Don't Get Me Started

I hate it when I get into an innocent conversation and I am forced to perform some math in my head. This happened to me twice yesterday. Once was with some zipper booted insurance guy, and the other was with my own dear wife.

The issue with my wife even involved metric measurements which compounded my frustration. “Now Cedie gets 40 milliliters and the bottle is 5 pickleliters, how long with her medicine last at two doses a day?”

If several people are involved in the same math calculation I’ll just fake it like I am calculating, when I am really just waiting for someone else to come up with the answer.

When faced the mathematic surprise at first I panic, and then I get a bit angry. Finally I bring up that part of the brain that likes to rest and tell it to start cranking out math quickly so the people outside my head will think I am smart.

Soon I can smell the faint but distinctive smell of ozone as my brain tubes over heat. I will often attempt to start a diversion so my head can get away from math and cool off. Or hope that we can drop the calculation for Pete’s sake.

All the while my subconscious is thinking, “Reg…look around for a calculator, quickly!”

I think bringing up math is just wrong. It like me asking you a question and then say, “Let’s jog while you answer”. You weren’t prepared to jog and neither was I prepared to do math. Math has no place in normal conversation.

I even take my time with my score card and prefer a calculator adding that thing up.

A New Business Idea

Last night I was sitting under a coconut tree enjoying the warm sun. I was remarking about how bright the sunshine was coming off the water when suddenly it was all interrupted by a loud, monotone yell.

I glance at the clock, its 2:32 AM.

What the hell? “Gigi, are you okay?”

“Whoa, I’ve got to pee!”

“What are you screaming for honey?”

“I was dreaming that I was in a public stall peeing and this big woman was forcing her way in. I screamed for help.”

In other news…I was bantering with Ali by email and listening to WSTX Internet Radio yesterday afternoon when I heard an ad for the St Croix motor club. They talked about how they offered the tow service, tire repair and other services of say, the AAA motor club.

It struck me funny when I thought about it. This is a rather small island. Chances are you will be close enough to any help by walking a few miles from you car. If you are not close enough then don’t expect to have a cell signal to call for help. Or, if you sit there long enough someone you know will recognize you and ask you if you need help.

Me thinks the St Croix Motor club is a racket. I may get an old pickup truck, a set of jumper cables, a gallon or gas and diesel, a lug wrench, a jack and open Reggae Reggie’s Motor Club. I could get say 500 members at $79 a year, throw a beach chair in the back of the truck and wait for the calls for help while working on a nice tan.

Act Right, Please.

In the United States there were 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005 – 39 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the year. This is tragic.

In the same year there 30,739 traffic fatalities from people stone sober – 61 percent of the total fatalities for the year. This is unforgivable.

You would think the statistics would be reversed from all the TV ads. I was shocked when I looked this up this morning to learn that almost twice as many accidents are caused by sober people.

People, slow down, drive like you’ve got some sense. This isn’t a video game you are playing; this is a real car with momentum and physics involved.

Two Things on This Chilly Morn

To the person who invented the shrimp deveiner…Bully! Jolly good invention. I would be proud and I hope you are living comfortably somewhere enjoying the fruits of your labor. I used your fine invention this morning and it worked perfectly as always.

Second, I want to puke when I see or hear someone on HGTV talk about they fell in love with the house when they saw this nook or cozy whatever and they then fantasize about curling up with a good book. I have never seen a soul curled up with any book in a cozy place unless they were posing for a picture. Liar, liar, pants on fire. If I stopped moving to read a book, which I don’t do, I would fall sound asleep.

Saturday Stuff

I hate it when a TV commercial has a doorbell going off. Domino’s Pizza is the worst. It makes all my dogs jump up and start barking over a darn commercial. I have to explain that it’s just TV and they will calm down.

Today I have a wet leaf on my hood and it stuck like glue. I got up to hurricane speed on the beltway and the leaf stayed put. Amazing!

This afternoon I saw a “special” bee get faked out by the yellow inspection sticker on my truck. That poor bee was sure she had found a big old yellow flower.

I haven’t been to a football game in almost 2 years where my team won. Tomorrow the home team plays the undefeated world champions, the Indianapolis Colts. Somehow I don’t feel optimistic about tomorrow either.

I cheated for the tailgate tomorrow. I was going to make kabobs and saw some pre-made at the meat department. Yes I paid too much but darn they are good looking and convenient. I bought a half pound of fresh shrimp to toss on the grill too.

I made Gigi about her most favorite thing for lunch today. She LOVES oyster stew and I make the best. She ate/sipped a gallon and took a nap. She has been sleeping for 2 hours. I love her.

