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.

More 20 Something Stuff

I must say that I am very impressed with the 20 something generation that I have come into contact with lately.

I played golf Sunday with a 23 year old man who was a college graduate, been married three years and had 30 employees working under him. I quizzed him a bit on his business structure and tax strategies just to see if he was blowing smoke. He was for real. He had a well reasoned business plan. This is encouraging.

I played golf yesterday with a 20 something year old woman (you don’t ask a lady) and she was a company representative who had been married 5 years, had a child age 3, and was successful in her business. She played decent golf too. Her husband watched the child full time and did contract work from home. She happened to be working by taking me out for golf.

All this encourages me about where our nation(s) are going as I spiral toward old age.

Familiar Things

Oh it’s good to be home. I love to travel but prefer to travel with my wife. So I’m back to familiar things and familiar sounds and smells. Back to familiar hairy little dog faces. The dogs were ecstatic to see me. That is a good feeling. Gigi was darn happy to see me too and that is a better feeling.

This place I stayed was a strange little town. It is very cute and quaint and well worth a visit if you ever get near there. The people though are like some TV comedy. Everyone is a character. I’ll leave it at that.

I have been walking around golf courses for two of the most beautiful days of the year. I know I can’t describe the beauty but I’ll try. Picture tree covered mountains at the peak of fall foliage, add a deep robins egg blue sky, toss in copious mountain streams and ponds then bake it all at 72 degrees. That is a perfect day.

Man Safari

I am heading off this morning on a golfing man safari to Lake Lure, NC. We plan to drive up this morning, make a 12:21 tee time and relax the afternoon away with man stuff.

Then we’ll catch up on NFL scores, don our Carolina Panthers black jerseys and head to the local sports establishment to watch Carolina play Dallas at 8:15 tonight.

But it doesn’t stop there. No, we’ll play a bonus round of golf Monday at 10 AM and then come home to face the realities of life.

The weather is supposed to be perfect! A 10 for both days according to weather.com.

Wine Dinner

Last night was our quarterly wine pairing dinner at our club. I love these events. We gather with friends in a ballroom with around 60 other wine enthusiasts and slowly eat a great meal prepared for 5 different wines.

The winery last night was St Francis. We were particularly impressed with the Chardonnay and Sirah wines.

I am a red wine fan and mostly drink merlot, cabernet and zinfandel varietals. Sirah/Shiraz whether from California or Australia never seems balanced and emits too much bite. This Sirah was well balanced and had the good pepper bite you expect, but unlike most Sirah the fruit came through and was not outdone by all the pepper.

We started with a sparkling wine, then the chardonnay, and then the sirah, moved on to the reserve cabernet, and finished with a bold and hearty red reserve zinfandel.

The wines were offered to us at cost and we all bought additional bottles for our own collections.

Don’t worry we all had designated drivers.

I Am Back World

This is my wife’s worst nightmare. Guys gone wild. Yes this is the rat’s nest of wire I have created behind my wife’s computer.

I don’t know what goes where or even if some of them could be removed. I am too impatient to test and untangle them so they stay.

So this morning I decided to move the broadband cable connection and I had to deal with this nest. To make matters worse I took down the Internet (not the whole world just mine) and the cable TV all at once.

I don’t care about the TV. We have satellite TV. Gigi has cable backup in case the Russians knock out a Direct TV satellite or something.

But loosing the Internet? That hurts.

Since I planned to stay home today and the Internet was down, just what in the heck was there to do? Well I cleaned, washed stuff and we did it together. Amazing!

Luckily the cable guy was nearby so by 4 PM I was back online sitting on my butt as I was meant to be.

It seems I had bypassed a cable signal booster.
So the rats nest stays, the house is clean and I am happy

Beef Baron

Last night I dreamed I lost my job which would be difficult since I am self employed but not impossible if I was barred from the industry. Now I am out of work and stuck with a lease, employees and no source of income.

In steps a dead friend of mine who offers me a job cooking beef and pork sandwiches. We just ignored the fact that he was dead. I didn’t want to embarrass him and I did need a job. So I’m cooking these big beef cuts, I get promoted to pork, then get partner all in a day. My old job calls and wants me back but I have forgotten everything about the old job in a day. I am now a beef and pork baron.

Go figure that out.

Blog People

I have my circle of blog people and I am comfortable with them. I usually check everyone’s blog first thing in the morning and again in the evening. If I’m bored at work I snoop around too to see if anyone has made a mid day entry. You all seem fairly level headed and moral.

The blogs I read are unusually biased toward 20 something females. Most guys of the same age don’t blog and older folks don’t seem to blog. I wish some of the husbands would blog so they could expose some man stuff.

I enjoy keeping up with my familiar blog people. My wife and I comment and speculate about what is going on based on your posts. My sister and I do the same by email. For us it’s like reliving our 20s. We were much the same.

I will occasionally hit the next blog button on Blogger and go careening off to the unknown. 50% of the time I land on a non-English blog, or some painful teenager’s blog with teenage coded English, or a blog that bores me to tears.

