Saturday, October 28, 2006

Willie the Wildcat Wears Waders....

Boy Was It Raining!

OR....Senior Show 2006


Ghosts of WildcatsAs the band slogged soggily across the parking lot of the high school in the driving rain, it was painfully obvious that the "Senior Show" for this year was going to be a bust. The pitiful looking band members, clad in their band hats, rain coats and blue jeans, already looked like drowned rats, the result of their short march from the band room at the end of A Hall to the stadium located just behind the school. From my cozy vantage point inside the car, I was able to snap a few photos to give you a feel for the damp and cold that the kids (and few staunch Northview supporters) were to endure this night in their dedication to represent their city and their school.

The Few, The ProudMy trek to attend the game began with abandoning my warm, dry refuge and plodding across the mini-swamp that had earlier that day been the football practice field, umbrella held above my head being tugged at by the persistent wind, and camera, iPod and cell phone ensconced in pockets of my leather jacket. Arriving at the ticket booth to purchase my ticket to the game, pleasantries were exchanged with the friends working in the booth, including their undying gratitude for the fact that they were making their contribution to the evening's festivities from the relative dryness of a cramped wooden trailer, a sentiment you would not normally expect. After passing off my ticket to another friend at the entrance gate, I made my way toward the home stands to take my place there to watch pregame and wait until halftime for the senior recognition activity. As I rounded the corner at the edge of the grandstand, I was greeted with the sight in the photo, left....parents and supporters had staked their claims to seats and hunkered down, steeling themselves for several hours of rain and wind chilled football. I noted also, that the athletic boosters finally had the perfect opportunity to rake in some big bucks; if there was ever a night for folks to be downing hot chocolate and coffee, this would have definitely been the one.

Last Pregame2007 Seniors Play TogetherPregame for this night was accomplished with much less flair and fanfare than normally expected from the Wildcat Marching Band; for the sake of safety for all involved, the band walked out onto the field into first formation rather than their usual "Ohio State" - style high step run (photo, left). Because of concern for the fragile nature of the woodwind instruments, none of those folks marched with instruments last night, so all the woodwind players were able to do were hold their places in formations and stand in the rain with the rest of the band. Once on the field, they played a slightly truncated version of the pregame music, basically covering the "Star Spangled Banner", and the fight song, which they played when the football team ran slipping and sliding through the tunnel that the band provided. Before creating the tunnel, however, the band seniors all assembled in front of the main grandstand and band and played together the alma mater...a traditional "Senior Show" feature (Photo, right). The tiny crowd responded as enthusiastically as possible, but to be honest, there were hardly enough people there to be heard over the constant pounding of the rain on their umbrellas, and the wind in everyone's ears.

Wildcat Band Parents AssembleAs the football game laboriously progressed, the band parents began their migration to the south end of the football field to be instructed on what needed to be done for the senior recognition part of the halftime show. The band director staged the parents much in the same fashion that he does every day with their children, providing instruction through his bullhorn and in some cases physically directing folks to where they needed to go. As the parents waited for the visiting band to complete their haftime program, they milled about, uncomfortable in the wind and cold (photo, left). The parents were told that due to the inclement weather conditions, as soon as the halftime was over, the students were going to return to A Hall and the band room, check in their instruments and other equipment, and then be dismissed for the night. The parents were relieved, I believe, as many of the students I observed, my own included, were soaked to the skin and shivering from the cold wind blowing on their heads, hands and legs.

Last Halftime MaliguaniaWhen the time finally came and the Wildcat Marching Band took the field, it was clear that they were all struggling, hopeful that they would make it through the show and off the field without incident. The photo, right, is of the band on the field, playing one of the young one's favorite songs for the last time. The percussionists and particularly the quads players are prominent in this piece, and the young one was looking forward to making this last time performing it be a memorable experience for all of them. In his moments of total attention to the performance, I could tell he was truly happy and enjoying himself, even though this was not the vision he had formed in his mind of how this night was going to unfold.

Good friends, good humour...Frozen in TimeOnce the band's performance was complete, the parents were to quickly take the field to meet their senior for the quickest introductions in history, nothing more than student's name and who they were accompanied by. The band director and assistant walked down the lines as the students were introduced by name, and shook the hands of both the student and the parents. The mothers were each given a single yellow rose (mine now hanging by a ribbon, head down, beginning its process to eventually become part of my dried flower arrangement in my room) and each senior given a pom-pom mum crafted into a corsage of sorts which was pinned on their rain coat.

