Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Shopping

Yesterday we needed to head over to the grocery store to pick up some items for the next few days. The local supermarket here is Wegmans. Probably the most awesome grocery chain in the US. In fact they were voted just that. Rochester is the home of Wegmans. There are a lot of the stores here. They need a lot more apparently because I could not even get into the parking lot when I arrived. When I finally drove into the lot it was coned off in sections to prevent chaos. It took me about a half hour to find a parking spot.

Because I am smarter than the average bear I pulled a cart from the return before entering the store. Good move. There was cart chaos happening as I pushed past. When I got through the door and into the store I was stunned. Holy shit look at all the people! The first thing you see is the produce section. It's awesome. It's crawling with people. I could not even get to the asparagus. I parked my cart near the brussel sprouts figuring it was safe there (who eats those?) and tried to walk to the asparagus. Oops, better throw something in the cart else someone will steal it. I dumped some potatoes in there and made my way over to the damn asparagus. It was impossible. I ended up buying the trimmed asparagus in bags cause I could get to them. No matter where I parked the cart (easier to get shit without pushing it around the narrow aisles) it was always in someone's way.

I parked the cart by a bin of whole walnuts. Some dude pushed it into the aisle so he could get a bag of walnuts. WTF. I could have parked that cart by a cooler of frozen Lake Ontario eels and some knob would be buying some. Crazy.

People eat a lot of cheese on Christmas Eve. People take their time selecting cheese. I thought I was in Georgetown Exumas and the French arrived at the market. The seafood counter was a little too slow for some folks. Nobody wants to buy frozen so they wait while the dude in the white hair net calls numbers. You people know it was frozen when it got to the store right? The guys on their way home from work are the worst. Impatient assholes were plowing their way through the store all agitated, mostly because they didn't know where shit was. I'm guessing management based on their attitudes and clueless wandering.

You could tell I was a retired guy because I was whistling away to the holiday music and examining weird stuff on the shelf. I didn't even get flustered when I couldn't find the hand soap. I found dish soap and laundry soap but the hand soap was on the other side of the store. Keep the soaps in one aisle! Most retired people got this shit done earlier. I was in the wrong crowd.

A few times I was wandering with my head in the clouds when I realized someone was waiting for me to come back to earth so she could get by. I apologized a few times. One woman laughed and the other growled I think. I told one gal to just tap me with the cart and she said she may just do that next time. There was one other cloud based individual prancing through the aisles whistling and singing but she looked a little too happy. Kind of a hippy chic my age and she gave me the big grin as we passed. I saw her later practically dancing behind the cart. I think she hit up the liqour store first.

After several hours in the mad house I exited a bit poorer but full of holiday cheer until I popped the trunk and it's full of empty bottles and cans I was returning. God Damn it! I was so excited to get a parking spot that I forgot about the bottles. I put everything in the back seat and lugged the bottles to the return machines to find a lovely couple returning a MILLION FRIGGIN WATER BOTTLES! Seriously? You pick now to do that? Turn the damn faucet handle, this isn't Flint! Oy. What's up with bottled water? Some company fills bottles with your tap water and then sells it back to you for a couple bucks. Dumb. I should design a portable bottling machine and bottle this water whenever we come up. I could truck it down to Florida and sell it as Pauly Springs Northern Pure. I would make a fortune selling filtered water straight from the icy depths of lake Ontario. Idiots.

Anyhow, another machine opened up and I was able to return the bottles. I used the money to buy ice cream for the apple pie. What good is apple pie without French vanilla? On the way home I cranked the radio up and avoided death by deer or truck. My coughing wife was there at the door.

People get weird this time of year. They are either really happy or really angry or really sad. Maybe we should go back to the pagan rituals and just eat drink and be merry. No shopping, gift giving, no worship, no TV, no Facebook. I am willing to bet we would be happier. Then again, we are only human. We can't all be equally happy. Someone would always have to be the happiest or at least happier than you. So it goes.


posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Little Germ Cottage

Since arriving in the States we have been feeling a bit ill and it's not all from watching the election. For some reason we seem to be allergic to the cold. As soon as the temps dropped we started sniffling and sneezing and coughing and it really has not stopped. To top it off we have been visiting with little germ pods called grandkids. There is nothing more deflating then welcoming your grandson home from daycare and he sticks his wet fingers in your mouth when you go to hug him. Thanks pal! My daughter just rolls her eyes. "Grandpa paranoid is going to get deathly ill now!"

