Thursday, July 28, 2011

Golfing in Germantown, Ohio


OK...I lied a quick post....Golfed for the first time in nearly 9 years today, at least on a real course, other than night golf or mini golf at the Bar Stool Open...Hal and I teed off at 7:40, took 3 1/2 hours,   Hal broke 100 for the first time ever on a regulation course, shooting a 97...while I took a 112.  We played it straight, except for a "Mulligan" on each 9 holes.   I could have cut a dozen strokes off, but was pretty happy for the most part.  I expected to shoot in the 120-125 range.  We did get some photos but not sure how to download them on Hal's laptop, so will get those up when I get back on my computer.....

Today will be the hottest of the week...95 with humidity to match.  

We have a family wedding to attend over the weekend as well....so not sure when I will get back on....maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday or Tuesday....in the meantime I plan on enjoying the time off from the sports officiating wars...

back later

Photos-The various shades of

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baseball, The Summer Season Ends...

GM and I finished off our portion of the State ACME Tournament last night on the artificial turf at Eastview Park here in Celina....Greenville defeated Lima Shawnee 5-2 in the opener, with me working the plate, and in the nightcap, which finished around 11pm, Vandalia-Butler scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th and held on to eliminate Toledo Central Catholic 4-3.

The first game had some close and controversial plays in the field, and mistakes on the basepaths, which led to Shawnee being eliminated...GM tossed an assistant coach for arguing calls, something you cannot put up with.  The head coach can complain, and you give him leadway, the assistant coaches have a tighter rein on them in the Spring and ACME seasons.  In the second game, two pick off attempts, went awry,  one by the catcher on a throw to 3rd, and one by the left handed relief pitcher at first base, led to the tying and go ahead runs, as TCC failed to hold a lead they had forged in the early part of the game.

So my season is done...the ACME State Tournament will continue through Saturday, meanwhile Sam has another 10 games in this weekends Dale Harter Little League Tournament on the other Eastview Diamonds...me, I am going to relax.  Will golf with Hal tomorrow, take in a wedding, then take it easy for three weeks before Football "kicks off", with my first scrimmage slated to be played August 16th.

As of this morning, I will clean the gear out of the van, clean it out....and Febreeze the inside to get rid of the smell from sweaty umpiring gear and clothes.  The past 4 months since the Spring season began has seen just about every type weather imaginable.  Snow, Rain, Wind, Brutal Cold, Heat, Humidity, more Heat, and the longest rain delay of my umpiring career....frankly, as much as baseball is my favorite sport to officiate, I am ready for a break and the change of seasons, both weather and sports wise.

back later...but it will be a few days off before.  My next post is not likely until next Tuesday August 2nd.  I plan on enjoying the time away, not only from baseball, but from the Internet as well....

Photos-Time to put away the gear of the umpire wars for another season....I will actually be able to see the bottom of the cargo space in the van....once I remove the gear, including Cups, Caps, and Clothes from the past 4 months, out of space they occupy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PRH....Baseballs Last Call for 2011

After the generous rains over the just finished weekend...the sun hitting the saturated ground, made for some steamy conditions yesterday.  However, since the temperatures were closer to 90, rather than 100, I got out, and mowed both my and mom's yards...although it more amounted to "mowing down weeds" rather than trimming and cutting the lawns...but done they are and that should take care of them until next week.  The rains helped the parched soils and plants, but still left some of the area in need of more.  Celina seemed to luck out, the rains came, and they came at the right time with right amounts....except for that 12+ hour day of baseball they caused at the ACME State Tournament on Sunday.

Speaking of which.....

Tonight Garry and I finish up our season at Eastview's Montgomery Field with games 9 and 10 in the State Finals....in the opener I will be behind the plate as Lima Shawnee, a team I am very familiar with, takes on Greenville, who I had in the Spring and one time in ACME ball...the winner moves on to tomorrow night, while the loser can get ready for football, and the final weeks of summer before school is back in session.  Garry will take the plate for the nightcap, and that game will feature Vandalia-Butler(the team I had the plate for the 7 hour, multi-rain delayed game on Sunday) against Toledo Central Catholic, the team that had to sit while waiting for the rains to let them face Minster Sunday night...a game they lost 8-3 and then had to drive the 2+ hours back to Toledo.  The loser in this one is eliminated, while the winner moves on to Wednesday.  At this point Minster and Bowling Green are in the driver's seat, both at 2 wins with no loses, playing in the winner's bracket final tomorrow night at 6pm.  The entire tournament is double elimination.

As for me, the season, umpiring wise, comes to an end....I had a pretty good run, maybe 85 or 90 games worked, including multiple sectionals in the Spring, and Sectionals, Districts, and State games in the Summer. It was Cold and Wet early and then brutally hot and humid late, topped off by the downpour on Sunday.  I enjoy baseball, like the extra money it generates, and without a doubt the best sport for me, and the most enjoyable as well, of the three sports I officiate...but also without a doubt, I am glad it will end tonight.  Time for a few weeks off, then maybe I will be ready for football...as of now, I am not.

Tomorrow I rest up, then Thursday I pack up Sam's gold clubs(having given mine away) and head to Centerville, where youngest son Hal and I have a 7:35am "tee time" on a golf course where he plays.  It should be interesting...I have not played a regular round of golf on a real course in over five years....Hal may regret asking me to swing the clubs...although it will give him a chance to actually beat somebody.  Anything below 125 I will consider a successful outing.  Needless to say unlike my father-in-law who won a place in the British Open some 30 years ago, the golf game never rubbed off on me.....even though, God knows he tried to teach me to be a better hacker...but just plain hacker I remained before finally giving the game up, except for an occasion drunken Night Golf outing or the annual Bar Stool Mini Golf rounds during August...this year that comes up on August 6th.

Nuff for today...back later>>>

Photos-Me behind the plate at a Lima District ACME game earlier this month...photo courtesy of the Lima News, from whom I purchased this photo of me working the Lima Shawnee(whom I have tonight at State) vs Allen East game.  And the Bar Stool Open, less than two weeks away is where I do my only golfing these days....Thursday with youngest son Hal will be the exception, and most likely a disaster on the links for this hacker.

Monday, July 25, 2011

PRH....The Marathon Man, and the "Rubber" Field proves its worth..

The Lake Festival Weekend couldn't avoid all of the rain events, nor could the Baseball Tournaments for the younger kids in Minster, and the State ACME Tournament in Celina...however, even with the rain, the events for the most part were completed before the heavy downpours of Sunday occurred.

