Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Why they didn't get a Pulitzer, I just don't know.
I was sadden to hear today that my favorite reading material while I stand in line at the supermarket checkout waiting for the cashier girl and bagboy to decide who would cough up the cash to buy the home pregnancy test will stop publishing in a few weeks. Many times while waiting in the checkout line I would watch the ladies in line with me pull the Cosmo and Redbooks off the magazine racks to kill time. Truthfully, I would actually like to read the articles whose titles usually are blazing across the the cover of both magazines claiming new knowledge of the sexual fantasies going on the male mind I have yet to cowboy up enough to pull one off the rack and read it in public.
So as I waited in line many times watching the women reading about the twenty erotic positions every man would like his girlfriend to try I would instead grab a copy of the World Weekly News and read the latest exploits of Bat boy and view the secret Osama and Saddam gay wedding photos. Of course the best stories were the hard hitting journalism covering how the aliens from Omega Ceti 4 not only backed Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 elections but hacked the computers tallying the results. Poor Gore and Kerry, they just didn't know what stood against them. But the aliens greatest achievement was forcing Bush to run with the Cheney-tron 3000 robot with those pesky moral and ethical programs safely deleted. With World Weekly News going out I'm at a loss to know where from now on I'm going to find such high journalistic standards. Does anyone know if Fox News has a magazine?
Friday, July 20, 2007
Events one morning
While I was pumping my gas into the starship wondering if a time would ever come when the price would start increasing while gas was being pumped I heard and saw a young guy on some bright red Japanese motorcycle run up into the gas pumps area making a much noise and smoke his riceburner's motor and tires could produce. I have no issue with motorcycles or the people who ride them as long as they don't make a nuisance of themselves. Hell, many times right before I enlisted I would borrow Uncle Paul's little Honda for trips to the beach and other near by spots that I haunted. But to be honest I never felt comfortable on the thing and due to that and its lack of any real showoff power I never did make an ass of myself like this young guy was a couple of pumps over revving the motor and burning up his tires. With as much showmanship as a Hollywood actor the young guy killed the motor and unsaddled the bike. He looked to be in his early twenties, wearing some sort of stylish leather jacket and what really caught my eye was his blue and yellow sneakers. I don't know what brand or even if they were the kind that cost about as much as a second-hand car did back in the 70's but the color just seemed to stand out. The icing on the cake that had me questioning his judgement was that he wore no helmet or from what I could tell he did not even have one attached to some clip that I've noticed some have on the bikes to at least carry a helmet around if not wear one. I had to go inside to get a receipt since the pump failed to print and by the time I was ready to pull out the motorcycle guy was done himself and I was able to see him warp out into traffic and dangerously maneuver around the flowing cars really making a heavy assumption that they would look after him. He disappeared off in the distance and my last thought about him was that he could end up killing himself or someone else someday.
I used the same route going to and from Miss Wiggles daycare many times but over the following months and I never did see the riceburner riding hotshot again till one morning a few weeks ago. Wiggles and I were on our way to her daycare when I noticed that traffic had once again somehow gotten fouled up around the hospital near the interstate. It was stop and go for about forty minutes until I got up next to an intersection in front of the hospital. It was a very bad accident involving two cars and a seriously damaged red Japanese motorcycle. A couple of deputy sheriffs and highway patrolmen were in the area along with an ambulance. You might be able to guess that while I thought the motorcycle looked familiar It was when I saw the covered body sprawled out on the road that I was sure I recognized the rider. Sticking out from the blanket was a pair of blue and yellow colored sneakers. I was close enough to the body as I passed to even notice the sunken portion where a head should have been to give the blanket some shape. Standing close to one of the cars that given the side impact damage visible I'm going to assume was one of the drivers involved in the accident. With just a brief glance that I was able to see she looked very distraught and she just seemed to stare at the covered body in the road. I have no idea of how the accident happened or who might be at fault but given how I saw hotshot fly away from the gas station months before and his recklessly ride through traffic it not hard to guess what might have transpired.
Is there a moral to my narrative? No, just some observations of events and how I going to assume that a stupid young fool not only killed himself but has forever scared someone who more than likely just wanted to get to work safely and on time that day.
