To the Moon and back

A funny thing happened the last time I was in orbit and I thought you might like to hear about it. As far as I know this information does not violate any confidentiality agreements to which I am legally bound and that’s irrelevant because I can’t remember all that stuff anyway. So, I’m sharing. I’m sharing the parts I remember, that is.

First there was the routine abduction, something I’m so familiar with now that I rarely lose conscientious when they stab me in the eye with that incredibly bright light.

They use a variant of the flash bang commonly deployed by special forces personnel on most of the TV shows I watch. I think the police also use them as a way to stun a crowd into submission. The difference is that the version they use only has the flash part because the bang aspect would draw too much attention to the other patrons at Starbucks, where they normally arrange their snatch and grabs. Snatch and grab is not my choice of words, it’s theirs. They told me. I have no idea why they use that term, but they do. So, there I was at Starbucks, the one across the street from Wal-Mart*, when Ringo (ya, that’s what he calls himself) approached me and reached into his pocket for the flash light he always carries.

“Ringo,” I said. “Do you really have to do this? I mean, I’ll just go with you. You don’t have to blind me.”

After a short pause to gather his wits, he responded “but this is procedure. We always do it this way.”

“But I’m a compliant abductee. Haven’t I always gone along with pretty much everything you’ve asked me to do?”

“A … ya … I guess. But I like using my light. It’s fun.” At that point he whipped out the light and pointed it at my right eyeball and was in the process of activating it. Just before he pressed the button I moved my spoon, which I always carry in my right hand, most of the time, anticipating events like this, to cover my right eye with the convex surface point away from me. When he pushed the button the flash ricocheted off my spoon and harmlessly scattered throughout the room.

You might think this would have caused some sort of commotion amongst all those Starbucks customers but virtually all of them were fixated on their electronic device of choice and ignoring everything around them except the caffeinated drink gripped tightly in they dominate hand. Those with laptops sometimes released their drinks so they could use both hands on their keyboards, but that never lasted long.

“Oh, man,” said Ringo, “now I have to do this the old way,” at which point he reached over and grabbed me by the ear, a universally known method of forcing compliance, and marched me right out of that coffee shop and into the waiting sedan at the curb. All the way I was yelling “Ow, ow ow …” but he just qualified his action by adding, “Wait until your Mother finds out what you’ve been doing,” which is just another proven method of forcing compliance. No one wants to upset their Mom.

Once in the car I greeted to George, Ringo’s accomplice, who was always the driver. Also in the car was Brucette, their suductress, who is only put into play should all other forms of abducting fail. Brucette was very good at her job but she’s never had to work her wiles on my because I’ve always gone along nicely. That’s why I couldn’t figure out why Ringo and George had to make taking me such a big deal.

The sedan sped away from the curb before I had a chance to buckle up and I was slammed into the back seat just as I was about to sit. After speeding around a corner, onto Highway 30, I found myself unceremoniously draped across both Ringo and Brucette’s laps. Brucette thought it was an opportunity to practice her art and started brushing the hair out of my eyes and rubbing my back. I tried to extract myself from her embrace but she held me in place (she’s very strong) even when Ringo grabbed my ear again tried to yank me to a sitting position. But Brucette held on tight. Consequently, the pain was exquisite and at the same time comforting. She was that good.

“Brucie,” said Rambo quietly, releasing the tension on my ear, “let him go. You know the rules. Passengers in vehicles are required to wear seat belts on this planet.” She bowed her head a bit, looked up at him demurely, then reluctantly let me go. That was scary. I know how George drives so getting a seatbelt on was imperative.

Just as I heard the seat belt click into place I also heard the squeal of tires, the prelude to an impending crash.

When I woke up I had no idea where I was or how long I had been napping. It must have been a while because I was aware of the reduced gravity which could only mean I was on the Mother Ship. Again. Just once I wish they ‘d let me enjoy the trip up but, nooo, they had to stick to their stupid doctrine. When full awareness finally dawned on my abused body I heard a swish as the bathroom door opened and Brucette stepped out of the shower … … Oops. Gotta stop and help Diane find the waffle iron. Apparently we’re having breakfast.

