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Peach Bowl Tonight

Wed 31 December 2008

The College Football Bowl games have been unusually good this year compared to past years. Good in that the scores have been close, the lead in the games has gone back and forth, and each team has scored several touchdowns. Tonight at 7 I'll be watching what I hope to be Georgia Tech's win over LSU in the Peach Bowl. In general, the SEC teams are better than the ACC teams but because the Yellow Jackets beat the Georgia Bulldogs this year, I think they could beat the LSU Tigers. If Tech plays a good game without turning the ball over too much, I think they stand an even chance to win. The odds makers have Georgia Tech as a field goal winner over LSU but the beating line has been wrong several times this year. In fact, Georgia Tech was suppose to win games they did not and visa-versa. The Game will be on ESPN in HD.

I spent most of the day yesterday creating a website for my housekeepers, Clean House. All the language on the site is something I wrote just to get my friends started on their own website. Here is the link to my server where I'm doing the testing: Clean House . Of course I'll help them get their own host server and set up the files as they want them once they tell me what they want. I may be way off in left field which is why it is almost impossible to build a site without input from the "client". What do you boys and girls think?

Another project I undertook yesterday was to work on my new old Dell Optiplex. I researched the latestest latest data on the best Anti-Virus software limiting it down to Avast, Avira, and of course the old stand-by AVG. All probably would do a good job on the Optiplex based on my intended usage but I selected Avast; this software seemed to be liked by all reviewers with the biggest draw-back of a hip GUI which is sort of meaningless if it works the best. So I loaded, registered it, and did my first scan to set a baseline for future scans. I have to admit the user interface is rather funky but there are other 'skins' available. Imagine that, an AV program that can be skinned like a media player which BTW is what it looks like. Oh, one cool thing about this application is that it talks to you - it has an audio file with several "canned" statements that's cool.

The second thing I did is install a Netgear wireless card in the form of a USB plug-in device. Yep, it looks like a USB flash memory stick but it is a wireless-G adapter. You first had to install the Netgear drivers but once that was done I got it to connect to my 'Vero Villa' secure network although it could not even find the network at first. I had my wireless access point turned on but hidden from devices not already in the network - I forgot I did that. The good news is it connects wirelessly but the bad news is I've not been successful in getting my Remote Desktop connection to function wireless although I do have it working when wired to my router. I think there is a bit of fine tuning that will allow me to remotely connect wirelessly - I'm going to work on that again.

Captain Matt reports it was a rather rough day off shore when they went fishing yesterday. They got some sailfish strikes but did not hook up to one. You can tell a sailfish strike by the markings on your ballyhoo - these markings are only made by billfish. Of course it could have been a marlin but that is unlikely in the depth they were fishing. Of course if I had been there we would have gotten a sailfish like the last time. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Posted at 07:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Dutchie Villa

Tue 30 December 2008

Got an e-mail yesterday from number one son Syp that included some pictures of their new Dutchie Villa on the inside. Today's main image is of their living room with Syp and Yari at play on the couch - Yari is trying to explain to his Dad how to use his (Yari's) toys. The house looks very comfortable and has come a long way from the train wreck condition it was in when they bought the house in August. I'm pleased to report Syp has learned his good taste in nice earth-tone colors from me. It even appears to me orderly which is not at all consistent with Syp's attitude of, "I'm a mess looking for a place to happen". Could it be he's actually grown up and out of that behavior? Nah! I'm sure poor Sjak has to work on him just like Yari every day.

The pictures he sent are of his main level - I do not have pictures of the upstairs yet. My guess is that the project that was to be finished by December 15th is still in progress although Syp has not admitted that to me as yet. If you would like to see all the pictures, I've loaded them to my server - they can be found here . Did I ever mention I own the domain BillsView.net? That's where I put extra stuff and it's where I experiment with different pages and the way they render. In fact, that is where my webcam is hosted along with various directories. I test pages there before I load them to BillsView.com.

My little buddy Jason came over to visit last night on his way to do his laundry - I forgot how much of a pain in the rear it is to do laundry when you don't have a washer/dryer and a car. I usually feed Jason when he is here during feeding time which for him is just about anytime. He needs to gain some weight having come off the stuff he was doing a few months back when food was not important. He's about 6' tall but only weights 135 lbs with no body fat at all. Don't worry, if he hangs around here from time to time I'll force-feed him ice cream and chocolates to as well as good food. He's in the process of re-building his life and has a job working for a company that installs sprinkler systems. The next thing we need to do is get him through this issue with the courts coming up next month.

Kathryn set me an e-mail suggesting she was going to roast a whole pig this weekend and server it with great comfort food like black-eyed peas and collard greens. You better believe that Tommy and his sons will love that feast and she's invited me to join them. Unfortunately Brother Drew has returned to Atlanta after deciding not to retire just yet. Captain Matt might go back to graduate school instead of back to work in this poor market. Frankly, if I were Matt, I think I'd go the graduate school route while the employment picture looks so bleak then present myself for hire with both experience and a MBA in a couple years. Besides, going back to school also means more time off for important things like fishing and diving.

Starr loaded up her two sons and headed over to Sebring to visit her sister, Dawn. She and the boys are scheduled to return today. Now that Alex has a job at an Italian restaurant, he can't be gone too long and of course John needs to save lives over on John Island's Beach.

Tommy, Captain Matt, and a friend of Matt's are going off shore fioshing today. They invited me but I decided not to go today but I will agin if invited in the future. I didn't have a lot of energy yesterday and unless I felt especially good today I'd get tired and would want to head in. If it were only a half day trip I might have gone but if there is a late bite like last week the boys could be out until dark again which would only be natural. Maybe lighting will strike again and they'll get a sailfish - that would be really cool.

Posted at 06:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Receiver Problem

Mon 29 December 2008

Saturday and Sunday were both lazy days for me in that I did not sleep well either night. I would sleep for an hour or two then wake-up, stay awake a little while, then go back to sleep. This was repeated several times both nights. Last night I sleep better in part do to the fact I took a whole Trazodone and not a half of a 25mg tablet. We'll see how the day goes and if the sleep I got was good or not. Admittedly these are minor issues but thankfully that's all I have a present - minor issues.

I took all the poinsettias out of the house and replaced them with small, live house plants. I've always liked house plants as you know and having the poinsettias reminded me that live plants make me happy. Isn't it great that I can go buy a plant for $4 or $5 and be happy? Only a couple years ago I was buying Tanzanite at $4000 to $6000 per order to make me happy. Yes I still have all those gemstones locked away in my bank safety deposit box where they will likely remain for several more years. The good news is the value of Tanzanite has not gone down in this economic slump but the bad news is not may folks are buying luxury items in this market. Oh, well!

I've been having problems with my HD DirectTV receiver over heating and going out. So I bought a 4" electronics fan to place on top of the receiver in order to cool it - this fan is so very quiet you can not hear it running but it does move a lot of air. I'm convinced there is a major flaw in the design of my receiver because I've found many other people experiencing the same problem when I did a search on Google. Well if finally died on Friday meaning that turning it off all together then resetting the receiver failed to get it to come back.

I called DirectTV and of course they walked me through all the steps I knew I should try in order to solve the problem. Nothing worked so an appointment with a Direct TV technician was scheduled for yesterday. The technician showed up on time, replaced my defunct receiver, and I'm good to go again. He did check a few things that is mandatory in the service call process but having had Direct TV for 14 years I sort of knew it was the receiver that finally burned out - I was right of course. Normally there is a charge for a service call but since this was the first call I can ever remember making for a problem, they waived the charge and actually credited me for half the month as well. I like direct TV and if it were not for the rain issue, I'd not have Comcast except for basic service and high speed internet.

A bit of excitement at the Baptist Church just across the street from me occurred. It seems that a homeless guy that did odd jobs around the church decided to off himself before the Sunday service - he did it in the church office according to the reports I've gotten. I was told about this, I did not get it from my scanner. I can't remember hearing an emergency vehicles or police cars - I guess you don't have to rush to the scene when the dude is already deceased. That's all I know at this point but it does confirm once again that my neighborhood is exciting, huh?

All you Georgia Tech fans will enjoy this greeting sent out by the Alumni Association - click here. Remember the Peach Bowl is New Year's Eve at 7 PM featuring the LSU Tigers against my Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. AS you can see, I've decided to put a GT logo on my page until after Tech's losing opportunity on Wednesday night.

Posted at 06:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Darby

Sun 28 December 2008

Friday evening around 6:30 I got a call from Patty Gibbons, my friend Darby's wife. She called to ask that I come out to see Darby because his memory and thought process was slipping fast. I asked when I should come and her answer was "anytime" but with the way she was talking I thought the very moment I should GOP out which I did. When I got there around 6:30 I found an apartment full of relatives and friends - I stayed with Darby on his bed for the next couple hours. He was able to talk but as he started a sentence he'd forget what he was saying before the sentence was completed.

I've known Darby as long as I can remember knowing anyone - he lived across the street from me all of my first 18 years growing up in Vero. We are life long friend as is the case with Tommy and Starr (who lived next door to me all of those same years). It is fairly clear that the tumors growing in Darby's brain are causing him to fade fast. The good news is he seems comfortable and not particularly unhappy except he does get frustrated when he can't do something he wants to do. The daily radiation treatments are keeping him very tired and he doesn't have much of an appetite. I did take some special ingredients out so his brother-in-law could make some extra special brownies for him.

I don't know how much longer he can find this cancer thing he's been fighting for 18 months. I do know that I'm very grateful for being able to participate in Darby's life at this point. Someone much wiser than me - if you can even imagine such a person - once told me to spend time with friends and family in their hour of need because you never know when they may leave this terrestrial space for good. This has been good advice for me because I've never had to say, "I wish I had seen him or her". Remember that boys and girls.

Yesterday I went out again with Tommy this time because Darby had asked about Tommy. He was doing much better than the day before - he was more alert and talkative. The tumors do affect his speech and balance but he can still get around and talk. The more you listen to Darby the better you can understand. At this point I'm happy to be helpful knowing that Darby really appreciates his old friends and I'm sure all of you will agree I'm old!

In between trips to see Darby I went to back to pick up some Christmas lights I plan to use next year. I got some on Friday but by Saturday the selection was either gone or very well picked-over. I was hoping to find some G7 size amber LED lights but none were to be found. I did pick up a few strings of smaller blue LED lights I plan on using next year. Oh well, perhaps I'll find some online or do something different all together. At least I can plan for next Christmas while that may not be possible for my friend, Darby.

