Friday, July 31, 2009

Camp Tosebo (III) ~ the old Camp Truck

I received the following email (as a cc) from my aunt on Tuesday – and the reason for a separate post about the camp truck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:57 AM
You commented that A, E. Johnson was always the first name on the register. Indeed we were the first people to open the clubhouse door in June. As you will see in my stories, we came by Pere Marquette boats from Milwaukee, in the early years. I was still young when started driving around Chicago to get to camp. The truck was driven up at that time with supplies from Todd (School). Through the winter the camp truck was housed in our garage, unused as it was not insured. Usually one of the counselors drove it to Woodstock. We could easily make it in a day. It was because of these trips that Dad (General Johnson) invented and patented the precursor to the cruise control. He called it the "Gas-master". That's another story.

Back to camp-- We were the ones that looked for damage from field mice etc. One year flying squirrels took over the Crow's Nest. Dad would get water system in operation. He knew where every plug went and he removed to drain the system. He laid the pipes that went up the hill when we had water. I don't have to tell you what it takes to open up after it's been closed all winter. We learned to leave dresser drawers upside down to keep the mice out.Which cottage do you have? The Shaw one or did you build a new one?

Enough of my ramblings.Micky

The original Camp Truck was and old Model T.

They surely could load it down for their canoeing trips.

A common sight on camp ground and around town, was my grandfather driving the newer version of the truck. I assume he drove the old Model T also, but this is the truck that most of the campers remember. (I believe this is the truck for which my grandfather invented the “gas-master”).

The people who have become partners in the new Old Camp Tosebo Inn have just had this truck fully renovated. One of these partners,Dave Wallace (a former camper), writes: The truck that the General is driving has just been restored - I didn't do the work, but I paid the bills. It brings smiles to the folks in Onekama and Manistee who remember when it came to town full of singing little boys.

So... that's the beginning of my dad's story. I am sure there is so much more that I do not now know... and probably never will. I just received another email from my Aunt Micky. She has an old photo album that she is sending me of Todd School and Camp Tosebo. There are also pictures of my grandfather (General Johnson) and grandmother (the Latin teacher) when they were students at Hiram College. Can't wait to get it!

Thanks for stopping by and joining me on this trip...
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Thought #6

Have a really great Thursday, ok?
Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Camp Tosebo ( II )

I continue discovering more things about my family and Camp Tosebo. My aunt and my cousin have reconnected with people they knew during their summers there. My cousin, Gary (son of Aunt Micky and brother of Arlene) was allowed to be a camper because he was the right age and because he was a boy. Arlene says she was upset by this because he got the Camp Tosebo t-shirt and she did not.
Cousin Gary (above) in his spiffy TOSEBO t-shirt
Cousin Arlene (below, left) no spiffy TOSEBO t-shirt
notice the pout
When I started this journey, I “googled” both Todd School for Boys and Camp Tosebo. There was not a lot to be found about the school, but I found someone had taken the time to collect and post over 100 pictures of Camp Tosebo – times that he and his older brother had spent at the camp. In this collection, I found pictures of my cousins, Gary and Arlene, and several of my grandfather, General Johnson. In this collection was a 1940’s brochure of the camp. In some places the printing in the brochure is very difficult to read. [One of my projects surrounding this journey is to decipher the information in the brochure.]

I thought you would enjoy seeing what a day in the life of a camper was in the 1940's. A well-rounded curriculum was provided for every camper.
The regular daily program will look something like this – only most days aren’t regular, for there are usually some trips or special events planned.

7:00 First Call
7:05 Assembly.
Getting up drill.
7:15 Wash up
7:30 Breakfast
8:00 Make beds and put camp in order.
Toothbrush brigade.
8:20 Transportation
8:30 Athletics. Class instruction and individual coaching in track and field, athletics, baseball, and rowing(?). [I believe archery was in this group also.]
9:30 Classes. The camp is divided into eight groups according to age and there are eight subjects taught. This gives each boy one week in each class. The subjects taught are Rowing, Canoeing, Horsemanship, Woodcraft, Material (construction work, model sailboats, etc.) and structural, Photography, and Bird Lore.
11:00 Swimming
12:30 Dinner
1:30 Rest Period
2:30 Free for recreation.
Sailing or motorboat trips. Fishing trips about twice a week. Horses available. Swimming.
6:00 Supper.
After supper: Ball games, boating on the lake, camp fire.