Sam got in 9 1/2 of his 10 games in Minster, with only the Pony League Championship being called after 3 innings yesterday afternoon, when the first of the heavy rain and lightning arrived.  The score of 6-3 was awarded to Russia's 14 year olds and the tournament was history.  I umpire 3 games with Sam, 2 on Friday and 1 on Saturday...Meanwhile at Celina, the State ACME Tournament(Summer High School Baseball) kicked off with four games on Saturday...then Sunday I was assigned the first 2 of my 4 games in the tournament(the others will be tomorrow night), with Wayne from Sidney...Wayne is 4 months older than me, and I am guessing us working together marked the first time 2 Vietnam Veterans worked a State Tournament game, in ACME ball....but I have no way of knowing for sure.  Wayne served with the Army's 25th Infantry during Vietnam and received a Purple Heart for his wounds....I, of course was much more lucky, surviving my tour as a Air Force Cop, with no wounds, no PTSD, and no Agent Orange issues...or at least none that I know, or would claim....I was crazy when I went over.   Anyway Wayne is one tough, no nonsense, old bird, and we worked well together... with the storms that would play havoc,we would need to.
Wayne took the plate for game #1 on the day...four were scheduled, and we were working the first two....normally we would have been done by 5pm....it ended up being 9:30.  Game one, with Lima Shawnee scoring 9 runs in the 5th inning to break open a close game, ended in just 90 minutes, with Shawnee beating Springfield, Ohio, by a 10-0 count in a 5 inning run rule.   We started the second game, between Vandalia-Butler and Defiance right on time at 2:30pm.   4 rain delays, 1 extra inning, 14 runs, and 7 hours later, with me behind the plate, we finished with Butler coming out on top in 8 innings 8-6.  I was soaked to the bone, hot, humid, wet, and weary, I made my way home for a few beers, a warm shower, a Reds win, and finally some much needed sleep.

Never in my umpiring, playing, or coaching life, have I ever been involved in a game of this length.  The reason we let it go that long were as follows:  (1) The game #3 opponents, Toledo Central Catholic and Minster had issues....TCC for one, had already made the 2 1/2 hour drive, I nor the tournament staff wanted to send them back to Toledo without completing a game, only to bring them back tonight.  Minster meanwhile was only 20 miles away...but the Wildcats are slated to be in Cincinnati tonight to be recognized on the field before the Reds~Mets game, for the Spring High School, Division 4 State Championship.  So despite 2+ inches of rain, the rubber turf field handled the water, which fell in 4 installments...I stayed soaked from a combination of rain and sweat, and we got it done.  The Minster~TCC game would begin with the other 2 umpires working it through more rain, and finally finished up just after Midnight with Minster staying in the winners bracket, by a 8-3 win.  Game #4 had been postponed before Bowling Green and Greenville had left their towns...and will be played tonight...the tournament remains on schedule to be finished up on Saturday.  Garry and I will work the two loser's bracket games tomorrow...the weather looks to stay hot(it was brutal over the weekend), but dry for the time being. With that said, the rains, although a pain for baseball, were for the most part welcome.

The Rubber/ turf Montgomery Field proved it's worth...the $100,000 plus gift from Celina Insurance and the Montgomery Family has been a boon to baseball in Celina...were else could you get this kind of rain at a City owned High School Diamond, and still play the same day?

Today, I rest, maybe being mowing lawns later in the early evening....and we take the Dodge Nitro to the dealer...It seems to be having some "issues" in the electrical system...time to find out before, Patricia goes back to school, or we have to do a long distance drive.

back later>>>>

Photos-The Turf/Rubber Field at Eastview Park, as it looked on Friday...I failed to take photos yesterday when it was flooded, but despite the downpours, we got 3 of 4 games in and the ACME State Tournament remains on schedule.  The Dodge Nitro, despite just over 30,000 miles seems to be having some "issues"...we will take it in to the dealers this morning, and hopefully see what the problem might be.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Celina (Grand) Lake Festival Weekend


Celina Lake Festival July 22-24, 2011...

The Car Show, here from a couple years ago featuring my buddy Whitey Klosterman and one(he has several) of his Classic Buick vehicles, and another "Woody" are always among my favorite parts.  The Fireworks and Grand Parade are the highlights of the weekend, and the Sidewalk Sales are the mainstay of the festival...hopefully with the new improved downtown and streets, and the lake being somewhat cleaner this year, things will begin to improve around Celina and the Grand Lake area

The Celina Lake Festival begins today....


 http://celinalakefestival.com/

Usually the town is full of vistiors, vendors, the Grand Parade, and Fireworks....hopefully the weather will co-operate and the predicted storms will happen overnight or in the early morning hours.  The Festival began back in the days before World War II, then took a respite...it began anew in the 1960 period, and is the focal point of the Summer season on the west side of Grand Lake....
 


Sam got the first two of his 10 scheduled games at Minster in last night...I'm with him for two tomorrow, then he is back for four games Saturday, and the Semi Final and Final games in the Pony League Division on Sunday.   After tonight, I concentrate on the State ACME Tournament here in Celina....and by this time next week, my baseball season will be over.

Yesterday it was near 100 with the heat index about 110, as the latest heat wave reached it's high point...with the showers that may come, and a few clouds, it may be a bit cooler over the weekend, but with highs in the mid 90s and humidity to match, it will still not be anything that you can call Comfortable.....

Enjoy your weekend....I'll be back later>>>>

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunrise, Baseball, Record Heat, and Mexicans....

As I ventured out at 5:30 this morning, I realized that this day, July 21st, on average, is the hottest day of the year north of the equator...and indeed here in West Central Ohio, it is forecast to be exactly that....100 degrees is what they are saying, that depends on which forecast you choose to use...others say 96, 99, or somewhere in-between.  Regardless, with the sun and humidity, it will again be brutal with Heat Warnings and Advisories posted not only in Ohio, but throughout most of the states east of the Missouri River.  34 states have issued warnings, and the end is not in sight...even though temps may drop by a handful by next week, the 90s with high humidity still are forecast for the region.

It was muggy as I settled down with my large coffee this morning to take in the sunrise and snap a few shots....I took another 40 or so looking out over Grand Lake, but realized that I had pretty much got my best shot yesterday, and it was time to look for new areas to shoot before Summer turns to fall....sure, I got some nice ones, but just how many photographs of like sunrises can you take?  I need to sort out what I have taken as crop and "fix" some of those, then move on to different locations and scenery.

After I finished my coffee, took the last of the sunrise photos, I climbed into the van and headed into Celina, where I stopped by Montgomery Field for a couple of morning photos at Eastview Park, where the State ACME Tournament begins Saturday, and where I will umpire the last of my Summer Baseball on Tuesday night.   Garry and I will work together, as we did last year, in a double header, as the final 8 Summer High School teams left in this part of the state do battle.   Then I am done for the year, I can put away the gear, the clothes, and ready myself for football, which begins in less than a month with the early season scrimmages.

