The First Seven Days


January 1-7, 2017


The view from the back yard

The move is over. That does not mean that every box is unpacked or that every picture has been hung. I have the rest of my life to do that. I also had other things associated with moving that needed taking care of.

I found a motorcycle riders group on Meetup and joined them in a New Year’s Day ride to Mesquite, NV, which is not that far away. They were a nice bunch of people; they were all named Bill and all owned Honda Gold Wings, so it made it easy to remember their names. We had a nice brunch at Casa Blanca Casino and took the back roads home. A good first ride and I am sure I will go ride with these guys again.

The next order of business was a Utah driver’s license. In California, this is a simple process. You show up at the DMV, which resembles a United Nations convention, wait in line for some time, fog a mirror, and pick up your driver’s license. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you have enough breath in your body to make a mirror fog up you are qualified to live and drive in California.

Utah has a different program. Silly me, I made an appointment with the Utah DMV. There was no reason for this. When I showed up the people working there and the number of customers was about equal, so no waiting. What a concept. I told them what I wanted and they told me what I needed: A passport, a social security card, closing statement on my house, and utility bills on my new home. I had none of that since I had not moved into my home yet. So I left.

I returned on Monday with my closing statement, passport and utility bills. (This time I was the only customer there.) I had other forms of ID but they would accept nothing less than my social security card or a W-2 form. I had not seen either of these in more years than I could remember so I returned home thinking I would have to get either get a job or apply for a social security card.

But, as luck would have it I found my social security card, still attached the way it was mailed to me many years prior. I cannot ever think of a time I have needed my social security card. I went back the DMV the next day, still the only person there, and got my driver’s license. Whew! Now I am legal and very proud that I got all of that done before Trump builds that wall around California he keeps talking about.

I tried to register my vehicles but ran into trouble there also. Since I lease my car, I had to get permission for the lease company to register it in Utah. Then they have to see each vehicle and verify the VIN number of each. And inspect any vehicle that is over 3 years old. I put a pin in that for later consideration.

I went to lunch with a singles group. I think it is nice they the Casserole Patrol has organized itself into a single entity. It makes it easier for me to defend myself. In Manteca, they were allowed to run all willy-nilly. This was another nice bunch of people and I am certain I will have fun with them in a non-Viagra sort of way.

The homebuilder came by and made up a punch list for my house. It was an amazingly short list considering how they were working on it to the very end. That started a sequence of events whereby workmen stealthily came by and fixed things without me knowing about it until after they were done. I am not big on locking up my house so they can come and go pretty much as they wish.

On Thursday, the fifth, a winter storm passed through. I woke up on Friday morning to my community being blanketed in snow. It was pretty in a “I don’t-have-to-go-out-in-it-so-what-do-I-care” sort of way.

I started working out at the very nice gym they have here. I decided to take some of the workout classes they offer. I took a kick boxing class that was led by this fit grey haired woman who was pretty much just a spine with a set of boobs attached. The only thing that was kicked in that class was my butt. I was surprised with how strenuous the class ended up being. I really have to do more cardio and this may be the way to go. Being the glutton for punishment, I took another one of her classes and got pretty much the same result.


The other view from the back


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January 7, 2017 · 5:48 pm

As I was going to St George (cont.)


December 22, 2016

Of the three major decisions one must make to have a relocation go smoothly, picking a moving company is perhaps the hardest. There are all manners of moving companies out there from Starving Students to Two Guys with a Truck, to PODS, to Mayflower and Bekins. It is hard to determine which are legitimate companies and which are not. Making an interstate move, removes quite a few from the running, presumably because of federal regulations. Picking the wrong one from the remaining contenders means you will have to buy your crap back on EBay. Picking the correct one means you will have a much less stressful move. I chose Bekins just because I recognized the name from their frequent visits to my neighborhood.

Moving day arrived on Thursday with the moving company expected at 8 AM. Of course, they did not show up until 10 but in today’s society that is considered on time. What they lacked in promptness, they made up for in numbers and the size of the truck that they brought.


It was a big truck for a little house

They all got busy, packing, hauling and eating. There wasn’t much to eat in the house but they ate it all. Then they stripped the orange trees of fruit. In short order they had all my stuff on board and left my house with nothing but a lingering smell to note that they had been there. I think they went to lunch.

I got busy cleaning and visiting. I had a constant stream of people stopping by to say so long as I cleaned up my house for the new owners which were going to get it the next day. I soon realized that you can’t make one thing clean without making another thing dirty.

