It Should Oughta Be a Law

Sitting here just now, I was thinking of all my friends who are veterans. (It is Veterans’ Day, after all.) Oddly enough, I can only think of two of them who don’t have to work today. All the rest of them are at work right now. Isn’t this supposed to be their day? Why are they working while the mailman is sitting at home?

Shouldn’t it be a law that veterans get a paid holiday on Veterans’ Day? My employer doesn’t honor Veterans’ Day, even though it’s a federal holiday, but wouldn’t it be great if they gave our delivery guy (a Vietnam Vet) the day off with pay? Hasn’t he earned it?

Chilly Morning

I got home after work yesterday (I know, yesterday was both a Sunday and a holiday, but it’s been a long weekend) just in time to see one of the local homeless guys park his grocery cart beside a bush and sit down on the neighbor’s porch steps for a few minutes. He saw me and waved. “Sure is a nice day!” he said. I waved back. “Yep!”

This morning I left the house at ten after six to head to work. I stood quietly on my front porch for a minute or two to let my other neighbor finish going through the trash can across the street in privacy. He pulled an empty pop can out of the garbage, looked around to see if anyone caught him, and walked up the street to his pickup truck, dropping the can in the back. He lived in the same house, just two houses up the street from me, for over fifty years, faithfully paying his homeowners’ insurance. Sadly, an arsonist hit his house a week or two ago. His family is scattered about the neighborhood now, living wherever they can — they won’t let the family move back into their home until the damage is repaired. Unfortunately his homeowners’ insurance is only covering a third of the cost, so no one’s sure if they can get the house repaired before the city condemns the property and tears it down. Just one more homeless family… Hopefully it’s not a permanent situation for them. There aren’t enough empty pop cans in the neighborhood any more.

Dagmar and I are participating in a charity event for the local homeless population on Friday — we’re taking pledges and sleeping out in the park with a bunch of other people. If anyone wants to donate a few dollars, that’d be great! Just click on the button below to e-send a donation if you want. To learn more about the Siouxland Sleepout, please visit their Web site —

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6 thoughts on “Notes

  1. Capt. Fogg

    There are too many homeless down here in FL too, but it’s 77 this morning and nobody’s getting hypothermia.

    There are going to be more homeless in the near future too what with the boom in foreclosures, the difficulty in filing for bankruptcy and finding a job – and of course with people coming home impaired from Iraq. (thanks George)

    Thanks for making it easy to contribute.

  2. Chris

    Thanks for contributing! We truly do appreciate it!

    Sad little story — I was going past the local hobo camp the other day, and commented to my wife that it’d be a poignant photo to put on my blog. “Don’t!” she said. “Don’t do that. The last time anyone publicized where the homeless were camping, they were attacked and one lady was killed.” As soon as she said it, I remembered the incident.

    Every dollar we get helps make someone a little warmer, a little safer… And you’re right, Captain — it looks like the problem is going to get worse, sadly enough. I hadn’t thought about how the bankruptcy laws ill affect homelessness…

  3. pistols at dawn

    It’s Hoovervilles all over again, which is fitting, since Hoover was an Iowan as well. Bad times. The thing about being broke is realizing how close you are to that situation, and then buying some cheap booze to forget it.

  4. Virginia "Ginn" - USAF (Ret)

    Happy Veteran’s (Officially Observed) Day to YOU Mr. Radloff! Don’t be modest – you served. And even more important, you continue to serve!

    Heard a great Veteran’s Day speech yesterday – all about the family we veterans are…what we learn about really living as brothers and sisters and honoring one another.

    This old veteran is enjoying one last day of freedom before returning to the 8-5 office rat-race after a few years of being my own boss and workin at home…not sure if I can do it! Sigh…


  5. Anonymous

    A lesson: triple check your homeowners insurance to see what’s covered and what’s not. A good agent won’t steer you wrong. My parents lost an outbuilding a few years ago, and they received only the actual value of the building itself, not the replacement value and not the contents. Be sure that you’re covered for “replacement”, not actual value. It’s worth it for the peace of mind.

  6. The Guv'ner

    COMPLETELY off subject – I played “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” last night as a sort of Veteran’s Day tribute (We always called it Remembrance Day in the UK). That song makes me cry. The Pogues do a killer version – two versions actually – the killer one is the shorter, single version. I also like “Green Fields of France”. Of course those are World War I and II songs but hey. A veteran’s a veteran.

    I gave two coats and some old (but in good condition) sweaters to the NYC Winter Donation program thingy yesterday. I hope someone gets good use out of them. If I had more money to spare I’d send that too. Right now though, I don’t.

    I hate being poor. Grrr. 🙂 But at least my “poor” means I can afford a roof over my head.


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