Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ask And You Shall Receive

It looks like my last column about NFL uniforms, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, left my adoring fan base aching for more. Well, sort of. The following comment was left by FSG Greg, “Interesting post, but you need pictures to illustrate.” Well Greg, ask and you shall receive.

First a couple that will illustrate what I consider to be Good uniforms.

Kansas City Chiefs

Green Bay Packers

Here is an example of the Bad.

Detroit Lions

And finally, the Ugly. The very Ugly.

Buffalo Bills

Minnesota Vikings

Seattle Seahawks

Hopefully these pictures will clarify why I feel the way I do about certain NFL uniforms. See Greg, ask and you shall receive. So, unless there is something else, until next time…from the booth.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sorry if I caught the attention of Clint Eastwood fans, but this isn’t about spaghetti westerns. Not by a long shot. Today’s column is about current NFL uniforms. The idea for this came when I read Jim Stingl’s JSOnline article about a Milwaukee marketing executive kicking around the idea of changing the Green Bay Packers’ logo. Then I saw the Seattle Seahawks new uniforms. After briefly vomiting in my mouth, I decided to write.

First I made a list of all 32 NFL teams, complete with brief remarks on their current uniforms. Please notice the emphasis on current. The reason for this is because several teams used to sport classic, good-looking uniforms. But with the present-day need for constant modification, that has all changed. Today, NFL uniforms fall into three basic categories.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Allow me to describe each of the classifications before revealing my three lists. Hopefully this will help you to understand why I feel the way I do. Rest assured that I am fully qualified, having graduated from Gateway Technical College’s Graphic Design program with Presidential honors and being a NFL fan for well over 45 years.

The Good category features classic, uncluttered uniforms, whose colors are complimentary, yet provide contrast at the same time. Well thought-out striping and style of number are also crucial elements. Less is often more.

Bad is just what it says…Bad! Although not as putrid as an Ugly uniform, the Bad ones have serious faults. Whether it is atrocious color combinations, funky numbers or just poor design, these uniforms don’t have what it takes to make the Good list.

Finally the Ugly. When compiling my lists I discovered that the uniforms I considered Ugly had one of two fatal flaws. I shudder to tell you that a few had them both. One defect is the monochromatic look, the same color used for jersey and pants. A 350-pound lineman doesn’t look good in a unitard. The second foible is extra “stuff” all over the uniform. More often than not, this comes in the form of stripes down the side of the jersey.

With that in mind, here are the lists.

The Good: Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.

The Bad: Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Ugly: Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans.

It should be noted that several teams could very easily move from Bad to Good by going back to their “old” uniforms. Teams like Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Detroit and Miami are prime examples. If Pittsburgh were to lose the Futura Condensed font with their numbers, their uniforms are Good.

One last caveat. If San Diego should choose to use the powder-blue jersey on a consistent basis, they too would be in the Good category. Unfortunately, I think they still use the navy blue occasionally. Too Bad.

Once again, I apologize to the Clint Eastwood fans for misleading you with the title of this column. But now that I think about it, the serape Clint wore in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly had a better look to it than the uniforms worn by 23 of the NFL teams. Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Can You Say Dysfunctional?

Survivor Samoa is barely two episodes old and is already threatening to be one of the best seasons in recent memory. Typically you have to wait for interesting personalities to emerge. Not this season. There are fascinating characters crawling out of every corner of Samoa. Thanks in large part to the dysfunctional Fao Fao tribe, there will be no waiting this season. This tribe has every possible component necessary for some truly spectacular Survivor moments.

Before I elaborate on the “individuals” that make up the Fao Fao gang, it should be noted that team Galu has some intriguing folk inhabiting their camp just waiting for their moment to shine.

Galu, to their credit, features the fishless wonder Shambo and her off the chart mullet and the ghetto-licious Yasmin. And the fact that John is competing in royal blue Speedos can’t go unnoticed. But in the early going, Fao Fao far and away leads in eccentric, unconventional tribe members.

Remember in my preview column, It’s Survivor Time, I wrote, “I sense that early on, Fao Fao, featuring evil Russell H. and deceitful Elizabeth, will be very amusing to watch.”