Operation Bob Villa: The Surge
Author's note: Any resemblance to real people or situations in this post is purely coincidental. Anyone debating the facts , or lack there of, about this post is just itching for a fight. My best advice would be for those inclined to make more out of this ramble than there is other than me working on my house should find a cold beer, a shady spot near a large body of water, and just relax. Because once this surge is over my ass is going to Pawleys Island and Charleston. Later y’all.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Man mistakes straw bale for stricken woman, gives it CPR
I've been to some really wild parties in my life were I got so wasted that I ended up in some rather curious places unable to remember how I got there. One time I woke up underneath a small bridge in Colorado Springs miles away from the apartment of my girlfriend which was the last memory I was certain of as I rubbed my imploding head listening to the cars pass above me. At least I was in the company of several friends from my army unit who were spread out around me, each of them trying to restart a relationship with reality themselves and pondering our strange surroundings. The basic questions about how we got there were never answered and maybe given the laughter we received from our girlfriends and others back at the apartment as we stumbled inside from the cold later that morning we all decided that some things were better left unanswered.
My several misadventures are nothing compared to this party animal:
A Hilton Head Island man confused bales of pine straw with a dead woman, and tried to resuscitate them early Tuesday morning, according to a sheriff's report.
The 39-year-old called deputies to the parking lot of Hilton Head Cabanas, 32 South Forest Beach Drive, at 1:49 a.m., saying he had just tried to perform CPR on a dead woman, according to the sheriff's report.
They arrived to find him talking to a large bale of pine straw.
When asked where the woman was, he pointed to the straw, the report stated.
The man told deputies five people knocked on his door and wanted to party. A woman asked him to come outside, and told him there was a dead woman laying in the parking lot, the report stated.
Deputies think the man had been drinking. The report says he thought Tuesday was Halloween and he had two empty bottles of bourbon inside his home.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Dazed Disney Adventures
I hate to admit it but I was just as excited as the kids the Friday night before we began our vacation to Disney last year. Spoilboy was trying to be blasé in the way “preteens” like to be about going to see the Mouse but I caught him telling a friend on the phone that evening about how he was going to make me ride Mission Space at EPCOT with him until I either screamed like a little girl or puked. I did neither but I will admit that after the third ride on that damned machine I did keep my hand on the convenient little bags inside the ride just to keep the good Disney folks from having to clean up my morning pop-tarts. Those unfamiliar with the Mission Space ride it is a centrifuge rocket launch/space mission simulator that several people have died on after riding over the last few years. Four people ride in a tiny capsule with each assigned a title for the mission and under the tutelage of Gary Sinse, playing an Earth bound CAPCOM, you and your crewmates go on the inaugural manned mission to Mars. My first time riding it I had just ate a huge Rice Crispi treat and was caught rather surprised by the intensity of the ride. That is, I almost blew sticky chunks all over the screen showing Gary’s pretty face. After it was over I slowly gathered all “The Right Stuff” I could find and marched down the ramp back to the waiting area. I noticed that Spoilboy was jumping around quite happy that as mission commander he had successfully done his part and wanted to go again. Luckily Dragonwife, having not really seen my pale sweaty face , decided she would take a turn on the ride. Her exit into the waiting area after her turn was slower than mine with the added benefit of her and another mother who just had her turn with her child almost supporting each other as they came out. Spoilboy and the child of the other mother were both ready to go again each wanting to exchange places in the capsule the next time. As the bags for the trip were laid out in the living room I heard Spoilboy explained to his friend on the telephone how Dragonwife swore never to ride that contraption again and that he was going to make sure I rode it enough to get me in as bad as shape as his mother when she rode it. I had hoped that the crowds would prevent multiple rides but I was surprised to find that not the case and we managed to get on three times. My loving son failed in his attempt to embarrass his father at Walt’s place but he came damn close.