Here is a picture ofDarby, his sister Gloria, and me taken about two months ago at Charlotte Terry's gala Soiree over at her home on the beach.

Posted at 09:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Boxing Day

Sat 27 December 2008

Yesterday I started taking down my Christmas decorations as I do every year. I understand some folks wait until after the new year begins but I never did understand those who waited until mid-January or later - what's up with that? The first things I removed were the things that were about to die or already were dead like real plants or pine cuttings. The artificial tree can wait a few days (maybe) but not much longer than that. My neon sculptures will be rotated out from the snowman and Christmas tree into something new although at this very moment I'm not sure just what yet. You see I continue on my thought of keeping the Vero Villa a living thing with changes in this, that, and the other thing from time to time. See what happens when you get old and are un-employable...my biggest issue is what neon sculpture to put out!

There are three bowl games today two of which are interesting to me. The Car Care Bowl has North Carolina vs. West Virginia and the Champs Sports Bowl has Florida State vs. Wisconsin - where did these bowls come from in the first place? Who ever heard of the Car Care Bowl? I think a better name would be the GM Bail-Out Bowl. No matter, I love a good college football game and these two could be good. If one team just beats up on the other or if either is a defensive battle I'll likely watch re-runs of The Rockford Files or Jewelry Television. For the next two weeks there is at least one game every day.

This Christmas was a good one for me in the sense I felt and do feel a certain calm has taken over the uncertainty that was with me last year as I was selling a house and moving to the Vero Villa. The first half of the year I was concerned about completing projects here in my new casa as well as participating in the settling in process. Even the 55% loss in the value of my stock equities is not something that I'm worried about because there is really nothing I can do about it. Above everything, I'm in fairly good health - oh I'm whacked that's for sure but that's nothing new to those of you who know me well. In fact, you don't even have to know me well to understand I'm as Kathryn would say...wierd! Who else do you know that would adorn himself with Christmas lights for Christmas?

Yesterday I went out to Wally World (aka. Wal-Mart) too have a look at their Christmas decoration sale. I did not buy an ornaments - like glass bulbs - to put on my tree this year because I ran out of decorating steam and I knew I could buy them on December 26th for half price - so I did. I decided to get a selection of blue bulbs of various sizes and shades to make my artificial tree a 'blue' tree next year. I've never put all one color on a tree before so I decided to give it a go. I've always liked multi-color lights and bulbs but with my lights all being white I'm think a blue bulb tree could be neat. I guess I'll find out in about 11 months, huh?

The Brennan Clan is headed back to Atlanta tomorrow - it sure was nice to have them here for the holidays. Tom has some things he needs to do on Monday and Kevin has decided not to retire just yet so he'll be going back to work. And of course Mary Ann has her hands full with all the guys in her Atlanta home - Tom, Kevin, Drew, and Captain Matt. Oh, I've been given the ok to report that Captain Matt got laid-off from his company along with a few thousand other employees. He is not surprised and actually didn't seem too disappointed. He's been talking about going to graduate school while the employment market sucks which actually makes a lot of sense to me. With a few years of quality work under his belt, adding a MBA would make him a more valuable commodity in the business world. He'll be here a while longer so let's see what happens. I suggested he just retire after all, who would hire him anyway...see picture!

Posted at 07:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Christmas Dinner

Fri 26 December 2008

Christmas was day started off with a two hour coffee meeting followed by some last minute preparations at home for the afternoon's events. John and Alisha came by for a visit on their way to Alisha's Father's annual Christmas party. Shortly after they left Starr came by for a visit and some Christmas cheer which of course I had on hand. earlier in the day Starr's brother, Steve, brought a bottle of his soon to be world famous homemade barbecue sauce which promises to light my fire - my fire is rather old so it might need the extra fuel. Everyone that visited was baring gifts of things I love and enjoy. Starr left just as I had to leave to head over to the Barnes River estate for dinner.

The Barnes - Brennan clan gathered at Tommy's home for Christmas dinner. All the family was there except Ryan who I understand had in-law duties in Atlanta. OMG...Kathryn out did herself with a fabulous 3 course meal fit for one of the very fine up scale restaurants in Atlanta like The Dinning Room at the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton. There was fresh dolphin soup followed by one of the best salads I've ever had (it was topped with fried goat cheese) and then a perfectly cooked standing rib roast with vegetables. As usual she cooked enough to feed twice as many people as were there but worry not, I helped by bring some home. What a wonderful Christmas dinner with great my extended family.

Whatched a great bowl game with TCU playing the undefeated Boise State. It was a Division II match-up but nonetheless, it was as good as most Division I games I watch with the exception of Georgia Tech of course. TCU had a rough time but in the end made the touchdown to beat Boise St. 17 - 16. The score does not tell it all - the game was just a very watch-able contest of two teams with a lot of fight and spirit. These Division II games are actually more fun sometimes because the players enjoy the sport without expectation of getting drafted into the NFL like many Division I players. I'm going to really enjoy this College Bowl season. BTW, did you know there are 36 bowls? Jeez!

I bought a computer tower (no monitor, keyboard, or mouse) from an eBay vendor that had just come off a lease. Why? Just to have something with which I can experiment with the idea of connecting to my big screen TV. It is a small profile Dell Optometrist GX70 (see picture) with a 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a new 250GB hardrive. It comes with Windows XP Professional SP3 installed, a CD-RW-DVD combo and network card for wireless internet connection. It has a 64MB Intel Extreme Graphics 2 video card along with more connection options then any of my machines. Exactly what I'll do with it is yet to be determined but I got it at such a good buy I could not pass it up - heck it did not cost much more than my 500GB external hard drive but it's more than just memory storage.

When I first got it I managed to plug my monitor into the wrong socket and thus my screen was blank when I booted - I thought that the machine was damaged in shipment. But as I've learned with computers, you should check, re-check, and double check your connections which lead me to discover my error - I didn't have the monitor plugged into the proper socket. It booted, connected to the internet, I got an IE update, but it would not reboot past the BIOS. The eBay seller helped me discover that this machine does not like ps/2 connections so when I switched to straight USB for both my keyboard and mouse, all worked again. How an IE update can cause a ps/2 connection to keep the machine from booting when it booted before is beyond me ... but it did. Now that I got it going let's see what I can do to break it next. BTW, it has virtually no programs installed - I actually like that very much. I get a bit tired of all the pre-installed programs Dell sends out on their new computers, many of which I never use.

What I have figured out to do is to control the new computer from my desktop via my network under a remote management function. Now my next step is to install a wireless adapter so I can put the machine in another location and control it from my office. Why do that you ask? I want to learn how and because I'm thinking about using this machine with my Samsung HDTV. Besides, would it be nice for me to learn to control your computer remotely? Scary thought, huh?

Posted at 07:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Merry Christmas

Thu 25 December 2008



Posted at 06:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Wireless Network

Wed 24 December 2008

Yesterday morning I went to the Barnes-Brennan West estate to install a wireless network for the house. You know me, I always have extra hardware around and in this case I had a Netgear router. I'm pleased to report my efforts were successful although I actual had to put the installation CD into Tom's computer - I hate it when I have to follow instructions. Anyway, if you have a wireless device you can get connected in the Estate.

Before going out to dinner on Monday night, John and Alisha dropped by so I could see John on his birthday all decked out for dinner (see picture) Although he picked out that handsome coat he's wearing I insisted on buying it for him as a birthday gift. They went to the 'New' Patio Restaurant so I'm anxious to get a report on the food and service. After dinner, they headed over to the Resort, parked the car, and did some good old fashion bar-hopping on Vero's boardwalk. I bet no one carded John now that he really is 21 - I'll have to remember to ask him.

Tommy came by to announce the Christmas Dinner at the Barnes River estate will be at 5 o'clock - that's the "usual" time for holiday events over there. Kathryn asked if I'd help 'plate' the dinner and of course I'm more than happy to work for my meal. Chances are real good there will be a few left-over items as usual that will feed me for a couple other times as well. One thing about Kathryn, not only is she a great cook but she usually cooks enough to feed twice as many folks that actually eat. This is one of the bonus for me about living in Vero - I get to enjoy Kathryn's cooking from time to time including the Meals on Wheels delivery by TB on occasion.

Drew and Matt went to Ft. Meyers on Monday to take care of a few things at Drew's West Coast Villa. They spent the night and as of mid day yesterday had not returned. My guess is they did return and are here today to help with my Crown that's going bad. Kevin is in town too so I'll get extra help there. Aren't these young men nice to help an old fart like me out? Maybe a Crownfest is in the making with the crew - John, Kevin, Captain Matt and Brother Drew? Where is Ty by the way?

Before going to install the wireless network but after coffee I went to the Hospital here in Vero. I wanted to visit my buddy Darby thinking I might not have a lot of time left. When I got to his room a note on the door said, "No visitors - family only". There was a nurse just outside his door so she went in to announce me but alas, Darby was not feeling up to having visitors. actually, I totally understand - when I'm sick I usually want to be left alone and don't need people to tell me they hope I get better soon. The nurse said he would be going home in the afternoon but that is what I've been told every day since Friday. He's going through radiation on a daily bases which is making him really sick as is the case with most radiation. The prognosis is not good for my friend Darby but I wanted him to know I'm among many of his friend who care about him.

Posted at 04:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Feels like Holidays

Tue 23 December 2008

This week feels like the holidays now that it is Christmas week - it even was cool yesterday although it will warm up for the balance of the week. I just hope the humidity does not go up with the temperature. It's nice to be in Vero among so many friends from years past as well as my covey of relatives some of whom I barely remember from childhood. You see my mother came from a family of 8 kids and all of them had kids that had kids and so on. Nonetheless is that Vero does feel like home for the holidays.

It was a busy Monday with many different things going on. First it was John's birthday - he came by to visit all decked out on his way to celebrate over on the beach. I think he and Alisha parked the car at the Costa d'Este Beach Resort where they were staying and then walked from one hot spot to the other all of which are within a couple blocks of their hotel. I've not talking to John yet today because I'm sure he's not up unless he never went to bed in the first place. Reports to follow.

I had a few projects to complete yesterday including picking up a few last minute stocking-stuffers for a few folks. As you know, I'm not much of a shopper for other folks although I'm great looking for things I like. And that's just the point, I don't have a clue as to what others might like so I usually rely on them to pick their own gifts. This does not apply to the category known as 'stocking-stuffers' - here I give minor things I think are cool and just hope the recipient agrees. For example I gave all the guys a small LED flash light for their cars just because I have some and think they are cool. After all, you can never have too many flash lights just like you can never have too many reading glasses. Most of all I have fun with these things.

