Saturday, July 26, 2008


I imagine we've all had days when we wished we were someplace else. You know, a familiar song will give you a flashback or a day dream will transport you to a place where you had a much more pleasant time than the one you are experiencing. No, I don't mean a chemically induced flashback either. I'm talking about when your mind goes into self-protect mode to either avoid choking the stuffing out of someone or to avoid a total meltdown. I think a healthy mind will transport you to that perfect moment in time, a welcome, gratifying, pleasant respite from the insufferable circumstance we're involved in.

I've been experiencing this more and more lately. This week in particular while doing battle with some abhorrent drivers on the local freeways along with 20,000 of my closest friends, I was taken back by a song on the CD to more pleasant memories of vacations spent with the family. We spent a lot of time in the Mammoth Lakes region of California. While I sometimes wish we'd explored a few other places, Mammoth Lakes will always hold a special place in my heart. It has everything I desired in a vacation spot. Mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, trees, wildlife, wildflowers, fishing, fishing and more fishing. I guess you could say I have it bad; Fishing pox that is. There are also high class resorts, nice restaurants, and for those who just can't leave civilization behind no matter what, shopping and Starbucks. It also has many beautiful vistas, a National Park (Yosemite), a National Monument (Devil's Post Pile) and for the occasional Tim Allen-ish mishaps, a good hospital.

We started out camping with a borrowed tent trailer. After a couple of years, we were able to buy a very used tent trailer. Mom & Dad got the tent trailer, the girls got to "room" in the 10x14 canvas tent. I never will forget some of the night time thunderstorms we were enraptured by. Of course the youngest of our party was not enraptured. She was scared to death. Oh what fun we had camping in that trailer at Twin Lakes and Cold Water campgrounds. We moved up to the fifth wheel trailer, which is palatial compared to the tent trailer and tent we had. Now it seems our taste has moved into the condo stage. I don't know how often we'll be able to go anymore but, I still look forward to every trip. We had many a hike with the kids, some fishing, a multitude of wonderful memories and photographs of God's beautiful creation. There was even the "Great Bear Scare" at Cold Water. Maybe I'll write about that in the future, it's worthy of a post all by itself.

I will share this bear story with you. I remember a big old bear the locals had named Hemorrhoid. The moniker given to him was a very accurate description of the Bear's abilities and demeanor. There wasn't a car, ice chest, dumpster or walk-in reefer made that Hemorrhoid couldn't break into. Hemorrhoid was a big old cinnamon colored black bear with a nonchalance air that would rival Tex Avery's Droopy. He resembled the bear in the "Great Outdoors" only he wasn't bald on top or on the bottom. I was float tubing middle Twin when I heard a lot of noise from shore. People yelling, pots banging around and such. A few minutes later I saw Hemorrhoid lumbering off towards the northern shore licking his chops of some unknown delicacy. I later discovered it was probably potato chips. When I got out of the lake, I found out which campsite had been raided. Some idiot campers had left their huge ice chest out with the rest of their food sitting on the picnic table while they strolled leisurely around the campground. As they came around a bend in the road heading back to their idyllic campsite, they saw good old Hemorrhoid. The accidental discovery of good old Hemorrhoid enjoying a feast of epic proportions at their expense was almost more than they could ahem, pun intended, bear. Hence the hysterical yelling and raucous noise of pots and pans being murdered by their owners. I couldn't help chiding them a little. The signs are all over the place about the bears. Some people just think it never does apply to them. They're what we call "special." Oh well, 300 bucks later to replace the ice chest and the cost of the food I guess they learned that the signs are there for the "special" people too.

I hope our girls have some wonderful memories of camping in Mammoth. I know Tammy and I sure do. I would not trade the days spent in that pursuit for anything. All the bug bites, scrapes, sunburn, sprained ankles, automotive failures, floods and old age won't keep me away from a place I love. My point is this gentle readers, love your family enough to give a little. There will be another day for sports, TV, work, or the computer. Make the memories while you can. Photograph them, experience them to the fullest, treasure them with all your heart. Then you will have something to day dream about when you're a California freeway commuting victim. When the boss is yammering about how you did a good job but (insert some inane statement here) you'll have that precious picture in your mind's eye. Otherwise, the days will slip by into the oblivion of day-to-day existence and what could have been will never be. And that is a tragedy of the highest order.


