Biscuits!


Just in case you think I was kidding. Look at these babies Ali and Sharon! Oh they were good.

We had sliced cantaloupe, baked chicken, wild rice, field peas with snaps, and Gigi’s fantastic biscuits.

They will be so good tomorrow split open and toasted with butter.

Sorry Ali if you are drooling again.

Good Living

I have had a great weekend. The weather was perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed Gigi’s company. We laughed a lot.

I spent two days in the yard cutting grass and planting flowers in shorts and flip flops. I hope I will do the same next weekend.

Cedie and I took our Sunday morning drive in The Beast. We both love that Jeep.

Now I am relaxing, watching PGA golf in high definition, and sipping a glass of Indaba South African Merlot. South African wines are very different in taste, but good. Indaba plows back a portion of every bottle sold into educating locals on how to raise grapes and make wine.

Can you believe in another continent, across the Atlantic, that they can grow grapes, make wine, age it, bottle it and ship it to Charlotte, all for less than $12? Amazing!

Gigi plans a dinner with chicken, wild rice, peas, and homemade biscuits.

Truly this is the golden age of living.

One must not take this bounty and blessings for granted, and always give thanks to whom it is due and deserved.

Will It Live, Or Will It Die?

The terms perennials and annuals always confuse me. I still have to think about it.

I was at the garden center of Home Depot today. The place was crawling with middle aged women buying flowers. All of them were striking up conversations with me since I was the only sensitive man around. I told Gigi and she got jealous.

I love flowers. I started planting summer flowers in 2003. The winter of 2003 was the first winter that I went to St Croix. One thing I loved about the island was the beautiful flowers that are in brilliant bloom everywhere in landscaping. I though, “I can do that myself, at least every summer”.

So every spring I run out and transform my backyard into my version of island paradise. I set up a watering system for the plants and fertilize them regularly.

Back to the terms perennials and annuals. Today I got cornered by several flower babes and had to fake it like I knew what perennials and annuals meant. I know one means I’ll have to plants it again next year and the other claims it will live and bloom again.

I just can’t seem to put those terms to memory. I only use the terms one Saturday a year, so as far as I’m concerned I’ll just fake it again next year.

My father would be disappointed in me though. He said he sent me to college to learn big words like gymnasium. I can’t figure out perennials and annuals. He was funny.

I was reading one information card today and it said the flower would stay hearty to 40 below. I doubt that. Nothing is hearty at 40 below.

I’d better get out and plant more flowers.

A Good Day

This will be a snooze blog entry for those of you who are not players of golf.

I shot my best score ever yesterday. This was one week after I shot one of my worst scores.

The day was incredibly beautiful. It was partly cloudy, about 80 degrees and the air had a nice sustained breeze to it.

I started off terrible on the first two holes, and then I managed a few bogies and pars to finish the front 9.

On the back 9, I continued to play well for the next few holes. Then about 13, 14, and 15, ugly golf reappeared. I got my composure back at 16. I birdied 17 and boogied 18.

I added the card and I shot a 92. This is incredible for me.

I shot 2 scores of 94 last summer. Typically I shoot 100 to 105.

Some celebratory beers were in order. I even bought a new golf bag. (That sounds girly)

Cooking Up A Dream

Oh what a difference a day makes! Oh sweet Moses…I am drinking a cup of coffee; real coffee from the mountains of Central America that was forbidden the last two days. And I feel good again.

By the time I had my colonoscopy yesterday, I had fasted for 40 hours, not had a thing to drink in 15 hours, and my system had been cleansed of electrolytes. I was weak and had a headache.

The nurse kept asking me questions about my health history and I felt like some confused old man with a gaulded butt. I couldn’t get a sharp command of my mind.

One question she kept harping on was did I ever smoke. Yes, but I quit 16 years ago. She apparently didn’t see the footnote about quitting so long ago. She though I was a wheezy old confused man with a gaulded ass.

Finally, the moment of truth, when they administer the drugs to “make you comfortable”. I was out like a light. They could have paraded me around in the back of my pickup naked and I wouldn’t have known it. I woke up with a half drank can of diet coke in my hands and no recollection of anything.

Gigi and I ate lunch and I rested and read blogs. I read Ali Kat’s blog about her 32 hour trip to North Carolina last summer. And then I read Dramatic Intensity’s blog about her meeting The Princess Diaries at the mall.

I drift off to sleep last night and dreamed that Zig and Alyssa show up at my house. Alyssa isn’t talking much, she chain smokes and constantly plays an autoharp. Zig is what I expected but he is smoking too.

Isn’t it strange what your mind does with the events you have experienced during the day? It’s like your brain has all of these leftovers and it’s going to cook up a dream with whatever thought are left in the pantry. Smoking, traveling from Manitoba to NC, meeting blog people, etc.

Oh my this coffee is good.

Obvservations

I was at a McDonalds drive through the other day. Next time you go to order, take a look around the menu and microphone. You’ll see wads of chewed gum and cigarette butts everywhere.

I just over heard a guy in the hall speaking loudly on his cell phone. He said, “I don’t think that is too much to ask”. You know damn good and well he is asking too much or he wouldn’t have had to say that. Bull.

I just had breakfast and lunch. You know, Swanson’s fat free chicken broth isn’t that great but it won’t kill you either.

