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:
"Cliff,

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 viewsfromsandhausen.com.

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....