Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Year's Resolution...or Not?

For my 2010 New Year's Resolution I am thinking about a fairly simple one, yet one that sounds somewhat selfish without explanation - to be more self centered when it comes to protecting my time than I have been in the past.
We will always have obligations that are important for sure, but they work two ways; therefore, beginning January 1, 2010, my time is priority number one. Certainly I will share some of it with others, however I expect them to do the same and that includes leaving their own comfort zones once in a while just as we often leave ours.
So, beginning this New Year's, I am officially on the me train. It has plenty of room for anyone willing to reach out and grab their own ticket!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas is Coming - Right?

Here we are in Virginia, getting ready for Christmas and some tripping around the Carolinas. Surf City first, then back to Virginia for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, then on to SC for New Years in Boiling Springs.
Shopping is done and hopefully shipping will be done soon as well. It's been a tough time for me, selecting gifts for people without breaking the bank and for Pat who did all the wrapping - she's a real Vanilla Ice. We got the gifts selected but I think the bank got broken. Time to replenish I guess.
Nothing else much going on - it's raining here and cold but not icy thank goodness. Soon it's off to a Christmas party/lunch combination - should be fun. We'll talk later - this season seems to be filled with things to think and write about.....least of all, a particular Grinch who tried to steal one little girl's Christmas - Bah, Humbug asshole.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho it's off to work I go!

What am I thinking? heading to DC to meet with DHS and at rush hour at that. I must be crazy since I am sort of retired. We will see how long this goes on. I never thought I would actually get any work out of my newly formed company. Humph!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rain is a pain!

It's been raining for several days both at Topsail Island and in VA. Seems we're finally beginning to see some hints of Winter - ugh!
We had a great time at the beach this past Friday - Wednesday. The weather was nice until Tuesday - nice enough to have an outside seafood boil and invite the neighbors. Good thing we have a very big pot since we probably cooked 40 pounds of stuff that night and every bit got gone except about one pound of shrimp which was turned into shrimp salad the next day.
We're back in VA for a while but already planning our next ride South so here's hoping the weather cooperates.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bored in Virginia

It's boring around here these days. Patti is in SC, I am in VA, can't go to NC due to classes I have to teach. The next two weeks are pretty much filled with things to do and appointments to keep so we'll be sticking around here for a while longer.
So, today I am being my boring self with nothing special to mention....maybe the weekend will hold some ideas.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's a retiree to do?

Well, actually that's a partial retiree since school and Q Systems are still alive and kicking. Anyway, I know what I am going to do Wednesday - go to Surf City NC for a week. We picked apples this weekend and now Patti is busy making apple sauce. Looks good too but where will we put all of it?
Staying busy without spending money or eating is proving to be a challenge both to my imagination and energy. One can only ride a bike for so long. Oh well, it's a good problem to have I suppose so I will live with it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog Not Lately

But we've been busy. Spent lots of time in Surf City, returned to VA while Pat went to SC for a family visit. Back in VA - Internet was down, phones are noisy, etc. Teaching class tonight at Andrews AFB and then back to NC by myself for a while. Here's hoping for good weather for the rest of the week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

We're not at Surf City!

Had to come back to VA for a while to teach a class, attend a lunch, teach another class. It's raining today and was a bust anyway since we spent almost 6 hours driving to a German Deli (or two), getting some picnic stuff, having the picnic, and coming back home. Soon, it's back to Topsail but for now, boredom on a rainy Saturday in Virginia.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


What a week.  Lynn, Mark, and Sara are here and it’s been fun.  We’re doing all sorts of things,  none especially remarkable but all entertaining.  Mark got a new laptop and is geeking the days away or perhaps I should say “Blue Grassing on the Web”.  We’re cruising on the Belle of Topsail tomorrow evening so hopefully the weather will  cooperate.   So far, it’s been mixed with pretty good amounts of sun, interspersed with a little rain and wind but not too bad. After next week, I am afraid that my time here will become very limited for a while.  Too bad but maybe I can figure something out.  J and B are coming mid September but I doubt I’ll be here since there’s work to be done in the DC/VA areas once again.




Monday, July 13, 2009

Rainy Day Departure!

