2011 – We were living in Sulphur, Louisiana, a city of about 20,000 at the start of 2011. We were living on Live Oak Street in Sulphur and we found a home church in Calvary Baptist Church on Lewis Street. We were impressed by the pastor Rev. W.D. Darnell, who lived what he preached and only used the King James Version of the Holy Bible. We made many friends, among the members of the church. Rhonda was very involved with the activities at the church and I often sang special music on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Rhonda and me sang duets a couple of times and she sang On The Wings Of A Dove with another lady one time.
Rhonda liked living in Sulphur, since she had a sister and her mom living there. We lived close to the neighborhood, where my daughter and family had lived before moving to Groves, Texas.
I would return to working as a caregiver again in November of 2011. I worked with a disabled man with diabetes and lost the job at the end of the year, when his family changed to another caregiving company.
An international news story was when an earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan took 15,840 lives.
President Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1.
Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder of her daughter Calee Marie Anthony, in a controversial verdict by the jury.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Computers dies on October 5 of cancer.
House were renting at $955 a month in 2011.
A gallon of gas cost $2.89.
Movie tickets were selling for $8.20.
2012 – I worked as a crossing guard at a school in Sulphur for a few weeks, toward the end of the school year. It was interesting work and enjoyed the job. The job could turn out to be the last job I will ever work, since I haven’t worked since becoming sick a couple of months later.
We moved to DeRidder, Louisiana in July and are living in a trailer, that is about halfway between Merryville, Louisiana and DeRidder. We are living in the country and liking it so far.
Knew something was wrong when I began vomiting up blood and lost about 35 pounds in less than two months during the summer. Found out in October in Houston VA Hospital, that I had duodenal cancer. It was a very disease to diagnose, since it mimics acid reflux and duodenal ulcers. It is very rare disease with only two percent of gastrointestinal diseases being duodenal cancer.
Surgeons in Houston performed a resection surgery on Oct. 16 to remove a blockage, which was cancerous and was successful. However I found out in November, that duodenal cancer has a history of returning and has a relatively low survival rate.
Chemotherapy started at the VA hospital in Pineville, Louisiana on Dec.13 and have had three chemo IV’s since that date, with five more to go. Have finished six of a 24 week program of chemotherapy. It seems like the side effects have been worse with each chemo IV. Had difficulty walking in a straight line after the last IV and sort of lurch from side to side.
2012 was a life changing year for us, with us being evicted, moving to a new city and finding out that I had cancer and had surgery a few days later. Spent a total of 32 days in hospital in Houston.
July 20 would be the first of two mass shootings in the United States, when a gunman killed 12 and injured 58 in an Aurora, Colorado theater.
December 14 would bring the second mass shootings of 2012, when a man kills 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, along with six adults, before killing himself.
A gallon of gas would rise to $3.89 during 2012. It is about 64 cents a gallon cheaper now in 2013.
House rent average goes over the $1,000 mark for the first time, as it rose to $1,045 a month.
A pound of bacon which was $2.96 in 2008 had risen to $4.48 in 2012.
2013 – This year should be a very interesting year, as the chemotherapy continues through May and it will be interesting to learn the results of the bloodwork after the last week of chemotherapy. May 21 will be another important date for us as we return to Houston for another C-scan, which will show if the cancer is completely gone or has returned.
We don’t know what this year holds, but we plan to remain positive, even if the news is bad and I don’t plan on being negative, regardless of what happens in 2013.
2001 – Mark Geisel was born on October 15, 2001 in Sulphur, Louisiana, while his father was the manager at the Domino’s Pizza place in Sulphur. Mark has done very well in school and loves to read. He plays goalie and other positions on his soccer team. His red hair goes back a long way in family history. My mom had a red-headed brother, that was born in the 1920′s or 1930′s. My mom had two red-headed sons and a red-headed daughter and a daughter with auburn hair. I was the black sheep of the family with black hair.
We moved to Gibbons Street about this time and then moved to Linda Drive later that year in the Kingsville area.
September 11, 2001 was a day that none of us will forget. I had called the mechanic that morning checking on our car in his shop. He asked me if I had the television on and that is when I found out about the horrific events of that day. The memory of those planes slamming into the twin towers of the World Trade Center will forever be ingrained in my memory.
I couldn’t comprehend how four planes could be hijacked the same morning and that day let us know how lax our airport security was at the time. The nation was in chaos at the time, with aircraft being grounded all over the country. It was eerie hearing about passengers on these planes talking to loved ones, on their cell phones telling, about the horrors of what they were experiencing and then knowing those same people on the cell phones died a violent death minutes later.
It is difficult to believe that September 11 of this year will be the 12th anniversary of that horrific day.
The “War on Terrorism” begins with the invasion of Afghanistan.
Dale Earnhardt dies during a crash in the last lap of the Daytona 500.
Richard Reid known as the “shoe bomber” attempted to blow up an American Airlines plane.