Once in a long while I’ll bookmark a new blog to give it a tryout. I just cleared off 3 blogs that I just could get into at all.

I started writing my blog last February as a way to taunt my friends back home while I was vacationing in the Virgin Islands. I got hooked and continued to blog daily and sometimes several entries daily. As of this post I have made 289 entries. No way would I ever have thought I would be doing this. I don’t like to write, but getting my thoughts out is therapeutic for me. I think Blogger resets old blogs at 300 so I will loose the first entries. Oh well.

When I know I have a group of readers I think about them when I write. When I write a comment I try to guess who will get riffled up over what I just said. Most of the time I am surprised about who comments on what, or even that a particular post drew so many or so few comments.

Well, that’s my comment non blogging and blog people. Thanks for reading blog people.

The Harvest

It’s an exciting time of year here in North Carolina. We are in the middle of the bagel harvest.

Here we see a bagel farmer with his freshly picked bagels headed to the cannery for processing.

Okay…that is a lie, but this IS a pickup truck full of bagels. I shot this photo on the way home. Not a bagel blew out of the truck either. They must have been mighty stale.

I am glad I had my camera.

Food Hang Ups

Okay, I want to comment on some really important stuff today. First off, please let it be known that I will throw about any grocery down my own neck so I speak with authority.

Have you noticed how some people are just weird about food? I have a nephew that will not eat any food that sounds like a person’s name like stew. I know three people who will not eat any food with the word chops simply because they dislike the way chops sound.

I know a guy who loves the taste of apple sauce but gags on the texture. He eats the apple sauce anyway and gags the whole time. That is crazy.

My father-in-law (FIL) starts eating the softest food then works his way to tougher textured food followed by meat. So the mashed potatoes go first, then the beans, then the salad, and finally the meat. He never mixes food but eats each serving in its entirety based on consistency then moves to the next entrée.

Finally the meat is doused in a heavy coating of the cheapest ketchup money can buy. More ketchup is poured on later in the meat fest.

My FIL does have strict ketchup rules. All meat is subject to ketchup except chicken and sometimes grilled salmon. I have seen him eat a boneless pork chop thinking it was a chicken breast. Halfway through the meal Gigi may say, “Dad, how do you like the pork chop?” Then you see panic come over him when he realizes he has broken his own ketchup rule. The remaining chop gets covered in ketchup.

His second ketchup rule is he never eats ketchup with French fries. French fries are saved until the end of the meal and then eaten bare and by now, very soggy. That is crazy. Ketchup was invented for French fries.

Finally I have friends that have foods touching each other hang ups. I think this is some holdover from childhood and the “crust on the bread thing”.

Food touching folks don’t want the beans or the bean juice running over and touching the potatoes. But they will eat a salad which is a bowl of different food touching each other or a pizza or soup. Again crazy.

Goodbye to a Friend

“In Dixie Land where I was born in early on one frosty mornin'”

Lyrics from Dixie

Oh my precious heat is gone. Where have you gone my old friend? We had such a good time together this year. Remember the sunny days of golf, and moving about freely from car to building without a coat? Remember all the beautiful things you brought and now have taken away? I long for flowers and leaves and green grass and the smell of cut grass.

Now I must be content with brown and bare sticks, muddy grounds, heavy coats and dry itchy skin and sore bones.

I know dear heat you are visiting our friends in the southern hemisphere where they have patiently awaited you arrival.

Remember, we have a date in April.

Its Good To Be Loved

Haley is relatively new to traveling and camping. Riding down the road is still rather stressful and I can’t help believe in the back of her doggie mind she thinks we are sending her to a new home.

When we came home yesterday afternoon from camping Haley raced back to the bedroom and plopped in the middle of the bed. She paused only for supper and slept through the night. She loves home.

This morning I was in the process of parking and unhitching the camper when I heard both Cedie and Haley screaming at the top of their lungs form the house. Both dogs were convinced that I was going on another fun trip and I had forgotten the dogs.

Haley loves home but she loves her pack better. Its good to be loved even if it just dogs.


I woke up and decided to cook some sausage. I cut on the exhaust fan so the good smelling fumes would engulf our tent camping neighbors. I sure home our gas heater did keep waking them in the night as it cycled on and off, hehehe.

We’ll have to hook up and get going by noon or so.

I am a bit fretful about missing the Carolina Panthers play the Cincinnati Bengals at 1:00. I could bust butt right now and be home in time. Or hang around until 4PM and leave then. Both options allow me to watch the game and both options are unpopular with Gigi. So I’ll drop the idea and listen to the game on satellite radio as I drive home.

Normally I take a 5 gallon bottle of purchased water for drinking and for the coffee. We keep the tank right outside the door and have a hand pump on top the tank to dispense the water. Gigi noticed I hadn’t been outside to fill the coffee pot. I told her that I had forgotten the tank.

“Oh no, we’re going to get worms!” Gigi declared.

Gigi got very sick once after camping and swears it was the water supplied by the campground.

“No we’re not going to get sick. It chlorinated city water from Apex”, I said.