Super Bowl 2008

We booked our flight yesterday for our annual winter St Croix trip. Super Bowl 2008, here we come. Judy and I have already been bantering about the trip and its 9 months away.

I jumped so early this time because unlike most years, we found favorable schedules and I used air miles. So how does nonstop from Charlotte and free tickets sound?

The annual debate about whether to rent a Jeep or real car has begun. There is nothing good that can be said of a Jeep as far as ride, comfort, quietness, room, storage, etc. They are so darn impracticable, yet so fun.

I always rent a Jeep from the same people. Centerline Car rentals knows me after 9 trips to the island. They think my last name is the craziest name they have heard.

So now I will start snooping for a place to stay. The Villas last year were very nice. I really like the South Shore and heck I like the North Shore.

Maybe Terry and Michael can make some suggestions. You know, Terry and Michael of Ambrosia Body Care; the best massage in paradise? (Did you get that Google?)

Oh well, more on that later. Today will be a big bullion day for me what with the test and all tomorrow. I need to study tonight so I pass tomorrow. No I think I pass today for the test tomorrow. I’m confused.

Mid-Week Preview

I went to the doctor a while back when I was so sick with the flu. I promised him the moon, if he could make me feel better. It turns out; it was my moon that he wanted.

This Thursday I will have a colonoscopy to see if anything bad is going on up there.

I can’t imagine anyone choosing this as a career. Every day you go scoping up old butts?

This week I block out two whole days for my ass. Starting on Wednesday, with the “intestinal flu in a can”, as my brother in law calls it, and on into Thursday midday when I have the exam. Then Gigi has to drive me home afterwards.

So, I’ve got all that to look forward to.

Oh My I’m Getting Lazy

I tried the new word recognition in Vista and I’ve got to tell you it is worth the upgrade.

I can just talk to my computer and open programs, give commands and dictate documents and email with surprising accuracy.

It has a few problems with my southern dialect, like the word drawer. I have to pronounce the word like Norm Abram would on “This Old House” before it knew what I said. We don’t put much emphasis on the “W”.

Now if I could just get a Segway so I wouldn’t have to walk….no, then I would have to stand.

Speaking of lazy…I was commuting this morning in The Beast, when I saw a fellow beside me with a stump grinder. On his truck door was like, “Bubbas Stump Grinding Service” and a phone number.

I thought, “You know what? I need a stump grinder man”.

I picked up the phone and he answered. I explained my condition and he said he would grind the stump for $100.

One hundred dollars!! I would even show up and look at the stump for $100. What a deal! Forget my coal idea, Bubbas’ coming over. I’ll drink a beer and watch him.

A St. Croix Day

Today is a St. Croix day. It is 80 degrees, a nice breeze is blowing and the sky is blue with big puffy white clouds. We only get a dozen or so of the days a year. Normally it is too hot, or too cold, or too humid.


It was such a nice day that Cedie and I took a long Jeep ride with the doors off. She loves rides and I love to ride in my Jeep.

It’s been a great day.

Plastic Coffee Cans

When it comes to coffee Gigi and I like plain old missionary style coffee. Nothing fancy for us.

In fact, we both agree that Starbucks tastes like coffee with a cigar butt floating in it somewhere. The closest we can get to real coffee at a fancy coffee shop is the breakfast blend.

Following that logic, we normally buy Folgers Classic coffee in the plastic can. What drives us crazy is those plastic containers that are left over. They are so nice that we hate to throw them away.

The plastic containers are perfect for measuring out horse grain. We put water in the cans for the dogs both inside and out. In fact it is the only container Duke will drink out of. I store practice golf balls in several containers, and we have filled 3 or 4 containers with change in them.

The problem now is we have reached the saturation point with red containers. Just this morning a newly washed container was sitting on the kitchen counter and I was about to throw it away when I thought about Duke and the new RV. So, off to the RV with a red can for Duke.

I know at some point we will have to discard the cherished vessels.

A Special Gift for Zig

I have this cool TV guide that I have been using for a month now. It is better than any TV guide that I have ever used.

Please accept this as my gift to you old Canadian friend. Enjoy!

I do hope you can get your local listings.

Econ 101

Last Tuesday was the day of reckoning here in the United States. It was tax day, the day we reconcile our books and settle up with Uncle Sam.

I don’t mind though. A good 30% of the money I send in will go to pay for folks to sit around and not work. My mother and oldest sister do this. Another 20% of my money goes to keep those same people alive longer so they can continue to sit around and use my money through Medicare. I get to jump on that gravy train myself in 15 years. It sounds like a heck of a deal to me.

Another +- 30% of my money goes to kill people that don’t do as we say. This makes the United States look bad to the rest of the world. I am sorry world. If I don’t pay this they will lock me up in prison in Atlanta. It is either my life taken away or your life taken away. The government has put me in a difficult position.

The rest of the budget they use to hire people to harass you at the airport, build roads, declare color codes on the terror threat, send people to sit in earth orbit, etc.

Oh, and there is the interest we pay. We borrow extra money from the Chinese to pay for blowing up other people. You see, we buy so much stuff from the Chinese that they have nothing to do but buy our treasury bills. We pay that interest to whomever owns the treasuries, and that happens to be the Chinese. The Chinese are a communist totalitarian nation which is an arch enemy to our brand of government. But we need someone to buy our treasuries badly so we overlook this issue. Plus, we need cheap stuff to put in our Wal-Mart stores.