Logzilla, I'm here

I was washing the Jeep this morning digging out from under leaves from 3 inches of badly need rain when I thought about how the tempo of Logzilla’s posts have changed lately. Yesterday she talked frankly about boobs and the day before she talked about how often you change you sheets and another boob related subject.

Then I came into my house to rest for a moment and Logzilla was asking about my whereabouts on my blog. Sorry, I vegged completely yesterday. I am fine. And I am happy once again since it has stopped raining.

Logzilla is someone whose life is totally different than mine yet we continue to read about each other’s life and comment from time to time.

Michael and Terry have some technical issues on their blog for a week now. I miss hearing about their lives.

Ali went dry for a while and suddenly her life is filled with mystery that she will reveal in her own time.

My nephew Jay Gray has taken off on his blog. I can’t believe how much we think alike.It's so funny, Jay said something once that made Terry of St Croix mad. Now she takes pot shot at him when ever she can. I'm not sure he has noticed.

Finally I got news yesterday that my friend Terry C from NC has kidney cancer. He is 53 and a very likeable guy. They found it by chance when he had a kidney stone a few weeks ago. Monday he’ll find out if it is likely to kill him or unlikely. It depends on how long the cancer has been there and if it has spread.

So if you are the praying type, lift one up for Terry.

Such is life.

Stop The Madness

I’ll be glad when Nordstrom’s finishes with this ad campaign. Let’s see, “New home sales up by 4.8 percent”, I look at the article and my eyes are drawn to the right. Then my mind goes to blubber.



Mornin'...I Mumbled

I begrudgingly drug myself out of bed this morning and shuffled to the kitchen to make coffee. I came back to the bed with two cups of coffee and a deep sigh.

Gigi said, “Okay, I’m going online today to tell all your peeps just how pouty you are acting”.

“Go ahead”, I said.

I am in a deep funk and it shows. Not a dangerous depression, just the funk I get in the winter. I hate it.

This time of year you could put me in a drug induced coma and wake me next spring. To make matters worse it is raining. We desperately need rain here and I feel guilty for hating the rain.

Normally I am obnoxiously upbeat. I even annoy myself at times with my energy and silliness.

Now however, the Anti-Reggie has reappeared. I know it will pass. I will have three or four of these temporary funks until warm weather arrives.

My sister Judy and I have started our annual 100 day countdown banter until our St Croix trip in early February. We have so much fun there together.

So, I will act upbeat until I get upbeat. It's just chemicals and brain cells.

My Fun Stuff

I was looking at some recent pictures from my last trip to buck island. This time I focused on the boat, “Origami” and saw my stuff in the boat. This is my equipment that I leave behind on the island.

There is my yellow goggles, snorkel, thick ass 30 sun screen, discarded beer bottle, and my flippers are close by. I’ll be glad to use up that sun screen, it goes on like paint.

Other stuff I have on the island is:

Our Snorkels and flippers with Head bands both Reggie and Gigi with anti-fog

12 drink collapsible Cooler

Wine cork screw and bottle Opener

Hat for Gigi

Beach Towel (New)

Small Canvas Beach Bag

3 Bottle Koozies

30 Sunscreen (1/2 bottle)

Gigi’s White flip flops (New)

Access point Netgear WG602 V3

Shampoo conditioner for straight and curly travel size enough for week

First aid kit

Contained in a Red collapsible duffle

I’ll see all this stuff again in one hundred and one days.

Hot vs Cold

I’m not big on drinking cold water. I like it right out of the bottle or glass at room temperature. I can actually drink a soft drink the same way as long as it is fizzy.

My coffee can be hot or room temperature as long as it started hot. I can drink a half cup and come back to it an hour later and enjoy the room temperature coffee.

Beer should start cold and it’s okay if the last swallow isn’t icy.

One of Gigi’s brothers always demands hot food at the table but shows up late to a meal every time. I’m going to slap him the next time I see him. Maybe a big old round house slap.

I love cold fried chicken the next day and cold pizza, although I have started heating pizza back up in the oven. I hate heating stuff in the microwave. Give me plan old fashioned heat, not that nuclear stuff.

Cold drinks and food hurt my head so much that I could jump off a cliff for relief. That is why I am not a big fan of ice cream I guess.

Don’t ever give me cold red wine, which is a sin. I do like my white wines chilled. Neither of these practices is peculiar.

I once asked a friend from London if it was true that they drank their draught beer at room temperature. He said, “Hell no. We mostly drink Budweiser from the bottle cold like you Americans do”. That kind of ruined the image I had of hearty drinking Englishmen.

