Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blue Angels









A couple of weekends ago Dave and I went to Pensacola Beach to watch the Friday Blue Angel air show. They flew the Friday one with five planes with the show in honor of the pilot that went down a month or so ago. Some of the maneuvers were done with four planes. Pensacola Beach has some nice beach homes. We watched the show from a houseboat docked at one of the marinas. The houseboat is owned by friends of Dave's. All around us people floated in every way imaginable and watched the zooming planes overhead. Great weather, perfect day.

Big Job

Heather has been working for several days moving www.ScrapbookScrapbook.com and the DAC-ART site to a new hosting company. It has been an ordeal. We are trying to do it in a way that is the least likely to cause disruption of the flow of traffic and search engine rankings. To move the site, we had to first move the domain to a different managing register. Then move the actual files that make up the site. My original hosting co, Radiant Communications of Vancouver was great back in the 'old days' . As they have grown, the customer service and screw-ups have become totally unbearable. It is the polar opposite of Network Solutions who got a bad reputation for horrid customer service and now have such excellent customer service that it is hard to believe. We will move all my sites that Radiant has hosted all these years, but have to do them one at a time.

I have an appointment w/ a writer on Thurs. who writes for Better Homes and Gardens, but in this case it is a piece she is working on for Jewish Womens Magazine. It is about my Israel themed scrapbook sets. We had a brief conversation and at the end, she said 'you are Jewish aren't you?" ...I couldn't lie...but I think the focus of the article is about the usefulness of the scrapbook graphics, not me, so it won't matter. I told her that I loved Jewish people, that one of my very best friends is Jewish and college roommates, etc...should be interesting. And since she writes for BH&G, I will mention the Villa Lagoon project.

Momma is out of the hospital finally. Lisa got back from Canada just in time to pick her up on Monday and take her to the Village at Germantown's skilled nursing wing so she can get some PT and strength training . At her age, it doesn't take too much lying in bed to get really weak and she can't go back to her cottage until she is pretty fit. Cary talked to Lisa who gave a good report that Momma was feeling good and happy and that she had been over to see Daddy, who had been very worried while she was not able to visit him. She doesn't have a phone in the room, Lisa is gonna bring one to her soon. Weird that they have phone service in the rooms, but you must provide your own phone !!! Maybe they think phones get cooties and shouldn't be shared, I don't know.

Got to go now and start on a written proposal for the Trane Co (Air Conditioning) for Thurs.

WARNING

Lots of us have used TinyURL to make small URL's to put in emails where a really long link might not work if it gets chopped up in a delivered email, but there is a rogue site called www. tinyurl. cc ( I am purposefully putting spaces in there so it is not a link)...if you use it to make small URLs from your long ones, the person who clicks on the link in their email gets slammed with pop-up's and Dan said his anti-virus popped on and said it had detected a virus and removed it. So just make sure, if you do a search, that you use the real, older, trusted site, www.tinyurl.com not the .cc one.

I was sending Dan some ebay links of boom trucks and accidentally used this rogue site ...i noticed it looked different but never imagined it was a bad bad thing...google had it in the search results for a search for 'tiny URL'...I will file a google bad site report.

Busy Day






I met with John from Island Air, a local Trane dealer this afternoon and at same time I received a UPS package which was a lovely gift from Viking Range. It contained an assortment of Viking branded items including a mousepad, keychain, wine stoppers, apron, pot holder, oven mitt, coasters, and several other items. They said the local distributer would be in touch. Cool.

My osprey has returned. I heard his loud CHIRP thru the house walls (only bird noise that comes thru my thick walls) and sure enuf, he was in a tree very near my house. Later in the day, he sat in the tall tree next door and Dave and I happened to be watching while he dove right in front of the yard into the lagoon and brought up a fish. He flew off to the east w/ the fish. I bet it is a 'he' and he was taking the fish to Mrs. Osprey and kids. Last yr he would sit in the tree nearby and eat the fish, but maybe he got married this past winter. Click these photos to see any of them in a larger size.

