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05-28-09    Our Wii game was a hot item when we first bought it but like everything, unless
you continuously spend big bucks on the accessories, you lose interest. So it sat for a
couple of months but lately with the wind and the rain keeping us inside we've begun using
it again. The Grandkids like playing it and much to my surprise have had enough of Spider
old and normal except for the fact they are twins. And being twins they have grown up in an
"even" world where there are two of everything and everybody gets a turn and things have
to be fair. Problem is that's not how winning goes nor is it how golf works. So when they golf
they argue. They get mad when it's their turn to be first but the game has a mind of it's own
they argue. They get mad when it's their turn to be first but the game has a mind of it's own
using the score to determine who's first at every hole. They really get ticked when they
have the most points but don't win. They are livid when it's they're turn but the game says
the other one gets to go again. So now Gramma and I do our best to make golf the last
game of the visit. Once the game gets started there are verbal warnings, a little calm
followed by one round of turning the t.v. off and chilling out then several threats of taking
them home, each one louder than the last. By the time we can no longer take it comes the
"All right, that's it. I'm turning the t.v. off and you're going home. Get your coats and shoes
on."  At that point they are so mad at each other they enjoy knowing they had a part in
causing the other one to lose out. You know what I mean? Now there is a small victory in
this for them in the fact that by the time we reach a flashpoint they get out of picking up
their mess because whoever has agreed to take them home wants to accomplish that
right
now!
But I love every minute of it. In fact, they're in the background building up to the end
as I type. Fortunately I'm down to my boxers and a t-shirt so Shar will have to do the
honors. I'll pick up the house while she's gone so I don't get any overflow fury when she
gets back. Another reason they call me Slick Dick.

05-26-09   Today I was supposed to fly two of my dear Aunts to Plainwell, Michigan to
attend a cousin's Confirmation ceremony. I was really looking forward to the trip as any
more it seems the only time I do any flying is when there is a reason for it rather than just a
fun ride. Of course the weather put a stop to the plan. My Aunts are both, in my view, very
religious. My Grandmother (their Mother) was a Saint while on earth and has performed
many miracles now that she resides in Heaven. So I was surprised when the weather ruined
our day being sure that both had prayed to Gramma for good weather and a safe flight. (I
know I did.) Then it dawned on me. Perhaps there were circumstances that would have
been catastrophic had we flown so Gramma herself provided the storm that kept us
grounded. Very likely. It's like when I stop an employee from doing something my Wife does
not approve of. I've saved them from an ass-chewing and they don't even know it! Or
perhaps Gramma helped me find happiness. I took advantage of the free time the canceled
trip allowed and did some reading. I came across the following article: It's titled GRAMPA's
SECRET and has five rules for men to follow for a happy life.
  1. Get a woman who helps at home, cooks and cleans up
  2. Get a woman who can make you smile and laugh
  3. Get a woman who you can trust and does not lie to you
  4. Get a woman who is good in bed and who likes to be with you
  5. It is very, very, very important that these four women do not know each other
This appears to be good advice but a bit of a gamble. As Dirty Harry would say "Do you feel
lucky? Well, do ya?"


5-14-09     Often acquaintances of mine are irritated when I will not make a firm commitment
to travel or attend a party or sports event or whatever. Today I can give you an example of
why this is so and cannot emphasise enough what a daily occurrence the following story is.
I have a friend who enjoys mushrooming more than anyone I know. Because of the many
favors he's done for me I'm obligated to go mushrooming when he asks.  As you know
mushrooms have a mind of their own and you must be ready to go when they decide to
grow. One problem is my friend insists on hunting these elusive fungi up near Atlanta. That
requires about a five hour road trip, a few hours of walking around the woods, lunch and
dinner. In other words an entire day. So I agree to go Monday. The bar is closed and there
should be no problems getting away. I tell my friend to meet me at the bar at 9:00a.m. This
will give me time to do all the necessary bookwork, reports, balancing, etc., needed to do at
the end of the week before we head out. While doing this I notice a sign on a freezer stating
it's broke. Employees have emptied it so everything is safe. I call the refrigeration man who
states this morning is the only time he can service it. I whine to him I'm heading up north but
if he can come right away we'll delay our departure. He shows up about 10 o'clock (God
bless him) and begins his work. On one trip outside for more tools he notices there is also a
problem with the walk in cooler: the fan on the condensing unit has stopped working. He
tells me I need to shut it down or it will burn up the compressor. That's not an option, the
cooler has lots of food in it. After a couple of phone calls I find a motor at R & W Electric.
Meanwhile my friend who is anxious to get going is working on removing the old motor,
knowing we can't go until the cooler is operating. Into Midland we go and pick up the motor.
I'm slobbering over myself as we drive past the 702 Bar thinking of how good a burger and
cold beer would be right now. Back to the bar and things are going slow for the refrigeration
guy but he's making headway. We get the motor on the cooler and it's working again. By 1:
00pm we are ready to go but it's now to late to travel any distance. Now we are driving
around looking for mushrooms in local,unfamiliar areas and after several hours of walking,
driving and hunting we have 3 mushrooms. How's that for an interesting day. A few
unforeseen obstacles, some frustration, a bit of anger, some small triumphs, another repair
bill, several things learned and the satisfaction you did the right thing and accomplished
something. You comfort yourself by thinking how bad it would have been had this occurred
Friday night or Sunday morning or a holiday weekend. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have
this much fun every day of my life, just 359 days a year.

5-04-09     Every state in the union has funny laws that are brought to light occasionally.
While in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a very old bar in a very small
village and they had a poster on the wall listing rules of the State Liquor Commission. I'm
heading to Lansing today to lobby for the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (bar
owners) and we have specific topics we as a group lobby against. Luckily, they are not
anything like the rules posted in that old bar in Pennsylvania. For instance, it was illegal to
sell, furnish or give liquor or malt beverage to minors, the insane, visibly intoxicated,
drunkards or persons of known intemperate habits. Now as you can imagine I became very
nervous and expected the bartender to take my frosty mug of beer away for several of the
above reasons. And rightfully so. Then I relaxed a little when I read that it was also unlawful
to cash payroll, public assistance, unemployment compensation and other relief checks. I
had paid for my first round with a $50 dollar bill and with rules like that who the hell would
remove from the premise a stranger with $45.00 in cash left? While sitting at my own bar
last night I recalled these rules and began sizing up the customers sitting on either side of
me. I thanked the dear Lord I was operating in Michigan. Otherwise I'd have been breaking
every law listed on the Pennsylvania poster. (that comment was meant to be satirical, not
necessarily truthful) Having said that, I also appreciated every soul surrounding me
supporting my business. God Bless them, one and all.

04-27-09    Last week while in Pennsylvania Shar & I took many back roads and visited
places I prefer - taverns in very small towns (dives, bars, watering holes,call them what you
will.) This craving is evident when you wander into my place. I think one reason I'm lured to
these places is that they remind me over and over that life in a small business is what you
make it. Here is one example of what I mean. We were sitting at the bar of a place reading
the menu that is hanging on the wall. The place was old, worn, dark and a family member
was in charge. The steak menu alone read like this:
N/Y Strips  -  12oz., 14oz., 16 oz., 18oz.
Rib Eye  -  16oz., 20oz., 24oz.
Round Steak - 42oz., 84oz. (naturally, if you eat the 84oz. and two sides in an hour or less
it's free and you get your pic on the "wall of fame")
Now I've been hanging around these joints since I was 18 (the law back in '74) and owned
one since '87 and I can tell by the appearance of a place how busy they are. My experience
told me this place was not that busy. So I ask him how he can afford to stock all those
different steaks and how does he keep them from spoiling? He proceeds to remind me that
not everyone stresses themselves over business. The New Yorks are simple. He buys a loin
and cuts whatever size steak needed as the orders come in. The key word here is
simple,.....stupid! The big round steak is almost as easy - you keep two 42oz steaks in the
freezer (they're so big around they are thin and can be thawed/cooked fairly quick). If
someone orders the biggy you trim them and present them to look like one giant steak.
Then my favorite explanation, the ribeye. According to him,
everyone knows if you want
ribeye you call ahead a day or two and let him know. The steaks will be there when you
arrive. Dammit, I want to operate like that!!!!!!






04-14-09    Today my son-in-law Rick started preparing to put his customer's boats in the
lake today. Now everyone has their own idea when to launch the toys in the spring. After 20
some odd years I've discovered what works best for me  - Memorial Day week they go in,
Labor Day week they come out. There are reasons for this, one of which, I don't fish. And
like everyone with a boat or pontoon I used to leave it in during the fall and planned to go
on one or more "color rides" but they never materialized. I can't remember what year it was
that really caused me to set a date but I remember the details. One unusually warm April
Saturday several of us (around 14 or 15 people) were sitting in the Bar & Grill and decided
it was just too nice to park in a barstool all afternoon. I had the brainstorm of putting in my
pontoon and partying on the lake. We filled one of those big, big white coolers with beer,
whiskey, bourban, rum, vodka and kahlua and whatever mixes anyone requested. We
grabbed several bags of ice, launched the pontoon and cruised north on the lake. We
stayed out too long and were all feeling merry. Later in the afternoon the air got chilly. My
pontoon had a "hard top" that didn't fold down so everyone was crowding the front trying to
absorb some sun rays for warmth. One passenger had basically sat on his ass all afternoon
barking orders for drinks and finally those of us still on the back told him it was his turn to
fetch beers and mix cocktails. The cooler was on the front deck. He was not the slimmest
passenger and we encountered a balance problem. As soon as he stepped over the rail
the deck dipped into the freezing lake and I had enough speed to make the pontoon
submarine bow first. I was sitting at the back and the water was very deep, the front was
really submerged. I pulled the throttle back and the boat surfaced but everything not nailed
down was floating in the lake. And we realized just how dangerously cold the water was.
About half of us thought it was hilarious but there were those who thought we were all going
to perish so the mood sobered up. I assured those who wanted to immediately head to
shore that I would slow down and told everyone to remain seated and make whatever
moves were necessary to balance our load. We lost a few items but was able to retrieve the
cooler and some towels, clothes, cups and cans but lost a lot of ice. When we arrived at my
house I tied the pontoon to the sea wall, (I had no dock or hoist in yet) and we finished the
evening back at the Bar & Grill entertaining others with tales about our adventure. The next
morning I looked out the front door and there was my pontoon banging against the seawall
with 4 to 6 inches of snow covering the floor and litter from the day before. I don't think it
warmed up again for a couple weeks. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I set and
adhere to the dates - Memorial Week and Labor Day Week.

04-06-09   The other day i was shopping and the fella in front of me at a check out had one
of those large leather wallets with the long chain attached. A lot of people have them,
mostly bikers and truck drivers. I had one once and as with many things I've owned there is
a reason I no longer use it. Back in the 80's when I was new to the bar business everything
was CASH! We did not accept credit cards and most of our customers didn't use them. So
whether I was making money or not I used to handle a lot of cash. (well, it seemed like a lot)
Today very few transactions are cash, which can be a good thing because you don't have
to worry about protecting your hard earned money, it somehow just shows up in your
accounts. One morning I had gotten the bar ready to open and had a deposit to make. I
filled out a deposit slip and stuffed the money in my big leather wallet, chain tied to my belt.
My sister-in-law wasn't working at the time and I had a load of trash on my truck that
needed to go to the landfill. She offered to ride along and help me unload the truck. I
decided to head to the "dump" first and make the deposit on the way home. As we turned
into the landfill and headed for the office I grabbed some money from my wallet and set it
alongside me on the front seat. I paid the Landfill Lady through the window and headed for
the dump site. While we emptied the garbage I noticed a $20.00 bill tumbling in the breeze. I
ran over to pick it up and when I turned I saw a couple more, then more and more of them.
Holy shit, look at all the money flying around. This must be my lucky day. Then I see a slip
of paper and think damn, if this identifies the owner I'm going to have to return it. It
identified the owner all right, Your's Truly. Apparently when I paid I not only failed to zip the
wallet shut I had also left it lay on the seat. When I slid out of the truck it dangled wide open
on the end of the chain and emptied the contents in the landfill. Somehow we recovered all
the money but that was the last day I used that wallet. How can something that looks like
Fort Knox on a biker or trucker work like a hole in the pocket on me?

