T minus 18 days until Christmas Eve, and I’m proud to say I
haven’t even devoted one second of thought to buying gifts
for the holidays.
Well, okay, maybe “proud” isn’t the right word. Maybe
“embarrassed” or “mortified” or “not totally surprised”
would fit in that sentence a little better. But here we are
18 days out, and I haven’t done a thing yet.
I really need to get my butt in gear, don’t I?
As usual, I have an excuse, and as usual, the excuse is the
same excuse that I always use--I just haven’t had the time
yet. I mean, between my real job and my History Center job
and my feeble attempt to have a personal life, there just
hasn’t been much leftover brainpower to think about things.
Heck, my birthday was Wednesday, and it wasn’t until, I
think, Monday that I even wrote down a few gift suggestions,
even though people had been bugging me about it for weeks.
My fault, and my fault entirely.
As some of you may know, we’ve been incredibly short-handed
in radio land, a situation that’s finally letting up,
although that’s been both a good thing and a bad thing.
It’s a good thing, because we finally get a few more bodies
in here and I don’t have to do every single thing myself.
It’s also bad in that the people we’re bringing in need to
be trained and taught, and that takes a while. And guess
who’s the only one around to do that?
However, I’ve promised myself that this is the weekend that
I will get my butt in gear and start devoting thought to
this year’s gift list. There are a couple of events this
weekend that are designed to put people in the holiday
spirit--Greek Orthodox Church Bake Sale, German Christmas
celebration at the History Center, and the Peter White
Public Library’s Winter Wonderland Open House & Cookie
Fest--and I’m attending them all. So while I’m eating
waaaaaaay too much food from around the world, I’ll also
start to think about what to give friends and family for the
After all, there are 18 days left. That’s, like, an
On that note, YOU have yourself a great weekend. If you
have any holiday chores to take care of, I hope you get them
done quickly and without hassle!!
Coming on the heels of turning a year older (and writing
about it) yesterday, I’ve noticed an alarming trend along
the same lines the past few weeks--
People younger than I seem to be dying with alarming
Once of my jobs as Loraine’s geeky sidekick means that I get
to look at obituaries from several U.P. newspapers every
day, to see if any relatives of her “guys” have passed
away. And in reading those obituaries recently, I’ve
noticed that there seems to be a growing group of people in
their late 30s and early to mid 40s dying.
You know, people younger than me.
It actually got to the point one day last week when more
than half of the people listed in that day’s obits were
younger than I am, and that can’t be a good thing, can it?
I mean, I’ve been told that as you get older the one thing
you’re guaranteed is that you get to go to a lot of
funerals, but that’s been told to me by people in their 70s
and 80s. And I have decades to go before I’M in my 70s and
Now, I know none of the people younger than me who’ve died.
I don’t know if they were in chronic ill health, or if they
smoked, or if they suffered from something that caused them
to just give up on living. I have no idea about their
lifestyle, or if heredity played a part in their early
passing. All I know is that I must’ve entered some kind of
strange...”age zone” where, increasingly, signs of human
frailty and human mortality tend to creep up. I see it in
signs of people younger than me dying, or people younger
than me losing their mobility, or even people younger than
me becoming grandparents.
I guess one of the reasons this has shocked me so much is
that I’ve never really acted or looked my age. I’ve always
thought that I could stay “young”, no matter what Mother
Nature and human DNA said. And I’d like to think that, for
the most part, I’ve succeeded. I try to live a healthy
lifestyle and have a great outlook on things, and I hope
that keeps me “young” and active for decades to come.
Still, when you do things like read the obituaries, it just
points out that I’m inevitably fighting a losing battle, and
there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Speaking of Loraine and her “guys”, we’re heading to the
Peter White Public Library tonight to put up her “World War
II Gold Star” tree for the library’s annual “Winter
Wonderland Walk”. You may recall the tree from last year;
it has the names of all 240-some men & women from Marquette
and Alger Counties who died in the war, as well as pictures
of dozens of them. It’ll be up through the New Year, along
with over 60 others, so make sure you check it out when you
have the chance!
I don’t mind birthdays. It’s the part about getting older
that I don’t like.
Some of you may know that it’s my birthday today, and I
guess I’m okay with that. I don’t expect people to make a
big deal out of it; it’s nothing more than the anniversary
of me finally relieving my mother of the burden of carrying
me around for ten months. If anything, she’s the one who
deserves the honors today, since I wasn’t born until a month
after my due date, and this was the day she was finally
relieved of that misery.
So thanks for the extra 30 days, Mom!!
But whenever you have a birthday you’re forced to confront
the fact that you’re getting older, and if there’s one thing
you might have learned by reading this ramblings over the
past decade, it’s that members of the Koski family don’t
like to confront the fact that there’s nothing you can do
about getting older. It just happens, whether you want it
to or not.
Who do we see about changing that, by the way?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed, despite my best efforts,
more and more signs popping up reminding me of that fact
that I am indeed getting on in years. Of course, the latest
had to pop up on Sunday, right as I was about to celebrate
another birthday. I finished working out and was about to
read the newspaper (yes, another one of those signs that I’m
“old”) and I noticed that I couldn’t quite make out the
print on the page, which I found odd, because I usually have
no trouble making out the print. It was then I realized
that I wasn’t wearing my glasses, which, as for most “old”
people, are bifocals. I slipped them on, and then had no
trouble reading the print.
Aside from the heavy sigh the incident provoked, a bit of
curiosity bubbled to the surface, as well. Even without
glasses, I’ve always been able to read things with no
problem. In fact, when I read newspapers after running or
when I read in bed every night it’s sans eyewear. Yet for
some reason this Sunday, I could not read the print in the
newspaper until I put my glasses on I don’t know if it’s
because the print was smaller than usual or because the room
was rather dark or if (gasp) my eyes are just getting a
little worse as time (gasp) marches on, but for the first
time, I couldn’t focus on the type well enough to read what
was on the page. It didn’t matter how close I got to the
page, or how far away I held it, something just didn’t work
out until I used my glasses.
Oh, woe is me.
Since then, I’ve read many things—including
newspapers—without wearing my glasses, and I’ve been able to
see them just fine. But that fact that I had this
particular problem for the first time just a few days before
turning another year “older” affected me in the way that all
incidents related to aging affect me—with me not handling it
like an ”adult” would.
So at least I’ve got that going for me!
Don’t worry; I’m sure that as these incidents keep popping
up, I’ll (hopefully) get a better grip on them. After all,
as I’m always told, these incidents DO pop up more and more
as you age more and more, and, as I’ve found, there’s
nothing you can (yet) do to stop that. So like I said,
while I don’t mind birthdays, this whole getting “older”
thing is just not my cup of tea.
