Sunday, December 30, 2007

Football Follies




As the 2007 College and NFL seasons wind down, I feel it's time to make my final predictions for the BCS and Pro Seasons...

THE BCS_______
{these should get my SEC area blog buddies fired up}




So far on my Yahoo and ESPN predictions things are going well...hitting 11 or my 14 picks so far has placed me in the top 8% nationwide....as far as conferences the underrated Big 10 sets at 2-1 and the overrated SEC at 1-0....pretty amusing how many SEC bandwagon fans have come out of the closet since Florida beat the Buckeyes last year...Ohio State went into the National Championship game over confident last January and after a long lay off got hammered by the Gators....Florida? The team I grew up rooting for, I can no longer stand....in a non-BCS game it's the Gators vs Michigan...I despise the Maze and Blue and I think they will get thumped by Florida...but find myself rooting for Michigan or at least the Big 10....look for Ur-Bane Myers, from Ohio where else, and the Gators to prevail...hopefully I am wrong.

Now for the BCS Games.....

Rose Bowl...

USC 35
Illinois 13

Another one I hope I'm wrong on....but the Illini, despite the win over Ohio State are at least a year away....

Orange Bowl.....

Virginia Tech 31
Kansas 30

A toss-up, hopefully the Jayhawks can pull this one out...another one I hope my predictions misses......

Sugar Bowl.....

Hawaii 45
Georgia 35
Not saying the Rainbows are for real, but they have the offense to get by another overrated SEC team.....

Fiesta Bowl.....

Oklahoma 31
West Virginia 21

A crime what the no class ex-coach Rich "show me the money" Rodriquez did to the Mountaineers...meanwhile Oklahoma should be in the NC game, not LSU....


Speaking of which....In the National Title Game...

Ohio State 26
LSU 14

The Buckeyes are getting no respect, actually have more team speed than LSU(despite what the sports talking heads would leave you to believe), and unlike last year, they are the underdogs, and are quietly going about their business....the OSU Defense will win this one...and as long as local kid Todd Boeckman(who I coached against in baseball, and the youngest Hal played against) from St Henry(where the wife teaches) doesn't turn the ball over too often....I really don't think this one will be close.


I should mention, anybody that might think the southern brand of football is superior to the midwest....of the 10 head coaches in the BCS games...at least 4, OSU, Oklahoma, Illinois, and LSU(not to mention Meyers from last years champion Gators, and LSU defensive coach Pelini, who is now the Nebraska head man) are Ohio born and bred.....not a bad %.............

Meanwhile in the NFL.....

Bad year for the Bengals, Dolphins, and Rams....3 teams I root for, although I'm not the NFL fan, I used to be, especially compared to the College Game....

The NFC...the media says Cowboys...I liked the way the Giants played against New England last night...but I really believe it will come down to the Packers vs Dallas in Texas...give one final hurrah to Brett and the Pack, which will make my father-in-law, the wife's family in general and my oldest son Sam very happy....If the Pack doesn't make it, I would like to see Tampa Bay grab a spot.

the predication........

Packers 27
Cowboys 21

The superior AFC(although not by as much of a margin as the years past)..the easy prediction would be to go with the media darlings...the New England Pattys...let me first say, as a team(not as human beings) I despise New England...(1) they are from the Peoples Republic of Taxyertwoshits, reason enough (2) Tombelinda Brady is from California and played for Michigan, reason enough (3) Bill Bellyache the coach has the personality of a squid....plus I said half way through the season that New England might go undefeated during the regular season, but would choke during the playoffs.....and they have not looked invincible of late.

Look for either a hot Jacksonville team or the Colts to knock off New England....the Colts for being a Super Bowl champion are getting no respect...

The Prediction......

Indianapolis 34
New England 31

AND IN THE SUPER BOWL.....
The AFC stays on top...

The Colts 40
The Packers 21

Now don't run off to Vegas......I usually get these right, but I predicted a Buckeyes blow out last year...although I did bet a saw buck on the Colts....
{Quarterbacks Todd Boeckman of St Henry and Ohio State, and Peyton Manning of the Colts}








Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 Year in Review





























Looking back at 2007, it sometimes is a wonder how much can change...even at the ripe old age of 58.

As January began I was still driving RVs around the country at least one or two times per week....from California to Florida, Vegas, New York state, and through and around everywhere in between, I had been approached near the end of 06 to work as an independent contractors for a paper and plastic supplier in Columbus...I was asked if I would work 2 or 3 mornings a week doing inventory and spread sheet work, at the rate of $60 per hour that was a hard one to turn down.....

So I began to cut down on the RV runs and began working Monday and Tuesday mornings at a Honda satellite plant which was supplied by the Columbus firm....with baseball approaching in late March....the RV deliveries would now be few and far between.

As high school baseball season neared I began having some back pain issues....thinking it was a recurrence of my old motorcycle wreck(1987) I took it easy and by the time my umpire gigs opened, I was feeling pretty good. The spring season went without incidents, and oldest son Sam and I were both voted to qualify for Regional Tournament assignments....the second highest levels....and in the top 5 of our association...not bad for only being on the "job" for 8 years.

In between spring and summer baseball schedules I flew down to Florida to pick up mom and drive her back home...she stayed longer this year because of the breast cancer radiation treatments....at 83 she handled those well and is doing pretty good these days. Meanwhile the oldest of her and dad's kids, brother Mike, was not doing all that well..he had broken his leg and not healing well...and the old days of smoking cigarettes(which he gave up after 45 years) were catching up with him.....so back he came with us to Ohio.

