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Beep! (TRL Style)

Ok, so at lunch my boss and I head to Panera for something to eat.

After we eat we hop in his Hyundai and head back to the office.

Beep!

Very faint… just loud enough to annoy you. What the hell is that? I dunno.

Mike starts to wonder if his wife has something in the car tracking him. LOL. Wonder what HE’S been up to? :)

Its very annoying. Every 30 seconds. About 10 minutes later he says its driving him crazy so I tell him to pull into a side street and we’ll find it.

I start searching my side. He searches his. Beep! I’m convinced it is a battery going dead on something. Maybe one of his kids toys. Maybe on a tracking device (LOL). It sounds like its coming from the dash. I’m looking. I tell him to shut the car off and see if it continues. He does. It does. :(

I look under the seat. Beep! Nothing. I walk near the front of the car outside the windshield. He tells me he doesn’t hear it but I do. Nope, its louder INSIDE the car. I pop the hood. I can still hear it but faint. I move to his side and tell him I hear it over there too so maybe the sound is bouncing around in there. Finally we give up and get in the car. He’s almost ready to stop at a garage on the way back to see if they can figure it out.

It sounds loudest on top of the dash on the passenger side… like where the airbag is.

We get back in and drive back to work. I swear it may be in the door. We pull in and he’s ready to tear the car apart. I tell him to park where there is an empty spot next to us so I can open the door. I get on my knees and have my ear next to the door. Nope, doesn’t sound louder there.

Wait! There is a remote control to open the gate on his driveway. I bet the battery is going dead. I hold it to my ear. Beep! Not louder.

This goes on and on for thirty minutes. Its hot. I’m sweaty.

I finally take the remote and walk away from the car with it.

Beep!

I look at him and ask if he heard the beep in the car. Nope. Not since you walked off.

It IS this remote! I pull the battery. Beep! I tell him there’s probably a capacitor in it so it’ll take awhile for the juice to run out.

We go back inside work laughing. I try to get him to put it in the directors office somewhere to drive her crazy. I head back to my desk. Beep!

I reach in my pocket…

Gene Weaver – One Of The World’s Greatest Jump Pilots

Here’s what’s on my mind.  My good friend Cliff Weaver’s father passed away over the weekend.  I made thousands of jumps out of Gene’s Cessna 180 and his Twin Bonanza over the years.  At the end of a day of jumping when the beer light was on he’d wait til we got good and loaded… then he’d say ‘Bill!  Mikey!  You guys want to make a sunrise load in the morning??’  ‘Hell Yes!’ we’d always say.  Then he’d make us pay him up front in case we didn’t show after being out at the bar all night.

We always showed.  Most of the time with only a few hours sleep… sometimes we’d show up straight from the bar. LOL.  I always brought him a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with the cream on the side… just like Gene liked it.

Damn that morning air at 10,000 feet was cold! :)

Blue Skies Gene!  I’ll miss you and look forward to meeting you again!

Gene Flying His TwinBo – N454SB

Us after making a formation load out of two Cessnas.  Gene is on the left with the hat.  Recognize that young guy kneeling in the front row on the right? :)

