live dangerously close to Barberton, Ohio, called by some the Chicken Capitol of the World. Barberton chicken is very tasty, and it's cooked in lard.

In the next few years, I lost a few and gained more back. In 1995, I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee. I was told the next surgery would be a total knee replacement. The following year, I started reading nutrition labels and started cutting out saturated fat from my meals when I could. Sandwich, salad, and fruit would be in my lunch. And no buying off the lunch truck. I went from 245 to 205. Didn't get near my target weight, which would have been 185. Had I done that, I would have cut off my facial hair. I think that men grow beards for one of two reasons. One is to hide a fact they don't have a chin. The other is that they have too many chins. My reason was the latter.

2001, I had the total knee replacement. Another surgery on the same knee followed 15 months later. Weight came back on. Now up to 265.

2005, when I had my physical it was discovered that I was diabetic. I then lost about 30 pounds before depression hit. Anti depressants are no good when you're watching your weight. You can't lose weight and you turn to your good friend, food. What hurts the most tastes the best.

2007: The picture to your left is me this past July. I had just made friends with Liquid and I sent her this picture. I wanted to see if she would judge me by my looks. She touched it up in her personal style, added a story to it and put it on her blog. Liquid is a good friend. In this picture, I weigh 275.

Good news though. I went to the doctor yesterday and I weighed 260. Hopefully going down. Blood pressure, blood glucose, and weight.

But knowing first hand what people go through when they don't weigh as much as society thinks they should, and knowing the hurt that I have felt when someone makes the derogatory comments I have heard made about me, and knowing that some kids in school think fat kids are dumb(I know, run on sentence), I would ask that in this case don't judge the book by the cover. We need encouragement and loved on. A little positive motivation goes a long way.

Walk a mile in our shoes.

A thank you, and around other blogs

Thanks to all who went over to Valley Girl's blog to wish her a happy birthday. Even though she gets more comments than I get hits, I figure a few more on her personal holiday wouldn't hurt. And thanks to those who left their message here.

Some blogs to go to: Now that we are going into the Christmas season, I want to direct your attention to some of our friends.

Jessica, in her blog Five Pines, has gotten her tree, and is starting to watch the classics, such as "A Charlie Brown Christmas", as they are being shown on TV.

Tim Lones' Classic Cleveland Media is starting to feature some of the more obsolete episodes, such as Hoppity Hooper. He also has a big day coming up. More on that later.

Liquid, my favorite business lady, is featuring ornaments and other gift ideas from her "unique boutique" Around the Corner. Scroll down and take a look at her picture there. That's my favorite picture of her yet!

Kathy's Klavier gives us a great Christmas gift idea.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Birthday wishes to a new friend

Today is the birthday of a special new friend to this blog. She calls herself Valley Girl, and resides in San Jose, California. She originally came here through a mutual friend of several of us, Bella.
To your left is a photo of Bella.

Val had come here to post comments on a couple of different occasions. I had gone over there to check her blog out as well. Much of what what she had written about, I couldn't identify with, so I was refraining from commenting there. But the more I looked there, the more I saw common threads between the two of us. I decided to send her an email last week. She responded to me and we have become friends.

One of her posts on Thanksgiving day said that her birthday was coming up in a week, and in my desire to become the Willard Scott of blogging(not really), I have to do for her, as I have done for other friends. I am writing a post in her honor.

Today Val turns 28. 28 is not old, unless you want to audition for American Idol, where age 28 is the cutoff. Simon says you're too old after that.

But in Val's honor, I have proclaimed today, her birthday to be 28 hours long. How do I figure? I have readers in the Atlantic, Eastern, Central, and Pacific time zones. I have also had hits from the Mountain time zone. So the way I figure, It has been November 29 since 8PM in San Jose, California.

Val's blog reads sort of like Cosmopolitan magazine. She treats all comments with courtesy, answering every one, with either a witty or soft response.

So you can either go to her blog and wish her a happy birthday, or leave a message here. I'm sure Val will appreciate all well wishes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breaking News-Pilgrim is Moving

My good friend Pilgrim is relocating.

