Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday with Friends

Sunday was a rather mild day for December. The day started by meeting friends for lunch in downtown Frederick at Five Guys. Five Guys is a hamburger chain started in the Washington DC that is slowly spreading across the country with great burgers and fries.

After lunch we went and saw a movie. It was the first movie I have seen in a theater since August when I picked up my stepson. We saw "The Spirit" which the Washington Post gave a pretty bad review of, so I wasn't expecting much. With the warning, the movie came up better than expectations.

After the movie we travelled to Washington, DC where we toured the National Cathedral. It was comforting that the Cathedral was Episcopalian which made it have a warm, feeling of home. The building was neat to explore, with the prayer rooms, the chapels, several tombs, and a display of Nativity Scenes from around the world. It was great to see the small scenes crafted from different materials.

We moved from the Cathedral to China Town, where we took in a meal of handmade noodles in a small Chinese Restaurant. It was neat to see the noodle make working his craft, very similar to the bakers in the old pizzerias. After dinner we called it a day and returned home.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Real Christmas Act

Christmas is a time of giving. In Christian theology it marks the birth of Jesus Christ and as the story plays out God gave his only son for mankind. The wise men also brought gifts for the baby Jesus. Other Holiday's around this time also are characterized by gift giving. Late December is also a time when some people give to charities before the end of the year so they can get the tax deduction.

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat gave a house to a lady who was going through a rough time according to the AP. Here is a link to the story on Fox Sports. I appreciate a story like this since I am a sports fan. I'm tired of hearing about players griping about money, getting arrested, or shooting themselves in the leg (which doesn't help an athletes career). Many athletes do give a lot back to the community and charities.

However, the unselfish act Dwyane Wade is a reminder of what Christmas is all about. Dwyane heard about a "woman whose nephew accidentally burned down her home — and ruined all the family's possessions ." "Wade presented Dawn Smith with the ultimate Christmas gift on Wednesday — the keys to a new home, along with some furnishings, clothing and gifts to make sure her family has a joyous holiday."

Yes Dwyane is blessed to have the money to do such an act. Others are blessed to have the money but don't take actions like Mr. Wade. Dwyane Wade is blessed in his attitude. Wade summed it up "It's not about what you're going to receive — it's what you can give to others from what you've received." There is a Christmas thought. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Night Before Christmas...

The night before Christmas is here. Winter has let go the bitter grip it had been holding the past two days. Besides some harmless sleet, the ice predicted last night pretty much avoided me. Perhaps the trees kind of blocked some of it. My parents are visiting. The tree is up. My daughter enjoyed playing with the tinsel and Christmas balls on the tree.

My workday is half over. Hopefully, I'll be able to leave on time. I'm off tomorrow and will come in on Friday to work some overtime. No big plans, just hoping to enjoy the Holiday with family and friends. My co-worker is tracking Santa and hopefully I will be home before he arrives. ..

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cold Monday

It was a toasty 12 degrees this morning, with a wind chill somewhere below 0. The forecast high for today is 22 and windy. Just a little chilly..Tonight it is suppose to go into the single digits, before it rains in one of Mother Natures or Old Man Winters sudden mood swings. 50's are predicted later in the week.

Oh well Saturday night into Sundays ice storm really wasn't that bad. No worse than a heavy frost. I wore more layers when I volunteered in the warehouse on Saturday, and it wasn't as cold as it was a month ago. Though working there this weekend, I felt out of shape and older. The Holiday orders really wore me out. But it is rewarding even makes getting up at 4:30 on Saturday morning worthwhile.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Alive at 65

No not me! I'm not 65, but Keith Richards turned 65 yesterday. Happy belated Birthday to Keith. Most of his life has been spent as a guitarist and occasional singer for one of the most successful rock and roll bands of all time the Rolling Stones.

It will give me a great excuse to put the Stones in the CD player, the DVD player, and listen to a lot of Rolling Stones over the weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Quiet Blog

The blog has been pretty quiet lately. Work, the holidays, my wife being ill, and trying to keep peace in the house hold has cut down on my online time. One PC up, and three people wanting to use it kind of limits the time. There is also the baby, who at 20 months can climb over the child gate and requires much more time to keep her out of trouble(or keep me out of trouble.)

I'm still writing. I'm still reading. I still have that habit of starting a book, putting it down and starting another. Still working. Haven't really been into the Holiday spirit this year. More concerned with paying the bills, what kind of winter weather are we having now, how long will more care making weird noises last, and the list goes on and on, like an incomplete Honey-do list.

However, I keep going. Same to keep things in the balance some how or some way.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cold December:First snow, barely

December's here. So far it has been pretty cold early with an overcast most days. Sunday, we had our first snow. Not much. A dusting of the roads and the unraked leaves. Funny, how more of the snow stuck on the roads than anywhere else. Sure we had flurries before but they hadn't stuck around.

Sunday was made even colder by the power going off. Several hours, maybe a stretch but a good three hours. Turned my house pretty cold in a hurry. The electric heaters can't run without power. With no heat, nothing warms the sub freezing air as it seeps into the house. The house starts to act as a refrigerator as the cold air flows below and over the house.

So, much for a shower. So, much for heading out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect what you are Thankful for, here is my list:

1) I am thankful for daughter
2) I am thankful for my wife
3) I am thankful for my stepson
4) I am thankful for my house
5) I am thankful I have true friends
6) I am thankful they are getting a handle on what's been bugging my wife
7) I am thankful I have a job
8) I am thankful I don't have, or anyone in my family has a big ailment
9) I'm thankful I can volunteer
10) I am thankful for my parents
11) I am thankful for the little blessings often overlooked

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Strange Days..

Past week my wife has been to three emergency rooms, two doctors office and an urgent care center. Means I've been to two emergency rooms, two doctors and an urgent care office as a spectator. In between that I've managed to put in 40 hour at the office, attend a board meeting, and work three hours in a unheated, cold warehouse.

Some of my friends write fiction, but why bother with that when reality is just as strange. Think you have stress at your job? What about an Emergency Room. That one is having a heart attack, that one is incoherent, that one is barely hanging on. Tough job. Tough situations. Not perfect. More like you'll live, don't know what it is, know it's not this and that, here is some medication, get out. Leaving with the same symptoms that they tell you to come back if you experience. Well at least in my wife's case. But it's better than, you won't live. Better than we know and it's bad.

The waiting is much better when your a spectator at the ER. I mean your not in pain so the hours pass much easier. You don't have to answer the questions and fill out the paper work which is a real bonus. However, I wish I new before hand I was going to an ER. Would have been better with a good book. Maybe I could bring a board game or a deck of cards next time. I'm sure all the people waiting wouldn't mind playing a game.

Well for now my wife is medicated, has some what of an idea of what is going on, and hopefully will get better.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why do weekends go so fast?

It is like time goes fast forward from the time you leave work until Monday morning. I guess it has to do that since the slowest time is the last half hour of your work day. Friday night we visited some friends, Saturday I did my volunteer stuff(I have a cold now since I didn't wear enough layers), oh and I went to an open house for a company, and Sunday we helped a friend get ready for an interview. Being in the broke world kind of cuts down on the things you do over a weekend. However, I did spend some quality time with my daughter which is priceless.

I'm glad I have a job, stability is a great thing these days. It also takes the pressure away when you go for an interview or an open house. The open house was kind of weird to begin with as they were only looking for three positions. I prepared my resume, got dressed up, drove the 40 minutes or so down the road filled out the brief paper work and handed out a copy of my resume. I waited, finally a lady came out and said "we do see some industry experience but not the experience we are looking for, but we will keep your resume on file." I had some experience and if I had the interview I was confident I could do the job, but I did not get past the reception desk. I'm sure they will keep my resume on file, the circular file at least till the cleaning crew takes out the trash on Monday. Oh, well it was a good laugh...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cold morning..

Should have worn a coat or something this morning. Winter appears to be here a month early. I started out this morning shortly after 5 in the predawn hour. I new it was going to be cold at midnight when I saw the clear skies. As, I passed through Boonsboro, the bank temperature said 19 degrees. I continued west to Hagerstown where I volunteer in an old warehouse. The old warehouse was a refrigerator today with no heat. Especially with the doors open at the loading area. It didn't really warm up either on the way back, the same bank temperature said 24. The Autumn Sun only warmed it up 5 degrees. Passing clouds brought scenic snow flurries blowing in the wind...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Death and Hospitals

What a week and it's only Wednesday...