My cousin Alice sent her Christmas cake to me yesterday via her husband, Boyd, who was on a 'honey-do' mission. It was a wonderful orange bunt-style cake that must have weighted 5 pounds with all those delicious ingredients. Alice is a terrific baker and once again she's outdone herself. I love home made baked items like cakes, cookies and brownies - I can never have too much of these delightful treats. You see, most baked goods freeze well so I usually keep a little cake or cookies out then freeze the rest for later. That way I can enjoy these confections throughout the year although I usually finish them off in the very first part of the year. Like with other things I used to consume...I'm addicted to more!

If you would like to see all of my pictures from the fishing trip you can find them here. They are downloadable or you can just view them. Each time I tried to get a picture of the sailfish jumping my camera would snap about a half a second after the fish was back in the water. The darn auto-focus was taking too long but in the excitement of the moment it did not occur to me to change it. Today's picture taken while Captain Matt was actually fighting the fish is darn good don't you think?

Posted at 04:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Sailfish Catch

Mon 22 December 2008

At 6:30 yesterday morning I left my house (it was still dark) to head over to the Barnes River Estate in order to join Tommy, Drew, and Captain Matt for an offshore fishing trip. It was a bit cool but there was little wind and not a cloud in the sky. When we arrived at the 'fishing grounds' around 15 miles offshore there were already 8 to 10 boats in the area and we could see one boat fighting a sailfish - looks like this could be a good day. Well it was a good day although we did not catch a lot of fish.

In the morning we had several strikes, a couple fish on but were only able to land a Bonita. With the hope of an early afternoon 'bite' we hung around when at about 1:20 Drew had a hit, he dropped the bait back, and then tried to set the hook on a fish. He set the hook and OMG it was a sailfish! This fish jumped and danced while Drew was reeling him in but there was a small problem - Drew wanted to "bill the sailfish" because he'd never done it before. This means he wanted to grab the bill of the fish at the boat while someone else removed the hook so the fish could be released. So he turned the pole over to Captain Matt who finished bring the sailfish to the boat. Drew "billed" the fish, Tommy got the hook out, and I took this picture just before the fish was released. What an excitement for all of us and now Tommy's boat, The Florida Cracker, has lost it's sailfish virginity - yesterday "Diamond" was officially caught and released. Diamond is what the boys decided to name the fish...God only knows why.

There were no more sailfish for us yesterday but everyone was very pleased with the catch. As we headed in we came across some Dolphin and caught 3 although one broke the line at the boat. I would like to say the fish was so big it broke the line but that was not the case. It appeared obvious to me the line had gotten frayed and had a weak spot. The dolphins were 'schoolys' but the sailfish was a nice one as you can see - my guess is about 50 pounds (click on images to enlarge). What a great day we all enjoyed.

Have you boys and girls been keeping your computer patched? Do you have your 'check for updates' set to automatic in Windows? The reason I ask that is because of alerts I've been getting about attacks around Christmas on un-patch Windows operating systems - you Dutchies have nothing to worry about with your Pear computers, oops...I mean Apple. It seems that would be mischief people and other evil persons take advantage of the holiday season sending viruses and Trojans via e-greeting cards, attached files, shopping alerts, etc. - all things that are typical this time of the year when people tend to let their guard down. If your system is not patched, then I'd encourage you to update your OS and other key applications now. I'm talking about SunMicro's Java platforms and Adobe reader in particular but also your media players like RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and Quicktime Player.

The poinsettias available here in Vero suck in comparison to those I've always been able to buy in Atlanta each year. There I would buy a dozen or so after Thanksgiving and they would last to after the first of the year. Here The ones I bought a week ago are dropping leaves and starting to look scraggly - they might be out the door by this weekend. Why is that the Atlanta plants are so much better than those I can get here? Every where I go they look pathetic meaning there will be a whole bunch of plants left over on December 26th - you can count on it. Not to worry, my holidays are not dependent on great poinsettias.

Happy Birthday John

Posted at 06:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

John's Birthday

Sun 21 December 2008

Tomorrow is John's birthday when he will be able to legally do what he's done for years - consume adult beverages. For his birthday his Mom reserved a suite for him at the really hot Gloria Estefan up-scale resort called "Costa d'Este Beach Resort" (see picture) on Vero's Beach where he can have a gathering with his friends, celebrate, and not worry about driving after celebrating. I've not been in the resort but I understand it is fabulous and I'm sure John and his homies will enjoy it...I know I would if I were he.

Got an e-mail from Matt suggesting he'll be here in Vero today - he and Brother Drew drove down from Atlanta yesterday. The first thing on his mind is fishing so if the weather is good the "A" team will be going fishing this morning. Tommy wants me over at his Riverside Estate around 6:30 so I'll be leaving here in a few minutes. When TB called yesterday confirming a fishing trip he also promised I'd catch a sailfish today...report to follow tomorrow. The last e-mail I got from Tom said he and Mary Ann will be in today as well and I think Kevin might be with them. Looks like a clan gathering in Vero for the Christmas holidays after all.

Yesterday I got some not so good news about my life-long friend, Darby Gibbons. It seems his cancer has spread to his brain which in turn has put pressure in areas that affect his speech and gate. Although he could have surgery, I've been told he will first go with radiation to see if that can give him the relief he seeks. Darby has been fighting cancer since June of 2007 with many twists and turns along the way. Every time I see him he is positive, funny, and upbeat - he is an amazing fellow. Although he has been in the hospital for a few days I understand he is at home now for the holidays - he need not be in the hospital top get the treatments. I'm not at all clear that I could be nearly as strong as Darby has been.

On another note, Ace's wife, Lacy, had gallstones which required surgery I understand. I've not talked directly with Ace yet but rather relying on info from my cousin Alice. The last time I did talk to Ace he said his hand injury was recovering very well which should allow him to get back to his regular work schedule by the first of the year. I know Ace likes to be doing something so been harnessed by this injury has been frustrating to him. I've been saving a list of things I'd like to ask him to do as soon as he's able.

Remember my thought about adding color to my landscape lights for the holidays? Well I've created - Matt would say "Billy-rigged" - a means of doing that with multi-colored plastic CD holders and fold-over paper clips. I tried it on a few lights with success but I'm not sure how much I really like it after all. If I do it, it will only be for a few days around Christmas - I prefer the professional look I get with the light being all the same color. Actually this surprises me a bit because I've always enjoyed colorful lights which is demonstrated by my neon signs and and statues. Colorful light suggests bright and happy things to me so that's why I have them. Having been deemed "dull and boring" by Gordon, the house stager, I want to liven things up a bit. Now tell me...do any of you consider me dull and boring? Me?

Got a great tin of home-made cookies from the folks that clean my house. Like the other wonderful holiday treats I will really enjoy these over the next few weeks. When I get treats, I want to savor them by making them last as long as I can. If I let myself go, I'd eat the whole tin in a couple days like I would the Carmel popcorn, brownies, and chocolate but I'll control myself. It won't be easy!

Posted at 06:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

My Sidewalk

Sat 20 December 2008

When I returned home yesterday from having coffee I discovered a City of Vero Beach truck blocking my driveway and I noticed what looked like smoke or dust. WTF? After parking on the street I approached the two men to ask them what was going on - of course I want to know what the heck they are doing to "my" sidewalk. It turns out they are sanding down the sidewalk to make it smooth and level in areas where the oak tree's roots have pushed the side walk up. Amazing! I promise you this never ever would happen in Atlanta ..not ever. Now here comes the really good part - they are actually going to replace the sidewalk where there are cracked blocks and marked the spots with one of those day-glow orange spray paint cans. What?! Replace the blocks because they are just cracked? This City is amazing with regard to the attention to detail. Today's picture is of the two dudes doing the work - they were very polite so I gave them cookies (doesn't hurt to be nice to City workers).

News flash - it seems that the Atlanta branch of the Barnes-Brennan clan will be coming to Vero for Christmas after all. Tom and Mary Ann are expected to arrive on Sunday accompanied by their driver, Captain Matt. I don't know when Kevin will be down but it might be the same time. Ryan and Heather planned on having Christmas with Heather's parents but that may change now that Tom and Mary Ann are headed to Vero. I am so very pleased to hear they are coming after thinking they would not.

Kathry sent her delivery boy, Tommy, over with some home made Carmel popcorn for me. OMG this corn is to die for - no kidding. It is the very best Carmel popcorn I've ever had which coming from Kathryn does not surprise me. She told me the recipe is simple it is just real time consuming. You see you need to bake the popcorn in the oven once it is covered with Carmel turning it every ten minutes for an hour. You can taste the effort put into this wonderful treat.

You know I really love treats like the Carmel popcorn and the 'Death by Chocolate' brownies set to me by Laura Gately. Goodies that are prepared just taste better than what is available in the stores. Oh I still love Godiva Chocolates don't get me wrong but the cookies, popcorn, brownies, etc are always my favorites when made by others. My cousin Alice treats me to her wonderful cakes at Christmas and sometimes during the year as well. I'm like a stay cat, feed me treats and I'll follow you around.

Voodoo Lily has met it's demise - the plant died. It never did produce one of the odorous lilies from which a smell of dead rotten meat is emitted - josh I'm sorry I missed out on that! Don't know what caused it to die - maybe it just has a very short life cycle? It did create a good bit of interest and mystery but it's gone now. Maybe the palms and ferns will fill in the area it used to occupy.

It's College Football Bowl Saturday with 4 bowls today starting at 11 am Eastern time this morning. The Congressional Bowl: Navy vs. Wake Forest is first and of some interest to me. The better game today might be St. Petersburg Bowl: Memphis vs. South Florida this afternoon. Between now and the first weekend in January there is at least one bowl game per day except this Monday and Thursday (Christmas). Tis the season to enjoy college football at it's best.

From yesterday's Press Journal, "Two massage parlors in Indian River County shut down after investigation" - I'm in trouble now!

Posted at 07:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Research Poll

Fri 19 December 2008

Recently I got a call from a research company concerning television, phone, and internet service - I don't know who paid for the survey but if I had to guess, it would be AT&T. The questions seemed to be pointing toward AT&T products and services more than any other. Because a lot of my daily life is consumed on the internet or watching TV, I took the 30 minutes needed to answer all the questions - there were a lot of 'comparison' type questions.

