Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Now this was when going dancing meant something

At 1:30 it changes up.

Bob's Wednesday Cooking Tip

Tired of burning chicken on the grill?  Tired leaving half of your chicken sticking to the grill surface?  Or are you just plain tired?

Can't help on the last question but do I have an idea for you on the other two.  Getta rack.  A nice rack.  The kind that expands and has a teflon surface.  That's what I'm talking about and what you see here.

Chicken, game hen, chicken breasts or chicken stuffed with your favorite mix . . . all go on the rack.   Place in the middle of your grill.  If you're cooking with gas turn off the center burner and crank the other two down to half (or with a grill temp of 400 degrees).  If you're cooking with coals then spread them around the sides of the grill.

Chicken takes an hour.  Game hens anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  Pieces of chicken 30 -40 minutes.  Stuffed chicken breasts about 30 minutes depending on how thick they are.  Chicken anus runs about 10 minutes.

I can't even begin to count how many chickens I scorched on the grill.  And now they're saying that lovely flavor of burnt charcoal or blackened chicken skin is not going to help you keep from getting the Big C.  This makes using a rack like this an even better idea.

How's this for adult content?

Okay then, how's about a bumper sticker?  I LOVE MY BREASTS ON A RACK!  OR,


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everybody has a message

Here's where the boat and utility trailers are stored.  Sure, they could be outside in the storage yard for a few bucks less.   But the Cowtown sun does take a toll on anything under it that's exposed.  Like tires.  Like cushioning material on the boat trailer.  You get the picture.

Yesterday I drive to the storage yard to pickup the utility trailer.  To the left of our trailers is parked an old blue Fiat and a white Jeep.  I notice that the Jeep has Idaho plates and an interesting bumper sticker.  Closer examination of the bumper sticker brings a smile to my face.  I get the camera.  Never leave home without it for this very reason:  One more photo opportunity.

If the attitude in Idaho is "got 'em, show 'em" that's where I want to live.  Everybody has a message.  Idaho is no exception.

It's fence repair day at Bob's house.  Think I'll post a song about that.

Happy Toesday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Monday

Regardless of where you are and what you do there's always a list to accomplish come Monday morning.  The big one on Bob's Monday list is to start replacing the fence board panels on the cedar fence that surrounds the house on three sides.  The boards are rotting, insect infested, have holes in them and are ready to fall off of their stringers.  With coyotes constantly on the prowl on the other side of our fence it's a good thing to begin slow but steady replacement of each and every one of the 1,200 boards that populate this barrier.

The weather has cooled considerably today past what it was over the weekend.  Where it was well over 100 (Saturday was 111) it's going to just hit 84 today.  Perfect weather for a fence project.  Just what I've been waiting for.

Fence boards run two bucks a piece.  Stringers about 3 bucks.   The fence posts are in excellent condition and do not need replacing.

So off I go this morning to pick up the trailer we have in storage that's used to haul firewood, garbage to the dump and of course construction materials that won't fit into the bed of the truck.  Then I'll hit Home Depot, pick up a bunch of boards, stringers and screws and head home to begin the task.

The old boards will become kindling for our wood stove fires this winter which makes this project even more timely.  It won't be long until we have the first fire.  I'm thinking this will come close to the end of October.

A friend wrote on her Facebook page yesterday that she's off with her husband to Vermont to see the fall colors.  Getting away sounds so great.  New places and different faces.  Nothing like getting out Cowtown.  Speaking of that, Wifey and I are overdue in taking any kind of a trip.  I think the last trip for the two of us was to Hawaii a couple of years ago.  A year ago Wifey traveled to Spain.  She's always going somewhere.  Bob, by choice, is always staying home.

We have a very large wedding anniversary in December.  Very large.  That might be the perfect excuse to get away.

As for now, Bob's get away is going to be a short drive to Home Depot.

Wonder if I'll see any fall colors?

Monday, Monday people...........

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday on the dock

I check the boat every day or two just to make certain it's secured.  Today on the north end of the marina was a beautiful sight as proven by the photos posted here.

The boat was still there.  Still tied.  It's going nowhere.  Nothing to do but relax.

So I sat and watched.

Two young ladies strolled down the dock having just rented a patio boat for a day.  They go for 250 clams.  Not cheap.  Then again, what price can you put on fun.

I took time to talk with the ladies and gave them a lot of insight of what to visit while in our neck of the woods.  They seemed nice enough just out for a little vacation in the wild.

Bobby, marina manager, is single (toothless all due to self confessed meth indulgence - a habit he no longer has), in his 30's and of course looking for ladies.

I like Bobby.  Straight up guy.  Love his name.  Gentle soul.

