Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Audio: "Bailout Breakthrough--Send Me the Money"--FICTION

Audio; Tales From Normal, Mn.: "Bailout Breakthrough---Send Me the Money"---FICTION

Audio; "Bishop Nixes Social Justice; Builds Cathedral"FICTI

Audio: Tales from Normal, Mn.: Bishop Norini Nixes Social Justice---Builds Cathedral---FICTION

Audio; Schools Face Crisis: Cut Math, Science, Reading;

Audio; Tales From Normal, Mn.---FICTION: Schools face Crisis Head On---Cut Math, Science and Reading----Add Baseball Coach

Audio: "Hiking the Applachian Trail" FICTION

Audio; Tales From Normal, Mn.: "I've Been Hiking the Appalachian Trail"----FICTION

Monday, June 29, 2009

Audio: Tales From Normal, Mn.: " Half Day School"---FICTION

Audio; Tales From Normal, Mn.: "Where Every Child goes to school Half Day---and the school district charges the State for FULL--FICTION

Audio: "Being Independent Means...."Fiction

Audio; Tales From Normal, Mn.: "Freedom means never having to pay for your own sewage plant." FICTION

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "I've Been Hiking the Applachian Trail"---FICTION

Recently it seems that a certain Republican governor felt it was necessary in order to be a real contender for the Presidential race.....to have a certified affair....and to make it official...during the Father's Day weekend went AWOL from the governorship of a famous state.....no problem...He just had the public relations folks tell the media that he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail." I love it when the public relations folks are called to handle the "relations."

So..I wondered...and when I do wonder, I usually call my old friend Herman, the famous lawyer from Normal, Mn..

"Herman--what went wrong. What could have been a better outcome.?"

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me) It may be just me...but that seems to strike a chord----a chord of lack of imagination. I get lost a lot in maps and traveling---and even my trusty TomTom cannot cure it.....why recently I set forth from Chicago and entered the sacred words, "EVANSVILLE" in the GPS -----it told me to enter the freeway alright....but then said......"At the first opportunity ....TURN AROUND."

In short summary...I obeyed. And it became a longer...much longer trip. It seems there are TWO Evansvilles. The HISTORIC Evansville in Wisconsin...and then the OTHER Evansville.

I think that if the good governor had thought more thoroughly---he could have picked a lot of other excuses rather than the "APPALACHIAN TRAIL" for an excuse....My favorite would have been "My GPS got confused and I got lost."

What would you have used as an excuse?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: Schools face Crisis: Cut Math, Science, Reading---Add Baseball Coach---FICTION

Well it sure has been stressfull lately as schools all across the country are facing drastic budget cuts caused by decreased state aids--Property tax payers are bracing for increased tax bills this coming December. It has been so gloomy lately that it has reminded me of the atmosphere of some funeral home visitations---in fact some of the funeral home visitations were even more up beat. There was sometimes an element of celebration involved.

Anyway---I decided to head on up that lonely freeway to Normal, Mn., my fishing getaway spot in Northern Minnesota---just south of Garrison, Mn. It always has been hard for me to think and fish at the same time. The fishing was so great that it just kept me totally involved.

Anyway, I asked my old friend Herman, the local attorney and member of the Normal School Board how they were coping with the budget crisis.

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me) up here the Superintendent went to Germany on a long junket, and while she was away, the board voted to cut Math, Science, and Reading to meet the fiscal crisis head on. And---they voted to add one more baseball coach. Just to balance things out."

It sure is good to be back in good old Wisconsin. Where we cut key essential courses last. And where at least the bat boys do not have full dress uniforms. It sure is good to be back home.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Herman Lists Top Ten Signs HS Class is in charge of Sales---FICTION

10. Management decides to make all sales staff temporary, day to day, hour to hour with no benefits.

9. A Sales Program is devised that is launched with a pep talk, with the aside that they will decide the "rewards" for achieving the goals later.

8. Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, the sales by employee are said not be be very meaningful.

7. Employees are measured by how long the call lasts, just like the movie "Call Center" and they are also measured by how much they produce. With no particular view of what means what.

6. Sales Directors never talk to anybody below themselves....they just stay in their heavenly offices.

5. Feedback on quality of product is ignored until problems become huge.

4. When employees have bold ideas, they are...well...boldly removed.

3. 90% of the time in meetings is spent talking about paperwork issues and not sales.

