Saturday, November 29, 2014

Doing our part...

Today is Small Business Saturday - shop locally, shop with independent retailers.

Beyond Wal-Mart and beach shops, there aren't a lot of retail stores in our small town.  But, there are some unique shops around the Lighthouse Square.  We had a late lunch at Pirates' Landing, then walked around the Square.  There are some very nice gift shops and some places that feel like you're in Mexico.

We sat out Black Friday, but did our part today with the small businesses.

Only 26 shopping days 'till Christmas.  ;-)

Friday, November 28, 2014

A boat at the dock...

No, we didn't buy a new boat.

Didn't buy a used one, either.  Today at lunch, Joan and I were talking about being out on the water.  I said, "This may sound silly, but you know what I miss most about having a boat down here?"

"Seeing the dolphins?"

"Well, yeah, that... but tossing an anchor out and getting in a short nap to the movement of the boat."

"Yeah, that is nice."

After some deck time this afternoon, Joan called me inside to watch a movie.  "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" - a bit slow to start, but good suspense during the last half.  Not long after the movie, I got a phone call... "Nice dock."

"Thanks, MJ.  Where are you?"

"Looking at your dock."

Looking out from our deck - yep, Mike, MJ, and Gracie the border collie; admiring the dock from their boat... which just went in the water, 'cause it was on their lot earlier today.  We sat out there and visited for an hour or so.

Besides the interesting conversation, I have to say the dock looked even better with a boat in front of it.


Black Friday...

When I hopped out of bed this morning, I was on a mission.

No, there is nothing I want to venture out to the stores to buy.  It was a calm, sunny start to the day, I went for a little paddleboard "stroll."

I responded to a post on my favorite RV forum, from a guy who is retired - they live up north and he was feeling bad about putting away his 5th wheel until next spring.  I wasn't the only one who suggested, "Go south!"

I sat outside with Izzy for a bit, then we took the scoots out to pick up mail and run another errand.  One of the packages in the mail was spices for Joan - she is happily restocking her spice cabinet.

I have another mission: after we had lunch out at our favorite local Mexican place, Izzy and I went back to the deck... so she can keep her world safe for democracy from the birds who try to squat on her turf.  It is important to maintain her vigilance.  We may take turns keeping watch, so the other can get in a nap.  That's the kind of cat-daddy I am: willing to do whatever is necessary.

"No, Izzy, I think it's my turn to nap."  ;-)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Get up - we have eating to do...

Happy Thanksgiving!  A lovely start to the day here in the Tropical Tip.

The sun is shining, the wind is calm.  The high today will be in the 70s.  We don't have to travel.  Oh, I may toss a paddleboard or a kayak in the water, but we won't be going "over the river and through the woods."

The house already smells good this morning.  Not from the turkey... yet.  Last night, Joan assembled a breakfast casserole we saw on Facebook, and it went into the oven as soon as we got up.  Little Izzy has had her morning meal and is sitting by the open door to the deck, watching the birds fly up and down the canal.

Our daughter and son-in-law are visiting Dan's family in Wisconsin.  They are there, safe and sound.  We will get together for the next holiday.

I am thankful for our family and what we are able to do.  Not just today; everyday.

Unlike many of the retail stores, this is the start of the holiday season for us.  Oh, Joan has already been shopping and planning.  I like this season here: the lighted boat parade, the lighted golf cart parade, the parade of lights on South Padre Island... see a theme here?  I enjoy seeing the reflection of the lights in the water of the canal.

'Tis the season.


On edit:  Semi-Formal.

The Thanksgiving meal was a success.  We spent several hours out on the deck, in shorts and shirtsleeves.  A true "Chamber of Commerce Day" here.

We are not particularly social.  Oh, don't get me wrong, we aren't anti-social; we just tend to keep to ourselves.  We set this house up for comfort for a couple.

