Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Road Trip Part Deux

Hmm, the pictures look almost the same, don't you agree?

Arriving at 4:00 am in the bloody morning after a long an exhausting trip,I had been instructed to call a friend, no matter what time we arrived, that we were here and I would be waiting to be picked up by him when ever he was ready. He said he would get back to me after 6:30 am, when everyone was awake. I was ok with that as it gave me time to get some sleep. I had forgotten I had lost an hour time wise so I actually picked up another hour of sweet, sweet sleep.

That would be Jerry, on the left, Myself in the center and Bob is on the right. We have known each other for over 40, yes, 40 years.

Soon Jerry had picked me up and we were on the way to St. Andrews Golf & Country club with Bob

For three days I hung out with my friends reliving old times, having a beer or three, eating some pizza, sleeping when I got the urge, visiting Bob's mom(87 years old and a Cubs fan, my favorite lady), and his sister Jeanie. I stayed at Jerry's condo during my visit. The company was pleasant, the beer cold, and the couch very comfortable. I had a nice dinner at Bob's house with wife Cindy and friend Dottie. Mean while, my wife and daughter and her friend stayed at her uncle's house and visited downtown Chicago. They went to Navy Pier(like an amusement park on the lake) and even took a boat ride on Lake Michigan. We met up late Saturday to spend time for the rest of the weekend with old friends Tom and Cathy. My wife Connie and Cathy have known each other since they were around six years old.

Connie and Ray

Cathy and Tommy behind us. We were out to the local bowling alley for a few games.

Later on that evening and late into the night, ending around 2:30 am
a rousing rendition of Karaoke. Nothing like drinking beer to enhance the singing ability and render the hearing of songs that we found out, knowing the words didn't seem to matter.

The view of the power lines on the ride back home. It looked like a scene from King Kong vs. Godzilla fight amongst the power lines.

This is a picture of a storm that dogged us every mile on the way home, remnants of Tropical depression Anna.

We tried to make the trip home less eventful, deciding to go through much of Illinois, back into Kentucky, and into Alabama.

Half way into Alabama, Tom Tom shifted us to a different highway, just as it got dark. Much quieter highway, meaning no gas stations, restaurants, bathrooms!!

Of course the urgency rose with each mile, with gas running low, and bladders acting like a young child.

We finally found a well lit station to pull into, and there was a mad scramble to get inside, like ants at a picnic.

It at first looked like there would be a dramatic time savings with the new route, but no, the same 17 hour drive back to the daughter's
place at 1:00 am.

The above pictures were part of the journey in Florida and we made it safely home.

The trip was well worth it, all in all, because one must touch base with loved ones and you never know if or when the opportunity will come again. Things happen and you don't want regrets later.

I hope this was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed writing it. It took many days to put this to print, I think it was worth it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Road Trip! Part One

Warning: This could be very boring to your mental health!

At my work place you can only take a week at a time with days off sandwiched on the ends. 9 days off.

What will we do? Got it! Let's drive 3,000 miles in four days!
Okay, 1,500 each way, but it felt like 3,000 miles. We had decided to visit friends up in Chicago. It had been 7-8 years since we had been there.

My daughter in school up in Tallahassee, Florida, FSU, asked to go along and wanted to bring a friend. After weighing all the options,
(flying and car rental or straight car rental, we decided to rent a nice mini van with enough room for everything and everybody including my beloved golf clubs. (golfing, my real reason for going)

We were to leave on a Tuesday morning, after picking up the rental and pack up and be on the way. Early morning turned into 2:00 pm before we left the house and to be on our way. Why?

Guys will grab stuff, throw it in and on our way. Women, decide to clean thoroughly, before leaving, packing up most of the pantry to eat along the way. The equivalent of wearing clean underwear in case of an accident. (we were leaving 6 dogs behind)

One must go with the flow to start off the trip in the right mind frame.(no arguing)(The seventh dog, a beagle, we were taking with to live with the college daughter)

Our starting point was just west of West Palm Beach, up to Tallahassee.

