I didn't want to start using my blog as a diary, where I "share" our personal life with our kids, grandkids, and friends and blather about what I had for breakfast, how Gayle was fixated on the Triple Crown Saturday and our latest vacation adventure. Well, I'll skip breakfast and just touch on the horse race and our latest "vacation."
As everyone knows, American Pharoah (misspelling is intentional) won the Triple Crown Saturday. He's the first horse to pull that off since Affirmed did it 37 years ago. It's assumed that this great horse has the ability to earn hundreds of millions in stud fees. But there's concern that an injury could jeopardize such a glorious future. You may remember what happened to Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro at the Preakness in 2006.
Thoroughbreds love to run. Gayle and I owned a couple once. If the choice were left to Pharoah, would he trade running around an oval for a pasture full of mares? I know that's not how the stud thing works, but it's still a heck-of-a-retirement program. The latest news indicates that Pharoah will run a few more races before he retires.
The day prior we drove the six hour trip back home after attending grandson Seth's graduation and spending a week with our families and friends. We knew we were almost home when a chubby little bear cub shuffled across the road just ahead of us.
On one of the days Gayle and I had lunch with my brother Tom and his wonderful wife Sharon at Aldo's on the wharf in Santa Cruz. We spent much of the time bragging about our grandkids, but I won't subject you to a re-run of that. Needless to say, our grandkids are all perfect.
As mountain dwellers, years removed from the bay area, we are always amazed at the frenetic bee hive of activity in civilization; the race tracks that are called freeways, the crowds and traffic jams that are considered normal. The scene reminds me of San Marco Square in Venice, Italy, where pigeons blanket the pavement and flock to the corn tossed by tourists. Kids sprinkle corn on their bodies and within seconds they are clothed in hungry pigeons. This frenzied activity of human beings is similar to those pigeons frantically fighting for kernels of corn in San Marco Square. The corn in Silicon Valley is money.
I spent most of one day in Carmel and Monterey with my old buddy of almost 70 years, John Chaffin on his birthday. We hit a favorite restaurant on the wharf for lunch. I ordered an appetizer of deep-fried calamari and the main course of calamari steak. How's that for a diary entry?
I had a lot of catching up to do on my consumption of calamari. I had calamari for dinner once in a Los Gatos restaurant. I had calamari for lunch on the wharf in Santa Cruz. I had the calamari appetizer plus a calamari steak in Monterey. I think I had another dose of calamari somewhere else, but I can't remember where at the moment. For some reason I became fixated on calamari last week.
I have yet to taste any calamari that can match what I used to get at the Race Street fish market in San Jose 50 years ago. Maybe that's why I keep searching and tasting.
The combination of calamari and the Monterey bay brings back memories of the good old days when we fished using squid as bait in those ocean waters. Now squid has become calamari and is known as a "poor man's abalone." When I was a kid, my dad dove for abalone and we had stacks of abalone for dinner. We had so much, we piled it like pancakes and actually tossed abalone to the dog. Today it's rare.
All my experiences with calamari or squid are not positive. I may have told this story before, but I remember well one day of fishing with some buddies when the sea was rough and the fog obscured the horizon - a lethal combination when fighting sea sickness. Beginning to turn green and fighting to hold my breakfast, I grasped the rail searching for a glimpse of the horizon.
Just when it looked like I might win the battle, my late prankster buddy, Glen Dennee tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to see a squid, dripping slime, hanging out of Glen's teeth just inches from my face. That was all it took. I sent a stream of everything I had eaten since the third grade in a straight-line trajectory at least a half-mile out to sea.
Despite that experience, I still like to eat those strange creatures. Is this rambling what they call a stream of consciousness? I sure got off the subject. I don't think I had a subject. Once I start typing, I never know where it's going. This stream of consciousness, like most streams, is obviously going down hill. I'm going to quit while I'm ahead.