Sigh...and make it a heavy one, if you’d like!
Here something you probably didn’t know about me. Once or
twice a year I like to go to a place where I usually
wouldn’t think of venturing. Once or twice a year, I like
to go to Big Lots.
Shocking, isn’t it?
I don’t like to go to Big Lots for their collection of
off-brand merchandise and factory seconds. No, I like to go
to Big Lots because, if you know exactly where to look,
you’ll find that the store has somehow amassed this amazing
collection of interesting foods from around the world. One
of our bi-annual trips was this past weekend, and when there
I searched the shelves and picked up a blackberry jam from
Turkey, cheese gnocchi from Italy, and a package of
raspberry filled chocolate cookies from Poland, cookies made
by the very same company that produced this chocolate bar—
The chocolate bar I fell in love with (and later wrote a
blog about) when I was actually in Poland a few months ago.
And you can find all that at a store like Big Lots. Now do
you see why I like to pop in a couple of times a year?
Aside from the oddities of international food you can pick
up at the store, I can also vouch for another service
provided by Big Lots. If you find yourself in need of a
small and, shall we say, out of the ordinary gift this
holiday season, you can probably find one while looking
through the food shelves of Big Lots. Not only do they have
a bunch of snacks and treats from around the world, but you
can also probably find something weird from here in the USA,
Case in point? A couple of years ago I needed a small gift
that cried “strange”, and I found it at Big Lots. What was
that gift, the one that cried “strange”? Well, it was Elvis
Presley flavored hot chocolate. That’s not to say the hot
chocolate was flavored like Elvis Presley (which, if I had
to guess, would taste vaguely of fried banana sandwiches and
painkillers). It actually had different flavors you’d
expect from hot chocolate, flavors like mint & caramel. But
just the fact that you could get “Elvis Presley” brand
flavored hot chocolate at a store (at least at a store
someplace outside of Memphis, where everything has Elvis’
picture on it) was, and is, one of the prime reasons why I
have to visit Big Lots at least twice a year.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have one final Polish chocolate
raspberry cookie to munch on. And for that, I must say
“thank you, Big Lots”. And keep up the fine work, please!
Have you started to eat again yet?
It’s funny, but every year after Thanksgiving dinner I
always swear that I’m never gonna eat another morsel of food
again, for as long as I live. You may know someone like
that, as well. And if that someone is like me, the promise
lasts until, oh, the morning after Thanksgiving, when all of
a sudden and for no reason you find yourself poking around
your refrigerator and coming across a slab of leftover
turkey, a slab that calls out to you like a Lorelei
beckoning an unsuspecting sailor. And like that Lorelei, it
lures you in without you even realizing it, until it dawns
upon you that you just consumed two sandwiches after
swearing off food forever.
Or is that just me?
Unfortunately, and through no fault of my own, I don’t know
that I’m gonna be able to return to a normal eating schedule
any time soon. The reason? The whole upcoming month,
and massive amounts of Greek bake sale food this upcoming
week, and then probably make Christmas cookies the week op
two after that, Christmas dinner the week after THAT, and
then end the holidays by exploding before everyone’s eyes
while trying to hold down whatever I end up eating on New
At least, that’s the plan for the next month. I’ll let you
know if those plans change.
By the way, if you’re actually listening on the air, you’ll
notice that I’m dedicating “Movie Trivia” this week to the
“Star Wars” films, and there’s a reason behind that. You
know how everyone has a horror story that comes out of
Thanksgiving? For most people, that usually involves a
drunk uncle or a divorce or something equally shameful. But
not for the extended Koski family. Nope; our horror story
for Thanksgiving involved the very sad fact that my niece
Mallory, an otherwise normal and intelligent 16-year old,
has never viewed a “Star Wars” movie. She hasn’t seen the
original, or “Empire”, or “Jedi”, or even that stupid one
with Jar-Jar Binks. And she claims she has no interest in
watching any of them.
I know; shocking, isn’t it? I personally blame her mom (and
as a note to my sister Melanie--that’s a joke).
At least I now know what to get her for Christmas...whether
she wants it or not!
I am REALLY looking forward to turkey tomorrow.
Now, I know that if you read this anytime after, say,
Thursday night that you’ll be thinking to yourself,
“Turkey? TURKEY? I hope I never see one of those perpetual
leftover machines AGAIN”. But not me. For some reason,
cold, leftover turkey is one of my favorite foods of all
time. It’s low in fat and high in protein, and for some
reason, I think the taste of cold turkey on whole wheat
bread (with just a touch of Dijon mustard) is one of the
best things on the face of the Earth.
But like I said, I know that YOU may not feel the same way
about leftover turkey, especially in the next few days, when
you may have been dealing with said leftovers for most of
the weekend. So, in light of that, and knowing that you may
soon be running out of ideas on what to do with the eight
pounds of it still sitting in your fridge, here’s a list of
everything you may not have tried yet with your leftovers
(or, at least, everything I could think of a span of about
15 seconds). Here we go--
Turkey pot pies
Turkey & cranberry smoothies
German turkey cake
Turkey & sweet potato jam
Home-made turkey Pop Tarts
Frozen turkey doorstops.
There. Now don’t say I never do anything for you.
Have yourself a GREAT Thanksgiving (or weekend, depending
upon when you read this). I’ll be on the air Friday if you
get bored (although there won’t be a new one of these,
because our friends at
Iron Bay Computer & Design
know better than to work Friday); otherwise, have fun
shopping or eating or whatever!
I wonder if I’ve stumbled onto something here?
I‘m doing kind of a jokey thing on “Pop Culture” this week,
in which I’m talking about “TV Turkeys”--TV shows so bad
they were cancelled after a week or two on the air. I give
the names of three shows (and their basic plot concepts),
and the listener has to decide which one was an actual TV
show. I started it off yesterday with these three--
-“Super Train”, which was “Love Boat” but set on a train
with a swimming pool,
-“Monster Truck”, which was about a truck that turned into a
-“Meals on Wheels”, which was about crime-fighting chefs who
drove around in a food truck.
Well, when I first asked the question, I had nine people
call, and all nine of them said the actual TV show, the show
that made it on the air, was “Monster Truck”, a show about a
truck that turned into a werewolf. They were all wrong (the
actual answer was “Super Train”), but it made me think that
I was on to something.
Maybe I should copyright the concept of “Monster Truck”.