The first iPod was released and Wikipedia was launched on the internet.
The average rent jumped $40 from $675 in 2000 to $715 in 2001. The price of a gallon of gas jumped from $1.26 in 2000 to $1.41 in 2001. A loaf of bread cost $1.82.
2002 – My favorite memory of this year was the 40th class reunion of Pineville High School. I had never attended a reunion until 2002. If I was scheduled to work on the day of reunion, then I would usually work, but this year I made sure I had that week off, so I could attend. It was great seeing classmates from the 1962 class, for the first time in many years. I hadn’t run into some of them even though they had never left Pineville. The saddest part of the reunion was when the members of our class that had passed on were mentioned in a Power Point presentation, with Duane Yates singing the Lord’s Prayer in the background. Sadly Duane died before our 50th reunion in 2012. Seeing the teachers and students from 1962 again made this a special time in my life.
The price of gasoline escalated to $1.61 a gallon, a 36 cent a gallon rise since the $1.26 gasoline of 2000, which was two years earlier.
2003 – This turned out to be the last full year that I worked at the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper. The paper was never the same, after it was acquired by the Gannett Corporation. The Christmas bonus we had received while the paper was owned by the Smith family and the Central Newspapers chain was the first thing to go, under the auspices of the Gannett mega corporation. That $150 we had received each Christmas was now a thing of the past, as was the free newspapers for employees.
Iraq is invaded on March 19 by the United States military.
Saddam Hussein is captured by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
Gasoline prices jumped to 1.83, a jump of 57 cents a gallon since 2000.
2004 – My 36 years at Town Talk and 38 years in newspaper production ended in 2004, when I retired with my last day of work being Halloween night. I spent most of my working life at Town Talk. In fact it was my first job after returning from Vietnam in 1966. I had seen my pay go from $1.40 an hour in 1966 to $13.50 an hour in 2004. Still I never took home more than $28,000 in any year, that I worked for the Town Talk.
We had a traumatic event this year when my stepson Justin was sleeping in the den and was woken by a burglar, who was rifling through cabinets and drawers, while looking for painkillers. Neither Justin or the burglar knew anyone else was in the house. Thankfully, Justin thought the burglar was a relative, who told Justin he was taking stuff because his mom owed him money.
A few days before the burglary a man had knocked on our door and wanted to know if anyone lived in the trailer next door. Evidently, he was casing the house and had a timeline of when my wife Rhonda and me would be at work. Anyway he had left, about 30 minutes before I arrived home from work that night.
Justin followed him from room to room and the burglar told him to tell his mom, that he would return the next night. The burglar did have an encounter with our cat, when the cat bit him and the burglar said “ouch”. The burglar would be later caught due to his own stupidity. He overdosed and the paramedics noticed painkillers all over his trailer, which included some painkillers my wife had in our house, after having major surgery. He lived only about five houses up the street from us and was arrested for burglary and sent to prison.
Facebook was launched in 2004 and was originally only for students at Harvard University.
Strongest earthquake in 40 years hits near Indonesia and the earthquake and resulting tsunami would take 290,000 lives.
Martha Stewart is convicted of felony and sentenced to five years in prison.
Gasoline continued to skyrocket to $2.10 an increase of 84 cents a gallon from the year 2000. Oil peaked at $50 a barrel in 2004.
2005 – I returned to work in 2005, when I was hired as a caregiver by Louisiana Community Care in Ball, Louisiana. Sometimes I would start a shift at 8PM and would finish the shift at 8:30 AM the next morning. It wasn’t hard work, but it was detail work, that required a set schedule of administering medicine. I found out later in Tennessee, that anyone administering medicine in Tennessee was required to take a course and pass a test to give meds to a client. However, Louisiana required no certification to give meds. I was giving meds my first night. There was a voluntary meds certification, but it wasn’t required at this time.
Later that year I went to work for Plasti-Pak in Kingsville area and I learned how much work is involved with factory work. I operated a box making machine for Procter and Gamble products the first night there. We went to work at 6:45 PM and the shift would end at 7:15 the next morning, so we would get a full 12 hours per shift, with a half hour break to eat. It was tiring and exhausting work and dangerous work. I back over my foot with a hand truck, which resulted in losing two toenails. I bought steel-toed boots the next day. It was a temp job with Westaff and the job played out soon and I was one of first laid off, since I was one of the last ones hired.
Then I went to work for Coastal Culvert operating out of Eunice, Louisiana. It was the easiest job of my life, after working the hardest job of my life at Plasti-Pak. My job was to be the manager of a new Alexandria branch for the company. My main job was to check inventory of the culvert pipes outside the office. I had to call the Eunice office each morning, to verify I was at work. Then I would read the paper, listen to old-time radio shows or watch Andy Griffith shows on the DVD player till it was time to go home that afternoon. The job lasted from November till February of 2006, before they decided to close down the Alexandria office, since there was little to no business.
