Friday, August 28, 2015

Strange Start, Fine Finish

Sunset, looking towards Mary's Seat
Thursday was a bit of an odd day, which started in a rather bizarre fashion and ended on a high note.

So Sarge, how did your day start?

Glad you asked, it began with a dream, some might call it a nightmare, I don't. It was simply put, bizarre.

I'm on this supertanker, somewhere off the eastern seaboard of the United States. Now this supertanker has been hijacked by bad guys unknown. In the dream I'm wandering about below decks with a bloody paint scraper in hand and my right arm is dripping blood, not mine.

It seems I've managed to eliminate most of the hijackers except for two. These two spot me at the foot of a ladder well and yell at me to "Halt!" Of course, rather than halt, I dash up the ladder and slam the door at the top. It is a very crappy door, not a proper hatch but some week foam-filled plywood big box store special.

Of course, the door doesn't secure. Well, just so happens that there is a wheeled office chair sitting nearby in the passageway. Now I know where that part of the dream came from. Back when I got to spend a day at sea on the Ike, USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, CVN-69, The Nuke was taking us around the ship and every now and then we'd come across a sailor sitting (in an office chair) by an entrance to the engineering spaces, strictly off limits to non-nukes. So that's where the random chair came from. But, yup you guessed it, I digress...

Quickly I jam the chair against the door. Of course the chair is on wheels, it's just going to roll away with one good shove. Which it does when the first bad guy gets to my level. He shoves the door out of the way, I pop him in the face, he goes down and bad guy number two stops on the ladder well. Why? Who knows, it was a dream.

So I fling the chair at him. Bad guy number two and the random office chair clatter noisily down the ladder well. Chair seems fine, bad guy number two seems badly broken. Then I turn around and outside these large picture windows (they have those on super tankers, right? Yeah, I doubt it too.) is most of the United States Navy and what appears to be one Soviet-era Yankee class submarine.

One of these. somehow I recognized that hump aft of the sail and the sail itself. Perhaps I read too much?

Well, with all those American destroyers around, that submarine got underway and underwater very quickly. At that point I realize that this supertanker is about to be boarded, I'm standing there covered in blood with my bloody paint scraper and a lot of dead guys on board. Out loud I said, "Hhmm, this might be hard to explain."

At which point bad guy number one regains consciousness and says, "Don't worry Sarge, I'll tell them I did it." Bad guy number one has quite a shiner around his left eye.

Now at this point Sasha, the alpha cat, pokes me into wakefulness, which she does if I'm muttering or tossing and turning, both of which I guess I do when I'm dreaming.

So that's how the day started, round about 0730.

I decide to get up and immediately wonder where The Missus Herself has got to. Well, there she is, outside weeding the garden. Seems she wanted to get it done before the day got too hot.

Being convalescent and all that I felt a bit guilty for getting up so "late." (Morning people at this point will groan and say "Yup, that's late." Night owls like me will mutter something about the butt crack of dawn and go back to sleep. Ah, it is what it is.)

Wondering what the Hell the dream was about, I head down to the kitchen to brew a cuppa Joe and kick start the old brain. The Missus Herself comes in, I explain the dream and she says that in Korea, if you have a violent dream and you see blood, that's a good thing. If it's violent and no gore is in evidence, that's bad.

Thus comforted, I toast a bagel. Then I finish Bernard Cornwell's non-fictional account of the battle of Waterloo (see this post). I have to say that it was one of those books you're sad to see end. Very well written and I learned a couple of facts about the battle which amazed me. I mean when one has studied a battle for over thirty years you think you know it all. Not true. I give the book...

Five outta five Phantoms!

A bit pricey but well worth the cost (it's printed on really nice glossy paper, which is good because of all the wonderful battle art contained therein).

So that was that. What was the rest of the day like?

Went to the surgeon's office, first time I'd seen him since being discharged from the hospital, time to discover what the next few weeks held.

I had jokingly mentioned that if I saw my shadow that it would mean four more weeks of convalescent leave. Well, the day was bright and sunny so...

"So Sarge, I will see you again in four weeks. You are healing nicely, no complications. The pathology on the tissue I removed showed diverticulitis, scarring, no polyps and no cancer."

Of course, when one hears the "C" word, one sits up and takes notice. Then I realized that he said "no cancer." Excellent thinks I. I reckon that's always a good thing to be told there's no trace of that nastiness.

"Now still take it easy, no lifting anything over ten pounds, take it slow, try walking a bit more every day and remember to breathe deeply from time to time. When you open the window in the morning, take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air."

"Take time to smell the roses," says I.

"Exactly!" says he.

So four more weeks of semi-idleness. I can live with that, though truth be told I do get bored from time to time. (Yes Valory, I'll work harder on the book. I have been lazy on that score. In my defense I have been doing research, but I need to get some stuff down on paper. The book, much like the blog, ain't gonna write itself. And I can't have Tuna and Juvat work on it for me. Can I?)

Anyhoo. The doctor's appointment was scheduled for 1415 (2:15 PM for you civvies, Mickey's big hand on the three, Mickey's little hand between the 1 and the 2 for you gravel agitators, non-flyers and non-maintainer types.)

I got in to see the doctor close to 1520 (c'mon do the math, okay, I'll help, an hour and five minutes after my scheduled time).

