Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Bye 2010/Hello 2011

Our "White Christmas" has been replaced by a ugly muddy brown end of the old/beginning of the new year.  Temperatures climbed into the mid and upper 40s yesterday, and are scheduled to be near 50 today, cooler with more rain on the way for tomorrow, New Years Day.  Our snow, with the exception of a few grimy piles under trees and in ditches, and creek beds is gone for now....I'm sure it will return sooner, rather than later...after all it is only 10 days into the official winter season.  It sure seems longer...and with almost 3 months to go before Spring, I am preparing for the long haul.

2010______

On a personal note....I cannot complain about the year past.  The weight I lost during the latter part of 2009 has stayed off...even for the Christmas Holiday season.  Sure I gain a pound here and there, but at weigh in this morning, I was sitting at 189 pounds, 2 pounds less than last New Years Eve, and 25 pounds down from August of 2009.  Blood pressure is still in good shape, at approximately 125/68, compared to around 150/80 16 or so months ago.  Another check up middle of next month will note any changes, good or bad, over the past 6 months.

Youngest son Hal and his girlfriend Lisa, both done with college, Hal with his Masters in High School History Eduction, and Lisa with her Law Degree from the University of Dayton, announced they will be getting married this coming year.  Sam continues to do well at Ohio State, majoring in Actuarial Science, and if all goes right, will graduate in 2012 at the ripe of age of 30.  Anissa spent her first full year in her house on the other side of town, with...accompanied by her roommate and assisted living providers from MRSI....she considers it her "house" and seems in a hurry to get home when she is here on the weekends.  Patricia works her way to retirement, with about 7 or 8 years to go.  The question is of course...Will there be any retirement left after Obama and Company get done destroying the economy?

I got to attend 2 Vietnam Reunions last year.  The one I organized in Dayton back in March, at the Hope Hotel and Wright-Patterson AFB...and the 28th annual Kokomo Vietnam Veterans Reunion over in Indiana in September...both were great times.   This season I plan on spending a longer stretch at Kokomo, and our VSPA Main Reunion will be held in Dayton during October.  If all goes well, I will attend both.

2011____

If all goes according to Hoyle, I will head towards northern Indiana tomorrow, a drive that will take me to Rick and Toni's new place, north and west of Fort Wayne....time for our annual New Years get together. We missed it last year, as they were in the process of moving into the new digs, located on their 17 acres in rural Indiana.  Food, Football Bowl Games, Beer, and a few Cigars, are on the agenda....come Monday, Patricia returns to teaching, and I return to my "retirement", and basketball officiating.

Hal and Lisa will get married in early February in West Virginia, at a ski area lodge.  Then two weekends later will have the reception back in the Dayton area...by that time, baseball will be on my mind.  The local and state meetings will be in play, basketball season will wind down, and I will get ready for my favorite officiating work, on the ball diamond.

The vehicles are getting up in miles and years, so we will purchase Patricia a newer car sometime this spring.  Not to be confused with "New" car.  Not many worse investments than buying a car off the showroom floor....we will look for something that is gas efficient, comfortable, and has maybe 30,000 miles on it.  Something in the 2007-2009 year range.  The Intrepid will go, the van will stay, along with the Jeep....I also probably need to make a decision on the 1977 Buick Landau.  Only 62.000 original miles on it...but at my age(62 in the spring), do I get it ready for the road, or give it up?   Decisions, decisions...

I sit here looking at Reagan the Airedale, and wonder just how far she will get into 2011?  Amazing that she has bounced back and next week turns a full 12 1/2 years old....only a month shy of our longest living, in a long line of Airedale Terriers, Max, who lived to a ripe old age of 12 years 7 months, back in the 1970s through the 80s.  Reagan is likely to be our last dog, but you never know....we have shared the houses, apartments, and farms with Airedales since 1974...it will seem strange indeed not to have one around and underfoot...but Reagan refused to go out on a scheduled time...and that is alright by us...I'll miss her when she's gone.

Our plan is to take a longer vacation this year...out west?  Perhaps.  Time and of course money will make that decision final, one way or the other.  With the Obama Depression at the door steps, one never knows what the finances or the world will be like come August. 

On a more personal goal, I plan on staying in shape, keeping the weight off, and return to a more moderate work out and free weight lifting regiment.  One thing I gave up long ago was making New Years Resolutions...they never work.  Instead I set goals I would like to obtain, and see how they work out.  2010 it was to keep the weight off and drop down to 180.  The first worked out, the second?  Not so much...I did get down as low as 183...but have fluctuated between 185 and 190 for the most part...not bad, but not quite where I want to be.  But with the 25 pounds off,  Blood Pressure, and Diabetes 2 in check for now, I consider 2010 a success.

One thing I do want to accomplish in the new year is...read more books and study history(real history) more, and spend less time on the computer/Internet.   I was book reader at one time, but have lost that touch over the past couple years... would like to get that habit back.  Instead of spending 3 or 4 hours a day at blogging and other computer "work", I would like to cut back to an hour or 2 at the most, and spend the extra time working out and reading.  The blog postings will drop from 4 or 5 per week to 2 or 3, and will be less intense to my time.  At least that is the plan/goal...time and temperament will tell that tale.

In the meantime, my best to all of you in achieving your goals in 2011...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

back later>>>>

Photos-2010 in review....The snows of 2010 are gone for now, the pristine white has been replaced by a grimy, muddy, end of the year brown.  Big Sam Lewis, me, and Tom McCandless, Vietnam Sky Cops all, at the Kokomo Vietnam Reunion in September...Rick's new place as it look when mostly completed last summer, tomorrow will be my first look at it completed in winter.   Patch from our "Boar's Nest" crew at Kokomo,  and finally me last summer, down 25 pounds from the previous summer of 2009.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Beers and Cigars....and a Happy New Year!

Finding things to write about this time of year is pretty challenging, finding things worthwhile to write about is almost impossible...especially after 3 1/2 years of 250 or so posts per year.  Politics these days sucks{the opposite sides will never agree on anything, I am firmly convinced that the days of right, left, Christians, and "others" are never in our lifetimes coming together, until the final days are at hand..The Clintons, Obama, and the PC Crowd within the Education and Media have seen to that}.  Sports, especially college and professional, have become a joke, run by greed, played by criminals and steroid freaks, and the cheerleaders in big media...it is a sad reminder of the 1950s and 60s, when kids could actually look up to these guys...now we get Michael Vick and his ilk.  Basically guys that would be in prison if not for their athletic prowess, but instead are held up as examples of men who have cleaned up their lives...laughable to say the least.

