Thursday, December 5, 2019

A dilemma!

Quandary?  Conundrum?

It was a perfectly lovely day in the Tropical Tip.  I took the cover off the boat for the first time in over a week.  I have to confess: we have been more scooter-centric this season.  That doesn't mean we don't take the boat out - rather, we take the boat out on perfect days.  Today was a perfect day.

After lunch out at our favorite local Italian place, I prepped the boat, and we shoved off.

Yabut, what's the dilemma?  Thanks for asking.  We had the absolute best dolphin viewing of the season.  I don't say that lightly, because we have had some fine dolphin experiences since we've been home this season.  No, that isn't the dilemma.  The problem is: between the two of us, we took 230 photos.  We had an active group to ourselves for about an hour before George and Scarlet came on the scene with guests on their new boat.  Plenty of dolphin action to go around, and it is always fun to see (and hear) Scarlet interact with the dolphins.

We spent another half hour with the dolphins before heading for home.  After cleaning the boat and taking Rufus for a ride in his wagon, when I got back to the house, Joan had my computer and both cameras out on our deck - she wanted to see what we we captured today.  Me, too!

230 images narrowed down to 180.  I was tossing perfectly good dorsal fin photos (something that we would be happy to get 10 or 12 years ago).  It is easy for me to get carried away and post 40 to 50 images here in a single post... each brings back a happy memory... hard to toss 'em.

Really, my goal (before posting anything here) is to get it down to a dozen or so fun images.  Now, on to the editing.


OK, a couple hours later, and I have culled it down to about 30 or so... and, have concerns that I have missed some other good ones.

It was about 10 minutes out of our canal when we saw the first sign of dolphins.  As I turned in that direction, they made a bee-line (dolphin-line?) for us...

"Hey, where have you guys been?"  That's what I was hearing.

That's a belly and upside down smile above.  Makes me smile.

They were very active today - such fun to watch them playing!

Belly above, faces below...

I like the symmetry of that image above.  And the playful group below...

Nice smile...

About that time, George and Scarlet came on the scene - with their new boat!

Another group came a calling...

Saying good-bye to our cetacean friends, and turning for home...

What a fun time!


Scarlet and George Colley joined us for a while today.  Scarlet took these photos of our boat...

Nice keepsake for us - not easy to get photos of yourselves on your boat.  Scarlet (Dolphin Whisperer) and George have the Sea Life Center here in Port Isabel and both captain dolphin and bird watching boats. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Mutual support within a group.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that my trip to the doctor yesterday was mostly frustration, since I specifically asked if I needed to be fasting and was told no... then got there and was told I should have been fasting.  Arrrrrrgggghhhh!

Last night, I said to Joan, "We can take the scoots to go get my blood work done in the morning, then I'll take you out for a late breakfast."  She was all onboard for that, since it would be a bit of a trip and she is digging the Xmax.

This morning when we got up, it was chilly (upper 60s) and foggy.  I gave her an out if she wanted it, but she was excited about actually going somewhere with the scoots.  We geared up for the cool, damp conditions and headed off around 9:00am, knowing it would be about an hour trip to the doctor's office.  It shouldn't take long to get blood drawn.

It didn't quite work out that way: two tugs pushing two barges each went through our swing bridge.  Well, the first one passed, the bridge started to close, and when almost completely shut (I had already started my scoot), it opened up again.  I'm thinking the second tug called a bit early for an opening, since it was quite a while before it came around the corner where we could see it.  So, we waited...

For a half hour - the longest bridge opening I remember, other than during the lighted boat parade, when a couple dozen boats go through.  Twice.

The main highway to Harlingen has some construction work (resurfacing) in process, so we took back roads (still 55 mph speed limit) to get there.  It was cool and foggy, but a great ride.  No, I didn't bring a camera today.  Not much to see - you couldn't see the tops of the blades on the windmills along the way.

At the doctor's office, I handed my paperwork to the lady where you check in, and she walked it back to the nice lady (Mary) who actually draws blood.  Mary is good, and it didn't take more than a couple minutes and she had me on my way.

On to breakfast at Denny's.  Joan didn't have anything to eat this morning either, standing in solidarity with me on the fasting.  We both ordered big breakfasts, and they were both good!

By the time we were gearing up to head for home, the fog had lifted and it was becoming a glorious day.  We took the long way home, putting us on a good stretch of highway we have come to call "Ain'ta Mountain Road"... as in: it ain't a mountain, but it is good riding for this flatland stuff.

