My Facebook Thoughts

Friday, November 30, 2007

Can You Give Me A Ride?

Cars sales in the Chicagoland area are going to rise soon.
Our elected, ahem, leaders have been, again ahem, trying to save the public transportation services from what they like to call "Doomsday". All the, ahem sorry, important people say there is no money left to hold up the public transportation system as it exists today. Unless more money is found there will be drastic cuts to city and suburban public transportation services.

Statistically, we are talking about millions of people going from point A to point B. Those points might be work, shopping, medical, recreational, spiritual, or just going home. Many people rely heavily on public transportation. I myself have used it to get to and from work for 20 years. If it were drastically cut, it will drastically change the lives of ever person who uses and relies on public transportation.

State lawmakers are in a battle. The Chicagoland public transportation area covers only a small portion of our state. However, the service carries the equivalent of our entire state population within the span of a week. Those not effected by the public transportation services want something in return for their downstate tax dollars. I guess that's fair. Problem is these political poodles can't divvy up the pie so everybody's happy.

As important as this subject is to the whole state what are our leaders doing?
Well, the Speaker of the house, Michael Madigan of Chicago, sent people home saying "See ya next year." Our Governor is at a hockey game. I can sense the feel of Doomsday, can't you?

These wealthy wool windbags could care a less. They all make over $100,000 each year. In my 20 years using public transportation I've never seen or heard of an elected official using public transportation. That's because they're too busy taking us all for a ride.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Donations?

People who know me know I love football. I would often imagine, if I could walk, I would have played football. As soon as I learned what a 1st down was, by playing a Mattel electronic hand held football game, I was hooked. I imagined being a linebacker like Dick Butkus. I loved the concept of stopping the other guy from moving the ball. In Chicago, many kids had the same dream. Then we had the Super Bowl Bears of '85. So many great players have come through Chicago kids could pretend being a different player everyday. Payton, Sayers, Ditka, Fencik, Hampton, Dent, Singletary and I could go on and on. The Bears have more players in the Football Hall of Fame than any other team.

Then yesterday I saw Bear great Mike Ditka talking about the other side of the game. He was talking about how many former NFL players are being left out and forgotten soon after they are done playing. Ditka detailed how the NFL and the NFL Players Association could care less about these guys when their game ends. Often, many of these players are left with life altering injuries that require tens of thousands of dollars for years. Never ending costs for injuries playing a game that generates $5.7 billion in revenues.

Many players get filthy rich playing a kids game. The average player in the NFL, while playing, make over a million dollars. The minimum salaries are a few hundred thousand dollars. While these numbers sound huge, and they are, when the game is over their medical costs can equal their former, now gone, salaries.

Ditka was telling stories about players forced to live as homeless primarily due to these former players spending their former fortunes to pay for medical bills. The NFL doesn't help after two years and the NFL Players Association does little and cares less.

Ditka was speaking on behalf of the group, Gridiron Greats. This group of former and current players help raise money to help former players pay bills and get back on their feet. Often we will see these big strong athletes donating time and money to help others. Now the proverbial shoe is on the the other foot.

I doubt when these athletes were kids they dreamed of being a disabled person like me. I know there are no Disabled Man video games for kids to play. Because the game of football gives me great enjoyment I'm giving a little back.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Would Jesus Blog?

Merry Christmas.
There I said it.
Also, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings too.

Every year at this time I get a boatload of emails reminding me that the Christmas season is about the birth of Jesus.
These emails go on to tell me I should stay away from stores that don't use the word Christmas. Some emails point out how kids can't pray in schools and the Pledge of Allegiance can't be said because the name God is in there.

Well, I say, "Settle Down People".

Everybody in the world.
I'll say that again, everybody in the world knows that this time of the year is Christmastime.

If Walmart chooses not to use any form of the name Christ, I don't care. Their slogan is Save Money. Live Better. Not Save Souls. Live Eternally.

If Starbucks decides to sell Capachin-HoHos instead of the Away In the Manger Blend Dark more power to them.

My love for God is within my heart. There is not a corporation, store, movie, song, actor, or atheist around that can change my mind.

