30 December 2021

"We're From The Government, and We're Here To Help."

In 1966 I got a notice via the U.S. Postal Service that whether I liked it or not, I was going to work for the U.S. Government. I was ordered to report to a certain place at a certain time. There, I was put on a bus with 60 or so contemporaries and driven to Ft. Knox, Ky, where I underwent 8 weeks of training that I didn't really want to receive.

But during that time I was asked many times to provide my Social Security number. On my S.S. card there was this warning, (and I still have the card and could show it to you):
"Not to be used as an identification number".
During in-processing with the ARMY I was asked for the number many times. Each time I was asked to provide it I was given a slip of paper explaining why the ARMY needed it, and telling me it WOULD NOT be used to identify me.
Sure. Big Brother loved me!

Later in my ARMY career the number became my ID number. (1972) For a short period of time it also became my Pilot license number. (That has since changed because for many pilots it was being stolen and misused.)

But Big Brother DOES love us.
And now she/he is leaning toward having us carry a card showing the extent to which we have been vaccinated.
(This would NOT be to protect us or identify us for anything... it would be to protect our fellow citizens, doncha know!)

Always remember-
When it comes to identification, all citizens are EQUAL.
But some citizens are more equal than others.

Can I see your papers, citizen?

28 December 2021

Gimme a head with hair!

I've always hated shaving.
As of today I have not shaved in two months.
I haven't had a haircut in four months.
My beard turned grey years ago, (hence my Nom-de-plume).
The color of my hair changed more slowly, but is now dark grey with light grey highlights.

The beard goes through a scratchy phase at about two weeks post-shaving.
It's more difficult to shampoo.
And waking in the morning, my appearance scares children and small animals.

I'm losing my barber and considering a buzz-cut.
That may be a bad idea now that Winter is here.
Shaving the beard may also be a bad idea because of the chill breeze.

Children and small animals may have to put up with me for a while.

26 December 2021

He Killed a Man.

Have you ever killed anyone?
I have.
How many? I have no idea. My actions were done from a distance. "AAR's"... "After action reports from the field would inform us-
"Seven enemy combatants reduced". But since there were always two helicopter gunships involved in our missions I could always remind myself it might not have been my finger on the trigger that "reduced" the number of folks that were trying to kill me... and my fellow team members.

We watched three movies yesterday. First was "Mrs. Miniver", a movie that finds itself in the Top Five of my favorites of all time.
Next in line was "Christopher Robin", followed by "Goodbye Christopher Robin".
And I think we watched those two in the wrong order. The first is a wonderful production by Disney Studios that is a mix of animation and real action, and does a great job of introducing us to all the "Winnie The Pooh" characters brought to "life" by A.A. Milne.
The second is a biography of Milne and tells us why he brought Winnie and all the characters to life.
He was FERVENTLY anti-war, having been involved in the "Battle of the Somme" in WWI, a HORRIBLE affair involving Mustard Gas that killed and maimed many, many combatants.

I have a friend of many years that I have tried pretty desperately to stay in touch with. Let's call him "Len".
During some rough times early in my military training, Len helped me to keep my sense of humor and sanity. He helped me to make it through my OCS training. He tried to get into Flight School at the same time I did, but was rejected... he could not pass the necessary physical.
So he went to Ranger training instead. When he finished that, he went to Viet Nam as an advisor to the Vietnamese troops.

In this function one day, in the jungle, he came face-to-face with a young North Vietnamese soldier. Both men raised their weapons simultaneously, but Len's shot rang out first and found its mark. The Vietnamese soldier fell face up on his back.
When Len went over to search the soldier for anything that might be of use to our intelligence forces, he saw that a ray of sun had focused on the young man's face. It was surreal. The young Vietnamese had a wallet with photos of him with his wife and child, and that has impacted Len's life in ways someone who has never "fired a shot in anger", or "killed others from afar" can imagine.

I think of Len often. I'm reminded of him when I watch a movie of someone suffering from "Shell Shock" or "Combat Fatigue" or PTSD, or whatever we're calling it these days.
I'm grateful for the good memories I have of the time we spent together all those years ago. And I'm aware that everyone has different experiences in life and reacts quite differently to those experiences.
I'm glad I never had to look at the face of a man I just killed, illuminated by a beam of sunlight shining through triple-canopy jungle.

War IS Hell.
I wish we could all get along.
But even blood relatives cannot get along. How in the world can people of totally different cultures avoid disputes?

Still, we must try.
If for no other reason, so we can say "Well, we tried".

25 December 2021

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"

One of the things I really love about being retired is the fact we have time in the evening for movies.
We're constantly checking TCM to see what they're offering, and find now that we've seen most of the movies on their schedule; some of them two, three times. Or MORE.
I like historical movies. I even like fictional stuff in a setting that is historically correct to give an insight into how people had to live in a certain time and place.

So when a friend recommended "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", I was fascinated by the title and checked it out. I'll not go into detail about it except to tell you it's a love story. But it's also about the Nazi occupation of the English Island of Guernsey doing World War II, and gives a few insights into the hardships those people faced because of that occupation.
Too lazy to hotlink it here today, you can check it out by copying/pasting this link:
I think it's worth your time.

And... it's Christmas.
To all those who pop by here to check out my chicken scratches I wish you good health.
I wish you laughter.
I wish you smiles.
And I wish you peace.

Remember the reason for the season, always.

18 December 2021

That's ALMOST Good!

Refusing to inject insulin, I have been eating an "nearly zero carb" diet for two months now. I'll be having my "labs" taken by the Veteran's Administration 18 January and I'm crossing my fingers that my A1C will be below "7" on that date to surprise both me and my VA Doc. (My daily glucose numbers have been good for two months.)

Recipes for my new Keto diet include such exotic things as Allulose sweetener, Stevia, Almond and Coconut flour, Xanthum Gum, Flax seed, Egg White Powder, Black Sesame seeds, and several other things you may or may not heard of.
Sara Jean has spent almost two months poring over YouTube videos trying to find recipes that SOUND edible. And let me report to ya-
Some of 'em are. Some of 'em ain't.
Most of 'em fall somewhere in between. I can report THIS to ya:
Virtually all the recipes either taste a little eggy/funky, have "odd" textures, or suffer from both.
I've determined that if you eat SWILL long enough, after awhile swill begins to taste kinda normal. (Kinda!)

I still feel we are on the leading edge of a groundswell of people who in the near future will find out they are diabetic. And there will be MONEY to be made catering to this growing population of people whose glucose levels are too high. Where there is money to be made, that void will be filled.

Take a look next time you're in the grocery. There are already sections in the baking goods and freezer sections devoted to Keto friendly foods. "Keto" bread and "Rebel" ice cream are barely discernible from the normal items.

The neat thing for ALL of us is the experimentation that is being done by lots of folks trying to find recipes that are both tasty and low in carbohydrates. Check for yourself-
Put "Keto" in your search block on YouTube and look at the numbers of videos that appear.
You may not need it now, but...
You may benefit from all of 'em tomorrow.

14 December 2021

She Named Her Little Bike "Alaska" !

These people amaze me.
I have binge-watched Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's "Long Way Round", where they rode BMW GS 1250's virtually around the world.
Ditto Ed March's "C90 Adventures", where he travels around the world in ALL conditions on a little 90cc Honda.

Lately I have been following the journey of the gal in the above video. Her name is "Noraly". She's from Holland, and she travels long distances on motorcycles... solo. Her latest adventure, in "Season 6", is to ride from South America starting in Ecuador, to Alaska. Riding frequently over terrain more suitable to someone on horseback than a motorcycle, she's of fairly small stature and gets herself into situations that make me uncomfortable for her.
(I keep thinking about my personal experience falling and compound-fracturing my right ankle in Greece and how much trouble I'd have been in if I was solo and in the boonies.)
She's riding where there's no cell service. She's riding where she's the only human (and gas station) for miles. And she's riding where there are critters that eat human beings and would find a small woman mighty tasty.

If any of this piques your interest, her channel is titled "Itchy Boots".
Give it a shot. Like and subscribe.

10 December 2021

The "Modified" Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln DID NOT say-

“...that government of the illegal immigrants, by the illegal immigrants, for the illegal immigrants, shall not perish from the earth."

The right to vote is being granted to our new "residents" in many locations.
Compassion for others is killing our Nation.

08 December 2021

The Salvation Army

For some years I've been an avid supporter of the Salvation Army. They have frequently been "Firstest with the Mostest" at local and National disasters, providing assistance to victims. The organization has had a reputation of having a GREAT ratio of dollars donated to funds actually provided to victims-
They have lower administrative costs than other charitable organizations. I have made my tax-deductible year-end donation to them for several years now.

But this year they have been "racially awakened".
The term being used today is "Woke".
The Salvation Army is asking their workers to "repent" for their prior racial discrimination.
And I'm done with 'em.

I did a little searching to find another charity to which I can donate that has similar low administrative costs and the "Gary Sinise Foundation" keeps popping up. I read his book "Grateful American" last year and this guy is the genuine article, helping our troops and public servants.

That's where my donation will go this year.
I hope the Salvation Army repents from its present political path and gets back to its Christian roots.