Before the ACME tournament starts, I will have a couple games or more helping out with the Pony League Tournament down in Minster....something Sam and I do every year.  Sam has 10 games, starting tonight.  I am scheduled for just two, both with Sam on Friday,  but told Jon, the tournament manager, and fellow umpire, and football official, that I would help out with more if needed.  Rain may be a factor, with the chance of storms over the weekend increasing.

After I finished at Eastview, I headed home, took a couple photos of the Sunflowers that have started slowly to make their presence shown...and the first of the "Mexicans", the orange, short plant variety have started to come out as well.
Photos-A lone Blue Heron flies across the morning sun on Grand Lake...as I sit with my 24oz cup of morning wake up and watch the day begin.  The view from behind home plate at Montgomery Field in Celina, where I will work my last games of the season next Tuesday, in the State ACME High School Summer Baseball Tournament...and finally one of the "Mexicans"...one of several Sunflower varieties that I planted again this year....while last year was a bumper crop for many of the various types, I think this year will be less....the late planting season, combined with the brutal heat and lack of rain since early June, being a major cause of the lack of a bumper crop.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We are going to Cook~Bake~Boil~Burn~, etc, etc,


 95 for a high, 100-105 for a heat index....not going to be pleasant...especially if you have to work outside...glad there are no games slated for this afternoon or tonight on my agenda.  The heat and humidity will last through the upcoming weekend.  Not good, not good at all!

Sleep, Sleep, Who Needs Sleep......?

What begin as an effort to get up early and go to bed same a few weeks ago, has turned into something else.  Now it seems, I am waking up at 4am, give or take a half hour, and am not getting back to sleep....that was the case this day.   I wanted to get up and roam around the lake a couple of times a week, before the sun brought the heat, now it is getting to be a habit...and not a good one. We did get a small thunderstorm overnight, so some much needed rain fell, not that it rained enough, but it was a bit.   I'm sure that will just make it that much more humid today...seems we cant' win.  Cold, wet, early Spring, and now this.....go figure?

Anyway, with the rain and lighting, I still decided to head out, and maybe get some photos, of something, despite the probable cloud cover.  As it turned out, I took 40 or so shots, of downtown Celina, Windy Point, and the West Bank....some came out good, others, not so much.  That is why I love digital photos...the mistakes don't cost you anything, except maybe a little battery life....that I can handle.

The photo on the top, and Patricia agreed, was the best of the lot today....I cropped it, but it stands on it's own, considering I used the Nikon "Point and Shoot" Coolpix....the rest were taken in Celina and around Grand Lake between 5:30 and 6:30 this morning.

I don't think there will be much wandering out today....the heat, humidity, etc, will keep me indoors, in the A/C...but you know what?  I may go out anyway....what the Hell?  Life is to short to lock yourself up indoors...even if the weather sucks...and it does.   

Patricia and I did get out yesterday and saw the afternoon showing of Harry Potter's last(?) flick,  The Deathly Hallows part 2....good special effects, and if it was too confusing to follow, they used up much of the last hour to peek back and wrap up the series.  It went from being a fantasy/wizard flicks for kids, to much darker films that were much better suited for adults and older teens.   I enjoyed it, and if you're into that type of stuff, well worth the time to see.

No games until Friday, my semi-annual check up tomorrow, and taking Reagan for a groom and trim...frankly I thought she was done with that at her age, but she keeps surprising....13 and still kicking, but surly slowing down, especially in this heat, when she spends almost all of her time sleeping in the Air Conditioned house....speaking of sleep, I could use some myself...

back later>>>> 

Photos-This Morning, Sunrise off the West Bank of Grand Lake, Celina Downtown at 5am...the Mercer County Courthouse and the newly refurbished Main Street of Downtown Celina, both when most of the world was sleeping....and "Harry Potter Deathly Hallows part 2" is a must see, if you have seen the others in the 10 year series..... 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sometimes you just shake your head.....

Pretty much a wasted morning, at least the early part of it....I got up about 4:50 this morning, the moon, down to about 3/4ths was out, and I could see some stars...so I figured I could get some decent Sunrise photos...wrong!  By the time I arrived at Windy Point on the south side of Grand Lake, it was obvious that the clouds, haze, or both would blot out any spectacular sunrise shots.  So after finishing my cup of coffee, I drove around for another half hour...and then headed for home, empty handed....ahhh the best laid plans of mice and men.

Sometimes, more often than not, things don't always work out the way you plan them. 

The just ended weekend was a hot, humid, one....my Elida umpiring partner Andy, and I worked a American Legion double header on Saturday at Sidney.  The Lima Legion and Sidney, would play the best 2 of 3 for the right to move on to Lancaster for the State Legion Championships next week.  Being the older and senior ump, I opted for the plate in the first game....it was already hot and becoming humid as I put on the gear for the 11am start.  Lucky for me, the first game would be a quick one...Lima jumped out early, and cruised to an 11-1 win, with the game being called via the run rule after 7 innings(both games were scheduled for 9 innings).  We were done in about 90 minutes...In game #2 Andy would not be so lucky. 

Lima pushed out to a 6-0 lead in that contest, and it appeared they would cruise to another easy win, and move on to the State games....not so fast!  Over confidence or whatever, the Lima team sagged, and underdog Sidney fought back, finally pulling out a 7-6, nine inning 2 1/2 hour game.  Andy was tortured by the sun, heat, and humid conditions....but he, and we, survived, thanks to gallons of water and Gator Ade.  By 4pm we were on our way home...where I would shower, and grab a few beers.  I can say, without resevations I am looking forward to the season's end...now less than two weeks away.
{we did not work the Sunday "rubber game" of the best of three championships, but Lima did seal the State deal, coming away with a 13-3 win}

Sometimes____

On occasion you hear a statement, get an e-mail, ask a question, make a point, etc...and the response you get just makes you shake and alternately scratch your head...wondering to yourself "What the Hell was that all about"? 

The older you get, at least in my case, I have less tolerance for that type BS....friend, foe, sports, politics, or just everyday life...if you piss me off, I won't deal with you...and I'm not talking about anyone or anything in particular.  But sometimes people you think you know, just say something that gets in your craw.  And it tends to ruin what respect you had for that person.  

I don't always know best, but I know enough when someone slings BS your way, hoping to make a point, and not realizing, they had no point....or they got your point wrong.  Anyway, I guess that's the way it's been for over 40 of my 62 years....and probably longer than that.  I just know during my Air Force days I made a concise decision to "say what I mean and mean what I say".  Yes, we all have out bull crap moments, but that decision made all those years ago, gives me little time or leeway to people who rub me the wrong way...family and the handful of close friends being the only exceptions, everybody else, you get no pass.  I just tuck it away and write you off my list of people to deal with.

