Monday, July 28, 2008

Young and Restless

My lovely wife, Gramma J, thinks that I'm going to be writing an entry on growing old. She told me the other day about signing me up for AARP. In the normal realm of blogdom, I would then be expected to give the lowdown about growing old. Thats if I exhibited the symptoms of aging, and I don't! I'll prove it to you.
Old people talk about their ailments. I don't. Jeez, when I got together with my 3 OLDER brothers and my OLDER sister last weekend, all they talked about was politics and pains. I didn't once mention my really painful left heel or my diabetes or my really low chloresterol. They all talked about these vitamins and those supplements but I never mentioned the Omega-3 fish oil capsules, Centrum Silver and low-dosage aspirin I take every day. You see, I don't act like a geezer.
Old people wear alot of hats to cover their thinning hair. Don't want to burn the bald spot. Hehe. My hair may be thinning a little (nothing like my cousin Kevin or ol' FUZBUKT) but not to where I have to wear a hat. I can still joke with my older friends. "Its not that you have less hair to comb, you have more face to wash!" or "You know that every hair that falls out takes brain cells with it, don't you? I know a couple guys who are one hair wash away from retardation!" Oh, I did get a neat Reds road cap the other day. Finally found one that fit.
Old guys will walk down the street with shorts and black knee socks on. What a hoot. When I wear my compression stockings, I wear long pants.
Need more proof? Old guys hit from the white tees, I hit from the blues. Old people drive Buicks and Mercury Marquises (hear that Jim T), I drive a Bronco II. Old guys have Velcro on their tennies, mine ties. Geezers listen to Sinatra and Johnny Matthes, I listen to Elvis and the Bee Gees. Old guys eat flats, I eat drummettes. They like Mc Cain, I prefer Obama. They use Bon Ami, I use Soft Scrub. They visit the facilities, I take a dump. They eats soft food, I eat cracklins. They use Duz, I use Tide. They use Brylcream, I use mousse. They buy Cat Chow, I buy Deli Cat. They read Hustler, I read Maxim. They gum, I gnaw. They go toodle, I piss. They watch Regis, I watch Kelly. They do jigsaws, I do crosswords. They do Sudoku, I do Kukuru. They're OG, I'm UG. They wheeze, I used to cough. They pee on their shoes, I pee on the toilet seat. They use snow-blowers, I shovel. They like Carson, I like Letterman. They eat cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, parsnips, turnips, green peppers, celery, carrots and cucumbers. I eat corn. They drink buttermilk. I would die of thirst first. They eat livers, I eat gizzards. They play checkers, I play Minesweeper (Got a 92 on expert!). Last, but not least, they hang around old ladies whereas I chill with my young trophy wife, Jenny.
So you see, I'm not old. Just because I can remember 18 cent a gallon gas, 2 for 21 cents bread and the Interurban tracks that ran along Cowen Street extended doesn't mean that I'm old. I just have a good memory.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fat flip-flopping fun!

President Bush firmly believes that the worse thing a person could do in life is change his mind. That would make them a "Flip-flopper". That must stem from the fact that he has such a narrow mind, there's no room to maneuver. Personally, I believe that changing one's mind is an admirable trait. If you receive some information that alters a previously held belief, then a reasonably intelligent person will change that belief to correspond with the new information.
I'll give an example. Last Thursday I was wearing a gray t-shirt. When I got called to work, I'd only had it on for 20 minutes or so. Sam, my regular engineer, was off for a doctor's appointment and I was told that my engineer for this trip would be Uncle Strawberry. Whenever I work with Strawberry, we make tons of money. Dispatchers don't seem to want to run our train and we sit at red signals racking up the overtime. Its gotten so that when I work with him, I not only wear a green t-shirt (green as in greenbacks) but I pack a green one for the next day also. So after I took my call, I changed my mind about wearing the gray t-shirt and put on a green one.
Now, that may not sound like a life altering occurence to some of you, but it was quite stressful for me. You see, that one little decision turned me into a "FLIP-FLOPPER"! Some people could just slough off that stigma, but not me. I'm much too sensitive about political correctness and about the feelings of strangers for that. And Jen thinks that my job is low stress. Hah!
To change the subject (which is not flip-flopping), I have decided to address a subject that is considered to be a scourge of modern civilization: FAT. As you know if you read my last posting, I'm big boned. Queen Latifah calls it being wide. I like to think of it as being horizontally challenged. I don't have a beer guy, I ate this one on. Little did I know when I started evolving into a tub what a drag on the American Economy I was becoming. There was a study out last year that said obesity costs ALL Americans over $6 billion the year before in health costs. Don't blame me. I have health insurance. Blame the POOR fat guy. I think skinny people are just mad because food prices are higher because of shortages caused by us fat guys mowing down on the supplies. Throw a bag of potato chips into a room full of lard-asses and you'll learn about supply and demand pretty quickly.
The thing that has me concerned is that that study about the $6 billion cost of fat people is just the first shot over the bow. That's how it started with smokers. Some non-smoker came up with a study how smokers cost all of us over $5 billion a year in health costs. Then it soon became OK to act however prejudicial you wanted to against smokers. Its got so bad, one company, US Gypsum, doesn't allow their employees to smoke OFF the job in their own homes. If an employee tests positive for nicotine in a urine test, they're fired! That same fervor that non-smokers exhibited in the smoking wars is now rearing its ugly head in the war against obesity. Pretty soon, it will be OK to disregard the rights of fat people, making them non-entities like smokers. After all, watching a fat guy scarf down 2 dozen hot wings and a large order of fries could cause irrepairable harm to an impressionable young child. Watching a fat woman enjoying a banana split may cause kids to want that type of love and enjoyment in their lives too. Soon, restaurants in Fort Wayne will only be allowed to serve dessert in walled off rooms and convenience stores will quit selling Twinkies to anyone under 18.
Whereas non-smokers think smoking is just a habit and not an addiction, skinny people think that their heftier brethren are fat because they are lazy and lack self-control. All I know is my current heft was not caused by laziness or lack of self control. It happened because, as a little kid, I was once scared by a skinny guy!
I think that Jenny once told me that bloggists don't like to read about 2 different subjects in one posting. Here I am, in only my second posting writing about 2 subjects. I was so ashamed until I found out that that scary skinny guy was also a FLIP-FLOPPER!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Hello all you blogospheroids, I am now one of you! I have begun my journey into 21st Century life in America. If and when I get a MySpace page with 1000 friends, an IPOD with 5,000 songs and an electric car, I will be a child of the 21st Century. Please don't hold your breaths. I'm doing this because my lovely wife and my charming daughter get so much joy from blogging. I could use some of that joy too.

