I used to watch alot of Fanny at my Nana's house

Plenty of sick days from Grade School were spent at my Nana's in Tampa watching this show from her king sized bed. I think it was on at 1pm while she was watching Days of Our Lives in the other room. (Side note - I threw up on her new carpet one day and while she was yelling at me for puking she started throwing up too. As a result, if it was "Bridge" day, I'd sleep in the back of her car in her friends driveway while they were inside drinking Martini's and playing cards. The ladies were afraid I had a weak stomach and would ruin their carpet.)

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MTV once made me buy music

In 1992, I started college in Danville, Virginia. My roomate and I had a black & white TV and no cable. But, we met a girl, whose parents lived nearby who had cable and MTV. And more importantly, they had a VCR! We set up their VCR to record "120 minutes" every Sunday night at midnight and each Monday, she would rush home to retrieve the tape. Monday night was our night to watch the latest in 'alternative rock'!We sat in the dorm surrounded by show posters from the nearest music scene in Chapel Hill, NC and took notes on what bands to keep an eye out for when they came around.

6 hours ahead to 3 hours behind

On Woensdag (Wednesday), we left Amsterdam for Reno. Well, we attempted to leave Amsterdam for Reno. The daily Usairways flight from AMS to PHL was full and rather than roll the dice on one flight we figured a safer bet would be to roll the dice on two relatively full flights out of Frankfurt. And if we didn't make these flights? Hey, we get to spend the night in Germany! Fortunately, we had three days to meet my folks and grandparents in Reno. This was Wednesday and we were to meet them Friday.  We bought two tickets on the ICE train to Germany. It's a highspeed train that tops out at 175MPH between cities! Although the room we were in held six, we only shared it with one lady who played Sudoku in German. Sudoku is the international language of road warriors.

ice train

Upon arrival in Frankfurt, we only had an hour before the first of our two options for the states so we sprinted straight for the ticket counter. This flight was to Charlotte and from there we had a few options to get to Phoenix and then off to Reno.

I didn't have to understand German to know the agent wasn't happy about us showing up an hour before departure for an international flight. I'm bearded with a backpack, smiling telling her, "Today, tomorrow, next week. Whenever. No stress." 

"Run!" She says. "You may make it."

So much for pleasantries.

At security I got manhandled. I should have paid him for the attention he gave me. Security was both fast and friendly and done at the gate so the line was short. (The boarding was nearly finished so there was no line.)

airbus 330

We were the second from the last of the free loaders to get on and sat separate from each other which was unfortunate because typically I get the meaty portions of Susan's meal. My seat mate didn't seem too interested in abliging me in my coachclass habits. "You gonna eat your fat?"

Landed in CLT and I made the command decision to call it a day and spend the night in a hotel. The Phoenix flights were full - as were the connecting flights to Reno and rather than spend all day cramped in a plane, we'd rest and try again in the morning. I called the same hotel we stay at with the airline since it has several nasty food options within a walk that all sounded pretty good after a day of traveling - Waffle house, Cracker Barrel and some sloppy buffet place with squeaky green beans and overly buttered rolls.

Looking at the next days flight options, the most open westbound flight was an early San Francisco flight that would get us in at 9am PT. We could spend the day in San Francisco and then take an early morning Gotobus to Reno for $30 each. We found this option after Googling, "bus Reno from San Francisco".

gotobus

And this is where we are now... hours from the bus ride to Reno! The bus caters to the casino crowd and with a few extra bucks you can buy some chips for Harrah's and get a free steak. Since the bus leaves from Chinatown, I'm hoping it's full of aging chinese ladies off for a day at the casino. And us, two weary travelers with bulging backpacks and well used ipods.

Dutch appliances puzzle us

So after a few weeks I think we've finally figured out how to use the appliances on the houseboat. We downloaded a few manuals, asked around a bit but ultimately it was trial and error that came through. The clothes do finally come out smelling clean but still incredibly wet and while we still haven't figured out the dryer, this may be the reason it takes a few cycles to dry. As you can see, most of the numbers seem to correspond with times but it's the sequence in which you push buttons that hasn't come easy. Most of the panel buttons give you an 'ERR' if pushed at the wrong time. And two "start" buttons? For a few tries, I thought CENTRIFUGEN was a spin cycle, but - still wet.

