Monday, December 31, 2012

A :Look Back at 2012....part #3

With still a foot of snow on the ground, and no melting in site, we are in for another inch of snow this afternoon and this evening...just in time for the drunks to hit the roadways...hopefully most will use a Designated Driver, and not take out some innocents on this, the last day of the year...as for me, I'm sure I will be sacked away by the Midnight hour....seldom make it to the Ball Falling in Times Square anymore....and don't miss the New Year's Day hangovers one damn bit.  For the second straight year we will miss any party at Rick's in Northern Indiana.  Last year my accident en route was the problem, this year, the host's health issues, still not quite resolved, will push back any get together for our little crew.....so tomorrow it will be me, Patricia, Anissa home for a few hours, and football on the tube, that I can live with.

2012 part 3....

As fall began, and several family member hospital visits were behind us...I began the high school and lower level football season working with a regular crew, not something I really had wanted{preferring to fill in on my own time and choosing which games and crews I wanted to work with}.  As a Line Judge I would work the home team sidelines, and as luck would have it...I was privy to a couple of coaches who I consider some of the biggest horse's asses in the business.  Not one for putting up with that kind of conflict, I managed to survive the first 7 weeks of the season before a foot injury put my season at an end, some three weeks before it was supposed to be finished.

I had been fighting a heel issue called Plantar Fasciitis and struggling to keep up with the game...it finally came down to week #5 at Lima, when I injured it more severely, and I struggled/hobbled through the next week and more.  The end came on a cold, rainy, 7th week at Paulding, when early in the contest with Allen East, my foot gave out and I slipped forward on my face...the result was stretched ligaments and tendons in that left foot...with the foot taped I finished off the game, but was done for the season.  I was told to take 8 weeks off...I took six before beginning basketball.  The foot, at least the heel part, is still hurting, but for the most I can get up and down the court, but certainly at a reduced speed...not that I ever had much of that in recent years anyway.

On the positive sides of the last few months of 2012, we got to spend plenty of time with grandson Kasyn over the Holidays, Sam, after 6 months of interviews found, not one, but two offers to work...and ended up taking a job in the Chicago area...not in insurance, but with a major company as a Operations Inventory Specialist...lots of math and spread sheets involved.  So hopefully the upcoming "Fiscal Cliff" will not effect his employment...he is just getting settled in, has found an apartment close to work, and is enjoying his new life.

Hal, his wife Lisa, and Son, are doing well...both parents have good jobs, and face the future financially, like everybody else...with apprehension....meanwhile "The K-Man" is still well ahead of the curve in growth and size...he was walking before he was a year old and is really a heallthy, active, and alert kid.

Anissa went through some changes with the groups that work with handicaps adults, but seems to be adjusting.  What the future holds for her and the rest of the folks with major mental and physical disabilities remains to be seen in the age of Obama, anything that the Kenyan Marxist Bastard does to destroy people and the Republic would not surprise me.  It is still amazing how a dimwitted half breed Marxist, can become President of this once great nation, it should surprise me...but considering how far down the path of destruction, and how far we have dumbed down the populace, I am no longer surprised at the trash we elect and worship.  I do not have any good will towards those that voted for this idiot, nor do I have much confidence that we as a nation will survive in a manner that our forefathers envisioned.

After Patricia's health issues in the Summer, she decided to take the bull by the horns and lose some pounds that she had acquired over the past few years....and my hat's off to her, as the year ends, and working on a Diet called "Medifast", she is now at levels she was when we got married some 36 years ago.  As for me?  After being diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes 2 a little over 3 years ago, I dropped 35 pounds, the last year or so, I have slowly crept back up the fat scale...gaining about half of that back...so at just around 200 pounds on Christmas Day, I kicked in the diet and have lost 5 pounds...and another 20 or so is what I would like to lose.  Since I cut back on the Dark Beers, I should get that done by Baseball season...at least I keep telling myself that.

Meanwhile with 60 or so basketball games yet to officiate, and lifting weights 3 times per week...I hope to stay healthy in 2013...I don't make resolutions, I just set a few goals and work my way towards them.

That's it...the good and bad for 2012, it could have been better, but then again, it could have been a whole lot worse....

back later>>>>

Photos-After last year's mostly "Snowless" Winter, this winter, is looking more like the one of 2009-2010 pictured here...My heel problems during football season, was one of a handful that beset the family in 2012...Grandson Kasyn, just a month old last Christmas, was able to enjoy and participate in full this year...and hopefully next year will really get into the spirit of it all....here is is with his dad, Hal Houseworth, during a break on our Polar Express Train Ride in Lebanon, Ohio...GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and his running mate Paul Ryan were in Celina a week or so before the election.  This good man lost, only because we as a nation are no longer good, we have become a Nanny State Nation of freeloaders and fools, how else  could a Democratic Republic elect and evil bastard like Barack Obama?  Patricia and I celebrated 36 years of marriage in December, my wife back to the same size she was the day we got married...Me?  Just a few pounds back above that time, but working to get it back down.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Look Back at 2012...part 2

