Monday, May 30, 2016

Roadtrip Day 326


Roadtrip Day 326

5/29 Sunday

Light rain last night. Sunny this morning but dark clouds abound in a leaden sky. The Southern horizon is an adumbration of things to come, black and looming, announcing the imminent arrival of Jupiter Pluvius.

A little rain this morning, nothing significant. Sun is back although the horizon is all thunderheads. Lunch and some reading time now.

Rainshowers all afternoon.

Roadtrip Day 325


Roadtrip Day 325

5/28 Saturday

Warm, sunny morning. Waiting for the predicted later rain and T-storms tomorrow; but right now it’s very nice. I think it’s a cold Ovaltine and powdered donette morning. Campground booking said it would be full this weekend. Got a lotta people but it’s a big campground and it ain’t full. Yet. Lotta tents here. I wonder if they’re gonna stay thru tomorrow’s onslaught of T-storms in this sponge of a low, marshy campground. We’ll see.

While Ronnie does her editing pass on TLC, I’ve been working on structuring and planning TLC:CtD. Not making much progress on that. I’m kinda bogged down. Tried to write character sheets for all of my primary characters but that felt very artificial and unsuccessful. Tried to plot out a structure but it just ain’t comin’ clear like TLC’s plot did. The “superstructure” concept seems to not really fit my personal style. Or maybe just doesn’t fit action novels? The snowflake seems better suited and I can almost create a complete storyline, if not a fleshed-out plot doing the “3 disasters and a resolution” flow. Generally dissatisfied with my efforts right now. I’ll keep after it. I think I’ll take a serious break today and just read and “camp.” I can go back to trying to create a story tomorrow during the T-storms.

North Carolina seems to have a lot of olive DNA in its genetic makeup. Beach-ball shaped women on little pipestem legs, looking like an olive on a toothpick in a martini. And smoking, of course, while yelling at their kids in thick accents of illiteracy as they unpack their dually Dodge pickup which is covered in Trump stickers. I wanna go home, where people speak English., have 3-figure I.Q.s, and vote Democratic.

Ignore me. I slept poorly and need to find my happy place.

Got the first band of tropical storm rain this afternoon. It didn’t last terribly long but more is coming. In the continuation of my grumpy mood, why do authors inject so much of their personal sociopolitics into fictional works. Koonz can be a good writer. He often tells a good story. Then, in the middle of things, there’s a diatribe about some libertarian position or the importance of the second amendment. As bad as Ayn Fucking Rand. In a book I just finished, the mom doesn’t allow soda in the house and believes that video games are the gateway drug to sociopathy. It’s a pretty good book otherwise. And then there’s anti-Islamic “counterterrorism” porn. Wow! Is that stuff ever vile. The authors have clearly never heard of the Constitution, much less read it.  Currently reading a courtroom drama. Will it be not idiotic? We’ll see.

More rain coming tonight. Dry right now and getting some Genny time, charging everything up to FULL. Plotting tomorrow. Maybe. If it goes well. We’ll see.

Roadtrip Day 324


Roadtrip Day 324

5/27 Friday

Went to find the beach but it was a long way around the campground to even find a trail out so we gave up and will make a more specific effort later. I think I’ll spend the rest of the morning working on Lost Century stuff – character sheets, plot development… peripheral stuff to get settled before I start writing seriously on book 2, working title “Chasing the Dragon”. Ronnie is editing away on TLC. Soon enough, it’ll be time to start that first rewrite pass on that. (groan)

We may have discovered out entertainment for the weekend. We’re near the showers. The COLD showers. Someone walks in. They do prep. Then we hear, “Woooooo! Eeeeeeee!” etc. Hahaha! Big entertainment.

In the heat of the afternoon, we went for snoballs. Ain’t nothin’ like a Noo Awlins snoball and these were typically not NOLA snoballs. Odd sweetner in the flavors for both my orange and Ronnie’s mango. Cold and refreshing in the afternoon heat but not delicious.

We stopped at the gravesite of British sailors who were lost during the convoy phase of WWII. Lotta U-boat activity off this coast then.

Back to camp and some Genny time before dinner. Breeze is nice and sitting in the trailer in the shade is pretty pleasant.

Hahaha! We were in a mood for Tuna Helper and thought we had some. But no! But we still had the mood so we made Mac’n’Cheese with tuna. It was ok.

Roadtrip Day 323


Roadtrip Day 323

5/26 Thursday

Moving day. Not far but hot. Went back up the road to the campground by the lighthouse. It was awfully hot taking down and setting up but once we were settled, there was a really nice breeze. Rested a bit then hit the local grocery for vital supplies, lemon drop candy, Swedish fish, Little Debbies… Ya know.

Lazy evening cuz we were both tired from moving in the heat. Cool event however, we saw a flight of two tilt-rotor aircraft (Ospreys) come over low and slow. A little dinner, a little reading, and early to bed,

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Roadtrip Day 322


Roadtrip Day 322

5/25 Wednesday

Happy birthday to Ronnie! Woo-hoo! Lovely present from Eos this am for Ronnie’s birthday. We woke to see a deer sitting and browsing not 10 yards from us on the little dune bordering our campsite. She’s in a perfect spot, screened from most directions by surrounding bushes except right toward our trailer. Didn’t startle when we opened up and left the trailer to stare at her. Sweet. Sometimes waking early is worthwhile.

With our tent ends open, we can sit at the dinette and watch her. Nice way to enjoy birthday breakfast. Sunny, windless morning. Perfect day for a birthday outing to Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and other points along the barrier islands.

She hung around for about half an hour and finally ran for the woods across the street when the dickwad genny runners’ dog started barking up a storm. They have more than one way to kill a pleasant time in the campground.

Today was the day we drove to Kitty Hawk. I can’t tell you how wonderful that experience was. As someone who always wanted to fly, I often think about the fact that before 1903, you would be the richest person in the world. You could be the most powerful person in the world. In the entire world.

But you couldn’t fly.

Nowadays, for about $5K, anybody can get a pilot’s license. Anybody. For $5K, less if you do work-trade, etc. I declare that AMAZING.

Like most wonderful things, before they did it, the naysayers declared it unlikely, If not actually impossible. Even after they’d actually flown, the U. S. military didn’t really believe them or want to have anything to do with them. Later, poor Billy Mitchell was court martialed by the same type of intransigent old-school thinkers. Billy Mitchell of the airfield by Frisco campground, who should have… Never mind. I’m just getting grumpy. But about the Wright boys…

Those fellas solved all the problems associated with heavier than air flight on their own, from control surfaces to a motor with a reasonable power-to-weight ratio. An incredible feat. Absolutely incredible. I see Burt Rutan as their philosophical heir.

