Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chronicle of a (non) day off

Today, being a day where I didn't have to be at work, is one of my busiest days of the week. I normally call these my (non) days off.

Nice thing is that I can usually sleep until I get up. Down side is that one of our cats decides when I get up. Goober does this by turning off my CPAP. Yes, he takes advantage of my sleep apnea. Cliff Note: Here is a link to a post I wrote in 2009 about my sleep apnea. He wakes me up, I feed him and his mother, Peanut, and my world is at peace.

So I'm up, posting the Morning Show and the Question of the Day on Facebook and decide to enjoy one of my Christmas presents, first season of WKRP in Cincinnati. Then my wife gets a text message, and off I go to my daughters house. On the way, I had to get some money out of the ATM, and since I didn't eat breakfast yet, stop at the golden arches place. I figured it was better to stop than to risk my blood glucose dropping. When I got there, I noticed the parking lot was icy. I went in, ordered my meal to go and suggested to the manager on duty that whomever maintains the parking lot should spread some salt on it. It was explained to me that the parking lot is never salted, just the sidewalk. I pointed out to her my crutch and the fact that I had a plate and 9 screws in my left ankle. I also told her in a very nice way where I would not be stopping when conditions were icy.

Now with my muffin with egg, cheese, and Canadian bacon, potato patty, and orange juice, I am off to my daughter's house. I also called my wife, told her about the parking lot situation and asked her to find out how to get a hold of the franchisee.

I took care of my daughter and it's on my way home. Once home, I was given the number of the Golden Arch corporate HQ, or so I thought. Turns out, it's a call center, so I'm now speaking to someone who more than likely gets paid by someone beside the Golden Arch corporation. At least he spoke perfect English. I let him know about my situation at the restaurant and my concerns since the majority of people in the restaurant were older than I. He apologized(of course) and said the info I gave would be forwarded to the franchisee.

Now it's off to take care of our son. Adam's birthday is in 2 days, so we took him to lunch, after which off to the Medina Walmart, not an Evil Big Box Store since I consider the store manager a friend. After we got the items we needed it was off to take my sister to a neurologist appointment. As we dropped the ladies off, I noticed my fuel gauge was at about 1/8 full. I then went to the Get Go station as I had 30 cents in fuel perks.

While fueling up, I noticed someone had dropped their debit card. I weighed my options, which were the following: Either take the card in to the cashier or return it to the bank, where I'm a customer. No other thoughts crossed my mind. Since my next scheduled stop was a grocery store next to a branch of this bank, I took the card to the bank. After expressing surprise, the teller said they would notify the customer, then said bless you and have a happy new year.

While in the grocery store, my phone rang twice. First call was the Golden Arch manager whom I had talked to earlier in the day. She told me that it was explained to her that the parking lot was not salted because the tread of the tires which comes into the lot just takes it into the streets and that none of the major businesses in town salt their lots.

The second call was from a family member who had noticed my shoes were worn out. He told me to meet him at the shoe store and he would buy me a new pair of shoes. After I took possession of the shoes, it had occurred to me that the reason I may have gotten the shoes was because I never thought of doing anything with that debit card besides turning it in.

Nice guys don't always finish last.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Point of clarification

With all the political correctness from one side and making sure we don't deny our Lord, many of us have really forgotten the true reason for celebrating. I speak now as a born again Christian, something I have been since June 6, 1980.

The Christ I serve does not live in a manger. He was placed there right after his birth. He was taken out of there, grew up and was a carpenter. Then for 3 years, went around His small area of the known world primarily with 12 others and started to change the world.

The Christ I serve is not a dead man on a cross. He was there for several hours suffering for all those who accept His sacrifice for our sins. He was taken from that cross, placed in a borrowed, guarded, tomb, where He rose from 3 days later.

The Christ I serve sits at the right hand of God almighty interceding on my behalf whenever I stumble. And that's a full time job if was just for me. But He will do it for you too. All you need to do is ask Him.

Cliff Note: the photo in this post is one of the generally accepted images of Jesus Christ. Is that what He really looks like? I don't know. I do know that someday I will find out what He looks like and I love him no matter.

This has also been simulblast at my faith based blog, Seek Him First.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas present to remember

As many of you know, my younger brother, Richard, passed away in March, 2008. He had been wheelchair bound for the last 20 years of his life and I thought it was somewhat poetic justice that the day he went home to be with the Lord was March 4th, or march forth.

I was thinking about Ricky today as it's a week before Christmas. He was always one of the easiest people to shop for as he was happy with just about anything you get for him. A true personification of "it's the thought that counts."

One of Ricky's life long passions was sports. The reason he became a sports fan was because I became a sports fan. You see, when we were growing up, Ricky was my shadow and my best friend. As he spent the last years of his life in a nursing home, people were amazed with his knowledge of all things sports. And on any given fall Sunday, he probably expressed the emotions of Browns backers everywhere.

In 1975, I decided that for his Christmas present, we would go see the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs were playing their games at the Richfield Coliseum, and we all were about to be witnesses to a miracle, the Miracle of Richfield. That season, the Cavs were a broken foot away from the NBA championship, that being suffered by center, Jim Chones. Other members of the 1975-76 Cavs included Austin Carr, Bobby "Bingo" Smith, Canton's own Dick Snyder, and newest member, the ever popular Nate Thurmond.

December 21, 1975, the LA Lakers, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gail Goodrich, and Pat Riley on their roster, came to Richfield. The game was originally supposed to be nationally broadcast on CBS. However, sports editor, Sonny Hill decided that the Cavs' play prior to the trade to Chicago for Thurmond didn't warrant a national broadcast. One of the give aways for the game was a Cavaliers pennant to all in attendance. Before Hill made his decision, I decided to buy royal courtside tickets to the game, two rows behind the basket. The tickets set me back $12.50 apiece. Cliff note: Nowadays you couldn't get one ticket in the nosebleed section for 25 dollars. I thought at the time it would cool to be in a position to be able to be on TV nationwide. But the important thing was that I got Ricky a present he would love.

Despite the fact that the game was not going to be televised, there were over 19,000 in the attendance, all armed with white pennants. I was offered 1000 bucks to do harm to Abdul-Jabbar when I told this person where my seat was. Needless to say, I declined. Time to go to our seats.

Being Cavaliers fans and not too bashful, we let the good guys know our allegiance to them. Others around us let us know how much they paid to sit in their seats. Obviously these folks were not future dawg pound occupants. Cliff Note: Unless you are fans of the Cleveland Browns fan, you don't get the last comment.

Well, back to the reason we were there. The Cavs and Lakers put on a game and then some. For awhile it looked as though the Lakers were going back to California with a win. Anytime coach Bill Fitch needed some defense, he would call on the capable veteran, reserve center, Nate Thurmond. Every time the 6 foot 11 12 year veteran entered the game, the ever popular Thurmond would hear the adulation of the crowd along with the chant "DEFENSE...DEFENSE!"

And as it became crunch time, all 19,000 plus got into the game, even those who chastised me and Ricky earlier in the game. Along with the cheers, there were over 19,000 white pennants waving back and forth. The terrible towel had nothing on the Cavalier pennants that afternoon. And I was yelling myself hoarse. And the good guys were cheered on to a 99-98 win.

The real loser that day was CBS. The rest of this memorable season, whenever CBS was broadcasting from the Coliseum, Sonny Hill was greeted with the boos that are now reserved for LeBron James.

The biggest winner December 21, 1975 was Cliff Feightner. I have had a winning memory now going on 36 years. I gave Ricky a Christmas gift that has kept on giving back to my memory banks.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who do I want to offend today?

Okay, so it's the second half of December. As a born again Christian, I celebrate Christmas, which is generally observed by most on December 25. I have this friend who, though she knows Christ as her savior, same as I, feels that she should not observe this as Jesus' birthday. Sandi points out that the only time in the Bible when a birthday was observed, it was a sad occasion. I think no less of Sandi in believing that way, and she respects my belief as well.

Now there are others who take issue in Merry Christmas, as Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and the winter solstice are all  observed during this time. They would prefer we all say "Happy Holidays." I don't have much of a problem giving that salutation during the time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.

