When my dogs have something tree’d or cornered, they make a sound that is unique and from the same spot for long times. It gets annoying and I usually have to go out and pull them away from a possum or a raccoon. So a few nights ago, they were going on and on and on, and I finally went out to stop it. We throw garbage bags in the pickup until it’s full and then take a trip to the dumpsters to empty the truck. So, with only the light from my cell phone….I went out, noticing a bit of garbage on the ground. On the other side of the truck is a bank that goes up at about a 45 degree angle and has trees and shrubs on it. There was something dark behind a tree that was about a foot in diameter and there were some leaves in the way…so stooping down I got within about 5-6 ft when I saw a large area of black fur with hairs about 3 inches long. Damn!! A BEAR! I backed out very slowly and then hauled ass to the house for my gun…and a flashlight. When I went back, it was gone. I am still on a high from it!

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Easter eggs.

Well, I”m 80 yrs and 6 months and I think I can definitely say that Now I can hide my own Easter eggs. I had to cancel 2 different doctor visits due to non-related illness, sometime in the last 2-3 months. So, I made new appointments and I knew they were coming up. So today, I went to the urologist’s office and when I went in the office girl asked if she could help me. I said I had an appointment here for 7/12 at 2:15. She said there were no doctors there today. She asked my name and put it in the system…then she told me that my appointment was for 8/12 at 2:15. sigh. So I headed for the pain management Drs office. It’s in a large building with two entrances…both with a blue canopy over the walkway. I saw a disabled parking spot right next to the awning covered and grabbed it right away. Getting to the door, there was a large sign…”We have moved”…dang, now what? There was a phone number; I got back in my a/c cool car and called the number. Now, this is in Kingsport…the closest large city about an hour from home. She started to give me directions and I sputtered that I was only familiar with the main road in that area, and asked if she could give me directions…she started again, and I had to repeat my memory loss. Then I asked if she could stay on the line and direct me and she refused as she had patients waiting. So, I started back to not far from the urologist’s office. I found a parking spot fairly close to the main door. I went in, and behold there is a waiting room so big I know it would hold 50 people. I went to the desk and she asked who I was and why was I there. I told her I had an appointment for 2:15 and it was getting close to that time now. She took my info and plugged it into her computer. She told me I was not in their system. Then she told me that I was at an orthopaedic office. I looked at my phone and I see the number for the pain clinic. I called there and asked if they had moved. No, I had apparently gone to the wrong blue awning entrance. I drove back, was only 10 minutes late for my appointment at the RIGHT place. Dang…Hurts me to admit it…but apparently, I CAN hide my own Easter eggs.

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On Ecuador

There is So much more I could write about of this trip to Ecuador.  I may have already (dementia), but now to the main reason I’m typing this.  On the outskirts of Quito, there were a few shops and one had things like antiques as well as daily modern things…such as baskets.  Here is the photo demonstrating the piece that I am ashamed to present.  The shop had articles from everyday life in the jungle.  I got a small clay fired pot and, if you can believe, a blow-gun.  The blow gun came with a bamboo quiver like container with long splinters of bamboo wrapped on one end to allow them to be shot from the gun very accurately.  They would not allow me to buy (tho they had them there) the small coconut shell full of a black paste that was curare, to paralyse the prey.  The wrap material on the bamboo arrows is unusually fine and silky. I did it, so Just imagine me carrying this 5 foot long blowgun to the airport and then carrying it onto the plane where I could place it in a vertical storage space for the trip to the US.  Imagine trying that now, in our present age of terrorism fear. 

Then I saw the item.  It was a leather apron like article with ten brass bells suspended on it.  I asked (with a lot of difficulty in my Spanish) what it was for.  She was obviously embarrassed when she held it up against herself and did a little dance to make the bells ring.  They were very old and very used but very heavy.  She was blushing and I asked her if I could buy just one.  REally Dumb Bob!!  To break up this collection of antiquity because you didn’t think the extra baggage cost on the airlplane would be too much.  I have the Single bell and I have it with a collection of bells that I have used to play Santa ever since that time.

Ceremonial Bells

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Regarding death

I can never forget….oi…I’ve said THAT a lot too.  Teddy Gruver.  His Dad had a junk yard, and since my Dad did welding and machine shop business I spent some time with him and met Teddy there just before going into 4th grade at a different school than the first 3.    So, you may be able to understand a little of my emotions when I saw Teddy on a Friday at school, but he didn’t come the following Monday.  After being told he died, I was in a curious type of shock.  Something I had never experienced before.  I went to his home and was thanked for coming, and told that he died of appendicitis.  Something else I’d never heard of.  I can’t saw implicitly that it had a relation to my becoming a physician and surgeon but the bell does ring.  He was 10.  I was 9.  Sad.  I’m so happy to be able to treat kids of things that I can cure with a surgery or a cast or even a few sutures.  I could never be a paediatrician and have to deal with death in children. 

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Fun times

I had been to Fla. many times before this occasion, but with my Chief of surgery there to take the Fla. medical boards with me, I could hardly say no.  It was an intriguing experience of which I could write a few lines.  Ray smoked those little cigars that looked like a long cigarette.  The day I was to leave for my flight back to Pennsylvania I was walking in the yard around his Fla. home.  I discovered a couple anoles and I was quick enough to grab a couple in sequence.  After the first one, with it in my hand…I was looking around for something to keep it in, and to take it back to Chris in Penna.. I found one of the carton things those cigars he smoked and it was just the right size and shape to keep it in safely.  Then I caught another.  I figured that two could easily survive the plane ride in that carton so I added the second one, and put the box inside my suit vest pocket.  Yes,  I wore a suit in those days.  Who on earth decided that style of clothing was appropriate and up to the level of stature and cast?  

So, thru ticketing and thru what in those days was security, and on to the airplane.  I had a window seat in the first row in coach, and there was a youngster about 10-12 sitting next to me.   Take off was nominal and while I was looking out the window, a lizard jumped out and disappeared between me and the wall.  I sat back a bit shocked, and then….the second one jumped out and landed on my hand next to and fully in the gaze of the lad next to me.  He jumped around and screamed “Hey Mom…there’s a lizard on the plane.”!!  Of course I sat there innocently and it was gone in a flash.  We never saw a trace of it afterwards but I wonder if and how many people had such a surprise while flying on that plane.

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