Oh, but that’s not all. Just when I flew up to the nest to drop off my check, another little bird was there with its mouth wide open. The State of North Carolina wanted its money.

So last week I reconciled and sent in my money. I had underpaid my estimated taxes and earned more than I expected. The tax bill was terrible.

Now every morning I login to my bank account to see if my money is still my money. I know any day now the money will become the government money by threat of prison.

This morning the money was still my money.

Old Man River.......

What a difference a few years make. At nearly 51 my body is starting to feel older. My brain still runs anywhere between 14 and 25 years old, but the body is showing definite signs of time’s cruel passing.

A few weeks ago my right pinkly finger just kind of gnarled up like grandma’s finger, and began to hurt. “What the hell”, I thought, “That aint’t cool”. That is the finger I use to interlock my golf grip.

My skin is now blotchy from too many years of too much sun. Oh how I love the warm sun on my body.

My muscles have rebelled too. Certain clusters like my back muscles decided that now would be a good time to start a regular regime of cramping and hurting. Other muscles in my arms have thrown in the towel and deflated and have become weaker. Double damn.

I called my sister yesterday to wish her a happy birthday. My brother in law answered. He was busy building a new deck. His chief complaint was his ass muscles were killing him. He couldn’t figure that one out. I guess your ass completely blows out at 60, and I was fortunate to catch him at the moment. Great, I’ve got that to look forward to.

I Need A Good Deal

I have started asking a lot of stupid questions lately. Just the other day I asked a colleague if he had any connections in the chunk coal business. He looked at me like I was an idiot for asking. I needed a bag of coal and wanted a deal.

Later on why I wanted a bag of coal.

The point is I am sick and tired of buying something, and later some one tells me, “You should have told me you were looking for a (fill in the blank). I have a (brother, sister, cousin, friend) in the (fill in the blank) business. I could have gotten you a great deal if you had only told me”.

Oh Yeah?

I ain’t going to let it happen again. So please comment on what you van get me cheap so I won’t have to ask you stupid questions.

One time a guy said he could get me tires cheap. I said, “Oh yeah? Order me four g 78 bla bla tires in E load rating”.

Sure enough he got a deal on the tires but in the wrong load rating. I can’t tow safely on lesser tires. So I was stuck with a good deal that was useless. I sold the tires to a buddy for 50 cents on the dollar and bought 4 more at full retail. I lost money on that good deal.

Week Recap

I am still amazed at our ability and freedom to travel great distances at great speeds.

Yesterday, I ate a delicious box lunch in Los Angeles. Last night, I had a beer in a bar in the Chicago airport. (I waved to Logzilla to the East and Terry to the Northwest, and flew right over Amos on the way).

My next meal was a lunch in Charlotte today and I was very hungry without supper or breakfast.

The ability to do all of this activity in less than 24 hours is amazing to me.

Now I am back home with my beautiful wife and sweet dogs and I am very happy.

100 years ago, this story of travel would have taken months to tell. The best I could have done was travel by train and that would have been at least a month. Think of the beers and sandwiches I could have consumed in a month.

I played a most miserable golf game this afternoon and yet I thought about all the places I have been recently, all the new people I’ve seen in the past week.

Amazing fun, but it is good to be home.

On another note, from our friend Terry in St. Croix….

Words women use:

1.) FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five Minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying screw you!

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking, "what's wrong", for the woman's response refer to # 3.

Bathrooms and Elbows

Oh man these hotels. I stumbled out of bed this morning in my boxers and walked into the bathroom. I flick on the light, look to my right and AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Why in the hell do they put these gigantic mirrors with stadium lighting in hotel bathrooms? Talk about a crush to body image.

There standing before me was a slumped over, paunchy, middle aged man, with red eyes and bus hair like the bride of Frankenstein. This well illuminated stranger needed to pee badly.

In other news………

Yesterday I prodded Ali until she asked me how I knew the clear white woman was 21. Thank you Ali for going along with me on this.

Gather around fellows…I will share a secret about women. You can tell if a woman is under 21, 21, or over 21 by looking at their elbows.

I’ll wait a moment while all the ladies check their elbows.

This method I am sharing is as accurate as carbon dating. I discovered this by accident back when I was in my 20’s.

Okay…the very first thing to go on a woman is her elbows with her arms extended. Prior to 21, a woman’s elbow is smooth without wrinkles or nearly so. At 21 she develops the first folds or wrinkles. After 21 she permanently has an elbow that marks her over 21 for life. Simple, effective and accurate.

Guys, at this point your bride will start asking you about her elbows. Assure her that her elbows are smooth as a baby’s butt, and go on with your day.

Try this the next time you go to the mall.

Cranky People

I like to look at people when I travel. When I got to Chicago yesterday, there were a crap load of people walking around. These people looked different than my people back home. They talked different, they dressed different and they were from different countries.

I can’t help but think that I have been on this earth a long time and never laid eyes on any of the thousands of people I saw yesterday. I will never see them again.

God is amazing that he can keep up with all of us.

Then on my second leg to LA I sat down beside this really interesting guy from New Hampshire. We had a lot in common, age, golf, music interests, etc. We yakked it up for a couple of hours not realizing that both of us had become quiet deaf. Neither of us apparently had experienced the relieving ear pop that allows you to hear better, and the 767 we were on was loud as hell. We were just over the wing engine.