The monument is a catch-your-breath place. To be there and see where they stood and worked just a bit more than 100 years ago. It’s the kind of thing that speaks to me of the magnificence of humanity.

After that, we went to Kelly’s restaurant just down the road. That Was the perfect followup to such an emotional and wonderful visit. And to celebrate Ronnie’s birthday and my completed draft manuscript. We decided on appetizers for dinner and started with crab soup. Excellent. Crab-topped baked flounder was also first-rate. Oysters Rockerfella was their weakest dish but maybe I’m perfectly prejudiced having had the original at Antoine’s. Hot artichoke and spinach dip with some sort of cheesy matrix and crab on top was yummers. Seared scallops were perfectly done and made my mouth very happy. A little chocolate mousse to finish off the evening and we rolled back to camp and fell in bed, exhausted.

Roadtrip Day 321


Roadtrip Day 321

5/24 Tuesday

What a lovely, sunny day! Time for some cold Ovaltine and powdered-sugar donettes. Ahhhhh! Azure sky from horizon to horizon, gentle breeze, living green all around us, and the ruler-sharp line of the ocean’s dark blue horizon beyond the lumpy dunes.

Fuckwad neighbors ran their genny right up until 10 last night and started it up bright and early this am but they’ve stopped it now (at 9). Maybe they’ve gone fishing like they did for a blessed while yesterday. Who knows what stupidity lurks in the hearts of fuckwad neighbors? Even The Shadow is confounded by their white-dwarf level of density. Fuck ‘em. It’s a swell day and I’m ready to embrace it. Not in a sleazy or inappropriate way, of course. Just a friendly embrace, no erection. Well, maybe just a slight chubby like when you’re feelin’ really firm cuz the girl is stacked. Go ahead. Bust a move.

We’ll be heading for a nice, long beach hike this AM, I’m sure. Maybe this afternoon, when the sun is getting fierce, I’ll do a little more reading about structuring a novel. Whatever. We’ll see what this day actually brings. What the morning actually brought was Ronnie finishing her pass through chapter 1 and a discussion about how that went and how we’d proceed. Pretty damned exciting eve if she did mercilessly “kill my darlings.” (Deleted my personal flights of purple prose in the midst of a hard-hitting sword-and-sandal EPIC. And I loved them SOOOOO MUCH.) (grin)

Trim that fat. Bulk up that muscle. Power prose, by Jupiter! (VBG)

Delicious grilled cheese sammies for lunch and now we’re out into the sunshine for a stroll on the beach.

That was perfect. Sun, sand, ocean…Ahhhhh! Uploading photos with a cool drink of lemonade-tea after holding the sunshower for Ronnie. A little post-walk R&R now.

Decided to have stirfry for dinner: cut up BBQ chicken thighs, carrots, and spring onion. With rice, of course. A little rum for flavor in the stirfry mix, huh? Why not? Tomorrow, we’ll have dinner out to celebrate my finishing TLC and Ronnie’s birthday. Got a list of acceptable restaurants and we’ll try one of those. Exquisite day. Dinner at 6 will be a good finish instead of our usual later dinnertime.

Down to my last Baby Ruth for dessert. Tommorow is time to go out to dinner. (grin)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Roadtrip Day 320


Roadtrip Day 320

5/23 Monday

Monday, Monday. This is a good-sized campground and it’s maybe 1/3 full, probably not even that much. That makes it extra irritating when someone chooses the site right next to us and runs their LARGE generator all day and into the night. Started it up right after they arrived. Our campground brochure says 9pm is quiet time. Ronnie went to ask them to shut down at 9:30 and they snapped back that they were told 10pm. Now, at 8am they have it running again. Why, oh why, don’t we have a huge Class A motorhome with powerful, exterior party speakers? I could BLAST some fuckin’ Too Live Crew, NWA, Public Enemy, etc. at these fuckers. We’re gonna at least clarify with the ranger today what official quiet hours are. I hate old people.

Aside from that, sunny this morning with scattered clouds. Ronnie says rain later, according to the internet, but it’s quite nice right now. Tea and sympathy for breakfast. Sympathy for the Devil at ear-splitting volume, maybe?

Now that TLC is passed off to editing, I’m working on book 2, working title TLC: Chasing the Dragon. For TLC I had the entire structure of the book pretty well defined in my head and wrote up an outline from start to finish before I began. I did modify that some after I started but the core was set and I stuck to it. For TLC:CtD, all I really have is the concept with not much of an idea about how that concept can become a full novel. Ronnie has given me a coupla resources about creating a novel and I’m gonna spend this week researching that and putting together an outline for TLC:CtD before I start doing significant writing for it. I have written a couple of vignettes or scenes but nothing organized. Time to establish the framework of the story before I start throwing lotsa words at it.

When TLC comes back from editing… Well, that’s a lotta hard work I’ll be facing then. Meanwhile, I’ll create a framework for the canvas of the story to hang in, so that after I rewrite TLC, I can begin serious work on TLC:CtD.

Lovely sunshine gave way to late afternoon rain. I did a lotta reading about novel structure and jotted some thoughts about how to apply that for TLC:CtD. Ronnie made some 4pm Mac’n’Cheese for a “dinner” before “supper.” Snackin’ in the rain. I’m tired of working on my book(s). Time to read a popular, financially-successful action novel while I eat some noodly pseudogoodness.

 

Roadtrip Day 319


Roadtrip Day 319

5/22 Sunday

(photos day 319)

A little cool this morning and I’m still getting used to the fact that I finished the draft version of my novel. Amazing! Woke gently, got online for a while to see what was going on in the world of Facebook. And my email.

Ok, that’s done. We talked about our mid-range plans for a while and then decided on a beach walk before the overcast turns into downpour. Nice walk. Met a young, local woman with two dogs who told us about being here year-round. Cruised on back to camp for a late lunch.

For me, a year-round beach would hafta be the Caribbean, maybe San Diego but who can afford San Diego and the water is too cold for me even in the Summer. A lot of the Caribbean is pricey but there are still places that are affordable. Anyway, future fantasy. For lunch I was in a mood for a bowl of oatmeal for some reason, so that’s what I’m having. Hot, filling, and delicious with lots and lots of sugar.

Today is a “holiday”. Hahaha! Yes, even on semipermanent vacation, we take holidays. Tomorrow, Ronnie will start editing “The Lost Century” and I will start making a serious effort to create a story and structure for book 2, tentatively titled “The Lost Century: Chasing the Dragon”. It’s a good working title, at least.

