Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And so it begins....Zocor joins the family

After yesterday's bright, breezy, and cool morning ....this morning dawned with a spot of rain on the streets.  It's humid, but cool, under dark leaden skies.  No need for a photo shoot this morning, plus I was too damn tired to get up before 8 anyway.  A longer than usual football rules meeting in Van Wert last night, and after the meeting Garry and I downed a couple of long necks from the Sam Adams Autumn Selection I had stashed away...we made a pretty good dent in that.

No football, mowing, or much else going on today...I'll get some weight lifting in, and maybe a half hour or 40 minutes on the treadmill, but other than that, not a lot on the agenda.

The Zocor Arrives____

I was in no hurry for the mail yesterday, I knew that the latest in a short list of prescription meds would arrive in the mail...and arrive they did.  The Zocor generic Cholesterol medicine that Doc had prescribed last week was in the box when I checked mail about 4pm.  I knew that there was no way I was starting to take it last night, I wanted a few beers after the football meeting, and wasn't going to start it off that today, this evening to be exact, would be the start of this new arrival.

So this morning I took my usual,...Lisinop/HCTZ for the Blood Pressure, the Terbinafine-Hydrochloride tables for the toe nails and Dermatitis, and a low dose of Aspirin for the heart...meanwhile the Zocor will wait until this evening, they say it works best at night, because your body produces more of the "Bad Cholesterol" while you are sleeping.  So I'll begin this, not happy about it, but I will give it a try....and hopefully will not imagine or wish on any possible side effects...because if real side effects do occur, you can bet I will dump this prescription in a New York Minute.  At 62 1/2 and feeling pretty damn good for my age, and much better than I was 30 years, or even 4 years ago....I will not become a slave to any medicine, regardless of what may occur if I stop taking it....meanwhile I will continue to workout, weight train, and officiate/umpire like I have been for years.  This new distraction, for better or worse, is unwelcome, but we will see how it shakes out...and I will let this blog know.

Football this week at Waynesfield, that is a Junior High game tomorrow afternoon, then on Saturday, a Freshman contest here in Celina between the Bulldogs and Ottawa-Glandorf....with no Varsity game to fill in for on Friday, I may take in the Celina/O-G game Friday night....The Titans are one of the league favorites(along with Kenton), and should be a heavy favorite, but Celina has improved over the past couple of years, so maybe it will be a good game.

Waiting for the rain to end....back later>>>>

Photos-My Moderate Collection of Daily Meds grows   :{

But I will continue my workout program, and see how it shakes out...and finally 3 more photos from my morning Grand Lake photo shoot yesterday....(1) Me looking east towards St. Marys and the rising Sun, a lone loon(and aren't most loons lonely?) swims off the western rocks of Windy Point, as the Sun rises at 7:05 in the morning over the eastern end of Grand Lake.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another Grand, Grand Lake Morning

Woke up about 6:15 this morning, Patricia was already out at the fitness center working out....getting up at 4:45 in the morning, she then heads for an hour workout before heading off to teach at St. Henry...gotta give her credit.  I work out, but morning has never been my workout time.  I tried it for awhile about 20 years ago, at the old Lake Front Racquet Club, but quickly figured out, that was not my time of the day to pump iron, or hit the treadmill.  The fact is, since I got into a regular workout routine, some 35 years ago...most of my workouts, whether running, walking, or weight training, were at night.  I remember when I was a student at Wright State University-Lake Campus, I was making ends meet by bartending at "Fats Stag Bar" in downtown Celina.   I would close up the place at 10 at night, and head out towards home on Brandon Avenue(only 3 doors from where we live now), and then run/jog around the Fairgrounds for 3 miles, before settling in front of our small black and white TV, and downing a few Mountain Dews....that's been 35 years ago, but those images are still strong in my mind.

Regardless, I am not a morning workout person....and these days, most of my weight lifting and treadmill work are done in the early afternoon hours....yesterday the weights got done, but the treadmill was replaced by mowing mom's yard...a good 45 minutes walking behind the Toro.

This morning, as I said, I did manage to get up....Patricia was pulling into the drive from her workout as I was pulling out of the garage, in her Nitro.  The Dodge got the factory replacement module put in yesterday, and seems to be driving without the worry of the alarm system going haywire...but Patricia is still a little apprehensive about driving it to school, so she is using the van and I get the Nitro for at least this week.

With camera and coffee in hand, I headed out to the lake for the first morning photo session in over a month....the morning was crisp, cool(about 52 degrees), with a breeze, and clear as a bell.   The sun would rise almost an hour later(about 7:05) than in my early July photo shoots, and it would also rise some 40 degrees to the east, rather that the northeast rise that was the norm earlier in the summer.  The southeast breeze brought thoughts of the coming autumn in my mind, until I looked at the extended forecast...93 for a high Thursday, with 92 on Friday.  It's gonna be hot for football this week!

The photo shoot session started out about 6:40 on West Bank Road, where I got some of the shots you see today, including the silhouette of me in the early morning dim.  I then climbed back into the 4WD and drove the 3 miles south to Windy Point, to catch the actual sunrise.

Windy Point is where I spent many hours during my high school days.  We would fish for panfish, mainly Crappies and Perch, from those 3/4 miles of stone and rocks as they jet out into Grand Lake.  We also swam at the beach, drank beer, and partook in a few more activities, whether they be in daylight or darkness.  These days, even in the summer, Windy Point is usually deserted, except for the waterfowl, and other birds that hang around...nary a soul as I arrived at 7am, some five minutes before the actual sunrise would occur.

Regardless of how many times I sit or walk Windy Point, it always takes me back to those high school days, when I first began to and the Jones boys spent a lot of our off hours at Windy Point, both in the Summer and the school year.  Later on, I would take our first two Airedales, Rag and Max, out there for a seems now more complicated than it did in those days, but I am guessing it's not, hindsight always looks better from afar, and our memories are softened by time.