So, we must have been screaming our conversation at the top of our lungs, sharing life experiences and such, when the woman in front of us turned around with a cranky face and asked us to quiet down.

We complied, but it kind of busted our bubble. Here we had both been waiting a combined 100 years to have this conversation and a strange woman tells me to shut up.

I sulked and grabbed the Sky Mall catalog. There is some cool stuff in there in know.

I Made It

At the airport I got searched, prodded, and x-rayed and made through security only to kill a few minutes. Why not grab a sandwich? It was 11:30 so what the heck?

I go to the airport bar and it is filled with people drinking! Okay, I know people drink at a bar, heck I do, but 11:30 AM?

I woofed up a bread sandwich that had some wet stuff that smelled like tuna. I hope it was tuna. That’s what I ordered anyway.

I started heading down the concourse toward my gate and encountered the most difficult time getting through the crowd. People, when one establishes a trajectory, please respect the path chosen. Several times I was clearly headed down a straight line that I intended to follow indefinitely, only to have someone wonder aimlessly into my path. I would have to redirect my path and I find this annoying! Please respect my trajectory!

Eventually we board and I find my seat. A 21 year old woman walks up (I’ll disclose how I knew her age later) and she pulls up her shirt to reveal her snow white belly. Her belly was a white at a fish’s belly. It was so white that I could see her circulatory system. Literally I could see the veins on her stomach.

Then she said, “Oh, I meant to wear a different belly button ring”.

Okay.

Then we take off and someone nearby has BO and is bleeding off pooty smells to boot. Oh my.

I made it to LA and called Gigi. It’s 5:50 PM here and she has already fallen asleep watching American Idol back home. It is 8:50 PM back home.

Oh to be home.

Don't Believe Everything You Read

I want to take this opportunity to formally announce that my wife Gigi, has started her own blog.

Up until now, I have been the blogger for my household, and what I say is accurate, fair, and balanced. Now you get to hear the other side, but don’t believe everything you read.

I have promised to help with some formatting and such.

Oh well, so here’s the formal announcement and ribbon cutting. Gigi’s blog, "Gigi's Life,Hold Your Horse's!".

Oh Glory! Jalapeño! I Travel to LA!

I must travel this week to Los Angeles. This will not be a fun trip either.

First, I despise Los Angeles. I find the city crowded and ugly. There is nothing endearing about Los Angeles. Plus it screws up my clock waking up at 3 AM waiting for coffee, or worse yet, making that nasty hotel room coffee.

You ask people why they live there and they always come back about great the weather is. It’s always chilly to me and the air has no moisture. Southerners need some moisture.

Plus in LA you have nice riots, earthquakes, fires of biblical proportions, a “river” that is a concrete drainage ditch, oil wells and many buildings and people seeking to occupy the same space.

Most business trips have some built in monkey business involved. Usually the nightly “networking” meeting includes fancy dinner in a fantastic restaurant. Or maybe you can squeeze in a round of golf at some exclusive club. Not this time.

This meeting is mandatory and bare bones. I fly from Charlotte to Chicago, Chicago to Los Angeles. I arrive late and shuttle to some cheap suite hotel. It is the type of hotel where you get a free banana or dried bagel for breakfast.

Then there are meetings all day in the same room with the same people. There will be a cheesy networking dinner at a marginal restaurant. (I’m becoming a snob about restaurants aren’t I?)

The meeting adjourns the next day at noon, and I get back home back in Charlotte at 10:30 pm, after foraging for food in Chicago’s airport.

Oh I dread it.

Osmosis amebas.

Enough Already!

Oh great! It is spring time and in the spring we can get some very muscular thunderstorms. It has been that way here since the dawn of time…nothing new.

Today was declared an Evelyn Wilson day, so basically I’m sitting around with a computer in my face, watching TV, and drifting between naps. I am soon to have a glass of wine or two and plan to watch PGA golf.

I doubt however, that I can watch TV because all the local stations are making me watch their radar and warning me that a funnel cloud was spotted about 120 miles away. The cloud is not moving toward Charlotte, in fact it is heading dead center to another TV market in the upstate area.

We once had a tornado pass overhead in the middle of hurricane Hugo. I will never forget that night. Hurricanes don’t hit Charlotte but one did that day. Then the unmistakable sound of a freight train on top of 80 mph winds. It was a tragic one two punch like someone who has terminal cancel, then suddenly dies of a heart attack. Our home was spared but the devastation was everywhere.

I remember looking outside and seeing Lady grazing in the middle of the hurricane with her legs spread wide apart bracing against the wind.

Anyway…I promise to seek shelter channel 3, 9, 18, and 36. Now show me my golf!

They’re Back!

Last night Gigi drove to our vet’s house to pick up some pain medication for Lady. Our horse vet is a woman that lives even further our in the country than we do. She has more animals than we do too. She even has chickens!

For years I have wanted chickens of my own. We have no neighborhood restrictions on chickens. Our covenants say only, “no cloven foot animals”. That rules out cows, goats, and pigs. I would like a goat because I like goat meat, but Gigi wouldn’t allow me to raise a meat animal even if a goat was legal.

