The Oz Blog View about stuff while living in the Land of Oz

31Jan/13Off

My 2012 was crazy! (Highs and Lows)

I labeled this my 2012 was crazy but also added highs and lows in the attempts to try and keep it a bit shorter. I am going to try and keep my post shorter to hopefully motivate myself to get more post out and quicker. As you can tell I haven't been doing very well even to start 2013, but that isn't because I just don't care, it would be because I am such a busy person and that would be the other reason why I have gotten bad about getting post out. Well enough of the small talk lets get to the main topic shall we.

Let's start off with the low so I can get that out of the way. There isn't very many actually come to think of it there really is only one.

- The passing of my last blood related grand-parent. Everybody called her Granny and anybody that ever met her loved her. I was fortunate enough along with most of my family got to spend one last excellent time with her as we went out for a nice Mother's Day dinner with her and she even gave me a hard time about having not shaved. Hard to imagine that she wouldn't be with us even a week later, but she had a very good life with lots and lots of family members that loved her dearly.

Now to the high's.
- One of the biggest moments of my 2012 was forming the Kansas City Shock. Everybody involved with the Shock came together in February and its been a non-stop ride ever since and are hopefully getting close to locking down a home venue which will then allow us to start pulling in some sponsors.

- Taking my two son's to Florida to include visiting Disney World and Universal Studios for Halloween. It will hopefully be something that they remember for a lifetime and it should be as it was also their first of hopefully many, many more family vacations.

- NSCAA Convention in KC was my first one and I have since started calling it comic-con for soccer people. There are panels, discussion and sessions to check out from the time it starts till the time it ends.

- Finally being able to get out of the craptastic house that was our old home and get closer to the rest of our families. Our neighborhood that we were living in was started to become a not nice area even to the point that I was nervous to go jogging at night and I have military training.

That about sums up the biggest highlights for this year. There is obviously more, but I am trying to write a blog post and not a book.

8Mar/12Off

Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury

    March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and March 21st is National Brain Injury Awareness Day for the Nation. Today I would like to talk about what it is like to live with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I want to education parents, students, coaches, players, officials, and league organizers to the dangers of TBI. Because without being aware of the dangers of TBI, we are setting up people for a life of misery and pain. You must only find the family of a military member who has suffered a TBI and talk with those people about how his/her life has changed.

I will go over just a few of the changes for you today. The first thing you lose as a result of a TBI related injury is your short-term memory. For example, you are sitting in the living-room watching television and need to refill your drink. You walk into the kitchen to get your drink, only to forget by the time your arrive in the kitchen what you are in the kitchen for. So you go back and sit down in the living-room. After you sit down you realize your need some more to drink. A person with a TBI injury will repeat process several times before actually refilling their drink. TBI will normally cause a person problems with remembering information for a short-term basis.

Away to deal with this situation is to create a task list. A person might invest in an electronic device or devices that will allow them to create those task lists. On those electronics you can program reminders for any medications that you take and what time of day that you take the medication. This is a great help in dealing with short-term memory loss, but electronics do not help you pay attention.

The second problem we will look at for a person suffering from a TBI related injury is attention deficit. Some people become more sensitive to movement and some people to sound. While some people become over sensitive to both sound and movement, which means that holding a conversation is very difficult. Or writing a paper, listening to something important to that person, watching a television show, and working have all become harder now because the brain does not tune out sights or sounds properly. A person's brain will normally filter out secondary or unuseful noise or sights, but as a result of a TBI the brain no longer functions properly. The person's brain cannot tune out the child three tables over while out at dinner or not notice a person walking by, without hyper-focusing on the current topic and blocking everything else out.

The major problem with hyper-focusing is that a person must block everything else out. Which means that if someone else tries to get their attention, a lot of effort is required to break the barriers in place. The person that struggles with attention does not want to seem aloof or that they do not care. This is something that the person cannot control because of their brain. Yet, if the person hyper-focuses the problem maybe even worse.

