Monday, April 30, 2012

My Kids Say I Drive Too Slow

I get teased a lot from my kids about how slow I drive. I usually don't go much faster than 5 mph over the speed limit. Saturday, I did something to quiet them, I hope, for a bit. I actually was driving faster than an airplane on the freeway. I made sure my wife took a picture as we were passing to prove it.

So the plane had no wings and was attached to a trailer. No need to discuss technicalities.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flashback Friday #183

My Last Grandparent

Hello again. It's so nice to see you drop by. Well I can't actually see you, but you know what I mean.

I have written extensively about my grandparents in Westerville (30 posts to be exact, this one makes #31). Unfortunately, this will be my last post about my adventures in Westerville. With the passing of my paternal grandmother (grandpa had died eight years earlier), the only reason I ever went to Westerville was to work with Mom at the tile factory or to go shopping in the mall.

Grandma was funny in her own sort of way. If you've ever seen "Sanford & Son" and seen Fred digging through a drawer of glasses until he finds a pair that work, my grandma did the same thing. She never had seen an optometrist. When someone was getting new glasses, she asked for the old ones. Mom decided to take her to get her eyes examined and get her some glasses of her own.

It wasn't but a few months after that that she her first heart attack. The glasses didn't have anything to do with it (at least I hope not). It was a relatively mild one, and she was attended to quickly. After a few weeks, most folks had forgotten she had one, seeing she was back to normal.

She then had another one. This one was bigger than the last one. She wound up in the hospital. One of her doctors suggested that her poor oral health may have contributed to her illness. She, like Dad, didn't pay too much attention to oral hygiene. He suggested that if she had her teeth removed (like Dad had), she may  be able to fend of any more heart problems. She consented. When I visited her in the hospital, I almost didn't recognize her.

One thing she always did was keep tabs on how every one's family was doing. She asked Mom frequently about Aunt Liza & Uncle Brad. She had known that they were in a car accident, and wanted to know how they were doing. Mom always told her that they were doing fine, because she was afraid that the truth would be too much for her.

After she came home from the hospital, she was under constant watch. Aunt Beth had lived with her after her youngest son's death. She took off work for a few weeks, just to make sure Grandma was getting along OK. Grandma seemed to be gaining strength and it looked like she might be out of the woods. My folks had discussed with Aunt Beth as to whether they should tell her the truth about Aunt Liza & Uncle Brad. They came to the conclusion that she was strong enough to handle the truth. The next time she asked how they were doing, Mom told her that Uncle Brad had died and Aunt Liza had been hurt badly and was facing a long road to recovery. She seemed to take the news well enough.

The next day, we got the call that Grandma had another heart attack and was being taken to the hospital. Had the news done it? Nobody knows. She didn't recover from this one.

Grandma had requested that she be buried in a blue & white polka dot dress. She didn't own one, so the search was on to find one. The question arose, did she want a white dress with blue dots or a blue dress with white dots? A blue one was found and purchased.
At her funeral, I met several members of Dad family that I had never met before. I hadn't had much interaction with Dad's side of the family. A few days after the funeral, Aunt Beth had contacted an antique dealer and sold the contents of Grandma's at a ridiculously low price. Her house then went up for sale and sold quickly.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

OSU Spring Game

Saturday I, and four other friends, made the trek to Columbus to attend the OSU Srping Game. The weather wasn't what we were hoping for (chilly & damp) but we had a good time nonetheless.
Of course, you can't have college football without the marching band. In the end zone sat TBDBITL.
I didn't know until after the game that my lens had a smudge on it. If there's the least amount of sunlight (which yesterday was the least amount of sunlight), you can barely see the screen. Nevertheless, these pictures cannot be replaced, so I'll just have to live with the results.
There was some good football played. OSU's starting QB, Braxton Miller led the Scarlet Team. Back-up QB Kenny Guyton led the Gray Team. Head Coach Urban Meyer has said that all positions were up for grabs and he'll play the best players. There were guys trying to impress the coach yesterday.
The final score was 20-14 with Team Scarlet being victorious. On a cold, damp day, the announced attendance was 81,112. To compare that number, Boston College had an attendance of 275 for their Spring Game.
There were signs posted that said "NO PASS OUT". I guess no matter how excited you are at being at the game, you're not allowed to faint. Seeing that there was one of us in the party that had NEVER been to the Horseshoe, He had a hard time obeying the signs.

I sent this pic to NinjaJohn. I added the tag "I couldn't find Butthead Hall". He sent the message back "LOLZ, but the didn't spell Beavis right".

At dinner, I amazed the guys by balancing my silverware several times. I told them this drives my wife crazy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flashback Friday # 182

A Trip To Aunt Joan's

Greetings one & all. Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy day to stop by.

I've told you about how close I was to Aunt Shelly's kids because they were close proximity to us and close to my age. I had other cousins throughout the state of Ohio, but because they lived far away, or were older (therefore meaner), I didn't get close to very many of them. One such set of cousins were Aunt Joan & Uncle Robby's kids.

One of the reasons we didn't see Aunt Joan & her kids more often is because they lived 1 1/2 hours away. I can only remember being at their house twice. The first time I was only eight or so. I don't remember much about that trip. She was having a reunion at her house. We left our house around 9 AM. Back then, there were no video games or DVD players to keep kids interested. You took a book and read until you started feeling queasy. You looked out the windows the rest of the time.

When we finally got there, Aunt Joan had her girls busy in the kitchen helping out. Her boys were finishing up their chores quickly. Uncle Robby was a farmer and everyone was expected to help on the farm. His five kids were taught the ins & outs of farming from their youth. There were three boys & two girls. Gootch, Melany, Robby Jr, Pudgy & Timmy. Timmy was closest to my age.

