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.

 

 

People with Power, My Wet Lawn, and Dogs

Apparently there isn’t much news to report that doesn’t have something to do with sexual misconduct of politicians, TV personalities, or entertainers. It’s reported on so often and at such great length that both Diane and I are becoming immune to it. When it’s reported that another woman stepped forth accusing, say, Al Franken, of touching her a few years ago, Diane changes the channel. Neither of us view that as condoning the behavior but rather we’re tired of hearing about it.

This morning I was reading Bing News, which provides info from a variety of sources, and was treated to another repeat of the things Roy What’shisname, that ex-judge in Alabama, … Moore, that’s his name … and learned that it’s apparently OK to round up certain things to make the story more interesting, I guess. The article, by Marina Fang of the Huffington Post, reported that Roy has “… been accused of sexual misconduct by nearly 10 women, with several incidents allegedly occurring when the women were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.” Since Roy is now 70, I guess that means these alleged early events occurred nearly 40 years ago, or thereabouts. When reporting news like this I guess the Huffington Post editor is OK with reporters just getting close to the correct number of accusers. Using the ’round up/down’ rules I learned in school, the proper number could be any number between 6 and 14. That’s about 10, right?

Nearly 10? Really?

I may never read the Huffington Post again. Ever.

Actually, I will, and I’ll be looking for stuff like this and totally miss the point of the article, no matter what it’s about.

Now – about all this misconduct by all these people, all of a sudden. I think it started with Bill Cosby, one of the more notable offenders, and has recently created a kind of mob mentality that’s causing women to come forth with all these really old accusations. This is just my guess, or course. There’s safety in numbers and they’re finding it easier to share stories of their abuse. I get that. I have no doubt that this kind of behavior goes unreported all the time and I find it distressing for both the victims and the accused. There are people on both sides who don’t believe the other side. It seems the only resolution lies in the hands of lawyers who are allowed to warp the truth, for either side, in defense of their clients.

OK. As I’ve got into that dissertation and struggled to find a way out of it and then it turned into a lawyer “thing”.

Sorry I went down that road and hope I didn’t offend anyone in the process. Just so you know, I tend to believe the women in nearly all of these accusations because I’m a guy. I actually know how easy it is to offend people – men and women. In all cases, when I’m made aware that I’ve done something inappropriate, like reach out to tap a lady on the shoulder to get her attention and she turns just in time for me to touch her breast. It wasn’t my intention, but it happened. I snap my hands back to my chest and apologize. That’s simple, right? My most mortifying moment of inappropriate touching happened when I was walking with a co-worker in Portland. I was a little bit ahead of her at a crossing and started to move when a car came around the corner with no intention of stopping. Like my Mom used to do, I put my right arm out to block this person’s progress so she wouldn’t get splattered on the road. She stopped and I held my hand in place until the car had passed and I decided that I had apparently missed her arm and had my hand planted firmly on her left breast. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it didn’t feel like an arm should. To confirm this, I looked at my hand, then into her eyes, and snapped my hand back out of her space. I apologized and we continued on. It never happened again and I’m confident to this day, maybe 20 years later, that had we been in that same situation later on, she would have been run over in the cross walk.

Not really. I would have stopped her somehow. Honest.

The problem with these folks in the news is I believe they do stuff like this with intent, not accidentally, and they do it repeatedly because they are in positions of power over their victims. This is an opinion but I’m sure it’s true.

Done with that.

So, it’s been raining like crazy since August and all the grass that withered in the 90+ days of sunshine has found new life. Too bad I can’t mow it.

Gotta stop and go brush the dogs. One of them doesn’t like it so wish me luck.

Take a Knee

I’ve hesitated to chime in on all the commotion about NFL players not standing to honor our flag during the National Anthem because I think it’s just stupid. The clearest definition I’ve heard about why Kapernick started this was to protest black oppression. I’ve heard all kinds of discussions that support those who choose to kneel and I can only respond with a mess of opinions of my own.

