Saturday, February 5, 2011

Treasure hunt goes on

Joe Cramer's Annual Sliver Treasure Hunt to bring awareness of the danger of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning has been going on for 30 years now. This game has many times brought interesting tales of how the medallion was discovered. I'm sure this year will not be an exception to that tradition. Although it has not been found yet there are hundreds of people that I am sure could have breathed on it as well as hundreds who are not within 5 miles of it's location. It's never really an obvious quest. I cannot comment on which group you belong to of course. Another situation that sometimes presents itself is that the medallion may become dislodged by an exuberant player or natural circumstance. If it remains in the approximate location the medallion is still considered in play and I take no action whatsoever.

because I am a faithful record keeper I have reams of information from times past. During the recent storm I looked back at the year 1980, the year this treasure hunt started. My goodness, things have changed. Because changes usually take place over a long period of time they often go unnoticed for quite a while. But I'd like to point some out just for comparison because some people have been chasing the medallion for two and maybe three generations now.

In 1980
Average cost of a new car-$7,200.00
Gallon of gas-$1.19
Dow Jones Industrial average- 963
Interest rates- 21.5%
Inflation- 13.5%
Average hourly wage- $8.23

Ron Reagan elected president
John Lennon was shot to death
PacMan game was released
3M begins selling their newest product..........Post-It notes
Fax machines and cam corders become available
Jessica Simpson is born(but we didn't really care for many years)
Two popular movies were "Nine to Five and Superman ll"

There was no Internet or world wide web or home computers to use them. No cell phones! There were no Asian Carp in United States waters. The economy was spiraling into a deep recession.

A lot of water has gone over the falls over the past 30 years but one thing has not changed. Tens of thousands of us from around the world still enjoy a challenging, free game. Still having fun after 30 years. Today it's in the snow. Good luck to all!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The winter storms vs. global warming

Weather is a huge topic yet again today. Cold, snow, ice, winds and freezing rain are scattered all across the country. Residents in Phoenix Arizona are wearing coats for heaven's sake. What's going on? According to a group of expert weather and atmosphere watching type people: It's all due to global warming. Umm, I think I'm just a little bit confused with that. But, of course they have studied everything and what they say must be true. Well, except for all those really smart research people that doctored up the facts over the past two decades to vindicate their own personal agendas.

When I was in the fourth grade sitting in class looking out the window at the falling snow one cold winters day my mind wandered a bit. The teacher had been focusing on a history lesson regarding some of the worlds greatest leaders. I have no explanation of where the thought came from but the question crossed my mind: "What if everybody that wrote our books lied?" I was only ten at the time. It was a very disturbing idea. Thankfully the lunch break bell rang and lunch was followed by a lot of playing in the snow for the next half hour or so. When class began again I was ready to get back to the study plan of the day. That question popped into my mind from time to time after that but I didn't put much thought into it. I thought it was too silly to talk to adults about. I'm sure they would have laughed at me. Isn't it funny how such ridiculous thoughts can go through the mind of a child?

Meanwhile, I guess all this global warming stuff is way over my head. I guess its only warming in the arctic regions today. Yeah, that's why I'm so confused.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard of 2011 in Michigan

Here we are, right in the middle of the blizzard of 2011. Personally, I've seen worse and I think anyone on the East coast lately would think we were as bunch of wussies if we were overly concerned about this one. Sure there has been about 10 inches of snow blown around by the wind but still, a blizzard?

Jokes abound concerning Michigan and the amount of snow we deal with but lately we've been dodging the worst of it. That's the fun of living in Michigan though, uncertainty. Blizzards make a good news event but on a scale of one to ten, this isn't much of one yet. Within 24 hours the sidewalks will be clear, the roads mostly passable and the kids will be yelling and screaming while they slide down the nearest hill. That's Michigan! When it comes, we deal with it and get on with our lives. Snowmobilers, skaters, ice fishermen and skiers love this sort of thing. Some of us use the time as an excuse to kick back and get a much needed rest. Every snowstorm brings a silver lining for someone. What's the old adage? "When you get a lemon, make lemonade."

In 1978 there was a true blizzard. Roads were shoulder deep in drifting snow. Snowmobiles were ridden down the major roadways without so much as a second look from the local sheriff. Store shelves were emptied of all food staples and amazingly enough, toilet paper was no where to be found. A significant note of historical fact is that nine months later there was a whole bunch of babies being born. I think I'll start the countdown right now to see if that happens again. It may very well be the primary measuring stick of the intensity of a blizzard do you think?

I've seen the pictures of even minor snow events down south in Alabama and surrounding states. They have a problem. No snow removal equipment. Here in Michigan we have enough machinery to do the job so a storm like this is just like a bump in the road. A government survey conducted a few years back found that there is greater financial cost involved with the damage from bad roads in Michigan each year than from weather related accidents.

Today I get to play with "Bruno" my trusty snow blower. Probably a couple times. I'll be visiting some of my neighbors too. Bruno and I really enjoy that sort of thing. Have a good day..........Joe

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Game clue

In this area of Greater Grand Rapids and far beyond we are about to get hit with the snow storm of the year, perhaps of the decade. Batten down the hatches and stock up with chicken soup, good books, a copy of the riddle, rules and clues. This just may be the time to figure it out and be this years winner.

Clue #3 for the 30the annual Silver treasure hunt:

"Some do a pretty good job of looking. But, the prize goes to the one who longs for it too. Looking and longing make this game work."

If you are physically looking for the medallion you are one of thousands vying for the prize same as in years past. So, if you meet up with others don't be surprised or discouraged. Remember last year? A lady waited around until others had looked and looked. Finally she walked up, felt in the post with her hand, retrieved the medallion and won. Right where hoards of treasure seekers had been for over a month. Good Luck! Keep the faith! It has not been found as of this writing.............Joe

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