April 2006 Archives

Awake: 5:22am Temp 41 Overcast, then evening rain
Overnight @ Nicktown

We report @ the Footes @ 8:00am sharp. Kevin continues cutting thru those
walls for the plenum run. Besides cutting thru the sheetrock on both sides
of the wall, he also cuts thru both sides of the lath strips which are
sealed in plaster. It’s noisy, dusty & takes time.

Meanwhile he has given me another electrical outlet to move to another
wall due to the running of the plenum. It’s not as noisy or dusty but it’s
still tedious & dirty.

I like the fact that I can do this sort of thing @ my age but don’t want
to make a habit of it. Around 3:00pm we begin to run out of things to do.
Kevin has more or less finished cutting thru all the walls to make the
long plenum run & I am finished fishing wires under the flooring & moving
the electric outlet to a better location.

So @ 3:15, K & I leave for Nicktown….stopping @ the Krumenacker Hardware
store for some water filters & the post office for our mail. We are back
to the bus @ 4:30.

Our phone recorder had a message from Kevin when we entered: Dave called @
3:50… the drip pan is finished & ready to be picked up. Darn! We left too

6:45 dinner: Leftover pork tenderloin & eggplant parmesan, green beans,
fresh salad & toast.

Evening entertainment movie from satellite: “Picnic” with William Holden,
Kim Novak & Cliff Robertson. This was advertised as: “One of the best
films about small-town life ever lensed & blessed with a cast that makes
it even more credible." Kathy’s stay awake time was like no other.

High temp=61 Lights out: 10:23pm

Awake: 5:48am Temp 45 Intermittent rain, then partly cloudy
Overnight @ Nicktown.

We report @ 8:03 am @ the Footes for working on the Space Pak today. It
took more time than I expected to cut those threaded rods which allow the
3 or 4” of adjustment when using the turnbuckles. We set the air handler
on Kevin’s platform, lined it up with the pre-made cutouts in the attic
wall, adjusted the turnbuckles & it appears that our measurements will
work out fine.

During my time of cutting & adjusting rods, Kevin continues on cutting 12”
holes thru another wall on this 3rd floor….his goal will be 4 walls in a
straight line leading to above the BIG bathroom on the 2nd floor.

Around 2:00pm we realize our manual instructions highly suggest that we
have an alternate drip pan under the air handler in the event that the
unit sweats on the outside. After much discussion, we both agree on having
a sunken drip pan in the floating platform but someone else will have to
make it. Several phone calls later leads us to the Cline Company, about a
35 min drive. Before we leave, Kevin measures twice & cuts once….the
center section out of his platform where the drip pan will be located when

We describe to Dave with measurements what we would like to have made
using galvanized tin. Dave can do it & maybe have it done by tomorrow.
Back to the Foote house & then back to our motorhome by 5:30pm.

During our work time upstairs @ the Foote house, Melissa, Kathy & the boys
drive to the Yarnick Farm & buy some real Maple Syrup, fresh veggies &
fruit. Later K works in the Foote garden: pulling out weeds & some Rose of
Sharon plants. She also spent time playing with Matthew & holding Andrew.

7:00 dinner: Leftover eggplant parmesan, broccoli, salad & toast.

Evening movie from satellite: “Downfall.” It deals with the last days of
the Third Reich with Hitler & his minions cowering like rats in their
bunker while their world disintegrates around them….in German with English
sub-titles. Absolutely Fascinating!

High temp=? Lights out: 10:52pm

Awake: 5:50am Temp 48 Intermittent light rain + TRW’s
Overnight @ Nicktown.

Some morning computer time for me….then Kathy calls her friend Ann E. in
Anchorage & later, Jackie, also in Anchorage.

My sister Corinne visits & later dines with us. We have a lot to talk
about: her time spent @ Saint Luke’s; some of her experiences while there;
description of her written contract with her advisors & what she records @
home on a daily basis. It is a very active & well monitored program. She
returns to work @ the University of Pittsburgh @ Johnstown on Monday, May

6:15pm dinner: Pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, green beans, apple sauce &
toast. Corinne leaves @ 7:50pm. It was a pleasant & interesting rendezvous
with my sister.

8:00pm Movie from Satellite: “Hidalgo.” Based on the memories of Frank T.
Hopkins, America’s endurance horse rider, this movie was also

High temp=61 Lights out: 11:23

Awake: 5:05am Temp 48 Rain throughout the night & day Overnight
@ Nicktown

Drive to the Foote home & start working on the Space Pak @ 8:10am. Today’s
goal: hang the air handler from the roof joists onto Kevin’s newly made
platform. I like this idea: in addition to a possible reduction of noise &
vibration being transmitted, it will be easier to adjust the unit for
height, leveling, & condensation draining. So now we need some supplies:
threaded rods, nuts & washers @ Loews; threaded eye bolts & turnbuckles @
the Tractor Supply.

About an hr later, we continue our work & lift the air handler onto
Kevin’s platform that he made last night….then holes are drilled into that
platform for the threaded rods that will be attached & hung from ceiling
rafters. While I am measuring the threaded rods & begin cutting to length
for adjustment tolerances of 3 inches, Kevin is busy cutting 12” circles
through another wall which will allow the plenum to make a straight run of
maybe 20 or 25 ft. We didn’t make our goal today but progress is steady.
Back to the bus @ 4:40pm.

K & I attend 6:00pm Mass in Nicktown. Back in our motorhome & before
dinner: Betty S. calls from Spangler. She is soon to be 92 & a mother of
my buddy from high school who I keep in touch with. We’ve been trying to
visit her @ the senior center in Spangler but our timing has been off….so
we yak over the phone for close to 30 min.

8:10 dinner: Eggplant parmesan, whole wheat noodles, spaghetti sauce & toast.

Evening movie from satellite: “The Four Feathers.” 1939 A powerful story
of a young man from a military background is branded a coward when he
forsakes military duty for a home & family during time of war. Rejected by
his family, friends & fiancé, he sets out to prove his manhood. I wouldn’t
mind seeing it again…it was so mesmerizing.

High temp=? Lights out: 11:03pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 55 Cloudy…late evening rain Overnight @ Nicktown.

Arrive @ the Footes @ 9:12am for day one of installing the Space Pak air
conditioning system. 1st we establish the location of the air handler….3rd
floor. My 1st assignment: move an electrical outlet that would interfere
with our choice setting. Having accepted this responsibility, I quickly
realize that it entails the installation of (2) new junction boxes inside
the knee wall attic area. It’s dirty & already hot & I have to move very
old insulation, prop it up so as to nail down the box & run new wiring.
The knee wall area is also quite short & requires either hands & knee
movement or crawling about on one’s stomach, because some of those roofing
nails protrude thru the roofing boards & pose a sneak attack on senior
balding targets. I learned this early, maybe?

Meanwhile Kevin’s job is no cleaner but at least he is able to stand
erect: he’s removing the baseboard trim along the wall. Trim removed, we
both return downstairs & using (2) two-x-fours, slide the 160 lb air
handler up 4 flights of stairs and 4 landings to our intended location.
Kevin did 95 % of the grunt work as I steered the monster around the sharp
corners. After sliding the air handler in its resting position,
measurements & markings are taken, then Kevin begins cutting the required
holes & squares thru the sheet rock & lath strip wall to accommodate the
output air to the tee plenum that will be located in the knee wall attic.
Now both of us are wearing breathing masks & getting dirty.

Mid afternoon, Kevin is finished with matching the air handler unit thru
his wall openings to the attic & I am finished with the moving & re-wiring
of the electrical outlet.