Until next time,


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cold front this weekend

Well, I got it. A real snot slinger too. As soon as I started feeling like it was coming on, I started eating Zicam like it was candy. You know, the stuff that lessens the intensity and shortens the duration? Well guess what? That was wishful thinking on my part. It hit me just as hard and it's hanging on just as long. So much for the wonder drug. I think Tammy gave it to me but, I didn't wait over a week to seek out a medical professional's help though. They put me on augmentin and Zyrtec (which I can't take at work because it can make me drowsy. I don't need any help feeling drowsy thank you very much. I do just fine all on my own. Another Old Guy thing I guess. Boy a nap sure would be nice right now...

The results from my poll last time left more questions... Two of you want to be named as a beneficiary in case my demise by motorcycle is premature. OK, fiancial gain at my expense is Ok. There was one that was a definite no. I guess I'll forget about it for now. Thanks for the comment Peter.

Melissa Peter and Baby Sarah are visiting this weekend. Peter's post surgery check-up is on Tuesday so they decided to come for the weekend. That's OK, we get some more time to play with the baby. I swear, that kid will think my head has a camera and flash permanently attached to my head.

Alicia told us definatively yesterday that she miscarried. We're all sad but thankful there were no medical complications due to the short term pregnancy. Mike and Alicia are doing good, the foregoing pregnancy- related activities just a part of life's marvelous tapestry.

Sara's young man, Matt visited yesterday and I was able to spend a little time with him last night before retiring to my bed. He seems like a very nice young man. He's interested in Ham radio too but for his father who recently retired. I guess they're looking for an activity that will keep him away from the office.

I watched the All-Star game this week. I was pleased to see the AL finally win it in extra innings. I was beginning to wonder if they'd send out the bat boys to pitch. Who knows, it might have been fun to watch.

Some of you may know that I have the very special blessing of a Christian boss. We've been meeting on a regular basis to read some scriptures and pray together. This week we've been working our way through I Corinthians. I Corinthians 10: 31- "So whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God." It strikes me how so much can be boiled down to in this simple statement. If we all ask ourselves BEFORE we do something if this activity or what we're about to say will really glorify God, things would probably be a lot different in this world. Colossians 3:17- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving giving thanks to God the Father through him. I think it behooves us all to keep these in mind this week.



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Growing Older?

First off, let me say this... Old Guys Rule!

I woke up early again this morning... Darn cold makes it tough to breathe and or sleep. I think most of you will appreciate this:

From the NO DUH! file: Apparently scientists from ABC Science Online have just discovered something: Smaller Families Face Higher Extinction Risk. Come on fellas, you don't need a degree to figure that one out... Unless you're a rabbit.

I've seen a number of humorous emails going around lately with humorous one liners. Things like "Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician." Or "Life not only begins at 40, it begins to show." Here's a website with a bunch of them: Slightly Senior Moments.

There are also some pretty funny comparison type jokes going around like "
Then: Getting out to a new, hip joint. Now: Getting a new hip joint." As you can see from a previous post, I can particularly relate to this one..."Then: Acid Rock. Now: Acid Reflux." More Here

As I grow older I'm finding out more and more things about the aging process. (NO DUH!) Now I'm beginning to understand what my grandma meant when she said "It's hell getting old Freddy!" Maybe it's all just a sign of the times... I understand a lot of us baby boomers will be retiring in the next 10-15 years. I can honestly say, any smart person will make a fortune on us with a medical geriatics practice. But not to worry, unless you don't plan.

