Thursday, June 28, 2012

103 today and the Grass is Gassed....

The breeze I felt in the backyard a few minutes ago, belies what is heading out way as we approach the final days of June.  The Weather Channel had predicted 103 for a high today...a few minutes ago, they downgraded that to 100...still on course to set a record for June in this neck of the woods.

The wind had kicked up as I was out watering the pans and birdbath for the various animals that fly into or climb down trees in our backyard and feeding station...many, including the new members of the local Squirrel population are out in force...feeding while the few minutes of cooler weather remain...those minutes are slated to give way quickly to the record heat and dry conditions...I guess the only redeming value is, very low humidity, the ground is parched like the New Mexico high plains, and there is no humid conditions to make the hot temperatures that much more unbearable.

This will likely be the hottest of the hot days in the 10 day forecast...and they(TWC) have even thrown a few days of 30% chances of storms at us....although I am hardly counting on that.  The first days of the upcoming Summer ACME baseball tournaments are going to be a challenge to say the least, because it doesn't look like any cooling  off is in sight. 

Speaking of Baseball___

I headed off to Convoy yesterday afternoon as the hometown Crestview Knights took on Parkway's Panthers....Parkway had a string of bad luck over the past few days and were shorthanded for players....seems two players had broken ankles, and another, the starting QB on the fall football team, had received a high ankle sprain...Ouch!  So shorthanded by any stretch{2 of the injuries had happened at basketball camp, only one on the baseball diamond}, Parkway lost 11-1 in a six inning run rule shortened game.  I was behind the plate and despite the game moving along and ending in about 90 minutes, I received my own injury...or should I say, another injury?

In the bottom of the first the Parkway starter threw a pitch, a hard fastball, that it just in front of the plate, and when it jumped the catchers glove it caught me square in the left forearm, just above the wrist...guess that is better than another hit in the windpipe, like last week at Celina...but it still caught me good, and by the 2nd inning my left arm, just above the wrist, looked like I was carrying a grapefruit on it.  I finally gave in, as the swelling continued into the 3rd inning, and got an ice pack, which I applied between innings...I wore it on the way home for 40 minutes, but this morning, it is still tender and swollen.  Not as bad as last night, but still twice the size of my right forearm and wrist.

Tonight Sam and I will work together, back up north at Kalida...hopefully with the 6:30 scheduled start, the triple digit heat will have worked it's way down a notch.

"Obama Scare" Meets the Supreme Court____

Sometime after I post this blog, the dastardly act of cowardice and bullshit, known as the Obama Health Care Plan will have it faith known at the hands of the US Supreme Court.  The illegal Kenyan CSer, and his toadies railroaded this piece of crap through Congress in his first two years, and now the court will let it be known if it will stand...much like weather forecasts, I don't have much confidence in the court system to do the right will go a long way to proving or disproving that  opinion of mine.

Personally, I think we will get a mixed message on "Obammy Care", much like the Arizona Immigration law....the court, if nothing else, proves they really don't like to piss off the media or liberals...of courst with 4 of them solid Marxists, you know which way those votes will go...Judge Kennedy, as always, is the Wild Card, and how he votes, will likely decide if we will see an end to this mess...because if it's overturned, The Kenyan, regardless if he steals the next election, won't hvae the votes in Congress to push another package through.

Stay Tuned!

Update on Obama Scare_____2:45pm

Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the 4 far left judges and voted to keep Obammy Care legal....and declares it a "Tax".....while this looks like a win for the Kenyan and Company....don't count the chickens:

back later>>>>

Photos-(1)The Red Sunrise foretells the type of day we are in for...(2) The back yard grass, so green just a couple of weeks ago, is turning to dust...the heat and lack of rain, has made it dorment(3) My left wrist, after taking a shot last night, is twice it's size for the second time this baseball seasson...the old injuries continue to pile up...(4)And the Supreme Court with decide the Dictator's Mandated Health Care fisasco this very day.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Three years ago, come this Labor Day, I had dropped about 15 pounds on my 5' 11" frame, and was weighing in at about 208 pounds, it was time for me to get serious about losing some more.  The since retired Doc Bergman was telling me that I was pre-diabetic 2, and my Cholesterol was somewhat high.  I guess I could always blame that on Vietnam...many do, and they may be correct...however I tended to think it had more to do with family history, like my silver grey hair, from the DeVore{mom's} side, and the full head of hair from the Houseworth{dad} and Waldron{Grandma Houseworth's} sides.  After all, my dad and his brothers all had their heart problems, which resulted in early death.  Dad at 55, his brother Forrest at 54, and Uncle Furl had several heart attacks, before he succumbed at the age of 75 or so.  Vietnam or not, Agent Orange or not....I tended to think any health issues were from genes and lifestyle...after all, even though I never was into smoking cigarettes, I had plenty of other things on my plate that probably didn't help the lifeline.

 I had reached 60 by the time Labor Day 2009 rolled around, and was going to make a determined effort to get in shape, lose some weight, and move on with my life.  Working with a dietitian at the St. Marys Hospital, I managed to get on a diet and program which allowed me to lose another 25 pounds(40 in total) and drop down to the 183 range...the lowest I had been since my Air Force days...I got back into lifting weights, and walking a couple of miles per day...that, along with my baseball, football, and basketball, officiating seemed to be pretty damn active, and work well for a 60 year old...but like everything in this life, you tend to slip up once in a great while....or maybe too often at times.