Jeep Stuff

I have just completed a few more Jeep upgrades. I now have a sound bar installed. It rests just over the two front seats. It also has an overhead light which I didn’t have before. It sounds wonderful with my new stereo. I got an override switch for the door light for when I take the doors off.

Last week I got some badly needed engine work done. My regular mechanic was busy so I got another fellow to take a look at some issues.

My engine had been running rich and this made the exhaust smell very gassy. He found a collapsed vacuum hose next to the Johnson Rod or something like that. He fixed it along with a badly needed tune-up. He replaced a few bulbs in the instrument panel, and replaced an idle thing-a-ma-jig. Now the Jeep runs fantastic and it added 3 mile per gallon to my mileage.

Yesterday I replaced two broken parts to the convertible roof system. Cedie and I took one ride to gets some parts from Home Depot to complete the repair.

Last week I found some big aluminum nerf bars on Craig’s List for a steal. I will attach these to each side for getting in and out and for their good looks.

I’m going to order a bikini top for next summer since I had the top off most of the time this year. This will cover the front cab with netting that screens some of the sun. Most likely I’ll take the back seats out next summer so I’ll have additional storage.

I’ve seen this guy in town that has a cool looking tie dye tire cover and I found one on the internet. I may order this. Now I have a University of North Carolina tire cover that I got cheap off eBay. I am a fair weather Tarheel fan.

Next too I plan to start looking at a lift kit for next year. Nothing big just a few inches of lift to make it look tougher. Then maybe some tubular front and rear bumpers and a stainless grill cover.

All the afore mentioned projects are kind of expensive so it will all wait until next summer.

Gigi gave me a bumper sticker yesterday that I put on that says, “If it wasn’t for physics and law enforcement, I would be unstoppable.”

ASAP Showers

Do you dash out of bed everyday and jump in the shower? I don’t. The guy I stayed with this past weekend was a mandatory shower first thing in the morning person.

I shower everyday but consider it optional on the weekend unless I have social plans or sweat a lot.

When I wake up, I have these pleasant and relaxing alpha waves still lingering in my brain. Combine that with some good coffee and some oral composting and I’m a happy camper. I don’t jump up and move, I relax and enjoy the morning and apparently my filth.

Morning is the time when I have “me” time, when I blog, when I think and read the news.

I certainly don’t splash this all away with water.

When I think about it, I don’t like to be wet. I dread bathing but do it. I avoid rain, yet I like to swim and don’t mind being soaking wet from sweat.

I always feel good after bathing, especially if I am sick. Bathing feels so refreshing after the fact. I guess I’m lazy and dread the effort required.

My showers last 4 minutes or so, longer is the winter to enjoy the hot water. RV showers are very short to conserve water. I am amazed how little water you really need to effectively bath.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this except to say, first thing in the morning showers run contrary to my being. There, I’m done.

A Smart Fellow

I drove to work on a different route than usual because of a traffic tie up on my regular path.

When I got to the corner of Idlewild Rd and Independence Blvd, I patiently waited for the lights to change. I looked over to my right and saw a panhandler that was truly unique.

Having someone begging for money is nothing new at this intersection. I have seen the same folks for years who are “temporally down on their luck”. They all follow the same routine, brown cardboard and a black magic marker sign explaining they need money and “God Bless”.

Apparently the competition has reached new heights in the panhandling community. What I saw was a man walking with a plain white sandwich board hiding his identity and he was peering through a small hole cut in the board. In his arms was a very distressed looking ventriloquist dummy begging for money with his hand held out.

If I could have gotten to him in time I would have given him money for creativity and entertainment value alone. This guy will go a long way in his begging career if he applies himself.

Personally ventriloquist dummies scare the hell out of me. I don’t like the way their eyes and mouth moves. I rank them on the scary scale right up there with sock monkeys, clowns and flying monkeys.

I was however willing to overcome my fear for his effort. I will go this way again tomorrow and see if I can get a picture and give him some money.

Young Wrecker Drivers of America Take Note

I saw something the other that I have never seen before. A wrecker got into a wreck with a truck. That’s of funny isn’t it? No one seemed to be injured. The air bags in the truck were deployed and the wrecker was almost pushed off the mountain.

Have you ever noticed that many wrecker drivers are enormously fat? I mean heaped on crotch fat that you see bulging in their britches. I can make fun of them because I know none of them could catch me. Oh they could charge me like an alligator but I know they couldn’t sustain the effort. I know this is not nice but it has been my observation over my lifetime that most of the wrecker drivers are very fat.

I saw a wreck being cleaned up yesterday while coming back from the mountains. The wrecker guy was tremendously obese. He had the biggest set of britches I had ever seen. I’ll bet the fly on his pants was a foot or more. I guess you need a margin of error in a pair of pants that big.

