Friday, March 30, 2012

Two Weeks out from Surgery...

A bit of rain came through overnight....and still a chance that more will come along this afternoon, but at this time, most appears to be heading north....good, I'm looking forward to a warmer and dryer than normal Spring.  60 or so today, then a warm up for a few days, before settling into the 60-65 range for the middle and late next week...at least that is what they are saying.

The Surgery Recovery, 2 weeks out_____

Two weeks ago, Patricia and I were heading to Lima Memorial at this hour, and by late afternoon I was in the recovery room....that was how I celebrated my 63rd birthday, undergoing and recovering from Carotid Artery surgery on the right side of my neck.  Yesterday I went back to my cardio doc in New Bremen for a check up....things looked good, my blood pressure was in the normal range, as it has been since returning home from surgery.  I've lost the weight I gained before surgery, and this morning I set at 192, some five pounds less than before I entered the hospital.  I plan on losing 10 pounds before Summer's end, but at this point, that is not a problem, the problem will be getting myself back working out on a daily basis.

I am scheduled for a stress test in 6 weeks, more blood work in 5....I fear I am becoming most of what I never wanted to be....a regular visitor to the doctors....and frankly I don't like it, or the fact that I now take 5 pills a day.  What the Hell happened?  Five weeks ago, I was feeling great, getting ready for baseball season, as basketball season wore down.  I was, in my opinion, as healthy and tough as a 62 year old could be, now as March winds down, I am deciding what and how much I can do, and when I can do more.

Despite it all, I headed for Spencerville yesterday afternoon, for my fourth game to umpire in four days....a varsity contest between the home team and the defending Division IV state champions from Minster.  The visiting Wildcats, have most of their starting pitching returning, and will be a threat again this year to be playing in Columbus on the first weekend in June.  The young Bearcats played well, but were no match for Minster...a 12-1 five inning run rule was over in less than 90 minutes and my partner Sean and I headed home after a few minutes reviewing the game.

Funny part is, well maybe not so funny, Sean, the last time we umpired together couldn't do the plate, he was coming off major arm and shoulder surgery, and I worked the plate at St Henry...he ended up taking the entire season off, and is just now getting back into umpiring work.  I know how that feels, if you do something you like, it is tough sitting out for a long period.  I feel just by missing the few games I had to turn back this Spring, plus the plate games I am not doing early in the season, is really putting a damper on my season.  However, it could have been much worse...so much worse.

So here is where I stand....I am recovering, my voice is coming back, far from 100% and I still cannot yell or make long distance conversation on the diamond like I am used to....but things are returning.  I am also working on extra protection for my neck for when I return to plate work,  probably tomorrow, for at least one game.  Even when the medal staples come out of my neck next Wednesday, I will probably use that extra help.  I've never taken a hard hit in my neck while working a game, but others have, and I cannot afford to have it happen at this time....anytime actually, but this season for sure.

So that is how I am handling my recovery...Sam will be home tomorrow to work a double at Paulding, I'll have a triple at Delphos St. Johns, and Sam will probably head that way when his double header is finished, to help us out, if I don't feel I can complete three games.  Then Saturday night, I will crack open a couple of cold ones and watch the NCAA Final Four Semi-Final Games....Go Buckeyes!  Sunday will probably be reserved for mowing both sets of lawns...and I am sure Patricia will do the bulk of that, even though her knee is still not 100%....and I don't even want to think about a riding mower, another sign that time is no kind.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are...Back Later>>>>

Photos-It never ceases to amaze how fast things can turn around in one life....especially as you start to age, days and weeks, in fact hours, can see changes you never think about.  (Top) Here I am this morning, ready to start on today's posting....somewhat recovered from the surgery two weeks ago{second photo} which had me looking a bit like warmed over death....the looking back at last fall, when as a 62 year old, I was in as good as shape, or so I thought, that I had been in a decade.  Now I'm not sure if I will ever get back there, the weight lifting is on hold, I had planned on starting out with lite weight lifting next week, but now, I don't believe that will happen, and when it does, especially after taking this much time off....it's will be a long haul and a struggle.  Such is life....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Out Like a Lamb?

Heck, March pretty well came in like a lamb, it appears it will go out likewise....cooler today, the 29th, some storms tomorrow, and on Saturday, the 31st, highs in the mid to upper 50s, and sunshine.  Pretty much still above average, with lower 70s by the end of the weekend.

Yesterday was a windy, but sunny and warm day, with highs in the lower 70s as I headed north to my birth town of Van Wert....to work another game.   A varsity contest between the home town Cougars and visiting Lincolnview....George did the plate, as I still wait for my staples to be removed from the carotid artery...Saturday I will probably take a turn behind the dish, but I'm still trying to figure out how to give my self some extra support and protection around and under the new Diamond Helmet/Mask  I will work on that tomorrow, a rare day off, with the exception of Sundays, between now and mid May.

Down 3-0 early, Van Wert rallied and scored a baker's dozen, completing the 5 inning run rule game 13-3, in just about an hour and a half....I was home before 7:30, with the early 4:30 start.

Today I will head for New Breman to for a doctor's appointment with the cardio doctor, but frankly, I am not sure what the appointment, made before surgery, is about.  A check up is my guess, but with still a visit to the surgeon next week, for the staple removal...I'm not sure why this is needed?  I almost canceled, but decided one more visit, more or less, isn't worth the hassle to cancel and reappoint.

