Monday, April 30, 2007

Who's the Better Doctor?

A few weeks ago I had an eye Doctor appointment at The Parshauer Eye Clinic. Being that it's been a couple of years since I was at the Clinic, I had to update my profile. The receptionist indicated that I should go ahead and sit in the main waiting area while I filled out the necessary forms. I filled out the forms and waited for my name to be called. As luck would have it, an elderly gentleman sat across from me. He said to me, "What Doctor are you seeing?" I replied, "I'm not sure, I'm just getting an eye exam". He said, "There's Dr. John, Dr. Ken, and some other Doctors." He continued, "Dr. John is the best." I then nodded my head and smiled at him. I really didn't want to continue the conversation with this old fellow so I closed my eyes and pretended that I was sleeping. I began to wonder what he meant by "Dr. John is the best." Did he graduate at the top of his class? Is he nice? Does he charge less?
I do know that when I set up the appointment that I had no consideration as to which Doctor that would perform the eye exam. Dr. John's son was a friend of my son in high school. They both played on the soccer team.
Finally my name was called. I continued the charade. I stood up, stretched and followed the nurse into the exam room. She asked me some questions and performed some preliminary tests. After she was finished she said, "Dr. Parshauer will be seeing you shortly." Now my mind went into overdrive. I should have asked right then and there, "Dr. John or Dr. Ken?" But no I had to continue my suspense. I know I wanted the "best" Doctor that's for sure. For years I've be going to Doctors appointments and never requested the "best" Doctor. What's wrong with me for crying out loud.
My doubts and fears subsided when Dr. John came into the room. He said, "Hi Mark, how are you?" I replied with a smile, "Great, it's good to see you." He said, "Good to see you too." I'm sure glad that he couldn't read my mind. I felt relieved that I got the "best" Doctor.
Everything checked out okay. The bill for this eye exam totaled $197.00 which I had to pay only $10.00. I was wondering as I left the office how much it would have cost if Dr. Ken or one of the other Doctors performed the tests. Oh well, time to go home and take a nap--and remember always settle for the "best".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


When was the last time you bought a souvenir for someone that didn't make the trip with you? You're probably finding it difficult remembering what you bought and who received the item.

From the definition of souvenir reads like this:

A souvenir (from French, for memory) is an object a traveler brings home for the memories associated with it. Souvenirs include clothing such as T-shirts or hats, and household items such as mugs and bowls, ashtrays, egg timers, spoons and notepads.

My definition of souvenir is a piece of junk that is over priced, manufactured in a third world country, and usually breaks before you get it home.

About a month ago, a lady in the office where I worked traveled to Hawaii. She was thoughtful by giving all the employees a souvenir of her trip. Each of us received a key chain shaped like a Hawaiian shirt encased in plastic. Now I don't know about you, but for me you never have enough key chains. Chances are that I'll never use this key chain though. It is hanging on the key rack in the kitchen. Like most souvenirs, it's something I could live without.

It's been quite a few years since we visited Disney world in Orlando. I still recall many of the families walking around the theme park with Mickey/Minnie Mouse hats on their heads. If you were lucky, you had your name monogrammed on the backside of the hat. It is safe to say that after you left Disney World you would no longer be wearing your mouse ears. You would look like a royal dweeb if you went to school wearing your hat. Even bragging about getting a Mickey Mouse hat would cause your friends to snicker.

In my own life, I can recall two instances where I was the recipient of a souvenir. My younger brother and I convinced our parents that we wanted tom-toms during our vacation trip to Niagara Falls. After badgering our parents until they caved, we both were granted our wish of getting tom-toms as souvenirs. The tom-toms seemed to be made with used coffee cans and stretchy rubber on either end. The rubber was probably from a car tire inner tube. We really didn't care how they were made. The only thing we cared about was the sound of our dueling tom-toms. I'm sure we caused many headaches on the way home, but both my brother and I had smiles on our faces.

The other occurrence was a train trip to Cleveland. My two Aunts took my cousin and I to see Gene Autry and his horse. My cousin and I dressed like cowboys for this event. We coaxed our Aunts into buying us rifles that shot out a piece of cork when you pulled the trigger. The cork was affixed to the barrel of the gun with a long string. Needless to say, we terrorized many people on the long train ride home.

