I’ve Been Gone. And Now the Good and the Bad.


In glancing at my blog, I just realized that I haven’t posted in close to a week. This is NOT the Baby in Question

This could be a new record.

Depending on your opinion, this could be a good thing or bad thing (haters).

Since I started blogging in the early 1900’s, I have prided myself on quantity.

As with anything in life, I think showing up is half the battle.

Which in blogging terms (and my own head), I don’t have to be good… I just have to blog a lot.

I’ve seldom gone longer than 3 or 4 days before typing up some more new crap and posting it online.

In my mind, I’m making the world a little dumber one blog at a time.  Sure that sounds bad, but I do it for the kids.

Not really, but you have to admit anytime you say “It’s for the kids”, it sounds good.

The reason I haven’t blogged in several days is because I’ve been gone.

To Miami.

And now I’m back.

Sure I could have blogged during my trip, but who wants to type when it’s 75 degrees and sunny?

Blogging is for people north of the Mason-Dixon line.  I’m pretty sure that’s why so many Canadians are into technology (have I mentioned they make me nervous… there is no way we can win a snowball fight with them if they decide to attack on a cold and snowy night… I’m just saying…).

Canadians blog and Tweet.  A lot.

But honestly, what else are they going to do?   How many hockey games can one person watch?  And if they get bored with that… Curling?  Canadian football?

To get to Miami, I had to fly.

While I don’t hate flying, I’m quite content living my life on land.

In fact, I’m relatively new to this whole climbing aboard a giant metal tube, hurling through the air at 97,000 feet, all the while letting a perfect stranger drive (note to self:  it might not be a good thing to see a guy in the airport bar and later see him walk out of the cockpit).

Whenever my plane is taking off or landing, I always say a few Catholic prayers…which is odd, since I’m not Catholic. 

The good news is I survived the trip.

And I feel like I have a better understanding of traveling.  I can now spot a Cinnabon store from 1,000 feet away.

I also got picked up by a car service.  Let’s not kid ourselves; that is cool.

Really cool.

A guy standing in the airport holding up a sign with your name on it.

You have to admit, it beats taking the shuttle.

Plus as an added bonus, my personal driver was named Tony and he’s originally from the South Bronx.  I’m not saying he’s in the Witness Relocation Program, but I’m pretty sure he’s in the Witness Relocation Program.

He said if I had any trouble in South Florida to let him know.

I said “What kind of trouble?”  He said “Any trouble.”

Again, pretty cool.   A car and the ability to have someone whacked.

Life is good.

The car service and the weather were both great.

It was nice to listen to people whine about the cold weather when it was 70 degrees.

I am sorry to say the trip wasn’t totally perfect.

There was an incident (which is good news for someone responsible for cranking out several mediocre to poor blogs a week… but remember “It’s for the kids”)

On the flight down, I was sitting in my aisle seat minding my own business.

Then I made the mistake of all mistakes.

I looked across the aisle to see a young mother and her newborn baby (have to admit… not that excited to see them board the plane, less excited to see them sit right beside me).

What I saw was both disturbing and shocking.

The mother was feeding the baby.  And not in a bottle kind of way.

In a way, I’m not comfortable with.

Now before the hateful emails start rolling in, I am not against breastfeeding… I just need some warning.

A simple “Excuse me, you may not want to look this way unexpectedly for the next 20 minutes or so”… would have been nice.

Or maybe a blanket over the baby.  Maybe a blanket over everything.  Maybe a blanket over anything.

But no.

It was all out there.

I don’t think flying will ever be the same for me.

The next time I see a mother and her baby get on my flight, my first thought won’t be about the possibility of the baby crying.

Best joke I heard on the trip:  Don’t worry if one of the engines on your plane fails… the second engine will take you directly to the crash site.

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If You’re Taking a Drug Test, Wear a Snowsuit.


Randy from the Christmas Story.Today, I am up to my ears in snow. Literally. And I mean up to my ears when standing, not the 2 times when I slipped on ice and fell to the ground.

