My World |
Blogging my Activities ... Interests
The first day was a real success - the guys fell just 3 short of their limit of 54 with 51 lobsters. Drew's boat got their maximum of 24 and TB got more but didn't quit max out. They could have maxed out if the stayed out a bit longer but everyone was worn-out being in the hot son all day. Drew came in around 1:00 and Tommy came in around 2:00. This year's catch was as good as any year we've had here and the boats came in earlier than in some past years. I remember being out until the sun got so low you couldn't see the bugs anymore.
I think the combination of hard work and the years of experience has paid off for this crowd. Everyone now can grab a bug verses when we first started only a few were good lobster hunters. I'm pleased to see these guys have such a good time with good success. Click on today's picture to see a close-up.
Jeff moved into his apartment with the anticipated arrival of Amy last night. I went to bed before she was to arrive and I've not seen her yet this morning. This is day two of the mini-season so I hope it will be as good as yesterday. Once again I plan to stay on dry land although I may not be dry.
Last night everyone gathered under the Tiki Hut for broiled lobster with all the trimmings. Baked beans, baked potato, salad, and the usually great Mary Ann goodies. There were 18 people not including me. This is what has become a ritual after a day of lobster hunting.
Well today is the day - the beginning of mini-season. The guys were to be "at the dock" at 6:30 this morning but when I left for coffee around 7, they were still at the apartments. No matter - the sun needs to be up in order to see the lobster or potential lobster holes. Most of the time all you see is the antennae sticking out and that requires a good eye.
From my 5th floor apartment I can see boats out on the hunt this morning but there are clearly fewer boats than in the years past. The cost of fuel has taken it's toll on many lobster seekers - just buying a few at $20/tail could be a lot less cost than just the fuel let alone the rooms, meals out, etc. I hope the net result is more catches for Captain Tommy & Captain Drew.
I stopped by the Islamorada bakery this morning to buy a Key Lime Cake for Mary Ann as a gift for feeding John & I. This is a special gift because the bakery doesn't always make the cakes and when they do they fly out the door. This was the 4th trip for me in an effort to buy a cake but I did get one this morning. I bet they are all gone before noon.
I may need to adjust my meds because I've been feeling a bit out of sorts of late. This that are 'normal' daily events seem to bother me more than they should. Maybe it's the activity, the sun, the key lime pie (or lack there of), who knows - but I wish some things would not get to me as much. No worries, I'm ok but I could be better...just imagine me better!! It could be I'm getting old enough that there is just so much sun, fun, fish, and key lime pie I can take?
Yesterday Jeff & John went diving as reported on the dive boat next door. It was a good experience for John to go on a 'commercial' boat just to see what it is like so he can do it again back in Vero with his buddies or on another trip to a dive destination. Jeff said the dives were ok but nothing really special which is normally what you get on a Keys dive boat.
I'm hanging out at the pool today - the younger guys have more energy than I so let them get the bugs. Frankly I'm perfectly happy staying out of the fray all together. There is a big crowd here this year- 19 to be exact - and I don't much care for crowds anymore. I do still eat lobster when it's available. In fact, when I took the cake to Mary Ann this morning she was already baking cookies as desert for the much anticipated lobster dinner tonight. Stay tuned.
Monday started off slow in part because the 'boys' - except for Jeff - didn't get up till around 10 AM. John did get up at 8:45 to head out to the gym as is his 'usual' morning event. The boys went on the hunt for lobster spots where they can return on Wednesday to snatch the bugs assuming they are around on Wednesday. At this point it is hard to tell how successful this year lobster kill will be - very successful I hope, there are a lot of mouths to feed.
There were several 'boating' events yesterday. Drew, Kevin, and Jeff went scouting for lobster holes and found one packed full with lobsters - unfortunately it was an 'illegal' take zone and sure as the sun rises in the East the Marine Patrol will be watching it. They saw a few other spots but nothing nearly as big as this one.
Tommy, Ryan, Matt, and Kevin went for a dive at Alligator taking the two teenage girls along to snorkel. I also think Heather went to dive there as a 'first' dive here in the Keys - she is newly certified. I've not been diving on this trip yet and I may not make it until next week if at all. If there is a good opportunity I might go I'll just have to wait and see.
We've been going to Winn Dixie every Monday and if we need something John can get it on the way back from his work-out each morning. If we are lucky, we will be eating lobster in the next couple days but then again we may not. I want to be optimistic until I have a reason not to be.
This morning John and Jeff are going on a "commercial" dive boat out of Bud n Mary's. This will be good for John to get some more dives in especially with Jeff being his buddy - as you might recall, Jeff is studing to become a certified PADI diving instructor so he'll have something to do while sailing around the world. To my knowledge, this will be John's first trip on a dive boat so it will be a good experience for him to see what it's all about.
There was a girl at the dock with a couple of big ones - what do you think? The lobster are nice size too. I just had to take a picture along with the guys and their small ones - fish that is.
Bonnie & Kathryn left yesterday after a great visit this weekend - I'm not sure when or even if they will be back. Ty arrived yesterday afternoon. Tomorrow Kemper arrives and the boys may have other friends arriving as well. Wednesday is the first day on mini-season.
I've purposely decided to stay out of the fray this year. I'm not going on the boat and I'm likely not going out to dinner with a crowd - get a bunch organized is like herding cats! Groups going to dinner are late, orders take a long time, and then there is the bill. There has been several outings already on which I went along but the crowd is bigger now. I do plan on joining the lobster feast on Wednesday & Thursday assume the lobster hunt is successful.
Saturday night the boys went to Woody's but Big Dick was not there - they left and went to Holiday Isle's Tiki Hut. They returned around 2 AM but wisely were in a cab. At least the guys are trained well enough not to go out drinking then driving. I told them to call me anytime they got stuck and I'd come to fetch them. There was a real drunk front that moved in on Saturday starting after their scuba dives when the group went to the sandbar. Sunday was a bit easier.
The 'boys' (Matt, Drew, Kevin, Jeff, & John) went yellow tail snapper fishing late yesterday getting back to the dock after dark. They all caught yellow tail but I think only 2 were big enough to keep - legally. They have to be 12" from nose to tail in order to keep them. No matter, the trip was fun, the weather was good, and seeing a Key's sunset from the boat must have been awesome.
The rumor this morning is that some want to go diving, some want to go snorkling, and some want to go fishing. I'm going to have coffee with my Islamorada buddies after which I'll come back for morning pool duty. I need to stop by the Islamorada Bakery for a Key Lime Cake and a stope at World Wide for a colored T-shirt - so many of my Guy Harvey shirts are just white. Then who knows what the balance of the day holds for me?
