Cheech and Chong’s first blog of 2016…….

 

 

C & C

They say a unique title will draw readers. Did it?

My finish to the 2015 blogging year was anything but stellar. For some reason, still obscure to me, toward the end of the year I just didn’t have the passion to tickle the keyboard with anything enlightening or particularly humorous. It might have been writer’s block (but don’t you have to be a writer first to get that?) or just plain laziness. Probably some combination of both. But I cherish my blogging friends and love blogging so I hope to improve on that sorry windup to 2015 with a better performance from here on out.

Most writing classes and articles will tell you the best way to get the juices flowing is to sit down and put some words on a page. I’ve decided to tell you about what other things I did in 2015 that might (but not really) excuse my not blogging more.

As an aside, I’m sure many of you have two forms of blogging like I do. There’s the blogs that just come out of you like a bolt of lightning that you just can’t wait to get on a page and publish. And then there’s the kind that need gentle nourishment, slowly flowering as you contemplate and sip a glass of fine wine. I will leave it to you to decide from which method this particular blog emanates.

As most of you know, I am retired. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. The secret is to keep busy. I endeavor. For one thing, I volunteer. I have been involved in many different kinds of volunteerism since retiring, but now my life involves five main pursuits. Of course, this doesn’t include grand-parenting, because that is a labor of love.

One, I work a day a week in the education department of the gorgeous Norfolk Botanical Garden http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/, doing mostly computer related reports and spreadsheets and data entry for their many horticultural related classes. Since I am the quintessential “black thumb”, this has afforded me an opportunity to remedy that failing.

IMG_1563
Patty walking among the thousand and thousand of Azaleas at the garden

I also work a day a week in the Trail Center of First Landing State Park here in Virginia Beach. It involves assisting first-time visitors with determining which trail or trails might be the best for their situation (age, physical condition, small kids or strollers, biking, chance to see wildlife, etc.) I have hiked all of those trails many times over myself.  It is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and play six degrees of separation to find out what we have in common. As the most visited state park in all Virginia, it is a very busy time.

FLSP
A typical scene of the many Cypress lagoons at the State park

I’ve blogged before about my addiction to pickleball. At one time I was playing 6 days a week at various recreations centers in the area. I’ve cut that down to 3-4 times a week. The support group must be working.

PB
Yes, that’s me, hitting my untouchable serve at a pickleball tournament

Also, I am taking piano lessons. I started in January of last year, not knowing a single note of music or ever having played an instrument. It’s been a hoot. I have a very nice teacher whose personality is akin to my own. She is patient, humorous, very understanding and willing to put up with my less than nimble fingers assaulting her piano. I have moved from beginner, to experienced beginner, to advanced beginner to my now exalted position as beginning intermediate. Bless her heart, I’m her oldest student by far, but she still delights in giving me gold stars and smiley faces on the pieces that I “knock out of the park.”

Last, but far from least, I help my dear wife in her position as Regional Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia here in southeastern Virginia, serving as her IT guy for technology issues, a transportation driver to help get our epilepsy heroes who can’t drive to various meetings and functions, and basically go-fer duties as they arise. She is doing wonderful work and it’s an honor for me to play my small part.

Epilepsy

So anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m anxious to see how this blogging year unfolds. But you can help.  Let me know how you feel about my blogs. I’ll give you a few choices and you can vote on them.

A. I’d like to see more of your world-famous humor blogs. Really, I can’t stop laughing for days after I read them. You’re pure comedy genius. (Please leave address to send check if you’ve voted for this one).

B. Your blogs are always top rate. I  get excited when I see in the reader that you have posted. And you don’t have to send me a check  just for saying that.  A gift certificate would be fine.

C. Your blogs are OK, but do you really see the need to do more of them?

D. I don’t know why you’re so despondent. Actually, most people would be happy with a 1 out of 4 “good” blogs percentage.

E. Blogging is kind of like a poor man’s diary, isn’t’ it? If I pay you, will you stop?

F. Please help me out here. Where do I go to find the “unfollow” button?

See you in the blogosphere in 2016!

Your pal, Al

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36 thoughts on “Cheech and Chong’s first blog of 2016…….

  1. A* (thats a special grade in the UK) Means better than A

    Haven’t been on here for ages, so just thought i’d pop by & say hello! Sorry i’m still stuck in January….

    I’m a bit scared you might be a Trump supporter……. do i read on?……

    1. Just thought this was a funny happenstance.

      Still in limbo over here. I liked Hillary in 2008, but not since Benghazi and website snafu (what was she thinking?) Jury still out on Trump although it is refreshing to hear non-politically correct opinions now and then.

