Going Home

Today we will attempt to get back safely home. Gigi is still quite sick. I figure around 10 AM or so she’ll get the energy to crawl back in the truck.

I must say I very much miss my Internet connection very much. I do not find any comfort being separated from the knowledge and news of the world.

I had a dial up connection that failed to login. I made one broad band connection at Gigi’s cousin’s home. It was wonderful.

Without the Internet I can’t do banking, look at my business, keep up with current events and analysis, can’t keep up with sports scores, can’t read my favorite blogs, can’t live in Second Life, can’t send and receive email, can’t shop, can’t have instant reference, can’t check the weather, can’t check the TV schedule, can’t IM, can’t check my favorite webcams, and generally my creative juices are shut down because I can’t post my blog.

One thing I have noticed this week is that my right index finger no longer hurts. For months my right index finger has hurt from where my index finger connects to my hand all the way up the back of my hand to my wrist. The pain was at the point that I was going to schedule a visit to the hand doctor. Now I know the problem…I have mouse finger or something.

Traveling Sick

Gigi has been fighting a cold or something for the past week. It started with a sore throat, then a head cold, now she has flu symptoms with fever and nausea. All this 9 hours from the comfort of home in the bedroom of a travel trailer.

So it is traveling day and dressed in her pajamas Gigi managed to get in the back seat of the truck with a box of tissue, a can of Canada Dry ginger ale. We drove to the halfway point and she crawled back in bed.

Cedie our 3 legged wonder dog does not tolerate anyone coughing. Gigi has been coughing a lot and Cedie is disgusted with her.

Maple Leaf?

I need to comment on a very strange observation. Peaches my elder border collie had ACL surgery last spring on her right rear knee. They shaved Peaches from her waste to her feet.

In retrospect I think this was vast shaving was completely unnecessary. She has looked kind of mangy for the past year.

What is weird is that the hair did not just gradually grow back all over, but it grew in from the outside. It is still filling in until it has reached a life sized maple leaf shape just above her tail.

I must find a digital camera to record this phenomenon.

Supper vs Dinner

The visits with the relatives continue and we are having fun. It seems though that there is a great deal of posture and puffery going on this year. I have witnessed more posturing and puffery than the average stock broker conventions that I have attended in the past.

We visited Gigi’s cousin’s new home last night and had supper. It home was huge and beautiful. The house is about what you’d expect a very successful attorney would own. It was well decorated and filled with new furniture. I have worked in many restaurants in my youth and I’d estimated you could serve 250 people per hour out of her kitchen. The main rooms were lofty and cavernous.

By the way, notice I said supper and not dinner. In the old south dinner is lunch and they pronounce it “deener”. They mean lunch. The evening meal is never referred to as dinner, it is supper. They’ll quickly quote that Jesus was at the Last Supper and not the Last Dinner.


I guess it’s now safe to come out and blog. Christmas was great as usual.

The day after (oh by the way happy Boxing Day to all my Canadian and European buddies) Gigi and I and the four dogs headed to Alabama in the RV to visit relatives. We decided to break the drive in two days and stopped the first night at Lake Hartwell State Park at the border of South Carolina and Georgia. We arrived safely after a 4 ½ hour drive

Everything was going just fine and then crisis struck. I couldn’t get a satellite signal no matter how hard I tried. Then we come to find out Gigi’s Tivo remote was left behind in a bag that contained not only the remote, but her makeup, two pairs of boots, her unmentionables (underwear) and her back up jewelry.

Like the true campers were, we discovered that the connection to the living room TV was bad, and eventually I could hone in a strong signal from 25,000 miles in space after I reconnected the cable. Likewise Gigi roughed it but discovered that the TIVO can actually operate manually in the bedroom if you lean forward and push some buttons on the front of the box. How novel!

So we headed down the road following day and pulled in safely at Gigi’s Aunt and Uncles home.

I have to tell you that driving through Atlanta at 65 MPH in 8 crowded lanes towing a 32 foot travel trailer with four curious dogs that block your mirrors can be quite nerve racking. Atlanta traffic starts about 50 north of the city and eventually clears about 40 miles south of the city.

Uncle Wendell has made RV visiting very nice at his home. He provides water, power and sewer hookups right beside his home. That way everyone has their privacy while visiting. Plus we take the dirty sheets back with us when we leave.

So we have spent the past few days, eating and talking, and eating and shopping, and eating and napping.

I have been without the Internet altogether. It seems Microsoft kindly gave me a security upgrade KR911280 that disabled my ability to us a dialup connection. I called tech support back home to my broad band provider and they informed me of this problem. I thought I was using the wrong password. Now I don’t know what the true password is so I am going to have to find a free Wi-Fi connection somewhere to post a blog, bank, check email and basically live a small bit of time in my virtual life.

The weather here has been so warm here that the flowers are blooming. I plan to play golf tomorrow with temperatures near 70.

So I’ll try and post later when I can. I hope you all are well.


Life is full of strange turns of events isn’t it?

A fellow named Victor is at my home now working on stuff I should do and used to do but I always hated to do. Now I can hire someone to hang lights and stuff and get full credit from the spouse. I am not sure how a woman’s brain works but I like this.

Victor is from Honduras. For most of his life he worked on a banana plantation. Then one night a hurricane destroyed the entire plantation and the company decided not to rebuild and replant.

So what does a fellow do to provide for his family? He came to the US and became a carpenter. His family is back home and he sends money to them that he earns here.

Last year his modest car full of tools was stolen. So Victor had no way to get to work and no tools to work with.

Now he does odd jobs and is at the mercy of public transportation and anyone that will give him a ride.

So Victor asked to work Monday and I said okay. He will join us for Christmas dinner.

I may be able to get him an old family car for free and that would get him back on his feet.

It was nice to meet Victor today.

Vacation Plans

Just now I am basking in the extra minute of sunlight as we all hurl toward summertime. Can’t you just feel it?

So I picked up the phone and made my summer vacation reservations. 9 days at Jekyll Island campground with all the dogs and family. I was able to get my favorite site too. Site E-7 allows me to put up the satellite dish and it picks up great wireless phone and wireless Internet. How could camping be more fun?

So God willing I’ll roll in with the travel trailer June 29 and spend some good old summertime in South Georgia riding bikes, golfing, eating, etc.

What A Fantastic Day!

Boy do I have the important job today. I am sitting here at my desk, surfing the Internet and catching a very few phone calls that are coming in. The office is empty.

I took the occasion to defrost the freezer compartment and clean out the refrigerator. That is always a blast. Why did I buy a cheap office frig that get all the ice buildup?

Wow there is some old stuff in there. I can’t help but open old containers and sniff. I don’t have a clue about what some stuff is. There was a box of something embedded in the freezer ice.

I better unplug the Bunn coffee pot too.

See how board I am? But not to fear the captain must stay with the ship.

Oh I have something exciting. One of the dogs pooped in the living room last night. It was a neat tidy package so the cleanup was easy.

It was easy detective work even though Cedie and Duke both acted guilty. You see Duke is a shit walker and leaves a trail of poop so it was easy to pin the crime on old Duke. Why didn’t he wake me up?

Gigi is quite the dog poop forensic person. She came up with that term shit walker and it makes me laugh.

Jive Translation

Here is a jive translation of my blog.

Yep....It Got Cold

As expected it turned seasonably cold here today. Now it is at a normal high of 50 degrees and I shake like a leaf when I first get in my car. Yesterday as you may recall it was 73. Oh for the good old days.

So tonight we make Gigi’s favorite cold weather treat, oyster stew with the coveted Chesapeake oysters.

Maybe I’ll find another pearl.

A Correction

delima - a type of fruit with a thick skin and many seeds.

dilemma - a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.

Thank you Don....Mr. perfect.

Fleas Navidad!!!

Merry Christmas to you all. I know you may be winding down or up for the holiday and will put blog reading on the back burner. I just wanted to wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas from me, Gigi and all my animals.

