From Kathy (7/24/13):
I'm glad Buster is doing well and the vets are sending you pictures and videos of him. I think my Springer spaniel should be the mascot of the weather dept at WAND. We can tell when a storm is on the way as she starts pacing the floor and wants to get behind the gate to the bathroom to hide. Only room in the house without windows. She learned the rules of midwest weather of hiding from storms. Best wishes Buster!
I will pass along your best wishes to my boy! We really lucked out in finding this vet. Our regular vet recommended him to us because our regular vet doesn't do surgery of this scale. And really…so far we could not be happier. And frankly not only have they been giving us great customer service but they have also saved us thousands on this surgery and rehab. Honestly…we've talked about moving to Savoy just to be closer to this vet. We have enough animals to almost make it worth it.
From Jennifer (7/25/13):
So for some reason I can never get the link to work properly for feedback so you will have to deal with me sending this email. I wanted to respond to your section on having kids and getting older (big surprise, right?!) I don't know if you know this but my dad was 40 when I was born. When I was little, his age never seemed to be a factor in our father/daughter time. I remember days sitting there styling his hair and serving him tea. Then it became our nights watching Monday night boxing. As I have gotten older, it is almost as if I was better off having a dad who was older. I feel his "older" mentality about life set me up for adulthood in the sense the decisions I have made for myself and my family are financially sound and are more stable than many people of my age. My thoughts on debt and needs/wants definitely are not in line with most of my friends. This in turn has created a better way of life for my family and I know it is due to the way my dad taught me to value hard work and invest wisely. I also have had 3 jobs in my working career-one for 9 ½ years while working the other job 3 days/wk and at my current position I am working on my 7th year. Again, I attribute this to my dad because "back in the day" you didn't bounce from job to job. There was something to be said for loyalty to a company. So I guess in all of this rambling the moral of the story is that there are MANY benefits to having older parents. I like to think I am a more, well-rounded adult because of it J
Take it for what you will but know the positives far out way the negatives. Oh, and by the way-my sister just had her first at 42 :-)
Well…you can probably influence changes on this website more than I could, Jen…so good luck with the feedback link here!
I appreciate your thoughts on older parents. You make very good points about having older parents. While eventually I wouldn't be as physically able to do some things with our kids there is a lot to be said for the wisdom that comes from getting older.
But then again…you've been on me for years about having kids. So maybe you just have baby fever! :-)
That's it for this week! It will be nice and cool this weekend…enjoy it!
I will just throw this out there…one month from today I will be 40. Honestly I don't think I have a real problem with it. But I have been thinking about some things lately, like the fact that I am just about 40 and haven't had offspring yet. At this point if we have a kid I will be 58 before the thing graduates high school, assuming we don't have an idiot and he/she would graduate on time. Is that a reason not to have a kid? Of course not. But it will certainly be outside of the norm. And naturally that would be perfect for me. Most of my life has been outside the norm, for whatever reason.
Another thought I've had is the fact that I have been at this station for 15 years. That isn't something I ever expected. When I was growing up I wasn't the kid that knew what he wanted to do. I wanted to do basically everything. And so far I have done a lot of different things. But I really did not expect to have any one particular job for so long. I think when I was younger and thinking about what I wanted to do I really did want to do a little bit of everything.
Changing gears just a little bit…I've been blogging about animals lately. Our house is a little wounded right now with one dog at the vet for 7 more weeks…so it has been on my mind. Someone sent me a link yesterday to something that is pretty cool, if true.
My boy Buster is doing very well. Yesterday I was in the area where he is staying so I dropped by for a second. I help true to our agreement that we would not visit him for 8 weeks because it would only confuse and depress Buster. But I stopped by the vets to leave a piece of one of Faye's robes for him. Most of the vets and vet techs I've talked to in the past weeks say that leaving something with our scent is a good way to help the animal through a long stay. So yesterday I dropped off a piece of the robe.