Here is a picture from my balcony this morning.
It's Saturday and the crowd is growing. Matt, Ryan, and Kevin came in last night and Georgia Tech Jeff arrived here at The Palms just after 11 AM - John picked him up at the Miami airport. All the young guys are leaving to go scuba diving as I'm typing this - I'm staying behind for pool duty. It is my intent to hang out here and just let the younger generation go do their thing. I'm almost certain they'll head for the sandbar after they get a dive in. I'd be ready to come back so it's best I don't go at all. Frankly I have as much fun watching these guys as going on the trips myself.
Last evening John & Matt hung together while Drew was entertaining his guest. I was watching my favorite Friday TV shows - Monk & Psych. I didn't go for coffee this morning because John needed the car to fetch Jeff.
Today I have pool duty and I may go to the market to get bread and fresh fruit - we are out of both. This time I may just go to the Robbing Post (aka. The Trading Post) rather than driving to Winn Dixie 11 miles away. Down here 11 miles seems like a lot.
I've had requests for pictures of babes instead of all the dudes. Well, there haven't been any dudettes here until yesterday. I thought I'd post one of John talking to Bonnie in the pool - nice, huh?
Thursday was a resting day for all of us after Wednesday's fishing trip. This may sound a bit weird to some of you but getting banged around by 3-4 foot waves going 30+ mph for more than a hour in each direction under a hot sun will wear on you - especially old farts like Tom, TB, and me. So we all hung out in the pool after lunch although TB 'topped-off' his boat with fuel. It took over 100 gallons at about $5.25/gallon so you do the math. He wanted it fueled and ready to go before the weekend that starts today.
Kathryn, Bridget, and Bridget's friend arrived late yesterday for the weekend although the two teenaged girls may stay next week as well - Kathryn has a case she's working on in Vero. I understand that Drew people will be coming in today to stay with Drew in their apartment including Matt & Ty as well as another guest or two. Tonight Kevin, Ryan, and Heather arrive as well so now we begin the mini-season crowd. Jeff gets here tomorrow morning and expects to be 'wet' before noon.
Mary Ann made a wonderful shrimp casserole dinner for Tom, Drew, John, and me last night - it was fantastic. It is an absolute true statement to say I eat better the month I'm down here than all the rest of the year. Mary Ann, Kathryn, and Tommy all cook not to mention guests that come in who cook as well. Kevin & Matt have a buddy coming next week that is a professional chef for God's sake! Life is good for me & my stomach here in Islamorada.
This Morning John got up at 8 to go to 'Froggy's' - the gym he joined while down here in the Keys. He may go out with TB & the girls to Alligator once he gets back and would like to take a teenage boy who's staying here, is certified, but has no one with whom to dive. Maybe that will work out and maybe it won't. If GT Jeff were here I'd feel a lot better if he went because John is still a bit new at this. Then again, how much trouble can you get in at 20 feet?
Here's a picture of the fisherman from Wednesday along with some of the black fin tuna we caught.
We had a successful day fishing offshore at what is known around here as "The Hump". The bottom swells up about 23 miles offshore which in turn causes the current to head up carrying fish and the fish that eat the fish. It was clear to us where we where because the water was 'bumbling' around the area, there were birds feeding, and fish were feeding on the bait. This time it was black fin tuna and everyone on the boat caught at least a couple and we would likely had caught more if we fished longer. We left the dock around 7:30 AM and returned around 2 in the afternoon.
The tuna were all modest in size ranging from 2-3 pounds on up to maybe 6 pounds but they are great for eating which we did last night once Tom cooked them on the grill. Of course the biggest one got away as they always seem to do. No worries - we caught as many as we wanted and had a great time.
For the most part the weather cooperated with only one rain cloud we need to avoid. It was a bit breezy & choppy (2' to 4' seas) but not real hot because of the high clouds. It got sunnier and hotter as midday came so we headed in about 1. I wish we had found some dolphin but black fin tuna is damn good to eat just not as much fun to catch. Dolphin put on a show jumping and full of color - tuna are not as exciting.
This was John's first trip offshore here in Islamorada where he actually caught fish. Last year he went fishing but had no luck at all. My picture today shows John catching a tuna and Brother Drew catching a buzz. We only had a 12 pack on board so no one really got to much beer on yesterday's trip. I'm glad we all went before it became too difficult to go with all the bodies that will be arriving in the next couple days.
One aside about our trip is that Jim (condo resident) brought his dog on the trip - he said the dog would bark if left in the condo. Well TB allowed it surprising all of us but it was because Jim fishes here all the time and knows where to go. The dog was cool except for one thing...it smelled really bad!! It had some kind of infection that caused it to smell. Even Tommy who can't smell much of anything could smell this dog. Brother Drew said he almost got sick because of the smell - I stayed in the front of the boat...up-wind. The dog is like a family member to Jim so I hope he gets better for all our sakes.
Going fishing - yep we are going fishing off shore in about an hour. Tommy, Drew, John, Tom, Jim (from the condo), and me. I want to go in TB's new boat and have the joy of watching John catch his first dolphin. I remember when I took Syp fishing and he caught his first dolphin on Frank's boat, the Sonny Boy. In fact, some of the most rememberable events in my life has been to watch Syp as he experienced his "firsts" with me. First charter boat fishing. First white water rafting. First scuba diving. First night diving. First trip to the Bahamas, Peru, Grand Cayman, etc. First full body massage. I could go on and on - I remember them all and I'm equally as sure Syp does as well.
I have to tell a story on Syp when we were in Peru. I arraged for both of us to have a massage and it was his first. After thye session he had a warm glow over his face that was priceless - I'll never ever forget it. Well, I'm thinking John may have a similar reaction although I'm not sure. I think I'll try to set something up down here in the next couple days before the mad crunch starts.
I heard from GT Jeff yesterday and he's fired up about coming down Saturday morning. I'm going to send John to fecth him at the Miami airport. Normally I would tell him to get a shuttle but I did promise and Jeff has always been there when I needed him like taking me to the hospital to have my colonoscopy lat August. Jeff is a lot of things but one thing is he is very dependable - I wonder if I could get him to change my adult diapers when the time comes?
Drew & John were the sandwhich makers after dinner last night. We all went to Lazy Days for great fellowship and seafood. Hopefully will get our own seafood for tonight.
Well I'm off to the marina.
