Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Going From Bad To Worse

I am telling this story as a way to express my gratitude to those who came to my rescue on 2.24.14.

I started my day with a severe case of sciatica. I made it work but as the morning went on I could not stand the pain.  I made an appointment for 1:15 at the River Hospital Convenient Care.  Leaving work at noon I was experiencing severe pain that took my breath away with each step I took to get to my car.  I drove along 81 north feeling as tho I just ran a marathon.  The pinched sciatic nerve shot excruciating  pains all the way down my left leg.

Within minutes my breathing went from labored to short and choppy.  Several minutes later my diaphragm felt like it was rolling up under my rib cage.  My arms and legs went numb and I started to get light headed and woozy.  My judgement was now impaired as I tried to make a decision of what to do.  Stay on course to Alex Bay or pull over on the 81 breakdown lane and hope for help.

I started to panic as my hands began to shake uncontrollably.  I knew that continuing north or pulling over would both be dangerous.  I vaguely remember my decision to get off of 81 at the Bradley St exit and head to a place where people knew me, Blue Seal Feed Store.

Finally making it to Blue Seal Feed parking lot, I started to honk my horn to get anyone's attention.  By now my hands were shaking and useless and I could hardly form words except for help.  Two ladies had pulled into the store parking lot and noticed that I was in trouble.  Without hesitation they called 911.  I remember only bits and pieces as they asked me questions that 911 needed to know.  By now my panic was out of control as I was sure what I was experiencing was a heart attack.

Time seemed to slow down and speed up creating a confused state of mind for me.  My next recollection was the First Responder asking me questions and slipping an oxygen mask over my face.  I felt the panic decrease and my ability to breath increase. I found myself in an ambulance and then transported to Samaritan E.R, where I was treated and released.

My doctor told me that the pain from walking caused me to gasp with each step.  This put me into a hyperventilated state.  Never experiencing that before, I then experienced a panic attack, thinking that I was having a heart attack.  I was told that each by itself are very scary and experiencing both would rock anyone's world.

As I said at the beginning of this post, my intention was to thank the unknown ladies that contacted 911. And to express my gratitude to the first Responders and the EMT's. Thank you all for coming to my rescue. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Skating On The Rideau

Ottawa Canada:

Yesterday, my wife spent the day on the Rideau Canal Skateway.  It is the worlds largest ice rink. Extending 7.8 Kilometers [4.8 miles] from Canada's  Parliament Buildings to Dows Lake.  Along the way are warming areas with fire pits, cauldrons of soups, and oh yes..... Beavertails.  What are Beavertails?

Skating On The Rideau Canal from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

They are described as delicious addictive whole-wheat pastries are hand-stretched, then float cooked and served piping hot, topped with butter and your choice of delectable flavours. Proudly satisfying your sweet tooth since 1978.  Click here to learn more about Beavertails

The canal is open for skating during January and February.  Additional information can be found here.

Bloggers Note:  My wife took this video with her digital pocket Nikon Cool Pix Camera.  The editing was done by moi.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wintry Thoughts

It was around 5pm when I finished clearing the driveway of snow. Lots of snow at the entrance, courtesy of that snow plow guy that gets his jollies winging as much snow as he possibly can as he comes around the corner! I decided to reward myself with a beer as I stood in the middle of my driveway. Inspecting the crisp edges of my snow banks, I was pleased and I know my dad would be proud that I took pride in my sculpted rows of snow.

I spent some time pacing my driveway scuffing my boots in the snow and taking notice of the sun as it was setting behind the trees. This sunset was beautiful in a wintry evening kind of way, and the temperature was pleasant.... so I had another beer and enjoyed the sun as it set behind the trees,  that had fractured limbs from that ice storm. 

As I sipped my frosty cold beer,,,,, I noticed how much better beer tastes when you have worked out doors. Paced and scuffed my feet in the snow some more and then marveled at the sunset once again. Then I thought..... my neighbors must think I am strange..... pacing, scuffing my feet, staring at the sunset, drinking a beer..... WAIT A MINUTE..... I am not strange...... THEY ARE...... because they are not seeing through my thoughts.... to bad for them.

