Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kim has been released.

An update on my sister Kim, she was released from the hospital today to go home. She is doing much better and her white blood count has went down significantly. It raised up later in the week and the Doctors were watching the long term trend of what it was doing. They think the count going up was stress related.

She called me when she got home and said she is making her rounds of calls. I know her and Robert are exhausted and the two of them are wanting to sleep until Monday.

It's been a stressful two weeks for her, but she's glad to be home. Brittany has went to school at Linsley this week and remains there this weekend for some school activities. She'll be returning home next weekend for the first time to visit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Season is Over

The season is finally over and what a season it was. For me it started out with a decision early this spring to go back and play softball with a bunch of friends and just simply go have fun. For years I was putting teams on the field with full intention of winning a championship. The Championship never came. I had a half of a dozen years over the last 20 or so years where we were the regular season champions, only to tank it in the playoffs.

This year I just wanted to go back and have fun, and oh what fun we had. The regular season saw a 16-3 record and winning a lot of close games. We finished in second place, which was nice. Like I said I had a half dozen or so regular season Championships, although BOPARC just started awarding trophies for the regular season either this year or last year. So, it was nice to be awarded the second place regular season trophy.

The excitement however would remind you of the 2005 mountaineer Basketball team by the time playoffs came around. At the end of the regular season the team had actually hit a little bit of a slump, and we fell behind 0-15 in our last regular season game. We did however manage to fight back and win that game.

A little background, I have played softball at BOPARC 20 some odd years in both summer and fall leagues. The old Sterling Faucet team I played on made it to the Championships one year, but lost both games. It was the last time I had ever made it to the Championship round, despite playing on some very good teams with some pretty remarkable talent through the years.

This year, I really thought that it would be another typical year and we would go two and out and be done in the playoffs. We won our first game and lost our second game Monday night to a team of Morgantown City Police Officers, this dropped us over to the losers bracket. One more loss and we would be done. Last night we had a 6:00 game that we managed to come back from 5 runs down in the bottom off the last inning to win and move to the next round, which was late last night. At the 9:30 game last night we rallied in the bottom of the last inning to push the game into extra innings, and managed to win it in the bottom of the 8th inning to move to the consolation round finals.

tonight we had an 8:30 game against a team that just hammered us during the regular season and were a very tough team to beat. We managed to return the favor and blow them out and advanced to the Championship round against the same team that put us in the losers bracket. This was my second time in all these years of making the finals, and this was the first time I made the finals in the ultra competitive summer league (a lot more teams play summer ball).

We lost a 4 run game giving Morgantown Honda the Championship, it was a very hard fought game and one that was great to have played in.

We managed to take not one, but two runner up trophies to our sponsor tonight. One for the regular season, and one for the post season.

It was a great year with a great group of guys. Our final record including playoffs was 20-5 and second place finishes in both the regular and post season.

All of this excitement came from me deciding to change teams and just go back and have fun this season. This was a great group of guys to be associated with, they never seem to quit or give up. No deficit was too big to rally to comeback to win. Hats off to both Chris and Paul for putting this team together and assembling a group of guys with some nice chemistry to play softball together. We may not have been the most intimidating team to look at, but we brought it to the field and played the game. We also managed to get our sponsor a couple nice pieces of hardware in the process.

For any of you who listen to WVAQ in the mornings in North Central West Virginia, we were the team that was being talked about in the Lower League Softball Reports. Helps to have a couple players on the air, maybe that's why there was a nice turnout for the championship tonight.

This has to be my fondest year playing a game that I have played over 20 years and love to play. Thanks to all my team mates, coaches, scorekeepers, and dedicated fans for making this a very special year to remember.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Weekend Wrapup

* Looks like I need to do another extended tidbits like last week to be able to touch on everything I need to address.

* First off, my softball team has started the playoffs and we split our first two games in the double elimination style tournament. We played well the first game and played the team that nay just win this in the second game.

* I went in to work for a few hours Saturday, I needed to help complete the pilot area for a project I had been working on.

Saturday afternoon saw us celebrate a few birthdays. Pam and George had a little party for Mokie for his 17th birthday, but they also had a couple little surprises lined up. First of all, yesterday was also Jean's birthday and she was unsuspecting of everything as Pam and George tricked her into thinking we were celebrating Moke's birthday. She was pleasantly surprised and thought everyone had forgotten.


The second surprise came for Moke's best friend Michael. Pam said they had to move the party up a day so that Michael could make it. It was nice that we celebrated Moke's birthday and surprised Jean with a surprise birthday, but George had grown attached to Moke's best friend and he managed to do a double whammy surprise and have another cake with Michael's name on it. Needless to say I think that everyone was pleasantly surprised.




