Sunday, September 27, 2009

I just don't understand.

Here in Ohio, when Winter hits, you generally have no reprieve until Spring.

Yesterday, I was preparing for winter by going out to the yard waste site (that's the place where you drop off your tree branches and other yard wastes and the county grinds it up into free mulch). I bag this mulch up to add weight to the back of my pick-up truck so it doesn't slide all over the place during our snowy Winters (needless to say, there is still a lot of prayer involved while driving that truck in the snow & ice). When Spring comes, the mulch goes on my landscaping.

When I was heading out to get the mulch, a fine mist lay in the air. When I got there, I was the only one there. As I was bagging, the mist became a sprinkle and someone else arrived. A little later on the sprinkle became a light rain and a couple more people showed up for mulch. I had two bags left to fill when the light rain became a heavy rain. I hurried as fast as I could, knowing that I might not get a free Saturday to come back out for a while. The heavier the rain became, the more people came out to get mulch. There were about eight trucks there when I left, cold & soggy.

What some people won't endure for something that's free.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flashback Friday #55

Shirts vs. Skins

Hello once again and welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. In today's post I'll cover one of the things I hated most about Jr. & Sr. High.

In my last Flashback Friday post I mentioned that in Jr. High we had separate gym classes for boys and girls and we changed for them. The gym lockers were at the back of the stage in the auditorium/gym. Everyone had their own locker and kept it locked. Anyone who didn't lock it was likely to find their gym clothes missing. It was nothing to be changing for gym and have a gym suit or a pair of shorts come flying over the lockers and land on your head. This, in itself, wasn't too horribly emotionally scarring, it was what happened during gym that was.

Having always been a "fat boy", one of my most hated things was going without a shirt. Now my dad used to do it all the time. I think a shirtless guy looks revolting. There are very few guys that can pull off the look and I have never been one of them.

During gym, sides would be chosen for flag football, basketball, soccer, etc. One team would be "Shirts" and the other team would be "Skins". How do you determine which team gets to be "Skins"? I have a theory. In the twisted mind of every gym teacher is the "embarrass" mode. How can you embarrass these kids in front of their peers? In general yelling, and occasional swat can get to a few, but the number one way is to see which side has the most "fat boys" on it. That side is ALWAYS "Skins". Maybe I just have a super sized modest gene to go with my super sized body. Whatever the case, I dreaded gym for this reason.

While we had gym, the girls had health class, and vice-verse. The girls would wear blue pinnies (a strip of fabric with a hole for the head that tied at each side) over their gym suits to differentiate sides (we could see them out the Health room window. They were more interesting than the teacher). When someone (It wasn't me, thank goodness) asked our Gym/Health teacher why the guys couldn't wear the pinnies, instead of "Shirts & Skins" the teacher mocked him and asked him if he also wanted to wear the gym suit too. He was utterly humiliated. Nobody in any of my gym classes ever questioned "Shirts & Skins" ever again.

Was there anything you dreaded about Gym ?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another corny song

At my house, if momma is happy, everyone is happy. If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Since she left a hint hint in her last comment, here is is the song she has asked for. It's sung to the tune of "The Ballad of the Beverly Hillbillies" . This is the song I got to sing on the main stage with "The Muleskinners".

Listen to this story 'bout a little ear of corn
minding his own business early one September morn.
Then a fella passin' by, plucked that little ear,
and hollered to his buddies "Hey, Come on over here."

I've got an idea for ya and I think ya might like it.

That ol' boy told his friends "I've got a joyful thought."
"'Bout a big time carnival where corn is being bought."
His buddies all agreed his idea was quite feasible
and now it is the Millersport Sweetcorn Festival.

Sweetcorn it is. Hot & sweet and buttery.

Now it's time to say hello to the town of Millersport.
We all hope your stay with us will not be cut short.
You're all invited back this year to our locality,
to see how much sweetcorn you can put in your belly.

The corn sure is good this year. Take a dozen home with ya. Ya'll come back now ya hear?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A sweetcorn song for you

Being a dad, I can decipher clues like the one my daughter (Mrs. Lemon) sent via the comments on my last post. I also can't miss and obvious pat on the back by Ninja John, so here is one of the first sweetcorn songs I wrote. It is to the tune of "Achy Breaky Heart"

You may like chicken,
Fresh roasted chicken.
You might like ol' greasy french fries.
You might like battered fish,
or ice cream in a dish,
or onion rings that bring tears to your eyes.

