Cheech and Chong’s first blog of 2016…….



C & C

They say a unique title will draw readers. Did it?

My finish to the 2015 blogging year was anything but stellar. For some reason, still obscure to me, toward the end of the year I just didn’t have the passion to tickle the keyboard with anything enlightening or particularly humorous. It might have been writer’s block (but don’t you have to be a writer first to get that?) or just plain laziness. Probably some combination of both. But I cherish my blogging friends and love blogging so I hope to improve on that sorry windup to 2015 with a better performance from here on out.

Most writing classes and articles will tell you the best way to get the juices flowing is to sit down and put some words on a page. I’ve decided to tell you about what other things I did in 2015 that might (but not really) excuse my not blogging more.

As an aside, I’m sure many of you have two forms of blogging like I do. There’s the blogs that just come out of you like a bolt of lightning that you just can’t wait to get on a page and publish. And then there’s the kind that need gentle nourishment, slowly flowering as you contemplate and sip a glass of fine wine. I will leave it to you to decide from which method this particular blog emanates.

As most of you know, I am retired. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. The secret is to keep busy. I endeavor. For one thing, I volunteer. I have been involved in many different kinds of volunteerism since retiring, but now my life involves five main pursuits. Of course, this doesn’t include grand-parenting, because that is a labor of love.

One, I work a day a week in the education department of the gorgeous Norfolk Botanical Garden, doing mostly computer related reports and spreadsheets and data entry for their many horticultural related classes. Since I am the quintessential “black thumb”, this has afforded me an opportunity to remedy that failing.


Patty walking among the thousand and thousand of Azaleas at the garden

I also work a day a week in the Trail Center of First Landing State Park here in Virginia Beach. It involves assisting first-time visitors with determining which trail or trails might be the best for their situation (age, physical condition, small kids or strollers, biking, chance to see wildlife, etc.) I have hiked all of those trails many times over myself.  It is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and play six degrees of separation to find out what we have in common. As the most visited state park in all Virginia, it is a very busy time.


A typical scene of the many Cypress lagoons at the State park

I’ve blogged before about my addiction to pickleball. At one time I was playing 6 days a week at various recreations centers in the area. I’ve cut that down to 3-4 times a week. The support group must be working.


Yes, that’s me, hitting my untouchable serve at a pickleball tournament

Also, I am taking piano lessons. I started in January of last year, not knowing a single note of music or ever having played an instrument. It’s been a hoot. I have a very nice teacher whose personality is akin to my own. She is patient, humorous, very understanding and willing to put up with my less than nimble fingers assaulting her piano. I have moved from beginner, to experienced beginner, to advanced beginner to my now exalted position as beginning intermediate. Bless her heart, I’m her oldest student by far, but she still delights in giving me gold stars and smiley faces on the pieces that I “knock out of the park.”

Last, but far from least, I help my dear wife in her position as Regional Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia here in southeastern Virginia, serving as her IT guy for technology issues, a transportation driver to help get our epilepsy heroes who can’t drive to various meetings and functions, and basically go-fer duties as they arise. She is doing wonderful work and it’s an honor for me to play my small part.


So anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m anxious to see how this blogging year unfolds. But you can help.  Let me know how you feel about my blogs. I’ll give you a few choices and you can vote on them.

A. I’d like to see more of your world-famous humor blogs. Really, I can’t stop laughing for days after I read them. You’re pure comedy genius. (Please leave address to send check if you’ve voted for this one).

B. Your blogs are always top rate. I  get excited when I see in the reader that you have posted. And you don’t have to send me a check  just for saying that.  A gift certificate would be fine.

C. Your blogs are OK, but do you really see the need to do more of them?

D. I don’t know why you’re so despondent. Actually, most people would be happy with a 1 out of 4 “good” blogs percentage.

E. Blogging is kind of like a poor man’s diary, isn’t’ it? If I pay you, will you stop?

F. Please help me out here. Where do I go to find the “unfollow” button?

See you in the blogosphere in 2016!

Your pal, Al