Actually, despite being in daycare a few days a week little Mason has been pretty healthy and it's the grandparents that have been germ bags. Maybe it's this tiny cottage all closed up with the heat cranked up. Maybe we should open the windows and door to air it out. Maybe all those US germs we avoided for over a year have found us. I don't know but from what I have read there are other cruisers home for the holidays complaining of the same thing so I bet the germs we avoided have all found us.

This little cottage will be invaded Monday by my daughter Nicole and family. Yes, we will have four adults and one two year old crammed in here. Please let us all be healthy.

Fingers crossed it's a snot free Christmas.


Deb coughed herself to sleep last night. I moved to the other room. Neither one of us slept much. Tonight I am meeting up with old work pals. The bags under my eyes could hold a six pack. They're going to not want to retire after seeing me. Retirement is great! Seriously guys it is. Yawn. Sniff. Cough.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice!

The winter solstice always meant quite a bit more to me than the other more traditional celebrations this time of year. Most of the current traditions originated from pagan beliefs and festivals and were twisted and watered down over time to evolve into the religious (?) holiday we have today.

The old Pagan celebration was more about our relationship with the earth and the stars and the impact all of it had on our lives. It was also one hell of a party. The livestock was fat and ready for the fire and the wine and beer had all fermented enough to get drunk on. Renewed hope came with the rising sun.

May todays rising Sun bring you warmth, hope and happiness for the new year.


posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, December 19, 2016

Here comes the Sun! Cough.

What is it about the cold gray skies, wind whipped snow and temperatures below freezing that make you sick or feeling horrible? Does the environment have a serious impact on health? Well of course it does, but I am not talking about smog or UV radiation or horrible weather events I am talking about the plain old every day average weather for this region having enough of a negative impact on your brain to reduce your immune systems fighting capability.

I think this is so. We can all talk about the actual loss of vitamin D from our bodies because we live at latitude 43 and the the Sun is gone until April but we eat cheese, tofu and drink almond or soy milk so no problem. We also take supplemental vitamin D and B12 if we think our diet is off the rails. So assuming our blood has the proper stuff to remain healthy (last blood letting proved it was) then the reason we feel so shitty is because the weather negatively impacts our brain. We get depressed and lazy. We eat pizza. We drink too much. We don't wash our hands for the minimum 30 seconds. We catch a germ.

This morning I woke up after a weird nights sleep. I was all stuffed up and coughing myself awake most of the night. Besides all the cold symptoms I had bizarre dreams that I am afraid to describe, but of course I will. Sometimes I tell Deb these dreams and she just looks at me wondering what she ever saw in me some thirty years ago.

Last night in my dreams my Dad was giving me the "straighten up and fly right" speech while he towered over me as I sat on my bed. I told him I am moving out and I refuse to listen to any more of his horse shit. Dad got really pissed. Dad was a Centaur. I felt bad after saying it and I wanted to apologize but there was a lot of yelling, stomping and tail twitching. He reared up but I threw some sugar cubes to distract him (I kept those in my pockets just in case) and ran out of the house after grabbing my Farah Fawcett poster and some underwear.  I drove away in my Pinto. I felt bad about the horse comment and wanted to turn the car around and say I was sorry but then I woke up. That's all I remember about the whole thing but it was enough to force me get up and have some tea to clear my head.

Weird eh? Deb never remembers her dreams like I do. I should keep a notebook next to the bed and start writing them down because they fade within hours. Before I die I would have to burn the notebook of course.

I dragged ass across the cold floor to the bathroom. In the living room I turned on the fake fireplace. I warmed some water for tea and then sat by the electric fire staring at the fake flames hoping the bags under my eyes will vanish as another dreary ass day continues.

The SUN! The Sun came out! Holy shit the Sun is out today and it's shining into the cottage. It's cold as hell out, the Bay is freezing and the snow has a hard layer of ice over it but the Sun is reflecting off all of it! Amazing! Can I get any more exclamations!!!!

Hours later I am in a chipper mood. I am caffeinated, full of sugar and sunshine. We are heading out to the grocery store to restock and then heading over to friends to visit and spread germs. Deb is looking more alive today with the Sun on her and I am actually considering going for a walk. Scratch the walk it's friggin 19 degrees.

If you are ever in this area and are wondering why people are so unfriendly, moody, sarcastic and boring to talk to just wait around for the Sun to come out or better yet, visit in July.

Two weeks left until we fly home. Mixed emotions.


I drove a Pinto because my Dad thought a Chevy Nova SS was too cool for a nerd like me. He also knew I would use all of the horsepower available to do something extremely stupid.
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