A couple of things are constant...we grow older, and as we do, some of us have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future....I kind of sit on the fence.  In some ways I prefer to stick by the way I have always thought and acted, in others I move grudgingly forward.  Here are a couple of examples, just for shits and giggles:

Beer_____

I have enjoyed the taste and to a lesser extent the effects of Beer since I was 18 years old....that was the drinking age in Ohio back in 1967, and I wasn't one of those that tried it early.  That just wasn't in me.  

I started out being a fan of Pabst Blue Ribbon, then Strohs.  In my Air Force and College days I drank whatever was cheap and available...so I enjoyed/tried to enjoy plenty of rot gut stuff, from Falstaff to Schlitz, and even an occasional Carling Black Label....Nasty Stuff to say the least!  As I aged my taste really didn't get much more refined, and I settled on Miller Lite...you know "Great Taste, Less Filling"?  And it is still my favorite hot weather brew.  However, during the winter months, and fall, to a lesser extent, I have come to enjoy the darker beers and ale that is somewhat more expensive, and which tastes much different than your average American Beer.

Guinness Extra Stout is my favorite cold weather beer, but there are a dozen or more that I enjoy....bottle beer only these days, I can hardly stand the taste of 'canned' brews.  From some of the Sam Adams seasonals to Blue Moon Abby Ale and Harvest Moon, to Imperial Stout, and other hearty dark beers....I enjoy most, one thing about these seasonal and dark beers, they may be more expensive, but you don't drink as much, because of the texture and alcohol content, so price is pretty much a wash.

Garry and I have had a two year bet....that bet started last year was that the Ohio State QB would or would not finish in the top 5 passes(yardage wise) in a single Buckeye season throughout their history...I bet the "would not" side, and in 2009 won a case of beer...Garry won this season, and I am in the process of sounding him out for something he wants to drink.  I picked up a 12 pack of Blue Moon Winter Samplers so far, and he pointed me towards a Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada...add those to another 6 pack of 'something' and our bets will be completed on this....especially since OSU Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is sitting for about half the season next year, if he chooses to come back at all.  So the bet next year will have to be something different.

Garry also makes his own home brew, and told me that he is "brewing" this afternoon and to stop by...with no games, I will probably do just that, and drag along a couple of good quality cigars.

Cigars____

I never was addicted to cigarettes...never like the smell or taste, so back when almost everybody was lighting up, I didn't, and I thank God I never got into the tobacco habit, at least not that kind of tobacco laced with way too many poisons....

Cigars, on the other hand, I enjoyed no occasion.  I would buy a cheap 5-pack when I was stationed at Tan Son Nhut working the graveyard shift.  Sitting in those towers, or driving a relief Jeep during the 10 hour overnight shift, was not conducive to staying alert and awake...so on occasion I would fire up a Phillie or White Owl, to help me stay alert and awake...didn't inhale them, so really didn't see them as a problem.

About 15 years ago, I started reading up on Hand Rolled Cigars, which at that time were undergoing a "boom" among the yuppie crowd.  No stinking yuppie was I, but I did like the taste and smell of the moderate and mild tasting hand rolled types.  I still don't inhale, don't like the after smell on my clothes and body, but I do enjoy the taste of a good cigar.  I might smoke 40 to 50 per year, mostly in the summer months, always out of doors and usually when the temperature is above 70 degrees.  New Years Day will be an exception, when I head over to Rick's for our annual year opening get together.  Cold or not(rain and 45 is predicted), we will doubtless fire a couple up.


Cigars can be quite expensive, and my all time favorite is a Arturo Fuente Don Carlos #2 Torpedo...but at $13 per smoke and $325 per box of 25(more or less depending on where you make a purchase)..I shy away from those, unless somebody else lays one on me.  I've probably had 5 in my life.  I usually go online to Cigar International and pick out a mild Torpedo at around a buck a stick.  Not as good, but one heck of a lot easier on my limited Cigar Budget...on occasion they have a special on Indian Tabac in the Robusto or Torpedo size for around 2 bucks, and I grab a box of those.  So my cigar purchases per year are usually about that of a tankful or two of gas....but if someone wants to send me a box of Don Carlos #2 to sample...I am open to that suggestion...otherwise I'll stick to the off brands or an occasional box of Tabacs.

The New Year is almost upon us___

I'm not sure exactly what 2011 has in store for me or anybody...but it will see me qualify for Social Security come March, and our youngest son Hal get married in February...the rest of what comes is a mystery that will be solved between now and this time in December 2011.

Tomorrow has me scheduled for 3 basketball games.  In the morning, a junior high double header at Russia for their boys Holiday Tournament...then in the evening it is off to my birthplace of Van Wert for a girls JV contest...that will end my 2010 basketball schedule, I will start the 2011 season off on January 4th.

May take tomorrow off, due to the game schedule, but will be back on Friday for a year ending post.

back later>>>>

Beers and Cigars:

Blue Moon's Winter Abbey Ale...pouring a Guinness Extra Stout...Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada.  Cigar International is where I purchase my smokes from usually...the tasty, but expensive Don Carlos #2 torpedoes from Fuente, and my lesser priced smoke of choice...the Indian Tabac brands from Rocky Patel.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Meandering Mind on a Tuesday Afternoon....

Sitting around and realizing that I have not done much today....so I let meandering thoughts cross into and through my winter lager soaked brain cells....

Gas prices jumped above $3 a gallon last night in western Ohio.

 As I drove through Spencerville on my way to officiate in Delphos last night,  I notice the price for Regular Gas had jumped to it's highest levels in recent memory.  $3.19.9 in both Spencerville and Delphos.  By the time I drove home from the Dartball games in Celina at 10pm, the price locally had jumped to $3.09.9.  Basically the price of fuel had risen 20 to 30 cents a gallon in a few hours yesterday, depending on location.  Thus making my trips out of town to work sporting events that much less profitable....of course it also makes it easier to "write off" those games on my tax returns come 2012, if the prices stay high.  I don't blame the Oil Companies, although they shoulder some of our pain.  Wall Street Speculators, The White House "Grifter", Barack Obama, and the ever present over regulated government are the ones mostly responsible...anybody denying that observation is either a Liberal, a Damn Fool, or both.

King Barry and Queen Michelle in Hawaii...bend over Tax Payer.

Speaking of the Grifter and Queen Michelle, are their sorry asses still on vacation in Hawaii or our dime?  I think so....

