Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I had a wonderful Christmas with my family. All my grandchildren were not able to be with us but all my children were. It gets harder every year and every event to get everyone together but I want to make the effort as often as possible.

There are many of my friends who are my age and live alone and who have no family and I feel sorry for them at this time . If I did not have my family I would not feel the way I do. We have gone our separate ways again and I will be traveling around to see them individually over the next year. There were no fights during our visit, at least not in my presence.

Now I am off again on my winter vacation. In the morning I am off to Jamaica again and then to the British Virgins. That will take me up to Feb. 2 and I may extend my travels after that.

When I get home in the spring I will have to give a lot of thought to my long term plans for the future. I really don't want to work too hard, but I would like to make some more money.

This will be my last post of 2007. I am not taking my computer with me on this voyage. I do not want to waste beach and boat time sitting at a computer in the hotel business center. I want to wish anyone who reads this a Happy and prosperous New Year. The past two years have been especially difficult for me and my family. We do continue to look ahead and hope for the best.

My love to all through the year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Answer Girl wrote about the Grinch who stole Christmas in a recent post, and the first Christmas that her mother was very sick. That was a bittersweet time and I guess brought home the real meaning of the Holiday season. The birth of the redeemer is the symbol of renewal and the other holidays are the adaptation of the Roman and Greek festival of time. There is a reason the cartoon portrayal of the old year looks like the Greek portrayals of Cronus, the God who devours all his children and then produces them again. So we gather again and then look forward to a new year. The only real end is when you stop looking ahead and dwelling on past problems that nothing can be done about.

So I went to the closet and found my Grinch sweat shirt and I will be wearing it for the next week. I am not going to decorate my apartment for Christmas and after working in the store for five days several weeks in a row, I will be fed up with Christmas Music for a year. But I will have my family and the chance for a new year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I simply had to get that business off my chest. The real therapy was in the three paragraphs I deleted. Some day I may tell you what I really think of the personnel policies of the current Naval Leadership, Naval Academy Administration and certain Flag and General Officers. Probably not on the Blog, though, because I might end up in real trouble.

To close out the subject, big time college coaching is really more about personal relations than money or other factors. The Academy Leadership failed to treat a good man with the respect and consideration he deserved. In the long run he would have left because the US NA program will never rise again to the level that fits his talent, but he would have left on better terms.

As for the senior leadership, I will give you my recollection of a recent statement by a senior Naval Officer. DUH! When they are the majority and are fully "accommodated", guess who becomes the oppressed minority?

So enough, my solution for my current anger is to enjoy Christmas with my family and take off to the Islands after that. I am finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit with the weather warm and sunny and I'd rather be on the beach than in the book store. Right after Christmas, I am off to the Islands again. I intend to leave my computer behind and put my phone in the brief case on off. Coverage of US sport is spotty and therefore I don't have a lot of interest in the rest of the football season either college or pro. My plans for return are open, but I will be back for Spring Training. In the spring I may go to Florida and visit one of the camps. I always wanted to do that.

I guess it is time to walk the dog before we have an accident.

Monday, December 10, 2007


My slightly euphoric mood from last week was erased when Navy lost it's head football coach. That was not unexpected after the way he was treated by Vadm Rodney RearEchelonMF, the Harpy Mafia and the current Supt., who is out to "deemphasize athletics", whatever that means. At least the current leadership had the sense to retain his assistant as the new head coach, but it remains to be seen how long he will stay as the Harpy Mafia continues it efforts to feminize the US Armed Forces.

I simply had to vent that. I know I am about a century or more behind the current political thinking, but there is a difference between women's rights and softening up the mission of the military, which when it comes down to it is to break things and kill people until the survivors do what we want. If that means some ones sensibilities are offended or their career options are limited by the need for special skills, so be it.

I feel that I have already said enough to get myself in trouble so I'll let it go at that.

I will continue to get on with my preparations for my next vacation. I am too busy for a guy who is supposed to be retired but it is mostly things I have fun at.

Only three months until Spring Training!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Now that my computer has survived a major crash, which wiped out ALL my files, I am getting things back to the way they were. I will resume my rather erratic posting schedule.

