Monday, September 18, 2017

Stunned Silence Saturday

It felt like a full eclipse - total darkness as Miami University lost to University of Cincinnati for the 12th time in a row. How memories fad so quickly.  The years I attended Miami the football team ran up a string of 23 undefeated games.  Last year Miami had entered the record books as being the only team to go 0 and 6 and win 6 straight games to end the season and get a Bowl Bid.  So naturally, the alumni like me felt the recent losing streak years (21 straight defeats) were behind us. 

But this game - the 5th oldest rivalry in US history - was time to show UC that Miami was back.  Unfortunately, of the 28 years as a season ticket holder this game will be etched into my memory.  The final two minutes will forever be remembered as the worst luck and judgment in my Miami Football memory.

The Victory Bell is once again missing from Miami's campus.  Sounds of Silence!

59-56-7  Miami             
With Jenna (3/8 of a Redhawk and 5/8 BearCat), Paul and Ellen Bearcats, it was a tough evening for Susan and I  (old Redskins).    

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Miami University Partial Eclipse

Forty Five years ago, I was preparing for the life event of starting college at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).  The first day on campus was actually Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1972.  If you looked at my office today you would think that I had created a shrine to Miami. 

My memories of Miami are again flooding in (no pun intended given Harvey and Irma disasters) because of continuing the tradition of writing weekly letters (yes snail mail technology) to Ellen who is now enrolled at University of Cincinnati - the DARK SIDE :)

I started this letter tradition (Monday Miami Memories) with Jenna, when she initially enrolled and began attending Miami University eight years ago. Jenna also was tempted to the DARK SIDE and graduated from U.C. in 2013. 

These letters are full of Miami University trivia, nostalgic memories of the good, the bad and the ugly, but most importantly it described the relationships that I developed that were life long with college friends. Coincidentally, I got to reconnect with two of those friends, Brian M. and Andy C. this summer (should have been my July 21, 2017 blog entry) when they both happened to appear in Cincinnati at the same moment (call that an early Miami  {Partial Eclipse). 

Source:  Andy C's Phone and Facebook Post
With Rich missing - there was no chance for a Bridge rivalry, however I think there will be a future reunion in the making.  Now all of us retired - there should be no excuse.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Trivia-l Eclipsing/Intersecting Goals

It took a Crossroads sermon on Sunday to tickle my trivia nerve to research the total Eclipse path  of 2017 and 2024 across the United States.  I watched the total eclipse on CNBC Monday August 21 as it traveled across the U.S. and when it was near Ohio, I did glance out the window but had no interest enough to even step outside (at about 2:40pm). 

But when Brian Tome showed the next path of the April 8, 2024 total eclipse and said it would be even closer to Cincinnati, I took notice.  Why not find the perfect blackout location and (if convenient and weather permitting) travel to that location. 

In fact, I can't believe I didn't take the opportunity to blog about this since there was almost constant media and I assume other bloggers creating list after list of statistics and facts on frequency, elapsed time, GPS coordinates etc. 

So belatedly, I will add my trivia to the masses.   First an interesting global map of the 21 century eclipse path - with North America as the 'center of the world" and most important :)

 More fun is wondering where the exact intersection of the 2017 and 2024 perfect viewing location somewhere near the village of Makanda, IN somewhere in the wilds of the Shawnee National Forest. For the real trivia buffs - for the 2017 Eclipse, the pink pin labeled  GD is key for Greatest Duration (2 minutes 40 seconds) and the Green pin labeled GE is Greatest Eclipse (when the axis of the moon's shadow cone passes closest to the earth's center) which was 12 miles northwest of Hopkinsville KY.  We were fortunate that the GD and GE occurred over the mainland USA. Many times it is over the ocean - but this GD and GE was significantly less than the maximum possible (7 1/2 minutes).