After hitting 182 or 183 within 8 months of the start....I felt pretty good, and slowly  started to backslide.  Keeping most of the weight off however, I did lock in at the 187 range for another year...then slowly the weight started to creep up.  Still down over 20 pounds in total, but back up 15 or so in the past 2 years....I figured out that, it was time to "lose it".  After all I had other health issues, Carotid Artery surgery, and a still high Cholesterol count and somewhat high blood pressure, were among here I am, back to weight lifting on a regular basis, no not as heavy as in my 40s through early 50s...but still a good solid work out regiment 3 days a week down in the basement weight room.  I had been moving along pretty good, until the Carotid Artery thing...then a 3 month long "bump in the road".  That bump has now ended, and I am back on the weights, and back to walking at least 45 minutes to an hour most days....all the while still umpiring for a few more weeks, then football comes along.  I'll keep my progress posted....180 is the goal, as long as I don't pull anything else, at 63, even as active as I have been over the past can't stop father time, this I know for a fact.

Walking the Lake Shore___

This morning to get my hour walk in{my routine is on lifting days I walk 40-45 minutes, and non lifting days I want to pound the pavement for an hour or so}...I took off up the side streets of town and headed for Lake Shore Drive on Grand Lake's southeast corner....which is the northwest corner of the lake.

Not to my surprise, even though the 9 o'clock hour was past, I noted nobody, I mean not a soul out on the lake, no boats, not a soul fishing, or, of course, swimming.  That's not to say that people were not out somewhere on the 13,000 acre lake, but in the busy corner attached to the Celina City limits....there was nobody, except for people sitting in their cars eating breakfast or looking at the few Canadian Geese families swimming near the shore line.  A sad commentary indeed for the once largest "man-made" lake in the world...the lake where once one could not only catch their share of Crappies and Catfish, but could eat them as well....not so these days, the alga scare is back, and along with the shrinking property values, the shrinking catchable fish population, the numbers using Grand Lake St. Marys, have shrunk to almost countable on ones fingers numbers.

Still, the walk was pleasant....and I am glad to be back on task....

Baseball tonight at LCC, tomorrow at Crestview, then Sam and I travel to Kalida one more time, before the tournaments begin this weekend....first the Junior ACME, akin to Junior Varsity high school ball, then the Varsity teams square off after July 4th.

back later>>>>

Photos-From my walk to the Lake Shore this you can see, nobody home, except for a few Canada Geese and their families....


Monday, June 25, 2012

A Day in Cincinnati....

A cool breeze is rolling through the flat lands of Western Ohio this morning...a welcome breeze at that, however it would have been more welcome, if some rain had been brought in with it, alas, no such luck!  The sparse rains stayed west, then jumped to the east of Mercer and the surrounding counties...and we remain parched, with little relief in site.

The weather this morning, is much more pleasant for sure, than the blazing heat we had in Cincinnati at the Reds vs Twins Interleague game yesterday.

Twins 4 Reds 3____

I left for Centerville about 7:30 yesterday morning, there I would stop at youngest son Hal's place, where we would continue on to Cincinnati and meet up with my old friend Andy and his two young sons, A.J. and Daniel....they being Cleveland Indians fans, still like the Reds, and Hal had purchased up good seats....second row, lower deck of the left/centerfield area....the only drawback, was, like most of the seats, it was right in the direct sun, the direct sun of a 90+ degree day  We hope to make this a Father's Day tradition of sorts...but Hal and Lisa had decided against letting 7 month old Kasyn go along this time...a wise move.  It was too hot and he is just a bit too active at this point in his young life....hopefully down the road we can, or at least Hal can, start bringing him along. 

About the 3rd inning I headed up for some shade and stayed there for 3 innings...the Reds had jumped to a 1-0 lead, only to be tied by Minnesota.  I returned to the sunny seats as the Twins took a 2-1 lead, which lasted until the bottom of the 8th, when Reds slugger and top player, Joey Votto, shot a Home Run to left field, just to our right:

{If you look just to the left of the 379 marker, 2nd row, you can see Hal, in gray shirt with hands raised and me to his right with white hair and shirt to match...if you stop the video}

The 3-2 Cincinnati lead didn't last the A-Train Chapman,  aka the Cuban Missile and Reds Closer,  continued to struggle of late, and gave up 2 runs, scored on a mammoth blast by Josh Willingham, and the Twinkies escaped with a 4-3 win....the Reds continue to lead the NL Central by 1 game over Pittsburgh and 2 over the Cardinals.

Before and After the Game...."Rock Bottom"___

Before the game we agreed to park at the garage on downtown Fountain Square in "The Queen City"...Hal and I parked and headed over to the combination bar/restaurant known as "Rock Bottom", which specializes in brewing their own beers on site....good food to go with those micro brews.

Andy and the boys showed up just after 11, we dined, I had a couple of dark brews, and we headed to the game....after the Reds lost, in our effort to beat the traffic, we headed back to "Rock Bottom" and cool off....I had Lemonade, Hal and Andy had same, with water, and the boys each had a root beer float.  We talked for another hour or so before heading back to the garage, after saying out good-byes and agreeing that we might make this an annual event, including Kasyn down the road.   Andy and the boys headed back to Louisville on the Kentucky side of the river, and Hal and I drove back to Centerville...wore out from the food and sun.

Despite the Reds loss, and the heat, all-in-all it was a great few hours....after we got back to Centerville, I jumped in the Nitro, and drove the remaining 93 miles back to Celina and home....arriving wore out just after 8pm....a shower and cold beer were in order.

