What I am about to say might shock some of you. No doubt, some of you will smirk, or perhaps even mutter some little derogatory remark, but I’m okay with it. I can take it … besides I won’t be able to see your smirk and unless you send me an email or call me to share your “cheap shot” I won’t know the difference anyway. So, I’m coming clean. Right here and right now. Please, take a deep breath before going any farther.
You see, I know that most readers consider me to be a bit of an intellectual. A deep thinker who deals almost exclusively with matters of high importance and of true significance not only to the casual reader but to one and all. And while this is probably an accurate description of me, I am only able to reach my “intellectual deepness” by taking in information from all sources available … both deep and perhaps not so deep sources if you will. So I will now admit that I have long held a subscription to “The Reader’s Digest” and I read it regularly. I know, many people consider the Digest to be a shallow and not very intellectual publication. But I like it, and I get important information (as well as some pretty decent jokes) from it on a regular basis. Now please also know that I also read the important, deep and highly intellectual periodicals as well. I read Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Engineering News Record and USGlass magazine from cover to cover as soon as I receive them. But I also (now – publicly) admit to reading the Digest as well.
The following is from the most recent Reader’s Digest …
The Joke … Three guys are fishing when an angel appears. The first guy says, “I’ve suffered from back pain for years. Can you help me?” The angel touches the man’s back, and he feels instant relief. The second guy points to his thick glasses and begs for a cure for his poor eyesight. When the angel tosses the lenses into the lake, the man gains 20/20 vision. As the angel turns to the third fellow, he instantly recoils and screams, “Don’t touch me! I’m on disability!”
The BIGGER Joke … We’re all paying for people who are more than able to work but are doing quite well on disability (thank you very much) and the costs are climbing at an incredible rate. Some reports say they have nearly doubled in the past five years. During my working/management career, I had three (3) phony claims (that I knew of) and in each case, my company, insurance carrier, and ultimately the taxpayers as well, were conned by these phony claims. In one case, a tradesman of mine received over $250,000 for an injury that he said would prevent him from ever again working as a tradesman. Within 45 days of receiving his settlement, he returned to work (as a union tradesman) doing exactly what he claimed he could no longer do under oath (during a tearful testimony) to get his settlement. I went crazy but could not get my insurance carrier to go after him because they said there was no guarantee we could win and recover the money (they told me the courts are inclined to favor the “injured” party) and that the legal costs of pursuing the matter would be as high as what we could potentially recover anyway. I then turned to my own private attorney for action (I wanted to put the guy in jail if I could – I was that upset at the time) and he told me the same thing. The cost to make it right would be higher than the money recovered if anything at all could be recovered. I cooled down … and ultimately backed down.
But this stuff is happening every day and in one form or another, we all pay for it!!!
Ah Spring – A Most Wonderful Time of Year – Part Two
Less than 48 hours ago I was walking the banks of the salt creek in 50 degree weather and thinking how spring had finally arrived and how fast the snow was melting – finally. This morning. I awoke to about 4-5 inches of new snow and a temperature of 13 degrees with a forecast for more snow in a couple of days. Is this the craziest winter ever or what?
I May Have Found It
Long-time readers of this blog know that in spite of my initial skepticism, I have now come to believe that “Bigfoot” might actually exist. This change (in my attitude) came about based on an infrared night time photo that was taken in my back yard a couple of summers ago which clearly showed the legs of what appeared to be an upright walking beast covered in long straggly hair. I developed the photo and then lost it. I actually think one of my grandsons may have it but either way, I don’t have the photo at this time although I did show it to about a half-dozen people all of whom thought it as some sort of gag. But it was real and what adds a great deal of credibility to my story is the fact that my neighbor reported seeing a strange hairy creature running across my yard and down my driveway that same night. Now my neighbor is a doctor and we all know that doctors are reliable witnesses and never lie except to the IRS which is of course totally understandable if not legal.
And now, my skeptical friends, I have further proof of “Bigfoot’s” existence and I am herein sharing it with you. The following photo was taken 48 hours ago at the salt creek Graue Woods area of Oakbrook, Ill. I was there enjoying the 50 degree weather when I stumbled across this footprint which came out of the woods, walked for about a dozen feet down the trail and then headed off across a footbridge to a small island in the middle of the creek. There were no return footprints. Now, I did not have a tape measure but I am very good at estimating sizes and such and I am telling you that this footprint was at least 24 inches in length and 7 inches in width. My size ten shoe was dwarfed by this thing. It was the biggest footprint I have ever seen!. I started to follow the prints across the footbridge but chickened out. As soon as the weather breaks, I am going to set up my night vision infrared camera and get serious about capturing a photo of this creature. Stay tuned!
The Sports Thing
There is actually a lot going on in the sports world at the present time (NFL free agency signings, NCAA March Madness, MLB spring training, etc.) but there is nothing that jumps out at me this week so I’m not going to spend too much time here. For me personally, the most exciting event of the past few days was my grandson Sam’s (Newling) hockey win (4-3) over Chicago Latin this past Sunday night in Bensenville, Illinois which keeps them advancing in the Illinois state hockey championship series. His team (the Willowbrook Renegades) is really good and there are some high hopes that they will make it to the finals (played at the Chicago Stadium, home of the Chicago Blackhawks) in just a couple of weeks. Good luck Sam!!!
The Quotable Thing
This week’s quote was submitted by Lou Cerny (who works with my son Patrick) and is credited to Mark Twain, one of my very favorite authors …
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I was 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!