Somewhere around 10 P.M. I had it in a presentable condition. My car was loaded with my three legged motorbike in tow. I was faced with a weather situation that had me somewhat concerned A storm was moving into California early on Friday and a winter storm warning was out for the state of Utah on Saturday. I considered my options and made what I thought was the least bad option: Fight the storm in California on Friday and then take on the snowstorm in Utah when I was fresh on Saturday.

I woke up at 3:30 AM and cleaned a little more. There is always something else to clean. By 4:30 I was heading south east in a drizzling rain. That lasted about 30 minutes and that was it. I got ahead of the storm and just kept driving. By 4:30 in the afternoon I was in St George without any weather problems at all. I checked into a hotel, had a beer and a salad and crashed.


December 24, 2016

I awoke to a steady rain but no snow. It was snowing everywhere in Utah except in St George. That is why they call it Dixie. I was feeling pretty good about things in general until I went to check on my house.

Wow! And I don’t mean that in a good way. They have worked on it since I last saw it a month ago but there is so much that is undone. I don’t see how I can possible move into that house by Wednesday, but I remain hopeful. There is not anything I can do about it in any case. With four days to go, two of which are holidays there are going to have to be a ton of people working on that on house on Monday and Tuesday. Maybe they will get the Bekins people to work on it. I hope they have something for them to eat.


1384 W Silk Berry Dr., St George, Utah 84790


December 25, 2016

After a steady all day rain on Saturday, Christmas was clear and cold. The mountains surrounding St George were all covered with snow, making this part of the high desert so beautiful that it validated my decision to move to Utah.

I did a little exploring of the town by car trying to get myself oriented a little better. I had been here a number of times prior to the decision to move here so I pretty much knew my way around.

I worked up the courage to go visit my house under construction. I thought that it would at least look more positive on a clear day than it had the day before. It not only looked better, there was a mason putting the stone veneer on the fireplace. I felt a bit bad that he was having to work on a Christmas morning but after talking to him decided that he was a transient construction worker who probably had no family any closer than Mexico. He made me more hopeful that my home would be completed at some point in the near future so that was his Christmas gift to me.

I then did a jog walk thing along the Virgin River which winds its way through the St George area. There is a walking-riding trail along the river and many other trails that branch off into various areas of the town. The trail system around St George is extensive and I have no hope of ever traveling them all.

The living room


December 26, 2016

I visited my home again thinking there would be little activity since this day was the official holiday for Christmas. I was wrong. There were so many workmen’s trucks around my house that it was hard to park. The mason was now working on the front of the house and there were many people working on the landscaping. The extent of the landscaping they were doing is once again impressive. I would have been content with some rock and gravel seeing as I live in a desert. But they were putting in curbing, a water feature and they were promising to eventually put in lawn. I am okay with all of that because I don’t have to care for any of it.

I went out and explored a bit more chewing up most of the day that way. I did go back at the end of the day and was impressed with how much they had done. I was also impressed with how much more there was to be done. There was someone cleaning up the insides so that at least looked like they were getting to the end. It did if you overlooked the missing plumbing and a dozen other things that needed to be done inside.


Bedroom two


December 27, 2016

After breakfast I went up to look at my house. Wow! There were so many people working on it inside and out. My friendly mason was still at it. The landscape crew was remaining positive. A drywall guy was doing what touch up that was needed. And a plumber was busily finishing up his tasks. The cleaning crew was still at it. Short of appliances, the house was mostly livable.

I got a call from my moving van driver to tell me he was on the way. I went to the sales office to check on the final walk through and ran into a bit of glitch. A few phone calls and things were put back in order for a 10 AM walk through. Good thing since I had a moving van showing up at noon.

I went out for a training run since there was little else for me to do. Part of the deal with moving here is to get into better shape. This move has put a dent in my workout routine. The altitude in St George is 2500 feet which will take some time to adjust to. Again, I went to the trail on a sunny, mid-forties day and worked up a good sweat.


The living room looking out

Wednesday Moving Day

December 28, 2016

I checked out of my very nice Holiday Inn, hooked up to my motorcycle trailer and went out to my new home to do a walk through. I was once again amazed at how many people were still working on it. The gutter guys, the bricklayers, the stone mason and the cleaning crew were all very busy. Even more amazing was that the stone mason was still putting the veneer on the fireplace. There were other people working and I was not quite sure what they were doing. One was painting the vent pipes on the roof. Details!

I got my walk through and had all the little things about the house explained to me. The most imposing items were the washer and dryer that came with the house. They have more controls on them then the space shuttle. Everything else was the latest technology and pretty easy to understand. We made up a punch list and called it good.