After the return, my back with the sciatic leg pain reared it's ugly head....and I struggled through the early days of summer baseball, that as well went away and I survived the rest of the summer, more or less, pain free.

Sam continued to drive and deliver RVs after baseball season, the youngest son Hal, now a senior at Wright State in Dayton, spent the summer working for a Atlas Transport company out of Celina, getting some "toys" like the XBox, and saving some money for his final 2 quarters in college, before he graduates in March....and then moves on to his Masters of Education in High School History.

Fall arrived and we lost our oldest Airedale, Jack Drambuie, in September...he was 11 years old. Sam went back to driving, I began my 2nd full year of football officiating, and Patricia returned to St. Henry teaching as school begin...we had Anissa's schedule changed at the workshop and elsewhere so she could have a larger variety of things and places to focus on. Mike, after a few visits to the VA Clinic in Columbus for his leg issues, started having trouble talking and was with a constant soreness in his vocal cords.....after the slow VA process is was confirmed he had cancer on his left vocal cord...and will begin radiation treatment the first week of next year.

As football officiating season arrived at the half-way point my back became an issue again...this time it did not go away and after chiropractor work and finally an MRI it was diagnosed as spinal stenosis...after a couple of months and a delay because of high blood pressure, I was given a steroid epidural in the back....that was 8 days ago...the pain has been reduced and the movement better, but still the problem has not been totally resolved as the year ends.

I also started this blog, I had for years kept a diary of sorts, and finally decided to give this a try....beginning in late July, I have managed to keep it going for better or worse since.

The back problems have slowed much activity of late, although I still managed to get to Minnesota with Nick and meet up with our old bar room friend Jim Olson for a Twins weekend....got out on the lake for our annual 'Bar Stool Open' miniature golf outing....and tore down the old kennel roof after Jack died. Spent Christmas Eve with sister Marty, mom, Mike, and Marty's family....and got out to the old Lake Front Racquet Club(now called something else idiotic) for our annual get together of old bar friends and work out buddies last night. New Years Day will be spent traveling to my friend's Ricks over in Auburn, Indiana, doing our annual Football Watching feast.

Hopefully by the time spring rolls around, I will be in good enough shape to get back outside and do what I enjoy in 2008.

I never make resolutions...however, hopefully Mike's health issues will come into focus and be resolved, my back will get better, Hal will graduate in March on time and begin his Masters so he can get on with a teaching career and follow in Patrica and her families footsteps(a long line of teachers)....


2007 was not the greatest year, but we survived so far...and I look forward to whatever 2008 brings........


{Images of 2007...Jack Drambuie(1996-2007), the Kennel before and after, campfire at our Michigan May Mushroom hunt, February snow storm driveway before and after, The Albino Pigeon on our roof in July, and our resident Hawk who started to hang around the yard in October and has taken care of the piegon population, not to mention the rabbits and rodents}













Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Jones Boys




This morning I attended the funeral of one of my childhood next door neighbor kids. Jim Jones was 54, and found out just a couple of months ago that he had pancreatic cancer....this type of cancer is almost always a sure death sentence, because you usually don't have symptoms until it's to late to treat....this was Jim's case, he noticed the stomach problems in September...and by
then the disease had spread.
Jim was the youngest of the 4 Jones brothers, along with a youngest sister who were our next door neighbors at the first house the folks bought after we moved back to Ohio....we were located just outside the small lake community of Montezuma, Ohio. Jim's older brothers Bob(jr) and Jerry were, along with Rick Pearson, my best friends during our high school years....from 1963 through our graduation from Celina High School in 1967, and until Bob and I joined the military in 68....we were pretty much inseparable. The Jones brothers, especially Bob, Jerry, and the next oldest Chuck were into fast cars....Jerry especially had some power houses....

The most memorable car experience with the Jones boys(and we had many car adventures) was with Jerry, on the day after I returned from Vietnam...July 1, 1970, if I recall. I was back after a year over the pond...and ready to have some fun....Jerry had just purchased a 1970 Dodge Super Charger 440 'Six Pack'....after a few bottles of ripple, MD 20/20 or some other rot gut, Jerry hauled out the Six Pack and we hauled ass around town.....pulling 'hole shots" and running the main street of Celina....the local cops finally got wind and tried to pull us over as we headed out of town....I remember looking over as we headed down US 127 towards Montezuma...the Odometer was buried at 150...talk about the "telephone" poles looking like dots"..they did.

As the story goes...and yes a true story...we got to the Jones house, changed cars and pro ceded to hit the bars around the lake before heading home around 2AM....Bob Sr was waiting on us....and was ready to kill Jerry, he didn't but the Sheriff Patrol was soon paying a visit...You had to be there...Jerry lost his license for six months...I enjoyed the rest of the 30+ day leave and headed up to Rome, New York, for my final Air Force duty....this is just one of the exploits Bob, Jerry, and I had...almost all involving alcohol and cars....nobody said we were smart, but we survived, and that in itself was a miracle.

Jim was the quite younger brother...never married, bought the family house when the parents(both still alive) moved to Celina, and was a dedicated Church going Christian...a nice guy in all sense of the word....