Side Note: The fact is, I am strange and I embrace all my quirks.  I plan on nurturing my strangeness, hoping that it grows into eccentric... I want to thank all the people that have helped me along the way. Your actions of alienating me have in fact set me free. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grieving The Loss Of A Pet

For the sake of simplicity, I will talk in terms that I know.... Dogs...
Last year within a few months of each other, we lost both of our Golden Retrievers: Glory then Latte . The dull but throbbing ache that I felt seemed to come from the center of my body and radiate outwards. It went on for days but finally ebbed after a few weeks, only to return without warning and disappear just as quickly. This went on for months with diminishing frequency. The grieving for my dogs is completely different than what I experienced when a parent or a friend passed away.

I questioned and argued with myself..... Why is it different? Is there a connection between a dog and a human soul? I am not going to debate whether a dog has a soul, but I know for sure that I have one and if by chance you do not believe in souls, then you can call it your heart.

I have been mulling this over for a year and I have noticed a change in my emotions. No, I have not gone soft, but my emotions seem to be more acute. I am not going to elaborate on how they have changed, but I can tell you it was worth all the love and grief I felt for my dogs.

What happens when a puppy comes home and a bond forms between her and her humans?
What do I think happens when that physical bond is broken the day she dies?

A puppy works her way into your heart. Our hearts by nature are not totally pure. They have dark spots filled with impurities..... lets face it, humans are far from perfect. Dogs, however are perfect loving creatures, they pass no judgment and offer unconditional love. As the puppy grows, they consume more of our hearts forcing the impurities in our heart farther out to the edge. Our hearts expand making us better humans as those impurities are congealed.

What is THE ACHE that we feel after the passing of a dog?

The true gift that a dog gives us is what she takes with her when she dies. All those impurities in our heart are now all in one place and she is able to snatch them away …. taking them with her, guaranteeing her passage into heaven. The ACHE is the sudden deflation of our hearts as she whisks our impurities away leaving her humans with purer hearts.

I am not saying this is true, but it is what I choose to believe....... My thoughts about this come on the one year anniversary of the unexpected passing of Glory. Five months later, we lost Latte..... who whisked away more impurities leaving me in awe..... in the beauty of the DOG.


Before Glory and Latte there was Bianca and Sienna. For over 20 years we have always had at least one dog in our lives, and other times there were two. Sienna was our first, we raised her then she raised Bianca. After Bianca passed away, Sienna raised her new sister Glory. Sienna passed away at the ripe old age of 14. Glory reared her half sister Latte` and they hung around with each other for 5 years. Glory died suddenly in her yard on 2.13.13. Latte` was diagnosed with cancer 4 months later. We suddenly found ourselves with out a dog for the first time in 20 years. It was very quiet around our house that summer, that is until the middle of August when we brought home Luna, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.... she is something else. We have a plaque on a wall that says Dogs Are Not Our Whole Life, But They Make Our Lives Whole. This sums up the importance to the family and the role of a pet in your life

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Photos From The River Hockey Classic

Clayton NY:

Scott Johnson took some great photos during the River Hockey Classic this weekend.  Always nice to have someone else's visual perspective......

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Here Ya Go

The following is the second duplicate comment left on my blog by Mr Thomson.  For the most part his comment is an accurate account of our discussion last Saturday night.  I never did mention who's phone I overheard the conversation on.  I did not publish Thomson s first post because he incorrectly guessed who he thought initiated the phone call that I was allowed to listen in on.  The duplicate comment below has been redacted to remove that persons name.  The white text with black background is text that I inserted to clarify Thomson s post.

For the most part, readers comments to my blog post are almost non-existent.  So when someone does leave a comment, followers of my blog do not go back and check for comments.  Obviously, this is pretty important to Mr. Thomson, so I turned his comment into a post.  That way nobody will miss it.

In my post I made several personal observations, for example: about the Town board being under the spell of Mr Thomson, I find it interesting that Mr Thomson did not want to dispute that remark.  Therefore it must be somewhat credible.... Interesting.  The only factual comment in my post In The Dark was Thomson s remark I Hate That Guy that he questions in his comment below.