Since the great wipe out, I have sold my house and gotten rid of a lot more STUFF on my way to a more mobile life style. The hardest thing to part with was my 1965 Mustang Coupe. With no house, no garage and no place to store it, it would not have fit into my new lifestyle. I did manage to find a good home for it in nearby North Carolina with a horse farmer and riding stable owner who already owns four classic Mustangs, much to the annoyance of his long suffering wife. I may go to visit my old horse every once in a while.

For a guy who is supposed to be retired, I am very busy. I just got back from Baltimore and the latest Army-Navy football game. Navy won for the sixth year in a row. I almost feel sorry for the Cadets because I remember how I felt when Navy was loosing every year. But every time that I start to feel any sympathy for the Army guys, I ruthlessly suppress it! Sympathy can get you killed in a real life and death struggle.

Now that I have started again, I hope that it will be a lot easier to keep posting on a fairly regular basis.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Today, Labor Day is the true end of the Summer season here at Chic's Beach. The weather is glorious, sunny and not as hot as recent days. There is plenty of breeze but not as good as yesterday for sailing.

Watching the children play reminded me of when I would bring my children to the beach and made me sorry that Peggy and her children don't live closer. This is an ideal beach for children, without much surf and current and a gradual slope that means there is a right depth for all ages.

For years, the traditional end of summer ritual here was the "Low Rent Regatta". So named for the snide remarks made by some of the rich folks out at the ocean beaches. But it got too big. The police were worried about parking and traffic. The sanitation department about litter. The licence bureau about the food vendors that set up on city streets and private driveways, without permits and didn't pay sales tax. The final straw was when the city said the committee had to rent an exorbitant number of port-a-potties for the event. For a few years they found local corporate sponsors for the expenses, but ten years ago they finally declared the last tack and sailed off into the sunset. The event had finally become too much work for an event they started as a lark.

I am happy to report that the Chic's Beach tradition of racing hobbie cats on Labor Day weekend remains alive and well. The events is kept private to avoid the organizational hassels of past years. It still provides the basis for a party that I am just recovering from.

So it is 1100 and back to the beach.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Not quite the end, but things are starting to wind down with plans for Labor Day parties and back to school. The day after Labor Day the beach is deserted until next spring. It is almost like someone puts a gate up at the end of Pleasure House Road that says, " Residents and guests only".

But the weather stays warm and the water is swimmable until late October most years. That's when I enjoy Chic's Beach the most. This location is also mostly sheltered from Hurricane winds. Most of the beach damage and home wind damages happen during Winter Nor'easters. In that direction we are completely exposed to the open Atlantic.

Yes, I really hate dog fighting and the criminal bully boy society that surrounds it. The cruelty and disregard for the law extends very easily to anyone outside the gangs that run the fights.

What I don't understand is why this is a major Federal case. It should be the concern of State and local police. We are currently engaged in a war for the very existence of Western civilization.
There is a worldwide criminal terrorist conspiracy and a Congress as corrupt as any in history and major elements of the FBI, the Federal Marshals Service and other Federal agencies are tied up pursuing Micheal Vick. Somebody has their priorities screwed.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I originally wanted to limit this to personal matters like what I did on my latest vacation and family milestones like graduations and such but the Michael Vick situation is too local and growing to ignore. Three of the four men indicted so far are locals and Virginia Tech is too close to the whole situation and there are too many local people who know Vick to ignore what is going on.

I hear a lot about "innocent until proven ...". Nonsense when applied to this case. There is a big difference between a court conviction and prison time and knowing some one is behaving in a way that I don't want to ever be near them or any of their friends or family again. Michael Vick should never play another game in a professional sport again. He should not be allowed to work for any broadcast, print or public media. He has joined the growing list of people whose mere picture on a TV screen makes me reach for the channel changer. I also will not buy any magazine, book or newspaper that features him. Except for the fact I cannot avoid the reports of his court cases, I don't want to hear about him or his associates or family.

I think that dog fighting is disgusting. Aside from the cruelty to the animals involved, the activity is surrounded by the worst gambling elements, illegal and dangerous drug and alcohol sales and abuse, prostitution, bribery and corruption of local officials and tax evasion. The dogs involved are worse than wild animals. With a few exceptions wild animals are not mean. They kill when they hunt for food or from fear. Pit Bulls and their relations kill for sport. There have been reports locally of packs of feral dogs hunting down deer for sport. Teasing the animals and then letting the kill lie because they are not hungry. Pit Bull attacks on people, particularly children, are frequent and often unprovoked. Pit Bulls are the SS Einsatzgruppen of the animal world and the people who organize it are worse than that.

