Sunday, April 28, 2013

Busy Sunday

It started early this morning when I got up and started by cleaning up the kitchen.  Yep, I had left the dishes all day yesterday because, as I had said before, I was parked in front of the television watching old Rawhide episodes.  Got done and sat down to watch Meet the Press when Honey decided to get up early as well and bug me about going outside.  She has a way of getting your attention and forcing you to do stuff you really don't want to do at 6:15 am.  We went for a walk and when we got back I didn't see the need to literally watch Meet the Press so I turned up the volume and went to the kitchen to fix breakfast.  I ended up having it done and eaten by the time Meet the Press left the air waves.  I went upstairs and took a quick bath.

I spent some time in my office cleaning up some old paperwork and empty boxes.  I filed them in the appropriate container in the basement then it was off to the store for my weekly shopping for work.  Came home and unpacked and quickly left to go get my hair cut and pick up some immune medication.  Came home, had lunch, took Honey for another walk and went to DSW for a new pair of work shoes.  Then back home and some cleaning in the basement and now I feel like I am done for the day.

I have some paperwork to fill out but other than fixing dinner I'll be laying back the rest of today.

Hope everyone had a grand weekend

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wasted Saturday

I pretty much have to say that I wasted my Saturday.  It was a long hard week at work and to be honest I just crashed in front of the TV set most of the day.  I took Honey on several walks, fixed lunch and dinner but beyond that it was a nothing day.

I certainly hope to accomplish more tomorrow.

Weekend Alone With Honey

It is nearly five o'clock a.m. and as Honey is still sleeping I get some quiet time to muse about all kinds of stupid stuff but then that is what old guys do.

Mia left yesterday on a four day trip to eastern Washington with friends in their motorhome to go wine tasting.  As you know from my past blogs this is probably a place I should not visit and since it is the end of the month and I can't really be away from work I decided to stay home with Honey.

I believe that Rick has commented on this phenomena before but Anonymous is an intriguing character.  He/she can say and do just about anything without fear of reprisal because we have no idea who they are or where they live.  Some are great, some are not.  Anonymous can make comments about everything.  They can be rude.  They can be nice.  They can pick arguments.  They just don't want the rest of us to know who they are.  I may not always say the right thing or believe as everyone else does but one thing I will never be is anonymous.

I am off to take a bath, walk Honey, fix breakfast and get this day started.  Have a great weekend.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where Is Spring And Road Trip

The days are passing slowly in an overcast mode with rain falling at times and sunshine beaming down on other occasions.  With just 367 days left until the retirement I am beginning to study the weather patterns around the country to get a feel for the best times to travel through the different regions.  Here in Seattle we are experiencing rain and while some feel that we have had enough, we actually are just about average at this point.  Spring came a couple of weekends ago with the arrival of Easter and for the first time in a long time we had a sunny weekend with temperatures in the upper 60's.  Some where looking forward to a long stretch of warm, sunny days but they forgot where they live.  This is Seattle.

While I long for sitting at the trailer in the bright sunshine and enjoying a cold drink as I read a book, I must come to the reality that we live in Seattle.  In Seattle we seldom get those warm, sunny days at Easter and while we think we should have them in most cases they don't show up until June and even then there are weather issues.  I can count on one hand the number of 4th of July days that didn't have rain over the past 10 years.  Rain comes to us often.  Too often.  But that is the price we pay to live in one of the best places.

There is nothing like Mt Rainer on a clear day, standing tall and looking down on us.  I am sure there are other sites just as wonderful but I don't have to travel very far to see this one.  Every cloudless day on the way home it stands there watching me inch down I5.  It helps the keep one sane as we deal with the little struggles of life.

Mia and I are going on a road trip.  No trailer or Honey, just us and the truck for around 1500 miles.  We are going to try to make the trip in two days leaving Federal Way on a Thursday morning in late June arriving in Watertown, SD sometime Friday evening.  We have a wedding invitation to my cousins daughters wedding and we have not seen these folks since they visited us a few years back.  I have told you about my cousins in Lewiston, ID and about the elderly patriarch of their family.  Watertown has one of their own and I believe she is now in her 90's.  She is a wonderful lady and her family are great people.  We have enjoy knowing them ever since we found out about them and made first contact.

Downtown Watertown
When we first visited them the young lady who is getting married was playing baseball in Jr High.  I think she was 13 or 14.  Her mom is a wonderful lady who has a great sense of humor.  The whole family is great.  Watertown is middle America.  People do for themselves and others.

