Tony C Today

Just another brick in the wall…

Have I told you lately…

It’s been said the most important days in a man’s life is the day he is born and the day he figures out why.

I actually believe that to be true, but not in the humorous manner Mark Twain intended. The day a person is born begins a journey that will never end. An eternal soul is created with life’s beginning. You can debate exactly when that miraculous events actually occurs, but that fact is irrelevant for my musings today. There is clearly a beginning. It is clearly a miracle and gift from God.

The second part of the idiom, if you will, is less definitive in the linear line of time but is no less important as I see it. The revelation, epiphany, light-bulb moment, or whatever you want to call it when a person understands and accepts that – 1. they were created by God for a purpose, 2. they are separated from their Creator by sin, and 3. there is a way back to HIs holy presence for eternity is…well…no less important than birth because it too is an eternal event.

But if I can be so bold as to amend the words of a literary legend (and yes, I am that bold), I think Mr. Twain was a day short with his list. I believe there is a third day that is just as important as being born and then being born-again. I also believe it is a divine event much like the first two. God, by design through His love for His creation, paired the first man with another soul. Now call me out if you will, but I believe with strong conviction that relationship was made to fill an earthly absence in our lives of direct fellowship with Him. Jesus Himself compares the relationship between a husband to his wife to that of His relationship to the Church.

That my friends make it eternally important…

We’ve destroyed the deeper meanings of marriage by our flippant, irreverent attitudes on the subject. Friends. I am so guilty of this myself, but I have seen the errs of my ways. While I was born 50 years ago and came to understand why 15 years later, it wasn’t until 11 years ago today I fully understood just how much God truly loves me…and I am so thankful He gave me that chance.

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Happy Anniversary my love. God has blessed me with you. I am eternally grateful and will eternally celebrate.

Amen.

Best of Tony C Today: Land ho! Let’s park by those nice looking huts…

(Originally posted October 2011)

Admit it…you at least giggled a little at this.

There’s no way I’m the only American who finds Columbus Day as a federal holiday a joke. I mean, neither George Washington nor Abraham Lincoln get their own individually recognized day as a holiday…and they actually accomplished something for our country!

Historical evidence has come to show that the Vikings, the Basques and even the Chinese had all footed North America long before the Santa Marie put in anchor in 1492. Not to mention, exactly how in the world do you get credit for discovering an occupied territory? (Hint- the indigenous people didn’t belong to the Roman Catholic Church)

With all the political correctness goop flying around these days, it amazes me this issue isn’t dripping with the stuff. Although the liberal-leaning world of academia is in constant scream mode about  presenting truth, the facts (as if they’d know the truth even if it ran over them), our children still read textbooks that credit Christopher Columbus with finding our continent and none of us are getting mail today as a continuation of this preposterous claim.

Columbus no more discovered America than I discovered my glabella washing my face this morning (that’s the space between your eyebrows…that is if you have two…eyebrows that is). So why, oh why, do we continue perpetuating this myth?

Now before Italian-Americans get all up in arms about me not justly recognizing their native culture and contributions on a global scale, let me state I’m a huge fan of Leonardo Da Vinci, Luciano Pavarotti and hey…Giada De Laurentiis is on my television set at least five times a week. Her Food Network recipes rock, not to mention she’s pretty easy on the eyes…I’m just saying.

So, let’s give it a rest. Shall we? Write or call your worthless representative in our federal government and give them a fair choice. Balance the stinking budget or do away with Columbus Day as a federal holiday. Can you at least get one of the two done?

Feel free to suggest replacing the holiday with say…Neil Armstrong Day. Now that was a genuine first step onto unfounded territory!

Are we there yet? How about now?

ImageOkay. I’m not even going to apologize. It would only serve to insult and not reconcile…

I truly, truly appreciate those of you who have ask me, ‘Where in the world has Tony C gone? Why have you stopped blogging?

(Sigh)

It’s a long, complicated story that doesn’t involve a monster rising from the depths of the ocean, costumed super heroes or Jennifer Lawrence (dang it), so who really cares…well…except Mrs. Tony C who ask those questions the most…of course.

Much has changed as I stated back in my February and, ahem, last post. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation. Writing and teaching are an integral part of who I have become in recent years. A respite from my actual work. I’m not sure if I was paid to write it would produce the same joy I experience doing it as just a hobby. But then again, isn’t that exactly why we have hobbies in the first place?

