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It's Not Just a Cap!

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On this past Father’s Day weekend, I treated myself to a new St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap. While celebrating with our son and his family, we went over to the nearby West County Mall. At Matt’s suggestion we dropped into the Rally House store to check out the gear. He was looking for a trendy t-shirt with the City Connect script-style logo. I was looking for a black cap with a red visor and traditional StL logo in contrasting red stitching. We were both happy with our purchases! After getting back to the house, Monique reminded me that I haven’t worn my other Card caps much this season. I reminded her that the Redbirds have been in the basement of  their division standings much of the time. She drove home her point with a concluding dig as I tried on the new cap, “I thought you were mad at them!” It’s true that I am tired of their underperforming! While I haven’t completely given up on them, I am weary with making excuses and complaining! I've got fan fatigue! I shouldn’t have t

Middle Child Surprise!

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We’re a little blurry-eyed today coming off three days and two nights of sitting our four local grands! Don’t misunderstand me. They are great kids between sixteen and eight years old! We love each of them dearly. But, like many their age, the youthful energy levels and summer schedules don’t match the more laidback and senior adult lifestyle of their grandparents! 😊 Charlie on the job! What's that in your jaw?😂 One of the things I enjoyed most about having them under my roof for a few days is that I got that informal one-on-one time with each of them. I am amazed at how quickly they are growing up and how much more mature and perceptive they are becoming. These past brief days have flown by and once again, have left us with many cherished memories. We ate at the same table, went to ballgames and the park, watched television, visited the coffee shop and snow cone stand, and just enjoyed hanging out together! Fun! As you already know, I am a shamelessly doting grandfather! I pray

A Swarming Invasion!

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Months ago, we received news predicting that May through mid-June 2024 would be the optimum time for the thirteen to seventeen-year cycle of Cicadas. After making their appearance, we were told to brace for the invasion and especially the deafening noise that their mating calls would evoke. Experts said that if we could ignore them during the height of the season, it would soon be all over. Once their mating ends and the females lay their eggs…mission accomplished! "What you looking at, Willis?" Last Saturday, we took a short, forty-five-minute road trip east to a Decatur-area Walmart. It would be in this setting that we would have our first encounter with the annoying, buzzing, and even frightening Cicada invasion. After we had just parked in front of the store, and opened our car doors, we heard   blood curdling screams from three little girls approximately 3 or 4 years old. We presumed they were siblings and could see that their mother was trying to quickly get them into t

Dill Pickles and Dr Pepper?

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I have often written about the impact of ideation on one of my favorite beverages – Dr Pepper! It wasn’t too long ago that I was snookered into buying Dr Pepper: Dark Berry Zero Sugar! I hated it and couldn’t give it away! This new attempt at ideation is another one I will be quickly sending off to the idea-garbage heap! This latest one was inspired by a TikTok campaign aided by the likes of Sonic Drive-In’s who are adding dill pickles to the sacred Dr Pepper formula! This is just wrong! What is this world coming to?? Static Media: shutterstock.getty.com The slogan “new and improved” may be the motto for product ideation, but I vigorously resist any attempts to cater to a sour-pickle-cult-following of social media “noodle heads” who want to mess with my Dr Pepper! Surely there are better ways to generate new ideas and at the same time protect the integrity of a product without going crazy! Now, I have no problem with ideation when it comes to Blue Bell Ice Cream choosing to add a new

"I Told You, Buddy!"

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I’m sure that health-care professionals have done extensive analysis about self-talk. If not, they should! I know a few jokes that have evolved from such mumblings. One of my favorites starts by asking,   “Do you believe in the hereafter?” This is a question many of us ask in our daily and episodic forgetfulness. We will wander (and wonder!) room to room throughout the house asking ourselves, “What am I here after?” 😊 "Shhhh!!" Image: adobe.stock.com We also have another type of self-talk these days of our “golden years!” “Television Talk!” We do it during news programs as we boldly interject, “I can’t believe he said that!” And we do it during sport’s programs as we shout out, “It’s a free-throw! And they still can’t make it! Don’t they know? It’s free!!” At our house, we see this derivative of self-talk even more during game shows! There are some sacred half-hours during mid-afternoon and early evening at our house! It’s a time when everything stops, and everyone focuses

Another Epic Sky Show!

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Wow! What a year this has been for us! In the fall, we experienced a dazzling annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse during our October 2023 visit with family in New Mexico. Next, and about a month ago, we marveled at a near total solar eclipse here in central Illinois! It was another feeling of déjà vu for us! And to cap it off, this week, we (and millions of others in all fifty states!) were treated once again to another spectacular light show – the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. What color and beauty! This latest show has been more memorable because it has extended into a week-long nightly astronomical pageant. Locally taken photograph: J. Goss I am not a scientist, but I do wonder at times how those in this important field of study understand these “sky shows.” A cursory reading around the news coverage assures me that the finest minds have no problem describing this phenomenon in exacting detail. They speak of “solar flares and storms,” “chemical interactions with earth’s magne

"A Flared Nostril Winner!"

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Once a year, I am a Kentucky Derby fan! When I was a boy, I was fascinated by the stories my great uncle talk ed about regarding his frequent trips to the horse racing track at Cahokia Downs in St. Clair County. I was never allowed to be such an enthusiast! We had some compulsive behaviors in our family and Mother did not believe in gambling of any kind. However, I do get excited about the hype surrounding the annual “Run for the Roses!” It may only be a momentary interest, but I try not to miss the annual television coverage at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. adobe.stock.com There was nothing quite like the drama of this year’s epic photo finish! One of the most prized, beautiful, and spirited three-year-old Thoroughbreds, Mystik Dan, won the race around the mile and a quarter oval in a breakneck 2.03.43 minutes of time and his owners claimed the 3.1-million-dollar purse! It was exciting to see Sierra Leone and Forever Young, the second and third place horses, compete side by side in