I’ll get back to this later. Maybe tomorrow.

Day 4 – New York City

Today was very special because we (Diane, me, and Ruth) rode a train from New Haven, CT all the way to Grand Central Station in New York City. The purpose was to visit the 911 Memorial in Manhattan. To make it more special, Ruth came with us because she’s never seen it in person, either. And, because she came with us, we had a scape goat in case we got totally lost because she lives on this side of the world and we’re just visiting. But, we didn’t get lost.

The first left started at 0740 when we bundled into our rental car and drove to New Haven so we could catch the Metro North line.img_8748

Going from Windsor Locks is possible but that would require a trip on Amtrak which is vasty more expensive. It’s like $66 for 3 round trip tickets on Metro North vs. $300 for Amtrak. No contest, really. The drive to New Haven took about an hour then we walked for about 20 minutes to the train station, got our tickets, grabbed our seats, and stayed in them for the next two hours. It was a nice ride and we met some nice folks, James & Millette, who were on their way to The City to celebrate their 27th anniversary. As we talked we learned more about each other and they learned that we were on our way visit the 911 Memorial. Turns out they’ve never visited it, either. For good reason. James works for the city of Darien, CT in public works. On 9/11 he was on an Amtrak with his 3-year-old son traveling to North Carolina to visit his parents. When the 1st tower was hit his train stopped in the middle of the bridge to Manhattan prior moving on to Penn Station. He was provided an unobstructed view of the towers when they collapsed and was stunned the same as every one else that day. He described how scary it was to not be able to contact his wife to let her know he and their son were OK, and that it was 8 hours before he was able to reach a pay phone and call her office. Because of that trial neither of them have found the courage to make a visit down town Manhattan and end their trip to The City in East Harlem. We felt that we had bonded with these folks and gained some good friends during that short ride. Sadly, I did not get a photo of them, but I have these:

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When we got to Grand Central, Ruth led us to one of the exits then began walking along 42nd Street. Just before we got to 5th Avenue hunger pangs attacked us causing us to seek someplace different for lunch. We looked around and immediately spied some Golden Arches which seem to be everywhere. Like Starbucks. But, fast food isn’t what we wanted. Ruth spoke to a street person for suggestions about good places to eat and was directed to a place called HTH which happened to be right next to The Arches.img_8783

So, off we went.

Inside HTH we were greeted by some very friendly folks who advised us to look around before making a choice. Actually, they didn’t suggest that. We just did it. They didn’t care. The front counter was the source of some incredible looking sandwiches, pre-made and ordered, and the back area was a walk-around counter containing yakisoba, fried rice, shrimp wrapped in bacon, coconut shrimp, lots of other meat choices (but I only focus on shrimp), broccoli chicken, and many other things. Just take what you want then get it weighed at the cash register and pay $8.95 a pound. Sounds expensive but Diane and I ate hearty for less than $20 and I had milk! It was all very good and we highly recommend HTH. I tried to find a web site for them but can’t. We were told it’s a new venue. Awesome!

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Once we were all fed and watered, we ventured out, once again, into the New York heat (pushing 90) thinking we’d walk to Ground Zero. But, according to our handy-dandy GPS systems on our phones we learned it was 3.5 miles away. Didn’t look that far on the map, but blocks in NYC are longer than even Las Vegas. So, we began the arduous process of flagging down a taxi so we could experience that aspect of the city. I did it once before, when I as 16, but I can’t remember back that far any longer. So, I needed a refresh.

We flagged and flagged and flagged but the drivers weren’t interested. Then a guy in a Lincoln town car pulled over and offered us a ride. One of those guys who cruise around looking for tourists so they can over charge them. He remained true to that belief by stating a trip to Ground Zero would cost us $45. I scoffed and he asked what I’d be willing to pay him. I said $10. He scoffed back, pulled over to the curb and popped the locks to let us out which I took to mean it wasn’t a valid offer.

Finally, a taxi pulled over to let someone out and Ruth inquired, politely, if he could possible consider allowing us to insert ourselves into the back of his bright yellow Prius for a ride to the memorial. He nodded yes so we got in. It was cozy with me in the middle, and away we went.

