Monthly Archives: March 2014

Baseball Fever




If you know me, you probably know that the greatest passions of my life are baseball, God and family – not in that order.  So, with Opening Day upon us, my thoughts have once again turned to baseball.  If you have been unfortunate enough to be on my Friday email list for a while, what follows is something you have seen before.  

(Occasionally, I may recycle some of my old “Friday Funny” material for a blog post.)  

There is an ailment that I have been afflicted with for as far back as I can remember. As a very young boy, I was exposed to baseball and, like most boys growing up in Southwestern Ohio in the 1970’s, I caught a bad case of baseball fever. Baseball fever, like many other fevers, can cause one to lose touch with reality and to act in odd ways. As a child, I was prone to spend countless hours during the summer playing the game of baseball. If I could not find any fellow sufferers to share in a game, I would spend hours simply throwing a baseball against the back wall of my elementary school. This exercise was often accompanied by the delusion that I was pitching in the seventh game of the World Series and that the outcome hung on each and every pitch. Night brought little relief as the fever led me to sit on the front porch with my father and brother and listen to Al or Marty and the ‘ole left-hander describe a baseball game on the radio, hoping to hear phrases like “that one is OUTTA here!” and “THIS one belongs to the Reds.” On days when the weather was bad, I would spend my time studying little pieces of cardboard and memorizing the numbers and facts printed on the back or perhaps recreating the picture on the front of how each player held a bat or wound up to throw the ball. I would beg my father for some change so I could run up to the drugstore and buy more of these pieces of cardboard and the cardboard-like gum that came with them. In those days a quarter could be exchanged for five packs of baseball cards with each pack containing five cards and a stick of gum. Over the years, I have constantly guarded these treasures from harmful disasters like house cleanings and garage sales.

There were some days when baseball fever had me in a state of delirious splendor. On these very wonderful occasions, my father would take me to magical places called Crosley Field or Riverfront Stadium where I had the grand privilege of watching my heroes play this game I had come to love.

As years went on, the fever never went away. It would subside for a time, but it would always return in the spring. I moved out of Ohio for a number of years, but every year we would return to visit family and the trip would always coincide, mysteriously, with a home stand. This would invisibly, irresistibly draw me and my father, and later my sons back to a place where others gathered to watch these chosen men who somehow were fortunate enough to earn their living by playing this child’s game.

Fortune smiled and I was able to move back to Southwestern Ohio. For several years I could look out from the building in downtown Cincinnati I worked in and gaze across at Riverfront Stadium, that place I went to as a youth to see men named Morgan, Rose, Bench, Perez, Foster, Griffey, Concpecion, Geronimo, Gullet and others. Sometimes at lunch I would walk around the stadium and I could almost hear the cheers of days gone by. I was able to see Great American Ballpark rise up and take form and have seen Larkin, Casey, Griffey Jr., Votto, Phillips and Bruce begin to build the memories of a new era.

Now it is spring once again. With spring comes not only green grass and flowers, but the return of baseball fever. This is one ailment that they have not yet found a cure for and I hope they never do.



Friday Funny March 28, 2014 – Fun at Work


Happy Friday! I hope you have enjoyed these first days of spring even if they have not been very spring-like.  I have done some deep Internet research this week to offer you some tips on how to make this Friday fun and memorable at work.




Start the day by sending an e-mail to everyone saying that there are donuts in the break room, if someone says they were all gone then just lean back, pat your stomach, and say, “Oh you’ve got to be faster than that.” See how long it takes until the last person stops believing you.   Repeat at lunch time sending out an email that there is free pizza.

Send email to yourself engaging yourself in a spirited debate about the direction of one of your company’s products/services or the NCAA basketball tournament. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask them to settle the disagreement.

Compose all your e-mails using the wingdings font.

Put a sign on your photocopier that says “New Copier – Voice activated – please speak your command” Just sit back, watch and listen.

Call your boss’s voice mail and leave the following message: “Sir, we’re not sure if you wanted us to do it, you know, after what happened, so, well, we went ahead and did it anyway. If you don’t like it, we can probably take it out, but we’ll have to charge you extra. Please return this call immediately. Thanks.”

Enlist a co-worker and have a contest to see who can sign the boss’s email address up for the most email alerts/newsletters in an hour.

Make today the day that you determine just how many cups of coffee is “too many.”

Bring a karaoke machine and set it up in the break room, only have Christmas songs or songs with yodeling.

For one hour, page yourself on the intercom every five minutes; do not disguise your voice.

For one hour, after every sentence, say ‘Mon’ in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in “That is a great idea, Mon.”

For one hour, speak with an accent (French, Indian, Elmer Fudd, etc.)

