Road Trip

Good morning peoples in blog land. My posting frequency has demished which is typical when I come back from St Croix. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas I am just too laid back to make my fingers work.

Yesterday I drove to Richmond, VA where they still smoke in restaurants to meet my nephew Alan for some premarital financial planning. Not any sneaky escape clauses mind you just responsible stuff a guy should do when he is about to take on a wife and potential family…. boring stuff like insurance, savings and retirement.

I thought while I was in the general region I would swing by Durham, NC to see my mother on Saturday.

I drove and hour or so down from Richmond and settled on a cheap hotel next to a Cracker Barrel and Hooters. Good…this will be perfect for supper and breakfast.

I worked a few hours on the computer and walked over to Hooters for supper.

Never have I witnessed so many third trimester sized bellies on so many men. There must have been 75 huge bellied white guys all with hats on eating fried meat and drinking beer loudly.

All of the waitresses who looked like they were barely old enough to baby sit poked out their massage fanny crack cleavage for all to see.

Fanny crack cleavage, fried meat and big bellies seem to be a winning combination here in Chester, VA.

Cracker barrel attracts an older plaid shirt crowd of men with pants pulled up to their nipples that stand and stare at you while they openly pick food particles from their teeth.

It was a fun and restful night. I’m moving on to Durham this mid day, then Fort Mill, SC to pick up my finished chicken tractor and then back to Midland and home.

You Figure This One Out

I don’t make this stuff up, I dream it.

The dream I had the other night was so fantastic and strange that I can’t get it out of my head.

I was in my RV trying to find a place to park when I very large and very black woman insisted I follow her. Her skin was as dark as night. She was as large as the Statue of Liberty and she a big shackle on her left ankle and a long heavy chain that she attached to my RV.

I wasn’t afraid in fact I felt very calm and comfortable with this.

She began to walk and drag my RV with me and my sister and Gigi to some unknown destination. Soon she took flight and I was in tow behind her still confident that I was being taken to a good place.

We dove in a huge tunnel and the scenery changed to a fairy land like cartoonish landscape.

She found me a fantastic parking spot beside a river, unhooked her chain and motioned to some buildings across the river.

My sister and I headed toward the buildings and I could see that they were setting up a fantastic banquet with fine linens, silverware, stemware, and candles…many candles. I could see a quartette setting up. There were dozens of people setting up in a great hurry.

I was instructed to go to another building first. In that building was the most elaborate bar I had ever seen. The first seat at the bar had my name there and the second had my sister’s name.

The bartender was very friendly and called us by name and poured us both a drink.

“We’ve been expecting you two”, he said.

I looked around and realized Gigi was not there and she did not have a name tag at the bar. I wanted to go back and get her but I was told that I couldn’t and that she would join me again some day…not to worry.

That is all I remember.

I can’t get the beautiful colors and scenery out of my memory. The place was beautiful


I have abhorrence for recycling. I’m talking about the actual act of sorting garbage, collecting cans, paper and glass and then carrying the plastic box to the curb.

My garbage gets treated better and it treats me better. My garbage can has a nice tight fitting lid and the can has wheels with a nice handle so I can roll the garbage as far as I want to.

My recycle bin contains garbage that has been deemed to live again but it does not have a top, no handle, no wheels, and little holes on the bottom where garbage juice can leak on me. Instead of moving my special garbage with one hand like my real garbage I must cradle my bin in both arms and bear the entire weight of this juice dripping beast.

I hate garbage juice.

Back in the dark ages we had a different system that involved everyone. Most everything came in glass bottles like Coke and milk. When we were finished the bottle would be washed and used again and again.

The Milkman would pick up the bottles and leave you new bottles full of milk. No plastic jugs to recycle into carpets and door mats.

Coke and other soft drink bottles would be taken back to the store and you would get more bottles full of Pepsi or Coke. No more aluminum cans or plastic bottles.

Beer cans were made of steel. Steel could have been recycled but nature did something better. It rusted the damn cans away to nothing in no time at all.

It all made better sense to reuse things until they broke.

Some Success

I finally got my Notebook PC rebuilt with a new and larger hard drive and a nice fresh copy of the legacy operating system XP. It will be days before I get the PC completely restored with old files from backup but I must say I am happy going back to XP after using Vista for almost 3 years. So that is fixed and I can chalk another one up for successes.