Now I casually try & convince Kevin that a hanging air handler would
produce less vibrations & noise than that of a unit sitting on a floor
with rubber insulators. The master bedroom is on the 2nd floor beneath
this unit. The floating unit would be hung by 4 steel rods from the roof
joists. With meaningful dialog, Kevin is skeptical & would like a 2nd
opinion. I offer to call my cousin Florentz….not home. Next I call Gary
J. in eastern PA. He has gobs of high tech knowledge & experience with
construction matters of all sorts & asks questions like: how long are the
roof joists that the unit will be hanging from? How many joists will you
use? What does the air handler weight? What length of eye bolts will you
use? The Gary J. call was what we needed; Kevin approves the idea & will
begin making the platform later this evening. I work 7 hrs without a lunch
break today. Back to our home on wheels @ 4:30.

During our 16 days away in Seattle & Anchorage, our near neighbor Chuck
drained his in-ground pool, collapsed the walls, filled the hole with dirt
& had (5) huge loads of topsoil brought in to cover the area. The other
day, I asked him if I could buy a few wheelbarrow loads to fill in the
ruts I made in Nick’s (another neighbor) yard when we got stuck in the
snow while pulling our motorhome onto St. Paul Street toward our parking
spot December 16th. He said “OK” but NO charge & he would provide the
wheelbarrow. So @ 4:40 I start & move (7) wheelbarrow loads into those BIG
tire ruts. A cold front was moving in & that felt good, but strong winds
were also whipping up with dark clouds following. I finished @ 6:15.
During my shower, heavy rain begins. I finished the ruts in Nick’s yard
just in the “nick” of time!

8:00 dinner: Crab cakes (Kathy’s homemade) with asparagus, brown rice &

Evening movie from Satellite: “Theory of Flight.” Definitely different…&
difficult to predict what happens next.

High temp=72 Lights out: 9:57pm

Awake: 6:15am Temp 45 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

I take an early morning phone call from my cousin Florentz who asks me if
we should follow through on our pending trip to Duncansville for more info
on geo-thermo heating & cooling. After a brief discussion, we both feel
that Tuesday’s meeting with Terry @ REA in Indiana was so informative on
the technical side, that an additional session at this time really isn’t

K & I walk to the community center & join the lenient coffee club members
@ 8:30 for 40 min.

@ 11:00am our neighbor & cousin Al picks Kathy & me up to attend another
Rotary meeting held @ the Cambria Hills Country Club. 1st Al makes a stop
@ the Bi-Lo store in Spangler for groceries & Kathy takes advantage of
this stop, picking up some salad greens. Next a stop @ the First
Commonwealth Bank in Barnesboro to check if one of the Rotary members will
be attending the meeting today: She is not! 10 min later, we arrive @ the
parking lot of Cambria Hills where other members are donning plastic
orange vests to wear, gloves to use & extra bags to carry. We are doing
the spring cleaning of trash along a (3) mile stretch of highway that this
Rotary group is responsible for. I think there were 8 of us all totaled,
picking up cigarette butts, paper, aluminum cans, bottles, et cetera from
both sides of the road. 1.2 hrs later, we are rewarded with a hot lunch of
sauerkraut & pork plus ham & bean soup….both dishes were excellent. K & I
enjoyed seeing & meeting some of the other members we haven’t met before.
Al brings us back to our property @ 2:00pm.

Next I walk over to Carol’s business in town to get a piece of cardboard
to be used later. On my return, I spot Melissa & the boys arriving for a
short visit. Matthew & I spend about 20 min inside our coach, then the
rest of the time outdoors….making roads & playing with small cars & trucks
in the dirt. Our dirt area was not so fine & the roads rather rough so
maybe Matthew’s enthusiasm may have been suppressed just a little this
time. Later we are all sitting outside enjoying the nice day here in the
rolling hills of Nicktown. Melissa & the gang leave @ 4:45pm.

Late afternoon Kathy helps me make a cardboard cover that will be placed
over our closet skylight, then I’ll cover the teepee structure with my
adhesive plastic sheeting. I am still trying to keep the nuisance skylight
from seeping a leak. On December 14, 2005 when we stopped @ the Newell
factory, I had the skylight on my list to be repaired, thinking they would
seal it with a new gasket but no, Charlie said he’d fix it without a new

7:00 dinner: Salad & popcorn while watching the satellite movie: “The
Devil’s Advocate” with Al Pacino & Keanu Reeves. A great moving picture
with a surprise twist.

Kevin calls late: “Don’t come @ 8:00am….I’ll be parts shopping…..come @

High temp=73 Lights out: 10:55pm

Awake :4:40am Temp 46 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We walk to the community center for 1.2 hrs of exercise & then join the
loquacious coffee club members for an hr.

After breakfast, I visit Carol @ her business to make another copy of our
motorhome registration & then fill out the necessary paperwork to request
the East coast & West coast network stations plus PBS adding to our list
of viewing channels on DirecTV.

Mid afternoon, my cousin Gloria visits Kathy to answer questions on her
latest crocheting project, plus Gloria’s husband Bill is “taking the house
apart” as she describes it, looking for the ant nest so he can fumigate….
& it’s a good time for her to be someplace else.

About 2:15pm K & I set up our haircutting chair & equipment in the
circular drive area. It takes me over an hr to give K a haircut that she
thinks may be “OK!” She wanted a different style & shorter. It takes her
15 min for my haircut that I rarely ask for modifications.

6:05 dinner: Pork chops with brown rice, broccoli, salad & toast.

Evening movie from satellite: “Rudy.” Based on the life of Daniel E.
(Rudy) Ruettiger. A very inspirational movie.

High temp=72 Lights out: 11:13pm

Awake: 6:25am Temp 38 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We drive to church for 8:00am communion service with Sister Lee. Then skip
our important coffee club meeting, eat a quick breakfast & pick up my
cousins, Florentz & his wife, Anna. As we approach the Foote residence
driveway, we see numerous packages & cartons freshly delivered. The
infamous, much talked about & highly acclaimed Space Pak equipment had
just arrived. Kevin & one of his co-workers are busy carrying some of
these packages into their basement so Florentz & I help out a little by
moving some of the other cartons into the back entry area to be moved to
the basement later.

Kathy & Anna stay with Melissa & the boys while Florentz & I visit Pat L.
& Terry N. @ the electric company in Indiana. We spend over 40 min in
discussion with Terry on Geo-thermo heating & cooling. My cousin is
seriously interested in converting his house over to this system of
heating & cooling. I am familiar with this idea as another fellow & I
converted our all electric home in Memphis, TN in 1984 to the Geo-thermo
method. I liked it a lot then & I still like it today. Our meeting was
very informative & REA, his electric company, has completely installed a
number of Geo-thermo units in the surrounding area & will assist Florentz
in whatever plan he chooses or he can do it all himself.

En route back to the Footes, I stop in downtown Indiana still trying to
locate more brands of dark beer for tasting. Of the 2 bars I visited,
neither had the label I am after.

@ the Foote house, we pick up Kathy & Anna & proceed back to Florentz’s
house with a stop in the small town of Strongstown to tour a new home
being built which will soon have a Geo-thermo system installed. The system
was not yet hooked up so we learned nothing new. Drop Florentz & Anna @
their place & proceed back to our motorhome by 2:30pm.

During our earlier visit with Melissa, she expressed an interest in
visiting us later this afternoon with the boys. They arrive @ 3:15 & stay
until 4:45. We spend a little time in our coach, then walk down the quad
runner trail & play outside. It was a short but nice visit and we had
beautiful weather.

