Cedric Comes Home

It’s really, really wet at our house, and it’s cold. Seems like all this rain should be snow. It won’t be long before that becomes reality, I’m sure.

I know I’ve already addressed my concern regarding all the sexual misconduct going on in the but since I get daily reminders about those who have offended someone, in some way, I’m compelled to just offer up my apologies for all the times I may have inappropriately bumped in to someone during the course of my life.

Now, about all those congressmen and senators who have been using a publicly funded cash account, hush money I’ve heard, to pay off those who may have been assaulted.

Before I take that any further, I’ve just gotta say that I honestly believe that the majority of our elected officials in Washington DC are good guys and it’s the minority we’re hearing about now. This Hush Money Account, however, has me concerned because it’s apparently something they all know about. If that’s indeed true, then I deem them all guilty for allowing that to happen even if they didn’t use it to pay someone off. It’s truly a sad state of affairs and, frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about it every day. Seems like the media could find something uplifting to report once in a while.

I demand that our 535 lawmakers split the pot and pay us back for the $17M they unlawfully borrowed from out taxes. Divided equally, that works out to about $31,775.700934579439252 each. I’m willing to round that up to $32,000 each just because. Turns out that more than half of those 535 people are millionaires so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Once the legal system gets a handle on who used the fund and how much they used to pay off those with whom they practiced  sexual misconduct, those folks should pay back what gave away in addition to the previously mentioned $32K fee. It’s only fair.

Additionally, those who used the fund should be levied taxes on the money they gave away because they did so as if the money was theirs. That would be unearned income, like a bonus, which is taxed at around 48%.

Then there are those who received the pay offs. What about them? Personally, I think that taking the money makes them complicit and should also pay taxes on the portion of that $17M that was given away. Yes, I understand that they are the alleged victims but I suspect that’s not true for all of them. I bet some of them knew about that fund, also, and knew how to use it. That, of course, is just a guess and strictly my opinion. I haven’t heard anything about that on the news so it must be true that the victims are all just that. Victims. Still, taking a pay off for something stupid done to them by an ignorant, arrogant, elected official is, in a way, condoning the acts committed. That’s just another opinion.

Maybe someone from the IRS will jump in here somewhere and give me a hand. Until that happens, I’m moving on to something more interesting, and closer to home.

Our Grandson Cedric returned to his home port yesterday after completing his first deployment. He’s stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), the oldest nuclear powered super carrier still afloat. The Nimitz was one of the three carriers that took a cruise up the coast of North Korea toward the end of their deployment. What fun that must have been, right?

They are home safely now and Cedric’s Mom, Jennifer, and I drove up to watch the ship enter port and parallel park at their assigned pier in Kitsap Naval Base Bremerton, WA. Jennifer and I left St. Helens at 0800 and arrived about 1100. Parking turned out to not be much of a problem for some reason and we were able to get a spot only about a block away from all the festivities. Easy peasy. Then we walked to the pier and claimed a spot in the middle of the quay wall between the piers where the Nimitz would moor. We got there at noon after a leisurely lunch at the conveniently located Wendy’s on the base.

We joined about a zillion other folks where came to welcome the ship home. This was new for me because I was always the guy on the ship coming in to port. It was an extremely slow and interesting evolution. Parking an aircraft carrier isn’t a minor task. It’s all done in slow motion.

Jennifer was über excited to see Cedric again after the six-month deployment and we were there to take him home for a few days. He brought one of his shipmates home, too, and he’s currently palling around with her and his St. Helens friends. Yes, I said ‘her’. He brought a girl home. Shocking. It’s OK, though, because it was pre-approved by Jennifer. She’s a great young lady. When we met I told her my name was Jerrie but she could call me Senior Chief. She took it well but neither Cedric nor Jennifer saw the humor and severely chastised me while Elisabeth laughed.

It took a while to get off the base because of all the traffic so we parked in Wendy’s lot, had something to eat to tide us over for the trip home, and waited for Elisabeth to show up. We finally exited the gate around 1600 and arrived home at about 1930. In all, it was almost a 12 hour day for Jennifer and me. I used to be able to deal with stuff like that a lot better. Considering that I didn’t drive either direction you’d think I had it pretty easy, right? Well, being the Navigator is important business and doesn’t allow one to sleep on the job.

