The Original Blog of the NISSAN Whistleblower 

??? Bredesen's Boy

Madisonville Receives CDBG Grant for Sewer Line Work

Last updated: 12:10 PM, 04/01/2009


Author: Michael Thomason
Source: The Monroe County Advocate

It might help with a new sewer plant in the future, but at
the moment, a CDBG grant will help alleviate the problems
of grease balls in the Madisonville sewer lines.

Gov. Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community
Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber approved a
$438,480 Community Development Block Grant to
improve the sewer system in Madisonville, and it couldn't
have come a moment too soon.

???  Did the Tennessee Taxpayer “fund” a bridge partner to the NISSAN Whistleblower

1.   Masterpoint Winners - ACBL District 10

Jun 21, 2010... Gulf Shores AL 1658 0.78 Sharyn BOVAT, Franklin TN 1659 0.78 Helen ... 1668 0.78 Michael THOMASON, Nashville TN 1669 0.78 Pat Scanlon, ... - Cached

2.   Results - American Contract Bridge League - Home Page

2/3, Michael THOMASON - Sharyn BOVAT; Vanderbilt Bridge Educ, 50.40% ... - Cached

Michael:  You “thought” you’d get info and I knew YOU were frustrated with me….  Sorry!!!!    Some of my “table” talk to you was a “bit” fabricated.

???  Why.

 Sir, YOU were not honest with me.  It’s OK!!!  Your bosses bosses boss Phil Bredesen was trying to “cover something up” and I believe YOU had no idea what was “really” going on.  Michael.  YOU did NOT know about the “solar” scam.  I’m confident of that, you’re innocent. 

Sir, I’m fighting for society and I had to “do it my way”

I learned from the people that do work for those linked to Karl Rove.   Let’s just say “I’m talented”  I can “get things done”.    Good Ole Boys “This skirt knows her shit.” So stop $#@&^%! With me,   Get It!!!!

YES!!! On I blogged that I “thought” Bredesen was a genius and “great” humanitarian.  That was to “suck Bredesens people in”….. Still they had me UNJUSTLY arrested.  Michael WHEN you looked into my eye’s last summer while I was “tearing up” from all the stress and you said “I’m sorry” I got it and appreciated it.    THANK YOU!!!

That said the “mind games” that were done to me by the state of Tennessee were HORRIBLE and their documented.  I told Mr. Tavares about the state trooper that followed me.   My “people” will get all the info.   Tennessee gets ready to be known NATIONALLY as the “Good Ole Boy” state.   This is going to 40 reporters.    “If” YOU were simply playing cards with me because you liked spending EVERY Monday night with me then call me NOW!!!   615-415-6675.  I have some questions for YOU!!!    Sir,  I want the “truth”.   Remember I have “web stats from WHITEFISH Montana.

One more thing….We miss you at the Vanderbilt Bridge Club.   Come back soon!!!!

Michael you’re a great writer.  

??? How about doing an “article” about ME.

You did “lie” to me but hey….forgiven…. It was YOUR job.  I get it!!!

Have a Great Day & Peace and Respect

Sharyn Bovat

The NISSAN Whistleblower




A Boomer’s Quest to Get Fit and Healthy

Note: A new season of “The Biggest Loser” has started, the Ys and fitness centers are teeming with activity, and the January flood of diet books is on shelves at Borders and Barnes & Noble. What more fitting time to spotlight one of our own TDLWD team member’s inspiring stories of how he got back into shape and has adopted changes that are now a permanent part of a healthier, happier lifestyle – all in just the past year. We’ve even included a bonus that is a key part of his routine for lifelong health: his wife’s recipe for Tomato and Avocado Salad. Here is Michael Thomason’s story:

About a year ago, during my annual physical, my doctor suggested that it was time for me to lose some weight. “According to your height and this chart from the AMA, you should weigh 157 pounds,” he said.

I looked at him, looked down at my body, and replied, “Dr. Booth, I don’t think I’ve ever weighed 157 pounds.  I think I was born weighing more than that.”