Well, was I wrong?

The Dysfunctiol Fao Fao Tribe

Coming into tonight’s episode, Fao Fao had nine people remaining after ousting Marisa at last week’s Tribal Council. Tonight that number was reduced to eight after Borasi; the 62-year-old chef had his butt kicked so badly in the challenge that the medical team deemed him no longer able to continue.

When they voted off lady cop Betsy, the number dwindled to seven, but please keep in mind that Fao Fao is all about quality, not quantity when it comes to bizarreness and outlandish behavior.

At the top of the list is resident evil genius Hantz the sock burner. Not only did he continue to be a coldhearted bastard, but also in an unprecedented move, he found the Hidden Immunity Idol without a clue. Well-played Hantz!

In another Survivor first, Ben was thrown out of the challenge for viciously tripping an opponent. That was after he brutally tackled 110-pound Yasmin. Later he hacked on a log with a machete while everyone else attempted to sleep. If he remains in the game long enough, he could easily become the most repugnant contestant ever.

Natalie and Ashley are your stereotypical air headed blondes, with Ashley easily possessing more PSI. I see evil genius Hantz strangling her at some point. Pretty, but annoyingly stupid so far.

Next member of note is Elizabeth the obnoxious Asian chick. Behind those designer eyeglasses lies a real snake in the grass. Plus, she knows everything. Just ask her. I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her. However, I would love to give it a shot.

That leaves us with Dr. Mick and Jaison. Unfortunately every group of total head cases has a few normal-types. These two guys fall into that category. Dr. Mick is very bright, but so far lacks a spine. Jaison knows things just ain’t right with his tribe and is struggling to change that.

The dysfunctional Fao Fao clan will make season nineteen a memorable one if only the most unorthodox, despicable and deceitfully immoral players stick around long enough. We can only hope. Until next time…from the booth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Intervention Needed

I am in need of an intervention. Seriously. I need a push or a shove, some sort of impetus to get me to step away from the MacBook. Once that has been done, I have to switch off whatever sports talk show that I happen to be listening to on the radio. The next step is turn off the game that the TV is currently tuned to. With all of that accomplished, I can finally do something that I have been meaning to do for months.

Read a book.

Since February I have been meaning to do just that. Read a book. It should be simple, right? It’s not as if I have any problem choosing something to read. Right now in my bookcase I have no less than six books that I want to dive into.

I even started one, Boys Will Be Boys by Jeff Perlman. I got about seven chapters into it and put it back on the shelf where it sits staring at me while I write this.

The others are Slap Shot Original by Dave Hanson, Pistol the Life of Pete Maravich, Gladiator by Dan “Nitro” Clark, Bobby the Brain by Bobby Heenan, and My Dirty Little Secrets the Tony Mandarich Story.

I know what you are thinking - nice choices, but they are truly books that I want to read. It’s just a matter of getting started. I am not sure what happened with the Perlman book. Typically, if a book is interesting, I will barrel right through it once I start.

For instance, I finished all 192 pages of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie without stopping. Okay, maybe once or twice to wipe my eyes and blow my nose, but you know what I am saying.

Another book that falls into this category is Playing With the Enemy. My friend Pat Hegewald graciously presented me with an autographed copy a few short hours after he interviewed its author, Gary Moore. I read the book from cover to cover during a Labor Day weekend.

Playing With the Enemy tells the story of a farm boy from Illinois who is recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s, but forsakes a career in baseball due to WWII and joins the Navy, where he is sent on a secret mission to guard German POWs.

In the book, author Moore relates the events of his father's life with regard and care. As a result, Playing With the Enemy is a pure delight to read. It surprises you and then surprises you again while you're attempting to digest what you just read on the previous pages.

It might not be fair to compare other books with this one. It is outstanding. After finishing it, I bought copies for my brother and another friend of mine. I had to; my father was reading my copy. They all loved it.

So you see it’s not a matter of choosing a book or an inability to read. It’s just comes down to doing it! And I will. Honest. With or without the intervention.