Nonetheless the fact that dog and cock fighting and other "blood sports" go on around here has been a badly kept secret since Virginia Beach started growing and trying to clean up over thirty years ago.

If this investigation goes all the way, I would expect many more prominent names to be included. The names may well include more sports figures, political, business and community leaders. They should all end up in prison and forfeit large chunks of their wealth.

This post could go on for a long time, but Molly wants to go to the beach.

Come back next week and I'll let you know how I really feel!

Monday, July 23, 2007


This weekend Peggy came down to visit with Scot, Henry, Matthew and Meg. We had a very busy and enjoyable time. Friday night we went to see the Tides baseball game. The boys like the ballgame but maybe the like the big helmet cups full of ice cream the most. It wasn't a very good game. The Tides are now the AAA team for the Orioles and they are very bad this year, both teams.

Saturday Morning they came to the beach to see my new digs. All three of the kids are absolutely fearless around water and with a heavy surf in the bay this weekend had to be held and watched all the time. In the afternoon, we took a boat up the Lynnhaven River. The weather was gorgeous. The wind was dampened up the river and while there was some motion it was not as bad as the bay was that day. The boys entertained us by singing endless repetitions of "Take me out to the Ballgame".

I didn't know what to expect, since that was the first time they had been on a boat, but they had a grand time and had no problem with motion sickness. One of the boys volunteered that it was way better than spending the afternoon watching TV. Then we had diner and another walk on the beach.

They visited me on Sunday but they were too worn out to do much. A good time was had by all and I hope they can get back before the weather gets nasty this Fall.

Friday, July 13, 2007


At last I have gotten the moving down to a few boxes I am trying to find a place for and am getting into some kind of a daily routine.

For everybody's info, it goes something like this:

Get up and put on a bathing suit and take Molly for a walk.
Visit with our friends, two legged and four, and get some exercise. I'd like to swim, but Molly still won't go in the water and neither of us will run anymore.
Come home and get some breakfast and then check my mail and try to write the blog.
Then I may clean or do dishes or continue sorting through the boxes still piled in my living room, read some and maybe take a nap.
After lunch go for a swim, walk on the beach and visit my friends. No dogs on the beach in the day in the summer.
Come back to the apt. and now I'm really ready for a nap.
Get some supper and then take Molly for her evening walk. Then I have free time until the Great Chix's beach pub crawl at all two locations, or may four if I start early. The two restaurants close by 9 PM.

There are variations like yesterday I took out a boat and today I have to go grocery shopping and then there are days when I work at the store.

In between I have check that the tides and that the Sun and the Moon rise and set on time. Tough work but someone has to do it. But this only requires spot checks and no reports.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


It is HOT! Yesterday in Virginia Beach the temperature reached 98 degrees F, but it wasn't even a record and we do have air conditioning but sometimes it can't keep up. I solved the problem by getting neck deep in the Chesapeake Bay and staying there most of the afternoon, until it was time for my nap. The humidity was high and that spawns the cloud burst that leaves the pavement steaming like it is on fire when the rain stops.

Today I have to work in the store where the AC zone control is no good and the sun through the plate glass windows add to the problem. Must be Al Gore's fault. It is HOT in July in the USA.
When I was in the Caribbean last winter, my Northern European friends (Russia, Scandinavia, even Scotland and Ireland) didn't have a problem with the idea of warmer weather at home. If there were only some way they could do something about the endless winter nights, they would never have to go south in the winter. Good Luck Tovarich!

Which brings me to the silly, stupid series of concerts to stop Global Warming this weekend. What a stupid exercise in hypocrisy. I'll admit that the weather seems milder now than say, forty years ago. We haven't had a significant snowfall here in over five years but it was 1980 that the National Guard Engineers had to come from Richmond to dig us out of a 41" snowfall. For my European fans, that's more than a meter. If I recall the last time Ches Bay froze all the way to Cape Charles was 1975. None the less I don't see daily high temperature records being set.

