Sunday, December 21, 2003


You wouldn't think it so difficult to get some firewood delivered to your home....especially when trying to pay cash for it. But I have had little luck in finding much. I have seen ads for $60-65 per truck load repeatedly, but these folks don't answer their phones. I believe that they are putting in these ads deliberately to drive up the demand...then selling their wood for much more. How unfair. Maybe I am wrong about this. Hopefully someone will call from the various answering machines that I spoke to earlier today.

I am to Mom and Dad's for the day.....big Christmas party with Dad's side of the family will be there this year. I have all the gifts ready to go...just gotta load them up in the truck.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Holiday Chaos

The entire town has gone crazy......wild drivers, mad shoppers, crazed mothers dragging packs of little squealing munchkins along with them as they move down the aisles of Walmart like some wayward band of hunter-gatherers. I have the holiday spirit or what?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

A night out on the town

I headed out for a night of music at Trio's....normally a jazz bar, but doing blues and rock tonight to hear E.G. Kight

She really rocked the place all night. She and the Macon Boys took the stage about 9:20 and played almost continuously untill 1:30. I sat with Bonnie and enjoyed the tunes. Too bad that bars are so smokey though.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

GWS Events

GWS Events Webpage has all of the new trips that we have planned. About a dozen GWS folks came over to my house today and we brainstormed for trip ideas. I thought we did really well and came up with 19 new trips!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Sorry that I haven't been updating

To my regular readers...sorry that I haven't updated much recently.

On Thanksgiving Day, I joined about a dozen friends for a wonderful feast. We all ate so much!

Then on Friday and Saturday, we took off on a river trip. The Ohoopee River was a lot of fun, even though there were many deadfalls to either limbo under or pull over. More details about this trip are located at this webpage.

Back to work for a hectic week.....the weather took a nosedive on temperatures and that makes it much more difficult at work. But things were slowly improving now that we are getting toward the end of the week.

Tonight I finalized the majority of my Christmas shopping. I still have 2 grandmothers and a neice to buy for, but otherwise it is all done.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Canoe Camping

Canoe Camping - USA has several river reports and photos from a couple's various trips around the US. I wish that I had the time to spend like that!

Today, I spent the day dragging out the Christmas stuff. Although it is a bit early, I figured that I would take advantage of being home to bring out most of the Christmas stuff. I still need to decorate the trees, put out the nicknacks, and so on...but at least the furniture is all moved and the trees are up. I hope to get the outside lights up next week.

I raked part of the back yard...till the rake broke. So I will need to buy a new one soon. Most of the leaves are finally down...except for the stupid pear trees. Athough they say that it is weekend before was well into the 70s today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Rain, rain, rain, leak

My roof has a pesky leak that will eventually cost me some big money....I thought that maybe I could spend a little bit now to save me a big cost later on....wrong.

I talked to some of the roofers at work and they basically told me that there was no small fix that would actually fix it. Instead, I have to do the big roof. Of course, I can and probably will hold off on it until as late as I can. I went up into the attic tonight and moved a few things and set up a fan up there to try to dry up the water before it works it's way down into the living the kitchen and back hallway.

I had hoped to spend my tax return in the spring on a shelter for the trailer...but maybe a new roof instead.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ohoopee Canoe Club

Our GWS canoe trip this year will be on the Ohoopee River! It is such a great little river. Lots of sandbars, white sand, cypress stands, lots of wilderness areas with a few houses. Although this is strictly a GWS trip, there is also a local canoe club for it. Go to Ohoopee Canoe Club for their homepage.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

New Camper Photos

As promised, here are a few photos of the new travel trailer. It had its maiden run this weekend and generally did just fine. The only problems were one hose under the bathroom sink that needed tightening and a battery operated clock on the wall did not keep good time. A quick twist on the connector fixed the dripping hose and I will exchange the clock the next time that I am in Conyers at the dealership. Use this link to go and see some interior and exterior photos of the New Camper

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I need to find my "happy place"


My brain is going to pop! Today at work has been non-stop since the get-go. Finally, I have a moment to collect my thoughts and plan for tomorrow. I need to find my happy place and meditate on it for a while before the plumber arrives tonight.....the sink in the kitchen has sprung a leak in the hot water supply line. What made me notice it was that one of the floorboards under the kitchen tile seemed to be a little soft underfoot. Subsequent investigation spotted the leak this morning. Hopefully once the leak is fixed, the wood will dry and it will firm back up.....if not, then under-the-house carpentry is in order.....and how fun is that?