5:50pm dinner: Leftover tuna & whole wheat noodles, asparagus, mixed salad
& toast.

Satellite movie: “The Breakfast Club.” 1985. Not at all like one would
expect that’s for sure. It’s a group of assorted high school misfits that
spend Saturday @ school for punishment.

My brother Don calls from Front Royal, Virginia….165 miles from Ebensburg,
their home. He & his wife left on Sunday & are riding a tandem bike to
Hilton Head, South Carolina to visit their daughter. He indicated that
their progress is moderate so far due to his out-of-shape condition during
the winter months & he’s building up. His wife Josie has been working out
so she is in good shape. He also wished us a belated “Happy Anniversary.”

2nd satellite movie: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.” 1948. Cary
Grant, Myrna Loy & Melvyn Douglas. Turns out this home has been so popular
around the country it has been copied numerous times in many cities.

High temp=64 Lights out: 10:22pm

Awake: 5:38am Temp 42 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

“Happy Anniversary to us!” K & I walk to 8:00am Mass this morning, then
join the sometimes facetious coffee club members for close to an hr.

It’s another beautiful spring day so after breakfast I spend time removing
the adhesive plastic covering on our closet skylight. During our Seattle &
Alaska trip, heavy rains & strong winds apparently loosened up some of my
tough adhesive covering & we noticed some small leakage. I’ll let the top
area dry up for awhile, then try & devise a better solution. Next I extend
# 3 slide out….which makes our bedroom much bigger.

5:30pm dinner @ Rolands Restaurant in Spangler (opened one month). We have
individual meals: Kathy has meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy & peas while
I have filled pepper with mashed potatoes, spaghetti gravy & peas. It was
our anniversary dinner which we both enjoyed, trading plates midway to
taste test the other’s meal.

During the evening we take a few calls & receive e-mail from our children
for anniversary wishes. Thank you guys….proud parents we are, of you!

Watch movie from satellite: “Circle of Friends” with Minnie Driver & Chris
O’Donnell….1995. A quite interesting story of coming to grips with
earthly love & Catholic fidelity.

High temp=62 Lights out: 11:05pm

Awake: 6:00am Temp 40 Clear Overnight @ Nicktown

Drive to Indiana & join the Foote family in attending the 10:30 Mass @
Saint Thomas More University Church. Beautiful choir & music throughout
the Mass time.

Afterward, we spend the day with the Footes: talking, playing with Matthew
& taking turns holding little Andrew, etc. Kevin & I have numerous
discussions about the upcoming Space Pak air conditioning installation &
operation project. Around 4:30 we begin eating our dinner of ham,
scalloped parmesan spinach, salad mashed potatoes & rolls.

During our meal, my sister Corinne arrives for a visit…but she already ate
so she merely joins in the table wide conversation. After dinner, Kevin &
I first move their new treadmill to the library room & then set it up. It
appears well made, is very heavy & has a lot of electronics controlled
with buttons. Matthew is going to love this as he gets older.

Our son Nick calls from Seattle & wishes us all a “Happy Easter!”

Corinne & we leave @ 6:50pm. It was a wonderful meal & a great Easter

Later K & I watch the movie from satellite: “Crash.” A wide cross section
of Los Angeles citizens, all classes & races, clashes on various levels
over a couple of tense days. A very thought-provoking film…plus it won the
academy award for “best picture” this yr.

High temp=? Lights out: 10:28pm

Awake: 7:10am Temp 57 Overcast…then sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We join the welcoming coffee club members for 40 min. It appears that they
have missed us @ the meetings & we tell them: “it’s good to be back here
with you.” After breakfast, I set up the direct water connection from the
outside faucet to the portable filters & the motorhome. Freezing temps
are, more or less, gone for the summer….so no more having to fill up the
pure water holding tank until we start traveling again.

My sister Corinne calls from Lilly & brings us up-to-date on: “what’s been
happening locally, in New Castle with our niece, & in Ohio with our Aunts.

It’s such a nice afternoon, Kathy & I take our before dinner wine outside
with us & simply walk around our property.

6:15 dinner: Parmesan chicken, broccoli, baked potato & toast.

Movie from Satellite: “Pretty in Pink.” Nice chick flick.

8:30pm to 10:30pm: Easter Sunday Vigil Mass & Saint Nicholas Church.

High temp=61 Lights out: 12:09am

Detroit Metro to Pittsburgh flight time: 43 min. Arrive @ Pittsburgh @
7:43am. The Microtel shuttle picks us up & returns us to our parked
Suzuki….then we drive 30 sec to the nearby Starbucks for coffee.

We make 3 stops en route to Nicktown: Sheetz for fuel just outside of
Ebensburg, Walmart & the Westend Market for groceries in Ebensburg &
arrive in Nicktown @ 1:15pm. Our nearest neighbor Chuck greets us with a
wave & a shout of “welcome back.” He’s all dressed up so I ask him why?
“Good Friday church service @ 2:00pm” he says. Hmmm, I think we will join

The church was packed….standing room only & lasted 1 hr 15 min. By the
way, all systems were working fine on our motorhome & we picked up our
local mail @ the post office after leaving the church.

6:30 dinner: Tuna casserole, asparagus, mixed salad & toast.

Watch movie from satellite: “It’s good to be alive.” An inspiring story
based on how the catcher Roy Campanella struggled with self-respect after
his automobile wreck during the prime of his baseball career.

Late evening: Gary & Grace J. call from eastern PA. We have a good talk &
hope to have them visiting us with their motorhome in September.

Later evening: I call my buddy Kenny in Anchorage.

It’s good to be back home again.

High temp=61 Lights out: 11:32pm

Awake: 6:02am Cloudy & cool Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

More cereal & yogurt for breakfast. Kathy packs (2) boxes of miscellaneous
things that we will check on our flight today if…..while I do a load of
dirty dishes in their Fisher & Paykel dish washer. Then we take turns,
Kathy vacuums upstairs, I vacuum downstairs.

Next, we drive Mike’s BIG Dodge truck to the nearby Costco store, top off
his tank with fuel & buy a bottle of Hennessy VSOP Cognac as a gift for
both of them. Then I drive the Saab downtown Anchorage to pick up our
mail, say goodbyes to Linda & Young & make a cell phone call to Alex @ his
office. In a way, he was hoping I would get a jury case so I could be
around tomorrow to give him more tips & pointers on operating my old
Kubota tractor & its accessories. I reveal to him that we are operating on
a gamble & his wish still may materialize. Then I have Denise’s Saab
washed & fueled up before returning to the condo @ 12:45pm.

Then K serves me some leftover food from Tiffanys where we had lunch with
Mary S. on Saturday & more leftover food from the birthday party on
Thursday @ the Alaska Club. I am all packed & ready to go save for some
Easter cards yet to be filled out with my 2 cents worth that K finished
late last night. I save Jenny & Katrina’s card for last… to write them a
longer & more personal message & guess what happened: our ride to the
airport arrived early (Ben & Jackie) & there went my extra time to finish
my job. Sorry Katrina & Jenny.

The condo is clean, all required switches off, heat set @ 50 F, plants
watered, bed sheets laundered et cetera. Now our gambling act becomes a
reality as we are heading to the airport. Ben tells Kathy not to worry;
only Monte will be going to jail.

We thank B & J for their friendship & taxi service & hope to see them in
PA later this year. Our boxes are checked; we pass thru security & find a
place to sit @ our departure gate. Meanwhile, our minds are flooded with
thoughts of: what if? The logic behind all of this gambling is: Good
Friday….these judicial people certainly wouldn’t consider having legal
transactions happening on this very important holy day now would they? We
used this weak logic when planning this day's early departure but I never
envisioned having it play down to the wire….so to speak.

