Thursday, July 31, 2008

81 and Done!/The New Freezer





The storms stayed west and south of Van Wert and Garry and I got the last of the baseball in for our season. The Lima Legion defeated the "All-Stars" 15-8....we collected our pay and celebrated with a 6 pack of Sam Adams.





81 games since late March, and as much as I enjoy the work, exercise and getting outdoors, I'm glad it's over....my body took a beating from foul tips(got a nice shot off the face mask last night, and still had a headache when the game ended), and I was feeling the lack of concentration set it....it's time to shut baseball down for a few months, until next spring.

Up next...........Football, some 40+ games at various levels until late October....first scrimmage for me is set for August 14th.





Freezer_________







I've talked this before. With the upcoming recession/depression(take your pick, if Obama gets elected we are all going to be taxed to death anyway), on it's way, we decided to "stock up" on food and everyday supplies. We set aside the shelves in the basement for can goods, non-fat dry milk, and everyday bath needs. These won't last forever, but we rotate the 3 month supply of stuff as needed, and hope we never will need it. Patricia and our friend's have also planted a pretty decent garden out west of town and it has been producing the past few weeks.

Patricia also decided that freezing meats, veggies, etc, was better than the time and money consumed on canning fresh garden items....so last week we trekked on down to Bob's and she picked out a new chest type freezer. The guys delivered it today, and we have set up shop in our already crowded basement(happens when 2 adult sons still live here part or full time, and all their stuff remains as well). The unit is not overly large(13.5 x 15.4 cubic feet), but we can get enough meat and frozen veggies in it, along with our upstairs refrig/freezer, to get by for quite a long haul. Long haul it may be as well...with the increased fuel prices(don't count on this slight drop hanging around), the food prices and winter heating costs will soon be out of reach for most folks. If Barack Hussain(Insane?) Obama gets in with a super majority of far left libs in control of Congress, God help us all.....the revolution probably will be at hand.

In the meantime, my advice, for what's it's worth, stock up on food and ammo....you may need both. Myself, I would like to make one more large purchase...a hard working generator, just in case the grids all go down.

Nuff Doom N' Gloom for one post...........

back later>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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photos--a partial look at our basement supplies, and 2 views, open and closed of the new freezer, ready for stocking.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Jeep/Going Topless










Tonight, if the 50% storm chance holds off, will be the last baseball game I umpire until next March...unless I decide to head to Florida and do a tournament down there come January or February....just a little over 4 months ago, my back was the major concern when I started...it survived the season. Tonight will mark 81 games(exactly 1/2 the major league schedule)....now I will get ready for football, my first officiating gig will be a scrimmage on August 14th....the back will get another test, so far it's held out, but not without concerns, so we will see how things work out.
Jeeps
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I have owned 2 Jeeps in my life, a Cherokee that Patricia and I bought new right after we were married...It was a charcoal grey 1977...despite being a station wagon with 4 wheel drive, the thing could go anywhere and through anything....the only drawback I felt it had...you had to "lock" the front wheels in the 4 wheel drive position....to do this, you had to exit the vehicle.


The second Jeep, is my current one, a 1998 Wrangler. This I bought for the RV delivery runs I would make after my retirement from Environmental Health work. The jet black Wrangler had 32,000 miles on it when I purchased it in Lima, Ohio, in November 2002....in the almost 6 years since, it now has 181,000 on the odometer....it you add up the miles towed behind the RVs getting to the destinations and dealers...my guess is, at least 250, 000 on the frame and wheels. It's now on it's second engine...strictly my fault as I left it in gear while taking off towing it from a motel in central Pennsylvania, and blew the original engine....that brain dead mistake also caused the rear axle to break and a rear tire to fall off and dropping off an exit ramp, down on I-81...but that's another story.
Come Memorial Day, I take the rag top off the Jeep, and drive without a top until the first of October or so....I just don't take it out in the rain. Now, you can fold these tops down, but if you have ever owned one, you know it's a major pain in the ass to do so....and the wear and tear on the top and connections is major.


1969__________












I actually drove my first Jeep at Nha Trang AB, Republic of Vietnam....working day shift Law Enforcement, we rotated posts, and about every 2 or 3 days we got to work patrol duties...needless to say, the patrol, which usually was you alone in a jeep driving the entire base was great duty...unless it was raining, then if you had a "topless" model, you put on your blue helmet and poncho, and got soaked....didn't hurt the interior of the GI Jeeps, because there wasn't much...just 2 bucket seats and medal floors....loved those suckers.












1970__________

My final tour stop in Vietnam was at the biggest Air Base, Tan Son Nhut, located outside Saigon...from March through late June 1970, I was assigned to "Blue Flight"...blue flight was a 8PM to 6AM shift that I worked 6 days a week(Tuesday's off). Resource protection was our job...basically to keep the local "workers" from robbing the Air Force blind...and any long fingered GIs as well. As a "Buck" Sargent my final job with Blue Flight was driving my open air Jeep around with coffee, apples, oranges, smokes, and C-Rations loaded in it....to keep the 30 or so guys that were guarding the various locations on base, awake. It was great duty(considering you were in a war zone)....I feel in love with the Jeeps in Vietnam....and driving those are some of my most vivid memories of that war time.
back later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Photos-top..the Wrangler without top, as I photographed it this morning. Patricia sitting on the back tail of the 77 Cherokee in the summer of 1977 at Hocking Hills(Ohio) State Park. Me and the Wrangler the day I paid hard cold cash for it at AHL in Lima, Ohio. And finally me with a open air Jeep at Nha Trang in August 1969...and in October the same year with my buddy Harry Bevan with a Jeep with a top...you can check out Harry's blog in my favorite's list in the left hand panel.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Invasion U.S.A./Loathing the Government




Time for some political views....I don't blast much political BS over this blog...but on occasion, I need to vent, and this morning, is one of those times.....so if you don't want a ear full of my illegal immigration rant...best just to move on today...because this post is going to be short but political.
Invasion USA....

