Archive for September, 2012



From Yahoo! Sports:

One of the top teams in New Jersey found itself without an opponent on Friday night after a late cancellation due to a rather unusual reason: Player safety.

St. Peters Prep coach Rich Hansen was upset about Kearny's late forfeit — NJ.comSt. Peters Prep coach Rich Hansen was upset about Kearny’s late forfeit —

It’s not that the highly ranked Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep football program had superior equiment and resources than the Kearny (N.J.) High squad, though that very well may have been the case. Rather, as noted by the Newark Star-Ledger, Kearny simply felt that St. Peter’s was too skilled for it to succeed in the game, deciding that it was better off absorbing a forfeit instead of trying to fight a losing, undermanned battle that could lead to player injuries.

“The Board of Education and the superintendent made a decision not to play the game for safety concerns,” Kearny athletic director John Millar told the Star-Ledger. “I was informed by the superintendent this morning that I should call St. Peter’s and cancel.

“Let’s face it, we are extreme opposites in terms of competitiveness. They’re very good and our program is not. There was concern over potential for injuries. And if we had too many players injured today, there was a question about going forward with the rest of our season and whether we would be able to play it or finish it.”

To put the vast difference in skill between St. Peter’s and Kearny in perspective, just take a quick look at the two programs’ numbers: Kearny would have entered Friday’s game with a record of 0-2, and being outscored by an aggregate 90-8 across its two losses. St. Peter’s was 2-0, winning both of its previous games by scores of 31-6 and 77-7. Both of those victories were on the road, out of state, against highly regarded foes.

So, in short, Friday’s matchup would have pit a 2-0 squad entering with an aggregate score of 108-13 against an 0-2 team with an aggregate score of 8-90. It’s understandable why Kearny’s superintendent, Ron Bolandi, would have been concerned about his school’s safety, both physical and mental.

Still, the decision to call off the game at the 11th hour angered St. Peter’s officials and players for a variety of reasons, none more striking than the simple fact that they had been told it would go ahead as scheduled a matter of days before. According to the Star-Ledger, Millar called St. Peter’s football coach Rich Hansen on Sept. 17 to confirm that Friday’s game would go ahead as scheduled. Five days later, the game was canceled with the justification of Kearny’s fear of a “inability to compete.”

The game is almost certain to be ruled a forfeit, but that hasn’t been a wholly satisfying result for Hansen, who could earn his 200th career victory with the stroke of a pen if the game is officially forfeited, or the team he leads.

“I feel badly for our kids, having prepared all week for the game,” Hansen said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be a competitive game, but we were going to try to play our younger kids. And we don’t want to just have a forfeit victory this week. We’re looking for a team to play. It really would have been to our advantage to have found out [about the cancellation] earlier in the week. It would have been easier to find a game.”

Interestingly, St. Peter’s Prep isn’t the first school to have to deal with opponents pulling out because of a fear of players being unable to withstand an opponent. In 2010, St. George’s (R.I.) School canceled a matchup against fellow Independent School League member Lawrence (Mass.) Academy, citing a concern about player safety. In St. George’s case, the school was explicitly concerned about the size of St. Lawrence players compared to the ones St. George’s planned to put on the field.

That forfeit later led to other schools crying out against a Lawrence Academy program some felt had run amok of the elite standards set by the ISL. It seems unlike a similar fate would befall St. Peter’s in the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, a league which is home to both St. Peter’s and Kearny, though one can never be sure.

After all, who would have dreamed that a 45-member squad would forfeit a game because of player safety and an inability to compete just hours before kickoff?

So now we’re cancelling games because we’re going to get our ass kicked. Sigh. No words. For the umpteenth time, the Wussification of America continues . . .

Not Dr. Allen.

