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Tue 30 September 2008

You know what I find interesting? I requested a proposal from about 8 different neon sign makers for the construction of my GT sign and as of this date (10 days later) I only got the one quote - the one I decided to buy because of the professional manor in which I was treated and what I think is a competitive price. However, I thought I'd get other proposals or at least an e-mail telling me to stick my request where the sun does not shine. I don't get it.

The coffee group 'newbee' wants to go for a cup of java at the Cuban restaurant this morning after our coffee meeting. I agreed to make room in my full schedule to squeeze him in for an hour or so. I've not got a clue as to what he wants to talk about but my plan is to let him just talk about whatever is on his mind. I find that getting people to talk while I listen does the most good rather than just rambling on with my endless pearls of wisdom. You know I can talk, don't you?

My first Bird of Paradise bloom (see image) should be fully open before week's end. One of my two bird plants is doing real well while the other seems a bit puny - maybe it just needs more time and or fertilizer? If it doesn't get better, I may replace it when I next see Walt. And speaking of Walt, I asked him to put in the new palms by the alley the first of this month and now 30 days has passed. That's not a big deal but Walt normally is a bit more on top of things. I could use a bit of a clean-up in my landscaping around the storeroom and North side of the carport. My grass is growing slower than normal too which probably is just a function of Fall coming and shorter hours of sunlight.

Remember the restless leg syndrome issue I've had in the past? The good news is I'm really not having it now as such but I find that a soaking in my whirlpool tub is very relaxing before going to bed. Trouble is that a bath takes so long compared to my shower. I like the practicality of getting in the shower, using some soap on my hot body, and then getting out. I'm not one to dilly-dally in the shower. I guess it is not a big deal given the fact I usually only shower on Saturdays. There is a very definite advantage to using the tub - I can save the water and not waste fresh water.

You must be dying to hear my view on yesterday's vote with regard to the "bail-out", huh? Well, I think there is some action that needs to be taken and some changes made to make the US finical markets sounder but I also think there is a better way of doing it then what the Liberals tried to jam through yesterday. TB and I talked about this last week - we both agreed that sometimes institutions need to fail or be broken down such that what is left is better and stronger. I certainly don't like the economy slowing down or watching my meager stocks get hammered. I also believe there are better economic times ahead and riding this roller coaster is what I got to do for now - remember you get hurt if you jump off.

Posted at 05:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Current Finical Debacle

Mon 29 September 2008

It was a relative news free weekend for me as I had hoped. Of course I'll see what is going on this morning as it relates to the markets but I'll try to do so with hearing about it through the political - filter reports from the Main Stream Media including the morning show, Fox and Friends. The best source is likely to be CNBC although NBC & MSNBC seem to de divisions of the Elect Obama Campaign. So what am I doing in these turbulent finical times - nothing but watching. As one commentator said, you can ride the roller coaster up and down and down some more but you won't get hurt unless you jump off. For the most part I think that is also true about our down markets because the fundamentals underlying the markets have not changed much IMHO.

The big scare is that unless the solvency issues get addressed, company's production and profits will slow, economic growth will slow, and stock values will remain low or get even lower until it turns around. I believe it will turn around and if you just hang on, the markets will rebound. Hurts like hell here in the present for many of us so now is the time to be firm and committed IMHO. Same thing in the housing markets - houses are down, will likely go even further down, but they will turn around at some point to get back to their one time highs and continue up from there - of this I am sure. If you are in the market to buy a home, now is a good time to take advantage of the downturn and large inventory. Captain Matt and Cousin Kevin ought to be looking now - I think they already know that.

Although I got about 25% less than I could have gotten for my Atlanta home 3 years ago, I did not want to sit in Atlanta for 3 or 4 more years (or perhaps longer) to wait for the market to come back. In the meantime the carrying cost of 900 Peachtree Battle Circle were much higher than here in the Vero Villa when you consider taxes, insurance, utilities, and repairs. So I'm not going to constantly look back but rather be happy in my new Vero Villa with much less expenses once I spent the small fortune to make it new. I'm sure the Dutchies are right now going through the painful process of dealing with upgrades, repairs, contractors, dirt, costs, more costs, etc. in their new old house.

Brother Drew sent me a link to a rather funny video by a black minister talking about Obamamama's Mama - you can see it here. My belief is that it contains truth you have not and will not hear fro the Obamamama followers also known as the Main Stream Media. It you have about 8 minutes to watch it you might find it amusing as I did.

Did any of you watch the Alabama - Georgia game on Saturday night? What a game that was especially if you are an Alabama fan. I thought it would at least be close and actually though Georgia would win as did the 83,000 Georgia fans at the game. Alabama blew them away in the first half to the absolute shock of all watching. Other games were closer and more competitive but that's the one I enjoyed the most - wonder why?

I've decided I really like this new comforter as does Sally Cat. It is soft and really looks good in my master executive bedroom lounge.

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

Still Thinking New HDTV

Sun 28 September 2008

Yesterday was a great day for watching college football - teams I wanted to win did win and there were upsets which are always fun. Watching games in high definition is about as cool as it gets especially the networks with full 1080p digital transmissions. I don't like CBS News but I sure like CBS sport's full HD football games. The only thing I miss is that it should be cooler outside for sports, not hot like it is here in Vero.

Brother Drew and Ty dropped by for a visit before they headed over to Ft. Meyers yesterday. Their goal was to play musical furniture among the houses in the Barnes family clan such that Drew can have a 'furnished' condo to rent in Ft. Meyers. Drew wanted to stay and watch the Florida -Ole Miss game but duty called - good thing, Florida (ranked 4th nationally) lost to Ole Miss 31 - 30 in one hell of a good game. TB will be wearing black in mourning for the first few days this coming week. My team did not play yesterday thus did not have a chance to lose. Georgia Tech plays duke this coming Saturday in Atlanta.

True to my word, I've not watched any political news or programs this weekend. Of course political stuff is like a drug for me - no matter how bad or mad it makes me feel, I want more. I wonder if there is a political anonymous group I could join? Well we have 6 more weeks of this stuff before the elections so I hope I don't OD on it.

I'm still thinking about a larger TV than the one I now have. The thing is I feel a bit like a spendthrift in that the TV I have now is great and big too so why do I even consider a larger one? Well, bigger is better, isn't it? Also, when I'm in bed I'm 25 feet away from my TV so a bigger one would actually be better. The cabinet will hold a 67" and just maybe a 72" but the 72" does not have the same quality of picture. So maybe today or tomorrow or this week I'll go to actually look at the 67" Samsung to see what I think in real life. If I could sell one of the two sets I have now I'd of course be more likely to buy a bigger one. I'm not sure what a fair price would be but it seems like $500 for a 42" plasma is not unreasonable - what say you? The truth is I'll not let selling my plasma be the deciding factor but rather what I think about the TV when I see it.

I could save about $500 by ordering it online verses going to a local shop to purchase one. I would not have to pay Florida sales tax and online vendors are generally 10% to 15% less than local retail stores. I used to think buying locally would be helpful if I had a problem but from earlier this year I discovered it really didn't matter where I bought the TV because Samsung, not the local merchant, picked it up and replaced the one I have. So there really is not a disadvantage as I see it from buying online. I'm going to have to think on this some more.

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


Sat 27 September 2008

It was a beautiful day here in Vero yesterday so I decided to go to the beach for a hour - my skin cancer needed a booster exposure. The temperature was mild with low humidity so you didn't just sit there and cook. To my amazement, some of the beach's stairs were closed because of a lot of erosion which occurred in the past several days. There is this low off of South Carolina causing winds and high waves out of the Northeast. It appeared to have washed away a couple of feet of sand. Damn...I was not expecting that. We've had some wind here this week but I had no clue it was so destructive to Jaycee beach.

