--Most of the time when someone makes a joke there has to be the butt of the joke. Someone or something has to take the hit for the joke to be funny. When I am in a crowd or on TV and I feel a joke coming on I will try to make myself the butt of the joke because I know that being the butt of the joke won't bother me. And if the joke is good enough to make some people laugh then it is worth it to me to be the butt. Most of the time it is not personal or meant to hurt. And people benefit from the power of laughter.
Having said that…there is a website based around certain clientele of the Wal*Mart chain of stores. I am not a huge fan of Wal*Mart. I think the company is bad for business overall. I know many people love the store and that is fine. We don't all have to agree. But this website makes certain people the butt of the joke. To me the website is funny. But I can see where some people would find it offensive. This is all leading up to a disclaimer for the video link I am about to post.
Someone wrote a song based on that Wal*Mart website. I just watched the video to the song on YouTube. Someone sent me the link and I am now passing it along to you. Some of you may be offended…and some of you will laugh. All of you are more than welcome to share your thoughts on the video with us by hitting the feedback form below.
--Gas was $3.85 this morning at the Circle K in Mattoon. Let me say up front that I watch gas prices every day from Mattoon to Decatur…and the Circle K on DeWitt and 19th street in Mattoon is ALWAYS higher than other places on my commute. There is a BP station 14 blocks to the west that is usually 10 or 15 cents cheaper than the Circle K. Lemme just say…if gas really is going between $4 and $5 a gallon this summer I will have to seriously reconsider what I do for a living and where I do it. It could conceivably make it cheaper for me to find a job closer to home because I am driving over 500 miles a week. President Obama recently said that higher gas prices is a sign of a stronger economy? It certainly could be. But from where I sit it will also kill a stronger economy.
--I do hope you had a good weekend. Mine was fairly lazy and fun. Entertainment wise this weekend had a lot happening nationally. There were a couple of golf tournaments, college basketball games, the NBA All-Star weekend, the start of the NASCAR season that got delayed until today due to weather, and of course last night the Oscars. For the record…I didn't watch any of that this weekend.
--On the way to work this morning I listened to a fascinating radio show on "Coast to Coast AM". I'll give you that most of the time the guests get a little odd on that radio program. But this morning they had a guy on that was an FBI informant working undercover in white power groups. It was fascinating. The guy's name is Brian Holland. He has a website and a new book that is out. I will put the link to his website right here and you can check it out if you like. On the website it tells you how you can buy his book, which details his 11 years working as an informant. In the book he supposedly outs some politicians that are involved with white power groups in this country. I may put it on my list of things to buy…
--Yesterday Faye and I took a 5 miles stroll around Mattoon. The weather was great for this time of the year. And we walked through parts of town where I have lived at various times. It is weird walking today in places where I walked as a little kid almost 30 years ago. It is interesting to see how much has changed…and how much has stayed the same.
--Last night's big snow storm was a bust! Okay…in all fairness I don't think anyone said we were expecting a snow storm. It was possible for an inch of snow north of Interstate 74 and that could still happen. The rest of us south of that only had a chance for a bit of light snow last night. As far as I can tell no one has had anything south of McLean County. We could still get some snow and rain showers today. Otherwise it will be windy and colder than yesterday. All in all…unless you were wanting several inches of snow…we are in pretty good shape!
From David (2/21/12):
My idea of gun control is hitting what I shoot at. Keep it up!!
I'm still not convinced that people need to have assault rifles. But man…they are fun to shoot! The problem with gun control is that it only impacts the people legally owning and using guns. Criminals will probably always be able to get their hands on the weapons they need.
Aight! That is it for this week! Enjoy the weekend…
--Seems that the gas price test alert I was sent the other night was spot on. A couple of gas stations in the area were at $3.69 a gallon on my way to work this morning. Pity.
--Routine is fairly important to my life. Because I get up so early, like many others do, it is important that I do about the same things around the same time. That way when I wake up in a fog I can still make sure that everything gets done that needs to get done. The routine gives me enough structure that I can sleepwalk through it sometimes.