No games tonight, nothing until Thursday on the field, but will head to Van Wert for another rules meeting tonight.

Made our motel reservation for the October VSPA Reunion at Fairborn/Dayton yesterday, but only set aside a room for that first Wednesday....we will take in most of the activities, but not sure how many days we will stay overnight at the actual meeting place, the I-675 Holiday Inn in Fairborn, still time to add a day or two later.

Will finish up this blog post, then decide what the rest of the day will bring, until Garry and I head to Van Wert about 6:15 tonight...back later>>>>

Photos{as always, double click for large view}-Some 20 minutes before Sunrise, I silhouetted myself looking out towards Safety Island a couple miles out into Grand Lake.  The Dodge Nitro complete with new electronic module, made in Mexico like the faulty one I am sure, sits in the morning sun at Windy Point.  The 7:05 sunrise looking out from Windy Point....looking south I head back to the parking lot, after walking most of the way out to the point....and a long dead log lays among the stones, rocks, and rip-rap, as a lone Mallard Duck swims away, thinking I was to close for comfort.  


Monday, August 29, 2011

Footballs were flying over the Weekend/Hurricane Irene Fizzles

High School and lower levels of football got off to it's regular season start over the past weekend....Varsity action took place on Friday and Saturday nights, and the lower levels got started over the weekend as well.

After Celina had been defeated at Versailles by a 31-28 score Friday night, in a game which saw the winning 40 yard field connected on the last play of the game, Sam and I joined Pastor Jim and Elida Ben to work the Celina/Versailles Junior Varsity game at Celina Stadium Saturday morning.   Versailles came out on top was good to get out on the field and actually do a meaningful game.  On Sunday Sam and I worked a 2-man crew in the beginning of the Cross Roads Youth Football League....with Celina's Green team taking on Monroe, Indiana...the local team came out on top in both the JV game 20-12, and the Varsity(5th-6th grades) 20-0...a good workout on a pleasant day....highs in the upper 70s with a good breeze.

Meanwhile locally, the Governors Cup Boat Races, after being canceled by the Blue-Green Alga scare last year, were back on Grand Lake this summer...I missed them, but from all accounts they were a success.

Hurricane Irene goes Bust!

You could almost see the disappointment in the eyes of the Weather Channel folks as they tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill.....Jim Cantore standing on the streets of New York, with very little wind, and just a drop or two of rain.  Hurricane Irene had done em' wrong.  Sure it may have flooded some streets, eroded some beaches, did in the Boardwalk at Atlantic City, and sadly a few unprepared people lost their lives....but the big blow that was going to destroy the NYC Subway System failed.  The only dangerous blows were to the egos of the News Media, which had over hyped this storm from the get-go, and the Federal Government Bureaucrats, thus destroying the chance for two Major League Assholes, name Barack Obama, and New York Mayor Bloomberg, to gain political traction from the event.  

For a look at the over coverage, and over hype check out these links:

The devil is in the details, and these left wing clowns and their lamp dog media supporters will do anything to score political points for them.....even the Brits know a lie when they see one:

Photos-Football Kicked off on the High School and lower levels this weekend, the scrimmages done, and the games turned "real"...."Irene" turned to Bust despite the media and Obammy hoping it would turn into something bigger....meanwhile the sunshine and pleasant later summer weather brought out the backyard "Moon" Flowers in bigger numbers.

back later>>>

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just another Friday...

Spent much of yesterday researching Zocor, the Cholesterol lowering drug that I am supposed to start taking in the next week or so....then it was off to my final Football Scrimmage of the pre-season, I mistakenly thought it was a regular season game....but a scrimmage it was, regardless, we got about 2 hours of work in, and I headed home and cracked open a couple of cold ones....

I had e-mailed my buddy Andy, from Cleveland, who lives in the Louisville area these days.  I hired Andy back in 1981 to work the afternoon shift at WCSM back in our radio DJ days, and 30 years later we are still close friends, although we don't see each other as often as we would like....Andy, his wife Amy, and their two boys were at Hal and Lisa's reception in February, so we did get a chance for a long visit then.  Andy, after his radio days headed back to college and eventually worked for Pfizer, and knows as much as anybody about the pluses and minuses of prescription I figured I would ask him about Zocor.  I returned his call as I sat on the back steps downing a beer.  Turns out he is on the same Zocor dose that my doc is prescribing for me.   With a history of heart attacks in his family, he has been on Zocor for about 4 years, after using Lipitor for the previous two.  He said it was a "clean" drug, and that the side effects, while serious in a few, were easy to spot when occurring.  He had no problems and recommended I go ahead and start the drug, and if I had problems I would know it pretty quick, as unlikely as they are.

Those views gave me some confidence to go ahead and start, however, I am certainly not in favor of medications that have possible side will keep a close watch for any problems.  My younger cousin Gary, the son of my late first cousin Gary Sr...said he has been on it as well, and has had no problems either...this got me wondering "Just how many freaking people are being medicated in this country"?

My friend Rick tells me that at least 25% of the population is being prescribed a statin, which is what Zocor I told him, I will start the dosage when it comes, but I am not convinced that I want to be on anything long with the BP meds, long term, and the anti fungal for the toe nails, short term, comes this....we will see how it goes.

Sam will be home tonight, and tomorrow we work a JV game, Versailles at Celina, to kick off our regular season...Varsity action begins tonight....I will fill in as needed, I am not interested in doing many varsity games either in football or basketball...those sports, unlike baseball, I would rather do lower levels, and use them for a good workout, and because I like the activity.  Baseball on the other hand, is MY sport, and the one I know the best....therefore I will continue to work almost strickly Varsity High School, and lower College levels for the foreseeable future, as long as my body and health hold out.