There has been so much sh*t going on in the political races and finical crisis that I'm fed up to here with the political posturing especially as it relates to the Liberal Liars. I'm not going to rant here about the details but rather declare my view on how not to get mad & irritated. The answer is just don't watch it! So this weekend I'm going to watch college football, my favorite TV series, and hopefully find a good movie or two. My plan is just to ignore the bulk of the National news and only catch the local news. I find the more 'invested' I am in time watching this stuff the more it gets to me - not watching should help.

I got an update from Atlanta about tom who is half way through the protocol and is doing well. When he is finished they will do some tests again to see what the next step should be. With all the cards, letters, and prayers he is getting along pretty good and MAB is being a trooper in all this as well.

John came over last night to watch the debates with me - it was a class assignment for a political science class he's taking. Being the smart young man he is, it was only natural to want to be with me to watch it so he could take advantage of my brilliant political in sites and extensive knowledge of political affairs. It was also interesting to me to see how a relative political outsider would view the two candidates and their performance during the debates. Actually I was in heartened to see that someone without a real strong political predisposition saw things for what they were during the debates.

I've got my political bias (DOH!) but I can also look at things through unbiased glasses as it comes to performance in debates. Honestly I think both men held their own - there were no knock-out punches like I've seen in previous debates. On balance, I give McCain the edge in looking more presidential than Obamamama but those who support Obamamama I'm sure thought otherwise. I've not seen with reports on the debate but it certainly was more interesting than many in the past - much more lively I'd say.

I really am grateful to Drew & John for making sure my Crown does not go bad before it can be consumed.

Posted at 06:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Drew's Visit

Fri 26 September 2008

Brother Drew should be arriving in Vero tonight along with Tyrone - they plan on moving some furniture down to Drew's villa in Ft. Meyers. If time permits, I've agreed to give Drew an audience with me tomorrow morning before they head to the West coast of Florida and before I settle in for another college football Saturday. Tech does not play this weekend but I've already selected a few games I'd like to watch. Anyway Drew suggested I give this strange looking animal-plant growing next to my John's Island storeroom a name - he suggested Seymour so Seymour it is. Now if we can only figure out what it is.

The new guy at our coffee gathering was tied up this morning with a couple other younger guys closer to his age. So I decided not to take him for Cuban coffee this morning but rather do it on another day. The good news is this is his 4th day in a row which is a very good sign. If I see him again today and then again next week, I'll be even more hopeful for him. Often young people feel they are missing out on things but truth be told, it is probably just the opposite. No matter what anyone else says or does, the outcome is up to the individual. Time will tell.

When I stepped outside yesterday morning there was a noticeable reduction in the humidity making the air feel much more comfortable. When we get a 'cold front' here in Vero, must of what we get is dryer air not cooler air. Nonetheless I'm ready for the hot humid days of Summer to be over so we can have the hot milder days of Fall. I guess I will miss the change in seasons during the Fall but I will not miss the Atlanta winters.

John came by last even to have dinner and chat about work, school, and this finical clusterf*ck in which the finical markets are currently find themselves. As to work, his last work with IRC will be this weekend but he's in the hunt for a new job with a possibility of getting on at John's Island - that would be good if he could. School is going ok but it needs to get constant attention on a daily bases to make sure he keeps up - I think John understands that. As to the finical markets and current negotiations on Capital Hill, I was able to help John understand just what was going on with my clear in site and brilliant understanding of the causes of the debacle and the political gamesmanship in play. What would he do with out me?

Posted at 06:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Flu Shot

Thu 25 September 2008

Wow! I went to my doctor's office for a flu shot yesterday and they took me right away without any weight. If that was not good enough, they gave the shot free of charge. I expected to pay about 50% to 100% more than what I'd have to pay at a pharmacy or grocery store - not to mention the inevitable wait which doesn't seem to be avoidable at one of the other outlets. When did you ever get anything free from your doctor? I guess they think this is their contribution to their patients most of whom would get Medicare to pay for it. Probably costs more to file the claim than the reimbursement is worth. Whatever ...I'm glad I'm ready for this year's flu season.

I decided to order the GT neon sign after more research and thought. My plans are to put it in my office over the double doors to my cabinet/closet. It will be cool I think and you'll likely be able to see it as you walk by my office window. That's enough neon for awhile with this and recent additions. I like neon because it makes me happy without ingesting a drug. I feel the same way about Christmas lights it seems a bit strange to keep Christmas lights on year round. In fact, I'm not sure just what I'll do about Christmas here in Vero - in Atlanta I always got a dozen poinsettia plants. Tress are cool but they are a pain..well just see what strikes my fancy.

It happened again yesterday - just as I was laying down to take a nap my doorbell rang. this time it was my neighbor Dean who wanted to bring me some fresh lemons from a bag given to him. That was nice of him - I do like & use lemons. But why is it that people call or ring my doorbell during that sacred 20 - 25 minutes I want to nap? No, I didn't take the phone off the hook - I forgot.

It sure is windy here in Florida. There seems to be wind just about every day it's just a matter of how much. The good news is that breezes are very helpful if you need to be outside so I'm not complaining just making a statement of fact. Now that my hot new weather station can tell me the wind direction & speed I think I might just be paying more attention. There is a lot more wind here than in Atlanta although the cold fronts in Atlanta could really bring some big blows when they came through. It has cooled off here too - it is only 88 F.

There is a young guy who has recently started to come to our coffee group and has been talking to me. Why you ask? Well I'm so damn cool, why not? The truth is I think it has something to do with my unrelenting antics and non-stop cutting up that is just part and parcel to my glowing personality. In other words, my joking around all the time brings smiles to some folks - others think I need more help than what I can get while having coffee. Anyway, after I had to leave yesterday I asked the guy if he'd like to go for even more coffee after the meeting which he eagerly accepted. So, if things work out I'll be floating in coffee by mid-morning today and I mean the high octane stuff from the Cuban restaurant at the corner. Stay tuned.

This picture was taken while cute Yari was stranded on that Mediterranean island with his Mama & Papa. He is a strong young fella to put up with such punishment.

Posted at 03:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Lion Fish Discovery

Wed 24 September 2008

On Monday night I did not sleep well in part because of my day long headache. So I was looking forward to a nap after lunch and would you know it? Just as I dosed off for about 5 minutes some G*d damn ass hole called, woke me up, and wanted me to answer some questions in a survey on health insurance. The first question he asked was my age then he said he had his 'quota' for my age bracket and hung up. I was to mad to go back to sleep. Why is it that people call during that 30 minute window when I want to nap? I guess I should remember to take my phone off the hook.

You divers will find this interesting. On the news yesterday reports said a lion fish was discovered off the coast just South of here around Jensen beach. They made a big deal of the fact that there are no 'natural' predators here because as you know, lion fish are only found in the Pacific, not the Atlantic. The belief is someone got rid of their salt water tank and all the fish in it. These are dangerous fish but I don't see how one will ever be able to mate so I don't see the big danger as suggested by media. This picture was taken from the local paper - looks real to me.

At 12:30 today I'm going to my doctor's office to get my annual flu shot. I decided not to fight all the other old farts in the supermarkets and drugstores when they start giving shots on October 1st. I'll probably have a short wait but it is my doctor so they have all the records. I've not had the flu since I started getting flu shots so I'm hoping to keep my record. A cold sucks but the flu is miserable for a longer period of time. I'll probably get my annual cold sometime during flu season.

While trimming some of my shrubs next to my Bird of Paradise plants I noticed one plant was doing much better than the other and the healthier one is about to flower. I love the cool looking flowers they put out so I'll be watching it closely. Of course I'll take a picture for your viewing pleasure. Maybe the other plant needs more fertilizer or perhaps it was not good in the first place. I'll point that out to Walter the next time he comes by to install some palms as a buffer for the alley - he should have already been here but it is not critical.

