Sunday's forecast is 84 and sunny!!!!

I got an email from my sister this morning with the following subject line:

Sunday's forecast is 84 and sunny!!!!

I have about literally worn myself out in anticipation of our travels on Saturday. My adrenalin has been flowing for weeks now.

In less than 48 hours I’ll board my plane and step into early summer. I will see green leaves and corn growing in the field. I will see coconut and banana trees.

Best of all, I will be warm. I will have on shorts, flip flops and I will have my first BO of the season. Yes, good old body odor. There will be sun screen smells, sand, warm water, open top Jeep rides and thick island accents. There will be tall grass on the road side and happy people who have left their stressful thoughts back on the mainland.

I will swim and snorkel to my hearts content.

Inevitably I will curb some of my plans for the week because there is never enough time there on the island to do everything I planned.

I will be tired and tan by weeks end.

Big Spender

How does it make sense that the federal government is going to steal $600 to $800 from Gigi and me, then give this money to some stranger with instruction to spend this/my money.

Then, the same poor slob gets robbed of his money and the government mails me his/now my money and tells me, “Don’t put it back in your account, go buy yourself something pretty on me. Ok.”


One catch, the Senate is debating whether I should get any of the other slob’s money because I was a bit too productive in society last year. So they may just skim some of the cream off me and not give me anyone else’s money.

This is supposed to stimulate our economy and save the world economy in the process.


This reminds me of a custom I used to have with my college roommate. Each Christmas I would give him a $20 dollar bill and he would graciously thank me for my generosity.

$20 was a lot of money in the 70’s especially for a college student.

He would then give me back my $20 as a gift and I would make over it like he was a big spender. We would then laugh heartily and tell people how generous our roommate was.

This was a joke people. Now our government is doing it for real, and lots of people are going along with it. That is scary. Be afraid.

Southern Phrase of the Month

We have a term in the south that means “spoiled”.

The term is ruint. It is the past tense of sorts to ruin.

It is said in one syllable. It is easier to say than ruined.

Proper Uses:

“Look at Cedie lying in the sun on her back, she’s ruint!”

“Don’t eat that cake now, you’ll ruint your supper.”

I'm Worried About The Last Day

Our last day on the island will be Saturday the 9th of February. Our plane doesn’t depart until 5:30ish in the afternoon. As far as I am concerned I have a full day to play in the sun like any other day.

But as far as my wife is concerned she is content to throw in the towel the night before and surrender to the inevitable, prematurely in my opinion.

On the last day I want to live in denial and I would prefer a leisurely breakfast, maybe some swimming and snorkeling, and perhaps a final ride to a cliff to watch some waves crash. Followed by a ceremonial cocktail, and then off to the airport for one of their famous hot dogs and a can of Budweiser.

A few years ago I scheduled an early morning round of golf the last day but cancelled it after I got this ugly look from the misses.

Why mope and pack?

In reality it does take some extra time going through customs when you leave. But I could easily play until 1 PM, shower, head toward town, grab some lunch on the boardwalk, and then head to the airport.

Oh yeah, this is a picture of the last day a few years ago when Gigi had to use a steak knife to pick out a wedged goat bone stuck in my molar.

Orientation Sunday

We had orientation this afternoon for the kids.

One problem with traveling out of the country is we have 9 animals that need care while we are gone.

We found a young lady who will house sit and entertain the animals while she goes to college and we play 1800 miles away. She will stay at our home just to keep an eye on everything.

Down on the island I think I will change things around blogwise. The past few years I have run a small webcam while on the island of St Croix. I think this year however I will try something different. I plan to use video blogs, photos and text instead of a live cam.

The live cam just sucks up too much bandwidth and I don’t think many people were looking at it anyway. It will be more fun making videos anyway.

A Frosty Morn

I had a fitful nights sleep last night.

I woke up about 2 AM and got to thinking, what if our knees were on backwards like a bird, how would we sit in a chair? What would a chair look like?

A friend had mentioned this last week, and I decided to ponder it in the middle of the night.

