Oh the Joys of Spring

Cedie is our blue eyed, blue merle, three legged Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix.

She does not tolerate throat clearing or weak coughs, motors of any kind whether electric or internal combustion, or intent to start a motor like plugging in an electrical appliance or grabbing the car keys.

Now ad one more pet peeve to Cedie’s list; she despises me cheering on my favorite team.

I was watching Carolina play basketball last night and I yelled with each bucket scored only to suffer the growls and irritated looks from Cedie.

Our planned summer decent upon the coastal fishing village of Southport will be delayed a few weeks more than planned. It seems the fellow using our space will stay a little longer than planned. He is an engineer working at the nearby Brunswick Nuclear Plant.

So it looks like May instead of Mid April is when we will park the RV, boat, and Jeep down in Southport, NC.

This is actually better for us.

Finally, I have two tickets to the Saturday and Sunday round of The Masters (angelic music and light beams from heaven streaming down on the keyboard).

The Masters (angelic music and light beams from heaven streaming down on the keyboard) is to a golfer is what Mecca is to a Muslim, what Jerusalem is to a Jew, and what Vegas is to a gambler all rolled into one.

There is no other PGA golf event that compares. The best players from the world are invited to Augusta, GA every year to play in the (you know what). Cedie is starting to growl from all the angelic music and light beams.

The tickets are worth $5,000 on Stub Hub.

This is a once in a lifetime event for me so I’ll be there, with all the rich tradition of golf, the south, the azaleas, Amen Corner, pimento cheese sandwiches and beer. I can’t wait!

Damn Wires and Do Dads

I‘ve been moving my office all week and I am sick of it. I hate moving and I hate a cheerful mover.

Right now I am down to hanging pictures and the corporate sign back up in the reception area. I tore the crap out of the walls pulling the corporate sign off the old wall.

I think we have all the computers working, printers, faxes, etc. There are still boxes to unpack and files to shred.

We bought a cool coffee maker that brews one cup at a time. You choose the flavor, pop the cartridge in the brewer, push a button and in less than a minute you have a fresh cup of great tasting coffee.

The new office is much smaller and much more expensive per square foot than the old office. It is very upscale compared to the old place. We joke about how nice the bathroom and lobby is and hope we are acting right in such a “fancy boy” place.

Seriously, people act and dress differently in this building. I went in this morning in a sweat shirt and jeans and the handful of people I saw in there on a Saturday were dressed like Muffy and Biff even on their day off. This is such a yuppie southern town.

Wait until I drive up in the Jeep with the top down with Duke and his lipstick sticking out. They’ll all faint.

I Can Save the Planet

I have figured out a way save the planet. Yep.

Well, not exactly, but I have identified a source of energy that is not harnessed.

Have you ever been downtown in a large city and noticed how women’s skirts blow up?

That my friend is wind power diverted by tall buildings down to the unsuspecting at street level.

Now consider if buildings were arranged in such a fashion where this wind could be diverted into wind mills to generate power and still blow skirts up.

That would be golden.

I’ll let someone smarter than me figure out all the details but remember you read it first here.

An Exciting Story

I use a HP laptop with Vista as my primary brain. It controls my life.

It keeps my calendar, and connects me to the world. I fax with it, email with it, blog with it, chat through it, make phone calls with it (Skype), write letters with it, read news, sports and weather with it. I store music and photos with it.

It is my constant companion.

I have a 250 GB external storage device that I use as a backup. Every night at 3 AM my trusty pc backs up data in case of a disk crash.

This morning it was full. Damn.

That was a good story wasn’t it? I’ll bet you’ll go around all day telling your friends about this.

“Wow, let me yell you about Reggie’s external storage and how he filled it up.”

You can thank me later about having something to talk about over drinks.

Now ya’ll go and have a good weekend.

Wednesday Updates

There has been no substantial improvement in the coat hanger in my lifetime. It is the same twisted wire thing of my childhood. I guess it is as good as it will ever be. I don’t know what else I could want. Maybe they should add a computer chip to it.

I get miffed when I ask someone over the phone to change my billing address and they say they can’t do it without my written permission. They can do most anything else over the phone except send my bill to the right address so I can pay it. Okay.

I was up late last night (for me) directing strong movers to my new office. These two guys got more accomplished in 5 hours than I could have done in two days with zero bitching. I would have bitched and moaned the whole time. I just paid them some money and they did the job I hate flawlessly.

Thursday and Friday are doing to be glorious days for weather here. My soul is beckoning me to head back to the lake or golf course one of those two days. I must unpack all the crap I just moved. I need to bust my butt today so I can make that happen.

