Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I've always been a pretty fair country dart thrower, about a dozen years ago I got involved in a church dartball league...The Wabash Valley Dartball League was formed in 1938 by a group of Lutheran Churches in the western Ohio east Indiana 70 seasons later the league still exists, but not in the same form. We are now down to 8 teams from different churches, some Lutheran, some not, in Mercer and Van Wert Counties. One of our better throwers, Martin Fancke, has been in the league since it began in 1938....still hitting above .300 in his mid 80s...amazing.

Like most things, unless it's a video game and can be done on the computer, most younger guys want no part of sons are exceptions, Sam has been on the team longer than me, and Hal plays when he's home from school, usually during the Christmas vacation season.

St John's Lutheran has always been one of the better teams in the league, usually finishing behind either Mount Carmel Church of God or Schumm Lutheran....we have won a few tournaments and south division championships the past dozen years. As for me, being a long time bar room dart player, the change from small feathered overhand darts to large feathered underhand darts came fairly easy, it took about a year. Since that time, I have managed to win a couple of RBI championships, finished near the top in average, and been on the league All-Star team for 11 years in a row.

Dartball consists of a baseball field type set-up on a cork board...the boards run about $100 and have to been changed every couple of seasons(which run from October to March), a dozen darts costs the church $30 or so. You must stand on a foul line at least 20 feet from the board, and toss the darts underhand towards the target(field)....the easiest way to score is usually rotating singles and triples to get your "runs" the board is an out, the rest of the game is pretty much self explanatory....each Monday you play 3 nine inning games against one opponent, the season is split into 2 halves, with the division winners facing off at the end of the regular season.

We play on Monday nights, each team has a home field, and you play each team twice, once at your church and one on the road.....All Star games and end of season tournament as well as the season ending banquet come in March.

I've managed to luck out and bat at least .400 for 11 straight season...with my back issues, I may have a time trying to make it an even dozen....our first regular season games are this coming Monday at Bethany Church in Celina...

{dartboard, darts, and a few of my trophies from the past decade}

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What ever happened to Halloween?

I remember growing up in Venice, Florida, where our Halloweens consisted grabbing a bag for candy, grabbing some wax for writing, and one time on Halloween 1960 a boatload of "Nixon for President" bumper stickers.

I was 11 in 1960, the family being Republicans we were naturally for "Tricky Dick"...most of my friend's families were as it began, with the election just a week or so away, we as individuals headed up to GOP Headquarters and collected as many Nixon Bumper Stickers as the workers would give us. The other crowd, the low life's(as we called them) from the other side of town, collected as many Kennedy bumper stickers as they could as well.....and the battle began.

Venice at that time was a town of maybe 3000 folks and just starting to you could walk the entire town in one Halloween night, not stopping at each place for "treats" mind you, but we did get our share....the main emphasis of the night however was bumper sticking as many cars and business windows as we could along the length of Venice Avenue and Highway 41(The Tamiami Trail).

From the Barber Shop on East Venice Avenue, all the way to the Myaka Lanes on 41....we did our dirty work....if we saw a car of store with a Kennedy sticker we would slap a Nixon one over it....problem was, the Kennedy guys did the same thing....some car windows(front, side, back, didn't matter)...had three or 4 layers of sticky glue slapped on them...that had to be a pain in the ass to get off, but such was fun 1960 style for a group of 11 year old 6th graders.

The fun ended in short time however, not because of the cops, we never saw them, but because when we reached the bowling alley...a group of "thugs"(13 and 14 year olds as I recall) had stepped up the action, while we were plastering bumper stickers on cars....they were taking bricks and large rocks and putting them through the windshields....that ended the "fun" for us....we hauled ass and headed back to the Edgewood Subdivision and back to hitting our neighbor's houses up for "treats".

Now I will admit that was taking the "Tricks" a step too far....what has happened to Halloween the past 15 years is just plain sad....instead of younger kids being walked by their parents, and older kids dressing up as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, or "Freddy", and having a little fun on the evening of October 30th at night when Halloween was meant to be celebrated, we now(and have for the past dozen years) been reduced to having "Beggars Night" on the Sunday before Halloween, from 2 to 6...a parade first, then a 2 hour hand out run.....gotta be off the street by dark though, wouldn't want anything bad to happen, can't have those 10 year olds soaping up windows.

This is in a small city mind you, 11,000 folks with little major crime......and the smaller towns in the county(populations from 1 to 3 thousand) have done the same thing.....

Just another case of fear from the public and media...and another sad case of our kids and grand kids "childhoods" being stolen from them....sad, sad, sad!
Here is a Halloween Video, a blast from the past: Bobby "Boris" Pickett with the "Monster Mash" complete with some great old movie clips:

{photos: The Houseworth Kids, Anissa, Sam, and Hal, a couple of Halloweens in the late 80s and early 90s, when you could actually go out and "Trick or Treat" at night....and a Jack O' Lantern giving his thoughts on what Halloween has become}

Monday, October 29, 2007

Daylight Savings Time and the coming winter

Another brilliant government move has pushed the end of DST back another week...meaning it will be "fall back" an hour this coming weekend....since Daylight Savings now lasts 238 days, my question is..."Why not just make it year round?"...this makes no sense, plus I hate seeing it get pitch dark before 5 O'Clock come December and January.

With the coming change, means snow can't be far behind, although as I have said, our snow has been minimal the past few years...I have lived in some snowy places since the family moved from Florida in 63.....the worst? Rome, New York, where I resided in the Air Force from late summer of 70 through spring of 72....then stayed there through into the fall of 1973. I remember the first year(winter of 70-71) we were buried under 300 inches of snow...however, me an my Air Force best friend the late Jack Friedl, from Moon Township, PA(outside Pittsburgh) learned how to snow ski....something I would use for years, including a stint at a ski lodge in Wisconsin, where I worked one winter.

Wausau, Wisconsin, where we resided in the late 1970s had it's share of snow as well...but more than snow, the Wausau are was cold, damn cold....I remember a morning when it hit -52...the batteries on my Jeep and Patricia's AMC Hornet both froze solid....we jumped started the landlady's truck with the tractor and went into town to get engine warmers and new batteries....a bitch of a cold spell where it went over a month without ever getting about or night.

Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas, have had their share of snow while living there as well.....but as I mentioned last week, the snow blower is not getting that much work...{Thank God for Global Warming!}.....let's hope it stays that way.

Today sunny and 62, tomorrow more sun and 70, although we did get our first sets of frost the past two mornings.

{snow photos: From Charger buried in the 416 Barracks Parking Lot at Griffiss AFB, NY in early 1971...Jose Wales enjoying his first snow on the farm in 1986.... Rag and Max frolic in the snow during the Blizzard of 78 in Wisconsin...the current house a couple of winters ago, awaiting a " Snow Blow Job"...}

Football Playoffs

Begin this coming weekend................

Finished up the regular football season last weekend...playoffs for the High School teams are now upon us....local teams that made it included Marion Local(where my youngest coaches summer baseball), and Coldwater...both out of the MAC(Midwest Athletic Conference) which has produced countless small and mid size state championships over the past 35 years....Marion(a township, not to be confused with the city of Marion, 100 miles to the east) finished 10-0 ranked #1 and looks to cruise to it's 4 state football crown in past decade. This time in Division 5, after winning before in Division 6(the smallest division), Coldwater 9-1(losing only to Marion) looks for it's second crown in 4 seasons, this one in Division 4...they have a good chance, but unlike ML, they are not a lock.

In the WBL(Western Buckeye League) Ottawa is the only team going to the playoffs...Celina, despite being the largest school in the league finished a dismal 2 and 8...losing on Friday night to Defiance 63-33.

The Standings:(see photo)
Coldwater defeated Delphos SJ on Saturday 52-7 to go 9-1.

Meanwhile on the college side, Ohio State may have proved the doubters wrong as they hammered Penn State at Happy Valley 37-17 and the game wasn't that close, led by MAC Quarterback Todd Boeckman from where my wife teaches, St. Henry..... and I gotta love Florida getting smacked by Georgia...strange to say since I grew up in Venice, Florida, a big Gator fan...but the way they present themselves and with Ur-Bane Myers(an Ohio boy) as the coach, they can't get beat often enough for me these days.

And from Saturday night where they held the Western Ohio Youth League Championships at Celina Stadium.....scoring late and adding the extra point Union City defeats Sidney Lehman 7-6 in the 3/4th grade championship, and in the nightcap Celina Lions 12-6 over the Union City 5/6th graders to win the varsity title. Total time was a little over 3 hours, but my back survived...a hot shower and a few cold ones after the games helped, since it did drizzle and the temps were in the 50s.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Full Moon!

Best I can do....full moon over Celina...didn't have a steady hand as I took this shot of the full moon next to the IC Catholic Church tonight...then went and did the finals at the Celina Stadium for the Rec League Football Championships...

JV Finals...Union City 7

Sidney Lehman 6

Varsity Finals Celina Lions 12

Union City 6

Great Games..............

The photos, well Hell just couldn't get it steady before the clouds moved in..........

Friday, October 26, 2007

Where's Jack Frost?

Sunny and 69 here in northwest Ohio....on October 26th! Not that unusual....however, the continued warm weather and lack of a freeze or frost don't get me wrong, I'm not buying into that idiot Al Gore's bullshit...old Al, the failed one, both as a politician and divinity student is a hypocrite and a fool.....his knowledge of "real" Environmental Science is not worth my time.....I spent 20 years in the business, and there are folks that know more than me about the Environment, Al Gore and his lemmings at the UN and on the Nobel committee are not among them.

Now with that non-paid political announcement out of the way...I will say, Global Warming or not, I am enjoying the Hell out of this fall weather. After another visit to the chiropractor today, I decided to mow the yard anyway...I'm sure my wife won't be pleased, especially if I am bound up and in pain tonight...but I am not one to lay or sit around if I can help it got half of my scheduled 2 hours of walking a day in.

Usually by this time, the lawn boy is cleaned and put away for the season(although I have mowed into early November in the recent past), and it's time to fire up the Snow Blower for a test run....but since no freeze, and not even a frost....I'm looking forward to "Indian Summer"(or do we call that Native American Summer now?), which should come about December 15th this year, if things continue as they are.


Which of these has gotten the most use the past few years???? The 1977 Buick Landau(61,000 original miles), the 10 year old 5HP Yard Machine Snow Blower, or my 6.5 HP Lawn Boy Silver walk behind? Not even close.......

I don't keep track, but my guess is, since 2002, the Buick has been out maybe 10 times...the Snow Blower about the same....but that lawn boy is like the Energizer guess is about 200 trips outdoors, in the same amount of time.

Return of "Little Kings"

Back when I first began to partake in the joys and hangovers of alcohol, one of the items that was in vogue was a little number called "Little Kings"...Little Kings were brewed out of Dayton, Ohio, but (the now defunct) Shoenling Brewing Company....Little Kings were so called because the were 7 oz bottles of Ale...those little bottles came in mini long necks and 8 to a pack.

My favorite Little King stories came from my days at Ohio University at Athens back in the middle 1970s....there was a little bar not far from where me and some other guys from Celina(mostly veterans) lived at The College Inn, a private apartment complex like dorm for upper classmen and veterans(who could live wherever they choose because they were a little more mature and free(or so the story goes) matter what class you were in(the Freshman and Sophs had to live on campus, unless you were married or a vet).

Getting away from my story here....The Long Branch(original huh?) was a rustic little dive down an alley just across from the Inn....Rick Pearson(who would become my best man later on) and I would usually meet up about 5 O'clock for "Happy Hour", which consisted of drinking as many Little King ales as we could handle in a 2 hour period....the hours from 5 to 7 also featured 2 episodes of the original "Star Trek" series(which were about 10 years old at that time) Rick and I(an on occasion Nick Hromish, DiPrato, Underwood, and Clint Thompson, all from Celina as well) would watch that hoke show and get half a buzz know, I never remember studying.....but guess I did enough to pass the classes I had...never lower than a "C"(because if it looked like you would get lower, you just dumped the class}.