It has been said by many patriotic folks.."I love my country, but I loathe my Government"....no more honest words to fit me have been spoken. The case of US Border Agents Ramos and Compean are prime examples of why I have felt this for many years:


Bottom line is...Agents doing their job, shoot Mexican drug runner in the ass, after he refuses to stop. US Government trumps up charges at behest of Mexican Government(and probably the Bush Administration)...information withheld from jury{jury members say they would not have convicted if they had this info}. Bush and cohorts refuse to intervene....thus these 2 guys, doing their jobs, get 10 years in Federal Prison.

The fix is in...the moderate wing of the Republican Party and big business who want cheap labor from Mexico, the entire Democrat Party(that would be American Marxist Party for those of you to freaking dim to get it), and it's lemming legion of followers are all well and fine with this. And no this isn't about race, because these two agents are also Hispanic....it's about securing our borders, and giving the Border Patrol the laws and power to do it......

Guess What? That won't happen under Bush, and it's not going to happen, no matter which nitwit, Juan McCain or Half Breed Harry Hussain gets elected come November. We are under assault from both within the Government and from outside by open immigration zealots who would love to see Islam and the Mexican Government have a hand in America's day-to-day business.

I despise our Government, I love my country.....after all the Hell I gave Ron Paul during the early campaign....I'm beginning to think he is right on about 90% of his opinions...we can't say the same for the Anti American factions of the Bush White House and radical Marxist trash like Obama and his crazy wife.
Hey GW, get your head out of your ass, and do something right, for once, Pardon these American scapegoats!
I just wonder how many of you are as sick of this crap as I am?


Enough political ranting......for now!
photos-
Agents-Ramos and Compean, 2 American Agents doing their jobs...railroaded by GW Bush and the US Government.....Stop Illegal Immigration NOW!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Celina Lake Festival-Car Show/One Year Anniversary

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that today is the ONE YEAR date from when I started this blog...July 27, 2007...and yep, the Lake Festival was what I started with......almost 300 posts in 366 days and here we go with year #2.

Thanks to all who have stopped by and contributed.

prh




























The Celina(Grand) Lake Festival has lucked out, weather wise, again this year...a mix of clouds and sun, and a good breeze...not to hot, good summertime weather. I ventured downtown around noontime, and walked the car show. Saw a few folks I have not seen in years, including 4 or 5 that I went to high school with.....met up with my old Celina High buddy Bob Jones....Bob, was one of my best friends, and our next door neighbor while living in Montezuma. Had not seen Bob in about 5 years, until I went to his brother Jim's funeral back in December....now I've talked with him another 3 times in the past couple of months...including the Red Door Reunion, back in early April.


The car show is usually a good one, this year was no exception, however, the numbers were down....about 1/3 less than usual...my guess, gas prices, and the growing number of area car shows....owners have to pick and choose these days.....speaking of Gas, it has 'dropped' to $3.69 a gallon...What a Bargain!!!



After talking with Jonesy for about 30 minutes, I wandered over to my old buddy "Whitey" Klosterman's spot under the Maple Trees....Whitey is a local baseball and classic car legend....He has two fine classics that he displays every year, and they are still runners...he gets them out each summer and tools around the area. I coached Whitey's son Jeff in Little League back in the early and mid 1970s...and he has grandsons that have played for Fort Jennings....both, like Hal, and me, Catchers....one graduated and the other will be a junior this coming season....I have done several of both their games, while Whitey sits in the stands.


Back to his vehicles....Whitey is pictured at the top with his jet black 1946 Buick Roadmaster...and his Yellow 1948 Roadmaster Convertible...both cars get used and they are classics....

It stayed dry for the parade last night as well....I avoided that crowd for 23 years running now....I have broadcast it, driven in it, and watched it more times than I care to remember.....but stay away these days....more than enough parades in my days. Today the Festival winds down, and the weather is looking like it will remain perfect.


The ACME State finals ended yesterday, with host school Coldwater moving out of the loser's bracket to make it a 2 game final...but they fall short and lose to Northmont, and come in as runners-up for the 3rd time in 4 years....my season will end Wednesday as I do the plate for the American Legion District All-Star Game at Van Wert.


That's pretty much been the weekend story, have managed to toss down a few cold ones and smoked a couple of Indian Tabacs.....Patricia has done her yearly major house cleaning....and is approaching the end of that(I try to stay out of the way and hide)...her summer "vacation" is almost history...back to school in about 3 weeks....time flies when your are having fun.


Back Later>>>>>>>>>>
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photos-
Some of the cars at the Lake Festival Car Show...including Whitey Klosterman and his Buick's....and the Main Street "sales" crowed as usual.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Celina Lake Festival-Fireworks!








The first full day of the Celina(Grand) Lake Festival saw decent weather.....cloudy much of the day kept the heat down...today(Saturday) is the big day...the car show just down the block from me, I'll walk down with wife and Anissa, and get some photos...then tonight, the big LF Parade...it usually goes on for 2 or more hours. There has been rain in the forecast, but so far this morning, nothing near us.


