The Beach, Rocks, Dead Chicken, and Seeds

This morning I woke up with a terrible back ache. Normally, it wouldn’t concern me, but this is the third morning in a row. Now I’m thinking it’s terminal. We have, however, been walking more than normal, so it may be as simple as that. Or, it could be that we’re sleeping in a queen bed that’s about the size of a double and we’re just not used to that. Maybe my back hurts because of the small bed makes me fearful of touching Diane at some point in the night so my body is just seizing up in self-defense. The latter is more probably so maybe it’s not terminal after all. It’s just fear expressing itself in new ways.

After all the knots worked themselves out, we took another nice long, slow walk down the beach picking up agates. That’s not a new activity for us because we pick up rocks everywhere we go. They aren’t, however, always agates.

Following are photos taken to document the day. The first one is a “selfie”, something we’ve done a few times. Diane found a nice flat boulder to sit on, so I joined her and captured the moment.


This is looking north up the beach from whence we came. Those of you in Oregon will notice a distinct difference between this beach and those at home. It gets better on the north side of the pier, but there are plenty of what I’d call river rock all over the beach. It’s not a place that’s very friendly to bare feet. It’s because of that, and other various reasons, that I wear my sneakers every time we leave the room.


On the way back down the sidewalk part of The Strand, we discovered many of these balancing acts. Some of them defy gravity and all are fun to view. Pretty tricky stuff.IMG_0787 IMG_0789

This one is a photo of the park next to our current residence. It’s the building farthest to the left in the photo above the lady in the hat … on, snap! That’s Diane!
IMG_0792This is north of the pier. Lots of scrawny palm trees with little tops. That’s my lovely bride looking at the guy walking up the beach.

Here’s the beach end of the pier complex. The top part ends at South Pacific Street. The other side is headquarters for the Life Guards.DSC_9533

See … told ya.DSC_9534 DSC_9535

After resting from the walk, we took a trip to Camp Pendleton for gas and chicken. Gas for the Buick, and chicken for our afternoon meal. On the way back, Diane mentioned our nutritious breakfast of toast and oatmeal, commenting that it doesn’t seem to stick with her like it used to. I suggested that, perhaps, the oatmeal might be from China because that’s what Chinese food does to pretty much everyone.

We got gas, and chicken, then did a pass through the MCX (Marine Corps Exchange), looking for things we didn’t need. I got a new shirt and a nice little pin for my Lions vest. Then it was back to the room so Diane could cook the chicken. She had stir fry on her mind.

While she cooked, I sat like a lump on the sofa waiting for her to beckon me for assistance, but she never did. I only offered once, knowing that inserting myself into her routine, unwanted, is not healthy. So, I just stayed in lump mode. When she was done, this is what my share of her efforts looked like. It was very tasty. I think I gained 8 pounds before quitting.


While eating we turned on the NCAA Final Four to watch UCONN Huskies and Florida Gators go to war. For most of the 1st half Florida pretty much stifled UCONN and the score was 16-4 at one point. Then UCONN staged a magnificent comeback to lead 23-20 at halftime. Now, with about 5.5 minutes to go, UCONN is up by 10 and seems to be cruising. But, there’s lots of time remaining and anything can happen. Florida is, after all, the favorite as 1st seed while lowly UCONN is the 7th seed underdog. I would have cheered for UCONN regardless of their seeding, but since they are the underdog it’s especially gratifying that they are doing well.

Now, I just have to ask … what the heck is it with “seeds” with regard to playoff rankings? I took that question to Bing and got a pretty good answer. It appears to have been started in the 1800’s with tennis tournaments where top rated players were scattered, seeded if you will, throughout the contestants to ensure they didn’t meet each other early in the competition. The terminology carried over to single elimination tournament play for the same reason and that’s why you see #1 playing #8 in the brackets.

If none of that makes sense to anyone, I’m sorry, but I don’t care. It’s the best I’ve got.

Go UCONN! They are playing for the NCAA Championship!

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