If I recall, the happy hour price for Little Kings was .50 cents a even on our starvation GI Bill wages, we could afford a few....I know none of us worked, but somehow we survived those poverty years.

Little Kings went the way of the quality American car many years ago...the brewery sold out and was then shut down...but now, some 25 years after it's demise....Little Kings are brewed by "Little King Brewing Company" out of Wilkes-Barre, do they taste compared to 1977? Can't tell you just yet....I purchased my first 8 pack this afternoon....and will test one or more out later today with a good hand rolled torpedo.....


{The Cat, my XM Radio, a MI Torpedo, and a Little King at my Antique Desk....the cat thinks this is one of her nap sites}

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moving On

Have been concentrating on the damage at Nappanee the past few days....will update as Sam gets over that way sometime in the near future....hopefully the recovery will be steady and smooth...but that is not always the case, especially when government agencies are involved.....and involved they will be.

One more trip to the chiropractor tomorrow, then will back off that and try to work out the back problems on his advice....walking, ice, and no long sitting, get up and move after 10 minutes of sitting on my arse.....I can live with the pain, it's the lack of movement and lack of running ability(for football officiating) that gets in my crawl....I lived with the pain for years, not good, but I am not ready for surgery, I just don't think it's much of an option.

Saturday night I will officiate the "Super Bowl" for the Western Ohio Rec League....first game at 5 PM will be Sidney Lehman vs Union City, the 3th and 4th grade Championship....then following at 7Pm will be Union City vs Celina Lions, this is the 5th-6th grade match up...I coached the Lions back in the days when my youngest, Hal, played for them(1995 era)..we made it to the Super Bowl that season(after only going 2-3-1 during the regular season)...we lost at Greenville 20-6, but considering the way we started, we considered the season a great success, especially since we defeated the top Celina team(6-0 record during the regular season) to make it to the big game.

The 2 games will be my final football games for the season....time to rest the back, hopefully things will be "back" to normal come baseball season in late March. The "doc" says he hopes the back problems will be at a point where I can return to "normal" activity...but that I would have recurring problems for the rest of my life...that happens when the old motorcycle disk compression comes full circle...I can live with some pain and a some limited movement, if it's any worse than that, I may consider surgery, but that would be a last resort. Time will tell.

Not sure what effect this will have on my RV work...I can still drive, but not sure it I want long periods sitting, even in comfortable Luxury seats....we will see, I have not made a final decision, or even come close to that.

In the meantime, less sitting, more walking, and using the floor as a TV watch station....will take it one day at a time and what ever may come, I will deal with it.
{Hal in his youth football days in the mid 90s...more recent photo at one of my niece's, Patricia, and Hal, now standing at 6'4" and about 240....he finishes up at Wright State University this winter, then on to University of Dayton for his Masters)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Nappanee

Just a few photos from Nappanee, Indiana, tornado damage....for more on the devastation from last Thursday evening more photos can be found at the Jolynna blog:

Gulf Stream RV will be back up and running by the end of the week....Nappanee as a whole will take much longer.

{photos include the damage and destruction at Fairmount Homes and Gulf Stream RV, and the Marathon Gas and Convenience store where I stop to fill up the RVs before leaving, and to grab a hot cup of coffee...glad the guys that run this one had closed the store at 9PM...the storm destroyed it 90 minutes later.}

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nappanee, Indiana, part 2


Sam called over to Hoosier today, they now say the will be up and running by Thursday or Friday....hard to believe, since the damage within yards of the Gulf Stream office compound was total destruction.

The highway is US 6 and the Gulf Stream factory and Fairmount Homes are just south of the Arby's everyone was spared, including my straggling son who left just in time, is beyond me.

More video of the destruction:

My favorite Dairy Queen is no more............I have driven along this route hundreds of times the past 5+ will take months for this small Amish and farming community to recover.
Living in western Ohio, and having lived in Dodge City, Kansas, in the heart of "Tornado Alley", I have seen my share of cyclones, and the damage they do....from Palm Sunday in 65, to Xenia, Ohio in 74, to the Van Wert(my birth town), Ohio outbreak in late 2002, the damage in property and lives can never be underestimated.
{photos...air view of Nappanee as it looked before the Tornado of 10/18/07, the top and right part of the city is where Gulf Stream is located and where the storm slammed through....and a generic view of a twister sweeping across the plains}
I will update this story as I get back into Nappanee in the next few weeks.....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nappanee, Indiana


Nappanee, Indiana, is a small Amish village(about 4000 folks) located in north central Indiana, about 20 miles south of Elkhart and 30 miles southeast of South Bend. Like much of Elkhart County, the Nappanee area is rural and the main industries are recreational vehicles and farming.

When I retired in the summer of 2002 as Environmental Health Director at the Van Wert County(Ohio) Health Department, I needed another income(besides baseball umpire work) and knew or at least hoped that I would be able to find a job or jobs that I could be an independent contractor, and do something I enjoyed.....I had always wanted to travel more and work less....RV Delivery driver seemed to be a good idea. I contracted several RV manufactures and transporter companies around the area(within 200 miles), sent them my driving records and qualifications....the first to contact me back was a company out of Nappanee called Hoosier Transit. Hoosier worked hand-in-hand with Gulf Stream RV Manufacturing...Gulf Stream builds all sizes of RVs and Motor Homes, and Hoosier delivers them around the country to dealers and various large shows.

Since August 2002 I have delivered to 46 states doing the job on a part-time oldest son Sam, began driving for Hoosier full time in 2003 and has logged more miles and many more locations than I...being single he pretty much lives most of his time(except baseball umpire season)on the road delivering various Gulf Steam models.

Last week Sam was on his way to Dallas, Texas, with a 40 foot Diesel when Hoosier dispatcher Shawn called and asked him to bring another back from Texas for some sort of repair(usually cosmetic)....he was glad to take that, even though he had "eat" his $200 non-refundable airline ticket to Chicago...the return payment was much greater so he took it. Sam made his way back to Nappanee through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, where he managed to run into last week's tornado and severe thunderstorm outbreak. After contacting me near Bremen, Indiana(about 10 miles from Nappanee) we discussed the storms and which route he would take after delivering his unit.

