Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Humans amaze me

I have lived many years, headed toward 75, but I am always amazed at folks who have severe handicaps, and act if nothing is wrong. Many go on to win awards, excel in medicine, academia or other research.

It takes much extra effort.  I mentioned the deaf and blind Vet I saw the other day, now deaf and blind is a CHALLENGE.

I think growing up I was amazed by Helen Keller as much as anyone. What an amazing story.

As I have entered on this Blog, Sherry and I had the privilege of having dinner with Bill Irwin and his lovely wife.  Bill is the only blind person to hike the Appalachian Trail. At the time we met them they were building their own home in Maine. I mean, they were building it, not subcontracting it.

What got me thinking of this was the men and women severely injured by the  bombs at the Boston Marathon.  What a challenge they face. One day having two good legs, now without one or both.

I asked the Audiologist about the Cochlea Implant for me. I was wondering if my age would make me ineligible. She said I would be a candidate, then proceeded to tell me how much involved the whole process was.

Our friend Ora, who seldom blogs anymore, has first hand knowledge. We visited with them once, I think maybe I need to talk to her again. She is also one tough cookie.

My Aunt Georgia was blind, but could get around in her house and appear to be seeing. She told me once how she knew a glass or cup was about full.  And as far as getting around in the house, she remembered the steps from one point to the next.

Ray Charles and Stevie wonder on the piano.

Many many more out there that make impossible look easy.  My hat is off to them.

Nite Shipslog


The one thing these guys have in common, is determination and a desire to reach a goal.

I have heard that Winston Churchill was born in a bathroom of a dance hall.


Future VW Hover craft

The futuristic Volkswagen.  It hovers, even goes above cars in traffic.



You gotta like this ‘37 Hudson Terreplane

Monday, April 29, 2013

My day with a Blue Ox

Well it was time for the little fit to have a tow plate installed. The price from the professionals was $1100-$1400 to install it.

Being a cheap person, with nothing else to do, I ordered the Blue Ox tow package.


Installing a Blue ox 001

The first job is open the hood and start removing screws and Plastic fasteners.

Installing a Blue ox 002

In a few minutes the front nose clip is off.

Installing a Blue ox 003

6 –7 hours later the hitch is attached with a little cutting and drilling. Above the only thing you can see on this picture is the bright orange sticker on the right hand side. From this point is an hour of pulling wire for the tail lights

Installing a Blue ox 004

The finished product, and the only thing you see is a wire in the center of the grill. I did not have the right connector to finish the electrical.

So that was my day with a Blue Ox.

I am beat. that is too much up and down for  these old knees, the total cost was about $405 including the wiring package.

At least the rain held off for the whole time. Thanks for stopping by …

Nite Shipslog


Grandson Luke came by at just the right time to help be re-install the nose clip. Luke graduates from High School  this year. Then Off to college.


Future Nissan Pivo3 Concept 

Nisson Future car, Electrical

51 stud

I can remember when this looked like the future!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I am getting prepared

For now I am thinking of things to do to improve the initial exposure to the local folk. So far my ideas are:

A drawing, the prize is a set of all my books. with two winners.  Candy Jar on the table (what kind? (just added Shirl brought me a sample of candies, said she had a couple large bowls))  I am printing book markers (suggestions for freebies?)

I received my booth location today, it is good I think the second at one main entrance.

This town has changed in the past several years.  From a manufacturing town, it has become a bed-room for the city of Charlotte. At one time my company was pretty well known in this town, now only few folks remember it. Most of the homes I built are owned by the 2nd or 3rd owner, the original buyers have traded up. But I do expect to run into some old customers.

I doubt if any of my HS classmates remember me, I dropped out in the 10th or 11th grade after only two years here.

Oh the sign?

sign 002

Above was my original sign.. below is what I saved.

sign 004

This is what I came up with, filling in the blanks.


I think maybe I need quote marks around “FINALLY LOVE”.  Our twin grandsons will be there selling their latest CD. I am thinking of gluing a CD in the lower right hand corner, what do you think.  Any suggestions on additions to the sign?

That is what is happening here in the little town of Belmont.

Nite Shipslog


Life is what you make of it.



These are just a few of one collectors ‘57 Chevys, they are beauties. It blows my mind to own this many of one year. My question is Why? and his answer is probably, “Because I can.” 