I'm not likely to change my set-up but I nonetheless wanted to be informed about options. My opinion is DirectTV has the very best Television bang for the buck with more programming than Comcast at a cheaper price, but suffers if it rains hard. Comcast has the best high speed internet service and TV does not go blank in hard rain conditions. So my solution - have both of course; why spend any less than I can? I've got my phone set up at a very low cost of $28/mo which includes caller ID but no other add-on's. I use ECG, LLC for my long distance service and they charge about 2 cents a minute - my "average" monthly bill is around $7.

This whole thing did get me looking into high speed internet but I can't beat Comcast. When I checked my download speeds I was getting readings in the 12MB to 16MB range depending on where the server with which I was doing the testing was located. My slowest speed was about 7MB and DSL can't touch that yet, at least not in my area. I know of some DSL services of 15MB but not in Vero. The only thing I wish is that Comcast would do something with their e-mail filters to stop all the adds I get about making my Johnson bigger if you know what I mean. I can't spell it out any better or the filters at the server I use to host BillsView would block the posting - they are real strict about what they will host. Yes, they took me anyway!!

Some of you have been having a problem with unwanted pop-ups and other nefarious programs including adware and spyware. You should have a pop-up blocker in your browser and you should run Spyware Blaster, a free anti-Spyware program I've used for years - you can get it here . If that's not enough, there is a great little utility recommended by the folks at Windows Secrets - a news letter to which I subscribe - that is free and adds a great amount of protection for those of you who do reckless surfing of the internet. It is call Sandboxie. Click on the link and you'll be able to "read all about it" and download it for free. Then you can safely visit those nasty sites you like...safely!

This afternoon I'm going to the Public Defenders office with Jason to see what the status of his case is and to learn about the State's offer. Jason has already decided he does not want the offer even though he does not know what is being offered yet. His experience is that the "offer" will only get better closer to a trial if he wants a trial. Frankly I think he would be acquitted if he took it to trial. Does Indian River County really want to try someone for have a needle in his position while riding a bike at night without a tail light? No drugs, just a needle? He was not on probation and I'm not at all clear the cop had probable cause to discover the needle for stopping a guy on a bike for not having a tail light. Jeez!! More to follow.

It was just over a year ago that Ace was working in the Vero Villa's kitchen - what a difference a year makes, huh?

Posted at 06:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Butt Bite

Thu 18 December 2008

When I took my weekly shower last night - I take a shower once a week if I need it or not - I felt a stinging-burning on my baby-smooth right cheek. It felt like I was stung by a wasp and maybe I was. Well, not a wasp but some other critter in my house that could sting and cause a welt on my beautiful, smooth butt. It could have been a spider in the towel but I could not find one. There was this crawly thing on the floor that I don't believe could have gotten in my towel in the first place. It's a mystery but no worries... all is well now.

The Atlanta Barnes Boys are headed to Vero this weekend according to their Dad. I think both Drew and Matt will be here at least through the first weekend in the New Year. The Brennan side of the clan will be staying in Atlanta this year as you might have guessed by now - I'll miss seeing them as I normally invade their clan for a holiday dinner. I'm not sure what Drew & Matt have in mind for their visit but I bet their Mother and Father have some ideas. I've re-stocked my Crown supply and got a couple things I've been saving for them but I can't give it away here.

Yesterday a big tin of homemade chocolate brownies arrived from the Texas Gately's - OMG those brownies are or should be illegal in most states or at least carry a warning label to the affect: "WARNING: consumption of these brownies may cause death by chocolate". They are so gooey and rich and full of top grade chocolate - I love them. You can't buy anything close to this is any store anywhere. If you got to go, death by chocolate brownies is not a bad way!

There really isn't anything I want these days because if I want it, I usually buy it. If I don't buy it then it's likely way too expensive. But one thing I can not buy are those great homemade baked items which are always better than store-bought. It is true I can buy fabulous chocolate but I can't buy fabulous baked goods. My cousin Alice usually gives me something she bakes during the holidays and other times of the year. She makes a couple of cakes that are to die for. I mean they are uncommonly good. There's this apple cake that is one of the very best cakes I've ever had and believe me, I've had a lot over the past decades.

My neighbor who lives in the downstairs garage apartment just north of my carport, Jose Cruz, is a long time waiter at the old Patio restaurant and went back to work at the New Patio Restaurant on Tuesday. He's known as a good waiter and has a following of dinners that look for him when they go in. I'm going to stop him the next time I see him to query him about the new menu. Jose has been without work since the Patio shut down 6 or 7 months ago - I see him often as he heads up to the corner seven-eleven for refreshments. Here is a Press Journal article about the Patio - reports to follow.

I put a string of lights across the back of my carport yesterday and hooked them to a timer. These are large round 'satin' colored bulbs that are used at Christmas but also for other parties and festive occasions - they are not just Christmas lights. For some reason I didn't want to put them at the entrance to my carport - it just didn't feel right to me. Why? Hell I don't know, it just didn't. These have been sitting Ina chair in my carport for a week so it's about time I put them up!

Would you want this dude to be your banker?

Posted at 06:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Patio Opens

Wed 17 December 2008

Monday night was one of those nights were I couldn't sleep although I wanted to. My legs ached and my body ached for no particular reason. My usual solution of soaking in a hot tube is the cure I used - I got in the tub twice. Strangle I also had an insatiable craving for sweets. Of course you know I like ice cream, chocolate, etc but normally I can have some and that will be enough - last night I wanted to get up to have more and more. Reminded me of the days I wanted more and more of something else so I think it is just part of my genetic make-up. Today my plan is to limit my sweets - except for fruit of course - and see what happens. I think all this is connected in some fashion.

When am I ever going to learn that I should take my phone off the hook when I want to take a nap - like today for example? And why is it that between 5 AM and 8 PM people call the very time I'm trying to take a nap? I can be awake and available for consultation all day long but the moment I fall asleep the phone wakes me up. Before you ask...no, I can't go back to sleep once awakened - my agile brain starts firing then I'm off to the races. Is there a hidden web cam in my house that allows people to watch so they can choose to call when I'm napping? Jeez!

One of the on-going benefits in living in Vero is that Tommy lives here with Kathryn, a fabulous cook. She asked me to assist on a minor project the other day and I understand my reward will be home made Carmel popcorn. I love Carmel popcorn. I love chocolate popcorn. I love popcorn. The good thing about popcorn is all those fun little husks from the corn that always get stuck in my teeth. I don't care...I like popcorn.

Tommy dropped a nice big tin of cookies by for me to take to my coffee klatch - I'll do it this morning. By noon I'm sure the cookies will be gone. Anything that Kathryn sends my way for the group is always very much appreciated and enjoyed by all. Things that are sweet seem to be of particular interest to our members including me.

A member of my Saturday morning men's group in Atlanta called to ask about local groups - he and his wife will be "Wintering" in Vero over on the John's Island where his sister lives. I really like this guy and he'll be the first person I actually see after my move to the Vero Villa. I'm interested in getting caught up on some of my old Atlanta buddies. My friends up there are about the only thing I miss about Atlanta. I do keep in touch via e-mail, phones, and Skype.

Jason has an appointment with his public defender this Friday at 4:30 - I plan to go with him to the meeting. This whole case is a bunch of crap in the first place but once you are in the system, you can not simply ignore these things. The best resolution is to follow it through to the finish which is what Jason is doing. I really don't know very much about such things but I do have a functioning brain and you all know I have an opinion. I'm not at all clear if I can be much help but just being there will be beneficial to Jason.

Now here's a headline I've been waiting to see,"Vero Beach's Patio Restaurant reopens for business". I used to like going to the Patio that's been here in Vero since it opened as an ice cream stand in 1945. I'm sure the menu is all new as well as a lot of the inside of the restaurant. There's only one way to know just what it's all about now and that is to go and see for myself. When I think of the Patio I don't think of pizza but word is one of the co-owners is a pizza guru from Port St. Lucie; does that mean there will be pizza? Hmm. The article in the paper said the owners signed a 20 year lease so it looks like they certainly plan to return as one of Vero's true landmark restaurants - I just hope the food is good.

Posted at 05:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Meltdown

Tue 16 December 2008

I narrowly escaped a major catastrophe here at the Vero Villa - it would have been a major meltdown both figuratively and literally had I not caught it. When offering Jason a coke, I went to my laundry room refrigerator where I discovered the freezer door was not completely shout! Holy mackerel - my stash of ice cream had gotten soft but fortunately had not completely melted. Can Yo just imagine the mess in my freezer if those 15 or so half gallons had melted? I shutter to think about it. Now the freezer needs defrosting in the worst way but at least my ice cream is hard again. Now the question becomes will the partial melting then re-freezing have an adverse affect on the ice cream texture? Will it now seem to have freezer burn? I guess I'm going to have to test each one, huh?

My house keepers are wonderful people and they do a great job for me. Yesterday was their regular bi-weekly visit to clean and freshen up the Vero villa for the holidays now that I'm finished added holiday decorations...I think. They thanked me for my posting a positive comment on Angie's List for the Treasure Coast and as a result have gotten a couple new clients. Angie's List is only about a year old down here but it is growing. Vero Beach is virgin territory for 'service' businesses. If you don't know about Angie's List I'd recommend you look into it if you need service or work of any kind.

Those navel oranges TB brought to me this past weekend are fabulous. They always are good just some years are better than others and this is a good year. I love fruit of all kind and I don't think it is physically possible to eat too much fruit. Yesterday I had a banana with breakfast, a pear and grapes with lunch, and an apple with dinner. During the day I snaked on grapes and chocolate of course. BTW, I love chocolate in case any of you had forgotten that. In my world the 4 basic food groups are fruit, ice cream, chocolates, and nuts.

It's warm here again. Today the temperatures are forecasted to get in the low 80's . Yesterday they got into the high 70's. I'm just not used to such warm temperatures especially around the holidays but I guess I'll get used to it and probably come to like it. I remember as a kid I always wanted it to be cold around the holidays so we could have a fire, wear sweaters, and drink hot chocolate. The only difference in my wants then compared to now is about 50 years.

Today's picture is just one I really like taken in the Florida Keys a couple years ago I think. It was looking West over the Bay just as the sun was setting. Those of you who have been then will remember seeing sunset like this one in the past - good memories I might add.

Today's Vero Beach Press Journal's news headlines, "Activist plans to once again protest at Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival". I can't make this stuff up folks.

Posted at 06:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Perigee Moon

Mon 15 December 2008

Has anyone other than me been staring at the moon over the past few nights? Did hair start growing all over your body as well? Actually I've noticed the moon has appeared unusually bright and large so I did some investigation. Turns out the moon was 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during the year and the biggest full moon the Earth has seen since 1993...holy s*ht Batman! I knew I felt a bit stranger than usually so now we both know why - it was the perigee moon. For some reason I thought that this closeness to the earth occurred in October-November but this year it was December.