As for the parade, I stay away these days...and the fireworks I have not been lakeside to view them in about a dozen years...who needs to, I get a pretty good view from my upstairs bedroom window, thus avoiding the crowds and traffic. Since Hal broke my SLR camera a few years back, I strictly go with my 2 digital or disposals these days...making lightning and fireworks type photos hard to complete. But last night I went upstairs and took about 20 shots of the fireworks with the smaller Sony Mavica....about 5 came out decent...and 3 are posted here.

Hal is working down in the Florida panhandle and Alabama area, he'll be home sometime early next week if all goes as planned....meanwhile Sam headed back to Eau Claire to pick up the RV for delivery to Alberta, Canada. The International repair shop in Wisconsin replaced the engine and it's ready to go...Sam drove to South Milwaukee yesterday, parked his car at his Uncle Bill's place(Patrica's older brother), and had Bill take him to the bus station in Milwaukee...where he Greyhound' to Eau Claire....he will restart the trip today and plans on being back on Saturday, flying from Vancouver to Milwaukee...then driving home the 300 miles from there.

Sam was accepted into Ohio State University-Lima, and plans on beginning his classes anew in September....some of his classes transferred from Wright State, but at 26 he is on his own....I paid my way through college, as did Patricia....and Hal did most of his own bachelor work, and will pay for his own graduate studies this fall....the older son will have to work out his own finances...that is the family way, and he will appreciate it more in the long run, if he sticks it out....Sam is a math whiz...but not a college study kind of guy, this derailed him the first time, we will see how he works it out.



Back with some car show/Lake Festival photos later.



photos-the view of the Lake Festival Fireworks from my upstairs bedroom, and Sam, back in 1996, age 14, with his "hardware" from the State Math Competition....a first place, and 2 third place finishes state wide.








Friday, July 25, 2008

"Take me out to the Brawl Game"







..........................................................................................................As the Lake Festival kicked off this morning, I headed south to Greenville, for my part-time AM gig at the Honda Satellite plant down there. By the time I got back around 9AM, the sky's had clouded over, and the cool weather (about 65) was sticking around...that won't last, heat and humidity, with showers possible for tomorrow afternoon and Sunday. The big Fireworks show is tonight, and the 2 1/2 hour parade tomorrow evening....they have had pretty good luck over the years with both the fireworks and parade....we'll see how the weather holds out tomorrow......I'll try to get some car show and other shots....forget the parade, I'm not going near that!

Being in this part of Ohio, as a baseball fan, we are blessed with several professional baseball teams within driving distance...Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit are all 3 hours or less. We also have a couple of Class A minor league teams within an hour driving. The Fort Wayne Wizards(San Diego), and the Dayton Dragons(Cincinnati Reds), both draw well.....the Dragons, at 5th 3rd field in Dayton, usually sell out.

Last night, before a sell out crowd in Dayton, all Hell broke loose in the bottom of the 3rd(see story here)


and the you tube videos here:


and here:


The bottom line: The Peoria pitcher was jailed and goes to court this afternoon, a fan he beaned while trying to throw into the Dayton dugout, ended up in the hospital, and 17 players, coaches, and managers were ejected.....when the brass of the Midwest League(both teams and Fort Wayne are members) gets a look at the video....my guess is, there are going to be some major suspensions.

Class A, like high school, uses a 2 man umpire crew....when something like this happens, you just get out of the way...not much you can do. I've seen some hit batsman and minor cheap shots...but never coached or umpired something like this, and I never want to.....mind you, I don't mind a good fight, been in a few myself, but this is bad for the game, and totally bush league.....the Peoria pitcher should be sent packing back home to the Caribbean, and suspended for at least a year...IMO.

Have a great weekend all..........................


back later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>






Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Videos and More BS






Summer continues to move towards it's conclusion. As long as the winter was, the short summer will be gone before we know it.....fall I like, winter, I'm not ready for that crap just yet.






The American Legion District Tournament ended last night with the Lima Legion downing Sidney 10-5...Lima goes undefeated and moves on to the State Tournament next month....I will finish up my baseball season next Wednesday, July 30th, at Van Wert for the Legion District All-Star game...that will see Lima take on the best players from the other district squads.


I was visiting one the sports related sites I frequent...and one of the topics was "songs that make you feel good"....some back and forth, and the "feel good songs" ended up being favorites.....here are a few that were posted I like:






Louie Armstrong/What a Wonderful World




Grand Funk Railroad/I'm Your Captain




Warren Zevon/Werewolves of London




and the song from my cell phone ring tone....Lynyrd Skynyrd/Sweet Home Alabama




And on a final note....I see our "King" in waiting is now giving a grand speech in Germany, Barack Hussain Obama is being greeted as the new "Savior" of the world.....am I the only one that thinks this sonofabitch is looking more and more like the "Anti-Christ".......?????



Is this the face of where we are headed.....? A 1 World Leader in the making?


BACK LATER>>>>>>>>>>>>












Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Celina Grand Lake Festival/Approaching 1 year




Last night saw another "run ruled" game at the District American Legion Tournament @ Van Wert......Sidney defeated the host VW Legion by a 14-4 count in 7 innings....the Smiley Park lights really do not do the field justice as dusk approaches, and there is about a 35-40 period, where you can't see squat....I was doing the bases while another young umpire, RT, had the plate...like Sam, RT, graduated from Harry Wendelstadt School of Umpiring in Daytona Beach, and is a very good umpire for his age(25 or s0), or any age for that matter. Baseball needs good young umpires, emphasis on good, to meet the needs all levels of the sport.