Last evening I cooked the Ziti pasta dish Kathryn sent to me - it was wonderful. Filled with ziti pasta, peppers, turkey sausage, and cheese then mixed with seasonings it was very good and very filling. TB said he's not a fan of turkey sausage but I liked it - it was tangy and flavorful so it worked for me. Kathryn is a great chef and likes to make more than enough to feed the 3 of them so it is my duty to help with the culinary delights she prepares. When I get a dish from her there is always enough to freeze for another day. Everything she sends I can freeze so nothing goes to waste. Ahh...the benefits of Vero over Atlanta and we don't have gas lines here either.

After 3 days I've only got one quote back on the GT neon sign I'd like to have made. The company has been very professional in their presentation and can build a sign like the "Cherry's" sign over my refrigerator. They have a great gallery of work already done and in process. They are not cheap - on the high end of my guesstimate - but I think they are competitive for the quality and size I'm seeking. In fact, I'm thinking about just placing the order without waiting to see if anyone else even wants to respond. The owner of the company and I have exchanged several e-mails so I feel like I know him and can trust the work he can do for me. I've posted the image taken from their proposal what do you think?

Posted at 04:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Terrible Headache

Tue 23 September 2008

Yesterday I had one of my bad headache attacks - it was an all day event and go worse as the day went on. I tried not to take too much medication but at the same time I wanted not to endure disabling headaches all day. I just hate it when I have these days because I don't like to take the medication and I sure as hell do not like the pain. What can be causing these events? I will say I've not had any caffeine in over 3 days when I normally have the equivalent of several cups of coffee every day. Stopping caffeine certainly can be contributing to my headaches but then again I get them even when I do have caffeine. It's a mystery to me and my doctors.

An e-mail came in yesterday from someone who found two gems on TanzaniteAmerica.com they wanted to buy. I'm getting about one e-mail a month from interested people but today no one has bought a gem. That's ok, I really have not done a single thing to market my gems other than create my website. If I wanted more traffic, I'd pay Google to be a 'featured' link. I continue to believe that my holding period should be at least 5 years but if someone wants one now I'll of course sell one or all of them. I really love these gems but I can not hold on to them as if they are my babies. Same feeling I've had about all my Rayburn art until I ran out of room.

My house keepers were here yesterday and we got into a discussion about web sites when they asked about my IP cameras in the window. They do not have a site but would like to get one. According to Charlie their ISP, AT&T, charges about $150/month for a site which I understands includes a template - like site design, hosting, and a domain name. Of course they liked my World Class site, BillsView.com and my other site, TanzaniteAmerica.com so they asked how much I paid, who designed them, etc. When it was discovered I did they work more questions followed leading me to offer to build one for them from a template they like. If Charlie finds the 'look' he wants, provides me with the text and direction for images, I'll put it together, get them a host, and load everything to their server. I've done this before at PeachtreeSuite.com. It will be a fun project and I'd be happy to do this for my friends. They offered some free housekeeping services in return but in this case I just want to do what I can for them because that will be good for me.

Did you notice that yesterday was the first day of Fall? You can sure tell it around here - the high dropped from 93F all the way done to 92F. That is one thing I'll miss about Atlanta - seeing the changing of the leaves each Fall.

TB came over late yesterday to bring me a ziti pasta dish made by Kathryn - my personal meals - on - wheels program don't you know. It is ready to be cooked so I think I'll bake it tonight in anticipation of a visit from John; I usually get to feed John when he drops by. Whether he comes or not, I'll still cook it for myself and save the rest for when he does come by. Anyway, I'm really enjoying the benefit of Kathryn's love for cooking and the fact that everything she cooks is delicious. Why would you think I'd miss Atlanta when I have these great benefits here in Vero?

Posted at 05:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Mike Gately

Mon 22 September 2008

Yesterday Today my dear friend Mike Gately celebrated celebrates the 21st anniversary of his 29th birthday so I did not post anything except a picture of Mike with his daughter Rachel. He looks pretty damn good for someone who now qualifies for membership in AARP don't you think? I owe my life to Mike - he's the one who suggested I might want to consider going into the "Tank". As you know I did take his suggestion and was successful in completing what I thought was a two week program in just 62 days! Thanks Mike and Happy Bithday.

While looking around for neon signs online the other day I started thinking about custom sign with the Georgia Tech logo on it. So yesterday I looked at about 10 different neon sign makers that actually make signs and don't just sell pre-made signs like my Chili Pepper sign. Even my "Cherry's" sign was made from a stand prototype with just the name being special made. So how much should it cost to get a two letter sign with GT in block letters? I created an example of what I'd like to have from a standard Georgia Tech GT logo (see today's picture) and sent it off to about 6 or 8 companies. I'm thinking about a sign measuring 20" x 14" in one color with a black background. I'm guessing it would cost between $200 and $400 but frankly this is just a guess. Maybe I'll get some responses this coming week.

Last night I went outside after dark to trim my plants around the landscape lighting. My plants have grown so much that now all you see is a glow from underneath the plants which is cool but I want the spots to actually shine on some palms. In just a few short months my landscaping looks mature but manicured - I expected it to take much longer. Frankly I don't think I want my shrubs and plants to get much taller than they already are but just a bit fuller. I continue to get kudos on the look of the Vero Villa. It sure as hell was not cheap but I am pleased with the outcome.

John called on his way home from work last evening top say he is being laid-off at the end of this month. Now that's good government management for you - go through the process of hiring a new employee just to lay them off 30 days later. He'll be looking for a similar job or something else but at this point there are no jobs beating his door down. Perhaps he should just request to retire from the County and start getting retirement income. John is very employable so I'm confident he'll fid something that will work for him.

Brother Drew - who is still employed is coming down to Vero this coming weekend and will head over to Ft. Meyers to check on his villa there. He tells me he'd like to rent it on a 'seasonal' bases and in order to do so he needs to put furniture in it. There is furniture here in Vero he can use because Kathryn rented her house to a women with furniture so Drew has agreed to store her furniture at his villa at no expense to her. So I guess he'll be moving it down there on Friday then come back to Vero for the weekend.

TB still does not have his sailfish but the day is getting closer to when he will have it. I think it might be here by the end of this month but at this point it's a toss-up. As of Thursday it had not been shipped from the left coast and when it is shipped I bet the traveling time will be a week. The good news is that he will finally get it and only 2 years later than when it was promised. The guy who made it will not be coming which is a relief to all of us - TB might cause physical harm to him and that would not be good.

Georgia Tech beat Mississippi state 38 - 14 on Saturday afternoon. I've got mixed views on the game. Mississippi state made several errors like Tech did the week before by turning the ball over. But when Miss. State was getting ready to score the Yellow Jackets stopped them 2 times inside the 10 yard line. So I'm not sure if Georgia Tech has really got a decent team or Mississippi State is just really bad. The team has next week off before playing Duke. I love college football.

Posted at 04:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Mike

Sun 21 September 2008

Mike Gately and his daughter Rachel

Posted at 01:05 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Detailing Update

Sat 20 September 2008

After having my car for a longer period including several trips about town I have an updated report on the detail job I had done. The outside including the wheels & chrome was done ok as I first suggested. The inside was generally clean but there were issues. The carpet was so soaked after the shampoo I had to open the doors and put this little fan I have on the floors to help dry out the carpet. After 36 hours it was still wet but did dry out sitting in the sun at the various stops on my Friday routine. This should not have been the case - the guys working on it should have used a whole hell of a lot less liquid.

Then came an even more annoying issue - my leather seats were sticky & slimy from whatever shit they sprayed or rubbed on them to clean them. It was disgusting - almost like a silicone slime on everything. So I got a quality leather polishing product and went all over the inside of my car again. I had to clean the cleaning residue off then polish the leather. The good news is that the sticky slime came off and my seats look good now. BTW, the cloth I used to put the liquid leather polish on was dirty suggesting the dudes did not do a very good job in the first place. They do an excellent job on a car wash with wheel cleaning but I'm going to find another detail vendor the next time I need one.

