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....