The people working at this office have been fantastic. Yesterday I walked in and told them who I was and why I was there. I also mentioned that it was probably ridiculous to leave a piece of clothing for our dog. But the two very nice ladies in the office told me that it was actually a very good thing to do. They also told me that I would be surprised what some pet parents bring in for their animals. Then they told me that Buster was doing great and everything is healing just as hoped.
I will be completely honest…I had to leave the office sooner than I wanted. I asked the ladies if there was a way for me to look at Buster without him seeing me. They said that they could have one of the techs take him out for a walk and I could see through the window. I thought about it for a second and realized that it would be too much to see him like that without being able to hang out with him. And while hanging out with him would've made me feel great it would have left Buster upset that I was leaving. And of course that thought got me a little choked up so I hastily began my exit. The last words I said on the way out the door were thanking them very much…but my voice was cracking! I felt pretty foolish, I guess. But I don't care. I love that freaking dog.
Later that day one of the nice ladies sent me a picture and a few videos of Buster that they had been taking the past few days. I'm telling you…we are thinking about moving to Savoy just because this vet's office is so good…
Yesterday a friend of mine went home for lunch to find many of her neighbors close to her house. She lives there with her Mom so her first thought was that something happened to her Mom. But when she went inside she found out that it wasn't something with her Mom…it was something a lot scarier and weirder.
A mirror that has been sitting in the same spot for a year caught the sun coming through the window and reflected it onto the window casing. The window casing got so hot from the sun that it started smoking and actually caught fire. Fortunately there was just a little burn spot on the casing so no real damage. But how crazy is it that after a year the sun finally caught the mirror just right and actually burned something?? I guess there may be a lesson or warning in there somewhere. Keep your reflective devices away from open windows!
We had another stormy overnight. Overall it was a pretty wet weekend. Now I realize that the Decatur area did not catch much rain. But in Mattoon we've had over three inches in the past couple of days. I know this because I finally put my rain gauge in a good, accurate spot. Yesterday morning I emptied almost 2 inches out of it. We had more rain when I was leaving for work this morning and I haven't even checked the gauge yet.
On my way to work I saw a cop pulled over on 121 with his lights on. I slowed down as I approached because the light in the area was looking kind of weird. I could only see the flashing lights and partial light from his headlights and it was casting weird shadows all over. There was something in front of the squad and it was not another car. As I was just right up on the cop I realized that it was a tree that had blown onto the east-bound side of the road! So the squad was there to warn traffic until the crew came to get the tree out of the road. Now I am not talking about branches. This was a tree. So there had to be some serious wind with the storm that had just gone through that area.
I don't necessarily want to make this blog all about my dog Buster for the next 8 weeks. But I've mentioned him a bit lately so I thought I would give an update this morning. The surgery was a success. The vet said that there was more damage that he saw once he got into the knee than the xrays showed. He told us there was that possibility when we were there for the consult. Apparently Buster just shredded the thing.
So the vet ended up fixing the torn tendon. And while he was in the knee he had to remove what ended up being a shredded meniscus. But the good news is that the vet said having to remove the meniscus will not impact anything at this point. The way they fixed the knee rendered the meniscus moot anyway. So now the only thought is how much pain Buster really had to be in with a completely blown knee.
Buster came through surgery very well. The staff that I spoke with a couple of times yesterday (ahem…I may already be over-calling them!) said that Buster was on GREAT meds and feeling good. They took him for his first walk last night. It was a short walk and just to get things moving again. In the coming days they will pick up the intensity slowly and get him ready for therapy. So that is that.
From Kathy (7/17/13):
I'd be more surprised at the weather if I woke up this week and it was snowing outside. That would be a big news event. Everyone need to remember its July and last time I checked July is usually hot and humid. Everyone stay safe and check on your neighbors.
Good points, Kathy. While it has been a little warmer and muggier than usual…it is still pretty close to what we typically get this time of the year.
From Jim (7/17/13):
Regarding your kind comments about me…. Thanks Greg.
I wouldn't necessarily say that you are a liberal: You seem more like an open minded man who often has no opinions at all. That's the way all news people should seem. On the other hand, I don't give a damn whether people agree with me or like me. Some of my closest friends and relatives are liberals, yet we still love each other.
