Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2007: 9

On Saturday, October 20, we took a day trip to Doylestown to visit Katie, Tom, and Rachel and to have an early celebration of Cathy's birthday. We left at 7:30 AM and had an easy drive on a beautiful morning. We arrived at 10:00 AM and surprised Tom, who was pedaling his cycling trainer. Katie and Rachel were out getting Rachel a flu shot. Soon, Katie and Rachel returned and Tom and Katie went out for an appointment with a financial analyst. We had a good time playing with Rachel inside and outside in the back yard. The highlight of the outdoor activities was many repetitions of "Ring Around the Rosy." Later, we had lunch at Nat's. During the afternoon, Rachel napped, Cathy and Katie went to get pedicures, and Bill and Tom watched football games on TV, Tom on his cycling trainer again. We had an early dinner at Los Serapes where we enjoyed the food and the Mexican singer. We had a little birthday party for Cathy when we returned from dinner. Cathy and Bill left at 7:30 PM and drove home in light traffic again. On Sunday morning, our neighbor Tom invited Bill to go fishing in the afternoon. Bill asked him to come by the bookstore when he was ready to go so Bill could continue to work on clearing the computer of its invaders. Around 10:15 AM, Cathy and Bill went to the bookstore and Bill worked on the computer until shortly after 1:00 PM when Tom picked him up. The day was warm and beautiful. After some engine problems on Tom's boat, Bill and Tom went out to a spot just to the north of the red buoy outside Hereford Inlet between North Wildwood and Stone Harbor. Tom caught a bunch of croakers and bluefish and one weakfish. Bill caught a bluefish and was just happy to be out on the water. On Monday morning, the south wind was stronger than predicted, but it was a very warm and sunny day. We did a walk/run to the canal where Bill ran for about 3 miles. After lunch, we went over to Cape May Point State Park and put in some beach time. Bill had gone to Jim's Bait and Tackle to get line put on his new Wal-Mart reel and so he used it for some surf fishing in a roiling ocean. The south wind was blowing at least 20 mph. Cathy hid behind the concrete bunker, but still got sand-blasted. Bill fished for a couple of hours, but saw and felt no evidence of fish. It was fun to be standing in the warm surf with bare feet. We stopped at ACME on the way back home. On Tuesday, we both went into the bookstore at 10:00 AM. Bill finished up fixing the infected computer and it was fixed! Many thanks go to Howard, one of the gurus of TechSpot who led Bill on the path to success. When Bill got back home he had work to do on the Red Cross website. Also, he spent some time futilely trying to finish the Sunday Times puzzle. He finally gave it up during mid-afternoon. We watched two disturbing Frontline shows: "Cheney's Law" and "Showdown with Iran". A cold front was predicted to come through, so we closed up the house and ran the air conditioning. On Wednesday morning, Bill had to struggle a bit with the Times crossword puzzle, but managed to get it with a little help from Cathy. It had rained overnight and the rain was off and on all day. Bill was stuck inside messing around on his computer. He found a free drawing program which he downloaded in the hopes of giving art another chance. Bill completed his first oil painting which could have been done better by any of 6 grandkids. Poor Cathy dropped off the XTerra at the Gulf Station on Ferry Road for an oil change and brake check. She walked in the rain to the bookstore and then later from the bookstore. We went to the Lobster House for dinner in the evening and enjoyed a good meal at a window table. The rain continued into Thursday. Bill saw a few boats out on a rainy, rough Bay and wondered if the stripers had shown up or if these were just idiots. It turns out that they were idiots who were part of the Utsch's Marina Fishing Contest. According to the Bass Barn, they didn't detect any stripers. We took a 6 mile walk in light rain and heavy wind. Later, as Cathy was heading to ACME, the XTerra came up with a flat tire. Luckily, Cathy only drove a few hundred feet from our driveway. Bill used a can of tire sealer to blow up the tire partially and backed into our driveway. Then Bill used our small air compressor to blow up the tire about 2/3 full. We decided to check it the next morning. The wind and rain continued as we ate dinner and watched the exciting VT/Boston College football game, which ended in a disappointment for VT, but proved that the BC quarterback was for real as a Heisman Hopeful. On Friday morning, Bill check the tire and found it the same. Then Bill pumped more air into it for a later trip to North Cape May. When Cathy was ready for work, Bill drove her in and