04-02-09  The other day I was driving down M-30 and passed the old lumber yard.
Remember how many lumber yards there were before Lowe's and Home Depot? It was nice
to have a local store. Especially if you were in business, like myself, and you hired lots of
"handiwork" done. You could just send an employee or whoever you had working for you to
the lumber yard and tell them to pick up your materials and put them on your account. You
could send anyone because they knew you and you knew they knew what you wanted.
They'd get the item from racks out back and load it up for you. One time Al Stephens and I
were doing some remodeling in the bar. Butch Smith took the day off and came up to
help/join us. He and I had quite a love affair with the Budweiser tap. By lunch we were well
on our way and aggravating the hell out of Al. He made a list of supplies we needed from
Midway Lumber and made the mistake of sending Butch and I together to pick them up. We
drove across the lake and went to the service counter with our list. The counter man was
not too impressed with our drunken demeanor and made us repeat every item so as not to
get the load screwed up. He messed with us a little, for instance when I said "I need twelve 8
foot 2 by 4's" he'd say "you want 2 by 4 by 8, a dozen." Yeah, whatever. So anyway, you
can imagine how it went - ordering, Butch and I repeating over and over, other customers
wishing we'd hurry, speaking louder than normal, all the irritating qualities of beer buzzed
idiots. Finally the order was complete and time to pay. No check. Ran out to the truck and
found it on the seat. Apologies. Write the check. "O.K. Dick, drive around to the yard and
so-and-so will load you up. Make sure you have your yard slip." Yeah, yeah, I know the
routine. See you later. Back in the truck and on our way, we decide we got time for a quick
one at the Red Oak. Bad move, Ray is there and so there is no time for just one quick one.
Finally return to the Bar & Grill and we back up to the side door hoping Al isn't too mad. He
comes out the door, drops the tailgate and as we go to the back of the truck to unload he
says, "Where's all the stuff?" Oh my God, we never drove around to the yard and picked up
the goods. It seemed funny but we didn't dare laugh. "We'll be right back!" "Bullshit" said Al.
"One of you go get it, the other stays here." To this day Al has never found that story
funny.  




Once again it's been proven. The bar business depends not so much on the economy as it
does on who's celebrating. And if you are lucky enough to have several things going at
once, you've got it made. Friday was the first day of spring and the third week of lent. After
a long cold winter apparently people thought the first day of spring was something to
celebrate. Combine that with the lenten fish eaters and you've got yourself an overflow of
guests, which in turn gives me something to celebrate. Then on Saturday we had Jim
Linden, Elgin Hess and myself celebrating  birthdays. It appears Elgin is the most popular
guy in town as his was the biggest party. For that I thank his wife Donna. Sure, it was his
day but we all know who organizes the celebration. Anyway, turning 53 was no where near
as fun as seeing all those people supporting yours-truly in his never ending endeavor to
make a living. Thank you everyone. Our pool league regular play has ended and Sunday
was the end of the year tournament. This  celebration is held at Frick's and 16 men, (for
lack of a better word) and 14 women participated. (I don't shoot, I'm just there to watch the
girls rack the balls)  Add the spectators and it made for a fun day. In the men's category
1st. place went to Frank King, second to Joe Reid and third to Kurt Jodoin. Women's
category, first place Donna Jenkins, second Glady Burkhardt and third goes to a
sharpshooter from the 702 Bar, Tonya Phillips. I should have had a post-tournament party
at the Bar & Grill afterward so the winners could celebrate. Wendy Linden's strategy failed
to take her to the top but it certainly carried her a long way. You see Wendy does whatever
it takes to make the game go on sooooo long that in the end beating her is in no way as
satisfying as just getting the game over. This causes her opponent to do what ever it takes
to end the match, even if they lose. Brilliant. So in closing, I wish to appeal to anyone who
has anything to celebrate this weekend to consider allowing us to host your celebration. I
promise you won't regret it and you'll never find anyone who appreciates it more. Have a
great week!




03-16-09    St. Patrick's Day. Erin Go Bragh! Translated this means Forever Ireland. Why
this holiday strikes such a note in people I'll never know but once again all of us at the Bar
& Grill enjoyed the benefits of a busy weekend. A great time was had by all at the annual
party Saturday night. We sold more corned beef and cabbage than ever. We drank green
beer and green Grasshoppers. The dance floor was filled till the bitter end with people
jamming to the tunes of our local favorite talents of Triple Play! Of course many of us were
worn to a parade rest when it all ended but once again it's great to know the patrons in our
fair area are willing to support our efforts. My thanks to everyone who participated and to all
the employees who make these promotions work. As usual I'm listening to the news while I
blog. And as usual my employees appear to be smarter than the employees of the giant
businesses we bailed out. After this weekend's wind-fall (one great night) my employees are
smart enough to realize there will be no million dollar bonuses in this week's paychecks. As
average American's, myself and my employees realize all we've done is covered bills
crowding the past due date. I won't be driving a new Cadillac to work Tuesday. They won't
be booking travel plans to Vegas. With millions out of work and the economy in the tank we
are just thankful for a little butter on our bread while we plan for our next promotion. But not
the big shots. They think they've got it coming. It's owed to them. They think concessions
are lines at the company picnic where you get free stuff. When V.P. Biden was campaigning
he said other countries and terror groups would test Obama when he became President.
Little did he know his first big test would come from the fat cats at AIG. Well Mr. President,
what are you going to do? Can you defeat financial terrorists in your own back yard?
Anyone still feel bad about raising taxes on the wealthy?

03-10-09    There are few things more aggravating than listening to someone brag unless
the person has what is considered "bragging rights" and I intend to exercise mine. We
always celebrate St. Pat's day the Saturday before the actual holiday and nothing goes
over better than our corned beef and cabbage dinner. I've not had one any better (and
most aren't even close) than the one we annually serve at the 'Bar & Grill. Many people say
they don't like corned beef, let alone boiled dinner, but that's because you've never had
ours. It's cooked slowly over a period of two days. Big briskets sliced to order, Idaho
potatoes, huge carrots, lots of cabbage and the combination is delicious. Start with the
salad bar and finish with minty ice cream and you've experienced a diner's dream. Over the
years we've converted many non believers. Dinner starts at 4:00. Of course we'll have
green beer! And TRIPLE PLAY will be playing some great dance music starting at 9:30. And
that's today's entry. Thanks for 'listening'. See you Saturday.

03-06-09    Finally got some warm weather and a beautiful wind, great for kite flying. But
what fun is flying kites if your Grandkids aren't around. We have a large "dragon" kite that's
scary looking to a youngster on the ground but looks great soaring through the air. The
materials are much better than they were when I was a kid. I remember in March the local
grocery store would have a box of kites. I also remember the only place to fly them was
usually a plowed field still froze except for the top 2 inches of sticky clay. Hard to run in to
get that initial flight.  The tail was usually to long (heavy) and eventually I would remove it.
Then it
flew nice & high, momentarily. Once the tail was removed the wind would pick up and the
kite would dive at supersonic speed into the mud and that was the end of the kite. One year
my Dad bought himself a box kite. It amazed me as a kid. It took right off and flew higher
than anything I ever had. Then to rub it in he tied it off to the rear view mirror of the car and
went on about his business while the kite flew all afternoon. I took mine in the house and
after a bottle of glue and a roll of scotch tape realized I could not salvage my junker. I went
for the box kites after that but wondered why he hadn't recommended them to me? I think it
had to do with the matter of cost. Now that I think of it, Mom always bought my kites so cost
had everything to do with it due mainly to the fact that she knew how well I'd take care of it.
Anyway, the dragon is now 3 or 4 years old proving they don't make 'em like they used to,
Thank God!

03-04-09    I'm dog-sitting for my daughter. Up until a few years ago I'd never been without
a dog my entire life. I had never tied up a dog or used a leash on a dog but when our last
pet died I realized in today's world you cannot let animals roam at-will and having never
disciplined a dog I realized until I moved out of this subdivision and onto a large piece of
private property a dog was out of the question. This dog is extremely well behaved. HUGE
by my standards, especially his head. And that large head reminded me of an incident that
occurred last fall. Uncle Dougly, a fun loving, older party animal, and I, Sharlyn plus another
couple (who prefer to remain anonymous) were sitting in the Bar & Grill when I suggested
we go on an old fashioned color tour. By that I mean we pack a cooler and drive a large
loop of back roads enjoying the scenery and visiting out of the way bars. I believe we
headed west and stopped in Coleman then Loomis, through Clare and Harrison stopping at
Red's Long Lake Bar for lunch. (where I purchased a chainsaw sculpture of a raccoon, but
that' another story). We then headed  to Elbow Lake Bar, then on to Meredith Inn. Of
course by then we were a car load of happy campers. Leaving Meredith we headed south
on M-18 looking for the big curve where we would escape onto Bard Rd. and avoid any
police. So we're cruising at 45mph (everyone passing us going 60-65) when Uncle Dougly
nervously exclaims "Shit, we're being followed by a state bull." Bad news. Not only was he
surely above the legal drinking limit but a load of passengers sipping on freshly made
cocktails wasn't smart. We were good passengers, remained calm and looked straight
forward. Uncle Dougly on the other hand kept looking into the rear view mirror every couple
of seconds and keeping us informed of the policeman's distance and direction (mainly right
on our ass). "Are you sure it's not a fireman or something I asked?" "No, it's gotta be a cop,
blue car and the bubble is round." I assured him when we went straight on Bard Rd. the cop
would stay on M-18 and was probably headed to the State Police Post in Gladwin. When
our turn-off came we went straight and so did the cop. As we rolled toward the stop sign a
few feet beyond the curve the feeling was Uncle Dougly was probably going to spend the
night in the Gladwin County jail. Well, as it turned out his vision was not what it used to be. I
looked back and his State Trooper turned out to be a blue Pontiac Sunbird driven by a guy
that owned an enormous dog who enjoyed riding shotgun with his enormous head stuck
through the sun roof. Sorta like when Dino used to ride with Fred Flintstone. We laughed
and laughed and laughed, sort of a you-had-to-be-there-moment. This was better than
banging your head against the wall to get that good feeling when you stop. We all went
from nervous to panic to hysterical in a matter of 5 minutes, and still chuckled a few times
the next day.