The last weekend before the unofficial end of Summer, Labor Day, is upon us.....the heat will soon wane, and before long Fall will begin to change the my back yard flowers, shown here, will fade and fall with the leaves....Enjoy your weekend.

back later>>>>

Photos-The Moon Flowers, which are now blooming in droves, and the rest, including the towering 16 foot high Sunflowers in our backyard will soon began to wilt and fade away as Summer slowly but surely moves into fall in the next weeks.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sometimes Reality Bites.... Zocor in the future

More sever thunderstorms rolled through overnight....although it appears the most worst went north into Paudling County, and then the southern tier of the Miami Valley took a it was, we had a pretty good lightning show, but no serious rain or wind.  I took the old Fuji Camera out, but couldn't get it to work, so I pulled out the Nikon and tried to get some night shots of the lightning blazing across the skies, as I sat on the front go.  Even in the correct mode, I have not gotten the hang of night photography with the new point and shoot cameras.  Nothing like old settings and film for those, at least for me...perhaps I will get the hang of it...I have been able to take night shots of snow, with the flash, but lightning and full moon photography is something I just have not grasped so far.

After getting back from the Doctor's office this morning, I was prepared to hit the treadmill, but looked outside a few minutes ago, and realized that the lawn, just mowed on Sunday, is in need again.  Funny, a month ago, you couldn't get the grass to grow, and now it's back at the April and May levels, where you need to hack it down a couple of times per today, no treadmill, just the lawn, and then the opening of the regular football season least the Junior High variety, as I work a Celina/Lima Bath 8th grade game at the High School Track here in Celina.

Zocor and other delights_____

After getting the call about my blood tests on Tuesday, I realized that changes, that I had re-instituted over the past weeks, were probably not going to be enough to offset the reality that I had hit 62 years, and that my family, at least the Houseworth side, has a history of heart "issues".  My brother Mike nearing 65 and me at 62 had for the most part gotten farther in life that most of the males on our side of the family, without a heart attack or multiple attacks.  After all, my dad, Stan, had his second and fatal attack just after his 55th birthday, that occurred on Christmas Eve, 1972...his older brothers, Smokey(Forrest) had died at 54, and Uncle Furl(John), although living till 75, had heart problems throughout his life, and had a major attack while in his 40s.  Furl's son, Gary, a week younger than Mike, had died just before his 62nd birthday, back in December of 2008 at his home in Venice, Florida.

That's the reality of being a pity, and frankly I have never been overly concerned about is what it is.  Medicine has taken giant steps in the past 40 years, and I have always figured that I had a chance to beat the odds...I still do, but as I said, "Reality Bites".

I took the onset of pre-diabetes 2 in stride when I found out about it two years ago.  I went on the prescribed diet, and lost 25 pounds.  I continued to take the prescribed blood pressure medication, and saw my BP drop to normal, or close to normal numbers.  But reality was still out there, somewhere.  When I began, a month ago, to take the pills for a toenail fungus and dermatitis problem, I felt no side affects.  But I was told I would need another blood draw to make sure the Terbinafine didn't have an adverse effect, especially on my liver.  Once that was drawn back on Monday the reality of  High Cholesterol was on the table.

Turns out my LDL levels(that would be the bad Cholesterol) was at needs to be below 100, preferably closer to 70.  Now my doctor is not one to over medicate, but I wasn't with him 5 minutes and I knew that there would be no BS...he put me on a pretty good dose of Zocor, the LDL lowering drug...I wasn't going to start out at the low dose, so I knew he was serious.   Not the top level doxe mind you, but the next level down....which means more blood tests, more liver tests, etc, within the next month.

I have always sworn I would not become a slave to prescription what the Hell am I doing?  This will make three daily meds, plus a low dose of Aspirin....Lisinop/HCTZ for the Blood Pressure, the Hydrochloride, Terbinafine for the toes, and now Zocor for the Cholesterol.  Reality Bites!.  Sure he tells me, you are working out, your diet isn't bad, but your "geneology stinks", it's just a fact of life.  So here we go....what will I give up?

It will probably go something like this...."less red meat, fatty anything, cheese is out, other than Cottage Cheese, just freaking eat more "Chickin", more Tuna(gawd I don't know), more fresh veggies...the rest of the bad stuff, fried foods, etc, I had pretty well dumped two years ago when I took the dietian's advice, and started to balance the carbs and calories...which resulted in my 27 pound or so weight loss.  It also appears that I will have to cut back on beer consumption, doc didn't mention that, but the paper work for Zocor does....beautiful, just freaking beautiful!

....reality?   I'm not sure if I am ready for reality, and frankly I'm not sure reality can trump Mother Nature or family genes...but for now, I'll go along.   I'll continue to officiate, continue to work out, and cut back on much of what I eat and drink.   But I will not give up beer, I enjoy it too much, cut back? sure, but not cut out.  The same for a glass of Drambuie on occasion, or a nice hand rolled cigar, I will not give up those pleasures I enjoy on rare occasions....reality be damn!   Sometimes you take it like a man.  Like anybody else, I want to stick around...but I plan doing it by give and take.  If God has other plans for me....I can deal with it.

back later>>>>

Photos-Stan Houseworth 1917-1972, as he looked when in the Army Air Corp in 1942....oldest son Sam with the beer and pops cans we collected along the shore and roadway on Coldwater Creek Road in 1983...Me(looking like some kind of warped porn star) and youngest son Hal during the summer of 1986, and finally the 3 decendents of the sons of Sam Houseworth(1877-1928) and Wilda Waldron Houseworth(1883-1975)...Pat Houseworth, Gary Houseworth(1946-2008), and Mike Houseworth...along with dad's old Walker Coon Dog, Skip, in Grandma Houseworth's back yard, Scott, Ohio, Summer of 1956.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Much Ado about Not Much....

Football Rules Meeting at Van Wert last night, got home in time to watch the out of the race Reds score 4 runs in the 9th and defeat Florida....a win is a win, but Cincy has long been out of appears the Milwaukee Brewers will win the NL Central, which will make my 88 year old father-in-law pleased.  His beloved Packers win another Super Bowl, The Badgers beat the Buckeyes, and now the Brewers will win the Division.....damn!

