Saturday, June 02, 2007

Barry Was A Bust

Who's Next?

Well, so much for going over to the mainland today.

Instead we just sat at home and watched the wind blow the rain at about a 45 degree angle.

The extra moisture was quite welcome here, and we got about 3" worth so the lawns are floating and the parking lots are overflowing and our little dog is quite confused about the situation when she goes outside.

Isn't it funny how self important, supposedly highly educated men waste their breath and TV airtime talking about average temperatures, average rainfall, average this and average that...blaa...blaa...blaa...

...and then God just waves his hand causing the forrest fires go out, my Mom to get dry weather for her new roof installation, and the rainfall totals to move ever constantly back toward normal?

Fire & Rain

Ode To The Okefenokee Fires...

"Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again."

If you ever get to meet me in person, you just might get to hear me sing Mr. James Taylor's words to his hit song "Fire & Rain"

Personally, I recommend that you try to make it over to Chastain Park in Atlanta or some other nice outdoor venue and see James in person when he's in town.


It's raining nicely here outside, but it looks like that our little dog "Missy" is going to have a long weekend of terror trying to do her "business." I can fix a toilet, maybe I can come up with a way to make a dry square yard of grass in a rainstorm.

Anyone wanna bet me?

Opening Night In The "Cone Of Death"

It's June 2nd--Would Somebody Please Call FEMA for us???

OK everyone, take a look at the 2 AM storm track forecast that I just pulled off of the NOAA web site:

( I would be the guy sitting there yawning somewhere in between the third and fourth "black dots" with the "S" in the middle)

I guess that we can forget using our pool this weekend, but on the other hand everyone can also celebrate the resulting tropical rain filling up their rain gauges and the media can possibly shut up talking about the so called "wild fires" that have been burning over the past few months burning the past million years on a seasonal basis based on lightning strikes and cyclic rain patterns.

We only had a little over 6 inches of rain in the Month of May here in South Georgia, so it was inevitable that a few tropical systems filled in the gaps in order for us to all enjoy something know as rainfall on an...


Friday, June 01, 2007

Now Broadcasting Live From My Toilet

Don't Worry, The Seat & Lid Is Down And My Pants Are Up...

As of this evening, everything is apparently back to normal in our own little waste removal department here on St. Simons Island.

In addition to getting the guest bath toilet back in service, over the past couple of days I've managed to install a new bookcase, rummage through two closets and four filing cabinets--tossing out old bills and files and other crap that tends to accumulate in and around your life while you're not paying attention.

I suspect that our trash guys are going to hate me and/or the results of this domestic progress (five or six big plastic bags worth), but I don't care because Pat and I love the overall improvement in our quality of life.

Time to do a little reading, a little writing, and possibly some arithmetic before taking an early evening nap.

Have a nice Friday night...

Here...Look At This Crap

My Technical Writings...

1. All weld preparation, weld techniques, weld operator qualification, weld procedure specification, and weld workmanship shall be conducted in accordance with the ANSI/AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code and ASME BPVC Section IX, as applicable.

2. All vertical and horizontal welds in the stack shell plates shall be completed with the fully automated submerged arc welding (SMAW) process.

3. All welds shall be full penetration. Partial penetration welding is not allowed.

Yes, I actually wrote that stuff, along with a couple of more pages of similar mind-numbing ramblings this morning.

My head was going to explode if I didn't reach down inside and drag it out onto paper, and apparently right now there is a paying market for such gibberish, so I thought... what the heck, I used to do that kind of stuff anyway and had some left over that might be trying to leak out of mouth when the occasion presented itself.

I didn't want to scare anybody, but I made an exception for you today.

Now I ask that you find something else to do while I go a take a nap.

I've Got My Own Bad Case Of TB

So Quarantine Me Here At Home If You Feel That You Need To

My TB is what I call "Total Boredom" with most everything happening in the news right now.

I've got to go now and write some technical specifications, see y'all later.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Toilet Almost Fixed

New Art Lasered To The Living Room Wall...

I'm trying to not admit to myself that I've caught some kind of creeping crud, but regardless the form of the malady I managed to sleep in until after 10 AM this morning for the first time in months, and that was after not sitting up all night writing or drawing or generally screwing around on the internet.

In the middle of the night I did finally subscumb to a shivering fit of mechanical repair work after tiring of listening to the toilet in the guest bath leak for the past three weeks.