Sitting @ our gate, I make cell phone calls every 10 min to the clerk’s
office to find out if the new recording is out for Thursday covering what
jury groups are needed for Friday. Same old recording….not updated yet.
Our row is called for boarding; we place our suitcases in the overhead
compartments & take our seats. Fortunately I am in a window seat with a
one bar reception signal which is usually good enough for a digital phone.
I continue to make cell calls to the clerk’s recorder…..no update. Now the
stewardess makes the announcement: "all electronic equipment must be off
before engine starting." Time now: 4:30pm. Now the pushback…..I ask Kathy
to be my lookout while I try getting one last call to the clerk’s office:
time now, 4:35….slouching down, I listen carefully to the NEW RECORDING:

Anchorage to Seattle flight time: 3 hrs 27 min. Transition time in SEA
was short….only seconds for one quick phone call to Ben & Jackie: NO JAIL

Seattle to Detroit Metro flight time: 3 hrs 32 min.

Lights out time? Sleep time?

Awake: 5:32am Cloudy & cool Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

Late last night my call to the Clerk’s office gave the following
recording: Groups 31 & 32 up to the letter “L” will be needed for
Wednesday the 12th of April. Whew! Right down to the wire.

We both eat a small bowl of cereal with yogurt before driving to the
Alaska Club for more needed exercise. Entering the Alaska club, we spot
Bill & Debby (we lunched with them on Saturday the 8th) in the lounge area
& yak with then awhile, then say our goodbyes.

We start @ 8:50am & 2 hrs 15 min later, I am finished including the
shower. A few more of the old fogies show up today: Jon D. & Peter & Jan
R. It’s been over 2 yrs since seeing these people. Again it’s possible
that my jaw had the better workout.

We may be leaving Alaska tomorrow based on a gamble. Before leaving
Nicktown, K & I tried as best we could to plan & plot our time efficiency
in Alaska, including a definite return date and flight. Will I get a case
or simply end up with a six pack? Anyway, we decided to bet on a “no call
to jury duty” which means we could possibly fly out tomorrow on the 4:30
pm Alaska Airlines flight. We also took out insurance ($12.00 each) which
covers a delay due to jury duty necessitating a changed flight schedule..
Having this awkward scenario of being so close to call-in with group # 33,
the outcome seems biased toward the jury direction, but I say my goodbyes
to some of my Alaska buddies anyway just in case I don’t get a case.

Using the Alaska Club’s phone for privacy, I call Denise in Florida….she
needed the route number off her bank checkbook & pin # for her credit
card….which I was able to do because I had her checkbook in hand in prep
for this call. She thanks me & I thank her & Mike for the luxury condo

From here, we drive over to the recycling area off Dowling Road & get rid
of all that stuff we loaded in the back of the Saab yesterday. Next we do
a little more sightseeing in the area of Lake Otis Pkwy where the Footes
had their condo to see “what’s new?” Looks like another bldg for Credit
Union 1, a new Millwright bldg, another Home Depot bldg, & a large 2 or 3
complex apartment bldg for retired seniors. The area definitely continues
to grow.
We stop @ Tiffanys restaurant to see Ellie (our ole waitress from Eric’s
restaurant), who just happened to be sick today so Kathy left a written

Then we both go to our ole church: St. Pat’s & confess our sins face to
face with the priest: Father Vince. It’s been many yrs since I have done
this & he was very gentle throughout the process.

From here, we stop @ Carrs grocery store looking for an extra box to ship
some things back to Pittsburgh on our flight. No boxes found that would
fit our needs.

The time now is after 5:00pm so I make a call to the Clerk’s office for
that recording: NO jurors needed for Thursday 13th of April. Now we
ponder: should we do Mooses Tooth one more time in the event we skate
through this gamble & fly out tomorrow @ 4:30pm, or cancel the flight &
play the caution route just in case of a case? I let Kathy make the call:
She’s favors “one more time” with the Moose. My feelings exactly; Kathy
has her Pipeline Stout (Mooses Tooth Brewery’s very dark beer) & I have my
dark Darth Delirium, also made by Mooses tooth with the Belgium formula.
Oh & we also have the salad & pizza.

En route back to the condo, we make another stop for a suitable box &
wrapping tape @ Fred Myers grocery store. This time, a box was found.

Lights out: 11:22pm

Awake: 6:30am Sunny Overnight @ Anchorage, Alaska

Before I start recounting the events of the day, I should make mention of
exactly what did encourage us to visit Alaska during this “almost winter”
timeframe: “jury duty!” Initially I was to report last July, but due to
our son Nick’s wedding in Nagoya, Japan I delayed my report time for 9
months & that time started on Monday the 10th of April.

To back up a little, Sunday evening, I called the Anchorage Clerk’s office
& listened to the recording of: No jury groups are needed for Monday the
10th of April. Then Monday evening I called again & listened to the
Clerk’s recorded message of: Groups 27, 28, 29, & 30 will be needed for
Tuesday the 11th of April. My group # is 33. At this point, I feel like my
number is soon to be up.

Before we leave the condo for the day, we load up the Saab with old
newspapers, tin cans, aluminum cans, magazines, cardboard & glass that
Mike & Denise have accumulated to be recycled.

Then we take advantage of having another day free: 2 hrs of exercise @ the
Alaska Club & talking with ole buddies: Kenny, John H. & Gene in between
the grueling exercise routine. After a good shower, Kathy & I talk with
Ann E. about her apartment rental business in Anchorage & how difficult it
has become to evict a tenant when they don’t pay the rent & have no place
to go….. & the various methods she has used that worked well for her.
Interesting experiences!

Call & talk with Jeff B., our accountant, about filing an extension on our
tax return. Not all of our tax data has been available yet. This means one
has to estimate the tax monies due & send that check in to the IRS by the
17th. I let Jeff know we will bring a cashiers check to his office later

We lunch with Mary Jane & Gene (people we’ve known from the Alaska club) @
the restaurant “Traditions.” Nice couple, good food & lots of talk.

After lunch, we drive over to our Credit Union, get a cashier check made
out to the United States Treasury & take that check over to Jeff’s office.
Next we do some light shopping @ Wal-Mart to replace items used in the
condo we are staying at….. & then visit some older seniors: Duane & Janet
@ their old but classic log cabin. Very interesting couple who came to
Anchorage in 1946, bought this 1936 log cabin which at the time was in the
outskirts of the city, renovated & expanded it somewhat, & have lived in
it ever since. We enjoyed the visit very much & like their classic home,
they also are classic people.

Dinner @ Mooses Tooth: salad, beer & pizza….not necessarily in that order.
While talking with Dan, he reveals that his wife is expecting in October.

Lights out: 10:52pm

Awake: 5:15am Cloudy Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

@ 5:15am Mike(he & his wife are the condo owners)calls from Florida. He
wanted to pick up his messages but I answered instead. So I gave him the
messages that have accumulated on his answering machine so far. They are
working hard on finishing the outside of their newly purchased home before
returning to Anchorage later this month.

We are upstairs @ the Alaska Club @ 8:40am ready to flex those veins. A
few more of the ole fogey gang show up today: Wayne, Duane, & Mary Jane.
Aside from exercising my body this morning, my jaw also got a good

After the sweat & buldging veins program, I give Kathy a ride over to her
favorite thrift store: "Value Village." Her eyes are big & her smile even
bigger as she exits the car & heads toward the store. I hang around the
parking lot awhile tryng to make some cell phone calls but the Sprint
signals are not strong enough on this side of town.

