AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for August 14, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Sam Hayes, Jr. – Retired Secretary of Agriculture, Commonwealth of Pa. and the presentation of two Amtrykes to Hoyt Bowser and Max Haney.

 

Future Speakers:

August 21st – Donna Fisher – District Manager Bl. Co. Conservation Dist. – Natureworks Park

August 28th – Jerry Zolten – PSU professor – “How They Got Over: Black Gospel Quartets & the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

 

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:  Our guest speakers were Jane Sheffield & Jim Yeager of the St. Vincent de Paul Society – Monastery Gardens. Jim, the garden’s manager, began the talk by explaining that the gardens at the Monastery were started in 2008 after spending many years at the Hollidaysburg Veteran’s Home. That year the Monastery’s Franciscans donated garden 1two one acre plots of ground for the establishment of the community garden. In 2015, the gardens became associated with the St Vincent de Paul Society to provide the food that is grown for the community’s needy. The all-volunteer effort produced 7,000 pounds of produce last year! The volunteer’s plant, water, weed, harvest and distribute the organic food each year. This past spring the group erected their second growing tunnel which has made it possible to start planting earlier and to continue harvesting later in the fall. Jim garden 2stated that the group is always looking for volunteers, not only for the fields but for their board. Jane Sheffield, the flower garden manager, spoke next about the pollinator garden that is at the garden site. Flowers are planted in a 30’ x 60’ plot to help with pollination of the gardens and are available to be picked for arrangements. Jane also noted that in 2016, the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Hollidaysburg assumed the responsibility of finding volunteers for the work necessary to produce and donate the produce to charitable agencies in the community. At the conclusion of their presentation, Jane noted that one of the chairs in the room had a sticky note under it and that person would win a flower display. Mark Ford was that lucky recipient. The gardens are located at 793 Monastery Road, Hollidaysburg and for more information on the gardens, visit them at https://monasterygardens.weebly.com/.

 

Guests of the Day:

 

…..Guest of Chris Shirock was former member Dan Bradley.

…..Guest of Bob Reffner was former member Trav Young.

 

News of the Week:

…..President Kristan noted that Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd, received three of the back ordered Amtrykes last week. The Amtryke assembly team was busy last week constructing the trykes, two of which will be presented at this week’s meeting. Ten year old Hoyt of Clearville and six year old Max of Lilly will be at club this week to receive their Amtrykes.

softball player…..Last Friday evening the Altoona AMBUCS premire softball team, led by coach Tony Miller, took to the diamond in the WeCare Softball Marathon kickoff game. The team, made up of many of our Ambuc members and their family and friends took on a “ringer” team of president Kristan’s brother and friends. The teams battled back and forth for close to three hours until the winning run crossed the plate for the opposition in a very close game with the final score being thirty something to twenty something. Following the game, Ed and Paulette Farabaugh graciously hosted the annual after-game party. A great evening and a nice support of WeCare.

…..The last several years we have not had our annual “500 Club” lunch for those members who either purchased $500 of candy from our Christmas sale and/or made a cash contibution equaling our profit from $500 of sales. The lunch this year will be held on Tuesday October 2nd (note: this is a date change) and will include those members who were “500 Club” members in either 2016 or 2017, or both. Linda Horomanski is organizing this special lunch and will have more details soon.

…..As we did last year, there will not be a meeting on Tuesday September 18th due to the annual Operation Our Town golf outing held at Park Hills. This event draws a very large crowd and both parking and dining room space is at a premium. You’ll have to find your own lunch that day!

 

football…..It’s almost football season and that can only mean it’s time for the AMBUCS Annual 33 Club. The cost this year remains at $40 which gets you an assigned team with a chance to win $30 everytime they score 33 points at the end of a game or $10 if the team they play scores 33. It also gets you free admission to our annual Super Bowl party. There’s a sign-up sheet being circulated starting this week.

 

Joker…..Winner…..Winner….We have a raffle winner! Last week the raffle ticket of Lynn Lee-Alexander was chosen by our speaker. Lynn strode to the head table and without hesitation chose a card…and it was one of those coveted Jokers. Lynn’s win netted her $194 which she very generously donated to our Amtryke fund. Very nice Lynn!!

 

…..Did you know that Chris Shirock is about to be married? On August 25th, Chris will marry former Ambuc, Kathryn Mock. Congrats Chris and Kathryn!

 

In Closing:    Who knew that parking lots could bring about a chuckle…..or in this case two?

turtle coloringfrog parking

 

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for August 7, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Jane Sheffield & Jim Yeager of the St. Vincent de Paul Society – Monastery Gardens

Future Speakers:

August 14th – Sam Hayes, Jr. – Retired Secretary of Agriculture, Commonwealth of Pa.

August 21st – Donna Fisher – District Manager Bl. Co. Conservation Dist. – Natureworks Park

August 28th – Jerry Zolten – PSU professor – “How They Got Over: Black Gospel Quartets & the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

 

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:  Our guest speaker was Ed Krueger – Publisher of the Altoona Mirror. Ed’s talk however didn’t center on his 20+ years at the Altoona Mirror but instead on an inspirational message of how the “L” word is missing in business today. That “L” word is “love”, a Live Laugh Loveword that Ed says is often too awkward for most people to say out loud in the workplace. His experience has been that work groups that are resistant to the word love often are the most dysfunctional. According to Ed, the word love in any language is beautiful and that no one should be embarrassed by it since it builds relationships, makes us happier, and the spirit of work is enhanced by it. He said that we should all be brave enough to take our hearts to work. Ed went on to say that doing what is right is being ethical. He said that while most people do mostly right things most of the time, we should strive to do right all of the time, stating that this takes courage and is not always easy, but doing so is always right. Ed completed his remarks by reading an introspective poem, entitled “The Person in the Glass”.

