Monday, December 31, 2007


I've been wanting to put a photo on my blog. Tried and tried but it wouldn't take it. FINALLY I used the old laptop pc rather than the iMac. Of course, that worked in a second. Bah, humbug!

Sorry for the lousy quality of the photo. It is about 10 years old too; I'm just a little grayer. We were in Nice, France and I was enjoying a glass of wine on the balcony. Well, now that I think about things, it was 1999; our 15th anniversary. Now that I know another of Blogger's secrets, I may try to find a better photo.

Once again, have a Great 08!

More questions & answers

Rant for the day: Bah! It's almost 80 degrees and over 80% humidity today. What happened to winter?

These came from a blog entitled becomingariver. I'm not sure I'm on the same page as this lady but I check out her blog regularly anyway! Did these last night but it was too late to post. Have a Happy New Year, y'all!


Never in my life have I - hurt myself intentionally.

When I am nervous - I perspire.

The last song I listened to was - theme from "Chocolate"

My hair is - going away.

When I was four - I lived in Ohio and met John

Last Christmas - was pretty good - MIL died and I certainly did not miss her.

I should be - in bed.

When I look down I see - the floor I need to fix.

The happiest recent event was - selling an old table.

By this time, next year - I hope to be living on a boat.

My current distress is - disposing of a lifetimes accumulation of "stuff".

I have a hard time understanding - religion; any religion.

If I won an award, the first person I would tell is - my wife.

I want to buy a - boat.

I plan on visiting - Washington, DC

The world could do without - religion.

The most recent thing I bought myself is - does champagne for New Year's count? If not, I don't remember.

The most recent thing that someone else bought for me was - Xmas gifts - shirts, books and scotch.

My middle name is - Chambers - my paternal grandmother's maiden name. I was WAY to embarrassed by it for years. Funny story: I was using my middle name as my password. A friend needed to use my work computer one night & had been told my password but couldn't remember it. Finally he called about 02:00 - he said he tried every possible spelling of "Marilyn" but couldn't figure it out. After I picked myself up off the floor, I managed to choke out the key phrase. (For those of you of tender years, Marilyn Chambers was a famous porn star back in the 70's.)

In the morning I - need to get back into my exercise program.

Last night I was so tired I - slept part of the night in my recliner.

There is this guy I know who - is severely depressed because he recently had to close his business.

If I were an animal - I'd like to be pretty high on the old food chain!

A better name for me would be - éminence grise.

Tomorrow, I am - hoping for a good, productive day.

Tonight, I am - emailing, blogging & on my third (& last) scotch.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Questions - and answers

Checking out HLiza's blog she had this question series.

1. I watched a TV programme about plastic surgery recently.
If money is not an issue, would you do it? No; it's not like I scare people and I'm certainly not going to be a movie star!
If yes, which part of your body you'll like to change?

2. I find a lot of women here complaining that their husbands can't stand babies crying and will become crazy if the babies don't stop. What about your spouse? If you're single, do you think you can take it if you have a baby one day? My wife had children before we married so I missed out on the crying baby years. It would be tough to take but we keep reproducing so most people can manage it. Guess I could to.

3. Do you remember how you came to know about me (my blog)? Or did I appear in your blog comments section first? I think I saw you comment on Curate's Egg.

4. Tell me one house chore that you hate the most but have to do it repeatedly. Vacuuming - they aren't tall enough for men to use comfortably.

5. Name one foreign food you'll like to try one day. Well, as long as I can taste it in the country where it originated; turkish coffee in Turkey; jerk chicken in Jamaica; the different varieties of Chinese cuisine; the list is endless!

And just for fun, here' s a photo of someone else in his Xmas present. Unfortunately it didn't fit very well so I've returned it and am looking for one that is longer. Be careful out there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Made it!

The Xmas production is over! Everyone ate too much but thankfully didn't drink too much so we had a pretty good time. Presents were exchanged and everyone was polite about what they received. Even the grouch is happy.

This is the day when photos taken yesterday must be exchanged. I did a really lousy job and only had one that I'd share with anyone at all! It's odd. I must need to practice taking more photos in the house because the ones I do take are not turning out well at all. I've got a Canon Powershot S2 IS. It's a wonderful camera but somewhat complicated. Perhaps I've got some setting screwed up. Back to the camera book!

Here's someone with her Xmas present - getting ready for boating! Have a lovely day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I've just re-read my last post and would like to apologize for being such a grouch. It sounds to me like something the Grinch would write. Anyway, sorry!

I am ready for the big day. I have been making beef jerky for several years and give it as gifts at Xmas. Everyone seems to like it; at least it disappears quickly! It's really easy to make, just a pain in the ass getting enough of it made to give. It took me about three weeks to get it all made. I also have purchased my wife's special present. She seems unable to watch me fix anything without helping so a few years ago I started buying her a tool every year for Xmas. This year it is a cordless electric screwdriver to replace one that she's worn out. As long as it is a good quality tool, she's happy.

The holiday is now just around the corner. I'll go out one more time this afternoon then we'll be busy hosting Xmas until the 26th. I usually treat myself to listening to Beethoven's Ninth at Xmas. The vocal portion is just so amazingly beautiful. that should help my mood!

New Years is one of my favorite holidays. First Xmas is over! But it is also a time to plan for the new year and to thing again about how fortunate we are. Three things have happened just lately to remind me of my own good fortune.

We bought a new table for our dining nook. The neighbor had a furniture store but has gone out of business. They were left with odds & ends; this one fits the space nicely making it look much larger than the old table. I was planning on renting one before putting the house on the market but this is much better and we are doing the neighbor a good turn helping him to get rid of his junk. Closing out your business has to be really tough on a person.

Sending out Xmas cards sometimes gets unexpected results. Last night my cousin's wife called to let us know that they aren't doing cards this year because my cousin had a defibrillator installed on Friday. He's had a heart attack and several bypass operations so things aren't going all that well for him. Hopefully this will help keep him going a while longer.