Final View from the FieldMuch to the chagrine of the young one (not like anyone noticed or CARED for that matter) I took this last picture,left, as a reminder of what it was like to take the field as a Wildcat Band member. I am sure that the young one will not need this reminder for many years, but I hope that someday in the future, as he is thinking back on the days so long ago in high school marching band, he can look back at this picture and it will bring back the sensation, the excitement, the depth of emotion that he felt all those perfect Friday nights in the fall of the year, when he took the field with all his peers, a percussionist with "The Sylvania Northview Wildcat Marching Band".

That's it, in an entry that stretched much longer than I had anticipated...I hope you enjoyed sharing this with me....back with more tomorrow probably...till then, much love to you....


Friday, October 27, 2006

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace..."

Autumn In Ohio I have seen in one autumnal face.
- John Donne


Autumn In Ohio1
Autumn In Ohio2Yesterday, during my travels, I had the distinct pleasure of viewing some of the autumn leaves as they waited on trees to fall and so many more of their compatriots already waited on the cold ground to be swept up and taken away. The sky, a beautiful blue and clouds white and whispy, made me wish that I had the talent to paint (or in some opinions, take pictures :-) ) The pictures above are of the view at the end of my street where I turn each day as I head off to take the young one to school and then proceed to work.

Today, the view is not so pleasant; although warmer than yesterday, it is damp and has been raining off and on throughout the night. There is a strong likelihood that the last football game of the season will be a soggy goodbye to the senior band members, cheerleaders and football players. No the end of the evening, my last football game attendance for Sylvania will be over....another milestone achieved and passed...and the next one looming on the horizon...

More later after the game...till then, much love to you...


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Moody Blues - Evening: The Sunset Lyrics

SunsetEvening has come to pass
The time of day doesn't last
Evening has earned its place today
I'm tired of working away

Working, living it brings
Only way to have those things
Toiling has bought too many tears
Turn round all those past years

Evening time to get away
Evening time to get away
Evening time to get away
Till next day

Live all you people
You can't see where you're at
It doesn't really hurt you
So that can't be bad

Evening time to get away

Live all you people
You can't see where you're at
It doesn't really hurt you
So that can't be bad

Evening time to get away
Evening time to get away

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cool Sunday stuff....

Jazz EnsembleYesterday was a cool and grey day in Ohio, but if you were determined to find something to do, there was definitely plenty going on. My personal day started with the young one awaking at 10 to begin a day's worth of writing to prepare a short story for his creative writing class. Ann had already started her day a while before that, having to open, which is always a pain. The firstborn kindly made the breakfast run for the young one, and soon after we went out together to get some stuff at Radio Shack and pick up a sandwich to bring home for us. Ann had a concert at UT in the afternoon, not more than an hour and a half after she got off work, and the firstborn had promised to go, so we went to UT together in the young one's soon to be car.

Wind EnsembleOrchestraWe arrive at Doerrmann Hall early, because the firstborn was transporting Ann's contrabassoon there, so she would not have to leave it in the cold car all morning, risking damage to it. Once there, we entered the hall and staked out a good spot toward the back and center, because the firstborn already knew that I would try to take a few pictures. The two here are of the groups that Ann performs with, Wind Ensemble (Left, Jason Stumbo directing) and Orchestra (right, Rico McNeela directing), and above left is the UT Jazz Ensemble.

2006 Drum Major - University of Toledo Marching BandIn all, 11 different University of Toledo music ensembles performed in this Department of Music Showcase. The culmination of the afternoon was the appearance of the University of Toledo Marching Band (at right, the drum major, conducting from the center of the auditorium)

University of Toledo drumline University of Toledo BrassThe drumline played cadence as the band rushed the auditorium, lining both outside walls, with the drumline taking over the back wall. The drum major positioned himself in the middle of the seating area so he could be seen by all, and the group played music that they usually play at pregame on football day. As I watched the drumline, I couldn't help but think, "That will be my young one next year at this time..." and as I did so I felt very proud, very old and very young, all at the same time.

After the band performance was over, everyone pretty much disbanded. We saw Ann after the concert and let her know how much we enjoyed it. She was supposed to work at her second job as well last night, so we bid her goodbye for the time being and headed home. The event lasted till after 5, so we headed back home to check on the young one to see how he was progressing on his writing. He was finessing the last bit, but I had to pass on reading right then, as I had determined that I was going to make the rehearsal for Community Band last night and had to get cleaned up and change. Did make it, but strolled in just as warmups were done, and unfortunately had to bring in a chair in the first row, causing distraction while I did so. I tried to be quick and quiet, and Dr Stumbo was tolerant and hesitated just a split second so we could get things pulled together. (great rehearsal, btw...I am really loving this!) The group will be performing publicly in December for a Christmas type concert, so there will be some definite pressure on me at least to practice more regularly...I definitely want to be a contributing member of the group, not one who is just getting drug along by the more proficient staff members.