03-03-09    What a gorgeous day. The sun is shining on the lake and the frozen water
along the shore has heaved into some fantastic natural sculptures. I'll have to get some
pics of that and post them. Last week was a pretty good week business-wise (considering)
I'm ready to tear into this week. The coupon page is getting awfully repetitious so if you
have any ideas send me a comment. You can use the comment box on the home page.
The news is on in the background and I'm hearing more debate about the "Fairness Act".
For those of you that don't know, the Fairness Act would require radio stations that carry
right or left political views to give opposing politics equal time to spout off. Now I think the
whole notion is ridiculous, similar to smoking bans. It's the same story. If you don't like it,
don't engage it. The market will decide. I would, however, be in favor of a "Fairness Act"
that makes the loudmouths on air give equal time to fixing our problems. The rules would be
simple. For every minute of bitching how people are screwing up, they devote the same
amount of time spewing remedies. How easy it must be to daily find fault with everything
from politicians to actors to activists to CEO's to voters but not have to give logical
remedies to the problems. I'd be more than willing to vote for ANONE who has the right
answers to todays issues. They cowardly proclaim that they've found their calling as
'journalists' (which are apparently narrow minded people who find fault, not answers) and
have no desire to make a life or a living in politics. Really! That would be like a person who
claims to have a cure for cancer but doesn't want to practice medicine. I say put up or shut
up. On the lighter side I'll leave you with some food jokes pirated from an old Reader's
Digest:
The best time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.
For thirty years Mother served leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
I always cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.
The trouble with Italian food is five or six days later your hungry again.
Never eat more than you can lift.
When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into 4 or 8 slices I said 4. I didn't think i
could eat 8.
Red meat is not bad for you. Now, blue-green meat - that's bad for you.
Have a great day and stop in & see me! WII bowling @ 7:00 tonight (Tuesday)




2-28-09 I do not always read Dicks Blogs but when I do I must always make Sharlyn's
comments. Maybe Dick doesn't know the crappie queens name but I do.  The only reason I
know is because it is the most prestigious honor any women can have. I was very honored
to crown Leah Webb with the crown. I Know that I have been fishing this tournament for 20
years and I believe she has been fishing almost as long. Not only did she have the honor of
being crowned she also received a second place trophy award right behind the Crappie
King. I hope that she feels as proud as I did receiving this award. Well I do have to admit
when I received this award I was the only woman in the competition.


2-24-09 o get some great shots everyone could have enjoyed. I also forgot my inquiring
mind. I can't even tell you the name of the newly crowned Crappy Queen. I do know that
Bernie Wood was Crappy King and what a monster trophy he received! A great time was
had by all and Rumor's put on a great party for a great price. Sharlyn missed a fish which
was more action than I saw. My bobber never moved. The weather couldn't have been
better nor could the day have started nicer. We stopped in at J.P.'s Party Store and
Pizzeria @ 7:00am to purchase bait and licenses and that was all we had to purchase due
to the generosity of Jill. Not only was the coffee free but she also was giving free
doughnuts. And not just any doughnuts, the good ones, long with chocolate frosting and
creme centers. I added a couple candy bars and a bag of pistachios to my purchase and
off we went. Thanks to the soon-to-be Crappy King Bernie Wood who drilled holes for
Sharlyn and I. Hmmm, maybe he was rewarded for the goodwill by a higher authority. Ever
have one of those days where everything gets packed in one afternoon for no particular
reason? I just got back from the dentist (never go to the dentist the day after Crappy Fest)
my Daughter and Grandkids are headed to Florida about 4:00, a retirement party is
starting soon at the Bar & Grill and our pool league is having a meeting at the bar at 7:00.
Not a good day for a hangover.

2-23-09      O.K. - we got through another week and if not for the snow on Saturday it would
have been pretty normal. Tuesday is Fat Tuesday and hopefully will bring in a few exta
customers. Not many hits on the Fat Tuesday webpage though. I've presented a proposal
for our pool league banquet and feel fairly confident that our goodwill to the players during
the season will pay off. St. Pat's is coming up and hopefully that will be as successful as in
the past. We have, without a doubt, the best corned beef & cabbage dinner in the area.
Every year it becomes a little more popular with customers. Crappie Fest is Wednesday
and I'm taking the day off to attend. That was always a big day for us but the parking and
accessibility on Wixom is much more accomodating and Rumor's can accomodate the mob
easily with their big, beautiful facility. And believe me, it's more fun to attend than to host.
Last year I tried to play league pool after attending the fest and what a mistake that was. I
have a sub this year. And now let me leave you with a bit of old Indian wisdom. A wise old
Indian Chief was once asked that, after 90 years of observation, where did he feel the
whiteman went wrong. After some thought he responded. "When white man found this land,
Indians were running it with no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver. Women did all
the work, medicine man was free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing, all night
making love to women." The Chief leaned back, smiled and said "White man dumb enough
to think he could improve system like that." And that, as they say, is today's food for
thought. Happy Fat Tuesday! Come see us tonight!! We'll save you some money.

2-17-09  Today I'm busy and Nicholas wants to play an online video game on my computer
so I'm just going to tell a joke and call it a blog entry. Here goes. Three Rednecks (hope
that's not offensive to you) were working up on a cell phone tower: Cooter, Ronnie and
Donnie. As they star their descent, Cooter slips, falls off the tower and is DRT (Dead Right
There).
As the ambulance takes the body away, Ronnie says, "Well, damn, someone should go
and tell his wife." Donnie says he will cause he's good at that sensitive sort of thing.
Two hours later, he comes back carrying a case of beer and claims Cooter's wife gave it to
him. "You went and told her Cooter died and she gave you a case of beer?" asks Ronnie.
"Well not exactly. When she answered the door I said 'You must be Cooters widow.' She
said "You must be mistaken, I'm not a widow." Then I said "Betcha a case of beer you are."
Remind you of anything you did after imbibing? Come on, that could happen to anyone!

2-16-09  Wow! Wow!
Wow!!  What a Weekend. Friday was busy just because it was Friday
I suppose. But Matt Ripley's birthday made it extraordinary. Late into the night. Fridays
start out with the good 'ole boys at 11:30 a.m. and I join them until around 3 o'clock when I
try to take an hour nap before the Friday dinner rush. So when you find yourself still in the
building at 2:00 a.m. you wonder "what was I thinking?" I'm not sure why Valentine's Day
was such a hit this year but I'm very thankful. Way beyond our expectations. Not only very
busy but lots of new faces! First time for Hobie-Wan Entertainment and he must have read
the crowd because people danced until closing. Then Sunday a group of Dow Corning
employees came in and watched the Daytona 500 and with the regulars and people just
looking for a good meal at a great price we had a much better than average Sunday. Why
am I telling you this? Because I just watched the early news and heard that Delphi is
trimming over 700 jobs and I'm trying to mix a little good news with the bad. A customer on
Sunday told me he took his wife to the casino for Valentine's weekend and they could not
get a room, had to stay in town. When they went into the casino they had to wait to get on a
slot machine. Another customer told me he went to two local establishments and in his
words "they had it goin on". So despite the recession things are still happening and it
appears people are still willing to get out and spend some money if you give them a reason.
And Fat Tuesday is the next good reason to stimulate the economy. Check out our Fat
Tuesday Page for specials. And if you think you're good enough try WII Bowling Tuesday
night @ 7:00. We'll do anything to draw you in!

2-12-09  I wish I'd kept a more detailed journal of life in the bar business because I think it
would have made for an interesting book. There are stories I occasionally recall, well, not
stories, actual events that still seem remarkable to me. The other day I was busy in the
men's john with an uncooperative toilet. I was reminded of one of the earliest situations I
experienced. It was a hot day during the summer, I was brand new to the business and
about 8:00 at night we suddenly got slammed. I was working in the kitchen when someone
reported that the toilet in the women's restroom wouldn't work. Soon I found that every
drain in the bar was stopped up so I new I had a real problem. I also learned that day that
you can do nothing to stop women from using and flushing a toilet. With the guys it was not
so bad as they lined up out back to do their business. (hey, it was over twenty years ago,
that's what people did then) I'd had problems earlier so I knew where the lid to the septic
tank was. I dug it up, popped off the cement cover and found the tank not only full but
sealed with at least a 12 inch layer of grease. I ran home and cleaned up, grabbed a thick
phone book and went to the biggest, most impressive yellow page add regarding such
matters. They indicated emergency service available 24 - 7. The lady on the phone said
someone would be out first thing in the morning. Morning? Lady I've got a restaurant full of
people and can't run any water. "But your add states emergencies handled 24 - 7!" "Not on
Sundays" she said. What a bunch of shit, no pun intended. That didn't work so I called the
smallest ad next thinking if they can't afford the fancy add maybe they need the money. It
worked. The owner himself was there in 30 minutes. Lesson one - companies so small the
boss has to do it himself are your best bet. (Reynold's Refrigeration, for example) He
quickly broke through the grease and drained the tank but no luck, things still wouldn't
drain. Now here's where an employee of his would have said "looks like you need a
plumber", collected his pay and drove off. But this hero went under the seat of his truck,
grabbed a snake, layed on his belly and tried to start the snake into the drain pipe in the
tank. He couldn't get it. "Grab my legs" he yells. What? "Grab my legs"  I stood between his
legs, grabbed his ankles and he all but disappeared in that damn tank. I was in shock.
Back then I had 15 employees working inside whom I couldn't get to bend over and pick a
napkin off the floor but here was a guy I met 10 minutes ago willing to crawl into an empty
septic tank to help me succeed in business. And his life was now in my hands because if I
lose my grip he's going down into a fatal gas chamber. Snake in one hand, flashlight in the
other he worked furiously. Suddenly I heard a whhooosh. The clog let loose and I jerked
him out of the abyss. He charged me some ridiculously low fee and off he went. I always felt
bad I couldn't take him in the bar, feed him a hearty meal and buy him drinks till closing
time but he was driving a truck and, frankly, wouldn't have done much for the ambiance
after finishing that nasty job.  Now there's a story that is filled with desperation, panic,
heroism and, you gotta admit, it's pretty darn funny. I sure learned what "going the extra
mile" meant. Oh, by the way, that story was brought to you by Henry's Septic Service.

12-11-09  During a power nap yesterday I came up with an idea on helping the economy
recover. As I'm stretched out on the couch the word stimulus seemed to have little meaning.
Then it dawned on me how one might really create a stimulus. Instead of spending money
that doesn't really exist and sending checks to millions of Americans I think the government
should step aside and try this. Send every American 16yrs. and older a Bunsen burner.
Then on a predetermined day at precisely 3:00p.m. Eastern standard time we all place the
burner under our rear-ends and light them. Hopefully this fire under our asses will cause
everyone to jump and do what it takes as Americans to get our economy rolling again, the
grass-roots way. (which means  not depending on the government to do it.)  I don't think
this plan is that far fetched and there would be no doubt as to those who participated and
those who cheated. It could be dubbed the Burning Bottom Method and I bet it would have
more affect on our economy than issuing thousand dollar checks or giving the super
wealthy a tax break. I'll be checking your walk, Hot Cheeks!

02-10-09  My wife and I are arguing. No, nothing serious. We have the good, sparky
arguments at work. In front of employees. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway she just
commented on how beautiful the weather is. I countered, insisting that 57 degrees on
February 10 is not beautiful weather. Somewhere a group of people who've waited all year
for today or this week are trying to snowmobile in this weather. Somewhere a group of hard
working club members are having their winter festival melt before their very eyes.
Somewhere a man and his friends or worse yet, his son, are wondering if they are going to
be able to race the machine they've worked on soooo hard. People have invested money,
time & beer preparing for winter activities this weekend. Their dreams are melting away.
And so are the livelihoods of many northern business people and employees. Of course
that's just life. Everyone's pain is someone else's pleasure. My wife may not think so kindly
of Mother Nature when it rains on her 4th of July party but my Dad the farmer will be calling
it a million dollar shower. And when my annual flying trip to Put-In-Bay is off to a bad start
due to 30 mph winds there will be lots of happy sailors. Now that brings up a good point. All
these things can happen in the same season in Michigan. We can plan, we can read the
Almanac, we can watch the weather channel, but no one knows what next week will bring.
All we can do is hope, and here's what I hope. I hope we're busy Valentine's Day. I hope it
gets back to normal temps by the end of the week. I hope we get 30 percent of the snow
that melted this week back next week. I hope my Wife will dole out a little of that Valentine's
Day cash & send me on a couple day snowmobile trip. (hey, we may not get another winter
like this again soon) I hope winter holds out for another successful Crappy Fest. On the
other hand I hope I learn to be careful what I wish for. And I really hope that Man never
learns to harness Mother Nature to suite his needs. That would make discussions on
religion & politics seem peaceful!

