The good boy is back !

I ran into an old friend today.  Things did not work out for him at his new home,  so he decided to leave.  Hey, that happens to all of us at some point.   We need to move on and find someone or someplace better.

Did he remember me?  If he could have broke down the door to the outside world he would have, and within seconds we were off and running alongside the mighty Atlantic,  finally calm after the storms have passed, with nothing but a few fishermen to nod to,  and plenty of birds to chase.  Tracy was back,  a bit battle weary from what life has thrown at him,  but full of energy and ready to forget and forge ahead to new and greater experiences.   If only humans were that good at seeing the bright side of life.    I believe he would have run north all the way to Virginia if I had let him, as he looked at me reluctantly on our turn back home.  We paused only long enough for him to roll around in the sand, where he would bounce back up and look for the next bird to pursue.

When we got back inside was when it really got me.   We spent some time on a couch where he let me hug and pet him and he sang his songs of approval. He washed my face with his appreciation, in the best way that only dogs know how to do.

Fear not Tracy, the home you deserve is ahead of you, where the love you give will be equally matched by the person lucky enough to call you their owner.

tracy

tracy2

Should I stay or should I go now ?

Sing along with me Clash fans…. If I go there will be trouble, An’ if I stay it will be double.

Such was the dilemma this week when Matthew came to town.

And that it how it started.  Is the storm coming, is it not coming?   Will it go to the Gulf of Mexico, or Florida, or Georgia, or South Carolina, or come straight here, or go out to sea, or all of the above and then loop back around and give everyone the finger from mother nature again?   All of these options were on the table as the week began,  and the changes that occurred were not only daily,  but several times per day.   I was expecting a snow storm to break out at some point.

Who do you listen to? Who do you watch? Who do you follow on the internet?  Is it the Weather Channel,  Weather Underground, Accuweather, Your local news, Hurricane City, The Farmer’s Almanac,  the ants building huge ant hills for elevation, the birds taking flight for Oklahoma, or your Uncle Larry’s arthritic joints that tell you the big one is coming ?

I chose all of them and developed a grid that charted each and every moment from every source I could gather, taking plot points of latitude, longitude, tidal charts and lunar cycles, I even threw in the new zodiac sign of Ophiuchus (look it up) and built that in.   When I was finished I not only knew where the hurricane was going,  I could predict who would win the presidential election (don’t ask) and who would win the next 5 Super Bowls. (It’s not Cleveland)  The only problem I had with my genius plotting was that the hurricane was going to hit somewhere between the Florida Keys and Nova Scotia.   I took solace in knowing that at least I ruled out both the West Coast and Battle Creek, Michigan.

Next up was determining the strength of the storm.  I was confident in my decision skills that we would stay with a light breeze and showers,  and if it did become biblical feet of rain and 200 mph winds that we would get the fuck out.   But where to go, where to go ?

I ruled out going east right away as that was the ocean and I did not feel that Portugal was practical.  South was in the direction the storm was coming from, and Mama raised no dummy to head that way.   So we could go West or North, but how far West and North?  As we ended up seeing, the rain and wind extended in both of those directions as well,  so unless I was going to Wyoming or Canada,  nothing felt safe.

In the end, we stayed.  If you leave, you cannot get back, and such is the state on the island now.  We are in curfew, martial law, socialism, and I do believe that vinyl records have come back.  Despite the conditions today, and they are dire for many,  I still think I heard the ice cream truck making its rounds through the town..

As the winds howl outside tonight I am grateful I am with my family, and have a roof over my head.  That cannot be said for many,  and my heart goes out to those in Haiti.  It also goes out to those on Hatteras Island currently without power and dealing with flooding. These events make you appreciate what you have, and if anything I wrote above made you laugh and forget about this storm for one minute,  I will have done my job.

At the end of today, the sun dropped from the clouds.  Tomorrow is another day and the sun will rise.  We will dry out and recover, better than ever.    I believe that more than any weather forecast, as the resiliency of those that call this island home is unlike anything I have ever seen.

Now, about that election…..

atlantic_hurricane_tracks_1980-2005

 

 

Time to get focused…..again….

Behold, the 2016 version of rooting for a football and baseball team at the same time,  without going insane.    Apologies for those that do not not follow sports,  the below may read like another language.     It is…….

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So here we are, one year later.  Last year, the Mets surprised us all and made it to the World Series, as we dissected an elaborate plot for Mr. Berkman to maintain a split focus for BOTH the Mets and Giants games.   The plan worked well, but alas, fell short as the Mets fell to Royalty in the World Series.

Before we get to this year’s current status, let me state that this year is the 30th anniversary of both the Giants and the Mets winning the championship in the same year.  Could lightning strike again?

