CANDOER News

U.S. Symbol

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 25January 1998Volume 3 - Number 2

Welcome to the CANDOER News. Suggestions as to what you would like to see in the CANDOER are welcome. Letters to the editor, articles consisting of general information, feature articles, G-rated jokes, or poems, written/submitted by retirees or OC/IM employees, past or present, will be published, unedited. Material may be submitted on a 3.5" floppy disk (disk will be returned) using WordPerfect Version 6.1 or earlier (if it contains graphics), on a plain sheet of paper (if it has no graphics) or via e-mail. The deadline for submitting material is no later than the 25th of each month. Material received after that date will be published in the next issue of the CANDOER, space allowing. Please, restrict articles/submissions to two single spaced, typed pages. No hand written submissions, please.

The snail-mail address for submissions or letters to the editor is:

Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
Publisher/Editor CANDOER News
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Hi Bob:

We are finally hooked up to E-mail. Our computer took a major hit during shipment from the States and we had to wait for repair before paying for new E-mail addresses.

Weather here is finally starting to cool off. Today is a nice 82 with low humidity. Yesterday, for instance, was 89 and very humid.

Linda is the acting Ambassador until sometime next year. No Ambassador has been named yet. Great golf courses, scuba opportunities and the city of Santo Domingo seems to have anything you could want, i.e., Burger King, McDonalds, Wendys, etc.

Anyway, if you can get our E-mail addresses added to your next CANDOER, we'd appreciate it.

You have really done a great thing with your newsletter, and I'm sure, like we, that many people feel the same way.

Merry Christmas to all.

Warmest regards from Leo Duncan and Linda Watt

CAT'S CORNER

I am going to make another plea. There are a million stories and experiences out there in our more than 200 members. I hear them at parties and at the luncheons. PLEASE, jot them down and share them with the rest of the members. You don't have to be an expert writer, you're among friends. My wife, who taught English, is more than willing to go over them and correct the punctuation and syntax, if you so desire. Help me to keep this Newsletter fresh and new. Your help will be appreciated by me and all the members.

RETIREMENT INFORMATION

The following information was sent to all State employees (you notice I said employees and not retirees), on December 3.

I am not sure if this affects any of you but, just in case, I thought I would furnish the information to you all.

Correction of Certain Automatic FERS/FSPS Retirement Coverage for Employees with Five Years of Civilian Service Before 1987

Due to a recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, certain employees who were placed in FERS coverage automatically are eligible to have their retirement coverage corrected retroactively to CSRS. (Employees placed under FSPS coverage automatically will have a similar right to have their coverage changed to FSRDS.) The only employees affected by this decision were those who had a series of temporary appointments, totaling five years of civilian service as of 12/31/86. If you had a series of temporary appointments totaling five years of civilian service as of 12/31/86 and were automatically placed in the FERS or the FSPS, please contact Dan Webber in the Retirement Office, PER/RET, Room 1251, Telephone (202) 647-7464, fax (202) 647-1570.

FOREIGN SERVICE DAY - May 8, 1998

Attention Foreign Service Retirees:

You are cordially invited to participate in the 33rd celebration of Foreign Service Day on Friday, May 8, 1998. They will feature notable speakers who will make presentations on current foreign affairs issues.

A luncheon with a keynote speaker will be held in the Benjamin Franklin Room. In addition, the American Foreign Service Association will host a reception on Friday evening and hold its traditional brunch the next morning.

If you are interested in attending Foreign Service Day, please send your full name, address, and telephone number to the following address:

Foreign Service Day
PER/EX - Room 3811
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520-2810

A formal invitation with instructions will then be sent to you. Please call 202-647-8115 if you have any questions.

THE SAMSON SAGAS

Samson at the Pub

by Jim Steeves

In Dublin we had our favorite neighborhood pub and were well acquainted with a few others just in case the favorite burned down. Everyone in Ireland has a regular pub. As in many other European countries, people generally joined friends at such places which required no large living rooms which few people had in their home, or the chore of having to prepare the house for guests and cleaning up a mess after company left.

Our pub was about eight blocks away and could hold perhaps 150 patrons in ... I think, about four main rooms. It was a really comfortable pub, particularly in winter because it had a massive fireplace in each of the main rooms and we usually got there early enough to set where we, or perhaps I should say, Samson, wanted.