After a while Gigi asked if I’d mind pouring her a second cup of worms and chlorine.

The Visit

Gigi awoke and knew she was in the camper but she could remember where we were. Are we at the beach, the mountains? Eventually she recalled the previous day and Jordon Lake.

I woke up and saw two excited border collies wanting to walk and sniff. The third border collie was still asleep dreaming about walking and sniffing.

So we ate some breakfast and had some coffee and took the dogs walking and sniffing.

We had a lunch date with my mother and headed to Durham for a visit and lunch.

On the way we stopped by CVS pharmacy to pick up an inhaler. I had a fairly severe asthma attack the previous evening and had forgotten my inhaler. So I had to ride out the chest tightness, the gasping for air and general inability to breath without any medical intervention. This campground locks down at 8 PM so baring an emergency you are stuck. I didn’t reach what I thought was an emergency room situation.

We gad a wonderful visit with my mother. She seems always to be in good spirits and will only tell you her opinion if you ask.

So I asked, “Mom, does you credit card company give you bonus points of any kind?”

I was concerned that she may have accrued thousands of air miles or bonus points and she may be totally unaware.

She said, “Yes, they do. They try to make me pick from a catalog of crap that I don’t want and make me pay shipping. Why would I pay $10 to have some crap I don’t want shipped to me? I have to do this once a year and the points don’t rollover.”

“Well, I see you have formed an opinion of you card company”, I said.

At least I knew now she was aware of the potential and she wasn’t being taken advantage of.

I wonder what type of crap they have in that catalog. What’s crap to her may be cool to me. I might pay $10 for cool crap. Then the points would go unwasted.

We headed back to the campground to nap and play with the dogs. I noticed that several newbie tent campers had set up near by. Its always fun to watch tent campers set up, cook and function in such a manner that is so remote from their everyday life. It’s strange to she how people consider it fun to go back to the Stone Age for a night by tent camping. I used to tent camp as a young adult, but not anymore.

We drifted off for the evening hearing folks talk around a campfire over our movie on HBO.

It Was All About Galaxy

It was a great day on Friday. We did manage to get going by 10:15.

The drive to Jordon Lake is about 2 hours from our home. Jordon is located just outside of the Raleigh area and is actually very close to Apex, NC where they had a big chemical explosion just last week. It made the national news here in the states.

About noon we stopped by the only McDonalds that can accommodate a 32 foot trailer and a large pickup truck. The dogs recognize the golden arches and know I’ll come out with some happy dog meals as treats. Boscoe the parrot loves the fries and as usual ended up dropping four or five between my back and the seat back.

We rolled in to Jordon Lake and found our absolutely favorite spot on the lake was vacant. We camp at this spot whenever we can. It has a private pier and sits about 15 feet over the water. It is a very large and private spot and has a good place to point the satellite dish.

The dogs all ran down the pier and plopped in the lake while Gigi and I set up.

By 2:15 we left for an appointment at the North Carolina State School of Veterinary Medicine. We had a 3 PM appointment to present the school with a watercolor portrait of our border collie Galaxy.

As you may recall, we lost our 6 year old Galaxy in January to lymphoma after a hard fought battle at the Veterinary Hospital. My talented sister Judy painted the portrait and my talented wife framed it complete with a bronze dog tag that read, “Galaxy, Our Best Friend, 1999-2006”. She mounted this dog tag at the bottom of the matt.

So we headed to our appointed time with the picture, a hammer and a bulldog hook to hang the picture. I had simply asked if we could hang the picture somewhere in oncology to memorialize Galaxy.

To our surprise we were met by a university photographer and five staff members who all remembered us and Galaxy, or who had heard about Galaxy and the painting. They were so honored that we were making this gift to the school and we were so honored that they were making such a big deal about Galaxy and the painting.

They led us to exam room 12 where you could see a space on the wall where a faded stock print had once hung. The wall had been patched and sanded in preparation for Galaxy’s painting.

Then they led us to the quiet room. The quiet room is a dimly lit and well appointed room complete with tissues for tears. It is a place where family can meet with their sick pets and spent time just visiting before the pet is led back to their room for treatment. We spent many hours in the quiet room.

This time the quiet room made a nice setting for a publicity photo of Gigi and I holding the portrait. This photo will be used as a feature article about giving to the University’s Vet School.

Again we were led back to room 12 where I hung the painting under the guidance of two university maintenance engineers. They laughed that we had our own hammer and hooks. Our hammer and hooks were better than the ones the university had.

We were so flattered for Galaxy about the big deal they made over the portrait. Of course my sister is one talented painter. She can capture the eyes and she did capture Galaxy’s happy eyes. Her happy eyes are what everyone remembered.

Now we will submit an article and more pictures for the upcoming article. Reprints of the article will be located at the portrait so others will know who Galaxy was and understand the meaning of the portrait.

Rest in peace Galaxy, I feel atoned for your untimely death.

Traveling Shoes

We are definitely headed out of town this morning and will be camping by afternoon.

Peaches will not let us out of her sight. She has been through this drill too many times so she knows what is going on. Somehow she always thinks she is going to be left behind.

