Shutdown Showdown: It’s Friday morning and there is still no agreement on the federal budget. Remember, we’re not talking about NEXT year’s budget; we are talking about THIS year’s budget. This current year began October 1st of last year. I would hope Congress is embarrassed that is has reached this point. And, depending on how much money they end up cutting from the budget, this shutdown could actually COST the country money. How about that one for a real kick in the teeth? But here’s the biggest one in my mind…Iowa national guard members…you know the ones who have left their families behind to that they could go overseas to fight for their country…well, they wouldn’t get paid during the shutdown. They could get killed protecting America’s interests. But they wouldn’t get their paychecks on time. Seriously? You talk about anti-American. But this is almost worse…Congress, the reason we are in this mess to begin with…Congress would still get paid because that provision is apparently guaranteed through some law. If that’s the case, then Congress should change that law today. Yeah, it probably doesn’t work like that. But how is it even possible the president and Congress keep drawing a paycheck and the families of Iowans fighting for us wouldn’t get a penny? Raise your hand if you think that’s fair.
Bail Bonds: Speaking of things that are unfair…why is Barry Bonds not in prison? Perhaps, he’s on his way there. The guy is an obvious cheater. Is there anyone at all who doesn’t think he lied about taking steroids? Everything about his body and performance changed all of a sudden during his baseball playing days. His head was like a basketball ball. Why didn’t he take the stand in his trial to proclaim his innocence? Perhaps, he didn’t want to have to lie again.
Uncle Ron: Maybe I’m just feeling a little angry this morning. My Uncle Ron, Ron Harszy, my mom’s only sibling, just unexpectedly died. (here’s a little more about him) He and my aunt were in the living room when he said he was going to go take a shower. He collapsed outside the bathroom and died. My uncle was a character in every sense of the word. He taught junior high school for three decades. I can’t imagine how many lives he affected over those years. But his story-telling was probably his best asset. Sure, we knew he used to “embellish” the facts a little. We could always tell when Aunt Pris gave us “that look” when he did it. But we would always listen…waiting for every next word.
Uncle Ron shared our family’s passion for the St. Louis Cardinals. But he was known in southern Illinois for his collectibles. He has the most amazing assortment of beer merchandise…signs, cans, trays…you name it, he has it. He could outfit all of Des Moines’ Court Avenue bars and restaurants and then some. But I think my favorite memories of Uncle Ron were when we would be out somewhere and a little kid would be close by. Uncle Ron was a big guy and over the years, his red beard turned snow white. So it wasn’t hard to convince kids he could be Santa Claus. And as a former teacher, he knew how to talk to the kids that was both nice, but also firm. He would always tell them to be good or Santa wouldn’t come to their house that year. The kids would just stare at him wide-eyed with their mouths hanging open. They had just talked to Santa! And they knew they had to behave. I’ll miss Uncle Ron. And I know Santa will always be watching.