The neighbors across the canal from us are social - there is always a group of people there.  And, quiet isn't part of the gatherings.  Not a problem, it just makes me chuckle when they try to out-talk each other.

Joan was able to easily go to the kitchen (just a few steps away) from the deck - she made the whole meal; I stay out of her way.  I didn't know what to expect as far as the meal accommodations until I could see where we would be sitting: the dining table is generally for those rare times we have company.  We usually eat at the island counter; casual dining for 2.

When I heard dishes being set out, I saw that we were eating at the island counter... but, instead of the Tervis tumblers, we had real glass glasses.  I would consider this semi-formal.  ;-)

Ever wonder what they do with the rest of the turkey when you see people eating turkey drumsticks at the fair?  Joan made a turkey breast today.  No drumsticks.  Which is fine, since we both prefer white meat.  All the fixin's: mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans with carrots, cornbread stuffing, rolls, and (of course) pumpkin pie (with lots of whipped cream).

During the summer, more often than not, I took a turkey sandwich to work.  By the end of summer, I was ready to NOT eat turkey for a long time.  I guess it's been long enough - the turkey was tender and juicy.  Everything was delicious... the Blonde is a good cook.

I need a nap.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Been a while...

We had breakfast at Manuel's with our friends Mike and MJ... good conversation, good eats.

The day was turning out to be breezier than predicted, but clear blue sky and highs in the low 70s.  Joan suggested some scooter time... "Let's go up to the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Preserve."

It has been a while since we've been there.  Several years.  Last time we went that way, the road was awful.  "Sure, let's see what the road is like."

Out of Port Isabel, west on Highway 100, then north at Laguna Vista.  I have made mention of the fact that the roads were aren't the most interesting for two-wheel riding.  Here's what I'm talking about...

Yep.  Straight and flat.  This road runs past the Cameron County Airport.  It was a training base during World War II... pretty sure that was the last time the road was maintained, as well.  I'm not saying it was rough, but if we make it back this way again, I will ride slower to see if I can find my fillings.  Yes, I'm kidding - my fillings are fine... the boys, however (and that is a medical term for: testicles) took a beatin'.  Stephanie is an only child as of now, but I am pretty sure this greatly reduced the chance of a younger sibling for her.

Just when it seemed the road couldn't get any worse, it got a little better.  Which would make sense if it couldn't get any worse.  And this is the part of the road that someone decided needed some fresh asphalt tossed on it...

And by "tossed on it," I mean it wasn't packed down.  And the road is so crappy there isn't much traffic on it, so the passing vehicles didn't help pack it down, either.  And, if you were looking close, this is one of the few curves in a road in this area.  So, even if you wanted to "carve a turn," you would be splattering bits of asphalt all over.

We decided to turn around and head further west, in search of better road surfaces...

Riding further west, we came to Indian Lakes; another interesting area, with some beautiful homes on small lakes (resacas).  And, orange and grapefruit groves...

Yes, that is flowering stuff.  And greenery.  With our sub-tropical climate, it is green year 'round here.  It makes for some good riding weather... now, we just need some interesting riding roads.  ;-)

If you ask different people why they ride, you will get many different answers... but, the biggies are:
* for the fun of it
* to be out in nature
* 'cause it feels "free"
* ride to live, live to ride
* I'm a commuter, it is cheep transportation

While I have mentioned how miserly these scooters are with fuel, I totally get the first four items above.  That's why I ride.  When we fueled up today, we paid $2.59 per gallon.  At a station a bit further down the road, the price was $2.58.  Darn - if only we had waited a bit to fuel, we could have saved almost 2¢ on fueling both scoots.  Joan logged 100 mpg, I was down to a lowly 97.

I think it's true what I read on the internet: the red ones are faster.  Must be why it uses a bit more fuel.  ;-)


Edited the price above, 'cause I had it wrong.  Thanks, Steve, for catching that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hello, ma'am, I'm here to fix your water heater...

Sound like the opening scene of a sleazy movie?

