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.