We received a surprise accumulation of another six inches or so of snow overnight...they were originally calling for a dusting, then "less than an inch" by the time I hit the sack at 11pm, it was snowing lightly, and the Weather Channel was predicting 2 or 3 inches....it snowed throughout the night and with no wind to move it around I measured between 5 inches and a half foot most places in the yard.  Patricia and I were up, and I fired up the snow blower, she got out the salt and shovel, and we were done by the time Anissa was home...I headed over to mom's place and finished off her drive and walks by 9am....tonight I will work my way to Wapak and officiate my first game in over a week, a JV boys contest between Lima Central Catholic and the host Redskins....I had two games cancelled due to the snow last week and again this, and after tonight I am off the hardwood until next Wednesday...depending on the snow and conditions, January promises to be a very busy month of Basketball.....

2012 in Review part 2....

After recovering from surgery and finishing off the spring baseball season, with my work in the D4 District Tournament at Coldwater{where Minster would pull out two close wins and move on to defend successfully their State Baseball Title}, I took a break from baseball for a few weeks before the summer ACME games began.

Patricia and I had youngest sister Kelly as a visitor, and she stayed with us and mom off and on, until Memorial Day, when we drove her and her small dog Alfie to Upstate New York, where her husband Michael, the Danish Chef, was working a summer gig on Wellsley Island in the St. Lawrence River between New York and Canada

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20120701/COL01/707019961

...we stayed at the remodeled resort he was working at as the head chef for the summer tourist season.  We spent a couple of relaxing days there, dined out a few times before heading home.  I lived near here after Vietnam, until late 1973...the winter season is brutal, but the summer's are pretty nice.  We returned to Ohio in time for Sam's Graduation from Ohio State and our "Flood" on the same day.

Oldest son Sam finished off his Actuarial Science degree from OSU and was presented with his diploma on June 10th....this would be the 400th Commencement at Columbus, and the last one that OSU would have while using quarters, the school joined most in shifting to Semesters with the beginning of the new year.  Personally I despised Semesters, Quarters were much easier, not to mention I just never had the concentration to last the length of time semesters took to complete.

After watching Sam graduate with some 50,000 other parents and friends at the Horseshoe(the graduating class was just over 10,000 alone), we took him and some friends out to supper at a local Olive Garden near Dublin....then headed home.  Arriving late in the afternoon, Patricia immediately knew something was wrong when she opened the back door....

The rushing sound of water was coming from the kitchen, and the water had saturated the kitchen and part of the 2006 refinished hardwood floors in the adjacent living room....it could have been worse, even with the water draining into the crawl space under the 1945 built Kitchen area, it didn't affect the basement area much, nor did it ruin the wood floors in total....here it is at 2013's doorstep and the majority of the work still needs to be completed....seems nobody wants to do small insurance work, they would rather build us a $20,000 plus new kitchen...after some thoughts, we decided against that route, so we will take it one step at a time.  The first step was me and Nick, getting the insulation replaced under the kitchen....other that that?  It might be spring or later....we have learned to adjust, it's cheaper that way.

Sam stayed in Columbus after graduation, still working at officiating and with the Ohio State Athletic Department and Big Ten Network, as he began his job search....that finally was successful late in 2012, more on that in the next installment.

More Medical Issues....

At the end of June, Patricia had a nasty spell which sent her to the hospital for 3 days...it ended up being Diverticulitis....she was one miserable person at Lima Memorial, the same hospital they had kicked me out of less than 20 hours after major surgery back in March{not really kicked me out, but they surmised that one day was enough, not the same for my wife}.  Patricia was ordered to avoid some of the foods, like nuts, and some fruits, that she enjoyed...she will not be eating those for the rest of her days, it appears.

Mom, at 88, and then Sam both had their own medical problems....

Mom ended up in Coldwater Hospital with some oxygen level problems, and after a week in the place last August, she headed back home for therapy and now is still assisted by oxygen on a daily basis....Sam's problems were much more costly, due to being in-between jobs and college, and thus having no insurance to cover his few hours.

Home working some football games on the local level, he took a shower one morning in September, and "Pow", a dizzy spell hit him like bricks....after heading to 24 hour care in Celina, Patricia took him to Coldwater, where he entered the Emergency Room for a few restless hours....it ended up being a sort of Vertigo, which can affect one for months....but Sam's appeared to be gone within a week or so, and despite the $2000 hospital bill, he is glad to be back to, what appears to be, his normal 30 year old self.