We only have good records going back about 100 years. I climate terms that is a mere instant. We have no idea what a normal cycle is and we do have historical records of significant climate changes in the past.

I am not in favor of rampant pollution, but this quasi religious fervor is wrong.

Monday, July 09, 2007


First, I was looking forward to spend the weekend on the beach doing beach things like watching the waves, broiling in the Sun and digging holes in the sand when I got a phone call and ended working the weekend at the book store. Well, work is the curse of the drinking class and I really like working there, even if I do spend more money there than I make most weeks.

Yesterday I went to the USNA Alumni picnic at Dam Neck. I had not been there in at least two years and was amazed at the construction going on. This was a really rural area until about five years ago. Soon it will be a major suburban center. One more reason to get out of town, although this little area where I have moved retains more of the old beach flavor than the rest of the city. The other reason is the local government. When the city council is not being stupid and incompetent, it is simply corrupt. Better to go someplace where the corruption as at least partially balanced by a degree of competence.

Then I hear that Ed's 2000 Dodge was stolen in DC where he went for a visit. It wasn't much of a car but it is an annoyance and it was almost paid for. I wonder if I took my cars to DC if they could be stolen. That's the only way I will ever get any money for them. Ed's OK and he can borrow one of mine until he decides what to do about wheels.

Friday, July 06, 2007


On the Fourth, my son Ed, and I spent the morning moving more stuff out of my old house. We are almost finished, but I am running out of places to put stuff. Then I went for a swim and a walk on the beach. After supper, we went down to the beach to set off our fireworks (fountains, legal in Virginia).

The display was awesome. That is a word I don't like to use because I think today's young have overused and corrupted it. I can't find a more appropriate word. From the beach here at the end of my street you can see about fifteen miles both East and West and the intensity and volume of private fireworks dwarfed the professional shows that could be seen in the distance. At time the beach was lit brightly enough to read a newspaper. Even Ed who is not known for enthusiasm, was impressed. Then yesterday the neighbors told me it wasn't up to last year.

Now we a dealing with the aftermath. Two days later the waste management dept. is still down there picking up the enormous piles of trash and garbage.

Yesterday, I took a boat on to Chesapeake Bay. It was a beautiful day. This retirement thing is alright!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


As I threatened, I am resuming my postings since I have been chastised for not doing so.

Since my last post I have moved out of my house and put it up for sale. I am now living in a small second floor apartment about one block from the Chesapeake Bay beaches, where I have spending (wasting?) most of my time, when I wasn't moving stuff from my house. Even though I have been living here almost three months, the place looks like the moving van just left. This is a result of trying to fit all my stuff into four small rooms, when I have been living in a big 4br house with an attic and a two car garage.

The break in my postings has been partly due to the fact that it took more than a month to get my DSL connected and the rest to laziness.

I am also getting into some kind of a routine where I can set a time to sit at the computer.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Last Friday I signed a lease on a small apartment in the Chix's Beach area and talked to a Realtor about selling this house. This is a wrenching experience for me but it is time to seriously downsize. Even when I am home, I am not in this house that much and even then I have almost half the rooms shut off and never go into them.

I am off to Jacksonville, Florida today to visit Kathy and her family for a few days. Then next weekend Clair and Chris will be here for a visit and the last two weeks of this month, I will be going back to school. I am taking the Masters, Mates and Operators course and then the exam. It has been more than 20 years since I have had this type of commitment, 8 AM to 5 PM for two solid weeks. It will be a shock.

Then in April I move. This is the first move in over 40 years that I will be making alone. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Monday, February 26, 2007


This is the ice sculpture that was on the main buffet table at the resort in Jamaica for the New Years Eve dinner. I spent over an hour on the phone with Scot last night to learn how to post pictures on the Blog. Now I will be boring everybody with my vacation pictures.

Otherwuse I am looking at apartments to rent and tomorrow I have an appointment with a realtor to begin the process of selling this house. Next week I am going to Jacksonville, Florida to visit Kathy and her family. The last two weeks in March I will be taking the course and the exam for the masters/mates and operators license for coastal vessels. That license is a requirement to charter or lease any yacht without a crew. Where I go from there no one can predict. One step at a time.

