RAILER RUMBLINGS

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7/22/17

 
50 YEAR REUNION - JULY 26, 27 & 28, 2018
 
LEE B. has passed along a date for the “Official” 50 Year Reunion to be held here in Newton and Wichita next year - July  26, 27 and 28, 2018. This is a “tentative” schedule - but seems to be “firm” enough to pass along to the Class.
 
Now his committee can begin filling in the details, contacting venues and caterers, planning decorations and events, and all the other “little” things that go into putting on the Reunion. More info will follow as it becomes available. So mark your calendar!
 
"RAILER RENDEZVOUS" - THAT LAS VEGAS THING
 
WHAT IT ISN’T - It isn’t a “Reunion” - There isn’t a hall or room to gather in each day (unless someone wants to donate a $1000 per day - the cost of reserving a hotel meeting room, I’ve checked - no food, just a room).
 
WHAT IT IS - It will be more like a “Rave” for old folks/classmates - with various locations to meet at specified times/locations each day. That way we can gather for a short time and then “head out” in smaller groups to venues those groups are interested in seeing/visiting or just stay together talking.
We will “hook up” as a “group” (for those that want) 2 times a day (9 a.m. & 5 or 6 p.m.?) - for instance:
 
TUESDAY - 9 a.m. - Meet at the HABITAT area of FLAMINGO HOTEL (East Side of Hotel - or ask!)
TUESDAY - 6 p.m. - Meet at BALLY’S NORTH ENTRANCE HALL (FLAMINGO ROAD ENTRY)
 
We will be able to go out to dinner together (or breakfast, for that matter) or go out as a group to a “show” on Wednesday night (Just note that preplanning will have to be involved regarding reservations or group tickets). This should allow time for those that want to go on a bus tour out to the HOOVER DAM, or go out to RED ROCKS, or take the bus (The DEUCE) to downtown, or visit the FASHION MALL, or go gamble away their children’s inheritance, or sit by pool with old friends sharing a cool drink and conversation, OR whatever the heck they want to do for fun!
In order to keep the walking circle “relatively small” - the meeting locations will be on the STRIP, from BALLY’S/PARIS/BELLAGIO on the South to THE VENETIAN/MIRAGE on the North (this puts HARRAH’S, FLAMINGO, LINQ and CAESAR’S PALACE sort of in the middle). It is still not a “small” area!
 
BE WARNED! There is NO such thing as “cheap” food in Vegas anymore - sure, you can find a croissant or a burger for under $8, BUT “meals” will run in the $15 - $30+ per person range! ALSO be aware that room rates quoted to you in reservations and flight packages DO NOT include “HOTEL FEES or TAXES” (they are separate -$$$- items)!
 
I have tried to make this as clear as I can - but I’m sure some will still have many questions, and I will try to answer them for each of you. I will be sending out a “class” email in the future, asking if you may be attending the “VEGAS RENDEZVOUS” and your reply will help greatly.
 
PLEASE consider attending the event - and PLEASE keep in touch as the date approaches.
Be Well -
 
Tom Collier
 
6/1/17
 
EGOS
 
I’m an official member of an unofficial and informal group of NHS 1968 classmates and friends - men who get together every Tuesday for lunch and “man talk”. We were originally called TACO TUESDAY because we went out for Tacos every week - it then devolved into TALKO-TUESDAY, because we now move from restaurant to restaurant on Tuesdays. This maneuver allows for variety to the menu and confuses the restaurant management about whether to throwout that bunch of geezers who burn up two hours of “table availability” each week. Upon further reflection, we could be called, the “Eating, Gossiping, Obfuscating and Shooting” men’s luncheon club or EGOS for short.
 
I highly recommend that you participate in a similar group yourself. Male or female - get together with friends once a week/month and have a meal accompanied by long and leisurely conversation, where the truth can get realigned and memories can be stimulated (such as they are). My personal opinion is that the group must not get TOO big - 8 to 10 seems to be an optimal size - a group any larger than that makes finding a single table (round is preferred) very difficult AND you break up the “single conversation” aspect of the group (you will end up having multiple conversations without complete participation and folks with hands to their ears trying to hear).
 
Even though there are NO official rules to participation in our group (EGOS) - there are a few loosely regarded guidelines.
 
1) You must be healthy enough to survive 2 hours of conversation with this group - (or deeply, truly desperate for human contact).
2) You must be capable of listening to a conversation that has NO beginning and NO end. Discussions are “free form” and any that actually have a “point” are usually accidental and certainly not required - that way, the speaker’s conversation can be filled out with the most non-relevant details that probably have very little to do with the subject (if anything at all).
3) You must NEVER interrupt a speaker who has told the same story numerous times before! This throws off the natural rhythm of the table conversation - so just buck it up. Besides - many at the table will forget what they heard by next week when the story is repeated.
4) NEVER bring a woman to the luncheon! Many women have an annoying preference for truth, facts and/or logic which quite simply has NO place at the men’s table. Besides, it’s a “woman” and we are “men” - for god’s sake, we don’t know what to do with them!
5) Always remember - storytellers at the table have the distinct advantage of a thinning memory. The events or objects of a story “grow” in the telling - this isn’t lying, it is merely “developing” the importance of certain aspects of a story in a way which makes it worth listening to and makes us feel better about telling it.
 