I had more of my own issues during the fall football season...but that can wait until part 3 and the next installment...

back later>>>>

Photos-More snow this morning required blowing...about 5 or 6 more inches on top of what we already have...It was much warmer on Wellesley Island over Memorial Day, and Patricia and I(l and r) enjoyed a few days relaxing, with Chef Michael and my younger sister Kelly, dining out on a few occasions, before heading home}Sam's Graduation for Ohio State, the Floor Flooding Disaster, some Hospital time for Patricia, my mom, and then Sam, took over for the rest of the Summer, along with a few trips to see the Reds, who won the Central Division, but fell flat in the playoffs, after winning the first two games against San Francisco, the Giants rolled the Reds three straight and went on the their 2nd World Series win in three seasons.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Rehased, A Year in Review....part 1

A look back at 2012....

The year which is about to fade into history has been one of ups and downs on a personal level....and of course the same can be said for us as a nation and people.  A year that saw 4 members of the family spend time in the hospital, ranging from a few hours to a week, operations, and other 'issues", car wrecks, water leaks, and other bad omens.  On the good side, we got to enjoy our first grandchild as he spent his first full year of life, our oldest son become the second of the boys to graduate from a quality university, with a degree he can use, and the purchase of a second "new" car, giving me and Patricia good rides to get us around.

January starts out with a "Bang"....

January 2nd was the official New Year's Day holiday, and as with most years I planned on heading north and west of Fort Wayne, to my buddy Rick's 17 acre mini ranch and abode.  We spend most of New Year's Day drinking a few or more beers, eating, and partying until the late evening.  Over the past years Clint and I have began staying over, that way no alcohol and driving mix to worry about. 

When I awoke that Monday morning, a inch of so of snow had fallen, but it appears to be no big thing, but decided to use Patricia's Nitro with 4WD rather than the Montana mini-van anyway...by the time I headed out, I realized that this was no normal inch of snow...the glazing of ice beneath was treacherous, as I was to find out when I decided to take the back streets through Van Wert....I made it to the north edge of town, when I began to break for the upcoming stop sign.  Once I hit the peddle, I knew I was in trouble, a Semi was crawling along the adjoining east-west street, and I hit the gas to make it out of the way...I did, but slid across to the north curb and was hit head on by a poor women in a compact car.  We were but one of 11 accidents in that area in a short 10 minute span, the streets had not been treated, and we all paid the price.

The damage to the Nitro was around $3000, her car was totaled, and I was ticketed, for failure to control...the judge only fined me $25 plus costs, because she knew the situation that morning was basically unavoidable.  The Nitro was in the shop for a few weeks, but was back on the road by the end of the month....I never made it to Rick's and our get together was done for this new year.

February, as I recall was pretty uneventful, at least until the end of the month of this leap year.  I was having, at least in my mind, no health issues, when I went into the doctor's office for a routine check-up and to refill my blood pressure meds.  As the nurse practitioner was checking me out, she asked if I had any fainting problems or dizzy issues.  "Not that I could think of",  I replied.  But she insisted I have my Carotid Arteries checked out...it ended up that one was already 100% plugged and had found a new route to my brain...the other, on my right side, was 90-95% done, and they insisted on surgery...reluctantly I agreed, and on my 63rd birthday, March 16th, I headed for Lima Memorial Hospital.  Patrica and Rick joined me and Hal stopped by later that night...I survived the procedure and was booted out of the hospital the next morning, with a neck full of metal staples and a few weeks off from the upcoming baseball season.

I delayed the season until the first of April, and probably should have stayed away longer...but being stubborn I went back, and survived the season, despite getting hit during the summer season, right on the spot where the sutures had been.  My voice took about 4 months to come back to normal, and I remained a bit paranoid for the season...but now, approaching 64, I have decided to do what I can, take the meds and let God handle it.  My medical issues were done, at least for a few months, while others in the family, and my friend Rick's, were yet to come.

The spring baseball season was hot and dry for the most part...a heat wave that had began in March, remained, except for a brief spell of cool in April, for the remainder of the bat and ball season, which for me ended at the ACME State Championships, in late July.  During the spring season I worked both Sectional and District games, and continued, despite my age and my ability to piss off a few coaches, to get the votes and respect to work deep into the tournament season.

Also in the spring, sadness hit the family....our old Airedale, Reagan, nearing 14 finally gave out her last breath....she had lived longer than any Airedale we had owned, and with her passing, we are without a Airedale for the first time since Patricia and I became a couple, nearly 40 years ago.

