Thursday, April 29, 2010

So...What have I been doing?

I guess you have noticed a lack of activity from this blog and blogger lately, unless you happen to be on Facebook.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned about the possibility of a class reunion this summer. I didn't know how it was going to fly with others. After sending out a message via Facebook to those on my friends list which graduated with me, I found that there were many who were excited about the possibility of this happening.

Next thing I did was to set up a page on Facebook with the reunion information. We now have 18 members on it. And knowing that there are some who are not on Facebook for whatever reason, so I started a blog to convey the information. Cliff Note: Facebook's a little screwy at this time, so I couldn't post a link to that page.

Tomorrow we will have our first committee meeting, myself and several others, equally excited about seeing our classmates for the first time in many, many years.

And everybody likes my hair....

Monday, April 26, 2010

1220/WGAR Means Music and More

This is a special post in number of blog post 1220.

The first cars I owned had AM radios, and on the mid to late seventies one of the stations I had set on mine was 1220/WGAR. Matter of fact, for awhile I worked across the street from their studios in Broadview Hts., Ohio.

Owned by Nationwide Communications, it was a special spot on the dial for the listeners, and a special place for those who made their living there.

John Lanigan was the morning personality. When he first come to town, he was replacing a legend, Don Imus, and he did so admirably. Lanigan in the Morning was a mixture of music, interviews, and plenty of innuendo. 6:50 every morning brought the Flex Club, a way for callers to say hi to others, usually spouses or boyfriend/girlfriend. And Lanigan would always ask if they had an unusual place. you probably get the picture.

10:00 brought "Emperor" Joe Mayer to the mike. But not so fast. There was the crossover, where Lanigan would give Mayer a daily roasting, to which the emperor would reply with hearty belly laughs and end it by telling Lanigan, "you're a nut!" But the show would go on with Joe being the gracious host, helping you settle into the midday, every once in awhile telling listeners after a song that he voted for it.

From 2 to 6 you had Dave "Fig" Newton. "I have hits up to my pits, cause Music is my middle name." Like other personalities at WGAR, Newton was a young comedian, using his sharp with to connect with his audience. He was well liked by his peers.

Next up was "The Real" Bob James, another true professional and sharp wit. He would have listeners call every night with a segment called Rate a Joke. Some would call up with their lame attempt at humor and others would have some real good ones, such as "Why does beer go through you so fast? It don't need time to change color."

So you have a day full of humor, what else do you need from your radio station? WGAR had a full service news department and ABC news. They were Cleveland's station to hear Paul Harvey.
Many top news reporters came through the studios at Broadcast Park. John O'Day, Ken Robinson, Jack Callaghan, Ken Courtright, and Don Olson, are just a few of the news talents that came through the big 1220.

Unfortunately time does not stand still. Times change, trends change. The big 1220 is just a memory, but a cherished one by those who worked there. Some of the folks from that time have set up a tribute page on Facebook.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

No purchase necessary with 8 gallons or more

I had to gas up today on our way to the in laws. The place we stopped offered a scratch off game. The sign said if I took in my receipt with a purchase of 8 gallons or more, I could get my game piece. In small print at the bottom of the sign it said "No purchase necessary". Uh..What's up with that?

Another station has a sign on the pumps that say "Please prepay in advance." Anybody for some redundancy?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Class Reunions

Aren't class reunions the time you go to see how the star athlete has gotten a pot belly and the guy with the nice head of hair now has none?

I don't know because I've never been to any. But one of the guys with the nice head of hair still has his and several who have seen my profile pic on Facebook or have seen me in person tell me that they would to love it if they would go gray like I did.

Anyway, one of my classmates from Highland High School, Medina, Ohio, class of 1974, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and I were having an exchange of messages on Facebook. We were talking about our families and how life has been treating us in the past 36 years. Then the topic of the lack of class reunions surfaced. Up to this point, I hadn't been to any reunions and didn't really want to go to any of the scheduled ones. Having the insecurity issues that I do, I think you understand why. Well Sandy told me the same thing via Facebook message, that Beth has told me in person: The teenagers we grew up with in high school have grown up and possibly matured.

Another thing about the Highland class of '74 is that we never did things the conventional way. We didn't have a senior prank and they elected me as their class vice president, so not having a reunion for 5 years, 25, 30, or 35 years, is about the norm for us if there is any such animal as "the norm".

Once again last year was 35 years, but some of us are now discussing having some sort of get together, maybe a picnic, and call this a reunion. After all. it's been two lifetimes since many of us have seen each other. Maybe I can bring some fried chicken, using my award winning recipe: Drive to the IGA and pick it up.