I just talked to my cousins Wes and Kadence a bit. We chatted a while back about their desire to buy a nice catamaran and sail to the South Pacific to live aboard and do research about global warming and population displacement. They’re still thinking about it and pushing more concretely toward a 2017 plan. It’ll be fascinating to keep up with them on that. Speaking of sailing, every time I talk to my pal Bob, I twist his arm about doing a cruise on his boat to Belize. New Orleans to Cozumel is a wonderful sail across the wind, broad reach is a fast point of sail for a cat. From there, you’re at the North end of the reef and can cruise however and how long you like. Twist. Twist. C’mon, Bob.

For now, a lazy afternoon reading a murder mystery. And here’s the drizzle. And here’s the genuine rain. Dry at dinnertime with threatening clouds hanging low.

Roadtrip Day 318


Roadtrip Day 318

5/21 Saturday

Hoobie-doobie! Big T-storms last night. The trailer was wiggling and shaking and the awning, which we should have taken down, was going wild and finally collapsed partially on the windward side. I got up, cold and naked, and collapsed that side fully so it would shed the wind. That seemed to work as a temporary fix, so I hustled back inside and dried off before crawling back into bed. Better conditions this morning with no rain and light wind but apparently there’s more coming. Whoopie.

Ronnie laughed at me for going out naked but I explained that if I’d worn clothes, they’d be soaked. Naked, all I hadda do was dry my skin and crawl comfortably back in bed. I dunno why she shook her head at that. Makes perfect sense. Right?

Getting in some Genny time and some writing while the rain holds off. I intend to finish today. Imagine! A completed draft of a novel. I’m amazed. Anyway, off to work on that. I’ll come back here later, hopefully to say “DONE!”

DONE!

Yep. I just wrote “THE END” at a little over 80K words. My NaNoWriMo-style rough draft is complete. Completed. Now editing awaits. Eek!

And lunch. Lunch awaits first. Later on I’ll think about all the other stuff that’s gonna go with editing -  nom de plume?, how to self-publish, get a domain?, advertise?

Ack! Later. Now I just need to take a breath and feel the doneness of it.

So, I’ve been wondering when my high school would finally send some info about the planned reunion. Got an email today. Friday, June 3, alumni only, catered by Martin’s Wine Cellar, open bar, jambalaya, chicken pasta, and beef tenderloin. Casual dress. $55/person. Saturday, June 4, alumni plus one(s), Metairie Country Club, coat and tie, open bar, buffet of crab salad, crawfish pie, and New York strip loin carving station. $170/couple.

The way most of those alcoholics (mostly lawyers, after all) drink, they just might lose money at those prices.

Outa power. Dinner and bed. Power and computing tomorrow morning.

 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Roadtrip Day 317


Roadtrip Day 317

5/20 Friday

Less windy this morning and a mixed sky, heavily clouded but they’re smallish white ones, not very threatening looking. Slept until almost 10 this morning; it was a good night. I believe I’m well rested today even though we stayed up late reading. The breeze this morning is more refreshing than chilly. The world smells new and friendly, Mother Earth as a happy, wiggly puppy.

I intend to finish TLC today if I can get into a writing flow. Even if I can’t get in the zone, I can crank out enough so that I can almost certainly finish tomorrow. Write on! So, that’s what’s on my mind today – driving to the finish of TLC. I dread the editing phase and worry that Beta readers won’t like it. Eek! How, then, can I possibly put it out there in public? Oh, my! But that’s what’s next so that’s where it’s going, for better or worse, for good or ill, for praise or censure.

Lord, have mercy!

The story has morphed from my original, simple sword-and-sandal fantasy combat concept of a stand-alone novel into something a bit more. After attending a funshop on self-publishing at the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference put on by our very successful self-publishing friend, Lisa, I made two significant changes:

1. I added in some flashback sex scenes, even though the story is about some Roman legionaries on their own in the scary, wide world with no women around, cuz everybody likes sex, and although the scenes themselves could be called gratuitous, the sex is the initiating event of the primary plot driver; so I can honestly claim that they are a Plot Necessity. Kind of.

2. I decided to try to write a series based on this first one. Lisa’s opinion and experience is that, pragmatically, series sell. I can see that; I like to read additional novels about characters I enjoyed in a first novel. And my legionaries do survive at the end of the book (some of them) so they’re available to have additional adventures.

In the months since that funshop, I’ve taken advantage of #2 by thinking about, and even writing some narrative for, the SECOND novel about Flavius and his Furies. It’s a nice break when I feel stymied or bogged down while trying to make progress on TLC to switch to doing something with Novel Number 2. It keeps my head in the realm of writing, even writing about my legionaries, while letting me think about new, fresh things which might inspire me when I’m feeling blah about what’s going on in TLC. Maybe I should start calling it TLC One.

We had a pleasant, long midday walk on the beach today under mostly overcast skies, not hot but the very high humidity made it feel sticky. More surf fishermen than midweek, many cars (4-wheel and trucks) running the beach. We said hello to several friendly dogs. Back to camp for a late lunch. Ready for that.

A session of writing now…

Late afternoon and I’m done writing for the day. I will finish TLC tomorrow for sure. Amazing. Fully grey sky now with rain predicted at some point at some level. Ok, then. Some dinner, some reading, and a hopefully not-so-windy night, even if it does rain some. Got some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to put on the BBQ. Just gotta figure out what to have or do with them.

Roadtrip Day 316


Roadtrip Day 316

5/19 Thursday

The rain did eventually slack off last night but the wind kept UP. Gusty enough to blow out the pilot light on the propane power to the fridge, so about 9pm I switched the fridge to 12-volt, hoping it would last the night. Not quite.

About 5am, the CO detector started shrilling. Not a poison gas problem; the battery is flat. Killed the detector, threw on pants, went outside and killed the 12-volt to the fridge and Ronnie helped me start up the propane to it. Still awfully gusty so back to bed hoping it doesn’t get blown out.

9am now and the sun is out with scattered clouds, some of which are grey, but the wind is still gusty. Pilot light seems to still be lit, so that’s good. Cold fridge is better than warm fridge, eh? Started Genny and had some tea and powdered minidonuts. Genny will unflatten Mister Battery while also (re)powering our electronics. My laptop was down to “powersave” mode, too, so getting some 120-v is good.

I’m very tired after a noisy, late night and 5am alarm plus activities. Might be a nap day. My brain will wake up and I’ll think about it after breakfast.

Pushing noon now and we’re repowered. And I’m mostly awake. Kinda tired. Had some mid-morning Ovaltine to perk me up. That was tasty. I’m trying to do some writing but it’s not flowing. My brain is still fitful. Maybe after lunch. Sun is warm but the breeze is still blustery and a little cool for my taste.

