Friday, July 31, 2009

The Weekend Outlook/Skoshi Tigers and other thoughts

Another 6 hours on the ladder yesterday and all but completed the west side of the house...a little more scrapping today, and some trim work will finish that up. Meanwhile Patricia is into her final push to do her summer house cleaning, canning, and will also do some more window trimming later today. Just 3 more weeks and she will be back at school. This week we are going to a Fort Wayne "Tin Caps" game in that Indiana city...The Tin Caps, formerly known as the "Wizards" are the San Diego Class A farm team, who moved into their brand new stadium downtown early this season. Later in August, we will go with Anissa and a group of the men{handicapped adults} from Mercer Residential Services to see the slumping Cincinnati Reds.

Tonight and this weekend Sam and I will be doing our final baseball games of the season...Celina is hosting The Dale Harter Memorial Little League Tournament. Now I admit I don't do LL games, have not done this age group(12 and 13) since 2001. It's a change from High School and American Legion baseball to say the least. 7 or 8 games over the next 3 days should be interesting...hopefully my legs and back will hold out. Football scrimmage season begins 2 weeks from tomorrow...not a big break, but will keep me focused, and busy.

Vietnam-Those that came before us____

As I go through my 40th Anniversary from my days in Vietnam, I try to give my experiences...let me be perfectly clear. I was a Air Force Cop, nothing more, nothing less, no War Hero, no Purple Heart, no Broze Star, just one of the players in that ill conceived conflict. Although Security Police in Vietnam had one of the more dangerous jobs in that conflict. I never felt in any real danger, except one time during a lightning storm while I was at Tan Son Nhut. Lightning bolts were hitting the perimeter wire, while I was sitting in a 25 foot metal tower, with just a lighting rod...a story for later, but I felt in danger, not from the VC or NVA, but from Mother Nature.
By the time I arrived in Nha Trang in the Summer of 69, most SPs had barracks, at least 2 hot meals a day, a laundry, women(mamasans) that cleaned our clothes, bed sheets, and the barracks...compared to the ground pounders and grunts, we had it made. The Security Police that got it all started in 1964 though 1966 didn't have such "Luxury". For the most part their jobs were more dangerous, the slept in tents, had outhouses and out showers, we had hot running water, and hot showers.

My blogging buddy Mushy was one of the early Security Police at Da Nang:

So was Joe Pizzimenti and his flight the "Skoshi Tigers".

The Tigers were assigned to the 4503 TFS, and ran security escorts out of Bein Hoa and Da Nang back in 65 and 66. 23 Air Force Security Cops, trained by Army Infantry, who did the grunt like work of the early Security Police, long before we came into country, in much better circumstances. Although about 200 Sky Cops were lost in Vietnam, some in combat, and others not, the Skoshi Tigers did not lose a single man, despite being engaged with the VC, killing several and capturing more.

My salute to these early Security Police of the Vietnam War.

The Weekend____

A large batch of rain passed just south and east of us last night, another batch north...we remained dry, and the weekend looks to be warming up as it goes along, with little chance of rain. To nobodies surprise, this month was the coolest July in west central Ohio, since 1984...Global Warming indeed!

Photos-On the top we have Joe Pizzimenti's Skoshi Tiger patch from his days (1965-66) in Vietnam...below we have a before and after photos of the front of the house, with messed up Ivy, and then after Patricia completed the Red Trim....and another Sunflower pops out. The small ones(Evening Shade and Citrus) are slowly coming out, my mammoth Sunflower Stalks have reached as high as 14 feet, and the large Sunflowers are just starting to form, I expect head sized and bigger flowers in the next 10 days, and photos will follow.

back later>>>>

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Celina, Ohio, City of Corruption?

I did finally get around to doing a little painting on the west side of the house yesterday, but not until around 4:30. I ended up getting in 2 1/2 hours, and have went over the 50% mark in coverage, but probably not in time to cover the entire job...The small stuff{trim, climbing on porch and kitchen roofs} is going to take some extra time. Regardless, if all goes well, and I don't fall off the roof or ladder and end it all, I should be done in plenty of time to celebrate the completion before my goal date of Labor Day, that being September 7th.

On Monday I note that I have been doing this blog for 2 full years, starting July 27, 2007. Who would have thunk it?....I've had over 20,000 visitors in the last year{since August 2, 2008} alone, and I'm sure I've pissed off my share with my blatant partisan politics and other I will probably piss off a few more, these close to home.

Celina=Den of Thieves?

First off, let me say...I have lived in and around Celina, Ohio, since late fall 1962. My dad, originally from Scott, Ohio, some 30 miles to the north, picked up stakes in our home of Venice, Florida. He purchased a Marathon Gas Station{it's still one today in the 100 block of South Main Street}in Celina, and without a family vote, we left the sunshine and the Gulf of Mexico for this town of 11,000, mostly Catholic, all white folks. I was into 8th grade, brother Mike was a Junior, sisters Marty 5th grade, and Kelly, just 4 months old. In those 47 years since I first moved here, I've been gone and back on several occasion. Celina, always seemed a safe haven to head back to...a real Americana type town, low crime, not a Hell of a lot of Diversity, and no real "bad apples"...Patricia, from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, moved here at 20 years old in 1973, we met when I was 24. We married and moved away in 1977..back in 1980 to live on a farm for a decade, then into Celina in 1990, and bought the current house in town in 1995.
Celina has changed, the population has grown somewhat, from 9 thousand to about 11 thousand now has pockets of child molesters, drug dealers, and folks have moved here for the easy welfare...our own little "Melting Pot" of sorts. While still a decent city, it's not 1962 Celina anymore...of couse American has changed as well, and not for the better.

Fast Forward...Buy a building, put up a parking lot____

Celina City leaders over the past few years, have had a habit of doing several things which appear to me{and my guess is quite a few others} "Suspect". Our esteemed Mayor, a Republican{actually many City Council member that call themselves a Republican in this town are actually RINOs Republican in name only}, no better than your average Liberal fact I trust some of the Dems on Council before some of the RINOs...and for me to say that, you have to know that I have to clamp my jaw tight. Anyway the Mayor and her hired guns, the Safety Service Director, and the Development Director, have been in the process of buying abandoned buildings, on the tax payers dime, they can get their hands on. Why, you might ask? Well to put in more parking lots of course.

Buy a building on the taxpayers account, tear it down, taxpayer paid of course, and put in a parking lot. far from downtown, even though we have a municipal lot, and parking spaces on the south end of Main Street that nobody uses anyway.....Downtown for the most part is dead. A victim of the Wal Mart side of town.
In recent months, we have had our former Safety Service Director resign, in the dead of night no less, no 30 day notice, no 24 hour notice, no notice at all...Seems he wanted to get back to the family business. My guess is, it was before the other legal shoe dropped. When or if this happens, I admit I don't know, but let's face it, it's pretty suspect. Then Lo' and Behold, the man gone, is immediately replaced by a City Council member of the Mayors' choosing, on a temporary basis of course{insert eye roll}, because he plans on running again for council next term.
Now on the the good stuff.

Eminent Domain____

It seems the City, in order to appease the Yuppies that move to the area from Dayton and Cincinnati, and the various "Movers and Shakers" locally feel, the need to make the Grand Lake area more attractive...nothing wrong with that, is there? Guess not, especially considering the Lake already a lovely emerald green color from the Algae formed by the farm runoffs. Sure the fish died long ago, and it stinks like those dead fish, but what the Hell? It can still look good, can't it? Anyway, I'm getting ahead or behind myself.

The city leaders latest schemes include buying the old Acid Plant, Versa Pak Factory, Direct TV Training Center Building, barring buying it, they will try to pull a good ol US Government trick...they plan on stealing it through the corrupt practice of Eminent Domain. The process where a local, state, or Federal Government wants something, and the owners either won't sell or are asking too much, they just take it.

