Saturday, April 28, 2007


Yosemite. Tomorrow. All packed. Even the kitchen sink has been loaded and is somewhere in the RV. Judging by the load it looks as if we're staying for two months. My motto: If one of any given item is good then 5 more are better.

I won't go deep tonight. It is after nine and I'm tired. No waxing nostalgic. No soapbox treatise.

No philosophy discourse tonight on: Why is there air? Who knows? Who cares? Let's breathe it and get on with life.

I could write about the memorial service I attended this afternoon. I could write about the friends from Apple Town who came to visit. Not tonight.

There's nothing left. Nothing to give. But nothing a few snoozes can't cure. Yes, Old Bob is pooped out . . . but he's not pooped on.

Feast your eyes on the beauty of Mother Nature. I'll be wallowing in her bosom tomorrow.

The only thing missing is a casino.

There will be pictures. Without the casino.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 27, 2007


Is that how we begin life in this world? Nothing down, months to pay. Come on down, do we have a deal for you. With your first breath of life, there's a debt to pay. There are terms attached to the life you're about to live.

How you live life, how you've relegated the terms and conditions of life dealt you at birth, that's the real question.

I say, it's how you live life. It's not about living life on life's terms. The terms are yours to define.

When a loved one passed from this world to the next, you can't help but reflect how you've lived a life. Are you meeting the terms, the conditions of this life? Is there going to be a debt to pay at the very end?

And you ask yourself - Are you laughing enough? Crying enough. Loving more than enough? Are you living a full life or are you existing and letting life flow over the top of you? - Are you wasting your the time? Do you have here in a meaningless job, a meaningless relationship or do you sit for endless hours in front of a television or computer screen both meant for a meaningless existence?

St. Peter is going to put these questions to everyone of us. Be ready. Get to studying.

Sitting on a park bench more than a few times this week, staring at the apex of the Sundial Bridge. I am shaken. I am emotionally raw. A friend's death has left me with more questions than what usually run through my mind. This is why I sit. What better place to sit?

BTW Kelly Lynn: That is our moon in the bottom of the picture. Thought you'd like to know.

I have questions that do not have answers. I Googled the deepest depths of my psyche and came up empty. If you shine light in one ear you can see the same light coming out of the other ear. I'm an airhead and there's no going back.

When St. Peter puts the questions up, I will answer correctly. There's a lot of work to do. There's no turning Old Bob away from the Gate, St. Peter.

The wife has survived 8 surgeries, the last being the most serious and the one having the greatest potential for catastrophe.

Here she is spending 5 hospital bound days in February recovering from a second surgery in two days to repair damage done during the first surgery. It was a close one.

Who values life in this family more than she does? Who knows all of the answers to the questions? She's been to the brink and back. The wife knows all the answers. And she's not giving them out.

Who wakes up smiling in the morning and goes to bed smiling?

Only those who have been close to losing their health or their life wake up smiling. And then there's those who are just plain crazy.
I yearn to be four years old again where the worse things in life equate to the cuts and scrapes on my legs, arms and hand, the grief that's caused by a large amount of sand that seems to always end up in socks and underwear and what's most important to me is that I always have my best friend by my side on the playground.

At age four, life is simple. Life is happy. Life appears to be infinite. All as it should be.
Or living a dog's life . . . is that appealing? Only with the right owner. So simple. Like being a four year old kid.

A bone. Two squares a day. Chase the ball. Have your tummy scratched. Ride in the truck once a day. And enjoy a walk on a sandy beach every few months.

It doesn't get any better than that.

No such luck on either of these counts. No chance being four years old again. Being a dog? Maybe in the next life. I'll let you know how being a dog works out.

My friend Gail will be put to rest Monday. Son Max, just in from Korea is making the rounds of his friends in Huntington Beach, San Luis Obispo, San Diego and Palm Springs. We have planned to meet in Yosemite Monday for hiking, sight seeing and photography. Our trip has been months in the planning. What to do? What to do?!

WWGD? Would would Gail do? A memorial service on Monday or meeting Max in Yosemite? Knowing Gail she would say, "Oh, my gosh, you go for it?"