Put hole reinforcing circles on the center of your eyeglasses. If you don’t wear glasses try to cover your nose with them.

If a co-worker sneezes, quickly yell “SHUT UP!” If they sneeze a second time, follow up with “I SAID SHUT UP!”  A third time, leave the room while saying “NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO ME!”

Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. “That’s a good point Sparky.” “No I’m sorry I’m going to have to disagree with you there, Chachi.”

Thought for the Week

There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.  ~David Letterman




Leonard Care



We are hearing a great deal about healthcare these days and I imagine the debate will continue to rage on long after deadlines are past.  My point here is not to get political but simply to offer my cheap, common sense solution which you may feel free to refer to as Leonard Care.

First, let’s get the cost out of the way.  It will be $19.95 per person per month.  Why $19.95, about the price of a couple of large two topping pizzas or one of many “As Seen on TV” products like Chop Magic Chopper, a set of Wonder Hangers or a Snore Relief Mouthpiece.  I figure most people can handle giving up a double pizza or a Magic Chopper a Month.

The key to making this work is to reduce costs of course.  This is actually easier than many people might think.  I will illustrate by what happens when I go to the doctor:

Me: Doctor, “I have this soreness, bruise, rash. fever, broken bone, severed limb or whatever.”

Doctor:  “I understand your problem, we could treat it, bandage it, sew it back on, but how about you elevate it. apply ice and/or heat on it, take it easy for a few days, take aspirin or ibuprofen and let it heal on its own?”

Since the ice it/heat it/elevate it/rest it method of treatment has been prescribed about 99% of the time for my issues, let’s apply it to 99% of all medical visits?

I know what you are thinking, it still takes up Doctor’s and Nurses time.  But I have an answer for that.  All hospitals and doctors offices would employ admissions bouncers, I mean admissions screen-ers.  I would suggest hiring non-active Marines (I have been told there is no such thing as a “former Marine”).  The Screen er would do a quick once over of the prospective patient looking for any of the following symptoms: temperature over 104 degrees, bone protruding from the skin, gaping wound or apparent absence of pulse, heart rate or breathing.  If none of the above were present, the would-be patient would be told to elevate/ice/rest whatever hurts and would be provided his or her choice of aspirin or ibuprofen and sent on their way.  If said patient returned for another try they would be transported to Paris Island for a full physical fitness test.

This should free up doctors and nurses for those patients needing immediate care and get the rest of us sent back to work/school/home to go about our business.  There you have it, the whole insurance thing solved!  I did not say it would be good, I said it would be cheap!!

Friday Funny March 21, 2014 – Old Man Winter


Happy Friday! Happy Spring!!  Congratulations, you have survived the winter of 2013-2014!!!  As we turn the page to a new season, let us pause for just a moment to reflect on the passing of Old Man Winter.


(with an apology to William Shakespeare)

This hath surely been a winter of discontent,

Old Man Winter hath chilled us ‘till we have turned blue,

He hath sleeted on us time and time again,

He hath made us sore from fortnight after fortnight of shoveling,

He hath iced our walks ‘till we have fallen down yonder slippery slope,

And he has wronged us time and time again!

What’s in a name? That which we call winter by any other name would feel just as cold.

To thaw or not to thaw: that is the question:

Whether ‘tis Nobler in the mind and body to suffer

The wind chills and snow storms of an outrageous winter,

Or to take up plow and salt against this season of troubles?

Frost-bitten Friends, Raw Romans, chilled countrymen, lend me your ear muffs;

I come to bury Old Man Winter, not to praise him.

The wrath of winter often lingers on;

The good is oft forgotten;

So let it be with Old Man Winter.

The Nobel Weatherman hath told you Old Man Winter was historic:

If it were so, it was a grievous fault,

And grievously hath Old Man Winter answer’d it.

He was hardly my friend, not to me nor to any of you:

But yon Weatherman says he was historic;

And yon Weatherman is an honorable man.

Some winters are great, some winters achieve greatness, and some winters are just a royal pain.

One touch of Old Man Winter makes the whole world cold.

You all did welcome him once, but he wore out said welcome:

You all do know this mantle: I remember

The first time ever Old Man Winter put it on;

‘Twas on a late fall’s evening, in his tent,

That day he overcame the Winter Solstice:

Look, in this place ran El Nino’s dagger through:

See what a rent the envious Polar Vortex made:

Through this the much-anticipated Warm Front stabbed;

And as he plucked his cursed steel away,

Which all the while ran melting snow, great Old Man Winter fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

Then I, and you, and all of us sunk down in the slush,

Here was a Winter! When comes such another?

Now let it work. Spring, thou art afoot,

Take thou what course thou wilt!

