Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Dear Lucy,

Last month I bought the best gadget ever; a Nook reader from Barne's and Nobel. This thing is great. It holds thousands of books, can be held in one hand and pages turned with one hand (a good thing when Lucy decides to lay on my stomach in bed) and best of all, the font can be made larger or smaller.

Right now, I have several books of poetry, a biography of Allen Ginsberg and two novels on it, so while in the cab doing nothing, I have a variety of choices for reading without having to haul a bunch of books with me.

I...I think I'm in love!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Lucy,
Today, on my way to the library, I spotted this: The truck Anne and I owned together, parked in front of the library.
When Anne died, it was given to some friends who had then moved to Oregon.
The truck is easy to spot because it has a license plate cover that reads Serramonte Ford Colma which is in San Francisco.
I went into the library and found the couple and had a brief visit with them.
Sunday, the 26th, is the second anniversary of Anne's death and so I am not terribly surprised that this little reminder came up to haunt me.
Sometimes, try as you might, you can't escape your past.

The perfect firepit for men with prostate trouble!

Summer's almost gone...

Dear Lucy,
Tomorrow is the official first day of Autumn. Bye, bye summer!
Speaking of summer, we didn't get much of one here in the Pacific Northwest this year so it makes saying goodbye a little harder.
A friend of mine who has little kids read that a good way to celebrate the fall equinox with children is to take them to a park and have them say goodnight to the trees. I think that's a great idea.
But since I don't have kids, and Lucy would only pee on them, I guess I will do what I do every fall: Say goodbye to my shorts and sleeveless t-shirts, and say hello to my winter clothes. OK, so I talk to my clothes; whatayagonnadoaboutit?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Got the Job!

Dear Lucy,
Finally, after all this hassle, I will be going back to work for Option Care doing scheduling in their Mount Vernon office.
Hooray for better pay, medical benefits and no longer having to drive junk cabs in the rain and dark!
I just hope my poor old car can do the commute!
Time to celebrate!


Monday, September 20, 2010

New Family Guy!

Dear Lucy,
The new Family Guy season starts soon.
Ah, ya gotta love America where "Criminal Minds" with its blood, guts and gore gets no family warning, but a funny cartoon does....

Dear Lucy,
The wheels of Option Care are finally in motion. My meeting with the General Manager was not a trip down grovelling lane. He was nice and polite and seemingly excited about hiring me back. No, I didn't slip him any LSD in his caffeine free tea.
Tomorrow, I have a meeting with the supervisor of the department who has already set up a date of hire over the phone.
We shall see what transpires; mainly, what $$$$ they offer me.

Dear Lucy,
Excerpt from thesmirkingchimp.com:
Tea With Frankenstein: Please, No Masturbationby David Michael Green September 18, 2010 - 10:28am
"Just when you thought you'd reached the ground floor in the well of
American self-destruction, you find out once again that that pit is absolutely
Now that primary season is almost over, the far-right tea party
movement has scored impressive victories over the far-right establishment in a
slew of Republican primaries. I've always said that the regressive movement
would end up eating its young, and now it is.
The new batch of Republican
monsters includes a candidate - now the official Republican nominee for the
United States Senate from Delaware, mind you - who has staked out a tough
position against - no, I'm not kidding here - masturbation.
O'Donnell once averred that "The Bible says that lust in your heart is
committing adultery. So you can't masturbate without lust."
And why the hell not? Surely the reason that our country has so rapidly
fallen into decline is that god is punishing America because so many of us are
jerking off all the time.
You know who you are."

I find this disturbing in so many ways. What I do in the privacy of my own home with my boa-constrictor and 10-40 motor oil is my business. It is the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of a great orgasm!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Dear Lucy,

So, tomorrow, Katie's grandson Ian starts kindergarten. He has been worried about it as he doesn't think he is ready...He is five years old and worried about being ready for kindergarten.

Seems, these days, kids have to know a certain list of words, letters, numbers and so on, for kindergarten.

When I went to kindergarten all I had to know was milk and cookie time and naps!

Seems to me I recall that there was a book written, "All I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten" or something to that effect.

Well, for those of you still behind, cheer up. There is a pre-kindergarten available these days.

What is the world coming to?