When I cleaned the RV last night I forgot about the big black ant problem we had back in the summer. Gigi set ant traps everywhere after we left.

I am happy to report that the ant traps worked. There were thousands of dead ants everywhere to vacuum up.

Okay, no excuses. We have food packed, new tires, dog food, and a desire to travel. Peaches especially has wonder lust.

Cat 4 Nap

Well we didn’t make it out of town today but I’m still on vacation mode.

I just woke from a category 4 nap complete with bus hair and confusion about whether it is morning or evening. Whew that was a good one.

Now plans are to get away early and be at the lake no later than noon Friday. That will give us plenty of time to get there, set up the RV and satellite dish and then we plan to veg.

I don’t know what we were thinking about leaving today. Neither of us had packed and the RV needs cleaning big time.

We even talked about not going altogether. Our oldest border collie Peaches looked like she was going to cry when she heard the talk.

Bed Stuff

We are contemplating a new bed frame, mattress, and box springs. For what all this costs I could buy a decent used car. With a car I would a bunch of metal moving parts and it would take me places.

A mattress is just a bunch of fabric and foam that you lay on. I don’t get it.

I can sleep just fine on the floor, sofa, or in my current bed. I think this is a girly thing about getting a new bed.

I think we should keep our current bed and buy a used car or plasma TV instead. We could sleep in the car or in front of the TV and still have a bed.

I Am Physically on Vacation and This Makes Me Happy

Yes ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and all the ships at sea. I am now on vacation/holiday whatever you call it wherever you are.

I felt my brain switch over this afternoon.

Tonight I will have dinner with my bride. Tomorrow I plan to have a leisurely morning after attending to a personal matter. Then in the afternoon a nice drive to Jordon Lake for some peace and quiet.

We’ll probably make a camp fire and toss the Frisbee for the dogs.

Now on to the issue of the day, popcorn eating.

I like popcorn, Gigi loves popcorn and her father absolutely devours popcorn.

When I eat popcorn I visually select a kernel then pick it up and eat it. In a dark theater I grab a few and eat them. Gigi is the same.

Gigi's father is a popcorn massager. He fingers and scratches up and fluffs the surface of the popcorn and finally stops to grab a small handful of kernels. In doing this he manages to touch 80% of the surface corn which mentally contaminates the corn. He definitely steps over the communal popcorn sharing boundry.

I have seen others do this but it is rare behavior.

I have pointed this difference out to popcorn massagers and they acknowledge that they are different and promptly resume their abnormal behavior.

Okay, I shared a bowl of popcorn this evening with my father-in-law and it was creepy.

Morning Stuff

Gigi, the dogs, the parrot and I plan to take the travel trailer to Jordon Lake, NC to get some R and R. Our plans are to leave Thursday and be back on Sunday.

Today I must get new tires on the travel trailer. The tire store is only a few miles away but taking the trailer a few miles is kind of like moving the space shuttle. I’ve got to back up, hook up, connect the electrical stuff, secure stuff inside, unhook the land line, move the chock blocks, and adjust the mirrors and go. It takes just as much effort to drive 500 miles.

When I get there the tire guys will descend on my trailer like a NASCAR pit crew. I‘ll be ready to go back in minutes $450 poorer.

Then reverse all the stuff I did above and unhook the trailer back home.

If you recall this past summer I had a big time blowout that stranded us for hours in the July heat. All of the tires are the same age so usually if one blows the other will soon. So I feel compelled to get the tires changed before I travel.

While at the lake I will have a complete Internet blackout which I don’t find comforting or relaxing.
I will continue to post to Word and will upload all of the posts and pictures on Sunday.

Turkey Platter Horror

I had one of those dreams this morning that make you jump straight up. It was the old “falling some great distance dream”.

Falling in my dreams used to occur more often. Now I guess my subconscious fears the old boy might croak at this age so let’s hold off on the really scary dreams so we can dream another day.

For some reason I had crawled up on a really tall and nice display in a fancy house wares department at an upscale retailer. Once there I noticed a big screen TV, so being a guy I stopped the climb to watch TV for a while.

Then I noticed I was about 30 feet higher and now I was in a house wares display on a butte in the Arizona desert. I am unable to get down. My older sister is there and she says she will go for help.

Now how did she get down and I couldn’t?

She is gone and now I'm on a really nice house ware display on a big turkey platter on top of an off shore oil platform. I decide to bravely make my move before this gets any worse. The turkey platter slips out from under me and I begin the long plunge to the sea.

Exit Reggie from the dream in one of those big all over body jumps.

Good morning mind.

Another Reason to Drink Red Wine

Red wine might work to protect the brain from damage after a stroke and drinking a couple of glasses a day might provide that protection ahead of time, US researchers reported on Sunday. In an effort to better understand how red wine works, the scientists from Johns Hopkins University fed mice a moderate dose of a compound found in red grape skins and seeds before inducing stroke-like damage.

Sunday Chores

Haley watches the horses.

I am hot and tired.

Google Earth

I love Google Earth. I highly recommend the free download for those of you that would like to waste just a little more time.