He has announced that he is shutting down his current url, and will start his new blog, also named Pilgrim's Scrawl.

Click here for details.

From MCO to CAK. Hey flying isn't so bad after all...

Well, all good things must come to an end. I had to fly home since that was where my car was.

This was my first plane ride and I didn't know what to expect. But here's what I found out.

It's good to get there early: I got to the airport about 3 hours before my flight was scheduled to depart, and went to the ticket counter. I gave the agent the information taht I had printed online when I had made reservations, along with my driver's license. She, in turn rebooked me on an earlier flight, which made me happy, as I would get to see Mrs74WIXYgrad again earlier.

More bars in more places, but none at MCO: I went to call home, but my cell phone had gotten no reception in the airport. After going through a lot of hoops, I finally got the message to home that I was going to arrive about an hour earlier.

Boarding the plane, making sure all things are in place: I got on the plane fine(this is my first plane ride EVER). I was cautioned at breakfast time not to eat too much, because I may get air sick, so the first thing I wanted to locate was the barf bag. It was within reach. Next, as the plane was getting ready for takeoff, I prayed for the pilot(touching all bases). Takeoff was smooth as silk, and my last view of Florida was from the air. Was no need for air sickness bag, and I'm sure the prayer helped the pilot.

First stop, Charlotte: The only disappointment I had during the vacation was even though I was within spitting distance of many NASCAR facilities, I didn't get to see any tracks in person. Flying into Charlotte, I did get to see what I think was Lowes Motor Speedway, so that sorta atoned for not seeing any others. Layover in Charlotte was just long enough to go across the airport and catch my breath before my next flight boarded.

Second flight was in puddle jumper: The flight to Akron was in a smaller plane, but it was still a jet. the passenger next to me was the pilot for the return trip to Charlotte. She was napping during the flight, which put me at ease. Neat thing about this flight was, since we flew over many mountains, I got to see the clouds from the top. As we were getting ready to land in Akron, I was telling the passenger next to me what I recognize from the air(US30, Belden Village Mall, Evil Big Box Store(tm) I-77). I come to the conclusion that riding a plane was not much different than riding a bus. U.S. Airways employees were great.

Back earlier than I thought: I was in Akron about 40 minutes sooner than I expected, but I did not waste my time. In the waiting area was a television, and on it was the Ohio State-Michigan game. I got to see the last quarter of a great game(sorry Jessica). Shortly after that come my wife with 2 grandchildren in tow.

End of vacation. I hoped everybody enjoyed reading about it. I thank everybody for all your kind comments.

Tomorrow morning I will be giving out a special birthday shout.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New friend and old birthday

First, I want to welcome Kasper to this blog. She is one of the Terre Haute, Indiana gang and writes a blog called Rusin Roundup.

Next I want to wish a belated happy birthday to Stacy, another of the Terre Haute gang and author of My Thoughts. It was on thanksgiving so they had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, etc. I hope they left room for some birthday cake.

Have a great day everyone.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Spook Hill

On the left is another reason I missed the WIXYcam. The other pic is a previous version of the sign taken from this article at

Spook hill is located in Lake Wales, Florida, on a road that goes along side of Spook Hill Elementary School. You drive your car down to the bottom of the hill, and stop at the white line. Next you put your car in neutral and take your foot off the brake. The car will proceed to coast UPHILL. Quite neat and you can't explain this.

If you are ever in historic downtown Lake Wales, follow the signs and you can find Spook Hill.

Next: From MCO to CAK. All good things must come to an end.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Highlands Hammock Park-Sebring, Florida

Thursday of my Florida trip took me to the Highlands Hammock park in Sebring. I was driven around the park and shown a lot of nature exclusive to that area of the country. I enjoyed walking on one of the trails, seeing cypress trees and looking for alligators(we didn't see any). Above is a picture of my mother in law, her sister and brother in law on the walkway.
Here are some cypress trees, palm trees, and cypress knobs. Normally there would be some water, but Florida, like most of the southeastern United States is suffering from a drought.