A thought did cross my mind though. I was thinking of a picnic the weekend of my former employer's company picnic and renting the sound system that I always picked up for that, but that would be mean.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ben Roethlisberger

A glowing example of a growing trend among pro athletes today.

Millions of dollars worth of talent, and not a nickel's worth of common sense.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

About your shelf tags...

I have worn glasses since I was 11, and for good reason: I need them. Now at the age of 54, I wear trifocals for pretty much the same reason. Fact of the matter, if lenses were still made from glass, mine would be pretty thick.

Last night, I was returning two of my grandchildren home and my daughter asked me to go to the store and get her some Diet Coke. I won't mention the store, but it's two doors west of my favorite country music radio station. It also shares the name of the company that the Coyote buys his gadgets from when he wants to catch the Road Runner.

Anyway, Kathy and I walk into this locally owned store with overpriced merchandise(#1). Kathy needs to go to the restroom, so I stop by the soft drink aisle. I see Diet Coke 12 packs on the bottom shelves. Right above them is a shelf tag that had some small print on it, but the large print said "2 for $7.00" I assumed this meant that 12 packs of Coke products were all 2 for $7.00. So I picked up 2 twelve packs of Diet Coke and we took them to the register.

I was surprised when the pop rung up at $5.49 a pack and told the cashier that the shelf tag said that it was 2 for $7.00. She told me that there was no way that it was that, then went to the pop aisle, where I followed her. . I pointed out the tag to her. She told me if I looked closer, I would see that the tag said "Barq's Root Beer". That was above the Diet Coke. The next one said "Fanta". I never saw a shelf tag for Diet Coke, as it was on the bottom shelf. I bought a 20 pack of Diet coke, which was on sale for $5.99.

Now back to the shelf tag thing. As I stated at the begining of this post, I wear some pretty strong glasses, and at the time, they were dirty. I also don't know each stores protocol concerning their shelf tags, but it would be nice to be able to read them while standing up. And if you can bend over far enough to read a tag beneath Diet Coke on the bottom shelf, chances are you don't need Diet Coke.

And a note to the locally owned store with overpriced merchandise(#1): Tell your cashiers not to talk down to your customers, especially one who goes around telling cashiers "Thank you for working at______". And no, I didn't this time.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No news is good news?

I was reading the publisher's notes in this week's edition of The Post. Bruce Trogdon was musing about what the reaction will be for their publishing a story about the TEA Party rally in Medina this past Thursday. He feared the liberals would fill inbox's of Post staff because of the coverage in some of the editions and feared conservatives would do the same because the story wasn't run in other editions, due to deadlines.

I have to agree with Bruce on one thing: The story was run because it was news. If the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in a community covered by the paper, it would have been run for the same reason. Problem with many people nowadays is they think everything happening is a conspiracy.

He also mentioned that people complain because of the political slant of letters to the editor. Bruce went on to explain that the letters get published in proportion to the percentage of views. I read some of the letters, some have good points(whether they are conservative or liberal) and others are redundant. My opinion is some write letters because nobody at home will listen to them. Cliff Note:Kind of hard to take someone seriously when they are wearing foil hats.

I'm sure that the politicians and talk show hosts do not lose any sleep over letters to the editor, though I wish they would every once in awhile. As I noted in the previous paragraph, some people have very valid points and I wish their congressional office would take the time to read some of them.

And as far as writing about any rally, whether I agree with their views or not, I still believe in freedom of the press.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lines that were and lines that weren't

Today being tax day, I had to do one tax form and that was for Rittman city taxes. Having received all of my 2009 income from Cleveland, where they tax at a higher rate than Rittman, I owed no taxes. I couldn't get the extra money back from the mistake on the lake either, but then again they have one less person to catch in one of their speed traps.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I had to do my chauffeur duty for my son this morning and when I was finished, I went to Aldi to get a few grocery items. I like Aldi for some things. It seems that they are a little better than Save A Lot as far as their healthier foods are concerned. I've also noticed that their stores are a little more orderly. When I went inside the store, I didn't notice anyone at the registers. After I picked up a few items and got back to the front a line had formed about the third of the way through the store. I got a box to hold the items in, seeing I didn't get a cart when I entered the store. As I got in line, three customers let me get in front of them. This was good since I didn't have a free hand to put my ear buds on with my MP3 player. And I got into a conversation with one of the ladies who let me ahead of her. We were talking about the benefits of shopping at Aldi and how they have worked hard to establish their brand. Cashiers treat you well when they hear conversations like that.