After he helped the ladies into their rented boat I said:

Me:  There you go Bobby, take your pick.  These ladies are here from the Bay area and looking for love in all the wrong places.   Woooo hooo!  Go get 'em tiger!

Bobby:  Not my type.  I go for skinny women.

I was thinking that since it had been ages that Bob had enjoyed the company of the opposite sex that beggars really shouldn't be choosy.  And he's picky?  Like these ladies would like a guy with no teeth?  If nothing else, Bobby has a pretty strong self image of himself.

Me:  Gee, it's only casual company.  Look at it as just a good time.

Bobby:  No can do.  Gotta be skinny.

Me:  To each his own.  I don't want to hear any more of your talk of how much you need a woman.  You got to get back on that bike again and see if you can still peddle on two wheels.

Bobby:  Huh?

Me:  Never mind.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Salad the hard way

Wifey:  There's a strange taste to the salad.  What did you do to it?

Me:  Do?

Wifey:  It tastes different tonight.  What did you add to it?  There's a chemical taste to the salad greens.

Me:  I know how you like your salad spun dry so the only thing that I did different was to put the salad into a laundry bag, place it in the wash machine, set the cycle to spin and spin dried those baby greens.  I should go on Food TV and tell everyone about my discovery.

Wifey:  Ahhh, I think there's a rinse cycle when you spin dry anything.

Me:  No way.

Wifey:  Way.  That's why my salad tastes like fabric softener.

Me:  Isn't your salad soft?  What's the big deal?

Wifey:  Gawd, if I only knew before I married you . . . .

Me:  You would have still said "I do".

Wifey:  Yeah, I do, I did and I would again.

Me:  Ain't love and stupidity grand?

Photo:  Bob, Gracie and Zeenie enjoying another Kodak moment.
I look like who?

7 a.m. this morning Bob's at the face doctor.  He wants to peel Bob's face.  Apparently this is my best option and will help prevent cancerous growths.  Start with the forehead and seek what happens.  The area will turn fiery red, crust up and dry up.  See the doc once a week to monitor the process.  Medication runs around 500 bucks per refill.  Expensive body work.

Shit.  One more thing needing fixing.  This time it's Bob.

Treatment begins tomorrow.

Knowing I'll look like hell for lord knows how long I get a haircut.  Who would want to cut the hair of someone who looks like a leper?  So I get a real short cut.  It hasn't been this short in a long time.

Haircutter:  You look like an actor.  Has anyone ever told you that before?

Me:  Can't say that I remember anyone thinking that I looked like an actor except for the time my date jumped out of bed and yelled, OH MY GAWD, It's John Holmes himself!

Haircutter:  I hope you don't mind my saying that.

Me:  That's okay.  Doesn't bother me.  So who do I look like?

Haircutter:  You look like the guy in the Silence of the Lambs only you're more handsome.

Hmm, like that's going to make me feel better.

Me:  Oh, you mean Anthony Hopkins.

Haircutter:  Yeah, but only you're more handsome.  And you're probably not as crazy.

I'll take the handsome part.  Chick knows how to cover her bases.  But crazy?  She could never guess how crazy Bob could get.  Wait till my next haircut.  I'll be wearing my Silence of the Lambs muzzle.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When life points you in the opposite direction

On my way to shop or run errands I generally drive by the local rescue mission/homeless shelter.  It's on the way to most every place where there's something to buy.

Today was no exception.  As I approached the mission the blinking yellow light that indicates someone was crossing Market Street was flashing.  In slowing I noticed a younger looking guy (ain't they all younger looking these days?), long curly hair, decently dressed using the crosswalk.  No doubt homeless as are most who frequent this area of town who are on foot.

You're thinking, Ain't no thang, right?

The guy was crossing the street walking backwards.  Once across the street he proceeded on the sidewalk, up the hill all the while walking backwards.  Yup, backwards.  Cool to watch.

At first I thought it was odd and that this guy was most likely deranged . . . mentally ill .. . drugged out, lost too many brain cells .... . reduced capacity - one of those things.  Then I thought again.

This guy has it all right.  When life makes no sense, is contrary and seemingly opposite to where you want to take yourself why not look at life in those terms and look back to where you've just come from... . . and by always looking back learn from those steps taken in your journey.  When life seems to always point you in the opposite direction why not  walk backwards?

I did have to laugh at the other drivers who marveled or who were in awe of a grown man walking backwards.  The looks on their faces were worthy of a candid camera moment.  Damn, I wish that I had my camera in the truck.