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Anne's Birthday

Dear Lucy,
Today is Anne's 52nd birthday, had she hung around to celebrate it.
Had a terrible dream Friday night of her death and it felt in the dream exactly as painful as the day she died.
Spent the day with a raging headache, stopped and bought a six-pack of beer on the way home from work, drank it all, and cried my eyes out.
I haven't cried about Anne for nearly a year, though I think about her almost every day.
So, today I have a mambo hangover and have to go to work in an hour.
On Sunday, September 26, is the second anniversary of her death. Oy.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dear Lucy,

A friend of mine, who works for a large corporation, recently received a letter in the mail stating that all employees would have to sign an affidavit stating whether they have used tobacco products.

Any employee who has, is subject to a $20.00 per paycheck surcharge for their medical benefits.

While she has no problem with the money issue, the issue of personal privacy comes up.

When does a company have the right to force an employee to divulge what he/she does in their personal lives?

Where does it end? Will the next affidavit ask whether one has had unprotected sex? Eats junk food more than twice a week? Is this really about the cost of insurance?

Are we allowing our employers access to information that, as Americans, we have the right to keep private?

I fear for my country.


Friday, August 27, 2010

What I Am Reading

Dear Lucy,
I have just started reading, "The Irrational Atheist", by Vox Day. Here's an excerpt from Amazon:
A perceptive examination of modern day atheism, this book challenges the
argument that religion and reason are fundamentally at odds—a contention made by
three prominent scholars on atheism: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Sam
Harris. While other religious apologetics have challenged atheism on theological
or biblical grounds, this book fights fire with fire, disproving the scholars'
logic through modern, secular reason. Rigorously documented and supported by
hard factual data, this careful analysis is critical reading for any religious
person seeking to rebut the assertions of new atheists and essential information
for any open-minded atheist who wants his beliefs to stand on firm ground.

I stumbled upon this book while looking up Dawkins on the library catalogue. Figure I might as well get this guy's argument as well.

I hope it is an interesting read.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Indian Technology

Dear Lucy,
If you're ever in India and can't seem to get that call through to the takeout place, this may be why...


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Lucy,
Got to talking to a friend on the phone last night and drank a few too many.
Today's my day off so I guess it's ok.
Only problem is, there are carpenters right outside my bedroom window replacing railings on the balconies above me.
I awoke to hammering, sawing, drilling...at first I thought it was my hangover.
Never again. Oh, I always say that!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Dear Lucy,
Every day I get a Daily Dharma email. This one really hit home:

August 17, 2010
Tricycle Daily Dharma

Taking Responsibility for
our Actions

Surely one of the main problems we face, as a species and as
a planet, is that we are lying in our own excrement. All the waste products
produced by our consumption, from garbage and debris to chemical toxins and
exotic poisons, are oozing out of us and soiling the environment we inhabit. And
what the Buddha says about everything else surely applies here: Nothing happens
without a cause. Things are the way they are not because of chance or the will
of a deity but because people have acted in particular ways and generated
particular consequences. The world we inhabit is the product of our actions,
which are themselves reflections of our minds....

If we do not care for
one another, who else will care for us? Who among us has the right to say of
another, “He is of no use to us?” For better or worse, whether we like it or
not, we are all in this together. Learning how to care for one another is a
central part of the path and of the practice.

- Andrew Olendzki,
"Medicine for the World"

As a society and as a country we live as though we are entitled to owning lots of stuff. How did this happen?
Go in to a Christian book store and there is a Bible version for every type of person on the planet (except gays of course).
Check out a Buddhist magazine and you will find page after page of glossy ads for meditation supplies and new books on how to simplify your life!
Any religion. Any political party. Any race. We all want stuff.
Is it any wonder we are so gluttonous a country that we will go to war, essentially, to protect our ability to collect and dispose of stuff?


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Job World

Dear Lucy,
Haven't heard a thing from those Pucker-stringed-melon-sucking-vampiric corporate yahoohs yet.
Of course, they move at glacial speed so I may be ready for retirement before I hear from them.
No, I believe I have to go before his majesty the general manager and grovel first. I will have to swear on all I believe is holy (the list of which shortens by the day), that I shall neither cuss, swear, or raise my voice, I shall keep my demonesque tattoos covered and I shall not leave my beloved position regardless of rain, wind or dark of night...or a family problem.
I shall then have to swear fealty to the Mormon religion, confess that men are superior to women, and if I haven't gone out and thrown myself in front of a moving bus, go back into the corporate world of cubicles, air-conditioning, one-hour lunches and Christmas parties.
God, am I depressed...