07 December 2021

If my Father was still alive, he'd be 100 years old today.
I've written before about the birthday present he received on 7 Dec 1941. To make a little extra money, Dad had joined the Indiana National Guard in 1940. So when he heard the news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed I have no doubt he had two thoughts:
His older brother was aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia. I don't know whether or not Dad knew my Uncle Garlin was aboard the ship as it sank at Pearl, but he no doubt knew that both he and his older brother's lives would be forever changed from 7 December onward.

Both survived the war.
My Uncle stayed in the Navy; took a direct commission, and retired as a Full Commander.
Dad was wounded in the Philippines, received the Purple Heart, and came home from the war three months early because of his wounds.

Dad died in 2003 at the age of 82.
Truly a member of "The Greatest Generation", I still often wish I could have a conversation with him.
I didn't do nearly enough of that while he was alive.

30 November 2021

The Destin Airshow

We are in Destin, Florida.
Destin is located about halfway between Pensacola and Panama City, in the "Panhandle" of Florida.
Eglin Air Force Base is located just North of Destin. Pensacola is the home of the Pensacola Naval Air Station, home base for the "Blue Angels", and one of the premiere Aviation Museums in the world. Panama City is home to Tyndall Air Force Base.
Ft. Rucker Alabama, home of ARMY Aviation,  is a little over an hour's drive North. There are a LOT of military aviation assets near Destin.

In years past I have enjoyed watching lots of military aircraft flying East and West along the corridor for aircraft here on the beach. There has been a steady stream of V-22's, Chinooks, C-130's, Blackhawks, Cobras, a few Coast Guard Dauphins, and the occasional Huey. At altitude on approach to Eglin AFB the "Sound of Freedom" would indicate an F-35, F-22, F-18, or F-15 passing by.
As I said... that was in years past.

This year I've been disappointed. There's been a little "fast mover" Fixed Wing traffic on approach to Eglin, but the Rotary Wing traffic back and forth on the beach has been pretty much limited to the local tour company's R44 earning its living.

I have no explanation for this. I can only guess there has been a quiet cut in the fuel budget for all our military services.
If you have better information why my airshow has been eliminated, please let all of us know here.

29 November 2021


In order to get from Destin to Eglin Air Force Base we must turn North on "Beale Parkway".
Watching "Jay Leno's Garage" the other night, Jay went to "Beale Air Force Base" and interviewed the Airmen that launch the U-2 spy/reconnaissance planes on their missions.
Ever have something happen that just tweaks your curiosity enough to make you dig a little to scratch that itch? "Beale" did that for me.
And he's an interesting guy.

Beale Air Force Base is named for a graduate of the Naval Academy!
He was decorated as a hero for extraordinary action with Kit Carson in the war against Mexico.
He lead an experiment with the ARMY trying to use Camels instead of mules as pack animals.
He surveyed several roads to make travel to the West easier. Route 66 and now Interstate 40 partly used the route Beale surveyed.
His last will and testament was witnessed by William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant.
He's another of those interesting characters from our history, and few know details of his life.

"Beale Parkway"...
Thanks for the curiosity jab!

28 November 2021

Outdoor Carpeting

If you dial up "Google Maps" and look at our address you will not see our home.
Our property is covered in trees. Our neighbors also have tree-covered yards. When "The Winds of November" blow, the leaves stack up well over a foot deep in some large areas of our yard.
Although I love the smell of burning leaves in the Fall, I personally have never done that.
I'm a MULCH guy.

When the last leaf finally falls from our BIG Oak tree I start the Zero-turn "Grasshopper" and grind all those suckers to a pulp. When I'm finished, our yard is covered with an inch or so of pulverized leaves.
That material decomposes during Winter and provides food for the lawn the following Spring.

We'll be here in Destin until 15 December.
It's my hope that those Autumn winds will efficiently move all those leaves to our neighbors yards until then.

I'm proud to be instrumental in beautifying our neighborhood!

26 November 2021

22 Per Day

Black Friday.
That means Thanksgiving is in our rear-view mirror and Christmas/New Year is just over the horizon.
"It's The Most Wonderful Time, Of the Year", sings Andy Williams as we shop.
But for some... it ain't quite so wonderful.

Our "News media" (spit) tells us twenty two Veterans commit suicide daily. That's a horrifying statistic for everyone. But I always made the comment to others that "if someone had mental difficulties before going into combat, they sure as Hell were gonna have problems when they returned from that experience".

I don't know what the suicide rate is in our "normal" population. But my gut tells me it must be higher in our combat Veteran population. And I don't know what the solution is to either.

I have MANY friends and acquaintances I know are at risk. I try to contact all of 'em now and then to let them know I love them and I'm thinking of them. If they are gone from my life, my life would be diminished.

Do me this favor-
If you know a combat Vet, please contact them now and then... especially during this holiday season.
Let 'em know your life is better... fuller because they are part of it.

We're doing a better job of providing therapy to our returning Vets today than we did when I came home from Viet Nam-
We VN Vets got NUTTIN'.
It's not enough... yet.

Let's do better.

25 November 2021


Frank Herbert. Robert Heinlein. Isaac Asimov. And to an extent, Ray Bradbury-
In the early '70's I got involved reading Science Fiction books.
My favorite of them all is Herbert's "Dune".
For me it was a difficult book to "get into". He uses a lot of language that initially means nothing to you and you have to slowly discern what words mean-
"Bene Gesserit". "Kwisatz Haderach". "Mahdi".
But after I began to settle in and understand the terms, the book was VERY fulfilling for me.
I liked it so much, when my son began to show a real interest in SciFi I gave him my copy of the book to digest, warning him he needed to give the book "time".
He did just that. And together we have seen David Lynch's horrible movie. We sort of enjoyed the 2000 miniseries, simply because they spent more time on the subject matter trying to bring the book to life.
It was still unsatisfying.

Tuesday we went to see this new version on the Big Screen. Apparently it will be done in two episodes, and we viewed "Part I".
When the credits rolled I commented to my son, "Well, FINALLY, someone is giving it the attention it deserves."
And he agreed.

I'm ready for Part Two. Go pony up the money and see Part I, then tell me what you think.

21 November 2021

Common Sense Ain't.

I guess it makes sense in some way to some people:
Defund the police-
But Kyle Rittenhouse is a doodoohead.
Try hard as I might, I cannot understand that line of thought.
But I do wonder-
The outcome of this trial seems to have emboldened the extremes on both sides of this issue.
And in my opinion, moves us one step closer to SHTF territory.

Want more Kyle Rittenhouses?
Keep doin' whatchur doin'.

18 November 2021

And Little By Little, Life Slips Away.

He did odd jobs for us. We had much in common. We became close friends.
Trying his best to keep his wife happy he moved away, then moved again even farther.
We stayed in touch via email. He sent the message he had been diagnosed with a rare cancer...
It was traveling through his body via his nerves. It had found its way to his brain.

Our lives were better because of him. His "Handy" work was excellent. He was always smiling.
He had troubles with his family but never dwelt on negative things.

Today we got word he is gone.
He was 54.
And our lives are not as full today as they were yesterday.

But he would not want us focusing on that.
He was "right with God" and would want us thinking of the times we laughed, and there were many.

We'll focus on our blessings.
While we're alive, we will LIVE.
It's my hope you will too.

"Joe" would like that.

16 November 2021


I go to the bathroom and shut the door to "take care of business".
"Mumpf doddle henky blurp doah?" She asks.
"I'm sorry honey. I cannot understand you."

The bathroom is two rooms away. I wash my hands before dinner-
"Cortle beepin' strobe sink?"
"I'm sorry hon. What'd you say?"

I'm slowly losing my hearing. Much of my ability to converse with others is now done via lipreading.

I'm brushing my teeth-
"Poddo kibble bloat wuwu nurf?"

I laugh.
This situation is only gonna get worse.
Gotta see the humor in it, now, and later.

15 November 2021

Top 40, News, Weather, and Sports

There was a time, back just after the "Horse and Buggy Days" that a car was well equipped if it came with "Radio, Heater, and Automatic Transmission". The car would be considered a "Luxury Car" if it came with Power Windows, Power Steering, and Power Brakes.
But the radio that came in all cars would be an AM, radio... "Amplitude Modulation". Most had a row of buttons on the face on which you could "preset" your favorite stations.

I had two favorite stations in my hometown of Indianapolis. Programming on both was dedicated to the top 40 hits according to Billboard (I think). On the top of the hour they'd feature the national news, followed by local news, the weather, and highlights of Sports... national and local.
One of my preset buttons was set to my favorite station, WIBC. The button next to it was preset to the local CBS radio affiliate, WISH.
My friends and I would listen to WIBC until we heard the latest tune we were crazy about, then when it was over, push the button for WISH to hear it there. (This was wonderful during the early Beatle years!)

Cars had one speaker in the center front of the dash.
The statue of limitations has expired, so I'll own up to having stolen a speaker from the "Meridian Drive-In Theater" so I could cut a hole in the deck behind my car's rear seat and install a second speaker there.
Hi-Fi sound? No.
It was better, but still stank.

All this is to point out how spoiled we are today.
But I sometimes yearn for "Top 40, News, Weather, and Sports.

14 November 2021

The Lesser of Two Weasels-

Donald Trunp is a narcissist... an egotist, conceited, selfish, self-centered, and a jerk.
To ALL that I would agree. I'm glad he's not my next-door neighbor.