There were tables and chairs, of course, but we favored the upholstered lounge benches. These benches had high backs and on the wall, above the back, every ten feet or so, was a push-button, like a door bell button. A person summoned a waiter for another drink, or launched a poodle, by giving the button a push. It sounded just like the door bell at home.

The Irish, like the Spanish and Germans (and perhaps other nationalities) permitted well-behaved animals in their pubs and, being the head honcho of our household, Samson always went to the pub with us. He had his favorite room and favorite spot in it, one which gave him a good view of the room and one end of the bar (actually, the serving area) and beyond into part of one of the other main rooms. He perched on the bench and kept an eye on all who entered. He had one particularly cute trait, that of crossing one front paw over the top of the other. It was apparently the most comfortable way for him to lay when he didn't lay on his side which he found entirely too informal for a pub. I need hardly say that he attracted a lot of attention. He accepted this attention as being natural - after all who could resist a miniature silver poodle, with a front paw crossed over the other, alertly watching the activity in his room? Because so many people asked to pet him, we got to meet folks whom we otherwise wouldn't have, which is one of the things we liked about pubs. But....when anyone pushed the button for another round, (and some did just to watch the little devil) Samson took off. Everyone laughed and watched him charge toward the bar but he immediately responded to my call to stop and come back. Certainly the gov'nor would have told us if this was any problem and he never did. I suspect the gov'nor would have given us a discount for the extra business Samson brought in, had we asked for one.

THOUGHTS

Some of you have already read the following, but I am still going to repeat it with the New Year celebrations about to begin.

THE QUIETEST ROOM IN TOWN

They have been expecting you. They knew that eventually you'd show up. It won't be possible for you to know what is happening, so I'm going to take the liberty of filling you in. The beginning for you will be when you stagger to your car. The beginning for them will be when a bulletin goes out on the police radio reporting the location of a serious accident with instruction to "proceed at once."

You won't hear the sirens. The ambulance and the police car will arrive together. They will check you over and pronounce you dead.

A few curious motorists who heard or saw the crash will stop their cars and walk back to look at your broken, bloody body. Some of them will get sick. Others will cry.

The ambulance driver will roll out a stretcher. The attendant will stuff your hands under your belt and grab you under the arms. The driver will take hold of your legs. You will be placed on the stretcher and covered with a blanket.

They'll drive you to the coroner's office, where a deputy coroner will wheel you over to a scale. He'll remove the blanket, shake his head and say, "Another one."

Your clothes will be cut off. You will be weighed and measured.

The deputy coroner will make a record of your injuries, cover you up again and wheel you to a small room with white-tiled walls. There are hoses in that room. Traffic victims are almost always a bloody mess.

You will be cleaned up (as much as possible) and moved to a long hall with several stretchers lined up against its pale green walls. In that hall are 41 crypts. If it has been a slow evening you will have a stretcher and a crypt all to yourself. But, it's New Year's Day weekend, you may have lots of company.

They will go away and leave you there, in the quietest room in town.

In an hour or so they will come back and move you again. You will be placed behind a large glass window so your wife or your husband or your parents or a friend can identify you.

You won't see the agony and pain in their eyes, and it's just as well. Nor will you hear the screams and sobbing when they lower the sheet and ask, "Is this your husband..wife..son..daughter..brother..sister..friend?"

As I was saying, they are waiting for you--the police, the ambulance crews, the coroners at the morgue and the morticians. They are expecting you.

Remember this, when you toss down that last drink and climb behind the steering wheel.

If you must drink, don't drive. If you must drive, don't drink.

Editorial Comment: Please, don't let yours be the next death notice I publish in the News, just because you had to have one more for the road.

LUNCHEON LOG

We had another small turnout this month. A total of 11 CANDOER's showed up, including two newbies. In attendance were the following regulars: Bob Campopiano, Bob Catlin, Al Debnar, Charlie Ditmeyer, Joel Kleiman, Mel Maples, Will Naeher, Bob Scheller, and Val Taylor.

A big CANDOER WELCOME to first time attendees, Bob Alexander and Bob Rouleau. May we see you at many, many more luncheons.

RETIREE'S REPORT

On November 26, I received an E-mail request from Lloyd Stevenson to become a member of the CANDOERs. On December 17, I received Lloyds Personal data. Lloyd's snail-mail and E-mail address are furnished in this issue.