I am thought of differently by the diverse group of people who know me. At work, I'm the hard charging go-getter who is quick with a joke and a kind word. To my kids, I'm the guy that allows them to take advantage of me whenever they want. I would do any and everything for them. To my wife, I'm that lump she has to sweep around and occasionally spray with Lysol. I have different names depending on who is referring to me. I'll list some and give a little clarification of each. I will not include the ones like "dumb ass" and "s... for brains". After all, this is a Christian blog.

1. Max. That's my name, Max Joseph Teders. Paul and Eleanor's baby boy. I was the fifth kid, fourth boy. Mom once told me that she would have named me James, except one of my older brothers already had that name. Yep, I could've been James Darryl Teders! Mom's doctor had a son named Max (who later became her doctor also). I don't think that I was named after him but I think that's where the folks heard of and fell in love with the name MAX. One guy at work once asked me if I had a nickname. My name is 3 letters long. Its already been nicked all it can be.

2. Dad. I'm called this by two of the most remarkable people that I have ever known: My daughter Shannon and my son Shane. They are smart, witty, kind and generous, hard working, industrious and beautiful. In other words, chips off the old block! When I look back to my childhood and teenage years, I realized that I have been extremely blessed and luckier than an oilman with a Republican President!

3. Husband. The day that God made my life complete was August 1, 1981. That day Jenny and I got married. I love her more than life itself. I am, indeed, the luckiest man in the world.

4. Conductor. The catchy name of the blog hints about a connection with trains. I work on freight trains between Garrett, Indiana, and Chicago. My family has no clue as to what I do, where I go and how I do it. When I would start to talk about the road, their eyes would glaze over and they'ld change the subject. I spend around 2/3 of my life at work and to truly know me, you need to have to be somewhat aware of my life at work. I may tell you all about it someday. I may not.

5. Me. I'll soon be 55 years old, on MAXMAS day, August 21st. I refer to myself as being horizontally challenged. Got a gut. Don't want it. I currently move less than I eat. Ideally, I'd like to lose a hundred pounds. The person who comes up with a safe and easy way to do that will win the Nobel Prize, his book will win a Pulitzer and the movie about him will win an Oscar. He'd be the Al Gore of diets. I like to think of myself as a nice guy. Actually, being thought of as a nice guy is what I have always strived for.

6. Liberal. The L word. We must be there for the children. Give them hope for the future that will enable them to fulfill their dreams. The only thing worse than not caring for our children is taking away their hope. One thing that you can be assured of is that I would vote for a kitten for president before I'd vote for a Republican.

In 55 years, I am sorta set in my ways. To Jenny's amazement, I don't really care for reality shows on TV. The people on those shows aren't the people I see every day. The reality of life in America is the family struggling to get by. Not Rob and Amber. I can't keep up with shows that are serials because of my work schedule. I have found that my favorite shows are documentaries. The History Channel and NatGeo rule! The very best ones are the sports documentaries by Bud Greenspan and HBO. The actor Liev Schreiber narrate both the Greenspan and HBO shows. If he's narrating, I'll watch. I'll watch MSNBC or CNN if there's nothing else on. Countdown with Keith Olbermann is the best news show on TV, bar none.
As for music, I've been stuck in the 60's and early 70's for the last 35 years. Lately, though, I've been listening to Majic 95.1 alot. Green Day rules! Jenny has taken a liking to country music lately. I like the catchy tunes but can leave the rest. I like some classical stuff, mostly Mozart and Overtures.
I like to read, mostly mysteries, almost always fiction. There are a couple books that I've read more than 10 times. Poor reading comprehension rules!
Last but surely not least is the newest member of my family, Jaden. The prettiest little girl in the world. With the gene pool she received from her mom and dad, this little girl will someday make the world a better place.
I haven't mentioned many of the people who have shaped my life and are meaningful in it now. Maybe later I'll write about them. Really dish the dirt. Tell where the bodies are buried. Write History! Then again, maybe not.