Back home, I fix my lunch and begin rendering unto Caesar. I had to do my city tax, my sister's and my son's for Wooster. Didn't take me long, except for one thing: I have two printers and neither of them wanted to cooperate. I did manage two readable Rittman Tax forms. I finished with the Rittman tax forms and when I went to file, Kathy asked me what would I do if the line at city hall was real long. I told her I would go to the post office, buy two stamps and mail them. I had no worries at city hall. My next intended stop was to the Rittman Library to print a Wooster tax form. Only problem was the Rittman Library was closed. So I had to go to Wadsworth, as I was heading in that direction anyhow.

Wadsworth Library was open, computer was available and form printed like a charm. Best of all, it was free. In and out in, less than 10 minutes. I figured there would be a line at the Wadsworth post office. There wasn't, in and out in less than 5 minutes. Now off to Akron to babysit the grandkids.

On the way home, I had to stop at Evil Big Box Store(tm) #2966. I got the items I wanted and went to the self checkout to avoid lines that were growing at the registers. Only problem with the self checkout at this store: Unlike the Giant Eagle at the next exit, these self service checkouts do not say at the end of the transaction, "Thank you for shopping at ________"
And I can't tell a machine, "Thank you for working at________" to try to encourage them to be more courteous to their customers.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A star was born-in 1973

This post is dedicated to my classmates from Highland High School, Medina, Ohio who have helped me to relive some memories.

I want to thank my costars Brian Avery, Janet Malek Henderson, and Sandra Ziebro Hughes, along with Gary Webster. You gave me many smiles as I relived one of my best evenings as a teenager.

To my other readers, these I have mentioned are some very classy folk, as are you who have supported this blog since I started writing it in August, 2006.

In the past week or so since I reconnected with many of my old high school classmates via Facebook, we have been reliving some of our better memories of high school.

Probably my best memory of high school was our junior class play, "Life With Father." I was Clarence Day, aka father. I probably got the role because of my booming voice and a booming body to match. The faculty advisor, Mrs. Ludwig, rest her soul, probably did me the biggest favor of my high school years by casting me in the role.

Instead of butchering the storyline, I will give some of my views of our production. For the storyline, click on the link above.

First, the tryouts: I went to tryout for the play one day after school. I remember getting a mimeographed sheet with some parts on it. One of my classmates, Vince Leibenguth, saw that one of the characters was named Vinnie, so he volunteered to read for Vinnie. Mrs. Ludwig immediately noted that Vinnie was a girl's part. To my later delight, Vince backed off from reading for that part. For me the tryouts went well. I found later that one of my friends had refused to take part in the play due to some of the dialog in the play.

Next, parts posted: All of us who had been to tryouts checked the bulletin board to see if we had made the play. A couple of classmates came to me all excited. I figured that I had made the play in some part. Their excitement beamed even more when they told me that I had gotten the lead role. And the offensive language was all spoken by me, several "damns."

Then practice, and practice, and more practice: Those of us in the play became good friends in a somewhat short time. I had by far and large, the most lines to memorize. One of the major benefits of my role was Rene Roach, who played Vinnie, was one of the cheerleaders, and I had to kiss her during every rehearsal. Now you know, for two reasons, that I was delighted. It didn't seem that I would ever learn the lines, or that the play would come together. But it was gelling together.

The night of the play: Everything came into place. The audience included my mom and my favorite aunt. I might had to have my lines given to me maybe twice. There was a monologue during the play, featuring yours truly. My character was reading the newspaper, and had to vent about the state of politics in New York City. While I gave the "address" I was on the stage by myself. When I left to go backstage, I was told by Mrs. Ludwig that I had gotten a standing ovation. Although we made mistakes, the play was a success. The one mistake I regret making was stepping on the only line of one of my friends, Doug Brantner.

We all went to Barnhill's, an ice cream parlor in Fairlawn, Ohio, after the play to celebrate the success of our production. And to myself, I was quietly celebrating the fact that less people thought of me as a dummy, due to my performance. And it may have helped me in my only political victory: I was elected class vice president for our senior year.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Okay, here's the deal

I have been feeling like crap the past few days. All my Facebook friends know that I've been suffering from bronchitis since midweek.

I am in the middle of a post but haven't had the ambition to type in more than sound bites. That one will remain in draft for a few more days.

And life has been happening.

Lord willing, I will be back posting here in the next couple of days.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Losing weight a team sport

I have wondered in my mind the past couple of days what to write about. One topic that come to mind is something I thought of from some dialog I had on Facebook with some I attended high school with. That will be upcoming.

