Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vacation Coming Up

Of Course It's Gonna Rain In Florida...

I'm afraid that my Blogging will once again be hit or miss starting on Friday while we drive back to the Orlando, Florida area for Christmas.

I've done a bunch of work on Pat's Mustang (20 MPG versus my Suburban's 9 MPH) and had the oil changed and tires rotated this week, and once I have a couple of coats of RainX on the windshield we should be good to go. If you've never tried RainX, go buy some right now before you head out to GrandMa's house or where ever you're spending your Christmas because the stuff is GREAT!

On the professional front, I'm working on a new lighthouse for the Atlantic coast of Florida. Actually, it's an industrial chimney that's over 100' tall and will be designed to look like a lighthouse to the innocent bystander. We're just budgeting and bidding the project right now, but I really want to do this one because of where it is and who is buying it.

Hopefully Miss USA, Paris Hilton, and all of the Islamic terrorists will give us a break for a few days so we can visit with family and friends without FOX News and CNN interrupting the celebration, but you never know.

I'll be fairly close to the keyboard, and if something bad or stupid happens be assured that I'll be here to comment and explain things.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Leaf Blowers--Part II

Where Are My Ear Plugs?

I've had a significant revelation this week.

In the big picture of things, apparently I really don’t matter.

Neither does Pat.

You see, for the past almost three years that we’ve lived here in paradise, we’ve been assaulted almost daily with the sounds of …

get ready…


I swear, if one of our own people isn’t standing under my window with a hedge trimmer or lawn mower or weed eater or edger or leaf blower in his hand, then the condos on either side or the Mexicans working on the golf course that borders the other two sides of our property are clipping or trimming or pruning or chopping using something powered by a little screaming gasoline engine.


Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

After all, we’re part of a few dozen people that actually LIVE here in one of the 48 condo units 365 days a year (vacation days excluded.)

Instead of listening to the sounds of traffic on I-285 in Atlanta, now I’m condemned to attending a Homelight convention every daylight minute of every day of every year--rain or shine.

It has finally occurred to me that our Executive Board and property management company runs things based on the needs not of the full time residents, but rather it accommodates people that are either here on weekends and holidays else rent their property to TOTAL STRANGERS that drive into our parking lots to enjoy the landscaping and peace & quiet we rarely enjoy.

Of course most of the members of our Board are closer to age 100 than they are to age 50, so you could set off a two megaton nuclear blast on their back patio and all they would feel is the ground shake a little--they can't actually HEAR the goings-on on the property.

If I‘m not careful, I swear that I’m going to be convicted of murder by hedge clipper if I have to keep listening to the whine and smell of two cycle engines every waking minute.

Please, give it a rest already.

And regarding the leaf blower thing, why not take the time to tap on my door and give me the opportunity to move my car or truck before you create a dust storm over and around my freshly washed vehicle?

Right now my Suburban looks like it hasn’t been washed in three years because, in spite of resting comfortably in our covered carport, the idiot yard guys insist on assaulting it weekly with their leaf blowers. I haven’t driven it in the rain since I last washed it, but the sticky salt air down here grabs every bit of dust and attaches it to the paint finish, and it’s FILTHY as a result of our lawn maintenance efforts.

If they keep it up, I'm gonna steal their sparkplugs...

Baby Raccoon

Look Who Came To Visit

I found this little creature wandering around our yard by his/herself last evening:

The little raccoon was so busy eating that it let me walk up within a few feet of it several times. I just talked to it softly and moved slowly and it let me get several good photos like this one.

Our resident armadillo and opossum aren't quite as hospitable.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Leaf Blowers

Don't Make Me Have To Hurt You...

Be hereby advised that if you own and/or operate a leaf blower, and I find you in my yard before 8 AM or anywhere near my cars, I will pick up the nearest tree limb or piece of lawn furnature and beat you within inches of your life.

Thank you for your attention.

That will be all for now...


Why Bother To Play?

I’ve only attended a couple of professional basketball games in my lifetime. If you gave me free tickets to the finals next year I wouldn’t go.

Even if you paid me.

I might even burn the tickets in a show of disinterest and disgust if they weren’t worth so much money.

I would probably end up selling them…to someone I either didn’t like or didn’t know.

You see, I have a several personal problems with the NBA--starting with the character of the players and their rap/hiphop culture. I also can’t stand most of their fans that attend the games.

Can you say “Punks”? Can you say “Idiots”? Can you say “Thugs”?

My real problem with the NBA is that they steal young players from college basketball programs like my beloved Georgia Tech after they’ve only played a year or two.

While pro football will only take a player after they have played out at least three years of their college scholarship commitment, the so called basketball pros will take a guy after he’s signed a four year scholarship commitment and only played one season on campus. Heck I bet they would take a guy after two games if he was good enough and wanted to leave.

The problem for the colleges is that they only have a limited number of scholarships, and the mix of players that they get is limited by and determined by who takes a scholarship to any given school.

Sometimes recruiting the very best player in a given position will cause other good players in that same position to look elsewhere for an opportunity. Georgia Tech’s program has been decimated a number of times over the past twenty years by guys like Kenny Anderson leaving after only one or two seasons when the team was on the verge of greatness.

I don’t understand how Coaches Smith at NC and Dukes’ Krzyzewski keep their players for four years, but Bobby Cremmins and now Paul Hewitt lose the good ones after only two or three years.

The other thing about the NBA that should bother everybody is the criminal background and behavior of an unfortunately large percentage of the player population. The fight this past weekend that has been widely reported and endlessly shown on TV is a good example. (I can’t remember the teams and I refuse to do a Google search to find them.)

If I acted like one of those players at work, I wouldn’t be fined…I’D BE FIRED.

But these spoiled, pampered assholes will just laugh it off, pay their fines out of their pocket change, sit on the bench for a few games, and then it’s back to the status quo.

What kind of message does that send to our kids, especially “minority” kids that are already growing up without fathers or otherwise quality supervision and often see the NBA and the NFL as the only avenue to success?

I think that if you throw a punch at a coach, fan, or other player you should be suspended for the rest of the season and forfeit all of your pay for the season.

If you do it again, you should be banded from further play.

But that’s just one man’s opinion, I guess…

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Strike The Set

It's All Over...

I went back to the theater this afternoon to shoot a few more posed photos after the show, then reduce the set back down to the original sheets of foamboard and sticks of lumber.

It only took a little over an hour and a half, and by 6 PM the stage was clear and you'd never know I'd been there. Here's a couple more photos.

Next up is a giant staircase for the play "Little Foxes" in April.