What Is There Left to Say?

Today is Tuesday, you know what that means? We’re going to have a special, special guest, so take out the carpet,sweep the place clean,  strike up the band,  and give out with a hip hurray, cuz Tuesday is guest star day.

Oh, don’t mind me, just channeling my childhood which is way way beyond some of you. Anyway, that was the Tuesday theme for the Mickey Mouse Club, with Cubby and Annette and so forth and so on.

Life, define it in a non-biological way if you may be so kind.

Diego has walked his desert, I have cleaned the kitchen (and proceeded to dirty it back up immediately with a huge pot of chicken/andouille sausage gumbo simmering away).  I cleaned the bathrooms too, but never thought about cooking in those. That would be just wrong and would be a good indication that I’m in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

I’ve just had a moment to sit down and am thinking about thinking about something more important than cheddar/jalapeño biscuits to accompany the gumbo.

We ate at a fabulous restaurant (read hole-in-the-wall) joint yesterday. It’s the type of place where you stand at the counter and order your food, and then return when they “call your number.” It was some great enchiladas I tell ya. We have become more affectionate toward the green sauce than the red, which says something I guess, although I know not what,  and we are okay with the heat most of the time. I am never without a Hatch chile or some jalapeños in my fridge. We have two ristras hanging outside that are mostly dried.

I tend to throw chiles in most everything. They are great with hotdogs and hamburgers, in fact the green chile hamburger is pretty basic here. There are even green chile egg rolls. It’s funny how quickly you adapt to the local cuisine, if indeed you have one.

Diego has settled in as a member of the family. He’s a sneaky snake. He has taken over the library as “his room” and all his toys are scattered across the carpet. When I cleaned the room yesterday, I picked them all up, along with assorted papers he had torn up into bits for my enjoyment, and placed them in his bed.

In a fit of pique, he carted all his toys outside and laid with them, in a serious grump. Before the day was out, everything was back in his room, except for his hedgehog (all are now absent stuffing, because he plans to be a surgeon when he grows up and therefore opens them all up and extracts their innards.), which I found in the middle of the bed. The bed, which he is NOT supposed to get up on.

Which is funny, since he has trouble negotiating the bare floors and jumping off the bed, means that he splays out on the floor when he hits it.

The Contrarian is building some tables for the bedroom. They are both going to be inlaid with ceramic tiling. He’s become quite good actually. He has made four footstools of varying quality, the last two being really nice. Those are in the library. He has made a beautiful wood tray for the dining room table, a laundry cart which substitutes (by an ingenious method) as a grocery cart to move groceries from the garage to the kitchen. The most useful tool is my new cleaning cart which has hooks and boxes and all kinds of gizmos which hold my floor mop, broom, dustpan, all my cleaning products, rags, duster, and my mini-vac.

I can be heard roaming from room to room, singing “bring out your dead, bring out your dead,” which somehow seems apropos from a Monty Python movie.

Which brings to moving.

Having reconnected with a few of my high school mates, I guess I’m surprised at how many of them live in the same basic location that they grew up in. I find that odd. Perhaps I’m odd. I’ve lived in four states. Many of my teen mates have moved to other locations within Michigan, but a rather shocking number still live in Flint or the within the county at least. One even went back and taught 30 years at the same high school!

But then my father never moved when he retired. Which I also found odd.

I don’t think I’d be happy having lived only one place my entire life.

I don’t exactly know what I’d be unhappy about, but I feel that I would have been.

It’s hard to make assessments about people in general if you’ve never experienced people in other locations. Don’t you think?

Everything in this house beeps at you. It’s maddening, and insulting in a strange sort of way, like I’m not a grown up, and need to be reminded.

When the microwave is finished, it beeps. And if you don’t open the door (don’t have to take anything out, mind you (bloody stupid machine!), it will beep again. And again. I haven’t had the time or patience to find out how many times it will do that.

My washer sings to me when it’s done. It plays a song. So does my dryer. It beeps at me when it’s done and tells me I should hurry up and get the clothes out. When I finally do, it plays me a whole song–of beeps. It’s annoying.

My phone sings to me, and so does the Contrarian’s. It sings when someone calls, but it also sings when it’s downloading some crap I don’t care about, like updates to my ziplist or because twitter has 72 new tweets I just gotta know about.