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The driver, sensing that we were new to The City tested us by heading for the FDR which is on the East Side of Manhattan. We knew, however, that our destination was on the West Side. I called him on his choice so he changed his mind and decided to punish us by driving down every street in NYC where construction seems to be a never-ending evolution. Construction, vehicles triple parked, people walking all over the streets … it was pretty amazing. The result, of course, was that the meter clicked merrily away while we spent a great deal of time just sitting, waiting through each traffic light 2-3 times. That 3.5 mile trip took about an hour and cost $20.80. That $45 offer in a comfortable vehicle began to look pretty good. But, we made it.

The first thing we saw was the new $4 Billion, 350,00 square foot Oculus Shopping Mall. I know those numbers are true because I had to do a web search to find out what the heck it was called. There were no signs – just doors to get in.

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Behind me, in the second photo, is the largest Apple Store I’ve ever seen. I suspect I should have taken a picture of it. It’s absolutely ginormous.

We wandered through this incredible structure and were kind of oblivious to our surrounding with the exception of being on constant alert for directions to the nearest restroom. Being old, that’s always our first priority after a long ride, find a toilet. You will be happy to learn that the Oculus has very nice toilets that flush and everything.

The views outside the Oculus are stunning. Words aren’t enough so I’ll just do this:

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The memorial pools are located just outside the Oculus and are easy to find. Just follow the crowds, then look for a place where everyone is just kinda standing still. Quite impressive, and far more impressive in person. A very solemn place.img_8807

We visited both pools the left Diane in the shade as Ruth and I went on a quest to find a map so we could discover a cheaper way back to Grand Central, like the subway.img_8815

Turns out that nowhere in the vast array of information available at Ground Zero is there information about public transportation. So, I asked a couple of NYPD Officers who happened to be handy. They were very helpful, directing us through a maze of construction scaffolding to the nearest subway station. I must make a note here that we all had smart phones on which we could have easily found directions had all three of them not been stone cold dead. We started out the day with them all charged up but taking photos and running Google Maps, we just flittered all that energy away. I actually had a little power remaining, like 7%, but I wanted to keep it in reserve for possible Kodak moments on our return trip. It was distressing, to say the least. I hate being powerless.

This is Ruth pointing out the seat she was going to grab when the subway doors opened up. I believe, however, that no one got off the #4 Train which required us all to stand for the beginning of the trip. I had to stand the entire way, but it was OK. I didn’t fall down. I had an opportunity to get a seat at one stop because I was standing right by one that was vacated. I young man standing in front of it made a move for it, then looked up and offered it to me. I gave it to Diane. Chivalry is not dead in NYC. I was pleased and let him know how grateful I was.

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We made it back to Grand Central with no problems or wrong turns and made it to Track 17 about 3 minutes  before our train pulled out. It was pretty amazing because getting to METRO North from the #4 Train isn’t a leisurely hike.

We found three seats together and plopped ourselves down, and prepared for takeoff. I opened a souvenir magazine of the 911 Disaster and started thumbing through it when I heard a voice asking if I was prepared to give a detailed dissertation on all the information to which I had so recently been exposed. I looked up and discovered my new friend, Tiffany, who has never seen “Short Circuit”. I explained that she really needs to see it because it was filmed in Astoria, Oregon and the main character’s name is Tiffany. I’m not sure she was suitably impressed with this bit of trivia, but she was willing to continue visiting with me which was excellent.

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I learned that Tiffany was in her second year at St. Johns University, in Queens, on her quest to become a Pharmacist. It’s a 6-year program at the end of which she will be christened as a bona fide Doctor. She spends most of Tuesday thru Friday at school then heads home for the weekends Friday afternoon. In high school she was a 4-year Varsity starter soccer player.

I was very happy to have her to visit with and regretted my loss when we arrived at the Fairfield stop where she deserted me. My life was improved by her presence and I have no doubt she’s going to be a huge success in whatever she chooses to do. For some reason she wanted my blog address, so I gave it to her. Therein lies a tenuous thread of contact.

This is the last photo I took before my phone permanently died. It’s looking up the aisle of our train.