The Direct TV Building it seems sets a little to close to our city Garden of Eden, Lake Shore Park and Drive...the city wants it, so they can build{Drum Roll Please}...Another freaking parking lot, which might get used 7 or 8 times a year. The gentleman who owns the building has loaned portions of it out for K9 Training for City Cops, and says he spend $16,000 on vandal damage, the city claims it's almost abandoned, they are lying...The man paid $400,000 for the building. The city offered him $275,000. What a deal! He balked, and the city and there talking head in the legal department are now going after the building in the glory of Eminent Domain. I'm sure our Founding Fathers would be so proud...they might have a party for those involved in this land grab...My guess the party they would have would be a "Necktie Party".

In addition to the attempt to steal this property{or as one council member says "Let's Keep this Rolling"}, at taxpayer's expense, they are also in another lease/land grab that would effectively cut off much parking to one of the city's landmark bars. Now this bar has had a past, some of it seedy to say the least. But it's a business, a successful one, with some apartments above, it makes money, it's owners pay sits next to the railroad track and of course Lake View Park...the city leaders can't have that, can they? So let's put one of Celina's landmark bars in much for our council being "Business Friendly".

Let me say finally, I know most of the council members personally...bought my house from one, one stood up for me at my Baptism, a couple of teachers, and other folks that care about this city....but they are dead wrong on this one. Our utility rates, once one of the lowest, are skyrocketing, our streets and alleys are in shambles, and our business downtown is dying. What are they spending money on? Freaking buildings, so they can give us more parking lots, all for the glory of the Grand Lake. WAKE UP CELINA before it's Midnight!

back later>>>
The symbol of Celina, Ohio....and the Direct TV Building which the City hook or crook.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glenn Beck "Obama is a Racist"

Sitting around here it is noon time, and I have not done squat...was waiting to see if the 80% then 60% chance of rain would hit, and shut me out from today's 4 or 5 hours painting the outside of the house, the rains still have not appeared. Clouds, and maybe a drop or two overnight, but no rain of any measurable amount. So Patricia and I headed to Bob Evans to eat a brunch, and came back home. After painting the outside "October Red" trim yesterday, she is back at her summer cleaning of the inside, working on the upstairs as I type...meanwhile I sit here trying to decide what, if anything, to post, on today's blog...painting progress, the continuing building buy ups of our esteemed Celina City leaders....that and their threat of eminent domain against a local business. Our fearless leaders in an all out effort to turn the city into a massive taxpayer owned parking lot, and playground for the non locals who come to Grand Lake, are buying anything and everything, all on the taxpayers dime of course., while utility bills go through the roof, and our streets and alleys go to Hell. Well I just couldn't decide what to, I'll save the painting and Celina leaders for later in the week, and concentrate on Talker Glenn Beck.

Obama is a Racist, so says Glenn Beck (and I agree)____

After posting my "Racist-in-Chief" blog yesterday, I come to find out, that about the same time I was ranting on our fearless Kenyan Prez, Glenn Beck was on "Fox and Friends" and basically saying the same thing:

Seems right thinking minds do think alike. Of course the left wing loons in blogland and on the non watched outlets such as MSNBC and CNN are going bonkers...which I suspect is good for all of us.

Bottom line is, Beck has it right, Obama is a racist, doesn't matter if he was raised white, is half white, or whatever excuse the left wants to make. This guy was born a radical, lived with radicals, his friends and wife are radicals anti white, and anti Christian, he was a lawyer and a radical street organizer. Obama is a Marxist, a Racist, and anti American as they come. Those that don't believe it, need to get the blinders off.

This guy needs to be defeated at every turn the next 3 years, hopefully the majority of Americans will wake up....but I have my doubts.

Tomorrow, the City of Celina(Ohio) and our leader's obsession with buying useless buildings.

back later>>>>

Update: The so called Blue Dog Democrats are about to cave on the Health Care debacle being pushed in folks that are being served by them, better fire up the phone lines, and tell these SOBs, that they are toast in 2010 if they do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Painting, Stiff Necks, and Our Racist-in-Chief

Pretty much a ho-hum type day yesterday. Fed the Birds{really the squirrels} in the back yard, did a Bible Study with Patricia, and then finally got around to the house painting project. Put in about 5 hours, and completed the white facing trim on the front of the porch, then got some trim done, and finally got over to the west side of the house, and started the base "green" there. Meanwhile Patricia started the small "October Red" trim around the windows and doors{See top photo}...She being a much more steady hand and with much more patience than me to do the small stuff.

Today they are calling for a 40% chance of rain, with 50% tomorrow....not sure if we will get any, we do need some more, and that will decide how much if any painting I will get done today or tomorrow. One thing for sure, the project is moving along, and I should have no problem finishing up by my projected date of Labor Day come early September. Another guarantee is, the "Stiff Neck" is going to remain with me until this project is completed, but that is something I can live with.

Obama=The Marxist/Racist-in-Chief____

I know most of you that have any lives at all, don't watch as much TV News/Listen to Radio Talk Show/ Read Newspapers, in the summer time as we do in the cooler months. Just to much else to do, we let Washington DC take care of business, and then come fall, we wonder just what the Hell happened?

So just a quick update: Our illegal Kenyan born Prez{he is probably legal, but calling him an Illegal Kenyan drives the left nuts, thus adding to the fun} continues to run us down the road to Hell in a Hand Basket. Cap{Crap} and Trade/More Apology tours begging the Islamics and Euros, to forgive us our sins...which I suppose include the sin of saving their sorry asses from total destruction during and after WW2. And of course who could forget Socialized Health Care, the take over of the Auto Industry...yep, this son of a bitch promised "Change", and by gawd, change he is giving us. Folks are finally waking up, the question is..."Will enough of us, wake up in time?"

And now our beloved pretender-in-chief has shown his true bashing the Cambridge Police Sgt, and saying he acted "stupidly" for arresting his radical black professor buddy, Mr Gates, Obama has shown once and for all, HE IS A RACIST! Always has been, always will be. Of course Barry is back peddling, because the few non-lap dog press outlets{Fox News, Talk Radio, etc}, have shown him for what he is....A half black radical child of the 60s, a hater of the Constitution, and a blatant Marxist and Racist...You think that's a little harsh? You ain't seen nothing yet...this guy is out to destroy the Republic, and it's our job to do what we can to stem that destruction. Question is, are we/you up to it?

Obama now has set up a meeting with Sargent Crowley and Professor Gates, to break bread and have a beer with him on Thursday...Crowley should spit it in their eyes!
Say what you mean, mean what you say!
back later>>>>
Photos-Patricia's "October Red" trim on the back door, surrounded by my painting project's "green" and beige...and Barack Obama and his fellow Marxist Travelers...AKA-"The Klan with a Tan"
update: Check out the recent comment from the gutless lib named Anon...the stupid Ho can't figure out the difference between Army and Air Force....I leave em' up on comments just to show how freaking stupid the average leftist is...way too funny-- prh 3/27/10

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nha Trang City 1969-Celina Lake Festival 2009

The Celina {Grand} Lake Festival has come and gone for another year....and I confess, I never made it uptown or to the lake for the Car Show, which had been moved from the Celina Group parking lot. So I really don't have much to report, by all accounts the weather and festivities, including the Grand Parade on Saturday evening, and the fireworks Friday night went off without a hitch. But no personal reporting from me is to be had.

Baseball Friday and Saturday night at Minster, and when I did have time Saturday morning it was I begged out of Lake Festival 2009. Then yesterday we had a small family get together at my sister Marty's place, since all 3 of Mom's great granddaughters were in town from Michigan and Columbus. Then I took 5 hours off to paint, getting the front porch taken care of...will get back at that this afternoon{maybe}.

I am now sitting at 103 games completed during this baseball season, which began with scrimmages back on March 15th...helping out with the Celina Little League Tournament this weekend, now this level, 12 and under, I have not done in about 10 years...doing the little guys is going to take a bit more leg strength{from the crouching down low} and patience, but what the heck? I'll give it a go. This will give me about 110 games, the most I've done in a single season by far.

Nha Trang City 1969_____
By this time in July 1969, I had been in-country for almost 4 weeks. I had settled into a routine, with Tuesday being my usual day off, I finally headed to Downtown Nha Trang City. Nha Trang was a rather large city nestled in the hillside next to the South China Sea. The one thing I remember well, was the stench of the country as a whole and the cities in particular...not good, and something I really never got totally used to.

