Monthly Archives: December 2003


 I’ve received several questions about the e-mail that was sent out last Sunday. I will try to straighten out any misunderstandings.

The picture was actually Bill. He had a lot of hair on his back and one of the trilander contest judges gave him a jar of depilatory cream but he refused to use it. He said hair on his back made him feel more like a real man.

The other picture was actually me. I have a new digital camera and set it on a 10 second delay. I put it on a dining room chair on top of the dining room table and took a picture of myself after my shower. We (brother Bob and I) stretched the picture wider to make me look fatter. We had it wider than that but I looked ridiculous and thought I resembled former Michigan governor John Engler so we brought it back a little. Paid for by the committee to elect Jennifer Granholm governor

The water was being shut off today for a couple of hours and I had some errands to run so I left at 9:30. I ran the errands and went to the YMCA to lift (chest, shoulders and back-yesterday was biceps and triceps). There are three bridges to get you onto the island of Venice where our place is. I chose the wrong bridge and waited 10 minutes for a sailboat to go by with the drawbridge up.

I got to the corner of US-41 and Venice Ave to turn right and the light was red with no right turn on red allowed. The left turn arrows turned green and there were several cars from both directions in the turn lanes. The turn lane lights went to yellow and then red and the east west traffic had the green light. I expected a couple of cars to continue the turn by going through a yellow light. I counted nine cars in two lanes going through when the light was definitely red.

I went out to Wal-Mart to get a battery for my swim timer which is a couple of miles down US-41. A half a block before the traffic signal (which was green) the car in front of me slammed on its brakes. I slammed on mine and the guy behind me slammed on his and went into the median to avoid hitting me. Apparently the guy ahead of me thought the light might change and wanted to be prepared.

I did all my errands, lifted weights at the Y and came back onto the island over the South Bridge. There is construction along there and traffic moves slowly but the streets weren’t crowded so it was easy driving. I got to the corner where the Publix supermarket is and was in the left turn lane. The lady directly across from me was turning left into the Publix parking lot and had her turn signal on (strange but true). Behind her there were cars for nearly a block. I thought it was strange that all those cars were turning into Publix and there were none going straight. The car in front of me turned left and as I started to go also I saw cars pulling around the lady to come straight. I looked and she was in the center lane turning left and no one was in the left turn lane.

I decided to go to the outdoor market and buy some fresh asparagus and a tomato for dinner (with broiled salmon sprinkled with Cajun seasoning). I left the market and went over to the street that takes me to the condo. I was at a stop sign and it was a through street going the other way. A guy in a Gray Jeep Cherokee was stopped at the corner on the through street, was looking each way and looked confused. I could see that he wasn’t moving so I went, turned left, and watched him in my rear view mirror. Cars were going around him and I was at a stop sign two blocks away before I saw him finally turn right.

If you say “I’ve seen all those things”, so have I. But this was all in less than 20 minutes of driving.

Ernie Strong was a teacher and drivers education instructor for a lot of years. He and Barb will be down in Florida in January about an hour north of us. Ernie-can we get together and you can teach me all the dumb things drivers education students did all those years so I can fit in down here?

Just Jack

PS – I was so distraught I had to lay by the pool nearly two hours in the sun. It was in the upper 70s and I got so hot a couple of times I had to cool off in the pool.

Live From Florida


Many of you know by now I made it back to Florida driving by myself. The first day I drove to Monticello, Kentucky to my cousin Heidi’s. She and her husband Tom (his family calls him Tommie Lee) had twins in June (Hannah Elizabeth and John Lindsay-but they call him Jack-where did that come from?) and they were Christened on Sunday the 30th (the twins, not Heidi and Tom). Heidi and Tom are married and, although from Kentucky, are not each other’s cousins. Luckily Heidi was born and raised in Michigan.

So here’s the question:

Since Heidi is my first cousin are Hannah and Jack-

a) My first cousins

b) My first cousins once removed

c) My second cousins

d) No relation

e) All of the above

(Hint-don’t choose e)

If any of you have driven to Florida on I-75 you probably remember that there are advertisements for several strip joints like the Risqué Cafe, Club Erotica, etc. They all serve food and have tease lines like “Totally nude-breakfast, lunch and dinner”. You probably also remember from my e-mail a couple of weeks ago that I don’t think that sex and chicken wings (or any other food) go together. I decided to stop into every one that I saw and let them know exactly how I felt. I lectured at 8 of them until my credit cards were maxed out. It must be from buying so many Christmas presents for Jean and the kids.

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for food poisoning at 1AM in a motel in Forsyth 60 miles south of Atlanta on my birthday. I won’t go into the gory details and won’t name names but the initials are Pizza Hut-Meat Lovers Pizza.

I’ve told many of you about our trip up to Michigan for Thanksgiving. There were tons of trucks and I couldn’t remember what those strings of trucks were called and finally remembered “convoy”. Jean had never heard of that term and I said it was also a popular song in the 70s or 80s but I couldn’t remember who it was sung by. I woke up at 4:30 AM the next morning (we were leaving at 6AM and I was thinking about the route we were taking) and C.W. McCall popped into my head out of the blue. After a couple of minutes I realized that was the guy that sang the song “Convoy” (I looked it up and I was correct).

On the way back down to Florida I went through a small town in Ohio and a sign at the city limits said “jake braking” prohibited by local ordinance. I didn’t know what jake braking was. I could have been doing it and not known, been arrested and thrown in jail. The arrest would have been embarrassing and the body cavity search would have been very unpleasant since I had stomach cramps and “digestive problems” for 5 days in Michigan over Thanksgiving.

So here’s another question. How can I remember tons of useless information like “convoy” and C.W. McCall and don’t know the important things like jake braking that can keep me out of jail. I think I need psychiatric help. If you think so too and are planning an intervention, don’t tell me. I love surprises.

Things have been a little lonely around here without Jean. I took my wedding ring off to lift weights and swim and the widows and singles wouldn’t leave me alone. I finally put a stop to it by dressing in a pink panama hat, an aquamarine tank top with sequins, ballet slippers and a pair of leather pants with the butt cheeks cut out. The singles and widows left me alone but a couple of “boys from the other team” would follow me downtown. They asked me why “landers” was written on my butt cheeks. I told them that my partner (I didn’t say running partner so I wasn’t lying) had “tri” written on his and together we were the Trilanders. They now leave me alone too.

Speaking of Trilanders I’m sure you are all waiting on the edges of your seats for the results of the Trilanders magic marker printing contest. The final two contestants (there were 150 in all) had 6 ties in a row in the playoffs. Jenifer Ivinskas finally won beating out Anna Kornikova by writing tri twice and landers twice-there was plenty of room. The judges’ scores were 10, 10, 9.9, 9.9, 3.4, and 10 for Jen. The Russian judge was the 3.4-sounds like an ice skating fiasco doesn’t it?

Attached is a picture of the winning artwork. If you are eating you probably shouldn’t open it. It’s not a pretty sight. I’ve gained a few pounds since the accident but I’m working hard to lose weight. Bill has been working out hard lately and has slimmed down quite a bit. Quite a while ago, on one of our long runs, I said I had some tightness in my glute and jokingly asked Bill if he would rub it out. Of course he refused and we have been bantering that back and forth ever since (we are both a little sick in the head). With Bill’s recent workout results I’m reconsidering my no answers.

Ta Ta. Only 384 shopping days ’til Christmas 2004

Just Jack