No umpiring tonight....another day's rest before I get back to action tomorrow night at Lima Central Catholic.

back later>>>>

Photos-The Reds Ryan Ludwick, and teammates warm up before the first pitch, this was the view from our seas in left centerfield...the announced crowd was just around 35,000, many fans, including me, spent much of the time hiding in the shade. Andy, my 30+ year friend from our radio days at WCSM, and his boys A.J. front, and Daniel, in our section of Great American Ballpark.  The Entrance to "Rock Bottom" where they brew their own...and some of the brews and equipment behind the bar....a nice place to stop, both before and after the game.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Music is back, and the Rain misses again....

Click the "PRH Playlist"  on the right side top, and you can get your fill of some "Good Ol' Rock and Roll"....the Juke Box is gone, but I am slowly putting a music list back together....although it takes a little work, unlike the automatic link that was here before....I'll keep working on that and see what comes about....

Yesterday the Radar showed storm approaching as I headed to Rockford for a Varsity ACME game between host Parkway and visiting Celina, Sam meanwhile had the same two team's Junior ACME game here in Celina...he got his done, I finally killed off our game in the 3rd inning after a couple of lightning delays...Celina up 4-0 at the time.

The much need rain however mostly died before it got to the area....north and west had plenty, but Celina got just enough to wet the walks and roads, while Rockford got a bit more...but not enough to rain the games out, the lightning and thunder were the culprits instead....we could have used the rain, but for the most part it was not to be.

A Break in the Action____

With the rain, came the end of a long run of baseball without too many I will be off the diamond until next Tuesday the 25th...that will begin a couple of busy weeks, highlighted by ACME and Junior ACME Tournament action.  At this time my season is scheduled to end on July 14th or so, but I am guessing I will pick up a few more games....then a break of sorts until August 7th when football comes calling, with the first of several Varsity Scrimmages, before the regular season "kicks off" the end of that month.

This weekend, Hal, me, buddy Andy from our Radio Days, and his two sons, will meet up Sunday for the final game of the Interleague Baseball Season, as the Reds host the Minnesota Twins.....Sam, meanwhile, still interviewing and waiting on a job offer, will take a few days off from umpire work as well, as he heads to Michigan today for some softball this weekend, he resumes action on Monday.

That about does it for today...enjoy the weekend.

back later>>>>

Photos-Top CCR performs some of the music on the new play list....and baseball umpire work is quiet for a few days...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another Day with the "K-Man"...

Patricia and I headed down to Centerville just before 11 yesterday and spent about 6 hours with Grandson Kasyn....Hal was in and out of  his upstairs office, working and teleconferencing with others in his field, while Lisa was we got to spend time with the "K-man" is day #2 doing the same, but this time at our place here in Celina.  Lisa came up to work with those providing services for daughter Anissa, and we get to spend more time with Grandson #1 {and only grandchild}.

He is sleeping at this hour, after checking out the house, while still in disrepair, and the cat.....who is not as active, and therefore, probably to Kasyn, more least he seemed to think so, before he headed off to use the new crib we bought him last Summer....finally getting to use it for the first time.

The youngster turns 7 months old this Sunday, but is certainly ahead of the curve{don't most grandparents claim the same?} when it comes to children his the 95th percentile, he is already 25 pounds, and crawling everywhere....and the size 12 month clothes are already "snug" on his frame....the boy is looking, size wise, like his old man.  Hal was big as a youngster, slowed down in Junior High, then had a final growth spurt in his Junior and Senior years of High School, to grow into his 6' 4" frame, and 250 pound's appears that the "K-Man" is likely to be heading in that same direction....but he's still just getting started.

Regardless, the boy is interested in everything in his sight, and already having fun on the Ipad and computer....he will be a handful, in fact he already is.  Hal had planned on taking him down for a "boys day out" with us at Great American Ballpark this Sunday, as the Reds take on Minnesota...but those plans have been nixed.  As active as he now is....we don't think he would take well to sitting still for three hours in the heat at the it will be five of us.  Andy, his boys, me and Hal, for our week post Father's Day outing....the tradition for Kasyn will wait a bit longer....

The day off gave me time to rest up from baseball umpire work...

I will be back at it tonight when Celina travels to Parkway for a 6:30 start, in a rematch of a game I had early in the ACME that one, at Celina, the host Bulldogs took a 7-2 win, with me behind the plate.

After tonight, I will be without baseball until next Monday, another nice respite, before a couple of busy weeks of season ending regular season games, and both the Junior ACME and ACME post season much as I enjoy baseball umpire work, this long, hot, and dry, spring and summer season is dragging somewhat, but I can take a few more weeks, followed by a short rest, and then football begins with scrimmages on August 7th....

And so the Summer begins with today being the first full day, seems like it's been going on for months already...

back later>>>>

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Begins, and a Day With the K-Man

Summer begins officially today, on average the longest daylight day of the year....from here on out the daylight hours will begin to get shorter, until we begin the Winter season, some six months hence.  It will feel like it as well....95 or so today, with some humidity to match....perhaps a bit of a breeze, but that wind will just make if feel like a forced furnace air duct.  Lucky for me, the game I was supposed to work at Parkway tonight, was moved as part of a reciprocal deal with St. Henry, and I am off....the rest of the week will be pretty quiet, game wise.   I will be at Parkway tomorrow against Celina.  I worked the plate last when they met earlier this Summer, when the two teams met at Montgomery Field.  Off Friday and Saturday, and Sunday, Hal, Andy, and his two boys will met in Cincinnati, as the Reds take on the Twins.  The Reds, after suffering two straight loses by one run to the Cleveland Indians, still hold a 2 and one half game lead over Pittsburgh, and are up 4 1/2 over defending World Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals.