Garbage was tossed out into the streets at will, feral dogs ran free in town, and men and children relieved themselves where and when they wanted to. Mildly shocked at first, it became a nuisance that I learned to ignore{but not embrace} in both Nha Trang and after I transferred to Saigon.

On my first trip downtown, me and Johnny Claflin hit the massage parlor, you can use your imagination for that, ate at a nice steak house overlooking the city, and visited the Statue of Buddha...a huge one, that today sits as a tourist attraction. During the next 6 months I would visit downtown frequently, and became quite familiar with the bars and other seedy hangouts in the City. Although I never became as familiar with this town on the South China Sea, as I would when I moved to Tan Son Nhut and the Capital of South Vietnam, Saigon. In Saigon it was about the city, at Nha Trang, the off base was really about the Beach. As the months went by though I became more at ease in Nha Trang City, and towards the end I was bartering beer and soda pop with the best of them.

Yes, 40 years ago this week, I was pretty well settled in at Nha would be another fast moving 5 months, and I would be headed south to Tan Son Nhut, but I planned on enjoying my time at this base, war or no war, there were good times coming my way.

More later this week on Nha Trang, for now it's back to the painting project and the Summer of 09.
Photos-{top} Nha Trang Beach as it looks today with Hon Tre Island in the background sitting in the South China is the same spot taken by me as it looked in 1969. A Market Place in 1969 Nha Trang/and a view of Nha Trang City from the porch of the Steak House that several of us frequented.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Trip the the Air Force Museum...Meeting up with FHB

I seldom blog this late at night, but having been gone much of the day and with a full schedule for tomorrow{Friday}, I though I would kick this out. With baseball, painting, and the Lake Festival in front of me for the upcoming weekend, I may not get much out until Monday.

Patricia and I headed south towards the Dayton area this morning...we planned on taking in the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB for the 2nd time in 6 months....Last January we met up with 35{60 folks counting wives and guests} former Air Force Security Policeman from Vietnam, and had a "Mini Reunion" of sorts...most of the guys took in some of the Museum, but if you've ever been there, you know it can't be done in a couple of least not if you want to do it up right.

The Fat Hairy Bastard____

Yep, that's what Jeff goes by on his blog:

Anyhow, I've been following his escapades for a couple of years now, and Jeff, Denise, and I met up last summer for lunch at a Ruby Tuesdays on the north end of Dayton, while they were on vacation, heading for Pennsylvania. This year Jeff wanted to get a chance to see the Air Force Museum, a place that he had not visited for over 35 years. His dad was a pilot during the tail end of WW2 and being the History teachers he is, Jeff has alot of knowledge on the subjects at hand. Things have changed since those days, 35 years ago, and he wanted to bring Denise and her 2 grandsons to see what was up. Jeff teaches college history courses to military and prison folks and has some time off, so they headed to Kentucky to see Denise's family, and wanted to make a road trip to Dayton. Patricia and I met them at the Museum, and over the next 3 hours we stayed in touch as all of us wanted to visit as much as possible....we didn't get a lot of time to do small talk, the boys wanted to try some simulator things and we all knew that there is just too much to see, and not enough time to do it all.

We took some photos and said our good byes around 3pm, with them facing a trip back to Kentucky, and Patricia and I headed to youngest son Hal's place about 10 miles down the road in Kettering...Jeff and I agreed that hopefully next year we can meet up at Mushy's in Tennessee, for a longer get together. Mushy is another former Air Force Cop, who was stationed at Da Nang, a couple years before I landed at Nha Trang:

Paul{Mushy} is who I got my idea to start this blog from...seeing he being a wiser and older former Sky Cop....I've talked with him on several occasions, and hopefully by this time next year, I will get a chance to knock down a beer or two with him. Which is what The FHB will be doing in the next day or so, as he continues his Summer Vacation.

The Museum_____

Last January, being one of the hosts of the Mini Reunion, Patricia and I didn't take much time away from the get together area to view the museum...maybe an hour or so. Today we took in about 2 1/2 hours worth, and did a complete look at the WW2, Vietnam, and Cold War areas of the buildings...but still so much more to cover.
Dad, Stan Houseworth, worked on various aircraft during his stint in the Army Air Corps during Second World large photo that mom has is of his 1505th Squadron at Mather AFB in California in 1944...the complete photo shows the Squadron in front of and on the wings of one of the was a mechanic on this one, and he is sitting in the glass enclosed front of the Airplane...sort of in the "Cat Birds Seat". So I wanted to see the B-29 on display, as well as the stories from WW2 and my war, the Conflict in Vietnam. We got some photos, some of which you can view on tonight's post.

After saying our good-byes, we headed to Kettering and visited Hal for about an hour...still looking for a post Masters degree teaching job, he will go back on the road for Celina Moving and Storage next week to make some post Masters degree money, gotta pay the bills. He will be working in South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama, for about a week. We headed home after that visit...and the weekend promises to be, painting, and the Grand Lake Festival will be in the plans....

back when I get the chance

Enjoy your weekend.
Photos-(top) Me at the Defender Fortis Security Police Statue on the Museum grounds. Jeff, Denise and the boys at the entrance. The restored WW2 Vintage B-29 and the cropped 1944 photo of Dad sitting in the bomb sight pit of the B-29 at Mather Field, California.
{Double Click Photos to Enlarge}

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ivy Comes Down, so does the Rain, Harry Back from Alaska

Finally some much needed rain hits Celina, the bad part is, it's also raining in Lima, thus washing out tonight's game between the Legion and OSU-Lima....Oh Well, my neck and legs need the rest. After 2 straight days of looking up painting, scraping, and pulling down Ivy...I need a day off, the rain is providing that. A good drink for the lawn and plants was in order, and we are getting that.

The Ivy comes down_____

Well at least the Ivy on the upper front facing of the porch. Our porch area is covered with Ivy that has been growing there for about 20 years....we moved in back in 1995, and the previous owner had it pretty well growing gung ho. It's a hearty variety, and even in winter the leaves stay with it....over the past decade I've battled Poison Ivy{which I defeated} and sparrows nesting by the hundreds in it. The birds I tolerated, but the nests have become so entwined in it, and was making the Ivy a mess. Not to mention the front steps, and parts of the porch area, were being affected, so it was time for a cut and trim. I figured to use the house paint as a way to get rid of the birds for the most part...they are not nesting or producing as much this time of year, but Sparrows, like Rabbits, continue to breed all year round.

Anyhow, after finishing off the east side of the house, paint wise, I headed to the front porch and began the battle of the Ivy....took a few hours, and the scraping was unusually hard, due to the vines being the type that attach themselves to the paint and scraping and sanding was undertaken, and the Ivy is now under control, leaving what I wanted around the edges, but the facing front is now clear. I just need to get a dry spell and get at the painting and trim. It appears I am about 35% done with the house, and the goal to get it done by Labor Day is still in the cards...Hell, late August is a real possibility.

Harry is back from Alaska___

My Nha Trang Vietnam buddy, retired Philadelphia Police Officer, Harry Bevan along with wife Anna, and daughter and son-in-law, took a 10 day trip to Alaska, and just got back from the north country last week. Harry's adventure stories and photos can be found on his blog:

seems Harry and family had a great time, except for maybe a few "Airline" issues....

Harry also reminds me that the day Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, that we were on SAT Alert, and in the SAT Barracks watching the "Moonwalk" on the TV there, not at the Security Police private movie house....and you know what? He is right. I knew something was missing from my description on the July 20th post...but it took Harry to shake up my brain, and get it right....Thanks brother!


Sam has 9 games scheduled for the upcoming 4 day Minster Pony and Little League Tournament, and I have 4, mine being on Friday and Saturday, Sam is always doing his share and more with this tournament...he likes it, and they like him.