Before every test taken in a public school try to stop prayer in school. Anybody can pray anywhere anytime they want to. The last thing I want is the government getting involved in religion. Religion takes care of its self.

I love this time of year.
I know what it means to me.
I don't know what it means to you, LL Bean, or kids starving around the globe.
I also know that this season is used by many for profits. I can't control others nor do I want to.

I, along with my wife, try to teach our son what Christmas is all about. My wish and prayer is that I succeed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Twas The Day After Thanksgiving

The media calls it Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving when people get up early and jump start their Christmas shopping. For the last few years my wife and I have hit the stores on Black Friday. We easily get into the spirit of Christmas, not hard with a four year old in the house.

But, we also laugh at the people who are out shopping on Black Friday and complaining about the lines and the amount of other people shopping. These people are morons. It is made quite clear for weeks the day after Thanksgiving is going to be a wee bit crowded.

My wife and I happily headed to ground zero, Toys 'R Us. The parking lot was full, but there were 2 wheelchair spots open right up front, bingo.

Side note: Thanks to the Orland Police for keeping an eye on those illegally parking in the wheelchair spots.

We enter the store and the end, the end of the check-out line is there. The wait to check-out for us was an hour and a half. It was Christmas shopping at its best. We had fun the whole time and we never complained. I was also in the midst of passing a kidney stone and I didn't complain about shopping. Oh yeah, I was also forced to sleep in my wheelchair the night before because the lift we use to transfer me into bed broke, and I didn't complain about shopping.

That night my brother-in-law, Dr. Jim Valek of Vista Family Medicine, stopped by to help fix my lift, prescribe some meds to help with the kidney stone, and and put up our Christmas Tree.

Let the Christmas season begin.
For all who might be wondering, I passed the stone Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

To all who may stumble upon this blog today, Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What Is The Government Hiding?

I enjoy a good conspiracy as much as the next guy. You've got your top-shelf conspiracies like the JFK assassination, the fake moon landings, and the 9/11 theories. Then there are your "not" top-shelf conspiracies like Bar Codes are intended to control people, the Royal Family is a clan of reptilian dinosaurs, and a slew of UFO stories.

But seldom does one get to blow one wide open themselves. Here it is, one word;


Last night I was eating some cashews and it hit me like a bolt of government generated lightening designed to control the weather.

Where are the cashew shells?

I thought about it and I can honestly say I have never seen a cashew shell. Have you? Why?

We are not deprived of the shells of Peanuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Almonds, Filberts, and Brazil nuts. Why? Hell, in some restaurants and ballparks you are allowed to toss them on the floor. Why?

What are the world governments doing with these shells? We need to know what they are not telling us.

Should we organize A Million Nut March on Washington DC? Well, we might get confused with all the other million nuts already there.

I suppose I could do some research (Google) and find some answers.

But, nothing kills a good conspiracy like the truth.

So I will just continue to ask bold questions and change fonts a lot but offer no answers.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I was watching some video of the Democrats debating last night. Roughly, 30 minutes of the two hours. I'm already getting headaches.

Here is what I want from this election.

I want each candidate to tell me what they want to do and how they are going to get it done.

I don't want each candidate telling me that the other candidate's plans wont work. That's for the votes decide.

The part of the debate that I saw was mainly discussing the war and terrorism. All the democrats want to end the war. Who doesn't?

I think a lot people like the war because they are making a lot of money from it. The debate on the war often talks about how much money is being spent. And a lot people have concerns for the well being of the troops.

Here is an idea.

We pull the troops out, but give Iraq a $50 billion debit card.
This way the troops are safe at home.
The guys who like to spend money can monitor the charges on the debit card.
We make sure the Iraquies don't buy anything like cigarettes, alcohol, and porn. This way they are responsible for getting back on their feet.

I think that makes everybody happy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

When Is It Everybody's Business?

I love news. I have WGN-TV on each morning from 5:30am until 6:00am. Then my son and I watch Mr. Roger's Neighborhood while my wife gets ready for school. Then when they leave the house the news goes back on until 9:00am. I've been watching this news show since 1990 or whenever they started. They inform me and entertain me. They can switch gears from a cheerleading teacher story to a murder story faster than Martha Stewart can turn her nose up to a Swanson frozen chicken pot-pie.

