Saturday, April 25, 2015


With Joey camping this weekend near Charlotte with the OA, Chimo and I took a road day trip to Greenville to see the Andrew Wyeth paintings at the Art Museum. Very pretty city. Good museum. In addition to Wyeth, the was a collection of South Carolina art that was marvelous. Some really wonderful watercolors in the Palmettopalooza section, as well as fine work in many media. They have a couple of Jasper Johns and Washington Allstons. Got to see several pieces of pottery by Dave, the slave potter from Edgefield. Some paintings I have seen in books, but it is nice to see them in person. I was much impressed by the museum. They have a nice library and theater, as well as historical museum and another art museum, and a children's museum, all on the same beautiful complex. We the visited Falls Park, with many prom dates strolling the grounds and suspended walkway bridge. We then went on an odyssey for food, finally getting fed at about 8:30. Then home. Here are a few picks.

Monday, April 20, 2015


It is amazing how fast time flies. Joey is a Star and Joey one step away from Life rank. This pic from two years popped up, and I am not sure if I ever posted it, so I do so now. It makes me smile.


Chimo had a pretty busy weekend. He turned fourteen. We ate late lunch at San José (special fajitas), played three games of chess, had milk shakes, and saw FURIOUS SEVEN, which was ok. Then tonight he was awarded his Star rank in Scouting. Proud of him. He is pretty levelheaded; has steadily improved academically; is well liked, polite, and always fun to be around; is nerdy, artistic, and scientifically curious; pitches in easily and willingly; has the makings of a cheerful leader. And witty.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Tonight I attended the A. C. Flora annual JROTC Ball at Brooklyn Baptist in West Columbia. It was nice, the food pretty good. The program a little off kilter. The kids enjoyed dancing. The people sitting next to us were nice. Herewith a pic. Yeah, I know. You try getting a smile out of him.

Monday, April 13, 2015


With Chimo, I attended this past Saturday night the Pops Series performance by the South Carolina Philharmonic at the Harbison Theater at Midlands Technical College (Irmo Campus). Quite a different experience than going to the Koger Center, though those performances are great too. The venue is cozy, seating maybe five hundred or so, and you are only a few feet from the action. The philharmonic may have been a bit pared down, I think, which would make sense since the stage is smaller, but the sound was robust and immediate. It was fun to actually be able to see the performers manipulate their instruments, see their faces as they played, watch them chat to each other, even many of their individual reactions. The crowd is much older overall, and they seemed very appreciative and engaged with the performers. They chatted with each other, traded gossip and tidbits on some of the musicians. Those sitting around me were like boosters for the programs. Many, apparently, attended nearly every show. Director Morihiko Nakahara was animated and funny, and clearly well liked by the crowd. I really enjoyed him. The music came from the movies, such as E.T., Chariots of Fire, the Bond movies, Titanic, and blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, as well as an encore from Raiders of the Lost Ark. And they played one of my favorite tunes, "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (I have always loved Andy Williams' rendition). It has been a while since being able to see this group; for three years I went to a lot of performances when I knew one of the cellists and attended with her mother. They say these shows often sell out quickly, but I hope I can get to a few in the future, maybe a play or other event.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Herewith some comments and observations over the years by my son Chimo, who is now almost 14:

As twelve year old:

Joey shows disrespect right before going to movie, so I say we are leaving him and Chimo and I go get in the car. I look to Chimo and say, "Aren't you going to talk me into taking your brother?" "Nope. I think we should leave him." "Really?" "Yeah, Dad. He was disrespectful. Let's go." I give him the Dad stare. After a minute or so, he says, "Okay, I'll go up and get him. But I'm not telling him I talked you out of it."

Chimo's review of the latest HOBBIT installment: "It was okay, but if they are going to add extra movies they should at least follow the book. They added characters and scenes that didn't exist."

Commented that Pat Benatar was looking very nice, and Chimo says, "You just say she is still cute because she is getting older with you."

As eleven year old:

Joey: "Dad just tells us the definitions he likes. There are others." Chimo: "Yeah, but the olden ones are the bestest ones."

After seeing movie Batman, Chimo says, "That was the best Catwoman ever."

As ten year old:

About fifteen minutes after sending him to his room for instigating an argument with his brother, I hear a plaintive request: "Dad, can I be released from the brig now?"

Joey: "Hold this, and stop being annoying." Chimo: "Isn't it the job of the younger brother to be annoying?"

Chimo and his fixation on Star Trek! When he heard someone fart at the restaurant, he said, like the computer on the ENTERPRISE. . . "Warning! Rising Carbon Monoxide levels. Warning!."

A cicada flew into the house, terrifying Joey, who kept yelling, "kill it, kill it." Chimo calmly looks at his brother and says, "but why? it's just a harmless lifeform."

Chimo was playing ZELDA, and he stopped to ask for advice. I told him he had to use good time management to win this game, and he looks down and says, "Is this one of those life-lesson things?"