Also on tap, the Celina Lake Festival is coming up Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...rain or shine, the car show and fireworks will go on......

back later>>>>>
Photos-Me{left} and Harry Bevan from October 1969 with the 14th SPS at Nha Trang AB, Republic of Vietnam---and 4 photos of the Ivy from the front of the house..some 30 bird nests, thick and years old were part of the you can see from the pile next to the street, that was just a small part of a large batch of Ivy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jammin' and the rains miss Celina AGAIN!

Let it be known, I like dry weather better than rainy weather like that found in the Spring around these parts...but Celina could use a shower. As I neared my 6 hours on the ladder painting yesterday, the sky started to darken, and even though the talking heads were saying only a 20% chance of showers, it actually looked like we could get a nice hard rain. Finishing up, Patricia showed me the Radar, and there were some showers popping up around I-75 and were in a rare show moving east to west...the exact opposite of the usual west to east/southwest to northwest/or even south to north progress. As bad luck would have it, the showers split and missed the City completely, the Mercer County and others areas got it's rains, but we remained dry.

Sam and I then headed north and east to Lima, where we were scheduled to do a baseball game between the Lima Legion{as they prepared to head to Athens for the State Tournament} and the Lima Buckeyes. The Buckeyes are a collection of Lima area college and former high school players that other teams in summer college and Legion leagues use for practice...and they are a pretty good bunch of players. Using their ace lefty from Adrian College in Michigan{a former high school er from Lima Shawnee}, the Buckeyes took a 6-2 lead into the home half of the final inning(7th), with 1 out, the lightning started, so we shut it down....Sam and I stopped in Shawnee Township on the way home and the sky had opened up and it poured. All the way down I-75 towards Wapakoneta it rained, but when we turned west on US 33 heading to Celina, it stopped...Foiled Again! We may get some rain in the next few days or sometime this week, but for now, Celina remains dry.

Wednesday I head back to Lima for a final tune-up for the Legion as they take on Sam and his former OSU Lima teammates...then this weekend the Minster Pony Tournament, something Sam and I help out with every year begins. The Lake Festival is also on tap....and finally July 27th marks my 2nd year completed on this blog.

Jam Job_____

Patricia has always been a good cook, and knows how to can foods...with a full time job and care of our adult handicapped daughter Anissa, she does not have the time these past years for much of that. But this summer she has taken on, in addition to summer cleaning, some canning and gardening.

She took some of the Raspberries off our bushes and canned a few was good. Then yesterday she took the "unfuzzed" peaches{AKA Nectarines}, and made those into Jam. Now today, she will make Pear far the berry and the Peach Jam have been excellent, looking forward to the Pear variety. Lots of work, but the end result is worth it.

My neck and upper back area is still feeling it from the muscle{?} strain....but not enough that I can't climb back on the ladder. I'm almost done with the east side of the house...that should take me an hour or so, then I tackle the front porch, and begin to thin the Ivy....the Sparrows that have infested it over the years won't be happy to see me...but it's gotta be done.

More baseball this week and at the end of the month, then it's Football time come mid August.

back later>>>>

Photos-Patricia's Peach and Raspberry Jams...with the Pear yet to come.

Monday, July 20, 2009

40 years July 20, 1969...@ Nha Trang RVN

The cool summer weather continues in western Ohio. Another morning in the 50s, and I had already decided to start going to bed earlier, and getting up earlier...that way I can do my 2 or 3 mile walk before the summer heat starts. Well so far there has been little heat, and I'm fine by that....60s and 70s for highs of late, and more of the same for today, before a warm up begins.

Crawling out of the sack at 6:30, I was on the road by 7:15...I stopped and talked with an old friend Neil for 5 minutes, then continued my way east then north towards Lake Shore Drive....1 hour and 10 minutes later I arrived back at my door steps...upper back still with pain, my guess is from the paint motion of the past couple weeks...but not so much that I can't walk or even get back to the my age, I'm just gonna have to get used to working through the pain. This back event is nothing like the one from late 07 and early 08 which was due to Spinal Stenosis, this one feels like muscle aches, and hopefully time will work things out, but regardless, I have no plans on resting too to officiate, and much painting to complete....the Ibuprofen is going to have to work.
After the walk, Reagan the Airedale and I do the bird feeders, then I grabbed the camera and took a couple of photos on both sides of the first Sunflower came out, not the Mammoth ones yet, but the first of the Evening Sun variety, also have some Citrus colors that should come out in the next few days...those big ones on the 10 foot plants are probably a week or so for blooming and a couple weeks from gaining full size.

Nha Trang RVN, July 21, 1969_____

On July 20th, 40 years ago, fellow Buckeye Neil Armstrong, of nearby Wapakoneta, Ohio, became the first person to step foot on the Moon. Armstrong, a civilian, joined Mike Collins, and Buzz Aldrin aboard Apollo 11 and became the first "Men in the Moon". Neil Armstrong became a sort of a recluse, a very private person since those days, Buzz, not so much. Neil went on to become a professor near Cincinnati and lives in that area today...Aldrin has been on the talk TV circuit of late, pushing books and pushing for more in the space program efforts.

On that July day{actually July 21st by Vietnam time}, after my day shift Law Enforcement was completed, I headed over to our Security Police hangout...a small room with TV, a refrig stocked with drinks and a snack, Harry Bevan, and a couple of other guys watched the feed from the USA on our black and white TV...we watched as the grainy images came into focus and Armstrong stepped foot on the Moon, with his "One small step for man...." speech.

I really don't think we got the feed live from AFVN{Armed Forces Vietnam TV}...probably a delayed feed...most TV was back then, at least in the outposts of Vietnam. But it was exciting anyway to see Armstrong, a man who grew up just 20 miles away from my town, become the first ever to put his prints in that Lunar Dust.

My ol' my, how the world has changed{and not necessarily for the better} since that July day in 1969, where I was a world away, from Wapak, Celina, and the Moon.

Painting today, American Legion Baseball at Lima tonight....back later>>>>
Update: My old Nha Trang Buddy Harry J Bevan reminds me that he was in the SAT Alert Barracks when watching the Moon landing...and you know? He's right, we were on SAT Alert, not in the SP Movie House...thanks for shaking my brain Harry.
Photos-Top Left-The Grainy black and white images most of us that watched saw, on July 20, 1969, as Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the Moon. July Flowers continue to bloom in our back yard. And the studio portrait photo of Armstrong as he looked before Apollo 11 took off.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Morning Sunflower Check

Woke up just before 7 this morning, needless to say the A/C has been turned off. "Thank you Fake Global Warming"...the clouds are blocking out any blue sky and the temperature is but 59. Fall like it is, and the high is slated for just 69 today, July 18th....the warmest day on average in this part of the world is July 21st, and here we sit, probably not seeing 70 degrees for a high...not bad at all. And it appears that the Air Conditioner can stay off for a few more days.

I got up fixed the coffee, let Reagan, the aging Airedale out, and let Patricia stay in bed for another hour or so....Anissa was already up, being the early riser she is. Sam is in Michigan for softball, and will return tomorrow. Speaking of which, we picked up a couple more American Legion games at Lima this coming week. The Lima Legion won the district defeating Van Wert, and need to play a couple of warm up games before heading to the Regional at old college stomping grounds. So Monday and Wednesday I'll be umpiring, Sam will join me Monday, but on Wednesday he will be putting on the uniform of the OSU Lima summer team for the final time...they are short on players and will be playing the Legion team...Should be interesting, me behind the plate, maybe I can ring the oldest son out for one final conflict, the game is basically "practice" and we are talking practice...and I have no problem with that, or calling Sam "out" if I'm behind the plate.

I actually put the blue jeans back on this morning...usually in July and August you won't see me out of my Khaki shorts, but it's cool enough for jeans. I walked out and snapped the above photo of me next to a few of my Mammoth Sunflower plants...these are about 7 foot, what you can't see are the ones on the other side of the total about 30 that will/should produce large sunflowers to bag up with enough seeds for next year and plenty for storing in the food supply area of the basement. Some on the other side are 8 and 9 feet tall, the other side of the yard has the smaller, more colorful, Summer Shade and Citrus varieties.