This morning I learned that my dogs may know my routine better than I do now. At one point I was putting some clothes on and talking to my boy Boomer. I told Boomer that it was about time to go to bed. As I walked up the stairs I called to him…but he just stayed where he was. I went up stairs and realized that I still had something to do upstairs before it was time to go back downstairs into the basement where Boomer was. So I got through that part of my routine and went back to the basement to put my pants on. After I put my pants on I started to put on my shoes. That is when Boomer got up and walked over to the steps. See?? He knew that putting on my shoes was the last thing I do when I am in the basement. He knew it wasn't time to get up until I put on my shoes! Yeah…he is brilliant.
--Winter returns to us for a day or so. Today it will just be rain. But tonight through tomorrow we could see a bit of snow. I don't think we will get enough to add up to much. But it could be enough rain/snow to make roads slick in the morning tomorrow. The wind is going to pick up tonight out of the northwest and colder air rushes in tonight into tomorrow morning. Don't worry, though. It looks like we will hit 50 degrees again by the end of the weekend…
--A friend of mine gets text message alerts based on the price of gasoline. He emailed me a text he got last night warning gas consumers (which is just about all of us) that gas prices are expected to jump up to between $3.59 and $3.75 a gallon in the next 48 hours. This is not definite. But the people that do these text messages are fairly accurate in their predictions. So if you are running close to empty it seems this morning is a good time to fill up.
--Yesterday I jumped back into Twitter. I tried it about a year ago and it only lasted a week. Twitter just isn't as interesting to me as Facebook. But recently this TV station has been making a push to get all of us on Twitter. I'm sure the station has a reason (most likely marketing) for making us do it. And that is fine. I'm just not sure how much I am going to use it. If I really had to guess I will probably use it strong for a week or so…and then get addicted to it.
Here is a link if you want to follow me on Twitter. I will likely put that link up above next to the Facebook link and Faye's new business link.
--On Friday around here we do "Feedback Friday". Basically if you have something to say about…anything…hit the feedback section at the bottom of the blog. If you have a lot to say you'll be better off sending me an email with "Blog" on the subject line. On Friday I post the feedback for all to see.
--You may have noticed for the past couple of weeks I have been fighting a cold off and on. Yesterday I think Faye and I figured something out. It isn't a cold. It is allergies. This morning is the first time in a couple of weeks where I actually feel pretty decent. I took an Allegra this morning and am feeling mostly clear. The dull headache I've had for a while isn't there anymore, either.
I think the big change is because I went to the gun range yesterday with my good friend Scott. The gun range in Effingham is basically in the woods. And being out in the woods really popped my allergies. So when I got home yesterday afternoon I was coughing and sneezing and basically blowing all of that crap out of my head that has been building for weeks. And this morning I am feeling much, much better.
My guess is there are a lot of people dealing with the same issues. And my other guess is that it has a lot to do with our warmer-than-average, mild winter so far this year. We haven't had a serious, long freeze that we usually have to kill a lot of what is in the air and on the ground. I seem to recall reading recently that some "experts" think it will be a rough spring for allergy sufferers. I've never really been one to have to deal with allergies. But as I get older, especially over the past couple of years, I can tell that it is starting to change for me. Oh joy…
--Speaking of the gun range…while I don't think I am ready for the sharpshooter competitions…my "game" is coming around. I can't hit the side of a barn with my snub-nosed .38 handgun, but I am fairly good with a .22 pistol. And of course I'm pretty spot-on with any rifle and a scope. And I can destroy pretty much anything with my shotgun. But then again…anyone can pretty much destroy anything with a shotgun. This shooting stuff has been a lot of fun…and I am glad I took it up as a hobby last year. Again…I don't see myself ever shooting anything besides targets, home invaders, or Zombies. No animal kills for this kid unless my family is starving.
--You'll notice this morning a new link on the blog up at the top. My girl Faye has become a consultant for Norwex products. The link at the top is to her new Norwex Facebook page. Her FB page isn't so much a sales tool as it will be an informational tool. There is a lot of information in that woman's head and she'll share it with you for free on that FB page. Obviously the underlining point is for people to purchase the products from her. And you can get the link to do that from her FB page. But to go to the FB page and benefit from her knowledge won't cost you a dime if you don't want to spend a dime. So take a second if you are on FB and hit the link above…then "like" her page and start the learning!