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Very fun weekend

Well, I made it back from this weekend's trip to Callaway Gardens and FDR State Park....very nice weather and an enjoyable weekend. Here are some photos that I took while there: 2 pages of them, use the link at the very bottom of the first one to get to the second.

Tomorrow, I am heading to Atlanta to pick up my camper! Hurray....but it will cost me a day's vacation from work to do so.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Camper is somewhere in Virginia

Well, the new camper is lost somewhere in Virginia. Unfortunately, I am in Georgia. The truck that was transporting it from the factory to the dealership brokedown somewhere in Virginia. I have no idea when it will get here....maybe tomorrow....maybe not.


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Taking the scenic route?

I called today to find out if my camper came in as it didn't. So they are expecting to recieve it tomorrow. We shall see. John said that he would fax the documents to me for the loan as soon as the camper comes in......again, we shall see. I sound so negative, don't I? I am just excited about getting it, and it not showing up as predicted is just a little bit of a let down. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring something new and exciting.

Yesterday, I started to cut down a dead tree on my property line. I got it down, but in trying to cut it up, the chainsaw's bar got pinched and the chain jumped off. Of course, it was too hot to work with yesterday and today was a washout with the rain, so maybe tomorrow I can cut up the wood. The tree has been dead for awhile, so the wood should burn readily. I hope to take some of it on this weekend's campout to FDR State Park. The GWS crew is doing a six mile hike on Saturday and then on Sunday, going to Callaway Gardens for some bicycling. With the time change, we will have several hours of darkness before bedtime, so I need the wood for the campfire.

Lay offs galore

2,100 people are losing their jobs here in town! The local cigarette factory is being closed....while getting rid of cigarettes is a good thing, I still hate it for the workers. The local news reported last night that it would be a $460 million annual impact on the community....hard to get over even if the economy was much better...which it isn't. The closing of the plant will impact everyone county-wide. About 5% of the county's taxbase was paid by this one factory (which is huge....they built it for over $150 million dollars in the 1970's).

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Camper update

I got the message yesterday that my new camper rolled off the assembly line and is on its way to Georgia now from Pennsylvania. It is supposed to be at the dealer late Tuesday. If they can prep it in time, I will come get it on Thursday...but more likely I will have to wait till Monday (I am tied up Halloween weekend). I need a copy of the invoicing from the dealership to get the banking done locally. They said that they could send that when the camper arrived...I hope that a faxed copy of it will be ok for the bank folks. Of course, I am like a kid waiting for Christmas day to arrive. It would be nice to get it on Thursday, but Monday is probably more realistic. All of this is assuming that the banking can be done in a day or two...which I would think that it should.

This weekend is part of my downtime....I was invited to head to Florida for the weekend, but figured that I was running around too much and had best stay home. I shampooed the carpet in the livingroom, changed bed linens, and all sorts of other domestic chores that needed doing. I still need to clean up the kitchen....made a big mess frying chicken, but it was worth it...yum!

I think I deserve taking a nap now.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

What a busy weekend!

I left work at lunchtime on Friday in order to go home and get ready for a wedding. Now I ask you, who gets married on a Friday evening? Think about this for a moment. Friday afternoon, 5:00pm, rush-hour traffic, southside of Atlanta. Needless to say, getting to my brother's wedding was tough. But I made it in time. John and Donna had a semi-traditional service in a huge church. To me, it seemed a bit odd having it such a BIG church for only a few guests (8). But it was their happy day, so I just went with it. I snapped a bunch of photos for them. Afterward, we went to their house for a quick reception, then to Mom and Dad's house for the night.

On Saturday morning, Dad and I went over to Adventures on Wheels RV Center and looked at more campers. I ended up giving them a $2,700 deposit on one. I am getting the Sunline T-2199.....assuming that the loan goes through ok. I should hear back from them on Monday, once the banks open.