Later this afternoon, it's off to Spencerville for a game between the Bearcats and last seasons Division IV state champions, Minster.  Off Friday, and a scheduled triple header at Delphos St. Johns on Saturday...as I posted yesterday, my first big post surgery challenge of the season.

That's about it for today, no politics to bitch about...well actually I could, but that would then become a daily blogging matter, and I gave that up long ago...a little politics goes a long way.....sometimes way to long.

back later>>>>

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Race Baiters, Poverty Pimps, and the Down Right Dangerous....

Sunshine and warmer for today....70+ with some southwest winds in the forecast, that will be followed by up and down temperatures through the weekend, with some rain and storms on the agenda for Friday and perhaps Saturday...all-in-all however the warmer than usual conditions will be the rule, rather than the exception.

I will head to Van Wert and work the bases for the third straight game, as the hometown Cougars take on county rival Lincolnview in a non-league varsity contest.....

Last night I was at Lima Central Catholic for a rare baseball JV game....LCC held on for a 6-5 win over visiting Delphos Jefferson...a somewhat pleasant game, weather wise, was only marred by my lack of voice....which I especially noticed while calling a 'Balk" from behind the pitcher's mound....I had to yell it out twice, along with the arm signal, before it was noted.  Sad indeed for someone with as big and deep of voice as I have had over my years.  I'm just glad I am no longer broadcasting...because those days would be on hold, with a voice that has still not recovered from the surgery 12 days ago.

That seems to be my biggest issue on the ball diamond....the lack of a loud enough voice....everything else seems to be coming back.

The Dividing of America.....thank you Barack Obama!

Most, I am sure have heard of the sad case of one 17 year old Trayvon Martin.  A Miami teen, while on a visit to the smaller central Florida town of Sanford, who while out on a 80 degree night, wearing a "Hoodie" manged to get himself shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch guy.

The race baiters and poverty pimps, in the form of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackass, and Barack Obama, along with celebrity poverty pimps and race baiters, Spike Lee, and "Killer" Ray Lewis, among others, have quickly moved to set the world on fire, by blaming Zimmerman, a half white, half Hispanic 28 year old....whose family and life have now been turned upside down. 

The majority of the media of course is fanning the flames of hate....a move designed to cower Conservatives and White folks, who might disagree with their personal hate and racism, into the dark recesses of cyber space.  I wasn't even going to write on the subject, because frankly I did know much about it....I figured Zimmerman, whether guilty of some sort of homicide or not, was going to be bashed by the usual suspects, until the city of Sanford buckled under the pressure and charged him with something....I still believe that will ultimately be the case.  I have however, come to the conclusion that Zimmerman is guilty of nothing more than defending himself after being attacked by this young"punk"....because it appears that one Trayvon Marin was indeed a punk, out looking to do nothing good on that night in February:

 http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-trayvon-martin-case-20120326,0,4845076.story

When the left wing media{except MSNBC and it's parent company who continue to cheer the bigots on the left forward} start to give both sides, you know something is rotten in Denmark, and in Sanford, Florida.

So, while everybody on the left is having their say...let me say just this.  In my opinion, Trayvon Martin was a punk....while I don't believe he deserved to be shot to death by George Zimmerman, I myself might have done the same, given the same circumstances....frankly however, I would not have let myself be put in that situation....because it appears that young Martin, while maybe up to no good, was not likely up to violence when he went out for that walk to the convenience store. 


More troubling is the reaction, not so much from the likes of Jackson and Sharpton, after all that's how they get power and money, by stirring up the sheep that follow them like so many fools.  Most troubling is the reaction from our shit for brained Kenyan President...."If I had a son, he would look just like Trayvon"...sez Barack.  I say, "How the Hell do you know Barry, maybe if you had a son, the white half side would come out, you lying hypocritical, racist, son of a bitch"


As for Jackson, Sharpton, Lewis, and Spike Lee.....'Screw those bastards and the horse's asses they rode in on"...they are the dividers along racial lines...and Barack Obama, supported by the media and Pop Culture is along for the ride....they should all take a cue from my friend Ernie White, a real American, regardless of skin color:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7L8O2ohKwc


back later>>>>>


Photos-17 Year old Trayvon Martin...shot dead in Sanford, Florida...was he innocent?  The more you know, the less likely that seems....and two parts that are guilty, among many parts, Al Sharpton, the dim witted race baiter, and Barack Obama, the dim witted, half wit, some call "President"
 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back on the Diamond....

The two week stretch of far above normal temperatures came to a cool and windy, albeit sunny, end yesterday...just as I, 10 days out from Carotid Artery Surgery, headed back to the baseball diamonds, to begin my 13th consecutive season working high school and uper levels of baseball umpire work.

I had noticed, in the days following and the weeks before, my surgery, that once you start slowing down, being less active becomes self fulfilling.  I had pretty well made up my mind to get back on the diamond yesterday....sure there were risks, but I figured if I worked the bases, and not behind the plate, for the first 5 days or so, it would be easier to slip back into action, without being overly paranoid.