Thought for the Week

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


Professional Wrestling


I will admit it.  In my younger days, I once went to see “Big Time Wrestling” at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio.  If I recall this was an unofficial outing with several guys from my church youth group as well as some friends and the youth minister.  It was back in the late 1970’s: before Hulk Hogan, before The Rock, before Steve Austin,  before Jesse Ventura, before John Cena, before  Roddy Piper, before Hacksaw Dugan (in the picture above).

Profession wrestling has a long and rather shady history from its beginning as a sideshow in traveling circuses and carnivals to today’s millionaire stars and bullion dollar industry.  But in the days before Ted Turner resurrected professional wrestling to new heights (more about that in a moment), it was not as polished, but the characters were even quirkier than they are today.  And one of the regular venues for Big Time Wrestling was Hara Arena which was home on alternating Monday evenings for the likes of the Sheik, Bobo Brazil, Wild Bill Curry and, my favorite Pampero Firpo.

I remember seeing The Sheik the night I went.  This wrestler was, allegedly –  very, very allegedly a rich and wild man from Syria.  His approach was to get his opponent in a hold and refuse to break it, thus forcing him into submission. When this did not work he used hidden objects to cut his opponent’s face.  Amazingly, he could always manage to pull these objects out and show the crowd when the referee was not looking.  The Sheik’s most dramatic “move” was to throw a fireball into his opponents’ face.  I believe The Sheik used this maneuver the evening I went and his opponent rolled off the canvas writhing in pain to be quickly placed n a stretcher no doubt to be whisked away for treatment or perhaps back stage for the rest of the performance.

Pampero Firpo was a recipient of The Shiek’s fireball from time to time.  He  was called “The Wild Bull of the Pampas.” Years before the “Macho Man” his catchphrase was “Oooohhh yeaaahh!” Word has it that after he retired from wrestling, he shaved his beard, trimmed his hair and took a job at a post office.  I think I have seen Mr. Firpo’s wild stare from time to time at the post office.

I never really followed wrestling but the characters of The Sheik and Pampero Firpo have always stuck with me.  During my college years, Ted Turner and his fairly new “super station” began to put professional wrestling back in the map.  I believe there was block of wrestling on every Saturday afternoon.  I remember  weekly discussion with my roommate my sophomore year about what we would watch.  (It had to be sophomore year because we did not have a television freshman year and the one we had sophomore year was a small black and white one).  My roommate would always vote for wrestling.  Me, being the intellectual, would always try to persuade him to watch “The Flintstones” instead.  I think my roommate usually won the discussion, but then it was his TV.

Wrestling caught the attention of my boys for a brief (thankfully) time.  One day when we were living in Western Kentucky, they heard that a real, live, professional wrestler was making an appearance at a local video store.  So they talked us into going to see James Edward Duggan, better known as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. His wrestling character was that of an American patriot, one who relishes in the “U-S-A” cheer, one with a battle cry of “Hooo!” and one who drives his point home in the ring with a 2×4 length of wood as a weapon.  What could be more American?

It turned out that Mr. Dugan was a very personable guy and related extremely well to his fans including my boys.  You can see everyone looks happy in the picture and I left very impressed with my moment with a real professional wrestler .  Plus I was thankful he did not have to use his 2×4 to make an impression on me.

Friday Funny March 14, 2014


Happy Friday!  A number of years ago I started sending out a Friday email to a small group of friends. (I was blogging and did not even know it!)  Now I am going to start posting these “Friday Funnies” on my blog.   Hope you enjoy it!

Six Foot Cockroach

A man was sitting at home one evening, when the doorbell rang.  He answered the door and was greeted by a six foot tall cockroach.  The cockroach took one look at the man and immediately punched him between the eyes and then scampered off.

The next evening, the man was sitting at home when the doorbell rang.  He answered the door and there again was the cockroach.  This time, it punched him, kicked him and then karate chopped him before running away.

The third evening, the man was sitting at home when the doorbell rang again.  He answered the door, the cockroach was standing there.  This time it leapt at him and stabbed him several times before running off.  The gravely injured man managed to crawl to the telephone and dial 911.  He was rushed to the emergency room, where his life was saved.  The next morning, the doctor was doing his rounds.  He asked the man what happened, so the man explained about the six foot cockroach’s attacks which culminated in the near fatal stabbing.

The doctor thought for a moment and said, “Well you know, there is a nasty bug going around.”

Patient: “My stomach is getting awfully big, doctor.”
Doctor: “You should diet.”
Patient: “Really? What color?”

A patient has a sore throat and goes to a doctor to get treatment for it.
Doctor: “Your tonsils need to come out.”
Patient: “I would like second opinion.”
Doctor: “Okay, you’re ugly, too.”