The boys took us to the hayloft when we learned the fine art of corn warfare. Shell the feed corn, throw it like buckshot, then fling the cob like a grenade. We also were shown how to swing on the pulley that was used to get things up & down from the loft. We also mad forts out of the bales of hay. They boys liked wrestling too. Timmy tackled me and we commenced to go at it. The farm chores had the effect of making him quite strong for his age. I didn't have a chance.

Uncle Robby pulled out his tractor and took all the kids out for a hayride. Once we were done, he asked if anyone wanted to go on another tractor ride. seeing that the only tractors we ever got to ride was riding lawn mowers, we said yes. He hooked the tractor up to a wagon and told us to climb in. when we got over the side, we discovered that it was a manure spreader. He said as long as we stayed off the conveyor belt, we had nothing to worry about. I hugged the side for all I was worth.

As it was beginning to get dark, we all said our goodbyes. We tried at least once a year to have a reunion. Mostly it was in parks in Marion or Masslion. We didn't have them at our kins house very often. By the time we got home, I was asleep.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flashback Friday # 181

Yep, That's My Saw

Hello. It's so nice of you to make room in your busy schedule to drop in. Pardon me while I tidy the place up a bit. There's saw dust everywhere.

Why is there saw dust everywhere? I'll tel you why. In my last installment of Flashback Friday, I told you about working as a finish carpenter. We cut a lot of wood while making floors, stairs, banisters & trim. You need a good saw to do that. How would you know which saw is yours if you are working with other carpenters? You could do something plain like writing your name on it, however, Dad had a distinct way of knowing which saw was his.

Dad worked fast. We got paid by the job, not by the hour. There was no dilly-dallying around him. There was a problem with that, he wasn't always careful. I'm not talking safety careful, because he was extremely careful regarding safely handling the equipment. My first day, he took my hands in his and held my fingers up for me to see. "Be very careful.", he said. "There cannot be replaced". Long time readers know that his father lost his fingers in a farming accident.

The way Dad wasn't careful was that he didn't always check to see what was under the wood he was cutting. I heard the buzz of the saw and then here a loud "zing" and then the saw would get quiet. He had a habit of cutting the cords off his saws. He'd cuss, then get the black electrical tape and put the cord back together and commence cutting. I lost track of how many saws he had done that to.

Once, he even cut the cord off of an electric miter saw. He was cutting lots of pieces of trim the same size. The set the stop and proceeded to cut those pieces like a sawmill. Grab, cut& move down. Grab, cut & move down. Once he grabbed the cord with the trim and had cut through it before he had realized what he had done. His buddy didn't let him live that one down for a long time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Anyone who knows me, knows that I like entering the codes you find on products to enter contests & get free stuff. A while back, I received an email from the Diet Mt. Dew "Fuel The Frenzy" sweepstakes. It told me that I had won a prize and I would be receiving in in 4-6 weeks. They didn't tell me what the prize was. I thought it might be a hat (which I've won from Sprite) or a shirt (which I've won from Dr. Pepper and Coke).

My award came this weekend. It wasn't a hat or a shirt, but It could be. It was a $50 gift card to the ESPN store.

Even though I've looked at the website, I still don't have a clue how I'm going to spend it.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flashback Friday # 180

Meet the Big Boss

A warm welcome to all who have ventured here from the cold, sterile area know as cyberspace. It will be warm indeed, since the subject is Summer. More specifically, the summer following my Freshman year in High School.

I told you in a former post that Dad had become a contractor. I went with Dad at times to the new homes he was working on as a finish carpenter. I had the responsibility of installing most of the hardware you see in a new house. That included installing all the cabinet & drawer pull and knobs. I also installed all the springy door stops. I also had to lay the track for the closet doors and hang the doors so they ran freely.

I also got to cut the underlayment that goes under the linoleum in the kitchens. Fortunately, there were few weird corners or angles in these kitchens. I could handle most of the straight cuts.

I did have a few problems, by times. Seeing that you use the materials that have been purchased by someone else, sometimes these material weren't the best. One time I was installing a sheet of underlayment that was wavy on one side. I used a whole box of nails to nail that piece down, so it wouldn't feel spongy. Just moments after I had told Dad that I had used a whole box of nails on that sheet, The BIG Boss shows up and asks how things are going. He looked around a bit, then walked across the sheet I had just nailed down. "Feels a little spongy.", he says. "You might want to put a few more nails in it." All Dad said was "Yes, Sir."

I also got the job of hanging the upper cabinets on the kitchens. Since I was smaller, and could get up on the counter tops easily, Dad wasted no time in showing me how to do it. Every kitchen in these house were the same, so if you did one, you knew how to do them all. One problem we had was that the cabinets weren't the best money could buy. Many times we had to repair them before we could hang them. Once the Big Boss arrived unannounced (once again to check on the progress). He asked what we thought of the cabinets that he had chosen. I (not knowing that this was the Big Boss) told him "We would probably be better off hanging the boxes they came in on the wall. They were much sturdier than the cabinets". He simply looked at me odd and walked away. Perhaps he never had anyone speak speak frankly to him before.

More about my summer jobs in later posts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


This is a machine at COSI. For $2 you can stand in this booth for 30 seconds and experience high winds. This is an absolute cash cow. For those of you that have trouble with arithmatic, that equals $240 per hour. At that rate, I had to wonder if there was a lawyer hiding in the back of it. This would explain the cost and the high winds.