Saturday, September 08, 2007

My Left Over Rain Storm Finally Gets National Attention

I Are Your Weather Guru...

OK Ladies & Gentlemen, It's like this.

I'm pissed.

After all, how can I ever get into the weather prediction business if I keep on keeping my predictions to myself?

You see, it was exactly one week ago I was sitting here on the Internet and watching the Weather Channel, looking at a rotating mass of atmospheric energy that was anchored slightly offshore of Sapelo Island, Georgia.

It was basically a big giant blob of juicy clouds that insisted on soaking me and my Island home, and by default it saturated my Friday night football game halftime antics in the process.

I got over it since then, after coming home and applying a few pounds of Gold Bond Powder and Tinactin anti-fungal cream to the appropriate body parts, but I've still resented the little storm's imposition on my life as I watched it continue to spin away offshore over the past week.

Was I the only one that noticed it's features?

Apparently not, because now it's official...

My little local rainstorm has organized itself and now it's gotten it's own name. Here, take a look:

What bothers me most is that the Weather Channel's Jim Cantori gets all of the glory here, while I lived through the early stages of the storm's development and didn't have a camera crew or an airplane ticket thrust upon me to provide the coverage for all of the Katrina refugees and the balance of the American population that expects a storm to come knocking on their front door between now and November 30th.

Well, at least Al Gore and the rest of the Global Warming "Weather Weenines" get another storm to add to their 2007 listing.

Please excuse me while I yawn without placing my hand over my mouth...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Don't Fence Me In

Surrounded By Surplus Concrete...

Good news...the fence went in surprisingly quickly this morning. Home Depot was on site by 8:30 AM with my purchase, and I was home by 1:00.

I find it very satisfying to be healthy and physically fit again. Today I found myself strong enough to toss 900 pounds of quickcrete around not once, but twice (Home Depot loaded them on TOP of the fence panels so I had to move them) and still have energy to come home and start fooling around with some other projects.

Of course there were only four eight foot panels and five posts, but the little 2-1/2 HP auger I rented hummed right along digging 24" to 30" deep post holes before I could break a good sweat.

I've got to go back and install the hinges and latch on the gate next week, but otherwise the back of the property is secured and identified as a place where people shouldn't want to dump the miscellaneous BS that keeps showing up in the alley.

The surplus concrete came about through my miscalculation of the quantity required, and then when I realized that the auger only had a 6" bit, it was evident that the 4"x4" posts were going to sit in the bare dirt because I was too lazy to carry five gallon buckets of water from the kitchen sink to the property line.

I hate cutting corners, but since the fence isn't mine (or won't be in a few months) I felt like that the deep embedment would make up for the lack of cement. Of course the fence panels may take off and fly over to the Brunswick Marina in the next tropical storm, but there's a ten foot high fence directly across the alley about twenty feet away that should deflect some of nature's wrath.

Meanwhile, after moving all 18 bags of sackcrete once to get them off of the fence panels, I moved them again to load them into the suburban and hauled them home in anticipation of getting a $100 refund this weekend.

One less thing, I guess.


Now our clothes dryer has decided to stop drying clothes--instead just tumbling them into knots and wearing lint off them in the process. It's probably the thermostat or the heating element, but now I have to get out my multimeter and jack around under it's hood looking for loose wires and making sparks.

Fortunately Kenmore has a good web site with diagrams and I've already checked on the price of the heating element, so at least this new adventure will cost less than my concrete savings.

I really should jump on a bus or into a carpool and run over to the football game tonight to wrestle with my big pyramid structure, but you know what???

I'm a bit tired of my volunteering efforts right now, and technically I've already trained a couple of people to handle things so I think that I'm going to stay home and work on my bike rack paint job, electrocute myself in my dryer, and possibly wander over to our local pub for free hors d'oeuvres and a couple of drinks at happy hour.

Then I'm gonna come home and grill a couple of Fillet Mignon's on the grill, toss some steamed asparagus on the side, and doze on the sofa watching Jeopardy.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fall Approaches

And Young Men's Thought Turn To What?...Halloween?

Boy oh boy has the weather ever shifted gears this week here on our little island.

I can walk outside for five minutes to take out the trash or amble around the yard picking up limbs and globs of Spanish moss off the lawn and come back inside without searching for a towel to dry my body on. I can sit on the sofa after an outside excursion without Pat making me sit on a beach towel.

I'm able to walk out into my new garage and work on projects like repainting my bike rack and actually see what I'm doing without pausing to wipe sweat out of my eyes every thirty seconds.

Speaking of Spanish Moss, be careful what you ask for because I've always thought it would be cool to live under Live Oak trees draped with the stuff, and now I've found out that Spanish Moss would apparently enjoy living on the ground rather than up in the limbs of trees, because I've hauled a couple of wheelbarrow loads worth over into our ever growing mulch pile in the past month.

