Midnight at the Oasis – More Nighttime Hi-Jinx on Prytania

My blog is my confessional

My blog is my confessional

We’ve all committed sins, done many things for which we are not proud, some for which we still feel guilt and others we do not.  We walk around with secrets that we try to bury within ourselves, act like they never really happened.  No one really suspects we’ve done these wrongs to ourselves and others, but we know, don’t we.

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Lunchtime at Deuscher’s – Dixie Hamburgers, Belly Bombers or Dead Goats?

Flavor Crytals on the Grill for sure!

Flavor Crytals on the Grill for sure!

I left Taco Bell right before the Christmas holiday in 1978.  How that all transpired is a very interesting story in of itself and one I plan to write one day.  In just two weeks I stumbled upon a job at the Deuscher Foundry.  I stopped into Job Service in downtown Hamilton on the West side of the river and the lady I spoke with said something had just come in and it might be right up my alley.  Two interviews later and I was the new assistant production clerk, getting the office experience I wanted. I’ve shared a number of fun stories about Deuscher’s like this one and this one, or even this one.  Lunchtime was special there too and so it deserves a little attention. Continue reading

Laughter, Medicine for Life – Gags at P&G

The Dolly Parton Bldgs (aka P&G HQ)

The Dolly Parton Bldgs (aka P&G HQ)

Life is short.  We all need to laugh.

Written about in several stories, (like one of my favorites here), I like making people laugh and I’m not above pulling a few pranks on people I like to get those laughs.  I would never prank someone that I do not like, that’s just mean and I’m not really into taking advantage of others.

A good laugh at the workplace brings people together.  I’ve always felt that and have experienced it many times over the years.  The Sanka gag (link) from my foundry days is one of my favorites.  Joe didn’t care for it at first, but later admitted that the joke was funny and in the aftermath, he, Rob and myself had an even better relationship.  In my experience, when people like, (or at least don’t hate), their workplace and the people there, they are more free to be themselves and therefore they are more productive.

So far I’ve shared stories about pranks at home, at Taco Bell (the famous burn ’em sauce) but none yet from my P&G days.  As I am now celebrating my first full year of being unemployed by good old Mother Procter, I’m thinking that today is the day for writing about some of those good times. Continue reading

I Once Walked in Oscar Robertson’s Shoes

This was the exact same shoebox

This was the exact same shoebox

The big news on television these past many days has been the shootings in a Charleston church attended by blacks, the shooter of course was some misled white kid.  People are calling it a racist hate crime and calling for the removal of the Confederate flag above the state’s capital building.

When I write these stories, I usually try to figure out what the tale will be before I write; sort of a mental outline.  Sometimes there might also be an underlying theme or learning lesson.  I think the underlying theme on this one is going to be the topic of blacks and whites embracing each other, (or at least not killing each other).  Hold on, hold on…before you click on the ‘Back’ button, read some more please.  I’ll try to keep this tale light, (and hopefully, sometimes funny).  Keep in mind that this story’s written by a guy who grew up in a family that was about as diversified as they can get in Hamiltucky.

Giving to the United Way – a Day of Calculated Caring

A Day for Calculating?

A Day for Calculating?

In several stories, I’ve written about childhood antics and pranks.  Pulling pranks and getting into trouble over harmless antics was a common theme when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have the internet or even much TV to watch?

I still remember all the TV channels we could pick up in Hamilton, Ohio.  Counting all of the channels on The VHF and the UHF frequencies, (and right now the younger readers are going ‘huh? VHF, UHF?’), we could receive 6 stations. Hamilton, Ohio is located somewhat midway between Dayton and Cincinnati so we could pick up all of the channels from both cities.  Oh, and of our 6 channels, 2 of them were duplicate networks (ABC and CBS).   We kids were thrilled when WXIX was introduced to us because it meant we could watch great entertainment like The Cool Ghoul!   I confess though that although we didn’t have much TV, I did rush home from school each day so that I could watch Dark Shadows. Continue reading