Lastly, the Tigers played Game 2 of the World Series against the Cardinals last night, and won so that makes the series tied 1-1. The fans are still enthusiastic around here, but they are rooting at the sports bars so that is pretty easy. The weather for last night's game was a little more challenging for baseball than we have had so far, so the fans at the stadium should be commended for their tenacity on behalf of their team.

That was Sunday in Ohio...exciting to me, anyway....hope you had a wonderful enjoyable weekend....back again soon....till then, much love to you....


Saturday, October 21, 2006

On Friday....

tekkbabe does footballTekkbabe does football...high school football. The game last night was at Rossford, and in all of the eight years that I have been following the marching band and football team, the Rossford game has always been the one that officially gives notice that winter is around the corner. There have been a few games in the past that were punctuated by gusty cold winds, and snow, and even if the snow did not come, the view from the stands of the area surrounding the sunken stadium always reveals either trees in full color or beginning to be bare, depending on the weather of the week before.

Obviously listening to Knights of CydoniaTeam Busses at the High SchoolThe drive to Rossford takes me down Interstate 75 south through downtown Toledo, where you can observe what there is of a skyline, with some locally recognizable buildings, and the High Level Bridge, which is one of the bridges in the area that crosses the Maumee River. The route is direct and really hard to mess up, so in my zealous efforts to get there with plenty of time to spare, I actually arrived fully 45 minutes before game time. Thankfully, I brought my iPod along and had loaded it pretty thoroughly with some of my favs, so I plugged in, ignoring the banter of the Rossford fans that were sitting all around me, and got out the camera to take a few photos while I waited.

The Rossford Bulldog Marching BandThis was a home game for Rossford and as such they did pregame. One of the signature things that they do is create their Rossford "R" on the field as they play the pregame music, and then move the same down the field to play the fight song as their team enters the field. They are a very small band compared to Northview's over 200, so their formations are a little more limited, and to be honest they must stay basically facing the stands to play to be heard. They do pretty well musically, and their football fans seem to support the band as well.

Why in the world does a marching band need this?They do have one exclusively Rossford feature that I personally have a little difficulty wrapping my head around (see photo) The two bass players and their "amp guy" stroll out into the middle of the field and stand static during the band performance, and move in the most marching way they can as formations change. NV has used a bass player during a show this year, as a featured soloist on the sidelines, so I can see the value added musically on a temporary basis, but the whole marching bass guitar thing has me a little confounded. To add insult to injury, the band has no low brass (sousaphones) so I can only assume that the guitars may be substituted for them (?)

Presenting your 2006 NV High School Marching BandThere was an audible ripple of comment through the crowd as the NV contingent took the field. As you can see by the photo (left) the band is so large at well over 200 members, that even when taken from the very top of the stands for the sunken stadium, the entire band could not be included in the regular type photos that I take. Note that in the background of the photo is the ENTIRE Rossford marching band, in comparison, nothing more than a little blob of red and white. The NV cheerleading staff and football team are equally large and intimidating; nearly quadruple the number of cheerleaders, and the football players were much more numerous and larger than the Rossford folks.

At this time, as the NV kids were taking their places on the field, I was no longer listening to my iPod. I was disconcerted at the snide comments and sarcasm with which the NV presence was received. In defense of our school district, the community supports and values both the music and athletic programs in the district, and because they do, many many students choose to participate. NV parents do "pay to participate" for their students, and commit time, effort and money to assuring that these opportunities remain available. It was intriguing to hear the opinions expressed by the folks that were sitting around me pertaining to the assumptions of affluence regarding the Sylvania kids and parents. I'm here to tell you, the vast majority of the folks that I know in Sylvania are doing the best they can for their community and their kids, and are not rich, by any stretch. They are simply committed to excellence in the town they live in and their children, and willing to make sacrifices to assure that these things are achieved.

The characters of the band - the young one, center quadsThe first half was an embarassment for the Rossford football team; by halftime the score was 27-0 and there had been many penalties, some personal because of the frustration level on the field, and numerous interceptions. The crowd around me was agitated at the coaching staff and not shy about voicing their opinions; it was understandable, but a little useless...yelling into the air was not going to change the way the coaches were going to run their game. At halftime, as "visitor", the NV Wildcat Band was the first to take the field. The photo (right) is of the drumline and sousaphones during the performance of the music "Maliguania" (you may recognize the name from Tommy Lee's short stint as quads player for the University of Nebraska)This was a preview for me of the senior show that will take place at home next week.

