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.