Friday, September 27, 2013

Wandering Amish Indiana


Since getting back from the Vietnam Veterans Reunion over in Howard County{Kokomo} Indiana, last Friday, I have stayed busy, with football officiating, yard mowing, and fighting off the head cold I contracted while camping in the damp conditions over there...

Yesterday my buddy Nick had decided to head back across the state line{some 12 miles} back into Indiana and stop at the Amish Farmer's Market between Berne and Decatur...I figured I would tag along, and take the opportunity to see if my favorite package store in Berne had resupplied their selection of "Fat Tire" beer.  After Nick purchased about $75 worth of cheese and package eats at Troyers, we stopped at Berne and to my smiles, I discover my favorite package store lady had set aside a couple of full cases of my favorite beer....Nick and I each purchased a case{$31 per} along with a cold six pack of the New Belgium Brewery's Oktoberfest Brew....."Pumpking"...with that in hand we decided to see how many old roads and near roads we could find as we zigzagged our way back into Ohio.

In the heart of eastern Indiana Amish Country, we found roads and places we never had seen...despite never being more that 25 miles from home at any one point....Amish Schools, Covered Bridges, old Amish Cemetery locations, and miles of dirt and gravel roads that led nowhere.  Here are some of the photos I took during our four hour and 75 miles of "wandering".....This weather{perfect} and this type of
"discovering" is why I feel the need to get back into Dual Sport Motorcycle riding.....by  next Spring I will, God willing, be back in that saddle.

Harvesting the Crop.....

Also this week I began harvesting some of my Sunflower Seeds....a bit early, since I planted late...but If I am to keep my personal seeds reproducing each year{along with help from the store stuff}, I figured I needed to pick and package them now, before the varmints, birds and squirrels} ate them all....they have already made a good dent into the Mammoth seeds, but I plucked enough off the flowers to stock up for next season....still more of the other smaller varieties to pick, but those will wait

until after the first frost....













Blast from the past......

Some 44 years ago in the fall of 1969 3 events topped my memory banks from my stay an Nha Trang AB on the South China Sea....2 air crashes and a rocket attack...all three affected me and my duties as a Air Force Security Policeman. 

(1) Photo attached...and Air Vietnam DC-3 crashed upon landing{an explosive device on board had detonated} 10 were killed on board and then the plane skited down the runway and crashed into a school house located at the end of same...killing another 50, many of those children...we were assigned to take care of the runway and keep the rubber necks and photophile types at bay.

(2)  Another F-105 crashed at the opposite end of the runway shortly before that December 1969 incident, the pilot, going the wrong way, survived, but 2 Army guys, in a 3/4 ton truck, along with several locals were killed.

(3) In October 1969, we were hit overnight by a NVA or Viet Cong Rocket and Mortar Attack....when I returned to my bunk and barracks, I picked up several pieces of shrapnel and boxed them up and sent them home...I still have those today.

Those were three memorable incidents from my stay at Nha Trang....2 days after Christmas 1969, I would be shipped to Tan Son Nhut{Saigon} where I would spend the next 6 months, before heading home, and the remainder of my Air Force tour.












Sports.....

I will work the 2nd of my 3 consecutive weeks of varsity football tonight....working again with Mosier's crew, this time as Head Linesman{the guy who controls the chains} at Ada{home of the NFL Football Factory} vs Bluffton....should be a wide open passing dominated game...

The Reds and Pirates begin the last series of the regular season tonight....a 3 game series at Cincinnati.   There will be a 4th game as well, that will come next Tuesday in the Wild Card game...whoever takes 2 of the 3{or all 3} this weekend will host the WC Game....so despite both teams eliminated from the Central Title{St Louis wins it}....the series will decide who gets to host the play-in game.

Meanwhile in the American League the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers, will decide which 2 will fill the WC game in that league.

In the NFL the Browns host the Bengals in the battle of Ohio, and #4 Ohio State will host #23

Wisconsin in the opener for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten.....seriously, despite upset predictions, I expect OSU to win fairly easy...but who am I to predict anything.


Heading out for some chores....enjoy the weekend...back later>>>>

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back From Kokomo

Last Tuesday I headed out for the 31st annual Howard County{Kokomo} Vietnam Reunion....I was back early Friday before sunrise...complete with head cold and still drying out from the heavy rains that  poured down on the campgrounds overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning...more rain would come Friday into Saturday morning, but I would be long gone, opting to get soaked Friday night at Mt. Blanchard, Ohio, filling in on Mosier's crew, at Back judge, for the Burris at Riverdale Varsity Football Game....it rained throughout the evening.