 

Guests of the Day:

 

…..Guest of Mike Strait was Brandi Noye of Doing Better Business of Altoona

…..Guest of our speaker Ed Krueger was his friend Bob Postlewait

 

News of the Week:

 

softball marathon…..President Kristan announced a change to this Friday’s “kickoff” event for the Softball Marathon weekend of games in this year’s charity tournament. The AMBUCS team will now be playing a team put together by Kristan’s brother, who plays ball for PSU – Harrisburg. She stated that the WeCare Ambassador Child, Liam, will be in attendance to throw out the game’s first pitch. She encouraged the membership to come out and play and/or cheer on the team. So mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will compete in the WeCare Softball Marathon this Friday, August 10th, at the Seitz field in Eldorado, beginning at 5PM and concluding around 8PM. Tony Miller can still use some players. You can sign up to play and/or attend the after-game party. Oil up that glove, knock the dirt out of those cleats, and get some time in the batting cage as the AMBUCS look to bring home a victory. If you can’t play….that’s OK too as we need a cheering section for the game and people to attend the traditional after-game party! That party will be held at the Ed & Paulette Farabaugh hacienda located at 2102 17th Ave. in Altoona. The club will provide sandwiches, chicken and drinks, but you can bring a dessert to share if you would like.

…..Ken Decker promoted an upcoming fundraiser for Arts Altoona. On Sunday August 19th from 5PM – 9PM, “Art Jive One” will be held in downtown Altoona. Tickets are $99 which includes food, beer, wine, and all of the evening’s activities. See Ken for tickets and more information.

…..The last several years we have not had our annual “500 Club” lunch for those members who either purchased $500 of candy from our Christmas sale and/or made a cash contibution equaling our profit from $500 of sales. The lunch this year will be held on Tuesday September 25th and will include those members who were “500 Club” members in either 2016 or 2017, or both. Linda Horomanski is organizing this special lunch and will have more details soon.

…..As we did last year, there will not be a meeting on Tuesday September 18th due to the annual Operation Our Town golf outing held at Park Hills. This event draws a very large crowd and both parking and dining room space is at a premium. You’ll have to find your own lunch that day!

 

…..August birthdays and club anniversaries include:

balloonsBirthdays:                                                    Club Anniversaries:

13th – Jack McDougal                               Jack McDougal – 1988 – 30 Years!

15th – Vic Gioiosa                                      Susan Barber – 2002

21st – Tony Miller & Chris Shirock       Shandra Waksmonski – 2005

22nd – Bill Hoyne                                       Amanda Marin – 2013

Sandy Gregory – 2015

 

…..It’s time to meet our newest Ambuc, Emily Sollenberger. Emily is a Penn State Political Science grad and is employed as a relationship banker at the West Plank Road office of M&T Bank.  She enjoys cooking and decorating and spending time with her friends and family. She joined AMBUCS in order to share her time and give back to her community through a cause that is important to her. She stated that M&T encourages employees to become involved in the community and she’s looking forward to helping the Altoona AMBUCS carry out our mission. When asked what was something unique about herself…..she replied that her ultimate goal was to attend law school after graduating college, but she found that working at M&T in banking was her passion. That and probably meeting fellow Ambuc Jim Huff kept her from a law practice! Please make yourself known to Emily and greet her as our newest member.

 

…..Did You Know……our Grants Coordinator, Dave Aikens, will be attending the AMBUCS National Convention in Reno Nevada on October 3rd to the 6th? See Dave if you want him to place a bet for you while he’s out there.

 

Joker…..Last week the raffle ticket of Jack McDougal was chosen by our speaker Ed Krueger. Jack went to pick his card looking very confident….however his selection…..the Two of Spades, was terrible. So that means the odds are even better for whomever gets to try to find one of those two Jokers this week. Remember, it could be you picking from the deck of 45 remaining cards with a potential winning pot of about $185.

 

In Closing:   Here’s a sign you don’t often see in a neighborhood…..

Speed Bumps

 

 

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for July 24, 2018

Today’s Meeting: Allan Bassler – Publisher of the Morrison’s Cove Herald and a check presentation to the club by Bev Green, representing the FirstEnergy Foundation.

 

Future Speakers:

July 31st – Ed Krueger – Publisher of the Altoona Mirror

August 7th – Jane Sheffield & Jim Yeager of the St. Vincent de Paul Society – Monastery Gardens

August 14th – Sam Hayes, Jr. – retired Secretary of Agriculture, Commonwealth of Pa.

August 21st – Donna Fisher – District Manager Bl. Co. Conservation Dist. – Natureworks Park

August 28th – Jerry Zolten – PSU professor – “How They Got Over: Black Gospel Quartets & the Road to Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

 

cowsWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:  Larry Kulp of the Kulp Family Farm in Martinsburg was our guest speaker. Larry and his family moved to the Cove in 1973 when his son Philip was just three. They began farming with 38 cows and now have farms in both the Cove and Sinking Valley and have a 3,000 Holstein herd of which 2,600 are milked daily! The milking schedule is a 24/7 operation with each cow being milked three times a day. Each milking shift is 6-1/2 hours and each parlor is washed completely after each milking. Larry explained that he has now retired and the farm is run by his son Philip and his american dairy assoc logograndson Kyle, who is currently a student at Penn State. Kyle also spoke to the club and noted that their milk parlors now employ 35 and that during “cropping” they hire an additional 35 part-time employees. He stated that currently the supply of milk exceeds the demand and consequently the milk business is not as profitable. He did state that they have benefitted from 30% of their milk being produced as kosher milk; with the overseeing of the milking parlors by rabbis. In addition to the milk production, the operation includes about 6,000 acres of farm land. Additionally, the Kulp farm is host to countless grade school students who tour the farm each year. Following his remarks, Kyle fielded a number of questions from the membership. In addition to Larry and Kyle, Larry’s wife Mary Ann and another grandson Hank attended the meeting. The Kyles were very gracious in bringing along gift bags for the membership which included some cheese sticks, cinnamon butter, milk chocolate, recipes, and even a tractor key chain. A very interesting and informative program!

 

Guests of the Day:

 

…..Guest of Paul Dick was Emily Sollenberger, a Relationship Manager at M & T Bank in Altoona.

Emily has decided to join the club and has submitted an application.

 

…..Guest of Dave Aikens was Sandy Hazlett.

 

 News of the Week:

…..President Kristan passed around a thank you card from Erin Kelly, who, along with her mother, was last week’s speaker. She thanked us for the opportunity for her story to be told and hoped that we would invite her back, maybe after she writes her next book.

