Monday, October 04, 2010

My New Floor

People who want to know have been asking about my new floor, It's more involved than you might think. Here is my experiance. First you have to choose what type of product you want and buy it ahead of time. (two to three days to adjust to room temperature) I chose a wide plank Laminate with a 20yr. finish guarantee at $2.38 sq. ft. . You also have to buy underlayment, I chose the heaveast @ $199.00 a roll (needed 2), also had to buy ($2 sq. ft.) 1/4 round trim, Threshold trim for transition to carpet and to tile at door. There is also a drop charge of $60. I needed to cover 369 Sq. Ft.  And my final cost for all materials with tax was $1375.64. Which works out to be $3.73 sq. ft.

The labor to install it will depend on what they have to do. The basic price from everyone is $2 per sq. ft. I checked 4 places and they were all the same. It looks like it would be easy to do, all you have to do is snap the locking pieces together right? Wrong... It took 2 experienced men two 12 hour days to do my one 369 sq. ft. floor with only a 1/2 hr. lunch break.

First they had to take up the carpet and the padding and roll it up and dispose of it. the same is true for the sheet vinyl that was in the kitchen area, they had to remove all the 1/4 round molding around the room and move heavy furniture to one side of the room. They spent the entire 2 days on thier knees. They had to tape the pieces together as they went to keep them aligned. They had to remove 2 door casings to get floor nder them, could not slide it under because of having to tilt them to snap together. They did an excellent job and I would recoment them to anyone.

My total cost from start to finish for labor was $1150.00 or $3.11 sq. ft.  (and worth every penny of it, Please don't tell anyone about this amount, the owner doesn't want the workers to know what he got.

Total labor & materials was $2525 or $6.84 sq.ft.

Thete is more to it than meets the eye.

Friday, October 01, 2010

My Catarect Surgery

I've had a lot of requests about my Cataract Surgery, I'll try to make it short. They told me to be at the hospital at 10am, Surgery at 11:30am. They prept me and I lay on the gurney until 1pm when I asked what's going on, The Doctor didn't come in until 1 pm. and insisted I was scheduled for 1pm until I showed her my paper that read 11:30 am.  She was embarrassed. They had screwed up the schedule and I was scheduled for 1pm. They wheeled me into the operating room and gave me some eye drops, and put a large adhesive circle over my face and eye and then cut a slit in the adhesive where my right eye is, then came a clamp that held my eye open wide. The doctor using a microscope slit the cataract into pieces and suctioned them out. She then made a slit into what I believe is the cornea and inserted an artificial lens similar to a contact lens. she told me this lens will remove my prescription need for glasses for distance but will still need reading glasses. She gave me 4 kinds of eye drops to be taken 4 times a day and one of them 8 times a day. On the drive home I was very concerned because my vision in that eye looked like I had 5 layers of cataracts now, all I could make out was a blur of objects. Many eye drops later it is getting better. I can now read the schedule on my TV without glasses. In 2 weeks I am supposed to get the left eye done. IT'S ALL GOOD!

If you want to watch a video of this procedure click on,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cruising The Ohio River

In the late 1930's, we lived within sight of the Ohio river on second street in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is approximately where the Cincinnati Reds baseball stadium stands now. There were railroad tracks that ran just 25 feet behind our house, Freight trains rumbled by on a regular basis. These were the big powerful steam engines that chugged and belched steam as a column of smoke arose from it's stack. Also directly behind our house was the storage yard for huge empty steel boilers lined up in rows, some of which were touching each other, some a yard or so apart. These were huge things measuring about 20 feet long and 8 feet high. These became my playground as I loved to jump from one to another like an obstacle course. It's a wonder I didn't break my neck. During the long hot summers we sought relief from the heat in many ways. I remember some nights when we would lay down homemade quilts on the fire escape outside our second floor window in hopes of catching a breeze as it was unbearable inside even at night. One particular hot night the family gathered quilts, blankets and pillows and headed for Eden Park and spent the night sleeping on the grass.

