Daily Prompt – One Small Improvement

Daily writing prompt
What’s one small improvement you can make in your life?
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

This one is EASY!!! Put the device down and step away.


Daily Prompt – Positive Impact Story

Daily writing prompt
Share a story about someone who had a positive impact on your life.

A person who had a positive impact in my life. There are many, but this one
got me off my duff and started me to take positive changes that impacted my

Bart and I have been friends since he arrived in my hometown back in Junior
High School. The fact that I called it Junior High and not Middle School is a
tip off to our relative age.

Bart was one of if not the brightest kid in our graduating class. There are
one or two that might disagree, but that’s not the point.

Bart encouraged me to and helped me study for and take the PSAT exam when we
were underclass in high school. Which did prompt me to think about life after
high school, but that’s not the story I want to tell.

Actually, there are two, the first one impacted my life in a positive way
and the second my youngest daughter.

The story begins during a visit from Bart while he was back in my hometown.
The conversation at one point led to my education, or lack thereof. My post
high school attempts at higher education were not overly successful.

Two semesters at Midland College (now Midland University) resulted in
academic probation so I dropped out. Attempted to enroll at the University of
Nebraska in Lincoln but was not accepted due to my academic status at Midland.
Enrolled at Northeast Technical Community College (NTCC) as a ‘new’ student and
was accepted by not disclosing my time at Midland. Eked out an Associates of
Arts degree in Broadcasting at NTCC after transferring my Midland credits over
just before graduation. One failed semester of Marketing classes at the
University of Nebraska in Omaha.

At that point I gave up getting a bachelor’s degree and settled in on my
hourly pay job in Quality Control at the 3M factory in Valley, Nebraska. That’s
a long set up.

When Bart asked me why I never finished my degree I told him that a full-time
job and young daughter meant no time study and all the early failures were a
sign that I just was not up to the task…

That’s when Bart looked me in the eye and said…”Ron Wilkie, stop
selling yourself short.”

Did I stop selling myself short? Sadly, not immediately. To be honest, I
don’t remember the exact year of the conversation, but it niggled at me. Could
I do it? Did I deserve it? Then the words would come through again.
“…stop selling yourself short.”

3M had a tuition reimbursement program so I went to my manager and asked him
if he would approve my entrance. He sent me to his boss, who oversaw both
Quality and Engineering. I was shot down for wanting to take business classes.
He would only approve engineering students.

The Production Control Manager heard about this and offered to approve me if
I would transfer to his department. One year later I had my Bachelor of Science
Degree in Business Administration from Bellevue University in Omaha. This degree
got me an immediate raise in pay and set up every promotion and new job I’ve
been offered ever since.

I later went back to Bellevue University and earned a Master of Science in
Management degree. That degree helped me to be offered my current position of
Customer Service Manager and head of the department.

One small nudge has meant a lifetime of incremental advancement and no fear
of continuing to learn.

The other story? Bart visited us one summer while my youngest was in Middle
School. She was being recruited by our local private boarding school. Academics
is the focus at this school. Not everyone gets in and it is easy to be expelled
for not meeting academic or ethical codes. She was unsure of (frightened of)
being able to meet the high standards.

Bart encouraged her to go to Wayland Academy. She was also encouraged by her
good friend Sophie who became her best friend at the academy. Sophie became
valedictorian and Ri was in the top 4 of their graduation class.

Bart was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years back. I’ve known
about the illness but have not discussed his health until recently when I found the attached YouTube interview, he discussed his journey to date with the disease.

I will have fond memories of Bart forever. He is a true, honest, and giving

Daily Prompt – Freedom!

What does freedom mean to you?

Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!!!

Daily Prompt – Calling An Audible: Happy Mother’s Day!

Daily writing prompt
What public figure do you disagree with the most?
My beautiful mom through the decades.

Today’s daily writing prompt is what public figure do you disagree with. R Dub prefers to keep these posts on the positive side. So…I’m calling an audible. Happy Mother’s Day!

Speaking of my mom is highly traditional and probably too stereotypical, but the traditional stereotype of mom fits mine to a tee. What stereotype is that? Caretaker.

My mom was the one who always took care of us. Who is us? Well, my brother Randy and myself for starters. Later in dad’s life when he began to fail physically and cognitively, she was his primary caretaker.

But it hardly ends there. Several of my aunts and uncles have told me that they considered my mom to be their mom when they were growing up. A family of 10; grandma, grandpa, aunt Donna, mom, uncle Harold, uncle Gary, aunt Sharon, aunt Patty, uncle Denny and aunt Kathy.

Specifically, 3 of the four youngest. Sharon, Patty and Dennis.

But mom was more than caretaker. She was teacher, both academic and practical. She taught me how to tie my show laces, brush my teeth, read, and write in my preschool years. Pre K was not a thing in our hometown during the 60s. We didn’t even have Sesame Street in those days. The first airing was in 1969, I was already in 3rd grade by then.