As luck would have it, Sam got out of Nappanee in his car at about 8PM...the first of the storms had hit....the second storm would arrive about 2 hours later, and would take out Fairmount Homes, Gulf Stream's sister outfit, which is located right across the road....Gulf Stream lost several buildings and some RVs sitting in the lot....the entire east side of Nappanee received heavy damage...but thank God no one received major injuries.....the town of Nappanee will be months in the rebuilding mode....Gulf Stream will reopen tomorrow, Fairmount will be a long time in getting back to "business" is Nappanee's larges employer with 600 workers, Gulf Stream has about 125, Hoosier has another 100 drivers and employees.

With my back, I was going to hold off on going back for awhile....that decision is now made easier for me....Sam will try to get back on the road this week sometime.

Power, electric, and the roads into and out of Nappanee are still down as I type.
Video and story can be found here:
photos{A Gulf Stream, dropping off a 40 footer at Yuma, AZ.....and Sam on our way back(2000 miles in a Jeep Wrangler no less) taking the mountain route back through northern Arizona near Sho Low}

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Long Haired Country Boy


Standing(rather than sitting much) around waiting for football Saturday to get started....OSU Buckeyes are on at 3:30 vs a dangerous Michigan State...being at home, I do expect Ohio State to prevail.
I am sick of typing about my "back"...but right now it is a major part of my day. Went in early this morning before dawn to get another treatment, and a look at my surprise there, my lower two disks are rubbing bone against bone, but a crown is starting to form to ease the pain....starting the key word. Still hurts for sure, but more movement and things appear to be improving, the CP says by the end of this coming week he expects much improvement...but no sitting for more than 10 minutes at a time, hard to do on Monday and Tuesdays, plus my trips to his office, since they are anywhere from 25 to 40 minute trips....but will do the best I can...keep on walking, and keep on icing the back.

Still bound and determined to do the Rec League playoff double header tomorrow....won't be mobile, but I think I can make it up and down the field in a fast walk for 3 hours...and why not? He does want me to walk as much as possible......

The weather continues to be Global Warming like....after a cool, but seasonable, day yesterday, today sunny and 70 and tomorrow slated for near 80 and plenty of sunshine...gotta love that "Global Warming" and screw you Al Gore.....I'd rather die in tropical weather than in the freaking "Ice Age"

___________ After posts about Airedales and a passing mention of other dogs, I can say I've had my share of dogs, most good, some evil, and some just a pain in the ass....back when I got out of the Air Force and bought the first house(just a block from where I live now, but after another half dozen or more moves around the country), I decided I needed a dog or dogs....I already had a couple of mutts...Jenny and her daughter Dixie, a couple of small "Heinz" dogs...but being the macho wannabee, I figured a Coon Hound or 3 would be the right mix.

Me and a couple of buddies Nick Hromish, and Rick Tester, headed out I-70 to Effingham, Illinois, we headed to a kind of "redneck" looking little town called Cowden, Illinois. A man named Dewey O. Sarver, lived outside of Cowden and was a wholesaler of genuine "Coon Hounds"...Ol' Dewey looked like Santa who lived in a trailer...he had a large selection of hounds who were "Guaranteed" to tree Coons. We stopped in Cowden and rubbed elbows with the locals at a little coffee shop. The town and people, now that I look back, reminds me of the movie "Hoosiers" starring Gene Hackman. After a quick breakfast, we got directions to Dewey's dog farm and headed out.....'Santa' was there to meet us three youngsters(we were all 23 to 25 years)...we talked hunting and dogs...what Dewey didn't know was none of us knew squat about Coon Hunting, we just wanted to give it a try. Nick had a half breed cur dog, and we needed a solid nose hound to hunt with him...after an hour or so of looking, I decided on a nice looking male Bluetick named "Drum"....the dog was about 7 years old, and Dewey promised he would tree Coon..."Guaranteed!"....$75 was the price.

We took off in the top covered pick-up of Nick's and made our way back the 275 miles to Celina....I'm sure we were drinking beer and not following the speed limit...not something to be proud of, but, why lie, we were not bad guys, but we were not angles, or even close.

Drum was the first of my many hounds, and my future wife's favorite, because she had to take care of him, after I decided to head off to college a year later....We took Drum and the other dogs on many a night's hunting...the dogs hunted, we watched and bullshitted, drank a few beers as the dogs ran the woods and fields around Mercer County....they treed a few coons, very few, killed a few Opossum...but for the most part, they ran, and we I had said on an earlier post...I own guns, support the 2nd Amendment, and the right to hunt...but as for me.....well, I just don't have the heart in it....I did years ago, but no more. The fun was being out in the woods at night with some friends away from it all....the actual hunting and killing was never something I enjoyed, the times I did.

Drum was with us a few years before passing away at the age of 10...he did produce a batch of 13 pups with my friend Jim Olson's bitch "Belle"....those were the money, plenty of beer and smoke, and not a care in the world....of course living that lifestyle for too long a time, will kill you sooner or later, so a few years of it, is more than enough for anybody.

Charlie Daniels song "Long Haired Country Boy" kind of fit our little group's lifestyle, right up to the "Kind of like my old Bluetick Hound":

{photos: Me, the long haired one...1974 with our old Bluetick Drum, and again with his and "Belle's" baker's dozen Bluetick Pups in 75}

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tornados and Post Cards


Another trip to the chiropractor today, a back working, then X-rays...will get those read tomorrow, I don't think I've a set taken since about 1990, while in the middle of my last back problem outbreak.....

Back or no back, I went ahead and did a Jr High football game at Waynesfield yesterday, the home team at 6-0 went up against the wife's old school, Fort Loramie...good game, with good sportsmanship, the home team scored late twice to win 19-6 and finish the season at 7-0.