Still a bit overcast when we got home, but pleasant temperature (into the 70s); Joan brought Rufus outside while I put the scoots away.  We ungeared (I just made up that word), and Joan headed to the store.  I had another plan: take Rufus for a ride in a wagon.

There was some discussion that he might freakout (cats can to that for no particular reason) from being put in the wagon.  I started with it on our deck and he was fine with it.  Put on his harness and leash, took the wagon to our driveway, then brought him out.  I started out with gentle moves in the driveway...

He was doing great with that, so I moved out to the street.  No freakout; in fact, he seemed to enjoy looking around...

I took him a couple hundred yards in either direction from our house and considered that outing a success.  When Joan got home from the store, I told her how good Rufus did.  The next step will be an outing with the three of us and a bit more of a walk.

Yes, Rufus does fine on his leash, but he doesn't walk like a dog... we walk a few steps, sniff the grass, roll in the grass, walk a few more steps, sit and watch anything go by... a big outing may be to the end of the block.  If he likes this wagon stuff, I will take him on some further journeys.  We'll see.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tag and swap...

No, it is not some kind of swingers game.

We were looking at Joan's bike, considering a new accessory.  She asked about the scooter tag and I took a quick look... your scooter at a big box store.  Easy.  She said, "Take my bike."

Um... OK.

I rode out to our local Wally World and got the shot.  New tag: your scoot showing local gas prices...

That's a nice bike she has...

A lovely day in the Tropical Tip.  No lengthy ride, either boat or scooter for us today... one of us, and it's me, has a doctor appointment.  Not sure what I was thinking when I scheduled it in the middle of the afternoon.


The Dr. visit: what a shit show!  They are changing their office over to all electronic records and the practice has been bought (??) by another entity.  People are coming into the office mad: they can't get through on the phone (goes to never-answer-hold mode, with really crappy music - sounds like a death dirge) and are coming in to make an appointment.

I waited, filled out paperwork, waited some more, got shown to another room, waited a bunch, then asked a bunch of really personal questions, then more waiting, then finally saw the doctor, then got told that I should have been fasting so they could do blood tests.  Fasting... for a 3:00 afternoon appointment... and I DID ask about needing to fast (they told me "no") when I made the appointment.  SO, I need to go back again - when fasting - so they can draw blood.

"I see your blood pressure is up a bit..."  No shit, Shakespeare - just a bit??  And some people wonder why I have a general disregard for the medical profession (yes, there are some exceptions).

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cool Change...

Yes, that is the name of our current boat.  No, this post has no boat content.

Forty-some years ago, I couldn't believe my good fortune: Joan and I were married.  Yes, we were youngin's.  And, in spite of all those people who said, "That'll never last," here we are.  It has been my honor to be on this life journey with my Honey and my best friend.  Even though one of us, and I won't mention her name, has not held up her promise to "love, honor, and obey."  She denies saying the "obey" part, and there were no consumer video cameras back then... so, I am going by memory.  No, my memory of that momentous occasion is not foggy.

When I asked Joan what she wanted to do to celebrate our anniversary, she said, "Go for a scooter ride and have supper at home."  Well, that is easy enough.  It is another cool, windy day; Joan wore her flannel-lined jeans and put the liner back in her coat; I put a wind-shirt on under my riding jacket.  Upper 60s and a 15mph northeast wind... and we were comfortable.

Heading out...

Out on the road...

We took a detour off the main road to check out the Cameron Co. Airport; now home to the CAF, Commemorative Air Force... used to be the Confederate Air Force, but anything "Confederate" has fallen from favor.  This airport was a training base during World War II; it is kind of underutilized these days.  There are commercially served airports in both Brownsville and Harlingen.  The road heading towards the airport...

The road has been made from what used to be the tarmac for the ramp area.  Getting closer, you can see that the road in is gated; and a boarded up former control tower...

We think that gate is open during the weekends, if someone wants to access the CAF.

In spite of the cool day and breeze, the riding was good.  We even came upon a curve...

Not enough of a curve to even get a good lean into it.  But, we were riding.  Haven't done that for a week or so thanks to Mother Nature.  The new helmet communicators did a good job, but in the strongest of the crosswinds, it did occasionally sound like Joan was chewing ice.  She assures me she wasn't.  Still better to communicate than rely on horns and hand-signals.  It was a good ride today.

Happy Anniversary to my Honey for hanging in there with me all these years!  Smooches!


When we gassed up today, Joan's Xmax kicked my Vespa's butt on mileage... mine: 74mpg; hers: 90mpg.  I rode mine a few times when she didn't go out, but I don't remember hot-dogging it.