The initial quick fix was to just turn the supply valve off between uses, and in a bout of slovenly thought I was considering just building an outhouse on the patio and being done with things for good.

Then I realized that we'd never possibly use that much compost in a Condo, and the Condo Nazis would complain if I used the wrong color paint or shingles, so I reluctantly fell back to Plan B.

I had two kind of repair kits on hand--one that included just the flapper valve and a second one that included almost everything but the tank and bowl.

After fiddling around with the mechanisms a little more I realized that I could probably just get away with the flapper valve replacement. That made me feel a little silly for having waited so long, but hey--I have to spend a certain amount of time goofing off every day--it's in my contract with God when he made me.

Any way, the good news is that my efforts worked in solving the intial problem.

The leakage stopped with the new flapper and with a little further adjustment of the fill valve settings.

But then Murphy's Law took over with the secondary failure of the lever arm inside the tank that pulls the little chain thingy.

I guess another trip to Ace hardware to spend a few more dollars will have things squared away by sometime tonight.

On the other end of the home improvement spectrum, this afternoon I finally got a couple of wall sconces and a big 4' x 3' framed piece of my pen & ink artwork that had been laying around gathering dust for a month mounted on a bare section of wall in our living room.

The star of that exercise was my new laser level. It is an amazing convenience, and it's going to make a great deal of time saving difference when I start hanging kitchen cabinets and building soffits & fascias over in Brunswick.

Now I have to think about what to do for dinner tonight. I'm still guiltily staring at leftover pork & chicken that's been sitting covered in the fridge since Monday night. I hate wasting food, but I just haven't been able to get fired up to start cooking four or five nights a week again yet.

I guess that I'll see if I can talk Pat and the little hound into taking me over to somewhere that has a pet friendly patio, then come home and beat on the toilet tank some more.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Toilet's Still Broken

Construction Related Delays...

Well, I've been back in town for a couple of weeks now, and I still find myself constantly looking at a festering list of things which I haven't had the time and/or the energy to accomplish thus far.

Perhaps the most annoying task is the one involving the replacement of the guts of the toilet in our guest bathroom with new cheep plastic components which I purchased in one of my earlier expeditions to Home Depot.

I'll readily admit that I will do almost anything to avoid screwing around working on old plumbing fixtures. That's why plumbers get away charging $100 an hour, I think.

I don't mind turning off the water supply and unbolting some well worn old porcelain device in order to toss it into the trash, but having to reach my arms and face down inside the bowels of an old sink or toilet's tank just isn't my idea of a fun way to spend an afternoon.

That's exactly the kind of work I'm looking at here in the next couple of days, and the ever mounting costs of excess water consumption is ultimately going to embarrass me into breaking out my monkey wrench and channel-lock pliers and ending our suffering.

That said, I'm sitting here procrastinating again this morning, anticipating hauling my butt over the bridges to Brunswick after rush hour in order to do some more smashing and crashing around under the roof of the old Duplex building.

Adding to my current state of fear is the fact that over on the mainland I have not one but two hideous old toilets lurking in the recesses of the building, taunting me each and every time I walk past the doors of the restrooms.

At least one of them has the water supply attached and turned on, so I guess that I will have to don my rubber gloves and splash a few gallons of Clorox around inside and over the surfaces of everything so I'll have somewhere relatively safe to sit when the time comes.

Assuming that nothing falls over on my head, I'll be back at the keyboard again this evening and maybe then I'll have something interesting to write about (other than toilets.)

This Just In...

Whhhhaaattttt? and Possibly Whhhhhyyyyyyyyyy?

Here I was, doing my normal Redneck Goober thing, trying to mind my own business this evening, wandering around on the Internet, doing a little comment editing and some other technical cleanup here behind the scenes on the blog, when I found this gem of a comment lurking in the unpublished comments folder:

"I am just wondering since when US became anyone's ... I am just wondering since when US became anyone's land other than the native indians? Excuse me if i am being rude here but that is a fact and let us face it. The citizenship of this country is only deserved by those who contribute to the country regardless of what ever ethnic background they belong to and Somalis my friend are taxi payers and a law abiding taxi payer deserves his/her rights be given wether you like it or not. Also if someone chooses to to flush his/her earnings down the toilet that is their business and by the way cushites dont have nabby hair get back to antrho 101 you probably got f on it...."

