Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Like A-Lyin'...

It is only a few days from the beginning of March and we are much below the 'average' temperatures for this time of year.  Tonight's low is -11ºF with wind chills of up to -30ºF tomorrow morning.  I guess I'll have to warm up the car tomorrow - wait - I've been warming up the car every morning for months on end now, this is supposed to stop happening, right?

In fact, 11º is the highest we'll see until Sunday, they say.  And why not throw in some snow?  Not a big storm, just a little here and a little there for days on end.  After all, a fresh layer of snow covers all that dirty melting stuff and makes everything beautiful.  Right?

Okay, I'm starting to lose my patience with winter.  That's all I got.

If you want more, watch this short video about the water on our planet. It's worth the while!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wild Child by Nightwish

After writing for here every day for a week I have taken over a week off.  Nothing new, except maybe one girl we know having an affair with a friend of mine then wanting a divorce from her husband with a baby on the way from her new beau and kicking her husband out of the house so the new guy can move in all in about 2 months time, no, nothing going on but for work keeping me busy with mandatory overtime.  So until I have more time and energy, know that we are well, and still holding out for springtime.

Here, enjoy two of my favorites at once, Nightwish performs the WASP song 'Wild Child.'

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Alabama Beachcombing Bounty

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The only thing left that I haven't shared from our trip to Alabama is the shells I collected on my walks along the beach.  I could have collected hundreds of the mid-size and smaller shells, but I mostly looked for unique, good quality shells. The picture above shows all that I brought home with me except the starfish.  And all but two shells are now on display in a vase on the hallway shelf - where cats cannot get into it.  I think it turned out pretty well.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Alabama Vacation Pic Dump

Well, everything I wrote about happened even if the order might be a bit fuzzy.  My brain is foggy enough on its own, but going back to work after a full week off has fried it pretty good this week.  Enjoy the pictures, I took the liberty of captioning them because, you know, I'm just that kind of guy!  And I captioned all 34 pictures, so it's like another, usual length, pictorial blog post!
Happy Friday, everyone.

All pics are after the break.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Alabama, Part 4

20140125 234Thursday morning I took another walk on the beach before anyone else was up.  I gathered just a few more interesting shells and another starfish, this one would break on the trip home, though.  It was very chilly out and ice was everywhere, even in the pool.  We went out for lunch and had some leftover spaghetti for dinner that Dan had fixed us the night before.  Sand was all over the now-drying roads, also we saw water softener salt at the intersections.

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20140125 243And I finally got some more smokes and some whiskey for our last night.  We were running out of everything.  We had only packed supplies for 3-4 days but we did do a couple loads of laundry in the condo so we had clean clothes to wear.  In the afternoon, Kate and I checked out the indoor heated pool and hot tubs.
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20140125 280Friday morning we were finally leaving town.  Not that we wanted to, but it was time - past time to get back home.  Again I awoke early, early enough to catch the sun rise over the gulf.  We had a longer drive to the Mobile Regional Airport than it would have been to Pensacola but we didn't want to wait one more day to fly out.  Mom and Dan were gracious with our unexpected stay and drove us to the airport.  Again this airport seemed even smaller than Madison's and for some reason that surprised me again.

Thank you for checking out our trip to Alabama last week.  If my writing seems somewhat less than enthusiastic it is only because my brain is fried from trying to catch up at work this week.  Alabama Pic Dump tomorrow - but for now, Thank You Mom and Dan!
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Alabama, Part 3

20140125 166Monday was pretty stressful around midday.  We found out that our flight out the next day was canceled due to weather, weather that we didn't have yet.  We settled down once we were rescheduled for the same times on Wednesday.  So we went out to eat again, maybe even for lunch and dinner, I don't remember. I think it was after dinner that we all walked down to the shore, though.  It was a wonderful view in any direction, especially my wife's direction. ;)

20140125 181On Tuesday it got interesting.  It was rain with temperatures at or just below freezing during the day.  We went out to lunch at Lambert's - home of the Throwed Rolls, I remember this one because of the weather.  The roads were fine while we were out.  On the way back we stopped at a few places so I could get some whiskey, but to no avail.  Stores were shutting down.

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These people did not know how to handle a little ice and it scared them.  Or rather, the a lot of ice that would eventually accumulate because they don't have salt or experience scared them a bit.  Anyway, I got a picture of icicles on a palm tree and on a porch, and settled for a couple beers that night.  Oh, and the 'chase the ace' game kept us entertained, along with watching the news people freak out.

