Tag Archives: Website copy

Tuesday Weisblog: Lottery winner pays the ultimate penalty

I don’t know exactly what was going through Abraham Shakespeare’s mind when he won the Florida Lottery in 2006 to the tune of $30 million. I feel pretty confident, however, that he didn’t think he would be deceased, especially since he was only 40 years of age at the time.

Yet here we are three years later, and Shakespeare’s remains were recently discovered underneath a concrete slab in a Polk County, Florida home. I have to hand it to the local Sheriff … he says he views it as a homicide. He’s quick on his feet. He’s already ruled out the possibility that Mr. Shakespeare killed himself, then dug a hole, buried himself – and while buried, poured a concrete slab over the top of himself. He’s also ruled out that he died of natural causes, which would have then been followed by the above unlikely chain of events.

You just can’t put anything past the Polk County Sheriff’s department.

At any rate, they actually do have someone they call “a person of interest.” It seems that a Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore decided to become Mr. Shakespeare’s friend shortly after he hit the jackpot. It is also worth noting that she has been accused of scamming Shakespeare out of some of his money. (She has acknowledged “moving” $2 million of his money into her own account, among other things.)

Oh yeah, almost forgot one other “little” detail … they found Shakespeare’s remains underneath the house she and her boyfriend own. A person of interest? You betcha, as they say in Canada.

For her part, Moore recently told the Tampa Tribune that she “expects to be arrested,” but that she would never kill anyone. “I would never take another human’s life. No amount of money is worth that.”

Guess the courts will decide that, eventually … assuming they decide Dee Dee is “interesting” enough to prosecute.

Abraham Shakespeare was a humble truck driver’s assistant who received the miracle of sudden riches and instant celebrity. He didn’t know what to do with it all. In fact, he allegedly told many people during his last days he wished he’d never won … and now he’s dead.

How sad is that?

Advertisements

Thursday Weisblog: A female king working as a secretary? It’s true!

Peggielene Bartels lives in the Silver Spring, Maryland area and drives a 1992 Honda. She works as a secretary in an embassy.

Oh yeah … and she’s also a king. Really.

It turns out that her 90-year-old uncle was the king of Otuam, Ghana. When he passed away recently, the townspeople performed an ancient ritual to decide upon the new king, and it turned out to be Peggielene.

About 15 months ago, she received a phone call at 4 am from Ghana. “Hello, Nana,” the caller said. (The term “Nana” means something similar to VIP here in America.)

Bartels, who has no children of her own, thought it was a joke. “Oh, please don’t play games with me,” Bartels replied, who promptly reminded the caller that because she was a woman, she’d make a better queen. The caller replied that the kingship was the post that was open.

Once she finally decided it was her destiny, she made the trek to Otuam to be installed in her new position. She stayed as long as she could, but returned after 10 days because she still had her secretarial job to do.

For now, she plans to be a “commuting ruler” who spends all her vacation time in Otuam. She sees her retirement coming in about five years – and after that she anticipates moving there full-time and taking over her position.

This is amazing on so many levels. How she was chosen … how she is a female king … how the townspeople are fine with her being there only a few weeks out of the year … and so on. But hey, if it works, more power to her!

NOTE: Thanks to my friend Trace who told me about this interesting story.

Monday Weisblog: It’s funny and pathetic at the same time

Jay Leno

Jay Leno

I have always been a bit of a Jay Leno fan. His cartoonish-looking chin and his dry wit amuse me.

His new show starts tomorrow night, and I will certainly tune in – alternating between that show and Monday Night Football.

If you’ve seen any of the commercials for it, Leno does a lot of “man on the street” kind of interviewing, asking random people basic trivia to see what kind of knowledge they possess about current events. Of course, the most outrageous answers make it to the show.

One particular young lady was asked, “Who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?” She was unable to give the correct answer. Leno’s follow-up question was, “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” She quickly gave the correct answer, “Sponge Bob Square Pants.”