Another serious concern from sustaining a TBI is headaches and to be more specific, migraine headaches. These headaches are serious and a majority of people who suffer a TBI suffer from headaches. Luckily the large majority who have the headaches go away, but there is a percentage of people who have the headaches stay around. A migraine headache will be the end of your productive day and if you have never had one (you get a gold star!!) try to keep it that way. In the news over the past couple of years have been a number of professional athletes who have suffered from migraines after sustaining a TBI. The headaches keep these people from playing their profession, a migraine is not something your want to invest in for the rest of your life.

Now to one of the more serious aftermaths of a TBI, a friend of mine from Church has sustained a TBI from a motorcycle wreck and now has seizures. Yes, if you hit your head hard enough or often enough, you can cause yourself to have seizures for the rest of your life. Depending on how quickly you are treated after you have a seizure and what type of seizure you have, you will start taking medicine. Then you will not be able to drive a car for 6 month from the date of your last seizure. If you continue to have seizures, then you will not be given the privilege of driving a car. One of the crazy part of seizures if that you never know when one will happen: while you are at home, shopping, at Church, or at dinner. If you have seizures you will not be able to go to concerts will flashing lights. Do you want your family or friends to worry about whether or not you are going to have a seizure all of the time?

To the worst part of TBI, people who sustain a TBI often have a change in personality or behavior. The person will not have the same attitude that they have always had, because the connections in their brain have been disconnected. To the dismay of the people around that person, that person a majority of the time does not understand the change in behavior. You can go from being the best person in the world to being the worst person in the world in less than a second as a result of TBI. You can be the happy-go-lucky person one second and the mean guy the next as a result of TBI. TBI is not picky on who get the punishment for their lack of judgment.

A terrible side effect of TBI is unbelief and mistrust. After you sustain a TBI related injury and you start to suffer from the aforementioned symptoms, people will only think that you are faking those symptoms. People will tell you that the brain heals, that you did not use be like this, TBI is not a real thing, or just refuse to accept you for who you are now. Even better are the people that will tell you that use your TBI as an excuse. Those people will tell you, "Every chance you get you blame your brain!" These are the same people who do not understand why you honestly repeat yourself in a conversation. Well, you repeat yourself because you cannot remember if you already said that or not. But you are different now, just accept yourself for the way you are.

From all of the research that I have done into modern culture, being different is good. You can consider yourself a trend setter. Although, I do not think that this is a trend that you want to be in the front of the line for. I will take my place at the back of the line. You should really consider the effects of your choices, because those choices do not just affect you. Parents, coaches, and league organizers, you are responsible for all of those children in your leagues. Please do not take the brain of another lightly.

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

14Feb/12Off

Prescription Medication and Alcohol

  Over the weekend Whitney Houston died from reportedly mixing prescription medication and alcohol. Houston was a very talented person, but made a very huge mistake. She was reportedly taking very strong medication. The day Houston died, she had spent several hours at the hotel bar drinking. The death of a person by mixing medication and alcohol is completely preventable.

While I was serving in the Army, I attending a lot of meeting about this very topic. Most prescription pain medications will slow down the heart of an individual. Of course, alcohol has the same effect of slowing down the heart rate of the individual consuming the drinks. Which means by taking prescription medication and by drinking alcohol, you are slowing your heart rate down by a significant amount.

Drinking alcohol has been a part of the culture of the Military for a very long time. Also, Soldiers and Marines that are suffering from PTSD often try to find comfort in the bottom of a bottle. A large number of these military personnel have physical injuries as well and are receiving prescription pain medication. During my time in the Army there was a problem with soldiers going to sleep after drinking and not waking up.

These soldier did not intend to take their lives, but they did not understand the consequences of their action. The soldiers are use to drinking and are also trying to find peace. The soldiers are also taking medicine to manage the pain in their body. They do not know the problems that they have just caused. After a couple of drinks or beers and the soldiers go to sleep, then they just do not wake up.

