Saturday, March 20, 2010

Michigan Snow Storm

Snow, snow, everywhere. Oh my gosh! I just woke up, looked out the window and lo and behold, snow fell all over the country side as I slept. The past few weeks around here have been downright balmy. Sunshine, light breezes, warm rain showers and temperatures in the 60's. Dog gone good kite flying, dog walking, flower planting, tree trimming, barbecue grilling, bicycle riding, lawn fertilizing, neighborhood jogging, and finally taking down the Christmas lights weather. All over town people have been walking with strollers and little kids in tow enjoying this prelude to a warmer, less unfriendly climate. Ice cream sales have jumped. Motorcycles are uncovered, washed, waxed and taken on test runs. Custom cars, covered and stored ever so carefully over the winter, protected from salt and other corrosive threats can be heard firing up in garages everywhere. Not today! Snow, the dreaded element, has reclaimed its territory at least one more time. Fresh, clean, brilliant white and mushy snow has spread here and there to bring us back to reality. I live in Michigan. March is not a snow free month. On any given day we can expect snow, even blizzard conditions. But I have to admit, this year with all this sweet, warm weather I grew a bit complacent. Almost forgetting my place in this world.

Being a hardy, resourceful type of person, I believe I can deal with all the consequences surrounding even a storm of this magnitude. After all, I have a new (to me anyway) 4 wheel drive, big honkin' truck to drive through the slickery streets. This old half inch or so of accumulated snow won't dampen my enthusiasm one bit. I'm from Michigan, I can handle it. Its a gift. Everything is a gift of some sort isn't it? Even the bad stuff because they make us think and appreciate the good. I wish you a great and wonderful day........................Joe

Friday, March 19, 2010

NCAA basketball. I lost already.

Well, there goes my hope of winning all the marbles in the March Madness NCAA tournament. Those pesky underdogs have wiped me out. Cheeaashe! I spend every spare moment, and there are precious few of those in my life, for the past three months studying the stats and composing my strategy. Who is on top of their game? Which team is actually plating as a team? What school got to the tournament simply on the efforts of only one or two players? Things like depth, versatility, ability to score, defense and emotional level. Putting all those things together is how you win in these bracket games. Ha!

Two games in particular and up to seven games over the course of opening day chipped away at my picks and by this morning my bracket pick page sits wadded up in the round file. So, is there a reason to watch the tournament any more? Yeeah! This is some of the most powerful and emotional basketball to be played in any given year. There isn't a bad game in the bunch. From here on I switch my strategy from going for a win on the bracket to rooting for my schools of choice. Maybe this is even more fun. Now I feel more like those students and alumni in the bleachers rooting on their team. I am free of any materialistic agenda. I don't have an Alma Mater in the hunt at this point. I have no favorites. From here on I root for another reason. Now my bets are on a Catholic college from just about anywhere. Gonzaga is always first of course. They have a great program with integrity and the coach is a real stand up guy. A few years back they surprised everyone by getting into the finals. I hope they do it again. Being from a catholic school background I can appreciate for various reasons the value of competitive sports in any educational program. Besides, in a tournament like this its a lot more fun when you root for someone. This gives me someone. Usually one of them hangs around to the sweet sixteen or the elite eight and occasionally the final four.

So I'm not a threat to you as far as winning the bracket thing at your office, club or bar. You are one person closer to winning it all. NCAA basketball! Aaaaah, what a game!.................Joe

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Joe Biden and me

I am a slow thinker. I dare not answer quickly to questions. My foot is at the ready to jump into my mouth. An egg is waiting just around the corner to slosh onto my face. More times than I can count I've had to recant my words in hopes of somehow diminishing my embarrassment. Acknowledging or apologizing for a dumb remark never quite does the trick. Once a word is spoken, it's there forever isn't it? Me and Joe Biden have a lot in common. I feel his pain. I've been through it all myself. There is a significant difference between he and I though.

This morning there is another story about yet another comment made by the vice president regarding some current topic or another. Whenever he is in the eye of the media he appears to be a very likable sort of guy. Looks to have a pleasant, sincere, honest kind of smile, an open and approachable personality, that sort of thing. But then he starts to talk. I know the feeling. My mind has slowed down because of an industrial accident. I have to guard my words closely and I know it. Where he and I differ I think is that I realize most of the time that I have to be very careful of what I say. From the sounds of it on many occasions Joe Biden doesn't feel the same way.

The difference between he and I is, I think, awareness of just who we are. I hate the taste of my foot...............................Joe

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The importance of my vote

I comment on certain political issues from time to time. Mostly because, at least for now in this country I am free to do so without fear of reprisal from the bureaucracy. I am just a small, almost completely insignificant nit in this huge country. In the scope of things, what I think or don't think probably doesn't matter all that much. At the very least though, its kind of cathartic to vent on those issues. I want to vent right now.

Front and center of all the concerns being jammed through the legislature is, of course health reform. Being simply a concerned citizen doesn't carry much weight regarding the whys and wherefores of this very costly program. What I think won't make a tiny bit of difference. I voted to install in office a politician to take care of such matters for me. I see a problem. In my humble opinion the health legislation that is being voted on right now is weak, accomplishes almost nothing except for a small segment of our society, costly enough to bankrupt our economy and take the control of our health care out of our hands and put it in another bureaucratic department.

Personally I've felt for almost all my life that in this great country necessary health care should be available to everyone without concern for losing everything else in our lives. This murky bill doesn't do that. I am not sure exactly what it does, neither are most legislators. Ear marks and pork are running rampant throughout the paperwork. National health care is far more important than forcing a program down our throats that is, for the most party a show of power by one political agenda or the other. More negotiation and research must be done before we commit our decedents tax dollars.

So, I make this statement. I have one vote, one vote only. I do support the idea of a fair and effective national system of health professionals, clinics and hospitals. However, I will never, ever, ever, vote for anyone that has anything, no matter how remotely to do with the passage of this coca-mamy travesty of a bill. I'm done venting now..............................Joe

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wanted: A good springtime joke.

I am searching for a spring time joke to banish the winter blahs. I do not possess the wit required to make up, fabricate, adjust or remember jokes well enough to put humor into the springtime context. It takes me hours to write a simple letter, let alone come up with something to laugh at. I have to depend on those that jot down humorous stories about darn near everything. I met an old friend last Friday evening. We talked for a good half hour. Or rather, he talked for almost a half hour. I spent most of the time laughing. All I had to do was ask him how he was. He took it from there and joked about age, hair, wrinkles, forgetfulness, food, noises, other friends, the passing of time, driving, marriage, and clothes. Nothing was safe from his sense of humor. All I could do was listen. I couldn't think of anything funny to respond with. He even joked about that.

Over the weekend I went on my annual springtime search for pussy-willows. It was a huge success. Huge, fat, fluffy and proliforous pussy-willows. Probably doesn't mean much to a lot of people but to me it does. To me they represent the passage from one time of year to the next. The promise of what will come. Jokes have that same quality most of the time I think. So I ask you to send me a good springtime joke if you know one or can make one up. Just a couple of simple requirements. Clean enough so everyone can read them. Non- offensive in matters of a delicate nature. If you know a joke like that I'd love to hear it. I appreciate your help...........Joe
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