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.

Travis AFB to Fort Bragg – Day 12

To ensure the tense is correct, I must admit that I wrote all of this yesterday.

Today was supposed to be a quick trip because it was only about 180 miles. Less than 4 hours, right? Well, that plan was derailed by two of our GPS systems when they routed us across Highway 37 which runs through the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It wasn’t the Wildlife Refuge that was the problem because it’s actually not a bad road. The road is only one lane each direction but once you’re on it, the only way out is to keep moving forward. On this Sunday, moving forward meant going very slow most of the time, stopping completely some of the time, with short bursts of speed all the way up to 30-40 mph. What we didn’t know, and apparently our GPS didn’t either, was that Highway 37 is one of the main ways to reach the Sonoma Raceway which is located about 2/3 of the way across.  Once we reached that exit we could see the stands for the racetrack and they were full. This was about 1100 this morning so our arrival in Fort Bragg, which isn’t really a fort at all, just another town on Highway 1, was pushed out to after 4 pm. We wanted to be there nice and early, like 1 pm, so we could visit some of the sites in this city. Specifically, Diane wanted to visit Glass Beach.

For this stop, Diane obtained two rooms at the city’s Motel 6, an establishment she previously vowed to “never” use during our travels. But, the price of two rooms there was cheaper than one room at any of the other establishments and the girls won’t have to sleep on a sofa bed.

Once we got checked in and hauled our luggage upstairs to our rooms (no elevator), we went searching for Glass Beach. We found it about a mile north of Motel 6 and it was easily accessible for most, even those with broken arms. once we reached the beach, the girls were fascinated with the glass on the beach then Lydia went looking for hermit crabs which were abundant. Ceiarra chose seek pieces of rock and agate mixed, leaving the glass alone.

There were people all over the place checking out the beach. An Indian family saw Lydia with one of the hermit crabs and had to have photos of her messing with them. She’s always gone down that road less travelled by girls, opting for the bugs, snakes, and such, so crabs were right in her wheel house. She had a ball discovering, and harassing them. She was not allowed to bring any with her back to the truck. So, she found a really nasty looking shell that had once been stuck to a rock, and was partially covered with debris that had once been growing, and you just knew it was going to smell to High Heaven once it dried out, and insisted that we take it home. We folded on that request because we knew there were plastic bags in the truck she could use to wrap it up. The bag remained in the truck bed. By the time we get home whatever is in that bag is going to be nasty, I’m sure.

Ceiarra, thankfully, kept it clean and was allowed to get her rock collection back to the motel in the truck proper.

After the beach we discussed dinner options and chose Denny’s which was next to the road leading to the beach. We don’t normally patronize Denny’s during our trips because we’ve bad experiences in the past. It’s been a while, though, and thought we’d give it another try. Glad we did because the food was great and the people greater. It was a pleasant visit.

Our waitress, Lisa, came and took our orders and when she left Ceiarra said that Lisa smelled like her Mom did. When she came back, Diane asked her what fragrance she was using and she said, “Just my hand sanitizer.” That was unexpected. Diane explained the reason for her request, that C had lost her Mom no long ago, and that Lisa’s fragrance reminded her of her Mom.

Lisa teared up and walked away from the table and went back to work but she was truly mulling a proper response for Ceiarra because she returned after a bit, tears streaming, and explained that she truly believed that C’s Mom had been there at that moment because our loved ones are always close, even when they’re ‘gone’. Then she placed a bottle of strawberry scented hand sanitizer on the table as a gift for Ceiarra. A little later she dropped off a piece of chocolate cake of some sort and said “hope you aren’t allergic to peanuts.”

Needless to say, Lisa got a good tip and a hug from Ceiarra before we left. It was a good stop. One of those times when you know that you were led to a place for a reason. It was good for both Lisa and Ceiarra.

Now we’re back in our respective rooms settling down for the night. We plan to revisit the beach on our way out of town tomorrow on the next leg of this trip that will find us in Crescent City. Should be an interesting arrival there because even though Diane received an email confirmation of her reservation, she received another email reporting that it had been cancelled for some obscure reason. Interesting. There will be more on that tomorrow.

Now some photos, some of which relate to other days.

Here’s a tribute to one of Diane’s high school class mates that we found on the Walk of Fame …

The girls, in the elevator, on the way back to the room after retrieving them from Universal Studios. I have no idea what they’re looking at.

End of a Rough day.

A puppy treat at one of the rest stops we chose to use.