I can’t say enough good things about the Coastal Culvert executives. They invited me to their annual Christmas dinner and they gave me a $100 Christmas bonus, even though I had been there less than a month.
The major event of 2005 in Louisiana is when Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of Louisiana and a break in the levee resulted in 80 percent of New Orleans being flooded. 1,577 died from Katrina in Louisiana. Many New Orleans residents waited five days for food and water to arrive in the city. It was a colossal case of bad planning by government officials, who let people go for days without food or water.
Katrina didn’t cause much damage in Alexandria-Pineville area, but Hurricane Rita was a different story as many trees fell on houses in the area, with fallen trees closing roads.
Lance Armstrong won an amazing seventh Tour de France championship, as he demonstrated how he could live better through chemistry.
Video gamers saw the Microsoft X-Box 360 launched in 2005.
The price of gasoline climbed to $3.18 in 2005 an increase of almost $2 a gallon from the $1.26 price of 2000.
Stuckey’s was a place where you could fill up with gasoline, go to restrooms and shop for souvenirs and the famous Stuckey’s pecan candy.
There was their famous pecan log rolls, pecan divinity and of course pecan pralines. I have to debate with myself whether my favorite was the divinity fudge or the pralines.
First Stuckey’s Physical Building Opened in 1937
The first Stuckey’s building was opened in 1937 and expanded into 350 stores. Stuckey’s merged with Pet Milk in 1967 and the 350 stores dwindled into 75, during the Pet Milk operation of the company. Most of the Stuckey’s stores sold Texaco gasoline back then.
William S. Stuckey Sr., got the idea for the company when he had a bumper crop of pecans in 1930. His wife went to work in the kitchen and experimented with different candy recipes, which were the main drawing card for Stuckey’s, when they opened their first physical store in 1937.
After the fortunes of the company declined during the Pet Milk ownership period, the son of Stuckey, who was U.S. congressman William S. Stuckey restored the Stuckey’s name by purchasing the company and there are now 200 Stuckey’s in the United States at the present time.
Stuckey’s are found as far north today as Connecticut, but surprisingly there are no stores in either New Jersey or New York. Most of the stores are concentrated in the southern states, but there are stores in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana.
Stores are only located in 20 of the 50 states. I was surprised recently to see a Stuckey’s returning on a trip to Houston and the store sold gasoline, souvenirs and had a Popeye’s Fried Chicken place inside the store. There are nine Stuckey’s located in Texas, but the only Stuckey’s in Louisiana according to their website is a store in Opelousas.
It was exciting to see signs for Stuckey’s, since we knew we could get off the road for a while, while we browsed the souvenir shop and found candy to munch on as we continued on down the highway. It is great to know the company still exists 56 years after our 1957 trip from Louisiana to our eventual destination of Maine to visit my uncle and aunt and their family.
Stuckey’s has had its ups and downs since the first store was opened in 1937, but it is good to know, that the company is thriving again, now that the Stuckey family once again own the stores. We want to thank them for restoring our memories of that 1957 trip, when Stuckey’s were a mainstay on the U.S. highway system.
This ten minute video shows what life was like in small town America in 1952. It is sickening to read the comments made by those who viewed this video. They turn what was a special time to those of us, who grew up in the 50′s, into a platform for hatred of races.
Even the ugly remarks can’t ruin a video that brings so many fond memories of the past.
I was eight years old when this video was filmed so can identify with what happened during a typical day 60 years ago.
It was a simpler time, before cell phones, I-pods, laptop computers and HD television sets. The television sets back then still had the huge tubes, that made them so bulky, unlike the lightweight television sets of today.
Growing up in the 1950′s was a special time and this video captures the feeling from having grown up in that era.
Carrie Underwood is now the biggest selling American Idol ever after surpassing Kelly Clarkson and has sold 12,296,000 albums since winning Season 4 of American Idol.
Clarkson who won Season 1 has sold 10,674,000 albums which is 1, 622,000 less than sold by Underwood despite having a three year head start.
Underwood also leads in digital track sales with 18,482,000 while Clarkson has sold 15.6 million digital tracks with Underwood selling almost three million more digital tracks than Clarkson.
When it comes to gross earnings from concert tours, Underwood holds a commanding lead over Clarkson, earning $66 million in concert revenue compared to $32 million earned by Clarkson.
Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks didn’t even make the list, while fourth place finisher that season, Chris Daughtry is third on the list at Hollywoodreporter.com.
However, Kellie Pickler the sixth place finisher in Season 5 also is tenth on the list of top American Idol earners.
It is ironic that the American Idol of Season 5, Taylor Hicks didn’t even make the Top 10, while the fourth and sixth place finishers both made the list.
I can’t see Season 8 winner Kris Allen or Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze making the Top 10 list anytime soon, as they haven’t done well in album sales and probably are not booked in the larger arenas, which limits their revenue.
Scotty McCreery should sell well if he is voted the American Idol, while Lauren Alaina probably will sell less albums than McCreery if she is voted the American Idol of Season 10.
