Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years-The 3 Rs-Reflection, Rebirth,Resolve

Reflection: I always think it's a good idea to look back over your accomplishments,challenges, and even disappointments of the past year. It helps you realize it was not all bad, or all bananas in Eden either!
Rebirth: We all tend to plan a better year than before, making resolutions, vows and in general to be better at whatever the hell we think we should be!
Resolve: The tuffy! It requires a backbone to accomplish some of our goals, and it is a hard thing to do! I am great at doing anything (losing weight, quitting bad habits, etc.) but not forever. I must learn to moderate my goals in order to have a fighting chance of having them last.
I wish you all success with your 2007-May it be as good as you planned it! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Are Your New Years' Eve Getting Old?

I look back upon the many New Years' Eve parties I have attended. There were dances, dinner dances, house parties, pay at the door parties,etc. There were some great times had, with great friends. About 10 years ago, we started to put on a gourmet dinner for our sons and their friends (or girlfriends!) before everyone left for the drinking part. This assured they at least had a stomach full of solid food before the boozing began! This year, I am making my Wicked White Chili for my sons' girlfriends' parents party. We are bringing an appetizer to a Texas Hold'em card party with friends(wives&husbands!) which should minimize my efforts. It's a bitch to get old-not for the obvious reasons, but for the ones you didn't see coming! Like staying awake 'til midnight instead of staying awake all night!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas- The Aftermath.....

Christmas Eve went great, with the ribs&sauce coming out tender and tasty! All were in good spirits and left before I had to kick them out!
Christmas Day, I had committed to smoke a 10lb prime rib for dinner. I have done many things in a smoker, but never the "King of Meats"! Came out tender and tasty-not overdone, and not too smoky. Two days in a row of cooking as intensely as I did leaves me somewhat drained. No more special meals 'til New Years' Eve!
The gifts were well recieved by all. I wish the kids would stop giving me stuff, as they know they have plenty of other spots I'd like to see them spend it!
It was good to see my son in from K.C. as it has been a year since we were out there. He is putting a tutorial on my computer so I may someday show pictures of the events and things I describe so poorly in my words alone. Hope everyone had a wonderful time, and hope the New Year is even brighter for all!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Look! I've Got An Avatar!

The soon-to-be-famous logo of Buffalo Dick!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve at Buffalo Dicks'

It is our year to host the party! We have worked all year to have the major rooms in our house renovated before this time-and we did it! My son from K.C. came in last night and said " The place never looked like this while I was growing up here". I told him we had decided his parents would never have anything nice until he and his brother grew up and moved away!
It was a home. That meant dog and cat hair, dented doors, stained carpets, and a place where people were comfortable because they were welcome. One of our sons' friends came in from Phoenix. We had not seen in two years, walked in yesterday, grabbed a pop from the fridge, sat down at the table and proceeded to play catch up on all since we talked last. I asked him what he thought of our remodeled place. He liked it, but it was obvious he had been more interested in us than our surroundings. That's what you want!
Today, I will be cooking all day. Menu tonight; BBQ Ribs, w/homemade bourbon sauce, herb meatballs in a brown/burgundy sauce, shrimp w/2 dipping sauces, potato casserole, full relish tray, and a white choco cheesecake,drizzled w/bittersweet chocolate, then topped w/a raspberry Chambord sauce. Rolls,candy,nuts,beverages,etc. as you would expect. We really like the people coming tonight, and are looking forward to seeing them all again. I sincerely wish you all have that same kind of day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Being Nice To Customers During The Holidays

Every year when the Holidays roll around,(in my job) you really should thank your customers for the business they have done with you in the past year. This results in delivering nuts, candy, calendars, a rather hectic manner. Then there are the ones that you are friends with, so you show up to their luncheon, bring home made goodies, etc(again!) 2 yrs. ago, I brought a customer some of my competition chili for his whole shop. Guess what they want for their Christmas luncheon? You got it! This stuff is about 1-1/2 hrs prep (another 1/2 hr shopping) and 3 hrs cooking. I'm flattered, but this time of year I don't have alot of spare time after cooking/baking the normal Holiday stuff! I'm sure you all have the same type of stories about hectic schedules-Good Luck with yours!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Puzzled, But Not Displeased....

It started Thursday, with a road trip to meet with Management. They were presenting our new compensation program, and they met with us individually. It went well for me I guess, being no better or worse than our last deal-but this one is simpler. The hue and cry from others what not so favorable! The next few weeks should be interesting. During the midst of all this, I got a phone call asking if I would be interested in another job. The timing was spooky,but talked a bit with the individual and found out it was a legitimate company with a pretty good offer. Out of left field I get another phone call from another of our VPs asking me to help out in his division-with further compensation! I swear to God, more happened in 24hrs than has happened in the last 5 years! I don't know what any of this means, but will puzzle it out! I just want to start focusing on the holiday season and try to enjoy.
Today, if all goes to plan we will have our main floor rooms covered with new doors and hardware. This will wrap up a goal we set 1 yr ago to have our entire main floor completly redone by Christmas 2006!
Shop,bake,decorate,but try not to let the season control you-You control the season and enjoy!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Career Or Job-Which One Do You Have?

