Tag Archives: giants

How Sweep it Is: Orioles Advance to ALCS

IMG_0176.JPG

Well, this is cool. The Baltimore Orioles have swept the favored Detroit Tigers to advance to the American League Championship Series.

The Orioles will play either the Kansas City Royals or the Los Angeles a Angels, though right now it looks like the Royals, who are leading 5-1 in game three after winning the first two games in Anaheim could be on their way to sweeping the highly favored Angels in their division series.

Personally I would rather see the Angels come back and win it simply because the Orioles have pretty much owned the a Angels this year and have had some pretty tough series against the Royals. Regardless of the outcome of the Angels and Royals series, the Orioles are just four wins away from advancing to the World Series since 1983. Regardless of who they have to play I think that they have a great chance.

Congratulations to the Orioles and the young players that I have gotten to know in their minor league careers in Norfolk, Chris Tillman, Zack Britton and Kevin Gausman.

This is really pretty cool. I have believed in this team ever since Buck Showalter was hired as the manager and Dan Douquette as the General Manager. One only has to go through my website and look back at what I wrote back in 2011 and early 2012 about the Orioles to verify this.

My hope is that tomorrow the Giants will finish off the Nationals and that both the Orioles and Giants will advance to the World Series regardless of who they have to play in their respective League Championship Series later in the week.

Have a great night and may your Monday be better than most Mondays.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball

Tides Win in Durham 6-4

Alfredo Simon (shown at Harbor Park) got his first win for the Tides

The Norfolk Tides began their first road trip of the year in Durham tonight defeat the Bulls 6-4 as I listened to the game on ESPN Radio 94.1 while doing my taxes.  I love listening to a well called game on the radio as I can imagine what is going on and find it more enjoyable than watching on television.  When I was a young I was always mesmerized by the legendary Dodger’s announcer Vin Scully even though his is in the employ of Satan’s Major League franchise. What can I say I’m a Giants fan? Stone me with heavy stones.  Anyway I digress.

Tonight I listened to Tides announcer Bob Socci call the game against the Bulls as on Jackie Robinson Day I waited as is my custom to e-file my Federal Taxes 2 hours before the midnight deadline. The Tides jumped off to an early first inning lead when Bulls starter Jeff Bennett surrendered walks to Joey Gathright and Jeff Salazar on 8 consecutive pitches and was removed from the game with an injury. Brian Baker came in to relieve Bennett and gave up a double to Lou Montanez which scored Gathright and advanced Salazar to third.  Scott Moore singled to Center to drive in Salazar and advance Montanez to third.  Bulls Catcher Alvin Colina allowed a passed ball which scored Montanez and the Tides led 3-0.  Baker the retired Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell to pop out but Baker then allowed a double to left by former Bull Rhyne Hughes doubled to drive in scoring Scott Moore before Baker got Robert Andino to pop out to Second Baseman Joe Dillon. In the bottom half of the first Tides starting pitcher Alfredo Simon allowed two hits but stuck out two before getting ground out to Tides Third Baseman Brandon Snyder.

The Tides went down in order to Baker in the second and Alfredo Simon surrendered a single to Angel Chavez before getting Chavez on a force play at second.  The Third inning was equally uneventful as in the top of the third Lou Montanez reached first on a base on balls. Scott Moore then flied out to left and Brandon Snyder hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the Tides at bat.  Durham picked up a run in the third when Elliott Johnson got a bunt single and advanced to second when Rashad Eldridge grounded out to the pitcher Simon. Justin Ruggiano flied out but John reached third on a wild pitch from Simon.  Hank Blalock then picked up an infield single to second scoring Johnson before Joe Dillon popped out to Brandon Snyder at first to end the inning.

Rhyne Hughes doubled with one out in the fourth but the Tides failed to bring him home as Robert Andino flied to left and Adam Donachie struck out swinging.  Durham picked up a second run when Dan Johnson homered to right.  Simon would get the next three Bulls in order to end the inning.