Saturday, August 14, 2010


Dear Lucy,
Seems that Option Care is now hiring again.
I had an interview with my old boss who is drooling at the thought of hiring me back to schedule again. Except for one thing.
Apparently my use of colorful language in the office has left a bad taste in the mouth of the general manager who is Mormon.
Now, in my defense, scheduling is a cuss-worthy position there. If Jesus had the gig, he'd be kicking trash cans and using his own name in vain!
So, I am going to start using this: Captain Haddock's Curses: Macrocephalic baboon! Megacycle. Megacycle Pyromaniac! Mameluke! Miserable blundering barbecued blister! Miserable earth worms! Miserable miser! Miserable molecule of mildew! Misguided missles! MisterMule! Monopolizers! Monster! Morons! Moujiks! Mountebanks! Musical morons!
You can find the entire list at "the Cult of Tintin".

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dear Lucy,
Quote I found on facebook:

‎"Today I quit being a Christian. I remain committed to Christ as always, but
not to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to
this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group...My
conscience will allow nothing else. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be
anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse
to be anti-science." Anne Rice.

It is a sad thing to think that a religious path that "seeks" to love its neighbor as itself has become infiltrated with such hatred and bigotry or has become such pablum in order to fit in it cannot be tolerated by those with any passion.

There are those who would say this is a sign of the End Times and is supposed to be. But this hostility and hatred has been going on for two thousand years!

I wonder, what WOULD Jesus do?


Thursday, August 5, 2010


Dear Lucy,
Well, the heat is on again; it was up over 80 degrees yesterday and cloudy.
By about 11pm last night we were having a thunder and lightening storm. I love those as they are never severe enough to cause damage, but they don't last very long.
The cab I usually drive has no AC. Those of you in hotter climates gasp. Some of the cabs do have AC, but it's not the priority. Having a heater is.
Last night I had a dream that an elephant (no, not a pink one) kept coming into my house and being annoying. I ended up filling a squirt bottle with alcohol and when I sprayed it into the elephant's face, it would go away for awhile.
Pretty telling dream eh?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Lucy,
I love my country, but sometimes I fear my "fellow Americans".
Oak Harbor, where Katie lives, is a Navy town. They can't help that.
We tried out a little restaurant for dinner and once inside realized it was decked out from stem to stern, floor to ceiling with military memorabilia. Spam, yes that gelatinous mystery meat, was proudly served.
We ate, paid our bill, saluted and got the hell out of there.
Everything in that little town is geared toward the military, especially the Navy. Even the Goodwill has used military clothes for sale, though no grenade launchers which I really would have considered buying...for apple season...
Now, I love that we have a strong military mostly because if we were taken over by a foreign country with a foreign language and, gasp, the metric system, I'd be screwed.
But I am a hippie at heart. And gay. Two things the military frowns upon.
So I wonder, if Oak Harbor is this bad, what's San Diego gonna be like?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Four Days, no Coffee

Dear Lucy,
Yes, it is a record for me; 4 days without coffee.
Blame it on the stomach flu.
Awoke Wednesday morning to spend the day on the toilet with a puke bucket in my lap, expelling every single bit of food and fluid from my GI tract.
By the end of the day, I could have had a colonoscopy I was so empty.
Thursday, I had a half a bowl of soup and a glass of Gatorade.
Friday, four Saltines and several glasses of Gatorade.
Saturday I managed real food, though not much of it.
Today, my first cup of coffee.
I think I'm gonna live!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Join the Coffee Party!

Dear Lucy,
The Tea Party scares me. I mean, Sarah Palin? Give me a break!
I found this through Facebook and it looks interesting.

COFFEE PARTY MISSION STATEMENT: The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to
Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the
federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our
collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order
to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots
volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold
accountable those who obstruct them.

You can check them out on:


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cab In Fever

Dear Lucy,
So I am driving a woman from the airport yesterday. She just returned from Chicago where she works one week a month as a specialized accountant.
One project they had worked on was to lay 10 inch water pipe in a neighborhood in Chicago. To do so, they had to get all the city permits.
One form they had to fill out concerned the racial makeup of the people in the neighborhood they were laying pipe in.
HUH? What's that got to do with 10 inch water pipe?
Our government, in it's infinite wisdom, is paying some yahoo to print, mail and peruse these forms.
It was so ludicrous I just laughed my head off. Till I thought about it...