Tammy brought up an interesting idea last week. If the price of fuel keeps going up, maybe I should learn how to ride a motorcycle and purchase one for commuting. I don't know if I like the idea yet but, I'm open to give it a whirl. I have several friends that ride so getting input from them is helpful. What do you think? Take the poll and leave a comment if you have any ideas.

Until next time,


Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Bittersweet Weekend

Thanks for voting in the poll. It seems the 5 people that voted want me to keep doing this. So, I will endeavor to keep it up.

This weekend was a whirlwind affair. On Independence day I was at work which was by all measures a tough day. We had a main fuse blow on one leg of one of the 12 KV lines that feed the plant. Not only did a small fire ignite, but the ensuing havoc of blown fuses and tripped equipment took its toll. If you know anything about electricity, (Mike the EE...) you know that when equipment with 3 phase motors tries to run on 2 phases, bad will things happen. The smoke is still clearing and we're still trying to recover. Thankfully Saturday was a little smoother but, Tammy came down with a cold or sinusitis I guess the Dr. eventually called it.

With my sick wife in tow and Sara, we left for Port Hueneme on Sunday morning to see our grad daughter dedicated to the Lord. Now this is not a baptism or christening, but a service where the grandparents, parents and congregation vow to do whatever it takes to raise the child in a Christ-like way. Something I take very seriously of course. What a joy to see all the support Melissa and Peter have.

We joined Peter's Mom & Dad and had a lovely Sunday afternoon dinner at Melissa and Peter's home. We all left Port Hueneme about 5 or 6 PM I think, and headed to San Diego to the Navy Lodge to spend the next couple of days. Peter had pre-op on Monday and Surgery on Tuesday to remove a growth in his knee. While he was at pre-op, we joined his folks for a morning at the beach on Coronado Island and spent the afternoon touring the carrier Midway. I heartily suggest that ANYONE who enjoys the freedoms paid for by the blood of US Military Service people should make the time to visit the Midway. It was not only a fun experience, but a moving one as well. I really enjoyed the radio room for obvious reasons. B-D can you say CQ CQ CQ?

Tuesday we spent hanging around mostly with Melissa, Sarah Rose and Auntie Sara Beth. We were able to visit some with Tammy's Mom and Joe while we we there. It's been a long time since we visited their home. With the advent of grand children and married children, our priorities naturally had to shift. It was very nice of Ma Dee and joe to watch Tirzah for Melissa and Peter.

We enjoyed visiting with Peter's Mom & Dad even though I was able to get all of us lost a couple of times while driving around the Naval Base area. The streets in that part of San Diego/ National City are very confusing to a country bumpkin like me. But we still, we managed to find our way around.

Peter's surgery went well I'm told although, he's suffering a little nausea from the experience. Melissa had the same cold that Tammy has and I think I'm coming down with it now. Whew... what a weekend. I hope I can get to work so I can relax some. Just kidding!

We had some bad news this weekend, we're pretty sure Alicia lost her child. I spoke with her yesterday, both her and Mike are doing OK. I'm saddened at the loss but, God has His purposes in life and all we can do is trust Him. Mike is doing a great job supporting Alicia through this trial all the while suffering with his own nasty cold. Thanks Mike for taking care of one of my girls.

I will post some pictures from this weekend on Shutterfly when I get time.

Until next time,


Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Magic of GERD or, How to stay awake all night without even trying

Last night I experienced what a lot of us old guys call GERD or GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease. It's heartburn for the layman in all of us. My Doctor tells me the cause of such a painful disorder is due to my weight, diet and age. Fun. another Old Guy thing to muse about.

For those of you who don't suffer from this malady, I 'splain it to you Lucy... (As Ricky would say.) It's characterized by a painful burning sensation in your chest that generally is accompanied by violent coughing fits (which can fracture ribs in extreme cases,) and a foul acid like taste in your mouth. Fun. After you cough your fool head off for 30 minutes or so, you are left with the aftermath... sore chest and stomach muscles, clogged sinuses and that awful taste. Fun.