I run a few errands, then call Denise in Florida(condo owner with Mike)&
give her a good report on "what's happening." Then pick up Kathy & her
buldging shopping bags, drive to Costco, look around & have a few good
food samples to eat.

@ 6:00pm we meet Barbara & Joe & Ben & Jackie @ the "Cattle Company
Steakhouse" on Tudor Road. These are the Alaskan people we went on the
Asian Pacific Cruise with so we gathered tonight to regroup & refresh each
other on "what's been happening since the cruise" kind of thing. Of
course we had already seen Ben & Jackie a few times but not Barb & Joe.
It was another good meal & fun to be with the group again save for Tim &
Linda of California who really did fit in with our table mentality on the
cruise. Kathy & I share a Steak dinner.

Lights out: 11:20pm

Awake: 5:22am Cloudy Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

@ 9:00am we meet Ben & Jackie @ the "Village Inn" on Northern Lights. A
good breakfast with good people. Afterwards, they invite us to spend some
time & check out their condo with it's new paint scheme & the renovated
gas fireplace. Both projects are done well & looking good. I spend time
with Ben upstairs watching a Nascar race in Texas & exploring his new
digital Olympis 8.8 mega-pixel, 14 X power digital zoom camera. This took
some time & we finally figured out that this camera is for the
professionals. Ben & Jackie have a neat & comfortable condo in a very
desirable area of Anchorage. They have reason to be proud of their home.

Mid afternoon, we leave B & J's place & drive around downtown Anchorage
spotting new changes, new construction & renovated bldgs. This city
continues to have an active downtown area.

6:00pm dinner @ the "Bear Tooth Theatre Pub & Grill." We share a salad,
beer battred halibut with chips & a Pipeline Stout Beer. Enroute back to
the condo, we stop & look @ a new "Brown Jug" liquor store just out of
curosity.....but then....that made us thirsty, so Kathy insisted we stop
@ the Mooses Tooth where we each have the famous: "Darth Delirium" beer.

Lights out: 11:14pm

Awake: 7:10am Cloudy Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

We both have cereal with yogurt for breakfast before driving over to that
great area of College Village....this time, to visit our dear ole friend
Mary S. For 2.3 hrs we chat & discuss the time lost since our last
rendezvous. Mary is doing real good these days; she lost her husband & my
good ole buddy friend Knobby about 2 yrs ago. It was tough on us & even
tougher on her. Whenever I was in town, Knobby & I would talk each & every
day on the phone. Sometimes for just 5 min, but it could easily be 20 to 40
min. That guy gave me a lot of insight to logical tips on life throughout
the yrs. Mary and Kathy not only volunteered together at the Log Cabin and
Native Hospital for several years but were also good friends.

Mary S. has many good & loyal friends & a very busy social life. She does
keep a very active daily social calendar. During our visit, she had
scheduled a friend who visited also. Kathleen was something else: a
natural born comedienne who had us laughing nearly the entire 30 min

About 12:30pm Mary suggests lunch & selected the famous "Lucky Wishbone"
restaurant. Knobby & I went there often; it was one of his favorites. I
suggest using 2 cars due to our next appointment across town. We follow
Mary to the L.W.; the line went clear out the door. OK, then Mary leads us
to "Tiffinys." This was a nice quiet place where we continued our catching
up on the yrs plus the food was good too. At some point, we felt we had
talked enough. Say our goodbyes to Mary & drive across town to Jeff's
office & discuss our 2005 tax return. That took less than an hr so next we
attend 5:00pm Mass @ St. Pat's church for the Vigil of Palm Sunday.

After Mass, we drive 15 min & meet up with our ole neighbor, Bill & Debby
@ Romano's Italian restaurant for dinner. This too, was really enjoyable
as they also have a motorhome & are soon to advertize their home for sale
& travel the lower 48 states in retirment. With the helpful ideas & advice
from my friend Ray in Ocean Shores, WA., they now have a beautiful pole
barn with a lean-to built as temporary living quarters plus a storage
place for their Country Coach motorhome. Bill & Debby are fun & we always
have a lot to talk about.
Lights out: 11:13pm

Awake: 6:20am Partly cloudy Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

We both have coffee with a slice of sourdough bread before driving to the
Alaska Club @ 8:15. Before we leave, I cut the small Ad from the Alaska
Press paper that advertizes our "heavy equipment" for sale & bring it with

@ the club, I tack this 2" X 1.5" Ad on the BIG bulletin board for everyone
to see?
I do a medium workout this morning....taking it easy on the different
muscle groups for the diferent machines. Today a few more of our ole fogey
gang show up & this is good for the jaw exercise. I think these guys &
gals we hang out with give each other & us the inspiration to continually
try & stay fit & slim, plus it's their personalities that drive us to
laughter & the experts always say: "Laughter is the best medicine!"

I am nearly finished with exercising for the day when Ben signals me that
the monthly birthday party is taking place in the cafe & there is Ice
Cream! Some 22 people, most of whom I know, are sitting at the gathered
tables to eat & talk. We spend a good half hr there; these occasions are
very personal, warm, & special for us seniors. Then I shower & meet Kathy
upstairs later.

Before we leave, I encourage Kathy to "come see our AD." As we approach
the BIG bulletin board, she spots my aviation Doctor standing & looking at
the many advertized items. I introduce him to Kathy & point to our small
AD. He had to put on his reading glasses to see what it was about. We left
him looking very close at the fine print.

Next, K & I drive over to Costco East where I drop her off for some light
shopping, then I drive 2 blocks to the Anchorage Daily News bldg & pay BIG
bucks to run the tractor AD with accessories for sale over Saturday &
Sunday. I need to move that equipment before Woody ships it back to Japan.

Back to Costco, pick up Kathy & drive to a wonderful area of Anchorage
called: College Village. Again, I drop Kathy off, this time she visits her
senior friend Benita(age 88) while I visit the library nearby.

As the Saab engine shuts down, the cell phone draws my attention: It's Dr.
Alex, my aviation doctor. He was able to read our small AD & wants to see
our tractor with accessories. I make a quick call to Woody who tells me he
will be at the house by 3:00pm. I call Alex back, then call Kathy for the
early pickup @ Benita' house & we meet Dr. Alex @ our old home which is
now Woody & Chong's home.

Dr Alex's 1st impression: "Oh, it's much bigger than I thought!" was good
news for me. After all, that AD read: "Heavy Equipment!" Dr Alex looked
carefully @ everything, then wanted the engine started. Of all things,
then he wanted to drive it! He's never driven a tractor so I did kinda
check him out on all the gears, PTO operation, etc. I casually noticed
that on each gear change, the front end would come close to lifting off
the ground so I felt it my duty to remind him to: "Be smooth!" About 10 or
15 min later, he stepped down, took me off to the side & with a low
whisper said: "I want to buy it!" Then he opened his jacket, pulled out an
envelope which contained enough 100 dollar bills to convince me....this
guy is serious! We made a deal: He pays 1/2 of the asking price now, then
the remainder @ pick up time.

After Dr Alex leaves, I waste no time in cancelling our AD with the
Anchorage Daily news.

8:00pm dinner: Leftover True Cod fish, French fries & mixed nuts.

Lights out: 12:14am

Awake: 6:50am In the city---2 inches of snow Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

Kathy makes coffee in the condo kitchen before we drive across town.