Biden came to us advertised as the man "...who made the wrong foreign policy decision at every turn" during his entire life.
So why is he now occupying the Oval Office?
Because Donald Trump is all the labels shown above.

I am thoroughly convinced that if ballots in the last election had shown:
D. Trump, Republican, and
A. Hitler, Democrat,
A very large percentage of the population would have voted for Hitler, just to vote against Trump...
The guy with the numbers that showed the country was turned around and headed in the right direction.
Yeah, that JERK.

In my life I've had several bosses that were jerks.
But had you asked me, I could say many of them were good managers.

It's important to separate the personal from the business.
Sadly, some cannot do that.
And THAT is why we now find ourselves the laughingstock of the world.

13 November 2021

Not THAT Huey.

I'm a gearhead.
Being a gearhead is getting harder and harder these days because of the four-wheeled computers we're driving. They sure don't have the "soul" of the muscle cars of yore.
And that's why I love watching "Jay Leno's Garage".

Every week, Jay has a show devoted to REAL cars and other people that enjoy them.
A couple weeks ago he had Huey Lewis of "Huey Lewis and the News" on the show. Huey drove a DeLorean, (definitely NOT a muscle car!)

I didn't recognize Huey.
His scraggly beard made recognizing him more difficult, but my confusion was mainly because the man has aged.
Let me emphasize that: Huey is three years younger than me. But WOW, has he AGED!

When you feel good as I feel... when you can still get around better than most of your peers... it's difficult to realize you are no longer a pup.

Until you get slapped in the kisser by the appearance of someone like Huey Lewis!

12 November 2021

C.R.S. Disease

 I used to marvel at the number of meds my Mother lined up to put in her pill dispenser.
Yesterday I refilled mine and noticed- I have become her.
Blood pressure. Blood sugar. Bladder. Prostate. Acid reflux. Cholesterol.
I'm also taking supplements to aid my immunity-
Zinc. Krill oil. Garlic. Niacin. Vitamins C&D. Dhea. And a low-dose aspirin every night.
The tote to carry all those pills is the size of an overnight bag. I have two weekly dispensers so one is full all the time. Filling the dispenser takes several minutes.

Mom reached a point where she could no longer remember if she had taken her meds.
I'm now wondering... "How long before that's me?"

I just want the pill that makes everything wonderful.

11 November 2021

Remembering Genius

Charles Krauthammer died in 2018.
I was an AVID viewer of "Special Report" on Fox News mostly because of his input there.
When he died I felt I had lost a close friend.

Knowing this, my son bought his book "Things That Matter" as a gift for me a couple years back.
It's a compilation of his columns for the Washington Post, each of which can be read in a few minutes. It is a PERFECT book for the "Throne Room", and that's where I placed it.

I had read through about a third of the book when "the organizer" in my family decided it was taking up too much space in the bathroom and "organized" it... somewhere.
(I also have magazines in a drawer next to the throne, so I didn't immediately notice it was missing.)

I rediscovered the book just before we made our sojourn to Destin, and included it in my "books to read" during our six weeks here. It now resides in the thro... 'er... "library" here, and I intend to finish it before we depart on 15 December. "Organizing" it here would be impossible.

I still miss Charles terribly.
He was a voice of sanity in this crazy world.
And the fact his logic is no longer available to us might be part of the reason we now live in Bizarro world.

10 November 2021

Mercury Comet- 100+ M.P.H. For 100,000 Miles!

I can still remember the catchy advertising jingle from 1964-
"A hundred-thousand miles at a hundred miles an hour!"
And it  seems like an amazing feat to this day.
Day. Dark. Hurricane/rain...
Forty days at speed!

09 November 2021

Education(?) Today !

Grab a kid off the street. Any kid.
Ask him/her this question:
"You're working as a cashier at a store. The cash register is broken and you're making change from an open cash drawer. A customer enters, selects an item valued at $3.66, comes to your register and hands you a five dollar bill and 16 cents in coins.
What change do you give them?"

How many young people age 21 and under today could solve this problem?
(I could have done it at age 10, and DID, on my paper route.)

What the heck are our schools teaching our kids today, other than "the U.S. is an evil, racist, polluting nation"?

08 November 2021

I Need To Chill !

We'd just finished shopping at Wally World when I saw it parked, snuggled up against the front of the building-
"Big Red Bus". A Bloodmobile.
Enter in the back; go through the tests, give blood, then exit via the front door.
"Wanta give blood?" I ask my wife. "Do we have any groceries that will spoil if we leave 'em for 30 minutes"?
"No", she responds. "But what about the fact we just returned from Mexico?"
She's got a point and I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe the rules have changed.

Approaching the rear door I see the sign-
"You MUST wear a mask to enter."
I'm instantly at 10 on a scale of 10. But at home most are ignoring the requirement... maybe here too?

We stand outside the vehicle to ask. An attractive (Nurse?) appears and we ask if we must don masks to enter. "Yes" she says.
"We're both vaccinated" says I, heatedly.
"I am in complete agreement with you" she says, "and I am arguing with my company about the policy. But it IS their policy!"

Sara Jean saves the day-
"We just returned from Mexico. Could we give blood?"
"Only if you've been back more than three months."
We've only been back a month, so we couldn't have been "heroes" even had we wanted.

But I'm taking the Howard Beale stance from now on-
"I'm mad as Hell, and I'm NOT gonna take this anymore."

Require a mask? Karen.

07 November 2021

Go Coca-Cola! Beat Pepsi!

I'll try again-
Can someone, ANYONE, please explain to me why I should care whether the Atlanta Braves or the Houston Astros win that Pro baseball game?
Few to none of the players were raised in the towns they "play for".
They're virtually all millionaires.
They're "owned" by a team owner who is likely a billionaire, who probably talked the town the team hails from into giving him/her huge tax breaks to play there. Many towns actually build new, fancy stadiums for "their" teams with fancy skyboxes from which other millionaires can watch the game so they don't have to rub elbows with the folks that cannot afford the skybox lifestyle.
They are BUSINESSES. Pure, and simple.
Just like Coke and Pepsi.
Just like Chevy and Ford.

I don't understand the excitement. And I wish like crazy my tax dollars weren't being spent to make these folks richer.
But maybe I'm just ignorant?

Please... educate me.

05 November 2021

Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen

I wanted to send a suggestion to the "Popeye's" restaurant chain, so I went to their website looking for a "Contact us" tab.
There ain't one. As a matter of fact, they have a statement there basically saying, "Thanks, but we're not interested in your suggestions."

I referred earlier to the fact we recently patronized a "Chipotle" restaurant. Sara Jean and Big Bubba ordered regular burritos while I ordered a bowl and had it filled with the lowest-carb stuff they offered.
That was kind of a complex task..
No rice. No beans. No queso. Careful with that sour cream!

As an early Baby Boomer I wonder-
MILLIONS of us are gonna be retiring and frequenting places like Chipotle.
My favorite of the fast-food places is "Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen".
My family prefers their chicken sandwich to "Chik-fil-A's", and Chik-fil-A serves a fantastic chicken sandwich!

Many of us aging Baby Boomers will be facing Type II diabetes. Wouldn't fast-food places do well to consider adopting a few low-carb items on their menus to take advantage of that fact.? We won't be patronizing Chipotle again until it is easier to purchase a more Keto-friendly menu item.

I titled this post in a way I hope will attract attention of Popeye's. I'd love it if they'd be a trend setter and set the example for the rest of the industry, because there WILL be money to be made by serving the coming blast of diabetics.

POPEYE'S... I tried to chat with you directly, but you weren't interested. I hope my title here attracts the attention of someone in your chain of command!

04 November 2021

Stupid Impulses

I now own seven motorcycles.
Why do I have the urge to buy another?
It's a sickness.

03 November 2021

Driven By An Old Lady Only On Sundays-


"Carvana" has a store visible from I-65 South of Nashville. We drove past on our way here to Destin, and the carousel had THREE cars in it.
Kinda sad.
And it surely must take some of the excitement out of shopping for a car there, wouldn't it? At a time when used cars are bringing premium prices, they have almost no inventory to offer!

02 November 2021

Destin, FL, November 2021

We are safely in our new digs for the next six weeks.
Since kids are back in school it's quieter here this year than last.
Weather and view are perfect. Now bring on the airshow from Tyndall, Eglin, Pensacola, and Ft. Rucker!

We've owned this 1997 3/4-ton extended cab Ram Diesel truck ten years now and I have never really nailed down how it does on fuel. Last night I ran it nearly dry on kerosene to get a firm idea of the numbers. It's a pretty big truck. I know the engine alone weighs just under half a ton, so the truck itself probably is in the area of 7,000 pounds. Add to that weight a 500-lb scooter and our "necessaries" for six weeks stay here. The "extended" part of the cab was also full of stuff, so I suspect this rig going down the road probably came across the scales at close to 8-grand.
30+ gallons of diesel came in at $106 in Andalusia, Alabama. And the mpg result?
21 mpg.
For the weight and size of this truck I think that's pretty extraordinary, and makes the exorbitant price of diesel fuel a little easier to swallow.