The treatment is this- lose weight you Old Guy. Take this pill, currently Prilosec, elevate the head of your bed, stay way from spicy foods... Another Old Guy thing to muse about and wear loose clothing. When I have an attack, I eat Gaviscon and drink ice water. The ice water soothes the burning quite a bit. The Gaviscon kind of makes this gooey chalky lump that's supposed to plug the hole so no acid comes back up. You see, the acid from the stomach seeps past the epiglottis to do it's dirty work all the way up the pipe. Fun.

If you have these symptoms, please consult with your Doctor and get treated. Next time I see mine, we're going to talk about it again.

Here are a few links if you want some more information about GERD:

Now on to a lighter subject, we've been enjoying watching reruns of Northern Exposure lately on KVCR. The show is set in a small imaginary town called Cicely Alaska. While sometimes the subjects they cover delve into the prurient desires of a fallen world, last night's episode was really funny. It dealt mostly with a hunting trip that Chris, Joel and Holling took. You'll have to watch it to see who they are. Let's just say that Joel was opposed to killing any animal at all while Chris was not and neither was Holling who by the way only photographs the animals. A different kind of hunting... more my speed. Joel ends up really getting into the whole hunt ritual. ANd ends up shooting a smallish grouse. He totally freaks out when he just wings it then refuses to end the bird's suffereing by ringing it's neck. He takes the bird back to his office, he's the town's doctor and attempts unsuccessfuly to save it's life. They ended up eating the bird at a brithday celibration for Ruth Anne who is the store keeper. There Joel dicovers how good grouse tastes with wild rice. They did a pretty fair job diving into the controversial topic of animal rights, a human's base needs of the hunt and the emotions involved. Tammy, Sara & I really enjoyed it. I guess it gives us a little slice of small town life that I sorely miss.

History of the show

Old Guys Rule?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Well, I'm totally new to this so I hope it's more exciting than watching paint dry or grass grow. Hopefully, my family and friends will find this entertaining and keep up with what's going on in the ever-changing world of of an Old Guy like me.

Several years ago, I decided at the prompting of a close friend to get into the Amateur Radio Service. Jargon alert- this is Ham Radio NOT CB. Unlike the usual foul mouthed- rude jerks that inhabit the CB airwaves, most Hams are pretty decent folks.

Last Saturday was ARRL's field day. Jargon alert- ARRL is the American Radio Relay League. It's a 24 hour event with thousands of radio enthusiasts try to make as many different radio contacts as possible. (Peter would like this) Most clubs put on something special, for it's a great time to give people information about what Amateur Radio is, how to get licensed and a chance to GOTA. Jargon alert- Get On The Air. I'm a member of YVARC. Jargon alert- Yucaipa Valley Amateur Radio Club. Our event was somewhat less enthusiastic than in previous years but it was still fun.

Flyfishing has been on hold the last few weeks since my favorite lake was inundated with Girl Scouts seeking repose from day-to-day life with a day at the beach. Having fathered 3 girls myself, I decided to find a quieter use of my time.

My photography has taken an upswing with the purchase of a new computer and Adobe CS 3 for editing purposes. My children are even giving me a film and slide scanner for Father's Day. What a great family I have.

Melissa and Peter are doing well, baby Sarah Rose, my first grandchild, is growing like a weed. I call her the Michelin Baby. Very Cute indeed...

Alicia and Mike surprised us with some good news this weekend, she may and I emphasize may be expecting a child. A home pregnancy kit tested positive. So we may have a new grandbaby in the oven! Very exciting...

Sara was away seeing her bow Sunday and Monday. A much needed rest period as well I believe. She's been working very hard with her grandpa doing "yard" clean-up around the Angelus Oaks community. Raking leaves and pine needles, picking up brush... that sort of thing.

Tammy is awesome... She continues to surprise me with her depth of love for her family. She corraled Sara long enough to go to Melissa's house in Port Hueneme long enough to return their pets and help Melissa clean their house for the upcoming in-law visit.

This is for Peter- ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR Me Hearty!

Old Guys Rule!