Sunday, July 19, 2020

Okay, Guys – I’m Not Phobic!


This weekend someone stuck their hand out to shake, and I replied with an elbow.  His next remark was, “I see you’re still phobic!”  Still, I’m thinking; I don’t believe I ever have been.

First, let us define phobic; it’s “having or involving an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.”  I think the word that bothers me most about that definition is “irrational.”  If I were irrational, I probably would not have been sitting outside Eighth and Rail enjoying a cold beverage.  As a 70-year-old, obese person with a heart condition, I prefer to think of it as cautious.  I was one of the first to return to socially distant restaurant setups; I did avoid going into places without a mask and have worn a mask in most cases, yes, even before Me Maw decreed it several days ago.
  
I’ll continue to venture out around town, but with caution and not fear.  Is it an irrational fear? I don’t think so.  I prefer to think of my take on all this as cautious.  This issue has become political and resorted to name-calling. Don’t call me phobic, and I won’t resort to several names I could use for you.  We may not agree on some items, but we can remain respectful at least.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

NASCAR Returns - So Say We All

NASCAR has returned, albeit with empty stands, so things are getting better in the world. I know, NASCAR isn’t the fix or vaccine against COVID-19, but it’s one of a few first steps to return to what many are calling the new normal.  Watching the final race laps at Niffer’s at the Tracks with a cold beverage and several friends is a real joy.  Sushi last week at Eighth and Rail also a sign of good things. 

Now, I’m not entirely comfortable being around more massive crowds.   I prefer to keep my distance and fist bumps, although I did shake hands with a friend over the weekend.  I’ve spent a lot of time listening to comments from a wide range of friends.  I am somewhat surprised (well maybe not) of all the misinformation out there.  Life was simpler or perhaps more innocent before all the electronic social connections of today’s world.   I find myself not checking Facebook as much as the past months.  So many opinions that I would never argue or discuss in person.  May each week ahead be better than the last. “So Say We All!”  

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Life Returns to Normal, Well Not Really!

Monday, local restaurants had permission to open in Alabama.  Although the COVID curve seems like it's leveling, it has not begun a downturn.  With that in mind, and in an effort not to completely go out of my mind, I ventured out with a couple of Niffer's regulars.  Most servers were wearing a mask, many tables were removed, and the kid's area had been removed, never to return. And, that's not a bad thing!  It was good to grab some wings again.  Considered the 12 stools at the bar had been replaced with only three, I felt comfortable that I'd be able to social distance.  I’m not ready to go back to old routines yet.  I’ll give it a few more weeks.  Stay safe out there.  (Picture: Niffer’s bar area tables)

Sunday, May 10, 2020

At Home


You would think with all this time “at home”, I would really be getting a lot done.  Well many friends are, but I am spinning tires more than not.  I did clean dishes in the sink this morning, only to fill it two more times with things around the kitchen.  That load of clothes in the dryer for a week, is finally folded and put away.  I guess that is some progress.  Today is my weekly trip to Georgia.  The short 20-minute trip allows me to purchase a lottery ticket from the comfort of my truck using the Georgia Lottery mobile app. You must be in the state and recognized by the app pinging on a Georgia cell tower.  The welcome station provides a good location.


Alabama is easing restrictions on what can be open beginning Monday.  I thought that Mama Mochas approach to watch the numbers and follow science was logical.  They will continue pickup at the door for now at least.  It will be interesting to watch others.  Zazu’s is giving itself another week to weigh the options of opening the restaurant or not.  Their pickup menu has been successful the past several weeks.    I’ll try and circle back with a complete update on downtown eating later.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Another Debate (Or was that a Street Fight?)

I wasn't on the Debate Team at Thomson High School in the late 1960s, but I don't think the rules then are similar to what has been the case on CNN, NBC and tonight's CBS debate.

Margret Brennen made a comment somewhere mid-debate to "Honor the Rules" as all the candidates went over their time, or jumped into the time of others. I'm just tired of all these politics. How about you?

If I were the moderator, I might have hit an air horn every time a speaker when over his or her time. Just saying!

In this new highly divided world, I am not going to give any further comments on the meat of the debate, or pick a side. I sometimes wish we just had three channels on TV (like the late 1960s)  and we were not smothered with all the Social Media overkill.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Just Got a New Robe!

Now I told you this was going to be riveting reading right?  Now really, a robe? I haven't had one of those since I was a young boy, and God knows that its been decades at least. I did wear one several years ago, when the company I worked for at the time, had a sales meeting that the Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas. I felt I needed to look the part of a wealthy playboy despite being an old Southern Redneck. As a matter of fact, I may have looked like Jethro on the Beverly Hillbilly's when he wore his.   But a recent day trip to EAMC for a outpatient procedure, they recommended I have one, just in case.

I was told, just in case you have to get up and walk around, it would be helpful, since the hospital gowns don't cover everything. Despite the fact I feel I have a cute butt, that I'm sure would not offend, I bought a robe.

Right to Walmart, where I find one of the only two they have. Best part, both were the same and even better, "One Size Fits All".  Let me say that the one size may fit all, but it will look far different of each person wearing. PS: I didn't take it out of the bag at the hospital! 

Looking Back to Veteran's Day

I thought I'd grab this from my previous post around Veterans Day.  It's a quick look into my past service!

Okay, I’m a veteran, but don’t equate that to heroes of today’s military fighting in the Middle East. I was just one of thousands that helped keep our military strong.  I am glad I served, and the military taught me many life lessons that I feel helped me get through the years after service. But the only fighting I did was with a shore patrol (a boatswain’s mate from our ship) one night late on a pier somewhere in the Mediterranean. He said there would only be one more boat run out to our ship anchored in the harbor, and there were enough people to fill it three times waiting there. So I hit him, and the boat ran several more times until we were all safely on board. I was somewhat of a hero that weekend. Let’s remember, I weighed in at 110 pounds, and the shore patrol was a lot larger and not a popular sailor. I may have found courage in a pint or two of that European beer.
My days at sea (USS Bowen – DE-1079) found me in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for ship trials and testing, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, France, Tunisia, Italy, Gibraltar. We spent that deployment chasing and training with US submarines and P-3 Orion aircraft and our ship helicopter around the Med. That was our mission, Sub Hunter. We may have chased a few Russians as well, one, in fact, one that cost us a shore leave in Greece. He was heading west while Greece was East. We encounter a few Russian Naval surface vessels. I always thought it funny as I looked through the viewfinder on my Nikon camera to see another bunch of twenty-somethings looking back through their cameras from the other side. We’re all a bunch of kids in service to our country.
After several years active duty Navy and several years reserve time, I found a position with the Georgia Air National Guard and later a unit in Dothan with the Alabama Guard. Those units brought several European deployments to Norway, Denmark and Italy for exercises deemed important to keep the balance of power and peace. I feel strongly that this was the case and our job important in the big picture of service. My Dothan unit eventually was closed, and I opted to get out as a Major after a total service time of twenty-six years. I have met many people over the years that shaped me into what I am now. I am proud to be a veteran. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve!
(Photos: Top, USS Bowen (DE-1079) and Jerry Katz, Summer of 1970 Boot Camp Yearbook Photo, Great Lakes IL and finally as a young LT in Gander Newfoundland heading to Italy in the 1980’s)

Okay, Guys – I’m Not Phobic!

This weekend someone stuck their hand out to shake, and I replied with an elbow.  His next remark was, “I see you’re still phobic!”  Still, ...