With Google Earth you can visit most any of your favorite places and you get there by flying at incredible speeds and heights. When you arrive you are suspended about 1000 feet over your destination.

So, does everyone have the software loaded? Good, let’s continue.

With your software loaded click here to visit Full Moon Beach Bar down on Cane Bay in St Croix.

The picture you see at the top of the page is Judy, her husband and myself sitting at the bar facing the ocean.

Now look at the Google image you just rendered and you see what a buzzard sees over Cane Bay. Isn’t this exciting?

You can see both happy Reggie on the ground and happy Reggie from 1000 feet. Wow! This is a great waste of time, isn't it?

Okay, that link thing didn’t work. Here’s the image. Forget I ever posted this. Enjoy your Sunday.

The Pearl

Here is the pearl. It's little but nicely shaped. This is the size I find most often.


Today I bought winter flowers. I don’t know how these delicate pansies survive the cold but I know they can freeze solid and come back better than ever.

By May they will be perfect but will soon perish in the warm sun.

These flowers are my only connection to warmer times.

Oyster Stew

We have a tradition on Saturday when the weather turns cold. I make oyster stew.

Not just any oysters will do. They must be Virginia Chesapeake oysters. Chesapeake oysters are small and very naturally briny.

My first stop for oysters yielded only Gulf of Mexico oysters. No thanks. They don’t taste as good and frankly I prefer not to eat seafood from the discharge of the mighty Mississippi River.

They also had Washington State oysters. These oysters are very mild and virtually tasteless. This does not make good oyster stew.

Ah, finally Lowes foods had jars of fresh Virginia oysters. I bought a pint and a half gallon of whole milk.

Now slowly combine the milk, oysters, butter, salt and pepper and simmer it for a hour.

Gigi could eat a gallon of the stuff. She is making yummy sounds now.

Today I found a tiny little pearl in my stew. I always get the pearls. Maybe Gigi does too but I bet she swallows them.

Unwinding After Work

You’ve got to love your neighbors. It’s biblical. You don’t have to enjoy them though.

Most of us come home and unwind by changing clothes, maybe have conversation with the spouse, maybe even have a cocktail. I watch the news to see what is happening in the world.

One neighbor decided to unwind by cutting doughnuts in the street on a dirt bike. The blue smoke was most beautiful. The noise was soothing. Take a listen for yourself.

Cracker Barrel People

I had lunch today at Cracker Barrel. Every Cracker Barrel is the same and the food is consistent.

There is always Cracker Barrel looking people at Cracker Barrel, not that there is anything wrong with Cracker Barrel people. They just all have a certain look. Cracker Barrel people sort of look like Wal-Mart customers, not that there is anything wrong with Wal-Mart customers except that Cracker Barrel people are more interested in eating than shopping although they do a lot of shopping too.

A lot of the women have what I call Jupiter hair; you know it looks kind of like a gaseous planet. And you see lots of sweat shirts with something embroidered on them.

The men all have hats on. We were taught as a child to remove a hat indoors but that rule got repealed a few years ago I guess.

Star Date 10122006

Man oh man it was a nice day here today. We keep expecting a cold blast from Canada but it appears to be failing. We were to have our first frost Saturday morning but now I think they are calling for the upper 30s.

I got a call from two clients late yesterday and they planned to be in town. They wanted to know if I would be up for a game of golf since it was expected to be in the 70s today.

What I won’t do for my clients. I obliged them and we had a great round in Fort Mill, SC on the grounds of the former PTL Club of Jim and Tammy Baker.

My new assistant MB is in Las Vegas having fun with her boy friend so I got an associate to cover the phones while I was out.

Okay, it was an adult day for me. I got a little sunburned on my face because I forgot my hat.

That’s it. A boring blog but I did one. Eh, Ali Kat?

Pxxxx Pills

The following entry has adult subject content.

Today I asked, “Gigi, did we ever get our money back for the penis pills?”

“Darn Reg, that’s been two years. I don’t remember”, Gigi said.

Two years ago Gigi was auditing our bank statement and saw that we had been charged $300 plus shipping for some penis enlargement pills. She calmly asked me if I had order penis pills and I said “what?”

Someone had highjacked our account and ordered penis enlargement pills so Gigi called the bank to reconcile the issue.

She told the bank that she had been charged $300 for some penis pills and she wanted the charge to be taken off the account. The lady asked if she had ordered the penis pills. Gigi said no. She said she didn’t have a penis and if she did have a penis she didn’t get the pills and she would still be mad.

So did we get the penis pills or money back? I know we didn’t get the pills and I am not sure about the money but we still laugh about the bank statement.

Polish Sausage!

Being a southerner I never appreciated ethnic foods. Our ethnic food is and was soul food. It was just normal food to us like collards, turnips, biscuits, fried chicken, sweet iced tea, sweet potatoes, etc.

We didn’t have many folks around from foreign countries or other parts of the Untied States so our cultural exposure was lacking. As the south grew that all changed.

I married into a Polish Chicago family and experienced Polish Sausage for the first time about 25 years ago.