Friday, June 25, 2010

What I Am Reading

Dear Lucy,

I have just finished reading, "Buyology" by Martin Lindstrom.

The book is a study in why we buy products and how advertising is changing and entering our lives in ways we are unaware of.

“Why do rational people act irrationally? Written like a fast paced detective
novel, "Buyology" unveils what neuromarketers know about our decision making so
we can buy and sell more insightfully."
- Dr. Mehmet C Oz Professor of
Surgery, Columbia University, and author of YOU -The Owner’s Manual

One study, to find out if all the anti-smoking advertising is working, took a group of smokers, hooked them up to a machine to scan their brains and, long story short, showed them pictures of the cigarette warning along with pictures of smoker's lungs and all sorts of gory smoker related physical ailments.

They found that the test showed that rather than turning the smokers off, it actually stimulated the craving area of the brain!

One other tid bit of information is that vanilla is the most popular scent in the United states. Why? They think it is because human breast milk has a hint of vanilla scent in it and we are therefore attracted to it at a basic human level.

I'm not crazy wild about vanilla scents myself. Perhaps that's because I was bottle fed...


Thursday, June 24, 2010

San Diego??

Dear Lucy,
Katie's daughter got her official orders and so it's off to San Diego for the lot of 'em in November. Since she is the only family member who can take care of Ian, her grandson, she has to go.
So, I am seriously considering...moving to San Diego with her. Yes, that's right, San Diego.
I will have gone full circle. I moved with Cathy, my first partner, to San Francisco, then to Washington with Anne.
Am I crazy? I don't know. But, when I know for sure, (whether I am going, not whether I'm crazy) I will let everyone know.
Any thoughts?


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cab-In Fever

Dear Lucy,
So my last fare yesterday to end my 10 hour shift was to pick up three Canadians at the border and drive them to a resort called Semiahmoo Resort. Very posh place on the water, with sail boats and all that cool rich people stuff.
Two men and a woman about my age jump in the car and ask me to take them to the nearest grocery store so the woman could buy vegetables. Seemed a little strange, but I had seen worse.
Later, as we are driving to the resort, I hear her talking to the man in the back seat with her about her purchase of some broccoli and 6 cupcakes with "Happy Birthday" on them.
As we enter the resort area, we pass a beautiful golf course to which the two men drooled over.
The woman was busy asking where the tent was.
I finally said, "It's none of my business, but you are going to a nice resort and you have neither luggage nor golf clubs and you are looking for a tent."
"Yes, we are having dinner in the tent," the woman replied. "Not a little tent, one of those big ones."
"It's a wedding," one of the men finally said as if this explained it all.
I replied with my usual, "I see," and shut up.
Soon I let off the three passengers who had no luggage, were dressed in street clothes, carrying a bag of raw broccoli and 6 cupcakes to a wedding.
They tipped me well--probably to keep quiet about this whole thing.
I left feeling badly that I didn't at least let the woman know that in the States we throw rice at the bride and groom, not raw vegetables.
But then, I am just a cab driver; what do I know?


Saturday, June 5, 2010


Dear Lucy,
Today I was called into work early and so worked from 8 am to 6:30 pm...without a lunch or break.
I saw and talked to so many people today they are almost a total blur. But I shall try and remember.
First the guy who works as a civilian for the Navy spending most of his time in hotels all over the world. He was coming back from San Francisco only to leave for Norfolk in two days.
There was the guy who was hearing voices because he ran out of his anti-psychotic meds. I took him to the ER.
There was the banker from NYC visiting his 84 year old mother to try and get her some assistance so he doesn't have to make her move to NYC so he can care for her. I was able to give him lots of free advice.
A young guy needing a ride to his car, left last night when he was too drunk to drive...the woman pregnant who had been grocery shopping...the usual man who lives in a half-way house and has the mental capacity of a ten year old...the Canadian man who timed his arrival over the border wrong and so I had to drive him 25 miles in 15 minutes to make his plane in Bellingham...
Big small, short tall, rich poor, sane crazy, I get to see them all.
Makes my life look boring by comparison!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hungry all the Time