Miss Wiggles that day before we left insisted that she be allowed to pack her Disney Princesses costumes, all of them, in her own little overnight bag. The Mulan, Cinderella, and the Sleeping Beauty costumes, with matching shoes, were easy to find and pack but family wide panic ensued when Wiggles was unable to locate the wig for her Jasmine costume and it got even worse when we found out that the matching shoes for her Belle costume were AWOL as well. Order and family harmony were restored when both items were located after much gnashing of teeth, mine, and little girl tears. I’m sorry but the critical nature of fashion has always been a mystery to me. As I have written before I’m a t-shirt, shorts and sandals kind of guy. The idea that Miss Wiggle at her young age already feels the fashion need to “dress to impress” feels me with a deep foreboding almost as great as stories of the possible bird flu pandemic, terrorists carrying suitcase nukes, and McCain as president. The house was searched from top to bottom looking for the missing items with all hands looking. The desperation level due to a crying little girl and stressed out wife had items flying through the air as Spoilboy and I dug deeper through the most likely places Wiggles might have put the stuff. But as usual both items were right under our noses the entire time. The cat had curled up in a very curious and slightly sick position on top of the black wig, never have been really comfortable or sure about the cat but that’s another post. And the Belle shoes were found tied to the other set of plastic costume shoes for the Cinderella costume. Both the exact same shape and color with the only difference each pair of shoes has tiny stickers of that particular Disney Princess for which the shoes match the costume. The reason for such Disney fashion importance was that Wiggles and Dragonwife were going to attend a Princess breakfast one morning and have the honor of one of the princesses to sit with them along with several other little girls. The morning of such a breakfast scores of what look like mini-Disney princess clones could be found whirling around the entrance to the dining area.
Dragonwife always schedules our vacation travel time to begin on a Saturday morning. Past history with my family would have us leaving that Friday night to take advantage of the lesser traffic and the fact that most young crumb snatchers would soon be sleeping peacefully but more importantly silently in the dark hours so that the road weary grownups could have some peace. Organizational legend, in her own mind, Dragonwife feels that travel at night is more dangerous and does not feel leaving early accomplishes much except to make everyone, really her, uncomfortable trying to sleep in the car. Dragonwife also likes to head straight for the final destination at highest warp, with few or no stops. I in turn like to make side trips to various tourist traps that more than likely are a waste of time. But to me the idea is to travel and discover new things along the way. One side trip hit was the Mighty 8th Air Force museum just after Savannah on I-95. One glorious disaster was Mel Fisher’s tiny treasure museum outside Vero Beach, Florida that had a souvenir gift shop only slightly smaller than the actual museum. To this day any suggestion by me of some side trip has her dredge up the Mel Fisher disaster. It is for that reason why I say women can never be priests. Not only is forgiveness hard for them but forgetting is completely out of the question.
So as Saturday morning began I loaded up the starship and after a breakfast of eggs and bacon we headed out for our trip. In the back I had mounted the small TV/DVD combo along with an assortment of kid movies for the two. Wiggles got first pick and I loaded up Disney’s Aladdin for her. The sickly sweet lyrics of the lovesick characters soon were drifting through the car as Spoilboy sought refuge by donning his CD player headphones while playing with his Nintendo. Dragonwife, in the front passenger seat, engulfed herself in a collection of Martha Stewart magazines taking on similar characteristics of some political wacko studying her manifesto or a religious zealot studying holy scriptures. Every once and a while she would want me to look at some glossy high quality picture of some item that if she had not told me it was some sort of entrée I would have assumed was a vegetable or fruit based realization of some Jackson Pollack painting. Essentially alone and just a few miles after turning onto I-26 heading south I tuned in NPR’s Saturday morning program to listen to the news and wait for Scott Simon and Daniel Shorr discuss the weeks events and relaxed for the long trip.
We crossed over the Georgia line a few hours later and turned into the Georgia welcome center to allow everyone to stretch their legs. The welcome center is a big rest stop along with a place to pick up information about different attractions and accommodations in the state. In the surrounding area around the main building scores of sheltered single family picnic areas complete with a permanently mounted charcoal grills have been built that every time I’ve been at that welcome center I have never seen be used for cook outs. Their only use I’ve ever seen appears to be for shade for dog owners as they walk their pets in the grass. My NPR radio program had faded out sometime before leaving me with nothing but the sounds of Aladdin and Jasmine singing of eternal lasting love along with pictures of Martha Stewart dishes that could be used for bloody crime scene stand-ins for a CSI episode. Under such an audio and visual stupor I did not realize that Wiggles had spotted a huge German Shepard and its owner some distance off and was running as fast as her little legs could move to go and pet the dog, both Spoilboy and Dragonwife were still in the welcome center after we had walked out. While we have done our best to teach her that all dogs do not automatically love every little girl that they come across she pays us no heed. Worse yet she was approaching the Sheppard from behind and the dog and owners attention were elsewhere. While I began sprinting to her with visions of an emergency visit to a nearby hospital for her and myself after Dragonwife learned I let her slip away the dog turned around saw her coming and much to my relief attacked her not with snarls and teeth but with wet sloppy kisses almost sitting on her as if she was a toy. In fact the dog’s owner did tell me that his dog, named Whiskey, loved kids but had some issues with adults other than him and his wife and sure enough as I pulled Wiggles away Whiskey did growl at me and had to be restrained as we went back to the car with Wiggles blowing kisses back at the dog. At least the run and near state of panic to get to Wiggles had purged my head of songs about young love and pictures of heavy-handed snobbish cuisine.