Another person told Leno they didn’t know WHERE the Gettysburg Address was located (as if it was a physical street address).

Still another person was shown a photo of an astronaut and told his last name was “Armstrong.” Leno then asked her what his first name was. “Louie,” she responded.

I’ll watch and laugh at such ignorance, but deep down inside it’s a little frightening. It’s becoming the norm in this country. It’s no wonder the rest of the world is running circles around us academically.

Friday Weisblog: Remembering 9/11

Much like everyone else, I still remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I was at work, at a company called Progressive Communications International in Lake Mary, FL.

One of my coworkers, Gilbert Cauthorn, regularly listened to news/talk radio on headphones. He gave us the report that the first plane had struck, and it didn’t even seem real, especially since we’d not seen any pictures at that point. It must have either been some guy with a death wish or a plane that simply went down, I remember thinking to myself. After all, we were the United States, and certainly no one would do anything that brash and calculated on our own soil.

Then the second plane hit, and by that point it was obvious to everyone what was happening. I was later to find out that a former coworker of mine at a local radio station had recently moved to New York to work in the Wall Street Journal building, which I understand is very close by. His account of that day is harrowing.

About two weeks after 9/11 I flew out to the area to see some of my clients in the greater New York area. This particular auto dealer, Paul Miller, dealt in high-end cars such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche and more. Out of the goodness of his heart, he was taking back just-purchased vehicles (with no penalty) for people whose spouses had perished or been injured during the tragedy, who could no longer afford these big-ticket purchases. Very impressive, indeed.

That night, I decided to attend the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey game. It was their home opener – and I felt very privileged to be there. While the entire country mourned, it was nothing like the feelings experienced by those who lived right there in the immediate area.

Before the game began, there was a moment of silence honoring those whose lives were lost. Fifteen thousand people, and you could hear a pin drop. It was amazingly quiet, other than the tears being shed by those who felt a sense of loss. I had everything I could do to keep my own composure.

They also brought out the spouses of heroic firefighters who did not survive the ordeal. Again, the place was thick with emotion.

During the first intermission, they played a tape-delay of President Bush’s message to the country. A completely impromptu “USA … USA … USA!” chant broke out, and a mixture of pride and sadness filled my heart.

I guess what I am trying to say is, it was an unforgettable honor to be there. Eight years later, I still remember all of it vividly. Tomorrow, I’ll say a prayer for those who lost family members, friends and loved ones. I’ll give my well wishes to people like Paul Miller, who sacrificed a great deal for those who needed it – when they needed it most. And I’ll look back upon my trip to New York with a bittersweet feeling that will never leave me as long as I’m alive.

Thursday Weisblog: Terrelle Pryor drops the ball, figuratively.

Do you know what “eye black” is? It is a black substance you place underneath your eyes in order to help shade your eyes from the sun. You see it used quite often by football and baseball players. One such athlete wearing eye black this past weekend was Terrelle Pryor.

In case you’re not familiar with him, Pryor is the star quarterback for Ohio State University … or as they call it, THE Ohio State University.

It seems that Mr. Pryor had a special message inscribed into his eye black this past weekend that got some negative reaction … including from me. In large letters, it said “VICK,” in support of Michael Vick, who I’ve blogged about ad nauseum (perhaps the only more popular topic of mine is the “Octomom”).

Pryor did himself no favors when he was interviewed after last week’s game. You’d have thought he would be ready with a statement a little better than this: “Not everybody is the perfect person in the world. Everyone does … kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I just feel that people need to give him a chance.”

Sorry, Terrelle, but I have never killed anyone – and if I did, I would not necessarily deserve a second chance.

Terrelle Pryor deserves to be able to publicly support whoever and whatever he wants, and he’s certainly entitled to his own opinion. That said, THE Ohio State University PR staff should’ve tapped him on the shoulder and helped him be ready to defend his position a little better.

Friday Weisblog: Nothing is sacred anymore

You know what’s wrong with this country? Nothing is sacred anymore. We’re too worried about being so politically correct that we’ve swung in the entire opposite direction.