The Tides threatened in the top of the fifth. Joey Gathright walked; Jeff Salazar struck out swinging which brought about a pitching change for the Bulls. Richard De Los Santos relieved Baker and got Lou Montanez to0 ground out to short but Gathright advanced to second. He would reach third when De Los Santos threw a wild pitch; however Gathright would advance no further as Scott Moore struck out swinging.  The Bulls did nothing in the bottom of the fifth; Simon gave up a walk to Justin Ruggiano but nothing else.  The Tides added to their lead in the top of the sixth.  Brandon Snyder got a leadoff single but it looked like De Los Santos was going to get out of the inning when he got Josh Bell to line out to center and Rhyne Hughes to ground out advancing Snyder to second.  Robert Andino then tripled to drive in Hughes and was driven home on an Adam Donachie single to left.  Joey Gathright singled to third but Donachie allowed himself to get caught between second and third and was tagged out by Shortstop Angel Chavez. Simon put the Bulls down in order in the bottom of the sixth.

The Tides went quietly in the seventh although Scott Moore reached first on a walk allowed by De Los Santos.  Chris George then came into the game for the Tides. The Bulls left two on base in the bottom of the seventh on a Tides error and a base on balls. Both the Tides and the Bulls went down in order in the eighth inning.

The Tides threatened in the top of the ninth. Adam Donachie walked to start the inning and moved to second when Joey Gathright grounded out to catcher Adam Colina.  Jeff Salazar collected a single to right which sent Donachie to third.  Durham then brought Heath Rollins into the game and after Salazar stole second Rollins got Lou Montanez to ground out with Joe Dillon holding Donachie at third.  Scott Moore went down swinging to end the inning ending the Tides threat.  The call was a check swing which third base umpire Manny Gonzalez said that Moore had gone around on. Scott said something to Gonzales most likely questioning Gonzalez’s parentage or something that he does in the privacy of his bedroom and was ejected from the game.

The Bulls made interesting in the bottom of the ninth.  The Tides brought in Frank Mata to close the game and Jonathan Tucker came in for the ejected Moore at second.  Chris Richard led off the inning getting on when Tucker committed a fielding error. Mata then got Angel Chavez to fly out to left and Alvin Colina to ground out to third with Richard advancing to second.  Elliott Johnson singled to right sending Chavez to third and then stole second.  Rashad Eldridge walked to load the bases and Justin Ruggiano singled to drive in Chavez.  With the bases still loaded and the Bulls down by three Tides closer Alberto Castillo relieved Mata.  Hank Blalock singled to left scoring Johnson however with the home crowd cheering Joe Dillon flied out deep to left when Lou Montanez caught the ball at the foot of Durham’s 32 foot “Blue Monster.”

The Tides had 6 runs on 9 hits with 2 errors and the Bulls 4 runs on 9 hits and no errors.  Alfredo Simon got his first win of the 2010 season and Jeff Bennett lost his second.   Alberto Castillo got his second save of the season.  Rhyne Hughes led the attack for the Tides with 2 doubles and an RBI his 7th of the season. The teams will meet tomorrow with Troy Patton scheduled to pitch for the Tides. As of now the Bulls pitcher is not announced.  With the win the Tides improve to 4-4 evening their record.  Tomorrow I am on duty at the medical center so I probably will not get much of a chance to listen to the Tides but do expect to file some report on the game.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, norfolk tides

More Time with the Oral Surgeon, Thank God for Global Warming and Randy Johnson Retires

More Time with the Oral Surgeon, Thank God for Global Warming and Randy Johnson Retires

Back to the Dentist

Well I had my follow up visit with my oral surgeon today and well, it was not a routine “it’s all good go away” kind of visit.  On Saturday night or Sunday morning one of the stitches came out of the site.  I wasn’t bleeding from the site; it was a little sore so I called the resident on call who said that if it got worse to come in.  The day was uneventful although I wasn’t feeling that great and the pain got a bit worse during the day requiring Vicodin before I went to bed.  I woke up Monday not feeling too well but was behind on a bunch of things that I needed to do.  I scheduled my follow up appointment for today but by 1300 on Monday I was feeling bad enough to need more Vicodin so the boss sent me home to take it and get some rest.  I came to work not feeling a lot better and still a bit under the influence of the medication and went in to dental.  When they took me back they saw swelling and the first dentist saw puss and called the oral surgeon.  He immediately went to wore and had the site irrigated and then took me back to one of the oral surgery rooms where once again I was hooked up to monitors, and had an IV placed and was given a bolus of 250 ml normal saline prior to an infusion of IV antibiotics.  He told me that we needed to do this because if the site got infected it might necessitate removal of the implant as well as the bone graft.  After that I was given a prescription for more antibiotics and sent home with instructions to take it easy, take the antibiotics and keep the site irrigated and to return to work Thursday with a follow up appointment for early Friday morning.  It has been weird as I have been pretty wiped out physically by this but doing okay emotionally.  So we’ll see how the sequel to the “Undead Tooth of Terror” continues.  Hopefully it will be a happy ending and I will not have to have the work taken out and have to go through a bunch of time again before I can get it fixed.