I remember one night in October when I was sitting out on the balcony of a penthouse apartment in Singapore when such a perigee moon occurred. I'd never remember see the moon so close and so big before; you guessed it, it was in 1993 when I was with Betty staying at her brothers penthouse for the week before we went trekking in the Kingdom of Nepal. To this day I can clearly remember my amazement that night as the moon rose over the downtown skyscrapers in Singapore. What an amazing adventure that trip was filling my brain with awesome memories - memories I managed not to drown by the way.

This is the time the Dutchies have to vacate their old house and move into their new house - I think this weekend was the big move but I've not talked to them yet. I wonder what cute Yari thinks about all this activity as it disrupts his normal living accommodations exchanging them for a new home. At his age he probably thinks it is some sort of game and is having fun with it. I bet his Mommy and Daddy are not having fun with it because moving is a real pain in the ass - I've done it only twice in my life and that's enough.

The real question is how much of their remodeling is completed and how much still needs to be done? For their sake, I hope there home is not full of drywall dust like mine was when I first had to leave Atlanta and move into the Vero Villa while work was still in progress. In about two weeks I will have lived here for my first full year; it sure seems to have gone rather quickly.

Do all of you know that Vero now has a 4 year state college? What used to be Indian River Community College is now Indian River State College, the college John is currently attending. I bring this up because I was surprised to know some locals did not know that while others report it has among the very top reputation in the State. John could get a Bachelor's degree here but at the moment he plans to transfer to another college after the next term. I think Florida State is on his mind but we'll have to wait to see. If he wants to transfer, my guess is he'd better start the process of applying soon to get into the Fall term next year.

I've been thinking about lining my one clothes closet with cedar. When Ace was building the closet he asked me if I wanted to do it and at the time I said no. Having lived here now I've come to believe cedar might be a good thing to ward off bugs although bugs are not a problem...yet. I've noticed there are crawly creatures that get into my house and I know not how; nothing harmful but it's what I don't see that I'm wondering about now. I'll talk to Ace about this.

Jason came over yesterday to ask if he could do anything for me - he just wanted to express his thanks for my help in the past. So...I put him to work cleaning my windows outside as they were dirty as usual (see image). Trouble is that now they are clean they will be dirty again in a few days from the road dust-debris from the traffic on 23rd street. At least they are clean now - let's see how long they stay that way.

Speaking of Jason, Tommy met him when he stopped by to deliver a bucket of navel oranges to me. I love the navel oranges he gives me about this time every year. They are so sweet and they do not have seeds. Navel oranges are the best oranges in the world in my opinion and believe me, I've tried a lot of different oranges over the years. I love citrus of all colors especially the good stuff that comes out of Barnes Groves.

Posted at 06:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Starz

Sun 14 December 2008

Remember my old orange/grapefruit peel trick I used in Atlanta - the one where I bake the peels at 320 degrees for about 70 or 80 minutes? Well I'm back to my old tricks here in Vero. You see when you bake the peels of fresh oranges or grapefruit a very pleasant inviting aroma fills the kitchen and other parts of the house. You know how great it is to smell fresh baked pies n' stuff - will this is the same sort of thing. It reminds me of the time when I was but a wee little lad and mom's baking would bring me running. BTW, you don't eat the baked peels! And don't exceed the temperature or time for you may fill your home with the aroma of burnt.

I wish Comcast would do something about their e-mail filters. Today I got 12 e-mails when I booted my computer this morning; about half were from companies with which I've done business and the other have - as is always the case - was about drugs...sexual enhancement drugs. I get a slew everyday and it seems more and more are coming from the "@live.com" mail server. Microsoft has a relative new server to add to it's Hotmail server with other 'FaceBook-like' properties. You can use a @live.com address on MSN instant messenger for example. I got a couple myself when the first got started..._Bill_ and w.e.c. with the e-mail domain. The two accounts I regularly check are my Comcast and Gmail accounts.

In case you folks don't remember from last year, I've given up on sending Christmas cards through the mail. I just don't have the inspiration to do that I once had. However, I do like sending out a Christmas e-mail greeting and go to lengths to find something I like. I also have decided to adorn my world famous, ever increasing in popularity website, BillsView.com, with a seasonal image. This is new for this year but something I'll likely pursue. Currently you see the wreath but I'm likely to change that before Christmas to something else. I've even toyed with the idea of an animated image but thus far I've resisted. The simpler the website, the quicker it loads yielding more visitors. I don't know how folks on dial-up can stand some of the commercial sites that spin, flash, and are really animated. The simplest website in the world is also the most visited website in the world...Google.com

I've enjoyed the addition of the Starz package to my DirectTV service; I've already watched more movies since I added it about a week ago than I normally watch in a whole month...that would be 3. The fact that there are 5 HD Starz channels doesn't hurt in fact, I'm finding myself watch more of the satellite programming than Comcast because they offer a lot more "regular" channels in HD like FOX News for example. If it were not for the heavy rain issue with the satellite, I think I would do away with Comcast except for basic service. Comcast's charge for 'Basic' TV and high speed internet is less than the charge for just high speed internet - I guess they figure they can sell you more product if you have both which I would think is true.

Just for the heck of it I checked to see if my Samsung TV has gone done in price as I expect it to do. Well, it is now $30 cheaper than two months ago which surprises me - I would have expected a $100 drop or more. Just wait until after Christmas or until Samsung comes out with their 'Series 8" TV's and then it'll drop I'm sure. Yes boys and girls, I'm very pleased I bought it when I did - I only wish I'd done t sooner.

It doesn't look exactly like the pictured I posted today around here but I thought it went with the season anyway.

Posted at 07:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Ear Ache

Sat 13 December 2008

The last couple of days I've awakened with a slight ear ache in my right ear and a bit of extra sensitivity to my delicate beautiful on the right side. I'm thinking I might have a sort of a cold in my ear but at this point it is nothing more than an irritation so a doctor's visit is not needed. I've had these things before and normally they just go away. This is a different event from the headaches I get. I guess I'm just getting to that point where I can expect things to hurt once and awhile - at least most of my body still works.

A guy that comes to have coffee asked if I needed some work done because he was broke. I've seen this man around and while I had nothing urgent, I can always find something I want done around my house. My grass did not need mowing so I called James on Monday and told him to skip this week; but my grass did get a lot of leaves on it from the Maple trees so I put this guy to work raking my lawn and blowing the walkway and driveway. I wanted to help my friend out and at the same time he's manicured the Vero Villa so it looks very nice now. I think I've got a few more weeks of leaves falling and then I'll be done. In Atlanta this was a two month event requiring me to blow almost daily. I'm retired now including being retired from regular yard maintenance.

I've ordered and received some very delicate hand-blown oil lamps - my new thing is to burn scented oil to perfume the Vero Villa with pleasant aromas during the holiday season and beyond. I've been lazy making my scent candles here in Vero but I still have the stuff needed to make candles. I'll get fired-up and make some candles over the next several weeks...maybe. First I'll see just how effective the oil lamps are with respect to perfuming the air.

We had a regularly scheduled monthly business meeting of our coffee klatch yesterday at which I made a motion that we change to quarterly meetings. Frankly we do not have enough pressing business that would require a monthly meeting and it is my opinion that participation in business meetings might improve if they were 4 times a year instead of 12 times a year. No one had a real strong feeling one way or the other but the motion did pass. In my Atlanta groups one met quarterly and the other met whenever one was called which might not be more than once a year if that. We did make a provision for a "called" meeting with 7 days notice.

Kevin B is trying his best not to become like me although he really wants to become like me - retired from being self-unemployed. But in the meantime he needs to produce and save to get to that point so he's out scratching the ground for business. Today I set him up for a luncheon meeting next week with my former partner Carey Brown. Carey has many clients that need what Kevin has to offer and Kevin's one client might need what Carey can provide. Often relationships are already established but you never know until you ask. This will be a good contact for networking - Carey is well established in the Atlanta business community. I'm just waiting for my brokerage fee now.

Here is a picture of my new living room rug from another angle. I'm liking this rug more and more so I'm not at all disappointed I bought it. What do you boys and girls think? Does the silk palm need to go?

Posted at 08:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Jason's Case

Fri 12 December 2008

We had a wind/rain storm came through yesterday in fron of a cold front. It knocked a lot of leaves off my maple trees which were losing their leaves anyway. I do miss the colorful leaf-changing we always had in Atlanta in October and November but I don't miss the daily need to blow my yard clean of the fallen leaves. This new cold front will drop the temperatures - I think the temperatures should be lower thuis time of the year.

The young fella from my coffee klatch got stopped by City of Vero Beach policeman for not having a tail light on his bike. Jeez! You could ride around in Atlanta with no lights at all on a car and probably not be stopped by a policeman. What the hell is going on with the local police that they'd do this in the first place? Anyway, he did have a needle on him left over from his previous "pre-coffee klatch life" and was given a ticket for having drug paraphernalia. Normally this is probably not a big deal because he was clean except top say he has a history with which to contend.

He was just going to go to court without an attorney but I convinced him to get a public defender which he did. He had an appointment with his attorney yesterday so I went with him for support and as a character witness as to his life in our coffee group. This young lady attorney really is trying to help him and might just get the case thrown out by getting the evidence thrown out as perhaps an illegal search. She said the police office would have to show probably cause for search someone who was on a bike with no tail light for God's sake. It was a bike without a taillight not a DUI accident in a car or a breaking & entry charge. I agree with her - it is no business of the policeman to search a guy on a bike without probably cause and to my understanding there was no 'cause'. She's going to find out more through discovery then get back with us. I sure as heck don't want him to have to go to jail for this dumb shit. Jason was glad I injected myself into his business and I'm going to help him if I can. BTW, he said it was OK to use his name on my world famous, ever increasing in popularity website - you still don't know him except what I've said here.

There are no football games of interest to me on this weekend. How excited can I get about Minnesota Duluth vs. N.W. Missouri State? Jeez! The real bowls don't start until next weekend and then there is at least one everyday through January 6th. Georgia Tech plays LSU at 7 O'clock on New Year's Eve i9n the Peach Bowl. It's early enough I should be able to stay awake to watch the whole game. But after the first week in January I'm loss until next September.

