Saturday, December 10, 2005
There is a song to tell you too, “Baby, it’s . . .
I spend a lot of time reading the paper. We have an excellent newspaper here in Houston, the Houston Chronicle. You can find it on-line at http://www.chron.com/. It is even better than the Omaha World Hearld. Check out the constests. If you win a local-Houston-prize you don’t want we will take it.
Or come visit us and use your prize.
Three articles got my attention yesterday. I didn’t even get the funnies or my favorite columnists, Ken Hofman or Leon Hale, read.
First was the article entitled First was the article entitled “Rove puts his trust in a liberal” , He left his mark at college as a human yardstick and A $1.7 million garage (a story of David Packard and Bill Hewlett and the birthplace of Silicon Valley garage start).
None of these stories were original reporting from the Chronicle. I like the Chronicle for its features and coverage. You will find four pages of comics. They very seldom do carry Maureen Dowd though. And the New York Times won’t let us read her editorials unless we are a paid subscriber. So.
I liked best the article about the human yardstick and I’ll relate a little.
SMOOTS - A Boston Tradition
If you have walked along the Harvard Bridge that connects Boston and Cambridge, no doubt you have encountered the Smoot markings along the way. These markings have helped millions of area residents and tourists measure their progress along the bridge as they walk or bike to their destination.
How long is the bridge in Smoots?
Answer: 364.4 Smoots plus 1 ear
That makes the bridge over a half mile (roughly 2763.37 feet) that these poof college students had to cross to get to their campus. That was in 1958. Of course these that was only half the walk I had back in 1951 at Lincoln, having to walk a mile to classes from my rental room. Up hill, sometimes in the rain and snow. Dad did loan me his pickup when I broke my foot-another whole story.
So the students decided "in a unique way to tell how much bridge they had left to cross. So they decided to make the pledges use one of their own to measure the bridge." Smoot was the shortest, 5'7", so his measure would produce the highest number.
Oliver Smoot is now 65 and ready for retirement. He had been on the board and vice president of the American National Standards Institute. Right up his alley from college days. The bridge has also become known as The Smoot Bridge.
Maybe it will warm up so I can go outside to play and GET A LIFE. Jim
It can't get much better than this
I was awakened this morning, Saturday, at 7:05. That doesn't sound good, but it was.
Mrs. Jim and Adi had brought me coffee and the paper and now both were sitting beside me on the bed.
Now she had gone to a luncheon, The Jingle Bell Brunch, with her fellow golfers. I get used to her going as she a very busy person, she:
golfs a couple of times a week-Tuesdays and Fridays-with the ladies and sometimes a third with me;
takes care of her 88 year old Mother who lives by herself in her appartment at Conroe, Texas-generally helping on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday;
is secretary for her garden club-sends out meeting notices, arranges for speakers, etc;
now is also "Gourmet Dining" chairperson for the Bentwater Ladies Organization;
plays the viola in our church orchestra every other Sunday-which means practice Wednesdays. Also she is the orchestra music librarian and copies music for the players, which takes four or six hours each week;
plays bridge every other Monday;
attends Bible study Monday evenings-it has homework-they do Beth Moore studies; and
in the past here has been president of the nine hole golf ladies organization, group leader, benevolence leader in our Sunday school class, been on the personnel committee at church, and on and on.
Those are the things she does without me. Meeting people and helping are two of her favorite things to do. She is a social worker (LSU MSW), retired now. We do a lot of things together, our favorite is probably traveling. I would have loved to have gone to London again this time but it was a 'girl thing' for Mrs. Jim and our daughter.
Mrs. Jim just got back from the brunch. She has another $60 winnings from golf to add to the $73.25 she has already. She has to spend the 73 by December 31, all at the pro shop.
Got to go now. Have made a tee time, 11:00, for next Friday. There are more calls to make too, one very important for our Spring travel to Sicily and more. I'm hoping for coffee in bed tomorrow again. Jim
Friday, December 09, 2005
Her plane was over an hour late but she made it. I had to drive around quite a few times the terminal as they wouldn't let me stop to wait for her. That was alright though. I know she had a good time and there weren't any big problems.
Adi was glad to see her. They hugged for a long time. Just like on TV where we see the dogs and owners being united after the hurricane evacuations.
