Something to Think About - keep (237)

Ever feel like not working. That was me yesterday, so I didn’t. Well I did not do much. My Something to Think About reflects my lack of effort. You could say it is a “throw away” piece.It’s about toilet paper. It came in an email about “Toilet Paper Trivia,” so these facts must be true.

The first recorded use of toilet paper was in 6th Century China.
By the 14th Century, the Chinese government was mass-producing it.
Packaged toilet paper wasn’t sold in the United States until 1857.
The man who introduced packaged TP to the U.S., had his name printed on every sheet.
Global toilet paper demand uses nearly 30,000 trees every day. That’s 10 million trees a year.

It wasn’t until 1935 that a manufacturer was able to promise “Splinter-Free Toilet Paper.”
Seven percent of Americans admit to stealing rolls of toilet paper in hotels.

Americans use an average of 8.6 sheets of toilet paper per trip.
The average roll has 333 sheets.
In many Western European countries, bidets are seen as preferable to toilet paper.

In 1973 Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage. He said as a joke that there was a shortage, which there wasn’t, until everyone believed him and ran out to buy up the supply. It took three weeks for some stores to get more stock.
In 1996, President Clinton passed a “Toilet Paper Tax” of 6 cents per roll, which is still in effect today.
The Pentagon uses, on average, 666 rolls of toilet paper per day.

The most expensive toilet paper in the world is from Portuguese brand Renova it’s three-ply, perfumed, costs $3 per roll and comes in several colors including black, red, blue and green.
Beyoncé uses only red Renova toilet paper.  Kris Jenner uses only the black Renova toilet paper.

If you hang your toilet paper so you can pull it from the bottom, you’re considered more intelligent than someone who pulls it from the top.
When asked what necessity they would bring to a desert island, 49% of people said toilet paper before food.

Toilet paper before food? That’s like putting the cart before the……naw I’m Steve Sauder.

High School graduations are more memorable for some than others. Students at the prestigious Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire, likely will remember theirs for some time.

The speaker was John Roberts, yes Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts and the father of one of their classmates.

Pretty cool to have someone like that to speak, but his message likely shook these kids from silver spoon families up just a bit.

Here are the main points from his talk:

“From time to time, in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.

I hope you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted.

I wish you bad luck again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the roll of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and the failure of others is not completely deserved either.

And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.

I hope you will be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.”

Roberts went on in the speech to typical commencement speech fare, telling the students to avoid becoming complacent with themselves. “In a certain sense,” Roberts said, "you should not be yourself, you should try to become something better.”

Roberts has practiced what he preached on the bench having voted with the more liberal side on occasion especially in holding up parts of the Affordable Care Act we know as Obama-care.

You may or may not agree with our Chief Justice on things involving the Supreme Court, but I’m guessing most of us think his talk with these graduating high school seniors was “right on!”

          I’m Steve Sauder

The day after the All Star break for major league baseball and the final 68 games of the baseball season start Friday for the Royals. Now I’m not saying I’m obsessed with the Royals, but I do admit I’m not sure what I’ll do with my extra time before Friday.

          It’s no secret that sports play an important part in my make up – too much? Well that’s my problem.

          Baseball season is so much fun because it lasts a long time and there more highs and lows than in any other sport. Everyone thrives on feeling good whether they like sports or not. My highs from a Royals victory are extremely obvious and my disgust when they lose ugly – well they are hard to miss.

          So you can partially understand my dismay on Saturday – a day I spent not playing golf as I’d planned because I was under the weather – when I discovered the Royals and Tigers game would not be televised. A blackout in both Detroit and KC thanks to the Major League Baseball Network.

          Amazingly being forced to listen on the radio turned into a joy despite the Royals loss. Denny and Brian were really good. I knew that – heck Denny Matthews is in the Hall of Fame – but not watching seemed so unfair especially as it related to my ongoing pity party that day.

          Brain Cashman has a song on his CD - Talkin’ Baseball entitled “I Saw it on the Radio.” Legendary Vin Scully is the announcer and that memory plus actually listening to the game in my recliner brought days gone by when listening to the Kansas City Athletics on the radio was my close friend.

          I saw it on the radio – that’s a cool thing.

          So, how about those Royals?

          Two games over 500 with a 48 and 46 record – best since 2003 at the break. The Royals need at least 90 wins to have a shot at the playoffs. That’s 42 wins and just 26 losses the rest of they way.

          Last year the Royals were the best team in baseball after the All Start break. They will need to be close to that again this season.

          So, if you see me on Saturday and I have a smile on my face and some pep in my step it’s a good bet the Royals beat the Red Sox the night before. Our Ron Thomas might be just the opposite because his Red Sox would have lost compounding their bad season where they are in last place after winning it all last year!