And there's something about the sound of the thing that I love... until I try to order something at a drive-up window.
(So let's just do away with those!) :>)

01 November 2021


Climbing the stairs at the Statue of Liberty it hit me square in the face-
I had to stop several times to catch my breath. I'd been in denial about what the scale was telling me. I'm a little over 5'9" and I weighed 228 pounds. Ashamed of myself, I refused to look at my naked body in the mirror. Somewhere at about Ms. Liberty's larynx I promised to get this crap under control.

We started walking.
Two miles daily at first. Then as it became easier... three. Then five.
We walk at almost 3 mph. Three miles per hour is a QUICK walking pace and it takes over an hour to walk five miles. Just walking at that pace was an accomplishment in itself.
Even though I had not changed my diet, the "lubs" started coming off. My pants were literally falling off my hips. I had to buy a belt.

And then at this last visit to the VA my Doc "hit me square in the face" again-
"I'm prescribing insulin for you."

I don't want to do that injection thing.
I have the ability to get this under control.

Thank GOD for YouTube.
There are thousands and thousands of videos there about diabetes and how to manage it. I had heard of the "Keto" diet but never paid much attention to it, thinking it's just a twist to the "Atkins" diet.
And in fact it is. Atkins suggests you limit yourself to 20 grams of carbohydrate daily. Keto would like you to eliminate carbs entirely while admitting that's impossible, but suggests ways to change your eating habits so you don't miss the carbs. The recipes they suggest use Almond flour, Almond milk, Coconut flour, something called "Xanthum Gum", and other, (what seem to me) exotic ingredients. Cauliflower and parsnips are substituted for potatoes, and do a surprisingly good job of keeping cravings for them away.

My scale today reported 190 pounds. I may have to buy another belt.
Sara Jean is beginning to complain about loss of weight in my face. As much as I hate the idea, Botox may be in my future.
(Nevah hoppin, G.I. !)

I'll be 75 on my next birthday. I look at folks scooting around in WalMart on those electric carts and think to myself "I'll bet that guy is younger than me!"
I feel good. And my glucometer is now smiling at me. No injections so far.

And I wish I had paid more attention long ago.

30 October 2021

Swaying With The Wind

I'm watching this Virginia Governor's race closely and I'm pleased with the big change in the polls there.

You KNOW that McAuliffe is looking at these polls and his head is spinning. He MUST realize that he stepped on his poncho when during the debate he took the stand that parents have no say in how schools teach their kids. He no doubt wishes he could turn back the clock and erase that comment.

But I wonder... and this is the thing that most bothers me about politicians today:
What are his real feelings on the matter? When he made those comments did he mean them, or did he just make them because his advisors told him at the time they'd be popular?
What are his principles?

I fear his "principles" are poll driven.
How many times these days do politicians say one thing, then later contradict themselves because they want to say whatever will get them elected?

Our Founding Fathers were willing to die for their beliefs.
Today's warriors willingly take an Oath to defend our Constitution with their lives if necessary.
Politicians today are willing to say whatever it takes to stay ahead in the polls. Constitution? It's a "Living Document" that says whatever makes us comfortable today.

Folks like Will Rogers used to hold pols feet to the fire.
Media today just wants to get in bed with lefties.
And our country slowly but surely sinks into Marxism.

I'm just glad I'm not gonna pay for this crap for years and years and years.

28 October 2021

Build Backward Better !

The Biden administration is now being compared to Jimmy Carter's disaster. And by the time Biden is no longer occupying the Oval Office we may wish he had been as (in)competent as Jimmah.
Reagan asked, "Are you better off today than four years ago?"
Help me.
WHO is living better today than when SloJoe took office?
Maybe our Public School teachers?

Korea is a problem.
China is now a problem.
Iran is a burr 'neath our saddle.
Our Southern Border no longer exists.
Everything made with petroleum is more expensive, and Putin/Russia, whose number one export is oil, is absolutely LOVING the increase in oil prices.
And our staunch allies have lost faith in the U.S..

Biden's "Build Back Better" campaign is a stupendous failure.
And he's not nearly as entertaining as Orange Man.

27 October 2021

Ants And The Grasshopper, Again.

Medicare, Medicare, Medicare!
Free dental. Free vision. Free transportation.
And get $144 added to your Social Security check!!
All you have to do is call and give us your Zip Code.

I'd like to have an additional $144 per month, so I called.
And as you might expect, my income is too high to receive these benefits.
IF I had not PLANNED to be comfortable at this stage of my life, I could get all this free stuff from my Uncle Sam.
I'm one of the ants.
That $144 is coming outta MY hide.

26 October 2021

What, me worry?


He's from a small midwestern town so I had high hopes he'd be normal.
He ain't.
(And I wonder how old ya have to be in order to understand my title?)

25 October 2021

Alec Baldwin

We peons will be getting gun safety advice from Alec Baldwin in 5...4...3...2...

24 October 2021

"Diabeet-eez" Or "Diabeet-us"?

"If you don't change your diet you will be a full-blown diabetic when you return for your next visit", said the VA dietician.
Our local VA has been VERY thorough about poking, prodding, and investigating what is going on with my "possibly" Agent Orange tainted body. They draw blood, command me to pee in a small container, check my height, weight, blood pressure, and O2 saturation, then analyze all that stuff and send a readout on everything to my consulting physician. She's a VERY thin Pakistani lady. (Don't tell her I said so, but she reminds me of Margaret Hamilton in her most famous role, only she's not green.)
She's also very thorough, and is quick to chastise me for not taking proper care of myself.
"How many alcoholic drinks do you consume per day?"
"Three or four."
"WHAT?!", responds the Muslim woman.

My most recent visit to the VA proved the dietician was prescient. And Margaret Hamilton quickly prescribed insulin injections, (which I have so far avoided using because I'm in denial.)

But Sara Jean and I HAVE now been looking at ways to dramatically change my diet. We've been watching "Keto friendly" foods on YouTube to see what stuff I need to buy to lower my/our carb intake.
Some of the stuff sounds mighty exotic-
Guar gum?
Xanthum gum?
Sugar alcohols? (Wasn't alcohol one of my problems?)

I MUST change.
The thing that scares me most is loss of my eyesight, which has been almost "hawk-like" my entire life.
Loss of the ability to read or do work on small objects would destroy me.

I've always been a disciplined guy.
Making these changes will be expensive, and an interesting journey.
Stand by. I'll keep ya posted.

And if you have any constructive suggestions, I'd sure appreciate them.

23 October 2021

Let's Go Brandon!

Cargo ships stacking up in our ports-
Our president(ish) is trying to destroy China's economy.
Yeah. That's the ticket!

22 October 2021

"Unifying" Our Nation

I may be called a racist by some reading this post.
I don't care. It IS my truth.

I was a little uncomfortable when Don Cornelius' "Soul Train" hit my TV screen back in the 70's..
The program was devoted virtually entirely to music put out by black performers.
Bill Cosby had just started his "Black is beautiful" campaign and I fully understood that. So Soul Train didn't rankle me too much. I didn't watch it. I watched programs that featured both black, white, and mixed groups and performers that produced music I enjoyed. Art is in the eye and ear of the beholder, and I could enjoy The Temptations AND Three Dog Night without being reminded of race.

But things are different today, aren't they?
"Black Lives Matter"?
Of course they do. But folks carrying signs that "All Lives Matter" were ridiculed and sometimes beaten up.
Black Lives Matter.
We MUST make that point.

Now... we have the Congressional Black Caucus.
The National Negro College Fund.
Black Entertainment TV.
The Black News Network.
Affirmative Action.
I cannot remember its title, but there's a cable channel devoted to movies devoted to black people.

I'm torn.
On one hand I can understand the pride in the accomplishments of Black people. But on the other hand I fully understand that what we now accept as normal is driving a wedge between people.
And that scares me.

Tell me please what I am missing here, and comfort me.
Because I now really fear for my country.

19 October 2021

The "New Normal"

Stopped at one of our more local McDonald's last week. The interior of the store had undergone a minor reorganization. There was no one at the front counter. Three new two-sided kiosks had been installed in front of what used to be the front counter "for our convenience" so we could place our order without having to deal with some contaminated human being.
I stood and waited for someone to help me. A young woman of High School age finally asked if she could, then acted insulted when I wanted to place my order with her.
I guess I could have submitted my order ahead of time on my smart phone... IF I had one.

I DO NOT like the direction this is headed.

18 October 2021

Global Warming, er... Global Cooling, er... Climate Change!

I need someone smarter than me to answer these questions:

How do we get China and India to stop screwing Gaia? They need to stop building/using coal-fired powerplants.

How do we get lefties to quit flying all over the world to scold us about the carbon footprint while they add to the problem in their big, personal jets?

When will we start doing away with unnecessary 4-way stops on our streets so traffic can save fuel by proceeding unhindered?

16 October 2021


Our world is swamped these days with abbreviations. I was reading one of my favorite news sites and the headline contained the letters RW.
And I immediately thought, "Rotary Wing".

I'm sure you did not.

15 October 2021

Compression Ignition

Starting my Ram truck with its Cummins diesel engine was getting to be an "ifffy" proposition. This engine requires a lotta juice and requires TWO BIG batteries to get the job done. The last few starts have been... interesting.
Getting my son moved into his new digs required use of the truck. When I arose on Columbus Day in Tennessee the truck would not start... turn the key to start... and all ya hear is "CLUNK".
I assumed bad batteries. (And we all know how to spell "assume" don't we?)