Well since I missed going there in 2017 why bother for 2024 when I can chose anyplace along the vertical diagonal red line.  Naturally the research in me found a site to determine where to go - a NASA specific Eclipse Web Site Map.
So Road Trip planned for April 08, 2024 to just east of Indianapolis near Richmond IN. If I wanted either the GD or GE for 2024, I would have to travel to Mexico.
But if I read the chart right I would need near Richmond  at 7:07pm and the total eclipse would last only 2 minutes - quite an investment for the "Bucket List" experience.  On second thought - I'll just enjoy the thought of going and hope to last to August 12, 2045 (age 91).  It's always good to have long term goals.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Today is Day 14 for my good friend M.I. who is fighting like a warrior after a serious bicycle accident and reconstructive surgery from C-3 to C-7 - still at U.C. Medical Center.  Only now do I really begin to know what those letters and numbers stand for.  There are other people in my life that have coped with accidents (falling from ladders, roofs) or have undergone back surgery, but none have shocked me quite like this one.

My own coping mechanism for shock is to search for information, statistics, numbers - in a Spock like logical fashion - and dampen any emotional surge.  Try to avoid the infinite loop of "WHY" that attempts to let the emotional valley of despair be visible.

I saw M.I. and D.I on Saturday - Day 7 and everything from the neck up was normal.  Just like the 17 years of gathering together discussing life, the future, and ..... well some of the insignificant current events (when compared to this event).  My conversation that Saturday afternoon was primarily just that - just insignificant stuff -  in an attempt to avoid any emotional rollercoaster intimacy that grief or uncertainty might uncover around some fear of a future dark corner of relationship unknowns.  Avoid asking about the accident; avoid probing into their emotional privacy; avoid the obvious yearning to tell them both my own feelings of sympathy and compassion.  My thoughts - just be there for them - that should be enough.

Yes - I've reached out to my network asking for information, advice and prayer. I've researched foundations, medical facilities, checked out medical books on SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) Rehabilitation, re-read the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, watched the movie, the list goes on and on.  Each day I read the CaringBridge blog that D.I. so bravely posts and I compose encouraging words of support.  Even prayer dominates my day - specifically for the M.I, D.I. and family. 

When you don't understand ..... with no amount of data available to explain ....only three words remain - Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 13:13). 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Turkey Buzzard Moving On

The Turkey Buzzard's (officially Vultures)  were flying in low to inspect the damage of the last few days of rain. Both wondering where their home went.  Sorrowfully, the 30 foot bare tree trunk had fallen with a nest of six fledgling casualties.  Creating a Sunday afternoon of lumberjack effort, the fallen tree was cut, rolled to the side and the stump up righted (temporarily since Susan doesn't like the look).  The "Rocking W" branded into the base will no longer be visible once the trunk is removed.  And the woodpeckers and buzzards will have to move on.

Not to worry there are plenty of dead ash trees available for new homes. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fathers Day Blessings

It was a wonderful Father's Day full of blessings.  While grooming the forest, my two assistants attempted to police the area of unwanted critters.

Then the day dived when I looked at my wrist for the time and discovered my watch was missing.  How to find "a needle in a haystack".   Luck has it that a shiny object appeared after three hours of backtracking my steps and the watch was found.

A prior Father's Day gift, I was in mourning when I discovered it missing and the high probability it would never be found. 

The bonus was an grill out with the girls (and Paul too!) and the very thoughtful present of a new leather satchel (briefcase) to replace my 30 year old Coach briefcase that has traveled the world.

Like an old wallet - it's tough to give it up.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Boston Legal #11

Last night was the eleventh "Boston Legal" evening hosted by KC.  Chops, Cigars and Cinema.  The movie choice was a 1993 Robert Duvall classic "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway".  It was the most appropriate choice given the past history of viewings about life, mission, character and the journey. 

Duvall's character, Walter, reminded me of my barber Fausto Ferrari (see Blog entry "Same" 4/6/10). I've missed getting my haircut from him for the past six months and pray that he is doing ok. 
The real message of the evening was what will the three of us be like as septuagenarians?  This movie was littered with great old guy quotes.  My favorite:

Walter:  "You have to pee too?
Frank: "I'm 75 years old.  I always have to pee."     -----   Feed the fish :)