then dropped the car at the gas station to get the tire fixed and the spare put on. Bill then walked to ACME to get some rice cakes and then to the bookstore to hang out for a while. As the rain started to get harder, Bill walked back to the gas station to pick up the car. They couldn't find anything in the tire or any leak. Also, the spare is mounted on a different style of wheel, so we left the original tire on. When Bill got home, he checked the tire tracks near the house and found a nail. A possible scenario is that the nail punctured the tire and then fell out. The tire leaked slowly until flat and then Bill sealed the leak from the can. It's possible. The day continued dreary and rainy. Bill picked up Cathy at 6:15 PM and then went shopping at ACME. We viewed "Short Cuts" for the second time, but could only do half of it. The last time we viewed the movie was at Jack and JoAnn's condo in 1994. It was fun seeing so many famous actors as their younger selves. On Saturday morning, the rain continued. Bill finished his latest painting, "Hope springs" and then drove to the Lobster House to pick up some haddock filets. We ate lunch in the solarium and watched a last wind squall come over the Bay. During the afternoon, the rain ended, the sky cleared, the sun came out, and the wind picked up. We bundled up and walked for 6 miles. It was great seeing blue sky! The oven-baked haddock was wonderful, but the Penn State - Ohio State football game was dreadful. The wind blew hard overnight. On Sunday morning, the wind continued to blow. Bill spent a good bit of time during the day working on the Times puzzle. Cathy went off to work during late morning. By mid-afternoon, Bill had enough of hiding from the wind and headed out for a 6 mile walk. After Cathy returned from work, we went to dinner at Cucina Rosa and enjoyed a hearty meal. Hints of winter were in the air. Monday morning, October 29, started out very chilly with temperatures in the high 30s. Bill did the Times puzzle in 9 minutes, which is excellent for him, but not excellent. We did a walk/run to the canal, both wearing wool caps. The wind was stubborn and with the temperature in the 50s, it stayed chilly all day. Cathy had an afternoon appointment with her eye doctor, who said she was a fast healer and didn't need glasses. During dinner we viewed "The Little Children", which was at times creepy, funny, sad, and depressing. Cathy couldn't watch the end; Bill gave it a lukewarm thumbs-up. On Tuesday, Cathy worked at the bookstore. Bill waited until late afternoon for the wind to drop and then went out for a lovely paddle to the canal. Bill wore his spring wetsuit for the first time. We watched the Democratic candidates' debate on MSNBC and were underwhelmed. Wednesday was Halloween and was a warmer day. Bill spent a lot of time working on a comment facility for his blog. He was too bullheaded to use a "canned" solution and scraped the rust off of his programming skills to cobble together a set of Php and mySQL programs. Bill dropped Cathy at work. In the late afternoon, Bill did a 6 mile walk at under 15 minute miles. He was encouraged that it was easier to maintain that pace then in the past. On the way to pick up Cathy, Bill rented "Halloween", the movie, and shopped at ACME. We viewed the movie in a darkened house during dinner. Bill spent the rest of the evening viewing the extras on the DVD. On Thursday, Bill spent most of the day finishing the comment facility for his blog. During the afternoon, we walked for 6 miles. We tried a new restaurant for dinner, Flip Flopz in North Wildwood. We were extremely disappointed with the butter-laden, bland food. Nothing was satisfactory, not even the bread. Aside from the lousy food, the place was great. It had a bunch of huge, flat screen TVs We talked the bartender into putting the VA Tech football game on both screens near us and we enjoyed the game. We'll never return to that place to eat. We took a 6 mile walk on Friday morning as the effects of Hurricane Noel started showing up in the form of wind and clouds. During dinner, we viewed "Idiocracy", which Bill loved and Cathy tolerated. The wind increased as we went to bed. By Saturday, Noel was a strong nor'easter which was passing by NJ a couple of hundred miles at sea, thank goodness. The Bay was extremely rough due to the very strong North and Northeast winds. We went over to Cape May to look at the big waves and the surfers that flock to Cape May's beaches during a nor'easter. The waves were big and beautiful, and the water was warm, so the surfers had a good day. We ate pizza at Louie's in Cape May for the first time in a while. Later, Cathy went to work at the bookstore. Bill took a walk in the wind to the canal. On the way back, two women walkers passed him, causing him to speed up to retake the lead