It’s raining like crazy here in Surf City North Carolina and naturally, we’re leaving sometime this morning for Virginia. I suspect this weather has settled in for a while, maybe two days or so. It’s after 9 AM and nobody but me is stirring so that means a late, very late getaway. It doesn’t matter since the garbage man hasn’t picked up the trash and I don’t want to leave until I can return the container to under the house. Hopefully, the guy will be coming down our side of the street soon. Surf City is fast becoming Trash City based on all the overflowing containers lining the streets. The town went to one vs. two day per week garbage pickup, without requiring larger rental houses to add containers, so we’re starting to see the result – trash all over the place and probably a growing rat population. Something has to give – I’ve suggested fines against homeowners who don’t provide sufficient containers and who fail to return them to the house after pickup day. Nobody in the town government seems willing to do anything to resolve the problem. Maybe I should offer my help. I could ask the state health department for assistance or perhaps get some beneficial publicity from the regional news media. We’ll see! In the meantime, the Ocean is there and looking a bit bleak right now since it’s raining so hard. We’ll be back soon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I never wanted an iPod but got Patti one as an anniversary present...guess what? She got me one too and it ain't half bad. It's nice here at Topsail, very hot days and cooler evenings. All in all, a good place to be.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Who in the World is....

Benjamin Button? I don't know but right this very minute, in the upstairs living room, people are watching this creepy little anti-baby, young.
Me? I made it though his early years, if you can call them that, but when that octogenarian adolescent sprung from his wheelchair, I was outta there in a flash. What a stupid concept and how it all came about is based on what? A backwards clock? Personally, I would rather be counting rotations of my bedroom ceiling fan than watching that thing. Anyway, when old Benjamin, or young Benjamin - whatever, gets to his zero age, what does the little fellow do - crawl back into ..... I can't say it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Almost Perfect Day

Today was an almost perfect day. I say "almost" because I spent it all alone. The weather was ideal - sunny, around 80 and not too humid, with a nice but not overpowering breeze.
I was able to get lots accomplished too. De-rusted the heat pump cover, re configured the hurricane windows, washed the car, refinished the teak tables, and got an 8.5 mile bike ride in to boot.
Tomorrow will be a "no sweat" day, meaning that I am not gonna do anything that makes me sweaty and overworked. Maybe a bike ride but nothing too strenuous since my real job will be to get things ready for me to leave and Pat to arrive. Hopefully, I won't forget the bananas and some Oriole cookies.
I hate to depart for Virginia but it's nice to know that I will be coming back and soon. This place really grows on a person when the weather is nice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Its shaping up to be a nice Memorial Day Weekend. Weather-wise it's great - sunny and clear. This has been one of the longest periods I've stayed at Topsail and we've seen quite an assortment of weather - rain, wind, sunshine, and clear skies. There's a large shrimp boat trolling just off shore, a good sign that shrimping season is back and believe me, the shrimp around here are good.
We have been doing lots of entertaining this week. Friends from Long Island, friends from here, Cousin John - wow! I think today will be a restaurant day, Pat needs a break.
Later, we'll go down the street and see how Judy's yard sale is going (we've got some stuff in there too). Then, maybe to Camp LeJeune for some grocery shopping but I don't want to waste a good day on the island by shopping in the commissary. Maybe later we'll pull out that (expensive) tandem bicycle and go for a ride. I might even drink a beer this evening, who knows.
Well, here's to all those who served and who are to be remembered on this day. Without them, and the support of their families, we'd probably be a lot different a country than we are today. Later!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We are all basically screwed!