A Little Yard Work

I took advantage of the last scheduled warm day to………rake leaves. You thought I was going to say I played golf. No, I did something constructive and cleaned the roofs, gutters, flower beds and yard.

It is 73 degrees right now at 4 PM on December 19. The trees are naked as a picked chicken and it is unusually dry. It feels like a warm day in October.

So I rented this monster blower that you push around and blew two acres of leaves on the other 6 acres of forest and pasture. My “compound” including the house, guest house, and barn is about 2 acres I would guess. The pasture is about 2 ½ acres which I mow about 4 times a year. The rest is forested and natural.

I rediscovered that the front of my house is rotting on one portion. My house is 32 years old and is in bad need of renovation and updating. I say rediscovered because I knew it was a matter of time before it needed repair. It has a design flaw that allows rain water to run down the exterior wall. I repaired it 15 years ago and here we go again.

This time I need to fix the roof line and I know this will be expensive. Plus new windows, an exterior wall, etc.

I would move but I love our land so much. It is a lot of work to keep up but I just love the privacy and beauty of the setting. At least for now while I am able I plan to stay.

So back to work tomorrow and back to normal December temperatures.

Hope for Spring

We are basking in unusual balmy temperatures even for North Carolina. Regardless it still feels like winter when it gets dark at 5 PM and daylight reappears after 7 AM. So I dream about spring with the ever increasing daytime hours and naturally warm temperatures.

One sure sign of spring here in the South is The Masters golf tournament. This event is steeped in tradition and is always held the first weekend in April in Augusta, GA. I watched the Masters as a kid with my father and even watched the tournament as an adult before I played golf myself. The tradition is part of being a Southern man.

Yesterday the invitations were sent for the tournament in April 2007. I know this is a stretch but at least there is some official acknowledgment that Spring will come and I am hanging onto it for now.

The Tape is Gone!

It appears that someone just this past weekend removed my yellow tape on the light post at the Christiansted Harbor. I applied the yellow reflective automotive tape last May when I was there. I felt sure that it would stay there since it kind of bonds after a few days in the heat. Perhaps they painted over the tape? The post does look darker now.

Not to worry, I’ll be there in six weeks with a new color of tape.


I was at Subway today having lunch and saw a guy with his sunglasses hung around his neck is a way that looked cool to me. I have never been able to do cool things with my sunglass and I wish I could.

People stick sunglasses on their head, hat, and even on their necks and it looks cool. I’ve tried this too and I feel like an idiot and usually the sunglasses just fall off.

The sunglasses I like to wear are the old aviator Ray Bans and they aren’t conducive to sticking them on body parts. I have found you need light springy sunglasses for the head or hat thing to work.

Ty calls my aviator sunglasses my birth control sunglasses. I guess he means they are ugly and outdated so I definitely would not be a chick magnet with them on. Good for me since I am married and Gigi would poke my eyes out and I would not need sunglasses if they were a chick magnet.

Still I wish I could coolly wear sunglasses on my head.

Gigi gave me a pair of sunglasses recently to try and wear on something besides my eyes. They were the amber colored glasses and they gave me an instant headache if I actually used them as sunglasses. They just hang on my visor in my truck now.

I guess I’ll just stick to my old gold ray bans and accept that I can’t adorn my body with sunglasses like other folks.

A Delima

I despise throwing away money. I waste enough money anyway without squandering more money away with bad decisions.

Here’s the story, I booked a round trip to New York back in the summer for both of us. The tickets were $500ish for both of us. I had to cancel the trip because Gigi had a suspicious result from a breast exam that needed a retest. So we canceled the trip and got a $200 voucher for both tickets. The net loss was $300.

I booked a trip down for both of us to St Croix using air miles on another airline using 60,000 mile for a one way trip down.

Gigi didn’t like the return so we booked a round trip on US Airways from Charlotte for both of us for $1000 less $200 from the New York voucher.

I still have the 2 one way tickets to St Croix and American Airlines wants $200 to return the 60,000 air miles back to my account.

So do I pay the $200 to return my 60,000 miles to my account that cost me $60,000 in credit card charges? Or do I just relax and let the seats go unfilled and then let some stranger relax and sprawl out in my seats?

Time Person of the Year

I knew I would make the cover of Time one day. It’s me alright, and all of you bloggers out there. Congratulations on making the cover with me.

Meanwhile back in real life….. Gigi and I are getting sure enough elderly. Gigi made a pie Friday night to take to my sister’s house on Saturday. We both fell asleep. I awoke to hear the timer going off and fortunately the pie didn’t burn.

Then we got home last night from Durham and let all the dogs out to do their business. I didn’t do a proper head count and left Duke out all night in the cold. He looked hurt this morning; fortunately it wasn’t very cold last night.

In Second Life I have found the only golf and country club. It is a nice course and great club. Now I have to figure out how to play in Second Life.

In real life our pipes at the barn have busted from the cold. My FIL must have neglected to drain the pipes one night, so I have my morning cut out for me replacing plumbing.

Crime in Charlotte, NC

I am still mad about my car break-in three weeks ago. Everywhere I park now I cover and hide anything of value. I am so paranoid now that I feel like some old helpless elderly lady.

People here are sick of the crime. It rivals a third world country or any Caribbean island. The murder rate here is set to break another yearly record. Charlotte, NC was recently listed as a top 10 city for violent crime. Only Detroit and a few other bigger cities beat our statistics.

It turns out that the person who broke into my car used force to my drivers side lock to gain entry. All told with the repairs and replacements I should get a check for $3250 in a few days. I would rather have my stuff.

This is the fifth time I have I been a crime victim since living in Charlotte, NC. For me that is about one crime every 5 ½ years. And people wonder why I carry a concealed weapon.

In the 80’s I was shoved and accosted by an aggressive street person demanding money from me as I waited for a bus. I ended up having to thrash him with my umbrella.

I have had two break-ins at my business and two break-ins on my vehicle.

I’ll certainly get over this most recent theft but I always remain prepared and ready with a plan of action for any violent crime.

This is Bad...Real Bad...

Click here.

Its Beginning To Look A lot Like Peaches

Check out this freaky weather we are having. 40% chance of golf today, increasing to 60% chance tomorrow and almost 100% chance of golf by Sunday.

I am not one who misses the cold just because it’s Christmas time. My ONLY concern is for the peaches. We grow fantastic peaches here in NC and especially in SC. Forget what you heard about Georgia peaches, South Carolina peaches are top shelf.

Well, peaches need a certain number of nights of freezing temperatures before they will set blooms in the spring and make baby peaches.

Peach trees must be very smart I guess and count the number of cold nights and produce fruit only if they have exceeded this number.

I like peaches and therefore will tolerate enough cold nights to set fruit, anything more is a waste of cold.
I love them so much that I have a dog named Peaches

Body Image

I have been having this body image problem lately. Soon I will be in the sunny Caribbean exposing skin to the world. While I know I’m not 25 anymore I’d like to sure up what little I have left as far as body image.

So my chest hair has started looking like Aristotle Onassis. For those too young to remember, he was a very rich Greek shipping tycoon that married Jacquelyn Kennedy. You would always see them on his yacht in the Mediterranean Sea. He would be bare chested and long strands of white chest hair would be blowing in the wind. That grossed me out so much as a child that I have been on alert ever since.

So the other day I took out the clippers and got far too carried away trimming. My chest looked like a shaved dogs butt in the summer. It was itchy and rashy from trimming too close. So much for the Aristotle look.

Gigi scolded and reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry got carried away shaving his chest.

So I have learned a lesson.

Second Life Update

I thought I would update you on my encounters in Second Life. I am a tanned Caucasian fellow in my late 20’s wearing a gray pinned stripe suit and a tie. Believe it or not this appearance commands respect much more than my previous tie dye shirt with jeans.

I plan to age myself to a more realistic age as soon as I can figure out how to do that.

