EOU Softball

I may have mentioned previously that I have a relative, Maryssa, who plays softball for Eastern Oregon University. Diane and I like to go watch her when she’s playing close to us, but that doesn’t happen very often. Still, we keep track of her shenanigans.

Last weekend they played somewhere near Pendleton, OR and won all four games. I know that’s true because Diane told me and I believe everything she says, even when she’s wrong. In this case, however, I’m pretty sure she’s correct. She told me that Maryssa hit at least one home run during those wins and because she’s related, I’m sure she played a major role in all four wins, even if she didn’t hit. She’s the 2nd baseman.

This weekend, ending today, they played in Montana and only got the Saturday games in because the Sunday games were cancelled due t0 snow. That’s a first for me. Cancelled because of snow. I guess that happens in Montana. Anyway, EOU won the two games on Saturday running their current streak to 6 in a row.

Just wanted to let those girls know they have fans in places they’ve probably never been, and we’re proud of them.

Keep it up!

This is Maryssa holding Kylo, Lydia’s puppy.

Big Guns, Little Guns, No Guns, Some Guns, Snow, and Fast-Pitch

You may have noticed over the years that I tend to stay away from politically charged topics, especially those involving guns. After this last shooter took advantage of  a soft and unprotected target to make his statement, I think all of the information learned about the shooter after the fact kind of exonerates the gun as being the problem. It’s the person holding it and, oh ya, it’s all those folks who couldn’t seemingly find the time, or a reason, to investigate all the warnings they received about the shooter. You’ve heard all this if you watch the news so I’m just being redundant and I apologize.

I’m one of those guys who think it’s OK if teachers were allowed to carry a concealed weapon. I suspect that the coach who lost his life would have solved the problem in a more dramatic manner if he had a gun. Maybe he should have had the gun that the school resource officer didn’t use.

Sorry. That was a low blow. I was happy to hear that he resigned his $80K/year job after choosing to not do anything when he could have.

So, after all that, I’m going to offer a solution even though I do not know who funds the resource officer position – the school or the police department. Doesn’t matter to me. I suggest that whoever does should hire veterans, preferably ex Special Forces kind of people who aren’t unfamiliar with the stress and danger of wading into a fire fight. I think they should carry their weapons openly, like just like all those Secret Service agents standing guard around pretty much every important building in Washington, D.C. It’s a real deterrent, believe me. I talked with one of them – asked him for a recommendation of a good place to eat. He was very helpful, and I was impressed with the weapon he was carrying. Kind of like the one our Florida shooter used, I think.

With that thought in mind, I’ll also share that I don’t see the need for weapons of war to be sold to civilians. The only justification I’ve ever heard from owners of such weapons is that they are “fun to shoot,” or that they want them for home protection. OK, I kinda get that but I’m still not a fan of AR-15’s, or similar weapons, being available to pretty much anyone who qualifies, even if they’re nuts. Personally, I don’t own a weapon. Never have. However, if I were to purchase one, I’d get a shotgun. There’s a bit of logic in my addled brain that thinks a shotgun is better protection than a pistol or a fancy rifle. With the latter you have to be a good shot. With a shotgun you only need to get close to get someone’s attention.

I swerved way out of the lines there that define my normal behavior and blog content, didn’t I? I’d apologize but that would be hypocritical because I could avoid all the potential turmoil this may cause by simply not posting it. But I won’t, so it’s evident that I’m not sorry I did it. I may be sorry tomorrow, but not right now.

Our weather remains to be cold (like in the teens) and it snows a bit now and then, but the roads are clear. There was a tricky period of time at the onset of the bad weather when one of the freeway exits was nothing but black ice making it a tricky trip. It was fun to watch.

It’s after 9 pm and nearing my bedtime, but I must stay alert because we’re waiting for our Niece Steffani to arrive from Idaho. They should be here any time. The reason for their trip is they thought it was time for Birk, Tyler’s little black dog, to meet the rest of the dogs in the family. That, and Maryssa is playing fast-pitch softball against Concordia this weekend. We love to watch her play. We heard a rumor that Maryssa hit a homer in her team’s home opener. Don’t know what the score was, or who won, but she hit a home run. Good for her. It’s her senior year at EOU (Eastern Oregon University) so this is her final season as a collegiate player.

I feel better now. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I’ll try to be a little more upbeat next time.