for good. When Bill got home, he had the luck to watch Navy beat Notre Dame for the first time in 43 games. Bill is not just piling on a loser; he's rooted against Notre Dame since Ara Parsegian went for a tie against Michigan State back in 1966, when ties were not broken. Sunday, November 4 was Cathy's birthday and the beginning of Standard Time. We went for a late morning walk to the canal. Jim and Chris Devine arrived at around 3:30 PM to co-celebrate Cathy and Chris' common birthday. We had a great dinner at Marie Nicole's in Wildwood Crest. On Monday morning, Jim and Chris left on the 7:30 AM ferry to head back home in North Carolina. We did a walk/run to the canal before lunch. It was a nice day, but the high temperature was in the 50s. After lunch, Bill drove to Jim's Bait and Tackle to get some clams. Later, he went out for a couple of hours of fishing on the Bay. As often is the case, the wind kicked up, forcing Bill to get closer to the beach than he would have liked. We viewed "Perfect Stranger" during dinner. We like the movie with it's twisty plot and good acting. Tuesday started rainy and ended up windy. Cathy worked at the bookstore. After lunch, I put on some warm layers and walked a 9.5 mile circuit which took me by the bookstore. I went to ACME to buy some coffee and pick up another DVD while I was in the area and then headed home in the increasing wind. We viewed "Cool Ideas" during dinner. We found it funny and deeper than is usual for films of this genre (think "American Pie"). The wind kept blowing. On Wednesday, the wind continued blowing and it was colder. Cathy went to work at the bookstore. After lunch, Bill walked the same 9.5 mile circuit with a stop at the bookstore and a visit to ACME. We viewed "The Hoax" during dinner. We both liked the movie and were amazed that it was a true story. The wind let up a little on Thursday, November 8. We drove to Cape May and walked the beach to the lighthouse. Bill found an interesting piece of an old Coca Cola bottle on the beach. There were lots of hawks in the air as we passed the Hawk Watch platform. We ate a nice light lunch at buongiorno cafe in Cape May. We did some shopping and then headed back home. On Friday, it was cold, but not windy. Cathy went to work at the bookstore. Bill donned his full wetsuit and winter gloves and headed out fishing on his kayak with a couple of clams as bait. He fished between the chunkers at 20' slough and the chunkers at 60' slough. At one point he felt a striper messing around with the bait, but later figured that he didn't handle the situation properly. He should have been thumbing the line and let it run for 10 seconds, but he had the reel locked. Live and learn. Bill was out around 3 hours in a very calm Bay. From later reports, the chunkers had a good day. When Bill returned home, he took a long hot shower and then ate a late lunch. Saturday, November 10 was Alex's birthday. At a bit before 9:00 AM, we headed for Glen Mills via the bank for some check cashing. It was another cold day that never got out of the 40s. We had a nice day with the Stoops. Bill got to watch some football. During mid-afternoon, Bill, Phil, Eriin, and Bridget went to a sports barbershop for haircuts. Bill decided to get one too. Then the group went to Starbucks, Blockbuster, and a pet store. We all enjoyed a takeout dinner and then Alex's birthday cake. Both Alex and Bridget blew out the candles since Bridget's birthday was the next day. Bill and Cathy left around 8:00 PM for the drive back home. Sunday, November 11 was Veterans Day. Bill got up early with a possible fishing trip in mind. He had prepared a special blog entry for the day. The wind wasn't horrible, so Bill joined neighbor Tom and Tom's grandson Joe for a fishing trip. It was cold and windy enough to be uncomfortable out on the ocean. Since the stripers hadn't come to the rips yet, we went to the ferris wheel off of Wildwood. We had some hits, but no catches. Bill got home around 1:00 PM. Cathy was working at the bookstore. After lunch, Bill walked to the bookstore and did some shopping at ACME. We went to dinner at Dog Tooth Grille in Wildwood. We ate bar food and enjoyed it. Monday was cold, somewhat windy, and cloudy. We lifted weights and then went for a 6 mile walk. After lunch, Bill arranged for our XTerra to be transported to Naples, FL this winter. He found a company in Cape May Court House run by a retired policeman. On Tuesday morning, Cathy went off to work at the bookstore. After lunch Bill did a speed walk to the bookstore and back with a pace of 14:44 minutes per mile for the 9.6 miles. On Wednesday, Bill decided that he better get to work on the email enhancement project for the 3 motels in Wildwood. At the end of the day, Bill emailed Steve Tecco from Armada by-the-sea that he had a rough draft