I thought we’d make a left turn (as we often do here) and do a Q & A with Dr. David Allen, a loyal reader and sometimes contributor to Shoe: Untied. He’s spent several years in the ER so I know he’s seen some cool, interesting and disgusting stuff. Incidentally, those three words have often been used to describe this website, so I thought a sit-down was appropriate. Anyway, JR (the nickname I know him by) had no clue as to why I’d want to interview him, but I’ve always found his job to be infinitely interesting. Hence the following. By the way, I added some comments. They’re in italics following his answers.

Shoe: Untied (SU): How long have you been a doctor and where have you worked?

Dr. Allen (DA): I   graduated from Paint Valley HS in 1974, the University of Cincinnati in 1979,   and Wright State University in 1983 when I was officially designated as an M.D.  But since no one really knows anything right out of medical school, I did a residency in Internal Medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus from ’83 through ’86. The older I get the more I   realize that I don’t know all that much. I figure that’s either a sign of wisdom or a sign of senility.  I’ve worked mainly in the Mt. Carmel system, working in the ER at Mt. Carmel East and Mt. Carmel West, which I did for 15 years, until I got too old to stay up all night and have drunk people hit me and spit on me.  I’ve done urgent care medicine since then, which is a whole other breed of patients.

Note: He was either the Valedictorian or Salutatorian if I remember correctly, and I graduated 60th in a class of 80. I’ve no idea why he hung out with me.

SU: Other than Shoe, who was your biggest influence growing up?

DA:That’s a question on which I could write for a long time. My dad was the most influential, particularly on morality. I’ll never be a tenth of the man that he was. Definitely Shoe. We have enough material on each other to write a book. My brother Rick taught me a lot about standing up for what you believe. And Kevin Shoemaker, cousin to our esteemed blogmaster. Kevin taught me a lot, whether he knew it or not, when we played football at PVHS.  Kevin was also one of my suite-mates during my freshman year at U of C.  (By way of explanation of suite-mate, we had suites of 5 rooms, 2 people to a room. Kevin lived next door to me in the same suite of rooms.)  I was a scared little kid in Cincinnati. And while my brother was also there, Kevin always seemed to be there as a familiar face of someone from “back home”.  He always had a smile and he, like my dad, was a very moral person. That always impressed me, and I probably never even told him   that. And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of high school teachers: Mr. John “Herk” Scott and Mr. Paul Johnson.  They are two gentlemen about whom I think frequently.  They had an enormous influence on my values as a human being and I regret I never told them that.

Any influence I had on him was negative, and I say that with the utmost confidence.

SU: You know in movies and stuff when somebody gets hurt or had a heart attack and someone yells, “Is there a doctor in the house?” Have you ever been that doctor?

DA: Fortunately, no.  But I’d probably be the one yelling for a doctor anyway.

Really? Because that’s one of the reasons I’d want to be a doctor. You know, appearing out of nowhere and saying, “Give me room! I’m a doctor!” Then I’d walk away with the hottest babe in the joint. But that’s just me. Damn it.

SU: What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you as a doctor?

DA: A bunch of things. But there was this patient at Mt. Carmel West who came in drunk, and we were simply letting him sober up before we sent him back out into the world. It was sort of a humanitarian effort on our part. At around 3:00 in the morning I noticed that he was out of his bed and standing facing the wall. I soon thereafter noticed this yellow fluid running off the wall where he was standing. And once he was done, he began pawing at the wall as if to flush the imaginary urinal at which he had not so imaginarily just relieved his ever-so-distended bladder. Oh, well. Clean-up on cart 20.

Dang. I was hoping he’d tell us about the time he was checking a guy’s prostate and and the dude said, “Wooh! Hey Doc, you ever do time?” Wait. I just did.

SU: What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever witnessed in the ER? It’s OK, you can tell us. Our readers are a thick-skinned bunch.

Shoe, I don’t know if you want to print this.  Lots of things come to mind but I’ll tell you this one.  Most babies are born head-first, which is normal . . .

WHOA. Hold it right there!