"Dad, if I were taking random photos like you do, but of you, I think fifty percent of the time you would have a book in your hand."

As nine year old:

Joey defeats Chimo in video duel: "I employed my 'moving technique.' It can't be beat." Next round, I hear Joey say, "Damn," as Chimo shoots him. Then Chimo says, "I employed my own technique. Standing still and aiming."

The boys and I were chatting about my friend, who died recently, and Chimo says, "It's ok, Dad. You know you are going to Heaven. You are kind, caring. . .and you are a bookworm." Well, who knew God was a bibliophile?

A neighbor says, "Chimo, your house looked very picked up." Chimo responds, "Yes, I did 99.9% of it, the rest Dad did."

Was driving about with Chimo, looking for garage sales, when I belatedly put on my seat belt. . .and I hear him say: "What, is there a cop!"

Chimo, talking to Joey: "I like walking behind Dad cause of the shadow. He could block out three suns."

Chimo comes back to school. He has a brand new teacher, from Rhode Island. He says, "You know Dad, I like having a new teacher, cause they forget a lot of things we are supposed to be doing, but when he learns the schedule, my classmates and I are doomed!"

Chimo and I were driving around, after dropping Joey off for a Boy Scouts service project, and out of nowhere, Chimo asks..."Dad, are there any companies whose motto it is 'Service With A Hug'?"

Chimo is watching a cartoon, when an advertisement comes on touting a Shirley Temple collection. After it is over, he turns to his brother and says, "What's entertaining about that?"

Chimo on Army logistics: "I think soldiers should start shooting onions at their enemies."

After dropping Joey off at Scouts, Chimo and I went to the bookstore. While walking there he turns to me and says, "Dad, I like your new moccasins." Then, after a pause, "I bet that's the only compliment you got today."

"Dad! I wasn't smacking. . .I was savoring."

While going through line at dinner, the cashier asks where Joey was. I said that he was on a three-day field trip to the coast. And then Chimo adds: "And it's been the best three days of my life!"

I showed Chimo a video I picked up of a well-known teen rock star, and he surprised me when he said, "I'm sorry, Dad. She is not part of my entertainment portfolio."

Cut the boys' hair. Chimo says, "If you cut it too short, I'm calling the authorities." Later, I hear him in the bathroom, looking at the mirror, "I'm never going to be blonde."

Chimo is slowly inching a shopping cart between two cars, and taking forever in the Walmart parking lot. I ask, "Chimo, what are you doing?" He replies, "I'm trying not to alarm the cars."

Took the boys to a movie, in which several bad people got their due, and we were discussing the movie on the way back, when from the rear of the truck I hear Chimo: "You know Dad, I think there was some heavy karma in that movie."

In the other room, I heard a lot of huffing and puffing, as Chimo was playing with his Legos. Then I heard, "Arrrggggg. I need the address of this company, cause these things aren't hanging together. Legos sucks." After a few minutes of this, I called him back and ask him what the problem was. He said that his spacecraft wasn't holding together. I told him he needed to calm down." He stops me and says, "Dad, don't worry about it. I know how to make modifications to my design. I am a professional. Besides, don't you know that professional engineers are supposed to get mad when their constructions aren't working right?"

As eight year old:

"Dad, you like women with black or red hair, right?" "Well, yes," I replied. Then he paused and said, "You know, I don't care what the hair color is, just so long they have a smokin' body."

Walking alongside me at the flea, and he says, "Dad, I like when you find things you didn't know you needed!"

"Yes, Dad, I know what a blockade is."

While reading, he kept missing easy words, partly from innattention and wanting to speed through. I said, "Why did you say that, instead of what it was?" He looks at me: "I don't know, maybe I am hallucinating."

While talking about recycling he did on his vacation: "Wow, Dad, you know, they drink a lot of beer in Connecticut."

I saw this very attractive woman and said, "Boy, she sure is pretty." Chimo looks over and says, "Well, if she had a better face."

After staying with Patty for a vacation, I asked Chimo if she had to yell at him a lot? He responded: "No. She mostly yelled at Andrew [her son]. You would think after living with her all this time he would know what she wants!"

Me: "So, what did you think of Pennsylvania?" Chimo: "Nothing but corn! Lots of it. They should rename it Cornavania."

Me: "Did you visit the base often [while staying at my brother's house]? Chimo: "Yeah, we went to the office, exchange. . . and for beer runs."


Visited the great ship yesterday with Chimo and had a great time. We also checked out Fort Fisher, took a ferry ride across Cape Fear river, and drove down to Myrtle Beach. Herewith a few pictures.

Chimo standing in front of the rear gun turret.

Chimo sleeping in one of the racks on the second deck near the galley.

Me sitting in the captain's chair on the bridge.

Looking out the bridge toward the bow over the two front turrets.