Category Archives: Just Stuff

Horse Manure Stories Involving Krupp, the Kaiser, & My Amish Neighbor

One of my Amish neighbors just opened a harness shop and I was offered a tour. Afterward, I thought he’d be interested in knowing the history of E.L. McClain and his invention of a hinged collar and the manufacturer of collars and horse pads. He said he’d heard that Greenfield’s high school had been built by a millionaire but wasn’t aware of the source of the wealth. We both learned a little something and he sincerely enjoyed the story about McClain’s collars.

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Where’d You Guys Learn to Shag?

First of all, we’re not talking Austin Power’s shag here, we’re talking about popular dances! As a kid growing up in Greenfield, OH in the 1950s being able to jitterbug earned you just a little higher step on the socially desirable ladder. We waltzed, we foxtrotted, we twisted, we strolled, but those who were really cool jitterbugged and we jitterbugged differently than what we thought anyone else did.

You could, as we did, run home after school and catch American Bandstand and those Philadelphia kids just weren’t cool because they didn’t jitterbug as we did. Their steps just weren’t as smooth and crisp as ours and there wasn’t the refined coordination between partners like there was with us.

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Shaw’s Monthly Care Package from Peaches

Going into the service does lots of things for a young man from small-town America. One of the most important is introducing him to the great variety of humankind we share this nation with.

In boot camp, I met my first person from the state of Washington, learned some of the slang of Italian-Americans from the steel mill towns of Pennsylvania, and had to learn how to pronounce a Polish kid’s name containing almost no vowels.

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Reprise of Thoughts as I Neared my 60th Birthday

I’ve recently been scouring through things I’ve written over the years since retiring from teaching. I came across the following that I penned as I neared my sixtieth birthday. Well, In a few days I’ll turn seventy-seven and I decided to reprise this list of seventeen years ago.


As my sixtieth birthday approached I began thinking about what being sixty meant. If anything it certainly means you’ve lived long enough to have reached a few conclusions or truths about life, people, places, government, etc. With this in mind, I took a tape

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Smart Alec Damned Know it All Teachers!

I was listening to NPR recently and in the discussion, it was mentioned that much of Trump’s support comes from people who distrust learned people. People who are educated and have some degree of expertise in a field of knowledge. Even people who are not formally educated but who have taken the time to acquire a significant body of information from either reading or experience have experienced this rejection.

I have no problem agreeing with this assertion. Many times I’ve seen people who can’t get beyond their own “gut” feelings or unfounded assumptions and become defensive when they are challenged. Trump himself has exhibited such behavior. We’ve all heard him say that such and such is correct because he just knows it is, his gut tells him it is.

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America Is Not A Theocracy – We Have a Constitution

Recently someone I know on Facebook posted the following meme. At first, I wanted to call them ugly names and lob obscenities at them. After a little cooling off I decided to use it as a teaching moment.
After the person posted the meme a discussion followed in which the poster stated:
 
“but does it not say in the constitution that Muslim are not aloud [sic] to keep office or was it the declaration vant [sic] remember will have to look that one up again. Plus I’ve had someone else on here state this fact to. Just not sure who right now. But if ur an American citizen they should swear on the bible and stand in front of the American flag.”

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Which Company is Your Favorite & Not so Favorite?

I recently received a news feed that I found interesting. Not important, just interesting. The Axios-Harris Poll did a study of what companies are preferred most by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

For example, Democrats for whatever reasons prefer buying products made by Kraft-Heinz while the favorite GOP product is Chick-fil-A. I can only suppose that the John Kerry connection to Heinz explains the Democratic choice and the Chick’s opposition to all things same-sex draws the loyalty of the moral high ground crowd.

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Doug Karnes Realtor & Hotel Restorer

Doug Karnes, a former student, has given up his architect business and moved back to his home town. He recently purchased an old hotel in Greenfield and is slowly working on restoring it with plans to make a part of it a brewery. Anyway, in the meantime, he has acquired his Ohio real estate license and is accepting listings and clients. Here’s Doug’s business card.

Two Samsung Smartphones for Sale

I’ve got two Samsung smartphones left over from upgrades. Both are in great shape and will provide many years of service.

SAMSUNG EXPRESS 3, Model SM-J120A:

Android 6.0.1. Made to work on AT&T 4G LTE network. It may be unlocked but I can’t remember. Not under contract and in near new condition. I don’t have any of the original paperwork but will provide a wall charger and charging cable. The battery was replaced with last 6 months. Buyer will have to take it to AT&T agent for sims card and activation. Will work on pay to go plans. Asking $60.00 cash only local pickup only. I live near Petersburg, OH. Click HERE for full specifications.