Yesterday afternoon John and Drew returned from Vero - they got in around 2:30. Drew hit the pool while John took about a 2 hour nap to recover from the weekend. He said the drive was tiring but the truth be told it was the late night parting that got to him IMHO. Anyway a few days of his 'regular' routine here and he'll be a lot better.
There are a group of people that have arrived for a few days of fun in the Keys - they are all friends of our maintenance guy Don. These folks are in their 30's & 40's with kids from age 5 to about 15. The first thing the wives did yesterday as their husbands did 'boat' things was to park at the pool with their cooler of beer. By the time Drew & John arrived they were looking with interest at both of these young handsome guys while their husbands were away. They were just being frisky but nonetheless funny to watch.
Tommy bought hamburger meat so we all gathered at Mary Ann's apartment to have hamburgers, potato salad, and wine for dinner last night. It was so pleasant to sit out on their 5th floor patio to eat as the sun was going down. It is times like this that reminds us all why we love it down here.
News from the Atlanta front - Ryan's employer was bought by some bigger company yesterday. I don't know what affect that will have on Ryan but my guess is none. His company's stock went up about 30% so if he owns stock then that's a good thing. Ryan, Heather, Matt, and Kevin will be here on Friday and Kevin's girlfriend, Kemper, will be here next Tuesday. Jeff is coming in Saturday and Amy is coming in next Wednesday - Tom will be leaving a week from today for a golfing outing with his buddies.
I don't know what's on tap for today except to say I think Drew & Tommy are going to go learn how to use the anchor on his new boat. Up until now he's always tied it up but you still need to be able to use the anchor especially at places like the sandbar at Holiday Isle. I have pool duty, John is going to the gym.
Every afternoon our crowd gathers in the pool before dinner. Here is a picture from yesterday taken from my balcony before John & I went down to join them.
Saturday was a relatively quiet day here in paradise - the 'group' spent most of the day in the pool. Tom, Tommy, Mary Ann and I were in the pool from about 11 AM until a little after 1 PM and then again from 4:30 to almost 7. I added wrinkles to my wrinkles on top of more wrinkles. In the afternoon Ty & Ryan joined us but Ryan went diving in the morning on a wreck - I don't know what Ty did but if I had to guess he was on the phone.
I've never see anyone stay on the phone as much as Ty. The other night at dinner he must have gotten up from the table a half dozen times to talk on the phone. Tommy uses his a lot too but for business and to keep in touch with his family. Ty uses it as a social device which if that's what you want, then go for it. Me....I don't even own a cell phone and I do not want a cell phone. I don't like talking on a phone at all unless it is to get or send information. Of course I like to talk to those I love like you Duchies, Starr, John, etc. And I like to get an update from Atlanta but just to call to say, "What's going on?" is not something I will do.
Yesterday was a beautiful day but today has started out cloudy. There were a few rain drops on my car on the way back from coffee this morning. I think I'll clean the apartment then head to Winn Dixie later this morning. I think it's pretty amazing that I've only gone to the store once since I've been here and I really don't need to go today. Maybe I'll just wait until John gets back then drag him along with me.
John and Drew may get back today but it would not surprise me if it were tomorrow. Drew went to his class reunion so I guess it depends on what's going on there or who he hooks up with. John has to keep to drew's schedule although I know that gurl [sic ] wants him to stay in Vero to take care of her and party every night. He's a big boy so he can do what he wants - stay in Vero getting drunk every night then sleeping to 3 PM the next day only to repeat it or come down here is scuba dive, fish, lobster, eat great seafood, swim in the pool, go to the Gym, hang with Captain Matt, Drew, Kevin, etc and most importantly be with ME!! I don't get it.
This picture was taken from my balcony yesterday.
I don't know what happens that I get so busy I don't post here as I usually do. The days are longer in Islamorada than in Vero with the same early start at a 7 am coffee meeting but the nights go to 11 PM and beyond. What's up with that? Why can't I seem to go to bed at a 'normal' time for me? Last night was not any different in that I was up till about 11:30 although we were back from dinner shortly after 9.
Our crowd went to Bentley's last night - Tommy, Tom, Mary Ann, Ryan, Ty, and me. There was a mess-up in the kitchen, our order was miss-placed, but we finally got served after about a hour. The 3 appetizers & salads kept us going and the manager bought a round of drinks - yea, no big deal for me. What I liked is the manager came out and told us the truth rather than try to make up some fringing storey - they just screwed-up. No one seemed bent out of shape and the food was good as usual.
Last night was a full moon so the monthly drunkfest known as The Full Moon Festival was going on over at Morada Bay. Traffic was a nightmare coming home but we knew to take the 'back road' (aka. old US 1). Ryan and Ty were going to go but by the time we had dinner and drinks they both decided to stay home - Ryan had a deep wreck dive at 8 am this morning up in Key Largo.
Starr & the boys had a great time and are now back in Vero along with John. Drew went back for his 10th class reunion as well but will return on Monday and bring John with him.John's "excuse" for going back was to register for classes but I know it was to see that gurl [sic] that has him wrapped up in her stuff. Not much I can do if he wants to go to Vero for a few days after all, it sucks being stuck down here in paradise.!
The boys caught two sharks the other night one of which weighted about 40 pounds and took Alex a hour to get to the shore by the boat ramp. The other shark was a baby black-tip and I think Dylan got that one. In any event, they were all fishing to about midnight under an almost full moon so now they know what that's all about.
I've been helping the guy that owns Bud n Mary's marina next door on how to use his computer. He's a successful businessman just a few years older than me that has (and still has) employees to do all the computer work. However he decided he wanted to learn some basics so I volunteered to help when I heard him talk about it at coffee one morning. He was going to hire someone and I said I'd walk over any day for free to help. I like doing this sort of thing and this guy has in creditable stories for me each day. I've gone over twice now and will go back again next week.
Yesterday was a great day in paradise with very little rain, very little wind, and a good but of that great Key's sun. The boys went to alligator again, I got the air condition fixed and then had 'pool duty' from 1 o'clock to 3 o'clock with an hour break then another 'cocktail hour' in the pool with all of our crowd. The crowd will change today with the arrival of Tom. Mary Ann, and Ryan. Tomorrow Starr, Alex, Dylan, John, and Drew all head back to Vero but Drew and John will return on Sunday or Monday. John has some school & work things to do and Drew has to go to his 10th high school reunion. I have pool duty.