The most interesting thing there for me was the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) museum, located inside the park.

The CCC was established in 1933 as one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to try to put the country back to work and to try to reclaim the land. There were CCC camps all around the country.

Florida was plunged into the great depression a couple of years before the rest of the nation, due to a devastating hurricane and the Mediterranean fruit fly.

The picture to your right was of my mother in law listening to a recording of one of FDR's Fireside Chats. The man sitting next to the radio was a member of the CCC. He is 91 years old and very spry.

We were informed of many of the CCC projects, such as firefighting, building projects, and other agriculture related jobs. The young men who comprised the CCC were between 15-18 years old. They earned 25 dollars per month, most of which were sent home to their families. They had strict guidelines to adhere to in regards to their personal belongings, bed, footlocker, and uniform.
I had mentioned in a previous post about the greatest generation. They were children to the generation who felt the effects of the great depression the hardest. Their fathers were also those who were part of the CCC.

No wonder the greatest generation were able to save to be able to live well into retirement. They saw what their parents had to do just to make ends meet.

Back to the CCC. The Civilian Conservation Corps were disbanded in 1942 as the country was to be plunged into World War II.

Next: A trip to Spook Hill.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dedication to all my friends

I have sent this out to some of my friends already. I want to share this with all those who stop by. We are going into the Christmas season and I want to wish all a very happy Christmas(not holiday)season. Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Orange groves galore

During my week in Florida, I got to see, for the first time in person, orange groves. Citrus fruit is one of Florida's major industries. In central Florida, where I spent most of the week. there were orange groves were as far as the eye could see. I got to see the Florida's Natural visitor center where you could buy many orange related products, get a video tour of the factory. You could learn about the history of the company and about the history of packaging. I also got all the orange juice I wanted for free. Below is a picture of the container display.
Oh but the fun didn't stop there. My wife's aunt Loretta works at a produce stand. The owner also has many groves of his own and grows hydroponic plants. I saw some strawberries in season there, but was told that they had very little flavor. This was what I likened to an outdoor greenhouse. While we were at the stand we got a shopping bag full of juice oranges, which was $4.00 for the bag, we went back to the park and my father in law got his juicer out and put me to work. We made about 2 gallons of juice out of these oranges. It was delicious.

Note to Jessica:My in laws have many friends throughout the park also. It sure is better for them than staying in the somewhat unpredictable northeast Ohio winter weather. And I'm glad you're enjoying the pics.

Next: A lesson from history.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Camp Inn RV Resort

And with this post I am back to reviewing my Florida trip.

The picture above is of my mother in law, Ella Jean Bowyer, left, and her sister, Loretta Whinnery sitting next to where I called home for 5 days at Camp Inn RV Resort, US Rt. 27, Frostproof, Florida. This is a winter home for many retirees from the northern states and Canadian provinces. Most residents here are members of what was called the Greatest Generation, along with some of the oldest baby boomers, all folks who worked hard and saved their money. Now they are able to enjoy their golden years.

I was able to take a look around the park many times during my few days there. I noticed that most, if not all of the folks there took pride in their winter homes, as the trailers, as well as the landscaping reflected that.

The park itself has many activities for the people who live there. I had went to a community dinner Wednesday, turkey, dressing and trimming. Other benefits include 2 swimming pools, one of which are heated.
Many modes of transportation are used to get around the park. My in laws are pictured returning from the Wednesday dinner in a golf cart loaned to them by their neighbor across the street. Dot, the neighbor is from Indiana. I returned from the community center that evening on foot. The rest of the time that I was going around the park, it was either by bicycle or car. I went for 2 bike rides a day for exercise as others also did. Along with the bicycles, both 2 and 3 wheeled, people rode around on motor scooters.
I saw many dogs being walked around the park. One dog was pulling his owner around as he was riding on his three wheeler(bicycle). Others had their dogs riding in the basket of their bikes. But being Florida, there were other forms of the animal kingdom in the park. I saw many geckos. I also was fortunate enough to take a picture of the state reptile of Florida. Look closely above. If I go again, I will take the WIXYcam. Sometimes you need the zoom. I'm not brave enough to get close enough to get a better picture.