Script CatsThe culmination of the senior show, and in a more real sense the culmination of the senior band football season, the "Script Cats", executed to the same music as that used by the Ohio State Marching Band when they create Script Ohio. In all the years that I have seen this done, it moves me with such pride every time. The music communicates the dominance and determination of the band and the final result is the ultimate representation of them, the community and all that they stand for. Even in the situation in which they performed last night and knowing the attitudes that were expressed earlier in the evening, when the band finalized the formation by the sousaphones crossing the "T" and saluting, and the entire band saluting the crowd with hats removed and bowing, the admiration was palpable in the response of the spectators who had chosen to stay to watch halftime rather than take a snack run or bathroom break.

Unfortunately for Rossford, after halftime, the football game proceeded in the same fashion as the first half. The final score was 41-0; a trouncing to be sure. There is some speculation that a continued winning streak by NV could put them in playoff contention...we shall see on that...all that can be said right now it that they were definitely the dominant force on the field last night.

I have rambled on far longer than usual for this space; hope you were not too bored...thank you for being here to share this with me...will be back later over the weekend (with a shorter post ;-))...till then, much love to you....


Friday, October 20, 2006

Blogging about.....

Sweetest Day - What they know at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

______________________________ you buy the story or don't you?....that whole philanthropic effort for the forgotten, unloved and unacknowledged, to let them know that they are remembered and cared about? For some reason there seems to be a big push this year to get that whole story out to folks....the young one, who works in a drug store, where of course they offer the full selection of "Sweetest Day" tributes, informed me that this year there are actually cards available for sending that include the origins of Sweetest Day printed on the back. Perhaps there has been too much talk in recent years about the blatant commercial quality that this "rememberance" seems to have, and perhaps even sales of candy and cards have petered out for all i know....the WIKI referenced above has many references, both to the "origins" and also to the rather jaded feel that has built around this event through the years.

Personally, i subscribe to letting people that you love and care about know whenever you want to and in whatever way that you feel is appropriate....don't really need candy and card folks telling me when or how to do it.....unfortunately for guys especially however, chicks have a tendency to eat this kind of crap up, so as far as i can tell, its too bad for you, but looks to me like a day you will be pressured into buying some useless trinket to assure your place of grace in the heart of your "sweetie"...sorry...sometimes you just gotta mumble under your breath and roll with it...

"Happy Sweetest Day".......

Much love to you every day,


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Strange Magic

After everything that has happened in the last month(?) the hits just keep on a call from the "Shared Services" person (like HR i guess) who has been my contact in the hiring process in the company that I am going to work for, she informing me that HR is holding a learning opportunity for all the Shared Services staff next Thursday and I have been invited to participate. The crux of the activities will be pre-administration of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument in a privately hosted online evaluation, then the completion of an online e-learning opportunity to cover the implications of the instrument's results.

I have been exposed to this assessment before, when the ex was first employed; I am assuming it is used relatively often in industry to assess and quantify employees and provide them with tools and understanding about themselves and their peers in an effort to create a more cohesive and cooperative environment in which to work. I should have known that specifically from the atmosphere of the office and attitudes of staff....there is a lot of self-awareness there as well as a sensitivity toward peers and bosses. I am pretty sure on what my results will reflect, but am looking forward to the actual results, to see if I understand myself as well as i think i do. I am sure that there are those that will also say that they can predict the result, and you are welcome to express your opinion, although before you do, feel free to peruse the elearning module on HBDI at before you express your opinion. You can also go through the elearning materials to create a VERY rudimentary profile of your own, to give you something to mull over.

In other weirdness, it seems that now that I am committed to taking another position, my resume on Monster and CareerBuilder and my profile on BrainBench are now getting exposure. I have had several emails and one very peculiar phone call today, expressing interest in further contact for possible placement in an IT opening. It seems that it is one extreme or the other....never fails....

That's all for now...hope you are well and that good things are happening in your part of the world...I miss you all very much and look forward to hearing from you soon....much love to you....


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

All About: University of Toledo and Hair....

Today was the scheduled college visit for the young one to his school of choice, UT. We went there knowing that he has already been accepted, but atended in any case, on the off chance that there was something else we had to do that we did not already know about. Left a little bit early and got breakfast on the way. Once at UT, i did of course, in my inimitable fashion get a tiny bit lost and have to back around in a parking lot to let a bus go by, but once that hurdle was overcome we found the right parking lot and got to the meeting. It was pretty much as expected, with the overview and the campus tour, which we opted out of. Instead we visited the bookstore in the ground floor of the student union to stock up on UT logo mechandise. I got a cute not school colors hoodie and the young one got his fill of UT logo apparel, enough to take him through to senior year, i imagine.

After the UT visit, we went to get the young one a hair cut at one of the local generic har cut places; he is not much into fuss and just wants the hair cut short and neat so he can spike it and that was what he told the chick so he thought it would be no big deal. Fifteen minutes and practically bald later, he stormed out of the place leaving me to pay the girl. He was so pissed off when he got home i thought he was gonna explode, but once he got his wits about him he realized that he could still spike, but not so pointy for a little while. With that bullet dodged, we went over to the high school, where he is now, practicing for the talent show that will be held in a few weeks.