Installing A Floating Boat Dock

I have a piece of property on Lewis Smith Lake in NW Alabama. It’s a beautiful place with emerald green water… it’s very large – over 550 miles of shoreline – and very clean – supposedly the second cleanest lake in the US behind Lake Tahoe… Oh.. and it is very DEEP. It’s one of those places where a power company builds an earthen dam at the end of a valley where all of the streams and creeks meet in one place.  Then the water backs up behind the dam… filling up the valleys and forming a very large reservoir.  (This is NOT my property. LOL.  This is my buddy Ivan’s boathouse on the same lake.  I like this picture though because it shows how nice the water is.) The lake was built in 1961. I have friends who grew up in that area that have told me that when the Alabama Power Company came around and bought up the land to use for their reservoir they surveyed it and staked out where the shoreline would be. Grandparents took their small grandchildren out in the back of the farm on the hillside and told them ‘one day there will be a big lake right here and all of this will be shoreline… go ahead and pick out where you want your house to be’. They did. I know people who told me that. Now they live in a beautiful home on the shore of Lewis Smith Lake. The local people from Birmingham and the surrounding towns would come out on the weekends to watch the valley fill. As I said the lake has 550 miles of shoreline and covers over 21,000 acres. It took about six months for the lake to fill to capacity. When the lake was full it came to within 6″ of where the surveyors said it would. In 1961. It’s a VERY big lake. It’s probably 50 miles by water from one end to the other. The fishing is fabulous. ESPN regularly airs BassMaster fishing contests that take place there. There is a hybrid Striped Bass there – a salt water fish. I’ve seen some that were 45 lbs pulled out of the lake. Oh, the boating, skiing, wakeboarding and jetskiing are very good too. Anyhow, I bought this boat dock off of a guy. The boat docks on the lake have to float. The reason is that the water level can vary as much as 16′ or more between summer and winter. Boat docks are very expensive. :( I got a great deal on this dock. It’s been sitting attached to the house of the guy who sold it to me. I have needed to get it moved to my lake property but needed a “mount” built to have the walkway attached to. Well, the mount was designed by my friend Ivan. I helped him build his house on the lake about three years ago. Ivan suggested combining a small 12’x6′ “deck” with the normal mount. It sounded like a good idea… so we got this guy named Steve to build us a combination dock mount/deck to our specifications. When mounted the deck would be about 7′ off the water in front… so a railing seemed like a good idea. It was built out of galvanized steel so it wouldn’t rust. Here is a picture of it after it was built: This past weekend was the weekend to go down to the lake to install this thing. :) Friday after work we drove to the lake. We stopped at the Home Depot in Jasper, Alabama – which is about 30 minutes South of the lake – to pick up some things we would need. Smith Lake is out in the boonies man. I love it. But Jasper is about the closest place you’ll find a mall (although a rather small one), Home Depot (no Lowes) or Walmart. It’s also the closest place you can get a beer. Alabama is FULL of ‘dry’ counties. The only reason you can buy a drink in Jasper is because towns are allowed to override the State Law if they elect to do so… but most don’t. If you’re coming to visit me you better bring some beer with you… oh… and you’re not allowed to have more than one case per individual in the vehicle… I think they have to be drinking age too. LOL. And you better not have that beer on ice… or you’re going to jail man. :) Ok, so we stopped at Home Depot and rented a single man auger, an electric jackhammer and picked up 150′ of 5/8″ rebar. I also picked up a 20 pack of Bud Light bottles for Steve – the welder. I know Steve welds much straighter (and faster) if he has a beer in his hand. Then we stopped at Cujo’s Pizza for dinner. Who said they can’t cook a decent pizza in Alabama? Cujo’s is great! :) At 6AM we got up and loaded up the rest of the stuff we needed and headed to Arley Coffee Shop. We were meeting Nathan. I don’t know Nathan’s last name but he does EXCELLENT concrete work. We used him on Ivan’s house. We all drove up to the lot in the Northwest part of the lake. It was about a 35 minute drive from the coffee shop. About that time Steve and his brother in law Dave showed up with the mount on a trailer and a mess of extra galvanized steel for the legs. Nathan went right to work digging post holes. He’s a machine. I planned to use the auger but there are tons of rocks in the ground so Nathan told me he’d just do it with a post hole digger. I’ve never seen anyone operate a handheld post hole digger like Nathan. He just digs, chops, scoops… boom! A 12″ wide hole 3 feet deep into the ground and rock. I had ‘laid out’ the size/design of the mount the week before so I’d know where we had to dig and the angle it had to be on along with the proper height. So we jumped down off the bank – the lake has already receeded enough to stand and work down there – and started digging where the front legs would go. When we hit a huge rock I’d break out the jackhammer and pulverize it. Nathan kept digging away. We needed nine holes for legs for the dock total, plus two deep ones (one on each side of the lot) back from the shore to hook cables up from the dock. With the first two dug Steve and Dave dragged the mount off the trailer and we each grabbed a side and carried it down to the shoreline into place. We stuck a couple 2×3″ galvanized sticks in the front holes and put some “C”-clamps on them to hold the mount up… adjusted to get it fairly level.   The back rested almost on the ground. One side needed some rocks under it but in no time the dockmount/deck was in place and level. Steve welded the front legs on. He was a little slow so I gave him another beer which picked up the action (and made his welds straighter). Around this time Ivan told Nathan ‘Hey Nathan, this big rock here needs to be moved. We need to dig a hole for a leg right where it’s sitting.”. Well Nathan is still down on the lakebed. It’s about a four foot drop off from the shore to the lakebed. So when he’s standing there facing us this rock is about a little lower than chest high. At this point I’m back up on the shoreline with Ivan. Nathan lifts the front (facing him – away from me) of the rock off the ground and let’s out a blood curddling scream and runs… “Bees?” I yell as I scurry away from the rock. “No!” yelled Nathan. “There’s a copperhead snake under that rock coiled up looking right at me!!” Whoa. Being down on the lakebed put Ms. Copperheads fangs about 2 1/2 feet from Nathans face! I flipped the rock off with a long steel bar and sure enough there she is. Pretty thing. She wouldn’t move! Ivan really didn’t want to kill her, but hey… I needed to put a hole where she was laying and she had to go. So I took my shovel and chopped her up pretty good. Just before Nathan climbed down to the shoreline he said
“Hey Bill, I hope you have insurance in case I get bit by a snake!” I don’t think he was worth a thing after that… LOL. The rest of the day went pretty smoothly after that except that Nathan had to leave around 11:30 for a party so I ended up having to do post hole duty. I’m not very good at it. But we managed. Here are some pictures of the crew doing the job. We cut the rebar in half down to five foot lengths and then used the jack hammer to drive them down alongsid the posts. When the concrete is poured they won’t be going ANYWHERE. It took a good five minutes using the jackhammer to drive each of those pieces of rebar into the lakebed. We put some rebar between the legs too. On Monday Nathan will come back and build a couple forms around the rebar where those legs are and pour concrete there, into all the holes and into the big holes we dug at the property lines (the cable attachement points) to hold the 6′ long 4″ diameter pipe. I also REALLY wanted to get that dock out of there so I had Greg (the guy moving my dock) go get it this morning and push it up to the lot. It’s a 24 mile “push” and will probably take him 8 hours to move it. The concrete needs to set up for a week before Greg hooks the walkway to the new mount but I didn’t want to wait a week to get the dock moved. I haven’t heard from either Nathan, Ivan OR Greg today so I guess no news is good news. I really want to thank Nathan, Steve, Dave & especially Ivan for all the help with this project.  It was a HOT… HARD… BRUTAL… day of work.  But the results were more than I expected.  I can’t wait to see it with the dock moved to it. Hopefully I’ll have some completed pictures soon!