I have this stately new chair arrangement in my new office. I feel like Alistair Cooke sitting there.

It's Move Day!

Today is move day for me. I will have all my stuff boxed by this afternoon and movers will come to take all my office crap to my new office during an after hours move this evening.

I hate moving because you have to face the reality of all the useless stuff you’ve collected. Plus it’s a lot of dusty work.

I have spent the last two days actually dumping drawers full of stuff. I threw out a 1984 microwave I bought from JC Penny in the same year. There was a round of applause in the office. Everyone hated that microwave. We are all certain we have some radiation damage from that appliance fossil.

The Bunn Coffee maker got a stay of execution when Ty agreed to take it and see if he could sell it on eBay.

I had tons of hard back books that made me look smart and they are gone. I had industry awards lining the shelf and most are gone. Finally I attacked the middle drawer of my desk where I keep dried up pens, old business cards and loose change.

I noticed during all of this packing that in every drawer there was one dried up rubber band and a paper clip at the bottom of each drawer. I’m not sure what that was about.

I Want to Share....

I’ve been reading a new blog lately and it makes me smile with every new post.

This is not a quiet intimate blog where you are going to meet people, but it deserves a mention because it is so well written and funny. The truth is funny sometimes.

The blog is called Stuff White People Like.

If you are a North American white person you will relate to this blog.


The Maiden Voyage

First, I want to thank Michael and Terry of St Croix. Without their knowledge and experience on their boat this would never have happened.

Yesterday was beautiful here. I packed the boat on the roof rack of the Jeep and made a makeshift motor mount for the outboard on the front bumper.

I packed the seats, oars, and life jackets in the back seat.

I drove to South Carolina with many eyes staring at my contraption as I headed down the interstate highway.

I met my friend Ty and we headed to the Lake Wylie Yacht Club for the first launch of my new boat.

We immediately drew a crowd with people asking; what is it? Will it float? How much did I pay for it?

Very soon the boat took shape and we carried it to the water. Then I followed and mounted the motor and loaded the boat.

I was curious to see how long it would take to start the motor and it stared with one pull.

We spent the next 3 ½ hours cruising the lake, testing the motor range and generally having a blast. I couldn’t believe how well the boat handled and how fast it would go at full throttle.

We stopped at a marina for a few celebratory beers then headed back to the Yacht Club.

Disassembly and packing was as easy as the setup.

Overall I am very pleased with my purchase, no regrets here.

I was amazed too that I only burned maybe two quarts of gasoline for such a long time on the water. The motor is quiet, light, and powerful.

A Nice Round of Golf

I played golf yesterday with a British fellow.

He is 10 years older than me and steeped in English tradition. He plays the game with honor and abides by the rules and protocol of golf more than most Americans.

He respects the game for the history as much as he respects the fun derived from the game.

We had a nice leisurely game of golf yesterday just the two of us, and I never felt so unabashedly Caucasian.

I Hate This

We ordered pizza in for lunch yesterday and ordered from a new trendy chain in town called Danatos.

The pizza was good. First they brought the wrong pizza and they said keep it and they’ll bring the right order in a while. Both the right and the wrong order were delicious and very fresh tasting.

But what irritates me now days is the way pizzas are cut. Someone a few years ago decide the traditional wedge wasn’t cool anymore and they decided to cut pizzas in little squares.

Technically speaking this sucks. Now with these little squares you get sauce and ingredients all over your hand. No longer is it finger food. Gone are the days when you could neatly grab a piece of pizza by the crust and begin the slow nibble down to the crust.

I hate it too if I am in a hotel and order a pizza and they never bring a napkin. Then I have to use a wash cloth as a napkin while I think about who used this cloth on what. Plus I think about what the maid thinks I did with the wash cloth. This all causes me stress.

If they would cut the pizza correctly like God intended then I wouldn't need a napkin.

I'm Strolling Down Memory Lane

I am in the middle of moving my office so I have had my head in dusty boxes all week rather than the computer. Hopefully by months end or sooner I can turn off the lights for the last time here and start anew in my newer, upscale space about 600 yards away.

The problem is moving 600 yards or 600 miles is about the same trouble.

The problem too is I get all nostalgic going through all my stuff. I have baby pictures of dogs that are old now, a hotel room key (real key) to a room in the Plaza, NY across from Central Park.

I have dozens of dried out pens, half used pile of post-it notes with company logos that went broke years ago.

There are business cards from people that I wonder what happened to them.

I found some salad crackers I swear are from George H W Bush administration. I didn’t eat them but they were still crunchy.