--Our stretch of warm continues this week. Nice day today for the celebration of past Presidents. Lots of sunshine for most of the day. It'll get a little bit breezy this afternoon but that will help us get warmer than average…again. Tonight into tomorrow morning we should see some fairly light rain move in. We'll get rain through the morning tomorrow and start drying out into the afternoon. All in all…pretty nice!
--Here is a bit of a confession…it is possible that I may want to start jumping rope once in a while. I told you about my time at the Mount Zion Grade School last week to support the kids and their two week jump rope fundraiser. Part of that day was jumping rope with the kids. I was at the school for around an hour and a half and a lot of that time I was actually jumping. Here is the confession…my legs are still a little sore!
--Have you been following this Iran situation? Most of our allies have begun threatening a trade embargo to help Iran decide to kill their nuclear program. Naturally Iran doesn't want to do that. Israel is saying that they might soon start popping Iran's nuclear facilities. Things are generally becoming even more tense in an already tense part of our world. Now Iran is saying that will no longer export oil to a couple of European nations. Bottom line for us at this point…it's only going to continue driving gas prices up. Some are now saying we should expect to pay $4 a gallon by summer. Oh joy…
--Yesterday's Jump Rope for Heart went off without a hitch! The Mount Zion Grade School kids were great. I made some new friends. Big ups to my new homies Big L (Landon), Ashton, and The Cubs Fan. This old man jumped rope for about an hour and a half. Of course I wasn't jumping straight through that hour and a half. There were times where we were watching a video on trick jumps and times I watched the kids show off what they have learned. And okay…really…most of the time I was watching other people. But just the fact that I learned how to do the criss-cross should be enough!
--Last night on his blog JC Fultz posted an article he found that was written by the National Weather Service in Lincoln dealing with why we have had the winter we've had so far this year. If you're interested in that explanation check out JC's blog. Here is the link.
--The other day I received great news from my friend Wendi, the woman that started B. Lime, The Green Store. Several months ago she shut the store down. But now she is in the process of selling the store to a couple that have the time to make it work! As more details become available I will let you know. It will be nice having a locally-based place where you can buy "green products"!
From Nannette (2/10/12):
hey Greg here an other thing about using bugs as dye. In India they use different kinds of bug to dye their vivid colored clothes .just thought I would throw that in.
Nice! Yeah…that little snippet on how many things are dyed got a lot of attention from people. Sorry if we spoiled red M&M's for you! Since I posted that blog I have heard from some people saying that not all companies use the "bug process" anymore. Bottom line…we eat bugs while we sleep sometimes. It will take more than a little story about crushed beetles to get me to stop eating M&M's!
From Mary (2/13/12):
hey greg, i had a Norwex party last year. i love their products!! i use the rags on my car windows. FINALLY something that dont leave streaks!!! Plus it makes them look so clean that u wonder if a window is even there! we also have the wet and dry mop heads. they work wonderfully to. my grandson has allergies so we have the dusting mitt also. I dont know much about Norwex either but love the products we have from them. I think they are based out of Canada. Have a good day and Keep up the good job u do on WAND!!
We're really getting into the products, too. When you start researching the chemicals that most households use you start to be horrified by what they contain. I found out that the chemicals in most fabric softeners are the leading cause of pancreatic cancer! Did you know that?!?! We sure didn't. As soon as we can we are switching to Norwex dryer balls.
Faye is in the process of becoming a Norwex consultant. So soon she will be looking for people that want to host a party, get their house cleaned for free, and earn some free Norwex stuff. Stay tuned for details on that! We're looking forward to having fewer and fewer chemicals in our home, to be sure.
That's it for this week! The weekend is looking pretty good as far as the weather is concerned. I am saying mostly sunny both Saturday and Sunday…but I am starting to get a sneaking suspicion that there will be more clouds than I am saying. Either way…it will still be a great weekend if you work to make it so! Be well…
--Ladies and gentlemen…I do believe I am fighting a cold! I woke up in the middle of the night last night with that all-too-familiar scratchy throat and I could feel my sinuses getting irritated. At this point my throat feels okay. But my nose is getting stuffy. I've taken an allergy pill and begun eating Halls Defense vitamin C drops. So we will see how this goes.
Maybe exercise is just the thing I need to push this cold out of the picture. As it turns out exercise is what I will be getting later this morning. The Mount Zion grade school is having an all day jump roping event. Officially it is called the "Jump Rope for Heart Day" and it is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Apparently the kids at the school have been spending time during February learning different jump roping techniques. A few people have been invited to jump rope with the kids and I am honored to be one of those people.