Finally today I read in about the sudden death of a fellow cruiser. The guy just died in his sleep. One day he was traveling in his boat, thinking of driving home to his wife and for him, there was no next day. It is an amazing thought and one that makes me wish to tidy up my life. Here's to cleaning up our acts.

Be careful out there; it's crazy season.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Xmas crap

Oh boy, am I ever tired of Christmas. It doesn't bother me but it drives my wife crazy. And, as anyone married know, if one partner starts acting crazy the other has quite a job straightening things out.

Let me start by saying that neither of us are Christian though we were both raised in traditional Christian households. It is also important that our children are both grown. So the holiday is about being around family and dreaming of abstract things like "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men". It's kind of an extended Thanksgiving where we buy each other basically meaningless gifts, listen to Christmas music and watch football.

For some reason, this basically meanless holiday makes my wife crazy. We have a little tree that we dress with lights and baubles. We have purchased all the gifts that people told us they wanted. All we have to do in the next week is buy a ham, a few minor foodstuffs and a couple of bottles of wine. We are retired! We literally have 6 days to do that. Maybe that's why she's crazy; too much time to think. I don't know!

At any rate, I'm really looking forward to the 26th. Happy Holidays everyone!

One final thought: to me any decent moral philosophy is much like any other. There is no reason we should require any god to live morally.

History - anybody?

"Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." President F. D. Roosevelt

It's almost 7 pm here in Florida and I haven't heard a single reference to the historical significance of this day. I'm not trying to vilify the Japanese, hell, I admire their culture; but with all the phony patriotism that we hear these days I am surprised that I haven't heard about it. The attack was a surprise. There was a war in Europe and we were "loaning" equipment to Britain but it was far away and none of our business. Or so we thought. Reality, in the form of Japanese aircraft, taught us that we shouldn't avoid unpleasant thoughts. Warmongers in this country have used this argument ever since. You can hear in between the lines of every speech from President Bush.

The phony patriotism we have in this country is enough to make a cat barf. I'm one of those people who served in the armed forces of the United States some years ago. I didn't do anything wonderful; indeed, I did very little at all (more than the President but ...). Unfortunately, very few people these days have actually performed any small service for our country. Fewer still believe that "my country right or wrong" is stupid beyond belief. But turn on the radio today and you hear the national anthem played regularly just to remind us of the wonderfulness of our country. The DJ tells us to be proud. The DJ who in the next moment will be telling you how wonderful some restaurant is; the one that just go a citation for uncleanliness! What sheep we all are. Good night; or should I just say "Baaaaaa".

BTW A belated Happy Hanukkah to those of the Jewish faith.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Bionic Man.....

It's official. Yesterday at approximately 14:00 local time I got my second bionic part; another lens implant. As soon as I got the first it started being apparent that I really did need to have the other eye done. I could see reasonably well out of the new lens in my right eye but the left was going downhill fast. So let's spend another $2300 worth of the insurance company's money!

It's been 24 hours so I'm just hanging around getting eye drops every 4 hours. The new lens does make quite a difference though; in a couple of weeks it should be great. I have distance vision in both eyes so I'll be using glasses for the rest of my life but what the heck. I've been needing them anyway.

My doctor is kind of an interesting guy. He, his father and his sister own the "Ironman" franchise. Every time you see an Ironman race or watch or shoe; they are getting some tiny part of it. He is a competitor himself; very physically fit but taller than you might imagine. It's an interesting sideline for opthomologists (his father is one as well).

I see that The Grumpy Old Bookman is going to give up on his blog for a while. ( I'm going to miss reading it but to paraphrase him, life has more important things in it than blogging. I am very thankful for all the work that some people do to keep us lurkers happy. Thanks to you all.

As always, take care out there!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's OVER!

We've managed to get through another Thanksgiving without major injury. My wife managed to burn herself a bit on a hot pan but otherwise all is cool. A few years ago she did a really nice job that required ice for the rest of the day; today was a nothing. We had four different appetizers, turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, peas & onions, salad, rolls & two kinds of pie. Wine, of course, and coffee with the pie. Tough life!

Our extended family did not bring their extra person but our daughter did bring an unexpected friend so we were six for dinner. A nice number and no one was too objectionable at the table. We managed to decimate an 18 lb turkey; I doubt if we have a pound of leftover turkey; of course we sent a few pounds off with the visitors. They all had things to do & people to see so they were gone by 17:00. We were able to make our Thanksgiving family calls to the West Coast family members before they had eaten. That was nice.

The woman our daughter brought along is married but her husband went to spend the holiday with his family and she "opt'ed out". We aren't sure what that means but it doesn't sound like a very healthy relationship. Or perhaps it is the most healthy; I've just never experienced that kind of health. Wouldn't that be interesting. Anyway, she is one of those women who bath in scent. I guess it would help you find her if a smoke filled bar but it would seem a private home isn't her primary hunting ground. She was also wearing a pretty low cut top and knee high boots with a 3 or 4 inch heel. She certainly wasn't dressed for a family dinner.

After dinner our next door neighbors came over for a drink. We sat outside as dusk turned to dark and enjoyed talking with our friends and admiring the full moon. Altogether a wonderful day. No one was a complete jerk, nothing was spoiled, no one will have lost weight! We really enjoy Thanksgiving; and really do enjoy hosting it but it is over! Peace be with you all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Week Crazy

It is the week when we in the US celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a nice time. You don't have to buy gifts, you don't have to think about Christianity, all you have to do is enjoy. Well, unless you are hosting a party! Naturally, we like to have a few folks join us for Thanksgiving; only 5 or 6 though so it really isn't a big deal. We look forward to it. So for those in the US, Happy Thanksgiving! And for those outside the US, have a nice Thursday.

It never hurts one to consider his or her life and to think about how fortunate we are. My wife and I both know we are way beyond fortunate. We have each other. We have only minor ailments. We have enough money, good friends, even moderately good family! All we really wish for is "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men".

