Thursday, March 31, 2016


Growing up I knew I had 'some' art talent.  I was very good at copying.  I seldom could draw a human face without having one to look at as I drew.  I loved crayons and coloring books. I loved to shade the colors in areas by using my pocket knife to scrape excess Crayola off.

I was good at cartoon characters, as long as I could look at one. You may not be old enough to remember the 'rip-off' ads on the back of comic books to fish us ignorant kids in.  There was one that caught my eye for only $1. It was a 'machine' that transposed a picture on the wall to a blank sheet of paper, and at your leisure you could trace over the lines and 'voila' you had 'created' a master piece! 

I ordered it. simple box about 1"x 1" with a little mirror at 45 degrees with a small hole in it, on a small stand.. It actually worked, but if anything moved,,,,, you started all over again. Lots of restrictions, my dreams of being a big-time counterfeiter went out the window.

I did learn I was good at landscapes, not people. I had many pleasant hours of doing landscapes. THEN my life was before my eyes. one year at Summer Camp I met a chalk artist. Ray Campbell.  I could sit for hours and listen to his stories and watch the chalk picture evolve.  He liked me and taught me a lot. I was surprised at his death he had told his son to give me his art supplies.

I followed in his foot steps and became a professional Chalk artist. Adding to the things that Ray had shown me. I drafted Sherry into service as a remote operator for lights and sound.  We met some wonderful folk. We performed from Cuba to Canada. It was all part time, but being self employed allowed lots of flexibility.

My stuff is limited to the great grand kids now, it is still fun.

Unusual art,  gets my attention, there are talents I cannot imagine:
Is a sculpture completely made of white paper: Below it is in the process:
Art is unlimited. Can you imagine Ice and Sand sculptures being temporary?

ART: I like a beautiful picture, whether it took weeks or one of Bob Ross's 30 minute works. I do like all kinds of art. I like sculpts, even some of van Gogh's stuff. 

One of dad's favorite jokes about modern art:
Paula and John in  gallery in San Antonio. 
John asks, "Paula, what is that painting?"
"John, that is supposed to be a man on a horse!"
John, "Then why ain't it?"

Nite Shipslog

ps: When I think of REAL TALENT, I might have a 'half a smidgen'.


 Maybe some things art too much!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Food ignorance of this Southern boy

Looking back many years it is amazing what this southern boy did not know at 17 yrs of age. I had heard of 'Pizza Pie' but I had never seen nor tasted one until I was nearly 17. At the time I think the only pizzas were plain or pepperoni.  Okay I might have heard of pepperoni, but I had never seen nor tasted it so we had the plain cheese pizza. So, if you like tomato, bread and cheese, you gotta like Pizza, so we did.

My mama was s great cook. I thought she had cooked everything. Well I must admit when I joined the USMC and started eating in the Mess hall This guy learned a lot. First off, all one day they served me some little bitty heads of cabbage. My mama would have been embarrassed that anyone would cut them before they got grown. They wouldn't bad, but not as good as full grown cabbage and cabbage juice. I grew up eating biscuits soaked in the cabbage juice as I ate the cabbage. Okay I learned later they are called Brussel sprouts (I still don't know if they are little cabbages or not).

Oh yeah, you gotta be careful with the olives, some of them dudes got seeds and will break your teeth, if you aren't careful. At 17 I had never seen an olive with the pit still inside. I don't think there was ever an olive in our house.

Speaking of Olives. Our church believed strongly in divine healing and dad prayed for the sick, and at the same time he 'anointed them' (Usually a small dab on the forehead).  I must say here, that I did see at least one REAL miracle in my childhood time. But, but I had no idea that folks 'cooked' with olive oil until many years after my 17th Birthday. I 'ignorantly' thought the only use for olive oil was to anoint the sick. Yeah, I was  really thick. 

I had never heard of nor seen 'Asparagus spears nor rhubarb'.

 We ate bell peppers, but they were never cooked. So imagine my surprise when I was served a big bell pepper with something on the inside.  I asked the cook, "What is it?"  Without a pause he said, "$h-t in a Seabag".  It was good, but of course it was hamburger and rice in the green pepper.  I had already learned what "SOS" was, I had never eaten it for breakfast either. I am sure everyone knows that is "$h-t on a Shingle".

I learned later that the boys from the cities had been educated growing up because of the different nationalities and cultures they grew up around. Down south it was only Black and White.  Our food preferences were practically the same.

There was one oddity that I saw in the mess hall, I never knew corn was picked so small. I saw on the serving line little 1" & 2" corn on the cob. Now if they have a name, I am 77 yrs old and still do not know it. In that case I guess I am dumb for life.  I just axed my girl and she doesn't know either.