Gail said "oh, my gosh!" a lot. It went like this: Oh (pause two seconds), my (pause two more seconds) gosh!.

And that's exactly what we're going to do - go for Yosemite. I'm bringing the climbing equipment. There's going to be a major assault on one the mountains around Yosemite.

The service celebrating Gail's time with us: Apple Town; 3:00 p.m.; Monday. At exactly 3:00 p.m. on Monday Max, the wife, the dogs and I will be at an overlook somewhere in the Yosemite Valley. A prayer. A moment of silence. A toast. A celebration of Gail's life.

What better way to spend a Monday at 3:00 p.m.......

We love you, Gail.

And oh, my gosh, WE MISS YOU terribly!

Posted by Picasa

No matter what is tried, Blogger won't accept photographs today.

My friend Carol says always take the high road. Yes, I said it again.

So, I'll let it be, do something else and hope that later on Blogger has resolved this problem.

I'd post what's on my mind but most everyone who ventures here does not read what I write. They only like my pictures. Any you one of "them"?

I will say that with the death of friend Gail it's been a tough week emotionally. It's also been a time of reflection.

More later. With pictures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It was beyond words. It was the unthinkable. For what seemed to be no excusable reason or rationale, a dear friend gone forever.

The dog needed walking. So did I. We drove to the river trail, walked the Sun Dial Bridge. Picked a nice bench. Sat in the sun.

As I sat I did a lot of thinking in an attempt to calm down and to reconcile my emotions. While I sat the dog snoozed, curled up nice and cozy by my side, the warmth of the sun making for great sleeping.

It was quite a picture.

I watched two fishermen in their boat doing what fishermen do best: fiddling with this and that. Trying one bait and then another. Getting their fishing lines fouled. Never catching anything.

Later I tried my hand at photographing butterflies. There were so many that it appeared to be easy to snap at least one good photo. It wasn't that easy. I had the wrong camera for closeup photography and the butterflies were all over the place. Even the best picture is slightly out of focus.

As I blog this morning I remember an e-mail I just read from my good friend Carol. Yesterday Carol wrote this about Gail:

"She was a very special person in my a butterfly...soft and beautiful in every way."

And I, in the deepest of grief, was photographing butterflies yesterday.

There has to be a connection.

I am angry. Now there are disturbing details surrounding the cause of Gail's death which are at the root of my anger and which should be cause for question. Could this have been prevented?

My friend Carol reminded me during a telephone phone conversation yesterday to always take the high road.

At this hour of the morning I find that taking the high road is difficult but I will.

I can't imagine what Gail's husband is feeling.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Gail passed away at 4 this morning. Her husband and high school age son were by her side. Her struggle to overcome leukemia was over.

For those of us who were close to Gail, we honestly believed that she would beat this disease. Hands down, we knew that Gail could and would do it.

That Gail is no longer with us, to put it simply, we're in shock, without words.
As you look at the picture, Gail is third from the right wearing a white jacket. It was taken two years ago at a party to celebrate my retirement.

Gail was a wonderful teacher. Her love was educating kindergarten children. To Gail, there was nothing better than giving five year old kids an outstanding start that set the tone for their future educational experiences.

As her principal I know first hand that no one did it any better than our Gail. I used to kid Gail that she could "teach the pants off of anyone." That always got me a smile and a giggle.

Gail was a mentor to many teachers at our school and then later on as an associate for Dominican College. She was that good.

I'll miss Gail's infectious smile, her giggle, the love she had for mischief, and her gift to tactfully speak out in the face of adversity.

Gail was a wife, a mother, a friend to many, an associate for many more, a cheerleader for teachers, and the best person you could ever find to be your child's kindergarten teacher. She was one of a kind.

Gail: For those you left behind, we'll miss you dearly.

Rest peacefully.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 23, 2007


Periodically the wife says that. Me with spiked hair, out in public? I don't think so. Why would I want to be mistaken for a crazed and silly old dude?

Mom always said for me to act my age. Spiked hair would not be acting my age.

Apart from acting my age, I hate looking my age - don't you?

This is old Bob just rolling out of bed. Bruce Willis claims that he wakes up laughing everyday. Here I am laughing just like Bruce Willis. I'm laughing at my first thing in the morning hairdo. It always looks like this.