I have been in the same line of work for over 33 yrs. I did not intend the metals/steel business be my lifes' work- It just sort of happened. I was working in Product Design for a year after college, when a week before I was to be married-our project was cancelled and I was let go. When you are young, these kind of things bother you! I interviewed at three places, taking the easiest job because my self-esteem was a little missing, and my new wife-to-be didn't have a job yet either! After a couple of months, I noticed technically advanced people were not in abundance in this industry, so I stuck around to see if that might be an opportunity. It was.
My father was a salesman most of his career. I remember as a little kid him coming home frustrated and sometimes a little "wound up" from trying to get people to buy something, only to have them choose other options. That is why I decided on engineering! Your gene pool has alot to do with how you turn out, as my technical training and natural gift of gab made me a perfect candidate for the job I've had for 30yrs.!
However, after a long time in the same field-especially when it is not in growth mode, you ask; wouldn't it be cool to try something else? It's your career-but are you happy? Life is an unknown. Maybe we all ought to make sure we are living it the way we want.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Recital Reception Menu-Caterer Buffalo Dick

Friday night, my sons' girlfriend will participate as a principal in a music recital. Afterwards, she is responsible for a reception serving food, and beverages(punch). We supplied and served the food last year-to rave reviews (free!)! This year, because of the talk of the great food- attendance is probably double. Great! We will be serving Korean flavored NY strip kabobs, Jamacian jerk chicken kabobs, A pasta salad made for a guy ( colored spiral pasta,ham,cheese,pepperoni,olives,onions,bell pepper,eggs,in a sauce combo of Italian garlic and Parmesan creamy), designer cookies, a sheet cake decorated to theme, and a relish tray-featuring Polish roses(onion wraps). Alot of work after working all week, but if we didn't do it- it wouldn't get done!I am sure by event time (Fri. nite) we will have already done all we will for the weekend!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

First Christmas Party Of The Season

Tonight, we must drive 90 miles to the Big Beaver Hunt Club Christmas party. Husband and wives affair, with oodles of food, drink, and Chinese gift exchange. If you don't know what that last one is, here goes; Men bring mans' gift, women bring womens' gift(wrapped). Numbers are drawn from a bowl, equaling number of people there. Low is bad, high is good. The reason low is bad is because the next person drawing can take your unwrapped gift, or pick a wrapped gift if they don't like yours, and on and on. A gift can only be "stolen" a total of three times. Some people get very annoyed, but we do it anyway. My wife and I have never gotten a high number, and every year come home with lame ass gifts! We could stay the night, but don't-which makes for a long drive home.
The appetizer I'm bringing is a cream cheese/green onion/sharp cheddar/horseradish filling, wrapped up in a piece of thinly sliced medium rare roast beef. They got gone last year, and was asked to bring them again. Hopefully, this gathering will help me get in the holiday mood, because honestly-I am not there yet!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cell Phones- Technology Marches Forward

Today I had to pickup a new cell phone. I had close to 12,000 calls on the old one, and under the plan I'm on had a new one coming free. I have dealt with this Verizon branch for about 10yrs, and everytime I go in there it's bigger, with more staff. I was greeted by two young people who literally blocked my way. "What do you need today,sir?" "A loaf of bread-which isle is it in?" Then I was put in front of a touch screen to load my own ID into it while they watched. I pointed out I did not need them, as I know the drill on how to get a new phone. The real sales person came over, and everything went fine after that. You will never go into these places and say "same phone as before" as they are obsoleted w/in 18 months. I got a phone that does at least 70 things I will never use, and that was a rather base model! I can actually check my E-mails on the phone, which is pretty cool! They downloaded all my customer contacts into the new phone for 10 bucks, saving me 4 hrs of loading time by hand.
As my previous entry said-I'm just trying to keep up!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Computers-How Did We Ever Get Here?

Today, I must play "catch up" on all the reports I am behind on at work. All sales people in our company are hooked into our computer system from home, so if we want we can work 24/7! When I started in the business, computers did the billing and inventory only. People placed orders thru the mail, or phoned them in. No car phones, no e-mails, no CAD,etc.
With the innovations in computer technolgy, I now work more hours than I ever have! My cell phone minutes average 2500 a month(over 40 hrs.!) My work computer time is probably 25hrs. We as an advanced nation, now work harder for less.
On the upside we can play games, communicate with friends, shop w/out the driving/searching hours, and used properly-have more leisure time!
It has changed America and the World. People of different generations communicate differently, and have problems because of it. On the other hand, the world has probably never been able to communicate better! I do not know where it's going, but I am going to try and keep up as best I can! Good Luck to all of you trying to do the same.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving A Little Different This Year

I'll be baking a couple of pies after this entry. My wife went to the funeral home for visitation-her Uncle died. I would have gone too, but tomorrow I have to attend a memorial service for a friend and didn't feel up to 2 days in a row in that environment.Our gathering this year is small, with traditional food the menu. Turkey, sausage/sage stuffing, hash browns in a cheesy casserole,Homemade rolls- and pumpkin pie. I like a bigger group, but people have other obligations. A quiet celebration, which might be appropriate this year. You all enjoy yours, however you spend them!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Anonymous "Neighbor" Rant

I am mildly-to-medium pissed at a so-called neighbor of mine. Yesterday, we recieved a letter from the Towmship we live in. The content of the letter was polite (as my wife is friends w/the big cheese!)but told us we were complained on for a barking dog.
1. We have lived here longer than anyone else, and have had a barking dog(all Airdales) in this house for 25yrs.
2. We have never had a complaint against us in the entire time we've lived here.
3. There is only one person where we live that doesn't have a dog, so guess who might have complained?
4. We let my dog out in the morning when she barks to go-I'm not going to make an animal wait until there's an accident on the carpet!
5. A real neighbor would have just come over and told me his problem.
People who avoid working together and communicating with others hold back progress to a better world. A guy like this ends up with more grief than he thought he had in the first place!
I am a loyal friend-but can be a determined assho*e when necessary. We will do our best not to leave the dog out past "doody time", but if there were more dogs watching the neighborhoods, there might be less crime.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Deer Camp As Usual...