Spent the afternoon reading then Ronnie gave me an oils massage and I had a nap. Not a euphemism. Very nice. Time for some dinner now. Reading and bed to follow.

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Roadtrip Day 315


Roadtrip Day 315

5/18 Wednesday

It rained all night. It was still raining in the early pre-dawn when Thing 1 woke and left the cozy bed. Later in the realistic morning, Thing 2 woke to the steady 4/4 of the vertical rain. [Cue the Beatles but skip that “might as well be dead” bit.] Thing 2 opted for hot, lemony (P.G. Tips) tea and one of those French horns. Thing 1 joined in for a second cup of tea to follow her pre-dawn one. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were looking at an indoor snooze fest on this rainy, not-very-nice day.

It’s ok. That can be fun, too. As long as the power lasts, Thing 2 can write more about the exotic adventures of Flavius’ Furies, rampaging their way through the first century B.C. Then maybe a little rests and lunch and asking Genny to run for an hour or so to create MORE power. Possibly, then, but just possibly, Thing 2 could write some additional words about those fierce legionaries.

But first, breakfast. And full wakefulness. Thing 2 is not a blithe waker, no sprightly riser, he. Quit giggling. I said “waker” not “wanker”, although if the foo shits…

The ocean is obscured in the nondimensional grey distance. The world seems to end at the dunes bordering the beach side of the campground. If this were a sf book, I could cross those dunes and step into another world. Another universe. If I were one of Zelazney’s princes, I could walk to Amber. Ah, but poor, pedestrian Thing 2 lives in this prosaic world and a walk across those dunes would take him only to the rainy beach and speckled ocean. Actually, a scene like that is very nice all on its own, no alternate universes needed.

But wouldn’t that be exciting?

Ok, ‘nuff said here for now. Time for Thing 2 to open that “The Lost Century” doc and add some words there. Talk to ya later. Thing 2 is puttin’ on the ritz (cracker which is his writing cap).

Wrote some until I ran out of computer battery, then had lunch and read a bit in the gloomy rain. 2 pm now and Thing 1 powered up Genny so this laptop is recharging, along with all the other electronics. Color Thing 2 a Happy Camper, especially because the rain has tapered off and there’s some new glare in the sky. Might be that big, burning ball of plasma about 100 million miles away in space. C’mon, Mister Sol, burn away these clouds. Burn, Baby, burn!

Ok, ok, looks like the rain is fighting back and it’ll be a Battle of the Elements this afternoon. The astrologers, errr, meteorologists say the rain will be done later this afternoon. We’ll see. Let’s return now to those leaden days of yesteryear and see what Thing 2 can make happen in the Hindu Kush in the 1st century B.C. Leavin’ on shank’s mare, for jet planes had not yet been invented.

Hmmm, do I need a time travel plot twist? Nah! Not for this novel, at least. Bwahaha!

Dry (but windy) spell so we walked the beach under low, scudding clouds. Invigorating. Yeah, that’s the word. Yes, actually it had its own kind of beauty. Back now and thinking it’s time for dinner as we prepare for an evening bout of possible rain, chances fading as the night grows older. Looking forward to that. Thing 1 is very unhappy with the wind. Thing 2 is not amused either. I think the cat’s hat just blew away toward Europe. Or Greenland. Or Africa. Or Albuquerque. Bye!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Roadtrip Day 314


Roadtrip Day 314

5/17 Tuesday

Good morning. No rain last night and none yet today. It’s delightful. Perfect. Weather report now says rain this evening and/or more consistently tomorrow. Sure seems like meteorology is the new astrology. Jupiter is near Luna and Mars is in retrograde while Venus is off doing her sexy thing in the Cytherian splendor of her luscious goddessness. That can only mean one thing - 20% chance of rain in the next 12 hours. Or you’re due to come into an unexpected inheritance.

Ronnie woke before dawn, just like the killer, and went for an early beach walk while I slept. She left me a note but I didn’t see it until after she’d already returned. She said it was quiet and beautiful – no 4-wheelers rampaging up and down, few surf fishermen, just the ocean and the beach and Apollo’s chariot with its solar burden. I slept until 9. Well, 9ish. (wink) Quiet breakfast now with a full load of propane to power us through the next several weeks and enough groceries for a week at least. No tasks to accomplish except to enjoy life. And get a little more done on TLC. I added another thousand words last night; gonna try to add another thousand today. Driving hard toward the finish like Marshawn Lynch powering to the goal line.

Yes, I do plan to grab my crotch and shake it at the world when I get there.

Last night just before bed we walked down to the bathroom and encountered a nice couple walking their dogs, apparently all rescues, dachsundish, pomeranianish, chihuahuaish. We had a pleasant chat in the dark by the bathrooms, petting the mutts and sharing stories. They live in Virginia and have been coming here for years. He used to surf here when he was younger. Charming social interaction to have during a nighttime bathroom outing.

Breakfast is done and my battery power is low. Time to sign off and have some fun until we run the genny to recharge this machine and all our others. Then I’ll see about cranking out that next thousand words for Flavius and da boyz.

Nice afternoon walk on the beach in the grey, rain-smelling sky. No actual rain yet. Saw a dead jellyfish and a dead puffer. Back to the trailer before the rain. And here it comes finally at 4:15. Gentle, warm rain to start. Didn’t last too long and we rode into town to get gas and ice. Another donation is due the LBGTQ equivalence group.

Pork chops, pesto, and corn on the cob for dinner. Digesting in the approaching dark which is bringing the rain back with it.

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Roadtrip Day 313


Roadtrip Day 313

5/16 Monday

A lovely, cool morning after a quiet, long night. This place has nice, tiled bathrooms and showers, unfortunately, the showers are cold-water only. We have our 4-gallon sunshower filled and sitting on the table for Mister Sol to work his magic and give us some hot water later. If this place had hot showers and hookups, they’d hafta kick us out when we hit their time limit. Once we settle down here and regain our full-on “lazy camping” mode after the travels and changes of the last coupla days, I intend to FINISH “The Lost Century.”

Yes, you and I both heard that right. We’re here for 11 more days and I’m at 80K words and only have a few thousand more to drive this thing to a completed finish. Amazing. Go figure, huh? Perhaps Ronnie’s birthday on 5/25 will be that excellent milestone. The timing is just about right. Then, of course, there’s the editing phase. That’ll take about a decade. At least. Ronnie and I rarely argue, but I can see some friction happening as she goes through my deathless prose with her metaphorical red pen.

“Nooooo,” I’ll wail. “I meant for it to say exactly that.”

“Nooooo,” she’ll respond. “Exactly that is completely crap. You can’t use one of those 50-worst-analogies-ever-written in your novel. You just can’t.”

“But I wanna!”

“No, you can’t.”

