Wednesday, May 25, 2005

School's Almost Out

Deidra had sold enough cookie dough mix to be in a "grab the cash" contest at school and to go to lunch in a limo (her second time this year)! She grabbed $80 and the only other person who was eligible to play only got $20. She felt bad for the other girl. Needless to say she will have a fun time spending it (probably all in one place)!

Tomorrow's their last day and they are looking forward to summer vacation.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


That's what owners of Suzuki Burgman scooters are called. Dumb name but the best of the high end scooters on the market. We picked ours up yesterday at Plano Suzuki and I drove it home. Here is a picture.

This is sure a lot different than the Cushman scooter I had in 1962! This scooter will hit 95 MPH and cruise at 70 all day long. People who have them say they average 60-75 MPG. That will be a big improvement over the 10-11 I get with the Volvo.

We purchased 2 helmets in the same silver color as the bike, and they will be in on Thursday. In the meantime I am not going to ride it much as I had to use an old helmet I have had for over 20 years. It is coming apart inside and is a real mess. I used it to ride home, but I sure don't intend to put that thing on my head again!

I still have my New Mexico license. Things like licenses are a real problem for people like us who don't really have a home. We belong to the Escapees Full Time service that is located in Livingston, TX. They provide several services, including mail service, which is how we get all our mail. This means that we have also chosen Texas as our legal residence as well. Now we have to license all our vehicles and obtain drivers licenses in Texas. We have already begun the process of licensing vehicles here, and it is probably time we got Texas drivers licenses as well. I just hate having to get a new license when I still have several years to go on my existing one, but having a vehicle licensed in a different state than your drivers license might raise too many questions if I was ever stopped. What this country needs is a national drivers license and a national vehicle license! Why should the laws, rules and costs be different everywhere. After all, this is not 1800 any more.

New Mexico does not require a separate motorcycle license as long as you have a regular drivers license, but Texas does. In addition, they require a driving test unless you take a motorcycle safety course. I think it is a good idea to take a refresher course anyway, so I am going to take it in a couple weeks. Then I will go get my Texas license -- except-- I also need to obtain a Class A, non-comercial license with air brake endorsement to legally pull our trailer. I can drive the Volvo by itself or with a trailer as long as the trailer does not weigh more than 10,000 pounds with a regular license, but our trailer weighs much more than that. So I need to take that test as well. To take the driving part of that test you must have a trailer in tow. I really don't want to have to uproot our house just to go take a driving test. Maybe we will figure something out.

Anyway, its nice to have 2 wheels again.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ho Hum

Dianna returned from a visit with her family on Saturday and we went to the Jennings for a birthday dinner on Sunday. We cooked steak and had a nice time.

The week passed without much excitement other than Dom's game on Tuesday. His team won.

Seems like not much is happening right now. I am in Rhode Island again for the weekend. I flew up on Thursday and will fly back tomorrow, Sunday. Sure looks different here now that all the trees are fully leafed out and everything is green.

We are making plans for a trip to Norman to pick up the table and hutch that Robin and Ken have been storing for us. Now that they are moving to Alaska we won't have a reason to make the trip "up north" any more. In the future we will have to go way north. I am actually looking forward to that trip very much. It will probably be our first summer after retirement and will realize a lifelong goal of visiting all 50 states.

Dianna is going to Dom's game again today, while I toil away in the CVS data center here in Rhode Island. Oh the injustice!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Week with my folks

(I had this all written and somehow managed to exit the site without saving it. Bummer!!)

Mom and Dad picked me up at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank about noon on Saturday, May 7th. I drove us home and we almost ended up in a major accident. I don't remember the drivers being as aggressive as they were. I'm sure glad we don't live there anymore!

I was in a merge lane from I-5 to I-118 when a driver completely cut us off. I don't know how he managed to miss us. I did a knee jerk reaction and headed for the lane next to me. Thankfully there was no one there. I had blared my horn at him and when we passed I gave him a dirty look. He didn't act like he had a clue he had almost caused a bad accident.

We were supposed to go down to Greg and Tina's for Mother's Day dinner. Marie had called and asked us to pick her up at her mom's on the way down. She was driving down from Santa Barbara where she lives and wouldn't be there until around five. We waited and waited and she finally arrived around 6 pm. That would mean we wouldn't get down to Greg's until after 7 pm so we decided not to go. We went to dinner at Marie Callenders with Marie and then everyone came up to Mom and Dad's the next afternoon. We had a wonderful prime rib and all the other sides that were planned for the night before! The only camera to be found had a dead battery so we didn't get any family pictures.

Patricia and Michele had never seen an electric typewriter. Mom still has one and they entertained themselves all afternoon learning how to type on it! I keep forgetting how fast this world is changing and how much our kids and grandkids haven't a clue about.

Mom didn't feel well most of the time I was there. She still suffers from diverticulitis and was getting over a spell of it. We had thought her surgery in Oct. was going to alleviate that but it just entailed removal of the diseased portion of her colon. She will have this the rest of her life.