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On the way home from the train station we stopped to visit Susan & Jay and to pick up Julia who gave us a tour of their home and introduced us to her newly acquired base Fiddle, Jerrie. I was honored that she named it Jerrie, but not sure that she named it specifically after me. That’s OK. I’m still honored. This is Jerrie:

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We took her back to Ruth’s where we played Polish Rummy until her father arrived from Boston to pick up at 2300. Then I fiddled with my computer trying to get photos off my phone until I was totally frustrated and went to bed. The hard bed. Where I slept like a baby until 0730 this morning.

There. I’m done.

Hilton Waikaloa Village

Today I got up early and stepped out onto the balcony to see what the weather was like. It was really nice, and there were no clouds obstructing Mauna Kea. I could even see the Keck Observatory right on the tippy top. Hard to believe that that mountain is 13,756 feet tall. I mean, look at it. Those palm trees are taller than that!

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Diane got up shortly after I did and suggested that we start eating as much of the food we have left as we can so our luggage won’t be so heavy when we check in for our flight home tomorrow. All we have left to eat tomorrow morning is 4 eggs, two pieces of bread, most of a jar of peanut butter, a bunch of crackers, three apples, a bag of chips, and 3 more bottles of wine. We should be done with that in a few hours.

After breakfast we drove over to the Waikaloa Village side of this massive complex to check out the dolphin pool ($250 to pet them), and to see if our favorite covered lounge chairs were available so we could hang out and watch the sunset.

When we got to the entrance, the shuttle train was just sitting there waiting for us. Since we needed to travel to the extreme far side to the best sunset viewing area, we got on the train and rode it all the way to the end, to the building that looks like three of the olympic ring circles from space. Or the front end of an Audi. When it’s following you really close.

The lounge chair pair we wanted were kind of isolated on a little hill and it, as did all of the other lounge chairs located along the water side of the area, had little signs on them that they must be reserved. Seeing a little booth not far away, I wandered over to see what was necessary to secure our coveted lounge chairs. That’s where I met Kona. Before discussing chairs I mentioned that he had a cool name and asked if it was really his name or a stage name. He said it’s really his. I let him know that I thought it was an absolutely, totally appropriate name for a young man, who works at Waikoloa, not far from Kona, to be named Kona. What a coincidence. IMG_2717

Kona told me the lounge chairs cost $58 for the day and they come with a cabana boy or girl who would supply water, drinks, and food as necessary for the duration of our stay. Talking it over with my lovely bride, we decided $58 didn’t seem bad since we hadn’t spent much on anything else, so I went back and told Kona we’d take it. He said that since it was really slow people wise, if we waited until 2:00 pm it would be half price. He said that because he knew we were going back to our room for a while to eat lunch and that it would probably take an hour.

Back at the room we had a microwave prepared tuna macaroni and cheese casserole which was extremely good. Ir had to be done in the micro because we didn’t have a real oven to work with. It worked out well because my bride is a crafty cook. By the time we got done it was after 2:00 pm. By the time we got back to the sunset viewing area it was after 2:30, but our lounge chair choice, #5, was still vacant so I went to Kona’s little booth and attempted to book it for the remainder of the afternoon. He declined, telling me that it was so late, and there weren’t many people around, to just use it, no charge. I tipped him $10, which he was very reluctant to take, and went back to #5 where my bride awaited my return.

We settled ourselves, and began the wait by drinking water and trying to avoid looking directly at the sun which was right in front of us. It was very bright and made our eyes burn. Literally. They burned. It was distressing to me so I reclined my chair and closed my eyes for a short nap. For that I will no doubt pay dearly tomorrow when I awake with blisters on my nipples and around my belly button. It’s going to hurt a great deal, I’m sure, but they will hopefully keep me warm when we return to Oregon tomorrow afternoon where its way less than 86 degrees. And not sunny. Or dry.IMG_2762

The sun went down, as planned, and it was pretty, but not overly dramatic. Still, it was very nice to be sitting in the same place we spent on our 45th wedding anniversary trip. Sunsets in Hawaii are special no matter if they are dramatic or not. That’s especially true when you’re with your one true love. As was I.

