Sunday, June 19, 2011

being there…..

A good friend of mine tells me that success begins with just showing up.

My dad has been showing up for me for all of my 53 years.  I went to see him yesterday.  And, I’ll see him again today with my youngest, Alex.

My sister from Florida was there, so was my aunt, my sister from Two Rivers, my mother, and a cousin.  I showed up, sort of arriving in the middle of a female talkfest.

And there, in this scenario, my dad showed up, cane in hand, feeling his way around to his seat at the head of the table.  The house was noisy, making it impossible for him to hear any single conversation.  But, there he was trying, struggling to keep up with the words flying from every direction he couldn’t see.  Much of it just noise to him. 

In this estrogen filled room, I was watching my dad.  I watched him move his head back and forth, trying to figure out where each voice came from and what they were saying.  I watched him toil to remain relevant, to comment when appropriate, to start a new topic because he wasn’t able to follow the last. 

It would have been easier to leave the room and the verbal chaos created by his lack of vision and hearing.  But then, he would have given up.  It would have been easier to listen to one of his two radios flanking his recliner.  But, that’s not him.  It’s not his way.

You see, in spite of all of his maladies, my dad is relevant.  He’s relevant because he tries.  He’s relevant because he’s not a quitter.  He’s relevant because he’s proud.  He’s relevant because he shows up. 

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

tired of this….

Dear Republican Party of Wisconsin,

You’ve lost me.  Fake candidates?

Dear Democratic party of Wisconsin,

You’ve lost me.  Leaving Wisconsin in a policy dispute?

Dear Republican Party of Wisconsin,

Get out of my bedroom.  Stop spying on me. 

Dear Democratic Party of Wisconsin,

Recall elections should not be used as a club, but a last resort.  Grow up!

We need a new form of government.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

life goes on…..


An icon of my youth is gone.  Schroedl’s Meat Market recently closed its doors.

The Schroedl family has been processing meats for a long time.   My parents, who are 90 and 87 said it's been there as long as they can remember.

I was raised down the road from Schroedl’s, maybe a half mile.  Many of my earliest recollections in involve Schroedl’s. As a five year-old, I used to take a nickel and get a popcicle.  The smell of their meats permeated our home on more nights than not.   More recently, I would go there for the best summer sausage made anywhere.

schroedls3A victim of superstores, Schroedl’s was a humble place with a meat counter, whizzing band saws making all kinds of noise in the back, and banging trays echoing throughout the store.  It was real.  Now it’s gone.

schroedlsmeatsOver the years, the Schroedl family did what they could to modernize their business.  They added a dairy, and then closed it.  I never once felt they gave less than they had.

They were good neighbors.  They are good people.  They were good business people.  And, they sold damn good meat. 

Thank you Schroedl family for making my life just a little bit better.  I’ll miss it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

defending the weiner…..

Look, there are a million puns I could use while writing this piece, and some might leak in inadvertently, but I’ve just got to say this.

If you read me, you know I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal.  Some might call me Libertarian, but that sort of government really never works, sort of how Communism or Socialism never work. 

In any case, over the years, I’ve come to admire Anthony Weiner’s positions on the liberal side.  I believe he is the finest articulator of the liberal cause, making no apologies for his positions, not parsing his words, standing in front of the crowd, true to his inner McGovern, somebody I could admire without agreeing with almost anything he said.  His is an important voice. 

His language is precise.  His positions concise.  He’s good at what he does.  He has a brilliant legislative mind.  With him, you get reasoned and impassioned arguments.

He doesn’t lay in the weeds, say one thing and mean another, appease those who disagree.  He stands in front of you with his opinion and he dares you to disagree.    These traits will help him as he attempts to regain some form reputation.

Yes, what he did is unfathomable, stupid, reckless, immoral.   Get out the thesaurus and use all the words.  They all apply.  He deserves punishment.  He needs mental help. 

But, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, his voice needs to stay.   As warped as it is, we need his mind.  We need his positions, because the rest of the cowards on Capitol Hill are too wussy to stand in front of the crowd with the truth.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

on a lighter note….

Politics has been such a downer lately.  With Anthony Weiner showing his….well…wiener, or at least the bulge it makes, here we are investigating yet another politician.

US Germany

So, it comes with some relief that we see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a full belly laugh after seeing a photo of her and her pantsuit wearing sister,  German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the waste down.