I had not seen Jerry since 1984( he had moved to Southern California in 1977), Bob and I had drifted apart some 30 years ago when Patricia and I moved to Wisconsin...although we remain friends, we have seldom seen each other since I returned to Ohio in 1980, Chuck is one of my mechanics, so I still see him all the time.....in the times of sadness and family tragedy, we always seen to finally get around to meeting up again.....Weddings and Funerals seem to be , sadly, get together time. Growing old really sucks sometimes.
God Rest Your Soul Jim, I'm sure you made your destination.

Bob, me, and 3 other guys traveled to Lima to join the Navy in the spring of 1968....Bob and 2 others signed up...another friend of ours Ed Bonifis, and I went downstairs to the Air Force Recruiter....and joined there...life on the sea just didn't sit well with us...so Bob Jr ended up in the Navy, I ended up a Sky Cop
JUST RE READ THIS POST...HAS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST POORLY WRITTEN I HAVE DONE....BUT WTF? You get the drift, I hope...I'm not doing it over. :}


(1970 Charger, much like the 440 Daytona Six Pack Jerry owned, Bob Jones and I on our first leaves home, Christmas of 1968, Jim Jones funeral handout}






Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Past
























































Hopefully everyone had the kind of Christmas they had wanted and wished for. We spent Christmas Eve at my sister's house, the only ones missing from the family gathering were the youngest Kelly, in Florida, Marty's youngest daughter, who was home for Thanksgiving, who now lives in L.A., and Mike's daughters, home in Columbus with their families.



The rest of the old folks and kids were around.......ate well, some of us tossed down a couple of beers, glasses of wine, talked on the phone to those that were not there, and played some family board and card games.

Yesterday, mom was over for Christmas dinner at our house....we kept WTBS and 'A Christmas Story' on in the background and had a good time...the weather was nice, sunny and about 40....I even got out for a later afternoon walk with Patricia and Anissa, the first long walk since my Epidural Injection. The back still has some issues, but it is more mobile and with less pain....as I said before, I doubt it this is the catch-all for my back issue...but will see how it shakes out.

Having lost Dad on Christmas Eve of 1972 to a sudden heart attack, Christmas always is tempered for me and the rest of his immediate family....Dad was 55. On Christmas Eve we received word that a neighbor of mine in high school, and my two best friends younger brother had died on December 23rd....we don't know the cause yet, he was 54....Jim was the younger brother who was always under foot during our high school years....the Jones family and us lived side by side from 1963-1970 in Montezuma, on the south side of Grand Lake...Dad was 55 at the time of his death and at the time seemed "somewhat old", Jim was 54, as we grow older, he still seems like a kid.

The viewing is this afternoon, the funeral tomorrow.....I have not seen Jerry, who now lives in California, since 1984, brother Bob, since a chance meeting a few Christmas seasons ago in Lima. During our High School Years 1963 through 1967 for a time after, we were inseparable. Funerals and Weddings always seem the time to meet again.....sad as the former is.



{Photos of Christmas Pasts}--from top to bottom...(1) 1958 in Venice, Florida, Me, Mike, Marty, and my friend Al Foust, who's family were visiting us almost 50 years ago.(2) Hal with Santa on his first Christmas in 1984(3) Christmas season sunrise looking out mom's Condo at Ormond Beach, Florida(4)Patricia supervising the kids in 1994 unwrapping the take(5) The Houseworth and Hemmelgarn cousins in 1995(6)Reagan in 1999 checking out the tree(7)Me, the bearded one, with a glass of bubbly in 1979(8)Anissa and Grandpa Bill and Grandma Bev Callies in 1980(9)Patrica on our wedding day in 1976...one week before Christmas(10) the Kids in 1985, now one of the tree decorations.

Monday, December 24, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!


AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR......


my best to all(except Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, screw em').


Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Weekend


Just a couple of days before Christmas...with the kids grown, although all we be at home, we will spend Christmas Eve at my sister Marty and her family's home....I think all we be there except Miki who lives in LA and was home for Thanksgiving....Mike and mom will be there as well, Mike's radiation treatment have now been rescheduled to start on January 7th or something like that, in Columbus....never could figure out why in the case of cancer, they would continue to delay things.....get it started I say, and get the treatment over with...but hey I'm not a doctor, and no longer a bureaucrat, so what do I know?

Christmas will be spent at home...we have decided not to overbuy this year...., who needs more "Stuff"? Most of it sadly ends up packed away somewhere, never to be used again....BAAH HUMBUG! ....we've got the kids what they wanted, they got us some things we will use, and got ourselves a new basement dehumidifier....they old one blew out last week.....pretty damn romantic ain't it?

The back______________

The pain was in my right hip, buttock, and leg yesterday...(as opposed to being in the left side where it usually resides), it was not as bad, and except for some sleeping issues early on....I got around better...of course that had much to do with the Hydro Codeine as anything else. Finally got to sleep without much pain, and awoke with some left buttock pain and some down the leg...once again, not a severe, and more mobile this morning....the blood pressure was back down(131/74) and I am hope full of some relief, of at least the short term variety.

Having said that....the pain and health issues were never a point of this blog, so I have moved them over to another daily blog, that I will use for my own purposes to write down any health issues, back blood pressure, etc, that I have from day-to-day....it can be found at:

http://patsbackissues.blogspot.com/

That is it for today....if I don't get back posting until later on this week:

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND HAVE A GREAT 2007................................