Actually, I probably couldn’t copyright the concept of
“Monster Truck”; after all, it bears an amazing similarity
to “The Transformers” (except for the whole werewolf part)
and I’m sure there have been other series ideas with the
same title. But if nine people thought it was a valid TV
show, a TV show they might actually watch, then who am I to
One of the callers, when informed that he had picked out the
wrong show, wondered where I got an idea like “Monster
Truck”, about a truck that turned into a werewolf. I joked
it was a disease, but in all honesty, I have no idea where
the concept came from. I had a minute to go before I asked
the question on the air, and I just picked a couple of fake
titles and concepts out of the air. I wanted to make them
as absurd as possible, to give everyone a fighting chance,
but apparently the concept of a truck that turns into a
werewolf wasn’t absurd enough.
And if that doesn’t say something about the state of
entertainment these days, I don’t know what does!
What will I come up with today? I have no idea, but I’m
sure I’ll know by 2:24 pm. Listen if you wanna find out
what it’ll be!
Before I wrap it up today, I hafta wish another departing
co-worker all the best. After seven years, Casey is leaving
us for another local (non-broadcasting) company. I, of
course, know nothing about sports (other than pro football),
and while he did his best to try & educate me, I don’t think
it stuck. However, whenever I hear of something bad
happening to the Detroit Tigers, I’ll think of Casey, and
the “Are you kidding me?”, said at the top of his lungs,
that’ll no longer be floating down the hall to my office.
Keep in touch, Casey!
It’s been over six months. I’m surprised people still
Twice this past weekend I ran into people I’ve met through
work. They’re not close friends, or anything; they’re just
people I know and will say “hi” to if I go into their stores
or if I see them on the street. Anyway, these people both
asked me a question that I’ve had other acquaintances ask,
“Have you recovered from your bike accident yet”?
You know, it’s funny. I really don’t even think about it
any more, but my little incident on May 19th of this year
must’ve made quite an impression on some people. I mean,
it’s not like I have any visible scars left, or anything
(unless you know where to look and/or unless I’m wearing
shorts). But that little trauma I suffered seems to have
lingered on in some people’s minds.
I must’ve been so banged up that I traumatized all those
people who saw me in the day or so after I crashed!
As I mentioned, I really don’t even think about the boo-boo
any more, unless I do one of three things. The first is run
my tounge around the inside of my mouth, if only because my
fake front tooth does feel different than my real teeth.
But because Dr. Belpedio did such a great job with the
replacement, you can’t tell by looking. I’m thankful that’s
still the fact six months later.
The second reminder of the incident is when I look at my
hand, which now has three small extra scars and is missing
one wedding ring. Surprisingly, the scars are fading more
than I ever thought they would. I landed on my knuckles,
after all, and they were in pretty sad shape. And that’s
why my wedding ring dug into my hand and had to be cut off.
Maybe one of these days we’ll actually get around to
The only really visible scars left are readily apparent when
I wear shorts. There are still two big red marks, one right
above and one right below my left knee, and I have the
feeling that those will be around for a long time. Believe
it or not, I’m still not quite sure how that area got so cut
up. I mean, I remember first landing on my right hand and
then doing a face plant on the pavement (why I lost one of
my front teeth), but I’m not quite sure how my left knee got
Either that, or I’ve blocked that part of the trauma from my
So if there’s anyone else out there wondering, I’m doing
fine. Like I said, it’s been six months, and I hardly even
think about it any more myself. It’s just nice to know that
there are people out there who still remember (and care)!
I wonder if it’s really true that the “Sixties” as we know
them started 50 years ago today?
Sociologists have often stated that decades don’t exactly
follow the ten year span that has “6” or “7” or whatever
number in them. For instance, most experts feels the
“Seventies” really didn’t start until Watergate (1972), that
the “Nineties” didn’t start until Bill Clinton was elected
(1992), and that we’re actually still in the “Ohs”, or
whatever we ended up calling the first decade of this
century. It’s usually not until a very defining moment,
like 9/11, that our perception of when a decade starts
And that’s why you can make the argument that the “Sixties”
started fifty years ago today, with the assassination of
John F. Kennedy. Up until then, the first few years of the
1960s had just been an extension of the Eisenhower era;
after Kennedy was killed you had the Beatles and an
escalation in Vietnam and hippies and Neil Armstrong.
You know, the “Sixties” as we now think of them.
I’m a child of the “Sixties”; I was born during the decade,
and I have to admit my views were quite probably shaped
during the decade. I have fleeting, fragmentary
recollections of many different events that must’ve had an
effect on me, even if I didn't realize it at the time. As a
very young child I remember seeing Walter Cronkite announce
how many people had been killed in Vietnam that particular
day. I remember my dad running up the stairs of our house,
announcing that Martin Luther King has been shot. And I
remember looking up the word “impeachment” in the dictionary
and wondering what it had to so with a place called
I’m a child of the “Sixties”. I can look at things with a
great deal of cynicism and skepticism. I have a healthy
sense of individuality; I don’t do something just because
everyone else is doing it, and they expect me to join in.
And I shake my head with sadness every time that I hear that
an American has died on foreign soil.
Yet because I’m a child of the “Sixties”, I also believe
that if you give humanity a challenge, a worthwhile
challenge, that we can all can rise above whatever stupid
issue of the day is consuming us, and meet that challenge.
I believe that every person, no matter what they look like,
what they believe, or who they love, should be treated no
different than I’m treated. And I also believe that genius
can exist, and sometimes it takes the name of Lennon or
McCartney or Wilson or Wonder or Gelbart or Lear.
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m a child of the “Sixties”.
You can that tell by how I act and what I think. And even
though I have no direct knowledge of the action that caused
the “Sixties” to begin, today’s the 50th anniversary of the
decade that made me the person I am today.
Something I did may end up in the Mining Journal’s Police
Log today. But don’t worry; it’s a good thing.
I think I’ve joked in here before about how one of the
things on my bucket list is to appear in the Police Log. I
always hoped my appearance would be more along the lines of
“Two Pomeranians loose on street wearing sweaters” than
“Individual running down street nude during snowstorm;
alcohol use suspected” (both actual past entries, by the
way), and while my possible appearance in the Police Log
isn’t as fun as the Pomeranians, at least I was fully
clothed (and sober).
Let me explain--I went out running yesterday, and as happens
on occasion when I’m out running, I noticed something on the
sidewalk. Normally, it’s a pile of vomit or an even bigger
pile of dog poop, but this time is wasn’t a pile of anything
organic. It was someone’s wallet.
Well, to be technical, it was the insert that goes inside
the wallet, the insert that holds an individual’s license
and credit cards. And this particular insert DID hold both,
at least from what I saw when I picked it up. I have no
idea how wallet insert ended up on the sidewalk, but I do
know this--if I ever lost my ID and credit cards, I’d want
to make sure that they were returned to me instead of ending
up in the hands of someone who decided it might be a blast
to steal my identity. So hoping that there is indeed
something to karma, I ran six blocks out of my way and
brought the wallet insert to the Marquette City Police
station, where the nice lady at the window said they’ll get
it to whomever it belongs.