I recently had a moment in a Michaels Arts and Crafts store. There looking for something Mrs. Tony C called ‘craft sticks’ (which are actually just popsicle sticks for those in the same ignorant bliss I was at the time), I found myself standing in front of the model builders section in a glared over stupor. There were model kits for plane, cars, tanks and ships of all kinds.

Oh look the USS Saratoga! CV-60. The sad Sarah! 

I spent some time on her many years ago.

Look at the detail in the F4U-1 Corsair. That would be so fun to build!

An A-10 Warthog! Those are about to be phased out of service!

A display 20 feet wide and 7 feet tall. I was lost in the endless possibilities and lure of countless hours perfecting each masterpiece to be finished and prominently displayed somewhere in my living room. My friends and family would marvel at my skills with an X-Acto knife, contact cement, and Testors paint. Brilliant…

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Mrs. Tony C: They’re right behind you. See. Craft sticks.

Tony C: Oh you mean popsicle sticks! Why didn’t you just say that.

Mrs. Tony C: Why are you looking at model planes? Like you have time for any of that! Plus, where in the world would you put those?!

Dear lord she’s right. What was I thinking? I have children to raise, a business to run…and a blog to write!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know you’re old when you start quoting Lincoln…

never-too-oldThought I’d better update you on my Resolution Manifesto post. So far, so good. I’ve especially been wearing out new standard practice #2.

(Don’t be lazy. Just go back and look.)

I started 2014 with a number of changes in my life. Most were expected. One thing growing older has seasoned me for is being prepared. Sure. I catch a surprise here and there, but just ask Mrs. Tony C what watching a movie or one of her favorite shows (i.e. Castle or Criminal Minds) is like with yours truly. Not being surprised is just too easy with that stuff though.

Growing older. (Sigh)

This is the year. Yep… THE year.

Baby Boomers have come up with all kinds of ways to somehow lessen the blow of sliding into decrepitude. Naturally, New York marketing firms are quick to oblige the sentiment. Maybe play is a better word there.

This is the age of knowing how to make things happen.

Ha. Listen Viagra. 50 is the new…well…50. That’s 600 months or 18, 250 days. It’s nothing like being 30, or even 40 for that matter. Stop trying to make me feel younger and let me embrace inevitability on my own terms. And by the way, I get one that last more than four hours…I’m calling my doctor AND every guy friend I have or ever have had. That’s major bragging news at any age!

We mellow with age.

What a crock. Maybe it’s just me and the fact I share my house with four females (two under the age of 7), but I’m one she’s touching me! away from the latest designer psychotropic medication. Nutsavar or Loonatin. Whatever pharm companies are pushing these days that gives that elusively ecstatic feeling of a middle-aged stoner celebrating legalized marijuana.

Really though, I’m perfectly okay with turning 50.  Actually,  I’m quite grateful (check for #3 on the Manifesto). When I bought my first business at 26, my personal goals were much different back then. I pictured retiring at the age of 55…or at least having the option. That particular goal seems ridiculous to me today because I can’t begin to imagine waking up  5 years from now (technically 5 years 4 months and 5 days) without a work challenge to face. Heck,  I don’t want to imagine such a scenario 20 years from now!

Apparently my DNA sequence is incomplete without a protein encoding that involves a bottom line or balance sheet.

I’m not sure if that last statement excites or slightly troubles me. I guess acceptance is yet another of the epiphanies that occur with getting older. We older folks package those 8205c38a72976d034e27d8e1fd7cc26depiphanies up and pass them off as wisdom. The problem has perpetually been that young people never listen, much less adhere, to the those golden nuggets of learned information.

Go ahead and laugh it up. You know that shoe really fits all too well. I have scars to prove that point personally. That’s not metaphorical either. No, I mean actual physical scars…on my body.

Okay. I guess I’ve mused (read wallowed) on this growing old thing long enough. In the end, Abraham Lincoln best summed up my true feelings on the matter:

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

Too bad I didn’t adopt that wise piece of philosophy 30 years ago.

Resolutions can truly succeed after revelation…

Happy-New-Year-2014There’s something therapeutic about New Years Day.

While 2013 saw a fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly for me or those I hold dear, New Years Day is akin to a fresh, clean whiteboard waiting for a marker to start recording and illustrating the events that transpire on yet another cosmic revolution around our beloved Sun. Sure. Some of us lost loved ones. Some of us may have even lost jobs, money or, even more importantly, good health. But, a new year brings on the hope and encouragement that bad fortunes can change while good tidings continue or even flourish.

