Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blackwater Grill on St. Simons Island

I Hang Out With Celebrities???

I'm remiss in not yet mentioning earlier that my buddies John and Jamie, Owners and Chef at Blackwater Grill, finally were broadcast this week on Food Network.

Unfortunately we were already going to be in town for the SSI Red Hot Chili Cook off that next week so we couldn't come down for the filming last April...i.e. you won't have to look at my silly butt in the show...but if you're a Food Network Junkie and watch the re-runs of "Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives" this weekend you might catch a glimpse of our favorite restaurant on our little island.

I've been the guest Chef and cooked with John and Jamie the past two years in the Chili event to raise money for charities and have an invitation to do it again next spring. My cooking skills pale in comparison to their capabilities but as a team we've won Second Place People's Choice two years ago and and are going to keep on trying for First Place.

It's nice when good things happen to good people, and I just talked to Jamie and he says that the Restaurant has enjoyed a substantial increase in business as a result of the TV show exposure.

People are waiting in line, but I can always have table 23 in the back corner next to the marsh.

It's S A T U R D A Y ! ! !

I Hope You Enjoy Yours As Much As I Plan On Enjoying Mine...

I, like most everyone, have a bunch of crap to do this weekend, but I have all weekend to do it so I plan on making a conscious effort at having a good time in the process.

And the weather cooled off here in eastern Tennessee Friday by about 10 degrees F and it rained for a few hours late in the afternoon so I didn't have to run the sprinklers on the garden and front lawn.

I basically plan on getting along knowing I live in the greatest county in the world no matter what the sniveling, tree hugging, booger eating, bed wetting liberal/progressives try to do to it.

Any other option for me means that they win the struggle...

How about you?

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Turbo Pup's Summer Vacation

That's a Darn Fine Little Dog We Got Right There...

So I was sitting around a couple of weeks ago after the tree fell on the roof and the power and phones and Internet was off about 10 hours working like Abe Lincoln using candles and a real oil burning lamp for light

...when I came up with this idea...

Using the tanks of two old cheap pool filters and a new pump and some PVC pipe to make a filter that really works for the pool this little girl enjoys almost every day...

After which on most Saturdays or Sundays she enjoys some of my soon to be internationally famous home made pizzas with my super secret custom crust formula...

And then tonight I put together this monstrosity:

That would be the prototype of my latest engineering design for an uninterpretable power supply for some stuff I'm doing this fall, for the exclusive purpose of maintaining little Missy the Turbo Pup's lifestyle.

I've got over 20 hours in the design and about six hours tonight drilling holes and wiring everything together, so you'll have to excuse me now while I go and lapse into a coma for a few hours.

Regards Y'all...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Big Toe Here...Just Checkin' In

Basement Full Of Stuff To Do...

OK, our house guests just left town a little before noon this morning after an interesting week, and things have quietened down a good deal and the Turbo Pup and I are concentrating on getting back into our ritual of doing nothing all day.

Almost...and after having a week living with a little girl that turns two years old later this month and has a squeal---happy none the less---but a squeal that will shatter the glass headlights in your car and the glass full of vodka in your hand from a distance of somewhere between one hundred and one hundred and twenty five yards.


And then this afternoon my replacement Hoffmann electrical enclosure panel and back plate FINALLY showed up so now I'm back in the Programmable Logic Controller business again full time for the next three or four days (after a near week delay) so only God knows what you'll be reading and seeing here on this little slice of the Internet I call home.

I could go crazy and write a bunch of new original stuff or I might fall back on posting links to things I see and read when I have a moment...

and then again you might not find anything at all new here because I'm tired and concentrating on making some semblance of a living .

Don't worry, I still love everyone (OK not really EVERYONE but those of you who are know who you are) and appreciate the attention and good wishes.

Now looking at my special watch and secret decoder ring, I think I still have an hour or so available to be wasted looking at today's crossword and possibly sneak in a nap before dinner.

Wish me luck...Y'all...

I Wanna' Be Your "Big Toe"

Chicks Dig Me...Because I Rarely Wear Underwear...And If I do It's Something Provocative

I'm busy this morning working on another paying endeavor, but I took time out to fool around a little and thought that I'd share some YouTube clips I found from one of my favorite movies..."Stripes."

It's funny in and of itself, but if you were ever in the military (as I was for a couple of years in the Navy reserve) or grew up around a military base (which I did outside of Ft. Rucker, Alabama...home of Army Aviation) it's even funnier, even without the participation of Bill Murry and John Candy.

Enjoy the memories if you have a few minutes...this came out way back in 1981...TWENTY NINE years ago (Good GOD I'm getting old...)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fax Me?

Keeping Up With Business Technology...

Today I assume/presume that most people take things like Federal Express and color printer/scanners/Fax machines pretty much for granted.

That is particularly true for people born after the mid 1980's I guess.

I...on the other hand...if I looked around, could have found some carbon paper in a drawer even a recently as ten years ago.

I have an old typewriter still today.

Yet it amazes me the number of web sites on the Internet--places you can only get to by using a Cable Modem or DSL connection or God forbid a dial up connection with America On Line--which still demand that you provide a FAX number when you fill out one of their web based forms.

I just got off of a session with a web page where I was requesting a "sample" of one of their DIN rail mount Electrical Surge Traps (techno mumbo-jumbo...don't ask) and the page demanded I supply a FAX number.

I have two printers in the building which also have "FAX" functions built in, but other than sending stuff to the stupid Federal government and the idiots over in Nashville spending taxpayer money I haven't used a FAX machine for any real business purpose in probably three years.