Patient: “Doctor, I think I swallowed a pillow.”
Doctor: “How do you feel?”
Patient: “A little down in the mouth.”

Nurse: “Doctor, there is an invisible man in your waiting room.”
Doctor: “Tell him I can’t see him right now. Next!”

A man went to see his doctor stating that he wasn’t able to do all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said: “Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.”
“Well, in plain English,” the doctor replied, “you’re just lazy.”
“Okay,” said the man. “Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife.”

“Doctor, Doctor, I feel like a pack of cards.”
“I’ll deal with you later.”

“Doctor, Doctor I’ve broken my arm in two places.”
“Well then don’t go back there again then!”

Thought for the Week

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.  ~Irish Proverb


You Are What You Read

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It has been said that you are what you eat meaning that what we take into our bodies has an impact on our health and fitness.  The idea is that if we eat healthy foods we will be healthy and if we eat junk food we won’t feel so great.  

I think the same thing should be said about what we read.  The thoughts and ideas that we pick up from books and magazines have a tremendous impact on what we think, what we believe and how we act.  Now you may be thinking that I am saying this because I spent my childhood reading all those classics one is supposed to read as a child, you would be wrong. I spent my formative years reading about baseball.  Once I could talk my parents into having a magazine subscription, I rotated between Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News  and Baseball Digest.  I anxiously waited for the next issue to arrive and read each one cover to cover. These days I cannot say the same thing when an issue of Internal Auditor or The Journal of Accountancy arrives.

As a youngster I also read books about baseball and I still do.  However, I did manage to expand my horizons over the years and have read a few of the standard classics. Along the way I picked up an affinity for C.S. Lewis as well.  I recently noticed that the vast majority of books I own fall into four categories, not in order of importance:  baseball (of course), humor (some might doubt that I have ever read a book about humor), religion and business.  Not surprisingly, these are the area where I spend most of my time,  areas where I have developed some knowledge.  As I have read on these topics. I have not only learned, I have been shaped by what I read.

I have also noticed the books that belong to my wife.  Many of these fall into two categories.  The first category is cookbooks, I like these and the results that come from my wife using them.  I eat the cookies and cakes as can be evidenced by my ever-expanding waist line.  It is the second other major category that has me just a little concerned; these would murder mystery books.  There are the Sue Grafton books, “A” is for Alibi, “B” is for Burglar, “C” is for Corpse, etc.  There are the “Cat Who” books by Lilian Jackson Braun, “The Cat Who Blew the Whistle”. “The Cat Robbed a Bank” and so on.  There are some that just have cute titles like “No Use Dying Over Spilled Milk” or “Harry’s Last Tax Cut.”

I know that my wife likes to read and read a lot.  While I try to enjoy and savor a book she devours them like a kid with a bag of candy after Trick or Treat.  I know that I do not have to worry about her mind being shaped by all those murder plots buried back in the creases of her mind, right?  However if one day I meet my demise in some unusual way that sounds like a plot out of a murder mystery……….

Bovine Humor


Every once in a great while I come across a headline that causes me to stop everything and read the article.  This recently happened when I saw the following headline, “Gassy German Cows Blamed for Barn Explosion.”  Inquiring minds want to know, so I read the story.  It seems local German police say that 90 dairy cows were kept in a shed at a farm in Rasdorf.  Apparently the flatulence and belching of 90 cows in a confined space can produce a large quantity of methane gas.  Just add an errant static electric charge to this cow produced methane buildup and the result is “a detonation, a spurt of flame and a slightly damaged roof.”   No humans were hurt; however, one unfortunate cow suffered light burns.  Kind of provides a new meaning to the phrase, “Let’s Raise the Roof!”

For some unknown reason, I find cows rather amusing.  So I will follow that hard hitting news story with some of my favorite cow jokes.

Mad Cow?

One farmer was discussing things with a fellow farmer and mentioned that he recently had to shoot one of his cows?  “Was it mad?” asked the fellow farmer?  The first farmer replied, “Well, it wasn’t very happy about it.”

A Cowboy and a Cow

One day a very devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range.

Three weeks later, a cow walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn’t believe his eyes.

He took the precious book out of the cow’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!”

“Not really,” said the cow. “Your name is written inside the cover.”

Ten Things I Learned About Life from a Cow

  1. Begin each day in a happy moo-d.
  2. Don’t forget to cow-nt your blessings every day.
  3. Cherish each day because we are not on this earth for heifer.
  4. Turn the udder cheek and moo-ve on.
  5. Seize every opportunity and milk it for all its worth!
  6. Don’t cry over spilled milk.
  7. Honor thy fodder and thy mother and all your udder relatives.
  8. Always let them know who’s the Bossy.
  9. Black and white is always in style.
  10. It is better to be seen then herd.