Speaking of peace, when the hell are we going to get our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan? What a bunch of incompetent jerks we have running this country. I thought it was embarrassing when President Clinton had to get blow jobs from an intern in his office. NOW we are invading other sovereign nations, that's really embarrassing not to mention just plain wrong. I didn't mind Afghanistan at first. There was supposed to be someone there who was directing terrorist activities towards us and other countries. But if you can't find the guy in 6 years maybe you need to re-think things. The really frightening thing is: Who knows what the next jerk we elect as President will find to do!

Speaking of possible Presidents, I saw this the other day.

I think there are a lot of folks who feel this way about Mrs. Clinton. She is such a lying piece of @*#$ - unfortunately all the other politicians are pretty much the same. Like Diogenes, I am looking for an honest man or woman.

On a brighter note, here's a bit of advice concerning family planning. Take care out there!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bionic Man - Part 2

Hmmmm. blogger just did something to my post so I hope it isn't too screwed up. However.....

Yesterday I got the measurements done to have my second cataract operation. In two weeks I'll have my second bionic part. Don't it sound great. Jeez, next I'll be blogging about my kids & grandkids (none yet, thank you!). Anyway, I'll try to keep relatively quiet about the details.

Last night I went to a meeting of the local chapter of AAII - the American Assn. of Independent Investors. Basically it's just a company that offers a forum for discussing how people invest. They have a magazine, website ( amazingly enough) & local groups. This was the monthly meeting which consists exclusively of a guest speaker. This guy was a chartist. He looks at a chart of what is happening with a stock and thinks he can tell what will happen to the stock based on what has already occured. Do I buy it? Well, certainly he had interesting examples and he claims he is simply interpreting what the marked is doing. That may be so but it seems to me that the interpretation is pretty open to discussion. It was an interesting presentation and I'm probably going to email the guy a few questions. (There is no discussion period!)

In other financial news here's what one of my advisory newsletters has to say about how Wall Street does business. This is in regard to all the major investment houses BUT ONE losing money on the sub-prime lending fiasco. Skip it if it's boring but do take care.


one of Wall Street's "paper mills" has remained
strangely untouched by the mortgage crisis – Goldman
Sachs. By now, you must be familiar with our argument:
Like a rubber ducky floating in a toilet, Goldman's
stock must soon spiral down into the cesspool of the
mortgage debacle.

What might explain Goldman's curious immunity from a
big mortgage-related charge against its book value?
We've learned the firm is setting aside more than $16
billion for this year's bonus pool. But... how big
would the bonus pool be if Goldman were to take a big
($5 billion to $10 billion) write-off before the end
of the year? We don't know exactly, but we would
venture to guess: several billion dollars less.

Reuters reports that if Goldman doesn't take a big
loss on its mortgages, Blankfein will get a $75
million bonus this year, up $20 million from last
year. Goldman's co-presidents, Gary Cohn and Jon
Winkelried, will get $70 million each. It's hard to
believe shareholders would agree to pay one president
$70 million... and Goldman's got two of 'em!
Shareholders are about to get what they deserve...

Now that we've identified Goldman's motive for
masking the size of its mortgage losses, we've been
searching for the weapon. How has Goldman hidden its
losses, we wonder? We've been playing a game of Wall
Street Clue. "It was Colonel Mustard... in the
library... with the wrench..." No, it was CEO Lloyd
Blankfein, in the boardroom, with illiquid bonds that
can't be priced.

An entire category of financial assets (called "Level
3 assets") are so illiquid they can't be accurately
priced. To make up for the lack of a true market for
these assets – which include certain kinds of
securitized mortgages – Wall Street uses computer
models. (Reminder: When your broker starts talking
about a computer model, grab your wallet.) Or, in
other words, these big banks are allowed to "pick a
number" for the value of these Level 3 assets. Guess
which big Wall Street bank has the largest pile of
Level 3 assets as a percentage of its equity? That's
right, Goldman Sachs.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More Halloween and...

More news about our Halloween. We don't get a lot of kids in our neighborhood. For one thing we are on a busy street & unless supervised I doubt if people want their kids walking around here. At any rate, the adults from several houses all got together in our driveway and created a little food line for the kids. We all had a glass of wine or a beer and had a great time. The kids would come up & get 4 houses at one stop. We could all admire the outfits, etc. and got to talk about other stuff where there were no kids. It was really fun. I'm hoping we can make it an annual event.

Florida is finally becoming livable. Today it's mid-70's (23 or 24 I suppose to the rest of the world) and the humidity is down to under 40%. It's great. We have the house open finally.

Here's a meme I found over on Lee's blog "A Curates Egg" aka He didn't send it to my; he's much too respectful of other people's time but I like doing them ocassionally. Sometimes they help me think about things. Take care!


1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Watched MXC - a crazy Japanese show where people try a sort of obstacle course and a often get dunked in water. In this country, they do a voice-over with 2 American guys who are really rude sometimes.

2. What were you doing at 0800?

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

4. What happened to you in 2006?
My mother-in-law died. We cleaned up and sold the duplex we bought for her 23 years ago - becoming liable for a huge tax bill. Trip to the midwest to a family reunion with my cousins, many of whom I had never met. Moved away from waterbeds for the first time in many, many years.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
“Thank you.”

6. How many beverages did you have today?
Coffee, decaf, water, orange juice, soup (does that count?).

7. What colour is your hairbrush?
Don't have one. Don't need it, bald is beautiful! LOL

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
Beef to make chili yesterday.

9.Where were you last night?

10. What colour is your front door?
Dark gray.

11. Where do you keep your change?
Top of the dresser.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Sunny, cooler (mid-70's F or maybe 23 C).

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavour?
Some chocolate-coffee mix.

14. What excites you?
I'm easily excited - liars, stupid people, almost anything political, the economy, the dollar - I could keep on for a long while. Erotically excited? I'm dull - boobs, legs, hair; the usual guy stuff.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
No. Don't want anyone else to either.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Way! I'm 59.

17. Do you talk a lot?

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
I have no idea what the O.C. is.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes but no one I CALL Steven.

20. Do you make up your own words?
Can't spell for s*it but otherwise, no.

21. Are you a jealous person?
I can be but you've gotta be pushing my buttons.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Don't have one.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?