Friday, looking back____

Decided not to paint yesterday{or today with the chance of rain} but will probably get back at it tomorrow...seems I have a muscle acting up in my shoulders, not a surprise since the painting, mostly from the leaning ladder, is taking it's toll on my 60 year old body. So I jumped in the topless Jeep and headed south to Montezuma, and met up with Nick. Nick's pontoon is acting up, and he has been testing and getting the engine worked on before our annual "Bar Stool Open" on Grand Lake...this year's event is August 8th. We will have 2 teams on the boat, and Hal will join me and Nick, and one of Hal's roommates, Woost on one team, and the Mister Shop crew will join us....will probably have a couple of alternates as well, making 10 of us on the 22 foot flat boat.

Anyway, Nick and I headed to St Marys so he could co-sign for a car for his 23 year old daughter Megan, then back to the back acres of his place. We downed a couple and fired up a couple of cigars...headed for the Shingle Shack, where we met up with some old friends, and discussed our time in Vietnam and traded war stories for a couple hours...downed way too many, finally working our way back to Nick's place where we fixed Chicken Fingers, a couple of 7 bean salads, and fired up a couple more smokes. Knowing I was in no condition to drive the Jeep, I called Patricia, and her and Anissa drove the 5 miles and taxied my butt home...I will pick up the Jeep sometime today, after we "test" mattresses at the American Shoppe in Celina.

Anyhow, that is the plan...tomorrow, probably back to painting, if it stays dry.

back later>>>>

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter/Half Blood Prince...Global Warming?

Went to Minster for my 6 month check-up yesterday, so didn't get at the painting...had my Blood Pressure checked and some blood work done...BP was OK 116/75(which I have my doubts, mine has never been that low, I'm thinking 135/78 is good for me)and the blood work will be finished today...frankly, at 60 and feeling good, I'm not to concerned, no matter how you slice it, I'm in the twilight of my time on earth, and I plan on enjoying what I have left.

Meanwhile the temperatures continue to be unseasonably cool for mid Summer...yesterday reached the low 80s, but with the breeze it was nice, today only the 70s, and only 68 for a high tomorrow...68? On July 18th? 68 is more like the "normal" low, but we are talking HIGH temps....How's the Global Warming lie working out for all of the Chicken Little types running around?

The Latest Harry Potter___

Patricia and I walked up to the Celina Theater about 6:30 last night to take in the latest installment of "Harry Potter"...This one being the "Half Blood Prince"...the name already put me to mind of our fearless leader Barry Soetoro Obama....I'm thinking more like "Barack Obama the Half Wit King" but then again I would be accused of being a racist or some other bullshit, if I would ever write down or say that....oops, just did. Accuse away left wingers, because that's what those without real arguments do.

Anyway, I've seen them all, although I've never read the books...the movies have been pretty easy to follow, well produced and acted...Having said that, stay away from this one, at least unless you are a "Harry Groupie". This one is long, 2 1/2 hours, rather boring, and really doesn't solve much at all in the grand scheme of things. The acting is good, the plot sucks, and few things are finalized...I won't say any more than that....but I would not waste my time or money on this one...besides, it will all work out in the end as well. So give the "Half Blood Prince" a 2 stars out of 5...meanwhile give the Obama Presidency a 1/2 star...and that's being kind.

Painting Progress___and the weekend

No painting yesterday, and probably not today either...I told Nick I would come over to the south side of the lake. With the cooler weekend coming up, if the rains stay away{and they have been almost all summer}, I will get back at it. So far with the new light ladder, the moving around has been easier, although I still have to use the heavy old wood 32 footer for the high spots...always a treat, especially since I'm not fond of heights, but can do what has to be done, when called on it.

That will do it for now...enjoy the weekend.

back later>>>>

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer? / The Painting Project Continues

Things usually slow down in the heat of summer, even in the political infested dump called Washington DC...but not with our resident Marxist-in-Chief, Barry Soetoro in Charge. Barry and his willing accomplices in the press and Congress are moving full speed ahead with the disaster called "Mandatory Health Care"...a $1.5 trillion, that's with 12 zeros folks, boondoggle, that will help break the bank and the backs of American Taxpayers. You(at least 53%) wanted the "Change" this SOB is bringing, make sure you don't choke on it, because the Health Bill hasn't been passed just yet
Meanwhile my house painting projects continues at a slow and steady pace. I've moved onto the east side and I've have noticed one thing...when you have paint mixed, it never is exactly the same as the last batch. This usually can mean a problem, especially if you use a different store to buy the mix, or have "left overs" from the past painting project, which is the case for me.

Now, I wasn't going to let go to waste a 5 gallon bucket of the turtle green that I had left over from my last go at this in 2004. With a house that is 80% wood from 1923 and 20% from 1945, the paint may say "15 Year Severe Storm", but if you get 5 years(on the sunny side of the house) or more, you consider yourself lucky. Anyhow, I had one bucket left over, a 5 gallon bucket at $20 a gallon these days, I was not going to let that go to waste. Thus I figured to paint the back part of the house and the garage with that amount, that way, if the colors didn't match exactly, few would notice, except me and Patricia....I want the house to look good, but no perfectionist am I...besides the thing will need painted again in about 2015.

Anyway, got the back done last week, as well as the side of the garage facing the back yard. So it was off to Menards(bought the last batch in 04 at Lowe's)...took my samples and had the Menard Girls mix up a batch of 7 gallons of my Turtle 5 gallon bucket and 2 single gallon buckets, I also got another gallon of the beige trim, and one of October Red...I had purchased a gallon of flat white for the upper trim earlier.

I started on the east side with the new mix on you can see by photo at the top, the color is a little lighter than the old mix....lucky for me, there is enough in the 7 gallons that I should finish the house without having to dip back into the old 5 gallon bucket, except for maybe the remainder of the completion date is Labor Day, or that is my hope. Football begins in late August, and September is the busiest month, and painting in not on the priority list, once football starts.

Today I will see if the rain passes or misses us, if the approaching storm dumps on us{and we can still use it}, I will hold off. Tomorrow my 6 month doctor's appointment is on the schedule, to check blood pressure etc{probably still high} and the rest of me, so if no painting today, it may be awhile before I get back at it....perhaps over the weekend.

Dawg Days of Summer____

July and August are usually referred to in the Midwest as "The Dog Days"...usually hot and humid to the extent that even your dog doesn't want to get up and chase rabbits, they and you just want to sit around under the apple trees and try to catch a breeze, or better yet, sit on your ass in the Air Conditioned house or work place. With the Chicken Little Wacky Left crying "Global Warming" at every turn, it should even be worse this year, right? Hardly...this so far has been the coolest summer I can remember since the family left Florida in 1962. Mind you I'm not complaining, the low humidity, combined with the less than 90 degree temps, mean not having to use the central A/C as much, and with the Sky Rocketing Obama induced energy costs, is good news.

It's also good news when it comes to working outdoors, especially painting, is also more enjoyable{if one can call outdoor house painting enjoyable}, when the humidity and temperature levels are Global Warming be dammed! I plan on enjoying the respite from the heat and humidity....I can only hope it lasts through the remainder of the painting and into the early fall football season.

Speaking of Football___

With baseball winding down, just a couple more tournaments to go, Football season is on the horizon. Sam and I got our 2009-10 material from the State(OHSAA) yesterday. Rule Books, Changes, State Meeting Materials, etc. Which means, it won't be long, August will see the football rules and scrimmage begin, with the full High School season beginning as the month hits the 3 week mark....not really ready for it, but give me some time and I will try to get my mind and body(a little more physical than baseball work, a little less than basketball officiating) ready for the gridiron.