On November 29, I received an E-mail message from John and Monty Jomeruck, notifying me of a change of E-mail address. While they are looking for a new ISP, they are going to use a temporary E-mail address with JUNO. Their address may be found in this issue.

On December 1, I received an E-mail message from David Diamond. David informed me that the company he works for has transferred him to the Greater Boston Area. He will be working on Y2K problems in their computer systems. He has furnished his new E-mail address and will furnish his new snail-mail address when he gets settled.

On December 4, Bob Alexander notified me that he now has a new 300 MHz Pentium II computer and a new ISP. His E-mail address is furnished in this issue.

On December 8, I received a donation and a Christmas card from Walt Johnson.

On December 10, I received a donation and a Christmas card from Rey and Grace Grammo. They are doing well, and keeping busy.

On December 10, I received a donation and a Christmas Card from Clarence and Anna Smith. They are both doing well and wish all their friends and colleagues the happiest of holidays.

On December 11, I received an E-mail message from Gary Alley requesting information on the CANDOER Luncheons. I sent Gary my standard membership package.

On December 12, I received an E-mail message from Jim and Mary Prosser. They are going to be in the area for the Holiday season. They asked I pass their new area code onto members. It may be found in the Pen and Ink section.

On December 12, I received a call from Graham Lobb. Graham asked that I mail a copy of the latest Directory of Members and the December issue of the CANDOER News to Paula Jakub, V.P, American Foreign Service Protective Association. On December 13, I mailed both the November and December issues of the News to Ms. Jakub as well as the 1998 Directory of Members, with instructions that it was NOT to be used to solicit funds from members.

On December 13, I received a Christmas card and a donation from Charles and Shirley Grainger.

On December 14, I received an E-mail from Bill Weatherford. Bill is in the area for the holidays and to be with his son and daughter-in-law for the birth of their first child. I called Bill and talked to him. He and Judy are doing well and said they enjoyed the drive out here from Albuquerque.

On December 15, Dick Maroney requested information about the CANDOERs. Dick was a Sgt. Major in the DLO's office and later worked at SA-21 as the Warehouse Chief. Dick is now retired and lives in Southern Virginia. His address may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue.

On December 16, I received a donation to the CANDOER funds from both Joe Fagan and Grant Shaw.

On December 17, I received an E-mail from Will Naeher requesting I send information about the CANDOERs to Jack Hubert. I mailed Jack the December issue and the 1998 Directory of Members.

On December 18, Dick Geary gave me a boat oar that some of you may recognize. Dick said he found it several years ago behind a door in an office he moved into. The oar was presented, on March 31, 1974, to a Hampson, upon his retirement. The oar contains the signatures of 29 of his colleagues. The names are, Lou Vraniak, Bill Noorstil (sic), Mary Bailey, Keith Atkins, Charlie Hoffman, William Johnson, Robert A. Yamamara, Gary Minotra (sic), Don Wollert, Ed Fenstermacher, George Getman, Tom McCay, Bea Zamarripa, Hal Norwood, Al Giovetti, Boyd Koffman, Tod Manheim, Warren Spurr, George Sura, Bob Nichols, Glen Messenger, Chuck Rambo, Jerry Jaearnan (sic), Margaret Warner, Grant Shaw, Will Naeher, H.J. Schneider, Joe Hutchins and Joe P (could not make out the last name).

Nancy and I would like to thank each of you who sent us a Christmas card and/or a Seasons Greetings wish via E-mail and snail mail.

Trans-Siberian Railroad Voyage Journal
July 1996

by Jim Prosser

Part 11 of 14

- Tuesday, July 23 -

At both early morning stops today there were no vendors or kiosks operating. This was undoubtedly due to the train now being at least three hours late. When it is on time, private vendors would not come nor would kiosks be open in the dead of night. Consequently I was unable to purchase anything for breakfast.

At Svobodnyy we crossed the very wide (about one kilometer) and fast flowing Zeya River. The railroad built single parallel bridges, but a kilometer apart.

No one was able to figure out for sure why that was done. Both ends of the bridge are well protected by military guards. The guards waved back to us. The bridges obviously are extremely important and loss of even a single one to natural causes or military action would be a huge economic blow to the country.

This is an area where it is common to see military installations and trains which support the defense perimeter north of the Chinese border. The visible state of their equipment does not inspire confidence. Furthermore, the sloppy dress of the very young soldiers and their unmilitary bearing suggest discipline in the Russian Army leaves a lot to be desired.