I had a call into the tankless water heater company yesterday.  The unit has been acting up, but not leaving us without hot water.  I had to do a reset on the heater yesterday, and then it was working fine... I just thought I'd give them a call to see what their tech support recommends me to do.

My buddy, Sarah, from the water heater company didn't call back until this morning... when we were out and about in the truck.  "I'll call you back this afternoon."

I replaced this whole unit last year.  Sarah talked me through what to do (eliminating having a service person come to the house) and arranged for us to pick up the new unit from a distributor.  Taking it all apart on a Friday afternoon last year, Sarah gave us her personal cell number - in case we ran into any problems.

Pretty fine tech support, huh?  No, we didn't need to call her at that time.

So, today when we returned home, I gave Sarah a call.  With her telling me what to do, I put the multi-meter on the different probes to test for resistance.  Everything checked out.  "That's a good thing," she said.  She then talked me through doing a matching procedure to reset everything on the circuit board.  "You're done - enjoy your hot water."

It seems to be working fine.  I really appreciate the fact that she knows this unit and is not reading from a script.

Most folks don't give a lot of thought to their water heater... until there is a problem.  I am very fond of my water heater.  It's tankless, so I don't run out of hot water.  Perfect for our jacuzzi tub.  It only runs when you turn on the hot water.  No big tank for storing water (it's a small house).

Today was a good service day.  The service man (me) got a hug when he was done.  I didn't have to take anything apart or replace anything.


While out and about today, we picked up a memory card for one of my cameras.  In a "Pre Black Friday Sale," I bought a 16 gb card for $4.60.  It makes me think back to when we first made the switch to digital technology in the studio... a 1 gb compact flash card was $400.  For a ONE gigabyte card.  Back then, 16 gb would have cost me $6,400.  Before digital, I spent a lot more than that for film each year, so even that would have been a hot deal.  But... $4.60 for 16 gigabytes... to put into a little pocket camera that is as capable as that first pro-line digital camera that cost about the same as our first house.  Tell me again about "the good ol' days."  ;-)

Monday, November 24, 2014

A salute...

Our friends, Herb and Wilma, let us know that Jake, their Golden Retriever and furry family member passed away today.  Jake had been in some pain; age had taken its toll.  He is no longer in pain now, but we know the loss our friends feel.  Our hearts go out to them.

Here is a photo of Jake and Izzy together almost two years ago at Lake Powell...

We will hug Izzy a little tighter tonight.

When we lost our sweet Smoke, I said, "Never again.  Too much pain when we outlive our furry family members."

A friend told me, "Their lifespans are shorter than ours so that we can have the pleasure of having several furry family members during our lives."  Molly taught me that is true.  But, when we lose them, it is such a hurt.

Jake was a good boy and had many wonderful adventures with Herb and Wilma.  We salute our furry friend, Dr. Jake C. Harleton, MD.  RIP, Jake.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

And by water...

After getting back from riding the scoots, Joan read the forecast to me for this evening...

"It's going to be windy... all night and most of tomorrow."

"Well, I guess I better toss a kayak in the water.  I saw some dolphins when we were crossing the bridge - maybe they will have come up the waterway some?"

Joan gave me a hand getting the Hobie into the water, and I shoved off.  Heading down our canal...

I pedaled to the east after our canal; into the "lake area."  In the distance, you can see the highrises on South Padre Island...

Turning down another canal from the lake...

Under the low bridge...

A beautiful day - folks were out on their patios and decks; plenty of smiling and waving, and some questions about the kayak (How do you steer that thing?)...

This community used to be an Outdoor Resorts - an RV resort where you buy the lot.  Over time, it has morphed into mostly small homes, Sea Cottages, park homes, and some RV lots...

I made my way into the ICW - no dolphins, but the pirate ship was pulling away from its temporary dock...

They must have a sunset cruise today; should be a perfect evening for it.  Looking to the west, you see the end of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway...

