November 26, 2008

A Shopping U Will Go! Black Friday beware…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 6:00 pm

Hey passengers, if you plan to head out Friday morning for black Friday specials, keep this in mind.

If you tend to give gift cards around the holidays; you need to be careful that the cards will be honored after the holidays. Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still selling the cards through the holidays even though the cards will be worthless January 1. There is no law preventing them from doing this.  I got this from a sweet lady Lawyer (smooch Helen of troy!!!) friend of mine so you can bank on this one.  On the contrary, it is referred to as ‘Bankruptcy Planning’. Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about. However you might get some good deals if they are closing their doors!!

Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)
Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide closing
Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s to close 150 stores nationwide
Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
Cache will close all stores
Talbot’s closing down specialty stores
J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbot’s)
Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbot’s)
GAP closing 85 stores
Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January
Wickes Furniture closing down
Levitz closing down remaining stores
Bombay closing remaining stores
Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January
Whitehall closing all stores
Piercing Pagoda closing all stores
Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January
Home Depot closing 15 stores 1 in NJ ( New Brunswick )
Macys to close 9 stores after January
Linens and Things closing all stores
Movie Galley closing all stores
Pep Boys Closing 33 stores
Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores
JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores
Wilson Leather closing down all stores
Sharper Image closing down all stores
K B Toys closing 356 stores
Loews to close down some stores
Dillard’s to close some stores

And while you are there this poor little homeless boy would really like a Wii for Christmas.  And believe it or not he wears a size 13.5 for those who would like to give him a pair of NIKE Shox.  I mean he hasn’t had a Christmas present since he was in the crib, actually box at the shelter.  You can just mail it to me and I PROMISE he will get it on Christmas day.  Help put the smile back on this little tike’s face!

Season’s Greetings…And Yez I sayd it

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 5:44 am

Hey passengers, I know I was going to deliver “DA GAME” part two today.  However, as I drive into work every morning I pass a homeless shelter.  I see the folks who are without a permanent place to live and I notice that the crowd is getting bigger and bigger…So, I decided to blog today about something a lot more important than a game.

As we head into this season let us not forget that “Jesus”, the son of the one true living God, the great I AM THAT I AM…is the reason for the season.  Yez, I said it.  One good thing about having your own blog, you don’t have to be politically correct…well, for the most part.

So, with all the trials and tribulations these economic times are bringing we know the tendency to be depressed might prevail.  However, as we head into this holiday season let us pause to remember all we have to be thankful for, see the glass half full, not half empty …and remember, JESUS is the reason for this holiday season!

Note to ourselves:  This season, how about some random acts of kindness.

And oh yeah, let the first family echo my sentiments:

CLICK

November 25, 2008

Twas The Night B4 “DA GAME!” Part I of II

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:17 am

It was Friday night, the day before the “DA GAME!”.  To quell anxious anticipation, like a kid on Christmas eve I had to find a way to get my mind off of “DA GAME!”.  So off to see the “Wizards” (CLICK).  I hoped that the coach would not call me down from the stands because I had to save myself for “DA GAME!” in case they needed to fly me over to “The Shoe” (Ohio Stadium, home of the BUCKEYES!).

So, Wizards versus the Rockets.  Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady heard i was in the stadium so they kept the game close as I waited for the call to come down and save the day.

So I waited…

Still waiting…

FINALLY I GET THE CALL!  Because I might have to play in “DA GAME” tomorrow I dawned my (blue man) disguise so that coach Tressell would not know I was hooping the night before “DA GAME!”

In the final analysis Washington suffered yet another collapse, falling 103-91 Friday to the visiting Houston Rockets.   Coach Eddie Jordan was fired (CLICK).  Maybe the next coach won’t wait so long to call me in!

TOMORROW:  “DA GAME!” Part II.

November 24, 2008

Merry Monday! Who’s your daddy? Answer below…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 5:08 am

Hey Passengers, MERRY MONDAY!  I hope all is well as we board the train today as we wait for the train to
arrive, .  To start the week off I would really like to share something with you that you might’ve seen before…I just thought it might be appropriate to read at the dawn of yet another week we have been blessed with.  So, read and consider:

The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want. He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me. He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining.