Dear Lucy,
Yes, I must admit it; I am hungry all the time these days. Not the hungry that sends one to the all-night Taco Bell, but the hungry that sends one to find spiritual food or maybe intellectual food.
Maybe it is the fact that my job demands absolutely no real intellectual stimulation; no challenge to problem solve other than finding the fastest or shortest way from here to there.
Maybe I am just truly bored. There is--and in my opinion has never been--anything on TV that could really hold my interest even with 200 channels to chose from! How sad is that?
I guess part of the problem is that the Christianity that kept me going has, in the last few years, become flat and lifeless.
Buddhism, which I started studying about 5 years ago, while interesting and peaceful in nature, is based on meditation a practice I have never been able to do regularly.
And, there's the rub eh? I have no religion: not a techno-geek, not a religious nut, not a crazed consumer not an over eater, not a sports nut...hmmm.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Dear Lucy,
Well, summer is nearly upon us with Memorial Day Weekend this weekend, and I am working.
Bellingham has a yearly "Ski to Sea" triathalon this weekend that starts at Mt. Baker with skiing, then canoeing down the Nooksak river and finally bicycling to Bellingham.
This means that I will be driving the cab on a three day weekend with a big to-do going on all over the county and it's payday for federal checks.
So, it's off to the races for me. Hopefully, I will make some good tips.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

What I am reading

Dear Lucy,

Prompted by a facebook entry I read "A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are transforming the Faith," by Brian McLaren. Here's Amazon.com's synopsis:

McLaren, one of the most visible faces of the emergent movement, examines
10 questions the church must answer as it heads toward a new way of believing.
McLaren deconstructs the Greco-Roman narrative of the Bible and addresses how
the Bible should be understood as an inspired library, not a constitution. He
moves into questions regarding God, Jesus, and the Gospel, urging us to trade up
our image of God and realize that Jesus came to launch a new Genesis. The
Church, sexuality, the future, and pluralism merit chapters, as does McLaren's
final call for a robust spiritual life. Followers will rejoice as McLaren
articulates his thoughts with logic and eloquence; detractors will point out his
artful avoidance of firm answers on salvation, hell, and a final

Having become an "Unchurched Christian" over the years for many reasons, this book was a breath of fresh air to me as it grappled with many of the problems of the church that become more and more glaring as time goes by.

The church's refusal to deal with the world's problems but rather, to fatalistically look at it as "God's Will", the poverty of the world, the greed and ecological problems has frustrated me to no end.

This author feels the same way and has a new way of reading the Bible that finally gives the Christian the understanding necessary to live in the modern world.

Yea for this book!

I can't say that it will bring me back to church, but it is a relief to see some progress being made in the world to bring the real message of love that Jesus left.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Three Wise Women

Dear Lucy,
Found this in a book I am reading:

Did you ever wonder what would have
happened if there were three wise
women instead of three wise men?
The women would have asked for
directions, arrived on time, helped
deliver the baby, cleaned the stable,
made a casserole and brought
disposable diapers as gifts!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mr Toad's Wild Ride

Dear Lucy,

Yesterday had to be, by far, the craziest cab day I have had.

It began with my first fare from Bellingham to Burlington, about 25 miles. The woman talked non-stop about her physical ailments.

She couldn't understand why she (who years ago lost her colon to cancer) was having pain in her rectum from having dental work done. HUH?

Yes indeed. Rectal pain from dental work. Katie said maybe she had long roots. I thought maybe the woman did indeed have her head up her ass...

Turns out, she had a fistula which is an abscess that becomes its own opening in the body. She had, in a word, developed a second ass hole...

Later in the shift I sat at a red light and watched a car run it and nearly t-bone another car. Then I was driving another group when the wind was howling and the rain falling sideways and all of a sudden a big tree branch drops in front of the van. Yikes!

The day ended with a woman on disability who wanted to stop for a minute at a convenience store on her way home to pick up some "junk food".

An hour later, she had spent $108.00 on junk food and $51.00 cab fare to have me sit and wait for her while she shopped.

Moral of the story: It's a crazy, unpredictable world we live in. Don't get attached to normal.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Family update

Dear Lucy,
Well, Suzie is doing much better these days, in fact, she got her first shower in a week yesterday. For those of us who have had to go without we can relate to how much this lifts the spirits of the person showering and all those living around the person showering!

Visited Dad yesterday at the nursing home. He seemed quite pale (even for a white boy like him) and not really with it mentally. Kind of hanging his head and looking confused. He had a blood transfusion at the end of April and is now averaging one transfusion about every 4 to 6 weeks.

Lucy kept me up half the night with the shits. Every hour or so she was needing to go outside and so I had to get up and let her out the back patio. Finally, I just left the door open enough for her to get in and out and I slept on the couch.
When I woke up this morning, I was cold and cramped on the couch and she was sound asleep in my bed!