Slabs & Footings









We are moving right along on the house project. My builder, Dan Zehentner is just the greatest. He stays so totally on top of every detail. He is in and out of the job all day....nothing gets by him ! I feel so secure about this project happening RIGHT. Inspectors came on Monday, Dan and I were there and first slab was poured Monday. Today the digging for the footer for garage and porches was happening. These heavy DAC-ART walls require a big ole footer, plus being on the water and recent hurricanes and all that.

The center section of the house slab was poured first. What you see now, as slab, will be the above ground basement. No windows...no doors...no blow-out walls or vents. If water gets in there, it will be by seepage or because it got high enuf to enter front door or guest room door and went down the steps in the guest room to the basement. This room will be tall enuf to stand in and do art projects, etc...good lighting, but everything I store down there will be in rubbermaid tubs so I can carry them up if a huge storm is threatening. If I ever mysteriously disappear, look for my body there...don't forget !

Thursday, July 26, 2007

China...China...China

The USDA says 50 percent of the apple juice imported in the United States today comes from China. That's an estimated 161,000 tons of apple juice compared to the 110,000 tons produced in the United States, according to the USDA. Garlic and pine nuts are also big exports. So are instant coffee and dried berries like the ones found in breakfast cereal. CNN Article

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

whew

Well here it is a week later, or will be in 4 minutes. Here is the news in shorthand, well sort of.
I'm just busy as can be. Not nearly enuf time in the day.
Momma is in hospital in Memphis--Bapt East...oops, HIAPPA violation probably. Having lots of severe back or side pain. Stephen came up to Memphis from Greenwood for what he thought would be a cheerful Sunday afternoon visit only to find Momma in a bad way. Lisa is in Canada. I am here, Cary in Knoxville and Momma's doc out of town. It has taken a bazillion phone calls and emails to try to get info and such due to HIAPPA law. We don't even know who her doc is. She doesn't either...tall and good looking w/ no bedside manner is all we know. Nurse gave me one doc's name and phone number, but Momma say's that is not it. She may go to skilled nursing for a few days at The Village when released from hosp, and she ain'ta gonna like that idea but then she isn't gonna like having someone hired to stay in her cottage w/ her 24/7 for a while either.

Daddy is fretful I am told and keeps asking about his and her funeral arrangements. I have talked to the staff at his wing, Cantubury Court a couple of times. If Momma goes to skilled care, they can walk Daddy over to visit her.

I may try to get a cheap air ticket and fly up and get rental car for short visit. Can't stay long, I am in middle of lots of decisions about house project and meeting w/ suppliers, etc...

All my blocks are here...12 truckloads instead of projected 18 !! Yea, a savings there. All rental equipment is turned in for now. I have been searching for old flatbed boomtruck to buy to do this job , then sell afterwards. Got to be a 16 ton at least, 18 ton better. Every close-by , good deal one we find is already sold. Know anyone with one in their backyard they want to get rid of?
First footing is dug and termite sprayed (its the law) so once electrician and plumber get all their access pipes in place, pouring will commence. Then two more footings will be dug and poured. Then a bit of curing before we start stacking blocks. Some photos on www.VillaLagoon.com

Builder, Dan is way on-the-ball and caught a , almost, mistake this past weekend. It could have been a big problem. He is at my job several times a day and was there both days of weekend. There is no way I could do this myself...no way...

He thinks stuff thru very carefully and co-ordinates everything so well. Plus he is nice and funny, no wonder my good friends, Becky & Warren have had him build 3 houses for them. He brought me ripe tomatoes the other day.

Saw MY OSPREY today for first time in ages. I heard that peculiar5 LOUD CHIRP as I was driving out of the driveway yesterday and wondered if it was him (her?) and today I heard it while I was at Lagoon house and went out side and sure 'nuf he was in a smaller tree pretty close to the house so I whistled back and he stopped chirping on and off when I whistled. I took a photo but no time now to add it. So glad he came back. Probably just off on lecture circuit for a while or something.

Childhood friend , Nancy Kenworthy , now McMahon and her family were here all last week. Great to see Nancy, it has been a couple years. I didn't get to see her kids and grand daughter. We were both just so busy.

Thurs was Chamber event. Good food and drink right here across the st from me at Peninsula Golf Course.

