"Crotty News" Postings for: December 2006 !

Hi ! Aloha ! Ciao ! !!

    01 Dec - Today we left Kathy & Tom's house and made the drive back to Myrtle Beach. We're getting to be "old hands" at long distance driving, ever since we bought the two places in Myrtle Beach and Bradenton, so now this trip from Woodbine to South Carolina is a piece-of-cake, just under one hundred miles LESS than our drive from Myrtle Beach to Bradenton. It takes 8-9 hours.

    02 - 03 Dec - We are now back in Myrtle Beach and must get the Christmas decorations up on the house this coming week. Several of the neighbors already have their lights blazing and the neighborhood looks good! I found an e-mail from Chuck's dad, Charlie, in my Inbox and it mentioned that his son-in-law Jeff is in the Air Force, serving somewhere in the Iraq-Afghanistan war zone (troops aren't allowed to tell where they are exactly). Anyway, Jeff is working at the COIC, one of my old hangouts when it was still in Saudi, and I've started to correspond with him. Also just made arrangements with Alice & Charlie Peterson to come down to Florida and visit with us for a week or so in early January!

    04 Dec - Went to Waccamaw Hospital today to have a large bump removed from my left index finger. They later told me it was a "Giant Seed Tumor". It's not cancerous, it won't come back, and they have no idea what cuased it to grow. The surgery went well but I was surprised that they made such a big deal out of it. I thought that the doctor would sit me in a chair, give me a "local" and simply cut the bump out of my finger. Instead I had to undress and get into one of those girlygowns, got wheeled through the hallways to an operating room table with an anethesiologist, several nurses, etc. They affixed oxygen tubes and electronic monitors on me, as well as a double tourniquet to cut off the blood (I still bled all over the dressing). Anyway, I was awake for most of the surgery but when the doctor cut into me I felt the long slice of the scalpel, so I told them it hurt and apparently they knocked me out for a while. I feel fine but they have my hand wrapped in a huge stiff cast and bandage and my fingertips are semi-numb. I have to wear this thing for the next ten days. Ratz! So ... we'll be taking it easy, working around the house, refining our blueprints for the house addition, and making contact with the architect to alter the blueprints.

    11 Dec - Received a note from Barbara Graham that Steve is in the hospital in Cheltenham, in the Cardiac Wing. He'd been having pains in his chest and was finding it difficult to do anything. They kept him in then because he was too ill to go home. He ended up having surgery - they placed a stent into one of his arteries. (Heard from Steve the next week. He's fine, although he'll have to take it easy for a while)!

    15 Dec - We are going out tonight with Karen and Chuck. They are hosting their annual dinner at Ryan's for their employees (now "former" employees). They decided to host it since the employees worked for them most of the year, so they'll also be giving them Christmas bonuses etc. The new owners of ProTech can do it next year.

    16 Dec - Dale and I got up very early this morning and rushed to the local Sears store because they had advertised a 7AM-12 Noon sale on a Kodak digital camera for $99.99 (Dale bought me one for $275 or so last Christmas and it's been excellent). We wanted it for a Christmas present for Susan and Dany out in Los Angeles. They don't have one, and therefore we don't get any pictures from them (there's a method to our madness ;-) ! Only one customer in front of us when we got to the store and he only wanted a GPS hand-held device, also on sale; not the Kodak camera. The guy behind the counter had NO idea of what was on sale, made a few calls to management and then told us that the sale items had already been sold (Yeah - right!). Fortunately they had a Nikon digital camera also on sale for $129.99 which I believe is a much better camera anyway. Then the guy tells us that it doesn't come with the "SD" card; you must buy it separately for $39.99. Oh well. So the Marketeers won: the bait-and-switch routine worked on us. By this time we were determined to buy a damn camera regardless ;-) Probably should have driven over to Best Buy and Circuit City to check their camera prices but we wanted to get it mailed off to the kids right away and probably wouldn't have saved much, unless those stores include the "SD" card with the camera. It's been unseasonably warm here and I've been planning for days to get the Christmas lights down from the attic and put up on the house and yard. I think that today is the day! Yesterday I think it was 70 degrees and today is supposed to get to the high 60s! We purchased an art-deco palm tree with Christmas lights yesterday (made of metal pipes and "rope lighting"). Dale's thinking of keeping it inside as our "Christmas Tree" this year I like real Christmas trees, so we'll see. Oh, Dale and I went to see a movie the other night: The Holiday. It is very similar to the plots of Notting Hill, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, etc. and it is filmed in ENGLAND! Made me homesick, especially the pub scenes with the fireplace lit, etc. Cozy! The only thing I didn't like is one very short scene where they depicted a Cotswold home as an ugly wooden, "Rancher" design, just like in the USA .... and then showed a home in Surrey that sure looked like a Cotswold stone home to me!! The entire film had me thinking we could be in the Cotswolds' villages. When the DVD comes out I'm going to get it and add it to our collection. A very good movie.

