Monday, January 18, 2016

El nino

El Niño

Your phone beeps
At midnight;
TORNADO watch/warning
Your area!
For the next 8 hours
The Lord giveth,
The Lord taketh away.

Sunshine, lolly-pops
And rainbows.
Raindrops tap-dancing
On a metal roof.
Storm clouds gather
Over the gulf;
El Niño coming for

Thunder, thunder, thunderation
It'The devil's incarnation.
His balls, made of brass,
Lightening shoots out his ass.

Close the windows
Pull the shades
Do not venture out-of-doors.
If in a trailer you reside
There's no safe place
For you to hide.

Hear the train acomin'
Roaring round the bend,
Twisting, turning, thrummin'
Warning off the end.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tornado warning. January 17th, 2016

Tornado warning

I'm fixin' bacon, eggs and toast this morning; to celebrate surviving the storm and possible tornado, skirting to the north, our mobile home park here in Florida.
Diane called me in from the lanai, at 2 AM, where I was engrossed in Mary Karr's book, "the Liar's Club," saying "Bob, I want you to come in NOW; the watch is now a tornado warning" (a warning means conditions are ripe for a tornado to touch down in your immediate area.)
In my mind, it was a fruitless endeavor. We are in a double wide mobile home; near zero protection if hit by a tornado. We do not know where we are to go for a "safe" shelter. If a twister sets down, close by, we're most likely goners.
I'm filled with the feeling like being on patrol in the pitch-black night of South Vietnam-- so dark, ( no stars, no moon and in a dense jungle,) I held on to the web belt of the marine in front of me so as to not get disoriented, lost and left behind, waiting for an ambush we were sure was just ahead. We believed, I certainly did, the gooks could see in the dark, had sonar ears like bats and would know we were walking blind yards before we got near their hiding place; certain death lay ahead.
I didn't say any of my doubts to Diane. I put on the mask of brave indifference just like those dark days in Vietnam and went about the mechanizations of "saftifying " our flimsy home; we closed all the windows and doors, moved two chairs from the dining room into the central hallway farthest away from outside walls and windows. We each pocketed the new flashlights, bought 2 days earlier following two tornadoes that touched down an hour south of us, packed our get-away bags, and plugged our mobile phones in to charge. Diane turned the TV on to WINK weather where Mary Mays gave us minute to minute live updates as the tornado prone storm raced across the Gulf of Mexico toward us at 65 miles an hour. Our phone's tornado warning app. kept alerting us, at least a dozen times.
Calm, we'd done all we knew to do, no fear, just anticipation. I finished a poem started earlier out in the lanai, listened to the weather girl, and waited it out.
Within half an hour to 45 minutes the more dangerous part of the storm passes us by leaving threats of driving rain, strong winds and up to 80 lightening strikes every 15 minutes or so.
About 5 AM, with the worst passed, we settled in to our matching burgundy recliners in front of the tv, sighing relief, I fell asleep. (I slept through a fire fight one night in Vietnam, only waking when nudged by our radioman who whispered, "doc, it's your turn for radio watch.")
Waking an hour later, the house was dark, the tv off, and Diane not in her recliner, I think she must have gone back to bed. I took my coffee, book, and cigar out to the lanai. In the dark, I do a cursory perimeter check for damages; a section of the driveway was covered with mud, the tomato plant, drowned, was uprooted from it's pot, stake and all. The tree we bought yesterday and left out back in it's 10 gallon pot was laying on it's side. I'll go back and check it when daylight returns. Everything else looks no worse for the storm--
I light my cigar, sip my coffee and read another twenty pages in "the Liar's Club."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Powerball, 1 1/2 billion

     One and a half billion dollars; that was the Powerball jackpot.

Currently I'm spending a three month hiatus from my job at our home in Florida. When the
Powerball lottery reached such an astronomical amount, I followed the crowd and did what I rarely do; bought five quick pick numbers. It's a fun pastime to ponder what I'd do if I win.

     On Thursday morning I saw on Facebook one of the winning tickets was from Florida. My heart quickened.  I thought, holy shit, my chances of becoming a billionaire just increased. I felt a nervous excitement and thought, "damn, where will I deposit the check if I've won?"

     Dreaming is one thing, but dealing with the possibility of actually holding that check in my hand got my analytical mind a whirring, just as it does when contemplating a particularly challenging anesthetic case on a patient with serious co- morbidities.

No, I didn't check my ticket against the winning numbers immediately; I googled, "what to do with the money won in the lottery." The advice was mind boggling.

1. Sign your ticket immediately.
2. Don't deposit right away.
- [ ] a. And don't deposit in a bank
- [ ] b. FDIC doesn't insure such a large amount.
3. Contact an estate attorney, and a financial planner.
4. Stay quiet and leave town for awhile.
5. Set a budget; plan for taxes on investment earnings.
6. Contemplate charities
7. Get a therapist; to help handle emotional upheaval.
8. Deposit in a brokerage account.
9. Invest in a health savings account.
10. Write down a list of people you trust.
Make a copy of your ticket.
And the list of recommendations goes on.......