I have met two interesting fellows recently. One person was Morris Vig, who is a paunchy balding middle aged white man that spends his time tweaking his home on a beautiful beach. What kills me is Morris can look like anything he wants but chooses the body of an old university professor.

Morris is more than willing to share his creations and beautiful views that he has from his home. Morris took me down to an underwater observatory he built. It is fascinating to see all the fish that live there. He said the fish we there when he arrived. Wow what attention to detail this place has.

Morris asked that I not smoke my cigar in his house which I kindly obliged. I don’t smoke in real life but I choose to smoke a fine cigar in second life.

Another fellow I met was a distinguished black gentleman who was in the process of building a nice home himself. He was standing in a vacant lot looking surprised to find that his neighbor’s house was completely gone and only dirt was left. It was concluded that he must have not paid his real-estate taxes owed and therefore he was evicted.

He is planning an open house party when his home is completed.

Like real life, second life has it nice people and its seedy people. I am fascinated by the beautiful views, the ability to fly and teleport, and the efforts put in to the homes and stores.

In real life Gigi thinks I am crazy to go to second life. I have pointed out to her that several people have become millionaires in second life….yes real money buying and selling real estate in a fake world.

I plan to take a few classes in second life to learn some of the tricks and scripting required to build a nice place there. Party to follow!

Whoa There Big Fella

I hate gobbledy goop corporate talk. What the heck is an enterprise solution? Huh??? I don’t want a plain old solution either. Sell me something that will fix my problem and give it a name. I don’t want a home version of a waffle solution. Sell me a cheap and effective waffle iron. Mmmmmmmmm, waffles, I haven’t had one in I don’t know when. I wonder if I still have a waffle iron. I’ll bet if I do it’s all caked up with nasty burnt grease and stuff.

Complex Man Day

I am on a rather complex man mission today, much like my brethren that took off in the space shuttle last night.

The Carolina Panthers Play the New York Giants here in Charlotte today. Normally I would collect all my tailgating stuff, cook some brats, meet my buddies and go to the game.

Today however our back up quarterback is starting in place of the regular guy and the weather here is marginal enough for a round of golf. So we plan to play golf and then watch the rest of the game on the big plasma TV at the club. But there are conditions to winter golf.

Right now as I type it is 23 degrees and the greens are frozen. You cannot play on frozen greens because it will seriously damage the grass. So you delay until it is warm enough to play. They estimate that the greens will be ready to play by 11:00 AM. That barely gives you enough daylight to play a leisurely round not to mention everyone else that wants to play besides me.

So at 11:00 AM they will load up as many holes as they can and everyone will start at the same time, just on different holes. This is called a shot gun start and it maximizes the number of players that can get on the course at once.

Shotgun starts slow play by maybe 15 minutes, plus we are playing cart path only. This means you can ride a cart but it must remain on the paved cart path and you have to walk across the fairway to hit the ball. Staying off the fairway helps the grass too but slows play time additionally to the shotgun start.

But to play in cold weather you need warm equipment and more clothing. All of my golf balls and clubs stayed here in the warm house last night instead of the cold garage.

I have my super duper expensive Under Amour man leotards long underwear and various layers of stuff I can peal off during the day.

Hopefully we can wrap up a round in time for seeing most of the second half of the game.

Yes this mission is complex, but forward planning and timing will be the key to our success. Now let me check on the current greens conditions.

Christmas In Christiansted

The boat parade through Christiansted Harbor is an annual holiday event. Sail boats, power boats, even a few dinghys get dressed up in holiday lights and decor and strut their stuff through the Christainsted harbor.

This year is bigger and better than ever with more on shore events to accomodate the large crowds! Mocko Jumbies will be dancing the night away startng at 5:30pm.

The crowd chooses the best boats based on how loud they cheer.

New Travel Item

Deep Question About Weather.......

We are now experiencing “cold Canadian air” as the weatherman calls it. We never get warm Canadian air, only cold Canadian air.

We don’t get any Mexican air of any kind. We do get tropical moisture and gulf moisture so I assume this is Cuban air or other nearby warm land mass.

And of course there is lake effect snow up north. I think you can blame this somewhat on the Canadians too. It’s their wind blowing over our jointly owned lakes that makes the bad weather.

Do Canadians get United States air? Are we blamed for any particular weather?

My Neighborhood

I swear, I don’t make this stuff up.

We have a non specified neighbor around here that drive a vehicle without any noise suppression what so ever. He (or she) leaves the neighborhood promptly every morning at 6:40 AM and returns and leaves numerous times during the day. You can hear the White Wrangle Jeep with out a muffler from great distances. Oh, I didn’t mean to get that specific, but I’ll have to live with my words because you can’t take them back. We have considered taking up a love offering among the neighbors so that he (or she) can buy a shinny new muffler for Christmas.

Another neighbor up the street called me last night in the middle of a Walt Disney World first class fire works display just overhead of the neighborhood. It was about 10 PM and I was sound asleep. Gigi was on the phone calling the authorities to find out who was celebrating and who gave the permit for a professional pyrotechnics show in the neighborhood. The authorities had no idea what was going on.

By now I was awake to the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air. The dogs were going nuts and the phone was ringing. The neighbor up the street wanted to know what was going on. I guess he though I had gone nuclear with the potato cannon thing. All of the sudden the fireworks show stopped and the conversation drifted to the lack of noise suppression on the other neighbors White Wrangler Jeep.

Duke and Peaches ended up sleeping with us in the bed all night. Boy Duke does snore.

My Screen Saver

This is the view from the Divi Resort in St Croix, USVI just outside of my sister's room. A predawn shower had just passed and the clouds were clearing as sun began to rise. A few moments later a man came and harvested the coconuts from this tree. It was 80 degrees and windy in early February. Feel free to use the picture. Judy took it and painted the man harvesting the coconuts.

My Peanuts (Not Oranges)

Oh I love peanuts, but not just any peanuts. They have to be Hampton Roasted Virginia peanuts salted and in the shell from North Carolina.

I have no idea how they salt these peanuts in the shell. Gigi loves them, my dogs love them and I adore them. I buy a bag whenever I travel so I will have them no matter what.

I just ate five big old delicious peanuts for breakfast and I am satisfied.

I keep my peanuts by my chair in a Folgers plastic coffee can and have a wicker basket for the shells. After a day or so my area is covered in crumbs and peanut skins. Then I vacuum the area and start over.

I just ate another and that is enough for now. I need another bag too.

Let The Dry Days Begin

Gigi and I are spend much more time now moisturizing. It happens in the winter and it happens with age. This morning she was rubbing on Chap Stick all the while fantasizing about soaking in mineral oil. My legs are so dry that they look powdery.

I’m convinced that dry legs lead to hairless legs and that is not what a guy wants, at least this guy. But I guess this too is part of the great hair migration that a man goes through with ageing. Hair disappears from traditional places like the head and legs only to move to the back and ears. The cruelty of it all is I can’t get to my back and I can’t really see my ears head on. So I’m at the mercy of someone else to assist me in personal grooming to avoid the caveman look.

Gosh this paints an ugly picture, powdery slick legs with a dry hairy back. I’m sorry I brought this up. At least I don’t have any problems with insects crawling into my ears.

Normal Life Please

Finally….I have my computer rebuilt and my life may be returning back to normal. Well, not really. Yesterday I locked myself out of my truck. So I crawled under the truck to look for the hidden key. Boy did I do a good job hiding it; it took forever to find that nasty, greasy box that contained the key. While under the truck I noticed some diesel fuel leaking.

So I went to unlock the truck with the key and I was unable to insert the key. The idiot that broke into my truck last week completely destroyed the key lock when he or she broke in. I hadn’t noticed because I use the electronic button to lock and unlock. Plus it’s dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home so I never noticed the lock was damaged.

I drove the truck to the lube mechanic and he thought he fixed the problem. Today I called a wrecker to tow it to the mechanic.