Anyway RT, and veteran RG, will do tonight's championship game #1, between Lima and Sidney....Lima came out on top the first time by a 13-10 score...if Sidney wins, another game will be required on Thursday....I would be back for that one. The Champion moves on to the State Tournament...and the Ohio winner goes onward from there.

It's been almost a year since I started this blog...July 27, 2007, to be exact. Wasn't sure how it would grow and progress....but my feelings are...slow and steady improvement...from few visitors or commenter's at the beginning to a handful of comments per day, and somewhere on average 40-50(on occasion 80+) folks a day stopping by, from mostly middle America, but also, Canada, Europe, and other locations.....I will keep trying to improve and make it more readable and interesting.


I began this blog on Lake Festival weekend last year.....and the Celina Lake event begins this Friday....the LF Queen was chosen Monday, and the events begin in full force come Friday.

The extra large Saturday evening parade, Car events, downtown sales, games, rides, lake events, fireworks, etc, are the mainstays of this festival, which began back during pre-WW2, took some years off, then began anew in 1960, and has been the highlight of the summer season in these parts since that time.






For More information on the Celina (Grand) Lake Festival click here:












I usually don't venture out too often during the festival, although I do take in the Classic Car Show during my Saturday morning walk about town.....the show grounds are located in and around the Celina Insurance Group parking lots, which are just a couple blocks from the house....I've broadcast, viewed from the streets, and driven in the parade enough for one life time and usually don't bother with it that much...but it is a biggie. Folks start staking out their lawn chair location about a week in advance. The only downfall...they re-route traffic(including Semis) down Brandon Avenue which borders the west side of my abode...but it's usually not a big problem.

Speaking of the Lake....only 2 weeks from this coming Saturday, August 9th, is the annual Bar Stool Open, I will participate in this...more on that later.

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photos-me from the Red Door, Celina, Ohio, Reunion.....Celina, Ohio, USA(logo), and some of the vehicles at the Lake Festival Car Show....thanks to:

























Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sitemeter a Quick Observation


Not a lot of time or effort today. Will do another American Legion District game tonight at 7 at Van Wert. The season, is winding down for me....today will mark game #80 that I've gotten in since High School scrimmages began in back in the 3rd week of March. My back has held out for the most part, lost a few pound, and put a pounding on my legs...but it looks as if I will head into football officiating season no worse for wear{a big knock on wood}.

Many folks that author blogs choose to subscribe to Sitemeter*....it's a free service, unless you choose to go with the premium service, then there is a small cost. The freebie works for me. Sitemeter let's you know how many and from where viewers you get a day, week, month, year.

Many "hits" are just bumps in the night, some new folks stop by and read your rants, and the old reliable bloggers in our small clickers, stop by on a daily basis.....all-in-all it can be an ego booster or buster.

I like going on a few times a week to see where people are from, and what they are looking for...over the past few weeks, I have pretty much picked out the very post and photo that gets hit on more than any other{except the daily drop-bys}.

And the winner is: The photo at the top of today's post....the 1920 era photograph of my great-aunt and her husband, on their motorcycle with attached sidecar. Photo was taken in my original home town of Scott, Ohio, and as I said, although no date is on it, my guess given the clothing and vehicles, it's from sometime around 1920. This photo is a favorite among the Euro visitors....and at least 4 or 5 times a week, someone from overseas gives it a view. It was originally posted on December 4, 2007, when I was in the middle of "My Back, My Back" phase of last winter.

OK, that is the big kahuna for today.....hopefully something more scintillating on the next one.


back later>>>>>>>>>>>>


Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Wrap....


The weekend was fast moving, and basically consisted of BASEBALL. Sam and I started out at Minster, Ohio, on Friday night for the beginning of it's mid-summer Little League and Pony League Classic. A well put together tournament, where they get licensed umpires to do the Pony League games and make them as competitive and fair as possible...Sam usually does 5, 6, or more games(this year he did 5) and I usually do a couple, and Friday was my share this summer. We got home around 11:30pm.


Not much sleep, Sam drove back to Minster for a 9AM game, while I headed to Van Wert for the beginning of the American Legion District Tournament double header.....American Legion Baseball is played by quality baseball players from 16 to 19 who have college potential or are already enrolled in their first year of college....usually pretty competitive and intense. As usual many of the 'fans", i.e. parents are clueless, that have no idea of the rules, strike zones, etc....But of the 4 teams this year, only 1 set of fans fit that bill, and I usually enjoy "baiting" them into cat calls, and a 9 inning bitch session....part of what makes the game fun, and moving along.

Some blowouts in the 4 weekend games and plenty of runs scored. After doing the bases with Dan Mac behind the plate in game one, I took the plate for game #2...Sam drove the hour from Minster to VW to do the bases for the second game....we got into the 6th inning, with Sidney leading Van Wert 11-1. About that time the skies darkened, and then opened up, the first of 3 heavy downpours to hit Van Wert in a 12 hour peroid....we postponed it until Sunday.

Sunday saw more showers early, then sun, heat, and humidity, along with some wind, dried things off...Sam and I headed back to Smiley Park and picked up the delayed game at 3PM....Sidney jumped out with 10 more runs to run rule the host team 21-1.

I kept the plate gear on(must of been out of my mind) for the winner's bracket contest between Lima and Sidney....3 hours in the heat, 5 bottles of water later, and Lima came out on top 13-10. We took a half hour off, and then began the elimination game between Van Wert and St. Marys, Sam did the plate, his 8th game of the weekend.....it wasn't close, the host team jumped out early and won in a run ruled 7 inning game 27-1...we got home just before Midnight....bushed to say the least.