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Epidural/The Morning After




We arrived at Fort Wayne Orthopedics around 1:15, for my 2PM appointment and 2:45 scheduled injection of the steroid/cortisone mix into my spine...after getting prepped my blood pressure was at a decent 130/74...wheeled into "surgery" about 3PM and the process begin.

In 1993 I had an injection of the same mix into my back...my D.O. at that time had me lay on my side and just injected me in the back....4 days later, I was out of pain, and went basically without problems for the next 14 years....this was a different procedure...blood pressure has to be just right(after last week's debacle I was more worried about a good BP than the shot)...it was, until the had me lay on my stomach...the BP shot up to the 184/93 range...the doc says..."we are going ahead, because this is obviously just from the pain and the switch in positions"....and off he went into the back.....talk about pain...as I've said before, I have a pretty good tolerance of pain, I need to look no farther than 2003 when my appendix ruptured unknown to me, I waited over 24 hours before going to the ER...by this time the infection had spread big time...in the 1940s or so...I would have been long gone, but I survived that 3 hour procedure, which had the doctors wondering how I could have waited that long to get help.....I'm sure one day that will be the death of me...being stubborn and the aforementioned tolerance of pain....

Anyway, back to this epidural procedure....Dr. Wilcox was going into the L-5 which leads directly into the left sciatic nerve going down my left hip and leg.....the asked me if I needed something to relax....."No" was my answer...probably big mistake...by the time he asked me if I felt pressure, it was like someone had stuck a balloon up my butt and used a a high pressure tire pump...the pain down both legs to the top of my feet was something I had never had the pleasure(and hope I never do again) of feeling...realizing he had hit where it was not helping, he decided to change locations...and then centralized the injection directly into the L 3-4 location of the spine....the pain(somewhat less) continued, but by this time, I really didn't give a rat's ass....just get it over with was my only thought...he did, and in a matter of a couple minutes, I was on my back, and being rolled out into the clinic recovery room. My BP was back down to 134/79...go figure!

25 minutes later with instructions in hand, Patricia and I were on our way for the 65 mile drive back to Celina....a little tender, but not in a lot of pain....that lasted about 20 minutes...by the time we reached the half way point of Decatur, Indiana, I was half standing in the passenger seat from the pain....a quick phone call from the parking lot of a local mall, and direct talks with Dr. Wilcox and some suggestions, he ordered me a pain prescription for Hydrocodeine....by the time we reached home at 6PM the pain was manageable....but I took the codeine anyway...might as well get some relaxation....I slept through most of the night, only awakened by Sam returning from Florida around 1:30 this morning, and Hal and a group of his friends drinking beer and being a little loud downstairs after a night of hitting the local bars....3 weeks living in a semi will do that for you....I think Hal will work over vacation for the trucking company...but after graduation in March and his Masters...I'm sure the life of a 18 wheel driver does not appear in his plans.




The Morning After________

Here it is just after 9AM...I slept without pain, and only the above mentioned distractions....when I got up and started moving around, I still am walking gingerly, and with some pain, but a different pain, most is my right leg and lower back(probably this part from the injection)...took my BP pill and one shot of hydrocodeine....I would like to get out and walk today, although the streets and sidewalks are a melting mess of mud, and ice.....


I have some hope this will work for the short term, I have no illusions that I will go another 14 years without back pain....time will tell if this will help the situation or just delay the inevitable, surgery.....Spinal Stenosis is not like other back problems....I had those years ago, Stenosis really cannot be cured....especially the several type that they say I have...but it can be contained....injections, weight loss, exercise regiments, etc...hopefully the major open back operation can be avoided....once again time will tell.

The next 3 to 5 days should say a lot about how successful this injection was......

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Back" to Fort Wayne




After yesterday's appointment with my regular doctor, the all clear was given to go ahead and get the long awaited epidural injection....called Fort Wayne Orthopedics, and lo and behold they can get me in tomorrow afternoon. Guess the key is not getting too worked up, and keeping the blood pressure at a manageable level through tomorrow.
Still not sure if the injection has much chance of working, but at least it will be one more step in the progress of managing my spinal stenosis....I know it really can not be cured(even surgery is a shot in the dark with this type back issue)..but it can be held in check, and it is possible to get my life back to the active state I am used to....if this fails, there are several new options that are rising on the scene.....just another adventure in life, we will see what it goes.



Mersmans__________]


Wrote back in early November that the old Mersman Table factory, sitting idle since 1991, is in the process of being torn down.....The plant in Celina was built in 1900 and was Celina's largest employer from many years....making beds, furniture, but was best known for Tables...the largest manufacture of tables in the USA:

The remains of the factory sits just north of my house on several acres....the clean up is needed, but any low rent housing is not....Celina, a city of 11,000 has enough dumps...I would like to see it turned into a nice park.....fat chance of that happening if the city and developer can get a grant and make a buck off the taxpayers and the poor.


The all mighty EPA has finally given permission for the entire building to go...including the 100+ year old smoke stack.....hopefully I will be able to get photos of that happening....at the time, the wrecking ball is going through this slow process...it will be a few years before they are done, and the debris moved....