The camp was immersed in Native American folklore (all campers were given an Indian name).
From the brochure: The Thursday night camp fire is held in the sacred Indian Council Ring. Indian dances – Indian customs prevail. In the picture you will see four Tosebo Indians standing at the four points of the compass on the circle. They will do the Fire Dance at the end of which the stacked wood will miraculously bust into flame. How is it done? Nobody knows – unless possible Chief Whirling Thunder.

Memories from another TOSEBO camper: For the activities involving competition the camp was divided into two tribes, the Blackfeet and the Chippewas. Some of the feature events of the season included the regular games of the "major" and "minor" leagues, tournaments in tennis, track, archery, BB's, and Tom Thumb Golf.

Another visible sign of the old Camp Tosebo is the boathouse. The Camp Tosebo Boathouse has been a landmark on the southern shore of Portage Lake since 1912. Until 1938 the Boathouse sat on cribs out in the water and boats were "driven in" through doors on the east side. The second floor was used for clothes changing and featured a slide that went right into the water. In the winter of 1938-39 the Boathouse was dragged to its current location. Clothes changing was moved to the first floor and the upstairs was used to hang out the sails to dry.

Memories from my Cousin Arlene…
July 22, 2009
…I appreciate that the old Boathouse has been restored and it appears to have the same colors it did for years. It originally was sort of a light gold color like some of the other buildings. One day Grandpa took me - and perhaps my brother Gary- in to Manistee to choose new paint colors for the boathouse. I remember choosing the light green (though perhaps I was "guided" in that choice) for the boathouse - but it was Grandpa who chose the red for the lettering. I remember thinking that those colors might not go together, but I'm glad I was overruled. We got to help paint the boathouse - at least at the lower levels and seeing it restored is gratifying.
Arlene Thomas

I was going to include stories about the old camp truck. However, today I got an email with more information about the truck in it. So I will save that for later.

Thanks, again, for stopping by…
Have a great day !

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just a little FYI for Monday


Do y'all remember the rantings of a maniac mother a few weeks back? Yup, that one. The mother who threw the four inch telephone book at her 38-year-old son and said: have a job by the end of July... OR ELSE.

Well... the miracle has happened. This is Christopher (a.k.a. Son #1) -- doesn't he look like a Marine (in his own mind, he still is). He now has employment AND is working -- 2 shifts this weekend. He wears a uniform, too.

Anyway, he took the phone book, looked up Security Guard companies. Called. Sent resumes. And went 'visiting'. Now, in California, to become a security guard, you have to have a guard card. This involves taking an 8-hour class and getting some sort of scan and then waiting for your name and number to magically appear on some website. Last Tuesday the magic happened and on Wednesday Chris was employed by National Security Services/Industry. This is one of the places he visited after my short fuse exploded. Chris and the guy running the office hit it off really well. He told Chris everything he had to do to get THE CARD. Then said, if you get the card, you've got a job here.

On Friday, Chris picked up his uniforms. On Saturday, he worked a Sweet Sixteen party at one of the Sacramento Community Centers from 1:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Last night he was called in to cover the grave yard shift in the parking garage in Old Town Sacramento. Apparently this security company contracts with the city. Tomorrow Chris reports to his regular post. After training this will be from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Sacramento Convention Center.

It does a mother's heart good to see her son drag in at 9 a.m. Exhausted from the night's work --- YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I am happy that he will be earning a living again. I am happy that he is doing something he loves to do. And I am really, really overjoyed that he will be associating with people other than his old mom and step-dad.

If I weren't his mother, I wouldn't mess with him... would you?