We passed a hay field which has to be the largest in the world. It should be in the Guinness Book of Records if it isn't. All the hay had been cut and put in large rolled bales. The field was at least eight kilometers long unbroken and 4-5 kilometers distant from each side of the tracks which bisected the field! It was quite a sight.

At Arkhara the train was more than four hours late due to slow travel over extensive new roadbed construction encountered and the derailment delay we passed two days ago. It is doubtful we will arrive in Vladivostok anywhere near the scheduled time tomorrow.

Trains on the oncoming track were spaced about five minutes apart. They kept on passing us with such regularity it made scenery photography chancy. As we approached ever closer to Pacific ports, trains exclusively devoted to sea containers were more prevalent. I also noticed a number of unit trains of cereal grain hopper cars. I was unable to learn if these westbound trains were loaded or empties. I suspect they were loaded, as Russia imports considerable amounts of grain from North America. Indeed, this is a very busy system!

Anna happened to be in the dining car after another one of those quick platform vodka sales took place. She said when Svetlana came back on board, she and Vladimir engaged in a money counting exercise and was amazed at the volume of banknotes they had. She had no idea how much was actually involved (one does easily become confused with all those extra zeros on each banknote).

At Bira we were scheduled for a ten minute stop. There was another significant vodka sale out of the dining car. After about 25-30 boxes were stacked on the platform, the fellows receiving it paid Svetlana. A bystander walked over to the boxes, opened one and was abruptly hustled away by accomplices of the buyers. At this point the train started moving with me still on the platform. I trotted along and hopped aboard like brakemen in a railroad yard.

I sure wish the engineer would sound the horn before departure! It would not be fun to be left out here. This was only a seven minute stop.

From Bira to Birobidzhan was about an hour's run. Birobidzhan is the capital of the former Russian Jewish Autonomous Oblast, established by Stalin for settlement of his Jewish population before World War II. I read in the International Herald Tribune in Moscow shortly before boarding the train that only about 10,000 Jewish people remain in the Oblast. The single remaining synagogue is supposedly closed.

At 1900, Anna and I went to the dining car to have dinner.

Svetlana advised they would serve dinner after departure from Birobidzhan, but served us some beer in the interim. As the vodka stash was almost depleted, there were a few more tables available for service in the dining car.

And for the first time on this portion of the trip we were joined by two other groups of Russian diners. Since Moscow, the dining car was almost the exclusive preserve of the few foreigners on the train. One group of two Russian men and a woman sat at the table adjacent to me. Two other Russian men sat at the table on the other side. I'll call one of them "Ivan, The Terrible" for reasons which will become evident.

The train pulled into Birobidzhan for a five minute stop. The east exit door of the dining car was opened and two or three men came aboard to get their order of boxed vodka. There was furious activity by Vladimir, Svetlana and the train mechanic to get all the boxes out the door, count and verify them, collect the money and verify it - all in five minutes time!

Hold everything! There was a shortage of one box! The buyer shouted from the platform "give me another box of vodka!" Svetlana and Vladimir did a fast check.

Vladimir then ran back to the kitchen, grabbed another box and started running back to the open door. Anna and I now witnessed "Ivan, The Terrible" intentionally stick his foot into the aisle to trip Vladimir who went sprawling with the box! Nothing was broken!

Vladimir tossed the box out the door to waiting hands on the platform. The train started to move. Svetlana was furious! Pandemonium!

Vladimir rushed back into the car, dragged "Ivan, The Terrible" out of his seat and pummeled him down on the floor between our tables! POW! BAM! BIFF! WHAM! SOCK!

Vladimir now picked up "Ivan, The Terrible" by the scruff of his neck and seat of his pants and was rushing him to the open car door where you can only guess what was going to happen next as the train was now rolling out of the station. But Svetlana ordered "nyet, nyet", jumped both of them and all three went crashing down on the floor again! The train mechanic closed the door and undoubtedly saved "Ivan, The Terrible's" life.

The train mechanic then restrained Vladimir who had really lost his temper, while Svetlana escorted "Ivan, The Terrible" and his friend out of the dining car. The three other Russians, the Australian lady, and I were flabbergasted at what we had just witnessed! It all took place in no more than six minutes time.

The amazing thing about this incident, was that during all the time of the shouting, shoving and pugilistic activity, "Ivan, The Terrible" never spoke one word!