Did you read the paper today. Sheryl Crow wants to save the world. It's that global warming thing. Part of her platform to stop global warming is for everyone to use one sheet of T.P. per "sitting".

"Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required," Sheryl Crow wrote.

That's fine for a lady sitting down to do one thing. If you're a man or a woman sitting down to do two things, one sheet of T.P. ain't gonna cut it. Global warming or not, let's be realistic here. There must be other areas to focus on that would be just as helpful.

Yesterday at the Mexican restaurant. She has a mouthful and not happy I snapped her picture.

"Don't you dare use that picture. Here, give me the camera. I'm going to erase it."

Obviously I never do what I'm told and secondarily, I'm not a good listener.

That's why I'm from Mars.

One more Arboretum picture. Isn't Spring grand?

And here I am waiting for the wife to snap the pictures of a couple of tourists. She's so friendly and helpful, that wife of mine.

Just returned from the gym. A young man is opening a massage business in the gym and offered me a free chair massage after my workout.

Another guy touching me?! No thank you!!!

Old Bob will always be Old Bob.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Sunday started off on the right foot. Not only did I get up on the right side of the bed (I also sleep on the right side of the bed - how can I lose?), but I was fortunate to take time this morning to read the blog that Blessed puts so much time and thought into.

On her blog she had posted a link to a small little film entitled "Do You Remember Love?".

It was a surprise. I didn't quite expect the film to be much of anything.

I hollered to the wife who had just finished her shower and was wrapping a towel around herself (damn - another missed photo opportunity). She sat at my desk and I toddled off for my morning dunk in the shower.

When I had finished I noticed that the wife was wiping a tear away.

She: I really didn't need a good cry this morning".

Me: "But it was a good thing, wasn't it? Wasn't it a reminder of things forgotten in hustle and bustle of life?"

She" "I want you to remember that when I say "Do you remember love?" to stop what you're doing for a moment and think about what's important."

Me: "Not a bad idea."

I'm not going to wax nostalgic but you really do have to watch this little film. A little "tune-up" does everyone a bit of good. Check it out.


After all of that touchy feelie stuff this morning it was a good idea to get out of the house and walk the dogs.

One of our favorite places to walk is the Arboretum. It's quiet. It's beautiful. There are very few people.

You can see Jilli giving me the "You're not going anywhere without me" stare. Jill is like that. She won't let me out of her sight. Such devotion. Whatta dog.

The wife is carrying Zoe in her right arm.
Iris' in the Arboretum are just starting their bloom. What colors.

Several waterfalls dot the landscape of the Arboretum. I guess you'd call this a waterfall or maybe it's better labeled as a fountain.

After our walk we stopped at a favorite Mexican diner and had brunch. Delicious.

It was nice to sit quietly in the restaurant, make small talk and enjoy a nice meal together.

And yes, we took time to remember the love.

Happy Sunday.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 21, 2007


It's raining in Cow Town. A Saturday? Some rain? Not a bad thing.

Fire in the fireplace. Pea soup in the slow cooker. Some ethereal music on an XM station. Puttering around the house. The wife is out shopping. The dogs are sleeping. Close to a perfect day. Any time I can get out of bed is close to a perfect day.

Ha. I just say that. I always get out of bed and ready for anything. Old Bob was born ready.

It always rains on this particular weekend every year. Sometimes it snows. I know this because the annual Cow Town oldie car show falls on this weekend. Nine times out of ten there's rain.

You'd think that they'd rethink what they thought a while back - that this weekend in April was just right for an oldie car show. Hello! This is not working!!

Reno has their oldie car show in August. Hot August Nights. It does not rain in August in Reno. Even in dry years there's always rain in April for the Cow Town hoop-de-la oldie car show. Cow Town logic often fails me. I don't get it.

There are a lot of things I don't get in this world. Don't get me started. Logic combined with common sense. That should make the world go 'round. There would be very few things that I didn't get if common sense and logic prevailed most everywhere.

I'm talking to myself again. Not a good sign. So, I'll stop here, go check on the soup and get back to rainy day puttering.

I'll take a cool April night over a hot August night any day of the week.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 20, 2007


Wow. No pain. I feel great.