Thanks for stopping by... have a great Monday

Friday, July 24, 2009

Camp Tosebo (part 1)

This has been such a great “ride” for me. I have reestablished contact with some of my family and have opened a can of worms in the process. My 88-year-old aunt (dad’s younger sister) lives at an assisted living facility in Wisconsin. She writes their monthly newsletter called The Chamomile Chatter. Her August newletter will be about Camp Tosebo. Although the family lived at Todd School during the school year, that was academia… Camp was where the fun happened. Since my Aunt Micky’s family always lived close enough to Camp to visit every summer, their connection remained long after Dad and his older sister had grown and moved away.

There is a lot of information and more family memories for me to dig through here. It may take the form of a couple of different posts.

the summer home of TOdd SEminary for BOys

The second part of the pre-story history revolves around the place where my dad spent his summers. Again, his father was part of the running of this institution. My grandfather was referred to as “General Johnson.”
This is General Johnson fishing in the channel that connects Portage Lake and Lake Michigan.

Founded by Noble Hill, Camp Tosebo was established in 1912 as a private summer camp for the Todd Seminary for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois. The camp attracted boys from all over the country, and even though the Todd School was closed in 1953, the summer camp carried on with its eight-week summer program for another twenty-four years.

It is/was nestled in 56 acres of woods on the south shore of Portage Lake near Manistee, Michigan. Camp Tosebo was established in 1912 by Mr. Noble Hill who was at that time Headmaster of Todd School for Boys. From the old name of the school, Todd Seminary for Boys, was adopted the name TOSEBO. Orson Welles attended the camp during the early 1930's. [yup, there’s that name again… bet Dad was just thrilled.]

Today, long after the last campers have gone, Tosebo Inn retains their memories with camp photos on the walls and the camp credo, "There is nothing so kingly as kindness", painted on the large stone fireplace. If you look closely, you can see it carved in the mantle. These young men are watching a game of chess which was taking place in front of the great fireplace. It might have been a rainy day.

In the 1996 renovation of the Inn (formerly known as the Club House), details were carefully restored and as a result the entire camp was listed on the Michigan State Register of Historic Sites. The Inn now boasts eight guest rooms along with several sitting areas including a large living room, a library, a game room, a dining hall and two sitting porches, all lovingly decorated with camp furnishings. Comfort, privacy, relaxation and wide open spaces both inside and out, are what make Tosebo a unique B&B. The Old Camp Tosebo Inn - Bed and Breakfast - offers its guests the best in indoor comfort and outdoor pleasures in a romantic and historical setting...

These 2 pictures show part of the renovations taking place at Camp Tosebo. On the left is the old building called the Club House. On the right is the renovated Club House, now known as the Inn at Camp Tosebo.

The Clubhouse at Tosebo contained the most important rooms at camp - the kitchen and dining room. The food at Tosebo was good and wholesome. You could be sure that when you came in after a morning or afternoon of vigorous activity you would be able to put plenty of it away. The food was served family style by the counselor to the five boys sitting at his table. The clubhouse also housed the infirmary, the library and game room where you could play or sit inside by the fire and read stories on rainy days.

So that is a very brief introduction to Camp Tosebo. I have more to show you in my next post.

Thanks for stopping by…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thought(s) #5

I REALLY should have had this t-shirt as a child...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Todd School for Boys

Often I hesitate doing posts. I am so afraid that I have the information wrong.
Well if it’s wrong, this time… so be it.
This is about my father’s family history as I know it.
I am doing it for my sister, Margaret, my sons, and my grandchildren.
I am fortunate that my dad’s only living sibling, Aunt Micky, and her daughter, my cousin Arlene, have helped me with some information.

About this Todd School picture: (an email from my aunt)

Friday, July 10, 2009 9:49 AM

Dear Carol, I was fascinated by the pictures you sent. Your grandpa was on the far left. The two young women you picked were my primary grade teachers. The older lady was Miss Miles, the Wallingford Hall housemother. This was the time when your dad was a student and might be in the picture.The Tosebo pictures are of the time I lived at camp and are very familiar. Although your grandpa was there at the time he tended to be camera shy. Love,aunt Micky

At the time, Woodstock, IL was a small community NW of Chicago. In this small community was a private boys’ school, Todd School for Boys. It was an independent school founded by Reverend Richard K. Todd who moved to Woodstock Illinois from Vermont in 1847 to be pastor of newly formed Presbyterian Church. He brought the New England philosophy of "plain living and high thinking, and in harmony with Puritan traditions." [note: It’s really ironic, at least to me, that all the while I was growing up I claimed that my parents were of true Puritan stock – not far from the truth, eh?].

