Oh the Humanity!

This was in my AM Charlotte Craig's List.

"Trailer full of Jeep stuff. For more info call 704-***-****"

I think I'm going to be sick. Is that a heater hose in the bucket? This should be flagged for showing Jeep entrails like this.

Joke's on Me

The white death descended on us last night. We got about 2 inches of snow with an overcoat of about 1 inch of sleet and I am hoping that the forecast of frizzle doesn't pan out. Freezing drizzle is the worst.

I have the generators on standby just in case.

Last night Haley refused to come in. This morning Gigi walked up to the barn to find Haley in a nest of hay. She was cold and scared.

This morning I shoveled snow and this afternoon I'll need to begin hoarding water and turning on heaters to keep it liquid for the horses. The next few nights are going to be in single digits.

This week is supposed to be cold with on and off snow...damn.

Next Saturday the high will be 87 in St Croix with a real feel of 101. The low will be 76. I like that. I will be there.

Peel Back a New Layer

People often ask, "Why St Croix? Isn't St Thomas more fun? Have you been to Grand Cayman? I hear St John is beautiful. We go to St Martin. I used to go to The Bahamas."

The Caribbean is defined by a tectonic plate. We saw it rumble a few weeks ago in Haiti. The Bahamas are not the Caribbean.

St Croix is a little out of the way. It is clearly out of the line of the other islands that define the plate and is safely tucked away under the other Virgin Islands both US and British. On a clear day I can see the other islands. With binoculars I can see buildings on the other islands.

All the islands have clear water, beautiful beaches, reefs, coconut trees, and higher crime than your city. Those are facts. I compared the murder rate on St Croix with the murder rate in the worst part of Charlotte. The island clearly won. Any island would win this contest assuming it is inhabited. In my opinion it has to do the the high per capita consumption of alcohol/drugs and lack of jobs.

So I say pick an island and get to know it. Be safe by using common sense.

Every time I go to St Croix I find out new things and have new adventures. I have spent a great deal of time since my last visit pouring over Google Earth. I have identified new places to visit and new ways to get there.

Then I look at the time I have alloted and realize that if I plan to relax at all then I'll need another trip to see all I want. Back home I figure I discover new things that I want to see and experience and include some things that I want to reexperience and you see my problem.

I keep going back.

In 9 days I can go barefoot and cut fresh flowers in my yard. I will feel warm sunshine in my face. Just for a week.



I have spent the last few evenings honing up on my GPS points for St Croix. I think I am ready to see how they work in two weeks. If anyone wants a copy of 178 island points of interest then drop me an email. You can load them in your GPS too.

This year we have a high definition video camera so expect some clear video, can't say the content will be any better.

Packing has begun and yellow boys made the cut for the 17th time. Only once did my favorite yellow swim trucks stay home and I regretted it. Then the favorite tee shirts, flip flops and toilet articles. I always wear sneakers as my only "hard shoes" for hiking or more formal island events. Plus it saves space having the big boats on my feet instead of taking up packing space. Then I'll roll up 3 or four shorts and a few casual Hawaiian silk shirts. Next is all electronic stuff like PC, iPod, camera, gadgets that go in my pack pack/cooler. That's about it. Oh...underwear.

I think I can get most everything in a carry on but I will check a bag anyway of nonessentials like stinky cheese, snacks, etc. Then on the trip back I'll fill my portion with cigarettes, rum, and hot sauce. No I'm not taking up smoking but I have friends that do and cigarettes are so cheap down there. I have several friends hooked on Miss Anna's hot sauce and I am in my reserves now. Rum is $6 a liter there and the same rum here is $13 a fifth.

Hitting Bottom?

Gotta say that this winter is whipping me mentally. I have been in such a funk that I haven't felt like taking the effort to blog. I have plenty to say mind you, but I am so unmotivated.

I go through the motions and apologize to Gigi. She knows I have the winter blues.

She even called Margaret tonight in St. Croix to try and cheer me up. It was good to hear her voice.

Vacation Please

Yesterday was kind of poor pitiful me in the morning. I sincerely have difficulty with these dog days of winter keeping a bright and spirited outlook.

I decided that instead of sitting around moping that I would try a few mini projects to keep my mind off of my seemingly dismal outlook.

I cleaned out a big portion of my closet. Mostly summer stuff that I haven't worn in a few seasons. Then I cleaned off the deck and cleaned one of the gas grills. Then I let out the horses and cleaned up back at the barn a bit. Then I tackled "my chair".

I spend a great deal of time in my chair. This space is clearly mine with limitations. Gigi will not let me have a recliner of my choice. The rest of the house is Gigi's and I am able to share.

At my chair I have a makeshift desk which is a board with my notebook computer and all sorts of papers Gigi tosses there. To the right side is an ugly green magazine rack full of useless stuff. In front of it is a multi plug that all my electronic crap plugs into at night along with a backup drive, iPhone charger, a makeshift sound system that I plug into my PC to listen to iTunes.

