Thursday, April 30, 2009


It's amazing what you can do with a little duct tape and a superball.

Like, keep 12 people working all day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Beer Connoisseur

Damn Straight!

Your result for The Good Beer Test...

A Beer Connoisseur

70% Knowledge and 100% Taste!

Behold, a true genius! You scored very well on my test. Obviously you know your beer, or you can use the Internet to cheat. I'm just going to hope it's the former.

Take The Good Beer Test
at HelloQuizzy

Leave your results in the comments. And no cheating.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Music Monday-Turn Turn Turn

I missed last weeks Great Music Monday post, not by design, but by circumstance. There was Masonic degree work I was helping with and didn't get back to town until after 11:00pm and I wanted SLEEP.

But we are back after a one week hiatus.

In the Bible, King James translation, if you read the book of Ecclesiastes, third chapter, verses 1-8, you will find this text:

  1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
With the addition of two lines (Turn, Turn Turn and I swear it's not too late), Pete Seeger created one of the greatest songs of the 60's. Commonly believed to be a plea for peace, the biblical text is really an explanation that everything in the world happens in its time.

The most successful recording of this song is by The Byrds.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Omar's Sister

I just found some pictures and thought I would share.

My dog, Omar the Wunderpuppy who turns 1 in just over a week (May 5), has 4 brothers and sisters.

The smallest pup at birth is now living in Minnesota, and her picture just showed up in Versatile Hunting Dog, the monthly magazine of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association.

It is the picture in the upper left on THIS PAGE.

Great News

This is some of the best news I have heard in weeks.

If I was Michelle Obama, I would say "This is the first time in my adult life that I have been proud of my country."

But I'm not, I have been proud of my country so many times I can't count. Granted, there have been disappointment's, but this makes me VERY proud.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How to keep your customers

Let's face it, customer service is damn near an abstract concept anymore. From employees who just don't care to call centers on the other side of the planet, if you have a problem or concern, good luck.

And that is why I am writing this post. I want to share two stories of customer service that I have experienced over the last 5 months.

Experience #1) December 2008 I placed an order for some good cigars. The order included two boxes of cigars. The first box arrived in about a week. But no sign of the second box and no e-mail, call, or note in the package that the second box was backordered. To date, the second box still hasn't arrived. I have tried contacting the company I ordered from to very little satisfaction. I e-mailed them and never got a response. I called their 800 number and got a recording to leave a message and they would contact me. I left two or three messages and was never called back. Finally, I got ahold of a live body. I was informed that the second box was on back order and he would check to see what its status was and for me to call the next day. I called the next day to ask what had been found out only to be told, "It is on backorder, just be patient."

Experience #2) I placed an order March 31, 2009 with Uplanders Warehouse. The order included a shirt and upland hunting chaps. The shirt was shipped from the supplier and arrived in 48 hours. The chaps were on backorder. How did the folks at Uplanders handle the backorder? I received an e-mail FROM THE OWNER on April 2nd, to let me know that the shirt was shipped and the chaps were backorderd, but should ship the next week. April 7th, I received another e-mail from the owners wife that the chaps were still back ordered but would be going out as soon as they arrived to their facility. But because I had to wait for them, they would refund my shipping back to me. What is this? Its only been a week? I was speechless. 3 days later I am heading down the road for a training day with Omar, and my phone rings. It's the owner of Uplanders, Jared Tanner. He has some disappointing news: the chaps still haven't arrived from the manufacturer. Jared apologized multiple times that he was sorry this hadn't been taken care of. I assured him, I understood and was thankful to be kept in the loop. Then, Jared almost caused me to have an accident. He offered to upgrade my order from the chaps I had ordered to a different brand. Now, some companys may offer this option, but not when the upgrade is to a product that costs $10-$30 more, when the original product was only $30, and at NO ADDITIONAL COST. I was blown away. But, I told Jared about my concern that the other brands wouldn't fit, as I had already been down that road. He asked if I happend to know the measuerments and he would check the products. I told him the information and he said he would call back in a couple minutes. Five minutes later, the phone rings again, Jared had check the measurements and confirmed my concern, the others wouldn't fit. So he offered me a refund if I wanted, but I said I would just wait until the chaps came in. Fast forward 9 days, and I get two e-mails. The first is the shipping confirmation and the second from Jared to also tell me the chaps had shipped.

Which company has the better customer service? Which company am I going back to? Which company is getting a link in the sidebar?

Easy question, right?

Fast forward to today (Thursday), the chaps arrived and I have already worn them to the field.

Also in the packege, is the newest edition to my truck.