So, why is a single day on a linear line of 364 other days so enchanting, almost magical, to us?

I could digress into a partial answer I believe that can be found in the dichotomy of our very being that creates a constant struggle between our finite physical existence and our eternal souls. Everything we know, or better stated accept, is marked with a beginning and an end. Even the Bible, divine documentation that infinity is real, starts with the words “In the beginning…”

But I won’t go there today. You’re quite welcome.

Most of us believe we can truly change who we are at our very core, and we’re not destined to repeat the same behaviors that lead to the same results over and over again. Okay. I do believe we can fundamentally change who we are and thereby change a path…but not of our own doing. Spoiler alert!

Change comes from God…wait…true change comes only from God.

Many people around the world today will make resolutions in an effort to change something about their behavior from 2013. Most will fail. Miserably. But when God dwells within you in the person of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9), real change is possible well beyond the transforming moment of salvation. Those who are redeemed (a state available to anyone) not only get the gift of God’s presence, we also get the Fruit of the Spirit as well (Galatians 5:22-23). That’s a pretty big deal!fruits-of-the-spirit

Unfortunately, just because a redeemed person is gifted with the attributes of the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that fruit shows (I’ve always loved the Christian metaphor using fruit). While love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control become part of our very being thanks to God’s grace, exercising each of those remains a choice of free will.

A Christian who choses not to demonstrate what God has blessed into them…well…is akin to a singer who never sings or a dancer that never dances. An artist that never paints. Doctors who don’t heal. Wasted. Ouch.

Change in 2014 is very possible. That change can be eternal for those who haven’t accepted God’s loving plan. Hallelujah! But, change is also possible for those of us who are His already. This year, instead of focusing on resolutions that are just inevitably a symptom of disconnection from ourselves or others (i.e. always being late, laziness, overeating, etc.), try focusing on meaningful change that can have true impact on all areas of your life.

With that in mind, here are my 2014 resolutions only possible because of God’s grace:

1. Be a little kinder

2. Radically forgive

3. Express gratitude daily

Seem overly simple? Maybe. Daunting? Hardly. Not with the help of God’s spirit that already lives within me. Thankfully. There… already got #3 underway.

May God bless each of you in 2014 in a mighty way.

 

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” Desmond Tutu

1391679_10201084151721217_597172122_n My post today is very personal. Maybe even more an open letter. Many times I  run into one of you at Walmart, the grocery store or just wherever, and the conversations usually starts with a smile or a chuckle.

The stories on your blog just crack me up. Do they really happen? Where do you get your sense of humor? 

Now, I love my dad without question. He gets credit for many of my positive attributes…and maybe even a few that some might not consider positive at all. Ahem. But there is absolutely no question that my sense of humor comes from my mom. But not just her… from her whole family.

The picture is my maternal grandparents, Lidle and Melissa Quillen. Sadly, I never met my Grandfather Quillen because he passed 10 years before I was even born. My Grandmother Quillen passed in 1969 right before I turned 5 years old, but I do have some memories (on a good day that is) of her gentle, caring ways.

Losing both maternal grandparents early, however, in no way lessened the bearing each had on my life. While Papaw and Mamaw Quillen were both called Home way sooner than any of us liked, they surely took Genesis 1:28 to heart before departing and left a legacy that included 11 children that grew to adult age to produce 24 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren.

My grandparents were of modest means. Papaw ran a little country store and served as a Baptist preacher for several different churches, while Mamaw Quillen was a dedicated homemaker. What they didn’t have in material comforts was more than compensated for by love. But not just love…rather love and joy.

Maybe that sounds a bit cliché or even overly romanticized to you. It’s just not. I can introduce you to literally dozens of families that are not only a product of that fact, but they continue to perpetuate and exude those same qualities. True. Most (if not all) of us are far better off from a material standpoint than Papaw and Mamaw Quillen probably ever were, but I don’t think that has in any way dampened the glowing love, humility and joy that has been passed down through our family.

We are by no means unique, and yet, we are completely original as families go. Each branch of the family tree tells a different story of love, success, heartbreak, disappointment, and elation along the many milestone markers. But the common anchor serving as our family tree roots always come back to love, humility, and joy. I’ve seen it demonstrated all my life by aunts and uncles. I see it today in my cousins and in their families.