I meant what I said about how exceptional Playing With the Enemy was. I have made the title a link to its site throughout the column if you want to look into it for yourself. By the way, one of the tunes you hear playing on the site’s opening page is a song called Field of Broken Dreams. Hegewald, Jamie Cairo (FSG) and Matt Meyer wrote it, with Meyer and Cairo doing the vocals.

I think I’ve said enough. Now it’s time to read. Or watch Hell’s Kitchen. Aarghh! Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Evil Sock Burner Alert!

The premier episode of Survivor Samoa finished three minutes ago. I made my obligatory phone call to Fellow Survivor Geek Aunt Janet and she reinforced my feelings. This is going to be a good season. The tribes, Galu and Fao Fao, have the usual Survivor mix of personalities to make things very interesting. You know, an opinionated Asian woman, a loud mouthed redneck, a rocket scientist and just enough silicone enhanced blonds to keep the censor busy gelling out the nasty bits.

This usual cast of characters has a few special highlights, like Shambo from the Galu tribe. She is a Harley riding, second generation Marine who sports one helluva mullet. Not to be out done, Fao Fao features Hantz the “Evil Sock Burner”.

You heard me right; he is an evil sock burner. Not only did he burn tribe mate Jaison’s socks, he emptied all the drinking water from his team’s canteens. Evil. Diabolical. Vile. Demonic. Sinister. Lowdown. Despicable. Contemptible. And these are his good qualities.

Hantz is a millionaire oil company owner from Texas. He claims not to need the money; he just wants to show people how easy it is to win this game. The first day in camp he quickly formed two “secret” alliances.

One was with Ashley, Marisa, Elizabeth and Natalie. He called this, “The Dumb Ass Girl Alliance”. His alliance with Betsy, the 48-year-old police officer, was, “”The Old Girl Alliance”. He then stated that whether the others knew it or not, he is running the whole show!

Hantz the Evil Sock Burner wasn’t the only quotable character in the kickoff episode of Survivor’s nineteenth season. Not by a long shot.

Mike, 62-year-old personal chef, offered this pearl of wisdom, “Afro-Americans aren’t known to be swimmers.”

Ben, 28-year-old bartender and resident redneck, gave this self-assessment, “I shot and killed everything that you are allowed to in Missouri and a few things that you aren’t.”

Ashley, 22-year-old spa sales associate, opened Tribal Council with the classic, “It is what it is.”

Despite bimbette Ashley’s brilliant statement, it was Marisa from Fao Fao that was the one to hear Jeff Probst utter those fatal words, “The first person voted out of Survivor Samoa is…”

Too bad about Marisa getting the old heave-ho, she was leading in my informal “most-gelled” poll. I haven’t forgot you female Survivor Geeks; there was a Speedo sighting. I know, gross.

I should also mention that several Fellow Survivor Geeks weighed in with their early picks for Sole Survivor. FSG Cathy likes Ashley because she is from a nearby suburb in Minnesota. FSG Mary chose Laura based on her office manager skills, while FSG Jamie picked Shambo in obvious homage to last season’s Sandy. FSG Aunt Janet selected Hantz the Evil Sock Burner first, Laura second and Shambo third. Way to step out Aunt Janet!

I went with Erik based on a gut feeling. However he might have been the dude sporting the Speedos. If that’s the case, I will definitely have to change my choice. Anyways, I can’t wait until next week when things get physical. Until next time…from the booth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Check It Out!

It’s here! Over the weekend Postman Bill delivered the package. The package whose arrival I had been so anxiously anticipating. The Wire complete series DVD set had arrived! It’s all here. All five magnificent seasons, every compelling episode for the low, low price of $69.95. And that included shipping! I found this great deal at a site called Phrack Inc. Check it out; there are some great deals on TV shows on DVD.

So why am I so exhilarated about the arrival of these DVDs? Why am I so pumped up about a TV show when Major League Baseball is headed toward the playoffs and the NFL is playing games for real? Why am I so psyched? I will tell you why.

Simply put, The Wire is the greatest television show that I have ever seen. Hands down.

For those of you that haven’t had the good fortune of having experienced this great series, I will give you a quick synopsis.