Cold Enough to be Thankful for Global Warming

If anyone hasn’t noticed it has been pretty cold across the eastern 2/3rds of the United States as well as many other countries in the Northern Hemisphere.  In fact it has been like record setting cold all over the place, Europe, Asia, North America and even places like Peru.  Trains are getting buried in snow drifts in China, record snow and cold elsewhere and even the little lake in my neighborhood has ice forming on it.  There is no relief in sight.  Forecasters are saying that this could be the coldest winter in at least 245 years.  Back when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s climatologists were predicting a coming ice age and encouraged folks to dress warm for a long time.  Then in the late 1980s and early 1990s there came a movement saying that everything was getting warmer at an alarming rate.  This has grown into the Global Warming movement and dare I say industry.  We had a very mild summer this year and it has been cold as hell this winter.  Now I am not a climatologist but if needed cold play one on TV.  It is my ersatz climatologist persona that says that I don’t think that some of the real climatologists are telling us the whole truth.  To me it seems that the global warming thing may not be all that it is cracked up to be.  All I can say is that if there is global warming I’m glad that we have it because we would really be freezing our asses off.  Even so I will dress warm and put on my gloves.  At least the dog doesn’t mind the cold so long as it is not raining.

Randy Johnson Winning Game 300

Finally an era in baseball has passed.  Future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson officially retired from the game today.  The 46 year old Johnson pitched 22 years beginning his career at Montreal with most of the time with the Mariners and Diamondbacks but with stints with the Astros, Yankees and his last season with the Giants.  In his career he won 5 Cy Young Awards, pitched a no-hitter and a perfect game, and was a 10 time All-Star and the 2001 World Series MVP.  Over the years he pitched in 618 games, starting 603 of them. In those games he pitched a total of 4135.1 innings won 303 games and had a career 3.29 ERA and was second only to the legendary Nolan Ryan with 4875 strikeouts.  The batting average against him was only .221.  He was one of the most feared pitchers to play the game almost any hitter who had to face him would tell you that he would rather not have to face Johnson.  Johnson was known at times for his intensity a piercing gaze and at times snarling look at batters, and an at times equally icy relationship with reporters.  What is truly amazing about Johnson is that he achieved what he did against a plethora of players who have either admitted to using or highly suspected of using steroids and other performance enhancing substances.  He pitched his last season with the Giants where he got his 300th win.  The season was certainly not his best and he finished the season on the disabled list, however we saw a man who was genuinely appreciative of the game and those with who he played.  As a person who at times can be testy and give good glares and snarls I understand someone like Johnson who pushed himself hard and came back from injuries to stay competitive well past the age that most other players are ensconced in second careers or retirement. Even more so because I have played on a number of teams within the military and I am now quite a bit older than most people my rank.  Randy Johnson has had a magnificent career and I wonder if we will see another 300 game winner anytime soon.

On a humorous note I had a comment to my “about” page from someone with the ID of “El Cid.”  Seems that Sid believes that I am deceived of course not providing me any help to see just what I am deceived about. His comment “You are so deceived” stuck a chord in me.  So I just had to respond.  Here is that response:

“Cool, don’t know what about but glad to get comments like this. Must be doing something right. The fact that you refer to yourself as El Cid shows me that you fancy yourself a General in the fight against the Moors or have delusions of being Charlton Heston.”

So anyway, as I take my pain meds and head off to bed I wish everyone a good night.

