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Sippin' Yuengling With The White Hairs Of Ft. Pierce, Florida

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Please excuse my absence towards the end last week. I spent the last couple days in Ft. Pierce, FL where my father is recovering from quadruple bypass heart surgery, which is way more druples than you like to hear. He's recovering and doing well but the trip gave me an opportunity to spend some time on Florida's sun-drenched Treasure Coast. These are my observations.

My father his heart surgery at Lawnwood Hospital, which I was horrified to find out is the Official Florida Hospital of the New York Mets. I kept waiting for the entire place to collapse.

Since I live on the West Coast I don't see a lot of Yuengling in the markets and bars. Shame, as one of my favorite memories from living in Hoboken was plopping down at the Farside bar and drinking cheap, delicious Yuengling. This is going back a while but my understanding of the beer was that it was strictly a PA/NY/NJ find. So I was surprised to find it's apparently the official beer of Ft. Pierce, FL. Stocked in every market and with a tap at every bar I went to, Yuengling runs the Treasure Coast. Congratulations to everyone.

I finished reading The Magicians while I was on the trip and I have no problem saying it's the best book I've read in years. Like an adult version of Harry Potter but even that sells the concept short. I finished the book before my five-hour flight back to Seattle and I considered re-reading the entire thing on it. Basically, you're required to read it right now. There will be a test in May. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to grab the sequel, The Magician King, which came out last year.

Every morning I would walk my Dad's dog Charlie down to the beach to throw the tennis ball around. And every morning, it would turn into a life-and-death race against a swarm of mosquitoes. Relentless mosquitoes. At one point I was getting bitten regularly and I turned around to see if there were any bugs trailing me. I am not exaggerating when I say there were 20 mosquitoes following me like a cape flapping in the wind. I can count at least thirty bites on my arms and legs and I'm itching like I fell in a Poison Ivy forest. Sometimes I think the Native American word for Florida roughly translates to "Seriously, You're Not Supposed To Be Here."

Are you in your 30's ad 40's and missing your college days when you went out four/five nights a week? Suck it up for another 20 years cause when you retire, that's what your life will be again apparently. The residents of my Dad's community go out for drinks on Mondays. MONDAYS! I'm asleep by ten on Mondays.

Is there anything better than getting a three-seat row on an airplane all to yourself? The answer is no, nothing is better. I'm reasonably sure heaven is just an eternal airplane ride where you get an entire row of seats all to yourself.

The Ft. Pierce area has a lot of Dollar Stores. That's not a judgement, just an observation. I had no idea the Dollar Store market was loaded with so many competitors. How come more of them don't become "The 97 Cents Store" just to get the edge?

People love to talk about people in their 30's and 20's as The Me Generation, that social media and Facebook and texting and whatever has made us all self-absorbed jerks. You know what, I think that's a load of crap. Go find ten random 60-year-old men and engage in a conversation with each of them for a half-hour. At least seven of them will spend the entire 30 minutes doing most of the talking and that discussion will cover topics as varied as "this is why I was such an amazing salesman/mechanic/businessman/doctor" and "this is why I was an amazing father." Humans are self-absorbed, I don't care what generation you're from and whether or not you use Foursquare.

Speaking of social media, my Dad, who has no concept of how Twitter works, nor how any social media site works, blames Twitter for keeping him up in the hospital. I don't know exactly what drugs they had him on but they were very good. So good that I have a feeling my Dad was hallucinating a wee bit. He was telling me about how he was up all night and the culprit was, "Not Facebook, but the other one." Apparently, at some point during the night, the hospital TVs automatically turn on and the only thing you can watch is The Twitter, whatever that entails. When he explained his theory to the nurse, she was a bit confused. Understandably, given that there is no Internet connection in the ICU rooms. So either my Dad dreams of tweeting or Twitter has gone to the next level of interaction.

Most American fish & chip shops either get the fish right or the chips right but they almost never nail both the fish and the chips (To be fair, same goes for many English chippies as well. Maybe I just have high standards).

Suffice to say, I missed everything the past few days. The NFL Draft. The lacrosse game. This guy with the weird last name who's on our basketball team now. All I know is the Dolphins did some funny things. I'm gonna go catch up now. Bear with me and big thanks to Dan for running the show and Jeremy, Matt, John, Felonious and Andrew (our new recruit) for holding down the fort.