But leaving late meant getting to the daughter late. Arriving at 11:00 pm or so. We all agreed to get up at 4:30 pm, shower and go and be on the road at 6:00 am.

Leaving at 9:00 am, off we went, about 90 minutes back tracking to I-75 to enter into the state of Georgia.

I am sure Georgia is a beautiful state, but unfortunately, driving on I-75 does not show off it's best side.(the I stands for interstate, odd numbers north and south, even numbers east and west)

Which reminds me, why does Hawaii have an interstate?

Most of the United States during the summer has almost all of the roads torn up, a sore point for the whole trip.

Somehow, as we were leaving Florida, we had in mind, 12-13 hours driving,.......17 hours was the real time...tired just thinking about it!

After about 6 hours of driving in Georgia, it was time to go into the state of Tennessee and then into Kentucky.

The is a major difference in the countryside along the highway. Tennessee and Kentucky have a lot of hills to drive through, maybe small mountains, but nothing like the screaming drive one has in California.

There is almost a tranquil feeling while driving. But some of the roads are a steep drop and truck drivers must pay attention not to go to fast and lose control. But keep in mind, this is all during the day. Night time driving can be very treacherous.

Let me not forget that while we drove we had a helper ,Tom Tom made famous by Linda and Her Twaddle.

But I of course wanted a woman's voice and picked an English speaking lady from the UK who told me to stay left and continue on the motorway. I didn't even know we had motor ways.

But after awhile, many hours later, she started to sound like Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey. I started to do her voice adding my own lines. "Ray, you idiot, you missed the turn, you shouldn't be driving, let your wife drive, you men are all alike". My wife was not amused.

But let me say, it was very helpful and got us through some ticklish situations.

From Tennessee through Kentucky and into Indiana. Most of Indiana is flat. The midwest of the United States is farmland, which in most cases is flat land as far as the eyes can see.
The last 6 hours was through construction that had slowed us down, but didn't stop us, down to 40 instead of 70 miles an hour.

At one point, I felt like pulling over for a nap, but damn it, I had a t-time for Thursday for golf! Sleep was not an option.
We were very tired with only 2 drivers, (rental wouldn't let daughter drive, still too young), and switched often as night driving is very tiring.

With the help of Tom Tom, dodging construction zones, we arrived in Chicago at 4:00 am, Florida time....

to be continued

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Impressions

when you visit
a foreign land
whom you meet
how they act
is what you
think of everyone
who lives there
true or not

where you come
from represents
where you come
is what they
think of you
true or not

welcomed by some
welcomed by all
referal be good
or damned
by association

it's true
what they say
you only have one
chance to impress
make it good
make it right
we are all
counting on you

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vacation Time!

Yes, finally time to get away, recharge the batteries, hit the little golf ball around, sip a couple( ok , more than a couple )of beers with friends and enjoy a vist back to the hometown of Chicago.

I will be back in about ten days. I of course will stop by and in to see what is interesting and what is going on. And check my email.

With post number 200 fast approaching, one does need a break once in awhile.

All the best,


Friday, August 7, 2009

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes

As I was doing my meme part I had mentioned Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. As many actors fear, sometimes a role can take you over, and you never live out of character. Here in part from Wikipedia, why he was so good as Mr. Holmes. Click on the title for more info.

Brett had been approached in February 1982 by Granada TV to play Holmes. The idea was to make a totally authentic and faithful adaption of the character's best cases. Eventually Brett accepted the role. He wanted to be the best Sherlock Holmes the world had ever seen[6] He conducted extensive research on the great detective and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, and was very attentive to discrepancies between the scripts he had been given and Conan Doyle's original stories.[7] One of Brett's dearest possessions on the set was his 77-page "Baker Street File" on everything from Holmes' mannerisms to his eating and drinking habits. Brett once explained that "some actors are becomers - they try to become their characters. When it works, the actor is like a sponge, squeezing himself dry to remove his own personality then absorbing the characters like a liquid".[8]

Brett was obsessed with bringing more passion to the role of Holmes. He introduced Holmes' rather eccentric hand gestures and short violent laughter. He would hurl himself on the ground just to look for a footprint, he would leap over furniture or jump on the parapet of a bridge with no regard for his own personal safety.

