Monthly Archives: July 2012

Let’s Give It Back….

Symbol of ametuer athletes.

I used to get kind of excited about the Olympics.  Keeping up with the metal counts and what the good ole USA was doing.  The drama and the unexpected.  Many years back when the Olympics were being formed it was nation against nation, and it remained that way for quite a period of time.  How long I can’t say but it was always staged pure athleticism.  As it progressed it was well known, at least from what I can remember, that it was an amateur competition.  I don’t know when that went south, but when it did, so did I so to speak.  Sad to say I’m not sure the world much cares about the Olympics anymore except for a pocket here and there.  The USA now sends professional athletes in the two major events, tennis and basketball.  Switzerland sent Roger Federer and the USA sent Serena Williams in tennis.  These two have dominated the world of professional tennis for a over a decade.  They have played against the best over and over, and won over and over.  Federer may be the best that has ever played.  Do you think the Olympics and some kid from Norway stands a chance against him?  It’s like when you were a kid and the older guys would play the younger less experienced guys in something, beat the crap out of them and then feel like they really accomplished something.  I’m not saying they can’t be beat, anything can happen on any given day, but I wouldn’t bet against either of them.  Few countries can send athletes of this caliber and that’s why I’m guessing it initially revolved around the amateur contestant.  To keep it on an even keel so to speak.  The USA has sent a basketball team comprised entirely of professionals.  Not all 12 on the team are the 12 best in the world mind you but I would bet at least the first 5 or 6 are.  I don’t know that they have ever not won a metal since the inception of this practice and, if it was anything less than gold.  I think they did get a silver or bronze once, and this is since 1992.  Remember the big guys verses the little guys.  Same thing.  C’mon let’s give it back to the amateurs, bring back the spirit of competition and what it was all drawn up to be.

Don’t Ya Hate That….

A real buzz kill.

Your driving at the beach, or any resort type area, and your looking for a good parking spot.  Maybe to a crowded beach access or your favorite busy resturant when you sight what you determine to be the dream spot.  It can’t be.  A smile crosses your face and you head in to get it.  Just as your going to turn the steering wheel into the dream spot you see a golf cart or motorcycle tucked nicely in it.  The smile on your face immediately fades away and you say out loud “don’t ya hate that”!

My Fifteen Minutes….

Former Alpena Michigan HS gymnast John Geddert has been named as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Geddert was chosen as head coach at a U.S. team meeting in Texas.  He was voted into this position by his fellow coaches.

He will be joined in London by two other former AHS gymnasts who were chosen as coaches for the US teams: his wife Kathryn and current University of Michigan men’s gymnastics coach Kurt Golder.

We weren’t buds or anything, but I graduated with both John and his wife Kathryn.  Pretty cool!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation….

in no particular order:

Visited Southport NC.  This is a cool sleepy little Nantucket type harbor town.  Lots of antique stores, cafe’s, resturants by the harbor.  Sat and ate lunch while watching a movie being filmed.  Don’t know the name of it but if I ever see the scene where two women are walking down the street and greet a neighbor at her house while a girl on a bicycle rides by I can say I was there, and say I saw that scene being filmed a million times.

Slept in, everyday.

At a dinner outing one night I’m walking up to pay and well what do you know, no wallet.  Guess the wife will have to have a go at it.  Well what do you know, no means to pay there either.  But since she did have a drivers license I was held as a hostage, at gun point I might add, while she drove back for funds.  I told the lady “she’s coming back, we’re not going to jail over two fish dinners”.  Life happens.

Went to the movies to see “Ted”.  If your a sensitive type person you best stay home.  Some good stuff in it though.  The race to the movie theater, or theaters I might add, was an adventure in itself.  Third times a charm.

Visited “Broadway At The Beach” one day to get the lay of the land as I had not been there in years.  Pretty cool walked around and such.  Well anyway we decided to go back one night for dinner.  What was I smoking?  When we got there the parking lot was loaded to the road and cars were parking on the grass.  I panicked, pulled a u turn and got the hell outta there.  I’m just now breathing easier.

Played putt putt.  NOT!

Went and sat on the beach a couple times.  Really like to do that time to time.  People watching, reading, drinking, smoking, oh, and the beach too.

Late afternoons at the pool by the waterway.  So relaxing and quiet.

Early mornings in the pool may be the best time of day to swim, water temperature wise anyway.

Went to “Hamburger Joes” one day for lunch when the bill came it was $21.85 or something like that.  Anyway Joe’s does not take a debit card but I was prepared and had cash, so I dropped two $20’s on it.  The waitress comes over, and probably said it before looking, “will you be needing change”?  Like a hog needs slop!  Hell to the yes!

Attended a free concert at McLean Park in North Myrtle Beach by a group called “Six Style”?!?  Go figure.  Top ten, oldies and such.  Beautiful evening, breezy and not too warm.  Very good time, only I forgot to bring a cooler.  I could do that again!

My niece and her husband were vacationing and some of their days overlapped ours.  Anyway got to see her some, and his family was having a bit of a reunion.  She married into a good family.  Good people.  Enjoyed meeting them.

Drove almost the whole length of the beach, from Garden City to Cherry Grove along Ocean Blvd.  Didn’t do Atlantic Beach, 2 blocks missed, big deal.  What did I miss really?

Did about half the flea market in Surfside Beach before the heat drove us out of there.  Not so much the heat but the lack of air movement made it somewhat stale.  Ran into my nephew and his family.  Small world.

All in all the nine nights went by faster than we ever want them to.  Staying at “The River” really makes you forget about all the goings on in the world.  The nights are so quiet and peaceful.  Wonderful retreat from a busy day.

 

Look, Up In The Sky, It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Weather Balloon….