We also have been to our Christmas party. We were the last to arrive. It was a sit-down dinner and the last of the others had just been served. Jim
Well, this is the Day. She's coming home! She's coming home! And I sure am feeling better. Yesterday was sort of dismal like the first good Friday. But I should know most always an Easter will follow. I'm not convinced yesterday was 'Good Thursday' for me, but today sure is better.
Adi and I are ready. She can't come to the airport this time because we don't have real good plans to meet. I know Terminal E (Houston) and she knows where we usually pick people up and it ought to work. It takes 45 minutes to get there unless there is a wreck or new construction. I have the cell phone-we just have one-so she can call me if I'm not where she thinks I should be.
Oh well. This post will be an edited copy of answers to questions my sister asked earlier in the morning. They apply to this day, or most do.
Thanks for checking on me. Bud King was in the class before me and we took typing together. He was a senior then. Does this help my new friend place me in time?
Mrs. Jim's flight has been delayed a half hour on take off and they estimate it will be an hour and two minutes late arriving. We are going to our Sunday School class party tonight, it starts at 6:30. We will be a little late unless the plane catches up. Not too late because it is at a couple's house, and they live in our subdivision.
My last bachelor meal was a liverwurst and Swiss sandwich on rye with pickles, lettuce, and mustard. Diet Coke and a few chips. Yummy. I might eat an orange with my afternoon medicine Breakfast was my usual granola bar half. I have been so busy and got up so late that I missed my mid morning snack and medicine. I did eat lunch a half hour early.
I have a lot to do yet but the hour delay will help me catch. And a lady, the events and activities scheduler, is coming by to pick up a check to pay the people who are making some more scarves for the dogs. So she will pay the bill I missed Tuesday when I missed going to the Montgomery Bank.
We might come up to see your pretty snow. It would be in January or later when you have all Dad's tax things. We might even ski Mount Crescent while we are there. I could bring my sled but would have to make room on the return trip for the car bumpers you are storing for me. (I won't be needing them until Spring at least. Hint, Hint.)
I'm glad you are liking your new McDonalds. The owner is called the 'franchise' if he bought a franchise. McDonalds is the 'franchise.' Unless it remains a company store which probably isn't the case for that location. If it was company owned he would be the 'operator.'
I'm hectic today and it is a good thing we aren't golfing. I have been on the phone trying to firm up our travel dates and flights for Sicily too. The final payment is due the 12th and I wanted to know my options before paying. Turns out I don't have many options. I'm glad we planned good earlier.
My honey 'dues' are done except for one major item. Rule number two or so in married life for me is to have a presentable house when the Mrs. comes home from her travels. I didn't vacuum or clean a couple of spots on the carpet.
I have put away a wash she did for me. I organize and arrange a little. Socks don't go into the sock drawer because the ones I wear might get mixed up with the ones I don't wear and should throw away.
My clean underwear doesn't rotate. I just bunched up all the ones that were still in the drawer and put them up front. Some I don't wear but I can sort around them when I need underwear. The newly washed ones go to the back. I would call that 'turning,' like a mulch pile must be turned. Not rotated though. Tee shirts I just put the fresh ones on top in the front. Maybe someone has a name for that process?
Oh yes, Adi slept with me all night too. Jim
About the only reason I'm writing today is to make an entry for Day Six. It was a pretty dreary day. The sun only came out for about 15 minutes. One good thing to look forward to is Mrs. Jim's coming home tomorrow.
I had to cancel our tee time for tomorrow as it will be colder than we care to endure on a golf course for fun. Then I covered a couple of ferns which are cold sensitive. And I didn't get finished cleaning up all my bachelor messes either.
Also had to shut off the sprinkler and drain the check valve. We have lost two because of freezing in the six years we've been here. The sprinkler tech showed me how to drain it, I had just been shutting if off. He also suggested I wrap it which did also. There are four outside faucets that I updated the wrapping also. It should get down to mid 20s F tonight. That probably wouldn't break an outside pipe. This freeze will last about 12 -14 hours and I did not want to take chances.
I did get away for a bit to visit a friend who is dying of lung cancer. He was in pretty spirits today but his wife says his not eating is a sign his last days are very near. He doesn't want to be kept alive by machines and tubes.
Adi and I went for a walk to get the mail after we wrapped the pipes. I dressed warmly with even a stocking cap. But we had to come back because I forgot to take the mailbox key. When we got back to the box, Adi wanted to go around the corner so we did that before we got mail. When we got back to the mail box the key was missing again. It had dropped when I answered the cell phone, way around the corner. But it was Jr. #3 calling with her bad news so I was glad we had the phone.