FAX is obsolete, as far as I'm concerned, when I can simply scan any given document or even print it in PDF format electronically and then attach it to an E-Mail and be done with the process.

For those readers younger than probably 35 or 40, the FAX machine revolutionized business communications and transactions in it's day...about 1985 or so.

In 1985 a fax machine cost over $1,000 and was the size of a small refrigerator.

The FAX machine, along with Federal Express, in my considered Redneck opinion also permanently screwed up business because with overnight mail and instant transmissions...instead of having two or three weeks to work on a proposal and giving your customer a well considered offering with a decent price, purchasing agents started waiting until Wednesday afternoon to send you a request for proposal and expected to have your answer back in their hands by noon the following Friday (basically 1-1/2 day later.)

In the mean time you either had to type your own words using something called WordSTAR, then print out your words on another ancient device called a "dot matrix" printer, and do calculations using a pre Microsoft Excel program called Lotus 123, and... get my drift.

Still, in the process of lamenting the changes in business over the past 30 years, I still miss some of the quaint ways things worked and the idea of having a "secretary" and her listening to you through your "Dictaphone" instead of having an angry gum chewing lesbian "administrative assistant" who calls in sick every Tuesday after a Monday or Friday holiday.

Don't get me wrong...we had angry lesbians back then(Google Rosie O'Donnell), but you had the right to not have to hire one to sit inside the front door of your office without risking having the AFLCIO and American Civil Liberties Union serving you with court documents.

I'm not quite sure what angry women have to do with FAX machines other than I have little use of either these days, and I have to go now and see if I can fire up a game of Space Invaders or Asteroids or Frogger on my Commadore 64 because I'm too tired to keep writing.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Out Smarting Myself

Haste Makes Waste...

Well, after spending most of last week complaining and worrying about getting an entire PLC control panel in the door in the form of pieces and parts and wire spools, I still managed to end up not getting a darn thing done this extended holiday weekend because of some last minute changes made due to parts/material availability.

Of all things...the "enclosure"...the big metal box which I was going to put everything in ended up being too small because the UPS--Uninterruptable Power Supply--I was using wouldn't fit.

And it wouldn't fit because the unit I would have normally ordered was not available until August, so the company GAVE me the next larger size for the same price on a rush order basis.

I knew that it would be a tight fit physically, but I was willing to give it a try because I already had the panel ordered and on its way but when I opened everything up and laid it all out there was no way to squeeze it all together.

So now I'm stuck waiting on a return authorization and for the larger panel to get here on Wednesday or Thursday.

This kind of crap happens to me every year, all the time around the "holidays." I sit around here doing almost nothing every day all day...then I get busy and it never fails that I come up against a three day weekend or Christmas or something and BAM...I'm late and in a hurry.

Oh least I have paying work, even if it is to be done on a rush basis, and then when I'm finished I can get on with trying to find out a way to be late on the next project.

It's tough being me...but somebody's got to do it...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

Is it the "4th" or the "Forth" of July?

I don't know about you, but I've pretty much excelled at doing virtually nothing so far this holiday weekend, and loved every minute of the wasted time.

Wait, let me check and think for a minute...

Yeap...I'm pretty sure that if you don't count cooking and drinking and breathing, I've been pretty successful (at doing nothing since Friday.) We've had family in town visiting from the Pittsburgh area since Thursday night so I've had to modify my normal nocturnal schedule to keep up with everyone and be a good host and thus the computer work and blogging has been suffering a little as a result I guess.

I just noticed I even avoided finding anything to write about on Saturday and with the exception of this posting I almost missed Sunday also.

Go figure...

In local news...we're up to our eyeballs with tomatoes around here right now. I've planted five different varieties which have all been growing for about nine weeks now and some of the plants are over 6 feet tall and I'm picking somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen tomatoes every day.

I have some "fifty day" middle sized plants which have been producing for a couple of weeks, and this week my Purple Heirloom and giant "Best Boy" plants have started coming in, and I still have another generic plant I bought on sale at the grocery store and three Romano plants I started from seeds this spring which have yet to bear any fruit.

Then today I noticed that my Squash plants are finally setting a few Squash and the little Cucumbers are coming in two or three at a time each day and all in all life's just plain good here in Eastern Tennessee at the Turbo Pup Compound.

Vegetable gardening has always been a hit or miss endeavor for me until this year because I either was just plain lazy or didn't have the time and resources to plant a decent garden.

But this old house has had large garden plots all around it since the early 1960's under the previous owner's auspices, and all I had to do this year was bust up the ground and plant whatever I wanted and then do a little watering and wait a couple of months and here we are.

I felt like that it would have been some sort of crime for us to NOT use the fertile earth to make some stuff to put on a few sandwiches and in some salad bowls when we didn't have anything else to do.

And back to the 4th of July, in spite of all of the crap in the news showing angry stupid people bitching and complaining about everything and anything, I'm dang proud of our Country in whatever shape and form the idiots in Washington DC try to morph it into, and I'm glad I was born in the USA, in Lower Alabama a couple of decades after WWII and have had the opportunity to succeed or fail based on my own ability and efforts rather than waiting around for the "officials" to reach into someone else's pocket and hand me cash.

No matter what the laws say today or will say 20 years from now, I'm as independent as I want to be in my own soul...and my soul is the last thing I'll surrender on Independence day or any other day on the calendar.

I wish a few more people twenty or thirty years yonger than me could understand this simple concept...without listining to the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and thinking they have it hard in life.

God Bless America...