Have their ever been a President taking more vacations in such a short time that this assclown and his wife?  Sure Bush2 and LBJ took lots of vacations, but at least both men spent most of them on their own property in Texas...The Grifter has not only never held a job, and no records even exist that he even went to college...he apparently has never owned his own place, at least one somebody else didn't purchase for him and his queen.  The Obummers spend more on one Air Force One trip than most of our houses are worth....and that's not counting the security costs.

Ohio State and the "Fab Five"

All of Ohio, especially it's die-hard Buckeye Football Fanatics, are all in a tither about the latest from Jim "Vest" Tressel, and his "Chosen One",  Quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.   Seems the self proclaimed "best QB in the nation" and some of his "Posse" have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, for selling off prized memorabilia that they received for the recent glory days of OSU Football.  The NCAA slapped a 5 game suspension on them...but is willing to let them play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas next week, and hold off on the suspensions until next season...if the 5 choose to stick around.

Autographs for Tattoos, and a cool $500 each for golden pants, championship rings, and other items...seems the young lads cannot make it on kick backs and goodies from adoring alumni, so they sell off the crown jewels of their college careers....My question has been since day one.."If these violations are that bad, why is the NCAA waiting until next season to punish"?

Of course, stupid me, it's about ratings, and money.....duh!  As if we didn't know the NCAA, College Football(and Basketball), the BCS, and the Networks were all about money and ratings...

No games tonight or tomorrow...then a triple header for Thursday, with a double dip at Russia(Ruh-She), Ohio, on Thursday morning, followed by a girls high school game on that evening.  After that it's off until next Tuesday, January 4th.  The annual New Year's Day trip to Rick's and the beginning of Dartball's second half are sandwiched in-between games.  In the meantime I will try to rack my brain and come up with something worth writing about in this, the dead time of outdoor activity.

back later>>>>

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas and the Aftermath

The Holidays are about to end...the folks dragging at work will finish this week off, then prepare for the usual New Year kickoff come Friday night.  It appears by that time rain will be on the scene, and we are scheduled to have highs in the 40s over the weekend(down from previous predictions of mid 50s and showers).

Most of our family was on hand....all of my kids, sister Marty's kids, Mike, Mom, and the various sons-in-laws and Hal's future wife.  Sister Kelly, her husband Mike, down in south Florida, and brother Mike's daughters and kids, with their families in Columbus, were the only ones missing.  Things went well at the Christmas Eve get together, and Christmas Day went without a hitch, except I managed to come down with a cold...albeit not a bad one.

Tonight it's back to basketball, with a double at Delphos, while Sam heads to Spencerville for a Girls JV game...Patricia and Anissa are in the Cincinnati area for a Wedding Shower for Hal's fiancee, Lisa...after the games tonight, Sam and I will head to Dartball to finish off our make-up games to end the first half of a rather dismal season thus far...hopefully things, team wise, and on a pesonal level will improve in 2011 and the second half of the season.

Saturday, after a year missed last New Year's Day...Clint and I will head over to Rick's for our annual, food, beer, and Bowlfest....so far the Holiday season has seen me gain about 4 pounds since Thanksgiving....hopefully I can get back on track.  I'm still down 22 since September of 2009....and checking the BP, it's still within range....back to the doctors on January 18 and 19 for blood work followed by the semi annual checkup, the extra pounds should be gone by then, if all goes according to Hoyle.

back later, with more>>>>>

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Michelle and Barry as "The Grifters in Hawaii"....On Our Dime

While the economy continues in the tank, and real unemployment is near 20%...our racist-in-chief and the very Marxist Mrs. Obama, vacation in Hawaii. Thus their 438th Vacation thanks to the Taxpayer's Money in just over 23 months in office:

http://takeastandagainstliberals.blogspot.com/2010/12/michelle-obama-one-expensive-bitch.html

53% of the Nations voters deserve to be called "Suckers"...for foisting these 2 sorry pieces on the Republic.....

back tomorrow with no politics.....

Friday, December 24, 2010

___prh...a day in the life....: Buckeye Nation Are they College Football's Worst F...

After the Mess Yesterday with Terrelle Pryor and others caught selling gifts for cash, and getting the boot for 1/2 of next season...I repost my thoughts on Pryor and his rise to "stardom" at Ohio State: Never one to say, "I told you so"...hummm, but, I told you so!


__prh...a day in the life....: Buckeye Nation Are they College Football's Worst F...: "The weekend weather continued in the nice vein, the slow slide to winter has begun, let us hope it stays on the slow path. As much as I..."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

It's time to put away the "looking back" at the Christmas pasts for another year....as we move to within 2 days of the celebration of the birth of Christ.  Although the Government, schools, and leftist/atheist wacko types have pushed JC out of the minds of the kiddies, and mindless morons that voted for and support Barack Insane Obama and his ilk.  To all that choose to believe, I wish you a Merry CHRISTmas, to those black hearted godless bastards of the left, a lump of coal for you.  Not kind I know, especially for someone that claims to be a Christian,  but the beating down of Christmas and Christians that has occurred over the past few decades, in the name of Political Correctness, and not offending anybody, has led me to not really try to be kind to those that would destroy the name of Christ or his followers.

OK, that's my little rant for today....

Enjoy your Christmas and Holiday Season which unofficially kicks off tomorrow about 6PM local time....I probably will check in over the next couple of days, basketball tonight, then a few days off.  Next week, basketball a couple of nights, then New Years Day north and west to Pearson's place, to have our first New Years Bowl outing at Rick and Toni's new place...we missed last year, for the first time in years, as they were in the process of moving out of the old ranch and not yet into the new....

back later>>>>

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Christmas Pasts, the 1950s....

Our snow and freezing rain has turned to flurries but not before some fog and ice turned the roads slick and have canceled the schools that were still in session, some had already taken the Christmas break....I worked a double header junior high at St Marys last night, and off today, with another double dip over at Waynesfield tomorrow, before the Christmas weekend takes over.

Christmas the 1950s____

For some reason, as good as memory as I usually have, dating back to the time I stuck a hair pin in the wall outlet when I was 2 years old, ouch, that knocked me on my ass.  I don't have a total recall of any Christmas before our 2nd one in Venice, Florida, back in 1955.  Grandma Houseworth was staying with us at our humble abode located in the old tourist camp called Alston's Cottages, located in South Venice, some 4 miles down the Tamiami Trail, on Highway 41.