Of all of the people in and around this crosswalk whether on foot or in a car this guy more than anyone else had life figured out.  I doubt if anyone else saw it the way that I did.  But if I thought like them then I wouldn't be Bob, would I?
Mac and Cheese Bobby

Well kiddies, Bob is back in business.  New IMac arrived yesterday.  It's working and Bob is smiling.  The 24 inch screen is way over the top.  It's going to be perfect for just about everything.  Next order of business is to transfer Word files and photos from the PC.  Mac tutorials are a priority as it's been at least 12 years since I've worked on an Apple computer.  There have been changes and I like them.

There's lots to figure out.  There's a built in camera.  Music this.  Video that.  I can do it all.

It was over 106 in Cowtown yesterday.  Who says summer is over?  Geeze.  They're calling for more of the same for the rest of the week.  Much too hot to be sailing.  Much too hot to be doing anything outside.  Everyone, including the dogs, lie low in an air conditioned room.  That's pretty much how it goes in Cowtown during the summer.

Time to start the day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back in Biz

The new IMac arrives via FedEx sometime today.  No more PC hell.  One less thing to bitch about.  Am I ever ready for that.

The IMac comes with a 24" screen.  How much is enough?

When my father-in-law reached a certain age (rest his soul) and on his purchase of a new truck I asked, "Is this the last truck?"  With a grin he'd say, "No, it's not.  I'm living well into my 90's and past 100.  There will be quite a few more trucks."  Then he died at age 67.  That was a shock for all of his family.

I'm not quite of a certain age, the age my father-in-law was when he died but I  have to ask myself at times, is this the last computer?  Or, is this the last truck?  I definitely know that Bob is on his last wife.  Wifey are and have been in this marriage thing for the long haul for a very long time - would you believe for over the course of  four decades?!  Ain't that sweet?

As forno  more trucks and computers?  HELL NO!  Bob's got a hella lot more trucks coming his way.  No going to meet my maker any time soon.    As for computers, if this damn IMac works like they say it will work it could well last Bob until he's 100 or more.  Or maybe less.

Ya think?

Monday, September 21, 2009


In the interest of maintaining the image of Bob the Founding Father the content of this post has been removed all due to an adult moment, which he does not often experience, in his thinking.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Maybe this just isn't me

Last night was the indoctrination night at the Elks Lodge.  The Grand Poo Bah called the day before to warn that the 5:30 dinner was delayed until 6:30 due to special Elk guests from through out the district.

So I head to the Lodge at 6:15.  When I get there the greeter says to hit the bar and that dinner is being delayed until the closed door district meeting is over.  So I buy a margarita, sit and talk to a fellow inductee and then head over to the dining tables at about 6:45.  The table is filled with other indoctinees.  We talk.  We wait.  Seven comes and goes and still no word on when the closed door meeting will be over.

7:20 the group of soused leaders of the lodge emerge.  They're jolly.  They're jerking each other off and playing to the group of inductees.  So we eat.  Fried chicken.  Not bad.  Nice conversation with those at the table.

So we're done.  We're told to go to another room so that we can be told what to expect.  That would be lots of smoke and mirrors and raising hands and putting your left hand on your heart - -- which is located according to the person doing the talking, on the right side of your body.  HUH?  I had to comment on that.  "Where I come from the right hand goes over the heart which is located on the left side of the body."  I'm told to never mind and just do as I'm told.

8:15 we lineup outside the Lodge meeting room.  The gang is still talking behind closed doors.  We wait and wait and wait.  Finally we're told that we should go sit down or head to the bar as this may take a while.

8:45 comes and goes.  I've been a leader most of my life.  I've been president of several service organizations.  Rule of thumb:  Treat your guests and incoming members with the utmost of courtesy.  There's only one opportunity to make that first impression.  At 8:45 I remember an old favorite Bob's rule of "being there":  When you're early you're on time.  When you're on time you're late.  And when you're late you're rude.

That's when I walked out of the Elks Lodge.  I was along with every other inductee was being treated with extreme rudeness.  How much of that was enough?  I had been served up more than enough rudeness for one evening.

The fresh air of the evening told me that I had made the right decision.

So I get home.  Wifey is pissed that I walked out.  She asks, "Why does this always happen to you?  Weird shit like this never happens to anyone else.  It always happens to you."

 Maybe this just isn't me and someone was trying to tell me something.  Ya think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bob goes to confession

Me;  Forgive me Father for I have sinned.

Priest:  Oh my child, you have?  When was your last confession.

Me:  It was about the time that hell was close to freezing over and it didn't.  Or was it when pigs flew?  I forget.

Priest:  And you have sinned?  Come on Bob, you a sinner?  I thought you have grown up.

Me:  Yes Father, I have  - I have sinned.  And I am all grown up.