Polish sausage was and is not well distributed much below Indiana. So I would wait for a relative to visit and they would bring me sausage as a carry-on item. It would still be ½ frozen all wrapped up in aluminum foil.

Eventually we found a local deli that would fly in frozen Polish Sausage from New York. It is good but it’s not quite the same.

So enter my new employee MB from Chicago. We were having a discussion about Chicago food when naturally the sausage thing came up. It seems her father has a passion for sausage and he and his brother make their own.

Her family insisted and went to great trouble to share their sausage. It arrived nice and cold today by priority mail.

Thank you MB’s family.

I make beer and I understand her Dad likes beer. Maybe we can setup an import and export business between our homes.

What you see in the picture is the official corporate refrigerator where folks store their lunch, get cold drinks and now the official refrigerator at lest for a few hours of polish sausage. MB said she was snitching a few sausages for herself.

Life at 50

This morning I had a nice long phone conversation with my friend Thomas, as we both commuted in opposite directions to work.

We talked about golf, football, other friends, our wives, and recent ailments.

Thomas commented to me after his story about a recent stomach ailment that put him down for a week. “Time is drawing nigh my friend. I have friends and family our age falling out (dying) all the time.”

I said, “Yeah we have more life behind us than we have ahead of us.”

It’s a fact that at 50 you start getting that first wave of friends that are dying of natural causes. It makes you think about where you are in life, what have you done to experience life, how have you served God, and how have you served mankind.

When I was in my 20s I would wake up in the night fearing death. My life was a struggle then and very incomplete. Fearful thoughts at night are always worst the younger you are.

Today at 50 I still feel great and exercise daily.

I experience more things now than when I was younger. The reason I scuba dived this winter was I always said I would do it some day. In too many more years I will not be able to scuba. I never see 80 year old geezers’ scuba diving.

I travel more now. I visit family and friends more now. I recognize my enemies now and confront them. I hug my wife more now and bring her flowers for no reason. I deliberately do things slower now so I can fully experience and remember the activity.

Likes and Dislikes

I don’t like M&Ms in cooked food. M&Ms are quite good on their own. Don’t set M&Ms on top of cookies. Chocolate chips are designed for this. This covers M&Ms on cupcake icing too. No! Don’t try it.

I don’t like peanuts substituted for nuts like pecans or walnuts. This just isn’t right and you should not do this. Peanuts only belong in certain foods and baked goods do not qualify as a peanut food. Use soft nuts for this.

I don’t like to pump gas or especially pump diesel.

I don’t like to go to the bank.

Some days I get diesel and go to the bank. This makes me angry.

I do not like to rake leaves.

I hate it when I get pancake syrup on my hands.

I never know what to do with bacon grease. We had a grease bucket in the kitchen as a kid and mom would use it to season food. I eat bacon three times a year now.

I don’t like it when a waiter takes my napkin even if I’m finished eating. I like to hold my napkin until I leave.

I don’t like it when a waitress gets all sweet at the end of a meal thinking it will make up for her bad service at tip time.

I hate cheap tippers. I tip 15% no matter what and 20% if the service was good. Okay, 10% if the service was poor.

I hate it when people show up late for anything. I am always on time. Late people waste my time. I don’t think late people are any better or worse that me but they appear to respect their time more than mine.

I love candles especially at dinner.

I like silver better than gold but gold makes a nice accent to silver.

I hate polishing silver but it sure looks good when you finish.

I hate it when I eat too much. I try not to do that anymore.

I don’t get sushi. I eat it but it’s not that flavorful. I always want bread in an Asian restaurant anyway.

I love seafood and I especially love shellfish.

I love most wine, especially red wine but I like it all.

I like tobacco but haven’t used it in 16 years. Tobacco is too addicting. I do wish I could smoke a cigar but I am afraid of tobacco addiction. I love they way a pipe smells. My father smoked a pipe.

I don’t like doing division by hand, or any math by hand for that matter.

For the Children

It’s not always just about me.

Today I gave back to the community and society. I participated in the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Eighth Annual TIAA-CREF Alumni Golf Classic.

I did it for the children. It raises money for education. Yeah, that's the ticket.

We shot two under par!

Fjell House

I don’t know why I just thought about this but it was funny to me.

Back in May Gigi and I were in St Croix looking for a place to rent for February and a house called Fjell House came up on the radar.

We stopped by the rental company and they said it would be fine to stop by and look between 12 and 2PM. The house was being cleaned for another guest that would arrive that night.

The house advertised great views and a pet dog that lived there. We thought it would be cool to have a rental dog for the week.

So we showed up about 1PM and this nice local lady greeted us. She was the maid and said feel free to look around. Her daughter was moping the tile floor.

When we were about to step on the floor her daughter yelled at us and broke into a rather racist tirade. We said we would come back but the nice lady insisted we look now and told the mean woman that she would mop the floor.

I wondered to an outdoor shed and a very old black woman was sitting there in the shadows. It startled me.

I asked her about the dog and she said it died yesterday.