Nothing of the extrordinary to report. Sad. I have seen these people under the influence of adult beverages do some pretty funny sh*t! It is a bitch to get old! All your wild times start with "Remember when..." I will have to go back to times gone by and list a few funny moments trying to shoot an innocent deer..

Waiting in pitch dark for dawn in car drinking spiked coffee, dumped whole scalding cup in my crotch. Felt kinda good at first, but then it got colder...

Bow hunting w/best friend when walking behind him on game trail, he hears something. I was looking at trail, and saw fresh tracks. Stabbed him square in the ass with my arrow when he stopped. Ever see a 6'2" guy on his tippy toes? Pretty damn funny 'til he turns around...

Following year, same "friend" has gun slung over shoulder,walking in front of me when he trips-.308 Browning goes off 1 foot from my face. Deaf for about an hour...

1st year eldest son hunts. Sat about 100ards from him to make sure he'd be OK. I see him jumping around like something attacked him, run over there to find out his boot lace had come untied and he thought it was a snake!

One year, after heavy drinking previous night, stumbled out to a blind I had seen once in my life. It's pitch dark, and I know I'm close but can't see it. Back up to get a different perspective, trip over log and land in the chair set up in the blind!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Deer Camp- American Male Version Of A Girl Teenage Pajama Party.

I am off to "Deer Camp" later today, with my youngest son. For 2 days we will eat, play cards,eat, drink,shoot pool,eat,and oh yeah-hunt for a deer. At least 8 others will be there(big place) telling jokes, giving each other sh*t, and catching up with stories of our lives since we last gathered. A good bunch of people, who will all bring enough food and booze for the Russian Army if they stop by. We are from all walks of life, some wealthy, some not, some well known in their life-but not always for good reasons! I hope to hear some new jokes I can share, and I'm sure I can get a blog or two out of the unexpected happenings in the next few days!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ramblings Of An Amateur Cook-Buffalo Dick.....

A short critique of Celebrity Chefs;
Rachael Ray- Has never eaten anything she didn't like! Messy cook, but a great smile and personality!

Emeril- Great cook, nasty accent and cornball presentation.

Bobby Flay- Cocky but likable, probably doesn't cook all that much anymore.

Paula Dean- Most annoying. Even if you're down South, you don't have to say "Ya'll" every other sentence!

Some the best cooks in the world don't have TV shows, probably because they're busy cooking!

To name a few- Paul Kirk (Baron of BB-Q)Get his books!
Steve Raichlen-Same advice!
Taste of Home- A magazine featuring recipes from good home style cooks from all over the country. Skip magazine- Once a year they combine them all into 1 cookbook(buy that instead!)

Today, I plan to put 5lbs of beef strips(marinated) into the dehydrator and make about 2-1/2 lbs of jerky for Deer Camp. I also will be smoking 2 bone-in turkey breasts that have been brined and injected- for about 7 hrs. New smoker-wish me luck!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Son Got A Birthday, I Got The Present!

I occasionally like to play Michigan State Lottos' Keno game. You can pick and bet up to 10 numbers(out of 80) for as little as a dollar, or more if you wish. I usually play the same numbers every time $2 a line, 5 lines, but in honor of my sons' birthday, I played his day,date,year born,age,birth wt,and length at birth. 9,11,77,29,6,10,21. I matched 6 out of 7 for 200 bucks, and the next line matched 5 out of 7 for 22 more! Play a hunch once in a while-you never know!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Birthday to Jet Packs!

If you get a chance today, try and wish Jet Packs a Happy Birthday! He is the reason I have a blog at all. You see, Jet Packs is my son, and I wished to have an opportunity to read his writings(which can be pretty good!)and have a little more communication with him-as he does not live close by! Right now he's got kind of a neat video worth watching, that combines music, science, and propane! Thanks!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

From Contestant To Judge

Recently, my wife was asked by a co-worker if we would judge a chili cookoff held by their church. As my wife has a vocabulary that doesn't include "No", we were booked to judge today. I was warned they have never had a chili contest, and the categories reflected that! Hottest, Sweetest, Homestyle were new ones on me. I also warned them of a possible lightning strike on the building, as I haven't been a regular visitor in these structures. It went pretty well, as there were no really bad(or good!)chilis to pick from. As they had a little prize for just about everybody, no one was bitching about the judges. God Bless Prilosec!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Over Til Next Year

Body count- Close to 90!
Young kids- Cute as heck in their costumes!
Older kids- Behaved pretty good!
Horror movies on last night- sucked!
Airdale dog behavior- Pretty good, but spent more time shoved in bathroom than a person with the trots!
Hope you all had fun, and be sure to check out the candy specials today! Next stop- Thanksgiving! (Unless you're from Michigan- then it's Deer Camp!)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween !

Candy bought- Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups (and backup York Peppermint Patties in case the kid is allergic to peanut butter!)
Weather- 55 F @ 6am, expected to drop 15 degrees w/wind by dusk.
Costume- Normal-looking suburbanite, except for theatrical quality vampire fangs ( got to remember to get some Poligrip on way home tonight!)
Expected visitors- 60-100.
Security Precautions- None beyond normal. Paintball guns have made eggs, toliet paper, soap and wax obsolete!(I hope!)
Hope you all have a safe, fun time tonight!
I used to run large Halloween Parties for the club I belong to.
I thought I'd list some of the costumes and funny moments for entertainments' sake.
Went as Caesar- Women kept trying to ck out what I was wearing under the toga!(jogging shorts-skimpy though!)
Went as Dracula- slicked my hair straight back ala Bela -people thought I looked better than normal hairdo!
Went as Vampire-Fangs kept falling out(and when they were in, I lisped like the biggest flaming gay in the building-and I was bartending!). On break, went down to Walgreens, went thru checkout as vampire w/Polygrip-and the night clerk didn't make comment one. Who goes into these places at night? I wonder!
Went as a "Parrothead"(Jimmy Buffett fan) Woman yelled "I know what your costume is-You're one of those peckerheads!"
Rest of night, got many compilments on my beak(Nice Pecker!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Planned Weekend of Nothing!

Did you ever make sure that a weekend had no planned activities? No "Wannas" and no "Gottas"! You may choose small jobs that require little time and no big effort to do, or maybe a spur of the moment "break" like breakfast out, or shopping for a little something you don't need- but want! Every waking moment of our lives does not have to be about acomplishments, or feeling guilty about lack of forward progress. If you ever see me in a Lowes or Home Depot on a weekend, it's because something broke- not because I can't wait for my next project! Enjoy your week end too!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Halloween Rant

Every year, some person or group decides Halloween is from the DEVIL!!! At one time the roots of modern Halloween might have been based on something wicked, but not anymore. It is a time to dress up, be an alter ego, party(kids and adults!) and revel in being scared in an entertaining way. I don't like people who are zealots. They are generally humourless, and if anything is needed in this world we live in, it's more fun and laughter. Large teenage kids yelling Trick or Treat bother you? Laugh when they come to the door and give them a treat! Intimidated by little strangers using extortion to get candy? This is the tradition-please support it as we are losing traditions to the politically correct every day. The key to enjoying any Holiday is to anticipate the fun, not the hassle!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sell My Clothes, I'm Goin To Heaven!

In the short span of a weekend, the Tigers are going to the World Series, U of M ranked No. 2, and the Lions won their first game! This is the equivilent to 5 planets in alignment! On a bummer note, we didn't place in the last chil contest, and last year 4 of 5 awards(We took 1st in White Chili!) went to experienced cooks. They went "local yokel" on us, with no team from anywhere else other than "hometown" won. For some of us with participation in many cook offs, this usually means we don't come back. If these organizers don't want the best , they shouldn't let us in the contest . Oh well, if that's the worst news I got, things ain't so bad!

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Meeting With The President!

Of our company, that is! I work for a corporation that has about 45 locations, and sells about 900+million a year. The last time we had a lengthy talk was the day I was hired-about 6-1/2 yrs ago. They are interviewing random sales folk on various subjects in hopes of improving the situation for both company and us. I was not selected. I was anonomously nomitated to him by either someone who knows my big mouth gets me into trouble every time, or by someone who knew I would be honest in my comments. It lasted 2hrs and was not as bad as I thought it would be! The Pres & V.P. were cordial and listened more than I thought possible. I got a chance to let them know I used to be (with another co.) a person that was consulted regularly and had a more active role in the decision-making process. We will see what happens. As they didn't fire me on the spot, I'm hopeful! It's Friday in Michigan and time to buy my Lotto ticket! I call it retirement plan "B". You wouldn't think matching 6 crappy numbers would be that hard, would you?!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

God, I Hate The First Snowfall!

It comes every year- you think you'd be ready. Nope. Unless you're a little kid, it reminds you of all the sh*t you haven't finished from Summer & Fall. I'm in Sales, drive quite a bit and watching all the amateurs relearn to drive isn't fun. Defensive driving goes to paranoid driving. The permanent puddle on the drivers side begins to form, as you jump in and out of the car with wet, cold shoes.
I know this first snowfall won't stay, but it reminds you what is coming. To all you warm weather bloggers, have a nice day! To all you cold weather bloggers- May God have mercy on your souls!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

BIG Sports Day In Michigan Today!

I have never written about sports on my blog, but I am a fan of two teams- University of Michigan football, and Detroit Tiger baseball! I would add the Lions, but the last time they won a championship, I was 5 and we watched it on a black&white TV! Today a big interstate rivalry-U of M vs Mich St. Also today the Tigers playing the Yankees at Detroit in what could be the next step to the World Series! I have a picture-in-picture TV (which I never use that feature!) and that's good because the games are starting at the same time. My bets are placed, and we'll see what happens! Oh yeah-I do yell at the TV, which scares the sh*t out of the dog.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Morale In The Workplace

Recently, another blogger (Liz with the lit devil horns) remarked on a workplace change in policy that probably resulted in a negative reaction on morale in the workplace. My company has lost some good people recently, because of increased expectations with no reward beyond "You're lucky to work here, things are worse everywhere else" mentality. When it became obvious there will always be alternatives for good workers, top management started asking the departing "What can we do differently?" We will see the result of this imput in the next three months. I am skeptical, but you never know. I do not work in a growth industry, and much of our customer base is gone, lost to overseas competition. We as a company are doing way better than most, but as humans we would like to see a carrot once in awhile!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Disfunctional Birthdays