Our drive soon continued south with a family conference in route to discuss lunch options. The kids both wanted the clown place and I must admit the idea of throwing them both into the over sized hamster set to burn off excessive energy had some appeal. But the idea of stopping at a dirty, greasy over hyped hamburger establishment just off the interstate full of stressed out parents and sugar soda indulged kids did not especially inspire Dragonwife or myself. So as we continued to pass exits each with its own cluster of mindless national culinary symmetry suggestions flew back and forth but Dragonwife soon began growling along with repeating a simple guttural phrase about needing food. I realized that I soon would have her either taking a bite out of the dashboard or me so at the next exit I whipped the starship straight into a Shoney’s parking lot and rushed her inside screaming at the staff that we needed a hot patty melt with salad and tea, stat! The professional staff at that Shoney’s must have a great deal of experience with hungry easily over stressed vacationing moms because they had her seated and gobbling down a salad and sipping tea, saving everyone, mainly me, from a nasty hissy fit. The kids settled in about ready to start taking bites out of anything that might make the mistake of moving past them too slowly. The waitress that had so skillfully disarmed my lovely bride from a hunger induced public spectacle promptly supplied the rest of us with Chicken Strips and Cheeseburger for the kids and a fried shrimp lunch for me. As Dragonwife evolved back at least to Homo Hablis level of Humanity from her food and the kids were enjoying the Chinese slave labor produced toys that came with their meals I noticed another family entering the restaurant and they looked to be a image of my family’s future.
A family of four walked into the restaurant bedraggled and dazed. All showing signs of an active vacation such as sunburned skin, rumpled clothing, and weary faces that displayed a combination of sadness about the return to the real world and how hot the credit cards got while all the rules were suspended. They were shown the booth next to us and collapsed into it with the mom releasing a huge sigh as they settled in their seats. The dad in a wrinkly polo shirt, with the little alligator on it drooping itself as in sympathy, opened up the menu and looked upon the contents with no enthusiasm. The couple's son, about the age as mine, was attuned to the world of his MP3 player and paid no attention to the menu or anything else surrounding him. Only the couple's daughter, maybe a year or two older than mine, displayed anything close to human sentience smiling at my daughter after she saw Miss Wiggles holding a Barbie doll associated with the same Barbie movie as the one she played with at her table. The two little girls responded as if telepathy were in use and despite the protests of both sets of parents about their quick errant departure from the tables soon met in the middle aisle and were discussing each others Barbie doll, clothing, the waxing and waning vacations of both families, bond futures, trade deficits, and global warming. Both were talking at the same time with each seemingly understanding the other while the families at both tables looked upon in bewilderment. Such little girl activities promoted an adult exchange of greeting and introductions. Dragonwife and I soon learned that this family, the Blake’s, were from Wilmington, North Carolina and were returning home from Mouse World themselves. Much to the surprise of Dragonwife, Mrs. Blake told us of how she and her daughter attended the same Disney Princess breakfast that she and Miss Wiggles would be doing in a few short days. The older women were soon engaged in a similar high baud-rate of exchange leaving the Blake's son and mine in their MP3 and Nintendo DS worlds. Mr. Blake, John, and I were soon discussing the traffic conditions both north and south of our current locations on I-95 along with chants to ward off the mind numbing affects of the various forms of entertainment the others did while we drove. The same waitress we had soon adeptly had the Blake’s relaxing with a lunch of their own. Both the Blake’s and my tribe fell to relative silence for a time with only the girls continuing to chat about past and coming adventures. Even though we had a head start the Blake’s were ready to leave about the same time we were due to their need to make it home. As we both collected our various kids and property to leave both families received a joint declaration from the young daughters that since they had become each others new best friend that the Blake daughter needed to accompany Miss Wiggles back to Mouse World. While short term cuteness factor of both little ladies defiantly standing beside each other