I talked with Jr. #4 today and his divorce may be final tomorrow. This has dragged on for over a year and they have been separated for almost three years.
Then Jr. #3 called me to say her husband is in the hospital for a [six, but I don't know the name for that] bypass. At first it was going to be tomorrow but then their son convinced them to have it done in St. Lukes. So they will leave the local one and have the bypass Monday. I go to St. Lukes and I think it is a much better place for heart work.
The computer picked up a bug too that affected MS Explorer. I used Norton GoBack and I think the bug got lost doing that.
A little cheerful is the thought of making my Christmas list. But so far it is an idea only and is helpful like looking at drifting feathers would be helpful in cheering me up.
There are two problems with making the list. First is that I didn't have time. I have started, at the low end is a book for around $16.95 and the high end is a BMW delivered at the factory in Munich. It would be a convertible and would be too expensive for my budget. I might do like I did cable TV and let the kids pay for it. That would even the burden and it wouldn't be over $9000 each if I got the less expensive one.
The second problem with making the list, and with the chipping part in too, is that we decided not to exchange presents this year. Instead we will give the $money we would have spent to a needy family. Mrs. Jim will probably get ME something but not a car.
So if I didn't feel I owe a Day Six I wouldn't have written. There really wasn't anything good to write. About all I did was dump on people that haven't been around here today. It doesn't help me one bit to tell Adi things and she was the only one here.
Day Seven will have a happy ending! :>) - Jim
Thursday, December 08, 2005
The story of 'Six Day Underwear' [this tale is true]:
The concept was originated as a possible new product in an annual company contest by a Toyota employee in Japan, as reported in The Wall Street Journal. I have no idea of the publication date, it was in the 80s. The employee was upset about this job requirement, comming up with a new product.
Six day underwear has three leg holes.
1. Wear for day one
2. Rotate using the unused leg hole and wear for day two
3. Rotate in the same direction by one leg hole and wear for day three
4. Turn underwear inside out
5. Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 for days four, five, and six.
Try it, you might like it. Mrs. Jim thinks the whole idea is very gross and I will catch the Dickens when she reads this blog entry. She will be home Friday evening so I will be good after this. Promise. Well, for a little while.
For the last week when I can't sleep I have been reading blogs. I am learning some things and getting some ideas. I have had other ideas when blogging was only a gleam in my eye.
Tonight I read the jgoerzen 12-07-2005 post about underwear rotation. It is cute and most of his commenters have had a similar experience.
His story reminded me of this one. I used to tell it to my students when were exploring marketing. It helped them remember the Four P's of Marketing, maybe.
A mini lesson here: The Four P's of Marketing are 1. Product; 2. Price; 3. Promotion; and 4. Distribution (if you have to have a 'P' here, think 'Placement' of the product).
Students who were still missing this on examinations by the end of the course would FAIL. Regardless of their number or percent grade.
Oh yes, 'Six Day' fits the 'P'-Product studies in the subcategory of New Product Development.
Roy Orbison is finishing up on PBS so maybe I can sleep now. I can sleep pretty good when Mrs. Jim is home. Jim
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Day Five words from London: (isn't technology wonderful?)
I had to go back to the hotel and change shoes before I walked over here[to the Internet cafe]. [Jr.#5] had already gone to her activities. Today I walked up Oxford St. via the Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park. A very long walk ending up at the Bitish Museum to see the Rosetta Stone. Then a walk over to Covent Gardens & Trafalgar Sq. with a large Christmas tree. I visited the National Gallery to see some paintings. Saw the the original Van Gogh of the Sunflowers. He may have more than one, I don't really know. Then I got a train back to the hotel, changed shoes and came here[to the Internet cafe].
Well not much longer now. Of course I'm missing Mrs. Jim and will be glad when she is back home. Like the song, Eight Days A Week , I do miss her and love her Eight Days A Week. Adi misses and loves her too.
Yesterday I went to our personal bank but not the Pet Partner bank. I need to make a deposit the checks we got for selling a couple of shirts to new members. This bank is in Montgomery, and I am the treasurer.
The town of Montgomery is having a Christmas parade this Saturday. The three of us have been invited to be on the Montgomery Pet Partners, Inc. float. The Montgomery Intermediate School student council is sponsoring us. We are supposed to wear Santa hats and the dogs will wear antlers, like last year. Adi and I might go, Mrs. Jim has a luncheon.