I just have to get a handle on my family!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What I am reading

Dear Lucy,

These days I am reading "Footprints in the Snow'

By Sheng Yen.

Here is an excerpt of the book:

The author is a master of Chan Buddhism, the Chinese antecedent of Zen Buddhism that is not nearly as well known as Zen and other Buddhist schools that have migrated to the West. The Chan master's story is less Buddhist dharma and more history of his homeland. Born in 1930, he had a ringside seat for China's Communist revolution. In 1949, he left his Buddhist schooling to join Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist army, spending more than 10 years in military intelligence. That experience was but one of many teachers along his spiritual path, along with a few bizarre Chan masters. Sheng Yen has also traveled, spending some time teaching in America. His efforts, however, have been concentrated in Taiwan, where he has developed the fourth-largest Buddhist organization in that area. This book is timely, given that China is opening to the West this year on account of the Olympics in Beijing. China is also becoming more open to religious practices, especially its own distinctive Buddhism. This son of China is a distinguished teacher with a revealing, simply told story.

It was a very interesting book watching this man grow and change and the Chinese culture is facinating.

A very good read.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Sittin' in the ER

Dear Lucy,
It is 9:30 pm and I am in the ER with Suzie again. She had the tube that was placed in her kidney after surgery removed and a few hours later was in agony.
So, I rushed her to the ER where they rushed her into a bed and the nurse started giving me attitude about getting Suzie into a gown.
Yea right. She's in agony and dry heaving and screaming and I need to get her into a gown.
So, I blew up and yelled at the nurse. The doctor came in and yelled at me. Security was called. They threatened to throw me out of the hospital.
Blame it on the tattoos I guess. I am not that threatening!
Oh, the drama.
So, Suzie has been given pain meds and is asleep. The concern now is that there is a fragment of stone still in there trying to pass.
God help Suzie!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thankful to a stranger

Dear Lucy,

Yesterday I drove a woman about my age from the hospital in Bellingham to the ferry dock in Anacortes. It's about 50 miles south of here.

It takes an hour.

That's an hour of a passenger who was very talkative.

She had spent 6 days at the hospital because of an esophageal bleed. Her third one in three years.

By the time we got to the ferry terminal she had regaled me with stories of her poor health and near death experiences.

Most of the people I drive have mental or physical problems or are elderly. I get a lot of stories. It makes me thankful for my good health, and grateful that I don't suffer from chronic pain.

Sometimes I get into a funk about my life and that, at 51, I don't have much to show for it.

Then I get a passenger who is fighting every day just to get out of bed and function.

I am thankful for my good health, that I am not living under crushing debt, that I have a job and people in my life who care about me.

Sometimes, it just takes a good kick in the ass by a stranger to make me appreciate.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


Dear Lucy,
So, Suzie had her surgery today to remove her mamoth kidney stone. She is in recovery right now (5-14-10 at 1:20 pm) and doing fine.
Chances are good that they will keep her overnight for pain control and she will be home tomorrow to start her recovery.
Thank God it's over!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Engaging Katie

Dear Lucy,
So, I bought Katie an engagement ring and gave it to her last week. She, of course was as shocked as if I had slapped her with a dead mackerel.
What does this mean?
I can't quite say the M word (marriage) but I wanted to make some commitment with her that when she moves to San Diego with her daughter at the end of the year (the daughter is in the Navy and being stationed there), that we would try and work out our family ties and find a way to be together again.
Stay tuned. I don't know how this will pan out, I am working without a net here!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Dear Lucy,

Well, it was about this time last year that I set out on my crazy journey on the train and started this blog. Hard to believe that time has passed so quickly.

When I hatched the scheme to take the train to everywhere the idea was to travel but still have the ability to be alone and think about my life and where it was going and where it had been. I wanted to be away from the surroundings that reminded me of Anne and triggered more emotions than I could handle.

It worked. As crazy as the thing seemed to others, it worked.

I remember loved ones telling me that I would get through my loss of Anne and get to the other side. To say I was skeptical is putting it mildly. I had hoped that I would be like some of those spouses who died within a year of their mate and wouldn't have to get to the other side of mourning.

Now, had anyone told me then that in a year I would be driving a taxicab for a living and falling in love again, I would have, well I would have really run away from home!

