March 6 = It’s As If Spring Break Didn’t Even Happen

‘Sup pups?

With Mom busy, Dad says, ‘Spring Break, anybody’?

I’m in!

Of course, it’s fun to be in on a trip when Dad takes pictures. Otherwise, why would anybody bother taking a vacation? You vacation so that you can take pictures, and the pictures demonstrate to all of humanity how much fun you are having in 65 degree temperatures in March. Without the pictures, the trip didn’t happen.

So tonight, sitting here in the new rig, Dad copies over something like 196 images from his phone. Except something goes sideways. The images are not on his phone. The images are not on his computer. And the images most certainly are not up in the cloud. They’re gone. It’s as if our trip never happened.

As best I can tell, only two images came over. This means that only two things happened on our brief Spring Break trip to Eastern Washington.

The most enjoyable event of the two Dad documented was our stop at Palouse Falls, down in Southeast Washington.

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I was having a hard time locating the waterfall.

The only other image we have of our trip is this one of me hanging out during happy hour in Ellensburg.

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That’s it. From a documentation standpoint, we only did two things. Forty-eight hours of driving madness and rampant tourism (including a visit to the confluence of the Snake River and the Columbia River) go undocumented.

Nicely done, Dad.

February 7, 2015: Diesel

‘Sup pups?

More on diesel in a moment.

I had my quarterly meeting with my cardiologist. These are intimate gatherings, featuring a caring staff that happily walk me through their facility, allow me to sit with them while they eat breadsticks, and comfort me while taking x-rays of my heart. I’m still stable, working on completing month seventeen of a 6-12 month outlook. That being said, change is in the air. I was told that my massive heart is pressing against my wind pipe, causing me to cough more often. But my health care team expects to see me in early May, so life moves on.

Speaking of life moving on, Mom and Dad were amazed at the push into diesel rigs within their RV club. Lots of folks have upgraded to diesel in recent months. So guess what? Mom and Dad switched to diesel as well. Can you believe it? They traded their rig in for a diesel vehicle. Wow!

But not the diesel vehicle you might expect. They switched to this … TO THIS!

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Yes, that’s a Class B … a CLASS B rig, folks. Mom and Dad stepped down in size, and when I say they stepped down in size, I really, really mean that they stepped down in size.

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Now, to be fair, this isn’t a smart car. It’s a 24 foot long rig on a Mercedes Sprinter Chassis. It has a small bathroom (small being the operative word) with shower, and amazingly, a king-size bed in the rear of the rig that morphs into a full couch. There’s seating for four, up front.

Here’s something I can verify, based on my ride home off the ferry last night … the ride is SMOOOOOOOTH! It’s almost identical to riding in a car.

Now why, you are asking yourself, would Mom and Dad give up the comfort of 400 square feet, two bathrooms, a bedroom, three massive slides, and a living room with seating for six, for THIS?

Well, as Dad told me, he wants to “use the vehicle”. He wants to camp at State Parks. He wants to be able to easily drive anywhere. He wants to ride comfortably. He really wants to ride comfortably! He wanted something he can park at home.

Most important, Mom and Dad want to explore Vancouver Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, The Gulf Islands, Vancouver over to Banff/Calgary, Idaho, Oregon, and California. National Parks. Golfing. Ocean Viewing. It’s harder to do all that in a big rig when you want to be close to 50 amp service.

Yes, Dad will the be the first to acknowledge that you can tow a car and do all that with a Class A rig. But it is much easier to do it in a Class B.

Dad also looks forward to being able to drive longer days … it’s pretty common to go 5-6 hours in a big Class A before stopping … this thing drives like a car, so getting places will be much, much quicker. And Dad likes the idea of a vehicle that holds its speed going up mountain passes.

So, I’ve been told that I will spend the rest of my life having fun across the Pacific Northwest – that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing!

And when I’m not out there having fun, I can sit on my patio at home, and watch my Mom ride the ferry!

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January 21 = On Top Of The World

‘Sup pups?

I’m now working on month seventeen of a six-to-twelve month diagnosis. So overall, kudos to me. Sure, I cough from time-to-time. But there are other times when I’m feeling like I’m on top of the world.

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So we plod along, enjoying each day, barking at rogue canine interlopers on the television screen. I have an appointment with Dr. B in two weeks – you know as well as I do that those folks simply adore me! And who can blame them?

December 28 = The Pharmacy

‘Sup pups?

I assume that you, too, have an in-house pharmacy upon which you can obtain low-cost drugs at a moment’s notice?

Your pharmacy should include pre-packaged drugs to be dispensed at uniform time intervals.

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And when you get to the end of the week, a human should have the ability to visit the back room of the pharmacy for a refill.

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Need something in a hurry, like another jug of Pro-Pectalin, 240 count variety? Amazon Prime.

This is how we roll during month sixteen of a six-to-twelve month diagnosis. Honestly, the cost of this pharmacy is dwarfed by the unfettered joy I deliver to all of you.

Peace Out,

Bert

December 25 = Merry Christmas!!

‘Sup pups?