I'll be there a little before 10. And I hope I don't fall over dead from too much jumping! (Was that joke too much for a grade school event? Maybe…but I can never tell…)
--One of my complaints about my hometown of Mattoon has always been the lack of better dining. Of course I've spoken a lot this past year about the Custom Smokehouse and that remains my favorite place to eat in Mattoon. For one…my cousins own it. And secondly they really do have great food. Yesterday for Valentine's Day Faye and I tried another restaurant in town. It's been open for a couple of years but for some reason we had yet to try it. Faye had breakfast there several days ago with her Mom…and while there they learned of a Valentine's Day special. So before she left Faye made our reservation…at 4 yesterday afternoon. Yeah…with my schedule we eat pretty early!
The restaurant was Bidwell's in Mattoon. It is in the uptown area across the street from one of my best friend's Sound Source Music store. We're not talking fine dining here. But by Mattoon standards you could consider it upscale. The staff was outstanding. The food was terrific. And it is a Bidwell's store…which means they sell loads of chocolate! The dining area is on one side of the room. And while seated you look to the other side of the room and you see the chocolate displays. It was really a nice experience we had yesterday at Bidwell's. And we bought some chocolate on the way out of the store. My guess is we will put Bidwell's on our short list of places to eat in Mattoon!
--Today is Valentine's Day! I hope it is special for you and your significant other. For those of you that are flying solo this year…don't give in to bitterness! Enjoy the time to yourself and know that it is usually when you are comfortable with yourself and stop looking that you actually find a great fit for yourself!
And lemme grab a line or two here to say hello to my Valentine…who took the time last night to cut out several red hearts and plaster them all over the house. So this morning as I was getting ready for work I kept finding these paper red hearts. It was fantastic! We've been watching old episodes of "Sons of Anarchy" the last week. Faye even made a "biker logo" with a big heart on it…and on the heart were our names. Lovely!
We have reservations at a place in Mattoon for dinner. Because I go to bed so early we usually eat pretty early. We were told by the restaurant that we will be the only people there for our reservation. Even though the lady laughed at us for making the reservation for such an early time…I think it works out better to have the place to ourselves!
--Winter is going to show up in a way we haven't seen much of this year. Later this morning the snow will begin to move through the area from west to east. It will be fairly light through the day today with some of us getting up to an inch. Tonight business picks up and we are expecting one to three inches of snow by early tomorrow morning in any given spot. There is also the chance that some of our southern counties could see a little freezing drizzle which could ice things up a bit. Just keep in mind for the next day or so roads are going to be a mess.
--Along those lines…while this may be too late to help with this upcoming event…someone sent me a link to a product that might give you shovel free snow removal. I think it melts the snow. I don't know. But I thought I would provide you with the link so you can check it out for yourself! Here is the link.
--Have you ever heard of Norwex? I'm not quite clear on the entire line of products that this company does. But we've recently decided to try their home cleaning rags. I'm not sure how the stuff works…but we no longer use household chemicals to clean anything. It is all done with these rags. Faye knows a lot more about these things than I do. But I've been using these rags for a few weeks now and they are amazing! I even use one in the shower and it has greatly reduced the amount of soap I have to use…which of course saves me money. Does anyone have any idea about these products? Hit the feedback section below and clue me in if you do!
--We've got some light snow showers on the way by the end of the morning. Later today the wind will turn out of the northwest and get a little gusty. That will bring in colder air as we get through the afternoon. So…the roads could be slick today because of the up to ½ inch of snow. And the temperature will begin dropping into the 20's through the afternoon. Tonight we bottom out in the middle teens…but the snow will stop late this afternoon. Yep. It's still winter!
--Yesterday I posted an email that Stephanie Summers had sent me the previous day. It was pretty much a riddle that I left you with yesterday. I challenged you to figure out what the email was about. As it turns out there are many correct answers to the question. But there was one main reason Stephanie looked this information up in the first place. At the end of the blog this morning I will tell you what prompted her to do the research.
From Jacki (2/9/12):
Is it Yoplait yogurt???
It very well could be, Jacki!