Waiting on the rain, or to paint...meanwhile I'll have another cup of coffee.....

back later>>>>
Photos-The Paint...left is the new shade(lighter) vs the old shade on the right side. The "Dog Days" not so much this year, so far anyway. And the packet of football rule changes and other material from the Ohio High School Athletic Association{OHSAA}...The change from baseball to football begins in August.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Morning Walk, a face from 65, and Nha Trang's Movie House 1969

The Morning Walk___

Got up around 7 this morning, let the Airedale out and decided to get out and walk a couple miles. I made my way up to Docksider's Marathon, grabbed a cup of coffee and made my way to the intersection of US 127(Main Street) and Lake Shore Drive...With the Lake Festival just 2 weeks away, the concrete pouring for the Lake revitalization projects are continuing. I'm a skeptic on the worth of these taxpayer funded projects, but the City is going to go forward with them, whether the majority of folks want them or not....the Lakesters and out of town yuppies have spoken, and they are going to happen, if for no other reason than to please the local "movers and shakers", Realtors, and folks who have invested in Condos around Grand Lake. Grand Lake our big{13,000 acre} Green Algae the agriculture runoffs grow, the lake gets greener, the fish population smaller, and the smell more pronounced.

Anyway, back to the walk...The sun was shining, the temperature barley above 50{more Global Warming?}, it was a nice morning to walk a couple of miles....I took about an hour and made it home by 8:30. Now I can think about getting back to painting after I'm done here.

A face from 1965___

Early yesterday afternoon, I had just moved from the back yard to the east side of the house, and had began scrapping the excess paint and was doing some trimming in able to get the ladders behind the bushes, so I could paint the hard to reach places. As I was standing on the porch and see a couple ride by on a nice Harley, and thought to myself, "Now that's a nice bike". I head back to the garage to turn up the radio and listen to the "Rush Limbaugh Show"...I notice the couple on the Harley walking up my driveway. "Pat, it's Don Boise" the man says to me. Don Boise, a name and face from my childhood, way back in time for sure.

Don was one of my original classmates at Celina Junior High School when my family moved from Venice, Florida, to Ohio, back in the fall of 1962. Don, the son of a preacher man, was also my neighbor's, Bob and Jerry Jones buddy...they attended Beaver Chapel, the church Don's father was with. Don was pretty much a fixture at the Jones' house in our area of Montezuma, for the first couple of years of high school....Don's family moved across the state line during our sophomore or junior, to Geneva, Indiana, about 25 miles away. It had been 44 years since I last talked with about water under the bridge, Don and wife and I talked for a good hour, before they climbed back on the Harley in search of other folks from the area.

And the reason Don was able to look me up? He recognized my house from the Blog!! They had been following the blog and recognized photos of me, the Jones boys, and the house. That was interesting... and it was a good hour. Always good to see folks that you knew from a lifetime away, are still alive and kicking. I was to busy talking, I should have got some photos, but that passed right passed the old brain. Don does have an old photo of some of the gang from years ago that he plans on e-mailing me...looking forward to that.

July 1969 @ The Movies___

By mid July 1969, the summer of the original "Moon Walk", the summer of Woodstock, and my summer at Nha Trang, I had pretty much settled into my routine. Working 6 days a week, with Tuesday being my day off, early morning until late afternoon. As Security Police guys, we had a few perks that others did not have.

One was we had our own movie house...a little shack back of Base Police, where the guys on alert and those off duty could watch NFL Films, current movies, and down a few sodas and snacks. Our barracks were also right on "Main Street"...of course Nha Trang Air Base only had 3 regular paved streets...the rest were shoot offs and made of mud and clay. But we had nice digs and our barracks were across the street for the BX{the 1969 version of the Convenience store} complete with snacks, a barber shop, clothes, and a place where you could purchase electronic equipment, and get your photos developed.

Also right across the street was our "Open Air" outdoor movie could sit on benches under a tin roof, and watch the latest movies and hope to catch a breeze off the South China Sea, during the humid east central Vietnam nights. Although, not as nice as the modern base theater that I would use when at Tan Son was decent, and the movies were pretty current...albeit, some of them sucked pretty bad. I remember a movie starring "The Monkees" called Head...I liked the group's music, but that movie pretty much soured me on them...their old hokie TV show was much better.
Also on the list of things that passed as entertainment, not including the days downtown at the bars and bathhouses, was the NCO could always head there, down a few cold ones, and play the Slot Machines. And of course there was always The Beach. Yep, there was a difference between being an Air Force guy, even a Sky Cop, despite the supposed dangers, than a grunt or ground pounder in the Army Infantry or Marines....That Summer Of 69, I really had no complaints.

Back to the Painting....and

back later>>>>
Photos-(1) The corner of Lake Shore Drive, West Bank Road, and US 127 this morning as I took my walk, which passed our west side Light House.(2) The open air Movie Theater at Nha Trang in 1969...Taken by Tony Niemotka.(3) The "QC" Patches, the Crossed Pistols of the Vietnam Security Police...these patches were worn by boy Air Force Cops and our counterparts in the Vietnam Air Force.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rain, Hackers, and another weekend by the boards

Finally we got some rain over the weekend....after a month long dry spell, more or less, we received anywhere from 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches of rain in west central Ohio on Saturday. Celina, somewhere in the middle, with an in and a half or so. Enough down in Minster to postpone my games, thus cancelling out my weekend schedule at the Districts...not sure how that worked out, but I needed the break anyway. 98 games since March with another handful to go, will probably end up with somewhere around 105-110 contests for the season, a full 20 more than last year...this is slowing down?

Since the rain cancelled out Saturday evenings baseball umpire gig, Patricia, Anissa, and I, headed south to meet up with Hal....he had some items he needed, SS Card, Birth Certificate, etc, for his job search now that his Masters Degree at Wright State is he joins his mom with a Masters in Education, now for finding a job in this Obamanation of an economy. He does have a job interview in the small city of Eaton tomorrow the meantime he does have an offer on the table, and can also continue to work for Celina Moving as he things for him are not that desperate. But I know he does want to or would like to teach High School full time, if he can find the right fit for this fall.

Anyway, we met up at the local Applebees near Troy, Ohio, and had a meal there, before parting ways, him south 30 miles and we back north our 60 miles or so. The rain had ended by this time, so we took the back roads home to Celina.

Yesterday started out foggy, but the sun quickly burst through....I grabbed my wallet, stopped by mom's, while Patricia and Anissa headed for Church....I had a mission to buy the rest of the paint for the house, and look at a new mid-sized ladder....I was tired of lugging around the old 30 foot wooden one, with Sam having to come out and help each time it needed moved....some $300 later, with the paint from Menard's, and a new 16 foot aluminum ladder from Wally World, I headed money gone, but ready to get back at the painting, which I had already decided that would wait until today.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting out back, fired up a couple of cigars and put a six pack down as I listened to the Reds lose another one and the afternoon faded into setting sun.

Hackers take over my GMail____
Not to bore with details, but on Friday night my Gmail account, and thus Blogger, were hacked own dumbass mistake was at fault. Google took care of the problem, and a new password was taken care of in less than 2 hours....if not for that, I would have lost access to this blog, and all my e-mail addresses that run through my GMail...what a pain in the ass that would have been. Anyway, thanks to the Google Team{the real one, not the one that hacked into my account} for the quick work, thus saving me this blog, plus many hours, if not days, which it would have taken to get things back to "normal".

Be aware however, if you have GMail, make sure you dump any mail coming from "The GMail Team" into the Spam folder...I am a little surprised that Google hasn't already done this....because, even after I got my act back together, the fake "team" is still back trying to hack my I've invented new ways to slap them back, and waste their time.

That's gonna do it for this Monday, I'll be back with another post about my 40th anniversary in Vietnam....speaking of which, where were you 40 years ago next week, when my west central Ohio "homie" Neil Armstrong{from nearby Wapakoneta} stepped foot on the Moon?

Back Later>>>>
Photos-Neil Armstrong from nearby Wapakoneta salutes the flag on the Moon, July 20, 1969...The rain over the weekend helps my Mammoth Sunflower stalks grown to 8 feet, now it's about time the flowers themselves come out, and Hackers took over my Gmail account for a couple of hours on Friday, but quick action saved the day.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Just a quick HEADS UP!!

For all Google Gmail users, who also have accounts on Blooger. A heads up to watch out for someone calling themselves The GMail Team. It doesn't come through as Spam and you will get threats and questions, they use a GMail address....

