Saturday, October 22, 2016


Quite a birthday week for me.
First Peter, Erica and Casey as well as John, Mary, and Chuck went to the Rusty Nail in Clifton park for my 70 free wings.  It was a great feast.  The waitress said she had a married couple with the same birthday last week.  They were each 92 years old.  They could not manage all the free ones.

John wrote a song for my birthday, but I can't seem to load the video here.  I'll keep trying.  He played harmonica and sang the words. 

Dew, Dewy, Dew

(spoof of Love Me Do)

Dew, Dewy, Dew
A Banjo player is what God made you
Elizabeth will always be true 
Weeeeeee,  love you too.


Whenever you taught English
You always taught it well.
You taught and taught and taught and taught
Until you heard that bell

Dew, Dewy, Dew
A Banjo player is what God made you
Elizabeth will always be true 
Weeeeeee,  love you too.

Erica was thoughtful.  Peter had the two 32 oz free beers and she worried about him driving, so I dropped them home. Good thinking.

The next morning we flew out very early for Chicago with a change of planes in Baltimore.  All good except the need to relocate.  I slept on the planes with easy people in the middle seat.  Skinny. 
We have stayed now a couple nights at Keith's.  On the first we went to the casino.  I played 3-6 until early morning and won $62 on the poker but lost $60 on the video poker.  We played a 9/6 DB $1 machine, playing only one dollar a spin.  Not good odds, but one quad would have let me quit ahead.
The poker was fun.  Only one jerk, a guy perhaps over medicated who just capped every bet on any playable hand.  He took me down twice, once with just Ace high and another with a rivered straight over my pocket queens.  Later I won a bunch from him with Q-9 two pair.  I played well except the time I thought I had K-4 but had K-5 and bet the 4-4-x flop. 
At the end the table was almost all older Black men and very friendly, with gentle kidding and good humor.  That was great fun.
Keith lost for the first time I ever remember.
Frank came for a while, played VP and lost. 
Keith bought some nice bourbon and we toasted. Frank bought me an off diet pastrami melt.

Cory met us at the airport coming in and is doing most of the driving.  He did not go to the casino but stayed and played with the kids.

At Keith's we opened all the presents for the kids as Sylvia and Frank were there.  Lots of leggos, some books, other toys.  Gio got a leggo set of a lake house. 

I played one game of live chess with Cory and I won.  So, that puts me ahead even when he finally checkmates me on the electronic game that has been going now a long time because I am stubborn and refuse to give up.  He finally got me when I got back to Burden Lake.

Some of these odd photos were at the suggestion of GrammE who was teaching yoga to the little ones or perhaps they were teaching her.

This little one, Reagan, has a great Cubs jacket, perfect for a number of reasons.

Last night all adults went to the Brew Moon beerfest.

The had a band called 16 Candles that played old 80's music.  A large screen showed us the Cubs/LA game which went very well from the second batter's homerun to the middle inning score of 3-1.  Then LA scored and tied.  But in the 8th inning the Cubs recovered and won the game.  We missed that last burst of runs as we were on our way home in a Lyft car that Cory called.  Nice driver.  Nice ride.

The beer was all good.  I best liked a New Holland brewery port with chocolate and coffee flavors.  I came home with 5 souvenir glasses to remember the night.  One Mexican style hamburger was just grand.  They skipped the bun and topped it with a spicy salad.  Very good. 

We saw Mark and I lobbied for 3-6 or 1-1 NL at the Rivers Casino.  He said he'd run it by the woman doing the poker room setup. 
The game was very exciting.  Great fun to be in a stadium the size of a football field, packed with Cubs fans making noises.  The Cubs were ahead for many innings, and then the Dodgers drew to a tie.  We were tired.  We took a Lyft back thinking that perhaps the game would be one of those long ones, but while we were traveling the Cubs came back to win the game in the 8th inning.  So we missed all the relieved cheering.

Sunday we went to the Greek Islands.

This was perhaps the best restaurant I've been to since I can remember.
The only bad meal was the spaghetti and meatballs ordered by kids.  Not enough sauce.

I had smelt which was very tasty. It was a huge portion and would go on to feed me the next day as well.   Elizabeth had a roast pig, a special of the day.  It was just delicious.  Large portions.  Keith had a sea bass which was the best I've tasted in a long while.
We had some flaming cheese, a grand dish, dramatic and delicious.  I must find out how to make this at home.