I never thought of us as poor, just average middle class, but in reality we didn't have a lot.  Mom still tells that when we moved from Scott, Ohio, to Florida in the late Summer of 54, Dad has $40 dollars in his wallet, and another $100 stashed in a pouch around his waist.  That, the 48 Buick, and the clothes on our backs is about what we had when we arrived in the Sunshine State.  I don't remember the Christmas of 1954, our first in Venice, but I do recall vividly the following one in our small 2 bedroom "house".

The tree was pretty decent, by south Florida standards, which were usually scrub pine trees.  Grandma, Wilda Waldron Houseworth, was staying with us for the winter, and the area under the tree was filled with plenty of toys and other items.  Maybe I remember this Christmas so well, is because I still have photographs from that year, and not so much from others....with the one exception of 1959.

On occasion we would have relatives and friends come down from the cold and snow of Ohio and spend the Christmas holiday in Venice.  The final year of the decade of the 50s, Bruce and Fredia Foust and son Alford, who was my best friend from back in Scott, came to visit us....as you can see from the photo of that Christmas morning, the tree was a table tree, and one of those scrub pines we were used to in Florida...but despite the ugly tree, we took in a pretty good haul.  I do not recall a bad Christmas in Venice, during the 1950s....poor we may have been, at least for the first few years in the Venice area, but, I never remember feeling so, especially at Christmas time.  The were without a doubt the favorite Christmases of my youth.

More tomorrow...back later>>>>

Photos-Top...the living room at our Alston's Cottage home on Christmas Morning 1955...note the Shell Book under the Chalkboard that was for sister Marty...that book was for Grandma Houseworth, and I still have it in my possession some 55 Christmases late, second photo.  An Ariel shot of Alstons, our place is "X"ed, if you double click.  Humble abode indeed, even for the fab 50s.  The living room on Christmas morning of 1959 on School Street and Pineland Avenue in Venice....left to right, me, Mike, Al Foust, in rear and Marty front.  The last photo is of Mike and me, with our XMas 1955 gifts...shooting bow and arrow and me with my hunting knife....how politically incorrect this would be today, it's a wonder how we survived out violent childhood...{insert large dose of sarcasm}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Christmas Pasts

After officiating a Junior High double header at Delphos, I zipped back to Celina and got in 2 games of Dartball at the opponents place, Bethany United....another average to poor night for me, but we won 2 games of 3, and Sam had a pretty good night for his first games of the year, leaving with a .429 batting average.  We make up a snow out, and finish up the first half of the season next Monday at home....maybe the season's second half will be kinder to the team, and I can move my sluggish batting average above the current .309.  I have not batted below .300 since my first full season some 16 years ago, when I hit .286...since that time I have been between .350(the 2007 season when my back was out for most of the year) and .491, my 1 batting crown, to go with 3 runners up, and 4 RBI crowns.

The predicted 4 or 5 inches of snow, was downgraded to 2 inches and some ice, and we ended up with no snow, and a spitting of ice pellets...it now looks like the expected/predicted snow of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is being downgraded as well...meaning we will probably be stuck with a gritty, dirty, snow on the ground, rather than the White Christmas that looked like a lead pipe cinch a few days ago....O' well, time for the Billion Dollar equipment and the connected talking heads at The (useless NBC owned) Weather Channel, and AccuWeather change their collective minds.

Christmases on Coldwater Creek Road____

Patricia, Anissa, and I, moved back to Ohio in 1980, and promptly rented a house south of Celina located on the Andrews Farm along Coldwater Creek Road.  It was(and still is) a ancient brick farm house, that was built by the family back in the 1870s.  Cool with little or no need of Air Conditioning in the Summer months, and cold and windy in the period from December through March...the kids spent 10 years there, living in the wide open spaces.   Anissa was a year and a half when we moved there, Sam came along in December of 1981, and the youngest, Hal, came along in April of 1984...so for the most part, they "grew up" that decade of the 1980s we spent out no the farm...we moved into town in the fall of 1990.

The winters on Coldwater Creek were brutal, especially those of the early and mid 80s...the winter seasons turned more mild as the mid decade turned towards the 1990s.   Shortly after Sam was born, and a few days after Christmas 1981...I returned home from my Morning Drive broadcast shift at WCSM Radio, and found a pool of ice throughout the kitchen...with the kids at the baby sitters and Patricia at work, the furnace shut down, and with temperatures well below zero, the aging pipes couldn't take the cold, and burst....The Andrews put in an entire new heating and pipe system, and we moved in with mom and Kelly for about 2 weeks.  Mom never complained, but I'm sure it wasn't pleasant for her, and being the independent person I had become, it wasn't for any of us....but we could have been stuck in a motel or worse.  So we were appreciative of the place to stay.  That winter of 81-82 was the first of a string of really brutal winters on the farm.

Those 10 Christmases however, were enjoyable...the kids were into "toys" and board games, and it made it fun for all of us....even with the snows piling high around the house and barns.  I cannot remember each and every Christmas by the year in which they occurred, but I know the kids looked forward to them each year....those are the years, bikes, toys, and dolls, that are the most fun.  Far from being "rich", we always had enough to give the kids enough to keep them happy, well at least they sure seemed so, back in those Christmas Days spent on Coldwater Creek.

Games tonight at St. Marys, then we will celebrate Sam's Birthday a few days late with a supper and ice cream cake at home later.

More Christmas Stories tomorrow...back later>>>>

Photos-The Winters and Christmas Holiday Season during the early and mid 1980s were snowy and brutally cold on Coldwater Creek Road...they were also memorable.  Anissa visits "Santa" in 1984...Hal checking out the tree and presents in 1985 at 20 months, and 6 year old Sam in 1987, with one of his board games (Jeopardy) that interacted with TV.  He was a game show junkie, and could play along with the interactive boards from the time he turned two years old...he was a game show whiz way before his school years.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Week 2010/Christmas Pasts Remembered

I will save any political rants for this week to my Facebook Page...since it's Christmas I will keep politics away from here for a few days...as hard as that is with what is happening in Washington, as the "Lame Duck" Congress tries to push it's Republic Destroying Agenda through in the dying days of 2010....but there I go again.

Patricia and I headed down I-75 to Troy on Saturday night, our 34th Wedding Anniversary.  A night out at the closest "Outback" Steak House to us....a good meal and time, but we were ready to crash after we ate, and thus didn't go to the movie as we had originally planned...ain't growing old great?  {Hell no it's not, and don't let anybody tell you different}  So we now plan on seeing the latest C.W. Lewis "Narnia" installment on Wednesday evening.