I headed out north on US 127 about 3:30pm on the 40 mile drive north to Paulding....game time was slated for 5pm.  I arrived just before 4:30, talked with Chris, the Athletic Director{and head football coach} for a few, and discussed the weather, my neck, and the fact that I was going to slowly get back into action, avoiding the plate work, until at least Saturday.  My partner, Dan, agreed to work the "dish" and after the coaches meeting at home plate, we settled in for a 2 hour 50 minute marathon, which is common in many early season varsity games....visiting Lima Shawnee finally closed the deal with a 13-6 road win.  I have to admit, even though I was glad to be back working, the game started to drag about the 5th inning, and my concentration suffered.  I had no close or controversial plays in the field, and although with a strong northeast wind and mid 40s, making it seem much colder, I survived...my voice still not close to normal, but I survived intact.

I arrived home about 8:45, a long day indeed...settled down with a beer, and watched the Flyers lose to Tampa Bay in NHL action...not that that matters, Philly has clinched a playoff birth, and it appears they will finish with the third best points total, but slotted 5th in the Eastern Playoffs, due to divisional placing.

It appears things will be a bit warmer tonight as I head for Lima Central Catholic...I had accidentally contracted for a JV game there last summer, but despite the lower pay, it will give me a chance to observe a younger umpire, and help him out if he needs it...tomorrow varsity at Van Wert, Thursday another at Spencerville, after I finish my doctors appointment at New Bremen.  No game scheduled for Friday...then Saturday will be the real test.  A triple header at Delphos St. Johns, where I will have to work at least one game behind the plate...and hope my new full face hockey helmet/mask does it's job.

Next week will see a full schedule, except for April 4th, when I gave Garry my game at Crestview, so I can head for Lima to have the medal staples removed from my neck.....hopefully by that time I will be nearing normal in both health and voice....by now however, I have learned to take nothing for granted.

back later>>>>

Photo-It felt good to get back in action, even though it was working the bases, like, shown here at the American Legion District title last summer....my neck stitches, shown here 11 days out, will not permit me to get behind the plate for awhile longer, shown here working the ACME District at Lima Central Catholic, where I will be tonight for my second game of the season.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Basketball Winds Down, Baseball Heats Up!

10 days out from my Carotid Artery Surgery, I head to the baseball diamond today....and will work the bases for a varsity game between visiting Lima Shawnee and host Paulding.  In addition to my first work on the baseball field today, it's my first work of any kind of sport since basketball ended for me late in February....am I ready?  Frankly, I'm not sure....needless to say I am not 100%, but I have to get up and out sometime....this first few games I will work just the bases, see how I feel, then with a triple header at Delphos on Saturday, I will probably don the new Hockey Mask plate helmet and see how that works out for a game.  The stitches are not slated to come off until April 4th....so I will be extra careful{paranoid?}.  All I can do is try my best to get over the early season "jitters", not so much from be leery of working a game, but being concerned about "screwing things up" while I am working a game.

The rest of the week looks like this.  JV game at LCC  {one of a handful of under varsity games I have scheduled, working as a mentor with a younger umpire} tomorrow, then Varsity games at Van Wert on Wednesday and Spencerville on Friday, with other veteran umps that can handle the plate....taking Friday off, unless someone is desperate for a fill in...then the triple header round robin at Delphos St. Johns on Saturday.  If all goes well, I should be back in the swing of things as league games begin, and I finally get the metal out of my neck.....also this week I have a post surgery check up, back in New Bremen on Thursday.

Hoops winds down_____

The boys basketball season in Ohio ended this past weekend...locally none of the teams brought home a crown...nor did the schools close by, which is a rarity, usually someone comes home with a state title from this area.  

Elida, in D2 out of the WBL, led top ranked and undefeated Dayton Dunbar by 7 at half, until the Dayton squad went on a 18-0 run midway through the 3rd period....the area Bulldogs battled back to tie it up, but lost 54-52 on a last second shot.  In Division 4 Jackson Center went into Saturday's championship game against defending champion Berlin Hiland top ranked and undefeated, but were crushed by 30 points in the final....schools from Cincinnati and Pickerington won the D3 and D1{big school} championships respectively in the other divisions.

And in the NCAA_____

Ohio State by defeating top seeded Syracuse, were joined by Louisville, top ranked Kentucky, and Kansas, in the Final Four at New Orleans next weekend.....despite my penchant to pick at least one underdog to make the finals, in this case Steve Alford's New Mexico Lobos, I got 3 of 4 correct, and have Ohio State vs Kentucky in the finals....putting me ahead of the national idiot, Barack Obama, in the pools.....

http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/en/entry?entryID=2054628

Too bad I'm not in any money brackets this year.....because it appears that I could have cashed in....70 thousand or so out of 6 million isn't shabby....

The Week Ahead_____

Looking forward, hopefully I will start to feel closer to 100%, get my voice back...although it appears to be getting better, it is nowhere close to "normal".  Basically I will strive to survive the week on the baseball diamond...that is, not screwing up to much, and not getting hit where I can least afford it...The Neck!  I also realize that I have to start, because the longer you stay idle, especially at my age(63), the harder it will be to get back into the active lifestyle I enjoy.

When done with this blog this morning, I will do something else I have not done in 10 days....get behind the wheel of the van.  My surgeon said at least a week....other sites say 2 or 3 weeks, I will follow my surgeon's advice plus 3 days.  So a test drive this morning around town, before making the 40 mile drive each way to Paulding and back this afternoon.

If I survive the drive and the game....I will be...back later>>>>

Friday, March 23, 2012

The String is Broken....Buckeyes Top Cincinnati...