Another escape for us was the "Island Queen" A side wheeler riverboat steamer in the grand style. She made several trips a day from the public landing at the foot of Broadway Street up the river about 20 miles to "Ohio Grove, the Coney Island of the West." as it was originally known. It was formally an apple orchard but the owner realized he could make more money renting his property than raising apples.   Shown here is the queen landing at Coney and the people heading up the ramp to the lighthouse entrance to Coney Island. I
I don't remember if the trip cost anything or not, it could not have been much as we never seemed to have any. I think maybe it was free as a way to get you to go to Coney Island and spend some money as this was during the Great Depression. I still remember walking up the long gangplank which was held up by a large steel chain suspended from a mast. I could hear the Calliope playing "In the good old summertime" as I stepped onto the main deck. I am surprised now that my mother allowed me such freedom because I remember exploring all over the boat to see what wonders lie there.On the main deck inside a huge room were the massive piston arms that were attached to the paddle wheels that turned and made the boat move. I still remember how massive and dangerous they looked. There was only a small railing between where I stood and the gigantic steel arm that was covered with rivets that retreated to my right inside a trough about 25 foot long and then rammed an equally large shiny steel piston which powered the paddle wheel, The piston disappeared into a dark cavern and then the process repeated over and over again.

The trip up the river took about 1 hour as I remembered it, we would disembark off the same gangplank and trudge up the blacktop covered hill to the entrance to Coney Island Park that was fashioned like a
small lighthouse. My mother used to pack a lunch and there was a covered picnic area with tables where we would eat. I remember her bringing Fried Chicken which was one of my favorites.
I recall one trip my mother gave my two sisters and I  $1.00 each to spend as we pleased. Lord knows where she got the money from as that was a lot of money in those days. Most of the rides were 5c admission, I was very careful of the rides I selected as I tried to make the money last as long as I could.

After a fun day strolling around the park and absorbing all the sights and sounds it was regretfully time to board the Island Queen for a trip once more down the Ohio River in the twilight with all of the boats lights shining brightly like jewels in the Queen's Crown. While the calliope played "My Old Kentucky Home"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scared to death by a Doctor

Have you ever been to a doctor for a routine procedure and slowly realize they are concerned about what the examination is revealing? Yesterday I went to the Veterans Hospital for a echo cardiogram. This is very similar to a Mammogram given to pregnant women. It was fascinating to watch on the monitor screen as I could view my heart beating and watch the valves opening and closing while emitting  horror movies sounds of growling and groaning. It said thump, thump, thump, thump in a monotonous rhythm. I noticed the male nurse who was operating the machine kept concentrating on a particular area over and over again. he confided he did not like what he was seeing... He said it looked to him like a clot. possibly as big as a dime. (GULP!) He wanted a doctor to look at it. He called in a very young looking doctor who looked to me as fresh out of medical school. He stroked his half grown goatee and with a very serious look said he was not sure and suggested the head cardiologist should be consulted. Since all the hospital computers are linked he could look at the test without coming to the exam room. The head Honcho suggested  they start an IV and inject a substance in my vein which would show more clearly the area in concern. All of this involved trips to the waiting room. between these consultations. Another scan was done, The results were analyzed as I made another trip to the waiting room. Any time a situation like this arises the worst part is wondering about the outcome. Your mind conjures up all sorts of scenarios. 15 minutes later, 2 doctors and the Nurse walked into the waiting room. Expecting to hear something that would send me immediately to the emergency room, the main doctor said "The test came out clear, What we were looking at was scar tissue from your first heart attack from many years ago, Sorry to put you through all that but better to be safe than sorry", I concur as I let out a sigh of relief.

Monday, August 16, 2010


My daughter asked me what I remember about tornadoes, I have been through quite a few in my time. One I remember was almost over before I realized what was going on. I was working for a local discount store chain as a department manager trying to make ends meet by working that job and also working as the manager of the Ferguson Hills Drive In Theater at night. I was offered a promotion as an assistant manager of a store, The only problem was it was located in Owensboro, Ky. After discussing it with my wife we decided to risk everything and accept the job.