As we moved into the summer, more hospital visits would come about...Patricia, Mom, Sam, and Rick in Indiana had their issues...but we also got to enjoy Kasyn, the Grandson growing like a weed, and swiftly moving through his first full year...Sam would graduate from Ohio State in June, with his BS in Actuarial Science in hand, and on that same day, a mini disaster would happen, and flooded house awaited us when we returned from Graduation ceremonies in Columbus...those stories and more when Part 2 is posted...

back later>>>>

Photos-Top-March 16, 2012, my 63rd Birthday also brought on my Carotid Artery surgery...January 2nd, the official Holiday of the New Year, saw me slide through the Intersection on the north end of Van Wert, and wreck the Nitro, both me and it survived...The next healed quickly, although I did have that "Frankenstein" look for a few weeks in the Spring...The dry and hot Spring and Summer didn't do my backyard flowers much good, but some came out, the Sunflowers suffered however.  Reagan Roo, our family Airedale, passed away in April, leaving us without an Airedale for the first time in 38 years....and "The K-Man" Kasyn continued to grow like a weed....a happy young man, and pleasant one he is....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"The Blizzard" part 2

Not sure yesterday's event really is what I call a "Blizzard" but in today's fake science called Global Warming, or Climate Change, and the NBC owned Non-Weather Channel, the folks in the weather predicting industry will go to no lengths, including naming stupid winter storms, to make drama out of everyday weather events.

@ 7:45am 12/27/12

Not sure what the final totals will be for the storm....out and about yesterday, blowing and shoveling, it appeared in the protected areas that we may have received 8 or 9 inches tops....the level 3(top tier) emergency for Mercer County has been reduced to a level 2, and the wind have died down from the 40+mph gusts to more manageable levels....although I have not been outside of the city limits, I suspect the back roads are still pretty well ice and snow covered.  Living in town for the past 22 years, it is indeed a different world than our days in northern Wisconsin(late 1970s), where we were 8 miles from Merrill and another 20 for Wausau, living on the Marathon/Lincoln County Line Road...and even during our decade(1980-90) on Coldwater Creek, 3 miles south of Celina, it was much different than in the city.  Even a small city of 11,000 like Celina makes a world of difference than living in the rural area.

This morning we will head over to mom's and Patricia and I will shovel out her area...I've got two snow blowers, mine and mom's, but no way to get them over there, since we don't have a van these days...and I'm not putting them in the Nitro, they would not be a good fit....guess it's time to buy a trailer to haul behind, that way the Nitro can be used to take the various snow machines and lawn mowers back and forth between our place and her house.

@ 1pm....

Pretty much came to the conclusion that the "Blizzard", as far as blizzards go, really wasn't much to brag about....Patricia and I dropped Anissa off at MRSI about 9:30 this morning, then headed over to mom's...we managed to put her small Toro snow blower into the back of the Nitro, and after I gave it a shot of fresh gas, mixed at 50 to 1 with 2 stroke oil, it ran fine and dandy, and we were done with mom's carport and side walks in less than a half hour.  We then headed to Wally World to pick up some ice melt, headed back to mom's and got that spread out...our snow duties done for now. 

It appears the snow on the ground will stick around for the foreseeable future, as the thermometer is not supposed to move above 30 for at least 10 days...that's OK, no radical warm or below zero conditions I can deal with.

On the plus side, we had purchased 13 month old grandson Kasyn, referred usually by me as "The K-Man" a blow up sled...it was reasonable compared to wood sleds, and is designed to last until the tyke is 2 or 3...all you can hope for is a few snow events so they family can use it...Kasyn got it on Christmas Eve, and as luck would have it...it got to use it with Hal and Lisa yesterday with the half foot or so of snow they had down Centerville way....Ring one up for the Good Guys!

So there you have it...a nice snow event, without major problems, and no week long stuck in the house days....not a Big Blizzard, but the kind you can live with and enjoy.

back later>>>

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12/26/12 Anatomy of a Blizzard, part 1

Anatomy of a Blizzard for West Central Ohio:

The snow forecast started to increase inch-wise during the early afternoon on Christmas Day...starting out with 4 to 6 inches with strong winds....expected to arrive at 1am or so this morning, December 26th....by the time I crawled out of bed at 3, 4, and finally at 5:45 am, nothing had hit the ground, although the winds had picked up, coming strongly from the northeast, usually a good sign of a strong winter storm.  I especially remember those back in the mid/late 70s and in the early to mid 80s, usually arriving with strong winds from that direction.

Here it is, just at the 6 o'clock hour and both the Weather Channel and Accu-Weather forecasts are staying 8 to 10 inches here and south to Dayton, Van Wert, Paulding, and Lima, say 5 to 9 and just a mere "Winter Storm Warning" instead of a Blizzard?  So 5 or 6 inches on 40 mph winds only gets you called a Winter Storm, while 8 and more classify you to be honored as a "Blizzard"?  Who would have thunk it? 

Well so far nothing, except the wind, but they are saying as daylight arrives the heavy snow will begin.....I and the snow blowers await, but so far, I'm not buying what they are selling...and here is what they are selling:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/celina-oh/45822/weather-warnings/335033

@ 7:15am...