That is the Port Isabel Turning Basin.  What looks like a tower in the distance is a drilling ship that was docked there a year and a half ago, with the premise that it was going to undergo refitting.  No sign of that.

There are a couple RV lots left that front the ICW...

Not much boat traffic in the ICW.  I turned up another canal on our island - a couple pelicans sitting on top of a house there...

Someone is getting a new house built...

I passed under another bridge and slowed down as I passed our friends Mike and MJ's lot - they just got in yesterday.  No sign of them outside, so I pedaled on.  Down our canal and up to our dock...

Joan grabbed the bow line and gave me a hand pulling the kayak up on the dock.  I hosed it off and joined Joan and Izzy up on the deck, watching the sun drop.


A beautiful start to the day - sunshine, crisp blue sky, no wind.

Within a half hour, the fog moved in...

It lasted about an hour, then back to sunny skies.  After a leisurely morning (Joan cleaned while I provided music), we got the scoots out.

Someone on one of the forums was asking about the GoPro - it inspired me to get it out today.  Heading across the causeway...

Any use of the GoPro is not complete without a shot up the nose...

Seriously, I don't try to take these dumbass up-the-nose shots... but the menu screen on the camera is SO small, you have to turn it towards you to even see it.  And, this is what you get.

We ran up and down the island... the developed part is only 4 miles, the width of the island is less than a half mile, so it doesn't take long to cover all the roads.

We stopped at Pier 19 for lunch, but there was a 45 minute wait to get a table.  Good to see people on the island, but we weren't willing to wait; during the week, there will be no line.  We rode north on the island to Blackbeard's and got seated right away.  Lunch was good.  Some more riding around, then back across the causeway...

This is the prettiest the water has looked in a couple weeks.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pretty sure of themselves...

We occasionally hear the weather weasels say, "Zero percent chance of precip today."  Most of the time, it seems they'll throw in a "10% chance" just to cover themselves.

Today, they are calling for a "100% chance of rain" for later today... well, around 10:00 this evening.  With predictions of heavy thunderstorms.  A chance of hail.  Tornadoes may be possible.  I don't recall seeing hail around here, but I'm sure it is possible.  Tornadoes sometimes get spawned off of hurricanes.  What, no plague of locusts?

Could be worse: there is no mention of "the S-word"... as we all know, Snow SUX®. ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Did you get that around here?

Into the upper 70s, mostly blue sky, and breezy.  We took the scoots out for lunch.  Well, they didn't each lunch - they barely sip gas - but, we rode the scoots to have lunch out.

The purpose was two-fold.  First, and most important, we wanted to ride the scoots.  Second, there has been a "sports park" scooter tag on the scooter forum I frequent, and no one has posted anything.  When the tag was changed to "anything with the word 'sports' in it," I knew I could snag that... if I got back with the photo soon enough.

Here's a close-up of the sign, clearly showing the word "sports"...

Lunch was good; tried a different pizza than our usual.  Yeah, living on the edge.  Maybe, the crust?

We rode a bit, then stopped to do a little shopping.  Walgreens usually has Russell Stover milk chocolate covered marshmallow Santas.  Joan did her shopping while I perused the Russel Stover section... everything but milk chocolate covered marshmallow Santas.  Seriously - raisin oatmeal Santas?  Red velvet Santas?  Sugar-free crappy Santas?  No milk chocolate covered.  Joan said, "They will have them somewhere else in the store."  She was right.

Whew!  Man does not live by pizza alone.

While in the store, an older gentleman came up to me and asked "Are those your scooters in the parking lot?"

No, he wasn't a psychic, pretty sure I was the only one in the store carrying a helmet... the leftover pizza was in my storage under the seat of the scoot.

I figured we were going to have the "How fast/what kind of mileage/how much?" talk.  We get that a lot.  Instead, he asked, "Did you get those around here?"