Hey Lookey Here What I Found.

This week marks the 65th anniversary of the infamous “Roswell Incident” in Roswell NM that involved reports of a crashed “flying disc”, you know, men from outer space — later reported as a “weather balloon” by the U.S. military.  It’s easy to get those two things mixed up you know.  And right on cue, new claims by a retired CIA agent are revving up conspiracy theorists.  Chase Brandon, a 35-year CIA veteran, says he viewed secret files on the Roswell incident and concluded that the object found “was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet”.  One of these guys comes out at least yearly for their annual 15 minutes of fame.  I’m baffled at why, if this is true, the US Government is so afraid to come clean with the American public.  Let’s be real, the American public is so desensitized to everything now-a-days that telling us they found a UFO wouldn’t exactly have us running and screaming in the streets with fears of invasion.  We’d probably be in the streets sayin, “come get some ET”.

And for the record, “I do believe”.  There’s to much vastness out there, to much space for earth and the human race to be the only life form.

Don’t Make Me Ask….

Whenever I pick up a newspaper, any newspaper, for whatever reason I find that I’m stopping and reading the obituaries more and more.  I don’t go right to them, but I do stop when I get to them.  I don’t even live there and I’m reading about the people who died there, like I may see someone I knew.  I usually don’t.  Regardless I cruise over the ages mostly, I go back and look at the born on dates if it’s a really old person.  Sometimes they are an eye opener.  I think about all the stuff that person may have experienced history wise during their long life.  There are people alive today who remember WWI, the great depression, WWII, fascinating Presidents, the moon landing, famous events and trials, and everything that shaped our country.  In contrast to the oldest you may see someone who was extremely young.  Not long ago I saw where a two year old had passed and thought how awful for the parents.  An obit for two year old is powerful stuff, whether you know them or not.  People in their prime also catch my eye, usually a uniformed picture gets a longer look too.  Obits always tell you who preceded them in death and who their survivors are, I never know them but I always look anyway.  The older they are the fewer survivors, stands to reason I guess.  Some obits, but not all, may list what they liked to do or something that was special to them, sort of like a remembrance.  They celebrated their life by bla bla bla-ing.  So and so celebrated their life by carving horses out of wood, bass fishing and they were an avid church going member at “Our Lord’s Last Supper Of The Holy Baptist Temple Of Guidance Church”.  This, along with being a loving father, brother, mother, sister, grandpa, aunt, uncle, friend and acquaintance to everyone they ever knew.  Every obit has words to that effect.  The one thing I want to see in an obit, and everyone else does too they just won’t say it is, how did they die.  Sometimes it’s, “passed from an extended illness”, or, “passed quietly at home”.  I want to know.  Car wreck, cancer, street fight, what?  I don’t know if I ever read an obit where after reading it I knew how they went out.  What’s the harm, really?  The family, friends and authorities all know I’m sure, and to a stranger like me, well, it’s not like I’m going to call them or something.  So what gives?  I really don’t see the harm.  The sensitivity of the issue has subsided and I don’t need all the gory details.  Something like, “died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident”, “after a long battle with cancer”, “suffered a heart attack”.  Is that so bad?  After all isn’t that what an obituary is?  A death announcement?  And the one logical question that does not get answered is “how did they die”?  If you see an obit in the paper and you knew or sort of knew the person what’s the first thing you want to know, hey what happened to Harry?  Save us the guessing and the gossip and just print a short statement of cause.  My wife has permission to print my cause of death, unless I did something stupid.

Insiginificant, I Think Not….

"The Road"

“For those that fought for it, life has a certain flavor the sheltered never know.”

– posted on a signpost in Vietnam.

“The secret of life is to just live every moment.”

-unknown

 

After my Dad died I was sitting at and rummaging around his office desk and I found where he had written down in his shaky handwriting two sayings, “those insignificant events that occur while you are waiting for something to happen, that was life, and you missed it” and “life goes on long after the thrill of living is over”.  He died of cancer in 2005 and I often wonder if he found those sayings after he was diagnosed and while contemplating what was past and what was yet to come.  I think I miss more insignificant events than anyone.  He didn’t.  He made more out of a normal morning routine that most would kindly call routine, but nothing more.  He loved every step he made, he thought about everything he did before he did it.  Nothing was casual.  I always need something to look forward to.  Some event.  Some so called next stepping stone in life’s path.  I find it extremely difficult to simply sit back, relax and watch the world unfold before me.  And unfold it does all too quickly.  “Life does happen in the midst of our plans'”  All said though I do like to people watch.  My Dad could sit in his driveway or backyard all afternoon, watch the cars pass, read the newspaper, study the neighbors, tinker a little and not be bothered one bit that it was all routine.  Not to him, it was part of life.  Maybe not the most exciting part, but it was life.  Being with him eased the blur of life and slowed you down too.  If given it’s due, it’s amazing to watch a seemingly unexciting scene before you and discover all the details in it that make it an event to really watch.  To study.  Something someone else would not watch long enough to see.  Events are everywhere.  On occasion I have closed my eyes when listening to classical music and try to picture the violinist’s bow on the strings, or fingers on the piano keys.  Is that enjoying life?  I think so.  Momentarily if nothing else.  Is the ride to or from work insignificant?  Not at all.  There is little chance it’s constantly the same thing each day.  It’s new, you just have to study it to see.  It’s life and you’re in the middle of it.  There’s another old saying that I like, it’s so true; “the road is more exciting that the inn”.  Meaning the trip is more exciting than the destination.  What does it take to slow down and take in what life gives out each and every moment?  You have to recognize what life is giving out in order to enjoy it, and what it gives out is “each and every moment”.