Peace,

Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Loose thoughts and musings

One Pitch, Game or Season too Many

In 1973 Willie Mays signed with the New York Mets after being released by the San Francisco Giants at the end of the 1972 season.   It was  a mistake and was his worst season in the majors.  He showed his age, he had lost his speed.  His arm was shot and hs hitting was a shadow of what it once was. He committed errors that never would have happened early in his career.  He was unable to play on a daily basis.  He wanted to do well.  However the inability to be in the lineup on a consistant basis, lack of outfield speed, weak arm and poor hitting hurt his team.  As a Giants fan I love Willie Mays.  I believe that he is quite possibly the best player who ever lived.  It hurt to see him finish his career in that fashion.

Other players have done this as well.  They go for that last season that last chance for glory and leave not at the top of their game, but at the bottom.  They end up tarnishing their final year and a career that should have ended in triumph ends in a whimper.  A recent example is NFL great Brett Farve.  His debacle with the New York Jets after retiring from the Packers has pushed his greatness to the side.  The continuing confusion of whether he will try to return for one more year has made many former supports stop caring.  Roger Clemens in the way that he played his last couple of years, sitting out half a season to make a dramatic entrance and then not performing well in his last season left a sour taste in the mouth of many in and out of baseball.

This is not confined to sports figures it occurs in almost every career vocation.  For many this desire to stay just one more year, one more tour one more chance at glory the attempt ends in personal humiliation. They realize later that they should have gotten out at the top of their game.  When I was a young Medical Service Corps officer we had about 250 Colonels in our branch.  We only had one billet for a Brigadier General.  That was usually 3-4 year term for whoever was the Chief of the Medical Service Corps.  Additionally there were only a few actually billets for Colonel’s to command actual units.   Some of these officers would have sld their soul’s to get the star.  I’m sure that at least a few did. But with only one General Officer billet that came open every 3-4 years the chances were pretty slim for anyone to get the job. Yet we would have men well past their prime holding on, going from staff assignment to staff assignment until they hit the statutory retirement point.  Many were miserable and felt that they should have been the annointed one. Unfortunately both in attitude and for the fact that by holding on indefinitely they kept others from getting promoted they hurt the Corps.  This is not uncommon in botht he military and the civilian world, even in churches.  It often harms those that hold on, those that work for them and the institution when younger men and women with fresh ideas can’t get promoted.  Since I left the Medical Service Corps as a  fairly junior Captain to go to seminary I never had a dog in this fight, but it was intersting to observe the effect on individuals and the institution.

There are times in life as well where we go through different seasons.  Adjusting to the changes of those seasons is just as important, be they family, spiritual or vocational.  Knowing when the season is changing and having people help us through are key. Likewise for those who have a religions faith, my Christian faith is a moderate Anglo-Catholic Episcopal spirituality with a membership in the Church of Baseball.  After all the Deity does speak to me through baseball.

It takes a bit of self-awareness to know when you shouldn’t go on.  Mike Mussina retired at the end of the 2008 season.  He went won 20 games for the first time in career had a 3.37 ERA and won his 7th Golden Glove of his career.  He could have probably played for another year or two.  However, he decided to go out on top.  He left at the end of his 17th and best season.

In daily life we have the same situation.  A pitcher needs to know when to tell his manager that he can’t pitch.  Likewise the manager and pitching coach have to be able to tell when their pitchers are losing their edge. My department head knows what I have been through in my life and what I have been dealing with both personally and physically.  He trusts me to tell him when I am having trouble.  He knows how to get the best out of me without wiping me out to do it.

Sometimes people not only stay too long, but in staying to long end up hurting their team, political party, business organization or religious organization.   We have all probably known people like this.  They finish badly and seldom does someone gently come alongside and say, “Friend, you had a great run, it’s time for you to step aside and let others carry out the mission.”

I for one know that I desire to go out on top when it is time for me to leave the military.  I will be retirement eligible in about 2 ½ years.  I want my tour where I am to be the best of my career regardless of whether I retire or get promoted and remain in service.  I want people to remember me in the best possible way. If I know that I cannot do the job anymore it is incumbent on me to be honest enough with myself to admit it and go home before people say: “Yah, he was a good chaplain back in the day, but he’s lost something…he’s not the same.”   I trust that the Deity Herself will assist me in this; Lord knows that this miscreant Priest needs all the help that he can get.

