Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Need To Be Careful Or I Might Get Penalized.

Many of you are aware of the fact that THE Ohio State Buckeyes put a whooping on the team up north again (37-7 final score). I did not see the game, but I listened to it in it's entirety on the flagship home of Buckeye sports.

The Buckeyes played in throwback uniforms that honored the 1942 OSU team that won the National Championship (of which 8 of them are still alive and were in attendance). These uniforms were designed by Nike and (I assume) OK'ed by the NCAA (if they weren't OK'ed, how were they able to use them?). I've read that a lot of people think the flag patch was sewn on backwards. It is the military version. When the cavelry charged, the standard bearer carried the flag on a pole. This is what it looked like while charging into battle. The USA was in a war in 1942 for those of you who don't know history too well.

The thing that gets me is that OSU was called for excessive celebration after scoring. The gloves are designed to form a "Block O" when brought together.

This is excessive celebration? Where are the penalty flags when Oregon (currently ranled at #1 in the BCS poll) does the exact same thing? No flags either on the Gator chomp, Longhorn hook 'em, Alabama A, Seminole tomahawk chop, etc. Do the refs actually have it out for OSU? Perhaps I shouldn't ask that. I might get hit with a "Questioning the authority of the referees" foul. That's half the distance to the goal & automatic first down.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flashback Friday # 115

Can I Play Football?

Greeting to those who have taken time to stop by.

Since Thanksgiving was yesterday, and I've blogged before about what we ate (or I didn't, due to being a picky eater), I will direct this post-Thanksgiving post (did I lose you there?) on the other aspect of Thanksgiving, football.

Near the end of my 8th grade year, the reserve football coach from the High School called a meeting of all those who would be freshmen next year, and interested in playing football. There was some talk that, if there was enough participation, a 9th grade football team would be formed. This would be totally separate from the reserve team that the Freshmen currently played on.

Each boy was given a permission slip and a physical to be filled out by a doctor. My folks said I could, and Gattabout gave his support. An appointment was set for the physical.

When we got to the doctor's office, we waited our turn in line. Since we lived in a small town, and there was only one doctor, you sometimes had to wait a while. His office always had a very antiseptic smell to it. Anytime I drive by the former office, which is now some body's house, I wonder if it still smells the same way.

But I digress. The doctor rendered me fit and we paid the bill. I was excited. When we got home, Mom told me that she had been talking to Aunt Bonnie on the phone, and mentioned that I was going to play football. She reminded Mom that her youngest son played football and broke his leg. Mom didn't like the idea of me breaking my leg. She had changed her mind about me playing football.

Since I wasn't allowed to play organized football, I played it with even more gusto on the playground. I don't ever recall breaking my leg playing football.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Coming Soon To A Store Near You

I'm planning on going out with "The Ogre" somewhere after 4 AM tomorrow. I always wear a hockey jersey when I go shopping on Black Friday because if a fight breaks out, I want to be dressed for it. Call me crazy. Everyone else does.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quotes To Live By

I've mentioned before that on the back of my Dilbert page-a-day calendar are puzzles, trivia, this day in history and quotes. There are two quotes that have shown up recently that have set some calm to the raging storms that have surrounded me the last couple of months.

The first one is by American poet Paul Eldridge:
"To judge a man's character by only one of its manifestations is like judging the sea by a jugful of it's water."

The second is by American writer,publisher, artist and philosopher Elbert Hubbard:
"Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it anyway."

I don't know if they did anything for you, but they sure did me a world of good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flashback Friday # 114

Taping The Football Team

Greetings one and all. Allow me to rewind history. Let's cue up the scene selection. In short, we get to look at the time where I, and my friend Juan Gorillis, got to be the guys up in the press box.

It started innocently enough. We were approached by the Jr. high football coach mainly (I think) because we were the only guys big enough to play that weren't. He wanted to know if we would want to tape the 8th grade football games so the team could review them later in the week. The high school kid who was doing it would be starting an after school job, and would be unable to tape the final three games. We got permission from our parents, and got the position.

Our first day we met at the high school field for our instructor to show up. Our Jr. high didn't have a football field of it's own, so the Jr. High played during the week, when the High School team wasn't using the field.