was about an eleven on a scale of ten the resulting temper tantrum as both John Blake and I pulled our respective daughters apart from each other could have been measured on the Richter scale. Both girls screamed and cried for their very best friend, of about thirty minutes, and tried to grab a hold of anything as they were carried out that might slow the certain separation coming to them. It is a safe assumption that once John and I were able to remove our daughters from the restaurant that the other patrons and staff were able to peacefully return to their meals and jobs but we soon discovered that the loud active resistance two distraught girls can offer as they are forcefully strapped in their required car seats can attract the attention of a Georgia Highway patrolman causing him to cruise very slowly next our vehicles and ask if their was a problem. I have no issue with the man doing is job and in this day and age with pedophiles being allowed to live after being caught dead-to-rights hurting children his alertness needs to be applauded but I was rather happy to have Dragonwife there who quickly put on her lawyer cap and explained the situation to the rotund zealous protector in the Shoney’s parking lot. Miss Wiggles tears about her new friend continued as we drove away heading south for about fifteen minutes until a new movie was inserted into the DVD player in which she became quiet again and never mentioned the Blake’s young daughter again. I wondered several times if John and his wife had a similar occurrence with their daughter as the headed north away from us.
Driving into the Orlando area in the late afternoon everyone began perking up from the long drive with the anticipation of checking into Disney's Beach Club Villas and making our way to Storm Along Bay, the main theme pool at the resort. The cool sparkling waters of the pool would be a welcome relief from the close confines of the starship and allow everyone the chance to begin to relax from the day long drive. Storm Along Bay is actually a combination of several pools connected by a series of lazy rivers that with the aid of water pumps allowing people to slowly float through the entire network enjoying the sun and breeze on an inner tube. The only thing that can make such an event even better would be to allow guests to sip some adult beverage or simple beer while floating around the course. But the Mouse wants to keep the family oriented theme of the resort and I must admit the last thing mine, or any other kiddies, need to see is a fat, middle aged, balding man with a Mr. T gold chain starter kit around his neck in a ridiculously small bathing suit drinking himself into a stupor while floating down the lazy river. Seeing such an individual without the drinking was bad enough but as we staked a claim to several pool chairs there was just such a guy laid out on an inner tube floating by us. I swear it was not Miss Wiggles but some nearby young child squealed out a question to their mommy wondering if the "big fat man with the flashy chains" would pop the inner tube. The question was loud enough to be heard by many and hung in the air like some old balloon. The "big fat man" in question had the good humor to raise his head and say out loud that he had not done it yet but if it happened he would do his best not to wet everyone from the splash as he sank to the bottom. After some laughter the atmosphere returned to normal with Wiggles, Spoilboy, and me heading straight for the big water slide attached to the pool.
It was not long after that Spoilboy hooked up with a pack of boys his own age who had claimed one of the side pools as their territory talking in the code that boys that age can only understand. While Dragonwife sought a hot tube, Wiggles and I drifted over to the kiddy section to play in the sand. Miss Wiggles being the social gadfly herself soon was conversing with three other little girls her own age about Dora the Explorer, Care Bears, and Barbie. I settled into a lounge chair, slipped on my sunglasses and began my ubiquitous watching of the attractive mommies in the area. Wiggles did not wait too long to call me back to duty when I heard her cry out for me look at her atop the very small kiddy slide attached to the kiddy pool area. She had removed her one piece bathing suit and was going down the slide buck naked! Not only that, her actions had inspired two of her three new friends to do the same thing. This event is one of many that tells me Wiggles will be a leader as she grows older. Some may remember the Pudding rebellion at her day care she lead from an earlier post as my prime example. I grabbed the towel off the chair, collected my seditious daughter, her abandoned swimsuit and whisked her away from the other disgruntled parents and perplexed lifeguard sitting atop his giant chair.