“Yes, I can.”

“No, you can’t.”

“Yes, I can.”

“No you can’t, no you can’t, no you can’t!”

Yeah, I can see that that’s how it’s gonna go cuz yes, I did use one of those in my narrative. Bwahahahahaha! Can you guess which one? (smirk) I love the “bag of soup” one but it wasn’t that one. FYI, it’s number 13 on the list I have: “McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.” Isn’t that just perfect?

So anyway, we took a nice morning walk to and along the beach - through the campground, through the dunes (on the marked path), and then wandering along the broad, infinite beach. Delightful way to spend a morning. Hot sun, cool breeze, beautiful vistas. Must be about lunchtime now.

Piggybacking on Ronnie’s hotspot to check in with the wide world. Still kinda icky out there. Think I’ll stay here. I’ve been expecting the GOP to self-destruct for a coupla decades now. It seems to finally be happening. What I didn’t expect was for the Dems to self-destruct. The old-guard power structure is not allowing the new voices to have their fair share of say in how things go. What a bizarre and fascinating election cycle. It reminds me of Mister McBride and his fatal fall. Soup du jour.

We spent the afternoon sitting under and outside of the sunshade, depending on the sun and wind, reading and enjoying just being here. Getting later now and time to see how well the sunshower has heated its load of water today. Then we’ll be sliding on down toward dinnertime.

Ah, excellent timing. We have two propane tanks on our little popup trailer. We were trying to remember if the one we weren’t using had been emptied previously or if it were still full while chatting about how it would be terrible to run out while cooking dinner if the backup were actually empty. So while chatting and boiling some water to augment the heated water from the sunshower, wouldn’t ya know it?, the flame went out. Active propane tank is empty.

Ok. I switched bottles. Nope. Nada. We now knew for a fact that the backup bottle had indeed been emptied previously. Okey-dokey then. I switched the fridge to 12-volt and disconnected one of the propane tanks while Ronnie finished her shower. Threw the tank in the car and headed into Frisco to find propane.

Ha! At the end of the campground road where it T-bones into the highway, there’s a little store with a propane exchange rack right there. So, five minutes and $22 plus tax and we’re free to head back to camp to repower our propane system. Ronnie also made a note to send a matching $25 to the LBGTQ group for North Carolina.

I attached the FULL propane tank to the trailer, hooked it up, turned it on, and switched the fridge back to propane from 12-volt. We’ll fill the other empty one once we’re back out of North Carolina.

Phew. Now we can cook dinner without worrying about losing our cooking ability in media res. Don’tcha just hate half-cooked food? Ronnie suggests chicken-pesto pasta. Side of green beans, which we bought a fresh batch of cuz they looked good at the grocery. Ok. I eat that. Some of that. (wink)

Even the green beans were good. BURP! A slice of pound cake to settle that food down and it’s getting to be that time when the sun goes to hide on the underside of the world. Possible rain tonight with highest chance tomorrow. We’ll see what we actually get.

Roadtrip Day 312


Roadtrip Day 312

5/15 Sunday

Woke lazily after a long night’s sleep to sunshine and less wind. It was still a bit cool so for breakfast I opted for some hot tea (We found some P. G. Tips so we have good tea!) and a French horn, aka Food Lion’s Vanilla French Twirl. Warming pleasantly now and I’m ready to see what today brings now that I have a happy belly. 10:30 and Ronnie has gone over the dunes to see the beach while I type here. When she returns, we’ll head to town (Buxton) to see what’s available there. There are lots of things I want to see here, especially flying-related stuff -  Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills for Wright brothers stuff but also the Billy Mitchell airstrip just down the road from the campground.

So after we cruised Buxton (Hello. Goodbye.), we continued on down to the next little town to check it out and see what that campground looked like. Frisco. After cruising the Frisco campground we agreed enthusiastically to relocate. Hilly (dune-y), lots of vegetation, fairly private campsite, and a lovely view of the water. We bought a dozen days, returned to break camp, came back to Frisco, set up camp, and settled in. Very nice here. Lovely. I decided I needed fried turkey slices, two eggs over medium, and some potato bread with strawberry jam for a late lunch as a reward for all that effort. Delicious. We ate lunch sitting under our sunshade looking out over the dunes to the ocean. Beautiful.

I just finished slicing and sugaring some strawberries to put on slices of vanilla pound cake after dinner. Who cares what the entrée will be!

This campground is right next to Billy Mitchell Airfield. Three planes tied down there, a Cessna and two Pipers. Cute little airport. Ah, as I write, a larger plane just came over us for landing. I didn’t get a good look but it was about 8 passengers’ worth of aircraft. Commercial use there? I dunno. Charter maybe. Probably.

We spent the afternoon sitting in our chairs under the sunshade, watching the ocean, brainstorming, and reading. Now it’s 6pm and we’re running the genny, charging all the electronics. With the sun getting low, the cool breeze is cool enough for long sleeves and closing some of the windows in the trailer. It’s been a delightful half-day and we’re very pleased to be settled here for a while. The strawberries have sugared up nicely and we’re gonna have them over the poundcake now, before dinner.

Mmmmmm! Yep That’s pretty good.

Sliced rounds of potato sautéed in butter with some cut-up chicken and pork, and some green onion. Cooked carrots on the side. Sounds excellent for a sunset supper. Easing into the lovely evening. Goodnight, Moon.

 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Roadtrip Day 311


Roadtrip Day 311

5/14 Saturday

Long day. I’m writing this on Sunday because I had no energy left to write once we finally got set up. We woke early and broke camp at Little Pee Dee, heading for Richmond and our friend Laura. We originally hoped to visit for the day and into Sunday but Laura’s house had become the norovirus ward; so we stopped briefly, held our breath to say hi and pick up some stuff we had mailed there, and escaped germ-free. We hope! We headed to our next destination – Cape Hatteras.

That made for a long drive, starting at Little Pee Dee, hitting Richmond, then hooking back toward Cape Hatteras. We stopped for food and gas before we left Virginia, then made our way all the way down to Buxton and the Cape Point campground of the National Park system, right near the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

A brief aside about North Carolina. Ronnie explained our position at great length in her writings. I don’t have that kind of patience. We’re visiting here because it’s a must-see spot and it’s a federal facility. We’re spending as little money as possible in North Carolina. Any money we do spend, we’ll send matching funds to a LGBTQ support group for N.C. Further subtleties in that plan are beyond the scope of this writing. Fly a rainbow flag and we’ll happily buy from you.