On the way home(a 35 mile trip), oldest son Sam calls, and says.."let me guess, you're not home?" He could hear the wind whistling in through the Jeep, told him, "nope, about 10 minutes away"...turns out Sam was about 25 miles away from Nappanee, Indiana, {the drop off point at Gulf Stream RV Manufacturing, bringing a Class C back from Dallas, TX, for some cosmetic repairs}....and he had hit right in the middle of the storms that raked the mid west and south last night, from Michigan to Florida. I told him I would pull up the interactive radar when I got the time I pulled in the driveway, my wife was with the land line phone telling me that Sam was on and to take a look at the radar......went inside, and nasty it was.

To make a long story shorter, Sam made the drive to Nappanee, dropped off his RV, got into his car and started east towards Ohio(Nappanee to Celina is about 125 miles)....the storms were coming fast and the initial batch had hit Nappanee and Warsaw about 7:30PM...Sam got out at 7:45, I directed him to go straight east on US 6, rather than southeast on US 33 to Fort Wayne....he followed directions and got home about 10:30 another batch went through that area and clobbered Nappanee, destroying several buildings a church, and closing down the Gulf Stream factory and Hoosier Transit, where we deliver the RVs from....looks like the town will be closed for the weekend.

Safe and sound Sam made it, although looks like it will be a few days before any RV runs are forthcoming....that being a minor point.

Bruno on his blog brought up the early stages of this violent fall storm:

The storm has moved east......and a cool breeze has replaced it.

Post Cards of the Past

The Fat Hairy One:

sent me a link to old time postcards from around the states:

I have loved old post Grandmother Houseworth collected them from her many travels, and when my Aunt died in 1998 I took possession of the house that belonged to my Grandmother and her two daughters. Old post cards have been a tool in my family Genealogy Research. The two Aunts were pack rats, and they saved everything, including my Grandmother's collections, which are too numerous to mention in this was a large amount(several thousand) of postcards that dated from family mailings from 1905 through 1985....some unique and worth money, and some worth only the paper they were printed on....took me a couple of years to go through them...saving the ones that were family written, or unique. Some I sold on ebay for as much as $75 each, but always made sure they were double or triples.

The one's I really enjoy are real photo cards from the 1930s and 40s....two such cards are described below in the photo section. My collection has grown through my own collection, and is in the neighborhood of 1000 cards in total....those date from 1905(of course) up to today....still collecting them as I do RV travels. It is an interesting and historical challenge for the cold weather time of the season.

{photos....A Tornado rips through Goshen, Indiana, on Palm Sunday 1965...this is the same area that was hit last night, Goshen is about 20 miles north and east of Nappanee, the one in 65 was much worse than the one that hit last night.....postcards..One sent in 1945 from my dad, Stan Houseworth to his mother from Sacramento, when he was stationed at Mather Field just after WWII..the other one is the "Peggy Ann Cafe and Bus Stop" on U.S.41 in Cartersville, GA, sent from Grandma to her daughter Eva on May 12, 1944, while traveling to Florida for vacation....I especially love the "Buck Horn Lodge" card, I've had it blown up, and the faces and items in the photo are classic Americana from the 1940s}

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back...Part 2


After a night with heading pad on back in Lazy Boy, this morning my wife managed to get me to go to her chiropractor down in Minster....I had not been to one in about 15 years, and had used a D.O. to end my back problems back in 93....the past 12 days have gotten progressively worse, and with football winding down, I need to get back into shape for RV runs or just for my own workout regiment, and peace of mind and body....even at 58 this really sucks, and has hearkened me back to the late 80s and early 90s when my back was "shot" for a 5+year span.

Anyway, the back guy gave me some heat and micro treatment, did his thing, and after feeling relief for the duration as we headed home it went back into the pain mode...but that was to be expected, another treatment tomorrow, and maybe Friday....he told he that he believes it's not a disk problem but a bulge thing(not his words, mine)...told me to STOP using the heat pad, that that dehydrates the muscle and back area, making it worse...wet/liquid heat is ok...but he told me, to "Ice the Hell out of it"(his words) for now, do plenty of walking, less sitting, less computer time(sitting), more walking, and good luck with sleeping, because it was going to take time, and waking up would continue to be "painful"....honesty is a good thing, and I appreciate that....the walking rather than sitting is painful, but is welcome as well.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of less pain and more movement...time will tell.

__________Most amateur photographers love to shoot sunsets and sunrises...they are easy and usually easy on the are a couple, both is the Old First Church of God across the street, since the church moved about 20 years ago, it is now a small group of rental apartments Interesting part, our house was the old "parsonage"...the past pastors lived here, including one who became a west Ohio United States Congressman, Tenny Guyer...our house was built in 1923, the Church in 1905...lots of history and old items still in the basement and Attic of the house....we have lived here since 1995. The other sunset is Venice Beach, at Venice, Florida, my home town from 1953 until 1963....when we lived there the place was a small tourist and fishing village of about 1000-1200 folks, it's now a "Blue Hair" resort town of 30,000(the drive north to Sarasota used to be 20 miles, now you can barely tell when y0u leave one and arrive at the other), with rising taxes, rising housing costs, and lousy traffic....I choose to go there at least one time a year for a visit or beach vacation, but it will never be what it once was.... sadly, life and times move on.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rainy Days and Tuesdays


Yesterday was Monday and nice, today the rain made it's show...we could use it, but anytime you can get sunshine and warm weather with less humidity in October, we will take it.

Worked the Greenville gig this morning....can't figure out what to drive to work, the Jeep or the Intrepid...the Jeep rides rougher, but the seat is firmer, the Dodge rides nice, but with the low, soft seats...he messes up the back...took the Dodge and the back feels it....with the end of the football officiating season in sight, I look forward to easing the back problems....after going over a dozen years with no major pain in the back...I have to say this sucks, but hey, things could be worse. No football until Thursday, so will rest up....another down side though is , with the back problems, I can't hit my basement gym and do weight it throws the whole damn routine off kilter.

Decided to change the second header photo on occasion, the current one is me and my bride some 30 years ago on the wedding day in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin(her hometown) was in December and for some strange reason, the temperature was in the upper 60s on that December 18th....a record high I am sure....