Our instructor was an 11th grader who was in the Media Club. He helped us tote the equipment up into the press box. We set up the camera on a tripod and set the recorder on a table. This was not a VHS recorder. This was an old reel-to-reel recorder (this was 1978). Once the film was fed through the recorder, we were ready to go. One of us would run the camera, while the other watched the film to make sure it didn't tangle or jam. As soon as he showed us how everything worked, he left. He said he would be back near the end of the game to help take everything back into the school.

While we were waiting for the game to start, I looked out toward the road. A Sheriff's Deputy had pulled a car over. It looked like it was Sir Gattabout. It WAS Sir Gattabout. (Sorry this is out of chronological order, I just remembered this the other day) I whipped the camera around and we did out visual quality check on his traffic stop. There was no audio to this set up. Good thing because we were a couple of jabber jaws.

Once the game started, we commenced to filming. I would run the camera for a quarter, then Juan would trade off. This way we both got to run both pieces of equipment. Near the end of the game, we looked like we were going to have a problem. It looked like we were going to run out of tape, and there wasn't an extra to install.

Almost as soon as we began to fret about this, out instructor showed back up. We told him our concerns. He didn't understand why that would happen. Then he asked if we had turned the tape off in between plays. Turn the tape off in between plays??? NOBODY had said anything about doing that !!! Immediately we began doing that, but to no avail. Shortly after we ran out of tape, the opposing team scored, ruining the shutout. After the game we took everything back in, but we didn't tell the coach that we ran out of tape.

He found out during the tape session with the team. He pulled us aside and instructed us in the way more perfectly. He didn't appreciate the traffic stop at the beginning either (oops, we forgot to rewind that). The breakdown in the defense was forever lost since we didn't catch it on tape because we had run out.

The following week, we arrived to do our job again. We knew what to do and how to correctly do it. We were determined not to mess up. There was only one problem, Our media instructor failed to show. No equipment, no key to the press box, no way home until after the game. Now what? We were pressed into service doing the down marker and measurement chains on the sidelines. Two fat boys running back & forth onto the field to measure and up & down following the ball was enough to gas us.

The following week everything clicked in place. We filmed the game (the WHOLE game) and did a good job of it. The only problem was, it was the last game. Now that we figured everything out, the season was over. Both Juan and I joined the Media Club when we got to High School.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Terror In A Small Town

Normally, this blog deals with the funny side of life. There is absolutely nothing funny about this post. Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock has heard of the family in Central Ohio who have been missing since last Wednesday.

Sunday morning, the 13 year old girl was found bound & gagged in a house that is a two minute drive from my grandson's school. Security measures have been stepped up dramatically at his school. A nearby park with a pond (actually a former gravel quarry) has been searched extensively. One of the teachers said that the frequent fly-overs by search helicopters keep the windows rattling constantly

The home owner is currently being held on a kidnapping charge. As of yesterday he was not cooperating with authorities. A couple of former service members from my church have volunteered to "assist" the sheriff's office in the questioning of this man.

This morning volunteers met at the Sheriff's office to help in the search for the remaining three missing persons. The searches were to concentrate on wooded areas, of which our county has many. The other day, the Sheriff stated that the longer the remaining family members are missing, the hope of finding them alive diminishes. Today, the worst was confirmed.

According to the news conference, the kidnapping suspect told the Sheriff where to search. The Sheriff said they probably wouldn't have found them without this information. Homicide charges are pending. Currently here are no other suspects according to the Sheriff.

You don't expect something like this to happen in a small town like ours. (Actually it is a city, the county seat, but it's not all that big). Things like this happen in Columbus, Cincinnati or Cleveland, not here. One lady at my church put it best,"This is a sleepy little town. How could something like this happen here?".

Several prayer vigils are being held in the next several days. Please pray for the families of those involved with this tragedy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hello Dollies

Up in the "toy room" I had a small tin box of dollies that came in bags of toys purchased second hand. I originally kept these for "Princess Splenda" or "Miss A" to play with, but they didn't seem too interested in them. However, when I brought them out for "The Girl" to play with, it was love at first sight.

She had a wonderful time. The blue thing in her hand is the small brush that was in the tin.
She brushed the hair of the dolls who had it. She kissed on them. She jabbered like a Chinaman to them. There was about $1.99 spent on those dollies. It was money well spent.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday # 113

Uncle Charles

Greeting to one and all. I hope you are doing well. Welcome back to another edition of Flashback Friday. Seeing that Veteran's Day was yesterday,in today's edition you will get to learn a little about the most colorful veteran I knew while growing up. My Great Uncle Charles. He looked a little like actor Jack Albertson (only with glasses).

