Saturday, November 22, 2014

Finally Friday

It was still damn cold on Friday. But the sun finally came out once I was at work.

Courtney asked if she could come to lunch with me. I told her I had errands to run, so we would have to take separate cars. So, we ate at Time Out (close, quick and a lot of food).

I got the mushroom and Swiss burger with chicken noodle vegetable soup (weird, but good) instead of fries and Courtney had the quinceaƱera.

Sidebar: That was an inside joke. She had the chicken quesadillas, which she claims are outstanding!

The afternoon passed slowly, as only a Friday/payday afternoon can do…

Back at home, after work, I treated the cat and changed into a robe. I had thought about refilling the bird feeder, the suet cage and the squirrel feeder, but it was already dark and nobody was moving out there. I'll get it tomorrow (in the freezing rain, LOL)

I ate the last of the tuna and peas for dinner and read until bedtime.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Early road trip and first blog....

The Original Blog

Back in the day, I was a divorced 23 or 24 year old kid who had never been anywhere except for a road trip to Florida once with Fran, my first wife. I was working in a bank as the collections officer (I loved that job!) So, I decided to take my vacation as a two week road trip out west.

I had a Chevy Vega hatchback and went to Ark Surplus in Mount Clemens (I have no idea if they still exist) and bought a roll of mosquito netting. I spent a week or so, pop riveting it to the car body and the hatch. Of course I screwed the car up, but I didn’t care then. My idea was that I could open the hatch, avoid the bugs and sleep in the car (with the rear seat folded down). I had no money for hotel rooms.

Sidebar: I later punched a hole in the bodywork, towing a Harley three-wheeler with no front forks to a car wash. So, apparently I wasn’t all that concerned with the vehicle. Or, I was just young and stupid.

I packed up a brand new Coleman stove, a Coleman lantern and a ton of canned goods and headed out. I bought maps at gas stations to find my way (No Google maps back then). I’d stop and spend the night in rest areas. I’d pop the hatch, fold down the passenger seat and try to fit myself and my bedroll in the space after cooking dinner to sleep.

I picked up hitchhikers when I saw them to have somebody to talk to. No cell phones and nothing to fear, back in the day. We all did it.

I almost set myself on fire in Wyoming with the Coleman stove, BTW.
So, I got to Yellowstone Park and spent a couple of days there, camping out. I saw bears, elk and deer. And the mineral springs were phenomenal. I even saw “Old Faithful,” but not at the time it was supposed to erupt. Boring photo!

From there, I headed down the spine of the Rockies, through Arizona and the Grand Canyon (Oh, it was grand, alright. I was blown away!)  

Two things I learned: One, I taught myself to drive with my left foot on the accelerator (there was no "Cruise Control" back then and my right leg would get tired). And, two, when going down the mountains in the desert, I would shut the engine off and coast in neutral, so the engine wouldn't overheat.

I stopped at Fran’s grandmother’s place (in a trailer park in Arizona) and rapped on the door. She had no idea who I was or even who Fran was. I left there, discouraged.

Then I got on Route 66 and headed for home.

Now, the reason for this post:  I wrote down every day in spiral notebooks what occurred and took hundreds of photos with a cheap-ass camera. I recorded what I saw and talked to friends back home.

When I got back, I started to transcribe my daily entries and the corresponding photos, using my Mother’s “Script” typewriter.

I got about halfway through and then I decided to drive my dirt bike through a stump.

The rest was history. I knew where I went, but could not associate the photos to the places. After about a year of surgeries and physical therapy, the images did not compute.

So I have some text and photos I can relate to, but a lot I cannot.

And, now that I think about it, that was the first Blog entry.

The Cat, Exposed!!!

It was a tad warmer on Thursday (23 degrees F.) It had snowed enough overnight that it covered my last night’s tire tracks in the driveway.

I ate the last of the biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

I used the four-wheel drive to get out of San Jose, and then switched back to two-wheel drive. Plymouth Road was just slushy, not slippery.

Speaking of slush, the splash guards seem to be working perfectly as, after two days of snow and slush, there are no tell-tale splotches of gunk splattered on the sides of the truck!

It snowed off and on all day, interspersed with some sunshine.  But, the winds were wicked.

I went to Time Out for lunch and got a bowl of vegetable soup with mushrooms (excellent) and a grilled chicken breast smothered in mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese (also very good).

Sidebar: They must have gotten a great deal on some mushrooms, because they appeared on several of the specials recently, LOL!

When I got home after work, I had a package on the front porch. It was the side rails for Betsy’s pull-out keyboard and mouse drawer! Fantastic!

I saw the cat out the kitchen window! He was walking along the fence line between Rick’s yard and mine. He was black as coal and stood out perfectly in the snow. He got to the arbor vitae and paused for a while next to St. Francis. I like to think he was paying his respects to Mouse and Scruffy. Then he walked closer to the house and out of my field of vision.

He was a big (much taller than Caley), short-haired black cat, but not as big as a dog. So, I’m guessing the folks across the street saw one of the foxes laying on the sidewalk and thus began the legend.

Or, maybe an escaped black panther chose to rest on my sidewalk and then moved on… I dunno…

I went with comfort food for dinner. I made my Mother’s tuna and peas. I even put it on toast! As you know, I like it on wide egg noodles, but my Brother Carl insists my Mother put it on top of a piece of toast. Even his daughter Hannah still makes it that way!

Full Disclosure: Just so you know, I didn’t do the toast because of my niece, my Brother or even my Mother. I was lazy and just didn’t want to dirty another pan to make the noodles.

I took a photo for you, but I gotta tell you, there’s no way to make tuna and peas look yummy on a plate!

I watched some TV, but went to bed by 10:00 p.m.