Monthly Archives: June 2015

Oppressive heat: The price you pay to live in the South …


As they say, if it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. We have an abundance of both down here in the South.

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June 22, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Thanks for the Father’s Day wishes; Ellen I’m sorry to have missed the FaceTime with the girls. It would’ve been nice to see those two little goofs but we’ll give it another shot this week. Emma in her swim goggles was hilarious. She seems more into the social aspect of swimming as much as anything. The apple didn’t fall far from that social tree.

It is hotter than blazes down here and will be for the foreseeable future. Upper 90s flirting with 100F each day for the past two weeks with no forecast end in site. It’s just been beastly. You know at 5:15 a.m. when you open the front door to retrieve the paper that it will be a scorcher of major proportions. The shades are pulled low and the A/C runs nearly continuously. That will make this month’s utility bill a scorcher, too. But that’s the price you pay in the South.

It hasn’t stopped me from playing golf. The heat has put a damper on the numbers of people playing in my group, but the real troupers have sucked it up and hit the course.

The more I play, the more I wonder 'What the hell just happened?' when I hit another in a string of poor shots.

The more I play, the more I wonder ‘What the hell just happened?’ when I hit another in a string of poor shots.

Really, as long as a person stays hydrated it’s not that bad. Alas, I wish my game was as hot as the temps, but it remains in a cool season funk. I’m always bitching about it, aren’t I?

For the first time in a long time, tossed a New York strip on the grill Saturday night and sat on a chair in the garage with a cold beer while it cooked. It’s a nice scene behind the house with the green belt alive with birds and the trees completely blocking the view of humanity in the units to the West. That’s what I especially like about this location. Yet there is some housing news afoot; so stay tuned on that development because it could happen in a hurry. Prices are a fair amount higher than I anticipated so it will add some juice to the decision.

The knee is improving day by day, but not as quickly as I like. There’s still some residual soreness and what’s odd is Continue reading

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A little Georgia wonder and the coordinated attacks of dolphins …


Last week was a mixed bag of great news, some good news and some okay news. Georgia is clearly the highlight of my world right now. The little dear is beginning to show her personality, and much of it is through her new radiant smile.

The knee is improving and Wyoming appears to be on. Too bad my knuckleheadedness resists similar improvement. That extends to fruitless fishing, too. So far, Ellen and Reid have politely withheld comment.

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June 15, 2015

Ellen/Reid: We are beginning to bake down here. The temps peaked in the mid to upper 90s both days this weekend, and if it wasn’t for liquid yesterday on the golf course, we would have wilted like day old lettuce. That’s when it gets unbearable down in these parts. If it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. We could use a little rain, too.

The knee is feeling better day by day but not fast enough for me. Reid, the workouts must resume. I’ve lost more than a week of training but will force the issue starting tomorrow or Wednesday. No sense in going to Wyoming out of shape. If I can recoup conditioning starting this week, there will still be a month to get the wheels back in shape. The issue came up when I took an ill-advised stance when my ball settled down in an unraked footprint high up on the face of a bunker. That was the precise moment that caused the issue. But I can bend it more now so that’s progress, albeit slow.

This little Georgia peach is a shade over two months old and is getting her smile on.

This little Georgia peach is a shade over two months old and is getting her smile on.

Ellen, the shots of dear little Georgia starting to smile are just too precious. She is a little wonder. How are Emma’s swim lessons going? She’s got to be like a fish in the water. You really can’t send enough photos of those two goofs.

At the last moment, it struck me on Friday that it would be fun to go fishing (and to test the knee) so the kayak was loaded onto the Camry. I hit the road for Charleston about 4:50 Saturday morning and Reid, after hitting Crosby’s Bait Shop for some cut mullet and mud minnows, was on the water about 9:10 and paddled straight to the barge. It was a beautiful morning. A couple beat me to the punch and had anchored their boat on the far side but they motioned me to join them. They’d been getting some sheepshead and black drum but nothing keeper size. Their stated goal was to catch something for dinner. I must be the kiss of death: the couple had never been skunked in 15 trips this year – until yours truly shows up. Figures.

