Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Print this..

And post it on your refrigerator. Crankshaft's got it right this time.

Dim Bulb Special

As I said this past Friday, the Kmart where my daughter works is closing. They had their first round of markdowns, as of Sunday. Anybody who knows anything about retail knows that the original markdowns don't even bring the items down to sale price yet. But the merchandise is flying out the door.

I was there looking around yesterday at some items, mainly dreaming. We were over at the Evil Big Box Store(tm) across the street on Monday. The item I was most interested in was still more expensive at Kmart even with the 10% discount.

Our daughter called us last night to tell us that this man was in the store on Saturday wanting to buy some coffee, which was on sale for $5.99. He decided to come in on Sunday when the going out of business sale began. The coffee then reverted to it's regular price of $6.99, minus the 10% discount of 70 cents. You do the math.

Funny thing is this is happening all over that store. I think this round of cuts is designed to give the employees a good laugh.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hockey time again.

This post contains some followup of a local flavor and a correction.

First the correction: It was the gold medal game against Finland where USA goalie Jim Craig was looking for his dad with the flag draped over his shoulders. Sometimes after 30 years, memories run together.

Now back to Friday, February 22, 1980. Since cable television was pretty much in it's infancy, there were many events of the Winter Olympics that were shown on tape delay. The hockey match between the USA and USSR began in late afternoon. I recall watching the 6:00 local news on the Cleveland ABC affiliate, WEWS. During the sports segment, the late Gib Shanley had told viewers if they wanted to watch the game later on on channel 5 and did not to know the score to leave the room. After a pregnant pause, Gib gave what was the current score, which was a 2-2 tie.

A little bit later, we were watching a program on WKYC/3, which was an NBC owned and operated station. During the program, there was a crawler on the bottom of the screen which said that the United States team beat the Soviets. I just wonder if that then sent more people over to channel 5?

I know that Kathy and I made a quick exit from church that Sunday to hurry back to our apartment to catch as much of the game between the USA and Finland as we could. My parents came over to take us out to dinner, but understood why we wanted to see the rest of the game. And yes we watched the game, and the gold medal ceremony where after the playing of the national anthem, Mike Eruzione motioned for his teammates to join him on the podium, which then was only designed for one person. Nowadays they are constructed for the whole team.
My mom and dad were chuckling at us watching all this and said that my brother, Ricky, was probably doing the same at home.

Struke posted a video with Kurt Russel as 1980 Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks giving a pregame talk to the team before the game against the USSR. Check it out and click on some of the related videos after the completion of that clip.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Do you believe in miracles? YES!!

The title of this post is one of the most memorable play by play calls of the 1980's. It is also is a call that made many of us proud to be Americans.

I was reminded of this as I was watching an interview with Al Michaels during the Today Show this morning. Al Michaels called the play by play for the 1980 Olympic hockey game between the United States and Soviet Union also known as the "miracle on ice". But for now, let me back up.

Personally, life was going well for me at that time, Kathy and I got married the year before, but for the country and for the world things were not looking all that good. For the first time in this country, the price of gas went over $1.00 a gallon, inflation was in double digits, and unemployment rate was rising. Overseas wasn't all that great either. The U.S. embassy was taken over in Iran and 56 Americans were held hostage, and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The U.S. and other nations then made plans to boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic games, which were to be held in Moscow.

The 1980 winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid, New York. The Americans sent their best amateur athletes to the Olympics to compete against the other countries professionals. The hockey team was no exception. They weren't really expected to go for the gold, but they were about to give us many thrills and memories. They tied Sweden, then went on to beat Czechoslovakia, Norway, Romania, and East Germany. Then came the Soviets.

Friday, February 22, 1980, the world witnessed the Miracle on Ice, the United States versus the Soviet Union. The first period ended with the score tied 2-2, second ending with the Soviets ahead 3-2. The United States came back with 2 goals to defeat the Soviets, and from coast to coast, we all were a proud country. The lasting image I have from that game was goalie Jim Craig, flag draped across his shoulders, looking into the crowd. you could read his lips as he said "where's my dad?"

