Jan 08

And We Needed a Study for This???

Well, I could have told you this and it wouldn’t have taken some high-priced official study performed by a big name consulting firm to have confirmed it. Human nature being what it is … and I have been a student of human nature for many a year now … I don’t think the results could have been any more predictable than they were. Specifically, a recent study has found that over half of all workers have at one time or another been anything but truthful with their employers so that they could get more paid time off from their jobs. More than 25 percent of all workers surveyed admitted to having lied about bereavement days (claiming a family member had died when they really hadn’t) to gain more vacation time and just as many claimed to have had to do jury duty when in fact they did not, to get additional paid time off. Not surprisingly, men admitted to having falsified information much more often than woman (about 2-1). But as I read through the data that came out of this study, the one thing that struck me was how people view their co-workers when it comes to these things. You see, 72 percent of all employees surveyed said that they think their co-workers lie to get sick days off when they really are not sick. However, the actual results of the survey would conclude that only 47 percent of employees lie about being sick to get some extra time off. I guess no matter how bad we are, we always think the other guy is worse. Makes us feel better about ourselves, I’m thinking. Ah, human nature!

Too Good Not To Use Here

As I finished typing up the above paragraph, a saying that an old retired friend of mine liked to use when he was still working came to mind. He was a unionized municipal worker and retired a couple of years ago with a very nice government pension. One of his favorite sayings was “If you ain’t cheatin’ the man, you’re cheatin’ yourself.” A timeless classic me thinks!

Is It Just Me

or do some of you others also feel like we fell off the fiscal cliff in spite of the fact that we were told we didn’t? Now don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near that high income tax bracket that the government whacked with an increase, but it has already been pointed out to me by more than one person that everyone who works for a living started to have more deductions taken from their every paycheck by the feds in the form of an increased payroll deduction last week, so did we really avoid the cliff or not? Just asking!

A Golden Opportunity?

Could be. I have been invited to become a partner in a gold mining (prospecting venture) scheduled to take place this summer and because I will be going along as kind of a reporter/photographer for the most part, I am not going to have to come up with any real money for the venture. All of the equipment and such is being furnished by the seasoned veteran on the crew who is a full-fledged member of the Gold Prospecting Association of America. I’ve been watching some of the reality TV shows about gold mining to get myself better acquainted with all of this and I’m actually starting to get excited about it. By the way, it is my understanding that some small investment opportunities might be available so if this is something you might be interested in, shoot me an email and I will try to get something to you. Either way, I am looking to have some fun, learn something new, and hopefully take a few pictures and write up a few stories. We’ll see how this all turns out.

Finally Getting It Right

Like a lot of people in the glass industry, I have long been concerned about the use of non-safety glass in furniture. And like most, I too have some non-safety glass table tops and shelving in my home and I am quite protective of it in certain of those locations because I regularly have some (and often all) of my grandkids at the house. This subject (non-safety glass in furniture) has been a hot topic for many years and while I sometimes think we go a little too far with certain safety regulations and such, the new codes and regs that are being announced for the furniture side of the glass industry seem to be right on target … and very much needed. I am going to delve into this and make sure I get it reported correctly next week. Stay tuned for more of the details on this.

The Walnut

Have you ever taken a moment and pondered the walnut? Well, you should. It is an incredible work of art. Its symmetry, its color, its strength. Ah, the walnut. I sometimes think of it as the turtle of the plant kingdom. Not bad to eat either!


Photo courtesy of Magpie Newling Studios

Family Stuff


Renee Hill @ Graduation with her three kids

I have been criticized (not too much, but a little) in the past for working my family into these weekly blogs. I’m not about to apologize. My family is extremely important to me and I have been truly blessed to have a good one. And for the record, my kids’ spouses are family, just as much as the ones who carry some of my genetic code. So with this in mind, I am herein going to congratulate my daughter-in-law, Renee Hill, for her recent graduation from nursing school. For the past couple of years she has gone to school full-time, worked almost full-time, and taken care of her three children, Sydney, Ryan and Patrick. Riley, the dog, pretty much takes care of himself. Congratulations, Renee!


The Sports Thing

OK now. Finally some really great sports-related news. No, not the Alabama trouncing of Notre Dame a couple of nights ago for the National College Championship … and boy, did ND get smacked … I’m talking about the NHL … as in National Hockey League. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, and if necessary, I will now certainly apologize to those of you who might, you know that the NHL players and owners have now reached what is claimed to be a workable arrangement which will allow the 2013 season to now begin, although a full schedule of games obviously cannot take place. As a season ticket holder of Chicago Blackhawks tickets, I am anxious to find out what the deal is and as yet, nothing has been formally announced. Just so you know, the Blackhawks, like virtually every professional team, requires full payment for all season tickets well in advance of any given season actually beginning. So while all of this negotiating was going on, the owners were holding millions of dollars in season ticket holders’ money. In the case of the Blackhawks, they had committed to paying 2 percent interest on any money that was held and then later refunded … which was a decent gesture … but still!!! Anyhow, it’s over now and I am already getting calls and e-mails from people looking for tickets and wanting to know if I know anymore than they know about when the season will start and how many games will actually be played. I don’t know anymore than they do, but I am glad that the lockout is over and hockey will start soon.

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote comes from my good (downstate Illinois) friend Rod Van Buskirk and it made me chuckle out loud when i read it.

“Some people learn by watching, some by doing. Some people learn by peeing on the electric fence.”  -attributed to the University of Illinois Men’s basketball coach John Groce after a particularly humbling loss to Purdue university recently. Think about it for a second. Or maybe not!


Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!


  1. Chuck Knickerbocker


    Love the blog:

    There’s a long line of companies holding your money before you actually attend or use the tickets. Ever pay in advance for an airline ticket to get a cheaper fare? How about using any of the travel sites (Expedia, Travelocity, etc.), for air fare, hotels, etc. Most of them require pay in advance. As to paying 2% interest: have you seen what the banks pay on savings accounts? It’s ridiculously low. But at the same time, mortgage rates are low, too. So bottom line, you gotta put it out now to get cheaper results when you actually get around to using it, if that makes sense.

    Having never whizzed on an electric fence, I’ll take somebody else’s word for it that experience could be painful.

    Go Flyers!

  2. Lyle R. Hill

    Thanks Chuck. Good points about the pre-pay issue and stay away from those electric fences! Lyle

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