Daily Archives: May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day . . .

First off I want to thank all the Veterans out there for their service. You’re what makes this country great.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mother was a Captain in the Army Nurse Corp. and was Chief of Nursing at West Point.  Both of the photos were made there.

MotherMother in the Army

She and her nurses were on a troop train to New Orleans in late July 1945 to board a hospital ship for the invasion of the Japanese mainland. But they were turned around enroute due to the dropping of the Atomic Bomb. So it’s very possible that I’m only here due to the Bomb being dropped.

My mother even has her own exhibit in the Veteran’s Museum in Athens, Al. And yes, that’s her original uniform.

Mother's Exhibit at Athens Vet Museum

My father, yes, that’s me in 1951 or so when I was 2+, was a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and spent the entire war in the Shore Patrol at the Naval Pier in Chicago. He tried several times to get shipboard duty but was always turned down.

Daddy and Me 1951

But he always said that he figured he did his part, since he said no Japs ever made it past Chicago.

Jan’s father, as well one of my uncles, participated in the D-day Landing, and later at the Battle of the Bulge. Then after getting out of the Army and going to college, Jan’s father reenlisted in the Air Force and retired in 1966 as a Senior Master Sergeant.

Hopefully, their service, as well as all veterans everywhere, will never be forgotten.

Somehow a couple of photos didn’t make into last night’s blog, the ones that showed Brandi’s backyard area. But they’re there now if you want to scroll down to yesterday’s blog below this one.

Jan and I did our part in local restaurant resurrection today with lunch at our local BBQ favorite, Rudy’s. Since you line up to get waited on at the counter I was curious to see how they handle that. But they just had spots on the floor every six feet.


Jan had a Loaded Stuffed Baked Potato with Brisket and one of my ribs.


I had Pork Ribs, a Jalapeno Sausage Link, and a cup of their Green Chile Stew, with enough left over to bring half of it home. Delicious.

And doing our part earlier this week, Tuesday night we had dinner at Saltgrass Steakhouse once again, our second visit since they  reopened their dining room, and then Thursday night was our first visit back to Los Ramirez since they reopened their dining room.

And we had the same meal then that we had on March 19th, right before everything shut down.

Los Rameriz Last Meal

Jan always gets the Pechuga Rellena, a grilled chicken breast on a bed of grilled shrimp and broccoli, all covered in melted cheese. While I usually get the Spicy Chicken Fajitas with Charro Beans. Yum!

As of the last few days, the WuFlu death rate has been dropping steadily, and to new lows. Yesterday’s death total for the U.S. was 617, and today’s total was down to 504, this with fairly steady increases in opening things up in the last month or so. Maybe things are finally looking up.

There’s been a lot of talk online and on-air about how bad a job the government has been doing combatting the virus, pointing to the almost 100,000 deaths as of today, and how this is the highest total in the world.

But disregarding the fact that there’s a lot of doubt about the figures given out by some governments, i.e. China, where it all started, it looks completely different when you look at the totals based on population, i.e. per capita.

Here’s what the raw totals look like –

  1. USA (96,046)
  2. UK (36,757)
  3. Italy (32,735)
  4. Spain (28,678)
  5. France (28,218)
  6. Brazil (22,013)
  7. Belgium (9,280)
  8. Germany (8,275)
  9. Iran (7,417)
  10. Netherlands (5,841)

But when you look at it on a per capita basis, you get a list like this.

  1. Belgium (791.76)
  2. Spain (573.38)
  3. UK (558.95)
  4. Italy (524.58)
  5. France (415.90)
  6. Sweden (391.87)
  7. Netherlands (338.01)
  8. Ireland (309.86)
  9. USA (288.74)
  10. Switzerland (226.80)

Looks a lot better now, doesn’t it.


And here’s another in our Where We Were XX Years Today Series.

On this date in 2013 we were spending two weeks at the South Lake Tahoe Encore Park.

May 25, 2013

Duck, Duck, No Goose . . .

The park really got busy today. Although we don’t have any neighbors on either side, we’re pretty much surrounded now. What’s interesting are all the tent campers here in the park. There are groups with 10-15 tents all clustered together in a circle. Since it’s still going down to the low 30’s every night, I hope they’ve got good sleeping bags.

About 1:30 Jan and I headed down to Heavenly Village for an afternoon of fun and frolic.

Well, fun and a boat ride. Well, fun and a boat/car ride.