     When my wife got up, we immediately co-signed our ticket, and then we checked the numbers.

          We didn't win.

Unbelievably, I was overcome by a sense of relief -- "whew, now I can settle down and continue to enjoy my vacation.

I'm glad I played, and I'm glad I researched the steps to take if one wins. It's quite a learning experience.

     My daughter-in-law, Kristy, messaged me, "please tell me it's you!"

My reply;
     "I am the winner.
But not the powerball winner. In researching what to do if your a winner, I realized it would destroy my comfortable life as I know it and make me a slave to money management.  It would put, among others, my grandchildren in danger, and just providing physical security for them would change their lives forever.
     I have a great life and a wonderful family I love!!
Thank God someone else won the Powerball."

Monday, January 11, 2016



His birthday remembered
Niece Jody posted his poem
On his Facebook page.
Creeps to the fore as I
Thoughts I'd just as soon
Hanging over me,
Eats my soul like
Macerate a
I can't be myself
I write it down; unadulterated
"they" say.
"do it for
It's the only way----"
(Take these Chains from my heart and set me free)

Friday, January 08, 2016

Arrived in Florida

Good afternoon,
We arrived around 8 pm last night.  Our neighbor,Kathleen, did some shopping for us so we'd have some food; wine, cheese, baguette,homemade soup, eggs, oatmeal, coffee creamer, and a bouquet of flowers.  Good thing too, because just like last year, the car battery was dead. (It's off to the garage today for a charge.)
Unpacked the boxes Diane had sent down earlier, charged the water lines, made the bed and crawled in, exhausted. Temp was a comfortable 62.

Woke up at 0430 to a devine gentle rain which gave way to a bright sunny morning by 1000.  Current temp is 80+.

Cleaned the lanai, called the garage to come get the car, and we finished getting house settled.  When Diane tried to boil some eggs, the stove burners only achieved a lukewarm status.  After I set up and lit the Weber.  Then I checked the breaker box.  I didn't do that first because the stove lights were on and some heat was being produced.
Seems the "range" has 4 breaker switches, one of which was off.  Flipped that one to on position and voila; a fully functional stove.  :-)

After lunch I'll bicycle to Walgreens to augment our meager supplies, unless, of course, the garage calls to say the car is ready for pickup.  In that case, we'll bum a ride from Kathleen. Then it'll be off to the car wash and then to Super Walmart.

Love you,

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Good things January 4th

January 4th, 25,670th wake up;
Plethora of tasks accomplished:
Installed a 1/2 inch foam insulation cover to old window in root cellar.
Established online account with credit card company, and gave them travel dates.
Sliced Brazil-nut bread and packaged slices in individual baggies for storage in freezer. (One-a-day)
Repaired cellar door latch.
Replaced batteries in smoke alarms.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Brunch Sunday 3 Jan., 2016

January 3rd;
We had brunch at "Ella's" with Jane, Barb, Gail, and Gloria Johnson. Gloria is 92 years old, and as sharp mentally as ever I have known her. What a delight to see that life can be full at any age; the number is only a reflection of how many days you've enjoyed.
Gloria told me, she's reads 3 or 4 books a day, follows football, but enjoys college more than pro.
She thinks the Brady fiasco is deplorable.
She's less shore footed than when we served on the village board together some thirty years ago, but her intellect is just as nimble.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Good things happen everyday

Daily journal of positive happenings.

Post date; January 1st,
Totally cleaned and readied my apartment for hiatus.
Uneventful 4 hour drive through predicted snow event.  Missed it by a couple of hours.

January 2;
Awakened, well, for the 25,668th time!!!!!!

Took a couple of good landscape photos + a satisfying self portrait in my "writer's hat.  Cartoonized said photo, and like it too. Diane said it made me look like a black man; Bill Cosby?

Took Christmas tree Down and boxed it up; stored back in the garage.

Made a new omelet with (cleverfoodies  TM) Mediterranean Scramble.

Spent a good portion of the day rummaging through papers, and photos in my office/den.  Located the triple exposure selfie taken, circa depression era, by my maternal grandfather; Clayton Earl Lackey.

Had a convivial visit from Jennifer VT, and Scott Bailey who brought us a crock of butternut soup with some pumpkin seeds to roast as an accompanying garnish.
Diane  gave Jen a rocking chair from Mrs. Ericsson's that Diane had refinished and re-caned.

Did three loads of laundry from  Dansville and ironed two pairs of pants.

Watched three episodes of Chicago Fire with Diane, drank a rum and eggnog, and had some Apothic red wine throughout the evening, starting with supper.

Smoke a cigar; made it last all day.