As to the Trevon Martin / George Zimmerman case: The district attorney should have never even tried that case. Zimmerman should have stayed in his car (as asked) of course, but he broke no laws that I could see. He exercised his 2nd Amendment rights and that pissed off the liberals and their too powerful "news" media who showed us old photos of a cute 12 year old boy instead of his recent mug-shots. Since the verdict, there have been several black on white murders but those mindless killings almost never hit the mainstream news. Is there a malfunction here? Of course there is.
If a Republican had been our President during the Benghazi, or the "Fast and Furious" disasters… our news media would have already had them impeached. Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and Barry Sortero are given a free ride, so I ask the simple question: WHY? I think I know the answer, but even I don't like it.
I'm still not sure that it makes a difference who the President is at any given time. They have all done things that are questionable. I think the machine of our government is much bigger than any one individual.
From Elizabeth (7/18/13)
Greg, I don't agree that Buster is "just a dog" - - he is a member of your family, and you do what you need to do for family, right? We are the same way with our cats, we love them, we take care of them the best we can. I just tell people my 'kids' walk on all fours and wear fur coats year-round. :)
Here's hoping Buster does well, and that you and Faye get through it well also. You will miss him a lot the next 2 months, but it will be a very happy day when you are back together as a family!
True, Liz. He isn't just a dog. I guess I typed that to pacify the people that would argue against spending so much money for a dog.
Yesterday was a rough day, especially for Faye. Since I was working she had to be the one to drop him off. Fortunately she did not have to work yesterday. Boomer and Buster were her dogs before we met. She rescued them from an older gentleman that beat the dogs in front of her. She was only going to the guy to get one dog. But after she saw him mistreat them both she took them both. So it is even harder on her to be without Buster for two months.
That's it for this week! Thank you very much for the words of support for Buster. More good news…for those that do not like the heat…today will be our last day in the 90's for a bit! Storms tonight could get strong. But once they clear things will start getting a little bit cooler.
--Yesterday I was going off here on the blog a little bit about hyperbole in regards to weather. My point was that we should really settle down a little bit in regards to our mini heat wave this week. It is not historical heat we are experiencing…it is just a bit warmer than normal or average. Someone sent me a link to some weather data for Argenta. So here is the link to that if you are interested.
--Later this morning my wife Faye will be taking our dog Buster to the vet. A couple of months ago Buster blew out his knee and now he has to have his knee basically reshaped and rebuilt. I've mentioned before on the blog that Buster is our "all boy" dog. He loves to play and be wild. So it is not really surprising that he blew out a knee. The problem is that with the surgery he is going to have today he will need a lot of inactive downtime so the surgery can "take". After a couple of weeks he will start therapy to build everything back up. That means that we would have to keep him crated all the time and I would basically have to carry him into the backyard several times a day so he could go to the bathroom.
Well our vet presented us with another quite affordable option. Buster will basically be staying with our vet for about 8 weeks. While he is there they will keep him crated and inactive. They will take him out to go to the bathroom the way it needs to be done. They will do a laser procedure to help his incision heal quicker. And when Buster is ready they will start him on underwater treadmill therapy to build his leg muscles back up. It's really a fantastic rehab program.
Yes…I know Buster is just a dog. And I realize that he will be getting better medical care than a lot of humans. But I don't care, and neither does Faye. He is our kid and this is the route we have chosen for him!
The downside to all of this is that our vet recommended that we do not visit him for 8 weeks. The vet said such visitations are really just to make the people feel better and often leave the animals feeling confused and depressed. So when I left Buster this morning to come to work it was the last time I will see him for about 2 months. Really…that is going to SUCK.
I was listening to the radio this morning like I usually do. A few stations around the area run national news segments at the top of the hour and most of these stations use Fox News. So this morning I am listening to the Fox News update to see what happened while I was asleep. Apparently what I missed was people's skin literally melting off of their bodies.
