Friday, January 23, 2015

Ups and Downs

I'm in Jacksonville FL writing this as I watched my plane back out and head for Charlotte. It has literally been that type of week with airlines. I scored a free unexpected first class upgrade Tuesday on the way to Miami, used Silver Airlines twice, first and last, and just missed my flight home this afternoon, but got another no charge first class upgrade on the re-book. Silver uses a Saab which is a nice prop aircraft American used to use in the 90's, might have been the same ones............but our flight was late, my seat had no window, it took two hours to get from Miami to Jacksonville, we sat on the tarmac for an extra 15-20 minutes in 80+ degrees and they lost my bag. I mean come on, how do you do that? It all balances out, even Steven. Except when I saw this guy go by my window, OK you got me, I didn't have a window so this really didn't happen did it?
Or is it even Stephen? This is the type of subject that bothers me way too much. Take this for example, no sleeping in this hotel tonight, they can't manage to hang their sign straight?
It was a good week in Florida albeit with the beginnings of a head cold, never very pleasant but hopefully a quick one.
Dink keeps hovering, TAR sent me this from her phone last week, this was on December 31, hard to believe how much she has slipped since then. Really odd that she says the Roy is a good boy, we just don't know
Or is that a video of two old people reading the paper? 
And this is proof that drinking alcohol kills brain cells. Someone got a battery operated corkscrew a couple of years ago and really loves it, well someone bought a bottle of red wine that had a screw-off cap, and then someone tried to use the battery operated corkscrew on it. Not saying who that is of course as it might get me in trouble with my wife.

Leaving Sunday for Chicago, Wednesday from Chicago to San Diego, home late Saturday night. Maybe with enough Benedryl I can make it without grossing too many people out. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quickly Quickly

.............there's not much time this week.
Went from Sunday to Thursday in Mississippi and Alabama this week, just didn't have a good flow, had too many hiccups this week on the road and at home. Had one distributor who was late for our meeting, said he'd been at the doctor who told him he has pneumonia and mononucleosis. Yes, that kind of week, one where my Mississippi rep and my wife both got the rear-ended, yes, that kind of week. Stop the snickering class. 
First of all a unc dig: remember how everyone says Coach K invented the flop? Remember what one of the tar babies said about how Smith told him to stay down? I never watch ESPN Sports Center at home, never, but seem to always watch it in hotels, well from this week's videos:
That's a little too much, and he got fined for it. 
I was thinking about our old church friend Jacques Passino this week for some reason, he relocated to Florida last year and we miss him. I looked him up on Google and found two really great pictures:

In the 60's he whipped Enzo so badly that Ferrari didn't come back the next year, claimed Ford cheated. Wonder how you cheat with experimental prototypes? He was a good guy and would take on any project at church. Yes, that's Freddy Lorenzen with him in the bottom picture. 
It's been 47 years since this guy walked back into the jungle in Vietnam and was never seen again. The US Army has been interviewing people and looking for his remains, maybe they'll find him and properly bury him one day. 
Darrell, you gotta hang on to the ball better than that, how many fumbles did he have? Interesting to see the numbers on the helmet, I didn't remember that. Rest In Peace
Reggie Love wrote a book. 
I don't recommend it, not a political statement, just don't recommend it.
If you do want to read one I suggest Bob Simpson's When The Water Smokes. I started it this week and got some much needed laughs, it's one of those books where you can not only visualize the events you can smell and taste them. 
Dink update: I visited her at lunch yesterday and she is very confused and disoriented. Lib Thornell hangs out with her just about daily, they've only been friends for a couple of hundred years. Remind me to tell you what Lib said at my daddy's funeral sometime......over the open grave. Priceless, seems as though I saw a couple of Daddy's young-ins shudder, absolutely shudder when she said it. I'll save that for later. Sadly Dink's comfort level is not what it was, TAR was there yesterday and said she wanted to get out of her bed. Pray for her comfort please. 
And thank you, Miami and Jacksonville next week, hoping for more grippage, Like that word? Grippage..................................