I’m still here, pups, enjoying, as Madonna would say, “La Isla Bonita”. These days, working on month 16 of a 6-12 month expectancy, I thoroughly enjoy the daily routine. It starts with waking Dad up at about 6:00am, a full two hours before sunrise. Daylight Savings Time means nothing to me … humans may have rolled the clock back an hour, but to me, 7:00am is now 6:00am, and I am hungry, so it is time to get up!!

My favorite break of the day happens around 9:00am. Dad takes me out, and I perform my duties with military precision. Then, when finished, it is time for a rousing game of “rocks”. Dad grabs about twenty rocks, and we head down to the back yard patio. Once there, Dad winds up, and with extreme vigor, he tosses the rocks, one by one, into the ocean. Oh, how I love this! I bark loudly, then wait to see if the rock hits a tree. We want the rock to hit a tree, because the rock makes contact with extreme prejudice and makes a loud “CRACK” sound that resonates across the neighborhood. If the rock does not hit a tree, as is the case 75% of the time, then we wait patiently until the rock spins into the ocean – where we evaluate the splash, not unlike the way millions evaluated the splash after watching Kareem Abdul Jabbar dive from the ten meter platform on ABC’s “Splash”.

The process is repeated, until no rocks are left.

If I may speak candidly at this point, and I think I may, the morning routine gives me something to look forward to, something to live for. So does television. Sweet, sweet television. My mornings revolve around rocks, my evenings include quality Christmas programming … including this story about rejection, perseverance, and nasal illumination.

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Did you know that bumbles bounce? It’s the key takeaway from “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”. That, and the fact that Santa is a quitter who refused to deliver gifts through a little bit of bad weather until a despised child with a fluorescent nasal mutation volunteered to stand in as a head light . By the way, as Mom pointed out, pay attention when you watch this time-honored classic next Christmas … somehow, Santa puts on approximately 60 pounds of blubber on Christmas Eve alone. You have to ingest a lot of Pupperoni to make that happen – trust me, I’ve tried.

You’ll be happy to know that my weight stabilized at 32.8 pounds. And in recent weeks, I’ve been able to inhale entire Pop Tart crusts without creating bowel-based issues.

It’s one small win after another these days. Madonna might encourage me to “Take A Bow”. At this time, I think I will do just that. And you, you must be my “Lucky Star”.

Peace Out,

Bert

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November 10: What About Bert?

‘Sup pups?

We spent the weekend at Fidalgo Bay RV Resort, one of those four paw establishments that dot the Pacific Northwest.

The featured attraction on this weekend was the club that Mom and Dad belong to – called the “San Juanderers”. There are all sorts of interesting things about this club. For instance, did you know that your rig must meet stringent color palette requirements to be considered for membership?

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Fidalgo Bay RV Resort is the kind of place where a corgi can really get something done.

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There were several featured events. I wasn’t invited to any of them.

Early Saturday afternoon, the group bowled. “Kegeling”, I believe, is the name it has been given by the kids who define twenty-first century cultural norms. Nonetheless, I wasn’t included. These omissions burn at my soul, and tear at my heart.

I sat out in the parking lot while young and old alike enjoyed themselves.

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Later that evening, insult was added to injury (assuming that I was injured while sitting in a car for more than two hours while Mom and Dad bowled, and I wasn’t technically injured in the traditional sense, but it makes for a good narrative, so please come along for the ride) when the assembled multitude decided to feast on hot, popped corn and Milk Duds while watching the theatrical release of “What About Bob?”.

Meanwhile, I sat in the RV, wondering, “What About Bert?”

What about Bert?

This is supposed to be “my time”. Isn’t that what retirement is all about? That’s what the mass media tells us retirement is about. That, of course, and reverse mortgages.

I wish I could say that I endorsed this weekend. But I cannot do that. Not when I spent countless hours locked in a three-hundred square foot traveling three-dimensional rectangle, lying on a cold, pre-fabricated floor lamenting my exclusion from the events of the day.

Other than that, it was a delightful weekend!

Peace out.

Bert

November 7: Back In The Saddle

‘Sup pups?

We’re back in the RV. The hot water heater has been repaired, so we’re traveling through Western Washington, doing chores for a week.

By the way, I visited my cardiologist yesterday. I so enjoy the non-invasive aspects of the visit, like saying hi to Dr. B!

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My cardiologist and his team love me so much they dedicated a spread to me in their scrapbook!

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I know, I exude radiance.

Anyway, my cardiologist thinks I’m still doing ok. Remember, I was given 6-12 months to live, fourteen months ago. But guess what? My cardiologist expects to see me again in February! So I’ve got a chance of getting through the winter, and maybe, just maybe, I might get to see another Spring. This is what happens when you take things one day at a time – you get a bonus supply of days!

I think Dr. B and the entire staff were really proud of me.

After my appointment, I got to ride in the car to Mud Bay. You can plainly see where I had blood drawn. There’s nothing pleasant about having blood drawn. As Dr. B said, “he has Tyrannosaurus Rex legs“. There’s not a lot of acreage there for needle insertion. Geez.

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So yes, I deserved a visit to Mud Bay.

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Unfortunately, I cannot eat any of the treats featured in this snap. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t dare to dream.

We’re off to Fidalgo Bay for the weekend. Mom is attending a series of seminars, Dad is working, and I am enjoying some quiet time in the passenger seat of our RV. I’ll keep you updated, pups.