Gigi spent all of last week not sleeping and I got used to getting up at least to look to see what she was doing. Now she is sleeping great and I am still waking up hourly. This morning I woke up to her hand groping my face to see if I was there. I was having the freaky dream and I thought a squirrel had jumped on my face so I bolted up when she started groping.

Gigi is on a big salt kick now so she asked for some Doritos with her morning coffee.

Then Duke the newest Border Collie started yodeling from the other room when he heard I was awake. That is his signal that he needs to go out and do business. This dog does not bark, just yodels.

Hopefully I’ll get my truck back soon and life will return to normal.

I've Been Poisoned

I feel kind of poisoned this morning. I like beef but the big time prime beef you get at fine steak houses is about too rich for me. I was determined to get a steak last night at the office Christmas dinner instead of a lighter seafood fare. So I ordered a 13 ounce New York Strip and ate maybe 6 ounces. That along with these "to die for" mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, Cesar salad with fried oysters, a few glasses of wine, a piece of apple pie (eaten by three of us) that tasted like a cinnabon. Now I feel like a big over served blob.

Then I rushed home to watch the home team play on Monday Night football. I fell sound asleep by half time. Gigi said she went into the living room to check on me and I was propped up staring at the TV with no emotion. She thought, "whatever, he's having fun I suppose".

So I woke up about 12:30 and asked her who won. She didn't know and I was too lazy to go back in the living room to look up the score on the PC. So all night I thought about whether or not we won.

I got up, poisoned and all to look. We lost.

I need to hit the gym big time today.

More Monday

I am at home this morning and I am not sick and I am not dodging work. I have to wait for a FedEx package and Gigi is at her doctor. So my calls are being forwarded to me and I hope the dogs don't bark when I answer.

Having a PC, TV news channel, fax and phone allows me to work about anywhere. With the webcam I can be seen and look back all while looking out my front widow of my house over the curious ears of my senior border collie Peaches. She is the boss around here. Man I have to get these leaves up out of my yard soon.

My PC troubles continue. I brought my MIL's PC back to clean all the spyware and viruses off and the hard drive crashed just when I finished. I'm not going to tell her and just put in a new drive and operating system. She'll never know the difference, she is very PC illiterate.

I have a small server at work that has been acting up for a good while. It's actually a stand alone slave drive that has two internal drives that mirror each other. We'll I just discovered that the backup drive has failed. Oh joy.

I went to McDonalds again for lunch the other day and attempted to order the All American Meal. They had no idea what I was talking about. An All Canadian meal didn't work either. I ended up with another happy meal and toy with a small drink upgrade. The toy was a rat with a gold tooth and gold chain around his neck. It was cool.


Ah Monday. We have the office Christmas dinner tonight at McIntosh's Steak and Seafood. It is a top shelf place and it's always a treat. Like last year I found someone else willing to pay for the event so I can relax too.

My real estate broker emailed me last night and told me the balance is due on the St Croix vacation condo. Time is nearing and I am ready. Ready for everything but the return trip home. I have the flight booked going down on air miles. The return flight was so bad (18 hours) that I have been waiting to see if anything opens up that is better. Otherwise I'll just buy the ticket home directly from St Croix to Charlotte and be home in 4 hours back to cold and drizzly weather.

I started blogging last year in February when I went to St Croix as a way to share my Winter vacation with friends back home. I became addicted to the daily journal and have continued the trend steadily since the spring. I loved flashing back pictures and video of summertime in the winter. You can see the old blog beginnings here. I switched to blogger for ease of formatting.

My college team won in playoffs Saturday. That was exciting. They won it all last year in NCAA Division I football. I hope they can do it again.

A Lesson Learned

I am in a winter funk of sorts. I don't embrace the season like Zig. I suffer from light deprivation depression and have for years. Chemicals help me some and the upcoming winter vacation will help more. I just reserved the Wrangler Jeep (oh sweet little convertible) last night.

Just yesterday I looked at the NASCAR schedule to see when Daytona 500 will run, it's the first race of the season and a sure sign spring is eminent.

So the countdown to Winter solstice has begun and then I can start adding minutes of light to each day that passes.

Now let me tell you what happened to my new notebook computer. I have a hard time living without being connected to the world via the Internet. I am not ashamed of this, I thrive on the information and communication. Typically I sit in "my chair" with my notebook desk in front of me wirelessly connected to the world. If I am watching news or sports on the High Definition TV I follow along on the Internet for more information. I spent quiet hours in the morning with Duke and blog. My computer is a vital part of my life.

So I spent 3 days restoring my PC with all the programs and features that I wanted, less all the junk programs they put on new PCs. The little pop up window kept bugging me to make a set of rescue discs. I figured out how to disable that annoying pop up. Finally I was going to install encryption software that was just mandated by my company. So I followed a rather lengthy instruction procedure and began the encryption never to see my PC again. The software completely scrambled my precious PCs brains. It even scramble the system down to the bios so I couldn't recover no matter what.

I called HP support and they concluded the only way to recover was from the rescue disc. They asked, "You did make the rescue discs, right?"

"No", I said.

So for $29 I should get my rescue discs for what I could have had for free if I had only taken the time to make them. And then I'll have a new PC that I will have to spend three days rebuilding.
So I'll continue to type away on my wife's computer for a few more days. Thank you Gigi.

Hello World!

I am in Asheville, NC. Asheville is a lovely mountain city in North Carolina home of the Biltmore Estate, the writer Thomas Wolfe, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Downtown Asheville is a throwback to the 1960’s with loads sheepish little hippies in torn clothing standing around everywhere. For some reason Asheville attracts a large population of gays downtown as well.

The buildings are unique. There was a huge surge of growth here in the 1920’s and then the Great Depression stifled growth for the next half century. So you’ll find well preserved business districts from the 20’s and buildings with gargoyles on the roof overlooking the city.

I had some clients to visit here and Gigi had expressed and interest in going with me so I book a room at the Renaissance Hotel. Gigi loves to shop at some at the unique business downtown. Well she bagged her end of the deal and I wasn’t about to loose a $150 room since it was too late to cancel. So I checked in after my business and was surprised to find that the whole town has free wireless Internet. Very cool since I am spending a large amount of time rebuilding my new PC.

I bought the mother of all PCs the other day. I am discovering new stuff on the monster every day. There are so many slots and buttons still yet to discover. Here’s what I know. It comes with Intel Dual Core 2 processors with 2 GB of memory and 300 GB hard drive with an HD TV Tuner with HDMI slot, a laser etching thing on the cd burner, bla, bla, bal. Needless to say it slick as slobber and fast as a cheetah.

So now I spend my free time trying to get all the crap off of the new PC like free AOL and other useless software and I am restoring my backups which never actually restore the way you had it so now I’m tweaking everything. None of my old email filters are working so email is dumping in three boxes. I’ll get it figured out eventually.

Gigi just called me and was all mad about the news that says you shouldn’t sit up straight and sitting up straight is actually bad for you. Oh great! All my life adults told me to sit up straight. Now we discover it was contributing to our midlife back pains. The story said sit reclining at 135 degrees is ideal. Now all the kids driving around town are actually correct in their posture. Do other kids around the country drive with their seats reclined.

Well I still have a lot of stuff to buy that was in my PC case. I especially miss the camera. Oh this new PC has a built in web cam….get out of here. See? There is new stuff all the time.

Just Read This

Oh joy.

I played golf this afternoon at a municipal course near the less desirable part of town. I should have known when I pulled in the parking lot that I was in trouble when I read the sign, "Park at Your Own Risk". My club is closed on Monday or I would have played there.

Seeing this sign I kept my handgun in my golf bag just in case I came upon some crime. Plus you never know when you may need to settle a dispute on the green.

So we played 18 with Ty and another person that was paired with us.

As I got into my car I noticed my glove compartment was open and stuff was on the floor. Damn! I had been broken into. I looked around and my .38 handgun was in the middle seat compartment along with my checkbook. Yes call me paranoid, I carry two handguns. One little .22 in my pocket and a .38 in the truck.