Then I drifted off and dreamed that Gigi got this big pet grizzly bear. I was scared to death of it but I enjoyed spooning with it at night.

I woke up and Cedie and I were spooning.

Lastly I was so inspired by Terri and Jay efforts in video that I adjusted my video settings for better clarity and decided to shoot another video.

Mark! One week and Counting

Next week this time I’ll be at the airport writhing like a worm in hot ashes. Gigi is already disgusted with me now because I am so damn excited.

But now it’s time for me to get serious about this upcoming vacation. I’m not sure I have given it enough thought.

Let me mark my map so I won’t get too bored, you know places I know that are fun.

I dug out an old video for you to enjoy from two seasons ago. I thought you night want to join in on a Jeep ride on a warm February day on the way to Cane Bay and a little scuba diving.

Plus you get to see Asa, the talking dog.


This morning I went into the frozen confines of the RV looking for a few items to pack for our island vacation. The place looked cold and abandoned.

It reminded me of the Movie 2010 when the astronauts board the long abandoned space craft and decide to test the air. You could see their breath inside as they moved around to investigate.

So it was in the RV this morning. It was very cold, in the teens and the memories of warmer weather and fun to come this summer were in every nook.

I found my now official Buck Island Exploration tee shirt made famous on my last trip. I figure if I drowned it would be easier to find my bloated body in an electric green tee shirt. Plus I am a man of tradition so it needed to be packed to make me feel balanced.

I also ran across my Stephen Davis football jersey so I’ll pack that one instead of my Jake Delhomme jersey for the Super Bowl.

I guess Terry was right. I was a fool to think I was all packed last week.

Did I mention I was going to the US Virgin Islands in a week where it is 77 degrees now as I write and on the way to 80?

Oh, I bought two heavily insulated plastic tumblers with tops yesterday. They both have a parrot on them that says, “It five o clock somewhere.” Hopefully those tumblers will solve that disgusting problem I have down in St Croix of your ice melting and diluting your rum drink.

Only in the South

Yesterday I was at my desk working away and I could feel someone looking at me. I looked up to see Norm our building maintenance man. His arm was outstretched toward me. In his hand was a plastic bag full of disgusting looking matter.

It looked chewed tobacco or a sack of crap; maybe a blend of the two.

“Try some.”

“What is it Norm?”

“Homemade jerky”.

“Ah Norm, what kind of meat is it?”

“London broil baby…nothing but the finest”.

I reached in the bag, took out a piece and took a bite of the best jerky I ever tasted. Norm smiled and asked me how much I wanted to buy.

I put in an order for a pound, half peppery and half sweet.

I walked next door to my little young northern yankee secretary to explain what Norm had. I figured people didn’t walk around downtown Chicago where she is from with dried meat samples for sale.

I’ll have to give her credit. She was nibbling on a piece and put in a 2 pound order.

I'm Ready and Waiting

I’m packed. Yep, all set for St Croix. I can just sit and wait and let time pass.

I have my flip flops on top of my carry on so I can change to island dress in the plane.

Absent are my traditional yellow swim trunks and new is my covert cooler.

A covert cooler was invented by a clever guy to sneak cold beers onto a golf course. It comes disguised as a shoe bag and hold nine canned beverages plus ice. I took my covert cooler a step further and incorporated some clear oxygen tubing that I can drape under my nose and over my ears. It then looks just like a portable oxygen system.

Now I can carry ice cold beverages to most any place on the island where coolers are frowned upon. I noticed a few beaches had signs prohibiting coolers. Who is going to argue with a 51 year old man with his portable oxygen system?

I fit in a couple of small walkie talkies so we can order sandwiches on the beach from the villa or communicate between cars.

Along with my carry on I have all my computer and electronic stuff. In it is my laptop, camera and iPod along with all the accessories. I have an access point in St Croix that I can use to give us wireless internet off of the villa broadband. Thank you Terry and Michael for storing my duffle bag of stuff. Also in that duffle is all of our snorkel stuff that allows me to travel lighter than in years past.