Of course, they were using live shrimp and gently advised me this was the time of season when live bait, mostly shrimp, ruled. But the bite stopped when the tide changed. All I caught Continue reading

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At this age, you’d think a guy would learn …


They say you eventually forget pain, but what’s not so easily dismissed is the rash of ill-thought through decisions that contribute to the situations that create the pain in the first place. This note doesn’t consider the hindsight that pinpointed the moment and place when the knee went south.

But it is what it is. That’s why they make ice packs.

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June 8, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Well, this is a screw up of the first order. Since late Saturday I can’t bend my left knee and it’s swollen and very sore. This seems completely self inflicted; it was mildly sore last week but I continued to push the envelope with 36 holes this weekend and somewhere during the final round things went kablooey. I’m not sure precisely when it happened but with a couple of holes to go I knew there was trouble. Tried to ice/rest it all day Sunday but nothing seems to help. Could hardly sleep last night. No comfortable positions. Damn it. This is utter stupidity on my part, trying to force more activity on a 65 year old body than it can withstand. It probably stems from walking 36 holes the weekend before, plus really pushing it during my daily workouts and walks. Something had to give, I sensed it, and now there’s a price to be paid. Reid, if this puts the Wyoming trek in jeopardy I’m really going to be pissed. I’ll still make the trip one way or another but maybe not as a hiker. A call was made this morning to the office of my primary physician but they’re still trying to process the referral to an orthopedic doctor. I was hopeful this would be a minor ache and pain but it seems beyond that. Your dad is a complete idiot and total moron. There’s no other polite way to put it: It’s a real f—k up. The tentative plan also was to tote the kayak to Folly Beach/Bowen’s Island this Friday to fish, but that’s on hold now, too. That makes it doubly painful.

Pain or no pain, I was still able to hobble into my joint of choice for some cold medication. I'll usually pull up to Mac's on the bike, but  the rig will stay parked in the garage until the knee comes around.

Pain or no pain, I was still able to hobble into my joint of choice for some cold medication. I typically pull up to Mac’s on the bike, but the rig will stay parked in the garage until the knee comes around.

On top of it, I folded like a cheap suit at my hearing with the HOA board. But I say that in a positive vein. In the end, I know these people and they’re my neighbors, so my first statement was to apologize for some of the things I said in the heat of the moment. That calmed the waters greatly. They’ve allowed me to shift the plantings to the rear portion of the unit, and that’s okay. Since it’s on a slope there have to be some planters constructed to handle the gradient. The larger problem will be the invasive deer and squirrels but I’m willing to give it a go. This had been a big stressor on me and it’s good to have it past. I was the agitator in all of this. A pot of lettuce and tomato and basil plants shouldn’t get people – me – in a lather.

Also, both my courses at Central Piedmont Community College were scrubbed because there weren’t enough sign ups. I’m mildly disappointed but not crushed by any means. My contact at CPCC seems more distraught than me. There’s a letter writing course coming up in the fall so hopefully there will be at least a few enrollees for that one. Reid, any word for Liz in terms of grad schools? We know she’s on pins and needles about it. Let your mom and I know how that’s going because we want her to get into the school she deserves. How is your work going at DePaul?

Your aunt Gayle gets the cast off her broken ankle today. She must’ve had one helluva break. That timing is good. They fly to San Francisco in the next few days to pick up one of their granddaughters and bring her back for a week’s stay in Grand Island.

It’s so good to seem little Miss Georgia begin to smile. That’s such a pleasure. And Emma seemed full of it last night during our FaceTime. It’s good she’ll take swim lessons. That little fish will take to the water like you did, Ellen. She’ll be a good swimmer.

As for the Minnesota State Fair, let me know what weekend in August works for you. Feel free to dictate the terms of my visit. Hopefully I won’t need a wheelchair, a cane or a walker or a handicapped parking permit. You’d think at this age a guy would learn. Apparently not.

Love, Dad

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A living room full of gear … or not …


The emphasis has been on getting ready for Wyoming; Reid is confirmed as on board and he’s prepping for the trek, and from the workout perspective, things looked to be progressing in good order.

But fate has a cruel way of fooling aging bodies. Now the trip is in question. More on that next week.