I removed both big batteries, put them in the trunk of son's car, and started for the auto parts store to have them checked. A mile and a half into this trip the engine in my son's car quit.
Just died. And would not start.

I walk the 1-1/2 miles back to his home and call AAA. They need us to be present at the car with keys and ID in order to tow it. The truck is kaput, so the only option to get back to the car (with my truck's batteries in the trunk) is via my son's motorcycle. We try to start it and find he has left the bike's ignition in the ON position.
That battery is also dead.

And then?
Sara Jean drops a pipe on her foot, lacerating it badly, gushing blood all over the brand-spanking-new carpeting in the closet.

I force myself to remember that Job had it worse.

14 October 2021

"California Dreamin'" Is A Nightmare?

So the Crazy State is outlawing landscaping equipment powered by internal combustion engines in order to reduce pollution, forcing everyone to replace that stuff with electric powered apparatuses?
Don't they already have "rolling blackout" problems because they can't supply their citizens with electricity now?
How's that gonna work?
And this doesn't even address the issue of what fuel is used to produce the electricity.
I'm gobsmacked.

Living on that left coast sure makes you think differently.

09 October 2021

Drafted. And Served.

I graduated High School in 1965.
It was a different world then.
(I think today we live in "Bizarro World", actually.)
I wanted to be a pilot. None of the services would consider me for a flying job without a college education, except the ARMY.
The U.S. Army offered me something called the "Warrant Officer" program.
I didn't want to be "almost" an Officer. I wanted to be a full-fledged, Commissioned Officer.
So I waited to be drafted.
And after drafting me, the ARMY saw the error in its ways.

What a different era that was! Viet Nam was exploding. Those of us in the ARMY knew the likelihood of us serving in Viet Nam was high. Those of us going to Rotary Wing Flight School knew the likelihood of going to Viet Nam was overwhelming.
But we accepted that fact with a smile.

And stood in line for our vaccinations.
In Basic Training I cannot tell you how many times I stood in line so some Specialist E-4 that had SIGNED UP for ARMY service, used an air gun to inject chemicals into my upper arm.
But it was a LOT. And I was drafted and a slave.
So I had no choice in the matter.

And the funny part?
At the time I actually thought my government had my best interest truly at heart.

Yeah, it was a different world then.

08 October 2021


Does the word "Unconstitutional" have any meaning these days?
Obama said he could not pass the DACA bill because it was unconstitutional. Then a few weeks later, under political pressure from the left, added his name to the bottom of the bill.
The result?

Our Constitution was written to severely limit the power of government over us.
But now? Karen says we must do these things because the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". And many of our military and Law Enforcement leaders are not willing to face the political opposition necessary to stop this socialist progress.

"A Republic madam, if you can keep it", said Benjamin Franklin.
To which "Karen" replies... "but I want"...

I fear the tree of liberty will be refreshed, soon.

07 October 2021

Fright Nights!

I'm sure it's true where you are too-
"Spook Houses" pop up this time of year here. Some of them are really major productions and attract large crowds.
We like to be frightened.

In my hometown of Indianapolis while I was growing up we had competing hosts showing horror and science fiction shows on our local TV stations-
"Selwin" on our CBS affiliate, and "Sammy Terry" on our independent channel. Both shows were broadcast late-night on Saturdays. As a kid, they sometimes actually scared me.
And I loved 'em.

"Svengoolie" is a similar show to the ones I watched as a kid that started in Chicago some years ago and, now syndicated, is broadcast nationwide. I record and watch them because they're campy and make me feel like I'm ten years old again.

But as adults we seem to have other things we like to be frightened about:
People without masks.
And people wearing red hats.

I'm hearing School Board meetings might be worthwhile too.
I'll let ya know.

06 October 2021

Redundancies, and Pet Peeves-

Listening to my local radio broadcast I hear the small town Mayor say, "We're meeting at 9 A.M. in the morning."
(I guess that's to clarify the meeting is NOT at 9 A.M. in the evening!)

Another irritation I used to hear over the radio during my EMS flying:
"He has a past history of..."
(As opposed to his future history I suppose.)

Yeah, my feathers are ruffled WAY too easily.

05 October 2021

Passing That Law May Be Easy. But Enforcing It?

It's one of my favorite stories:
General Douglas MacArthur was Governor of Japan following WWII. During his tenure there one of his Aides came to him and asked-
"General, the Japanese men are upset because the Japanese women are dating GI's. Our GI's have money to spend, and the Japanese women are glad to help them spend it.
Don't you think it would be a good idea to forbid our men from dating Japanese women?"
The Aide was surprised when the General responded, "Absolutely not. Our men will ignore such a regulation. Ignoring an unenforceable regulation will lead to ignoring other regulations. That's not a road I want to travel."
Smart man.

Seems to me the Biden administration has started down a road passing laws the people will ignore.

How's that "War on Drugs" goin', Joe?

02 October 2021

Spinning Wheels

Life is full of surprises, isn't it?
And dealing with Covid has added many.

Retired Army.
My bride and I both carry government issued ID cards. We must present them when we enter a military facility to patronize the Post Exchange, Commissary, or Medical facility.
They have an expiration date and, like your Driver's license, must be renewed periodically. Sara Jean's ID card expired 30 September. So yesterday we made the trek to the closest facility that can renew it for us, about 60 miles distant. It's not a bad drive... it's just a little over an hour. With fuel and other expenses these days I calculate a drive like this in overall cost: fuel, and wear/tear on our vehicle.
I estimate this 120 mile round-trip probably costs close to $60 total.

We set off early so we could get the card renewed, then go for a leisurely lunch before shopping at the Exchange and Commissary.  We arrived at the proper office to a surprise- The place was packed with people.
We walked to the reception desk and announced what we needed.
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No, we do not."
"Would you like to make one? We can see you next week at..."

So we went shopping.
And we were glad the trip was not TOTALLY wasted.

30 September 2021

In Vino, Veritas:

"These government programs are popular with the American people."
Juan Williams

"Morbidly obese people like ice cream and candy bars."

29 September 2021

"Do You See That Dog?"

Returning from my potty break at 0230 hours she quietly asked me that question.
I've been watching every new video on Lewy Body Dementia I can review and knew that at some point shadows might be a problem.
I bought a small lantern to light up her side of the bed in hopes that would help. But in this case the shadow of the sitting chair with decorative pillows on top cast a shadow on the wall that DID resemble a small terrier-type dog sitting on the chair.
"No sweetheart, that's not a dog. It's just a shadow."
And thank Heavens that was enough to satisfy her. She went back to sleep.
But then she started talking... no, "muttering" is the term that fits better, in her sleep.
She's always had "restless leg syndrome, and she has a lotta leg to move around when she's having a bout with that problem.
She's also beginning to fidget a lot while she sleeps.
She's not sleeping well at all, and it is likely that problem will worsen for her, and for me.
This is not a fun ride to be on. So can we stop it and let the two of us get off now?

25 September 2021

"Rum And Coca Cola"

Showing my age again-
The song in my title was written by Morey Amsterdam.
Bet you don't know him. Look 'im up!

On day three here in Cabo we made a trip to the local WalMart, happy that they even have one.
The experience is... interesting. We bought stuff to fix to eat at "home", and a little alcohol to use that didn't cost us a fortune at the outlets in the resort.
I searched in vain for my beverage of choice... Canadian blended whiskey. When I finally gave up I settled on Rum. I bought a Fifth of a brand I had never heard of.
And now, not wanting to waste anything we spent good money on, we're trying to consume everything in our 'fridge before checkout tomorrow, including my "Ron Rico Antillano" rum.
So, please excuse any misspellings and grammatical errors you find here.

Still having a grate time in Cabo. Wish you were hear.

"30 Things"

I ain't that smart.
But I sensed almost all these things at the beginning of all of this, what I call FARCE:
Have they been bleeding the patient to get rid of poisons?

24 September 2021

Covid Testing

"The world is all a stage."

In order to board the airplane on Sunday, similarly to what we had to do to come down here, we have to have a test to insure we are virus-free to board the airplane. The test must be done within 72 hours of our flight.

We received a slip of paper telling us where to be and when. We showed up 15 minutes early. By the time the testing was to be accomplished there were almost 40 vacationers lining the walls of the ballroom where the Q-tip would be jammed up our noses.

Time for the testing to begin-
People que'd up at the first station to present the paperwork showing they had paid for the testing...
Wearing useless paper masks...
And ignoring the "six feet" social distancing rule.

Rumor has it the Mexicans don't like positive test results because it impacts the $$$$ flowing into the country, so it is likely our test will prove negative.
If it does, it won't be because of any "precautions" we have taken.


23 September 2021


Stupid me.
Until recently I didn't know what the word meant.
Now? I have a couple books I have finished and would like to pass along to someone who would enjoy them. But...
Who reads codex(s) these days? I fear mine will one day end up in a landfill.

And a second thought-
When the EMP happens, what then?

Britain's Second "Titanic"?

 I've been reading "The Airmen That Would Not Die". It suggests the possibility of life after death.

Britain launched what it hoped would be the largest, most luxurious Airship in the world in October of 1930. The plan was for the ship to make a regularly scheduled trip from England to India.
Like the Hindenburg, her lifting gas was hydrogen.