In 1848 Rev Todd opened a day school in the parsonage, for both boys and girls. This small day school went through many scholastic changes, and in 1867 the school underwent "extensive improvements" at which time it became exclusively a seminary for boys, and became known as the Woodstock Institute. It held this name until 1873 when it became known as the Todd Seminary for Boys. Noble Hill joined the institution in 1888 as Reverend Todd's assistant. Hill resigned a year later due to differences in opinions with Todd. A year later Hill returned with a promise from Todd that he would have his full support. In June, 1892 Noble Hill arranged to purchase the Seminary from Reverend Todd, at a cost of $20,000. Noble Hill was headmaster at the school until he passed the school to his children in 1930. The following is an email from my dad’s sister:

Saturday, July 11, 2009 8:25 AM

Dear Carol,
… During the WW2 your grandma taught Latin. Since Todd was a private school people did not need to have a degree, Grandma could do that. Early on Grandpa was called the headmaster as he had the college degree and Roger Hill did not. After the son got the degree he took the title of headmaster and Grandpa was the principal.
Love, Aunt Micky

The school’s final name change occurred in 1930 when it became the Todd School for Boys. In addition, Woodstock can claim an important role in the creative development of Orson Welles. Welles attended the Todd School for Boys in Woodstock where he came under the positive influence and guidance of Roger Hill, a teacher who later became Todd's headmaster. Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him. Welles performed and staged his first theatrical experiments and productions at Todd School. [One of my father’s claims to fame is that he once punched Orson Welles in the nose. Dad said, “He was just too big for his shoes.” – now didn’t that prove to be so very true? Welles' photo was pointed out in the web description of the above picture. I cannot find my dad in it. My grandfather is the gentleman on the left with his hat in his hand. ]

This picture is of one of the last buildings standing on the parcel where Todd School once lived. I do not know if it is still there.

Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Manic Monday ~ CURSE

After checking out the myriad of negative definitions of the word CURSE, I feel like I’m going through not-quite-the-six degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon to get from the word curse and all its negative meanings to the curser which I spell cursor which brings me to the computer. Whewww….

Actually, there is a very simple connection between curse and computer. If it’s not running well, I curse. If it’s not giving me the information I want, I curse. Plain and simple, if the dang thing doesn’t do or say what I WANT it to do or say the result is a plethora of profanity.
So Saturday morning I am sitting at the old keyboard just minding my own business when…. the phone rings, beeps, buzzes… whatever it does these days. It was pretty early cuz the boys were still sleeping -- or trying to sleep.

NOW... I need to back peddle just a bit before I continue on my phone journey. When we got back from our mini get away, this email was waiting in my inbox.
"Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 10:31:40 AM

Subject: Re: * IMPORTANT * Ensure The Safety For Your Online Banking Account… not a joke!

Today, I received a very legitimate looking e mail from Bank of America saying that some unusual activity had occurred on our accounts and I should contact them using the site spot they provided because our accounts were being frozen.

This looked very real, but I had heard about this sort of thing, so I called the Bank of America premier banking number we have for service and the woman told me that is was not real and to report it to the abuse email. I did that, and this is the answer I received. I did not provide any info or even click on the link they had so we will not have a problem.

I just want to warn you that if you receive a similar notice from Bank of America, immediately forward it to ..."

I cannot find anything about it on SNOPES (Urban Legends), so I will assume it to be true.

So... this scam issue is kind of sitting towards the front of my brain… and the phone rings. It’s before 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Damn… where’s the tragedy? No one calls us before noon.