I need some peace and quiet.

Shhhh.

Oh and Diego poops too much. I gotta go pick up poo again.

Thanks Dear Friends

Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all your kind words regarding the loss of Bear. It was so wonderful to read your soothing words at such a time, especially when we are so busy with all the last-minute doing of “things”. The list seems ever to grow.

Yet, we are almost there. The last of the major packing was done yesterday, and the POD is fairly brimming. We have just enough room for the last few things that we must leave until the morning of the leave-taking.

Yesterday was the big push and were we exhausted, running pretty hard from about 7 am until about 5. We literally fell into bed, which was not a nice fall, since the bed frame is gone and we are down to the box springs and mattress. We have a couple of plates and I baked up a ton of chicken to munch on over today.

We’re ready to be on our way, and at the same time, there is a decidedly melancholy afoot. We are in that “doing X for the last time,” whether it be feeding the birds, or something as mundane as doing a load of wash. I’m not sure how universal that kind of thing is, but it’s a staple of my “going”, though never a part of my “coming”.

We are taking our cats to their new home later today. We were blessed in finding a perfect place, on a dead-end road with almost no traffic, along the Wapsie, with lots of  places to hunt their mousies, and enjoy playing in woodpiles. Our friend Steve will take good care of them, and they can live out their remaining years much the same as here, albeit not with the “house time” they usually enjoy as they desire.

We looked at many options including boarding and having them shipped, and it was simply too expensive for us to do. The kennel fees alone were upwards of $1000 per month. And that life would be no life for them at all. So this is vastly better, though we will miss them so much.

So we leave Iowa,  just the two of us, and that is hard to accept. We are so used to our menagerie. It is decidedly quiet without the dogs and now there will be no more feline antics to make us laugh. On the other hand, there will be no more shrieks of anger as one comes prancing in with a beautiful chickadee in its mouth, nor the headless mice that Spencer was noted for.

Again, thanks for all your kindness during this exciting, sad, trying time. Everything seems set for a ETL of Tuesday morning. Bless ya all until the next time I have a moment and a connection!

They Run the Meadow Forever

Sometime during the night Wednesday into Thursday, our beloved Bear passed. We heard nothing and trust that he died peacefully in his sleep. I am not one to grant an animal an inordinate amount of human understanding, but in this case, it seems apropos.

Bear was scheduled to go to the vet on Thursday for an “assessment”. He clearly knew that something around here was afoot, as strangers entered his home and began carting off the contents last weekend. He was distressed, something very unlike him. Perhaps he sought to save us from the decision. And there is no question in our minds that he much prefers to stay here at his home in the meadow.

We buried him next to his sister, the girlie, Brandy. It all seems surreal in a way, for earlier on Wednesday, the Contrarian put new batteries in a camera and found that we had one picture of her sleeping on her couch. He determined to take a number of Bear “in case”. How fortuitous that turned out to be.

We have talked often since of so many memories of the two of them. So much laughter, and happiness those two had. They went on wild and long journeys throughout their domain which was large, and chased dozens of deer, turkey, pheasants, rabbits, raccoons, hedgehogs, coyotes, and well, if it moved, they chased it. They caught some, ate some, and carried around much as trophy.

They were always together, always teamed in the hunt, in the napping. Her death was so hard on him. At first he seemed unaffected, but his health deteriorated so quickly after he realized she was not returning. He went up to her grave and took the chew bones we left there and brought them back, dropping them at the Contrarian’s feet. He knew she was there.