I’ve both been and had my own personal share of heart breaks and disappointments. My family still loved me. I have first cousins I rarely see and distant cousins I’ve never seen. They still love me. We are still family. I know without doubt they would drop what was going on in their life to come to my aid if needed, and I would do the same. We share a common DNA that drives our compassionate nature.

So, how does this explain where my sense of humor originates? I’m not quite sure to be completely honest. The answer from my mom’s side of the family just seems right in my heart. I just always remember whenever any of us got together, there was lots of laughter and a lingering sense of easiness to be found. Almost as if being funny was encouraged.

This post in no way takes away from the Godly influence also coming from my dad’s family. Heck. They are a lot of fun too! There’s a degree of comfort in my own skin…despite my many shortcomings… because in large part I know and appreciate where I came from.

A lot of personal satisfaction flows from saying that despite the complete lack of glamor and glitter in my family history. I’ll gladly take the love and joy over pedigree and hopefully pass both on to my children and grandchildren. I pray daily they shine a light of love for Jesus much like their heritage has already demonstrated in the lives of all of their grandparents.

For this post, I’d just like to say thanks Papaw and Mamaw Quillen for your love, humility, and joy . Thanks also to Uncles Jim, Richard, and Sam along with Aunts Millie, Calla Mae, Maggie, Ethel, and Bonnie. Those of us left here look forward to that final family reunion one day that will last an eternity…

Did he truly ever leave the building? I don’t think so…

Last weekend, Mrs. Tony C and I took the girls (and the grandparents) to the Shrine Circus.  Several of our friends  joined us also, not only for a great show, but in support of a great cause.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.

While I was immersed in the depths of the Freedom Hall Civic Center surrounded by wild animals, daredevils, and treat-pushing green card holders (assumption), there was a moment I looked around and just took in the venue where it was all going down. Freedom Hall is by no means a large facility by industry standards with seating capacity of around 8,500, but it has been the scene of several memorable concerts for me personally. I’ve seen both KISS and AC/DC at the auditorium in years past. Recently, Sir Elton John played the Hall, but I didn’t make that one. Tickets were hard to come by…and well…he’s like 70 years old. But, I heard he put on a terrific show…for a 70 year old man that is.

Back to the circus. So, I sat and watched a man shoot from a gigantic cannon not 25 feet from my nose in total awe and envy, but I kept thinking the same thought over and over in my head.

…Elvis was here…

march_18_76_2Elvis. The King. The legend. Elvis has allegedly been dead since 1977 yet is still well know to this day to even young elementary students. He rocked every venue he ever played. Find a bad review or someone who attended one of his concerts that didn’t walk away completely amazed. You can’t!

Elvis played Freedom Hall March 17, 1976. Not just for one show…he did three. All sold out of course. I wasn’t lucky enough to attend any of those shows at the unheard of and ridiculous price of $10 per ticket. That was a lot of money in 1976. I do have from a very reliable source that one of my good friends was there though. Word also has it when the lights dropped and the intro music started building to the frenzied pitch as The King took the stage, he screamed and wept openly like school girls at a One Direction concert.

He disputes that story today, and probably for good reason because he would have been around 14 years old at the time this happened.

Ahem. Embarrassing to say the least for a local high school football hero in his day. Since his beloved mother, the source of the story, has gone on to a much larger auditorium on the eternal stage, I guess we’ll have to wait for confirmation (again) as to the story’s validity.

Yet another thing to look forward to in Heaven!

Truth be told. I might have done the same thing had I been there. Bwhahahaha! No way!! What a completely girly thing to do!  Glad boy bands hadn’t made it on the stage yet…well…if you don’t count the Jackson 5.

The pictures in this post are actually from that concert. Even more than wishing I had been there, I wish my mom had gone. She was is a big march_18_76Elvis fan from her own teenage years. To this day, I vividly remember that fretful Tuesday evening on August 16,1977 as my teammates and I practiced grade school football while our mothers sat on the bank boo-hooing at the radio newsflash that Elvis was allegedly no more. Gone. Aloha from Graceland (aloha also means good-bye).

Yes. The circus was a lot of fun, and we’ll probably go again next year if the girls want. But rest assured even as that dude throws that huge vase up and catches it on top of his head over and over again, I’ll be humming Polk Salad Annie or CC Rider to myself and thinking about the grand history still trapped within the walls of the long-standing arena.

I Forgot to Remember to Forget…we all have Elvis…we all have.