 

…..Kristan also announced that the club has received a $1,000 donation from the CPCF (Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation)! The check will be put to good use in our Amtryke fund.

softball marathon…..Mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will face WeCare in the WeCare Softball Marathon on Friday, August 10th, at Seitz field in Eldorado. Tony Miller needs players, basically anyone with a pulse! A sign-up sheet began it’s rounds last week. You can sign up to play and/or attend the after-game party. Oil up that glove, knock the dirt out of those cleats, and get some time in the batting cage as the AMBUCS look to bring home the bragging rights against WeCare. If you can’t play….that’s OK too as we need a cheering section for the game and people to attend the traditional after-game party!

 

Joker…..Last week the raffle ticket of Jim Berkhimer was chosen. Jim, unfortunately for him, chose the three of clubs. Pulling that card just made him another loser in a long line of losers! So that means the odds are even better for whomever gets to try to find one of those two Jokers this week…..remember, it could be you picking from the deck of 47 remaining cards with a potential winning pot of about $140.

 

In Closing:   Bill is putting his young daughter to bed one night and as he walks out the bedroom door he hears her saying her prayers. She says, “God bless mommy, daddy, and grandma, rest in peace grandpa.” Bill rushes back into her bedroom and asks her, bedtime“Why did you say the last part?” His daughter replies, “Because I needed to.” The next day, grandpa dies of a heart attack. Bill is worried about his daughter but thinks, “It must just be a sad coincidence.”

That night he tucks his daughter into bed again and once again he hears her saying her prayers. She says, “God bless mommy and daddy, rest in peace grandma.” Bill is now really worried and thinking to himself, “Can my daughter really see into the future?” The next day, lo and behold grandma dies and now Bill is convinced his daughter can predict the future. For the rest of the week, nothing happens, but on Sunday night as Bill leaves his daughter’s bedroom he waits outside and listens for any more prayers. Sure enough, he hears her say, “God bless you mommy, rest in peace daddy.” Now Bill is really panicking and thinking, ‘”Oh my God, I’m going to die tomorrow!”

The following day Bill is a complete mess at work; a real nervous wreck. He constantly checks the clock, looks around the room and is on edge all the time expecting to die at any moment. He is so nervous that he doesn’t leave the office until after midnight. Once it turns past midnight he says to himself with relief, “How is this possible? I should be dead!” He goes home and walks into the house to find his wife sitting on the sofa with a scared look on her face. She asks him, “Where have you been? What took you so long?” Bill replies, “Listen honey, I haven’t had the best of days” and he is just about to tell her what has happened when she starts crying and bursts out, “You think you had a bad day…..I saw the mailman die yesterday!”

AMBUCS Altoona Newletter for July 10, 2018

Today’s Meeting: Erin Kelly – Author and Altoona Mirror Columnist

 

Future Speakers:

July 17th – Larry Culp – Dairy Farmer in Martinsburg

July 24th – Allan Bassler – Publisher of the Morrison’s Cove Herald

July 31st – Ed Krueger – Publisher of the Altoona Mirror

 

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:  Last week our speaker was Tracie Ciambotti – Military Family Ministries. Tracie, who is the co-founder and current director, explained that her involvement in the Ministries took seed in 2005 when her son enlisted in the army two days after his high school graduation. He still serves and has had four deployments to the Middle East. In 2008 Tracie began supporting the mother of a recently enlisted son who went to their church. That friendship was the nucleus for the Military military families ministry logoFamily Ministries which began at the State College Alliance church. After a brief move from the area, Tracie and her husband moved back to the area and in 2013 Tracie began another Ministry in Bellwood. Their mission is to support the family members of those enlisted, often the parents. They create awareness of the sacrifices of military families. One of their main projects is the mailing of care packages to the troops. Those packages include items that the military does not typically supply, such as socks, coffee, batteries, toiletries, etc. Many specific requests come from the chaplains in the field. The Ministry recently shipped 200 “mission kits” which are packages of food that can be taken into the field when the troops are away from their base and consequently miss their meals. Other shipments included 4,500 Christmas stockings, Valentine’s Day boxes, and Easter packages. She thanked the Ambucs members for the socks and donations that we presented to them. Treasurer Paul gave the proceeds from last week’s raffle to Tracie to help with their shipping costs. Vic Gioiosa noted that if a member forgot to bring in socks and still wanted to make a donation, that both of the branches of the ARC Federal Credit Union have collection boxes for the Ministry. For more information on the Ministry, visit them at www.militaryfamiliesministry.com.            

 

Guests of the Day:

…..Guest of Vic Gioiosa was Liesl Kapfhammer, marketing coordinator at the ARC Federal Credit Union.

 News of the Week:

softball marathon…..Mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will face WeCare in the WeCare Softball Marathon on Friday, August 10th, at Seitz field in Eldorado. Tony Miller needs players, basically anyone with a pulse! A sign-up sheet should be circulated in the next week or so. Oil up that glove, knock the dirt out of those cleats, and get some time in the batting cage as the AMBUCS look to bring home the bragging rights against WeCare. If you can’t play….that’s OK too as we need a cheering section for the game and people to attend the traditional after-game party! Details to follow soon.

…..At the last AMBUCS board meeting the 2018/19 board makeup was finalized. The following officers and board chairs were approved:

Board Chairman: Ed Garlena     President: Kristan Zolnoski    Secretary: Bob Reffner

Treasurer: Paul Dick    Vice-President & Public Relations & Internet: Rachel DiAndrea

Amtrykes: Michele Lloyd                Community Service: Natalie Depto-Vesey

Grants: Dave Aikens         Membership: Alex Seltzer         Projects: Linda Horomanski

Scholarships: Tim Parnell      Social: Jim Huff      Bulletin: John Lloyd       Programs: Ken Decker

Board members At Large (No Committee Chair): Carl Gingerich (1 year) & Derek Martin (2 years)

 

…..The AMBUCS board also recently approved the application for membership from Scott Filler, CEO of Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona. Scott’s application is for a corporate membership and is being sponsored by Alex Seltzer. The board also regretfully accepted the resignation of Terry Albright of M&T Bank.