Dump it into your Spam Box as soon as you get it....I almost paid the price tonight...quick work by Google and GMail saved one big pain-in-the-ass. When I got back with help from the real google, I discovered a letter in my Draft Mail Box that was being sent out to receipents asking for Money because someone in England had lost their wallet.....and they need 1500 pounds to get them through.

Hope nobody fell for that one!

Feeling Like a Dumbass.....


Final American Legion Game for this Season

Summer is back...I awoke not until 9 this morning, very, very, late for me. Usually somewhere between 7-7:30 is my pop out of bed time....but after doing a 2 1/2 hour American Legion game behind the plate last night, and not hitting the sack until after Midnight, my body decided to stay in the sack and my mind agreed.

Have not even got back to the painting today...though about a couple of different avenues to go, but just didn't have the energy or will to get at it. With a baseball double header slated at the Minster ACME Distict tomorrow, and a drive towards Dayton to meet up with Hal on Sunday, it may be Monday before I get back at it...but then again, I did say this project was going to take at least 2 months....don't want to rush my finish date> :)

Speaking of Hal, he called this morning and said he does have his first High School job interview...that will take place at Eaton, Ohio, down US 127 some 60 miles from here, on Tuesday morning. Hopefully one of many interviews, or maybe just the only one he will need. Good Luck Hal! He also finished up his Masters of Eduction degree work this past Congratulations Hal...after the party and dinner for his Bachelors last June, this year you get your car insurance paid for until you get a full time job....but that's it in the Obama economy we are currently saddled with.

Gene Stechschulte, Coach, Ottawa American Legion Post #63

Sam and I headed to Van Wert late yesterday afternoon to work our final scheduled American Legion game of the season....The hometown team would take on the squad from Ottawa, Ohio. Van Wert had received the top seed in this weekend's district at St Marys, a District that has been reduced to 3 teams after having 6 in years past...this would be a warm up game for both squads. Ottawa is coached by former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Gene Stechschulte. Stechschulte, from near by Kalida, had a 3 year career with the Cards back in the early 2000s before 3 arm surgeries effectively ended his playing days. His top season with St. Louis was 2002, when he had 6 saves in 67 relief appearances...he also is the only pitcher who, as a pinch hitter, homered on the first pitch he ever saw as a major league hitter. One of his assistance is my old buddy/adversary from Fort Jennings, the head spring coach, Jeff Zwick. Meanwhile Van Wert assistant John Archer, who was coaching alone last night, is an old buddy of mine from Rockford, who I worked and hung around with in the early and mid 1970s. An interesting cast of caricatures...anyway, with Van Wert going with "Johnny Wholestaff" while preparing for this weekends District, Ottawa jumped out early and cruised to a 14-2, 7 inning win. Ottawa starts their northern District next week.

That about does it for this week....I'll be back with more from my year in Vietnam on Monday, and a update on the painting project...come to think of it, I may head out and do some trim work right now, just so I don't lose the "touch"

Have a great weekend!

back later>>>>

Photo-Former St. Louis Card hurler and current Ottawa Legion coach and independent baseball trainer in Northwest Ohio, Gene Stechschulte.

Stats are here:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Paint, Less A/C and getting down to work at Nha Trang July 1969

Just a short one today....

I put in another 4 to 5 hours painting yesterday...did the west side of the Garage, and painted the white edges on the "kitchen" part of the back of the house, that alone took at least 2 hours, and it was a small bit, but had to be done. Today, with an American Legion baseball game at Van Wert tonight, I will do some more trim, this time the beige I said, it will be a long paint 5 hours, you drink a six pack and smoke a cigar that evening in the back yard admiring your work....that is my plan.

Meanwhile the high yesterday never got out of the 70s, so another day saving the A/C and keeping the Skyrocketing Utility Bills at dawns cloudy, but the rain missed us again, the yard is pretty much in it's annual "no mow in July mode".

The American Legion game tonight, will mark the end of 3 straight days of no baseball, the longest stretch since the handful of days between Spring District and Regional action back in mid and late May....a double header at the ACME District on Saturday, and then some more rest...I have to say, I am glad to see it wind down. Last season I did about 85 games. This year, counting scrimmages, regular High School season, Tournaments, and the summer games, it appears I will have done at least 100 by the end of July...plenty of work for this 60 year old body. Then a couple of weeks off, and it's on to football season.

Nha Trang July 1969___Getting to work

By the time I had been at Nha Trang a week, I was fully into the everyday workings of Law Enforcement...those workings included how to hide from the brass when I was on patrol duty, when to call for a latrine break mid mornings, and how to BS with the local kids that hung around our gate shacks, and which parts of the C-Rations to give those kids. They always appreciated whatever leftovers we had. One thing about the kids(from those just learning to walk to the mid teens), they may not have liked all of us GI types, but they at least faked it, because they knew, if they even pretended to like us...we would usually give them a snack or something. Sky Cops, for the most part, were softies, at least for the kids.

The first guys I remember working with{those that I can remember their names and faces} were Marcos Payen and Harry Bevan:

Marc was from El Paso and has been a federal agent for many years down on that border city...Harry went home after the Air Force to become a Philadelphia cop, and worked with the K-9s at the Philly Airport, although not a dog handler when in Nam.

I also met guys like Bruce Thompson, Tony Niemotka(who sent me yesterday's firing range photos}, Johnny Claflin...and my supervisors, Phil Lange and Melvin Sloan. Tom Johnson was there at the same time as well, and every once in awhile another name and/or face pops into my brain...amazing that 40 years later, that I can have a good amount of recall on those I knew for only a short time. Of course many of us have hooked up via the VSPA, otherwise these names and some of the memories may have been lost forever. Phil just passed on, and I have yet to find Melvin Sloan{who would be in his mid 70s I am guessing}...but in this large world, the amount of old contacts is surpassed only by the number of new friends I have made through the Vietnam Security Police Association:

Off to a few hours of painting the trim, shower, baseball, and maybe a few beers to top off the evening....

back later>>>>
photos--Szack and Beven, Szack(with the gun) passed away a few years ago, Harry Beven is alive and well and on a vacation cruise to Alaska with his wife Anna, whom he married before heading to Vietnam. Horse play was something we did, and probably shouldn't have, especially with the weapons, but we lost nobody despite it all....The second photo is me on Jeep Patrol, and yes, even though it's hard to tell, I was pointing my .38 Special towards the camera{amazing we all survived our tours}, and #3 is Marc Payan, QC Sgt Ky of the South Vietnam Army, and Harry Bevan..maining the main gate at Nha Trang, probably the one place a Sky Cop couldn't screw around, too many brass passing through and eyeballing you. This LE Post you were in the view of just about everybody who passed through Nha Trang.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Cool July Breeze, Painting Project....and that "Dog" Gone Firing Range at Nha Trang

Well yesterday I started, finally started the outside painting project on the old house....the roof is finished, the gutters and downspouts are done{although the removal of the gutters from the driveway never was completed, so Patricia and I moved those to the side of the garage, out of site for now}, and it was time for me to get at the painting. A project I figure will take me 2 or more months....Could I get it done quicker? Would Patricia be glad to help? The answer to both questions is probably yes....but this is a project I want to do when I want to, take time off when I want, and move at my own pace, one designed for my 60 year old body....which means slow and sometimes steady.

I finished up the Green on the back side of the house, scarped some of the beige trim, and will get with some of the white trim today on the bare facing. The Amish crew put up white facing, so instead of 3 colors, the base green and 2 trims{beige and red}, this time around it will be 3 trim colors, with the added white. I still have to get some more green mixed, and hope it matches pretty close{meaning I will have to make sure that different sides of the house are painted with different 5 gallon buckets of paint{long story}.

Anyway, I'm about 15% done, and that only took 5 hours{using a brush, not a spray gun}....not sure if the rest will go so quick, and I'm betting it won't,

July weather____

53 this morning when I woke up...the A/C has been off all but a few hours for the past week...which is good considering the utility bill was almost $300 last month...THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA and the City of Celina...YOU REALLY DO SUCK! Anyway, a nice breeze and a high of 77 for today....77 for a High? On July 8th? I will take it! Good weather for painting, baseball, and getting in some road work. In preparation for the finish of baseball and the beginning of football season, I figure I needed to get back to walking and push ups, along with some light that began yesterday as well. Now about dropping those 25 pounds which I was supposed to do this spring ?.....wish me luck, or I'm gonna need it come football and especially basketball season.