On her maiden voyage she made it as far as Northeast France where she crashed and burned, killing all but six of her 54 passengers and crew.

The book discusses the instances of deceased crewmembers "contacting" their loved ones via clairvoyants.
The story of the airship is interesting. The stories of the crew "coming through" via mediums is just as interesting.

22 September 2021

Cabo, Day Four-

Pumpkins don't exist here.
Listening to streaming radio from home here, (we Americans are fat and spoiled in SO many ways!), WBBM radio out of Chicago is reporting pumpkins in every way are once again taking over the nation.
...Glad we are here.

It takes a while to acclimate to the fact "We're not in Kansas anymore Toto".
Believe it or don't, many people here in Mexico don't speak 'Murican. The first morning in our suite, which is beautiful, we found a coffee pot that was foreign to us. Failing to figure out how to make it work we called one of the attendants to our room-
"No Ingles".
Phone. Front Desk. New dood to help.
Much gesturing, pointing, Espanol.
We never did get the damned thing to work. They came and hijacked that machine and brought us a Proctor-Silex almost exactly like the one we have at home.
Comfort Zone.

The rains came. The rain was almost as heavy as I remember from Viet Nam.
They don't get a lot of rain here unless it comes with a hurricane.
In this new, beautiful room, a stream developed from 'neath the refrigerator trying to make its way downstream to the sliding glass door. It also leaked from the (adjacent) weight-supporting wall in our bathroom.
"No Ingles" speakers came with mops and towels and dried us up. I'm assuming they also reported the fact that the roof leaks.
We'll survive.

They DO have a WALLY WORLD in town!
An attendant at the reception area told us if we want to use Uber instead of a cab, we'd have to walk to the security gate to meet our ride. Walking to that gate is UPHILL about a mile, in 90F. temps. When we got to the Gate the attendant there told us the reception guy had lied to us. (Is he maybe getting a kickback from the taxi guys?) We've been sorta lied to more than once here... disappointing.

But... positive-
We got a ticket for a "free Mexican Party" upon arrival. At this party there was a raffle. First ticket for a prize was drawn...
"Greybeard?"shouted the emcee.
We won a free Fifth of "Jose Cuervo Especial" Tequila! They also fed us great Tacos for appetizers and all the Coronas I could drink.

My attitude about this vacation
is improving.
Wish you were here.

21 September 2021

The Fall of the Empire

This may be some fuzzy thinking this morning, but...
"Bayou Renaissance Man's" Blogspot post lead me down a path:
One of the first things Hitler did when he assumed power was to begin controlling folks who disagreed with him. Eventually he censored others by burning books.
His control efforts ended up with millions dead.

Mao Tse Tung did much the same. He took smart people out of cities and put them behind a plow.
People starved.
Those that continued to disagree with his thoughts ended up dead, in the millions.

Right now I'm "analogizing".
Our media censors.
Facebook censors.
Instagram censors.
And our "Cancel Culture" thrives.

Is this so different than burning books, and worse?

I don't think so.
And that scares me.

20 September 2021

I Don't Know Mexico

I've never spent "quality" time in Mexico, so my initial impression about the place may be worthless.

I'm beginning to feel the people here are a lot like the folks I met in Viet Nam-
If "face saving" is necessary, it's perfectly okay to lie or prevaricate.

We're in what is supposed to be a "top drawer" resort here in Cabo. And we've now been lied to on more than one occasion when the truth might have been embarrassing or uncomfortable.

If you asked me right now, I would suggest you avoid the country.
We'll be here six more days.
I hope my opinion changes.

Coming Home From Mexico

We were warned we'd need to have a Covid test prior to coming home from Mexico.
"Don't forget, or you won't be able to come home!"

I responded:
"If I'm refused re-admittance, can I not just walk across the river at Del Rio, Texas?"

She didn't respond.

The Sales Spiel

During the signing-in process here at Hacienda Del Mar we were offered perks-
$100 in certificates to use at restaurants and bars here on the complex.
A card that gives us a 15% discount at these restaurants.
A free breakfast the morning of the sales promotion.
And an invitation to a "Mexican Welcome Party" on the Tuesday night of our stay.
All we had to do to receive these wonderful gifts was to attend a 75-minute sales talk to show us the wonderful benefits we'd receive if we bought a Timeshare with the organization running this resort.

We just bought a recreational vehicle. Our intent is to use this camping trailer to tour the U.S. and check off  items on our "bucket list". We have no interest in purchasing a timeshare, even if we can use it anywhere in the world, including the U.S.. When the agent asked us how we felt about the possibility of being able to come to Cabo or some other resort at a very low price, we told him about our RV and the fact we were only listening to his talk because of the perks.
But he has a job to do. And he did it very well.
For almost 90 minutes.

We got the free breakfast. It was wonderful but he rushed us at the end because he had another spiel to administer to another client and I was taking too long to eat.
We toured beautiful suites overlooking the ocean. We were driven through the complex here. All of the wonderful benefits we could enjoy here were pointed out.
Then came the closing-
"We can offer you all this at (this price). Surely you cannot refuse that!"
"We're not interested."

"Okay. We can finance this at THIS LOW RATE and reduce your monthly payments to (this lower price).
How does that sound?"
"Wonderful. But as we mentioned up front we just spent a ton of money on an RV, and I still have things I need to purchase to be able to use it as we want. We're not interested in your offer. But thank you."

It meant nothing to our guy.
Three more "closings" ensued. He was VERY good at his job. Finally, he shrugged his shoulders and guided us to another room and introduced us to "Mariel", who would gives us the perks they promised.
And Mariel had a really great deal for us... "What if I offered to sell you a membership for (this lower price)?"
Three more sales closings. Three more "no, it's a wonderful offer, but thanks anyway", and we walked out with our "gifts".
This whole affair took almost two hours.

So I figure Sara Jean and I got about $25 each per hour for our trouble. I've been through these things before and they are always stressful. You end up being "friends" with the salespeople. You know this activity is the way they put money in their pockets... and feed their families.
So you hate to say "NO!"
They know that and use that fact to great advantage.
We watched dozens of families walk in and out of this sales presentation and wondered...
How many of them, at the end, had the strength to say "No. Thank you"?

I bet they sold a bunch of memberships yesterday.

19 September 2021

Hacienda Del Mar

We find ourselves in Cabo San Lucas, at the "Hacienda Del Mar" resort.
It is beautiful.
The resort is new. Our quarters are wonderful. The beach is a four minute walk. There are rocks scattered along the strand and the surf pounds like a big bass drum. We can hear it from our balcony. We imagined we'd be able to see the water from our room. We cannot. And that's the first irritation of a few.
Whining follows:

We were told we would need to pass a Covid-19 test prior to boarding the airplane to come here. We were in Nashville, TN at the time we learned this and had to call home to find out who would do the test within 72 hours of our departure and what time we had to be there to get it done. We coordinated all that, tested negative for the virus, and got paperwork in hand.
It was still dark when we arose on the day of our flight. We showered, bundled our luggage to the car, and made our way to parking and the airport. We checked our bag and got our boarding passes. No one asked for our Covid documentation. They DID want to verify we had our passports.

Our stopover was in Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Ever been there?
It's a BIG airport. To get from one part of the place to another you must take a shuttle train. We used the train and got to our departure gate.
No one asked for our Covid documentation.

We land at "Los Cabos International Airport", get our bags and make our way through customs... not a big deal. We wend our way outside the terminal to find the shuttle for the resort.
We're stressed and tired. It's HOT outside. Thirty minutes we stand waiting for our ride.
But the ride is in an air conditioned van. Cold water is offered and accepted.

Arriving at the resort is a flurry of activity.
And here is where my main problem begins.
After check-in, a young lady escorts us to a private area and gives us a spiel-
If we sign up to hear a sales pitch we get 15% off all our meals in the resort, a free breakfast, and $100 credit in the resort's restaurants and bars.
I'm nearly deaf. She's speaking in heavily accented English, through a mask. I might as well be TOTALLY deaf. Thank Goodness Sara Jean can hear. But she's only understanding about half of what she is hearing.

Prices for everything are in Mexican Pesos. Initially it's a shocker to look at prices-
Gasoline at one station we passed was listed at $21.44/per... whatever. So we need to do a mental calculation to determine if we want to buy something.

The coffee pot in the room may as well be a radio. It appears brand new, but its function is a mystery to us.
We call the front desk for help. The maintenance guy shows up and explains how it works... in Spanish.
He leaves. We figure out we can boil water in our kitchenette then pour it through the grounds, cowboy style.
Brand new, worthless-to-us coffee maker.

We found Fox News on it last night before turning over to sleep. When we woke and tried to watch it this morning the screen said, "Press select to view". I press "select".
Nada. (That means what I did had no damned impact).
We call the front desk again. A different maintenance guy shows up. Remote in hand, he repeatedly presses "select". He gets the same result I got. He punches keys on his cell phone, then hands it to me. On the display it says, "Signal is down. Will be back up at 9 A.M.".

So our first day in this beautiful resort has been... unsettling.
-Stressful planning.
-Hectic travel.
-Language difficulties.
-Currency exchange.

Give me 24 hours of watching this surf while reading my book.
I think I may survive.