Patricia and I headed up town at 6:15, the first of the light snow had just began...the local grocery store, usually open 24/7 had not bothered to open as of 6:30, so we headed for Wally World...and Wal Mart, despite the hate the media and most Liberals have for Wal Mart, because they are perceived to "kill" local businesses, they do serve a purpose, and Patricia and I stopped, grabbed a few things we might need over the next 24-48 hours, and were home by 7am...now we will wait and see where most of the snow ends up, right now they say most of the heaviest totals might be south and east...maybe!

@12:15pm....

Probably 5 or 6 inches on the ground at this hour, however, the amount is not the problem, it is the 25 mph northeast wind, with gusts up to 40...causing drifting, no end in site from the wind, although the snow should start to diminish in the next few hours.  Tomorrow's game at Van Wert has already been cancelled.  Lancaster was supposed to make the trip north today, stay in Van Wert and take on the Cougars tomorrow afternoon, that won't happened due to the heavy snow and blowing via the wind, and the game is cancelled a full 24 hours before hand.

Also Anissa is with us, and will spend the night for the first time in many months....her place, on the other side of town is just too far out of the way, and the Day Hab run by MRSI is closed today and tomorrow....still not sure when I will start to get things cleared off with the blower, it is a losing battle at this point in time.

@3:45pm...

It appears the worst is over, at least snowfall amount-wise, from my amature eyes it appears we received 8 or 9 inches, about as predicted.  The wind is still blowing and Mercer County along with Darke, the county directly to our south, are both under level "3" snow emergency status...which is the most intense, meaning "Stay off The Roads Unless an Emergency"....I went out about 1:30, and took care of the long driveway with the Snow Machine...Patricia got the back walks and porch, I took the machine to the large/main driveways...and when done with the important stuff, I plowed a path back to the bird/squirrel station.  Done for now, I am sure I will have to hit it again tomorrow, because the wind isn't going to let this be a one time deal.

Once done with the drive, I pulled the Nitro out and headed over to Mom's....her street was yet to be plowed, and there is no getting out for now, brother Mike is stuck in the house for the evening...tomorrow I will give it a go, hopefully the new gas/oil mix in the Toro will allow it to fire up and give me a shot at cleaning that off as well.

Part 2...tomorrow..

I'll see what shakes out, and give this another shot tomorrow at finishing off the first major winter storm we have had in at least a couple of years...

back later>>>>

Regardless, this minor "Blizzard" can't hold a candle to the mess that occurred in January of 1978 in the same region.

Photos-Top, North Star, Ohio, on January 21, 1978, US 127 looking north towards Celina....well over 25 inches on that fateful day.  The next 3 photos are from my yard and driveway at various times during the storm....once I got on the drive with the Snow Machine, the Nitro made it out with ease....and finally and overpass near Indianapolis during the Blizzard of 78, which brought the lower Midwest to a standstill....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Chistmas 2012....photos and memories past

Just a quickie on this Christmas Eve morning...

Merry Christmas to All.....except, nah, never mind....Merry Christmas to All...even those that would destroy the Republic, our Freedoms, and all references to God....

63 Christmas Days and and equal amount of Christmas Eves...I have seen come and go...and frankly only a handful I can remember, exactly where I was and what I received.  Various years bring various memories.

I guess 40 years ago tonight stands out most vividly...I was in upstate New York that evening when I received a phone call from brother Mike, informing me that dad had died of a heart attack that evening...I flew home from Syracuse the next morning, Christmas morning, we had the viewing on the 26th and the funeral and burial in the Scott, Ohio, Cemetery on the 27th....Stan Houseworth was just 55, and had celebrated his birthday just two weeks prior...I was 23, and I remember the next Christmas or two was hard, but eventually we got back to our family celebrations on Christmas Eve.  We will do that tonight, at least with part of the family...Hal, Lisa, Kasyn, Anissa, mom, Mike, and Marty and her family, minus the recently married Mikki, will all gather at her house...it is what we have done the past few years.  Sam is back in Chicago, back at work today, then off to Wisconsin tomorrow to spend part of Christmas with his other grandparents, and some of the family on the wife's side.

As stated, I don't remember all of the Christmas mornings, but some come to mind....

As a youngest in Venice, Florida, I remember most...from the early days at Alston's Cottages in the early and mid 1950s to the days at the "new" house on School Street.  Once we moved back to Ohio, the memories became less clear...let's face it, as a teenager, you have different views on Christmas and what you want....

The military days in the Air Force, I remember coming home from Dover that first year, and spending the 5 day break here....Vietnam?  I really don't remember that Christmas, I do remember I was in the process of transferring from Nha Trang a few hundred miles south to Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Air Base...I arrived there on December 27, 1969....

The later days, especially after the kids came along, I remember the Christmas Days on the old farm on Coldwater Creek best of all...when the kids were kids, and appreciated just about everything they received, and least until the wore those gifts out...