AH HA… caller ID says it’s Bank of America calling. “Hello?” It’s a recorded message saying that there have been some questionable charges on my credit card. You know the routine… press 1 if you made the charges; press 2 if you didn’t; press 3 if you need time to figure out if you made these charges or press 4 if you want the message repeated. My inner voice is SCREAMING: REMEMBER THE EMAIL !!! [note: what I didn’t remember was that the email I received said I would get an email with a web site reference]

Luckily I am sitting at my computer. I press 2 and log into my bank account while waiting for a Bank of America representative to help me. And… voila!! Two charges made that morning… one at (an on-line dating site) and another at Horseshoe Bar U (or something like that… I have NO idea what that is). As for the on-line dating site, the ‘CURSE’ of the computer led me to my current marital situation. Enough said! I did not make either charge.
Of course all this turns out to be legitimate, but I’m still thinking a scam artist is trying to steal my credit card number – not that someone has ALREADY STOLEN it. The B of A rep is so nice and trying to get information from me and I am NOT giving it up. “Will you please verify your email address for me?” “Nope, I get all my statements on line. Bank of America already has it.” I was so NOT going to give out any info. Damn that email… that cursed email!!

The stolen credit card has been destroyed and a new one with a new number will be issued. I am very grateful for the diligence that Bank of America has shown me. And I thank Roxanne (the rep) for putting up with my paranoia.

The ‘CURSE’ of our high-tech world presents all of us with such infinite choices that we forget the communications of 10, 15, 20 or more years ago. It has made life easier and more difficult at the same time. It can give us hours of enjoyment, provide infinite knowledge and keep us in touch with long-lost or distant friends and relatives. It can also steal your money, your identity, your life. My small incident on Saturday was scary enough for me. I’m not untouchable in this byte-size world. Sometimes I really miss a less technical world… and sometimes, I don’t.

Thanks for stopping by... y'all have a great week...

Visit more Manic Monday stories here. Thanks Mo!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Thoughts # 4

Have a great day everyone... thanks for stopping by...

Back from the foothills...

This is a picture taken in February when we visited our friend Ed (a.k.a. Mr Moose) in Sonora. The hill doesn't look ALL that steep from here, but it sure is when you try to walk up -- or down. Anyway, we had another very nice visit with our friend over the past few days. It was very warm -- hot even. We are in the midst of another summer heat surge. Anyway, I would have taken pictures on this trip but my camera decided to have a "melt-down". Yes, I have tried new batteries.

One of the highlights of my visit this time was to participate in Old Farts' Day at the local Sonora grocery stores. Sonora is about 45% retirees and on Tuesday some of the grocery stores give the seniors 5% off on their entire grocery bill. Ed figured that last year he spent about $4000. on groceries. Since he shops on Tuesdays almost ALL the time, it worked out to a savings of about $200. Now that's nothing to sneeze at, right?

We also watched the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday night and the All Star Game on Tuesday night.

I had a long long phone conversation with my 85+ year old aunt on Sunday. She lives in Wisconsin and I was hoping to garner some more knowledge about my dad's childhood from her. It looks like this is going to be quite a project for me. I want to do this for my sons and grandchildren, so they know something of their heritage... then again... that's another story that I will share with y'all some day.

Thanks for stopping by... have a great day!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #3

There just aren't enough hours in this week. And next week, we are going to the Sierra Nevada Foothills (Sonora) to watch the MLB All-Star Game with our friend Mr. Moose and his cat, Penny.

I spent yesterday with an old friend who has finally moved back to the Sacramento area. She needed a ride to have her hair done in Loomis, CA (about an hour north of where I live). So we took the day to visit and shop! It was fun and I was really tired when I got home.
I spent the morning creating a birthday card for Richard's brother, Dan, who will be 50-something on Monday. Last year he sent me a card that was half burned (because of all the candles on my cake). So this year he is getting a birthday invitation to the Golden Years Living facility. My daughter-in-law has celebrates her birthday this Sunday and a good friend has her cake-day next Thursday. The cards are now done and I will be off to the Post Office shortly.
When I get back, I will go back to work on the information I found about my dad's school and summer camp. I really want to get that done.
Thanks for stopping by... have a great Thursday...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More To Come...