That "Dog(s) Gone" Firing Range at Nha Trang, RVN____July 1969

I had been at Nha Trang for about a week. I had been assigned to "A" Flight Law Enforcement, and TSgt Phil Lange was my NCOIC....Law Enforcement at Nha Trang consisted of the following: Jeep drove the streets of Nha Trang AB, issuing tickets{seldom}, checking on the posts being manned by other LE guys, and giving them lunch or latrine was basically the "gravy" job of Law Enforcement, and probably every body's favorite. In addition to Jeep Patrol, the grunts of LE also manned gates, including the base Main Gate, entry control points for civilian workers, and some guard shacks sprinkled throughout the was by all accounts, the best job I ever had during my Air Force tour of duty.

One morning a group of us "Newbies", guys who had been in country less than a few weeks, were loaded up in a deuce and a half truck, with a boat load of weapons...Grenade Launchers. M-16s, M-50s, M-60s, hand grenades, etc, and were hauled off to the Firing Range north of Nha Trang City.....this was to be our baptism of fire and quick learn of the various weapons we would be handling in case of a manned attack on the Air Base. I kind of figured, if the VC got past the Green Berets at Camp McDermott, and our Security guys on the perimeter, we LE guys were shit out of luck anyway...but what the Hell? I loved firing these weapons.

After unloading, the dozen or so guys and the handful on instructors set up our "equipment" and began firing at marked targets on the rocks...I remember 2 things from that day that are as clear as yesterday in my mind. The sky was a mass of grey clouds, and it was humid....then there were the "Dogs". Wild feral dogs in Vietnam were not pets by any stretch of the imagination...the carried rabies, they were mean, and they were scavengers. This pack of 6 to 8 dogs of various sizes made the mistake that day of coming into the firing range area, while a bunch of Air Force Security Police guys were learning weapons training and doing target was the last thing most, if not all, would ever do.

Given permission by the lead instructor...a dozen or so trigger happy Sky Cops opened fire on these local mutts...the dogs never had a chance. Now given the fact I have had dogs all my life and raised Airedales for many years, speaks to the fact that I love dogs...but as I said, these "dogs" were really nothing more that "wolf lite". Did I feel guilty that I joined the rest of the guys in opening up on them? Not at the time, it seemed like the thing to do....all these years later, I probably would not do my share of shooting to kill, but at the time, I joined in....we seemed to enjoy it way to much.

After this I was fully "qualified" to shoot the weapons of choice...however, being in Law Enforcement, I was only assigned to carry my .38 S&W Police Special, and my M-16...but Hell, I did get to ride around in the V-100(See Photo of me leaning up against one at the top of the blog) on occasion...which contained some big guns.

OK, that's it for today...time to head outside and continue the painting project.

back later>>>>
Photos-The Vietnam shots are from my buddy Tony Niemotka, who was stationed at Nha Trang with the 14th SPS at the same time as me...he arrived a little earlier and was sent home about the time I was heading for Tan Son Nhut{Saigon}. The two photos are among several that Tony sent out yesterday...they show him firing a Grenade Launcher(top) and doing the prone position with .50 cal machine gun....both photos were taken at the same firing range that we "dogged" it a few months later.
And the back of the house after the main green part has been I will start with some trim before moving on to the area above the will be a roof work day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sarah Palin Resigns....The Media goes bonkers and 40 years ago this week.

The 4th of July weekend in west central Ohio varied from cool sunshine on Friday, with afternoon rains and drizzle on Saturday(the 4th) and back to more sunshine with nice breezes for yesterday to wrap up the weekend.

Sam was off to Pittsburgh, Hal was home on Friday night and Saturday morning before returning to the Dayton area. I finished off my string of 46 baseball games in 34 days(out of a possible 36 days) since June 1st. Now things will slow down, at least hardball wise. I've got some American Legion games to do, and help out in a couple of Pony League tournaments, which I do once a summer, and then wrap things up the final weekend(July 31 through August 2nd) with some Little League work at the local Celina Tournament. Have not done the little league thing in about 10 years, will in interesting to see how my legs and back hold up after doing 3 double headers in 3 nights with my legs being lowered to calling balls and strikes on kids 5 feet or less tall.

Anyhow, some days off until this Thursday, so I can get at the paint and some other yard work. Maybe, now that I'm not facing games each night, I can get off my procrastination highway and do something besides baseball and beer drinking...although the beer drinking won't be completely given up on.

Sarah Palin says...."I'm outta here"____

Friday afternoon Sarah Palin, the hero of the true Conservative movement, and the Anti Christ of the Left Wing Loons, in and out of the press, announced she was stepping down as Governor of Alaska on July 26th, she was not going to run again. Immediately the press, left wing and other wise, began to question her motives. Was she going on a speaking tour, planning her early run for President in 2012, running from scandal? Just what was/were her motives?

I say, anything that can drive the left wing bonkers, with rumors, gnashing of teeth, and shrill squawks, is good enough for me. Personally I hope she sticks around and begins to build a new or within an old(Constitution, Conservative etc) Political Party that believes in less Government, killing terrorists, and that Barack Obama is one evil son of a bitch, that is out to destroy the Republic.

Go Sarah, and tell the Media to "Stuff It" no matter what your plans are, some of us have your back, while the Country Club GOP types and the loony left tries to stick a knife in it. It will be interesting to see what the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have to say about her stepping down, both have been fans since before she ran for VP on that disaster called The John McCain Campaign.

Early July 1969____my tour at Nha Trang begins___After stepping out of the C-130 Hercules on the metal runway next to the control tower and terminal at Nha Trang Air Base, I walked towards a desk staffed by a A1C(Airman First Class, same as me at that time). Showing him my orders, he pointed me towards base police. Not that far away, so I slung my duffel bag over my shoulder and walked back out into the hot and humid afternoon had rained earlier in the day, and Nha Trang at this point, reminded me of my old home in Venice, Florida....July's that were hot, humid, and with rain mixed in...and I was to find out that Nha Trang, like Venice, would be sitting on a beach, on this beach was on the South China Sea, not the Gulf of Mexico.

I walked into Base Police and eventually was greeted by a Buck Sgt(3 stripper) named Clarence Wilson...we chatted and Wilson told me that I had been assigned to Law Enforcement and would be working "A" Shift...that being Day Time Law Enforcement patrols and guard and gate shacks, wearing the infamous Blue Helmet or piss pot as well called them. That worked for me...never had worked LE, and would not again after I left Nha Trang, I was destined for Security for over 3 years of my almost 4 year hitch in Uncle Sam's Air Force. Since I had screwed off my final months back at Dover AFB, Delaware. I was assigned to Wilson for my "training"...which of course would be training in name only....basically reading a few books, pamphlets, with questions and answers intact, and heading off to the Firing Range, located off base and north of Nha Trang City, to learn how to shoot the various weapons we were assigned to carry.

For the next couple of days I would be assigned to get my "Jungle Gear"..that being camouflage uniforms, olive greens with black letters, patches and name tags, Jungle Boots, and get settled into my barracks assignment. I would be placed on the lower floor of the 2 story concrete barracks, right across the street from the base theater and not far from Base Police.....I don't remember much about my first few days "On Duty" but I did get to know a collection of folks that their names and faces remain a part of my life until this very day....That part of the story next.

Back Later>>>>

Photos-(1) What next for Sarah Palin?(2) Me on a South China Sea beach at Nha Trang, South Vietnam, photo dated 6 July 1969...40 years ago today. Notice I still have my stateside fatigues, the new Jungle Outfit had not yet been returned from the "tailors"(3) Duffel Bag like the type we carried during my Air Force years(4) A Huey lands on Nha Trang's metal out runway...although the main landing areas were concrete, the out areas and the areas near the terminal were made from "breathing metals" with holes to allow drainage.