 

In my mind I’m still a Corvette…but in reality I’m actually a cement truck.

20_WORLD-MASTERS-WEI_476928553So here’s the deal…I’m getting old.

No. I’m not ready to dig a hole, climb in, and cover myself back up just yet. Besides, I want to be cremated when I die, and I don’t want my kids labeled terrorist the rest of their lives because their dad decided to bathe in a little gasoline and go out in a blaze of glory.

I’m only kidding folks! Well…about the gasoline bath. Not the terrorist thing.

My mood today has been provoked by a couple of recent events. The first would be my less than enthusiastic return to the gym. While it has been over a quarter of a century ago, there was a time I belonged to the 1,600 lbs club. No. That wasn’t nine guys in a Physics class study group. I was a competitive power lifter in college.

Training to lift over 3/4 tons of dead weight totalled from three events was both consuming and exhilarating. I lived in the gym, and I ate whatever I stinking wanted without fear of a Big-Bang type event happening to my waistline. A typical day would see me consuming well over 6000 calories. Well, trying to consume 6000 calories which is actually a challenge on its own.

But, then came a commission in the Corps and the need to reconfigure my bulk for longer hauls. Endurance. No problem. I dropped 20 pounds and, in no time, could knock out 3 miles in under 18 minutes. While cutting back on the massive intake of calories was a bit of an adjustment, once again I lived and immersed myself in the physical fitness aspects of my job.

(Hard braking sound) Then came a desk. Post Corps.

A desk and an idiom that a body at rest tends to stay at rest. I don’t think Newton’s First Law actually applies to the human body, but the concept sure fits most of us. A desk and a continuing struggle since to fight that proverbial battle of the bulge.

Okay. Confession time. While I consider myself of at least average intelligence, I’ve been a big sucker through the years of near every fad coming and going in pursuit of the illusive Fountain of Youth. Now I would feel bad about that statement…except I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one supporting that multibillion dollar industry. Ahem.

Remember Sauna Suits? Soloflex? 8 Minute Abs? Tae Bo? Planking?995044_10151641028299679_1750839306_n

Done them all. So, I’m back to the only true way to get back into some sort of shape that isn’t round. I’d even take block at this point. That means watching what I eat and earnest exercise. Boy does it stink too, but I’m once again in serious training mode like in the years long past.

Which brings me to the second event that kicked my demeanor into ‘whine-mode’ today. It was a simple request yesterday from my little energy-ball, the Crazy Tomato. It was a task and challenge I had completed literally hundreds of times growing up at my parent’s house…

Crazy Tomato: Race me around the house dad.  

Tony C: Are you sure? You just ran most of a 5K.

Crazy Tomato: Ready. Set. Go!!

I’m pretty sure I left part of my right leg and a tooth in the first corner turn. My knees started revolting on the backside stretch. My back is still cursing me today for the sudden earthquake I created and it endured.

It was close. Too close. But I lost the race to my almost 6-year old none the less. I should have shoved the little sprinter coming around that second corner when her mom couldn’t see. Plus, I’m almost certain she started early.

Don’t worry. There will be a rematch in the Spring, and it’s no holds barred kiddo…you are going down!

While you see a chance…take it!

If you don’t know me and my lovely bride personally and just read this blog on occasion, you’ve surely still picked up on the fact that my wife and I are not cut from the same cloth, would not be called two peas in a pod or even birds of a feather. We are the epitome of the cliché opposites attract. As the father of three daughters, all I can say about that fact is…

Thank you Jesus!

I state that with ultimate humility of heart and healthy understanding of the relationship jackpot I’ve won. Trust me.

Virtuous, graceful and classy would truly all be fitting adjectives for Mrs. Tony C. Just think…

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She actually has a tiara too. No joke.

Then there’s yours truly with a different set of adjectives completely. Audacious, overbearing, and clumsy are a few that I can use here. We try to keep things family friendly after all. Think…

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Probably the story that best illustrates the difference between my happy-go-lucky, push the envelope, carpe diem attitude in life to her rules are rules, home by 10, goody-goody persona for living happened very early in our relationship.

We decided to go the beach with her parents who liked to camp on their vacations. They had a very nice fifth-wheel camper that was almost like pulling a mobile home to the beach, so we stayed with them in a campground where they had been frequent patrons.

An evening, moonlit stroll with my wife on the beach and a failed attempt to reenact the famous scene in From Here to Eternity left me both frustated…well…you know…and covered in sand. Hey. I don’t mind getting a little sandy in the whole risk/reward context of things, but…

No way! Somebody might see us Tony!