I’ve even bought a box of TSA one quart zip lock bags for the carry on.

Oh! I have a Carolina Panther football jersey for the Super Bowl. I won't be needing the cheeshead after all.

A Day Wasted

Oh Dr. King, why couldn’t you have been born in the summer? Spring or fall would have been a good back up.

What in the hell are we supposed to do a day of in the dead of winter?

Let’s see the Guiding Light and the Young and Restless is on; how about a basketball or football game. Nope.

I guess I could wash my Jeep if it wasn’t 18 friggin degrees outside. Golf is out of the question.

There are no MLK sales, movie releases, parties, nothing. Just take the day off and sit at home wasting a day that might as well be a work day.

Organizers should have planned this holiday better. Look at St Patrick’s Day for suggestions. We don’t even get the day off and it more fun than MLK day.

There should be some kind of tradition set for this day. If is works we could start MKL eve stuff but I am getting ahead of myself.

A party would be nice with a MLK traditional drink. We need to choose a meat for the meal. You have to be careful with that one. We need a game to watch on TV. There again let’s be sensitive.

I know, let’s give some more gifts, no everyone head to the slopes.

Maybe we are doing the best we can already. Everyone is spent out and getting a little sick of the winter. Can we move your birthday to April…please?

Stuff That Comes to my Mind

It doesn’t bother me to speak in front of a large crowd. I once spoke to a group of 600 pastors at a Presbytery of Charlotte meeting and made them laugh. The adrenalin almost makes me high when I speak to a crowd.

I still want to sleep on a creaky boat in the ocean one day and play cards and drink rum. I saw the movie Cape Fear the other day and this reminded me of this wish. Our place we are getting for the RV is on the Cape Fear River. It’s a real place and not just movie fodder.

There are flattering mirrors and unflattering mirrors in hotels. Most of the time I run by the brightly illuminated unflattering mirrors in a hotel. The little cheap hotel I stayed in last night had flattering mirrors. I stopped and preened like a rooster in front of that mirror. I wanted to take it home.

I love a grinning dog. Not many dogs do this where they raise their lips and show their teeth when they are happy. I have had two grinning dogs but none now.

Gigi and I have been saving dollar bills and change for spending money down on the island. She has a stack of ones 4 inches tall and a big plastic Folgers can full of change.

I am making a list today for groceries that we need when we walk in the door. They have someone that will shop and stock for us for a fee. Mostly our needs are mixers, limes, bottled water, coffee, beer, chips and salsa, bread, and butter. I’m going to take a chance that there is a liter or two of rum left behind by the last guest. This is nice since no one feels like running out to the store when you get on the island.

What's Up?

I took my father in law back to Brunswick, GA yesterday. He had too much luggage for public transportation so I decided to do the trip myself.

I had to wait for my epilepsy medication to be delivered to the drugstore before I headed out of town. You saw the drug store episode yesterday…and you say I gave a Carolina accent.

Anyway, the trip is 6 plus hours each way and I decided to do as much as I could in a day. By 7:30 PM I was tired and it was dark. I stopped at some little hotel in the Low Country of South Carolina.

The hotel was clean, warm and had wi-fi. That is all I needed for a restful sleep.

By 6:30 AM I was back on the road and back in Charlotte by 10:30 AM.

It is cold here, dismal, and it’s raining with expectations of 3 inches of snow.

There is no football on TV, too early for golf on TV, too messy to do anything, so I decided to track the lucky bustards that are on the Charlotte St Croix flight today.

I’ll be in that little plane in two weeks.

Video Blog

Okay...I'm putting myself out there.

Screw 'em

We got one of our annoying little southern snow storms last night. There is about three inches of snow on the ground and thanks to our legal system; all the areas schools are closed.

This reminds me why I head south for a brief respite in the winter.

When you put together a warm winter vacation with multiple couples, you are usually trying to sell the concept in June. It can be a hard sell when it’s 86 degrees and beautiful outside.

One glance outside at this frozen waste and I am reminded where I will be in 16 days.