So we have 4 American Legiion games, 3 of them run rules, and 97 runs to go with the delay....I am back tomorrow night for the elimination game between Van Wert and Sidney.....and a possible championship game #2 on Thursday. That will be baseball for me this season(I've now done approaching 80 games)...except for the Legion District All-Start game on July 30th back at Van Wert.

So that was my weekend....I did manage to smoke a cigar on Saturday night and have a few beers each evening....just to replace the liquid weight loss from sweating off those pounds in 95 degree heat with humidity to match(lol!).....today more storms are approaching western Ohio, and I plan on resting up. Will work in Greenville on Wednesday and Friday this week, that and the game tomorrow night should give me enough time to rest my legs, back, and tired 59 year old body.


back later....................>>>

Friday, July 18, 2008

Robustos, Torpedoes, and B-29s






Yesterday I talked about the new supply of Cigars I received from Cigar International. I had ordered a box(25) of my favorites, the torpedo Limited Reserve by Indian Tabac. With that box they offered a free roll of ten robusto style box pressed Super Fuerte by I.T. So last night I chilled a couple of long necks, and sat outside on the back stoop listening to my Cincinnati Reds take on the NY Mets....long story short, I tried the new Super Fuerte, it was great, the Reds?...as usual they choke...blowing 2 leads, and the closer Coco Cordero, blows the 9th inning, giving up 4 runs and Cincy loses 10-8, the Mets 10th straight win.

Anyway, depending on how the next couple of times I smoke this new long lasting robusto(2 full hour smoke) goes, I may have a new co-favorite. If interested, click on the smiley face on the left border for all the CI specials.

Yesterday, my Kentucky and Vietnam buddy Rich, sent me a collection of old WW2 photos of old aircraft and their crews in action. Some great stuff...I sent it out to my usual readers and contacts, If you didn't get it, or have not seen them, drop me a e-mail @

pat.houseworth@gmail.com

and I'll pass them along.....anyway it got me to thinking(dangerous in itself) about my dad's service in the war. Dad joined the Army Air Corps and was lucky enough to be slotted in as a mechanic working on B-29s and other aircraft....he spent the war states side, at various locations, including Lowery(Denver) Field, New Castle, Delaware(where he met mom), and finally at his favorite base, Mather Field, California. The old man worked on B-29s and when his squadron photo was taken, Stan Houseworth was the one chosen to sit in the cockpit and look out....it is a great old photo.....but so large I couldn't scan it all on my home scanner....but you get the idea....the cropped photo shows several hundred men from the 1505 and dad in the Cat Bird Seat.

The weekend is spoken for....double header at Minster tonight, Sam and I doing our annual helping out at their Pony League/Little League tournament....hopefully the weather will hold off through the weekend, but they are calling for rain on Sunday.

Saturday and Sunday, I move onto the American Legion District Tournament at Van Wert....with the winner between Van Wert, St. Marys, Sidney, and Lima, moving on to the State Legion the following week. I have double headers both days(temps expected in the 90s), while Sam will travel back and forth between the Legion games and Minster.....you might not hear much from me the rest of the weekend.

Baseball, with the Legion and ACME tournaments going full gun, will wind up for me the middle of next week.....except for the Legion All-Star Game on July 30th. 2 weeks off, and then time to get the mindset ready for football.

Back Later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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The Super Fuerte band....and dad sitting in the cockpit at Mather Field, California, 1945

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cigars and Round Up







Today's post concerns the above...two very different items(although the Anti-Smoking Nazis might consider them one and the same).


Starting off with the weed killers....Jerry, one of my Indiana visitors, commented yesterday, that he had never heard of Round Up Poison Ivy Control. Nasty little liquid, and expensive, jug shown, about $18...this stuff kills off just about anything and everything it comes in contact with...but since the wife came down with the ivy rash in various places, she insisted we get the Ivy Killer Round Up along with the regular that I use to kill the grass growing up through the sidewalk, and gravel drive-way.

Yesterday was bush clearing/trimming day....today's we tackle the Poison Ivy and Oak that hangs around the garden and under the large foliage that sits on the property line....it will be 92 by this afternoon, with humidity to match, so seems like a perfect time to go at it....doesn't it?

Now, on to a move pleasant subject(at least in my mind)....Fine hand rolled cigars. No rich person am I, just a semi-retired, ex-radio jock and sports guy, Environmental Health Director, current jack of no trades, and High School Sports Official. I do however, like good cigars. I found out about a decade ago, that good cigars don't come cheap, but you don't have to break the bank to keep your humidor full either. You find a good outlet, that sells in bulk, look for brands you like, and smoke to your heart's content. Don't get me wrong, I don't smoke everyday...when the weather turns cold, I don't smoke at all, because I only smoke outside, in the late afternoon or evening, and only when I can down a cold brew(s) with the smoke.

Smoking is bad of course, but I never did acquire a taste for cigarettes...nasty things. Even in the Air Force all those years ago, I tried smoke the cancer stick and never could stand em'. Cigars, good cigars, are another matter. We are not talking those machine made dogs that you get at the gas station in a 5 pack, or those "it's a monkey" cigars you receive when some co-worker's wife has their first kid. We are talking about good quality hand rolled cigars, that are made south of the border, the Florida border, in the various Banana Republics of the Caribbean Sea.

I usually buy "knock offs" or mistakes...these come cheaper that the regular brands, but are usually just a good...the only mistakes are usually superficial marks...they mostly smoke as smooth as the non-mistakes, and at less than half the price.