The Wire is a drama series set in Baltimore, Maryland broadcast by HBO. The Wire premiered on June 2, 2002 and ended on March 9, 2008, with 60 episodes airing over the course of its five seasons.

Each season of The Wire focuses on a different aspect of the city of Baltimore. They are, in order: the drug trade, the port, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media. Despite never seeing large commercial success or winning any major television awards, The Wire has frequently been described by critics as the greatest television series of all time.

And I concur. Do yourself a huge favor and see for yourself. You don’t have to pay for HBO or purchase the DVDs, although at $70, you can’t go wrong. No, you don’t have to spend one penny. The Kenosha Public Library has it available for your viewing pleasure. If Kenosha has it, I am sure that your library will. So when I say check it out…check it out!

I am pretty sure that after you watch the first few episodes you will be addicted, I certainly was. Maybe it won’t be your all-time favorite like it is mine, but I promise that you will enjoy it.

Speaking of all-time favorites, here are some more of mine, in no particular order.

Barney Miller, Cheers, Hill Street Blues, Just The Ten Of Us, King Of The Hill, Leave It To Beaver, M*A*S*H, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Monk, Mr. Belvedere, Night Court, Northern Exposure, Seinfeld, Survivor, Taxi, The Andy Griffith Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Drew Carey Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Sopranos and WKRP In Cincinnati.

These are all shows that rank high with me, some higher than others; like The Sopranos and Northern Exposure. But none are quite as special as The Wire. Check it out! Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's Survivor Time!

Survivor: Samoa will premiere on Thursday at 7:00 pm on CBS. It is the nineteenth season of the award winning reality television series. This season there are twenty contestants divided into two tribes, Galu and Foa Foa. Here is a short synopsis for each competitor from the show’s charming host, Jeff Probst, that I found on SurvivorFever.net.

Foa Foa Tribe

Ashley Trainer (22) Maple Grove, MN Spa Sales
Probst’s Prognostication: I think she's really got some spunk, some true gut. It wouldn't surprise me at all for her to go deep in the game.

Ben Browning (28) Los Angeles, CA Bar Manager
Probst’s Prognostication: Is a time bomb. Dude is a time bomb waiting to go off, the question is when. It's gonna happen.

Betsy Bolan (48) Campton, NH Police Officer
Probst’s Prognostication: Betsy is a major threat in this game because she is really likeable and she will never quit.

Mike Borassi (62) Marina del Rey, CA Personal Chef
Probst’s Prognostication: He's not going to last long in this game. I just don't think so. It's too hard out here.

Marisa Calihan (26) Cincinnati, OH Student
Probst’s Prognostication: I wish Marisa would go deeper but if I had to bet, she'll be out by episode 5.

Elizabeth Kim (33) New York, NY Attorney
Probst’s Prognostication: Don't trust Liz. She could go far and I think she'll be a quiet person who maybe doesn't say a whole lot and before you know it, she's in the final.

Russell Hantz (36) Dayton, Texas Oil Company Owner
Probst’s Prognostication: Is the closest thing to evil we've ever had on Survivor. The guy has got a diabolical mind.

Jaison Robinson (28) Chicago, IL Law Student
Probst’s Prognostication: I don't think Jaison is going to become an early target. There's no reason. He's not going to irritate anyone. I would love to give that check to Jaison.

Natalie White (26) Van Buren, AR Pharmaceutical Sales
Probst’s Prognostication: If you look at Natalie you might think, pretty girl who doesn't want to break her nails. I don't know, Natalie might surprise some people.

Mick Trimming (33) Los Angeles, CA Doctor
Probst’s Prognostication: Mick's the kind of guy who could manipulate people and get them to do what he wants and then not realize that he doesn't care about them as much as he's pretending to.

Galu Tribe

Brett Clouser (23) Los Angeles, CA T-Shirt Designer
Probst’s Prognostication: A bit of a dark horse. He's kind of hanging back with a cheery smile.

Dave Ball (38) Los Angeles, CA Fitness Instructor
Probst’s Prognostication: Highest IQ, maybe of all time. His IQ was 140 and I'm pretty sure that's the highest we've ever had.