From Sue (2/9/12):
As gross as it may seem, Cochineal is used for food coloring. Ever drank a strawberry shake? yup. you drank bugs.
Very good, Sue! After Stephanie sent me the email I did a little more research and learned how many things this stuff is used to color…
From From Brigette (2/9/12):
A cluster of females.
Cochineal insects are soft-body, flat, oval-shape scale insects. The females, wingless and about 5 millimetres (0.20 in) long, cluster on cactus pads. They penetrate the cactus with their beak-like mouthparts and feed on its juices, remaining immobile. After mating, the fertilized female increases in size and gives birth to tiny nymphs. The nymphs secrete a waxy white substance over their bodies for protection from water loss and excessive sun. This substance makes the cochineal insect appear white or grey from the outside, though the body of the insect and its nymphs produces the red pigment, which makes the insides of the insect look dark-purple. Adult males can be distinguished from females in that males have wings, and are much smaller in size than females.
It is in the nymph stage (also called the crawler stage) that the cochineal disperses. The juveniles move to a feeding spot and produce long wax filaments. Later they move to the edge of the cactus pad where the wind catches the wax filaments and carries the cochineals to a new host. These individuals establish feeding sites on the new host and produce a new generation of cochineals. Male nymphs feed on the cactus until they reach sexual maturity; when they mature they cannot feed at all and live only long enough to fertilize the eggs. They are therefore seldom observed. In addition, females typically outnumber males, due to environmental factors
Gross. Thanks for that, Brigette.
From Nannette (2/9/12):
DING DING DING!!! That's what I was specifically looking for yesterday…
From Virginia (2/9/12):
I have always heard the red dye coating on M & M's were made from smashed beetle carcasses,(ground to a fine powder) a popular colorant which makes the deep red shade not only in M & M's but in fruit juices, gelatins & even shampoos. Makes you wonder what the other colors are made from....And that Stephanie! She has brains AND looks! Think you guys have a keeper there!! :)
That's exactly right, Virginia…on all counts! Red M&M's are dyed with this stuff…Stephanie has brains AND looks…and she is a keeper!
From Amanda (2/9/12):
Food coloring additive used in all kinds of products. . even cheddar cheese! It's crazy to think about what is really in our food.
My sister is a biology-type person and she posted on my Facebook wall yesterday that "ignorance is bliss". She was referring to this issue and basically saying that we really don't want to know what is in our processed foods. Me thinks the younger sister is correct!!
From Jeffrey (2/9/12):
I think Stephanie's email to you refers to a color of dye that is being used as a food coloring as well as in lipstick. Am I right?
Yep. You are correct, sir!
From David (2/9/12):
At first I figured it was lipstick and cosmetics, possibly food coloring. Then I cheated and searched it. I was right, basically, but I hadn't thought about meats.
What brought this on? Stephanie must have been really bored or just trying to gross you out. LOL
I hadn't heard about the meats, David…but it doesn't surprise me!
Now for the reason Stephanie was looking this up! She said that she had just bought a big bag of M&M's when a friend mentioned that they were dyed using dead bugs. Stephanie didn't believe the story so she looked it up. Turns out her friend was right! I don't think that she finished the bag after she learned the truth.
Please do be careful today on the roads! And enjoy the tiny little blast of winter we will have this weekend. Lows in the teens and highs in the 20's. Don't worry if you don't like the cold…it's going to warm up again next week!
--Yesterday morning I received an email from one of my coworkers. If you watch StormCenter 17 Today in the morning you will know of whom I speak. Her name is Stephanie Summers and she is one of the news anchors in the morning. Stephanie is a fine anchor with a great personality. She is a lot of fun to work with on most days, too. However…
Yesterday's email that she sent to me disturbed me to the very core of my being. There isn't much else to be said about the email. The one part I will not tell you is to what the email is referring. What I will do is post the email for you to read. And when you are done reading the email you let me know if you know what Stephanie is talking about. Hit the feedback section below and tell me what you think this is about. Or if you have a lot to say you can always email me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the email:
From Stephanie Summers (2/8/12):
A deep crimson dye is extracted from the female cochineal insects. Cochineal is used to produce scarlet, orange and other red tints too. The coloring comes from carminic acid. Cochineal extract's natural carminic-acid content is usually 19–22%. The insects are killed by immersion in hot water (after which they are dried) or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. Each method produces a different color which results in the varied appearance of commercial cochineal. The insects must be dried to about 30 percent of their original body weight before they can be stored without decaying. It takes about 155,000 insects to make one kilogram of cochineal.