Word has it that Ty & 'lady friend' will arrive on Friday for the weekend.I'm not sure what the relationship is so I'm reluctant to say 'girlfriend' - hell for all I know he's bring her down to introduce her to the 'clan' with a future in mind. As they say on TV, report at 11. Anyway, they will be staying in the apartment previously occupied by Starr & the boys.
I took everyone to dinner last night at Lazy days. I think Alec & Dylan had a real treat and of course all us "regulars" enjoyed the outing. They were exposed to true Key's style eating with fish, shrimp, and the real zinger, cracked conch. It was fun and while it was not cheap at least we did not have a large bar bill - no mixed drinks or wine.
Later in the evening, Brother Drew took over fetching Alex & Dylan for an evening of fishing off the sea wall.I went to bed while they were still fishing so I've not got a clue what, if anything, they caught or how late they stayed up - if I had to guess, I'd say 11 or 12. This sea wall fishing is a tradition especially with Drew. I've done it and so has Matt. There were years when I did not catch anything but a good buzz! Stay tuned for updates.
Here is a picture of Dylan and Alex as they began to fish last night.
Today is the first really nice day we've had thus far here in paradise.So after breakfast Tommy and the boys went out again for another trip to Alligator. Starr did not want to go and I was waiting for the air conditioner repair guy to return. The leak in my A/C was fixed and now I'm headed to the pool until the guys get back at which time we'll have lunch - I think.
We sort of went our own ways last night for dinner but tonight I thin we'll head to Lazy Days - Starr wanted to take the boys out to a nice place at least once while they're here. I think the whole crowd will go but that has not been firmed up just yet.
As you may have noticed, I've added a web cam view from my window here at The Palms. When you click on the Villa Cam link you get a Vero view and an Islamorada view - pretty cool, huh? I wish these were better cameras so I could use them at night but alas they are not.
TB's new boat runs a whole hell of a lot smoother & quieter than his old boat. In spite of that, it was a very rough day at alligator yesterday because of the wind. The ride in and out was choppy and the visibility was down - not the best day for two new comers like Alex & Dylan. Nonetheless, everyone had a good time.
My apartment was the gathering place for lunch after the boating trip because I had food and beer. The boys don't drink much at all but they like the idea of sitting on my patio with the view, food, and a cold beer. I must admit, it sure was nice.
Well the A/C guy is done some $287 later so I'm going to the pool. Sally has things under control in the apartment
As you can tell, I finally got my internet connected after several more phone calls and a few more hours. I know you may think I'm exaggerating but I think I talked to 14 different people on a total of 8 calls with 8+ hours on the phone in the past 36 hours! No joke! I got 'Arlene' in Mississippi who was able to do the difficult task of adding my MAC number to my account number. I can't believe the effort it took and I know what I'm doing - I feel sorry for the person who does not have a clue talking to a Comcast rep that also is clueless. No worries, I'm up now and Drew is already tapped in.
You would think I'm done with Comcast by now, right? Wrong! I got two calls yesterday fro the local Key Largo account wanting to add my MAC number to my account. What's up with that? The local rep says there is not a MAC number on my account and unless it gets added my internet will get cut off! OK...how can this be? I was told you needed an account number to add a MAC address so who's account am I on? The local rep said she could not add my MAC address to my account because it was already on an account. Well, I think that's right and the account is mine. You see I've come to learn that at Comcast the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing!!! They keep their employees operating under the 'mushroom theory'- keep them in the dark and feed them sh*t!
John, Al, Dylan, and Starr got here Sunday night about 9:30 - I had already gone to bed. I was tired, hungry, pissed-off and just wanted the day to end so a fresh new day could start on Monday. It seems that John did not get back to Vero as early as he said he would so instead of leaving Vero at noon or 1 o'clock, they left at 4:30. That in itself sounds strange because check-out is at noon at the latest. No matter, they are here now ready for their first experience in the Keys.
The air conditioner guy came yesterday but because of the rain, he could not run the tests necessary to find the leak(s) - Mike is to return on Wednesday and I will be his first call. No worries, my A/C is working fine because the leak is a slow leak. I might go a couple weeks but I'd rather not test it.
Yesterday was a rainy sort of day so John took Alex & Dylan to World Wide to look & shop in the morning then we all had lunch. After lunch Alex & Dylan wanted to go in the pool with John leading the way and about 10 minutes the skies let lose. So what dio you do when it rains? - hit the hot tub for the next hour and a half. Around 4:30 the boys along with Drew went to the Outback for munchies, etc. Even on a rainy nasty day the guys had fun.
The boys went fishing on Drew's boat late yesterday and into the evening. They came back with a snapper big enough to feed them so Alex cooked it with pancake batter because he didn't have flour. Dylan caught a bonnethead shark and they all caught smaller snapper.
In the meantime, TB, Starr, and I cooked fresh yellowtail snapper with rice & vegitables. It was fresh and damn good I want you to know. My job was to clean up because too many cooks in the kitchen is not good - Starr & Tommy had that covered. After dinner Starr & I watched the new 'Closer' on TV then it was time to go to bed. John came in, changed into his suit and went to the hot tub with Alex & Dylan.
Yesterday was good even with the rain - today looks as if it might be sunnier.
My trip down was relatively uneventful and moved very well until I got to the congestion of Miami - what a mess. It seems that every year the DOT in Florida wants to rebuild the expressways - there was construction from about Ft. Lauderdale to Key Largo. The really bad part of the trip was Florida City to South Key Largo and then just normal slow "Keys" traffic after that. In spite of all that I made the trip in under 4 hours once I got on the road; I did not stop at all along the way. Man do I love the Sun Pass which allows me to avoid all those damn toll booths.
I brought Sally up the stairs and into the apartment un-noticed. When I went back down to get a cart and the bags, that fat lady in 516 was getting off the elevator as I was getting on. I'm not sure she would have said anything but I'm glad she didn't have the chance.
The apartment is the same only with another year of ware. Frankly with the rate I'm paying I don't think I should complain. It is clean, on the 4th floor toward the front, and at this point seems like 'home' here. But there was a problem - the air conditioning would freeze up if the unit ran for very long. The only temporary solution was to raise the thermostat high enough that it would not stay on long thus not cool the apartment down much.
I called Donna and no response of course so I took matters into my own hands. I remember that Houston Air was the service company we've used in the past so I called them about 2 hours after I got here on Saturday. The service dude - Mike - said he was backed-up, suggested I clean the unit, and see what happens.No go - which tells me it is low on refrigerant.
