How to plan a small trip

I love the wife, really.
But she can drive me crazy by over thinking things.

LasVegasSignCase in point:
Our yearly pilgrimage to visit our money in Las Vegas.

It’s still six months away.
That’s twice the life span of a roach or six generations of house fly.

Save that information for small talk at your next cocktail party.

People will be impressed.

She and I can take about four days there before the money runs out and we get tired of the place and want to home.

This’ll be the first trip in years without all her high school reunion friends.

I suspect she’ll be tired of me by the second day.
Or maybe by the time we land.

This year is a bit different as we’re going to swing through Arizona to hit up my sister and brother-in-law for Thanksgiving dinner on the way to the land of enchantment and riches.

That’s assuming they haven’t disowned me by then.

With all that out-of-the-way…
My bride has been watching the airfares like a hawk for over a month, waiting to pounce on the best price the moment it happens.

Trouble is, like just about everything else, the price of a ticket has been steadily going up.

“Should I book now or wait a bit more?”
Indecision is a terrible thing.

You know as soon as she books the flight Hawaiian Air will drop the price.
It always works that way.

So then her attention turned to when would we come home.

I leave that stuff to her because I really don’t care.
Around the 3rd or 4th day I’m ready.

Mud_WrestlingfunnyMy job is Vegas is drive her around to the various store sales and then go find something interesting to do for a couple of hours while she shops.

Just anything to kill some time.

Your idea and mine of what might be interesting probably is different.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Bikini bull riding certainly qualifies.

Also part of my job is win lots of money to give to her so she can blow it on video poker.

I know my place in life.

The latest one-sided discussion centered around whether to take the 1:45 AM or 9 AM flight back.

I really didn’t care.

There was at least 15 minutes of explanations from her on the pluses and minuses of each choice.

My answer remained the same: I don’t care.
Pick one.
Anyone will do.

That bought about 5 minutes of peace and quiet.

Then she poked her head back in my office and we were off and running again on the same subject.

da plane boss da plane1It was time someone made a decision.

“Are you sure?”
Yes, cast in concrete.

“Are you really sure because…”

That opened the floodgates for another round of pros and cons.


“Where do you want to sit?”
Preferably on the plane.

“No, what seat?”
Don’t care as long as it’s a two-seat row so it’s just her and I.

I don’t want to sit next to the all-too-common crazy person on planes these days.

That started another long discussion and a visit to the seatguru website.

“Rows 13, 14 or 15?”
Whatever suits my princess.

“If we leave at 1:45 AM we get into Honolulu at 6 and we can pick up the dogs from the kennel.”
They don’t open until 8.

Off we go again.

The key to a happy, or at least less painful marriage, is knowing when to quit.

Fine, we’ll kill time and be at the vet at 8 AM.

I expect the next chapter of this most excellent adventure to unfold about Wednesday as she has second thoughts on everything.

Every time we go on a trip she buys new luggage.
We got empty bags stuffed in closets all over the place.

I like my old beat up one, thank you.

Sometimes she wonders why I’m grumpy by the time we get there.

Memorial Day

I remember James Smith
And Eugene Sabo

And Bobby Jenning
And A.J. McKenzie

I can see their faces and hear their voices as if it was yesterday.

I remember them dying during that war so long ago.

Terrible, bloody, painful deaths in the jungle and rice paddies.

I remember escorting the remains of one friend to his home town, knowing a sobbing mother waited.

As I left the plane some lady called me a baby killer.

There were no banners, parades or welcome home in those days.

I remember being discharged with some papers and a handshake.
The next morning I got up and went looking for a job and get on with my life.

I was different from the 17-year-old boy who joined the service four years earlier.

Older, wiser, forever changed by what I saw.
You just push it away from your mind and move on.

It was years before I stopped jumping at a loud noise.

I remember the time the replica of the Vietnam Memorial wall came to Hawaii.

I didn’t want to, but I went late at night as a soft rain fell over the capitol building.

It mixed with the tears running down my cheeks as I looked for the names of my friends.

There were a lot of vets and families there that night and we were all crying as we remembered our brothers in arms that lady hated so much.

I stayed until dawn and erased years of sadness and hurt and left at peace with myself.
I rarely spoke of that part of my life afterwards.

None of us wanted to be in that country, but we went because we were told it was important.

It doesn’t make any difference how important it was or wasn’t.

We were told it was and we believed it.

Like me, things have changed much since then.

Our government spies on us, the American spirit seems to have dimmed and we have disappointed ourselves and many in the world.

But our military is still the best and brightest and true to its traditions.

There are those who still believe what they do is important and some give their lives for it.

They are my brothers and sisters in arms and I honor them.

When a plan comes together

We’re getting a new big screen TV delivered tomorrow.

I’m as giddy as a 7-year old the night before Christmas.
Buying new stuff is the fountain of youth.

Old-TV-sizedThe old 50-inch finally rolled over and died two weeks ago.

Actually, I think the bulb wore out because the wife leaves the TV running all the time when she’s home.

(Update: it was the bulb. I’m a double winner.)

But that’s a guess and I keep it to myself.

After all, if I’m right the 50-inch with a new bulb goes into the bedroom.

I’ve been after her for a bigger and more football friendly TV for years.

The answer has always been, “There’s nothing wrong with the one we got”.

Now there’s finally something wrong and boy am I happy.

man-cave-sizedI wanted a 70-inch so I suggested to my bride we get a big 80-inch TV like the rich people and pretend we’re at the movie with popcorn and soda and stuff like that.

“No way”, she says.

Suiting my plan.

I whine, I beg, I whimper and make a sorry pest out of myself.

She doesn’t budge.
The woman can have a heart of stone.

The next day we’re off to Best Buy and look at TVs.

I zero in an an expensive 80-inch.
I say it’s almost like being there in the middle of the action.

“No” again.

Putting on my best disappointed, sad face I edge over to the 70-inch monsters, pointing out the wonderful color.

Love it whan a plan comes togetherShe says that okay because it’s not an 80-inch.

And that is how you get your way.

I love it when a plan comes together.
Someone give me a cigar.