The wine was Maleatis cabernet and very good.  We had a bottle

Spanakopita appetizer was also great.

Then we checked into the hotel and went to see Frank and Julie's new home.  It is very fine, and we are certain They will be content for a number of years.  Work is still in progress. Cory stayed the night there. 
We went on to a Hilton hotel and had quite a nice room.

Sunday morning we walked into the center of Evanston.  We visited the old hotel where Elizabeth's Grandma Grulee lived for 30 years.  It is still there.  We talked to the owner and he thought he remembered Grandma Grulee, but they only overlapped one year at most.  Still, it was fun for Elizabeth.  Perhaps we will stay there when we go back to Evanston.

Across the street was a grand structure, a church and just wonderful.  I'd like some time with a camera there. Here are others who had time.

  I'd like some time with a camera there. Here are others who had time.

We ate at a place called Le Peep.

Frank had taken us there once before.  It was very good.  Full carafes of coffee and great food.  I had a sweet potato grill that was very good.
There are a number of fine eating places in Evanston.  We also ate at Lyfe Kitchen.  I had a grand chicken and quinoa soup that was spicy and good.
Monday I walked with Sylvia and Frank on her way to school, hung out at the house for a while, and then Eliz and I went to Target to get some towels and some salt for house warming presents.
There was a bookstore too that sold books by the pound.   Interesting idea.  Fresh Market books.

Frank cooked some steak, cauliflower with thyme, and we had a fine meal.  We put Sylvia to bed and told old stories and got the update on Julie's documentary adventures.  She is nearly done with hers, and she teaches a class on making documentaries.

We slept in this Tuesday morning, our last day.  We cuddled and had a fine talk.  Elizabeth worked on authentic movement.  I unpacked.  Really.  The day before I have to pack I finally go my junk unpacked and organized.

Frank and Sylvia came to swim in our hotel pool.  Nice.  The pool was empty except for us.

Then we went to the beach that is in walking distance to Frank's house.  It was a very nice beach with a grand playground nearby.  I went on a swing while Sylvia did the slides. 

Then we went to Frank's house where I cooked up the left over smelt in butter with some garlic powder while others ate Thai food.  I had the Tom Kar seafood soup.  It was all tasty.

Up early for the flight to Albany.  What a contrast!!
This flight was scheduled to be one hour and 22 minutes and arrived early.  I had a window seat for the first time in a long while.  Elizabeth and I had an aisle and the middle was empty.
It was a gorgeous day, so the tree colors showed, first all blended to just an orange from far away and contrasted to the greens.  Then from close up the colors shifted and what a grand view.
We came in over the capital building, clear in the sunshine.  Much of the trip was above white fluffy clouds.
Without clouds I find that all my experience watching video/TV makes it hard for my brain to process the idea that I am really up in the sky and over everything. With the fluff of white clouds, the breaks and views seem much more real.  In no time the flight was done.

It always amazes me that we live in a land divided for the most part in rectangles and squares.  How did that come about?  I suppose that were we to divide up property in circles, one patch would not butt up against another.  There would be this odd bit of land in between.  However, some circles would look grand from the air and I would thing that the odd bits of land might be planted with trees or stocked with bees or turned into something to benefit all of us.  The circles might be all private, the the bits in between might be public and perhaps used to keep the animal habitat, including birds, vibrant.
I did see some fine trails right around here under power lines.  What fine long walks those might be.

The plane went East for quite a ways and up the East side of the river.  Then it turned to the airport. It was a grand view.

They lost the car in valet parking at the airport so we were delayed while they found it parked just six cars from where Elizabeth and valets were standing. Very funny.  Well, funnier were we not tired.
I cam home to find both Jay and Anita working.  Jay was just quitting so we poured a bit of the Maker's Mark and told stories.  I told him all the poker I could remember.  I don't have many people to tell those stories to, now that Gregg is gone.

It is a day in the 80's, global warming giving us some fine experiences before destroying us in floods. I might try swimming tomorrow.  Too much bourbon today.

I'm listening to Jonathan Schwartz and feeling really at home Pizzarelli was here for a while. My laundry is done and I'm fully unpacked.

Tonight I oven grilled some salmon with seafood magic.  I put white onions, mushrooms, multicolored tasty carrots and red pepper in the pressure cooker for just 5 minutes.  cooked up fine.
Nice to be home this Friday night.  Jay is almost finished with the enclosure.  The door is up and very decorative.  He is pleased and so are we.  He worked in the rain today to get most of it finished.


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