Whitney Houston did not understand the effects on her body. Someone around her should have known or understood the things that were happening. Whitney's case is not special, because there are people everyday who tragically die from this. And unfortunately there is not a lot of light being shone on this problem.

People should always understand what their medication does to their body. The people around them, should also understand what that person's medication does to that person's body. And if that person is doing something unhealthy, then you need to stop them. Because if the situation was reversed, would you want the other person to save your life?

Red Beards

**To the Ends of the Earth**

2Jan/12Off

REVIEW – Nike Mercurial Glide TF

In my attempt to start reviewing items I've decided to cover the first pair of turf shoes that I have ever had.It is not completely my pair of indoors but my other pair was a pair of flats that are better for hard surfaces. These Nike Mercurial Glides are my first pair of actual indoor turf cleats, hence the TF. This pair is actually the last version as there is now the Mercurial Glide II. These are the top of the line Mercurial as there is also a Victory version but the laces are not covered up like they are in the Glides.

First I would like to say that these boots feel incredible on your feet. I am always nervous about getting new shoes let alone boots especially if I don't get a chance to try them on first. I bought this pair online and I am so glad that they have worked out. I put them on once I got them to just try them out and figure out if I was going to have to send them back and I didn't want to take them off, but had too since I try to take good care of any soccer equipment I get to try and make sure that it has a long life, unlike my brother who seems to on purpose abuse any gear he gets, but I guess it is because of the stuff he does that helps me figure out what I would like to get in the long run.

Second playing in these boots has been pretty good and I am speaking from a sense that I have not been able to play in them very long besides a couple training sessions to include a youth practice with my team and then pretty much just messing around for about an hour. It was pretty much me just trying to get them broken in before a game I was set to play in for local media. I will say that I thought they performed very well even with me having a sprained ankle that was still really sore was effecting my play, but that has nothing to do with the actual boots themselves. I was playing on a MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League) field which is a pretty firm field turf and these boots absolutely loved being on this field and I really wish that the media game would have been a lot longer then it was. I cannot wait until I get to go back out on the field and wear these on the indoor field some more. Luckily where I live (KC area) I should only have to wait another week or two.

Third and finally the only bag thing that really isn't that bad unless you have to change out your laces is that the laces are covered by that exterior material that you see but there is a purpose for that and that is to keep the laces from further effecting any possible shot disturbance when shooting the ball or kicking it with the laces. Like I said it isn't really that big of problem, but I can see why it would bother somebody regardless if the shoes come laced up or not. One other thing I think I can easily get over because I think it could actually help is that with a lot of the boot being a single panel around the toe all the way to the back and being cut a little differently the top of the toe has quickly gotten bend marks in it and it already doesn't look as smooth, but I think that this will help soften the top up and thus give the boot a better feeling. Plus if these boots are used for an extended time like several season for a recreational or lower competitive level (like myself) then it will be a more relaxing boot and will hopefully provide a better touch on the ball. Especially if you can keep the bottom of the sole in a good condition.

I have decided to provide pictures of the other glides for anybody to get a better idea of selections available. The first will be the other Glide, and the second (yellowish looking one) will be the Glide II which is the newer one. Sorry I cannot provide right off anything that is different between the old and new style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these opinions are also based off my first impressions so far and depending on over time use I may have to provide an update.

1Jan/12Off

I_am_McBeth Plans and Goals for 2012

2012-goals

My last post was me talking about some of the awesome stuff that I got to do in 2011, so I figured this post should be about what a few of my goals are going to be in 2012. With the latter half of 2011 being so good for me I don't see how 2012 could get much better except for just doubling what I got to do. There is a possibility of a couple things making 2012 huge for me and I can only hope that they pan out for me.