Now, I didn’t want to pry into someone’s personal business,
so I have no idea to whom the insert belonged. I just
wanted to make sure all the cards & ID were safe.
Hopefully, they get returned and hopefully the cards & ID
were just lost by accident, and weren’t stolen or tossed out
by someone in the middle of a fight. So keep your fingers
crossed. And if there’s a Police Log entry about someone
returning a wallet to the station Wednesday morning around
830, you’ll know I can cross something else off my bucket
Even if it didn’t involve doing something as odd (or as
cool) as being a Pomeranian wearing a sweater.
Okay, before I go today I have to make note of something,
even if the person I’ll be making note of doesn’t
necessarily want it noted. Today it’s the birthday of one
of the most amazing people I know, Loraine. I write about
here a lot in here (probably too much for her comfort
level), but when you’re married to a person who does what
she does and manages to have the affect on people that she
has, you kind of want to write about it as often as you can.
That’s all I’m gonna say about that, except to wish her a
very happy birthday, and all my love!
I’m a guy, and I like it. Is it THAT big of a surprise?
Perhaps my favorite movie of the last 15 years is “Love,
Actually”, a movie that kind of flopped when it came out in
theaters but has now taken on a second life as a modern-day
holiday classic (in this regard, it resembles “It’s a
Wonderful Life”, something I’ll discuss in a bit). Anyway,
it’s the tenth anniversary of the film’s release, and
because of that there have been a slew of articles released
about the movie, many of which deal with the same topic--
Did you know guys like “Love, Actually”?
Speaking as a guy, just let me say this--yes, some of us DO
like “Love, Actually”. In fact, some of us LOVE “Love,
Actually”, and I’m not quite sure why all these writers are
surprised. I mean, sure, it doesn’t have any explosions,
farts, or fights, and it’s filled with heart and humor, but
that doesn’t mean guys don’t like it. In fact, I’ve always
been a fan of Richard Curtis, the guy who wrote and directed
the film, if only because his movies DO have heart & humor,
and conspicuously lack explosions and farts, and when he
does include fights, they’re usually between Colin Firth and
Hugh Grant, and they’re hilarious.
Another of my favorite articles on the movie is one that
asked people which of the nine subplots they liked best (for
those of you who haven’t seen the movie, [and shame on you,
by the way, if you haven’t], the movie juggles nine
inter-related subplots in the 5 weeks leading up to
Christmas), and that’s almost like asking someone which of
their nine kids or puppies or classic cars or whatever they
like best. I don’t know that I could pick my absolute
favorite, although I will admit that I have a fondness for
both the Hugh Grant and the Colin Firth story lines. The
one that always gets to me, though, is the plot with Keira
Knightly and the guy in love with her. Once again, I don’t
wanna spoil it for anyone who’s never seen it, but if you
aren’t in some way affected after watching that plot line,
you’d better check to see if you have a pulse!
So there you go. I’m a guy, and I love “Love, Actually”.
Think they’ll write an article about me, now??
Okay, I mentioned how “Love, Actually” has pretty much
followed the arc of “It’s a Wonderful Life” by being a box
office failure at first, only to then become a beloved
holiday classic. Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but
there are now plans afoot to make a sequel to “Wonderful
Life”, in which the ghost of George Bailey’s youngest kid,
Zazu, comes back to haunt George’s bratty grandson by
showing him how much better the world would’ve been if he
was never born.
That sounds like it’s full of holiday cheer, doesn’t it?
And the actress who played Zazu in the original, Karoline
Grimes, is coming back for this film. Why, why, why? And
if this is the case, what’s next--a sequel to “The Wizard of
Oz” in which Dorothy’s granddaughter skips out of rehab to
join a doomsday cult, or something?
I’ve been joking on the air all week about how the movie
business has run out of ideas. Guess I wasn’t that far off,
He’s hanging in there. Thanks for asking.
I’ve had several of you ask how Loraine’s nephew Jeremy is
doing. You may remember Jeremy; I wrote last month about
how this irrepressible 12-year old had developed Acute
Lymphoblastic Leukemia and about how everyone was handling
it. Well, it’s been a month or so, and I’m happy to report
that he (and his family) are hanging in there. He’s
currently on another round of chemo; in fact, he and his
parents spent most of last week in Ann Arbor for treatment,
and they get to spend this week administering treatment at
home. They then get a little time off before the next
round, which is scheduled to fall during the week of
Ho ho ho, right?
Anyway, like I said, the whole family is hanging in there
the best they can. Jeremy has an older brother and sister,
and unlike most older brothers and sisters, they actually
don’t terrorize him to within an inch of his life. No;
they, in fact, adore their little brother, and were among
the hardest hit when he received his diagnosis. Because
they’re kind of limited in what they can do to actually help
him out (aside, of course, from keeping his spirits up),
Nathan and Katrina decided to show their support by putting
something together to show that they’re in the fight, as
Now that’s a great set of older siblings!
Loraine and I received our ribbons in the mail over the
weekend, and we both have them hanging up in our offices to
show that we’re members of Team Jeremy in good standing.
And like I said a month ago, if you could keep those good
thoughts heading his way, I’m sure that he’d appreciate it,
as would his parents and his siblings.
Actually, all of us who are members of Team Jeremy say
“thanks” for that, and we’ll keeping you updated on Jeremy’s
progress as time goes on.
When is chocolate really not chocolate? Is it when there
isn’t any chocolate in the chocolate?
No, I’m not (deliberately) trying to be confusing, and no,
this isn’t some kind of Zen exercise. And yes, I know I
just talked about chocolate last week. But bear with me.
This is a real question that deserves real pondering, and
here’s why--odds are, in the next month and a week, you’ll
probably give or receive some kind of chocolate product for
Christmas? I mean, they’re everywhere during the season,
and odds are one or two of them will end up in your hands.
If you don’t wanna wait that long, go to a store and look at
a package of holiday chocolates, which is what I did this
weekend and what has prompted this whole thing weird
Why do you need to look? Because the “chocolate” you
receive (or give) may really not be chocolate.
I’m not kidding. If you give or receive anything from
Palmer, or a little box of Andes mints, or perhaps even a
giant Nestlé’s Crunch Bar, you’ll see one of two things on
the box. You’ll either see that they’re described on the
front of the box as “chocolate-flavored products” or if you
look at the ingredients you’ll see that they don’t have
cocoa butter and/or chocolate liquor, the two things that
make up actual, real chocolate.
That’s right--your “chocolate” may not have any chocolate in
it. THAT’S why I posed the Zen-like question!