Today is College Football Saturday. Yea! Georgia Tech is playing at noon on the Raycom network so I think I'll get to see them this week. The game is in Atlanta which is a good things but the odds makers have picked the Yellow Jackets to win by a touchdown which is a bad thing. I don't mean it will be bad if Tech wins of course but rather it is often not a good thing to have Tech favored. The play Mississippi State which historically have had a decent team. I never did find out how Tech actually played last week just that they lost. The week before the won but made a lot of mistakes and turned the ball over 4 times. I'll be watching TV today.

The weather here in Vero has been nice most of this week tempting me to go over to the beach for one hour of beach duty but thus far I've not gone. While living in Atlanta, I considered Summer over once I returned from the Keys and college football started - there it would start to get cooler. But not here - it is still hot and beach weather and even more than that, I'm still wearing shorts & T-shirts as my glorious tanned body starts to fade into pasty white wrinkles. I may just have to head over to the beach to give my body a brief tan tune-up.

Today I've posted a picture of some of the great Georgia Tech students who show their colors at the home football games. They sit in the South end zone just behind the uprights and are there every game. If you watch the came, the TV camera man will show them art least a couple times.

Posted at 06:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Car Detailed

Fri 19 September 2008

Yesterday I decided to finally move my wind sensors from the temporary pole next to my driveway up onto the antenna mast which is now holding my scanner ground plane antenna. This location is about 15' off the ground which should give a more accurate reading - you now how important it is for me to have accuracy don't you? I may have had more sleepless nights had I not moved the sensor - not!

While up on the carport roof a new PiperJet prototype flew over my house and I immediately knew this was new because it was unlike any private jet I've ever seen before. All other private jets have two engines while the PiperJet just has one engine in the tail. It looks really cool (see image - click on it for larger image). It looks better than any other small jet I can remember seeing and Piper will make these babies about a mile from my house. One of these days I'll go out to the airport to take some pictures.

I took my car in for it's semi-annual detailing job yesterday. The palace I used is one I've used a couple of times to wash my car when I want a complete job inside and out - they have done a great job in the past. My initial impression is they did ok meaning I wouldn't rule out using them again except for one thing. My lawn care guy, James, has a cousin in the car detailing business only he goes to the homes of the car owners, does the work mostly by hand, and has a great following. So just for the heck of it, I may try him the next time I want to have my care detailed which will be early Spring.

I did walk home from the detail shop and then walked back to get my car. The place is not very far so I didn't get much of a work out but the point is I did it. I want to get back into regular walking but I don't want to let it become a disabling obsession as it once did in Atlanta. Trouble is my mind has two speeds like most portable generators - off and full speed. Georgia Tech Jeff once told me I should learn to be obsessive compulsive in moderation. He's right of course but how do you do that?

Those of you who've been in my house know I have a couple neon signs - one I had made and one neon sculpture bought from a vendor. I love neon because they are bright, colorful, and most importantly make me happy. Christmas lights have the same affect on me - my mood is always improved when I see Christmas lights even when I'm already in a great mood. The same happy aurora is generated by neon lights in my mind so working on my theory that more is better, I've ordered a few more new neon signs. Two I'll use for Christmas neon lights, one for Halloween, and one to rotate the 'chili pepper' neon sculpture. They are not cheap but if they make me happy then I'm going to buy them. The real trick is to get them to Vero in working condition and without having the glass broken. Reports to follow.

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

News Postings

Thu 18 September 2008

For the past week to ten days I've been posting a political cartoon on my 'News' site but yesterday I added a post about something I think is extremely interesting. It is my policy not to ramble on about political things here so I mention it only to encourager you to have a look see at what I discovered. It is getting to that point in the political season where I'm reading more each day about the upcoming election. In that regard I'm not much different from your average American that usually does not start paying attention until a few weeks out from election day. I can promise I'll have a daily comment or cartoon but the more I read the more likely I want to comment - after all, I know you folks thirst for my saga opinions on these sort of things.

It's that time of the year again to identify a place where I can get my annual flu shot. Here in Vero there will be a lot of competition for shots because everyone is old as dirt. In the past I've just gone to Publix or a pharmacy in Atlanta so I guess I'll try the same thing here. One thing I do know - since UI started getting flu shots over 15 years ago I've not gotten the flu. Oh yea, I do get a bugger of a cold about once a year but not the flu. Colds are bad enough - flu really sucks and sucks even more the older you get.

I'm taking my car in this morning for it's semi-annual detailing. I'm having it washed, waxed, vacuumed, carpet cleaned, leather polished, and wheels done. I found that doing this twice a year keeps the car looking showroom fresh which in turn keeps me from thirsting for a newer model. It worked on my last Mercedes for 9 years and that car still looked great when I sold it. This car is in much better shape to begin with so I plan to keep it that way. With the interior being a light beige I have to be very careful about dirt and stains on the carpet. A report on what I think will follow tomorrow.

My guy Mike who puts out fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides came by today in response to my inquiry about my palms - they need to be attended to just like all my other landscaping but was not included in my monthly maintenance fee. With the cost of fertilizer these days Mike is going to charge $15/palm - I think I've got 12. The good news is this need only be done twice a year but should be done for the best outcome in my landscaping. The peace of mind in knowing my landscaping and yard will be maintained on a regular bases is worth the expense to me. Oh sure, I wish it were less and in fact could be less if I did some of this myself like I did in Atlanta. But I'm retired now which includes retired from lawn/landscaping maintenance.

TB tells me Matt is doing well and may be taking over the presidency of Experian in the near future. He has moved up fast in that organization and you can see why in this picture (click on it to make it bigger) of him during a typical work day stuck in Islamorada - it's a tough job but Captain Matt is up to the task.

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Wed 17 September 2008

My big event yesterday was my 2 1/2 hour lunch event with two of my older cousins and their wives. It was enjoyable indeed with a menu including salad, cheeses, breads, and ice cream for desert. There was plenty of wine too but I had an aged can of diet coke - it was a good week for this particular can. We talked about this, that, and the other thing but I was most interested in how each family weathered the 2005 hurricanes. What a f*cking mess the whole thing was without power for a week and debris everywhere not to mention damage. I told them I rebuilt the Vero Villa to be a bunker for a CAT 5 storm.

This luncheon thing is something they've been doing without me here but now that I'm here I'm sure the frequency will increase as will the attendance once the word gets out. It is tough being me with all my popularity; I'm always in demand. Now I want to invite them over to see the Vero Villa now that it has gone through a metamorphosis from a run-down 50's Florida block house to the elegant up-scale talk of the hood. The actually did compliment me on the new look and especially the landscaping and landscape lights.

As I'm typing this my laptop is laboring while it tries to install Windows Service Pack 1 for Vista. I thought I'd already installed SP 1 but I guess I hadn't. It seems to be taking forever but the install instructions said it may take upwards of a hour. It may be awhile before I can report on what SP 1 broke that was not broke before I started.

I've been talking to Bill Voegeli via Skype with our videos on. Skype has gotten better since I first installed it over 18 months ago. Bill just reinstalled it because a client of his in Costa Rica communicates with him via Skype. I've also asked him to take care of some matters for me there in Atlanta when he has time. His life is full now and can you believe he has two of his three sons in college? Before you turn around, Yari will be in university too.

The weather has turned rather nice here. It could be a bit cooler but the low humidity and clear blue skies are wonderful. I think I'm going to like Fall in Vero if it only cools down a bit. When looking at the weather in Atlanta yesterday I saw the lows were in the lower 60's which I do not expect here for another couple months.

Ace came by but this time it was my fault I did not have the paint he needed because I thought I did have it. he'll be back in a few days and we will finish the odd jobs I've accumulated. In the meantime I may go investigating for an even bigger TV. No, I don't need one but an opportunity has come up that causes me to look now. There is a new Circuit City store opening just a few miles down the road with a 10% off on TV's over $500 and the set I'm thinking about was recently marked down 10% so that would be a total of 20% off. I know. I know. I will be able to buy it next year for about 35% less than now but at my age I don't even buy green bananas any more! It's a joke folks - I'm so damn funny I just can't stop laughing.