25. What does the last text message you received say?
Don't text message.

26. Do you chew on your straw?
No. Don’t use straws and don't have a farm.

7. Do you have curly hair?
Some places.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
No idea. It's under discussion. Perhaps the Intracoastal Waterway; perhaps Texas, Nevada & the west in general.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Our daughter.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Soup - see above.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Well, my wife would be really surprised! If she were to die, probably not.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Don't know that I've seen one. Saw parts of "How to Marry a Millionaire" on tv the other day.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Yes. (Of course, but no extra-marital entanglements if that is what you mean.)

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?

35. Are you currently depressed?

36. Did you cry today?

37. Why did you answer and post this?
I'm a Nitwit!

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey…

Monday, October 29, 2007

Still surviving!

The neighbor had their annual Halloween party on Saturday night. Wifey and I had a little party of our own earlier in the day and weren't feeling like drinking a lot or even being up late so we had to say good night about 21:30. Turns out that was a really GOOD thing since I've heard that they got rid of the last guests about 02:30. Boy, I can't even imagine how awful I'd feel if I'd stayed drinking until then. It makes me ill just thinking about it.

How about a totally different subject? SEX. You may note that I don't talk about sex much here. I'm pretty shy in person as well but I had the weirdest thing happen a few days ago and I just have to talk about it. We'd had a few drinks that day as well (3 or 4 maybe). And we decided that going in to bed and making love would be a good thing. We'd done this sort of thing before, of course, and were pretty sure that neither of us would cum after that much alcohol but wanted the closeness. (It's really great to feel that way about someone I've been with for over 25 years. It didn't last 10 with my first wife.) Anyway, we go in to bed and do our thing. After a while, it becomes obvious that we are only getting more and more tired so we stop. I got out of bed and looked back at my wife who was still lying there. Like almost all of us over 50, she's put on a few pounds (or kilos or stone or whatever) but I certainly still find her very attractive. I'm standing there with a hardon looking at my nude wife and think, maybe I could masturbate here. So I did. After just a few strokes, much to my surprise, it feels like I am going to cum after all. Now, I've never done this (standing over wifey, etc) before so I was really surprised that I might cum especially since I certainly was not going to just a couple of minutes earlier. So I did; cum, that is. Except that I didn't. What came out was perhaps a quarter cup of clear, odorless fluid. There was a lot. It shot all over my wife's thigh and part of the bed. I've never been so shocked in my life. She was pretty amazed too! I still don't know what happened. I guess it was seminal fluid without the sperm but sure don't know. I'm pretty sure it wasn't urine because a) that just isn't a time one urinates & b) it didn't smell like it. No, neither of us thought to taste it. Weird stuff anyway.

Well, there is my first, and probably last, sex post. At least until the next time. Have a good one & be careful out there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sale's over!

We managed to live through our yard sale but only just! The first day was really hot. I was soaked with perspiration the entire day. The second day was overcast so not as hot. That helped a lot. Each day I came in and immediately fell asleep for an hour or so. Then we went to bed about 9.

We made about $300 but the real object is to reduce the number of things we will have to store or cart around with us. Looked at it in that light and the sale was quite success. We won't have to worry about - a freezer, a refridgerator, a table saw, perhaps 50 records, 3 television sets and lots of smaller items. There was a fair amount left over but we'll get to that another day. One of these days we are going to call some charity to come load up their truck!

Weather is still overcast here. There is a tropical wave coming up from the south bringing pretty much constant showers. It's different for this area but it is fine with me. Highs of 75 or so are great.

Our son lives in San Diego so we are watching the fires out there with some trepidation. They are well inside the city however so we don't expect there is any real danger. This is an amazing technology though; here I am in Florida watching the smoke billow on a webcam in San Diego. I'm still waiting for the ability to be transported around like on Startrek. That will be the day!

Have a good one and be careful out there.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yard Sale!

Our neighborhood is having a 2 day yard sale tomorrow and Friday. We have been putting things out in the garage for days so, of course, we had to work until 9 pm tonight getting last minute things done. If we can get rid of 50% of this stuff it will be fantastic. I've already emptied 4 garbage cans of trash out of the garage. We also made a trip to the hazardous waste facility with a number of items. What a thrill! We did have one thrill; we found our old Atari 400 complete with it's cassette tape drive and some game cartridges. We still talk about getting drunk one night and playing "Frogger". You try to get your frog across a busy highway. When the frog gets hit by a car it makes this noise - I can't explain it but when you are drunk it's really funny.

Naturally summer has returned for the event. It's hot & humid; don't know if we'll make it through the whole day. Setting it up we've only worked a couple of hours at a time. Fortunately we can close down whenever we want. All it means is that we'll make a few less dollars and have a larger trash bill when we get rid of the stuff.

Wish us luck. We'll be wishing to be elsewhere! And take care out there.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's a Beautiful Morning

Ah, morning! Don't know if I'm really a morning person but there is something amazing about the fresh smell of the morning.

I was afraid to say anything yesterday, it was so nice but this morning smells like fall might finally have come to Florida. Don't get me wrong, I love all the seasons. This summer has been long and hot but it is time for a change. It might be here.

We have the car out on the driveway but it's been there for a week and I still haven't washed & waxed it so we can sell it. Hmmmm, think I have a problem selling it? Yep! I've even kept myself awake worrying about it. It's just a THING but I'm having trouble selling it. What an idiot.

Still, it's a beautiful morning in Florida. Hope it's as wonderful where ever you are.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I like taking photos. I've been doing it since college; some good, some bad. Just like every photographer! Here are a couple I made around the house the last couple of days. First is a little lizard who seems to be making a home in the bracket that holds our flag.

The next is the shadow cast by the antenna on a radio. We have one of those light bars in the bathroom that casts multiple shadows of the same object. I just liked seeing it. Seeing is not quite the same as having our eyes open.

Have a good one! (And, yes, I am using the old laptop pc to load these since Blogger won't do it via the Mac.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bionic Man!