My new dozen golf balls were still in the back seat, thank God for that. Other then that it looked okay. I was lucky. So I'm tooling down the highway home and I called Ty. He said, "Dude, did they get your laptop?"

Holy crap! They got my beloved laptop and my digital camera. Plus my leather laptop case and all my plugs and stuff for my phone and blue tooth wireless thingy for my ear.

Thank goodness I back up nightly. But what a pain. Now I have to buy all new stuff less $500 and spend the time to rebuild everything.

Fortunately whoever stole my laptop has about 2 hours of battery life and they are out of business. I have the laptop charger. Plus the PC was pass worded.

I feel so violated.

I'm Grouchy

I am uncharacteristically grouchy today.

I hate it when I get to work and I have to jump right to work. I need time to boot the computer, make coffee, make toast, drink coffee and eat my toast, and only then will I be ready to work. This didn’t happen today but I expected it and it made me grouchy just thinking about it.

I ordered a new 2 GB card for Gigi’s camera back in October from Amazon. I paid for it and it came with free shipping which I assume Amazon paid for since no one works for free.

Now it is late November and the card is not here. It seems it got to Greensboro, NC and was undeliverable and it was shipped back somewhere. Anyhow it is lost and I paid for it.

The US Postal Service said to Call Amazon and Amazon said to call the US Postal service. I guess I’ll call my credit card and fill out a dispute form and take over from there. This really made me grouchy.

It’s 66 degrees here and headed to 70. I am trying to find someone to play some golf. No one will go. This is making me grouchy.

My team lost to Washington yesterday. This is making me grouchy.

Cannon Test

I feel like Kim Jong-il. Today at 2:54 PM I successfully tested a potato cannon capable of delivering a deadly potato of mashed destruction to several of my neighbors.

That thing really gave a loud sound and hurled the potato over the tree line I would guess several hundred yards.

Restaurant Review

Blogdate Friday, November 25, 2006

Gigi gradually got better yesterday and by 6 she was willing to give eating a try. My sister-in-law was dying for some Asian food. She is Pilipino and insists on her daily allotment of rice. I wanted seafood since we were at the coast at a fishing village.

I won and we decide to go to the Cape Fear Restaurant. This restaurant is at the mouth of the Cape Fear River overlooking Bald Head Island. The building has been there for years under the name of Ships Chandler. Ships Chandler always had decent seafood at a decent price. The view was fabulous and the service was fast.

In steps a new owner, a new menu and the restaurant clearly has decided to upscale a bit. Much of the old signage and memorabilia was sill in the lobby. Pictures from fishing trips in the 1950s along side of old hurricane photos are prominent. There is a newly built bar area with plasma TVs and imported draft beer. The room is closed off and smoking is allowed. Otherwise the furnishings and view in the main dining room is the same.

Gigi and I arrived first to be followed by her brother and his wife. I asked the waiter if they could cook some rice for my sister-in-law but the cook declined.

The menu was upscale and yet it held the traditional North Carolina fare of fried seafood. So fancy folks could get broiled grouper and a Riesling and regular folks could eat their fried flounder and sweet iced tea.

I decided to get an appetizer which was scallops on the half shell with shrimp and a crab stuffing. The scallops were overcooked and unseasoned, however the shrimp was good as was the stuffing. I ordered an imported draft beer and it was very cold and very fresh.

After eating the disappointing upscale fare as an appetizer I decide to stick with the tried and true so I ordered the fried oysters and shrimp along with a side salad and fries. The menu said slaw and hush puppies would be included. I was dying for some hushpuppies.

The meal came and I quickly scanned the enormous massive calorie platter for a hushpuppy. None were to be found. Then I examined the oysters and they were small, mealy and overcooked. They looked like fried crumbles. They were of such poor quality that clearly oysters should have been off the menu that night. The shrimp was pretty much frozen processed and breaded I would guess on a Japanese fishing trawler somewhere in Southeast Asia. So much for local seafood. That is a shame since they are still bringing in a good haul of the local brown shrimp.

Oh well, I still had my salad so I gave it a try. The cook did use some creativity in the salad. There were various greens croutons and side crackers. The blue cheese dressing was a gelatinous mess. It had an artificial blue cheese flavor mixed in with some thickening agent.

I turned to the slaw and it was wonderful. Excellent, $25 for some good slaw.

The service was very good. I didn’t complain to the waiter because it was clear that some inexperienced teenager was cooking and he was way over his head. It wasn’t the waiters fault.

So I recommend that you stop by for a drink, order a side of slaw and enjoy the sunset and eat your meal elsewhere unless you are starving and need the caloric intake.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate it a 2.

Southport and Such

Blogdate Friday, November 23, 2006

I shall endeavor to blog even though I no longer have an Internet connection.

I am in deepest darkest North Carolina as you can go in the town of Southport. Southport is famous for two things; one is this is the only place on Earth where Venus Fly Traps grow naturally. Remember those little plants with the hairy open clam leaves? A fly would land in there and “whap” the plant would digest the fly. Venus Fly traps grow in the nearby swamp area. Two, the legendary Black Beard the pirate hung around these waters a lot in his time.

Other than that Southport remains a quaint sleepy village with boardwalks and marinas.

Oh! I remember one other thing Southport is famous for, no two more. Remember the movie Cape Fear? The Cape Fear River dumps out right here on the water front. And remember that show Matlock? It was filmed here and in Willington. We used to see the film crews and studio trailers when we visited before. Oh heck I remember another famous thing about Southport, Weekend at Birney’s was filmed here too. Needless to say the area has a thriving little East Coast film industry. A lot of the “made for TV” movies come out of the area.

So we are at the only RV Park in the area directly across from a Super Wal-Mart. It is a nice little RV park and we know the owners from years of coming down here. Most of the people here live full time in their RV and some work at the nearby Brunswick Nuclear Power Station. Others are retired and find the RV lifestyle comfortable and affordable.

Last night we headed over to the MILs house for Thanksgiving dinner. After about 30 minutes I notice my breathing was getting labored. Oh heck, an asthma attack is rearing its ugly head. So I go to a quiet place to try and head this off. My inhaler is 40 minutes away and every store is closed for the holiday.

I should have known better, she has three cats that live in the house and I get a reaction from short haired cats.

So as the evening pressed on and dinner was delayed hour after hour I sat outside on a porch swing in 45 degree weather and sipped wine and my breathing got much better. Eventually dinner approached and the MIL decided I need a Benadril to help my breathing. I took two and continued on with my turkey, wine and drugs. Foolishly I had set myself up for the perfect storm for sleep. By the time we got home (Gigi drove) it was very late and I was very sleepy. I snoozed in until 9:30 and was very refreshed and had a very clear nose.

Blogdate Friday, November 24, 2006

Today is my anniversary. We’ve been married for 27 years. That is a big deal in today’s world. I am thankful that I had good male role models when I grew up and I am thankful that I learned from them. My father and grandfather were always kind and respectful to their wives and they remained married to the same woman. I try to do the same.

Gigi and Cedie are both sick this morning. Both have been throwing up and look run down. Either Gigi has the dog flu or Cedie has the people flu.

I’m dying to head over to Wal-Mart and pick up a bag of potatoes and some carburetor cleaner for a propellant. I think the gun is about ready to fire.

The Storm is Over

Over the river and through the wood, to grandmother’s house we go…..

Yes, we are finally headed out to the coast this morning after two days of a cold and muscular storm know as a nor’easter. Up the coast you go now. Good luck with my friends in New England today. The Macy’s parade should be interesting with high winds and rain.

So I may be out of site for a few days depending on any Internet connection. I no longer carry a dialup account except when I go to the islands. So I’m hoping to piggyback on someone’s wireless account.

I hope to get potatoes firing and maybe a golf round or two while I’m gone.


I hate it.