After the sun was gone we groped our way back to one of the bridges, took a wrong turn, and wound up at a boat dock where a boat was just being loaded. That was very good because it meant we wouldn’t have to walk all the way back to the entrance which was about a mile away. Really. It’s about a mile.

The boat ride was very nice. We got back to our assigned vehicle and headed out of the parking area but had to stop at the entrance to get a good look at all the palm trees that were decorated for Christmas. Very festive.IMG_2777

Then it was back to our room where we decompressed and went to bed for our last night on the island. It’s been a very good, relaxing vacation. It always is over here. One day soon we hope to have all the kids come with us so they can experience it with us.

Here’s a natural swimming area where folks can visit with the fish and turtles. It’s connected directly to the ocean but completely safe for kids and old people. Snorkelers abound in this pool.

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This waterfall is at the end of the swimming area. The path goes behind the water should one choose to walk instead of swim to the other side.IMG_2733

ISS, Reunions, Soccer, & Relative

Have any of you folks in the Great Northwestern portion of this here United States looked at the evening sky lately to see the International Space Station flying by? Three days ago we were gazing up, watching the stars pop out, when the ISS went zooming overhead and watched for the entire five minutes it took to transit from one horizon to the other. Initial speculation that it was the space station was confirmed, by me, when I jumped on my smart phone, figuratively speaking, and searched for information about this event. What I found on the APP Store (for my iPhone) was “ISS Spotter”, a pretty handy application that plots the station’s progress around the world and provides a list of times when it will be visible, if clouds permit, over your location. Because of this we’ve been able to see if the last three evenings at the times indicated. Pretty cool. It was especially great last night because big brother Jim, and his bride Donna, as well as our other brother Jack, and his bride Wynette, were visiting and we all stood at our deck railing watching together as this wonder of science whizzed by overhead. It was a special moment.

The occasion of Jim and Donna’s visit was so they could attend the All School Reunion for Scappoose High School, an event that happens every five years. For a small town it’s quite an event and brings folks back from all over the place. For my bride, Diane, it was even more special because her class celebrated their 50th reunion in conjunction with the five-year event.

As a result of all these festivities I’ve managed to regain the 12 pounds I recently shed, by studiously eating reasonable portions at reasonable times. During the past week there was no schedule for meals and it’s hard to say No when there’s an opportunity to share a meal for family we don’t often see. Especially when they’re buying. Now I must climb back on the wagon and pay attention before the doctor tells me I must start injecting myself with insulin every 3-4 hours. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Jim and Donna arrived last Wednesday afternoon and it’s been pretty much non-stop until this morning when they departed on their way back home to somewhere in Idaho. We visit them once in a while when they grant us permission to cross the border. That doesn’t always happen and it’s getting more difficult to get a visa for such visits because of all the shootings around the country. Coming in to Oregon isn’t a problem because we don’t have any border restrictions, yet.

At this point of my narrative there will be a rather long pause as I depart our premises to transport Lydia & Morgan to goalie training in Hillsboro at this undogly hour of 0745. I don’t normally doe things like that this early in the morning, but Diane is going the other way, to Longview, shortly thereafter to get Jeran to his dentist appointment. She can drive fast, for sure, but not fast enough to be in two places 60 miles apart at the same time. So, I get to take the east-bound leg, something I don’t really mind doing at all.

Now for the pause —————————-0719 to 1350 – elapsed time 6hrs 31min

What a morning. Picked Lydia up and had to skip Morgan because she wasn’t feeling well and stayed home. So, we arrived about 20 minutes early and Lydia was the only one there for a long time. I pointed out to Lydia that some of them didn’t show up until 0930 and she said “that was the twins (girls). Their dad is an actor and they’re filming “The Librarians” in the area so they are spending the summer here. Interesting.

 Lydia got a 3-hour workout on very little food and she did great. The group was composed of both goalies and what I call “shooters” so Lydia and the other goalies got a good workout from some kids that can really handle a soccer ball. Made me tired so I put the top down on the PT, parked in the shade, and took a nap.

