Monday, July 14, 2014

The Summer "Smuggies" an Other Desultory Thoughts

Man walking in the bottom of a pool, the way I feel when I walk outside on a humid day like today


Tis now 5:08 pm in the afternoon as I sit at my computer typing this blog posting.  I look out my smallest bedroom converted to a home office window and see the birdbath on my green lawn bathed in light so bright one might think a movie was being filmed outside these confines.  

The air conditioned cool temperatures 76 degrees inside contrasts sharply with the 92 hot and humid degree temperature on the other side of this modest bedroom wall.  I yearn to take my body outside and "mess around" (gardening, replacing bird bath water, breathing in fresh air, et al) but I dare not because I know…..I KNOW…that once I step outside these refrigerator like locker house temperatures to the sauna outside, I will sweat like a Morman at a same sex wedding. 




This is the time of year folks that we used to call "the dog days of summer" when I was knee high to a grasshopper (when's that last time  you heard that allegory? Why I'm just full of surprises) 



So here are some of the random thoughts that are carousing through my deficit short changed brain:

I only have a month to go until I board a plane for the first time since 9/11 and visit my friend Pat in Canada.  I am still fretting about what to take and not to take for fear that I will have something valuable confiscated or I will leave something necessary behind and thus handicap myself whilst trying to present the best "Ron" to my Canadian exposure.  I've already accepted that I will be treated with disrespect and inconvenience at the checkin at airport security (a misnomer if there ever was one).  Oh I know, I've been advised by several blog followers "Oh, it's not THAT bad."  Uh huh, I think it is THAT BAD.  


What's next? Deep cavity searches?

You know what my biggest fear is folks?  That I will have to go to the bathroom BAD (this is a Number Two folks) either on the way up to Philly International (a 2 hour plus drive that I have to make to catch the 7:29 am plane out of Philly to Buffalo on August 15th).  I have arranged for a co-worker to drive me up (I'm paying, keeping the local economy going, no outrageously expensive airport limo service for me) to Philly International.  I have envisioned all kinds of scenarios from "having to go" on the way up Route One in the early morning dawn ("Monica, could you please pull over so I can get out and take a dump?")

Take me to "wide stance" land……fast!


to just as I'm being scanned and humiliated in the airport security (again, "security" being a big misnomer) checkin, I have to "go."  Folks, this is my biggest fear.  I'm seriously considering not eating the day before and taking an enema the night before I leave.  Too much information?  What can I say folks?  It is what it is and this is my biggest fear now.  A fear brought about by one of the more unpleasant side effects of my prostate cancer seed implementation last year.  And oh yes, Jeffrey (the dear) advised me to "bring a doctor's note" lest my radioactive seeds set off the alarm detector.  That I'm not doing folks.  Let them confiscate me if that happens.  

Now here's another thought about my impending trip.  I will not be following the news.  When I used to take annual vacations to Provincetown, Mass back in the Seventies and Eighties, I always left the news behind.  Guess what?  I never missed it.  I am looking forward to a news free, crises free (the world is ending!) free mind blast.  Oh sure, when I get back I will hear the Mideast peace talks have broken down. Hey folks, all my life "the Mideast peace talks have broken down", no news there.




The Republicans will continue their obstructionist ways, trying to create the latest "Hilary scandal" to try and stop the inevitable momentum that Hilary Clinton will be our next president.  Hey Republicans, with that clown car of potential presidential candidates you have plus your continued Tea bagged opposition to ANYTHING Obama does, even if it was an original Republican idea, you're going to LOSE the next presidential election.  I won't miss hearing this "news."

Then there is the "crises on our border."  Ever wonder why we don't have a crises on our northern border with those damn Canadians trying to get into our country to take over all those landscaping jobs in this hellish heat? Where do those Canadians get their money anyway?  I thought Wall Street stole all the money



from the middle class with their rigged stock market in which they skim off any profit by their sophisticated computers which are always a millisecond ahead of us poor, dumb schlubs who think we can invest in the stock market and actually make money. When I come back from my Canadian odyssey the "crises on our border" will still be there.  

And then there is the summer time staple "Man (or woman) bitten by shark!"  



Oh folks, every summer.  Same ole, same ole.  In fact I remember clearly, right before 9/11 there was a "Man bitten by shark!" that was the major news story.  Do you have any idea of how much this is NOT a news story?  And the poor sharks, they have almost been killed to extinction because of this news media whoring and laziness of reporting real news stories.  