We liked the place and went back to the rental agency to tell them we would take it.

The lady we had talked to just hours before told me now that the house had sold last week and it would be available for rental any more.

Why didn’t she tell me this earlier before I went down and met the mean woman, the old scary woman and the dead dog?

Now I see the place is for rent again sans the dog.

Airline Follow Up

The dividend miles saga continues. I have called US Airways twice and they keep saying that the miles will post. So here is an email I sent this morning:

My dividend miles are not posting from my US Airways credit card. The credit card has my correct dividend miles number and the miles were sent three weeks ago. In total I should have nearly 30,000 additional miles along with my current balance in the upper 20s. I have called both parties. The card company said they are done everything as required and US Airways seems helpless to post anything.

Are my miles lost? If not specifically when will the miles post. Please let me know so I can convert the card to a dividend miles program that may work.

Gigi finally got her stuff in the mail that was taken from her before boarding to San Francisco. As you may recall, Gigi had some expensive makeup and crack filler as I call it. This was not allowed on the plane so they let us mail it back to our home address for $16. Well the goop they took was worth a few hundred Gigi openly confessed. So she filled out the paperwork, got a receipt and expected a package on Monday.

Here it is weeks later and the box shows up with a hole in the most expensive tube of goop.

Gigi read the fine print and found out the airport didn’t use a standard shipping service like FedEx or UPS but they used a woman owned company half the state away. So the airport collected the money, shipped the goop 150 miles east where a company full of women packed and shipped the goop back 142 miles after waiting 4 weeks. In the meantime they punched a hole and sampled the most expensive crack filler.

None of this makes sense to me.

By the way, happy Columbus Day to my Yankee friends to the north and happy Thanksgiving Day to my friends in Canada. Down south it’s just another Monday.

We Won!

Yeah! We won the game! Carolina 20, Cleveland 12.

The weather was nasty but cleared to a drizzle for the game.

I had made a big old tailgate meal expecting a good crowd. I had a 5 pound chuck roast slow cooked with hickory wood, potato salad, corn on the cob cooked on the grill, shrimp cocktails and beer.

I prepared for 10 and fed three including me. Fair weather fans!

A few Browns fans beside me got obnoxious and I had them ejected after they sprayed me with beer and didn’t apologize. Man they were drunk.

Rain, Rain

It’s going to be a Maslow type day tailgating. I packed all the tents and shelters to try and keep dry in the windy rain. Stay home and watch the game you say? NEVER!

I was shocked to see in the news this morning that the nice young rapper Jadakiss was arrested for handgun possession. Who would have thunk it?

I can’t conceive the obsession rappers have with death. Life is short. Death is forever. You’ll get there soon enough. Now go and rap happy stuff.

The Rolling Stones

It happened exactly at 9:02 AM as Cedie and I were riding to grocery store for tailgate supplies. It was the unmistakable pain of a kidney stone moving in my back.

I have felt something for days but this was the first time the stone has presented so boldly. The pain subsided and revisited 30 minutes later and again while I was in the shower.

Okay stones, stay at bay. I have plans this weekend.

A year ago I encountered kidney stones for the first time. I attempted to deal with the pain and decided it would be best to go to the hospital since I found the only half way comfort I could find was balled up on the floor of the bathroom.

I could never pass the stone so it was extracted.

Now I hope that my new stone has found a comfortable place to sit and it will leave me alone for a while.

So it afternoon and all is well with my chitterlings. I hope the stones stay put.

It is very cold and rainy here and I played golf. As I left the club I did a 360 on the wet highway and ended up in a ditch in the wrong direction. Fortunately no one was hurt and there was not any damage.

By the way cold and rainy here is 51 degrees with misty rain and a strong breeze about 15 MPH. It’s playable but chills to the bone.

Morning Commute

During the morning commute in East Charlotte, NC you’ll see school buses, bus stops, commuters driving to their jobs in the bright blue skies of fall.

My Father-in-law

My father-in-law is visiting with us for an unspecified time. He is a happy fellow and strives to help us with the household chores.

On his watch I will never have to empty the garbage, get the mail or pick up the paper. The dogs will be exercised everyday and he helps care for the horses.

Another bright point is he provides us with instant hot water at any sink. Yes friends the man is a chronic hand washer. I can walk up to any spigot in the house and the water will come out at some degree of warm to hot. Now that is nice not having to wait for all the cold water to flush out before you can feel hot water.

My father-in-law also makes his famous turkey bacon and mustard sandwiches for breakfast every morning. Hmmm, just makes your mouth water doesn’t it?

October Golf

The golf was phenomenal and the weather was too. It is hard to beat an 80 degree October day. The air was clear with no humidity and the sun was bright and low in the sky.

I ended up playing golf by myself. Gigi thinks this is sad, but I love the opportunity to work on my game without the stress of competition. I played two balls on most every hole. I kept an honest score on the first ball of every hole. The second ball practice helped. No wonder I am tired today; that is a lot of ball striking.

I had several lucky shots. On number 16 a par three over water I hit the ball about a foot from shore and the ball bounced and landed on dry land. The next shot I hit the sand trap and the ball traveled on through and ended up on the green.