Hyperbole is an expression that basically states an extreme. For example it is hyperbole when someone says "this is the greatest night in the history of our sport". Well…it likely isn't the greatest night in the history of the sport. More than likely it is just a very good event and the person speaking is caught up in the moment. There is an expression I've heard that I like to repeat. "Don't be a prisoner of the moment". That expression basically tells people to have some perspective.
So back to the newscast I heard on the radio this morning. According to the newscaster this morning you would think that it has never been as hot as it is this week in the history of the world. He was talking about the heat and humidity on the East Coast, although the heat and humidity is also here in the Midwest. But considering the East Coast is the major epicenter for news in this country what happens there is always the biggest thing in the country.
I'm never a fan of hyperbole when it comes to weather. Frankly…most of the time the weather we are having is not historical. Often times it skews cold one way or hot another. But rarely do we break records. And even when we break a record you have to remember that those records only go back to the late 1800's. So even when we are having "record breaking" weather you have to have some perspective.
Fox News is hardly the only news outlet that does this. From what I can tell all of the major news outlets are guilty. I don't think it is responsible. I think it leads to "cry wolf" situations. See…if whatever weather we are having today is the worst weather in the history of the world then we will be numb to alerts when the stuff really is hitting the fan.
Have I bragged on my wife lately? Well if I have I am sorry…but you will have to indulge me again. Faye is her name. She's a runner. It is nothing for Faye to go off on a run and do 6 or 7 miles. At the beginning of the year Faye set certain goals for herself. She wanted to run more and she wanted to help more people.
Coming up in a couple of weeks she has found a way to hit both of those goals. During the weekend of Decatur Celebration, the first weekend of August, Faye will be running with many other people from Mattoon to Peoria. The run is to help raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude's does tremendous things for sick kids and never charges the families a dime. To help handle the costs of these services they need money. So this is a great way to get this group of wonderful people some much needed money.
Faye has a goal for this run and she could use your help to reach it. Anything you can contribute is appreciated. So if you have an extra $10 or whatever…please hit this link and know that it will be going to a GREAT cause. Thanks for your support!
Big things happening over the weekend. The biggest in the country was probably the Zimmerman trial verdict. A few people have asked me what I thought about the verdict. Honestly…I don't think too much about it. I was not on the jury. I did not watch every second of the trial. I did not see the evidence in the trial. So I do not have an opinion on whether or not the jury made what I would think is the right decision. I know there are many in the country that do not think justice was served. But as is often the case I don't think most of those people have enough information to make that call.
The entire situation is sad. A kid is dead. But there is a kid that dies every single day for various reasons. It is always sad to me when a child dies. I am not sure why this particular trial grabbed so much attention. We have shootings in Central Illinois where sometimes children die. Chicago has an incident like that just about every week. Why did this particular shooting get such national attention? I am not suggesting that it shouldn't have. But I wonder what makes this one shooting stand out so much more than any of the other thousands of shootings that happen every year?
For some reason I have not hit the blog much this week. I am not sure why. Maybe it is vacation lag or something. Next week will be better! But of course there would be some that argue if I don't have anything interesting to say then I shouldn't be blogging anything. And there are others that would say I never have anything interesting to say! But enough about my family…
There was one piece of feedback from when I was on vacation that I wanted to post. It is from our friend Jim in Taylorville. Jim and I correspond once in a while. He is a veteran of this country and that is VERY near to his heart. Jim is also a much more conservative person than I am, although I am not as liberal as he likes to suggest! I find him to be an interesting guy and I truly admire his dedication to our country and maybe more importantly his dedication to the people that serve our country in the military. Anyhoo…this feedback has a nice message at the end, although done in "Jim's style"…which can be abrupt! (Come on Jim…you know I am right!) <grin>
From Jim (6/28/13):
Congrats on your anniversary! I'll soon be having my 41st one unless my wife has a sudden outbreak of intelligence. <grin>
As I've mentioned before, I'm no fan of Dave Ramsey because he's a financial extremist in my opinion. I do however subscribe to his general life philosophies, and he's a good man. Here is how I differ: When my wife bought an expensive new car recently, we used a car loan rather than to pay cash for it. As a result we maintain an extremely high credit rating, which seems more logical than having no credit rating at all. As well we have another year to go on a tiny home mortgage. Both of these loans are extremely low interest rates, so those costs don't worry me much. It's a comfort for me to know that I can walk into my bank and instantly borrow a huge amount of funds at any time I might need or want. Credit card debts are the very worst, and I will admit to once having too many. My wife recently told me that we'd run up a $5,000 balance on a card, mainly because we'd used it to purchase several airline tickets for our entire family. Paying cash for an airline ticket is a fool's game… the credit card provides a safety net should the airline declare bankruptcy. The same is true for anyone (like me) who buys things via the Internet. Cutting up all credit cards may be fine for a multi-millionaire like Dave, but I'll be keeping mine. Living totally "Debt Free" with no credit rating at all is not anything that I plan to do.