We were further astonished by subsequent events. Svetlana said that "normal" service would resume shortly.

First of all, Vladimir, Svetlana, and the mechanic returned to the kitchen. We all had great admiration for Svetlana, for, after what she had just been through, several moments later she returned in a good mood, completely composed, smiling - almost as if nothing had happened. She asked if we wished to eat and we all say "yes, but urged her not to hurry.

Then for some inexplicable reason, the two Russian men and the woman had Svetlana bring a magnum bottle of Russian champagne and a large box of chocolates to me and Anna, the Australian lady! We shared them with everyone. Svetlana wanted the pieces with nuts. She then gave us a 2-liter bottle of Russian beer rated at 11 percent! We could only surmise the gesture of champagne and chocolates from the Russian diners was perhaps more out of atonement or embarrassment for the behavior of their countrymen, but we accepted it as one of friendship and thanked them.

Svetlana, who by now was sitting with us, looked up and saw "Ivan, The Terrible" and his friend returning to the car. Incredibly, she greeted them rather than shooing them out! "Ivan, The Terrible" asked for Vladimir, apparently to make an apology. Equally incredible, Vladimir came out of the kitchen, not with a meat cleaver in hand, but in a much more amiable disposition than last we saw. Words were exchanged. Vladimir, now mollified, went back into the kitchen. "Ivan, The Terrible" and his friend sat down at a table and gave their order to Svetlana! Anna amusingly whispered to me "I wonder if their food is going to be poisoned?"

I had to find out what was going on relative to this dining car operation. When all had finished eating and Svetlana was somewhat more relaxed, she freely provided the answers.

Some time after 1990, each dining car on the Russian railroad system, while owned by the railroad, was leased to a concessioner for 20,000,000 rubles per car annually. Svetlana and Vladimir are not railroad employees, but the concessioner's. Due to the absence of roads between Chita and Birobidzhan, the dining car concessioner soon discovered company income could be enormously supplemented by the sales of vodka to entrepreneurs at stations between the two cities! For the locals, the train was their best opportunity to obtain their favorite beverage on a regular basis.

The dining car mystery was finally satisfactorily resolved. The problem is though, serving food has become a relatively very small part of the concessioner's business, at least on the Trans-Siberian railroad's Rossiya.

By the time I returned to my compartments, it was almost midnight. Glancing out the window, I saw the bright lights of Khabarovsk looming across the Amur River. The river here, like so many we have crossed in Siberia is extremely wide. The train stopped in Khabarovsk for 30 minutes. We were still four hours late.

This is an industrial city of oil refining, saw milling, meat packing, railroad center and territory capital with population of 608,000. The Khabarovsk Territory of Russia is in southeastern Siberia, bordering the Sea of Okhotsk and drained by the Amur River. The territory population is 1,728,000. Mineral resources include gold, coal, and iron ore.

Surprisingly, we changed to an articulated diesel locomotive! We now set off on the last leg of this fabulous trip. Because of the dark, I was unable to ascertain as to exactly where electrification ended as we left Khabarovsk heading straight south. I had expected complete electrification over the entire route of the Trans-Siberian.

HUMOR

The following joke was received, via E-mail, from Tim Taylor.

The worried housewife sprang to the telephone when it rang and listened with relief to the kindly voice in her ear. "How are you, darling?" the voice said. "What kind of a day are you having?" "Oh, mother," said the housewife, breaking into bitter tears, "I've had such a bad day. The baby won't eat and the washing machine broke down. I haven't had a chance to go shopping, and besides, I've just sprained my ankle and I have to hobble around. On top of that, the house is a mess and I'm supposed to have two couples to dinner tonight." The mother was shocked and was at once all sympathy. "Oh, darling," she said, "sit down, relax, and close your eyes. I'll be over in half an hour. I'll do your shopping, clean up the house, and cook your dinner for you. I'll feed the baby and I'll call a repairman I know, who will be at your house to fix the washing machine promptly. Now stop crying. I'll do everything. In fact, I'll even call George at the office and tell him he ought to come home and help out for once." "George?" said the housewife, "Who's George?" "Why, George, your husband!. Is this 223-1374? "No, It's 223-1347, came the reply. "Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I have the wrong number." There was a short pause and the housewife said, "Does this mean you're not coming over?"

Moscow Mail
by James F. Prosser

For sheer volume of mail, both APO and air pouch, in my experience nothing surpassed that of Moscow in the years 1972-74. I had been forewarned about it, but nothing prepares one for the actuality.