{the photos on the post show the rain that replaced to 80 degree sunshine from yesterday...the Jeep and Intrepid getting a free wash}

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays

The Carpenters sang that sad ass song some 30 years or more ago....well today was Monday, but it wasn't raining..sunny and almost 80 degrees on October 15th in west Ohio isn't something to get down about....Did a Freshman game at Coldwater tonight, where the home team defeated Ft Recovery 44-12....sorry to say, I'm still not giving my officiating partners much help...the back is better at times, but still can't run, and bending over is a no-no...with only a 3 man crew tonight I felt inadequate....but the season is winding down, and rest for the 58 1/2 year old back will come, not soon enough...hopefully I can avoid any cortisone shots or major adjustments.

The photo featured tonight was from my first week at Nha I am standing on the beach{South China Sea} in my fatigues from stateside, so I know this was early in my tour...the other kicker is I had "red hair"...the reason follows:

While stationed at Dover AFB, Delaware, in the fall of 68 and winter/spring 69 I worked for a Tech Sgt a-hole named Jack Adkins..."Smiling Jack" we called the well as a few other names....Adkins was one of those guys who acted tough, but in your heart you knew if given the chance, away from the stripes and regulations, you would kick his ass, or at least give it a go....never liked Adkins, but I knew where he was coning from....

Well Ol' Jack got tired of his "spit and polish" Sky Cops not following dress or hair cut he decided to ban bangs, sideburns, and any hair that even touched the ears...well Hell this was 68-69 and even though the Security Police had to be clean cut compared to most of the other Air Force guys, these "laws" didn't mean a bunch of 19 and 20 year olds would like it....I pushed the envelope, and given the point that Adkins disliked me(for lack of a better more obvious term), he demanded I get a haircut before the next Guard mount(cop inspection before going on duty)...well I went ahead and did the the same time I purchase a bottle of "Summer Blond" and turned my dark brown locks into a California faggot look with bleach blond that pissed Smilin' Jack off to no end...but it was regulation, so not much he could do about it.....the problem was, I still had dark brown eyebrows...and did indeed look like a California Fruit.
A few week later I got my orders for deciding I needed to rid myself of the blond hair before returning home on leave....I picked up a box of "dark brown"... the new problem was, when you mix blond hair with brown hair get 'RED'...

Rather than shave all the locks, I kept the red look until I was assigned to Nha Trang...figured in Vietnam nobody would notice or care....and they didn't. Eventually the red went back to brown....but still got a couple of good photos with the red hair look, among them, the one on this post holding a can of Black Label Beer on the Nha Trang shoreline...and another taken by Harry Bevan that graces the top of this blog....

For my musical it's not the Carpenters...let's try on of my all time favorites....
Spencer Davis Group(with Stevie Winwood).."Gimme Some Lovin" 1966 or 67 Winwood was 16 when this one came out:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Harvest Moon


After finishing my Recreational Football League playoff double header this ease my back, I sat out on the front porch and decided to partake in a amber type seasonal brew.....bought a six pack of Harvest Moon Ale made by Blue Moon out of Canada and shipped through Coors...with it I clipped a Cusano PI Torpedo out of the Dominican Republic....both helped ease the pain in my back and the news that the Bengals of Cincinnati have returned to being the Cincinnati Bungles...losing to sad sack Kansas City to drop to 1 win and 4 loses on the season.....

Harvest Moon is a pumpkin flavored ale that doesn't leave a heavy's brewed and sold in the fall....runs about $6.50 a six pack of bottles.

Anyway, I thought the Ale and Cigar made a decent sepia photo back to watching the rain fest in Colorado as the Rockies take on the D-backs.

Buckeyes and Mushrooms


With the back still a question mark, I will get ready to do a City Rec League playoff double header this afternoon...not looking forward to it, only because I know I won't be up to full strength to get up and down the field...but the season is winding down, a Freshman game at Coldwater tomorrow, then Thursday at Waynesfield...after that only the playoffs....and some R and R for the back...only 5 months till baseball season....hopefully enough time to get back in shape for that season.

Speaking of football, I assume The Ohio State Buckeyes will be #1 in the polls and BCS rankings when they come out. Not sure this year's crop is really a number #1, but with the rest of the pretenders falling by the wayside, it will be OSU's turn to get knocked off their high perch. Ohio State football is a unique experience, even if you went to college elsewhere, like my family has, if you live in Ohio, you either root for the Buckeyes, or hate them....there is no room for luke warm feelings.

More interest than usual this season, as local kid Todd Boeckman(photo shown) is the OSU quarterback....Boeckman played football at small St Henry High School, where he played under his wife teaches at St Henry, and despite being a town of under 2000, it has produced some great All-Americans and pros...Jim Lachey(OSU and the Redskins), Bob Hoying(OSU and the Eagles), Jeff Hartings(Penn State and Pittsburgh), and 1950s baseball star Wally Post(Hoying's grandfather)....Lachey and Hartings each won Super Bowls and both will eventually be in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Moving from Buckeyes to mushrooms....I posted a photo a week ago showing the large growth in my back you can see from today's picture, it just keeps getting bigger....we will see what the first frost(yet to come) or hard freeze does to it.

Back to Greenville tomorrow, working two mornings this week...Sam, who went to the Cincinnati-Louisville game last night(the Bearcats first loss), will be heading out to Dallas this afternoon with a Diesel Pusher RV.....despite the fuel prices, the RVs keep on selling, somebody has money to waste(RVs are one of the worst investments you could make) on motor homes and pull behinds, and they continue to do so....which keeps Sam from needing to find a "real job"...but being single and having a room at mom and dad's place, I guess he figures, "Why would I want a Real Job?"

Good Point!(I guess)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rocket Attack!

After doing my political rant earlier in the day, I'll go with my original post about the rocket attack at Nha Trang Air Base on October 12,

38 Years Ago Today

Actually it occured on October 11th stateside time....The US Government had decided to turn control over to the South Vietnam government Nha Trang AB.....thus the 14th Wing was being dismantled and many Air Force guys would be going elsewhere...I remember guys from the 14th SPS, our security police squadron had begun to move out in early October, I would be one of the last to leave on December the Air Force would continue it's presence at Nha Trang, but the 14th would be gone....a smaller group of SPs would remain to help the Vietnamese.

