Nov 162014

Aaron: “Dad, did you pass your driver’s license exam on your first try?”

Bo: “Yes, I did pass the first time I took it.”

Aaron: “Did you keep up with your examiner? Like, are you friends today?”

Bo: “Ummm…no.”

Aaron: “OK. It was just a thought I had.”

Isn’t it great what kids think sometimes?

I don’t remember my examiner’s sex, race, age, or anything else. I do remember that s/he didn’t ask me to parallel park, which kind of irritated me because I’d spent significant time and effort making sure I could do so on demand.

I took my exam in a silver 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It was part of the small corporate fleet my dad was managing for his sales force at the time. It was mostly Oldsmobile 88s and 98s, with an occasional outlier like Gary’s Buick Electra coupe. (I got to drive that one to Panama City once to see my mom and sister when they lived down there. Moonroof. Killer stereo. Good times.)

celicaMy first daily driver was my dad’s 1979 Ford E-150 van. I kept gas in it and paid him a flat rate per mile to do everything else (maintenance, insurance, and so forth). Most of the time I’d fill it up with gas and buy a carton of cigarettes, and that’d be pretty much it until I got paid again. I had noticeably more discretionary income once I got my ’77 Celica, which got exactly twice the fuel mileage. That’s what I count as my real first car.

myversa2I guess Nathan’s first car might be the Technical Writing Express, which is my current daily driver. There’s never been a thing wrong with it apart from a flaky CD player, and it’s only got 85,000 miles on it right now. If I continue to accumulate mileage at the same rate and nothing bad happens to it, then Nate will turn 16 and slide into a nine-year-old Nissan compact with 125,000 miles on it. That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

 Posted by at 4:52 pm
Nov 092014

Oh, what a great weekend! Dad, the boys, and I met Dad’s brother, his son, and his son’s father-in-law in Pensacola for this air show. We stayed in a house on Big Lagoon, with the base to our northeast. We spent most of Friday afternoon on the base at the museum, and then we spent Saturday mid-morning through mid-afternoon on Robertson Island, aka Sand Island and Admirals Island, which is just south of the base.



That meant a 4-mile Sea-Doo ride. In November. And yes, it’s the Florida Gulf Coast, but it was still only in the mid-50s for the morning trip over and the low 60s for the afternoon trip back. I was very stylish in my jeans and Alabama sweatshirt, with a life jacket on top. Of course the faster you go, the shorter the time you’re out there, but also the colder it is. It’s all about balance.

I didn’t try to take many photographs of the Blue Angels, mostly because I wasn’t enthused about trying to take my camera to the island and then babysitting it. Got some decent ones when we saw them here.


Aaron, 10, paid me back the $10 buy-in I loaned him and still cleared $22 playing poker. No, we weren’t throwing the game. He just took it from us. What a hustler.


My cousin and his father-in-law caught some beautiful red drum, which we had Friday night. Then, they did a low country boil with some fantastic royal reds, which was our meal for the Alabama-LSU game. Thanks, guys. It was all awesome.

It was a fine, fine time. I’ll see about some additional photos later. It’s early to bed for me tonight.

 Posted by at 8:21 pm
Nov 052014

I remember walking through the terminal at Huntsville International Airport after returning from this trip and spotting Lea and Aaron. As soon as Aaron, 3, saw me, he pointed, smiled, and started jumping up and down. I’ll never forget the sight as long as I live. I’m tearing up thinking about it. The four of [...]

 Posted by at 9:04 pm
Oct 312014

My mother: Ordered mustard, pickle, and onion on her hamburger without exception. (So she loved Krystals.) Was a stewardess for Northwest Airlines and living in Minnesota when she and Dad married. Liked and introduced me to peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. Was addicted to, at one time or another, NyQuil and Neo-Synephrine. Loved the ritual [...]

 Posted by at 1:20 am
Oct 262014

…didn’t know anything about popular music. He never knew anything about what I was listening to, and he didn’t even reliably follow his own favorites, like Billy Joel and Neil Diamond. I understand it now. …would try to fix some cheap something-or-other instead of replacing it. He would sit and fuss with low-quality crap trying [...]

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