RedI also have taken it in my head to do the hair change thing...the photo shows the new color in the daylight....not too bad, but i am having a hell of a time getting used to seeing it in the mirror...i have been a blonde for a LOT of, this is it for now...we will see if i like it enough to keep it this way...back with more later, maybe....much love to you....


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

StrollerGuy "Original"

"Next time someone calls you a 'first-class' bitch or bastard, smile broadly and say, 'Thanks! I thought the only way to move up was through marriage!'"
Image Hosted by

Monday, October 16, 2006

No Ado About Anything...

Tiny Heart Absolutely nothing but normal stuff today...the young one off school, and he had lots of errands he wanted to run. We had breakfast out, just us two, then off to Old Navy to check out shirts and pants for school. He ended up with a couple shirts, couple pairs of cargo pants, and a new pair of shoes. I would be a liar if I told you that I didn't buy anything, but it was just a couple t-shirts to wear under other shirts (on sale after all!)....nothing much else I can think of that I "need" right now.

While we were driving around, I asked the young one if he had any special plans for the "Hallmark holiday" this weekend, Sweetest Day. He said he didn't buy into the whole "Sweetest Day" idea, and didn't think that it was necessary to buy something to give to his Sara just because someone said that he should. He indicated he would do something if he thought of something he wanted to do...i indicated it might be a good idea to just buy some flowers anyway, just to be on the safe never know how that whole "rage against the machine" thing may fly when it comes to one of these kinds of days, when girls compare notes later to see who has the nicest, coolest, most awesome and thoughtful boyfriend ever. I would really hate to see him not even in the running! :-)

That's pretty much it for now...have a couple things coming up with the campus visit on Wednesday and all...and this Friday night, football at Rossford...always a real treat (read "later in the season, colder than snot!") but this will be a show with music that I really like so it will be OK.

Back with more later...till then....much love to you....


PS - One exciting bit of news...The movie that my co-conspirators on this website,Strollerguy and TimTheSaneLunatic are associated with "Gameheads - The Movie" has finally released trailers/teases to get buzz going in anticipation of the movie's release. For your viewing pleasure, please visit Gameheads - The Movie or click on the Gameheads link at the right in the navigation bar.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Not Football Sunday

Panda HondaToday was the Fall Festival community activity and parade in Sylvania. Local businesses and folks who are fundraising or stumping for office take this opportunity to get out with the masses to influence, handshake or sell stuff. There is a parade where all the local groups, like the Masons, law enforcement agencies,the boy and girl scouts, mental health and health organizations as well as the marching bands from the high schools create a nice parade that snakes its way from the high school, down the main east/west street to the main north/south street, to go north for the two blocks that make up downtown. The band kids dress in costume for this parade, relieved of their uniforms to express themselves in whatever way their creativity and a modecum of dignity allow. The young one decided that the panda (photo left) was his choice, and from the sound of things when I dropped him off that the band room, it seemed that the other band members found it pretty amusing as well.
Sylvania Fall Festival, 2006
Folks come early to walk up and down the blocked off street, to socialize, buy pies and other goodies and listen to the entertainment the runs as noise in the background.

The Ref is BlindThe band directors as well as the band members participate in the festivities. This year the NV director reflected the opinion of so many frustrated sports watchers, but strolling along next to the band dressed as a referee, striped shirt, dark glasses and a cane...lots of fun with that and positive reactions from the crowd.

The SheikThe band director from the other high school favored the crowd with his version of an Arab sheik. He strolled along comfortably beside his band as they progressed down the street.

Eddie BoggsAt the center of all the activity was an announcer's stand. The entertainment for the day, which was a singer and my friend Eddie Boggs, who served as MC for the day's events. When I went to the stand to say "Hi!" he came over to me, gave he a hug and swept me toward the center of the intersection for a little dance. I spent some time talking with him, which is always fun; he always leaves you with such a wonderful warm feeling.

All in all the day was very nice, the weather a definite contributing factor, and a small side job rounded out the day. That's about all for now...back later...much love to you...


Friday, October 13, 2006

Football Friday

Tekkbabe Fall 2006Yesterday was, in my humble opinion, a true beautiful fall day in northwest Ohio. The sun was bright in a clear blue sky, the air practically cracklingly cool. The temptation to jump in the car and drive, just for the sake of driving, without destination or attention to time was very great, but as is so often the case on perfect days like this, there were many responsibilities that interjected, rendering the impulse impractical.

