It Is Done

Meet Ruby.....Gigi's new truck.

It was a strange day...didn't expect to buy a truck although I was looking. I had lunch with my sister and brother in law and mentioned that I was looking for a new Ford truck.

Come to find out that my BIL is pals with the owner of Conway Ford in Conway, SC.

Name dropped and the sticker went down 13% on a diesel, in high demand. A super price on a very nice vehicle.

I am keeping my truck and taking it off heavy duty for long hauling where this luxury truck will fit in. The trip down to key west will be much more roomy and comfortable.


I do not have gout, and I am grateful. I wish James Brown was alive.

I actually own a dead gazelle. It is in my dining room over my family biscuit bowl. The biscuit bowl is so cool. It was Gigi's grandmothers bread bowl.

I own a high quality AM radio. It is in the guest bathroom. No FM here.

I am blessed with ample supplies of charcoal. $5 for two bags on Labor Day each year. Normally $20.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. But it doesn't make me a better man.

I Hate Buying A New Vehicle


I have found over the years that when my life feels out of balance, it is very possible to reset the balance in ten minutes. The key is to remember to eat a pizza unashamed, with gobs of good toppings, all washed down with a cold beer.

There now.

I had a resetting just last night.

All is right today.

Kinda Heaven

Back are the official dive photos from my friends at St Croix Ultimate Blue Water Adventures (SCUBA).

Here I am off the back of the boat in pool clear and blue ocean. That blue tank is not yet clipped off to my butt plate but is connected at a ring under my arm pit.

You can see after this second I was noticeably tired. I am still getting my grove back from the back surgery, but the old back held up well.

God I love diving on St Croix.


I can't take the mud anymore. I'm getting a quote on synthetic turf where I want grass, but have active dogs. Every winter the lawn reverts to mud.

I hope it is affordable.

I Like A Good Sticker

Dive stickers on my beer refrigerator in my screen room. I just added the SCUBA sticker from St Croix on the right.

Breaking News - FLOODING!

We have had a foot of snow, an earthquake, and three big thunderstorms all within 8 days. And so, the ground is saturated and can't take on another drop of water. It just has to run off somewhere.

As bad as I've always wanted a pond I knew that this one would not do.

This is the blocked drainage pipes that run under my driveway. Plugged up bad.

It was really kinda cool. But, had to go.

So I took out a big metal pole as a digging and pry stick so I could leverage the leaves out like the Jews did in Egypt....except they leveraged stones. It worked.

Within minutes the level was dropping and the discharge was flowing on the other side.

And that concludes our special report.

I Made A Discovery

Last week, Gigi and I ate breakfast three times at The Golden Rail, located on the grounds of the marina. The marina is a real working marina with a very cool store, and boats dry docked under various stages of repairs.

This is a very suitable open air cafe where guests include hungry sparrows, chickens, and lizards.

Quite by accident on the first morning I was served rye toast. In my southern drawl she mistook my white toast for rye toast. Southerners always over emphasize "i" so I can see how the mistake was made.

Rather than make an issue (I had a dive boat to catch) I decided to try the toast.

Add rye toast to the things I hated as a child but love in old age, along with pickled beats, cooked spinach, and broccoli.

I just had rye toast and a sliced banana just this morning, an unheard of wReggie breakfast 10 years ago.


A rare candid photo of me and my valet, Bates.

A Funeral

I went to a funeral today for a client of 25 years. It was in a very old cemetery and to make it better, it was in an ornate Mausoleum.

The darn place was spooky, very cold on a 70 degree day, smelled like flowers, and I was surrounded by hundreds of old dead bodies.

We stood in a rotunda and the body of the deceased was in a lighted alcove.

The music was provided by a fellow in Scottish garb, playing a bagpipe loud as hell echoing off the marble slabs. It is strange because that is so Presbyterian having bagpipes, yet they were Catholic, and the service was performed by a Methodist pastor.

The coffin was draped in a US flag since he was a veteran.

Then the funeral director stepped up and handed the flag on behalf of the President, and I swear he looked and talked like Sam Elliot. Give him a hat, a horse, and a gun, and he could step into a western.

Tombstone 2.


Some things change words describing them, based on location.

If I go to Home Depot and buy rope, it becomes line instead of rope, once it touches a boat.

