Thoughts and assorted philosophical musing about: Family, Friends, Fun, Hobbies, & other everyday things.
My continuing efforts to serve as a First Sergeant (Top) in the Army of God.
My latest interest is in Letterboxing.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Slider, Baskets, Roadrunner and Fall Weddings

I'm catching flack for not posting so here is an update:

Yesterday was Donna's Birthday. This week she had a girls night out there they gave her some gifts including a "Slider" cap. I took her out for her favorite meal i.e., all you can eat shrimp at Red Lobster. She went to a Longaberger basket party hosted by one of her retired teaching colleagues who presented her with a gift, and she got together with her sister for lunch and a chat. Next Saturday the kids, and her sister are getting together here for a Birthday dinner. Finally after months of hounding her, she gave me a couple of gift "suggestions" last night... a bit late but whatever. So I have been running around today to arrange for her desires. I figure she will also want Indians game tickets again this year.

Speaking of the Indians, they finally came alive after most of the season was over and played the spoiler role very well winning most of there last few games. The Browns actually beat Cincinnati. Ohio State won but not by enough to change there standing very much. All in all a very good week for Ohio sports fans. Pro basketball starts soon but we don't really follow the Cavaliers.

I spent a good bit of several days out letterboxing. The first day I found two in Brunswick that I had been unable to get to before as I ran out of time. The second outing I went for three boxes, two of them were missing and the 3rd I didn't figure out.

Saturday, after a doctor's appointment Donna went to lunch with her sister, Meanwhile I provided communications support for the Akron Roadrunner Marathon. After that I drove home and discovered that a series of 8 new boxes, "Fall Wedding at the Falls", had just been posted in Olmsted Falls which is no more that five miles from my home. They are in a city park along the river. I had been in a few small portions of this park in the past and decided to give it a try. As it turned out the search required navigating some stairs and a little rock climbing, but the return trip was a much more gentle slope. I came home satisfied but very tired.

So it has been a good week for family, sports, letterboxing, and a bit of civic action.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Indians and Rainbows


Yesterday was the end of a pretty satisfying week. As a result of missing games while recovering from her knee surgery Donna had several unused Indians tickets to exchange in addition to her regular tickets for Monday and Wednesday nights. I went with her Monday, but I am hard pressed to sit through more than one game a week. She ended up going with various friends on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The Indians won each and every game, why didn’t they do that early in the season? The Ohio State Buckeyes also won yesterday, but not convincingly enough to keep them from dropping another point in the rankings to number 14. Of course the Browns continued with their routine string of losses.

I have felt pretty well recently and with Donna out at games I took advantage of unoccupied time on Friday and Saturday to again do some more boxing. Friday I was able to recover 3 of 6 boxes from the “Rainbow” series in Brunswick, plus an additional unrelated (W.W.J.D.) one.

Then on Saturday a new series of 3 boxes in Sheffield Village was announced. Saturday afternoon while Donna went to the Indians game I went after those boxes. I had hopes of being the first finder, even though it was unlikely after others had the opportunity all day on Saturday. I wasn’t but they are very pretty boxes.

I am now making plans for recovering those remaining in the “Rainbow” series plus several others in Brunswick. Perhaps I can do it later this week.

In preparation for the coming winter I am also beginning to make plans for boxes to plant near home and at the beach. Making a good group of boxes requires developing a general theme, selecting the subject of individual boxes, writing the description and general clues, selecting an image to use, carving and assembling the stamp, making a log book, preparing the complete box, locating a specific place to leave it, actually planting the box, then finally preparing and publishing the specific clues for other letterboxers to locate it. I am almost looking forward to the winter.

I was also very pleased to be able to re-establish contact this week with my one and only truly close friend from Junior High and High School. It is going to be difficult to get together with them as he and his family live a long way from here and neither of us has much extra money.

I have volunteered for another Ham Radio public service event (A Marathon) in Akron next Saturday. I need to get ready for that and I have to be there at 5:30 Saturday Morning… how is that for dedication to a cause.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hercules, Fairy Tales, and Politics


The question of the day is: What do Greek/Roman Gods, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and Politicians have in common besides the rather obvious allusion to fables?