I work in telecommunications in consumer service. I was talking to a customer today. I normally switch between Merry Christmas and Happy holidays. I said have a happy holiday season. I was mocked by the customer.....

So heck with it and HAVE A NICE DAY!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

For a moment, the North Pole is in Baton Rouge

This story starts this past summer. I was searching for friends on Facebook, mainly those I went to school with. I had thought of one in particular, I had an image in my mind of high school football games. The game announcer was born in Scotland and he still had a very thick accent. One of the players on our team was named Bob Buesch, pronounced "bush". However, Mr. Cranston would announce "tackle by Bob Booooosh."

Anyway I thought I would see if any of the Buesch brothers were on Facebook. I found George. George is about 2-3 years older than I.  I requested to "friend" George. George was on line at that moment and immediately accepted. I then looked at George's profile and found that he had Parkinson's disease. About that time, George started chatting with me.He told me that he was now living in a nursing home. He asked me to come see him. Several weeks later, I went to see him on his birthday. I also asked those who went to school with us and were still living in the area to try to drop a note or even pay him a visit. And there are those who send George messages, to let him know they care, but there is also one who has taken it a step further.

Patty is a fellow Highland graduate. She graduated 2 years years after me, with my younger brother. Patty's sister, Nancy was in my class, a cheerleader. I had the distinction of running against Nancy for senior class vice president. For some reason, I won. Anyway, Patty has taken an interest in George. She now lives in Baton Rouge, LA. And in her checking of George's FB page, she saw a photo of him wearing a Steelers cap, a mortal sin around the Highland contingent on FB. She got George's address and mailed him a box of Cleveland Browns and Indians items, telling him that the next time a photo is taken, he better be wearing the right hat. Cliff Note: George does have a good sense of humor about this. He is also sharp as a tack.

Patty called George last week, who told her that he was in need to some pop and snacks. She asked me if I could get him some pop and told me what kind to get if she sent me the money. I told her I would. I got the money this past Thursday and bought the pop today and took it to him. My sister, son and I took it to him today and also found out what kind of snacks he was allowed to have. The  nurse told me that George was borderline diabetic, but he knew better than the nursing staff what he was allowed to have.

Anyway in this season of giving find someone who can't repay and do something for them. They will really appreciate it far more than you can realize. Plus it does have it's own benefits.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Time for a seasonal rant that's good anytime

As those who read this blog and follow me on Facebook know, I'm recovering from a broken ankle. My specialist has, as of yesterday, allowed me to start putting weight on my left foot. I have been on crutches since my release from the hospital, October 23. And for that reason, a rant I express in some form on a yearly basis has taken a new meaning to me.

In addition to the plate and 9 screws I had placed in my left ankle this past October, I also have an artificial left knee. I had the knee replaced February 22, 2001. I credit that to 2 things: heredity and me not taking care of myself as I should over the course of my life. Anyway, for most of the past 10 years, according to my doctor, I have had the legal right to use a handicap parking space. Many people do and it comes in handy on days when your joints are barking at you and you need bread and milk. Other days, the extra steps you need to take do you some good. Since I broke the ankle, I have had the moral right to use these spaces. Walking on crutches 100 feet on an uphill incline takes the best out of you.

Yesterday evening, coming home from work, I had to stop at the store for a few items, mainly some cough syrup as I have this cold coming on (Cliff Note: In northeast Ohio, colds usually last from late November to about April.) Anyway being about 8:20pm, the closest handicap spot to the door was available, so I took the space. I got in the store and the greeter brought me a motorized cart, and I went about my way doing my shopping. After I got my items, I checked out, took my cart back, got my crutches, got my bags out of the cart and proceeded to go to my car. The Salvation Army bell ringer offered to help me to my car. After I thanked him, and declined and showed him where my car was, he then told me that out of everyone he saw using the handicap spaces, I was the first one he saw that really needed one.

During the Christmas season, there will be many folks who really need the spaces, but will not be able to do their shopping because all of them will be taken up. That is a pet peeve of mine. I see many who have the permits on their car and sometime it's not issued to them, but to another member of their family. They just use it because they are too lazy to walk the few extra feet.

There are others who decide that the handicap spaces are to be used as cart returns. Once again, this is tying up a space for those who need it the most. And finally when the snow starts flying, there will be the inconsiderate snow plow operator who will deposit a pile of snow on-you guessed it-a handicap spot.

Since this is the season of giving, give to those who need it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I like "Cathouse Teri" because....

One of the friends I have made while blogging is Teri Ahlstrom, also known as Cathouse Teri. We became associated with each other through other blogs. Teri has also become one of my crossover friends, as she has become a favorite of many of my Facebook friends as well.

Teri writes a blog called "The Road Lester Traveled." The only way to effectively describe her writing style is naughty, but nice. Naughty, in  the fact that she covers topics I would be embarrassed to cover, but nice, in the fact that she's a friend when you need it. In December, 2008, when our friend Liquid decided to end her life, Teri wrote me a very nice email to comfort me.

But as I have stated earlier in this post, Teri has also became friends on Facebook as well as being friends with several of my high school friends. Teri is very active in contributing to the Question of the Day as well as being one of the administrators. While I was laid up 3 weeks ago, she stepped in and posted the QotD for a couple of days.

Teri has recently moved from Virginia to California, so her talents have returned to the west coast. But no matter where we get her wisdom and friendship, it's always welcome.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A little help from my friends.....

As many of you know, we have been through a rough time at my home. And I was pretty much confined to home for a couple of weeks as my bones have started to heal.

I do thank God for all of my friends, especially those I have never met. One friend I reconnected with during my recovery time is Leesa Garcia. For those unaware, Leesa is a blogger from France, originally from the San Diego area. Leesa has done much traveling around Europe and doesn't hesitate to share her adventures with us. She is also a cupcake devotee. And most importantly, Leesa is a teacher.

Not being specific, Leesa has been going through some rough patches in her life of late. Sometimes it helps just to let people know that you care and that you are lifting them up to God as you present your other requests to Him.

If you get the chance, check out Leesa's blog, News From France.  Also leave her a message and let Leesa know that you are praying for her.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Real life experiences

Yesterday I went to the doctor's office with my wife, waiting while she saw the doctor for some back problems. I went in case she got a pain shot and she needed a driver.  No shots, just needed 2 prescriptions filled, so it's off to Giant Eagle.

Giant Eagle is probably the most handicap accessible retail establishments in Wadsworth. We get prescriptions filled because of their reduced prices on generics and some diabetic meds being free.  Anyways we got there and Kathy had to go back to the pharmacy while I grabbed motorized cart and picked up a few items for supper. I got what we needed from the grocery dept and then went to the pharmacy. The scripts from the doctor hadn't been received as yet, so as Kathy was waiting for those, I went to the check out. As usual, I used the self check out. The cashier overlooking the self checkout area, bagged my groceries, put them in my cart and offered to help me to my car. I figured that since it was only 2 bags, not heavy, and I was in a close parking space, I would decline the offer. The one thing I do regret was getting this young man's name as I called the store later and told the manager how much I appreciated the offer for help.

In contrast, I was at the Walmart the night before on my way home from work. My purchase involved 2 8 packs of Coke Zero, a gallon of milk, and 2 other bags of groceries. I went to a full service checkout where there were 3 cashiers standing around talking. I paid for my purchase and there was no offer to help me get to my car. I was allowed to take the cart to my car  to get my groceries there. When I returned my cart, the people greeter told me to park it in a space that I would have had a problem walking away from if I hadn't had crutches.

So to the anonymous commenter  2 posts down, I will be fair when it's called for. But if I had been injured getting out of the cart, whose fault would have it been?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I get around....

Yesterday I got yelled at at work. I was told to stay at my booth while I need to use crutches.

This not being able to walk under my own power is somewhat new to me. Yes, I have had my knee replaced, but the surgeon told me that I could bear weight on that leg 2 days after surgery. I won't be able to bear weight on my broken ankle for about 6 weeks so I have to use crutches for that length of time.

At my job, the break room is one floor down from the call center where I work. Under normal circumstances, I go down one flight of stairs and I'm there. Now I have to go across the building to catch the elevator to get to the break room. I was on my way to the break room to eat a salad my wife had packed for me when I was informed that the elevator was out of order. I was told to go back to my call center and one of the good folks from HR got my salad and a fork for me. that was also when my supervisor "yelled" at me and told me to stay at my booth.