Monday, I found out a person who used to work with us had passed a way. He was a good guy, he loved his family, sports and music. He had a bad winter last year, on one snow storm he wrecked his car in a ditch the very next storm he slipped on some ice and went to the hospital with a cuccusion. Then he was out of work and on disabbility, when that ran out so did he. I hope he was atleast able to watch the World Series and enjoy the Philadelphia Phillies championship. He would have enjoyed it. The Philadelphia teams were his favorite. We would talk around the office about football, hockey and baseball. Last year we even played Fantasy Football together. sHe loved his kids. He worked hard. 45 is way to young to go in this day in age. Maybe that is why t bugs me so much. I've seen a lot of people I know passed away this year. However, most of them were elderly. Much easier to understand that their time was up. 45 is a lot closer to my late 37. It makes you think what will happen when my time is up?

Anyway that was Monday. Tuesday I left work a little early since my wife stayed home sick. She wasn't feeling well and didn't feel up to driving. So, I drove her to the urgent care. Watching our daughter in the waiting room, while her middle school brother slept in the car. I saw an ambulance arrive to pick up a patient. I put my daughter in the car with her brother. Then I got a text message that they wanted my wife to go to the ER for more tests. Thankfully, the ambulance was not for my wife. We dropped off our kids at a nearby friends house, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and off to the ER we went. A few hours later she was released, even though they suggested keeping her overnight for observations. Today, I spent the day taking her to her specialist visits and filling prescriptions.

So now I get to wait for Thursday and Friday to top this!

Monday, November 17, 2008

November is going in Fast Forward

Wow! November is more than halfway gone. Most of the leaves are gone and the weather has turned cold.

I've been writing still, maybe not quite at the pace of last month.

One on the NL Cy Young Tim Lincecum, which is a pretty good story. A young guy, on a losing club wins the National League Cy Young.

Then of course my latest college football rankings. A relatively quiet college football weekend means not many changes.

I started writing on helium again. I tried my hand in one of their writing contest. I only was able to push out three articles, so I finished more in the middle of the pack. Oh well..

They were all on hiking. The best day hikes in Maryland is probably the best article of the bunch.

Well, I blog some more another day...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day

Tuesday is Veteran's Day, so I'm posting a little early. I offer a basic thank you for all the things the military does for us. I thank those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, may they be remembered as heroes. Thank them for whatever war, conflict, or accident which took their lives. I hope you take a moment once in a while to remember they were someones love ones.

Take a moment to remember the ones missing in action. May they come home safe and sound one day. If they have passed away, hope their bodies make it home.

Thank the Coast Guard for the criminals they pursue. Thank them for their heroeric rescues they perform. It could easily be your life or the life of some one you know. Thank them for keeping our coasts safe. They deserve a Thank You.

Thank the reservist or the member of the National Guard. Thank them for all they do when a Natural Disaster happens. Thank them for the sacrifices they make when our country calls them uip for active duty. Thank them for sacrificing their monthly weekends. Thank them for stepping up.

Thank the Navy, thank the Army, thank the Air Force and thank the Marines. Thank them for leaving their families behind while they go on their missions. Thank them for going into battle. Thank them for their losses. Thank them for their humanitarian missions which are often over looked. Thank them for how they help our community. Thank the Marines for their Toys for Tots mission.

Thank the ones who serve.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Old Blog 2- Books

Books of 2007

from myspace blog...part 2 of a buildup for my 2008 blog on what I've read

I've probably forgotten a few, but anyway here is what I read in 2007. I read an interesting, spirtitial christian book about borders, was given to us as a gift from my priest by an Irish writer. In Our Time by Hemmingway. Kipling's Captain Courageous. Andrew Todhunter's Dangerous Games, Peter Benchley's A Sharks Life, Hermann Hesse's Demian which I really enjoyed, Nashville:1864 by Madison Jones which was an enjoyable quick read, Zim: A Baseball Life by Don Zimmer, Bode: Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun by Bode Miller-hey, I am a skier, a couple of books by Bob Morris Bermuda Shwartz and Bahamarama- Caribean mysteries.

So, much for for shadowing, I still have a month and 2/3rds to add on to my ever growing list of 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day is Here

I am glad Election Day is here! I've been writing a lot about the Presidential Election, mostly in West Virginia. It was pretty tough to write articles after a while. The writing has kept me pretty busy much of October and early November.

My latest include:

Despite West Virginia Polls, Battleground State Still Up For Grabs

West Virginia Presidential Polls: A Final Look

North Carolina Presidential Polls

I also did my weekly College Football Rankings, which was a nice break from politics. Check out my rankings here if you like.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween! We are going over to a friends house who live in a more suburban neighborhood, then our hill. The kids will have more of a chance to Trick or Treat. It should be fun as it will be my daughters first time Trick or Treating. Her first Halloween she was only 6 months old. She will be dressed up either as a cat or a ninja.

Which means candy for big old dad! Since my daughter isn't into eating candies yet and she isn't old enough to jack up the prices on me like my my step son. Sure for Mom it is five cents, me its 50 cents. My daughter will get to climb up many doorsteps, which at her age is a big deal and something she enjoys. Plus she will be able to knock on lots of doors and say "Hi!"and "Bye!" Trick or Treat may be a new phrase to teach her. Then we get to have dinner with friends and socialize with adults which is a good way to kick off the weekend.

Well I hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

West Virginia May Be The Place...

West Virginia may be the place to go to find lower unemployment. It is nice when positive things are reported about the state I live in. According to Rachel Zupek , on her article on MSN entitled 25 Best Markets To Find A Job, two West Virginia cities make the list. At number Six is Morgantown, The home of the Mountaineers is also home to a 2.7% unemployment rate, an improvement over last years 3.4%. Morgantown enjoyed a job growth of 2.7%. Down at #17 was "Charlestown", West Virginia. I'm going to assume she was writing about Charleston, but then she could have ment Charles Town. Any way this city comes in with 3.4% unemployment rate an improvement from last years 4.1%. This place had a half percent of job growth. Maybe there is some of the Governors "Open for Business" going on in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old Blog Volume 1

October is almost over and the year is winding down. The last couple of years I have put "blogs" about what I have read during the year. Here is an excerpt from the first one back in 2006 on My Space.."Books 2006, 2006 for me

I know some of you who know me are shocked Mike can read! But If you really knew me you would say Mike actually finished a book. I think that is the hardest thing about reading a book. You read a third, a half of a book then you put it down and then life takes over. Then since I don't make a list, dementia may be creeping in, in my 30's so sometimes years bleed into others. ..:
So what books did I actually read? .I read a book on Six Sigma by Chowdrey (sp), It's the "in" quality now days. I was able to work on a Six Sigma project at work in 2005, so it was good to follow up with some more background info. I also read this marriage guide book since I got married. And I thought required reading ended when you were out of school.
OK, we have business, marriage. Boring! Mike isn't dead he's dull. I read the Nick Adams Stories by Hemingway. Though my favorite works by Hemingway are "Islands in the Stream" and "The Old Man and the Sea." I think I read more now than when I was in college. I read more classics, more business books, and more just for the fun of it books. If audio books, I listened to Blind Man's Bluff, it was interesting tales of the submarine during the Cold War.
A Robert Plant bio from 1974, I think the author wrote for Circus magazine. It really had that fanzine feel going, not in a trashy way, or an exaggerated way like Stephen Davis I guess this one had more of a juvenile style.
I also read Jimmy Buffett's Tales from Margaritaville, A Pirate Looks at 50, and Where is Joe Merchant?, I was going to read a Salty Piece of Land but I was told that was enough Buffett. Being married/living with a woman is kind of like being a kid with parents. But my parents never told me; don't you have a bar to go too? a beer to drink? or don't you have to go skiing? So it's not like it's that bad. Oh well a half dozen books isn't that bad I guess.

Back to 2008-
Actually a half dozen books is a small amount compared to the number of books I'm reading this year. Some where in the last half of this year I made a goal to read 24 books. I don't know if I will reach it, I have kind of slowed down this month due to my writing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy as a B

This month has been a little crazy for me. Kind of like the way the economy has been this month...