Here is another holiday shot of my favorite Dutchies.

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Business Meeting

Tue 16 September 2008

We had our monthly coffee club "business" meeting and as usual the same 8 or 10 people attend. There are probably 30 regular coffee drinks during this time of the year and that number grows when the 'snow birds' fly South for the Winter. It is the business meetings where we set policy and account for money but few seem interested in either which frankly is fine with me. I was elected secretary of the group which entails real work - minute taking, minute preparation for distribution, and keeper of 'the book' where all motions have been recorded and policies have been set. I didn't want the job but others ganged up on me so I agreed to do it.

I was elected after I left the meeting but I knew that was likely going to happen. I left after a hour of pure nonsense created by some neophytes to the business meeting. One guy wanted to make a motion that was defeated last meeting with the same people in attendance. Huh? Are we to re-vote each meeting on things already voted on - I certainly hope not. Anyway, as the new secretary one of the first things I'm going to do is make a motion we meet quarterly unless a special meeting is called. Why you ask? I think more people might attend if it is only 4 times a year rather than 12 times a year. We really do not have much 'business' anyway. The 7 day a week meeting I attended in Atlanta with over 100 daily attendees only met when someone had an issue to discuss - that happened once or twice a year. The Saturday men's meeting met 4 times year to elect a new chairman for the following 3 months. Neither meeting lasted more than about 15 minutes. So I'm out to change things in my very first meeting as secretary.

I was lying in bed watching FOX news around 5:30 this morning when I heard a loud crash at the back door. I went there only to find Sally the attack cat living up to her name - she was trying to get through the glass at a cat on the other side. She is and always has been aggressive against other cats in part I believe because she has never been in a cat fight & gotten beaten up. She does not know what it is like to have a bigger stronger cat get a hold of her and if I have my way she never will. There are a lot of carts that use my carport as a through-way; if Sally sees them she hisses , growls, and makes a big fuss.

What a bright beautiful day we had here in Vero yesterday. I think there is a "Bermuda High" moving in which will keep our skies mostly clear with little rain. Now that Summer is on it's way out, this is the kind of weather I hope we have most of the time only cooler - it is still very warm here. Today looks like a repeat of yesterday although it is really too early to tell.

Ace said he was coming by this morning to finish the projects I had for him. There are things I'd like to have painted and a seal needs to be put on the bottom of my front door - water gets in when it is raining hard and the wind is blowing. Also today I'm going to a luncheon gathering of some of my cousins who live here in Vero. They are having a 'light' cheese, fruit, and wine lunch - I'll go for the cheese & fruit. At this point I've not got a clue as to what to expect - just a bunch of catching up I guess. Report to follow.

I just love this picture of the Dutchies on holiday. Look at Sjak's expression as if to say I have two little boys I have to take care of, not just one - Yari. If you know Syp like I know Syp you'll know Sjak is right! And you know, I wouldn't want it any other way.  

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Yari's Girlfriend

Mon 15 September 2008

The Dutchies are back from their required two week duty on the island of Mallorca

in the Mediterranean Sea - you know it is tuff duty but someone has to do it. I remember many years back when Wendy and I were forced onto the island and had to endure the warm breezes, sunny skies, nice people, and great food for our two week duty there. I've not actually talked to Syp about their trip but plan to do so maybe even before I publish this post so I'll fill you in on the details later. In can tell by the photos that Syp, Sjak, and of course cute Yari were making the best of their banishment unto Mallorca.

It seems that Yari is now dating and serenades his girlfriend with his guitar. What slick one he is, huh? From the picture you can tell he has great tastes in women as well. I'd like to finding out more about the girls he's dating - you know, is she good enough for Yari? Does she come from a good family? Can she sport him economically in the style he'd like to become accustomed to? Then again know his Daddy as I do I'm afraid he may tell me more of the sorted details than I need to know. Damn I'm funny, huh? BTW, notice how the young couple in love are holding hands while on their Dad's shoulders.

Syp also sent me pictures of his newly purchased house , huh I mean "remodeling opportunity property". It seems to me they are still in the demolition process which of course is something with which I can totally identify having going through it here at the Vero Villa. One needs patience and a vision to get through what seems to be an insurmountable task. I have all the confidence in the world that Syp & Sjak will do a wonderful job after which they will be broker than broke, tired, and pissed off it took 8 months instead of 4. Nonetheless they will be very pleased when it is done although at times one might question one's own sanity in taking on such a project in the first place. In the end it will all have been worth the effort required - besides they needed more room for Yari's baby sister in the future.

Speaking of working around the house, I hope to see Ace again today so he can finish the few projects I have left for him. Fortunately they are not critical at all but you know how obsessive compulsive I can be about getting things done. At least my scanner antenna is up and now I can here all sorts of stuff from the police, sheriff , fire rescue, air traffic control, Coast Guard & ships, armature radio, etc. It is just another one of those things that will entertain me from time to time. I'm still getting a handle on just how to follow the various 'trunk' transmissions.

By now you probably heard that my team lost to West Virginia 20 - 17. I would like to report as to how I thought the team played (even though they lost) but the @#*#&# ESPN decided to switch to Oregon - Prude game instead even though it was listed in the papers on Friday night it would be the Tech - WV game. I did watch a thing call 'Game Tracker' that was live but without video. They wanted to charge me $5 to listen to the audio so I tried to find a live streaming audio from a radio station that carries the games. Guess what - the radio stations do broadcast them live but those stations that even have streaming audio play something else. What's up with that? Just damn. Well I would have been even more unhappy listening to the loss and blown opportunities so perhaps things worked out for the best?

Posted at 05:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Sat 13 September 2008

Last evening I had a couple visitors as today's picture shows. Ty was in town and after having dinner with his Dad & Kathryn, he dropped by with the Meals -on - wheels delivery from Kathryn - a bowl full of her homemade macaroni & cheese. I just love it when Kathryn sends stuff my way because it is always so very good. I mean all the time it is good - she has yet to make something I don't like. She cooks as if she's feeding a family of 6 and even though TB can consume a good deal, there are often left-overs for which I am the beneficiary from time to time. Ty said they had some lobster from this year's trip to the Keys - it was enjoyed by all of course.

Ty was working in Vero so just stayed here for the weekend. He is taking his grandparents to Orlando today because he's a good grandson. On Sunday he'll head back to Palm Beach so he can go to work on Monday.

Son John came over after work last night just to unwind and chat a bit. To no one's surprise except maybe John, he has got his plate full with school, work, the gym, and of course his girlfriend with demands from all of them as if he didn't have anything else to do. The pressure can seem overwhelming at first but with a bit of time to sort things out I have confidence he'll find the balance needed to juggle all these things. Sort of a cold wakening from a month of easy-going life in the Keys huh? Certain things he can control while other things are out of his control - classes, tests, and work schedules are dictated by others. His gym activities, sleep, and girlfriend are things he can and damn sure should control for the best outcome for him. Seeing Alisha daily and going to the gym daily will require some adjusting if he expects to get reasonable rest - of course rest is required for all the other things to have a chance of working out. I know that most of you have had to deal with the same issues.

Well it is College Football Saturday and the games will start in just over a hour from now. My team plays at 3:30 on ABC. I'll have to check the schedules to identify what other games I'll watch. Plus there is a Burn Notice marathon starting sometime this afternoon if I need a break from football. I just love Saturdays in the Fall even though it sure as hell does not feel like Fall here in Vero.

TB just pulled up in my driveway so I think I'll save what other pearls of wisdom I have today and share them another time. Once TB leaves it will be time for football!

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Police Arrest Ron White

Fri 12 September 2008

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Porn Mail

Thu 11 September 2008

Today I have to start out with something funny - I got an e-mail intended for someone who joined a porn website. The e-mail came to my correct address but should have been sent to a guy named Bolivar Cherry who lives in Laurel, Mississippi. It gave a username and password to gain access to an adult porn site: I can confirm the access codes work! The site is BrandNewFaces.com so of course I checked it out. The unfortunate thing is Bolivar only got a 'trial' membership so the username and password is probably only good for 3 days. The guy must have entered his e-mail address - wonder what he got wrong? Funny, huh?