Erik Cardona (28) Ontario, CA Bartender
Probst’s Prognostication: I don't think that guy would ever think of giving up but I do think he will double-cross as soon as he has to.

John Fincher (25) Los Angeles, CA Rocket Scientist
Probst’s Prognostication: Is a poser. I think Fincher has been a guy that is so good looking that for so many years he's been given things.

Kelly Sharbaugh (25) Los Angeles, CA Hairstylist
Probst’s Prognostication: You can just look at her. She's got "caution" and "trouble" tattooed on her body.

Laura Morett (39) Salem, OR Office Manager
Probst’s Prognostication: Is one of my favorites. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that I think Laura could win this game.

Monica Padilla (25) San Diego, CA Law Student
Probst’s Prognostication: Is the type of woman that you look at and your angel inside of you says, "don't do it, trouble."

Russell Swan (42) Glenside, PA Attorney
Probst’s Prognostication: I don't think Russell is built for a game like this that requires so much deception.

Shannon Waters (45) Renton, WA Sales
Probst’s Prognostication: I like her mullet, fits her to a T. Girl rides a Harley, you can see her hair blowing in the wind.

Yasmin Giles (33) Los Angeles, CA Hairstylist
Probst’s Prognostication: Not really sure how she's gonna feel about going into the woods to go to the bathroom. I don't know about Yasmin.

Well, there they are. I sense that early on, Foa Foa, featuring evil Russell H. and deceitful Elizabeth, will be very amusing to watch. My preliminary pick to win it all is Erik. I would be interested to hear whom Fellow Survivor Geeks are picking to emerge as the sole Survivor. Leave your choice in the comment section. Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Koos Inc. Did To Me

Judging by the overwhelming response my Labor Day column received, people evidently enjoyed hearing my anecdotes regarding Koos Inc. That’s great, because as I wrote in that column, my nearly 17 years of employment at 4500 13th Court has provided me with an abundance of thought-provoking tales. Some are fascinating, while others are a bit humorous, but most will leave you shaking your head.

Like what Koos Inc. did to me.

Some of you are probably aware that I have the rather unusual nickname of Puddles. Previously in this blog, I have mentioned how I acquired this unique sobriquet. Today you get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Koos Inc. is responsible.

It was a sultry June day at Koos Inc. I had been working there a week or so, still learning the ropes. 40-pound bags of Ortho finest 28-4-8 were the fertilizer du jour. My job was to stack these bright orange bags off a conveyor belt onto a pallet in a specific pattern. The finished pallet of bags would weigh a ton.

2000 glorious pounds.

By the way, did I mention that this ton would be completed in less than 5 minutes? Please don’t feel too sorry for me, I had a partner stacking with me at the end of that miserable conveyor belt. Barring any difficulties, it would spit out 12 to 15 tons of chemical lawn food every hour.

Every hot, sweaty hour.

There were two other guys at the other end of that godforsaken conveyor belt. They filled and sealed the bags. It was also their responsibility to keep track of how many bags and pallets we put out.

We had been working for about an hour and it was beginning to become more humid and muggy. The sweltering atmosphere must have been what woke our Supervisor up from his nap. Rubbing his eyes, he stumbled over to our area and asked for our “count”.

Virgil, the bagger, made up an amount and the Supervisor staggered away satisfied. After he was out of earshot, Harry, the sealer, slapped Virgil on the back of the head and told him to make up a proper tally sheet, complete with our names.

That’s when the nickname Puddles was conceived.

Virgil quickly scribbled down his name and Harry’s as bagger and sealer. Virgil then looked up from the sheet and stared at my stacking partner and me. It should be noted that Virgil had a bit of a problem. It was called heroin. He didn’t know who we were. He was lucky he remembered his own name. So he improvised and gave us nicknames.

Never let it be said that drug altered minds can’t perform under pressure.

Still peering intently, he wrote down “Stretch” for my partner. That actually made sense, Ryan, “Stretch’s” actual name, was about 6’5” and weighed about 150 pounds. I wondered what he would put down for me. I was a shade over 6 feet tall and quite a bit more than 150 pounds.