    18-20 Dec - I finally got my Christmas lights up around the outside of the house. I couldn't do much until the bandage came off my hand, which happened earlier this week. Everything has healed well and I am now totally back to normal.

    21 Dec - It's been nice and warm around here these past weeks (broke the temperature record at 74 degrees two days ago). Karen & Chuck left today for Ohio to be with his sister for Christmas. Her husband Jeff is serving in Iraq and she has small children so everyone in their family is trying to get together with her for Christmas to somewhat "make up for" his being absent and to give her some support. A great idea! If I had thought about it, we couild have taken off for parts unknown -- some exotic place in the world. Oh well. Maybe in the future !

    25 - 26 Dec - We had a very nice, quiet Christmas Day. We just watched TV and a DVD in the evening. We bought a lighted palm tree as a novelty (we call it our Christmas Palm Tree) and used it this year since there was just the two of us. I always like to get a really big, live tree from a local farm, but it would have been a waste this year. We had heavy rain and the ground is still saturated, with large patches of water on everyone's lawns and the streets. I didn't plug in our outside Christmas lights last night because one of the strings kept shorting the electrical breaker (must have had water in it somewhere). I'll try it tonight. We usually leave the lights up until New Year's Day. Today Dale is heading for the local Red Cross office where she volunteers each week. I am going to try and clear off my desk. It is covered with VHS tapes and DVDs. I've been converting my VHS tape collection to DVDs and now I have to make the colorful "jackets" for the plastic DVD cases. It's cool but no longer raining. I think that I'm going to go to the stores and see what a good DVD player costs, with all the sales going on. I bought Dale a 15" LCD TV (HD ready etc) which she wanted for the kitchen counter. It's so thin it doesn't take hardly any space at all, which is what she wanted. I'll look for a thin DVD player, perhaps one that will attach under the counter, so I can play my DVDs while she watches her TV shows. I'm not into many of today's TV shows; I'd rather watch a DVD movie. I can re-watch a movie I've seen before and still enjoy it because I don't remember the movies scene-by-scene. Dale remembers everything about a movie so she can see it once or twice, and that's all she cares to see it.

    27 Dec - We're using our guest bedroom for my computer room/office and also as a storage room for extra furniture, among other things ;-) I have the Florida E-Machines computer on my desk and my Myrtle Beach Dell on the desk behind me (against the wall). Computers, DVD recorders, VCRs, TV, wires everywhere; books and knick knacks overflowing the bookshelves! I'm still converting all my VHS tapes to DVDs so I have a pile of both (tapes and DVDs) atop the desk and all formerly-open-spaces on the "extra" furniture that we've jammed in here. Looks just like a computer programmer's room ;-) The heating and Cooling guy just showed up for our "winter inspection' (maintenance). We'll be all around the house and up in the attic for the next few hours. Also just got an e-mail from our old friend Joe hauschild. He has now retired from the Solar Observatory in San Vito (Brindisi) Italy and has moved to Brandon, Fl.

    28-29 Dec - I have been going through all my notes on the Amirault, Moulaison & Bourque families (my mother's family tree; Amirault's Hill, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia) and I am printing up charts so that I can view the different family lines generation by generation. I am piecing the printouts together so that each generation is displayed horizontally and I can trace my family line up or down through the different horizontal "layers". I've done a preliminary chart for the Amirault line back to Francois and Marie (Pitre) Amirault (1663) and I'm now starting on the Moulaisons and Bourques. It makes it SO much easier to see the relationships between families.

    30 Dec - Just heard from Mike Krzeszkowski, our Australian friend. He and his wife are enjoying a Christmas-New Year tour of Munich and Berlin and then will be off to London, Hong Kong and Beijing. Wow! He's picking up some postcards for me! I just told Dale that I absolutely must start an exercise program. We are much too crowded here in the Myrtle Beach home to set up any weights (the garage is an option whenever one of the cars is gone, but it is usually COLD out there ;-). I weigh 220lbs and have difficulty breathing at the slightest exertion, so I need to make a concerted effort to trim down and build up some stamina and muscle. Heard from Tracey today. Mike and she are doing well, operating the Skate Park at Hickham AFB on Oahu. They've refurbished a lot of the ramps and apparently it is one of the "in places" for the military kids.

    31 Dec - Nephew Brett sent an e-mail from Las Vegas. he's there with his Uruguayan girlfriend. What a great place to be on New Year's Eve! Dale and I must be getting old because we really do prefer to stay at home and be comfortable in front of the TV, watching the old ball drop in Times Square. By midnight we're pretty well tired and going out on the town isn't really for us. I had forgotten that Dick Clark had had a stroke and was wondering why he talked so funny until Dale reminded me. He always looked like he never changed, so therefore none of us had changed either ! Looks like those days are over.


Love,     &nbs;       Regards,
Dad & Mom     &nbs;       Barry & Dale