But don't ya love sweetcorn,
Hot buttered sweetcorn.
The only place to get it is this stand.
So come on over here,
And grab 'em by the ear,
And fill up on as many as you can.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Millersport Sweetcorn Festival

Usually when post about someone, something, or somewhere, I will change the name to protect the innocent (or to protect me from a lawsuit). The Millersport Sweetcorn Festival is a real event. Unfortunately, it was almost three weeks ago (when our computer was down), so if you want to go, you'll have to wait until next year.

Our church has been working for the Millersport Lions Club in their corn booth for 20 something years. This is one of the major fundraisers in our church. (The other major one is cleanup & parking at the County Fair). For four days of hard labor, we get paid in excess of $5000. That makes up for a lot of car washes, bake sales & bazaars. It is quite the operation to clean, cook and serve nearly 100,000 ears of sweetcorn.

The festival starts on the Wednesday before Labor Day. A semi trailer of sweetcorn is set in place by the husking machine. By the time the festival is finished, this trailer is emptied an the majority of another one is used too.

These guys are running the husker. This machine is over 60 years old. All replacement parts are hand made. You put the corn in the top here...

...and comes out the bottom here. (It was a machine similar to this that claimed my Grandpa's fingers in Flashback Friday #52, part 2)

The white buckets are dumped onto a table where we brush silk off with brushes.

From the brush table, the corn goes into a large soak tank, where more of the silks come off.
The corn is then dipped out into wire baskets with lids, and taken to the cooler.
When they are needed, the baskets are taken from the cooler and set two at a time at the roaster. A 2x4 is place through the handles so it can be lowered into the boiling water.

Once the corn is removed from the boiling water, the lids are taken off the baskets and the baskets are dumped into the butter basket. The corn is then submerged in melted margarine. The corn is dumped onto the serving table where it is served up to the massive throngs who act as they have never eaten corn before.

This may be the biggest, little festival around. Not only do they have the local talent playing & singing, the have brought in some fairly big name performers as well. Some of the Nashville performers that have been at the festival include Helen Cornelius & Jim Ed Brown, Grandpa Jones, Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, and this year they had John Conlee and Tracy Lawrence.

Several years back, I got my five minutes of fame by singing on the big stage with the country comedy group "The Muleskinners". I had written several "corny" songs and would sing them over the microphone at the corn booth. They were delighted with them and invited me to sing one on stage with them. Perhaps in a future post I will introduce the world to the song that I wrote back then.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flashback Friday #54

The Day I Became A Girl

Hello, and welcome to all. It's good to get back together after an unplanned hiatus.

In the last edition of Flashback Friday (#53) I told of the new school that I would be attending. Having spent my entire elementary education experience in the same school, everyone there knew my name (kind of like a non-alcoholic version of Cheers). Moving up to the junior high, none of the faculty knew me. All the information that they had about me was contained on a piece of paper. Somebody had to type that piece of paper, and there was a typo on it.

Now we all know that there are several unisex names, and if you don't have a picture to go with the name you don't know if the person is male or female. When you call a Chris, Pat, Robin, or even Kim, you don't know which gender will answer until you hear the voice, and then sometimes you're still not sure.

There are other names that are close, but are spelled different. Tony and Toni. Bill and Jill. Jerry and Jerri. Andy and Andi. Don and Dawn. Joe and Jo. Ross and Rose. I was a victim of mistaken identity. If you look at your keyboard, you will notice the close proximity of the "S" key and the "E" key. The last "S" in my first name became an "E" and a Rose was in bloom (kerbloom to be exact)

The first day in my new home room, my homeroom teacher was an older lady who probably taught English when English was a new language. As she was going down the roll calling off names, everyone would call out "Here". When she got to my name, and called out "Rose", I corrected her. She asked me if I was sure. Um, yeah, I was sure. She made a notation on the roll. I thought everything was fine now, but it wasn't.

As 7th graders we all had to share lockers with someone else. Our locker number and combination was written on a paper that we all received. When I left homeroom, I was one of the last out, and I saw "Jessica" putting her things in my locker. "OK, there has been a real mess up" I thought. I didn't put my books in the locker, I carried them all. During every class, I had to correct that teacher that there was no "Rose" in the class. During lunch, I went down to the office and had a word with the secretary.