Now at first I was a bit annoyed at this delay, for we had a dinner engagement at 1715 (sigh, 5:15 PM) and rush hour in Providence, Little Rhody, typically commences around four in the post meridian and we were some 30 miles away from the location of said dinner engagement. (And The Missus Herself asked me, no check that, told me to stop muttering "WTF" under my breath, which yes, I was doing. No, I wasn't using the initials, I said it right out but as I like to try and stay family-rated, I say "WTF" here. Capisci?)

When we actually got into the exam room my annoyance was assuaged by the nurse, who told me that the doctor was accompanied by a medical student and was I okay with that. I told her that I was exceedingly fine with all that as I am a big proponent of higher education and doctoring is a most useful skill.

I assume that as students ask questions and doctors explain things in detail to med students that was what led to the delay in seeing the doc. Not a problem, my surgeon is a super guy and a great doc, also the med student was a very decent chap who chuckled appreciatively at my many witty remarks. Good bedside manner and I am a sucker for those who at least pretend to laugh at my jokes.

So the doctor's appointment is done and we dash back to the manse to prepare for dinner. Time is tight but still exists abundantly enough where we don't have to commit any moving violations nor take shortcuts across country.

We get home, feed the cats, wash our hands, check the mail and then pile back into The Missus-mobile and head down to the Atlantic Beach Club for to partake of some excellent seafood, the salt air and the rumble of the surf on the beach next to the parking lot.

Dinner was superb as was the company, old friends who we met when we first got to Little Rhody and whose company we have enjoyed 'lo these many years.

Sadly we discovered the the Atlantic Beach Club will be changing ownership and will no longer operate as a restaurant come the end of the year.

Sigh. Another victim of the lackluster state of the economy, my favorite restaurant, soon to be but a memory. I guess nothing lasts forever, all things must pass but I'm sorry, this just sucks. Oh well, I suppose I'll find another favorite. Somewhere.

One last thing, leaving the restaurant I saw a familiar face. It was the guy who used to run my favorite gas station in Bristol, Little Rhody. He decided to retire some years ago and now downtown Bristol is sans filling station.

I used to stop there often. Joe is about my age, perhaps a year or three younger, but was a real old fashioned kind of gas station guy. He'd do repairs on vehicles and he was my go to guy for tires. He always had good suggestions for my car and his prices were more than reasonable. A great guy. I used to stop and chat with him and his Dad at least once a week.

Well, I was stunned when he remembered me, called me by name and asked how the kids were doing. He even remembered that The WSO was a back seater in the F-18. He then went on to tell The Missus Herself and our friends how he missed the business because of customers like myself. Made me blush a bit I can tell you.

I asked after his Dad, also named Joe, and was saddened to hear that he had passed about a year and a half ago at the age of 87. Really sad, older Joe was a really nice guy. His kind soul is reflected well in his son and namesake.

It was really good to see him and his kind words really made me feel good. Not enough folks like Joe around but there are enough of them that I still have high hopes for this country of ours. Solid citizen that Joe.

That was my day, started strange, ended nicely. I wish I'd brought the good camera, all I have is these slightly out of focus cell phone pics. Ah well, having been convalescing nigh on four weeks, the Guinness I had at dinner made me slightly out of focus and a bit fuzzy round the edges as well. (Even at my best I'm a cheap date, give me a six pack and expect to have me dancing on tables and wearing a lampshade on my head. Like The Missus Herself says, "You can dress me up but you can't take me anywhere." Actually getting me to dress up is a bit of a chore as well. It's "why we can't have nice things...")

In essence, you see what I saw, without having to partake of adult beverages. I took care of that for you. It's what I do, I'm a giver...

Moon rise over Easton Point.

Fuzzy close up of same, almost looks like an impressionist painting. Or a fuzzy cell phone pic. (Bet on the latter.)

The mighty Atlantic lies beyond Easton Bay

A flock of seagulls. (No, not the 80's band, actual seabirds.)
Again all impressionistic looking.

All in all, a good day.

Now where did I put the draft of my book?

[Mutters to self, exits stage left.]


  1. I had a combat dream too! Last night. Freaky.

    Maybe I'll write about it, maybe not. Today I'm laying out a new hiking trail which is a lot of work.

    Every morning I open up my draft and scribble a bit but I seldom have (or take) the time to knuckle down and make progress. Methinks this is not the way to success. Perhaps winter will provide me with time, or perhaps I'll just have to suck it up and drive on.

    Those are great pictures, BTW. That moon now, we've got one just like it!

    1. Writing a book is not for procrastinators!

      (Thanks Shaun, odd that, are you sure it's the same moon?)

  2. "I can't have Tuna and Juvat work on it for me. Can I?"

    As for the fuzzy pictures, I know a fella who does that to them on purpose.

    1. Because they'll want a pay raise.

      I know that fella you mention.

    2. Why? Because it wouldn't be worth reading in my case.

      Glad you're progressing normally. Really glad the C word is not involved. Got a friend who was just diagnosed with Stage 3.

    3. Yeah, when you hear the C word, it gets your attention. Sorry to hear about your friend.

  3. When I've a lot of stress going on, my dreams are of the car business. In them, nothing is going right. Last night the inventory wouldn't balance and two salesmen ran into each other on the lot. Woke up tired.


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