Saturday, I will be "celebrating" my birthday. As events surrounding us have made a 1 day, read the cards,blow out the candles, open your presents, birthday impossible-this is how it is going. Last night my son came over with a cake, his girlfriend would show up later. He hadn't eaten so I rustled up a meal for him. My wife can't stay, dog hair cut at 6pm, her hair cut at 7pm. Girlfriend shows up, had not eaten and was cranky. Made her dinner after already doing this once. UPS shows up with my present(they treated me best, and don't even know me!), which was cool. Friday I must go into work REALLY early to drop off treat for office, then P.U. sister and hubby and run them to the airport. Tonight, we have to do dinner and theater with customers (dressed up) and I do not like to dress up on Fridays! Saturday is a Wedding, with reception I must attend. I don't know these people, and right now don't want to. If it sounds like I'm whining I'm sorry. I don't care if anyone does anything FOR my birthday, I mind when they do things TO me on my birthday!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The 2 Day Getaway-Needed It!

Sometimes you just need a change of routine, a change of scenery. We decided to pack lightly and head up north. We hit a couple of Indian Casinos- the one in Petosky kicked our ass, so we headed down to Traverse City to visit another one. Glad we went, as something took place that I really never thought I'd witness- My wife actually hit a jackpot! With $1250 of their money we headed for a hunting lodge we and 10 other couples own joinly to stay overnight. It was quiet but last month the water heater decided to crap, leaving a mess and no hot water. This is a pretty nice place, but doesn't get used as much as it should, so things like this happen. Next day, we went east to another casino, held our own and left to go further east to Linwood. What is in Linwood? A cheese factory I've always wanted to see. I am an addict, probably with 10 kinds of cheese in the house at all times. Pinconning is a favorite, and was invented here in Mich. On a whim I asked how much a whole wheel would weigh, and how much it would cost. I bought a 20lb wheel of cheese! Came home cut it up, vacuumed packed it, and plan to constipate all my friends and relatives with gifts of cheese. People who know me have come to expect this kind of insane behavior, leaving them puzzled but not displeased!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

We Met Blackie Dammett!!

Who the hell is Blackie Dammett you ask? I will start at the beginning of this chance encounter, as I prefer straight time line stories. My wife occasionally works for our township(elections,etc.) and she had signed up to work the 5 year census- where you go door to door and get a headcount of residents. She was getting behind on it, so I drove her around to help. The area she has is somewhat rural, hilly and some areas are quite secluded (rich!). At the end of a private enclave, we came to a place, where upon knocking, an older guy in mismatched jammies (715pm) comes out and answers the questions. My wife jumps in the car and says "He gave his name as Blackie Dammett!). I had heard the name before-but where? Got home and got on the Internet, and up it came. The guy was a booking agent for some major talent, and a character actor in the 80s- in numerous movies and TV shows. He was also listed as the President of The Red Hot Chili Peppers Fan Club (at over 65!??). Turns out his kid is the lead singer! Whoda Thunk?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chili Cook off For Gildas' Club

Saturday a friend and I participated in our 12th cookoff here(This year was 25th). It is the largest chili cookoff in this part of the world(43 teams) And for a number of years now the procedes goes to Gildas' Club. The weather was lovely, crowd was huge! Now for the rough spots- The Health Inspector was easier than normal, which was a 1st, but for the first time ever, the Fire Marshal showed up. What a dip shit! He made everybody move their prep/serve tables out from under the awning/tent we have cooked under forever. Imagine 100 people cooking, and in the middle of it, have to move everything. Our 4 Gal of chili sold out in 15 min (as usual) with plenty of comeback customers, and many" best here today" comments. The judging at this contest is done by a combo of local celebrities, and other non qualified people that makes your chances of winning on merit less than drawing names from a hat. We did not win anything, but a good time was had by all. Oh yeah- and my ex friends who said I cheated last cookoff? they looked like fools to all the people I talked to about it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bearing False Witness-Beyond Sunday School

You may have read my post about winning a chili cookoff 2 weeks ago. I have found out good friends(ex) later accused me of tampering with their entry. This was so ludicrous, I thought they were playing a joke, but I found out they were dead serious. These are people I started in the contests, helping them with learning the ropes. They have been very successful, and have won or placed many times. I have been about 40 contests, and have gone on record as offering any ingredient to any competitor if they forgot something. My statement was "I want to beat you fair and square, so there is no whining!" They tend to drink alot at these affairs, but most drunks are either forgetful or remorseful the next day. No witness to this alledged attack, just that their chili didn't win. This is about the only way someone can lose my friendship- lying about me.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If You Live Long Enough..Never Say Never!

My youngest son has been driving a POS car on its' last legs(tires). We told him when it died, we would sell him my wifes' car at a really low price. This was fueled by two desires on my wifes part- helping her kid AND getting a new car! FLASHBACK (20+ yrs) We were making fun of everybody our age with kids that ran out and bought a minivan. Every little league, soccer match,etc. were packed with these boxy underpowered vehicles, plastered with bumper stickers proclaiming "My kid was student of the month at BlahBlah Elementary" or whatever cause/group they made the poor kid belong to. Being an obtuse human being, I swore you would never see me in one of those yard ape haulers. FASTFORWARD TO PRESENT DAY- The world changed. The soccer moms went to SUVs that cost 3 times a minivan. The damn bumper stickers have gotten classier(but still annoying). And the minivans got cooler. After much research and a little shopping, the empty nesters bought a minivan! The current incentives, coupled with the fact that these transports are so flexible, economical, and really kind of fun to drive- sold us on what I swore I would never be seen in. Lesson of the day-DON'T SAY NEVER!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jeez, There's Alot Of Ranting And Venting Going On!