This breakfast would have been really good if the biscuits would have been waaaaaay smaller.

We got an education at this cafe. It’s located in Boonville, CA, out in the middle of about a zillion wineries. This is the place where inhabitants developed an entire language called Boontling which they used to confuse non-natives to the area. It is currently spoken by only about 100 residents. This restaurant is the location of choice for those folks to gather and share news. Interesting.

On our way to Glass Beach the girls found a squirrel that wasn’t afraid of them.

Lydia spent most of her time catching and harassing hermit crabs while the rest of us checked out the beach.

This is what Glass Beach looks like. Pretty awesome.

Even while standing on an awesome beach, folks gathered to watch Lydia catch crabs. This particular one was making it’s way toward Diane who was semi-sitting on the rock in about the place Lydia is working.

She finally captured it but we wouldn’t let her keep it.

Girls just having fun.

That’s Diane’s hand holding a handful of beach that I provided for her to display.

C found a small cave

That’s it.

The Beach

Greetings from the wilds of Lincoln County. Last Thursday Diane and I hitched up the trailer – actually, I hooked up the trailer while she loaded it – and headed southwest to Lincoln City where we had reservations at Devil’s Lake State Park. To make the trip interesting, we let Veronica, our GPS Lady, pick the route. We were thankful that she chose to NOT take us through Dundee, the slowest way to Lincoln City Ever, we thought, until we found ourselves in the equally slow back streets of Salem. We figured it was a toss up as to which way took the longest. We’ll be going home via Dundee to check that out. 

It rained most of the way on the trip but we didn’t care. We were going to the beach. The weather didn’t matter.

The main reason for the trip, in addition to the beach, was to meet up with Kathie and Kevin Coon. They’ve been married for a while but we’ve never met Kevin. We had seen a few random shots of her and Kevin traveling all over but everyone knows photos can be doctored. We were looking forward to meeting him. 

That happened Friday morning, shortly before lunch, so we can verify to the masses that Kevin actually exists. He’s not a figment of Kathie’s imagination. He was a little surprised that his cover had been blown. 

He calmed right down once he realized we weren’t a threat …

As a bonus, almost all of Kevin’s family were there, also. What a surprise. Including Kathie and Kevin, there were thirteen of them: Will, Casey (Kevin’s daughter), Wyatt & Gracie (Will & Casey’s), Jason, Rhonda (Pam’s daughter), Cody & Colton (Jason & Rhonda’s), Danny, Pam (Kevin’s sister), and Cam (Kevin & Pam’s Mom). Cam, incidentally, is 95, and a fun lady. The reason for this family gathering was the semiannual hand off of Cam from Kevin & Kathie to Danny & Pam as she transitioned from California to Washington. It’s a special event and we felt blessed to have been invited into Kathie’s new family to share it. 

Danny and Pam. Pam is Kevin’s sister. 


Left to right: 

Cody, Wyatt, Will, Colton, and Jason Kooy the famous race car driver. 

Will owns Wyatt and the older boys are Jason’s. 

Rhonda, Will’s wife, Mother of Colton & Cody, daughter of Pam & Danny.

Diane, not related to anyone present except Kathie, a 2nd cousin, and me, a 1st husband. 

Cam, mother of Kevin and Pam, mother-in-law to some, Grandma to the rest. She’s 95. 

Casey, daughter of Kevin, wife of Will, mother of Gracie and Wyatt.  I have no photos of Gracie. She moved around too fast for me to get a still shot. 


For lunch at on Friday we drove K&K to Depoe Bay to visit the Sea Hag, our favorite place. Had to have my crab Louie. K&K also had crab Louie’s and Diane had fish and chips. Turns out it was all excellent, served by my new favorite waitress, Shannon, who Kathie said was going to spit in my food if I didn’t leave her alone. I’m pretty sure she didn’t but you never really know, do you? It all worked out nicely for Diane and me because Kathie grabbed our bill and made Kevin pay it. 


While eating, Kathie spied Pam walking past on the sidewalk carrying a box of wine from which she was able to decipher the name of a winery. Using that info she searched Google on her phone and discovered there was a tasting room only three doors north of the Sea Hag. So, after we were done eating we went that way.

Upon entering the tasting room potential customers are greeted by a low ceiling with dollar bills taped all over it. The story, according to the wine steward on duty is that the dollars are removed once a year and the total is matched as a donation to charity.  Pretty nifty. 