From old newspapers accounts I have read, the VC and North Viet regulars wanted to show the South and the US military, that they were in position to take on Nha Trang....during my genealogy research, some newspapers told of 20 rockets smashing into the truth, I don't remember much about it, except the one that hit the TUOC Radar Building and smashed into the base theater(an open air outdoor movie house) narrowly missed the Security Police Barracks....

I was on A Flight Law Enforcement, day shift(and to tell the truth, I can't remember if it was my day off or not)...but the attack happened around 5AM, according to my Nha Trang friend Bruce Thompson..he was working, when the attack Well I was sound asleep, I remember the hit that threw shrapnel into and around our barracks....didn't know what was happening, but I knew it was dangerous....I had a lower bunk, I rolled out, and under the bed I went. Another Nha Trang cop, Tony Niemotka, cubed with Marcos Payen, and tells the story of Marc rolling out and on top on Tony...if you knew Payan, he was a big guy, don't know if I wanted him to drop down on me off an upper or even lower bunk.

To tell the truth, it was all pretty much a blurr then...the security guys headed to their point, and we law enforcement guys headed for base police, to get our alert assignments...wish I could tell you more, but 38 years, and many years of forgetting my Vietnam experience, I just can't remember too much more....the VC were lousy shots though, because we lost no cops(and I don't think any AF personal were injured that day)....their attempt at scaring the US from giving control over the base to the South Viets didn't work...we lived to fight and drink another day....

Many of us went our separate ways....In December I headed for Tan Son Nhut, Tom Johnson left for Phan Rang, Harry Bevan and Marc Payan headed home, as did Phil Lange, Johnny Claflin to went on to Phan Rang ....Tony Niemotka, Duncan Copland, Melvin Sloan, Bruce Thompson, and others, either headed home or like me, we reassigned in country, all survived the attack, and we still survive today......most are members of the VSPA.

Nha Trang was a small base, located on a beautiful beach on the South China Sea.....even though I've never been back, the photos and videos I've seen show Nha Trang as a tourist spot, catering to Euros and Americans today.

A Nha Trang Street today looks like this:
{photos of the shrapnel I found next to the SPS Barracks, and the TUOC Building where the rocket went right through the roof.....5AM and nobody hurt in the building....I took quite a few photos that day...but this is all I have in my possession]

Nobel Peace Prize-The 3 Stooges

What can I say, still pissed off because my back is out of wack, I will fore go my non-political posts for one session to rant on the 3 losers above....sad to say, 2 still take up space on planet earth, while the other is enjoying his 72 virgin camels in Hell.
The joke that has become the Nobel Committee, has announced that Fat Al(Bert) Gore along with the UN Committee(lol real surprise there...not) on Global Climate Change have been awarded the $1.5 million for promoting peace....hopefully Fat Al can use the money to pay his overloaded utility bills on his Tennessee estate.
All... Al to Jumma Karter and Yesiryerafart as recipients of this award, officially make it a JOKE....not that there was any doubt that it has been for the past couple of decades....and who you ask(or not) did Fat Boy beat out for his award??????
Just a women who rescued 2500 Jewish kids from the Nazis in doubt Al deserves this award over her......{freaking major eye roll}
Al the Progressive....{progressive is the new word for liberal socialists, who want to fool the masses} wants to save the world, just don't ask him to give up his private jet or 10,000 sq foot pad.
prh steps down off his soapbox.......for now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Agawa Canyon/Algoma Railroad


The cool down to fall has hit...never got much past 55 yesterday with a little rain, and clouds throughout the day. My back is still a problem, will see how it holds up tonight for the local 8th grade game vs Lima Bath....54 and rain is the forecast, not great back weather.

I see our President is trying to undo the Constitution by supporting the rights of this convicted scum in Texas.....if you have not seen this story, it will make your blood boil, and GW is intent on selling us down the river to International Law, and the Mexican a right wing type, I have no faith in either two political parties, have not had for years.....I have a bad feeling that big trouble is just around the corner.

Here is the story of the 1993 horrific murders, rape, and more, of two teen girls in Texas. Then try to figure out why Bush is going to bat for this pervert and for International Law over our own Constitution.

I have stated, I don't want to get overly political on this site, but some things piss you off enough you have no choice.

25 years ago
____________Back when I was Program Director at a local radio station, I was sent packing with a group of senior citizens for a 3 day bus and train trip through Michigan and into Canada. Those seniors were for the most part were about my age was a fun trip, but we took it the second week of October in 1982, and the fall foliage had seen it's best days.....we however had good accommodations, good food, and an interesting 3 day trip. I suggest you make the trip in late September, rather than October.....foliage is probably better for photos.

For more information to the Agawa Canyon tours via the Algoma Railway check out this site:

{photos....waterfalls somewhere along the Algoma Railroad in Agawa Canyon, Ontario, Canada}

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall In.........


Starting this early before I go to the Honda Satellite plant in Greenville, Ohio. The back continues to be a problem, so getting up early to shower and 'loosen' it up was in the cards this morning....I did manage to go to bed(or rather couch in this case) early to see if I can work this out without going to the chiropractor....I have nothing against them, and have used them in years past when I had back troubles....but they really never seemed to be a long term is, and that won't happen for at least another 3 weeks, until football officiating winds down.


That can be used 2 ways is going to be the first real taste of fall weather, high of 58 with some wind....yesterday was a perfect 75 and sunny with low we will pay for the 90 degree days with a cool down, which is OK, as long as it doesn't get too cold to quick.

I would like to go down south and east to the ancestors haunts sometime in the next week or so to get some fall foliage photos around Millwood and Waldo, Ohio....Millwood is the small town(only about 150 people today, if that many) just north and east of Columbus, a town my GGG-Grandfather helped found back in 1825 or so...or so the History of Knox County 1880 tells us. Waldo is about 20 miles north of Columbus on US 23, a town of a couple thousand folks that the local graveyard is filled with the Houseworth name on Great Grandparents and their siblings lived there from about 1845(when both of my GG-Grandfather Houseworths moved there from Delaware County, Ohio) until after the Civil War(moving to Paulding County in 1872).