"No, we were visiting our daughter in Arizona, and bought them there.  But, any Honda motorcycle dealer can get them."  We visited for a bit... he used to be a motorcycle cop, and he had a Bergman 650 scooter, until it got too heavy for him.  He said his dog really misses riding on the scooter.  He also said, "I saw you move those things around when you parked - pretty easy, huh?"

"Yep.  Like moving a bicycle around."

"I'm going to check into one of those.  Are those brand new?"

"No, we've had 'em for almost two years now."

"Wow - they look like new."

"That's Honda for you.  And, we keep 'em clean."

The scoots do get a lot of interest.  Most people don't know anything about scooters, though; this guy was different.  You meet the nicest people on a Honda.  ;-)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A look into the future...

Some of you know I play guitar.  For 50 years now.  I really should be better than I am... but, I digress.

One of my guitars is made from carbon fiber.  Wood guitar purists haven't embraced the carbon fiber technology.  I like, and play, both.  On a carbon fiber guitar forum where I participate, someone asked "What are your thoughts on carbon fiber guitars 50 years from now?"

You're probably thinking: "Musta been a slow night on the carbon fiber forum, huh?"

Yep.  But it did make me think...


I am firmly convinced that the mostly forgotten theremin will catch on at last and overtake guitar somewhere between 44 and 47 years down the road. All those carbon fiber and wood guitars we currently covet will be relegated to planters... probably for the "home brewers" of the day, to grow their genetically altered marijuana plants. The songs of the 60s that many felt were "life changing" will be looked at as amusing, but the hair band tunes of the 80s will have come back around. High school marching bands will be playing "We're Not Gonna Take It," "You Give Love a Bad Name," and "Girls, Girls, Girls," arranged for theremin and wireless electric clarinet at half time for the Extreme Hoverboard Soccer Games.

Well, that's how I see it.


(On the bright side, I won't be around to experience it. Unless my kid has my head cryogenically frozen... at which point I won't have any arms, so it still won't matter.)

Well, that was creepy...

Another movie date.

More typical for a November "crowd" at the 4-plex: there were 5 of us in that particular theater.  Today, we saw Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler.  No, it wasn't about getting worms for fishing.  The gist of it is: Gyllenhaal plays a very creepy character who films gory things for TV news... the saying was, "If it bleeds, it leads."

It wasn't a particularly enjoyable movie, but Gyllenhaal did a fine job of portraying a creepy character.

Oh, and the popcorn was good.  ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Can't take you anywhere...

Have you heard that before?  Yeah, me, too.

Today was supposed to be a "moderating" day, according to the weather weasels - not up to our normal daytime highs, but partly sunny and a high of 69º.  Pretty close... except for no sunshine and it didn't get that warm.  ;-)

We planned to go out for lunch, taking the scooters.  Well, it was barely 60º, but a plan is a plan.  Oh, I know what is going on in much of the country... this is still 15º or so cooler than usual here.  We had jackets on, riding to our favorite local Italian restaurant.

What I generally order takes a while, so we have time to visit.  I told her I had been e-mailing with one of my captain buddies from Friday Harbor - he has a new boat driving gig and was asking if we were coming back next summer.

"What did you tell him?" she asked.

"We haven't made any decisions, yet."

"What is going on with all your internet forums?" she asked.

"Oh, some bullshit on one of the scooter forums," I said.

"You need to watch your language!"

"No shit?"


She said it was chilly in the restaurant.  We were sitting by a window, but could see a thermometer inside... 74º.  I said, "If you can't take that temperature, I can't take you back to the Pacific Northwest."

She said, "I can't take you anywhere."

She may have a point.

Heading back home, we stopped to pick up mail.  With the parking lot still torn up, it is about a block walk to get to our post office boxes, from a parking spot by the tennis courts...

We had just come from dropping off mail at the Post Office; yep, there was a "pink slip" in our box, letting us know we have a package to pick up at the Post Office.  Back into town, back to the Post Office.