Yesterday morning I had a meeting with a young person that I would guess was 24 tops. He talked like some west coast teenage girl. At the end of each sentence his voice inflection would go up. That was annoying as hell.

I could tell he thought I was an old fossil too. Screw him.

I went in our Apple store the other day and all theses little clone looking Apple people were walking around with their hair sticking up with black tee shirts on and side burns. Plus they all had on shoes that looked like combat boots and military issue glasses.

Anybody heard of Lasik surgery or contact lenses?

I felt like a fossil. Screw them.

I could see me wearing my hair stuck up, with side burns and a black tee shirt on with my sentience’s end on a high note. Yeah, right.

Stuff Here and There

I watched an episode of Beavis and Butthead on Sunday and completely got it. I guess the 14 year old boy still resides in this man.

I keep several tubes of Coppertone sunscreen nearby because I love being outdoors so much although I haven’t had much occasion to use it lately. I put some of the sunscreen on my hands this morning and the smell invokes in my mind fun hot summer days, pretty women, squealing kids by the pool, cold beer on the beach, and warm moist breezes. Do yourself a favor and take a deep sniff of your favorite sunscreen right now to break the winter doldrums.

I made Gigi laugh so hard and spontaneously on the phone today that she lost her voice for a moment. It was something that Michael told me.

My new ipod has really stepped up my cardio workout. There’s nothing like some 80’s hair band music to get the blood pumping.

Speaking of my ipod itouch…I have drunk deeply the Apple Kool-Aid. This is about the finest gadget I have ever owned. Last night I bought an upgrade (the bastards have me hooked) that makes my itouch do everything an iphone does except make a call.

My "Man Grooming"

My “man grooming” went just fine this morning. My back is slick as the hood of a new Buick.

One little tip guys, if they ask if you want to remove that little patch of hair on the lower back, they ask for a reason. They save best for last and it hurts.

Otherwise I have had gas pains far more severe than a back waxing. All you hairy guys can go for it.

In my never ending quest to have fun I am in negotiations with Peter the Pickled Greek to have a taste of the Pickled Greek party at our Villa our first night. His catered parties are the talk of the island I am more than happy to have the event at our villa. Tom and Judy thought it would be fun so we’ll move forward.

So in theory, we step off the plane, jump in the cars with a nice rum drink and head to a stocked villa with a party and dinner waiting, and a real chef preparing the food.

Peter doesn’t actually know that he is in negotiations yet because I haven’t talked to him. I just hope he has Saturday night free.

Michael has been collecting coconuts and has been practicing chopping the tops off the coconuts for rum drink containers. Leave it to Michael to tell me that the coconut water actually mixes well with gin.

Plans Anyone?

Locals down on the island don’t get all balled up with advanced planning. Yes Christmas will come again but they’ll deal with it later, maybe like Christmas Eve.

And so it is with advance planning for the Super Bowl on the island of St Croix.

Back in September I saw a real live plasma TV on the island, in a bar. These are two key ingredients for a Super Bowl party.

As far as I know it is the only high definition TV on the island and it is actually hooked to a HD satellite receiver. I know, I checked personally. I didn’t see it work so that concerned me.

Last year they had a big screen TV set up at the Divi which was very adequate. Plasma however is better in a man’s eye.

I called Chenay Bay Beach Resort to enquire if they planned an event for the Super Bowl and did the TV at the outdoor bar in fact work, and was it actually HD.

In the thick (tick) island accent she answered yes it is HD and yes it works and who cares about a football game three weeks from now.

I got a little flustered then realized that this woman didn’t know, didn’t care, and if I wanted to come watch her TV on February 3rd I was perfectly welcome. Relax….it doesn’t matter.

I took a deep breath and now I begin my mental vacation. I need to decompress a bit before I get there and now is as good of time as any to begin.

Little Bity Babies and Back Hair

We have a new person in our family and the great uncle is almost giddy. My nephew Jay Gray and his bride had their first child, a little girl.

How stupid was that? Of course it’s a little girl. Naw…she’s a big old fat girl. It’s a baby for goodness sakes.