Since Snelfoto signs hang near 1 hour photo booths, Snelwas naturally means quick wash. Granted - all this would be easy with Babelfish (yes - from HGTTG), but I prefer to speculate while on vacation. I've been on a digital diet.

 

And look at the DRYER!.  Dryer

There is a display that isn't photo'd that gives a series of icons to correspond with the letters. A few shaded water drops versus a few unshaded water drops? Several shaded suns rather than a few unshaded ones? And you don't have the option for a bit of both.

"I'd like three dark water drops next to a solid white sun?"

We've come up with "A" a few times seems to do the trick.

Interesting feature - you have to drain the water pan every couple of cycles. Rather than spit the water out into drainage - it collects in a pan under the machine. Pure spent water from a days activities!

My childhood "Boy named Sue" moment

This is a girls shirt!

In grade school we wore navy blue pants and white dress shirts. The boys had triangular collars while the girls wore the rounded ones that little Catholic school girls wear. There was an unfortunate era when my sister and I wore the same size shirt even though we were two years apart. And, of course, there was that day. One of the days that sticks with you forever and came back to me the other day when i was trying on used sweaters at an outdoor market in Amsterdam.

"This is a girls sweater." I said to Susan.

"Oh no it's not. It looks good on you." She answered.

"Irrelevant how it looks, the buttons are on the wrong side."

Back to grade school. The unlucky day must have been around 5th grade and it was made clear to me by my teacher that I was wearing a girls shirt. She asked, of course, in front of the class. "Are you wearing your sisters clothes?"

The class turned and errupted in laughter.

"Stork-dorks wearing a girls shirt!"

So my question is this, was it I who was half asleep while dressing watching Woody Woodpecker or was it my father who was half asleep while he ironed our shirts that morning. Where were the parental checks and balances to sound the buzzer for these things? Was this just a "boy named sue" moment in which my father tested me on how I would handle the rigors of manhood? The only thing it has taught me is to pay extra notice as to which side the buttons are and what shape the collar is.

The summer of fun just got 'funner'

With Susan off for the summer, I 'bid' to have some weeks off with her. I was awarded 6 weeks from the end of June through early August. Being anxious to kick the summer off - I asked (and was awarded) a drop of a trip at the end of June that slides up to vacation. Now I have the last ten days of June off stretching that 6

week vacation to ten days longer! Our plans - a few days in upstate New York with her family in an area she found on the show "Cash and Treasures". Follow that with three weeks on a houseboat in Amsterdam where we plan to do nothing but relax, see some good shows and eat great food. Top that off with a week in Reno with my family running around dude ranches and the sort. And then - Still a few weeks at home in the new house!

Leroy's Got the Mad Munchies

Leroy Eats

A few days ago - Leroy was looking pretty rough. First Agador Sparticus had the sniffles - and then Leroy showed signs of full on Respiratory Infection. We woke up with him mouth breathing and salivating and drooling and looking like he was losing the fight! But with a house showing an hour away, I had to get the dogs out too? I loaded them all up in the VW and off we go running red lights and cutting off school buses.

Bella and Prudence

They kept him overnight and sent him home with meds and orders to rest. To paraphrase, "Fat cats like him need to eat. In a few days his liver will fail if he doesn't eat." But he wouldn't eat! We figured maybe he was turned off by the food since we loaded it up with meds to kill the lung infection. When I gave him his food yesterday, he sniffed it, sneezed and then dry heaved. Today we got him some munchy meds and off he goes!

Flip this house

Flip this house We finally got our house up on the market.

http://www.trulia.com/property/1609-Patapsco-St-Baltimore-MD-21230

Don't let the painted formstone "the polyester of brick" fool you!You'll love the openness of this well maintained, freshly painted rowhome. Just 4 blocks from the Historic Federal Hill restaurants, bars, boutiques and Cross Street Market.This charmer has been totally rehabbed in 2001 ~ exposed brick, skylight, hardwood floors, a HUGE Master bedroom 11 X 20 – not common in this style of home. In addition, new roof was added in 2006 and new carpet 2008. This home is being offered at a great price - so don't miss it!1yr Home Warranty