I signed off on about inch of papers that resulted in me owning the house. Then it was back to the house to  unload the little I had in the car and then wait on the moving truck. It arrived right on schedule and the two guys got busy unloading, assembling and locating my stuff. They took off about 4 PM leaving me the chore of unpacking all of the boxes. I stayed busy with that until about 11.

The entry way

Thursday Unpacking Day

December 29, 2016

After a few hours of sleep I was back at it by five. It was like having a big giant Christmas where I got to open all of these mystery packages. The cable guy showed up and made short work of getting my internet and TV up. With one of the endless bowl games on I worked steadily for a few more hours. I took a break and went for a conditioning walk/run along the Virgin River. I went to bed on Thursday night thinking that this moving thing is not a big deal.


Master bedroom

Friday The End

December 30, 2016

After a leisurely start to my day, drinking coffee in my new office, I finished with both the office and the living room. Once done with that I called it complete. There is stuff to hang on the walls and a few boxes left to open but I am done. I took, what will no doubt be one of many trips to Lowes, had a couple of beers, and took about a two hour nap in front of the fireplace. I am as relaxed as the US immigration policy. I am very content with my new home and I expect to be happy here. So that is it. At least until I get restless again.


The galley and the end


December 31, 2016 · 4:38 pm

As I Was Going to St George

December 20, 2016


St George, Utah

Whenever I tell someone, I am moving to St George I feel like I just said the first line of a limerick.

As I was going to St George,

I met a woman named Marge.

She was shapely and sweet,

From her head to her feet,

Although her butt was quite large.

Okay, I did not put a lot of thought into that and I only know so many words that rhyme with ‘George’. Now if I were moving to Nantucket it would be a whole ‘nother story.

However, it is St George I have chosen. It turns out there is not a lot that goes into relocating:

1) Sell a house

2) But another house

3) Move

Selling my house was easy. I have a nice house in a desirable neighborhood, I hired a competent real estate company and seventeen days later, it was done. A couple from New Hampshire bought it sight unseen. I am quite certain they are going to like the weather a lot better in California.

Buying a house was not much harder. A quick trip to St George and selecting from any number of good choices was all it took. The entire thing took four days and two of those days, I was driving. I could have bought any of a half dozen houses and been quite content. As it turned out, I bought pretty much the same house I live in now. Of course, it has a four-car garage and a decent view of the desert hills so that is a bit of a bonus.


Sadly, the last time I saw my new house it looked like this.

Moving also has not been much of a hassle-yet. I hired a reputable moving company and I have packed up my stuff. I suspect the actual move will lead to hassle or two but I remain positive. Moving over Christmas has its challenges but what little adventure doesn’t?

Then I entered the wait stage. Waiting for my house to be completed in St George. Waiting for the sale of my buyer’s house. Waiting for the sale of my existing house to be completed. I hate waiting.

But I have been busy with the production of my last play, “Homeless for the Holidays”. It is a Christmas story about a homeless person. How ironic since I will be homeless for the holidays. I am often traveling over the holidays so it is not as big a deal as one might think.


The theater at my new home

Then I have been doing the goodbye tour. My neighbors had a nice lunch with about a hundred people there to send me off. That got many of the goodbyes out of the way. Then I have been having individual meals with people who have been special to me for some time. It has all been very sweet and caused me to reconsider my decision to move.

So why would I leave friends who I have accumulated over forty years of living in California? I do not have a good answer for that except that I have been cursed with a restless soul. It has been urging me onward for some time, until it was not a matter of if I would move, but more a matter of where. St George always impressed me as nice place so it has won the lottery-for now.

I really love the little community I live in now. It has the feel of a resort. The weather is delightful, usually, and it is hard for me to go for a jog or walk to the gym without having to stop and talk with someone I know. I call it the Velvet Rut just because it is so easy to just stay here and relax. But I am not ready for a rut just yet, velvet or otherwise.

The place I am moving to could also be considered a Velvet Rut since it is pretty much the same type of community only with more of it. However, it is a new rut and I like that idea. Having lived in the swamps of Louisiana, the mountains of Germany and the big valley of California, I like the idea of living in the high desert of the Mojave. I have traveled these United States by planes, trains and motorcycle so it is not as if I am making an uninformed choice. The choice I am making may be wrong, but it is that little unknown that makes it feel like an adventure.