02-09-09  I am trying to have a perfect week. Well, not perfect but as close as possible.
And I have to cheat a little. I am considering Saturday the first day of the week. Only
because I had plans to enjoy the outdoors but the warm weather spoiled that. I took that
opportunity to pick up the Grandkids, enjoyed the hell out of them, and soon it was time to
head for work. But they didn't want to leave. So Salena went to the Bar & Grill in my place
and we had a blast at the house. I intended to grab the WII remotes and head for the bar
when she picked the kids up. Patrons like the bowling game and the golf game. At 9:30 she
appears but the kids are now determined to turn our afternoon together into a sleep-over.
Let's see, go to work at 9:30 or have a sleep-over? Decisions, decisions. Salena informed
the kids that first on the list of protocol for sleep-overs is an invitation. Nick had no trouble
prying that out of Grandma and after some negotiations and the normal promises kids don't
keep we had us a sleep-over! So now Sunday I wake up with the kids right in my house and
we all head to work together. Soon they're headed home and I'm entertaining customers.
Two fella's, Chris & Brent , came in for lunch and the conversation quickly went to flying. I
stuck my head out the side door and realized it was a beautiful day for flying and tried to
remember the last time I was up. They ate, we loaded ourselves in the truck, stopped at my
house for headsets and a key and headed to the airport. They contacted friends out on the
Bay ice fishing and gave us some general directions as to their location. We departed
runway two-four and flew to the Bay. Hard to describe what it's like to watch the ice slowly
become peppered with tiny black dots then realize those are people fishing. Thousands of
them. Then you lose enough altitude so the people can actually see you in the cockpit and
begin waving. Then you see someone you know waving an orange snow shovel amidst a
dozen other people and you realize in that huge expanse you've found your mark. Whoa,
getting too dramatic. We then checked out the racetrack at Albright Shores for any life, flew
over the shanties on Wixom then overflew Sanford Lake. Once again the ice slowly became
peppered with tiny black dots. Thousands of them. Stumps. Sticking through the ice. Back
to the airport, the thermals at low altitude were making for a rough ride. Then back to the
Bar & Grill then home for a fine evening. Two perfect days in a row. Now it's Monday and
although I've got to prepare end-of-the-month books for the accountant the Bar is closed
so I have control over how today goes. All I know is I have a great start on a great week
and with only 4 &1/2 days to go I'll approach them one day at a time. Like I approach my
diet. Only with better results. I hope.

02-05-09  I'm watching a show on t.v.. Rarely do I pay attention to the "experts" often
interviewed but this gal has caught my attention. And I agree with what she is saying. She's
giving advice to people worried about losing their jobs. Now in better times it would be great
advice on how to make more money or advance yourself but given the state of the economy
she is offering the advice to help people KEEP their jobs. According to her there are 4
major steps to staying employed.
  • Seek responsibility
  • Be a team player
  • Offer new ideas
  • Maintain a positive attitude
Seek responsibility. This could mean many things to many people but I would start with
something simple. If you take on a small task at work that makes life easier for someone in
charge, that's a good step. If you've been employed at the same job for several years but
have not assumed any additional responsibilities you've created yourself a dead end
situation that will not be healthy in todays workforce.
Be a team player. Everyone can come up with an excuse for being the weak link in the job
chain but nothing builds more resentment between employees. And the Boss notices such
people. Supervisers get tired of defending people who don't carry their weight and if you
think eventually they'll see it your way your dead wrong!
New Ideas. Everyone has ideas. Everyone! If people wait for the next guy to come up with
an idea that benefits the jobplace you may wait yourself right out of work. And don't be
afraid your idea won't be accepted. I've often found that the difference between a good and
bad week can be determined by nothing more than an idea. I've also known for a long time
that if I had a dollar for every bad idea I've come up with I'd be retired. And wealthy. If you
can convince yourself you have no ideas, good or bad, you've once again hit a brick wall in
regards to the job market.
Positive Attitude. The problem with attitudes are they're extremely contagious. And
attitudes are not prejudice. They're just as content residing in the boss as they are in the
new hiree. If you're in our business attitudes alone can determine how much you make in
an hour, a week or a month. But that's a good thing because I don't have to feel
responsible when they have a bad week. Unless, of course, my attitude is what started the
whole mess. And believe me, I pay dearly for my role regarding bad attitudes!!


02-02-09  Superbowl Sunday has come and gone. The attendance at our party this year
was down slightly as expected. We eliminated the buffet this year and ran food specials and
I think for the most part customers approved the change. Food sales were up, alcohol sales
were down but that just follows a trend started years ago. You'd think I'd be happy for a few
days and stop pestering you for your business but I can't let up. We're already thinking
ahead to Valentine's Day and I'm sitting here planning my strategy. I'm asking myself what's
gonna get you to bring your sweetheart here. Should I try to shame you? Use the old bait &
switch? Get on my knees & beg? Would a fancy ad in the paper help? You might just as
well get it in your mind you've gotta take her out. She might have put up with you and your
buddies on Superbowl Sunday and may have even cooked and entertained but that's not
going to happen on Valentines Day. And you have no excuses. It's on a Saturday this year,
for your convenience. Here's what I suggest. Bring her here and make a reservation so it
looks like you actually planned ahead. Explain to her (or him) that in the middle of a
recession the Bar & Grill offers the most for your buck and that many families now resort to
the Bar & Grill for dining out. And you won't be sorry. Besides our regular menu we'll have
specials including crablegs, prime rib and combination platters like surf and turf. We'll have
some form of entertainment. And you might as well get used to me pestering you for
business because I have no plans to let up. Once V-day is over it's on to St. Patrick's Day
and a band and the best corned beef dinner and green beer. I'm just warning you ahead of
time. SORRY - I can't live without 'ya!

01-31-09  I'm one who likes to blame the "media" for many of our troubles. And there's
proof many reports have direct impact on prices and policies. If the media reports there is a
tomatato shortage or tainted tomatoes you can bet tomato prices will go up. Sometimes I go
so far as to wonder if a tomato trader starts the rumors then cashes in on the short term
benefits. The latest is chicken wings. It is now being reported that due to Superbowl and all
the parties that go along with it there is a shortage of chicken wings. Now there is no doubt
in my mind there will be plenty of wings to go around but I bet there will be a short term
spike in the price for the next few weeks. When I first started in the bar business chicken
wings were no more expensive than french fries. Now you can't afford to put them on a
buffet at happy hour due to the high cost. Of course this is due merely to the popularity of
the item. It's just to bad the price didn't come in time for the average chicken farmer of
yesterday. As usual the beneficiaries of the boom are huge chicken factories and a few
traders. On the other hand yesterday's local headline news announced Dow was cutting
400 to 500 local jobs. I was sure that story would have an immediate affect on consumers
moods and confidence. I spent most of the afternoon listening to customers discuss the bad
news and went home wondering what the immediate affect would be. I headed back to work
about 6:15 and was pleasantly surprised. First, I couldn't find a place to park. That's a good
thing. Then I went indoors and found people waiting for tables. Now that may appear to be
a good thing but if you are as impatient as I am in such circumstances you realize you've
gotta do your best to get everyone seated. I separated a couple of tables set up for large
groups, squeezed the chairs a little closer and made 2 additional tables. I then set up a
folding table in front of the dart board and made room for another group. There was still a
short wait for newcomers but things went smoothly and folks generally seemed to be in a
good mood and willing to wait their turn. So my point is, as much as I badmouth the media
and blame them for everything from shortages to the economy they may really only be
scapegoats we use when things don't go our way. Or would my idea of starting a rumor that
local bars fear there will not be enough seating this year during Superbowl actually work?

01-26-09  With all the changes of late it's apparent we are entering a new era. And with
every new era comes subtle changes in language. We remember when things were groovy,
then cool, then awsome. There was Valley Girl language, computer language, and
investment language. So in order to help keep my customers hip I've devised a few
language conversions that have the same meaning but sound more 21st. century.

Old language                                                             Modern Language
My job sucks                                           I'm just glad to be working   
I put it on my credit card                         I can't really afford it
My new job has benefits                        I get health insurance @ group rates
I got a new car                                       It was my Grandma's car
My boyfriend just proposed                   We're getting married in two years
I'm going on a diet                                 I can't afford to eat out anymore
I ate at McDonald's                              My Aunt gave me 20 bucks for graduation
My house is worth $200.000.00             I owe more on my shack than it's worth
I got a 5 yr. loan for it                             Mom & Dad helped me out
My son is in college                               Junior is experiencing the Delta difference
I filled my gas tank                                 Thank God for overtime
My Uncle retired                                     G.M. Jobs Bank ended
Corporate C.E.O.'s get Bonuses            Government announces Bail Out
Are you accepting applications?             My unemployment ran out
It's my 75th. Birthday                              I'm gonna retire next year
We ate at Sanford Lake Bar & Grill         We got great food @ great prices

01-25-09  Sunday night. Seems like not only the news but many cable shows are
stuck on the economy. A lot of them are interesting but most leave you with more
questions than answers. I wish it was more like global warming where you find just as
many scientists saying it's paranoia as you find those who claim they have proof it's
real. At least then you search for the truth somewhere in the middle. But  with the
economy most agree we're in for a tough 2009 and the gap between the haves and
have nots spreads. This leaves me with something to say to all our customers - Thank
you! We didn't break any records, no one got a raise and many of us are making less
than we did, say, two years ago - BUT - we had a good week. Actually, we had a pretty
good week.  And I've come to realize it's just as fulfilling having a pretty good week
during a recession as it was having a great week when times were super. There are
things you're glad you bought when money was good and things you wished you
hadn't put off when you had the money. I'm sure the employees are tired of me
hounding them to do more with less but most realize we are in survival mode. Now
back to the Thank You! We wish to sincerely thank everyone who give us your
business on a regular or irregular basis. We want to thank customers who were here
last year, last month, last week, yesterday and today. We want to thank those of you
who are coming Tuesday, Friday, next week or next month. We appreciate the family
gatherings, the nightclubbers, those birthday parties we entertained this month and
the Sanford Lake Bass Club for having your annual banquet at our establishment
Saturday night. Don't ever think we won't remember who butters our bread!

01-22-09  Tonight I witnessed something I haven't seen in, well, lets just say a long
time. My daughter enrolled her two 5yr. old kids in a Karate class and I decided to go
watch. When she first signed them up she said it was to teach the kids a little
discipline and a chance for them to unload a bunch of pent up energy that kids that
age have. We drove to Angel's Karate and I will admit I figured the energy thing made
sense but had no faith regarding the discipline. I've always figured if you hadn't gone
to a Catholic school as I did you never really had any notion to what discipline really
was, nor had you  really experienced fear & discipline at a young age. But is was
remarkable, this Karate class, and Angel was a very calm, gentle person who actually
disciplined these kids. Kids who failed to pay attention, follow orders or just plain "act
up" are made to sit in a small "corral" in the corner of the work-out area. Then after
a short conversation from Angel are allowed back into the session. Now bear in mind
this is all happening while parents watch from behind a large glass window sitting on
hard wooden bleachers. They seem to understand this is not baseball or football or
basketball and do not confront the "coach" for picking on their kid, rather seem to
know the value of a child getting disciplined, even if it is by another adult. According
to my Daughter my Grandson has spent some time in the "corral" (my term, not sure
what they call it there) so she would mumble "Nicholas, stop jumping around or
you're going to sit out." even though he had no way of hearing her. But he didn't
have to and for me that was proof he's come a long way from the time he started. Now
the most amazing part of the evening was after class two young boys seemed to have
a small quarrel going on which led to a little pushing. As soon as they came behind
the glass wall where the parents were both Fathers individually confronted their sons
as to their behavior. One led his son over to the other pair and made his son
apologize, and although it had no sincerity to it, he still was made to do it. There was
no gloating or blame and both men appreciated the fact they "practiced what they'd
payed for." Discipline. While we drove away I mentioned to my Daughter that it was
obvious to me those Fathers were also students of Karate. She blew that observation
off, unconvinced, but I understood. After all, if you're a coach or a teacher or a
restaurant owner you've got a better notion of what kids with no discipline are like.