Starting the year off with a bang the NSCAA convention this year in Kansas City and the MLS Superdraft and WPS draft are both here during that time in January. I have submitted for my media pass and it is looking promising but haven't been completely confirmed if I am indeed getting to go or not. There is a ton of stuff going on during that week and weekend. There is one thing that I would like to do and that is get my national coaching diploma, but I know I will miss out on that. I should however be getting the chance to go to a couple special breakfast meals to catch some great talk about soccer stuff. Not to mention getting to see both the major soccer leagues in the United States drafts.

The CONCACAF have also confirmed that there will be games played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park so I will be submitting to get a media pass to go to those games as well and of course to go along with that will be hopefully getting my pass to go back to the Sporting Kansas City games this year to cover them.

I am also starting up my own youth soccer club to convert my oldest son's soccer team over to a competitive team and hopefully to build it up by also adding other teams to the club. I have been blessed to have an amazing team with amazing parents of all the kids that have been incredibly supportive and I am just so thankful and stoked about being able to do this.

Something that kind of goes along with forming my own youth club is further developing the corporate soccer league that I started almost 5 years ago and made bigger last year by inviting other companies to join the league. I am really hoping to get to expand that out even more this year and potentially next year making it a full blown 11v11 full field league.

With all this media stuff and other soccer stuff I could only wish that I could get paid something for my time and services. Hopefully that will be something that comes along a little more down the road. Something else that I am looking at doing to go along with my blogging is podcasting, which is like an audio blog, or I should say at least get back into podcasting as I did it for a little while a couple years back and really miss it. Something else that kind of goes along with all this blogging is that I have decided that I would kind of like to write some sort of a book, so one of my big goals for 2012 is to completely write a book. Nothing huge, but probably around 50 to 100 pages to give me a very obtainable goal in my opinion.

It also looks like I have been given some of the tools to finally be able to start wood carving and a little bit of wood working as I received some stuff for Christmas to help me get into wood carving and I have already started on my first project. Wood working stuff is something that I have really wanted to get into for quite a few years now. Both my grandfathers did quite a bit of really good woodworking stuff and I would just like to try my hand at it.

Closing up for anybody that has possibly made it this far which probably isn't many people if any I have some big plans for 2012 besides turning 30 and I just think that putting them down in written form will hopefully give me more motivation to do so. I am sure that there is something that I have missed, but I know that I have it written down, but I am not currently referring to my written list of goals to write this post yet I am still insanely high on the word count for a single blog post, which I think will be one of my other goals this year and to try and create a lot more post but keep them shorter then I have been making them.

I hope that all of you are ready for the new year and have good goals or resolutions if you would like to call them that planned for the upcoming year.

11Nov/11Off

Veteran’s Day – 2011


Veteran's day is upon us and it is time for those to honor veterans whether they be young or old.

It has seem that people the last decade have really taken an appreciation for veterans and given them the respect that they deserve. It would seem like it should be that way but it hasn't always been that way for some reason. Yeah more then half the veterans might not of actually put their life on the line but 99% of people don't even serve in the armed forces, so take that into consideration when you might see someone who did serve but didn't do much and you jus blow them off or show them disrespect.

When I was was younger it just always seemed like the only veterans I possibly knew we're my grandpa's age when in reality they are all over the place and as I get older I find that out more and more each year but a lot of them don't always go on and on about it. They figured they were just doing their job and why should they receive praise for that.

I am a lot like that. I personally served six plus year in the Marine Corps Reserves with a year of that being activated during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I didn't do hardly anything besides what was asked of me and I tend to not go out seeking rewards or praise for what I did. I most times don't really know what to do when somebody finds out I was a vet and thanks me for my service because as soon as they do my mind immediately goes to the men and women that actually gave their lives for our country.

Even people like my great uncle who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor when he was stationed on the U.S.S Oklahoma and was thrown from the ship during the attack as he was headed towards church service. He was also later involved in the Midway Conflict. he survived all that was just recently passed away this year.

It is people like him that all of us, even other veterans, that I think we should be celebrating and honoring the most. But that isn't the way things work and it is still a great honor to be recognized on days like this.

