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The Best Smile Ever September 21, 2014

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Yesterday, I attended the best funeral ever. Fonda ‘Tissy’ Miller was remembered by her friends and family in what I can only say was the most meaningful celebration of life I have ever experienced.

I’ve known Tissy for 9 years since she was my daughter’s bus driver at The King’s Academy. She was married and had three young boys. She had the most wonderful smile.


Tissy in the middle, 2008

I didn’t become more than ‘just one of the parents waiting at the bus stop’ until after Tissy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. A neighbor, whose kids also went to King’s, was much closer to her and her family and invited us to a party to rally her for her first round of treatments.

Kathy and I were happy to attend. What we didn’t know was her husband was recently unemployed due to the downturn in the real estate market and Tissy would have to quit her bus driving job because of her treatments.

Kathy and I got to spend some wonderful time with her that afternoon and within that short span came to know the truly wonderful soul behind that most amazing smile.

Tissy endured her treatments and was declared cancer free several months after finishing them. We all were so happy to hear the news and quietly slipped back into our lives. Tissy’s husband had taken over bus driving duties in her absence and now that she was better we welcomed her beautiful smile back at the bus stop.

About a year later we heard the cancer had returned. Tissy had to stop driving and begin the battle once again. It would be a five year fight that she lost last week. Tissy was 40 years old.

The funeral was held at their church—it was overflowing. Every seat filled. Friends lined the outside walls and they stood three deep in the back.

We sang, we watched her wedding video, we listened to family members share their love for her. Her three sons all shared, in their most unique ways ever, their love for their mom. Everyone mentioned her smile.

When the last song began bright beach balls began to appear in the sanctuary—just like at a concert. It was so Tissy. tissy beachballs

Her smile was a bright ball of love which shone on everyone she met.

The Drum Watchers September 20, 2014

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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There are a group of people who are addicted to watching the seismograph broadcast 24/7 by the ABC TV affiliate in Los Angeles. KABC has a camera focused on a rotating paper covered drum that records any seismic activity via an ink pen.


This shot is from the 6.9 quake off the northern California coast in March, 2014

Below the screen shot of the drum is a comment area where loyal ‘drum watchers’ chat about the activity (or lack thereof) and current events in the world and in their lives. As a casual frequenter of the site myself, I have noticed many of the same folks watching at the same time. Many have become friends via their mutual hobby and some are downright hilarious.

One event that seems to excite the small band of ‘drum watchers’ is catching the live drum paper change. They have dubbed the individual who does the change ‘TV Guy’. Since I have been frequenting the site I have seen the event just once. Suddenly, a disparate pair of hands appears from the left and goes about removing the old paper. The process takes about a minute unless something else is attended to— like adjusting the needle or tweaking the camera.

Note: I have tried to determine the rate at which the drum turns. My best guess is it makes one full revolution every 30 minutes. So two lines equals an hour. Guessing again I think the drum needs to be changed about every 4 days.

This drum change elicits great chat activity with watchers shouting out their greetings to ‘TV Guy’ who, on occasion, responds via the comments.

The fear of ‘the big one’ has to be on the minds of anyone living in California and I guess this harmless pastime helps folks deal with it

The largest temblor I have witnessed recorded was several weeks ago—the 5.1 Napa quake. The black ink smudge was huge and looked like it went on for several minutes. This was of course what the drum watchers live for and they raced to their keyboards to chat amongst themselves and ask feverishly, “did you feel it?”

I experienced one earthquake back in 1990. I was in Los Angeles at a business conference. I was sitting in my hotel room on the 19th floor of the Bonaventure Hotel watching TV. Suddenly my whole body lurched to one side in the chair. The lamp hanging from the ceiling over the table was angled about 15 degrees from perpendicular in the opposite direction. Then after about five seconds I was lurched in the opposite direction and the lamp swung 15 degrees the other way. It wasn’t until the lights and TV blinked on and off that I suddenly thought, ‘earthquake.’ However, because of the gentleness and lack of shaking I wasn’t really sure. I remembered hearing the safest place in an earthquake was in a doorway so I jumped up and stood in my opened room door. I wasn’t the only person who had heard that safety warning as half a dozen other folks were already standing in their doorways excitedly asking, “was that an earthquake?” “did you feel that?”

Bonaventure Hotel

Bonaventure Hotel

It was an unnerving experience to say the least and I don’t ever need to do it again. I’m happy to watch the drum turn from safely afar in Florida. I’ll take our hurricanes over earthquakes any day.

Talk Like A Pirate Day September 19, 2014

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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—-Reposted from 2009

Let’s all TLAP!



Fire Their Asses September 11, 2014

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Oh there is so much to rant about…

Let’s talk about this minimum wage/fast food workers issue. Workers want to get paid more, they say the minimum wage is not a ‘liveable’ wage.

Yesterday, Chipotle was forced to close one of its restaurants in College Station, PA when the staff walked out over “borderline sweatshop conditions.” According to a corporate spokesman: “Our Penn State restaurant was closed when a few employees quit, locking out a majority of others who are enthusiastic to return to work,” Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., said in an e-mail. The store reopened this afternoon, he said. strikeWorkers are free to choose to accept a company’s wages or not. The free market system, the best that has ever been devised, assures the market sets the value of worker’s toil. What these workers don’t understand is their worth is proportionate to the value they provide the company. Simply put, they have a grossly inflated sense of self-worth. Fast food service jobs are entry level. For most, they provide the opportunity to learn the skill sets that will hopefully serve them well in their climb up any career ladder.

Enterprising employees who display aptitude and desire are almost always rewarded with increases in pay and advancement within the ranks. It is simply delusional for the employees who do not display exceptionalism to think they are due an increase just because they can’t live a better lifestyle than their current wage provides.

We are in this situation because of liberalism. Liberals preach equality regardless of ability and self-responsibility. Several generations have been indoctrinated with this poisonous thought.

If capitalism is to survive we must destroy the myth that everyone is entitled to whatever their neighbor has. Nine out of ten times, that neighbor works faster, harder and smarter and is deserving of everything they have.

Stop coveting and start working. Oh and while you’re at it, graduate high school, stop having babies at 17 and emulate successful people in your actions and thoughts.

Don’t Tread On Me September 9, 2014

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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don't tread on me