I got started yesterday on my chicken tractor. This thing is a movable chicken coop designed for free range chickens and egg production. It will house 6 hens where they can scratch the day away in the lower cage section. Then there is a ramp where they can travel upstairs to roost at night. There are two nesting boxes to lay eggs, one at each end and doors that open to collect eggs.

We got this much of the tractor built with the help of my geometry blessed friend Ty and his fancy saws. I am challenged when it comes to cutting precise angles.

This morning I am still coughing sawdust and rubbing my eyes.

I am going to fry some chicken this afternoon with my new deep fryer I bought at target. Frying this chicken has nothing to do with my chicken tractor so don’t think I have suddenly got a chicken freak going on.

Some foods are best fried and I wanted an effective way to do it. So last week I bought the fancy fryer with timers and thermostats and a giant jug of peanut oil from Sams Club.

I like my fried chicken the best so if we digress down to Thunder Dome with the economy at least I’ll have a source of good fried chicken.

This 'n That

Yesterday I got a fantastic surprise from Ali and Chris. It was a bottle of hooch from a place where I can’t buy it legally. I’ll leave it at that just in case the State Department reads my blog.

Thank you so much guys. It was thoughtful and delicious…I tasted it.

My Roomba has really picked up the pace and is ready for regular scheduling. After the initial filth was picked up it can make the entire cycle and park its little butt back in the docking station. Tonight at 2 AM it will make its first programmed round.

I am seeing people panic over the financial markets and this is darn unbecoming to some. How can money mean so much to some people? When you peel back that protective layer of money and see someone freak, you know it was money all along that made them happy and that is sad to me. This is very sad because life is so much deeper than things.

When I was down on the island last week I got an email that a friend died. He was only 40 and died suddenly. He knew how to laugh and enjoy life. He had survived 2 bouts of leukemia and the second one almost killed him. Yet he survived and thrived and I think enjoyed life despite the hardships.

I'm A Failure

Yesterday was full of failures. A good day happy wise but a mechanically challenging day it was.

My new 250 GB hard drive arrived and I collected my PC tools and software ready to dive in and upgrade my laptop.

But first I stopped by Costco and bought a spiffy new Roomba after seeing the impressive work done by Michael and Terry’s Roomba last week in St Croix.

I am an intuitive person…not one to read instructions so I set the Roomba to do its business in the guest house while I disemboweled my PC in the main house.  

A few minutes later I drug Gigi over to witness the mechanical greatness of the Roomba and we caught the Roomba hopelessly writhing on an elevated edge around the hearth screaming that its filter was full. Damn…that’s a lot of cat hair in such a sort time.  Gigi just rolled her eyes in disgust. She’s not a believer in Roombas.

Changing the hard drive was a breeze but I couldn’t get the software to load no matter what. For some reason the PC is rejecting the hard drive. I tried bios settings, software installs but nothing worked so back to the old hard dive for now.

Today I’ll sneak over and vacuum the guest house first just to give my new buddy a head start. Then a few calls to technical support ought to get me back on track. Plus I’m buying the materials for the chicken tractor this afternoon. Oh yeah….working too. 

Chickens, PC's and RV's...Oh my

I have managed to slide back in the rhythm of work and winter without too many cranky thoughts. It was even good to get back in the gym yesterday for a strenuous workout.

I have set up a fairly aggressive to do list which should be started today.

The PC notebook I am typing on for the last three years is an HP DV9040 that has been a workhorse for all my computing needs. I do regret upgrading to Vista but alas!...I have a plan.

I have filled my primary drive…yes almost 112 GB. I have ordered a 250 GB and plan to replace the hard drive today or tomorrow and revert back to a nice clean copy of XP Pro.

That should keep me busy for the next day or so. I love setting up a nice fresh PC. My old laptop hopefully will run like a new computer and hopefully faster than this current Vista operating system.

Saturday I am getting together with my friend Ty to construct a Chicken Tractor. 

Hopefully we can bang out this mobile chicken coup in a day….then I’m looking for 6 laying hens. Why you ask?  I don’t know….but I like the idea of having chickens and fresh eggs.