Next:Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree

Ahh, the Generation Gap...

A thought I have before returning to vacation memories.

A new friend I mentioned yesterday is Valley Girl. She is a 20 something blogger who writes a PG-13 rated blog. Naughty, but nice. Yesterday she wrote a post concerning countdowns. She noted that next Thursday is her birthday. She will become *gasp* 28 years OLD. She is worried about the passage of time and the unknown as she gets closer to, oh my, her thirties.

I remember entering my thirties. I still had feelings of immortality. That was to end in a little while as I was to be introduced to Uncle Arthur, arthritis. Our family was completed when WIXYjr was born 2 months after my 30th.

I am closer now to 60 than to 30 but I can say that I remember not knowing what the future held for me. But I lived through it. I think my daughters, ages 24 and 26, and my son, age 21 will also. And Val, I don't know you all that well, but I've got a feeling you will have it made also.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pause for Thankfulness

I figure that I will get fewer visitors here today, seeing most readers will be visiting their families today, as well it should be.

I have read some posts on other blogs from bloggers expressing their thankfulness. Here is some reasons I have for being thankful.

I am thankful for some of the Christian fellowship I've been having through the various blogs.

I am also thankful for those who drop me emails, which really lift my spirits.

I am thankful for all the friends I have picked up since early summer, as I ventured out into the blogosphere and discovered Liquid. Through her buddy list I picked up new friends, such as Pilgrim and Frasypoo, and from there business really picked up.

And a shout out to my newest friend, Valley Girl. You're welcome here any time.

But outside of the blogs, I am thankful for my family. We are expecting a houseful today.

To everybody: Have a happy Thanksgiving. And if you are out shopping tomorrow, I have one question. WHY??

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One last beach picture

I enjoyed looking at the sand pipers running to and from the waves. Next post will be about the RV park.

New post at other blog

I just posted at my faith based blog "Seek Him First." This is an attempt at humor on my part, and the post is titled "Top 10 Reasons Your Pastor May be Long Winded."


Monday, November 19, 2007

More from the beach

Atlantic Ocean off Ormond Beach, 8:00am November 12, 2007.

Looking south at the hotels lining Ormond Beach.

My mother in law and I posing for a shot. Here I still had my Ohio winter fur. The next day, I got it cut. In the next few days, I will probably wish I hadn't.

My father in law took a picture of my mother in law taking a picture of me.

I found this out

This time of year, when you go to the Evil Big Box Store(tm) and use the self checkout, people behind you in line don't take too kindly when you have a total of over $23.00 and you decide to pay in change.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Check this out

Since marching season has been over for a few weeks(I will still be posting pictures), I like it when other blogs post about students doing their best. Media Matters, based here in Northeast Ohio, has a post called "Class Projects." This post is a video production of some of Struke's students. I enjoyed their work. Check it out.

My very first view of the Atlantic Ocean

Picture taken 8:30am November 12, Ormond Beach, Florida. Ormond Beach is the northern neighbor of Daytona Beach. As I'm a stickler for details, I wanted to say Ormond Beach, but my father in law thought that people would understand better if I called it Daytona Beach. I'm stubborn. I was in Daytona Beach proper for only about a couple of minutes.

Loose ends coming back

As I returned yesterday, I met Mrs74 and two of our grandchildren at the Akron Canton Airport. As we took the children home, our daughter told me that I had forgotten to mention an important name as I made my mention of Veterans Day. That's the danger you risk by mentioning any names at all. Fact is I missed more than one name. Her husband, Kevin, was the person she was referring to, but I would be remiss if I would also not mention my father, Kenneth Feightner, father in law, Eddie Bowyer, uncle George "Sonny" Babcock, and great uncle Samuel P. Feightner.

