Monday, September 1, 2008

Its pretty hard to "Take it easy" on Labor Day weekend in Kettering!
So, we came up to K-Town for the Labor Day festivities and Im horrible for posting these pictures, but Im one of those people who cant keep a secret and theres NO WAY I was going to keep this tucked away till Christmas!!!

Mere, Mom & I went to Cracker Barrel, (Or as Mere calls it "Crackle Barrell") and saw this outfit and picked it up to use in some capacity for our family Christmas picture. Only problem? Its a 9 month, hes only 5 months, and HE BARELY FIT IN THE SUCKER!!! The hat had to have been cutting off his circulation to his head.
Sunday night we trapsed over to the Alter Fest. I cringe at the thought of giving Alter any more money than they already have, as a friend of my parents put it best: Every time they buy a beer, all they can think about are are the equipment they're buying for the football team. For those of you who havent been completely nauseated by my obsession with the Fairmont-Alter rivalry, it goes like this: Kettering Fairmont is my alma mater. Its a big giant public school and around the corner is Alter, the catholic high school. When I was in school, our football team (and every now and again, our basketball team) soundly beat Alter. This was the feather in our cap we could proudly display whenever we pulled up to the stop light in our beat-up crappy cars as the Alter kids sputtered around in their brand-new Jettas and Jeep Cherokees. Actually, back then, I really didnt care for them either way. Most of them came from families with more money than God, but as long as our football team was winning, no amount of designer clothes would make me envy them.

Our football team won ALL FOUR YEARS while I was there. Life was good. you'd think Id move on, but now a days, its a different situation. Alter, who carries TWO-THOUSAND (this is a fact, I googled it)....TWO THOUSAND fewer students than Fairmont has been kicking our ass in football for what seems like the last ten years. No joke. Now, Fairmont cant recruit top athletes like Alter can and I really dont know enough about coaching hs football to discern whether or not its recruiting or coaching, but DAMMIT!!! Ten years? How is this happening?

Alter is supposed to be Catholic school, but I didnt see anyone stop their students from wearing a T-shirt saying "I used to go to Fairmont.....Until my dad got a job".....this is mentality of an Alter student apparently. Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw once that said "Republican: Because we all cant be on welfare". You're entitled, I get it. But cant we be entitled to a succesful football team? .....and you can have fancy cars and clothes? I think that sounds fair!!

We spent $20 on beers which I envision will go to a few bags of ice for the Training room whirlpool. I can accept that. I give the money for the handful of Alter people that I still like - a few cousins, the McCalls, my oncologist Dr. Romer, all the Ryans, and Linda Raterman. Thats it!!

Later, we headed off to Elsas with a big gang of FHS class of 96'ers, goodtimes!

What tha?.....
Monday morning we headed off to the Holiday at Home Parade.

The Budweiser Clydesdales were in town for the parade, and dad was pretty excited about it. I wont lie, I was too. But mom and I were "lolly-gagging" around in the morning and all the sudden dad is like - "We gotta go - the parade starts at ten!" Mom and I continue to drag ass and dad is getting impatient.

Im in the bathroom putting on make up, Dad is getting pissed.

"DAD! We're gonna get there and wait 20 minutes for the parade to even GET to us."


The pissy-pants family finally got in the car and dad drove ninety miles an hour to get to Lincoln Park. John stayed home and slept in.

The parade was pretty good, although I know they want to include lots of organizations, but seriously, the JEEP CLUB? Really? I dont give a crap about forty jeeps - THEY WERENT EVEN TRICKED OUT OR ANYTHING! Who cares!! Bring on all the marching bands, floats and shriners you can organize, but lets cut the fat next year. Awww....Firebird flags. Everyone take your hats off:

Fairmonts marching band. Outnumbering Alters full enrollment for a hundered years:
Mr. Bauser!
Kettering resident Hyleas Fountain - Silver medal winner in the Heptathlon - she had her medal on, and those cool hats everyone wore. Ok, annoying PC rant: Dad and I were in "Indian Princesses" when I was a kid (and he was in "Indian Guides" with nick) Its through the YMCA - fun Father/Daughter and Father/Son activities. Basically you had meetings once a month with an activity or craft and once a year you went camping at Camp Kern. Anyway, they changed it to "ADVENTURE PRINCESSES" because they cant use the word "Indian"......but apparently they can all dress like indians. Im not a big fan of text speak but WTF??? Seriously? That just pisses me off.

Awww...Drew's first parade!