Then it was back to Mom's for lunch and then north to Calhoun to visit my maternal grandmother. Her mental faculties are beginning to leave her, and she is now being placed into an assisted living center. Her house is being sold, as well as most of her belongings. It has really been a tough decision on my mom and her sister, but it is the best thing for her. Frankly, I can't see that she will be able to stay in the assisted living center. Folks who stay there are supposed to be able to take care of themselves, with only some minor help. Granny is beyond that in many ways. Although she can still move around ok and at times talks in a normal manner, she can just as easily tell you lots of things that are simply not true. She remembers things that never happened and doesn't remember things that just did. She is also easily confused and has had trouble finding her around the new home.

Mom had bought Granny's old dining room furniture and the refrigerator and gave them to me as an early Christmas present. So we loaded them up on my truck before I left Calhoun. I drove back home and got them all into my house by about 10:00pm.

And now at 8:00 in the morning, I am about to head to to make up the time that I took off on Friday. And later today, I have to load up the canoe and kayak and head to a potluck dinner and paddle on Lake Juliette.

Busy, busy, busy

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Fun in the swamp

This weekend, I joined 15 other nuts and spent the weekend paddling around Grand Bay Swamp in the rain. We had such a blast! Of course, it was beautiful and the rain wasn't really even an annoyance.

A few photos from the trip are at the G W S website's Grand Bay Swamp page

After the swamp paddle, we camped at Reed Bingham State Park and had a great supper. Rita brought southwestern stew, Cheryl brought pecan pies, and Anne brought salad and banana bread. YUM!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Mental lapse

Tuesday evening, I was supposed to be in class (taking a course to keep my professional certificate up to date)...but was I? No. I don't know why, but I totally forgot about class. Earlier in the day, I even got my paperwork together for class. But when the time came to leave work, rather than driving to class, I headed home.

I am too young to start having "senior moments"....or so I would like to think.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The fair keeps growing every year. I walked around for hours and hours gazing at all of the displays, animals, and such...and I didn't even make it to the midway rides.....I did get to look at the worlds largest pig though.

Afterward, I headed to the Macon Music Heritage Festival. What a pathetic turnout from the citizens. There was only a few hundred people there. Those who didn't go missed some really good music. I saw Satellite Papa (R&B), Jenna Gentry (country), E.G. Kight (blues), and a West African dance group with lots of cool drumming. I did leave, as that I was beginning to get sunburnt, before the "big names" took the stage....the Manhattans, Spyrogyra, and someone else that escapes my mind.

On Sunday, I did nothing. Nada. Zip. I goofed off all morning around the house. I did manage to get the chicken coop cleaned out and new bedding material put in for the winter.

Friday, October 03, 2003

2003 Georgia National Fair

I think this weekend, I will head down to Perry and the 2003 Georgia National Fair. I always enjoy looking over all of the animals, plants, crafts, and so forth. I am not all that interested in the rides, although lots of folks are. They usually have a pretty good selection of events and concerts too. President Carter was there today to get things started. And the fireworks each night are fun too.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Burglar Alarm Craziness

My afternoon was interupted today by a phone call from ADT to tell me that the burglar alarm at my home was going off and the Sheriff was on his way. Fortunately, it was a false alarm. As I drove home, I was hoping that the wind perhaps wiggled a door and set it off; but as it turns out, it was one of the motion detectors. Why? I have no idea. No burglar, no pets running around, no idea what set it off.

I will try it again and see what happens tomorrow. I get to work on so many alarm systems at work, I hate the idea that my personal alarm system is cutting the fool. Fortunately, the particular zone that is acting up is on an interior space, so there isn't any way to break into the house and get to this particular zone without tripping the alarm elsewhere.

Tonight's supper was burgers patties on the grill. They were wonderful. As I cooked them, I let the chickens out of the pen to run the yard for an hour or so. They appreciated it, but with a little coaxing, did go back into the pen. The egg count hit 4 today!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Green Tea is yummy, even Diet Green Tea

I have found a delicious diet drink....and yes, I hate the word diet....but I am doing that Atkins thing. And after tons of water, I am looking for new drinks. Arizona Diet Green Tea is really good.