For more complete details of the Top 10 money earning Idols and contestants who have sold well, despite not being voted the American Idol.
If you only had enough to buy one album, which album would you buy?
The eleven American Idol finalists will be $49,000 richer at the end of their 49 concert tour this summer, with each singer being paid $1,000 a concert. The singers alone combined will earn a combined $539,000.
The Idols will also receive a cut of the merchandise sales during the tour.
Concertgoers will be able to see Pia Toscano sing with her fellow American Idol singers for the first time since leaving the show early in the season.
The ticket prices will be affordable for only the most affluent American Idol fans or those fans who have saved up for the tour for several months.
For instance the concert at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas will range from $94 for the cheapest ticket to $631 for the most expensive ticket not counting the meet and greet tickets at $1,649 each.
A family of four buying the cheapest tickets would be setback $376, not including any trips to the concession stands or memorabilia purchases.
Paying the orchestra assuming there will be a traveling orchestra, stagehands, concession workers and roadies to unload and load the trucks and whoever else is needed to stage the shows will amount to a huge amount of money.
It is a shame that so many fans who would want to see the concert tour, simply can’t afford the money it would take to see the shows. American Idol is a huge cash cow, that may make a lot of money for the ownership of the company, but the average fan working for a living will find the tickets are too pricey for them to attend.
The tour was cut short in 2010, but don’t expect that to happen with the wealth of talented singers on the tour this year. Sadly Ashton Jones and Karen Rodriguez who were the first and second singers to be eliminated, thus disqualifying them from the tour will not receive the $49,000 the other 11 will be receiving.
I personally would love to see one of the concerts, but financially the tickets are too expensive for me to see the concerts.
Season 10 of American Idol should produce the most albums of any season. Most of us know Pia Toscano, Casey Abrams, Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin and of course, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery should have albums by the end of the year.
However on the other hand it is unlikely that Naimi Adedapo, Karen Rodriguez, Ashton Jones, Thia Megia and Stefano Langone will make an album this year. It will be interesting to watch if any of these five singers make an album even in the next two or three years.
Now to the contestants who should have recording contracts in the coming months:
It is almost scary that Scotty McCreery will release his first album as a teenager, making me wonder if he can sustain his popularity over many years. The record business is an up and down business and a singer is only as good as his last album, so in a way hate to see Scotty start at such an early age. Having said that, he has the talent to succeed and his likability factor is through the roof, so he could very well have a career that lasts for many decades.
It is interesting to try to figure out what niche Lauren Alaina will find herself in in when it is time to record an album. She has the ability to sing both country and pop so she and her record company will have to decide which direction to go. She may not have the success of Carrie Underwood but could still be a top seller in whatever genre she lands.
Even though James Durbin could only make the final four, he could sell albums very well, because of the energy he brings to his music. Scotty McCreery should be a huge seller, when he records his album.
I look for him to be one of the best selling heavy metal artists almost immediately. Knowing his back story, makes me hope he is a huge success in the music industry and that he can show the world that Tourette’s syndrome is not going to keep him from achieving his dreams.
Haley Reinhart probably will record an album that focuses on blues and jazz. She definitely can sing a blues song or a jazz vocal with the best of anyone. She may not be a mainstream artist, but that depends on how her record company wants to sell her music, and what direction they want her to take.
There is no doubt that Pia Toscano will have the first album among the American Idol contestants, since while they were still engaged in the competition, she was free to start work on her debut album. Being the most technically correct of all the contestants this season, she should easily fall into whatever niche her record company wants her to be locked into.
It will be very interesting to see what kind of album Casey Abrams releases later this year. The multi-talented singer/musician is by far the most talented musician ever to appear on American Idol. He is the only singer to sing while playing the upright bass, in my memory. He may have been eliminated early because the voters didn’t realize how talented he is.
Jacob Lusk may have peaked too early during the competition. He seemed to become discombobulated ,by all the advice from mentor Jimmy Iovine and the judges. However, he should be signing a recording contract to sing as a rhythm and blues artist and/or a gospel artist sometime this year. Whether his albums sell well remains to be seen.
If ever a singer had a distinct sound, it is Paul McDonald who sounds more like Rod Stewart than Rod Stewart. Whether his unique sounds helps sell albums is a question mark that will be answered when his album is released. McDonald didn’t particularly like singing cover songs like he was required to sing on American Idol, so now he will likely sing a lot of his own songs. The big question for McDonald is whether music fans buy the albums of a singer that sounds like a famous singer, like Rod Stewart.
This is not the best time to be in the music business since downloading is such a big part of the music business. We could be seeing less and less music issued on CD’s in the coming years.
The American Idol contestants may have struggled for years before getting a chance to record an album, without their exposure on American Idol. There is no way a Scott McCreery or Lauren Alaina would be recording albums as teenagers without being on national television for the last three or four months.
We want to wish the best to all of the American Idol contestants who record albums this year and hope they continue to sell albums for many decades.