Friday, January 09, 2015

Bad Boyz Bad Boyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

One of the guilty pleasures Jackson and I used to enjoy was to watch this apex of television broadcasting, this image was sent to me by a faithful reader, no it wasn't me. Interesting that the lady who cut our hair moved last week so that might be my hairstyle in the near future; that or a ponytail, or maybe something in between, still up in the air and will remain there until February when I'm home next. 
I knew both Albert and Tater but for some reason can not remember this tavern, and yes that is odd. Maybe there is a reason for that, please refresh my memory. I do remember the Carolina Cafe for lots of reasons, primarily their veal cutlet and Roquefort/Blue Cheese/Russian (whatever it was) salad dressing on a chef salad. Now I'm hungry and I'm salivating, or maybe someone is at the door?
This was left over from Christmas and I put it in here because it is pretty. When Spooner Creek changed a few years ago they planned to knock this little travelers' chapel down, well wait, it wasn't just for little travelers even though it is small....... but enough of the old neighbors protested so they didn't. See? Civil action can work. That turned out a lot better than my plan: burn down the neighborhood and steal all the televisions. The chapel is well known up and down the ICW and still has lots of visitors although it is harder to get to if you're anchored in the creek. Go by and sign in some time. 
WOW! Thursday night SWMBO and I went to the high school to judge senior projects. This young lady made a portrait quilt. There is a model for doing this; she took a photograph she wanted to use, made a pattern, labeled each section, cut the pattern apart, cut different color materials, and then sewed it all together making sure she had enough overlap to cover the seams. Sounds simple enough right? I can't imagine the detail work she did. She said she spent about 70 hours doing it and it turned out great. Others we heard learned to play the piano, raised money for the humane shelter, and learned about crime scene investigation. This program is remarkable. 
And now for Dink news: she is still resting comfortably at Hospice and is being treated like the queen she is. Her mind continues to slip, and we thought she was getting closer to the edge Tuesday night, but then on Wednesday..................well lets go to YOUTUBE:
That's her old repeated saying from the past seven years or so of looking after her, it was usually followed by a command to do something immediately (if not sooner) for her. However Thursday and Friday she returned to her pattern of sleeping a lot and being confused about the time system that only Hospice seems to at lunch she mentioned some things today that she wants to leave to "Henrietta." I just let it be thinking that she forgot one of the great grand kids' names. TAR came in this afternoon and told me she asked Dink about Henrietta and found out that was the name of her mannequin she used when sewing. You have to laugh and its OK to do so, hope Henrietta enjoys that bracelet.
I know many of you have remembered her in prayer, Thank you. I ask that you also remember the young lady and her family across the hall as she goes through this same process while in her mid-30's. And that is very sad.
But we go on; Sunday to Mississippi and back home from Alabama late Thursday night. 

Friday, January 02, 2015

Best of 2014 (Visual Aids Category)

First an update on Dink, her condition continues to deteriorate, yesterday (Thursday) she reminded me of Daddy when he would lie in bed at Crystal Bluffs and fiddle with stuff, anything to keep his hands busy. No one knows if it is the lack of oxygen, her organs shutting down, or probably a combination along with Sister Morphine, but the end result is sad, there isn't much of Dink left in her body and her thoughts are........................interrupted. But the good news is that she is comfortable, very comfortable and that is a good thing and our entire family is in a good place with that. Thank God for the blessing of Crystal Coast Hospice, the entire experience has been good for all involved.  
On to happier thoughts, the Highs were in town Wednesday night and fortunately for all participants and readers of this mindless dribble there are no pictures! Well, maybe a few, but you have to go those "certain" websites to find them. We were entree-less for the first time Wednesday night, only hors d'oeuvres (yes I had to look the spelling up) and had lots of fun. Let's see, what did we have? Ready? Hang on tight:
onions pickled in balsamic                                        
vinegar pie
steamed shrimp
stuffed grape leaves
candied pecans with cinnamon
baked custards         
Greek meatballs 
shrimp in butter and pepper 
fava beans (think Hannibal Lecter but with no chianti) 
orzo with pesto   
muffaletta tapenade on pita
.....................and believe it or not there was some stuff that we didn't put out on the table. I may have left something out in there somewhere, sorry if I did. Good wines, a surprise cocktail sauce from my favorite steak house in the world: St. Elmo in Indianapolis, good Greek wine, did I mention the wine? I like wine. The Highs brought a bottle of a Greek wine called Naoussa, FO opened it, everyone tasted it and then he grabbed a straw and disappeared only to resurface thirty minutes later with a sheepish grin on his face. We found the bottle the next day. And then something new appeared, I believe the young hipsters call this beverage Fireball. From that point on it was kind of a blur.................and thankfully no pictures.
Recovered yesterday and watched football, nice relaxing day, had a few of those lately and I'm ready to get back at it. My January travel includes Mississippi, Alabama (bet there are some pissed off people down there today), Florida (see previous comment), Chicago and San Diego. Going to be a busy month.
And now for the best pictures of the year contest in chronological order, please let me know your favorite, there will be prizes:
USCGC Eagle visited us
                             Someone special got married, I picked this picture all by myself
                                                    Jacksonwhacker gradumatated
                                                          We went to the Indy 500
Direct hit from category 2 hurricane Arthur, yet generator power the next morning provided us with cold milk! We were lucky. 
                                   FO caught the nicest flounder I've ever seen in my boat
                                                     And I still like looking at this woman
You know which one I'm voting for......or for whom I'm voting, whichever. Vote now and vote often, winners will be given a special hat or a bucket or maybe even a bucket hat, it will more than likely be whatever I find in the sound on my next fishing trip. 
Now, the long awaited video of the year, no reader voting allowed for this award as it is selected by me, enjoy looking at a dog who closely resembles old Jesse:
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Best of 2014

It was a very good year with lots of changes, all good ones and we are thankful.
We will finish with random thoughts:
Betsy Vann's old Chevy, found in Mineral Wells, TX. I let it stay there.
Last awful pun for 2014:
 There's no place like chrome for the Hollandaise.
A new toilet control found at a nice hotel in Durham, or was it Duke hospital? I forget, but somehow or another with this control you something or another...................maybe

Dink's health continues to ebb away, but she had some fun with all of her great grandchildren around for a very busy time at Hospice. Although Wednesday morning she was sitting up doing her crochet work, the last few days has seen her grow weaker. 
And this is our youngest angel, beautiful Christmas picture to finish. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

T Minus 6 Days

We had a great time in Savannah, still hard to believe that we've never been downtown in that old city before. We ate and drank like condemned people for a few short days and really did get away from most of it............I think we were trying to get into our Christmas fighting weight before the actual holidays.
Pictures? Yes:
Add your own caption, and yes, Santa was smiling
I sat with the pastor of this church in a plane a couple of years ago and I asked if this church was PCUSA or PCA, he said "independent." I asked for how long, he answered "since 1755" Must be a colonial thing. This is one of the scenes of the feather in Forrest Gump. Now, how did we know each other is Presbyterian? My guess is that it was meant to, that's where this story goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. I was reading a book our session was assigned and he asked if I was a pastor. I know I know I know, but that story is true. 
I took this picture for Marie, good idea of how near big ships come to the river walk area.
Olympia Restaurant. One word: stop what you're doing right now and go there as quickly as you can. OK, that was more than one word.
OPA! Hope you enjoy it, I doubt if they will let us back in. Thanks for the heads up from the Highs who unfortunately will probably not be allowed in either. We shouldn't have mentioned their names.
 I haven't the foggiest, but there it is
The owner of these two fine animals told us how the short-hair pointers  discovered her wrapped Harry and David Christmas presents earlier and then "got into it" with the rest of them. I asked if I could take a picture to remind me why I don't need a dog.
We had fun, and thanks to all for covering us.
Dink is comfortable at Hospice, but is losing some short term memory. We have to always qualify that with the fact that she is still pretty sharp for a 1923 model. I talked with her one night from Texas this week and she was happy to tell me she had three desserts that night. Screw diabetes!
Prince George's parents published this picture this week
Do you think they were separated at birth?
I do. 
Pictures? No. Today I sit at Duke Hospital with my wife as she gets the "thing" on the tip of her nose taken off. Good news, it was only one mm deep and they are already patching it with skin from her ear. She joked with the doctor that she wanted to get her eyes done at the same time. They're laughing and my hands are shaking, glad everybody is having fun. She's tough and this ain't no time to lose your nerve. Sadly it reminds me of Jackson getting his tonsils out at UNC-CH years ago, not everyone in this waiting room is getting good news. 
And this weekend we will prepare our house for Christmas, I promise. I've done most of my work, getting the tree in the house and the boxes down from the attic. From here on it's pretty easy: drink Scotch and stay out of the way. I'm kidding. 
But in the mean time let's all relax and enjoy the sounds of the season, because I've been a good boy all year and I think Santa is bringing me a red one. If you're at work put on your headphones, either way turn up the volume and enjoy the symphony:
Sorry, saw that this week and I couldn't resist. Merry Christmas

Friday, December 12, 2014

And So This Is Christmas.............

That was a Lennon song I liked from the 70's, do you remember the tune? The official Lennon video for this song was a little too rough, too many brutal war images.
Last year TAR and I noticed many families who told us they just "weren't into Christmas" and this year we've joined that group. I can't put my finger on why, I have a lot of reasons and excuses but that is the way it is. The tree is in the sun room, the boxes are accessible, maybe we'll go back to old Christmas traditions and decorate on Christmas Eve. And this is the beginning of our decorations:
From the internet: old Abe could turn a phrase, but I thought Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill or Jesus Christ said this, or maybe Disraeli. My sons know that when I ask them who said "this" one of the names in this paragraph is a 95% bet.
So we ran away. Despite everything we have balancing in the air we took our 4 day weekend and went to Savannah. Got in late last night and relaxed with a great dinner at the Old Pink House. Who knows what the rest of the weekend will bring. It is hard to believe that in all of my travels I haven't managed to get into downtown Savannah!
Dink is very comfortable at Hospice. She is getting weaker but seems to enjoy the attention that not only our family but also and especially the staff gives her. After years of watching her diet due to diabetes she now enjoys coconut cake and chocolate almost daily. And good for her.
Off to Texas Monday, back home Thursday night and up to Durham late Thursday night. Seems as though TAR needs a procedure Friday, more on that later. Told you, lots of balls in the air. Oh, and so this is Christmas.........................