When I came back from St Croix I thought to my self and said, “Self…wouldn’t it be cool to find an old beater motor home and fix it up?”

I have found a cheap motor home on Craig’s List and plan to look at it today.

Call me crazy but I would love to have a small motor home on the island one day. I could sleep at a different beach each night. I think it would be the only motor home on the island.  

It's Good to be Known, Even at a Pig Bar

Well, I’m back at my desk on this holiday looking out the window like nothing happened last week.

It was a blast down on St Croix last week. If I lived there I would definitely have to slow down some. There is too much to do to try and cram it all in one week.

I ran into a woman the other day at the pig bar saying she was moving off the island after 9 years. I asked why and she said, “Look at me…I’m drunk and it is 12 noon.”

She was an attractive black woman with blonde highlights and gray blue eyes.  She sat counting a box of tees shirts that said, “Born Again Cruzan”.

I said, “I have one of those shirts.”

“Where did you get it”, she asked, “because I make them”.

“From Kim Lucas”, I said.

 “Oh…you’re that guy on the Internet”. 

"Yep...I guess I am."

It's good to be know even at a jungle pig bar on a far away island. 

Rescued by a Rasta Man

Day two attempt at parasailing didn’t go as planned. We got to the boat alright and met our crew. Gigi stayed behind because the waters were still choppy and her rib is cracked.

We took off in rough seas to spy out a relatively calm area for a launch. Meanwhile we were being bounded and strapped with harnesses and life preservers. I felt like I was being strapped in the electric chair for an execution. 

We stood on the back deck of the boat and let the parachute do its job. 

Add VideoWhen we landed disconnected and sat down. I heard an alarm…Houston…we have a problem. 
The chute became tangled in the prop. The Captain killed the engine.

We were towed in by a Rasta man on a jet ski. 


I refer my Wednesday to this post. It was basically the same and saves me the effort of typing. 

From a Reader

When are you going to post the picture of four people and a little dog in the bathroom with the goofy faucet? 
Right Now.

Michael Looks like he's taking credit for inventing this faucet. Who is the white girl on the right? Is Terry smuggling puppies? 

Swim With My Phone?

Now that I am an iPhone owner I find the need to use my computer is waning. Just a quick thumb to the email button and bam I am current most anywhere I am with the new 3G network. A quick post to Facebook with a photo is a breeze.

Before I left for the island I ordered an Otterbox cover that has a scuba feel to it. Let me tell you the look of the phone is all the rage wherever I stop. People stop me and question where I got this cool cover and they want to know if I can dive with it.

No, the cover is shock resistant and water resistant. But could I dive with it? Yes but the phone would be ruined. Why would I want to check my email under water?  

Pinch This a Dream?

Yes the eagle has landed and we are relaxing and enjoying the view.

Saturday our dear friends Terry and Michael met us at the airport with refreshments and we headed to the villa. Saturday night was a fun night on the town in Christiansted.

Sunday we rested and hung out by the pool. I swore I would do more actual relaxing but its killing me.   

I am “On Island”

Local lore and tradition has it that when our island neighbor “The Contessa” is on the island there is a US flag flying at her castle.

If it is good enough for her then it’s good enough for me.

I am on island and arrived safely at 4:15 Atlantic Standard Time.

Let the good times begin!

An Observation

I have a client that has made a brilliant life observation and I swear it is true.

She says that the older a person gets, the more their true nature comes out. If they are a crabby and negative person inside they tend to get more crabby and negative as they age.

What happens is gradually over time you begin to let your guard down so your real self is exposed.

Have you ever noticed how older folks say what they mean and have a “don’t give a shit” attitude? This is that process at work.

Truly nice people don’t cover up niceness like grouchy people do, so they mellow in their old age and love everyone. Their true loving nature comes forward and they are no longer inhibited about their loving kindness.

So…if you see and old ass hole you know he’s been one all his life.  

St Croix or Bust

Almost exactly to the day in the year 7 BO (before Obama) I made my first ever visit to St Croix. I think this will be my 15th trip to the island. Since then by my best guesstiments I have done the following: 

Traveled 45,000 miles by air to and from the island

Spent approximately 105 nights there

Spent $4900 on rental cars

I’ll stop there because when I added up the other things I realized I had spent a great deal of money down there. Still it has been worth every penny to me.