We have a profound peace knowing they will have this meadow to themselves for all time. We have so many memories. We shall miss them both. They both left us in style and dignity and on their own terms. Would that humans could do as well.

~~~

On the moving front, we are nearly all packed up. The movers are returning on Sunday, the only rain-free day we are getting over the next week it seems. There is surprisingly not as much as I expected remaining to go in the POD.  We are expecting to take off on Tuesday morning. It’s been a long journey to this point, and we are ready to begin this new adventure. I’ll try to post again on Monday before we leave.

He’s NOT a Hoarder, So He Says

The problem with most men, is that they have a tendency to have failed to grow up. It’s called “arrested development”.

You’ve heard me before about the peanut butter jar. Lid askew, peanut butter smeared on the side, a sticky knife stuck to the counter–that’s how we leave the scene.

No female, even a young one, would leave such a mess, but boys never grow up on this issue, or at least a substantial number of them don’t.

As many of you know, we’re in the midst of packing to move. Make that “I”m in the midst of packing to move.” The Contrarian has so far “packed” one drawer of ‘tools’ which now lies on the floor. He’s “planning” his next escapade into the closet any day now.

Meanwhile, I’m on my second tour, now packing haphazardly all the small items that are not at this date deemed essential. And clearing off out shelves of throw-aways so the piece of furniture can be picked up and toted out with ease.

So this morning, I’m clearing off the side board, which has been cleaned out, but still harbors a ton of “stuff” on top. I have a garbage bag at the ready to deposit the throw-outs, such as a forlorn pair of partially used candles and the corner off a bird-feed container. (Let’s just say, I’ve decided that housework is a joke at this point) Anyway, as I pick up this or that and stick in a general box for shipping, I come across a stone-like whitish object laying on the top.

“What is this?” I turn holding it for his perusal.

“Oh,” he grins a bit sheepishly, and then smiles, “that’s my tooth.”

Now, he had had a loose tooth for years, and finally it gave up and fell out. This was old news. Several months old, which tells you how long it has been since I took a serious clear the decks attitude toward that side board.

“YOUR TOOTH!!!” I shrieked. “What is YOUR TOOTH doing there?”

“Well, I didn’t exactly know what to do with it, ya know.”

“Well I can tell you where I would put it, you hoarder!”

“I am not a hoarder!” he wailed.

Uhuh, if you can top that one, please do tell.

We purchased a car yesterday, and feel quite satisfied with our find. It was in our price range, in our model range, and seems to be in good working condition, nice body, and clean. It’s at the end of the driveway awaiting our leave-taking.

Much of this has been like somebody giving you a spoon at the Hoover Dam and telling you to dig a hole through it. For the longest time, you seem to make no dent, then a trickle of water is seen, and well, then, watch out! We are at that tipping point in the move where things are starting to really move fast. I’m actually starting to get excited.

The lie that Willard promotes the most often is that “under Obama’s watch, over 800,000 jobs have been lost”. And of course he knows that it is not true. All the more egregious because the way he arrives at that number is to play a dishonest accounting game that should be beneath a guy why claims so much economic gravitas.

What Willard does, is start the counting on January 1, 2009. But Obama wasn’t even sworn in until January 20, 2009. As of March 1, 2009, the Economic Recovery Act had just been signed and little of the money disbursed yet, and the economic team was not yet assembled.  If you start the clock at the March 1 date, then the net loss was only 102,000 jobs, and then the tide turns and the numbers climb upward from that point.

Willard obviously knows this, yet it serves his meme to continue misleading people with this unfair time frame.

Willard doesn’t want you to think that he shares the GOP agenda to put women in their places. So he has taken to surrounding himself with females in photo ops. The trouble is, the women he chooses are women who voted against the Lily Ledbetter Law and the Paycheck Fairness Act. I’m not sure how that is supposed to help, unless it’s to point out that Willard doesn’t agree with these laws either. In which case, he embraces I guess the GOP position enunciated in Republican-controlled legislatures all over the country–of controlling women’s lives and their bodies. If you would like the truth on the claim that 92% of the jobs losses were women, which is also a lie, then read this post with some good graphic evidence.

The man simply lies and lies.

I assume that our delightful Rep Alan West figured it was a good idea to guesstimate that some 75-81 Congressional Democrats were Communists. Course he’s denying it now, but of course there is video, here. The Communist Party also had some things to say about the allegations.

That should sure help him out in his delusional idea that he might get a nod as VEEP.

Oh this is just funny doncha think?