OK Doc, we’re not that thick-skinned. At this point I was told a story that I swear to God I don’t feel comfortable publishing here, and for me to say that you know it must be bad. Sweet Mother of God it’s a horrific story. Suffice it to say I would have passed out on the spot. Still, if you really want to know email me or message me on FB and I’ll print it for you word-for-word. Be forewarned though. Oh. My. God.

He also said this:

There’s also the assortment of things ingested (crack pipes from a guy hiding it from the police, bed springs from a convict   trying to get some time out of prison and some R&R in a hospital bed), not to mention the assortment of things inserted into an orifice that most of us consider a one-way street.

Good Lord. Thanks for the visual.

SU: Admit it. Do you use your doctor status when making reservations at fancy restaurants? It’s OK, we ain’t mad at ya.

DA: First of all, I don’t eat in restaurants much fancier than The Outback Steakhouse, and they have call-ahead  seating.  Secondly, I don’t feel too particularly entitled to be seated ahead of anyone else who is hungry.  If I waited that long to eat, then I probably deserve to starve to death.

See, that’s the difference between he and I. I’d feel totally entitled.

SU: Everyone knows the ladies love doctors, at least initially. But maybe they’re just interested in the “doctor” and not the man. In the long run, has your profession helped or hurt you romantically?

DA: I have generally found what I do for a living to be pretty inconsequential as it pertains to romance. But where were all of these women you describe as “ladies love doctors” when I was single???

R-i-g-h-t. I see. The wife is reading this, right? OK, I’ll play along. 

SU: Admit it. The nurses are all over you like stink on a skunk. Fess up. It’s OK, we know you’re happily married now.

DA: About the only nurse that was on me like stink on a skunk was Beth. So I sure showed her – I married her. Now she has to live with that bad decision.

Try as I may I can’t argue with that last sentence. Sorry brother. 

SU: Do you think about life and death during emergency surgery or do you just sort of shut out the emotional part?

DA: The emotions come in after the life/death event is over. The fact that I’m in a life or death   situation is clearly present while I’m busting my butt to try to save someone. But the feelings come later.

SU: Do you have friends (other than Shoe who does it regularly) who call for free medical advice? Is it annoying?

DA: Just a handful.  And most folks don’t do it very often, so I don’t mind.

I’m a little disappointed he didn’t mention checking my groin area for a hernia in the basement of his rental house in Chillicothe. Dead serious. Oh, the benefits of having a doctor as a best friend.

SU: Have you ever wished you’d have gone into another profession? If so, what?

DA: I never really planned to be a doctor. My undergraduate degree was in pharmacy and I had planned to practice hospital pharmacy as my career. I enjoyed the chemistry and science involved. I never planned to practice retail pharmacy, such as CVS or Walgreens. I didn’t like that.  But while in pharmacy school I had a roommate who said I should apply to medical school since, in his opinion, I seemed pretty “bright”. You would have thought he would have known me better. Anyway, I applied to medical school. Took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) on a Saturday morning having been out until about 4 AM the night before.  I scored great on the MCAT which tells me it’s not a test of intelligence, but rather how well you can take a test while hungover. But having practiced medicine since 1983, I’m glad I did it.

Taking a test hungover? I can’t imagine.

SU: What’s the best part of being a doctor? The worst?

DA: Believe it or not, I went into this business to help people as best I can. Some days I’m more   successful than others, but I like to think I try to do the best I can. That’s the good part. The worst part is all of the administrative bull that has comes with the job. The paperwork has taken away from actual patient care. There are new electronic medical records that the government, in its’ infinite wisdom, has determined will improve patient care. What they fail to see is that I (or anyone else) can’t possibly document accurately what is wrong with a patient, given the   restrictive parameters under which they require their documentation.  So my point is the government paperwork is the worst part of practicing medicine. I spend more time on that than actually seeing patients. Give me the good old days of seeing a patient and they pay me with a pig, like in Doc Hollywood.