      1. Lol 🙂

        Its a weird system that you only have two candidates to choose from… They both have some serious issues

        But you have never had an orange president before, so that would be a first 🙂

        1. At least no one could say we are racist against orange people.

          P.S. On a more serious note, you are right. We desperately need a third party over here. For people like me, who like some of the things liberals espouse yet some of the things conservatives also offer, it’s a take it or leave it proposition. If there were a third party candidate who supported the good ideas and threw out the prejudices of each of the other parties, I would vote for him/her in a heartbeat.

          1. We do have a third party over here… but unfortunately they are too small to have much effect, anf they end up having to form coalition governments with whichever party they can… leading to a massive dilution of their policies & this really upsets their voters… but they do have a small voice… and sometimes they can help moderate the extremities!! 🙂

            Maybe this is a project for your retirement… set up the Liberal Conservative Democratic Republican Party… LCDR for short… I’d vote for Al any day 🙂

  2. Taking a week to get around to reading this would belie my choice of B but I need some of those markers that go for $10 a pop for my colouring books so you’re definitely B1 in my book. I don’t have a stationery store preference as long as they ship to Oz.

  3. You’re A+ in my book, Al, so that’s how I’m voting.

    An A+ equates to: you make me dance as if no one is watching (and no one is), sing as if no one is listening (God help them if they are), and love as if you were the only Al in town (and you are, aren’t you)? 🙂 ❤

  4. I am new to your blog so can’t vote objectively 😦 I always used to think that retirees just sit around relaxing and enjoying an easier pace of life, only to be informed by several of them that they are busier than they were while working. Seems you are also busy – keep up the good work with volunteering especially at your wife’s work place.

    1. Thank you visiting my blog, Zambian Lady. It is so good to have a cross-section of culture following my blog. I will return the favor by visiting you at your blog. Thank you again and Happy New Year!

  5. I can tell you worked on this blog. I voted for A. Every time I shop at Trader Joes, I pass a store where music lessons are offered. Unfortunately, they are for playing a guitar. I am not prepared to become a teenage idol, so I haven’t visited the store. Besides, I’m sitting here wondering where you put all those gold stars.

    Sounds like you have a pretty full calendar. Just remember to make room for blogging!

  6. Geez Louise, you’re so darn busy I can’t believe you have any time left over to blog! I’m impressed at your zeal for life, Al. Could you send a little my way? Along with the king-size check for voting for choice A?

    1. Yes, I do have a zeal for life, but it’s the working folks like you that I look up to. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how I was able to do that for over 46 years. A day in retirement fills up so quickly! I’m sorry about the check, but I’m now out of money. Who knew that so many people would vote for A? However, your zeal is in the mail.

  7. CindyB

    I don’t think my post posted last night. Here I am again. I said that you shouldn’t ever worry about not blogging. You DO need a break sometimes. As I used to say to my boys growing up….”Outside!” You now have me thinking about pickle all, botanical gardens, and state parks. Definitely going to visit the bg in St.. Pete. I read everything you write, sometimes twicc.

    1. Your first comment did come through (which I answered below) but now I have to add to the top ten list…..#11, she comments twice on posts, running up my stats! Yay!

  8. When I saw the title, I thought surely you’ve lost your mind. Then, I thought you renamed your dogs and gave them a blog. Now I think you just drank too much wine before deciding on a title. Thanks for all your volunteer work, I’m sure your mad technological skills are a blessing to many. I’m looking forward to seeing those azaleas in bloom again. Is winter over yet? Happy New Year, Al. Oh, and I’d choose A or B. What do I win??

  9. Hey Al, I really related to your post! I so know what you mean about sometimes losing the inspiration to write. I mean really sometimes that spigot is just dry as dirt for me and I dread staring at a blank screen. But then like you said there are those days when it all flows and after much chopping, cutting and pasting, something resembling a post comes out not half bad and it’s all worth it.

    Oh I really enjoyed learning more what you and your wife do to keep busy out there in Virginia. Sounds like the state is luck to have you two. Great pics too!

    Definitely A and B for me, see you in the blogosphere!

    1. Yes! I’ve stared at many a blank screen myself lately. Thanks for voting for the first two. Couldn’t decide which to send you so I’m forwarding a gift certificate with a signed blank check inside it.

      Keep up the good fight out there!

  10. CindyB

    AAAAA! Don’t ever apologize for not blogging. Remember, all work and no play makes Al a dull boy (and you are anything but!). I’m always happy to see your name pop up in my email or on fb and congratulations for coming up with so many different topics.

    1. As one of my charter readers, your opinion always matters to me. Thanks for the ego boost.

      Wait, I think I have a topic for my next blog….”Top Ten Reasons Why I Like Cindy Lou!”

  11. Marcia

    I am definitely in the A and B groups firstly because I do love your writing, and secondly, the Whitestone money pit needs infusions. ….Home Depot would be good for the gift certificate……Thanks XXXX

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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