I believe the tasting experience was a success because Kathie & Kevin bought some. I’m unclear as to whether or not they also bought into the wine club plan the Wine Lady offered, but I don’t think they did. 

The rest of the day was spent visiting and relaxing while Pam BBQ’d a lot of dead chicken for supper. I suspect she had help but I have no firm information regarding that. I could speculate, but that wouldn’t be fair because I’d miss someone for sure and won’t be invited back next year. All I can say is the chicken was awesome, as were the beans and potato salad. Also, the banter at the table as we ate was very familiar to us. Just like being at home when the family gathers. Very nice to be involved. 

On Saturday we arrived later, after lunch, and I stayed outside with Ziva working on this blog entry, outside in the cold wind, while Diane and Kathie went bra shopping at Goodwill. I understand they both came away with items that were as good as new for less than half the price. If I properly understood the gist of the conversations regarding their treasures, we’ll probably be buying our underwear from Goodwill from now on. I’ve looked at them before and noticed that most of the items offered do not have labels, but that doesn’t matter because they are also color coded so there’s no doubt which is the front or back. That’s really handy unless you’re trying to out them on in the dark. That’s when you have to resort to using the scratch-and-sniff feature also available on their used underwear. While extolling the virtues of these items I learned that not everyone is a fan of used underwear. Seems like such a waste. 

The foregoing topic was covered at another incredible dinner that Pam made … BBQ ribs. Really, really good stuff. I discovered that I really like ribs and that I’m a pig because I ate too much. 

Sadly, after spending 2-3 has hours hammering out my blog entry I turned off my iPad with the intent of finishing it later. Turns it that if you don’t make an attempt to save it, turning off the iPad just makes it go away. Forever. So, I had to start all over. I suspect you don’t really care about that but had to tell you anyway. 

All to soon it was time to part as Kathie & Kevin’s clan had to depart early Sunday morning so the respective wives could get home in time to rest so they could be all fresh for work Monday morning. We said our good byes and travelled back to the trailer, and Ziva, who was returned there before dinner. She was excited to see us, as she always is, no matter how long we are away. 

This Sunday morning, we jumped in the truck and headed south to Agate Beach. There are no longer agates on that beach, but there used to be.  It was pretty bare. Pretty, but bare. Diane found a stick that interfered with putting her hands in her pockets. I suggested she drop the stick and she said, “No. I might find something I want to Poke.” I understood, and kept my distance.


It took us about 20 minutes to walk all the way to the waters edge, the tide was so low. Ziva had a nice walk, as did we. The beach was mainly for Ziva because Diane promised her another trip to play in the sand. But, she didn’t play. She just followed along with us, sniffing things that interested her, ignored those that didn’t,  it was always on the alert for another untethered dog to visit. There weren’t many of those, as your can see. 

Diane stopped at the Newport Fred Meyer for gas, but they didn’t have a gas station, so she bought some food and candy for us. Then we went a little further south to a Shell station that honored our Fred Meyer card. Saved $2.05. Then we went back to the trailer and took a nice walk in the sun. I didn’t mention that it was sunny, did I? It was.

We walked through the park to the lake with Ziva and came across this duck swimming around in space C-4. Many spaces here are flooded like that because of the incessant rain lately. I’m sure the duck didn’t have a reservation for C-4 but doubt if it mattered. There are many other spaces available. 

A little rest stop. This is just one little finger of the lake. It’s much larger than this. 


Now we’re back ‘home’ in the trailer for our last night. Tomorrow we depart for the other home. 

Hope everyone had as good a weekend as we did. 

Happy to live in a small town …

This morning I checked Bing News on my phone, like I do every day, to see what’s going on in the world and decided to first start with the US. Here are the headlines presented to me:

  • Illinois Judge Shot Dead Outside of His Chicago Home
  • Texas depot’s killer committed suicide the next day …
  • Triple murder defendant jumps to his death off courthouse balcony
  • Chicago father, son shoot each other after arguing about walking the dog
  • Manhunt intensifies for Joseph Jakubowski, Many Who Allegedly Stole Guns and Mailed Manifesto …
  • Video: Police officer throws woman face-first onto sidewalk
  • SEE IT: Georgia teen, boyfriend arrested in connection to double homicide involving suspects grandparents
  • Calif. teen dies in skateboarding crash
  • Man shot on street in South of Market area of SF
  • 2 women grilled 20 minutes, 2 blocks apart at Stanford
  • 42 arrested, 14 injured at annual Deltopia spring break party in Isla Vista
  • Police arrest Chicago man driving 158 mph on Indiana Toll Road
  • POLL: Is Aaron Hernandez Guilty Or Not Guilty Of Double Murder?
  • Woman charged with raping taxi driver
  • As deliberations begin, here’s the jury’s task in deadly N.J. stabbing trial
  • Bones found near border are those of missing Texas teen
  • 3 officers assaulted at Tennessee prison
  • Activist ties police shooting of car thief to Clint Greenwood slaying
  • Dylan Roof expected to plead guilty in state trial for Charleston church massacre
  • Iowa man charged with killing mother, father and sister