John M, my friend and ex-president of the Montgomery Country Early Ford V8 Club sent me some pictures of our meeting last Saturday and I will post them here. Alton's cars and trucks were in his garage and aren't in these pictures.
John has the brown 1937 Ford pickup.
The least valuable car here is the 1949 Ford, the most expensive would be the 1940 Mercury convertible. The value range is from about $9000 or $10,000 to $60,000 or $70,000. Having a very collectible car gets expensive fast, doesn't it.
One other thing. I had a nice ride with Billy to Orange today. (Billy is Jr.#5's husband, he said I could use his name in the blog.) I met a lot of his relatives, including his two aunts, two great uncles, and a lot of cousins. His grandmother turned 83 this June. From what I have heard and from the repertoire of pictures displayed, she was a wonderful wife (her husband died less than a year ago), mother and grandmother, they are going to miss her a lot. I never got to meet her. Several told me they liked our daughter, Jr.#5 and gave me good reports about her.
Good night, Jim
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Bachelor for a Week -- Day Four
The answer to yesterday's question [what do Vice President Dick Cheney and I have in common?] . I though some of my kids might know but they didn't volunteer or were to busy to read or post, or couldn't post. Cliff was close. WE WERE BOTH BORN IN NEBRASKA. GO BIG RED! GO BIG RED!
Another busy day. Adi got cold in the night and was on my bed when the alarm went off. Mrs. Jim used to worry about her getting cold. She asked the vet what to do and he said she was a dog and could handle the cold. Sure, it was in bed with us. There was frost out back on the golf course and the temp was only abut 30 F. The sun was out and things looked pretty.
When the phone rang, I was in my routine getting ready for my appointment with my dermatologist, Dr. Seymour Weaver. He is on this year's Texas Super Docs list in the Texas Monthly Magazine. I didn't choose him for that reason.
The routine was having coffee and half a granola bar for breakfast in the bathroom while grooming. My son-in-law, Jr. #5's husband, called to say his Grandmother had died early this morning. The family had been waiting for this, she had been in hospice and was failing rapidly. That call I thought would make me late, but traffic was steady at 10 or so miles over the speed limit all the way and I made the trip in 40 minutes. Most of this road is the two lane bottleneck on Interstate 45 you saw on TV when the Houston hurricane evacuees had a forty mile or more traffic jam, six lanes narrowing into two.
According to Dr. Weaver, all is fine with me. He wrote a prescription for some salve to put on my toe where the nail had come off after a bump with a card table. I went to the K & B Toy Store at the mall. They are closing and everything was on sale. I was looking for a couple of 1:18 diecast cars that are on my wish list. I found a red 65 Corvette for a lady there whose husband wanted one of those, but mine weren't there. There is just enough birthday money to buy a Model A Ford pickup on sale. Not there though. Birthday had already bought a new Black 1948 Ford convertible off e-Bay.
On the way to the toy store I stopped at the $1.00 store and picked up some Christmas and Adi things for thirty-two dollars. Then a duck into Talbots and I was there. It was 12:50 when I left so I had a chicken sandwich and Diet Coke at the Woodlands Whataburger. Drinks are free for seniors. The way I "like it," their motto, is with lettuce and no mayo. Then I get a small cup of their delicious mustard on the side. More than half of the mustard goes home for the fridge.
I stopped for my prescription, went to the bank, and got a haircut at our rural neighbor hair salon. I got home about 3:30. Mrs. Jim had e-mailed from London, but by now had gone back to her room.
Here are her activities for the day: "Today I stayed in bed until [Jr. #5] left as she was hurrying. So I didn't leave the room until about 10:30. I went shopping along Piccadilly and then to the matinee of the Agatha Christie play, The Mousetrap. It may be in Houston now. After that, I ate pizza and then came back to the hotel to see [Jr. #5] before she left[for her evening meeting]. Then I went to Harrods to get us a pastry for tomorrow A.M. and then here [the Internet cafe]. It is 9 P.M. I will go to the hotel and crash!!! Please make me a reservation for the Jingle Bell Brunch on Sat. Call the club office (Peggy,etc.) to make the reservation. I guess I'll go. I will check email again and look at your blog."