95 Saturn Fall 2006The first job of the day was to retrieve the "free" car from its current home in the parking lot of the friend of the firstborn. The firstborn spent his early hours of yesterday building his car transport team, which eventually consisted of his best friend Chris, who has the muscle vehicle (his Suburban), his girlfriend, Ann, who was to be the communications person and spotter, and me, to ride escort position in my car, four ways flashing, warning other drivers to stay clear. The firstborn and Chris have executed the vehicle transport maneuver more times than I care to count (or even admit to, although I can assure you, my neighbors can surely tell you to the car or truck) so they truly have the process down to an art form. I simply had to follow instructions, and Ann with me kept contact with Chris and the firstborn using their cell phones and three way calling facilitated through the firstborn's ROKR. The entire process went flawlessly well, and once dragged in close proximity of our driveway, the firstborn and I pushing and Ann steering through the open driver door assured that the car successfully rolled up the incline at the driveway apron and coasted to a stop at a place of honor in front of the garage door. The firstborn explored the car at some length later in the afternoon, absconding with a battery from one of the other cars to do a full electrical check. He has deemed the car "highly functional and totally repairable" and I can see in his face that this car, so much newer and in general better condition than any that he has ever had before, will be his pride and joy, and ridding us of some of the other "projects" we currently maintain so that he can keep this car will not be a problem for him. I can hear my neightbors heaving a collective sigh of relief already!
NV Fall 2006Last night was the city's rivaly football game. It was comparable weatherwise last night to the daytime hours; breezy, clear and cool. The young one was still ill last night, but to keep him away from the band on this night would have been absolutely impossible, so I did not even try. We tried as best we could to make him comfortable, and he left to fulfill his responsibility to the band. In his sacrifice of self for the sake of the band I see the dedication he has for all things; his commitments are extraordinarily important to him, and he will do whatever is necessary to assure that he does not shirk them.

The firstborn and I went to the community tailgate party before the game. We partook of the tailgate cuisine, consisting of packaged snacks, veggies and dip, cookies and brats or weiners and soda or coffee. As we stood observing the crowd and finishing our pre-game snack, I observed one of my former co-workers; I was astonished to watch as recognition of me and the firstborn passed over his face and he immediately changed his direction of locomotion to one directly away from where we were standing. I actually witnessed this behaviour several times from him while we were in and around the tent where the tailgate event was held; it was as though he wished to avoid my observation; an uncomfortable conscience perhaps? I also greeted with affection many friends who I have not had contact with since before my life changing experience of several weeks ago (has it truly been that long?) It was so wonderful to be able to talk with and actually have physical, hugging contact with some of the people that mean so much to me. Although no longer officially their "Help Me Vicki" anymore, I know that we will always be friends and now, as peers in the community, these will be relationships that will add so much more to the quality of my life and the lives of the boys.

The firstborn and I, by mutual agreement, stayed at the game until after halftime, at which point the young one's school was pitifully behind 14 to 0. We did, however, miss an astonishing recover by leaving early; the young one school ended up dominating the second half to win the game with a score of 24 to 21. This is truly not normal for this grudge match; the vast majority of these games are won by the other high school. The young one tells me now that should this strong performance continue, his high school actually has the potential to make it to playoff contention; a very exciting prospect for his last football season at this school.

That's it for now...back later...

much love to you...


<10 Friday In Ohio <20 RANDOMIZE <30 GOTO 10

GraupelAs I was getting up to my normal dose of the talking heads on the morning news, I heard the weather head mention the weird half snow, half hail deal we had yesterday about mid afternoon. It was actually cool little snow like balls falling from the cold grey sky and as they came to rest on the plants and grass outside, you could actually pick up the white little pellety things and hold them in your hands for a sec until they melted (see photo). He informed that the stuff actually has another name besides "little pellety things" and is actually called "graupel", a german word which means something like "soft hail". So, there is your (and my) useless but cool bit of knowledge for today.

Today is also the rivalry game between the young one's high school and the one that is located on the south edge of our town. We will be playing at the one good football stadium that the community has, which is on the grounds of the young one's high school, and our team will be "Home" this year, so all our folks will be able to sit in the good stands and the other team homies will sit on the away side. There will be a huge community tailgate party under a monsterous tent before the game, which of course, I will attend. The firstborn, as long as he is not deathly ill or totally tired, will be going with me, acting as my blocker, bodyguard, what have you, so that this first public experience since the official announcement will not be a problem. As is my truly annoying habit, I will, of course be snapping lots of pictures, and will bring any of interest back for you to take a peek at.

