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Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

I bought a new house the end of March.  It has a pool in the backyard.  I couldn’t wait to open it, but there was always that concern about what would await?  The pool hadn’t been opened in a couple of years.  Problem with the liner?  Pool pump that doesn’t work?  Lines that leak?  Dead body floating on the surface?

Sooo, anyone up for a swim?

pool

I keep expecting something like this to appear  . . .

4.0.1

The pool company opening the pool basically said there is nothing they can do.  Apparently there aren’t enough chemicals to make that water swimmable again.  They recommend draining it,  cleaning the liner, killing the creature,  and refilling it with something other than used motor oil.

Is it a pond or a pool?  We have a pond out back.  And a pool.  The pond would be better for you.

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It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.  A trip to remember.  And remember it we will.

We fly to Peru.  We hike the Salkantay Trail through the Andes Mountains, and arrive at Macchu Picchu.  What could possibly go wrong?

Never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to.

We flew out of Baltimore to Miami via American Airlines.  From Miami we flew to Lima, Peru.  From Lima we flew to Cuzco, Peru, from which our (mis)adventure would begin.

Unfortunately, the airline did not tell us that we had to retrieve our luggage in Lima to go through customs before heading on to Cuzco.  The Cuzco airport is a domestic airport, and does not have customs.  While my girlfriend has had some experience in world travelling, this was my first time out of the land of E. Pluribus Unum (unless you count a driving day trip to Canada via Maine back in the early nineties when you didn’t need a passport to cross the border.)  I have never flown outside of the United States before so how would I be expected to know this.  Dammit, Jim!  I’m just a doctor!

As we waited in Cuzco for our luggage which never came, the error of our ways became apparent.  A few phone calls confirmed that our luggage–along with most of our hiking equipment, was enjoying the scenery in Lima, not Cuzco.

Here is the view as we left the airport in Cuzco:

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Now, I don’t know about you, but this is not what I would consider a “vacation view.”  This is a vacation:

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Fortunately,  our tour company flies masochists hikers in a couple of days ahead of the trek to allow them to acclimate to the altitude.  So we had from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning to somehow retrieve our luggage.  Paperwork was reluctantly completed.  In Spanish.   People frowned. In Spanish.  We tried to keep smiling.  The travel agency put in a good word for us.  Apparently, we are not the first pioneers to show up without luggage.

It’s not as though we couldn’t rent equipment. We could.  But we had already invested money in new sleeping bags, backpacks and air mattresses prior to leaving on this trip.  It made no sense that they sit in Lima having a better time than we were.  This was a matter of principle.

So we tried to enjoy some tours of Cuzco and learn about the ancient Incas, while the airline industry took their good old time saving our trip of a lifetime.  Most of my clothes were on the checked luggage because I hate toting heavy carry-ons through an airport.  I paid dearly for my laziness.

I had to wear one of my girlfriend’s coats, as my outer gear was in the lost luggage.  It wasn’t pink, but a brighter purple than I would have ordinarily opted for. And her hiking pants were a little tighter than socially acceptable I suppose.  People kept asking her who her muchacha (Spanish for young lady or maybe cross dresser I’m not really sure) was.  I was apparently abused but not amused.

The hotel we lodged at was quaint and had a European flair.  Don’t ask me how I know since I’ve never been to Europe, but dammit I do watch movies.  It’s probably the Spanish influence.  But I was somewhat confused by the fact that you couldn’t throw toilet paper in the toilet.

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Each bathroom had a little trashcan sitting on the floor to dispose of toilet tissue, etc.  Seriously?  Help us protect the environment?  Did you just see what I flushed out of my system?  And you’re worried about some paper?

Time ticked by and at nine o’clock Monday night we finally get our luggage and hiking gear.  We were scheduled to leave at 3 am the next morning because they apparently close the only road that leads to the base of the trail at 7 am for road construction and we have to get past checkpoint Charlie before the window of opportunity closes.

Only ONE road in . . .

 

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You might be a redneck in Pennsylvania if . . . .

You go to the bathroom and see . . .

Gunshow

Gun Show Advertisement

Fishing

Beer Advertisement

Your beer advertisement also has a handy fishing season schedule, since those two things (drinkin’ and fishin’) go together like peanut butter and jelly.  And last (but certainly NOT LEAST!) your:

Dispenser

Condom Dispenser

You got your guns, beer and sex.  It’s like a farmersonly commercial.  What more could you need?

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One of the joys of running is that you get to see a lot of interesting things.

Take the neighborhood I run through each day.

There is a home owner who has taken it upon him or herself to establish parking codes for the development.

NoParking

I’m not sure this is legal, or even enforceable.  I’m sure there must be some story behind this (the guy I run with says it involves a neighbor who was having some work done on his home and construction vehicles being parked in front of this particular house.)  Regardless, the sign screams to me:  THANK GOD YOU DON’T LIVE HERE!  Seriously, who would want to deal with this every day?!

But I never saw anyone park there.

Until today.

truck

I don’t even know where to begin.

The white tarp that looks like a bedsheet?

My truck isn’t parking . . .  it’s just sleeping!

Maybe they won’t see it if I cover it up.

You’re going to need a bigger tarp, Chief Brody!