Remember the old tv series, Bionic Man? Well, I'm on my way! Had the cataract surgery last Wednesday. It all went fine; was over by noon and I seem to be recovering ok. My wife is a manic about giving me my eye drops every 4 hours. I suppose that's a good thing but it is a little scary. She isn't usually that careful about things. I finally decided to go for the standard distance lens rather than a multi-focal job. Things I read kept talking about good success with a few people and far from success with others. Much as a techno - wiz like myself would like the newest thing I also want a successful experience here, so I went for the 40 year old technology. WTF, call me a chicken.

The doctor said that he was expecting to see me again for my other eye and now that I've got the right one fixed, I can see the problems in my left eye. They gave me a little eye test and my left eye has degraded since June when I was tested last. It is noticeable even at home. I was looking at tv with my 'new' eye then my old (58 years now) one. There was a substantial yellow tint through my natural eye that wasn't there with the fake one. Yep, I guess I'll be back in a few months.

On a completely different front, I ordered a new GPS today from Amazon. I spent a LOT of time checking out handheld mapping GPS from the various manufacturers and ended up ordering a Garmin 60CSx. We'll probably be ordering the maps later but thought we'd give the base model a checkout first. No other manufacturer has a lineup as complete as Garmin. Glad that we like their products! The only hassle was that Amazon doesn't carry the car power cord. Had to order that from Garmin directly. HOPEFULLY it will be the right one.

Our daughter is visiting today. She lives about 25 miles away in St. Petersburg. She is toying with the idea of buying a house since the market seems to be down. We are offering her some suggestions without directly suggesting what she should do. I always find it better to let people make their own mistakes. Then whatever happens isn't your fault! LOL Besides, who ever takes advice? In this case, the people selling the houses are poorly ranked by the Better Business Bureau. That alone is a problem for me let alone the idea of purchasing a house in this market. Then we get going about what kind of loan she is getting, additional expenses she will be incurring, etc. I sure hope she gives it a miss.

Gotta go. Have a good one.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Friend in Washington

Saw this guy during our walk on the beach on the Olympic Peninsula.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Back in Florida

Hello world! We got back in Florida on Thursday night. It was a great trip. Sometimes the family can get a little obnoxious but this time everything and everyone was great. We ate in 4 restaurants; only 1 was totally pretentious; service was lousy in that one and 2 others. Then we came home & went out with another couple and that place had lousy food and lousy service. Boy, I am getting to be a total grouch!

Fortunately the home made food was very good. Lots of seafood, of course, since we were visiting the Pacific Northwest. Weather was excellent as well. We got rain a couple of times but it wasn't bad at all. Went up the Hurricane Ridge in the sun then came down in as close to zero visibility as I've ever seen. I doubt we could see 30 feet at times. I was driving about 15 mph! At the end, when you finally get off the mountain, you are in Port Angeles. There is a place that was still marked with emergency tape where a motorhome went through a guardrail into a little gully and killed the driver. I've seen pictures of the wreck via some of our RVing connections. The furniture in the RV that is supposed to be fastened to the walls came off the wall and crushed the driver to death. Much as I dislike governmental rules, something needs to be done. That just shouldn't happen and the RV industry had better firm up their self-regulation or Uncle Sam is going to be doing it for them.

One set of relatives have a house on "high bank" waterfront on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is a very nice view but it's a climb of like 130 feet down to the beach. Our Florida flatland bodies didn't care for that much! Another set is building a new house on some Puget Sound waterfront. The lot cost $500K! They are still working and need to at that rate. I think I'll stick to cheaper houses and retirement. The third set live in a trailer. They were full-time RVers for many years but finally came to a stop on the Olympic Peninsula. They do still have a van conversion that they take various places for fishing, etc.

The animals came through their stay with their "aunt and uncle" just fine. The dog was really worried that we'd leave her again though. The cat was quiet all the way home (an hour & a half's drive). I took that to mean that he was glad to be coming home even though, being a cat, he would die before admitting he missed us. Saw the daughter yesterday, she lived through our absence as well. (She's 37, you'd kind of hope she'd make it!)

So now it's back to sorting through our stuff, selling some, giving some away, wishing we could sell the house for a reasonable sum. The four or five houses on our street that were for sale are still for sale so I'm in no hurry to get on the market. Why join a crowd of losers?

Have a good one!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Today we are off on our first flight since 2000. We found a relative to keep the dog & cat, made our reservations and we are off to Seattle. Wife has lots of relatives around there and we lived there ourselves for several years. In fact, we each lived there when we were married to other people. That's a LONG time ago! LOL

The trip is already being stressful. US Airways cancelled our flight without telling us. We signed on to their site to get boarding passes at 22:00 last night and found there was no flight. We had a car coming for us at 06:00 so we were NOT happy about the lack of notification. We got another flight (9 hours later) and should have seats. We'll see.

Packing is interesting. We went out and got all these little bottles of shampoo & stuff. Frequent travelers know the rules but we keep having to look up if we can take this or that. I'm hoping we got it mostly right. We are getting out long pants for the first time in months. It's pretty funny. Our Florida bodies are going to be shocked by the change in temperature.

Should be back in 10 days or so. Keep safe, it's dangerous out there.

Monday, August 13, 2007

An idea

If you've read my blog much you probably know I'm an atheist. Even so, here is a bumper sticker I found on the web that I like. I'm using an old laptop pc so hopefully I can embed this image. If it doesn't work, I'll probably keep trying so hang in there.

Have a good one.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dull times

We've had a couple of pretty dull days here in Palm (less) Harbor (less). Yesterday the big thing was to mow the back yard. It's too narrow for the yard guys to get their professional equipment back there. Today the excitement was a visit to Sam's Club. Well, actually that was a step in a direction.

I talked about my unhappiness with the cataract options given me. One option was to keep on using glasses. I went back to the optometrist at Sam's for another exam. My eyes have deteriorated in the six months since she tested me last but glasses can still bring them back to something reasonable so that's where I'm going. If I can limp along getting new glasses every six months or a year; there might be something promising on the implanted lens field when I finally MUST have it. After all, if I should live to 78 ( that's when my dad died) I'll have had them for 20 years. If I make it to 93 like my mom, then it would be 35 years! That's a long time to live with someone else's mistake. Granted they will always continue to make improvements but the current version of multi-focal-length lenses just aren't that great. Internet chat rooms suggest a 40% success rate with another 20% rating them as ok. I'd like something a little better and if I can wait a couple of years and get it; why not!