Nothing sadder than a grown man flopping around on the driveway like a newly caught fish.

Remember when you were younger and you could fall and not feel it for the next 6 weeks? I don’t. Mainly because my memory is shot (I can remember stories from my misspent youth, but yet I can’t find my keys or remember if I ate lunch).

Speaking of falling (man, my hip hurts). It used to be so easy to pop right back up after a fall.

Then I got to the age, if I fell I looked around immediately to see if anyone saw me because I was embarrassed. Now, I fall and pray someone sees me. I am hoping they will run over and help, call an ambulance, or drag me off to the side of the road so I can die in peace.

But back to my day/nightmare/punishment.

I spent the better part of 3 hours digging out of what can best be called an avalanche. When I first went outside, much to my surprise and disappointment I was faced with a 9 foot snowdrift (maybe it was 8 inches, you can’t expect me to remember all of the details- my memory is bound to get worse after the falls).

After a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and cursing) we can actually now see the road in front of our house. I am pretty sure I can now identify the general area in which the mailbox lives.

During these 180 minutes (1260 in dog minutes) of what can best be described as the best opportunity for my first heart attack, I had plenty of time to think. Moving snow for 3 hours (that is 21 hours for dogs) gives a guy an opportunity to really put things in perspective.

Some examples of my deeper thoughts include; why do I always have to use the restroom 12 seconds after I get all of my snow gear on; holy crap this is a lot of snow; I hate the city guy who is clearing snow off the street and piling it up in front of my driveway; I am an idiot for not living south of the Mason-Dixon line; and if I had a son his lazy behind would be shoveling snow as I watched from inside the house.

But these were all just passing thoughts. All except the needing to use the bathroom. That thought came to be about every 4 seconds. I wish I lived in the woods (if you don’t get this you’re either not a man or you have some class).

The most intelligent thought that passed under my stocking cap was about the snow blower being the number one invention in the last fifty years.

I briefly considered ice makers in refrigerators, video players in the backseats of cars for the little ones (genius!), microwaves, drive-thru fast food windows and Kleenexes with lotion in them.

Admittedly all great inventions, but sadly I would give up all of them before relinquishing my snow blower.

Now if someone could just invent a way to use the restroom without taking my snowsuit off, I could die (most likely from a fall on the ice) a happy man.

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Mark My Word, It Will be Dark by Lunch.


I Will Miss the Sunshine.This is the most depressing blog I have ever typed. I have dreaded this moment for months (much like going to the doctor for my first appointment after my 40th birthday).

Today is the day that we set our clocks back one hour. They try to make this a momentous occasion by selling us on the idea that we get an extra hour of sleep, but believe me bad things are just around the corner.

One, I will now wake up at 2:30 a.m. with the terrible feeling that I am late for school. I will then realize that I have 5 ½ hours until school begins, but I will be unable to sleep because of the urge to look at the alarm clock every 22 minutes.

Secondly, it will now get dark in the middle of the afternoon. Nothing better than walking out of school at 4:30 p.m. and it is darker than a cemetary at midnight.

Next, we can no longer lie to ourselves that the wonderful fall weather is going to last forever. Winter is on its way and it is angry. We are all going to spend the next 4 months (it will feel so much longer) freezing to death, looking for our missing glove, and driving 14 miles an hour on slippery streets.

Lastly, we have spent all of spring, summer, and fall wishing we could watch more TV. Now we will find out that while we have 500 stations, there is nothing on (television is the only industry that with more competition, it still gets worse).

The leaves are falling and the wind is getting colder. I feel like I should go kiss my lawn goodbye, as I won’t see it for approximately 150 days.

There you have it. No sleep, darkness, cold, crappy TV, and I will miss my grass (insert joke here).

I have set the clocks back and changed the batteries in the smoke detectors. Let the depression set in.

See you in April.

If you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line this blog does not apply to you. Enjoy your “winter” (and 70 degree temperatures) and please keep in mind that the rest of us hate you.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.