Mike came out on Sunday, found I had a leak and indeed low on refrigerant. He juiced the system and I'm to call the office when it next opens to schedule a return trip to actually fix the leak - I hope it works until then. Of coarse I had to pay the $218 service called which was "weekend" rates of twice the weekday rates. No matter, the owner should reimburse me and be damn glad he has someone here smart enough to get it fixed without calling him! I'll report in the next couple days as to my progress; at least it is cool in here as I'm typing this.
My unit was empty and I did not bring or buy anything in the way of food. The good news is TB planned on feeding me a wonderful shrimp dinner at his place including potatoes and spinach - it was great. I was hungry having skipped lunch and tired from the trip. The real problem when I got here is Comcast did not have me set up like they said they would when I called from Vero. I spent over two hours non-stop on the phone with them being put on hold by one dumb ass agent after another; Whatever these people make, it is way too much. For the most part their collective IQ"s don't get much above room temperature. Each time I would explain my problem and each time a different agent would give me a different answer! JUST DAMN!!
I called back 4 different times on Saturday and one time Sunday morning and still no internet. The solution is simple - just add my modem's MAC number to my new account. I have my account number, modem MAC number, modem serial number, and modem model number all of which I've given to one agent after another. All they have to do is put the MAC number on my account....simple don't you think? But noooooo. Each time they say they'll do it, no go. I've talked to Laticia, Chris, Nikia, Clara, Moneshia, Rito, Belinda, and others whose names I did not write down. The truth is I'll make it through this but it sure pisses me off I didn't get the right answer the first time I called much less the other 8 times!
My plans are to head South today after I take care of a few things around here. I'm not sure what time I'll be leaving - it really doesn't much matter. I just wish that my favorite radio talk show was on so I could have company on the way down. I HATE to drive. I don't like the boredom. I don't mind going places so much it's just the getting there I don't like. I guess I've had my fill of travel: God knows I've certainly done a lot of it over the years. I wouldn't want to trade my experiences but at the same time I'm damn glad I created those memories when I was younger.
If you click onto my Villa Cams you will note there is only one cam up because I'm taking one with me to the Keys. The page will render a bit funny because I've not changed the frame size just removed a camera. My plans are to add a camera from my apartment at the Palms so that you'll see both the Vero Villa and the Villa at The Palms. I can't see any reason why that will not work but you never know until you try. The issue is there is one 'applet' that will load but there will be two different IP's from which the images are to be taken. I'm confident I'll figure a way to work this out.
I'm not sure when I'll be posting again but it should not be too long. One issue of course is when I get Comcast up and running - I'm hopeful it will be soon. Then there is the issue of pool duty and you know how committed I am to my service there. So much to do I don't know how I find time for it all!
My dermatologist's office called to confirm what I thought and that is my 'spot' was indeed cancerous - it is a squamous cell which are not good but then again not particularly aggressive. In fact, the doctor told me to wait until I return from the Keys to have it checked again. My guess is he just didn't want me to have surgery done before I went down and it could just wait. By then I probably will have a few other nice spots to ask that he inspect.
I've got myself about 85% packed which took me about 30 minutes. Some cotton shorts, some swimming shorts, some boxers, sunglasses, my drugs, and my computer stuff - what else is there? I think I'm finally learning I only war a few things, there are washing machines, and I really don't care about much else. Of course I'll have a couple polo style shirts so TB will allow me to go out with him but I refuse to tuck them in or wear a belt. Only a couple sandals no boat shoes this year.
I've decided to take one web cam with me and to leave two in Vero - one looking out my window as usual the other above the refrigerator looking back into the living room. This is my AXIS camera that works at night and delivers sound so I can actually hear inside my house and frankly a bit outside as well. This is by far the best camera I have so why not use it, aye? I'll take one of the two window cameras and liver one pointed outside. Why am I doing this you ask? - just for the pure fun of it.
My damn fax function on my scanner-printer-fax machine is not working. I rebooted the machine, played with the software, but still no go. All the other functions work great but I do want and need a fax function from time to time. I'm going to play with it some more but if necessary, I'll just replace it. This machine is only about 9 months old so I can't imagine what went wrong unless lightning got to it like my LCD HDTV. By the way, no word on my TV as to what is going on just yet.
Tommy is headed down this morning to Islamorada and Drew is following. TB wants to get down there early to 'manage' the marina & launching of Cracker. Drew is pulling his boat down with the red utility truck I think. Tom & Mary Ann are coming to Vero this weekend but will not head South until the first of the week. I think I'm going down tomorrow; Starr and the boys are going on Sunday. It seems John has decided to drive his car to West Palm for the concert so he can drive back on Sunday, pick up Starr & the boys then turn around and drive back down. Call me too practical but wouldn't it be wiser to have Starr pick up John on the way down Sunday and let John ride to the concert with some of his buddies that are going down later today? What's wrong with that idea?
I've offered to pick John up in West Palm on the way down if he wanted. I really can't think of anything positive about him taking his car down rather than going with Jamie or one of his other buddies. I'm not 20...I guess I'm too practical.
On a entirely different note, I think today is the day the Dutchies close on their new old house. Don't you just love it? - that young teenage, Syp, now is grown with spouse, son , and a new big mortgage to pay.
My talk at Hanley Hall went very well on Tuesday night - I could tell by the laughter and participation in the meeting. It was standing room only but then again there were only about 18 - 20 chairs to begin with. Nonetheless I felt good about what I said and like most of these things I do, I got a lot out of it. Any time I get an invitation to speak, I always take the opportunity after all, I love to hear myself.
After coffee yesterday I went to the local Comcast office to pick up a modem for my Palms' Villa. I hate to say it (not really) but you just can't get much out of the customer service reps - their understanding of how things work is close to zero. This gal tried to tell me that the modem they have here in Vero would not work in the Keys. Wrong! She actually thought that a company as big as Comcast uses different modems in different parts of Florida. Clearly she didn't have a clue. The modems Comcast uses are the same in Georgia, Vero, and Islamorada. Her eyes glazed over when I started talking about the MAC number so I thanked her and left.
I talked to a sales person at the local number via my land-line but she too was a bit confused as to why I was calling in Vero about an account at The Palms. So I got in touch with a guy in tech support, he clearly understood what I wanted to do, was able to tell me my old Georgia router's MAC number was dropped out of the system (as it should have been) and he added it back so all I think I need to do is install my own modem in the Keys.
To test it, I plugged the modem into my Comcast cable outlet in Vero, hard-wired it to my laptop, and the booted my machine. The standard Comcast self-install screen came up which told me the modem was "in the system". I did not actually "install" the modem choosing instead to wait until I get to the Keys. It asked if I wanted to install as a 'customer' or 'technician' and you know what, when I get to The Palms I'm going to try to install at a technician. Frankly I'm not sure what is going to happen but at least I know what I'm going to try at this point.