Ron Thomson has left a new comment on your post "In The Dark": 

I spoke with Mr. Cummings....... Saturday night in regards to this post. I told him that saying you “hate” someone is something that I have stressed to my children over the years they should not say. I told him that whoever told him I said that was incorrect as I hold myself to the same standards I expect my children to hold. He then told me he heard me personally say it. That was extremely puzzling since my conversations with Mr. Cummings have been very limited over the years until he clarified the circumstances of his hearing me say it. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX had called me 10 or 11 months ago to discuss the water rates the Village was in the process of setting. Mr. Cummings said he was not comfortable with the fact that XXXXXXXXXXX put his cell phone on speaker phone so that Mr. Cummings could listen in but he chose to listen anyway. At some point XXXXXXXXXXX suggested having Mr. Cummings put the proposed water rates on his web site. I do remember disagreeing with XXXXXXXXXXX as to that NOT being a good idea but do not remember saying that “I hate that guy”. I told Mr. Cummings “If you say I said it, I’ll take your word for it”. I then apologized for making the remark, shook his hand and told him if he wanted to quote me any time in the future to please just call me.

Ron Thomson 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ft. Drum Wounded Warriors vs CNY Flyers

Clayton NY:

The 3rd annual River Hockey Classic, kicked off its weekend long event with a sled hockey match between the Fort Drum Warriors in Transition Unit and the Wounded Warrior Project and the Central New York Flyers Sled Hockey Teams.  Sled Hockey fans and supporters are pushing to get this sport recognized as an official game in the next Winter Olympics.....

Click this link for more information about the River Hockey Classic Event In Clayton NY.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Prepping The Ice For The River Hockey Classic

Clayton NY:

The River Hockey Classic Pond Hockey Tournament is not until this weekend [7th - 9th]  But site preparations have been ongoing for the past week or so.  The best word to describe the prepping of their ice... METICULOUS! All sorts of equipment is used to clear and level the ice, everything from Bobcats to a full sized Zamboni [which the town sold to the Clayton Youth Hockey for $1]. 

The entire pond is manicured to a perfectly level surface using the big equipment in between many floodings. The organizers want an ice surface that is safe and has high level of  integrity.  The process will be completed by this Thursday when the boards will be installed defining the 4 regulation sized rinks.

Once the boards are up, the ice surface will be maintained during the event by using shovels, brooms, power sweepers and the infamous Yamboni!  The Yamboni is a scaled down version of the Zamboni.  A Yamaha four wheeler retro-fitted with a Yamboni kit that is capable of spreading 500 gallons of water per hour across the ice, smoothing it with its 6 foot power up, power down water boom.  RHC organizers and volunteers will work diligently to preserve the integrity of the ice through out the weekend event.

A last minute competition has been scheduled for this Friday evening at 6:00 pm.  A Sled Hockey Game between the CNY Flyers and the Fort Drum Wounded Warriors will take place.

Sled Hockey which is also referred to as sledge hockey is a program that enables its participants to play the game of ice hockey. Sled Hockey is very similar to ice hockey with the exception of equipment. Participants use specially designed sled which sit atop two ice hockey skate blades. Each player has to short hockey sticks with metal picks on the end which is used to propel him/her across the ice.

Prepping The Ice For Pond Hockey from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

2014 River Hockey Classic Promo Video from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

In The Dark

Town Of Alexandria:

The T.I. Sun touted Thomson as civic minded.  Maybe on the surface. But I see much deeper than that, I can see through all his smoke and mirrors and Thomson knows this.  That is why he made this statement about me... "I hate that guy".  Me? I do not hate anyone, I just disapprove of some of their actions.  Speaking of actions:  A tip of the hat goes to Councilman Wills for actually voting no on the Thomson appointment.  Wills could have abstained from the vote but he chose to draw a clear line in the sand.

Of course we all know that the line Wills drew is going to put him in the back seat and possibly ostracized from the rest of the board.  Stine, Sweet, and Hunneyman are clearly now under the spell of Thomson, a spell that will leave all of us in the dark.......