Friday, January 17, 2020

2019 in Photos..Part #2 March and April

The winter of 2018-19 was long and cold...not much Snow as in the past few years, but it was bitter and long.  We had very little fall type weather in 2018 and this made it all the more miserable waiting on spring to "Spring":  I did get out on occasion to the lake for some Sunrise and Sunset photos shoots...but frankly, me and winter just no longer get along that well....not like the great days in the 70s and 80s, when I was always out, Skiing, Jeeping along the back roads, or whatever...I never minded winter, sure I always was glad it was over, but it seldom slowed me down...these days?  Not so much...I notice myself in hibernation mode from November until April, at least as far as outdoor activities.

March was the first in many years that I didn't do a single baseball umpire gig...but I did a couple of club games in April...but even with those, I only did about a dozen games in total the entire spring and summer...this year it will be even less.


I did however taste "Gumbo", while Patricia and I were down at the Columbus VA Medical Center for my annual check~up and eye exams...spent about 4 hours there  doing both the physical and eye thingy, and in the cafeteria I decided to try some Gumbo...what the Hell?  It wasn't bad so I figured when I got
home, I might as well try to make some...it turned out "OK"... and I may try it again...Some Day!


March?  Can't remember if it went out like a Lion or Lamb...but It was the month that this "Old Lion" turned 70...few men in the family have made it that far, for various health reasons...so I
saluted myself and moved forward to April.  April is of course Vietnam "Sky Cop" reunion time at the Hope Hotel, Air Force Museum, and Wright~Patterson AFB...@ Dayton.


I've been organizing this event since 2010, with lots of help, for some people still here and others long gone...it's an offshoot of the Vietnam Security Police Association, an outfit that was hijacked by a couple of sorry Jerk~Offs some years back...and I was one of those booted, for, if nothing else, my honesty...but good riddance...this Reunion is much more than that over bloated outfit ever was.

The highlight was meeting in person my old buddy from my Nha Trang 1969 days...John Claflin or as I call him "Johnny C" ...we had not seen each other since late 1969 as Air Force Cops in Vietnam...we would get to hook up twice in 2019, so 50 years later, first at Dayton, then later on at Ft Myers, Florida, at another All Service Vietnam Reunion:



Both still with Mustaches, albeit a few pounds and a few gray hairs later...

The reunion itself was a success as always, and we still have enough cash in the kitty to keep it free for all, except for the optional banquet and motel rooms, if they chose to stay there.  Everything else is cost free, beer, snacks, pop, wine, etc...all funded by a silent auction that gets bigger each year, and our 50/50 drawing...


With some 80 guys and wives, and a few grandkids, including our own...despite the shrinking numbers over all, our gig keeps growing...

Heavy Rains ended April and Grand Lake flooded for the first of 2 times in 2019...no, not man made Climate Change {which is pure Bullshit} but man made stupidity, State of Ohio fools that changed the way the lake rids itself of it's excess water...our 100 year floods now happen several times in a 5 year period.

April ended and the weather begin to warm....I was ready for some Michigan Mushroom Hunting...and getting out more often after 5 months of being inside..;that coming next in part #3.


back later

Photos~top  Another Grand Lake Sunrise in March...Homemade "Gumbo" PRH style...me and the Grandsons on my 70th Birthday.  Me and Johnny C at a Nha Trang Steakhouse in October 1969 and meeting face to face for the first time since, at the Air Force Museum in April 2019...BS session at the Reunion with a younger newer Air Force Security Force guy...and bottom, some more Grand Lake shots....a Frozen March at Grand Lake/Windy Point and one of the many American Bald Eagles that call the lake "Home"





Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Looking Back at 2019 in Photos




Didn't do any Dual Sport Motorcycle adventures this past year, maybe turning 70 is starting to catch up with me...in fact other than a 4 day mini vacation with the wife, and my 3 weeks in Florida, I didn't get out of state much...yea, the annual Mushroom Hunt, with no Schrooms to show for 3 days in central lower Michigan, with Rick and Clint happened, a quick trip to Wisconsin in early November, but that was it...

However I did get some photography work in...although once again, not many early morning wake up calls out on Grand Lake....maybe age or just tired of the same old thing, photography wise....kind of like the local motorcycle rides...Perhaps I will be more active in 2020...

Or maybe age is starting to be a factor, along with the Agent Orange related health issues...but Hell, I feel younger than my soon to be 71 years, so let's look back at 2019 over the next few days and wait and see about 2020...

Here we go....the first of six installments...

January and February 2019...

As usual, I spent New Year's Day "Bowling" with football games, beers, and too much food, at Rick Pearson's place in NE Indiana...Rick and I have been great friends since High School when we worked together at Marsh Supermarket in Celina, during my Senior and his Junior years...we also were "Best Man" in each other's weddings many years ago...Here Rick is with the "Spread" last New Year{2019}, and me{left} and Rick on my and Patricia's Wedding Day in December 1976 in Wisconsin.


The weather turned brutally cold in January which limited my trips to the lake for photo shooting, but I did get some shots in...however the biggest news as the first month of 2019 was winding down was that I finally pulled the trigger on getting a new Jeep, well "new" but new enough...a 2009 Wrangler "X",,,nothing fancy but good A/C, good tires, a great Radio, and 6 speed overdrive manual tranny....picked in up a day before the coldest day of the year down some 60 south in Eaton, Ohio.

The weather moderated somewhat in February and gave me a chance to get out to Grand Lake in the Jeep...the Wrangler, with less than 65 thousand miles on it, gave me no problems until October when I headed it to South Florida....then I discovered it had some costly issues.