He reminds me that he is my source and not my job. He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honor him in all that I do.

Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body that doesn’t cooperate every morning, I still will not stop— for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.

He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me. He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go. His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus check.

His retirement plan beats every 401k there is!

When it’s all said and done, I’ll be working for Him a whole lot longer and for that, I WILL BLESS HIS HOLY NAME.

All Aboard, The LiFeTrain!!

November 21, 2008

WE ARE!!!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 6:06 am

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY!!

GO BUCKEYES, BEAT THE BRAKES OFF OF MICHIGAN!!!

(AS USUAL!!!)

WHO’S YOUR DADDY!?!

…And 2 All…A good weekend

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:53 am

Hey Passengers here’s a little story to get your weekend started.  Just in case you have not seent-tid this and to remind you despite it all today, you are blessed:

She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: ‘How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?’

The surgeon said, ‘I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.’

Sally said, ‘Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?’

The surgeon asked, ‘Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.’

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.  ‘Would you like a lock of his hair?’ the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes.
The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally.

The mother said, ‘It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the University for Study. He said it might help somebody else. ‘I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.’ She went on, ‘My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else.  Always wanting to help others if he could.’

Sally walked out of Children’s Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car.  The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room.

She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She lay down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Lying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

‘Dear Mom,

I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever
forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say ‘I
Love You’. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday
we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little
boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room
and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead,
she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to
buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.

Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place.
Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around
some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so
cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look
like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus
himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s
knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That’s when I told
Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and
everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what
Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this
le tter I think Gabriel is the name o f the angel who is going to drop
this l etter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one
of the questions you asked Him ‘where was He when I needed him?’ ‘God
said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the
cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written
except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper.. Isn’t
that cool? I have to give God His pen back now He needs it to write some
more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with
Jesus for supper. I’m sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore the cancer
is all gone.. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and
God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent
The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special
Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me.

HAVE A GR8 Weekend and thanks for riding the LiFeTrain with me!

November 20, 2008

Is It Worth Sweating The Small Stuff?

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 5:22 am

One thing I’ve learned in every human relationship is that it’s important to let the small things stay small. Not every problem needs “solving.” Some just need a friendly ear. Or maybe a hug. Nothing smooths out the rough spots in life like a little sympathy.

For these little bumps in the road, I like to apply what I call “the other kind of sorry.” Not “I’m sorry,” the apology. But “I’m sorry,” the expression of compassion.

When did our human moments of frustration become such terrible burdens anyway? It seems sometimes as if we can’t share any small sadness without someone rushing in either to criticize savagely or to “coach” us through the problem.

While evolving from criticizing to coaching is certainly a step in the right direction, I think it’s time we backed off a bit and questioned just how much coaching we really want to be doing. Small problems, after all, call for small solutions. Big solutions only serve to make small problems into bigger ones.

It is the nature of humanity to have our moments of stress, of misunderstanding, of minor disagreements. Nobody gets along perfectly with anyone else all the time. Taking a practical view of these not-so-enjoyable moments can go a long way toward gently paving the path of any relationship.

“He forgot to take out the garbage this morning? Gee, I’m sorry.”

“She ruined your favorite shirt? Gee, I’m sorry.”

Simple.

But it’s easy to turn small problems into big ones with just a few “innocent” questions…

“He forgot to take out the garbage this morning? Really? Does he do that a lot? Have you explained to him how important it is to you? Well, he should listen if it’s that important to you. Does he often ignore your feelings like that?” Etc., etc.

Hey, sometimes people forget stuff. Sometimes people make mistakes. Sometimes life gets a little hectic. These are temporary problems that don’t need to be dragged through the mud.

The problem is that the human mind, when anxious or upset, is easily led deeper into “enemy” territory. That “fight or flight” impulse is a strong one. So asking someone who’s feeling just a bit overwhelmed in the moment, “Does he/she do that a lot? Why would he/she do such a thing?” is tantamount to poking at a bruise. Why aggravate the injury?