WGN-TV, like all news shows, have to decide what is news. I often wonder what makes a BIG story big? I don't understand why some stories, while tragic, are national stories. Celebrity cases aside, of course.

Yesterday a local man, Drew Peterson, suspected of killing his wife was interviewed on the Today Show about his case. I don't see anybody in Tacoma Washington really being that interested. I remember when the Lacy Peterson case was a national story. I remember thinking why is this important to me? They were not celebrities. They were not rich. They were just your average couple.

I guess if guys like me keep watching they will keep putting up the stuff they think we want to see.

Well, I want more of this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More More More

Yesterday I posted my opinions about Macy's being shoved down the throats of Chicago after they took over Marshall Field's. I had good feedback, which is always welcome. My brother, however, raised a point which I feel is the core to many of societies problems.

He said;
"It (Marshall Field's) was underperforming, hence being bought three times.
I agree that every city needs it's identity but money dictates more."

I will key on the word underperforming.

In Economics 101 you learn that in business the goal is to make money. In the corporate world you have to make more money. It doesn't matter how much profit you make as long as you make more than the last time.

I used to work for the number 1 waste hauling company in the world. We were making $15 billion a year. Yet for the greedy money grubbers at the top, they wanted more. Wall Street wanted more. Every stockholder wanted more. They all said the company was underperforming. Well, the only way to make $15 billion look like more money is to lower your expenses. The fastest way to lower your expenses is to layoff workers. I survived one set of layoffs. That kept the money grubbers happy for awhile. But, they still wanted more. Long story short, my company sold themselves. I mean, they merged with a much smaller company, they gave the smaller company all the control, the smaller company laid off some 1300 employees, then they moved the company to Texas. But, guess what? On paper their profits went up. The grubbers were happy.

I would have celebrated my 18th anniversary with them. The people there treated me well. I was the first person with a disability to work for them. I was never physically stronger than I was working there. All the people were great. Yet, we were underperforming.

9 years has past since I, and many others were let go. The company stock price is at $34.90 today. Just a mere $6 more than it was when we were underperforming. I hope the grubbers are happy.

I'm trying to point out that as a society we need to look at more then just the bottom line. Otherwise, we are just an underperforming society. Our profits of hope must not be diminished.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Give The City What They Want

I'm slowly gearing up for the holidays. I will, of course, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and get all giddy with my wife and son when we see Santa at the end of the parade. My wife and I will get out there the day after Thanksgiving and really officially launch Christmas 2007.

The thing about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it never made me want to shop at Macy's. Of course, growing up in the Chicagoland area going to Macy's was never an option. I also don't ever remember hearing anyone say, "I wish we had a Macy's here". When I think of Macy's three things come to mind, New York, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street".

I'm good. Macy's doesn't agree.

In Chicago we HAD Marshall Field's. To me Marshall Field's was the place I would go to to find that extra special gift. The people in the store would assist me without hesitation. They would even place my purchase in my bag on the back of my wheelchair making sure nothing was getting smashed. I always left the store with a smile, knowing my wife was going to love what I just bought her. Usually, when you got a gift for someone from Marshall Field's the people would start smiling just when they saw the box from Marshall Field's. If you were fortunate enough you got to visit the Downtown Marshall Field's store. When you walked into that store it was like stepping into a time machine back to the 40' and 50's. Christmas time was even more special. You could have lunch in the Walnut Room with a 45' Christmas Tree, see the special window displays or see Santa in a magically decorated place. That was then...

Today Marshall Field's is gone. Gobbled up like an ear of corn by a corporate pig known as Macy's. Now I realize corporations have their goals. I should say corporations have a goal, to make as much profits as is humanly possible. Don't let the employees or customers get in the way of profits. Business' come and go, I can except that fact. But Marshall Field's was a piece of Chicago's identity. Ironically, people would identify Marshall Field's with Chicago just as people would identify Macy's with New York.

