Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sore Legs.

Friday night I get scheduled to umpire the 7:30 game on the Majors field.  It was a good game, but had a couple of lengthy innings. My legs and the bending were tough as the cold air kept blowing over them. The game ended on a runners Interference as the runner knocked the Shortstop over going from 2nd to 3rd. I got home at 10.  I watched some TV and surfed a little Internet until 1 AM.
Sleep great and get up at 9:30. Son #3 has a game at noon and needs to be at the field by 11. 2 cups of coffee, and off we go.  I got to sit in the stands and watch another game. As I was walking to sit in the third base stands to begin to watch my sons game, his coach tells me I have to ump, they have no ump and I was OK'd to ump my sons team. I never have a problem with it, but I also never want to have any perception of impropriety. 
I will admit that when my son comes to the plate I get very nervous. Today I was very lucky, he hit the ball, struck out swinging and hit the ball.  Makes my job easier.
But 2 games inside of 15 hours is tough on my legs at my advanced years now!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

British gun control is sexist

What a totally crazy story

I am a big believer in woman carrying weapons.  It is the great equalizer. A 60% increase in Rape?!?!
How do the Brits deal with this injustice?

Driving Idiots

I'm sure anyone reading this can relate, but what is up with drivers anymore?  No courtesy is ever given or acknowledged anymore. The world is chock full of "Left Hand Lane Louis and Lois's", Highway pacers and speed demons.
I ride my motorcycle often and I like to think that the reason I have never had a motorcycle accident is my situational awareness and skill doesn't allow me to be in places for an accident to occur. But these daily pet peeves that people force you into are killers.
Left Hand Lane people?  They are the people that just like to ride the left hand lane and do the speed limit on a 4 lane highway. They never understood the idea of drive right, pass left.  They pay their taxes and will drive where they want. They often have a phone pasted to their left ear.
Pacers?  These are the folks that could be Left Hand Lane folks, until you try to pass them on the right, and then they speed up to not let you pass them.  They close the gap so you can not safely swing around them.  Once they get even with the vehicle in the right lane, they slow back down to trap you, and anyone else behind you.  It is truly a game to them. (A dangerous one also) If I were a traffic cop, these people would get a ticket for Reckless Driving from me.  These pacers cause unnecessary stress to others stuck behind who want to go on their way.
Speed demons?  These are the crazy folks on the road.  You see them coming in your rear view mirror and you tense up immediately, they are swinging in and out of lanes working their way up to get passed you. Best to not watch to closely as they swing their rear bumper withing inches of your front wheel to get in front of you. This maneuver is often followed by a red light stop where in the total gained space was about 10 feet for him/her. 

What else you got??

Sunday, April 24, 2011

McDonalds News of the Week

You need to read this!!!!!! Please.
The United Kingdom has a ban on handguns.  Police do not carry them in their routine business.  The ban, as re-clarified in the  1997 Firearms Act (2) only allowed for antique guns, or historic guns whose ammunition is no longer available.  Yet, as we plainly see, criminals still have access to guns. Just a reminder that gun laws don’t necessarily make people safer from sick, homicidal bastards.  Gun laws, however, definitively prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against sick, homicidal bastards.  My thoughts are with the family of Raymond Mitchell.
Emphasis is mine!

Wonderful Easter Family Day!

Happy Easter!!

I spent the day with my family!  My 2 older sons came for dinner.  Younger 2 are always glad to see the older ones!! 

Meatloaf, Ham, Rice a Roni, String Beans, Potato Salad and Mac and Cheese for the youngens.
Boston Creme, Lemon Meringue, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and assorted goodies!!

We had a nice hand holding prayer and ate very well!!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

What is 10% Equal To? 15%?

My question to you is as follows, "Is 10% of something substantial?"  Would you say, I got 10% off like it was great?  Would you say, it was only 10% off?  What about 15% ?  When would you say you were winning/gaining?

The reason I ask is simple.  10% of the States in the United States no longer require a License/Permit to carry a weapon.  Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming and Montana makes 5. I am also hearing that New Hampshire is very close to passing it also.  So with 50 States, and 50 divided by 5 equals 10 percent do we have a chance of adding more?  YES we do.  Utah is looking at it.  So with New Hampshire we would have 12% of the States. Add in Utah and we are close to 15%. 

When the end of the world as we know DOES NOT happen to these states, 2 of which are New England States(So stay away from wild west references) will you be convinced that law abiding people having guns is not a bad thing? 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Get What You Pay For

The Little League games I umpire for use mostly volunteer umps. There are about 8 real umps and some kids from 13 to 18 thrown in. The rest are dads from the teams. The dads are not from the team that is playing, but they are dads.
Last night I was teamed with a young blond kid who was umping first base. Honestly, he was terrible.  He was in all the wrong positions, he missed 4 calls, he was making calls that were not his.  I would have done better by myself. I am going to insist these kids go through a Umpire Boot Camp" next year. That goes into detail what they need to do and what position they need to be in.