So, to sum it up, life is good. Different from what I had expected, and good.

And it has been a year of Dear Lucy.
(The picture of the rose is a painting done by Katie's daughter Megan)


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tulip Festival

Dear Lucy,

Katie and I made a trip to the Tulip Festival and Katie took about a hundred pictures. It was a beautiful sunny day and we both forgot hats or sunscreen...ah well, who thinks about those things in rainy Washington?

We had a great time anyway and tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. I can take some sun but Katie is a blue-eyed redhead who burns easily.

Here's a picture she took.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I Am Reading

Dear Lucy,

I am in the middle of reading "I'm Off Then" a title that fits my mental status these past many months. Here is a blurb about it from Amazon.com:

Overweight, overworked, and disenchanted, Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to
make the arduous pilgrimage across the Pyrenees to the Spanish shrine of St.
James, a 1,200-year-old journey undertaken by nearly 100,000 people every year.
But he decided to get off the couch and do it anyway. Lonely and searching for
meaning along the way, he began the journal that turned into this utterly frank,
engaging book. Filled with unforgettable characters, historic landscapes, and
Kerkeling's self-deprecating humor, I'm Off Then is an inspiring travelogue, a
publishing phenomenon, and a spiritual journey unlike any other.

This pilgrimage has become popular since Shirley McClain did it and wrote a book about it. Of course, McClain gets a little airy-fairy about her beliefs in the book but the travel part of it is worth the read.

I myself would love to to part of the trek someday and have checked a short version on frescotours.com.

Maybe one day...



Dear Lucy,
Suzie was kept at the hospital overnight even though the stone had not moved. She stayed for pain control.
Tuesday evening, they finally released her on percoset. They said her kidney was swollen from all the probing they had done trying to get the tube in for the laser.
In two weeks she goes back to surgery to try again. Oh boy!


Monday, April 26, 2010


Dear Lucy,
I am at the ER at St. Joseph hospital, not with Dad as is usual, but with Suzie.
Seems she has grown the Mt Rushmoor of kidney stones. She went in for laproscopic surgery this morning to have it removed but they could not get to it.
They sent her home and set her up for another operation in two weeks. Well, I guess all that poking around this morning made the kidney stone (she named it Harvey) angry, and it started moving.
What pain! A hundred times worse than labor she said and came on instantly. She is on her 4th shot of morphine now...lucky bum. They won't even give me a rum and coke.
Life is so unfair!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cab-in Fever

Dear Lucy,

Took a ride in the "crash cab" Tuesday. Tried the "red light challenge" and failed.

Seems I made a left turn in front of a car that was speeding to get through the light before it changed from yellow to red.

Bummer. No one was hurt thank God.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Me N Katie

Dear Lucy
Finally, a nice day in the park and got a picture of me and Katie together.
Aint' she cute?


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Breech of Security

Dear Lucy,
This morning Lucy and I had a disagreement. She had found a way to get out of the fence and decided that it would be great fun to watch me chase her through the apartment complex in my pajamas and slippers. In the rain. And the wet grass. With a cold.
I caught her eventually but at one point I felt like Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heros chasing Lucy and screaming, "come back here, there has never been an escape from Stalaag Thirteen!"
If you are too young to remember that program, Damn you anyway! You'll be old someday!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Cab-in Fever

Dear Lucy,
So I haven't written in a month but, there hasn't been much going on.
I have started a job as a cabbie for Yellow Cab company, and I assure you, I will now have lots to write about.
Yes, yes, cab driving is dangerous, and yes, yes, there aren't many women cabbies.
But when did I ever do anything normal?
So, I shall try and be more diligent about writing on this blog now that I will have more to write about...like the woman I picked up the other day who spent $28.70 for a ride to Jack in the Box and back, plus purchased $14.oo in food. Sating an addiction? Priceless!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Lucy,

I belong to a writer's web site that has daily prompts to write about. Yesterday's was to write a short story (100 to 1000 words) using the first sentence, Hell Found Me.

Here is what I wrote:

Hell found me. I blame it on all the GPS systems available these days. Damned things. Just everyone is using them.
I was sitting in my usual comfy chair at Starbuck’s working a crossword puzzle and sipping my latte. It was a busy Sunday morning; the usual crowd sat in their usual places drinking their usual java concoctions--expertly brewed by the usual baristas.