I’ll close with a bunch of photos I took of the day. Enjoy.

 

 

Veteran’s Day & Diane

Once again it’s 11/11 and time to thank a Vet.

Too bad some folks only do that once a year. Could be they only have that opportunity once a year. I know that I don’t do it every day, but I do it every time I see a vet. Most of them wear hats to advertise their military association so it’s a dead giveaway.

I’ve expanded my thanks to include all manner of public servants, in addition to military members, present and past. I think it’s only fair.

So, if you see some guy on your trip through Oregon, telling a Teacher, Nurse, Mother, Wife, Waiteperson, Cashier, Busboy, Policeman, Fireman, Garbage Man, Doctor, Phlebotomist, or Mailperson, “Thanks for your service,” it might be me.

I’ve found that teachers are especially surprised, and pleased, to get that kind of recognition from an old guy wearing a Vietnam Veteran hat. It’s very gratifying. You should try it.

Now I must share that my wife, Diane, who endured over 20 years as a Navy wife with me, is currently on a mission to get us a Papa Murphy’s pizza. She left me home, alone, in my pajamas. When I told her that I might just put on some outdoor clothes while she’s gone, she said, “Why?” For me, that’s pretty profound since she lived the military life for so long and endured the same deployments that I did.

She’s the best.

I’ll get the next pizza.

 

Scappoose Football and Random Gibberish

I seem to have overcome the frantic behavior that compelled me to write a post pretty much everyday over the past bunch of years and I kind of like this Saturday only approach. Yes, it’s my first Saturday set aside specifically for doing this, but it’s a start. There’s another reason I’m doing this today, too. We, my bride and I, went to a high school football game last night. Our alma mater, Scappoose, was playing against Ontario hoping to move forward toward the state championship which Ontario won last year. On their way to that title, Ontario eliminated Scappoose during the first round of playoffs. So, this was kind of a grudge match. Making it even more appealing for us to attend was that the game was played in St. Helens so they could play on artificial turf.

We arrived plenty early but the parking lot was full so I urged Diane to park illegally next to the gates so we wouldn’t have to walk a mile. Being that close gave us enough time to climb all the way to the top of the covered grandstands before kickoff. It’s a long ways up there but we only had to stop a couple of times to rest. On the way up I saw Josette and Nancy, the only people I recognized from Scappoose. Once seated I discovered a few other familiar faces. Well, actually, familiar backs of their heads because we were in the last row. The only ones I recognized from the back were Howard, Ernie, and Della. Never did see my friend Larry or my other friend Larry.

Scappoose took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for the first score of the game then missed the point after kick. From there it went downhill for Scappoose. From the way the penalty flags flew it appeared evident that the umpires, judges, and referees were on a mission to ensure Ontario would win. There was one point where the line judge on our side of the field was in front of the Scappoose team. Ontario had the ball. Before the snap, this judge tossed his flag high in the air then ran out to the guy with the white hat to confer. Once done the white hat signaled “unsportsmanlike behavior”. Since the ball hadn’t been snapped we in the bleachers could only presume that one of the players or coaches had said something to, or about the line judge. He did this 3 times in a row, marching Ontario down the field without ever having their QB touch the ball. They wound up somewhere around the 10-15 yard line but, to Scappoose’s credit, they had to settle for a field goal. We may never know that happened that caused all those flags but it’s fun to guess.

Both teams kept scoring and there were lots of exciting plays but Scappoose kept falling a little further behind. In the end, the final score was 53-39 Ontario. The officials had their way.

Even with all the flags, Scappoose could have won if their QB hadn’t fumbled the fall three times. Granted, he was sacked each time, but he still lost the ball, and Ontario scored on each fumble. So, 53 minus 21 makes 32, right? Right. Scappoose wins 39-32. Oh, ya, I forgot. Ontario went for 2 points after touchdowns a couple of times, so it may have been 39-34.

We’ll never know, of course. Just wait until next year.

On the way down the stairs Josette asked if I was going to write about this. Not being a sports reporter I actually hadn’t given it much thought. Until just then. She had to stick that thought in my head and, as you all know, once something gets in there, the only way I can get rid of it is to let my fingers verbalize.