He was almost as wide as he was tall. He was young too.

You Can’t Go Home Again

I am back from Boone this early Sunday. Here are a few observations from the North Carolina High Country:

It is cold. Yes I lived there for 6 years and forgot how cold it is. You can count on Boone being 12 degrees colder than Charlotte and there is always a very strong wind.

It is wet in Boone. It rained so hard Friday that the golf course I was playing flooded. We had to stop play and drive the cart to high ground.

Boone has very bad traffic, along with neighboring Blowing Rock.

The area has some breathtaking views if you can get your breath. Everyone there smokes cigarettes everywhere. I moved my seat twice at the football game to get some fresh air. Most of the restaurants reek with cigarette smoke.

There is a lot of fog and clouds in the High Country. People point to the sky if you see a blue patch.

Boone obviously has a lot of steep hills being in the mountains. Anywhere you walk is a chore and leaves you breathless.

I arrived in Blowing Rock Thursday afternoon to see a lifelong buddy to play golf, reminisce, and see a football game. Bill and I were in the first grade through college together, yet we have not seen each other for 12 years.

I met him at one of our old watering holes to have a few drink and watch the sun set behind the mountains. It was so foggy that we could barely see to drive. We did have a good time laughing at the older version of our selves.

We agreed that we both looked like some makeup artist had taken the younger person and added a few wrinkles, pulled some hair, stolen some sight and hearing.

The next morning our waitress at breakfast had a very familiar accent. She was from St Thomas, VI. I change my order to goat water and johnny cakes, and she said, “You know about those foods?” She went off telling me how she missed the island and her foods and friends.

Later we attempted to play golf and were rained out.


Saturday we did a little visit to some of the places we lived as college students. I took a picture of our real “Animal House” on Deck Hill Road. I lived there at least 2 ½ years. What a fun place that was. Then we visited a few dorms and rooms. Man those were tight quarters.

Finally the football game where Appalachian lost. It was the first home loss in 30 home games. Count on me to jinks the home team. I haven’t been to a home football game in two years where we won whether college or NFL.

I woke up early Sunday and was back home by 9 AM. I missed Gigi and the crazy dogs.

To all that love the High Country, good for you, it just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

My Desktop


I was tagged by Kuckie to show my desktop.

It is the same desktop I have had for several years.

My sister Judy took this picture one February morning in St Croix, on the south shore. I just love the way she captured the light and the silhouette of the coconut tree.

There is no doubt St Croix is my favorite place to be. Now I have friends there and I miss them too along with the island.

My desktop is a daily reminder of my last and next visit to the island.

I’m going to ask Jay Gray to reveal his desktop. He doesn’t need instructions.

Chickens!

I love chickens. I wasn’t exposed to chickens much as a child. I reunited my fascination with chickens in 2003 when I first visited St Croix. You see a lot of chickens running around down there.

You might find a chicken running around downtown in a parking lot. You can count on chickens at the gas station heading into Christiansted where they do car washes.

I read a blog by Kuckie who is a massage therapist living the simple life in the country with chickens. She talks about them from time to time.

I have talked Gigi into getting some chickens but don’t know how to take car of them. We have predators here so they would need some protection.

I love fresh chicken eggs. They taste nothing like the one you buy in a grocery store. Okay, they do taste something like them. Fresh eggs are smoother and not as stringy. Sometimes you find an egg with a double yoke. That is cool.

So maybe I can find a simple way to keep some laying hens. I heard Martha Stewart had a portable and simple coup on her site but I can’t find the plans.

To make matters worse, I drove by a farmhouse nearby and the guy has bought some chickens. They were all scratching around outside and it made me want chickens even more.

What I desire is simplicity. I don’t need any more vet bills. We just paid the vet off yesterday. If I can just feed and water chickens then they may be the animal I like the best. But I don’t want to be washing them and cleaning doo doo from their feathers, and teaching them tricks. No I just want chickens to lay eggs and cluck around all chickeny.

We Interrupt Your Life for a Very Special Announcement

Our old mattress was about 5 years old. It had a 10 year warranty which I’ll deal with later.

Gigi and I decided to try one of those memory foam mattresses that we have heard so much about.

Oh my! Run, don’t walk to get one. Borrow the money if you need to.

Last night was the finest sleep experience of my life. I am fully rested and not body part feels out of kilter. Gigi likewise had a fantastic sleep.

I am regretting my decision to travel this weekend. I would rather lie in bed.

Memories

I’m going to Boone, NC tomorrow. I went to college in Boone back in the 70’s, God that was a long time ago.