I have too many decorations, pictures, keepsakes. I have a film container of dirt from my first trip to St. Croix, a red stone from Sedona, AZ, a 300 year old brick from the ruins of Brunswick Town, NC.

There are dozens of electric cords, chargers and such from electronics that were long ago discarded.

My new office is smaller but nicer. I’ve sold a lot of furniture on Craig’s List and still to get rid of a few cubicles, a Bunn Coffee maker and a microwave I bought back in 1984. I still have the instruction book on how to cook a turkey in that thing. What were they thinking?

Well, enough of memory lane for now, back to packing.

Its a Real Boat Ya'll

Today was the day that I put together my boat.

At first it was as if I was trying to pry open a giant clam. Three times I lost my grip and my left leg was eaten by the beast.

Out of breath I rested and regrouped. It can’t be this hard, there is a lady with big hair on the directions that put one together by herself.

On the 4th attempt I succeeded in prying open the jaws and locking the sides apart with the handy tool provided.

Sorry, I was still in my PJs.

There, the jaws of the beast wide open.

Adding a few seats and it's starting to look like a boat.

You know me, I couldn't wait to get the lettering on. Origami. I need to get a magic marker and scribble on a 2 since her sister boat Origami is in St Croix. Then it will look like Origami squared.

I put on the bow cap and will let this thing rest in the sun for a few days to loosen the joints.


The comment has been challenged by another blogger so we’ll go to the booth for a review.

After reviewing the picture, the comment stands. There was one Topsider deck shoe clearly showing on the left foot and we have no evidence another deck shoe is on the right foot.

The challenger will be charged one time out.

I'm Making Plans

I am getting very pumped up about the boating possibilities this summer down on the coast.

Down in Brunswick County, North Carolina there are a lot of tidal creeks like Lockwood Folly that essentially are black water, undisturbed, and loaded with birds and wildlife. My boat draws 4 inches so essentially I can go most anywhere a canoe or kayak can go. Better yet I can motor where deep enough.

Lockwood Folly is navigable 14 miles inland. I have passed the suggested launch site off the highway many times and have longed to explore those quiet black waters.

Yes there are a few alligators and snakes, but from my experience the attacks are stuff movies are made of. Most gators and snakes sun themselves and look for something to eat. I’m a star and I’m not lunch.

Then there are various barrier islands like Battery Island that are bird nesting preserves. No one is allowed to land there but you are free to observe from the water.

Then there is Buzzard’s bay along side Bald Head Island. This is a shallow area of wild life to explore fit for a canoe or Porta-Bote.

There are vast stretches of deserted and isolated beaches to explore. Simply put, you may be a 500 yard boat ride from densely populated areas. The only thing separating you from the world is a strip of water and maybe 250 years of development.

I love exploring beaches that are undisturbed and undeveloped.

Curb Feelers, and Ocean Animals

I was driving home in the snarled mess of afternoon traffic when I came across a bright spot.

In front of me was this Hispanic fellow, legal I am sure, and he had pimped his ride with some old fashioned chrome curb feelers. But these curb feelers weren’t on his fenders, he had them attached to his truck lid like Christmas ornaments.

I certainly can’t make fun of him. After all, this story is coming to you from a middle aged man that put Shore Patrol on his windshield of his Jeep.

I wonder how curb feelers would look on the Jeep?

You know, a dolphin could stay under water endlessly if it weren’t for that pesky blow hole in the back of his neck. I’ve never seen an animal better equipped for water than a dolphin except for that they have to breathe air. How stupid is that?

I would have drowned my first night as a dolphin. I sleep too good to remember to breathe.

Then you look at a walrus, a big fat blob with flippers that spends most of his time on land. Don’t you think it would occur to him to get his big buoyant lard ass in the water more often?

He’s got flippers for God’s sake yet stays on land. It just doesn’t make sense.

Lighten Up People

And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

And then North Carolina saw the gathered water called seas and said, “If it’s good enough for God, let’s tax it.” And so they did.

They taxed the vessel, the motor, the ability to pull fish from the water, the sale of the vessel and motor and said, “For now you are free to look upon water for free and nothing more.”

And then North Carolina said further, “Ye shall not drink adult beverages upon the water or have an open contain thereon.”

Seeing that this was all good the Feds stepped in and said, “Ye shall carry with you certain provisions like life jackets and such or be subject to fine. You shall no longer refer to directions as left and right. It shall be called port and starboard.”

It just a 10 foot 11 inch boat people…lighten up.

A Spring Afternoon

Last weekend was so windy and cold that I didn’t get any time to play with my new boat. Today I decide to cut out early and do some chores around home and drag out the boat if I had time.