I'm going to run a little test here to see how frequently Ace or Lacy reads my world famous site. You see when Ace called the other day I knew there were a few things I wanted him to do but I couldn't remember them at the time he called...must be Oldzheimers. Anyway, I do need the light switch sanded and painted but in addition, I have a 'storage' strip for my storeroom I want mounted and a new picture hung. Ace uses anchors strong enough to hold any picture including my heavy Rayburns. And I'm running out of room in my John's Island storeroom so I want to hang some stuff on the wall. Ace has already installed one strip and it is a great space-saver; now let's mount the other one I have. Will you call me please? If I don't hear from Ace I'll call him.

I use a Host/Domain Name company called GoDaddy to buy, park, and maintain my 10 or 12 Domain Names. They called me just out of the blue yesterday because there was a feature I had purchased but was not using for my domain names. Frankly I don't remember buying it, I was not using it, so they refunded my credit card charge. I've had nothing but top-drawer service from these people ever since I bought BillsView.com about 5 years ago. They have any and everything you need to run a website on an a la carte bases. Hats off to Bill Voegeli for referring me and Kudos to GoDaddy for their service.

Sally has discovered she likes sleeping on the red blanket I put under the Christmas tree.

Posted at 05:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Cool Pictures

Thu 11 December 2008

Captain Matt sent me a power point file yesterday that had 20 pictures in it labeled "eye-catching". I must agree they were rather unusually qualifying for eye-catching; you can see them by going to this page and clicking on the radio button in the middle of the page about three quarters down and just above 5 4 3 2 1 . This obviously is a site in Israel where users can upload images - I can't read Hebrew or I'd tell you what the button says. I say all this because one of the images - pictured here today - I wanted to save for the "Favorites" file in my PhotoAlbum found here on BillsView.

I discovered I could not pull individual photos out of a Microsoft Power Point file without expensive software I do not have. The only thing I have on my computer is a Power Point reader; I can not produce a Power Point file. The only reason I even have the reader is because I get .PPS files sent to me via e-mail from others and I want to be able to open them. The point of all this discussion is that I figured out a way of stealing the image from the file using my Paint.NET program so I was indeed able to put this in my "Favorites" file of my PhotoAlbum. I'm a conniving dude aren't I?

Ace called the other night to ask about my mold issue on my sink; I do think I may have solved the problem but the jury is still out. Ace reports he is recovering very well and in fact quicker than the professionals helping him recover expected. He's doing some work now but expects to be in full work mode after the first of the year. I've got a few projects for him and based on what he told me I think he's able to do them now or in the very near future.

While at Publix yesterday buying a lemon-pepper chicken for Sally and me I found a halfway decent looking poinsettia plant so I bought one for my office. I have to say, the selection of poinsettia plants at Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart here in Vero really suck compared to the same stores in Atlanta. Up in Georgia the plants were much larger and healthier looking for the same price range. One would think that the Florida plants would be better as are most plants offered by these vendors. Maybe I should check some of the local nurseries to see if I can find some nice plants?

I ordered and received some small but colorful posters I plan to have mounted on a black fiber-board type product and then place them in my kitchen. If nothing else, good old Gordon (my Atlanta stager) helped me understand how inviting a home becomes when you add color. No problem with me, I like colorful items but I still prefer the overall theme to be conservative. Here in Vero I've found a place called Frank's Frame Shop to do the work for me. How did you find them you ask? They had the 'oldest' phone number among the Vero framers suggesting they've been in business the longest and they are located close to me over at the Miracle Mile shopping area. After just 24 hours they called to say my mountings are ready - I'll get them this morning when they open at 10.

Posted at 06:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Casa de Dutchies

Wed 10 December 2008

Someone has been playing games with me and I don't know who at least not yet. I got a call from a contracting firm asking me if I still wanted the quote on my basement remodeling. Basement remodeling...I don't have a basement and in fact there are no basements on the costal area of Florida. The guy was polite as was I and he did have my proper address, e-mail account, and telephone number so it was not a crank call. Someone submitted a request for information and provided my information. Hmm...I wonder who might have done that? Clearly it is someone that knows me because they could not have gotten my e-mail address even though they could have gotten my name, phone number, and address from a telephone book. No worries - no damage was done.

I cancelled my Direct TV sports package now that college football is over except for the post season bowls. I enjoyed having it for the past couple months and was able to watch two Georgia Tech games I would not have seen otherwise. It was easy to log on to my Direct TV account online to cancel the service but when you do they offer you a replacement premium service to get you to keep paying the $12/month - I decide to try Starz HD for a month or two to see if I actually will watch the movies. You get 12 channels including 5 high definition movie channels. I think Starz may have more recent releases than you will find on HBO, Showtime, etc. I did cancel my Showtime on Comcast because Direct TV is giving it to me for 3 months for being a loyal customer for over 15 years. If I want to get Showtime again, I'd use Direct TV because they have 4 HD Showtime channels while Comcast has only 1. In fact, Direct TV is a much better service than Comcast IMHO except when we have heavy rain.

I was successful in jamming a two month project at the Vero Villa into a 4 month project, or was it 5 months? Syp seems to think he'll be more on target than I was so I'm really going to be interested to see just how things went and to see some new pictures after the renovation. Let's see...a new house, a new job, and a new rug rat on the way...life is not boring in the land of the wooden shoes I can see - Syp has been one busy little Dutchie Dude drag Sjak along with him. I get excited talking about changing a rug and the Dutchies change their whole life!

I thought I might be getting a cold when I awoke on Monday morning - I had a bit of a sore throat and stuffy nose which is usually an indicator for me. I started the Zicam treatments and started eating vitamin C tablets as if they were candy. The sore throat and stuffy nose were with me most of the day but when I got up yesterday I was ok. I believe Zicam and vitamin C really do help but in this case I think I probably was not getting a cold in the first place. I usually do get one (a cold) sometime between Thanksgiving and the end of January .

Posted at 06:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Kitchen Sink

Tue 09 December 2008

It was a beautiful day in Vero yesterday with a cool start of 50 F but it warmed up with a bright sun and no clouds. I'd like it if the next few months all started cool then remained mild with low humidly and cloudless skies. I think I'm going to like Vero's Winters much better than those in Atlanta.

Someone who has my e-mail address in their address book has got a virus infection in their computer. How do I know you ask? Because an undeliverable e-mail was returned to me that I did not send in the first place. You see a Trojan-virus can get into a computer and use that computer to send e-mails by stealing addresses from the sender's address book. I don't have a clue as to who might be infected and frankly there is a very good chance the infected computer's user doesn't know they are infected. I say all this to remind you it's a good idea to regularly scan your machine with an up to date AV application.

The area under my kitchen sink started to smell moldy of recent. Apparently something got wet giving a great breeding area for mold although I could not find anything that was the apparent cause. So I first tried to kill it by putting a small heater in the area with the intent of making it too warm for mold to grow - you see mold does not like real warmth, it likes dark, damp, and around 60 to 70 degrees. Raise the temperature and dry the air will cause mold to die. I have a lot of experience with this having lived in a house half of which was below ground level and it stayed damp and cool most of the time.

My efforts were partially successful but not to my liking. So I took everything out of the cabinet area, washed it down with clorox - mold hates clorox - and then let it dry. Once dried, I sprayed every crack or opening of any kind - like where the pipes GOP into the concrete block wall - with DAP TEX, a multi-purpose foam sealant that comes in a spray canister. I thought if I sealed everything then the mold will be sealed without access to air and should not grow. The foam expands a bit to create a seal of sorts and in my application was about 90% successful. There is still a slight aroma but before I spray even more of the stuff, I'll see what it smells like in a couple days.

Don't you just hate it when you order something, you get the wrong item (in my case no item at all), and then the item you wanted in the first place is sold out? Just damn! I guess it was not meant to be so that's that, huh? Which brings me to the point of expectations - I've found it wise not to be so set on something because the let down is often more harmful than the what I thought I wanted in the first place. I hope that makes some sense to you boys and girls.

Got an e-mail from Brother Drew announcing he's found a seasonal tenant for his condo over in Ft. Meyers, Florida. His place is well done and furnished perfectly for a seasonal rental. It has enough 'stuff' to make it comfortable but not so much stuff that he will worry about losing personal items. It's rented for two months but if the tenants decide to extend a month they can. Having some cash flow from his condo is certainly better than no cash flow and in this market he wisely has decided not to sell the property.

Here is a picture of Sally where you will finder her every day between about 12:30 and 4 o'clock...my bed ( note my blue & red holiday comforter).

Posted at 07:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Why Change Things?

Mon 08 December 2008

Sunday was rather un-eventful here at the Vero Villa. It was a nice day with plenty of sun and because a cold front moved through overnight the temperatures were in the 60's most of the day. Cold front...I have to laugh. HaHaHaHaHa. When we had a cold front in Atlanta, the temperatures would drop 20 - 30 degrees and it would stay cold. Here they drop 10 or maybe 15 degrees but that is usually just over the night time period when the temperatures go back up into the 60's and 70's during the day. But you know what, that is the reason so many people move to Florida or want to move to Florida. As I get older and my bones hurt I bet I'll come to really like it. Just seems too warm for the holidays to me.

Jason the young lad I know from my coffee klatch came over yesterday and offered to rake my yard. With the cool nights and warm days the three maple trees in my yard are dropping their leaves and my lawn was covered. Jason spent upwards of a couple hours ranking, bagging, and blowing the leaves - it certainly needed done so I'm pleased he took time to do it. I try to help him out as well with the issues he has in his life now as well as feeding him ice cream and candy. He's a good kid who drifted astray but is now back on track.

I wanted you to have a look see at my two living room rugs so you'll know what I've been talking about. To the left is a comparison which you can click on for a larger view. I like them both but the new 'traditional' rug is darker than I expected with more shades of olive-brown rather than pure brown. I do think it goes well in my living room giving it a completely different look than the modern carpet gives with the same furniture - do you agree? I can see that one may become my Fall - Winter look while the other my Spring - Summer look. Why change around you ask? Because it keeps the Vero Villa alive which is something I've just recently come to understand. You see, while I liked my Atlanta home it was as Gordon said.."dull & boring" - remember my "stager" Gordon? Damn it, he was right, 900 Peachtree Battle never changed and in that regard was boring and dull. I don't want the Vero Villa to ever be boring and tired looking because I might get stale too.

My solution is to keep you boys and girls guessing as to what I'm up to next. That's why I've been changing my rugs around, adding some vintage posters here and then, and I've been changing my neon sculptures around as well. You see I want the sense that the Vero Villa is a living changing thing so as to added spice and surprises to my life. Call me crazy - stop it, I heard you say "Crazy" - but I'm going to do my best to keep the Vero Villa a great place for me to inhabit and my friends to visit. So there!