I went to Appalachian State University from 1974 to 1976. Then I took off a year to work on the railroad and rejoined the university world to graduate in 1979. Okay, I was a slow learner.

Anyway I moved out of Boone, married a girl from Charlotte, and have maybe been back twice in almost 30 years. It has been at least 10 years since my last visit to Boone.

I know a lot has changed. I am dying to see my old room at 210 Eggars.

I am meeting a friend that I haven’t seen in 12 years. We went from 1st grade through college together.

I’m glad I am doing this. If I wait this long again I’ll be dead or damn near dead.

Want to see a funny joke? It's adult humor so be warned.

A Trucker's Life

I had to drive to Salisbury, NC today to meet with a guy. I thought we were having lunch but he declined. I worked myself up to an eating frenzy and had to have something to eat soon. I have had quite enough happy meals of late when my eyes spied a Subway sign at the next exit.

Oh great, it was a Subway at a Pilot truck stop. It looked new and clean so I went in anyway.

I went to the restroom and witnessed a gemaphobe trucker going through this detailed routine of hand washing at the sink. He even had paper towels dispensed so he wouldn’t have to touch the handle when he was finally sanitized. I quickly washed but somehow he got in front of me carefully opening the door with his paper towels.

I get in line at the Subway counter.

“I want a 6 inch Subway Club on white please.”

“For $2 more you can get a foot long sub.”

“No thank you.”

“Do you want double meat and double cheese?”

“No.”

What’s with all this super sizing at Subway? I thought they were a somewhat healthy alternative to other fast food. Maybe it was because it was a truck stop.

Anyway, I took my paint bucket size “small” diet coke and sat in the trucker dining room.

So Far So Good

I’ve had an interesting morning so far.

Around 6:30 AM I headed out in my driveway in a tee shirt, flip flops and my boxers to begin cleaning out the truck from all the camping stuff. We live in the middle of 8 wooded acres so this dress is all too common for me in the morning. Besides, it’s beginning to get cool so sweat pants will become the norm soon.

Anyway, last week I found one heck of a deal on a sound bar for the Jeep. Today I wanted to tow the Jeep to work, then on to Circuit City later when they open to get the installation done.

About 11:00 AM I walk out the door to take the Jeep and Ty wants to go so we can have lunch and talk about a project we are working on. I get almost there when Ty’s phone rings. Someone is there in the office for a lunch appointment that Ty forgot about.

Ty asks me to turn around and take him back which was an imposition.

With this towing package I cannot back up, so I had to find a parking lot big enough to make a big U turn. I pass a couple of schools but I have a gun in my truck which is a big no no.

Finally I decided to turn off on a side street and assumed it was a normal block and I could make my way back to the main road. As it turns out, this was a dead end road and at the end of the road was an old government housing project. To make matters worse, the parking lot was too small to turn around.

So we are stuck in this project and our only way out is to unhook the Jeep and turn both vehicles around and either drive out separately or reconnect which we did. Mean while we are drawing a curious crowd.

Finally we get this thing reconnected and roll out. Ty makes his appointment and I have a 30 minute job turn into a 90 minute job.

Will Work for Free

I am tried of working for nothing.

Just yesterday we stopped at McDonalds for some road food and I had to fulfill my order by filling my drinks, capping them, got my condiments, straws and napkins while waiting for their labor to make my food.

I stopped by the pharmacy when we got to town and I had to do the transaction. Do I want cash back? Hell no! I just want to pay. “Sir, you need to hit the okay button.”

“What? Huh?” Why can’t I just hand them my debit card and let them do the work?

I got home and Gigi’s new DVR was there. I called Direct TV to activate it and they put me to work. I spent the next 15 minutes being their hands and eyes for free no less, as I pulled cables and cards, checked satellite dishes, and ran setup programs.

Before I got to talk to an actual lady I had to talk to a computer to see if I was worthy to talk to a human. Once the computer figured I needed a human, it put on the lowest form of a human that couldn’t do anything thing for me. I was escalated to a smarter human. Before she transferred the call she asked, “Have I answered all of your questions today?”

“Not even close” is what I wanted to say. “Oh yeah, what is the meaning of life? Why do men have nipples? What is it with hair growing all over me now except it is melting away on my polar cap?

I just said yes and thanked her.

I have reached the point where I will no longer go to self checkout. At Home Depot self checkout is the only option. I make them do the whole thing while I protest the idea of me working for free with no benefits.

I know they must talk about this crazy old man that comes in and bitches about the self checkout.

Brides, Divorces, and Mosquitoes

Jekyll Island is known for their world class mosquitoes. I have learned to live among them by spraying on deet products like OFF! on all exposed skin areas. Yesterday one got past my defenses and bit me good on my pinky knuckle of all places. This was my good pinky too, not the one I complained about all summer.