UPDATE!!!!

THE DOCK HAS ARRIVED!!!!!

Ok, The concrete has been poured to hold the mount and it cured for a week or so

Then Greg came along and moved the walkway over to the mount.  The only thing left to do is to deck it with some composite decking.  Also I purchased a Boat Lift and a Jet Ski dock which Greg will pick up from where they are located and install.  I’ll post a separate blog post for that.

The SECOND Dock Off In The Distance is mine.

UPDATE – September 29, 2009

I have some other pics of this, but look at how much the lake rose over the last week.

It’s risen a good 5-6 feet over that time due to rain.  Normally this time of year the lake is around 496’… a good 7′ lower than in this picture taken two weeks ago when the lake was at 503′.

This weekend the level is now close to 509’!! 😮

This photo was taken when it was just above 508 on Saturday (and it’s still rising – even though it hasn’t rained since Saturday).

It’s a awful lot of water when you consider that the lake has 550 miles of shoreline covering 21,000 acres… I don’t know how much water 21,000 acres – 5 feet deep is… but I’m betting it’s a lot!

EDITED TO ADD: I also wanted to post a few pictures of the HydroHoist boat lift and HydroPort2 Jet Ski dock I purchased for a song off the same guy I got the dock from.  I had Greg (the guy who moved the dock) disassemble the lift and jetski dock and move them to my dock here, then reinstall them.  I decided rather than installing the jet ski dock on the outside of the dock that I would install it into the empty boat slip.  My existing jet ski dock (that is at Ivan’s and which has my jetski parked on it currently) will be moved here eventually alongside this one.  That way my jetskis will be out of the weather and UV rays of the sun.  If I ever buy a second boat I’ll just relocate them to the outside of the boat dock.

 

My Map Of States I have “Visited”

I’ve been traveling (standby) a lot the last month.  In fact the last three weekends.

Weekend 1: MEM-LAX-LAS-DTW-MEM
Weekend 2: MEM-TPA-MEM
Weekend 3: MEM-DTW-ERI-DTW-MEM

It all depends on the time of year.  Getting in and out of Florida during the couple ‘Spring Break’ months each year is tough.  Winter is tough to Florida.  Summer is easier but then the number of flights is cut back because not many people travel to Florida in the summer.