Priest:  Are you ready to repent?

Me:  I'm not sure if that's possible.    But let's give it a whirl.

Priest:  What sins have you commited.

Me:  Only one that I want to cop to.  I bought a Mac computer today.

Priest:  Heavenly Father!  You bought a Mac?  You have forsaken the PC computer culture?  Brace yourself.  I think I feel the walls of the church falling in.  I don't know if you can be forgiven.

Me:  Let's try.

Priest:  Say 12 Our Fathers and 12 Hail Mary's and let's see what happens.

Me:  I already know that's going to happen.  There's going to be no more PC crashes in Bob's house.  But I'll say the Our Father's and the Hail Mary's anyway.

And they said an old dog could never be taught any new tricks.  HA!  Fooled ya.

It arrives next week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Your body has been recalled

In the mail yesterday was a safety recall notice that cited that "Chrysler hs decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in some 2003 through 2009 model year Dodge trucks."

" . . . A Mopar service parts steering linkage may have been installed on your truck may fracture under certain driving conditions. This could result in a loss of steering control and cause a crash without warning."

COOL! Just what I need . . . one more problem with another "thing" in my life. But really, don't you think it would be fun to lose steering control and crash without warning. With the way my luck runs and should this happen to me I would have been out to dinner, had a few martini's, a little wine, an after dinner drink and lo and behold, Bob's blood alcohol level would have been over the legal limit. So in a crash all due to the pee poor quality of Chrysler products Bob gets nailed with a DUI.

Not gonna happen.  Bob's too smart for that. 

After receiving another one of these notices from Chrysler (and there's been more than a couple) I began to think of all the people out there who in themselves have faulty steering linkage. These lose control and "crash". Think about it. This Congressman who yelled "you lie!" to Prez Obama. CRASH! This hip hop singer dope, Kayne West, who on Sunday evening during the MTV Music Awards, took away "the moment" from a teenage country singer. CRASH! The California Assemblyman who bragged of his sexual exploits during a telephone conversation little knowing it was being taped by a law enforcement agency . . . which was then leaked to the press. CRASH!

The list could go on and on and on . . . of the many people who's steering linkage screwed up, they went sideways all due to non-thinking and they crashed. And then the oh, poor me apologies flow like water down the Mississippi. WAAAAAH! People can be so very stupid.

People like that should be recalled for service. Into the O.R. . . . open the brain, a slice here, a dice here, a chip inserted there. Done. The steering linkage is fixed. No more off course steering. No more stupid thinking, stupid actions, stupid apologies.

More importantly I think would be the recall of predators. They're the real meance to society and really do need to be recalled. Take for example the murder of the Yale student whose body was found stuffed in a wall. The incidence of really, really sick crimes has jumped over the last few years. Why? Is it the the growth hormones in chicken that are causing the steering linkage in some people to crap out? Whatever the cause these people should have been recalled before harming someone else. Get these people in the O.R. and do some slicing and dicing! 

They slice and dice in Middle Eastern countries and never give it a thought.  Steal something.  Get caught.  Bang!  You lose a hand.  And we're talking losing a hand without any anesthesia.   No jail time.  Wow, talk a about a real deterrent to crime.  And our prisons would not be overflowing. 

Who I really fear for is the most innocent and most vulnerable in our society. Women. Children. Especially the latter. More than not they become prey for the sick-o's in need of recall. Some of them and prior to an O.R. recall surgical procedure (maybe on their gonads) should really be given shock therapy. I'd love to be in charge of that. Like rattle their cage first then slice and dice second.

Vehicles are not the only objects that need recalling. People need it, too. Maybe Obama can make that a provision of the universal health care program he's trying to shove down our throats.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On one leg

Well, the old computer went down for the count yesterday.  It was either put the old girl down quietly or break out the 12 gauge and go postal.  I had enough of her tantrums and shit.  

Now I sit with ye old dependable laptop, an HP, which has been steadfast and sure footed for many years.  This I will work on until Windows 7 emerges from Microsoft.  That will occur the end of October, somewhere around the 17th.  Then I'll buy another home PC (and Please, please . . . no GET A MAC sentiments posted as comments here)  a Gateway or most likely an HP but never ever a Dell again.  There's been two in a row in Bob's house and both were tempermental and problematic from the get go. 

Until then Bob will be on one leg.  There will be few pictures if any.  They'll have to wait until the new computer hits the desk and I'll place the many photos on it that I've taken between now and then. 

Shit happens especially in the cyber world.

Sunday we sailed in winds from 16 miles and hour up to 30.  The winds were so strong and steady that we elected not to raise the jib and chose to sail about on just the mainsail.  Even at that the boat easily listed on its side with just one sail.