First, I believe the vast majority of those who think kneeling for our national anthem are not of my generation. I’m old. When I was in school, the first thing we did as a class, to begin each day, was put our hands over our hearts, face the flag, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Second, my first career encompassed 27 years in the United States Navy. When leaving a ship in port the last thing a sailor does is salute the flag. Upon return, saluting the flag is the first thing they do. On all US bases world-wide colors are observed twice a day: 0800 and Sunset.

No where in any of my activities that relate or refer to a flag was I required to kneel. Nope. When in uniform, and I heard the national anthem, I saluted the flag. When in civilian clothing, I placed my hand over my heart just they way I was taught.

For the naysayers out there, perhaps you view all this repetition as a form of brainwashing. I agree. Taken to the extreme, I believe all forms of teaching involve a bit of brainwashing to drive a point home. I know that for me to retain pretty much anything requires repetition. Lots and lots of repetition.

I think those folks who kneel for the anthem didn’t have the kind of education, and/or exposure that I had as a child or in the military. And you know what? It’s OK. We have that right, correct? Laws have changed over the years to the point where we don’t have to participate in any kind of ceremony to which we object, for any reason. It’s kind of like going back to live in a commune during the 70’s when pretty much everything was just plain OK. So I’ve heard.

The NFL can kneel all they want, to protest … to protest … what was it they’re protesting? … oh, ya … they are protesting President Trump’s comments about them kneeling for the National Anthem. By gosh, they’re going to show him, aren’t then?

Huh. I don’t think Kapernick had that in mind when he took a knee, but that seems to be what it’s about now.

Funny how things change.

 

Run the Gut & Other Stuff

I’m saddened that I can’t find very much about Running the Gut, Dragging Broadway, or something similar on the internet. The most pertinent match was for an event, Dragging the Gut Festival in McMinnville, OR. They claim this cruise in started in 1903 which makes it the oldest one around by a long shot. The sad part for me is that these moments from my youth mostly have a totally new meaning nowadays. Using “Dragging” as the verb I found references to LBGT folks dressing up for an organized walk, or medical procedures that will clean you out and make you feel all better. With “Running”, it’s all about that – running. Foot races through the streets of many towns.

Now, I’m not against any of those things, but I cling to the memories I have of driving my car along with a bunch of other folks up and down Broadway, 1st Street, or which ever street is the main one in town, for hours. It was a harmless social event.

Yesterday I re-created a bit of history here in St. Helens when I took Diane’s Mom, Jean, home from the Sassy Ladies’ Estate Sale at the church. Mom will be 90 in a little over a week and she’d been at the church for a number of hours when I arrived to fix a light, and it was decided that I should take her home to a more comfortable chair. I was glad to do it, but Diane wanted me to swap cars with her so Mom wouldn’t have such a difficult time getting in and out of the Crossfire convertible. I consulted Mom on that decision and she vetoed the swap, choosing to zoom home in the hot rod.

I took the long way home, of course, which meant I had to daringly insert us into a mass of traffic on Highway 30, then almost immediately exit on to Old Portland Road. The insertion was flawless, as was the exit. It’s a very quick little rig.

Many people who drive by St. Helens on Highway 30 are doing just that … they are ‘driving by’. Old Portland Road takes the traveler to the heart of St. Helens which is down by the river which cannot be seen from Highway 30.

Mom’s hair was flying all over the place and she was making a gallant effort to keep it in place until I suggested that it wasn’t going to get any better so she may as well just let it fly. She did and was more relaxed by not having to keep it neat. And, she never stopped smiling.

We drove Old Portland Road to where it ends at 1st Street down town, which is the St. Helens Gut, drove the length, turned left at the Klondike Restaurant (great food), then followed it around the loop, past the old court house, then right on 1st Street past the Columbia Theater. This entire downtown area was transformed in 1998 to film Disney’s “Halloweentown“.  St. Helens was also used for many scenes for “Twilight“. It’s a fun place.