Don't get me wrong, I do love the attention I've been getting. But it has been culture shock for me. I've been amazed by those who have made sure things are as easy as possible for me. I don't expect things to be handed to me as I'm well aware of the fact that others have their issues that they deal with. I also want to be able to do for myself as soon as possible. But it is definitely a breath of fresh air to have people hold doors open for me, offer to get me ice, and get my lunch. I have a hard time accepting the fact that I'm deserving of such good treatment.

Just remember to treat others as you wish to be treated because you never know when you will need the assistance.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

View from a motorized cart

I guess I have had an epiphany of sorts today. I was out for the first time yesterday since my ankle surgery. I went to the specialist for followup. The soft cast was removed and replaced with an ace wrap. I've also been cleared to returned to work next Monday. So, since my first day back will be a 12 hour day, I figure I need to use the rest of the week to ease back into action.

Yesterday evening I went to the Rite Aid to get a prescription filled. As I shared on Facebook last night, I thought of the old musing "Only in America does a sick person have to go to the back of the drug store to pick up their prescriptions, when a healthy person can buy their cigarettes in the front of the store."  I was informed that this is primarily a security issue. I made the decision that for the next little bit, I will mainly go to the stores that have the motorized carts.

Now I have had the legal right to park in a handicapped spot now for over 10 years due to the fact that I have an artificial knee and arthritis in my legs. I felt that for the time being that I now also have a moral right to park there as well. And with the holiday season coming up, those spaces will be at a premium. In some cases brainless people will decide to use them as a cart return, or snow plow drivers will pile snow in some of them.

But back to the motorized carts. I took my son to Walmart today as he had to get some items. I also needed a backpack as my hands and arms will be busier than usual for at least the next 6 weeks while I'm on crutches(no weight bearing allowed.) I got inside the store, where I was immediately given a cart and the people greeter took my crutches. And now it's times to begin my adventure. My first destination was sporting goods. The only backpack in my price range was a camouflage, mainly for hunters, but not for me. Only problem was at the end of the aisle. Some idiot parked his shopping cart there, blocking my way. I had to back up all the way in order to proceed. And then after being able to go to the next aisle, I saw the person responsible for that cart. No surprises, looked like someone who would personify the punchline of a Jeff Foxworthy joke. But at this point if he had looked like a Rhodes scholar, I would have thought of him as an idiot. I wonder now if I could have guilty of such a thoughtless act in the past?

I also wonder if I will view people in these carts with different eyes when I'm back walking without crutches? It seems to me that I will probably notice other people besides those who are morbidly obese. I have been guilty of thinking that these people would need these carts less if they walk more. I also think that people should be more aware of those not able to walk as they do and give them a little more right of way. And also if you need to visit with someone you meet in the store, go to the sandwich shop in front and BS over a cup of coffee. Cliff Note: That's been a pet peeve for awhile, whether I'm pushing a regular shopping cart or riding a motorized one.

And no, I didn't make this my usual EBBS bashing article because the employees went out of their way to help me when they saw I needed help.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Them's the breaks

Well, I haven't been able to find much time to blog lately. Shouldn't be a problem for at least the next couple of weeks. To those who aren't on Facebook, I will now explain this to you.

This past Saturday, after I got off work, I went over to my in-law's house to assist in sweeping up leaves. My father in law was finishing up mowing grass in front, so I decided to go in back to see how wet it was. I found some branches lying on the ground and decided to carry them to the brush pile. I slippred, then fell, twisting my leg. I felt something and thought it was my knee which I had replaced in February 2001. After seeing my ankle swelling, I knew then that I broke, or at the very least, dislocated it. I started screaming and when it was evident nobody was hearing me, I took out my cell phone and called 911.

Montville Twp EMS took me to Medina hospital. After 2 fruitless attempts to reset my ankle, it was determined that I was going to be staying the night and having surgery on Sunday.

I will be off work for a couple of weeks and probably on crutches through Christmas.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

After the talent is gone, then what?

Cliff Note: the first comment is a response from Jeff Kinzbach. He sent it to me via Facebook and gave me permission to copy and paste it here.

First a tip of the hat to longtime WMMS morning show host, Jeff Kinzbach, who I had the pleasure of meeting last night. The post I'm writing is based on a post he made on his website,

His post links to a story about Chris McAlister, former cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2004, he signed a 7 year contract worth $55 million. Now McAlister is broke and living with his parents and needs to pay $11,000 in child support. Question is, what happened to the money? Next question is. should we be feeling sorry for him and others?

Most pro athletes nowadays are mercenaries. We in northeast Ohio are painfully aware of that, as we are only 14 months removed from Lebron James "taking his talents to South Beach." Good news is he also took his entourage and mother to South Beach.  I just wonder how much his entourage costs him and what do they do to earn it?

Too many hit the big time way too quickly and don't know how to handle it. And those around them aren't much help as they pretty much see dollar signs and little else. Nationally known financial counselor, Dave Ramsey always meets with rookies on the Tennessee Titans at the beginning of rookie camp and attempts to give them advice on how to handle the money they receive and to prepare for a life after football before they ever step on the practice field. Fact of the matter is that most have this condition called perceived immortality. They feel that they have this never ending stream of income, not realizing that life does happen. They never think of the one injury that would end their career.

You could equate this to any facet of entertainment. To the rock stars, actors, TV and radio stars. I thought this week of Ted Williams, the former radio personality who was found begging on a freeway off ramp last winter. His voice captivated the interest of many people. Williams was a former radio personality who developed a substance abuse problem, then ended up homeless. When his story hit the news, he became a subject of many articles and a guest on many news shows. Dr. Phil even offered his help. But Ted Williams fell off the wagon again. As someone who has a great voice and never got the chance, don't expect me to feel sorry for the man.

As mentioned earlier in this post, I got to meet one of my radio heroes last night, Jeff Kinzbach. For those of you living out of the area, Jeff was the host of the long running Buzzard Morning Zoo on WMMS/100.7 Cleveland. For years this was the top rated morning show. But as life goes, all good things must come to an end. WMMS was bought out by another company and a duopoly was formed with WMJI/105.7. There was friction between key members of the Morning Zoo and the WMJI morning show, and Jeff was cut loose, soon to be followed by his longtime morning partner, Ed "Flash" Ferenc. They resurfaced with a very entertaining afternoon show on WWWE/1100(now WTAM) but that ended after a couple of years. Funny thing is when they got to the bridge, they didn't jump off or set up housekeeping under it. They kept traveling. Flash got a job with Cuyahoga County, and fills in for some radio personalities on occasion. Jeff went to Dallas and dabbled in real estate. Made a good living for himself. He recently moved back to the area. His daughter marches in the Pride of Highland Marching Band, and Jeff is their announcer. He's a good one too. Most importantly, he is not full of himself. He was on top, started falling, grabbed onto a branch, and started working from there. For  what Jeff Kinzbach has done since the Buzzard Morning Zoo ended, is something to admire him for.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Did I wake up one day in Hazzard County?

I know...Been awhile..

When I last wrote here, Rufus, our dog, had been at the vet's after being severely attacked by another dog. He spent a total of 8 days there. He's now back home, all stitches and staples have been removed, and he's about as good as new...Now on to the post.

When I worked in Cleveland, I was fond of saying that I was going home to civilization. This started after my car had been broken into and was within seconds of being stolen. The police were too busy to come to my work to take a report. I think they were working on a case...of donuts. I was told that my car could have been stolen just as easy in Rittman.

My further contempt for Cleveland's finest was cultivated when I got a ticket for a loud exhaust. Funny, there were cars traveling the streets in far worse shape than the car I was driving. And many of those had expired temporary tags on them.

The icing on the cake in C-town was when I was caught in a speed trap. I paid $190.00 for the privilege of going 12mph over the speed limit. The officer issuing me the ticket told me that this detail was set up by their "illustrious mayor." I guess they had to charge me as much as they did to pay the 5 officers assigned to that detail.

Since I lost my job in Cleveland, I've been inside of city limits 4 times in the past 20 months.