I haven't been the best on my diet this past week. But I am back on track now. I started back in August, and have lost about 25 pounds...but last week I had several get togethers and such and totally blew it.

After a trip to the grocery store, I am now $130 lighter, but I have a fridge full of various meats...enough to make a vegetarian swoon and pass out. I had my doubts about Atkins, but it does work. And suprisingly, my cholesterol hasn't gone sky high, even though I am eating a lot of protein and fats.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Trailer Shopping

The Atlanta RV Show was usual. I went in and out of dozens, if not hundreds of trailers, 5th wheels, and motor homes. I am thinking about a small trailer...probably after I get my tax return in the spring. I want a small trailer (less than 24 feet long) with lots of storage, a queen size bed, and a fair sized bathroom. As a tall fellow, I have trouble in the showers with head room.

I found one that I really liked, the Solaris I just have to get up $15,000 or so. I still have got to do some more research on this brand, plus still look at other vendors before committing to anything. And I do still have 5 months or so to decide at the best of circumstances.

Friday, September 26, 2003

The Weekend Plan

As I ready myself for the last work day of the week today, I am mentally already off from work. My brain is officially off work today, although my body does have to go in today.

Tomorrow will be a busy day....I am heading to the Atlanta RV Show. I am thinking about buying a travel trailer next spring....maybe. I do love my tent camping, but sometimes, a hard roof overhead in the dry and air conditioned would be nice too.....especially if taking a long trip. I want to start taking some week long trips next year for vacation.

After returning in the early afternoon, I will be going to the river for the party mentioned in the previous post below.

On Sunday, I am hoping to set some posts for a fence. I love to dig holes....yeah, right!

Well, the clock on the wall says it time to hop in the shower and head to work. Hurray!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Heading to the River this weekend won't actually be a paddling weekend, but friends are coming together to celebrate the new union of what I hope will be a long marriage, which will be held riverside. Riparian entertainment at it's best.

And speaking of, not me for goodness sakes......but my brother John announced his impending wedding to his girlfriend Donna. They plan on marrying on October 17th...which is also my mom's birthday.

Today went much smoother than yesterday...thankfully. What will tomorrow bring? Wait and see.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Too much work and learning for one day

Whew! What a long day. It started at 5:45, as usual, with a quick check of the newspaper....then a bite to eat and off to work at 7:15. The day actually started slow, with plenty of time to finish up a report for the boss on our electric bills over the past fiscal year and then projected into the next (budgeted amounts vs. actuals). At 9:00, it was off to staff meeting for the usual combination of gripes, complaints, smiles, and head nodding. 11:00 and I was back at my office for a meeting with one of the contractors, who was installing control software for one of the new schools. After a short how-to-work-it session, I was off to lunch for 30 minutes of glorious quietness....although they were out of tuna salad and I had to have the chicken salad instead.

Then it was back to the office to program the a/c systems for tonight's variety of PTA meetings, and then off to one of the new schools to begin programming the burglar alarm system. I had enough time to complete the programming, but when I powered up the system, something shorted out and the entire system crashed......that will be chore #1 tomorrow. So it was back to the office to wrap up the business day (or so I thought). I left at 4:00 and headed over to my Reading class (part of my teaching certificate recertification requirement). The only real good thing about the class was that the teacher didn't keep us until 8:00 as normal. We got out about 7:00. So it was just enough time to run home, feed the chickens, collect 5 today.....and fix a bite to eat for supper.

Naturally, about this time, 7:45, the telephone rings and it was work calling. One of the schools says that I didn't program their outside lighting and they had a PTA meeting and it was dark. I was sure that I did program it, but I loaded up the truck and drove back into town and to the find that by the time I arrived, the PTA meeting was over, only 3 cars in the parking lot, and.....wait for it......the lights were on. ARRRGH!!!

So I went in, chatted with the principal, who knew nothing about who called me in the first place, then headed back home around 9:00. I watched one show on tv, Ground Force America, and now here I am, checking email, putting this blog entry in, and shortly will be off to bed. And the best part of it is what?