More Foundry Days – Practical Joking at the Foundry in Hamilton, Ohio

Watching it can be mesmerizing, touching deadly

Watching it can be mesmerizing, touching deadly

Mentioned in my first Foundry Days story (read me) as our sales were declining during the 80’s and we were finding ourselves with lots of free time, we all were finding ways to tease each other and entertain ourselves.  The manufacturing areas of the foundry were hot, dirty, dangerous and required very strong backs.  No practical jokes ever got played around the iron or the dangerous grinders – people could get killed.  Away from the iron was a different story.  We only had two females.  They both worked in the office.  In fact, I can only remember one female ever applying to work in the shop.  It was a bunch of guys working together and with no females there to keep us in line, the old adage ‘boys will be boys’ often played out.  Continue reading

Where the Hell did my Car Go? – More High School Pranks

Little Red Pinto

Little Red Pinto

In stories like egg wars and What’s that Smell (read me), I’ve written about practical jokes and harmless pranking.  Hopefully your high school weekend and summer evenings in high school contained as much jocularity, frivolity (and carnal pleasures?) as mine did.  In high school, we can’t wait to be older and when we get old, we miss our younger years like crazy. Continue reading

Foundry Days, Walk Stealthily and Carry a Big Stick

Breakin the law, breakin the law

Breakin the law, breakin the law

I am in the mood today to write about another adventure from my days at the foundry.  From 1979 to 1987, I worked for a small family-owned iron foundry named The HP Deuscher Company.  Way ‘back in the day’, the city of Hamilton was quite the little industrial center.  There were plenty of manufacturing employers that supplied salaries capable of sustaining a middle income family.  Hamilton was full of middle income families where the man worked at one of these places and the woman ran the household.  Sadly, companies like Mosler Safe, Champion Papers, Fisher Body Plant of GM and Hamilton Foundry are no longer a massive presence.  But you readers all know this as it’s happened everywhere.  Until we rebuild our manufacturing infrastructure, it will be harder and harder to keep 45 million people in this country off of food stamps (yes, that is an accurate statistic). Continue reading

Bedtime on Prytania – Boys will be Boys

The Clan

The Clan

Growing up in a household of eleven people is a real challenge during certain parts of the day.  Mealtime was always interesting, but you already know that if you read the first epic adventure about our family (read me).  Our sleeping arrangements were interesting as well as the house we lived in had originally been built as only a two bedroom, two story.  Maybe it could be considered a three bedroom as there was also a tiny third bedroom upstairs at the rear and it could sleep one comfortably – we stretched it into sleeping two small ones of course.  In fact, when we first moved into that house, that small bedroom was my room.  It appears that it had once been used to sleep a visitor or extended family member too because it had a kitchen sink and cabinets built into it (leading to its smaller size originally).

As a family of eleven, the aforementioned tiny bedroom belonged to the two youngest girls, Lori and Janelle.  The middle bedroom was the largest sized and slept the remaining three girls, Bobbi, JoAnn and Toni.  That left us four boys for the forward bedroom facing the street.  Given we had 9 kids, an uneven number, this is the only arrangement that would work – the sex with 5 had to use the tiny bedroom and couldn’t be split up by the middle bedroom.  We boys each had our own single bed.  There was a set of bunk beds for Mike and Felix.  Steve and I shared a set of trundle-beds.  Continue reading

The Great Sanka Switch – Think You Can Tell the Difference?

Perhaps you can detect the .3%?

Perhaps you can detect the .3%?

I just love coffee.  Truth be told, my coffee drinking represents my major source of my water intake.  Another truth be told, I guess I’m not a “real” coffee drinker because I don’t like it black – I love my flavored creamers.  I’ve drunk lots and lots of different coffee types and brands ranging from the major store brands to the Hawaiian and Costa Rican coffees to the Saudi coffee which is more like a tea/coffee combo (thank you Linda).  My wife and I agree though on our favorite coffee; Doka Estates in Costa Rica, their peaberry roast.  Can I tell the difference between the various roasts and brands?  I just know what I like.  Can I tell decaffeinated from ‘the real thing’?  Not if it’s a great tasting decaf blend like Cafe Britt’s of Costa Rica.

I once worked with a couple of young guys though who claimed they could tell the difference between regular and decaffeinated coffee.  Really?  Let’s see…. Continue reading