 Even with the purchase of the Wrangler, I kept the Nitro to use for work and hauling snowblowers and mowers around for the remainder of the winter and coming warm weather...the 2008 Nitro now has over 164,000 on it, but the only issues are the shot Air Conditioner and the Radio...but with XM on my phone, I can plug that in and problem solved...since I took it over from Patricia it, despite some repairs and one wreck on an icy New Year's Day a few years back, has been a good, solid, vehicle and plan on driving it until it dies or becomes to expensive to keep.  The TW sat alone with the cats in the garage for the duration...2019 would not see much riding, maybe 2020 will see me out more, but turning 71 in March...Who Knows?

Also in February I headed down to the Hope Hotel at Wright~Patt AFB to finalize our Vietnam "Sky Cop" Reunion plans...it continues to get bigger every year....not sure how long I want or will continue to run that show, with great help from Mike, Mike, Wayne, and Jack....but we will see, 2020 is set for sure.   Up Next:  March and April as the weather begins to thaw out and I begin to get out...




Monday, December 2, 2019

Florida October 2019 in Photos...

Hard to believe that it's been 5 weeks since I returned from South Florida via the Jeep...the older you get, time for certain, does fly by at Warp Speed...today's post will be some of my personal favorite photos from the various locations I stopped at on my three week trip....Stops {mostly in Naples where I was house sitting while my youngest sister and her husband were back in his homeland, Denmark} included Venice, my old home town, Homosassa, DeLand, the Everglades, and Islmorada, in the middle Keys, along with Naples...here we go...

Remember to Click on Photo for larger individual views of each....































I'll probably have one more post in 2019 and that will be looking back, in Photos and a few {very few] words, taking a look back at the entire year..

Back Later>>>>

Monday, November 25, 2019

Part #10...the Florida Trip, Final Chapter, Heading Home

Heading Home, with one more glitch...

Got up before sunrise on Sunday {October 27th} and took the Jeep for a ride to Tom's workplace, the Stables between Astor and DeLand, Florida...River and Horse Country for sure. Tom introduced me to several of his co~workers, some of the horses he takes care of, and then we said our good~byes, and I head back down the muddy sand road and back towards Highway 40...I had the phone GPS plugged into getting back to I-75 and off I went towards Ocala.


I had plans to stop and spend the night somewhere in Tennessee or southern Kentucky, but as it turned out, I was making great time...so I stopped south of Atlanta to get some Currant Jelly for Patricia and her Christmas Cookies....she used to make thousands a year, but has cut that back to several hundred, still a lot of baking...lucky for us she gives them as presents to family and friends, and I get to look at them and enjoy a couple, but not many, thus allowing me to keep my weight down over the Holidays....I stopped for gas and the jelly at an old place called the Magnolia Plantation...it's been
there for years, so long that we used to stop there on our way back to Florida from our Ohio Vacations, back in the late 50s and early 60s...Brother Mike and I would buy several boxes of Fireworks, illegal in Florida at the time, and take them back to Venice, and raise some Hell in the neighborhood.  The old building, located just off I-75 looks much the same as it did 60 years ago...located near Tifton, Georgia, back in the day it was located on US 41, which still runs next to the Interstate in that location.

The traffic on this Sunday, at least heading north, wasn't that bad around Atlanta this time...so before I knew it I was in Tennessee and got to Kentucky before dark...so it hit me...I might as well head for home.  If the traffic stayed steady, I would make it home before Midnight...well, the traffic was OK, except for some major construction delays in southern Kentucky before Lexington...however, the Jeep had one more "surprise" in store for me as I got closer to Ohio.

After getting past the Capitol City, I stopped for fuel and coffee between Lexington and Cincinnati...and that's when I heard the noise...a major clicking sound, in what I though was the right front wheel.  Well Hell, it was Sunday Night, I could drive on and see what shook out, after all I have had AAA Plus for well over 30 years, and the towing is free, if I got to within 100 miles of Celina {I was about 175 out at this time} I could just have it towed home, so on I went.

As I crossed the bridge into Cincinnati over the Ohio River...BANG! A pop and the ABS and several other Yellow Warning Lights went on...they weren't Red, so I figured I could maybe make it to the Rest Area some 15 miles north.  I did, called youngest son Hal, who lives about 15 miles north of the rest stop, he told me he would make up a bed and I could stay there if I made it....I did.

Actually the probably, although expensive{another $335}, was not disabling, so I spent the night, went fishing with the Grandson's, who didn't have school {they switch between home schooling and a Christian School on rotating days}...we caught several, as Hal joined us at lunch.  I had read up on the ABS problem and realized that it was not disabling, so after lunch I headed home, arriving early afternoon...the Jeep would eventually get back in the shop, not once, but twice, for other issues...the most costly part of the trip was the Jeep, at around $1500 in repairs{one with the 4WD was not trip related however}...I still have not got my "refund" from the coverage I had placed on the Wrangler when I purchased it...but that will come, hopefully, before Christmas.

Anyway, that is it...my 3 week adventure was done, just in time for Cold Weather to arrive here in Western Ohio....

If I don't post again before the New Year, Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020 to all...

back later>>>>actually I will post one more batch of  photos, some of my favorites, from the trip, in the next couple of days....today, you have the Jeep, before it's issues, the Old and Somewhat Famous, Magnolia Plantation, Patricia's Cookies, and Kasyn the oldest grandson...not from our fishing that day, but earlier in the summer on Grand Lake...

Back with a full house of trip photos....later!