I've basically got Spanish Moss growing on practically every surface except my ears and butt.

Seriously, the stuff is everywhere around here, even in the shrubbery. I think that our house plants will soon have moss growing in them if we're not careful.

If you'll send me your address, I'll ship you a big bail after the next thunderstorm knocks it out of the trees into the yard--for free.

I'm also happy to report that we're on diligent lookout for popcorn lung, particularly since the new place came with a built in microwave oven and I've taken to popping a bag every day or so. Thus far I've managed to avoid contracting this new malady, but you never know...and I enjoy a good media induced panic just like the next sucker fellow.

I'm sorry to report that my blogging has been suffering for no other reason than a total lack of effort, not lack of time. I've just been coasting along while I rearrange my priorities and schedule as new things catch my attention.

Tomorrow is "fence day" over at the Brunswick job site, with Home Depot delivering a load of pressure treated fence panels, 4x4 posts, and a new front door for the building. The City of Brunswick finally followed through with their promise to remove the giant pile of debris that my nighttime visitors had deposited on the alley side of the property, and I want to get the fence in place before anyone has the idea of rebuilding the impromptu landfill again.

I'm renting a so-called "one man" auger to dig the fence post holes with, instead of killing myself with a set of post hole diggers for a couple of hours. I think that it will be $30 well spent, but it's still going to be interesting getting five post holes on a straight line across the property line.

I may end up with the world's most crooked fence, but any fence is better than no fence at all, I guess.

Regarding my Halloween reference...we're getting to celebrate Halloween here for the first time in years. We're actually expecting trick-or-treaters for a change. The family next door has FIVE kids--what they were thinking I'll never know, but I do have a pretty good idea what they've been doing after the sun goes down.

In Atlanta I was usually out at a costume party on Halloween, else we lived in a Condo complex populated entirely by barren men and women over the age of twenty-one that were too busy drinking and exposing their body parts to each other on Halloween to bother stopping by to beg for candy.

At the Sea Palms condos we never got any kids to come by, and everyone but us that lived there was closer to 100 than costume wearing age so I ended up eating all of the candy that Pat didn't consume.

So any way, I'm thinking about working up a new costume this year, based on the old Viking theme that I built in the 1990's and won a number of contests with. I spent about $100 on the attire back then, and I probably won about $500 over a three or four year period attending contests hosted by various establishments like Dave and Busters and some other local pubs & Taverns. I also wore the costume at private gatherings and usually was credited with having one of the most elaborate home made disguises in the crowd.

I think that the "Orc's" from Middle Earth in the "Lord of the Rings" movies will also have some influence on my design, so I've been re-watching the movies the past couple of nights looking for inspiration.

My friend Robin, the yard guy the landscaper, just got here, so I have to go wave my arms and supervise his efforts now.

Wish me luck.

Words To Live By

As For Me...I'm Living The Lord Of The Rings...

The quest stands but upon the edge of a knife...

Stray but a little, and it will fail...

To The Ruin, OF ALL.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Things You (Won't) Find On The Internet

And A Day Off On My Birthday...

As you probably noticed, I didn't write anything yesterday. It turns out that I also ended up not reading much on the Internet either.

In spite of it being a red letter day on my personal calendar, after much consideration and little fan fair, it was only at the last minute that I decided what I was going to do yesterday on my birthday. It was basically by default.

I still had a great time, however, because I live on an island, and thus I'm already where many people want to go on vacation. I sometimes have to remind myself of that fact, but not often.

Any way, besides smoking three killer cigars, my day consisted of sleeping late, having a late lunch at the Sea Palms Country Club, then lounging by the pool at our old condo for a couple of hours sipping cheep light beer--enjoying the company of Pat and Missy the Turbo Pup.

The weather finally broke for us, and I wasn't about to waste the breezy clear sky's and high eighty degree temperatures sitting inside, working on construction, or even blogging.

Dinner consisted of a wonderful slab of pork tenderloin, grilled to about 150 degrees F inside, and a couple of ears of sweet ripe yellow corn roasted to death in the oven.

After dozing on the sofa while watching Clemson beat Florida State in football, I capped things off by smoking the third cigar while doing a midnight bike ride covering five or six miles looping around the south end of the island and stopping to look at the lighthouse and stare at the beach for a few minutes, contemplating what is quickly becoming a half century residing on our lovely planet.

I don't think of myself as old yet...just "experienced."

In my first forty-eight years I've done some stuff that most people have never accomplished, some of which people usually try not to do.

For instance, have you ever:

Survived plugging a bobby pin into an electric outlet?

Won third place in the Soap Box Derby?

Built a balsa wood gasoline powered model airplane from scratch that flew away out of sight?

Played a trumpet solo, standing in the middle of a football field, in front of six thousand people?