Any idea what this email is talking about? I will give you a hint…it is quite possible you have eaten one of these products in the past month. Hit the feedback section below…
--Today is my Father's birthday. There is little chance he will read this today because he is retired and out of the country for a while. But maybe the message will reach him in spirit…or something.
--There is a friend of mine that has served our country overseas in the past few years. He is back now and living in Illinois. I don't feel I should give you any details of his service to our country because I am not military…and I just don't feel I have the right. But my friend saw action "over there", and has had some very cool assignments in the States. Anyway…he is back now and starting a business.
Have you ever heard of paracord? I certainly had not until I met John. Apparently it has something to do with the material with which parachutes are made. It's a strong fabric. And my friend John has started making some very cool products out of paracord. I was with John this past weekend on Super Bowl Sunday and he showed me some of his wares.
With his past in the military (Marines) John has learned many, many skills to help him survive. Now is he bringing some of that know-how to you with the products he is making. I'm not really sure how to describe it…so I will just give you the link to his Facebook page for his products. Once you are on the Facebook page you can find links to his EBay store where he is selling these unique items. I don't think you have to "like" his FB page to get to the links, as I know some of you Gregorians that read this blog are opposed to Facebook. So just hit the link I am going to give you to get to his Facebook page and then you can find the product links to his EBay.
The Kid served our country with honor. I figure the least we can do is look at what he has to offer. Here is the link.
--I am admittedly late in getting to this. Of course last week we celebrated the rodent that predicts an early or on-time spring. That rat's name is Punxsutawney Phil. Someone sent me a link to a story on another TV station's website about Phil's year-round home. When they aren't pulling him out of that little box the morning of February 2nd Phil actually lives in a library. How quaint! Although I am somewhat mocking the situation…when I read the article I was somewhat impressed. Here is the link to the story.
--Once again this morning we find ourselves with fog. It is not as widespread as yesterday's fog. So we'll call it a "patchy fog". Like yesterday it will also be a freezing fog. So this morning we are calling it a "patchy freezing fog". Yesterday morning's dense freezing fog gave us a very cool "hard frost". Basically what happened was the moisture from the dense fog settled on trees and weeds and grass and then froze. It made it look like a Winter Wonderland for most of the morning. I don't think we'll get that kind of widespread scene this morning. But with the patchy nature of the fog some isolated areas might very well repeat yesterday morning. Just drive safely and enjoy the show! Also…if you are driving this morning…turn on your friggin head lights. It's the law.
The Suits might prefer that I tell you how great the Super Bowl was last night, and how outstanding the commercials ended up being. However…I did not watch one second of the game or the commercials. We went to some friends' house in Champaign yesterday afternoon after we shopped a little bit. I did watch about five minutes overall of some pre-game coverage. I watched long enough to be embarrassed for Jimmy Kimmel as he did a little promo interview to hype his show, including finishing it with a poor Tim Tebow impersonation that I thought was embarrassing. But that was the extent of my attention to the Super Bowl this year.
The biggest reason I just didn't care is because I am a life-long fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Had the Cowboys been in the Super Bowl I would not have gone anywhere on Sunday. I would have been at home watching the entire game in seclusion with maybe Faye if she wanted to watch the game. If she did not then I would watch the game completely alone. That way there would be no crowd to distract from the game. For big games or events like this, like WrestleMania, I prefer to view alone. I've been to parties for WM or the Super Bowl where you're around people that don't really care what is happening on the TV and they are loud through everything. Well when I watch a big event on TV I like to bathe in it. I enjoy the actual game/event, I enjoy the commercials, and I enjoy the commentators. And I don't like to be distracted by anything.
But this year my team wasn't in the big game. And I am not a fan of either team that was in the big game. And frankly…as a Cowboys' fan…I loathe the New York Giants. And since my best guess was that they were going to win I decided that I really didn't want to make the effort to watch.