People still ask me if I miss Atlanta. No, I do not. I miss my Atlanta friends but they and I still have telephones and Skype. I do not miss my home because I've now come to realize I got tired of it. And it was making me old and tired as well. I know. I know. I'm still old but I'm more on the go here in the Village of Vero Beach than I ever was in Atlanta at least in the past 15 years or so. And for sure I do not miss the Atlanta Government, my high property taxes, and the traffic. Let me hasten to add, if I were young like many of you Atlanta is where I'd want to be for it offers the very best potential to grow and prosper. The day will come when you young whipper-snappers will look forward to living in Vero, mark my words because I know all things; just ask me!

On an entirely different subject - do any of you ever get a song stuck in your head? Well on Thursday's Rush Limbaugh radio show, a parody of "Dancing Queen" was played and I can't get the 'real' version out of my head. The parody was to the tune of Dancing Queen by Abba only it was Paul Shanklin's imitation of Congressman Barney Frank sinking 'Banking Queen' . For those who don't know, Barney Frank is chairman of the Banking Committee and he's openly gay with a sort of speech pattern that is sort of 'different'. Nonetheless, the parody is a riot and has stuck in my head all weekend. How can I get rid of it? Jeez!

Posted at 03:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Computer Viruses

Sun 07 December 2008

Watched the games I wanted to watch yesterday and the out come was as expected - Virginia Tech won and so did Florida. The Florida game was the best one by far and it was not clear who the winner was going to be until the 4th quarter - I like close games like that. Both Florida and Alabama have great teams and certainly deserve their high ranking. Now what am I going to do on Saturdays until next September?

You guys know I was a computer security guru at one point and I've not lost touch with the people, sites, or newsletters. Of recent I've been getting alerts about viruses, phishing, and other nasty stuff on the internet and in e-mails - more than the usual warnings I should add. It seems that during the holidays mischievous and sometimes evil folks are out to cause havoc, infect your computer, or worse..steal your confidential information. They get in a variety of ways which historically has been via e-mail. Now days many e-mail servers block executable files but they still go through so be extra careful about any attachments you might receive. The nastiest of recent infections are getting in via your browser and what is called drive-by downloads.

Naturally avoid questionable sites, don't click on links in e-mails, and protect yourself the best you can. One relatively new browser helper known as WOT is a nice little add-on to your IE or Firefox browser which will alert you about sites -it is free and you can get it here . The other very important thing is to make sure your software is up to date and patched; this is especially tree of software you use a lot on websites like JAVA, Adobe reader, etc. A really neat and free utility called Personal Software Inspector 1.0 by Secunia can help you update and keep your software updated. You can get it free here . I've installed both of these little utilities and suggest you do the same. Oh, it goes without saying you should have a good, up to date antivirus program and a firewall.

How often do you folks look at my web cam? Should I point it in a different direction outside, point it inside, or just take it down all together? I notice in the afternoons it gets a reflection from the blinds because of the angle of the sun this time of year. I could place it in another location and use my wireless-wired connections via a outlet but the transfer rate is slow thus the images will not be streaming as they are now. Of course there are devices with faster transfer rates but I'd have to buy them and I'm not sure you folks are interested enough for me to do that? Any thoughts will be welcomed - I do this mostly because it's just fun for me.

Another very nice picture taken on the Indian River within the past week.

Posted at 07:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Last Football Saturday

Sat 06 December 2008

It's the last College Football Saturday of the year - I've got some games I want to watch but I'm sadden the regular season is over. Just damn! It seemed to go by so very quickly to me and it's a long time until September 2009. Today I can first watch Virginia Tech play Boston College and then what should be a great game between Florida and Alabama. I'm for Florida and Boston College.

The good news is that Georgia Tech will be playing in the Peach Bowl on New Years Eve this year. Tech's SEC opponent has not been named as yet but you can bet I'll be watching the game. I remember going to the very first Peach Bowl (sometime in the 70's) in Atlanta when it was held in the Fulton County Stadium which no longer stands. I forgot who played but I do remember it was butt-cold that day with the temperatures around freezing. There was not a cloud in the sky so if you moved into the sunlight it helped. Since then the Peach Bowl has grown in stature becoming one of the top tier bowls out of all of them.

There is a musty odor coming from under my sink area which means something got wet and is moldy. What you smell when you smell musty things is basically mold farts - the gas mold emits as it grows and processes food. I can't find the cause so I'm going to tear into the wall where the pipes go in to see if I can find something. There is no obvious moldy area so it must be out of sight. I bought some spray foam filler to fill in the cracks with the hope it will eliminate the source. Ace used this foam filler but a damn rat ate through it until I finally caught it in a trap - I never replaced the foam the damn rat ate. Reports to follow.

When I was out picking up some things at Lowe's I looked at their selection of 'traditional' rugs and concluded I like the one I have better than any of the dozens I say. One of the ones they had looked like one of the 'finalists' in my selection process but I frankly didn't like it as much in person. You know what would make me very happy? I'd like to "fade" my rug to make it look older rather than to wait the years it will take. I bet there is a way of doing that so I'm going to do some research. Trouble is that once it's faded there's no going back. I'm liking it more each day.

I'm concerned about John's grades as this semester comes to a close in a couple of weeks. He's taking 5 classes and says he has A's in three of then and probably a C in the other two - or least I think he has a C in the other two. Of course I think he can make all A's and B's if he spends the time necessary to do the work. It's my gut feeling he's not trying as hard as he can and I come to that conclusion because of what he does in his "free" time. I remain hopeful that he'll do the work to get the A's and B's after all, it's his future at stake not mine.

On the other hand, I also understand college is not for everyone. I know a little Dutch boy that didn't like "university" but rather used his innate talents to find great employment (as long as his companies don't keep on going out of business). Most of the kids I went to college with are not working in a field related to their education but rather used their education as a door-opener into other careers. College just expands the options one has but by no means is the only path to take in order to be happy in life and after all it's happiness we all seek isn't it?

I thought I'd show you a picture of my assistant, Sally Cat, as you occupies her position while I'm working on my desktop. She just lays there sleeping as long as I'm in my office. Sometimes she's on the other side of the monitor where there is a bit more space.

Hot headline from yesterday's paper, "Victoria's Secret hit again by theft in Indian River County"

Posted at 07:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Warning Labels

Fri 05 December 2008

Have any of you purchase Christmas lights this year and noticed all the warning labels on them? When putting up my tree the other day John and I must have cut off about 15 warning labels - I cut 4 off my wreath when I hug it on the door yesterday. Things like 'do not hold lights while taking a shower', 'do not stick your tongue in an empty socket', or this one...'chewing light bulbs may be hazardous'. Jeez! The funny thing is that all these warnings come as a result of previous law suits. This is not a joke...one warning on a lawn mower said not to hold it up while running to cut hedges! You know what that means...some idiot tried to trim his hedges with a lawn mower and got hurt. I was saw a sign I thought was very funny - "Stupid Should Hurt".

The wreath on my front door looks really good (see image). It is artificial and pre-lit but I'm not sure I'm going to have the lights on at night. I do have a lamp next to the door where I could plug it in but I may not want the electrical cords dangling on my front door - you know how obsessive I am about neatness. If I can make the wires almost un-noticeable then perhaps I will have the wreath on at night. Like my tree, I'll put all Christmas lights on an automatic timer just like my landscape lights.

Johnnyson came by to help me move my furniture and place the my new rug on top of the rug which was already in my living room - the rugs are the same size. It certainly gives a different 'look' to the room and while it was not the lighter colors I thought it would be I do like the look. I'm going to leave it there for awhile and see just how it fits; it may be that I rotate rugs with the seasons just to add a bit of change to my house so I won't get bored. One thing I have to say about my Atlanta home, it got boring to me and I didn't recognize it until I move into the fresh and different Vero Villa.

I placed an online order with J.Crew, a store who's clothing I really like. When I received the order, one of two items was missing. I called customer service and after they asked me a couple of questions like did the box look like it had been opened and when I replied no they said they were terribly sorry and would send out a new item. Just like that...a new item. It was clear to me there was a major goof at their shipping department because the box was only big enough for one item, not two. I guess these things happen but I'm wondering just how often. The receipt was in the box clearing showing two item purchased but only one sent. Hmm...very strange me thinks.

I've found a new electronic/computer device with which to play; it is called a "Wireless Range-Extender Access Point". This is a device (you need two) that you plug into the wall and then connect it to your router. Then you can go anywhere else in your house , plug in the other one, and then plug a network device into it like a computer or in my case a web cam. I found some Netgear factory re-certified devices on a deep discount of only $15/each compared to the $89/each for new ones. I thought to myself - 'self' why don't you get a couple with which you can play. Frankly I had my doubts but shazam...they worked when I connected a web cam to them.

I find that wireless web cam can not be viewed except around here - I tried to view one of my wireless cams from the Keys with no luck. The 'wired' cams work great for view anywhere on the net - even the Dutchies could see us in the Palm's pool. So these devices will allow me to set cameras around my house without stringing a lot of wire but the act like a 'wired' device - get it? The only problem is the device I have only transfers data at 56mbps when I need more. The result is the image is actually refreshed every 15 to 20 seconds instead of being streamed. I'm working on that so stay tuned for what I do next.

From yesterday's headlines in the Vero Beach Press Journal, "Vero Beach man accused of assaulting girlfriend with cheeseburger" - story here.

Posted at 07:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Tree is Up

Thu 04 December 2008

John and I put up my tree Tuesday afternoon in about a hour. The tree itself was easy to assemble, it was moving all the branches out to make it look as natural as possible that took the bulk of the time. I almost got a tree that was too big for my house and probably would have been better off with a 6' tree instead of a 7.5' tree. Well it is there looking good from the outside at night which was my main goal. It looks good to me inside as well but I'm thinking I need to add some Christmas bulbs to the tree; it's not necessary but it would look even better. My thought is to get all one color bulbs of different sizes and shades - I like blue but it certainly could be red, green, yellow...you name it. Wally World has a great selection of colored bulbs ranging in size from about 2" in diameter to over 6" in diameter. Maybe today is the day I'll go looking.

Remember the landscape lights that were burning out at the rate of one every few days on that one circuit? Well I ordered lower wattage lights thinking that would solve the problem with the intention of replacing the 4 lights already in the ground. That was over 6 weeks ago and not a single light has burned out since but I did not replace the ones in the ground. I still have the 4 new bulbs and at this point I think I'll just wait until I have a failure. What's up with that? I burned out about 8 bulbs in a month and now none? Steve the electrician tells me that the power to my house varies a good bit which could have been the problem. Hmm.