Darth Vader came to the Holiday at Home Parade! I dont doubt that Alter will recruit him for their football team. Expect to see him at wide receiver for the Knights next year. He's really tall.
And what you've all been waiting for.......
The Budwieseer Clydesdales! Here are some facts, completely ripped off from someone elses site:
The Clydesdale Breed:
Farmers living in the 19th century along the banks of the River Clyde in Lanarkshire, Scotland, bred the Great Flemish Horse, the forerunner of the Clydesdale. These first draft horses pulled loads of more than one ton at a walking speed of five miles per hour. Soon their reputation spread beyond the Scottish borders.
In the mid 1800s, Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to the United States where the draft horses resumed their existance on farms. Today, the Clydesdales are used primarily for breeding and show.
The Budweiser Clydesdales:
They were formally introduced to August A. Busch Sr. and Anheuser-Busch on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch Jr. wanted to commemorate the special day. To his father's delight, the hitch thundered down Pestalozzi Street carrying the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery.
Hitch Requirements:
To qualify for one of the six hitches (five traveling and one stationary), a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age. He must stand 72 inches, or 6 feet, at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, be bay in color, have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face, and a black mane and tail.
Each hitch horse will consume as much as 20 to 25 quarts of feed, 50 to 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

Hitch Locations
Five traveling Budweiser Clydesdale hitches are based in St. Louis, Missouri; Menifee, California; San Diego, California; Merrimack, New Hampshire and San Antonio, Texas. The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Merrimack, and Fort Collins, Colorado.
The Budweiser Clydesdales also may be viewed at Grant's Farm, the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, in St. Louis and at the following Anheuser-Busch theme parks:

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida, and at the Sea World theme parks in Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; and San Antonio, Texas.
Clydesdale Operations

Based in St. Louis, Clydesdale Operations is responsible for maintaining and scheduling the five traveling hitches. They receive thousands of requests for the "gentle giants" every year. Each request is evaluated on the type of event, dates, history of appearances in that particular area and other input from Anheuser-Busch management representatives.

The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is an ornate brick and stained-glass stable built in 1885 on the historic 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis. The building is one of three located on the brewery grounds that are registered as historic landmarks by the federal government.

Expert grooms travel on the road with the hitch. They are on the road at least 10 months every year. When necessary, one handler has night duty to provide round-the-clock care for the horses, ensuring their safety and comfort.

Ten horses, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon and other essential equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor trailers, which weigh 24 tons when fully loaded. Cameras in the trailers (with monitors in the cabs) enable the drivers to keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport. The team stops each night at local stables so the the "gentle giants" can rest. Air-cushion suspension and thick rubber flooring ease the rigors of traveling.

Driving the 12 tons of wagon and horses requires a bit of strength and skill. The 40 pounds of reins the driver holds, plus the tension of the reins, equals 75 pounds. All hitch drivers are put through a rigorous training period before they are given the reins.

Each harness and collar weighs 130 pounds. The harness is handcrafted from brass and leather. Pure linen thread is used for the stitching. The harness is made to fit any horse, but the collars come in different sizes and must be individually fitted like a suit of clothes.

Duke, Captain, Mark and Bud are just a few of the names given to the Budweiser Clydesdales. Names are kept short to make it easier for the driver to give commands to the horses during a performance.

Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about five pounds -- more than twice as long and five times as heavy as the shoe worn by a riding horse. A horse's hoof is made of a nerveless, horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail, so being fitted for shoes affects the animal no more than a manicure affects people.

Turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and are kept in excellent repair. The wagons are equipped with two braking systems: a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and descents down hills, and a hand brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is at a halt.

Dalmatians have traveled with the hitch since the 1950s. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries. The black-and-white spotted dogs were swift enough to keep up with the wagons, and their light-colored bodies and marking made them easier to see during the twilight hours. Today the Dalmatians are perched atop the wagon, seated next to the driver.

You can read the whole article here - Alot more info.
Look! Its Buddy! The dalmation that trained the horse to "Make Varsity" saw the commerical.

Oh yeah....and of course they put the Clydesdales DEAD LAST in the parade route. Im sure its the first time 99% of the watchers stayed for the ENTIRE THING. Good thing we got there right on time DAD!!! It was worth it though. Gotta support the community and all that crap.
Check out the THREE trailers they need for these monsters!!! Unbelieveable!
Then it was off to the parade. One of mom and dads friends had mentioned the "Local Honey" sign and how his wife wouldnt stand in front of the sign for a picture. Dad turned on the annoying and begged mom to stand in front of it. She really didnt want to, but I think she did it just to shut him up.

Devon with Drew, and Nick with Devons little girl. Awwww.....maybe they'll date in high school too!!!

Hot day.....KFD to the rescue!!!!
Lincoln Park.
Inside family joke. If I disclosed the joke you'd nod & understand why Im so screwed up. Dont even ask.
Chris (in the middle) fell for my ol' "Pull my finger" gag on Monday. He loved it - and that room became one nobody wanted to be in as the day went on...

Well, its a super short week for me. Friday is Treatment #3 and Saturday we have tickets to the Ohio State - Ohio U football game at the horseshoe. GO BOBCATS!! After their loss to Wyoming, I fear it wont be pretty, but Im all up for proudly wearing my Green in a sea of obsessive buckeye fans. should have some good pics for that one!!!
Everyone have a great week!!!


osubuckeyefamily said...

Bill and Will are going to the OSU OU Game as well! Maybe they'll see you there!!!

Linda R. said...

Actually, Melissa, it's RICK Raterman who is the Alter alum. Hope you don't hold it against wasn't his fault. His parents made him do it!

Mike and Melissa said...

Just an FYI for next year: You can also see the Budweiser horses at the Ohio State fair. Last year they had the donkey that wanted to be a horse. It's pretty cool.