The five day string of 80+ degree weather in western Ohio will be broken today....the record warm March weather will continue, but today and tomorrow will cool a bit with temperatures in the 70s.  Next week things, while still above normal, will settle into the 60s for the most part.  The hot spell was cooled overnight as showers and thunderstorms moved through the area, which I suspect will allow the grass, already way ahead of schedule, to keep growing.  This of course is a pain, due to my recovery process....hopefully Patricia and I can "team up" and get our lawn and mom's{yet to be mowed} done before the weekend passes.

Recovery Issues____

A week ago at this time I was sitting in Lima Memorial Hospital, playing the "waiting game"....I was about 4 hours away from surgery that has brought me to this point:

With the seemingly permanent "frog" in my throat, yesterday I scanned the Internet for carry over issues from Carotid Surgery.  My main concern was the hoarse voice, and whether that would be something that I would deal with long term...frankly, even with a call to the surgeon's office in Lima, I am still wondering.  It appears that a two week period in not unusual, and issues can stay with you for a month or even up to three months....then there is the chance that even that won't end your issues.  A ear, nose, and throat, specialist may eventually be needed...but then again, I am getting ahead of myself.  Even with the "frog" and my head somewhat in a "fog", I seem to be healing pretty well....and I hope to be near normal when I have the metal removed from my neck on April 4th.

Meanwhile, if I continue to feel up to it, I will resume umpire work on Monday at Paulding...but will not step behind the plate for awhile...not wanting to risk that chance, I will work the field, probably until the staples are removed.

Night One of the "Sweet Sixteen"_____

Three Big Ten teams, and two Ohio teams, were in action in the Regional Semi-Finals last night in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.....in addition all four Big East teams played, the results were mixed.

The Big Ten went 1 win and 2 loses, all vs the Big East...Wisconsin was a one point loser to Syracuse, Michigan State was blown out by Louisville, but Ohio State saved some honor, by defeating in-state rival Cincinnati 81-66.  The Buckeyes quickly blew a 12 point half time lead coming out flat in the second half, but rallied in the final 10 minutes, to dispatch the Bearcats...they will take on Syracuse on Saturday night in Boston for a shot at the Final Four....

Tonight Ohio University will face North Carolina, and the other Ohio team, Xavier, out of Cincinnati, will take on Baylor out of the Big 12....

Meanwhile, down the road in Columbus, the Ohio Boys Championships continue today, with Division 2 and Division 1 Semi-finals....all four divisions will have their championship games tomorrow at Ohio State.

The Weekend Ahead____

I will take it easy this weekend...Sam has my games covered for tomorrow, although rain may force those to be canceled....I will sit around, watch hoops, and perhaps mow some lawn on Sunday.  By the time Monday rolls around, I hope to be un-"fogged" enough to venture behind the wheel of the van, and venture out on the diamond for the first time this season....taking it one step and one day at a time however, which can be frustrating as Hell....enjoy your weekend:

back later>>>>

Photos-March 2012, thus far, seems much like last Summer, and I hope to be able to relax near the lake soon enough....once my personal "fog" lifts, and my recovery is near completion.  Ohio State made the "Elite 8" by knocking off Cincinnati last night in Boston....a win over Syracuse will send the Buckeyes to the Final Four in Tampa, next weekend.  And baseball, high school baseball, starts it's regular season tomorrow...however, I will wait at least until Monday before heading back to the diamond.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recovery Continued....Sweet 16 Basketball Style....

One more day of Summer-like weather, before things begins to dampen and slowly drop off, but still remaining above normal, temperature wise,  for the rest of the month of March....I won't venture a guess as to what April and May might bring.

Now on my 6th day post surgery, my progress on the road to recovery is going slower than what I hoped for...bur frankly I wasn't sure what to expect.  My voice is still hoarse....and my air intake not what I like....so after being dissatisfied with the progress on those fronts, I called over to Lima and inquired what to expect.  "One to two weeks for the voice, if not vocal nerve damage, possible one month"....then she added, if that doesn't work out, it may be necessary to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.  Having already searched the Internet, the answer came as no surprise....she also insinuated that when I returned to umpire work to make sure I protected the neck area....that was a given to me, but I assured her that I did not plan doing any plate work for awhile, and I had made plans to protect my sutures at all reasonable costs.

I just have little patience...but also realize that I cannot afford to risk do something stupid that would risk long term or permanent damage...so, risk taker I may be, I will still proceed with caution.  Meanwhile, the good news is...if I don't feel like conversation, I can always beg out because my voice is "shot".

Basketball Weekend_____

The NCAA moves into the next to last weekend, starting today...16 teams, four from The Buckeye State, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier, and Ohio University are among those....and four from the Big Ten, including the "Buckeyes", Indiana, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, will be playing as well...Which gives me plenty of basketball viewing to take my mind off my physical limits.

In addition the Ohio High School Boys championships are being played in Columbus....those kicked off this morning, with state top ranked Division 4 area team, undefeated Jackson Center, taking on the Columbus Area Afrocentric Early College{as in college to prepare you for playing basketball}, a school with a shaded past in past eligibility issues...JC, down by as many as 15, rallied in the second half and pulled out a 53-50 win to move on to Saturday's final.  Arlington, a team I officiated this past roundball season, plays at 1:30 in the other D4 semi-final.  