Don't get me wrong. I love living in Rittman. Been here for 28 years. Sometimes the good ole' boy form of government can be very annoying, but tolerable. But in the past few weeks, I have to wonder.

My sister was walking Rufus when he was attacked. She has had a seizure disorder for several years and her mental capabilities have diminished to the point over the years that she is now disabled because of them. We took her in when my mom passed away in 2004. When the police were called, my wife was told if we pursued this in court, it would probably get tossed out because of my sister's mentality. 

I later called the dog warden, who has been conducting their own investigation. The officer who took the report seemed upset that the dog warden was called, and that he had to answer the questions that he had already answered on his report. His big directive was to tell us that we needed to put a number on our house.

We also checked our weekly paper to see if the dog attack was mentioned in the police report. You know, the one that reports when a grandmother takes the grandchild's bike and hides it when the child misbehaves. Nothing was logged about a dog attack on Windswept. This week I read in the police blotter where they were called to 1st St. park because 2 boys were jumping on tables. A friend of mine also wrote a letter to the editor because police were called to issue his sister in law a warning because her grass was too high.

I guess I should sleep well since we are being kept safe from high grass and kids jumping on tables....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Week That Was..Fly Away Alll You Buzzards!

This week started out on a very good note. At church our pastor had preached on Genesis 15 where Abram was promised a blessing from God.  Abram was instructed to set out a sacrifice, but had to chase away buzzards which gathered around the sacrifice. We felt real good and blessed as we left church. We also claimed the promise that there were better days ahead.

Then the buzzards started coming.

First on the way home from church Sunday we get a call from our daughter. She had hurt her back and couldn't get up off the couch. I had to go get her kids and bring them to my house. On the way there, getting on the interstate, my car spun out and I "kissed" the guard rail. I straightened out the car, then pulled over to check to see if there was any damage. No visible damage, so I moved on and got the grandkids.

Kids back at my house with no further incident. One buzzard chased away.

Rufus in happier times.
Monday while at work I get this text from my wife along with a voice mail message. My disabled sister was walking our dog when he was attack by a larger dog which was running free. Rufus was severely attacked and at first was thought to have a broken leg from the attack. A neighbor helped take him to the vet and also paid towards the vet bill.  A police report was filed, but Barney Fife informed my wife that we had little recourse since nobody came forward and said they saw the attack. As of this writing, Rufus is still at the vet clinic, as his wounds continue to drain.

Fast forward to Thursday. I was going to work early since I had my first band show of the season to announce. I was about 2 miles from work when my rear tire blew. And the spare was flat...And when I got towed to the garage to get a new tire I found that my rim was damaged and the spare rim was scrap.
Guess who didn't make it into work? Thank goodness I have time to cover that and a flexible schedule. When I finally got towed to the garage, I found I needed both rear tires and the rim that was on the tire and the rim of the spare was also scrap.

Good news is that I did make it to the band show. Click here to see the Rittman Band Performance. There will be a "From the Pressbox" Post forthcoming.

Friday I went into work early to try to recoup some time. I was also leaving early as my son and I were going to Promise Keepers, who was in Akron this past weekend. I couldn't get Saturday off, so we were just takin in the Friday night session...Or so we thought. I got home, changed my clothes, and was going to get my son when I heard this very bad noise and had very little brake pedal. I later found out that my brake cylinder had blown and needed new front brakes. So...No promise Keepers and I had to find a way into work Saturday. Luckily, I have a mechanic friend who did the work for me for a nominal fee. Parts cost me about 190 dollars.

I know...Sucks being me this past week...GET AWAY ALL YOU BUZZARDS!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sometimes we forget.....

1971 Highland High School football team. I am in the middle of the second to last row.
The other day I had a message on my Facebook wall. The post was from a high school friend, John, who was tagged in a photo I posted of the 1971 Highland football team and John was one of the captains of the team. John wanted to send it to one of his high school friends, Bill, who was also on the team. John and Bill graduated 2 years ahead of me. I graduated with Bill's brother, Mark.

Anyway some of us folks in our mid to late fifties haven't grasped the concept of attaching photos to our emails and John needed my assistance. So John wrote a message on my wall, giving me Bill's email address. So I wrote Bill an email, explaining why I was sending the photo. Here was Bill's reply:

Thank you very much for the email and photo.  I will call John and thank him as well.  Also, I read some of your articles on some seek first and I was really excited to see that God has been working in and through your life.  Your encouragement of others to overcome minor differences Believers may have was great and shows Christ's love.

I don't remember you much from Highland at this point, but I will remember more later.

God Bless you and your family,

Bill -----"

Whereas I was glad to get the reply, I was also embarrassed as I haven't wrote a post on Seek Him First, my faith based blog in about 18 months. Sometimes I think about deleting one of my blogs, but this reminds me that there are some out there who enjoy reading about what God has done in other folks lives. 

We sometimes take for granted that God has given us the ability to read and write and makes it possible for us to access the internet in a way in which we can touch others. 
I know this blog is read by others that come here just by chance and also by others who might know people whom I have written about. That was driven home big time 3 years ago when I spent two weeks writing about my brother after he passed away.

And believe me, I am not ashamed of Christ. I should write more about what He has done in my life...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Extra Mile Begins with a Single Step

It's a rarity nowadays for me to write posts on successive days. But  I was asked to write my thoughts on an article written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill. Cliff, of Views From Sandhausen fame, posted his views on his site.

There are many people who feel like prisoners in their daily situations. Because of these feelings, they only want to do the minimum of what's required of them, all the while wondering why others seem to get all the breaks, maybe wishing to make the sojourn into the land of plenty.

Russell Conwell's book, Acres of Diamonds tells of a man in Africa who wished to find his fortune in diamonds. He sold his farm and searched the African continent for the elusive jewels. When he ran out of money, he decided to take his life, despondent about his inability to find diamonds. Meanwhile, the person who bought his land discovered diamonds lining his creek bed. This discovery turned out to be one of the largest diamond mines in Africa. The first man could have had his fortune free and clear, all he needed to do was some research and a little digging. He only needed to go the extra mile on his own farm.

Back to Napoleon Hill. His paper details some of the benefits of "going the extra mile." Some would consider making sure the boss's pencil was sharp to be butt kissing and beneath their dignity. But what harm can a little kindness do? Try to find things to help you bloom where you're planted and maybe you will get to be where you can bloom brighter.

Click here to go to Napoleon Hill's paper on "The Habits of Going the Extra Mile." Keith Ready has made it available on his site. And yes Keith, I am a different Cliff Feightner.

Click here for a video of Napoleon Hill lecturing on Going the Extra Mile.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Views From Sandhausen, a book review

Okay, I shall admit that I'm a bit prejudiced when it comes to this book. I'm prejudiced because one of the authors has a really cool name. And I also had the privilege of meeting the authors on a couple of occasions.

Views From Sandhausen, Experiences from a Foreign Service Assignment in Germany is a book written by Cliff and Lynn Feightner. It is a series of emails sent to friends and relatives during a three year period while Cliff was assigned by his Fortune 100 company to head some projects in Germany. Very little is said about the job itself, most of these letters dealt with what the Feightners went through as they were making the adjustment to life in a foreign country at a time when it wasn't popular to be an American in Europe.

When it comes to creature comforts which we take for granted here in the USA, Cliff and Lynn  found that even to simple phone service and internet took months and several trips to get things right. Care packages from home went through several weeks of delivery and close scrutiny before they got to their final destination. And one time Cliff had to pay a vet bill on a can of food.

And while we are treated to the many German holidays, Cliff and Lynn let us in on their celebration of good old American holidays. No punches are pulled as we read about the "Thanksgiving from hell."

There were also good times in the 3 year assignment and much is shared with the reader. Cliff gives us many a history lesson during their travels throughout Europe. The book also contains several photos. Photos that didn't make the book can be viewed at the book's site

About the authors: Cliff and Lynn Feightner are the authors of Views From Sandhausen. The book was a series of email messagesd sent from the Feightners during the foreign assignment. Cliff is a distant relative of mine who happened to make a point of meeting me over 20 years ago because of our same name. I was a salesman at an electronics and appliance store and he was a supervisor at a Fortune 100 company located in Akron, Ohio. 10 years later, we met again at a family reunion after establishing email contact one with another. Then it was off to Germany for "the other" Cliff. Several years later, Cliff established email contact with me again, telling me that he was back in the states and living in Florida. It was a short time after that that Lynn, his wife of 46 years succumbed to Renal Cell Carcinoma.