 

Joker…..Last week our guest speaker, Tracie Ciambotti, chose the ticket of Bill Reintgen. Bill strode confidently to the head table and promptly chose the King of Clubs. Better luck next time Bill! So that just means the odds are better for whomever gets to try to find one of the Jokers next week…..it could be you picking from the deck of 49 remaining cards and a winner’s pot of about $100.

 

wishlist club…..What would be the most rewarding way for you to spend a dollar a day? A dollar you say! That can’t buy much these days…..it could buy a soda or a candy bar…..but what if you could use it to make a difference in someone’s life instead?  Well it can if you join the National AMBUCS Amytrke Wish List! It’s sad that there are so many children that are still waiting to get their very own Amtryke. The wish list exists to ensure people with disabilities, of limited financial resources, are able to enjoy the fun and freedom of riding their own Amtryke. It’s so easy to join, just go to www.Ambucs.org, click on “donate now”, and choose “Wish List Club” on the right.  Please consider joining others in giving the gift of mobility and become a member of the AMBUCS Wish List Club today!

 

In Closing:

juggler

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for July 3, 2018

happy 4thToday’s Meeting:  Tracie Ciambotti – Military Family Ministries      

 

Future Speakers:

July 10th – Erin Kelly – Author and Altoona Mirror Columnist

July 17th – Larry Culp – Dairy Farmer in Martinsburg

July 24th – Allan Bassler – Publisher of the Morrison’s Cove Herald

July 31st – Ed Krueger – Publisher of the Altoona Mirror

 

ARTS logoWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:  Last week our speaker was George Sackandy of Arts Altoona. George noted that they will celebrate their 1st anniversary of Arts Altoona on July 1st. It’s been a busy year for the organization as George noted a number of their accomplishments and future plans. One of the tree paintingsuccesses has been the after school program at Evergreen Manor where each week visiting artists attend the program to discuss their craft and encourage the children to embrace the arts. Just recently it was announced that the program has been selected for funding from the United Way! Another event was the block party in Juniata where 30 musicians and 60 artists showcased their talents which included a large community wall mural across from Peterman’s Florist in Juniata. George also discussed their plans for their 11th Ave. building and the many design ideas that the PSU students presented. He said that the building’s roof leak is scheduled to be fixed soon which will allow construction to begin in September on the $1 million dollar, phase 1 renovation of the building into 25 art rooms and studios. They are currently planning their 1st annual fundraiser on August 19th. For more information on this event and their other happenings, visit them at https://www.artsaltoona.org.

tim balconiFollowing our guest speaker, Tim Balconi of the UPMC Altoona Foundation, presented the AMBUCS with a check for $2,500 for our Amtryke program! Shown here is Tim presenting the check to Alex Seltzer. A big thanks to the UPMC Altoona foundation and to our grant coordinator, Dave Aikens, for this great boost to our Amtryke fund!

 

Guests of the Day:

…..There were none.

 

 News of the Week:

…..At the start of our meeting last week, Dennis, the manager of Park Hills Golf Club food services, spoke to the membership regarding a change in how our club lunches will be presented. Starting this week, a menu will be displayed near the badge board listing the two luncheon choices. Besides the menu there will be two “table tents”, one red, one blue, for you to pickup as your luncheon choice. You then place your tent in front of your plate so that the waitestaff can place your order. This change should streamline the ordering process since in the past the cup up/down system was somewhat confusing for the person taking the orders, due to vacant spots at a table.

socks…..John Lloyd noted that this week’s speaker is Tracie Ciambotti from Military Family Ministries and that one of their missions is to provide socks to our soldiers. With summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in many of the areas that our troops are stationed, the need for clean dry socks is paramount. John asked that you please consider purchasing and bringing to club this week black crew or ankle socks (no tube socks). It would be great if we could present Tracie with a large donation of socks from the club! Vic Gioiosa also noted that collection boxes are available at the offices of ARC Federal Credit Union and that in lieu of socks, the Ministry also accepts donations to help with the postage for the mailings.

Erin Kelly…..Next week, our guest speaker will be Erin Kelly, a local author, poet, and Altoona Mirror columnist. Erin, who has cerebral palsy, has written a book of poetry entitled “How to Wait”, which bears witness to the art of patience, a trait few of us will ever master. We have a number of copies of this book and we will be selling chances for you to win one. Chances are just $5.00….see John Lloyd to purchase a chance for one of these books.

Joker…..Last week our guest speaker, George Sackandy, chose the ticket of Mike Knote.  Mike asked Alex Seltzer to pick a card for him….which became a loser when the Four of Diamonds was chosen. So, I’m not sure who the loser was…Mike or Alex. Either way it could be you who picks this week from the deck of 50 remaining cards and a winner’s pot of about $100.

 

…..Mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will face WeCare in the WeCare Softball Marathon on Friday, August 10th, at Seitz field in Eldorado. Tony Miller needs players, and by players Tony says that the only requirement to play is to have a pulse! Details of the event to follow soon.

…..July Birthdays and Club Anniversaries include:

balloonsBirthdays:                                                                  Club Anniversaries:       

7/24Natalie Depto Vesey                                Ed Garlena2014

7/25Paul Dick and Derek Martin

7/28Dave Mason

 

In Closing:   Our guest speaker next week is Erin Kelly, a local writer and poet. While writing may not be everyone’s forte, I found the following ten steps to help you improve your writing skills!

HOW TO WRITE GOOD

1)Avoid Alliteration. Always.

2)Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3)Avoid clichés like the plague. They’re old hat.

4)Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

5)Be more or less specific.

6)Writers should never generalize.

Seven: Be consistent!  

8) Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

9) Who needs rhetorical questions?

10) Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for June 26, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Tim Balconi – Check Presentation from the UPMC Altoona Foundation

 

Future Speakers:

July 3rd – Tracie Ciambotti – Military Family Ministries

July 10th – Erin Kelly – Author and Altoona Mirror Columnist

July 17th – Larry Culp – Dairy Farmer in Martinsburg

July 24th – Allan Bassler – Publisher of the Morrison’s Cove Herald

July 31st – Ed Krueger – Publisher of the Altoona Mirror

 

PCW logoWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:  Last week our speaker was David Wertz of PC Works Plus – discussing Cyber Security. David, who’s the president and founder of PC Works Plus, began his business 29 years ago. David said that security awareness is Dave picvery important to a business because even if you’ve spent a lot of money on computers and the best software, any individual’s careless use of the system can cause major problems. Cyber criminals, sometimes referred to as “hacktivists”, cause disruption by disabling/changing systems, which steal your computing power. In 2017, it was estimated that 4,000 ransomware attacks per day caused companies to spend $5 billion paying ransoms to cyber criminals! David stated that phishing, unsolicited assistance, and notices that you are a “winner” are some of the common ways intruders can cause damage.

David provided the following seven suggestions for protecting your computer:

  • Don’t use the same password for different sites.
  • Enable pin/passwords on mobile devices.
  • Don’t allow a link to control where you land.
  • Reject offers of unsolicited assistance.
  • Be very cautious of unexpected emails.
  • Don’t open unexpected attachments or links in emails.
  • Use Two Factor authentication.

David wrapped up his talk by providing two websites where you can check to see if your computer might have been breached:  https://HaveIBeenPwned.com  and https://Breachalarm.com. 

Guests of the Day:

…..Guests of Alex Seltzer included Grant Rumble of the Boy Scouts of America and former Ambucs George and Judy Savine. Both George and Judy were also past AMBUCS presidents. 

 News of the Week:

…..Treasurer Paul Dick received the invoice from UPMC for the costs of the recent blood screening and we cleared a profit of $15,146 for the project fund. Event chairman, Ed Farabaugh, devotes a very large amount of his time on this project every year. A big thank you goes out to Ed and to his worker bees that helped with the screening on that Saturday morning!  Great effort….Great result.

…..Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd, received four new Amtryke requests last week. Unfortunately, all four of these requests are for trykes that are currently on backorder. This brings our number of backorder requests to fourteen. National AMBUCS is now expecting the Amtrykes to be delivered to them around the middle of August, instead of July as originally thought. Michele’s building team will certainly be busy when these fourteen trykes show up.

…..President Kristan thanked Rachel DiAndrea for her efforts in developing another piece of valuable marketing material for the club. Rachel designed a 4” x 9” two-sided rack card that can be placed in tourism type racks in the area or handed out when talking to a prospective member. The cards are available at club. Why not take a few and try to recruit a new member or two? Thanks Rachel!

Erin Kelly…..In several weeks, our guest speaker will be Erin Kelly, a local author, poet, and Altoona Mirror columnist. Erin, who has cerebral palsy, has written a book of poetry entitled “How to Wait”, which bears witness to the art of patience, a trait few of us will ever master. We have a number of copies of this book and we will be selling chances for you to win one. Chances are just $5.00 and will be available starting this week.

Joker…..Last week we had two people take their chance at finding a Joker! The previous week, the ticket of Jim Huff was chosen but Jim had to leave early. So Jim made his selection prior to the meeting and unwisely chose the Three of Spades. Then at the conclusion of the meeting, Bob Reffner’s ticket was chosen by David Wertz and he likewise was a loser when he pulled the Ten of Clubs. Next week’s winner will now pick from a deck of 51 remaining cards to find one of the jokers for a pot of about $80.

 

…..Mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will face WeCare in the WeCare Softball Marathon on Friday, August 10th, at Seitz field in Eldorado. Tony Miller needs players, and by players Tony says that the only requirement to play is to have a pulse! Details of the event to follow soon.

In Closing:   Late one night a guy is speeding down an empty road. A cop sees him go flying past so he chases him down and pulls him over. The cop goes up to the car and when the man rolls down the window, he asks, “Are you aware of how fast you were going, sir?” The man replies, “Yes I am. I’m trying to escape a robbery I got involved in.” The cop looks at him disbelievingly and asks him, “Were you the one being robbed, sir?” The man casually replies, “Oh no, I was the one who committed the robbery. I was escaping.”

copThe cop is shocked and surprised that the man has admitted this so freely. He says, “So you’re telling me you were speeding…AND committed a robbery?” “Oh yes,” replies the man calmly. “I have all the loot in the back.” The cop is now starting to get concerned and says, “Sir, I’m afraid you’ll have to come with me” as he reaches into the window to take the car keys out of the ignition. The man shouts, “Please don’t do that! I’m afraid that you’ll find the gun in my glove compartment!” At this the cop pulls his hand out of the window and says, “Wait here” as he returns to his car and calls for backup.

Soon there are cars, cops and helicopters all over, everywhere you look. The man is quickly dragged out of his car, handcuffed and taken to a cop car. However, just before he is put in the car and taken away a cop walks up to him and says, while pointing at the cop that pulled him over, “Sir, this officer tells us that you had committed a robbery, had stolen loot in the trunk of your car, and had a loaded gun in your glove compartment. However, we didn’t find any of these things in your car.” The man replies, “Yeah, and I bet that liar said I was speeding too!”

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for June 12, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Induction of 2018/19 club officers and a member’s meeting

 

Future Speakers:

June 19th – David Wertz of PC Works – discussing Cyber Security

June 26th – TBD

Cohen AllenWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: What a great meeting last week as we presented an Amtryke to 4 year old Cohen Allen of Altoona. At the table, Cohen was surrounded by his family…..Mother Stephanie, Father David, Sister Elisa, and Brother Hudson. Cohen was born with a head defect so severe that he was hospitalized for over 650 days at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. His father told me that he quit his job as an on-the-road salesman to devote more home time to Cohen. He then decided to make a career change and has since earned his nursing degree from St Francis. His mother told me that Cohen rides a therapeutic tricycle at his Kid’s First therapy sessions and therefore when he got on his very own new Amtryke, he knew exactly what to do. Before they left the meeting, Cohen’s brother and sister were already planning to ride their bikes with Cohen when they got home. In the picture, Cohen is surrounded by President Kristan, his Mother Stephanie, Father David, and Sister Elisa.