One of my classmates shared a joke with me that I feel compelled to pass along. I must warn you that, though it doesn’t contain vulgar language, the subject matter is a bit racy. If that concerns you, please stop now …

The joke … two ladies had lunch together at one of their village’s nicer establishments and the topic of their conversation swayed a bit to the exciting side of their lives. This happened when one of them noticed a gentleman across the room having lunch.

“See that fellow over by the door? I had a date with him a few days ago and he was a perfect gentleman the entire evening. He opened doors for me, took my jacket, helped with my chair, stood when I left the table … it was very refreshing to be treated like a lady. I was so comfortable with him that it didn’t occur to me to say “No” when he asked me to his home for a nightcap. Once we got in his house everything changed and he became an animal, pushing me around the house and ripping my clothes off like a wild man!”

Her friend, hand to mouth, exclaimed, “so, you’re telling me I should date him?”

“No,” said the lady, “just wear old clothes.”

To end I’ll share some photos from the part of the weekend I remember. First is Diane’s class of 1965.

IMG_2103 Here are what I understand are the main trouble makers of the class. A fun group.IMG_2128And, here’s a selfie of the Cate boys …IMG_2134

Fun In The Sun & Popcorn

Today was another relaxing one. We got up at our new normal time, 0730-ish, then fiddled around, drinking coffee and reading, until 1000-ish. At that time we decided it was time to eat so I got busy cooking. With permission, I decided it was time for eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and toast. As luck would have it, Diane baked two potatoes yesterday but we only ate one of them so we had one I could hack to pieces and fry them.

Before dismantling the potato, I got the bacon going so I’d have some grease in which to fry the potato. Diane may have preferred that I fry them in butter, or Crisco, but I didn’t want to. I was in charge. I did, however, fry the eggs in butter. That’s Diane’s choice. I, personally, prefer anything that needs to be fried to be fried in bacon grease. I even fry up sausage patties in bacon grease.

Breakfast was awesome, then Diane bundled up for our trip to Del Mar and the car show. Me? I wore shorts and a t-shirt. Admittedly, it was a brave thing to do because the breeze coming through the windows was a bit on the chilly side.

Having previously agreed that we would take a train to Solano Beach, then walk to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, we meticulously checked, and rechecked the schedule to ensure we knew what we were doing. You see, there are about four trains that ply the rails between LA and San Diego with many commuter stops along the way. Interestingly, though they whiz by within a few blocks of our temporary residence, they are not a distraction.

Armed with all this information, we set out for the Oceanside Transit Center, a fairly large complex from which we could exit the area on any of the trains, or busses. Once we arrived, we joined some other neophyte train riders to catch the 1228 train to Solano Beach. An attractive young transit policewoman loudly informed everyone that the next train for our chosen stop wasn’t until 1432, a three-hour wait. I had a brief education by the young lady who pointed out the error in my thinking process that led us to believe we had actually figured out how to read the complicated schedule.

At this point, Diane and I looked at each other, for the first time in days, and voiced our concern about having to wait for three hours for the planned trip to the custom car show. Then we started talking, another rare event, and learned that we were both victims of the dreaded GOTM syndrome. That’s the one where one of us agrees to do something they think the other one really wants to do, like in the story about The Gift Of The Magi. Remember that one? Well, turns out we both thought going to the custom car show because we thought the other person really wanted to attend the show. After talking about this for a while we came to the conclusion that neither of us really wanted to spend time indoors, walking around for hours looking at custom cars. We’ve seen lots of custom cars in the past so we determined that our time would be better spent walking around Oceanside’s back streets to see what we could see, so that’s what we did. We wandered, all the way north, almost to the far end of The Strand.

Then we had to walk all the way back. It was really a nice walk, however, and neither of us was hurting worse than normal at the finish line. Still, we found it necessary to rest for the remainder of the afternoon which turned chillier making our choice to stay inside a good one.

Later, I made some popcorn, for myself because Diane doesn’t eat it, and it brought up the merits of making good choices about which bowls to use. You see, one previous day I selected a bowl from the counter, dried it out, dumped my popcorn in it and plopped myself on the sofa. Diane said, “did you wash the bowl?” I replied, it was wet so I just dried it out. “You know, don’t you,” she asked, “that I soaked my feet in that bowl?” In no way intimidated, I responded, “yes, but you did it twice an I rinsed it between soaks.” She pointed out, “but, Jerrie! I cleaned the polish off my toes with acetone in that bowl!” Sniffing the bowl, I didn’t detect a hint of acetone, so figured all was good.