31Aug/10Off

97/100 What All My 100 Blog Post Were/Going to be.

With one going through 100 blog post in less then 100 days, any late comers might have missed a few post that could potentially spark their interest.

I can't really say which one is my favorite, and I would like to think that i didn't favor just one topic, besides maybe the world cup, but I believe I did a good job at making each and every article unique in its own way. Which over a span of almost 100 blog post, should be quite challenging, but I think I did good.

The most important thing to me though is that I started gaining more and more readers and followers of my blog, but the even higher, and I guess you could say critical thing is that those people enjoyed my post. I ask of each of you though that if you do enjoy it, please share with a friend. If you don't enjoy it, but still check it out, and think you know somebody that would at least get a kick out of a few of my post, then defiantly send it to them by using that share button after each post.

Here is a list of each blog post including this one, and then the remaining few, to be posted in the next two weeks. (Each one is linked except this one and the remaining 3.)

1/100 This Damn Rash!!!
2/100 Trying to repair a bicycle
3/100 100 in 100!
4/100 Becoming Debt Free
5/100 Google TV?
6/100 KC Royals Still Sucking as Usual
7/100 World Cup Soccer
8/100 Violence in Video Games
9/100 A New Leaning Tower
10/100 AT&Ts New iPhone Data Plans
11/100 Ken Griffey Jr Retires
12/100 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo
13/100 World Cup Soccer Ball Problems
14/100 Why the World Cup has that bee sound
15/100 Father’s Day
16/100 Devil Dog Nomenclature
17/100 US Men’s Soccer Team
18/100 KC Dirty Duo
19/100 Nex XBox?
20/100 Batman Arkham Asylum 2
21/100 Star Wars Force Unleashed II
22/100 USB Jump Drives (Character/Player)
23/100 Budgeting
24/100 Celebrity Home Theater
25/100 iPhone 4
26/100 Alice in Wonderland
27/100 Yahoo! Modern Classic Movies
28/100 Apple TV
29/100 Fantasy Football
30/100 Star Wars Character Lamp
31/100 Lightning Bugs
32/100 Kobe Bryant
33/100 Man Killed over World Cup Game
34/100 Why I Miss My iPhone
35/100 Marathon Running
36/100 Powermat
37/100 Being a Veteran
38/100 Mac Mini
39/100 Tomb of the Unknowns
40/100 Motorcycles
41/100 Old Glory
42/100 4th of July
43/100 Samsung 3D TV
44/100 Texting
45/100 Transformers
46/100 Wing House
47/100 Boulevard Brewing Company
48/100 Coke Bottle Project
49/100 Reading
50/100 Why I Blog?
51/100 Warehouse 13
52/100 Eureka
53/100 Leverage
54/100 Google Voice
55/100 Customer Service
56/100 MLB All-Star Game 2010
57/100 Cruises
58/100 Hilton Head Island
59/100 Persons Unknown
60/100 Pro Indoor Soccer back in KC
61/100 Headphones
62/100 Getting into Woodworking
63/100 Mystery Science Theater 3000
64/100 Starting a Soccer Club
65/100 What is a Podcast?
66/100 Doppelgangers
67/100 Religion
68/100 Ghost
69/100 UNPLGGD.COM
70/100 My Birthday
71/100 Yahoo! 100 Movies to see before you die?
72/100 Top Trilogies
73/100 Worst Trilogies
74/100 Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
75/100 Bamboo Bicycle
76/100 Meditating
77/100 My Experience in Boot Camp
78/100 Windows XP
79/100 Politics
80/100 Making Your Own Beer
81/100 Making Your Own Salsa
82/100 What to do with Old Jerseys
83/100 Football
84/100 ESPNs Salary Crunch
85/100 Man Caves
86/100 550 Cord
87/100 Camelbak
88/100 External Hard Drives
89/100 MacBook Pro
90/100 Amazon.com
91/100 Wanting to sell our House
92/100 Share/Facebook Like Button
93/100 Futnis?
94/100 Sudoku Puzzles
95/100 Book I Want to Write
96/100 Other Blog Series Ideas
97/100 What All My 100 Blog Post Were/Going To Be
98/100 Predictions To The Chiefs Season
99/100 September 11th
100/100 Where To Go From Here

25Aug/10Off

94/100 Sudoku Puzzles

I'm sure many of you have played this pretty cool puzzle game, some of you have probably been able to even complete an extremely difficult one.

