April 26, 2008

April 26, 2008
Hey gang and welcome to a beautiful Saturday in Florida!

I woke up to a beautiful day outside. There was still a still chill to the air since it was early and the sun was just starting to show over the tree tops to the east of my house. The sunlight was filtering through the branches and leaves of the huge oak tree next door. My dogs love the weather when it's in the 50's and 60s so they were running and chasing each other around the courtyard.

Gary also woke up early this morning but it takes him awhile to get going. He has to have two or three cups of coffee and about a half pack of cigarettes before he's fully awake. Gary is definitely not a morning person and needs to be left alone until he is fully awake. To say he can be very crabby first thing in the morning would be a very accurate statement. LOL But then I'm not exactly a ray of sunshine when I first wake up either. Between my back, legs and right arm; there are mornings I feel like I'm 80 week I first wake up. Just instead of coffee, I have to get my protein shake first thing in the morning or my stomach starts growling away.

So we eased into our morning and discussed what we'd like to go do for the day. Gary said he needed to go shopping and we decided to head over to Steinmarts and Belks on Roosevelt. On the B6 bus ride over, the bus driver was lecturing a man about how to treat women. He was saying how he needed his liquor and she countered if he had a great woman like her why would he need anything else. Now nothing against the guy but he definitely could not keep up in a debate with this woman. She had every argument and issue he could raise squashed within a matter of seconds. Almost everyone within earshot were cracking up due to his crash and burn trying to debate her. Actually she was so good I would feel sorry for any man who tried to get something over on her. She's definitely not the type to put up with any bullshit and would let a man know it pronto. Good for her.

We got off the B6 a block away from the stores and walked over. We decided to go to Steinmarts first. For those of you without Steinmarts in your area; they are a discount designer clearing house. In the men's department they carry Polo, Tommy Hilfinger, Calvin Klein, Geoffrey Beene, Harris of London, Kenneth Cole and many other designers at about half price of the department stores normal charge. Like a cleaner and more upscale version of Bell's which is also based out of Florida. Gary had a coupon for 20% off two items in the mail he wanted to use. He ended up getting a pair of flip flops and some new Calvin Klein underwear. I looked around but didn't see anything I couldn't live without. I still have tons of storage bins with clothing I received while I was modeling I have never worn so it seems silly to waste more money on clothes. I don't even have enough closet space to hole all the clothes I currently own. Every year I switch out my clothing with the seasons. I'm getting ready to pack up all my winter clothing (sweaters, heavy jackets, etc.) and pull out the summer clothing (flip flops, bathing suits, tank tops, etc.)

We decided to eat at Panera's Bread but when we entered the restaurant there was a huge line. Gary is very impatient when it comes to waiting in lines so we decided to eat somewhere else. He had never been to Cici's Pizza so we ended up eating there. Cici's is an all you can eat buffet featuring pizza, salads, pasta and desert for five dollars. The food is decent low budget pizza and pasta but then for the price you can't be it. Cici's is always crowded so it makes for great people watching. Now I'm not trying to be mean but the average size of a customer eating there was roughly around 250 lbs with Gary and I definitely being the smallest customers in the place. I don't see how Cici's makes a profit with the amount of food I saw some people piling onto their plates but they must. They've been in business around a decade now in Jacksonville. Cici's also has at least one location in my hometown of Pensacola. The first time I ate at a Cici's it was with my mother before she passed away.

Then we stopped by Publix to pick up a few groceries to last the weekend. As always I needed bananas for my protein shakes. We also had to pick up a 15lb package of soft dog food for Chipper since he's lost most of his teeth now. Gary needed some Olive Oil and Cheese. I also found some great New York Strip steaks that I'll fixed on the grill for dinner on Sunday. We ran into an old friend of mine while we were still at Publix and it was great seeing Mark. It probably been around a year since I've ran into him. Mark spends about half his time on the road with his job now. He and his partner split up about two years ago after being together seven years so he's still enjoying the traveling and meeting new people while he's out of town. I love to traveling but it gets exhausting when you're doing it constantly for work as I used to do. I was very weary of waking up in strange hotel rooms by the time I retired.

Then Gary and I headed for home. It was bath day for the dogs. They were overdue since it had been almost three weeks since their last bath. But between Gary's schedule and me being out of town so much, their baths had been neglected. Luckily they don't mind getting a bath like some dogs. I bathe them in our shower using the handheld shower attachment which is hard on the back but the easiest solution without using the hose outside. Harley and Sugar chase each other for about a half hour in the heat outside after their baths and were cracking me up. They play a chase game where they will both stop all the sudden and try to stare each other down. Yeah, right, like they're bad asses when they really more like girlfriends. Chipper, due to being blind, has to be watched so he doesn't run full walk into a brick walk or other obstacle.

We ended up having sesame chicken and vegetables over noodles for dinner. It was one of those frozen meals which are quick and easy. The only thing I don't like about those packages is the low quantity of meat in them. It's barely enough meat for one person much less two. They also tend to have a ton of sodium in them which I don't care for either. So it's rare we'll fix one of these but we were tired after being out in the heat and shopping.

Spoke to Patrick and my friend Dale is finally home from the hospital. He was in St. Vincent's for almost a month. Dale is still not out of the woods but I guess they figured he would recover better at home than keeping him in the hospital any longer. The fact he doesn't have private insurance probably paid a factor in their decision also but I hope not. Unfortunately there is only so much they can do for Dale. The rest now is up to him. If he follows their orders he might have another good five years left. If he doesn't then it will greatly shorten the amount of time. I just hope he took to heart what they had to say to him. But then each person has to make their own choices as to how they want to live and how want time they want on this earth. Especially if there are factors we have control over which some people aren't so fortunate. Dale is in his 50s so it's not like he's a kid but still in what I would call the prime of life. Like how they say 50 is the new 40 which is great to hear since I'm way passed 40 now.

We watched comedy for a couple of hours until I couldn't keep my eyes open any more and then headed to bed after a great day.

Hope you had a great day also. Have a great Sunday!

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab