Too Many Hospitals

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In the past three weeks, the following family members have made visits to the hospital:

  • Mom, three times
  • father-figure. Long story on the reference. (Well OK. Lives with Mom for over 25 years. My best friend’s dad. Very great guy)
  • mother-in -law
  • son

There is nothing positive about the atmosphere in a hospital no matter how fancy they try to make the common areas look. Maybe it is because short of childbirth you are never there for a good reason. Illness and injury are all around.

This set of events has worn me down to the core.

The good news. Everyone is out and left under their own power. After going through the agony of not knowing for over a week, Mom does not have the big C. Several things yet to cure but she dodged that bullet. Father figure and mother-in-law home and healing well.

My son, D, has a broken nose due to a bad hop on a hard hit ground ball. He had been playing varsity baseball this summer but that is likely over. We won’t know for sure until the swelling goes down and he sees another doc in a few days but it seems like no serious damage was done. His shiners are starting to appear. If he learns to like a good story as much as his dad this almost might be worth the pain.

I do not think that my wife will agree with me on the value of this as a good story but then she was there. She watched as he collapsed to the ground after the ball came up fast and seemed to have hit him in the head. By the time the ambulance came D was in good spirits and telling his mom not to worry. Considering that he has played both soccer and baseball since he was 4 we are probably lucky that this is only his second injury and that neither was serious.

However, enough is enough. Lately I have contributed mightily to the health care system. It is time for a break. (Pun intended).

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Hair Just Ain’t Worth It

The catch phrase is that using Rogaine will be the easiest part of your routine. And yet this director had no sense of order. Stop this ad for Rogaine after 18 seconds. Start again. Would you go straight from rubbing this stuff in your hair to flossing and brushing your teeth. I immediately got this image of hair growing out of the guy’s mouth.

I am sure they spent a small fortune to make that commercial. What were they thinking?

A Bake Sale For Millionaires

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(The second of two articles from Monday’s Chicago Tribune)

I have been hearing about a segment in our society in need of support. It just so happens that at a point when many of us would feel we reached the financial pinnacle, we would just be joining a group of relative paupers. We need to help build the self esteem of this group and provide aid to help them achieve their dreams. Yes, I am referring to that underclass of multimillionaires struggling to help the world achieve a goal of 1,000 billionaires. With only 946 billionaires worldwide, you can see the problems.

What problems you ask? Like helping the sagging U.S. real estate market. Currently there are too few bidders for the Hala Ranch, a 95 acre estate just outside of Aspen owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Bandar bin Sultan (what a great name). With an asking price of $135 million, millionaires need not apply. Only 11 of the 1,000 requests to view the property have been granted. As I said, a major blow to the self esteem of multimillionaires everywhere.

And Aspen is not the only U.S. locale with this kind of problem. A client of mine, a former CEO, has a place in Jackson Hole, Wy. The city of Jackson Hole has worked hard to limit the amount of new development which keeps the supply of property low while demand is rising. As he lamented the other day, the millionaires are being forced out of the area by the billionaires. This brought me to tears.

Being a man of action I quickly put a plan in place that mirrors successful fundraising efforts conducted for the local school and my son’s baseball team. We are having a bake sale! For this mission we will need a massive effort. This needs to go national. I am enlisting readers throughout the 48Facets community across this wide nation to join me.

Raison cookies anyone?

Fat Belly. Not My Fault

(Two articles on back to back pages of Monday’s Chicago Tribune caught my eye.This is story #1)

Welcome back self esteem! You know the extra 10 pounds that I have been carrying causing my gut to hang inches over my belt? Not my fault. At least not completely. Assuming humans react the same ways as mice and monkeys, scientists have discovered that it is stress not my lack of will power over food that causes me to look pregnant (without the glow). Yessiree Bob. Stress, along with a high fat/ high sugar diet,  produces neuropeptide Y. It is this hormone and not the pizza and candy that cause people to scream “thar she blows” every time I go to the beach.

Seriously, I have wondered why riding a bike 50 miles each week hasn’t made a dent in my waistline. I do fell stress now and again–and again and again. Maybe there is something to this neuropeptideY.

I still believe a sensible diet and exercise are the key to weight loss. I am confident however that millions of Americans will continue to eat like starving hogs assuming they can get their N Y shot and lose the gut. Why do the work when a drug does it for you?  What a country!

Words of Note

I love words. They can be so expressive. I admit, however, that my reading vocabulary is modest for an educated man yet still above my speaking vocabulary. (The latter I attribute to the need to dumb down communications to senior executives in the corporate world.)

I am especially fond of words that are rarely used, have a high sonic quality but are not– at least in my view– pretentious.  I have been collecting words for about a week and want to share these. I will share more as my collection grows.

Definitions from Dictionary.com

  1. APLOMB.  imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance
  2. OBTUSE.  lacking quickness of perception or intellect. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity
  3. EPITOME.  a person or thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole class
  4. INSOUCIANT.  free from concern, worry, or anxiety; carefree; nonchalant
  5. EFFICACY.  capacity for producing a desired result or effect
  6. LARKY.  High-spirited; zestful
  7. IMPERTURBABLE.  incapable of being upset or agitated; not easily excited; calm
  8. Any word spoken in Italian

O.K. Insouciant may be a little pretentious. I still like it.

Please add your favorites.

FitzGerald’s American Music Festival

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Another reason why you wish that you lived in Chicago.

FitzGerald’s has been bringing music to Chicago for 30 rears. For the last 27 it has hosted its American Music Festival, 4 nights of wall to wall music during the 4th of July weekend. If you love music, this is the place to be.

There are two stages, one outdoors under a tent and one in the main music room. You can also listen to acts doing acoustic sets in one of the other bars. Music begins about 1pm and ends around midnight. The acts on the two principle stages overlap so that you can be reveling in music for the full 11 hours. And what music it is.

We went Sunday- a beautiful summer day- and though we could only stay until 8 (it was a work night) we heard seven acts. The musical forms included rock, country rock, big band, rockabilly, blues, gospel and a group that included a fiddler/singer guitar player with a stand up bass that was hard to categorize. Although all of the music was great, I will share my thoughts and pictures of two of the bands.

We had heard Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel a few years ago. We were smart enough to buy her CD Things to Come which is rated as a 48Facets “Got to Own”. Trigger Gospel’s  music is original, spirited and Anna has a unique voice that should not be missed. One of the only things better than the CD is the live performances. I tried to capture this with my digital camera but the sound quality sucks. The link to Things to Come brings you to one of the album tracks and though it is not one of the better ones, it is worth a listen.

Bill Kirchen is known as the King of Dieselbilly for his penchant for songs about trucks and cars. I could hear Bill sing and wail on his guitar before I could see him on stage. The man epitomized the high energy fast hands rocker. I was a bit surprised to see a white haired man in his sixties. Nothing seems to be slowing him down. His best known song is Hot Rod Lincoln performed when he was in a group by the name of Commander Cody.

When a group was done they would often just mix in with the crowd and enjoy the other musicians. Sometimes one would be called onto the stage by another. The crowds were just having fun. Toe tapping, clapping and even dancing would often break out. Everyone there seemed to just be having fun. 

My only regret was that I could only attend one of the four nights of the American Music Festival. Music, biking, writing and hanging out makes up my perfect life. Sunday was a little slice of near perfect.

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