Friday, August 30, 2013

The Sunflower Gallery

Gallery of my backyead Sunflowers...planted some 8 varieties and all have bloomed except the "Mexicans"....and those will be late, if at all...plenty of others to choose from however, and they have been coming out steady, albeit somewhat late: 

Here are a few as of this morning:

Meanwhile the cool Summer has turned to...Well Real Summer, worked my first Non Scrimmage game last night at Spencerville in the Mid 80s heat...heat today in the lower 90s with humidity to match, and tomorrow much of the same as I head to Convoy for JV Football and back to Spencerville for a Fall Baseball Twin Bill...back later!







Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wandering Through the Final Days...{Of Summer}

I spent yesterday sitting with Grandson Kasyn, this time at our house, last Monday it was in Centerville...another session for next Wednesday.  With Patricia now back at work, almost full time, I had the  21 month old by myself yesterday.  We entertained ourselves at home for awhile, then over to great-grandma Houseworth's for an hour...he, and of course she, seemed to enjoy that...then it was back home to the back yard wading pool, where he wore himself out and finally went to the crib for the next two hours....so by the time Grandma Patricia arrived she got to spoil him for a couple hours before his Mom arrived and we ate supper, that I had grilled out back, and they were on their way back south and home....a pretty enjoyable day, he seems way ahead in size and activity for a 21 month old...perhaps my bias, but I don't believe that for a minute.

Last night I finished off the day by watching the Reds do what they do best when playing the St. Louis Cardinals...blow a lead and lose for the ninth time in 13 games to the Cards...they now trail
Redbirds by 3 1/2 games and Pittsburgh by 3 full games...still in command of the final "Wild Card" spot, but with 6 games against St. Louis out of the next 9 that may be slim by the  time the middle of next week arrives.  I hate actually having to care about underachieving millionaires playing a kids game...albeit a game I love dearly, always have always will...baseball, far and away is my favorite sport, to watch, play, and officiate....speaking of which, the first of the Saturday double header "Fall Ball" games at Spencerville went off without a hitch.  Unlike football and basketball, I usually don't work lower level{middle school} baseball...but I get along with the folks at Spencerville and get my share of Varsity Baseball and Basketball games from the AD there, who also happens to coach the Spring Varsity team and this unaffiliated Autumn team...plus the $100 cash for 3 or 4 hours work helps me with beer and gas for the fall...so who is complaining?

This morning, after the lights came back on....the city lost power in a small section of town, and it happened to be ours, for about an hour...so that woke Patricia up, and I crawled out of bed about 6:15, far too early, but I had to take the old long haired cat to the Pet Center on the other side of town
anyway...$40 to trim the old gal....almost makes one want to invest in a trimmer, but I've been that route before with the Airedales...and it just never works out.

So with that out of the way I was timed to get my annual Blood Work done....but remembered I usually have to fast before and...and I had already drank coffee with cream, so I shit-canned that thought, and will fast tonight through early tomorrow and head to the clinic.   I need to get that done before September 1st, before the current insurance changes ...after this week I will be on the VA and then add Medi-Scare to that come next March...guess I'll have to be careful for 6 or 7 months...lol, yea that's gonna work.

This morning driving the cat to the pet center...reinforced my belief that drivers, especially women drivers{yep I said} are for the most part, morons!  I drove a block to the 4 way stop by the insurance group...I stop the SUV that was there goes and was her right...as I come to a stop, another female driver, obviously working at the insurance group, pulls through the four way, cell phone locked to her ear, and pulls through without so much as a glance my way,..idiot!  A few minutes later another SUV pulls out from the Red Light right in front of me....another idiot, I hate that right turn on red law...nothing more than an excuse for morons to turn in front of oncoming traffic!

So that has been my morning....another cup of Joe, a quick trip to Wally World, and then off to George's to get my hair cut....much cheaper than the damn cat....some weight lifting this afternoon...but no football and no outdoor walks, the temperature is slated to reach 91 and the humidity will match.  The year with very little Summer weather has decided to wait until fall was on the door step to turn steamy....