Ace called to cancel yesterday but should be here this morning. He didn't say why nor did I ask why he had to move it but it really is not a problem. These are things I want done as soon as possible but nothing is important needing immediate attention. I'll report back tomorrow.

Got an e-mail from Brother Drew who seems to really enjoy his new job. He especially likes the fact he gets in the field which in his words makes the week go faster.

Being out of the office and on site is great b/c it not only breaks up and shortens the week, but seeing this stuff in person really helps in learning the parts, pieces, and processes that go along with the job. I've learned a tremendous amount about geotechnical [sic] surveys, their findings (in this part of the US), and how they apply towards the engineering of the tower foundations.

Sounds to me that Brother Drew has found something he really likes and can still get paid for doing it. It is still too early to make any long term conclusions but it appears as if waiting to find this job was the very best thing that could have happened to Drew - we all hope that is the case.

I get a 'Hot Deals' e-mail from a vendor from which I purchase electronic products - NewEgg.com. They often have the best deal on computer related hardware and other similar products. On Tuesday I got an e-mail that when opened froze my Internet Explorer browser. I tried several different ways to view the page but each time it froze IE. In order to get anything on my computer to work, I had to use my Task Manager to close IE. I say this to point out I bet there were a lot of users that got the e-mail and had no idea what to do. This was a customer relations nightmare so much so I got an e-mail from NewEgg apologizing for their problem which they blamed on a server. See how interesting my e-mail has been in the last couple days?

Yesterday I got my scanner out to test it before the outside antenna is installed. With just a 24" antenna on the back I could pick up a lot of traffic on the 15 frequencies used by the Vero Beach police/sheriff units. It is my anticipation that once the ground plane antenna is hooked-up I'll be able to hear all kinds of stuff. This is good - when I was listening yesterday I heard a call go out for a unit to meet a women at one of our local beaches because she believes she found a human body part with hair on it! I have to laugh. Probably some old blue hair found some doll part and went screaming along the beach. HaHaHaHa. This is going to be fun!

I have this pictured labeled "South Beach - Vero" but I don't remember where I got it. Does it look like Vero's South Beach to you?

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Political Cartoons

Wed 10 September 2008

For the last couple days I've been adding a political cartoon to my 'News' link. Over the next 2 months heading toward the election this year I will added cartoons from time to time and might even through in some of my thoughts. The thing is, you know how I think about most of these things so I'm not sure how much new I can add. So, if I can find information you are not getting from the Main Stream Media, then I'll try to post it there. Oops...that would keep me busy 24 - 7 trying to post what the MSM is not telling you. Hmm...I guess I'll have to be selective or else I would not have a life!

When John was over the other day we talked about Halloween for some reason. He pointed out that I'm sure to be a target for the kids around my hood because (a) my house is will lit with my landscape lights (b) my house looks like there may be some nice sole with candy inside. Well I sure as hell have candy all the time but I'm a dirty old man - hey little girl, want to see my bedroom? So I've ask John to come over on Halloween before he goes to 'Trick or Drink' to be my assistant in giving out candy, beer, whatever. Starr tells me all the young ones will be over by 8 pm with the teenagers still coming by later. I'm hope John will come by for a couple hours - I'll try to lure him here with a steak dinner and Crown Royal.

Ace is to come by this morning around 8:30 to do a few things around here including mounting a weather strip on my front door, paint some conduit, help me run some antenna wire into my office, and help install my antenna mast. I plan to but a high gain scanner antenna up on the mast along with my wind sensors. I may also add a FM antenna so I can receive more distant stations one of which has Neal Boortz on in the mornings - now I listen to Boortz on my computer. Most of this stuff - no, all of this stuff I could do myself but I just don't want to and I don't have all the tools at my disposal. Besides, I'm just plane lazy when it comes to some of this stuff.

My headache issues have diminished to just the 'usual' nagging minor discomfort that is often a function of food, sleep or the lack there of. I did get that earache that was bothering me in the Keys back today confirming it was not an infection but brought on by either tension or my nightly grinding of my teeth - I think tension yesterday because it got worse during the day. The new mouth piece has dramatically improved my sore jaw in the mornings but nonetheless I still have not stopped the grinding. These things bother me until I pause long enough to realize these are very insignificant in the scheme of things. Daily I see people while having my coffee with much worse and far more serious problems. I get embarrassed when I reflect on the complaining I do sometimes. Jeez!

It is about time to hear from the Dutchies again - they have been on holiday for the last week or two. I don't know if they are back yet but they should be soon. Must be hell to have to spend two weeks on an island in the Mediterranean sea. Thank Buddha the Dutchies are willing to do it...someone has to.

Wendy (pictured) has returned to the US from Dubai - she misses the hurricanes and wanted to return to South Florida for some bad weather.

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Tue 09 September 2008

In the past few days I've been exchanging e-mails with someone named Sunday Igogo who I believe lives in Asia...perhaps China. She (or he?) contacted me about buying Tanzanite for her clients; she asked about my price and what 'mark-up' I had and what mark-up she could add to the price for which I'd sell a stone. I told her what I'd sell a gem for on today's market but IMHO it is none of her business what I may have paid for a stone. What someone pays for something should be of no interest to a buyer - the buyer only needs to decide if they will pay what the seller is asking or choose to make a lower offer. I put her in touch with Bangkok Mark (my man in Bangkok) because I think she wanted to buy lower quality stones and then sell them as if they were top quality.

What someone chooses to do is there business and I will admit there is value in having access to buyers. But what really surprised me is she asked if she could stay with me for about a week while visiting the US on business. Well you all know I like guests about as much as I like some horrible disease - there are few people I'd let stay her which is in part why I have only one bed and one bedroom. If you are reading this then you will most likely have a blow-up bed available if you come to visit..Syp. Others I will make very comfortable arrangements that will give you and me both privacy. The point is that I really am not someone who enjoys live-in company so imagine my reaction to "Sunday's" request! Even if I were someone who enjoy guests, I don't think I'd open my doors to someone I've only met via e-mail exchanges - would you?

John is now working as a life guard and had to save his first little kid Sunday afternoon. He told me some 3 or 4 year old got into an area around the slide and got a mouth full of water. He pulled the little boy out, he was fine then the boy ran away. The pool where John works does have a bunch of little kids so he'll have to pay attention.

My landscape guy, Walter, came by to survey the area where I want to put some additional palms. He'll probably add about 10 to help create a privacy barrier - these palms can get rather big and make great walls. While he was here I got him to look at the alien plant growing by my storeroom (see image - click on it for a bigger image). He didn't have a clue which is the same reaction I've gotten from everyone else I've asked. So I took pictures to e-mail to Walt so he can find out for us. Strange that no one I've asked has got a clue what sort of plant it is or even if it is a plant...it could be an animal! You know there are animals underwater that look like plants so why not on land? Maybe it got here on some meteor that fell to earth? The mystery continues.

Got an e-mail from Brother Drew who's on the road this week. He managed to keep his job last week and now they want to get him out of their hair by sending him to South Carolina and Virginia. I hope to hear from him while he's on the road with an update on what he is doing and if he will still have a job at the end of the week. I'm kidding of course - with the interview process Drew went through they are not likely to do anything but move him on up in the business. I expect him to be an officer by the first of the year looking toward retirement a year after that.

Posted at 05:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Damn Headache Day

Mon 08 September 2008

Yesterday was one of my bad headache days for no apparent reason - it certainly was not a hang-over unless it was from too much football on Saturday. As is often the case, it started off bad and moved to really bad during the day. I kept using Tylenol III but by late afternoon even that was not working - I took something a bit stronger. Thus far I seem a bit better this morning but that may all change when the sun comes up - I'm not over this thing just yet. While I did have a headache all day and at sometimes pretty bad, at least it was a nice, bright, sunny day here in Vero.