@ the Alaska Club, by coincidence, John M. arrives while we are signing up
to enter the club. He encourages me to come up to his office ASAP as he
has a busy day scheduled & can only see me NOW. In his office I negotiate
for a fair term membership during our intended stay....& John kinda
feels...that will work. I pay him $50.00 cash & we shake on it. This will
cover both K & I. I thank John, go to the locker room, change clothes &
who do I see upstairs but my ole workout buddy, Kenny S. In lieu of just
around & catching up on our lives, we walk around the running track for at
least an hour. Then we go our separate ways for the weight machines,
treadmils, etc.

Later after a hot shower, Kenny, Kathy & I meet upstairs in the cafe area
& talk some more. We are hungry so K & I leave for lunch @ Cafe Amsterdam
off of Benson Blvd where we share a bowl of soup & a tuna sandwich.

Next we do some light shopping @ the Costco store on Dimond Blvd, return
to the condo & before we know it....it's Mooses Tooth time again. The
place is busy so I get us each a beer & Kathy finds seats in the waiting
room. She also picks up the Anchorage Press which has a good circulation
throughout the city. Before we left Nicktown I had called The Anchorage
Press to advertize our Kubota Tractor with accessories for sale in ANC.
The new home owner agreed to use the tractor with accessories on the
condition that he would store the tractor in the garage until we were able
to return & sell it. Now we are reading the advertized "heavy equipment"
AD & it looks good. Woody, who purchased our home, has been notified that
we would be in Anchorage during this time & to expect a few phone calls
from us should there be some interested parties.

When our hand held device lights up & vibrates, we report to the front
counter to be seated. Dan is there....he's been with Mooses Tooth since
it's inception & now he's married & they are expecting their first child
in October.

The salad, pizza & beer were great as usual. We're gonna miss this place
when we leave. After a quick stop @ Wal-Mart, we return to the condo.

Lights out: 11:08pm

Awake: 6:15am Cloudy Overnight @ Anchorage, AK

I have a physical exam scheduled for 9:00am & we both have eye exams
scheduled, one for 10:45 & one at 11:45. So I drop Kathy off @ a Starbucks
coffee shop on Dimond Blvd just across the street from where we will have
our eyes examined. Then I proceed north on New Seward Hwy & east on DeBarr
Road to the Alaska Regional Hospital, where Dr. Alex has his Suite 22

Traffic moved swiftly this morning....having the timed traffic lights
really makes a difference. In fact, I am 30 min early so I sign in early.
Linda gives me an update profile sheet to fill out & before I know it,
Nancy is calling me into a back room. A few mins after 9:00, Dr Alex
arrives: I've been having my FAA physicals with him since 1992 & now I try
to arrange a yearly physical checkup with him as well. We do some casual
chatting for 15-20 min;his life, mine, travels, interests, etc., then get
with the serious medical talk. Then the urine specimen & blood
sample.....& the tough part; the bill! You thought I was going to say
something else,didn't you?

An hr later, I am back on the road to the Dimond Vision Clinic. I call
Kathy(not while I'm driving) & she is taking the 10:45 time slot which
frees me up to have coffee & breakfast. She suggests 1st the Starbucks,
then Marty's NY Bagel & Deli just 3 blocks West on Dimond for breakfast.
She did good on the recommendations. She ate there earlier while I was at
the doctor and before she hit the Salvation Army and Value Village thrift

@ 11:30 I report for my eye exam. 1st, the traditional profile update
sheets to fill out, then the young girls lure me into another room where
they use some high tech equipment & test each eye`for astigmatism & other
things I can't remember. Then I follow Dr Steve into the letter reading
chart room with all the corrective lenses & filters. Here Dr Steve & I
also have a casual chat for 15-20 min about his life, mine, family etc.
This is kinda nice. I like Dr Steve a lot. He's very professional & yet,
very human. We've been seeing him(no pun intended) since about 1995 I

Kathy is finished & is carefully selecting new frames. I have elected to
keep my old titanium frames & just replace the lenses. One drawback: they
have to send my frames to Nevada for the new lenses, then ship them to me
when finished. That will take several weeks. Kathy doesn't have standby
glasses to wear, thus the new frames but then again, girls like to change
frames every so often anyway. This whole eye check & frame selection has
taken over 3 hrs for us but....these guys are good.

Next we drive to the Alaska Club to talk with John M. about a short term
membership. John wasn't in so I used their phone to leave a voice msg.

Next we drive to our Credit Union to close out Zack's account here in
Anchorage. I think Zack will like that.

Then @ 5:00pm we have dinner @ one of our old hangouts: Thai Kitchen... &
it's still a favorite. These people also enlarged their eating space &
have more tables available.

We make a library stop for e-mail check before returning to the M & D
condo @ 8:30. Oh yes, John M. did return my call from the Alaska club. He
would like to see me tomorrow & work out a comfortable deal for a short
term membership but he says: "I'm gonna have to get a lotta bucks out of

Back @ the condo, we both have a beer from the frig & watch the late news.

Lights out: 10:49pm

Awake:6:25am Cloudy Overnight Anchorage, AK

Kathy warms up the leftover true Cod & French fries from yesterday's
flight for our breakfast. It was ok.

Denise encouraged us to use her Saab auto during our time in Anchorage so
our 1st stop is picking up our mail in person;itis usually sent to Alaska,
then forwarded to wherever we might be. Finally we get to meet Linda &
Young (UPS people)who we've been talking to on the phone for over a yr &
they have been handling our mail. Yes, we had a good bundle waiting for

2nd stop: the log cabin on 4th Ave where Kathy used to volunteer during
the 90's(Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau). She is gathering
brochures for Sally & Gene in Nicktown who will be touring some of Alaska
in June and getting caught up on other former volunteers from Nancy (still

3rd stop: We both have teeth cleaning & checks @ Gentle Care Denal Center.
Neither of us have any cavities. This takes 2 hrs but these people are, as
they advertize, very gentle & very good.

4th stop: @ the downtown Anchorage DMV where we run into somewhat of a
slowdown. The state computers were up & down for nearly 2 hrs. During this
time, a lot of people simply ran out of time & couldn't stay....when the
computers came back strong & steady, we were taken in quickly. Our eyes
were checked, driver's licenses renewed, motorhome registration renewed &
mug shots taken. We're good for another 5 yrs.

5th stop: Special oil for Kathy's Wahl hair clippers on Northern Lights.

6th stop: Titlewave Bookstore to look for a book that Melissa would like
to have for Matthew; for us, we are casually looking for an older DVD &
Video Movie guide....like from the early 90's.

7th stop: We have been patiently waiting for this...."Mooses Tooth" for
pizza, beer, & a salad. They have an expansion project going on which will
allow 90 more seats & a bar 4 times longer. The pizza & beer were ohooo so

8th stop: Wal-Mart for a quick purchase......then back to the D & M condo.

We watch a little late night TV plus the news.

Lights out: 10:32pm

Awake: 6:15am Cloudy Overnight @ Seattle, WA

We have our hot food & cold cereal breakfast in the hotel, then Starbucks
just down the street.
@ 10:45am we start walking to meet the boys & Eriko @ Isilon...then have
lunch. Nick has a 12:30 meeting thus the earlier gathering time.

We check out of our room @ the Quality Inn but store our suitcases &
backpacks @ the front office to be picked up later. Approaching Isilon I
call both boys separately to let them know that we are early...which was
good & they showed up a few mins later as did Eriko. Walking along Mercer
Ave, the boys try & decide on a lunch spot. We pass at least six possible
choices, then head into the "Blue Water Taco Grill." Something simple &
efficient. K & I share a fish & steak taco salad....then it's back to
Isilon & "goodbyes & hugs" to the boys & Eriko plus wishing her a safe and
happy delivery of Jerry next month. We are sp glad to have spent some good
times with some of our distant family.