01-21-09  Last night while seated at the tavern someone brought up my blog and
remarked how they liked the fact I kept adding to it rather than erasing old entries. He
felt it was wise due to the fact that if you didn't like one entry, you could read
another, no matter how old, and maybe enjoy one. I took that as a compliment but
didn't mention to him that the only reason I keep adding is I'm just curious to see how
much bullshit fits on one page. Apparently a lot. The news is on as I'm typing, (or
should I say "indexing, as I type with my index fingers only) and suddenly I wonder
why I haven't wrote anything about the pilot who saved 151 lives by ditching the
plane in the river. As a private pilot I'm always concerned about complications during
departures. Pilots worst nightmare! I do have one question regarding the coverage of
this event. HOW DEEP IS THE RIVER WHERE THE PLANE WENT DOWN? I've watched
and listened and watched and listened. I know the name of the river, the width of the
river, the temperature of the river and the fact that the water in the river is murky
but how damned deep is the river? Is it a secret? Would it scare the survivors if they
knew? Is it shallow and would diminish from the story if viewers found out? The fact
that the pilot turned the plane with 2 dead engines, kept clear of inhabited areas and
landed that size aircraft in one piece with no fatalities on any surface makes him a
GENUINE HERO. Period. So now tell me, how deep was the river???

01-20-09  Yesterday I wrote that I had some thoughts regarding the economy of the U.
P. after visiting for 5 days. My thoughts are based more as a small business owner
rather than a consumer so I'm not sure how you are going to read into this. I'm
reacting to the fact that the first stop, Moran, in a tavern/restaurant that dates back
at least 100 years now finds it impossible to survive. Behind every business of that
size and nature are owners and employees that tried everything they could to survive
and couldn't. And probably lost a lot of what they had owned and saved in the
process. Gaging the economy in an area that cannot support gas stations and grocery
stores does not take an economist. I talked to several consumers who drive 25 miles
or more to buy gas. Now if areas cannot support businesses that sell products
deemed as necessities by most of us, what chance do businesses that supply non-
essentials have? After a period of slow spending these small businesses can only
afford to purchase small quantities of goods. This causes them to run out of or
substitute products they are peddling and consumers quickly get frustrated by this,
which slows business even more. Then there is the employee issue. How do you hire
or schedule workers when the difference in revenue varies day to day? This hardship
directly affects the service at retailers which again frustrates customers. In an area
which seems like "wilderness" to most of us the amount of burger or beer you stock
can be made inadequate or overstocked just by the amount of snowfall. And if the
closest place to buy bulk burger is 40 miles away, what do you do? Another sad fact
is the cost of many of the licenses required by government are the same for the 40
seat log cabin bar in the middle of the woods as the corporate owned resort in a busy
downtown. My hats off to those rugged small business owners of the north operating
on a wing and a prayer surviving without the conveniences of local entities selling
the products they need or municipalities supplying them with modern fail-safe
services most communities enjoy while paying the same fees for permits and licenses
that  businesses generating a lot more revenue do.

01-19-09  I'm back from my annual snowmobile trip to the U.P. and just in the nick of
time. The first person I ran into was Mel and he appeared to be worn to a parade rest.
The Bar & Grill had a pretty good week and we left him a lot of jobs which he
obviously covered well. Next trip I think I'll get him a little more help, he appeared
exhausted. We're lucky to have an honest and dependable employee like him. Plus he
knows things about the business that only experience will teach. Having said that, it
takes a capable, dependable staff to keep things rolling when only one person is at
the helm and for that I thank the rest of the crew. Sharlyn dropped Mike and I off in
Harrison at the Fur Farm trail head Tuesday morning. The trails were absolutely
awesome so the ride to Trout Lake went fast. We got a ride across the Mackinaw
Bridge from the Bridge Authority for only $10.00 each. They delivered us to a trail
head in St. Ignace and away we went, stopping in Moran. The owner/employees of the
Rock Bottom Tavern in Moran gave us the bad news that they were closing for good
February 7th. We felt so bad we ordered dinner then stayed for a couple hours
helping them liquidate the inventory. Spent the night in Trout Lake as planned then
headed to Munising Wednesday morning. That morning was the coldest ride of the
trip but we were dressed for it. We stopped in Curtis to see if we could run into the
bar Owner who won 1 million dollars (plus the $10,000.00 bonus for selling herself
the ticket) but we missed her. When we reached our destination (The Buckhorn
Resort) we had ridden 376 miles. I rode a total of 720 miles by the end of the
"vacation". The lodge has no phones, no cell service and no internet service and the
group I was with had no desire to visit a business where I could take my laptop and
steal a wireless signal so updating my website was out of the question. The fact that
there were only 3 t.v. stations in our room has made Sharlyn vow to try some different
accommodations next trip. We've stayed there many years so it's time for a change.
Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful place to stay and play on your sleds and if you've
never stayed there I highly recommend the Buckhorn for all snowmobilers. In fact, if
you are planning a snowmobile trip and you have enough bucks to go for a few days
for goodness sakes visit the U.P.. I realize there is lots of snow in the lower peninsula
but as many of you know riding in the U.P. is a completely different experience. Wide,
flat groomed trails that go for miles with no stops and very little traffic. And they need
our support. Head up there and see their economy and you realize we're not as
"recessioned" as we think. I'll explain what I mean in my next blog. For now I've got to
play "small business catch-up" after being gone 6 days. The list includes a broken
oven, snow plow that won't swivel, broken water line, toilet paper dispensers and a
slow draining urinal. But I'm not complaining, especially after talking to several
business Owners up north that can only wish such things were their biggest issues!!

01-12-09  I know I've neglected the blog lately and I guess that will be my New Year's
resolution, as soon as I return from my annual snowmobile trip. I'm leaving tomorrow
morning and riding (hopefully) on a snowmobile from Harrison (MI) to Munising (MI). I
figure it's about a 400 mile ride. We'll be riding groomed trails through Higgins,
Grayling, Alba, Elmira, Wolverine, Indian River, Alanson, Pelston and Mackinaw City.
We'll hitch a ride with the Bridge Authority across the Straits and then through
Moran and spend the first night in Trout Lake. That's the plan. I'm trying to remember
the last time a plan went as planned that was planned by me and for some reason I
can't recall any. My partner on this adventure is my good friend Mike. We're very
excited, more so than our truck & trailer drivers who will be leaving for Munising
Wednesday. For them this will either be a celebration of our successful adventure or
a search & rescue mission. Mike & I will have a camera and the road crew is bringing
the laptop so we'll update the trip Thursday if we can find internet service. In lieu of
donations for this trip I am accepting reservations at the Bar & Grill and all proceeds
will be applied to my credit card
account. As always, thank you for your business - it's
greatly appreciated.

01-05-09  New Year's resolutions must be out of style this year. I'm sitting here knowing I
need to drink less, eat less, excercise more, you know the list goes on & on. Then I realize
this year not only did no one ask me about resolutions but I haven't even heard anyone
discuss them. That's odd seeing how I hang out in a lot of places frequented by folks who
smoke, eat & drink in excess. It could be a result of "Big Government" so involved in limiting
what we can or cannot legally do we've come to just trust lawmakers to force resolutions
upon us. With .08 alcohol laws it's basically against the law to drink unless you're at home.
With smoking bans it's basically illegal to smoke anywhere but at home. And it may soon be
illegal to eat fatty fried foods cooked in restaurants so you'll have to prepare them at home.
So I've concluded that people have already given up those nasty vices because who wants
to have a house full of smoking drunk people devouring greasy food in their homes. That'
used to be what bars were for. Another case of good intentions gone awry.

01-01-09  There we have it, you now end your dates with 09. Damn, wasn't it just a couple
years ago we celebrated the new millennium? Time travels at the speed of light. Sharlyn
and I and the entire staff wish to thank you for your support this past year. We wish to
remind you what your continued support to us means. Realizing you drive past many
businesses to get to our out-of-the-way bar/restaurant our hope is we make it worth the
effort. We've been amazed at the amount of business our customers have given us,
especially in the last two months. Now with the holiday season over and recession in full
swing we are anxious to see how tough the sledding might be over the winter months. It's
hard to earn and stretch a buck these days and for that reason we are forever grateful for
your business. More than ever we appreciate your comments, good or bad, so we may
improve our services in the year to come. Now that I have you choked up and rightfully
feeling good about yourself I'll leave you to ponder your next reservation, party or night out
- hopefully at the Bar & Grill.
Don't forget to clip those coupons!

12-29-08  Well the Lion's are world famous and lots of people showed up Sunday to
witness it. It got so busy even I had to work. The crowd was divided in regards to who
wanted them to win and who wanted them to have the record. Sold a lot of Bloody
Mary's. Those of you who missed Casey's DJ show Saturday night missed a good time.
The night was a complete success but for one small issue - if you were my age you
felt like a fossil. Sitting next to his Dad reminded me I wasn't the oldest person there
(nothing personal, Bill) but certainly in the top 10. That's OK, the scenery was
fantastic and it appears the Bar & Grill is in for another generation of customers.
Sorta like my retirement benefits staring me in the face. Christmas was great, as it
should be for someone who has both parents and both in-laws (original, too) plus
Aunts, Uncles, siblings, nieces, nephews SUPER GRANDKIDS and friends and
acquaintances 'too numerous to mention' as they say. The good, the bad and the
ugly. You know when you think of emotions you think of the basic happy, sad, angry
and maybe one or two others such as curiosity or jealousy. But when the holidays
come along thousands of forgotten emotions come along. There's bragging,
exaggerating, backed-in-a-corner, I should kick your ass, I need a drink, shocked,
wish-you-were-somewhere-else, you-got-what-you-deserved, where's mine, hope, and
relief. There's also emotional categories which include family, business, religion, etc.
Family emotions are like leggo blocks, you can pile them high & wide and keep them
attached so you feel them all at once. Business emotions number in few with the
most common being the one where "we" are the hardest working, smartest yet least
appreciated. It works well because it can be used by everyone from the boss to the
last hired. Religion is like family but not as unconditional. I kinda enjoy the rare
occasion when I go church and sit in a spot considered property by a regular Church-
goer. He obviously doesn't remember the parable of the Dad who throws a big
celebration for the son who comes home after a long period of abandonment (which
in turn pisses off the son who has stuck around loyally all his life). As in the story,
only the Father sees the joy of a returning lost sheep, which is o.k. because I'm just
being a smart ass anyway. I'm in a religious turmoil right now due to advice a friend
recently gave me. According to her to be a good Christian you just go to church and
believe only the things you want to believe. Well that's very convenient and now I
have no excuse for my absence or behavior and, frankly, I'm beginning to feel guilty.
Isn't it only at Burger King you can have it "your way"?