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June 1, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Still trying to get over the great weekend in Minnesota. Georgia is just a peach, and Emma is Emma. What a pair of darling little girls. Ellen, you and Tim are very lucky.

I’m watching the bluebird male standing (perching?) guard outside the nesting box, and like a lot of things, I just can’t figure out what these little birds are up to. They’ll go AWOL for a couple of weeks and then they magically reappear. My assumption was they nested only in the early spring but on this I am apparently wrong. Nice to have them back.

My workouts for the Bridger are in full swing. They felt like they got the best of me a couple of weeks ago, and Ellen, the few days in St. Paul were the respite my frame needed. Things have been much better since then. Walked 36 holes on Saturday with no ill effects other than hitting the sack shortly after 9 on Saturday night. Felt pretty chipper Sunday morning and that is interpreted as a good sign that things are in good stead for the mountain haul.

Gear for Wyoming is amassed in the empty living room. Let's hope it gets to be used. (The Tyvek is a good lightweight ground cloth for the tent.)

Gear for Wyoming is amassed in the empty living room. Let’s hope it gets to be used. (The lightweight Tyvek will be trimmed to the footprint of the tent as a ground cloth.)

I’ve started to spread out in the vacant living room most of the gear for the trek. Literally, it is all strewn about the floor. If I had to shove off tomorrow it wouldn’t take much to get ready. I’ll wear just one pair of clothes plus probably a spare shirt for use while the primary shirt dries after a wash in some stream. Tom and Katy and I will have breakfast this Saturday and I want to refine my menu so as not to carry too much. It is a good thing to leave the MSR stove and its weighty fuel behind. Reid, let me know of your flight itinerary. I’m uber excited that you’re making the trip. We need to chat about fly rods; if your Orvis isn’t the one you want, I will bring the Scott A4 for your use. It’s the rod/reel combo that Tim recommended. It’s a great rod. Hard to believe it Continue reading

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Old news today …


I skipped a week of writing owing to the trip to Minnesota. If I had, it no doubt would have been to gush about Georgia, counsel Ellen and Tim how to handle Emma, and thank them for allowing me to invade their space. But that was already stuff they knew anyway. Suffice to say as with all new parents, their’s is an active household.

Makes me wonder how any of us oldsters coped.

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May 15, 2015

Ellen/Reid: By the time this arrives in Minnesota, odds are I’ll already be there. So it goes. Can’t wait to see the little I-like-to-stay-up-at-night (all night) girl. Really looking forward to it. Ellen, I’ll snag Emma’s present while I’m up there but will bring some books along in my suitcase. I really don’t mind a hotel if that would make things easier for you all. I’ll also try to do most of the cooking if you are agreeable. Along with me will be ratty clothes to prep/work in your garden. My front porch lettuce is flourishing. But the paper guy tossed the Sunday paper into my tomato plant and broke it at the stem. Your dad is just as much at fault since I kind of positioned the illicit pot in his throw-the-paper alleyway. FYI … my first hearing with the HOA on my illegal tomato and basil pots is June 1. Wish me luck. They’ve taken whacko-ness to new heights.

I ragged Reid about his less than practiced method of holding Georgia. From the looks of it, Georgia's grandfather could use some baby holding work himself.

I chided Reid about his less than practiced method of holding Georgia. From the looks of it, Georgia’s grandfather could use a refresher on baby holding.

Had to buy a $5 sewing kit last week to re-do the hems in some golf pants. About the only needed to get needlework done in the past couple of years has consisted of reattaching a button here and there. Wasn’t certain what the other gizmos in the kit were beyond the needle and thread. Not sure if it says real men can sew, but the pants were given my best shot. If anybody judges a man’s sewing prowess by looking at golf pants hems, well, they have a real problem. I once sewed a Frostline Kit tent together back in the early ‘70s and it took weeks and weeks of slave labor to get it done, along with countless seams that had to be reworked. That was quite enough sewing for me. Tim might have the green gaiters that were hand sewn, too. Those turned out pretty good.

The young reporter from the local NPR radio station won a Murrow Award for his story on his walk-along with me about pickupyourpath.com. The WFAE-FM program manager plays in my Golf for One group on Meetup.com and broke the good news. I’m tickled for the young guy because Continue reading

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