 

Altoona Mirror LogoOur speaker was Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror. Neil is the Mirror’s managing editor and has been for the last 12+ years. Neil, a Johnstown native, came to Altoona when he attended Penn State Altoona as a journalism major. He began writing for the Mirror when he covered PSU-Altoona sports beginning in 1974. He stated that he often filed his stories by slipping them under the door of the Mirror’s then Green Avenue office. The Mirror began publication in 1874 and has changed quite a bit since its inception. Neil noted that the paper, contrary to when he started, is now a morning paper that is published seven days per week. Its coverage area has expanded to now include news and sports in Cambria, Bedford, and Huntingdon counties. He also talked about how newspapers have struggled with the instant access to news that people now have, but mentioned that smaller community papers have been impacted less so than the larger markets. A typical Mirror weekday will see them print about 20,000 papers. On Sundays they print about 30,000 (the largest editions between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg). Neil also discussed his involvement with the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame. Since its first class in 1987, the hall has recognized many great Blair County athletes and coaches and has presented a number of high school athletes with scholarships. To date, 85 inductees to the hall and over $100,000 given in scholarships makes the efforts of Neil and the other HOF member’s time very worthwhile.

 

Guests of the Day:

…..There were none.

 

 News of the Week:

…..New president, Kristan noted that grant writer, Dave Aikens, presented her with a $2,500 check for our Amtryke fund from the UPMC Altoona Foundation. Dave has been very busy writing numerous grant requests on the fund’s behalf. Dave’s hard work has paid off from the generous donations that he has secured over the last year or so. Great job Dave and thanks to the UPMC Altoona Foundation! 

…..Mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will face WeCare in the WeCare Softball Marathon on Friday, August 10th, at Seitz field in Eldorado. Tony Miller needs players. Details to follow soon.

T2B logo…..Last week’s Amtryke presentation to Cohen Allen was funded by a very generous donation from Top to Bottom Commercial Interiors! Top to Bottom creates exceptional workspaces by listening carefully to your workplace objectives. Using state-of-the-art software they can design your new or renovated commercial space with furniture, flooring and window treatments. Visit them at www.t2binteriors.com or by calling their Altoona office at 942-3250. A big thanks goes out to Top to Bottom from both Cohen and the Altoona AMBUCS!

…..The AMBUCS board resumed their meeting following our regular meeting last Tuesday. The meeting agenda included a discussion on several publicity items and it was decided to share these items in a special meeting this week along with the official induction of the club officers. Also discussed was the current backlog of 10 Amtrykes that we have on backorder. National AMBUCS has announced that most of the Amtryke models are on backorder until July.

 

Joker…..Winner – Winner – Chicken Dinner! Actually, many chicken dinners as Dean McKnight strode to the head table when his ticket was drawn last week and quickly made his card selection. What do you know….he chose the Joker that has eluded so many before him. Dean’s share of the raffle pot was $800! This week, we will start with a new deck, two Jokers, and a starting pot of $50.

 

In Closing:

ICU

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for June 4, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  An Amtryke presentation to 4 year old Cohen Allen of Altoona and our guest speaker, Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror.

 

Future Speakers:

June 12th – TBD

June 19th – TBD

June 26th – TBD

 

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: Our speaker was Tom Duvall of Express Employment Professionals – discussing today’s workforce. Express LogoTom took a moment and thanked the club for what we do to assist the needs of disabled individuals in the community, an effort he appreciates since he is the father of a special needs child. Tom then began his talk by saying that even though the economy is generally good, it has been a rather slow pace to recovery. That and the cautious approach to risks and expansions by businesses has left many companies doing more work with less employees. He went on to say that a mass exodus of baby-boomer workers, estimated at 50,000 per day, has left the labor force shrinking rapidly. While a 5.2% unemployment rate is considered “full employment”, the local rates of 4.4% (Blair) and 3.2% (Centre) remain below “full” and 5.3% (Bedford) and 6.5% (Huntingdon) are slightly over. Tom stated that it is an employee’s market with fierce competition for skilled workers presenting companies with the challenge of wage pressure…..stating that “$12/hour is the new $10/hour”. Due to this shift to an employee’s market, many employees are looking to shift jobs/careers for a number of reasons including: advancement opportunities, improved work environment, better compensation/benefits, reward/recognition, and leadership possibilities. Tom stated that businesses, to keep pace, must consider reviewing wages, providing rewarding benefits, and reducing barriers to hiring workers. He stated that some companies that are having difficulties in finding “drug-free” applicants, are re-evaluating as to whether or not their open positions require the need for the employee to be drug-free! Tom finished by saying that the formula to find the top talent should be: Right Pay -> Right Skills -> Right Person.

 

Guests of the Day:

…..There were none.

 

 News of the Week:

…..Acting President, Kristan, read and passed around three thank you letters from Dreams Go On, the Arc, and the Miracle League for our recent donations.

…..Grant Writer, Dave Aikens, reported that the Morrison’s Cove Herald ran two stories about the AMBUCS two Thursday’s ago. One covered the check presentation by the Nason Foundation and the other was of our Amtryke presentations of several weeks ago.

…..Mark your calendar….the AMBUCS will face WeCare in the WeCare Softball Marathon on Friday, August 10th, at Seitz field in Eldorado. Tony Miller needs players. Details to follow soon.

…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, noted that he is down to just two months to fill for programs…..July and September! Why not take one of these months (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings.

 

…..We had two Ambucs trying to pick that Joker out of the deck last week and we still didn’t have a winner! Since the card deck went missing the week before; that week’s ticket winner, Bill Hoyne, chose his losing card at the beginning of the meeting and then Dean McKnight tried his luck at the end of the meeting. Since there were no winners, this week’s lucky ticket holder should be trying their luck of finding that Joker out of the remaining 15 cards with the pot for the day being over $800!