12 games in the four divisions will be played over the next 3 days, ending with the D1 final on Saturday night.  I used to travel to Columbus, usually to broadcast the games for 20 years or so during championship weekend...these days it's just not the same, with the games being moved out of St. John Arena to the larger, less personal Schott Center near the OSU Campus.  I have not been down for about 10 years or so.

Sam will be home to work my baseball games for the next couple of days, before he returns to Columbus, for his final quarter at Ohio State....once this Spring is done, he graduates, then OSU will switch to semesters...something I never cared for in my college days.  Quarters moved faster, and were less drawn out....classes frankly, bored the Hell out of me, and the shorter they were, the better.

More rambling on a variety of subjects as the recovery days go on....

back later>>>>

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Flowers, and Other Visions....

The Warm, even Hot, weather will continue through tomorrow, before showers and storms arrive by Friday and the early weekend and temps cool off....even then the temperatures will remain above normal{about 50 degrees at this time} for the remainder of the month of March.  Even looking out into the first week of April it appears the worst of the days might have rain and highs in the upper 50s....even with the average by that time raising to the middle 50s..

With the carotid artery surgery continuing on a slow pace, I got out as much as possible in the sunshine yesterday, a short walk, and most of the day spent on the back steps on here in the Air Conditioning and on the computer....which I increasingly despise.  But TV sucks, I do have a book on disk, "The Tehran Initiative" to finish.  The second in the Twelfth Imam book series by Joel Rosenberg.  I will try to get most of that out of the way today...radio seems to be the same songs from my youth played over and over, and even the mystery shows from the old/golden days of radio which I have access to, are just not my cup of tea these days...frankly I am bored as Hell.

The old Airedale, Reagan, is sadly entering her last days on this earth...it's  just a matter of time, she no longer enjoys even her biscuits, and sleeps in a restless manner, 13 years 9 months she would be early next month, making her by far, the longest any of our many Airedales have lived...but her time is about up and I doubt, after nearly 40 years of having at least one or more around, we will raise another.  Don't let anybody tell you that growing old is great...even at a healthy 63, before last week's surgery, it sucks for man and beast.

The warm, extreme warm of this March has brought out the flowers, way early, but with no freezes in the forecast, it appears they will stick around....the grass sure has decided to grow.  Patricia, bad knee and all mowed the back yard for the second time already, and got the main yard done for the first time....but by this weekend, I should be ready to resume my roll of doing that....I will also make plans on umpiring beginning next week.  Frankly if it was tonight or tomorrow, I would back off....I cancelled games yesterday, a scrimmage for tomorrow, and a double header for Saturday, but metal clamps or not, I plan on being back at the diamond Monday afternoon as Paulding host Lima Shawnee in those schools season opener.  It may take a couple of games to venture behind the plate, but I can no longer stand to sit around and wait to heal.

I did order a full Hockey Style Helmet for working behind the plate, I made an order to the Flemings outlet in Columbus on Monday, and to my surprise, it arrived less than 24 hours later via UPS.  The fit was good, the protection as good as it gets{nothing is 100%}, and it will likely be the last plate mask I will ever need. 

People might ask, "If you get hit in the throat with those metal stitches by a thrown or batted ball, couldn't that be real serious"?  Duh!  If I get hit in the throat by a batted or hard thrown ball, WITHOUT the stitches, it's gonna be real serious...all you can do is tighten up your mask, your chest protector, and do the best you can....or you can give up living, crawl into a freaking corner, curl up, and die.  Pretty easy choice for me...reaching 63, and having the latest health issues laid out, it's not hard to figure out..."Sooner or later, you're gonna check out anyway, so you better damn figure out how to enjoy life as it is, and if something happens, let it be living a full life, and not sitting around being scared shitless that something will happen".

So, next week I'm umpiring, and this weekend, I'm driving.....and within the next month, I'm going back to lifting weights....three weeks out from stopping most exercise activity, I feel like I'm wasting away, and I sure don't like it.  Getting older, it's easy to quit and when you do, you lose what you've worked out for quickly....it's also a Hell of a lot harder to gain it back and get back in the rhythm...but that doesn't mean I won't try.

 The one thing that pisses me off about Obama Care and the rest of the "Nanny State"....the nation is obsessed with living longer, and if doesn't matter if that means being drugged up, and having Cadillac Heath Plans designed to keep you relying on the Government Bureanrats.  Sure it's nice to be able to go to the doc or the ER if needed, and know the costs won't bankrupt you...but let's face it, 40 years ago, that wasn't a problem, you paid as you went, and most could afford it...now, nobody can!  It's not the doctors, or the clinics, or hospitals, it's the stinking Government, bureaucrats, politicians, and lawyers, willing and ready to sue or screw anybody at the drop of a hat....the republic is in the crapper, thanks to Government regulations and interference in our daily lives, and most people are just too stupid or gullible to see it.  I thank God that I am 63....as much as I love my kids and grandson, I sure the Hell wouldn't want to be their ages, and face what we are facing as a dying nation/Republic.

Well enough of that off the track rant for today....back later>>>>

Photo-The Backyard Flowers are in full bloom, perhaps as much as a month early....a CD Book I need to finish, and checking out the new Umpire/Hockey Helmet, fitted for greater protection, are on the agenda for today....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring, Spring, What Spring?

Today is the day that winter officially moves out and spring replaces it....the Groundhog blew this prediction big time however, the 6 weeks of winter that never was.

