Friday, December 08, 2006

Random Bitching, Complaining, and Observations

I Guesss That I'm Just Spoiled

The NOAA website says that it's 34 degrees F outside right now. It’s below 20 F just north of Atlanta, so I guess that we‘re actually lucky.

Would someone out there please tell me where I can go to put a few hundred dollars into the weather machine in order to buy us another thirty degrees of warmth for the next few months?

Or, on second thought, I'll just try giving Al Gore a call and ask to have a delivery of his "Man-Made Global Warming" shipped in for the weekend.

Well, maybe not…

I guess that it was inevitable that winter would finally arrive here on the Georgia Coast, and by my estimation it probably has. They predict that it might go down into the high 20's outside tomorrow night.

We have some of Pat's family from Pennsylvania visiting us this weekend and we were hoping for good bicycling weather. There's nothing we can do about it, but when we get the chance to entertain friends and family we hate tripping over the Potted Plants and Palm Trees we have to drag into the foyer as a result of the low temperatures.

I know that all of you people that live north of the Mason-Dixon Line will probably want to offer me a hearty WAAAAAHHH WAAAAAHHH Booooo Hooooo HOOOOOOO with that revelation, but just the same I’m not embarrassed for admitting that I don't like cold weather unless I have carefully waxed and honed planks strapped to my feet any time the thermometer drops below about 50 degrees.

OK, maybe 30 degrees for skis, but you get my drift (and excuse the pun…)

Any way, without snow sleds and skis, here on the coast I find that the cold temperatures suck because I have to do things like remember to wear shoes when I take out the trash and put on a lightweight coat if I anticipate going outside to watch the space shuttle launch from the bridge down by our pool deck.

Speaking of which, just in case you didn’t notice, they scrubbed the Shuttle launch last night at the last minute because of weather. I had my camera in my hand at the time, and it (my camera) is ready to go again tonight or later this weekend when and if they manage to get a combination of weather and functioning hardware together.

The scheduled night launch path will take it within less than 100 miles of us as it streaks off to the northeast, so I hope to get some nice timed exposures of its progress as it comes by.

That said, I have to admit that otherwise it's hard for me to muster the energy to rise up off of my sofa these days. After all, my theater set is 99.9% finished and my knees have basically had it as a result of jumping up and down chasing tools and lumber for two weeks.

A couple of days ago I stabbed the hell out of my thumb with a power screwdriver bit doing some final set adjustments and since then it’s made it difficult to do anything but bleed on things and yell “OUCH” when I touch something the wrong way. Even the keyboard hurts me because it was my “space bar” thumb that I put the hole in.

In closing, let me mention that I've got a pretty good head of steam building up regarding some of the political crap that's been going on, but in the spirit of the holidays and in respect of my ongoing effort to actually make sense when I write rather than just issue mindless blabbering...

I'll just make you wait for now as I keep the rest of expert opinions to myself...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Ocean Shore Is Timeless

Only Ignorant People Need A Map, A Thermometer, Or A Barometer

Well, we had yet another neighbor die this past week--a really nice articulate young fellow (mid 60’s?) named William-and I missed his passing by a few days because I was trying to stay out of the way of his and his family‘s business.

I spoke to him briefly less than two weeks ago to ask if he wanted me to call anybody or do anything as he was hauled solo out the door of his condo on his way to the ambulance and on to the hospital, but I have to admit that I was really afraid that he would not make it alive to Christmas...having openly mentioned holding that opinion since this past Spring.

It turns out that I was right.

Bill died of Cancer.

Just Damn.

His sister told me of his demise a few days ago, and at first I felt bad because I hadn’t inquired about his status and done something else (other than nothing) earlier, then I realized that I couldn’t have done anything except make him sit up in his deathbed to talk on the telephone or straighten his hospital gown when I walked in the door.

I’m starting to see a trend here, and I'm afraid that I might actualy be leading the charge myself.

Remember that over seventy percent of our planet is covered with water?

