Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2007: 8

... and we returned from our trip to California on Monday night, September 17. We had a great trip. Rachel was a little angel and grew up a lot on the adventure. On Tuesday morning, Bill had a prostate biopsy and went on light duty for a couple of days. The rest of the day on Tuesday, he bled a lot and chilled out on the couch. Cathy worked on Tuesday afternoon and evening at the bookstore. On Wednesday, Bill chilled out again, but also worked on the computer for a few minutes. Cathy worked again. On Thursday, Cathy worked again while Bill did a combination of chilling out and finishing preparations for houseguests. Our friends Howie and Paulette Bell arrived a bit after 6:00 PM after struggling with Shore traffic as they came down from the north. Bill helped them to settle in and then picked up Cathy at the bookstore. We enjoyed a nice meal out in the solarium after enjoying a fantastic golden sunset. On Friday morning, Bill and Howie headed out before dawn for a guided birding walk behind Higbee Beach. Paulette went for a six mile run, part of her training for the NY Marathon in early November. We all got back together during the late morning, when we drove into Cape May to eat lunch at Geckos. After a good lunch, we drove to the Cape May Point State Park and walked along the beach, checking out the birds. Then we drove to take a look at our RV with a stop at Starbucks on the way. We topped off the day with dinner at Cucina Rosa in Cape May. The main event on Saturday morning was Paulette's participation in the Cape May Beachfront Run, a 5 mile footrace. It was sunny, warm, and humid as it usually is for Jersey Shore running races, but Paulette ran her desired pace and was happy with her performance. We stopped at ACME for a few items on the way home. We had lunch on the deck before Cathy had to go off to work. Howie and Paulette and Bill lounged around on the deck until mid-afternoon when the Bell's headed back north. Bill watched college football and was disappointed again with the outcome of the Penn State/Michigan game. When Cathy came home from work, we enjoyed a tortelloni dinner and viewed the weird "Black Dahlia". On Sunday, Bill continued to chill out and Cathy continued to work at the bookstore. Bill was getting frustrated with his waste of the beautiful weather that he watched through the windows on this first day of fall. The first fall sunset was a beauty. On Monday morning, September 24, after Bill did the crossword puzzle, we walked for 6 miles to the canal and back. Bill walked slowly, but enjoyed doing some activity after a long layoff. Cathy worked again. On Tuesday morning, Bill drove to Armada Motel to fix a problem caused by Microsoft Vista. At around noon, Bill and Jim Sosna paddled kayaks down to the canal. The Bay was beautiful and the water was warm. Cathy worked at the bookstore. On Wednesday, after lunch, we drove to Cape May Point State Park and walked into Cape May on a wide expanse of beach exposed by a super-low tide. We walked on the beach as far as Convention Hall and then walked along Washington Mall and had frappacinos. We topped off the day with a good meal at Louisa's in Cape May. Bill's bleeding seemed minimal, so we went for a walk/run on Thursday morning. Bill was able to run for 3 miles in the soupy air after we both did a weights workout. Cathy worked at the bookstore. On Friday, September 28, we walked on the beach at Cape May Point again. Lots of hawks had been blown in by a passing cold front and the consequent west wind. In the evening, we took Jim and Fran Lewis to dinner at Mulligan's Tavern in Wildwood. Bill spent a lot of time in the morning working on the Cape May County Red Cross website. On Saturday, Bill continued to work on the Red Cross website. After lunch we walked on the beach at Cape May Point. We walked through the unimaginative kiosks of the Cape May "Octoberfest" and stopped in at "Tides of Times", where we picked up a new photo for the website. We viewed "I Witness" which was a very realistic depiction of current problems in Mexico which have caused us to scratch that country off of our winter haven list. On Sunday, Cathy went to aerobics while Bill did a 3 mile run and a 4 mile walk. Bill was still a bit sore from his previous run and spent the rest of the day chilling out. Cathy worked at the bookstore. We viewed "Fracture", a very good Anthony Hopkins vehicle with nice turns of plot. On Monday morning, we both did a 6 mile walk in a beautiful fall weather. Bill continued to work on the Sunday crossword puzzle and then did the Monday puzzle. After lunch, Cathy went off to work. Around mid-afternoon, Bill rode his bike to the bookstore and then did some shopping at ACME. Bill picked out the book "The Founding Fish", by John McPhee for his next read and ordered the book, "Ubik", by Phillip K. Dick (motivated by the announcement of the coming release of the 25th anniversary edition of "Blade Runner"). During late afternoon, Bill did a sunset paddle down to the canal. The sunset and twilight were awesome. We viewed "Mission Impossible III" - Bill was extremely impressed with Tom Cruise acting and stunts in this exciting action flick. Cathy ignored the movie because of its frenetic pace and violence. She just doesn't get it. Tuesday morning was humid. We took a 6 mile walk to the canal and just beat a small local rainstorm that went on for an hour or so. Bill worked on the Red Cross website after lunch and watched the previous night's episode of "War". Cathy went over to Vo-Tech and worked GED registration. When she returned home we took down and washed all of the window screens. After dinner we viewed "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" which Cathy had never seen. Bill enjoyed seeing it for the second time. Bill pre-ordered the 5-DVD set of "Blade Runner Final Cut" and arranged for it to be delivered to Son Bill's house sometime after December 18. Bill looked forward to viewing all of the commentaries and special materials in the RV during the winter. Bill viewed most of the final episode of "War". His overall impression of the documentary series was highly favorable. Taking the point of view of the frontline infantrymen, sailors, pilots, and their families was the key that made the difference. The politicians and generals were seen as very flawed people who cared little about the individuals who were doing the actual killing and dying. We lifted weights and walked for 6 miles on Wednesday morning. It was hot and humid, but we weren't complaining. After lunch, Bill finally got his results from the 9/18 prostate biopsy - all OK. Bill's PSA is even higher at 13.9, but we'll figure that out in April. We celebrated the good news with a hearty meal at Alfe's in Wildwood. On Thursday, October 4, we sent a reservation to the Rock Creek RV Park in Naples, FL for the months of January and February. As Bill started to make some plans for the future, he began to get serious about a 100K walk in April, 2008. He did a 10 mile kayak paddle in the afternoon while Cathy worked. On Friday, Bill walked for 9 miles in the heat and humidity. We got the house ready for the Stoops' visit that evening. The Stoops family arrived at around 7:00 PM. Cathy served a wonderful Spinach Quiche for dinner following a spectacular sunset. On Saturday, everyone hustled to get ready to go to Erin's first game of the soccer tournament that brought her and her family to town. Erin's team held their own in the morning game which ended with a 0-0 tie. We all ate lunch at home. Then, Cathy went to work, the Stoops family went to the afternoon soccer game, and Bill took a paddle on the Bay. Erin's team lost 2-1 against a more experienced team. The Stoops family went to an after game pizza party. Bill and Cathy ate leftovers when Cathy returned from work. On early Sunday morning, Phil and Erin left for her 8:00 AM game. The rest of us had a more relaxing start to the day. Cathy went to work just after Phil and Erin returned from another 0-0 tie game. The Stoops got ready and left around 11:00 AM. Bill ate lunch and then walked for 12 miles in the record breaking heat of the day. Later, Cathy and Bill had a nice dinner at Harborview Restaurant on Ocean Drive. Monday was still very hot and humid. We walked for 6 miles. After lunch, Cathy went to work. Bill rode his bike to ACME to shop for some items. Later in the afternoon, Bill went out fishing in his kayak. There were some baitfish splashing around, but no apparent predators. It was absolutely beautiful out on the Bay. On Tuesday, October 9, we took our last walk on the beach at Cape May Point in hot, humid, summery weather. Bill expected storms during the afternoon, so we parked at the Cove in Cape May and walked to the state park. It was perfect beach weather: hot sun and warm water. On the way back, we noticed some ominous black clouds forming around us. When we got back to the car, Bill checked the radar on the Pocket PC and saw that indeed we were surrounded by T-storms. We cut short our walk and headed home as the raindrops began. On Wednesday, Cathy got her second eye done (cataract surgery). We showed up at the site at 6:30 AM. Bill went to Starbucks for breakfast and then returned to drive Cathy home. Cathy rested while Bill worked the rest of the day on the Red Cross website, which is nearly complete. Bill went out for a late paddle down to Angel Point and returned after a beautiful sunset. We viewed "Reno 911: Miami" which was hilarious. At 4:30 AM on Thursday, Bill was awakened by the sound of distant thunder. He closed up the house and checked the radar on the computer. There was a very thin, but nasty line of heavy thunderstorms approaching from the southwest. Also, there was a tornado