So anyway, we got here at sunset and set up in the gathering dark. It’s a huge campground with no trees, wide open except for small, occasional clumps of scrub. We chose a spot on the edge backed up against the scrubs and shrubs on the ocean side. When we arrived there was one campsite in use about a hundred yards from us. They left this morning. We are alone except for maybe a coupla campers WAAAAY away from us in another loop. Cool and very windy last night with T-storms flashing lightning strikes in the distance. The lighthouse swept over us methodically and fireflies strobed the darkness of the beach scrub. Fireflies are the shiznit.

After we got set up, we warmed up a quick batch of leftover stirfry and hit the sack. Sunday, we’ll actually look around and see what’s going on here.

 

Roadtrip Day 310


Roadtrip Day 310

5/13 Friday

Friday the 13th. Woulda been appropriate yesterday. Casual breaking of camp and heading back Northward. Planning to stop for the night back at Little Pee Dee then continuing on Saturday morning. Those brand new trailer breaks are squeaky-squeaky. Dialed them down some to avoid that.

Easy drive and quick setup at Little Pee Dee, obviously after their morning rain, given the puddles around the campsite, and all set now in case there’s afternoon rain. The deep, quiet woods here are nice. I wouldn’t hate a raucous afternoon T-storm. Could be a nice metaphor for clearing the decks and having a fresh start. The cost of that brake job really inflamed my sense of indignation. But it’s pleasant and quietly lovely here so I’ll try to zen.

Shower and a nap sounds like a good way to start the flow into this afternoon. Nice HOT showers here, thank the gawds of spacetime.

Moving into the yellow light of the evening. Not quite the golden hour that photographers love but close. This campsite faces into the dense, green woods. Very peaceful. Stirfry for dinner – pork, mushrooms, and spring onions. That hit the spot. Now I’m ready to ease down into early bedtime after my long nap this afternoon. Yesterday beat me down. Recuperating today.

 

Roadtrip Day 309


Roadtrip Day 309

5/12 Thursday

Good morning. So this morning is all about waiting to hear from the trailer repair shop. Crossed fingers.

Called them at noon when they hadn’t called us and it was time to check out of the motel. Went sightseeing. Saw the Angel Oak, possibly the oldest tree East of the Mississippi. Went to the beach and walked in the sand and surf. Called again at 2:30ish. Went for pizza. FINALLY heard back that they did indeed have all the parts and were working on it. Should be done today before 6. Lah-de-dah. Headed toward the area of Camping World, aka “the shop”, intending to visit a park when they called and said just about done come and get it. So we did.

If you think they fuck you at the drive-through, then you should do business with Camping World. If you want some lube for that dedicated ass fucking, you should bring your own cuz they’ll charge you more than you could afford for a little lubrication in addition to the anal penetration. $1100+ for a brake job. Drum brakes. One axle, two wheels.

My ass hurts. So does my head and wallet.

Quick setup at Francis Marion. Looking to scrounge some food, sleep, and then hit the road back North tomorrow. Dragging my abused ass along for the ride.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Roadtrip Day 308


Roadtrip Day 308

5/11 Wednesday

Good morning, campers. We have an appointment at Camping World for 2ish this afternoon for a look-see at our wheel/brake problem. Crossed fingers. If they have parts in stock, they could get it done today. More likely, we’ll just be taking all the broken piece outa there, buttoning it back up, and driving back to camp in order to return tomorrow, or the next day, when they have parts and are ready to do it. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, it’s another lovely day which we can enjoy for a few hours before we hafta pack up, hitch up, and roll.

We dropped the trailer, had some Popeye’s late lunch, did some shopping at Target, and hit the laundromat. Shop called with the bad news that it’s (of course) a rare part and they don’t have it in stock. Plus, we can’t get the trailer back cuz they have it all apart and wanna take the backing plate in the morning to a place that might have it.

So fuck a duck. We left some stuff at the campsite to show that it was occupied. Do we buy a puptent at Target and go back to camp? Do we get a motel? If motel, do we leave our stuff unprotected at the campsite? Eventually, we grabbed a motel and installed me there to decompress while Ronnie ran back to the campsite to retrieve our stuff. So we’re at the undelightful Motel6 near the RV repair shop, hoping they can complete the brake job tomorrow.

We’ll see.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roadtrip 307


Roadtrip 307

5/10 Tuesday

10:30 is a good wakeup after a late night visiting friends, right?

Entenmann’s blueberry muffins and, echoes of my childhood, Borden’s Dutch Chocolate milk. The dad of one of my friends in grammar school was a delivery driver for Borden’s. Like many people in the 50s, we still had milk delivered to our house when I was a kid, until we got too sophisticated for that. And I sure remember the taste of Borden’s Dutch Chocolate moo juice. There was also a Borden’s outlet, or maybe it was their main distribution center, I dunno, near us and once in a while we’d go there for ice cream cuz they had a retail service counter. The surest way to make that happen was to get the youngest, Judy, to beg dad to take us. That almost always worked.

The other big dairy in the city in those days was Brown’s Velvet. Their store was on Carrollton Avenue, IIRC. Before we moved to the suburbs, we lived near the intersection of Carrollton and St. Charles and I started school at Mater Dolorosa on Carrollton, making Brown’s Velvet my home dairy in those years. Brown’s Velvet figured into my later life in senior year of high school when one of my classmates went a little crazy and held it up at gunpoint then sat on their banquette and waited for the cops to arrive and take him away. I think he got the mental help he needed after that. I hope so. He was an ok guy.

And Sealtest. I forgot about Sealtest Dairy.

He wasn’t the only one who got wound a little too tight and snapped in response. Some of us got accepted to that school in 8th grade, making senior year our 5th year there. One kid from somewhere down the bayou with a noticeable Cajun accent finally had enough of the bullshit and in the Spring of senior year gave one of the priests a memorable what-for in an enthusiastic word salad of English and French. He was expelled after four and three-quarters years there when he was a gnat’s whisker from graduation. Interesting that by that time he had more than enough credits for a high school diploma. One of my other five-year buddies was asked to not return for senior year after his junior year because he’d been out sick so much. At least, that’s the story I heard. He transferred to another school and in order to graduate from there he took one class, guitar, the whole year, just to have actual hours at the school he graduated from. He had a nice senior year there, he and his wonderful car, the “Blue Goose.” We had some good times in that Blue Goose.

My favorite memory in that vein (losing fellow students after four years or more but before graduation) was the “cafeteria incident.” The setting: Senior year. Spring. The cafeteria. A kid whose dad was a federal judge and whose house had every room covered in religious murals (I went there for a party once. The mom had us all kneel and pray before the party started. Thus, the scene for rank insanity is set.) was in the lunch line when someone cut in front of him. How do you respond to that kind of aggression? Well, that particular day, that kid’s response was to slam his fork firmly into the offender’s neck. Firmly. And fully. Full fathom five thy father lies? Nah, full tine deep thy implement to assist mastication pierces yon offensive stalk holding the brigand’s meon clear of his arrogant shoulders. That’ll teach ya, muthafuckah! NO CUTS!

