Tag Archives: CPCC

Hours lost, time gained …


After a few changes and alterations on several fronts, I suddenly have plenty of time on my hands. Ostensibly the bike and I could take one final long adventure but I’m anxious for it to be sold and out of the garage. It’s the one thing Ellen asks about, so if you know anyone who wants a spiffy ’13 Road King Classic, let me know.


June 7, 2016

Ellen/Reid: Well, it does feel good to no longer be the editor even though I loved the work dearly. The sense of having time back is really quite valuable at this stage of the game. The letter to the owners was quite civil and I do like them, I really do, plus it was gratifying work but at some point you have to get paid.

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With the editor job out of the way there’ll be no more pictures of babies at parades. I will miss the creative challenge but not the hours.

45-50 hours a week was just over the top. Already this morning I’ve wiped my hands of it. I do have some sense of responsibility to my writers so I’ll send one final email with their assignments. And then that portion of it will be done.

The Harley was repriced this morning to $14,900 since there has been no action at the higher price for the six days it’s been on Craig’s List. We’ll see if the reduction spurs any interest. I’m kind of surprised there haven’t been any lookers. It’s a good ride but it won’t make the trip with me. I sweetened the pot by making mention of a bike cover, helmet, assorted Harley gear. Hopefully that will pull a buyer out of the woodwork. I may ride it to Macs tomorrow night and put a little sign on it to see if that lures anyone in. I’m up in the air about selling the kayak but that’s probably on the block, too, even though it kills me to think Bowens Island will be in the rear view mirror.

One of my news writing classes got scrubbed since CPCC fell a few enrollees short of a full class. That’s disappointing but okay in that I’ll have plenty of other things to do to get ready. But the other class is still a go as of this writing so we’ll have to wait and see.

Reid, Katy is still on the hook for Wyoming. She sent a text today that she’ll make her final decision today. It’s going to be hard for Liz to find a rental backpack – it’s doubtful REI will do that – and it’s really important that she be fit for the right pack. Otherwise, she’ll be miserable. I’ll volunteer my Osprey if that would make things simpler for her. How the heck did it get by me that you already had a denatured alcohol stove? Your dad is really losing it, and at a rapid clip.

I stepped away from the golf group last week. It feels pretty good, too. Really, I was at the end of my rope, and my wits, after the years of doing it. I went out of character with some minor blow ups at a couple of recent outings. Losing my cool wasn’t good on my part. People were either late or switched pairings which threw things out of whack. That’s really what pushed me over the edge even though I’d been inching that way for a long while. But it was just time for someone else to shoulder the load of scheduling and herding the cats.

Alright. I’m done for the moment. I’ve got to make the Wyoming flight plans today, and so do you, Reid. I’ll let you know what flights I’m on. We need right-side tickets so we get the great view of the  Tetons on our approach into Jackson. Best and most scenic flight path in the U.S.

Love, Dad

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Of Wyoming, more classes and news photography …


When this letter to Ellen and Reid was written last week I was just plain exhausted. It shows in writing that is more uninventive than usual.

Push is coming to shove on newspapering. I love it dearly – I am completely, utterly and totally all in on it – but it can’t keep on like this. There are so many other competing interests and things to do. I just need to suck it up to deliver another brand of news.


May 10, 2016

Ellen/Reid: That was such good news about Kristin and Delsin. He strikes me as such a really good guy. Thanks for the suggestion to contact her, Ellen. She got right back to me. Another nice wedding at Plymouth, no doubt. That will be a good bash, that’s for sure.

Reid, we need to talk about Wyoming, stat. It looks right now that with the newspaper still in the picture, there won’t be time for a leisurely drive. I’ll fly out to Jackson, probably on that Thursday, July 21. I’ll get the tickets for you and Liz so make your plans right away. We should probably plan to arrive early in the day and we can drive down together to Pinedale to the Baymont Inn. Not entirely sure where Tom and Vince and Katie will fly in to. Salt Lake City most likely, then they can take the northern route up through Rock Springs. We’d fly out on Saturday, July 30. The Osprey I used last year would fit Liz just fine and I can take the Gregory. Both fly rods would make the trip, too. But let’s talk sooner than later about the plans.

I babysit this Saturday night for little Evelyn. My next door neighbor Mary Beth has some camera programmed into her iPad so I can sit on my couch and monitor the sleeping baby from the comfort of my couch. It’ll be fun. She’s a sweet little girl.

Signed on to teach several more classes at Central Piedmont Community College. Two on news writing and the other on writing letters. They twisted my arm about a blogging class which is okay but I did recommend another guy, Brett Bumeter, who is a real techie to teach a more advance blogging class while I’ll stick to teaching the introductory class. That will work out much better for the students since they would’ve of learned next to nothing from me on the advanced portion of blogs.

The newspaper thing is settling down into more of a routine but I’m still spending two or three times the number of hours that were originally intended. I end up writing about half the 24 pages since my writers are just coming up to speed. Lots of road miles from here to there just to provide basic news coverage and take photos for my writers who can’t get there.

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Welcome to the wonderful world of newspaper photography. I spend a lot of time in Mint Hill on ‘spot’ news and shots like this to support the stories of my writers who can’t make it to town.