Weather has a lot to do with it as some bad weather in a completely different area of the country than where I want to go can just clog the entire system.

It’s best to travel on the flights that leave earliest in the day.  The customers who miss those flights get put on the next flight.  Those who end up missing THAT one to an even later flight.  By the end of the day – if there are weather delays about the country – things get tough.  So I try to get up really early and take the first flight of the day if I can.

I do travel alone most of the time which makes it a lot easier.

Anyway, I broke out my US map the other day.  The one that I have that I color in red – the states I’ve been to in my life.  I don’t know how long I’ll have the benefit of standby travel but I think I’ll try to fill in some more of these states just for something to do. :)

I have a rule though.  In order for it to ‘count’ you have to actually EXIT the airport property.  The point is that just connecting to LA in Minneapolis doesn’t count as a visit to Minnesota. 

I’ve flown through Dallas a bunch of times but I’ve never set foot on Dallas soil outside of the airport terminal.  Though I’m just talking ‘states’ and I’ve been to Texas a number of times.

I mean I’ve flown THROUGH Detroit a bunch of times – even spent a night sleeping in the terminal, but I’ve never technically BEEN to Michigan.

On my way to Bali in 1991 for a skydiving meet I got off the plane in Hawaii while they boarded some surfers and refueled.  But we were technically an international flight at that point and could not leave the gate area.  So I’ve never really ‘been’ to Hawaii.

Hawaii should be fun though.  But unlike the rest of the country, Hawaii would probably requires a day or two of vacation.  Who wants to go to Hawaii and then just turn around and come back home? :(

I’m retired from the Marines and the military has a resort somewhere in Hawaii… right on the beach.  The rooms are pretty cheap so maybe I’ll take a couple days off and go there sometime.

I also am aquainted with quite a few people online that I’ve never met.  Nothing like meeting up with one of them for lunch on a Saturday afternoon huh? :)

Just looking at the map a few things jump out…

I’d like to knock off Iowa by visiting the “Field Of Dreams”.
I’d like to knock off Wyoming by visiting Yellowstone.
I’d like to knock off Oregon by visiting – getting as close to as I can – Mt. Rainer
I’d like to knock off Washington but taking a pic in front of Microsoft and/or seeing Mt. St Helens.
I’d like to go to Oklahoma and get a really good steak.
I’d like to go to Arizona and see Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon

Of course I’d go anywhere to watch a minor league baseball game with someone who wanted to go.  Or even by myself.

Oh well.  Maybe some of you have some other ideas.

Here’s my current map.

Chi-Town, Kids, Hockey, Old Friends & Hooters

First off, I talked to my mom yesterday and they had moved dad out of ICU to a room of his own. They’ve had him up walking and he’s feeling much better. Hopefully he’ll begin soon trying to get some food through his system. I bet he’s lost a lot of weight. I don’t even think he FEELS hungry. Mom said he’s been watching Baseball on TV and watched the NASCAR race too. So I’m sure he’s doing better. His throat is still really sore… I guess from the tube going down there during the surgery. I haven’t spoken to him yet since the day he woke up in ICU, but I’m sure I will soon. Hopefully I can jump on a flight this weekend to go see him, though it IS Easter so I’m not sure that will work out.

This past weekend I flew up to Chicago for my friend Alex’s 50th birthday party. His wife Carolyn is about ten years younger than Alex. She’s a sweetheart. I met her when I was flying to Bali in Indonesia in 1991 for a skydiving meet. I’ll never forget it. I was 32 and Alex was 34. He introduces me to his latest girlfriend Carolyn who is but 23 years old. We only had a short time so we went downtown and had some lunch and some beers. I barely got back to Midway airport to get my connection to Los Angeles. They got married in 1995.

Anyway, the last time I saw Carolyn was in 1999. I had gone to Chicago from where I lived in Alabama to go see an Eagles/Bears game with Alex at Soldier Field. Here is Alex’s buddy, Alex & Me at the game.

Alex's buddy, Alex & Me @ Eagles/Bears - October 1999

I met their two youngest children at that time. They were only about 3 and 1 or something like that. Trevor is the oldest and Abby is the youngest. Here is a picture of Carolyn with Trevor & Abby back in 1999. Again this is the last time I’ve seen them.