So folks, I'm eschewing the news for my two week absence from the home front.  Bill will get a reprieve from me and I will enjoy a new adventure.  It's been a long time folks since I've had a real vacation.  Almost all of my adult vacations have been taken solo.  A few times I had company (which I paid for) but every time the company deserted me once we reached our destination. I often wondered "Am I really that boring?"  This time I'm meeting my friend Pat

Pat leaving last month after his week long visit to Casa Tipton-Kelly (he took the bus back to Canada) 


with whom we have many similar interests.  He's a little concerned that I will have trouble adapting to his "monastic existence" (as he terms his abode, doesn't have an air conditioner or a bed - I'll probably sleep on the floor or an air mattress, he sleeps on a shelf).  I'm not worried, I was in the Army and spent a good deal of my time there sleeping in World War II barracks at Ft. Devens Mass. that previously held German prisoners of war.  Yes folks, we slept in the same barracks and probably the same conditions (toilets didn't have privacy booths and what not).  


Ft. Devens, Mass - 1964 (I was there in 1960)
Yep, we used the same toilets.  I don't think they even changed the toilet seats. Very rudimentary living folks.
Well, I'm rambling on here folks.  It is now 5:49 pm and probably cooled down enough for me to transplant those last flowers (impatience and petunias) that I impulsively purchased at Ace Hardware this morning.  The poor things (plants), they were orphans that would probably be thrown out if I didn't give them a home.  I admit it, I'm a big softy.  

Stay cool folks!



16 comments:

  1. Holy Smokes Ron - this post is a book. Love the added photos. Hey - I wish you could have enjoyed the summer we've had up here. Only a few humid days and temps often in the mid 70's. That by the way isn't necessarily a norm. We can get stretches of heat waves like they depict in The 7 Year Itch. Hope it's just as good when you get here or you mightn't believe me. Your seed implants sound off the alarm? That would be something but I can't imagine that you are that radioactive. Maybe I should buy a geiger counter. Would you mind sleeping on the patio?

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      Occasionally I get on a roll with my blog posts. I write whatever flits through my hair brain. Sometimes it comes out good, sometimes not but regardless, writing is good therapy for me. By the way, there is no way I'm going to get a "doctor's note" to pass through airport security with my radioactive seeds. It's well over a year now, they should start to die out by now.
      Ron

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    2. Anonymous5:48 AM

      Here is where you can call to ask about your seeds:
      ----
      Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions
      Traveler Information

      TSA Cares is a help line to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.

      Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying. Travelers may also request a Passenger Support Specialist ahead of time by calling the TSA Cares hotline at 1-855-787-2227.

      The hours of operation for the TSA Cares help line are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. Eastern Time and weekends and Holidays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov.
      ----

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    3. Anoymous,
      Thanks! I may just give them a call. You've been very helpful.
      Ron

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  2. Why all the worrying ahead of time? There is nothing you can do about the news and the employees at the TSA are just doing their job. Nobody is lurking in the dark to "get you", just your imagination. You will have a great trip and a wonderful time with Pat. It will be different but it will do you good.

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    1. Nadege,
      After the "take your shoes off" nonsense at the airport security, I made a vow to myself never to travel by air again until they got rid of that totally useless policy. However, I cannot see myself taking an up to 24 hour bus trip to Canada or a train trip that costs more than the airline and is also a 12 hour trip so I have to give in and go by air. I hope you're right and the hassle is minimal. The most important thing is to have a good time. A two week vacation away from the usual routine which is always good.
      Ron

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    2. "Halt! Who goes there? Friend or enema?"

      Ft. Devens in 1964 looks suspiciously like Ft. Polk, La., in 1974...except we had armadillos.

      :-)

      -Andy

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    3. Andy,
      Oh, it's Ft. Devens, believe me. I was there for six months. An indelible memory that will never leave my brain. Perhaps one of the best times of my life. That was when I began a new life, made new friends and matured so much. Little did I know that I spent most of my time there in previous prisoner or war barracks. No wonder the accommodations were so basic.
      Ron

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  3. Flying is not that bad. I have flown in the days right before 9/11 and the days, months and years since then. A little inconvenient at times, but so what? Shoes off, bag searched, we're all a bit safer.
    Don't sweat the small stuff and this is all small stuff.

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    1. Bob,
      I hope so, oh how I hope so. It still bugs me that millions of passengers have to take their shoes off before boarding. What does that prove? Security theater, that's all. Proves nothing. I don't mind the bags being searched and emptying the pockets. I've done that since 9/11 at different venues other than airports but never had to take my shoes off. If you're taking the shoes off why not disrobe completely? That makes more sense. But then they're probably get around to that as soon as the terrorists figure out another way to get a bomb on a plane. They're working on it now, you can be sure of that. Evil pervades in this world. Oh for the good old days, but they're never return. We live now according to the terrorists dictates. Terrorism has been around for a thousand years and was started by Muslims. It seems that's about all they're capable of. Of course our culture (Christianity) has a violent history too. And the source of all this violence and hate? Religion. That's why I don't subscribe to the myths.
      Ron

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  4. You've covered so many topics in this post that I can't remember any of my intended comments. But I'll give it a random try. That's a cute photo of you and Pat. If you're really worried about having to go to the bathroom on your way up to the airport, perhaps you coud fast for a day beforehand - - or swig some Pepto-Bismol. As for airport security - - whatever you do, don't wear a metal cock ring. I'm speaking from experience.