 Nite Shipslog


The BIG TANKS of the 1950's

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thinking of Places to go

I am not a good recuperation guy.  I try to do something, but soon realize, "Dude you ain't ready yet!"
SO, one of my favorite past times, when I must wait, is thinking of places we have been and WHERE to next?

We haven't done a lot of that lately because of the uncertainty of the diesel engine and the follow-ups to surgery.  But that doesn't stop this wild goose mind of mine from wandering.

One of our favorite places is the Lancaster, PA area.  The country is beautiful, we love the Amish contributions to the area, and especially harvest time and eating, fruit, fresh corn and tomatoes grown locally.

We also know a sweet lady there, Tracy who owns a great chocolate factory. As everyone knows, Sherry is a chocoholic. 

 You gotta love a lady who knows what she wants, Tracy went to work for Miesse's then (after awhile) figured a way to buy the company. The company has a great heritage, it was started in 1875.
 'Miesse's Chocolates'
Such a pleasant lady from a great family.  We knew her from her school days, when her dad was my boss and we were all stationed in Key West.

A visit to one of her outlets is always on schedule.  We love deals anyway and always look for the broken bars or errors by the pound. LOL (bags of oops!)

We can stay in the area up to six weeks at no charge, since we have two or three membership parks in that area.  It is always pleasant to just wander (driving) thru the beautiful farm land. (Note:All who wander are not lost!)

Of course visits to friends Dan & Joan from the  USN and Dallas & Marian from USMC times, are in order and maybe a Fuddruckdrs BUT always, some Pennsylvania Dutch cooking.  Now I have talked myself into a PA trip.

Sherry will always find some part of the AT that we hiked. We will climb aboard and look for Hikers. We hiked the full 230 miles of trail in PA! Hikers call it Rocksylvania, the place where boots come to die! There are thousands of little (and big) sharp rocks, where you least expect them. LOL

Nite Shipslog

PS: Messie Chocolate is the best, DELICIOUS no preservatives.

 1938 Jag
1967 Shelby Mustang
Putting this last, my incision is healing well. 6 days after surgery

Monday, March 28, 2016

Company out in the woods

Son Mark and his companion Janie, the Bull dog came up today.  After some visiting and learning of the things completed on the new house in New Port Richey, FL, and the surprises he ran into, we headed for Lexington and some Original BBQ.
Yosemite Valley
Sad surprise they are not open on Sunday. That is good for the workers, I didn't fuss with that, especially on Easter. So we ate at BoJangles.  Then returned to the woods.

Mark's biggest surprise  at the house he bought at auction  was electrical.  Every circuit had been cut in the attic, missing a six foot span in each circuit.  

The next problem had been the plumbing, the copper tubing had been stolen and broken off at the concrete slab.

It is a strange thing to me how 'mean' some folk are when they lose a house to repossession.  Before they vacate it, some folk trash the home to get back at the bank.  My first thought when I learned folks do this was, "They could be prosecuted for damage to bank property."  Then I thought, the house is still theirs at the time, so I guess you cannot prosecute someone for destroying their own home!

As a matter of fact there is a house not a stone's throw from where we park the Motor Home in Belmont. It was repossessed. The man, whom I did not know but had seen, took a sledge hammer and destroyed the inside of the home.  It is hard for me to believe anyone can destroy commodes, cabinets, showers and tubs just out of menace.  

Anyway, Mark says most of the damage has been repaired. He took a crew of two down and worked around the clock for two weeks to put the house back in shape.  He says the majority of the work is done inside, now he will take his sons down and attack the remaining problems.

Mark and Janie left, we are alone again still in the recuperating mode.  We are proud of Mark and his ability to build and repair. He has built probably 75-100 homes. He always preferred the fancier homes, where I preferred to build the standard 'affordable' home. 

I loved building. My soul can be depressed thinking that a fool would intentionally destroy a product of which some builder was  proud.  I stood in many homes I had built.  And after the final inspection was approved, I was so proud as I looked at something I took pride in.

Nite Shipslog

 1952 Plymouth
1961 Nash Metro (One of my favorite cars)  We owned two of these.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


 I finally picked up that thick folder labeled 'Present Year Taxes'. This week my mind has been going back to the time centuries ago when I was 17 and filed my first income tax form. My yearly pay was less than $800, and it took about 5 minutes to fill the form out.  It was called the 'Short-Form' and was on an IBM card.  I did get a refund that year.

I continued to file our income tax until I went into business, then I hired a CPA (at the urging of my brother who was a real business man).