But apparently stabs are optional.

He finished the year in a psychiatric facility but still got his diploma. Unlike the Cajun kid. Yes, it pays to be connected, moreso in New Orleans than in most places, I think.

A donation to the building fund? Why, thank you, Judge. Of course, we understand about your son and we hope he’s getting the help he needs. No, no, graduation is not a problem; we were almost done with the year anyway. Your continued support is always appreciated, Your Honor.

Tell me if you think the kid who held up the Browns Velvet Dairy whose parents were not “important”, or big donors to the school, got the same consideration. Maybe it was the Sealtest Dairy rather than Brown’s Velvet. Memory fades.

We woke this morning to discover that a squirrel had chewed a hole in the screen material next to our food bins. That screen is about four feet off the ground above the slick, hard sides of the trailer; but he got to it, chewed through, and munched through a couple of packages to get at the delicious interiors, e.g. loaf of bread, plastic container of cookies. The attached gas BBQ is near there. Apparently he managed to climb up onto it and got to the screen from there. Little bastard. Guess we’ll hafta us the old NASA fix – duct tape. That’s gonna look pretty tacky. Oh well.

It’s supposed to be cooler today than yesterday. More accurately it’s supposed to be less hot. Not bad so far. I need to wait until the belly of the afternoon when it’s at its hottest before I go brave the Shower of the Frost Giants. It seems wrong to be pissing icicles when it’s in the mid-80s under a glaring sun.

Ok, so, less-that-cool stuff while travelling. We heard noise from the right wheel of the trailer. Hmmmm. Bearing, brakes? Diagnosis. Didn’t seem like the bearing. Not the usual bad-brakes noises, either. I crawled under the trailer to check the inspection port. Not much to see but there’s a LOOSE spring lying at the bottom of the drum. I don’t think that’s a stock setup. So tomorrow we’re gonna close up, hitch up, and drive to a wheel/tire/brake place on the outskirts of Charleston nearest us and have ‘em open up that hub and take a look. Electric drum brakes. Crossed fingers on this adventure.

We’ve had good luck finding tasty corn on the cob lately. Had some tonight with rice and BBQ chicken breasts. I am full and satisfied. Just anxious about the brake thing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Tonight, like last night, we have a Carolina moon, In Carolina no less. How nice. How appropriate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Roadtrip Day 306


Roadtrip Day 306

5/09 Monday

Excellent night. After the heat of the day, it cooled off so delightfully that I wanted a blanket in the depths of the dark. Now, at 9am, it’s still not hot. Yet. Threatens to be a scorcher today. I have mixed feelings about that. Pragmatically, it probably works out well cuz we’re supposed to meet the Gottliebs for dinner in Charleston so maybe it’ll be an airconditioned car siteseeing experience in the furnace of the afternoon. First, breakfast.

Closing in on 10am here now and the campground is a-stirrin’. One site has had a huge fire burning all night (apparently) cuz it was burning big when we went to be and it’s still burning and loaded with firewood this morning. With no one in attendance. Air compressors blatt as they fill watersports inflatables and the gas-powered edger is making its rounds trimming the verge. Our trailer sits in lovely shade from a nice, mature tree, and we’ll have afternoon shade from two trees to the West of our site. It’s pretty nice. Last night the tide was out but this morning I just saw a large sailboat go by practically level with us. Clearly, the tide is high. (No Blondie songs now! I mean it!) Campers and boats lined up at the waste dump. Two drains, no waiting. Well, only a little waiting. Folks be headin’ home to dem South Carolina lives, y’all.

I might need another glass of chocolate milk to prime my writing pump as I progress into the unknown realm of more-than-80K-words. Oh my. Terra incognita. Ok, honestly, everything past 20K words has been a new experience but 75~80K has been my target for completion since I decided to push this novel to a conclusion. Now, I’m there but still not quite finished. Only a bit more to go.

I’m remembering my Aunt Helen, who died yesterday, and her family and friends. Including me. She was one of the good ones and so another light has gone out of the world leaving just that much more room for the darkness. Shine your light bravely, Dear Reader. Show your fierce face to that which abides in the dark, hungry and destructive. We can keep it back if we make the effort. We must make the effort.

Ok, some brown moo and some words about my legionaries for the next little while.

Coming into lunchtime and the heat of the day, I went for a shower. Now, usually I like hot shower, very hot showers, but in these hot conditions, tepid is ok. Cool, however, is still not ok. Cool is never ok. The water in the shower here never got above cool. Ack! Frustrating. I was efficient rather than indulgent and returned to a petite dejuner of hard-boiled egg (reddened with Tony’s), extra sharp cheddar cheese, and Ritz crackers. The quotidian Coca-cola. A refrigerated lemon pudding to follow. Perfect. With that done, we’re thinking about heading to Charleston and what to see there before our dinner engagement. The car is airconditioned. An important point in our decision to head to town.

Ok, 2pm and we’re heading to town. See ya later.

Eased into Charleston and headed toward the harbor to do a little sightseeing. We drove slowly through a few notable places, like the Market, along with all the other tourists. Worked our way past the pastel Georgian rowhouses, an historic landmark, parked and walked along the waterfront a bit and ambled through battery park, mostly to admire the architecture in the surrounding neighborhoods. I love old Southern architecture. Georgian, Palladian, Greek Revival, etc. Even “shotgun”. When we got too hot and tired from walking, we returned to the car and continued to drive around the various neighborhoods, enjoying the homes and properties. As it got closer to time, we headed over to the restaurant where we were supposed to meet the Gottliebs.

Got there early and sat at the bar to pass the time with a coupla cold, alcoholic liquid refreshments. Did we want appetizers? Ummmm, sure, Mister Bartender, we’ll split a serving of bourbon chocolate pecan pie. Ah, the perfect appetizer. From dead empty when we arrived, the place became packed by the time the four of us were assembled and ready for dinner. They still managed to find us a table and we sat for some “Best in the city - 2016” BBQ. We had some tasty food and fun conversation, some of which was even about unschooling. We hogged their table for such a long time, the G’s finally offered that we should all go back to their house to chat.

So we did. For a longer time. Eventually, we hadda hit the road before there was a significant chance I’d fall asleep at the wheel on the way back. Dragged back into the dark and quiet campground and crept into our site as stealthily as we could. Leftovers in the coolerator and tired butts in the bed.

It was a delightful visit.

Goodnight.