I would love to have one to drive around. I like to use what I own

(Don’t get me wrong, I think a guy should do what he can afford and what he can. As long as it doesn’t hurt his neighbor or fellow man!)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I choose the Trumpet!

My dad wanted his children to be musicians. In 1945 mama sent me to the  piano teacher that was teaching Shirl. She paid a hard earned 50¢ for that lesson. Imma tell you, to a kid, it looked like a thousand black and white keys there, with no labels and no pictures. I begged for something different.

Dad being a wise man, decided Jack wasn’t smart enough to master the 88, and allowed me to stop, after an investment of 50¢.

Houseonthe ROCK 262

(Above is one of the automated bands in the “House on The Rock, featuring the piano”).

Dad then bought a Sax from a friend, I looked at the number of buttons and refused that. He returned the Sax. Then I said, maybe the Trumpet?

So I was destined for the trumpet with THREE keys, my speed. Fortunately I liked the trumpet. I did learn that there was more to learn than the three keys. But I did learn and enjoyed  playing. I became first trumpet in the Elementary School band.

Now back to that confusing piano. Sherry has taken lessons and can play a couple songs. Shirl is very talented and plays the piano and several  instruments. Friend Evelyn is a pianist. Josh (Grandson) can play about anything on the piano.

If I remember right, Jackie, who comments here is a pianist. Probably more of you.  You have my admiration. I love the piano. I miss hearing  that instrument, but just watching anyone’s hands as they play is amazing.

Now I ask you to look at this pipe organ, Can you imagine the talent needed to play it?

Houseonthe ROCK 321

(These instruments are in the ‘House on the Rock’).

Now take a look below at these two Pipe organ KEYBOARDS?

Houseonthe ROCK 322Houseonthe ROCK 323

Now I have to say, one must be brilliant to even remember the bells and whistles.  If you can play these organs, Flying a 747 should be a piece of cake. LOL

Nite Shipslog


Some talents must be witnessed, they cannot be described.


Future Mercedes

Future Mercedes

1906 Mason car

Lady showing off a 1906 Mason (I think of the Mason Jar, no sure they are related)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Something old

In preparation for the up coming GaribaldiFest her in Belmont, I waited too late for a professional sign. So I was thinking, I have had one sign painted professionally only once in about ‘88, while building, what did I do with it.

scan1991-92 037

Jim, Shirl’s husband, in the suit, was representing the company. son Mark to the right of the red shirt and Classy me in the lite blue shirt.

scan1991-92 038

Mark and his wife Corinne, Reece in front and Sherry on the right.

  I had it prepared for a Builder's show.  I stored it in my protable storage shed which I gave to Mark when I retired.

I drove over to the storage area and found it. I has been stored since 1988, here it is now.

sign 001

With a little modifications and a lot of work here is my blank working surface now.

sign 004

So if I can do some lettering that appears fair, I will use it.

Now I am off to figure how to fill in the blanks.

One more thing, I also had the balloons, you see in the picture, I had a hundred or so left, would you believe they still will blow up and hold air? Amazing, stored since 1988! 

Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog


Never say NEVER!



This was a new 1988 Chevy when that sign was painted.


This is just a pretty 1954 Mercury, dig that sun-roof!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Life and Characters

If you read Ma’s blog you have seen this quote before (thanks Ma!)

from ma s  blog 

On her blog, Ma has a theme, using words and their definitions. ‘Enough’ was one word.

( http://onyama.blogspot.com/ )

I thought that was such a good quote I just had to have it. As a wanna be author I have a problem with characters and their names. I don’t know how the big boys do character names, but it is rough for me to come up with 5-15 names and characters.

So most of the time I use family and friends names in my novels. In the book Rags, I had a male character I called Rags. I wanted a lady who was morally solid, honest,  sweet and as good as her word

She was going to interact with Rags. Sherry’s mama fit the bill. Susie was a lady in every sense of the word, and if told something in confidence, it went with her to the grave.  No gossip, my sweet mother in law, just a sweet pug-nosed beautiful woman.

scanoldpic7 065

         mamascan                                     Scanoldpic9 046   

(Mom in law over the years)       

Susie met Rags and befriended him. He was able to share with her his innermost secrets.