 

…..Today we’re about to meet new Ambuc Rudy Turco.  Rudy has joined the club as an associate member and is a good friend of Dave Aikens. The reason he joined as an associate member is that Rudy will not be able to attend our meetings due to his long time battle with Huntington’s disease. Rudy spent 27 years in the Air Force and retired as a Colonel. He lives in Duncansville and has two grown sons who live out of the area. Rudy joined AMBUCS because of his passion for veterans and his interest in the AMBUCS veteran’s initiative to provide Amtrykes for vets. As a matter of fact, Rudy recently donated $1500 to our club to cover the cost for the first Amtryke for a local disabled veteran; in anticipation of us getting that program established! Other causes that Rudy supports are the Gary Sinese Foundation and Funds for Freedom. Welcome aboard Rudy and thanks for your service and your AMBUCS donation!

 

…..The AMBUCS board met last Thursday. The board invited Jim Foreman of WeCare to the meeting to describe the means in which ProCare provides services to those disabled individuals who are unable to pay. This was done to determine our future funding of WeCare. After listening to Jim’s remarks, the board felt comfortable in providing future funding. The board also agreed to establish a corporate membership which will allow businesses to have up to three members join the club at a quarterly cost of $249. A $1,666 donation to National AMBUCS for the scholarship fund was approved. The club regretfully dropped Amanda Marin from the membership. Due to the length of the agenda, it was decided to resume the board meeting after the club meeting this week.

party hat…..June birthdays and club anniversaries include:

Birthday:                         Jim Berkhimer – June 13th

Club Anniversaries:      Karen Lemme & Derek Martin – 2016

Michele Lloyd & Dean McKnight – 2017

 

In Closing:

 

 

OMG“So….I’m getting circumcised tomorrow!” My good friend told me that he’d had that done when he was a few days old. So I asked him, “Does it hurt?” He said, “Well, I couldn’t walk for about a year!”

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for May 29, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Tom Duvall of Express Employment – Discussing today’s workforce

 

Future Speakers:

May 29th – Neil Rudel – Altoona Mirror

 

Family ServicesWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: Felicia Robinson of Family Services, Incorporated was our guest speaker last week.  While Family Services provides many essential services, Felicia‘s topic was their Victim Services Program. This program, of which Felicia is the Coordinator, supports and advocates for children, youth, and adults affected by crime and abuse. The program’s victim advocates are trained to provide assistance to victims of rape, sexual assault, stalking, robbery and human trafficking…..to name just a few. These services are also extended to the victim’s family members. Felicia went on to say that the advocates are now available to come to wherever the victims need them, providing services such as assisting with protection from abuse orders, custody issues and divorce assistance. The advocates take turns being “on call” so that assistance for individuals is available 24/7. Additionally, the program provides a support group for victims and their families. These groups meet for several hours each week. The support that Felicia and her team provides comes at a traumatic time for the victims and provides support and education on what is needed to get these victims the help that they deserve. Allison answered questions from the membership following her presentation and explained a new term to many called “sextortion”. Sextortion happens when a person threatens harm or promises a reward in order to coerce sexual acts, images, or videos from a victim. For more information on the Victim Services Program, visit their website at www.familyservicesinc.net.

 

Guests of the Day:

…..There were none.

 

 News of the Week:

…..Rachel DiAndrea conducted the meeting and showed the membership a handmade card sent from Penn Cambria Elementary to the club, thanking us for the donation of several Amtrykes.

…..With two of our recent new members in attendence, Rachael asked the membership to go around the room, one by one, introducing themselves to Jim Berkhimer and Chris Shirock. For more information on Chris, please see his profile later in this bulletin.

…..Rachel also recognized the efforts of grant writer, Dave Aikens, for all of the work that he’s done toward the recent publicity the club has received in the Mirror and on local television.

…..Jim Huff announced that at this time he doesn’t seem to have enough interest in a Pirates game. He did state that if enough people are interested, that he will organize the trip. So, if you’re up for a possible trip to PNC park, talk to Jim.

 

…..Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd’s Amtryke building minions were at it again last week when Dave Aikens and John Lloyd built a tryke for 4 year old Cohen of Altoona.

 

…..COME ON FOLKS…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, is still looking for volunteers to take a month (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings. The new club year begins in June and there are still a number of slots left on the sign-up sheet.

 

…..Paul Dick distributed AMBUCS Committee Preference Sheets and asked each member present to review the list of committees and rank several of which they would be willing to serve upon. Committees are the backbone of the work that the club performs for the community, the fun that we have as a club, and the way in which we build up our membership. Please take a few minutes and turn in your completed forms to Paul or Secretary Bob Reffner. The board will be meeting this week to set up the board positions and committee members for club year 2018/19.

 

Joker…..The winner of last week’s raffle ticket was…..well…..NOBODY! Unfortunately someone stole, threw away or somehow disposed of our card deck. Bill Hoyne’s ticket was chosen last week, but he had no Joker to find. So here’s the deal…a new deck of cards will be purchased and enough cards will be removed to get the deck down to 17 cards including the Joker. At the beginning of the meeting next week, Bill will get to pick a card. If he wins, we’ll open a new deck and start over. If he chooses unwisely, we’ll rip up the card he chooses and sell tickets as normal with the winner getting to pick from the remaining 16 cards.

If Bill doesn’t pick the Joker, the pot for the day will be over $800!

 

…..Today we’re about to meet new Ambuc Chris Shirock.  Chris is a CPA for Young, Oakes, Brown & Company in Altoona. Chris is a graduate of Penn Cambria High School and has a B.S. degree from Mount Aloysius College. He’s engaged to his fiancée Kathryn, who has a 14 year old daughter Deerin. Their wedding date is set for August 25th. In his leisure time, Chris enjoys shooting pool, walking, biking and rooting for his St. Louis Cardinals. He wanted to join AMBUCS so he could become involved in a civic organization that would allow him to meet people and help others in the community. Chris is also serving the community by being the treasurer of the Gallitzin United Methodist Church and a board member of the Gallitzin Moose. When asked what was unique about himself that few people would know….he noted that he once flew in a helicopter….certainly something that many of us haven’t done. Welcome aboard Chris!

 

In Closing:       Speaking of helicopters…..