My wife may shop for a hand bag, but it becomes her purse once purchased.

In scuba, I can deploy a lift bag (inflate and send to the surface), but it becomes a surface marker once it hits the surface and is no longer a lift bag.

The marker reverts back to a lift bag once removed from the water.

There you go.

Previously on Mental Vacation

So we're at the airport by 2, cars dropped off, and the long procession of checking in, checking bags, getting boarding passes, customs, getting bags again, then the strip down at TSA all begins.

Then we get all settled in the gate and wait. And wait. No plane. Finally the plane arrives 90 minutes late and pre boarding is set. Then the announcement, the fight is cancelled and will resume at 10 AM.

This is when pre planning and knowing good locals pays off. No ride, no house, no food for the night with an island of very limited resources. It's not like we can call a cab and stay at the airport Hampton Inn. Neither exists. All hotels here are small and long booked and the three resorts are far away. The cabs have all gone home. There is no central dispatch.

Fortunately pre planning covered this event and our agency Vacation St Croix had identified a vacancy and I called and they went into action.

Centerline car rental had just three cars left and we got two. We drove to the opposite end of the island, checked in, then went to the Casino for forage for food. By now it was 11 PM and the Casino was the only thing open serving food.

We awoke early and we got our first look at the place. High in the hills with a north and south shore view.

Nice pool and grounds.

Fancy outdoor gardens and fountains.

Nice outdoor kitchen.

Oh, if I only had time just to sit here.

But we didn't. We had to go to the airport and repeat paragraph one. It flew an hour and a day late.


Clown noses on St Croix. I take them every year.

If you ask why, or refuse to play along, then you don't get asked back.

They are best rendered with a serious expression like, "What clown nose?"

I like to make my pictures black and white so the nose stands out. In fact, I am black and white while I wear the nose.

Final Days

Friday was awesome. It started with an AM dive with SCUBA. This is the largest dive boat on the island and the one that leaves out of Christiansted harbor.

It was a non eventful ride out as we watched for whales. We were headed east as far as this boat goes to a place I had never dived before.

Once down, I was tweeted out...had my gear dialed in and was very comfortable on a 100 foot drive on a site called North Star. I floated effortlessly in the weightlessness.

My camera unknown to me was set on time lapse. This shot is from my right tank pointing backwards drifting over the deep wall. I was jut dangling the camera to the rear and later discovered all these pictures.

Later on the second dive I encountered two very large Lion Fish. I shot the biggest first and unfortunately got a body shot in the organs. I was hoping for a head shot.

This fish was strong and surprised me with his kicking strength. He was too big for me to disarm by clipping off the sharp and venomous spines so I opted to drive him in the sandy bottom and twist the trident spear tip to inflict as much damage as possible so the shot would be fatal.

As soon as I started this maneuver he bucked and managed to pull my spear up about three feet and swam off. No worries, he will be a goner.

The second shot was a head shot and soon his head was off. A definite kill.

Saturday rolled around and it was time for checkout and time in town.

Lunch was in order and I opted for the lobster quesadilla.

Then a few beers and sightseeing on the harbor.

By 2PM it was off to the airport for a nonstop back to charlotte.

To be continued..........

Flight 2003 Canceled

Detail you know will follow.

The Mother of All Pies

Southerners don't call pizza, a pie. But this was a pie. Son of a bitch it was a good pie at one of my favorite beach bars, Off The Wall.


Cold beer, feet in the sand, music playing, ocean waves, warm breezes and laughs with friends.

Dive 130 and 131 yesterday with video. It will take time to process and edit.

New and Cool

I get it.

What I Noticed

My back doesn't hurt as bad here. My sinuses are clear. I have textbook regularity. I have no worries.

I haven't been sleeping well.

Go figure. Now a picture.

A Great Day

Respectful to my wife, I haven't been diving every waking hour. But, I'm having fun.

Looked at flowers.

Went to the beach.

Went to another beach.

Had lunch and a beer at a beach bar.

Saw lots of cool chickens.

Went to the beach.

It Is Defiled

Go to the webcam and see if you can find my mark. An "all the way"* hot dog to the winner.

I got in dive 128 and 129 yesterday.

*all the way Carolina Style includes mustard, chili, onions, and slaw on steamed bun. The hot dog is steamed. Winner is responsible for any taxes.