This Christmas Day it will be just Patricia, Anissa for a few hours, and me....that will be different...a quiet Christmas, I am kind of looking forward to that....but in the meantime, today will be busy, with plenty of visits, especially with the grandson here, Kasyn will be celebrating his second Christmas, but since he was just a month old last year....this year will be a bit more special for him...although, I am sure he won't remember it.  My first memory of Christmas is from 1954 in Florida...although I do have memories of my childhood back before then, just not of Christmas.

OK...off we go, once again, have a excellent Christmas.

back later>>>>Photos-From Christmas Days Past...Stan Houseworth passed away 40 years ago today, Christmas Eve 1972, Venice Florida, Me, Mike, Al Foust, and Marty our first year on School Street, South Venice Florida 1955, Me, Marty, Mike, Anissa{left} and Friends from Christmas Past, Sam Houseworth, Hal Houseworth, The 1955 Christmas Tree Setup in South Venice, and finally Patrica's new Hors d' oeuvre, The Penguins, made of cheese, cream cheese, black olives, and carrots

Friday, December 21, 2012

The First Day of Winter....

Winter has arrived, on both the calender and weather wise....as you can see from today's photo, the Nitro, sitting in the same location, at Windy Point on Grand Lake's south side, the conditions are a bit different that the photo from yesterday...the was from last Summer past, today 50 mph winds are blowing the snow, albeit only and inch or two, around big time.  Lucky we are for the small amount of white stuff...as we would be buried if the rain of yesterday had been snow instead.

Windy Point, living up to it's name on this
                                                                                     official day of Winter:

After clearing the snow off the sidewalks and Dodge Nitro, I headed out to the lake to see how the roads were, and what the windy and snow looked like...not enough snow to make it look winter-like or to assure us a White Christmas, but the outside air, at 30 degrees, with those winds, certainly felt like the middle of January, as opposed to the first full day of Winter.  US 127 was indeed slippery with icy and packed snow, where the open fields abutted the highway, the Nitro, while certainly not the Jeep Wrangler of my past{as I found out last January 2nd}, still held it's own on the US and state highway, as I made my way through Montezuma and parked in the Windy Point park...the strong northwest winds coming across the murky waters of the 13,000 acre lake, felt, well felt cold, damn cold!

I didn't stay long, and headed back north on 127 taking a right turn to West Bank Road, where the Park on that dead end, is much more protected from the wind, and the snow was much cleaner as it wasn't being blown by the winds...I got out of the SUV and snapped a few more photos...nothing special, but it did give me something to show I was out on the first day of winter 2012-13.

As far as I know the games at Spencerville still on, despite most of the area schools being closed, but the icy roads, and strong winds....I'll check again however before making the 20 mile drive.  Meanwhile Sam has delayed his drive back from Chicago until tomorrow morning, it will be a quick turn around to pick up some more of his stuff, and probably head to Columbus tomorrow afternoon for the OSU/Kansas Basketball game...he works Christmas Eve, and then plans on visiting his Grandparents in Wisconsin Christmas Day....if that state's blizzard has been cleared, the area where they live, Oconomowoc received a foot or more of snow in some places....they can have that, snow is not a thrill for me, and if I don't have to use the snow blowers any more that I did last season{one time}, that would be fine with me.

And I guess I would be remiss, if I didn't mention, here it is 12/21/12{and December 22nd in Asia} and the World Still Stands....Guess the Mayan's really were not predicting the end of mankind?

Enjoy the weekend....back later>>>>

Photos-The Nitro at Windy Point, Montezuma, Ohio...The wind whips the waves at the WP Beach, passing a Semi on 127 heading through the snow, wet roads, and wind back towards Celina...and bottom, The State Park at West Bank Road, was much more serene than at "Windy" Point, which is living up to it's name today.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

4WD....Four Wheel Drives I have Known....

Tomorrow is the official first day of winter...but today, December 20th has began with strong winds and heavy rain...for now at least the snow is northwest of here, in Patricia's home area of southern Wisconsin, looks like Oconomowoc and that area will have Blizzard Conditions as the day makes progress towards sundown.  Sam in the western bergs of Chicago is on the border of rain and snow, and it appears his area will get a half foot or snow, his plans on coming home for the weekend may change by tomorrow, meanwhile we will get  rain for now, then the temperatures will drop tonight, and tomorrow, the official first day of Winter will indeed feel and probably look like it, with a couple to four inches of snow...but right now, thunder, with some lightning is pouring down with the rain...temps are in the lower 40s at the 9am hour.

4WDs.....