My last job before retiring was with the TSA - Homeland Security. For a period lasting about 6 month this included the duty of traveling to Youngstown Regional Airport several times a week. This is a rather large field used by an Air National Guard unit which operates C-130 Hercules aircraft. The C-130 has been the mainstay of Military air transportation for many years. There is a small private presence on the East side of the Field where "Winner Aviation" flies some ancient turbo props on charter junkets several times a week. A few executive jets are also housed there.

On Sunday I received a message offering me VIP tickets to a McCain rally that would be held in the Winner Hanger on Tuesday. If you have read my "Gods Janitor" blog and my profile you know that I tend to hold very conservative views. Over the years I have frequently not been enthralled with Sen. McCain's position. I am not a fan of his and he was not my pick for the nomination. On the other hand I am also skeptical of Sen. Obama's "Changes". So I took them up on the invite, got my ticket, and drove out to listen to McCain & Palin. I was able to get a first row location at the right front corner of the platform. I think that they have may have won me over. I did get Sarah's autograph.

Now I did not want to pass up a chance to letterbox so I ran a search for some in that area and found that a C-130 stamp rests in a Vienna, OH (Pronounced with a long I "V-eye-enna") cemetery just a few miles from the rally site. It is about a 75 minute trip one way, so I left home about 10:30 worked the letterbox, then arrived at the rally site a little before 1 p.m.

On Monday I had also been able to make my search for those mystery boxes I talked about earlier. I was able to locate 2 of the main boxes and all three bonus boxes. These are a series titled "Fairy Tale Trail" and they are very pretty stamps.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Loser Weekend but with a rainbow

Yes it was a loser weekend! I have felt yucky since Friday. We did not go the the Indians game Friday night. I was not feeling very well and the weather threatened to be bad. It turned out to be a wonderful game. Everything went downhill from there for Northeast Ohio Sports Fans.


Saturday the Indians lost both games of a double header to Kansas City: 8-3 and 8-4.
They followed up Sunday with another loss, this time a rousing 13-3.



Then there are the Ohio State Buckeyes. After a 35-3 loss to USC they have dropped to lucky number 13 in the rankings.



Finally last night the Browns played arch rival Pittsburgh. Fortunately the remnants of Hurricane Ike came rolling through and knocked our power out so that we were not obliged to watch the results. Of course the Browns lost 10-6, but that's a better score than the Indians Games.


This morning at 4:30 suddenly all the lights in the house came on. At least it seemed like all of them at the time. I got up checked stuff out for damage, then tried to crawl back in bed. In checking out the computer and the cable links I browsed to my daughters web site. I am glad I did as sometime last night she had changed the sites skin to a fall theme which looks very nice, and had posted a great story about our Grandson. That was my second moral boost for the day.

The first was a great neighborly act. A few years ago a new family moved in across the street. Soon afterwords several incidents led to a few redneck comments being made. However, as we got to know them, they turned out to be great folks. They are literally the kind that would give you the shirt off their back. Yesterday this was aptly illustrated when we lost power on our block, but not on the opposite side of the street. When he saw Donna come home from church to a darkened home, he appeared with an extension cable which he had run all the way across the street to provide us with some power. Now I have never had that happen before, and I would not have thought to do it myself. That is a good neighbor. If they are rednecks I will take a whole block full of them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Memories and Mysteries

Yesterday was 9/11+7. For some unknown reason it was a hard day for me. I experienced feelings similar to those that I experience on Memorial day. As far as I know, Unlike with my military service, I did not have anyone that I was close to lost that day. Never-the-less I was preoccupied with it all day.

I have also been thinking about our vacation at the beach. It is hard to believe that it was only two months ago. I want to find ways to make it even more meaningful to me next year. In addition to letterboxing plans, I want to do more family things. I recently found a web cam which is located on the Surf City Pier. Also This on U-tube.

I Think back many years to when our eldest son spent a day (without our knowledge) slogging through the mud flats on the sound side of one of the islands collecting crabs. At times he sunk in up to his crotch and he lost his shoes in the muck, we are lucky that he made it back alive. Needless to say we did have crabs for dinner that night. Thank you Lord for bringing him home safely.