How come I get aged all the way to a great uncle…even though literally I am, instead of a grand uncle. Its not fair.

I'm going to let Jay post the first picture so I'll just stick with the baby ape for now.

Between news and stories about the upcoming tropical vacation, and a new little one in the family, I must have made a half dozen phone calls this weekend talking to happy people.

I talked to both sisters several times, my mother, my nephew, my brother in law, from St Croix, Michael and Terry.

Tuesday I am going to do something I have never done. It’s going to be traumatic I know…painful even. I plan to have my back waxed. I’m sorry if you just blew your cereal out but there is no way to write about this without being gross. It grosses me out too and it’s me that it is growing on.

Thank goodness someone does this for a living.

I think maybe I will pick up some speed in the water from this procedure.


I consume my fair share of wine and beer throughout the year.

Beer is usually reserved for outdoor events, or outdoor events watched on TV like football. Otherwise I will sip wine at dinner.

I rarely drink the hard stuff, however when traveling to the Virgin Island a mans thoughts turn to rum.

I wrote my favorite bartender on the island of St Croix yesterday for a couple of drink recipes that are popular on the island now.

Peter wrote:

I think the two drinks that are most popular down here (besides dark rum and Diet and dark and Coke) are the Painkiller and Thebushwacker.

The pain killer is equal parts light and dark rum (don't be shy with the rum!!!!!!!!!) a little 151 rum, cream de coconut, and pineapple juice. Mix it by pouring into next glass several times, then sprinkle nutmeg on the top.

The Bushwacker is a frozen drink of light rum, baily's, kahlua, and a little amaretto, blend and serve.

I had both drinks in September and they are fantastic. They are delicious, well blended and full of great Cruzan Rum flavors.

A note of caution…these are strong drinks to be sipped but they don’t taste strong and your urge is to drink them like it was fruit juice.

Do yourself a favor and watch this Cruzan Rum video about the rum and the island. You’ll see my friend Peter, and you’ll see plenty of reasons why I continue to go back.

Want to See Some Messy Power Poles?

I’m not sure what got me to thinking about this but I absolutely love the old architecture of downtown Christiansted.

One thing I find even more fascinating is the snarled patchwork of power lines that are invisible to most people. Christiansted by far has the most snarled utility system that I have ever seen.

I look at power lines and utility pole far too much.

My Computer Just Told Me I am a Lard Ass

I just started doing one of those life expectancy calculators online where they ask a bunch of lifestyle questions and then calculate your life expectancy.

The first thing was a question about my age, weight, height, and then this body mass calculator pops up. Things turned ugly.

“Okay Mr. Fat Shit….I assume you are gasping for air Mr. Tubbo.”

What? I have a BMI of 26! A BMI over 25 for a man my age is a fat turd.

I need to grown an inch or loose 10 pounds. I don’t know which is easier.

I didn’t bother with the rest of the questionnaire.

Damn computer.

Snorkel A River?

As quickly as the cold weather hit last week, we are now doused in a pleasant winter heat wave.

I took advantage of the warmth, called a friend and headed to my favorite mountain golf course. I’ve been in the mountains a lot recently.

This course is called Cleghorn Plantation. My wife calls it Ichabod Acres. Either name sounds awful.

The layout has many clean and clear streams throughout the track. As I approached a stream I could imaging me with a snorkel slowly working my way upstream all the while looking at the little creatures that live in the river.

That is not a bad idea come to think of it. I could get a wetsuit, a stateside set of goggles, snorkel and flippers and explore some clean running streams.

I’d have to be careful of snakes, snapping turtles, leaches, crayfish and other river nastys. Funny how I am more comfortable with a nearby shark or barracuda than I am a snapping turtle or leach.

The temporary warmth is nice but there is more to spring and summer than just warm air. I miss green grass, foliage, flowers, puffy clouds, and long daylight hours. Damn, that sentence sounded gay but it’s true.

In 24 days, one hour and 47 minutes I’ll be headed to my Caribbean paradise for an early touch of spring. But who’s counting?