Although I didn’t look Directly at Diane, I know for a fact that she stared at me with furrowed brow for longer than normal, then went back to what she was doing.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to be OK, but one never knows, does one?

Now we’re just in a wait and see mode to discover if I come down with some sort of exotic athlete’s foot kind of thing in the back of my throat. On the off-chance I do, I’m reading about foot fungus medicine on-line to see if it’s a bad thing to ingest. Looks good, so far

NFL & Mass Transit

It’s been a brutal and entertaining two days of football, to see who will be in the NFC and AFC Championship games, and I’m soooo glad it’s over. We only watched three games, but it seems like seven. Really. What made it brutal was that only one of the three games were won by the correct team, from our perspective. That was the Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints game which Seattle won. Yea Seahawks!

The other two games, Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers, and San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos, just went totally the wrong way, even though we’re kinda 49ers fans, which will please Jeannie. Truthfully, we rooted for the Panthers for the sole reason that their backup quarterback is a Scappoose High School and Oregon State University standout. That would be Derek Anderson, #3. We always cheer for people from Scappoose.   It’s a rule. Since the 49ers won, however, we have a problem because they will be playing against the Seahawks next weekend, in Seattle.

Since we’re kinda closet 49ers fans, as previously mentioned, we’ll have difficulty figuring out who we want to win. Using basic logic, it’s a simple choice. Seattle is closer so the rule is we must be on their side. Then, again, our church organist, Jeannie, is an avid 49ers fan, and we have relatives who kinda live all around that the bay area in California, we may have to claim them as our choice for the win. At least in public. The reality is, however that we’ll be Seahawks fans till the bitter end.

The Chargers vs. Broncos game was crappy almost all the way. Because we lived in San Diego for a number of years, we have sentimental feelings for that team. Our tenure with that team was during the 70’s & 80’s when ex-Duck QB, Dan Fouts ruled. They were fun to watch. Alas, Denver won, so the Chargers will go home and New England will travel to Denver to see who goes to the Super Bowl. We’ll be cheering for the Patriots. Well, at least one of us will be.

Now that all the particulars have been reported I have to tell you about all the noise associated with those games. It wasn’t from the TV, but from the person sitting next to me throughout the games. That would be Diane, of course. She’s fleeing better after fighting a terrible cold for the past week, and her energy levels were up, so she felt comfortable with expending a lot of that vigor by yelling at the TV set when the referees didn’t make the right calls. It was very entertaining, and she was always right. The referees do pick and choose which infractions they wish to enforce, those they don’t, and when to do it or not. I’ve always contended that the officials have a meeting before each game to decide which team will be getting the bad calls. Personally, I don’t think the NFL is nearly as bad as the NBA in that regard. Instead of determining who gets the bad calls, the NBA officials shade their calls to ensure the proper team wins. That information, of course, is passed down  to them from the top bookies in Las Vegas.

I’m sure that’s true.

To end this I need to report an event about which I knew nothing until we watched the evening news. Apparently today was “No Pants Day” on public transit in numerous cities world wide.

How fun!

Riders with no pants on mass transit.

All day.

Of course, Portland was one of those cities. The event requires coordinators in participating cities. So, if you intend to join in, make sure you contact your local representative whose job it is to ensure those who participate actually wear underwear.

Although I no longer ride mass transit, I can only believe that most reasonable people are in favor of having two layers of clothing, not just one, between the seats they may possibly sit on, and a stranger’s ass whose owner might not be overly concerned with hygiene. I cannot imagine sitting on one of those seats, in a thin pair of panties, on which someone with crawly bugs all over them, may have been sitting a few minutes before. Granted, the news photos showed that most people were standing which poses another interesting problem because for those brave enough to take a seat, all those strange asses and crotches are about nose level.

I’ll leave you with that mental image.

It’s an interesting world in which we live, don’t you think?