The game was a Minor A game to boot, these were 10 year old kids. The pitchers couldn't throw strikes, even when I expanded the strike zone. The catchers took off their gear in between innings like there was no rush to complete a game.  I had to tell the one kid, "keep your gear on." It was a long knee busting night.

But, let's go to the coaches mistakes.  A young man laces a shot to right center that falls in for at least a double, batter/runner misses first base by 2 feet on his way to 2nd. The outfielders bobble the ball  around and batter runner goes to third, and then coach at third waves him home. Let's call it an in the park Home run.  (Instead of double with 2 errors) The ump at first was watching the ball, not the runner. He never saw him miss first base. His job there is to watch the runner and know where the play may be made, not watch the ball bobble around the outfield. So the coach wants to appeal the first base miss. He comes to me and says, "I want to appeal first base." I reply that it's not my call. He yells to the first base ump, that he wants to appeal first and the ump says safe. Done.  (BUT) But you all should know that a coach CAN NOT appeal a play.  Only a player can appeal it.  So the ump should have said nothing to the coach. Inexperience, plain and simple.  So in between innings, the head coach of the team asks me what I saw, and I tell him, BUT I also say it would be hard to take away the kids "Inside the Park Home run"! These young kids get 20 bucks to call these games, and they do a terrible job in my opinion. I will lobby for training. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shooting Anyone?

My wife and I slipped away today for a couple hours to the local indoor shooting range.  We fired 9mm, 40 Cal. and 380's today!  We bought two targets and picked spots to shoot at on it. I would say, "Hit the left shoulder, or hit the right hand." She would say, "go for the head"! We shot a ton until we were out of ammo and my hands hurt from reloading the magazines. My wife shoots well.  She has an eye dominance issue that we need to work out, but she is damn accurate even at that.  I shot well, and was accurate on all my groupings.  I need to practice more though. We will do this again soon!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We Are Winning!!! Headlines from the Week

Delaware: Disposal Bill Amended With NRA-Backed Language and Passed in the State House!!

Virginia: Guns can be carried in church!!

Ohio: Senate OKs Right-to-Carry in restaurants!!

Pennsylvania: State House approves Castle Doctrine!!

Illinois: Proponents see growing support in General Assembly for Right-to-Carry!!

Oklahoma: Lawmakers designate 2nd Amendment Day to designate Supreme Court decision!!

Arizona: Right-to-Carry on campus bill goes to Governor!!

Maine: Bills seek to respect Right-to-Carry in more places!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

PA Castle Doctrine Bill Advances

The State House voted 164-37, an almost 4 to 1 ratio, to allow people to hold their ground in a self defense scenario. A similar bill has already passed in the Senate.  Now the Senate and House bill have agree and Senate must pass again. Then on to Governors office,  Gov. Corbett has expressed that he would sign it.
I am truly not as interested in the Stand Your Ground ruling of this bill.  What I truly love about this common sense law is that IF, God forbid, I ever have to kill, or injure, an assailant his/her family can not legally sue me in any civil court.  Read that again, because most people I talk to never think about the after event impact.
Currently you could defend yourself, not be charged with anything criminal and still be sued by the family or injured assailant. The bad news is some juries award HUGE settlements in these cases.  NOT after this law passes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blow His Brains Out?

In the thought process of you can't make this shit up?

What was she thinking?   Now lets see how that would run if the shoe was on the other foot. A conservative white male says he will blow her brains out, a black liberal woman?  Front page NY Times? 

I just didn't want you to miss this...   BTW the bill passed 164-37, so the majority including members of her own party disagreed! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monday Night Baseball

It never fail to amaze me how bad some coaches are. I understand that it is a volunteer position, I understand that dad was maybe forced into coaching by his wife and kids, I get all that.  But in the age of the Internet it is so much simpler to learn positive reinforcement methods for 12 year olds. The league I umpired at on Monday is very well to do, they have classes for the coaches on proven methods, but I am guessing they are poorly attended. But I see, and it's early in the season, some coaches using screaming and hollering already.  Take Monday night.  Count on the batter is 3-0, coach tells batter to take one, kid says huh? Swings at next pitch, out at first.(It was a strike BTW) In between innings the coach is lambasting this kid like he was in the world series.  It got so heated I had to interrupt him to discuss an issue with the lights. I patted the hat of the young kid as I was interrupting.

Same coach same game.  This particular coach has 3 other assistants in the dug out with him. All 4 are yelling at the pitcher to do different things. They were not paying attention to the 2nd baseman playing way to close and possibly obstructing the runner on first, they were not paying any attention to the outfielders who were not paying attention in any way.  It was an entire inning of pitcher this, pitcher that. (Advise they gave him was all wrong, too. )

But it is early in the season and my strike zone is broad and I expect the kids to swing. Each week it will narrow down as batters feel more comfort at the plate.  I have my first field assignment on Thursday night, so I will get less bending on the knees and more movement on the base paths. I am looking forward to that. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Boy Am I Exausted!!!