Peace,

Steve+

Post Script: I saw the Tides win again tonight and bring their record to 28 and 13, the best in AAA baseball.  They won on a Justin Turner hit a walk off single to drive in Oscar Salazar with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th to defeat the Rochester Red Wings.  Kam Mikalio got the win for the Tides and Bobby Keppel took the loss for the Wings.  It was a ugly game, perhaps the ugliest I have see this year.  Each team committed three errors for a total of six errors in the game.  Wings third baseman Matt Macri dropped a routine pop foul by Oscar Salazar who then singled and scored the winning run.  Wings starting pitcher Philip Humber hit three Tides batters.  Tides Manager Gary Allenson and Designated Hitter Robby Hammock was tossed in the bottom of the 8th and Wings Shortstop Trevor Plouffe was tossed in the top of the 10th.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Loose thoughts and musings, Military, Religion

Last Visit with Dad, Beer with Breakfast and Musings on my Visit to Mudville

Me and last last pic

Dad and Me 15 May 2009 in our matching Giants Apparel

I got to the airport I had a better time checking in that my trip out.  I had time to get breakfast in the Home Turf Sports Bar. As readers of this blog know I do not do travel or airports well since I came back from Iraq.  I used to travel quite frequently and while I can do well I have a lot more anxiety in crowds and lines.  Thankfully Sacramento is not too bad today.  Even so I decided to get breakfast.  Had scrambled eggs, bacon and home fries washed down by a couple of pints of Sam Adams Boston Lager. I find that a good beer takes the edge off of the anxiety and taste a lot better than Xanax.  The first time I did this was in between flights going to and from Bahrain at Heathrow in London.  A pint goes very well with breakfast, which over there included eggs, potatoes, toast, tomatoes and rashers of bacon. Despite this when I got into the crowded line I have a decent anxiety attack.  The flight to Chicago is full and there are a lot of less experienced travelers and families with small children on board. Thankfully none of the kid’s has started screaming….at least yet, may the Deity Herself keep the kiddo’s quiet.  The most miserable fights I have been on have been the ones with the screaming kids.  I really don’t like the beer on aircraft since it is always in cans.  Beer doesn’t taste as good out of a can, even decent beer.  I prefer beer on tap or in a bottle.   However this afternoon I decided I could use a beer.  The crowed flight was beginning to get on my nerves, especially the young gentleman sitting in front of me who kept adjusting, readjusting and bouncing in his seat. He had almost caused me to spill my Diet Coke.  I went back to the aft galley and the flight attendant when he saw my military ID gave me a complimentary beer and thanked me for my service to the country. That was pretty cool, and though it was a brand I might not normally drink, it tasted better than any domestic beer I have ever had on a flight.   Way to go Southwest.

I do not know when I will get back to Mudville.  I assume that it will be sooner rather than later given my dad’s condition which is obviously deteriorating fairly quickly now.  At least we have gotten some of the hard things done.  My brother and I have continued to grow close and continue to find just how much alike that we are.  The only thing that we might disagree on is our taste in beer, that however is nothing to fret over.  I love his family, he’s a great dad.  Somehow all of us will get through this time.

A couple of other high lights of the trip were having a pizza, salad and beer over at my nephew Eric’s pizza parlor.  The place is called appropriately enough Eric’s. He bought it from the previous owner who had hired him as a teenager.  Then it was called Rick’s and it is still a local fixture in Mudville. Eric runs a great place and frequently is recognized as having the best pizza in Mudville.  As a pizza expert I can say that it is some of the best I have ever had.  Truthfully I like what I like better, Eric’s crust is a bit more substantial than mine, I like the really thin, light and soft New York crust.  Eric’s is definitely a New York Pizza and incredibly good, if you go to Mudville he’s on El Dorado Street.  Tell him I sent you.  He also serves Newcastle Ale on tap. That is also a major selling point for me. He has good taste in beer.  Whenever I go there we always have a nice talk.  He’s a good family man and business man.  It is hard to believe that I have known him since he was 8 years old.  I had dinner at Arroyo’s Café one night.  For the unenlightened Arroyo’s has some of the best Mexican food around.  If you are in Mudville it is worth the visit.  The portions are good sized, taste good and the prices are very affordable.  Finally I had a great time with my buddy Rob from elementary school and junior high school.  I hadn’t seen him since 1979 or 1980 and it was good to reminisce as well as catch up on things.