Tonight’s another long night of page layout. I’ll have to get up about 5 a.m. to proof the issue before it heads to the press. Mercifully, this edition 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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We know the name won’t be Louise or Claire …


I’ve tried on end to guess the name of the girl Ellen and Tim are expecting any day – or moment – now.  Louise? Not close. Claire (Ellen said that was a name that was considered so score one for Papa). As usual I’m off the mark as I am on so many other things – stocks, the weather, Cub games.

But the name won’t matter as long as my new granddaughter and Ellen come out of the delivery process in good shape.

We’ll know soon.

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April 6, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Thanks, Reid, for resurrecting the trip to Chicago. Really looking forward to it. The plane ticket will be secured today and I’ll bump the itinerary to you ASAP. I thought about coming in Thursday night since I have Friday off but will likely wait until Friday to jet in. So watch for something soon.

Emma scarfs down some ice cream. She and her Papa will get to know the business end of a spoon and a bowl(s) of ice cream when I visit next month.

Emma scarfs down some some of the good stuff. She and her Papa will get to know the business end of a spoon and a bowl(s) of ice cream when I visit next month.

Ellen, your time for the-girl-to-be-named-later is closing in. Geez, by the time you get this she could already be with us. It’s so exciting. People have asked if I’ll be there for the delivery but this time around it does make more sense to let the dust settle, so to speak, before heading up to Minnesota. I’m trying to guess her name but am totally stumped as to what you and Tim have selected. Her name won’t start with an ‘E’ since Emma has already claimed that. I haven’t checked out what the more popular names are for girls are in the past couple of years. Louise? Nah, too old school.

Continuing to thumb my nose at the HOA garden Nazis by planting a round container with Romaine lettuce. Will augment that today with a container tomato and some basil purchased on Saturday night. The high and mighty have said nothing more about the ‘hearing’ that was supposed to be held about my garden pot crimes. Perhaps they’re marshaling their legal forces. The Charlotte Observer ran a story about how perfect container gardening was for those of us in condos and smaller spaces. Touche. People put moronic styrofoam Easter bunnies and gigantic eggs outside their front doors this week, but the betting here is that the Forces of Evil let those slide. I didn’t know a few heads of lettuce was a felony.

I pulled the plug on my pickupyourpath.com group on Meetup. Only five people joined and I did a lackluster job of promoting it and posting pics and such. It was ill-fated from the start. It also cost me $20 a month to host the site and given that I wasn’t doing much to stir the pot, it was time for it to go. Herding the cats in my Golf for One group is plenty enough site management for me.

Played twice this weekend. Walked a muny early, early, early Saturday morning with my friend Todd from work and just kind of slapped the ball around. Our rounds are mostly about gabbing about work and liberal politics. The worst sort of golf is when you’re not taking it terribly serious. And the results show. Played yesterday on a fine track called River Hills with my friends Sondra, Jody and Jen. Hit the ball much better but still made bonehead decisions which cost me shot after shot.

Sondra, Jody and I couldn't score tickets to the Charlotte Knights game on a gorgeous Friday, but vendors still sold us 'dogs and beer through the bars - all with a full view of the field. Nice.

Sondra, Jody and I couldn’t land tickets to the Charlotte Knights game on a gorgeous Friday, but vendors still sold us ‘dogs and beer through the bars – all with a full view of the field. Nice.

Sondra and Jody and I rode the train Uptown on Friday night to watch the local team, the Knights, clobber the White Sox. But since it was a sellout, we perched outside the fence in right center field but still have a full view of the field. What was really hilarious was that the beer and hotdog vendors walking inside with their trays strapped over their shoulders were only too happy to sell brews and ‘dogs through the tall black fence. We’d push cash their way and they’d deliver the goods. It was a warm beautiful evening to watch the game (more people watching that baseball watching). We rode the train back south to a biker bar called McCoys

We had a great time at McCoy's - half the fun is people watching, including these two.

We had a great time at McCoy’s – half the fun is people watching, including these two.

that’s right along the rail line, so we spent the next couple of hours listening to live music and watching bikers in my age category. I’ll get my bike there in pretty short order. Hope to order new, and louder, Vance & Hines pipes this week.

My class on letters atCentral Piedmont Community College is done. It looks like there will be a repeat in the fall but hopefully there will be more than three students although the three I had were really good. I’m also on tap to teach a general writing course and am really excited about that. To teach is to learn twice.

Love, Dad

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Renting a Harley in Portland, OR


Someone asked recently if I sign the letters  ‘Love, Dad.’ You bet, every single time, usually in blue ink. I’ll make such a notation on the blog from here on out.

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March 25, 2013

Ellen/Reid: I suppose this is the time in life (mine, not yours) when we begin to fixate on health and all that getting older stuff. I posted a ‘Live for today’ item last week and now it’s really starting to sink in. Dave Hemminger emailed me this morning along those lines. Mort just sent me an email about ‘taking this

The rest of life may be speeding up but this make-shift turtle is going nowhere fast. He/she has been on our sidewalk for the better part of two weeks.

The rest of life may be speeding up but this make-believe turtle is going nowhere fast. He/she has been on our sidewalk for the better part of two weeks. Origin of the slow poke is unknown.

all for granted.’ More and more of the news exchanged between me and my friends will probably reflect this reality of getting along in age. Hell, I don’t care. It is what you make of it. Bring on the Heritage Softail and golf. Why not? Seems to be a running Continue reading

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