It's been asked of me if Cliff is a relative when he posts a response to one of my Question's of the Day on Facebook. He's a distant relative, but a good friend who has offered me good advice when I have needed it. He's someone I wouldn't mind having as an older brother.

But get the book. Views From Sandhausen is available in hardcover, softcover and ebook download. I got my copy via my Nook app on my iPhone.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A radio station? On a farm?

 Let's go back to a time where things were a little less stressful in my life...

It was 1965, and my family was living in Breiningsville, Pennsylvania. My dad had been transferred there from his job in Cleveland. We lived there a total of 14 months as my dad also lost his job at that time.

Anyway, I was in the third grade at Fogelsville Elementary school. It was the last year for the building we were going to school in, as the finishing touches were put on the new building. The one I attended was located across the street from the dynamite factory and we would hear testing every now and then. It was also the school year I decided that I hated school.

The third grade was the first year that I would have to do homework. I hated homework then, I hated it all the way through the 12th grade. 46 years later, I wish I would have learned to like it or at least tolerate it. Cliff Note: To the teachers who read this blog, I apologize.

I never have let the things I needed to do get in the way of my enjoyment of modern technology and in 1965, television was still in it's infancy and someone had to supervise this baby. I volunteered for this duty, much to Miss Acker's chagrin. But there were some projects I embraced in my own twisted way.

Miss Acker had us all design a building out of household items, small boxes mainly. Our buildings would go either in a town setting or a farm setting. Some designed office buildings, some stores, some barns. To show I had this passion to communicate, I designed a replica of a building I saw twice-radio station WKAP. I remember the jingle well "WKAP, in the Lehigh Valley." This was complete with the tower. Cliff Note: Even at the ripe old age of 9, I was a radio geek.

Even though WKAP was licensed to Allentown, Miss Acker would not put my radio station in the city project, and questioned whether it belonged on the farm. but it ended up with the barns.

Poor Miss Acker. She meant well, but I still didn't like her....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things are looking up!

I'm still around and I'm enjoying summer some.

Also, after 9 months on the job, things are going quite well. There are opportunities presenting themselves.

In the past 18 plus months, I have learned quite a bit about patience. And it is true where it says in the Bible that tribulation brings patience. And I'm also realizing that I'm not too old to advance anymore in life.

Many time in our life we impose a glass ceiling over ourselves that starts with the word "too", as in too old, too young, too inexperienced, etc. Zig Ziglar likens it to putting a lid on a jar of fleas. The fleas start out by jumping high enough to hit the transparent lid. They keep on doing this until they realize that they cannot make it out of the jar. We do the same things, but after listening to enough SNIOPs (Susceptible to the Negative Opinions of Other People) we have a glass ceiling that we feel we can't make it above. We have to clear our minds of all this and fill our minds with good positive thoughts.

I found that 9 months ago I was at entry level of a new profession. Most of the time I try to do the best I can and now it's starting to pay off. I'm making it above the "too old" glass ceiling. The "white stuff on top of my head" has no bearing on my future success.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rob a bank, get medical attention

I heard about this news story yesterday:

A man went into a bank. When he got to the teller, there was a note handed to the teller. The gist of it was, "This is a holdup. Give me $1 dollar and medical attention." The man then calmly waited for the police to come and arrest him. He is now sitting in jail awaiting his doctor's appointment.

The "bank robber" is in a situation similar to mine about a year ago. Like myself, he had recently lost a job after being there for 17 years. And like me, he had a hard time finding another job, and he wouldn't get one paying like the job he lost and he definitely wouldn't have the benefits of the job he was forced to leave behind. He had to take a job in a convenience store, one he couldn't handle some of the physical demands of. He had to leave that job and also needed some medical attention. He couldn't afford to go to the doctor and that's what lead him to his "bank robbery."

Now before you say that he could have gone to a free clinic, think about this: Most free clinics are only open one or two days a week, and the line to get in one is very long, and the services are limited. Many folks who find themselves on the street are middle aged folks and not quite old enough for medicare. And the only thing "Obamacare" has done so far is raise the cost of medical care to those who can afford it. If it does anything, it will be a few years up the road.

Although my health care costs are higher than two years ago, I still have benefits at my new job. I'm one of the lucky ones, I have a job I can do sitting down most of the day, although I do make $6 dollars less per hour than I did 2 years ago. I don't have as desperate as the man who robbed a bank for medical attention.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trying something new

A few posts ago,I mentioned about my new iPhone. I thought I would try to write a post with it. The one finger typing takes some getting used to, but the portability makes it worthwhile. Still doesn't beat the laptop I normally use,especially when it comes to uploading photos. Now my distant relative in Florida with the same name told me that he wrote a book using his iPhone. Maybe the poetry will be easier to compose than a regular post. Maybe I can get the hang of this and I will returning to posting on a more regular basis. Time will tell....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cycling for fun and fitness

Riding on the bike path
Taking a little time
Crusin with my grandson
Not costing me a dime

Seven miles one way
Might seem to you too long
Quality time is priceless
And you never can go wrong

We then stop at the west end
To rest and get a drink
We turn around and go home
Not too long a ride I think

And now I start to wonder
If I will make it back
Grandson stays ahead of me
And now I start to slack

I start to stop more more often
To rest and take a drink
No doubts that I will make it
Just longer than I think

Back home at last, I make it
My legs are very sore
Another time I'll ride the trail
And go through this some more

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Intellectual Clutter

Over the years, I have collected a substantial quantity of motivational material.  It's in the form of books, cassette tape, CD, and now in mp3. It started around 1982, when my cousin got me involved in Amway. He told me that I was going to be rich! All I had to do was follow the plan and that included listing to a tape a day and read a book a week. All that was well and good, but I also had a full time job and was a new father. But the books sounded good. And they must have been popular since the shelves at Goodwill have several copies of any popular self help title.

But there are 2 things about me that are important to this post: I have always been easy to persuade, and I'm a pack rat. The latter is an inherited condition. I'm still going through belongings of my mother and brother. Mom's been gone 7 years and Ricky, 3 years. And now back to the post.

My cousin told me to read some classic titles, such as Psycho Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz, and Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Both of these books have some great content, but have a tendency to be boring. Now a classic I do love and have read many times is How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. I also have this book on cassette.

Modern authors, whose works I love are folks like Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell and Mark Sanborn. Zig has been a favorite for many years. this began when I used to listen to a program he had on the radio, called Daily Christian Motivation. This led me to look for some of books, and See You at the Top soon became my all time favorite motivational book.

Mark Sanborn, in my book, is a classic good guy. I have fully recommended his book, The Fred Factor on this blog and he thanked me via the comment section. The Fred Factor is a book Mark wrote about Fred Shea, his one time postal carrier, one who took an ordinary job and performed extraordinary duties with it. A good read and an excellent listen as an audio book as read by the author. Mark and I have also chatted via email and facebook chat. Mark even has posted responses to my Question of the Day. I wholeheartedly recommend you check out his site and invest in some of his leadership materials.

Problem is with all these good authors and good books, there are also those who come up with some catchy titles and would have done well to have stopped there, and I own some of those. And I need to weed my intellectual garden. This requires getting down hard on the lone who is most resistant to it, ME! You have no idea how many diet books I have passed up in the most recent past. I do have the understanding that no book helps you lose weight, you have to do this yourself. I just have to get my motivational and inspirational material pared down to a workable pile.

Cliff Note: Mark Sanborn, if you have time, please stop by and say hi to my friends, which now includes many of my high school classmates. And if you don't mind please offer some of your valuable insight.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Little victories mean a lot....

...You just have to share them with the right people.

Case in point, it's who you share your weight losses with. I have this relative who thinks I need to lose a ton of weight, which I do, but expects to see it off all at once, or so it seems. Some time ago, I had lost about about 5 pounds and I was proud of it. I let this person know about it and the response was "Well whoop de do! I could have done that by (performing a certain bodily function.)
This person is a Jerry Maguire type, you know, "show me the money." So I have to find others who know the real value in a 5 pound loss.