On to 2016, as we head into the meat of the split focus season, with the added wrinkle of the signing of Tim Tebow to the Mets instructional team.   This distraction does not help with keeping focus on the 2 teams at hand.   It creates Tri Focus, which could create headaches, distemper, and the propensity to drink more.   On the other hand, the man does bring a winning tradition with him.  Even though he will not throw the ball for the Giants, or swing a bat for the Mets, he creates good Karma in the sports world, and he could be just the good luck charm the Mets need.   Well that and jersey sales.

The Giants are off to a good start at 2-0, as opposed to 0-2 last year.  We will get to them in a bit.

The Mets are down to their final 12 games, currently sitting at 80-70 with the Division out of reach to the Nationals.  Last year at this time we were looking at the Division title in hand and the upcoming Divisional series with the Dodgers.  This year they are battling for one of the 2 Wild Card Spots, currently looking like a 3 team race for 2 spots.  The other 2 teams?  Only the Cardinals and the SF Giants.   The Mets, Cards and Giants are the only 3 teams in the NL to be in the World Series in the past 6 years, and here they are duking it out for the right to have 2 of them play each other in the one game showdown to see who will face the  best team in baseball, the Cubs.

But first things first, they have to get there, and this is how it currently looks:

Mets 80-70

Cards 79-71

SF Giants 79-71

This is going to be close, and will demand great focus.   That will be a problem come Sunday, Sept 25th.

Before then, the Mets have both the Braves and Phillies at home, sub .500 squads where all games are winnable.  The Mets schedule is quite favorable over the last 12 games.

On to Sunday, where the split focus will be at its worst.  The Mets host the Phils at 1:10 pm, while AT THE SAME TIME the NY Giants host the Redskins at 1 pm.   You want to go 3-0 at home if you are a Giants fan, but you need the Mets to make the playoffs.  The best you can hope for is a Giants dismantling of their NFC East foe to place the focus back on the Mets, but there is no guarantee in the NFL.  At least you do not have to scoreboard watch the Cardinals and baseball Giants as both play later in the day.  The Giants at 4 pm and the Cards at night against the Cubs. This will be a long day for sure, so be prepared and hydrated.   An extra hoagie the night before may do the trick.

As grueling a day as that sounds, from here on out the sports scheduling gods shall shine upon you like a Tim Tebow kneel down that does not insult the flag.

 

The final week of the baseball season looks like this:

The Mets go on the road, but it is against Miami and again the Phillies, all winnable games.   The final day of the regular season is Sunday, October 2nd, and wouldn’t you know it, the Football Giants play on Monday night, October 3rd, playing at the Vikings.   Praise the Lord, pass the Nachos.

BEWARE THE DOOMSDAY SCENARIO!!!!!!  Always trying to cover all angles of the post season scenario, there is a possibility of a 3 way tie for the Wild Card.   If that is the case, there could be a Mets game on Monday Night coinciding with the Football Giants – Vikings game.    But I say FEAR NOT!   All remember 30 years ago when the Mets won the World Series on Monday night while the Giants also played, beating the Redskins,  the same Redskins they also defeated to get to the Super Bowl in 1986.

30 years later, and with Tim Tebow, they cannot LOSE!!!!

Assuming the Mets win a Wild Card spot in the regular season, the NL Wild Card playoff game is on Wednesday, October 5th.   The Football Giants will need to be forgotten for a while as the Mets may have to handle the Baseball Giants that night.    I suddenly feel Iike I am in the middle of a Who’s on First 2016 post season.

Now it gets really tough.  A win in the Wild Card playoff sends you to Chicago, the very team you beat to make the World Series last year.   This is a tall task with a depleted pitching staff against a team and city seeking revenge.   You will need all focus you have mustered over the past 30 years, without much rest as the NLDS would begin in Chicago on Friday, October 7th.  Scheduling does fall in your favor once again (Thanks to Tim Tebow of course)   See below.

Game 1 NLDS at Chicago –  Friday, 10/7

Game 2 NLDS at Chicago –  Saturday, 10/8

Travel Day is Sunday – 10/9  –   Giants have a Sunday night game at Green Bay

Game 3 NLDS in New York – Monday,  10/10

So at least you will not have both teams playing at the same time, as you will need all focus for the Cubs.    I dare try to move past this Series as we all know what a tall order that will be, but let me peek ahead if the Miracle of all Miracles does occur.

 

THE NLCS (Against either Dodgers or Nationals most likely)

Game 1 – Saturday 10/15

Game 2 – Sunday night 10/16      (The Giants host the Ravens in a 1 pm kickoff, so not at the same time)

Moving forward a bit:

Game 7 of the NLCS is also Sunday night, 10/23.   The Giants are playing the Rams that day in ENGLAND, with a 9:30 am ET kickoff.   Imagine if that actually happened!!!   Could the Mets go to the World Series again on the same day the Giants play in another country?       Is this too much to pray to Tim Tebow for???  IS IT I ASK????