A Day With the K-Man____

With the day off from baseball, I will head to Centerville with Patricia, and spend the day watching the Grandson, Kasyn.  We will arrive about 12:30...and spend the afternoon with "K-Man" who is will turn 7 months old on Sunday.  Crawling and rolling, and still in the top 5% size wise, time sure does fly by....hardly seems like 7 months have passed since his birth on Thanksgiving evening of last fall.

One thing for or sitting with Kasyn, it is going to be hot, and seem like Summer's beginning for sure....I don't envy Sam, as he has a double header at Elida, beginning at 4pm, the zenith of the day's heat and humidity.

Meanwhile, I'll be in the A/C down in Centerville....

back later>>>>

Photos-Summer officially arrives today, Patricia and I will drive the 90 miles south and spend it with Grandson Kasyn, and the sparse collection of Sunflowers in this off year for my "green thumb" are slowly coming out in the back yard.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quiet at Last....

With the temperatures approaching the mid 90s this afternoon, another preview of the long, hot, summer to come,is upon us....and unlike our neighbors to the north, south, east, and west of us, we remain dry.  10 miles east, 30 miles south, 70 miles north, and 100 miles west of us, all got plenty of rain over the weekend, or yesterday....Mercer County?  Nary a drop....some thunder and lightning, but no rain to speak of, and we remain parched to the bone....and now the heat is back....with little rain in the forecast.

Last night I crawled back on the bike so to speak....after getting hit in the throat by a fast ball off the turf on Saturday at Celina, I went back behind the plate at Crestview last night...the heat was pretty intense, but the strong breezes helped, even with the umpire full gear on....the nearly 2 1/2 hour game ended just before 8:30, and I rolled home arriving just before 9:30pm.  Sam came home from his double header, his 4th in 7 days, a while after I arrived...tonight we both go to Lima, me at Shawnee, and he will head to LCC.  The heat will be even more intense than last night.

The one thing we do have that has been missing over the past week, "Quiet"....The fire and water restoration crew, out of Lima, took the powerful fans and from the kitchen, basement, and the water vacuum from the TV room and wood floors.  Their clean up girls are here this morning, finishing up the dusting...and then we can begin the  repairs and replacements.  The first of the kitchen and cabinet folks will be here tonight at 7pm for the beginning rounds of estimates. 

So far the bill sets at $5000....just under $3 grand for the clean up, and just over $2000 for the kitchen floor replacement.  There will be more, the refinish of the portion of the appears the 90 year old pine will be saved, but not without a portion needing some refinish.   Also the excess water and electric bills to the city will need to be reconciled...Nationwide will take care of that.  What we will do is have to take care of the improvements and upgrades to the kitchen.  Different floor material, probably new windows, and a relocation of sink, cabinets, and improvements to same.  We are not exactly sure of what we will have done.....but changes are in the future.

For now, we will enjoy the "quiet"....

This morning I walked out and noted the first of the seasons Sunflowers had of the wild variety.  Sadly, there will not be many this year, and those that do bloom will be mostly from left over seeds that the birds and Squirrels dropped on the ground last year...of those I planted from seeds, few first failed planting in four years.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose....with the warm, windy, then hot and dry spring, it appears things will not work out well for the flower crop this year....even the Moon Flowers are not growing well....despite the watering I have been  handing out.

So for now we enjoy the lack of noise, and beat the heat as best we can....

back later>>>>

Photos-The Kitchen Floors are now dry, and ready to be replaced...once we get the estimates taken care of and what the final plans are.....the first of my sparse crop of Sunflowers peaked out this appears they will be few and far between this season, better luck next year, as the saying goes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

There it goes....when protection isn't enough.

Three months to the day after my Carotid Artery Surgery I stepped behind the plate Saturday morning on the artificial infield at Celina's Eastview Park....90 days or so after surgery on my neck area for the clogged arteries...I had been umpiring behind the plate for at least 10 weeks off and on, probably some 30-35 games working the 'dish" as we call it.  I had been a little leery early on, going so far as to purchase a new "hockey style" helmet mask for working the plate, and even adding a throat protector and at first extra protection, just to make sure my wounded area stayed protected.   I had lucked out for 3 months, only taking perhaps one hard foul ball off the helmet, and maybe a handful, if that in it was with confidence I had a week or so ago, switch back to my old stance and style behind the plate....then came Saturday.

Sam and I agreed that I would work the first game, between host Celina and Russia{pronounced "Rue Shee'} behind the plate, and he would do the Coldwater/Russia game in the afternoon heat that would surly bake the rubber filled artificial turf on the infield at Montgomery Field.  Two more games would follow, but other umpires would work those...two games are more than enough on days like these.

One thing about the artificial and smooth surface...a batted or thrown ball will scoot with usual a true bounce....and they will go fast.  Even when hitting the turf the ball will actually speed up rather than slow down when first striking the I'm really not sure what happened when the Celina pitchers uncorked a low fast ball in the top of the 2nd inning.  I do, however, know the result....