Fifteen hundred miles in two days across four states.  I am thinking that Mia and I will be alternating the  driving and we will drive until we can't drive then find a motel, sleep and drive some more.  Don't want to miss the wedding.  It doesn't look like we'll have a lot of time to enjoy the open road as we travel through Washington, Idaho, Montana and South Dakota.  Not sure if Mia is looking forward to two days in the truck but I am...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Real Camping

Listening to the radio on the way home the other night and the news was about a man who had been nicknamed the North Pond Hermit.  Central Maine legends tell of a man who would sneak into campsites and sometimes jimmy locks to obtain camping equipment, supplies and food.  He never did any damage and never stole any money.  For 27 years the legend continued until a Pine Tree Camp, one of his favorite sites to rob, installed security cameras.  Last week the legend was caught trying to steal once again.

Apparently Christopher Knight, now 47, had spent the last 27 years camping in the woods in central Maine.  I don't know about you but I could spend a night outside in a Seattle winter.  I can't even begin to imagine what a Maine winter would be like with nothing but a tent, tarp and sleeping blankets.

But that is exactly what he did.  Entire winters in this campsite with no human contact.  He said he wouldn't leave the campsite in winter for fear of being tracked.

He stated that he only had human contact once during the 27 years when he passed a hiker on a trail in the nineties.

Can't condone the thief, but this guy was a "real" camper.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A River Runs Through It.

I was hoping to go to Gold Bar today, but it looks like the weather has other plans.  I awoke to the loud sound of rain pouring down on the condo.  I got up for my Sunday morning dose of Meet the Press and looked outside to find a small river running down the street in front of our place.  According to the news this morning we have flood watches in place.  So much for Spring and going up to open up the campsite.  And I was kind of looking forward to the day in the park.

My grandson is on spring break so I plan to put him to work this coming week.  We have a lot of stuff that needs to get done and I think it is great that he wants to earn some extra money while helping the old man out.

As I head into retirement I am finding myself increasingly concerned about the future.  As a young man (baby boomer) growing up I knew I had to make some provisions for my future and set aside for retirement.  While we are not as destitute as some individuals I know, we know we must carefully plan each move once we retire to conserve our resources.  That is why the discussion about the cuts to Federal programs is of such concern.

Years ago, most companies discovered that pension plans would put them in the poor house if they continued them so they did away with them.  It hurt to see pension plans disappear.  We put monies into them in hopes of having a future.  We got money back but what do you do with it?  How do you manage it?  We chose 401k and when I switched jobs took that money and put it in a popular form of pension plan IRA.  The IRA began something called Roth IRA which looked like a better deal so we moved our monies there using one of the larger financial organizations to manage the money we put in. Like I said, we are much better off than many people we know but after working all our lives to have one of the pieces of our financial pie being messed with by the Federal Government it is getting a little scary.

What scares me the most is my kids generation.  They are still putting money into a program that doesn't look like it will last long enough for them to enjoy it and they have no choice.  I think younger people should be given the opportunity to divest themselves of the mandatory pay in to the social security program and be allowed to do their own thing.  What are people going to do with all their medical bills?  The cost of insurance for an individual is astronomical.  Retired people can't afford to purchase medical insurance so they become a burden.  No wonder so many people die just after retirement.  The worries you had while working are nothing compared to the future in retirement.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Stop the madness....I had enough and I can't take it anymore.  My God what is this generation coming too.

This week another drunk with a previous DUI makes a U-turn in the middle of highway 520 in the predawn hours and proceeds to travel in the wrong direction until slamming into a Mazda driven by a 58 year old lady who later succumbed to her injuries.  The drunk driver was 25 and may have suffered a broken leg while his passenger was found past out with no injuries.

The state has been discussing new laws to make it harder for these offenders to get back in a car with a suspended license and drive.  Politicians have put together bills to pass but it seems the Office of the Budget is pushing back telling the politicians that the state can't afford the new laws they are trying to pass.  I am not sure what the answer is but giving drunk drivers a free get out of jail ticket isn't the way to go.

There is nothing worse than a recovering smoker or alcoholic with a soap box and I was lucky and obviously had someone or something looking out for me.  Right now I don't care about the cost.  Get serious about handling these individuals.  Make the first one cost a lot of money and make sure they are tried quickly.  Another DUI becomes a felony with jail time, lots of jail time and rehabilitation.  Third strike, your

Then the Constitution gives me the right to "bear arms" so when Red Dawn comes I can at least fight back.    In almost every incident lately, someone knew the person was a problem but didn't say or do anything.  What has happened to us?  I could't walk to school without my mother knowing everything I did or didn't do along the route.  When did we give up being involved?