It seems everywhere I look lately on Blogs, someone is Ranting or Venting. This is an excellent place to get some of your frustrations off your chest/mind, but somebody out there has to have a good day once in awhile! People LIKE to hear good news -Share some!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our Dog- The Airdale Named Clara..

Our current resident Airdale Terrier is Clara (No,we didn't name her that!). She is our third Airdale, but the first we adopted from ATRA. M.O. of Airdales as a breed: Hyperactive, brain size of walnut (sorry to any sentient Walnuts out there), loyal, attention span of the common ferret, size ranging from 55-110lbs., extended adolecence (puppy until about 2-1/2yrs), WILLFUL. These dogs are a load! But the love, and joy of life they can project makes YOU feel younger! We drove 80 miles to look at her, and she was beautiful. The foster mom seemed to want us to take her pretty bad (she'd been in about 6 different homes in 3 yrs.) So we did. We got to know her quirks-guarding food, not liking resident cats, and wanting to kick the ass of any dog bigger than her. She snapped my arm tendon(for real!) while on a walk, trying to go after a dog the size of Godzilla. But as she realized she was really HOME for good, many issues got smaller/better. There are many "diamonds in the rough" in this world-look a little harder and you'll be amazed what you might find.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Craigo' Birthday- My Perspective!

This tale actually starts last spring, when a radio station(listener sponsored) had their semi annual fund drive. A "Day Sponsor" gets to have an announcement read on the hour for 8 hrs. It's tax deductable and affordable, plus I really enjoy listening to a station (WYCE 88.1FM) that doesn't play the same stuff over and over. You can even get them on the internet! Anyway, they screwed up 1st request (Anniversary) so we went with my youngest sons' birthday (8/28/). I noticed about noon they had not done the deal, so I called. Screwed up again-but would do for rest of day, AND give me another date! Listen 9/15 for my wifes' birthday message!
My sons' message went like this;" Happy birthday Craig from Buffalo Dick and the Goob! I am sure you had more fun that day than your Mom did". Later I thought about it, and he did NOT have a good day. They found out at the last minute he had turned and was now planning on coming out feet first(like a paratrooper). The Qu*ck who was our doctor started talking about Gods' Will. I started talking like he'd better have a better plan than that-like maybe a C section? Next thing, we're all in emerency mode, and C section it was. They handed me my son and told me to go sit with him while they finished up. I started counting fingers & toes (all there) when I noticed on his butt cheek there was aBand Aid.Knowing he was not born with this, I peeled it back. When they cut my wife open, they had stabbed him in the ass! Had a scar from that for years. We were so weirded out by that, my wife and I both got fixed!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saturday Victory!

Simply put, I won the chili cook off today! To be honest, it was a very small group of competitors- but some of the best in the area. The trophy was really cool (we love to win the "iron") and I immediately bought drinks for all the contestants with the prize money. A good day. I don't care who you are, or what you do-winning once in awhile is good feeling. Unless you are Tiger Woods, well, the rest of us have to take turns winning!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Nite Oddities

Our normal friday night usually consists of; Fixing a dinner that will either be exotic or simple (but never health conscious), then going down to a private club we belong to (kind of an upscale Polish hall) and hang out with friends for a few hours and discuss/bitch about our week. BUT NOT TONIGHT! My wife (who is of AARP qualified age) is going to a Bachelorette Party, with a woman a little bit older than her. A co-worker is getting married, so the party should be a mixed bag of ages/color/religions/etc. I will be premaking chili for a contest tomorrow (which isn't normally allowed), and hanging out with my Airdale Clara. She is a real joy to work with in the kitchen, as she weighs about 80lbs and can take up more space laying down than any dog on planet Earth. She also likes to wait for you to step over her before getting up and throwing your balance into chaos. I will also make sure my wife remembers to get a gross/obscene/suggestive gift for the lucky bride-to-be. Oh yeah, and last but not least, I know what i'm doing on my birthday in September-Sponsoring these people to rent the hall I belong to for their reception, which attendance is mandatory for the member. I hope I get to meet them before the wedding (Yeah, right!). Enjoy your weekend- Vent to the world on your Blog!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Golf... My Observations And Participations

Today was an annual golfing by a club I belong to that has nothing to do (officially) with golf. I play in this event mainly because I get to see about 128 members-60 or so of them I know pretty well and like, in a generally amiable contest (4 man scramble format). There is betting. "skins", "closest to the pin", "1st Place", etc. The skill level varies from people who virtually play every day to me-!st time this year. I was a "load" to my team. No practice, out of shape, and generally wishing I was really somewhere else. My car died at the gas station prior to picking up one of my team. Forgot cell phone for the 1st time in years. Arranged tow to shop, got friend to come get me, arrived in cloud of dust(rain actually) just in time to get to tee off.
Thought I was having a crappy day, when my friend of 38yrs tells me HIS bad news. His house was broken into and virtually everything of value (monetary or sentimental) had been taken or destroyed. About 40K worth, in addition to knowing his beautiful home was not immune from this kind of invasion. My problems were not worthy of discussion. We spent our round of golf trying to enjoy a moment with friends, out in fresh (damp,humid) air. EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE-So enjoy your enjoyable moments-reality will be back soon enough.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Painting Life With A Broad Brush