En route back to our hotel, we stop in again to say "hello" to our cruise
specialist: Mary Berry who was so helpful & thoughtful during our Asian
Pacific cruise last year.

Back @ our hotel, we retrieve our suitcases, walk 2 or 3 blocks to the bus
stop, take # 16 to Madison & 2nd, then the #194 to Sea-Tac airport, check
in with Alaska Airlines, go through security & sit @ our gate for 30 min
until boarding. We did buy a bag dinner of true cod fish & chips from
"Anthony's Fish Bar" before boarding but...en route, they served us a
hot pork BBQ sandwich so we save half of our fish & chips to eat @ a later
time. Seattle to Anchorage flight time: 3.3 hrs. Arrive ANC @ 7:50pm.

Call Ben & Jackie in town for a pickup. They volunteered the other week
when we were talking with them from Nicktown. 20 min later, they arrive &
take us to Denise & Mike's condo, our temporary hangout during our stay
in Anchorage. Once there, we give B & J the $5.00 tour & explain most of
what Mike has done to renovate this condo. By the way, we didn't know what
had happened to Ben just recently; a triple stint operation for his heart
just 2 weeks ago. He has recovered but tires easily.

Speaking of being tired, we are & thirsty as well & maybe a little hungry
also. In the refer, some Alaskan Stout, on the counter, crackers, around
the corner, a large screen TV. We make ourselves @ home. It was another
great day & equally a good trip.
Lights out: 12:08am

Awake: 7:05am Partly sunny Overnight @ Seattle, WA

K & I have breakfast in our hotel....then coffee @ Starbucks.

During our idle time this morning, we watch the movie: "Over the TOP" with
Sylvester Stallon. I'm not a fan of his but this was one of his earlier
flicks & it was hmmm, ok.

Call my sister Corinne in PA & leave a message.

Call my ole buddy Ray in Ocean Shores who I haven't had any contact with
for quite awhile....then I find out why. He's been in the hospital & had
another operation. We chat for about 35 min...he's recuperating nicely.

@ 1:15pm we start walking toward N & E's condo on Queen Anne hill. Usually
it's a 50 min walk up & about 40 min back. Today we have an invitation to
see Zack's living space & we are excited. Eriko will be joining us as she
hasn't seen Zack's new hangout either. We four casually stroll over to
Zack's area(20 min)...seeing old homes along the way, most of which are
well kept, each so different in design & truly a joy to behold.

Zack greets us @ the door, introduces us to one of the three roomates, Sara
& asks us to remove our shoes before going any further. Hey, is this our
son? Oh, this place is kept quite clean & organized because two of his
roomies are "girls!" Zack & Jeff, the other guy, have the downstairs. We
tour the entire house....also a early period home(1920,s) in very good
condition & updated with modern appliances. I liked the basement the best;
ample space with a ping-pong table & an atmosphere of warmth in winter &
cool in summer. To our amazment, the basement was very organized & quite
clean. Good work Zack! Us guys play a little ping-pong which quickly
reminded me that: it's not my game anymore...unless I practice a lot.

After this wonderful tour, we all(minus Todd who flew back to Indiana this
morning) hop into Zack's Camry & drive (3 min) to the "Paragon Restaurant"
for diner. First: an appetizer of five big prawns (one for each of us),
then the main course,five BIG & delicious hamburgers with wine. It was a
good spot to enjoy some casual eating & casual conversation. We were there
for at least two hrs.

Zack drove us five to Nick & Eriko's condo where we say "goodnight" to
them and Zack & we walk back down the hill to our hotel for the night.

Late evening: Watch the movie: "Walkout." A true 1960's story in L.A.

Lights out: 10:15pm

Awake: 6:50am Light rain....then sunny Overnight @ Seattle, WA

Later breakfast this morning...& very crowded. This is what we missed by
eating early yesterday. Kathy kept stalling to get in the lineup, then
that line grew so long she finally gave up & just had cold cereal with

After that slow breakfast scene, we walk a block & have some Starbucks
coffee. @ 1:00pm, we start walking toward Nick & Eriko's Queen Anne condo.

Again we stop @ the Safeway Store en route for mixed nuts & more wine.
It's cool, windy & threating rain today so we dress warmer & bring our
umbrellas. Most of the afternoon was spent talking & enjoying Eriko & Nick
@ their condo. Eriko has really given the condo a woman's touch; warmth
and class! They have a baby hammock, drawers of little baby clothes,
diapers, socks, etc prepared for little Jerry's arrival. She is very
talented & has even made a few outfits and toys for Jerry.

K & I attend 5:00pm Mass @ the nearby Saint Anne's church. Just before
Mass began, my cell phone rang & I rushed out of church to take the call:
It's Gary J. from eastern PA. We talk only a short time; I'll call him
back after Mass. After Mass, Gary & I have difficulty finding the right
time to "have a good chat" so we agree to try for this @ another time.

Back @ the N & E condo, Zack is notified that we will meet him & Todd @
the restaurant, "Pasta Bella" for 6:30 dinner. It's Nick & Zack's treat!
Oh boy!

During our meal, Zack spots a congenial coworker who Nick also knows.... &
being April Fools Day, they decide to play a high tech & professionally
maneuvered trick on this nice fellow using their cell phones. It really is
too complicated & time comsuming to explain in detail but suffice it to
say: it worked so well & Alex was so highly impressed that he had been
had, a bottle of GOOD wine suddenly appeared @ our table as a token of
"well done guys!" I need to hang out with our sons more often. Kathy & I
share a veal Parmesan dinner. It was another great meal & day. Zack and
Todd go on their way while we walk N & E back to their condo, say our
farewell until tomorrow and continue on foot to our hotel; no need for the
Lights out: 11:13pm

Awake: 6:00am Early rain....then sunny Overnight @ Seattle, WA

K & I eat an early 6:50am breakfast in the hotel...early because we want
to avoid a potential crowd in the breakfast room. This hotel is a mere 10
min walk from Seattle Center & obviously gets fully booked frequently.

Breakfast was good: Scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, waffles, English
muffins, cream cheese, bread, milk, cereal, hot chocolate, orange juice,
coffee, bananas, apples & pasteries. We didn't eat all of these things but
they were available.

After breakfast we pick up a newspaper & read the news a little before our
scheduled meeting with Eriko & the boys @ noon time. @ 11:00am Nick calls
& wants to meet @ 11:30 because Zack has a 1:00pm meeting back @ the
company....so now we have to hustle.

It's a nice morning & 20 min later, we are outside the main entrance of
Isilon greeting our sons & daughter-in-law. They all look quite healthy &
happy and Eriko is also looking quite pregnant.

We all walk 10 min eastward on Mercer Street & have lunch @ the restaurant
Racha Noodles & Thai Cuisine. Good food & talk...then it's back to Isilon
for the boys & back to the condo for Eriko.

K & I do some light shopping @ Larry's Market in the Queen Anne area then
walk down 1st Ave West, drop in to visit Mary Berry @ Cruise Specialists
Int'l but she had the afternoon off. From here we walk South toward
downtown, turn East on Bell & 3rd & ride the free bus a short distance and
get off @ Pike ST. We visit the City Kitchen Store for 30 min, Nordstrom's
Rack for 40 min, La Table for 15 min, Pikes Market for 50 min & then take
a breather @ the nearby park to plan our next move.