85 today is the predicted high, the same for tomorrow, before things drop a bit, but remain in the 60s and 70s for the remainder of March.  At least that is how the forecasts read....

I turned on the A/C yesterday, and it was working at summer levels as the evening air cooled things off, so about 8pm I shut it down and opened the windows back up....already in the 70s this morning, I suspect the air conditioning will get another test run today.

If not for the surgery I would be scheduled to work my second Varsity Baseball scrimmage today, but Garry has agreed to fill in.  Sam, home from Ohio State will take my place at LCC on Thursday and for the beginning season double header at Van Wert on Saturday....frankly I am not sure if I will be ready to open the season next Monday at Paulding, but will give it a day or two to see how I progress.

One thing for sure, with the metal staples, not scheduled to come out until April 4th...if I do start back umpiring before then, I will have to make some adjustments in my work habits, both behind the plate and in the field.  I began the adjustment yesterday when I called down to Columbus and ordered a new full face Hockey Goalie type mask for behind the plate work.  I really had not planned on getting one of those, I thought they look cumbersome and out of place, but with more protection, and I need that added assurance, I took the plunge, and bought a Diamond  Mask....setting me back about $120, hopefully it will fill the bill.

Yesterday I alternated between the back steps and working indoors...cleaning and washing up both my and Sam's equipment for the season...today I will probably do much of the same, and get the basketball clothing put in the back basement room for the next 7 months, and pull out the grey and blue baseball wear....wash what needs it, and pack the rest for the upcoming season.

One thing I promised myself when I retired almost 10 years ago, back in the late summer of 2002, is that I would not sit around, getting bored, fat, and lazy.  I pretty much kept myself to that promise.  A set back in 03 with the blown appendix, but for the most part I have stayed busy.  For the first five years with driving RVs and baseball umpire work, for the last five, baseball, football, and basketball officiating, as well as working out with weights and trying to stay healthy....but no matter how hard you try, you cannot fool Father Time, or your family genes. 

I had somebody ask if I was now going to give up my love of good Stout Beer and hand rolled cigars...?  My answer was pretty simple..."You can count the number of Cigars I smoke a year on my toes and fingers...if 20 cigars that I don't inhale are going to kill me...then what the Hell does it matter?  As far as beer, even good quality dark beers?...I doubt if that in moderation is going to damage me to an extreme, and if a few non inhaled cigars or beer is my problem...I'm screwed anyway".  So, yes, I may give up the few cigars I smoke a year....and even cut back on my beer...but seriously, I doubt that they are what caused my carotid arteries to become clogged...time, genes, and past life fatty foods, are likely the issue there.  Frankly right up until my 63rd birthday, last Friday, when they operated on me....I would have put myself up against 99% of people my age as far an active lifestyle and my overall condition...and just as frankly, I'm not planning on slowing down, if and when I get back to normal.  Let's face it, for people like me, that is not an option....life is meant to be lived to it's fullest.  I will not set in a rocker, watching the tube, and waiting to go out just to live a long life in years....that is just not going to happen, if I can help it.

Of course I sure the Hell didn't want to become a veggie and sitting around waiting for major stroke damage either....thus I took the operation option....and I will hopefully recover and move on from this point.

back later>>>>

Photos-85 on March 20th, unheard of in western Ohio...a record day, as was yesterday, and as tomorrow will be...went will we pay for this?  The New Umpire Mask....not sure if it's where I want to go...but the extra protection is needed in my current state.  The back yard, later afternoon March 19th...looking more like mid to late April....the Lilac Trees usually bloom about 3 weeks from now, and they are ready.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Rocky Road to Recovery/Ohio Basketball Madness

As I begin to type today's post, it has been almost 48 hours since my discharge from Lima Memorial Hospital.....at least I can now shower, talk for a few minutes, and move about without pain...but the road to full recovery, is still filled with things, that don't match up with my busy lifestyle.

Good things include...I appear to be coming out of the usual post surgery complications such as constipation...what a drag that is, and even a bigger drag getting over it.  Finally I said the Hell with pain meds, which contribute to that problem....I finally took a shower last night, despising tub baths to the nth degree.. then I.took another one this morning, and no infections appear in the surgery wound.  Also the lump in my throat that felt like a fist sized cotton ball, now only feels like a regular size one....and the swelling is down, but the bruise, wherever the Hell that came from, is now out in bloom on my upper chest and lower neck.

On the minus side, I still cannot drive, bend over, do any radical moves with the neck, etc...and although I have shoved my games back until next Monday, I may indeed have to push the starting date back farther....depending on the healing process, and when the metal "stitches" come out of my Frankenneck...which I just called Lima and found out they would be taken out on April 4th...nearly 3 weeks after surgery, another pain in the ass, er neck.

So this is what I face for the next week or so...then longer.  I suspect that in fact, the next month or so will be anything but "normal", but they, the days, are what they are....and this is what was needed to be done.  Sure, for all the distractions and complications,  it still beats the Hell out of a stroke....or something worse...

Ohio Basketball in the NCAA______

I did have plenty of time to watch the NCAA Tournament over the weekend, to say the least....and despite my disappointment in having Duke lose in the first round, other teams I root for, Ohio State, and Ohio University, came through in fine style....in fact teams from the state of Ohio were shining bright.