On occasion I find a sale on my favorites..."Indian Tabac" cigars, made by Rocky Patel.....I usually like my smokes Mild to Medium...they leave less of a taste in the mouth and clothes, body, etc, than the spicy and stronger cuts. Over the weekend I found a sale at Cigar International, my usual outlet(see Mr Smiley Face top left of blog). I ordered a box of 25 of my favorites..the Bison Connecticut "Cut", a mild torpedo cigar measuring 6 1/2 x 36 x 54....lo' and behold with my order the folks at CI would throw in a bundle of 10 Indian Tabac Super Fuerte 5 x 50 Robusto cuts...a smaller size, and probably good for me, as they are a smaller than the torpedoes, but stronger that the Connecticut cut.


Have not tried one yet, but will fire one up tonight with a cold one......but first, it's out to do battle with the "Killer Ivy".....back later!


photos-Good Cigars and Round Up Ivy Killer and Regular....I'd like to give the far left loons some round up to smoke!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yard Work!






Now that the temperatures have hit 90 and the humidity is rising, I've decided it's time to trim the bushes and do some yard work. Started yesterday when Patricia and I headed over to mom's to mow and weed...did some bush trimming and took a few smaller limbs off her trees out back. Today it's our yards turn....

When we purchased the place back in 1995, the yards was filled with shrubs, border bushes, Ivy covering the porch, evergreens, etc, etc...I'm not much of a yard aficionado, when it comes to yard work...don't mind mowing, keeping the trees reasonable, etc, but I really am not gung ho. This causes the greenery to get out of hand at times...especially when the spring and/or summer is wet(like this year). Usually I trim in June, or even get started in May, not this year, here it is mid-July and now with the sweat rolling down, I headed out, it took just over an hour to do the basics.

After than Patricia and I went to Wally World and purchased Round Up and Poison Ivy Round Up...seems the Mrs has contracted the "Itch" and that took a trip to the Doc's for some meds yesterday....so now, we will find it and kill it...

In other news: Seems the Pigeon has "flown the coop" or been dispatched by the Hawk(which I saw on Monday) or the neighborhood cats...anyway, have not seen the little bugger since Sunday night.....what the heck? I gave him a shot at living, and mother nature held the cards.

Despite the yard work, I still consider this resting, since I am baseball free until Friday Night....Sam and I will go to Minster to do a Pony League double header at their annual tournament...Sam usually helps them out, and on occasion I do a game or two as well. The real work starts Saturday when we have double headers at the American Legion District Tournament in Van Wert....2 games each Saturday and Sunday(both days are calling for the 90s, and these are 9 inning games)...then I have a semi final on Monday and if needed the Championship game next Thursday the 24th.

We finish up baseball for the season on July 30th back at Van Wert for the District All-Stars vs the District Champion Legion team.....2 short weeks off then Football scrimmages begin on August 14th. No rest for the weary.

The only other thing on the agenda is me, waiting on my order of Indian Tabac Torpedo Cigars from Cigar International....the box of 35 is supposed to be here today....and I might have to fire one up tonight, if they arrive.

back later >>>>>>>>>>>
Photos-Before and after..sort of! Now the poison ivy and weed work begins....but I might hold that off until tomorrow....90 minutes in 90 degrees triming in worse that 4 hours in 90 degree weather doing baseball

Monday, July 14, 2008

Baseball Weekend/Must Reading for Morons!


To describe the weekend in one word: Baseball.


It all began Friday night at 6PM, where Jimmy R and I were slated to do a double header at Van Wert....a wood bat first game, metal bat second game between Van Wert's American Legion team and the traveling wood bat team(consisting of college players) from Geneva, Indiana. The teams split(as luck "wood" have it), with Van Wert winning the first game with Geneva's wood bats, and Geneva winning the second...a 3 + hour marathon...got home about Midnight.


Saturday morning it rained, and the games I was scheduled to do were pushed back by 1 hour....but the time our game started between the ACME teams from Van Wert and Delphos St. Johns it was 5 O'clock...once again behind the plate...this game goes 3 hours 15 minutes, and goes 11 innings(7 is standard)...we get the final game started at 8:30, and by this time the storms have reformed, and during the 2nd inning, we delay it for an hour, then postpone it until Sunday....I get home at 10:30(easier this time because the field is only 15 blocks from my house). Anyway on to Sunday at the State Jr ACME Tournament at Lima Shawnee field....they were delayed/postponed late Saturday as well. So instead of starting at 12 Noon, we go over at begin at 10:30AM...this continued game is in the bottom of the 5th....well, Hell, it gets tied and goes extra innings, ending after 8 innings. The next 2 games were rather quick however, and we get done at 4:30....so for the 46 hour period from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, I umpire 47 innings, 27 of those behind the plate in full gear, with humidity, and temps on the first 2 days miserable...yesterday a cool breeze had kicked in, and that wasn't bad.


Anyway, I'm off until the American Legion District Tournament at Van Wert next Friday....unless they need me at Shawnee or Celina....it will be a well needed rest.


This morning I sent some of you a little article from one of our VSPA guys, Don, who runs the web site....hopefully you read the entire article, it gives you an insight why I hated much of my Air Force experience....The so-called leaders and their lemmings at OSI(Office of Special Investigations) were nothing more that SS Troop wannabees. For the entire sad story go here:




If you know the workings of the internal military, it will piss you off....another Hero, wrongly accused and thrown under the bus.


Meanwhile while I looking at my G-Mail/E-Mail, I caught sight of this little gem on the top border....it simply said.