I traveled alone to Owensboro in the spring of 1961 to find a house to rent and become acquainted with the store and town. I checked out the store and scanned the local newspaper for houses for rent. After checking some of them out and deciding on one I thought was nice, I rented it and decided to take a motel room until I could make arrangements to go home and pack for the trip. There wasn't really that much to pack as we had only been married for two years.

As I settled in I fell asleep watching TV. I awoke sometime during the night to the loudest thunderstorm you have ever heard. It was a continual Boom, Boom, Crack, bright lightning flashing through the window. It then began to hail, the hail must have been large as I could hear it pounding on the roof and on the window of my room of the one story motel. It was then that I heard the distant sound  of what I thought was a rumbling thunder in the distance but then it started to get louder and louder in intensity until it grew into the thundering roar of a freight train passing right outside my door, although there were no tracks there. My bed began to shake slightly for just a few seconds as I tried to figure out in my half awake state what was going on. It was then that I heard the sirens blaring and I got out of bed and opened the door. It was very calm outside with no wind at all. There were tree limbs and leaves, paper and the vacancy sign lying right outside my door. My car was just a few feet away but was not damaged. At the time I did not realize that I had just lived through a tornado. I don't remember if there was news on the TV or not, I just remember getting dressed in the morning and going out for breakfast and seeing the damage that the tornado had caused. Within sight of the motel was the huge concrete block screen of the local Drive in Theater laying flat on it's side having been blown over by the wind. There were trees and telephone poles down everywhere,  police car and ambulance sirens blaring as they responded to calls. I consider myself lucky as it must have passed very close to where I lay sleeping.

God is Great, God Is Good
Thank God I'm Alive

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Memorial Day Is All About

Memorial Day is May 31, 2010

It seems every year when Memorial Day rolls around people plan family outings, picnics, vacations and in general having a good time. How many know what Memorial Day is all about. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. There are 124,900 men & women buried in cemetaries around the world who died that we may enjoy the freedom we now enjoy and countless more who died as a result of injuries suffered while serving.  Such as my father who died at the young age of 54 due to injuries suffered in France.

This poem was written by a Canadian doctor shortly after World War 1 which best exemplifies to me that we should not forget what this day is all about.  Please read it slowly thinking about what it really means.

 Flanders Fields   

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Update on My Ancestry

I just found the manifest of the ship my father came to America on in 1910

He is the second name on the list, It shows his first name as Karl. German Anti-semitism during the early 1900's because os WW1 with Germany caused him to change his name to Carl. Would you believe it he was then drafted to fight in France against his own former countrymen.

Arrival in US... August. 1910
Age................. 19, 2 Months
Birth Year........ 1891
Port of Departure... Bremen, Germany
Ship Name Rhein
Port of Arrival... Baltimore, MD.
Friends Name.....Peter Agricola
Last Residence... Henen Nastan

Family Tree

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I signed up for a free 14 day trial of because I was bored and wondering if I could fill in some of the missing pieces about my Mom & Dad. To me it was a blockbuster. I downloaded an actual Draft Card from 1942 (Shown Below), with his actual signature. Would you believe they required a veteran of 52 years old who had served in WW1 to register for the draft?

 I found out........

1. My fathers Birth date. April 3, 1891.
2. His death, June 4, 1944. He was only 53.
3. He was born in Germany in the state of Hessen, and the town of Fritzlar.
4. He was a member of the Ohio National Guard in 1917.
5. He enlisted in the Army April 21. 1917.
6. He was discharged April 19, 1919.
7. The record says "Birth Location" Baltimore Maryland" which is strange because I was always told he was born in Fritzlar, Germany which I am sure he was according to all of his relatives. It may be where he immigrated to when he came to this country.
8. Enlistment county, Lebanon County, Ohio. There is no such County. It probably was Lebanon, Ohio, A City.
9. He served in Company E. Infantry Ohio, (Co. E, 147 Infantry discharge Mechanic 1, Aug. 1919, Defensive Section, American Expeditionary Forces, June 25, 1918 to March 1919.
10. He had Blue eyes
11. He was only 5' 7 1/2 " tall.
12. He was thin, 168 lbs.