I’m not suggesting that we should ignore serious problems. Genuine physical and emotional abuse are far too common and need to be addressed in a decisive way. But it’s important to recognize the difference between a problem that needs to be handled and one that just needs to be sympathized with, laughed about, and forgotten.

Every life has its ups and downs, and the downs won’t get to us quite so badly if we don’t make more out of them than we need to.

If you find that you and your friends (and especially you and your partner) end up sailing through at least 80% of those bumps in the road, I’d say you’ve managed to surround yourself with some fantastic people. Hang on to them. Relationships like that are life’s greatest treasures.

And…The Divorce rate would be a whole lot smaller…

I’m just sayin…

November 18, 2008

Let Your Light Shine…Let there be light…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:21 am

Hey Passengers, when someone lightens up your life just by their presence, you can be sure they are emitting a very positive energy.  When someone puts a damper on the meeting or a conversation, you can be sure there is some hidden inner baggage which contains sorrow and darkness.  More and more as I face some folks that bring a cloud of darkness to the table, I am trying to not take it so personal.

Question, which do you bring to the party?  A little light or a little dark?  A lot of optimism or a little pessimism?  I read that in olden days, before one switch could illuminate a whole city, one candle had to be lit by another.  So now when I become aware that I am carrying a little darkness, I try to remind myself that perhaps it may be useful to spend time with someone whose inner light is already lit, and stays lit in most circumstances.  Eventually I am reminded and continue to learn the art myself, and then I try to serve as a candle to others here on the LiFeTrain.

Join me today…be a beacon of light for others today…

All Aboard…The LiFeTrain!

…and

Shower the people you know with LOVE…

November 14, 2008

The Other Day…I cried

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 4:29 am

I have been told in very lengthy and graphic detail by my girlfriends (women who are my friends and in most cases married) that childbirth can be a very painful,  yet beautiful experience all in one instance.  However, as a man I could never, ever tell you what it is like to actually have a baby.  I can recant all the verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns and whatever else is a part of structuring the communication of the experience.  Yet, I will never, ever truly (thank god) be able to tell you form experience what it is like to give birth.

I’ll never forget that night.  The News station I was watching was reporting how close the presidential race was, how the various mathematical scenarios could play out, etc. etc.. In an instance the station cut to series of commercials.  Just like that, drink diet coke, buy dial soap, drive a Lexus, trust us you dopes, we’re number one…blah blah blah blah…

When the station cut back there was a very abrupt announcement.

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have a new President, Senator Barack Obama has just secured the amount of electoral (and popular) votes to become the next President of the United States.  He has just been elected president of the united States of America.

I actually cried.  I didn’t even know why at that very moment, but it felt as if some weight had been lifted from my body, my mind, spirit.

Earlier I told you I would never be able to tell you what it is like to give birth.  Having admitted that, I must confide that unless you have lived as a Black man you just could not understand what it is like to finally be validated as a full fledged American…finally.  I’ll stop there.

I never plan to use the train for a political platform as a general rule.  I’ll leave that to FOX News, CNN, USA TODAY and the Washington Post for you to get information to form your opinions.  When you hop the train I want you to be able to escape for a while.  However, the other night we elected a new commander in chief and whether or not you agree with the choice of our fellow Americans, we in fact have a new President, one who looks like me, President Barack Obama.  Hummm, that’s the first time I have written or verbalized that reality out loud…

Please “PRAY” that our Commander in Chief will be lead by the Holy Spirit in all his decisions for “ALL” Americans.

May God Bless America

November 13, 2008

FINALLY!!

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:01 am

WIll we…finally?

YES WE DID!!!

Hey passengers, sorry I played hooky from my duties last night.  But if ya don’t know…now ya know…I am a sports nut.  I try not to incorporate much sport stuff here on the train, but I had to share that after 6 games, the wizards finally won one!

Oh, and incase you missed it, coming soon, my experience at the Negro league Baseball Museum.  Check me out stealing home the legendary Sach Paige!