Olympics, Snow, and my Bladder

First, in case you were wondering, Jerrie is still in pretty good shape for the shape he’s in. That said, he’s demonstrated that age is showing its nasty side when he had trouble tying his shoe the other day. Yup, he said he couldn’t figure out how to tie his sneaker, something that pretty much every 1st grader does with ease. He figured it out, however, and the shoe didn’t fall off, but having that trouble concerned him a bit.

To be more honest, he didn’t actually forget how to tie his shoe, it’s just that when he did it, it didn’t have that familiar feeling he was used to. He reported that it was an odd feeling which prompted him to report directly to his bride that he was losing his mind. He added the question, “do you think I’m getting Alzheimer’s?” She responded with, “No, you’re probably just losing your mind,” which put the mind he was probably losing at ease. Kinda weird, I know, but that’s how he tumbles.

Jerrie’s favorite Olympic event is short track speed skating. During his younger days in the 50’s he was an avid roller skater, the kind he needed a key to clamp them on his shoes. Those wouldn’t work for kids today because those old skates wouldn’t clamp to a pair of sneakers. Nope. You needed the old kind of shoes with leather soles, you know? Each skate had four small metal wheels with ball bearings and made a lot of noise on a cement sidewalk. They were so small that small pebbles would cause them to cease rolling which resulted in many crashes. Because those mishaps happened in the 50’s there were no lasting scars. Lots of impressive scabs, but no scars. Oddly, Jerrie was pretty good at getting around on those antiques and thinks he could probably transition pretty easily to ice skates and short tracks. He thinks he can be a contender. Really, he does. What he doesn’t get, however, is the age discrepancy between todays winners and yesterdays dreamers. I told him he was about 60 years behind the times, but he doesn’t get it. He still thinks he can bounce off the pavement with the best of them. There was a brief moment when he took a trip on a set of roller blades that didn’t quite fit and he didn’t fall down even though he was being towed down the street by Ziva, the big black dog. Thankfully, the skates he wore were for sale at Diane’s garage sale and someone bought them. No more roller blades for Jerrie. No more scabs, either, on a body that doesn’t heal quite like it used to.

Now he’s content to just watch the excitement, between naps.

End 3rd person …

To keep things in perspective with the Olympic season, the Northwest has been hit with a pretty hefty winter storm that’s dumping lots of snow on us. It started around 6:30 this morning and hasn’t stopped. It’s 9:16 pm now, and it’s predicted the continue throughout the night, leaving up to 7″ in our area. We’re well on the way to that. Hopefully there will be a brief window of opportunity for me to make a trip down the hill to my urology appointment. Well, I guess getting up the hill after the appointment is more important. If that happens I promise to give a detailed account of my urology appointment with Dr. Kemp. My last visit with him, a couple of years ago, resulted in a considerable amount of pain when the TV camera that was inserted into his bladder hit bottom a couple of times. Memorable.

I guess that’s it for today, except for this. It looks like this out front now except the tree balls have been removed.

Haircuts & Jeran

Yes, I’m still here, taking sustenance, and using my allotted portion of oxygen. I haven’t made any posts for a while because I haven’t injured myself one time during this break. My last injury was before Diane had her 3-fer injury marathon on December 29th. Apparently she used up our family quota for a specific period of time which makes me immune during that time. Not knowing how long I have before I puncture myself is a little unnerving, but I can handle it. Although I know something is going to happen eventually, I think I can act surprised when it does. Just like I always do.

During this hiatus Diane and I cut each other’s hair. We did that to save a few bucks and I learned something during the process. I’ve cut Diane’s hair previously, so it’s not a new skill set for me. I’m not saying I’m a skilled hair cutter, but rather I’m just not afraid to do it. There have been times, more than once, when she returned from her barber and made me fix it. I guess that says something about her confidence in my efforts, or my willingness to just do it equals her willingness to let me. So, I do.

What I’ve learned during my previous stints as a fill in barber is:

  • Never say “Oops!” Doing so generally ignites a contentious conversation. Barbers (and doctors) never say “Oops”.
  • When taking turns cutting each others’ hair, always get yours first. You do this so you can judge the quality expected on the reciprocal haircut. If you get a bad one you don’t have to be nearly as picky with your efforts as you might normally be. However, I preach that no matter what you’re doing, do it well. With that in mind, if you get a bad one, do your best but know that you are not working under pressure. Relax and just let the scissors do their work.
  • There may be other lessons learned, but I can’t remember them now.