This has been going on for a couple of years now. Some
manufactures, in order to squeeze every cent they can out of
their products, have replaced the actual chocolate they buy
and use with a mix of partially hydrogenated soybean oil and
chocolate “flavoring”, and then pass it off as ‘chocolate”.
Now I know I may come across occasionally as a chocolate
snob, but in an instance like this, my snobbery may be
justified. I mean, if you eat this stuff, you’re not eating
chocolate. You’re eating artery-clogging saturated fat that
tastes like chocolate, artery-clogging saturated fat that
has absolutely none of the healthful aspects of chocolate we
discussed last week. And at least to me, it doesn’t even
taste like real chocolate; it tastes like, I dunno,
brown-flavored wax. If you don’t believe me, try a taste
test. Take a piece of real chocolate, and eat it. Then
chocolate-flavored candy product, and do the same.
You may find yourself becoming a chocolate snob, too.
The sad thing is most people probably don’t even realize
what’s going on. I mean, how many people read the labels or
the ingredient lists on the food they eat? That’s probably
why the candy companies figured they could get away with it;
after all, if no one paid attention, they could probably
also replace any nuts in their bars with “nut-like pieces”
of tree bark and no one would be the wiser. It’s sad, but
it’s true, and it seems to be a fact of modern life.
I’ll quit complaining about it now; after all, there are SO
many things in life that are more important than and deserve
more discussion than “chocolate” that it’s not even funny.
I just figured I’d point it out, and maybe open a few eyes
in the process, especially with the holiday season coming
up. Besides, you guys know how I love chocolate...at least
when it actually IS chocolate. So if you’re buying gifts
and want the real thing this year, make sure you read the
labels before you throw it in your cart or basket.
Caveat emptor, I guess.
With apologies to Matchbox Twenty, I’ve seen signs of people
who aren’t unwell, but may be just a little crazy!
It started when I went running Wednesday morning. On
Wednesdays, I usually run up & down the hills of downtown
Marquette for 40 or 45 minutes. It’s a great workout, and I
get to use the city as my own personal jungle gym, which is
kinda cool, too. It was only when I started running down
the first hill that I noticed the snow and ice on the
sidewalks, and then heard Loraine’s voice in my head saying,
and I quote, “Are you sure you want to do this”?
As happens quite often, she was right (or at least the voice
in my head was right), so I ran back up a hill and made my
way through the city to the Fit Strip, where I figured I’d
do a couple of laps on the trail. Like the sidewalks,
there was a little snow on the trail, but it wouldn’t hurt
anywhere near as much as it would if I fell on a concrete
Take that as gospel from someone who’s done both.
Anyway, about halfway around the first lap I noticed
something in front of me on the trail. Like I said, the
trail was covered with a dusting of snow--no more than a
quarter of an inch--but in front of me on the trail I
noticed a set of cross country ski tracks. That’s right;
there were five flakes of snow on the ground, and someone
wanted to ski on them.
I can’t say I’m surprised; after all, hardcore cross-country
skiers rank just below hardcore mountain bikers in their
desire to be out on the trails. And I don’t blame them. As
I’ve said before, cross country skiing is the one thing that
keeps me sane during an Upper Michigan winter. But to go
out skiing on a rocky trail covered to a depth of five
flakes of snow?
That takes a special kind of hardcore. In fact, that might
even take a special kind of crazy. I mean, I love skiing,
but I always wait until there’s enough snow to groom a nice
set of tracks. After all, while I love skiing, I’m probably
not good enough to ski on anything less, and if I heard
Loraine’s voice in my head while running down an icy hill, I
can just imagine what she’s say if I tried skiing on dirt
powdered with snow.
But that’s just me. There are some people out there who are
good enough on their skis and who have extra sets of
equipment to allow them to try gliding along the
snow-covered dirt. And good for them. If I was that
special kind of crazy, I’d probably try it myself. But as
we all know, my special kind of crazy (sadly) doesn’t extend
to feats of athleticism. So I guess I won’t be joining
anyone who skis the Fit Strip the next time it’s covered by
five flakes of snow.
If nothing else, I’m sure Loraine’s voice in my head would
approve of that.
Enjoy your weekend; from the sounds of it, by the time the
weekend’s over we may be in store for enough snow for me to
actually ski. We’ll have to see about that!
And happy Deer Season Eve! That’s a real holiday, right?
Anyway..14 years ago (!) I wrote an epic “poem” (using the
word rather loosely) to commemorate the U.P. national
holiday, and I used to post it here every year on this
date. I haven’t stuck it up for a few years, so I think I’m
gonna do it again. At one time the “poem” made me chuckle;
let’s see if it’ll do it again.
Tomorrow, the story of some insane people. Insane in a GOOD
way, that is!
“’Twas the Night Before Deer Camp”,
by Jimmy Koski, grade 3.
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE DEER SEASON
AND ALL THROUGH THE CAMP
HUNTERS WERE UNLOADED BEER CRATES
AND LIGHTING UP LAMPS
THE RIFLES THEY HUNG
IN THE PICKUP WITH CARE
IN HOPES THAT A 10-POINTER
SOON WOULD BE THERE
I IN MY ORANGE
MY BUDDY IN GREEN
SAT DOWN TO A CRIBBAGE GAME
THE BIGGEST EVER SEEN
WE PLAYED THROUGH THE NIGHT
AND EMPTIED THOSE CRATES
BUT MORNING SOON CAME
WE DIDN’T WANT TO BE LATE
WE SET OUT AT SUNRISE
AT DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT
PUT DOWN A BIG BAIT PILE
IN HOPES THAT BAMBI WOULD BITE
WE SAT AND WE WAITED
AND WAITED SOME MORE
I KEPT MY EYES OPEN
MY BUDDY STARTED TO SNORE
WHEN TO MY SURPRISE
STANDING RIGHT BY A TREE
WAS A BIG 12-POINT BUCK
MY PANTS I DID...WELL, NEVER MIND ABOUT THAT
I BROUGHT UP MY RIFLE
I LINED UP THE DEER
THEN MY BUDDY WOKE UP AND YELLED
“HEY--WHERE’S THE BEER?”
THE BUCK RAN AWAY
I LOWERED MY GUN
MY BUDDY JUST LAUGHED
SAID “LET’S HAVE SOME FUN”
WE WENT BACK TO DEER CAMP
AND HAD US A BALL
SO LET ME SAY THIS--
GOOD LUCK DEER HUNTING TO ALL...
Yesterday, chocolate. Today, pizza!
At the end of yesterday’s mind-blowing facts about chocolate
I mentioned that if science could find a way to make pizza
as healthy as dark chocolate, then my diet would be pretty
much set for the rest of my life. Well, on the heels of
that came a list I found about the ten top pizza toppings in
the U.S. They are?
