Not Driving The Dirty Car



I walk by my car on the way to Helaine’s car. It’s parked in front of the house 24/7.

Damn it’s dirty!

We’ve got lots of dust and pollen flying around here. The car looks like the before in a Simonize ad. Embarrassing.

For the past few months it’s hardly been used. Now, not at all. It will be three years old in December and it hasn’t turned 17k yet.

I stopped driving as I tried to control my early diabetes. Now… let’s just say I’m unsafe at any speed.

Over the years I’ve tried unsuccessfully to convince Helaine and Stef to drive my car(s). It’s fun and waiting at the curb. Neither will touch it.

It will stay dirty a while longer.

How Goes The Recuperation?


Let me tell you what I just told Helaine. Things are moving along nicely. No one knows what recuperation should be. This one seems cautiously smooth and fast.

I read the stories. Some Whipple grads take weeks or months to get where I am. I would think I’m three or four days ahead of schedule after a week. My goal of returning to work Monday seems reachable.

I am in pain. Don’t misunderstand. It hurts!

If I didn’t know what it was I’d be seeing the doctor to find out! It is constant 24/7.

Sixteen staples hold my tummy together. There are dozens more stitches buried within. ‘Nuff said.

This is not my first trip to the chronic pain rodeo. It hurts whether you do stuff or not, so I do stuff. The more I move, prevailing wisdom says, the faster I heal. I seem to be a good healer.

It is luck. No skill involved.

No pain meds either.

We went to Costco today. I got to drive a motorized shopping cart.

Dream. Come. True.

Sushi for dinner with Stef and Helaine. And then the debate.

At least I’m getting better.

Sweetest Thing Ever


The candidates were mid-debate when Doppler started barking. Unusual. I called out to Helaine to see if she needed help.

The next thing I knew Helaine was racing to my studio. There was someone at the door. It’s football day. We are appropriately attired for football not people.

I opened the door and there stood my neighbors and their children. They’d made cards and posters and they wanted to wish me well.


I started to cry.

“We moved to this area specifically because there were going to be kids. With kids there’s life,” I said.

This was a genuinely super sweet moment. I’m crying again.

How Does My Patio Grow?


If you follow me on Facebook you know my favorite part of living in SoCal is sitting out on the patio. It’s partially covered, partially open and ringed with plants. I love my plants.

I grew up in Apartment 5E. Only a northern exposure. We weren’t big on greenery.

Until I was in my twenties I had never seen grass that wasn’t in a baggie.

When Helaine and I moved to our condo in Branford in 1984 I began growing veggies. That kept up on-and-off at home and on TV for around thirty years.

Now I’m mostly growing bushes and small trees, some in the ground others in pots. I’m a curious guy. I watch them up close every day.



This fern grows completely out of the sun near the sliders to the kitchen. New branches start off looking like hairy fingers then unfurl as fiddleheads. Until this point the growth is downright ugly! It’s not until the branch is fully opened that it looks good.


We have established this is some sort of Echeveria plant. It’s in a pot with another succulent, but they’re both getting too big to share the space. Transplanting would be difficult as it has a long stem that doesn’t look flexible.


I didn’t know what to expect when I planted the leafy head from a pineapple. The old leaves have stayed in place, more zombie like than alive. All the new growth has come from the center.

How tall will it get? Is it in a large enough pot? TBD.

I’ve never heard anyone talk about eating a pineapple they grew. I’m probably missing something.


Meanwhile, at Stef’s encouragement I’ve put another pineapple in water. Within a few weeks there should be roots and it will be transplanted to a pot.

A lot of patience is needed with pineapples. They take around three years to mature. More to come, I guess.

During the fall and winter our patio sunlight is limited. As long as the temperature stays up everything slows down then bounces back in the spring… mid-February.

I have never trimmed a plant where the plant didn’t do better afterward.

California Is The Proposition State


Here in California it’s possible to add or change laws without the legislature’s consent. Get around a half million signatures and you can see true democracy in action. Your proposition gets on the ballot. Everyone gets a vote!

In fact, a proposition approved by the voters can’t be changed by our elected lawmakers.

It all sounds like a good idea. It’s not.

In 2016 we have seventeen propositions on the ballot! There answer to, “Will there be a quiz on this,” is yes.

Today we received our ” OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE ” It runs 222 pages of phone book thickness paper.

The guide seems very complete with three levels of detail for each proposition. Both proponents and opponents get to make their pitch.

Some of my choices are made easier by looking at who is for and against them. R. J. Reynolds and Philip Morris say “No on 52.” I’ll vote yes. $2.00 additional tax on each cigarette pack. You’re welcome.


I’m guessing most people 1) don’t read who’s paying for the ads 2) get whatever info they have from TV.

It’s going to take some time for me to absorb enough info to vote. How many others will make this commitment? This can’t be faked like an essay test. Some things are better left to the lawmakers we elect.


We’re being asked to restrict firearms and ammunition, the right of porn stars to work without condoms, whether the death penalty will continue to exist, legalizing recreational pot and a bunch of other major (and costly) decisions. I hope everyone guesses correctly.

The Clock Is Counting Down

Things had been quiet on the medical front until Thursday morning. The phone rang at ten of eleven. Don’t they realize I live on Hawaiian time? It was the hospital calling. Some pre-registration instructions for Tuesday and a surprise. My surgery’s been moved to 7:00 AM with a 5:30 AM check-in. Surgeons are on the […]

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Is This The Year?

Is this the year? Will 2016 be the year when someone from a TV crew dies or is seriously injured covering a hurricane? My blood boils as I see reporters in windbreakers standing by the roiling surf, telling everyone how dangerous it is… where they’re standing… in a windbreaker. It makes it tougher to sell […]

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Today’s Question Comes From Facebook

Today’s question comes from Facebook: Teresa Walden Terrel: Did you ever want to be anything else other than meteorologist? Teresa, the answer is yes. I never thought about being on TV growing up. Where I wanted to be was radio! When I flunked out of college in 1969 I went to work as a disk […]

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Eating Without Guilt

There’s never been a time in my life when I’ve been encouraged to eat and put on weight… until now. It’s totally weird. Even my endocrinologist said it was OK to have my blood sugar elevated a little in the pursuit of pounds. I suspect everything resets after the surgery anyway.

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My Dad Does Politics

Just got off the phone with my dad. Stef is here this afternoon. She said “hi” as well. “That was nice,” he said as I took the phone back from Stef. It was. We got to talking about politics this afternoon. We do a lot of that nowadays. He watches as much CNN as their […]

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