 

Roadtrip Day 305


Roadtrip Day 305

5/08 Sunday

Travel day. Ronnie woke early so I just kinda joined her. Beautiful morning light across the still lake. Low yellow rays illuminating the tree trunks in bands of light and dark and pushing leaves into the yellow side of the green spectrum rather than their typical darker green. None of the kids in the campground is up yet. Ha! Yesterday, the camp host invited Ronnie to worship service this morning somewhere in camp. Think we’ll be skipping that. Breakfast and a slow climb to full waking as the sunrise light deepens and broadens. It’s really quite lovely.

Too bad it happens at dawn. It’s just as nice and more civilized at sunset, so I’ll just generally stick to appreciating that.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Gonna pack and move today to the campground at Francis Marion National Forest a few hours South of here. That campground is on the ICW so that’ll be kinda interesting. I also wanna grab a bio from the library of Francis Marion, the infamous Swamp Fox, to read while we’re there. That’d be entertaining. I have only vague memories of his feats of derring-do.

One early riser just pushed his jon boat off the shore and is heading out, I assume, to do some fishing. Hooray for the restriction on engines. He was silent as his electric trolling motor dragged him out onto the bosom of the waters. The cane-polers are still asleep.

This shouldn’t be a stressful or hurried pack and travel. It’s only about three hours down the road and we have a reserved campsite; so even if we don’t get outa here until noon, we’ll be there by 4pm, given three hours of driving and an hour at the supermarket provisioning for the upcoming week. That’s a pleasant amount of time to set up camp and settle in for the evening and the week.

Just about done with brekkie. I guess it’s time to start packing.

Pack went easily. Travel was pleasant. Grocery stop at the Food Lion where we got some generic Food Lion “Pinwheel” cookies. Half the price and twice as good as real Pinwheels. They taste like the old, original Pinwheel recipe. The changes to the Pinwheel recipe have been detrimental over the years. But HOORAY! For delicious, cheap fakes. We got to the Francis Marion campground (Buck Hall) on the ICW and set up in the HEAT of midafternoon, Phew! Enervating. We managed to get basically set up then sat in the shade until the cool of the evening.

BBQ pork chops, angel hair pasta with butter and parmesan, and carrots. Tasty and filling. The delicious fake Pinwheels for dessert. Ah! Night has brought blessed coolness, relief from the sun and heat.

I piggybacked on Ronnie’s hotspot for wifi to find out that my aunt Helen died this morning. On Mother’s Day. A very sad ending to a generally delightful day. Helen was a wonderful, lovely woman and she’ll be greatly missed. My parents’ generation is passing away and it saddens me greatly. Hell! A lot of my own generation is already passing away. Death, be not proud! But could you maybe take a little vacation or something?

Helen was a wonderful woman, a caring mother, and a sweet person who made all those around her feel better about themselves and the wide world. Requiescas in pace.

 

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Roadtrip Day 304


Roadtrip Day 304

5/07 Saturday

Ah, early wakeup call from the excited children’s voice shrilling around the campground and adults whose normal speaking voice is apparently theater trained to project to the cheapest of the cheap seats. Loud motherfuckers. But it’s a lovely, sunny day.

I know I’m back in the South cuz there are people cane-poling from the lakeshore. They’re using store-bought rods, rather than found-wood bamboo or sugarcane stalks as rods but it’s still sho-nuff cane-pole-style fishing. Color me amused. Yes, I’m gonna drive my quarter-million-dollar Class A diesel pusher RV down to the campground in order to do some serious cane-poling.

Whatever. Power to ya, folks. Enjoy. Teach your kids those important cultural heritage activities, just please don’t refer to it by its “historic” cultural name, ok? I do see some competent technique out there from a couple of the adults, clearly they’re long-time cane-polers, having learned it as children from their parents. Wonder how much that carbonfiber rod cost, compared to a free sugarcane or bamboo stalk. Teach your children well… Just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

The kids are very excited to be fishing.

Never did teach the girls how to cane-pole but they had their own rod-and-reel sets on the Zombie Princess and Chloe took a liking to dropping a line in the water. MJ used to go out crabbing with Poppa Tom and both girls occasionally fished from the deck or beach in season. Now MJ goes crabbing and fishing with boyfriend Joe. Outdoorswomen, by gawd! Naturals! Both of ‘em! (grin)

Like all watersports enthusiasts of every stripe, the folks at the lake have the sine qua non accessory – the ubiquitous cooler full of beer. Hopefully some other liquids for the chirrens.

Amusingly, at the other end of the lake-fishing spectrum, there’s a serious-as-a-heart-attack actual bass boat out there. It’s a nonmotorized lake, so he has his HUGE outboard up and is tooling around on his electric trolling motor plying his multi-thousand-dollar high-tech fishing gear with his fishing buddy, one chair in the back for the owner/driver and one in the bow for the buddy. Foot controls for the trolling motor, of course, so you can stand when or as needed. No cane poles for those fellas, not even if they’re carbonfiber, graphite, or nanotube. Are they making nanotube fishing rods yet? Maybe.

It’s almost lunchtime. I wonder if the cane-polers’ cooler contains baloney sandwiches on white bread. A little mayo, a little yellow mustard. Maybe a slice of American cheese. Brings back memories. I confess to spending the occasional day on the banks of Bayou St. John or the seawall at Lake Pontchartrain with a cane-pole and just such a cooler. Maybe some flat, dish-style crab nets, too, which meant there were also raw chicken necks in the cooler as bait near (but hopefully not touching) our baloney sandwiches. Ah yes, those long-lost days of yesteryear when mullet was considered a trash fish which no respectable person would eat. Now I hear about mullet festivals in various Southern locations. Homage a les mullet! And people eat tilapia. On purpose.

O tempora! O mores!

My mother loved croakers. You couldn’t catch enough of ‘em to satisfy her. You really couldn’t. I admit croakers taste pretty good and she could cook the hell out of ‘em (Yum!) but I think she’s the only one who didn’t mind how fucking BONY they were. Gimme a nice pan-fried red(fish), a spec (speckled trout) prepared a la amandine, sheepshead en papilotte, flounder stuffed with shrimp in some classic French sauce… Ah, man I think it is definitely lunchtime here.

Ain’t seen nothin’ come outa that lake yet in the almost-a-week that we’ve been here.

Warm enuf for shorts and T-shirt today before noon. My kinda day. Working on TLC at the picnic table, enjoying the day and just saw a husband, wife, and two small kids cruise by in a jon boat. The guy had his shirt off and I swear his skin had an albedo of a full-on 1.0. And there was a lot of it. Arrrrgh!, it’s the White Whale! Call for Captain Ahab!

Soft evening a hot dinner. End of a nice week here.