… I think you get the drift. Apparently there’s nothing good going on in the US according to Bing News. Makes me very happy I live in a small town where cows getting loose is important news.

 

 

March Madness

I have a question for all you sports nuts out there.

When you think, or hear about “March Madness,” what comes to mind?

I’m betting that the majority of anyone who followed NCAA sports will say it’s all about the NCAA men’s basketball playoffs. I do even though I know all about the other aspect of this craziness and the more I think about it the more I think how unfair it is. College and University women’s basketball teams are also competing for their championship at t his time but you don’t hear a lot about it in the media. It’s all about the guys. Always has been.

If I were King, I’d be working to make it a more even playing field because I find that watching the ladies play their sports is quite often more enjoyable than watching the boys play.

There. I’ve said it.

To the Moon and back, Part dos

Yesterday I believe I was in the middle of a narrative about going to the Moon. Well, not really the moon, because I really don’t know where we went and there was never a moon view from the only window to which I had access. Nope, I was sequestered in what I believe was a small portion of a very large facility that’s located on the dark side of the Moon so all visual reference was forever aimed at deep space. That’s a guess, of course. Then again, they could have taken me to another galaxy, far, far away because they were able to fool the laws of physics, as we understand them, and take advantage of folds in space about which much is speculated on Earth. But, if I was on the moon I would weigh less, right? I didn’t feel lighter so I probably really wasn’t on the moon.

Right after discovering my speculation about my location I suffered a period of unconsciousness of unknown duration. It could have been seconds, days, or weeks. Probably weeks because I felt nicely rested when I woke up. Perhaps I just had a nap. One of those dreamless ones. That happens sometimes but is only a problem when I’m driving. I knew I was in a different location because the furnishings had changed from lite modern to country sheik.

This afternoon Ringo came to my room and told me that I was still on Earth at their facility that’s located in a hidden storeroom in the back of the new Bi Mart in Scappoose. Lot’s of folks wondered how Scappoose wound up with a Bi Mart so close to Fred Meyers. Now we know. Aliens built it. Through the small window mounted high on the wall all I could see was sky so I had to take Ringo’s word for it. He went on to explain that the reason we were at Bi Mart was because they have the parts needed to repair the damage George did to the landing craft, but it was on back order and wouldn’t be available for 3 weeks. That’s how long it takes for them to get resupplied from their Moon base. So, I was stuck in Bi-Mart for the next three weeks. To make up for the delay, Ringo gave me a stack of coupons I could use in the store when they finally released me. I thought that was pretty nice of him at the time but later learned that everyone in town received those same coupons in the mail on a regular basis.

I think I left off yesterday where I was just becoming aware of ‘things’ when Brucette stepped out of the shower. Considering the nature of Brucette’s skill and training, I suspect more than one of you were intrigued at the mental vision this may have created. Well, it’s not what you think. You see, these folks don’t really shower. When they get dirty they just shed their skin, like a snake, and keep on keeping on. Using the shower is a handy way to get rid of the evidence because all the discarded skin is water-soluble and easily washed down the drain. Because of this, you’d think water is very dangerous for them and make them melt. Not the case at all. The water merely removes the first layer of skin, of which they have about 128 layers that keep replenishing themselves. So, though Brucette was indeed naked her fake beauty was overshadowed by the bis of still dissolving skin clinging to her torso. If she’d stayed in the shower a bit longer I suspect they would have all gone away but apparently she was in a hurry. It wasn’t one of those ‘sights for sore eyes’, believe me.

The next time I woke up, not knowing that I had fallen asleep, I was laying on an exam table, just like the one they use on the Mother Ship. As I pondered my situation I became aware of a lightness making me think I was no longer on Earth. This was verified with Elton appeared with that big shiny reflector strapped around his head like doctors used before good flashlights were created. You know, it has a hole in the middle of it through which the doc looked while directing the reflected light on what he was looking at.