If you don't do your own taxes, you probably do not miss the stacks  of Tax forms piled in every Post Office. Well let me tell you, I MISS THEM! Trying to read the instructions for figuring what amount of SS that is taxable, on the computer is a PAIN.

Anyway, I finished, we owe $51.00 that is better than owing $500.  I will smooth the forms out that I have wadded up, squeezed, etc as I faltered thru the process.  It took about 2 hours, should have taken 30 minutes.  But I have to be retrained every year.  I should get someone to do it, but I am too cheap!

We are usually filed by February first, but this year I have been dilitary. 

Nite Shipslog


 I hope you didn't get the spring snow I have been reading about.
The Plymouth Fury!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

TV to me means confusion

Over the past 20+ years we probably averaged watching TV on the outside, 15-20 hours a YEAR.  The times we watch TV is normally when a national tragedy happens. Shirl knows we do not watch TV, so when something of note happens she immediately calls and says turn on the TV.

During the two implants we have spent time in motels. I am always amazed how fast the reporters must speak and WOW, the # of commercials. I declare there are more commercials than programs or news. 

I do crazy things sometimes. I have a 'person of kin' who can talk non-stop for 20-30 minutes at a whack. I once tried that alone in my truck on the way to a job, and it was impossible for me to do it. I CANNOT think of that many words. 

Now I find myself (after watching a BLITZ of words on TV) trying to talk as fast as they do, even southerners.  I can't say words that fast without twisting my tongue.  I remember 'Tongue-twisters' jokes as a kid. (one about a 'Pickle picker') Some you had to say fast turned out completely wrong as you tried it, giving lots of laughs to your friends.
(Can we come in and watch TV)
Amazing what can be done and said in 10-15-20 second commercials.

This last time I could not pay attention to the TV longer than 15 minutes.  WE left it on for a couple hours, Sherry can follow it but NOT ME!
(He thought it was the TV guide)
When I quit watching years ago TV  in my opinion becoming a sort of brain washing thing.  The BAD news repeated about every 30 minutes or so on the news channels having you believe the world was going to hell in a hand-basket. There were no good folk and there was a bad guy behind every tree.

Traveling, blogging and meeting folk has taught me one huge lesson, the world still is filled with good folk. I have found honest auto repairmen in FL, PA, NY, and ME. I have met helpful folk in every state and many countries. France, Belgium and Germany stick out as friendly helpful folk that we have met. They helped us overcome the language barrier.
I do not blame TV for taking so much time, because the computer does the same, with a big difference,  I am interacting with the computer rather than being a couch potato or sponge, soaking up BAD NEWS!
(The first TV I ever did see was this one, My brother Odis brought it in from NYC, he was a trucker. There was no TV station near, so we just watched a test pattern and a fuzzy screen))
Thank you for stopping by the Shipslog, there are a lot of other things you could be doing.
(The safe mouse)
Nite Shipslog
PS: I reread this and it makes very little sense, but I am still publishing it. Over look it.  I feel sorta empty headed. 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Day #2 the unveiling of the Incision

Day two of recovery.  Sleep was rough last night, but not TERRIBLE. I did finish 'Cold  Heart' by Kellerman and I think finally got some sleep at 4:30 'til 10 this morning.

First Implant surgery in September of 2015. I did not get a protective bowl.

 Yesterdays packaging, looked very different. Neater for sure:

First incision in September 2015, I added the freehand stuff to try to clear up the implant placing.

Today's unveiling (below), the incision is smaller and neater. Less curve in the incision, that could have accounted for my discomfort last night where the opening had to be pulled back and the ear forward to get the tools in to do the job. Today the discomfort is much less. But maybe I was stubborn and took only one pain pill yesterday instead fo the three (BECAUSE I AM TOUGH! or ignorant!)

 It does appear to be a little smaller incision.
Sherry says I am still purty, and that is what counts.

Now the facts are: I am stone deaf without implant assistance but if they both work I have the latest thing on the market for the deaf and hard of hearing. One of the assistants in the surgery took time to tell me about his daughter Grace. She became deaf at three years of age and received the implants. She is now 16 and thrilled every day at her hearing.

Another man told us his wife had two implants and is thrilled.  I like good testimonials, but like anyone else, I want to see for MYSELF.  For sure, with only my one implant that I have, things are better than back in early Sept of 2015 with the best 2 hearing aids in the industry.  So of course, I am anxious to tryout TWO. 

We have been told, warned, cautioned, etc, that in the noisy environment situation, understanding, will still be nearly impossible.  

Life is good.

Nite Shipslog


 Chrysler Cordoba '82
Dodge Aries '82