12-21-08  Merry Christmas everyone. If you're not "ready" for Christmas you probably
weren't last year either and got through it so chill out and enjoy the holidays. Of
course I planned on doing some shopping and never did. I'm one of those guys that
depends on my daughter and wife to do all my shopping not because I don't enjoy
giving I just hate to shop. And the reason I hate to shop is because I don't know a
good gift from a bomb. Over the years my daughter went from telling me what to get,
to doing the actual shopping and spending "the change" on herself until she got her
own family then did her best to get out of the responsibility all together. The last
couple of years I called her two days before Christmas and asked what I got the wife
for Christmas. "I knew you were going to do this to me" she whined. If she knew why
hadn't she just done it a month earlier. She too was procrastinating as far as I was
concerned. This year I called to plant the seed a week earlier and much to my
surprise (and delight) she said she already had it handled. Good job Babe. I feel we've
finally got that settled for the rest of my life. Back to not knowing a good gift. I like
receiving practical gifts. When people ask "What do you want for Christmas?" I get
the impression they mean "What can I get you that would make me feel good giving it
to you?" I told someone not long ago the drill bits they'd given me were the best I'd
ever had. Sadly I'd broken several and the rest were getting dull. I said I'd really
appreciate another set but they responded "no way, I'm not getting you that again."
But that's what I wanted! I asked for casters for a cart I was building and got shot
down on that. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate whatever I get but if I apparently can't
wish for the perfect gift how can I be expected to choose the perfect gift for
someone?

12-18-08  There's nothing I enjoy more than experiencing, by chance, a little out of
the way Americana. We were snowmobiling today in the Higgens Lake - Lake City
area and stopped in Moorestown. I've seen the it on the trail maps many times but
never bothered to venture there, until today. There were a few homes. There was a
church. And there was a post office, gas station, grocery store, clothing store, video
store, hardware and restaurant - all under one roof. We fueled up before we dined as
usual and Sharlyn went inside to pay. On the end of the building that said "Fine
Dining" there was a door and we entered it only to find ourselves in the kitchen. The
cook directed us back to the door in front of the gas pumps. When you walk in,
immediately off to the left are 3 or 4 rows of old, (no more than 20) post office boxes,
brass with combination locks. To the right a counter and cashier. With no partitions
the rest of the building is made up of a grocery store, a hardware, and in the back
tables scattered about make up the restaurant area. The lunch counter with stools
and open kitchen reminded me of the old Merrill Hotel. The place looked like a
Museum. You're going to think I'm exaggerating now but honestly, there was ice
cream & cones, homemade pies, a 2 head malt machine, all the amenities of Mayberry
R.F.D. The menu says they've been there since 1919 and you certainly wouldn't
question that. I listened in on the conversation of a table of eight locals. They were
slightly older than us (alright, much older) and gave me the impression they were
enjoying a routine rather than a warm meal. Now some of you may say big deal, all
towns have the coffee shops, the round tables, the senior citizens. And all that
"under one roof" has been perfected by malls or stores like  Meijers, Walmart, etc. It's
not the same. These people drive there, fuel up, get the mail, shop for groceries or
hardware supplies and sip coffee while they bullshit each other with one major
difference - they're relaxed! The absence of frills and ads and salesmen and dozens
of selections creates a calm we rarely experience. And that relaxed atmosphere that
the old building generates carries on in their conversations. No talk of recessions or
401K's or politics. So when someone describes a place that "takes you back in time"
give some thought to the fact that perhaps any place that eliminates the RAT RACE
we've become so accustomed to might just "take us back in time".

12-15-08  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Last summer my wife
bought a generator for our house. Our small area does lose power often but not
usually for long. Recently I've gotten away with just waiting a short time or plugging
an extension cord into the neighbors "automatic" generator so she has a light or the
computer if she needs it. With city water and natural gas the necessities of life are
never interrupted (unless you're in Edenville Township, I wonder how that issue is
going?) so I rarely see the emergency. Yesterday morning I got up about 6:30 and
turned on the t.v. to check the weather and within a few minutes the power went
dead. It made about 3 attempts to come back on, (you know, just enough surges and
low voltage to burn up a few motors and compressors @ the Bar & Grill) but then
went dead. We've had so many local outages I can tell just by the way the power goes
out how long it's gonna last and I knew this one was gonna last a few hours. I also
knew I was in for an ass chewing because I'd never rigged up a way to connect the
generator easily & quickly. And the old extension cord trick wasn't gonna be suffice
for someone who needed a furnace, televisions, computer, etc. while she did her
Monday routine. I quickly dressed and made my way to the storage where the
generator was. Sure as hell the fuel tank was empty. Luckily I had a couple gallons in
a can which I dumped into the thing then pulled & pulled with no success. I removed
the spark plug & it was dry so I gave it a shot of ether and with one pull It fired up. By
then Ron the guy that cleans the bar daily showed up so I fired up the big diesel
generator alongside the bar so he could get his work done. During this time I was
thinking how busy we'd have been if had been any other day but Monday, the only
day of the week we are closed. Then I jumped into the truck & headed to the Sanford
Hardware where they too were without power but with flashlights I was able to get
the supplies I needed to make the connection. I bought some more fuel and headed
back, surprised Sharlyn hadn't called yet to find out how long before I'd get her some
electricity. I got my cord made and was tossing tools and parts into a six gallon bucket
ready to make a connection at the house when I heard the furnace in the shop kick
on. The power was back on just as I was finishing, of course. So now I had to ask
myself, do I quit in the middle of the job I should have done last fall or put on some
coveralls and work out side in the 30 mph wind with temps steadily falling, getting the
job done. It would have been foolish to stop in the middle of the job and besides, now
that I'm finished and fully prepared for a power outage the chance of losing power
has dropped dramatically, right?

12-12-08  Now this is what I call winter. I still enjoy it. Tuesday & Wednesday I did
nothing but plow snow, over & over again. Then I got my truck & trailer stuck in the
driveway. I mean stuck! Luckily a construction crew down the street had a 4 wheel
drive cherry picker and pulled me out. Regardless of the inconveniences the storm
brought it made for a great day yesterday. Sharlyn and I got up and did our morning
business routines, loaded up the snowmobiles and were on the road by 10:00. We
unloaded in West Branch and rode to Ma Deeters. There we munched on the most
delicious deep fried chicken gizzards I've ever had. Then we rode to Lewiston and
went to our good friend Lynn Larson's bar the Longhorn. From there we walked to
Talley's bar and had one of their world famous Talley Burgers. Great as usual and
Scott entertained us the entire time. The owners, Bird and Mo, were in Florida but
took the time to call us and say hi. That's why the place is as successful as it is. While
there, our neighbor Dan Kelley called and said he was leaving work to go
snowmobiling and wondered if we wanted to go, he was headed to Frank Alley trail
head. We surprised him when we told him our vehicle was parked there and we were
in Lewiston. We made arrangements to meet him at Lost Creek Skyranch @ 6:00 so
we headed south and believe it or not drove past Lost Creek back to Deeters for
another round of those delicious gizzards. We then met Dan and his friend Matt and
took the trails to Clear Lake Inn. When all was said and done Sharlyn and I rode 170
miles. Sounds like the perfect day? Well Mother Nature had a little surprise in store
for us. I had hooked the trailer to Sharlyn's Envoy just to see how the smaller vehicle
(I drive a Yukon) towed our trailer. On the way home I see two beady eyes on the side
of the road. I slowed the truck and trailer and the deer didn't move. I braked harder
and even swerved to the other lane. That deer had 1000 lifesaving options available
but at the last minute basically ran right into the front of the truck. Luckily no
damage was done to the radiater so we were able to drive home but it sure put a
damper on our spirits. It also reminded me to never borrow anything of value from
anyone, even your wife. Is this covered by Murphy's law???

12-09-08  I've been snowplowing & snowblowing since 7:00 this morning (it's now 2:
30) and will be doing the parking lot again before 4:00. Hard telling how this will
affect business tonight but I imagine it will be sloowww. On the other hand often in
this weather cabin fever sets in and people get out. If it is slow I plan to ride
snowmobiles to Rumors for a couple just to get some miles on. Shar & I rode
Saturday. We parked at Harrison and rode to Prudenville, then Meredith, Elbow Lake,
Long Lake & back to Harrison. We unloaded at 12:30 and by 5:00 had 97 miles on.
The Grandkids want to go for a ride so Gramma is giving them early Christmas gifts
(helmets). That'll help if we get stopped for riding illegally somewhere. Each year we
go on a trip to Munising with many other couples. I've convinced my wife that with the
early start on winter, the price of gas and the fact we aren't getting any younger we
should do something I've always wanted to do. Ride from Harrison to Munising,
spending one night in Trout Lake. She, to my surprise, agreed it would be fun and
everything so far has created conditions like we haven't seen in years. She
understands if we are going to do it this is the year. We normally ride up and back
with Mike & Shelly Wood and I've yet to tell them we'll only be riding with them on the
way home. Hope they understand. I'll keep you up on the logistics. So far it remains
nothing more than a wish!

12-06-08 As I'm reviewing my husbands blog this morning it makes me smile. If he
thinks I have forgotten even 1 day of our 32 yrs. of marriage he's crazy. Not only have
we been married that long.  We have worked together and lived together 24/7 for 22
yrs. Imagine this, throw a Bar & Restaurant in the mix.  I believe that would equal to
about 49yrs. of marriage. My ploy was to act surprised that I almost forgot our
anniversary a day early.  This would allow  him one extra day to come through. Well
just as I thought, but it was a challenge. Its obvious this small tactic did not work. All
thought I received my favorite gift.  Every year he has always makes me a special card
and that's all I ever want.  These cards mean more to me than any other gift. Well,
maybe not a new car or a diamond necklace. He's right, our celebrations have
become more low key. We celebrate our health, our family's health and most of all
our children and our grandchildren!!
12-05-08  If you can't beat 'em, join ,em. I think that's the attitude my Wife has taken
after all these years. She regularly enjoyed "humiliating" me (always in fun) when
we're alone, in groups or at work about the fact I never remember dates of
"important" occasions. Now it never bothered me due to the fact I always (and still do)
consider it normal that husbands & kids don't keep track of birthdays, anniversaries
etc. So I was tickled when Tuesday while she was working on bookkeeping and she
suddenly yelled "oh my God, it's our anniversary." Then she thought about it and said
"No wait, it's tomorrow." Too late. I'd caught it. She'd finally forgotten. Even had to
think about it for a minute. For me it was like one of those moments on the Simpson's
when everything stops and viewers get a peak at what's going on in Homer's head. In
mine I felt like Lou Gehrig giving that echoing farewell address in the ball park - -
"today
today today I feel feel feel like the luckiest man on earth earth earth" - - Free at last,
free at last. She hadn't cured me of my shortfall, she'd joined in proving yes it's an
important event but yes it's normal to forget. It was still an early enough warning for
me to make her a card on the computer which I gave her Thursday (a day late) but
the fact that it came and went without gifts or fanfare from one another was sooo,
well, so pleasant. We ended up going out to eat at Gengi's Thursday night for dinner
but I think it was more a celebration of how low-key, low expectation we've become.

12-03-08  If you sold a product how far would you go to unload it? I don't know if I'm
getting old or maybe insane but there are always a few commercials during the
holidays I actually watch over and over, some I want to record. Don't get me wrong,
usually I channel surf when they interrupt a show I'm watching but some of them are
so stupid or far fetched you can't help but watch. I,m thinking about recording the
"hears-a-lot" commercial. I can't decide which part is the best-stupidest-
unbelievable! It's the one where you clip this giant shark-tooth device on your ear
and can hear across the room, across the street or every living thing in the forest. In
one scene two neighbor women are talking at the curb while another is across the
street getting the mail wearing a "hears-a-lot". She overhears them gossip "They just
bought another new car" to which the other one responds "He must be doing very
well". It could only be topped if one had continued "My husband wants to get in her
pants." The best scene is at an apparent gathering of residents in an apartment
complex when a major dork overhears 3 chicks (which in real life wouldn't look his
way) discuss that he just moved in and how cute he is. Watching him react by
shaking his head in confidence with that stupid thing stuck on the side of his head is
HILARIOUS. The Shamwow ad. According to Vince you must call within the next 20
minutes because they can't afford to sell them at the current price all day - this is at
1:00 in the morning. The stuff that just plain cannot work ads. Ever see the "tiller"
that you put on your cordless drill and then, what, plow your garden? Also aids in
planting and cultivating. I've used a paint mixer on a cordless and believe me, that's
the extent of use you'd get from that. There'll be one at every garage sale next
summer. Then there are the commercials they've burned out so much spontaneous
reflexes cause you to switch channels - Free Credit Report.com (enough of the
jingles already), The Geico Geko or Caveman ads and Call Lee Free to name a few. I'm
still entertained by the Sam Bernstein ads as long as they include his family.