The firstborn will be bringing the Saturn home today after he goes to school this morning to do his presentation for Small Group Communications. He and his friend will be towing it with tow straps and his friend's Suburban (the old reliable work horse) and then the firstborn will be doing the vehicle ballet at my house to get everything suitably arranged. After that, he wanted to work on the blue Honda, but the weather is so cold today that it may not be possible to do so. That will have to be decided a little later once school is over for the day and he sees how the sun warms things up.

The young one home today; a horrible cold from yesterday outside for band rehearsal for an hour in the cold without his coat on is kicking his ass. There is no way he would ever miss a band performance, so he is here taking meds to see if he can sleep the illness away today enough to go to the game tonight.

That's it for now...much love to you


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today in Ohio...

Today in Ohio:

- It snowed
- Detroit Tigers continue to have a chance to make it to the World Series
- The firstborn got a new (to him) car for free
- I got a new job

On the snow front, it was cold and cloudy when I got up this morning, and as I was waking up to take the young one to work, I became aware that the talking morning news heads were talking about accidents on the expressways in Detroit. As the day progressed, the temperatures remained low and by afternoon dark winter like clouds rolled over and there was a brief but very determined spurt of snow. Thankfully it did not stick to the ground, but it was a precursor of things to come.

In the sports front, the Detroit Tigers continue to play well enough that people around here are excited about the possibility that they will make it to the World Series and the fair weather Tigers fans are coming out of the woodwork. Will have to keep watching the progress; I would be a liar if I said that I would not be happy to see them be successful.

On the car front, this was probably the most amusing part of the day. The firstborn got a call from a prof he had at Owens who he became friends with. He had a car that one of his friends has left at his place of business that he finally had convinced him to get rid of, and thought of the firstborn right away. We went together to the prof's place this morning to take a look at the car. It was a sharp looking little red '95 Saturn 5-speed, still not looking too shabby even though it had some "bonus berries" on the rear deck. When the prof came out with the keys and the firstborn got to take a peek under the hood (the description of why it was not being driven anymore was that "it stopped running") the firstborn immediately saw what the issue was; the photo shows what we observed. His intention is to claim the "free car", then find an engine swap(needless to say!) Once done it will be a sweet little car, and the firstborn will actually be only its second owner. It will also be our newest ever in the fleet, which will be kinda cool. Unfortunately that, of course, makes one of the other vehicles be placed on the liquidation schedule....probably be the van (it is defn the least photogenic).

On the job front, it is with great excitement that I tell you that I got a call today from my constant companion through the interview process for my new position, and am pleased to announce that the offer for employment is official. The start date is October 31, so I will be using the next several weeks to prepare for all the things that I have less that in depth experience with, so I can "hit the ground running" so to speak. I am extremely excited and anxious about this new opportunity, but in a GOOD will be a great learning and growing experience, and I look forward to being a contributing member of their IT staff.

That's pretty much it for now....hope you are all well....thinking of you with love, as always....


Most People Think of HALLOWEEN in October...

Image Hosted by
...but this is also:
Senior Pet Health Awareness Month
National Seafood Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

...and those are just the ones of which I am AWARE.

I wonder when Month Awareness Month is?
Image Hosted by

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My young one (pictured here) has received official notification today that he has been accepted into the College of Education at the University of Toledo. This is a huge step in the process of getting him accepted and enrolled at UT as a Music Education major, which has been his wish for a long time. The next step in the process, I imagine, will be to prepare and perform an audition for the College of Music, which I being the proud mom that I am, feel assured will go extraordinarily well.

He is very excited, as am I. We will be going on our campus tour next week with the knowledge that he has been accepted and when Senior Show finally occurs, they will be able to announce that as his intention after college. It is fantastic to see your children achieve success and fulfillment in their truly is a huge affirmation for all the struggle he has been through getting here.

If you want to wish him well, visit his blog at BuddhaofDrumming, and leave him a comment. He would really appreciate it!

Much love to you,


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain....

....and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.”
Sigmund Freud
The photo included with this entry was a totally accidental discovery made while running errands with the young one, getting ready for the Fall Festival Parade to take place on Sunday in our town. The band every year dresses in costume, and the young one, as a senior, had his very specific costume in mind and I was transporting him to the nearest costume store to see if we could reserve it for him.
The engaging Halloween tableau shown on the small front porch of the home is the current commentary of my ex-sig other, who I have known for at least 30 years and was involved with for nearly 10. Last year, after many years of tolerance and making excuses for treatment I did not deserve, I finally separated from him. The months following that separation were difficult for both of us, and although I was very lonely for a time, I have recovered my dignity and moved on. I would imagine that as is his practice, this was meant to be hurtful, but my perspective has been so significantly adjusted recently that all I can do is smile and shake my head in sympathy.
From the lovely Halloween display, it appears that he is comfortable with documenting his relationship struggles for everyone to peruse. Perhaps the public exposure of names serves to give him some control over his pain and anger.....failure insinuated on the part of the women directs attention away from the possibility that there was some deficiency in his handling of things. Thus, the quote of the day....I hope that his illusion of control achieves the comfort that he is looking for.
Enjoy....more of the young one's choice of costume for the parade (hysterically funny to be sure)....much love to you...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Work is love made visible.....