Sunday starts out as a normal day for me with my trip to Super Wal-Mart and doing laundry. I called Kim this afternoon and told me that my Uncle Robert and his wife Michelle were at the hospital and to come and visit. Well, never let it be said that I would ever miss a photo opportunity, so I grabbed my camera and went up for a visit. I found out that Robert is currently working at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. It has been a few years since I have seen Robert, I think the last time I was able to see him was when Bonita came into Morgantown about about 10 years ago. It was nice to see him and Michelle again, he showed me a few pictures of his kids and his grandchildren that he takes great pride in.

* OK, I know everyone is wanting an update on Kim. Actually she appeared to be in very good spirits today. I had said previously that she was on a road to recovery and it seemed like things kept getting better, then drastically worse all of a sudden. She was filling up with fluids and had no appetite. When I thought she was on the road to recovery she would have a relapse and things would once again turn south.

I'm not a Doctor, and I can say this now, but I was worried. I didn't know what to expect and her health was slipping. I had seen similar incidences with my Father and two Aunts that had started doing an exceptional amount of abdominal swelling prior to taking a turn for the worst. Kim was swelling and I was getting a little scared.

The Doctor who initially did her surgery walked in today and one of the first things he asked her was "Do you have any idea how sick you were?" I think he was generally concerned, her body wasn't passing fluid and it was going into her tissues. I will let her describe what she has been through, but I will say one last time now that things really are getting better that she's on the road to recovery.

She'll probably be in the hospital another week to allow her body to heal itself, which it is now doing. It was something about the liver and proteins and did something that it was not supposed to do, but I'll let her explain it to you when she gets a chance.

She seemed to be in really good spirits again today, which is always a good sign.



On a positive note, my niece Brittany is preparing to get ready to go to Linsley this Tuesday. She has made the honor roll I think three or four straight semesters and is really looking foreword to the challenge. I have the utmost confidence in her. I know Kim's health problems could not have came at a worst time, but Brittany has been a real trooper.






Have a good week.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Quick Update on Kim

I talked to her yesterday morning and she said that Mon General was going to move her Intensive care and then they were transferring her to one of three hospitals. Ruby, Cleveland Clinic, or one in Pittsburgh that slips my mind at the moment.

She is currently at Ruby Memorial (again) and toughing this whole situation out. I don't know what the next step is, I just know she wants her life back to normal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Another Surgery

Kim was taken in for another surgery yesterday, but this time they went to Mon general rather than Ruby. They went in and repositioned the Stent and drained over two liters of toxic urine around her abdominal area. There are tubes currently draining coming out of the kidneys or the bladder. Thye want to see how the stent is doing now and if it any more effective.

On a good note, she had had no appetite, but had one when she came out of surgery last night and is being allowed to eat anything she wants. I think she wanted a Big Mac of all things last night.

She's not quite out of the woods yet, because there will be another surgery to either go in and remove the stent in a few months, or to go in and add another tube that comes out of her back, or to just cut her open and go in and repair the damage.

She's been through a lot and she was a little scared before yesterday, but I think she is in good hands now. She was in very good spirits last night when I left the hospital.

I was present when the doctor talked to Robert and he said he could not see her getting out of the hospital any earlier than this weekend. So, she is going to staying at Mon General for a few days.

Ironically her nurse worked with Jean for a few years at Mon General, although her name slips me right now.

I would say she is now on the road to recovery.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kim has been readmitted to the Hospital

I guess I was wrong on yesterdays BLOG. I received a Phone call at 6:00 this morning. When I looked down at the number it was coming from Kim's Cell Phone. She was re-admitted into the hospital last night again due to complications from her surgery.

I know she is getting frustrated and just wants to get everything back to normal. She did a change of pace this time and went to Mon General rather than Ruby Memorial and is in room 641.

She felt like the Doctors at Ruby were giving her the run around more than helping her get better. She was admitted last night at 8:00 and did not sleep at all last night.

During her surgery, her Kidney was ruptured and it has caused all kinds of unwanted troubles. It has been releasing toxic urine into her system and it has caused her a whole lot of discomfort and pain. She has been a real trooper through this whole procedure, but I think it is wearing on her pretty heavily.

She needs words of encouragement, because truth be known she is a little scared by the whole situation. She has her cell Phone with her if anyone would like to call her and give her a word of encouragement. The number is 685-5712.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Let's call this a weekend wrapup.

OK, I have a few things to say, but they are a little too much for a tidbits, so I'll just address everything.


Friday Night, we played our final regular season softball game of the season. It should have been a game we won quite easily, but it turned out to be one heck of a game. After the second inning, we were getting totally hammered 15-0 by a team that we shouldn't be losing to.