What I discovered today is a perfect example. (Note: This is actually being written on Thursday evening.)

My stepson JR tells my wife and I that he is studying Native American history in school. Fine so far, right? Well, they began to study some of their legends of how the world began. I’m a little uncomfortable with that, but OK.

But what I found out next enrages me. The teacher wants the students in the class to MAKE UP THEIR OWN STORY about how the world began.

Hold on a second … aren’t we supposed to be politically correct these days, going out of our way NOT to offend anyone? I guess that’s only a one-way street.

For those of us who believe in God and the Biblical account of creation, this is highly insulting. So now we are stuck in a bit of a predicament. If we instruct JR to not do the assignment because none of us are comfortable with it, we risk JR getting a bad grade. If we instruct him to do it, he is then forced to do something he isn’t comfortable doing.

I get that it’s a “creative writing” project, but there are thousands of other topics that are just as interesting and much less controversial.

Christian families should be upset over this. Even evolutionists should be outraged if they truly believe this theory. Making light of such a serious subject is not acceptable, and the teacher will hear my opinion … like it or not.

Monday Weisblog: A most unwelcome piece of advice

Saturday afternoon, our family was at Flagler College moving my daughter, Chawney, into her new college dorm room. I knew that at some point, I was going to feel some sadness knowing that my daughter, who I’d just adopted in March, was not going to be accompanying us on the ride home.

That time came at around 4 pm Saturday, when the parents and students were ushered to separate “orientation” classes. One of the first things out of the mouth of one Daniel P. Stewart, Dean of Student Services, was that the parents needed to learn to “let go.” In other words, they had to let their kids make their own decisions and take responsibility for themselves.

When he said those two words, “let go,” I felt as if someone had kicked me flush in the stomach. I suddenly realized that I’d spent all last week trying to imagine what must be going through the heads of Chawney and/or my wife (Christina). This mother/daughter combo is as closely knit as two people in those roles could be.

In this one split second, I discovered I’d never actually taken the time to stop and consider how saying goodbye to someone who’s been an integral part of my life for the last six-plus years would affect ME. I was so worried about everyone else I didn’t really ever stop to deal with my own thoughts and emotions.

But now here we were and there was no turning back. I was going to have to say my goodbyes within the next couple hours, and quite frankly, I knew it was going to be something I was not prepared to handle.

It was everything I could do to not stand up and shout, “BITE ME, Daniel P. Stewart!”

See, what Mr. Daniel P. Stewart doesn’t understand is that I will NEVER let go, at least not completely. Sure, Chawney now has the ability to make decisions on her own and lead her own life, but I am always going to be her dad. I will always be there for her and her brother – no matter how old they are, where they live or what they become.

During dinner, our last “official” gathering together, we were all unusually quiet – and if you know “the Weises,” you know we are normally among the most chatty, animated families on the block. We all knew the time was drawing near, and there was no conversation or humor-driven banter that could gloss over the emotions we all felt.

I had an entire laundry list of emotions going on: I was proud simply to be the father of such a magnificent kid; I was feeling grateful for having Chawney under my roof for the last six-plus years; I was feeling cheated because I only had her under my roof for six-plus years; I was thrilled for Chawney because I do feel this is a great opportunity for her; and I was feeling sad that life as I knew it was never going to be exactly the same. Maybe it was a little selfish, but that latter one was by far the strongest.

Prior to dinner, I’d promised myself that because I was a man – and men don’t get all emotional, I would be strong for my wife and Chawney. But who was I kidding? I didn’t even make it through dinner before starting to cry – and I don’t mean just a little. I literally sobbed for the rest of the time we were there and about a third of the way home. Just re-living the moment now makes the water works start all over again.

“Let go.” You’re joking, right?

As Chawney closes one chapter of her life, I intend to be a part of the new one – even if it means going from being a major player to a “best supporting role.”

Bite me, Daniel P. Stewart!