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Words From Wiser: “Wiser Wramblings Ramble on”

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By Chuck Wiser, “

It seems that my earlier written “Wramblings” struck a chord with some people, some in discord and some in a harmonic chord so I guess I might as well pick up with that format again.

Using the “ord” words reminded me that I was of “half a mind” to spend some time discussing the nuances, and humor of our English language in the last column. The two words “Chord” and “Cord”, two words that sound exactly alike and yet have two separate meanings and spellings, reminded me of many confusing or amusing similar words. Another example of our language oddities is the word “Emergency”. To emerge is to come out of. Something that is an emergency implies something that needs urgent attention. Why is it not spelled “Emurgency?”

Let’s get my Covid comments out of the way early. Recent news reports about the new Covid variant give me great concern once again. More than likely this topic will be revisited as further news develops, but for now I’ll just list the latest “data”. I have previously mentioned Catt. County along with Alleg. County but today will throw in Steuben County, as they as well are a hot bed, and local to many of the “Sun” readers. Data is taken from The New York Times County postings.

  • Cattaraugus County: 51 new cases Nov. 30th, 100 new cases and a record 8 deaths reported for Dec. 1st. Prior to that there were 150 students and 14 Staff members positive for Covid over the previous two weeks. Of the total number of cases to date, women were running 10% higher than men in the count total.
  • Allegany County: 37 new cases Nov. 30th.
  • Steuben County: 66 new cases Nov. 30th.

Scam calls: Between my landline phone and cell phone I am averaging about 4 scam calls a day. Late yesterday afternoon while I was working in my office, the phone rang, and the unrecognized number looked like your typical scam call. When I didn’t pick up, the answering machine answered and as the caller left his message, he said “This is Bob the Driver Education teacher calling and someone should call me back right away.” No doubt in my mind that it was one of those sick scam calls where the caller tries to convince a parent or grandparent that someone was in trouble, and you had to send money. Out of curiosity I ran a number’s search on Google and it came back to an area where I knew we had relatives. That concerned me so I sent off a quick text to the relatives. Turns out that it was a legitimate call. Thankfully, it was just a scheduling problem and it got straightened out. We are still puzzled as to how our name and phone number were available, but I am glad I checked it out as it could have been something real, and serious.

Keyboard Arrangement: Since it is happening right now as I type, I will mention my peeve with the placement of the letters on the keypad of phones and other handheld devices. The standard keyboard was invented and arranged to accommodate typing with both hands “hovering” above the keys. The key placement was organized and convenient for efficient two hand typing. They are not arranged very well for small keyboards and/or for two finger or thumbs typing. It is bad enough that the keys are so small and close together, but their arrangement and placement of vowels, consonants, special characters, space bars and other function keys could stand a major re-design.

Facebook Ads: It often amazes me how (or why) people advertising their items on Facebook are so casual (or careless) with their pictures. Advertising something for sale with the picture of the item in a room with junk or debris on the floor in the vicinity of the item for sale turns this buyer off. Another oddity like that, is selling something like a pair of boots with mud still obvious on them and making the statement that the item “may need some cleaning”. Clean them yourself!

The Air Preheater Co. Plant 1: I wonder, as I drive by the old Air Preheater company building on South Main Street, in Wellsville, NY, if it couldn’t be revamped into housing units much the same as the old Burrous building was. Admittedly the nature and configuration and condition of the building might make that impossible and would likely require gutting the building.

Beating a Dead Horse: I Drove by the old Six S golf course site the other day and once again was saddened to think that the Golf Course and lands couldn’t have been purchased and turned into a “State Park” area, somewhat like what the old Pinnacle State Park in Addison, NY, admittedly now defunct, had been. Their location was not ideal. With the renewed emphasis on tourism in Allegany County, “methinks” it would have been an ideal candidate for State or Federal funding, given its location, former condition, and potential, to have been an excellent project. A solar farm is now in the works there and that is not bad, but as a golfer, and having spoken with dozens of fellow golfers who share my feelings, we lament the lack of a “high quality”, affordable, public golf course, and room for other recreational options, in close proximity to the Crossroads Center.

Online Order Password Confirmation: Have you ever been in the process of making an online order and having been asked to insert your email address and password, you are then told to go to your email to get the “confirmation code letters?” I don’t know about you or the devices you are using, but if I try to leave the order processing to go to my email to get the code, I find that I have been kicked out of the order processing site or link. My “work around” to do that is to keep two devices active and in use at the same time, so I can get the code from one to take to the other. They  both have to be active or the validity of the code would “Time out” if taking too long to retrieve and enter the code while you are going back and forth between devices.

