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Downwind

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Labels” My 15-year-old son has a great sense of humor and is very funny. More importantly, when he finds something that tickles his funnybone (and the funnybones of his family), he repeats it…over and over.  I suppose I encourage this by laughing at his “material” most all the time. Here’s an example. He loves to make fun of my dancing ability (as if there were such a thing) by swinging his hand back and forth like he’s conducting an orchestra, swiveling his hips and saying “do-tee-do- tee-do”. I’m not sure why it’s funny but I can’t stop cracking up. Tragically for me, the rest the family thinks it is pretty funny also. Here’s another example. My son will pick up one of our Lab dogs, Bill Otis, and set him in his lap like he’s a person.  He will then point Bill’s front legs at me and flex the dog’s legs straight while simultaneously saying “you’re fired” in his best Donald Trump vo ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Define Temporary In recent days, I’ve been trying to figure out what the word “temporary” means to people. I did a quick survey in the office and here’s what I learned: Diane… Temporary means “part-time, not forever, just for a short period of time”. Katie… Temporary means “not for long”. Debbie… Temporary means “not permanent”. Linda… Temporary means “part-time”. Sarah… Temporary means “intermittent”. Melanie… Temporary means “short term”. Kelly… Temporary means “not permanent”. I did a quick survey in my home and here’s what I was told: What does Temporary mean?... Jayne…“not permanent” Kenzie…“Lasting for a short period of time” Mason…“nonpermanent – anti-forever” Ben…”It won’t always be in place and that it is non-perma ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

B & G's, Please Definition: con·nois·seur /ˌkänəˈsər,-ˈso͝or/ noun: connoisseur; plural noun: connoisseurs an expert judge in matters of taste. "aconnoisseur of music" synonyms:  expert, authority, specialist, pundit, savant; arbiter of taste, aesthete;  gourmet, epicure, gastronome; informal:  buff,maven "a connoisseur of fine wines"   Origin: early 18th cent.: from obsolete French, from conoistre ‘know.’ Source: Google Search Yep.  A Connoisseur.  That’s me except without the “French” part (my arm pits are not sunburned). A Connoisseur of fine food?  Not really A Connoisseur of art? Never A Connoisseur of fine wine? Nope A Connoisseur of music? Just noise But a Connoisseur of something, I am. I am a Connoisseur of… Biscuits and Gravy.  My pinkie finger sticks out at a right angle as I consume generous helpings ofthe flaky, creamy goodness consisting of sausage gravy ladled ov ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