I just giggled when I saw it.

I wish I was some kind of artist.

But I’m artistic with words.

Or perhaps I’m not. But I enjoy thinking I am.

That George Zimmerman chose to run for “help” to Fox Noise is no accident. It’s par for the course. It’s how Fox  is viewed, and no amount of denial on their part can fix that. It didn’t occur in some vacuum. It’s because of the things that are said there. And no greater proof of that is that on their website, they cannot keep the comment section scrubbed of the vile racist diatribe that is constantly being posted there by their followers. K Street has a link from Daily Kos and a listing of some of those comments with all their “likes” attached. You can read about ten before you have had enough.

Inside Every Tighty-Righty is an Ethel Merman

This isn’t exactly new news. In fact it was alluded to in Max Blumenthal’s Republican Gomorrah. But a new study confirms the old, and well, frankly, confirms what we secretly always suspected.

The study done a research team from three universities shows that those who are most vocal in their denunciation of gay folks and their having normal rights, are, yeah, you guessed it, more like to be repressed homosexuals themselves.

They are most likely to have attraction for those of their own sex, especially where such feelings were severely restricted by authoritarian parents. Gays remind them of what they can’t bear to admit about themselves, as it were.

Our thanks to Juanita Jean for the heads up. And some whacked out group in Maine who is fighting against marriage equality, urges its members to refer to same-sex marriage as “sodomy based marriage.” Why some are so ugly I do not know. But then we do know don’t we?

I hit the top of some search engine the other day, and posted visits of like nearly 1,000 on Saturday. It was a post from a year ago on Good Friday. No idea why it peaked any interest. The Internet is just plain weird.

Here in the meadow, things are plugging along. I have pretty much finished with the packing of all but the necessities needed for the next few weeks. I’m fairly generous since I’ve already found I needed that jar of unopened olives that I’d already packed. The POD is ordered and will be here on Monday next. We are starting to look for a car to buy. We have a long list of little things to do, mostly calls to make and short visits like  to the bank (things get complicated with you have direct deposit, and with my SS starting in June). But I’m starting to see that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel now.

A couple of weeks ago, Chris Hayes’ UP had a really great discussion about faith and science. Dawkins was on as well as Steve Pinker, both atheists, or agnostics as even Dawkins admits to. Susan Jacoby rounded out that side, with Robert Wright bringing up the more, I would say, nuanced side. Stanley Fish, in the NYTimes, Opinionator, has a really interesting two-part article discussing the issues, here and here. He makes a very thoughtful argument that, while it changes nothing in the determination of scientific reality versus religion, he sets the discussion on a more rational (I think) base.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this, and rather doubt it is accurate, but I nearly fell off my chair in laughter when I saw it.

It came from the Constant Weader.

It’s an interesting thought experiment.

Now some of you will spend more time in reverie on that possibility of the physical experience, and will miss the fine political statement.

And most of you who do will be men.

Women just have a finer sense of morality and decorum.

But then, I’m not telling you anything new there am I?

Rick Warren never was a middle of the roader. He’s a thinly disguised righty, who harbors the usual right-wing belief system that supports all the Ryanesque harshness as Americanism at it’s best. This is what he said to Jake Tapper a few days ago:

Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor….But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation.

The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You— you rob them of dignity.

Sounds fairly tame? No. Not at all. First of all, Jesus never suggested that there were limits to “caring for the poor“. And what is fairness? Nobody on the left is suggesting that everyone “make the same amount of money”. We recognize that some are more ambitious, more talented, and more delay gratification in order to educate themselves to the level that will put them in a higher wage bracket.

What does fair opportunity mean? Arguably we have always had that, although the journey may be very arduous for some, extremely so, but there have always been rich people who bucked all the odds and succeeded. And frankly this is what Warren means. And most people can’t achieve under these circumstances. Fairness to us means that everybody pays their fair share without resort to fancy accounting practices that effectively reduce one’s taxes to zero, all the while that the average person is paying a painful amount.

While jobs are everyone’s goal, and frankly I cannot fathom a man who believes that receiving government assistance amounts to being “subsidized wealth”. Show me the wealth in SS benefits and we can talk.