After mowing mom's lawn I got home in time to check the phone messages, and noted that the Doctor's office had called with Blood Test Results...since they asked me to call them, I figured, "That's Not Good" wasn't.   My LDL Cholesterol levels are at 160...not sure what the total count is, but 160 on the Bad Cholesterol scale in borderline High to back to Minster tomorrow, and check in.  Now, I treadmill, I lift weights, and officiate upwards of 200 sports contests per year.  I figure I am more active than 99.4% of 62 year old what's with this?  Hell, I'm down 20 plus pounds over the past two years....and am eating a good balance of carbs and calories, eat fruit, veggies...along with my intake of red meats, I figured with my recent check-ups I shouldn't have a problem....but I do.  I don't smoke cigarettes, never have...sure I smoke but don't inhale good hand rolled cigars on occasion, I drink plenty of beer, and don't plan on giving that up, at least not the beer.  But I will listen, and see what he says...however, I'm really not into taking another pill.  At this point I take small amounts of BP meds, recently started on the fungus meds for my toe nail condition and Dermatitis, and a low dose aspirin...I really don't want to take anything else...but again, I will listen and see what he has to say tomorrow.

Meanwhile I will continue my workout regiment, continue to officiate the upcoming football season, and probably cut the fat, at least the saturated fats out of my diet....

That's my take for today....a hot one, as the temps are scheduled to reach 92...with the moister left from last night's overnight lighting show, it will be humid and hot, and I am more than ready for cooler weather.

Hal called this morning and let me to a funny Internet site....they glean actual tweets and such and post them...petty funny is the link if you need a laugh:

enjoy your day...back later>>>>

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Crazy Race Baiting Left....and their lead Clown, Barry Barack:

Got my first full day of workouts in yesterday, back on a semblance of a my Diabetes 2 diet, which had been slipping over the past year, resulting in my gaining back about a third of my lost 30 pounds...gotta admit I felt pretty damn good, despite the 62 years and a twinge or two in the back, after it all.  No weights or treadmill today, because I've got a lawn to mow at mom's and my backyard to work in....should be workout enough.  Tonight a football rules meeting in Van Wert.

The Left Drifts Farther into Insanity_____

Anybody with half a brain knows or should know, that Liberal, or "Progressives" as they now call themselves, can pretty much be placed into 3 camps.  (1) Politicians and media types with some intelligence brain cells, that are looking for power.  (2) Not so bright"Poverty Pimps", like Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton, who are racist to the core, and use that racism to gather followers and blame "Whitey" for all their ills.  (3)  People, like union lap dogs, who are really just too stupid to realize, that Democrats and union thug bosses use them like toilet paper, get their money, and then toss them down the sewer.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on Liberals and those that follow morons like Barack Obama....they are either evil, uninformed,  just plain stupid, or a warped combination of all three.

Case in point:

I give you California Congressman Maxine "Red" Waters: 

Yes, she is crazy, she is a hard core racist, and if I would venture a guess, her IQ is somewhere in lower double digits....

So the question begs....just how does the left get power?

(Answer):  The media, with vested interest in far left politics, props imbeciles like Obama up on his Messiah Pedestal, and refuse to show his faults, {which are so obvious to anybody looking} to the uncaring or unobservant public.

Liberal politicians, especially black liberal politicians, are the scared cows of the politically correct....if you say anything against them, you are labeled a racist.  On the other hand, if you are black, smart, and a Conservative, say a Herman Cain, Thomas Sowell,Clarence Thomas, Allen Keys, or Allen West, you are called everything in the book by the media....with "Uncle Tom" being the favorite.  If you cannot find anything bad to pin on a Conservative of Color, you(the media) ignore him or her altogether.

Yes, the left wing, especially those in political power are as evil, and in the case of Waters, Jackson, Anthony Weiner, John-Boy Edwards, and name your pick in the media, as stupid as they come.  However, that doesn't give the GOP or weak willed Conservatives and RINOs a pass....look no farther than the announced Candidates for President on the Republican side.   They don't inspire a Hell of a lot of confidence in most....including me.

The GOP has a group, led by Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and others that coddle Islamic Terrorists and support open borders...Chris Christie is another, although he has yet to throw his hat in the ring.  Then you have the former Utah Governor John Huntman, an open border, global warming BS believer, and friend of Obama gotta be kidding?, we already have the head turd of the left, why would the GOP put up another clone?  Huntsman IMO is just a shill for Obammy and running only to get the media to print his anti Christian pro bad science rants to help his buddy and former boss, Barack...Huntsman is a tool.

I'm still waiting for someone to step forward that I can support.....Paul Ryan perhaps?  Sarah Palin?  The media would do their best to destroy Palin, including Fox News, the one time right leaning network, has shifted left, and since Glenn Beck left Fox and went out on his own, Fox News is almost as unwatchable as the rest.  I'd like to see Al West, a true American Patriot run, but the media would lie about him, lie, like the dogs they are and represent.

So I will wait for a candidate to emerge, with the election over 14 months and over 400 days away, it's going to be a long haul, and Hell, by the time we get to November 2012, Obama and Company may have already destroyed the republic...he sure is working hard to do just that.

back later>>>>

Photos-Crazy Maxine Waters and Obammy get the good press, while true intellectals like Thomas Sowell and patriots like Allen West are disparaged in the liberal press....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Old Men Working Out....Summer Swan Song!

Patricia headed back to school this morning, I know she was sad to see her summer was teacher's meeting day and tomorrow the rug rats return....meanwhile I will adjust to not having her around during the daylight hours on the weekdays.  Today I headed out to Minster to check in at the Doc's.  Since I was put on some new meds to counteract the Dermatitis and Toe Nail Fungus....yep, just as disgusting as it sounds, about a month ago, they needed to draw blood(always fun getting it out of me..not!) to make sure the drugs did not destroy my liver.  I could have told them the million or so gallons of beer over the last 45 years probably already had done a job on that...but regardless, I gave them some of that red stuff, and headed home.  The results will be in tomorrow....hopefully no effects from the meds, because they sure did a job on the Dermatitis, which is already gone, and are clearing up the toe nail stuff, slowly but surely.....