Sun River, Utah

Whenever I tell someone I am moving to Utah they ask: “What’s her name?” There is no ‘her’. I quite honestly don’t know a soul in Utah other than my real estate people. Well there is Bob. He is a neighbor I met while looking at a house. Before I knew it, I was sitting with Bob on his patio and listening to his life story. So making friends is just about that easy. Bob has a telescope so I am going to go visit him once I am moved in. In addition, he has beer.

The next question I am asked is “How many wives are you going to have?” You see, Utah is two-thirds Mormon and they supposedly practice polygamy. Polygamy is against federal law. So is smoking pot and we all know how well that is working out for the Feds. I am more likely to smoke a lot of pot than gather a lot of wives. I am not very likely to do either.

I am going to Utah because I want to train more for both softball and track. St George is the home of the Senior Games and, as such, there is a lot of interest in, you guessed it-games. The air is clear, the population is the youngest in the US, there is no graffiti, the roads are smooth, there is little traffic and little crime.

There are hiking trails, and running trails and bicycling trails. I can ATV right out of my four-car garage and go for days in the open desert. I may be a little long in the tooth for some of those things but I have been living on borrowed time for quite a while now.

So the next time you hear from me will be from St George, Utah or somewhere along the way. Merry Christmas and all the best to you and yours throughout the holiday season and for years to come.


December 20, 2016 · 3:06 pm

Home Again-but I added a step.

October 8, 2016


I have been busy.  Today I drove over 630 miles. I got home by mid-afternoon and as always I was glad to get back to cool and comfortable Casa Bob.  Shortly after I got home, I received a call from my realtor in St George saying that my offer on the above house had been turned down.

So to recap my stay in St George: One bronze medal for the 100 meter dash, one bronze medal for playing really bad softball, and a decision to move to St George, Utah.  I hate adding steps to a plan but every time I go to St George I feel like I belong there.

Why did I not buy the above house?  Good question.  It has a bite-your-knuckle view out the back that is just too pretty for words.  The house is 4 bedroom and 4.5 baths.  While the idea of that many bathrooms appeals to me, at this age I never like to be too far away from one, the four bedrooms was an issue.  I have trouble maintaining activity in one bedroom so why would I need four. Also this house came fully furnished with nice furniture. My taste runs more to Early American Garage but I could have gotten use to that furniture.

And that view.ise0xt18nghxci0000000000

isme50m3agd7uj0000000000 And that galley.

But there is a problem and here it is:


This little jewel opens onto Hole #4 of Sunbrook’s  27-hole golf course.  You could chip off of your living room rug and have a fair chance of making the green.  So that is the problem-too many good choices.  Oh well.  Everyone should suffer the way I do.

I have been busy since my return.  I have decided to sell my home in California and then go to St George and pick out a new house. I have my house listed and all indications are that it will sell fast. Once I am homeless it will be easier to make a choice on my next home.  Or I could just store everything and become a citizen of the universe.

After 40 good years in California I have become restless and I feel it is time to go.  Leaving my friends here will be difficult. But it is a $100 round trip ticket from Stockton to Las Vegas and I can pick them up at the airport.  And everyone needs to go to St George at some time because it is the launch point for Utah’s national parks.

Come along with me on my Next Chapter. Like all good adventures I have no idea how it will turn out.  That is what makes it exciting.





October 14, 2016 · 10:27 am

Step 9 and 10

10/3/2016 Monday


I met up with my softball team, the Woodbridge Wolverines to play a preliminary seeding game against the Wenachatee Merchants (Canada?).  I really did not want to play in this game because I wanted a day of rest before running track on Tuesday.  But the rules state that I had to play at least one defensive and offensive inning if I wanted to participate in the elimination rounds of the tournament.  It was quite offensive.  We stunk.  Me in particular.  We loss 24-11.  Oh well. We ended up having a nice team dinner at the Gun Barrel Steak house.



Today was my first day of track events and I was not feeling up to it. I don’t know why.  Everything hurt. Some days are like that. My performance was a reflection of how I felt. I ran the 200 meter in 34.07 which is not a bad time and ended up fourth overall.  A distant fourth, but nonetheless fourth.

I then ran the 50 meters and was really awful. Eight point 57 seconds which is a full half second off of last year.  I finished 8th. Channel 2  chose this heat to use on the 11 o’clock news.  Not only do I suck but now everyone knows it.

I am always impressed with the level of competition at the track events. Not that it is any excuse for my poor performance but there are people at these events that take them very seriously.  Some seniors play golf. Some dedicate themselves to track. Barbados sends the best in their nation and pays their way. They come with trainers, masseuses, and all dressed alike in one piece running outfits. At the opening ceremonies they are all dressed immaculately in identical suits and ties. Needless to say, they dominate the track events.  Good for them.