{photos of Mersmans as it looked in early November, and this morning as the wrecking nears the famous stack}

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Daily Rant/Anissa











Today, I head back to Doc Bergman for an update on the Blood Pressure issue from last week, which cancelled my spinal injection. This morning my BP was at 136/71 and that is fairly normal and manageable...the Lisinopril seems to be working, or maybe the Ham was indeed the problem(guess I won't be eating any cured ham anytime soon)...and the BP is back to normal on it's own. In the meantime, barring any unforeseen problems, I will reschedule the Epidural Injection later today, and see when they can get me in....probably after Christmas, is my guess.





Brother Mike is back at Mom's for Christmas....then back he goes to Columbus for 6 weeks of radiation on his vocal chords....any thoughts of him getting back to Homosassa for the winter have flown south with the birds....he will be stuck in the northern hinterlands of Ohio.

Hal is finishing up his 3rd week on the road for Celina(Atlas) Moving....Chicago today, Detroit tomorrow, and then home in the afternoon. Sam meanwhile is heading back to Florida for the 3rd RV delivery outside Orlando in the past 10 days, he will make a couple of Drive-Bys to dealers in Georgia on the way down...Drive-Bys being where you show the new units(this one being a outdoors man toy hauler) to other dealers to see if they are interested in carrying the model.

Other than that, the winter weather is drab...30s for the next few days, with rain for the weekend, which should make the snow a fine mess.





Anissa__________

{I don't trust the internet, so that's why I seldom get personal about family on it, or this blog, but I will tell you about our daughter Anissa, since I mention her often, this one time}

Anissa, our oldest child and only daughter was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, in February 1979...the delivery room doctor showed up late for the delivery, and this may or may not have lead to the problems she was to have. Either way, that is not the story. Anissa seemed from the beginning a normal child, she was slow to crawl and walk, but for the most part she seemed "normal" for the first couple of years, either that or we oblivious to her slowness......finally when we moved back to Ohio, and then Sam came along in December 1981, being the fast tracker he was, we realized for certain that Anissa was not where she should be.....we took here to a specialist in Dayton for tests, and the doctor straight out told us that our daughter was "retarded" and that we should prepare to do what we could and become advocates for her.........

And we have, especially Patricia and Anissa's band of caregivers. Patricia, a hospital Social Worker, went back to college got her BA and MAs in Early Childhood Education, with a emphasis on Special Education....graduating Summa Cum Laude from Wright State University in the mid 1980s....at the same time she continued to work a couple of jobs, and with some help from me, managed to raise 3 kids as Hal came along in 1984 during her college years.....

Whatever happens, Anissa keeps this family focused on what is important, and keeps the household from ever being boring. Anissa lives at home, but does stay at an alternative home she calls the 'Brown House' several nights a week...she also attends the local workshop for the mentally handicapped during the fall, winter, and spring, seasons. She also has various "ticks" such as getting up anywhere from 2 to 4AM and ready to go with the day's activities....Patricia usually pays the price for that, in lack of sleep during the school year...though it all Anissa and the family persevere....Anissa and her mom's circle of friends and caregivers do more than me, that is for sure, I can only help when possible, and watch and wonder what life would be like for her if she was "normal"...I can honestly say, it would probably be less fulfilling for us, and we thank God for Anissa through it all.
{Anissa at Christmas years ago, camping, and with the boys in the family studio photo}

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Icy Roads and Dartball


Schools closed around the area still today...main roads are clean, but the side and back roads are still iced up......did my thing in Greenville this morning, will be the last day for me until January 7th....one less thing to put stress on the back....although it's the drive down in the early morning, rather than the walking around the Honda affiliate that for the most part is a pain the the back.

Met the niece's boyfriend half way to Columbus this afternoon to pick up brother Mike....he will be coming back home to stay with mom over Christmas...then begins his radiation treatment back in Columbus sometime the week after Christmas, so the VA says.....in the meantime we will try to convince mom to head for Naples for a few months....no sense in her staying up here in the north winter while he undergoes treatment....I can either drive her down and fly back, or put her and the bird on a plane and fly her down sometime after January 1st......

Finished up the first half of our Dartball League last night....with some new players, my back, and some guys getting old(one of our best players is 89 and has been in the league since it's inception in 1938)....we have struggled....I finally had a decent night last night as we took 2 or 3 games and finished the half at 10 wins 11 loses....good for 2nd place in the south division.....Mount Carmel was a runaway winner in the division.....I finished 6 for 12 with 4 triples and 8 rbi's.....to end up the first half .356 with 17 RBI.....I was batting the Interstate(.100-.200) for most of the early going.....the ego of a lifetime .400 "batter" takes a beating when the only excuse you hate to udder is "Bad Back"....

No Dartball until January 7th as well.....the second half begins the night of the OSU-LSU National Championship game.....I doubt if that will fly, so probably will have to reschedule that one.......
{photo...didn't have time to mess around, a cover of my favorite Old Time Radio Show...."The Shadow Knows"....heard on XM Channel 164}

more later.............

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sitting Watching the Snow Fall







The 4-8 inches was upgraded to 10-15, and then back down...it appears we have got maybe 6 or 7 inches so far, with a spot of freezing rain overnight....Patricia had to do the shoveling...and may have snow blower duty later...but with 40-50MPH winds in the forecast for this afternoon.....it might not be worth it.....

Living in Upstate NY for a few years, and northern Wisconsin for 2 winters, this stuff is nothing to get fired up about.....the last major storms I can remember in the Celina area were back in the early and mid 80s.....must be that Global Warming thing....sure it is!