In the meantime, anyone who wants to visit me here in Virginia Beach can go for a ride on Chesapeake Bay on one of the Freedom Boat Club boats.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


This may sound a little strange since it is still a full month until the equinox, but yesterday the temperature was 70 degrees F and sunny in Virginia Beach. Some of the spring flowers are already in bloom. For my Canadian friends and relatives, that is 21C. We may still have another frost and the worst snows here are in late March in the Spring Nor'easters, which over the years have done more damage locally than most of the hurricanes. That is because of the way the coast lies and they stay around for days while most hurricanes blow through in about eight hours.

It took me all this time to get my e-mail back to full use and to find my custom home page. I still haven't figured out how to get my pictures on the blog or the e-mail even though I just spent all morning trying.

I just realized it's one in the afternoon and time to go out and get something done.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


First of all, I have no idea of what normal is. Nonetheless, over a week has gone by since I got home and I am finally settling into some kind of routine.

I still haven't cleaned out my e-mail and the snail mail seems to be getting ahead of me, but I have been making progress on the other things I have to do.

Today I will simply share a few politically incorrect stereotypes with you.

Heaven is where the:
Police are British
Cooks Italian
Mechanics German
Lovers French
and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the:
Chefs are British
Mechanics French
Lovers Swiss
Police German
and it is all organized by the Italians.

If there is anyone I missed insulting, I can make up more categories for more diversity. Anyone can play.

Goodnight all!

Friday, February 02, 2007


This is the third day and it seems like the new mail is keeping up with my efforts to clean up the old mail, both e-mail and snail mail. But I will get around to it all. Many of the shipmates I had on POLYNESIA have sent e-mails and want my pictures. The digital pictures came through fine and I think there are close to 2000. I also dropped off six rolls of film today and they won't be ready until next month.

The groundhog says it will be an early spring. I sure hope so. This week is the boat show at the convention center. That will provide some diversion. I also canceled the cable TV today. I find that I just never turned on the TV and I didn't miss it. They also raised the price and didn't add any new items.

Tomorrow I will begin to try to post some of the pictures to this blog and to my e-mail. If it doesn't go well, then I will need help.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


It never snows in Virginia Beach! To greet me home from my Caribbean vacation, it did snow today. It didn't last very long and now it is raining with a forecast of cloudy, cool and rain for the rest of the week. It is not cold in the way most of my new Canadian friends would think of cold but the temperature is near freezing and that is cold here.

I forgot to mention that i saw the Green Flash in Jamaica. Fifty years on the water and I had begun to think that it was one of those old jokes like the sea bat, the bucket of steam and the left handed monkey wrench. It does require a perfectly clear horizon, which is rare in the North Atlantic.

I spent the last two days trying to clean up the month long accumulation of e-mail and snail mail. By tomorrow I should have everything urgent taken care of. I did download my camera to my computer and I have a lot of good pictures. I have to spend some time to make up a slide show and put it on disks for everyone. I will try to put some of the best pictures on the blog when I figure out how to do that.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I got home last night on time and Ed met me at the airport. Remarkably, after five weeks and a dozen places everything was on time and worked as advertised.

During tne last month I tried not to miss any opportunity to have fun. I sailed hobie cats, sunfish and even Denis Connors' STARS AND STRIPES. I swam every day and didn't miss any chance to go out snorkeling. I climed hills and walked to the top of fortresses that were much higher than I thought they were when I started out. I took hundreds or pictures that I hope will turn out OK. I played every silly game and danced at every opportunity. Near the end of my stay in Jamaica, the hotel staff threatened to throw me off the island because I was having too much fun and I might use up all the fun so there would not be any left for someone else. I told them they would need to make their own.

I was in much better physical shape than last summer and better able to keep up with the more athletic set. On the other hand I still don't consider myself to be ready to SCUBA dive and I did not do the rock wall climb or the circus trapeze or gymnastics training. I also resisted the temptation to buy a Yacht, but I was sorely tempted and came very close.

But I am back in the world and it's back to business. I think I made some friends that I will wish to keep in touch with and I already scheming on when my next trip will be. I will be in touch. You may get a Christmas card this month or you may not.

If I offended anyone by not sending them a card or a present or a call over the holidays, I apologize.