When I joined the Air Force back in the Summer of 1968, I weighed about 135 pounds on my 5'9" frame, by the time I got out four years later, I was 5' 11" and 185...not a huge person or any sort of "tough guy"....but I knew enough and was tough enough to handle myself, whether it be physical or a tussle of the minds...sometimes you just have to know when to say.  "Why the Hell bother with this?" and you walk away.  At my age, the physical confrontations are long gone...the verbal or opinion conflicts still are out there, especially when, like me, you are totally outspoken.  That is my reflection for today, for nobody in particular.

Baseball is done until at least Friday....and with the rain, hopefully moving in, this hot, humid, week will see cooler and less humid conditions to follow...yes, it's only mid July but as I mentioned Friday...I am sick of the heat already...of course if you ask me next February, I'll probably tell you I never said that......

Patricia and I probably will take in the final Harry Potter movie(at least this is what they say) this afternoon...hopefully the crowds that were outrageous this weekend, will be gone this afternoon....will review it tomorrow.

back later>>>

Photos-My photo session this morning was a complete bust, so here is a sunflower shot from last summer in the backyard garden....American Legion baseball was played in hot, humid, conditions on Saturday...and me somewhere in the Flight of "Prokop's Pups" back 43 years ago in July 1968 at Amarillo, AFB, Texas....SSgt Joe Prokop, our TI, knelling 3rd from left...I am back in the upper middle second row from top.  Joe, who passed away in 2005 and I would work together at Tan Son Nhut, a couple of years later....after his TI gig, he reverted back to Security Police work.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Festival Time around Grand Lake

The temperatures will start to rise again today, after a 2 day respite...the humidity will climb, and a chance of storms will re-enter the forecast by the end of the weekend....and with the 90+ degree temps and 80% humidity, we probably can use the rain, although that will just make it all the more uncomfortable....frankly, I am ready for late September and October weather...just not the Winter months that follow.

Lima Shawnee worked their way through the loser's bracket of the Liima Central Catholic District Tournament, and faced Leipsic for the 2nd straight game last night, for the right to come to my town, Celina, for the State ACME Tournament, which begins next Saturday July 23rd.  In a game, which saw errors by the Leipsic Viking squad seal their fate, Shawnee held off a late rally and came away with the clincher 7-4...

Tomorrow I head for Sidney to umpire the American Legion District....two 9 inning games between Lima and Sidney's Legion teams...the winner of the best 2 of 3 will move onto the State Legion at Athens later this month.  If a 3rd game is needed, that will happen Sunday.  Regardless, it promises to be hot behind the plate and on the field.

Festival Time____

The area festivals have been going on much of the early summer around this area, and this weekend, they get going in full mode....

The IC Parish Festival is usually held 2 weeks before the Lake Festival....it is held in the Church area, about 3 blocks from my house...they close off a couple of streets, put in a few rides, gaming tables, beer tents, and cake stands....it is always well attended, regardless of weather, and is always a success.   The drawings for the prizes are held on Sunday Night, with the top prize being a new car....we always buy a few tickets, but so far, no luck over the years.

  Next weekend, The Minster Baseball Tournament is on, Sam has a boat load of games there, while I have limited myself to just a couple, at least to start....then  July will wrap up with both the ACME State Finals and the Celina Grand Lake Festival, July 22, 23, and 24....with 5 weekends this July the Festival will be held a week or so earlier than usual.  

Enjoy Your Weekend....I plan on it...back later>>>>

Photo-Sam took a number of shots yesterday as he was walking around the town...top is of the quite at the IC grounds before the action begins, and in two weeks, the area around the Celina Lighthouse will become a focal point of the coming Celina Lake Festival....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Umpiring, Sunflowers make their appearence, and The Fresh Air Fund

Yesterday was a rare July day in this part of the world...the high struggled to reach 80, the humidity was low, and the breeze, from the north and northwest, made for a pleasant mid summers day....heading for Lima and the District Finals at LCC, I actually looked forward to doing the plate.  Two quality pitchers would be on the mound for both Shawnee and Leipsic, and the weather would be near perfect for baseball.   We started on time at 6pm, both starters were throwing strikes, I believe there was only one walk to go with the dozen and a half strike outs between the two squads.  Deron and I were done in 90 minutes, the 3-1 Lima Shawnee win, made a Championship Game #2 necessary to decide who would move on the the State ACME Tournament, starting here in Celina on July 23rd.

So, tonight, I head back to LCC for the 3rd straight night, to work the final...final.  Ed from St. Marys will join me, and he will have the plate...3 nights in a row behind the dish, with the same team and teams, is not good, so the change to the bases will be welcome.  Given the hurlers the two squads have left, it should be another good game tonight....but anything can and usually does happen.

The Sunflowers make an appearance____

I usually wait to plant the sunflower seeds until mid May...and this spring it was a necessity due to the cold and wet conditions...so my crop, while usually big and bountiful, are always a little late blooming....this year is no exception.  Yesterday the first two of my mixture of "Moon Walkers", Monmouth, Mexican Orange, and Mixed Color flowers, appeared....I also noticed next to my transplanted "Wild" plant, another next to it with multiple flowers as well....it appears the crop will be good again this fall.

Domestic Sunflower Seeds produce just a single flower, while the wild wind blown variety can produce over 100 on rare occasions.  Last year I believe I had 40 or so on a stray wild plant.  This year the plant that I found growing under our bushes in early April and I transplanted to the kennel line, looks like it will approach the 35-40 flower mark...and the one "wild" sitting next to it will produce multiple flowers as well.  The weather appears dry for the next week or more...but the Sunflowers will continue to thrive in the heat, sun, and humidity.
 
The Fresh Air Fund____

I don't often promote other web sites or causes on this blog...I dropped the sponsorship links a couple of years ago.  I got a request awhile back for Sara at "The Fresh Air Fund"...a site and program that seeks to help inner city youth take summer vacations away from the heat and grime of their concrete city locations, and place them in more open spaces of rural America.  After doing some research, and checking out the site, I figured "Why Not".....it seems a good cause and on the up and up.   After all, even a hard core right winger like me, things there are good causes out there worth supporting.....so here is the site...check it out and see what you think:

http://www.freshair.org/ 

After all a few minutes of your time away from the world's and this country's problems is good for all of us.

Baseball again tonight, a Legion tournament on Saturday, and who knows after that....but the heat will be back, and I'm looking forward to the end of the hardball wars....a break before Football comes calling in mid August.

back later>>>

Photos-A still out of video from Channel 35 WLIO in Lima from last nights game...me in the lite blue umpire shirt as Leipsic scores it's only run in the 3-1 loss to Lima Shawnee, the two teams will hook up again tonight at Lima Central Catholic, with the prize a trip to the State Summer High School ACME Tournament in Celina next week.  The first of Sunflowers begin to bloom...and the already 10 foot tall "Wild" Sunflower plant that I transplanted, it appears to be heading towards 35 or more blooms...but time will tell.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another July Day in the Life....Baseball and the Home Work Area

Nothing special going on this morning....