Once home, I began what will be a regular workout session on the home gym, and treadmill.  About a month ago, I decided to make a determined effort to get back to weight lifting on a regular, not the heavy lifting I did 12 to 15 years ago, but lighter weights with more reps.  The days of pushing up a few hundred pounds from a bench are gone....62 year old joints just don't act kindly to that...but I still figured I could raise the free weights with enough reps to get some of my lost strength back...and also use the Weider Machine to do the rest of the muscles some good...hopefully without throwing out my back or tearing something loose.

The last few times I have started a return to weight lifting, the back and neck didn't reactindly.  This time a month into it, things are going far.   Still some back tightening, but nothing that seems to sound any major alarms.  I have been amazed to how quick I outgrew the routine and have had to add some reps and heavier weights to the 3 days a week sessions...heavier weights, but not heavy weights, those days are gone forever.  I will be happy at benching 150 pounds, 3 sets, 15 reps per opposed to the 200 pounds 3 sets of 20 I used to do back when I was 47...but no longer 47 and no longer willing to put that abuse on my arms, back, legs, and joints.  The rest of the workout on the machine, is as well too easy, so will slowly kick those reps and weights up a notch as well.

It's been two years ago this Labor Day that I went on the Diabetes 2 diet to reduce my weight and Blood Pressure....within 9 months I had dropped from 215 pounds to 183, and my BP had dropped from 150/85 to where it is today, about 130/75.   The BP is holding steady, while over the past 6 months I have regained about 8 pounds, despite working some 200 sporting events as an umpire/official.  Seems you can't stop Mother Nature....especially if you still insist on drinking beer and eating red meat.  So over the weekend I decided to add the treadmill back to my weight training.... I have not been able or willing to get out and walk every morning...just too damn hot, or else I have had some other excuse, lame as they were.

So today, I pulled the treadmill out from the wall, set it up in front of our DVD/VHS TV station, where I watch movies and other old shows on DVD....and started off on what I plan on being a 5 days a week walking workout.  I started out with 35 minutes at 3mph on a 5% incline, while watching  "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"....I breezed through that....and am hopeful that my legs and lungs will get the workout they need to get me through football season, and into the much more physical world of basketball officiating.

Wish me luck, at 62 years old, and carrying about 192 pounds on my 5' 10" frame(lost an inch somewhere over time)...I know I can't do what I did at 27, or 47, but I sure the heck can get off my butt and stay as healthy as possible, and drop a dozen or so more pounds....because I hate sitting around much more than I hate working out.

No games until Thursday, just a rules meeting tomorrow...then the Regular High School season kicks off this Friday Night.

back later>>>>

Photos-The basement in the 88 year old house, converted Parsonage, is as old as the house....and still much the way it looked when it was build in the fall of 1923.   But with as big as the main floor and upstairs are, I see no reason to make it into a living area...however that doesn't mean it goes to waste.  I have my shower, the laundry, and weight rooms, down in the dark gloomy recesses of the "cellar"...We also use it for food storage, both dry bulk and the freezer are set down there.   And my officiating and umpire equipment as well as everyday clothes hang as it gets it's use.   With the weight training back in my routine, it will get more now that it has over the past couple of years.  Meanwhile I will do the Treadmill upstairs where I can watch the tube or DVD reruns of "Seinfeld" or some other mindless film.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Summer of 69.....Nha Trang, RVN

I have written about my Nha Trang months(July through December1969) many times over the past 4+ years working on this blog...and as I mentioned, they were indeed my favorite times, and Nha Trang, with the 14th Security Police, my best duty station and jobs in the four years of Air Force.  On the other hand the 3 years stationed stateside were boring, and SP duty was, even after all these years, for the most part, pure unadulterated Chicken Stuff(crap, dung, etc)...  The people I met and were stationed with, became some of my best friends, and many of those I still have or have had contact with over the 40 years since I left the AF.

From those departed souls like Jack Friedl, from Moon Township, PA,  Phil Lange, my Law Enforcement boss at Nha Trang, and Joe Prokop, my basic training TI(Technical Instructor), who I would work with again at Tan Son Nhut(Saigon) as a those still living, like Harry Bevan, Bruce Dei, Tony Niemotka, Marc Payan, Bruce Thompson, Johnny Claflin, Richard "Jack" Gates, and even those I wasn't stationed with, but met through the VSPA(Vietnam Security Police Association), like Sam Lewis, Bill Marshall, Rich Gidcum, Tillman, Adams, Cowboy Smith, McCandless, Ramey, DeZarn, and a dozen others.  Lifetime friendships have been secured.  Others, like Melvin Sloan and George Huntley, whom I never saw after our Air Force days, remain in my memory banks for all time.

No, I didn't like much about the Air Force...never liked to take orders, give orders, be required to do certain things at certain times, press my pants, keep my hair cut and trimmed, so because of those and other items, I was in trouble much of my tour of much so towards the end, in early 1972, after an encounter with a smart ass First Lieutenant, I was asked to leave a couple of months early.  Sure I would still get my Honorable Discharge, because what I was supposed to have done, really had no witnesses.  So I would not have to serve the remaining 2 years of my Reserve Duty, and I would be denied the "privilege" of re-enlistment...that always brings a smile to my face...."Me Re-enlist"?...not in this life, not on this planet....way too independent in both spirit and with my mouth to put another four years, or even four more months wearing a uniform.

So. despite my dislike for the rules and regulations of the Air Force{I cannot imagine serving today with the Political Correctness that has infested the entire Military Complex, I would be in jail for sure)...that dislike did not include the vast majority of men I was stationed with....sure there were those I disliked, especially at my first duty station at Dover AFB, Delaware.  I was still a skinny punk from Ohio with a big mouth, who didn't know his way around.  I had run-ins with various "clicks" in our ranks, and with various "lifers" who I had little respect for, and did my best to make their lives miserable when I was on duty with them...Hello Tech Sarge Jack Adkins!