The Buckeyes, Bobcats, who upset hated Michigan, Cincinnati, and their hated arch rival Xavier, all made it though to the round of "Sweet 16"...the first time four teams from the same state have made it that far.  Ohio State and the Cincinnati Bearcats will battle it out on Thursday for the right to play on.....meanwhile the Big 10, including OSU, went 9 wins 2 loses over the weekend, and still has four of the six teams left out of the conference.  Joining the Buckeyes, are Indiana, Michigan State, and Wisconsin....while Purdue lost a heartbreaker to Kansas, and the Ohio U Bobcats knocked out Michigan.

So this is how the mend will go....baseball, working on my schedule changes, watching basketball, and sitting on the back steps enjoying this May/June like March weather...83 for the next couple of days, and no cold on the horizon for the near future.

back later>>>> 


Photos-"Frankeneck" the 3 inch or so scar with 8 metal clips is feeling better, but looking pretty gross....my ego still calls for it to be covered up when I venture out....The bruise on my upper chest, looks like I've been hit by a foul ball, but frankly, it happened during surgery, and I have no idea where that came from...much like the cut upper lip...what a mess!  And my old stomping grounds, Athens, Ohio, is celebrating as the Ohio Bobcats made the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1964....joining Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Xavier, as four Buckeye State teams to move on to the second weekend of March Madness.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Carotid Artery...The Surgery plus 48 hours....


The weather has stayed warm, in fact another record by tomorrow of 80 degrees....of course, in my case, not much chance to enjoy it....the past 48 hours have flown by, much of it in a fog.....and the recovery is still on going. Not fun feeling this way, with a swollen lumpin a tight throat....ah well, recovery it is, how it is.

Friday March 16, 2012....my 63rd birthday_____

The last time I spent my birthday in the hospital was, even though I cannot recollect it, was on my actual birthday, March 16, 1949....and then only for the final 6 hours or so, because I was born about 6pm that cold evening, in Van Wert, Ohio. 

Patricia and I headed out about this time Friday morning, arriving at Lima Memorial Hospital well before the scheduled time of 11 o'clock check in... as the wait began.  I was schedule to be in surgery at 1pm, but my surgeon was across town at St. Rita's working there, so we would wait.  Along with Patricia, my friend Rick arrived.  Of course Rick and I were best men in each others weddings, and have been best friends since High School, but even this was beyond the call of duty...Rick arrived about an hour before the surgery began.  Patricia began a photo taking review of the pre and post game surgery.

A couple of final photos of me and Rick clowning, and off I went, and out I went.  The last time I was put under was back in 2003 when I was wheeled into surgery at Coldwater for the emergency appendectomy explosion....that time I didn't really have a chance to take it all in...this time around I had plenty of time to think and observe...but that didn't last.

After the male anesthesiologist nurse and the doctor of same told me what to expect, the knock out drops in my IV took effect as I switched tables....I don't remember another thing until I started to come out of it.  The actual surgery went from 2:35pm until 4:05pm....I groped through the fog for another 70 minutes or so....they let both Rick and Patricia in to see me, with Pearson presenting me with a yellow stuffed chick for companionship, before he made the 60 mile trip back to northern Indiana.  Meanwhile youngest son Hal had arrived and took his mom out to supper, as they were finishing up, I was finally wheeled into my post op room.  The surgery was a little rough, so they say, because of the Plavix blood thinner that I had been on for the past couple of weeks. Patricia headed home, and Hal would stay through halftime of the Duke NCAA Tournament game, as we watched out favorite team get upset in the first round of the...what a disappointment!  although that was softened somewhat by Ohio University knocking off Michigan, and Ohio State surviving the weekend with two wins.


Hal needed to get back to Centerville, and I was left in the hospital, alone, but really didn't mind at all....I was pretty much out of it, but couldn't get to sleep.  The nurse was good, and checked on me and brought me plenty of ice chips and water, after a supper of chicken broth, applesauce, and yogurt...which tasted good, just because it was food.  I was finally allowed into a chair at 4am, where I finally would get a couple hours of restless sleep.  Seriously I thought I had no chance of getting out of the hospital yesterday, and made plans on staying through Sunday...but the doc had different ideas.


Patricia arrived at 11am after the outdoor fog lifted, and by that time they had given me the word that I could go home, with plenty of restrictions....frankly another day in the hospital, watching basketball and eating hospital food wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world, given how I felt, but coming home was always the preferred option.  So I sat around, watched plenty of roundball, even drank a beer, for the throat of course, and went to bed at 11...where I got a pretty good night's sleep, except for the few wake-up calls to rid myself of the excess fluids from the IV treatments.


Sunday______


Today I will continue to rest, and hopefully start the road to get my body functions, back to normal....although that may be a hope rather than a given....more basketball watching on the horizon to say the least.  Tomorrow I will call to Lima and make the appointment to get these staples taken out, which is probably 2 weeks down the pike...and then decide how many more games I will need to cancel before getting back into the swing of my upcoming baseball season...frankly though, that is the least of my concerns, as much as I hate giving up games, I realize, that at this time, I am in no condition to walk out on the diamond and umpire.