When GT Jeff comes down the Saturday before lobster week, John will pick him up in Miami at the airport and then drive him to The Palms. He'll stay with John & I until Amy arrives on Wednesday at which point they'll have an condo like Kevin - just for a few days. That keeps us all at The Palms and out of each other's hair ...well I don't have hair but you know what I mean. I still think it wise for me to have a room unto myself just so I can go in there to get away from all you roust-abouts - you know who you are. My main purposing in going is to give advice, be the lobster taste tester, and a designated driver.
John and Alex cam by as I was starting to pack yesterday afternoon. They were both hungry of course so I fed them New York Strip steak, rice, and salad - not all that great I know but the best I could do on short order. Alex is defective - he likes his steak done!! OMG...what a waste of good New York Strip but if that's how he likes it, so be it. Might as well grill opossum if you're going to cook it well done. John on the other hand has been around me enough to know the proper way to eat good steak is medium rare.
Typical afternoon thunderhead on bay side in Islamorada.
Tommy and I did take Darby to lunch at the Ocean Grill yesterday. It was the first time I've seen Darby since I got back and it's the first time Tommy has seen him this year. I must say with all the chemo he's going through and the issues he has, Darby is doing remarkable well. He has pain in his back, has lost a good bit of wait & hair, but he does not look like a skeleton of his former self. Smaller yes, but he's still Darby and has not lost that since of humor always present in his life. Now he's the "Academic Dean" of St. Edwards with all the responsibility that goes with the title.
It was great to see him again and we all agreed to do this sort of thing again soon. I think a monthly luncheon sounds great to me and I think both Darby and TB will agree. When you have issues like Darby has your whole perspective on life, friends, and family takes on a greater meaning. It is my opinion that the luncheon gathering was therapeutic for all of us.
I helped Tommy & Drew get some trucks moved around as Tommy is in his final staging phase getting ready for the trip. TB and Drew are both going down Friday; I'm still planning to wait until Saturday or Sunday. I might wait until Sunday so I can pick John up from the Dave Mathews concert in West Palm on the way down. Starr, Alex, and Dillon are coming down on Sunday as well. I'll know more once John decides how he's getting down to the concert in the first place.
I got my hair cut, some 'hold mail' requests, and a few things to take with me in preparation for the trip down. I think I'm going to take one of my web cams with me as well. I've noticed that several people have been looking at my cams here in Vero and my guess is that some of those same folks would like a view from The Palms. No, I don't know who has been looking but I could find out if I were to take the trouble to do so. frankly I don't really care but I am pleased that some of you bother to check out the view from my window and thus the weather here in Vero.
I got an e-mail from someone who found a gem on my TanzaniteAmerica.com website they wanted to buy. I gave them a price per carat so we'll see what happens. I get a request about once every 3 or 4 months with no advertising at all - they just find me by way of Google. I'm really not looking to sell just yet but as I said before I will sell at my price. My gems are better than any you can get on JTV and from most dealers. My asking price per carat is very competitive. Someone who's done their research would find that out - so we shall see. Most people are looking for a bargain which based on quality, I have. But I may still be out of the reach for your average looker. My goal is to hold onto my gems anyway until the price goes up - I'm still convinced the prices will continue to go up as demand goes up and supply goes down.
Here's a picture taken in the Keys after a storm a few years back (I think).
Today will be a full, busy, and long one for me. I head out to coffee about 7:15 then back here. I've got some items to pick up for the trip and then meet Tommy so we both can go get Darby for lunch. What makes the day long for me is that I'm the guest speaker tonight at a treatmemt center here in Vero. The meeting doesn't even start until 8:30 which means I'll not get out before 10....that's past my bedtime. I need all the beauty rest I can get. But these things are always good for me so I'm looking forward to today.
I'm wondering just how Darby's life is these days with his issues, work, and the deaths in his family. He has lost two of his younger brothers - one to a massive stroke and the other to a self-inflected gunshot wound. That would be his brother Mark who was a real; great, fun kid when we all were growing up. I understand Mark had extreme depression brought on by alcohol abuse - too bad someone could not have seen it coming and helped. My personal observation is there is help that works but you got to get it at a time when you probably don't give a rat's a*s.
I'm finding myself getting ready to leave by avoid purchasing fresh fruit, milk, or bread. I'm on a mission to eat everything that might spoil while I'm gone and I'm not opening any new boxes of cereal, cans of nuts, or other similar items. It's not a big deal but Dad always taught me not to waste food - you know, "clean your plate" type of attitude. So, I guess that is part of my make-up now which is not a bad thing. He also taught me to eat just about everything and to this day there is not much I will not eat except 'bait' (aka sushi) - I don't like uncooked fish. Nasty, that!
Brother Drew snuck into Vero last Saturday night under the cover of darkness. He came in late to avoid the authorities and the women he has chasing him all the time. Along with brother Ty he put down some new floors in his Mom's house and plans to do some painting as well. I'm also sure his Dad will have him packing, staging, loading, moving, arranging, staging, moving, and loading things to be taken down to the Keys this coming Friday. Good - I know Tommy is happy to have the help. No word on his job opportunities but Atlanta is only about 90 minutes away by plane.
Drew is helping with Tommy's boat - Cracker - although it was still in the river during a storm this weekend..
Yesterday started out as beautiful as the past couple days but by shortly after noon the big clouds rolled in from the West. It looked really bad but it did not rain at my place, just remained cloudy the rest of the day. However the morning was nice so I did go over to the beach for an hour - I've not been in about two weeks mostly because of the bad weather. It was nice there, not particularly crowded, and high tide...I actually prefer low tide. No matter, I got my hour in, the clouds came, so I headed home. I don't know if I'll go again before heading to Islamorada.
Today I should here from my dermatologists about last week's biopsy. As I said last week, I'm betting on more cutting before I go down to the Keys. I could be wrong but my history tells me otherwise. I'll report as soon as I know.
I think Tommy is expecting to hear from Brother Drew today about his ability to leave Atlanta about mid-week and come down. There is a good job situation Drew wants to pursue but it seems the big boss is on vacation and the new second boss is not at work yet. I won't go into detail now in part because I've not got much detail but from what I do know it sounds like a job for which Drew is well suited. This unemployment thing will become a way of life and soon he won't want to go to work. Hell Drew, just remain unemployed like I did until I retired and moved to Florida!