There may be no blog entry tomorrow. Jr. #5 Son-in-law and I are going to Orange, Texas, for the visitation for his Grandmother at the funeral home. I haven't done much in Orange so that will be interesting too. I understand there is still a lot of damage from hurricane Rita. Jim
Monday, December 05, 2005
Adi was Jim Jr. #5's dog and when her new apartment did not allow beagles, Adi came to live with us. That is me, Jim, on the right, and Mrs. Jim on the left. All three of us had just passed our therapy dog examinations. Whew!
This is Montgomery Intermediate school, where all three of us would tutor sixth grade reading students. This year Adi and I visit folks in an assisted living home on Tuesday afternoons.
She is well liked there. We hear a lot of dog tales (worked to be a pun here) from these residents, mainly about dogs that had to stay at their former homes or were in their earlier lives.
Bachelor for a Week -- Day Three
I just got home from the Conroe Symphony Orchestra Christmas presentation (Monday night). We have had Symphony season tickets for the last several years. The conductor was at San Jacinto College when I came on the faculty. He left not long after to teach at Houston Baptist University. His step-son was in school with Jr. # 5 from K through 12th grade. Tonight was at the new Ark Family Church in Conroe. That facility is so nice, modern, and large. It must have several thousand seating capacity in the auditorium, maybe 1200 came tonight. They played Handel and Bach first, after intermission it was more popular Christmas music and hymns, ending with eight songs of Leroy Anderson. I missed Mrs. Jim even though I was with a variety of friends there.
Today I slept in. The garbage was out last night, but I did get up in time for Regis at nine. There were phone calls to make, and take, and bills to pay. I ran them in to the P.O. in Willis a little after four for mailing. Time gets away when you are retired, at least it does for me.
Mrs. Jim found an Internet-cafe in London today, so I heard from her. But she had to use her Yahoo account as she didn't have the URL for our local provider. I sent it so tomorrow she will catch up with her things. She will have a much more complete address book too.
Winter has arrived! Tonight will be near 32 F with a high in the mid 50s tomorrow. It will be a little warmer during the week, sometimes it may rain. Charlie W, my golfing buddy, said he wanted us to keep the tee times I had made for Wednesday and Friday. We agreed that we wouldn't play in the rain or if the course was wet and cart path only. My foot wouldn't take all that walking. I have a handicap (not really a pun) flag so that I can go up close to the greens and ride on the par three fairways, but that doesn't help when it is cart path only.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with my dermatologist at The Woodlands. You may know about the Woodlands. It is a planned community started in the 1960s. It is five miles south of Conroe towards Houston on Interstate 45, and 20 miles from our home. It is bigger than Conroe now. I wish I could take you there to see the many restaurantss, the huge shopping mall, the perimeter stores, five golf courses, the several small neighborhood community commercial centers, and more.
Oh yes, I did better with the food today. Breakfast was coffee and half a granola bar, my usual. For lunch it was turkey and Swiss with lettuce, non-fat mayo, and pickles on rye bread. Also an orange and a Diet Coke. I was running later than I had planned so I did the two minute cook on a 'Three Cheese & Chicken Quesadilla' Lean Pockets sandwich and had it with a glass of water. Now I've had a graham cracker and a little more candy than I should. Adi and I will have a bedtime snack with medicine; Low Fat Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, mine will have chocolate shell.
Question for today: Vice President Dick Cheney and Jim have what in common, other than we both are Republicans?
That's all for today. I might finish reading the paper. Good night, Jim
Sunday things. I didn't get recorded so I will do that today, Monday. It won't be short.
Mrs. Jim and Jim Jr. #5 are in London. Today [Monday] they don't need to get up early; it is 1:30 AM here but is already 7:30 there. I don't know what they will do today. Yesterday they walked all around.
Jr. #5 had wanted to go to Hyde Park when the stump speakers were active. Yes, there were a lot of them. Neither of them would speak. I have been in the area several times but no one ever was carrying on. The speaker is supposed to carry a stool to stand on. A lot carried a wooden box. It was convenient to carry their prepared speech, a lunch, raincoat, etc.
HENCE THE SAYING, “GET ON YOUR SOAP BOX.” Nowadays some of the speakers are really serious about their topic, while others just want to say they have done it, even if there aren’t any listeners. Sort of like this blog. Hint, hint: please don’t give up on me. And I hope to give a speech there next time I go.
The reason I’m not sleeping is that I just don’t sleep well when Mrs. Jim is gone. My sister says I’m afraid of the dark and the Boogie Man. We joke about that and I’m not, but I always leave several night-lights on for safety.