Just about all of us will never get the chance to have Bob and Jillian get in our faces. We will also not have others prepare our meals for us who know the total value of proper nutrition. We will also not go into Subway and have their ad agency pay us for making sandwiches. And we also won't have the whole country able to see us lose up to 20 pounds in one week. Welcome to the real world where we aren't as big of losers.

But in the real world a 1 to 2 pound loss in a week isn't bad. Keep this up and in a year you could be 75 pounds lighter. Not bad if I say so myself.

Now in the past couple of weeks, I did have a couple of "Bob and Jillian" moments": First one was at the doctor's office. He took a look at my blood glucose readings and told me that the next step could be insulin shots. That scared me into taking a look at my carb intake. second was was at work a week ago. I felt light headed and felt a "fog" come over me. I took a couple of calls afterwards, but had to go outside for some fresh air. I was afraid I was having a stroke. that did it. I had to do something about this. And make it yesterday!

But like I said at the top of this post, I have started celebrating some small victories, and I'm finding people who are willing to celebrate them with me. Bnd there are some close to me that realize the seriousness of my diabetes and are cheering me on. some don't agree with me when I look at candy as poison, but they don't have to consider insulin shots at this point in their lives either.

And besides, 75 pounds less of Cliff could be a good thing. We may have a party-BYOV, or Bring Your Own Vegetables.

PS: I have lost about 10 pounds.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Donate if you can!

With the Summer months starting, the need for blood everywhere will be high. If you are able to, please donate.

My friends over at WIXY/100.3 in Champaign-Urbana Illinois, have kicked off the WIXY 5000, where they are trying to get over 5000 pints of blood donated. And boy, do they have some incentive. Folks donating will go into a drawing for iPads, and everyone attempting to give will get a special WIXY 5000 t-shirt.

I contracted hepatitis when I was working in a health care profession back in the 80's. I can't give, but if you can, please give a pint. Even if you don't have the incentive for an iPad or t-shirt, give some life. Wherever you are. It's needed everywhere.

This has been a WIXY's Gone Bananas public service announcement. And maybe I've kissed up enough for them to send me a t-shirt. XXL please.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making a Difference

The following is from an email I received earlier this week: "I was recently searching online to see if I could learn information about Dr. Harvey Kassebaum, and came across a blog entry which I believe was from you. It indicated that Dr. Kassebaum had passed away in 2007, and that he had been the next-door-neighbor of your in-laws.

I currently work for the Ohio Board of Regents in Columbus, and was recently discussing the value of transient undergraduate college coursework that can be done at our state’s community colleges. I told my colleague who deals with these topics daily that, though I attended Ashland College for my undergraduate degree, I took some transient courses at Tri-C and that Tri-C was where I came across the man who was easily the greatest professor I had, hands-down. That man was Harv Kassebaum. I took a series of three American literature courses from him in 1989-1990.

If you might have any remaining contact with his family, could you please provide my note to them? I have always wished I could have gone back and let Harv know how much I benefitted from his instruction. I have worked in local television in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus and am now so pleased to be working in state government in a way that connects to higher education. He was truly a great teacher, and I wish I’d taken the time to tell him so, more deliberately, back then."

Now the only difference I made in writing the post about Dr Kassebaum was that I let the blogging world know about one who not only made a difference in the college education of many folks, but one who was the next door neighbor and one of the best friends of my father in law.

I have been extremely blessed to be the recipient of much very positive feedback to the post I wrote over 4 years ago. The photo was posted with the blessings of his daughter, Margi. Harv, though highly educated, would not have read the blog post if it was written about him while he was still alive. He wanted nothing to do with computers.

My father in law wants nothing to do with computers, but was very touched by the email I received. He got a hold of Margi's email address this morning and I was able to forward it to her. She and her sisters should be proud of the legacy their dad left behind.

And yes, I beam a little when I know my writing sparks good memories of one who made a difference to many.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Being one who is in my mid fifties, and someone who recently, by no choice of my own, changed careers, I have found that one thing came relatively easy to me. That's burnout.

Life has been happening at a quicker pace than I would like to see it, with family obligations, and trying to make the best possible impression on the job. Other things out of the job and my family needs have pretty much taken a back seat. Don't get me wrong, I like my job and I love my family. But I feel that my Cliff and Kathy time has suffered.

One thing I do know: I have got to start prioritizing my time, beginning with my Bible study time, then on to exercise time. My doctor told me yesterday that I may have to go on insulin soon. That's why I have to start working out more.

I need to return to my passions. Writing is one of them, as all of my blogging and Facebook friends know.

But as Jeff, one of my high school friends, put it, in response to a recent Question of the Day, I need to relight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIXY 100.3 meet 74WIXYgrad

AT&T and Apple made it possible for me, by making the iPhone affordable.

I added the WIXY 100.3 app on my iPhone about 1-1/2 weeks ago. I've been listening to that and WIXY Classic 99.1, both from Champaign. Illinois. Being a fan of the WIXY call letters and country music fan, I thought those would be cool to have. I also thought when the time was right, I would give the morning show, Holstein and Company, a call.

This morning was the right time.

Steve Holstein and his cohorts were discussing a story about vacation usage, and how some would like as much vacation time as the French, which was 6 weeks. all my friends know that a year ago, I had way more time off work than I really wanted. Time to call. I introduced myself as Cliff from Rittman, Ohio, told them about my internet ID as 74WIXYgrad and also told them that I liked that they were taking good care of the call letters. And we had a good brief conversation about the topic at hand.

And my prayers go out to the WIXY 100.3 listening area as they are currently under tornado warnings.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And in other news...

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been awarded the first and fourth picks in the upcoming NBA draft. My reaction? Yawnnnn.

But Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert gave me another reason to respect him. Gilbert's teenage son , Nick, represented the Cavs on stage for the draft lottery. Nick is suffering from neurafibromatosis, an inherited condition that causes unsightly growths inside and outside of the body. My older sister, who passed away in 1997, and my younger brother, who passed away 3 years ago had it as does my younger sister, who lives at my home as her epilepsy caused by it makes it impossible for her to live independently. When someone can give a face to this horrible condition, maybe research will be aimed a little harder in it's direction and possibly it can be eradicated some day in the not so distant future.

Now as far as the draft lottery is concerned, my feelings is that it's not on the up and up. I think maybe the Cavs got the number one pick because of the outrage of Lebron James "taking his talents to South Beach" last summer. I also think that the Cavaliers getting the number one pick when James went into the draft was designed by the NBA to put butts in seats in Cleveland.

I probably didn't see more than a dozen Cavs games on tv during the James era, but I was aware of the excitement during this time. I know that my father in law looked forward to the games during this time as he was confined to his house due to his health in the winter time. My younger brother was pretty much the sports desk at the nursing home and he never missed a game and had a Lebron James plaque given to him to hang on his wall. So I do know that sports are important to some who don't have as much to enjoy as those of us who can get around.

Me as a Cleveland sports fan, just give me a major sports championship while I can still enjoy it. It's been since 1964, and I was only 9 and living out of the area at the time...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

30 Years ago today.....

...I watched perfection. I was not there, but I saw it on the tube.

In 1981, the Cleveland Indians were an early season surprise. Most fans knew at that time they were playing over their heads at this point of the season, but we would take the wins as they came. I figured during the day of May 15, 2001, the Tribe wouldn't be playing their scheduled game that night against the Toronto Blue Jays since it was raining all day.

That evening, I had nothing planned since the part time job I was working was a landscaping job and it was too wet to be doing anything. Kathy was going to a baby shower in her honor as we were expecting out first child in late July. So I decided to go visit my parents in Cleveland. After we ate some supper, I decided to check on the television to see if the baseball game was going to be played. To my surprise, it was. The WUAB broadcast team of Joe Tait and Bruce Drennan were in their places, Tait proclaiming "It's a beautiful night for deep sea fishing." Normally the proclamation was, "a beautiful night for baseball."