Millwood is surrounded by lots of Oak and Maple and makes for great fall photos...Waldo is the home of world famous Bologna Sandwiches(don't picture sliced and processed), will stop by G&R Tavern for one with a beer on the way home....hopefully the back will cooperate and I can get over that way next week....Waldo is about 1oo miles from Celina, Millwood another 50 from Waldo.

Nha Trang October 1969
____________________Fall In! was the term we had when reporting for inspection and work in the Security Police career field in USAF.

I had pretty much settled in as a day flight law enforcement cop as October of 69 came around in the coastal town and Air Base at Nha Trang, RVN. Unlike some places with harsh conditions, day flight at Nha Trang was not all that bad, we had a nice beach right outside the main gate(where I usually worked a day or two a week), we could jump a short ride into town for "entertainment", plus we had an open air theater, NCO Club, and the cops?, well we had our own indoor movie house and club for cops wasn't all that bad for a 20 year old naive kid from west Ohio via southwest Florida.

Now, don't get it wrong, Nha Trang was nice compared to most other spots in the war torn country, but it was still in a war zone.....we would get an occasional rocket, the closest one hit the TUOC Radar Building right next to the Police Barracks.....I managed to be asleep at the time, remember waking up, and by the time I got outside the action was over.....I did pick up a couple of pieces of shrapnel as souvenirs, and still have them today.

Managed in the 6 months I was at Nha Trang, before moving south to Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Air Base, to make some good friends, and even grow up a little, although that transformation would come as my Air Force time moved into it's final stages. The guys I met included Harry Bevan, Marcos Payen, Johnny Claflin, Bruce Thompson, and others who remain nameless.....Harry and Bruce are members of the VSPA(Vietnam Security Police Association), Marc lives in El Paso, and Johnny C lives in Winter Garden, Florida. Harry and Marc continued their law enforcement careers after getting out, Harry for 30 plus years with the Philadelphia PD, Marc as a fed down in Texas, Bruce sells real estate in Kentucky, and Johnny Claflin(from Maine originally) owns his own extermination(bugs and varmints) company in Florida.....they are all alive and doing well...I have contact with them, as well as others I served with before and after Vietnam....some others sadly have passed away, such is life.

Nha Trang was in Vietnam, but it was also a wake up call, and my favorite duty station during my 4 years in the AF.....will post some photos here on this post, and other photos and stories as the days pass.
{photos...Marc Payan, QC(RVN cops) Sgt KY, and Harry Bevan, at the Nha Trang maingate, me at the civilian entry point at Nha Trang, and in my trusty jeep at LE Post #7}


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Weather Breaks


You know when you resort to posting or talking about the weather, you don't have much going on.....but am glad to see the humid 90 degree days gone for the foreseeable 77 sunny and less humid, tomorrow only 58...and then staying in the 60s with a slight chance of rain for the rest of the week.

With the back still acting up, I don't have much going on. Went to Greenville and did my hour or so at the Honda satellite plant, and back, the goal is resting my back on a hard chair until 3:45 or so when I leave to pick up of the deals is when I have the time off I can act as taxi, which doesn't happen often, but I help out when I can.

Last night instead of sleeping like I should have, I stayed up and watched the playoffs and Monday Night Football....the games ended almost at the same time, with the Indians victory over the Yankees finishing up about 10 minutes before the football game.

Baseball has always been my favorite sports, because I grew up playing it every chance I got in southwest Florida, I enjoyed coaching it more, and enjoy the umpire work more than I do football, but both have their place with me.

Now when it comes to pro sports I used to be a big fan, but not so much you have overpaid under achieving guys that for the most part, move from team to team, hired hands is what they have such thing in 1955, when the guys had to work in the off season and basically played baseball for peanuts and fun....Pro football, well they don't make as much, but those guys are basically freaks of nature...I've spent enough time on the sidelines at pro games, and trust me, you wouldn't want the violence there coming down on you...high speed, big guys, hitting each other at laser light speeds.....if you played High School football, forget it, this isn't the same.

Growing up in Florida I was a Yankee fan(simple, they won, why root for losers?) in baseball with The Mick, Mickey Mantle, my hero, football, the Browns were good, Ohio was my birth state, so why not root for Cleveland? Bengals back then. After moving back to Ohio in the 60s I in time became a Reds fan and once George Steinbrunner took over NY, I began to despise the Yanks...loved it when Cincy swept them 4-0 in 1976. As for the Browns, I rooted for them through the 60s.....but when the Bengals moved into the NFL, you had to make a choice, couldn't root for both of them, so I changed my stripes and became a Cincinnati fan in both sports....still am today, but I do not take pro sports to heart....I'd much rather watch the Buckeyes play football, or be out umpiring or officiating a contest myself.

Still I was glad to see Cleveland knock off New York, that way I don't have to listen to the ESPN idiots talk up the Yankees.....the football game between Dallas and Buffalo, don't really care for either team, it was a classic, how Buffalo managed to choke that one is a mystery....must be the Cowboy hold over the Bills(a team they owned in a couple of Super Bowls)...Romo stunk up the joint last night, almost costing one of my fantasy teams a undefeated Grand Lake Slugs went into last night carrying a 4-0 record, but thanks to Romo as my QB, we were held to a 57 all tie by one of the leagues bottom feeders...but still with a 4-0-1 record, I am the last of the undefeateds and lead my division by one and 1/2 games.

Despite the back, Reagan and I headed outside to kick her basketball around the back yard, hunt for enemy squirrels stealing from the bird feeders(she still hasn't caught one, but is coming closer all the time, despite her advanced age), and discover a big time fungus growth, which has had to come up since Sunday, when the wife mowed the yard(me being out with the bad back and all).

Photos show our outdoor activity for the late morning/early afternoon....with the cooler less humid weather, I may even get out and smoke a cigar tonight......
{Last of the fall flowers....the large fungus, can't be more than 45 hours old, but it does grow...and Reagan wanting me to kick her worn out basketball, guess she doesn't realize that the leg is willing, but the back ain't.}