Monday, April 28, 2008


Just two more weeks and I will spend a week in the land of my birth, and a few days on the emerald island.

A cousin is getting married in the town I was born in, a few short years ago. It's Vilkaviskis, Lithuania where some of the fiercest fighting occurred between the Germans and Russians during WWII. I was only 1 year old when my father packed all of our earthly possessions that he could in a baby buggy and buried the rest as we set out for parts unknown with my 5 year old brother and mother in tow.

I do have fond memories of growing up in displaced person,s camps in Germany before our trip to the country whose streets were paved with gold.

It was quite an adventure when I returned there two years ago for the first time in sixty years. I got to see a house my father and his brothers built before the war. The greatest thrill of all was hearing stories told about my father. My father has always been larger then life in my eyes, and I marveled at the stories that are still told about him. I found it hard to believe how such a quiet and simple man made such an impact on so many lives.

Then it's a stop in Ireland for a few days before returning home. I am glad that I got to see it a few years ago with my wife. She gave me a tour of a land where time and people move at a leisurely pace. The old Ireland that is slowly fading as the economy rises and the old ways disappear. The yuppie latte and wine sipping crowd is causing an old main stay of Ireland, the pub, to fall by the wayside.

As you can see I will be enjoying myself in two short weeks.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


All is well with the world on Sunday the 20th at 11:40 AM as I glance out my picture window here in Central Illinois and see the long awaited return of my first Humming Bird. It always amazes me, how such a small creature, can bring so much joy.

But then again those eight little munchkins I call my grand kids, always know how to melt this old grizzly guys heart.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I was listening to a talk radio show the other day. The hostess of the show had three callers on line to get their opinion about an article she was going to read from the New York Times. It was in regards to how our economic ship has sprung leaks, and was listing to the side. According to the article the rate of delinquency in loan payments was the highest since 1992. This included auto, home and credit card payments.

She asked the callers to guess what they thought the percentage of these delinquencies were. The numbers ranged from 35% to 60%. Not being an alarmist and wanting to play the game my guess was in the 15 to 20 percent range; because of all the recent headlines.

The facts? To mine and the callers' surprise, this outlandish number was 2.7% versus the 2.5% in 1992. We all know that each year some people lose their homes due to foreclosures. So what are the other facts? How many more is it now than before? Is it really a crisis or just a way of selling papers, making headlines and manipulating the market?

The same goes with this "housing crisis". Is there a slow down in the demand for homes, or did the builders over construct and outpace the demand for these homes? What are the facts?

Just give me the facts and let me decide. I don't want all these experts with their million and one opinions deciding for me. They are at best wrong, or at worst opining with a hidden agenda.

And what about all those lead- based painted toys? How much is harmful? As kids we chewed on lead pencils and played with lead soldiers. How about the mercury in our seafood? We also enjoyed breaking open thermometers and playing with the mercury; watching it as we rolled it from hand to hand. I and the rest of my generation have survived, and have led somewhat normal lives, even tho we indulged, by today's standards, in these horrific, life-threatening activities.

What are the facts about these dangers? Deaths, illness, stomach flu?????

Kids survived roaming freely in the back seats of cars as they played and bounced around. Now they are restrained and encased more securely then astronauts going into space. Is it one child that died, or was there carnage on our highways? What has been the benefit in restraining the kids versus the risk of self-limiting the number of kids per family by the size of your car?

So enough of these headlines! Gives us real facts, and let us decipher what is really going on. We have been so conditioned to reacting to those breaking news stories, many of us have forgotten how to think and just let others make all the decisions for us. Or at least "the others" think we have forgotten how to.

Just the facts, mam.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I have been listening to the many pundits trying to explain what Barack Obama really meant in this latest furor over his remarks about Rural America.

According to them, all he was saying is that those living in rural areas are not as well educated, since most had not attended college and are not atuned with the rest of the country.

My stupid question is, aren't these well educated, Ivy League whiz kids the ones that have gotten us into this war as well as most wars in the past? The same ones that have gotten us into this financial mess we are in now, as well as dozen more things that ail this country?

In my view, it should be these gun toting, bible thumping, uneducated hicks who should be looking down their noses at the well heeled elitists who have gotten us into this mess.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Once upon a time, a big CEO decided to lay off several thousand employees. The market mavens were thrilled as the immediate cost of doing business decreased and thus the price of the stock skyrocketed. The CEO was reward with higher compensation and large bonuses.

Seeing this, the other whiz kids of industry followed suit and also laid off workers. They all watched their stock prices rise and a new craze of down-sizing ran the gamut. Everyone was happy except those unemployed workers. Whatever, they had nothing to lose anyway.

With the flow of income interrupted, these (foolish) laid off workers stopped consuming the products they once purchased. Although the profits continued, they were not at the level the CEOs expexted... HORRORS!!! However, instead of riding out these hard times and finding creative ways to keep people employed so they keep on purchasing; these brain dead wonders go back to the tried and true formula of downsizing again. Heaven forbid a quarter should go by where double digit profits did not occur.

With so many unemployed, the "Morons of Madison Avenue" can't figure out why the economy is slowing down; why people are not spending like they had been.

Hey dummy read my lips "unemployed workers don't have any money to spend". Try hiring some of them back and see the economy improve.
And to think I didn't charge a large consulting fee for this simple solution to such an overwhelming problem.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


When will the American public wake up. On a daily basis we hear congress is holding another hearing. Pick a topic and they will hold a hearing. Oil executives are quizzed about obscene profits, CEO's and their excessive salary's, as well as the faith of the economy.

They try to outdo each other with their indignation and fanciful oratory. Yet at the end of the day, nothing changes and things remain the same; as oil and gas prices climb, the executive packages keep rising and the economy is taking a dump.

So we get the old song of "We are working to fix things", while they are dancing to the tune of "Cash registers ringing" as they fill their pockets and empty ours.