.......And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy."
- Kahlil Gibran
Of all the quotes that have appeared on this site during the past two weeks, this one is most appropriate to close this chapter of discussion. I truly have worked with love; the people who I have served have become my dear and wonderful friends, causing me to grow and expand my knowledge even as I have challenged them to learn and grow. The only distaste that existed was for the lack of a communicative, nurturing environment in my immediate sphere of experience; no growing, learning or discovery was taking place there.

Please don't take this experience of mine as how things must be; continue to show your love in your work....your peers, your students and the community will always be better for your commitment.

Much love to you all....I look forward to our continued contact as the autumn fades to winter....I feel sure that our paths will cross often.


Friday, October 06, 2006

"Action and reaction....

......ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress."
- Bruce Barton


I have officially as of today garnered my resignation and it has been accepted.  This has been the most taxing and difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life.  I have been admonished that this action may not be the most well advised,  but in my heart I feel that my experiences recently have told me something about my life situation, showed me the condition of my existence and how stagnant the creative part of myself has become.  The contact with a others in the same field of experience as I who are engaged,  challenged and ENJOYING THEIR WORK and environment showed me that there are truly situations that can challenge you professionally and nurture you personally at the same time;  those two things are not mutually exclusive.  In preparation for that opportunity to be able to act on opportunity to capture a bit of that for my own life,  I have decide to finally commit,  to take the leap of faith, and be ready when new experiences present themselves.  It is risky business,  but so is letting your life slip by regrets,  a few worries (let's get honest here...of course there are a few! I do have responsibility to those who depend on me...the pressures there are monumental!)  and a renewed sense of purpose and really juiced up enthusiasm level.

I hope that by example, my kids and friends will see that you don't have to "settle" offers so much to you if you are willing to offer something in exchange.

Much love to all of you,


Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Life belongs to the living....

.....and he who lives must be prepared for changes."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


In even what seems to be the worst of personal situations,  there can be positive aspects to focus on.  As the door to this part of my life is closing,  as is so often the case,  a new door has poked open just a crack,  and I am waiting to see what is on the other side of it.  I have high hopes for the future, one in which although perhaps poorer monetarily, I will be fulfilled and happy creatively and spiritually, which will make me a better mom,  a better friend,  a better companion and a better employee.  As the grand scheme of this experience reveals itself,  I feel assured that I will emerge a more contented person on the other side.

In my changing,  I will always treasure very many who have been and will continue to be my friends,  my confidantes and my strength.  I have been so generously blessed to know you....there is absolutely no way that I could ever repay you for your love, support and loyalty.  As the days pass,  I hope that we can continue to come together to share our bond of friendship;  my heart to heart connection with you will never fade away.

Much love to you, now and always,


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"It is better.... err on the side of daring than the side of caution."
- Alvin Toffler

(Alvin Toffler was born on this date in 1928)


"I'm always looking, and I'm always asking questions."
- Anne Rice

(Anne Rice was born on this date in 1941)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us.....

....what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
- Albert Pike


As I leave you all and the job I have loved more than any other I have ever had,  I impart this piece of advice.  I hope that I have empowered you to ask for what you need;  don't be afraid and don't take "No" for an answer.  You have grown in knowledge and experience in our time together here,  just as you have helped me to learn and grow.  Use your knowledge and experience to your advantage,  and take control of your situation to assure that you receive the services you need.  If you are unhappy, be vocal, let the powers that be know,  right to the very top.  The only way that the careless attitudes will be changed is if they are forced to.

I no longer will be here with you as you act as catalysts for change.  I wish you much success,  and send you my love as I leave this situation and hope to pursue one that will offer me more opportunities like ours together, to add value and contribute to a new IT team and organization.  God Bless you all;  you were the reason that I took so much joy in this position.  I will miss you all more than I can ever express with words.


This Picture Speaks for Itself...

Image Hosted by

Image Hosted by

Monday, October 02, 2006

Thinking about.....

"Doors and windows...."

Is It Just Me...

Image Hosted by
...or is there something VERY wrong with this undoctored photo? (Hint: Look closely at the trailer in the background.) Remember how Mom and Dad would never let you enjoy the rides at the "cheap" carnivals because they were too rickety? Makes you wonder how this "sponsor" got involved...

This telling picture was taken by Yours Truly at the Independence Day "festival" on the Alton riverfront.

Image Hosted by