Jeran received his acceptance letter from Corban University and is a pretty happy kid. He’s also on the St. Helens High swim team which also makes him very happy.

Jennifer worked the home meets as one of the time-keepers so she was involved and able to capture moments like that last photo.

Now it’s time to eat supper.

Various & Sundry Thoughts

Today was a pretty good. First, we both were able to attain a vertical position with minimal effort and help, we succeeded in retaining sustenance, and we had a nice long visit with both minor and major relatives. The minor relatives were Maryssa and her significant other, Matt. Technically, Matt isn’t a relative, yet, but he fits in nicely so we include him. Maryssa is Diane’s brother-in-law’s wife’s Grandson’s Sister. She’s currently in her senior year at Eastern Oregon University where she’s on schedule to graduate on June 16th. After that she will be seeking employment as a teacher of young, pliable people in a school district with leadership smart enough to put her education to good use. Another minor relative who visited is Tyler, the Maryssa’s brother who recently moved from Nampa to Oregon City for gainful employment. It was great to have them honor us by visiting and talking with us. Major relatives in the group were Lydia and Cedric. They are major relatives because they are related to both Diane and me. Minor relatives are those who are related to one side or the other, not both. I’ve probably covered all that previously, but that’s OK. It’s always good to clarify.

Regardless of what level of relatives visitors are, it’s always good to see them. They all bless us with their presence and the time spent to get here. We appreciate it.

Cedric, as you may already know, is currently home on leave and will be returning to his ship, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on January 12th. Then he’ll be back at work not knowing when he’ll get time for another trip home. We treasure any time we get to visit with him.

Lydia, as previously reported, is employed full-time here in town so we get to see her quite often. Many of those times are when we see her driving by, while we’re traveling around town, or when she’s visiting for a scheduled social event with her parents. Jeran would have been with the crowd today if he hadn’t been with his swim team in, oddly enough, La Grande, I think. I say “oddly enough” because that’s where Maryssa attends EOU.

Jeran is a St. Helens High School senior at this time and has plans to attend Corban University in Salem, Oregon after graduation. His goal is to become a youth minister. There will be more about that as the situation evolves.

Yesterday I went to work as a plumber to fix a leaking pipe for my First Wife’s Mother, Jean. She’s 90-years-old and try as she might, couldn’t fix it herself. I determined that the cutoff valve was faulty so bought a new one at ACE. Long story short, I failed to recognize the acronyms that identified the various thread types for valves, faucets, and pipes, so the combination I purchased failed to work. But, I had the leak diminished to a livable level and called it a day. By livable, I mean it wasn’t going to overflow the drip pan if left over night. This morning I got up with success on my mind and did some searching in my plumbing supplies in the basement. Turned out I had exactly what was needed to fix the problem and it didn’t require a trip to ACE. That’s because I obtained them at a previous trip to ACE at some point in the past. Anyway, the leak has been repaired and Jean is a happy camper. It was a close call, however, because she was just seconds from calling a plumber after yesterday’s failure.

I’d complain about our weather, and all the cold weather and rain, but compared to the vast majority of the USA to our East, our weather is great. Though it’s chilly and wet here, life is good. So, no complaints from me.

From a sports perspective, the Portland Trailblazers beat Atlanta, The Tennessee Titans beat Kansas City, and there’s a chance the Los Angeles Rams might beat Atlanta. The last one is nip and tuck at the moment, but momentum is with the Rams.

Now I must snack.

Scappoose Football and Random Gibberish

I seem to have overcome the frantic behavior that compelled me to write a post pretty much everyday over the past bunch of years and I kind of like this Saturday only approach. Yes, it’s my first Saturday set aside specifically for doing this, but it’s a start. There’s another reason I’m doing this today, too. We, my bride and I, went to a high school football game last night. Our alma mater, Scappoose, was playing against Ontario hoping to move forward toward the state championship which Ontario won last year. On their way to that title, Ontario eliminated Scappoose during the first round of playoffs. So, this was kind of a grudge match. Making it even more appealing for us to attend was that the game was played in St. Helens so they could play on artificial turf.

