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Showing posts from October, 2016

No Time Like The Present

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As winter approaches, there is always a bit of dread that comes along with it. In the autumn months, the days get shorter and cooler. I was lamenting this a bit on Facebook a while back and a friend of mine from my writing group smacked me out of it.

His reasoning was simple. Winter is going to happen and I can't control that, so why not enjoy fall for what it is - live in the joy of today a bit more, with less forward-looking dread. Then, he said, maybe make an effort to enjoy winter more via cross country skiing or other outside activities. He closed the argument with the fact that after December 21st, the days start getting longer again. Basically he said, you've got a good life, winter is part of it, deal with it.

It was exactly what I needed to hear. Good advice from a friend. (Paul) It snapped me out of my funk and caused me to look a little more at the present. This week provided me a chance to relish the present a bit more. Here are a few examples.


On Friday, my son got…

Fried Web Burgers

"I went to the doctor yesterday."

This is the line you never want to hear from anyone. It usually means one of two things. Either you're going to get a bucketful of bad news, or you're going to get a glimpse into Too Much Information.

So, I went to the doctor yesterday. When I'd gone for my physical a couple of weeks ago, the doctor gave me the green light of health except for my ears which were packed with wax. (See, I warned ya.)

Anyway, this is always bad news. I've had this recur about four times now in what appears to be a disturbing trend. I think it's part of some sort of old guy disease. This stuff never happened when I was 25, so what gives?

It gets better though.

The reason I needed to get my ears flushed is because I'm looking into getting hearing aids.

I know you're thinking: "Say what? He's so young!" You're thinking that, right? I knew it.

Yes, while I am pretty sure I don't need hearing aids, my family begs to …

Woods And Words

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I love many things about autumn.


The smell of burning leaves.The color-burst that is the cycle of death that needs to happen before winter.The sky has a different light about it. The clouds in that differently lit sky have their own beauty. I just wish we had about three more weeks of it than we do. (Accompanied by 3 less weeks of winter.)
Today was a perfect, Indian summer day. Temps near 68, clear skies and a light breeze. Leaves were falling and everyone was in good spirits. 
I took advantage of it and got two bike rides in. The first was an I-have-to-get-outside ride after church this morning. 
But it was the second ride with my son that was the capper on a great day. We took a ride through Minooka Park which has a system of mountain bike trails that is a blast. We'd been on them once earlier this summer, but I thought today was too good to pass up.
The ride up and down the trails was both exhilarating and technically challenging at times. Ben even had to bail a couple of times …

Out Of Dodge

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I am writing this from a conference on the edge of Nowhere Wisconsin and while that sounds like a complaint, I am happy to be here. I am normally just coming off a muskie fishing weekend this time of year, but this year it didn't happen. My fishing buddy Steve took it upon himself to go to Italy with his wife for their 25th wedding anniversary, and it ran dead into the muskie weekend. So it goes...

Anyway, my point is, I'm glad to be here because here is at least travelling and I am happiest when I have the road under my feet. As it turns out I'm just north of Spooner, Wisconsin at a remote lodge that involves at least 3 county roads and a stretch of deer-lined gravel roads. A fun ride at night with my mapping geek cohorts in a county van.

This comes while the rest of the world is overseas it seems. As I mentioned, Steve and Jill are touring Italy, end to end, and of that I am insanely jealous. They'll see Venice and Rome and a bunch of other great things

At the same t…

Election Rejection

As you have seen, I do not get political on this blog. I loathe politics and all that goes with it and feel it is increasingly dividing our country and bringing out the worst in people. 
Because of this, watching our Presidential election cycle play out like a car fire has been nothing short of painful. We've all seen mudslinging in the past, but never with two candidates that are almost equally disliked. A friend of mine said the only way he could ever imagine Hillary Clinton in office is if there was a Donald Trump as an opponent. And the only way he could ever imagine Donald Trump in office is if there was a Hillary Clinton as an opponent. 
Well said. 
And the wonders of social media have raised the rage level to new heights. As things get said and countered, it takes everything in me not to chime in. Like I said, I don't like being outwardly political, despite having definite opinions about who I think should be President. 
But I typically don't say anything. Because …

Octoberbest

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For a number of reasons, tonight and into this weekend is typically one of my favorite times of year. The past six years running, I typically go up to northern Wisconsin for three days of muskie fishing with my buddies Steve and John. Because muskies are such elusive trophy fish, it is always a weekend filled with anticipation and what I consider the last fishing outing of the year. (I don't do ice fishing.)

This year is different though. My buddy Steve is going to Italy for a couple of weeks and leaves tomorrow. (Some people should have such a dilemma...Italy or northern Wisconsin. Hmmm). In any case, this leaves me hanging high and dry. There is talk of possibly going up in November, so I'm holding on to that little light.

But there's a few other reasons it's a great time of October.

Today is the birthday of my nephew Nicolas. He's 34 today and, being my godson, we have a pretty tight relationship. I did a lot with him as a boy when I lived in the Twin Cities and…

Purposeful Words

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This past Friday I was part of the quarterly AllWriters Friday Night Free For All. It is put on by the AllWriters studio and features five different writers all reading some of their work. The cool thing about it is that every writer reads a different style. It features poetry, nonfiction, short story and novel. They always have a "featured speaker" at each one, someone who either travels, is outside the AllWriters circles or a recently published author.

This event featured Cristina Norcross a poet, from Oconomowoc who also is publisher of the Blue Heron Review, a beautiful publication featuring national and sometimes international poets.

The theme for this event was "Never Give Up." Because writing for publication or any kind of recognition or even personal enrichment is such a difficult thing at times, this gathering was built around writers who had all had books accepted in the past year. Because mine was a poetry collection, I was asked to do the poetry. The ot…

Objection Rejection

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I have always prided myself for having never been in court. I've had my share of traffic violations and a few parking tickets, a few close call run-ins with the boys in blue, but managed to keep my nose clean for 54 years. When I did get ticketed, I always just paid my fine and never chose to fight it in traffic court. I've heard that they will reduce your fine and in some cases, even change the charge from speeding to something like failing to signal a turn if it means a slightly lower fine.

I always thought that was a bit of a mixed message. A court lying about a charge.

Recently I was asked to serve Jury duty for Federal Court in Milwaukee. This is only the second time I've been asked to serve. The first was years ago and I was an "alternate" who simply had to call in the day of the jury selection. I was not needed, so that was that.

This one required that I show up downtown at the Federal Courthouse at 8:15 on Monday morning. When I got there I was signed in …

My Annual Round Of Golf

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Yesterday I golfed for the first time this year. I am a fair weather golfer and usually only golf when provoked. I love/hate the game, mind you but I try and do it at least once a year to keep me loose, remind me of the etiquette and to keep the folks at the Nike ball manufacturing company employed and covered with health insurance.

My buddy Steve and his family organize what is known as the Greater Krey Open every year around this time. He and I share very similar stories in that we lost a brother within a few months of each other in 2011 to cancer. Every year, all of the proceeds from this fun tournament are donated to cancer research. This year they raised more than $3600 for the cause and I can only say I was happy to be a small part of it.

But that is just the background for the hijinks that go on once the first guy tees off. I've determined that what I like about this "scramble" tournament is that everyone on the team contributes. Even on my worst day I can still h…