“I hope you apologized to your mother.”

“But your chart is wrong.  I’ve got big bones.”

“I’ve heard that before,” he muttered. “Okay, what do you think is your ideal weight?”

“Well, I think 170 is a good weight for me.”

He thought for a moment, pitched the chart aside, and said, “Okay, from now on 170 is your ideal weight. Get to work.”  I wonder if in the annals of medical history, a patient and his doctor had ever negotiated like that.

Over the past six or so years, I had added a pound or two here and there and as a result, I was heavier than I had ever been . . . too much good food and wine and too little exercise. My clothes didn’t fit; I didn’t have much energy, and my left knee, which had been surgically repaired years ago, ached a lot.  Being overweight is not a good thing, but being an overweight, 57-year-old man with a family history of heart problems is a bad thing. So, I took my doctor’s advice seriously and began a long-term weight-loss program.

I did nothing exotic.  I stopped eating second helpings and most desserts. I ate modest portions of lean meat, vegetables, and fruit. I bought a light-weight golf bag and began carrying my clubs when I played. As I lost a few pounds, the pain in my left knee lessened, which allowed me to start jogging again. 

Jogging has always been the best way for me to lose weight. I shed a few more pounds and soon I was able to jog longer distances. Then I began carrying hand weights as I jogged. Within six months, I had dropped 15 pounds and two pants sizes. Clothes in smaller sizes that had hung in my closet, untouched for several years, now fit comfortably.

Losing weight is about common sense and changing habits. Long-term, you lose weight by reducing your calories, burning more calories, or a combination of both. You must get in the habit of eating more healthfully. If you've been eating out of the vending machines at work or stopping at McDonald's everyday, that may be a difficult habit to break, but you change a habit in about a month.

With exercise, everyone is different. I like to golf and jog. My wife likes to walk. My brother-in-law likes to ride his bike and swim. My neighbor likes water aerobics at the YMCA. I don't think WHAT you do is important, but you need to do some type of exercise. And start slowly. A successful weight-loss program will take time, and you want to be a tortoise, not a hare.

I probably would have been content with my 15-pound weight loss if not for an unexpected e-mail from my cousin Karen. In the summer of 1971, she snapped my picture while my mother and I were visiting Red Boiling Springs, my mother’s hometown. I was a rising senior in college, and I didn't see that photograph for 36 years. In July 2007, prior to a family reunion, Karen e-mailed it to me.  And there I was, a slender kid with a lot of dark hair.

I forwarded copies to my brothers and my sister, and we all had a good laugh.  Then I remembered what I had weighed in college and realized that after my recent weight loss, I was only six pounds heavier than I had been in college. That started the wheels turning.

Was it possible for a man approaching his 58th birthday to weigh what he had weighed in college? I mulled it over for a few days and decided that's what I wanted to do – I wanted to weigh 165 pounds on my 58th birthday, which is what I had weighed as a college student. “I can do this,” I said to myself.  “I’ve got six months.  I can do this.” To paraphrase the Blues Brothers, “I had a mission!”

To accomplish it, however, I knew I would have to increase my jogging.  I enjoy food too much to cut back much more in the consumption category.  While pondering how much of an increase would be needed, a second goal materialized—on my 58th birthday, I also wanted to run 5.8 miles.  I could even visualize the tee-shirt I might wear— “5.8 on 58th.”

As the weeks passed, I kept running, slowly increasing my distance. Initially, I could only jog a mile. Within a few months, I had stretched it out to two miles. A few months later, I was running three miles and more, burning up the calories. I changed my diet, too. I had a bowl of cereal in the morning and a SlimFast for lunch. Yes, I have to “gag” them down. They don’t taste good, but they make the hunger go away. At night, I would eat a normal dinner with reasonable portions of lean meat, fruit, and vegetables.  Occasionally, I would eat some pasta or bread or even a dessert, but only in moderation.

I continued to lose the pounds, and the more weight I lost, the easier it was for me to run. And the more I ran, the less appetite I had. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “a vicious cycle”; well, whatever the opposite of that is, I was in it and I was feeling better and better.