I had a great Sunday!  Let me share with you the pain I am in.  Both my hands are extremely sore, my forearms are cramping, my upper back is tight and last but not least both my legs are achy!  What you can not see is my face.  You have to imagine a huge stuck on smile the size of Alaska to get to know how much the joy overwhelms the pain I am in. I'm pretty sure I slept with this huge smile on my face all night!

Bryan, his new bike (picture in last thread)and I with my old bike rode to the PA Grand Canyon yesterday. A total of 540 round trip miles for me. (Because I know he will probably be reading this, let me say it is probably the only time I will ever get in more miles than Bryan in my life on a day we both ride.) 4 gas stops to top off, since there is some distance between them, and some minor "Dan has to pee" stops" and we logged about 10.5 saddle hours.

The weather was chilly down here in SE PA when we both left from the Classic Harley dealer after I topped off my tank at a Citgo dealer and paid 3.99 a gallon for premium. Now chilly for me describes a day in the 40's and no need for heated gear. (Lesson 1, never leave your wiring harness at home) I decided to wear my helmet because as I consistently say, it is the warmest hat I have, and I am glad I had it. As we drove north and up in elevation the air got more dense with moisture and colder. The cloud cover was incredibly thick and low on the mountains. I honestly can't say it ever rained, but it's like we were driving through a misty fog that made the roads wet and slick. My windshield and fairing got covered in road slime and mist. My boots, chaps and lowers were dripping with grime. But worse than that was the through the bone cold that was over taking me. At a gas stop I added my balaclava, that helped a little, later on I added a hoody under my leathers. That was the deal maker.  I was getting warmth back.  Packing a few extra items was the ticket. (So you all know, I put the wiring harness for my heated gear back in the saddlebags at last night! Now the best thing we enjoyed was all of the remaining SNOW they have up there. I mean piles and piles of snow are still all over the Wellsboro area. I have some pictures.

Bryan led a beautiful site filled ride, he also looks like he has been riding that bike all his life. He took some uphill heavy right turn sweepers at a rate I couldn't maintain. If I can't see around it, I ain't rolling on the throttle.  Bryan can really ride.

At the end of June, Bryan and I along with 30 others will be riding these roads as part of a 2 day work related yearly Trek. So we got to check out where we will be staying and make our reservations. We also had lunch at the bar.  The Grand Canyon Motel has 30 rooms and camping grounds. I was going to pack my bike and try the camping on a bike thing, UNTIL, Bryan and the bartender were talking about bears visiting the campground. It wasn't Bryan saying anything about the bears, it was the way the bartender casually mentioned "as long as you don't have food in the tent" you should be ok!  Should be?  Am I not bear food?  So after Bryan booked his room for himself and his wife, I chose the cowards way ou and got me a room also,  60 bucks and a room with a big hard door and walls, versus a 3 man tent and a cot for 30.  I will save the extra 30 bucks and eat soup at lunch!!  We ate a quick sandwich and iced tea for me and off we drive to find the Grand Canyon lookout.

The Grand Canyon of PA doesn't present itself well in pictures, but it is, in person, a beautiful place. From 1873 feet high you look almost straight down into the canyon and river below! Most of the trees didn't have leaves as yet, so I can imagine this view being more beautiful in summer. Bryan and I scouted out some places that 30+ people will fit and we can get a good picture, I think we have 2 choices.

So that was my Sunday, what did you do?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!!

I am getting up at 6 tomorrow.  I am leaving at 6:30 and riding my bike up to Reading, PA. I will meet my buddy and his brand new bike, picture below, and we plan to ride ALL DAY, BABY. 500 miles? 600??  Bring it on!!  We will be heading up to the Grand canyon of PA, to Scout out some picture taking locations for our big June ride.
I will post some pictures of our ride later tomorrow night. If I get home early enough.

What a Saturday!! Wish You Were Here!