HelicopterWalter took his wife Ethel to the state fair every year, and every time he would say to her, “Ethel, you know that I’d love to go for a ride in that helicopter.” But Ethel would always reply, “I know that Walter, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars.” Finally, they went to the fair one day, and Walter said to Ethel, “Ethel, you know I’m 87 years old now. If I don’t ride that helicopter this year, I may never get another chance.” Once again Ethel replied, “Walter, you know that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars.” This time the helicopter pilot overheard the couple’s conversation and said, “Listen folks, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll take both of you for a ride; if you can both stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word I won’t charge you! But if you say just one word, it’s 50 dollars.” Walter and Ethel agreed and up they went in the helicopter. The pilot performed all kinds of fancy moves and tricks, but not a word was said by either Walter or Ethel. The pilot did his death-defying tricks over and over again, but still there wasn’t so much as one word said. When they finally landed, the pilot turned to Walter and said, “Wow! I’ve got to hand it to you. I did everything I could to get you to scream or shout out, but you didn’t. I’m really impressed!” Walter replied, “Well to be honest I almost said something when Ethel fell out…..but, you know, 50 dollars is 50 dollars!”

 

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for May 22, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  –  Cindy Estep – Family Svcs. – Discussing their Victim Services Program

 

Future Speakers:

May 29th – Tom Duvall of Express Employment – Discussing today’s workforce

 

Lori RummelWhacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: We had both an Amtryke presentation and a guest speaker last week. Prior to lunch being served, we presented an Amtryke to Lori Rummel. Lori, who is a 39 year old from Johnstown, was very excited about het tryke. She couldn’t wait to ride on it and did in fact pedal it a little bit on the side of the room. Her parents, Jim and Janet Rummel assured her that as soon as they returned to Johnstown that she could ride around the neighborhood. I don’t think any Amtryke recipient in recent history was as anxious and appreciative of their tryke as Lori was!

 

Then, our speaker Debbie Kelly of Dreams Go On was introduced by Mike Strait. Mike noted that in his opinion, Dreams Go On wouldn’t be around without her efforts. Debbie began by thanking the AMBUCS for their past support of their organization. She stated that they currently have 58 riders and others on a waiting list. They operate 4 days per week, providing therapeutic horseback riding sessions to children and adults who are physically challenged. Riders and the organization’s certified-instructors ride outdoors from March through October and indoors over the winter months. Additionally, they can provide private lessons. The horseback rides provide numerous physical and emotional benefits including the strengthening of muscles, improved balance and coordination, and improved self-esteem. Debbie went on to say that the organization began with just one horse but have now built up the stable to their current six horses. Since the charity runs by donations and volunteers, Debbie stated they can always use more of both. At the end of the presentation, Debbie showed a video that was developed several years ago. Following the video, Vice-president, Kristan, presented Debbie with an AMBUCS donation of $1,000 for Dreams Go On. For more information on this wonderful charity that supports many in our community that match our very own AMBUCS mission…..visit their website www.dreamsgoon.com. (Kind of a bummer of a website……Dreams Goon)!

 

Guests of the Day:

…..The family of Amtryke recipient Lori….her father Jim and mother Janet.

 

 News of the Week:

…..Jim Huff took a quick poll of the members present at last week’s meeting to see about the interest in a Pirate game social. A few hands went up and Jim stated that he would check if the Farabaugh clan might help to fill a bus. If you’re interested in a possible trip to PNC park, see Jim.

 

…..Program Chairman, Ken Decker, is still looking for volunteers to take a month (or share one with a fellow Ambuc) to provide interesting programs for our meetings. The new club year begins in June and there are still a number of slots left on the sign-up sheet which is being circulated.

Andrew Brans…..Tuesday afternoon, Amtryke Chairman, Michele Lloyd and her wonderful husband John, delivered an Amtryke to 10 year old Andrew Branas of Altoona. Andrew donned his helmet and with some help from his father, began motoring around his driveway. In this picture, Andrew is joined by his father Damian, his mother Lori, and his brother Damian. Andrew’s father informed me the next day that Andrew rode his new Amtryke up and down their lane the night before.

 

…..A big thank you goes out to Grant Chairman, Dave Aikens, for organizing and coordinating many of the recent publicity items that we’ve experienced. The television coverage of our Amtryke presentations several weeks ago, the Altoona Mirror front page article about the club, and several other news releases that should soon be in both the Altoona Mirror and the Morrison’s Cove Herald, were all the result of Dave’s efforts. Great job Dave!

 

…..Wev’e recently added three new members to our ranks. This week I’ll be profiling new member Jim Berhimer and in coming weeks I’ll have profiles on Chris Shirock and Rudy Turko.

Jim Berkhimer is a CPA and a partner at Young, Oakes, Brown & Company (YOBCO). Jim is a Claysburg-Kimmel grad and has a B.S. degree from Penn State/Smeal College of Business. He and his wife, Cheri, have two children…..Cara who is 19 and Cassie who is 14. Jim’s interests include athletics, golf, hunting, yard work, and basically any outdoor activity. Jim joined AMBUCS because he wanted to get involved with a worthwhile civic organization. When asked what was unique about him that only a few people might know about; he noted that he nearly drowned in a local flash flood when he was 14…..being washed downstream after their vehicle became disabled. That would be a good story to hear more about! Please welcome and make yourself known to Jim at club this week. Welcome aboard Jim.

 

Joker…..The winner of last week’s raffle ticket was me! Unfortunately I was as inept as all of those before me….picking the four of clubs instead of that pesky Joker! The good news for everyone is that the pot once more grows….now around $775! So this week, you have the chance to pick the winning Joker out of the remaining deck of only 17 cards. That pot is there for the taking and the cards are dwindling.

 

In Closing:       One day a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he spotted two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. He asked one of the men “Why are you eating grass?” The poor man replied “we don’t have any money for food so we have to eat grass.” “Well then, you can come to my house and I’ll feed you” replied the lawyer. “But sir, I have a wife and two children. They are over there under that tree.” “Bring them along” the lawyer said. Then turning to the other poor man, he said “You come along with us too.” The second man, in a pitiful voice, said “But sir, I have a wife and SIX children with me!” “Bring them along as well” said the lawyer. After they all climbed in the limo, one of the men turned to the lawyer and said “Sir you are too kind. Thank you for taking us all with you.” The lawyer replied, “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high!”