However, we have seen many contestants lose recording contracts over the years, so there are no guarantees for any of them. For the most part, only Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry have sold albums by the millions and millions.
So we could see many careers launched this year when they record their albums or it could be the beginning of the end for those that can’t sell their albums.
The poll asks the readers which American Idol contestants will sell the most albums:
Leroy Fick 59, won $2 million in the Michigan lottery but despite telling food stamp officials that he won $2 million in the lottery, was told to keep using his food stamp card.
It is a mystery why he continues to use his food stamp card, since there is no way someone with $2 million would need food stamps.
It is almost a certainty that the law will be changed, but it should have been changed long before it got to this point.
Too many hardworking taxpayers are paying taxes to fund the food stamp program and they won’t be happy to learn about this waste of state money.
This man is rich enough to buy the grocery store, yet continues to draw from the public trough and is having his cake and eating it too.
It will be interesting to see how much longer this millionaire continues to buy his groceries with food stamps.
The complete Detroit News article:
This flash mob turns to crime as they rob this store in an undisclosed location.
Flash mobs used to be about large groups of people freezing in place, unexpected singing in places like malls and surprise wedding mobs.
Now the criminal element is embracing the mob mentality, by entering stores in large numbers, stealing what they can get their hands on, then leaving the stores en masse.
The store employee in the above video is helpless in the face of a huge mob entering the store and stealing everything in sight, before making a mass exit. There is no way one employee can stop stealing marauders like these criminals. Hiring a security guard probably would not even help in a situation like this.
Crimes like this will force stores to place their merchandise, on shelves behind locked glass doors. The thieves may be able to break the glass but may sustain injuries that may make it easier to apprehend them if store cameras can identify them.
These flash mob thieves steal clothes from this high end clothing store.
Flash mob thieves have no respect for anyone as all they are worried about is to get their greedy hands on as much merchandise as possible.
The following article and video tell about flash mobs stealing from Chicago stores:
I am reluctant to give the mob thieves publicity that might encourage others to form mobs and steal from stores. On the other hand, it may alert law enforcement authorities to devise ways to stop this form of thievery before it starts in other cities across the United States.
Watching flash mobs on You Tube used to be fun, but now joining a flash mob to steal merchandise, may be fun for the thieves, but it won’t be fun when stores start locking them in after they enter the store with no way out, but for the police to take them out of the stores in handcuffs. These miscreants may be not be joining any other flash mobs, but instead will be joining the mobs of criminals in state prisons.
These are just some of my memories of the good old days:
When the ice man brought ice to place in your icebox.
When milkmen brought your milk to the house with cream at the top of the bottles.
When attic fans were the only way of getting any air in a house.
When we would walk on the Murray Street Bridge and see the Red River below, when there were missing slats.
When we were hot and didn’t think about it being hot because it was all we knew since nobody had air conditioners then.
When television shows didn’t come on till 3:30 PM. Howdy Doody and Pinky Lee started the telecast day on KALB-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana in the 50′s.
When we listened to old time radio shows like Dragnet and Breakfast Club on the radio, while my mom listened to her soap operas like Just Plain Bill, Stella Dallas, Lorenzo Jones and Guiding Light.
When people would go to local appliance store at night and watch television through the display window at Jimmie Walker’s Appliances on Main Street in Pineville.
When we would come home from school and watch our cowboy heroes in action.
When nativity scenes could be seen in public places before ACLU raised such a fuss, that you can’t find one in a mall today.
When stores like Penneys, Sears and Montgomery Ward were located in free standing stores, before the advent of the shopping centers and malls.
When kids would trick or treat until 10PM at night, filling grocery bags full of candy, with no special Halloween bags.
When families went to drive-in movies together, while teenagers would sneak a extra kid in the trunk, to avoid paying for them.
When theatergoers would throw tomatoes at the movie screen if they were upset with a bad movie.
When Larry McHale of KALB – TV was advertising cigarettes and started coughing, but regrouped and said “Just thinking of those other brands makes me cough.”
When eating TV dinners were more popular than fast food.
When McDonald’s had 15 cent hamburgers.
When you could get a haircut for less than a dollar.
When it cost a dime to see a movie.
When it cost a dime for a school lunch in 1950 at Pineville Elementary in Pineville, Louisiana.
When kids collected baseball cards and put them in bicycle spokes.
When families would go on picnics at the city park, letting the kids play on the playground equipment.
When going to stores we would see white and colored water fountains. One black man tried both kinds and said they tasted the same.
When we watched No Time For Sergeants three times in a row at the movie theater. (One of the funniest movies ever, with Don Knotts being a dexterity expert, that became discombobulated by Andy Griffith’s character.)
When we used to drink Hawaiian Punch and Delaware Punch.
When we used to pay a nickel for a 6 ounce coke out of a machine. Now they charge over a $1.50 for a 20 ounce coke, when in the old days a 24 ounce coke would cost 20 cents.