Anyway my parents were up for a week. I had a meeting Friday to go to and a dinner to attend Saturday. I also made time to do some volunteer hours in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Then my spurt of writings have continued.

Since my last posting in this blog:
I did my weekly football rankings. The current week here and the previous week here.
I also did a preview of the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays for the World Series.
I know I get sucked into writing about sports..

I also wrote a bunch more on the election.
Latest Presidential Polls in Virginia as of October 24, 2008. A look at how the Presidential election is shaping up in Virginia according to the latest polls.
Updated Presidential Polls in West Virgina as of October 24. A look at how the Presidential election is going in West Virginia. It was pretty neat since it showed a lot of change since my last article on West Virginia polls.
Last Minute Strategies and Influences in the 2008 Presidential Election in West Virginia is a look at what the Presidential candidates are doing to try to win West Virginia.

I expect to be pretty busy writing article right through the end of this week. I plan to do one more on the Polls in West Virginia, one on Colorado, on on Missouri, and another on the West Virginia Presidential election. Plus I might pick up a couple of more. That depends how busy life gets. I have another meeting to go to Thursday and I have plans on Friday with the family. Plus I have the day job thing to keep me busy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Return of the Writer

Well, I just wrapped up some writing examples and am actually working on another. I hadn't written a non-sports article since August. Really I hadn't written a lot since May. The first five months of the year I was writing quite a bit. A lot of that was the call-for-contents appeared to be down (or at least on things that caught my interest) and of course that little thing called life.

Anyway, with the election winding down I have published two new articles on the Presidential Race in West Virginia. The first one, "Latest Presidential Polls in West Virginia as of October 15" is a pretty straight forward look at the latest West Virginia Polls. The second one is "Presidential Candidates to Increase Media Spots to Capture West Virginia" which discusses mostly Obama's late advertising blitz in West Virginia and I suggested the candidates would have a better chance of winning the state if they visited it more. About as Gonzo as I get..which is sad, since I enjoy the work of the late Hunter S. Thompson.

Then I went out of my comfort zone and wrote on "Understanding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program." Why was it out of my comfort zone? Well it was something I knew nothing about. I thought it was some new HR program, boy was I wrong. However, I did learn something new. The chances are slim that the vaccines would cause injury or death but once in a while they do and as a parent that is scary stuff.

Now it is back to writing another sports article...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just checking in...

Just checking in..the blog has been pretty quiet this month. Congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies on making it to the World Series. It looks like they will be playing the Tampa Bay Rays next, unless the Boston Red Sox can win three straight.

Lately my blog has become one of bad news of people's illness, death and aging. Hopefully, some good news will come around to blog about. It is one day closer to Friday and that is always good!

I finally wrote a non-sports article last night, which hopefully will be published soon. I have two other non-sport articles on the way. After I stop procrastinating and I get to work on them.

Well writing kind of leads to more blogs around here so some fresh material will be posted soon.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Dad Turned 70

Yesterday my dad turned 70. Long ago when I was young 70 was thought to be so old, now not so much. It is though. Time does that to people. His hair has turned white and his beard too. Funny, mine has turned gray so I must not be too far behind.

Diabetes and a slight heart condition has worked to speed up aging on my dad. Probably some of the same demons I'll have to face someday. Best advice my dad has told me, is to never get old. But like most good advice, I'm slow to take it.

My Dad and I aren't the only things to change during the years. Being born in 1938 my Dad has lived through a lot of history. The world has changed. A World War, the coming of television, personal computers, the evelotion of the telephone and so much more. Through the decades the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's , 80's, 90's and beyond. The world is so different from one decade to another. My Dad has weathered the changes.

His life two has gone through the challenges of growing up, getting married, having children, watching them grow up, being retired, and becoming a grandffather. Every stage we all try to reach my Dad has accomplished. Stuck in the day by day struggle, how is accomplishment looks greater and greater. As I see more of my Dad in me, maybe one day I'll accomplish more of those.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Face To HIV

I grew up in the age of HIV and AIDS. Everyone knows it is out there. I'm fortunate that I don't have it. I was fortunate not to know anyone who has it or had it. However, I am not that fortunate now. I just found out earlier this week, an old friend of mine has HIV.

He was a friend I went to college with, a friend I haven't seen in 14 years. We live far apart. However, we live in a technological world. You can keep up with friends with e-mails, or group e-mails, and all kinds of web communities. Well I read my friends blog the other day. I guess it wouldn't be such a shock if I would have kept up with his blog.

Here he is a friend, my age, who has had HIV for nearly 10 years. HIV, to me had always been something other people get. Celebrities who made the headlines were the only face of HIV to me, or the faded news of some poor sap who ended up with it. Now HIV has a face to me. It is a face of class mate, a friend, a fraternity brother, a man who lived in a dorm a few doors down from me.

I reached out to him with a letter, offering friendship, and positive thoughts when I found out the news. To be honest I was shocked. To be honest, I didn't know what to do, I had never known anyone with HIV. To be honest, I don't know a lot about HIV. I know it some how turns into AIDs and people die from it. I don't believe their is a cure for it. It's a distant friend, and I guess I could let him fade away, but that doesn't sound like the best idea.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tigers Pick Up Beau Torbert

Yet another Beau Torbert update...and here I was not going to blog about sports as much on this blog. The Sioux Falls Canaries are reporting Beau Torbert's contract has been purchased by the Detroit Tigers. According to the article it looks like Beau will be competing for a spot in the Detroit Tigers AAA or AA minor league teams this Spring.

Beau Torbert has appeared in AA and AAA before in 2007. He started the year in Corpus Christi (AA) and spent some time at Round Rock (AAA) for the Houston Astros organization. After being a late spring training cut by the Astros and spending the past season in the independent American Association it did not take Beau long to get back into organized ball. Where Beau will end up will be decided at the Tigers Spring Training in Lakeland, Florida.

The Detroit Tigers AA team is the Erie (PA) SeaWolves and the AAA team is the Toledo(Ohio) Mud Hens.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Perfect Way To End Summer

This was a summer of not doing much. Gas prices were high. I was working Saturdays, then I got the weekends off and my wife worked a few Saturdays. My wife switched jobs so she didn't have the time off. A car needed maintenance or something else came up. But then again we did go to the beach in March. We saw 9 Major League Baseball games including a Spring Training game, three in Baltimore, three in Washington, and two in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is how we spent the last seasonal weekend of summer. after attending the memorial service for Dick which I wrote about on my last blog. We headed out to Pittsburgh. Saturday night we watched the Pirates-Astros baseball game. Following the game there was a concert by Lynryd Skynyrd and fireworks. We didn't know about the concert so it was an added bonus.

Then we retired to our hotel room. The next morning we picked up some tidbits at a Super K-mart by the hotel and headed back downtown to see Sunday's game. It was the Pirates home finale. We watched the game and enjoyed the beautiful Pittsburgh afternoon. Afterwards we journeyed back home going another route. We stopped in LaValle, Maryland at a restaurant we have come to enjoy on our travels. Then we finally made it home around midnight.

Beautiful weather, Lynyrd Skynyrd and baseball what a wonderful way to say goodbye to summer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saint Nick Has Passed Away

Christmas won't be the same now that Saint Nick has passed away. The Parrish Children at Saint John's won't be able to have their pictures taken with "Saint Nick" at the Nicholas Day Fair in December.

I'm pretty sure he wasn't the real Saint Nick, but he did look a lot like him when he dressed up. Had a natural white beard, too. He gladly played the part with joy every holiday season. He was elderly and had some health issues. So, it isn't surprising he passed away. I'm speaking of Dick Weibel.

He was a good man, he was a faithful member of the Parrish who was always willing to help out. Dick could probably dress up as a pirate well too if he wanted with his er ring which isn't typical of a guy his age. But Dick wasn't typical. He had some stories. I remember him telling me of a statue of Jesus which you can dive down and see some where off the coast of the Florida Keys.