OK, enough BS...time to get some stuff done.

back later>>>>

Photos-The back yard flowers are making their final fall push....including the Mammoth Sunflowers which have reached as high as 14 feet tall and flowers as big as basketballs....and Kasyn and I kept busy for the few hours he was here....clowing around and watering the back yard.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to Work{no not me!}...Football Season Begins

Patricia headed back to work today...

After retiring from 25 years of teaching special education at 3 school systems, she left St Henry in May and took an early retirement...knowing she would probably teach in some capacity for the next 5 years or so.  This summer she tutored and then was offered a part time position here in Celina as a teacher, working with immigrant children from the Marshall Islands...that every other week position for some 25 hours has quickly become a every week schedule for 28 or so hours per week...so much for retirement!

Much like when I "retired" from Public/Environmental Health, she knew she had to and wanted to work, so the extra hours are welcome, as is the extra money, although we would have survived without it.  When I left the Health Department, I knew I had to work...Hell I was only 53 back in the Summer of 2002.  So I drove RV Motor Homes for 5 years and umpired baseball...I eventually picked up football and then basketball, and gave up my RV gig when the gas prices basically destroyed the RV business in Indiana...with 150 or so contests per year and now a bit of Social Security, I am doing enough to stop the boredom. 

Patricia and I have been together for 40 years and will be married for 37 this Christmas season, but neither one of us is willing to sit around waiting for death by staring at 4 walls or each other 24/7....

The Future?

So for now, at least the next five years if God gives them to us...Patricia will teach, I will officiate{at least baseball, not sure about football or roundball} and we have initial plans to spend at least a month near the Gulf of Mexico each summer, when the weather is hot and the crowds are down...those are still in the planning stages.  Of course we will sit with grandson Kasyn as much as we can or Hal and Lisa need us...Patricia will still take care of Anissa's needs although she only comes home on weekends for a few hours, she is still under our guardianship.


As for me, as mentioned I will continue to officiate and umpire...I have a pretty full schedule for the next few years, but will begin to cut back on football and basketball, working mostly lower level
games in those...but will, if my eyes and health permit, continue to do a full Spring Baseball schedule on the Varsity level.  In fact I have already been offered tournament games for next season...so somebody thinks I'm still a good umpire, the tournaments assignments don't get handed out like parade candy.

One thing I am looking at....call me crazy since I turn 65 next March, is getting another "Duel Sport" Motorcycle...I have been getting the urge to ride for a few years now, and when my life long friend Bob Jones stopped in the other night with his Honda 1300 tourning bike, I was pretty much hooked.  I've got friends, some older, like Sam Lewis and Mike Tillman my Vietnam/VSPA Buddies and old Junior High friend Don "Rat" Boyce, who ride big Harley-Davidson bikes, and Bob rides a touring Honda.  Now mind you I have no interest in riding a "Hog" or big bike...been there with a Yamaha years ago...I'm looking to revert back to my life in the mid 1970s when I had a Kawasaki 250 On/Off Road Bike....I want to get into the dirt and still be able to ride to the games in the good weather {Summer Baseball and Fall Football} to save some gas and just ride...so if the fiances hold out by next Spring I plan on getting a new or late model Kawasaki 250S and see if I still "have what it takes".

The Weekend Ahead!

Last week we were in Wisconsin celebrating with Patricia's family and friends the 90th birthday of her dad Bill....a World War II Vet who turned 90 on the 13th of August.  Hal flew in from his work in Alabama{he's in Oakland, California this week} and Sam drove up from Chicago .. so about 30 of us celebrated.  Hal and I took in the Reds game at Milwaukee on Saturday night....another Reds lost, I am now Oh for my last 5...as good as the Reds have been, they seem to sense me in the crowd at home or on the road and fall flat...guess I'll boycott myself for awhile.

