Saturday Night Retro

Saturday November 27TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 12 / Edition 109

Late last night I returned home to Miami to begin my 24TH year of living here in America’s Riviera. It was a very nice American Airlines flight – due mainly because I sat in First Class. While checking in at the self-service terminal at AA at DFW I was offered the opportunity to upgrade my reservation from coach to First Class for $105. It allegedly included Dinner. After mulling about it for a good half-minute or so I decided to do it. The $105 turned out to be a very good deal for me. As it turns out there is no charge for baggage for First Class passengers. That alone saved me at least $25 – possibly as much as $60 due to the fact that my checked bag weighed 54 pounds (above the standard limit of 50 pounds per bag). I was able to board the aircraft first – a full 40 minutes before takeoff time. I sat in a very comfortable seat in the very first row – right by the window – my favourite place to sit. I enjoyed lots of elbow room on both sides of me and ample leg room in front of me. Earphones were free if I wanted them.

Here’s what else I enjoyed as a First Class passenger – a bowl of hot mixed nuts (absolutely delicious and quite a bit hot), a warm moist towel (to clean off my nutty hands), a (real) glass of Sprite on the rocks, a (real) glass of bottled water, a large salad with blue cheese dressing (delicious), a chicken piccata (pretty good with the dipping sauce provided), white rice (it was OK), mixed vegetables (good), a warm roll with butter (very good), and a nice slice of pie for dessert (surprisingly tasty). All of this was served on real plates and eaten with a real fork and knife and cloth napkin. The meal was unbelievably plentiful and delicious for airline food in 2010. I realize that back in the day airline food was complimentary for everyone, unlimited, and award-winning, but this is an enitrely different era of budget-cutting flying. I was very impressed with it all.

After the nice meal the rest of my First Class flight experience was quite relaxing and comfortable. I could hear what appeared to be an uncomfortable baby crying virtually non-stop throughout the entire flight way back in the coach section, so I was very thankful to be sitting in Seat 1F. You know it !

More perks of First Class flying included the fact that I was the 2ND person to exit the aircraft at MIA after landing, and my suitcase was among the first to appear on the baggage carousel. I returned home less than 90 minutes after my plane landed. My next airplane adventure probably occurs next May.

It was another enjoyable Thanksgiving Week vacation with my family. We actually celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together – a family tradition for the past few years. I’m looking forward to my next trip back to Dallas Texas. Who knew that after watching every single episode of “Dallas” ever made all of those years ago that I’d be visiting the real city and its metroplex. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it’s quite all right to visit the area a few times per year.

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 4:52 PM – 5:37 PM
Sky: Mostly Clear
Temperature: 76°F
Dewpoint: 63°F
Relative Humidity: 64%
Winds: S 12 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 29.85 Rising

Here are my walking thoughts in 15 words or less:

– Late yesterday afternoon I went on a vigorous 45-minute / 2.4-mile walk.
– It’s my longest walk of this young winter season thus far.
– I’ve now walked 10.7 miles towards my goal of a 26.2-mile marathon.
– I’ve enjoyed walking all around my brother’s MASSIVE neighbourhood.
– It’s continuous sidewalks all throughout it, and that makes walking safer.
– Before crossing the streets look both ways or else you could get run over.
– My brother’s neighbours are speed demons, so get out of their way !
– They’ve got to rush home to cook Dinner for the kids.
– Local sunset occurred at 5:21 PM, but dusk arrived before that.
– The sun disappeared behind the surrounding landscape earlier.
– This unusual North Texas heatwave continued, as the mercury hit 80°F.
– This unusual North Texas heatwave comes to a grinding halt soon.
– Temperatures will plummet for Thanksgiving Day (and night).
– When I depart from DFW on Friday night temps. will be in the low-40s.
– When I arrive at MIA late on Friday night it will be in the mid-70s.
– I’m looking forward to the consistent heat and humidity of South Florida.
– I’m especially looking forward to the reunification of me and my bed.
– I thought that this 2.4-mile walk would help me sleep better last night.
– It didn’t, so the only cure to a good night’s sleep is my bed back home.
– My next blog post will be on Saturday night for an all-new ‘Retro’.
– Maybe I’ll walk around my own neighbourhood on Sunday morning.
– These walks are dedicated to the memory of my Dad – William Lesley Day.