I promise to rummage around and see if I can find what commentary I made which incited this blast, and if it's worthy of a response I'll be back with my reply.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back To Reality -- My Goose Butt Was Cooked

For Everyone But Me, That Is...

Well, I found our parking lot to be strangely quiet early this morning after almost a week of supporting the increased activity associated with the Memorial Day Holiday.

I'm happy to report that we managed to survive the proceedings here in our little island home, without substantial sunburn, and likewise I trust that you and your families had a good time and avoided having your name placed on one of the lists of statistics which the TV and newspapers love to focus on every two or three months.

Oops...hold on...wait a minute... I have a News FLASH--with gas over $3 a gallon, St. Simons Island was still packed. In spite of OPEC and the damn Arabs and Venezuelans and mean old President Bush, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheaney, people were still waiting in a long line of automobiles to park over at the East Beach Coast Guard Station lot.

I was personally amused to watch our hired Mexicans raise heck most of the day yesterday working on the lawns outside my front door, finishing up the tasks that should have been completed weeks ago in anticipation of hosting the invasion of owners and guests for the extended holiday celebration.

I thought that the ill conceived last minute efforts at sprucing things up was pretty stupid--but then again it was also to be easily expected considering the mentality of the people in charge around here these days.

In my opinion, since our homeowners' association is too cheep to actually hire a competent management company, and since virtually all of the real estate "professionals" here on the island are drunks or idiots or suffer from some combination of both afflictions, only the most obvious maintenance tasks get priority, and only then after something caves in or falls off the roof striking someone on their toe.

Yesterday the Condo Nazis had their second annual "free cokes and beer feast" poolside, at about the same time that I was over at Bruce and Ski's house chasing my roasted pork butt around a cutting board and slicing up limes, lemons, and oranges for garnish.

My long time readers may recall that I've tried to liven things up by doing my own Memorial Day weekend Bar-B-Que for three years in a row here poolside, but last year when the "officials" decided to finally start hosting an "approved" event (after years of neglect and high browed dis-interest), that they also chose Memorial Day for the date of their extravaganza and strangely enough I wasn't included in the planning or operations stage of their process.

That's OK, I can take a hint, even if it's not a very a subtle one...

I just went ahead and brined my butt, roasted my butt, then packed my butt up and took it over where my butt would be appreciated.

This afternoon I'm dicing up what is left of my butt and making more tamales.

We're having drinks at 5 PM, and dinner will be about 6:30, so stop on by if you're in the area.

Monday, May 28, 2007

My Lack Of Progress Is Really Not My Own Fault

Who Makes This Stuff ... Any Way?

So here I am, at 4 AM, furiously thrashing around in my attempt at chasing about ten pounds of uncooked meat into some edible form to serve for dinner this afternoon.

Pork...Chicken...AND some soon to be tasty grilled fish fillets, along with a few pounds of vegetables that need grinding or shredding or other abuse--it's all laying around in one form or the other waiting for my attention.

It's hard handling that much meat in our little "galley" style kitchen, and storing same in our relatively small condo sized double door fridge takes some organization and planning (where's a nice 48" SubZero Fridge when you need one?)

On a positive note, I've just finished rinsing off a few things that haven't been used since last January--stuff like my food processor, and in the effort I've discovered that Pat, in what I am certain was a well intended fit of local urban renewal in support of a neighbor's yard sale, removed all of my old dishtowels from our kitchen and replaced them with lovely new decorative models.

The only problem is...

for some reason these towels, like many of our pretty "fruu fruu" bath towels, must have been treated with "scotchguard" or some other water repellent compound that absolutely refuses to take on any water...something that I find to be high on the list of things anything with the phrase "towel" in it's name should be quite adept at doing.

Seriously, I've got a couple of bath towels that I think must actually add water to your body when you wipe them across your flesh after bathing. Without getting into any gross details, let me just say that I'm a sort of harry kind of guy and I appreciate a nice fluffy ABSORBENT bath towel just like my dishes need some good competent terrycloth at the end of their trip through the kitchen sink.

This dishtowel realization follows closely on the heels of the knowledge that the old, worn out beach towels also recently went to the yard sale. When I asked what I should do about garage, shop, and construction clean up, all I was told that I could buy whatever I needed.

That's right, we GAVE away towels to sell at a yard sale, so that I could BUY towels to wipe my dirty face, hands, and puddles of oil off the floor when the time comes.

I'm laughing as I say this but...

W H Y?