Friday, September 29, 2006

This Time Last Year

Today is September 29th and it has been a quiet but busy couple of weeks. I was talking to my old buddy Art Shand on the phone and I mentioned that I needed to write a blog entry, but that it had been so quiet that I did not have much to tell. Art suggested I look back to where I was exactly one year ago today and write about that…good idea.

On September 29th, 2005 Bonnie and I were in the Abacos islands, a small chain at the top of the Bahamas. More specifically we were in an area called Marsh Harbor, We had finished up a project in Ireland but for tax reasons were not ready to come back to into the USA yet. (There is a funny rule that says if you spend 330 days out of 365 out of the country you get a big tax break, we needed about 4 more weeks to make our tax break).

So the good news is that we spent 4 weeks on on our sailboat, The BlackSheep; the bad news is that 2005 was a record year for tropical storms and hurricanes. As a result we spent a lot of time in our slip at Boat Harbor. During our stay there, our normal Friday night hangout Sapodillas Bar was under major reconstruction, so we were diverted across the street to Snappa’s Bar. Fridays nights were always pretty much the same, dinner from the bar menu and cold rum drinks with our friend “Uncle Bob” Scott.

At Snappa’s, the island music or classic rock and roll which plays over a better than average sound system is nearly drowned out by the sound of the locals playing dominos. Strange to think that Dominos would be a loud game until you see the locals play. The force in which the local players (mostly men) slam the tiles onto the hard plastic table tops is amazing. During the first few minutes of your time at the bar is always a bit disconcerting since the sound of the dominoes closely mimics the sound of small arms fire. After a couple of cold rum drinks and good conversation, the sound just seems to fade into the background.

Discussions of this time last year would not be complete without a mention of the new friends Layne and Grant that made that trip. Grant is an amazing artist and he and wife Layne travel the island son their boat “Blue”. We had a great time visiting sailing and getting to know them. Funny how one can make friends almost anywhere…….

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Growing Older But Not Up

Things change; I have to wear reading glasses now, and I notice it takes me a little bit longer to work out the kinks when I jump out of bed. I have also noticed I really look forward to naps on the weekends.

Bonnie and I went to a poker party last night (Bonnie is an excellent Texas Hold ‘em dealer so we get invited). I was standing in the kitchen between hands talking to two other guest. In speaking with them I realized that I had been married as long as they had been alive.

I still feel very young inside. When people ask Bonnie is she has any children at home she often answers “just George”.

I guess you could say I’m growing older but not up.

Building The Perfect Blog

Not long ago I started a blog for my dad who lives in La Place Louisiana. The blog chronicles the events of the Blind Mule racing team; which is made up of my dad, my uncle and my brother. They race smallish cars that are built out of Volkswagen parts, thus the name Formula V. If you change the layout just a little bit, then they are called Formula First.

The Blind Mule team has been working to try and create some excitement around his type of racing, and I think they are up to 5 or 6 drivers with cars in the area now. Kind of neat, as it lets you get into racing without spending fortune, a used car for this class cost around $3,000.

It has been fun getting the blog in shape; it looks a LOT different than when we started with it. You can see the blog here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hi George!

I am constantly amazed at just how small the world is. I got a call on Friday from a friend named George Stewart, who I have not seen in at least 15 years.

George works for T-Mobile, the company that I am in Seattle contracting for, and he was in town for business. We made arrangements to meet up after work.

After a quick drink at our favorite watering holes, we got directions to a seafood restaurant that George had heard of. As Bonnie was being given directions by various locals around the bar, the phrase “you can’t miss it” was uttered more than once.

Later, as we made wrong turn after wrong turn and trying to find Salty’s Seafood Grill those words echoed in my mind.

After just one stop for directions we finally found the restaurant in West Seattle and had an amazing dinner, it was certainly worth the trip. Over dinner we caught each other up on our various adventures of the years. George and his wife Ruth are grandparents now, their son Jeff gave them two beautiful little girls to spoil

Today we met up with George again and headed out for lunch at the Roanoke Inn, a local eatery on Mercer Island. After lunch we took a ride up to enjoy the view from the New Castle Golf Club. We had only just eaten, but Bonnie and I will be sure to go back to the Calcutta Grill there.

If you want to reach George Stewart, you can drop him an email. I am sure you will be pleased to catch up with him, we sure were!