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20140125 207Wednesday morning I was up early again so went down to the frozen beach.  Ice coated everything, yet it was thin, rough ice, not a slippery as it could have been had it been thicker.  I did not slip on the beachwalk or the frozen beach but I could have if I tried.  It was this morning that I found a lot of interesting shells, large shells, and even a couple starfish up on the beach.  I also saw quite a few dead jellyfish on my morning walks.  I did find a small sand dollar for my Mom but, unfortunately, it broke on the way back upstairs.  It was the only whole one I saw on the beach, any day we were there.

20140125 211When I got back to the condo things got weird again.  Or flight out that day was canceled.  Again.  Pensacola airport was shut down until further notice.  Later our flight from Atlanta to Madison was rescheduled for later that night, but there was no possible way to get to Atlanta in time even in good weather (unless we could fly there!).  My wife spent a lot of time on the phone; we could fly out of Mobile, about an hour and a half away, on Friday or we could wait until Saturday to fly out of Pensacola, a half hour away.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Alabama, Part 2

20140125 084On Sunday morning, January 26, I got up relatively early and before everyone else, so I thought I'd venture out and down to the beach.  It was a bit chilly out, but there was no one around yet and I seemed to be one of the first to leave my footprints on the shore.  I found several shells, but nothing very interesting yet.

20140125 102Later we took a drive, they took us on a loop up to Mobile and back.  On the way we stopped at a local restaurant, one of the 5 or 6 Tacky Jack's in the region.  Tacky Jack's is a colorful place, inside and out.  It seems to be one of those places that must be visited when in the area.  If I'm down there again I would like to try a different location.
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After lunch we hopped on the ferry across Mobile Bay.  It was an interesting trip, lasting about 45 minutes, that took us past a few platforms on the bay like you can see above Kate and Mom in the pic.  I took a picture of an informational sign on the ferry to read later.  That platform (different than the one in the picture - there were dozens as far as you can see) is in only 11 feet of water! 

20140125 aAfter the ferry and a short drive into Mobile, we found the USS Alabama in a complex that included several planes, helicopters and tanks.  We didn't pay to go inside or board the ship, but we were able to see much just from the parking lot.  It would take several hours to do the tour and see everything, but I was happy with what I saw.

It was a long drive, but since it was Sunday the traffic was good and we loved our stops and all the scenery.  I didn't take pictures of where we went to dinner any time on this trip, so I forget what was dinner this night, but we were good with everywhere we ate out on this trip.  We did NOT go to the Waffle House, but I probably saw 18 different ones - they were everywhere. 20140125 141

Monday, February 3, 2014

Alabama, Part 1

20140125 033My Mom and her husband Dan left for the gulf coast of Alabama shortly after the new year and are staying until the beginning of March in a luxury condo on the Gulf of Mexico.  As a Christmas present, they offered trips to all their kids to come down and spend some time with them.  We had never taken a vacation in winter before so we accepted their generous offer.

A week ago Saturday we flew from Madison to Atlanta to Pensacola.  As we were flying from Atlanta to Pensacola I thought of Mike Firesmith, the Hickory Head Hermit in the right column.  Perhaps we flew right over him, I'm not sure where he is exactly in Georgia.

20140125 054The Pensacola airport was a bit smaller than Madison, I'm not sure why that surprised me.  Mom and Dan were there to pick us up and drive the half hour west to Orange Beach, Alabama, kind of a suburb of Gulf Shores.  The Blue Angels fly out of the Pensacola airport.  They said they've seen them flying since they've been down, but we did not see them in our time there.
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The development where they were staying had two buildings, the tallest buildings in the area as far we could see.   Luxury condos that were built at an unfortunate time, in the late 2000's when the market crashed, so only two of the four planned buildings were built.

We arrived about midday and settled in after a lunch out.  Temperatures were probably in the low sixties, not very warm but better than where we came from.  Madison was about to get another blast of stupid-cold air.  Meanwhile, we were adjusting to this view:
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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Sunday 2014

My precious Packers are not playing today, but otherwise there are several reasons to support either team in this year's Super Bowl.  My reasons lean to ex-Badgers and conference, meaning I will be cheering for the Seattle Seahawks today. If they do not win, then I will be happy for Peyton Manning and Montee Ball.  Either way, my Packers are not there so my disappointment is over no matter who wins today. I just hope it is a real good game to watch.

Have fun today, everyone!