Heavenly Village is an area that’s still in California, but bumps right up against Nevada and the 4 casinos here. It’s claim to fame is the fact that this is where you catch the gondola ride up to the ski areas on the other side of the mountain.

Our daughter Brandi reminded us that she was out here staying at Heavenly Village on a ski trip a number of years ago.

Heavenly Village 1

Heavenly Village 2

We thought about riding up the top and looking around, but then found out it’s $38 . . . each! for the round-trip. Nah, ain’t gonna happen.

Heavenly Village is also a very nice shopping / dining area with a couple of high-end hotels thrown in for good measure.

And of course the other thing Heavenly Village is known for is that it’s the starting point for the Tahoe Duck Tours, which is the main reason we’re here this afternoon.

As we walked around, checking out the shops, the first place Jan saw was Sock City. Turns out to be a place that only sells socks. Who’d a thunk it? Well, they also sell knitted gloves and hats, too.

Jan did buy several pairs of very colorful socks that she really liked.

The next thing we came across was a really neat car show there on the grounds.

Heavenly Village Car Show 1

Heavenly Village Car Show 2

A 1932 Ford.


Heavenly Village Car Show 3

A 1937 Chevy Truck


Heavenly Village Car Show 4

And for Nick, this 1970 Mustang Mach I


Heavenly Village Car Show 5

A very nice 1932 Chevy.


Heavenly Village Car Show 6

A 1965 Austin Healey 3000. I used to have a lot fun shutting these down in my souped-up 1965 Triumph Spitfire. Surprised a lot of guys.


Heavenly Village Car Show 7

Here’s a 1979 Corvette. Love that Blower (Supercharger)


Heavenly Village Car Show 8

And a beautiful 1947 Chevy Stylemaster.


About 2:45 we queued up for our Duck Tour. Our Duck was built in 1945 and can travel 55mph on the highway and 8 knots in the water. We’ve taken Duck rides in Philadelphia, Washington D.C, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Wisconsin Dells. We tried to take one in Boston, but they were sold out the rest of the day.

Tahoe Duck Tour 1

Our driver was Captain Donnie, a South Lake Tahoe native.

Tahoe Duck Tour 2


After we drove around South Lake Tahoe for a while, with our Captain pointing out the best of the local shops and restaurants, then it was time to get wet.

We drove over to the Tahoe Marina and right down the ramp and into the drink.

Tahoe Duck Tour 3

Tahoe Duck Tour 4

Lake Tahoe was formed millions of years ago when a now-extinct volcano (Mount Pluto) erupted and blocked off what was then a deep canyon. At over 1600 feet, it is the 2nd deepest lake in North American. Only Crater Lake is deeper.

The lake has been reshaped several times during past ice ages, and in fact, there are several areas where you can find ancient trees, 90 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter, 150 feet below the surface.

As we got out into the lake, the captain pointed the high-end lakeside homes. By ‘high-end’, we’re talking $10 million and up. The ‘poorer’ section is down at the other end. Those only go for about $1 million. Wish I was poor like that.

Tahoe Duck Tour 5


This is the Safari Rose. Built in 1959 as a corporate yacht for IBM, its later claim to fame is that it was the very first ship to offer Alaskan cruises, before any of the big cruise lines started sailing up there.

Tahoe Duck Tour 6


And this is a very unique boat. In fact it’s the only one in the world.

Tahoe Duck Tour 7

It’s the Tahoe Flyer, the world’s only fully U.S. Coast Guard Certified Hot Air Balloon Launch and Recovery vessel.

Tahoe Flyer

After launching from the boat, the balloon ascends to around 8,000 – 10,000 feet, giving you views all the way over to Yosemite when the weather is clear. And then when you come back down after about an hour aloft, the Tahoe Flyer is waiting right there underneath you.

After about 30 minutes out on the lake we came back ashore and drove around the area some more before finishing up back at Heavenly Village.

Tahoe Duck Tour 8

By the time we finished up it was after 4:30 so we decided to have dinner at Applebee’s once again since it was only about a block away.

It was almost 6 by the time we got back to the rig, and the park was even busier.

Tomorrow, maybe a movie. We’ll see.

Thought for the Day:

It would amaze people from the 1960s if you were to say, “In my hand I am holding a device about the size of a deck of cards that has access to the sum total knowledge of all humanity from the beginning of time.”

“I use it to argue with strangers, tell people when and where I am going to the restroom and look at short movies of cute cats.”


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