Under and behind my chair is loads of crap that I don't use.

So yesterday I threw out most of that crap.

You know what? All that activity didn't have a positive effect on me. But I have cleaner spaces.

Vacation cannot come too soon.

11 things....

I have held a human skull and thought often about that person.

I have eaten a possum.

I have killed a squirrel and a rabbit by throwing a rock. I ate the squirrel. I was on a survival camping trip.

I once bathed in a pond in February and thought I was going to die from cold.

I have seen and experienced a total eclipse of the sun.

I've had a friend who was murdered.

I have always lived in North Carolina with the exception that I was born in Virginia. I move to North Carolina as an infant.

I find that the older I get the less I think about death. It is a given.

I eventually get bored with most things except family and my wife.

I once helped a man with one arm pull up his pants and zip them up. Think about how hard that would be with one hand.

I can remember pretty well back to age 3 and some sketchy memories earlier.

What Were They Thinking?

Yesterday I had lunch at a local British Pub. I got a black bean burger. What was I thinking? While it left me with entertainment for the rest of the day for sure I am not so sure it was the correct food choice for a work day.

My friend god fish and chips. The fish was big as Shaquille O'Neal's foot. He ate it all. What was he thinking?

Upon return to the office my friend dashes to the mens room and onto his favorite stall. He busts in on an unlocked stall with a guy doing his business while texting on a Blackberry. What was he thinking? Lock the door dude...and flag that Blackberry.

Thinking Ahead

Honestly? I am getting used to this cold weather. I don't like it but I'm making due with heavy layers of clothing.

In four weeks I'm in St Croix home of 83 degrees in winter. And as you would expect I have started planning and mentally packing.

It looks like a scuba dive will be in store this trip. I have scuba dived twice. I am not certified but do the introductory discovery dive which allows me to dive to 40 feet and stay underwater for an hour. That is enough to get my jollies. The thought of diving much deeper conjures up panic knowing I couldn't surface immediately if something went wrong.

We will be watching the Super Bowl from down there. This year we plan to "tailgate" from the villa and watch the game there. And yes they have TV and cable and broadcast the game. One can even watch Tyra Banks every day from down there.

I have had a few fat moths invade my closet over the winter. You know those little fluttering insects that nibble on marginally fitting clothing and render them too tight? Little bastards. So I need to double check what fits and push away from the table. Damn winter.


I know couples that live for years as if they are married and I said, "Why don't you go ahead and get married?" They said, "Why should I?"

I know a couple that live for years as if they are divorced and I said, "Why don't you go ahead and get a divorce?" He said, "Why should I?"

Last night I was watching The Science Channel about a river that runs a few weeks in Antarctica. The water looked so pure and good. I wondered how long it had been in the frozen bondage.

I woke up in the middle of the night thirsty and drank some water only to wonder who and how many people had drunk this water before me.

Is the Obama administration going to implode on their own in less than a year? It is way to early to be so blatant about campaign promises being broken and treating the American people like they are children for believing them.

Regional Cooling

It is no secret that we are experiencing regional cooling. This in fact is a winter that has been like no other going back to the 70's or maybe 60's. This cold run has been sustained with no relief in sight.

Gone is the time I live in winter denial and dash between a heated car to a heated building. Today I would freeze my ass off.

I have a new found respect for my friends to the north that deal with this seasonal misery every year. Just to empty the garbage I must layer up, put on a hat and gloves with proper footwear before making the 200 yard walk. Then all the layers and coats must be peeled away and stored again. This is a real pain but it beats being cold or exposure.

Sunday I came home from the game heavily layered with clothes smell of wood smoke, stale food and spilled adult beverages. I peeled off the clothes into a large pile. Enough for a laundry load. Our laundry has tripled.

Thank God I didn't play by the rule the anti clutter freaks that say, "If you haven't used it in a year, throw it away". Some of these clothes and sweaters I'm wearing this year haven't been worn literally in 5 years or more. Our winters are bearable here temperature wise, still depressing otherwise.

So we have dealt so far with a broken furnace, a frozen well house, crunchy frozen dirt underfoot, slow starting cars, grouchy horses, and constant bone chilling coldness.

54 seconds a day we are heading to the promised land of spring. You'll have to excuse me in 31 days while I duck out of winter and head to St Croix for some sun and warmth.

Time to Buck Up

I know, I need to buck up and shut up but look at this weather tomorrow:

9 am 24°F
Feels Like 13°F

12 pm 32°F
Feels Like 22°F

3 pm 36°F
Feels Like 27°F

Going to be some cold tailgating. I can't wait.

Where Is My Flying Car?

A new decade...2010. Damn.

I knew a man well that was born in 1898. My grandfather.

My mother knew a man well born in the 1840's. Her grandfather. My mother is alive and well.

This is a stretch, but our memories and first hand recollections of people we knew span over 160 tears.

I cherish the stories she told me about her Grandpa. He fought in the Civil War. I have a picture of him and his wife and I have his Gettysburg 50th anniversary pin.