As I write this I think, if I had needed a man to fit the bill, it would have been Sonny. I was a pallbearer at his funeral. As we pallbearers stood around the casket awaiting directions to bring it to the grave side, I turned and spoke to all the men around the casket, “We all knew and loved Sonny, and if you told him something in confidence it is now in this casket and will be buried, you could trust Sonny.”


Sonny driving our home.

Too many folks need a second time to get life right, but not Susie and Sonny!

momanddad - Copy (2)

(My mama)

I had a wonderful mama, she could have filled the bill, but she didn’t spend her life in a cotton mill in ‘Mt. Bell’ like Susie.

We are still alive, and have time to get the last part of life RIGHT!

Thanks for coming by the Log.

Nite Shipslog


Last night’s entry might have been premature. After posting I received an e-mail saying the books were now on their way and would be here on time. Now if they still have a vacancy, with a late fee, I can reserve a spot.  Thanks for your concerns…


Future Ford Evos

This is a Future Ford the Evos….


This is a 1903 Ford, You have come a long way!

I have much respect for the Ford company, they never took the stimulus and now have the best selling car in the world.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Looks like a modification of plans.

You know the saying the best laid plans of mice and men statement, well, mine wasn’t even the best, I was not paying attention to the deadline!

The town of Belmont is referred to as Mt. Bell in my novels. Belmont was born as a small cotton mill town called Garibaldi.  Each year there is a Garibaldifest, this year it will be May 4th.  My plans were to announce my new book and have  a booth in the festival. BUT, for the first time since I have been writing and ordering books, my order has been delayed.

I do not do public book signings because of my hearing. If I had gotten a booth it would put the onus on others to communicate, and I always feel a little guilty about that. People get frustrated trying to communicate with me and I understand, but then it frustrates me also.

The deadline for application for a booth is the 24th, just a day now, and my books are listed as ‘In Production’, with no delivery date. I put in a short order of 20 books that I should have had four days ago. Then I was going to order enough for the booth. But alas it seems I pushed the envelope too close. I have a mind set that is set in scripture, “All things will work together for good.”

So I am really not fussing, just airing my poor planning. I will take it as it comes.

BUT I am very enthused about this book. I like it and I cannot stop my mind of thinking about the next novel.  I am presently working on a travel book, and will be doing more solid research on our trip across country.

But back to ‘Finally Love’, the reports I am getting show this to be the fastest off the starting line.  Sales are good.  I want to hear which character  the readers like the best, I have my favorite. Bonnie has done a fantastic job of editing, and yes, she volunteered some good lines for the book as she went thru it. She raised the reading level above 8th grade. LOL.

I know these characters well now (I think) and it is hard to picture a novel without them.

Thanks for stopping by the log.

Nite Shipslog


Comments: I read all comments, I seldom answer or comment back, but then some of you guys have a neat or witty comment that requires ATTENTION (LOL). Thanks to all of you who comment. Thanks to all who read and never comment. I get e-mails instead of comments from many. Thanks for those also.


Future Chevy EN-V elec

(Future) Chevy all electric1-2 passenger range 25 miles. (If you have an accident, you are definitely going to be the first one there)

1903 electric car by Columbia

1903 Electric Columbia


PS2: I think it is about time for a vacation. LOL

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hearing bells, I thought everyone heard them!

I have had a ringing in my head for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories was on a ship in a quiet compartment, and laying awake listening to the scream, whistle or ringing.  It is hard to say when it started, but it was young.  I thought everyone heard the ringing.

Of course since getting older I learned about Tinnitus. Once a young lady was working on her Doctorate and interviewed me. She asked one question that I had never thought of, “Does the sounds increase after taking an aspirin?” I answered, NO.  I should have paid attention. I did later. I took an aspirin and YES the noises did increase.

All my life (as many of you) I have heard of wild tales that, “The voices in my head told me to do it.”

Now I am here to tell you, that is possible. I am ‘fairly’ sane and reasonably intelligent (Except in the laws and rules of the English language), and I can ‘almost’ understand what the voices say. The noises in my head are not just ringing or squeals, but some roaring noises, some static noises and some garbled noises.