Glad to see Hermit and the folks in Georgia and Alabama at least got some rain.....not enough, but every bit helps those folks and their drought.

Anyway the snow will stick Sam in Columbus, Hal is still 'truckin' out in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and then he unloads some General's junk at Ol-fart AFB, Nebraska, tomorrow...then they move to Minnesota, and Chicago, before heading home the middle of next week....not much of a Christmas break for the college kid, but he did get an education at the Black Jack table a couple nights ago....after jumping up and a few bucks ahead, he ran into a hot dealer.....and made the mistake of trying to out last him.......not a chance, not a chance.....

Blood Pressure still looking better, back still painful.....the rest of the day will be spent looking at the snow, switching between the NFL and Ohio State playing in the National Championship Men's Soccer game.....so you can tell.....

I am (still) bored!

{the driveway, with my 2 vehicles sitting outside, the 77 Buick and the wife's van get inside....and looking east on a deserted Livingston Street, in Celina, and our local Hawk sitting in the garden and kennel area, waiting for an unsuspecting pigeon or squirrel to make a mistake, as the snow was beginning}

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Waiting on the "White Death"/War Protesting




6, maybe 8 inches of snow is on the way for western and southern Ohio today and tomorrow...looks like New York and New England will get maybe a couple of feet....with 24 hour news on TV...I love the overreaction by the talking heads....bad part is, looks like my wife will get the honors of getting out the snow blower and doing the dirty work if we get the full amount.....the boys, Sam(who turns 26 on Monday) and Hal, are gone...Sam, back from Florida the 2nd time this week is in Columbus, Hal is in Kansas City, still working for Celina Moving(Atlas), making money towards his Masters Degree Program at Wright State, which begins in July...so it's the basically housebound me, Anissa, and Patricia for the upcoming snow "event".

Good news is, my blood pressure stood at 127/79 this morning...normal by any standard....we have found what may be the culprit....Ham!!! 20 hours before I was slated to get my epidural injection, I had a couple of servings of baked ham.....not worrying about high BP(because I never had a over the rim reading), I did not think much about it....last night Patricia, who has lower than low BP, usually in the 105/60 range...ate some, just to see what it would do...when she took her BP this morning, it was in the 130+/80+ range.....another lesson learned...don't eat baked ham, especially if you plan on a blood pressure check before surgery or an epidural....Damn, that could have saved me time, money, and pain!

Speaking of Birthdays and family......December is the month....
Sam-December 17th (1981)
Dad(Stan) December 10th (1917)
Mike(brother) Today December 15th(1946)
Our Anniversary December 18th(1976)
Grandma Houseworth December 22nd(1883)
Aunt Cecil December 23rd(1901)
Dad died on December 24th (1972)

Not to mention first cousins and others that make up another dozen or more December birth dates......Mike "celebrates" #61 in Columbus at his older daughter's, waiting on his radiation to begin.....for his vocal cord cancer.

Famous Military Quotes:

As anybody that knows me or reads this can tell...I was never gung ho about my military service....I despised most of the duty I did for the 4 year Air Force stint....something about being one of the people who just didn't take orders very well....I remain that way today.

However, that does not mean that I don't relish the days in the Air Force, the people I served with, or the men and women in combat today....I support our troops 100%....Washington is full of assholes, so is the military, but the mission is right for our country today.....those that protest the war are free to do that...those that protest those fighting the war on terror, need their collective asses kicked.

Newell, one of my VSPA brothers...sent many of us some quotes from throughout military history....many were good, some were funny, and a few, I really liked......this one by General Tommy Franks(from the Iraq Conflict) is among my favorites.......

"When you get home and face an Anti-War Protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand, then wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she is dating a pussy"

That about says it all.......




{photos...pussy war protesters, and the 377th SPS Air Force in Vietnam during TET, 1968}

Friday, December 14, 2007

Change of View


Well, keep an eye open, just looking at different views for this......comes from being bored, I guess......


Comments Welcome..:)...Yep, that's me in the umpire gear behind the plate....


132/82 BP


and a pulse of 63....

It went down rather quickly....after just one pill and 2 days of a modified diet.....will wait however until the next appointment with my regular doc before rescheduling the Epidural.....

The news from Columbus was not as good for older brother Mike....he went in for laser surgery on his left vocal cord this morning...stage 2 cancer suspected....once in, they discovered both cords had a problem....so instead of moving ahead, they have decided to start 6 weeks of radiation. Not good news, but we will see what shakes out with that.....the joy of getting older.
More later...........{photo...Mom, Dad, Mike and me in 1950}

Thursday, December 13, 2007

If It's Not One Thing..........part 2




Just a quick update.....7:45AM




Went to Doc Bergman's yesterday at around 1:30pm....his main question was "What has changed in the past year" At my DOT Driver's physical my blood pressure was at 135/85...not low, but nowhere near the danger zone....my only response was..."2 months of chronic pain and about 11-15 pounds from sitting on my ass not working out....."

The office BP was 202/100...still not good, so Doc gave me a prescription for:

Lisinopril-HCTZ..one a day for the next week, until back at his office next Wednesday morning....