We managed to tie it up 16-16 in the bottom of the 7th inning to push the game into extra innings. After a scoreless 8th thanks to a couple great defensive plays, Troy Brotherton stepped it up in the 9th inning and played with pure heart and scored a run, ending the game and securing our comeback with a great victory.

We finished the season with a 16 wins and 3 losses. The playoffs will start this week, so keep your fingers crossed.

After the game we went to Prime Thyme and sat out on the deck for an aftergame dinner. We have done this a half dozen or so times this summer, and I think this is what I'll miss the most this fall. Friday night games are so much fun.


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My niece Val and her husband Bobby celebrated their second wedding anniversary this weekend. I'm thinking the actual date is Tuesday the 16th, but they had a party this weekend. If you get a chance to talk to Val, wish her and Bobby a Happy 2nd Anniversary.

I did give her a slight hand with a minor computer problem she was having this weekend, so I managed to catch up a little bit with her about a few incidents that had recent events that have taken place.


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Heard a little bit of scary news about my niece Amy this weekend. I guess a guy that Amy was dating a month or so ago committed an unthinkable act last week. I guess he was arrested for killing his girlfriend at 1:30 in the morning Wed, the part that is disturbing is that he called Amy 33 minutes after she was killed. I'm very thankful that wasn't my niece who was killed. I found it kind of disturbing that he called her right after he shot the girl. I guess he got her answering machine and not her, talk about a message that will make you think. He's in Jail accused of First Degree Murder.


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I went to work yesterday and took my camera with me. Frostburg State has some pictures. This is basically an image of what I have to look at when I walk out the front doors of my office. Kind of ironic how many pictures of me in my youth are centered around the sport of Baseball. I still play softball, and now I have an office where I have to look at things like this. LOL.

I did catch part of one game this spring.

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Talked to Kim a little yesterday, she is feeling a little better and is starting to make some progress. Robert was actually doing some canning when I talked to her. While we were talking she said there was like seven deer in her backyard. I kept listening for a boom and never heard it.

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Talk about culture shock, anyone notice gas prices lately? Last week it was $2.25 a gallon, today it is $2.55 a gallon. Since I started at VARGIS in April, gas prices have went up $0.75 a gallon. Arrgghh

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Hope you had a good weekend.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Google has just raised the bar again

Google, the best search engine on the net has branched out into other things beyond the simple internet searches.

For you geography buffs first there was mapping software like Mapquest that would allow the user to view maps of basically anywhere and get directions anywhere.

Then came Google Maps, but it was in the Beta and still being tested. It was pretty remarkable and for someone who works in the field of GIS, I was impressed with their speed of being able to display some of these maps. I have worked with Gigabyte files before, and know that some of the DOQ's (Digital Orthographic Quads) can be large enough that it's almost impossible to display them over the internet.

I've seen some other pretty amazing software out there like Worldwind from NASA. However if you don't have a pretty good video card you and it was pretty complex for the average user to use.

Now, Google has one again raised the bar with Google Earth. I just saw it this morning and was amazed. I hear that the US Military is trying to have the program taken off the net because it is somehow supplying information on the location of some of our military bases in Iraq. However, this is pretty userfriendly and I think everyone will be very impressed with it. Personally I think the military is full of it because the temporal issues of some of the local information shows that these pictures were taken pre-2000. However, it is probably 1995 Aerial Photos.

However, everything is pretty impressive and user friendly. It's definitely one to download and have on your computer. It's about 10 MB in size as opposed to Worldwinds roughly 180 MB size.

This is a definate must have piece of software for your computer. It also give people a little better understanding of what GIS is.




NASA Worldwind Screen shot





Google Earth Screen shot








The one that will really blow everyone's mind away if I pulled up my place, and did an olique view of Morgantown from my place in 3d. This image you can click on and see the full size effect. This is some pretty amazing software.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


A two years silence has been broken and my job is partially done. My sister Kim and my Mother have had a period of silence for the last two years. Unfortunately it took Kim getting sick until it finally happened where the silence was broken, but it was progressing to the point slowly anyways. I guess Mom and Kim had been exchanging e-mails over the last month and there was finally a phone conversation between the two.

Ok, that' the second part done (First was me breaking the ice) and now we just have to get my two sisters speaking. I had tried to arrange a breakfast between the three of us, but Terri has been very busy trying to keep the Country Inn going that we really haven't had the best of opportunites to do this.



There has been a lot of water under the bridge and there have been silence, hurt feelings and times of emptiness that everyone has experianced. Even this past Christmas everyone was together except for my sister Kim and her family. Something was missing, because this was the one time of the year when everyone wopuld put their differences to the side and be a family.