This week football scrimmages began on the Junior High level, tonight I am filling in with Garry's crew{yes the same guy I umpire baseball with in the Spring} for a Varsity scrimmage at Van Wert against Greenville tonight...then tomorrow, despite putting my baseball gear up for the season, I will pull it back out and work the first of 6 straight Saturday's umpiring Junior High Fall Baseball....heck, the games have a time limit and $100 cash for 4 hours at most...how can I turn that down?  I can't so baseball, my main sport, will still be in the offing until early October....Keeping Busy while being retired indeed!

back later>>>>

Photos-The backyard Sunflower "Big Daddy"...this one is big as a Basketball and sits on a 14 foot high stem/The first model Kawasaki 250 I owned was the 1974 like this one...the next one, if all goes according to plans are like the ones below it/Bill Callies celebraing 90 years on this earth....and another Reds game, this one at Miller Park in Milwaukee, another Cincinnati loss.


 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Falling" Out of Summer

 
I see it's been two weeks since I last posted....tick, tick, tick...I've been rather busy and rather bored with the Internet, at least certain parts, and have become more than detached from much of it.  Spending about an hour in total on facebook{about a half hour each morning}...otherwise the social media aspects are really getting to be part of the changing landscape...and my interests{thank God} are moving in other directions...for now I will continue to post when I feel like it...but after 6 years, much of the look back at my life has been covered, at least the parts that I want to remember and write about....other portions will remain where they are...in my personal memory banks.

Summer?  We had a Summer?

This is probably the coolest Summer in total I can remember....we had a week or so of hot and humid weather back in early July, but before, and for the last month it has been well below normal.  The rains have been around, but we have been spared the usual drought of July and August, just enough rain to keep me mowing.  Looking at the next 10 days, the Midwest appears set for a dry spell, and cooler for the first half, and in the lower 80s for the last part. 

I am not complaining in the least about the weather.....hopefully it will stay below normal as football officiating gets underway.

Football Arrives....

Next week I have a day in Centerville to sit with Grandson Kasyn, then on Tuesday I head for Columbus to get my second check up at the VA Hospital...that afternoon my first scrimmage takes place at Crestview...after that the next two months will be full of football.   I have already decided that this and next season will likely be my last working football....at least as much as I
do, I'll be 65 and enough is enough.  Basketball is on the same schedule...this coming season and next, then I will probably be done....Baseball, at least the Spring Season, I will continue with as long as I can see and move.   But for as long as I have left on this earth, it is time to move on from most officiating before I get too old to do other things....the years of working upwards of 200 contests in three sports every year, needs to be cut back.


Patricia Moves On...

The wife retired from full time teaching at the end of the school year....frankly she was not liking the way things were going in her school system and in Special Education, so before she got burnt out, she retired.  Of course much like when I left the Health Department, too young to sit around, so she has been tutoring this summer and now has picked up a teaching job locally, working with a group of Marshall Island Immigrants...she will work about half time, and financially and allowing herself some time for her and us, this should work out well....

Speaking of Patricia, her dad, Bill Senior turned 90 yesterday on August 13th and the family will celebrate this weekend in Wisconsin, Hal and Sam will join us and about 20 or so other family Happy Birthday Bill!
members for the celebration.  Bill was a great golfer in his time, and actually won a spot in the British Open back in 1980 at the age of 57...he won that spot by winning a Tournament near Chicago, and performed well in the Pro-Am Division in Scotland.  I golfed with Bill on a number of occasions...but his polished game never wore off on me....I suck at golf.!! 

Blogging Directions...

I am not sure how often I will be blogging over the next days, weeks, and months...but the direction will change...more personal photos, everyday activities and the continued less political stories and opinions.  I long ago came to the conclusion that in this divided world, I will not change my mind and certainly won't be changing the morons and Marxists on the left that follow that Kenyan Bastard in Charge at the White House...the old adage "You Can't Fix Stupid" is the mantra of the losers on the left....and those freeloading bastards don't want to change...Libs come in two stripes....the Stupid and the Evil, with a mixture of everything that is wrong with this once great republic mixed into both camps.  I won't bother trying to change them....this eroding Republic is falling down quickly down the crapper, and I for one, believe there is no turning back.  And frankly I have no interest in stopping the mess...every great nation fails, usually from within, and the United States, sadly, is quickly heading that way.