12-0107  I just got over, (well, I feel much better) with the worst bout of flu that I've
ever had. I pray you don't get it. I do have a story to share. I was babysitting my
Grandkids last Tuesday and Nicholas was really feeling his oats, jumping from chair
to couch to floor waving a starwars lightsabre wildly. Of course he eventually
contacted Alex with it (nothing serious) and she had a fit. I was laying on the floor
next to her trying to calm her and she kept hollering "I want my MOMMY". It seemed
she thought if she said it loud enough, over and over enough and produced enough
crocodile tears it would happen but of course it didn't. It did calm her down and
eventually we made our way into the kitchen and made popcorn together. It wasn't
until a few days later I learned how this works. Saturday morning I awoke sick, sick,
SICK! I got up figuring if I would just brush my teeth and get a shower I'd feel better
but could't make it through the shower. For the next two days I experienced hell on
earth. After Shar had gone to work I laid in bed feeling misery and feeling sorry for
myself. I went through a stage of feeling sick, then feeling like I'd never feel alright
again, then wondering if I would live another day. In desperation I laid back, closed my
eyes and hollered (to myself) "I want my MOMMY!" This triggered a momentary
flashback of my Mother leaning alongside my bunkbed, cool washcloth on my
forehead, thermometer in my mouth, and a t.v. tray with a couple of her home
remedies and a couple of brown bottles full of old fashioned Raleigh cures delivered
by a traveling salesman. (remember them?) That was comforting, momentarily, and I
chuckled thinking how Alex had taught me a valuable lesson on battling
desperation.  

11-27-08  Are you like me and feel a little happier this Thanksgiving? I think the
recent dose of reality has gone a long way in making me extra thankful. Funny how
that works. Like everyone my "assets" have dwindled but that seems to make me
itemize what's left or at least appreciate it more. And I'm not saying 'you don't know
what you got till it's gone', I mean I'm thankful just for what I have! And without
getting all mushy bear in mind on the top of my list are things of no concrete or
monetary value. The news is on and for the first time in a while I'm thankful to
George Bush for putting an end (in the U.S.) to the kind of shit India is going through
today. With the economy in the tank I don't feel I should be worried about business
today, more excited to be with family. You can enjoy life when you realize being open
for business wouldn't do much good. Speaking of business, todays economy has
actually made working less stressful, in a sense. Like a recovering alcoholic I now
operate one day at a time and not dwelling on next week or next month or even next
year. Now it's just thanks to our customers for yesterday and what can we do for you
today. But back to thankful, many of the events of this year have made me more
thankful. Sure times are tough for millions here but aren't you thankful that you live
in a country where people are struggling to meet their $250.000.00 mortgage
payments while in other places a glass pane for the one room straw hut is financially
out of the question? (hey, stupid comparison but I was out late last night) Anyway, If
your reading this at the very least you should be thankful for teachers and schools
that made it possible for you to read. So start there then look at a photo of someone
and be thankful for them. Then look in a mirror and see if there is any grass above
your scalp. If not, that's another thing to be grateful for. Flick on a light switch and if
things get brighter you can count that as something. Open your fridge and count
your blessings there. You can include anything spoiled. You get the idea. Continue
this all day and I hope you feel as thankful as I do. (or more) Man, I can't wait to see
my Daughter & Grandkids today! Oh, sorry, you too Rick.

11-25-08  The media keeps asking about why the government keeps bailing out Wall
Street but ignoring Main Street. I figure maybe Main Street has simply failed to ask. I'd
like to get a jump on things so I've composed a letter asking for a piece of the pie.
Here is what I wrote.
Dear Mr. Hard Earned Tax Money Distributer,
I humbly ask that you could find it in your heart to disperse a small amount of the
bailout money that I realize doesn't really exist to my small business. Unlike the big
shots you interviewed last week I have a plan and have realized the mistakes I have
made in the past. For years I ran my business using honesty, ingenuity, and my own
money and now realize this gets you nowhere. If you would be so kind as to give me
an enormous sum of someone else's money I promise to operate the way you
obviously think business should run. I will piss away the money as fast as possible. I
will retain an attorney and a slick bookeeper so I can personally benefit. Any sign of a
profit will trigger a handsome bonus to myself. I will immediately lay off some
employees so the unemployment tax I pay can be put to good use locally. I will begin
driving expensive vehicles I write off, travel to exotic places on business expense
accounts and even apply for a American Express Platinum card. I will help stimulate
the economy by hiring roofers to stop the leaks, plumbers to unclog the urinals, I'll
even have someone else snowplow the parking lot. All these jobs I so selfishly did
myself for free I will spend this "loan" on. If I understand correctly, you expect us
back in a year asking for more so I figure 5 million should get me through. I suggest
you make a check out for 1/2 to Corbat, Inc. and directly deposit the remaining into
my other business accounts in Switzerland and Caymen Island. Thank you for your
consideration.
R. Corbat Jr.
President, Sanford Lake Bar & Grill

11-24-08 Today my husband (Dick) said it was my turn to enter a blog. I (Sharlyn)
have trouble competing with his writing ability.  I'm willing to give it a shot. My
husband Dick has continued to encourage me on a few simple things in LIFE. I am
always proud of the little extra things he does for people.  He never stops amazing me.
And I'm always very proud of him. Last Friday night a customer came into our
restaurant very upset. My husband (Dick) will never let a customer feel they are not
the most important person.  Seeing how upset this person was he wanted to make her
smile. Dick took a Sub bun, made a pizzatizer (possible new item on our menu)  and
took pepperoni slices and cut each one into a heart shape. When she was presented
with the gift she began to smile. She had forgotten about her day and only looked
forward. When I talked to her on Sunday I told her how proud I was of my husband.
She agreed THE LITTLE THINGS you do can make all the difference in the world. She
never looked back on her issue. As I'm writing my first blog my Grandchildren phoned
me and say "Grandma we hope when we come to your house tonight we can make a
snowman." Just a reminder the little things we do throughout our life can have a
lasting effect on people.

11-23-08  Enjoying "work" sometimes can be tough but yesterday was one of those
days I totally enjoyed what I do for a living. The day started rough and if you watched
U of M and later the Michigan State game you'd know what I mean. Normally we
promote tailgate parties but this year decided not to and that turned out to be a wise
choice. No amount of promoting would have helped there. But fortunately 3
wonderful people decided to celebrate their birthdays at the Bar & Grill and what a
great time we had. Due to the efforts of Shirley Wackerly some of her musician
friends, Smokin Crawdaddys, gave us some great entertainment at a "deal we
couldn't refuse". Then the Stacy family surprised Larry with a rambunctious
gathering of Sanford's motley crew (yes, me too) and that was guaranteed fun. Finally
the evening was rounded out celebrating Marg Foutch's birthday and of course that
was an event that cannot be described in words so use your imagination. I sold every
bit of jerky I had on hand and loaded the smoker at 4:00. That jerky was sold out by
11:00 so you know what I'll be doing when I get there this morning. The Lions are
blacked out today so we'll be broadcasting the game via antenna from Cadillac. It
won't be HD quality but the viewing won't be any worse than the results. Todays
game, though blacked out, probably won't draw much of a crowd but I expect the tide
to turn. Think about it. If the Lions continue to lose there will be a point when even
the staunchest fans begin to realize the Lions could make history this season and
watching them lose will become exciting. I can't imagine the tailgate party we could
have when they are 0-14, then 0-15, then the cheering and celebrating when the
clock runs out and they become the first 0-16 team in NFL history. And we'll all learn
something. We'll learn that it's just a game, a pastime, and none of us are any worse
off or any better off than we were in August when it all started. We'll realize if you are
given lemons you CAN make lemonade. And maybe we'll pay a little more attention to
birthdays and such instead of millionaires playing games.

11-21-08   The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away - I've experienced both but not
normally at the same time. It's much easier and less confusing to be happy one day
and sad another but today some of us have to be both - at the same time. One dear
friend, Doug Kohlschmidt (Uncle Dougley) is coming to The Bar & Grill at noon, for  
lunch, to celebrate his 76th. birthday. Now for him this is an amazing feat, but that's a
story for another day. Then at 1:00 we will be attending another dear friends funeral,
Al Haskell (Uncle Al). I am selfishly feeling sorry for myself due to the fact that I must
help someone celebrate on such a mournful day. I've forgotten the dilemma this puts
Uncle Dougley in. He's beaten the odds more than any gambler in Vegas and certainly
has a reason to celebrate. On the other hand there is much sadness from our loss of
a friend, a character, an inspiration. The answer is complex yet simple. Remember
what a funeral really is, a celebration of a loved one's life and their passing into the
next life. Keep that into perspective and today can be a memorable day, an eventful
experience, lesson in life. Having said that, can anyone explain what you gotta do to
get people you know to commonly attach "Uncle" to your name? Never mind, if you
gotta work at it, it wouldn't be the same. Probably wouldn't even count.

11-20-08  I've been working in my barn last couple days and I have a television out
there so I've been listening to the news. With all the bailout reports on the news I've
come to one conclusion - Many CEO's aren't smart, they're CROOKS! Well, SMART
CROOKS. And they have balls! Who in the world could get paid 28 million dollars and
have the gaul to go to Washington and ask for a loan so he can be sure to make
another 28? When a board of directors hires a CEO the interview must go like this -
Mr. Applicant, for this amount of money are you willing to steal, lie and cover up?
(Yes I Would) Would you promise things to employees you can't possibly fulfill, with a
straight face? (Yes, yes I would) Would you keep the company's stock heading north
until people feel confident enough to purchase lot's of it thinking there's no risk and
a good retirement investment? (Certainly, that's part of my job) Should folks catch on
to your shenanigans, how would you keep our stock trading overpriced? (Well, during
the first dip I would lay off a few thousand employees. That always gets investors
interested. Then when that curve slows I'd just close a few plants in the U.S. which
would really bring in the fat cats. Later I would announce buying some foreign
company and leak news that plans have been made to build a super plant in a third
world country. This would bring stock prices to a peak. Then we all sell our stocks
before anyone knows we're so broke we can't cover any benefits we've promised.
When blue collar investors begin jumping out of windows a little trip to Washington
with a sob story and we start all over again! And all our stolen money is legal, safe
and intact!) Brilliant, man brilliant. Are there any other bits of expert business
management tips you can share with us today? (Well, this last election has proven
the American people no longer believe our old bullshit story that the richer we get
the better off they and they're jobs are. I think pretending the super rich are gonna
pay more taxes will calm things down. But we must all make a consorted effort to
convince those idiots that we are actually going to pay more and our sacrifice will
cause them have even less. Smoke & mirrors are our only hope. Gentlemen, it's been
a pleasure, thanks for considering me. I have to leave now for a lunch date with my
accountant, my lawyer and my lobbyist. Good-day)

11-18-08  Sad day in Buttonville (North Bradley) today. Our beloved "Uncle" Al Haskell
passed away. Rumor has it he had a sudden heart attack and died immediately at his
home. I met Al in the 70's when I trimmed and shod his daughter Brenda's horses. He
was dressed in the blue uniform of a body shop owner and that's exactly what he
looked like last Friday during our normal session of the boys club, (a group of
learned, elderly men who meet every Friday at the Bar & Grill & solve the world's
problems via the wisdom of beer). He never aged and he never changed. And he
never really retired. In his 70's he still worked damn near EVERY day. That's what
most people admired about him & will remember him as - the man who worked the
most. No one ever logged as many hours being watched working as Al. His shop was
always where people congregated and sipped a few beers while Al worked. I don't
ever do that because I can't work while people criticize or tell me a better way to do
something. I doubt, however, Al had that problem. (at least not more than once) He
was one of the most rugged individuals I've ever known. Breakfast at 6 in the
morning, bump & prime a hood and a door, fish till dark, relax at your bonfire or party
till midnight and start all over the next day. There's something unfair about this. We
always hear if you stay busy & keep active and lead a good clean life you'll outlive
those who don't. If that were the truth Al would have lived to be 125 years old.
Friday's will never be the same for a lot of us.