Sunday is my wife's 57th birthday. Our daughter is taking her out to dinner; just the two of them. Then they come back here for dessert. It was what my wife wanted since, if we move, she won't get to spend much one-on-one time with the kid. Right now I'm thinking berries & cream; something simple. Of course the kid probably won't eat it but if I did coconut creme pie (fav of the wife) I'm pretty sure she wouldn't eat it. She's got some weird eating habits for someone who is in her mid-thirties.

Probably won't be back until after the big celebration. Have a good weekend y'all.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Im really tired of it all

Someone sent me a link to a bunch of questions proposed by a group trying to help the US Presidential election system to a better place. One of the things they would like us to consider is internet voting. Obviously it's technically possible. It would be direct and quick; the two problems I see are 1) internet access for some and 2) only one vote per person. These objections should be pretty easy to deal with; there must be a hundred ways!

The thing is that there hasn't been a candidate that's been worth a shit in years! There is so much coverage of every tiny aspect of their lives that a 'normal' person wouldn't bother! Think about all the people who've been embarrassed by having Mexican maids who were in the country illegally. Think about the guy who went on a vacation and was photographed with a blonde on his lap. Think about how Bill Clinton was almost impeached for getting a blow job from an intern.

ALL these things were wrong. Each of the people involved were doing something either illegal or, according to our mores, immoral. The problem is that NOT ONE of those things had to do with whether or not the person might be a great president. If you put my life under that microscope, with the power and resources of every newspaper in the country behind you, I would be laughed out of the race. And I'm someone who has had maybe 6 traffic tickets in my life; served as an officer in the US Army (honorably!); have had positions requiring security clearance for most of my professional life; have NEVER performed any act that would be considered a felony (as far as I know!).

It just isn't right. If we'd like "the best and the brightest" to lead us; we have to let up on the stupid stuff and pay attention to the important stuff. Any ideas? I don't care who wins the next election, I already know they'll be a greedy, crooked bastard.

On that uplifting note; have a good one please! And definitely, take care out there.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oops, forgot!

Forgot to mention that I put off my cataract surgery for a couple of months. Reasons: 1) I don't really like the clinic. It is a cattle call kind of place. They can afford the absolute best equipment, have practice with tons of procedures but you get no more than about 30 seconds of the doctor's time. 2) I can have either a standard fixed focus lens or (for $2500 that the insurance won't re-imburse) a multi-focal lens. Unfortunately, the web chatter that I've been reading isn't terribly reassuring that the things work (like they work 40% of the time!). 3) My optometrist said she could fit me with glasses that would delay the need for surgery. If I can put it off a few years maybe things will be clearer (if you don't mind the lousy play on words!).

Went up and checked out our trailer yesterday & today. Spent this a.m. on the roof trying to find a leak that has appeared. It's a real pain in the you know what. Guess that's why I get the big bucks. Or maybe that's why I need to take the trailer to someone and pay them the big bucks to find it. You know what cheap little me will choose don't you. Will go up later in the week after it rains to see how successful I was.

Went to the library twice last week with book & video donations. We are going through our collections with a thought to storing as few as possible. My wife is lots better at it than I am. She's a ruthless critter sometimes. We are just going to store our photo albums. It would be nice to scan them into the computer but it would probably take a year and we don't have that kind of time, we hope!

I keep reading discouraging things about the housing market (discouraging since we want to sell; it might be a great time to buy). Of course there are lots of people who've gotten into trouble with Adjustable Rate Mortgages & stuff. I don't give much financial advice but here's a piece of advice that works in almost every circumstance: IF IT SOUNDS OR LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.

Have a good one and just say NO to those once in a lifetime offers. Take care.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

8 Things about me

Heard of this so thought I'd do it even though no one asked me! I'm supposed to tell 8 things(facts or habits) about me.

1. I had the quietest Army service of anyone I ever heard of. I was in the Infantry from 1971 to 73 (Vietnam was going strong) but I sat in Ft Bliss, TX (in El Paso) and shuffled papers. I did more than Mr Bush but only because I showed up!

2. I'm certainly addicted to Scotch. Laphroaig is my favorite but generally I drink something cheaper.

3. I always say I don't smoke but in fact I've smoked a pipe for 35 years. I buy a package of pipe tobacco and it lasts me about six months. I'll have a pipe full every 2 or 3 weeks whether I need it or not.

4. When I left high school I had math phobia. After the Army I taught my self geometry then went back to college to get a degree in Computer Science with minors in math and accounting.

5. I always get motion sick when I'm not driving. Twenty miles is about my limit unless it is twisty then it's MUCH less. The one exception is when my wife is driving. She can take me anywhere but I do fall asleep pretty quickly!

6. I was a virgin until I was 19.

7. I'm a technology addict but am only interested in things that work for me. For example, I don't care about carrying music around with me so have no need of an iPod. But just try to pry the cell phone out of my fingers and I'll have to kill you.

8. I'm a mystery freak - only old and usually British ones. They put most people to sleep but I read them again and again.

That's it for today. Have a good one.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Nothing much here...

I'm trying to do a better job at writing this thing. Depressing though when you don't have much to say!

Here's a link for Cinn who seems to think she lives in "Heaven". The title is: Murder Rate Soars In Philadelphia

Of course stuff like that is reported all the time. I always like the line, attributed to Mark Twain I believe, that there are "Liars, Damn Liars and Statistics". With the advent of computers it is easier than ever to compile statistics and, therefore, screw them up. I only took one class in statistics in college but it was enough that I never believe statistics. It is SO easy to foul them up not to mention easy to slant them by asking the wrong question. I mean, how do you answer the question "Are you still beating your wife?"