Working: I have two observations, both with mixed feelings, regarding those who are working and those who aren’t. It may or may not be by personal choice. First, I have observed what I presume to be “homeless” individuals standing with signs “seeking funds.” They are at various locations like at off ramp stop signs or stop lights in Rochester or other cities. Recently I observed one standing at the end of the drive through banking lane at Community Bank in Wellsville. Isn’t it a shame that somehow the many places in Wellsville, that need workers, and the people that seem to be out of work, needing to panhandle to raise money, could not be connected? It seems that the “out of work” folks are not motivated to become employed, and thus not actively seeking employment, and those looking for employees are hesitant to reach out to some of the ones that need a job. Wouldn’t it be unique if the employers could interact with the panhandler, to discuss “getting a job”? Ok, I know both sides of that situation might be thinking that “Wiser has lost his mind”, but something drastic or seemingly irrational might help both sides.

I recently had a Facebook conversation regarding a job advertisement, where the other party said he wasn’t interested because it was a part time job. My experience, and as a former college professor I had significant experience in helping graduates find jobs, is that part time work often leads to full time jobs. Just ask all of those “interns” who eventually were hired full time.

Secondly, and I know this is a touchy subject but I shant shy away from it. I am on my third re-write of this topic because I can’t find the words to fairly express my opinion without coming across as a sanctimonious hard ass. The Healthcare industry is severely “challenged” right now by the overload of Covid cases and having lost workers for a combination of reasons. Some health care workers are in that field just because “it is a job for them”, and that’s OK. However, my heart tells me that the vast majority of nurses and other health care professionals are in the “health-care” profession because they DO care. I just can’t get my head around how they could walk away from their job voluntarily, either because some conviction willed them to do so, or their misguided belief in something stronger than their passion and caring for their patients motivates them. I plead with them to sacrifice their idealistic misgivings, whatever they may be, and go back to that job of “caring.” Employers often set conditions for employment, like drug use, or appearance, or vaccinations (Military), Those conditions are not any different than asking you to be vaccinated as a safeguard to protect their customers, clients, or patients.

When writing my “Thankfulness” article last week I wanted to single out some people in the Newspaper world and thank them for inspiring me by their writings. I mentioned a couple but did not include all that I wanted to, as my column was already running long. The day after the posting of the article, I read the obituary of one of the writers that I most enjoyed reading. When I first started reading the works of Chuck Ward, he was writing for the Wellsville Daily Reporter. He eventually was hired away and signed on with the Olean Times Herald as a sportswriter. I read the paper literally cover to cover every day. I don’t mean I read every word of every article, but I do scan the headings and read many of them covering several topics. I even read Dear Abby. In reading the many testimonials about “Chuck” after his passing, they almost always mentioned his iron fisted management style. That had not previously shown in his writing or reporting, but his writing quality was what drew me to appreciate and respect his reporting and his written work.

  Driving Courtesy: Tuesday I had a follow up doctor’s appointment following a total shoulder joint replacement and “reversal”. Look it up if you wonder about what that is. Why I write about this (again) discussing other driver’s habits was prompted by my trip experience. It had snowed lightly earlier and thus the roads were wet as if “twere” raining. I set my cruise at 70 MPH so was not dawdling. Cars would pass, and as most seem to do, would pull back into the driving lane in front of me immediately as soon as they got by me, thus throwing the spray from the wet road up on my windshield forcing me to activate my wipers, and/or using the window washer to clean the window if I didn’t turn the wipers on right away. They had no traffic following close behind so wouldn’t be impeding others following. I would only ask that they wait until there were a few car lengths between us before pulling back in front of me.

December Birthdays: Craig Braack, now retired as Allegany County Historian, is a noted area scenic and “insectarian” ace photographer. He celebrated his birthday December 1st thus leading the way for the many others born in December. My December birth was not the most significant, as that distinction is held by a much higher power. I will add my Birthday wishes to all the other December born folks with these words. Note: To understand my mention of March in the poem, count back 9 from December.

Scanner Talk: As it has for several weeks now, scanner traffic citing “Protocol 36 precautions”, is very heavy. Emergency responders are busier than ever, and certainly deserve our thanks.

Born in December

To be born in December is a winter gift,

For all of those who long to walk thru a drift.

March is like winter tho’ it promises Spring,

But for many of us conception it brings.

I was born in December, and as were many more

Like most in my time, I was conceived during war.

To be born in December is to be blessed

By sharing a birth month that gives us Christmas.

Though holiday shopping and dreams of St. Claus

May seem to distract us, we still know the cause.

Silver bells and bright lights may start off the season

But we know in our hearts that He is the reason.

We were born in December, and by Him, we are blessed.

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