2. There is an outing to the ball game and..... all employees pay their own way.

1. As a sales reward for extremely fine work, employees are given an extra .....pottie break.....with an official card to present to their supervisor to see if the time is convient for the volume of calls.....just like high school.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Where Every Child goes to Half-Day School--and charges the State for full"----FICTION

Recently I took a little road trip up that vast and winding road to Normal, Mn., up past the Twin Cities just this side of Garrison, Mn.. The ice has melted now and the coast is clear.

Over a strong coffee at Betty Lou's Coffee Shop, where all the coffee is double strong, and mochas are not necessary, I mentioned to my friend Herman that we in our fair city had embarked on a unique structure for kindergarten, and called it the "pull out half day kindergarten"-----some of the kids went half day, but we charged the State for a full time student----this was sheer moxie was it not?

Herman did not look flustered by my bravado-----"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me) Up here in Normal, Mn. we do things all the way, not half way----Up here ALL the school children go half day.....and we charge the State of Minnesota for full day. It is real slick. By doing so, we have closed one school and cut expenses in half.

"It gets down to one simple truth" Herman said, "In the modern world, where kids can work on their laptops and use "twitter" and "facebook," they don't need to be confined in a classroom all day."

WOW. That sure seemed bold.

Still I wondered. Whether "twitter" and such could really replace teaching. But then it was so much like teaching in a way. Just maybe....

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Being Rugged and Independent means never having to pay for your own sewage plant"---FICTION"

Well it has been pretty stunning. All the techno improvements planned for our wonderful town---And even though we are in difficult times, and facing furloughs of municipal workers along with every other type of worker, and even though we have millions of Americans facing foreclosure, and even though there has never been a time when Americans could afford a higher tax burden---sometimes things are necessary----like sewage plants.

We sure need one. We are a little nitrate high. And even though we could wait a few years till we incur the expense, sometimes a disaster is the perfect time to put some guilt on the feds to pay for our sewage plant improvements as a simple matter of "stimulus." It sure makes one smile as one views cities all across the country do likewise---sending their "pork" or "septic" projects to the careful eye of Washington.

I wondered. And when I wonder, I always give my old friend Herman from Normal, Mn. a call ---just to clarify.

When I explained, Herman let out a huge bellylaugh.

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me) that's just the American Way. We are real independent in our thinking, and ....drinking....but when it comes to spending for our essential needs, we always call Washington to pick up the tab. That is the key to get what Americans call "disposable income." Ya can't have disposable, or drinkable income, if one is flushing down the expenses in the toilet. "

The more I thought about it....the more I saw the light. Yes. We were ruff and ready, but just not the way the history books taught us. The 4th of July was coming and I would be sure to remember that "freedom" is just another word for having the feds pay for our sewage plant.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dateline Normal, Mn.; Bishop Norini nixes Social Justice: Builds New Cathedral

Well it has been a little troubling. With the closing of the venerable Multicultural Center in our local town due to the poor economy. I just wondered about who would be picking up the social justice mission now that the Church had forsaken it.

When I wonder such things, which is often these days, I just pick up the phone and call my trusted friend Herman from Normal, Mn....the land of fishing, the land of peace and contentment in northern Minnesota, yes....just a little ways from the famous Lake Woebegone. Herman was a lawyer and while he did specialize in trusts and estates...and and yes he may have forgotten about what the mission of social justice was since the days of his starving law school period,..still I thought he must know.

"Herman, what is to become of social justice anyway? Why is it that in terrible times, the poor are the first ones to take it in the shorts?"

Herman let out a huge bellylaugh:

"Shucks, Wolfman (that's what he always called me) we will always have the poor. They are like the birds of the air who are supposed to fret little about how, where, or how much they eat---ya must have read the story of St. Francis and the birds...Anyway, up here in Normal, Mn., our local Bishop, Bishop Norini, decided that an economic downturn was the perfect time to build a new cathedral----after all, one can always serve the poor, but the real mission is to exault and prolaim the glory of the Almighty----and with the lead times of the art of cathedral construction, it is important to get these things done in one's lifetime so that they can be named after the builder....."


Yup. that seemed to be the reality all right. I guess that's just the way life is.