Anyway, this lady had 40 free ranges “of sorts” chickens. I say sort of free range chickens as they run around during the day but sleep in a coop at night. Oh lucky lady.

So Gigi returns last night with a big plastic bag full of fresh chicken eggs. Oh Glory! I love real farm fresh eggs. These are nothing like you get at the store even if they claim they are organic or free range.

Last night I tossed and turned thing about some slowly soft scrambled eggs and toast.

This morning I took four eggs out to scramble just for me. None of them was a standard size Grade A egg. One egg was tiny and a spotted brown. One was small and white. Two others were medium and the most beautiful brown color.

I cracked them and the yolk was a rich deep yellow. I slowly cooked them to perfection. I must say that fresh farm eggs are in a league of their own.

As I’m eating my breakfast I see the first humming bird of the season looking for one of our feeders.

I screamed, “Gigi, the hummingbirds are back!”

Gigi jumped into action and began to mix up her now world famous concoctions for hummingbirds. I think she even put hummingbird vitamins in there.

Someone once told me that hummingbirds migrate on the backs of Canada geese. I’m nut sure about that.

Oh man I ate too many eggs.

Losing A Friend

Okee dokee.

The vet has told us to prepare to put Lady down soon. Gigi is off to pick her up some pain meds to make her comfortable.

I’m not a weepy person but will have a good cry losing a friend. I was slobbering over Lady tonight when I put her in her stall.

Her body is thin but her mind is keen.

I hate putting animals down. She has been a wonderful horse.

The New RV

I have what looks like a DC-10 passenger jet parked in my driveway. Yes friends, we picked up our new 5th wheel RV on Thursday and traded in our dear old friend Squeedy.


It all started at 4:45 AM Thursday morning. Gigi and I have been known to procrastinate. We waited until the day of the trade-in to clean out the old RV. 2 ½ friggin hours later the RV was empty. I never knew we carried around so much junk. Pots, dishes, dog toys, sheets, towels, 12,682 paper cups, TVs all had to come out.


Then we headed up to Lake Norman for the walk through and pick-up.

This new trailer is immense. It is 34 feet long, 13 feet high, and expands to 14 wide when the slide rooms are fully deployed. It has a living room that is wider than mine in my real house. The kitchen is a very functional galley. The bathroom is 3 times larger than the old one with a 12 gallon hot water tank instead of the old 6 gallon tank.


The unit is fully insulated so we can do some cold weather camping. No more frozen holding tanks.

The trailer pulls like a dream compared to my old trailer. It is very stable on the road.

The next few days Gigi and I will unload into this behemoth and get ready for our first camping trip.

Ramblings

I just woke up from a night’s sleep that I would swear was one of the true pleasures of my life. I slept deeply, restfully and I am refreshed. It was one of my top 10 sleeps of all time.

Aren’t we fortunate that we get a shot at sleep at least once a day? You can set aside 8 hours just to sleep and no one will accuse you of being lazy.

I love to eat and get a shot at it three times a day. Three times! I can stop what I’m doing three times a day to eat and no one will accuse me of being a glutton.

So I get to eat three times, and sleep 8 hours every single day. Sign me up for life…I think it’s a deal.

I can’t eat and sleep too much or I will become fat and lazy.


The Beast has turned to gentleman farmer. Yesterday I needed hay for the nags so I tossed a few bales on top. I was cool Reg with hay and The Beast riding through the country.

Why I Blog

Why I started bogging and why I blog now are totally different.

I started blogging because I am a mental exhibitionist. I like sharing personal experiences with others and I like to make people laugh when I can.

My blogs are, and have always been about my personal life. I work in a highly regulated industry, so I keep business completely separate. Plus, business Reggie is completely different from non-business Reggie. This may and does confuse some people because I have many personas in my life. This is a Gemini thing I suppose.

Some have accused my writing as being narcissistic, junior-highish, or even a hypocrite. Yes I suppose it is. Sorry if that bothers you, that is your problem.

I started blogging as a way to keep my friends updated on what was going on when I was on vacation. Usually this vacation was in St Croix. I get so excited about the build up to vacation that I realized that mentally, I was mostly on vacation before and after vacation. My lightheartedness about my life makes some people angry. I have had plenty of comments like, get a life, or you have too much time on your hands, etc. Sorry if that bothers you, that is your problem.

So, the title came naturally to me, I’m Always Mentally on Vacation and This Makes Some People Mad.

I found that I missed writing about my experiences after a vacation. I decided to give formal blogging a try and soon had a small readership of friends and family. I wrote mostly about my thoughts and day to day life.

Then one day, I decided to search blogger for another Gemini and ran into Ali’s blog. I bookmarked her blog and read her entries every day. I felt like I was stalking her so I wrote a comment of encouragement and let her know I was reading her blog.

She started posting on my blog and my wife got suspicious. (I never told you that Ali.)

Ali and I informally exchanged links and that when suddenly traffic started. So the moral, find a pretty woman with a blog, exchange links and you’ll become famous. No that’s not what I meant to say.

Anyway, her readers started reading my blog, and my readers started reading her blog and we all cared and became concerned about each other. Other bloggers came in with comments and link exchanges.

Now, I blog for the same reasons as when I started. However, the friendship of my fellow bloggers motivates me the most. I think about all you every day. Those that blog about their difficult issues get my prayers.