Personally I like to stick to somewhat easy ones, that way if I don't finish it in one sitting, I don't feel like starting over when I get back to it. The objective is pretty simple. Each box is suppose to have a number from 1-9 in it, and each row, column, and 3x3 grid cannot have the same number in it. Generally, or at least for easier ones, some of the numbers are already filled out for you, and then you just start figuring out which numbers need to go where. As you get hard in difficulty, you will get less and less help at the start. I believe that the puzzle above is suppose to be a challenging one, but don't take my word for it.

There are different types of Sudoku puzzles out there, and one of the coolest that I've seen that I have almost completed is a Samurai Sudoku puzzle. A Samurai puzzle is 5 regular Sudoku puzzles, with one in the middle and the other 4 being integrated into each of the corners of the middle one. So if you think your really good at regular Sudoku puzzles, you should go check out a Samurai one, because it is quite a bit more challenging.

I wish you all good luck on your brain work out, just for some of you try not to blow a fuse. It is just a puzzle after all, and its meant to be fun, not make you mad, and want to start breaking stuff. Not saying that I have felt that way my self, but sometimes you realized that you got a number in the wrong spot, and you don't know how far back you have to go to fix it.

24Aug/10Off

93/100 Futnis?


Have you've ever thought up what would happen if you combined two sports. I mean somebody had to think up water polo and team hand-ball (see the latest summer olympics.) Well there might be another sport starting up soon. It takes the concept of tennis, getting rid of the rackets and all the screaming for that matter and combines it with soccer (more of a street style) without all the running and possibly terrible ref calls. What could this awkward sport possibly be called? I was thinking Sennis or Toccer, but the Yahoo article that I came across is calling it Futnis (which makes more since, because soccer is called Futbol every where else.)

This article also includes an 8 minute video of two of Spain's greatest tennis players, one of them being Nadal, playing around with their trainer/managers after a practice session. It doesn't appear that there is any kind of rules or scoring yet, but give it time. I'm almost tempted to try and start a league out of the possible sport that I think could be really fun. I know what your thinking, it just sounds like volleyball with your feet, but do you want to tyr and use a volleyball instead of a tennis ball, and even their perspective nets for that matter? I don't, so I think they should just stick with the tennis court and balls. Just need to start developing rules.

18Aug/10Off

90/100 Amazon.com

Where can one person go, to virtually buy anything and everything that they could want and/or need? Amazon.com.

I'm a little late to the buying stuff online, because I use to like to be able to get whatever it was that I was buying as soon as I could and enjoy it, whether it be electronics, movies, games, or what have you. But I have recently come to the conclusion that there are a lot of people that I can't stand, most of them being people that I don't know, but that's neither here nor there. I have to buy stuff though, right? Right, so there is a solution to my possible problem and that is Amazon.com. Now of course I have to wait for my stuff to show up, but I think its worth the wait, to not deal with people acting stupid. Of course my wife does a lot of the shopping as well, and I get to here about how stupid people can be or worse (see peopleofwalmart.com.)

There is also the problem of money. Right now with us having the debt that we do, and not getting more, we are trying to focus on just buy the basic stuff that we need, and it is just easier, and possibly a little cheaper to just go to the grocery store, walmart, or target to get what we need, but you better believe that once I can just wait, and have the money too, then I will probably start using Amazon a lot more often.

Also, one of the really cool features on Amazon.com is the wish list. You create an amazon account and then you can just start adding stuff to your wish list that you can go to later and buy stuff from it, or even share with family and friends.