It's been my practice to try to keep these blog entries light and uncontroversial but there's a time to laugh, a time to cry, and now a time to whine. First the good news. Graduation went well today at American University - lots of people walked the plank and many family members attended. The graduation speech was good, not too long, and very positive....all good things.
Tomorrow is head for the beach day and, one would think, a cause for celebration, relief, and expectation of a pretty good time. However, my excitement has been diminished considerably by the realization that our system, our way of life, the very fabric of our once great society - competence and personal responsibility, are gone. Here are some recent examples:
1. Forward the mail: Easy, right? Nope. It was to start today but was still delivered and a call to the USPS 800 number indicated that the form was never turned in by the carrier. So, I had to do another, online and at a price. Something that used to be so simple is now a problem.
2. Air Conditioning System: It has always worked fine, that is until just after our semi-annual preventative check last week when it started blowing hot air and the outside unit failed to come on. Furthermore, the preventive maintenance guy didn't even change the filter even though a new one was sitting right beside the unit - what professionalism.
3. Comcast Cable Internet: For several months now, more like for a year now, our Internet has been coming and going, as have service persons. Finally, at Comcast's urging, I switched the modem but still the thing goes down almost daily for an hour here, another hour there, etc. I scheduled a Comcast technician for yesterday, 11 AM - 2 PM and received a confirmation. Guess what? No Comcast person came and this was the second time this has happened. The story was that he called and there was no answer, probably because I was either in the bathroom or outside cleaning a gutter. The arrangement never had a stipulation that I answer the phone in order for the guy to come - heck, I made the appointment and, unlike Comcast's people, made sure I kept my end of the deal. Can you say "Fios"?
Anyway, I am venting but the point of this, and other things like the McDonald's people not understanding the difference between "Southern Chicken Sandwich" and "McChicken", and all the other crappy customer service I've been experiencing almost on a daily basis, I have concluded that we are doomed, society as we know it is over, and we're all in for a perpetually running screwing for ever.
Addendum - May 23: Tried to set call forwarding before we left Virginia but it didn't work. A Verizon person said we had it, set it up, and it worked for a day. After it stopped working, I called and now Verizon tells us the call forwarding feature we've paid for all these years doesn't work and we can't activate it since we're not at our home phone, refusing to accept the fact that the first person had it fixed briefly. Who do I switch to since both Verizon and Comcast are equally terrible?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Nice Weather!

It's been a great week at Surf City. The weather has been super - plenty of sun, not much wind. Got to take some pictures of an Osprey diving for fish and a few of a sting ray (skate) swimming in shallow water in the marsh. We're going back to VA today, hopefully returning Friday but Patti's dentist may change those plans a bit due to the ongoing implant saga - but hopefully not.
School is wrapping up - only two weeks to go, then the grading frenzy and May 16 graduation. After that, it's hopefully back to NC for most of the Summer.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We're back again!

We are back in Surf City. I know that because It's been raining since we arrived. The sun is trying to come out - maybe it'll succeed and we will have some decent weather. It it going to be warmer - already 70 degrees at 10:25 AM....Happy Days!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Beach Madness

It's been about the longest time I've ever spent away from Virginia in years. For three weeks, we have bounced between Topsail Island and Boiling Springs SC. It's actually been fun despite the lousy weather at Topsail - cold, foggy, misting rain, and a strong coastal wind have been prevalent most of the time. Still, it's been restful. We'll be leaving next week and probably not returning for at least 2 weeks due to various appointments, school, work, etc. When we return, it will be Spring and hopefully the beginning of warmer and more outdoorsy weather.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Has It Really Been Since Christmas?

I guess I’m not a very good blogger – at least not a consistent one given the date of my last entry.  Well, it’s makeup time so here goes.

First, we’re in NC and it’s cold at the beach. A little snow fell but nothing was sticking.  I guess we’re lucky because Northern Virginia has a pretty good storm going on right now.

Keeping the stream of consciousness going I have decided that I hate elevators, at least mine.  The damn thing is as dependable as, well as nothing.  Here it is broken down again for the second time in 6 months and fixing it costs big bucks just for the service calls alone.  If it breaks once more, I may turn it into a silo.

Secondly, it’s handicapped people – some of whom are lazy little buggers.  Not all of them mind you but the ones who leave their shopping carts in the handicapped parking spaces when they return to their cars.  Now before accusing me of being hard hearted or anti-handicapped, I must say that my own wife is among them and is often a victim of their inconsiderate behavior.  If someone is able to push a cart around a store and return it to their car for unloading, they are certainly capable of putting the thing back in the little holding shoot in the parking lot, regardless of their physical limitations.  Think about it and you have to conclude that it’s pure laziness and totally inconsiderate of their fellow handicapped persons who now are either denied the use of a space blocked by the cart, or forced to get out and move it first.  This is just plain rude, especially when you realize that not all handicapped people are independently mobile so getting out of a car is in itself difficult.  Parking in a handicapped spot when one isn’t handicapped is illegal.  Blocking a handicapped space so the next person can’t use it should be too.