6. Extra cheese
7. Black olives
8. Green peppers
And, as always, I have to chuckle at how easy it is for me
to be an oddball. You see, out of the ten most popular
pizza toppings in the U.S., I usually only have one of them,
and that’s the topping at number 10.
Go figure, right?
In fact, my favorite pizza of all time is one that Aubrees
in Marquette doesn’t actually make any more, and that was a
spinach and artichoke heart pizza, slathered with a white
sauce on a whole wheat crust. Yeah, I know most people
probably don’t actually consider that a “pizza”--perhaps why
they don’t sell it any more--but given a choice between
eating pizza with pepperoni or mushrooms or sausage or
anything else on that list, I’d take Aubrees’ spinach and
artichoke heart pizza.
Assuming, of course, they ever bring it back. Until then,
I’ll have to make do with their Tuscan Sun pizza, which
still has a little spinach and a few artichoke hearts on it,
along with sun dried tomatoes and a red sauce, as opposed to
the white sauce on my former favorite.
I know. That’s a major first world complaint, if I’ve ever
heard one, so I’ll stop talking about that particular
topic. But I will admit I was kind of surprised by one
topping that didn’t make the top ten.
If I have to eat a “normal” pizza, I’ll go for one with ham
on it. Every pizza place offers a variety of ham pizzas,
and ham’s favorite pizza cohort, pineapple, is on the top
ten list, but where’s ham itself? You can’t tell me that
more people like spinach on a pizza than they do ham.
Someone like me, I can see. But the rest of the country,
the “normal” contingent? They prefer spinach over ham?
Maybe I’ve become a trendsetter and I didn’t even realize
Anyway, next time you sit down or call someone and order a
pizza, consider your toppings. Will you go mainstream, like
pepperoni? Will you think outside the box, and add
artichoke hearts? Or will you take pity on the forgotten,
and throw some ham on there?
Consider that your (ahem) food for thought today!
See? I really DO know what I’m doing by eating chocolate!
I came across an article on the
Huffington Post a few days
ago regarding chocolate and all the health benefits related
to it. Now, I knew that moderate consumption of one of my
favorite foods was good for your health, but when I saw the
list, even I was astounded.
For instance, eating chocolate can, according to the
--Make you think better
--Control your appetite
--Lower your blood pressure
--Lower your bad cholesterol
--Kick up your metabolism
--Give you smoother skin
--Help you lose weight, and
--Lower your risk of a heart attack.
And here you wonder WHY I eat chocolate so much??
Chocolate actually does all that; the science behind it is
proven. There are two very strong caveats to go along with
this, though. You actually have to consume your chocolate
in moderation; eating more than two or three ounces a day
(the size of an average bar) just adds calories to your diet
without adding any extra benefits. And the chocolate you
eat MUST be dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa
content. Milk chocolate doesn’t have enough flavanoids in
it to help your body, and all the extra sugar in it just
makes you gain weight.
Good thing I really like dark chocolate, huh?
I knew eating dark chocolate was good for you; I guess I
didn’t realize ALL the benefits that came from eating
moderate amounts of it, especially because some of those
benefits are so counter-intuitive. I mean, eat chocolate to
lose weight or lower your cholesterol? It doesn’t really
make sense, but the science is there, as is the answer the
next time someone asks how I can stay so skinny when my love
of chocolate is so well known.
I just eat the right kind of chocolate, and I don’t eat too
much of it. Who knew, right?
Now, if scientists could only prove that eating pizza, ice
cream, and cookies from Cal’s Party Store had the same
health benefits as eating dark chocolate. If that were the
case, I think my diet would be set for life.
Hopefully, that discovery is just around the corner!
Today is Veterans Day. Most people only think about the day
when they realize there won’t be any mail delivery, but in
living with a World War II researcher, I’ve come into a
whole new appreciation of the day, especially when I hear
the stories of people for whom the day honors.
People like THIS one--
Lawrence Ryan was born in Ishpeming on November 9th, 1921.
He was the oldest of three children; their parents died when
they were all young, and the Ryan siblings were split up.
Lawrence and his sister Helen were placed in the Holy Name
Orphanage in Marquette, while their brother Bob stayed with
an aunt in Ishpeming. The siblings remained close,
especially after Lawrence and his sister moved back to
Ishpeming to live with other relatives. He was a very
talented musician and had an aptitude for science,
graduating from Ishpeming High School in 1939 and, thanks to
an uncle, enrolling in Michigan State for two years. Like
many men of his generation, though, when the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor, he joined the military, becoming a
fighter pilot cadet.
After two years of aviation training, Ryan made a short trip
home to see his brother and sister, and then went overseas
with his unit, the 509th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter
Group, 84th Fighter Wing, U.S. 9th Air Force. Stationed in
England, Ryan’s squadron escorted bombers as they attacked
military installations, factories, and other important
targets in Germany. Like all pilots in the war, Ryan just
had to fly 50 missions, and then he could go home and finish
out the war with non-hazardous duties. But because he was
single, with no wife or children, he decided to stay on with
his unit after his 50th mission, allowing someone in his
squadron who WAS married to head home in his place.
15 missions later--on his 65th flight--Ryan was shot down
over Frankfurt, Germany. He was 23 years old when he was
After the war, Ryan’s body was brought back home, and buried
next to his parents in the Ishpeming Cemetery. His brother
and sister, still alive, talk about their big brother in
fond and slightly melancholy terms. His name is on the
Veterans’ Memorial next to the Ishpeming Post Office, and is
also listed on a plaque on the Michigan State University
campus, honoring the 300-plus students and alumni who died
during the conflict.
So today, when you realize you’re not getting any mail, and
you then realize that today’s Veterans Day, think about all
the people who’ve served their country, and, in cases like
that of Lt. Ryan, made the ultimate sacrifice, as well.
Let’s talk about music from the 70s (and 80s) again!
(And if this isn’t your cup ‘o tea, feel free to skip this,
have a great weekend, and come back Monday. But if you’re
like daily blog reader Cyndy of Au Train, who wrote after
yesterday’s blog that when hearing music from artists like
The Eagles, Steely Dan, and Fleetwood Mac in the grocery
store “I have to not belt out the words to the song … but I
catch myself be-bopping to the music as I shop”, read on!)
Rolling Stone magazine came out with a
this week of the 10 best Stevie Wonder songs of all time. I
have to say I can’t disagree with most of the list; after
all, they had “Superstition” at number one, plus songs like
“Living for the City” and “I Wish” were all up there. But
the one thing with which I need to take major exception is
the song at number 7.
You know--“I Just Called To Say I Love You”.