It's one of the stories that kind of stuck with me. I'm sure he has a lot of other great stories, unfortunately we will have to wait to hear them. Dick Weibel will be missed by his family, the Parrish, and the community. May God bless him...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pink Floyd's Wright Dies

Richard Wright is another "Diamond to Shine On" as the music world lost another keyboardist. Richard Wright was a founding member and keyboardist for Pink Floyd. He also had a solo career and had appeared on some sessions. Recently on David Gilmour's solo album. (Maybe I date myself here by calling them albums, I suppose some people refer to them as discs or cds now days.)

It's a shame we will never hear Nick Mason, David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Richard Wright together again, except on the air ways of a radio, stereo, or MP3 players. No reunion tour and no new music. His battle with cancer now complete at age of 65. He joins an all-star jam session up in Rock and Roll heaven. Where he will be reunited with Syd Barrett. Where they both can shine on. As a music fan Richard Wright will be missed, but his legacy will remain in the catalog of songs by Pink Floyd.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Hurricane

Storms same to have targets on my family this year. First Fay coming ashore near my parents house, now IKE targeting Houston where both of my wife's brothers live, and I guess the Dallas-Fort Worth area where her parents live aren't out of the woods with this storm.

Hitting the Atlantic Coast, Florida, Louisiana and Texas the storms aren't leaving anyone out this season. If you have love ones in the path of this storm, I hope they reach safety. I hope the storm diminishes and the damages are minimal.

It won't be long until the season is over...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

I blogged about 9/11 last September 11. I hope to blog about it every September 11. It was a dark day for America. Terrorists attacked our country with four hijacked airplanes. The attacks killed more people than the attack on Pearl Harbor. Something that is worse was the targets were civilian, except for the Pentagon(however the Pentagon does employ a lot of civilian workers). It is a day that should never be forgotten.

I was fortunate that day. Fate stepped in and I had called off work. The Pentagon plane crashed a short distance from where I worked at the time. A short distance from where both of my parents worked at the time. Where I lived at the time was almost directly halfway between the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania by the way a crow flies. A matter of degrees and the plane could have fallen on me.

Many weren't as fortunate as me. Many people died, many were injured, many lost loved ones and everyone felt the effect of these attacks. True heroes developed from this tragic event. The fire fighters, the rescue teams, the police, and military. The people who volunteered to help and the ones who gave blood and donations.

We must never forget this day. Take time to reflect, take time to offer a prayer or a thought. Take time to remember and offer thanks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A New Blog

I started a new blog last night on Fox Sports. My blog's name is Mike's View of Sports and you can visit it here. The first blog is about Tom Brady being injured.

I write a lot about sports so it just made since to start a blog just on sports. Sure, sports will still be a part of this blog but it was never the intent of this blog to be all sports. It may same that way sometimes.

I use this blog to write about what is interesting me and my writing. I use it to promote my writing or to expand on it. I use it to experiment. Sometimes, I use it to promote another writer's articles. I also use it to discuss business, interesting reads, music and who knows what.

The new blog will give me a place to write more on sports and open this blog up to more topics.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beau Torbert and The Sioux Falls Canaries win Championship

Well, Beau Torbert and his Sioux Falls team mates won the American Association Baseball Championship series over the Grand Prairie AirHogs three games to one. A Championship, great stats, and being named the leagues player of the year should make this a memorable season for Beau Torbert. A nice way to rebound from being released by the Astros organization. Soon after the celebration of the championship dies down one has to wonder what is next for Beau? Will someone in organized ball pick him up? If so at what level? If organized ball doesn't pick him up will Beau return to the Canaries? Will he play for another independent team? The questions Beau and his fans will ponder over the off season.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Fish Story

There's a pond across the street from my house. It isn't the biggest lake, maybe an acre at best. Last summer, the water level was really low and I didn't pay the pond much attention. This Spring, however I made the discovery the pond had fish. The pond, had the usual sunfish. Bluegill and Black Crappie are quite plentiful. I also have caught a bullhead catfish and a turtle. Then there is my favorite, the bass. The pond has both small mouth and large mouth bass. Heck, a few feet in my eyes sounded better than traveling the mile or so down to the river.

A couple weeks ago a rather big bass had bit my bait. I saw the fish and it was large. I felt the fish too. The fish was strong. I was using light tackle. I keep it very simple. A size 6 hook, which I modify by taking a pair of pliers and pinching the barb flat against the hook. I do that with my hooks to make them easier to get out of the fish. I am strictly catch and release. The good lord didn't bless me with the ability to clean a fish. I've tried, but I turn more colors than a chameleon when I do. (And that's cleaning a rather clean fish in a rainbow trout) Heck, at least I'm able to bait a hook. I think the fish like it better that way, they get a belly full of worms, with only an occasional prick of a hook. Some of the fish have some pretty nice skills of cleaning a fish hook clean of bait. They like the meal deal and are happier knowing they won't end up on my grill.

Anyway, I digress back to this big fish on my hook. The fish fights hard, diving down and refusing to come up. Finally, there is slack on my line. The worm, the hook, and the fish are all gone. The fish had used his might and on this day he won. Well Wednesday, I came back to the same fishing spot. I saw my friend. He was still telling his fish buddies how he got the better of me. I'm sure like any good fish story he embellished the story.

Well, I caught plenty of his friends. Some of the sunfish I was catching I saw this big fish chase while they were on my hook. I watched him for a while. He was the man of his turf. The smaller fish kept their distance from him and side swam away. I baited my hook, with a fresh worm. I did a short cast about a foot away from him. I waited a while. The other fish kept their distance. The worm was his for the taking. Boom! He chomped down on the worm and I set the hook. We were in for round two.

He gave it what he had. I cranked on my light tackle gear. My pole bent over toward the fish. My adrenaline was pumping. I was talking to the fish. Probably a good thing I fish alone or the other people would think I was insane. The hook held, the line didn't break and this time there was no escape for the fish. I was excited and the bass was tired. I measured the fish at 19" inches long, took a picture and let the fish back in the water. This time I had won.

Well a 19" large mouth is just short of being a certifiable or trophy fish in West Virginia. The minimum length is 21" for being recognized. I didn't pinch it's tail which would have made him closer. Oh, well he was still a big fish especially for the size of the pond. In his pond he was king and he had the attitude to go with it. He made it personal, he was a worthy opponent, and he was worth it. He won the first time we met which made catching him so much more rewarding. I've caught one other big bass, which I didn't measure at another lake, which was around his size or bigger. So, I can't say for sure he is the biggest fish I ever caught. I can say he is the biggest fish I ever caught at that pond and that I have caught in West Virginia. Maybe, the next time we meet he will have grown two inches but then again maybe the next time we meet he will win.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ready for Some Football

I wrote a few blogs back about my Fantasy Football Team. Getting ready for the season I made my first move cutting my bench quarter back Matt Leinart and replacing him with Vince Young. I will be keeping an eye on the waiver list as I would like to upgrade my running backs and would be tempted in another wide out. The NFL kicks off on Thursday.

College Football completed their opening weekend. I decided to do my own poll. My Top 25 has some surprises. I am sure it is as debatable as any other poll after just one week. Check it out here. However, it is all in fun. Plus it had been a while since I had published anything.

Oh, well it's been a busy week with my wife's birthday, Buffett, fishing, work, family and fantasy football.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

And a new season starts...

Fall must be close as college football season has started, the NFL is getting ready to kick off meaningful games, and the kids are back in school. The summer went way to quick for me. I don't feel like I did much. But I'm lucky to only have to walk out my door and walk a hundred feet or so to fish in a lake. Simple, but it is doing something. Went to six major league baseball games and a couple of more on the schedule. But I ramble..

Yes football season is back! And football season means upset and this first weekend of football has not disappointed. East Carolina upset 17th ranked Virginia Tech 27-22. Bowling Green upset 25th ranked Pittsburgh 27 to 17. Another surprise , 24th ranked Alabama upset 9th ranked Clemson 34-10. I hope the Mountaineers are paying attention as in a couple of weeks they will face the East Carolina Pirates.

USC made a strong case that they aim to contend for the National Championship destroying UVA 52-7. The Gators made sure Hawaii was a one year wonder beating them 56-10. Georgia won 45-24 over Georgia Southern, but the number one ranking might be better off on a team like Oklahoma who beat Chattanooga 57-2 to open their season.