Patricia meanwhile buys me a new home monitoring system...I guess anyone with BP issues(which I never had until this happened) should have one...you can get a wrist model or the one I have(shown in photo) for the upper arm...this is my Christmas present...fair enough...they retail for about $75...this one at our pharmacy was $69....the smaller wrist models are $10-15 less....I know mom had a wrist variety...but sent it back...seems she was paranoid and taking the damn readings every 15 minutes...not good!

I took my first one last night...191/103....this morning before my first BP pill was a better 159/91...so the plan is to take a reading in the morning before the medication...one an hour after, one at noon and one around 6PM or so....sounds like the daily doings of a very bored man.....

Meanwhile I will hold out the hope I can still get the steroid epidural for the back before Christmas.....but it will be at least a week after the next weeks visit before I can get it rescheduled.....at least I am semi-retired...I work next week two mornings at Honda in Greenville(which they asked if I wanted off...but told Dave I needed the walking around, so I would continue to plug along), then off to January 8th....which would be a nice date...BP down, back injected, and the Buckeyes fresh from a National Championship win over LSU......;)

Passing of a legend_____________

Ike Turner, for most non-music aficionados was a wife beating street thug who was second fiddle to his more talented wife Tina.....of course that's what the left wing media, yes the entertainment media is as far left as any media, would have you believe...as for me, I really don't know what the man was like....but I do know, he was the talent and brains in early Rock and Roll long before Tina became a star by claiming abuse, and putting out some damn nice music herself.

Great Early Ike and Tina Video:


Being a Radio DJ back in the 70s, I had access to all kinds of free music LPs, Demo Cuts, etc....and it was during that time I found the genius of Ike Turner's music....his stuff was soul mixed with Rock and Roll...not like that shit black "artists" and wannabee whites put out today....you gotta wonder what the Hell this generation and the next will call "Oldie Goldie" music...rap, hip hop, today's modern country(for the most part), and Rock, is nothing more that garbage...and this is not from some old fart who "hates that damn kid's music"...it's from someone who has been around radio and knows good from bad....

The 60s had bad bubble gum, the 70s had Disco crap...the 80s techno swill, since that time...it's all crap.....and that is being nice...Ike had one of the(if not the first) Rock tune in 1951 called..."Rocket 88"

Ike Turner dead at 76...................a talented and troubled life ends.















Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If It's Not One Thing..........




Patricia took off work at school yesterday, as I needed a "responsible"adult to drive me home from Fort Wayne after the scheduled Epidural Injection on my spine.


Lucky for us the ice storm went to the north and west, and we were just stuck with fog and rain....temps hovering around 35 degrees...we got to Fort Wayne Orthopedics about 2:15pm, a good 45 minutes early...after filling out some minor forms I was whisked back to pre-op...and that's where the odyssey begins.

The trip over was rather painful, my pain had radiated to my right hip and buttock, it's usually, but not always, on the left side or square in the lower butt. The FWO nurses hooked me up to the pulse and blood pressure monitors....Now just for a little history, there are some blood pressure issues in the family, brother Mike, a life long smoker until 10 months ago, takes BP meds, my youngest sister Kelly, is also cursed with high BP...and mom, at 83 has some higher readings, and on occasion takes medication. Dad had high BP and died of a heart attack at 55....Me? Never, my BP usually sits on the moderate-slightly high ratings of 135/85 to 140/90...and my regular doc has always said "it's not a problem or concern"....well yesterday that all changed....the readings started out at: 212/118...well needless to say that was not going to work, so they hit me up with a small amount of morphine and then a relaxer...the readings were as follows:

212/118
175/96
197/107
183/88
177/97
then back to 200/92


Well Hell, that did that...off the outpatient surgery list, and across the street to Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital ER....blood work proves negative but the readings really did not improve...actually by this time I was feeling pretty damn good(Morphine?), the back stopped hurting and I was in good spirits despite knowing there would be no back relief injection tonight...

The Readings at Lutheran:

188/114
185/90
169/100
213/115


The ER Doc said he was going to release me because besides the BP, I had no blood work problems...he gave me prescription to get filled for a low dose BP prescription....and off we went back to Ohio through the rain....now with a nice headache in hand, the morphine, the fasting, no caffeine?

Anyway here I sit...not really pissed, not really worried(just not in my make-up)...I will call Doc Bergman this morning, see what he has to say, and then start the process over again....in the meantime, screw it.....after no pain meds for a week, I took a nice dose of Ibupropan this morning to try to knock out the headache, and ease the pain, now back in my left hip and buttocks somewhat.....

Here we go again.....now I never want/wanted to be one of those old farts that sit around talking about illness or medical problems until my dying day...and I won't...but this blog is a pretty good way to bitch about it...
{photos..your basic BP Kit...and the BP reading from FWO...with the ER reading Patricia added as I sat in ER at Lutheran Hospital}




Monday, December 10, 2007

90 years ago today







Fog, Ice, drizzle, pretty nasty stuff on top of a few inches of melting snow....most of the heavy ice went north and is hitting west of us....my guess is Bruno



is getting hit with some of the major stuff, as it looks like I-44 from St Louis to Oklahoma City is in for a week of nasty weather...snow I can learn to like, Ice on the roofs, roads, and wires, has no redeeming value, to anybody.

Hopefully it will stay above 32 in the Fort Wayne area, so I can get to FWO and get the Epidural Back Injection out of the way......of course it could be worse, taking the brother to meet with his daughter this afternoon....he goes in for pre-op in Columbus tomorrow, the laser surgery on his vocal cord on Friday....will see how that works for him.