16 September 2021

Not Smart

I've been self-centered and WRONG my whole life.
Early on I learned of my IQ number and thought it indicated fairly high intelligence.
But I'm not smart enough to figure out how being "oohed and ahhed" over while slamming "The Rich" at a $30,000/plate fundraiser is not the height of hypocrisy.
In my stupidity all I could think of was, "Well, she does have a nice butt".

08 September 2021

"Hecho En Viet Nam"

In an earlier post I touched on the fact that a beloved Uncle, who spent almost a year in a German P.O.W. camp, bought an "Anglia Ford" in the early 1960's as a second car rather than a VW because he could not bring himself to put money in the pockets of any German. I could fully understand his reasoning.
My Father fought in the Pacific theater. In 1973 he bought a Datsun Pickup truck. I was proud the had rejoined the world. (He put over 200,000 miles on that ugly little thing.)

My son has purchased a nice home in the bedroom suburbs of Nashville, TN. The home is large enough that if/when Sara Jean and I come to visit, we will not be walking all over one another.
Rather than move a bunch of stuff from Phoenix, he sold much of his home furnishings there prior to his move. So now he has to buy NEW here, and we've been running all over town looking for stuff that pleases both he and SJ to furnish this home.

Loaded into the back of "Grouchy", our 3/4-ton diesel pickup, printed clearly on most of the boxes of furnishings were the words, "Hecho En Viet Nam".
Further inspection revealed the words: "Frabique En Viet Nam" and "Made in Viet Nam."
I went to Viet Nam to protect our country while trying to improve the lives of Vietnamese citizens.
Looks like I may have succeeded after all.
By the way... I have NO qualms whatsoever about buying a quality product, reasonably priced, manufactured by the grandchild of someone who might have been trying to kill me over 50 years ago.
That world is LONG GONE.

07 September 2021

The Cruise Diet?

Prior to departing for our cruise I jumped on the scale. I wanted to see how many lubs I would put on because I knew we'd have all we could eat of anything we wanted for the nine days we'd be on the boat.
I was a bit surprised to find I had broken the 200-lb barrier for the first time in several years. That made getting on the ship a little sad, 'cause I knew I'd have to struggle once again to get below that mark.

On the ship I DID try to eat mostly protein and veggies. But MAN!, that dessert section had some fabulous selections to choose from. "Tres leche dulce"? "Raspberry Red Velvet"?
Pastries are always my failing. When the "Hot Donuts" light is on at Krispy Kreme, my car always goes into automatic pilot and finds a vacant parking spot.

This morning Sara Jean asked, "Have you gotten on the scale?"
"No." (I really didn't wanta know.)
"You're beginning to look like a scarecrow. Come up. Let's see how much weight you've lost."
Lost? is she kidding? We just returned from the land of endless peanut butter cookies!

Up the stairs and onto the scale.
The digital numbers spun like a wheel of fortune, then settled on...
192 pounds.
How is that possible?

I can't explain it. Maybe I picked up a worm somewhere along the line?
Or maybe cake and ice cream are now a part of the South Beach diet?

Whatever... I'll take it.
Now, keeping it off is always the difficult part.

06 September 2021

Magic Carpet Ride, 5Sep21

I go back to this theme frequently-
I'm reading James McDonough's "William Tecumseh Sherman, In the Service of My Country". In the mid-1800's, when Sherman needed to communicate with his superiors from San Francisco, it could take THREE MONTHS to get a message to them, and another three to get a response.

We departed Ft. Lauderdale, Florida last night at 2000 hours Eastern. We landed in Nashville, Tennessee at 2200 hours, picked up our son's car, then drove home, arriving at 0400 hours, (again Eastern time zone.)
I haven't calculated the exact distance FTL> our home, but I "swag" it at about 1400 miles total...
Sherman would be boggled by the thought of such speed and convenience.
We are spoiled rotten, and need to say thanks for our blessings continuously.

Big Bubba is buying a house in the Nashville area and we will be helping him to make it a home, starting tomorrow, so a trip back to Music City is necessary. I don't know much about Nashville, but I really like what I am seeing so far.

We are still getting our "land legs" beneath us, unwinding from the whirlwind we've been caught up in.
I'm sure Sherman frequently had situations he had to unwind from, even at a horse/donkey's walking pace.

Have a great day today everyone. I fear we are about to have major changes in our lives.
(Buy a BUNCH of your favorite brand of coffee. Ours has been "out of stock for two weeks now.)

05 September 2021

5Sep21-Back In The USSA

We're off the boat in Ft. Lauderdale. We'll be back in our beds at home late this evening.
After 9 nights on the boat it begins to feel like home, and we always hate to leave. Neat stuff is everywhere within a short walk on the boat... food, entertainment, (both fun and educational), and an endless supply of cookies and ice cream.
Last night we sailed for a few hours just off Cuba's East and Northern shores. I trekked to the highest point on the boat hoping to get a glimpse...
No luck, Castro's land was just over the horizon.

This cruise has been enjoyable. They seem expensive, until you consider you're getting a nice room; plenty of good food; a pool, view of the ocean from your private balcony; Las Vegas or Broadway-quality entertainment; a Casino; and servants EVERYWHERE catering to your every wish.
Sumptuous breakfast in bed, sir? Coming right up!

This ship had been idle 16 months. I think this trip was a "trial balloon" to get the ship and crew back running on all 8 cylinders. We saw VERY FEW indications of any problems.

We're glad to be back on terra firma.
I'm sure our grass needs mowing.

02 September 2021

ABC, Easy As 123-

We are docked in port at Bonaire. I had heard the term "ABC Islands", but naive as I am, never was curious enough to ask what "ABC" meant.
Now I know it means "Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao". We've now visited them all, but in the order of "ACB".
All are beautiful. Curacao is apparently the hilliest of the three. All deserve more than a 12-hour visit, which is the one thing I dislike about "Cruising".
Maybe we can come back and spend some time exploring without a deadline some day.

I was worried how Sara Jean's L.B.D. would react to be in a strange bedroom, in completely odd surroundings. The bathroom in our Stateroom has a very nice nightlight. It basks our entire room in a comfortable blue light if we leave the shower/toilet door open when we go to bed. She has had NO hallucinations at night, thank GOD. (We were worried if she screamed at night our shipmates would call security. We've escaped that so far.)

This ship is run by "Celebrity Cruise Lines". We've now sailed on lines operated by Princess, Azamara, and Celebrity. Sara Jean and Big Bubba have also sailed on Royal Caribbean. We all agree the food on this line has been better than the others. But Azamara still ranks #1 because of their unlimited alcohol policy, and their excellent WiFi package. (It has been frustratingly difficult to keep a signal on this voyage.)

We leave Bonaire this evening, headed back to Ft. Lauderdale. That'll be two days "at sea", so we'll be carousing the boat to find ways to pass the time.
Hope all is well with the readers who stop by.

More later...

31 August 2021


It's amazing to watch them maneuver these huge vessels against the dock. Ship's speed is reduced from 16 knots to zero over about a 20 minute period. Most of these gigantic pieces of machinery have thrusters to do much of the job, but generally there are a couple big Tugboats to assist, even if they are just a sort of insurance policy for possible failure of some system.

Aruba is beautiful. We've been here previously on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale after we had passed through the Panama Canal. There's a wonderful cafe/bar on Main Street here that has GREAT WiFi. I thought I might disembark here and have a couple beers there while getting away from the absolutely lousy signal we have here on the ship. BUT... the announcement was made after the ship came to a stop that in order to disembark we'd have to wear masks, indoors and out here.
Aruba will get none of my greenbacks.

The "Celebrity Equinox" has plaques with interesting quotes posted above all the urinals to educate all us standing pee-ers. I read one I liked last night:
"Farm land grows crops. City land grows taxes."

I promised myself I would not gain weight on this cruise.
Right now I'm irritated with myself.

Tomorrow? We'll be either in Bonaire or Curacao, I cannot remember which.
I'd like to be able to get off the ship and get my "land legs".
Let's see if they punish us with masks.

Cruise Ships-

This ship is HUGE. It is by far the largest cruise ship I have sailed on.
It's 15 stories tall. I was surprised to hear that it drafts 27 feet. How in the world does it not capsize, even in a gentle turn?

28 August 2021

Keep My Head In The Sand?

We're docked in Nassau. Our journey will last ten days. When news broke of what is going on in Afghanistan I was conflicted-
I'm heartsick about our humiliation. How can we be SO STUPID?
But there's not a damned thing I can do about it. I voted my heart last November, fearful of exactly this scenario unfolding. Would things be different with the "Evil Tweeter" in office? I cannot help but think our enemies would fear him.
Now? EVERYONE around the world is laughing at us.

But here I am in the Bahamas. For a while I thought I simply wouldn't turn to the news. But I'm a news/political junkie, and I couldn't resist flicking over to see how CNN and MSPMS were trying to cover SloJoe's ass.
I was surprised. This screwup is so flagrant even they are criticizing his handling of it. And it will get worse when the magnitude of how many hostages the Taliban and ISIS have under their control.
Disaster is impossible to camouflage.

I went to the Boat's library to grab something to read and keep me , as much as possible, from watching the Boobtube. Amazingly, the VERY FIRST book I focused on was "William Tecumseh Sherman, In the service of my country. A life".
The book is dedicated "To my former students at Lipscomb University, Pepperdine University, and Auburn University, who understood and appreciated the significance of history".
If young people "understood and appreciated the significance of history", we WOULD NOT be in the disastrous situation we now find ourselves experiencing.

