Oct 10

California Dreaming???

California Dreaming? … Not a chance. Way too expensive these days. You know, for a very long time I was quite convinced that the gas prices in Chicago … and here I am referring to that area within the actual city limits of the beautiful city by the great lake … were the highest in the nation. And if not the absolute highest, certainly very close to it. Part of this was caused by the high city and county sales taxes imposed on the fine people of this wonderful city, not to mention other state, regional and federal taxes that also were piled onto the cost of a gallon of gasoline. But of late, the gas price gougers of Chicago have been made to look like a bunch of amateurs by virtually every gasoline retailer in the state of California. Now I watch the news and read the papers probably more than I ever have before, and in spite of all the crazy explanations offered for this California phenomena, I’ve gotta tell you, it makes no sense to me. I’m sure there is a conspiracy at play here but I’m not sure who might be behind it. The republicans … the democrats … the green party??? Somebody has to be pulling the strings on this one because the natural laws of economics and ordinary market place dynamics can’t possibly explain it. What’s going on here?

The Government At WorkI just read part of a report produced by the government’s Office of Personnel Management that found that the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund had paid deceased workers $120 million annually over the previous five years. One guy, whose father had died in 1971, continued to collect his dad’s money until his own death in 2008. That’s 37 years people! Maybe we wouldn’t have such a civil service pension problem if we could just figure out a way to stop paying people after they die. Of course now that I think about it, dead people in Chicago have been voting for years so maybe they are entitled to continue receiving their pension checks. A funny (and true) side story here … the pastor at my church told me earlier today that his teenage daughter was in the elevator at the church and the emergency phone (virtually every working elevator has an emergency phone in them) started ringing and while she thought it was a bit odd, she answered it. The voice on the other end was calling to remind (the elevator) to make sure to register in time for the upcoming national elections. Maybe the elevator is collecting some kind of a pension check too … who really knows?

The Voter ID QuestionThere are two areas that I work very hard to stay away from when I write blogs and magazine articles. Those two are the mine laden areas that deal with either religion or politics. But in the last section of this blog, I kinda wandered into both … well not really so much on the religion thing but there could be some who will say I did because I mentioned an elevator at a church and I used the word pastor. At any rate, I do want to just say one thing here because it bothers me personally. I refer to the voter ID argument that seems to regularly end up in a legal battle of some type. Specifically, almost half of the states in the country (23 I think) have some form of voter ID requirement. And I don’t think it is a bad idea. So if 23 states already have it, why is it so wrong for the next state that wants it? OK … I’m done. Won’t mention it again, unless that elevator at the church decides to try to cast a vote.

Finally Some Good NewsAnd not a minute too soon either. Farmers have now confirmed that this year’s pumpkin crop was only slightly impacted by this past summer’s drought. The pumpkin harvest is going well and there will be no shortages. I don’t know about you, but i was worried. Halloween is only three weeks away!

Octoberfest???So why is it called Octoberfest if it actually takes place in September? Why isn’t it Septemberfest? I have never been to an Octoberfest in October.

The Sports ThingHey, how are you liking my Tigers now? Yes, that’s right, My Tigers. Please remember … after the Tigers beat out my White Sox I switched and I am not ashamed of admitting it. The auto industry up there in Detroit is making a strong run these days and so why shouldn’t the Tigers? NBA Basketball opened with pre-season games last night but there is still not a scheduled NHL Hockey game of any kind on the horizon. Looking gloomy my friends, very gloomy indeed. Fortunately for me, i have two grandsons playing hockey and their seasons have just started so I will get to see plenty of games this year. And to tell you the truth, the kids games are pretty exciting and there is no charge to get into the rink. Parking is free too. If you are in need of a hockey fix and are in the Chicago area, give me a call and we’ll go to a game. You’ll enjoy it!

The Quotable Thing This anonymous quote comes from regular reader Art Lafferty, an old friend from Ohio, and while it is one I’ve heard before, it carries some meaning with it and is worthy of sharing.                                “The axe soon forgets, but the tree always remembers”



  1. Jim Gulnick

    Why is Octoberfest in September?

    Octoberfest is a German word.

    Oct = phonetically the number 8, and the long time car number of NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
    ober = over, on top, the highest position
    fest = feast, celebration, gala

    Yes, you’ve guessed it, the feast is in fact a German celebration in tribute to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Earnhardt is a German name made up of two words that mean honor and bravery. The September celebration is in honor of Dale’s grandfather and first family member to become a racing professional who passed away on September 26, 1973.

  2. Lyle R. Hill

    Jim … you wouldn’t put me on now, would you??? Lyle

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