          It’s baseball folks and if you have the fever you just have to enjoy it. I certainly do. Go Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder

 

Royal’s baseball! You have to love our guys right now. Everything is going the “Boy’s in Blue” way. Ned Yost is no longer a “dunce” and life is really good.

          Last year’s Royal success was a longtime coming.

          Twenty-nine years to be exact since the Royal’s beat the Cardinals in the World Series.

          How about a little Royals history lesson? They lost to the Yankees three times – 76, 77, & 78 before finally beating the Yanks in 1980 befor losing to the Phillies in the Series 4-2.

          Best memory for me was 1977 game 5 in KC. We took Karen Yewell our baby sitter and big Royal’s and Freddie Patek fan to that Sunday night game. The Royal’s took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but brought ace starter Dennis Leonard in to close out the game –bad decision – the Yankees plated three runs and won the series.

          In 1981 KC lost in 3 straight to A’s. In 1984 the Royals returned to the playoffs, but lost in the ALCS to the Tigers.

          1985 was cool coming from down 3 games to one and beating Toronto in the ALCS before they beat up on St. Louis 11-zip in game 7.

          Best memories - taking eighth grade son Brady to game late in season as Royals roared to the pennant and George Brett chased a .400 batting average. And, game 7 of World Series. John Patton and I had gone together on tickets. I offered him both tickets for game 6 if I could have both for game 7 – if one occurred. Don Deckinger is one of my heroes. After the Royals won my wife had the good sense to get a cup full of dirt from the infield at the K. Little packets of World Series dirt made great stocking stuffers that Christmas.

          Now back to reality. I’m not sure what happened last night in All Star game, but I do know the Royal’s Nation should be really proud of their All Star voting efforts. Especially when you consider Kansas City is the second smallest fan base in major league baseball.

          The Royals are currently 52 and 34 with 76 games left to play. If they play .500 baseball the Royal’s will finish with 90 victories. The Tigers won the Central last year with 90 victories. If KC wins 60% of remaining game like they have done so far they end up with 97.6 wins! Can you say Pennant?

          Time to love our Royal’s!        

          I’m Steve Sauder

 

                                                7-13-16

          It is my belief that we in America are very close to a divide that could be the ugliest thing since the Civil War.

          Black lives do matter, so do white lives and the lives of police men and women and if you are a believer even the lives of thugs and crooks.

          Our country is divided into many segments and with the advances in communications vehicles – i.e., social media, blogs and multiple so called news outlets the opportunity for anarchy is easy.

          For example; the shootings in Dallas last week was the work of one man with a gun and a pistol. For a time the authorities thought there were 3 or 4 shooters. Amazingly the rally where he did his shooting was a spur of the moment event so his actions had to be the same.

          America is in trouble. What we are experiencing is anarchy defined as “lawless confusion and political disorder” by Webster.

          I want to share with you two thoughts that make sense to me. The first is from Pastor Mic Maguire who grew up in Emporia, served Grace Methodist Church for a time and now leads a church in the Piper area. He offered:

When tragedy strikes in the way of gun violence, there are some who will call for us to do better. President Obama recently and often has said "we're better than this," or "we can do better." Although I can agree with him, I believe we first need to acknowledge that we aren't better than this. We just aren't very nice. We're angry, hurtful, spiteful human beings. If each of us can admit we harbor ugliness towards another human being, then maybe we can make the changes that will allow us to do better.

In religious terms we need to repent. But President Obama, although a faithful Christian, can't call the nation to repentance. So maybe it's up to we religious leaders to call ourselves into repentance for our own sinfulness and for not leading our flocks to repentance. Then we need to call our flocks into repentance.

          And then on the morning after the Dallas shootings Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked by Joe Scarboro “What can we do for you now?”

          The Mayor’s thoughtful answer was this “Please choose your words carefully.”

          Mic is correct – we aren’t better than this, but we could be and to do so repentance is a good place to start.

          The Mayor’s thoughtful suggestion really hit home.    

The old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” just isn’t true anymore.

Our words from President Obama right down to the lowest guy with an audience must change.  If they don’t – heaven help us.

I’m thinking it’s time to pray for the good ol’ U. S. of A.

I’m Steve Sauder

          My dad once said to me, "thank God I'm old cause I really don't want to see how this ends!"

          That was in response to some political activity that seemed out of line.

          What do you suppose he'd be saying today?

          Polarization in Washington is unchecked! Republican's have the numbers but aren't close to agreeing on anything.

          The Democrats are so opposed to anything Republican there is no chance for compromise. I asked our Congressman Roger Marshall on Monday how often he has dialogue with the other side?

          His answer was - he leads an effort for freshman in congress to meet and talk, but otherwise - not often.

          Yesterday on Morning Joe – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin described be in congress as “working in a hostile work environment!” Seriously!

          Then we have the media.

          It's fair to say the national media has always been a little biased, but what we have today is embarrassing.