It appears that we are guaranteed a "White Christmas" as we are expecting an inch or 2 overnight, with maybe some freezing rain in the morning tomorrow...then there is a good chance of heavier snow for Christmas Eve and Day....but regardless, no temperatures expected to rise above freezing, so our ground will remain covered for the time being.

Christmas Past______

I guess if I sat here I could probably reach back in my memory banks and remember most Christmas days of my past...but I would have to strain the brain to be sure....some however come to mind quickly.  I remember the year 1955, it was our second year in Florida, and Grandma Houseworth was with us that year.  1959, our friends, the Foust family, came up from Ohio, and we celebrated Christmas with them.  In 1968 I came home from Dover for my first Air Force Christmas....in 1969, I spent packing, one of the few Security Police guys from the 14th SPS to still be at Nha Trang, 2 days later I was flying south to Saigon to spend the next 6 months at Tan Son Nhut Air Base.

Of course in 1972, dad died of a heart attack suddenly Christmas Eve morning, so I spend Christmas day flying back to Ohio from upstate New York...the next few days were spent at the funeral home in Van Wert.  Patricia and I spent the Saturday before Christmas 1976 getting married in Wisconsin, like this year, Christmas and our Anniversary were both on a Saturday that year 34 seasons ago.  In 1981 we had just welcomed our first son, and the first Houseworth boy in our immediate family, Sam, home, he was born on December 17th..  I remember all those bitter, cold, Christmases at the farm on Coldwater Creek Road of the early and mid 1980s....they were brutal cold, but the kids were young, and we enjoyed them, despite the weather.

The last dozen or so years we have spent Christmas Eve at sister Marty's place feasting....and Christmas Day watching Anissa enjoy opening her gifts...even at 31, with her "special" problems, it's like having a young kid at home...and she enjoys just opening the gifts as much as anything.  This year both boys will be home, as well as Hal's fiancee, Lisa...by next Christmas, she will be a full member of the Houseworth family.  Mom and Mike it appears will hold off the trip to Florida until after the first week in January, so it looks like all the family will be here, although not sure about youngest sister Kelly and Denmark Mike, her husband....the next couple of days will decide that.

Meanwhile I will spend the next few blog posts trying to dig up memories and photos from those Christmas Pasts.

back later>>>>

Photos-top left...the first Christmas Tree Ornament featuring all 3 kids....left to right, Hal, Anissa, and Sam, from the year 1984.  Me in 1979 with some kind of alcohol drink in one hand and Anissa's "Raggedy Ann" in the other, probably pretty sheet faced to be caught posing for this....Patricia on our Wedding Day in 1976, in her parents living room in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, December 18th....and bottom, Me, Marty, and Mike, looking "thrilled" and half awake on Christmas morning 1955 in our humble abode along Highway 41 in South Venice, Florida.

Friday, December 17, 2010

More December Milestones

A light snow is falling, with temperatures in the low 20s early this Friday morning.  It appears we are guaranteed a "White Christmas" for 2010....as it appears we will not get above 30 for the foreseeable future.  Hopefully we will get another inch or two to cover up the grit and grime and the snow cover of the coming holiday season.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xubmk_bing-crosby-white-christmas_music

I put out the daily ration of feed and seed for the birds and squirrels about an hour ago...and I noticed the squirrels and Cardinals are nowhere to be seen...and Sparrows are skittish and tend to hide in the Raspberry bushes this hour...making it my guess our winter resident Marsh Hawk is in the area, looking for his morning meal as well.  It's going to be an interesting winter in the PRH backyard.

December Milestones____

As I wrote about a few days ago, December, of all months, at least in the Houseworth and adjoining families, has more anniversaries, births, deaths, and other milestones than any of the others, by far.  Mom reminded me that my Uncle Bill(her brother) was December born(4th), and others I had missed as well.  Bill DeVore, as I have written about before on this blog, was a Battle of the Bulge survivor from World War II.  I lived part time with him and his family in Wilmington, Delaware, back during my days stationed at Dover, before I headed across the big pond to South Vietnam in 1968 and 69.

On this date in 1981, the first Houseworth male in our immediate family was born in St. Marys, Ohio....our son Sam, was the first male born since March of 1949, when I was born in Van Wert, Ohio.  In the proceeding 32 years, 5 girls from the mom and dad's kids had been born, plus my two younger sisters...but no males until Samuel William Houseworth were born 29 years ago this morning.  Hal Stanley, after another girl to one of the sisters, came along in 1984.                                                    

Speaking of Sam, he just left for Columbus this morning, then with a couple of friends, will head to Atlanta, to party with a friend who graduates from Georgia Tech this weekend.  Sam, is midway through his Junior year at The Ohio State University, and is on course to graduate in the spring of 2012, at the ripe old age of 30.  Carrying a 3.4 GPA in Actuarial Science, his grades are fine, and sometimes the later you head off to college, the better.  I know I finished college at 28 and then went to broadcast school, finishing that in 1978 at 29 years old.  Patricia, with a degree from Bryant and Stratton in Milwaukee, she finished that at 20 before moving to Ohio...but her teaching degree and accompanying Masters Degree from Wright State, came along in her mid 30s, after the kids were all born.  Hal was the only member of the clan to actually get his BA and Masters at a "normal" age, and that seemed, at times, like he was swimming upstream.  But after taking 6 years to get his BA in Social Sciences and History, he quickly got his Masters to teach, and was finished with college at the age of 25.

December 18, 1976_____

Sam came along a day before Patricia and my 5th wedding anniversary...so she spent the 5th in the maternity ward of Joint Township Hospital....

Patricia Callies and I met in late 1973 after I had moved back to Celina from upstate New York.  3 years later we were married in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  Like any other couple married for this long, we have had our ups and downs, but have survived my days in radio and locations like Wausau and Merrill, Wisconsin, Kokomo, Indiana, and Dodge City, Kansas.  We made it through her working 2 jobs and attending Wright State University, while we raised 3 kids...one, Anissa, with multiple handicaps....it's been an interesting ride, and it certainly doesn't seem like the wild days of the mid 1970s was all that long ago.  Time, indeed, does fly by at a lighting pace.