So, the equation wasn’t balanced despite the fact no one was around to see…well…you know.  We arrived back at the campground around 10:10 or so that evening. Apparently, the cold shower coming off the beach had relieved one of my frustrations, but I still had stinking sand all over me!

Tony C: Let’s take a dip in the pool and get rid of the sand before we head back to the camper.

Mrs. Tony C: Sure sweetie.

As we approached the campground pool, nobody was to be found and a sign was hanging on the 3-foot high gate- Pool Hours 9 am to 10 pm Daily.

Mrs. Tony C: Oh sorry honey. The pool is already closed.

Tony C: What?! It’s just a little past 10! It’s summer! We’re on vacation! I’ve got sand in my…

Mrs. Tony C: Tony! It’s closed. We can hose off at the camper.

Tony C: Whatever…(looking around and jumping the low gate)

Mrs. Tony C: (trying to yell at me but in a whispered voice) Tony! Tony! You can’t do that! The pool is closed!

Tony C: Come on sweetheart. Live a little. Worst they’ll do is tell us to get out, and by then, I’ll have the sand out of my…

Mrs. Tony C: (still whispering in a panic) Tony! Get back over here right now. They’ll kick us out of the campground!

Tony C: Pleeeeeeeasse! They’re not going to kick us out for swimming a few minutes past close. (taking one last look around) But now this (dropping my swim shorts) might very well get us kicked out!

Mrs. Tony C: (near tears but still screaming in a faint whisper) PUT…YOUR… SHORTS…BACK…ON…RIGHT…NOW!! I’m mean it Tony! We’re going to get in big trouble!

Tony C: (laughing while doing a backstroke across the pool) I’m pretty sure accessory to skinny dipping isn’t a crime even in South Carolina.

With the sand gone, a good laugh for me and a near stroke victim in her early 20′s…we headed back to the camper in silence. Well…except for my frequent chuckles. I shared the story with her parents when we got back (minus my attempted beach folly of course) and even they had a good laugh.

Unfortunately, I got one of the few sunburns in my entire life the very next day and looked like a cooked lobster the remainder of the trip, so the last laugh was  actually on me. As it usually is.

I just hate it when God is on her side…which is most of the time…

“Congress- Bingo with billions” Red Skelton

1_photoMy guess is Lee Greenwood’s patriotic classic song won’t get much airtime for the next few days.

Yes. I’ve steered away from political post on Tony C Today because…well…it’s a stinking blood pressure thing. Back in the day, I was hunting and pecking away on this keyboard in an effort to ensure my voice was heard in the wilderness. As my followers list grew, we became like a defacto fraternity for no-nonsense government. Don’t tread on me. Power to the people.

But I noticed a rather peculiar trend. Blogging about the ineptness of politicians was far less appealing (and obvious) to many of the readers of Tony C Today. It was like cheerleaders cheering on cheerleaders. No end game.

I’ll pay for the last statement. Mrs. Tony C was a cheerleader in school.

Nonetheless. When I posted personal anecdotes and subtle humorous observation (ahem), blog hits spiked drastically up. Perplexing as it was to me at the time, I changed gears and revamped my digital soapbox. Now instead of perpetuating discord, hopefully I’m dishing out a chuckle or two. My blood pressure thanks you.

But some issues are just too darn tempting. Reading an Associated Press article this morning about the idiotic government shutdown, I literally had a laugh-out-loud moment.

From the Associated Press:

Once they head home, furloughed employees are under strict orders not to do any work. That means no sneaking glances at BlackBerrys or smartphones to check emails, no turning on laptop computers, no checking office voicemail, and no use of any other government-issued equipment.

Office managers are encouraging workers to leave government-issued cell phones and computers in a secure place at the office. Those employees who work from home may find it more difficult to break the habit of checking emails or looking at documents.

Employees will receive an official email Tuesday explaining whether or not they are essential or slated to be furloughed. The email will include appeal rights and a form to use for seeking unemployment insurance. Some workers may be eligible for unemployment depending where they live. Some states require a one-week waiting period before applying, while others allow workers to apply right away.

Federal workers would not see their pay affected right away. If a shutdown continues, all employees can expect to be paid on schedule on Oct. 15, 2013, for hours worked from Sept. 22 through Sept. 30.

You can’t make this stuff up…you just can’t.

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