I explained to her that there has been a mistake, and it was assumed that I was a girl. She pulled out my transcript, and indeed it said "Rose". Address correct. Birth date correct. Social Security number correct. There was one problem. During this time, there were no computers. If you were typing a form, you had to make sure the form was properly aligned in the typewriter. Mine wasn't, it was slightly off. Since the form was slightly off the "X" that went in the box for male or female was between the two boxes. Since the name was "Rose", they assumed that I was a girl.

It wouldn't have made any difference in my schedule in Elementary School, but we're not in Elementary School anymore Toto. A few classes after lunch was gym class. In Junior High the gym classes were segregated and you changed for them. A boy in the girls gym class just didn't work out. Besides, I would have looked ridiculous in the red & white striped, one-piece gym suit the girls had to wear (the boys wore shorts and white T-shirts). It didn't take long after that to make sure that all my records were changed, and let it be known to the world that I was indeed "Male".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catching up with random bits

When your computer is down for two weeks it is amazing how many things happen that you say "That would make a good blog post". Then, two weeks later when it is back up, you've forgotten most of them. Here are a few thing that happened that I did remember:

While riding home from picking up "The Boy" from school one day, we drove by something that smelled really bad (I think something had died by the road). "The Boy" turns to me and says "Boy, that smells bad. I bet the person in the car ahead of us farts a lot." Do you realize how difficult it is to drive after a comment like that?


We spent four evenings working at the Millersport Sweetcorn Festival after putting our time in at our regular jobs. Get off work, drive an hour, work three, drive an hour home and go to bed. Wake up "refreshed" for work the next day. More on the Millersport Sweetcorn festival (complete with pics) in a later post.


On our trip Saturday down to the festival, we stopped at McResturant to let the young 'uns with us go to the potty. While we were there we were discussing the President's health care reform package. During this discussion, I stopped for a moment to listen to a song coming over the muzak speaker. It was Fleetwood Mac's "Tell Me Lies". When I pointed the irony of this out, everyone cracked up.


On a more serious note, I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea recently. I got my new bedtime buddy "Mr. Bipap Machine" on the Thursday of the Sweetcorn festival. It has taken some time to get used to. If nothing else, my wife is sleeping much better.


Do you know what it's like being the commissioner of two fantasy football leagues (one at work & one at church) and not have access to your computer?


Last Sunday, my Sunday School lesson was about Jesus sleeping in the ship while the storm raged. I really get into telling the story. By the time church was over , I could hardly talk from straining my voice during the panic scene on the boat. Later that night, the choir (of which I am a part) was to sing. I sang, rough voice and all. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye earth.


Saturday I spent the day outside. After a side trip to a nearby garage sale, I mowed the yard, trimmed weeds, sprayed roundup, and then attacked the tree out back. It was in serious need of pruning (I had to duck under some of the branches when I mowed). I took my new pole saw out and went to work. It took me two trips to the yard waste landfill to remove everything that I had cut off. After the last load, I bagged some of the free mulch until the gatekeeper informed me that he was ready to lock the gates. I came home and my wife was away at a baby shower. I vegged in front of an old movie until she came home. Needless to say, I slept pretty well that night.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Keep your fingers crossed

Were back (I think, I hope, I plead). Due to this being a PG blog, I can't describe here what I would like to do to the people who spend their life creating viruses.

Lady Nottaguy-TYG, on the other hand has the perfect punishment for them. When they are caught, and sent to prison, let the punishment fit the crime. Since they enjoy so much taking technology out of other peoples hands, they get none while in prison. No TV, no computer, no radio, no phone, no nothing. If they want to contact someone, they must write a letter. If they are bored, they can read a book, play a board game or play cards. Is it cruel? Yes. Is it unusual? Yes. Should we allow it anyway? Absolutely.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Sorry I haven't read your posts or commented. A virus got the computer and it is down. We are working the Millersport Sweet corn Festival and don't have time for the two hour long calls to Microsoft Tech Support. I'm on a borrowed computer right now. Hopefully we'll be back up soon.

Flashback Friday will be postponed until I can get the computer up, or when I can hijack another computer, whichever comes first.