Pay no attention to that truck behind the curtain!

I’m not a bad truck . . . just a very poor wizard.

Waving hand . . . This is NOT the truck you’re looking for.

But it gave me a smile on my run today.

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You can’t swing a dead social media site around without hitting someone wishing you a “Happy Leap Day.”

leapyear

Seriously?

It’s freaking Monday, people.  There is nothing happy about that.  There is nothing to celebrate.  Start gathering your old pictures for throwback Thursday and quit annoying those who work for a living.

I fully understand the need for leap year.  Our planet actually takes 365.2422 days to orbit the sun instead of a precise 365 days as divided up on our calendars.  The extra day every four years helps keep things in sync.  Blah, blah blah.

What I don’t understand is this:  if we have to add a day to the calendar, why do we add another workday like Monday?  Why don’t we add another Saturday?

Here’s how it would have worked this year.  Saturday would have been February 27th.  Then we would have Leap Day Saturday (no number needed) as a second bonus weekend day.  Then we would have had Sunday the 28th.  And then Tuesday March 1st. Voilà!  Extra weekend day–no Monday.  Our calendars are synced with the Universe.  Win-win!

And if you really want to make people happy, let’s add this day in August when we can cook out, play golf and enjoy an extra Saturday of nice warm weather.  No offense, February, but you suck.  And you already have Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day.  Poor old August has got nothing.  Win-win.

And while we are at this, let’s do something about daylight saving time.  I have no problem with getting an extra hour of sleep in the fall.  But when we move the clocks forward in the spring, why must we lose an hour of sleep?  Why not move the clocks ahead at 2 PM and lose an hour of work!

Write me in for President and I will make sure that these pressing issues are addressed as soon as possible.  Or at least in four years.

Today’s Daily Prompt that inspired this post:  LEAP.

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As circumstances in my life have evolved, I have had the opportunity to dine alone several times recently.  If you have never experienced this wonderful situation, I highly recommend you give it a try.

There are several advantages to dining alone.

You almost always get a table.  Party of one–come on down!  Often, it is in a remote corner of the establishment where you will feel comfortable with your dining experience knowing no one else can see you.  This is often called Loser’s Corner in the restaurant business.  But for those of us that like privacy when we eat, you can’t beat the ambiance.  We are winners!

They should have put a TV on this wall!

They should have put a TV on this wall!

Sometimes, though, you might have to sit outside.  perhaps in the alley.

Table4One

And if things are really tight, you might end up here.  On the bright side, if you need extra napkins, the roll is right there.

ToiletDining

Another advantage is that the meal goes faster.  It takes the chef less time to prepare one meal.  He has fewer burgers to flip so the food arrives quickly.  Also, there is no annoying dinner conversation to slow one down.  It’s hard to talk and chew at the same time, and quite frankly, if you do that, then that’s probably another reason why you are dining alone right now anyway.  You can still carry on those remarkably entertaining conversations in your head, without spewing croutons across the table.

You don’t have to worry about that awkward moment when the waitress asks if this will be separate checks, or if she doesn’t ask, sets the bill down between you and your dinner date leaving the two of you to glance between the check, each other, and pretty much any other point in the restaurant which would be less uncomfortable.

The bill is lower since you’re only paying for one.  The tip is lower as well.  Have I convinced you this is the way to go, yet?

But it’s not all fun and games.  It can still be awkward if you order the lobster.  Especially if you are at Burger King–have it your way apparently does not include surf and turf.  And if you order the most expensive meal, will you get lucky tonight?  Your hand starts to tremble in anticipation.  You drop your lobster in the butter.  There’s a lot of pressure there if you order the lobster.  If your wrist is sore, or you have a headache, you might want to stick with the salad.

But if you are prepared and dine modestly, the evening can be delightful.  Prepare some jokes in your head to entertain yourself.  Other patrons in the restaurant will be envious of you laughing to yourself and making them wish they were dining with you.  At the cool table!  Don’t be rude and ignore yourself while texting on the phone.  After all, if you had someone to text, you wouldn’t be sitting there alone anyway.

And if your restaurant has televisions, you have the choice of seats around the table to have the view of whatever TV you want!

Lone Appétit!

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I got out an old cardigan sweater this morning.  That alone might cause one to question my sanity.  But it has been rather cold here in central Pennsylvania, and I am growing tired of wearing the same sweaters over and over again.

So I pulled out a sweater from my cardigan phase–I went through that phase about 20 years ago.  It may well have been 20 years since I’ve worn this sweater.  It might give some sweaters a run for their money in an Ugly Sweater competition, but I like to golf, it’s all about that golf, I can’t play golf right now, and it is warm.

Probably wasn't stylish even 20 years ago.

Probably wasn’t stylish even 20 years ago.

After I put it on I looked down and saw a piece of lint.

damnedspot

I tried to brush it off.  Without success.

Out!  Out!  Damned spot!

I tried to pick it off.

Quoth the raven, “nevermore.”

Then, I realized it was the golf ball sitting on the green of my cardigan.

golfball

And this, of course, reminded me of my father and my golf ball from Heaven.

Probably should have just gone back to bed.  You’ll know why in my next post to follow.

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