 

Finally, the World Series.   We begin on Tuesday, 10/25 and conclude with Game 7 on Wed, November 2nd.    The Sunday game is Game 5, on October 30th.    And with it, a Giants BYE week.

All attention and focus could be placed on the World Series this year as the Giants do not play for the entire duration of the World Series.

And who is that I see as a possible Mets opponent in the 2016 World Series?   Why none other than the Boston Red Sox, their foe back in 1986.

And who is that I see as the defending Super Bowl Champion in the NFL as the possible Super Bowl opponent for the Giants?  The Denver Broncos, the same team they defeated 30 years ago as well.

And who used to be the QB for the Broncos?

None other than TIM TEBOW !!!!!    I can see him rooting on the Giants in the Super Bowl in his new NY Mets instructional team jersey, sitting next to Peyton Manning, who would be rooting for Brother Eli one year after bringing home the Super Bowl for the Broncos.

A fairy tale you say?  Of course it is.  But so is signing Tim Tebow to any sports contract.   I will let John Lennon close this one out:

 

                                                  You may say I’m a dreamer

                                                   But I’m not the only one

                                                   I hope someday Tim will join us

                                                   And the World Series and Super Bowl will be as one

 

 

Disclaimer :  I realize all of the above is completely insane,  but remember the name of the Lennon song…….   IMAGINE

 

 

For Gene….

This event actually occurred here.   I truly believe this island is magical.    Enjoy,  especially the end..   We lost a great one this week….  Hold your breath, make a wish, count to 3….

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The morning walk at mile marker 43.5 was free of wind, or so it was witnessed by several.   A casual morning walk of the acclaimed Mouse would turn into much, much more.   The trash cans were out, as they usually were the morning after a pick up, but what was about to happen was a pick up unlike any other that has been seen on this island.

The trash cans were empty, the air was still, and there were 3 lined up together as no doubt the residents probably partied like it was 1999 the weekend before.    The first one did not move, nor did the last one.   It was the one in the middle for which we dedicate this tale of magic and mystery.

As if on cue, the middle trash can was blown into the air, end over end into the August morning.   It landed on Route 12 as you knew it would, just as a semi-tractor trailer ran over it, causing the driver to slam on the brakes and look for the immediate cause of this vandalous act.

Were there witnesses to corroborate this story?  You bet there were.  In addition to the driver, there were 2 morning joggers out to beat the heat and start their vacation day with a bang.   Little did they know when they left their beach house that they would encounter an event so mystifying as to have them question the very fabric of their reality.  Perhaps next year they will stick with the Jersey Shore where it is safe.

It is said that the next 45 minutes were spent trying to wrench away the trash can from underneath the truck.  Certainly this trash can thought it found a new home.  The driver continued to look for retribution for this heinous act, as there had to be a mad early morning trash can throwing fool on the loose.  But that was not to be.

The can was retrieved, the driver went on his way delivering his goods, the joggers finished their run whilst questioning their own existence, and Mouse was walked to completion back on Park Rd., oblivious to the miracle she had just witnessed.

What is to be made of this?   Is there a secret wind tunnel vortex that exists at Mile Marker 43.5?    Is this a portal to another existence, where the seafood tastes better and the tourists all take the bypass inland to Myrtle Beach?   Is this another mode of transportation a.k.a the railroad to Hogwarts?   This would explain how Mick can go to Canada and back for months at a time without appearing to have aged a day.   Is Mouse really a dog?  Could she be a 65 year old alien that frequents this plane only to rule the humans and beg for biscuits?

Certainly this bears a further investigation.  Could we have stumbled across the greatest discovery of mankind since they invented the crème filled donut?   Or have we found a gateway to another dimension where time slows down, even if the speeding cars passing the Pea Island Art Gallery do not?

The easiest thing to do here is to laugh it off as a mere figment of imagination, but that would be a mistake.   There is more to this story, and the Nook intends to get to the bottom of it.    Let it be no mistake that the passing of a legend this week may hold the answer to the riddle.    We will let Gene take it from here.  More to come…..

gene wilder

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination

Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination

We’ll begin with a spin traveling in the world of my creation

What we’ll see will defy explanation

If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it

Anything you want to, do it

Want to change the world?

There’s nothing to it

There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination

Living there you’ll be free if you truly wish to be

Little Joe

Every once in a while someone drops into your life and makes you do a double take.   Sometimes you do not realize it is happening until the future when you look back and say, “Who was that?”

Yesterday Angel and I got to see it while it was happening.  We took one look at each other and knew it the moment it started.   Let me explain….