On October 2, I had a routine doctor’s visit.  I had shed almost 20 pounds and my blood pressure was 130/70, the lowest in years.  My job can be stressful, and that was great news. My blood work was also good. After Dr. Booth congratulated me, I told him about my quest. “Great idea,” he said with a big smile. “I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all.”

So, I kept running and watching my diet and on the morning of October 13, I got on the bathroom scales and it read “165”.

I stood there very quietly and soaked up the moment.  Success – what a wonderful feeling! I was 57 years and nine months old and I weighed the same as my senior year in college. I had lost 21 pounds in 10 months, and it really hadn’t been that difficult. It just took some common sense and a little discipline. I celebrated by treating myself to a pair of “regular” cut Levi jeans at a local department store. With half of my goal attained, all I had to do was maintain my weight and continue jogging in preparation for the 5.8 mile run on my birthday. I had nothing special planned until my friend Jamie mentioned the “Bolt.”

The Boulevard Bolt is an annual five-mile run/walk on Belle Meade Boulevard to benefit the homeless. It’s held on Thanksgiving morning, so I had more than a month to get ready.

I began to lengthen my runs. The week before the race, I ran five miles several times, and as you might expect, more pounds came off. On the morning of the race, I weighed 160 pounds. I was in uncharted territory now.  I had lost 26 pounds in less than a year and felt great.  It was a cold, windy morning, and the most difficult part was standing around before the race, as I didn’t have much body fat anymore.  But there was excitement in the air, with almost 8,000 people running and walking, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I ran five miles in about 50 minutes, which put me about 20th in my age bracket.  I was never uncomfortable or out of breath.  After I finished, I walked around for a minute or so to recover and felt as if I had accomplished something special.  My friend Jamie and his son Gage had also run in the Bolt and we were giving one another “high fives” at the finish line.

I caught the flu several days later, missed almost a week of work, and unintentionally lost even more weight. When I returned to the office on December 3, I was down to 157 pounds. I don’t remember the last time I weighed that – probably in high school. The situation reminded me of a David Letterman gag from years ago. Letterman said that he saw an advertisement for a weight-loss program that did not require exercise or dieting. “Then it must involve sickness, right?” he quipped.

Throughout December, I continued to exercise and eat healthfully.  On Monday, January 7, 2008, I woke up (always nice to do that) and I was officially 58 years old. Rolling out of bed, the first order of business was to weigh myself. 

I stepped onto the scales, slid the weights down the bars, and was very pleased when the scale indicated that I weighed 158 pounds. I was seven pounds lighter than that college boy I had once been. (Back then, I ate chili dogs and milkshakes and potato chips and candy bars and never gained an ounce.  Youth is wasted on the young.)

Then I drove into downtown Nashville to my doctor's office. My annual physical was scheduled for the next day, January 8, and I wanted Mitzi, my doctor's RN, to draw some blood so that he would have the results for the exam. As a favor, I asked her to take my blood pressure as a precautionary measure. It's 127 over 74. A year ago at my heaviest, it was usually about 140 over 90 and that's when I was calm. Mitzi pronounced me fit enough to run and sent me on my way with a laugh.

I returned home and changed into my running shorts and the special shirt my wife had made for me with “5.8 on 58th” on the front. To see if I'd need an additional layer, I logged on to and could only smile when I saw that the temperature was 58 degrees.

After some stretching and a wave from the in-laws and a few neighbors (my wife had to work, so she wasn’t there), I headed out to the route that I had chosen. The temperature was pleasant with a mild breeze and the sky was partially cloudy – ideal conditions.

The run itself was uneventful and actually anticlimactic.  It took a while, of course, about 62 minutes to be exact, which is slightly more than a 10-minute-per-mile pace. I thought about pushing it and covering the distance in 58 minutes just for fun, but I had not run that far in a long time and decided a more leisurely pace was prudent. The object was to finish, not to set any personal records.