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 1:59 PM – 2:32 PM
Sky: Sunny & Clear
Temperature: 62°F
Dewpoint: 41°F
Relative Humidity: 46%
Winds: S 13 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 30.11 Falling

Here are my walking thoughts in 15 words or less:

– This past Friday afternoon I went on a refreshing 1.8-mile walk.
– That puts me at 8.3 miles towards my goal of a 26.2-mile marathon.
– I really needed this walk because I’m eating way too much food.
– My family does not follow the ‘one MASSIVE meal per day’ plan.
– My brother and his dog Buddy trailed me for most of the walk.
– They didn’t walk the entire way because Buddy is an old dog.
– Buddy was exhausted after the first 10 minutes.
– I think my brother was exhausted too, but he would deny it.
– My brother lives in a rather large enclosed neighbourhood.
– I could get lost in the grid of streets here, so I walk with a GPS.
– The sky was crystal clear and deep dark blue all day long on Friday.
– Ever since then it’s been rather cloudy and dreary with just peaks of sun.
– At least it’s been warm – nearly record-breaking warm !
– I plan to squeeze in one more walk before the ‘Arctic Blast’ arrives.
– On Thanksgiving Day temperatures may struggle to reach the low-40s.
– Wind chills will be near freezing all day long.
– Guess who plans to stay inside all day long ?
– On Friday morning it will be in the mid-20s outside !
– Guess who is looking forward to returning to the South Florida heat ?
– If I walk again then I’ll post another edition of this blog series (mid-week).
– If not then I’ll blog again next Saturday night for an all-new ‘Retro’.
– Have a festive Thanksgiving holiday my friends !
– Enjoy some quality time with friends, family, and food.
– These walks are dedicated to the memory of my Dad – William Lesley Day.

Saturday Night Retro

Saturday November 20TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 11 / Edition 108

31 years ago in November of 1979 66 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran Iran when the U.S. Embassy was invaded and seized by student radicals. This would begin an International crisis that would continue on for 444 days until January 20TH 1981 when President Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. President Jimmy Carter found opposition within his own Democratic Party, as Senator Ted Kennedy announced that he would seek the nomination for President in 1980.

I was 12½-years-old at the time and living with my Dad, Mom, and 4½-year-old brother on Red Wing Lane in Lanham Maryland. I was a 7TH grader at Robert H. Goddard Junior High School in Greenbelt Maryland – home of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Robert H. Goddard invented the liquid-fueled rocket back during the 1910s and 1920s. Many of my classmates were offspring of NASA employees. That would explain why many of them appeared to be ‘spaced-out’ most of the time.

In FM Stereo one of the hottest pop-country-crossover acts of the late-1970s was Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show out of New Jersey – although they certainly had a distinct ‘Southern Rock’ feel and style to them. As the Disco beat raged on in 1979 country music was quietly entering the pop music scene as an alternative to the club beat. One of Dr. Hook’s greatest hits was this cool track that kind of took on a subtle Disco beat to blend in with its pop chart neighbours. It even crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become a # 1 pop smash on the U.K. chart exactly 31 years ago this weekend. It tells the simple story of what happens “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman”.

The Major’s Weekend Blast-Off

WELCOME to the historic 20TH edition of my ‘Weekend Blast-Off’ – sponsoured by the state of Texas. Everything’s BIGGER in Texas !

WEEKEND GRAB BAG O’ THOUGHT:
Yesterday afternoon I flew the friendly skies of 30,000 feet above sea level via American Airlines from MIA to DFW. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to get on the airplane early (as in Group 1) since (for whatever reason) I always seem to be part of the unfortunate last Group to board. I’ve learned that the various Group numbers have absolutely nothing to do with where you are seated within the aircraft. When I checked in at MIA I had the chance to pay an extra $9 to be upgraded to Group 1. I mulled it over for a short little while, and then I decided to do it. That $9 upgrade essentially got me on the airplane and in my assigned seat a good 10 minutes earlier than I would have without the upgrade. Was $9 worth 10 minutes ?  I think so. One of the most annoying things for me (besides the inevitable sick person behind me that coughs and sneezes all throughout the flight) is the long wait to get to my assigned seat on the airplane as 75% to 90% of the rest of the passengers watch on from their assigned seat. I always think to myself, ‘Must be nice to be sitting down as I wait standing in this aisle as people try to squeeze their oversized suitcases into the limited-space overhead compartments.’ There are certain things that I won’t pay for inflight. I won’t pay $5 for a couple of cookies or a ‘snack pack’. I won’t pay $90 for an upgrade to First Class. Well maybe I’d think about it, but is it really worth an extra $90 for some snacks, unlimited drinks, and a few extra inches of elbow room ?  I probably will pay the extra $9 for the upgrade to Group 1 in the future just to avoid the long line that stretches from the coach section of the airplane clear back into the terminal waiting area. Pet Peeve Eliminated.