We are falling apart....Oh Hell, just getting old............who am I kidding?


12/10/1917_________If dad was still around today would have been his 90th birthday. Stan Houseworth was born in Scott, Ohio, on December 10, 1917....he passed away just after his 55th birthday on Christmas Eve, 1972....a sudden heart attack at home, after watching his favorite team, the Miami Dolphins defeat the Browns in the playoffs....the Fins went on to history that post season, going undefeated....will the Patriots match and surpass that feat? Time will tell.


Dad was a hunter and a fisherman his entire life....worked as a youngest for the Civilian Conservation Corp, out in Idaho, in 1939, doing rip rap work on the Snake(and other) Rivers.....he left that to join the Army Air Corp(before the Air Force was formed) after the beginning of WW2....Dad was lucky, sort of, he never had to go overseas...stationed in spots such as New Castle, Delaware(where he met mom), Lowery Field, Denver, and Mather Air Base outside Sacramento, California....the only major problem dad had was when working as a mechanic on a freight train...the box cars moved and caught his right hand in between the hitches...despite efforts to reattach...he ended up losing 2 fingers and part of another.....he received about 10% disability for that....enough to make the payment(about $90 a month at that time)on the house we bought in Florida.....the loss of those fingers did not stop dad from hunting, fishing, bowling, and being a life long automobile mechanic.....we kids never noticed, although mom always said dad was a little touchy about those missing parts.


One thing about the old man, when he felt like moving, he did, and we went with him....Ohio to Delaware, back to Ohio, to Florida for a decade, then back to Ohio to be near the family.....he was preparing to move back to Venice, Florida, right before he died....he had enough time working for the City of Celina to freeze his retirement, and mom was going to freeze hers as well.....but that did not happen.



I was in upstate New York when I got the call that Christmas Eve....flew from Syracuse to Dayton the next morning....Christmas morning. I was a lucky one, I got to fish, hunt, and spend time at Reds games and elsewhere with the old man.....he died when I was 23, heck yes, 55 is too young, but time is guaranteed to no one.....and I am thankful for the time we had.....If you're looking down from somewhere..."Happy Birthday Dad"



{photos....dad doing what he liked best, fishing at the Venice Jetties in the fall of 1956, studio shot with his brothers...Forrest(Housie)1912-1966, top, and John(Furl)1915-1990, ...dad is the youngest on the lower left facing us around 1937, and his AAF days in 1944}

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pack Ratting/Christmas of 55







I have discussed in the past how my Grandma Houseworth and her 2 daughters, Eva and Cecil lived out their long lives in Scott, Ohio(Population 300)....in fact they resided(more or less between marriages) in the same house, from the early 1930s until Eva went to a nursing home in 1995 and passed away in 1998 at the age of 87...both Grandma and Cecil lived into their early 90s.....the house, or early pop culture museum, as I call it, was one of the first in Scott, built in 1839.....and came complete with an out house and no running water until the late 1950s.....the summers we spent there in the mid 1950s, on our escapes from south Florida, are some of the most memorable I have ever had.




All 3 of the women were pack rat's....when I got ready to sell the place after Aunt Eva died, it was unbelievable......the stuff, both valuable and junk alike could make a 50 page blog in itself....everything from 50 year old shell collections from the beaches of Florida, to my Great Grandfather's leather Ohio Hunting Licenses from the early 1900s(which the value, staggered even me)....I and my cousins split between the families what we wanted, no way were we going to auction off this stuff......gave away what we could, and tossed the 30 year supply of "Atomic Bomb" shelter style food......took us months to clear the place out....I sold it to another 2nd cousin, and he remodeled it and sold it at a pretty fair profit.

Grandma Houseworth was born Wilda Waldron in 1883 near Scott....she passed away in 1975 at the age of 91....and is buried in the Scott Cemetery. While growing up in Florida, Wilda would come south for the winter and spend them with us....a sort of home sitting/baby sitter security guard, whom you wouldn't cross.....she spent her time, crocheting hot pads, doilies, collecting shells on the beach, and watching the new fad....Soap Operas on Channels 8 and 13 out of Tampa.

Shells____________Grandma collected shells and shell gifts by the thousands....she had been since her first trips to Florida with her sister, back in the 1940s. When I was cleaning out her house and the out buildings...I found thousands and thousands of shells...stored, stacked, and dumped in boxes that sat stacked in attics and closets, as well as the rafters of the out building on her property.....which brings me to the "BOOK"...the book is called simply The Dictionary of "Shells", the first edition in large style paperback was printed in 1955....mom and dad got Wilda a copy so she could identify the shells she was looking for along the beach and in the shops of Venice and Englewood....the book was purchased previous to Christmas 1955 at the Fort Myers Shell Factory gift shop.....the place still exists today, not far from one of my RV drop off dealers in North Ft. Myers:


Anyway as you can see from the attached photos....the Shell book was a gift that Christmas of 55....sitting under the chalkboard that my sister was to get.....I still have that First Edition today....how much is it worth? Priceless...just one of those memories of Christmases past and folks that shaped your life, long gone.

{photos...Christmas of 55 South Venice, Florida, the Shell Book then and as it looks today, and the 3 Houseworth Kids, (another was to be added later) looking Mike and I looking half asleep, while Marty looking ready for the unwrapping}