I could tell yesterday that things were different. It still took me an hour to get ready for church. I take medicine, make coffee, let the dog out and back in, shower, get coffee and my ½ granola bar for breakfast, shave etc, drink coffee while dressing, get my things to take, get coffee to drive with, get the paper out of the driveway, and go.
That part wasn’t very much different. Of course there wasn’t the usual trading rebuttals on who was making us late. The big difference was that I listened to the radio on the way. Normally I [the driver] turn it way down so we can talk. There was the nicest program of Christmas music for a long way. When it turned to talk I found Linda Ronstadt doing “And I think I'm gonna love for a long long time.” Well the radio stayed on that station there until I got to Mother-in-law’s apartment.
Church was uneventful, I did teach my class. And made copies of the handout I made last late night. We at a double cheeseburger and I took her home. I was going to collapse, rest up and read the paper.
First I had to stop at the grocery store. We just don’t keep much men type food at home. I got some crab cakes, breaded shrimp [both could go in the oven], some pork rinds, green stuffed olives, liverwurst, and a Marie Callender’s Sweet & Sour Chicken Complete Dinner-frozen.
I asked the youngish checkout clerk, about 19 or 20, if my selection looked like bachelor food. She said, “Well, my Dad doesn’t eat like that.” So I continued on to tell her I was a bachelor for a week and asked her if I bought a motorcycle, would I be acting like a bachelor. She said yes, and would I buy her one. I then told her that if I did that Mrs. Jim would probably see to it that I was a bachelor for a long time. She laughed and forgot to give me my $20 change.
I got home, cooked two crab cakes and six shrimp. Also had some cheese and no fat soda crackers. I eat really well when Mrs. Jim is gone. Now I have read most of the paper, watched two favorite football teams loose, saw the Jeopardy program. I also ate two slices of toasted rye bread with low fat cream cheese for supper. Dr. Excitement, indeed.
Oh yes, I did loosen the controls on this blog for comments and learned how to put in a picture. I still can’t get a picture for my profile. I downloaded the BloggerBot Picture machine but it isn’t user friendly. I will have to read the ‘help’ instructions. They have diagrams of the screens I will be seeing and he settings to make.
So now I’m caught up. I will fill in on my golfing last Friday and maybe make a comment for today. The sun hasn’t come up yet. I might put the garbage out tonight so I can sleep in, eat some ice cream, take last nighttime medicine and go to bed. Jim
p.s. Blog will be shorter tomorrow or today or whenever. Jim
Sunday, December 04, 2005
These cars were all there yesterday plus 14 other newer models. We were on our monthly Early Ford V-8 Club tour. My Mom's 1974 Mustang II at the far end is kept in Mother-in-law's Conroe, Texas, garage. My 1950 Ford Tudor stayed in our garage with my 1998 Ford Mustang Gt Convertible. I'll get an updated picture of Saturday's crowd later.
Yesterday. It started out pretty nice. Since Mrs. Jim had packed everything-except the missed AC plugs for the laptop, which would remain here-we, had leisurely coffee, showered, and dressed.
We would be headed for the Montgomery Early Ford V8 Club Christmas meeting and noon meal. There were no problems, we dressed for air travel [her] and Christmas concert with Mother-in-law [me], bedded Adi [our tri-colored beagle], loaded Mrs. Jim’s suitcases, and left for the Montgomery meeting place.
The weather was wonderful, with a high of 84 degrees. We were on schedule, but not a minute earlier than the 10 AM meeting time. We were almost the last. Soon our caravan left for a country place just east of Richards, Texas. Look it up on a map. The trees were real pretty, all red, yellow, and green. Not necessarily in that order. The hills were browning grassy fields or green pine trees of the National Forest.
When we parked, we had 19 vintage Fords [one was a Lincoln, and two were Mercurys] from 1932 to 1951. 1952 and 1953 years are eligible for the club but there weren’t any that Saturday. Another lady came in a 1936 coupe but she was too late to park with the group. Several people drove later model cars too. We needed very dependable transportation, as we would leave for the airport at 12:30.
It was the home of Alton H. Now Alton H was in the lumber business and had been very successful. His home was three stories, but we just drove past that. Into a village he had out back by the sawmill. He has several hundred acres out there, all rolling hills of pasture or woods.
