My Ford Ranger pick-up truck, which I have been driving forever, had to be towed to a garage for repairs. I have had the truck for about 12 years and it has been very good to me, requiring only minor repairs and maintenance.
The clutch has finally gone, and there are several other minor problems that need to be addressed. Together I am looking at a repair bill of over $1,000. Considering that I have not made a car payment in 12 years I consider myself way ahead in the game.
People who have owned vehicles for a long time develop a relationship with them, and I am no different. I am eventually going to have to sell her (see I told you you develop a relationship) and she will be missed and much appreciated. But for now I look forward to getting her back as I have been without wheels since we got back from vacation in Hawaii.
In other news, we had a beautiful installation service for our new pastor, Marty Phillips. As a church elder I was asked by Marty to help perform communion for him, a real honor. The church was filled with Marty’s family and friends and it was a beautiful service. We are very lucky to have Marty as our new pastor and I look for great things to come for our church with Marty as our spiritual leader.
Went back to the optometrist and had my prescription changed and now my contacts are much better. I can read small print now without reading glasses as well as see at a distance. Overall I am very happy with them. Now if I can just get better and putting them in and taking them out.
I went to the C2 outdoor range in Pungo to shoot my M4 carbine. I have got the red dot sight zeroed in now. I finally found a way to mount my 3x multiplier so that it works with my red dot. Next time I go to the range I will have to zero it again. Then I should be able to use the sight well beyond 50 yards.
I have been using a battery operated pump to drain the water from the pool cover. There was a lot more water to drain than I thought and it has been a slow process. I hope to be able to remove the cover tomorrow if it doesn’t rain again. We are really looking forward to being able to use the pool again this summer.
Finally,the pulpit committee (of which I am a member) presented our candidate for minister for our church to the board last night. Things went pretty well but the board requested a meet-and-greet for Wednesday for our candidate. I am sure they will feel the same way we do about about our candidate.
That’s it for now. More going on but I’m tired of writing.
I have been very busy since my last entry here. I took my new AR-15 to the outdoor range in Pungo yesterday and zeroed the sights. I fired a total of 60 rounds from the AR-15 and it is a sweet rifle. I also fired a couple of magazines from my Glock. I am getting much better with my Glock and I have the riddled targets to prove it. I was a little intimidated about disassembling and cleaning my rifle but it proved much easier that I thought. I actually managed to get it back together in working order. This weekend I hope to go shoot with my brother Jon at a friends house in North Carolina. His house backs up to the Dismal Swamp and you can shoot at targets setup on a berm he has out back.
I also attended a mass meeting of Chesapeake Republicans and was elected to be a delegate at the upcoming Virginia Republican Convention in Richmond this May. We will be electing candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. I will also be manning a both at the gun show in Scope this weekend. The booth is for the Virginia Civilian Defense League, a 10,000 strong state organization to support gun rights and the Second Amendment. While there I may try to pickup a scope for my new rifle.
I am also very busy in church. As an elder I will be performing Communion this Sunday in addition to preparing the Communion table. We rehearsed last night for our annual Last Supper performance. I have participated in that for the last several years. I am also on the Search Committee to find a new Minister for our Church. It is going to be an uphill battle to find a Minister and may take a year or more. We cannot afford to pay what most ministers are asking for today.
I almost forgot that I now have a new Dell Mini 9 netbook computer which I bought last month. I am in love with it and can now surf the net from anywhere in the house. Did I mention that I am now almost broke from all this buying. Obama, where is my stimulus, I need it. That’s it for now.
Tomorrow will be New Years Eve. 2008 has been a very good year in many ways and I hope that 2009 will continue in that trend. 2009 should be a very interesting year with a new President in Barack Obama. On the home front our Christmas was very good. Lots of presents for everyone. Dana got a new 32 inch HDTV which she immediately traded in for a larger plasma TV. Teresa got a day bed set and a new rotisserie. I got a new Panasonic Lumix camera and some new hiking boots. We had our traditional Christmas day brunch at my brother Chris and his wife Regina’s house. Lots of great food and it is always great to see my son Jason and the rest of the family. Before Christmas I broke down and bought a new Glock 23 pistol.
I had planned to wait until January to buy it but I couldn’t wait. I have already fired it at the range and it is a great pistol.
I have a gun class at Bob’s Gun Shop January 3rd after which I will apply for a concealed carry permit for my new Glock. I doubt if I will carry my pistol concealed much but there are times when I would feel safer with it. With the economy the way it is and the never-ending war on terror it is always wise to be prepared for anything. Everything else is much the same with us. Teresa has been having some fainting spells and is having tests done to find the cause. Church has kept me busy as usual and we finally have agreed to let another church share our facilities. This should be a good thing for both the churches as we need the extra income it will bring and the other church has been holding service at a bowling alley.