Today also marks a milestone.  It was 13 years ago today that I was ordained as a Deacon.  I’ll write about that experience another time.  Like most things in my life it was not an ordinary day or boring event.  I guess the surprising thing is that I survived 13 years as a Deacon and as a Priest.  Once again the Deity Herself continues to protect this miscreant Priest.  From the moment that the Blessed Sacrament was lifted high out of the Paten by a gust of air from an errant ceiling fan before the horrified eyes of the blue haired ladies at the cathedral where I was ordained, my service as a Deacon and Priest has not been ordinary.

I’ll get back late tonight and head over to Gordon Biersch with Judy for dinner and a couple of Marzen’s.  Tomorrow I’ll try to take it easy and rest.  I look forward to Monday night and the Tides game.  It has been over 10 days since I’ve been to a game.  Thankfully the Tides were out of town for most of this time.

Thank all of you again for your kind words, thoughts and prayers over the past week. They have been most encouraging.

Peace, Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under alzheimer's disease, Baseball, beer, healthcare, Loose thoughts and musings, PTSD, travel

Mulligan Stew…Adventures on the Golf Course and the Bar

Me at the 18thMe at the 18th after a Day of “Mulligan Stew”

I have not golfed since last August when I was last out here.  My shoulders and tendonitis which have bothered me since my return from Iraq have been too bad to play the game despite having a set of clubs and a city golf course less than a mile from my home in Virginia.  Today was interesting.  I went out with Jeff and his friends Steve and Frank.  Great guys all of them.  I enjoyed the hell out of the day.

Now as far as my golfing goes…It is safe to say I’m never going to be on the PGA or even the LPGA tour and never going to give Tiger Woods a run for his money.  In fact it might be hard for me to compete against Larry Curley and Moe.   Despite this it does seem, at least according to what my brother and his friends say that I have a pretty good swing for someone who golf’s as little as I do.  Apparently the Deity Herself gave me a great amount of grace.  Now to be honest I had some pretty good shots as well as some incredibly bad shots.  I lost 4 balls in 18 holes, 2 to water and 2 to grass that was so I that I dared not venture into it.  I guess the environmentalists are trying to ensure that some vermin has a place to live.  I also left a pitching wedge at the 9th hole which I did not recover. Thankfully it was an old club that only I might use when I come into town. My right shoulder began to hurt pretty bad by the 9th hole and for a while until I figured out the mechanics of what I was doing I was not doing well.  Thankfully after Iraq I can sense what my body is doing better than I could ever before I went there.  I was able to adjust much faster than usual and I was able to do pretty good, actually scoring a legitimate par on the 16th hole.  My drives and fairway shots got better.  Depending on a very forgiving 2 Wood I started hitting some very nice shots from the tee and the fairway. My approach shots to the green, especially with the pitching wedge or sand wedge after I lost the pitching wedge became very consistent and my puts started getting the range.  All in all it was not a bad round.  Now I while the rest of the foursome kept score I did not.  I took a lot of “Mulligan’s” when things were not going well in order not to slow up the game for everyone else.  Now the true golf aficionado would condemn me to golf hell for such infractions but despite my Scottish last name I do have a bit of Irish in me. I have just enough Irish in me not to take bad shots too seriously, especially when I have not golfed more than 5 times in the last 7 years.  Simply realizing that made my day enjoyable.  I was able to enjoy conversation while working on my game.  In all the day was simply great.  I think I surprised Frank when I suggested that he “bean” one of the golfers ahead of us who were going to slow for my taste so that we could play through.  He was shocked to hear a priest say such a thing, but I had to admit that they were going far too slow.  Heck, even I was playing better and faster than them and they had more expensive clubs and gear than I did and he was horrible.  He deserved it.  Thus I fall back to my old defense: “If they deserve it is it still a sin?”  Sometimes I wonder.  My confessor told me that it was still a sin even if here were extenuating circumstances, but sometimes I wonder.