The other big reason I did not watch the game is because I have to get up so early. I go to bed around 6 on "school nights" and the game really doesn't get going until after that. Again…if the Cowboys would have been in the Super Bowl I would have bitten the bullet and stayed up to watch the game. But they weren't in the game so it wasn't worth it to me to watch.
--Tonight is a huge event at Lake Land College in Mattoon. To celebrate Black History Month the Arts & Humanities Task Force is bringing in some fantastic blues musicians to enlighten us about the history of blues. J.B. Faires, local musical legend, and "Reverend Robert" Bobby Reynolds…just before he leaves to tour the UK…will be there tonight. The best part? This concert will not cost you a thing. It's free! We are going and looking forward to a great time. It starts at 7. Here is a link to the event if you want directions, etc.
From Sue (2/1/12):
That is awful about Faye. I have done the same thing before, only I hit the corner of the door jam. Either way-OUCH.
It is nice to know that people are concerned for her, but they obviously do not know you or Faye well or they would never have considered abuse!
True enough, Sue. As much as it may hurt to admit…my friends are probably correct. Faye is a tough chick and there is no way I would try to hurt her! She has fire in her belly…
From Karen (2/1/12):
Glad to hear Faye is doing better. My husband can relate to what you've been going through. Several yrs. ago we were in a furniture store and while walking around I fell over a metal bed frame that I hadn't seen at all as it was so low. They had just taken the mattress off 10 min. before and had neglected to move the frame. Both my legs were cut and my face hit the floor and broke my glasses and I ended up with a black eye and bruising. My husband took me to Sarah Bush and when they saw me they had a guard escort us as they thought I'd been beat up. Since the store was paying my bills it was soon cleared up. Same thing with the eye Dr. He questioned me as well. I was starting a new job right after this happened and boy did I have to use some makeup tricks. I'm glad domestics are taken seriously, but it's hard on innocent people when accidents happen.
I'm sure it was just lovely to enter a new workplace looking like a boxer! I guess on the plus side at least you weren't still interviewing during the bruises.
From Elizabeth (2/1/12):
Greg, you and Faye both have my sympathy! I know how it feels - - about a year ago I hit my forehead on the corner of a cabinet, and within a couple of days was sporting the "Rocky Raccoon" look. And the reactions my Dear Hubby and I got from people was unbelievable! I had friends - long-time friends at that - asking me "What did he do to you?" which was really aggravating, because anyone who really knows my husband would know that he would never, ever do anything like that to me. He is the sweetest man on the planet! Also, one evening we had to run some errands at the Mall, and you would not believe the dirty, hateful looks he got from total strangers passing by. It's amazing (and quite sad) that people just jump to the conclusion that I was battered by my spouse. Very sad commentary on how our society is.
Hope she is all better soon!
The people that have questioned us about how it really happened haven't really bothered. I understand why they ask that. The part that bothers me is that we live in a society that has so much domestic violence that people really have to ask the questions.
From Dave (2/1/12):
Hey Greg, Ole Dave here again. I wanted to let Faye know that she has my deepest sympathy for the fall she took. I fell much the same way in the hospital once, and as you so appropriately accounted, my face was the body part that broke the fall. This a very painful experience and it sounds like you handled it well. I did have some broken skin in a couple of spots. She is fortunate the she had none. I have seen her picture and she has a very beautiful face. Hope everything returns to her as before. And to add, the Greg that I know would never ever hurt this lovely lady. He is too much the gentleman.
Geez, Dave…that is by far the nicest thing you've ever said to me! Thanks, Buddy.
From Don (2/1/12):
Don again… I have the same problem. My wife bruises very easily because of the medication she takes. So there are times when she looks 'beat up". I have commented to her that the "abuse squad' is going to haul me away some day on account of this.
Like I've said…I certainly understand why people question. And I understand why people don't believe the real story and ask again. Too many times victims of domestic violence, male or female, make up stories to cover up what has really happened. I don't really mind being questioned. I just think it is sad that it actually does happen as much as it does.
From Phil (2/2/12):
LOL...sharing a laugh here. When I saw the blog title..."All about Phil"....I said uh-oh, Greg is sore at me for posting his tu-tu video on Stacy Skrysak's wall. I forgot all about it being Ground Hog's Day. Whew! LOL!!!