Enter the grade school days. Summers at our one-acre property meant gardening. Mom and dad planted, they both harvested, but mom did all the canning and most of the prepping for canning. I loved wandering around in that garden looking for crops to harvest. Helping mom prepare some things for canning was my third favorite gardening activity. Number two? Harvesting. Number one? Eating fresh produce right off the plant.

My favorites? Sweet peas, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes, apples, cherries, and grapes.

Did I say apples, cherries, and grapes? Yup. Mom and dad had 3 apple trees, 2 peach trees, a cherry tree and a grape arbor.

Other produce grown over the years? Sweet corn, pole beans, cabbage, potatoes, pepper, tomatoes.

These were fun activities as a kid, summer break was great, and mom was a always there. Friends spent hours at our home. One acre in town meant plenty of play area. Everyone that came over was welcome. Many were fed while visiting.

My favorite lesson? Learning to cook. Some lessons were learned by instruction, some through osmosis. Either way mom taught me to cook and bake. The baking part didn’t really rub off and I’m not good at it. Oh, but the cooking. We are both good at it. I love it, mom claims to not. I have a hard time believing that she hates it because she does so much of it and very good at it.

I do remember loving her baking. Banana bread, cookies, cakes, brownies, and pies. The best memories of baking and cooking. Christmas. Christmas cookies, the sugar type is still my favorite. One of my favorite Christmas songs is George Strait’s song Christmas Cookies. Christmas also meant home made candies. Peanut clusters, chocolate covered pretzels and fudges.

The greatest lesson. Being a good person and one who gives back. Mom and dad both volunteered for decades at their church. Mom in the office a job she still does at the age of 87 every Monday counting the offering donations and getting them ready for deposit. Due to their generosity with their time and talents through the decades has worn off on me. Giving back and building community is important to us and I got my drive to give of myself from my mom.

That’s my beautiful mom. Happy Mother’s Day mom! We love you!

Daily Prompt – Career Plans? Winding Down The Career

Daily writing prompt
What is your career plan?
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

The closer R Dub get the tender age of 62…and it is darned close now, the more appealing the photo above looks.

My career goal is to be able to spend more time with Beth in any location we wish at any time we wish.

Alternate career plans. Internet gardening expert. Hey, I guy can dream correct?

Daily Prompt – Last Attended Live Performance

Daily writing prompt
What was the last live performance you saw?
Last live performance we attended on a large scale? Mike Birbiglia at NYCs Lincoln Center. “The Old Man and the Pool.” December 2, 2022.

Like many of the daily writing prompt, this one looks closed ended but can go in many different ways.

What was the last live performance you saw? In the strictest of definition it was Saturday evening at the Door County Brew Company. A one man band who goes by the simple name of Guitar George…from the WI Dells area. He was the last live performance we saw.

The Door County Brew Company stage…sans Guitar George.

However, we will expand upon live performances. The last theatrical performance we saw was “For The Love of Camping” at the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s Fine Art Center. This show was the final performance of the American Association of Community Theatre’s Division 3 AACTFest on April 29, 23.

Then of course there’s Broadway! The last show we saw on Broadway was “Music Man” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster on December 1, 2022.

Then there’s the last big regional live show. “A Christmas Carol” performed live at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee on December 17, 2022.

Of course there would be the last live show I witnessed from off stage and on stage. “You Can’t Take It With You” the final live performance was April 23, 2023.

No matter how we define the last live performance, Beth and R Dub will not wait long for the next one. We do love live entertainment. Pandemic lock downs of live entertainment were brutal for us. Thanks goodness it is long behind us.

Daily Prompt – Community Involvement

Daily writing prompt
What do you do to be involved in the community?
The words community and involvement are both relative terms. In this photo we are involved with the larger community helping to raise money and awareness for Huntington’s Disease, but we are frequently involved with the smaller community which is our neighborhood and our town.

What do we do to be involved with the community? What do we not do? There are many things both big and small. I’m sure others answering this daily prompt go bigger, others smaller. Most somewhere between.

How do we define community? Is it the globe? Is it our neighborhood?

What is involvement? Organizing to and acting to save the planet, or organizing and acting to help out our next door neighbor? Or both and everything between.

Last night we went to the local farmers market and bought some plants to take home. We also went to a friends home for game night. Tonight we will go to the local park to help the local water-ski team get their season rolling.

R Dub announcing for the community water-ski show team.

We give monies to charitable groups we give of our time to many as well. We can be seen at most community events like the Beaver Dam Pepperfest, Taste of Wisconsin, Lake Days, the County Fair, several community theaters in the area and other live events.