Most, if not all, of the animals that aren’t actually living IN the water are spending most of their existence ensuring that they can attain access to water, and when it‘s time to move on to the next plain of being, it seems to me that we all seek to move back to the place where we all originated--the ocean.

Some of us like my friends in Connecticut will accept the colder waters of the north Atlantic while I elect to move ever farther south along the Georgia and Florida shores, but regardless the nautical sounds and temperate climate provides an environment I find ever so soothing to the savage beast within me.

Bill apparently also knew this fact, and thus like me and many, many others before us, he elected to stay here at the end of his life on St. Simons Island.

And thereby, he made a very graceful exodus from his mortal existence…

RIP Mr. Walther

Premature Proclamations

I Sprayed My Keyboard With Lysol

Well, just as I was about to declare myself safely back on line, I've just got another alien "System Alert" trying to sell me software to remove itself from my computer.

I still think that after about four hours of jacking around removing strange programs from my hard drive I have at least 75% of things under control-at least Internet Explorer comes up in Yahoo mode rather than some software ad.

The tits and ass ads have also disappeared.

The people doing internet spam obviously don't know me, else they'd spam me with the products and tools sold at Home Depot instead of "adult toys" and tempt me with offers of antique cars and their associated spare parts, Cooking Recipes, and Radio controlled model airplane info instead of photos of silicone enhanced female body parts.

I'm to the point where if I turn the volume down I don't hear the "boop" sound when the "Malware Threats" window pops up at the bottom of my screen, so I can work at least a few minutes without cursing the unidentified and as yet un-known names of my volunteer computer consultants that invaded my house this week.

Now where is my really big hammer???

Spammers, Spyware, & Viruses

My Computer Has The Flu

It would appear that the Klingons or some other aliens came down from outer space last night while I was reviewing websites on Charles Dickens' work, captured my new HP laptop, and left in it's place some kind of mutant machine designed to make me lose my mind and start throwing expensive things out the door into the Condo parking lot.

Half the time I've got pop-up windows everywhere showing God knows what kind of body parts doing God knows what to who and/or whom, and the other half of the time I've got windows opening by themselves trying to sell me spyware sweepers and "malware" cleaning programs to fix the problems I'm having.

Of course my free subscription to Norton Internet Security ran out recently and I had not gotten around to renewing it, and now I'm afraid to renew it online because I don't really believe that I'm certain where I'm at on the internet even now because of the crap that's happening when I hit the return key or click the left mouse button.

It looks like that, in addition to a trip to the theater, tomorrow I'll have to go to Staples or Circuit City to buy another shiny silver disk full of bullshit and hope for the best when it's all said and done.

In closing, let me mention that I'm adding Internet Hackers and Spammers to my list of people, along with Militant Muslims, that should expect to have their asses kicked upon sight.

If you are one of these internet shitheads that intrude on other people's computers, I WILL BEAT YOU WITH ANYTHING I CAN LAY MY HANDS ON...INCLUDING MY BARE FISTS.

You Can Bank on it

Monday, December 04, 2006

Busy, Busy Busy

Here's What I've Been Up To

I'm hiding behind the camera while Miss Heather operates the broom and associated broom handle...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Hundred Twenty Two To Nuthin’

Mixed Emotions About College Sports--Close But No Cigar

I pride myself in being able to say that I only missed a couple of Georgia Tech home football games between 1977 and 1997.

I also traveled to places like Clemson, South Carolina; Auburn and Birmingham, Alabama; Winston Salem and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Annapolis, Maryland to watch what many people would consider at best to be mediocre Tech Teams play the home teams in those cities.

The quality of the football play didn’t matter much to me because I was there to study engineering, but I did enjoy following my school’s team because of it’s great football history.

The cause of one of my few absences in 1985 was having to sit in the hospital recovering from a blood clot in my leg while at the same time having my personal Physician attended the Georgia/Georgia Tech game using MY TICKETS. Since he forgot to sign the Hospital discharge order, I wasn’t allowed to go home to watch the game from my own sofa.

Afterwards he belatedly turned me out of the medical facility, I went home, and I got over it in the end.

Other personal milestones include having witnessed Georgia Tech’s running back Eddie Lee Ivory’s effort covering 356 yards in a snowstorm at the Air Force Academy in November of 1978, and Tech finishing in a 3 to 3 tie with a number one ranked Notre Dame in 1980 without throwing a single forward pass. Notre Dame actually had to come from behind to earn the tie.

I was also in the stadium in Orlando in 1990 at the Citrus Bowl when Tech pounded Nebraska and tied for the NCAA Division I National championship.

Since that time, I have only visited “Grant Field at historic Bobby Dodd Stadium” on a few occasions, my personal fortunes and life priorities having changed greatly since I spent two or three thousand dollars a year watching football and basketball just north of Atlanta’s North Avenue.

This year I managed to get a little excited about GT football, but when it was all said and done things have ended pretty much as usual, with Tech snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory on a number of occasions.

Other than an embarrassing 31-7 loss at Clemson back in mid October , Tech managed to come up short by a total of 10 points (Notre Dame 14-10, Georgia 15-12, and Saturday’s 9-6 loss to Wake Forrest) in three other games.

Just Damn.

I have to ask the question out loud: “Where are the points when we need them?”

That’s OK I guess…I’m still “a Hell of an engineer” and life goes on…

Speaking of points, I have a piece of GT memorabilia that is very special to me, not to mention very RARE--a 1917 Georgia Tech Student Yearbook. My Dad was an old book fan, and one day we were wandering around the old Atlanta Flea Market on Piedmont Road (there’s a MARTA transit station there now) and he points out this old tome, and we bought it for $10.

Inside of that canvas hard-covered book, in addition to documentation of life at “The North Avenue Trade School” in the early 1900’s, was an amazing outline of John Heisman’s (of Heisman Trophy fame) 1916 campaign leading Georgia Tech to a college football national championship.

Not only did Georgia Tech score a record setting 222 to 0 victory against Cumberland College in the second game of the season, but they only allowed their opponents to score a TOTAL of 20 points in ten games while my beloved Yellow Jackets scored 467 points.

The schedule that season included Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn Universities, with Tulane, North Carolina, Washington & Lee, Davison, Cumberland, and Mercer thrown in for good measure.

So in closing, I have to say to all of you sports fans out there that perspective is where it is at--not the points spread.

In my opinion, GT had a pretty good year, in spite of Saturday’s conference title loss, and Monday morning I’m still the same useless beach bum or expert Theater Set designer none the less.

Let’s all just try to have a GREAT holiday season regardless of the numbers on the scoreboard…

Hey...can you pass me the gravy and dressing?

Collard Greens

I'm Happier Than A Pig In Mud

It's truely amazing the things that life will throw at you when you least expect them.

Take what happened to me at the theater last Friday as an example.

Out of the clear blue, Rob, one of the Ritz Theater employees, walked up to me with two grocery bags full of fresh home grown Collard and Spinach greens and just GAVE them to me.

One of the other theater employees had grown them and everyone in the building was either crazy else they didn't cook, so by default I inherited the sacks of green treasure.

I acted like Wyle E. Coyote, "Super Genius", and ran away with them as fast as I could, but Pat made me wait until tonight to cook them.

After lovingly being hand washed in cold water to remove any bugs and most of the sand that was present, they're now sitting comfortably in some 212 degree F water simmering away with the Pork Ham Bone left over from Thanksgiving.

The house is starting to stink nicely smell good as I write...


Pat's really gonna hate me now, because there's a big pot of Black Eyed Peas soaking in cold water on the stove top right now, and I'm planning a early morning trip to the grocery store for a few things including some thick sliced bacon.

I'm pretty sure that a nice pone of my soon to be famous "low cal" cornbread made with low colesterol bacon grease is likely to ensue.

It's just a matter of deciding between fried chicken or fish and tonight's dinner is finished.

Excuse me while I let my belt out a little...