I received a few strong responses to my blog from last week (“Second Fiddle – No Fun!“) and just to quickly respond and clarify, I agree that there is nothing wrong with finishing second, or third or twenty-third as long as you gave it your very best effort. Believe me, there were times when I would have loved to have finished third or fourth in a given competition. My point was that few if any start out shooting for anything other than first place. And the reason is obvious but let me give you a quick example. Since the beginning of time, only 12 men have walked on the moon. Think about it … millions have come and gone, but only 12 humans have ever reached and walked on the moon. Who was the first? Most will correctly answer Neil Armstrong. Who was the second? A few, and especially those who follow these types of things may know … Buzz Aldrin. He’s got a kinda cool name and that helps too. But who was third? Who was eleventh (I picked this one because he is a very good friend of a friend of mine, grew up near me and went to my high school)? Okay, I trust you see the point and the 12 (in order) are … Armstrong, Aldrin, Conrad, Bean, Sheppard, Mitchell, Scott, Irwin, Young, Duke, Cernan (my guy) and Schmitt.
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day this year and supposedly this will not happen again for something like another 79,000 years, so tomorrow (Thursday November 28) is kind of a very special day indeed. Over this past weekend, I was exchanging emails with Glen Greenberg (Elmont Glass) and he wished me a Happy Thanksgivukkah. This was the first time I had heard this term but now, over the past couple of days, I have heard it several times so while I’m not sure if Glen started it or not, I do like it and so I will now say … Happy Thanksgivukkah to my Jewish friends who will be having a double holiday tomorrow.
This Is Sooooo Wrong – A (Tallest Building) Follow-Up
I received a few interesting comments in response to my comment last week that the “tallest building” in North America is still Willis Tower but I just have to share the following with you which was clipped out of the 11/21/13 Chicago Tribune “Local Voices” section and sent to me from blog reader Brian Johnson. The actual comment was written by a guy from Batavia, Ill., (kind of a semi-rural area in the far western suburbs of Chicago) by the name of John Farrell and goes like this … “Now that the Willis Tower’s height ranking has been demoted, I have a question for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. If a five-foot-tall architect is wearing a three-foot-tall dunce cap, does that mean he’s eight feet tall?”
The Cancer Thing
Not a lot to report this week. I spent the day at the hospital yesterday getting tested for all kinds of things to make sure my body can handle the upcoming stem cell transplant procedure which is scheduled to start next Thursday. I had to undergo a nuclear heart test procedure as well as a pulmonary test where I had to blow into this meter thing after holding my breath and so forth and so on. Then after all of the physical stuff was finished, I had a one-hour meeting with the hospital’s staff psychologist to evaluate my mental and emotional state to make sure I am truly ready for the procedure. All quite interesting and I think I am good to go next week but have not gotten the official word as yet. I am not looking forward to the procedure but am very much looking forward to having it done and behind me.
Special thanks to Butch Doak (Lafayette County Glass in Lexington, Mo.) this week. His was the first email I read when I got home from a long and sometimes frustrating day at the hospital yesterday and it was just what I needed. And Mr. Doak, I promise to try to keep you knuckleheads out there amused if it is at all possible for me to do so.
“The Broken Tomato” Update
I have now been asked, by about a half dozen people, how the title for my book (“The Broken Tomato“) was chosen. Well, if you’ll buy the book and read chapter seven, I think you’ll have the answer … or at least a good part of it … so for now, that’s all I’ve got to say about it.
A Very Good Report for the Construction Industry
I have been quick to criticize the efforts of the government (and particularly OSHA) regarding their attempts to reduce work-related injuries and particularly construction job site injuries. I have often thought that some of the rules and regulations they have created are not only worthless but in some cases pose more of a hazard than they are attempting to eliminate. HOWEVER, it is hard to argue with the numbers and according to a report released just a couple of weeks ago by the Department of Labor, the construction industry’s injury rate for 2012 declined from the prior year’s level. In fact, it has gone down every year since 2007. During this span, the rate of non-fatal injuries and illnesses for the industry has fallen by approximately 30 percent, which is remarkable. I still think some of the standards and regulations that are required are a little over the top, but it is very hard to argue with the data! Maybe I owe OSHA an apology???
The Sports Thing
Watching Chicago Bull Derrick Rose go down with another season ending knee injury a few nights ago was truly painful. Of course not as painful for me as for him although he will still get millions of dollars for not playing. But any hope of a championship year ended at that very moment. Incredible, isn’t it? So much hype and enthusiasm … not to mention money … surrounding one player on one given team and in just a split second, it is gone. So maybe sport really does mimic life!
The Quotable Thing
Another Mark Twain quote this week submitted by Art Lafferty who seems to find and send these things over on an almost weekly basis.
“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”
Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving, Everyone!