Again, your priorities are skewed. Helping people? I’d be all about the chicks and cash.

SU: Are the medical TV shows even remotely realistic?

DA: Not too much.  At least not MASH or Marcus Welby, M.D. But most of the folks reading this have probably never heard of those shows anyway. ER had moments of reality, mixed mainly with fantasy.

Doesn’t matter. I wasn’t watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman for the medical realism anyway.

SU: Thanks for sitting down with us for this interview. Anything else you’d like to add?

DA: What I do is simply what I do to contribute to society. I don’t think I’m anything all that special. I was simply blessed with enough smarts to try to help some folks in time of need. And like I said, some days I probably do it better than on other days. But most of whatever modicum of success I’ve had, I owe to a lot of people much bigger than me (and God, for those of you who will allow me that reference). And I’m flattered and humbled that Shoe even thought to ask me to contribute to his blog. His writings are much more entertaining and thought-provoking than anything I might have to say.

He just won’t let this go. Helping people in their time of need? Contributing to society? I’ve apparently misread this whole doctor gig from the get-go.

Note: You all know I’m kidding. He actually feels this way, and that’s what makes him great at what he does. There’s nobody I respect more.

Thanks Dr. Allen.

PS- Damn, I can’t get that ER baby story out of my head.   

Yahoo – Trampolines are too dangerous for children to use, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday. Citing nearly 100,000 injuries in 2009, the academy issued the warning in a statement published in Pediatrics and noted that the safety nets added in recent years don’t make much of a difference. “I think parents see the soft springy mat and they think it’s safe, like water,” LaBotz said. “What they don’t realize is that once you get it to bouncing, especially if there are multiple users, it can be dangerous. Bigger kids and adults like to rocket propel up the little kids, getting them to bounce higher than they would otherwise and if the kid comes down wrong, it is the same as falling 9 or 10 feet onto a hard surface.” Among the most common injuries in all age groups, include sprains, strains and contusions. Falls from the trampoline accounted for 37 to 39 percent of all injuries and can be potentially catastrophic, the authors reported.

A 2-year study? Seriously? The American Academy of Pediatrics could’ve saved a lot of money by, I don’t know, asking me. Of course kids get hurt on trampolines, that’s part of the fun, you idiots. “Bigger kids and adults like to rocket propel up the little kids, getting them to bounce higher than they would otherwise“? Hell yeah! No risk = No fun, right kids? First the fun-haters want to ban Jarts, then Dodgeball, then Red Rover (yep, too dangerous!) and now trampolines.  Here’s a novel idea, parents. If you think it’s too dangerous don’t buy a damn trampoline or let your kids get on one.

Good Lord.

OK, let’s say it all together . . . and the Wussification of America continues.

Besides, does this look dangerous to you? You go bulldog!

Love the shot at Beiber.

Just stellar. Yeah, and Google it if you don’t know what “gangnam” refers to.

Below is the second offering from Dr. David “JR” Allen, my oldest friend. Wait. Not my oldest friend. I have older friends. It’s just that I’ve known him the longest. Ah, screw it, you know what I mean. Enjoy . . .

I just got home from the urgent care, seeing a multitude of sore throats, sinus infections, sprained and fractured ankles and feet, pneumonia, and a gal with vaginal discharge. Oh yeah, and the ingrown toenail on the 13-year old boy, present for 2 years, in which I had to remove the toenail  tonight (upon his father’s insistence) or else this young man would be  forever maimed and my malpractice carrier would pay out a pretty penny and my malpractice rates would rise about 300% next year if I didn’t do anything, in  spite of the fact that his family doctor saw him yesterday and referred him to a  podiatrist. Sorry about the long sentence. But that’s not my  point. Just a description of any other day. We have  healthcare-on-demand in this country, but that’s another story.

As I got home and came to my computer to check my e-mail, one of which was from Shoe regarding Teddy, the young man with Down’s syndrome. I was moved. What a great story!  But as I read it I was struck by the contrast of my emotions of the day. Weary and frustrated by my 12-hour day at the urgent care, yet moved by the saga of Ted’s day with the Reds.

As I finished the piece on Ted’s story, I saw out of the corner of my eye, Zeus, our Shih tzu, staring at the wall. If you haven’t heard of Zeus, check out the link on the left-hand side of Shoe: Untied titled Going  in for fish food and ending up with Zeus. That’ll explain things.

What fascinates me about these beasts (I mean dogs, but it can probably be extended to cats, gerbils, mice, rats or wildebeasts, for that matter) is how can they stare at a wall for minutes on end (or maybe hours when I’m not  home to observe such behavior?). Are they seeing something we mere mortal humans can’t see? It’s almost eerie, like they have this supernatural power to see things we can’t. And as much as I want to think that we are the superior intellectual species on this planet, maybe I’m simply in denial.

Now, I’ve never used LSD.  I’m not claiming to be drug naive, but my experience with LSD is   that I never did it, but have always been a little fascinated by what it would be like. No, I’m just kidding, Medical Board!  But it may be frightening for you to know that one of my best friends in medical school did some LSD one weekend. He told me that he did “two hits” and that his buddy who gave it to him had to talk him down the entire weekend because he was supposed to only do “one” hit.  Anyway, he saw coffee tables walking across the floor (by his description). He’s in a successful practice now, in a city I  won’t mention, but I hope he’s dosing his patients’ medication a little better than he dosed himself with his acid. But to my point, Zeus looks as if he’s watching some kind of movie on the blank wall, as if he’s having some type of LSD trip. Or maybe a prolonged flashback. Or seeing stuff I can’t  see, or maybe I’m just too afraid to see. But I’m certain he could  sit there long enough to watch Ben-Hur or the Ten Commandments (or in today’s culture, any Kevin Costner movie).

Is it just my novice dog-ownership status that makes me question this  stuff?  Or is there something wrong with my dog?  Or maybe, is there  someting wrong with ME?

Yea, I know.  It couldn’t be me!

Bringin’ the bacon.

My comments are after the video . . .


Child endangerment? What? Are they serious? Is there more to this story? Is this truly the kind of nation we’re becoming? I’m truly at a loss here, other than to say . . .

And the Wussification of America continues.

I’d like to preface this by saying this year’s 5th Grade class has some of the most intelligent, insightful students I’ve ever had. That said . . .

We’ve been discussing Christopher Columbus the past few days, and today I was showing a short video about his initial voyage to the “New World.” It included a re-creation of the trip. During one of my classes (a few minutes into the movie) a kid raised his hand. I paused the video and asked if he had a question. Here’s the conversation that transpired between him, myself and another kid:

Me: “Yes, Oliver?” (name changed to protect the ignorant innocent).

Oliver: “Now, was this filmed during the actual voyage?”

I was trying to come up with an answer that wasn’t insulting when another kid piped up with this gem:

“NO way! If it was it would be in black and white.”

He was dead serious.


Don’t worry. I’ll get ’em straightened out.

Ted Kremer.


In a Reds season of mostly sweetness and light, maybe the sweetest and lightest thing of all happened on Aug. 17.

A young man with Down syndrome who really wasn’t supposed to be the batboy – not in the typical sense of the word, anyway – put some spring in the Reds’ steps.

The remarkable thing wasn’t that Teddy Kremer retrieved bats and foul balls and brought baseballs to the home plate umpire, it is that he did it with such aplomb, gusto and unbridled joy.

“They all could tell that Teddy is a guy who never has a bad day.  How can you not love a guy like that?”

But if you know Ted – that’s what he likes being called, even though everybody calls him Teddy – it wasn’t remarkable at all.

Teddy was just being himself.