This Christmas will be my last Christmas living in Morgantown, West Virginia. I'll be moving early next year to Frostburg. It's not that far, but I won't be in Morgantown on a day to day basis.

Hopefully by this Christmas, everything can be ironed out and we can do one more of these pictures, it is long overdue.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A new feature

I was talking to Kim earlier this week and she was telling me about a new BLOGGER feature where they host your images that you post on your BLOG. I figured WTF, I really have nothing else to talk about today so I'll give this a try and see how well it works.

The Picture is by Vermeer and is called The Geographer. Let's see how well this feature either did or did not work. I'm hoping it works because if it doesn't I'm going to have to come up with some BS story to fill the space I screwed up by testing this.

OK, I have now tested this and see it is also a hyperlink to the original picture. I think I'm going to like this feature. Chalk one up for Kim!!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Tidbits

* OK, I'm at a little bit of a writers block, so I guess I can do a tidbits to keep the BLOG active.

* Gary called me this week and was looking for a good architectural software to use, so I gave him a copy of AutoCAD 2004. After conferring with a few people with a better background in CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) than I have, what I think Gary needs is a copy of SOFTCAD, it is a little more user friendly and maybe a designed a little more specific to his needs. I'll keep looking until I find something that is perfect for him and his needs.

* Talked to Kim a little this morning. She's still experiancing a little pain and discomfort and really hasn't been able to sleep like she wants. Other than that she is slowly recovering. It's been a slower recovery process than she initially anticipated and may have to forego running the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2005. I know she's a little disappointed, but there is always 2006.

* Talked with Mom a little bit, I think she is going to call Kim this week. They have been making steps at re-opening the lines of communication.

* Hopefully my last Christmas in West Virginia will include the entire family this year.

* I think Rich is on vacation again. He and Jean talked about finding a local farmers market so she can get some vegetables to can for this fall.

* One thing I want when I move to Frostburg is the ability to have a garden. Kim has one, Gary has one and I miss having them. It doesn't have to be a big one, just something to keep me occupied during the summers since my softball future looks limited.

* Speaking of softball, we are currently 15-3 with one game remaining in the regular season. Me no longer working in a steel mill and now sitting behind a computer all day has taken a toll on my skill level. I can't hit it as far as I once did and my arm doesn't have the zing anymore, but my love of the game is still there. Worse coems to worse, if these guys still play on Friday Nights next summer I'll come down and either play or watch them. It's a great group of guys and I have enjoyed playing with them this season.

* I just noticed Gary's new MSN name. It's Death Nipple. How in the heck do you get a name like death nipple. Sounds like a horror flick for newborns. I'm sure it's all tied to an internet game we both play called Utopia

* Football season is getting a little closer now that we are in the month of August. My three favorite teams are Morgantown High (High School), WVU (College) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (Pro). I'm already a part of three Fantasy Football Leagues. First is the Money league I play in with a few guys from my softball team that I have played with for a few years. The next two are shitz and giggles leagues with a league with people from work and one with people from Blue and Gold News.

* I would like to run a little test just to see how many people are actually reading the BLOG. If you are reading this, send a get well soon e-mail to my sister Kim at Kim@the-sanjulians.com. She would love to hear a few encouraging words from everyone including strangers. I guess when it makes the recovery time a little easier to deal with.

* Have a good day

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Going Home

Kim called me this morning and told me they are releasing her from the Hospital this morning. I guess her and Robert have had little to no sleep in the past 48 hours and are going home to get some rest.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Latest on Kim

I've been holding off BLOGing about Kim so that she could write about her experiences herself. However due to a few complications and setbacks, she hasn't been up to updating anything. I'll start from after the surgery.

She went home and was feeling well after her initial surgery. However about six days after the surgery she started with some serious abdominal pains and went back to the hospital last Monday.

They ran a few tests and noticed that there was a fluid built up around her abdomen and it needed to be dried up.

They ran Cat scan and noticed that there was a slight puncture in her Kidney, so they took her in last week and did another surgery, installing a stint to try to stop the fluid leakage. She would need to go back in three months to have the stint removed.

However it was still leaking and she remains hospitalized while they attempt to find a solution to the problem. It could lead to an additional surgery to repair, they are monitoring her right now to try to stabilize things.

She as always is in good spirits and her and Robert have made sure they have been very well informed on anything and everything that is going on with her situation. They have their laptop there and a wireless hookup, so she can and does see the internet.

I was hoping she was going to BLOG her situation, but just hasn't done so yet. I'm sure she'll have a lot to tell everyone when she does.

She does have an internet connection, so I'm sure that she would love to hear from any well wishers.

You can send her a get well message by either replying to this BLOG or e-mailing her at Kim@the-sanjulians.com

Get well quick.