So now I find myself clawing away at this bite knowing full well I shall soon have a festering sore. I don’t care…it feels so good for now just clawing away.

Gigi’s brother and sister in law are in the middle of a divorce. Yesterday we met the other woman for the first time. The meeting was awkward at first, I felt like I was cheating on the other person.

I just hate divorce. My marriage has not been perfect but we managed to make it work the only time we ever visited the divorce subject. I know of the pain they are feeling. I wish it wasn’t happening for everyone involved.

Last night we stopped by and had a late seafood dinner at Blackbeard’s. Half of the restaurant was being prepped for a wedding dinner.

In came this fat ass bride with a sleeveless dress exposing her ham sized arms. Clinging to her was this tiny little man that was obviously in love with her. The rest of the party matched the happy couple. There wasn’t a hot babe in the bunch.

These were Deep South coastal Georgia rednecks celebrating a marriage the only way they know how. It was about as strange as if I was watching a Polish wedding for the first time.

Man Stuff

Yesterday evening, Peach Pod and monkey boy came over and brought fried chicken. We sat outside and ate and laughed.

I taught Monkey Boy how to blow the conch, and he was a fast learner. In a few minutes I had to take the conch away from him or I am sure fellow RVers would come over and kill us. This horn gets loud.

Then it was time for his uncle to show him some potato ballistics. So my brother-in-law Al, Monkey Boy and I headed to clam creek. I didn’t realize clam creek was such a hang out for sunset watchers.

We opened the tailgate of the truck and used it for a staging area. I had a fresh bag of Yukon Gold spuds, some carburetor cleaner, and newly wired potato cannon.

I loaded the cannon, sprayed the fuel and locked down the firing chamber. Then I pointed the cannon toward the pier and fired the potato. Al’s mouth hung open and MB yelled with excitement. I don’t think either knew the power of the spud gun.

We fired it 5 more times before the viewers around us became annoyed.

Darn people, there is a sunset every day. I only get to fire my cannon a few time a year.

Good Eatin'


Sorry, my plate is empty. Just a few bones and a greasy biscuit doily.

Tragedy Strikes

I didn’t feel like driving 359 miles yesterday, but I did. We ended up leaving later than planned so we drove nonstop in order to get to the campground before dark. I hate backing in and setting up when it is dark.

I was outside setting up while Gigi and my sister cooked up a great dinner.

Tragedy struck later when I set up the satellite. Gigi’s old Tivo is a staple of our camping, just like a grill and an outdoor chair. As I plugged in the Tivo sparks came bursting from the back and the unit blew out. Sadly, Gigi is forced to watch the local fuzzy cable and she is not a happy camper.

My satellite box in the living room is working fine.

This morning I promised to cook breakfast so I fired up the griddle outside and cooked bacon and eggs with toast. Etta brought over fruit and we had a nice breakfast outside.

The weather has moderated from a stifling hot yesterday to a pleasant 70ish with a nice breeze.

While everyone got ready for a bike ride, I set up my new ladder ball game. Thank you Terry for this idea, what fun. I am going to have to have this game on the island in St Croix. It would be a fantastic game to play by the pool. Terri, can you see if they carry a ladder ball game at Champs if you stop by?

The bike ride was fantastic. The marsh has turned a greenish golden color (The Golden Isles) and egrets and water birds were everywhere.

We stopped by the beach to show my sister my Galaxy memorial. I put a small dog tag on a cedar tree a few years ago where Galaxy used to swim with the dolphins. We sprinkled some of her ashes there.

We stuffed ourselves at Blackbeards with local seafood and collected all the doilies from lunch for our Popeye’s Chicken supper tonight. I can just see a greasy biscuit sitting on a doily.

This afternoon everyone headed to St Simons but I stayed back for a shower and fantastic nap.

So far, so good on the fall vacation.

Excuse Me While I Drift A Bit South

Today we’ll drive down to Jekyll Island and meet up with my sister Etta and her husband Al for a long weekend.

It is about a 6 ½ hour drive down to the island all the while driving around 20,000 pounds of weight. My truck weighs 7800 pounds empty and the 5th wheel comes in at a tad over 12,000 pounds.

Needless to say I take driving that rig seriously since it takes forethought on every move you make. Whether it’s braking, lane changes, accelerating, turning or parking, it all must be done carefully.

The reward for all of this stress is having my home away from home with me where ever I go, and I get to take my entourage of pets with me too.

Jekyll Island Campground is a nice, shady place we have retreated to since 1992. The South Georgia Island is dripping with big knarly “Harry Potter” live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and covered in resurrection ferns.