The people at LaCrosse Technologies (manufacturer of my weather station) called me over the weekend and we worked through the issues I was having with the outside temperature & humidity - I'm pleased to report it works just fine now. It seems the equipment must go through an un-interrupted boot cycle when it is first set up. The technician things I somehow interrupted the receiver station too early in it's set-up. I had to power down both the transmitter & receiver, discharge in stored energy in the capacitors, wait 30 minutes then start anew. Everything I've checked thus far is working wonderfully. This is not your run-of-the-mill indoor/outdoor home temperature device; it is a lot more...more things with which I can play and screw-up. No, I've not tried the weather station software yet but maybe I'll do so later today or tomorrow.

I've been having more nasal congestion in Vero than I ever did in Atlanta. I wonder if I might by slightly allergic to something in my house here or something in Vero not found in Atlanta. Holy shit - could I be allergic to my clean new house, or John & Starr, or the additional globs of hair Sally seems to deposit around the house here more so than Atlanta? The good news is that a spray generic Afrin usually fixes the problem and in my view it is not much of an issue at this point. Then again it could be I just am more sensitive in my senior years?

This morning I expect Walt the landscape guy to come by so that we can discuss more "privacy" palms for the West side of my property. I'm, going to ask him what he thinks that strange looking plant might be that is growing next to the storeroom. It was not there when he put in the landscaping and we did not plant it. The damn thing looks alien as if it is not from this hemisphere or maybe even this planet. It must be a weed - it has been growing to fast to be desirable in any fashion. I'll report back tomorrow.

Have any of you noticed the new Yellow Jackets uniforms? I think they are cool, really cool. I especially like the new bright yellow helmets which are about the same bright color of real yellow jackets. And the design down the leg resembling a stinger makes it all go together well. I saw pictures but it is different when you see all those helmets "swarming" around a downed opponent from the other team. The old gold color was dull & boring.

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Tech's Sloppy Win

Sun 07 September 2008

It was not pretty...in fact it was very sloppy but Georgia tech did beat Boston college yesterday 19 - 16. Tech managed to lose 3 fumbles in the first half each leading to a field goal by Boston College. The good news is the defense did hold BC to 3 points each time but the bad news is they gave the ball to them 3 times to score. Boston College is not a powerhouse meaning that Georgia Tech is going to stop turning the ball over if the expect to have a chance in beating other teams like Virginia Tech next week. I had to walk around and switch over to the 'House' marathon on the USA network several times during the game. Shit. I'm old. I should not get so damn tense about a college football game the outcome of which is pretty much meaningless in my life. It's just that if you go to Georgia Tech and actually graduate, you go through an osmosis becoming a Yellow Jacket fan for life - it is in my blood. Frankly other contemporaries of mine don't get nearly as anxious as I do with the exception of Tommy.

It was a beautiful day here in Vero yesterday without a could in the sky although I was inside most of the day. I watched games all in dazzling bright High Definition and some 'House' episodes all day just as I had planned. The other games were actually more fun because I was much more relaxed. Now I know why I drank so much during football games - I was trying to calm myself with booze.

John came by for a visit which marked the first time I've seen him in about 10 days. He is busy with college, girlfriend, studying, girlfriend, work, friends, and of course girlfriend. I guess that is what 20 year olds do these days, huh? He did mention surfing with his buddy Jamie on Friday morning as Hanna sent big swells to Vero's beach. I don't know what he did yesterday but likely it involved the beach - it was a great day for the beach. John plans on transferring to a bigger school next year so he can join the tens of thousands of students going to football games on Saturday afternoons in the Fall. I sure am glad I had that great experience and participation - remember, I drove the Ramblin' Wreck onto the field, at pep-rallies, and in parades

I've discovered I can have my own personal site showing the weather data at the Vero Villa. I can also have this data uploaded to Wunderground.com and under the 'Map controls' click on the 'Weather Stations' box. I've not got a "station" yet because I've not got the outdoor temperature and humidity sensors to work nor am I sure my software is compliant. Maybe that will be a project for today...upload my software and see what it's all about. I found the information about all this at PWS - Personal Weather Stations - have a look see for youself.

Being the great kid that he is, John wanted to help me make sure my Crown Royal is not going bad sitting on the shelf so he had a couple drinks while he was here. He was afraid one drink may not give him the confirmation he was seeking. What a truly great loving young man he is to help me in this way. The good news is my Crown has not gone bad yet but Johnny promised to do a taste test for me again when he comes back. Although he did volunteer to come over every day to test it I told him that while he's always welcome I did not want to inconvenience him so much. I sure am pleased to have John so willing to help me in these matters.

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Game Day

Sat 06 September 2008

Today is College Football Saturday - Yeah! My team - Georgia Tech - plays Boston College at noon today and I'll be able to watch the game live in 1080i High Definition via the Raycom network. It is possible that tropical storm Hanna might bring wind and rain to the game as this storm heads up the East coast. My belief is that Boston is too far North to get much weather out of her just yet. Games in the Carolinas and Virginia will probably get the worst of the storm later today.

I checked the various rating sites to see who was favored in the game. Much to my surprise, Tech was ahead by 6 points on 3 different site - I've never really checked these sites before so I have no idea how reliable they are. Generally I don't like it when The Yellow Jackets are favored - that is usually a bad sign. BTW, Boston College BC has won 19 of its last 21 home games. After the Tech game there will be non-stop games available to me until I go to bed. I'll probably choose those in High Definition first no matter who is playing as long as I have some interest in either team.

My weather station does not completely work. It will not give me the outside temperature or humidity and it will not give me wind speeds. It will give me wind direction and rain amounts. This tells me I am getting the signal but yet the temperature & humidity sensors are out of range. Huh? They are all in the same spot and are inter-connected. I called LaCrosse Technology twice, left a message, and e-mailed them but no response as yet. Given that it is Saturday, I probably will not get a response until next week. I will say that the sensors that are functioning properly are cool.

I did take this opportunity to try my new 14-funtion ladder to place the rain sensor on my carport roof. That ladder is pretty damn cool and is perfect for my usage with the storage room I have available. A nice 8' or 10' fiberglass stepladder would be great but they do not fold up into a nice package about 3.5' long and sit nicely in the corner of my storeroom next to the pump. It is a bit heavy but is easy to move around before you adjust it to the type and length of ladder you want. I hope I continue to feel this way.

Today's picture was taken yesterday around noon as Sally was doing what she often does when I'm on my computer. She sits and looks at me or will lie down on my desk just to my right of me permitting her tail to sit on top of my mouse and mouse pad.

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Weather Station Glitches

Fri 05 September 2008

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Weather Station

Thu 04 September 2008

I got my weather station unpacked and tested - it seems to be functioning as advertised. there is more to this device than I had originally thought that will give more totally useless but fun things to do. I'll be able to gather and track information which probably will not be meaningful to any one but me and for me it will be just interesting. I can see things like relative humidity, wind direction & speed, barometric pressure, temperatures, and rain fall. All this data is recorded in the base station and can be transferred to a weather station program on my computer once I load it - the software came with the station. In fact, I can upload this data in real time to a weather site and with the proper URL any of you can see it. Cool, huh? But first I got to get it set up.

The sensors seem to work just fine based on my testing but I've not go them mounted outside just yet. I tried a couple of make-shift things until I can get Ace over here to install the antenna mast I've bought for the sensors and my scanner ground plane antenna. There are tools I need to make the installation but I do not have thus I called Ace. I may go to Home depot and just buy a 6' pipe then pound it into the ground to use as a temporary mounting pole. It will work best if I mount the sensors higher on a regular mast. Stay tuned.

I was a rousing success at the coffee meeting yesterday morning. Somehow I can say things that are 100% true but in a fashion that causes spontaneous laughter which is in part my intent. Saying that the closes thing to employment I've had in the past few years is jury duty brought laughter but it is true. Saying the best way I found to avoid a hangover is not to sober up is also funny but true. Laughter is contagious and healthy - I try to do my fair share to bring laughter to those around me.