Just then, Nick calls with a plan already in motion: meet @ their condo @
6:15pm, bring wine if you want to, then Zack will pick up Todd, come back
to the condo & we'll have a social hr, then we'll all go somewhere in
Zack's car for dinner. "Good enough, we'll be there" we say.

We start walking...now the sun's hiding behind some clouds, the wind is
picking up but we're climbing Queen Anne hill so it's a comfortable cool.
We make a quick stop @ the Safeway Store;wine for us, flowers for Eriko.
We meet Nick & Zack @ 6:25. Zack stays with us in the condo for about 20
min before going into the city to pick up Todd.

It takes Zack a little longer for his city trip then expected & they are
back @ 7:40. Then our social hr continues until 8:20....now everyone is
hungry. Four blocks later, the "5 Spot Restaurant" has the remedy. After
a 30 min wait, dinner is served. K & I share salmon & shrimp patties. It
was worth the wait! We all walk back to the condo, say our goodnight to
Nick & Eriko & Zack gives us a ride close to our hotel. He & Todd then go
looking for a party for the evening. We walked a few miles today & we
needed that.
Lights out: 11:37pm

Awake: 5:50am Clear Overnight @ Pittsburgh, PA

We eat our complimentary breakfast in the hotel; mostly pastries, bagels,
cereal, coffee & milk. These Microtels are usually located close to an
airport, they are clean, simple, with adequate parking & provide free
shuttle service to the terminal. We leave our traveling clothes in the
Suzuki & take the 9:15am shuttle to the airport.

At the terminal, we use the computer check in system, change our seating
for the better on our long leg from MSP to SEA & go through security. I
was called off to the side for extra screening....I forgot about my belt.
Then with extra time, we casually check out the shopping opportunities in
the secured area & find nothing of interest.

Our Northwest regional CRJ jet is full(50 people). The flight is smooth &
the time goes quickly. We have arranged to meet our ole friends Bob & Mary
Lou during our stopover time in Minnapolis, MN. We told them we would be
landing around 1:15 & should be able to meet them @ the designated
gathering spot @ 1:30. Bob & I have known each other since the mid 60's as
we were in the Air Force Guard together but just don't get together too

Ok so now we are on final approach & our timing is looking good for this
rendezvous with Bob & Mary Lou....and then, and then, the captain makes a
missed approach due to a landing aircraft ahead of us that did not clear
the runway in time. A good 15 min later, the next approach is routine &
the landing smooth....but now our parking spot @ the gate is not ready &
that takes another 10 min. (Flight time PIT to MSP= 2.1 hrs). By the time
we enter the terminal, it's 2:00 & we are at the far end of the longest
terminal I can remember. Even using the moving sidewalk, when you're in a
hurry, it seems to take forever.

Meanwhile what we didn't know: Bob & Mary Lou called & found out that our
arrival time was 1:09pm. Security does not allow parking near the terminal
unless loading or unloading so B & M have been circling in their car for
over an hr when we finally showed up @ the entrance # 6 & they stopped.

They wisk us away in their auto to lunch & talk @ a nice quiet restaurant
& update each other on what's been happening since we've chatted last.
went too quickly on this gathering so we vowed to rendezvous again
sometime in late June. It was a good start on getting caught up with B &

Back to the terminal, and a casual move through security & in position for
our next leg to Seattle. MSP to SEA=3.1 hrs. Nice smooth flight.

Before leaving the SEA terminal, we change our seating for the return trip
on Northwest to Pittsburgh. Then we take bus #194 to downtown Seattle, get
off @ Pike & 4th, walk to 3rd & use our transfer & continue to Broad &
John St. Roll our suitcases for 3 blocks & check into the Quality Inn on
Aurora Ave North. Our room is nice but we are thirsty so we quench that
thirst @ the 5 point Cafe & Bar 3 blocks away before we turn in for the

It was a good day after all. Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake: 4:33am Temp 39 Foggy to partly sunny Overnight @ Nicktown

We drive to the community center, and exercise for 1.0 hr. Frank, Al
& Donna, Theresa & another young lady are with us in the workout room.
Then we join the "12 conversations @ one time" coffee club members for 40
min before attending the 9:30am children's Mass with Father Pat.

After breakfast, we finalize the packing of suitcases; I make a quick
visit to Carol's business across town, then back to our bus to make
for leaving our home-on-wheels parked for awhile: Min heat, water pump
off, blinds closed, sewer hose cleaned & stored, etc. During my outside
time, Kathy is making stuffed peppers & toast for a late lunch & tuna
salad to take along with us for a light dinner. Our near neighbor Chuck,
strolls over to wish us safe travels & lets us know that he will be
monitoring our bus.

We get a later start than planned...driving to Barnesboro to drop off some
books at the library, then taking a different route to Indiana for
different scenery(took more time than we expected)we arrive @ the Footes
around 4:30pm. During our visit, I call my brother plus Gary & Rosemary &
thank them again for Monday's social visit & dinner.

1.5 hrs later, we are back on the road to Pittsburgh arriving @ our
Microtel Hotel @ 7:50. This type of hotel works great for us: It's a park,
sleep & fly with no extra fee for parking a car unless one lingers longer
than arranged.

9:00pm dinner: Tuna salad with mixed nuts.

Late evening: read USA Today newspaper & watch weather channel & more news.

High temp: 55 Lights out: 11:45pm

Awake 5:28am Temp 36 Cloudy Overnight @ Nicktown

K & I attend 8:00am Mass @ Nicktown, then join the relaxed coffee club
members for 50 min.

After breakfast, I run the motorhome's diesel engine for 10 min, re-level
the coach & run the hydraulic system a little by running # 1 slide in &

We drive to Indiana @ 3:30 & visit the Footes & play with Matthew by
creating a toy train. Since their trip to DC via train over last weekend,
Matthew's interest in trains has esculated considerably. Then K & I spend
time going through our things the Footes moved back to PA from Alaska that
are being stored in their basement. There are over a dozen boxes that we
casually look over & find our Anchorage library cards, lock for locker use
@ the Alaska Club + Kathy finds her white sweater that she likes, a jacket
& slacks et cetera.

Melissa invites us for 5:45 dinner: Tuscan chicken with black beans, soup
with Tostitos. Back to our bus @ 7:35.

Later evening: watch satellite movie: "Bedtime Story" with Loretta Young &
Eve Arden. A good story.

Next movie: "Come Sleep with Me" with Jimmy Stewart. Another good story.

High temp: 54 Lights out: 11:06pm

Awake 5:47am Temp 26 Sunny Overnight @ Nicktown, PA

One hr of exercise @ the community center, then we attend 8:00am Mass.
Next we join the below par coffee club members for 35 min.

After breakfast, we begin packing our suitcases for Wednesday's travel.

@ 2:00pm we drive to Saint Augustine to visit my newest best friends: Gary
& Rosemary. Gary has been storing one of our old cars in his garage since
last August which is a very nice favor, but I am suspicious I'll be
indebted to these guys for a good long time. After using the Suzuki's
battery to jump the old car, G & I took a 12 mile drive around the local
area seeing small towns like Fallen Timber, Dean & Dysart. It was new
territory for me, it was a nice afternoon, the old car ran great & Gary
was an excellent tour guide. Now that act of kindness & thoughtfulness is
worth at least an afternoon of social party time @ our place in the near
future I would think!

@ 5:45 Rosemary served us a wonderful Porkchop dinner with all the
trimmings. Our table conversation slid easily into the evening hrs which
reminds us that we have no loss for words when we do get together. It was
another very nice visit, delicious dinner with a good choice of wine.

We are back in our bus @ 9:15.

High temp:52 Lights out: 10:42pm


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