It's early and the polls will be debated long into the winter. Most teams still have a lot of hopes!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Reflecting back to Katrina

Gustav's track is giving everyone a chance to reflect back on Katrina. Gustav is gaining strength, and expected to be at Cuba Saturday night. Right now Gustav is scheduled to hit between east Texas and extreme western Florida. Looking at the projection New Orleans could once again be facing a mighty Hurricane.

Katrina flooded the Big Easy and brought with her plenty of destruction to Louisiana and Mississippi. New Orleans wasn't ready for Katrina. The question now is will New Orleans be ready for Gustav?

Katrina did unite the country to help. I was living in Hagerstown at the time. Our minor league team the Suns had a night to raise money to help with Katrina relief, my church sent over a mission trip, and the local Boys Scouts sent supplies to replace what Boy Scouts had lost in the Gulf Region. Many other communities also helped like Hagerstown did. Celebrities helped too. Raising money, awareness, and literally pitching in to rebuild hard hit areas. I made several donations through the Episcopal Relief Fund which raised money around the nation to help the victims.

It was the right thing to do. It felt good to help. It felt sad to see the destruction. Hopefully, where ever Gustav decides to hit land, those areas will be prepared. Hopefully people will reach safety and property damage is minimal. If the communities that get hit need help, hopefully the nation will rally to provide that help. Hopefully, the Government will act quickly. Hopefully we are better prepared for Gustav.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Big News About Beau and Canaries

The Sioux Falls Canaries aren't the Corpus Christi Hooks or the Round Rock Express where Beau had to be hoping to end up this past Spring. However, Beau Torbert made the most out of playing for the American Association Sioux Falls Canaries as he was named the leagues Player of The Year.

"His season is highlighted by a July 7 game in Wichita where he hit for the cycle, becoming the first Canaries player to do so since Juan Thomas in 2005" according to the article on the Canaries website. Beau lead the league in slugging with a .568 slugging percentage. Torbert finished fifth in league and second on the Canaries batting .324. He finished behind team mate Will Smith who was second in the league batting .333.

Beau finished second on the team with 65 runs scored, third on the team with three triples, and second on the team with 14 stolen bases. Torbert was third on the team with 110 hits, fifth on the team with 20 doubles, and lead the team with 19 home runs playing in 90 games. Beau tied team mate Grant Richardson for the team lead in runs batted in with 71.

Sioux Falls Canaries manager Steve Shirley was named manager of the league for the American Association. Leading the Canaries to a first half North Division Championship and a 60-36 record. Here is the link to that article.

The Canaries open the American Association playoffs at home tonight against the second half North Division Champion Sioux City Explorers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Fantasy Football Team

Friday I was scheduled to draft my team in the Fantasy Football League at work, but then I found out it was cancelled. So, my wife found me a league to play in. It is a league where you pay a fee to be in, unlike the free one at work.

Draft positions in the 12 person league were selected by picking numbers. I picked number 11, not exactly the best position. In the first round, there was a run on running backs. This probably helped my draft, I stayed true to picking on how I rated my players and I drafted QB Tom Brady of New England. I had him the number 2 player in the draft, and Fantasy Football Index had him ranked as the number one quarterback. I knew running back would be a weakness on my team.

In the second and third rounds, I stayed with my rankings and drafted two wide receivers. The first one was Owens (TO) out of Dallas, I had him ranked 8th overall. Fantasy Football Index ranked him as the 4th best wide receiver in the draft. I also picked up T.J. Houshmandzadeh, ranked as the 11th best wide out by Fantasy Football Index.

During the fourth round I switched my approach and started drafting for positions. Running backs were going fast and I need one. I drafted McGahee out of Baltimore. I had him 12th in my list of running backs, Fantasy Football Index had him ranked 10th. I stayed with Baltimore in the next round selecting Heap from Baltimore at tight end. I had him ranked as the 12th best tight end and Fantasy Football Index had him ranked at 9th.

The league is a three wide receiver league, so in the sixth round I picked the Jets receiver Cotchery, the 15th ranked receiver by Fantasy Football Index, 22nd ranked by me. I had a hunch, with the Jets getting Favre, Cotchery may have a bigger year. At any rate I was set with three receivers, a tight end, a running back, and a quarterback.

The seventh round, I still needed another running back. I picked up Young out of Denver. He wasn't on my list but Fantasy Football Index had him ranked 19th. He was the highest running back still left at this point. I had filled up my roster except for kickers and defenses.

In the eighth round I drafted Tight End Crumpler from the Titans. He was actually ranked higher than Heap who I picked in the fifth round. Fantasy Football Index had Crumpler ranked as the sixth best tight end.

In the nineth round I picked Scobee from Jacksonville the fifth ranked kicker by Fantasy Football Index and the kicker I wanted. In the tenth round I stayed with the Jaguars and picked their defense for my team. The Jags defense was ranked 8th by Fantasy Football Index.

In the eleventh round I picked Arizona's Leinart as my backup quarterback. A separate bye week then Brady and you all ways need replacements in case of injuries.

The 12th and 13th round I picked two running backs. Green out of Houston ranked 32nd by Fantasy Football Index, but a solid pick since he is a starter. I also picked up Johnson from the Titans.

I used the 14th round to add dept at wide receiver picking up Carolina's Hackett. Looking at my picks it looks like I should have picked another receiver as I will be one short during week 10. But there might be some options out there by that time. Depending on my match up I might not even need to make a move.

I used the final two draft picks for my backup kicker and defense. I picked kicker Longwell from Minnesota, the sixth ranked kicker by Fantasy Football Index, one behind my starter. I picked up Tennessee's Defense, Fantasy Football Index ranked as the 12th best defense in the draft.

Those are my picks and what my Fantasy Football Team looks like going into the season.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Storm on my mind..

Where I am it is a typical August day, sunny temps in the mid 80's, they skies are clear but my mind is on people and places stuck in the path of Tropical Storm Fay. My parents live on the beach in North Florida. Fay, made it's third land fall just south of them and her northern bands are striking out where my parents live.

Thankfully my parents are all right. They did loose power for a while. They have lost some branches and palms from their trees. They like most people there are all right. According to my Dad, and I am sure he got the information from some local Jacksonville media outlet two people died from this storm. One person had an accident while messing with an emergency generator when the power went out. The other person was a tourist, who decided to go swimming with some buddies in he Ocean. One made it back, one made it to the hospital, and one died.

Hopefully, Fay will pass on bye. Hopefully further damage will be minimal from the winds, flood and rain. Hopefully, Fay will calm down and deliver her rain to the ones who really need it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beau Torbert Update: Since the season is winding down

Since baseball season, especially for Independent Leagues and Minor Leagues, is winding down rather quickly I thought I would give another Beau update. Right now Beau Torbert is 8th in league in batting with a .324 average. Beau is second on the team with 60 runs scored, he won't catch Grant Richardson who leads the team with 81 runs scored. Torbert is third on the team in hits with 103, he trails Richardson with 107, and Ben Van Iderstine who has a team high 110 hits.

Beau Torbert is tied at second on the team with 19, trailing Richardson who has 23 and tied with Josh Patton and Josh Reininger. Beau is third on the team in triples with 3, trailing Kennard Bibbs who has 4 and Patrick Reilly who has a team high 7 triples.

Beau Torbert leads the Sioux Falls Canaries in Home Runs and RBIs with 19 homers and 69 runs batted in. Beau is six a head of Grant Richardson in both categories. Beau also leads the team with a .582 slugging percentage.

Beau is second on the team in stolen bases with 12, three behind Bibbs and one ahead of Reilly.
Beau's .386 on base percentage trails Will Smith(not the actor) and Grant Richardson.

The Canaries are already in the playoffs since they won the North Division in the first half. In the second half the Canaries are 24-18 and two games behind Sioux City in the North Division of the American Association. It will be interesting to see how Beau and the Canaries finish the season with only 6 games left and the playoffs starting August 25th.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quick Falls: Clemens and Bonds

What a difference a year makes. Last year Roger Clemens was playing his half season of baseball pitching for the New York Yankees. Now, I think Roger is really retired or buried underneath a big pile of baggage which found him over the off season. Last year about this time Barry Bonds became the Home Run King and now he is out of baseball.