I did take one day off and went to see the Blue Angels do a airshow over P'cola Beach last weekend. Great day for it and we watched from a nice houseboat as they flew overhead. Photos later hopefully.

I am meeting w/ a local graphic artist on Fri aft about getting him to do some artwork for the web for me. I like doing it myself, just don't have time right now.

Sat is Shrimp Fest work day , to go thru the supplies and take inventory and make list(s) of stuff to order, etc...

Finally getting rain now---short afternoon ones, then sun and nice sunset.

Got to get to bed now, headed to P'cola tomorrow for an app't and that also means I get to go to my fav Thai restaurant, great el-cheapo lunch.

Ta-Ta-for-Now

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Enigma Machine on ebay

Fully operational 1938, bids are up to 19,500 bucks already.
The auction.

Can't afford that toy ? Make your own.

Read about the Enigma

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Can ya spot 'em ?

McAfee has put a small phishing scam quiz online. They offer you 10 sample web pages or emails and you try to pick out the fake one.
I got 2 wrong. One that I missed was one of the web pages that they don't show the browser tool bar and actual web address.....that is mostly how I made my choice to guess...i didn't' have time to read all that small text on the samples. The other one I guessed wrong , I don't think I'd have been fooled by in real life cause , again, I would not click anything with out ck'ing the actual address of the link I was about to click on first.
Try it yourself and see how vulnerable you might be to scam artists.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rain, blocks, dinner, ... weekend



The blocks are arriving...see www.ConcreteCottage.com for play-by-play report.
I am staying at the Hardwood Dr house now, and come to the Lagoon House to work in the day or evenings. So call me on cell or at Hardwood Dr.

We have had tons of rain, sure needed it, but bad timing for my block transportation.

Had a fun dinner at Becky & Warren's Fri nite. They had Warren's 6 yr old grand son, Eric, a smart and good kid. He'd been loving it at the beach. Some Wash. D.C. friends, who have a beach house in same neighborhood as B & W came too. The mom's name is Sally and her daughter, Virginia. Virginia recently graduated from Univ. of Va. Now I wonder, since she started at Emory in Atlanta, think she switched to UVA cause she is named Virginia ? Anyway, she is a writer for a monthly publication in D.C. that covers politics....& stuff I know nothing about. We had grilled shrimp, yellow squash & onions, this great 'Asian' slaw, watermelon and then played Taboo. It was my first time to play Taboo, but as it turns out, I am pretty good at it...since it involves thinking but does not involve doing math in my head or spelling.

I have been spending a lot of time on my Villa Lagoon packet printing and looking up marketing directors names and company addresses.

Sat night , Dave and I went to Sunset Corkroom for a nice dinner. Lisa Zanghli (sp?) was playing there and she is always good. The food is too, but expensive.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Busy Week

I've been busy doing a ton of printing, meeting with potential house component suppliers....Meeting w/ Dan Z. & subs.
Most photos , all my time go to www.ConcreteCottage.com and www.VillaLagoon.com

Heather, my assistant, is off this week and I hope she has a nice break. (Hi Heather :o)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Trees Comin' Out Today


Beautiful day, strong breeze out of the West, full sun. Trucks come on Monday to haul off the tree chunks. The machine operator has pierced nipples and various other skin puncturing adornments. His name is Dustin and he is really good at what he does. He has been exceedingly neat.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Top Ten Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks



Pepsi has introduced Ice Cucumber flavored drink....









Coke is not to be undone by Pepsi, sooo....

Coca-Cola devised Water Salad ...and Water Salad is... well... salad-flavored water.



And now, from the "selling ice to the Eskimos" department, we bring you Diet Water: the soft drink for the soft headed.

















To start the day , which would you prefer a BM Coffee , a BJ Coffee or maybe you can gain a bit of corporate power with GOD coffee.

How about Breast Milk?





Read More....
read more....