I have a scheme I'm going to try with regard to getting Comcast internet in the Keys. I think I'm going to see if I can pick up a modem here then take it down, install it myself, and then return it here. Why would that not work? It will make life a lot easier than to wait until I get there, find Comcast when there're open, rent a modem there, and then have to return it there. You might remember that Tom returned my modem last year because he wanted to keep it after I left. Then Comcast thought I wanted my account closed when he turned it in so the cut off my Atlanta account as well along with my e-mail address I've had for over 6 years. I did get it back but there were a couple of days when I thought I might not. Do you know how much you rely on your e-mail address? Jeez!
Should I hook up a web cam at my Keys Villa? I could do so of course but at the same time I want to keep an eye on the house here. Not that I plan on staring at the cam all day but it would be cool to look inside my house. Or maybe it will be cool about the first two times I do it and then I won't give a sh*t? I've got this week to noodle that out. I think GT Jeff & the Dutchies might like to see what's happening at The Palms - especially the midnight skinny dipping parties and the occasional drunk front as they move in. I could also show the lobster feasts live to show them what they're missing. Is that mean or what?
Does today's image look familiar to anyone?
Yesterday morning I woke up to the nicest day we've had in Vero for over two weeks. Does this mean the normal, overcast, muggy mornings are behind us for awhile? Overcast, cloudy days are depressing - I like nice bright sunny days. Maybe I should move to Berkeley because according to John every day was pretty much bright , sunny with low humidly and very mild temperatures. It is too early to make a judgment on today as yet but one can hope but I sure hope it is a repeat of yesterday.
My house keepers came yesterday - I'm so very pleased with the work they do for me. They come every two weeks on Monday and clean everything. I've scheduled them to come back when I return to do a 'expanded' clean which means all the blinds and the windows inside as well as outside. It seems that when the wind blows and my sprinklers are on, water drops get on my windows and dry. I wonder if I could put some of that rain-x stuff for cars on these widows to keep them from spotting? Probably not.
I finally got in touch with my old friend Darby Gibbons; he grew up across the street from me and Starr group up next door to me. Anyway Darby has had some serious health issues and I just need to see him. He sounded fine on the phone but I've been told by others he's not well. I'm going to pick him up at work next Tuesday and take him to lunch - he's been working at an up-scale private school over on the beach called St. Edwards. I think he's been working there for years and years but frankly I'm not sure. That among on things is why I need to catch up with him.
I got a couple more motion detection-type alarms that are not connected in any way to my monitored alarm system but they make a loud as hell noise if activated. I put one at the front and back doors such that I hope they will scare away in potential intruders before my main system is used to summons the police. My experience in Atlanta suggests that lights & noise will scare off the random thief - most bad guys would prefer to go where it is darker and quieter. Frankly I seriously doubt if I'll have any trouble around here but it does not hurt to be prepared.
John came by last night and related his debacle while getting a haircut for the Keys. He wanted it shorter but apparently some old fart (even older than me for God's sake) got a hold of him with ideas of his own and proceeded to give John a whack job for a hair cut. It was so bad he went to another gal to have her fix the mess the first guy made. The end result is that he has short hair about like that which he had last year only it is still that dark color. Because of his completion and eye color I think his better look is blonde - you know what they say, blondes have more fun. Anyway he thinks the sides are too short but they'll grow out. Here's a picture, what do you think?
Holidays suck for the unemployed or unemployable in my opinion. Why you ask? Things don't work 'normally'. Some places are closed, the 'regular' schedule on radio & TV is all scrambled, and I can't get a package out of the post office that is waiting for me. This is not a hew attitude on my part but it is a re-occurring theme. Don't get me wrong, when I was working I loved holidays - I could start consuming adult beverages earlier with an excuse. So I'm all for holidays for the rest of you but I'm ready for the normalcy in my life to return. See what happens when you get older and move to Florida?
To ease my pain yesterday I ordered a new comfortable for my bed. It has patchwork as a theme, will go with my blue/tan bedroom, and will be my change in look for when I come back from the Keys and into the Fall. I like the stuff that Nautica makes for the bedroom and this is one of their comforters. At the right is a picture of the comforter and pillow shams. I just hope it gets here before I go to Islamorada which if all goes will, it will. I've got a package that should arrive by Saturday so I may wait until Saturday afternoon or Sunday to head South.
Well I'm still thinking about that new Dell Vista tower but as yet I've not ordered it. The fact it is still on my mind suggests that I might get it though. I have a bunch of hardware connected to my router already - two computers and two web cams. I did buy a Netgear 'ProSafe 8-port 10/1000 switch' which I plan to use with my web cams, I think. Actually I don't know how a router and a 'switch' will work together but I'm going to find out. This switch does have PoE capability so I can put IP cameras wherever I want. More toys which will occupy my time while I'm learning something.
Last night the fireworks started around 6 and lasted way into the night around my hood. There is a whole cadre of young people and Hispanics around here all of whom were competing to see who could make the most noise and they all won. I don't know if I'm just mellowing as I get older (like a fine bottle of wine) but frankly I sort of enjoyed the event - in the past I would have gotten irritated by the noise. When I went outside the smoke was so thick you could both see and smell it. All in all I continue to enjoy being in the center of things in 'downtown' Vero Beach.
Of course it rained yesterday afternoon and into the early evening but cleared up before the real fireworks begin. John & Alec came by around 7:30 so that John could show me and Alec some pictures & video he took while in Berkeley. The first thing I noticed is it was sunny everyday with not a could in the sky. The other thing I noticed is there is a lot of really strange people living on the Left Coast. This was a great experience for John to have the good fortune to live there with his buddy for a month. In about a week he once again is going to have the good fortune of living with me in the Keys. I must say, John does have a rich life in his living & traveling experiences, don't you think?
I'm a bit late posting this morning because I went to my coffee meeting first. Usually I get up between 4:30 am and 5 am to write, then watch the local news out of West Palm, followed by the morning show on Fox. I did the same thing this morning except I didn't write first. Just didn't have anything on my mind yet.
Because I just got back, the meeting is fresh on my mind. Let me say as I've said before, there is an eclectic group of folks there each one with a wild-ass story but what is more amazing is the stories are true. One guy was talking about an individual addicted to pain medication so to get more, he shot himself ion the leg the consequences of which was he lost the leg. Jeez! You just can't make stuff like that up. I enjoy the meetings because they both help me but indeed entertain me as well. I venture to say that if you are reading this now you likely have never met folks like some I see every morning!