The ball hit the rubber surface a few inches in front of the Bulldog catcher and Russia thing I know, I take a hopping fastball right in the middle of my surgically repaired neck.  Adams Apple time!  As you take a look at the full face helmet pictured, your guess is as good as mine on how it happened.  However I do suspect I jerk my head when the ball hit exposing the small opening between the chest protector and throat guard...which obviously didn't do it's job.  It had to hit me square, because there is not a bruise....and trust me, on the Plavic, even the half dose I am taking these days....I bruise easily.

After the contact, I turned away and walked over to the visiting Russia dugout and got a drink of Gatorade...still not sure how my throat would react...somehow, someway, I continued...while 48 hours have passed, it appears that I have dodged a bullet...{again} somehow, someway.  I finished up both games, Sam and I headed home where I spent the remainder of the evening with liquid the Adam's Apple is still sore, but no bruise, and I can still breath and swallow....lucky bastards I am.

I suspect due to the surgery I have over compensated, and just a week ago last Friday, my umpiring partner, veteran Tim Copsey, had noted to me..."Pat, your are pulling off the ball, and exposing your neck area, you need to be careful, or you will get whacked"....he, it appears, had me tagged just right.  With two weeks of the regular summer season left, then the ACME tournaments into July....I will have to remain vigilant, and monitor my mechanics behind the plate.  I was lucky, the ball, another 2 inches to my right would have hit me square on the area that received the bad as a ball into the middle of the throat is, it could have been worse...much worse/

Don't tell me to give it up_____

I know, some would say you need to take time off from the game at your's not worth it.  No, that is not an option....I will not sit around in my 60s (63) and retired, and do nothing or things I don't itself is always a my age, even in pretty good condition for those 63 years, I will not sit by and watch life pass... we are all going to pass from this life, sooner or later, and you can bet, damn straight, if I have my say....I will be active up until the end if possible.  So no, I won't give up baseball, or  Well maybe in a couple of years....but not just yet.  I won't give up good beer or weight lifting, or the other things I enjoy.....

That is not in my playbook.....tonight back at it at Crestview, then tomorrow at LCC.  The slate this week isn't as full as last, so by my standards, that is "taking it easy".

back later>>>>

Photos-In all the years I have umpired, I have never been hit in the neck or throat, until Saturday...and the new mask, for all the protection it provides, was not post surgery "mechanics" I believe were to blame....(2) the artificial "true" bounce field at Celina's Eastview Park, but the ball like a fast moving bullet when it hits the surface...(3)another view of the Diamond Hockey Mask...I like it...but it still is not total protection.


Friday, June 15, 2012

The Week That Was....Water, Baseball, Graduation, Yard Work, and Waiting

The drying is about complete from last Sunday's mini disaster and  faucet busted flood waters that cascaded through the kitchen, and parts of the ancient wood floors in the living area, as well as the basement and adjoining crawl space, which sets under the soaked kitchen floor.   The leak sprung when we were in Columbus watching oldest son Sam graduated from Ohio State University.  Whether we can save the entire TV room floor is still up in the air....or under the water.  I suspect it will be saved, "it" being that 12 x 10 foot area that received the soaking over the hours we were in Columbus....but it appears that repairs, such as sanding, and a new coat and sealant will be need on the 90 year old hardwood...hopefully that will take care of that.  After spending nearly 3 years(2004-06) planning, paying for, and finally having completed the process of getting 80+ years of glue and grime off the pine wood, we certainly don't relish the prospect of a "do over" on those.

As for the kitchen area...a complete "re do" is in order...coupled with the insurance money and a home improvement line-of-credit, the old kitchen will look markedly different than the old....just how different depends on what Patricia wants, and how much the final costs will entail...but major changes, hopefully the last in this lifetime, will be done to the cooking, cabinet, and dining area.  Among the changes will probably be a new set of Bay Windows overlooking the back yard....the current ones, even with "new" windows,  some 20 years old, in the living area and upstairs, the main kitchen windows, with the view, appear to be from the World War II time, when the kitchen, extra half bath and hall/mud room were added on to the now 90 year old parsonage.

Otherwise, in addition to the pain in the backside, waiting on the drying to be completed, and the repairs/construction to and yard work/painting are on the agenda.  This week is and has been my busiest week of the season, in both spring and summer.  by tomorrow afternoon, I will have completed 9 games, including 6 games via double headers since Monday....with at least 4, probably 5, behind the plate...fortunately the weather has been good and sunny, but with moderate temperatures, and low it will be warmer, and tomorrow, down right hot, with temps back in the low 90s by the completion of Sam and my doubles, which begin at 11am on the artificial turf at Celina's Montgomery Field.

Yesterday I got started on the yard work and prelude to the garage and touch up painting on the outside of the main house.  I just painted the house three summer's ago, or was it two?  Anyway the 90 year old wood, baked by the sun and drenched by the rains, wind, and snow, does a job on the 10 year paints that Menard's and Lowe's supplies... they actually last about 5 good years.  The back and east garage area need painting, while the parts of the house and garage where I removed the excess vines from yesterday, will need touched up.  With 3 months of good weather or at least hot weather left....I have plenty of time to get it done.