By Saturday morning, things had cleared, and the JV football game at Wapak on that schools artificial turf was pretty easy...the rains however had cancelled the Fall baseball double header, and I managed to get some afternoon sleep time..much needed to say the least, as Hal, Lisa, and Grandson K-Man were coming Saturday evening.  We watched Kasyn as the couple had a birthday party to go to...they stayed overnight and headed out Sunday morning...I spent the rest of yesterday watching
both the Reds and Bengals win big games, then mowing out yard...Patricia, still saddled with a worse cold than mine, rested as well, but is back at school today, teaching.

Today I will mow mom's yard, let that go way to long.  Will also wait for the dryer repair guy, if the part has come in, talk about pain in the asses....no electric dryer, how will I survive?{insert eye roll} Freshman game here in Celina tonight, as the week recycles once again.

Blast from the Past.....

Most of the guys have a vest celebrating their Vietnam Service...I never could see spending the money on something I would wear but 2 or 3 times per year.  However, with the Buick sale last week, I figured I best come away with something I could remember, so I bit the bullet, and purchased a nice one at Kokomo from one of the big tent vendors....had some of my patches sewed on it, and will add move as time moves on.  Next time I wear that it will be in April of next Spring at Dayton.

There were plenty of Air Force Vietnam Security Police guys at Kokomo, the usual suspects from the "Boar's Nest", McCandless, Big Sam, Wayne DeZarn, Mike Tillman, who joined us for the first time, along with Bill Harris, home from a few weeks from Saigon.  Also the other guys that usually come down...Norris, John Langley, and Phil Savage.  A wet, but good time as usual....

Political BS.....

I go to great lengths to stay away from the news when I go to these events....by the time I got back, the world still had not changed...Obama, still the lying Son of a Bitch he always is, the GOP, still the gutless turds that is in the leaderships DNA, and the stinking Islamics still killing each other and anybody else that they can....

Sports.....

As we were finishing up our football game on Friday, the Reds were making a major comeback against the Pirates....coming back from 5-2 down in the 9th to tie and then win it in the 10th on a Joey Votto home run.  After a loss Saturday, they blasted Pittsburgh on Sunday, with the Cardinals loss, the Reds and Pirates both trail St. Louis by 2 games with 6 to go....still likely to meet each other in the Wild Card game, while St Louis has the schedule in their favor to win the Division.  Meanwhile in the AL, surprising Cleveland looks poised to pick up a Wild Card game spot as well.

Ohio State went to 4-0 preceding the Big Ten season by blasting Florida A&M 76-0...and the Bengals, hosting Green Bay, blew a 14-0 lead before coming back with a last fumble run back for a 34-30 win over the Packers to move to 2-1 and tie Baltimore atop the AFC North.

Back with more later in the week>>>>

Photos-Top{l to r} Wayne DeZarn, Sam Lewis, PRH, and Tom McCandless/Grandson Kasyn races past his mom, the dogs, and my camera lens in his Grandma's Silly Garden Shoes/The new leather vest...finally broke down an bought one that recognizers my Vietnam Service.

and more from Kokomo....

at the Boar's Nest, with Big Game Champion and Vietnam Sniper Butch Meninger, PRH "Sweetie Pie", Tom McCandless, Country Singer Ricky Lee{who performed on Saturday Night} and Big Sam...middle photo Big Sam Lewis, at 6' 6" is dwarfed in his even Bigger Lawn Chair, and bottom it's me, Saigon Bill Harris, who has lived in Vietnam for the past 27 years, and John Langley who lives in my old home town of Venice,  Florida, and is the guy that introduced me to the VSPA.


Friday, September 13, 2013

A(nother) New Direction



After more than 6 years of "Blogging" I have(as I have said more than a few times recently} become bored and the blog has become stale.  Frankly, there are so many 'bloggers" out there, spewing out garbage, whether it be political, personal, sports related, blah, blah, blah, it is a wonder than this one has not completely crashed and burned....the readership, dropping from the usual 4 to 5 thousand per month, has certainly done that...and the page views even more so.  I am probably at 1/3 or less than the peak numbers just a year or so ago....nothing special in that fact, it is just the way things are...so, time for another change, instead of dumping the entire project, started in July 2007.

