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Aug 14

Going Postal

Mail 002Because I care, and because I made a promise, I have gone postal. No, not in the sense that may have crossed your mind at first, but in a positive, creative, helpful way. You see, like many of you, I have been following the ongoing sad saga of our U.S. Postal Service organization and it pains me on several levels. First, of course, is the fact that they are losing enormous amounts of money and, as a taxpayer, some of that money is (or rather was) mine. But also, the tradition of the U.S. Postal system goes all the way back to Benjamin Franklin and Ben and I not only share the same birth date, but, as a young child, I always wanted to be a mail carrier … after I had finished my career as a big-league baseball player of course. So I set out to study the problem and come up with a solution. And I think I have. But in order to find out what it is, you’ll have to get a copy of the September issue of USGlass magazine (usglassmag.com). By the way, I actually think I might have nailed it.

Not So Shabby After AllYou know, for a long time now many of us in the glass industry have felt like second-class citizens. Had kind of an inferiority complex if you will. And why wouldn’t we? Most companies in the glass business have struggled through the years and the industry has experienced any number of big-time failures, but maybe we are not as shabby as we have led ourselves to believe. Take a look at what has happened in just the last few months. First, the Koch brothers buy into Guardian and now a Berkshire-Hathaway subsidiary picks up Benson Industries. The big guys are coming into the glass industry … gotta be a sign of something … don’t you think?

Thank YouJust a quick thank you to Jen Gatsch of National Energy Contractors, who sent over an extremely nice comment (by way of Debbie Olson) about an item I had worked on and which she had recently read in USGlass Magazine. Thanks Jen. Your thoughts were truly appreciated.

Going For The Gold – UpdateBy now, you may have noticed that today’s blog is a little shorter and a little more shallow than usual. Okay, I know what you’re thinking … they are always kinda shallow and probably should be a lot shorter as well, but let me go on just a bit. You see, today, Wednesday, August 14, is the day the blog comes out, but it was actually written (this week) on the night of Tuesday August 13. The reason – today is the day of the previously announced gold prospecting adventure which is taking place under the direction of legendary gold prospector Stumpy Darby.  So while you are probably reading this, I will be prospecting alongside Stumpy and four other guys in search of gold. I will provide a summary and pictures of this in next week’s blog. Unless, of course, we really hit it big and then you will never hear from me again.

It’s Going Much Too FastThe summer never lasts long enough in my part of the world and if you haven’t been getting outside and enjoying it, what are you waiting for? This photo of the doe and her two fawns was taken yesterday morning just up the road from my house in the Fullersburg woods. I had to take the picture with my cell phone but, all things considered, it came out okay. Hey, quit reading this thing – get out there and enjoy yourself before it’s too late and take your own pictures for crying out loud!

 

ATT99299

Enjoy It While You Can

Good LuckTo the very fine people at Dlubak as they move forward with a new structure and business arrangement. Check out Monday’s announcement on USGNN.com for more information on this if you are interested. Will hope for the best for you guys.  The Sports ThingI drove grandsons Jake and Tucker down to Olivet Nazarene University (my undergrad alma mater) last week to take in a Chicago Bears practice and, while we didn’t get to see much of the practice, we had a good time and the weather was quite pleasant. ONU also has a beautiful campus and we spent a fair amount of time checking it out. The day we were there, they had a nice sized crowd, but nothing too crazy. Then I heard on the news yesterday that Sunday afternoon’s practice drew 20,000 spectators. For a practice mind you and take it from me, the seating is sparse and you don’t get to see as much as you might think you would. People love NFL football and maybe it is true that football – not baseball – is now America’s game. And with the recent drug problems in baseball, it might be easier than ever to see why this is true. Of course, as bad as Chicago’s two baseball teams are playing this season, I think almost everyone in Chicago is anxious for the football season to begin … or maybe better yet, the hockey season.

Okay, I am going to now bow to pressure here and publically apologize to the two readers who were offended (and called me to let me know they were) by my comments about the WorldCcup gold medal game which was played in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and won by the American team by a score of 1-0 over a team from Panama. I more or less made fun of not only the game, but went as far as to compare the country of Panama to South Dakota. Specifically, I said that Panama, a country that has a population about the same as that of South Dakota in the winter, had gone down without getting even one shot on goal in a game hailed as one of the most exciting Gold Cup finals in history Raise your hand right now if you were not aware of this fact … aha … just what I thought. Now where was I? Oh, yes, so I herein want to apologize for poking fun at the wonderful, internationally-renowned game of soccer which is (as was pointed out to me) the most played game in the entire world and for making fun of the Panamanian team.  I’m sorry … it won’t happen again! You know, if anyone deserves an apology it might be the state of South Dakota, but I have not heard from them so let’s just let it go … Okay?

The Quotable Thing This week’s quote comes from non-other than Stumpy Darby, nationally-acclaimed gold prospector. It was said during a conversation in which he was talking about his time spent as a unionized, governmental employee. I have paraphrased it just a little.

“After a while on the job, I  came to realize that I was nothing more than a tool of management. And if a better tool could be found or they thought I had become too dull, I would be cast aside and replaced with a better tool. It’s just the way most managers operate. Nothing personal of course.”  

Okay Stumpy … but tell us how you really felt about the people you worked for!

Have A Great Week Everybody!!!

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