The start of the Winter Season has me thinking back to the Four Wheel Drive vehicles I have owned and driven.  The first had to be the Dodge Power Wagon police vehicles and the Jeep Willy's I drove in the Air Force....the Power Wagons during the winter years at Griffiss Air Force Base in upstate New York...we abused the Hell out of those things in the heavy snow fall at Rome, NY, especially the first year I was there during the 70-71 winter.  The Jeeps in Vietnam, we really didn't need the 4WD, because at Nha Trang I was usually driving on pavement...and at Tan Son Nhut it was only needed during the muddy mess of a season called "The Monsoons"....either way, we cops abused the Hell out of those as well, and a few of our numbers died while doing just that.

The first four wheel drive I owned was a brand new 1976 Jeep Cherokee....Patricia and I had it for about 5 years.  It was stock and not a "Chief" model...I picked it up for about $6,000 new...this was back when you, if you were young and dumb and could afford them, you picked up cars new....I gave up that habit years ago, much better to buy sometime fairly new, 30,000 or less miles on it, they are usually much more affordable.  The 2012 Nissan with a few thousand miles on it, that Patricia just purchased in early November, is about as new as we have had, since the 1999 Toyota Pick-Up I had during the final years of my Health Department days.

Anyway the Cherokee, although a four wheel drive,  built for the highways, was probably the best off road vehicle I have owned, with the possible exception of the 1998 Jeep Wrangler I used to pull behind the RVs on those trips across America in the early years of this new century.  I only got the Cherokee stuck once, that was during the Blizzard of 1978 in northern Wisconsin.  An idiot  from the School District was parked in the middle of the roadway, and I had to swerve it avoid him...hitting a snow drift me, the Jeep, along with the Airedales, Rag and Max, ended up on a pile of snow with all four wheels off the ground...a nearby Farmer pulled me out of that mess with his old tractor...and we were on our merry way into Wausau.

The Wrangler was proceeded by an AMC Eagle,  a 1984 I believe....I didn't own that long, although I liked the ride and it performed well in snow, the damn transmissions didn't work worth a damn!  Went through two of those, before I finally gave up that ghost....I went without a 4WD for the next decade and a half.  We had moved into town, and we were into "family' cars including a variety of Mini Vans, I hated those damn things...still do.  The various pick-ups I purchased, including two Toyota models, I liked, but they were not 4WD.

The Wrangler served me well for about a decade...mainly in the years of RV driving, after my retirement from the Van Wert County Health Department....I sold it to my young neighbor Derek, a teacher and coach as Celina High School....despite the abuse it took on those cross country returns, a blown engine{my fault}, and some electrical problems...it served me well, and last I looked, Derek was still driving it around Celina.

By the time I sold the Wrangler, a 1998 model, Patricia had purchased a 2008 low miles Dodge Nitro. SUV..it is a 4WD, but that is all....it certainly not designed to perform "off road"....and on one of the few occasions I drove it the first year we had it, I managed to slide through an intersection at Van Wert, and wreck it and another poor soul...icy roads were to blame...but the Wrangler would have not been in that situation in the first place.  I took over the Nitro when Patricia purchased the Nissan last month....I am getting used to it, and hopefully no snowy disasters will befall me, and it, this winter.

The one thing I can suggest to you if you plan on making a four wheel drive purchase...no matter why, consider a Manual Transmission.  The Cherokee and Wrangler were both equipped thus....the Eagle and Nitro were/are not, and it does make a difference.  Manual is the way to go with 4WD, if at all possible.

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Photos-Top Our Nitro a 2008 low mile model, not the best for off road use, but still 4 wheel drives, even the lesser of the breeds have advantages over the 2 wheel vehicles.  The Old Jeep Willy's I drove at Nha Trang were the first of the 4WD I drove....Patricia and I purchased the 1976 Jeep Cherokee new...costing about $6000 it was bare bones, but would drive through just about anything...it was a beast off road.  The AMC Eagle wasn't with us long...I liked the way it drove, but that model had transmission issues, and I traded it away.  The Wrangler was far and away my favorite....and it was either towed or driven through at least 40 States, as far away as Nevada, California, Idaho, to the West, New Hampshire and Maine to the East, and Florida, Texas, and Arizona, to the south and southwest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Still Working out at 63...The Gun "Controversy" continues

First off, let me say "I'm not sure this post and it's layout makes any f&(_&**%$#)@ sense at all....Blogger or this computer at times is a piece of donkey dung, and today was one of those times...this is my fourth attempt to post, wife is probably mad at me as she went to the store when I wouldn't let her on to do something important...I just wanted to finish, and for some reason Blogger, or the Gawd Damn Computer kept screwing with me...it has happened before, and now the entire first few paragraphs are gone...so be it, I will not go back for a fifth try...unless I drink a "fifth" or at least 4/5th a bottle of Drambuie!  So here it is missing the first few lines

The family was into guns, back when they were used to hunt and for family protection...today the battle of guns means so much more.  Speaking of grandad Waldron, the family still has a top break, single shot .12 gauge that works and fires as good as the day it was manufactured...I remember the first time I fired that one...knocked the Hell our of me, and at 16 years old I had a bruise on my right shoulder for days after...those times of the right to bear arms, without conditions, is long gone...Liberal trash in America has seen to that...they want nothing more than to suppress and destroy our right to protect ourselves...from them!