Joan was a happy girl...

Oh, you can't see the box in that photo above.  This is a better view...

Keurig.  "I was getting low," she said.  "My favorite things: coffee and riding my scooter."

"And me?"

"Oh, yeah... and my man."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Check it out...

Cool and breeze again today, but much better than the past couple days.  Joan wanted to get something out of the 5th wheel, and I like to check in on it regularly when it is in storage.

Yep, everything looks fine; the batteries are fully charged... it is ready to go when we are.  Alas, winter settling in early around most of the country makes it less appealing to hitch up and go somewhere.  We are usually one of the warmest places in the Continental US during the winter.  Usually.

We closed up the Love Shack and went into Harlingen for lunch and some shopping.  I have been craving BBQ ribs - we have a place on the island that advertises "world famous ribs"... I'm more inclined to call them... OK.  Lunch at Longhorn Steak House - the ribs were very good; Joan ordered a crusted chicken entree that was also tasty.  We generally do some sharing.

Diesel was still selling for $3.18 at the new Sam's Club nearby.  Big Red's fuel tank wasn't that low, but I couldn't resist the price.  A couple shopping stops, including a cat toy that wouldn't shut up... motion activated, and we weren't standing still.

It was mostly just an outing.  The high temp today made it just into the 60s - still a bit chilly for peddling or paddling.  Another day or two and our weather should be back to normal.  I'm ready.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Between systems...

It got into the mid-70s today.  With another cold front predicted to roar in, we decided to get a little scooter time.  No destination in mind, just going for a ride.  It was humid, still and in the 70s when we left.  The wind came up while we were out... humid, windy, and in the 70s.

Our ride took us around Port Isabel.  First, into the Fingers...

This area was first developed as "Modern Venice" in the 1920s.  Canals were dug to allow for homes and businesses to have water access.  Today it is an eclectic collection of homes, from well-worn mobile homes to gorgeous million dollar homes.  There is a city park at the end of one of the streets, with a boat ramp, trailer parking, and some recently added boat slips.  The canals are wider than the ones on our island.  Looking down one of those canals...

Port Isabel has changed a lot since we first came here in the mid-90s.  Fishing and shrimping were the big employers, but that has dwindled since that time.  The tourism that is the life-blood of South Padre Island has grown here.  Recreational fishing draws more people than the commercial boats.

SPI has the beach and the high rise hotels and condos.  Port Isabel is mostly homes, and better protection from Mother Nature if you have a boat.  The canals that run through Port Isabel and Long Island make that possible.

On the east side of town is Port O Call - mostly two canals that were dredged deeper for larger boats...

The places on the far east side here have a view of the Causeway and the Laguna Madre...

There was a marina facility on this spot until a hurricane in the 60s wiped it out.  Some swanky homes there now - this compound has 3 residences...

We rode the scoots to South Point Marina.  It is the only facility in the area with a travel lift, able to lift boats out of the water to be worked on.  There is a small marina facility, but US Customs and Homeland Security have taken over the biggest portion of that.

Heading back to our island, I have written about our swing bridge.  It was out when we rolled up...

The middle section of the bridge swings open to allow boat and barge traffic to pass.  This is near the end of the Gulf Intra-coastal Waterway and leads to the Brownsville Ship Channel.  The bridge opens on the hour for pleasure vessels, on demand for commercial vessels.  Other than by boat, it is the only way on and off our island.

We enjoyed riding around town - haven't been through the fingers or around to South Point since we've been home.  Sunny and warm right now, but that is supposed to change again this evening, when the next cold front blows in.  And the weasels are predicting a blow... 80% chance of rain, winds NNW at 35 to 50 mph!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

That's so sweet...

Our daughter sent us a photo of Dan and Torrie (one of their cats) napping together.  Yes, it was sweet.  Not to be outdone, Joan wanted to send her one of Izzy and me...