Click here for the story George Bush doesn't want you to read..."Why Mommy is a Democrat" I almost fell off my chair with laughter.....so naturally I click it....and here is where it sends me:
Talk about brain washing the youth of America....and written by a man no less? Well not really a man, because let's face it, no real man would put out something like this putrid mess....wonder if "he" little Jeremy Zilber lives in San Francisco? And people wonder why this country caves into radical Islam, far left loons marching in lock step at gay rights parades, and the mass murder of the unborn......? Wonder no more, Jeremy and his ilk of dickless wonders are the reason.

Enjoy....I be back later!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow


Sorry to say former Fox News anchor and all around good guy, Tony Snow, has passed away at 53 from Colon Cancer. Snow served with both Presidents Bush, and was the mainstay, along with Britt Hume, in the early days of top rated Fox....Snow preceded Chris Wallace as host of 'Fox News Sunday'. Like they say, "only the good die young", meaning the likes of Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton will live long and continued useless lives.


American Legion double header, with the second game going extra innings and 3 hours finished up close to midnight at Van Wert....rain this morning looked like it would delay things at the District ACME Tournament here in Celina, but with the "turf" being artificial and quick drying, the sun has popped out, and my guess is, this are not that far off schedule. My double header is scheduled to start at 4PM....it depends on the length of the first 2 games and the weather delays. More rain is forecast for later tonight and again tomorrow.

Sam, with his RV broken down in Eau Claire, made his way home at 6:30 this morning...He took a Greyhound from Wisconsin to Elkhart, then a 4AM cab ride to Nappanee....driving the last 120 miles to Celina in the wee hours of the morning. The RV engine work may take 2 weeks, at that time he will head back to Eau Claire and continue with the RV and Trailer delivery.....tedious business at times.

Enjoy the weekend!


back later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


photo-Tony Snow(1955-2008)


Friday, July 11, 2008

Sidetracked in Eau Claire, Wisconsin




The weekend is upon us....6 baseball games slated for the weekend, depending of course on weather and my legs. I start out tonight with a "wood bat" double header tonight at Van Wert, as the VW Legion takes on Geneva, Indiana. The legion usually use the standard aluminium bats, but on occasion they have wood bat only exhibitions, and tonight is one of the those. Tomorrow afternoon I move to the "turf" field here in Celina, and do games 3 and 4 of the District ACME tournament....rain in the forecast, but that artificial turf just gets hotter and more humid when rain affects the turf....my games are scheduled at 4 and 6:30PM....Surviving those, I move on to the State Jr ACME tournament at Lima Shawnee for 2 games starting at Noon on Sunday. That should pretty much put me in "I need beer and leg braces" mode. Will let you know on Monday how the weekend goes, and if I survive.

Meanwhile oldest son Sam was moving towards Alberta in a take my time fashion, when the Diesel Engine(International) on the Delivery RV decided it wanted to stay in western Wisconsin.
Overheating and scorching the engine.....Sam spent the night in stormy Eau Claire....this morning he got the news...repairs, major, needed, and it will be a week or so. Sam hops on a bus this afternoon, and heads back to Elkhart, Indiana, and taxi cabs to Nappanee. Will now try to figure out how to get Continental Air to switch ticket to a later date without too much of a price hit.

Hal, the youngest, is in Texarkana and heading to Shreveport...he and his Celina Moving partner will drop off a load, and head back this way for the weekend.

That's about it for the near future....except the small Pigeon, continues to survive in the back yard...the Hawk and neighborhood cats still have not discovered him...but it will need to grow those feathers fast and fly out of here, if it's to survive. That's still a long shot.....but it does partake in the water and wild bird seed I've put our by his hiding place....I noticed last night he moves to a rolled garden hose and one of my "coolie" cups to sleep....strange bird.

Have a great weekend.
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photos-A Baseball Weekend is in the cards....and the half feathered Pigeon continues to survive outback.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Drifts On/Lost Pigeons







Pigeons are not my favorite critters, to say the least. We welcome the Hawk that arrives in the winter and helps dispatch as many as possible....the Pigeon at best is a slow witted critter, much like the human form called Liberal Democrats....some of those, sad to say, are in the family tree. However, I always have a soft spot in my heart or brain for the helpless of the earth, and would likely try rescue even a liberal if it was being harassed by a Islamic Terrorist(one group that I would gladly exterminate). Well back to the Pigeons...yesterday while mowing, I was near the outdoor air conditioning unit and lo' and behold a young pigeon was sitting in the Ivy next to the unit....what to do? Well really not much I could do, except leave it alone...knowing the dim witted parent birds would do nothing...they build their nests in the eves about 35 foot up on the top of our roof, and this youngster must have taken a walk off our tall house(former church parsonage)...and even I don't venture up there....I paint the house myself, but I don't do that part.

Anyway I left it alone, knowing it had no chance of survival....about 4 hours later I go outside and here the little guy was walking around the side yard...damn! Still there, knowing come nightfall one of the few neighborhood cats would take care of him if I didn't.....so the soft headed one, plops it in a coke box with some old bedding a places it in the back yard.....threw in some feed and water(what the Hell do young Pigeons survive on?)....here it is 20 hours since I first saw the bird and it now is wandering around the fenced in back yard(where no sane cat would venture, with the fearless Airedale ready to do her duty at any time). I still figure the bird is weeks away from flying, and has little chance to make it.....but for now, he(she?) is on it's own.....Reagan hasn't discovered it, and the Hawk is nowhere in sight. The little beast can wander in the garden, raspberry bushes, pine trees, or whatever they do until nature takes it's turn.