SAMSUNG GALAXY GRAND PRIME, Model SM-G530A

Android 5.1.1. This is leftover from an upgrade and is in great condition. It is a 4G LTE phone and works on AT&T plans, including pay as you go. Comes with owner’s manual, and an unused wall charger and charging cable. Asking $60 cash only and local pickup and my home near Petersburg. Click HERE for complete specifications.

Interesting Bits of News

  1. Seventy-six percent of registered voters support the wealthiest Americans paying more taxes, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll. This largely jives with a Fox News poll that showed 70 percent in favor of increased taxes on those earning more than $10 million. The polls come as 2020 contenders put forward and debate new levies on the rich. [Politico]
  2. In addition to his acting chief of staff, attorney general, defense secretary, interior secretary, Office of Management and Budget director and Environmental Protection Agency chief, only 54 percent of President Trump’s civilian executive branch nominations have been confirmed, according to estimates by the Partnership for Public Service. That compares, for example, to 77 percent for President Barack Obama at a similar point in his presidency. The group also estimates that fewer than half of the key positions in the Labor, Justice and Interior departments are filled. [The Washington Post]
  3. In New Orleans, home of the robbed Saints, the front page of The Times-Picayune on Monday consisted only of five words: “Super Bowl? What Super Bowl?” [Huffington Post]

A Punchable Love Child!

The following photo was posted on Facebook by what I assume was a satire group. The claim was made that Ted Cruz spoke with the MAGA teenager about learning to live with “punchable face” syndrome. I’m not going to look it up but I’ll assume there is no such thing in the journals of medicine and it’s a joke. But, take a close look at the side by side photos and tell me you don’t see at least these two things:

  1. They both have faces that with a couple of Miller High Lifes in you, you’d be tempted to punch.
  2. MAGA boy could be Ted Cruz’ love child. There is obviously a shared DNA.

Is It Big Latex’ Advertising, Germophobia, or Just Ickiness?

People talk about the evils of big business, big tobacco, big pharma, big hospitals and all the other “big” that seem to be monopolizing our lives. After watching my son I have to now add “big latex” to the list.

When I was a kid the only rubber gloves I remember people having in their homes were a pair of thicker yellow gloves with fuzzy liners that some women used to ward off “dishpan hands.” I don’t recall my mother using those or anything other than her bare hands to wash dishes, kill a chicken, mop the bathroom floor, or scrub the tub and toilet.

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More Signs of Getting Old

When my clock landed on seventy  I began taking note of what being a senior citizen involved. Like all phases of my life, I see this one as just another chapter in the book. I’ve pretty much accepted each chapter and enjoyed turning the pages. I think my only fear is still having a life while having no quality of life. But in the meanwhile, here’s a few of the aging thing I noticed most recently.

  • I’ve always loved to travel but in the past year or so, I’ve not been willing to venture too far from my family doctor and the medical community I’m familiar with.  Even twenty years younger I didn’t want to get too far from a Walmart and a hospital. On two Florida fishing trips, I ended up in an ER and had to get back home under adverse conditions, including a severely broken shoulder. These days going to Columbus may be too far.
  • For much of my life, I’ve heard warnings that young children and the elderly should take certain precautions such as, be sure to get your flu shot, pneumonia can be deadly for geezers so be sure to get your pneumonia shot, or colon cancer is the silent killer so with a smile say  “I’d love it”  when a proctologist asks to shove a ten-foot rubber hose up your butt.
  • A sure sign of old age and one that slowly creeps up on you is losing most connections to popular culture. Just watch the Grammy Awards or sit around listening to your grandchildren talk about what they’re doing for entertainment. You know you’re old when it all sounds like Swahili.
  • Somewhere along life’s journey waitresses and nurses began calling me honey or sweety. I’m probably on the same page with Andy Rooney with that one. Look girly, my name is Larry or Mr. Chapman. Hell, I’d even be okay with gramps.
  • One I do enjoy is having young people hold doors open for me and calling me sir. If I could only get them to salute as I pass by.

Oil Can Stilts, Did You Ever?

Back in the 1950s metal motor oil cans were everywhere and there were no American Pickers can collectors to gobble them up. Look behind most service stations and you’d find a pile of discarded oil cans leaking their remaining contents onto a thoroughly saturated and toxic plot of soil. I don’t know what eventually happened to these piles of cans but I guess junkmen came along and hauled them to Charley Cohen’s.

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