When we walked a mile to school everyday for the entire 12 years of elementary and high school.
When there was no middle school back in the 50′s.
When Gov. Earl K. Long of Louisiana gave free chickens to voters during a gubneratorial election.
When going fishing meant taking a cane pole and not a expensive rod and reel.
When I bought a $6.50 Nokona baseball glove for $6.00 when the hardware store owner found out I didn’t have enough money to pay the full price.
When we celebrated Christmas by running around with sparklers.
When we would see the miniature church on the city square in Alexandria every Christmas.
When Christmas music was played downtown during the Christmas season.
When we used to play marbles in school.
When playing with a yo-yo was cool.
When hula hoops were the hot fad.
When high school kids rode bikes to school instead of driving cars.
When familes went to church together.
When families actually ate dinner together at a table, instead of in front of the television.
When kids made money by delivering newspapers on bicycle.
When we drank grapefruit juice at breakfast even though we didn’t like it.
When we ate Wheat Chex at breakfast even though we didn’t like it.
When we used to get excited about another school year starting.
When we went to special Christmas Eve services on a cold night in December and watching Christmas movies on television when we got home.
When we had a train set over our bed as a kid.
When we took a trip in 1957 and saw the Howard Johnson restaurants with the orange roofs.
When we got together as a family to hear mother read from the Bible.
When we used to listen to records on the record player.
When homemade ice cream was better than any ice cream bought in a store.
When pizza was delivered to the house the first time.
When mom and pop stores went out of business because of Wal-Mart.
When there used to be neighborhood groceries scattered around in residential neighborhoods.
Yes, those truly were the good old days.
The Kohler company will introduce a new $6,000 toilet later this month. The toilet will include amenities like an MP3 player and a touch screen remote control.
The innovative toilet should sell well, even at $6,000. There are too many rich people, who like to be first to have a new product, for it not to sell well.
A complete toilet and tank can be bought at Home Depot for about $55. A consumer could buy 109 of the $55 toilets for what it cost to buy the $6,000 toilet.
This link shows what the toilet looks like:
Jaime Kirlew, who was recently featured on Extreme Couponing is being investigated for fraud while using coupons.
She allegedly used $4 Schick Razor coupons to buy Schick Shaving Gel. You would think the coupons would be rejected.
This is such a complicated matter it may be better to go to this link, which explains in great detail, exactly how she is using the coupons.
With the average price of a gallon of gasoline close to $4.00, it is good to remember the good old days when gas was 18 cents in the 1950′s.
I can remember driving from Louisiana to Kansas in 1969 when I found gasoline price of 24 cents a gallon. It was during a gasoline price war in Texarkana, Arkansas.
A ten gallon tank would cost only $2.40 at the time. Today that same ten gallons would cost close to $40.00.
In addition to the low gasoline prices, you could have your tires checked, oil and water checked and have your windshield cleaned.
Today there very few full service gasoline stations remaining in the United States. Now you have to pump the gas and clean your own windshield, not to mention checking to see if you are running low on any of the fluids required to keep a car running well.
No convenience store clerk is going to be able to help you with any automotive problems, since they have to stay behind the counter to work the cash register.
We are in another high gasoline price cycle, but this time it may be longer lived than most cycles. We are hearing in the news about gasoline going to five dollars before the end of the year.
The amazing thing is that consumers continue to buy the huge gas guzzling SUV’s knowing they will have to pay $70-$80 for a tank of gasoline. That same tank full in the 1950′s would cost less between about five dollars.
The price of a barrel of crude oil is at the highest since 2008, yet nobody in Washington seems inclined to do anything about it.
The state of Texas is even considering raising the speed limit to 85 MPH on the interstates. A tank of gas won’t last long driving that fast.
We hear the same old rhetoric coming out of Washington about using the millions of gallons stored in storage tanks, but so far the government has done nothing to give relief to the consumer.
Unless something changes in Washington, this country will continue to be held hostage by foreign countries producing gasoline that is sent to the United States.
The Texas House of Representatives has already approved changing the maximum speed limit in the state to 85MPH. The bill will now go to the Senate.
If a car maintains the 85MPH pace for two hours they will have driven 170 miles. I am not sure that cars can withstand being driven at that speed for two hours without overheating. It is pushing a car to its limit.
It would also take longer to stop if a car traveling at that rate of speed were to hit another car. For instance a car traveling 85MPH which came up behind a car traveling at 55MPH might not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
The higher rate of speed, more importantly would be more likely to result in more fatalities, plus there would be more cars totaled, which would result in higher insurance premiums. The car insurance companies would have to raise the premiums to pay for the damage inflicted by cars going 85MPH.
Another scary thought is the mentality of many drivers, who think they can go five or ten miles over the speed limit. That could mean cars could be driven 90-95MPH on the interstates.
The thought of getting to your destination faster is nice but it is even nicer to drive 70MPH and arrive safely at your destination, with no damage to your vehicle.