Coastal Living Idea House at Bon Secour Village

Coastal Living Magazine's info about the Coastal Living Idea House (or cottage) as it is occasionally called. Some 'cottage'. I notice that the sales info says it has these fantastic views of the Intercoastal Waterway but I wonder if it will when another house is built on the lot between it and the waterway. I have not bothered to look at the lot layouts, but it appears to be on an interior lot. Our waterfront Little Lagoon 'showhouse' is Villa Lagoon.








Coastal Living Magazine sponsored an "Idea House' right here in Gulf Shores in the new Bon Secour Village development. My friend Mark invited me to go with him. It was a very nice lawn party with music , loads of good food, nicely set tables under the tent and on the lawn. We could take interior photos in the kitchen only. It had Viking appliances for the most part.


These be some pricey diggs. They are not exactly on the water, but the development is built alongside the Intercoastal Waterway. Right now only a few houses are built, so it looks spacious and there is a good view of the water and the interesting barge traffic as well as recreational boat traffic. But I imagine later on that it will have a different feel. The developers have left lots of open places tho, so it should be pretty even later on.

Back from Tuscaloosa

Great weekend, if you ever go to T-town, stay at the Holiday Inn Express. I remember years ago when the H.I. Express concept was first introduced. They were itty-bitty little pre-fab cracker box cubicles no bigger than a Ritz-Carlton bathroom. Times have changed. This place is fabo. Quite upscale, with big free b'fast which included sausage and biscuits and gravy as well as waffles, and a ton of other stuff. Fantastic beds, all those bazillion-thread-count sheets (3), fancy pillows embroidered 'soft' or 'firm' plus free fast wireless everywhere, no password needed and no frustrating, idiotic in-house software to navigate thru for wireless. I give it 5 charcoal brickettes.

Jenny Rankin's wedding on Sat. was lovely, the dinner the night before was at Indian Hills Country Club and groom, Henry Mize's family was kind to include us. In fact, when we ck'd in, there was a silver gift bag waiting all full of great snacks, chocolate, etc...and we found out later that there was SUPPOSE to have been a 6 pack of beer but we think the youthful desk staff might have thought the beer was for THEM, as it was missing !! But no-biggie. It wasn't a dry county !

We had lunch w/ my cousin, Skip Pridgen and his wife Kelly and their son Jonathon. They took us to a nice hamburger place called Mugshots that is very popular there. We had a wonderful visit and Skip drove us around and showed us his new office building that he designed, his new restaurant, the drive thru coffee-shop, new apartment complex and all the plans for this 52 acre development that he has done in addition to doing surgery...if you can imagine !!!! His daddy, my daddy's brother would have been so proud of him. He is a very resourceful fellow and an artist to boot !!! And a genuine nice guy....

On the drive back, I had a hissy-fit when we passed a Jim and Nick's BBQ and I got Dave to do a stop-action turn and halt so I could run in to get 2 dozen of their 'to-die-for' sweet , buttery, mini cheese muffins (which they call cheese biscuits, but they most certainly are not )....Lordy those melt in your mouth balls of fluff are good.

OK--I just registered a new domain...drum rollllllllll....it is...

www.WhatIReallyGot.com which will be a showcase for photos of actual fast food with the company's portrait of what that food item is suppose to look like. I will have it up and running soon and you will be able to add your own photos too.

What fun :o)

It is absolutely mind blowing to me that the drive thru food places are allowed to show you one thing and serve up an entirely different looking concoction. Can you imagine what would happen if you ordered a blue Buick convertible and was delivered a brown Buick hardtop ? I think there would be some dissatisfaction on the part of the customer and eventually the car dealer would have to show an illustration that more closely resembled the final product...so why not in the fast-food industry ????

We will start here:
I ordered a Burger Kind Whopper Jr, no ketchup, no mayo, add mustard please.
















What I really got:





I love onion, but alas, this close up shows my only piece of onion.


I ordered some un-sweet ice tea (which fortunately looked much closer to the photo-illustration). I asked for some sweetner. The window girl looked perplexed. I made a little rectangle with my fingers and then held up two fingers and said 'yellow' , 'yellow rectangle' ...she smiled as a light bulb appeared above her head, she dashed off and returned to hand me two sweet and sour dip containers...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hurricane Symbol


For hurricanes with female names, I propose this symbol.