The New Look......

Not sure if this is what I want...but I do have time to mess with it some more, after all, I do have time, at least for now....but this is the new view, after about 2 years of the old layout....don't blink, I might change it come next week when I return from the annual Howard County/Kokomo Vietnam Reunion, over in central Indiana.

The Content.....

I have dropped from posting 20 or more times per month to more like 5 or 6...I would like to push that back up to about 3 times per week or 12-15 times a month...if, IF, I have something to say or show.

Photos, looking back at my past, politics, and sports, along with some selected family stuff, will be the backbone of the blog....that is why I created it back in the Summer of 07, I didn't worry or care about readership....It was more show and tell, and cuss out the political hacks that are ruining this Republic....Obama, Reid, Boehner, Cut and Run Kerry, etc, etc, ... The sports?  Yep, I will still talk about my officiating and umpiring work, and occasionally the Reds, and maybe the Blue Jackets and Flyers, come NHL time....as for the NFL or gawd forbid the NBA...you won't find much of that here, never have, and I won't waste my time with it now.

OK...let's get (re) Started.....

Today's Photo from the past: Brother Mike Houseworth and me in 1958 playing baseball for the Venice{Florida} Elks Little League team....



Political Look:  Has anybody noticed how the Lame Stream Media controls the game...?  A week or two ago it was Egypt, and "What are we going to do"?  Well they{sadly including Fox} got bored and now it's Syria and Poison Gas 24/7, with a bit of the Budget Crisis thrown in for good measure....long off the headlines and tube are Egypt, the Benghazi Murders, the IRS, and the rest....the media has to protect that half breed half wit in the White House...the most incompetent and out of touch bastard ever to hold high office...this Kenyan fool beats even that dimwitted Jimmy Carter.

Sports:  The Cincinnati Reds, still firmly locked in the final wild card spot in the National League, head to Milwaukee tonight....I was there last month and took in one of the loses to the lowly

Brewers...Cincy has to do better in the next handful of games between Milwaukee and the celler dwelling AL West Houston Astros, or they will be looking over their shoulders at the Washington Nationals, winners of 6 in a row, and facing a 10 game homestand.....The Reds should hold on to at least a Wild Card...but I've seen stranger things happen.

Meanwhile in the AL there are at least a half dozen teams still in the hunt for the final 2 spots...Tampa Bay, Texas, the Yankees, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Kansas City, are among those trying to move up to a district crown or move into a secure Wild Card spot....exciting times coming up.

On a pesonal front:  After a week of record and near record heat, today dawned more "fall like"....clouds followed by sun, but the temperatures won't make it out of the  60s.....next week in Kokomo, it looks fairly nice at this time, with a chance of a day or two of rain.

No varsity game tonight....my next one is at Lima Perry on October 4th with the guys from Columbus....I like it this way.  After last year I was sick{not to mention my feet were falling apart} and tired of working every Friday night and not getting home until after Midnight.  Tomorrow I have another triple header, JV football at Versailles in the morning and a baseball double at Spencerville in the afternoon.  Sunday is my final youth football Sunday until early October{having decided to cut back on those as well}...and after a Freshman game on Monday, here in Celina, I head for Kokomo and a meet up with a dozen or so old Vietnam Sky Cops and about 10,000 other Vietnam Veterans and a few Wannabees and wives....the Security Police gang, well we all solo, the women{much to their better thinking} on our side avoid this "party"....plenty of cigar smoking, bs'ing and moonshine and beer will be downed, although I have made a promise to myself I will cut way back on that....I would like to just kick back and watch the show....SOBER!  But it won't be easy....

I will post again before heading out...enjoy the weekend, back later>>>>

Photos-The Boar's Nest....home of Tom McCandless at Kokomo....it's where I stay in June and September, this year however, we will have more room as Big Sam Lewis, now has a campsite as well nearby, and most of us will be hanging, drinking, and crashing at night in either or both locations....depending on how much "shine" we get into....you can always find the Boar's nest on the southwest end...thanks to the ever present Sweetie Pie the Wild Boar, who lost her head a few years ago:


Sweetie Pie
from the
Boar's Nest in Kokomo

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Glutton for Punishment?