So, Josette, this one’s for you.

By the way … you and Nancy looked very nice last night. I noticed that another lady had joined you during the game but I didn’t recognize her. Perhaps I should have. Thanks for taking a chance and saying “Hi” to me in public.

 

Sunset Bay State Park and other Stuff

Sorry I haven’t been around to make my normal short, concise, posts, but Diane and I were off planet for a number of days enjoying the Oregon Coast from our perch at Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay. It’s near North Bend, too, and right next to Shore Acres State Park. Shore Acres is the park that has a botanical garden that volunteers decorate every year. Grant MaComie did a story on it not long ago and it’s a nice story about how it all came together. Knowing about this ahead of time, Diane booked another four days, in the same space (A-13) at Sunset Bay that we vacated last Monday. These four days are for the end of November when the lights are all up and blinking. The crews have already begun the task of stringing lights and they will be lit from Thanksgiving thru New Year’s Eve.

Actually, we were only gone for five days but who’s counting? Really. Just five days. We didn’t have cell service, no TV, no internet, no nuthin. We actually had to sit and talk to each other for long periods of time which was interesting and revealing to one of us. With all the distractions of our daily life on Earth we don’t seem to take time to visit like we should. I recommend such a trip like this for everyone. We were in a beautiful place and found that we really didn’t miss all those things that capture our attention for long periods of time.

We did miss Ziva, however. She’s our camper and loves getting away from the other dogs once in a while. As we packed to leave she knew we were leaving without her and did her absolute best to make sure we knew she knew and that she wasn’t a bit happy about it. It was really tough to leave her standing there, all alone in the driveway, as we pulled away from the house to leave.

OK, we didn’t really do that … she was in the house, but she knew we were leaving. I suspect that she slept most of the five days we were away. Truly, she does that when we’re home. She’s a dog. When not chasing something or barking at something, she sleeps.

Normally I jot little notes down on my next post about things I want to share. Kinda like an outline. But it’s not an outline, it’s just a list. To use this program I need the internet so I used the Notes app on my Ipad for the list. I just now tried to bring it up and got a brief glimpse of what I saved, then it just all disappeared. Like magic. Poof! So, now I’ll have to remember stuff to make it worth your time.

We left home at 1:30 pm on Thursday and arrived after 6:30 pm. It’s a long drive (277 miles) and I had to do it all alone because Diane doesn’t feel ready to drive the RV yet. So, we go slow. Making that more of a necessity was the windshield that was really, really a mess. Actually, it was only a problem when cars came at me causing all the dirt smeared on the window to refract the light to the point where I was just kinda guessing where the road was. Another reason for arriving during daylight. It would have been just fine if we could have left home around 9 am as planned, but that never seems to work out. I dislike having to park and hook everything up in the dark and told Diane that if we don’t leave by 9 am on this next trip, we will wait until the next day. Or, we just don’t go. Just before I could stomp my foot for emphasis, she agreed. We’ll see how that works out.

The next morning we got up really late and didn’t do much right away because it was really foggy crappy looking outside. So, we just lounged around and read our books. Later in the afternoon we launched the Toyota and took a trip up and down the road outside the park, then cruised in to Coos Bay to look around. Diane drives the Toyota so I had an opportunity to view the road with a critical eye and couldn’t help but be amazed that I had actually driven a 35.5′ motorhome around those windy turns without once dumping us into a ditch, or the ocean. It was humbling, let me tell ya.

Over the course of the next 4 days we did a lot of reading, watched one DVD movie that we’d both already seen (Dare Devil) and slept a lot. Once in a while we ate something. I can hear many of you thinking that “you watched Dare Devil twice! Really?” Well, yes we did. It was luck of the draw. We’ll never have to watch it again.

We made a few trips to Fred Meyer in Coos Bay, walked up and down their boardwalk for a while, saw a couple of really interesting sea-going vehicles,

and had lunch at Shark Bites. Diane had halibut fish and chips and I had my crab Louie. We both loved our meals. Each piece of Diane’s fish was about an inch thick and cooked to perfection. My Louie had at lease half a pound of Dungeness crab meat on it. Wonderful. The trip was now worth it.