After taking a few minutes to explain the need to stay clothed in public we rejoined Dragonwife over by our chairs and jumped back in the water. As she splashed around with me beginning to teach her how to swim I noticed this amazing beauty making her way toward our section of the pool. She was wearing a small black bikini that somehow contrasted with her remarkable olive skin and equally dark yet shiny hair. Her face had this light airy beauty with a radiant smile that suggested she alone possessed knowledge of something very humorous that us mere mortals could not understand. Adding to, but not overpowering, her beautiful face was a rock hard well proportioned body that had every guy in the area sucking in his stomach and trying to stand at least a little taller. She picked a nearby lounge chair close to our area and laid out on it after spreading her towel over it. Wiggles began wanting to dive in the pool with me letting her sink to the bottom in which I would then pull her out, place her back on the side to repeat the process. After a few times of Wiggles laughing and splashing the dark skinned beauty raised her head and began watching us somewhat closely but I figured I was just imagining it. Yes, my attention was divided from my daughter, I admit in this case I'm a bad daddy.
But any fantasies I might have had cooking in my little nogging about the dark skinned goddess soon faded with her being joined by a man that she greeted with such delight and affection that he either had to be her husband or serious boyfriend. Given that the dark skinned beauty was so physically attractive I guess it made sense that her male counterpart had to be in the same physical condition. He was about my height and in such good shape that it was a safe assumption that Goddess and him must spend many hours a week in a gym with a real goal-orientated exercise routine, unlike the many that seem to float around for a few weeks after joining a gym only to drift back toward the couch and home delivered pizza. The very lucky Big Guy settled in the lounge chair next to Goddess and took the lid off a huge bowl exposing a Cobb salad that I must admit had my mouth watering very much and wondering when my tribe would finally break away for dinner. It was at this moment as Wiggles and I continued to splash in the pool I realized I was being afflicted with a strange double whammy of desiring both the Goddess and the Cobb salad her boyfriend was eating. For a second or two some sick fantasy emerged from my mental fog of naked Goddess laying on a bed of cheese, lettuce, and crotons covered in a mouth watering honey-mustard dressing but I quickly expelled such a mental image for no other reason that it was making my stomach rumble, among other things. Returning to some semblance of reality I noticed that Goddess was carrying on about something as her boyfriend attempted to spear every chunk of the salad in his bowel not looking like he was paying any attention to her words. A second later my blood froze as I thought Goddess looked over my way and called out saying something about wanting to ask me something. Figuring reality had slipped away from me again and that she would once again soon be bathed in yellow salad dressing I just looked at her and turned around trying to locate the individual she was really trying to get the attention of in the pool area. Goddess called out to me again confirming that reality had indeed taken a turn into the Twilight Zone despite the absence of a thin white guy standing around in a 1960-ish black suit but I decided what the hell, I sucked in my stomach as much as possible, and coolly moseyed over to the edge of the pool they were closest to see what she wanted. Goddess introduced herself and her fiancé, Big Guy, saying that they were interested in adoption and they wanted to know more about my daughter and what my wife and I went through to get her. Of course, Miss Wiggles seeing a chance to flirt climbed out of the pool, with my help, and promptly took a seat with Big Guy telling him about her coming Princess breakfast. I gave the basic outline of the process but upon finding out that both Goddess and Big Guy were doctors from Chicago I called the magazine reading Dragonwife over figuring that white collar professional-speak would soon be needed instead of the rambling words of a Goddess-lusting Southern boy. Miss Wiggles had made herself right at home sitting next to Big Guy with him transfixed in amazement over her. Right off the bat I liked this couple and all four of us, and Miss Wiggles, spent about a hour getting to know each other and discuss international adoptions as the sun slowly went down. Darth Spoilboy wandered over later as we receive an invitation to join them for dinner at Cape May, the Beach Club in-house restaurant and we all broke away to get cleaned up. As we walked in the restaurant I made a mental promise to myself not to drool over Goddess and that I would act like a mature adult, yeah silly I know. My tribe arrived first and we were seated about ten minutes before Big Guy and Goddess came in and were escorted to our table. It was then that I realized that my earlier mental declaration of not acting like a high school kid went out the door. While my ego was relieved to see Big Guy wearing a polo short and slacks of about the same type as I was, Goddess had on a powder blue low cut short dress that matched her eyes and showed off her beautiful body. The rest of the night is a blur but I know we had a great dinner with great conversation with both Big Guy and Goddess but all I can really remember was Goddess in that dress. For the first day of vacation it was off to a interesting beginning.