Along for the ride besides first mate Wifey were daughter Dawn and hubby Keith.  It was a good thing not to go for broke and hoist the second sail for when you have company along it's best to make an easy ride for your passengers.  That's what good skippers do.

So we sailed the morning winds, coffee in one hand and a Starbucks pastry in the other (unless you're the skipper and one of those two hands had to be on the wheel).

There was a slight mishap on the way in from the morning's sail.  I misjudged the direction of the wind while taking the initial steps to drop the main.  The boom swung around and caught me on the side of the head.  Had it not been for both feet planted firmly on the deck Bob certainly would have headed overboard.

Me just after being boom slugged:  I'm good.  Good thing the damn thing hit me in the head, the hardest part of Bob's bod.

Three days later I still have a headache from the sucker punch delivered by the boom.

Shit happens even while you're sailing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday night ritual

It wouldn't be a real Saturday night without pizza. The tradition started way back in the day. Mom would whip up packed pizza ala Contadina mixes. Usually she'd do two. There would always be some left over.

First thing Sunday morning I'd bundle newspapers together for my morning deliveries. Along with that first thing there would be cold pizza straight out of the refrigerator. Nothing like cold pizza on a Sunday morning. And the beer I'd sneak if I figured no one would miss it.  You do know that I was hell on wheels when I was younger, didn't you?

When you're 11 years old with a growing body it needs cold pizza and beer on a Sunday morning.

I don't remember which tasted better, the beer or the pizza. Had to be the beer.

So last night it was stack 'em on pizza night.

Onions, bell peppers.

Not pictured: Oregano. Marinara sauce. Olives. Mushrooms. Pepperoni. Cheese.

Trader Joes makes an outstanding pizza dough.  Buck fifty. Roll it out and flatten it with your hands on a cutting board sprinkled with flour. Put all your stuff on it and you're good.

Put cornmeal under the pizza.  Makes it easy to slide it off onto a pizza stone.  You have a pizza stone, don't you?

During hot summer days I place the stone on the barbecue.  Why heat up the house any more than it is?  Crank up the Q to about 400 degrees.  Takes about 10-12 minutes until it's ready to eat.

Heading to the lake early this morning for a bit of sailing.

Most head to church for their weekly dose of spirituality.  I find mine in other places.

There's nothing like being in nature to get in touch with yourself and in touch with the Lord.


Now pass the cold pizza and beer, please.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Is this me?

Last night was indoctrination night at the Elks Lodge. Wifey and I arrived early to meet two friends for drinks (they're also members). After an hour or so of socializing and drinking it was time for the indoctrination dinner. Our friends begged off saying they had things to do and left. Later on in the evening I started feeling that I too should have seized the opportunity to leave sooner and not later.

Anyway, we walked into the dining room and sat at one of four tables reserved for the indoctrinates. There were two couples already seated. We introduced ourselves and sat down.

"Where's your name tags?" someone at the table asked and motioned that he'd get a couple for us.

Me: We don't do name tags.

And we don't When we do I write stupid things on them like Slippery When Wet or John Holmes - King Weenie or maybe Douche of Earl. Name tags are for the other people who can't remember your name.

Then the evening topper was when one of the poo bahs of the lodge and his wife joined us for dinner. I had met with him in August to be interviewed as part of the process to join the lodge. In August there was no interview but a very long conversation that was all about him, the lodge and nothing about me. Nothing. No interest in knowing anything about the person interested in joining the Order of the Elks.

At dinner this old boy was in identical form. He bored to tears the table with stories all about him and the club never once attempting to know anything about the others at the table. Basically we're talking a one way conversation.

Dinner was beef chips over noodles which added yet another special touch to the evening. The meal brought back memories of days in the military where chipped beef on toast was fondly referred to as Shit on a Shingle. And it really was just that.

We had the honor of also sitting through 60 minutes of the same old boy addressing all of the indoctrinees with a speech identical to the one I sat through in August and which I had also heard part of at the dinner table that evening. If nothing else I could pass on the spot a test with questions concerning the history of the Elks Club which could also contain questions about the old boy's life on this earth.

Through out dinner and the indoctrination speech I leaned over to Wifey more than a couple of times and whispered, "This is not me, is it? Let's go. I can't stand this shit. Bring on a root canal. I'll take that over this."

We stuck it out. I figured the cheap drinks and eats would make up in the long run for the torture suffered that evening.

Now, if I can just make it through the initiation process next Thursday night . .. .

The photo: At the lake. Two eagles nests. There's a plastic bag stuck just to the right of the top nest. Looks like a white bird but is not.