Patricia is working on the Quilt for the coming grandson, and I am sitting on my rear end at the computer station...the good news is that the weather, after a couple of welcome showers on Monday took a cool break overnight, as a front, dry in this area it was, passed by.   The morning temperatures cooled and it appears today and tomorrow will be a welcome break from the heat and humidity.  Lower 80s for highs with 60 as a low....no rain in the forecast until at least the weekend.

Last night Garry and I headed to Lima, for the District ACME at Lima Central Catholic....an elimination game between Allen East and Lima Shawnee.  Shawnee had defeated AE in the Sectional game I had last week at Shawnee, but both teams moved on to districts.  In ACME two teams each move out of the sectionals, and both the Mustangs as the runners up and Shawnee's Indians as the champs moved to LCC.   Shawnee won last week 15-2 in a 5 inning run rule, last night's game would not be much different.  Shawnee jumped out early and finally put AE away in the 6th, coming away with another run rule, this one by a 12-2 score.  I was behind the plate, and will be again tonight, as Shawnee, with a loss under their belts, try to avoid elimination, taking on Leipsic's Vikings.  Leipsic is undefeated in District play, and a win tonight will send them on to the State Tournament, which will be held here in Celina beginning July 23rd.  A Shawnee win would make it a winner take all, for a State trip tomorrow night at LCC.

Last night was pretty hot with the gear on...but the game went quick and there was a breeze to help...tonight it should be much more pleasant, at least weather wise.

The Work Area_____

Last week, Patricia and I made some changes to the little corner living room, which is wear I have a antique desk, and a computer area where this blog and my other BS is penned(typed).  The computer area was designed and installed about 6 years ago in place of an ugly ass closet, we took one of the inside doors, which was installed back when this parsonage was built in 1923 and put it on a smaller closet area.  I then took an antique desk from my Grandmother's place in Scott, Ohio, and set it in front of the duel windows facing west.   This was the same time we ripped out the carpet, and had Majestic Floors, refinish the pine, and make it a solid wood downstairs, they would do the upstairs the next year.....

Then last week we moved some photos around, put my Vietnam frames on "my" walls above the stacked antique desk with 8 drawers{also a refugee from Grandma Houseworth and Aunt Eva's place in Scott.  If I don't say so, it is looking pretty good.....and makes the 2 hours or so I spend here each weekday much more pleasant.  

back later>>>>

Photos-My Desk, which has been in some old family photos for over 60 years I suspect it was in my Grandmother Houseworth's place since the 1930s when she moved into the Grant Street home in Scott, Ohio.  The desk itself is over 100 years old, the 8 drawer stacked desk to the right, is also an ancient antique from Grandma's place.  The second photo is of a much newer crafted Computer Work Center which sets in the same room...this area was hand built in 2005, and is where I spent a couple of hours each morning typing this blog and downloading photos.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Foggy Sunrise and Foggy Minded Male Liberals

The now 13 year old Reagan the Airedale woke me up as usual this morning... it's
always sometime between 4:30 and 5am, for her morning biscuit.  She pretends to need to go outside to do her morning thing...but she hardly gets down the back steps and is barking or scratching to get in...it's her thing at her advanced age.  Wake me up, she gets biscuit, and I go back to bed.  This morning was one of those mornings, more frequent the past month or so, that I stay up, brush the teeth, get dressed and head out to see if there is anything worth photographing in the early morning sky.

After yesterday's welcome rains, which came in two storms, I figured there was to be some fog, that would pretty well cancel any glorious sunrise shots over Grand Lake.  I was right, as day was breaking the lake and ground fog pretty well did the sunrise shots in....my lack of skill with the new camera also cost me a couple of close-ups of a Heron in a tree, and 2 Doe in the hay field photos....I didn't have time to plant the camera on the tripod....and hand holding the Sony for Zoom shots in just not in my skill pattern yet....and in the early hour of the morning, I may never figure it out.  Guess I will need to carry the older Fuji Camera out on these morning runs....even though it has some issues, I can at least figure out to steady shoot from the Zoom.

The early morning was not cooled off by the previous days rains...78 at 5:30 when I drove past the bank on my way south towards Montezuma....it's going to be a hot and humid day for sure.  Tonight's District game begins at 6pm at Lima Central Catholic, I've got the plate, so I should lose another 10-15 pounds of water weight...which I will attempt to drink back on after Garry and I head back home.   I will be back at LCC again tomorrow for Championship Game #1(there may be two, such it the way of double elimination tournaments)...and once again, I will do the dish, working with a face from my football officiating, Mr JD Bailey.  I have not worked baseball with JD, so tomorrow will be the first time.  Once done there I am not sure when the next umpire action will be....waiting for any schedule to come out from the State Tourney assignments.  I do know I have a tournament double header in Minster on July 22nd.....then as August approaches, I take a break for a few weeks, until Football Scrimmage time arrives.

A liberal mind=Space Wasted____

One thing I can say about facebook...you can "meet" some strange people there.   Over the past 3 years I have connected with a handful of old friends from my childhood in Venice, Florida, several old Vietnam buddies, and folks from right here in Celina that I had lost touch with.  However, of the 1400 people who I have listed as 'Friends", most are like minded people of the Right political persuasion.  A few Liberal friends are also on the list, but only if I know them personally, and we can agree to keep it civil.  If they start throwing around the "hate", "bigot", "Neanderthal", etc., labels, I delete them in a hurry...I don't have time for left wing assholes that can't think past their worship for Obama, the Clinton's, Illegal border jumpers, support of higher taxes, and their love for Islamic Radicals.

Once in awhile a clown or clown-ette decides to come trolling in on a session sent out by a fellow Conservative...and their MOs are always the same...especially from those enlightened "Male Liberals".  You can just about be assured that any male liberal, especially white male liberals, have issues from childhood.   And yes I am painting with a broad brush here.....most have a mommy fixation, are gay, both?  And probably got their asses kicked in school on a daily basis.  They like to throw out words at people like me..."Angry", "Narrow-Minded", "Bully", "Not-to-Bright", "Half Wit", etc, etc, etc,....it appears that's all they have to offer, since their man's political offerings are a total failure, much like their miserable lives.

One such numskull came trolling on a photo discussion on one of my "friends" pages yesterday...we were discussing a photo of the Master Barack Obammy{see photo in question on left}...and this clown, named Tommy Beaver, decided to join us, with his personal wisdom and support of our half baked, half breed, half witted, Kenyan Prez. When I chose to call him a "moron"....here came the words used above.  It went back and forth for awhile, as I kept feeding this fool more candy....he finally pronounced that he was looking for someone like me to write about....some hate filled, low IQ ed, dimwit.  It appears Little Tommy Beaver, or at least he says, works for some store front Rag in Brooklyn, New York, of all places.  And I was going to be his centerpiece story of a hate filled Midwestern "Bully".  I thanked him, I just hope if he does write about me, he mentions this blog....this time of year, my visits slow down, because most people of the "Half Witted" variety, like me, spend too much time outdoors to hit this blog...so thank you Little Tommy Beaver, get me those readers....even if they happened to be Obama worshiping fools such as you...it's after all, about the numbers.  And by-the-way Tommy, I am a "bully"?  You have that wrong...I am the anti-bully.  In my bar tending days, after the Air Force and during college, I was the "Anti Bully", helping rescue clowns such as you from getting their ass kicked by real bullies.  You may think you have me all figured out, but you don't have a clue.