Yes, souvenirs do create vivid memories of our younger years. But on the other hand so do photographs. So the next time you take a trip remember to take your camera and forget the souvenirs.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet

Welcome back for yet another of my incessant ramblings. Also thank you for the kind words of encouragement. This is great therapy for me. I sincerely hope you enjoy my attempt to add humor to your lives.

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. This phrase entered our lives back in the mid 70's, 1975 to be exact. It was a marketing program that Chevrolet conjured up to stimulate automobile sales. At the time, it was a very successful ad program. The advertisement had America written all over it without mentioning the word America. People were able to identify themselves with the wholesomeness of these American traits. In recent years, Chevrolet once again resurrected this ad campaign. Hell, they figured it worked once, why won't it work again?
It is difficult to swallow the second time around. Chevrolet simply did not do their homework. To put it more bluntly they forgot to mention that Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet are no longer vital in most Americans lives.

Baseball is no longer "America's Pastime". I'm not so sure when baseball lost all of it's luster, but other sports like football, auto racing (Nascar) and extreme sports are followed by Americans in droves. Youngsters are more apt to have a pick up game of soccer than a pick up game of baseball. Less equipment and more action help to add to their decisions. Yes, I still watch baseball games on television, but it has been several years since I've attended a ball game in person. The thought of spending allot of money for 3 hours of enjoyment just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Also the mega salaries that today's players command adds resentment to the average American worker.

Hot Dogs are also over valued. The nutritional value is almost nil. The only time a hot dog appeals to me is when I am attending a ballgame, which as I mentioned before, doesn't happen much anymore. An occasional hot dog on the grill taste good. When was the last time you stopped somewhere to eat a hot dog? You probably had to think long and hard to answer that question. Pizza, tacos, and chicken nuggets would be an adequate replacement for a hot dog.

Ah, Apple Pie. I'll have mine with ice cream on the side please. Unless it's homemade from scratch fogittaboutit. None of this frozen junk sold in grocery stores for me. It must be fresh cut apples (not apples out of a can) and flaky crust (not soggy or freezer burned). It must be just like Mom makes. No flavor enhancers or preservatives for me. Gees, Jello might be a good replacement. At least there's "Always room for Jello".

"See the USA in your Chevrolet". That slogan actually meant something in the 20th century. In fact a few months ago, Oprah and her friend Gayle travelled the USA in their Chevrolet. What a promo for Chevy! But not really very realistic. Maybe if they were chauffeured in a stretch limousine it would be more believable. One doesn't have to read the press clippings or watch the news to realize that Chevrolet continues to lose market share in the United States. It is really noticeable when you travel to Columbus. Anything "foreign" is seen in Columbus. In particular Honda, which has a assembly plant in Marysville.
To add insult to injury, Toyota is now represented in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. How many hillbilly's drive Toyota's for cryin' out loud?

Perhaps Chevy should stick to their"Like a Rock" campaign. At least it's more apropos than Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

You Never Have Enough Toilet Paper

Have you ever run out of toilet paper? My wife Jan is a toilet paper addict. I know as humans, we all have certain addictions but to be a toilet paper addict takes the cake. I believe this obsession took hold many years ago. Jan and I were sitting on the front porch and a young neighborhood girl strolled up to us with an empty toilet paper roll (the cardboard holder). The young girl said, "Hello, can I borrow some toilet paper, we ran out?" Jan and I looked at each other in disbelief. I've often heard of neighbors borrowing a cup of sugar or flour, but never toilet paper. The little girl's mother was probably sitting on the throne saying, "Will somebody get me some toilet paper?" The youngster then took action.
I can't remember if we did give the girl some toilet paper. I hope so, because her mother could still be waiting for it. From that point on, Jan always made sure we had enough tp in our house.
Last weekend we shopped at Wal-Mart. Just before we were ready to check out our purchases I said to Jan, "Is there anything else we need? Jan replied "We could use some toilet paper" I said " You've got to be kidding me!" Jan never buys just one pack of tp, but fills up the entire shopping cart. Nothing but the best too. Charmin Ultra. I'm beginning to think she is somehow related to Mr. Whipple. Gees, I know our basement is stockpiled with packages of tp. I relent and say "Okay, filler-up".
When we got home I checked out the inventory of tp. I counted 156 rolls. Yikes. I said," Jan we have 156 rolls of toilet paper, how many rolls do we use in a week?" She said, "Around 3 rolls a week." I quickly calculated 156 rolls divided by 3 gives us 52 weeks of toilet paper. I'm sure not too many people horde this much toilet paper. Jan said, " I know, but you never have enough toilet paper".