I found out yesterday, just how far my stamina and overall health have taken a beating since the Carotid surgery in 3 hours of tearing out vines and climbing ladders, I had to take two long breaks....something that a year ago, I would have done in one felt swoop.   Sadly I am now feeling my 63 years, and I don't like it one damn bit.  By the time Sam and I finished the twin bill on Celina's rubber infield turf last night....I was bushed....and only managed to down three beers, albeit dark Guinness Extra Stout, when I got home.  Patricia was in bed, when we pulled in the driveway at 10, and after a shower, we watched the end of the NBA Championships, which I seldom do{frankly I despise NBA Basketball}, and finally hit the sack about Midnight.  Tonight at Crestview, while Sam does another double in Versailles....and then together in Celina for games 3 and 4 of another "round robin" tournament, as the Bulldogs, Coldwater, Lima Shawnee, and I believe Wapak battle each other.....

back later>>>>if I survive the noise, the heat, and the baseball weekend.

Photos-Not my best trimming job, not by a long shot, but I got it done, and the vines are now back to where I want them for another year or two...some paint touch up on the front, and a large touch up on the garage are on the agenda as the days and weeks progress...I will take it one step at a time.  (2) The view from our Kitchen Window into the back year...this 1940s style window will be gone and be replaced, after the kitchen floor is removed and a new one installed....or as it is installed.  The drying out continues, but I suspect this will be the final day of that....70% of the floor, the wet area, in the kitchen has been removed....the hard wood floors are still in the "wait and see" mode of the operation.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Droning On....The Construction Zone

The noise continues on in the PRH homestead....although two of the giant wind turbine dehumidifiers have shut down...a few power surges here, a few there, have them, as well as the kitchen lights, and even the computer or Internet blipping, creaking, squeaking, and shutting down and coming back on....little did I know when I returned home Sunday night to the "Flood", that this is the route we would take.

I'm not complaining mind you...the weather outside has been dry and pleasant, although that will change for the weekend, and we will have to close the windows and crank up the A/C...hopefully not putting additional stress on the in house power grid....time will tell.

Meanwhile I escape the house with baseball, a double header at LCC last night, another double with the recently graduated from Ohio State, Sam, here in Celina....he will be home for a few days, working games.  I told him..."Have Fun, make you room your home for the few days, or the Library, because the noise is something else".  Meanwhile at this hour he is interviewing for a second time with an insurance company in Columbus for an Actuarial opening.  We know he really would like to stay in C~Bus, and hopefully he can, but he will go with the right offer when presented....although he did tell me yesterday, Omaha is as far west as he would consider...seems Mutual of Omaha has a dozen or so openings for his line of degree, Actuarial Science.

With the work in the kitchen waiting on the floors and wood to completely dry, we have decided to upgrade that floor and make some other improvements....those will come from our pockets via a home improvement line of credit...we have been considering some upgrades, and this mini disaster will move us to that point....not sure exactly what we have in mind, but with some sidewalks needing repaired, I'm sure the insurance money to cover the damage and another $5 grand will help, take care of some of what we want/need.  Although we know $5,000 doesn't go far these days, and hasn't in a long time.   We have pretty simple needs and wants....and this should take care of business.  We would like to be out of debt completely when Patricia retires in four or five I cannot officiate/umpire forever.  Even if I stay healthy, I plan on dropping basketball in the next 2 years, football soon after  Well if I can walk and see, I will probably do that for the rest of my days....or at least until I'm 70....whichever comes first!

back later>>>>

Photos-The "Construction Zone" is in a holding pattern as the floors dry out, and the final damages are added up....cost wise and work to be done wise. (2)  Sam and I will escape the dust and noise of the house for a Twilight/Night Double Header at Montgomery Field in Celina tonight...the rubberized turf field is usually hot in the summer, but tonight it should be cool enough to work in comfort...not so for our double header Saturday, when 90 is back in the forecast.(3) Regardless of work to be done....the kitchen will change forever...a new floor type, and probably changes in windows and counter/appliance area as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

As the Dust Settles and the Waters Recede...

Getting away from the noise, clutter, and dust, of the water soaked southern part of the house, as the water evaporates and the dust flies is always a good thing....and despite the number of games on tap for this week, I am grateful for the time out of the house....with the wind machines drying the floor, kitchen, and basement, the Nationwide Adjuster was here this morning, and cut our first check...this for the cost of the floor in the Kitchen, and the sub insulation.  There is more to come, and more we still are not sure of....because the damage, in total, has not been determined.  We continue to dry the hardwood in the living/TV area, the basement is drying well, but the crawl area under the kitchen floor is still in the process of drying out, and not quite ready.  Meaning, we will be with the noise, dust, and pain in the ass of the continued process of getting the house, and our lives, back to "normal"...

So getting away to Rockford for a Junior ACME game last night was indeed a good thing.  I got to work with one of our young umpires from up Defiance way, one of the new umps using our Mentor/Mentee program.  Putting Jacob behind the plate, I soon enough found out that he was ready, well ahead of his time.  If he stays with it, being only 19 years old, he will make a outstanding umpire down the road....he is better than many that I work with, with many years more experience, than he has.  I have no problem pointing him out to league assigners and athletic directors as a quality official(who also works basketball), who is ready for varsity assignments.

Tonight and again tomorrow, I will be working double headers...first at Lima Central Catholic, and tomorrow with Sam here in Celina....not a big double header fan these days, but with cooler temperatures, and a chance to get away from the noise, and's not all that bad.  Friday night I'm at Crestview, then Saturday morning, Sam and I work another double header, in another round robin format here in Celina...that might not be so "enjoyable", with 90 degrees on the forecast sheet.