On Tuesday night I met up with my softball team for the opening ceremonies at Dixie College. It never fails to impress me with the lengths they go through to put on a good show. There are hundreds of dancers and singers, fireworks, short speeches, sky divers, choirs and the march of the athletes. Quite a show.

10/5/2016 Wednesday


I woke up sick.  It was a good explanation for why I felt off the day before.  I was feeling really low and thought about opting out my track events and softball games. But my softball team is shorthanded and I pretty much had to show and at least occupy a position.  And I had time to kill so I went back out to the track at Snow Canyon high school.

I found out that I had somehow had not gotten registered for the 100 meter.  I fixed that and ran the event. And I ran well.  I did not know what my time was but I knew that I had run a decent time for my first attempt at this event.  I did not know where I finished because the field of competitors was big enough that we had to run in heats. After everything was over I found out a I ran an 15.57 which was good enough for a bronze medal.  That made me feel a lot better.

I had to skip my 400 meter event because I had to get over to the softball field and help my shorthanded team. They had lost two close seeding games without me the day before and lost one player.  So we were down to a minimum number of players and it was now the elimination round.  Along with that, through some administrative cock up we had gotten seeded in a group that was above our heads.

Our first game was against the Copper Gang who had just gotten done putting on a hitting display in the game right ahead of us.  We managed to hold them to one run in the first inning and then it turned into a slug fest.  Each team scored five runs, the max allowed, in each of the next innings.  Then we held them to two runs in the top of the last inning and won the game. Now I felt really good.  My injured shoulder stopped hurting for the first time in two months.

Overall it was a good day. The team had a nice dinner at the Players Sports bar while we watched the Giants play on the big screen.

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October 6, 2016 · 6:26 am

Step 8

October 2, 2016

I had time to kill before I took off for St George, Utah so I took a walk along the strip in Las Vegas.   I had spent some time in Las Vegas a few years back and was impressed with how ghetto Las Vegas got a block from the strip. On this trip, I was struck by how there was now a beggar on every corner and on every on ramp.   Now I am here to report that the strip has turned into a sewer.  I saw more homeless people, some without clothes, sleeping on the side walks of Las Vegas Blvd.  I witnessed a man in a fight with a bus driver.  After a couple of miles of that I wrote off Las Vegas. While the casinos are still somewhat safe, I expect that they will not be so for much longer. I never was a fan of Las Vegas any way, so it is not big loss to me.

I hopped in my car and headed 120 east to St George.  St George is everything that Las Vegas is not: Clean streets, clean air, nice people, beautiful scenery. I started shopping for a house before I even got all the way into town.

st george 2.jpg

I did check into my hotel and got checked in as a participant at the convention center.  I intend to play softball for my neighborhood team, the Woodbridge Wolverines, and then run track in the shorter events. I found out where and when my events would be held and then got around to the mundane task of doing laundry and  grocery shopping.  I don’t play ball until Monday afternoon so I have some time to kill in the morning. Either way I am calling step eight complete.


October 2, 2016 · 5:37 pm

Step Seven Continued

September 30, 2016

After a short work out it was out into the desert to pay a visit to the Hoover Dam, one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. It is 726 feet high and 660 feet thick and 300,000 gallons of water a second pass through its generators providing power for one million people.  The arched bypass road is relatively new and it is a sight to be seen in its own right.


hoover dam bypass.jpg

After my excursion into the country I retired to the Stratosphere to have a drink at the top of the tower.  Being the tallest structure in Las Vegas one does get quite a view of the city from the rotating top.  While it looks rather small from the street level there are at least three stories of bars and restaurants up there.  The main dining room rotates at a rate that is fast enough to cause vertigo.

Then it was on to dinner at a fine Italian restaurant and on to a show.  After that it was bed time.

view from stratospeher.jpg

Step 7 Continues October 1, 2016

I made a quick drop off at the airport and then met up with best friend John Warren at the Shelby garage and museum in Las Vegas.  John and I have been on a number of adventures together and no matter where we are we seem to get together.  John was on his way to Mexico to  check up on his boat Warren Peace which had been damaged in a hurricane in San Carlos, Mexico.  I have spent countless days on the Warren Peace and it saddens me to think that it is damaged.  But it is a tough boat and I am sure John will have it back in Bristol shape in no time.


I spent the day resting while watching college football. Have to get ready for the next step of my plan.


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October 2, 2016 · 5:20 pm