Glutton for Punishment?   Well not really, but sometimes I even wonder about myself and the schedule I have worked out for me....

Tonight will end a string of six days of activity on the officiating front, that has been made more intense by the Summer-Like heat that has finally arrived....in September no less!  95 is on the forecast card for today, after reaching a near record(for September 9th) 91 yesterday...

Last Thursday I worked a Junior High football game to get things started off....this was followed by a nearly 3 hour 82 point Varsity game at Fort Loramie on Friday evening...those were the warm-ups.  On Saturday I traveled south and east to Minster for a JV game with Celina in the morning...a trip home, a bite to eat and then on to Spencerville for 4 hours of double header baseball.  Drinking way too many beers after that busy day, I crawled out to the Eastview Park side of Celina and worked a youth double header on Sunday...4 hours later I was over as sister's house as some of the family had a cookout, since the youngest sister and husband were coming down from his Chef gig on the St. Lawrence Seaway Islands, on their way back to south Florida for the fall and winter....again way too many beers.

Yesterday afternoon a Freshman game here in Celina, followed by less beer as I watched the Reds lose a golden opportunity to move closer to first place, by losing to the lowly Cubs...tonight we will
swelter in the heat again as the Celina 7th grade team hosts visiting Ottawa-Glandorf.  That will end a long string...tomorrow night, the spouses, along with mom and brother Mike will eat dinner out, before youngest sister Kelly and "Denmark" Mike make roads back to Naples, via Columbus to visit with some of the other members of the family.

Thursday, another Junior High game at Crestview...but no varsity game on Friday this week for me, so Saturday, despite 3 games, should be better, especially since the heat wave is slated to end by Friday.  Sunday another youth double, followed by a JV game here in Celina next Monday....then 4 or 5 days off to head to the Howard County/Kokomo Vietnam Reunion...the annual get together which draws thousands for the camp out....That will take me to the first day of Fall...and hopefully  the weather will be cooler from there on out, but not cold...I am not ready for that yet.!

back later>>>The Backyard Sunflowers(and others) have reached their peak and are now heading toward the fall season...son Hal and grandson Kasyn staying cool at the family get together on Sunday...and Next week at this time I will be with Big Sam, Tom McCandless, and other former Vietnam Sky Cops at the Kokomo Healing Grounds and Reunion...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Another Day with the K~Man

Took care of grandson Kasyn yesterday...the final scheduled sitting with him for the Summer, although I am sure he will be seen much more with his mom still working once a week in Wapak and son Hal on the road many days this fall. 

Sister Kelly and her husband "Denmark Mike" will be returning from upstate New York and stopping by Celina on their way back to Naples, Florida, this week...so we will have a family get together on Sunday.

Busy weekend coming up...in addition to our get together.  It all starts tonight with a Junior High game at Crestview, tomorrow I fill in with a Columbus crew working back judge at Fort Loramie in a non-league Varsity game against New Bremen...Saturday at Minster for a JV game, then a baseball double header back at Spencerville Saturday Afternoon.  Finally on Sunday I will work a Youth Football double header here in Celina...good paychecks but the work will keep me plenty busy.

Next week will be full as well...then I take most of the following week off for the annual Kokomo Vietnam Reunion get-together....

Enjoy your weekend....back later>>>>

Photos-Kasym despite a head cold enjoyed his Breakfast Yogart....not sure about his first trip through an automatic Cash Wash though....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Wierd Sunset...

Finished working my Triple Header, a JV Football, and two lower level fall baseball games, about 6:30 yesterday...I headed home the half hour drive via the back roads from Spencerville.  The day had been hot and humid, although the final hours of the baseball the sun had slid behind the clouds and a bit of rain hit Celina, most of it however had dropped south.

Patricia and I sat on the front porch, something rare for me, usually preferring the back yard, her reading, me with a couple of cold domestic beers and a Indian Tabac Torpedo, hand rolled Cigar.  As the sun began to set I looked to the west and saw a collection of clouds with sun peaking through like I had never seen before....the sun bursting through some broken clouds, looked like a Cross on a stained glass window.  Patricia rushed to the Nitro where I had the
Nikon in the center compartment...by the time she returned I snapped off a few shots of the sun and clouds, they still were in intriguing shapes, but not quite as pronounced as those I had originally seen...wish I could have snapped the cross and stained glass look....but you get an idea from the views I did capture.

back later>>>>