We are going though our books trying to decide which to donate to the library. It's tough for either of us to part with a book, even one we haven't looked at in years. Still, it's gotta be done. Last time we moved we had 70 or 80 boxes of books; we just can't cart them all around with us any more. Not a lot by some people's standards but most are paperbacks dating from the days when they were sized for the pocket not sized to make the paper companies rich.

Have a good one.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

All the news .....

Since my last post one of the MIA's came back! Cinn contacted me so now I can go back to reading of her amazing life. Cool! Thank you, Cinn. She's trying to live a more positive life & write a more positive blog. I certainly wish her luck. I've been accused of being rather negative myself; I suppose it's true. But changing a personality trait is difficult, at least for me.

On a completely different front, (depressing as it happens) we had 3 people hit by lightning in the Tampa Bay area yesterday. Two are doing fairly well, the third is still pretty bad. As it happens, I accidentally found this video of lightning hitting a tree. Gives you an idea of the power of lightning; if you decide to visit Florida, don't fool around. We get a lot of lightning.

A final totally unconnected note - my wife just left for the library. They have the Harry Potter that she reserved several months ago; they open at 10:00 and by 10:10 she was leaving. Can you spell 'addict'? LOL It's cool though that so many people are so involved in the series. If only a few young people learn the love of reading it will be great.

Until next time....

Saturday, July 14, 2007


It's odd how people disappear from the internet. I know some people are harassed and leave for that reason but some just seem to disappear without reason or explanation. There are two bloggers that I used to read who have just dropped out of sight.

Cinn from Dead on the Gearshift decided to change the direction of her blog and decided that only certain people would be allowed to access it. I found it odd because she was already very careful about hiding her identity. Her blog was the tale of her trials and tribulations as a single mom.

A guy named Lee wrote THREE blogs, the only one I can remember was The Curate's Egg. He was quite open about his identity but his blogs just disappeared. I enjoyed reading his blogs because the writing was so good. I even exchanged emails with him a few times. But now he's gone.

I guess some people disappear because they get tired; some lose their password (like me!); perhaps some lose computer access. It's up to them, of course, to do as they wish but it does bother me to have an electronic friend go away. Isn't it odd that we can learn to care for people who we know only as bits and bytes.

Have a good one!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The UN-cramp

Good old dumbshit Don managed the impossible, I figured out what I did to my password! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING but I lucked out finally. Please believe me when I tell you it's a bad idea to change your password after a few drinks. LOL I'm totally sober this a.m. but finally got the password typed the right-wrong way if you know what I mean. Whew, what an ordeal.

Went and got the measurements done yesterday for my cataract surgery. What a pain in the ass. I'm going to St Lukes Cataract & Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs, FL. It is probably a fine place but if you don't have to wait 30 minutes to see a nurse they think they are doing something wrong. It's a real factory setting but at least I feel that they have plenty of experience.

I'll see if I can't do this more often. Have a good one!

And remember I'm back to don34685 at Yahoo dot com. Hurray!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Not Dead Yet

Hello all. Yes, I'm getting worse about updating the blog. Well, I only started it so I could leave comments on other blogs so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Haven't been doing much. We keep talking about moving and doing as little as possible however I think that is changing. We sold our little bass boat last week. A nice couple who look like they will use it bought it. Next are the BMW and the spa. The BMW will be difficult. We picked in up in Munich on the European Delivery Plan on May 15, 1993. The first few years my wife commuted in it but then when we lived in New Jersey she worked from home. In Holland she had a company car and I used it around town. Now that we are retired, we mostly use the truck because it fits our needs better. As a result, we have a 14 year old car with around 83,000 original miles. What a shame. But we both LOVE driving the car. It has spoiled us for anything else. It will be tough to sell it.

Otherwise, I am having cararact surgery at the end of the month. I'm only 58 but I guess it's my time. Right eye this time but they say it won't be long before the left requires it. The sad thing is that our insurance covers the operation and a basic lense but won't do anything about the new improved lens they can implant. The new ones have three focusing areas - far, near and close rather than the one distance older lenses. It will cost us $2500 out of our pocket but I really can't see getting the single focus ones. Any advice?

ONE MORE THING! I had a brain cramp and screwed up my yahoo id. I used to be don34685 at - NOW I'm duhdon34685 at Sorry but I'm just an idiot sometimes.

Take care of yourselves; it's tough out there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Home Again

Got home last Thursday - a month to the day since we left. Drove 6700+ miles in that time & the truck went over 100,000 miles. About 35,000 of that has been towing our trailer. Had a great time. Learned a lot about the west. We are planning on moving to a little town west of Las Vegas, Nevada as soon as we can sell our house here in Florida. The humidity here is just killing both of us.

We had rain, snow & sleet leaving Colorado Springs; that was fun. Messy too! Then had a dust storm in Nevada. We were in a park in the middle of a valley between two mountain ranges. The valley was probably 40 miles across. We couldn't see the mountains on either side! Then it started misting and turned my nice clean truck into a muddy mess! In Amarillo we stopped at a park and turned on the tv. We saw there was a major storm about an hour away headed for us. The first course would be a tornado; the second was rain, 60mph winds and hail the size of baseballs. We hooked the rig back up & drove away. We only drove about an hour but found a park where we were next to a couple of nice sturdy concrete buildings. We got quite a bit of wind but the buildings blocked it from hitting us directly so all we got was a bunch of rain. Whew!

Kept dropping south into milder weather until we got home. 85 degrees & moderate humidity - Florida at it's best. Unfortunately the real estate market still seems rotten. Well, we'll stay here, fix the house & yard & wait a while. Our next door neighbor is retiring the first of June after 35 years with the Federal government. We should have quite a party!

Hope things are going well for everyone. Take care.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Outta Here!

Hello all. Looks like it's over a month again since I posted anything. I can't imagine how people post daily. I'd be limited to talking about my trip to the hardware store or something. Today I do have something exciting to write about. We are off on our trip starting Thursday! Hurray!

We'll leave here Thursday morning to go up to where we store the trailer in Crystal River. We'll spend the night there; go out to dinner with our relatives, then Friday morning hit the road. We are planning on making it to the Escapees park in Summerdale, Alabama the first day. It's a long drive for us but we need to get started. The first day is usually tough on everyone.