Pitching for the Indians was Len "Large Lenny" Barker. Pitching for Toronto was Luis Leal. The Tribe got on the board early with 2 runs in the first inning, but then both pitchers settled in for pretty much the rest of the game. I was watching the game with my brother, Ricky, and as the game progressed, we both sensed we were watching something real special. There were some good defensive plays, one in particular by third baseman Toby Harrah.

About the 6th inning, I realized that none of the Toronto players hadn't even reached base, let alone get a hit. I let Ricky know that Barker had a perfect game going and I was getting pretty excited about it. About the 8th inning, my dad came into the room and asked what the excitement was about. I told him that Len Barker had a perfect game going. Ricky said that "he might have a no hitter too." Our sister joined in the excitement as well. I was wishing at this point that I was one of the 7,290 fans at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, but looking back I was glad I could share this memory with my brother.

Back to the game. Top of the 9th, and all 3 of us were on our feet. I had been standing for several innings at this point, and was about a foot off the ground as well. The last of the Toronto batters was catcher Ernie Whitt. Cause of concern here as he broke up a no hit bid for Dan Spillner a little over a week prior to this game. But on this night Whitt hit a fly ball to centerfielder Rick Manning, who squeezed the ball and then ran into the mound area and joined the celebration. Len Barker just had pitched the 11th perfect game in major league history.

My brother, sister, and I were all in the living room celebrating at this point. About 10 minutes later, as I was going home, my dad looked at me and said, "sorry you had such a rotten time tonight."

Perfect game and perfect memory of time I could spend with my developmentally disabled brother.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

It is less than 20 items, honest!

Kathy and I were shopping at Evil Big Box Store(tm) 2966 this afternoon. We just got our tax refund and decided to do some stocking up. We went into the store with 2 carts and first headed for the pet food aisles. We have 2 cats and a dog, and all 3 animals are picky. Matter of fact, one of the cats will turn my CPAP off at night if he's hungry in order for me to wake up and feed him. But back to the shopping.

As we were stocking up, I put 6 trays(24 cans) of cat food in the cart, then one bag of dry cat food, along with 2 bags of cat litter. Then I went to the dog food aisle and put 6 boxes of moist dog food in the cart. At this time the cart was full. I told Kathy that I would take the cart to the checkout and pay for it while she shopped for the rest of the items.

Now keep in mind that EBBS(tm) 2966 is being remodeled and things are not where people aren't used to the changes. Also inventory is evidentially down due to things being moved around. Customers aren't in an overall good mood. I see this first hand as I take my full cart to the express lane, which is 20 items or less. What these folks are seeing is a full cart, not the fact that I only have 15 items in the cart. I guess I must have ruined some folks day by their misconception.

Maybe there's some blogger somewhere blogging about this fat old guy who apparently can't count above 20. But then again hopefully they will take the high road and not see another cashier a few rows over and liken him to a certain Warner Brothers cartoon character....

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rails to Trails

To those who aren't familiar with "WIXYspeak", here some terms I will use in this post and a quick definition: WIXYcam- My digital camera.
WIXY/at&t/phonecam- My cell phone.

Okay, I decided to take the time and finally ride my bike on the new bike bike path between Rittman and Sterling. Due to how busy I've been, this was also the first time I was on my bicycle this year. But after the week I've just been through, I owe
d it to myself to do something I wanted to do.

Anyway, the new bike path was where a railroad track once existed. In some sp
ots it runs parallel to tracks owned and maintained by CSX. I told Kathy aka Mrs74WIXYgrad that I was going to ride un
til I got tired then turn around and come back. I was pacing myself and getting off my bike to take photos. First I got out the WIXYcam and tried to take some pics, but to no avail. I then got out the trusty WIXY/at&t/phonecam, and proceeded to take the pics that will be
in this post.

It was an easy ride into Sterling, and the reals to trails portion of the bike path ends short of "downtown" Sterling. You then have to follow a couple of county roads to get back to the dedicated trail.

Where the tr
ail once again resumes, there is a parking lot and an old depot building. I think this is scheduled for renovation. I decided to forgo the other portion of the trail until another date. I decided to follow Kaufmann Ave., which is pretty much main street of Sterling. And I was starting to feel a bit tired. I sat on the steps of the Church of God, and checked Facebook, while catching my breath and drinking some water. Then it was back on the road. I headed towards Rittman as I turned onto Sterling Ave.

About 1/4 mile on Sterling Ave., then back to
the paved trail. Of course at this time, I'm starting to feel my
age, my lack of riding of late, and my general being out of shape. And I did stop a couple of times to take some pics. One of those was a bridge made especially for this trail and a mile marker for the railroad.

I took a couple of short cuts as well as taking a break to sit in the bench of my church, the South Main Street Church of God. There, I checked Facebook and my email. And then to home.

I'm now somewhat sore, but I'm better off for my effort.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hi, my name is Cliff...

...And I write a blog. At least part of the time. I do like being heard, and that takes many avenues.

Anyway, for those of you not on Facebook, things are going well with me. Extra hours are available for me at work, which I'm gladly taking. With the skyrocketing price of gasoline, I have no other choice. It also helps me hone my skills, as the job is still new to me.

Neatest thing about being in telecommunications is the theater of the mind is always open. This is especially true given my voice, which is much younger than my hair. I was talking to someone over the phone yesterday, and they mentioned a product that the client I call for produced at one time. She had mentioned that I probably wasn't old enough to remember it. I chuckled and informed her that I was 55. She said that I sounded like I was 25. I get that often when I mention over the phone that I have grandchildren. I guess I can credit this to either the fact I exercise my voice quite a bit or that I gave up cigarettes a long time ago.

Now, like the average human being, I'm not exactly in love with the sound of my own voice. But I did go to school to become a radio personality, a dream I haven't quite realized. With the exception of of being the announcer for my church's radio program. Cliff Note: Listen to the Power House, Monday through Friday 7:30pm on Faith Ministry Radio, 90.9FM WJDD, Carrollton, Ohio. You can also listen online at

But, as I first realized 10-1/2 years ago, when I began my work as the announcer for the Rittman Marching Band, I have gotten more than my money's worth out of the schooling as I see the difference using my voice and training has made for other people.

People have told me that I should go into radio, but among other things, radio as we know it, is a dying medium. The pay is crappy unless you happen to be the top rated personality in your market. And besides, with my blogging and Facebook activities, I probably get as good a response as I would on radio. I'm not another Howard Stern and I've known that for a long time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And we need a t-shirt for this, WHY?

Yesterday I was walking through the Summit Mall with my wife and our son. As we were going past the Cleveland Indians gift shop, I noticed a rack with some t-shirts. On the shirts were an illustration of the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Over the illustration were the words "Ten Cent Beer Night, June 4, 1974."

Quick summary: The Indians played the Texas Rangers in front of about 25 thousand fans, most of whom were getting quickly inebriated. The game ended in a riot on the field and the game was declared a forfeit in the Ranger's favor. For an accurate description of the night's activities, click on the Wikipedia link given below.

Now why do I need a t-shirt to commemorate a low spot in the region's history? Since I got laid off from my last job, I have been within Cleveland City limits about 4 times, only 2 of those for my own business. But being a life long, except for 1 year, northeast Ohio resident, I think I can find something else to put on a t-shirt to show my pride in the area. Even being a Cleveland Indians fan, I could find something, possibly commemorating Len Barker's perfect game, May 15, 1981. Cliff note: I wasn't there, but I saw every pitch on TV that night.

But the memory of beer night and the surrounding controversy will stick in my mind for a lifetime. Much has been written about it, and Wikipedia has an accurate entry as well. One of the memories I would like to address concerns recently retired Cleveland Cavaliers announcer, Joe Tait. In 1974 Joe Tait and the late Herb Score were the radio announcers for the Indians. During the post mortem of the "Beer night fiasco," legendary Plain Dealer sports columnist, the late Hal Lebovitz gave a portion of the blame for the fan's behavior to Tait, writing, "Joe Tait, who is going to get a National Basketball Association referee killed some night with his highly charged criticisms, didn't help on the Indians play by play broadcasts with his repeated huckstering 'Come on out to Beer Night, and let's stick it in Billy Martin's Ear.'"