Can you Say Nor'Easter?

We decide to wave off our trip tomorrow. The weather is about as bad as it gets as far as travel is concerned. It’s 37 with sleet and buckets of rain and very high winds. Visibility is low. Tomorrows forecast calls for the same.

If it was just Gigi and I in a car I would go, but a 32 foot travel trailer, four dogs and four hours traveling is different. That is too dangerous and too much stress.

So we’ll get up very early Thursday and make the trip.

Have You Seen Any Daylight?

Outdoors is now completely uninhabitable for me. It is cold and windy with a light misting rain. My skin is dry and my lips are chapped.

Yesterday afternoon I had plans to glue together the potato cannon on the deck and then store away a load of horse grain. Somehow in my brain I had programmed the event weather at about 70 degrees.

Reality set in a few minutes after I stated. I could see my white scaly hands reaching for tools under the watchful eyes of my protruding cracked lips. Then the rain started and the wind kicked up. Dang! I have to stop and put up the grain before it gets wet.

I got the cannon all glued up but the purple primer kind of ran down the tubing. Oh no matter, it will work fine.

I go a bit crazy after a long stay indoors. Now all I want to do is sit around in my warm PJs and drink hot tea or red wine. I have a sleeping shirt that I have worn more nights than I want to admit. It is so darn warm and comfortable and I don’t want to give it up for washing for fear that the turnaround would be too long. Oh I love you warm shirt.

Yesterday I left my good laptop mouse at work. It is the one with all the switches and buttons with the special porn button as my friends Don calls it. The porn button will magnify any area that needs further close inspection. So I had to use my emergency backup mouse. It feels so strange but it is better than sliding your finger around on that little 2 inch mouse board.

Yesterday the gym was unusually busy. I’m not sure if more people were bad over the weekend or if folks are trying to ward off any effects of the upcoming Thanksgiving feast on Thursday. Maybe they were trying to offset the winter doldrums.

It’s funny to me how some folks love winter. The lady I bought grain from yesterday was happy as a lark. She loves this weather and finds it cozy and refreshing. We laughed about when I came in sometime in July, encrusted in salt from sweat

after a round of golf in 98 degree weather with a heat index of 105. To each his own.

You Guys

What a wonderful day! My teams won, and my adversarial teams lost in NFL football yesterday. Plus it is a holiday week and I will be hardly working after Tuesday.

We are heading down to the coast of North Carolina to a little town called Southport. It is the only place now in the area where we can take our RV. We plan to have Thursdays Thanksgiving meal at the nearby Island of Oak Island with Gigi’s family.

This will be Duke’s first RV trip. So think of us on Wednesday when I am towing a 32 foot travel trailer with me and two dogs in the front seat and two dogs and Gigi in the back seat and Boscoe the parrot on my headrest driving four hours to the coast. I think we are insane sometimes.

In other news, my potato cannon, err ah food accelerator has been completely assembled and is waiting to be glued together. I hope I can fire a few rounds into the Atlantic Ocean the weekend. Pictures and maybe videos to follow.

What else…….oh, no…I already told you my team won. I guess that is it for now. Stay warm and have a great day.

Oh yeah, I remember. Judy and I enjoyed talk about all you guys on Saturday, Zig, Ali, Teresa, Alyssa, Ali Kat, etc. We sounded like a couple of old hens talking about a soap opera or something.

Football Sunday

The entire North American continent is consumed with football today, the only kind of football where men cover themselves in hard plastic armor and rarely touch an actual ball to their foot.

To the north it is Grey Cup time, may your team win. Here it’s the first Sunday home game where’s is actually a bit chilly. Not cold, but it feels like football weather. By game time the temperature is likely to be 54 with the winds howling out of the northwest at 5 mph. Wind chills could reach 51!!!!

So, have a good day and I will see you on Monday.

Comfort Food

Today I will spend a day with my family and we will eat a Thanksgiving Meal together. This requires that Gigi and I get up early and get on the road by 8:00 AM so we can get to my sister Judy’s house by 11:00 AM.

On the way we’ll stop and grab a country ham biscuit and coffee and talk and laugh the whole way. We take a back road for the entire trip so there is a lot of pretty country side to look at and many unusual small towns to poke fun.

My mother no longer cooks and hosts the family Thanksgiving. Instead we give her a rest for her 65 or 70 years of hard work and all the siblings bring in the family favorites.

As always I was in charge of making the candied yams. It would not be Thanksgiving without them. They have a certain flavor and consistency that says this is my family. No one else’s tastes the same. It is a simple recipe pasted down from at least the 1920’s from my grandmother on my father’s side. I’ll bet it goes back even further because my grandmother had to learn it from somebody.

Simply made, our yams aren’t yams but they start with a large portion of Martindale canned sweet potatoes. Martindale sweet potatoes are grown and canned in North Carolina and they have the same simple label that they had 50 years ago.

Next I cut and layer the potatoes in a flat glass dish. Each layer gets a portion of butter, cinnamon, allspice, and sprinkled with sugar. Keep layering until you have used all the yams. Add a little of the juice from the can and bake at 325 for anywhere from 45 minutes or until you want them. No longer than an hour and a half. (For those in Canada, Bake at like 5 or something, you figure it out)

So I have my yams ready, two bottles of Hunnicutt Red Zinfandel, a couple of goodies for the kids and a bag of spices so Judy can make her spiced rum for Christmas.

In 5 or 6 hours I will be eating familiar family favorites that every family has, but ours will have our family nuances that tell me I am with my people.

Thank you God for Thanksgiving meals.

Crime Scene

I was able to capture this crime scene at the junk yard in Second Life. That is me, Reggie Legend with my back to you. I was sitting on that globe to the right, minding my business. Suddenly I heard shots. This chicken started attacking a woman and you see her morphing into some super human thing engulfing the chicken.

I can’t wait to get back there but I have a real life here.

This afternoon in Second Life I was attacked by two guys in a wheelchair. They fired weapons at
me saying that I was trespassing on their pier.

So I headed to a rather seedy place and asked a guy where a person could get a gun. He gave me two boxes of weapons and a bottle of Vodka. How nice, huh? He asked nothing in return.

So chicken people and bad men in wheelchairs…beware!

See you there Ali Kat.

Put a Fork in Fall

We have had some big time storms here in NC over the last few days. Two inches of rain fell last night with very vivid lightening and thunder. Today the wind howled and every last leaf was torn from the trees.

So now I am truly faced with the reality of winter. Its wet, the trees are naked, and it’s cold and windy.

So I’ll site here in my sweat shirt and pajama bottoms and dream of spring, the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and Daytona 500. Give me fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas and then put a fork in the rest of winter.

I loathe the thoughts of January and February. Please don’t let it snow!

Second Life

Might I suggest secondlife.com just in case you need another way to waste time? It’s an imaginary virtual world where you can stumble around, fly and meet other people. You get a standard buff body that you can redesign.

So meet Reggie Legend. I have a red tie dye tee shirt on so you’ll recognize me.

Produce Accelerator

This was a throw away day for me. I was tired from the game last night. I could barely get through my workout this afternoon.

I have a new interest in produce acceleration. Ty made a produce accelerator a few weeks ago and demonstrated it for me on Monday in the parking lot of our office. It was quite exciting so I am determined to make my own produce accelerator.

I am done for the day.

Monday Night Football

I snuck home from work early today in preparation for tonight’s game. We are host to Monday Night Football so being a good host I thought it would be wise to prepare in advance for my guests the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I really hate Monday Night games. Regular season NFL football was meant to be played at 1:00 PM on Sunday afternoon. Starting a game at 8:30 or 9 PM on a school night no less is too darn late. That means I’ll be hollering until after midnight.

Gigi and I will head downtown around 5:30 to set up and then fire up the grill. We’re having brats with all the trimmings and I expect to have a good turnout for dinner.

So anyway, if you watch tonight I’ll be on the upper deck to your left at about the 30 yard line in a black number 17 Carolina Panther jersey.

