Early to Bed, Early to Rise…

The other night when we were in Cincinnati, we decided to go downtown to eat. As we were driving through the nearly empty streets, we noticed a shabby dressed man wearing a back pack and carrying a large cloth bag.

He was obviously a street person and since we sledom see them during the day, I commented that he must be settling in for the night. Sure enough, he disappeared into a thick clump of bushes along the side of an overpass. And, since it was only 7:30, I though “early to bed, early to rise….”

Michael Jackson.

Well, Michael Jackson died yesterday. That was a bit of a surprise. I know that he hadn’t been looking too well lately but I didn’t expect him to die, or at least not as quickly as he did.

I grew up listening to him and the Jackson Five. He was quite the entertainer. Of course, his private life was something else, but then again, so is Britney’s.

Now, I am sure that given the suddenness of his death, there will be those who will speculate that he is not really dead, kind of like Elvis. Who knows, five years from now he may be spotted in a Burger King in Kalamazoo having lunch with Hoffa. I guess, like Elvis, he will be remembered long after his death, unlike Red Foley.

I just hope that Janet doesn’t have a wardrobe malfunction at the funeral.

No Escapes!

On our recent cross country trip, we noticed a Catholic high school that had a chain link fence around it. While normally, such a fence is not unusual, this one had razor wire on top of it.

This, of course, led to speculation on my part. Initially, I thought it was to protect the school from unwanted invaders such as Protestant boys trying to seduce Catholic girls.

But then, another thought struck me. Since I have heard the horror stories from my Catholic school co-workers, it may have been to prevent escapes.

I suppose the razor wire is cheaper than gun towers.

Birthday Bash.

This last weekend was Birthday Bash.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Birthday Bash, it is a free country western music fest sponsored by a local radio station that is held each year at the Ionia County Fairgrounds.

This years event was a little different.  On Friday, there was an above average amount of rain.  And, since the fairgrounds are on a flood plain next to the Grand River, the place started flooding on Saturday.  By the end of the event on Saturday, many cars were under water.

The Sunday event was canceled.  I guess it could be called Birthday Bath.

The Video Store.

In the past, our video store had their videos arranged alphabetically. And on the outside of the video case, it was labeled as to the genre. But, that became too complicated for those folks who had to shelve the returned videos. So, they started just shelving the videos based only on the first letter of the title. This made thing much simpler. The “A” movies go on the “A” shelves, the “B” movies go on the”B” shelves, etc.

Now, they have stared shelving the movies based on the genre and then alphabetical. This makes renting a movie a little more complicated if you are looking for a specific title.

“Beaches” for most people would be considered to be a drama but it is often categorized as a comedy. “Ben Hur” is considered to be an action movie yet it is classified as a drama. So, if you are looking for a movie, you can’t tell if it is not available or if you are looking in the wrong section.

This too shall pass.

Furlough Days, Lights on, Nobody Home!

Today is the first of what will probably be many furlough days.  The State doesn’t have enough money to run the government and the governor and the legislature can’t agree on a budget.  So, the state workers end up with unpaid days off.

Every few years, we get a pay raise but then we loose it with furlough days.  And, if the furlough days were consecutive, we would be able to draw unemployment but they are not.  So, we get nothing, not even extra vacation days.

Of course, a few years ago, the legislature voted a 34 percent pay raise for themselves.  After all, it is hard to make ends meet when you are a full time legislature that works less than 1,000 hours a year.

Unfortunately, the poor people on unemployment will have to wait until next week to get their money.  Who knows what next years budget will be like?

The motto of state workers is “well, at least I have a job.”

The Wild West.

Lowell has a store that specializes in custom fitted saddles. It is right on main street.

Now, in order to have a custom fitted saddle, you need to provide the horse for which that saddle will be used. This means that just about every Saturday, there is a horse trailer on main street and of course, a horse.

While this may sound like the wild west, in actuality, most of the horses are used for polo. I guess if you can afford to have four polo ponies and the trailer to haul them, you can afford a custom saddle for each one.

Life is good.