Back Later with more as the week goes>>>

Photos-Top, still out of it back in my room(2) "X" Marks the Spot (3) Me and Rick as Patricia takes the photos...easy for him to smile...(4) Thumbs Still Up, but I sure the Hell didn't know where I was at this time...(5) The "Mark of Frankenstein"...(6) Going Home....and the way it looked on this Sunday Morning...the mark to the right isn't a scar, but tape and magic marker which hasn't washed off just yet...one step at a time.  And (7) Never miss a chance at a cup of Dunkin Donuts Coffee, even on the way out the door....what the Hell, I gained 8 pounds in 24 hours, water weight from the damn IVs stuck in me....so what's a cup of joe gonna hurt...?
  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Waiting on the Knife....Flowers on the "Ides of March"

Another Summer-Like Day in store for the Heartland...76 for the high, after a round of thunderstorms, which were much more heavy in the central part of Ohio, than they were around us on the west side....floodwater's have risen in the Licking County area....we were just brushed by those storms this morning, but the sun is shining bright at this hour, just before 11am, as I start typing.  The extended forecast continues to show warmer, much warmer, than normal conditions for the next 10 days...albeit, there is rain predicted through the weekend, in the form of 30 to 40% thunderstorms and showers.

Frankly the rain, especially for the next few days, doesn't concern me all that much...since I will either be in the hospital or recuperating here at home over the next few days....after tomorrow's scheduled surgery.

The "Ides of March"____

I have been around for many March days, having been born on one, March 16th, 1949....and with the exception of my time growing up in Venice, Florida, or my year in Vietnam, I cannot recall one that has started out like this one.....here it is, March 15th, and the flowers and grass are making an early, real early, appearance.  

March, in past years, in west central Ohio, usually has a few days of sunshine, and perhaps a few days, at most, that reach the 70 degree mark.  Not so this first two weeks of March, in the year of our lord 2012.....today will mark at least five days in the 70+ range....and it appears that we will have at least another five days in a row in those numbers.  After that, it still looks like 60+ for the foreseeable future...strange indeed, but don't believe the "Global Warming" BS....check out Alaska and the northwest, and you know, not all of the world is "burning up".

Turning 63_____

Tomorrow I turn 63...it is also the day I am scheduled to have carotid surgery....the only fly in that ointment is I have a head cold, not a bad one, but I can still feel it.  Other than that, I see nothing that suggests that the procedure will not go foreword....1pm is the scheduled time, and hopefully I will be home within 24 hours.

I plan on being back with a full report, sometime this coming weekend...back later>>>>

Photos-March 15th in West Central Ohio?  In all my years, this is the earliest I have seen flowers, left alone the grass ready to mow....I still expect snow to fall before it's all said and winter weather done.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness and Hospital Pre-Op....

Patricia woke me up at 6:30 this morning, as I needed an early rise to head to Lima, for my Pre-Operation tests at Lima Memorial Hospital....a minor fast was required, nothing to drink/eat after Midnight.  The drive was pretty traffic free and I arrived well ahead of the 9am scheduled time...they whisked me in, and a urine sample, blood samples, X-Rays of the Chest, and an EKG later, and I was out and back on the road by 9:15.  A quick stop for coffee on the west side of town and I was back in Celina by 10am.

Friday____

Scheduled for arrival at the hospital on Friday at 11am, the carotid artery on the right side is slated to be opened at 1pm...and hopefully 24 hours later I will be on my way home....at least that is the plan.  Right now I do have a slight cold, with some minor congestion, hopefully it will improve within the next 48 hours and not set back the schedule....I am ready to get this done with, and hopefully on the way back to normal....whatever that might be for this 63 year old(birthday on surgery day)....

NCAA BB Kickoff in Dayton____

Our Vietnam group got out of Dayton and Wright Patterson on Sunday, just before the trash came flying in....Barack Insane Obama and his Posse', along with a Brit leader{or some such dignitary} came to Dayton to press some flesh, and catch the opening 'play-in' games of the NCAA Tournament.   

Regardless of who let the trash in...both games were record setting comebacks....in the opener, as Obammy and Company dined on ketchup drenched hot dogs, Western Kentucky came from 16 down in the last 4 minutes to edge out Mississippi Valley State by a point....then in the night cap, BYU playing awful, and down by 25, somehow roared back to defeat Iona by a handful...in the biggest comeback in NCAA Tourney history.  Two more games tonight at UD, and the final 64 will begin on Thursday about Noonish at various locations around the country.  I have no clue who will win the thing, hopefully Duke, Ohio State, or my old haunt, Ohio University...but I have picked Kentucky to win it all...in reality however, I don't have a clue.

Politics____Santorum sweeps the South____

Despite the continued claims of the media, that Romney can't lose, until he faces their Messiah, Barack the Magnificent in Novmeber....Rick Santorum continues to pile up victories, even with Mitt's two to one delegate lead over Santorum, the race is far from over....except in the minds of the lame stream media.  

Last night the former Pennsylvania Senator swept the south, by taking both Alabama and Mississippi, with Romney finishing third in both states....and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, coming in second in both races....meanwhile the Massachusetts former governor took the Obama loving state of Hawaii as his lone victory of the evening....meaning, despite what you hear or read in the media...this isn't over yet.  While Romney has a big delegate lead, the combined trio of Santorum, Gingrich, and maverick Ron Paul, still have Mitt well below the 50% support total he needs.

Tonight I will travel to Indian Lake and take in my one southwest baseball rules meeting...Sam will drive from Columbus and meet me there.....then I face more fasting for Thursday Night as I move closer to the surgery.....

back later>>>>

Photos-Sunrise on the way to Lima Memorial,, always a challenge taking photos through the windshield.   March Madness has kicked off with Dayton as the first stop, and Rich Santorum takes the south....