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Downwind

"Downwind" - August 2011

Life is different now-a-days. Recently, there was a major storm (on July 11th, 2011) that swept across the area, knocking out power to over 800,000 ComEd customers including the Cook County Farm Bureau building. With everything today being related to computers, we were virtually shut down…we did get creative by using a blackberry device to run the membership database to assist and serve our members…5 minutes to look up a membership does not cut it these days, however. How different this is from when I was kid. The only "bases" I cared about is those days related to baseball. And yes, we played baseball outdoors, not online! How different youth sports are today in so many ways…sure my kids play baseball but somehow, baseball today requires "a signup registration", volunteer fee, uniform, helmets, a $300 bat, cleats, batting gloves, a donut, and specialized gear designed by the position one wants to play. Oh yeah, kids also need a schedule of when and who they play. I ...

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"Downwind" - July 2011

A friend of mine and I have decided to start our own Country. There is probably a lot of paperwork involved but it may be worth it…Don’t get me wrong…We love the Red, White and Blue, it’s just some of the people here. The name of our Country will be BobandChuckland…or maybe it will be ChuckandBobland…it really matters not to either of us. We decided that the form of government will be "assigned benevolent dictatorship." My fellow dictator and I will be working each "half time." I know some of you are thinking "Why doesn’t Bob go start a Country without a partner" so that he can carry full-time dictator status? Must I remind you that being a Dictator is a 24 hour per day gig…there are no coffee breaks, downtime, nor relaxation when you are dictating all the time. Being a half-time "benevolent dictator" will allow me to have downtime to play golf, learn video games, and read "foreign" novels from those American writers. When starting as your own C ...

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Downwind - September 2005

I’ve heard a rumor (a story without confirmation and fact) and feel it is my duty to pass it on to all the members of Cook County Farm Bureau. The rumor I heard, from an excellent source for rumors, was that farmers will be "fine" despite the drought this summer because the government "will be paying them". However, I don’t believe this rumor is complete, so I’ve added to it…the government will also be buying for farmers new John Deere tractors and will be sending the farmers and family to Florida for a 3-month farming sabbatical. As a bonus, farmers with Crop Insurance will be paid twice.

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Downwind - September 2005

I’ve heard a rumor (a story without confirmation and fact) and feel it is my duty to pass it on to all the members of Cook County Farm Bureau. The rumor I heard, from an excellent source for rumors, was that farmers will be "fine" despite the drought this summer because the government "will be paying them". However, I don’t believe this rumor is complete, so I’ve added to it…the government will also be buying for farmers new John Deere tractors and will be sending the farmers and family to Florida for a 3-month farming sabbatical. As a bonus, farmers with Crop Insurance will be paid twice.

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Downwind - October 2005

Until recently, Foie Gras (pronounced "fwah grah") was a "foreign" phrase to me. I’ve recently learned that it is French for a fattened liver of a waterfowl (either duck or goose) produced through a special feeding method. Growing up on the farm, we did not have many fancy French restaurants serving pate’ de foie gras.

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Downwind - August 2005

The summer baseball/softball schedule for my kids has wrapped up but is certainly not forgotten. We certainly enjoyed the challenge of 4 kids on 4 different baseball teams. I love baseball with my boys, but the best is girl’s softball. I still have ringing in my mind the girl’s softball cheers that surround me in the dugout during the games – ten to twelve shrill voices shouting…

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Downwind - July 2005

I confess, as a father, I’ve used the words "You will receive no ice cream unless you clean your room" with my children.

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Downwind - June 2005

love Farm Bureau. It’s not the kind of love that comes every two weeks in the form of a paycheck. Nor is it the kind of love that springs forth through a generous benefits package. It’s not even the people I work with and for (although all of the above helps!). Its "acres and acres" more than that!

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Downwind - May 2005

With each new Spring awakening, nostalgia hits me. I am struck by that wistful longing for the home farm and the activity that surrounds the preparation process for planting season. That’s the funny thing about nostalgia…the difficulties, exhaustion, broken equipment, and weather frustrations are very vague memories. The clarity of the season is highlighted by the sensory recollections that remain with me today…

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Downwind - April 2005

Do you ever think about how one small seemingly random occurrence can change the next 24 hours of your life? I suppose it happens more frequently than we suspect…we just don’t think about it. I have a recent example to illustrate this point which ultimately provided me this material…and I thought I did not have a topic to write about.

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