So, my good friends, go get yourself some gear and support a good company. And when you place your order, don't forget to use their UDonate program. It is simple. When you checkout, check a box for either Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, or Ruffed Grouse Society and Uplanders Warehouse will donate 2% of your total purchase to your selected conservation group. This doesn't add anything to your total cost, it is simply something that Jared and his wife feel passionatly enough about to make it a priority.

Also, Jared's blog, JT's Upland Blog, is going to the blogroll. Give it a read.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrate 64 years of FREEDOM!

I missed an important anniversary last week.

64 years of Freedom. Not for me, but my Great Uncle (read more about him in THIS previous post).

April 16, 1945. My Great Uncle, who has spent the last five months of his life in a German P.O.W. camp, surviving on a diet of grass, straw, sugar beets, bread made with "tree flour" (a.k.a. sawdust), and charcoal made from potatoes to prevent dysentery, was liberated by the English 5th Infantry. He was 20 when h was liberated.

Last week, he decided to hold a liberation celebration dinner at the building he lives in.

Go read the entire article here.

Also, check the comments. There are several who make a great suggestion that this should be done not with seniors, but with youth. And I think that is a great idea.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Which Corrupt Illinois Governor Are You?

This is just really, REALLY disturbing.

Your result for The Which corrupt Illinois governor are you test...

Otto Kerner Jr.

You could have been a contender, but ya blew it cuz you're a sucker.

You are Otto Kerner Jr., born in Chicago in 1908 and educated at the Ivy league Brown University as well as Cambridge and Northwestern Law School. You married the daughter of Anton Cermak, one of Chicago's most influential mayors, and fought in World War 2, winning the Bronze star and retiring from the military in 1954 as a Major General. You served as a US Attorney and then as Illinois' Governor from 1961-1968. Wow! You have the resume of a potential US President. What the hell happened?

What happened is that you engaged in the same practices that nearly all politicians have engaged in since before the pyramids. Skim a little graft hear, wet your beak there, line the nest with the cash you pick up helping out your friends. However, you broke the #1 rule in Illinois politics, which is:"Don't get caught!" You took a huge bribe from Marge Lindheimer Everett, manager of Arlington and Washington Park race tracks in exchange for choice racing dates and to get two expressway exits for her Arlington Park racetrack. The bribe was in the form of stocks.

Some say taking a huge bribe wasn't your biggest mistake. Your biggest mistake was taking a bribe from an apparent idiot. Amazingly, the scandal came to light because Everett had deducted the value of the stock on her federal income tax returns under her own theory that bribery was an ordinary and necessary business expense in Illinois!

You were sentenced to 3 years in the Federal Pen, but were released after about a year because you had terminal cancer. You're buried at Arlington National Cemetary because of your distinguished military service.

There are 4 possible outcomes to this test. Congratulations, you are the least of Four Evils!

Please Remember to rate this test. Thanks.

Here are all the test results:

Otto Kerner Jr.

George Ryan

Lennington Small

Rod Blagojevich

Take The Which corrupt Illinois governor are you test
at HelloQuizzy

I suppose it could have been worse.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Great Music Monday-Ghosts of Culloden

This Thursday is a very important anniversary.

April 16, 1746. Culloden Moor outside of Inverness, Scotland.

Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, the son of James Francis Edward Stuart, came to Scotland in 1745 to try and return his father to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Bonnie Prince rallied the highlands and led his army to within 120 miles of London. However, upon the ill advice of his advisers, Charlie with drew his army to Culloden Moor. There, Bonnie Prince Charlie was beaten by the Duke of Cumberland. Charlie fled to France, dieing some 40 years later, having never again returned to Scotland.

This one battle has become a centerpiece in Scottish history and countless songs have been written about the battle, the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the hopes that he would return.

However, this song is not one of them. Written, to the best information I can find, by Scottish singer/songwriter Isla Grant, "Ghosts of Culloden" is a song about those who never left that Moor on April 16, 1746.

Please leave your thoughts on the song, the Battle of Culloden, in the comments.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A time of need

I have mentioned before, that I am a member of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons (often seen abbreviated A.F. & A.M.), aka Freemasons or Masons. It is an affiliation that I hold very near and dear to my heart. And that includes the appendent bodies. Besides being a Master Mason, I belong to the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and have looked into joining other bodies as well.

The old figure that has been used for about 10 years is that Masons give, either through the regular Lodge activities or appendent bodies, over $2,000,000 every single day for charitable activities.

One of the most prominent parts of the amazing work Freemasons do is through the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.), aka Shriners, Hospitals for Childern.

And that is why this article bothered me so much.

