Saturday, October 23, 2010
Matthew Paul Skinner is enjoying a winning cup of Premium Colombian Roasted Piggly Wiggly coffee. The Pig’s Premium roasted blend is his coffee of choice to calm him after a day of dealing with teenagers at the Comprehensive School in Cloverdale.
Mr. Skinner teaches physics and astronomy, subjects he is passionate about. That passion, paired with highly entertaining lessons, motivates his students to dream big and work hard to achieve those dreams.
One of Mr. Skinner’s dreams is to become the Confederacy’s first astronaut. Being a realist, Mr. Skinner understands that The Confederacy will never be a player in the exploration of space. The country is too small and struggles to find a voice in a world dominated by the big boys like the United States, Russia and China. But that doesn’t stop him from dreaming.
Last year Mr. Skinner read about a paying passenger taken to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz rocket. Suddenly it became clear to him, sending a paying passenger with the Russians was the only way the Confederacy would ever have an astronaut. And who better to represent the Confederacy than Cloverdale’s very own Mr. Skinner, an award winning teacher.
Of course, such an endeavour required a couple million dollars. Mr. Skinner needed sponsors. He needed help from Cloverdale's local businesses. Over time an idea began to take shape.
Mr. Skinner built his own mock space capsule in his garage, complete with small galley equiped with a coffee maker, refrigerator and microwave oven. Images of Earth from orbit play on a small 17 inch TV framed by a circular porthole. He snapped several pictures of himself in the capsule enjoying the finest products produced by Cloverdale businesses. With his photographs in hand, he made the rounds to local businesses to ask them for their sponsorship.
To date the photograph above garnered the largest donation from Piggly Wiggly. A large poster sized copy greets customers near the automatic doors and rows of shopping carts. A banner hangs above the poster encouraging shoppers to try the Pig’s own blend of premium coffee. The evening manager says the ad has increased coffee sales. With that encouraging news, Mr. Skinner plans on taking more pictures of himself in his capsule holding several other Piggly Wiggly brand name items. The next one to come out will feature the Pig’s Peanut Butter, the perfect food for space.
Mr. Skinner’s second largest donation came from Moss' Wonderland Bakery on the High Street. He photographed himself sitting in his capsule in full astronaut gear enjoying a frosted Bismark. Sales of Bismarks are up 22%. Mr. Moss is considering another poster featuring his delicious Apple Fritters.
Mr. Skinner raised $400.00 with both donations, meaning he is well on his way to the $2,000,000.00 or so dollars needed to buy his ticket into space.
Are you interested in having your product promoted by Mr. Skinner? Call him directly at Clover 4- 3245 to set up a consultation
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Trixie Dunn will celebrate her tenth year with Cloverdale’s Meals on Wheels program. She started in 2000 on her 81st birthday as a meal delivery volunteer. After two weeks on the job Trixie was called into the program director’s office and asked about a series of complaints the Agency received about late cold lunches. The ten minute investigation uncovered the following two facts.
Trixie is the village’s most cautious driver who rarely drives faster than ten miles below the posted speed limit. Her age and poor vision contribute to her caution. Another reason is her second volunteer job. Trixie is the village’s Beautification Award Chairwoman. Her job is to identify Cloverdale’s best kept gardens and present them to the village council for recognition. Trixie drives slowly so she has time to view the gardens as she passes. Good news for the home owner, bad news for the pensioner waiting for his meal or anyone unlucky enough to be driving behind her.
Trixie loves to talk. She has the gift of gab. She like to point out that a Trixie meal on wheels includes a meal, tea and talk. This perfect combination works well for her first two deliveries, but not for the remaining five - the last of whom gets his cold lunch just before suppertime.
The director realized that Trixie was one of those people that operate in permanent slow motion. That was a strike against her. In her favor was the fact that she was his most reliable driver. Trixie was always present with her 2001 Buick to collect her meals no matter what the weather or misfortune.
The director thought for a moment. He wanted to devise a way to keep Trixie without making the elderly wait on their lunches. Then an idea sprang to mind. “Capitalize on your organization’s strengths”, he remembered hearing from one of his management seminars. It was then he thought of a new program to offer the village’s elderly - Trixie's Tea and Talk.
When you out and about on any afternoon (or early evening) look for Trixie’s silver Buick with a magnetic sign on the driver’s door reading “Trixie's Tea and Talk. A Service from Meal on Wheels”. Wave her down and let her know you appreciate what she does for the elderly. Recognition isn’t anything she seeks but receiving it is not unwelcomed.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Jeremy was once a petty shoplifter and a well known lover of distilled spirits. This was his life until he was arrested for stealing a package of gum, smokes and a box of Red Vines at the local PiggyMart. After spending the night in jail, he was sent to live with his grandmother on her farm outside Tamworth on Tide. His life changed during that stay. Instead of living a self center life, Jeremy was exposed to his grandmother's lifestyle of healthy eating, long walks, bingo, knitting and Christian Television.
On August 5th his grandmother turned on the kitchen TV while the two of them enjoyed her foot stompingly good fried chicken. Cloverdale Weekend Television was airing a live broadcast of Clovershire's yearly Evangelical Tent Revival. Pastor Peter was on. Jeremy watched and listened. At the first alter call (those not actually at the service were asked to put their hands on the television or radio) Jeremy felt a stirring in his bosom. At the second alter call Jeremy jumped from the table shouting, “Praise Jesus” and bounded to the television. Grandmother Higgenson nearly choked of shock at his sudden outburst. Jeremy placed his hands on the screen, closed his eyes and waited to receive his cleansing.
That night, Jeremy Higgenson discovered the error of his ways and wept openly for several minutes while his grandmother praised Jesus for the miracle. She promptly mailed a check for several hundred dollars to the Pastor Peter Ministry at the One Way Baptist Church in Dibley in the Downs.
“It seemed like angels were carrying me to the television,” Jeremy reported of the incident later to his workmates at the Red Owl. “I was a sinner who found the Lord!”
And so it was. Jeremy found his faith.