The cover of the March 3, 1980 Sports Illustrated, was the only cover in the magazine's history that had no headline and no caption, just a photo of the U.S. hockey team celebrating the win.

Oh yeah, two days later they defeated Finland for the gold medal.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More job loss in my family

My daughter currently works two jobs. During the day, she works as a substitute teacher and on nights and weekends, she works at Kmart.

She would like the teaching position to become permanent, but a wrench has been thrown into those works. The district where she does most of her substitute work has a student teacher in her specialty who also is a basketball coach, and this is a district with a storied basketball heritage. Because we have screwed up values in this country, "Basketball Jones" is more likely to get hired before my daughter.

She was told a couple weeks ago that the Kmart where she works, and has her benefits, will be closing in May. She asked us not to say anything, but it was in the news yesterday. She was told that it wasn't likely that there would be anything open in other stores. She has been with Kmart for over 10 years. But according to this story, the employees were informed of openings in other stores. I say we all take a trip to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, to the headquarters of Sears Holdings and see if we can fins a bunch of people with long noses.

Now there more disgruntled soon to be former Kmart employees who may become future Evil Big Box Store(tm) employees. Or they may aim at the local Target.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Job Hunt Update!

I have already shared this on Facebook, so I thought I would share this here.

The place in which I applied in Medina yesterday, called me this afternoon, asking to set up a job interview this coming Monday at 10:30am, Eastern time.

I need prayers, well wishes, and guidance for this.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On the Job Hunt...

Today after seeing a job opening online, I went to nearby Medina to put in an application at this company which specializes in the production of cold salads. They were looking for third shift warehouse people and forklift experience, which I have, was a plus. Since the ad was not only online but in the Medina Gazette, I was filling out an application in a very crowded room.

Yesterday I decided to go to my local one stop employment resource center. As I got there, I asked the receptionist about any possibilities of getting training for other job skills other than the ones I have. I was told that this was not available due to a lack of funding. What was available there was a resource room, which consisted of computers and the local newspapers.

What the heck??? No funding? I was told to come back after July 1, when the next fiscal year began. Now let me get this straight. In 2008, Ohio was one of the so called "battleground states". Obama, Biden, McCain, or Palin were here about every other day. Most of what we've have gotten since January of 2009 has been unfufilled promises and many unemployed workers. If I remember correctly, this is a Congressional election year. You remember what "we the people" did to the Republicans. We may do the same thing to "you the incumbents" no matter what your party affiliation may be.

Funny thing, though. There was enough funding for four employees to stand around doing nothing.

Cliff Note: As a personal policy, I don't normally delete comments, just keep them clean and have the courage to leave your name.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Of the People, By the People, and for the People

I went to Save A Lot this evening to pick up a few needed supplies, figuring there wouldn't be too many folks in the store on a very snowy Tuesday evening. I was right, but my timing left a little something to be desired.

There was only one register open when I got to the front and I was the second customer in line. The customer in front of me had four carts with cases of canned goods. I was given an apology by the wife of the customer in front of me. I guessed they were buying for a food pantry and I was correct in my assumption. I also feel that I had no right to complain since I may be one who needs a food pantry in the not so distant future. Cliff Note: I'm fine now and for the foreseeable future. Lord willing, I'll have a job before I need those services.

My hat goes off to those Churches and civic groups that reach in and out to those who are in need and to make sure that no one that they are aware of goes hungry, especially in these times. I can wait a few extra minutes for those who help others.

So if you're in line behind one of these servants remember that they are the ones who do the serving that people are screaming for our elected officials to do, hence the title of this post. And they do it with very little fanfare.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This one's for the birds

I was going to pick up a prescription this afternoon and decided to listen to my sometime favorite whipping boy. Someone called the show to say tht there were about 40 dead seagulls around "Muni Light" or Cleveland Public Power. He said that he had called the tip line about this and was told that this wasn't an unusual occurrence for this time of year.