Our mail was dispatched and received through Vienna twice weekly by air, Helsinki weekly by train, and New York thrice weekly by PanAm. Making things particularly difficult was the firm requirement that all mail be in sealed diplomatic pouches, including APO mail and parcels.

The volume via Helsinki on the weekly train vastly exceeded the other two routes combined. To reduce the number of diplomatic pouches and amount of paperwork required for invoicing, tagging, etc. we placed all the mail in "W" pouches, the largest made by the Department of State. Sometimes there was so much mail each week, the Finnish and Russian railroad would have just one complete baggage car for all of the courier's "W" bags.

Yes, the unclassified APO and air pouches were escorted in and out of the Soviet Union then by paired nonprofessional couriers usually supplied by Embassy Moscow. The "W" bags when fully loaded with mail often required a fork lift vehicle to move them on and off vehicles and railway carriages. Fortunately, Helsinki and Moscow had the proper equipment.

Our main problem on the Helsinki mail run was having an adequate number of "W" pouches available at each end. Asking Frankfurt and Washington to send us some usually was futile. Finally out of desperation, it was decided that we would have our own "W" pouches manufactured by a tentmaker in Finland.

Through the resourcefulness of Helsinki's communications officer, James D. Hall and the understanding cooperation of Moscow's Administrative Counselor, Roger Provencher, we had a Finnish tentmaker exactly duplicate a "W" bag 25 times in size and canvas thickness. These special pouches were numbered HM-1 through HM-25 and bore all the usual markings of Department of State diplomatic pouches. It wasn't kosher, but it worked.

Having done this without the Department's approval, it was essential that they be used exclusively on the Helsinki-Moscow mail runs.

Assisting Jim Hall in Helsinki at the time were communicators Dennis Starr and the famous Mary "Big Heart" Peterson along with a Finnish mail clerk. I felt sorry for them, for we in Moscow had more than twice the number of people to work the same volume at the Moscow end.

One Friday morning after the arrival of the Helsinki train, Will Naeher happened to be in Moscow for one of his US-USSR Hot Line meetings. I asked him to come down to the rear of the Embassy and witness what happens every Friday morning. In came two trucks loaded with 17 "HM" pouches representing about two tons of mail. I kept my fingers crossed hoping Will would not notice the illegal "HM" pouches. He didn't, and was suitably impressed on how fast two tons of mail can be sorted and distributed by communicators and eager recipient volunteers.

To my knowledge, no one ever was questioned about these unique "HM" diplomatic pouches.

Centipedes in Israel
by Jim Steeves

Among other creatures, there are centipedes in Israel. I recall two events which will never be forgotten. The first occurred when my youngest daughter Jennifer, then a two-month-old baby, was in her crib crying for mama to come for her two a.m. feeding. I normally was unaware of these events, partially because there was little I could do to assist and also because, during that year, I averaged working about 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

So I was startled when my wife ran into the room yelling about a centipede. She managed to awake our eldest daughter, 1-1/2 year old Suzy and get Samson excited, about what he didn't know, but he ran around barking just in case that would help.

My wife's cause for alarm wasn't just because she'd seen a centipede in Jenny's room, which ran from that room into Suzy's room, but because it had an orange tail. The orange tail centipedes, we'd been told, were poisonous. Perhaps the normal ones were tasty, I don't know but we are alarmed at the sight of that orange tailed one and I then proceeded to move furniture furiously in a vain attempt to locate the monster. We never found it and eventually learned that those things can crawl through solid concrete at full speed.

The second encounter with a centipede came about when I'd come home from an exhausting day at work at about 8:00 p.m., early for that period, and just flopped into a soft lounge chair in the living room with a gin and tonic while my wife heated up something in the kitchen. I was wearing long pants - my legs stretched way out in front of me. After a few sips of my drink, with eye lids drooping, I realized that something had crawled up inside my pant leg. In the next two seconds I rose straight up in the air several feet, the drink went flying and a centipede dropped to the floor and went faster than I could have if I'd have tried, toward a sliding glass door that led to the north patio - which was closed! As I got to the door and looked out, all I could see was a centipede moving very quickly across the patio, but I couldn't tell if it had an orange tail. For some time thereafter, I was fully awake.

ENJOY!

See you next month.

Issue Index   Issue 26