So that leaves, photos, old stories, and everyday activity....the years I posted at least 5 times per week is long gone, and won't return....once a week, twice? or maybe a couple of times a month....we will play it one post at a time.

back later>>>

Photos-Sunflowers, Sunrises, and Football, are on the agenda for the next couple of months....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August, Baseball, and another Craft Beer{or 2}

July ended with a two week stretch of much cooler than "normal" July weather...so much for Global Warming, er "Climate Change" as the phony jackasses that peddle that bullshit have not gone to calling it, since "Global Warming" has been proven, time and time, again, a fake science.  The next 10 days look mostly dry, last night, tomorrow, and maybe Saturday morning we will see a shower or two.

Tuesday evening Patricia and I headed for Fort Wayne, where we had front row seats behind the visitor's dugout for the host Tin Caps game with visiting Lake County...the seats and some meal money was a Father's Day gift from oldest son Sam, and we enjoyed the evening, despite the home team blowing 5-0 and 8-1 leads,
before eventually losing 10-9 to the Cleveland Indians farm team....the Midwest League is Class A Baseball, years ago I even got to work a game or three, doing play-by-play for the Wausau Timbers{nee' Mets} when the league was a majority Wisconsin based league...the league has migrated south since 1978, to much warmer weather, and much nicer ballparks...and it the truth be known, with cheaper prices on tickets, beer, food, and parking, the game is much more enjoyable than sitting in a MLB Park watching overplayed millionaires failing to run out ground balls...

While there I did have two beers, both "Fat Tire Ale" out of New Belgium Brewery in Colorado...I had tried it before and like it...a Amber Ale, which I really enjoy.  You cannot find it in Ohio, but
since we are only 10 miles from the Indiana line, I decided to check out the nearest towns and see what the local liquor stores had in stock.

A small package store in the Amish/Swiss Village of Berne{yep named after the city in Switzerland} not only had a couple cases of "Fat Tire", but two six packs of the companion brew, "1554" Black Ale{much more like a great Stout}, and with prices less than $9 a six pack I picked up a case of Fat and 12 of the darker ale....gotta say, if I can find it, I will be downing plenty of those this fall and winter, and with the cool temperatures, about 68, and drizzle coming down yesterday afternoon, I fired up a cigar, turned on the Reds(who finally won one on the coast) and downed two 1554s and a couple of Fat Tires...well worth the 50 mile round trip to Berne to say the least.  I will try to keep some in stock, fiances permitting of course.

Since I last posted over a week ago, several things have passed....I worked the 7 on 7 passing tournament in Celina, picking up a cool $150 bucks, one official per 40 yard field and frankly pretty easy work...that money will take care of gas and beer for the next month or so.

In addition the Lake Festival came and went....another success, but I would not be able to tell you first hand....I never ventured downtown, preferring to sit in the back yard downing a few brews.  And with baseball umpire work finally done, finishing up with the State ACME Tournament, which was won by Defiance over Coldwater in the 8 team event.  Defiance, with two ACME Championships to go with their D2 State High School spring title, has a very good 12 months.

Also passing was my 6th anniversary of writing this blog...it all began in late July 2007 and for the first 5 1/2 years I wrote most weeks, five or more posts...things have slowed down over the past 6
months, and by design I don't post more than one or two times per week these days...whenever I have a photo or update to jot down....I am surprised that I managed to keep it going as long as I did, especially at the former pace...but Happy 6th has come and gone, and I will keep plugging away:

back later>>>>

Photos-The Backyard Sunflowers, except the Mammouth, are going great guns....Patricia and I had front row seats in Fort Wayne...nice ballpark, good time...and the Fat Tire and 1554 Ale from New Belgium, are now on my "Favorites" list of brews, despite have to drive across the state line to Indiana to get any.