    In one of your recent replies to my comment, you said that you can't think of any present politicians who have sex appeal. I agree, but - kall me krazy - I think Marco Rubio is kind of cute, especially when he smiles or gives a speech in Spanish. It turns me on. His ear are rather big, but once the lights are out it won't bother me (*smile*).

    Yep, you're right - - every summer the news media is obsessed with shark stories. And stories about the heat. They seem to be astounded at the fact that sharks are in the ocean and the weather is hot in July. Go figure......

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    1. Jon,
      I was planning on fasting the day before I leave. That's the only way I know out of my dilemma that I now have with my bowels as a result of my seed implants. I just can't hold "it" and when excited or stressed, I have to go……fast. Coincidentally my Mother was the same way so maybe my "condition" isn't a result of the seeds but just genetic because I've gotten older.
      Marco Rubio is cute, not my type though. I'll tell you who is my type but you'll think I'm crazy. Rand Paul. See there, I'm crazy, right? In fact I always thought his dad Ron Paul was a real cutie. Hey, I like little guys. Not too little but about 5'7" or 5'8" and weighing about 150 lbs. And not just any guy but the unusual looking ones. Maybe on t he nerdy side but not just any nerd. It takes a special combination which I rarely see that works for me. Pat has that combination. He's about the sexiest guy I've ever met and he is a super nice guy. Kind, considerate, funny, smart……I could go on and one.
      Oh these shark stories every year at this time. They drive me crazy. The incidences of shark attacks are so infinitesimal as to be almost nonexistent and yet the news media jumps all over them. Hey, it's what the (dumb) public wants to hear so the macho guys can go out and kill more sharks to prove how brave they are.
      By the way, another sexy politician now that I think of it is John Thune of South Dakota. I'd jump him even though he's sooo serious and not really my type (too tall). There's something "smoldering" about him that appeals to me. Of course he's straight as they come but then I have the curse of being sexually attracted to straight men.
      Ron

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  5. Heavens to betsy - I wish we (your blogger friends and readers) could assure you traveling by plane isn't that heinous. It should be exciting rather. As to what to pack - they have stores in Canada (with good exchange rates!) and you can buy things. Now, try to enjoy this not dread it!

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      Thank you! I've already sent my "medicine" to Pat, which he received yesterday. I dare not pack it lest airport security think I was trying to smuggle a bomb on the plane. I plan to take some clothing up (a week's supply of underwear), some of my more fetching day clothes, and my laptop computer, which I hope I can carry on the plane. I've already been warned to have everything charged up lest airport security thinks I'm trying to smuggle on the latest bomb threat (uncharged electrical devices). Believe me, once I'm at Pat's monastery I will then began to relax (for two weeks!) but until then, I am a combination of concerned, nervous and angry that one has to jump through all these hoops just to get from point A to point B by airplane. The terrorists have won. Why? Because this country is freaked out about airport security and they have went way overboard with so many ridiculous and unnecessary measures whereas the real airport security is the new awareness of other passengers on the plane who are on the constant lookout for any aberration from the other passengers. All the rest is just "security theater."
      Ron

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  6. Ron,

    Relax. Most stuff people worry about never happens and what does is usually things you can't do anything about anyway. I'd wear sandals or something easy slip on, slip off for going through security, besides you make me take my shoes off each time I visit so you should be use to removing shoes. I say set your mind on all the fun you'll have visiting Pat and seeing new places and everything will take care of itself.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      You're probably right. What I'm fearing, airport security confiscating something from me, probably won't happen. And about the taking off of the shoes. Sure, I take my shoes off all the time but the totally useless exercise of taking them off at the airport, thinking that action if making the slight more secure is insane. Literally insane. You know the definition of insanity don't you? Doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different outcome? For instance, the House Republicans are insane thinking they can repeal Obama care by voting passing fifty some bills. The next shoe bomber? The bomb explosives that were in the heel of that terrorist could be placed anywhere. Profiling is a much more efficient and effective way of minimizing any potential threat. Requiring millions of people to take off there shoes is nothing but a feel good for the authorities thinking they're doing something effective when in reality all they're doing is slowing down the line and inconveniencing millions of airport passengers. I liken this action to blood letting during the 18th century to cure one of an illness. It is ridiculous. But as you said, I think everything will take care of itself. I just have to get passed these petty little hurdles and on to having a true vacation of different sights, people and experiences. We all need to get away at least once a year. At this time of my life I hope to make it happen more often. And I will.
      Ron

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