Don't know if I've mentioned it before but we travel with our dog & cat. The dog LOVES going with us; the cat would rather not but when we first got him I said he was either a member of the family and would come or he wouldn't be in our family. That was 4 years and 3 major trips ago. The dog gets the backseat of the truck and the cat gets to be under it. He howls if the road is really rough but otherwise he just hangs out. When we stop for gas he hops out & looks around then goes back under the seat when we start off again. When we stop for the night, he stretches out on the couch & acts like he owns the place. Really he's been a great traveler.

He and the dog have both gotten baths in honor of the trip. They are all fluffy now. Still losing hair like crazy but that's what they do. We cleaned the truck this evening, filled a vacuum bag that was less than half full when we started. Now I need to get the outside cleaned tomorrow. And buy some food items and buy lots of liquor and buy odds & ends and load all this stuff into the truck and take my wife out to dinner and try to keep her from flipping out with excitement. Jeez!

We hope to visit friends in Colorado Springs for a couple of days then go down to Lost Wages for a few days. We are looking for a place to live in the west and Vegas is the first possible place. We may go on to visit Reno or may decide to skip it and just go down into Arizona & New Mexico. We'll spend as much time as we can checking places out then return home. The mail will be held until April 28 so I guess we have to be back then! Maybe I'll post something from the road but..... Gee, more than one post a month would be a new record wouldn't it?

We did finally get the bathroom fixed up. Replaced the faucets too since the old ones were leaking and of a type that cannot really be repaired. It looks pretty good if I do say so. All the same you can bet that we won't be removing the wall paper from the other three walls.

We got the carpet in our bedroom replaced in February by Empire - you know the ones who will install new carpet tomorrow. We had them out here once already to glue down the edge where the carpet butts against the tile - the original guys didn't glue it. Now they are supposed to come out again tomorrow because the seam is totally visible. It just shouldn't be visible after a month but we can't get it to not show. Hopefully they can fix it. What fun.

Hope you all have a good month. I'll write more when we return if not before.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Half a month - better than last time!

Ok, it's been over 2 weeks - so sue me.

We had been expecting visitors in March; now it's looking like neither group will show. That's what I get for trying to figure out what is going to happen in my life ahead of time. Oh well, we don't like visitors all that much anyway!

My wife decided to rip the wallpaper off one wall of the bathroom. THEN we found that the builder (back in 1984!) pasted the wallpaper directly on the drywall; therefore it doesn't really come off. Tore it off, sanded a bunch, vacuumed a bunch and finally put a coat of primer (Kilz if you are interested). Today we sprayed the wall with texture stuff. It comes in a spray can & covers about 50 sq. ft. Pretty cool. You let it dry a bit then knock it down with a trowel. Gives the wall that textured effect. Tomorrow we prime again then can paint. It's been quite a while so I'm looking forward to having a bathroom again.

Got down to 40 degrees F last night. It's the coolest this winter. This will be 3 years without a freeze. Some plants are really loving it but so do pests like fleas. Hopefully this is our last winter here but who knows. Right now we don't know where we want to go. We are currently planning on leaving in mid-April for the west & the northwest. Should be fun; especially if we actually get to go!

Hope everyone is doing ok. Keep on keeping on!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wow - a whole month!

I've been bad. Haven't been here updating for the whole month. Sorry about that! I've got an excuse or two though. We are renovating like crazy. As my wife says, spending money like we had it. First, have I whined about buying a new heat pump on 27 December? If not, that's the first thing. (The dealer isn't having a good time though, we've had them out here three times getting the thing to work properly. Tomorrow will be their fourth service call; they are promising to send someone tomorrow who actually knows what he or she is doing. That will be nice for a change.) Then paint the house, replacing a couple of rusted exterior doors as well. And replacing all the door hardware with new. Now we've bought a new bed; the last new one was in 1981 so you can't say we don't hang on to things. Finally we are replacing the carpet in both bedrooms. There probably won't be enough left from $15,000 to go to McDonald's. Bah, humbug!

And we certainly are NOT going to Ireland. At least not right now. We got in the middle of all this renovation and just couldn't stop & go have fun. Besides, since we are paying to have others do all this work, my wife decided to rip the wallpaper off one wall of the bathroom. Of course, then we discover that the builder put the wallpaper directly over the sheetrock so it doesn't come off nicely at all. We've got it mostly sanded off so now we can start priming, adding texture, priming and painting. Doesn't it all sound like fun.

To make it a totally fun month, yesterday I went & had my eyes checked and the doctor says I have cataracts. One eye is bothering me quite a bit; the other isn't as advanced but will be ready in a year or two. Hmmm. Life in the fast lane is sounding tame compared to this retirement thing.

Have a good one - I'll try to be back before the end of February. I promise.

Monday, January 01, 2007

1 January 2007

Happy New Year everyone! And what a year it is going to be. At least I'm thinking it will be interesting. For starters, we are getting our house cleaned up so it will be salable. No, the market isn't in good shape so we aren't putting it on the market but we are working towards that end.

January: we just got a new heat pump installed $5500. We are having the exterior of the house painted and some minor work done $3000. I have permission to sell our bed whereupon we will have the bed rooms recarpeted and buy a new bed.

February: we hope to visit Ireland for a couple of weeks. We just have to get out of Dodge(i.e. the USA) for a few days.

March: we hope to have visitors; #1 Son who lives in California and, later, some old friends who live in Colorado.

April: we will write a HUGE check to Uncle Sam.

May or June: take a trailer trip out to the Pacific Northwest to visit relatives. Spend some time on the trip checking out various places we've heard about that we might consider for our new home. Will this house be on the market? Who knows!

In the background for this half year you should hear us going through boxes & getting rid of things we no longer want or need. Like do I really need that PL/I textbook?

The rest of the year is downright dull: hope like everything that there aren't any hurricanes! That will be the big thing. Maybe another trailer trip somewhere either here in the East (like Washington, DC) or back out west.

We'll just have to see what happens. Here's wishing you & yours a happy and prosperous 2007. Best of luck, folks.