warning for neighboring Cumberland County. As Bill was coming back downstairs, he saw a very bright flash and heard the immediate crackle and boom of a close strike. Later we found out that the electricity was knocked out at our neighbor's, the Birsh's, house. Later in the morning, the gale force west winds started to hammer our house. Cathy went to her eye doctor for a post-op checkup (all OK) and went to work after lunch. Bill received his new GPS watch, a Forerunner 205, in the mail. This is the device that Paulette recommended. After getting it set up, he bundled up and went out for a 6 mile walk, trying to keep a 4 mph pace. He ended up with a 3.9 mph pace, so 4 mph is a reasonable goal (but can he keep it up for 62 miles?). On Friday, the gale continued. Bill worked on the NY Times crossword puzzle as he had been doing most days but Saturdays. After lunch, Cathy went to work. Bill walked to the Villas Wildlife Refuge and did a 3 mile run in his new running shoes and glovelike running socks. Bill used the GPS watch for the run and the walk back home. It was interesting to see the crazy course for the run on a map in the PC after uploading it. It looked like part of a golf course as it should have. On Saturday, Cathy went shopping while Bill worked on cleaning bathrooms and straightening up for later company. The wind had been light overnight, but came back strongly. Bill walked for 9 miles at a 4.1 mph average speed. Cathy started to worry about our walking together since she doesn't want to walk at that pace. Cathy's cousins Ann and Mary Beth and respective husbands Alan and Luther arrived in the early evening. We watched a bit of football during cocktail hour. Then Bill grilled swordfish while Cathy did her last minute meal preparations. We enjoyed a great meal and conversation. The evening wrapped up at 11:30 PM. We stayed up another hour cleaning up and relaxing before bedtime. Sunday morning was a time for more straightening up after the night before. Bill set a new personal best by completing the Sunday puzzle before 11:00 AM with a bit of help from Cathy. After Cathy went to work, Bill went about the sad task of stripping the deck and turning off the outside water including removing the low point drain plugs on the outside shower. It's a sign that cold weather is approaching. Bill wanted to rest his legs and go out kayaking, but the Bay stayed windy and rough. We had a nice dinner out at Lucky Bones. Another sign of the times was that there were several empty tables in the restaurant. We viewed the very weird "Wicker Man" after we returned home. It's definitely worth watching, but not unless it's free. We got it from Comcast's "On Demand". The wind finally calmed down on Monday. After lunch, when Cathy went to work, Bill went out for a fishing paddle in his kayak. It was a beautiful afternoon. Bill wore a short sleeved shirt, a bathing suit, and bare feet. He didn't catch any fish, but managed to break his reel due to corrosion. Afterward, Bill wore his new running shoes on a 6 mile walk at an average speed of 4.1 mph. The sunset was gorgeous. We viewed "A Scanner Darkly", a "live action" animation. The best part of the movie was that Keanu Reeve's toon alter self didn't say "whoa" even once. On Tuesday morning, Bill was at his fastest (still slow) at solving the Times puzzle. After lunch, we walked for 6 miles at 3.6 mph. Bill took a second 6 mile lap at a rate of 3.9 mph. Bill had a meeting of the Cape May County Pollution Control Authority in Cape May Court House. We chose Wednesday, December 5 for our annual banquet, maybe at the Blue Claw. On Wednesday morning, we did a slow 4 mile walk at 3.5 mph. It was a very warm and humid day with a brisk south wind. After lunch, Bill dropped Cathy at the bookstore and headed toward Wal-Mart for some shopping. Cathy called on the cell phone before Bill had left Lower Township to report that one of the shop's computers was "hijacked" and putting pop-ups on the screen. Bill worked all afternoon but couldn't solve the problem by closing time at 7:00 PM. We viewed "Benchwarmers", a silly comedy that helped lift our spirits. On Thursday morning, Cathy had an eye appointment which showed that she's making good progress. Bill did some research on "malware" and found a really good tutorial for working through computer invasions. After lunch, Cathy went to work at the bookstore. Bill walked for 6 miles at 4 mph. The weather was turning bad, so Bill asked Cathy to pick him up so that he could continue to work on the bookstore's infected computer. He made some progress, but more is yet to be done. Friday was a bad weather day. We finally ventured out after lunch and did a bit of shopping. We took our neighbors Jim and Fran Lewis to Harborview for a good meal. The view out of the windows was a bit foggy, but it was an interesting, if eerie, view nontheless.

        Bill and Cathy