See you late tomorrow


There are some things that really irritate me. To the outside observer it may not seem like a big deal.

If I offer someone a portion of something I am about to eat myself, please keep your pained expressions to yourself if you decline my offer. Just say, “No thank you”. You see I plan to eat the same food momentarily and you just painted a nauseous picture in my mind that I would prefer not to have. Have a little courtesy on my upcoming food experience.

This happened last night at supper. Gigi had made a marvelous meal of which chicken breast cooked in mushroom soup was the main entree. I offered my FIL another piece of chicken and he scrunched up his face with a pained expression like I just offered him seconds on dog crap. Gigi didn’t see this but I did. Then he said, “I don’t like dry meat”. Gigi heard this.

So I’m sitting there having suffered both a visual, verbal and tactile attack on my delicious half consumed chicken. I can see Gigi’s mind going, “Dry meat, dry meat? You ingrate. ”

All this came from a man who considers boiled chicken legs to be a delicacy.

So after we consider the source we move on. The interruption was not necessary and could have been avoided if a reserve neuron or two had thought about what was about to be said.

Boxing Tonight

I have always enjoyed boxing. Many people consider boxing to be a cruel sport that prays on the poor and whose sole goal is to give their opponent a concussion.

I think that may be accurate for the majority of entry level boxers.

Tonight however we will witness a PHD fight, and defend his title against a Charlotte banker for the heavyweight championship of the world. Both men are educated and do not need boxing to make it in life.

I am particularly excited because the challenger is from my hometown of Charlotte.

Just a side bar here, this is the first time I have ever called Charlotte my hometown. Until now Durham, NC was my hometown. Durham is where I grew up. But Durham is a distant memory of my youth. Charlotte is where I have lived and worked since 1979. In the south you do not claim a town as your hometown unless you were born there or at least your most distant memories are from there. I’m breaking with southern protocol and claiming from this day forth that Charlotte is my hometown.

15 hours later…….

Whew! That was a side trip wasn’t it? Okay…my guy lost in the 7th round last night and I am sleepy for staying up two nights in a row. Boy I’m a wild thang.

Night Life

Yesterday was so warm here. I got together with some buddies and played the Old Goat Ranch golf course up in Concord, NC, also affectionate known as Snake Haven Golf Club. It’s a raunchy old place but we enjoy cutting up and laughing every year during the Goat Ranch Classic as it has become to be known as. The locker room is a dark dank open place with a very low ceiling and no lighting except for the sunlight coming in the one window. On the wall of this locker room is one very dirty urinal. But enough about these fine facilities, lets talk about the day.

By ten AM we were shucking off the clothes to stay cool and by 11 AM we were complaining about the heat. My partner Don, and I’m not making this up, was busy about 10:30 eating a blueberry pop tart and drinking scotch from a flask. To each his own I guess.

I came home in the afternoon for a 45 minute power nap to get ready for the evening.

We planned to go into the city with another couple that evening for dinner after paying respects to a friend whose mother just died. Nothing like a wake and dinner to get the middle aged heart pumping on Friday night.

So we stopped by the funeral home, gave our condolences and decide where to eat.

Charlotte has become a big city with big night life. All four of us are long term married folks that go to bed early and get up early. A late night for us is to watch the first half of Monday Night Football on TV from bed.

We were determined to have fun but ruled out downtown since there was a Charlotte Bobcat game at home and some big concert going on at Belk Theater. Parking would be a nightmare and the restaurants and taverns would be packed. So we headed to Southpark where my office is. Southpark is a nice large upscale business area with ditto of all the trendy new restaurants that you find downtown. All of the establishments we checked had at least an hour wait time.

I’m getting panicky at this point like a diver running low on air. I know my brain will begin shutting down on me by 10 PM thinking it is time for bed fool and it’s already 8:30 and we are still cruising for a place to eat.

We found a great place on the Southside of the city and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Now, have you ever seen baboons on TV or at the zoo yawning? All four of us looked like baboons at the zoo yawning as we drove back home at the ungodly hour of 10:30.

Tonight I am supposed to watch a fight on HBO at 10 PM. I guess a long nap is in order.

Sorry Duke

Old Duke is the first male dog I have ever had. He is very hairy on the underside so you would never know what sex he was.

Old Duke is also neutered which I think is responsible for any pet owner. I got to thinking about old Duke and his lack of showyness as far as the testicle thing and started searching for some dog testicle implants. Do you know they actually make fake dog balls?

They are called Neuticles. A a top of the line pair of fake dog testicles would cost $299 plus installation.

Sorry Duke.

Good Sleep

I love to sleep. It makes up a third of my life and I am happy for that. It relaxes me, it refreshes me and it opens up another personality for me to enjoy in dream land. In dream land I fly, take chances, I travel, and generally am a much bolder Reggie. After all I’ll spend 16 hours a day not flying and being more reserve so I might as well enjoy the bolder Reggie.

I have three basic modes of sleep. There is standard off the shelf sleep which makes up about 3/5 of my life. It decent enough and it gets the job done. Then there is bad sleep where I wake up often and early. Usually I get stuck in a week to 10 days of bad sleep and I hate it. Then my friends is the coveted good sleep. I have had five nights in a row of good sleep. I wake up fully refreshed, relaxed and am ready to face the day. Good sleep is what sleep was meant to be.

I am sure that my recent bout of spectacular sleep is due to a new sleeping position I have found. I get stuck in the same old positions, fetal left, fetal right, on the back (then I snore) and that is about it. I have now come up with what I’ll call the Reggie Modified Fetal where I lay on my right side (left works too) and extend my right arm upward and extend my legs straight. This stretches out my whole body (gosh I’m about to fall asleep just writing about it) and it allows me to breath deeply with very little effort. I think over the years my organs had gotten squished up from sleeping in the same position.

Now keep in mind I am 5’ 7” so you big folks may have a problem with all this stretching out.

So sleep fans, give this Reggie Modified Fetal a try tonight and thank me tomorrow.

Christmas Spiced Rum

Okay, I’m going to try something I learned from my friends Michael and Terry who live in rum loving St. Croix. It’s Christmas spiced rum.

Take one bottle of dark Cruzan Rum. Cruzan is made in St Croix. Add one vanilla bean, a clove or two and one cinnamon stick.

Close the top and wait until close to Christmas. Mix with eggnog and enjoy.

So today a client called me and said she had picked up some vanilla beans at a specialty store here in Charlotte. So I ran out and bought two bottles of Cruzan Rum, one for her and one for me. They don’t carry the dark Cruzan here so I had to settle for the 2 year old light rum. I have been assured that the spices will turn the rum very dark anyway.


What a Difference a Week Makes

Last week I knew Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris) was secure in his manhood. In fact he played the part of a womanizer on his latest show bla, bla, bla whatever. It’s some long title that I can’t remember right now. Then Doodie comes out and says he’s gay. I didn’t need to know that. It ruins in my mind the character of the womanizer. I guess he’s still secure in his manhood, whatever. Good for you Doogie, I guess.

But….I knew Britney Spears was blissfully married to some do-good white rapper happy fellow. Heck they had just had a litter of children. Now she announces she is getting a divorce. What?

And last week the Republicans were blissfully in control of our government with President Bush first, Dick Chaney as backup, and the speaker of the house who is some fat old white guy as his backup. Now the third backup is a skinny little liberal democrat woman from California. Oh dear. That is scary to me. Chaney’s ticker could go at any moment from a shock like having to take office as President if something happened to President Bush, and then we are stuck with a liberal democrat as President.

And further, I only had three border collies last week and now I have 25% more.

I’m going to lie down.

Duke II

We took Duke to the specialty veterinary hospital here in Charlotte this afternoon. As you may recall Duke has a broken leg that is healing in the most awkward way. What we expected to hear was that Duke would be best with an amputation or better yet they could re-break the leg and set it. Either option would be traumatic to Duke and expensive for us.