She had a migraine Tuesday so I took her to the doctor. The last time she had one she didn't eat or drink, her electrolytes plummeted and we almost lost her. I didn't want to take any chances so made sure she got some medication to ease the headache and would continue to eat and drink.

That afternoon my cousin, Carrie, came down on the train/bus. We're only 12 days apart in age and have been best friends since the day I was born. (She's the eldest but you sure wouldn't know it with all the snow on my roof!) We spent that day and the next running errands and shopping for Mom and Dad.

Mom had made reservations for us to go to Huntington Library Thursday for High Tea. Carrie & I vacillated about going since Mom wouldn't be able to join us. She finally told us to go ahead and go as it was her gift to us. I'm so glad we did. So much was in bloom that we lost track of time going from one outstanding garden to the next. We didn't see half of what we wanted to. We did manage to get to see Gainsborough's "Pinky" and "Blue Boy" in the gallery. We missed a light show that was somehow related to Isaac Newton. But we didn't miss High Tea. We had wonderful food in a gorgeous setting. We did miss Mom being with us.

Friday my Uncle Art (Mom's brother) and Aunt Mary flew Carrie and I up to Big Bear for breakfast. He is an original Flying Tiger and has his own plane. We thoroughly enjoyed the flight with clear, blue skies and gorgeous snow on the mountains. We don't see them very often so we had a wonderful morning of catching up on family news.

By the end of the week Mom was feeling much better and even managed to get out in her garden and work some. That's her solace. Carrie helped her Saturday afternoon replanting some of her plants in the backyard to around the tree in the front yard. That's a project she had wanted to get accomplished for a long time so I'm very grateful Carrie was there to help. She has a definite flair for it. Just ask the folks at the elementary school next door to her where she does their landscaping!

Saturday it was back to Burbank and my flight home. Julie took me this time.

Each time I visit, Mom and Dad seem more frail. But at 82 and 88 I guess I should expect it. I just hope when we're their ages we will be able to care for ourselves as well as they do!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bachelor Doings

I returned from Rhode Island/Boston Sunday and took Monday and Tuesday off to catch up on my chores. Monday I ran the generator, serviced all the batteries and made plans for my trip Tuesday to Kilgore. I also made arrangements with a gentleman who lives here in the park to wash the trailer on Wed.

Tuesday I drove out to Kilgore, TX which is about 2 hours east toward Shreveport. On the way I stopped for fuel at the Flying J south of Dallas. Fuel there was 2.03 which is .20 less than anyplace in our area. I met with Larry Herrin of Herrin Welding who makes truck beds. I am planning to have a custom bed made and a new air hitch installed. Larry has a very good reputation among those who use these converted OTR tractors. I am planning on having a very large storage locker made in addition to the bed. This will stand behind the cab and provide tons of storage space. He quoted me a fair price so we now have an appointment in late June to have it built. It will take about 3 to 4 weeks after they start.

I also discussed the possibility of having him install a motorcycle loader as well. We really need some alternate transportation when we are travelling and mounting a motorcycle on the bed will give us that. I have enjoyed riding since I was 13 years old, and have missed not having anything to ride for the last several years. I still have an old Honda Trail 90, but it is still in pieces and I doubt I will ever be able to make it run properly. Besides, the more I have thought about it the more I think having something large enough to ride on the highway would be much more usefull. I have done some research and am surprised at what has developed in the "scooter" world. I always thought of a scooter as a Vespa or the old Cushmans I had as a kid, but they have come a long way. Much of what I have read seems to point to the Suzuki Bergman, either the 400 or the 650, as the best of breed. Here is a link-- Suzuki Bergman 400 Sure a lot cheaper than a Honda Goldwing or a Harley, and still very capable of maintaining highway speeds.

Today it was back to work. I stopped at Chili's for dinner and then went shopping for a few groceries. When I got home the trailer was washed. He did a good job and my back sure does not hurt as much as it would have if I had done the work.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Catching Up

Wow. It has been a long time since we updated this. I guess that happens when you are at "home" and there is not a lot going on that is noteworthy.

We are pretty much back into our routine here in Texas. Work for me and Dianna is catching up on e-mail and genealogy. Let me see if I can remember what we have been doing for the past couple weeks.

Dom is in Little League and we have been to a couple of his games. It is a lot of fun watching these little guys play for the first time. This year the coach does the pitching and there is a lot of work on the basics. He is doing very well.

Deidra still has the cast on her foot. Bummer.

Dayna expressed a desire for a laptop to do her school work on. She gets frustrated having to use the home machine and wanted to be able to take it to work with her so she could work on assignments during her lunch hour. I had an old IBM Thinkpad that has not been used for quite some time so I ordered and installed additional memory and a new battery. I then installed Windows 2000 and Office on it for her, along with a wireless card I had laying around. It is a Pentium 2-233 with 2 gig of disk. It is working well for her.

I am in Rhode Island right now, where it is rainy, windy and cold. I flew up on Thursday and will be returning to Dallas tomorrow, Sunday. Dianna left this morning for a week in California visiting her family. I have some things to do this week and will try to remember to record them when they happen.

That's about it for now.