Nostalgia and Now had the 100,000th visitor yesterday, since the website started, in April of 2009. After a slow start, in which only 529 visits were made to the site, in the first full month, 12,071 visits were made last month.
There was one blip in October of 2010 when there were 14,039 visitors, mostly because of an article about the death of Barbara Billingsley, the mother on Leave it to Beaver.
The average number of visits per day has risen from 14 in April of 2009, to 94 in April,2010 and is 495 so far this April.
Over the last four weeks, the number of visits per week has been 2,437, 2,720, 3,320 and 3,757.
The yearly totals have increased from 8,932 in 2009, to 60,955 in 2010 and to 30,511 in the first three months and eleven days of 2011.
None of this would be possible without the loyal readers of Nostalgia and Now.
Lately, I have had writer’s block on nostalgia, so would appreciate any readers with nostalgic ideas to send them to me at Niteowl049@msn.com
I want to thank every reader who has ever visited this website, and hope they have found something interesting.
To find the more nostalgic postings, look further back in the archives to 2009. This 2009 post about A&W Root Beer stands, is an example of the nostalgic posts:
General Electric has reported that the company made $14.2 billion in profits, in their worldwide operations. It is a sad situation, while the Social Security coffers are reportedly being depleted, a huge corporation like General Electric is paying no tax.
The company has invested millions of dollars, while pushing for changes in tax law. Worst of all, President Obama has appointed Jeffrey R. Immelt a GE executive, to help formulate plans, to discuss corporate taxes. It is evident that Immelt will not suggest, or support any changes, that would cause GE to pay taxes.
I am not against corporations making a profit, but when they are earning billions of dollars in profits, while not paying any taxes, it is time to question the whole corporate tax situation.
Hopefully, President Obama will realize something needs to be done now, or the economy will only get worse, as companies like GE lay off workers. Then the government has to spend money to retrain those workers or support them financially as they receive financial assistance from federal and state agencies.
President Ronald Reagan made an effort to force companies like GE to pay their fair share of the tax, but now the companies are focusing on avoiding taxes. The worst thing is they are getting away with it and will continue to avoid paying taxes, unless the government puts an end to what amounts to stealing from the government.
N.Y. Times has a four page article detailing how GE is cheating the government out of millions and maybe billions of taxes they should be paying.
Is it just me or does it seem like prices are missing from more items at Wal-Mart lately? It is aggravating to not find a price, on the item or the shelf. Then the hunt is on to find a scanner which is not always easy to find.
Speaking for myself, I won’t buy an item without a price on it or on the shelf. Then the tricky part is matching an item with the price on the shelf. A lot of time is wasted by customers, looking for the same bar code number on the shelf, as is on the item. This becomes even more of a problem when the item is out of place so its barcode number doesn’t match the number posted on the shelf.
You would think Wal-Mart would rather post a price, than to have the line at the register, held up by the cashier finding someone to find a price for them, if it doesn’t show up at the register either.
I like to avoid sticker shock so won’t even put an item with a disputable price in the basket, and just leave it on the shelf.
Sometimes the bar code scanner area is a dumping place for items, more expensive than thought as seen in the msnbc.com article.
The pile of goods abandoned beneath aisle bar code scanners at stores like Macy’s and Target prove that consumers don’t know how much things cost unless they go hunting, Dworsky said.
For those wanting more information on the missing price tags at stores:
Before the Great Depression the stock market was flourishing, many average citizens had invested money in the stock market and installment buying was the rage.
This video tells about how the 1929 stock market crashed.
Even though October 29 is regarded as the day the stock market crashed, the day before had seen even larger drop than on Black Tuesday. On October 28 the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell from close to 300 points, to $260.34 for a fall of 38 points and stocks decreased in value by 12.82 percent.
Some investors who lost large sums of money took their lives when the stock market crashed:
After the initial crash, there was a wave of suicides in the New York’s financial district. It is said that the clerks of one hotel even started asking new guests if they needed a room for sleeping or jumping. – Randomhistory.com
Then on Black Tuesday stocks dropped another 30 points to 230.07, losing another 11.73 percent in value. Even though the stock market was a major factor in the resulting Great Depression falling real estate prices in 1925, had caused rumblings, about the economy not being strong.
The smart investors had bailed out of the stock market when they saw the writing on the wall and knew it had reached the top.
The Great Depression as bad as it was, did not affect 40 percent of the population. The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1941. World War II spurred the economy as workers were needed for defense plants and for other war-connected industries.
President Herbert Hoover sealed his fate when he said the worst was over in 1930 when in fact it wasn’t over till 1941.
My dad was 15 years old when the stock market crashed and lived through the Great Depression.
Unemployment was a major problem with Toledo, Ohio having an unemployment rate of 80 percent at one point.
Randomhistory.com has an excellent list of 50 interesting facts, about the Great Depression, that shed more light on the tenor of the times.