We’ll ride bikes, eat seafood, sit outside and laugh, and generally have a relaxing time.

Since they have broadband I’ll have a chance to do some work so I won’t get behind from all this down time. It doesn’t bother me a bit to do bursts of work while on vacation. I do my best work this way.

Recent Encounters With Rednecks

You want to sound real stupid? Say, "Do what?” when I say something to you. Saying “Do what?” is about as useless as tits on a man. If proves beyond a showdown of a doubt that I have encountered a dumb ass in the flesh.

On Saturday I went to an unnamed production facility in NC and entered the security area where I found the only security guard sitting up, sound asleep, faking it like he was reading. He was good at this too. My buddy Ty though he was ignoring us until he heard the slightest snore. I screamed “Good morning”, and he slowly looked up at me all confused.

Arrr!

I have been home from my island vacation now for over three weeks, and am beginning to suffer from island fever.

I need to feel the open air warm breezes. I need to hear the quick toot of a horn signaling you to go ahead and while the other driver yields. That is a nice island custom. I could go on and on with the reasons I miss the island.

Therefore this week, Gigi and I will take an emergency vacation to Jekyll Island, GA. We’ll take the RV and all the kids.

I have decided to introduce a new persona that I shall unveil today. I shall be known from now on vacations as Captain Stubble of the highway schooner yet unnamed.

I started looking around and thinking, I have a parrot, cannon (albeit a potato cannon), a conch horn, I love the Caribbean but don’t live there, and finally in lieu of a sailing vessel I have a highway schooner recreational vehicle.

I needed a name. Blackbeard was taken, so was Bluebeard. There is a Captain in St Croix named Bigbeard. Why all the names associated with whiskers?

I know, I’ll be Captain Stubble. In 48 hours I can be in character and I am only a shave away from becoming regular old Reggie again.

Our next adventure kids is the return to Jekyll Island. It involves an arduous journey through the narrow passages of I-26, past the port of Charleston, Savannah, and then we arrive on the island for 5 days. My trusty crew will accompany me, and my parrot will ride on my headrest.

Arrrrr!

Let me know if you come up with a good name for the highway vessel.

Can't Give the Finger?

I was relaxing this morning after fixing and eating a fantastic breakfast of hash browns and a cheese omelet.

I had just settled down to catch up on email and read a few blogs when I heard Gigi yell from the bedroom, “Reggie! Come here quickly!”

I run back to the bedroom, “What’s wrong honey?”

I see Gigi in bed making spastic gestures with her right hand.

“I can’t flip the bird with my right hand”, she says in a panicked voice.

“Well, it looks okay to me, you can still get your point across”, I said.

“No! Something is wrong with my right hand. It must have been from that surgery a few years ago”.

Now I see Gigi convincingly flipping a perfect bird with her left hand and alternating to her poorly formed bird on her right hand.

“Just use you left hand honey. That looks fine, it’s a good bird”.

“No! Something is wrong with my right hand.”

“Call the doctor Monday and tell him you can no longer flip someone off with your right and see what he has to say”.

Gigi takes a swat at me as I run from the room.

When is a Toaster not a Toaster?

I have witnessed in my lifetime two very old, simple, and inexpensive kitchen gadgets get worse over the years instead of better.

Normally over 50 years you would expect improvements in gadgets, or certainly no declines in the function of a gadget.

But let us explore a few items so you know what I am talking about.

The first is the common kitchen toaster (toastsus commonis). The toaster of my youth was very functional, it toasted sliced bread. It had two working parts, a knob to push down the toast, and a dial to determine the darkness of your toast. That was it and it worked well. It came in any color you wanted as long as it was chrome. It was simple and effective. The toast would pop up when it was done and it didn’t take very long.

Toasters now come in many colors which is a d├ęcor improvement. But the toaster’s ability to simply toast sliced bread has been greatly compromised. Now there are setting and thermostats that complicate this simple task.

My toaster at home has multiple settings for bagels, frozen waffles, pastries and finally plain old bread. Its primary function is making toast which it does poorly.

The problem is that they have spread apart the heating coils to accommodate fat items like a bagel. This leads to slow cooking times for skinny items like toast.

To complicate matters, I own 4 toasters. One is in my home, one in the guest house, one in the RV, and one at work.

My toaster at work is the best. It gives me the least problems and toasts toast in a fairly reasonable time.

All of the other toasters have a tendency to produce raw toast, and many times I have to re-toast my toast in order to achieve toast.

The other faulty gadget will have to wait. As we say in the south, I’m off on a “bitness” trip and don’t have time for any further comment.