The spring onions needed mowing and the lawn mower had to be coaxed back to life. I jump started the lawn tractor and it smoked a bit then resumed life as it knew it last fall.

In no time the air was filled with the aroma of onions, dog shit, and ground up leaves.

Now I had time to drag out the hull. I unfolded the boat to reveal the Hull Number so I can register this boat. I am so glad I bought the 10 foot model because that is about all I can handle, carry and lift by myself.

Contrary to what Terry said the boat looks great. Yes it is strange looking.

The newer models have a big decal applied on each side toward the back that advertises the fact it’s a Porta-Bote. This will still leave me room for my Origami II decal and then the NC State registration number. Each side will be full of numbers or lettering.

Right now I am filling out paperwork to register the boat and motor with the state.

Oh another thing…I got my marine radio. It is so cool and it was cheap at $39 from Overton’s. I’ve been reading about all the marine channels and protocol. Plus it has weather channels and warning sirens. It tells what channel to talk to whom.

I was practicing my Mayday calls for laughs.

I really don’t know what to expect with this boat. It has been 30 years since I powered a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway. The waterway is crowded with every thing from yachts to dingies.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll drag out all the parts for a complete piecing together of Origami II.

Expect pictures and maybe video.

More Dreams

I have the ability in my dreams to effortlessly float around weightless. I do it a lot in my dreams and prefer floating to walking.

I’m not really flying per se, just levitating and floating along.

This activity is very fun and no one else seems to be able to do it. People are amazed to see me float around.

Another thing I do in dream land is smoke. Yes I am a cigarette smoker in my dreams.

Last night my filters kept breaking off so I was smoking just plain old strong cigarettes.

I have always had an active dream life.

When I was a child I would walk and talk in my sleep. I even walked in my sleep in my early marriage.

Sleep walking always evokes good stories from the people that are awake. I never remember sleep walking until I start waking up.

Finally, I am an epileptic who only has had seizures in my sleep. I guess this accounts for my abnormal night time brain function.

I am in a very active dream cycle now and look forward to sleep. The changing of the season always effects my sleep cycle.

Well, I going to shake the cobwebs out and go to work.

I'm Awake

Yes my friends, there is a Eudora 8.0. As you recall, I have been sitting here in sackcloth, heaping ashes upon my head at the loss of my trusty Eudora.

It seems that a bunch of nerds have taken the code and are making it open source. They have released Eudora 8.0 and it seems workable. I’ll have to fiddle around with it today to see if I can restore most of my old email and settings.

Now I want to pass on a warning to you youngsters. At about 50 years of age your ability to tolerate daylight saving time change diminishes. It becomes a real hardship adjusting the old body clock to new times.

I woke up at 7 AM dead on and could have slept another hour. Forget that I normally wake up at 5:30 naturally. No, my body rebelled and stacked on some more sleepy time.

I know…I could move to St Croix where they don’t follow that nonsense of clock changing. It is always Atlantic Standard Time down there.

And finally, Cedie let this squeaky, long, and very audible doggy poot at 2 AM. It woke Gigi and I up and got us laughing so hard I thought I wouldn’t get back to sleep. I did (see paragraph 4).

Steady as She Goes

It is so rare when you have a concept that you can take to reality without a hitch.

Look how perfect this outboard motor and tank fit this foldable saw horse.

I unpacked the boat and it is a beauty. There was no damage in transit.

I decided against a dry run today since the winds are gusting over 40 mph and sustained at 25 mph.

It’s so windy the dogs water bowls are white capping.

Okay Laddies! Batten Down The Hatches!

My ship came in yesterday. Yes, my Porta-Bote arrived at International Whatever trucking in Charlotte. I couldn’t wait for a Monday delivery so I ventured out in a pouring cold rain to pick up Origami II.

As I arrived home I check the mail and found a set of “Origami” lettering send from St Croix. It was cosmic…meant to be.

I took two sets of lettering down for Michael in February. Michael used one set and shipped the others back for me to use.

So now I have this long cardboard box in my truck, and another box with oars, padding and seats.

You can bet your ass that I’ll have this boat out, put together, and lettered before the day is over, that is if the gale winds will die down. See how I’m talking all nautical and stuff?

I was so excited about my new found hobby that I bought a cheap marine radio online this morning. Now I can wreak havoc on the airwaves as I travel the seas.

Excitement Abounds!

As you may recall, I am deputy Fire Marshall of the first floor. I have held this esteemed position for almost one year.

As of the end of the month I will have to give up this post since we are moving to another building.

Not once during my tenure was I called into action.