Yesterday was my monthly day to chair my coffee klatch group - I do it the first Wednesday in every month. My topic of discussion yesterday was humor and how therapeutic humor can be in helping folks get through rough times. Some folks get 'the blues' during the holidays or this year folks have economic fear because of the economy. The more you allow these negatives thoughts to occupy space in your brain, the more affect it will have on you. So my recommendation is to introduce humor into your life - read, watch or listen to something funny. I have an audio file on my computer that when I listen to it I can't help but laugh. Laughter is a good thing.

My rug arrived yesterday and when I look at it in my living room it looks different than in the picture. The colors are not as light as in the image making it look 'newer' than I thought the look would be. As it is always the case with me I'm not sure about something once I get it and it's different than what I expected - I actually wanted it too look a bit older and faded than it does. The funny thing is that when I look at it from my kitchen I like it better than when I'm standing on it - the angle the light hits it then reflects is more in line with what I expected to see based on the pictures.

The first thing I need to do is put it where my current rug is then live with it for awhile. I find that sometimes I end up liking what I get better than what I expected to get when there are differences. These little surprises are the spice in life that keep me wondering what's next. A good example is the comforter I put on my bed for the holidays - I didn't like it as much as the one I had on the bed at first but now I think it's pretty cool. See...I am mellowing as I get older, huh? You see my hair used to hurt and now that I have less hair, there is less hurt...thus I'm not as cranky.

Today's image I found on Weather Underground - it was submitted by some dude living in Sebastian and was taken on the Indian River just North of Vero. With this cool weather we've been having cloudless days and thus we get sunsets like this one.

Posted at 04:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

New Rug Today?

Wed 03 December 2008

Almost like clockwork, my headaches were gone when I woke up yesterday. I guess I may never know why I get them but it's nice to know that for the most part they are short lived. Just a bit of pain medication for a couple days and then I'm good to go again. Hmm...maybe if I took pain medication everyday when I get up I'd never get the headaches in the first place? Nah, that's probably not a great idea.

Much to my surprise the rug I bought (see image - click to enlarge) over the weekend was shipped on Monday and according to the UPS online tracking, I may get it today. Frankly I think it will be tomorrow but then again what do I know? The question now becomes what to do with the rug I already have? First, lets's see if I like the new one as much as I think I will. If I do, I could just put it on top of the rug I already have at least long enough to see if I'll stick with it. Or, I could roll the current rug up and sort of hide it behind a couch until I find out just what I want to do. Maybe I'll rotate these rugs with the seasons? I'll just see what works best when I get it.

My coffee klatch buddy has given me permission to use his name so that when I refer to him you'll know who I'm talking about. His name is Jason - he's a good kid with a mixed past but is certainly on the right road now. Other than keeping up with our group, his number one project now is to find full time employment. He is skilled as a stone mason but there is not a lot of construction going on here in Vero at the present. He's basically willing to do just about anything so I suggested he spend every day looking for a job until he finds one then keep that job until a better one comes along. Putting in applications and waiting for a call-back just will not get it in today's economy IMHO.

I had a problem yesterday with my website - a problem that did not affect your ability to view it. When I was trying to edit my page I got an error that read, "Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 35 bytes) in /home/******/public_html/*****/news/functions.php on line 198". What's up with that? I did some manual editing yet I didn't have a clue as to the root cause of the problem. My code buddy in the UK knew straight away what it was and after looking I confirmed he was right. There were some 'Comments' that got to larger for my server to handle. Some were up there in the multi-megabit range and upon looking, I discovered most were pure nonsense or URL's for sites selling drugs. With the click of a mouse I deleted them all and now know I must check old comments for such abuse. I could prohibit comments all together but that would not be any fun for you folks who wish to abuse me.

Which ever one of you is spreading the word I need Viagra, Cialis, Propecia, and the like, I wish you'd stop it. I get about 8 to 12 e-mails everyday offering to sell me these drugs. Obviously the word is out that some think not only am I small but I tend to remain small, I'm going bald, and need help.It's all over the world because these e-mails come from every corner of the world. Jeez! Enough already. HaHaHaHa.

I've been doing my fair share in trying to help the economy. Recently J.Crew had a sale and then knocked 30% off the remaining items not sold. When you can buy something you like at a 75% discount, it's hard to pass it up even if you don't need it. I tend to want to buy multiple colors of an item I like known that I may not be able to find them in the future. Such was the case with a specific size and style of Chino's I bought at J.Crew - luckily I bought several pair because they don't make this type anymore and they are the best fitting Chino's I've owned. Usually pants that are big enough in the waste have enough room in the legs to fit 3 of my skinny bird-legs; not the case with J.Crew's "slim-fit" Chino's. In this sale I bought to very finely knitted cotton light weight long sleeve T-shirts for here in Florida.

Posted at 05:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Headache

Tue 02 December 2008

My headache was still with me yesterday but not as bad as the day before. When I came back from coffee I took a Tylenol 3 instead of a Vicodin which I used the day before. I try to stay away from the hydrocodone as much as possible using codeine-type medications instead. My body seems to handle codeine better and once it does it's job, my body does not call out for more like it sometimes wants to with hydrocodone products. As the day went along I did end up with a couple of Vicodin late in the day. I'm feeling pretty good this morning so let's see how the day goes.

My headache was not so bad as to keep me away from the mall - when my housekeepers come I like to get out of their way and yesterday there was a crew of three. So I went to Lowes looking for plants and I've got to tell you, they had the worst looking poinsettias I think I've ever seen (well, maybe not ever ) - so pathetic I can't understand why they would even try to sell them. Later in the morning I found some nice plants at Wally-World although I didn't buy any just yet - I want to check out Home Depot later.

I did go to Michael's, Bed, Bath, Beyond & Expensive, and Pier 1 looking for something to put over my landscape lights to add color as well as some glass jars in which I'll make some candles. I did not buy anything for my landscape lights and I may not color them for the holidays - I still have not found the right thing yet. But I did get some glass jars to make candles like I used to make in Atlanta. The candles you buy are just not scented enough for me.

It was a busy Monday - there were a lot of shoppers every where I went. I'd even go so far as to say the parking lots where about 60% to 70% full which I think is a good sign for your average Monday, don't you? I am glad I bought the artificial wreath when I did because they sold out of the one I now have. Some of the wreaths look real but they just lake that fresh pine aroma - that's why I have a real one coming for my bedroom.

Both Georgia Tech Jeff and Wendy, The Ft. Lauderdale Flash, called me on Skype yesterday. Jeff was just calling to catch up and to join me in glow of the Georgia Tech win on Saturday. He also said that he & Amy are doing their part to help the economy by purchasing a new 1080p LCD HDTV - it's about time is all I have to say. Wendy had some computer questions which we solved while on Skype - she had just re-formatted her computer and thus there were 'default' settings needing adjusting. Those got fixed and we even got her Skype to work properly once I had her change a setting on it. I can't help it if I'm unemployed with a lot of time on my hands to learn all this stuff.

Tommy came by to replace the handle of Crown I loaned him at Thanksgiving. He bought it at the ABC store for about $8 less than I paid but then I got a 'gift' box with a Crown flask which I gave to John. When TB left I returned the casserole bowl which is now defective - it is empty.. With all the cooking Kathryn did over this past weekend maybe I can help free some room in one of her freezers? Today's picture is of Kathryn busy in her kitchen with Tyrone in the background.

John said he'd come over after class today to put up my artificial Christmas tree. Report to follow tomorrow.

Posted at 05:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
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Between the Hedges

Mon 01 December 2008

I'm still basking in the glory of Georgia Tech's convincing defeat of Georgia. Before the game Georgia was ranked 12th in the country and Georgia Tech was ranked 18th. I'm sure the Yellow Jackets will move ahead of Georgia and they've set themselves up for a decent bowl bid I bet with a 9 - 3 overall record. I'm most pleased with Georgia Tech's team this year and I must admit I'm also surprised with just how well they've done. The only bad news is that the regular college football season is over and it's a long time until next September.

For those who don't know, there are hedges on either side of the football field over in Athens, Georgia. Often you will hear sports announcers talking about the Georgia game between the hedges - it is a legend in Georgia football lore. I could help myself in that I had to post the picture today of a Georgia Tech player with a piece of the famous hedge in his mouth. This is a real life manifestation of how the Yellow Jackets felt on Saturday as they "chewed up" the Bulldogs in their own back yard. I found this picture on the sports pages of the Atlanta newspaper. Cool, huh?

Yesterday started out nice but by mid-day it was cloudy and rather windy as a front headed our way. We had rain off and on but I'm hoping it clear out soon giving us a nice week ahead. Along with the bad weather I had one of my bad headaches move in just like the front ...around noon yesterday. I went for the prescription headache medication which helped a lot but I could still tell there was a headache lingering inside my head wanting to manifest itself. Why do I get these things every once and awhile? The good news is they usually pass in 24 to 36 hours.

Thanks to Kathryn I've had great Turkey day leftovers and she gave me a macaroni and cheese casserole that was fabulous! The cheese she using in the casserole is especially creaming and good - I don't think it was Velveeta! I've got the casserole dish all cleaned for her so I think I'll get it back as soon as possible for a refill of her next culinary delight. I wonder if she'll take requests?

I put out my Christmas neon lights - one a snowman and the other a tree. Each day I'm adding something to prepare the Vero Villa for the Christmas holidays. I think I'll make some candles this week so I can burn them when I have guests or heck, just when I feel like smelling the very pleasant aroma given off by the burning candles. This candle thing is not new to me, I've been doing it for years in Atlanta. I just didn't bring any candles down here to Vero and up until now I've not made any.

I was tired all day yesterday and with my headache event I stayed at home watching TV or looking on my computer. One thing I've discovered is that I lose the satellite signal enough when it rains that I'm glad I've got Comcast cable as well. I thought about giving up Comcast TV cable for just the satellite but that won't do until DirectTV figures out a means of getting their signal through the rain. I watch enough TV that this is an issue for me. I think DirectTV is better when it works which fortunately is most of the time.

When I talked with Syp on Saturday he and his whole family was sick with a cold. I lost my voice yelling at the TV but quickly got it back on Saturday. Other than my nose getting stopped up I'm doing pretty darn good. However, this is the season I need to be especially careful because of the holiday party's - it's not that I go to a lot, but some members of my coffee klatch do and they bring whatever is going around to share with the rest of us. I've shared there recently too but it was the pumpkin cake Kathryn gave me to take to the group - everyone loved the cake with their coffee.

Posted at 07:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
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