Yeah, I think I look pretty sweet, but Isabella put on her worried face.

I suggested we take a photo of her looking sweet - I shot this...

I know, you're thinking, "Oh, that cat is SO cute."  And I would agree with you.  When she was younger, she definitely posed every time I'd get the camera out.  Apparently, she outgrew that.

Now: "You want a picture?"

"How 'bout that? Close enough for ya?  How 'bout this?

"Closer yet?  Here's yer photo - shoot this old man!"

I think we are beyond the sweet stuff.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Another movie kinda day...

Only 45º this morning.  No, I don't think I'll go out for a paddle.

The wind is about half of what it was yesterday, but the weasels are still talking about our "wind chill."  It will be a good afternoon to take in a movie.

Joan is knitting me a scarf... hoping I won't need it, but she likes having a project.  Izzy's project is chasing the yarn ball around.  I have been getting plenty of guitar time in.


On edit: the movie - we saw St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, and Jaeden Lieberher (as Oliver, the kid).  I expected it to be a schlocky, hate-your-neighbor comedy... boy, was I WAY off base.  I had read that Bill Murray gave a great performance in this - yeah, an understatement.  Young Jaeden Lieberher made the movie.

Two thumbs up for this one.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm so ashamed...

As the president and CEO of SnowSUX, Inc. ®, certain behavior is expected of me when it comes to cold weather.

I've heard it said: "There is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices."  I don't agree with that.  Cold, wind, and rain (even worse: snow) is going to be unpleasant, no matter what you are wearing.  Today, we were meeting our friends Herb and Wilma for lunch out - we dressed for it.

I put on heavy socks, a t-shirt and a sweater that I've had for quite a while that still had the tags on it.  (It was a really good end of the season buy when we were in Phoenix last winter.)  It's a good-looking sweater (kinda sweatshirt-ish), with that really nice fleecy feel on the inside.  Ohhhh, that feels good.

I put on the lightweight jacket I got at the Patagonia store when we were in Seattle... it is very warm, but weights next to nothing.  Blue, like the sweater.  And, it was all warm.  Walking out to the truck didn't hurt (because of the cold), 'cause I was dressed for it.

Joan had on a nice-looking turtleneck under a sweater.  A coat similar to mine.  And, a scarf.  She was dressed for the weather, too.

We had a nice lunch with Herb and Wilma - they got called away a bit early, we had a couple errands to run.  Every time we got out of the truck, I expected that cold wind to bite... nah, we were dressed for it.

It has been hot since we've been back in Texas... it actually felt, well... kinda refreshing.  Not like I want to go spend a bunch of time outside in this weather.  After the last several summers in Friday Harbor, we have accumulated some cold weather clothes again.

Just don't think you'll need 'em here in the Tropical Tip.


The weasels missed it again.

53º was forecast to be our lowest temp during this norther.  It is 41º this morning.  Oh, sure, in the frozen northland, that would be a balmy day in mid-November.  But, this is the Tropical Tip.  The wind is howling; palm branches litter the streets.  Rain is pelting.  Wind is gusting to 35 mph.

Two thirds of the country is under the influence of this weather system.  And there is another one coming a few days after this one.  Right now, the weather weasels are predicting that we will get into the 70s for the weekend, and then cold again.

We didn't leave the house yesterday.  I did open the door yesterday to see how raw it felt outside.  Raw.  Little Izzy looked up and me and said, "You aren't going out in that, are you? Oh, and don't even think about putting a sweater on me."

We are meeting Herb and Wilma for lunch today, so we'll have to get some coats out of the back of the closet.  And a hat.  And gloves.  Sheesh.

You think I joke too much about the weather weasels?  Current weather, according to them...

Sunny??  Really?  This is what it looks like out the door to our deck...

In the words of Bill Withers: ain't no sunshine.

And for my C-Brat buddy Charlie: "temp is 41º... feels like 31º"  Yeah, we've got "wind chill."  ;-)