We were able to spend our last day sitting on the beach watching the sun go down on Sunset Bay. Sadly, I failed to bring my phone/camera to capture the moment. Just believe me, it was really pretty. I’ll take pictures when we go back there the end of the month.

Perhaps the following photos will serve to tide you over till then. These are just shots taken around the park.

This is Simpson Reef. Way back ‘when’ the Simpson family owned all of this.

This is the bottom of a tree that apparently blew over a long time ago.

Just me and my lovely bride.

A different look at Simpson Reef in the distance. 

Then, while driving back to the park one day, we came across this and thought you’d enjoy it as much as we did.

The trip home was uneventful.We stopped at the DQ in Reedsport for lunch. Ate inside, then took our drinks and headed north up Highway 101 to Florence, the scene of our last visit to this area a few weeks ago.

One thing I didn’t get while at the beach was a good bowl of clam chowder. I really like that stuff. So, I rummaged around in a bunch of cupboards until I found a can and warmed it up. When it blew up and figured it was done. I was using the saucer as a cover and when it blew it flipped completely over. What fun.

Betty, our County Clerk, called this afternoon to find out if Diane is ready to go to work with the Counting Board tomorrow. I told her that I’m sure she was and that I was currently washing all her underwear to ensure she was properly dressed … then Diane snatched the phone right out of my hand before I had a chance to say goodbye. I thought that was kind of rude

I forgot to mention that I went golfing with the Peal Brothers before we left on our trip and again on the day after we returned. Diane thinks it’s good for me to golf with these guys. So do I.

It was pretty both times.

Little Jennie Has a Birthday!!

Our youngest daughter celebrated another birthday today. She’s 42. I can tell you that because that’s what the candles on the cake report. You can’t miss it. But, not knowing that, you’d never guess it. She’s one of those perpetually young people who don’t age like normal folks. I think still think she and Lydia are sisters more often than now when they are together.

Lydia and Ceiarra spent Saturday at our house baking and making all sorts of minion stuff for a surprise birthday party they hosted for Jennie. The party wasn’t until Sunday evening because Jennie worked all day. She thought she was coming to our house for a family dinner cooked by the girls so it as a total surprise when Daniel drove her up and the place was full of strange vehicles. It was a good surprise and she had a good time. There was lots of chocolate and sugar infused delicacies galore.

Here’s what the table looked like before anyone showed up …

First, the cooks, Lydia and Ceiarra – they thought it was cute to hide behind the decorations … and it was …

… but they did give me a better look.

I think it’s pretty evident that the entire party was about Minions. They are Jennie’s favorite.

The guest of honor showed up about 30 minutes after everyone else.

We got her into the house …

Then convinced her to put on her minion jammies. Cute.

I didn’t mention that it was a pajama party, did I. Well, it was. Not everyone wore them but it was still a festive mix of people.

It was a fun time for everyone.

The minion ski hat was my contribution. Diane found the pattern and suggested that I make it, so I did. I still had the stitches in my thumb at the time so crocheting was tricky because the my stitches tended to get tangled up with the minion hat stitches.

Jeran tried on the hat.

Austin and Georgie – Austin wore a banana costume and Georgie had a minion hoodie. Should have had them put up their tops.

Jerrie Anne …

The end.

Toilets, Stitches, and Golf

Wow! It’s been Eleventeen days since my last post. Doesn’t seem like that long so it’s apparent that I don’t remember all of them.

I do remember going to Costco one day to buy some stuff. I picked out a new toilet that was conveniently sitting on one of those pretty orange push things and no one was around to claim it. So, I just rolled it away and found Diane. As I followed her around the store I’d get an occasional, “Can I help you?” from Costco employees. I got tired of saying “no” all the time and switched to “no, my wife has diarrhea and I have to stay close to her until she’s done shopping.” It wasn’t long before I had 5 or 6 of them following me to see what was going to happen. Little did they know that they were wasting their time because that was days ago and the penalty won’t be enforced until later today when she reads this.