          Phil Donahue the former talk show host was on CNN two weeks ago and took the media to task. He said the media was making relations worse than necessary because they wouldn't take a punch - meaning they needed to report the news, not react to it.

          The creators of the animated TV show South Park shared an interesting reaction to the current political climate and have a wonderful plan for next season.

They said, "We fell into the same trap that Saturday Night Live fell into, where it was like, "Dude, we're just becoming CNN now, becoming: 'Tune in to see what we're going to say about Trump.'

They said “they hated it, but we got stuck in it somehow."

They said they could put up billboards saying—"Look what we're going to do to Trump next week!"—and get crazy ratings. But they don't care.

Next season South Park plans to ignore the political scene!

          That's my suggestion for CNN, FOX and CSNBC and the other national media groups - start reporting the news again and get out of the "gottcha" mode of trying to catch someone not telling the truth in every story.

Actually reporting “the news” might mean even ignoring the President's tweets. Wouldn’t that might be refreshing?

Heaven help us!

I’m Steve Sauder

These little talks are aptly titled “Something to think about…….”

Today we truly have “something to think about” with the thorny issue of “Same – Sex Marriage” being defined by the highest court in our land. The reaction has been predictable – a big split!

For one side it is recognition of their rights and the ability to enter into a contract that has wide ranging implications.

On the other as evidenced by the thoughtful words of two ministers on the front page of Monday’s Gazette these actions represent nothing less than sin.

One pastor said “I really pray for them; my church prays for them. It’s not any different from any other sin,”

It’s hard not to conclude is he is judging these people and their actions.

Yet, when I open my Bible it says “Do not judge others…….”

Equally confusing for me is the popular question “What would Jesus do?”

Jesus dealings with sinners were often different than we might have thought.

In Jude it says about sinners “And on some have compassion, making a distinction….”

This is a topic about which I will not offer an opinion choosing to not judge anyone.

I believe God is love and God loves all people. Where that leaves this discussion is truly “Something to Think About!

I’m Steve Sauder.  

1-8-14

Today an essay written by Emporia native Louis Copt.

Trash Can Chickens  by  Louis Copt

          Most of my early childhood was spent growing up in a dingy apartment above a hardware store sandwiched on either side by two taverns.  A long dark hallway stretched from one end of the building to the other.  The apartment was way in the back which overlooked an alley and the black tar roof of the “Town Royal Tavern.” A set of iron stairs led from a back room down and around and out into the brick-paved alley.

I seem to remember bricks everywhere.  Just across the narrow alley was a lumberyard.  Its brick wall contributed to the canyon-like feeling the alley had.  Once, when I was two, my mother took a photograph of me standing against the brick wall.  The sun was in my eyes and I looked like I was ready for the firing squad.  This brick-lined world was my playground.

One of my favorite activities there was digging through the trash.  A print shop in the basement of the apartment building supplied the raw material for endless afternoons of childhood bliss.  Often, their trash cans would be full of misprinted flyers and church bulletins.  There seemed to be no end to ribbons of brightly colored paper trimmings that I gleefully let fly up and down the alley decorating my drab, brown world.  The best part was I always had plenty of free paper to draw on.

But, the trash can which held most of my attention, especially in the spring, was the one behind the hardware store.  The name of the store was “Jones Hatchery".  Besides the usual assortment of hammers, ladders and barrels of nails, the back room came alive every spring with baby chicks hatched in large incubators.  Up in our apartment, the end of winter  was always announced with the cheeping of hundreds of chicks, the sound echoing off the brick walls of the alley.  Sometimes the cheeping was loud enough to drown out the juke box noise from the bars which often mixed with the drunken cussing and fighting by men just home from the war.

During hatching season, I would scour the trash cans behind the hardware store on a daily basis.  I would listen for peeping in the cans and begin my annual rescue of the little chicks still alive among the heaps of broken shells and their dead brothers and sisters.  These were the birds that were too weak, too small or had some flaw that would cause them to be passed over by those who could actually pay money for live chicks. Upstairs my mother would line the bathtub with newspaper, and I would start nursing my brood of refugees back to health.  We would rig up an old lamp with a bare bulb to provide a bit of warmth and with a saucer full of water the chicks were safe. I could usually beg enough “scratch” from the hardware store clerks, who would fill a small sack out of a big bin. I loved to feed the dozen or so chicks that would limp around, sometimes walking backwards on the newsprint oblivious to the headlines that screamed of car crashes and furniture on sale.  

Not all of the chicks would make it, but at least they had a better shot in the bathtub than slowly dying in a trash can.  The ones that did make it were eventually transferred to my grandma’s farm in Osage City.  There, they would join their brethren hatched in Osage and those that were still alive from the previous year having been rescued from the Jones Hatchery gulag.