I have professionally borrowed millions of dollars during my life and used those loan funds to earn my own living. I've always paid back every dime, and have never walked away from a debt. I may not be near as wealthy as when I was young and healthy, and in fact I am now (at 64) just a common southern Illinois boy again. I formally dress up most weeks to honor our fallen USA veterans young or old. Us American Legion volunteers wear our white gloves and silly caps to fire our 21 gun salutes at these funerals out of grateful respect. We buried two men last weekend and tomorrow we have yet another one.
If you really want to know what "debt" is… then ignore our veterans and fallen heroes. You will be in a debt that cannot be re-paid.
Agreed, Jim. Dave is a financial extremist. I think this stems from his own personal financial struggles before he figured things out. He loathes the banking industry and anyone that financially preys on people. So I think he is so extreme against borrowing money because there are so many people that do not responsibly use credit. Just look at the average consumer household debt, or the HUGE student loan issue that is going to blow up at some point like the housing crunch of a few years ago. His method is extreme…but some people need that.
That is it for this week! The weather for a while should be fantastic! A little warmer and more humid to start next week and there is an outside chance we could catch a storm or two by midweek…but I am not even putting that in the forecast at this point. Dig it!
Have you been keeping up with Stacey Skrysak? She does a blog on this website and is prominent around here on other social media. She has also been going through quite a struggle with babies lately. Stacey found out a while back that she was pregnant with triplets. She has shared on her blog a lot about her journey to have kids. Her tale includes their struggles to get pregnant, the joy of finally getting pregnant…with 3 babies no less, the tragedy of an early birth that caused the loss of one of her babies, and the ongoing struggles and triumph of the other two. Through all of this Stacey has been keeping us up to date on how things are going.
Honestly…I don't know Stacey very well. We've spoken many times around the office. She has always seemed like a very nice person. We share a love of animals. We even each have a dog that will share a common surgery soon, it would seem, as our Buster has blown out a knee as her dog did several months ago. There are other things we have in common that I won't get into on this blog or anywhere else. But I know Stacey enough to know that she is quite personable, very funny, and a very sharp person.
It would also seem that Stacey is a very strong person. If you have yet to do so you should give her blog, FB, et al, a look to read up on her pregnancy struggles and triumphs. I'm sure the struggle has been a tough one but Stacey seems to be taking positives out of some horribly tough negatives. I don't want to gush about it here…but if you need something fairly uplifting in the next day or two just give her blog a look. It is quite compelling…
Vacation was a great trip. Vacation was much needed time away. Vacation is something with which I don't plan to bore you…so I will spare you the slide show. But it was a fine time. Faye and I also shared our first wedding anniversary in an extremely special way. The two people that stood up with us for our ceremony as witnesses got married on July 2, 2013, one year almost to the hour of Faye and I. More special than that…we were their witnesses, too. Really…it was special.
So I come back refreshed and feeling more centered than I have felt in a long time. It looks like this week will be hot and humid to start but get very nice into the weekend. Lauren and Kevin survived filling in for me while I was gone, as I knew they would. It was Lauren's first time filling in for me and the morning newscast is a completely different beast than anything of our other newscasts. From what I have been told she handled it well. I guess I am basically saying that all is right with the world!