Over 7 years I have stayed in some nicer places than I could afford to buy and have met some fantastic people. I have seen sights that I thought could only be rendered by High Definition TV on the Discovery Channel.

My relationship with the island runs deep. I choose to return here because not because I want to relive my first experience here, I return because I learn and explore new things on every visit. Things I see next week could never have happened on a single tourist visit. I am constantly amazed at what the island has to offer.

And I will be delivered tomorrow into early summer. There will be foliage, green grass, flowers, humidity and all the things I love about summer. It is a perfect summer all year there. It never gets as hot and stifling as Charlotte and never gets cold. To be a weatherman there means you memorize that highs will be in the mid 80’s with steady wind from the east and a chance of showers. Overnight will be in the 70’s. This is pretty much year round.

Today I pack, a light day in the office, lunch with a vender and get a haircut.

Tomorrow I travel and hope time will slow down for at least a week.


As usual I will be blogging from the island and posting some video.  

I Got Busted

Sometimes guys get in trouble just because the way we are wired. Yesterday we had a maid come over to help do some cleaning. Big deal, right?

Oh no…she was a hottie and apparently I get this look on my face and bam…I am busted.

I tried looking away like she was the sun. Honestly I did the best I could under the circumstance…being a guy and all. 

Spring...Come Hither

Let me spread some good news this morning that spring is coming.

I heard it just the other day when a songbird had that “come hither” tone to his voice. He knows spring is coming.

There is a shrub in my front yard that produces the most beautiful ornamental blueberries in May and the little green berries have just set.

The 2009 PGA tour has made it to the continental US and soon will make the southern swing ushering in spring.

We are merely weeks from Daytona and the beginning of the NASCAR season.

I just let the dogs out and there’s damn snow on the ground. Forget what I said. 

We Need New Tennis Balls for Our Walkers

"Me hear dem sit dung and dem time fi hear dead, time fi hear mi dead fell off and nyam di fish and bread."

Another night in the ER and this time it was for Gigi.

Around 10 days ago one of the horses hit their stall door while Gigi was on the other side, and the door slammed into Gigi’s head. It caused a decent shiner and a big bruise on her left temple.

A few nights later she did a major old lady type “breaking her hip” fall in the bathroom because she said she lost her equilibrium. She scratched and severely bruised her forearm.

Yesterday a nursing student and part time house cleaner was over and told Gigi she didn’t like the looks of her forearm.

Gigi called here doctor and he suggested that she go immediately to the big inter city hospital downtown. Gigi begged to go anywhere but this hospital but he insisted.

So I took what looked like my battered wife with defensive wounds to Carolinas Medical Center ER.

This place is a chaotic zoo of misery. Very sick people are lined up moaning, coughing, sleeping all in crowded and packed hallways and waiting areas.  Meanwhile gunshot wounds, heart attacks and wrecks get front and center attention.   

Finally we concluded after talking to staff that we could either spend the night in the waiting room or spend the night at home. There was no room for anyone and they were just waiting for some people to die so we could use their exam rooms. The likelihood of any patient discharges at 8:30 PM otherwise was nil.

So after 3 hours of nothing we packed up, said goodbye to a room full of new friends and headed home.    

Why is this man smiling?

I got my bill yesterday for my fun weekend in Presbyterian hospital. $3,000.

I paid a $150 co-pay when I left the hospital, the insurance kicked in and the hospital says it still wants $850.  This is after I pay a $1700 a month premium for health insurance.

Of course I get the bill on Saturday so it is impossible to get on the phone with the insurance company. To top it off the bill was not itemized.

Now I have something to do next week.  

Inappropriate Use of Words

It annoys me when people nobly announces that they have adopted an animal.  

I feel like saying to the idiot, “Of course you adopted it moron, it is impossible to give birth naturally to a dog.”

Our latest adopted dog (said nobly with a deep sigh of compassion) Abby, is a border collie/hound of some type mix. It is so funny to hear her bark in this distinct hound dog accent, all this coming from a border collie colored face with hound ears.