After turning right on 1st Street from the Court House Square, you are forced to turn left about 2 blocks down and the road turns in to Columbia Blvd. It’s almost like magic if you aren’t paying attention. Then again, if you weren’t paying attention you’d probably run into the house at the end of 1st Street and earn a visit from one of the town Constables.

Columbia Blvd comes down from Highway 30 in a more direct route than Old Portland Road, in case you’re interested in visiting. Going back, however, Columbia Blvd splits at 13th Street and becomes St. Helens Road, a one way street, which ends at Highway 30. Going right on Highway 30 takes us to Pittsburgh Road where we turn left and meander our way into a large residential area where Mom lives.

Now, Diane’s fear about taking Mom in the convertible was her ability to get in and out of it. She’s got a bad knee, sore back, and, as previously mentioned, she’ll soon be 90. I’m happy to report that getting in wasn’t a problem at all because all she had to do was back in a ways and sit down. She was careful because I warned here it was a ways down to the seat. Once buckled in she started smiling and didn’t quit until well after I’d dropped her at home, I’m sure. Oh, and she got herself out of the car just fine, all by herself. Made me proud.

Dallas Cowboys Nipple Ring Tragedy

While reading news that has little or no worth to most people, I discovered that Dallas Cowboys’ David Irving suffered a tragic accident that may impact his ability to function in normal society for many months, possibly causing him to miss the first 3-4 games of the season. I’m guessing about him missing games, or course. I just know if it were me who were injured in the manner David suffered, I’d be out for the season. The injury should serve as warning to those who choose to get piercings in odd places.

I don’t view piercings as a bad thing, really, because I totally understand that they are an expression of the person and are, essentially, jewelry of sorts, and/or body art. I don’t, however, understand the mental process one must go through in order to allow someone to stab a projectile through their nipple. What’s that all about, anyway?

Since I have no piercings, my opinions may be suspect, but I believe inserting a little logic into their thought process might allow the pierced to wisely pick and choose safe venues to which they wear their body art, and remove those items that may be subject to serious injury.

 

A Deer, a Doe, and a Silverado

I may have mentioned that Jack and I essentially swapped vehicles because:

  • we no longer have a trailer so don’t need a truck and
  • they got a trailer, didn’t have a truck, and didn’t need their car

In the end, they  got the 2014 Chev Silverado and we got the 2013 T0y0ta Camry. They stopped by a little while ago to let me get the Navy Wife license plate holder off the truck for Diane, and to retrieve their garment hanger. The truck looked great with new, nifty electric running boards.

After they left our house they hit a deer jumped in front of them and they hit it.

At highway speeds this would be devastating, but I’m pretty sure they were still on country backroads. The end result, according to a witnesses, the deer, a doe, got up and galloped away. Jack reported it left some hair on the grill but there was no visual damaged to the truck.

“How can that be?” you may ask. Well, it’s a Chevy Truck, that’s why.

Since they have hair from the negligent deer, I think they should turn it over to the CSI folks and use DNA to find it and have it arrested for leaving the scene of an accident.

Bottom line, everyone is OK, the doe got away, and the truck is undamaged.

It’s all good.

Jerrie Anne, Lydia, Max,

Wow! Where do I begin. I’ve got 9 days worth of mostly worthless information crammed in my tiny little brain to the point where that stuff from July 5th has been crushed to the point of near unrecognizability. I know, that’s not a real word, but it should be.

Thankfully I have this calendar that Diane and I share and she keeps it current. Every once in a while I’ll take a shot at adding something and it doesn’t always work out for me. That’s code for “Diane gets cranky that I screwed it up.” Still, I try. Perhaps one of these days I’ll figure it out but the best bet for now is to just let Diane make those entries.

Using that calendar here’s what I discovered about recent activities. Seems I did way more than I thought. I’ve been a busy critter.