The duty was so miserable, in my mind, at Dover, that I finally was sick of it, and headed down to base operations, and volunteered for Southeast Asia...Thailand or Vietnam I told them, but I knew in my heart which it would be...and when I got those orders in May of 1969, I was of course apprehensive.  Unless you were a fly boy, being a Sky Cop, was just about the most dangerous job in Vietnam for us Air Force folks.  It turns out I need not have worried.  Except for almost rolling a Jeep on patrol at Nha Trang, and surviving a lightning strike at the perimeter fence, just a few feet from the guard tower I was in at Tan Son Nhut, the biggest dangers I faced in Vietnam were at the bars and brothels of downtown Nha Trang and Saigon.  The duty, and the bases, were about as good as it got for a 20/21 year old Security Police Buck Sargent....I would have no complaints. At least until I returned stateside to upstate New York.

As I have said on many occasion to anybody that would listen...if I had to do it all over again, I would have finished out my final two years in Vietnam.  I think some think I'm lying, others look at me like I am nuts, but in my mind, there would be no doubt, my final Air Force years would have been better served in that "Crazy Asian War" than freezing my ass off, and getting large servings of CS at the SAC Base in Rome, New York. But you can't change history and it is what it was.   And as it is, Vietnam, especially the 6 months in the Summer and Fall at Nha Trang, remain my favorite memories of those years in uniform.

And that is probably why I look forward to the two reunions coming this fall...The big camp outing for Vietnam and all vets in mid September at Howard County, Kokomo, Indiana...where thousands of Veterans will gather for the 28th year for anywhere for 3 to 7 days, depending on how long you can "rough" it....then in early October, the strickly Air Force Sky Cops from Vietnam and Thailand will get together for the 17th year, this time in Dayton at Wright-Patterson AFB, where we last held our get together in 2002.


Worked a scrimmage at Lima Perry last night, nothing tonight, then bright and early tomorrow morning, will work another scrimmage...this one here in Celina at 10am, between the Freshman squad of the Bulldogs as they host the Lima Senior Spartan frosh.

enjoy the weekend, back later>>>>

Photo-Me in the Summer/Fall of 69 at the Civilian Worker gate as you entered Nha Trang, AB, through the back side of the base.  TSgt Phil Lange and a couple of his senior NCO cohorts in early 11969 at Nha Trang.  Tango 10 Tower at Tan Son Nhut....the problem with these was the rain blowing in during Monsoon season and trying to stay awake on the overnight shift.  And me(left) and my buddy Harry Bevan on patrol at Nha Trang....Harry who is coming to the reunion this fall in Dayton, went home and became a Philadelphia Police Officer for 35 or so years.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Sunflower Patch....aka Nothing Going On!

Leaving for a football scrimmage in about a half hour....and that basically is what I've got. 

The Kennel Area Sunflowers, which I have mentioned are nowhere near the size, number, and quality of the past two seasons, are none-the-less, nearing full bloom....hopefully a good crop of seeds, for squirrel and bird food, enough for next years crop planting, etc, will be left when harvest time comes in the fall:

 back tomorrow>>>

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday..."Hump Day"...

Back in my Health Department days....which in reality is the only period in my working life that I worked a "normal" shift/work week, Wednesday was referred to as "Hump Day".  It was the day you hit mid-week and everything to follow was heading towards the weekend and that is what you lived and worked for.  So, other than those 20 years, and my school and college days, my week has never been controlled by the desire to get to that weekend, which by the time you hit Sunday at Noon, you were fretting that the weekend was over and those clouds moved back in to your life. 

Weekends....who need them?

Not me...Oh' sure, I enjoy the weekends, but as far as jobs, having to do multiple things, and piling them into that short span of time, I just no longer have to concentrate and trying to finish up what I have on the schedule/agenda by the time Sunday night rolls around.  The is one of the good things about being semi-retired.  Let's face it, in the Summer months, and now as we head for fall...I work(officiate/umpire) as much or more on the weekends as I do during the week.  With football having started it's scrimmage or pre-season schedule, I will usually work a JV game on Saturday morning, and then a Youth double header on much for having the weekend "off"....but I don't mind it at all.

Last night I hooked up with Rich from St. Marys and Dennis from Paulding, and we worked a quick Junior High(7th grade) scrimmage at Crestview...we were out of there in 90 minutes, as darkness began to fall on the unlighted practice field....almost like taking money for not working, but sometimes you get $50 for 90 minutes, while on other days you get $45 for 3 hours work, such is the way of Scrimmage season in high school and lower level football.

Yesterday Doug from R&D motors called...his words were that they had found the problem in the Dodge Nitro...a module in the warning system, like his mechanic had thought.  That was the good news, under warranty it would be taken care of...the bad news?  Seems this is a problem with these cars, and some 160 others had the same piece on "back order" will be a couple of weeks before it comes in....meaning the Nitro, will be subject to that crazy, loud, embarrassing warming system coming on at anytime, and anywhere.  This will make the Dodge Montana, with it's 175,000 miles on it, the main vehicle in the household, until Patricia gets her Nitro back...

With the Jeep Wrangler sold(see yesterday's post), we now have one car in true working order...with the Nitro on standby and the 1977 Buick not yet road worthy....but as long as the Montana holds out, even with Patricia heading back to school next week, we should be able to survive with one car.

Back Yard Flowers, reach the zenith....

Not a great year for plants, crops, or our back yard flowers this year....the cold and wet Spring, put a crimp in both planting and subsequent growing seasons.  However they have come out, smaller and less in numbers, but the season is reaching it full bloom mode.