I'm not surprised Roger Clemens is finally retired. He was among the top pitchers if not the best pitcher of my time. The baggage, the investigations, the alleged affairs, the dispute with the trainer that was a surprise. What's true? I don't know. I wish he was squeaky clean as a fan. He does do a lot of good things, helping out with the Astros prospects the last three spring trainings, and through his foundation. If he did do steroids or other performance enhancing substances, so what? He is a pro athlete not an amateur It was his profession. I'm sure my boss wouldn't mind if I took performance enhancing substances to improve my work. If it is illegal then have them face legal charges if they are caught. if it breaks the work rules have them suspended, which Clemens and Bonds never were. 354 wins, an 11 time All-Star, an MVP award, 7 Cy Young Awards, and 6 twenty win seasons equals a pretty darn good career. Source for stats.

Barry Bonds is the Home Run King in baseball. 762 home runs and a .298 career hitter is how it stands for Bonds. Bonds wants to play but no one wants him. Last year in a 126 games Barry knocked 28 home runs, drove in 66, scored 75 runs , batted .276. He is not suspended. Sure he is 44 years old, but he still puts up very respectable numbers. It is like baseball has said you have the record but now the playground is closed for you. His alleged PEDs used can't be the reason teams won't sign him. Several players who admitted they used PEDs or were found to have been using PEDs or allegedly used PEDs are still playing. So, why won't baseball let Barry play? Sure his knees are questionable but he could still produce. Salary? I haven't even heard him being offered the minimum salary. Could it be baseball doesn't like Barry Bonds? Or are they saying "Barry you have the single season record, you have the career record now, so we don't think your worth signing because you won't draw enough fans."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bernie Mac Has Passed Away

The Summer of 2008 is not going to be remembered as a kind summer to comedians. First Carlin and now Bernie Mac.

Bernie Mac passed away at the age of 50, years too early in this day and age. I became of fan of his by watching his television series "The Bernie Mac Show." The show coincided in my growing role as a step parent and now parent. Fitting show for that time in my life.

At least he will live on in re-runs of his TV shows and his movies can be caught on DVD.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Monthly Beau Torbert Update

The summer has flown bye, here it is already August. The Sioux Falls Canaries wrap up the regular season August 26, and then the playoffs start August 28th. Beau Torbert continues to have a fine season for the Canaries Beau's .328 batting average is good for 9th in the league. Torbert leads the Canaries with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, and slugging percentage .605. He is tied for second on the team in stolen bases with 10, and has 15 doubles and three triples. He is also second on the team in runs scored with 51. July was highlighted for Beau Torbert when homered twice in a game. You can read the recap from the teams Website.

Torbert also watched as teammate pitcher Josh Kite was signed by the Detroit Tigers organization. Certainly a season like Beau is having would catch the attention of organized baseball scouts. Beau continues to be a player who can bat for average and now has become a player who can bat for power as well. Torbert has shown what he is capable being a Carolina League All-Star, a Texas League All-Star and keeping his head on to be an American Association All-Star. He has also played in short league A ball, low A ball, High A ball, AA and AAA in the minor leagues.

Stats from the Canaries Website.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A year ago today

A year ago today I submitted my first article for associated content. It was a short article on the Houston Astros trade with the Tampa Bay, then Devil Rays. The deal included Ty Wigginton and Dan Wheeler. The article was published two days later on July 30. Here is a link to the article.

Currently my writing is in a bit of a lull, but I'm sure I will come out of it with a bunch more articles. Over the year I ended up publishing 104 articles with over 54,000 page views on Associated Content.

Over the year my writing expanded over to, Hubpages and this blog. Here is to a year in the writing life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Reading Day

Today I woke up about 4:45 in the morning to go and do some volunteer work. When I got back home I ended up with baby duty as my wife went in to work a few more hours. Between spending time watching my daughter I was able to get some reading done. I finished a book on leadership I had been reading and then I read a book by a friend of mine. I would have finished a third book, but I couldn't find it. I have a bad habit of starting a book and then putting it down. Then life happens or I start another book.

The book I read was "Ravings From A Sane Man" by C.L. McGown. C.L. is originally from Weirton, West Virginia and I have known him for over 18 years. It was neat to read a book that has roots in the state I live in and also written by someone I know.

I learned a lot about C.L. from reading the book. Whether you agree or disagree with his point of view, C.L. shares a lot of them with the reader. He does so in a humorous entertaining method. The book is a quick read broken down into short quick chapters. More information on the book and how to get your copy is available here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Saved a lot on a car repair..

Last Friday the cable in my drivers side power window on my car broke after a morning stop at McDonald's. The end of a very good morning. I mean I was out of the house and on my morning commute with enough time to hit the drive-thru. Then there was a weird a sound and my car window would not go back up.

Saturday, I took it to my local mechanic. He explained what had happened and told me I would need to go to a dealership. He's a great mechanic and gives lots of free advice. So, I went home and called dealerships in three states. Of course no one could do it over the weekend. I did get a quote of $560. Ouch! $410 dollars for the part and $150 to install it.

I found on the web I could get the part for $88 including shipped to my door. A friend of ours recommended another mechanic and I was able to get it done for $80. $168 is a lot better than $560. Hmm...I knew there was a reason for not wanting to go to the dealership.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Cleveland Indians first half dissapointment

Since this is the first weekend after Major League Baseball's All-Star game, I thought I would blog about some of the teams that have been major dissapointments so far in 2008. One team that jumps out at me is the Cleveland Indians. Last year the Tribe won the AL Central by 8 games. The lost out to the World Serries Champion Boston Red Sox. Here is a link to my article previewing the Indians in the playoffs last fall.

Currently the Tribe is 42-54 and in the cellar of the AL Central 12.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox. The Tribe did trade away CC Sabathia, who went 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA last season. Fausto Carmona has been battling issues and is 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA but hasn't pitch since May. Last season Carmona went 19-8. Cliff Lee is a bright spot for the Indians returning to form this season with a 12-2 record and 2.31 ERA.

Sizemore's average is down this season batting .272 but his power numbers are up with 23 home runs, he only had 24 last season. Martinez isn't batting .301 this season or having the numbers he hit last season. Travis Hafner also hasn't played since May.

The Tribe are having ac disappointing season due to injuries and management has turned away from this season trading away CC Sabathia. A move the Tribe used to add some talent on the farm. The Indians may not have a winning season this year but they should be in the mix next year with Carmona and Lee in their rotation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Review of Nationals Park

Last weekend I was able to go to three games at the Washington Nationals new ballpark in Washington. DC. The stadium is nice. Washington has done a wonderful job with the stadium and the area surrounding the ballpark. The first night we had nosebleed seats, the view was good. You could see the whole field. The next two games we had lower level seats and they were even better. They had a fireworks show after the game on Friday. I have to say I have seen nicer firework shows after minor league games but it was a nice diversion. Saturday they showed a movie after the game on the big screen located by the scoreboard opposite the third base side. I thought this was pretty clever idea. It also gave a chance for fans to do something while the crowd thinned out. They also have a playground for children which was closed on Sunday. They also have a shaded playstation area as well. The ballpark is great. Ticket prices are more expensive than at nearby Camden Yards in Baltimore. Also food and drink inside the stadium was very expensive even for stadium food. Beers were $7.50, bottled water was $4, we had a BBQ dinner Friday night that was $34 for two. Saturday we had cheese steaks for $8.50 a piece.
All and all a good place to see a game but bring plenty of cash.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July Update on Beau Torbert

The summer is moving along. I wrote an update of Beau Torbert in June so keeping with that I am writing an update for July. The Sioux Falls Canaries won the first half North Division title in the American Association. So Beau and the Canaries will have playoff baseball! Beau Torbert has played in 52 games and is batting .299. He also has a team high 13 home runs and a team high 46 RBIs. He has also scored 37 runs and hit 9 doubles and a triple.

Beau will probably be named an All-Star in the American Association. Torbert is showing a lot more power than he showed while he was in the Astros organization. Beau also continues to hit the ball very well.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Fourth of July Weekend

Sorry no late night rendezvous scheduled with any blond, 80's pop topping, sex symbols at their crib. My wife would frown on those arrangements, even if honestly I was just going over there for free food and drinks. Like wise my wife isn't jetting over to visit a rocker in Paris for the weekend. Of course I'm sure my wife would only do that to hook me up with some free concert tickets.