A Bit Gross

I ordered some calamari at lunch today. I like calamari, heck I even like the tentacles if they are fried up nicely.

Today however the squid was a bit bigger than I like. The tentacles were there, and I could see the sucker cups up and down the tentacles. I about gagged.

I got my composure and got a serving onto my plate. I thought I can do this. As I cut into the squid the outer overcoat of breading on the tentacle came off, revealing rather large pink sucker cups.

I could imagine those sucker cups sticking on the roof of my mouth as I ran through the restaurant like a panicked choking victim. I gagged again and shoved the calamari under a lettuce leaf.

Shortest Post Ever

I feel like I have been cheated when I find a bubble in a tub of margarine.

Clippers

Okay, show of hands now. How many of you toss a leg out from under the covers at night to cool down when you are hot in bed?

It feels so good, and cools you down all over. You wouldn’t think one bare leg would make such a difference in body temperature.

When I was a kid I was afraid of imaginary monsters eating my leg so I had to be really hot to sacrifice my leg from under the covers.

I called these imaginary monsters “clippers” and thought they looked somewhat like big fast crabs with Edward Scissorhands claws.

I haven’t thought about clippers in 45 years.

There is enough real stuff to scare you as an adult without making up stuff to scare you. Maybe that is your mind’s way to prepare you as a child for the reality of adulthood.

Sharp Dressed Man

I really hate wearing socks. I like my dogs free where I can wiggle them around. Flips flops are ideal footwear.

But alas, I must work and it is getting cooler, so socks are required.

My wife does the laundry and somehow socks are the last thing to get sorted and put away.

So I was digging away in the laundry basket yesterday trying to match a pair of dark socks when it dawned on me, why not just get a nice pair of dark socks tattooed on me and be done with this for life?

Then I got to thinking how nerdy that would look at the beach with flip flops and dark socks.

I’ve got to go now and match some socks.

Cedie

My dog Cedie had a seizure this morning and it tears my heart out. I love that dog more than I should. It kills me to see her come out of that seizure all confused and tired.

I know how she felt. I have seizures too, though mine are completely controlled.

It seems that blue eyed Australian Shepherds are prone to epilepsy. We had a friend that had to put one to sleep because the seizures became uncontrollable. Quigley was a fine dog.

We’ve increased her dose so hopefully this little girl will be okay.

From the Cheap File

I’ve written about cheap people before but two cheap asses I heard about this weekend take the cake.

One guy is a member of our club. He is so cheap that he gets a free Styrofoam cup of ice offered for water outside, and takes the cup into the bar to get a “free” refill of Coke. He never paid for a Coke, so he is not entitled to a refill. He is too cheap to buy a Coke.

He also once made a hole in one on 16. The custom for a hole in one is you buy everyone a drink if you made the hole in one. This guy disappeared at 17 and drove home rather than buy his colleagues drinks.

A worse story is a fellow and his wife that spend the winter in the Caribbean, and summers here in North Carolina.

When he is docked offshore he and his wife will go ashore and head to the soup kitchens at various churches. Then they will load up at the various food banks. Once supplied, they will head to another island and do the same thing.

He gets by most of the winter on free food. He can afford food but chooses to live off of others rather than spending any of his own money.

A Monday Moring Rant

I love to watch football, mainly NFL football.

When I was a kid we had no local team. I was forced to watch whomever the Washington Redskins were playing, and we were glad for that. The Redskins, however politically incorrect the name, became my football team until we got our own team in the mid 90’s.

Having you own local team changes everything. It gets in your blood. When they are winning there is nothing better. When they are loosing its like I want to skip forward until basketball season. I can’t bear to watch us loose on a consistent basis.

We suck big time this year and I hate this fact. Yesterday I met my pal at the club. We watched the Presidents Cup and the USA won. We enjoyed good food, jokes and then optimistically headed down to the stadium.

Then we patiently sat in the blistering sun to watch our Carolina Panthers play like they had just taken up the game.

Keep in mind that these are professional players paid a great deal of money to win games and be entertaining to their fans. Yet yesterday they all played like they had something else to do.

You know what? I did too. My buddy and I left at halftime, went back to the club and watched the 4th quarter on TV all the while heckling our team in a crowd of discussed fans.

Yes we are fans of the team and we all pay them with our ticket revenues and team items we buy. Their only obligation is to play to the best of their ability. It is not my job to win. It is their job.

Don’t say I am a bad fan. I lived up to my obligation yesterday. I am a professional fan and I paid my money to watch a professional team. Now it’s time for my team to act professional and deliver what I paid for.

Carolina, you disappointment me wasting all of the talent you have before you.