What we found out is Duke’s leg is healing freakishly but it is healing. His leg will be shorter and it will take two more months of taking it easy to fully heal.

Duke does have a torn ACL so we know he was active. This can be fixed in the spring.

Duke was so grateful that we didn’t take him back to the pound. He was very nervous. His siblings back home were happy to see his return.

Chapter 308 - Election Day

MIDLAND, NC - It’s Election Day in the US. I’ll go vote this morning for the guys who steal the least of my money. When you steal my money under the threat of prison then you are stealing the fruits of my labor. Working for no pay under the threat of prison is slavery.

Now you know how I feel about taxes and the redistribution of wealth. My money is not your money, its not the governments money, and its not a foreign governments money. But I forcefully give my money to the government under the threat of prison. Sounds like the mob doesn’t it? It is like the mob in a way.

You see I don’t hand over my money in an envelope like on the Sopranos; I do once a quarter hand over under the threat of prison a huge sum of money to the state of North Carolina, the federal government, and to the pensioners on social security and Medicare. Guess what? Because I am an employer I get to pay double for me and my employee.

Do I do this out of the goodness of my heart? No. I do not want to go to a federal lock down with Richard Hatch until I get my mind right.

I give money freely to people in need and to the Glory of God. I give money freely to the common defense of my nation. All other money taken is slavery.

So I vote for the guy who promises to steal the least of my money.

Now go vote early and often.

Tea Partay

First, I am not a big fan of You Tube but I saw this video on another blog and it made me laugh. Second, I don’t like recycled stuff, only original content, but here is some funny recycled stuff.

We all need a laugh on Monday.

Sunday Nights

There is a certain feeling that comes over me on Sunday nights. The weekend is spent and the inevitably of Monday is looming. What was the blank canvas of Friday is now finished, like it or not. Now my mood turns a bit more somber as I begin to think about my morning commute and schedule of the week. Meanwhile I’m watching the 4 PM NFL game holding on to what joy is left of the weekend.

Fun Captured in the Lens of a Friend

Here is a moment captured in the reflection of Michael’s lens of me listening to Gigi while I eat lunch by the Caribbean with friends Michael and Terry. This photo was taken in May while we were in St Croix. I just noticed the reflection.


It was a rather desultory Saturday.

What? You don’t know what desultory means? I love to throw out desultory now and then. You can see in a person’s eyes when I use a certain word, that they don’t have a clue to its meaning. They’ll just look straight at you but you can see their mind thinking, “what the hell? Desultory? It sounds like a real word but I haven’t a clue what it means. I’ll just look like I know what it means and hope I’m not quizzed on the meaning. Okay, that word was desultory…. All right I’ll look it up when I get home.”

I first heard the word desultory on HBO boxing. Jim Lampley used it. I know for a fact that no one watching knew what it meant.

When someone uses an unknown word on me I find that I can bluff pretty good. Why do we do this? Why am I embarrassed to ask the meaning of the word that I don’t know?

Here's Duke

Our newest family member Duke was rescued from the pound last week.

Time Wasters

I stopped by the local Hess station on the way home yesterday to fill up the fuel tank. I hate pumping fuel. It’s a colossal mindless waste of time that you will never get back, all the while waiting for a pump to transfer fuel from one tank to anotherto its final destination. Shouldn’t there be a business that would ride around topping off your tank for you? Let them get paid for their time. In turn I work for free for the gas station.

Oh I try to make the best of it. I walk around my truck looking at the tires and such. I clean out and trash accumulated in the cab. I may even wash the windshield. I’ll look at the pump and its still pumping. I have a 36 gallon tank.

It’s kind of like waiting for the computer to boot up. How much time have we all wasted on that? Not enough time do much else but enough time wasted twice a day.

In the morning I start my computer at work and run and make toast with orange marmalade and pour a cup of coffee. Usually the computer is finished by then. I have a lot of programs running in the startup so mine takes a while.

All American Meal

I try to eat a reduced caloric intake in an effort to ward off any further growth of man boobs.

So today at lunchtime when I’m out and about I stopped by McDonalds for the little known All American Meal. Few people know of this. It’s a small regular hamburger and a small fry. Plain old fashioned little paper sack of fries along with a small drink. I have a diet coke. This meal is about 500ish calories and if eaten slowly will give my mind all the rock and roll of a much bigger meal. Lets not take about the grams of fat, okay?

Most of my McDonald colleagues are consuming 1500 to 2000 calories and therefore are dealing with the man boob thing.

Today this woman could not figure out what in the heck I wanted (I was in Rock Hill, SC). So I ended up with a modified Happy Meal complete with a Happy Meal box and a toy. I was upgraded from the shot glass coke to the small adult coke at no cost.

The problem is while I accomplished my objective I left the restaurant in a less than dignified way. I would have preferred to have the white adult bag and sans the box and toy. I now have a cool toy on my front seat of my truck and no one to give it to.

Duke Update

Old Duke, our newest border collie got his physical yesterday.

It appears he is about 7 years old and is a full blooded border collie. All his tests were good and he is so happy. I have never seen a sweeter, better mannered dog in my life, especially since he was just sprung from doggie prison two days ago.

There is a problem though with Duke. His right rear leg is stiff. We had an x-ray done and found that Duke had at sometime suffered a severe broken leg that was never repaired.

So Duke will go to a veterinary specialist here in town for further evaluation.

I think Duke won the doggie lottery.

Yet Another Reason to Drink Red Wine

The dosage is a little high even for me:

An ingredient in red wine extends lifespan and alleviates disease when fed in huge quantities to obese mice, even though the mice remain fat, researchers reported today in the online edition of the journal Nature.

To reach an equivalent dosage, a human would have to drink about 20 bottles of red wine per day.


Wouldn’t it be cool if we all had earth uniforms like in the science fiction movies or star trek? In the morning you would simply get up, grab a clean earth uniform and go about your day. No more decisions about what to wear.

Everyone would look the same and the cost of clothing would dramatically fall. Everyone would have shiny silver clothes with boots according to sci-fi movies. I think we could do better. Maybe you could get the top designers to compete every few years for a new look in earth uniforms. Perhaps you would have a male and female uniform.

Just a thought.

Good News (I Guess) and Bad News

The good news is yesterday Gigi rescued a black and white border collie from the pound. He is a polite older fellow that will not walk on linoleum. He had a tag that had the name “Duke” and an out of service phone number.

Gigi picked up Duke, gave him a bath and trimmed his nails. She plans to take Duke to the vet today to have him checked out.

Gigi has assured me that she will find Duke a home, perhaps at her mothers.

Now for the bad news. My childhood border collie dog Dody has held the record since 1962 for most shits in a single night…. 19. My sisters can verify this number. We still laugh about the devastation and cleanup at holiday gatherings.

Since Dody was a puppy each sibling shared in care and cleaning of the new puppy. This was supposed to teach us some life lesson. My older sister Etta woke up early mad as heck and left us a note with the official count of 19 piles. Being the good older sister she took the lions share and went the extra pile and cleaned up 9. Judy and I split the rest at 6 each.

I’m sad to report that Dody’s old record was broken last night by Duke. 44 years she held that record.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! This picture of my jack-o-lantern is for Teresa. I actually still carve a pumpkin and I don’t have kids or trick-or-treaters.

I live in the rural south where Halloween is discouraged by local old churches. There is still a stigma attached with demons or something. Those churches have “fall festivals” and discourage any scary type costume. I used to go to one of these churches and help with the festival. One year Gigi dressed as a convincing witch and scared the crap out of some of the children. They cracked down on the costume policy the next year.

In the city Halloween is celebrated. In fact I ate at PF Changs today and about half of the adults were in costume. I dressed as a professional golfer. Hehe.

In the city little kids wear costumes and go door to door collecting candy and have a big time.

Here in the country its just another fall night, except I have a pumpkin glowing in the dark.