11-16-08  Monday morning and I have to prioritise my jobs today. The bar is closed
Mondays so it would seem like I would have little to do but quite the contrary. My
furnace will only run for minutes at a time (it's only a year old). I called Dennis at the
hardware where I purchased it and he gave me some advise on where to start so I'll
look into that first. My wife's dryer quit, (again) but that should be a quick fix. She
also bought a used camper trailer and by the looks outside I better get that
winterized. Then there is the unfinished job of making a snowblower from a Massey
Ferguson fit a Ranch King lawn tractor & hopefully work. But before anything I've got
to get to the bar and z-out the computers for the week and download bookeeping and
hope there is enough in the account to pay the government today. Monthly taxes,
(sales tax, unemployment, FICA, etc.) are due each month on the 15th. But this month
the 15th fell on a Saturday so it's not due until today which gave me two more days to
finance it. Anyway, I better get goin as I have just burned up ten minutes rambling on
about nothing. No wonder I don't accomplish much!

11-15-08 Deer season is here and that always reminds me of the stand up comic Ron
White in one of his acts. He talks about his brother-in-law bragging how he baited a
deer for weeks, then crawled on his belly through a swamp and over a ledge'
sneaking closer, ever so skillfully and quietly until he gets a good shot and shoots the
deer. Then Ron tells him " Yeah, I got one too. I was in my van, speeding, loud
exhaust, headlights on bright. I saw him first so I blew my horn several times. Bam, I
nailed him. They are wyley critters, aren't they." With no disrespect to skillful hunters
you can't help but chuckle when you hear about hunters who hunt, unsuccessfully
sometimes, the ever evasive turkey. Just this morning on my way to the tavern I
literally had to stop and wait for several turkeys - walking across the road, on
pavement, in a subdivision. Super wyley critters. There can be only one explanation
for this. I think the turkeys are smart, jeering at humans knowing full well we can't
harm them due to the strict laws that protect them. I have nothing but sympathy for
the deer though. It's apparent they are depressed, probably thinking about how tough
it's gonna be in a month or two trying to sleep in sub-zero temps, foraging through
deep snow for a meager meal. Then there's the fact that some bigger buck is having
his way with his girlfriend just because, according to nature, he's the fittest. That's
gotta be why they jump out in front of loud, brightly lit, speeding, horn blowing vans.
They just want to end it all.

11-11-08  I just drove by Pineview Grocery and noticed gas is @ $1.96 per gallon. Just
when I thought about leaving the snowmobiles stored for the winter due to the cost
of riding, this big teaser. The last time I rode I filled the truck ($90.00), both
snowmobiles (another $90.00) and had to fill the sleds again while riding (rode over
200 miles that day). By the time we had lunch and stopped for fast food on the long
ride home we realized a couple cannot go for an up north snowmobile trip on less
than $350.00. Once a year we go for 5 days in the Upper Peninsula so when you add
rooms for those nights and plenty of cocktails after riding, WOW! So with the
recession on and everything going to hell in a handbasket I convinced myself that
playing in the snow was out of reach this year. Something less expensive such as ice
fishing would be in order. Now gas is cheap and I already have the snow-bug. I was
watching a documentary about the 1929 depression on PBS last night and one person
claimed the reason  these things re-occur is due to the fact that Americans can only
remember disasters for about 20 years. I agree with him except he exaggerated the
length of time by about 19 years, 6 months 14 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 30
seconds.

11-09-08  Chilly, rainy day. Usually good for bar business. Beef Jerky sales are getting
better weekly and our toasted sandwiches have really taken off. We did get a
constructive criticism regarding the amount of meat on a sandwich so we set up a
portion system so the amounts are consistent and pleasing. We're still not able to hire
a professional blogger so I will continue to bore the public with my aimless thoughts.
Weather tonight is not going to improve so please stop by, use a coupon to save some
money, and entertain or be entertained with Karaoke by Randon. I leave you now with
a joke, which is not nasty and therefore not very funny.
A police officer arrives at the scene of an accident to find a car smashed into a tree.
The officer rushes over to the vehicle and asks the driver, "Are you seriously hurt?"
"How should I know?" the driver responds. "I'm not a lawyer!"


11-06-08  Pool night, not so good. My team played @ Frick's and we shot the last place
team. (Jim & Wendy Linden & friends) No need for details, let's just say we are now in
last place. My team, every year since the inception of this league, has won "Most
Congenial Team". I'm beginning to realize that award comes with a high cost in
regards to the standings. Nice guys really do finish last. It takes special people to play
on a team who's only enthusiasm comes from the fact "we can only go up from here".
You'd think it would be hard to keep a team together when the sponsor (me) can't
even tell you the scores from last night nor whom we play against next week! Rather
than cheers in unison what's heard from our side is "didn't you see that shot" or
"high five me - what'd you do, win one?"  The most common one that gets a chuckle
from the other team is when a team-mate is fortunate enough to win someone always
remarks "there's one we hadn't counted on". Despite all this my players sign up year
after year. Much of it is due to the fact that with our handicap system the check at
the end of the year is always within $100.00 of the first place team's. But please don't
tell Obama about this, it sorta reinforces his "spread the wealth" theory and my team
is proof what happens with that sort of thinking.

11-05-08  Feels great to have election over. Actually voting was fun. I like bouncing
around the ballot like a ping pong ball, covering all the parties. Even the "taxpayer" &
"green" parties owe me one. After voting my Wife, Uncle Dougley & I had lunch at the
Red Oak. We talked a little politics and then the subject of the proposals came up. It
was then I realized I hadn't turned my ballot over and voted the rest of the ticket.
(what can I say, deciding on the regents took all my concentration) They got a big
laugh out of that and Shar will be repeating that story for days. All I can say is If
proposal 1 creates a lot of older potheads, I cannot be held responsible. Now I hope
the world gets back to a semblance of itself a few years ago when ink was black and
presidents of small corporations (myself included) made at least minimum wage. If
not, we'll just have to try harder and experiment with new ideas until great things
occur, like the Lions winning, or the U. of M. beating Ohio State, or some other
important event that packs bars full of patrons. Maybe flipping my ballot would be a
good first step!

11-2-08   Halloween party was bigger and better than we could imagine. Never saw so
many costumed people in one place. We were a little underprepared, then had a
computer crash so things got hectic but employees pulled through. Congratulations
to the costume contest winners, and thanks to the judges. What a tough job. Sorry to
those who had to wait in line for cocktails. We'll be looking back at this party when
planning for next year. Today we move the clocks back an hour. It will be interesting
to see how many people come to work early. (I would have if Sharlyn hadn't reminded
me as she left for church) Come on in and watch the lions with me and Sam and Jim
& Wendy if you get a chance. Don't forget to print the coupons on this site and bring
them in. You'll not only save money but it will make my day knowing you've looked at
my site. Have a great Sunday!

10-31-08  Yesterday I wrote somewhat negatively about todays bridge opening but my
wife saw it differently. She decided at the last minute to hold a little bi-partisan, non
political celebration of her own here at the bar and grill. To my amazement she
entertained (and fed) around 40 people and the list of guests included her Dad
Howard Schoenherr, Jim Stamas, Bill and Sandy Caul, John Moolenar, Dave Camp, Al
Stephens, Carl Clipper, Dick Fairly, and a host of local citizens, entrepreneurs and
administrators. I was very impressed but also worried too many people would be too
busy to attend thus disappointing her effort. Her work definitely paid off and I must
commend her. It was very worthwhile. I also need to thank Mel, Shari, Marg & Lauren
for coming to work an hour early to help out and entertain the guests. We'll be
posting a couple photos here soon.

10-30-08 Another Wednesday and another loss for Dick's pool team. The 702-2 gave
us 4 handicap points per round but it wasn't enough. We had fun anyway and look
forward to shooting at Frick's next week. J.P.'s team took advantage of our coupons
found on this website and said they saved $8.00. We're working on next week's
coupons now so keep watching. The lamp on the big screen burned out without
warning and I ordered one this morning. $322.00! (that's the t.v. I spent $700.00
repairing after a lightning strike 2 months ago) It's getting so providing television is
out of hand. Forget the bands, soon bars will have a cover charge if they have cable.
Besides basic cable rates, the extra costs of FSN and other channels charged to
commercial business has skyrocketed. Last friday Charter called and said if I don't
agree to pay $52.00 per month extra for Big Ten Network it would be blocked on my
account. Where do these companies think we get enough revenue to cover these
costs? Not only that, they want me to pay the same rate for college football coverage
as a BW3 in downtown East Lansing swarming with college kids. So I'm supposed to
pay over $600.00 per year to watch a half dozen college games in the fall? CRAZY! If
you haven't tried our new toasted subs I recommend you do. They're delicious and
sell like, well, toasted subs. Tomorrow the new bridge is opening and that will be
another hullabaloo for local and not-so-local politicians. JUST OPEN THE DAMN
THING! Todays blog is a little short of humor due to a year and a half of campaigning.
Enough already! Do you feel like me? Bet we'll all be in a better mood beginning
November 5th. Happy Halloween and hope to see you at our party!! Thank you, we
appreciate your business!





10-21-08  The Holidays are getting closer and so too will come the family get-
togethers. Besides sports, indulging in a few and eating there's always the joke
session. In my opinion the internet has ruined the art of joke telling because no
matter how fresh the joke someone has sent it along with 10 pages of others and
anyone who reads e-mail knows the joke. Even though your delivery may be hilarious
if the punch line is known by anyone the jokes over. Try this - reciting poetry. Here's
a family oriented poem sure to please.

SUSIE LEE FELL IN LOVE,
SHE PLANNED TO MARRY JOE.
SHE WAS SO HAPPY 'BOUT IT ALL,
SHE TOLD HER PAPPY SO.

PAPPY TOLD HER, SUSIE GAL,
YOU'LL HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER.
I'D JUST AS SOON YOU MA DON'T KNOW,
BUT JOE IS YO' HALF BROTHER.

SO SUSIE PUT ASIDE HER JOE
AND PLANNED TO MARRY WILL.
BUT AFTER TELLING PAPPY THIS,
HE SAID, 'THERE'S TROUBLE STILL.'

YOU CAN'T MARRY WILL, MY GAL,
AND PLEASE DON'T TELL YO' MOTHER.
BUT WILL AND JOE AND SEVERAL MO'
I KNOW IS YO' HALF BROTHER.

BUT MAMMA KNEW AND SAID, MY CHILD,
JUST DO WHAT MAKES YO' HAPPY.
MARRY WILL OR MARRY JOE;
YOU AIN'T NO KIN TO PAPPY.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE and interest in our website!
Dick
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