SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Fish of Cut Bait

At The Closing Of The Year
By Bob Ciminel


January 12, 2006

I have the soundtrack from the movie "Toys," starring Robin Williams. It is one of the two or three soundtracks I own. I'm not into movies in a big way, but I have watched "Toys" several times. The movie was only so-so, but the song "At the Closing of the Year," sung by Wendy and Lisa, is one of my favorites.

The year 2005 certainly had its ups and downs. The high point came early when my granddaughter was born in February, and the absolute bottom occurred in December when my father passed away. In between, events could be best described as ripples in a stream bed, evenly distributed throughout the year. Career-wise, I traveled a lot, met some interesting people, and picked up a little radiation, all of which limited the amount of time I could spend working on our little tourist railroad up in the North Georgia mountains. Well, one pays the bills and the other doesn't, so the choice was relatively easy.

jpg Ciminel Family

Driving in to the office (working the week between Christmas and New Year's is great; no one is around), I heard a news report that Tom Cruise was voted the most irritating movie star for 2005. I thought, Okay, and your point is? I pondered that story for awhile, and almost ran a red light thinking about the absurdity of wasting 50,000 kilowatts of electricity to broadcast that item to metropolitan Atlanta. But WSB, our local talk-radio station, must have the demographic analyses to show that a majority of its listeners would be interested in hearing about Tom Cruise. I questioned whether those listeners would be awake at 5 a.m., and, if they were, would they even be coherent. My wife doesn't get up until 7, is rarely coherent before 9, and probably doesn't know who Tom Cruise is. Oh, she'd recognize the name, but little else, and probably couldn't describe one movie he starred in. This is the same woman who once told me to pick up some "Job in a Can" at the store. She meant "Janitor in a Drum."

Later, and because it's a slow day at work, I surfed the Fox News website and learned that the "Hot Topics" for 2005 were "divorces, new mommies, new couples, and Team Aniston or Team Jolie." I didn't see anything about marriages in that list, so I have to assume the "new couples" are cohabitating heterosexuals, but, these days, you never know. I went out on a limb and put even money on at least 75% of the "new mommies" being unmarried females. Okay, I'm biased; I had both of my parents for 60 years and my children have had the same parents for 31 years, so unmarried mothers and fathers bother me.

Looking at the Stock Market, it appears 2005 will end quietly with some profit-taking. The volume is light, which means many traders are not active. That's funny; I never take a holiday from my money. I have bills that are due on holidays, weekends, and when I'm on vacation. And that brings up the question, if bills need to be paid 24-7-365, why aren't banks open 24-7-365? Why does my credit card company insist my payment arrive on a Saturday if they can't cash the check until Monday? Obviously, I need to take a course or two in Economics.

Well, my son is about to arrive with our lunch from Chic-Fil-A. He and I work for the same company, and on the same floor, although he is a contractor and has no nuclear background, other than following me around the country during my career as an itinerant nuclear professional. We do a lot of audio-visual stuff for our members, and Scott went to school for recording engineering, so they use him almost full-time. I would not have guessed in a million years that my son and I would be in the same building, working for the same company. I mean, what were the odds? But it's sure nice having him around.

I hope that you, dear reader, have the best year of your life in 2006, only surpassed by 2007. I appreciate your patience with my ramblings, your understanding of my cutting wit, and your feedback, both positive and negative. I hope you continue reading Sitnews, one of the best online newspapers on the Web; even it is partial to Alaskans in general and Ketchikanites specifically.

So, let me close with some advice for 2006. If you want to be a successful writer, which I am obviously still working at, here is what helps me. Single-malt Scotch: Steals gently upon the senses and animates the intellect without ever collapsing an idea. I will toast you in the New Year.


Bob Ciminel's articles may include satire and parody, and mix fact with fiction.
He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.

Bob lives in Roswell, Georgia, and works for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations.  He is also a conductor on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.


Bob Ciminel ©2001 - 2005
All Rights Reserved

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions
Submit A Letter to the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska