Main Street by Roger Allen publisher

August 13, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Dog Days This poem comes from seventh-grader Lauren Pratt in Rockford. “The dog days of summer” seem like the right time for it. Jagger We got him in a little town called Bath. He would walk down a little path. I taught him how to shake. We made him birthday cakes. If he could talk then he’d bug us, Till we took him for a walk. I know I’m being a bragger, But he’s just a tail wagger. I love my dog Jagger. According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the dog days are from July 6 to August 17. They’re named after the Dog Star, Sirius, which used to rise at sunrise. The story was that these days were evil and caused the seas to boil. That’s hot, alright. Another dog “I pulled into the crowded parking lot at the shopping center and rolled down the car window to make sure my Labrador retriever pup had fresh air. “She was stretched full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress on her that she must remain there. “I walked to the curb backwards, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, ‘Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay! Stay!’ The driver of a nearby car gave me a strange look and said, ‘Why don’t you just put it in Park?’” (Thanks to Carol Dionne.) Why women prefer dogs 1. Dogs go to the beach to swim, not for the chance to ogle girls in bikinis. 2. A dog is a pack animal. A man is a six-pack animal. 3. You can train a dog in obedience. 4. A man will roll over and play dead only if you ask him to get up and make coffee. Last dog Who’s your best friend? Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour. When you open the trunk, see which one is really happy to see you. Late Bullet-in A recent news story reported on a church pastor who was urging the congregation to bring guns to church. If you’re in that church and the pastor says, “Let us pray,” you better start! In Colorado, a legislator was promoting a law making it legal to […]

Main Street by Roger Allen publisher – August 6 2009

August 6, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Health Care Insurance The debate over health care and who pays for it boggles the mind. It’s pretty well agreed that our system needs an overhaul and the future could be worse. The U.S. is the only developed country that has no comprehensive health insurance for its people. Not only that, we have the most expensive medical care prices in the world. Also the highest drug prices. That’s a sick combination. Health insurance companies as a group are firmly entrenched and don’t want any tampering with their cash cow. Same is true for drug companies, hospitals, and professional medical organizations. When Medicare was in the process of being adopted (1965), private medical insurance companies were against it, which tells you something. I’m not a fan of Big Government, but I notice that the Postal Service does a good job. I have Medicare and, under it, have had doctor visits, drugs and surgery. The difference between my hospital bill and what I paid was huge. Without Medicare, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be writing this column today. The medical establishment is spending $millions for lobbying against change. Part of their money goes as campaign donations to both Republican and Democratic politicians. Some of the politicians are “bought,” some not. Those who aren’t know perfectly well the donations might dry up for them. I admire them for choosing high principles over high profits for insurance companies and the drug industry. Mistaken identity Walking through San Francisco’s Chinatown, a tourist from the Midwest was enjoying the artistry of all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners. Then he turned a corner and saw a building with the sign, “Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry.” The man was startled. “Moishe Plotnik?” he wondered. “How does that belong in Chinatown?” He walked into the shop and saw a fairly standard-looking place. He could see, though, that the proprietors were clearly aware of the uniqueness of its name. Displayed for sale were baseball hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs, all emblazoned with the logo, “Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry.” The tourist selected a coffee cup as a conversation piece. Behind the counter stood a smiling old Chinese gentleman who thanked him for his purchase. The tourist asked, “Can you explain how this place got […]

Main Street by Roger Allen publisher – July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Bonus? I just heard that one of the brokers, to whom we gave millions of dollars, is paying bonuses of $800,000 to some of their employees! Seems like they didn’t need that bail-out money after all. The company made a few billion dollars in the second quarter of the year. By the end of the year, maybe they can lend the U.S. Treasury a few billion. We could use it. If they made that kind of money, in this economy, those employees must be doing a whale of a job selling something! Do you get the feeling that somebody is getting ripped off? Besides us, I mean.   Dumping Canada has been sending their trash to Michigan, and now the Governor wants to get felons from California prisons sent to Michigan. If we have to be a dumping ground, I’d rather it was watermelon or avocados than garbage and prisoners!   Dog tired An older, tired looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued for several weeks. Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: “I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.” The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: “He lives in a home with six children, two under the age of 3—he’s trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?” Advice Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. People who want to share their religious views with you almost […]

Main Street – by Roger Allen publisher

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

Closing down As head of the Amelia Earhart Welcome Committee, I am disbanding the group. Amelia has not been heard from since July 1937. That’s 72 years this month. During her flying career, she established records and received many awards, but apparently she did not complete her flight across the Pacific Ocean. Frankly, I don’t think we should expect her. The snacks are spoiled and the ice has melted. We’re closing down. “Your call is very important…  …to us. Please hold for the next available representative.” You’ve heard this a million times. A major offender is the phone company itself. You listen to layers of menus, punch a lot of buttons, and then you wait some more. I’m also not pleased with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office. Recently it had me on hold for 18 minutes for a one-minute question. If our calls are all that “important” to these outfits, why don’t they hire somebody to answer the phone? What with Amelia not showing up and all this telephone aggravation, I think I’m getting crotchety. Speaking of crotchety A man left work one Friday afternoon, payday. Instead of going home, he stayed out the whole weekend, partying with the boys and spending his entire paycheck. When he finally got home Sunday night, his angry wife berated him for nearly two hours. Finally she halted the tirade and simply said to him, “How would you like it if you didn’t see me for two or three days?” To which he replied, “That would be fine with me.” Monday went by and he didn’t see his wife. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results. Come Thursday, the swelling went down just enough so that he could see her a little out of the corner of his left eye. Kids’ point of view A parent’s report: “I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I mentally reeled from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, ‘Mom! That lady isn’t wearing a seat belt!’” A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. […]

Main Street – July 2 2009

July 2, 2009 // 0 Comments

America’s last king Every Independence Day we wave the flag for our Founding Fathers who led the revolution. This year, in the renewed spirit of fairness, let’s say a few additional words about the guy on the other side, King George III of Britain. Down the centuries, he’s been portrayed as a loony in lace cuffs. Actually, he was a pretty stable ruler in between bouts of what medical experts now think was the blood disease porphyria. (During his sick times, yes, he acted like a lunatic.) We’ve regarded him as a tyrant. In that day and age, however, ruling their colonies was what European monarchs did. North American holdings represented a big investment and a large part of British lands; little wonder the king didn’t let them (us) get away without a fight. And, as European rulers go, King George was a fairly moderate landlord. George III got utterly bad press for at least 150 years after the launching of the U.S.A. Nowadays, historians don’t roll their eyes about him quite as much. Who knows? A more recent George in American history may get some of that revisionist history he’s been hoping for, although it’s never quick in coming. As he said in May 2008, “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” Despite wars and financial and political downers, our country, 200+ years later, is still a going concern guided by the Constitution put in place by our founders. I am proud to be an American. Happy Fourth of July, everybody! Speaking of history… They opened the time capsule last Saturday. The high school class of 1984 had buried it. When it was buried, I had recently re-started a newspaper that I called The Rockford Squire to continue the tradition of the Rockford Register. Over the past 25 years there have been ups and down with the Squire. For profits and pay it was mostly down, and for hard work it was always up-but it has also been the most satisfying job I ever had. I got to know lots of people in the community and I generally knew what was going on around town. We did a story on the capsule when it […]

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