One of these …

th-1 unknownth-2th-3

Elton didn’t really need it because they actually have state of the art lighting on the Mother Ship. He wears it as a fashion statement and, I think, as an attempt to put me at ease because he’s acting like a doctor. I know better because I’ve been here before. Many times over the past 52 years. I didn’t understand why they kept taking me over and over, doing the same tests, looking at all the same parts, over and over. Turns out that everyone on Earth is assigned a number and they select abductees based on a random draw and my number just keeps coming up.

“Once someone is selected to be abducted, why not leave their number out of the pool for the next drawings?” I asked during one abduction.

“Well,” said Elton, “you see, we are from Uranus and our rues are very strict about how abductees are selected. The numbers aren’t really drawn from a hat like we told you before. We use a computer to make the selection. Since you are just a number on a monitor we can’t very well remove the number. It’s always there. You could, conceivably, be selected numerous times in a row but the chances of that happening are astronomical.”

That’s actually the most words I ever heard come out of Elton’s mouth. Yes, they have mouths. They actually look just like us but learning that they originate from Uranus might make you wonder.  I was stunned because I had no idea that Elton could verbalize a coherent thought. During all previous visits all he did was issue commands to me like, ‘turn your head and cough’, ‘stick out your tongue’, ‘squeeze my fingers as hard as you can’, ‘turn to the right’, ‘stand on one leg and hop’, routine stuff like that. I just figured he was giving me a physical like they do in schools to make sure you can play sports without dying.

“Why do you do the same tests on me? Don’t you have the results from the last time?” I asked.

“We have protocols,” is all he said. Protocols. Right. Time tested protocols. Just like that guy you call for help troubleshooting your new computer because it won’t do something it’s supposed to and he (always a He) starts reading to you the protocol he’s supposed to use to determine the cause of the problem. He must go through every step on his guide even though you’ve already told him that the video card is smoked. No, he’s got to test everything before he can authorize shipment of the replacement part. After two hours he determines that the video card is bad and arranges to ship a new one. That’s a hypothetical example, or course.

So, I once again endured the protocols after which I was given an injection. They’d never done that before so I had to ask, “what’s that for?”

“Oh, there’s a bug going around up here,” said Elton, “and we don’t want to contaminate the humans.” Then he asked if I was allergic to eggs or egg products.

Just for fun I said, “Yes. Yes I am.”

“That’s OK because there’s nothing in the shot related to eggs of any type.”

“Then why did you ask?”

“Protocol,” he said.

“You’ll be transported back to Earth shortly. Do you have to use the bathroom?”

“No,” I replied, “but I’d like to look around a little if it’s OK.”

“Sure,” he said. “Just don’t open any of the doors that have large red ‘X’s’ on them.”

So, I got up and wandered around the room and found three doors, two of which had the red ‘X’s’ on them. The third one had a happy face on it and looked promising. So I approached it and looked all over for some sort of knob that may open it. Behind me I heard Elton say, “Push on the door to open it.” I did that and, hey!, it popped right open just like one of those cupboard doors that have magnetic spring locks.

Behind the door was rod from which hung all of Elton’s clothes. Apparently it was a closet. Behind me I heard laughing as he enjoyed his little joke. That made me a bit angry so I turned and rushed to one of the ‘X’ marked doors with the intention of pushing on it but stopped short when I heard Elton yell out, “Noooooooo!”

Then I woke up fully clothed in my bed. At home. Mom was standing over me, wide-eyed, asking me if I was OK. It was really nice that Mom was there but a little odd, too, because Mom died in 2001.

“Crap.” I thought. “Elton sent me to the wrong reality, again.” He’s done that before. Probably on purpose. I’m sure it wasn’t protocol. Now I had to find out where Ringo lived in this reality so he could help send me back the proper reality. For the moment, though, I just said, “Hi, Mom,” and gave her a big hug. I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

Maybe I was just dreaming.

Diane’s fixing to take her Mom, Jean, shopping. That means I’ll be left unsupervised for a few hours so I’m going to the basement to play with some of my power tools. I do that when she leaves because her parting words when leaving me alone are, “don’t use any tools that plug into the wall!” It’s a warning and I know, but I prefer to take it as a challenge. It doesn’t always work out well for me but today I need to be really careful because I won’t have transportation to get me to the emergency room. I’ve driven myself there a few times and I always get into trouble for it. It’s just my renegade nature, I suspect.

Ciao.