I love to write something and guess who will comment. Sometimes I write something with one of you in mind.

I get streaks about subjects that come bursting from my mind and I must write about them. Today is an example. I am backlogged on blogs.

So Zig…thanks for tagging me on why I blog.

Triple XXX Kablotamous Sized Kids

Yesterday, while eating at this germ filled cesspool mentioned below, I couldn’t help but notice how many fat kids there are these days. One little girl was way out of bounds. She was as bloated as a constipated tick. Shame on her parents.

Then I see two young girls floating across the floor like a vampire in a graveyard. They had those sneakers on that have wheels. Essentially they were wearing skates.

“Oh great”, Gigi said. “Now kids can burn even less energy. Soon they’ll just atrophy”.

Yep she’s right. Kids can now effortlessly move from the sofa to the refrigerator and back to get any need calories.

Germs

I have a germ bone to pick. I have noticed at those fast food restaurants that more and more of them require you to self serve some of your meal preparation?

It all started innocently a few years ago when you were require to get your own salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard and napkins all of which were sealed in little packets.

Later more complicated tasks were introduced like filling your drink and picking up utensils.

Now it has evolved in some fast food restaurants where they serve you a base food component, and you are required to finish off the product in a common, unsupervised makeshift kitchen. Here you are reaching around other people for your drink, salsa, ketchup, utensils, cup lid, etc.

Oh that cup lid didn’t fit? Just toss it back in the pile for the next guy. Opps! I grabbed two plastic forks. I wasn’t thinking. Just toss it back for the next guy. No sneeze guard? Of course not; we are all sanitary and none of my hair ever falls out. Thank goodness they only let adults mingle in this kitchen. Surely they wouldn’t let little kids pick their fork and their nose all in one visit.

If you look in the bathroom, only employees are required to wash their hands. What about all the other idiots that are working in my kitchen out front with me?

This all gives me a creepy feeling like the thought of full diapers sitting in my grocery buggy just a few minutes ago. Or the feeling you get when you pick up a greasy salt shaker. Yuck.

Good Dog Food is Hard to Come By

I love dog food these days. We, or I should say Gigi, has been cooking our dogs food ever since the last dog food debacle.

As you may have heard, a Canadian company makes the majority of dog food distributed in North America. It seems that they bought some contaminated wheat gluten from China. This gluten contaminated the dog and cat food and resulted in kidney failure in about 30% of the dogs and cats that ate the food.

So now Gigi cooks dinner for the dogs every day. She doesn’t cook dinner for me or the cats…just the dogs. The cats are apparently disposable. Gigi said I can fend for myself.

What she cooks is incredible. Typically Gigi will cook low fat hamburger, pasta, mixed vegetables, all seasoned with garlic and anything else she can think of. She alternates pastas and meats. Last night Gigi cooked two beautiful chickens for the dogs. The house smelled wonderful! I ran over to pick at the chicken and it resulted in a hand slap and scolding.

I have tasted this concoction and it is both eye appealing and wonderful in taste. The dogs love it and our two fatties (Duke and Peaches) have slimmed down a bit.

Once Gigi finishes she asks me to call the dogs while Gigi “plates” their dinner and garnishes the servings with a variety of dog biscuits.

Usually Gigi makes a two day supply. I have eaten some for lunch before, but don’t tell Gigi.

The Save

Farting at a massage; how disgusting is the thought.

I have been having some tightness in my right shoulder blade. I knew a massage would help so I got one last week from Anna, my local massage therapist. Anna is strong, sweet, and very capable in massage.

First, I must admit that I am cheating publicly on my favorite massage therapists in St. Croix. Sorry Terry and Michael. I couldn’t get to the island in time.

Anna worked on me before I left on my golf trip, and she worked on me today after my golf trip.

First let me say that at 50, you start losing some confidence in your body image, with good reason. I feel like Tony Soprano lying on the table all fat and old.

Anna decided that the best way to attack my muscle cramp was for me to lie on my left side. Then she grabbed my right arm and pulled it over my head while pushing on my hip in the opposite direction.

Suddenly all my internal bells and whistles went off warning of an impending fart.

It is amazing how much energy and attention you can suddenly send to an involuntary muscle when you need to.

I save my shame and reputation but missed the relief from the last “adjustment”.

Thank goodness for body control and concentration.

The Right Side of the Bed

I have been married to the same woman since 1979. I have always slept on the right side of the bed looking from the foot of the bed. She will not let me even try the left side of the bed.

The same holds true if we go to a hotel. I stay on the right side of the bed and she is on the left side. The same set up goes in the RV too.

Once we stayed in a hotel with two of my dogs, Peaches and Galaxy. There were two twin beds instead of one king. Peaches jumped up on the left side of the bed and I crawled into the right side. Gigi and Galaxy slept in their proper positions in the other bed.

Next week I’m going to Los Angeles and I going to be by myself. I will sleep on the left side of the bed by golly.

Black Squirrels

Here in North Carolina we have little scrawny gray squirrels. We have dozens on our property. Gigi calls them tree rats.

Coastal South Carolina has black squirrels and I didn’t know this.

We were playing golf the other day in Myrtle Beach when suddenly a black squirrel appeared to Don and Ty. They were in the woods hunting for their golf ball.

“What the hell is that?” Don asked.