The village has his very large steel building barn with a concrete floor. No animals are in there. But he has two restored Ford lumber trucks, a ’37 and a ’38. He has a smaller size, not the tiny one, school bus all restored in pretty school bus yellow. A Model T is high on a hoist. Below it is a ’47 Mercury woody wagon. These cars, except the bus are in back. At the front is a Model T roadster pickup. Also are three ’36 Fords, a cabriolet, a woody wagon, and a nice original coupe. Finishing up the front row are a ’46 Jeep and a ’57 Ford convertible with retractable top. All these cars had been restored except for the Ford coupe.
Also in the barn are four vintage restored horse wagons and a lot of saddles. Behind the barn is a shed with a whole lot of cars either being restored or ‘waiting’ for something. Two of these are woodies, one a Ford and one a Chevy. Across the dirt road is a repair three bay garage, a corral, an older farm home, and a small unpainted building. Then a larger corral with horses and lamas, the sawmill, a very large pasture, then the three story home.
On the garage side of the street, coming from the home, were an old building, two very old houses, and a saloon. Our lunch was in the saloon. Alton’s friend had smoked brisket for the fifty or some of us, and a helper had made the rest. People brought desert. There was a confirmation of new officers, but Mrs. Jim and I left before that took place. I didn’t get our $15 dues paid either, but I know whom to pay.
Richards is 24 miles northwest of our home. The trip to the airport was fast for the 67 miles from Richards. We made the trip to the Terminal E door in just over an hour.
The end for yesterday.
Well, Mrs. Jim left yesterday at 4:oo PM. Actually I dropped her off at terminal E of the Bush Intercontinental Airport at 2:50. It had been a hard weekend and it wouldn't be over for another 24 hours. Mrs. Jim had a preprinted boarding pass using http://www.continental.com/. She even would get a free headset for being so helpful. All she had to do was check her baggage in the kiosk, clear security and head for the Continental VIP Lounge.
Simple, but it wasn't so easy. I watched from the drop-off parking spot and she took forever. She said about 20 minutes later that she had needed some help. She could have done the check-in counter faster than fooling with the kiosk. Then she left the laptop at security. They had hassled her some and she was upset and just forgot to pick it up after putting her shoes back on. A few minutes later she was with Jim Jr. #5 at the lounge. Thank goodness we talked-good use for cell phones-and I asked if there was any trouble getting the laptop through. That's when she missed it.
After retrieving the laptop, she was on freewheeling. Our daughter, Jim Jr. # 5, was traveling business class, and together they were with the pampered flow of business class all the way to London Gatwick. There even was a limo to pick them up for the long ride into London and to their Hilton Paddington. Mrs. Jim and I never had a life quite that sheltered. It is all so the thinking wheels can turn for the wheels and they won't have to sweat so much small stuff while traveling.
I did hear a couple of times from Jim Jr. #5 via e-mail. All was fine, on schedule and everything. This morning they were free to tour London on their own. The flight was only 8hr 50 min, on time. Tomorrow will be more play. Jim Jr. #5 does have a business evening meeting supper at 7:45. It will be at the "Mandarin Kitchen" at 14-16 Queensway if that means something to somebody reading. When we traveled with the schools, our total daily lunch budget was $20. Oh well.
That was then. [Oh yes, this afternoon I found the AC 220 adaptor plugs for the laptop on the floor partially under the bed here. They had fallen off.] My situation was still going. I hit the toll way back to Conroe, Texas, to pick up my Mother-in-law. We had afternoon tickets for our church musical.
The musical was supposed to be extra special this year. It sounded good, but neither Mother-in-law nor I could understand the words to the songs. The orchestra was good, but we weren't recognizing the Christmas music. The celebrated Christian recorded star, Jaci Velasquez, had a beautiful voice, but we weren't understanding the words or recognizing the songs. Of course it was all contemporary music except for Silent Night and Felix Navidad and we aren't very contemporary!
Then home to take care of Adi, our resident tri-color beagle, make something to eat, get the mail, and study more for teaching a Sunday school lesson today. I don't sleep well when Mrs. Jim is gone, so when I finally went to bed at 1:00 PM, I couldn't sleep. Nothing would help, so I got up and made some handouts for the lesson. Of course Jim Jr. #5 and Mrs. Jim were already in London. I hope they got some sleep on the plane at was getting after 7 AM by then.
Enough. That's plenty of nothing but a log. At least it will serve as a diary for me. Next entry will either be today or yesterday morning. And not so long. Maybe more colorful.
Can you see why my beloved students and co-faculty called me Dr. Excitment!