The world, thank God, is made up of many different people, who see things differently. This does result in MISUNDERSTANDINGS. Trying to communicate with people who do not communicate well can create mistrust, animosity, and to cut to the chase- a dislike of you. If someone doesn't get it- They think you are making fun of them. This has always bothered me, as for the most part, I have tried to see anothers' point of view, or at least been forgiving in their lack of understanding. Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever. Even if you are not the" sharpest tool in the shed", you still have the choice to be mean-spirited or kind. The same goes for intelligence,you can either help or hurt- but I feel it is your obligation to help. You got a bigger brush to paint with than they did.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Life Is For The Living

The older you get, the more read the obituaries-and the more names you recognize. Friday night, in "Services Pending" I saw that my barber of 40 yrs. had passed away. He had retired about 2 yrs ago, due to a serious health issue, that was to be terminal w/in 2-3 yrs.
The first time he ever cut my hair was easy to remember, as John F. Kennedy was shot that day. I was in elementary school, my Mom did not drive, and a barber shop had opened in the neighborhood that I could walk to. He was a nice guy who always had a drawer of Dum-Dum suckers that you got to pick from when you were done. When I reached that age where I didn't know if I should take one or not, he just said "There was no age when you had to quit".
He cut my hair through school, college, and beyond until he could not cut hair anymore. He probably heard more confessions than any priest or bartender ever did. He was the best listener I ever met, never passing judgement-but sometimes having a gentle comment that left you thinking. Good barber? Not really. Good human being? The best.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Updates And Musings

The casino trip posed a possible scientific experiment- My wife will sit at a .25 cent slot machine betting the max (.75). I will stand on the casinos' steps and light dollar bills. After 15 minutes, we will then compare how much was expended. I am pretty sure I will use less and win!
My son who lives in Mich. is going to visit my other son who live in K.C. MO. He is taking his girlfriend along, who I like, but can be a little divalike when she wants something. (Hope she never wants an Oompa-Loompa, as Wonka will be down one of the little orange guys!). I am sending homemade beef jerky, as requested. What taste reminds you of home? Every area of the world has a special flavor or treat that just can't be duplicated. I am hoping for every Midwestern person out there for a cooler week(tempwise AND luckwise!).

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Casino Gambling As Entertainment

Occasionally, my spouse and I endulge in a sin known as gambling. Indian casinos abound in Mich., and we can reach one in less than 2 hrs from our home. The experience is more than placing a bet. By observation, you can see why these places draw thousands of people from all walks of life. Most are older, as older people have more discretionary money, and old people don't need marathon fitness levels to push a button. They as humans however, still have a need to compete and hopefully win! Risk is always exciting, because even if you don't win-you were in the game. We keep it to a recreational level, tracking the win/loss so it doesn't get painful. If you can't do this, DO NOT GO. Enjoy your week end! Oh, and if I don't post a blog on how we did-quess what happened!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Working Poor

Today, myself and a couple other fellow workers went over to one of our customers, set up a big grill, and proceeded to feed about 50-60 people. This is a form of customer appreciation we use to thank the customer for his business, at a level all their employees get something too. Manufacturing in West Mich. has suffered the last 6 years, with many going out of business, or downsizing. Alot of those jobs don't pay much anymore, and it gets your attention when you see some of these people eat. They were grateful, and thanked us for our efforts, but I felt like I was feeding people at the local Mission. Try not to look down on someone who doesn't have the brains, or education to get a better job. Some of those people can't do any better, and still get up everyday and try to do the best that they can with what they've got.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tee Shirts-We Pay To Advertise ForThem!

Just for grins sometime, count the tee shirts you have gathered over the years. Dozens, I bet! It was either funny, or a momento from a trip, or someone gave it to you when they went somewhere. Regardless, this has to be a huge industry based on our need as humans to show everyone WE ARE INDIVIDUALS with opinions on obscure subjects. I have been responsible for a semi obscene one that states; "Buffalo Dick Makes Good Chili" illustrated with a scared cartoon buffalo standing on his hind hooves, covering his groin with his front hooves.(I cook in chili cookoffs, my name is Richard, and we use buffalo in the recipe. Get it?). Over 400 of them out there as far away as Japan.
Wear a nutty tee shirt soon to somewhere- it's a great conversation starter!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Results of BBQ Cookoff......

It went about like always- a few categories done well, most of the rest were middle of the pack, with one really low. We didn't get skunked though, as we finished 4th place in a major category-Brisket! The hard part was that it is the last event they announce before the overall winner, so we sat there not getting anything until the last moment. Very nerve racking after lugging,cooking, and cleaning for the last 30hrs! Not to whine, but the judging seemed a little strange this year- most categories posted lower scores than normal, with a couple of judges being quite a bit tougher than average. Oh well, done til next year!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Next Battle: Michigan State BBQ Cookoff!

Ever since it's inception(big word of day), myself and two friends have participated in this event. We are not professional cooks. We only do one BBQ contest each year, and this is it. We are not sponsored, nor do we have those big rig BBQ cookers you see on the Food Channel. We do all 10 catagories(dessert,potato,beans,veggie,Open class,sausage,chicken,pork,beef brisket, and ribs). In seven years we have taken our share of ribbons, and placed in the top ten of some catagories. It is alot of work, but we come back every year, with new strategies on how we can improve. We will never win with this level of commitment, but we can drive some of the "Big Dogs" crazy with our ability to jump up and take a ribbon or two! People have asked us if we have a restaurant, as most of the competitors make a living from cooking. Our answer is this: No! Too much work for too little money! Alot of the family owned places in W. Mich have gone out of business, mainly from chain restaurants getting so much better. I still seek out the "little guy" when traveling(or at home!) and patronize them. Let's not lose another neat part of Americana.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Teleconferences:How Humans Should Not Communicate!