We'll be visiting Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire.
I just wish I could fully be enjoying this experience.
That's impossible while my brethren and fellow citizens are at risk.

27 August 2021

The Wisdom of A Navy Corpsman

When I got drafted my closest friend in High School joined the Navy and asked to be trained as a Medic.
... Ballsy, considering the conflict in Viet Nam was growing, and Walter Cronkite was showing videos of that conflict every night on his broadcast. He came home from the war a dramatically changed man.

I've kept the relationship with that friend alive and reasonably well all these years since.
For some time now he's been saying "the country is lost", and I've argued that he is wrong. But everywhere I turn and look now I see things that make me either sick to my stomach or at least uncomfortable. (If you don't know who Megan Rapinoe is, do the research.)

We face trying times.
The difficulties we face will change our country, for better or worse.
And I'm not sure I want to live in the country that emerges.

Damn, I'm glad I'm old!

23 August 2021

Only Yesterday.


The "Karen Carpenter Story" has haunted me for years.
Thinking she was FAT, she apparently "pinched an inch" at her waist until her body was so diminished her heart stopped. Nothing anyone said to her could change her behavior.

Today I heard this song on our "Classic Rock" station and really listened to the words.

We must always remember-
Although they look normal, others around us may be living lives of quiet desperation.

20 August 2021

20 August Request for Help:

A friend from Chicago will be visiting Sara Jean today.  The visitor will be here most of the afternoon.
My request?
Do you know any tool I can use to insure she NEVER votes again?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


18 August 2021


I was ashamed of my country when we abandoned our allies in Viet Nam.
I'm ashamed today because we learned absolutely nothing from that experience.
What happened to "Duty. Honor. Country."?

17 August 2021


 Look at all these able, military-age males running around the airport at Kabul, Afghanistan, looking for an AK-47 or AR-15 to use in defense of their country against the evil Taliban!

16 August 2021

It's From France


Volkswagen's invasion of the U.S. started in the late 50's. At that time the average price of regular gasoline was about 25-cents a gallon. It was difficult for me to understand why anyone would want one of the noisy, uncomfortable little cars. Now I understand a little better-
As a second car they were somewhat like a motorcycle, only you could use one in the rain or snow and not be wet and miserable.

The car in the photo is a Renault "Dauphine", France's answer to the Beetle.
A friend's Father bought one for her because he had fought in the European Theater during WWII and could not bring himself to buy anything made by Hitler's minions. Dauphines were TERRIBLE little cars. They broke down
A LOT, and Renault had little to no logistics chain set up to support the car.
My friend's car sat for weeks waiting on some part. While the Beetle just got more and more popular, Renault got run out of town on a rail until they reappeared in the U.S. with the AMC/Renault "Alliance", (another raving success of an automobile).

Renault. Citroen. Peugeot.
What is it about French cars in the U.S.?

15 August 2021

August, 2021- A Great Idea!

Now that Afghanistan is once again falling into Taliban hands-
Why don't we just release all the Guantanamo prisoners?
That would resolve ALL our present-day issues, wouldn't it?

What was it that wise man said about history?

11 August 2021

Getting Jabbed

Since my Sara Jean is apparently in the early stage of going down the Lewy Body Dementia path, we've accelerated our list of things we'd like to do before we assume ambient temperature.
She loves to cruise. So we scheduled a 7-day Caribbean cruise which leaves in a few days. Our son will accompany us on this voyage.
We've already been "jabbed", but our son has not. When we scheduled the cruise he specifically asked, "Will you require proof of vaccination in order for me to board?" And the answer was "Negative".
So everything was in order. Until two days ago.
Change One to Plan B...
"You must have proof that you have been vaccinated."
Scramble time.

I know just enough about the vaccines to be dangerous. I've seen the frantic posts about mice that have received the MRNA vaccines. So to be safe, Sara Jean and I got the Johnson & Johnson/Jansen vaccination. (We're all gonna die soon anyway, so what the heck?)
We recommended the J&J vaccine to Big Bubba and did some research to find out where he could obtain one.
Everyone is "Out of Stock".
Panic time.

We call around... "Do you have ANY idea where the J&J vaccine can be found?
"No. You might try Googling it."

Yesterday we called and asked that question to our local Health Department-
"Yes we have it. Come tomorrow between 8 A.M. and 4:30 P.M.".
Our son now has his proof and can board the ship.
Time to relax.
Now, ask me how soon we'll be getting on a Cruise Ship again!

Our accelerated timeline-
Then a week in Cabo San Lucas.
Then a trip back to Indiana for a couple days in Madison, overlooking the Mighty Ohio River, followed by my High School reunion.
Then I think we'll run up to Shipshewana, Indiana so Sara Jean can shop 'til she drops while I run over to visit the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana.
Then we'll come home and prepare for our six weeks in Destin, Florida.
Interspersed in all this runnin' around we hope to spend some time in our new RV trailer.

Time flies when you're havin' fun.
I hope we can savor every moment of what we have left.

05 August 2021

The "Single Point Failure" Of The U.S. Constitution:

Are you as sick of this as I am?
Watch this video. And if you want change, and you're not already a member of Billwhittle.com, get your butt over there and throw some money their way.
We MUST start fighting back!

02 August 2021

Backing Up


Trying to make the most of the years we have left, (hopefully MANY), we decided to buy an RV.
I wrote about loving truck campers because they are compact, you only have to license one vehicle, and you can pull a trailer behind them.
Well, best laid plans...

We went shopping and I made the mistake of taking a look at this thing.
It has a "garage" in the front with a ramp. You can drive a motorcycle up that ramp with room to spare for other stuff. The slide at the rear accommodates a full King-size bed. At the campsite you can pull the bike out of the garage and there are two bunk beds up there in front.

I've been terrified of maneuvering this thing behind our 3/4 ton truck. So today I took it out to a BIG empty parking lot in our neighborhood and practiced.
Surprisingly, after two or three shots at trying to hit my target I got to the point I was no longer terrified.
(Ain't sayin' I was great at it, but if/when I need to put it into a campsite, with a little ziggin' and zaggin', I'll get the sucker where it needs to rest.)

Now? We're outfitting the thing.
LOTS of nickels and dimes.
Stay tuned. More to come.

30 July 2021

In The "Good Ol' Days"-

Back in the good old days I could-
-Turn on "Headline News" and get news headlines 24-hours a day.
-Click "The Weather Channel" and find out what was happening in weather all over the U.S. at any time of the day.
-Check out "The History Channel" and learn me some history, instead of watching people lose money at a Pawn shop in Las Vegas, NV.
-Tune in MTV and watch the latest music videos, NOT some idiots on the Jersey Shore.

Money ruins everything, doesn't it?

28 July 2021

Stupid People

I think somewhere in the Bible it says:
"There were stupid people in the past. We live amongst stupid people today. There will be (hopefully fewer) stupid people in the future."

Stupid people are now asking liberal, privileged, White Folk to not enroll their children in any of the top 50 schools rated by U.S. News and World Report so less qualified kids can take those slots.

And I still wonder if, when he played golf, Barack Obama hit his Tee Shots from the women's tees.
... Affirmative Action, doncha know?

25 July 2021

Pooping A Pineapple-

Okay, so I've started with a title that will attract a few readers.
And Lord, I hope my wife never reads this post.
If discussion of what comes out the exhaust makes you uncomfortable, NOW is the time to stop reading.

Twice... I've been married.
Both times I have been married to women who seem attracted to carrying around extra weight in the form of something solid that oughta be flushed.
Number 1 wife has gone on to be with our Lord. But she had a continual problem with constipation. And man-oh-man how I wish I could now communicate with her or someone in her family about the last years of her life!

Number 2 wife has had a constipation problem forever. She goes days, until she's really uncomfortable, and then pops pills to try to make her bowels move. These pills call themselves "Natural Fiber", but reading their ingredients I find they are mostly "cellulose", which means trees.
I'd certainly rather see her take these than a pill containing some exotic chemical that appears nowhere in nature. But her diet is a big part of her problem...
She eats almost no vegetables. French Fries don't count. In the disassembly line that is our gastrointestinal tract, potatoes of any sort don't help much to move the finished product toward the finish line.

Lemme get to my point here-
"Lewy" has become a major focus in our life now. And by that I mean "Lewy Body Dementia", the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's.
EVERYONE has heard about Alzheimer's. Few have heard about our new acquaintance, Lewy.
But you're gonna hear more and more about Lewy in the future. He kills much more quickly than AL does.

I've been poking around doing the thing Doctors hate-
Researching the information available on Lewy Body disorders.
One of the connecting links seems to be constipation.
L.B.D. patients are frequently constipated.
Well.... DUH! My wife has been constipated since I first met her. And it turns out, there are Lewy Bodies in your gut... lots of 'em.
Is there a connection between constipation in early years and Lewy Body Dementia or other dementia, in later years?
More research is necessary.

If you're young and frequently constipated, Doc Greybeard suggests you go an buy a bottle of Prune Juice. Take a big enough dose to move things along on that assembly line.
And repeat as necessary.
Seems to me the old saying, "Can't hurt much... might help A LOT" applies here.

More on all this in the future.