Originally I planned to write a blog about where my dad grew up. In researching his "past," I found a gold mine of information about it. I am still digging into some of these facts that absolutely facinate me.

Just a little tid-bit fact from his life... One of my dad's claims to fame is that he punched Orson Welles in the nose.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

MANIC MONDAY on Saturday

Wishing you all a happy and SAFE
4th of July 2009
This is my country,
land of my birth!
This is my country,
grandest on earth!
I pledge thee my allegiance,
America the Bold.
This is my country,
To have and to hold.

Visit more of Mo's Manic Monday here

Friday, July 3, 2009

Short Fuse Story #2

As I said Wednesday, for some reason I am running on a short fuse.
Let’s make that a really

It is Thursday (July 2, 2009) afternoon. Son #1, whose name is Chris, just walked in the kitchen door. “It’s a good thing I stopped at that second place. Mom, you are not going to believe this…”

It all started when I got up Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. (this is really a bit too early for me these days), Chris was snoring loudly on the sofa recliner with the TV on. However, this is NOT the first time I have found this scene upon getting up. Often I hear him trying to quietly go to bed about 6 a.m. He says he slept for a bit and then got up for a bit and then went back to bed. I KNOW that he has fallen asleep on the sofa with the TV on. Know what? I just don’t believe that story. I have suggested, many times, that if he is tired GO TO BED! This is not HIS home, if he wants to do his own thing, he needs to get his own place.

My 38-year-old son came to live with us in April 2008, so that I would have some help and some company when Richard went through the bone marrow transplant in May 2008. By October 2008, Richard was recovered enough to take our long-planned for cruise from the west coast to the east coast via the Panama Canal. After spending six months here, Son #1 decided he wanted to stay and not return to Pennsylvania.

Not to minimize his contributions in helping us because Son #1 does help out around here and the help is much appreciated… he loves to cook, takes care of the lawn, and when poked with a cattle prod does some help with the cleaning. Since he claims the kitchen as his domain, he is responsible for keeping it clean (cattle prod time again). He also keeps the grocery list and goes to the grocery store with me (that’s because I pay). He is also very good to Ramona the pup; in fact, she adores Son #1.

However, he really has not started a serious search for gainful employment. In the last 8 months, I can count on one hand the times he has actually GONE OUT of the house to look for a job… only to come home and say: I have to apply online. Me thinks, perhaps, he should be looking in a different direction. He has been a security guard, worked at convenience stores and restaurants and has been a bartender. He was in the Marine Corps. I will say that he has done up a resume and knows how to write a cover letter. He has been to the state job center three times.

So, because of this current short fuse of mine (being what it has been this week), I exploded at him at 5 a.m. yesterday morning. Verbally, I threw newspapers and telephone books at him. I also suggested he started being a little creative in his job search. USE YOUR FRICKIN HEAD!! You want a job? You must prove it at this point in our recessed economy. Get creative. You are in a competitive market – even at McDonalds.

Then I let THE sentence go… “Have a job by the end of July or find someone else to live off.”

OMG (my mother-self said)… I AM a bad mother... not bad, HORRIBLE!!

OMG (my voice-of-reason said)… He’s 38-frickin-years-old; he needs to be responsible!

Son #1 tends to focus ALL his free time on reading and “playing” on the computer. I do this now in retirement; however, at his age, I was a single parent trying to bring up three rowdy boys. I worked at least one full-time job. As the kids got older, I also took on a part-time job AND went back to school when I was well into my 40’s. So, I also told him that instead of resting on my laurels all day long, I would feel guilty about being in the prime of my life and hiding out at Mom’s place. Does he think I owe him this luxury?

So that is a whole lot of build-up to the lighting of my short fuse. Wednesday, he spent the entire afternoon making phone calls, writing cover letters, and getting his resume ready to mail out to several security agencies. Last night he printed out directions to other agencies where he is to take his resume on Thursday. Hopefully, progress in getting through his thick head is being made. (My comment: Do ya see what you can do when you put a little effort into something??? HUH??? DO YA?? Imagine what would happen if you did this even once a week. Maybe you would have a job by now? He must have gotten his thick head from his father… and the blinders too.)