Now I realize I might be swimming in a little hot water
here. I know that for a lot of people “I Just Called” is a
song they love, and perhaps their favorite Stevie Wonder
song. In fact, when we put his songs up for a vote on
“Favorite Friday” a few years ago that song ended up coming
in second behind “Superstition”. And I also know it won an
Academy Award as best song (from the 1984 movie “The Woman
in Red”). But to me, “I Just Called” is not a Stevie Wonder
song; it’s a generic song that anyone could’ve done.
Go ahead; dislike me, if you must. But when I think of
Stevie Wonder songs, I think of tunes with funk, tunes with
a beat that will not let your toe stop tapping, and tunes
with a heart. At least to me, “I Just Called” doesn’t meet
any of those criteria. It’s just, well, a sappy song with a
drum machine for a beat. It doesn’t capture the “essence”
of a Stevie Wonder song. I realize music is a very
subjective matter, and you might feel differently about the
song (which is fine with me), but that’s how I feel.
In a way, though, it’s funny. Stevie Wonder wrote two songs
for “The Woman in Red”, and the other one is actually
something that would’ve made MY list of the top ten Stevie
Wonder tunes of all time. It’s called “Love Light in
Flight”, and many of the things I think “I Just Called” is
lacking “Love Light” has, especially a beat that will not
stop. But not many people know about it. I guess when you
have a song that was as massive of a hit as “I Just Called”
the oxygen gets sucked out of the room for anything else the
artist does. But do yourself a favor; if you ever have the
chance, listen to “Love Light in Flight”. Even if you think
“I Just Called” is a great Stevie Wonder, you might find
yourself pleasantly surprised by the OTHER song from the
movie, as well.
The Youtube Link.
Okay; I’ll get off my musical soapbox for now. As always,
thanks for all the notes, and thanks for sticking through my
little rant here. Have yourself a great weekend; stay warm!
No wonder people think I’m weird.
I mean, it’s not like I don’t give them a lot of ammunition,
right? Especially when you consider some of the questions
that pop into my head, and what happens when I try to answer
The question this time around was about a classic music
album; The Eagles “Hotel California”, to be specific.
Actually, to be honest, I don’t even remember what the
question was, except it was something that caused me to grab
my phone and check Wikipedia to find the answer. Whatever
answer I was looking for is lost in what’s left of my mind;
it’s what I found while looking that’s stayed in my noggin.
Perhaps my three favorite albums of the 1970s were “Hotel
California”, Steely Dan’s “Aja”, and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”,
all classic albums, and all ones that I still listen to
today. My favorite movie of the 1970s, without a doubt, was
the original “Star Wars”. So when I was perusing Wikipedia
to find the answer to whatever “Hotel California” question I
needed to ask, I was stunned to come across the list of the
five Grammy nominees for album of the year in 1977. Those
-The Eagles’ “Hotel California”
-Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”
-Steely Dan’s “Aja”
-John Williams’ “Soundtrack to ‘Star Wars”.
--And James Taylor’s “JT”.
Several thoughts flew threw my head when coming across the
list, the first being that I’m sure there was never as
strong a list of nominees for album of the year as in 1977.
I mean, think of it—there are years when the Grammys have
trouble coming up with one album good enough win be called a
“classic”, let along four (with no offense to James
Taylor). How can you choose from among the four? I mean,
Grammy voters did, giving the statue to “Rumours”, but
that’s almost a Sophie’s Choice as far as music lovers go.
The second thought? I know everyone always says that music
from the 70s sucked, thanks mostly to disco and bubblegum,
but growing up in that decade I (obviously) had my musical
influences shaped by what I heard. And if you have to grow
up listening to music, songs from “Hotel California” and
“Rumours” and “Aja” are among the best choices you could
have. I know; I’m sure people who grew up in the 90s think
Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was the pinnacle of music, just as
people growing up today would think that, uhm, Lady Gaga is
the pinnacle of music, but I think anyone would have to
admit that those three albums from ’77 are good.
And to think that they were all released in the same year.
I’m sure people probably didn’t appreciate it back then, but
now it just boggles the mind, or at least boggles MY mind,
that they all grew out of one 12 month period.
Amazing, isn’t it? I mean, not quite as amazing as the fact
that I can’t remember the question that prompted this whole
thing, but pretty amazing nonetheless.
What’s wrong with this picture?
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with
the picture; it’s just an ordinary shot of an ordinary
street in Marquette. It’s only when you realize I took it
yesterday--November 5th, 2013--that you come to understand
there IS something wrong with it.
Most of the leaves are still green and are still on their
I know it’s been a weird weather year and everything, but
usually by the beginning of November the trees around here
are bare. Or, at the least, the trees are covered with
brown leaves hanging on for their lives. But not this
year. Even thought we’ve had our fall color season--and we
had some beautiful colors outside of the city--here in
Marquette you can still look down a street and see trees
with green leaves. Sure, the leaves aren’t the most vibrant
of green, but they still are still green and they’re still
on the trees.
Now, I realize climate change is changing the planet in ways
we can’t yet understand, so I can’t say I’m surprised by the
green leaves in November, especially when you consider that
some of the leaves in Marquette didn’t come out until
mid-June this year, thanks to our incredibly cold & wet
(what passed for) spring. Yet I always thought that leaves
changed because of non-weather factors, as well. I always
thought that diminishing sunlight also played a part in
leaves changing, as well as other seasonal factors.
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe seeing green leaves on trees in
November is the new normal, much like our January with
temperatures in the 40s and our snow in late May. Nothing
surprises me any more, at least weather-wise. This just
kind of adds to it. I can just imagine that, in a few
years, green leaves in November won’t be shocking any more,
because we’ll be talking green leaves on greens in January,
summertime heat in February, and, oh, I don’t know, frozen
harbors in July.
We’ll just have to see, I guess.
Who knew you could get two blogs out of one trip to the
Yesterday, I wrote about how the person working behind the
counter was under the mistaken impression that I know
everything. Today, the tale of what happened right before
and right after I had that particular conversation.
I walked to the store Sunday, and as I was about a block
away I noticed a woman getting to a car about halfway
between me and the store. As I walked passed the car, it
was pulling out of the driveway. And when I finally got to
the store, so did the car that had just pulled out of the
That’s right. Someone got into their car to drive half a
block to the store.
The individual walked into the store behind me, and as far
as I could tell, just picked up a bottle of Diet Coke. I
checked out first, and started my walk home. As I walked
passed the driveway from which the car came, I turned
around, and noticed the driver getting back into the car.
And when I got to the end of the block, I turned around
again, and noticed the driver had pulled into their driveway
and was leaving their car with their bottle of Diet Coke.
They drove their car half a block to the store to get a
bottle of Diet Coke.