PLUS you may want to be fluent in at least one of the following “TOPICS” -
 
Sports - Remembrances of those that were played, watched, or just talked about - all with the same reverence as a search for the Holy Grail.
Car stories - memories that live on in the dusty “golden shrine” of pitiful lust and lost youth.
Guns, Ammo and “Shooting” - Well, that’s what they call it - such as it is. We go out to a range and spend a few hours firing off expensive rounds of ammunition in a futile attempt to hit targets. Some have said the safest place to be at the range would be standing behind a target, but that doesn’t stop us from firing off a blazing barrage in a grand example of “collateral damage”.
Health and Medication - Sad, but true - and it doesn’t even have to be you or your family - it can be an acquaintance or better yet, someone you don’t even know! A real party pooper topic if I ever met one!
History - Sometimes real, sometimes imagined - “imagined” is usually best - some folks have memories so good, they can remember things that never happened!
Children and Grandchildren - Bless the children . . . as every parent, grandparent knows (and as every person listening to them knows).
Homes and Chores - Talk can run thick and rich about our manly skills in this area. Simple honesty often folds to the indecent liberties taken on discussions about DIY and “Honey-Do’s”.
Religion and Politics - Generally “off-topic”, and not purposely initiated - because no one wants to watch a red faced old man “stroke out” over his Chicken Fried Steak.
Sex - See “Religion and Politics” above.
Money - Usually only in regard to “bills from thieving bastards”; for instance - the cable company, insurance, hospitals, taxes, etc.. It’s a complicated subject . . . .
Minor topics do pop up occasionally (you know, “literature and the arts” and that kind of “stuff”) but usually just in passing while someone else catches their breath to talk more about a better topic like sports, cars or guns.
 
So there you have a brief introduction to EGOS. Go out and start one of your own - you’ll never know what you don’t know (and maybe never had any desire to learn about) until you do.

5/25/17

PERIODIC TABLE LYRICS (TO "CAN CAN")
 
There's Hydrogen and Helium
Then Lithium, Beryllium
Boron, Carbon everywhere
Nitrogen all through the air
 
With Oxygen so you can breathe
And Fluorine for your pretty teeth
Neon to light up the signs
Sodium for salty times
 
Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon
Phosphorus, then Sulfur, Chlorine and Argon
Potassium, and Calcium so you'll grow strong
Scandium, Titanium, Vanadium and Chromium and Manganese
 
CHORUS
This is the Periodic Table
Noble gas is stable
Halogens and Alkali react agressively
Each period will see new outer shells
While electrons are added moving to the right
 
Iron is the 26th
Then Cobalt, Nickel coins you get
Copper, Zinc and Gallium
Germanium and Arsenic
 
Selenium and Bromine film
While Krypton helps light up your room
Rubidium and Strontium then Yttrium, Zirconium
 
Niobium, Molybdenum, Technetium
Ruthenium, Rhodium, Palladium
Silver-ware then Cadmium and Indium
Tin-cans, Antimony then Tellurium and Iodine and Xenon and then Caesium and...
 
Barium is 56 and this is where the table splits
Where Lanthanides have just begun
Lanthanum, Cerium and Praseodymium
 
Neodymium's next too
Promethium, then 62's
Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium and Terbium
Dysprosium, Holmium, Erbium, Thulium
Ytterbium, Lutetium
 
Hafnium, Tantalum, Tungsten then we're on to
Rhenium, Osmium and Iridium
Platinum, Gold to make you rich till you grow old
Mercury to tell you when it's really cold
 
Thallium and Lead then Bismuth for your tummy
Polonium, Astatine would not be yummy
Radon, Francium will last a little time
Radium then Actinides at 89
 
REPEAT CHORUS
 
Actinium, Thorium, Protactinium
Uranium, Neptunium, Plutonium
Americium, Curium, Berkelium
Californium, Einsteinium, Fermium
Mendelevium, Nobelium, Lawrencium
Rutherfordium, Dubnium, Seaborgium
Bohrium, Hassium then Meitnerium
Darmstadtium, Roentgenium, Copernicium
 
Ununtrium, Flerovium
Ununpentium, Livermorium
Ununseptium, Ununoctium
And then we're done!!

11/23/16

SIMPLE MAINTENANCE

Out in my garage I have a couple of “old” bench high wooden stools that I purchased many years ago at an auction. They are are basic, simple round spindled stools - no turning or ornamentation - and I sit on one of them (the other I save for guests) nearly everyday, but the wear and tear has loosened every joint to the point where it wobbles without constantly “tapping” everything back in place. A little simple maintenance is overdue - it’s time to glue all the joints, clamp it and restore it’s solid stance.

We ALL have simple maintenance that we do everyday, particularly around the house - leaking faucets, broken window or screens, replacing a faulty flush/fill valve or "flapper" in a toilet, replacing a broken electrical outlet/switch, do a little touch up painting, patch a wall crack, get an oil change for the car, have the furnace checked and on and on. We do it, not necessarily “gladly”, but because it needs to be done.

Which brings me to the point of this story . . . there are a large number of classmates (and their families) suffering through some form of medical/health problem. We wish ALL of them the best and send prayers for speedy recoveries. A little simple maintenance is in order here, too. A check up with your doctor or dentist can help avoid (or at least postpone) many problems, and could give you an early warning about more concerning issues.

Now I’ve gone and done it, Mary is chuckling - she says I’m good at giving advice, but poor on following it myself. Okay, fine - but this is something we ALL need to do. Visit your doctor, make YOUR health (and the health of those you love) important and please - Be Well.

 

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