Started in 1920, the 22 Shriners Hospitals provide 100% free care to children with burns, spinal cord injuries, and orthopedic problems.

A very good friend of mine has a son that would not be able to walk today if it wasn't for Shriner's Hospital, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of cases like this.

But at the 2009 Annual Meeting, they will be voting on whether or not to close 6 of the hospitals. This would be a tragedy for so many children and families who would have to travel farther to receive this world class specialized health care.

Basically, my Brothers need help to continue providing this care in all the locations they currently maintain.

So I am asking you, my readers, to help me help Shriners help childern.
Click HERE to make a donation. I did. And this is a tax deductable contribution.

Do you have an interest in joining the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons?


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Simple Concepts

I thought these were simple concepts that were taught in government or civics classes in high school, but obviously, a very large segment of the population doesn't get it.

1) The United States of America is a SOVEREIGN NATION.

2) Our Flag NEVER flies below another.

3) The United States of America bows to NO ONE!!!!!

4) No American President EVER BOWS TO ANYONE, be it king, queen, chancellor, emperor, sheik, cleric, or any other head of state.

That is why, no matter how you feel about anything else he has done, EVERYONE should be absolutely OUTRAGED at THIS:

Millions of American Veterans didn't fight and give their lives so that an American President bow to some king living in a sandbox. I don't care who the hell the President is, you do NOT FUCKING BOW to ANYBODY.

We are the Country that refused to tip our Flag to Chancellor Hitler at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. We are the Country that sent our boys around the world twice to save Europe and defeat the Axis.

And then to add insult to treason, I read this tonight at Blackfive.

The American Cemetery at Normandy has NOTHING to do with special treatment for France. And since the administration seems to have missed history class as well as civics and government, besides the 9,387 American Hero's who never left France, there were over 2,700 British casualties on the beaches.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kumar Goes To The White House

How do you add credibility to your White House staff?


Add Kumar.

That's right ladies and germs, actor Kal Penn, who is not so famous for playing Kumar in "Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle" and "Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay," as well as playing Taj Badalandabad in "National Lampoon's: Van Wilder" and "Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj," and finally as Dr. Lawrence Kutner in "House, M.D." where his character committed suicide in this past Monday's episode (I guess, I was too busy watching the Cubs beat the Astros in the Season Opener) is now going to Washington.

His position?

To be an Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison, serving as a liaison between the Obama White House and Asian constituents.

I don't know whether to laugh, chuckle, or just be worried.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Great Music Monday-Skye Boat Song

Today is Tartan Day.

And what better way to celebrate Tartan Day than with Single Malt Scotch and Great Music.

The Whiskey
Because it is a special day, I pulled out a special bottle. I was working in Macomb, IL for my first job out of college from May 2005 til March 2006. During that time, I visited one of the liquor stores in town (it is a college town, there are several for a town of only 10,000 permanent residents). I don't remember exactly when it was during that time, but know I couldn't have afforded to do what I did. I walked into probably the nicest store in town and began perusing the Single Malt Scotch Whiskey selection. Granted, it was not spectacular, but I did find two bottle of interest. One a bottle of 18-year old Glenlivet, and the other, an 18-year old bottle of Glenfiddich Ancient Reserve. Total tab-about $125. The bottle of Glenlivet was good, but only lasted a few months. The Glenfiddich bottle still lives. I have consumed about half of it so far.

Tonight seemed like the perfect night to partake of the finer things in life so I poured a glass. I prefer to drink Scotch on the rocks, with just a little bit of good clean bottled water. I have found that it just cuts the slight bite of the whiskey, as well as opening up the aromas and flavors.

Now, on to the music. Skye Boat Song is a song recalling the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie following his defeat at the Battle of Culloden, and the hope that he will return to lead another uprising to fight for independence from England.

They lyrics are amazing.

Speed bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward, the sailors cry
Carry the lad that's born to be king
Over the sea to Skye

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunder clouds rend the air;
Baffled our foe's stand on the shore
Follow they will not dare

Though the waves leap, soft shall ye sleep
Ocean's a royal bed
Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep
Watch by your weary head

Many's the lad fought on that day
Well the claymore could wield
When the night came, silently lay
Dead on Culloden's field

Burned are our homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men
Yet, e'er the sword cool in the sheath,
Charlie will come again.

For the performance, we have one of the most amazing Scottish groups I have ever heard, The Corries.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Breaking News!!!!

While the speculation earlier today was that Pro Bowl Quarterback Jay Cutler may be headed to the Washington Redskins, it was, in fact, the Monsters of the Midway who have actually landed him.