The customers in this case wont just roll over though as Macy's management would like. Former Marshall Field's customers are refusing to just except this recent corporate intrusion. They are refusing to have New York shoved in their faces. They are spitting out the Martha Stewart designed Walnut Room tree. They are swatting away the commercials with Donald Trump in them. They are trying to tell Macy's WE ARE CHICAGO DAMMIT! Visit the blog of these Chicago Marshall Field's Fighters,

I support them 100%. Chicago's identity is slipping away. We have to stand up to the corporate world telling us who we are before its too late. I'll watch the Macy' Thanksgiving Day Parade, but don't be looking for me in their store on Friday.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Busy Week

I didn't get to write much this week. I enjoy writing this blog, but when my paying gig calls, I got to pay da bills.

I think I'll talk about the election process today. I have always found it funny that during the primaries candidates cannibalize their own parties. Then afterwards they love one another. No wonder bi-polar diagnosis' are on the rise.

Not wanting to sway the vote via my mighty blog, I wont personally say who I like. But, I think this country needs big changes. That's why I think Hillary and Barack should combine their forces now. As we all know every president we have ever had has been a white male. Let's just flip the White House and country over by putting a woman and a black man in charge. From a point of perspectives they have to be better then anything we've had in the last 7 years.

Personally, I would continue with more changes.
I would get Steven Hawking to be the Secretary of State for the disabled point of view.
Richard Simmons would make a great Secretary of Defense. I mean, the soldiers would be in their best shape ever and the whole "Don't ask don't tell" philosophy applies perfectly to Simmons.
For Attorney General I would get a police officer. Just a 10 year veteran who knows how to get the bad guys, but not yet discouraged by the job.
My Supreme Court would consist of all the Judges from TV court shows with Judge Judy as Chief Justice. This would get people more interested in the legal system.
My press secretary would be Maury Povich, just to get him to stop making his stupid show.

As you can see, change is not difficult. You just need to be committed to the changes. Maybe I'll just have throw my hat into the ring to make sure the changes get done correctly.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Prison Break: Oxford

This morning former Illinois Governor George Ryan is waking up in prison. Ten years of legal theatrics as come to an end. Until, the appeal process gets rolling, of course. George Ryan sold the state of Illinois to raise monies for campaigning funds.

The media seems torn on how to report on Ryan's trip to prison. Some try to make you feel sad that this 73 year old man is GOING TO PRISON. Some spin it as a very appropriate end to a career of corruptness.

The way I see it is this greedy politician is going to a frat house. It's not like he's gonna be made into somebody's girlfriend there. One of his choices for work in the prison is to work in the library, ooooooooo hard time, paper cut! He'll probably figure out a way to sell library cards to inmates or lean heavy on inmates with overdue book fees.

Or maybe Ryan will keep to himself. Just walking around the prison yard casually spilling spoonfuls of sand out of his pockets. The sand would be from the tunnel he digs in his cell one spoon at a time. Eventually, the tunnel is long enough for him escape through. Escape the hard time of working in the prison garden, roses have thorns you know and don't forget the bees oh the bees.

Maybe FOX can have a spinoff of Prison Break. It can be about minimal security prisons.

SIDENOTE: I've never seen the show Prison Break. But, it's in its third season. The way I think about it, if you can't break out of prison in three seasons they should change the name of the show to either Prisoners Island or Gilligan's Prison. But, I digress.

My opinion on Ryan going to prison is as follows. You are guilty. None, none of your rich and powerful friends could even save you or keep you out of prison(so called). Do your time and shut up.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Movie Gender Bender

This will be my first movie review. (Please hold your applause.)
I am in awe of movie reviewers like Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper. There are many others as well, but ever since Ebert & Siskel went on the air they really set the table on how to do a review show. Then when Gene Siskel died Richard Roeper stepped in to continue the tradition of thumbing up or down.

It's a great gig. Watch a movie, tell people what you think, get paid. I'm more than happy to tell people what I think. I kinda thought my brother and I could do a movie review show. We are different enough to look at the same thing and give you two different opinions. My opinion would always be right however. Then we could yell at each other's opinion and end the show with something being knocked over. It would be like Siskel & Ebert & Springer all in one.

But, I digress.