Carolyn, Abby & Trevor - October 1999

In the summer of 2000 after I got married, my parents had a party for us up at their home in Delaware. Alex and Trevor came out but Carolyn couldn’t come because she was prego with their third child Nolan. There were some issues and the doctor told her she couldn’t come out. SO…

I have not been in touch much with Alex for quite awhile. It seemed like after I got married I just got involved with other things and time passed. A month or so ago I got a call from Carolyn asking me if I’d come up for Alex’s party. So… that’s how I ended up there this weekend.

I got there late Friday and Alex didn’t know I was coming. I just drove to their home from O’Hare and banged on the door at 10:30 at night. Carolyn played it up like ‘who is at the door at 10:30?’ I’m glad she didn’t tell Alex to get his gun. He was quite surprised to see me standing there. The kids were in bed of course but we talked for awhile. Around 1:30AM Carolyn reminded us that the kids needed to be at the rink by 7:30 for the first game of their tournament. I don’t remember if I mentioned that all three kids play ice hockey. Alex and I used to play when we were teenagers on Saturday nights. That’s a whole other story though.

So we get up early and head to the rink. This is the first time I see the kids. Trevor is very shy and doesn’t say much… Abby comes right to me and smiles and starts talking… and so does Nolan even though he’s never met me. Of course the other two don’t remember me either so it’s like meeting them all for the first time.

We went and the kids played their first games. The next round of games was at noon so we went out to breakfast with some of their friends – lots of family interaction in youth hockey leagues – just like other sports for kids I’d imagine.

Nolan wanted to sit next to me. While we had breakfast he drew an alien on a napkin with some space ships and wrote “To Bill From Your Best Friend Nolan” on it. How cool is that? I told him that my “ex” stepdaughter Faith Behnke used to make me home made cards and pictures all the time when she was a little girl. I kept every one and used to hang them on the wall of my office wherever I was working. He asked if I’d put his drawing up there and I told him ‘of course… first thing Monday morning….’ and I did it today. I don’t have a picture of it though.

Here are some pictures of the kids at the rink playing around – I didn’t take any while they were on the ice because they don’t come out well with the glass and netting in front of you.

This is Nolan getting suited up.Nolan getting suited up

Abby on the air hockey table
Abby on the air hockey table

Nolan playing air hockey
Nolan Playing Air Hockey

Nolan & I hanging out before his next game.
Nolan & Bill hanging out before his next game

Another friend of Alex’s – a Marine like us – showed up around four PM. Ed was from New Jersey where Alex & I grew up. I guess Alex started thinking something was up by then.

We watched the afternoon games – Nolan played goalie in the afternoon game – he and Abby are on the same team – and Trevor plays goal all the time in his group. Both teams won their games and Trevor scored a shutout in his stopping a penalty shot and a couple breakaways to keep his shutout. Way to go Trev! Both of their teams made it to the Championship round on Sunday but I had to leave before them so I still don’t know how they made out.

After the games we took Alex to Hooters for some wings and beers. We were supposed to bring him back to the house at 7 or so. He knew something was going on, but he’s a good sport and played right along. At Hooters I had my picture taken with our Hooter girl “Jackie” and told her it was Alex’s birthday. They got all the Hooter girls together and sat him down and sang Happy Birthday to him and then posed for a group shot. It was great. :)

Alex & Ed @ Hooters

Me and our Hooters Girl “Jackie”
Me & Our Hooters Girl Jackie

Alex & Ed & Jackie
Alex & Ed & Jackie

The Hooters Girls singing for Alex
The Hooters Girls singing for Alex

Hooter Girl Group Photo with Alex
Hooter Girl Group Photo with Alex

Then we went back to the house and there were about 60 people there for the party. It was a lot of fun. Carolyn had Alex take some jackets to the bedroom and inside the bedroom was Alex’s old buddy Trevor and Trevor’s wife Jackie. Alex & Trevor have known each other since they were three years old growing up in England. He was quite suprised that they flew all the way from England for his birthday party. Here are some more pictures of the rest of the night:

Here is Trevor & Jackie
Trevor & Jackie

Abby
Abby

Carolyn and her friend Nicole. They are both training to run a marathon in two months. Go Girls!
Carolyn & Nicole

Hey…I FOUND a picture I took with Trevor in it! This is Trevor with his Grandma.
Trevor & Grandma

Abby & Jackie
Abby & Jackie

Me & Nolan once again. It’s times like this that I really miss my ex-stepkids… Faith & Jacob.
Bill & Nolan

This is Abby with Aubrey (I think I spelled that right). Aubrey is Nicoles daughter. She plays ice hockey too.
Abby & Aubrey

In the end, after a day of two hockey games and a big party… everyone was tuckered out. Ed left around 1:30AM and had to get up at 4AM to drive back to Chicago to catch a 6AM flight out. I went to sleep by 2 or 2:30 and got up at 7 to drive back to Chicago to catch an 11AM flight back to Memphis.