Warren and the Right in general attempt to place the onus of poverty on the impoverished and to help the middle class feel victimized and threatened by efforts to redress the injustice. And they use the Bible to make the middle class the traditional poor that Jesus talked about.

How many times can we remind everyone that Projectionism is at work here.  

Patent Pending Medical Miracle Announced!

Just cuz you guys are my friends, I’m gonna let you in on the ground floor.

For a small investment, you can get in on a financial wonderland that will put you in the penthouse and on that yacht you’ve always dreamed of.

Soon you’ll be signing up all your friends and relatives, and they too can begin this adventure, with you starting to gather in a percentage of all they reap.

Okay, what is this financial deal of the century?

Moi, has made a huge discovery.

A worldwide, applies to everyone kind of discovery. One that EVERYONE will be begging for. Seriously, everyone.

Okay, now keep this on the Q-T for the time being. Remember its “patent pending”. I checked out that website that’s always advertised on the TV for inventions, and they assure me that for a small fee, they are sure my patent will be accepted.

So. shhhhh, okay?

Here we go.

Everyone, sneezes, even animals (though I am not sure of the practicality of trying  this on them).

So, okay, everyone sneezes. And every once in a while, for no apparent reason, like stubbing your toe, you will invariably bite your tongue when you sneeze. And since you don’t know how it happened, there is no danged way to prevent it.

Until now.

Just the other day I was washing up some dishes while in the process of creating a marvelous mouth-watering meal for my beloved Contrarian. I was banging those spoons and spinnin’ those greens I tell ya. The flour was flying and the oil was fryin’. And then I had to sneeze.

Having my fingertips submerged in the soapy output of our local aquifer, (not the soap, just the water), and having embraced a few select pieces of dishware already with soap and rinsing, I was loath to spurt forth the usual droplets of my mouth onto said clean cutlery and so forth.

Are ya with me?

Okay, so in an attempt to minimize the bathing of said immaculate dish and spoon, I swiveled my head, not the torso mind you, just the head, a full 90° to deposit my spring-time shower into the room at large rather than, as I said, the dishes which were still draining in the sink (to the left is where I place them, washing in the right, which is the exact opposite of how I washed dishes when I was a child which probably has deep Freudian meaning for those of you who are Freudian as opposed to one of the other schools).

Where was I?

Oh, yes, about to sneeze.

So I sneezed.

And other than my head being twisted radically just seconds before the explosion, there was nothing else untoward about the situation. Well, I let ‘er rip as they say, (whoever they might be which is some amorphous collection of non-gendered presumed human beings), and let out a scream, followed by a very lengthy series of “ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch” in an ever rising crescendo of pain induced decibel.

In other words, I bit the side of my tongue.

Well, that was not the first time I have done so. And as I pondered the searing pain that was throbbing and only barely receding as my skull pounded from the vibrations, I thought, “damn, I hate doing that” and then “I’m sure I’ll do it again some time.”

That last part really pissed off yours truly.

So I got to thinking. Or to be exact, I focused my thoughts on the direct idea of sneezing and how I could prevent the continuing destruction on that wiggly item that gives me so much pleasure caressing various food items. (We’ll leave it at food if you don’t mind. You know whose blog to go to if you want to talk dirty)

I focused with laser-like accuracy, pushing out all other thoughts. A few of the ones that were pinballing around inside the dome were:

  • Why would somebody choose a  reuben sandwich as a birthday meal?
  • Why is dirt dirty? And is it dirty or is that just the color?
  • What will happen on the next episode of Mad Men?
  • What did birds leave behind in the rush to come north early this year?
  • It must be awful being a snake and having to slide through awful things cuz you can’t step over them.

So, you see, it was a major feat of cold iron-minded will POWER that went to work on this problem that plagues us all.

And I confess, after several minutes, I went back to chopping red onion, and gave up.

It was some hours later, when I was sitting quietly, sipping a diet coke (decaffeinated if you MUST know, though I really like Coke Zero, but the bad store doesn’t carry it, and so it was all I could get), that the answer came to me.

And even before the night was out, I got a chance to try my light-bulb moment.

I felt a sneeze coming on.

I felt that hate/love thingie rising, yet my sore tongue (don’t bother trying to band-aid your tongue, in case you were wondering–the tape doesn’t stick worth shit) was making me dread it, fearful that my tongue would leap between my teeth, determined to just end it all, once and for all, committing a perverted form of tongue suicide.

Oh I am hurrying. Be patient.

