Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Redneck Fire Alarm

Thanks Marti for this clever idea. It looks lovely in your home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ship wreck

After these last 3 or 4 hurricanes in the vicinity, this old ship was tossed ashore. People said they saw it back in 1997 and has made occasional appearances over the years. Now it is a big attraction on Ft. Morgan beach, just down the road from me. It is located between mile markers 5 and 6.

And it is way longer than it looked on TV and in the newspaper.

The boat had burned to the water level and what you see now is the part that was underwater still very much intact, blops of hardened molten metal and lots of charcoal where the fire was.

Doesn't this look like a one of the spooky ships from the Pirates of Caribbean movie ?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Funny Cake

Okay so this is how I imagine this conversation went:

Walmart Employee: 'Hello, Walmarts, how can I help you?'

Customer: ' I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week.'

Walmart Employee: 'What you want on the cake?'

Customer: 'Best Wishes Suzanne' and underneath that 'We will miss you'.

from my niece, thanks Frances

Saturday, September 20, 2008


A bunch of very well done paper models from all over the world you can print and construct.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Funny Quote.

Google quote of the day...

Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end.
- Jerry Seinfeld

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kashi Pizza

Well would you look at this roasted veggie pizza ! Usually the Kashi brand is really good about having an actual product that not only tastes great but that looks like the image on the package. They are blowing it totally here. I threw on about a cup of sliced mushrooms and onions and cooked it anyway.

The top photo is the back of the box. GET REAL KASHI !!

Mid Sept Report

Today we got a truck w/ the three huge curved cornice pieces that we have been waiting on from DacArt. I got a phone call from a friend asking why I had the whole highway blocked w/ this semi flatbed turning around to back in my driveway....so I went dashing over. No make-up or hair-do, but I did take time to slap on some lipstick. And sure enuf, there were the three cornices and the rest of our concrete steps. I took photos which I will try to get onto http://www.ConcreteCottage.com later today.

I had to quickly paint concrete acid stain onto the two curved cornice pieces that they managed to get on the ground face-up. One still has to be flipped over so I can get to the parts I need to color. But two are finished now so I am back at Hardwood Dr and they can place the two that are colored before I get over there to color the third one.

My good friend, Becky, who lives in Baton rouge sent me a bunch of photos that show how bad her neighborhood got torn up from Hurricane Gustav. She lives in an older , established neighborhood with very,very tall trees. It is sorta like the Hein Park area in Memphis or Morningside .Anyway, he house is basically undamaged but some of her trees are THROUGH her neighbors homes. She said there was no electricity but that she and Warren have a natural gas (or maybe it is propane) generator, so they have A/C. And they are 90 miles inland. And this happened before Hurricane Ike. I can't imagine how high insurance for coastal locations is gonna zoom to.

I finally got the Island Winds West condo completely re-done. Lots of hard work, but it looks nice. Dave helped tons. He worked several long evenings up there in that condo. Plus the big furniture swap on a Saturday. Heather's husband , Russ stripped wallpaper from both bathrooms, and re-painted them. We all scrubbed, painted, swapped furniture, swapped out bed linens, repaired stuff, and Heather and I scrubbed some more and replaced a lot of kitchen stuff and it was the hottest part of the summer. Now we are done, I had better sell it fast.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Now Google will recognize your face !

I am not making this up...

Picasa Web Albums, Google’s free and therefore widely-popular photo-sharing tool, added facial recognition technology to online photo albums Tuesday.

The system now lets you automatically tag your photos with your friends’ names (pulled from your Gmail contacts, if you have them). The technology is frighteningly intuitive and quick to learn, suggesting the appropriate name tag when it recognizes your friends in photos you’ve uploaded.

Turn on the “name tags” feature and Picasa will automatically scan the pictures you’ve uploaded, picking out the ones it thinks have faces in them. Then, you can attach name tags to individual photos of people, or to groups of photos the software has identified as showing similar faces. It makes for a fun little game, tagging the people you know with the matching Gmail contact. Picasa quickly starts learning who’s who as you continue to tag your way through your pictures. After tagging for a bit, it will be able to recognize your friends and automatically suggest name tags of the people in your photos.

Read more on WebMonkey

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gulf Shores after Gustav Photos

Just added a new page to the Gulf Shores website for everyone who wonders if their condo or beach house is OK...

Happy Labor Day

Our labor days were the last two days. Stephen came down and really helped by burning a pile of wood scraps that had gotten way too big. It wind had blown all that scrap around it could have done a lot of damage. Plus it was all piled on the south side of the house, facing the glass. The photo shows where the pile WAS.

We put the hurricane panels in the south facing windows. Dave closed all the remaining hinged shutters on the guesthouse. In the morning, Juan and Jose came over and helped move furniture about from living room to condo and condo to condo, etc...more on why we had to do that later. Juan and Jose also helped secure loos building materials in our rented container. There is a ton of cement tile in the container too.

The upper shutters have since blown off, but they were there when Harry made the panels for the lower ones. They have 2 x 4 frames behind them and are really heavy and hard even for two adults to get up into place. They are strong tho--no doubt about it. But I am going to have to re-think the whole hurricane shutter issue once we get thru all this. The new house is getting impact glass, like car windshields.

The rust (iron) on the guest house wall is there because of the ground water irrigation and I just have not taken the time to get it off. I prob will now, it looks so awful. I have some stuff I can spray on it to dissolve it.

Everyone was so concerned that if we had high wind, the cornice pieces might blow off the top row of blocks. They are not attached all the way yet. They only have threaded rods thru them now and will get rebar and back-fill concrete when al of them are up there. For a while, Dan, my builder, wanted Mike, the crane operator to take all the cornice off and set it on the ground. This would have cost about an extra 1000 bucks (which I do not have). In the end, since the Hurricane Gustov headed more west, we decided to risk it.

Hurricane Gustov in Gulf Shores

Well it looks like we are not getting it nearly as bad as it could be. Streets are clear some have water over them, but we were able to drive down Fort Morgan pretty far before the police had a blockade due to water over the road. I am posting some photos from about noon today.

We went out to Mobile Street, off Fort Morgan Road in Gulf Shores. The newly built wood ramp out to the beach had some damage at the low end. There was one other car out there w/ some curious people like us. No other souls in sight.

It was not raining when I took these photos but the wind was blowing hard. The sand in the air hurt. I got sand in every part of my body.

Now, at 2:30 p.m. it is raining hard as I type this. Internet connection is iff-y. but then it has been iff-y for last few days, they said 'server problems' . In the last photo you can see my friends Mary & Jerry's fortress. It sits a good way back from the beach and has some serious dunes between the house and the surf. A good thing !

I am posting some photos now of the preparations and how hte bulkhead looked right before this storm. Dave and I had worked so hard to plant wildflower seed and rye grass as a nurse crop on the recently packed and bare dirt in front of the nice flat "sidewalk" created where the left over cornice blocks had been set along the water line.
We had put out 100 feet for loose weave burlap to protect the littl esedlings, and only removed it when the broad leaf plants were pushing it up.

It cost me 2 grand to have these huge cornice blocks lined up along the water and they did a great job. The little plants had come along so nicely, I watered them lightly most ever day and if the vegetation had been in place long enuf to form a thick ground cover, I think we would have been ok, BUT, it is all washed out now. The cornice blocks are now sitting all askew and the loose dirt that did not have time to e properly, is washed away.