So with Sam out of town, we will have a dinner with him on Tuesday of next week...as for Patricia and my 34th year....we still have an Outback card from last year to use, and a movie to see this weekend...not sure what the schedule is, or how we can work around our time with Anissa, and my basketball games, which start tonight in Paulding, and tomorrow with games at Spencerville....but I'm sure we will find the time.  Who says retirement means having the time to relax?  I haven't seen that yet!

enjoy the weekend....back later>>>>

Photos-Patricia and me on 12/18/76, Sam at Riverfront Stadium on his 7th Birthday in 1988...the temps were near zero and the Bengals thumped Houston's Oilers 61-3 on the memorable day.  Sam with a can collection, beer and other cans he collected after local fisherman had tossed them along the farm house on Coldwater Creek Road....I suspect some of those cans(but not that Red, White, and Blue crap) were dad's as well.  Another of us at the church in Oconomowoc on the wedding day...and then Patricia and me in front of the Defender Fortis Statue at Wright-Patterson at our Vietnam Reunion last March in Datyon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Trillion Dollar "Thumbing Nose at the Taxpayer" Bill/The IRS=Nazi SS, etc

Heavy snow goes south of Mercer County, so we missed this one.  Youngest son Hal, just informed me that the Dayton area got 3 or 4 inches of snow and it's still coming down...here we are some 65 miles north, with just cloudy skies...which is fine with me.  I'm still working on my snow machine, and after borrowing the new one of Mom's yesterday, I've blown out the driveway enough for this week. 

Year End Political Grumblings___

I've been staying away from the political stuff of late, waiting and watching, as our Kenyan and Thief, Barry Soetoro continues to play nice with the GOP, trying to salvage what's left of his sorry excuse for a Presidency.  So far the DC Republicans are falling for his BS like sheep to the slaughter.  What the Hell do these clowns think happened on November 2nd?  Did the voters say..."Business as usual"?  That's not what I saw in the results.  I can see the lame duck and outgoing Democrats trying to spend us to death, but not the Republicans, who will be coming back, going along with the Trillion+ Dollar Budget:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46383.html_
                                                                                                             
Now bear in mind that Politico is a left wing cyber rag, not as far left as HuffBlow and Daily Kos, but still a mouth piece for the DNC....so this article, while to be viewed with a jaundice eye, is not some far right penned story.  It will interesting to see if the GOP members have the guts or numbers to shut down the Government rather than passing this "stim-you-less" package of pork...I'm betting they don't have the stones.

I worked for local and state government for 20 years...trust me, with the exception of the military and those processing Social Security checks, etc,  the Federal Government could be shut down for a year, and nobody would care except the "workers"...it's an out of control, bloated beast, that needs a few appendages cut off.

Here comes the American Secret Service...after you____

In World War II Hitler had his SS, in the 21st Century, the American Government has the IRS.  And it's growing in power and size:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101215/ap_on_bi_ge/us_irs_audits                      

Of course the Yahoozer(another DNC/Obama mouthpiece cyber rag), headline says "Wealthy" taxpyers.  What it really means is some poor sap and his family that owns a local Dairy Queen or shoe store.  Those folks that create a few jobs are "wealthy" in the eyes of Democrats, Liberals, and the IRS goon squads.....

Simple minded Americans voted for "change" in 2008 in the form of a half baked Chicago lawyer street pimp....they didn't like that change, and tried voting the tax and spenders out in 2010.  I'm sorry to inform all, that it's probably too late.  The bureaucrats and judicial branches are too entrenched in spending ":your" money.  The political branch hasn't the guts or votes to say "NO".  We are doomed to continue to walk down this road to destruction, because we have been on the Nanny State Express for way to long, and don't know how to jump off.

Back to basketball officiating tonight...something I can deal with, I no longer have the mindset to even try to change or convince others to grasp hold of what is happening in this once great republic.


back later>>>>

Photos-With the exception of freedom of speech, and in some areas, the right to bear arms, this nation no longer looks much like the one that our forefathers envisioned....and unless something changes, we are doomed to grow weaker as a people and nation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

de-Bugged! and December, a month of family Milestones

Whatever was ailing me finally went away, at least for now, but plenty of other "issues" to keep me occupied.

Yesterday about 7am Patricia and I headed for Lima Memorial Hospital, so she could get a, requested by her doctor, colonoscopy...things went a-ok/all clear, and we were home shortly after Noon.  I was back working to fire up the Snow Blower, changed gas, but still no luck, so I pulled the plug, and will replace the plug and maybe the plug wire today, to try one more time to get it running...guess it's at the point that it may need one more trip to the repair shop, and maybe a new replacement machine before next winter.  Maybe I should get the large garage heated as well, a costly proposition at best....ah yes, decisions, decisions.

Sam arrived home from Ohio State for Winter break yesterday in time to work a basketball double at Lincolnview, meanwhile I was here in Celina for the same...a boys Junior High double.  Tonight we will attend a rules meeting in Van Wert(Sam still needs two sessions to fill his quota)...on Friday he heads for Georgia for a few days to attend a friend, who goes to Georgia Tech, graduation....a few of them will travel down I-75 to Atlanta to escape the cold and snow for a few days, although it doesn't look much warmer down there.  Youngest sister in Naples, in south Florida, e-mailed saying it was in the low 30s that far south, now that is rare, especially for this early in the season.  Heck, winter doesn't officially arrive for another 6 days.  Speaking of which...it is 4 above zero as I type, heading for a high of maybe 22 this afternoon.  But sunny with no snow until at least tomorrow.

December in the Houseworth Clan_____

December is probably the most noteworthy month in the Houseworth Family, at least as far as milestones.  Dad was born on the 10th(1917), died on the 24th(1972).  Grandma Wilda was born on the 21st(1883), Aunt Cecil on the 7th(1901).  Sam was born on 12/17/81, Patricia and I were married on the 18th in 1976.  Cousin Gary was born and died in December, born a week after brother Mike in 1946, and died in early December a couple of years ago in 2008.  His sister Linda was born on New Year's Eve in 1941.  More cousins from the Pratt and other family lines were also born in the final month of the year.

My oldest and only brother Mike was born on this day(15th) in 1946....so he turns 64 today.  I am sure there are many more that I am missing or just plain have slipped my mind, but December in the Houseworth family is a busy month to be sure.

back later>>>>

Photos-top...me along with brother Mike in late 1956 on the Venice Jetties posing with a Jewfish that dad had landed.  And then in the Spring of 1959 in front of the house on the Venice Byway before heading off to the varsity and jv little league in Venice, playing for the Venice Elks team.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bugged!

Not the computer type, but some sort of old fashion virus that has laid PRH low...