Another interesting aspect of my life that involves change is that Diane has started issuing me one pair of underwear at a time. I don’t get a clean pair unless I have a used pair to trade. Normally that doesn’t bother me but penalties for non-compliance are reportedly going to be severe for future infractions. I probably shouldn’t have turned in my last used pair without letting her see them first because now I have none. Guess I won’t be wearing jeans today.

Oh, and I got my stitches out. Too bad we’re not a little closer to Halloween.

I also went golfing with the Peal Boys even though the humidity was 100%. It wasn’t raining, just a little foggy. Added a challenge for finding the balls once they were hit because until we got to the 6th fairway, we couldn’t see them land. Just old guys having a little fun.

Now it’s time for me to fire up my table saw since Diane left me unsupervised again. I admit I received some explicit instructions but forgot most of them during the 10 minutes drive home. The main one is “no power tools!” We’ll see how that works out because I have a bunch of baseboard parts to trim.

Have a good one.

Gilligan’s 10th Birthday, & Other Stuff

Yesterday was Gilligan’s 10th birthday. Already, she’s 10! We all find it amazing. To Celebrate, Lydia and Ceiarra took it upon themselves to make it more special than normal by taking her home with them to make cookies and feed her dinner. Jeran cooked the dinner, shepherd’s pie, which everyone loved. Diane and I showed up later to give her our good wishes, a bag of presents, and to love on her a bit, before the big girls whisked her off to a movie. Girl’s Night Out. She was in heaven. Actually, all of the girls were giddy with joy. It was great. The mood may have been enhanced by the drinks they all got at Dutch Bros on the way back to the house. Who knows?

I regret I didn’t get a selfie that included Diane.

Ceierra snuck in a big cookie with a candle and #10 on it.

Then it was off to the theater.

 

It was a good evening.

I had another intimate encounter with my table saw this morning. Everything was going just fine, cutting little narrow pieces of wood for a reason yet to be determined, and I was on the last one. I very carefully pushed that last piece into the whirling blade along with my left thumb. For some reason it just felt correct to push it a tiny bit further, right up to the point where my reflexes kicked in, in response to the severe pain, and automatically yanked my hand away from the saw. Because of my vast experience with injuries like this, I pinched it really tight, not looking at it, and went upstairs to face the music with Diane.

She heard my exclamation, which I emitted involuntarily, and asked what I’d done. When she saw me holding my left hand above my head, she just grabbed her car keys and said, “c’mon, let’s go,” so we did.

Unfortunately, it was only 11:10am and urgent care doesn’t open for business until noon. I stopped on the clinic side of things, where non-bleeders are readily helped, and was told, “We don’t do stitches here.” So, I went around the corner and grabbed a seat near the registration window so I’d be first in line. Which  was, right at noon.

Diane was with me and spent part of her time spreading newer magazines around the waiting area. She found them in some boxes in the basement and has been meaning to drop them off for the last year or so. She makes them all neat on all the tables. Makes me proud.

I was ushered to room 3, the one I normally get at urgent care, and I was prepped for action. The doc came in and we had a nice chat while she stabbed my wound with nummy stuff. That first one really hurts, a lot. Then she stuck it about 10 more times around the perimeter of the wound. I just sucked air through my teeth and dealt with it, knowing that I’d earned it.

It’s been about 6 hours since I did it and it’s beginning to throb a little and I know it’s going to get worse. It always does. I know this kind of stuff.

So, here it is … not quite to the bone, but close.

As you can see, I dressed for the occasion.

Seven stitches.

Ready to party.

Another part of this story involved  the yearly reunion for USS Cleveland crew members. This year it’s in Portland and today there was a bus tour out the Columbia River Gorge. Diane and I were both going to go but Diane had a need to stay home and help her Mom, Jean, with someone making a bid to clean her windows. That meant I would have to go alone with all those old shipmates, getting up and out the door by 0730 to do it. Somehow getting out of the house that early wasn’t appealing so I opted to stay home and make another attempt to get the bathroom put back together. While the doc was stitching me up, Diane said, “I should have sent you on the bus.”

In closing, I must report that I finished cutting the pieces of wood, and I remembered what they were for. Next task is to install all of the baseboard pieces that I also cut this afternoon. Just to show you that I don’t need no stinking opposing thumb on my left hand. No sir. I don’t .