I know the brain has a recording device. I wonder sometimes if something overrides controls and I can ‘almost’ understand a previous conversation.

I don’t mean to sound weird (but I probably do), I sometime concentrate on the noises. My brain compares the thinking about the noises like laying on your back and observing clouds and seeing forms in them. “Look, there is a dog!” (etc).  I have never actually heard a ‘word’ but it is like a person murmuring, you can ‘almost’ make it out.

My brain at times invents a new sound for my listening enjoyment. For the past year or so, it has been the sound of a good hollow sounding gutted muffler on a flathead Ford V8 as it accelerated from a stop. “Rumph, RUMPH    rrrrrrrrrrrrrr umph,” that is as close as I can get it, the end fades into the distance.

As I sit here and type, I only hear the ringing. I have no idea what keys the word sounds to start, but something does.  Yes I do listen, but I haven’t figured a word yet.

But maybe some of the weirdo’s that have blamed their actions on the voices in their heads, concentrated hard enough to read something into the sounds.

Thanks for reading the WEIRD post.
Nite Shipslog


One never really knows, does one? (My oldest brothers favorite statement in explaining the weird.)


Hey, we are having future cars, nothing can stop that:

future BMS water filled

BMW of the future Hybred…


Yes, it is not smart, but if I had a choice between these two, I would take the 2DR ‘55 with a post.

Monday, April 22, 2013

One Monday I am not sure of..

I have never disliked Mondays, but today is one that about changed my mind.

Retirees are supposed to be relaxed and unhurried. Today was an exception. NCDMV is not a place I enjoy going. Too much room for error on paperwork required to transfer titles.

We processed 4 titles, cost just for paperwork was $550+ and four pieces of paperwork each with $27 notary fees. I Finally did see a smile from the clerk.  I never get nervous but my hands were shaking for the first time I can remember.  I wouldn’t mention it, but I am sure my family noticed. I don’t like the feeling.

Of course there was a lot more involved, including a Dr. appt.  so we finished the paperwork and headed to the house to change tags all round, then made it to the Dr. Office about my ears. We were 15 min. early.

BUT the Dr. wasn’t expecting a hearing test, someone had dropped the ball and said I needed a hearing aid adjustment. So reschedule for Thurs. Morning.

We gave our van to Jack Jr, who in turn gave his van to Mark. Then we finally got a trailer title for a little utility trailer and the cherry on the sundae was we finally transferred the Camaro title.  So Sherry is not officially the owner of a 1991 Z28 Convertible. If Spring would act right, it would be time to ride around in it.  hahaha. I know, we have no ROOM to complain after seeing Mel’s entry and SNOW! Gary’s report from NY and freezing rain. Lucy is complaining about rain.

SOOOO I won’t complain, ……. Oh yes I will, it ain’t ‘posed to be cool in NC on April 22nd!!!!

Ah, but after all the griping I want to kick myself. I saw a veteran today who was blind and deaf, his sweet wife was directing him around, She even found a willing Vet to take him to the bathroom.


So hey, I have it made. A beautiful wife, that I can see, vehicles I can drive and a healthy family. Life is good.

Nite Shipslog


That adage is right, I complained about no shoes until I saw the man with no feet.

(I have it made)


1933_Buick_Model_57_4dr_sedan_21934 Singer LeMans & 1937 Singer1935_Buick_66-C_jan4b

I can’t help myself, I feel good looking at these old boxy dudes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

We are having a FIT! also Continental kits.

Okay,maybe that should be worded, we now have a Fit, a Honda Fit. As most folks who read this BLOG know, we live full time in our motor home on the road. Over the years we have towed different vehicles. In RV’er language, that is a Toad. We have had an S-10, Saturn, a ‘95 Odyssey and a 2004 Odyssey.

FIT 003

The fit is a small light car and we are hoping the motor home will get at least 1 more mile to the gallon of diesel. LOL

There are two ways to tow, all four wheels on the ground or use a tow dolly. WE prefer to have 4 on the ground, it is much simpler to hook up.

FIT 004

(This shot shows the size difference)

RV’ers are limited to the # of cars available that can be towed without installing a pump for the automatic transmission or a drive shaft disconnect. Fortunately the FIT tows without physical restrictions.