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This past weekend we decided (at the last moment) to see Dan May in concert at the Maumee Indoor Theater in Maumee , Ohio. Heidi, Jan and myself left early and stopped at the Franklin Park Mall. Heidi was looking for a dress for weddings she will be attending this summer. She was successful in finding the perfect dress that she had in mind. I won't go in to describing the dress, but Heidi felt thrilled about her choice.

After we had our dinner at the mall food court, we headed to the show. Of course the weather was typical spring weather in Ohio-- windy, cold and snowy. The parking lot was in the back of the theater and by the time we entered the main lobby of the theater we were cold and covered with snow. We arrived well before the 7:30 pm start time and were able to check out the people as they arrived. Brother Brad and wife Therese from Ann Arbor (boo) were there.
Also saw Sister Julie and Ed Opfer, nephew Jared, nephew Bryce and a cast of others.

The show started about 15 minutes late with Shane Piasecki, a singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist who is a native of Toledo. He was accompanied by a bearded violinist from Romania. They were very entertaining and sounded good together. Shane sang around 7 songs, 6 originals and 1 cover song-- Eric Clapton's Lay Down Sally. Although Shane is no Eric Clapton (and who is?) the arrangement worked very well.

After a 10 minute break (actually around 20 minutes), Dan May took the stage. My son-in-law David Henry (Heidi's husband) served as the percussionist for Dan. David also played with Dan May when he was in Sandusky at Cabana Jacks. We were very proud of David. He did a terrific job and added that little extra flavor to the performance.

Dan sang almost his entire repertoire. His third CD has just been released, it is entitled Fate Said Never Mind. It was an excellent show and certainly very entertaining.
After the show we attended the after show party in the basement of the theater. Heidi decided to wait for David and rode home with him. I started thinking to myself, I know we're going to get lost on the way home without Heidi. Oh well-- Jan and I trekked to the car in a blinding snowstorm. This is April 14 for crying out loud. There goes the theory on global warming. Tell that to Mother Nature.
We leave the parking lot and come to the stoplight. A sign above the traffic light indicates "NO LEFT TURN". So we made a right turn then turned around to head in the proper direction. Waiting in the left turn lane at the next traffic light visibility was almost non-existent. The light changed to green and I proceeded to make the left turn gingerly. I didn't realize at the time that there was a concrete median in the center of the road (actually I couldn't see it). Of course we're on the left side of the median and not the right side. Holy Sh*t! Now what do we do? All I could envision at the time was the scene from the movie Trains, Plains and Automobiles where Del and Neal are driving against the traffic instead of with the traffic. We were lucky however; there weren't any semi tractors coming our way. Whew! Dodged another bullet---no traffic. I then did a quick U-ie, went back through the traffic light and turned around once again.
Now at least we're headed in the right direction. We began looking for Turnpike signs. Darn it! I know we saw them coming into town. Where are they? Who stole them? Do they exist? Where in the heck is Heidi when we need her? After what seemed to be hours, and several more incorrect turns, we saw the turnpike signs. Alleluia! Rejoice! Like an oasis in the desert we finally are headed home.
Once we got into the driveway I felt like kissing the ground. We finally made it home in one piece. Yet another fun but unnerving chapter in our exciting travels.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Purpose of My Blog

Most people have a tendency to analyze what happens in our everyday lives. We become so wrapped up in our jobs, our families and our finances that we become immune and have very little levity in our lives. The purpose of my blog is to comment on observations that I make on a daily basis and make fun of the way people react to certain situations and circumstances.