There were eagles around the nest that day but never could catch them on the nest. They're beauties.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Flat Lake Sailing

Yesterday was flat lake sailing. Not a lot of wind. What wind there was could be called fluky.....all over the board. One moment from the north and the next from the south west.

After a couple of hours of fighting merry-go-round wind the sails came down, we ate our lunch, tuned on the MP3 player and rocked out via music through the boat's four speaker sound system. Things like AC/DC, Rolling Stones, music from the Soprano's . . . played to jazz up what could have been a quiet time on the lake.

Wifey drove now and then while I scampered in, on and around the boat fixing this, polishing that and changing up the music.

One look down the lake and anyone can see what type of sailing day that it was. Flat baby. Flat. When it's flat there's no wind unless you count flatulence. And no amount of that will push a 3 ton sailboat .

Here's a shot of the second marina on the lake located across and south east of where we berth Sparkle Plenty. If you click on the picture to get a closeup you'll see that there's nothing but sticks in the air . . . all sailboats moored in this marina. Some sailors prefer this marina over ours due to it's easy access to the middle of the lake.

We'll sail again Friday afternoon and hope for more wind. Once autumn sets in there will be definitely more of that than we will be able to handle.

This lake rocks come fall and winter. Big waves. White caps. Bring 'em on!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

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Publish Your Blog

I stumbled across last week. It's a service that publishes web based information like blogs.

I've always wanted to see What About Blog in book form so I went for it. It seemed like a good idea to capture what I had written back then in a form that might be treasured by someone years from now.

Sharedbook is able to publish 1,000 photos at a time which allowed me to submit the beginning of the blog in August 2006 until March 2007. Yup, 1,000 photos within that short period of time. Things must have been clicking for me.

I reviewed the book of blogs before approving publication (almost sounds religious) and found that the 1,000 photos plus text rendered 300 pages.

Bob's an author of a print book with lots of pictures. Gee. Shucks. When should I have the book signing party?

If it turns out well . . . the book, I think I'll publish the remainder of the blog over a period of time. There will probably be, with the 1,000 photo limit, well over 6 books. I'll remove the Youtube posts. No sense in including those when you can't click on the page to see the video.

Check out Sharedbooks and immortalize your thoughts.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Southwest Airlines is advertising BAGS FLY FREE!

Just what exactly does that mean?

A bag in hand or.....

You're a bag then no charge? That's a thought....

At the Southwestern ticket counter:

Hi, My name is Bob. I've eaten six boxes of Twinkies, 10 Big Macs and hit my face 30 times with an Ugly Stick every day for a year. I want to fly free.

Butterfly House

Several weekends ago we took one of the grandchildren to the nature park. A visit there requires a tour of the Butterfly House.

It's an outdoor, screened exhbit chuck full of butterflies. Now is the time to visit as the time for butterflies in nature is fast coming to an end.

These are a few of the shots that I snapped that were actually in focus or close to it.

Take a moment to click on any one of the first two pictures (they're the ones in focus!). The enlargement of one of these photos is just beautiful. Check it out.

It's Tuesday. There's bound to be no one at the lake. Time to get a sailing this morning.

Anchors aweigh, my boys!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

But what is it all about?

Labor Day.....hmmmm. I'm thinking that not many people know why the first Monday in September is always a holiday. Ask and they'll probably say it's because of labor.

With nearly 10% of those employable out of work this holiday needs reworking.

Unemployed Day?

I Got Screwed Out of My Job Day?

Take This Job and Shove it Day?

I Gotta Sell Crack 'Cause I Can't Find Any Other Work Day?

Or how about this? "Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken." ~Bill Dodds

But really Labor Day started like this:

"The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada. In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year."

In reality Labor Day is a last hurrah to summer. A lot of people go camping, boating and just plain get out of doors. Wifey and I worked most of the weekend in the yard which is our tradition each Labor Day. This day is one where vacations have been taken and are over. Parents are ready to send their kids to school. The weather begins to cool. The days become shorter.

Whatever the reason labor has really been dishonored these past few years all due to the economy. Unions busted. Collective bargaining agreements stepped on. Workers furloughed. American labor outsourced to foreign countries. American manufacturers relocating their plants to countries where labor is cheap. Made in America labels have been traded for Made in China. It's nearly impossible to find goods made in America. No wonder the unemployment rate is high and climbing with every month.

We really don't honor labor as a country. I do think that this holiday should be renamed, don't you?

Happy whatever you want to call it day.......

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Bob's New Door-to-Door Sales Job

Do you think whoever invented this . .. . well, it probably went like this:

Wife: Gee, my neck ache is gone. Must be because I slept with your penis inbetween my breasts all night. That's a miracle!