What I'm writing about now is what I've seen by watching The Biggest Loser. Yes, this season it has won over American Idol in my house. What has appealed to me on this season's edition is the care the contestants have for another. The one who was in the "game play" mode this week was sent home. Melissa tried to use her skills as an attorney to stay at the ranch.

During the show's run, I have watched it off and on, as I have had an early bedtime due to my previous work schedule. I know the show needs the "game play" element in order to give it a bit more entertainment value. I was also glad when the show added the opportunity for the eliminated ones to earn their way back on campus. The first time this happened, Ali Vincent, who was sent home as the result of "game play" worked extremely hard, came back with a phenomenal weight loss, and went on to become the first female Biggest Loser. She is also a spokesperson for the show at this time and has maintained her weight loss.

There have been contestants who have lost a great amount of weight only to gain a good portion of it back. This is one problem of losing weight as fast as the show promotes. There have also been former contestants who have gone on and changed their lives for the better, as the transformation of their bodies have also transformed their view of themselves.

I now wish that Bob and Jillian could come to Rittman and abuse me for a couple of weeks so I could get the jump-start I need....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Too much sugar........

As a diabetic, I know the dangers of too much sugar inside me. And after raising 3-1/2 kids and now having three grandkids, I know that too much sugar ON you can't be a good thing either, especially on a big candy holiday.

We had the grandchildren over today and had them all an Easter basket apiece, along with some extra candy. In the past several years, one of the biggest faves here at the WIXYranch are Peeps.

As I was getting redy to take the little ones home, I had put all the baskets and candy in the front seat. All three had asked for some peeps. I sent the packages to the oldest two, but only sent two peeps to Silas, the youngest.

What I didn't know as I was driving, Silas had gotten hold of some of his sister's peeps, then fell asleep. When I finally got them home, I got oiut of the car, looked into the back seat, and saw, what looked like pink and white gloves on Silas' hand.

Silas is one who loves a good photo op, and he loved it when I got out the WIXY-at&tVideoPhonecam(tm). His mother loved it too. but I'm not allowed to get him peeps again anytime soon.

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Let Your Conscience be your Guide

And today the name of my conscience was Beth.

Yes, I admit I've been having some good feelings after seeing photos of some I went to high school with. Especially considering that some have caught up with me in the weight department and others have surpassed. Many of the guys have surpassed me in regards to the size of their foreheads. In some cases I think that some higher power has worked on my behalf.

Leave it to Beth to bring some perspective to the table.

I was reveling in my role as Grampa early this afternoon and had all three of my grandkids with me as I took them in to the store for fountain drinks. I introduced them to Beth. Ben, the oldest couldn't believe that Beth and I graduated the same year. Well either that or he couldn't believe there was anything other than a one room schoolhouse back then.

I told Beth about all my new Facebook friends and some of the photos I saw and why I felt good about some of that. One of the folks I saw was my best friend one day and my worst enemy the next. Beth explained that this is the way teenagers are-then and now.

You know, I hate it when someone tells me something like that as a gentle rebuke. But I hate it more when they're right. That's why Beth had so many friends in school.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Cliff and Kathy's Excellent Adventure

Lately there has been way too much drama, caused by other people, in our lives. As some of you read on Facebook last night, Kathy and I decided to have a day for ourselves, some "us time" if you may. We decided to head south. To Amish country. But first, a stop for breakfast. Kathy loves the cinnamon raisin french toast served in the Main Street Cafe, in Buehler's supermarket. I had a southern sausage skillet. The main breakfast rush was over by the time we got there, so we had a nice quiet meal. Beautiful weather, and we had a view of the school kids at recess. Good to see them out getting some fresh air.

After we finished our fine dining, it's off to Kidron, We were going to stop first at the outdoor flea market, but we couldn't find a parking space, so we hit the road again.

Next stop was Country Salvage Ltd., formerly known as Bent and Dent. Our last stop there was over two years ago and then we got some great deals. I suspect since then, because of the recession, they got quite a bit more popular and the prices have gone up. Still cheaper than the Evil Big Box Store(tm), but not worth a trip there by itself.

Once we hit the road again, we headed towards the Ashery Country Store. Since this was more for rest and relaxation than anything else, we got a few bulk items, including some things to snack on, and some drinks. We then headed back towards downtown Kidron.

We were able to find a parking space this time and walked around the flea market, being careful not to step in the horse exhaust. Cliff Note:I should have gone into the general store and bought some Shinola, just so I could let Kathy know that I knew the difference. Being early in the year, I noticed that many folks were proud of what they sold. I may come back later when their prices reflect less pride in their wares. We got our exercise in, bought a few items then it was back on the road, this time for the trip home.