An Inside Look

This is my refrigerator at home. You would think we were feeding 5 kids from the looks of it. My God there is enough food here to eat for a 10 day blizzard.

And look at that pack of hotdogs. I haven’t eaten that many dogs in two years.

Check out that block of cheese. I bet there are 5 blocks of different cheeses if you dig around enough.

Ah, there's my good old Ruth’s pimento spread and my evaporated milk for my coffee…true comfort items for me.

Something in my wife’s DNA makes her hoard like this. Sam’s Club doesn’t help either.

In her defense it better than having an empty refrigerator. I guess we are truly blessed in abundance.

I’m off to McDonalds for an egg McMuffin. I’m too lazy to fix anything from that pile of food.

3 Things That Irritate Me

I get irritated when someone says they don’t believe in something that is a fact of life. I had a neighbor once that declared he didn’t believe in taking a dog to the vet. What is there to believe in? You’re just a cheap ass and don’t care about your dogs health would be a more accurate statement.

I hate these Charles Schwab TV commercials where the cartoon people talk about their investments. It’s creepy. They look like paint by numbers.

I really hate those TV commercials where they make people look like food. I’m mad just typing the thought.

Family Wisdom

Gigi’s uncle called a few weeks ago and I took away a brilliant nugget from that conversation.

He said, “Reggie, life is like a video tape. When you push the rewind button it starts out very slow, then towards the end it’s zipping along so fast that you can’t observe it.”

Good point I thought. Life does seem to pass so quickly the older I get. As a kid summer and winter vacations, heck even the weekends lasted for eternity.

Thanks uncle Wendell. Now we need to come up with an analogy that the next generation will understand since video tapes are ancient history.

Face Lift

Finally, I found my camera this morning under the seat of the pickup. Now I can show the world Testicules with the new shiny chrome grille.

Panic Mode

We had this blistering cold snap that descended on us a few days ago and my wise ass decided I should be in the mountains to meet with a few clients.

Here in North Carolina if you ascend a few thousand feet you are propelled into a harsher winter climate.

Thursday night I arrived in Asheville, NC to single digits with the wind howling and snow on the ground. It was anti Reggie weather 180.

I met a buddy for dinner. He actually came by the hotel and picked my up and we headed downtown. Soon I had this awful feeling like something was wrong. My brain hit panic mode as I sensed this warm oozing feeling in the seat of my pants.

How my gosh! Did I just shit in my pants?

I carefully reached down to the seat cushion for further inspection and realized my friend had a heated seat. I hate those things. They fool me every time.

Any Ideas?

Last night I dreamed that I was entitled to the ownership of Green Cay. Green Cay is a tiny, uninhabited, but beautiful island just off shore from the marina on the north shore of St Croix.

Somehow I found documents from 1840 and 1879 where my ancestors had offered to sell the property in exchange for rum. These documents proved that my family owned it at one time and since there was no evidence that the sale took place then the property was mine.

I went out to it and there was a grassy steep hill on the east end and the water was clear and blue with dolphins swimming happily. There was a strong warm wind blowing.

On the west end it was rocky and sharks swarmed in the water.

Now my question, what in the hell was that dream all about?

Sometimes....Just Shut Up!

I played basketball yesterday with my 11 year old nephew in 30 degree weather. I beat him but thought my heart would explode and I got a sudden asthma attack. I nearly died but I kept my pride. I really need to step up my workout.

The funeral went fine. All of us in our 40’s and 50’s noticed that there are fewer and fewer old people around at these events sparking rumors that we are becoming the old people. I’m not ready to be on deck.

It is very entertaining to watch family dynamics. I was with a group who are masters at pushing each other’s buttons. Just bring up a topic here, a comment there, and you have a full blown dogfight. They have to enjoy these conflicts or they would avoid the obvious.

The funeral we went to was for a step father who essentially raised Gigi. His family was there and within a day old conflicts were resurrected by the survivors. Good God Almighty people, just be nice or shut up. Shut up! I wanted to slap one asshole relative or at least cover him in honey and tie him to an ant hill.