I didn't have any problems with my pulse rate or breathing and after I finished, I recovered quickly.  My knee and hip joints were talking to me toward the end, especially during the last mile, but there was never any pain.  I came back to the house, ate something and downed three ibuprofen tablets, knowing that if I didn't, I would be sore the next day.  Then it was off to the spa for a massage (I love those Christmas gift certificates). So, on my 58th birthday, I weighed 158 pounds, having lost 28 pounds, and had run 5.8 miles when the temperature was 58 degrees [See graphic at right from].

And that’s the story of how this boomer accomplished his goal to get fit and healthy.  Have I created some unachievable precedent? For example, will I have to run 8.8 miles on my 88th birthday?  I don't know, but I sure hope I have that opportunity.

The poem “Desiderata,” a favorite of college kids of my generation, contains a wonderful line about growing older.

“Take kindly the counsel of the years,
Gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”

There are various ways to interpret that line, but one of them is to "age gracefully."  After some reflection, I believe that being fit is an important part of aging gracefully. There's nothing any of us can do about growing older, but we can affect how we age and doing so gracefully is important, at least in my estimation.

I would like to conclude by commending my wife Lezette. Throughout the quest, she has been very supportive. A breast cancer survivor, she has been exercising too and has lost weight in the double-digit range. And while she has always been a superb cook, over the last year she has changed her many delicious recipes to reduce calories. She has also created several recipes, and one has become a favorite with us. I've included it for everyone to enjoy. Click here for Lezette’s Tomato and Avocado Recipe.

And finally, while discussing this article last month, Martha Deacon asked me, “Now, exactly when were you born?”

“At 11:32 p.m. on January 7, 1950.”

“Too bad. It's unlucky you weren’t born about 30 minutes later – then you and the King would have had the same birthday.”

“Well, I don’t feel that unlucky,” I replied. “I'm in better shape than he is.”

Forgive me, Elvis fans. That was sacrilegious.




Madisonville Receives CDBG Grant for Sewer Line Work

Last updated: 12:10 PM, 04/01/2009


Author: Michael Thomason
Source: The Monroe County Advocate

It might help with a new sewer plant in the future, but at
the moment, a CDBG grant will help alleviate the problems
of grease balls in the Madisonville sewer lines.

Gov. Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community
Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber approved a
$438,480 Community Development Block Grant to
improve the sewer system in Madisonville, and it couldn't
have come a moment too soon.

"This will help us complete the upgrade of the sewer lines
from Main Street to the Highway 411 bypass," Mayor
Alfred McClendon said. "We've been working toward this
for a while, but it became vital when we started having
manholes overflow."

An investigation into the overflow problem showed there
were indeed grease balls clogging up the lines.

"They've been traced back to where the 411 lines come
into town," McClendon said. "We're pretty sure it's the
restaurants dumping the grease, but we're having the
codes enforcement officer send all the businesses in that
section a letter asking them to please not dump grease
into the sewer lines."

Funding for the $522,000 project will include $83,520 in
local funds. The funds were provided by the U.S.

Department of Housing and Urban Development and were
allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee
General Assembly. The grants were approved by the ECD
Loan and Grant Committee following an application by
each county.

"I'm very pleased the state of Tennessee can offer this
financial assistance to Madisonville for improvements to
their sewer system," Bredesen said in a press release. "The
types of infrastructure repair and modernization projects
funded by Community Development Block Grants benefit
and boost development at the local level and lead to the
continued improvement of our state's economic health."

"We hope to get the new lines in as soon as possible,"
McClendon said. "The sewer department has had to fix
this problem several times this week alone."

The grant was approved following an application by the
City of Madisonville and has the support of Mayor
McClendon and Sen. Randy McNally and Rep. Jimmy
Matlock. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker and
Congressman John Duncan aided in securing the funds.

"To see the fruits of a concerted effort toward
development in Madisonville is truly encouraging," Sen.
McNally said. "This CDBG grant represents a significant
step of progress in the economic potential of our

Michael Thomason can be reached at 442-4575 or by e-
mail at

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