What a weird assortment of poultry my grandma had.  Everything from the convalescent,  to exotic show birds to common hens and roosters.  This was because we never knew what type of bird we would get when they were dug out of the trash.  When I would visit the farm, my job was to feed the chickens the table scraps my grandma saved in a coffee can housed under the sink.  The chickens would eat just about anything, but they especially liked coffee grounds.  I imagine the caffeine kept them wound up, and my grandma always claimed it made them lay more eggs.

          It never bothered me that the rescued chickens eventually found their way to the Sunday dinner table.  In my mind, at least they had a chance to roam the farm, eat bugs and grasshoppers and peck all the Folger’s coffee they could handle. And, we were hungry. 

Written by former Emporian Louis Copt. I hope you enjoyed this essay.

This morning when you woke up what was the first thing you did? Grab a cup of coffee? Let the dogs out, at some point you turned on the TV. By breakfast you had turned on your cell phone and checked emails, possibly sent a few texts. Just think how technology has changed our lives in the past hundred years?

Yesterday I read an article entitled The Flint Hills Stone Shelters, 1800’s underground stone structures scattered around the Kansas landscape. As my mother referred to them these “root cellar” were the shelter farmers and ranchers alike went to cool off after a long days harvest in the blistering summer heat. Thinking about those old root cellars, I’m curious, what did their morning routine look like?

It’s fascinating to think how our day to day lives have evolved in the past hundred years. When I was a new college student, carrying a laptop to class was unthinkable—the most exciting portable device was a palm pilot. Yet, Today students are equipped with an entourage of technical devices, cells phones, touch screen laptops, tablets and blue tooth audio ready to go. I think of all the technical preparation these students have today that I didn’t. A transition of the time, maybe, moving from the old to the new, but then I think about the workforce this generation is entering. Our working world is quickly evolving to reflect this new technical age. Currently 74% of Americans are using a computer at work to access the internet, check their email or utilize specific piece of software. Without computer programmers we how would we organize and retrieve the million pieces of data companies use daily? How would we communicate a company’s a growth to stakeholders without software engineers. Our economy is directly linked to the strength and skills of our current and future workforce. Technology is where our workforce is heading.

As factories expand and companies find new ways to get products to the public, we see the need for technological minds to be a part of that. Jobs for the future involve machine tooling operators and engineers working together to create new infrastructures. Consider how our understanding of what’s possible changed with the invention of the 3D printer. In high schools across Kansas students are learning to incorporate technology into their normal studies, and also focusing on career and technical pathways to set-up their working futures. The importance technology plays in todays’ workforce and our students futures is immeasurable.

We’re living in a time of transition. Our county is currently full of working men and women who may have had little exposure to technical education. Yet, in every December and May graduation we see new talent emerge and join the workforce. With each working day we learn from one another and we certainly rely on the expertise we both bring to work, but living in transition is exciting, new, ok at times scary. We’re uncertain of where all this technology will lead us, but we do know having access to technology will help push us into the future. It will help bridge the gap from the past to the future.

Tina Khan - Flint Hills Technical College

As I think about school starting back up, I am reminded about the importance of not only the book work component of education, but also the soft skills or life skills. We learn some of these skills as a child such as sharing with others, using our manners and following directions. As we get older we are expected to manage our time, communicate effectively with others, follow rules and show up for school or work every day. 

Our faculty at Flint Hills Technical College work very closely with employers to help provide the training and skills needed to help our graduates secure employment. In addition to the technical skills, employers tell us that they simply want their employees to show up to work every day and work hard. Seems pretty simple right? What we have learned from working with students at Flint Hills Technical College and employers is that basic skills such as a strong work ethic, positive attitude, effective verbal and written communication, the ability to receive feedback and adapt are just as important as any technical skill. 

My husband and I currently have one child in each level of education - elementary school, middle school, high school and college.  As we meet with teachers at parent-teacher conferences, soft skills are always discussed. Elementary school students are evaluated on their soft skills in addition to their academic skills on their report card. General categories include the ability to follow directions, get along with others, listen attentively and pay attention in class. At the middle school and high school levels teachers often make comments on a student’s report card regarding their attitude and work ethic. In many ways, soft skills will be reflected in a college student’s grades. Although we as parents don’t get feedback from teachers at the college level, our son or daughters grades are a good indication of the mastery of many soft skills. 

At Flint Hills Technical College our students are evaluated on the technical, hands-on skills, but are also evaluated on nine core abilities or soft skills. Those core abilities include responsibility, initiative, professionalism, communication, group skills, personal growth, problem solving, information literacy and sound judgement. 

In our instant gratification world I think it is important to teach studentsat all levels, about soft skills and their importance. I also think it is important for all of us to remember that hardwork, a positive attitude and treating others with respectwill help us in everything we do.  

I’m Lisa Kirmer and that’s something to think about.

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