FIT 005

This is a 2011 car, and for us, that is almost new. I like it because Sherry sits very close and we can converse, it is near impossible for me to communicate in a vehicle.

We once owned a Corvair, I loved the way it handled.  As I drive the little Fit I get the same feeling, it handles well.

Now my job, taking the front off the Fit and installing the tow plate then re installing the front, so it can be towed.

Thanks for reading our up date.

Nite Shipslog


It is tough being as good as you think you are.



At first glance I thought ‘57 Mercury, I am not sure but I sure remember the Continental Kit. I am sure this was the biggest and awkward of all the continental kits.


Two more continental kits, popular in the 1950’s.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our TV has been on

When our TV is on there is usually a tragedy. This time the terrible happening in Boston that you have all been watching.


(A sane person must wonder what is going on in the head of the kid in the baseball cap?)

I have to stand close to the TV and read the closed caption. Not fun but I can keep up pretty well.

So sad that innocent people are killed, maimed for life and otherwise injured, because of some insane idea of ‘terror is the way to protest’.

APTOPIX Police Converge Mass

(A view many will live with, creating a hell in someone’s mind, who will now confined to a wheel chair for the rest of their lives, or will mourn the loss of one so very dear to them)

I think of the hundreds of people world wide who have died, lost legs, arms, eyes and safety because some misguided person thinking ‘jihad’.

There is basically something twisted with  a mind set that says “no one should be allowed to live other than my faith, or my belief”.  No room for other beliefs or opinions. TERRIBLE belief and attitude.

Our prayers are for the victims of this act of Terror!

Our TV has been on way too much:

The shuttle Challenger

The shuttle Columbia

The twin towers and  9/11 attacks


Oklahoma City Bombing



Too many to name from memory. In America we should have been relaxing and reading instead of watching the reporting of an act of terror or a tragedy.  Many folks do not think so, but we are still free in this country and that fact is taken advantage of to spread hate.

Today we were driving and saw two emergency vehicles, I always say, someone’s day or life may be ruined, and I breath a silent prayer that all will be well.

Last night folks were jubilant, at the capture of the second ‘suspect’, and with every right. But that means little to the ones who lost legs and lives to two men’s cruel acts of terror. 

Remember the victims.

Nite Shipslog


I have often wondered how it is to live in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan. Where bombs are nearly common place.



I was not a Ford man, but this ‘56 convertible was a gem.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Finally Love is also an E-Book

It is available for 99¢ (e-book) and $8.50 (paper back) nearly World Wide.



A lot of work has gone into this book. I had to take a cruise to research that part of the book (LOL).

We traveled to Belize, where part of the book takes place to actually see the Altun Ha Mayan ruins and the roads and people of Belize.

Bonnie, the proofer, did a fantastic job with my poor grammar and complete lack of  ‘punctuational’  knowledge. I tend to take a sentence to the  utmost. I did not know what a comma splice was (still don’t know well). I learned that there are several kinds of dashes. There is a difference in Inch marks “ and quotes “ LOL.

Hey I learned my DI was really a nice guy (compared), if you don’t put one of Bonnie’s corrections in, you have had it!  I am in trouble already again, I used ‘peaks his interest ’ instead of ‘piques his interest.’ I deleted that part of the book, but somehow I missed it in the Create space info, and Amazon synopsis.  BUT IT IS NOT IN THE BOOK BONNIE, HONEST!

Sandie, over at Chatty Crone, has offered to do a give-away of a couple books. There will also be a limited number available here on the Blog.

I will let you know when the first order comes in.

I really believe you are going to like this book. I have it listed as a senior romance, but I think some of you young folk will like it. There are some great young folk in the book.

I have said several times I have no regrets in my life, I think I can still say that if I change it to qualify that as my adult life. I do regret not studying the English language more. School studies were simple to me. I never failed a test until my French class in HS, Sherry’s fault, we shared that class.  She was an obvious  distraction. Of course I was going to quit school, so it didn’t matter, how little we know at 16, huh?

English is a complicated language, keeping the rules straight is a rough job.

Thanks for the visit and interest in the book.

Nite Shipslog


Remember the good old days? I was reminded today, that 20-30 yrs from now, someone will be talking about the good old days, 2013!


Wabash Avenue Chicago 1907

1907 Wabash Ave, Chicago