Carlos Slim Helu might not be a household name, but the 71 year old Mexican, is the richest billionaire in the world. Helu, the chairman of Telmex is listed by Forbes magazine with a wealth valued at $74 billion.
Bill Gates 55, who founded Microsoft, is second on the list, with his wealth valued at $56 billion. He may be the richest college dropout in history.
Warren Buffett 80, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is third on the list with wealth valued at $50 billion.
The average American can’t comprehend what it is like, to have this kind of money. We are more worried about making the next rent payment or car payment on time, while these billionaires could buy the car dealership or mortgage company.
These people are so rich they could buy a new car, instead of worrying about having a flat tire changed. One thing is for sure, is that Carlos Slim Helu doesn’t spend time worrying about how he is going to pay his bills. He is so wealthy he could buy the New York Yankees and still have $72.4 billion left over.
For the complete list of the 1,140 billionaires in the world:
Archive.org is probably the best source for audio and video online this side of YouTube. The home page for the website as I write this article has a link to an audio version of a Grateful Dead concert at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum at New Haven, Connecticut on May 11, 1981.
The concert is only one of 803,305 audio recordings at the website. There are 2,214 old time radio related links to old time radio shows and magazines that were printed during the height of the popularity of old time radio.
One Roy Rogers episode has been downloaded 74,882 times showing that the website is available for downloading many of the old time radio shows we grew up with.
Old time radio fans will love looking at list after list of old time radio shows available for downloading including some of the more obscure shows which have very few episodes in existence.
The live music archive features 88,813 archives while the moving image archives total 451,934.
Avid readers will enjoy knowing that there are 2.694,639 texts including books and ebooks. The new Bookreader at the site includes Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin and is the example shown of how the Bookreader works.
There is an audio version of some books but the one I listened to was not of the best quality and seemed to be a computer generated voice which probably would be tiring to listen to for an entire book.
Most readers may not enjoy the voice and instead opt to read the books without sound. For those that like the audio they should enjoy the feature that highlights the portion of the book being read by the voice.
The Mega Reader iPhone app provides access to the 1.8 million free books at archive.org so they each iPhone user can have their own personal reader.
Each volume of the Warren Report investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is available to read.
The site is an excellent source of reading material for educators and students who are looking for books that are no longer copyrighted.
One word of caution: it could take hours just to look at what is available at archive.org. This website may have the most content of any website online and is worth going to the website to see for yourself what is available.
With media moguls like Rupert Murdoch clamoring to charge for his newspaper websites will it be the precursor to other websites charging for their content?
Murdoch is finding out it is not easy to implement charges for what has been free content for years. It was 2009 when he first mentioned charging for content but it is now 2011 and as far as I know it hasn’t been instituted in the United States.
However his News Corporation is charging for the online editions of Times of London and News of the World newspapers in the UK.
Murdoch hopes to start charging .99 cents a week for his new digital paper The Daily which is targeted at I Pad users. Latest plans are for the paper to go online in the next two weeks.
As much as internet users may like Facebook and My Space they would likely desert the social network websites in droves if they began charging to enter their websites.
It may be financial suicide for the owners of these sites to begin charging since their current advertisers would surely ask for a reduction in their advertising rates since there would be millions of less visitors to those sites plus there would be a huge reduction in sales for the advertisers.
Free email service providers would be the most likely to lose the least if they start charging since so many consumers are so accustomed to having the convenience of email that they would agree to pay a nominal fee to avoid going back to sending letters via the postal service for almost 50 cents a letter.
Only the most ardent and more affluent sports fans would pay for sports websites like MLB.com, NFL.com and NBA.com.
The only other website that may be able to survive charging user fees is a search engine like Google.
Hopefully owners of most websites will understand that the economics of the internet does not bode well for the websites that charge for their services.
Personally the only service I would pay for is for email service as long as there are no free email services still available.
No wonder cities and states are broke with employees double dipping and our tax dollars being wasted. This article at msnbc.com has several examples of our tax dollars being wasted. One former police chief in Phoenix, Arizona received a one time payment of $562,000 then started drawing a $90,000 a year pension and went back to the trough for even more money by being hired as public safety manager at $193,000 a year.
This former police chief by himself in one year will have been paid $845,000.
In California one of the hardest hit states in the economic downturn there are government employees receiving pensions and going back to work and now are getting unemployment checks from the state of California.
With unemployment at the highest in years this is no time for city and state governments to let former government workers use our tax dollars for their financial gain.
There needs to be some fiscal responsibility but who is honest enough to see that it happens?
The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn that lasted from 1929 to 1940 in most countries. The U.S. stock market started falling on September 4, 1929 and culminated on Black Tuesday on October 29 when the stock market crashed.
Unemployment rose 607 percent from 1929-1932 in the United States. Investors could buy a $10 stock for only $1 at the time of the stock market crash and when the brokers requested the balance to be paid the investors didn’t have the money to pay the brokers.
The following photos tell the story of the Great Depression better than words could ever say: