Thursday, December 18, 2014

TRavels with Sadie Part Zwei

After Pioneer TN, we made it clear to Cumming GA where Scott and Debra Douglas reside. Scott is an old sailing/racing buddy of mine when they lived in Long Beach. But alas, their careers took them away from us twenty plus years ago, so we don't see near enough of each other. They live in a very nice community northwest of  Atlanta and the Chattahoochee River runs beside their property. Scott can, and usually does, hunt or fish there every day of his life. Debra has just retired after tearing up the banking world. Her mother Irene, who just passed away, was a top notch cook and would prepare wonderful wonderful Italian feasts when I showed up. Deb has a big binder of her mother's recipes and, I am glad to report, is almost as good as mama. In time, I'm sure she'll surpass her.
So while we were there, we ate, drank, told stories and laughed and then hit the repeat button. If I hadn't been delivering my brother-in-law's car to Florida, we'd still be there. Why would anyone want to leave?
But duty called and south we drove to Gainesville FL.
Next day we finished the southerly leg and drove to Fort Myers and delivered BIL's car. We went back to Cape Coral and stayed with my friend Bud. Bud is a retired TWA 767 captain who used to live in Long Beach. He is the one who got me into flying. While still a student pilot, I used to fly Bud's Trimotor airplane around So. Cal. In case you don't know, Buffy crashed at Fullerton airport about five years back and Bud moved to Florida. He has a 38 foot catamaran in the canal behind his house, got a captain's license from the Coast Guard and takes folks out on charters. We went sailing on the Gulf of Mexico in the ICW, Intracoastal Waterway, and crewed on a few charters.
Next, eating our way out of Florida through NOLA to So. Cal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Travels with Sadie Part Ein

It was one hell of a nice trip. We rented a Toyota Yaris from Hertz and headed east. The first night was spent in Flagstaff, AZ. We were traveling with Miss Sadie Marie our attack Golden Retriever, so we stayed mostly at Motel Sixes. In case you don't know, Motel 6 is dog friendly chain wide. You simply tell the desk clerk that there is two adults and a dog. They don't ask if the dog is house trained or mean. They just hand you the key(s).
We drove on to Amarillo, TX and stopped at The Big Texan Steakhouse for dinner. Once again, in case you don't know, The Big Texan has a 72 ounce steak dinner and if you can eat the whole thing in less than one hour it is free. If you can't it's over $100. I didn't have a 72 Oz. steak but none-the-less ate heartily. Next door to the restaurant Big Tex has a motel, so we dropped anchor there. It was sixties funky. Not run down, but funky. I really liked it.
On day three, we drove clear to Tennessee. On the way, we got off of the interstate at Fayetteville Rd. in Van Buren Arkansas. We we weren't expecting much in rural Arkansas, but boy were we wrong.  We found Frank's Italian Restaurant and Grill. It appeared to be a nicely refurbished Fazoli's and the food was great. The only downside was Van Buren is in a dry county, yes Virginia we're in the South, so no wine was harmed in the devouring of our repast. But the food was big city, Little Italy caliber. 
We stopped by Graceland after hours and thought that we'd stay nearby and tour Elvis' home the next day. The neighborhood proved to be to rough, so we forged on to Jackson TN. We learned that on long distanced trips, it's best to avoid staying in urban areas and drive the extra hour, or so, and head for the boondocks.
On our way north, we stopped at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Kentucky. To me, this is on a par with the  Sistine Chapel as far as holy places go. It is part shrine to Zora Arcus-Duntov and part to the Corvette itself.
We continued our drive up to Nashville, Indiana. My friend John lives in a one hundred year old barn out in the middle of nowhere. John lives an idyllic life in this bucolic paradise  and I always try to visit him when I'm in his neck of the woods. There is a huge pond across the lane from the barn that Sadie loves to play in, but it was much too cold for her as far as I was concerned. We went into town, Bloomington, and ate at Max's pizza. We had a Breakfast of Champions pizza. It was very good. 
The next day was Thanksgiving and we drove clear to the magic city of Cleveland, the place of my birth. As my son Dave said to me, this just might be the last time that I go there so it was a bit bittersweet.
Saturday morning, we set off to Florida. After many years of pleading, my sister and her husband finally decided to move to a warmer climate, IE Fort Myers, FL.
Due to health reasons, we stopped in Pioneer, TN at a Comfort Inn. It cost us three times as much as a Motel 6, but it was worth it. 
The next day while driving through Tennessee, we stopped at a Captain D's Seafood joint. Captain D's is best described as an upscale Long John Silvers. Of course compared to LJS, anything is upscale.
Next leg, Cumming, GA follows. The real fun begins.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Uno mas

I sat in my cell waiting for the executioner this morning. The worst was already over. What is the worst that they could do to me now? I had already drank my 4 liters Colyite and taken my Dulcolax tablets. The only thing hanging over my head was the magic moment when the director hollers "Lights, camera, action". 
The nurse asked almost as an aside when was the last time that I had something to eat. When I told her about 4:30 yesterday afternoon I could see by the look on her face that something was amiss. "What was it?" She asked. I guess she was no fan of Italian food because when I answered “Linguini with Clam Souse”  she didn't ask Red or White.
Why didn't I follow the written instructions, she wanted to know. I told her I didn’t get any instructions but this wasn’t my first Colonoscopy and I kind of  knew the drill.
Long story short. We go back to Square One. I fast all day today and then I scarf down more Dulolax  and wash them down with another four liters of  Colyte.
Am I a lucky guy, or what?


Sunday, November 10, 2013


After the usual ER bullshit temp, blood pressure etc. they gave me an aspirin and I was interviewed by the stroke doctor. 
By then, my little cubicle started to fill up. I don't really remember their order of appearance, but my son Dave was there my  godson Mike and my neighbor Andy May. By then I felt normal. It had been about an hour to an hour and a half since the event and the ER was taking on a Fort Lauderdale spring break party atmosphere. Without the booze and drugs of course. 
The doctor, a middle-aged Chinese lady, was not amused. I think that she wanted the place to be a bit more somber but having just laughed into the face of death, I figured that if I was still alive, all was well. Every time Dr. Chin asked me a question Andy, being Andy, would answer in my behalf. She asked me who this guy was and why he was here. Right after I told her  that I didn't know who he was, that I saw him rummaging through a dumpster out back and thought that he could use a meal, she blew it.
I remember her saying that I shouldn't fuck with her as she was trying to save my life and Andy stood down.
I spent the next two days in the VA hospital with two other vets in my room. One had cancer and the other was going to get a heart transplant. I then felt pretty good about my state of health.
While in the Kronkhaus I had a CT scan a MRI and an ultrasound of my heart plus a few other pokes and jabs. Every ten minutes some sweet person would come in ask me if they could do anything for me. My stock reply was to growl back "Yah get me the hell out of here". 
After two days, they had enough of me and I went over the wall. I've been a pretty good boy since I got sprung outta there. I've been watching my intake of Big Carl's and Bonus Jack's.  I haven't had a deepfried hog snout since the event and my BP and cholesterol are way down. 
I still feel a disconnect like my head is in a cardboard box with a hole cut into it and people are looking at me through the hole and I'm looking out. 
All in all, I'm feeling pretty good and at least I'm not in Cleveland.


In July, I had a TIA. A, so called, mini-stroke. 
I was sitting at my desk in the afternoon when I just felt that something wasn't right. Nothing more. 
I thought that I would get up and "walk it off". I tried to stand up using my right arm to push off the arm of my desk chair. My right arm wouldn't move. I then tried to stand up without using my arm and realized that my right leg was also paralyzed. It was, right then and there, that I knew that I was having a stroke.
I wasn't really in fear of dying, but I knew that this was pretty serious and needed some immediate attention. I then tried to tell Jamie, who was sitting at the next desk, that I thought that I was having a stroke. As I tried, I knew that the right side of my face was also paralyzed. 
At that point, things get a bit scrambled. An ambulance was to be called. I garbled that I wasn't getting getting into no fucking ambulance. It took three people to get me into my truck.
As we drove to the VA hospital, I got somewhat better. I could articulate and move my arm again. But not for long. It got worse again, for a bit. 
And then, it got better again. I actually walked into the Emergency Room entrance. As I was waiting to be seen, I had to whiz so I went into the Men's head. After completing my task, my right leg started to give out again but I made it to the door to call out for help. I was deposited into a wheelchair and the ER event began.

To be continued.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I've been busy.

I've been a busy guy this last year. 
I built a two machine Quartz Oven and Allen Bradley control package for Winnebago in Forest City Iowa.

We then flew to Iowa for the installation in April and stayed until June. 

While in Forest City, Amy my younger son Dave's wife presented me with a Granddaughter Sydney Marie who is as cute as her big brother Alex.
I no sooner got back in June and then had a TIA mini-stroke in July. So I decided to retire and sell the business. 
In August, we drove up to NoCal and visited with my eldest son Ed and his wife Cassy in Concord and spent a day watching the America's Cup Races in San Fran. 
I am now semi-retired but I'm trying to clean up loose ends for the new owner.  
The plan now is to head for Ohio after Thanksgiving to be at my sister's around Christmas and also see my cousins and Aunt  then visit friends in Ohio and Georgia. After that another Aunt and more 
cousins and friends in Florida. 
On the return trip, I intend to eat my way back through the South and New Orleans. 
When we return, I'll probably go back to work for some rest. Not.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sadie Maru

I bought a 13 1/2 foot Whaler a few years ago. The magic number is 13.5' because the limit to legally tie up to the dingy docks at Catalina is 14 feet. We take the big boat, Merrymaid, about once a month but we take the Whaler, Sadie Maru, out two, or more, times a week. 
I originally named the dink Kline Nixe pronounced Klina Nixa, German for little mermaid. Little Mermaid because Merrymaid is the original term in Middle English which morphed into Mermaid. 
Because my Golden Retriever Sadie considers the dingy her boat, I considered Sadie Maru more apt. Whenever she seems to disappear and I start looking  for her, I invariably find her sitting in "her" boat waiting for her boat-ride.
Yesterday, I took her for a boat-ride in Alamitos Bay and it was a beautiful day. It was hot and sunny and the two of us were at one with the water. Just me and the water dog. Nice.