A couple of days ago I went shopping for a few items on the other side of town, I decided that I would check for letterboxes in the area I would be traveling in. Finding one that seemed to be convenient I looked for it. As it turned out there was an public event very close by which made it difficult to get close. I was finally able to zoom in on it and discovered it to be an easy find. Way too easy. Some critter had drug it several feet from it's hiding place and had chewed a hole in the baggy around it. This is the second time in the last few weeks that I have found a hole chewed in the baggy. Maybe it is just something that occurs in the fall when they are gathering for the winter.

I have identified the location of at least 3 and possible 6 mystery letterboxes. I had intended to look for them this morning but it is raining pretty hard, I don't think today will be the day for them. I will have to keep them for another day. Perhaps I will work on making boxes and stamps the rest of the day.


Tonight Donna wants to go to another Indians Game. The weather will be lousy... Oh well we will see what happens .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Drowning a Hitchhiker

Saturday my daughter drove down from North of Detroit just to spend a day shopping and getting a massage with her mother... Those ladies LOVE to do both!

That left me with little to do except run a few errands - which I did. Then I went out to find 4 nearby letterboxes (The Cleveland's Pride series) which I had been saving for a day with lots of time and good, mild weather as they are scattered over several miles of trail. I parked, got out my trusty scooter, and was off. It was a pretty trail which distracted me so much that due to inattentiveness I had a bit of trouble finding the first box. What I discovered was a pouch made from camouflage duct tape with a flap to cover the top. The flap was open and the pouch was standing upright in it's appointed place. The result was an uncalibrated rain gauge.

Upon removing the contents I discovered that it was not closed because someone had placed a hitchhiker (Sweet Treats: Candy Hearts) in the bottom of the pouch which did not leave enough room for it to seal properly. To make it worse the baggy containing the hitchhikers log book was also not sealed well resulting a a very damp logbook. I stamped the Hitchhiker into the box (It had not been done when it was left). I then put it in my bag to take it home and render first aid. After doing my own stamping, I was off to the the next box. This set of four boxes had very nice stamps, good clues, and the trail (actually a bridle path) was pleasant.

I have been able to dry out the hitchhikers logbook. Some of the stamps bled a little but all are still legible. The pages will always have a distinct curl to them. Fortunately we had not had much rain and the logbook pages are made from card stock. They were pretty easy to separate so they could be dried without sticking together. When I reassembled the book I found that whoever placed it had also not stamped the box into the log... It's too late for me to correct that omission. I will send this rehabilitated Hitchhiker on it's way soon.

I don't understand why anyone would leave this cute little HH where there was not room for it and to also not stamp it in properly. I suppose that, as with any other human endeavor, we will always have some who are slothful, careless, and inconsiderate. Fortunately I was able to save it's life. Soon I will find it a proper new home.

It was a very nice day for me, in addition to visiting briefly with my little girl as she came and went, I was able to acquire 5 new stamps in four great boxes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Changes to our routine

The downstairs bathroom remodeling is completed. Although I did not want to have it done at this time, It is certainly an improvement. It is nice to have two baths again so that we do not have a morning free for all.

This has been a week of changes to our routine. Donna is now back to full time teaching at a nearby elementary school. She is a L D teacher and thrives on working with the kids and watching them develop skills, but age is catching up with her body. She has arthritis, two bad knees, and failing vision. I think this will be her last year.

We enjoyed the Labor Day weekend but did nothing really worth talking about except an Indians game Monday night. This week the weather started out too hot for me to want to be outside. Donna is trying to use up the last of her Indians ticket opportunities for the year and exchanged tickets for Tuesday night also. I did not want to go again so she went with a friend from school. We also had tickets for a day game last Wednesday but couldn't use them.

Wednesday was a nice day so I did get out and found 3 letterboxes. Thursday I was a bit under the weather. Yesterday it was cool but rainy, I did manage to find two boxes without getting totally soaked.

So it was not a bad week and we are getting settled into a new routine.