Archives For December 2010

The Happy Shopper

December 28, 2010

 

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Here is a picture of Yvonne at the ChristKindlMarket in Chicago last week. They had 200 booths from Germany and Eastern Europe there. She was indeed a happy shopper.

ChristKindlMarket

December 28, 2010

 

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Here is another picture of our recent time in Chicago. This is the ChristkindlMarket at Daley Plaza. There were booths from all over Germany and Eastern Europe so there were many unique things to be seen and bought.  And Yvonne certainly bought her share Smile

Chicago Christmas

December 26, 2010

 

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We spent the four days before Christmas this year in Chicago. The picture above was taken from our hotel room window.  As you can see we stayed in the heart of the city. More pictures from this trip coming soon.

It looks like I will make it through another year. That is if the Lord lets me survive for seven more days :)

I admit I have been pretty lazy with posting here lately. I guess I just got out of the mood. But I do have some excuses in that we spent much of this week in Chicago visiting some of the Christmas sites. The picture above is of the Christkindlmarket in Daley Square.

Winter setting in…

December 12, 2010

 

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Now that winter is setting in let’s look at a picture of our July garden that my wife took. She is quite the flower photographer.

Sick Day Bounty Hunters

December 4, 2010

There is now a thriving industry nicknamed Sick Day Bounty Hunters.  They are hired detectives who check on employees who may be abusing their sick day privileges. See the full article at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_50/b4207093635068.htm .The article claims a significant growth in the number of people who fraudulently claim sick days when they are actually doing something else.

When I started in the corporate workplace in 1970 there was generally a strong loyalty to the companies we worked for.  In fact many people would come into work when they were sick because they wanted to get the work done. What happened to reverse this trend to such a degree?  From my perspective something happened in the early 1980’s that caused companies to seriously withdraw their concerns for their workers.  When the company started treating their employees as liabilities instead of assets the employees reciprocated by ceasing to feeling much of a loyalty to the company they work for.  From that point on it was a continuous stream of downsizing and the constant mantra of “Do more with less”.  While the companies efficiency increased the pay to the remaining workers actually decreased when considering inflation. That is except for the CEOs. Their pay dramatically increased during this period.

This does not excuse the practice of abusing sick days but it does seem to explain why it is increasing.  I have not personally seen anyone abuse sick days but I did witness a neighbor who was having a “work-at-home” day away from the office. She spent the day tending her front yard flower beds. Maybe the sick day bounty hunters can expand their business to this also. There is nothing like a growing industry here in the U.S.

And the journey goes on….

Trying out the new plow…

December 4, 2010

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Here it is the first real snow of the season. We got about three inches last night.  Our neighbor on top the hill behind us has been plowing our driveway since we moved here ten years ago. But, last year his antique tractor broke down and he has not been able to find any replacement parts.  So this year I bought a plow blade, wheel weights and chains for my new garden tractor. This will be my first time using it. As with most men I really enjoy my new toys. Even though it will be cold (I really don’t like being cold) it will be fun to see if I can do this myself.

Wish me luck.

And the journey goes on..

Postscript:  I got it done and it works great. Thanks Sears Craftsman for making such a well engineered product. Let it snow, let it snow..

State Capital

December 3, 2010

 

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Here is a picture of the Michigan State Capital building taken in September when we were on our way to Mackinac Island

First Snow…

December 1, 2010

 

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We had our first snow of the season last night. But I am too lazy right now to dig out the camera and take a picture so this one was taken in January this year. Yvonne absolutely loves snow. Me, not so much but I put up with it for her sake. We have lived here for more than ten years now but I still very much appreciate this view out one of our windows.