And on a totally unrelated note, I think the artificial Christmas trees lining the downtown area of Rittman look very tacky. Why can't they put real trees in the planters then plant them elsewhere after Christmas? Just my opinion, which you can take to Burger King along with $1.50 and get yourself a cold drink.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Trading Warm Weather for Fall Foliage

Well, I'm back home.

After five plus days in the Sunshine State, I have found my way back to northeast Ohio.

I have just caught up on Funky Winkerbean and now it's time to catch up on the blogs. I have checked my site meter and I am amazed at the number of hits I have gotten during this past week. Thank you for your continued support.

I need to catch up on all the blogs I have missed during the week.

But what's most important for now, I have to give Mrs74 the attention she hasn't had the past week. I helped her parents and she did a tremendous job of helping herself.

I have some stories to tell and photos to post. I got my disposable camera developed at the Evil Big Box Store(tm) in Lake Wales, Florida. Don't fret, I got a CD of the photos I had taken.

Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

From the Frostproof, Fla. Library

This is my midweek check in.

I am here at the library because I had gotten some bad news from home. My sympathy goes out to the families involved in the fatal crash in Rittman yesterday morning. One of the fatalities was a parent of a former Rittman band member.

Anyway, I didn't spend too much time at the beach, as we wanted to get set up at the trailer park. I have had plenty of orange juice this week, saw an alligator, and I'm getting plenty of rest. My inlaws are going to take me to see some of the attractions in the area.

I will tell you this. I came down to Florida with my Ohio winter fur. Yesterday I went and got a hair cut.

Thanks for all the advice and well wishes. I have some pictures to share and will get to that once I'm on my home computer. I will be flying back Saturday afternoon.

And remember to pray for the Hoover family.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Greetings from Daytona Beach, Florida

So far I want to thank everyone for your prayers and well wishes. The trip is going fine. I am posting this from the lobby of Sleep Inn on Williamson Blvd, near Daytona Beach, Florida.

The trip so far: We left Medina about 6:15am Saturday morning. We went from there to Pax, WV, to see my wife's uncle, who is suffering from terminal cancer. He knows where he will be once he passes away, as he knows the Lord. Pray for his wife. She is very worn out from the ordeal. Very sad there.

From there we traveled to just north of Charlotte, NC, where we spent the night.

We all awoke early Sunday morning and got an early start. Not much sight seeing, but we are having a pleasant ride. To my northeast Ohio friends: I can now say that I have traveled every mile of interstate 77.

This weekend I have experienced several firsts. First time I have been in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Now to Bella, Kathy, and Frasypoo. I had some boiled peanuts this afternoon. I didn't think they were too bad. My father in law wanted to see me gag on them, but I disappointed him. they had a texture similar to garbanzo beans, or chick peas. It also tasted like they were flavored with ham hocks.

I haven't taken any pictures yet because I intentionally left the WIXYcam at home. I had picked up a disposable WIXYcam, and left that there too by mistake. The motel we are at tonight has an Evil Big Box Store(tm) close, so I picked one up there. I know I'm in NASCAR country now just by looking at all the stock there. Heck, they even have the new Dale Jr. shirts at that Wal-Mart. So Sindi, if you are looking for some Christmas presents for your husband and son, just take that short drive from your home in Terre Haute, Indiana to the Evil Big Box Store(tm) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

That's it for now. I will post again when I can get access to a computer.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wrapping things up

This will be my last post before I leave for sunny Florida. If I get a chance to use a computer during the week, I will be on for some short updates. I will be taking a disposable camera and notebook with me. I may be able to milk this trip out for a few posts.

Anyway, I want to take a short trip around the blogs and suggest some good posts I have read lately...

One of my new friends, Bella is a registered nurse. A post from her blog "It is What It is," reminds us that medical professionals sometimes can be some of the worst patients.

Pat Jenkins blog "Pat J.(at least in my mind)Knows it all" touches one of my interests, radio, as he muses about whatever is happening to the disc jockey. I also contributed in the comment section.

Another new friend, Stacy, in her My Thoughts blog, invites us to read 38 things about her.

Frasypoo tells us about problems she had when she went to vote this past Tuesday in This and That.