Top Right...Marvin Kunhs 1898 Iver Johnson 5 shot "Top Break" .38 which was on him when he met his maker in June 1907....bottom Van Wert County Sheriff Fred Hott's .38 Smith and Wesson Police Special which was used to dispatch Marvin on that date, from his worldly problems.  The poster was e-mailed to me today by my 88 year old mother, and gave me time to reflect on our family gun history and some of the guns we have and still are in possession of.

Meanwhile our fool-in-chief, Muslim Terrorist supporter Barack Obama has placed his plagiarising Vice Prez, simpleton Joe Biden in charge of a committee to look into ways these Anti American criminals can deeper limit Americans power to purchase guns legally.....one step closer to the next Revolution or Civil War.  The power to destroy the Bill of Rights and our Constitution cannot be left in the hands of these tyrant wannabees.

In the meantime, like your valuables, you need to lock up your arms as best you can...because they will be coming after them...and YOU!

Still working out....at 63

I headed down to the dark reaches of my basement this morning to do my usual 3 or 4 time a week weight lifting regiment....the old unfinished basement still has old newspapers in the ancient windows, at least the wood borders of, that tell of the date they were placed their beneath the ground.  I cut pieces off one our a few years back...the date "November 20, 1923"...89 years ago, the former church parsonage was completed in early 1924, and was used by various Pastors from the First Church of God until the church moved to the north and farther west part of town, and they sold the house around 1990...we purchased it in 1995.  The basement hasn't change much in those nearly 90 years since it was poured.

Despite not being finished I still use the basement several times a day...taking a least two showers down there in my "temporary" shower stall(which Patricia had put in for me and the boys back in 1995), I can't remember the last time I took one upstairs in the main bath(and I don't want to)...many years for sure.  We have the laundry down there, the deep freezer and I keep my sports officiating equipment, my clothes, the old family collectibles, and my weight room, both of them, down below as well.   The Weider Machine is stuck on the southwest corner, with the emergency food supply, and old TVs, Christmas lights, bulbs, etc...the "Body by Jake" Weight Bench is in the northwest corner by the furnace. 

Still not giving up the ghost, I work out when I can...of course there have been lapses in my workout and weight lifting regiments...bad backs, carotid artery surgery, just plain laziness at times...but for the most part, I try to do what I have been doing for over 20 years, that is to keep in somewhat good shape.  Of course when you drink as much beer as I have over the years, and eat like I did in years past, it's not always easy...but I try.  

I was a skinny 5' 9' 135 pound runt when I joined the Air Force in 1968, when I returned from Vietnam in July of 1970 I had grown to 5' 11" and about 170, and by the time I was finished with my Military time, I was at around 185, on the same frame...these days, 40 plus years later I probably have shrunk to 5' 10" maybe less, and weight in at 190 or so, depending on the season.  I have weighed in as much as 225 and been down to 180 or so over the last 15 years.  Over that time I have attempted to say on the weight training with free weights as much as possible...and despite a time or 3 of lapsing off the regiment, I have done so...but these days, as I approach 64 in a couple of months, I certainly don't toss up the weight I used do.  These days, 3 or 4 times a week, I usually spend 30 minutes in the dungeon-like confines of my basement, working 4 different series of rotating weights, usually 15 or 20 reps.  I am happy these days to throwing up 125 pounds=3 sets, with 20 reps, the other exercises I do are somewhere in the same range, depending on the type and how much I feel comfortable lifting.

Why?  Hell, I guess ego, and the desire to at least stay somewhat in shape for my 150-200 officiating gigs per year, and enough to allow me to stay in shape to down a few beers when I want....it sure the Hell isn't because I want to kick somebodies ass whenever I want...see the first part of today's blog, If I feel threatened, I won't bother with "muscle power", I'll take the old fashion way....

I've been in a few fights in my life, let's face it, if you are a bartender long enough, especially at a pub or place that caters to young men, where young women also hang out, like the 1974 "Red Door", Celina, Ohio....you are going to get into scrapes, I've had my share in the past.  The Air Force and the few years following I had my share...never got whipped, not because I was the bad ass on the block, but because I was smart enough to know when to hold them and when to fold them...I was bullied way to much in junior high, and even into high school, by the time I had finished my Vietnam and Air Force tour, I had figured out how to win, or at least how to cover my ass...and I guess that's why I still try my best to stay in shape these days.  But as far as physical conflicts in my mid 60s...you gotta be kidding?   See the first half of today's post.

No basketball tonight, back at it tomorrow at LCC for a Freshman boys game, then Spencerville on Friday, before taking the next week off for the Christmas break.

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