Well my wife and I don't live those kind of lives but if you read the sports pages or the tabloids apparently some people do! I wonder is there a difference between the sport pages and tabloids anymore? Of course, even if I wanted to live that kind of lifestyle, assuming I would be able to get through every one's security, it wouldn't work out. My luck would have me stuck at home with the kids while my wife went on her rendezvous!

No, my real Fourth of July weekend will be a lot quieter. A trip to Washington, D.C. to see the fireworks with my family. A cookout on Saturday and a day of rest on Sunday before another work week. Hopefully, the weekend won't produce any tabloid stories from my family.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June: The Month of Death

Maybe not but it did same to be that way. The month started out with Doug Thomas passing away. Unfortunately, the funeral information was not forwarded to me. I would have liked to attend his funeral, he was a great man. Then a friend of my wife's dad died. Which started our 2 funerals in three days weekend. A small service but a tight family. Then "Bobbie" Miller's memorial service on Monday. There was a large turn out at St. John's for this service, even for a Monday morning service in the middle of vacation time. Bobbie deserved a big turn out. She did so much for so many people and for the church. St. John's kitchen was really her kitchen. It was odd being in the fellowship hall afterwords with the food. I kept sensing she would pop out of the kitchen with another tray of food...

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin R.I.P

George Carlin passed away Sunday. I was able to enjoy his show, in the small but beautiful Maryland Theater in Hagerstown, Maryland a couple of years ago with my wife. Carlin was funny and entertaining. A lot of his material wasn't "kid appropriate" and I'm sure there were some people who didn't like him or found him offended.

None the less one could not argue with his comedic success. "Carlin won four Grammy Awards for best spoken comedy album and was nominated for five Emmys." If awards don't do it maybe the fact he "produced 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials, three books, a few TV shows and appeared in several movies."

Please check out the AP article by Keith St. Clair, it is a good obit and appreciation. I did use it for the quotes in this blog.

I am glad I had the chance to see him, as the comedy world lost a talent on Sunday.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Sometimes it is nice just to be home. Especially after a busy week like last week. 45 hours in the office, three trips to Baltimore after work, a trip to the mall on Monday after work to get my oil change. Then I did some volunteer work early in the morning on Saturday. Then Saturday evening we went to a party.

Don't get me wrong the party was fun, the three baseball games were fun, and the volunteer work was rewarding. My car did need an oil change. It is just nice to sleep in a bit and have no where to go. It is just nice to be home.

However, the "honey do" list is growing. My parents will be here in a few hours so another busy week will start. But for a brief moment of calmness at a place call home is nice.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Ruin of A Great Night

I spent the majority of this week in Baltimore watching the Baltimore Orioles play the Houston Astros. On Tuesday, evening we invited another family to join us. It was their 3 year old twins first major league baseball game. We had great seats. We treated ourselves to a nice meal at Camden Yards. The game was close and a good game to watch.. All was great, then after the game we went our separate ways. Wednesday, morning I received a call from my wife. The other family had parked on a side street and on the way back to their car they were robbed at gunpoint. It is hard to belief a person would hold up a family of four, with three year old kids. Luckily nobody was hurt. The armed gunman stole $60 and a cell phone. He did not steal any credit cards or jewelry. Needless to say a great evening turned really bad for the other couple.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Fathers Day

My Fathers Day wasn't that exciting. My day started with me hanging out with my daughter. Then i spent most of the day fishing at the pond across the street. I caught a lot of bluegill and crappies. I caught 1 large mouth bass and 3 small mouth bass. One of the small mouths was pretty small. The other ones were decent size but no monsters. However, they must of been feisty today since they gave it all they had. I let them all go, so hopefully one day they will be the "monsters" and hopefully I can catch them again. I have it bad for a fishing trip still. However, the next couple of weekends are spoken for and then there is the fourth of July weekend, which I don't want to be caught in beach traffic on a holiday weekend. The night ended with dinner at the horse races. They have a really nice buffet. I also called my Dad for Fathers Day as I get an extra week to shop before he comes to visit. To all the Dad's who stumble on my blog I hope you all had a great day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Finding Missing Children

A friend of mine sent me a code to put up on my sites about finding missing children. I went a head and put it up on my blog. As a proud parent, I would be devastated if my daughter or stepson went missing. I know my wife would be devastated if anything happened to either one of them too. I imagine most parents would feel the same way. I will be glad to share the banner code with anyone who would like to add it to their site or blog just let me know. Hopefully, if enough people post these type of links, these children will be found and reunited with their family. I would have to belief being reunited with a lost child would be the greatest Father's Day gift for a father whose child is missing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Update on Beau Torbert

Beau Torbert is still playing Independent Ball for the Sioux Falls Canaries. Through 28 games Beau is batting .296 with six home runs, 23 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Torbert is 7th on the team in average, fourth on the team in runs scored, sixth on the team in hits, second in home runs, and leads the team in RBIs.

Beau Torbert's team, the Sioux Falls Canaries is 16-12 in second place in the North Division of the American Association, two in and a half games behind division leader St. Paul.

This is a follow up on Beau playing ball again! losted in April, just to give an update on how Beau is doing after his first month in Independent ball.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Appreciation To A Friend

Last Sunday, I went to church and I heard the news that Doug Thomas had passed away. He was elderly and living in a rest room. I feel bad or guilty. I feel guilty because I never went to visit him at the rest home. My wife says when she called he didn't remember us, but that is no excuse. We did visit him before he went to the retirement home. I'm happy that he will be reunited with his wife Janet. She was good for him. Doug, in a lot of ways reminded me of me. However, Dug always wanted the best for me and my family. He wanted us to be married, he wanted us to have a house, he wanted the best for us. There was no real reason for Doug to want those things for us, but his heart. We would be so much better off with more people like Doug Thomas in our world. He volunteered for as long as he was able. We volunteered too, but he directed us to where to volunteer. Through Doug we know SHARE and were encouraged to volunteer at REACH experiences which have changed my life. We are better people touched by the life of Doug Thomas. God Bless you Doug! You will be missed!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Day in Homers!

Ken Griffey Jr hit his 599th career home run, but it was his team mate Jay Bruce who hit his first career home run to win the game. The Cincinnati Reds beat the Atlanta Braves 8-7 in 11 innings. Jay Bruce won an award last year as the Minor League Player of The Year, if he continues to play well he might add rookie of the year. I know it is early to talk about that award, since Bruce just arrived in the majors. However in 5 games he is hitting .579 with 1 home run, 11 hits, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, and 8 runs.

Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox hit his 500th career home run. The Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3.

All in all a good day for baseball.
Stats from Fox Sports.

Friday, May 30, 2008

RE: The Kids Might Be Okay

I went on a field trip yesterday with my stepson's fifth grade class. On the charter bus, they put on "High School Musical 2." Of course the volume on the DVD player in the bus was quite low even at maximum volume. However, it did not matter, to the kids as they were clapping(in rhythm) and singing Queen's "We Will Rock You." It was nice to hear the children singing a song that I might actually listen too. However, I probably listen to what would be described as Old Guy Radio, since most of the music I listen actually came from before I was born. Of course "We Will Rock You" came out in 1977 on the album "News Of The World." Over 30 years old, the song still rocks on.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hurricane Preparedness Week

It's Hurricane Preparedness Week. Hurricane season starts June 1st and tuns through November 30. Hopefully, the 2008 Hurricane season won't be a bad one. Hopefully, the loss of human life will be minimal. Hopefully, we won't have another hurricane like Katrina. Hopefully, the property damage will be little. May the storms only bring needed rain to the locations that need rain. Where I live we have had plenty of rain in May, however it doesn't take to many rainless days before the weather people start talking about droughts.

This being Hurricane preparedness, I hope tragic storms like Katrina have taught us valuable lessons. I hope that the world can actually become better prepared to deal with Hurricanes. I hope evacuation plans have improved. I hope we are better prepared to respond to a Hurricane than we were when Katrina helps. I hope people will continue to clean up after Katrina. I hope the ecological damage from Katrina isn't permanent. I hope New Orleans continues to rebuild. I hope the other communities hit hard by Katrina also continue to rebuild.

