"These government programs are popular with the American people."
"Morbidly obese people like ice cream and candy bars."
30 September 2021
29 September 2021
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
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.
24 September 2021
"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
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?
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
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-
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Those that continued to disagree with his thoughts ended up dead, in the millions.
Right now I'm "analogizing".
Our media 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'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.
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!"
"If I'm refused re-admittance, can I not just walk across the river at Del Rio, Texas?"
She didn't respond.
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
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.
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.
Give me 24 hours of watching this surf while reading my book.
I think I may survive.
16 September 2021
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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.