I can’t say I’m particularly shocked by the whole incident,
for a couple of reasons. The first is based on a statistic
I read. Now, I don’t know if this statistic is factual,
because it kind of blows my mind if it is, but the statistic
says the average American only walks about 400 yards--a
quarter of a mile--a day. That’s it. That’s, like, just
over 500 steps for the average person, and that’s nothing.
Heck, for me, that’s just walking to work one way. But
supposedly, that’s as far as the average American walks on
an average day.
And who knows; maybe the statistic is right. The other
reason the whole situation didn’t surprise me is that
Loraine and I often get comments from people who say they
see us out walking here or there, and those comments are
often tinged with an unspoken “WHY do we see you out
walking?”, like it’s an unnatural state of affairs that we
walk the four blocks to work or the store instead of driving
there. So if we get those unspoken comments from people
based on the fact that we walk, maybe we really ARE freaky
in that respect. Maybe we really ARE freaky because we
don’t drive a half a block to the store.
But I’m okay with that.
Now, I don’t know the background of the person I saw driving
half a block to the store to buy a bottle of Diet Coke.
Maybe the person has a physical disability or something else
that makes walking hard. That could be. But it didn’t seem
like they had any difficulty getting into or out of their
car, and they sure seemed to be fine when picking up their
Diet Coke. So if I had to guess--and this is, of course,
just a guess--they didn’t need to drive half a block to the
store because of a physical problem.
They drove a half a block to the store because they chose to
drive half a block to the store.
I know Americans are both in love with their cars and very
averse to exercise, but wasn’t this a bit much? I mean, in
the time it took this person to get into their car, drive
the half block, park it, go into the store, and then head
back home, I was able to cover the same distance AND throw
an extra half block each way for good measure. What I’m
saying is that it took them more time to drive the half
block to and from the store than it for me to cover the same
distance. And I did it without wear and tear on a gas, and
the cost of gas and of air pollution. Not only that, I got
some exercise out of it, as well.
There are times when I really don’t understand why some
people do the things they do. And Sunday morning at the
convenience store was one of those times.
I suppose that as far as reputations go, it’s not the worst
one in the world to have,
I walked into a convenience store yesterday, and the first
thing the young woman working behind the counter said to me
was, and I quote, “You know everything, right”? Now as
those of you who read this on a daily basis are well aware,
no, I certainly DON’T know everything, yet I apparently know
enough that people seem to think I do. Anyway, the young
lady proceeded to ask me a question that I actually knew the
answer to, which, I guess, then further cemented my
reputation, at least in her mind.
I’ve said this before and I know I’ll say it again—I, Jim
Koski, do NOT know everything. Sure, when I was a teenager
and my younger brother & sister were in grade school, they’d
ask me something, I’d answer, they’d ask how I knew, and I’d
reply with “I know everything”. And that even carries down
to today; when my niece Mallory brought in a friend to the
station to introduce me a little while ago, Mallory asked me
a question about something, I answered, her friend asked how
I knew, and Mallory just said “He knows everything”.
You think THAT’S how reputations get started?
Of course, that’s just in my family. How does the rest of
the world get this warped idea that I know everything,
especially when I don’t? Well, this is what I think (and,
bear in mind, that I could be wrong, especially because I
DON’T know everything)—I seem to have a weird talent. I
seem to have this bizarre ability to talk about almost
anything in the world for at least 30 seconds, and make it
sound like I know what I’m talking about, before revealing
to anyone around that I’m really just a massive fraud. But
before those 30 seconds are up, some people seem convinced
that I really am an expert on the subject.
Which, as both you and I know, is hardly ever the case.
It’s an ability that does come in handy on many occasions,
be it “Stump Jim Day” on movie trivia, or when asked—at the
last second—to host a History Center program on hunting. As
long as you sound like you know what you’re talking about
when you start out, I’ve found that people—people who know
much more than you—will then provide enough new information
on the subject to allow you to keep going, which then
further leads people to believe that you know everything.
It’s a vicious circle, I tell ya.
Actually, I don’t think my ability is anything out of the
ordinary. I think anyone who has a little natural curiosity
and who does a little reading could develop it. I’ve always
thought that knowing a little bit about a lot of subjects is
better than knowing everything about only one subject; if
nothing else, it makes you a much more well-rounded person.
And if you take it to an extreme, or happen to work in radio
where you have a chance to show off the ability, you start
to develop a reputation, a reputation that ends with you
walking into a convenience store and hearing those fateful
“You know everything, right”?
who actually knows so little about everything that it’s
November already? Yikes!!
Actually, in one way, I can’t say I’m surprised it’s
November, and it’s a way in which you’ll probably agree,
too, especially when I ask this question--
When was the last time you saw the sun?
I know this is probably more a matter of perception than
anything, but it seems to me like it’s been weeks since we
saw anything resembling blue sky or sunshine. All I can
seem to recall seeing is the gloomy, fog, and/or rain-filled
skies that we’ve had the last week and are promised for the
next week. I’m sure there was a time in the just-completed
month when we had a nice day, but I’ll be darned if I can
remember when it was.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I seem to be
suffering symptoms of Seasonal Affliction Disorder more and
more. I don’t know if it’s physical or mental, nor do I
know if it’s actually withdrawal because I spend so much of
my summer out in the sun. Over the past few years I’ve just
noticed that during the late fall and early winter (or this
year, October), when we don’t have a lot of sun, I feel it.
I really do.
I actually started to notice it in May and June this year,
when we had a lot of cold & rain instead of sun & warmth.
And now that our current weather mirrors what we faced
earlier in the year, I’ve noticed it again, especially when
I speak with Laura about the weather on the air and seem to
whine about it a lot more than I usually do (or, at least,
she jokes that I’m whining about it a lot more than usual).
Now that I’m aware of it, I’m sure I can catch myself before
I get into full-whine mode and spare everyone the tragic
sight (and sound) of a rant brought on by the lack of the
After all, knowing about a problem is the first step toward
solving it, right?
With any luck, we’ll see the sun--even a weak November
sun--some day soon, and all this will be for naught. But in
the meantime, if you hear me speaking with Laura (or Megan)
and I seem to be whining more than usual, know it’s not my
fault. It’s all because of the sun.
Or the lack thereof.
Have yourself a great weekend, and while I have the chance,
I have to wish my little brother a happy birthday tomorrow!
Marc says he doesn’t in any way want to celebrate his big
day, but I don’t think that’s gonna stop me from posting
this paragraph on the Internet for the whole wide world to
see. So if you happen to see him, make sure you bug him
mercilessly about his big day!
No, that’s okay, Marc. You can thank me for this gift
Jim & Loraine's Trip To France 2012
to Belgium, France, and Germany,