Yesterday, I got to "participate" in a teleconference. Definition of this is apparently; The most important person(the boss) talks and everyone else listens or agrees. A meeting without body language or observing the attendees reactions is worthless- a memo would have served the same purpose. We as a species have never had more tools to communicate with- and have never been worse at it. When was the last time you wrote anything in longhand, besides signing a note, or card? The handwriting 100 yrs ago was better than ours, mainly because it had to be! With our new technology, we may be losing something we might need again someday.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Skip Headline- Read Article!

Headlines have more to do in raising your blood pressure than anything the article could say. It's like the lure, with the hook attached-gotcha! I am as guilty as anyone who reads this for the scars in my upper lip from this! It's sad that great newspapers have learned this from the Enquirer, Star, and all the other tabloids. I long for a good, responsible news source who still has integrity, and knows there are still literate people who would appreciate it. The title of my blog says it all!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rudder Broke, Drifting With Current...

Have you ever noticed times in your life where purpose has fled the scene? Forward progress halts, like the engine with no fuel. Upcoming events become" have to" instead of "want to", and it's like all the energy has been sucked from your still living carcass. I have found at these moments you must:1. Quit your pointless whining, and focus on a positive action. 2. Start being grateful for base needs(air,water,food,shelter,etc.). 3. Try and think about any base reason why you are bummed. You will have bad days-try not to turn them into bad lives.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You Don't Have To Be Smart To Be In Charge

I have worked long enough to understand a couple of GREAT TRUTHS-- You will not always work for a person who has more gray matter upstairs than you do. The other GREAT TRUTH is that life isn't fair, and I hope you never thought it was. That being said, remember also "knowledge is power"!Merlin always was the power behind Arthurs' throne! As long as they need your knowledge, they probably will need you. I work for people who work far harder than they have to because it is their comfort zone. If they stood two feet back from the tree, the forest would appear. While you are reporting, you are not producing. While you are "meeting" you are producing. Once I saw a photo of two hippos mouth to mouth, lips touching(wide open!) Caption said "After all is said and done, there is alot more said than done".

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Humor-The Disease, The Cure.

Humor. Is it a problem in your life, or does it cure what ails you? I have always valued my sense of humor, but not everyone has shared my point of view on this. My employers do not think saying something clever is required at business meetings (Imagine a large fart during the church service- funnier than all get out, but nobody laughing!). My family tends to tell jokes at somber,not funny times as a way of relieving tension. It is our way, we cannot explain it either. Do you feel better after a good laugh, or worse? Do you feel more comfortable in formal situations after a little joke, or more ill at ease? Find out that life is about moments-and when told to each other as a funny story lightens the day for them as well as you!
In families, more often than not, it is the humorous tales that get retold again and again, and not the grim events that come upon all of us. Laugh today with a relative about a funny shared memory-you will not be sorry!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Just Flew In From Yahoo News Discuss, And Boy! Are My Arms Tired!

Yesterday, I threw a few comments into this news article discussion. Something happened I had never experienced; Intelligent comments ran off the bigots,idiots,cons AND libs! I think they got bored or confused by actual dialog. Encouraged by this, I tried again this morning. The world was back to normal, with people thinking a nuclear weapon is similar to a good enema, all problems solved by thinking alike on all issues. Religons,cultures,traditions-Heck! We told you how to live, why keep fighting it? I love Americas' diverse offerings, but as you drive, dine, shop, you must remember-zealots are to be avoided! One dimensional people are either scary or boring- both can kill you!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Oldest fan of South Park?

I'm still finding out a blog works, and in one of my explorations, found you could reference other sites by the profile info. In a quick check, it appears people my age or thereabouts don't either watch or (horrors!) like South Park! I happen to think having a wide ranging sense of humor makes for life enhancing moments. All of Matt&Treys' stuff isn't funny, but a heck alot of it is! Up to date lampooning of current events in a series is unusual to say the least-and they don't appear to fear taking on anyone! I have tried to explain this to some of my same-age friends, who listen politely-then roll their eyes when my back is turned. Joke telling is a lost art, thanks to the Internet. People who never could tell a joke, just e-mail lists of them to each other. Not the same! Losing our verbal story-telling heritage to technology! Tell someone a joke today, badly or otherwise. For old times' sake.

Friday, May 26, 2006

My Invisibility Theory- - -

I believe that after your 50th birthday, we are granted a unique power-both a blessing and a curse! You become for all practical purposes, invisible. People do not hear you, or appear not to listen, with you having no impact whatsoever on the conversation. They do not notice when you enter a room, or for that matter when you leave one either. They speak of you in past tense, as in "I remember when whoseits did this", or"Whatsits said that".
However, it appears to be a temporary malady, as when you hit about 65, you become visible again! People start giving you the finger while driving 35mph in a 55mph zone. They start getting pissed at you in line at McDonalds' during rush hour when you want your coffee punch card updated. They start being nice to you 'cause you ain't going to live forever, and might leave something of value to them!
I'm still invisible yet, so like in every stage of life I've had, I'm going to try and keep learning!
Sit on a Happy Face!