HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I had a wonderful father's Day this year thanks to the thoughtfulness of both my sons. Jon was the first to call as I was driving up to Minneapolis to be with my failing mother-in-law. In addition to wishing me a happy father's day and telling me that he was proud to be my son, he had some really exciting news.

It seems that recently he played a gig with the drummer from the Broadway hit "Billy Elliott" who was so impressed with Jon's playing that he invited him to come to the show on tuesday night as his guest and meet the guitar player from an excellent vantage point -- right next to him in the orchestra pit throughout the show!

It turns out that Jon may be considered as a substitute for the guitarist when he becomes involved in writing scores for films, which is his main gig. Jon told me this morning by telephone that it was a real thrill to be that involved in an actual Broadway musical and that although he has hopes, he is looking at the situation realistically as there are several others that are on the call list ahead of him.

The next step is for the guitarist to come out and hear Jon play in person at his next gig. Pretty exciting stuff!
It wasn't long after Jon's sunday morning call that I got my call from son David who is recently back from a week's stay in Jamaica where he had spent time with Kingston musicians working on collaborations of electronic music. While he was there, he bought a pair of plain white tennis shoes and turned them into the pictured work of art and presented them to one of his new found friends.

I had seen the shoes on David's web site and asked if he intended to make any more and what the cost would be as I had become interested in having him create a pair for me depicting songs from my first two CD's. He told me that he would love to create a pair for me and that the next time he came to visit we would go out and purchase the "canvas" o which he would work his magic.

You can give a listen to David's latest creations at his web site where he uses his professional name "David Last" at:



A Russian woman married a Canadian gentleman and they lived happily ever after in Toronto .
The poor lady was not very proficient in English, but did manage to communicate with her husband.
The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy chicken legs.
She didn't know how to put forward her request, and in desperation, clucked like a chicken and lifted up her skirt to show her thighs.
Her butcher got the message, and gave her the chicken legs.

Next day she needed to get chicken breasts, again she didn't know how to say it, and so she clucked like a chicken and unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breasts.
The butcher understood again, and gave her some chicken breasts.

On the 3rd day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages.
Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store...

(Please scroll down..)

What were you thinking?
Hellooooooo, her husband speaks English!

Now get back to your emails.

I don't know about you sometimes!


Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded
by civilization that complains about the noise from the base
and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before
they were.

A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat
on the back.

Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB
wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s
that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that
individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it
must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we
thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely
9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low
pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at
approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the
Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were
they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird
special? Any response would be appreciated.

The response:

Regarding 'A wake-up call from Luke's jets' On
June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-
ship flyby of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke
Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.
Capt Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously
stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on
May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and
friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to
mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the
letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of
the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun
salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and
parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's
flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all
those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the
sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship fly by is a
display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give
their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional
aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what
the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to
pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks,
'Whom do we thank for the morning air show? The 56th
Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your
thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, and thank
them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew
the most honorable formation of their lives.

Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for
you.....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr.



When decent people get screwed over, this is the result!

A little background: Neiman-Marcus, if you don't know already, is a very expensive store; i.e., they sell your typical $8.00 T-shirt for

Let's let them have it! THIS IS A TRUE STORY!

My daughter and I had just finished a salad at a Neiman-Marcus Cafe In Dallas, and we decided to have a small dessert. Because
both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the 'Neiman-Marcus cookie.' It was So excellent that I asked if they would give
me the recipe, and the waitress said with a small frown, 'I'm afraid not, but you can buy The Recipe.' Well, I asked how much, &
she responded, 'Only two fifty - it's a Great deal!' I agreed to that, and told her to just add it to my tab.

Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement, and the Neiman-Marcus Charge was $285.00! I looked again, and I remembered I
had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf.
As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, 'Cookie Recipe-$250.00.' That was Outrageous! I called Neiman's Accounting Department and told them the waitress said it was 'two-fifty', which clearly does not mean 'two hundred and fifty dollars' by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase.

Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money because, according to them, 'What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the Recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money at this point.' I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal statutes which govern fraud in the State of Texas. I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General's office for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, 'Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back.'
I just said, 'Okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of fun. I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250 cookie recipe From Neiman-Marcus for free. She replied, 'I wish you wouldn't do this.' I said, 'Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you ripped me off!' and slammed down the phone.

So here it is!

Feel free pass it on to everyone you'd like.
I paid $250 for this, and I don't want Neiman-Marcus to EVER make another penny off of this recipe!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)
2 cups butter
24 oz. Chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie Sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
Makes 112 cookies.


Feel free to send the recipe to those who don't eat sweets but who may know others that would like the recipe. Let's make sure we get this lady's $250.00 worth. Enjoy the cookies, they really are good.

John Melby
Emeritus Professor of Music
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



5 Walter Street
Salem, MA 01970


A husband and wife were sitting watching a TV program about psychology and mixed emotions when he turned to his wife and said, "Honey, that's a bunch of crap; I bet you can't tell me anything that will make me happy and sad at the same time."

She said, "You have the biggest penis of all your friends."


A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, 'Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.' The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, What would you like to talk about?'
'Oh, I don't know,' said the stranger. 'How about nuclear power?' and he smiles.
'OK, ' she said. 'That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?'
The stranger, visibly surprised by t he little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, 'Hmmm, I have no idea.'
To which the little girl replies, 'Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?'


A little boy was in a relative's wedding.

As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps,

stop, and turn to the crowd.

While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar.

So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle.

As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard

by the time he reached the pulpit.

When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,

"I was being the Ring Bear."

One Sunday in a Midwest City ,

a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.

The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew

but were losing the battle.

Finally, the father picked the little fellow up

and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.

Just before reaching the safety of the foyer,

the little one called loudly to the congregation,

"Pray for me! Pray for me!"

One particular four-year old prayed,

"And forgive us our trash baskets

as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

A little boy was overheard praying:

"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.

I'm having a real good time like I am."

A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service,

"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"

One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination,

looking at the old pages as he turned them.

Then something fell out of the Bible.

He picked it up and looked at it closely.

It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages.

"Mama, look what I found," the boy called out.

"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered,

"It's Adam 's suit".

The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,

and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,

jerking the mike cord as he went.

Then he moved to one side,

getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again.

After several circles and jerks,

a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,

"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"

Six-year old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in church.

Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.

Finally, his big sister had had enough.

"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."

"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.

Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,

"See those two men standing by the door?

They're hushers."

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked ,

"Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"

I mentally polished my halo, while I asked,

"No, how are we alike?"

"You're both old," he replied.

A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother,

was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.

Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking,

"Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin ?"

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.

They were ready to discuss the last one.

The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.

Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,

"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."


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