There you have my life....noise, dust, baseball, and helping Patricia decide what kind of kitchen floor to replace will be different for sure, and like the drying out, it's still a work in progress.

back later>>>>

Photos-Usually things are never as bad as they first this case, I am saying just the opposite..When we first walked in on this mess, I thought to myself "OK, this is bad, but not really something that will distract from our daily lives...boy, was I wrong on that count...still, however, it could be much worse, and for that I am thankful.(1)  The 57 years of flooring in the kitchen, for the most part, is gone, the drying continues, and do the plans for the new floor, and changes to be made. (2) The basement, which basically is a wash room, food storage cellar, and my personal weight room, antique room, and shower area, has never been pretty...the damage there, while it may look pretty awful, is really not a big deal, at least at this point in time.(3) The biggest question will be...can the TV room hard wood, 90 years old and restored in 2005 be saved?  Will it need sanded and sealed, or will some of it need replaced?  That may take a month or longer to figure out....after the initial drying takes place.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Assessing the Damage, the Work Begins....

Reality of the work ahead on the damage to the floors and other areas of the "flood" began to take shape early yesterday.....

A Recap of the "Flood"_____

After getting home some 11 hours after we left for Sam's Graduation from The Ohio State University, we were "greeted" by the sound of rushing water as we entered the back door of our house.  A value, it appears, had popped off on the hot water tap under the kitchen taps and lines had been installed just 10 months ago, and for some reason,  one cut loose, resulting in a massive flood of water going into the kitchen and part of the living room area's hard wood floors.  What didn't settle into the wood beneath the kitchen and living room pine, flowed into the basement under 80% of the house, and a vast amount into the large crawl space under the kitchen. 

The kitchen and half bath on the south side of the old Church Parsonage, were added in 1945 at the tail end of the second World War....the parsonage was built by the First Church of God{at that time across the street to the northwest} in the winter of 1923 for the pastors of that church, which is now located on Fairground Road on the far north and west corner, some mile from us.  While the original house was complete with a full basement, the kitchen under was fitted with a large crawl space...big enough to maneuver in, and place pipes, insulation, and wiring in....much of the water ended up there, on the hard ground and in that pink insulation....which was bagged out in 30 sacks of wet mess in the first hours of cleanup.

Next step was trying to dry the hardwood floors out with the help of no less than 10 large turbine type "wind machines" in living room, kitchen, and basement...God knows what the electric bill will look like next month, after three days of those roaring 24/7?  As the wind and noise was{and still is} howling, the guys from Servpro Fire and Water Cleaning and Restoration began assessing the damage to the kitchen floor....57 years of 3 floors were removed from most of the will need replaced in total.

While Nationwide Insurance will take care of the damage and repair work...Patricia and I will decide on a new kitchen floor type.  We had been thinking of this and other home improvements over the past few years....and while this mini disaster was neither welcomed or will indeed take us off the"talking" and onto the "doing".  I have a feeling that it is going to be a long summer....but it could have been much worse.  Say we had taken a 4 day trip to Wisconsin...or worse yet, a two week trip out west and Vegas, as we had talked about?  That would have taken the "mini" out of this disaster....

For now it will give me photos and material for the blog....all the while listening to the roar of the turbine wind machines in the back ground....which I expect to last at least 24 more hours if not longer....

back later, if I have my sanity....

Photos-Servpro was here within 2 hours from Lima to begin work, after our initial contact with our Nationwide Agent Beth Weber here in Celina....(2) The front(east) area of the kitchen with the original floor, circa 1945 (3)The machines trying to save the original hardwood floors in the main part of the house(old parsonage) which have been in place since it was built in 1923 and which we had restored in 2005(4) The water reached into the dining room to the west of the kitchen....this to, will be replaced(5) and the cat, for the first time in 13 years seems out of her element...first old Reagan her Airedale buddy dies, then 2 months later she in living in a noisy wind tunnel....looking at the suction hoses like "WTH"?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Graduation at Ohio State/A Major-Minor Disaster @ Home

A fast moving weekend, full of baseball, food, college graduation, and a piece of plumbing that turned into a small disaster, but could have been worse....

Baseball...double headers and heat....

Friday night I worked a double header with veteran umpire Tim Copsey, fresh off another state appearance in Columbus....A Junior ACME/ACME double header at Coldwater, Tim working the JV game, I finshed up working the varsity contest behind the plate.  It was veteran appreciation night with the home team sweeping visiting Elida.  We finished up about 9:45pm...home by 10:30 I was faced with the prospect of a noontime double header on the rubber{artificial turf} at Celina the next day, in the 90 degree heat.  I worked those games with one of my District Tournament partners this spring, Ed Oberlander...the heat coming off the field was tempered somewhat by the breezes....but working the second game behind the plate in the 4 team round robin style weekend,, was pretty brutal...I was feeling every bit my age, and pretty washed out by the time we finished at 5pm.  I headed home, watched the Reds lose to Detroit{they would lose 2 of 3, all one run games, to the Tigers, over the weekend}, drank a couple of beers, and was in bed by 8:30...exhausted, knowing we would sit in the 95 degree heat for The Ohio State Graduation on Sunday.

The 400th graduation ceremony at OSU....

Ohio State University, founded in 1870, is the largest in the country....yesterday marked the 400th and last "Quarter" Graduation...OSU turns to Semesters this Summer and Fall.  Frankly I always like Quarters better....lots less boredom.  Sam Houseworth, the eldest son, wanted to finish up before the Semester thing started, and did so yesterday, along with 10,636 others....the largest graduation class in OSU history.  along with the 8000 or so Bachelor Degrees handed out, there were more than 2000 Doctorates, and Masters...over 8000 students actually showed up for the ceremony, and Sam along with his classmates actually marched onto the Ohio Stadium field, as 50,000 or so family and friends sat in the stands.