After working a JV game some 60 mile north of here on Friday, I felt fine, and then I climbed out of the sack and worked a up tempo Junior High double header here in Celina on Saturday Morning.  Got home and my legs felt the 3 games worth of action in them.  After knocking off a couple of Guinness brews, I was not feeling any more "chipper", and hit the sack at 5:30 in the evening, where I stayed until 8am yesterday. 

I managed to help with some snow blowing, but really never felt up to par...watched some football, with little interest, and was back in the sack at 7:30 last night...up at 4:30, showered and some breakfast, and here I sit just before 6am.  The skies continued to snow and the winds continued to blow overnight, and despite not a large accumulation, probably 4 or 5 inches or so, the ice underneath and the blowing are causing havoc on the roadways.  School were already delayed last night, and it seems doubtful if they get opened today at all.

Meanwhile, I am scheduled to work a Girls game up north again, my last drive over 50 miles for the rest of basketball season...and that is probably up in the air as well...frankly, the way I'm feeling, I'm not going to complain if it is cancelled...the long drive in the Jeep is not something I am looking forward to, neither is the worked up sweat and return home.  Tomorrow, Patricia has to go to Lima for a procedure, and I'll be along, as she cannot drive home after the work at Lima Memorial...once home I am scheduled to officiate another double header at Celina.  I'm not sure my mind or body are ready for the next couple of days....time will tell.

back later>>>>>

Photos-Just before 5am this morning, the snow covered drive and the work to clear it lays ahead, and the backyard in the early morning darkness....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Snow, Hawks, and Stan Houseworth(1917-1972)

We received about an inch or maybe inch and a half of new snow overnight...just enough to cover the ground...and make shoveling mandatory.  So I got on my snow blowing outfit(see photo on steps) and am now preparing to shovel out walks(not enough to use the Snow Machine), Patricia already made one to the garage before she left for school.  Amazingly some schools are delayed with an inch or so of white cover, including Celina...almost laughable compared to 40-45 years ago, it took more than this to get a break.  We would listen to WOWO Radio out of Fort Wayne, just hoping that we would get a delay or cancellation...that usually required ice, 6 or 7 inches of snow and some wind...not so much these days.

I looked out the kitchen window as I poured my first cup of coffee, and saw the hundred or so local Sparrows waiting for their daily rations, nothing better to do I guess.  So I grabbed the cup, filled it with seed, and opened the back door.  All Hell was breaking loose out back...the birds were flying and squawking, big time!  It didn't take long to figure out why...The Marsh Hawk!  He(she?) was back and looking for it's own "meal" and it wasn't seed.  I stepped out and the Hawk decided to cut his loses, and flew away into the neighborhood trees...I'm sure he will be back, like I wrote earlier, it's gonna be a long winter.

With the birds and squirrels fed, I'm gonna finish this up quick and head up town...then over to mom's to see if I can fire up her new snow blower, and at least get some use out of it.  Tonight I am back at basketball, another long drive takes me to Miller City, and a boys High School game there....60 miles each way, and with the snow, guess I'll drive the Jeep Wrangler.

Stan Houseworth, born 93 years ago today____

By all accounts, Stan Houseworth was a large baby when born to Sam and Wilda Waldron Houseworth on this date in 1917.  He seemed bigger than life as an adult, but in reality, wasn't all that much bigger than me. Pushing 6 foot and maybe topping out in his later years at 220 pounds...certainly not as big as his only two grandsons(who were both born long after he passed)...my sons, Sam, who is 6' 1" and a few pounds heavier than dad, and Hal, who pushes 6' 4" and maybe 250 pounds.

Stanley Wayne Houseworth was born in Scott, Ohio, on December 17, 1917.  His dad died when Stan was about 10, and Sam and Wilda had been divorced long before that....Dad was the youngest of 5 Children...Cecil, Eva, Forrest, and John, came before him...all except Forrest would outlive him.  93 years ago today, the future fisherman, hunter, mechanic, World War II vet, Antique buff, and Dad(no way we kids would ever call him "father", it just didn't fit), was born....he passed away on Christmas Eve 1972, at home, of a heart attack, after watching the Browns take on the Dolphins in a NFL Playoff game...he loved Florida, he was a Miami fan(although Dad wasn't really a big professional sports fan at all)...he died just two weeks after his 55th Birthday.

Off to do the Snow Job....back later>>>>

Photos-Stan Houseworth in his WW2 Army Air Corp days, me on the snowy back steps this morning, and Dad in the winter of 1956, with the Jewfish he landed off the North Jetties in Nokomis, Florida.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Hockey Shocker in Philly....Duke Wins without Kylie Irving....

As a long time Philadelphia Flyers hockey fan, I had a rare chance to pick up last night's game played in Philly on Versus TV.  The Flyers have not beaten the San Jose Sharks, in a decade(although they only play once a season at most)...and after taking a 4-1 lead with just 12 minutes left, it seemed that little streak was about to end....but not so fast Gridly!  The lowly Sharks proceeded to score 3 goals in the next 4 minutes to tie things up at 4.  There were still 8+ minutes left in the game, and both teams had a few shots at taking the lead, San Jose actually had 2+ minutes of a power play, but neither team could score, and the game went to Overtime.  Click on the link to see the goals, and be sure to take a look at the end of the 5 minute extra session:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?cmpid=ggl1bx

I have never seen such a close call...the Flyers lost out on that, and you just knew the game would not end well for Philly, it didn't, and Philadelphia's decade of losing to the Sharks will continue.  The final was 5-4 in a shootout which saw Philadelphia fail to dent the net.

Not all bad for the Flyers, they pick up a point, and still rank near the top of the Eastern Division...but now stand 3 points behind the hated Pittsburgh Penqueens, who are in the mitts of a 11 game winning streak.  But still a long way to go, and a few up and downs for each team in the league remain.  Here are the standings as they look this morning:

 http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm

During these long winter months, and it appears they will be long and cold this season, the NHL and College Basketball are by far my favorite sports fare on the tube.

#1 Duke moves to 9-0___

I've been rooting for Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils for almost as long as the Flyers, well not quite as long.  I became a Duke fan in the mid 80s when K came on the scene, been rooting for Philly since the "Broad Street Bully" days.  Always like the way "K" coached and the type of players that came to the Blue Devils.  Student Athletes in more than just name...this year they have a shot at Mike Krzyzewski's fifth title, and his second "repeat" in the past 20 years.  Last night they took on a over matched Bradley Braves team, despite being without the phenom Freshman Kylie Irving, who is sidelined for, who knows how long?, with the dreaded "turf toe".  An injury that sounds funny, but is anything but, and can send one out for a season if not properly treated and rested.