The day today started early.  Son #4s baseball parade was scheduled for 9AM.  Wake at 7, be there by 8:30, charge the camera, and hope that the ground dries from the last 2 days of rain.  It could not have been more perfect. The sun came out as the clouds cleared from North to South.  As the kids were all parading down the main baseball park road, the sun was following them. They were walking to the clouds but the clouds were being blown away from them. Beautiful bright sunshine was happening.
The league is proud to have access to some talent.  Michael Barkann from Comcast Sportsnet Philly lives in town and he acted as MC, and he did a great job.  Ricky Botalico was the Phillie special guest this year, with the Phillies playing away in Atlanta.  Ricky Bo gave a great pitching clinic and was very motivating to the kids. Then we had team and individual pictures, then games started, under a bright blue sky, and the warmth of that wonderful sun felt better every moment.
My sons team, the A's, played a game AWAY at another field and didn't have to be there until 2:15, so we went out a nice breakfast.  Then on to his game.  A great back and forth game that had the score going back and forth, inning to inning. I was asked to help the coach by coaching first base. Easy job.
My sons team won the game in the top of the 6th, by using the old double steal. Man on 1st and 3rd, no outs.  Send the guy at first, if the catcher throws to 2nd, send the guy at 3rd home.  It worked for the go ahead run.  Bottom of the 6th ended with bases loaded as the last out was rung up!  Phew!!
A truly great day!  A wonderfully perfect great day!!  I wish everyone was there, you would have loved it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Am Riding

I have been able to ride the bike to work and around town lately again without the extra time it generally takes to layer up for the cold.  I love to ride, but I sure hate getting so bundled up and wired into heated clothing that short trips are a major pain. So now, I can throw on my leather jacket, leave the chaps at home and use gloves that don't need to be plugged in to heat my hands.  It is a totally free experience.
So today, again, I will ride to work. It is a little less than 20 miles, and takes about 30 minutes during the rush. I will enjoy it, as tonight as I rush home, I have to jump into a different uniform and Umpire a baseball game at the Major League field.
I jump between my passions.  Today, I will dress the biker and head to work. Arriving at work I will dress the worker and do my job. Then I will reacquire the inner biker to get home, change my clothes and become the head umpire in charge of Field 1.  But wait, if you have read this far, read a little further.
After the umpire gig, my wife and I are attending a class on how to raise and support a sports minded child.
What's on your agenda?

H.R. 822: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011

Why am I posting this???

116 Co Sponsors many of which are Demoncrats.(18)

The Extended magazine ban bill that has hit the MSM news regularly?  106 Co Sponsors with ZERO Republicans?

Edited  126 to 107 as of 4/8/2011

If you are reading this I implore you to write a quick e mail to your Congressperson and ask for them to sign on to House Resolution 822.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

An Interesting Quagmire

So many of you know I have over 31 years at my current company I work for. According to HR people the average life of an employee at any company is 4 years, so I am an exception. I have had more bosses than I can count as I was always staying and they were always leaving, some got promoted, some got fired, some left for more fertile ground, but I always stayed. So let me get to my issue.

My new boss, who I like immensely BTW, has only been with the company less than a year. He also only has 2 weeks vacation at his disposal. I have 4, well actually 6, but we will get into that in a moment.
But lets focus on the 2 versus 4 scenario. I can, and will, take 10 more days than he will, BUT, he schedules the project due dates and issues assignments. So we always are on tight schedules, but we rarely make the timelines, NOT because of our team, but because the chain of handling breaks around us. So, when I send in a vacation request, I don't want to hear anything like, "Didn't you just have vacation last month?" I want to hear, "Good for you, you've earned that extra time for dealing with things for 31 years, have fun." What do you think?  Can you feel my being uncomfortable??

So lets talk about the other days.  We get 3 personal days, and we get 8 flex days.  The flex days used to be sick days, but they are not any longer, they are flex.In speaking to HR, they want you to take them. You can not carry them over, you use them or lose them each year. So if you add it up I get 6 weeks and 1 day vacation. 31 days. 2.58 days a month paid time off. So here it is April 2, and I only took off 2 days around my birthday, so I scheduled a full week during my kids Spring break. (My wife is taking time, too) So I sit here in April with a week scheduled at the end of the month, week of 18th, which will place me at 7 days for the year with 24 yet to use. I am behind already, huh? 


The past week flew! I was really busy at work, a lot of my projects are coming through and time has been a special commodity. Son #4 starts his baseball games on Monday after 2 months of practice. I received my umpires schedule for the season and Spring has arrived finally. Add all that together, throw in a motorcycle ride or 2, a couple days at the range and what do you have??  A possibly sleepy, tired, exhausted and busy man.
I had to drive down to Reston, VA this week. I wake at 4:50 AM. I leave at 5:30. I drive the 3.5 hours to the office I spend all day working, no lunch, and then leave for home at 3:20PM. Guess when I get home??  6 friggin hours later. 6 hours to go 160 miles. All on interstate highways...What a crock of crap. So I think I will be home after 6, I get home after 9...   Starving, tired and aggravated.

So the weekend shakes out to be wall to wall things to do. Jazz band competition on Friday night, Baseball on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon is chewed up with visiting the Valley Forge Gun Show with my wife, which I am looking forward to BTW. My beautiful wife and I will visit and shop for some holsters and carry options for her. I need some gun oil and maybe I can find something else. My wife will go for her morning workout and then we will head to VF.
I do have some relax time this morning.  I am clear until 2. I will be adding some other entries in that time!