Ohio State President Gordon Gee is always a good speaker and entertained, before turning things over to Dr. Susan Rice, a UN Ambassador....who, after a good start talking about her parents and grandparents{her dad was a Tuskegee Airman in WWII}, turned into a typical left wing hack, straight out of the Obama Administration.  Giving glory to same sex marriage and other far left talking points, which we will listen to in the coming months of the Presidential Campaign.  I sat on my hands for that part....realizing she no doubt got her talking points straight from Obama and his Puppet Master, George Soros and Company.

Finally with the Ceremony two and 1/2 hours old, Sam marched in line with the others and got his Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science....and now can continue the interviewing process, take a couple more Actuarial tests, and hopefully have a good job in place in the next few weeks.

The heat, along with the blazing sun, was pretty young girls in the row behind us, got up and promptly passed out....Patricia held the umbrellas over her, and we gave her some water, as the medics on hand came up and took her to a cooling room....

Overall the ceremony was worthwhile, but we were glad when it was over....

Olive Garden and the trip home to "The Flood"

We met Sam outside the ancient former basketball hall of St. John Arena...took some photos, congratulated him, and then in separate cars headed through the mass of traffic to an Olive Garden Restaurant, in nearby Dublin, where we met with 3 of Sam's friends for the post Graduation Dinner".....we had a great meal over the next hour or so, said our good byes to Sam and friends, as they headed back to Columbus, and we to Celina.

Arriving home at 7:45 we had been gone for 11 we walked into the back door, a strange sound greeted us.

That sound was the sound of rushing waters across the kitchen floor, and into part of the living seems  one of the newly(10 months or so ago) installed lines on the kitchen sink had popped out of place, and the water was rushing out onto the floor...into the living room and pouring into our basement.  What mess!  And it is a disaster for sure...just how major?  Not sure, but we know there is a 10 x 10 space in the "TV" room that the 90 year old pine floors took a beating on...that portion is warped already.  The kitchen floor....the hard floor under neath took a massive amount of water under the lanoleium...and the water that seeped beneath the wood and into the basement, with even more in the crawl space under the kitchen was something to behold....

So, not knowing how much actual damage there is...Patricia was off to the Nationwide Insurance office, whom I have used for over 45 years, since my first car, back in 1966, to find out what our situation will be as far as getting things repaired and back to "normal".  Hey life is a challenge, and this isn't the worst of those.

More as I find out more...back later>>>

Photos-Sam's Diploma....finally in hand at the ripe old age of 30...joining both mom and dad, and being a "bit" older when finishing up school...Hal had is Masters by 26 but the first years "partying" extended his time in college, the rest finished up pretty quickly, albeit a bit older, which is sometime a good thing.  (2) Part of the 10,000 students{Sam is somethere on the left side of the black gowned crew} (3) Sam on the bridge overlooking the Olentangy River, with the Horseshoe in the background.  (4) Sam with parents, me and Patricia..(5) at the Olive Garden in Dublin with some of his roomates and friends and (6)  The water as it sets in the kitchen, sump pump working as Patricia pushes the mess of water towards the pump so it can more quickly get rid of the excess....damage estimates will be coming in the next day or two...and we can work on the could have been worse, we could have been gone on Vacation, instead of a half day road trip.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Whot Stopped the Music?

Those who regularly stop by this site may notice that the "Music has Died"....poof it went!   The plug in Juke Box, it seems, is gone, and I'm really not sure why....they asked me to sign up with another service....but the hassle didn't seem worth loading all those songs in....SO, for now we will go musicless on the Rant.

I will be looking however, for something new to "plug in" music wise.....but for now, enjoy the silence.

After last night's double header at Coldwater, which ended about I have a Noon Time double at Celina....then tomorrow, off to Columbus for the Ohio State Sam has completed his work, and will be receiving his diploma at the Horseshoe in the capital city.

back later>>>>

Creedence Clearwater Revival, circa 1969

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Not Much Ado About Nothing or Anything

Summer it appears has arrived, but the low humidity sticks around....with the Summer, things on the blog will slow down, most photos and baseball talk....

Sam finished up his "final" finals at Ohio State today....graduation will be held Sunday at the Horseshoe, where about 10,000 of the 20,000 2012 grads will attend.  I am guessing there will be 40 or 50 thousand in the 110,000 seat football field, most parents, grandparents, and friends, to watch the proceedings....some hack from the Obama Administration will be the Keynote Speaker, but I guess it's only fair, since our Congressman and House Speaker, John Boehner was the 2011 June Keynoter....

A passel of young Robins are in the back and side yard, trying to learn how to fly before getting eaten by the neighborhood cats....or captured by the youngsters who lived in the duplex addition next to our place....good luck to them, the birds that is...the kids are on their own.

Busy with baseball as usual.....tonight staying in Celina for a game with Parkway, tomorrow a late afternoon JV/ACME Double header at Coldwater, site of the Districts that I worked 3 weeks ago...then staying in Celina Saturday for a Double Header, working with one of my District partners, Ed Oberlander....

This afternoon, I will grill out....but not eat until I finish up the games......

That is about it....

back later>>>>

Photos-More backyard flowers, including the Moon Flower plants, which, despite the lack of good rains, appears to be avoiding the backyard Rabbits....