Dallas Wayne

Dallas Wayne
Snapped by my buddy Winker in Austin a few years ago, here I am mugging it up with XM Outlaw Country host Dallas Wayne backstage somewhere on 6th.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

When Is a Vacation Not Really a Vacation?

Just another brilliant Keys sunset..

I'm not the kind of guy who grumbles about either vacationing or partying, but my current run of vacation days is beginning to take its toll.

I'm sitting in my sister's kitchen in Los Lunas, NM with my laptop squeezed into a small section of the table, as she is utilizing some of the table in crafting my brother-in-law's birthday cake. I'm not particularly creative when not spread out in my own office with the use of the twin monitors there to write, or edit photos and videos. For the record, I simply don't like to work on the road.

I have been in pseudo-vacation mode since I stepped on my flight for West Palm Beach on July 6th. It it now July 31st and I don't return home until tomorrow, Aug 1st. Granted, that's a long time when you are a freelancer who makes money only when he is actually producing something. There are no paid holidays nor vacations. Work I miss while goofing off is simply work lost forever. Money I will not make nor ever recover.

I was home for four days between my stay in the Keys and heading to New Mexico for my brother-in-law's 80th birthday. My Autotrader editor was kind enough to allow me to do several assignments before I left and to cram three more into that little stint at home. During my New Mexico stay, I did have to knock out a couple of assignments. Getting my head around them took a little doing, but I finished and submitted them.
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid.

In the middle of my time in the Keys, I drove up to Ft. Lauderdale, caught a flight and flew to San Francisco to cover the media first drive of the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid in Napa for Autotrader. That two-night, three-day bite out of my Keys vacation hurt, but it did inspire me to book tickets to go back down for the first weekend in August.

Before heading to New Mexico, I made a little detour to Monterey, Calif for a Nissan three-day media event for the 2017 versions of the Armada, Titan and Pathfinder. Historically, such trips didn't involve me doing much more than showing up, eating and drinking my fair share, and then driving whatever vehicle or vehicles were featured. Now that I am consistently collecting content for my video project, I have to actually work on these events. 

Getting the 411 on the 2017 Nissan Titan.

While neck deep in all of this, I have also been working with my Website developer on the just3thingsvideo.com Website. He assures me it will be ready for me to add content before Aug 1st. I'll only have a day and a half at home before heading back to South Florida. As of now, I don't have anything deadlining that I need to do in that 36-hour period, but never say, never. That may provide a little time to add some content to j3tvideo, but maybe not.

Of course, I click over the 65-year mark in August. That entails addressing all manner of issues. For the most part, I have Social Security all squared away; although, I do still have an issue there that I will need to eventually handle. I did meet with an independent insurance agent to help me navigate Medicare. Glad to say that's resolved, at least for the time being.

I also have a small pension from my almost eight-year stint at The Boca Raton News that is being administered by McClatchy Publishing. It purchased Knight-Ridder's pension liability when it bought most of the KR's assets. They thought I was dead – not kidding here – when I contacted them six months ago regarding some income records I need for my unresolved issue with Social Security. I received the paperwork for my pension from them just before leaving for my Nissan/NM trip. I must take care of that during my short home stay.

Part of the collateral damage from my nearly month-long absence from home is my ever-expanding waistline. I'm sure Doc Budelmann isn't going to be happy with me when I waddle into his office for my scheduled appointment in mid August. I've only managed to visit the gym three times in as many weeks. In the meantime, I've been eating and drinking like they award gold medals for it. I fully expect a stern talking to that will include some finger wagging when I next see the doc.

This is only my second Clanging Bell post in a month and, other than updating the Greenville Drive's monthly home schedule, I haven't hit a lick on GreenvilleInsider during that same period. I also have five assignments from Bankrate piled up in my to-do box. Ugh.

The bottom line is that I'm busier now than I have been in years. Not complaining, mind you; but I haven't quite been able to relax much during my 30-day goof-off period. The price of success, I guess.


  1. Glad to hear you're around. I was starting to look for your picture on milk cartons.

  2. There have been times in the past three weeks that I haven't had a clue what day of the week it was, let alone the date. I'm about to lose my stool at a couple of my regular hangouts. That would be catastrophic.