The Sunflowers while approaching last season , but not 2009 in numbers, are far off in size and quality of seeds...and the Moon Flowers, while finally coming out, have been disappointing in numbers.  I think next year we will try them along a fence row, so they can spread out more....Patricia's Buzz Bombs, which attract the Hummingbirds, were shorter and less colorful this Summer, and we have yet to see any of the smallish birds in our back yard. 

So with the flowers as with anything else in life, if things don't go right one season there is always, "Wait Until Next Year"....

No games tonight, being Wednesday, or "Hump Day"....lawn mowing over at mom's is about all I have on my agenda...back later>>>>

Photos-The back yard flowers, while not as plentiful, or as colorful, have none-the-less bloomed.  The Dodge Nitro has not aged much of the past 3 months....frankly, with the problems it is having electronically, it may remain "new" for awhile longer.....and finally a close up look at a mammoth Sunflower....double click and the inter workings of these flowers never ceases to amaze me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The 98 Jeep Wrangler...End of an Era~

I remember the day I purchased the Black 1998 Jeep Wrangler.  It was a cool, but sunny, early November day back in 2002 and off I went to Lima, not knowing exactly what I wanted, but with as much as $10,000 in ready cash in hand, I planned on coming home with a Jeep, just was not quite sure what year and model I would purchase, 4 hours later I was on my way home with the 1998 Wrangler you see in the photos.  I had retired a couple of months earlier from the Van Wert County Health Department, and had immediately began driving and delivering RVs out of Nappanee, Indiana, and was in need of a "tow" vehicle.  That way I could tow the car behind the RV, which Gulf Stream and Hoosier Transit allowed, and drive it back home, thus saving money from flying, and the pain in the ass of taking a stinking Greyhound Bus...which I had done early in my RV driving days, and didn't like it one bit.

Not a lot to choose from in tow vehicles, at least not with ones that were hassle free...Jeeps and the Saturn cars, were the best of the lot.  I had opted for a Jeep ...I always wanted one, since my Air Force days in Vietnam, where I drove one most days during my LE duties at Nha Trang.  Then later at Tan Son Nhut, where, as a Sgt on Blue Patrol, I would drive a Willys Jeep loaded with coffee, water, and snacks, around to the guys working the walking and entry control points...those vehicles were fun, but dangerous(crazy drivers like me could tip them over in a second of acting stupid)...several AF Cops died in country, not from war injuries, but from showing off, or being stupid in a open roof Jeep.

I had purchased my first self owned Jeep, a 1976 Jeep Cherokee, right before Patricia and I were married....not a wrangler, but none-the-less, that 8 cylinder 4WD would go through anything, and leave my friends GMC crap in the mud...stuck...where I would push or pull them it handled great on the paved roads...we kept it through the Radio years in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kansas, before I finally traded it, worn out as it was, for a 650 Yamaha Bike and some cash.  That Cherokee only got stuck once, during the Northern Wisconsin Blizzard of 1978...I hit a snow bank, and all 4 wheels got off the ground....with Airedales, Rag and Max on board the Cherokee, I jogged a mile down the road in blinding snow, and enlisted a local farmer, who pulled me off the snow bank with his trusty tractor.

That was my only Jeep, until some 20 years after trading it, I purchased the Wrangler....until this past February, the Wrangler was my main mode of transportation.   However,  I always had a back up vehicle, either the Intrepid or whatever vehicle Patricia owned at the time.  In February the alternator went out, the belt melted, and with some other problems, I decided to park it for awhile.  When Patricia purchased the new Nitro(sitting at the dealer as I type, still in need of electronic fixing, talk about pain in the ass), I took over her Pontiac Montana mini van, and wanting to get the 1977 Buick Landau on the road, I decided it was time to part ways, after nearly 9 years, with the Wrangler...yesterday it happened.

My neighbor "kid", being 28 and graduating with Hal, Derek is hardly a kid age wise, but to me they always will be kids.  He had approached me earlier this spring wanting to inquire if I would sell him the Jeep?  A teacher and assistant football coach at Celina High, Derek was getting married in June, and wanted a back up vehicle...I assured him that the Jeep could only be a "back up" ride, it had seen it's best days, but when he was ready I would tell him exactly what I knew needed repaired, and would sell it to him at a reasonable price.  Yesterday with the Jeep back in running shape, well somewhat running condition, it still needs much work, but he can do that over the fall and winter months...we completed the deal, and the Jeep is no longer in the driveway.  It's almost like losing a pet or having one of your kids head off to college, the Jeep Wrangler is no longer in my garage or driveway.

On the Road 2002-2008

For over 5 years that Jeep was my second home, I didn't always tow it on long trips, but anything under 1500 miles it was almost always behind my delivery RV or Bus.   On several occasions, I even would venture it out west...Las Vegas, Dodge City, Yuma, and Salt Lake City, were some of the locations I would drive back from, through storms, rain, snow, hail, lightning, and whatever else Mother Nature could throw at me.  The only time it failed me, was when it wasn't even being driven.  While delivering in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, I failed to properly lock it out of gear, it slipped in while being towed, and the engine was trashed, blowing back through the rear axle, and tossing the passenger side rear tire and wheel assembly over an overpass onto I-81 below...lucky for me and them, it landed on the side of the road and nobody or no vehicle was hit below.   A month later I returned to the local Jeep dealer, with a new(rebuilt) engine and rear axle...some $5000 poorer for the lapse in timing and judgement.  The Jeep however, would continue to roll, for another 7 years without further major problem.

Football tonight at Crestview, a late start of 7pm for a Middle School scrimmage, more scrimmages, back at Lima Perry Thursday and here in Celina on Saturday morning....then late next week the real season "kicks off" legs already feel the new movements, much different than baseball, in both legs and back.  But it is what it is...back later>>>>

Photos-Me and the Jeep at AHL's in Lima on that November day in 2002...Neighbor, teacher, high school football and baseball coach Derek, as he takes over the reins of the Wrangler yesterday.  Me, at Nha Trang AB..playing Cowboys and Aliens as a Air Force Cop.  The Wrangler in it's younger days when I was still towing it behind the mammoth and even those smaller RVs.  And finally our first "Jeep"  The 1976 Jeep Cherokee we purchased it is with the Airedales, Rag and Max, at Higgins Lake, Michigan, in the Summer of 1977.