It's like I can do anything I set my mind to.

I just taught Zoe how to talk.

Her first word was "woof!"

She must have a speech impediment and confuses the sound of R with the sound of W.

Zoe knows that her first word really was ROOF.

The two of us will be going on Letterman's show and doing one of those stupid dog tricks.


Posted by Picasa

Remember the commercial for Greyhound, "getting there is half the fun"? How can be riding on a bus for miles on end be fun?

That would be just like remodeling. Getting from start to finish is no fun.

The project is probably 2/3 of the way done. Still to be done:

There is dust on and in everything in every part of the house. It's going to take time to rid ourselves of it.

Overhead exhaust hood for the cooktop.

Paint. Lots of paint.

Lighting (add trac and canned lighting).

Many odds and ends (replace drawer pulls, door knobs, replace existing lighting in hallway, guest bath).

It's a money pit. Money in. No money out.

As they say, renovations do add to the value of the home. Sure, if you sell it.

I could have been on vacation today - south meeting son Max. The gum job Dr. Z did for Old Bob hurts and a little infected.

Is there anything such thing as a little infected? It either is or it isn't.

Good sense kept me home. Why be 500 miles from home with an infection that might go south.

Hey, if I'm already south of where I live the infection goes south with me. Am I right?
We plan on meeting Max the first of next week in Yosemite. It's early in the season so there will be few tourists to rub elbows with, the weather should be warm (according to the Weather Channel) and I'll be ripe for traveling.
My gums are hurting. Time for a pain pill.

Then I'm going to put on some Jimi Hendrix or Jefferson Airplane music, sit back, let the pain medication kick in and for one more time pretend it's the Summer of Love.


Love and

happiness to you this Friday.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Dr. Z is my dentist. He's also a member of the school board I once worked for.

A area between two of my teeth has been problematic for nearly a year. Dr. Z is not a quitter. He keeps trying and trying and trying to fix this problem. We've become quite close having seen each other fairly regularly as patient and dentist.

Dr. Z is also a Boy Scout leader. Scouts don't give up. When there's a problem, they always keep trying.

Me: "I should have brought my camera today. "

Dr. Z: "For your blog?"

Me: "Yeah, I think whatever it is you're going to do to me would be of interest to those who look at my blog for sick reasons. I need pictures."

Dr. Z: "What's this with pictures of your wife showering on your blog?"

Me: "You're reading my blog?"

Dr. Z: "Sure. I've got to check up on you and make sure you're behaving yourself.

Oh my gosh. Dr. Z now knows more about the twisted mind of Old Bob than he did a year ago. Pictures of my wife showering on the Internet . . . There goes any chance I had of regaining employment with the school district.

I sit in Dr. Z's dental chair. Jen puts on the bib and cranks the chair down and back.

For a moment I think I'm on a 747 flying somewhere over the Pacific enroute to Hawaii. I'm going to order a drink.

Me: "Can I have a martini with that bib? Blue Sapphire. Shaken, not stirred."

Jen: "Not!"

Heck, it was worth a try.

Dr Z: "We're going to try a new approach today. It's like an electro-surgical tool thing that burns tissue. If all goes as I think it will, you'll not have a problem with this area again. It won't hurt and the area that I burn will heal fast. "

Me: "Easy for you to say."

Dr. Z: "I'll numb you up and we'll be on our way."

I'm starting to think that a martini wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Dr. Z puts a pad under my right shoulder. It has a wire running from it to the machine.

Dr. Z: "This is to ground you during the procedure."

Ground me? Holy macaroni and cheese! The machine looks like something Jack Bauer would use.

Me: "Can you put a light bulb in my ear and see if it lights up?"

Dr. Z is ready to try this. It's a boys will be boys thing.

Jen: Frowning - "No way. No light bulb."

Dr. Z and Me in unison: "Well, someone has to be the mother here."

It was a pretty cool procedure. Smelled like tri-tip cooking on the barbecue. Dr. Z was right. No fuss. No muss. No pain. Hopefully a lot of gain.

Here's a picture taken during a board meeting. I'm with one of Dr. Z's sons who has just gotten an award. That's Dr. Z in the background.

