Monthly Archives: October 2014

The wild kingdom rules …

After a three week absence of blog posts (maybe that’s lucky for you) and two weeks of nothing written – my first break in years and years – the letters are back. That doesn’t mean they’re good, it just means we’re back in the saddle.


October 6, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Here’s a new way to jump start your Monday morning without coffee. I was at the kitchen table about 5:30 reading the paper (and sipping coffee) when an awful racket arose in an instant just outside the window. I knew right off the howling in unison was 3-4-5 coyotes announcing their find of the deer carcass straddling the creek not 25 yards from where I sat. I mean, that got my attention in a hurry. The yelping was loud and went on for a good 25 – 30 seconds, or until about the time I got my flashlight out and shined it where the dead deer lay. The pack went silent and I haven’t heard a peep since. What was a nearly complete carcass this time yesterday morning was down to the breast plate and nothing else when I shoved off for the YMCA about 8:30. They made quick work. The last time I heard such a hair-raising howl was in the Rockies about 35 years ago. My tent was in the Gore Range just east of Vail when out of no where – and very close – was a similar pack. It really does shiver your timbers. Incredibly eerie, but that’s just part of the nature scene. Kind of nice, actually. The wild kingdom rules.

The new (somewhat used) Harley Road King Classic is quite a thing.

The new girl has a few miles on her and the pipes are a little too quiet for my liking, but that will change in a hurry. Bring on the rumble.

The new girl has a few miles on her and the pipes are a little too quiet for my liking, but that will change in a hurry. Bring on the rumble.

It’s a bigger bike, not by much, than the old Heritage. The profile is wider, the gas tank another 1.5 gallons larger, and the front end is more pronounced with a much bigger main headlamp. The purchase came out of the blue. The old bike went in for a state license inspection, and while waiting I lounged in the used bike area, and there sat the jet black Road King. It looked showroom new, with 7,000 miles. It’s a 2013 model, and literally was ridden by a 68 year old guy who had to give it up because of Parkinson’s Disease. His loss was my gain – he had added some nice bells and whistles like a spiffy tach and a juiced up injection system – and the dealership made me a relatively decent offer on the Heritage in trade. As you know, a Road King was in my retirement plans all along. My mistake was back in ’03 Continue reading


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What the hell am I going to do?…

Not the most earthshaking compilation of weekly news from dad to children. That is if you think dread and doubt on one hand and a reversal of sorts on the other both don’t count as earthshaking. A tremor maybe?

The about-face will be covered next week.

Stay tuned.


September 30, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Reid, let me know about Thanksgiving or Christmas down here. It’s totally understandable if you have plans with Liz and her family. That would be good. If you came down we’d head toward the ocean for a day or two of fishing on our own. We’d lug the kayak so you could get some time on the water. You’d enjoy it. Not sure if we’d go to Charleston or Oak Island. Even though I’ll work Friday, we could still have at least a day over there.

The NPR interview is set for this Saturday morning on the local affiliate, WFAE. Their web URL is I was talking to their program director who’s in my golf group and he gave me the word although I don’t know the precise time the thing is allegedly scheduled to run. One would think they’d archive it or make it available online but that’s not entirely clear right now. He said the national office might pick it up if they have a slow news day. But who really would want to run a piece on somebody picking up trash? That wouldn’t be high on anyone’s list of interests.

Your uncle just called to remind me your grandmother passed away three years ago today. We both thought ‘How can it be that long?’ But it is. It seems like just last week. I’m long overdue to get to Omaha to visit mom and dad’s graves. But that will likely wait until after my retirement.

Workers continue to make a mud pile out of the building area just behind me. They’re putting in a culvert which would drain water into the creek behind me. A dead deer has been laying in the water for a week now, stinking to high heaven. I’m not sure how it got there but it’s only a few yards from where the work is going on. I don’t know if there’s a connection or not.

I’m trying to make some wholesale changes to my golf swing and it’s not working out so good. The changes involve my set up and swing path. Both are terribly out of sync right now so perhaps I’ll regress to the old way of doing things. There are 36 people playing this weekend and it will be like herding cats to keep everyone in order. A woman I’ve been going out with thinks I should ditch the whole thing in favor of something not so taxing. Maybe she’s onto something. I bought a new push cart on eBay and it’s a much nicer upgrade for when I hoof it around courses.

I’ve got a few more pre-retirement jitters. What the hell am I going to do? I’m not a big reader of books and I already volunteer a lot. Perhaps a part time job would be the thing to do. I like to get up early in the morning and that might be a plus for some folks. The best of all worlds would be to get some sort of writing/editing gig. I can’t spend all my time bugging you and Ellen. A friend sent an opening for an instructor of backpacking at the local community college where I already teach and that’s a possibility, too. But it has given me some pause wondering what it would be like to wake up in the morning without any more ‘deliverables’ as we say in bank-speak. There has to be life after calling it quits, and it’s not all golf, either. But it is in part why I bought the kayak.

I’m backtracking on a new Harley Road King. I think the old Heritage can make it to the lower 48 states before calling it a day. You sure you don’t want it? If so, I’ll keep it in the garage for you.

Okay, let’s call this a wrap. Keep me posted on what you hear from your sister. We’ll get this ironed out soon enough.

Love, Dad

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