Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

Merry Christmas!
  Sigh.  Yes, I am well aware there’s been no Christmas letter the last two years.  If you had a life as dull as mine has been, you would have written one anyway and sold them for insomnia cures.  Trust me, I tried doing this—but I fell asleep writing them.  In short, a typical year for me.
  2014 started off with a surgery.  Yep—another one.  No VNS, no kidney stones . . . this was a new one, as I had my sinuses worked on.  And you know what?  I can breathe!!!  I wish this had been done years ago, and it feels wonderful to be able to smell what Mom does in the kitchen.  (A much added bonus!)
  I finished another book, and have started on yet one more dealing with movies.  I should be done with my first draft by the end of January, maybe February.  Then I have four novels planned.  Sadly, I’ll never get all the books I want to write done, as I seriously doubt there’s enough time in my lifetime.  Not that I plan on anything happening to me, but darn it, I keep on coming up with ideas!
  The library has slowed down somewhat, but we’re working on that.  We have Twitter and Facebook pages to let people know what is going on, and hopefully get them in.  In the meantime, we’re continuing to process materials and have a good deal going on.
  I’ve switched jobs and am at the new Wal-Mart Marketplace that is opening in Yukon.  As I had to have some retraining, I went back to my old store, and it was funny.  Everyone at Wal-Mart was asking if I was back, et al.  Finally, one of my co-workers asked me if I’d known I was loved so much.  (No I didn’t.)  It was nice being back, but now we’re setting up the new store, and oh my . . . we have a good amount of stuff to do, and sometimes I wonder if we’re going to make our starting date.  However, our managers seem to be fine with the way things are going, so I’m not going to fret.
  Earlier this month we had a couple of scares.  This first was when we were awakened by the smoke alarms.  The house was filling with smoke and we phoned the fire department, who wound up sending five trucks, as they couldn’t find a hot spot or the source, despite searching for two hours.  I tell you, there are few things that bring a source of relief like seeing the first fire truck arrive.
  The second was the following week, as Cricket wasn’t feeling well at all.  She hadn’t been eating for a while, and had no zip.  I took her into the vet, and she had fluid on her lungs and trouble with her kidneys.  They wanted to keep her overnight, but the cost would have been astronomical.  We brought her home with some medicine, and that did the trick.  She now has her appetite and energy and is the ‘Old Crick,’ letting me know at 4:45a.m. she needs to be fed, much to my relief.
  With Christmas right around the corner, we fret about if we’ve got our decorations up or enough food for December 24th and 25th.  I worry if I have gifts bought for everyone, as I never write down what I’ve bought—my list is in my head.  You try to make your child’s pageant, as it conflicts with something going on at work.  Then we hear a spiritual Christmas carol, and ponder, “Isn’t it nice to know someone is remembering the real meaning of the holiday?”  And we need to pay that feeling forward, as we should recall Christmas is not about pageants, gifts or decorations, but the birth of a One sent to save us from our actions.
  May this Christmas be the most blessed you have.
           
            Crick and Mick
 
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The True Value Of Seven Cents

As you may (or may not) know, I work as a cashier.  Last night, I was ringing up a woman who came in with her two sons and the oldest one, who was about five years old asked if he could buy some Tic Tacs, getting permission.  He was going to pay for them himself, and when she was done, he put the candy on the belt, along with his money.
 
All seven cents of it.
 
Of course, his mother told him she would pay for it, and as she was doing so, he tried putting the seven pennies in her hand.  She told him he didn't need to do so, and I lowly said, "Ma'am, he's paying his way."  She looked at me for a second, then got it and pocketed the pennies.
 
I couldn't help it.  I told others and one man stated, "I hope she keeps those pennies in a special place and tells him that story later on."  He had a good point, but I don't know if the mother truly got the gist of what that young man was doing.  He was doing what too many of us fail to do.  There are a good amount of people out in the world today who refuses to even try to pay one's way.

And this five year old was saying, "Please let me do so."
 
I would say his parents have done a good job with that young man, and I hope he never changes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'll Tell Ya!

I can't speak for you, but at least once a day, I hear someone wondering what is wrong with either this country or the world.  To tell the truth, sometimes it's me.  I've had many a person say the problem with the United States started when prayer left the schools.  I can't (and won't) argue with that.  We seem to be going straight to hell in a handbasket ever since--and the vast majority of us don't care. 
 
We see things on television that in our parents' day, the police raided the theatres for.  (Why don't they anymore?)  Things that people had to be 18 to see a five year old can now view, and say, "Daddy, what's she doing?" or "I want to do that when I get older!"  Try explaining to your daughter how nice girls don't act like Miley Cyrus when they're about six years old.
 
I hear language on the tube that well . . . I got my mouth washed out with Palmolive Gold when I tried it in the church nursery at the age of three.  (I never said I was a smart kid.)  People say, "Bushwah.  It's realism."  Excuse me?  It's supposed to be entertainment.  If I wanted to see the real thing, I wouldn't be watching television!  We're teaching the kids that actual people talk that way?  Uh, when I did try talking that way, like I said, Palmolive Gold and I had a meeting of the minds with my only toothbrush!  (I was the only three year old who looked forward to going to the dentist so I could get another.)  I know a lot of folks who don't, and I'm sad to say were their lives on the tube, they'd make them sound like sailors.
 