Last night, even without Irving, Duke had no trouble with the Peoria, Illinois, squad:

http://blogs.newsobserver.com/node/34136

The Blue Devils ranked #1 in all polls(Ohio State is #2 which works for me, being a Buckeye fan as well), should have no problem for now in the absence of Irving....but I'm guessing for them to compete for Coach K's 5th NCAA Title, the Freshman will need to return sooner, not later.

After a night off from basketball wars yesterday, I am back at it.  This afternoon I will be in St. Marys, at it's new school and gym, for a Junior High double header between the home Roughriders and rival Wapak. Tomorrow night at long drive to Miller City for a boys high school contest, then on Saturday a double header boys JH back here in Celina...giving me 9 games this week, in addition to the ten I officiated last week.  7 games next week, then things slow over the Christmas/New Year break, before picking up full steam in the month of January.

back later>>>>>

Photos-Flyers blow a lead and a game in a shoot-out, Blue Devils go 9-0 to start the season, and Ross Homan, a local product from Coldwater and a All Big Ten performer at Ohio State can attest to the problems that "turf toe" can cause...he missed an entire season because of the injury that Duke's Kylie Irving suffered against Butler.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Is Here to Stay? Those Winters of My Past...

I climbed into the Intrepid this morning(forgoing the cold Jeep Wrangler, which, with "rag top", never warms up enough on days like these) for a trip to snap some photos of fishing holes I used to frequent.  I wanted to get some shots of the early ice on the "ponds".  As I pulled out of the drive, the in-car thermometer read 9 degrees.  The extended forecast, with the exception of maybe the mid 30s for Friday and Saturday, along with some snow/rain mix, doesn't look any better...highs mostly in the teens and 20s, with low reaching into the single digits next week for the prelude to Christmas.

Winters of my Past_____

It is rare, even here in the lower Heartland, to see a spell of cold weather that lasts this long, this early in the season.  Here we are still two full weeks ahead of official Winter, and the area rivers and Grand Lake have already started to freeze over...and it doesn't look like a warming spell anytime soon, to cause them to melt.  Despite it being rare, I have encountered Winters that have started early and stuck around...some in Ohio and a couple in other locations that I called "home" for lesser periods.

Even Florida is suffering under a cold break as I type...I think my youngest sister said it got down as low as 50 in Naples the other night, and in the north stretches near DeLand, where my buddy Tom works the horse ranch in the "cold" season, he called saying the high yesterday was only 51 or so....now that's cold for Florida, especially this early.

After a decade of living in Venice, Florida, our family pulled up roots in the fall of 1962 and moved back north to Ohio.  I was in 8th grade, and remember that move and the winter that followed all too well.  The winter of 62/63 was bitter....and not just because we were used to the seasons in South Florida.  It was a bitter time.  I recall having my ear tops frost bitten, in a mile or so walk from Celina East School to Dad's Marathon on South Main Street...that winter was nasty cold, with plenty of snow to accompany it.

Other winters that stick out in my mind are those of 76/77 in Celina, and the brutal winters of 77/78 and 78/79 which were Patricia and my first, 2nd, and final, in the Northwoods, living in a farmhouse outside of Wausau, Wisconsin.  Here is an early blog installment of my experience in Wisconsin during the "Blizzard of the Century" in January 1978:

 http://patsdailyrant.blogspot.com/2008/01/blizzard-of-78-1261978.html

We moved back to Ohio in the early 80s, living on Coldwater Creek Road in the ancient brick farmhouse located on the Andrews property.  The winters of 81/82 through 83/84 were packed with snow and plenty of sub zero temperatures...they were indeed "brutal".  Since that time, the winters have moderated somewhat, although I attribute much of that to the fact we moved into town in 1995, and the former Church Parsonage we call home, is, although old(built in 1923), is much better insulated, and with full basement, much more comfortable than that great old house(at least in Summer and Fall) on the creek.  This winter, at least the way it is starting, is hearkening back to those winters of my past.

The winters in Venice, all those years ago, are almost impossible to separate, in my mind, from the "hot" season...yes, South Florida had some cold days, but not many.  I remember Mike and I would take fire crackers(purchased in Georgia on our trips back from Ohio vacations) and "blow up" the ice on our School Street, front yard birdbath....those were the days, that saw the temps dip into the 20s...that however, was a rare occasion.

Rome, New York 1970-71____

The winter that sticks out in my mind as much as any, probably has to be the one after I returned from Vietnam, and always made me wonder, "Why the Hell didn't I just extend my tour at Tan Son Nhut"?  I had my chance, but I chose to accept the assignment to Griffiss Air Force Base.  On top of being lied to(imagine that in the military?) about my duties, I wasn't quite prepared for the Chicken Crap (which was why I volunteered for Nam anyway) or the brutal cold and heavy snow in the Mohawk Valley, that awaited me.

I arrived on base, in early August of 1970...Winter set in about 2 months later.  My new Mercury Cyclone was buried in the Security Police Barracks parking lot by Christmas, and I didn't get it out until sometime in March.  In all we had 300 inches of snow that winter, and I'm not lying when I say the piles of white along the runways at The Griff, did not melt until the July 4th holiday of 1971. I did however learn how to snow ski...Snow Ridge at Turin NY, was where my buddy, the late Jack Friedl, learned just enough to not get ourselves killed when going down the hills and wooded trails of Snow Ridge, although at times I wonder how we made it without serious bodily injury.  That winter of 70/71, I don't think it ever ended, just went right on into the winter of 71/72.

So that is what I thought of this morning, when I went out to take photos of the early arriving season....and am left wondering, "Will this be one of THOSE Winters"?  Time will tell...and I'll stick it out as best as I am able.

back later>>>>

Photos-{double click to enlarge} The top 2 are photos taken at the Palmer Road Bridge at the St. Marys River,  near Mendon.  The next 2 are of our driveway during and after a Blizzard in March 1979 at the farm between Wausau, and Merrill, Wisconsin.  The car is where I managed to park it after driving through the storm to get home.   The 3rd of those three is of the aging farm buildings from the winter on Coldwater Creek Road, after one of the snows in the winter of 83/84.  The bottom photo is of me, in January 1971 as the snow piled up in the Security Police Barracks parking lot at Griffiss AFB, New York....that is indeed me,  needing a haircut(according to Air Force Regs) packing a snowball as the living quarters frame the background.