Husband: I gotta cramp, Would you please let go!

Please call for a personal home demonstration.

Self Inflicted Pain and Misery

I hit Walmart the other day. That's something I don't often do . . . shop Walmart. It's just not my thing. First, I don't usually do the shopping. That's something Wifey likes to do and I stay out of that domain of our domestic life together. Second, what I usually buy is not worth the drive to the nearest outlet.

So I finish my Walmart shopping and line up at the check out stand. For a guy who doesn't do the shopping I later discover I've put $140 worth of stuff in the basket. Ahead of me is a guy breathing off of one of those portable oxygen bottles. He leaves and the cashier starts my order. She glances over at Oxygen Man as he leaves the store.

Cashier: Poor guy.

Me: Why?

Cashier: He's got to lug that oxygen bottle around. No doubt he's got problems breathing. I feel sorry for him.

Me: No sympathy here. This guy did it to himself.

Cashier: What? How so?

Me: No doubt he was a smoker. Now he's got emphysema. He did it to himself. What he now lives with was self inflicted. No sympathy from me. No doubt he knew that smoking might one day lead to this. And think about this guy's second hand smoke. What did it do to his loved ones?

Okay, sounds cold hearted but it's true. There are scads of people out there whining and crying about poor me, poor me over self inflicted issues. Who's to blame for their misery or for their issues? They're to blame.

Think about over eating. Yup. We're a nation of people who love, love, love to eat. What's the consequence?

First is being overweight. Can't fit into your clothes.

Second is being way overweight. The experts call this being obese.

Down the line come the issues linked with obesity. Knee and hip problems. Trouble walking. The arteries start to harden with this type of self inflicted problem then you've got really big issues with your heart. Major self inflicted issues. People in this category did it to themselves. No sympathy. It's all about what you eat and how much.

Most Americans dies of heart disease and guess why? It's all about self inflicted eating habits.

Liver or kidneys crapping out? Self inflicted via alcohol consumption.

Diabetes? You're eating all wrong. Better change up.

No sympathy for anyone there.

I get really pissed when the premiums for our health insurance go up every year. This year we're forking out 14k plus for insurance. The increases are mostly related to self inflicted health issues. That's what the health insurance dudes claim.

Then there are personal issues that are self inflicted. Like it's all about the story of the grasshopper and the ant? Remember that one? Grasshopper screws around and doesn't plan for winter. Ant works his tail off and is eating high on the hog year 'round.

There's a lot of people out there who are not planning for the autumn or for the winter of their lives. No schooling. Never cared about that. And regardless of the schooling if there's a good paying job none of what's earned is paid into a retirement account.

With all of the baby bombers (I like this better than boomer) retiring you're starting to hear all the whining. "I can't retire 'cause there's no money to retire with." and then the fingers start pointing at Social Security . . . that it's going broke and that there will be nothing for them when they want to hang that job up. Self inflicted personal issues. Definitely.

Social Security was never ever meant to fully fund anyone's retirement. At its onset Social Security was designed to be a supplemental income and not the primary source. Most people don't get that.

Money issues can be easy to remedy if you budget and live within your means. Saving for retirement can be as simple as cutting up those credit cards, go cash only and set aside a percentage of your earnings every month. I did it . So can you.

I could go on and probably you could too with examples of self infliction both with yourself (and I'm guilty of that too) and others around you. Or you could rebut my premise of self infliction as being bunk and that no one is to blame for any of this. Sure, blame it on our government, the fast food chains, Wall Street, etc., etc.. But in the end when you really think about it:


Yup. Simple. Life is simple. We're the ones who screw it up, make it complicated and in so doing create misery and pain for ourselves.

Never too late to change up. You are in charge of your destiny and the quality of life you live. As the saying goes, Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

As corny as that may sound there's a lot of truth to that. It's easier than you think to get out there and change up on some of your habits.

Ya think?

Friday, September 04, 2009

As a leader you often ride alone

How many times did something like this happen to Bob? Lots.

"So, I'm in this alone." That's the nature of leadership. My motto, lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Yup.

If you've never seen one of the very best westerns, Big Country, this weekend could be the best time to do it. Burls Ives. Gregory Peck. Charleston Heston. Jean Simmons. William Wyler director. Carroll Baker. Charles Bickford. Chuck Connors. Alfonso Bedoya. All well known in the film industry and to most film buffs and star in this film.

Check it out. And check out Heston's horse. What a beauty.

Snapshots from the stern

These shots were taken yesterday morning from the stern of Sparkle Plenty. The Parks Service had just placed a set of booms across the entrance of the marina to act as protection against wakes created by fast moving ski boats.