There were subsequent calls to the show from people giving their speculation as to why this would happen. Some thought it was because of the weather, and others thought maybe the birds drank contaminated water from a pool by the power plant. come to think of it, maybe they drank from the water fountains at Quicken Loans Arena. Cliff Note:Read my last post.

Others thought maybe the seagulls flew too low and were hit by semi trucks. I don't think that's all that unusual as many motorists find themselves on occasion flipping the bird.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This is real stupid

I had seen on the news this past week that the drinking fountains were removed from the Quicken Loans Arena. The reason given was to prevent viruses from spreading. Many of us, myself included, thinks that maybe this was done in order to sell more four dollar bottles of water.

I also think that this is a bad move. Dan Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers owner, should be content with the packed houses he gets with Lebron and company, and their championship run. Many people can't afford to attend a game, much less paying as much for a bottle of water as you can get a whole case for at the store. But I guess someone has to bring revenue into Cleveland since mayor Frank Jackson had to layoff many of his fund raisers, I mean police officers.

But the folks working the concession stands may have to be aware with this move since many viruses are spread from person to person with the exchange of currency.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A quickie for a Friday

Have a nice day, unless you have other plans.

Cliff note: I had to share this one. I got it from this week's edition of Dan Miller's 48 Days Newsletter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sometimes too sweet

One of my biggest struggles has been with my blood glucose levels lately. Part of the problem has come with lack of activity due to the weather lately, but the biggest problem has come from my dietary habits. This morning when I woke up my blood glucose was 233. I was going through my email and getting ready for my day's activities when the phone rang. My daughter was at the other end, and she had run out of gas. The times I ran out of gas, and they were often for a time when I was in my twenties, I considered that the adult equivalent of wetting your pants. But being older and maybe wiser, I just looked at it as my daughter running out of gas. I took some gas to her, followed her to the closest gas station and finished filling her tank and sent her on her way.

Back to the topic at hand. I hadn't had breakfast, so I decided to stop for some but couldn't figure where to go. My blood glucose level was still fresh in my mind, along with other recent health issues. Probably the least healthy meal of the day is breakfast and I wanted to make a wise decision as to where to go. I wanted to sit down and eat something, but I didn't want to wait any length of time. My only option at this time is fast food, and in my neck of the woods my only choices would be McDonald's and Burger King. Between the two the healthy choice is McDonalds, so Micky D's it is. Even at this point I'm limited, and I got an Egg McMuffin, without the cheese, and a fruit and yogurt parfait. According to their list, I consumed 460 calories and 4 carbohydrate exchanges.

If you are like me, you need to be continually aware of this information. Ignorance is not bliss, no matter how tasty.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time to rant....

I've talked enough about the weather and the only thing I've done about it was shovel snow and tear up the transmission of the WIXYmobile. Well the latter is a result of driving in it.

As we were watching the news last night and observing the Chicken Little list of closings, this story was aired about an article in the area's alternative weekly. It was a personal message to former Indians pitcher, C. C. Sabathia. I won't dignify the article by linking to it. It addressed the fact that Lebron James becomes a free agent after the current NBA season ends and how C.C. is telling the New York media that New York would be the perfect stage for his good friend. The author of the alternative weekly article spews out profanities at C.C. for his quotes. As far as I'm concerned, both of these articles are ink and paper trying to sell their wares and nothing more.

As a Cleveland sports fan, I have grown accustomed to big name personalities leaving town for seemingly greener pastures. In the past 15 years we have seen the exits of Albert Belle, Manny Rameriez, Jim Thome, Carlos Boozer, and the entire Cleveland Browns team. This is just to name a few. All these and others left and you know what? The sun still came up the next day. Was I, as a fan, disappointed? You bet, but I had my life to live. Sports is a needed distraction from the rigors of everyday life.

Will Lebron leave for another team after July 1? I don't know. Will I be disappointed if he does? Probably. Will it ruin my life? Not a chance.

The point is that the New York media has every right to print the story as they need to drum up sales of a dying medium. The guy writing the article for the alternative weekly, has every right writing what he did, but I will say this: Writing what he did for shock value, and the expressive language he used is all the proof you need to know why he writes for a FREE alternative weekly and not a major metropolitan media outlet.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another blast of Old Man Winter

It's either school authorities have more faith in weather forecasting, or Chicken Little is in charge of calling off classes in most districts around here.