So that's it this morning, heat, humidity, foggy morning, and foggy minded leftists like Little Tommy, they are all part of what make the world go around....so you just keep, keepin on Lil' Tommy.  You are indeed a clown, mind you not up to the famous Emmett Kelly, or even Ronald McDonald.  But keep trying, someday, maybe someday, you'll make it to those heights.

back later>>>>

Photos-This mornings sun as it finally lifts above the fog in rural Mercer County....a couple of miles north and east of Celina.  Another High School haunt, Whiskey Run, in the gloam, as it drifts towards Grand Lake....Our beloved Kenyan Prez, Barack Insane Obammy, looking like a combination of Jack Benny and someone looking at the Menu at one of his Chicago Gay Bath House haunts...and a real Clown, Emmett Kelly Jr, not to be confused with the wannabee left wing writing clown, Little Tommy Beaver....use just don't measure up Tommy, but you keep trying, someday, maybe someday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Dog Days of July...

The weekend was ablaze, temperature-wise....no rain in west central Ohio, as the cold, wet, spring and early summer has turned into a dry, parched, late June through mid-July....rain they say, is on the way, but for now we bake.

Saturday I traveled to Rcokford for the Junior ACME District finals at Parkway...one or two games were scheduled in the double elimination tourney, and Crestview with no loses, made it a one game day, defeating Coldwater for the second time, 7-1, to take home the crown, and move onto the Semi State in Celina, starting Friday.  Saturday, Sam, after working the Buckeye Elite Tournament in the Columbus area, returned home, and we did a District ACME double header at Celina.  In the winner's bracket final between host Celina and Coldwater, I did the plate, in a 13-6 Coldwater win...the heat coming off the rubber turf was brutal.  With temperatures outside nearing 95 the turf temps had to be 20 degrees hotter.  The game, lasting almost 2 1/2 hours, was probably not my best behind the plate, but we survived it...in the second game, the elimination contest between Anna and Fort Loramie, Sam took the plate, and things went much smoother(i.e. less fans and less bitching), in the Fort's 8-2 victory, to eliminate the Rockets.  That District continues tonight, while I have the day off...tomorrow night, weather permitting, I travel with Garry to Lima Central Catholic to work that LCC District, and I return there on Wednesday as well for another single game.  After that, my schedule winds down....there are still some tournament assignments out there, but the only solid commitment is at Minster on July 22nd for two games.

Frankly, I am glad it's winding down....too cold and wet during the spring season, too damn hot thus far this summer...I usually have a fair amount of patience during the year, but this summer has pushed me far enough.  I've only tossed one coach, but like yesterday, I have bitten my tongue on more than one occasion, just to get through a game without firestorm.  It was just too damn hot to spend more time than I had to on that rubber turf, arguing about calls I wasn't going to change.  Sam had a couple of go-at-its, with the home coach...he got both calls right, but when you are losing, you are going to argue anyway, regardless of right or wrong.  That's why I gave up coaching years ago and went back to umpire work....much easier to walk away from.

As I sat next to the van, in the shade, after game one...a couple of Celina fans, relatives of Cory Luebke of the San Diego Padres, whose cousin was the Bulldog starting pitcher, were parked next to me...walked up and laughed as I was sitting in my lawn chair with an XM Classic Rock Station on.  I told them, I had it turned up so as not to listen to anybody bitching about the game....they smiled, waved good-by and I assume headed for a cold beer...which I wanted to do, but that would wait a couple of more hours....

That was my weekend....I did however enjoy a couple of cold ones once we were done with game 2....back to lawn mowing and watching the Radar to see when and if any rain will fall in the Grand Lake region....

back later>>>>

Photo-another one of the backyard flowers peeks out...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday....ramblings of a tired mind..Justice Served/Justice Denied

Talked with Sam this morning...his games in Columbus are on hold, at least, storms overnight and this morning....no rain here, although we could use some.  Feast or famine is the rain story for us this Spring and Summer...

I had planned to get up early this morning about 5, but woke up about 3....then unable to sleep, I did get up at 5, but only about 3 or maybe four hours of shuteye....so I am dragging behind.  The photo shoot just wasn't that good, with the heavy cloud cover to the south and east, I drove around, took a few shots, visited some old haunts, and was home by 7am....I'm tired, but not a very productive morning.  But Hell, being semi-retired, most mornings are spent being not-so-productive.

I stopped by some old fishing spots on Grand Lake....took some photos of places that have changed or been changed by private development or State of Ohio greed and/or tinkering.   Coldwater Creek and various channels into and out of the Lake are not what they were 30, 40, and 50, years ago...but of course neither is Grand Lake....and any improvement that may be coming, will not bring it back to those old days.....time moves on.

So, that was my morning....Patricia is working to put the crib up for the first Grandson, due in November...and lucky she decided to put it up early....an expensive piece of furniture, and the holes and sides don't match up...ouch!  So she is on the phone, talking with the company, and seeing if they can offer help, advice, or a new part....she is going to need lots of luck on that.  But at least we have time to make it good before he comes along.

Damn, am I tired....so I'll just post two of my favorite photos from my RV Road Trips....the top one take off I-17 between Flagstaff, Arizona, and Phoenix....and the bottom one back in 2007, off the Tamiami Trail(US 41) in the Everglades...this big boy, in my estimate about 17 feet was sunning himself, waiting for me to take photo of him, or maybe, waiting for some damn fool to get to close while photographing him...

This morning waiting for some kind of luck taking sunrise photos, reminded me of all those trips I took delivering RVs over the  Summer 2002 through early 2008 time frame, and how I wasted many of them, photography wise. I still have those  floppy disks I used in those old early Sony Digital boat anchors, but they are almost useless these days...some good photography was lost, some remains, but getting to those photos is no longer easy.  Yes digital photography is great, I cannot imagine going back to the "drama" of using film....but there are times, when you shake your head on how fast it changes, and you better damn well be ready to change with it, or you and your work will be lost.  That is one of the good things about Blooger and it's associated albums and photo storage...at least for now, you can go back and retrieve just about anything you have ever posted....some of the oldies from my trips west and south over the years are included today.....