Uncle Charles lived in Chicago, and would come over to visit my Grandmother about twice a year at her house in Westerville. Everybody loved it when he came because he had a great sense of humor. He also wasn't beyond lavishing everyone with gifts. We kids especially liked him. It was a child's dream to approach a candy counter at a department store and hear the grown-up in charge say "pick out whatever you want".

Uncle Charles was born in Central Ohio, and enlisted in the Army when WWII broke out. He was sent to the European theater. I overheard him telling a story about the fighting during The Battle Of The Bulge. He wouldn't tell combat stories to us kids, so we would have to sneak and try to garner bits of information. He gave Grandma a scrapbook of stamps from all the countries he was in. He also gave her other mementos from the war:

Pictured are a hat, sleeve patches, a Luftwaffe armband and buckle and a small U.S. Army flag. I got these after Grandma passed.

Not only did he like to drop money on us kids, he liked to drop money on the ponies. Central Ohio is home to two large horse racing tracks, and he went to them both every time he visited. Since Grandma didn't drive, and he usually flew in, he would get a cab to one, catch a cab to the other, then catch a cab back to her house. Nobody was allowed to go with him when he went to "play the ponies". Rumor had it, he had some "connections" back in Chicago.

We were saddened when we received the news that he had contracted lung cancer (he was a HEAVY smoker). He wasn't given long. When he passed, he was flown in to Westerville for the funeral. He was interned in my hometown of Marengo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Offensive Garfield Comic Strip?

Today's "Garfield" comic strip may be considered offensive by some to veterans. Yes we are talking about the same fat, lasagna eating cat. Cartoonist Jim Davis makes the strips months in advance and today's strip deals with spiders talking about "National Stupid Day". In case you didn't realize it yet, today is Veteran's Day.

Mr. Davis wrote a profound apology. You can see the strip, and read the apology he wrote by clicking here.
BTW- I loved some of the comments on this story by our veterans. God bless them all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flashback Friday # 112

Maternal Grandparents

Greetings one and all. Welcome back to this little plot of cyberspace that I call Flashback Friday. I have described my paternal grandparents who lived in Westerville, but I have yet to mention my maternal grandparents. This post is to remedy that.

My maternal grandparents lived in a "suburb" of our county seat. I can only remember being there a few times. I do remember, however, that under no circumstances did you ever leave anything there. Grandpa said that if something of yours spent the night at his house, it became his. I also remember, thanks to my brother bringing it up, that he had a talking crow named Joe.

Grandpa had a motorcycle with a sidecar that he rode to most places. At least most places that he didn't want Grandma to go with him. She was, being politically correct, caloricly challenged. She had a hard time squeezing herself into the sidecar. She drove her car to wherever she was going.

One evening, when I was 5 or 6, Grandpa headed off to bingo with some of my relatives (he loved bingo, as does most of Mom's family). While on the way, he suffered a massive heart attack. He died before they could get him to the hospital.

One of the stranger things that I can recall, happened at his funeral. The funeral was over, and the family was headed to the graveside service. As we were getting out of the car, I told my Mom, "Look, there's Grandpa in the sky". Mom felt a child of my age wouldn't be making something like that up.

Grandma lived another 4 years after Grandpa's demise. One of the funniest stories that I can remember about her happened at our house. We had hosted a family get together. In doing so, we had to haul out the folding chairs. She chose one of these to sit in. While folks were outside enjoying every one's company, Grandma stayed inside to watch TV. She fell asleep while watching. As she slept, her posterior squeezed itself through the opening of the folding chair like a play dough fun factory. Dad walked in and saw her rear hanging down and let out a laugh so loud that it woke her up. she yelled at him to stop laughing, and help her out of the chair.

When I was 9, Grandma passed away, also of a heart attack.

Mom has a picture of them together, so I took a picture of it with my cell phone. Mom was fascinated that I could do such a thing. Here is a picture of my maternal grandparents:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

EVERYBODY!!!! It's Time To Do The Happy Dance!

Today I was informed that this week will be my final week of being Nanny at work. Yay. Yay.