Well, you take that big intake of breath, and your eyes go all squiggly, and your kinda shiver, and that’s when I did it!

What?

Oh, what I did?

I jammed my hand in my mouth.

And I sneezed all that spray over my hand, and my fingers kept my tongue from getting between those molars, and I DIDN’T BITE MY TONGUE!

And I was so happy I just giggled.

The Contrarian did look at me a little strangely, but he does that a lot anyway.

And so, for a small investment, you can go out selling my solution! (Check or money order please)

There are only a few teeth marks on my hand, but they were pretty much gone this morning.

Get that check to me right away. In the spirit of the Infomercial which I shall soon be the new diva of, it’s only three monthly payments of $29.99. Be the first to cash in on this “cash cow.”

I swear all of the above is true.

Up Your Nose With a Hedge Trimmer

Stop laughing!

That’s somebody’s child.

Packing is nearing a tipping point. I’ve certainly got lots of stuff still lying around, but I still have to cook, and I still need things like flour and mustard.

But I’m not sitting with boxes and filling them in five minutes any more. I’m having to look around and “find” items that will fit in that little spot left.

We are going to order our Pod next week. They said about 5 days at the outside for delivery.

The price to move, is akin to having a moving company move you door to door across country, so it ain’t cheap. I guess about what we had figured, but then we added in the cost of renting an RV for months, and fees at a campsite, and well, it got very expensive very fast. More than we wish to throw down the hole at least.

So it’s more like driving in a car and staying at motels. Far cheaper in the long run. And that changes the packing, since I won’t need kitchen stuff and so forth. But it’s coming together fast now.

We got a few groceries yesterday and I got my hair cut. Aren’t you just thrilled? I mean could this post be any more exciting?

I didn’t think so.

Frankly I’m just bored today, and nothing much seems interesting or provocative to talk about. I’ve tried three times to discuss a conversation of sorts that I had with some “new atheists” the other day, which ended up the usual way. At least they are quite honest: one of their stated goals is the eradication of religion. Which is funny in a way, since they have the same sort of fanaticism that exists among fundamentalists. Two opposing forces, both seeing the world in black and white.

I’d give you the links but goodness, laziness prevents it. But the blog is entitled “Why Evolution is True” which is of course not exactly a snappy title, and is silly, since frankly people who don’t believe in evolution aren’t reading it, so it ends up being a gathering of like-minded individuals who pat each other on the back, assure each other that they are the most intelligent, most courageous, most honest people in the world, and believers are stupid, illogical and dependent on some preacher to tell them what to think.

It all gives me a headache.

All the Republicans are boring the crap out of me. Does Willard ever stop making it up as he goes along? Are there any other candidates now? Newt sleeps until noon and Ragin’ Rick seems off to spend the rest of the week in Church, beggin’ no doubt.

I’m not depressed, such bored. I am seldom bored. But when I am, it feels like depression, but it’s not. There is a fine line of demarcation that separates the two, and I know the difference, even when I’m not so good at explaining it. Bored is to be uninterested in much, but okay to just sit and stare into space and feel relaxed. Depression is being uninterested in much but unable to stare into space without feeling worse. Depression begs you to do something, boredom is almost comfortable at a certain point.

I’m seldom bored.

The Contrarian went through his clothes, making sure that my culling was okay. He moaned and cried. “Why, look, I haven’t seen this leather vest in years,” he erupts. “It’s dried up and worthless!” I say in  measured tone. He moans. We gotter done though. We have to get some suitcases. Does that tell you anything?

¶I do

I have no clue if or when I’ll be able to hook into a WiFi system. I guess we should be cancelling our dial-up account when we leave. Does that allow me to get my e-mail at all? I am so lost with this Intertubey stuff. We’re gonna hire a tech kid from the University when we get settled, and tell him what we want to do, and then let him tell us what we need to accomplish that. I’m getting a Kindle and an MP3 player I think. I have the laptop. The Contrarian wants a desk top. Beyond that, I have no clue. I like the Cloud thingie with MAC but that would mean something to do with my laptop. And all my stuff in Word.

HELP! LOL

I’m dumbo. This kid is gonna have a ball ‘splainin’ the technology to me.

I do apologize for this boring post. Since I got no “what I learned” this week, I guess that little segment will be dismissed as an utter failure. So hopefully, I’ll get unbored and find something interesting to say, or at least be interested in saying something.

Have fun.

I guess I should make sure I get another trip to the bookstore before we leave and pick up a couple of books to read.

Sorry.

Mind is a terrible thing to age.