Guess what? We just had a fire and the Fire Marshall was at lunch so I was called into action.

The maintenance crew was applying new pine needles (pine straw is what we call it) to the surrounding shrubbery (bushes we called them).

Meanwhile, the interior maintenance guy flips on the outdoor light that illuminates the building at night. The powerful light ignited the dry needles and a fire raged for about 5 minutes.

There I was standing in the smoking rubble like Rudolf Giuliani examining the two destroyed shrubs.

A Fish Story

I heard an amusing anecdote at lunch today.

Two fish were swimming side by side when one of them ran into a concrete wall.

He yelled, “Oh shit!”

No, "Oh dam!"

Just Checking In...

Gigi called me at work yesterday and said, “Your ship has come in.”

I was happy at the news but wasn’t sure what she was talking about. Then I remembered that my Porta-bote was on order.

It turns out it was the 5 HP motor. I expect the boat in a few days.

I can’t wait to take the rig to the lake and break in the motor. Sounds like a nice lazy day with a picnic to me. I plan to mount the boat on the Jeep overhead rack and mount the motor on the back in the receiver hitch of the Jeep. It should all look cool and be fun.

It is definitely turning spring here. My front yard is covered in onions, actually wild garlic I am told, and the smell hangs heavy on the horse’s breath.

The tree buds are swelling and all the early flowers are out.

Now we are experiencing a few stolen warm days in trade for a few days of winter. Gradually though, spring is winning out, and I like that.

We have been fortunate this winter to get a large amount of rain. We are still officially in a drought but all the ponds and lakes are returning to normal levels.

Norwegian Nipple Piercers

I met some interesting new people on my last trip down to St Croix. I love to hear where people are from and how they got there.

“Reggie, this is Hans, he is a professional nipple piercer from the fiords of Norway.”

“Oh really”, I say as I pull up a chair. “What brought you to St Croix?”

I know now that I am in for a one hell of an interesting story about how this guy pierced nipples on some freighter, working his way across the Atlantic. Then he lived 6 years in Canada until the government outlawed Norwegian nipple piercers, so he looked south and bla, bla, etc.

On an unrelated note…

Last night I had this really strange dream. I was a sheet rock hanger and not a very good one. For some reason I preferred to work naked. All of my work was lousy.

On the third day I was warned that I had better do better job or I would get fired, and for God’s sake, put on some pants.

What was that about?

The Weekend

Shit fire and apple butter….tings haven’t been going right for me; nothing big or life threatening, just little crap.

Friday my email program Eudora got corrupt. Eudora is a very old email client and it is no longer produced or supported. I have kept email from 2001 on. I still have all my attachments from then so I’ll get by. It never worked that well with Vista operating system.

I had all my email accounts set up, filters, addresses and so on. It was like playing an old familiar piano; expect I don’t actually play a piano in real life.

I’ll miss Eudora; she’s been a friend since the mid 90’s. On to Google Mail I guess.

I drove to Oak Island yesterday to deliver the TV cabinet to my mother in law. I had one mishap when I literally popped my thumbnail between a TV and the cabinet. Blood was everywhere but it stopped soon.

On the way down and back I listened to Raw Dog comedy on satellite radio. I laughed my ass off for eight hours and nearly had to pull over at one point. I was in tears laughing all by myself.

When I got home this morning it was in the 60’s. I took the doors off Testicules the Jeep
(The Jeep formally know as Timmy the Beast) and got ready for a fun romp in the country. Everything was ready and I attempted to start the Jeep and heard, CLICK.

Hmmm, maybe the battery is dead. Nope the jumper cables didn’t help. Maybe the battery is shot. I took the battery out and had it tested at the auto parts store. Nope the battery is fine.

I called my mechanic and he said it sounded like the solenoid was stuck. I hit it with a hammer and now the click was totally gone.

No fun Jeep ride today.

And now the really bad stuff. I am watching standard definition TV off of analog cable. The TV is on the floor with dusty components all around.

My satellite HD setup is not working right so I continue suffering.

I need to get busy shopping for a Plasma TV.

Things are a Changing Around Here

Things, they are a changing here in the household as we say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.

This morning I am unloading our monstrous TV cabinet that just a few years ago was all the rage. Now it’s old and outdated and almost no one can get rid of them. We paid close to $3000 for the thing.

Fortunately my mother in law is running about 15 years behind in technology and she was thrilled with the idea of getting this fine piece of furniture, an old standard definition TV, and I tossed in an old VCR.

I’ll pack it all up this morning and drive down to Oak Island, NC to deliver it this afternoon.

Then next week I’ll go plasma TV shopping.