Then what comes careening into the parking lot but this white van with a huge Hello Kitty emblem on the side and Barry Manilow’s Mandy blaring out of the stereo speakers.
I smirked at the man who always sits in the comfy chair next to me, but rather than smirk back at this strange display, he has a look of horror on his face and abruptly leaves.

Then who should take his place but a man wearing a hideous pair of lime green Bermuda shorts and an “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt.

“I’m Satan,” he says to me.

“Good to meet you” I reply curtly hoping to dissuade him from further conversation. I didn’t even look up from my crossword. What kind of nut introduces himself as Satan?

“You don’t believe me,” he says, obviously not getting my rebuff.

“It’s a strange way to introduce yourself,” I reply.

“You were expecting horns and a tail? They all do. I just refuse to be pigeon-holed like that.”

“Let’s just say that I wouldn’t expect Satan to be wearing Bermuda shorts.”

“But, you hate Bermuda shorts. And you hate those, “I’m with Stupid” t-shirts. You also hate Hello Kitty and Barry Manilow’s song Mandy.”

“How do you know?”

“I’m Satan, I know what every human hates. What do you think Hell is, just fire and brimstone? No way. Hell is different for every human based on what they hate the most. That man sitting next to you when I pulled up didn’t see Hello Kitty or hear Mandy playing; he saw George Dubbya and heard The Hustle.”

Now I shivered and I am not the kind of man who shivers easily. “Why the hell--heck are you bothering me?”

“There’s been a lull in Hell lately, what with all the end of the world talk and bad economy, everybody’s turning religious. So I have had some of my boys out doing demographics and we have found that the majority of people in America are getting hooked on coffee and computer games, especially Farmville, which surprises the hell out of me. So, I had a meeting with God to discuss it.”

“With God?” I was sure this guy was a nut case, “like you did about Job way back when?”

“Yes, and you know in all these years God hasn’t changed a bit. When I mentioned this He said He couldn’t change, that He was immutable. What kind of word is that?”

“It means He can’t change.”

“Oh. Damn, I thought he was bragging. That’s a sin you know and I’d have had him dead to rights.”

“So, you had a conversation with God.”

“Yes. And He agreed to let me make coffee drinking and computer gaming sins until things pick up in the usual abominations department.”

“How accommodating of Him.”

“He’s a good guy really. A bit touchy still about our little falling out a million years ago, but I can’t blame him for that. When you’ve existed forever, things are bound to stick in your craw.”

I had heard enough and proceeded to get up to leave. Looking around I noticed that the place was empty and cars were pulling out of the parking lot as soon as they passed the van. I was getting creeped out.

“You can’t leave,” Satan said calmly, “I have a proposition for you. I will ensure that you can keep drinking your lattes if you will agree to continue coming here and pushing the beverage. And if you would start playing and pushing computer games there might even be a bonus in it for you.”

“A bonus?”

“Absolutely. You’re a writer aren’t you? Unpublished, unknown? I can make you the next Stephen King or J. K. Rawlins.”

I had to admit, he had me tempted.


It is one year to the day that I had my talk with Satan of the Bermuda shorts. I now own my first drive-thru coffee stand where the perks are perfect and the price is cheap.

With every cup purchased I offer the chance for a free month of the most popular computer games available. My business is booming.

Oh, and my new book, Plenty of Perks, is number one on the New York's best seller list!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Oh, the Shock of it all...

Dear Lucy,

Today Mark McGwire, the baseball player to hit 70 home runs in one season, admitted to using steroids.


The man had the body of the Hulk, of course he used steroids!

Of course, he had good reason to do this. He was merely trying to stay healthy to merit his multi-million dollar pay check. Oh, and he was trying to drum up excitement for the game of baseball after the devastating strike.

Uh huh.

As Sheryl Crow sings in "Steve McQueen", "We got rock stars in the Whitehouse and all our pop stars look like porn, all our hero's hit the highway, cause they don't hang out here no more".
Who are the hero's the kids are emulating these days?
No wonder I drink!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Manogram

It's been a while

Dear Lucy,
I haven't blogged in a while again and can't say for sure why. Maybe laziness.
Dad is still in the nursing home and not doing well. He has another bladder infection and is becoming more confused and weak as time goes on. He fell flat on his back last Saturday and I must say has the strongest bones on the planet for he has fallen many times and not broken anything.
I am still without gainful employment and still looking in a very depressed economy.
On the bright side, I have a roof over my head and food to eat and people in my life who love me, and you , Lucy!