Strange how Hurricane Preparedness Week could bring out so many hopes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. It is time to say thank you to a veteran. It's time to remember the soldiers, Marines, sailors, pilots who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The brave men and woman who face the war zone everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan are heroes. Today is not a day of politics, though I think we all pray or wish for a time of peace. Even in peace, there are rescue missions. There are natural disasters where the National Guard put themselves in harms way for our protection. As you enjoy your Holiday take a moment to think about the ones we have lost. Take a moment to be thankful for the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. Take a moment to be thankful for the National Guard and reserves. May we one day have peace, may one day may all of our POWs and missing service men come home, and may we never forget the ultimate sacrifices which have been made.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Become an Uncle and Hit A Grand Slam

Not everyone who becomes an Uncle has a chance to put an exclamation point on the day! Hunter Pence plays baseball for the Houston Astros. Hunter's brother Howard and his wonderful wife Allison had a beautiful baby girl on Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Hunter Pence hit a grand slam Tuesday, which accounted for all of the Astros runs against the Cubs. The Astros won the game, and Uncle Hunter went 3 for 4. Quite, the way to celebrate becoming an Uncle to your brother's daughter.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Return of the blog

Life gets busy sometimes, that is why a new blog has not come out in a while. Not an excuse just a fact. I work a full time corporate job, AKA the dreaded day job. Anyway we had some visitors in town last week which ended up making my days pretty long. Then I had family obligations over the weekend which kept me pretty busy.

I did cover the West Virginia primary for Associated Content. Which resulted in four political articles. I also pumped out a few more articles.

One was on "Shoes Men Should Wear For a Successful Job Interview", another one on Men' s Sandals. The successful job interview was at least an article written about one of my specialties Human Resources. Really I'm not Mr. Joe Fashion plate, and no I don't have a foot fetish.

However, speaking of fetishes. I did write an article on the Jimi Hendrix Sex Tape. An article for people who have fetishes for great dead guitar players.

Sports which I write most often about has been on the back burner a bit. I wrote quite a bit about the draft so maybe it is time for a bit of a break on sports.

I even wrote an article on Helium, which is pretty rare for me. I don't write that much on their site. I wrote an article on Finding Project Management Training Course.

The point is I've been pretty busy. However, the blog is still alive. I will try to post some new stuff. I'll update the youtube videos soon. I can't do that at work during my lunch break.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

RE:Fishing at the lake

The last couple of days, I've taken a break from writing. Monday, I was finally able to cut my grass. It was about time I had a day off from work with no rain. My grass had taken advantage of the rain to grow really high. In between, cutting my grass, in true slacker style I took a couple of breaks to fish the pond(lake) across the street. Not bad, I ended up catching four bass, and three pumpkin seeds(sunfish). I still had worms leftover from Monday, so I went fishing again Tuesday afternoon/evening. I ended up catching four bass, 3 more pumpkin seeds, a bluegill, and my first freshwater catfish! I also caught a small turtle. The turtle was a cute, little thing. Luckily, he let go of the hook after I had landed him. So, I turned it back over on his feet and let the turtle crawl back into the lake. Not a bad evening 9 fish and a turtle! Everything I caught was released so they can grow bigger. I practice catch and release.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The NFL Draft

The NFL Draft was held over the weekend. Which ment I ended up being pretty busy last night writing draft analysis and recaps for associated content.

I ended up getting four done last night. The first one I completed was one on the Jacksonville Jaguars who traded up to get the number 8 pick in the draft. Read about it here.

Next I wrote about the Pittsburgh Steelers who added an excellent running back and a solid wide receiver. Read about it here.

Then I covered the local Washington Redskins. The Redskins added two of the best wide receivers in the draft and the best tight end. Later in the draft they also picked up a good quaterback in Colt Brennan. Read all about it here!

Then I covered the Miami Dolphins who had the first pick in the draft. Find out who else they picked up besides Jake Long. Read about it here!

Well that's how I spent my Sunday evening.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Cycle of A Good Deed

A while back I signed up for Kiva. It's a neat idea of micro financing. You loan $25 to a entrepreneur in a third world country. Your money is pooled with others, and the entrepreneur gets their loans. The loans are to help the entrepreneur's business, they can be for supplies, repairs, to pay wages, improvements, and the like.

Your paid back as the entrepreneur pays their loan back. Once it is paid back you are credited back the $25 you loaned. There is risk, as a few, a very few loans aren't repaid. However, my loan was paid back. She actually paid her loan off early. I had the option to cash out my $25, but I chose to keep the circle going and I loaned the money to another entrepreneur. I'm just happy to see it work.

For more on Kiva check out the article I wrote about them:

There are lots of things you could do with $25. You could easily spend it on diner, a movie, a concert, and you could donate it a charity. Did you know you could loan it to an organization to make philanthropic micro financing loans to help fight world poverty? (Link)

Friday, April 18, 2008

RE: The Gas Stations Prices Keep Going Up

How high will the price of gas go? Diesel in many areas is well over $4 a gallon, which is not helping the trucking industry. I'm sure shipping prices are bound to go up.

On Monday the price of a gallon of regular unleaded at a local gas station was $3.439. Today, Friday when I passed the gas station the price of gas was $3.599. The gas at this station is overpriced. More than likely they are trying to catch the tourists who are heading to historic Harpers Ferry, or on their way to the slots or the races in Charles Town.

My issue isn't with them being overpriced. My issue is the price has rose 16 cents in a work week. I'm sure this is a trend that other gas stations have also experienced this week, regardless if they are priced lower or higher.

How high are gas prices going to go? We still have roughly 6 months to go until Memorial Day and the summer demand for gas. Will the price of gas go over $4 a gallon, $4.50, $5? The rate it is increasing is quite alarming.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Recession My Depression

It isn't the greatest feeling in the world when you've cut spending and you still come out just as broke! Solution: Get a higher paying job. Well, that's easier said then done. Yes, I know I'm under employed. One good thing, is I do have a job. There is a growing list of people who don't. Unfortunately that list keeps growing.

I'm sure the price of gas isn't helping my financial situation. $50 a fill up is pretty expensive. This year I have scaled back on my travelling. Don't worry sooner or later we all will be paying more for everyday items. You think the prices for unleaded are high, Diesel is over 44.25 a gallon.

I'm glad the mortgage business is booming! (Sarcasm) My wife had a good job in that field. Okay, maybe not good, but better than mine. Unfortunately, her company is no more. Luckily we have a little time on the severance. Then if she finds a job, we'll be back to paying half a paycheck for child care. People can't win.

Times are tough. They can call it a recession but I'll call it a reason for depression! And it's not just me. There are people a lot worse off then us. The high gas prices aren't helping the state I live in West Virginia. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the state. If people can't afford the gas, they aren't going to be tourists. Fewer tourists means the tourism industry has a tough time.

I could go on and on. But what I'd really like to know is when it's gonna get better?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Evelyn's First Birthday

Lately I've blogged about baseball players I know, hockey playoffs, the NCAA Tournament, Spring, St. Patty's Day, a band a friend wrote about, and some shameless self promotion of some articles I've written. However, what I write about today is more important..well at least to me.

Today is my daughters first birthday! Evelyn, my cute little girl turns one. One is a great age. She doesn't know how mean this world can be. She greets everyday with a smile showing off her six teeth and counting. To her the world is great if Mama or Dada pick her up. Of course she has her whole life in front of her. I know its not important to a lot of you(O.K. the few of you who stumble across this blog). But it could be one day. After all she could become anything, her future is wide open!

She's been to baseball games in Pittsburgh, Washington and Orlando. She has been in the arms of models and baseball players. She has travelled to Florida and California. She was born in Maryland and so far has been raised in West Virginia. She has a big brother to help watch over her. She has two parents who love her. She has several grandparents who all adore her. She has great Godparents who love her. She is definitely blessed!

Not only is she blessed but she is also a blessing. Her mother wasn't supposed to be able to have another child. A C-section a year ago and here she is! When your having a bad day or feeling down all you have to do is hold her, and see her smile and your whole attitude will change. She is a lucky child and I am a lucky Dad. Happy Birthday to Daddy's little girl.