Following the round Jeff and I got with my high school buddy Jeff and had a blast talking about life over at Maxim’s restaurant and bar.  I had a couple pints of Newcastle’s and we split some very gooey nachos.  It was good to see my friend Jeff again.  We went to high school together and did several cruises as NJROTC cadets while at Edison High School.  Jeff spent three years in the Army after high school serving in Korea, Texas and Kentucky.  After this my brother Jeff and I went to his house where we had dinner with his wife and kids and my mom.  That too was a good visit and after a nice visit I went to pick me up a bottle of Burt’s Bees Aloe and Linden Flower After Sun Lotion to sooth my lobster like skin.  Despite having bought two tubes of Banana Boat Sunscreen, one when getting my coffee this morning I forgot to put the damned stuff on.  It does very little good to purchase good sunscreen with a high SPF if you forget to put it on.

So now I sit writing this post and watching the Giants play the Mets on TV.  Soon I will be packing and putting myself in bed so I get see dad on the way to the airport.  As always thank you for your thoughts, kind words and prayers.

Blessings, Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under alzheimer's disease, golf, Loose thoughts and musings

An Anti-Christ does Funeral Homes, Walk-Offs, Donuts and Banks and Visits His Dad

Note: To fully understand the reference to me being the Anti-Christ, please see my posts “Saturday Morning Distractions-Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Door” https://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/saturday-morning-distractions-jehovahs-witnesses-at-the-door/ and “So This is What it Feels Like to be the Anti-Christ…Cool.” https://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/so-this-is-it-what-it-feels-like-to-be-the-anti-christcool/

While I may be the Anti-Christ to the Witnesses this in no way implies that my dad is the Devil, well again dad was in the Navy, donated a ton of blood and loved his country.  Peace, Steve+

Today started out a bit weird.  Being the Anti-Christ can lead to some interesting situations. The juxtaposition of various events that occur when you are travelling as well as dealing with really serious matters that deal with the end of life get strange.  It’s almost like I am living a Seinfeld episode.  As you know I am out working with my mom and brother to take care of various end-of-life issues, funeral arrangements, financial matters, hospice and the nursing home.

Anyway, yesterday I spent the morning with my dad and then in the afternoon took my mom to De Young Funeral Home in Mudville. This is a trip that she had planned to take with a friend to make pre-arrangements but her friend had the audacity to suddenly die before they could make the trip.  Since then my mom has been putting it off as my brother has not had the time to go with her.  Let’s face it, this is not everyday stuff and can be quite upsetting when you are not in good shape and have to do it for your spouse as well as yourself.  Thankfully I have been through this before working with my wife to make arrangements for her parents.  My mom had no idea all that went into making these arrangements, especially for cremation. Thankfully the De Young people are really good.  The manager there, aptly named Mr. Nice was really good in helping my mom and was fittingly very nice.  My mom was not happy about my father’s desire to be buried at sea.  However, as a retired military wife she is also eligible for this just as if she was being interred with him at a National Cemetery.  When she found out that there was the possibility of burial off the coast of San Diego with my dad, she had a noticeable change of heart.  We were stationed there when I was kid and she always remembers it as one of their best tours in the Navy.  We agreed that when the time comes that they will be buried together at sea from a Navy ship.  It is fitting for a couple who spent 20 of the best years of their life in the Navy to be honored in this manner.  Thankfully as an active duty Navy Chaplain I will be able to arrange the details on the Navy side.  This being accomplished mom and I got dinner and went back to her house.