I may have a special edition emergency golf game Saturday. I normally don’t play on the weekend and prefer to spend time with Gigi. However I have been trying to play with his one guy and he said Saturday would work for him.

Reasonable Deductions

This has been a screwed up unscheduled week. I was to have a few meetings in my office on Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday lunch with Gigi as she took me to the airport for meetings in New York. Then Gigi would pick me up Friday night and we would have dinner. On the weekend it would start with Saturday chores, football, a few beers, and then Sunday NFL home game with all the pageantry.

The New York trip was cancelled due to Gigi’s medical tests.

I live and die by my calendar. I am self employed so making my schedule is making my living. If I don’t have anything on my schedule then I tend to play golf. I cannot make a living playing golf.

So today it’s an unseasonably warm 87 degrees Reggie weather and I was supposed to be in a meeting in NYC and out of the office anyway. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 66 degrees and rainy. So Friday will be the day to put my calendar together for next week and today there will be golf!


I’m in favor of a little less gravity. I’m pretty sure we don’t need as much gravity as we have.

If there was less gravity I don’t think we all would be so tired and moving around would be easier. It would be cheaper to fly. A mattress would be more comfortable. I wouldn’t have to exert so much effort to stand so erect. Sometimes my body just feels heavy. Plus all the saggy stuff that comes with old age would be put off for decades. Mountain climbing would be easier and snow skiing would be slower and easier. You could fall off skates or a bike and suffer less injury.

We can’t do anything about the amount of gravity we have but idea of less gravity is appealing.

Good News

Gigi’s test results were great news. There is something there but nothing to worry about. Thank you for your prayers.

Bone Head

This picture has been on my SD card since last winter.

We were in St Croix and I had eaten some goat stew for lunch. Some of the bones had splintered and I had this bone wedge caught in my tooth.

I tried everything to dislodge the bone, floss, brushing etc.

Finally Gigi grabbed a steak knife and directed me to sit out in the bright sunlight. Judy was watching and snapped this photo of Dr. Gigi working on my molars. I can hear Judy laughing now. I smiled and about cut my lips.

Gigi got the bone out thank goodness.


I can understand most any accent. Some accents require more brain processing time. Some accents make my skin crawl. Other accents are endearing.

I love Caribbean accents. Australian accents sound harsh to me. If I hear that woman on the TV show Lost scream about her baaaaybeeee one more time I may jump out the window.

One accent I cannot process I’ll a Swedish-Minnesota-Icelandic accent. It is so sing song with its highs and lows that my brain has to start and stop processing the language.

So I called US Airways this morning to get a voucher for my cancelled trip to NYC. A nice Swedish-Minnesota-Icelandic person answered the phone.

We struggled through the call. She was miffed at my stupidity and I sounded like grandpa by having her repeat everything.

I now have two vouchers to fly somewhere fun within 12 months. You can bet I’m not going to Minnesooooota any time soon.

Monday Update

Gigi has pushed and rubbed her boob until it is raw. Her boob is going to be sore now no matter what. It is not good to do a breast exam every five minutes. Mine would hurt if I mashed and felt myself this much.

I cancelled my trip to New York City to be with Gigi tomorrow afternoon for her tests.

So we are happy one minute sure that she is okay and sad and worried the next minute.

I was able to face the day like a man and played golf.

I know now all the ladies are throwing stuff at the computer thinking I am one sorry human. We have to deal with stress on our own terms.

Gigi will have one more booby x-ray and a sonogram tomorrow afternoon.

I have good feelings. Thanks for your prayers.

We Have A Worry

Gigi went for a routine breast exam a few weeks ago. I had been on her to get this done as she hates to get showered, dressed, head to town and meet someone at an appointed time. Gigi is more of a free spirit. But it was time for a breast exam.

Gigi got a call today from Charlotte Radiology and they said they saw a mass and needed her to come back in for further scans and a biopsy.

The good news is half of these stories turn out good and the bad news is the other half turns out bad.

So we are hoping for good news Wednesday afternoon when we meet with the doctors.

Meanwhile we are walking around acting like everything is okay when it may be or it may not be okay.

Keep Gigi in your prayers please.

Women In Cars

You can sure tell if a woman has been in the car and if she was the driver or passenger. I jumped in the car with Ty for lunch. He drove his car.

Ty starts the car and immediately I am suffocating in stagnate air. I looked at the vents and they are all closed or are pointing up in the air. It’s still 80 degrees here.

So like 98% of the women in the world his wife is cold natured and renders air circulation in the car useless. I asked and Ty confirmed that she had been a passenger that past weekend.

Then Ty gets on a jag about his mirrors pointing all which a ways when she has been driving. Not only does he suffocate but he can’t see to change a lane.

This blog entry is about Ty’s wife only. My wife is perfect in every way.

Bestest Blog Entry of All Time

“You’re not going to cook those damn stinky yellow onions are you?” said my lovely bride.

“No, I learned my lesson”, I said. “I’m taking the raw purple onions”.