Sam took off to Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, yesterday....a 2500 mile RV run with a Diesel Pusher and attached trailer.....Hal, still working at Celina Moving for his Grad School funds, is in Louisville, Kentucky, this morning, and loading for a trip to Shreveport, Loozeeanna......kind of quiet around here.


I did get a call from the director of umpires for ACME yesterday and was offered some games for late season. A double header at the District tournament for this Saturday, and another twin bill for the State Junior ACME tournament Sunday at Lima Shawnee. Add these to my American Legion double header at Van Wert Friday night, and I should be good and wore out again by the end of the weekend....I am however, enjoying the days off right now. Bob also offered me a couple of State ACME games at Coldwater next week, but had to decline because of committing to the American Legion District next weekend.....after these next couple of weekends, things will quiet down, sports wise, until football starts up in mid August.


I would be remiss if I didn't offer my prayers to our blogging friend Lin, in the high plain desert of New Mexico....got word last evening that she has lost her mate Mark.....he had taken ill a couple of weeks back, and apparently never fully recovered.


God be with Lin in this sad and tragic time, and God rest Mark's soul.


back later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


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photos-more new flowers in the back yard garden, and the young partial feathered Pigeon, hanging around the back steps and yard.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Welcome to the Club Harry







Harry Bevan and I were stationed for a few shorts months together at Nha Trang AB, Republic of Vietnam. He left Nha Trang for the states in the fall of 1969, I headed for Tan Son Nhut a month or so later. As with most guys you were stationed with in the military, Harry and I have not seen each other since 69.


Harry however was one of the handful of guys I remember from my Vietnam tour of duty. Others that come to mind are Melvin Sloan, Marc Payen, Johnny Claflin, Phil Lange, Bruce Thompson, all from Nha Trang. Joe Prokop(also my basic TI), Aceavedo, and a few others from Tan Son Nhut(Saigon).


The Vietnam Security Police Association(VSPA) have brought some of us in cyber space contact with each other....hopefully before we all check out, we can gather together in person at one of the fall VSPA reunions(I last attended the one in Dayton in 2002).

Anyway Harry, recently retired from the Philadelphia Police Department, after 35 years, has started his own blog...and I invite you to help him keep at it. Slow and steady is the way I've learned to do it....1 year later this month for me.
Here is Harry's Blog:
Welcome Aboard Harry!

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photos-Me(L) and Harry at Nha Trang and Marc Payen, QC Sgt KY, and Harry at the Nha Trang Main Gate/top a VSPA Patch...VSPA is open to all Air Force Security Police stationed in Vietnam and Thailand during the Vietnam Conflict.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Random Musings


Got up early this morning and headed to Greenville for my little gig down south....on the way out of town, I stopped for the Red Light at the US 127 Bridge going out of town...here it is Festival and heavy traffic time on Grand Lake, and of course, the Ohio Department of Transportation is all the bureaucratic wisdom, decide to replace the damn bridge going out of Celina. Of course I could have opted to take West Bank Road along the lake shore, but didn't. Going south as our side got the green light, I notice a small pick-up truck with front end crushed to the windshield....seems as the light went red, a Hoosier didn't see the large tanker truck stopping for the bridge light(the bridge is down to 1 lane and thus the need for the traffic signal)...he crashed into the tanker's rear end....the trucker and another women driver had called 9-1-1 so I, and the rest of the south bounders, proceeded on....the middle aged gentleman in the truck did not appear in good shape, I said a prayer for him and headed to work....enough gawkers and folks trying to help, they didn't need more.


This all gets to the point of my "musings", what seems important one hour, is just a minor passing the next. Another double header last night, giving me 7 games in 4 days, something that would wear out a younger man, and indeed by the time we hit the middle of game 2 last evening at Parkway, I was pretty well "shot". The fans were loud and irritating, something that usually doesn't bother me, and clueless as to the rules of the game, and an umpire's strike zone. GM was my partner, and next to Sam, I do as many games with Garry as anybody else....we finished off the game, collected our fees, and "got the Hell out of Dodge"....got home just before Midnight with an alarm time of 5:40AM...I didn't even bother popping a top, something usually a given after a game and especially after 2. Took a shower and hit the sack instead.


This got me to thinking, something dangerous in itself.....last night made 65 games since late March, not sure a 59 year old, no matter how good of shape he thinks he's in, should be doing that many.....but another 10 or so to go, American Legion games and tournaments, then off for a few weeks before Football season with the scrimmages begins....."Hello Back! are you ready for this?"


Having played, coached, and umpired baseball and fast pitch and slow pitch softball for over 50 years, one thing is a given, the lower the age and skill levels, the more clueless coaches and fans are.....I usually take it in stride, but last night, pretty well pushed my limits, not with the coaches, they did very little bitching, even on the calls that we made that were questionable, "fans" are another story.....and Hell, I rarely catch much flack, and I'm sure last night was just an average game for most umps.....but after 7 games in 4 days, I know I need a couple of days off.


But I survived and now can rest until my American Legion game at Van Wert on Friday night.


I see at the bottom of my posting I am still needing the little word verification thing....now that is really pissing me off....this site has no Spam and where "Google" and/or blogger come up with this crap is beyond me.....a more than minor issues it is becoming!


Weather wise things are back to summer-like with rain predicted for tonight, yesterday it missed us, and to be perfectly honest, a drought looks good to me....I could do without a drop of rain until October.....Ohio(and the rest of the Midwest) is water, grass, and bug heaven this summer.....we are still mowing more than one time per week, and that is rare come July.
Have an excellent day...................back later>>>>>>>>>>>>