  1. I bought a fuel filter for Lydia’s car and tried to put it on, but there wasn’t one in the location that guy on YouTube told me it would be. He had pictures and everything, but it just wasn’t there. I checked more references on the internet and was assured by all of them that it should be located right next to this thing located under the vehicle on the driver’s side. I do lots of research like this on the internet and it’s never wrong. Really, it isn’t. Everything’s been just fine. Until now. Not finding the fuel filter where it is supposed to be led me to believe that the filter must be inside the tank with the fuel pump. Since I didn’t the ability to see if that was true, I took the car to Don’s house. See item 10 below for more information on that.
  2. I golfed with Doug and Junior on Thursday last week. I specify because I reference Thursday this week about a topic that has nothing to do with Thursday last week. I find it’s important to be specific about shared information like this. The golf game was great fun, as it always is. None of us died, an event we’re all prepared for, and no one even fell down. That was a plus.
  3. My Daughter-in-law, Heather, had a birthday on Thursday last week, too. See why it’s important to specify? Had I not clarified that you may have thought she had a birthday yesterday since that was also a Thursday. Anyway, now she’s firmly entrenched in her 40’s. I’m not allowed to specify how entrenched which is difficult for me because I’m really serious about being specific, as I mentioned. I’ve been sitting here in a quandary, thinking about how to resolve this to everyone’s satisfaction and realized that I don’t think she reads this stuff so it’s probably OK to tell you she’s now 43.
  4. I had an ultra sound on my carotid arteries at the VA hospital yesterday, which was a Thursday. I never received any results of that test which is good, I suppose. I guess they just didn’t find anything and didn’t feel it was necessary to let me know. We’ll see what happens with this most current one.
  5. I visited my VA Doctor on Tuesday of this week, just three days ago since this if Friday. I haven’t mentioned that yet. Today is Friday. She’s the one who ordered the carotid ultrasound as well as the echocardiogram (see item 11), which I had yesterday, which was Thursday. Lots of stuff seems to be happening on Thursdays lately. After the echocardiogram we sent shopping for a motor home (item 6).
  6. Diane and I went out and looked at all the Class A motorhomes we could find and wound up buying one. It’s a 2007 Holiday Rambler Neptune diesel pusher. Never had one of those before.
  7. Ozzie got a haircut. It cost $40! Ozzie only weighs about 10 lbs so his haircut costs $4 a pound. Amazing. I’ve thought about campaigning to just let him grow wild for a few months to see what happens but I know Diane wouldn’t like that. So, I probably won’t, even though I did agree to trade in our travel trailer on a Class A motor home (See item 6).
  8. We picked up the SCRIP cards for our church. The office is in the Tigard School District complex which is, to the uninitiated, very complex. We found it however, and I went in, hands in the air, to find out where the cards were that I was going to liberate. “Why did you put your hands, up?”, I was asked. “To show you I was unarmed,” I said. “Oh, that’s OK,” the receptionist said, “we don’t check for guns.”
  9. I had coffee with some friends at the Kozy. I got there early so I could eat breakfast – one enormous pancake, two eggs, two links, and coffee. All for under $8. You should go there for breakfast sometime.
  10. I drove Lydia’s car to Cousin Don’s house on Thursday, yesterday. Diane followed me with our pickup, into which I had placed our tow strap that was purchased a long time ago to simplify towing various cars, and my old truck, home for repair when they crapped out somewhere. It’s been a handy tool. This time, we didn’t need it. I got the vehicle to Don’s just fine. Al was there. He’s one of Don’s old racing buddies who lives in a motor home and visits during racing season in this area. He’s a great guy and invited me to join him, Don, and John today for a round of golf at our favorite golf course. It was great fun and made me realize that keeping score is a total waste of time. Who really cares. You just hit the ball from the tee to the green, then you putt it in the hole. How many times you hit the ball isn’t relevant when the object is to just visit and have a little man-fun. Don and I rode together in one cart he told me that Lydia’s car needed more help than he could offer so he was going to take it to a friend who has a garage. For more information on this evolution, see item 1 above.
  11. I had an echocardiogram (see item 5) during which I fell asleep and woke myself up snoring more than once. The tech said it was OK, I could snore all I wanted. This was different from the echo I had many years ago, that was done in conjunction with a treadmill stress test. That one was brutal and produced the excruciating pain in my throat that I tried to describe. It’s one of those pains where you have to stop whatever you’re doing, no matter where you are, until it goes away. Nasty. Apparently they never found anything wrong because I have no memory of rule changes regarding my conduct, or the continued care and feeding of my heart. It’s still ticking along pretty good, but that pain is the main reason I don’t feel compelled to exercise. At all. Sitting in a chair all day works for me. I don’t do that, of course, because I have to get up and go to the bathroom once in a while.
  12. We sold our ‘new’ Chevy truck to Jack and Wynette. They were working with the local dealer to get a used 2014 truck similar to ours but it didn’t have a backup camera, no navigation, and no Sirius radio. Everyone knows that, if you’re married, you must have all that stuff in any vehicle you purchase, or borrow. Before they completed the deal Diane and I were neck-deep in item 6 (the motor home) and found that by trading in our travel trailer we probably wouldn’t need a pickup. Without the pickup, Diane would need a vehicle to drive that her Mom could enter and leave without fanfare (she will be 90 next month). Diane’s Mom, not Diane. So we offered it to them and they accepted. In return we will purchase their Toyota Camry (item 13). Perfect.
  13. We bought their ‘new’ Camry from Jack and Wynette. Well, we haven’t bought it yet, but we will. The plan is in motion. Funny how things work out.
  14. I mowed all of the lawn. That’s about 3/4 of an acre. Doesn’t sound like much but, unlike some other mower people I’ve seen, I go real slow so it can vacuum up all the cut grass. In this instance, however, the cut part only consists of the tops of about a zillion dandelions that inhabit the yard. With all the hot weather, our grass has barely grown at all. It looks pretty good with al the little yellow flowers gone but, you know, I kinda liked the flowers. They go well with all the moss that makes up most of the front yard.
  15. I got a heart monitor from the VA. This is conjunction with all the other cardiac stuff that’s going on. Perhaps some of you know what it’s all about and what they look like. For those who don’t, it’s a device worn on the belt like a cell phone that has two leads which are attached to my chest. The wires to the connection points by necessity go down inside my pants then travel up beneath my shirt. When I get tired of explaining that it’s a heart monitor, I tell people who it’s a two-purpose device that sends Diane a text if I get an erection, and me a text if it detects that I’ve had an erection longer than 4 hours. Neither one of us has received a text so things are pretty normal.
  16. Diane visited her hand therapist multiple times to work the kinks out of her broken wrist bones. She’s making great progress, using her left arm all the time with rarely a whimper. Makes me proud. The big test, though, was the vacuum cleaner which she can use with no problem. I was concerned about that.