I didn’t realize how easy it is to get up there for me. I’ll have to go back again soon to see the kids. I forgot how much I missed being around children. :)

Happy March…

I guess it’s time for another entry.  Not much going on these days.  Well actually I guess there ALWAYS is something going on.  Let’s see.  Last weekend I was down to the lake with my buddy Ivan.  I had helped him build his lake house a couple years ago so I have a key to go down whenever I want… which is pretty much every few weeks.  I’m usually doing things down there related to myself.  I own a lake property in Double Springs, AL which I am now selling.  I found another property in Crane Hill, AL (same lake) that I prefer to build on.  My first lot was in a convienent development right on a state highway, but there were some issues going on over there that did not please me.  Besides that, it is in an area of the lake up in the National Forest quite far from where most of my friends live.

 Anyway, so that lot is up for sale.  If anyone is interested you can see it at LOT 22 – LAKESHORE EAST ESTATES (plug).  I stopped by the Lot22 lot the other day and spread a 50lb bag of grass seed to try to get some more ground cover going.  It hasn’t rained much at the lake over the last few years, but of course we got a deluge of rain right after I put down the seed.  I’m sure the fish will love it. LOL.

If anyone is interested in looking at pictures of my new lot – the one I plan to build on – have a looksee: LOT 172 – CEDAR COVE ESTATES

When I bought the second lot I had the bank combine the mortgage from the first with the new one… they used the equity in the first lot as collateral.  I can’t start building my house until I sell the first lot though.  When I do I need to pay down the huge mortgage on the lots to 100k.  Then after I put aside some money for taxes I’ll have some cash to start building the new house.  Plus I guess I’ll be able to get a construction loan at that point.

I have an UMF (unseen magical force) trying to get me to buy a boat.  I have a new boat dock coming but I only bought it because I’ll need one eventually and the prices keep going up like crazy… I really, really dont need a BOAT right now though.  What I need to do is build a HOUSE.  And besides, the prices of boats will probably drop this year as gas prices rise to $4 (on their way to $5) a gallon.

Speaking of that I need to sell my airplane too.  It is a giant money pit and I don’t ever use it anymore… yet it still costs me 6-8k a year in maintenance.  It must go.  In the next few months.  That will give me money to pay off the balance I owe on my boat dock and also to add to what I’ll have to start the house.

The BIG news this writting is about my dad.  My dad has been having some issues with pain and chills and vomiting and other things for awhile now.  He finally got some tests done and two days before Babe passed away he found out he has a tumor on his pancreas.  Hopefully this is not cancer… but the doctor said that if it isn’t, it will be soon.  So it has to come out.  Now.

The procedure is a very complicated one that I dont know much about.  It’s called a Pancreaticoduodenectomy (or “Whipple Procedure” for short).  It’s a very complicated surgery that involves removing different organs from your body, doing what you need to do, then putting them all back.  The biggest problem is that multiple organs share the same blood supply.

He’s having it done at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa and the surgeon is supposed to be one of the best with a lot of experience in this procedure.  Still, its worrisome.  Dad isn’t ‘old’ by any means, but he’s still 70.  The surgery has a 10% mortality rate anyway and age probably makes it worse.  I’m also sure that the stress on him the last few months with having to watch his daughter pass away isn’t going to help either.

I’ll be flying down to Tampa on Saturday.  We’ll all hang out with my Aunt & Uncle who are visiting that week.  The surgery is Monday morning.  Please say a prayer for my dad if you will.

I will write again to let everyone know how it goes.  I need to get back to work now. :)

Here is a photo of my sister Babe, Me & my dad the night before I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, SC.  It was September 1977.  Babe was like 16 years old.  I was 18.  Dad was 39.  How about those glasses I’m wearing?  Cool huh?  And what about the purple flare pants, Playboy Bunny tshirt, leather sandals and dark socks on Dad?

Here is another one of me, dad & my ex-step daughter Faith in the hot tub one night in March 2001.