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Jan 23

They’re Back!!!

Finally, we have relief and in my opinion not soon enough. Winters are tough in Chicago and if you don’t believe me, try spending a couple in the windy city by the big lake. It’s not just the cold and the wind, it’s the grayness of it all as well. The days are short enough in the winter but in Chicago they are made shorter still by the grayness. It seems to settle down over the city in mid-December and isn’t pushed out by the sun for more than a few hours at a time until mid-March or early April. So hockey, NHL Chicago Blackhawks hockey, is a welcome relief for many of us who endure Chicago winters. And now, finally after an incredibly stupid lock-out, they are back. My sanity, what little I have left at this point in my life, has been restored! Go Hawks!!!

The Rumor Mill

Not a day seems to pass without receiving at least one phone call asking me to confirm or deny the latest rumor making its way through the glass industry. Of late, they have mostly been about personnel moves or about certain companies either being acquired or doing some acquiring of their own. Maybe other industries are as bad as the glass business when it comes to these rumor things, but for sure, there can’t be any industry worse. What is it that drives us to want to be in on the latest gossip? Does it make us look smarter if we know something that someone else does not? My advice to one and all, follow the daily glass related electronic newsletters. The facts are reported there in not only an accurate manner but in an incredibly timely manner as well. And if it’s worth reporting, you can count on getting it right and getting it quickest at USGNN.com™ and glassBYTES.com™, which I read daily. So forget the rumors … chase the facts! Okay, I have been advised that a good blog is never more than about a thousand words long and with that in mind, we need to move quickly to the next section of this one.

The Gun ThingEqual TimeOne More Time

Well, I got quite a few comments pertaining to some of my remarks about guns and gun control issues in last week’s blog  and a couple of them were even made publicly. So I want to revisit this just one more time for the sake of clarity, or at least to try to bring some closure to it, for me if for nobody else. So here we go … first, I don’t have a problem with licensing and background checks and all of those kinds of things. I also don’t take issue with those who want to ban assault weapons and such. BUT, I also believe our constitution allows us to own (and perhaps even carry) guns, and I do think that there are times and places where a gun might come in handy. Lastly, I am not going to pretend to have any of the answers to the gun control questions that are flying about in every direction. It is a complicated matter and discussions about it need to include people from the entertainment world and from the medical profession as well as those in politics and law enforcement.

Now for something unsuspected on this. At one time, the great writer Carl Sandburg lived just up the street from where I now reside. Sandburg was a Chicago newspaper man and was awarded three Nobel prizes (two for poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln) during his long and illustrious career. He’s one of my favorite writers and some of his poetry is incredibly good. There are a number of schools in Illinois named after him including a junior high school about a half a mile north of me.

Recently, a retired professor who does volunteer work at the University of Illinois discovered an unpublished poem by Sandburg that had been written on some scratch paper. It is titled “A Revolver” and in light of the great debate going on in this country right now, it seems appropriate to share this here:

“Here is a revolver. It has an amazing language all its own.     It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.    It is the last word.     A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.                   Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.      It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.      It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.                                                 It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.      It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.                                                                                                                              When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the Supreme Court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution can interfere with the original purpose.                      And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.” 

The Sports Thing

OK, OK, so I was wrong. First, I had picked the Packers and then the Patriots to win the Super Bowl this year and now neither will even be in the game. Hey, I can’t always be right … and yes, I am going to admit that my batting average on these things has not been too good over the past couple of years but I’ve been right a few times too. So with this in mind, I am going to predict a 49ers victory and if I am wrong here, I promise to make no more predictions (on professional sports teams anyway) for the rest of the year.

Hey, did anyone notice that my Chicago Blackhawks are thus far undefeated and off to their best start in more than 40 years? Well, they are. But no predictions here as yet. I’m just glad the NHL season has finally started. You know, it just doesn’t seem like winter in Chicago without the Blackhawks playing over at the Madhouse on Madison.

Last thing on sports for now … you have to admit that it is pretty cool to have brothers coaching against each other at a game as big as the Super Bowl (and yes, some would claim that the Super Bowl is the biggest single annual game in all of sports). I speak here of head coaches Jim Harbough (49ers) and John Harbough (Ravens). Jim Harbough was the Chicago Bears starting quarterback a couple of decades ago and I had the chance to meet him while we were both attending a Chicago Blackhawks game. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and I am quite happy for him and his parents who live up in Mequon, Wisconsin. The Harbough clan has always seemed to be a bunch of down to earth, hard working people who just happen to have a couple of boys who are incredibly good at coaching football teams.

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote was taken out of the Chicago Tribune Sports section of Tuesday, January 22, 2013. It just seemed appropriate to me. According to the report, father Jack Harbough said this to his two now very famous sons, Jim and John, each and every day when he dropped them off at school.

“Attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind”

Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!

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