UPDATE:  Speaking of 4 wheel drives...the dealer called, the Dodge Nitro has a module problem...and they have ordered a new part...problem is, this is not rare, because there are 159 others on back order as well...looks like a 10 day to 2 week waiting period...hopefully however, that will solve the problem of "The Ghosts of Dodge Nitro 2008"

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Where Are You At 62?"

The Weekend Past____

The first football scrimmage on Friday went smoothly, as Lima Perry hosted Van Lue...the Wildcats of VL are to the best of my knowledge, the smallest school in the state to have a Varsity Football team...frankly they performed well with just 15 players in total, 16 if you count the injured lineman, who was in a cast....those kids, if they survive the 10 game regular season, will be as tough as they come.  I don't envy players going "both ways" for an entire game, let alone and entire season, as these guys will have to do.  Brutal is the only thing I can think of....especially considering they will be playing teams with anywhere from 35 to 75 or more players on the roster.  Congrats to them for the guts to do it, and good luck for the upcoming season.  

On Saturday Sam and I headed over to Nicks' to help him move some lumber, and work on the pick-up truck that we would use Sunday to move Sam from his place at the University Apartment complex near Ohio State, to the rental house he will call home for a few weeks...he will then move into a house for the remainder of his stay at OSU, before graduating next Spring.  After getting done at Nick's Sam headed to Columbus...Nick and I would head down yesterday around Noon, and spent some time moving Sam's stuff....taking the back roads home, we arrived back in Celina at 6:30. just before more storms and heavy rains rolled through the area.  A restless night's sleep and I was up at 4:30am...with no scrimmage until tomorrow night at Crestview, I will no doubt hit the sack early again tonight.

The recent rains, have gotten the lawns greening up again, which means more time following the lawn mowers....Oh' Well~another couple of months and that will be a memory, which means shortly I will get out the snow blowers and make sure they are running before Winter hits.  Fall, yes I am ready for, what follows the months from late November through Mid-March?  Not Exactly!

1962 and 62!_____

Back in late 1973 or early 74 the classic movie "American Graffiti" was my mind it was an American Classic, and still is.  I watch it on occasion on the DVD I have, and still marvel at the story line, the music, and the way it hits home with the end of American innocence in that year and those sandwiched around it.

The film centers on the last day of Summer Vacation in 1962....the town in the Southern California valley reminds me much of the small town of Venice, Florida, that I lived in through my Junior High School days....and the time, even though I was just a beginning 8th grader, as opposed to the seniors and just past seniors in the film, I can relate to that time....and that end of Summer, which would be my last in Venice, before the family picked up and moved to Celina, Ohio...The best of times, the worst of least it seemed back then.  The by-line on the movie poster greeted you with "Where were you in 62"?  Well that's were I was...Venice and then Celina....49 years ago to the month, as this summer of "11" winds down.

On the other hand at 62 refers to an age to be exact.  Nothing glorious at turning 62, the age where you can collect Social Security if you choose...which I did.  Nothing glorious about fighting the bulge of the belly almost everyday...which I do.  Or waking up with a new ache and pain on a daily basis, which I do....but....

I can say, I'm pretty damn lucky.  As compared to my late 30s and through my mid 40s I feel pretty damn good.  I've lost 25-30 pounds, I still have my hair, gray as a ghost it may be, but have it I do...and despite a bit of high blood pressure and a spot of diabetes 2, I don't complain about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), I don't blame the Agent Orange from my Vietnam days for any illness I have, and I don't expect or want a damn thing from the US Government or the assholes in public office.  Sure that may all change down the road...maybe I will have to use the VA for my medical issues, and ask the Government for help, but I neither want that, or plan on it...I've just learned to never say never.  Mind you I don't blame the guys that I served with for using every avenue to get what they need from Uncle Sam...but I know who pays the bills, and it's not that Kenyan Asshole in the White House or most of his followers, because most of them have never worked a day in their lives, they are the takers, not those that donate their taxes, time, or charity.

Oldest son Sam made a comment to his mom the other day....which he told me about.  After viewing some new photos on the walls surrounding my desk and this computer station...the quote to her was something like:  "Dad's pretty full of himself, isn't he"?  When he told me, I just laughed....I never thought of it like that....but I did add some photos of myself, the one at the top of this blog and another of me umpiring, one of the South Vietnam Flag and Air Force patches and a badge that my late friend and NCOIC from Nha Trang, Phil Lange gave me before he passed in 2009.

So at 62, with most of my days, months, and years, past me now...full of myself or not, I will continue to do what I can to keep myself healthy and alert....of course in addition to lifting weights, getting better, officiating three varsity sports, etc, I no doubt will continue to drink beer, and smoke an occasional hand rolled cigar....after all, what good is "Being Full of Yourself" if you cannot enjoy it, and the other things that make life worth living regardless of age?

back later>>>>

Photos-Full of myself at 62, I can at least still get my right bicep to look as though I still pump iron, although surly not like a could a decade+ ago, when I was just a mere 50 or so....taking the back roads, mainly Ohio 47 from Columbus, via Waldo and other old towns of my ancestors, you travel through Prospect(another Houseworth stomping ground), Richwood, West Mansfield, and Rushsylvania, and countless other small dots on the come across bridges, and old elevators, many abandoned by population dispersal and time.  I had an original poster like this in my possession for many a year, but now gone...much like those days of the early 1960s, before LBJ and his failed Great Society and his failed war in Vietnam....the memories of my war are but photographs, flags, and badges, the latter given to me by my boss and friend from my Nha Trang days in 1969, TSgt Phil Lange, who passed away 2 years ago in his native New Hampshire.  Phil, seen in this photo from those days enjoying a good cigar.