If you look closely at photo #2 you can see this feathered friend on the boom just waiting for breakfast to be served up.

Working on the boat most of the morning I saw but one person and that was Bob, the marina supervisor.

Talk about nothing but peace and quiet.

This weekend will be the last hurrah for vacationers. After Labor Day it gets really quiet on the lake.

Labor Day weekend is our time to stay home, complete a few of those landscape projects that have been put off all summer.

We'll barbecue. We'll relax (what else is new?). We'll suck up a few Margarita's. We'll walk the dogs. Might buy a pak of hot dogs and wok those dogs, too. We'll roll around in the hay. Gripes, this all sounds pretty good.

Labor Day weekend is not the time for sailing and a good time for our projects. Too many boats on the lake. Too many drivers at the wheel of their boats who know nothing of the rules of the road. Too much drinking. And not a lot of thinking.

Add these all of these together and you've got the ingredients for tragedy.

Be safe. Happy Labor Day weekend.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Silvery Moonlit Night

Last night's sail was one of those nights. Magic.

Nearly a full moon.

Small puffs of wind that pushed the boat forward.

Quiet with the exception of nesting birds and fish splashing out of the water to catch insects.

Three small sailboats played tag. Later on they came alongside and shouted,

Nice boat. What year is she?


Wanna beer?

Ya just gotta love a sailor who offers up a beer in the middle of sailing.

Wifey and I took turns at the helm inbetween dining below.

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Then the moon came up and over the mountains and onto the lake.

And the sun set in the west.

It was soon time to pull down the sails and motor back into the marina.

We're going to have to make evening sailing a habit. Definitely beats the hell out of watching the evening news.

There's nothing like it.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Doesn't always do it in the woods

You know what they say about what a bear does in the woods. Yesterday was proof that it's always not true.

While sailing close to the western bank of the lake I spotted this magnificent specimen on the shore searching for food.

There's no camping on this side of the lake which explains why the bear felt so comfortable meandering around the shore.
Getting a half decent photo was difficult was the boat was bobbing up and down. Couple that with the use of a maximum zoom on the lens to get close up to the bear and you've got a nearly impossible photo opportunity.

Click on each photo for close ups.

What's nice about being on the lake is that it is in the middle of a national park. There's wildlife abundant.







Fish, frogs.


Rednecks with ski boats.

What more can you ask for when it comes to having opportunities to observe and photograph wild life?

Wifey and I will pack up dinner tonight (fried chicken with all the fixings), board the boat around 5 and sail until dark. Somewhere in between we'll eat dinner on the lake. If not, we'll do that once we've tie up Sparkle Plenty for the night.

It's close to a full moon. Should be picture perfect sailing this evening.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Make a list!

Things I'm tired of. The list might be endless. Stupid people. That's number one. Second on the list would be the countless pharmaceutical commercials and other really dumb commercials that constantly bombard our living rooms. It's non-stop.

Whatever happened to simple commercials like "Silly Wabbit, Kix is for kids!"? Or car commercials that made our mouths water and make us want to go out and buy one.

Now we're treated to a mop that just wants to come home (Don't you hate the song that goes with this commercial?) and do the job, a pile of money with eyeballs, and one commercial in particular for Chantix for those who would like to stop smoking.

The commercial cautions that users might encounter strange dreams (bring it on!), suicidal urges, depression, agitation, hostility . . .

And the makers of Chantrix also caution this:

"Patients with serious psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder did not participate in the pre-marketing studies of CHANTIX and the safety and efficacy of CHANTIX in such patients has not been established."

I'm thinking that if you want to drive someone nuts who's already bonkers lace their next cocktail with a little Chantix. It would definitely pour on more polar to the bipolar.

Like how bad do you want to stop smoking when you weigh the possible side effects of this drug. Like suicide. Now there's the ultimate cure for smoking.

Then there's the Viagra commercials. Come on people, aren't you sick and tired of seeing some old fart in those commercials with a shit ass eating grin on his face leading his lady to some South Sea Island bungalow to do lord knows what with his new found artificial stimulation? Barf.

I don't need to see that! Know that! Definitely don't want to fantasize that. I don't even want to buy that! Do you?

Maybe that's the problem with TV today. Too much information. More than we really need to know. I'd hate to have small kids at home. I can hear the questions being fired at Bob now.

"Dad, what's an erection lasting 7 hours? They say on TV that if you have one that you need to see a doctor."

Explain that one away.

When it comes to too much information how much is really enough? How much do we want our children exposed to. How much can we, as adults, stand watching?

Thank God for the remote control. Channel surfing is saving my sanity.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States