Simple.....that I get to do it all again tomorrow! Hurray!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

River Gauge Data

Real-Time Data for the Nation

The link above links to the national info center for streamflow in the USA. You can either click on the map to zoom in on a particular area or use the pull down menu on the far right top to select a geographic area...such as your state. You can usually then select a river gauge in your area for live data from it, plus the recent history.

I use this all of the time in planning river trips. It is a lifesaver when you know that certain rivers can only be paddled at certain river levels. I try to keep a log of the river levels on my trips for future reference...especially if the river was borderline too low or too high.

Too hot for chili

I am not sure how or why, but we decided (and by "we", I really am not including myself in the decision making process) to have a chili lunch tomorrow at work. So several us volunteered to bring a crock pot full of chili each to share among those at work. Sounds like a good idea......Chili is a wonderful fall or winter dish. But it is still summertime here in Georgia, and it is too hot to be cooking chili....but that is what I have been doing all day. I now have a crock-pot slap full of chili and another 2 or 3 bowls in another container. I will probably take the crock-pot to work, but keep the other for myself.

Onion, garlic, jalapenos, beef, pork, cumin, oregano, chili powder, paprika, red wine, and a slow simmer for 3 hours and you have a wonderful chili...but it really was warm doing so. I debated turning on the air conditioning, but cash is tight and it has been cooling off nicely at night. So I will be a bit warm now.

On the good side of things, the cable guy came by today (on a Sunday!) and fixed my cable-tv. I was only getting about 1/2 of the channels that I was supposed to be getting. Turned out that my decoder box was out of whack, so he put in a new one.

Trail Journals

Trail Journals, Backpacking and Hiking Journals is a great site....sort of a blogging thing, but it is done by people who are hiking the really long trails, such as the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. Most of the hikers keep a journal as they go, and when they hit a town on the trail, they use the public library to upload their journals to this website.

Most of the AT hikers are getting toward the end of their thru-hike....all 2,160 miles of it. Winter will be setting in soon for those who are northbound on it, and so they are beginning to either speed up their pace or start carrying more weight in an effort to stay warm at night in the mountains.

Some of the hikers only record the facts of the day, while others have a lot of humor and personal insight. Some also upload digital photographs, which is nice....although many hikers start with cameras, a lot of them do send them back home to save on more photos from the beginnings of their hikes than toward the end.

You can scroll down the list of hikers on this page and see the number of entries and photos for each hiker....some of my favorites are Blip, Awol, Bumpkin, Footslogger, and Jan LiteShoe....of course, to each his own. I am partial to the AT hikers, because I am more familiar with it. In fact, I really would like to do a long hike on it someday. I should be able to retire at age 52, so maybe then....unless I happen to win the lottery earlier.

I suppose in the meantime, I will just have to be content with the short hiking trips that the Georgia Wilderness Society provides. We do several short backpacking trips each year, along with some dayhikes and a lot of canoeing and kayaking trips throughout the southeastern USA. As my blog progresses, you will hear a lot more about some of the characters from GWS trips I am sure. The GWS website also has tons of photos from our trips.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Prodding by a friend

While on Sapelo Island recently, I was reminded of my old online journal. So I thought I would give credit to Rita for my venturing back into the world of blogging.

T. Newfields

Hollowness resonating
through bamboo pipes.

Lips touching wood
in temples with glittering lights.

Breath to grain - melodies to refrains
as a dozen holes make one whole
while music elevates hearts
to heights.

Celebrate music and
make your heart a flute
whose notes play skilfully
while your breathe stays loose. we go again.

Readers of my weblog from way back may recall that a few folks got a bit upset after reading some of my comments, which were not meant to be upsetting...but were just thoughts put to paper (digital paper). There was the whining incident in Costa Rica and of course my dear friend Zena, Warrior Princess......but those are things from the past.

So here is the beginning of a new weblog. This one will be less of a daily journal...and more of a collection or random thoughts, my insights and opinions, interesting web-related stuff, along with some of the news from my personal life.

Or at least that is the plan for now, which of course could change at any moment.

Have fun and enjoy!