Okay, a whole lot more.

Virgil gawked at me a little longer, whispered something to Harry and then broke into a huge grin, exposing a mouth of rotting teeth. He proudly announced, “You’re Puddles” and wrote it on the sheet.

Mopping my moist brow, I boldly asked, “Puddles?” Harry spoke up and said that it was because I was sweating so profusely there were puddles around me. Feeling a tad clammy and maybe even sticky, I was in no position to argue. I was officially christened Puddles.

The name has stuck with me as I became involved with softball and the rest is history.

Next week Thursday is the premier of the nineteenth season of the award winning show Survivor. I will once again be providing my twisted take on each week’s episode. Hopefully I will also continue to dispense an occasional Koos Inc. tale. Until next time…from the booth.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My First Labor Day

Tomorrow is Labor Day. For Bev and other international readers, Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. Its purpose is to honor the nation's working people. Most Americans consider Labor Day the end of the summer, for many students it marks the opening of the school year. For me it brings back memories of my first Labor Day.

My first Labor Day was June 9, 1975, four short days after I graduated from Tremper High School. This was my first grown-up job. Oh, I had worked at Howard Johnson’s and Burger King while I was in school, but those were high school jobs.

I had a job as a laborer at the infamous Koos Inc. fertilizer/ice melter plant. This was a bona fide, real-life job where I went to work each morning five days a week and received a paycheck for $91.18 each and every Friday afternoon.

The amount of $91.18 was after taxes were taken out. My gross pay was $120.00 for forty hours. Insert your own joke here.

Hey, I said it was a real-life job, I didn’t say it paid a lot. For my $3.00 an hour I got to lift 40-pound bags of fertilizer in a hot, sloppy plant with slippery mud covered floors. In the winter we were treated to 50-pound bags of ice melter in a building that had no heat whatsoever. Although we were freezing, at least the floors weren’t muddy. Now they were covered with a toxic dust that you inhaled all day long.

Did I mention that Koos Inc. featured no running water? Most guys simply stepped to the nearest open dock door to relieve themselves. Otherwise, if you wanted to use an actual restroom you had to maneuver through the entire plant, walk down a long flight of stairs and go across the yard to the “Jap Shack”.

The “Jap Shack” was nothing more than an old storage shed with a few beat-up lockers, a couple of picnic tables, a number of rats and a toilet with a sink. This venerable structure received its colorful name because it allegedly held Japanese war prisoners during World War II.

Don’t ask me, I just worked there.

And so did a multitude of fascinating characters. People like Virgil Tucker, Dead Man, Bone Head, Stretch Babic, Munk Ekern, Tyrone Walker and Ziggy Gutowski. Each one possessed unique characteristics. They obviously had to, with monikers like those. They all left a lasting impression on yours truly.

But none like the legendary Arno Schubert. I could easily write a story about Arno each day for a month. This ornery “old” German was well known in every drinking establishment between here and Paddock Lake. I say old because he was about 36 and I was only eighteen years old at the time.

The only problem about sharing stories about Arno is that it would take so long to clean up the language. With Arno, cursing was an art form. He made Dice Clay, Earl Weaver and other high-profile foul mouths look like choirboys. Let me give you an example.

Because of his propensity for filthy phraseology, he was often asked to “watch his mouth”. One classic moment is when a burnout named Lanny challenged Arno that he couldn’t go the whole day without cursing. Arno’s response? Cover your ears mother.

“F*ck you, you stupid motherf*ckin’ c*cks*cker.”

That was one of the things that I learned on my first Labor Day. How not to talk! Koos Inc. made me realize why Emil and Milly Vagnoni had been drilling that stuff into my head throughout my childhood. Now I was experiencing why in my first real-life job.

On that first Labor Day, I honestly considered making a run for it during first break. I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had. Do I regret not quitting Koos Inc. on my first Labor Day?

Probably, because I ended up working there for over sixteen years. Things would have definitely been different. Maybe better, perhaps not. Who knows? One thing that I am sure of, staying at Koos Inc. on my first Labor Day has provided me with a mountain of material for future columns. Until next time…from the booth.