We had a special Saturday afternoon where we were all off from work at the same time,  and made the trip down to the beach.  Saturday afternoons are great times for the beach here as most tourists are either traveling home or just getting here but cannot check into their vacation homes.    This usually makes the beaches quite empty and magical.   Yesterday was one of those days.   In the midst of enjoying ourselves,   up walked Little Joe.

His family’s beach camp must have been a few hundred yards away,  but this little boy with long curly blond hair just walked over from where they were straight up to us.  What did he want?    Someone to play with in the ocean.  That simple.  No introductions, no idle chit chat, we just started letting the waves chase us up and down the beach, and Little Joe would plop down in the water with one of the brightest smiles any kid can give you.    I found out only 2 things about him during this time.    His name was Little Joe and he was 5 years old.   That is all I needed to know.   Being at the beach can make kids of us all,  but seeing one playing in waves with such innocent joy is something Angel and I will never forget.   I remember we looked at each other but never said a word, knowing we both were thinking “Can you believe this is happening?”

I know many kids today are taught not to walk up to strangers, and I get it.   Eventually his Dad walked over to us and said he hoped he was not too much trouble.   I tried to tell him what a special son he had and I could tell he already knew.   He was a nice man and he told me this was only the 2nd time his son had seen the ocean.   I played with him for about 15 minutes,  but as I told Angel,  I would have run around in waves with him for hours if he wanted to.

I bet most of us can remember the first time we saw the ocean.   It is a magical event we never forget.    Meeting Little Joe reminded me of that yesterday.   Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is something we should all try to keep hold of,  no matter how old we get.

Thank you Little Joe,  and keep playing in those waves….

Ocean waves breaking on the beach, Sandy Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Careful, sharing this post may be illegal soon…

It is 2016,  and there is a lot of shit going on in the world now.  A Presidential election where it feels like we have to vote for the last 2 people left that did not get picked for the kickball game,  terrorist attacks on a weekly basis around the globe,  we are shooting each other up in record numbers trying to prove whose life matters most,  but that will not stop us from going outside and catching Pokemon on our phones.

I believe ALL of this is a distraction from the bigger issue,  that it is now a Federal Crime to share your Netflix or HBO GO passwords.   Holy binge streaming roadblocks Batman !   They can take away my right to vote, drink, or GMO labeling so the foods I eat are 3 times the size of when I was a kid,  but they cannot take away my right to let you watch all 120 episodes of Lost on my account.  For this,  I will take my stand with remote in hand !

Netflix and HBO are not taking a stance on this, for obvious reasons.  They are too busy filming their fine programming for next season.

I would like to see who gets assigned to enforce this in our hallowed halls of justice.    The job title has been noted as Password Enforcer Unit To Radicate Indignant Derelicts,  otherwise known as PEUTRID.    This task force is being hired right out of college, given a badge,  no money, but an unlimited supply of energy drinks and loaded weapons.

I have found the punishment list on a secret website called   wearewatchingyoureverymove.com

1st offense –   Your Netflix account is suspended for the weekend and you are given 3 VHS tapes of your choice,  but failure to rewind them is still 50 cents per tape.

2nd offense –  Life in Prison.   You will get your own cell block, as none of the murderers or rapists will want anything to do with you.

3rd offense –   You are forced to watch a constant loop of one of the finest shows ever made that was cut short to only 8 episodes,  MANIMAL.    You don’t believe me,  check out this clip…..    (The best part is the look on the Lion’s face, as if saying “they made this a fucking show ?)

Well don’t say I did not warn you. I am always looking out for people’s best interests.  Actually it is dogs first, and people 2nd.

Be careful out there if you decide to share a password with a loved one, a complete stranger, or a man who turns into a baboon.    But DO NOT STOP sharing, otherwise , the terrorists win..

 

 

Petunia

I met Petunia yesterday,  another rescue dog staying at the Hatteras Island Pet resort.   As so many of these stories do,  hers also broke my heart.   Rather than focus on what has happened to her so far in life,  you have to look ahead to what we can do now and in the future.   Doing the only thing I knew I could do,  I took her for a walk on the beach this morning.

She was certainly a lighter load than Tracy was,  and took to the sand in no time.  We had a nice trot going soon and she was in heaven.   So sweet and grateful to be out in the big blue world we live in. She is super affectionate and anyone would be lucky to have her as their dog.  She kept looking back at me as if saying “Is this for real?”  and all I could keep saying was “Good girl” .   Dogs can grab hold of your heart pretty quickly,  and Petunia will do this for you.

Everyone we know also knows our dog Summer.   She is the happiest dog on the planet as many have remarked meeting her.    All we can do as owners is give her the best life possible,  kind’ve like what we should all be doing for each other out there.

Dogs teach us many things.  Summer has,  Tracy did,  and now Petunia is too.  She deserves an owner that will make her the happiest dog on the planet.   Whoever that owner is,  and I truly believe she will find one in no time,  prepare yourself for many kisses…

petunia