Yes, I know.  I'm old fashioned.  I've been told I'm as outdated as buggy whips and the Edsel.  That doesn't mean I'm wrong, though.  Look at the popularity of 'Duck Dynasty,' a clean show that espouses Christian values.  PG animated movies generally top the box office every year.

So when are Hollywood and America going to learn?
 
 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Am Glad My Grandfather's Dead

The title of this may seem way out of line, but sadly, it's true.  First of all, I loved my grandfather immensely.  It's merely due to the actions of others that I am glad he's no longer with us.

You see, Joe Fisher loved the game of baseball.  Matter of fact, he'd been a semipro catcher for the team of Harris, Missouri.  JoJo once hit three home runs in a game during the deadball era, a time when a double was a feat and a triple a rarity.  Another time he caught a major league pitcher, which he said was the easiest game he ever had, as the man just put the ball wherever he placed his mitt.  So needless to say, JoJo had some great stories for us.

If you went to a baseball game with JoJo, you didn't talk.  The man knew his baseball.  He was an apt student of the sport, who knew as much about it as anyone on the field, if not more.  The man could tell you what pitch was coming--and why.  He'd let you know who was going to be positioned where for what batter--and why.  JoJo should have been a big league manager, I kid you not.

We lost JoJo in November of 1980.  I wept an amount the size of Niagara Falls that morning.  As a matter of fact, I owed him $2.50 in baseball bets.  I sent it to Baseball Chapel.

Now the sport he loved so much is in shambles.  Since he died, baseball has had a drug scandal, strikes (one costing us a World Series), steroids and now HGH.  The main player in the recent scandal isn't facing responsibility like a man should (JoJo would have told him to man up!), and we wonder what will hit baseball next.  As someone who's been a fan since 1975, I'm shattered. 

But my loss is nowhere near what JoJo's would have been.  Were he still alive, the situation today would devastate him.  So yes, I'm glad my grandfather's no longer with us.

And for that, I curse those of you who have made the game what it is.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Talking to the Tops of One's Heads

I don't have conversations with people anymore.  No, I talk to the tops of their heads.  It's not a fetish I have, it's simply that the people I talk to are always on their electronic devices all the time, either with a game or texting.  I never know their reaction to what I'm saying, but I learn a lot about the tops of their heads.

One woman may not realize it, but her hair is thinning.  Also, her Grecian Formula (or whatever she uses)needs to be redone.  A fellow I lunch with needs to quit using that cheap hair dye.  It looks like melted crayons.  Besides, when it gets on that bald spot no one has the courage to tell him about, it looks like bad car wax.  Another man has a horrendous case of dandruff.  Whenever he moves his head, it looks like fleas.  (Then again, it could be . . . .)

All I know is, as they simple say, "Uh huh," "Hmmm," and Um Hmmm," during our conversations, my observations are getting to be more interesting than what they have to say. 

I think I'm just going to watch a silent movie.  The conversation's more stimulating.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Follow Your Code

Lee Van Cleef was known for his villainous roles in films and the Italian Westerns he made.  As he started out in Hollywood, he let it be known he had a code:  He would never harm a child, a dog, or hurt a woman.  He stuck to that code, although when he was making the classic Western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, his character of Angel Eyes was to slap a woman.  He reminded the filmmakers of his code, and as a result, his double stood in for him during that scene. 

Van Cleef was true to his code.

Kirk Cameron is a devout Christian who has vowed never to kiss anyone but his wife.  When filming the movie Fireproof, he was supposed to kiss his cinematic wife near the end.  He reminded the filmmakers of his vow, and they had his wife stand in during that scene, filming it in long shot.  Her hair was a different color, but it was lit to where it looked like the sun was making it look that way.

Cameron was true to his code.

My friend Michael F. Blake has written one of the best books I've ever read, Code of Honor:  The Making of Three Great American Westerns.  It deals far more than with cinematic history, but with one's codes.  It allows us to realize that whether we realize it or not, we each have our own code, and attempt to live up to it.

We need to recognize our code and follow it.  In these treacherous times, honor is a dying thing.  Find your code and follow it.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Those Sinus Infection Blues

 
 

            My temperature’s like a yo-yo.
            It goes up, it goes down.
            And everyone hears my hacking
            On the other side of town.









Chorus: I’ve got those sinus infection blues
            The cough, wheezes, and the a-choos.
            There’s quite a breeze
            When I do sneeze.
            I’ve got the sinus infection blues.




           





             My throat and nose are raw
            Chicken noodle’s my meal.
            My sneezes are on the Richter Scale
            And for an appetite I’d kill

Chorus



           







            I’m burning up all over
            Yet my feet make me freeze.
            Just thinking about this
            Makes me wanna sneeze

Chorus
                       
            I hate the sinus infection blues.