Um, Phil…I didn't realize you posted that video until I received this feedback from you. Yep…you just outed yourself, my friend! Lemme just say…next time the header on an email alert says "All About Phil" you're probably going to want to check out the blog!!!
That's it for this week! Have a great weekend! If you are a fan of the blues and live music…try to make it to Lake Land College tonight. The musicians scheduled are FANTASTIC! It's a free event. And it should be a blast.
--Today of course is the day we all get together to worship the eyes of a rodent. If those eyes see a shadow then we are in for another six weeks of winter. If he does not there will be an early spring. Here are links to a couple of websites where you can read more about the legend of Punxsutawney Phil, who is reportedly 125 years old.
--In reality it has barely felt like winter at all so far this year. JC Fultz has some interesting facts about this on his blog over the past couple of days. If you want to take a look at it…just head over to his blog!
--This morning we are dealing with very thick fog. And for a little bit this morning there is the POSSIBILITY for freezing fog. It's not necessarily likely because of area surface temperatures…but it is possible and that makes it worth mentioning that slick spots could be out there early this morning.
Be careful out there! And we're keeping an eye on Phil and his eyes this morning!
--So I have this wonderful woman in my life, Faye. She has been mentioned on this blog now for around two years. I'm not really sure if I believe in fate or destiny or whatever at this point, but if there is such a thing as a soul's counter to itself in another soul Faye is that to me. She is a beautiful person inside and out. Her face could launch a thousand ships…etc…etc…etc.
Tuesday evening something bad happened. We were going through our usual routine. It was my bed time and Faye was studying for a big test that she was taking (and passed) this past weekend. As my day was wrapping up and Faye was making sure I got settled…she fell. Hard. It happened so fast it is hard to say exactly how the thing progressed. But as nearly as we can tell about the only thing that broke her fall was her face. Immediately upon hitting the floor she grabbed her forehead and said something like, "Oh no!" and maybe something else that I can't post on this blog.
I was on the scene is a jiffy. I checked to make sure she wasn't bleeding right away…and she wasn't. I kept her on the floor while I got her to move her hand so I could see the damage. Almost immediately a lump stuck out about an inch and a half, about two inches wide, and about four inches long right down her forehead. She had an abrasion but no actual pierced skin. We spoke for a couple of seconds…enough for me to know that she hadn't lost consciousness and was maybe a little bit in shock. I covered her with a robe that was lying close by…told her to stay flat and went to get some ice.
We began icing her forehead down immediately. I took a flashlight and checked her pupils a few times through the night to make sure she didn't knock herself cross-eyed. It was textbook triage, if you ask me! So eventually we got her sitting upright and then over on the couch to chill out. And all night it was ice for 20 minutes…rest for 5. The next morning the bump on her head was pretty large. It was noticeable but not likely to make kids scream in horror. There is a nurse on staff where she works so Faye went to her for a check up just to make sure things were still okay. The nurse told her she was good to go…but…that nasty little bump was likely to spread. I'm not sure either of us really bought into that last part.
By the next morning I started singing "Rocky Raccoon". Well…I only sang it once because it really didn't go over too well. The bruising had spread…right down into her eyes. For about a week now she has looked like a battered woman. I don't say that as a joke. Domestic violence is obviously a serious issue. And Faye has looked battered. And of course you know what that means for me! Since last week people have been asking her what happened. Some people give her "that look" when she responds that she had a clumsy accident at home. And a few people have flat out cornered her with "No really…you can talk to me about it…" The concern is bittersweet to me. Obviously it is great to know there are people that look out for perceived victims. But on the other hand it is sad to realize we live in a society where domestic violence is the first thing people assume when they see a woman with bruises on her face. In a Utopian world no one would even have to think about the horror of domestic violence.
And then there has been the response from almost all of our friends. They are, of course, firstly concerned to know whether or not Faye is okay. But when it comes to the question of "how it really happened"…they look at me and laugh! And then they say, "People really think that this scrawny dude could do that to you??? Faye would tear him up!"
Now…I would never joke about domestic violence…because there is nothing funny about it. But the responses from our friends have ruffled me a bit! I could hurt Faye if I wanted to! I really could! I'm a skinny dude…but I'm wiry! And I know some things! Oh, well. My friends still don't think I could do that to her. And deep down below my fragile male ego I am glad they realize that. Faye is doing and looking better every day.