Crime and Punishment...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

On the political/criminal front(since they are hopelessly intertwined)  ... there are sad results, such as the murderous mom, Casey Anthony getting a free pass for a group of hopeless losers on a Orlando jury....then on the other hand, you watch as justice Texas style is dished out...over the rants of our Commie-in-Chief, his media lap dogs, the Mexican Government, and the UN...Texas, the US Supreme Court, and Governor Rick Perry told the world and Obama to "Stick It": and executed a murdering bastard, an illegal one, who has resided in the country since the age of two.  This pervert brutally raped, murdered, and tortured, a 16 year old girl back in 1994.  Obammy and his one world order buddies were all for letting this scumbag consult with Mexico before being allowed to fry.  Thankfully the court, by the slimiest of margins,  told them to "stay out of the Texas court system", and the bastard was sent to meet his maker last night.

A 5-4 vote...another reason this Kenyan bastard needs to go before he can appoint another new justice...and believe me, him and his supporters, will do almost anything in order to get control of the high court....nothing would surprise me out of this bunch.

back later>>>>

Photos-A not so spectacular sunrise over western Grand Lake, and Coldwater Creek as it flows into the lake...one of my old fishing haunts...you can still see former SR 703 where it used to cross the creek, until the State DNR decided to improve the area some 40 years ago...thus cutting and gutting the heart out of the once vibrant corner of the lake.  And the two "Road Trip" photos from my days delivering RVs around the country.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grillin'

The Summer heat, with little rain in the near term forecast has settled in....with no games on the agenda until the weekend, I have time on my hands...and yesterday I grilled up enough meat on the old grill for the rest of the week....

The kids got me a new gas grill for Father's Day shortly after we moved into town...that was some 16 years ago, and I'm guessing 1996 or 97, they and Patricia went to Lowe's in Lima and picked up a Sunbeam Grill....it worked well for a few years, despite one accident where Jack Drambuie the Airedale, knocked it over, breaking a few parts, which were repaired.   A handful of years ago, the grill was showing it's age, so I improvised and turned the Gas Grill, into a Charcoal Grill...and it has worked well in that form.

Frankly I could get a new grill, but this old converted one, seems to be cooking up some of my best work in years....yesterday was no exception.  Patricia had picked up smoke Pork Chops, Brats, a couple of quality steaks, and chicken breasts.  Over a 2 hours period, I would cook them all over the open Charcoal, and they came out, in my opinion, excellent....the photos attached in today's blog post, at least give you a view.

Not much else going on, except to catch the murdering bitch, Casey Anthony, get her sentence this morning...after a jury of 12 clueless morons, let her skate.  The judge, if he let's her out, should make her go through the front door...without police protection.  Then maybe this puke would know the fear her daughter went through as she was murdered..

Update....It appears the Judge gave the bitch the maximum, and she will spend more time in Jail...poor Geraldo, Hannity, and Judge Napalitano....the Casey Supporters will now have something else to whine about on Fox.

A bit of justice, not much, but some, is served...and now the release date is known...6 days, July 13, 2011...there is indeed no justice for the innocent victims, when it comes to child murdering scum like Casey Anthony....at least not in our legal system.

back later>>> 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reagan the Airedale...turning 13

Happy Birthday Reagan the Roo!

Another hot one yesterday, and as I headed off to Lima Shawnee High School, I was pleased that it was my umpiring partner, Tim's, turn to do the plate....we were scheduled to do just one game, but in the heat, that would seem to be plenty.  Ended up not to be so bad...Shawnee and Allen East were in the final of the winners bracket of the Lima ACME Sectional...the host Indians jumped out on top early and cruised to a 15-2,  four and one half inning win over the Mustangs, dropping AE into a elimination final tonight with Lima Central Catholic.  Two teams from each sectional move on to the Districts at LCC this weekend, where I have 2 of those games next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Meanwhile Sam, back from Columbus, and I were selected to work a double header in the split Mercer/Auglaize/Shelby/Van Wert County District.  Not sure who the teams will be, but the Van Wert winners and runners up will be there, our games begin on the turf field(which promises to be HOT) at 1pm.

Sam took a Little League tournament game tonight as a favor...after working the Junior ACME District at Parkway last night.  In those games Crestview remained undefeated beating Coldwater 6-1, while host Parkway lost to league rival St Henry 6-2.  I had those teams early in the season and Parkway had come away with an easy win...so you never know, but of the four, Crestview seems to be head and shoulders above the others.

Reagan The Amazing Airedale_____

As I have written about many times on this blog, Patricia and I have raised and bred Airedale Terriers for over 35 years.  We picked out our first one in 1975 on a farm down in Shelby County, near Houston, Ohio.  That was Rags...she was followed by heading to a small town near where the Houseworth clan branched out, called Roundhead, Ohio.  Roundhead is located some 40 miles east of here, near Indian Lake...that was Max, he turned out to be a money making stud dog, by pure chance, we never planed it that way, but House's Black Max probably sired 200 or more pups, and they brought in good money back in the decade of the 1980s. 

Rag and Max were our companions for many years....the followed us from Celina to the Northwoods of Wisconsin in 1977, then to an apartment in Kokomo, Indiana.  After that it was Dodge City, Kansas....when I finally decided to stop the insanity of moving around for my career in Radio, we returned to the Celina area, where they both lived out their long lives on the farm on Coldwater Creek.  Those dogs ran free along the creek and through the farmland and woods...Max fell through the ice one winter, both got injured getting hit by speeding cars, but both survived, and I always felt good that the two had the freedom few dogs get to enjoy...dogs Hell, few people get the freedoms that Rag and Max had.  They were indeed "Lucky Dogs".  Rags passed away in July 1987 at 11 years, 11 months.  Max was the longest living of our Airedales, until Reagan came along....living until the ripe old age of 12 years and 7 months, passing away in March of 1989.

After Max died and we moved to town, we stopped breeding for the most part, but kept the line intact for awhile.  With the passing of Josey Wales and the early death from cancer of Duke, our Max line, at least with us having a part of it, ended....and Jack, from an Indiana breeder, came along.  Crazy Jack was a runner, and lived to the age of 11.  In that time we did match him up with my college roommates Mick and Sue Szabo's female Ivy...with that mating they produced 8 pups....at least two of those dogs from 1998 have reached the amazing age for Airedales, of 13.  July 6, 1998 was the day, and both Reagan and the Szabo's dog Xena, have hit lucky 13.  Sadly Xena has outlived Suzi Szabo who passed away this past April of cancer, at 57.  Time slips away like a thief in the night.

Reagan(named after my favorite politician and President) was house trained from the beginning.  We always favored females, as did the Szabo family, because they are easier to train, and more family friendly...although I have never met a mean Airedale.  If you find one that is mean, you can be sure that it is because the owners are either cruel or idiots, or a combination of both.  Airedales however come in all temperaments, and males especially, can be hard to train for those not willing to work long hours with them.  Rag and Max were our companions for years....because Patricia trained them well.  Until Reagan came along...the rest have been outdoor dogs, and frankly that is where Airedales thrive best.