Holmes' obsessive and depressive personality fascinated and frightened Brett. In many ways Holmes' personality resembled Brett's own, with outbursts of passionate energy followed by periods of lethargy. It became difficult for Brett to let go of Holmes after work. He had always been told that the only way for an actor to stay sane was for him to leave his part behind at the end of the day, but Jeremy started dreaming about Holmes, and the dreams turned into nightmares.[9] Brett began to refer to Sherlock Holmes as "You Know Who" or simply "HIM": "Watson describes You Know Who as a mind without a heart, which is hard to play. Hard to become. So what I have done is invent an inner life".[10] Brett invented an imaginary life of Holmes to fill the hollowness of Holmes' "missing heart", his empty emotional life. He imagined :"...what You Know Who's nanny looked like. She was covered in starch. I don't think he saw his mother until he was about eight years old..." etc..[11]

Eventually it began to go wrong. His workload was pushing him to the limit. While the other actors disapperared to the canteen for lunch Jeremy would sit alone on the set reading the script, looking at every nuance.[12] He would read Holmes in the weekends and on his holidays. "Some actors fear if they play Sherlock Holmes for a very long run the character will steal their soul, leave no corner for the original inhabitant", he once said.[13] It never occurred to him that he was ill.
for more information on this great actor.

Monday, August 3, 2009

MEMEories by RJacob Post

With apologies to meme's everywhere here it goes.

Last 5: A Meme

1. Last 5 books you read.

Shogun by James Clavel

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

The Green by Troon McAllister

The Millioaire's Secrets by Mark Fisher

Abuse Your Illusions edited by Russ Krick

2. Last 5 movies (most recent first)

Transformers (2007)

Iron Man (2008)

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Tin Cup (1996)

The Big Sleep (1946)

3. Last 5 cds you played.

Que Pasa by Gato Barbieri

Aja by Steely Dan

Chicago's Love Songs

Collection by Dave Brubeck

The Wall by Pink Floyd

4. Last five t.v. programs you watched

The Buick

Burn Notice USA...if you liked McGiver, you will love it

House MD. has been said I am like him...

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes PBS...with Jeremy Brett

The History Channel....Ancient's been done before.

5. Last 5 things you had to drink.

Kona Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee

Bigelow Green Tea

orange juice

water mixed with lemon juice

Miller High Life Beer

On Jeopardy:

If you had the opportunity to appear on “Jeopardy”, how would you want Alex to introduce you and what anecdote would you want Alex Trebek to have you share?

Salesman and poetry blogger.

Early on in my career, I went from being one of the worst door to door salesman for insurance, to being promoted to store manager for a tile company 6 months later.

So there it is, my first meme contribution brought to you by Kat

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be Wealthy?

does it mean
to have money
to have any
wish desire
to do what
you want

or does
it mean
the people
one surrounds
oneself with
special friends
new friends
old friends
one can count on

does it mean
your health
no aliments
new ones
old ones
to ease
your way to
later years

important stuff
when young
pales when old

The Best of All Time! Tiger Woods

some people tire
he wins so much
after all
it's only golf

since he was three
he played this game
father mother
said ok
do your best
support him they did

do your school
work mother warned
military father
raised him right
knew his potential

get the mind right
the rest will
he did what
they said
worked hard
love for the game
enhance the skills
he was born with

took the world
by storm
many new
what he would do
money came in
too quickly
not earned
said some

years later
many wins
at sixty nine
knocking at the
alcolades galore
best of all time

looking back
one will marvel
to have watched
in our lifetime
Tiger Woods


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