The movie I want to review is Bee Movie. I really enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it. My son almost choked on a Toostie roll and got his foot stuck in the movie seat. He said he liked it, so I'll trust his opinion.

I'm a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld so I went in with a high level of expectations. It was hard not to expect a Seinfeld show type comedy. I think Jerry doing an animated movie was a good idea to help adults drown out the Jerry we watched on TV.

The story was good and funny, but with one major glaring fault that will have children asking their parents about and students grilling their science teachers. The boy bees in the movie had stingers. This is a major flaw because in the bee world male bees do not have stingers and thus are unable to sting. This is important because that is what I told my son and what my wife teaches her students. Yet, there were the boy bees with stingers. There is even a whole storyline based on a boy bee stinging someone. How could they make such an error?

This also happened in another movie, Barnyard. In this movie the cows are guys.
I'll give Jerry Seinfeld the benefit of the doubt as not being a bee expert. But, I think everybody knows cows are girls. In that movie, this gender fau paux was so glaring I could not enjoy the movie, I did not enjoy the movie, my beliefs in a higher power were shaken.

I understand comedy. You can do a lot of bending of rules for comedy, but making a cow a boy just doesn't work.

Bottom line. The Bee Movie was very good. Be prepared to answer questions about the boys having stingers. It might transition into a birds and the bees conversation. So be prepared, this movie could be life changing.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Merry Christmas 2008

I win! I want the world to know I was the first to wish you a Merry Christmas. Not for 2007, but for 2008. Yep, I want you all to know my Holiday spirit is bigger and better than everybody else's. I have to prove this to you by being first to wish you Season's Greetings.

I picked this marketing trick up from a couple of Chicago's radio stations. WLIT and WCKG. Each year WLIT has been playing Christmas music earlier and earlier each year. All Ho Ho All the Time. Most stations don't go all out until right around Thanksgiving. WLIT though started 11/02/06 last year and despite the obvious commercialism of the move their rating did quite well. This year, however, WLIT has competition, WCKG. Yes the same WCKG that this blog destroyed by telling the world Steve Dahl is a floral bore. WCKG will soon be going after the same listeners that tune into WLIT.

Game On!

WCKG planned on spinning the sounds of Christmas this afternoon beating WLIT's promoted jolly date of 11/09/2007. Thus telling listeners, "We have the most Christmas spirit in Chicago radio, nana nana boo boo". WLIT, however, pulled a Grinch move on WCKG by switching to yuletide yodeling this morning. Checkmate, game over, please place your 3D glasses in the box, bye bye. As of this writing WCKG is still playing reruns of Steve Dahl. WCKG must be atheists or something.

Can you feel the Christmas spirit?

Well, because I want my readers to know I have the most Christmas joy of any other blogger, I am wishing you a Merry Christmas 2008.

Fa La La La La!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

That Would Be Bull.

The Chicago sport scene has been all a buzz about the potential of Kobe Bryant coming to play for the Chicago Bulls. I say, "Pass". Which, ironically, is a word Kobe doesn't understand.

Chicago fans had 13 seasons to watch the greatest basketball player in the body of Michael Jordan. The NBA has been looking for his replacement since he finally finally finally retired after the 2002-03 season. Many believe Kobe is the guy. Ummmm, nooo.

Kobe plays great and has Jordan-like talents, but Kobe plays for Kobe. He lacks the intangibles that make great athletes great. Kobe, and many of todays talented athletes, forget that they play on a TEAM. They all want to be "The Man". They just want to be the high scorer or the most this or the most that. They know that is where the big money is. And if money is the main goal, they are right.

Even the great Jordan fell prey to this style of teamwork in his early days. However, Jordan's scoring actually went down when he and the Bulls started winning their six championships. Jordan excepted his team and his team excepted him.

Of late the Bulls have been trying to re-create a championship team. They have collected a team of teamwork minded players. They are, however, being hypnotized by the light of Kobe like a moth to a bug zapper. The LA Lakers are trying to dump Kobe like a bag of potatoes. Fans in LA are booing Kobe, yet the Bulls continue to try to get him, why?

It will be a sad thing to see Kobe pretending to be Jordan in the house that Mike built. Kobe will, at best, be the pool boy.