Reagan has had s variety of skin allergies throughout her years, and with steroids and other injections it didn't seem that she was destined for a long life....I guess someone forgot to tell her.  She hits 13 today...ol' sure, she looks a mess, sleeps 20 hours a day, but still eats well, and does get out in the back yard with me to play ball and lay in the shade.  It's not likely she will be around much longer, but Hell, it was thought she would not make it much past 10...and she had fooled everybody.  No longer on her medication, she seems to have thrived, and I no longer am surprised at her will to "hang in there".

I have said she will probably be our last Airedale...after-all we have had a good run of luck over nearly 40 years...and it may be time for no dog or a smaller dog, after all, the next one may outlive me, if we choose to invite another into our home.  But you know what?  I really don't know...anything can, and usually does happen.   Anyway Reagan and the Airedales past have surely been a large part of our lives....and that may be the biggest understatement I have made on this blog in months.

back later>>>>

Photos-top left Reagan in her younger days, then with her favorite basketball, still playing in her older age...Rag and Max pups, born in 1978, in northern Wisconsin, these  11 were our first litter, and Rags only one, they were a success...Max was to produce a couple hundred more over his 12 1/2 years.  Rag and Max in rural Wisconsin during the blizzard of 1978, then treeing a squirrel at Dodge City in 1980.  And finally "Jack Drambuie" in his short time as a "house dog"...Ol' Jack was not comfortable in the house, and he made the back yard his home for the rest of his 11 years.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rewinding the Fourth of July.....

Hot, Hot, Hot, just like a 3 full day Fourth of July Holiday weekend is meant to be....

Saturday morning I awoke early, grabbed breakfast and heading for Lincolnview High School, located half way between Van Wert and the small berg of Middle Point in Van Wert County.  I had not worked a game on Lincolnview's new diamond, but would do so this day.  It would be an important game between top seeded Delphos Jefferson and Crestview, both teams sat with one loss, and the loser would be eliminated from tournament play.  With temperatures in the 90 degree range, and a stiff wind coming from the southwest, I donned the gear and would work the plate...my partner Don would have a rather easy day in the field, with just one close call, that being a play at first base.  Frankly, in spite of the heat and humidity, my day would go quickly, and present few problems.

The game would be a pitchers battle, with just 3 total hits, and the same amount of runs, as Crestview eliminated the Wildcats 2-1...each team had the same amount of runs as they did hits.  We were done in just over 1 1/2 hours...and I was on my way home.  Foregoing the Celina Freedom Days Festival, I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening, sitting in the back yard, partaking in a few beers, ice cold ones at that, and smoked a couple of hand rolled cigars.  

Fast Forward to Sunday, July 3rd....

The Sunday double header I was supposed to work at the Coldwater/Mercer County Sectional had been reduced to one game because Fort Recovery had to drop out, due to injuries of some of their players in a car accident(all the boys will be OK).  So Gary Stelzer and I would work just one...and thankful I was to have just a single...even though  I would do the "dish" once again.

Little or no breeze accompanied the brutal 95 degree heat, and the two teams Parkway and St. Henry scored in 11 of the 13 half innings(Parkway in all 6 of theirs) as they scored a total of 21 runs on 26 hits in the 13-8 Parkway Panther win...eliminating the Redskins.  Fortunately the kids kept moving and swinging the bats, and we were out of there in just over 2 hours...I was gassed.  I had thought about mowing mom's lawn, but by the time I got home, my only request was a few cold Miller Lites....Patricia did the lawn.  Thankful I was.

Yesterday I turned down any games offered and Patricia, Anissa, Mom, and I headed 85 miles south to Centerville, to Hal and Lisa's condo, and the Centerville Americana Celebration.  The food tents and trinket stands stretch for a least a mile each side, with other activities in the park and side streets...the place was awash with people.  The sidewalk sales there put the local Celina Lake Festival sales to shame....and the crowds were impressive...we spend a couple hours walking and eating.  Pork Chop Sandwiches, Philly Cheese Steak, fries, corn dogs, and drinks.  We timed it right, because by the time we returned, the clouds of the early day have began to give way to sunshine and the heat and humidity was rising from the sidewalks and Main Street roadway. We said our good-byes, and were home by 4pm...the busy weekend was complete.  I sat and watched the Reds lose to St. Louis 1-0, and was in the sack by 11pm, a fast moving 3 day holiday weekend finished.

Tonight it's back to the baseball wars, and Tim K and I move on to Lima Shawnee for an elimination game there, but this time, a rare one of late, I will do the bases, Tim's turn at the plate.....after tonight, I am done until Saturday when I head to Rockford for the Junior ACME District Championships at Parkway....Sam is there tonight for the opening double header....next week the District ACME begins and I am at LCC for July 12 and 13th...after that the schedule remains unclear, but I am happy that the season winding down. I love baseball and working the games, but at 62, even in good shape for my age, the summer heat wears you down.

I would be remiss, if I didn't mention Fireworks and the forth of July....I was fast asleep by the time the Celina Freedom Days set off it's on Saturday Night....I did hear some coming from one of the far away rural towns, probably Mendon, last night as I settled in for the night....Fireworks for those that served in war, can cause different memories or thoughts.  Frankly, even those I was on my bases of Nha Trang and Tan Son Nhut for at least a half dozen rocket and mortar attacks, with one in October of 1969 at Nha Trang, landing within 50 feet of my barracks while I was sleeping early one morning...frankly the sound of fireworks, even when not suspecting them, never bothered me.  Other who were there or in other wars, they have a different effect.  My Friend Mushy, who writes his own well written blog, and has done so longer than me, was also, like me, and Air Force Sky Cop...he was there several years before me, and wrote back in 2006 on his first post Vietnam experience with homegrown Fireworks:

http://mushysmoochings.blogspot.com/2006/07/its-still-there.html

As for me, I arrived home on June 30, 1970...my first few days recollections on returning home from Vietnam, were not of Fireworks or what I might have thought of them....mine are of getting drunk on Boone's Farm Wine with Jerry of the Jones boys, taking his new 1970 Dodge Charger out of a spin, and him getting arrested for outrunning the law....and a couple of days later me and dad taking in the 3rd game ever in the History of Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, when the Reds took on their powerful arch rivals(of that time) the Pittsburgh Pirates....

back later>>>>

Photos-The Mustache is probably as long as it has been since 1976 or so, and perhaps just a bit more grey...baseball winds down, and part of the street scene at Centerville, Ohio, yesterday...the crowds, food tents, and wares extended as far as the eyes could see.  And a photo I shot at last year's Lake Festival Fireworks...which are slated for this July 29....