I woke up this morning and saw that most school districts in Wayne County, Ohio were closed today. I looked outside and no new snow had fallen. Would have been a good day to stay in, but I had to leave the house anyhow. First it was to take the WIXYmobile to the mechanic to get the transmission fixed, and to have Kathy pick me up. Then we both had to go to the doctor's office. All this was finishing as the bad snow was coming.

We are both doing fine and are warm inside our house. This time the school superintendents were wise in canceling classes. And once again, I'm glad not to be driving that 92 mile round trip to Cleveland.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Not as bad as the East Cost, but still *yuck*

Overnight we got slammed pretty hard from old man winter. I was driving in the beginning of this late yesterday afternoon and saw the aftermath of a very bad accident. Problem is people lose most of their common sense and patience when we get into this weather and on the roads. This is when you have to remember all the defensive driving lessons you were taught, or in short, look out for the other guy.

I got up this morning and saw we got all the snow we were promised. And I got out my shovel with the ergonomic handle, aka, the kinky shovel. I then got to work and yes, I did take breaks.

I did drive into Wooster to get Adam and bring him over for the day. After I got stuck twice, I regretted that move and I will have to get a new tire for the WIXYmobile on Monday.

Now as I put the finishing touches on this post, I am also watching the Budweiser Shootout. This reminds me that spring is just around the corner.

Hopefully we will have Margaret check in, as I have been hearing all day that the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas have been hit really hard.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Would this be considered prejudice?

I went, resume in hand, to place a job application this morning. My wife called her sister and they said that I should check out the company her husband works for. They have many locations in a multi-state area, and I was told to go to one of the locations to apply.

When I got there, I was told that I had to apply online and that there were no openings anyhow. I got into a conversation with someone there and he told me that I would have a hard time getting a job because of the "white stuff on my head."

Now I've had been told before that I was "overqualified" when I had applied for jobs in the past, and I know that is usually code for "too old." An employer cannot come right out and say you are too old, as that is a violation of federal law.

It isn't right for one to judge people by their age, just as it's not right to judge them by their race, gender, or specific beliefs.

As I was growing up, I found that people judge by social standards. Both sides of my family was from the "other side of the tracks." My mother had a "bad reputation," and my grandfather was the town drunk. I like to treat people as equals and I hope to run into an employer who has the same values, and also see my "white top" as maturity and not oldness.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Some days, it's best to clean up a little....

Okay, I've been doing some domestic work since I have found myself between jobs. Kathy and I have decided to start some spring cleaning early and we are redoing the master bedroom. Today, I started right after breakfast to move around some things that haven't been moved in over 25 years and I found this to be a major undertaking. In short, I bit off a little more than I could chew.

Kathy had to go to the doctor's today because she had overdid it on the elliptical over the weekend, so I kept on working as she went for her appointment. I also fixed supper, after which I went to get a prescription filled for Kathy. Mind you, mister razor hadn't met mister face today and I looked a real mess. It was a good day to be in relative anonymity, but alas, that wasn't to be.

I dropped off the prescription at the Giant Eagle since it was on the four dollar list and was told it would be a 20 minute wait for it to be filled. Not a problem as I would just walk around the store. Before the time was up, I noticed at the waiting area was a chair with a shiatsu massaging device on it, inviting me to try it. After thoroughly enjoying it for several minutes, I got in line to pick up Kathy's prescription. I then got into a conversation with the pharmacy tech, who told me she was thinking about me a couple of days earlier. After I gave her a funny look, she told me that we had graduated from high school together. After talking for several minutes, and yes, I gave her the web address of this very blog, I left to go home. While I was in the parking lot, it occurred to me that I would not want to see me like I was if I hadn't seen me in over 35 years. I wonder what Debby will tell those she sees in the future whom we both went to school with?

Moral of this story: If I intend to go anywhere off I76, clean up before I leave the house.