OK – when I list it that way, it looks like a lot of stuff. Looking at the calendar it doesn’t seem like much but I fear delving into each one of those items will result in a long dissertation. I’ll do it but you don’t have to read all of it at once. Actually, you don’t have to read it at all. Frankly, I’m surprised you got this far. It’s like one of those movies that is so bad but you keep watching, thinking it has to get better. Right? I watch movies like that all the time. Why do we do that?

It’s now Sunday, two days after I started this so all the day references are incorrect. But, I’m not fixing them.

Yesterday we visited with Jeff & Family to have a small celebration for Jerrie’s 6th birthday. Yes, she’s already 6. She’s so excited about being in First Grade. It’s going to be a fun year for her teacher.

Baylee, Jerrie, and Gilligan

After visiting with Jerrie, we delivered our trade in travel trailer and picked up our ‘new’ motor home from Camping World in Portland. It was an exciting trip since I’ve never driven anything that big (35 feet long, 8 feet wide, 12.5 feet tall). It was easy peasy even though I drove it through St. Johns, and over the St. Johns bridge. Pretty tricky stuff for a Rookie. Now it’s safely parked in our driveway, waiting for its maiden voyage.

This afternoon, Lydia and Ceiarra showed up with Max (Maximum Prime) so they could relieve him of most of his hair. They did it in the front yard so the big dogs wouldn’t interfere. Max was in heaven with all the attention from two pretty girls. He’s no dummy.