When Cheryl gave birth to Teddy, she was told the next day by the doctor that her son would likely never smile, probably wouldn’t talk, might not walk, and would never have more than a 40 IQ.

Those were tough words to hear, but Cheryl and her husband, Dave, were both in education, and they weren’t about to let what somebody said turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

By two weeks old, Teddy got occupational therapy at the pediatrician’s office so that he wouldn’t be floppy-legged. By five weeks, he was exposed to music at the Breyer School in Colerain Township, to which he clapped his hands, and looked in the mirror and was taught to look up, to strengthen his neck muscles.

By 13 months, he was in speech therapy, and soon he was matching colors and being taught to play with toys. Shortly after that, a teacher told the Kremers to “take him out, because Down syndrome kids mimic what they see, and if they don’t see it, they aren’t going to progress.”

By age 3, he was included in the regular classes at Mercy Montessori in East Walnut Hills, and he began swimming. And, oh, did Teddy Kremer progress. He walked, he talked, he smiled broadly. His personality began to emerge.  By 7 he was swimming for the Mercy team.

At 16, he enrolled at Colerain High – again, in classes right along with the other kids, math and science and social studies and home economics and keyboarding at the vocational program – and competed on the swim team (“freestyle and backstroke,” he recalls, proudly) and was named student-coach on the teams for baseball and football, including the state grid champions in 2004. He rides horses on Monday nights, plays softball on Tuesday nights, does ballroom dancing on Wednesday nights, swims on Saturdays.

“I’ve always been around athletes my whole life,” he says.

He does clerical work three days a week at Hillcrest School in Springfield Township. He reads The Enquirer, follows closely the local sports team, knows as much if not more about them than anybody. He’s a diehard, easily reduced to sobs by an ill-timed loss.

So, when his parents attended a fundraiser last March at Mercy Montessori where the children of Phil Castellini, the Reds chief operations officer, attended, and they saw that one of the silent auction items was a night as a Reds batboy, they couldn’t resist. (more…)

I’m leaning towards funny.

I’d love to have one of these, but I fear someone in Bourneville or Bainbridge would shoot me on sight and ask questions later.

OK, time for a fun blog, something off-the-wall, weird . . . wait. That’s what I almost always do. Never mind. Anywho, I think I was looking at a Ho-Ho or Fruit Loops in the store the other day and I started thinking about funny food names. Well, after weeks of exhausting research by the crack staff here at Shoe: Untied, we came up with the funniest, weirdest, and sometimes most disgusting food names out there. OK, most of them are disgusting. Just so ya know, I’m not proud of what you’re about to read and see. That said, read on readers . . .


Funny for obvious reasons in a juvenile way, but the thing that cracks me up about this picture is the way Mini Dickmann’s is sitting there all cool and whatnot, just hoping you don’t notice Super Dickmann’s. Nice try Mini Dickmann’s. Nice try indeed.


Yeah, I really got nuthin’ to add here, other than the fact that the Kardashian girls order this stuff by the case. Weekly.


Hey, if Wack Off assists in the “minimization of Ross River Virus & Malaria”, I think we’re all safe.


Wait, The Village People are endorsing food now? On a related note, I don’t want to know what’s in the gravy.


Listen, I know you may be lacking in sanitary, unpolluted water, but really Ghana?


Well, there IS a picture of an elephant on the wrapper.


I am so sorry right now.


Is this sexually suggestive or is it just me? Ah, probably just me. Sorry.


It has nuts with a creamy center. I have no idea what that means.

And #1 . . .

Yep, nothing whets the appetite like Shittos Hotly Spiced Pepper Sauce. I hear it goes great over Butt Steak.

I hate myself right now.

Really, I promise.

Just proves you never know when you might witness greatness.

A moment of silence please. Seriously, I need a moment.

I’m dyin’ over here.

And probably you.

Not even kidding. Behold the Window Grill.

I’m patenting as we speak.