“I think it’s a skunk!” said Ty.

“No, it’s a squirrel” Don declared.

They both came out of the woods with fantastic stories of giant black squirrels with white stripes and masked eyes.

“Yeah, sure” I thought.

About 4 holes later I encounter two squirrels that were as large as a fat house cat. One squirrel was black with white stripes on its face. The other squirrel was dark gray with a black mask, like a raccoon.

And now you know.

Ah, the Whiff

I am back from my Myrtle Beach golfing trip. The weather cooperated until the last day when it got too cold and windy to play.

Friday morning we had a 7:32 start time at Heather Glenn Golf Club. This is a very nice public course, but you loose some of the golf ambience and refinement when compared to a private course. The facilities were wonderful, but the staff while efficient was impolite at best.

The place is run like a busy airport with radio equipped golf rangers getting you started on time, and others make sure you are moving along during your round in their patrol carts with two way radios.

So you basically stand around until your name is called, and then you get in your cart and advance to the first tee. At the first tee, you may see three foursomes lined up to start their round. This is where the pressure starts.

At the first tee you are alone with your ball, but you have a silent audience behind you anxious to get their turn. On the tee box, you are allowed to place your ball on an elevated tee. You take a few practice swings and then attempt to make contact with the ball and bust a good drive straight and long. Dozens of thought are going through your mind as you address the ball. Finally, the moment of truth, when you rare back and take your swing. At the moment of contact you have a pretty good idea of whether you hit a good shot. Hopefully you stand there, keeping your pose, and watch you ball sail for the next 5 or 6 seconds straight and long while hearing accolades from you private gallery behind you.

Sometimes this doesn’t happen. Sometimes you hit the ball and something was badly wrong with your setup. The ball may look good at first and then take a right mid flight deep into the woods. This is a classic slice and I can expect one or more of these hits during a round. Other bad shots are a shank where the takes a horrible turn at contact and it goes straight out from the front of your body. Lastly the dreaded Dickie shot where the ball doesn’t advance as far as the Ladies tee.

But nothing brings more shame than the whiff. A whiff is when all things are good mechanically, the audience is watching, you rare back and completely miss the ball. It is not uncommon for your audience to loose it completely and burst into a roar of laughter.

I was watching this 16 year old boy getting ready to hit his first shot at the number 1 tee box. He was tall and lanky with a very flexible torso. He was simply loosening up and waiting for the foursome ahead to clear out of harms way. His practice swings were a thing of beauty. Finally, he addressed the ball and swung only to whiff and nearly auger himself in the ground.

We sat in dead silence because of his age and told him we all have done it because we have. Inside we were all rolling with laughter. Poor kid. He did manage a fantastic second drive attempt and seemed to play at a very good level.

Illustration by Mike Okamoto.

Five Questions From Peaches and Pearls

Reggie's 5 Questions:

It is an overcast day that is a little on the cool side and a cold wind is blowing. You have time for one activity. Do you golf or blog?

Definitely golf, and golfing lasts longer. You can have the golf course to yourself whenever the weather is borderline bad as you described. I love to play golf by myself or with friends. The golf game I was playing would then become a future blog entry.


What would be your idea of the perfect meal?

Oh, I love summer meals. Fried chicken with wild rice, homemade biscuits with molasses, sliced cantaloupe, slice tomatoes and cucumbers, fresh white corn on the cob with blackberry cobbler for dessert.

A close follow up would be any seafood or a lazy brunch in the Caribbean. I usually have a seafood omelet for Sunday brunch in St Croix. I get to kill two pleasures with one stone.

If you had to be allergic to something, would you prefer it to be wine, peanuts or shellfish?

I struggled with this question. Wine is my passion, so it stays. I eat peanuts by the bushel and love them so. Shellfish are the jewels of the sea.

It would be peanuts. I am actually allergic to raw peanuts now so I flirt with death even now.

Your house is on fire, you've gotten your wife and animals out safely and have time to make one more trip in to get one item. What would it be?

If it was the middle of the night I would grab some pants. Any other time it would be my computer.

5. If you had to leave the US (don't forget that St. Croix is a US territory) and move to another country, where would it be and why?

Okay….I’m going to cheat, Christiansted harbor offshore of St Croix. I would live in a sailboat.

Otherwise, the place would need to be warm, not hot year round. It would need to have a stable government and the residents would need to speak English.

I can’t choose Hawaii, Guam, or the US Virgin Islands. I’m not sure about parts of the north shore of Australia. Is it warm there year round?

I would therefore lean towards what I know and that would be the Caribbean. Even though I haven’t been there, I would say the British Virgin Islands. St. Kitts is where Margaret is from and that is good enough for me.
St Kitts

Naked Again

My naked dreams are back. It must be the warm weather.

Last night in my dream …. (Tinkling bells and a harp strumming) ….. I was staying at a small house that had an outdoor shower. It was basically a wooden platform with hot and cold running water.

I do not shower out doors in real life and I am not a nudist. I do find showering nude in my dreams exhilarating.

So there I was naked to the world, when suddenly a group of women show up for a smoke break. They were all sitting around a picnic table smoking cigarettes watching me shower and talking among themselves. They acted like I was barely there; like they always watch someone showering at their smoke break.

I was all soaped up so I rinsed off and threw a towel around me and left the area.