The second stop on his journey Thursday was at the office for a security agency that provides security guards mainly to the City of Sacramento. The guy Chris talked to saw that Chris is a "transplant" from Pennsylvania. Chris said that he had lived there for 10 years but was originally from a small city in Western Massachusetts. The guy at the agency asked Chris if he ever heard of Great Barrington, MA. OMG… just south of our old home town. That along with the fact that Chris is a (ex-) Marine and has guard experience… he may be starting work next weekend. He does need to get a California Guard Registration card which involves taking a 40 hour state approved class and this agency will help him get that.

This is a foot-in-the-door.

Praise the Lord for a short fuse.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's ALL about the almighty dollar

Before I launch into my tirade… HAPPY JULY, EVERYONE.
I sure hope you guys back in New England get a little taste of summer sometime soon – without the humidity. Our heat wave is subsiding... it was only 98* yesterday.

To say the least, my fuse has become very short these days. Some of the anger directed at one faction of California government or another. Remember back in February when I mentioned that this almighty state would be paying our income tax refunds with IOU’s? Well, they are at it again. If a budget hasn’t been passed and accepted, the Governator says the state will pay all its bills with IOU’s starting July 1st. When I went to bed last night, there was still no budget. Ditto on the news this morning.

I don’t believe I have ever been daring enough to fall off my middle-of-the-road horse. I normally don’t like ruffling feathers. I really surprised myself on this one. Anyway, on Tuesday, June 30, 2009, I emailed my state senator. I know it’s a bit late, but then so is the budget. I don’t want to offend anyone, HOWEVER… one of the biggest expenses this state incurs the giving of unearned benefits to illegal aliens. The politically correct term is UNDOCUMENTED persons, but to me they are one in the same. I just wish someone in the government could tell me WHY we support people who do nothing to contribute to our state… that is CONTRIBUTE, not drain. I must be really dumb as I cannot figure it out.

Just an FYI: Richard’s COBRA runs out at the end of July and he can’t get any state assistance. He is not eligible for Medicare until February 2010 and it will cost us almost $800 per month to continue COBRA insurance for another year.

Another ridiculous expenditure this state has is the salaries it pays these political idiots. I thought during the last “special” election we had in May (which cost the state a few million), we-the-people said: agree on a budget or don’t get paid. We-the-people were heard loud and clear weren’t we. Looks like we are going to get more new taxes and fewer services. State employees – poor things – are going to have to take 3 unpaid days off every month until this budget thing is reconciled. Aren’t any of them just grateful to have a job?

The second political issue digging at my sensibility button is that Sacramento Department of Transportation has decided the gate in our back yard that opens on to 24th Street is now an illegal access. This was NOT an issue when Richard bought the house (in 1985). But now our vice mayor is working with D.O.T. to beautify a two-block stretch of the west side of 24th Street. And, of course, it's right in/on/near/in the vicinity of our back yard. To make a long story short, after joining with our neighbors and writing many letters to many different government officials and to 2 of Sacramento’s major TV station problem-solvers (no response from them yet), we finally found a real estate lawyer who is not afraid to fight (this idiocy from the vice mayor’s office at) city hall. He (the lawyer) is trying to find out exactly who owns the easement property the city wants to “beautify”. I am all for making things look nice. My major issue with this plan is WHY the heck are they using precious money for this non-essential project at this time? Haven’t they heard that the state is going bankrupt (refer to above paragraphs)?? Oh yes, the mayor has heard that. He wants to get rid of the city manager… would that be to have that money back in the city budget OR would that be so he has more free-rein in ruining, I mean running, our city?

Is it just me, or has common sense died? Doesn’t anyone else see this senselessness? We-the-people are like a herd of cattle that is being driven towards the edge of a very high cliff and our elected officials are hoping we just keep running and fall off the edge. This scares me… A LOT!!

Thanks for stopping by...
just to forewarn y'all tomorrow is the family tirade...