Joe called Hal about that and pointed out that he only made the comment because Martin, the Texas Ranger manager had said the game would be no problem since nobody came to games in Cleveland. Joe also pointed out that the morning of the game the PD had a drawing of an Indian wearing boxing gloves. Hal had already taken responsibility for the Plain Dealer's role in the game, and stated that that illustration shouldn't have been run. Cliff note: The descriptions used in the Hal Lebovitz-Joe Tait story can be found on page 104 of the book "The Best of Hal Lebovitz."

Those of us who grew up with the announcing of Joe Tait know that he was the real deal in regards of being a human being. I was at a Cavaliers game in 1975, I went by myself to this game and went down to the announce table where Joe was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time along with some pointers as I was trying to get into broadcasting at the time. I went away feeling good, not only because I got some good advice, but because one of my heroes took the time to talk to me. Ten Cent Beer Night was, no doubt, a low point in his career, but I am sure that Tait took the measures not to repeat the actions of June 4, 1974, and to make good for any mistakes he made that night. And I'm also sure that Joe would be disgusted to see the t-shirt commemorating that night at the front of the Cleveland Indians Gift shop.

And in case you're wondering, I was not in attendance for beer night either. I was at home listening to the late innings on my transistor radio.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Have you ever thought about......

......Writing a book? I understand about 85% of everybody has expressed the thought, and possibly the desire.

I have been getting together my thoughts and writing them down. I also have fresh batteries in my digital recorder. Between all this and editing some of what I've written on my blogs over the past 4 years, the skeleton of a book is now coming together. I will then be putting some meat on the bones and hope there will be people interested in what I will write.

About 99%+ of all books written never become best sellers. I plan on taking the same advice one of my media friends gave me when I first launched this blog in August, 2006. That is don't worry if you don't have anybody reading your blog, just express yourself. Of course in the past 4-1/2 years, I have made many friends as I have done my thing on the internet. I have also reacquainted myself with many friends from my youth, several of whom have become better friends. Hopefully they will either be interested in what I have to write, or they will be inspired to write something themselves. Time will tell.

Many have interesting stories to tell. If you don't believe me, just scroll down this page and check out several of the links on the right side. There are many who have varied hobbies, interesting lives, or just their own brand of humor. Also some of my friends leave comments that show their creative side....I even have a few published authors linked on the side of my page.

Keep in mind this: You ARE interesting to someone!

Friday, April 01, 2011

The busy life

It seems that the only time I can get any rest is when I'm sitting in a hospital. Right now I'm typing these words while sitting at Akron children's hospital awaiting my grandson having minor surgery.
Update: Grandson went through surgery well and will be back at full strength in the next 10 days.

Work seems to be going well for me. I am approaching 6 months on the job and starting to feel somewhat secure there. The client I'm now calling for is about to go into one of it's busy seasons and it's consumers are very passionate about the product.

I have also seen the new hires given the tour of the call center. Several are just like myself, mid 50's, male, and not knowing if they were marketable anyplace before hired on at the call center. I feel like some of the motivational material I have studied over the years would come in handy in a training environment. After 6 months I can bid on open positions in the company. Hopefully the compensation portion of the job will improve. I've been told to be patient and it would follow.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Passion to Communicate

I'm kicking around the possibility of writing a book again. Update 11:30am: The idea has been a recurring thought, I haven't written any book yet. Sorry If I led anyone wrong.

Seeing that in the past 4-1/2 years, I've not only written over 1300 blog posts among my 4 public blogs, ranging from life in my favorite small town(Rittman, Ohio), my favorite radio stations, potshots at a local radio host, dealing with losses in my family, my blogging friends, my high school friends, etc-Cliff Note: I've written about alot of stuff since August, 2006! I think that I should write about my lifelong passion, communication.

In my mind, this book would have some fact, some fiction, much poetry, and recognition of many friends who have become a great means of support.

I was with several alumni of my high school this past Friday. During the course of the time I spent there, I talked about my brother, Richard. I told Karen, who graduated a year ahead of me about him. She was crying as she told me that she liked his demeanor and his passion for sports. Another friend, Gary, expressed his sympathy. He had saw him in the nursing home, as his father was a resident there.

There were others there who bragged on my Facebook activity, especially my Question of the Day. I told them about my blogging friends. There was silence, almost tears, when I mentioned the tragic story of Suzanne, aka Liquid. There were others who wanted to friend me on Facebook. I told them to make sure which Cliff Feightner they friended, though they might friend him after they read "Views From Sandhausen."

Matter of fact, I hope "Views" is a best seller. Maybe when I get my book done, the name "Cliff Feightner" may sell a few copies outside my ring of friends.

I do feel that I have the groundwork laid for at least a couple of books. Would they be best sellers? I don't know, but it's something I need to do. I have many friends who have faith in me, probably more faith than I have in myself.

I just have to get off my too large you-know-what and get to work.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why, why, why?

One problem this age of the internet has increased is the problem of loneliness. The world has come closer together, but is has also drifted further apart. We can communicate with others from the privacy of our own homes without leaving the privacy of our own homes. And sometimes we are our own prisoners. An d we also can't reach out and give the physical touch some people so sorely need.

The high school classmates I have renewed friendship with in the past year were shocked to hear that one of our fellow alumni had gone out and taken his life a week ago last Wednesday. Chances are many of us wouldn't haven't have even known about this had it not been for Facebook. Regardless, it still had us wondering, why? Arrangements were sent via email and I'm sure many had attended. I had obligations with my job at the time, so regretfully, I could not attend.

This morning on my way to work, I stopped for my coffee and snacks for work. Beth had told me that she had talked to one of our school friends who happened to be close to the deceased classmate. Jeff told her that his friend had been suffering from alcoholism. This was a way he had to handle his problems. He was showing some of the other classic symptoms, such as reporting to work late. And he also crawled into his own shell.

I know that this has always been a problem with those who are dealing with addictions, but I wonder if this internet age has hindered recovery in many cases. I know there are some recovery bloggers who read my blog. Maybe they, and others can shed some light.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Should I now say WOW?

Or maybe just a simple "thank you"?

There are times that I wonder if I will ever blog again, mainly after I've not posted anything here in over two weeks. I sometimes don't come around for days at a time, and when I do, I check my site meter and see that there are really some who care about what I may write here. I am humbled by this.
I share the same name as a real writer. "The other" Cliff Feightner has just published a book about his assignment in Europe, called "Views From Sandhausen." and is working on another. Here is a link to his blog, called "FlaAuthor's Blog".

So if you are liking the writings of this Cliff Feightner, check out "the other" as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did I do the right thing?

A few posts down I wrote about my "Question of the Day," which I post every day on Facebook. My wife, Kathy suggested I post this last night as a question on Facebook. I hesitated, but decided to bring it to my blogging audience for 2 reasons; One is the fact that there will be a larger audience since I post links to my blog post on my FB page, and two, this will be more than the 420 character limit on a status update, which is how I normally post my daily question.

Our son has bipolar disorder and some severe learning disabilities. This has made him unemployable and he is on disability. Although he lives on his own, I have to help him manage his finances, which means some of my days off from work are spent helping him do his grocery shopping as well tending to other needs he may have.

Yesterday we got to the end of his shopping and he wanted to go into one more store. Because of my actions, the store will remain nameless. Because of the weather, Kathy and I both had aching legs and decided to sit this one out. I went into the store and after giving my son some guidance, gave him the money he had left. I thought he put the money in his pocket. I went back out into the car. After several minutes, I went back into the store to see what was keeping him. He told me that he had dropped his money and when he went back to pick it up, another customer picked it up and said that they would take it to the front of the store and give it to the cashier, which they didn't.

I went back out to the car to let Kathy know what was happening then returned into the store. I asked the cashier if there had been $32.00 returned to her, she said no. I then cupped my hands around my mouth and proceeded with the following "ATTENTION, MY SON IS MENTALLY CHALLENGED AND HE DROPPED 32 DOLLARS INSIDE THIS STORE. THIS IS HIS SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. IF YOU HAVE IT, PLEASE RETURN IT TO HIM. THANK YOU!" Yes, I was being a human public address system at that time.

Now the money was returned and the lady gave my son some terse comments. The store management, to say the least was embarrassed. After realizing what I did, I was embarrassed. I don't think I will return to that store anytime soon.

Did I do the right thing?