That is weird, huh?

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste, but I Manage

This is a strange entry even by my standards. I don’t make this stuff up, I just write it down.

My sister-in-law is in town this week for a visit. She got into town late yeaterday afternoon.

We had a beer or two then Gigi, Sharon and I headed off to diner to Outback Steak House. We took The Beast which Sharon found interesting. She agreed with Gigi that it would not be a good idea to remove the doors. I think it will be cool to take both doors off and I will this summer.

We had a nice leisurely supper and stopped by Sams on the way home. Gigi drove just to be safe since I had a few more beers with supper. Gigi said she wanted to buy an Easter cake that they make every year but ended up walking out with two cooked chickens and two new belts for me.

My nose was prepared for the smell of cake and I quickly adjusted to the smell of chicken in the Jeep.

The stop by Sams was unexpected for me and I needed to visit the men’s room. I hung on to the “oh shit” straps in the back seat while we all rode home.

Gigi is funny driving the Beast. She can just barely reach the pedals and usually shifts to the wrong gear all the while talking about whatever.

I needed to pee, bad.

We got home and I went dashing in the woods to relieve myself. No way could I make it to the door, fight with excited dogs, and then make my way to the bathroom. There wasn’t enough time and I could sense that things were at a critical stage.

Now that I was all refreshed and relaxed I headed inside to watch some mindless TV with Gigi and Sharon. Fortunately “Dancing with the Stars” was on and that is about as mindless as it gets.

I should have watched something more stimulating because my mind started a playful game on its own.

I was sitting there, breathing through my mouth, thinking about how my brain was making me breathe, it was regulating my heart; it was digesting my supper and so on. I was thinking how marvelous my brain is and how I can take thoughts and encrypt them into characters where other people can get a glimpse into my conscience mind.

Then, in a Forrest Gump voice in my mind I said, “I wonder if Ali has posted her blog?”

Yes she had, and I marveled that she too had learned the same language as me and she too could encrypt that language where I might get a glimpse into her conscience mind.

Then I start thinking about how accurate her mind encrypted her thoughts and how accurate my mind was interpenetrating her ideas.

Then my brain said, “Reggie, go to bed”, and I obeyed.

Wow!

Now I need to go back and read what Ali blogged about. I was too caught up in my own head.

Up to my Eyeballs in Golf!

I am so excited that I might get a nose bleed. This week I will immerse myself in golf like never before.

Starting Wednesday I play an afternoon round of golf at my club with some clients.

Then Thursday, I head to the golf capital of the Carolinas, the Redneck Riviera, yes…Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There are over 100 golf courses crammed into 30 miles of humanity.

Thursday afternoon we play a round of golf at Possum Trot.

Friday we play an AM round at Heather Glenn and an afternoon round at Glen Dornoch.

Saturday, I play an AM round at a yet to be decided course. Then I head home that evening. But that’s not all.

It is the Masters weekend…the mother of all PGA events. The Masters is heaven on earth for a golfer. It is held every year at the same course in Augusta, GA. I love it so much that it is Peaches middle name. She is Peaches Augusta Hunnicutt.

So Sunday afternoon I will be sitting in front of the TV watching the Masters in High Definition and enjoying the best golfers in the world play having personally played 5 rounds myself.

Spring Cleaning

Here’s a cute little shot of Cedie naked in the bath tub getting herself a good scrubbing. Cedie is our Blue Merle, ½ Border Collie, ½ Australian Shepherd, and she is missing the right rear leg.

That missing leg is in Tennessee somewhere…where ever they put such things.

Cedie’s job most days is to lie in the shrubbery and fake like she is herding if someone drives up. Otherwise she is catching a few z’s.

Cedie loves to ride in cars. She goes out with Gigi shopping on Thursday and sometimes she goes to the office with me on Friday.

It Took 45 Years to Live a Dream

Oh I am a happy fellow.

Pecans are a big deal here in the South. We get gallons of free pecans every fall from folks that have pecan trees.

Just a note, a true, born in North Carolina Southerner instinctively calls them “pee-cans”.

Pecans can sit around for months and years in the shell and they still taste good. I know…I’ve eaten two year old pecans.

The problem is most of the time the pecans go unshelled because they are such a pain in the ass to shell. Pecans tend to just crumble in your hand while you attempt to shell them.

You must be very careful not to eat any of the stuff around the pecan meat itself. (I never did like a pecan referred to as meat. It sounds nasty.) If you accidentally eat this forbidden stuff around the nut, it will cause you to do a double back flip, make an awful face of disgust, and call for your Mama. It just tastes terrible, awful bad, and nasty.

When I was a little boy back in Durham, NC (pronounced Derm), my neighbor had something called an inertia nut cracker. It looked homemade, but it worked marvelously. You would get a perfectly shelled pecan every time in seconds.

So ever since, when I stare at a pile of pecans, I dream back to my childhood and long for an inertia nut cracker.

Fast forward 45 years and 3 months…….I Google the inertia nut cracker. Whooohooooo…there it is in all it’s glory! And the darn thing is hand made in North Carolina out of oak and a rubber band as I remembered.

I took my trembling fingers and clicked my mouse onto the PayPal button. Soon, and very soon, I will have the nutcracker I have lusted for two score and five years.

Oh thank goodness, I am too old to do back flips anymore.