His kids - all five of them - are just great - all high achievers and well on their way to being happy, productive adults.
Shelly always makes sure that I get an appointment when there's a problem. She's so cheery - like all the time. How can anyone be that happy? She's like that even on Monday.

Dr. Z has three other employees who work for him. Like Shelly, they're always happy in their work.

If my dentist would serve martinis to his patients, we'd all be happy.

Me: "What seems to be the matter, officer?"

CHP: You were going 75 in a 45 mph zone. Have you been drinking?"

Me: "Oh no, officer. I haven't been drinking but my dentist did medicate me before doing electro surgery."

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Each member of the family is done with remodeling. We want our life back.

The dogs are confined to the master bedroom. There's a gate that keeps them from the grass of the backyard because that's where the workers are.

Both dogs can now do their thing on concrete. They do it very well.

The two of us are confined to a 240 square foot trailer. We well know the meaning of cabin fever.

Jilli constantly wants to play ball to break the boredom remodeling has brought. She begs for it. Jilli lives to play ball. Never does this dog tire from chasing the ball or participating in finding the ball that I've hidden.

When she's not playing ball Jilli snoozes. There's the morning nap after her breakfast.

There's the afternoon nap after her second and last meal of the day. Being buried in a blanket puts the frosting on the nap cake.

When there's nothing else to do, sleep is the best medicine.
When she's not sleeping or playing ball, Jilli must have one of her Nylabones. She'll pester the crap out of me until I find one for her.

How? She will stand and stare me down. It's that "I want my bone" stare that I've come to know so well. Jilli will not stop staring until she has her bone.
"People often look like their pets" is true, especially in this family.

Zoe and the wife look like two peas in a pod, don't they?

We need to have both dogs micro chipped. A small chip is inserted into an area behind their head. If lost, dogs can easily be identified.

It would just kill me to lose one or both of the Poms and not get them back. What a loss that would be. Having them chipped is on the list of things to do.

I should get the wife chipped, too. I'd hate to lose her.

A good wife is hard to find.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 16, 2007


And when Jack is elected president, he'd naturally have to have a place on the Mt. Rushmore monument.

Move over, Abe!

Posted by Picasa

Unless Jack Bauer's name is on the 2008 presidential ballot, I plan on voting NO!

Have you watched "24" Monday nights on Fox? Jack's the man.

If elected, Jack would get things done. See this little doohickey Jack (aka Kiefer Sutherland) is holding. Jack uses that to cut off the fingers of people who don't see it his way.

If elected president, Jack would continue to use that thing. Think about it? This war in Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that weren't -Jack would have sat down with old Saddam and talked about it before invading Iraq.

Saddam may have lost a couple of fingers in the process but you can bet your bottom dollar the good old USA would have never gone to war in Iraq. Jack would have solved the whole thing without firing a shot.

Iran and North Korea? No problem for Jack. His finger doohickey would bring the leaders of those countries around to the correct way of doing business without using nuclear weapons.

"I'm going to give you the finger" takes on a whole new meaning.

Jack would have a great collection of fingers. He would probably display them in the Smithsonian.

Jack mostly runs around like this: Pistol in the air, pointing it at bad guys. He says things like:

"Damn it Chloe!"

"Where's Kim?"

"Take him back to CTU for interrogation!"

"Mr. President?" - he calls the president of the United States a lot.

"Send a CTU car to pick me up right away" - Jack's cars are often shot to hell or wrecked. He is always needing a new car.

I'm hooked on Jack. I used to be hooked on phonics then I learned how to read.

The wife and I subscribe to Netflix. We've gone through the 24 episodes of season one and 24 episodes of season two. Right now we're in the middle of season three. Yes, watching 24 is addicting. We're junkies and proud of it.

I read in yesterday's Parade magazine that Kiefer Sutherland earns 23 million bucks a year. Sweet.

Becoming President of the United States would definitely be a cut in pay and not as much fun as being Jack Bauer.

Ronald Reagan was the closest we ever came to having a "cowboy" for a president. Jack Bauer would be over the top when it came to "cowboying up" in any crises.

He'd make one hell of a president.

I can dream, can't I.

Posted by Picasa

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States