Today's picture (click to larger image) is of two handsome guys having a great time in paradise. Brother Drew started his new job on Tuesday and word is that he's still employed today. John is suppose to start life guarding tomorrow but Hanna may (likely will) close the pool. When I see these to guys having fun I really want to do what I can to facilitate the opportunity to do more of the same next year. Like I said it's too early to say what might happen in the next 10 months but I'm certainly leaving the door open for now.

My lawn guy came yesterday before Hanna gets here to mow and manicure the yard. He did his usual good job this week and as I said last week I think he must have been under time pressure then - the job was not as 'neat' as usual. I'm pleased this yard gets manicured weekly because it makes me feel good every time I pull into my driveway. The Villa looks damn good if I may say so myself. No it's not as nice as Tulip but it fits my needs just fine and I'm happy to be here. BTW, I still do miss Atlanta yet much to the surprise of many. Let me add here that I've gotten good reports from Atlanta as it relates to Tom - things are probably about as good as they can be with that which he is dealing.

Posted at 04:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Coffee Group

Wed 03 September 2008

I'm going to chair the coffee meeting this morning which is my practice - I chair the first Wednesday in every month. For some reason the members think I'm a bit wacky but definitely fun in the manor I relate my sharing. Of course I have to agree - sometimes I'm so funny I break-out in spontaneous laughter causing people to look at me like I'm crazy. OK. OK. They may have a point but as that famous philosopher Alfred E Newman once said, "what, me worry?" One thing I've learned is you can not control what other people think of you and frankly what they think of you is none of your business. Profound, I know.

Do you folks remember the clusterf*ck I had with trying to get Comcast high speed internet at my Palms apartment? Well they charged me for two months but rather than trying t6o get a credit back - and spend hours on the phone - I just paid it. Then yesterday I called to stop service but at the same time level the account information in tact including the MAC address for my modem. The Comcast guy said that should work so I guess we will see if we return next year. What do you mean "if" you ask? Well I'm not sure what I'm going to do on Friday of this week so it is a bit far out to be planning for next year already. I did leave my deposit on deposit with the thought of returning but we will have to see what 2009 brings.

I went to my dermatologist to have the 6 stitches removed as planned. I'm pleased I could walk right in as soon as I arrived without having to wait - you know how I hate to hurry-up and wait. My next trip is scheduled for the first week in January unless I find something like I did last time. Often I can treat this or that with stuff I have in my own medicine cabinet - TCA is good for most minor pre-cancer events.

Now we have this storm called Hanna headed our way with wind and rain. I just my weather station in yesterday afternoon and it's not set up just yet - I hope to do that soon but I will need Ace over here to do some things first (help mount the antenna mast). The darn thing is pretty neat and more 'substantial' than I though it was going to be. It can work wired or wirelessly and for now I'll chose the wireless mode unless I can't get it to function properly. It works on a frequency of 453 MHz which can be subject to interference causing me to have to change to the wired method. The instructions suggest that the wireless mode may eat up batteries but I'm not sure what that means. Hopefully I can report on my success tomorrow.

I discovered that the Florida Comcast carries replays of both Georgia and Georgia Tech like they did in Atlanta. Yesterday I stumbled across Tech's game against Jackson State. The disappointing thing is that it is not in HD. After this weekend I'm not sure I want to watch football unless it is in High Definition - the difference is so dramatic.

Posted at 05:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

TV Overdose

Tue 02 September 2008

I've sort of OD'd on TV this weekend with college football all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday followed by 12 hours of 'The Closer' marathon on TNT. But I did enjoy it all so why not? It has been such a long dry spell since the last college games I needed a good dose to get me going and that's ok. Usually I don't like holidays because things don't all work and my 'regular' schedule gets knocked off but holidays do bring TV marathons mostly of shows I like - Monk, The Closer, Burn Notice, and Psych. Yesterday was no exception.

This morning I return to my dermatologist to get the stitches taken out. That's a good thing because they are bothering me a bit and the place itches. It is time to start putting some cream on it to minimize the scare - I wouldn't want my beautiful body to look scared, would I? This is to be the last trip to professionals until October when I have 'regular' exams planned.

Tommy came by for a visit yesterday - things are looking up in his groves and the tree farm. It looks like we need to keep an eye on this new storm - Hanna - she could take a turn and plow right into us. I had forgotten what hurricane season was like when you live where there are hurricanes. Anyway, I gave Tommy the 8"x10" prints he wanted I had made at Walgreen's. In the process I found out something most of you probably already know. You can upload your images to the Walgreen site and they will e-mail you when they are ready for pick-up. Just choose your favorite store and go get them. It took only a hour - I didn't know you could actually handle the prints this way. I thought you either had to take your image files in or have them mailed to you if you upload them on line. Cool.

I hope to get my weather station today which will give me a new toy with which to play. I've gotten a ladder, mounting devices for an antenna mast, and a couple of masts - one 20' long and the other 4' long. So later I'll survey the roof to identify just where I can put the sensors and the ground plane antenna for my scanner. These things may or may not be able to be put on the same mast and I will not know until I actually look at the sensors. Fun, huh?

There was this girl walking across the street from my house when 3 City of Vero Beach police squad cars swooped in on her, through her to the ground, put her in handcuffs, then took her away. I took this picture from my office window as the whole thing was unfolding. I think she dropped a chewing gum wrapper on the ground but I'm not sure. As I've said before, my neighborhood is certainly not boring! BTW, this picture as with many of my pictures can be made larger by clicking on it.

Posted at 06:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

More Storms

Mon 01 September 2008

Well we got another storm out in the Gulf that has caused cloudiness and rain from it's outer feeder bans. The good news for us here in Vero is the consequences of Gustav will not be bad - New Orleans looks like they are in deep doo-doo (pun intended). If the City floods and the sewers overflow again there will be doo-doo in the streets. At least this time the folks are not just laying back assuming they will be just fine.But then there is Hanna which according to the forecasts will pass by Florida on the East coast this coming week which means we here in Vero are going to get wind and rain. I guess I should go to the market for milk, bread, and toilet paper again.

While talking about storms I want to mention that Saturday night as I was lying in bed half asleep but with the TV still on ..lightening struck very very close to the house. There was no delay between the extremely bright flash and what sounded like a thermonuclear bomb going off. My hold house shook scarring the shit out of me & Sally (not literally but close). Sally would not come out from under the bed for hours. Surprisingly I did not lose power. It rained enough to choke a bullfrog.

About the power coming to my house - it get interrupted several times during the day for just a fraction of a second but gets interrupted all the same. Most of the time it is not long enough to require I reset my digital clocks but long enough for my computer's back-up power supply to come on - I can hear it click. That rarely happened in Atlanta but it happens here several times everyday. I would have no clue if it weren't for the auxiliary power supply but I think it's strange - maybe GT Jeff has an opinion?

I've been looking at my Photo Album (which I rarely do) and have come to the conclusion it's pretty damn neat. I think I'll consolidate the 3 'Dutchie' folders into one and then add some newer images of cute Yari and is mama & papa. The coding for that album is cool I think - I had forgotten just how much work I put into a couple years ago. Most of the time I just try to find a good image for my daily posts without paying any attention to the album. Maybe I'll work on that.

Some of you have been asking about my 'News' page and updates for it. Frankly I've not added things there in months because I got fed up to here with Obamamania - whatever Lord Obamamama said or did was Christ-like according to the mainstream media. It nauseated me so much I did not want to do the reading and research I do in order to post my comments. You see I normally read several news sites and political blogs to gather info and then comment on what interests me the most. Maybe I'll pick it back up now that the elections are getting closer and the Republican VP nominee is hot. Have a look at Shara's image I've posted today - could you call her madam Vice President?

Posted at 06:09 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)