We all scream for...   I am a little disappointed in my fellow Americans.  I just saw a distressing factoid that Americans are eating 13% less ice cream than they did just 10 years ago.  Yes…it is true!  Americans are eating less ice cream…just 11.6 quarts per year. That is not even 3 gallons…what the heck?  There are probably some cows that currently have hurt feelings as a result of the rejection they are feeling…cows just want to be appreciated. Here is the thing, my fellow Americans.  Never before has ice cream been easier to obtain, consume and enjoy.  We have it so easy today… All we have to do is go down the street to our local supermarket, drive through a fast food joint, or order an ice cream dessert off the menu (heck, even the gas stations have ice cream).  Simply pull out a “1, 2 or 5 spot” and pull out a spoon. It can't get much easier than that. It has not always been this way… Just go ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“What are you made of, Son?” In life, there are periodic moments in which you have to reach deep inside yourself to find out what you're made of. These moments may come as a result of physical challenges, tragedy, financial stress, or other obstacles.“That that doesn't kill you makes you stronger”. Farms and farmers have more than their fair share of these moments. As I consider my father and mother's efforts to farm throughout the years, there were huge physical challenges, financial stresses, weather issues, and more that seem to “beat” on them for years. Nearly all farmers experience similar challenges. I was thinking about those “moments of reckoning” following a vacation I took a few weeks ago… I returned from the trip with as many boys as I left with…two sons. And yes, there were moments of doubt. It all started this past spring with the brainstorm idea that it would be a great father-son bonding experience to take my two youngest sons o ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The heat and humidity of early August has descended upon us.  There is an oppressive sun “baking” down on my little, bald head and humidity slaps me in the face as I exit the comfort of Air Conditioning. I’ve come to realize that these are not the best of days to be wearing a dress shirt, tie and jacket.  Within seconds, perspiration clings to the shirt and the drip, drip, dripping begins.  Meeting with others (and I do a lot of that) becomes an exercise in self-aware concern…I hope and pray the deodorant lasts just a few more minutes!   There is a temptation to “hunker” down inside the deliciously cool comfort of an air-conditioned office, store or home. There was a time in my life when I knew very little about air-Conditioning.  AC was a new phenomenon for me when I reached adulthood. My mom and dad had no air-conditioning in the house (and they still don't). Thus, when I was growing up, I did not associate the term AC with air-conditioni ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Rural Pride Runs Deep I love my Country. It has provided me everything...a wonderful family, a life of security, a reason for hope, a place to worship, the freedom to express my views, pride in my rural upbringing and amazing food quality and choice.  The concept of freedom is the rule, not the exception.  There are many symbols of this Country, the United States of America… the Bald Eagle, the Statue of Liberty, Star-Spangled Banner, the Stars and Stripes, the Presidential Seal, the Liberty Bell, the White House, Uncle Sam, Mount Rushmore, so many more. All of the above symbols are great, but for me, the one that reaches deepest into my heart continues to be the Flag of the United States of America. “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” There is something about the Flag that reaches into my soul. It speaks of noble deeds, sacrifice, all i ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Great Hunter” I was “shut out” again this spring of 2013!  “Shut out” for the 15th consecutive year. I failed to bag my limit, again. Woe is me. My interest level in this annual event has varied during the past 15 years and beyond.  For some reason this year, I was extremely focused (read obsessed) on the event…the Great Hunt.  And I repeat…I was shut out.  Again. In farm country, where I grew up, this Great Hunt is met with great enthusiasm, secrecy, and certainly “tall” whoppie tales.  People say “I got one the size of a milk carton” or “I got enough to fill 27 freezers”! I equate the Great Hunt with the transition of weather from “cold and damp” to the warmth and pleasantry of what I call “real spring”. You know that feeling…the bird sounds, flower fragrances, and delightful temperature combine say “hallelujah, winter is HISTORY!” Yes, the Great Hunt ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Do you Remember? At some point (hopefully), a person lives long enough to be “old”… So, when does old begin? Apparently, that time is now for me. There have been many hints by my kids to that effect…okay, not really “hints”.  Those kind kids bluntly say, “Dad, you are old”! A few more helpful age hints have presented themselves recently… -I watched the movie “ARGO” recently and remember the Iranian crisis. -Two Cook County Staff recently said that they absolutely love the long lost decade known as “the 80’s”!  I remember the glamorous 80’s. -My hair evaporated…I remember having hair. -My “ways” are set in concrete…I was once wishy-washy. -I’ve been cleaning out office program files from 10-15 years ago and the programs seem like yesterday!  Have I been here that long?  There is a saying, “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duc ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The sound of farm silence… I have heard people say that they want to move to the country for peace and quiet. In fact, I have said it myself. I do have to wonder if some of these individuals understand what they are seeking…especially the “quiet” part. In the city, there is a constant barrage of noise coming from car engines, trucks, construction, airplanes, and a host of other man-made decibels. After a while, the noise simply becomes a buzz in the background and one barely notices it. In the country, it's the opposite phenomenon. The lack of people combined with the expansion of space leads one to believe in the concept of “quiet”.  This “sound“ of silence has its own volume generated by the trees, moving water, wind, grass, animals, insects…the habitat known as the Great Outdoors. It is this “silent” volume has a way of growing in a way that does not seem proportional to its source on the farm.  And I’ve experienced a ...

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