Pilgrim's Scrawl
chronicles about Pilgrim taking stock as he was preparing for the possibility of Hurricane Noel hitting his area.

Tim Lones
posts in Cleveland Classic Media the 1959 schedule for WEWS in Cleveland complete with an ABC promo.

Check all the links on my sidebar, as all my friends are good folks with good ideas.

Update: Since Veterans Day is Sunday, I want to thank all who have served our country. I know that Mike Dane served in the navy and Liquid's father is retired Air Force. If there are others who read this blog, let the readers know by leaving a message in the comment section. we are all proud of the effort you put forth for our country.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My destination

I will be going to Frostproof Florida this coming week. It is located in Polk County. Above is where in Florida Polk county is located and where Frostproof is located in Polk County.

Dual Posts:Reason for this Vacation

Those of you who have read WIXY's Gone Bananas since the start remember the story of my father in law's stroke. Those who aren't familiar and don't want to go through over 350 posts to find it, I will post the link. The post was called "Jesus take the Wheel." Check it out and as an added bonus, scroll down and read David5258's excellent. comment on the song.

My in law's were getting ready to go to Florida for the winter when the stroke occurred. It turned out to be a "mini stroke." Well they spent Christmas in Ohio, which meant they got to see their great grandchildren on Christmas Eve. Sometimes things like that turn out to be compensation for a minor inconvenience.

The day after Christmas, it was on to Florida, traveling tandem with a couple from their church. Health wise the stay in Florida was nothing out of the ordinary, but they flew my wife and her sister down to help with the drive back this past spring.

My father in law had a couple of setbacks during the spring but nothing major. His heart doctor told him late in the summer that his heart was in the best condition in years. The plan was to drive to Florida on their own, which went well until late September he was showing his neighbors how to do something they were doing easier and his defibrillator went off. At this poing my wife got a call from her mother. She said that she was going to call her sister and have them sell their trailer in Florida. Kathy told her that I had vacation time and would drive them down if they could fly me back. I had told my father in law the day my mother died, when he called me and told me how much they appreciated the care I gave my mom. I told him if need be, I would do the same for them.

They took me up on the offer, and insisted that I take time to enjoy myself there. I've never been to Florida, so there are things I will see in person for the first time. I will also get to go to the orange juice processing plant, where I can drink all the juice I want. They will take me to the ocean(another first), and I will get away from the rat race for a week.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Blogging to beat the blues

It seems to me that the group that I'm identifying with on the blogs has one common thread going through it. Most of us, including myself, have suffered through depression in some form.

Even though we've never met it seems that we are a good support group for one another. We are upbeat in most of our bloggings, and that's a good thing. I am who I am whether you meet me on the street or only on your monitor. I treat this as fantasy land because I enjoy what I do. I enjoy giving information about my hometown and region as I am only one of fourteen registered on Blogger from Rittman, Ohio.

I started my blog during a blue period, and have maintained it through at least three others. Some posts have no comments, while others more than make up for that. I enjoy reading all of them. There are some days your comment makes a difficult day easier.

Let's all help each other. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More of the Best of the RHS Marching Band

CONGA- Halftime September 21

A Quick Reminder-Go Out and Vote

I can guarantee you that next year on the first Tuesday in November, there will be long lines at the polls. People will say that it's an important election as they try to make changes at the top.

I've got news for you: they're all important. Change will never be really effective unless it starts at the local level. If you don't know your local issues, shame on you. If you don't know your candidates for township trustee, city council, or mayor, why not?

If you don't vote, you have no right to complain.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dual Posts:Blessings

This is one of two dual posts, meaning this will be posted on both my blogs, this week. the other will appear either Thursday or Early Friday.

On October 16, I posted about Terry Pluto on my Seek Him First blog. I sent him a link to it and he responded by a very nice email asking for my home address. He sent me a book he co-wrote with Bill Glass titled "Champions for Life-The Power of a Father's Blessing." He autographed it-"To Cliff-You are a Blessing!" That, in itself, really blessed me.