R Dub mugging for a photo after placing 2nd in the chili cook off with BD Pepperfest organizer Diana Ogle and the winner.
Beth at a community yard sale with her friend Elmo.
Beth holding up a copy of The Midwest Survival Guide at a fund raiser for Dana Ehrman’s mom. This book signed by the author Charlie Berens was donated to a different fund raiser for Wayland Academy later that month!
Can’t tell by this photo, but we attended a sold out show fund raiser for CarolAid at Comedy Sportz in Milwaukee. This table is immediately below the mic that each comedian used that evening. Uecker would be proud.

However, the community we love best is within our inner circle and neighborhood. Whether it be looking in on our next door neighbor when she is in need or when her out of town kids are wondering about her, or hosting game night with our friends on Tuesday nights. It is community that binds us together.

Association is important. Make and keep good friends. No matter how community is defined.

Game night Tuesday at Tina’s place. We are hosting next Tuesday!
Beth running lights for a show in the tech booth at the theater!

Daily Prompt – Job For One Day? Easy : NFL 3rd String QB!

R Dub & Beth doing the Lambeau Leap prior to a game in Green Bay

What’s a job you would like to do for just one day?

This is an easy one. What job would be ideal for one day. NFL 3rd string QB.

Why? Number one, I get to see an NFL game from field level. Number two, a great one day payday with little risk of harm. 3rd string QBs average between $1 and $1.5 million dollars per season. The season with preseason games is 20. That’s $50,000/game.

Low risk? Outside of pregame stretching there is little chance of being on the field. 2nd string is a potential, but 3rd string is very rare to see playing time.

Daily Prompt – Favorite Brands & Why? None Thanks! Options Please?

Daily writing prompt
What are your favorite brands and why?
R Dub has never been too loyal to brands. Individual products within a brand perhaps, but not the brand.

Brand loyalty. I try not to have a favorite brand or an avoided brand. I’m more fond of asking what are my options regardless of brand and make decisions based upon situational needs.

This topic has been in the news and a hot topic on social media lately. For the first time that I can recall, brand loyalty has devolved into an effective brand ban. Will the ban last? Who knows, but wow what a fall of branding for our friends in St. Louis.

Product bans rarely work. So this one surprises me. Are we banning the brand? We didn’t buy it prior and Beth considers all domestic brews to be poison to our body, so it does not effect us in any way.

Have I ever banned a brand. No, but I have had personal bans against individual businesses based upon customer service issues. For example, I had a very bad experience at the McD’s in Waupun, WI. This ban (really a grudge on my part) has been in play for over 10 years. Did it hurt them? Hardly, they continue to have long lines in the drive through and I’m sure are doing quite well without R Dub’s money.

What happened? Back in my B2B sales days on my way toward the Fox River Valley to work I was hungry and in a hurry. The drive through was backed up so I went inside where there were fewer customers at the counter. I placed my order, a value breakfast meal with a large soda. Normally the soda cup is handed over immediately after taking the money, but this time no cup was handed over, and they put my order in and turned away. So in an effort to save time while waiting for my order…I reached over the counter, grabbed a large cup and headed for the soda station. At that point the manager on duty yelled at me and threatened to call the ‘cops’ on me.

I showed her my receipt with the large soda paid for yet she continued to berate me for ‘stealing’ a cup. I told her to go ahead and make the call while filling the cup. She continued to yell at me while I stood and waited for my sack of breakfast burritos and hash browns to be handed to me.

Later that night I got online to make a formal complaint to the McD HQ, and soon received a call from the owner. He asked how they could make it up to me. I suggested firing the manager or make sure she was never customer facing again. Later I received a call from a friend’s wife who worked for that franchise. She told me the manager in question was the owner’s kid and she treats most customers with disdain.

That’s when I started my personal ban at this store and all of the stores that they own. Did I ban all McD’s? Again, Beth considers McDs food to be poison for our bodies so we do not go to any very often, but I do still go to other McD’s around this great country. Let’s face it their Coke blend and fries are pretty darned tasty, and I still like the breakfast burrito.

Brand loyalty has always taken a back seat to options and frugality. At one time, when it came to cars I tended to lean toward Ford because economical number crunching lead me to that brand. More car for the buck. My last car? Mazda for the same reason.

To repeat and to put a bow on this topic. I try not to have a favorite brand or an avoided brand. I’m more fond of asking what are my options regardless of brand and make decisions based upon situational needs.

Daily Prompt – Who Do You Admire? Seek Advice From?

Easy answer, she’s who I admire most often and my best source of advice.

List the people you admire and look to for advice…

According to Gallup, the ten most admired people of the last decade are Mother Theresa, MLK Jr., JFK, Einstein, Helen Keller, FDR, Billy Graham, Pope John Paul II, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.

I’ve no issues with any of them. However, I would’ve put Nelson Mandela in and Eleanor out. But that’s me.

Advice? Depends upon what kind of advice I need. Mostly I admire and seek advice from Beth. Hands down.