Today I'm headed out early to pick up a few things at Publix then I think I'll head over to the mall for a few minutes. I don't need anything in particular but Bed, Bath, Beyond, and Expensive is having a big sale so I might find something I can buy and warehouse in my storeroom - nice to have a storeroom now. I'm just hoping I don't have to fight the old blue-hair women's shopping club from New York.
I tried out the Vero car wash for the first time yesterday and I must say they do a great job. The wash with tire treatment is $15.95 and it's $11.95 without the tire treatment. I usually go over to the self-wash for about $3.50 but I think I'll use these folks every once and awhile to do a good clean-up inside & out about every 4th trip for a washing. I usually wash my car once a week but I must confess it seems a bit of a waste the last few weeks with rain every day. Does your car ride better and go faster when it's clean like my car does?
Speaking of cars, I'm wondering what sort of fleet we'll have at The Palms this Summer. Tommy will bring his Tahoe and the red truck, John's car will be there as long as Starr is there, Mary Ann's SUV, Ty's car, Kathryn's SUV, and maybe both Drew & Matt will drive down. This of course does not include any guests that may show up like Flynn. No worries, there are plenty of parking spaces in the Summer.
John comes home today - his Mom & brother will fetch him in West Palm around 6 this evening. Tomorrow is the 4th of July and the beginning of a long weekend. Do people have Friday off for the 4th? I think I'm going to take both Friday and Monday off. I wonder where Vero will have a fireworks display...at the beach? Dogertown? The river? The town is small enough I probably can just go outside and see what there s to see - I know I'll hear what I can't see.
Tommy dropped by yesterday to give me an update on his quick trip to Atlanta and to delivery a great cap sent to me by Brother Drew and Captain Matt. It is a "retirement" cap which of course is my official status now that I've moved to Florida (aka. God's waiting room). Anyway, TB continues to get organized for the trip and checking everything twice. He's now out to give the driver of his boat the complete check-out like looking at his permits, insurance, etc. Now I'm wondering if he will follow the boat down or just meet the driver at the marina?
My back feels better today sine the growth was removed on Monday. I really hope my dermatologist will not need to cut more but frankly I just can not be optimistic based on my history. I'll find out on Monday.
My power went out yesterday for about 8 - 10 minutes - the longest time thus far. I didn't start my generator but rather started out the door to go to Home Depot then bingo...the lights came back on. Like in Atlanta, it seems that the power goes out here but usually comes back on in a matter of minutes. Either way I'm ready and so is my generator - I ran it for about 15 minutes over the weekend to make sure all was well.
Do any of you remember the time down in the Keys when the power went out for a day? This is when they were installing a new power transformer in the building so it was not a surprise but certainly not welcomed. And then it seems someone usually has an air conditioning issue while we are there lasting a day or two. It could be a lot worse - we could be in the islands where repairs sometimes take weeks!
James, my yard maintenance guy, came about two hours before the rain started yesterday. It continued to rain all day and into the night. I can't remember a day in the past couple of weeks that we did not have afternoon rain in the area if not right here at my house. I guess I should not be surprised - this is 'normal' Summer weather for the Gold Coast. I hope we don't run into this much rain in the Keys.
Drew has a buddy who's family owns a Bahamas house. He received this picture from his buddy of a recently caught lobster. Is this a big bug or what? You can get a better view by clicking on the image.
This is a strange one but it has happened before. For reason I can't explain the top of my head is sensitive to the touch resulting in a very minor but nonetheless noticeable little hurt when I touch it. What's up with that? Of course a solution is don't touch it which works but I want to know what's going on in the first place. It is not a headache thus no medication is needed but is it a sign of something? Maybe it's just one of those old farts' aches , huh?
Well my dermatologist doesn't seem to think I have a basal cell but he said it could be a cancer growth - squamous cell is what he thinks. So he did cut the top part of the growth off sending it off for a biopsy. He says that if it is benign then he need not cut any more; but if it is cancer he'll need to go deeper. His office should call me next Monday with the results. I will be very surprised if it is not a squamous cell. The growth was bothering me too much just to be a benign growth IMO. I'll know in a week and if I need to come back he'll work me in before we leave for the Keys.
My housekeeper was sick yesterday so she and her helper did not come. No worries, I keep the house in good order meaning I can go without a real cleaning for awhile. I do like the toilets and shower to be cleaned and the floors mopped. I don't do mopping at least not very well. I also need my windows cleaned again but that can wait until I return from Islamorada. My plan is to have a busy week upon return with the house & windows cleaned and a trip to my dentist. My guess is I'll schedule Walt to do the additional planting unless he gets to it before I leave.
Starr is getting almost as excited about the trips as the boys are. She's planning to take this and that and the other thing. I will bet you almost anything she'll bring clothes she'll never wear while there. I've been going for 16 years and until about a year or two ago I've brought things I'd never wear. Long pants or jeans! Socks! Even some shorts I never put on. All I need is some shorts, a couple of swim - type trunks, polo's to go out with TB and nothing much else except my sarong. I'm sure some of you will remember getting flashed by me while I was walking around with nothing but my sarong - not a pretty sight, huh?
My cousin Alice is going to be the keeper of the Vero Villa while I'm in the keys. She has all the secret codes & passwords to talk to the alarm company and to get in if needed. She is a 30 year employee of the police department so it's nice to have her with her connections looking out for me. She's got a form I'm filling out to request the police come regularly to look things over. I'm not sure how often that is but I think it could be daily. Plus I'm on a list that all of the COVB police will have. Frankly I'm not worried but why not take the prudent steps anyway?
In addition to my 'monitored' alarm system I've got a rather inexpensive motion detector that makes a horribly loud noise if it goes off. It doesn't call anybody, it just is painful to be in the area when it's alarmed. I've placed it such that anyone coming into or leaving the house will all most certainly set it off. My experience from Atlanta tells me bright lights & loud noise works as well as a monitored system. Oh, I got 6 motion detector lights in my carport as well.
John called on his way to the gym with the same enthusiasm about the Keys as I hear from everyone else. Won't it be great if Drew & Matt can stay down there from July 11th until it is time to come back? Their older brother Ty is planning on spending a good bit of time down there as well. Only Kevin & Ryan are sentenced to the mini-week period. I believe the adults (older farts) are all going down on the 11th - as for me, I'm not sure just yet what day I'll go. I think John will hook up with his Mom, Alex, and Dylan on Sunday so I'll want to be there ahead of them. Just two more weeks.