We arrived plenty early but the parking lot was full so I urged Diane to park illegally next to the gates so we wouldn’t have to walk a mile. Being that close gave us enough time to climb all the way to the top of the covered grandstands before kickoff. It’s a long ways up there but we only had to stop a couple of times to rest. On the way up I saw Josette and Nancy, the only people I recognized from Scappoose. Once seated I discovered a few other familiar faces. Well, actually, familiar backs of their heads because we were in the last row. The only ones I recognized from the back were Howard, Ernie, and Della. Never did see my friend Larry or my other friend Larry.

Scappoose took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for the first score of the game then missed the point after kick. From there it went downhill for Scappoose. From the way the penalty flags flew it appeared evident that the umpires, judges, and referees were on a mission to ensure Ontario would win. There was one point where the line judge on our side of the field was in front of the Scappoose team. Ontario had the ball. Before the snap, this judge tossed his flag high in the air then ran out to the guy with the white hat to confer. Once done the white hat signaled “unsportsmanlike behavior”. Since the ball hadn’t been snapped we in the bleachers could only presume that one of the players or coaches had said something to, or about the line judge. He did this 3 times in a row, marching Ontario down the field without ever having their QB touch the ball. They wound up somewhere around the 10-15 yard line but, to Scappoose’s credit, they had to settle for a field goal. We may never know that happened that caused all those flags but it’s fun to guess.

Both teams kept scoring and there were lots of exciting plays but Scappoose kept falling a little further behind. In the end, the final score was 53-39 Ontario. The officials had their way.

Even with all the flags, Scappoose could have won if their QB hadn’t fumbled the fall three times. Granted, he was sacked each time, but he still lost the ball, and Ontario scored on each fumble. So, 53 minus 21 makes 32, right? Right. Scappoose wins 39-32. Oh, ya, I forgot. Ontario went for 2 points after touchdowns a couple of times, so it may have been 39-34.

We’ll never know, of course. Just wait until next year.

On the way down the stairs Josette asked if I was going to write about this. Not being a sports reporter I actually hadn’t given it much thought. Until just then. She had to stick that thought in my head and, as you all know, once something gets in there, the only way I can get rid of it is to let my fingers verbalize.

So, Josette, this one’s for you.

By the way … you and Nancy looked very nice last night. I noticed that another lady had joined you during the game but I didn’t recognize her. Perhaps I should have. Thanks for taking a chance and saying “Hi” to me in public.


Take a Knee

I’ve hesitated to chime in on all the commotion about NFL players not standing to honor our flag during the National Anthem because I think it’s just stupid. The clearest definition I’ve heard about why Kapernick started this was to protest black oppression. I’ve heard all kinds of discussions that support those who choose to kneel and I can only respond with a mess of opinions of my own.

First, I believe the vast majority of those who think kneeling for our national anthem are not of my generation. I’m old. When I was in school, the first thing we did as a class, to begin each day, was put our hands over our hearts, face the flag, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Second, my first career encompassed 27 years in the United States Navy. When leaving a ship in port the last thing a sailor does is salute the flag. Upon return, saluting the flag is the first thing they do. On all US bases world-wide colors are observed twice a day: 0800 and Sunset.

No where in any of my activities that relate or refer to a flag was I required to kneel. Nope. When in uniform, and I heard the national anthem, I saluted the flag. When in civilian clothing, I placed my hand over my heart just they way I was taught.

For the naysayers out there, perhaps you view all this repetition as a form of brainwashing. I agree. Taken to the extreme, I believe all forms of teaching involve a bit of brainwashing to drive a point home. I know that for me to retain pretty much anything requires repetition. Lots and lots of repetition.

I think those folks who kneel for the anthem didn’t have the kind of education, and/or exposure that I had as a child or in the military. And you know what? It’s OK. We have that right, correct? Laws have changed over the years to the point where we don’t have to participate in any kind of ceremony to which we object, for any reason. It’s kind of like going back to live in a commune during the 70’s when pretty much everything was just plain OK. So I’ve heard.

The NFL can kneel all they want, to protest … to protest … what was it they’re protesting? … oh, ya … they are protesting President Trump’s comments about them kneeling for the National Anthem. By gosh, they’re going to show him, aren’t then?

Huh. I don’t think Kapernick had that in mind when he took a knee, but that seems to be what it’s about now.

Funny how things change.