Walked outside in the eye of a hurricane to use a chain saw to cut the trees off your parent's house and cars?

Took off and landed in a helicopter on an aircraft carrier? Flown a helicopter with an instructor pilot?

Helped dig bus passenger victims out of the mud from a landslide in the Philippines?

Been to Alaska?

Received a ticket for driving 110 MPH in a 55 MPH zone?

Had a shotgun pumped in your back and the barrel of a pistol broken off on your head in a robbery?

Took off and landed solo in an airplane? At more than one airport?

Driven a power boat 20 miles off shore, out of sight of land, and returned to the marina on time and without having to call the Coast Guard or appear on CNN?

Built over 400 industrial smoke stacks, and the process climbed a ladder 200' tall; or been lifted by a crane 250' into the air in a metal basket?

Designed and built your own house?

Attended a bowl game where your college football team won the NCAA Division I national championship?

Made a million dollars?

Lost a million and one half dollars?

Seen the smile on the face of a new homeowner when they get the keys for their new Habitat for Humanity house?

Survived having your house burn down?

Lived on the beach on the Gulf of Mexico?

Water skied in Montego Bay Jamaica?

Lived on a boat?

Lived on a Barrier Island?

Drank a beer with Travis Tritt?

Played the part of an insane guy in a mental institute? Or designed and built the set for a play?

Played harmonica on stage with Blues guitarist Theodis Ealy?

Written a Blog?


Well, get busy then.

I've got to go now and try to think up some more stuff to do over the next 48 years...


I almost forgot to mention these antics:

Taking off and landing from the water in a 1948 Grumman "Goose" seaplane on my way from Ft. Lauderdale to Walker's Cay Bahamas.

Scuba diving to the bottom 120' below the surface of the sea on the same trip.

Scuba diving with over 100 sharks (bulls, black tips, Nurse, Caribbean reef) and a bunch of other stuff with teeth on two different one hour dives on the same trip in 1997.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Dogs More Important Than Late Term Fetuses?

Michael Vick Found Out The Hard Way...

Take a look at this story titled "Vick Case Highlights Dog's High US Status":

DALLAS (Reuters) - Dogfighting is condemned as illegal in all 50 states, and this probably says as much about the dog's high standing in U.S. culture as it does about the cruelty of the blood sport.

It came under the spotlight after football star Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons pleaded guilty in Virginia last week for his involvement in a dogfighting case that will almost certainly land him in jail.

This high standing for dogs in the United States is not shared by all cultures, notably some Asian countries where dogs are food, and much of Africa, South Asia and the Arab world where they are often viewed with disdain.

"Dogs have a very special place in American culture," said Wayne Pacelle, president of The Humane Society of the United States.

Does anyone else but me wonder if Vick had been a licenced MD instead of a professional football player, and he had daily reached inside a woman's womb to punch a hole into a six month old developing fetus' head, and then vacuumed its remains out into a stainless steel tank; what these same Americans would have had to say about his criminal status, his ethics, and his humanity (or the lack thereof)?

I'd say he'd not only still have his job, but he'd probably be out shopping for a new car or possibly a 50' powerboat over the Labor Day weekend, instead of skulking away in seclusion somewhere offshore awaiting sentencing and avoiding the prying lenses of news reporters.

Maybe it's just me...(and no, I don't agree that he should not have been convicted for dogfighting.)

Monsoon Season On The Georgia Coast

Anybody Have A Human Sized Zip Lock Baggie?

Well, it started raining about 5 PM on Friday, and has only let up for a few hours at a time since then.

I worked my butt off from noon till about about 4 PM putting the finishing touches on the big pyramid sections, and then breaking them down to load into the equipment trailer. My heart was sinking as the sky's turned darker and darker

Kickoff was supposed to be at 7:30, but by then there was at least two inches of water standing over half of every grass and concrete surface in south Georgia.

The professional jock wannabe's "officials" that were in charge of the proceedings held off until it quit lightening, which was about 8:15, then the two football teams took the field while the band members sat in their buses and my pyramid lounged in its bungee corded position in the trailer.

Meanwhile I paced around from water puddle to water puddle in a throw away poncho wearing wet shoes and socks, and come halftime the band was on the field and my masterpiece was relegated to stay out of sight for the evening.

Dang it...the next three games are away games and I really don't want to start traveling with the team, but I also need to be there the first time to show the other volunteers how to handle the assembly and dis-assembly.

Meanwhile, the rest of the labor day weekend has thus far been cloudy and soggy--I bet we've had four or five inches of rain since Friday, and the pool and the beach has been out of the question.

The only good news thus far has been, confined indoors, that I've cooked some killer food, including a funky Portabello/Shitaki mushroom pesto pizza last night that ROCKED.

In fact, I think that it's time to go reheat some pizza slices for a leftover lunch...