BEST LUNCH OF THE WEEK AWARD:
My final pit stop before leaving Homestead on Thursday morning was at the Longhorn Steakhouse – my Lunch home away from home. My favourite greeter was there. My favourite waittress was there. My favourite table was there. My usual meal was there, but this time I also enjoyed a complimentary salad to go along with it. It was surprisingly delicious with blue cheese dressing on it. It was one of the better salads that I’ve enjoyed in quite some time.

THE FORTUNE COOKIE MESSAGE OF THE WEEK CLUB:
– People rise to your expectations.
– Prosperity belongs to those who can learn new things the fastest.

BROTHER & NIECE PHOTO OPP. OF THE MONTH CLUB:
Here’s my brother and 7-month-old niece at our Mom’s house in Fairview TX. See if you can spot the plumber in the background fixing the kitchen sink.


THOSE CRAZY CRAZY CATS:

BLATANT PROMOTION:
TOMORROW on my ‘Saturday Night Retro’ I’m flashing back over 30 years ago back to the late-1970s. Then on Sunday morning it’s a fresh new Texas edition of ‘The Major’s Walk-A-Thon’. TONIGHT for Dinner The Day Family is eating out – Italian-style – at a joint called Patrizio. We’re goin’ grocery shopping on Saturday morning, and we’ll be selecting our Butterball Turkey. Don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter online anytime @majorhitwaves. Have a wonderful weekend my friends. Make it special. Make it memorable.

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 6:21 AM – 7:02 AM
Sky: Mostly Clear
Temperature: 62°F
Dewpoint: 60°F
Relative Humidity: 93%
Winds: NW 3 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 30.04 Rising

Here are my walking thoughts in 15 words or less:

– This is my 1ST walk around my neighbourhood in 29 days.
– I meant to walk on Veterans Day morning, but I slept in.
– Then I meant to walk on Saturday morning, but I slept in.
– This morning I awoke right after 6 AM, and 15 minutes later I was out the door.
– I walked for 40½-minutes – 17 minutes of which were before the sun rose.
– That’s another 2.2 miles towards my goal of a marathon.
– It was a nice and cool and comfy mid-November morning.
– The winds were stronger than the 3 MPH indicated above.
– I could feel those wind chills well into the 50s along the west perimeter road.
– Cat Sighting – A yellow and white feline crossed my path.
– She knew that I was a friend of felines – not a foe.
– After a nice 2.2-mile walk nothing felt better than the taking of a hot shower.
– This was my first Sunday morning (before church) walk ever !
– It was a great way to kickstart my day !
– As I walked I prayed for my neighbours that they would know and follow God.
– Next weekend I’ll be in cold N. Texas, so I may need earmuffs for my walks.
– These walks are dedicated to the memory of my Dad – William Lesley Day.

Saturday Night Retro

Saturday November 13TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 10 / Edition 107

Back during the Summer of 2004 I was living in my current home and driving around in my current car, but things were a bit different back then than they are now.

At home I had a vibrant cat by the name of Boots following me around and loving me. On the road I was driving around in my fairly new (one-year-old) car. On one particular road trip that Summer I drove further west than I had ever previously driven in my entire life – all the way to New Orleans and back. It was my very first visit ever to ‘The Crescent City’, and I got to see and experience it a full year before Hurricane Katrina damaged it.

Back then my Mom and Dad were healthy and living and working in Jacksonville Florida, and my brother was still married to his first wife and living near Columbus Ohio. My Grandmom died that Summer in Maryland at the age of 88. I got to see her one last time during the Summer prior (in 2003). It was my first visit back to the Washington D.C. area since 1996, and I haven’t been back since.

The more things change – the more they stay the same. My cat died. My Dad has passed on. My Mom is now retired and living in Fairview Texas about 5 miles away from my brother. He’s been happily married to his 2ND wife for the past 3½-years, and they have a beautiful 7-month-old daughter (my niece). Still living with them – Buddy – the dog that was featured on my blog post from last night. I’ll be there in just about 5 days to enjoy the holidays with all of them !

When I look back at the Summer of 2004 I hear this song in the background. It seems so long ago. It seems like I lived it in a previous life.

I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is You.

2004 FACTOID OF LIFEMyspace replaced AOL as the hottest place to hang out online. It began AOL’s long descent from its lofty peaks of 2002 that continues to this day. I was dragged onto Myspace in 2007 – and then quickly abandoned.

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