So I am looking forward to the new year as it will be the first full year that I have been retired. We still plan to move someday and we also plan on at least one trip this year. Now to go take Kirk to the doctor and Max for a walk.
Teresa is working at Jeb’s today so it was just Kirk, Max, and me. I was not feeling very well this morning so I laid around for a couple of hours and then decided to take Kirk to the mall for a while. We jumped into the truck and off we went. Once we got to the mall I was feeling a little better but not 100 percent so we didn’t do much shopping. I bought Kirk a drink and then I got him into one of those machines that takes you photo and then makes a caricature or a line drawing of the photo. For $2.00 you get two photos taken and one of them drawn and printed out. I had a hard time getting Kirk to look into the camera so we only got a half portrait of Kirk to take home. It was really not that bad but I plan on taking him back when I am feeling better and get another one done.
In other news, I have been upgrading my applications on the web. My WordPress blog has a new theme and some new plugins and I upgraded my Joomla CMS to the newest iteration. I have been tempted lately to buy a new PC or a laptop to replace the old one I am currently using, but for now I can’t really justify the expenditure, especially since I am living on my retirement annuity.
Last night I called a transition team meeting at our church to work on a vision and mission statement. We had previously written a behavioral covenant but we have never had a vision and mission statement. We made great progress on the vision statement and with a little wordsmithing it should be done soon. I will have to call another meeting to put together a mission statement. That’s it for now.
Today is Kirk’s 17th birthday. This coming Saturday will be Dana’s 21st birthday. Dana is coming over this evening and we will be celebrating both birthdays. I have been out getting birthday presents and getting the ingredients to bake a cake. Everything is go now, with the presents wrapped and the cake done. Dana is really excited about turning 21 and I hope it is for more that being able to legally drink now. Kirk’s dad just called a few minutes ago and sang Happy Birthday to him over the phone. Both will be getting a lot of presents and I hope the party will be a success.
On another note my brother Skip called today and told me that my Mom wants him to bring her to my church one Sunday this month. My mother has been asking me about attending services for a while now but it is nice that Skip is going to attend also. I am looking forward to both of them being in church one Sunday soon.
Retirement is going well and I am finding plenty of things to do. I don’t know how I managed all these years giving up 10 hours a day to work. I can accomplish so much more with those 10 hours now that I am retired. Plans are still on for a trip to Florida to see the shuttle launch in October. I hope to stop in Huntsville, Alabama to see the Space Museum as well as a guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center. This is something I have dreamt about for a long time and it is finally going to come true.
I am still in countdown mode for retirement. After today I will have one more full week of work and then 4 days until I am unemployed. I am really looking forward to being retired. Any fears I might have had are gone. It is time for me to jump off the hamster cage I have been running in for all these years. If everything goes according to plan we will be moving within a year or two to our final home where I hope to spend the rest of my days. Momentous times are ahead and I look forward to them. Last night our church performed our annual Last Supper performance. Once again I played the part of John the Younger. The performance went off well but I wish we had more people attend. The major objective of our New Beginnings program and transition team is to find ways to attract new members and keep our church vital and growing in the coming years. I only regret that I will probably not be here to see the fruits of our labors but I plan on keeping in touch with the members of the church after we move.
Amid some blustery weather from Hurricane Noel, which was passing by us off the coast, I spent a good part of Saturday at my church chopping barbecue for our annual Fall barbecue sale. The church rented a cooker and bought 400 pounds of pork to cook. The cooker could cook about 200 pounds at a time, taking about 5 1/2 hours to properly cook the pork. So I reported for duty at midnight to help with the chopping of the pork. Luckily there were a lot of volunteers to help with the chopping so it only took about 2 1/2 hours to chop the first 200 pounds. So I went home for a couple of hours sleep before I had to go back at 6 am to chop the last 200 pounds of pork. This time there were fewer choppers so it took us twice as long as before. The second pig was also not as lean and required a lot of trimming before we could chop it. So I finally got home about 10:30 am with a sore wrist and forearm from all the chopping. Teresa went back to the church at about 2 pm and bought two barbecue dinners complete with coleslaw, hush puppies, pound cake for dessert, and beans. So I got to eat some of the barbecue I had chopped all night. It was pretty good and the church was selling lots of it. I hope they will be able to sell it all. Even Hurricane Noel cooperated and quickly passed us by, with the sun coming out and the winds subsiding. The rest of the day I will be taking it easy and reading or listening to a book. I deserve a rest.