I was reading this book as I was waiting to see the doctor late this afternoon. What I was reading was what Bill Glass, former Cleveland Browns player and current prison evangelist, had written about men and women needing blessings from authority figures. I am taking this book to Florida with me and I will review it in the weeks ahead.

This occurred to me: Those who read these blogs are a real blessing to me. I get encouragement from those who leave comments here. Those who find these blogs through other blogs, just about all of the time, usually begin with "I really enjoy your blog." I fear that sometimes I may not respond in kind. I've gotten email from those who are concerned about my emotional state and they always pick me up. Sindi just did that for me last week, and it's touching that someone whom I've never met could be such a blessing me.

Those who wished me a happy birthday last Tuesday really blessed my heart. Those who consider me a friend and say so on their blogs or in my comment section, your words are priceless.

And before I post this, I want to say this to those who are my friends but aren't bloggers:Your comments here give me something to brag about to other bloggers I want to be a blessing to everybody and some of you show me how to do it.

One final exhortation:Be as much a blessing to others as you are to me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Best of 2007 RHS Marching Band-3

Here are some of the worlds greatest student musicians, assisting the World's Greatest Band Boosters(tm) selling some of the world's greatest(Lerch's) donuts.

One of several new links....

This week I am going to tie up a few loose ends as I get ready to go on vacation. One of these is adding some new links onto my blog as I have recently gotten some new friends here.

The first link is to a blog that originates in my home area of Northeast Ohio. It is called "Transplants, Facts, Thoughts, and Opinions." I have no idea who the blogger is, but he did come here to wish me a happy birthday this past Tuesday.

Anyway his blog is a journal of the thoughts of a recent organ recipient. He also encourages those who are able to to donate life by being an organ donor.

Check it out.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Liquid update

It's no secret I have made many friends here in cyberspace since this past summer. Liquid happens to be the one who has helped in the most recent wave of meeting new friends. Well It seemed a couple of weeks ago that she had dropped off the face of the blogosphere. I knew what she was up to, so I thought I would just back off since she had a full plate. Most folks who check in here are bloggers, also and check out her blogs and know what's happening. I want to post a link to the item on her blog, post some pics and give some comments of my own. The post on her Liquid Illuzion blog is called "Around the Corner."

Suzanne(Liquid), her sister-in-law, and her cousin , have opened this gift shop in Meridian Mississippi called Around The Corner. The shop features some of Suzanne's framed photography along with other creations from local artists there. It's a labor of love for these women, but also a large part of civic pride.

The pictures that I have seen of downtown Meridian, Mississippi sort of remind me of uptown Medina(pronounced med eye na), Ohio. Matter of fact you remove the r and the first i, then switch around the last two letters, Meridian becomes Medina.

But anyway, down Meridian could just as well be downtown anywhere else. My friend JimOhio goes on message boards and posts about businesses leaving Medina square. It's sad but in most cases it's just a matter of people not having a vision. Everybody wants to blame the discount stores for taking business away from the downtown areas.

I use the term "Evil Big Box Store" as a tongue in cheek way of referring to the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Some have a habit of pointing a finger at them as a way of explaining downtown blight. Now I do think that if Sam Walton would see what has become of his beloved chain of stores, he would be turning over in his grave. And some mom and pop stores have gone by the wayside because of the ease of getting the same items at lower prices at any time of the day.
Widgets are made cheaper in China, and can be sold cheaper in the Evil Big Box Store.

I want to tell you something. Knowledge and courtesy cannot be produced at any price halfway around the world. You can get nails cheaper at The Home Depot, but you go to the hardware store downtown and you get years of knowledge along with your hardware. The owner knows his customers and wants to keep their business. That's the same with other small businesses.

Suzanne and partners aim to do their part to revitalize downtown Meridian. I don't know about the others, but Suzanne gives me the impression that she's a "people person." She cares about her blogger friends, most of whom she's never met and I can imagine that those she will meet will also experience her friendship in a great way.

I am looking for good things to come from Around the Corner. If they ever get a website I will surely post it here.