After resting for a while I went out to the living room where mom was watching the Giants play the Nationals.  It looked bad for the Giants. In the top of the 7th the Nationals took a 7-5 lead.  The Giants for one back in the bottom of the 8th on a Benji Molina home run and held the Nationals in the top of the 9th.  The first two batters went down and the Giants were down to their last out trailing 7-6. The Edgar Rentaria singled up the middle. Emmanuel Burris followed with single putting runners on first and second.  Pablo Sandoval, who in the 7th tripped on the base path trying for a triple came to the plate. I looked at mom and said. “Time for the walk off.”  Mom said “I hope somebody does something.” Somehow I knew going into the inning and even after the second out that Giants would win.  There is something special about this team that the experts don’t see.  I knew they were going to win. The count went to 2 and 2 when Sandoval blasted a shot over the left field wall.  It was the kind of home run that the instant that it was hit that you know is gone.  Sandoval was mobbed by his team mates as he crossed the plate.  Walk offs like that are part of the baseball magic which the Deity Herself has given us.

This morning my mom, Jeff and I went to the bank to take care of administrative issues dealing with the family trust, an adventure that took almost two hours but again was helpful.  A young lady was quite helpful and again though it took time she made it comparatively easy.  Following this I was once again blessed when visiting my dad.  Today it took more work but I was able to keep engaged for about 20 minutes before putting him in bed.  We talked about baseball and the Navy once again; I described the walk-off from last night.  He still does love the Giants.  We talked about the Navy, specifically Navy uniforms.  He was happy to hear that I wore brown shoes with my khakis and that the Navy was possibly going to bring back the Dress Khaki.  This was one of his favorite uniforms.  I was also able to get Judy on the cell phone for him.  He had really taken to her over the past 7 or 8 years following the death of his mother who Judy was quite close to.  He had asked about her on both of my visits and it was good for them to talk, even if only for a couple of minutes.  I do hope that they will see each other again.

So anyway while most of this does not really fit as un-Anti-Christlike, I was reminded once again today that I am the Anti-Christ; or according to the Jehovah’s Witness one of the many such nefarious creatures.  Can you spell “Beast?”  However as I have noted in other posts I have a high rank among the multitude of Anti-Christ’s.  I am first and foremost a Priest and according the Witnesses all Christian ministers are Anti-Christ’s.  Second I am a Navy Officer serving the government which according to the Witnesses is of the Devil.  Finally I am a chaplain in a Naval Medical Center ICU which routinely tanks people up with blood and blood products. I am like Osama Bin Laden or maybe even Hitler to the Witnesses.

I picked up some Donuts for us at the Mudville “Donut King” on Pacific Avenue. Those not from California really don’t understand really good donuts. We have a lot of “mom and pop” donut shops out here.  Donut King I think is the best in Mudville. I have been going to them since I was in high school. If you go down to San Clemente there is “Surfin’ Donuts.”  These are belly busters; there is enough sugar and fat in these things to fully charge the youth of a third world village to the point where they would need to be put on Ritalin. Add some coffee and we’re cooking with gas. These mom and pop stores put all the chain donut shops to shame.  Of course the hot and fresh “Krispy Cremes” are to die for, but all other donuts are also-rans compared to these.  As I came out of the 7-11 near my parent’s house with my 24 ounce French Vanilla coffee with 4 French Vanilla creamers and 4 Spenda’s, a man got out of a Mercedes Benz SUV.  I thought at first that he was a business man stopping in for coffee when he strode up to me and out came the Watchtower. I was momentarily surprised and he said “Would you like to hear the good news about Jehovah?”  I looked at him and said very bluntly, “No thank you, I’m the Anti-Christ” and continued walking to my car.  The look on his face was hysterical; you would have thought that I had hit him upside the head. He was stunned.  As I got into my car I saw him slink back into the passenger side of the Mercedes, a fine automobile, I must say, as the other occupants, a man and two women glared at me.  Obviously they were going to wait for another target, so I drove off.  It is so cool to be the Anti-Christ to these guys.  Some of my former Fundamentalist friends on Facebook probably think similar thoughts but might at least grudgingly admit that I might get to heaven. If they would admit me I might be out in the visitor’s bullpen but at least I’d be there.  The Witnesses don’t even give me the chance at Hell since they don’t have one. Guys like me get to be instantly annihilated, do not pass go do not burn in Hell. Dante would not be impressed.  So, what the hell?  I’ll have to chat about this with the Deity Herself tonight over a beer.

As always I thank you for your prayers, kind words and thoughts.  Still some more left to do here.

Peace, Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under alzheimer's disease, Baseball, healthcare, Loose thoughts and musings, Military, Religion