ready for review. When Cathy got home from the bookstore, we tried to eat dinner at Lucky Bones, but they were closed for renovation. We got hoagies from WaWa and ate at home. The wind picked up as the evening wore on. Bill had decided to rejoin the gym, so on Thursday morning we both drove to North Beach and did Gloria's step class. Bill felt good about being back in the gym. We talked at length with Paula and Ed Kline before leaving. It was rainy, windy, and cold. We ate lunch and then drove to Wal-Mart for some shopping after a stop at Starbucks for a cappuccino for Bill. Bill put some things up on the Internet: our Christmas card, our card insert, the beginning of "Happy Holidays 2007", and the beginning of "On the Road 2008". During dinner we started to view "Paris, Je T'aime" - somewhat interesting, but very choppy. We watched the Democratic candidates' debate - more of the same. Overnight, the wind howled, keeping Bill awake for many hours. On Friday morning, it was still cold and very windy. We drove to the gym so that Cathy could do an interval class and Bill could lift weights and ride the stationary bike. Cathy went to work after lunch. Bill went for a 6 mile walk in a very stiff and cold wind. Later, Bill made a couple of programming adjustments to his blog. The wind finally died down overnight. On Saturday morning, it was cold but less windy. We went to the gym for an interval class for Cathy and weights and bike for Bill. When we got home, we found a message from our neighbor Tom who wanted to go fishing. Bill joined Tom for fishing. They went on the ocean off of Wildwood Crest for a while. There was a fleet there, led by a line of charter boats at anchor, fishing with eels. We drifted with bunker and clams. We didn't see anyone catch anything and neither did we. We moved to the rips and did a long drift. We were joined by a couple of charter boats, including one that had been at the other spot. No one caught anything. We fished with clams and bucktails. As we went in so that Tom could still get into his slip, the wind dropped, the ocean smoothed and it became a beautiful day. Too bad we couldn't have stayed out there. We viewed "Unforgettable" during dinner - very interesting movie with a good cast. On Sunday morning, we got up early (well, Bill didn't get up early for him) and went to Starbucks to pick up breakfast food and coffees. We queued up at around 8:00 AM for the free flu shot drive through which was supposed to open at 9:00 AM. We had both newspapers with us in addition to breakfast. Bill also intended to do the NY Times crossword on his pocket PC. To our surprise, the clinic was open and we breezed through. We were home shortly after 8:30 AM. The east wind was blowing as an Alberta Clipper was approaching. Cathy went off to work. Son Bill called from the road north of Shippensburg on I81, wondering about possible snow on their route to Middletown, NY. Later in the morning, Alex called from a supermarket, wondering about the best potatoes to buy for mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. After lunch, Bill took off on a 9.6 mile walk to the bookstore. It was cold and windy and Bill's time was not as good as he would have liked. Once home, Bill made an adjustment to the programming on his blog and continued to work on the Sunday NY Times puzzle. We went to dinner at the Merion Inn, a tradition for us once the weather turns wintery. The meal was great. The wind blew and it rained overnight. It continued to rain for most of Monday. We picked up the RV from storage to set it up for after Thanksgiving. Cathy went to lunch with her friend Beth. Bill ate lunch and then went with Jim Sosna to help with a couple of heavy items that needed to be moved at Jim's house. Afterward, Bill and Jim picked up Jim's daughter Kelsey at her school, dropped her off, and went to Starbucks for some coffee. Jim dropped Bill back home around mid-afternoon. We both went to the gym to do Katie's step class. Bill had a good time, did some spinning improvisations, but kept it low key to guard his knees. On Tuesday, Cathy went to work. Bill put the RV in position to use it as a spare bedroom and bathroom and set it up except for dewinterizing it. After lunch, Bill did a speed walk of almost 10 miles at a pace of 14:31 minutes per mile, not counting a couple of stops, including one at the bookstore for a couple of minutes. Bill did some packing for Thanksgiving and also moved some clothing to the RV for after Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, we had to hustle to get up to Alex and Phil's house so we could run errands and help get ready for Thanksgiving. All of our family came for Thanksgiving, 3 kids and 6 grandkids. This is the end of this segment of 2007. Our adventures continue in "Happy Holidays 2007."

        Bill and Cathy