I Am a Quarry Cowboy

Yesterday I applied to be a Quarry Cowboy as they are referred to in these parts….a guy who hangs around the quarry and dives. Yes another private club to my esteemed list.

Basically I get a key to three quarries that are full of water to dive anytime 24/7 365 days a year. I can’t see me diving on Christmas but I could. The water stays the same temperature year round so if its 40 or 80 upside it will still be 50 at the bottom.

People dive here all the time, fellowship, grill burgers and hot dogs and practice their skills and test new equipment so that they can be proficient when they go open water in more hospitable areas.

I have made a discovery about my own desired to dive. Most people dive because they adore the wildlife that one encounters while diving. It is pretty cool to see a group of colorful fish grouped in a school around a reef…. and who doesn’t just love a freshwater brim attacking your nipple or ear.

But I really like the underwater geology I encounter. The rocks, the long trenches, cracks, coral, the walls in and of themselves interest me more than the wildlife.

The second attraction I have is the environment of being underwater, the weightlessness, the sounds, and the distorted vision.

On of my favorite spots to snorkel is Tamarind Reef beach because of the long deep trenches, fault lines they appear to be that run parallel to the beach. And the water off this beach is full of turtles and fans and all kinds of cool stuff. But I really dig the trenches and big rocks.

And nothing is like the rush I get when I come over a cliff to a drop-off and look down hundreds of feet while floating over it all. That gives me a big rush. Toss in a nurse shark and I’m red lining the happy meter.

So for me, underwater animals are an accessory.

Soon Come

Jekyll Island here we come. This will be our 18th 4th of July there and would guess our 40th trip to this South Georgia Island. Have you noticed that once I find a place I like I keep on going?

We will head out Thursday with the RV and 4 dogs and the parrot and snake our way down the river of asphalt to South Georgia for a 10 day stay.

The area is beautiful and very undeveloped. There are miles of tidal marshes and tidal creeks. I love to explore the creeks and dolphin visit in my little boat. The bike trails are flat and wind through the live oaks and Spanish moss.

This year I plan at least a two tank dive off shore and may do a two tank dive at Ginny Springs, FL if I get the time.

For now it is packing cleaning, planning and paying bills.

I did get a twinge of a kidney stone yesterday in the heat so I’ll find out where the hospital is just in case.

I did buy one of these bad boys to deal with the July heat. I’ll hang it off the RV awning.

I'm Getting Rich!

Today when it gets very hot I have decided I will come in a write a top 40 song and get rich. Don’t laugh…I really think I can.

First I need to sing it all through a voice synthesizer (Envelope Detector).

It needs to include many references to alcohol and specifically Henny (Hennessy cognac).

The location of the story should definitely be the club universal but more specifically if it is an actual location it should be a strip club.

I will have degrading lyrics about Shawty (your girl) and many sexual overtones.

I might include some lines about my car and sound system but that could be a song all its own.

I will have key uses of the “N” word that can be bleeped out for radio play.

The song really needs a few new slang terms that I can look up just to remain current and believable that I am a gangsta.

Oh I definitely need to talk about my rubber bands ($1000 rolls) of Benjamin Franklins ($100 bills).

What else….It would be great to have a very hip refrain or chorus. That’s what make Flo-rida special.

Worm Holes

I’ve been watching too many Science Channel shows I suppose on the creation of the universe and worm holes and such.

Last night I was dreaming that I was in San Diego and a worm hole opened up that would put me in St Croix for 3 hours but I would only be gone 20 minutes in real time. I had about an hour before my plane boarded so I said what the heck.

What happened is I landed in a gaudy, over colorized; almost Bermuda and Walt Disney inspired St Croix. It was not my St Croix but there were some people and places I recognized.

So I head to the boardwalk for a good ol’ Fort Christian Brew Pub beer but realized it had been converted into a Vegas Style Resort with and Egyptian theme. Why take a place that has its own real theme and create a fake theme?

I didn’t like this place and was actually staring at my phone looking at the time and waiting for the worm hole to open back up so I could make my connection and get back home.

6 Stories Down

Last night or should I say late yesterday I went diving at the Lake Norman Quarry in Mooresville, NC.

I got up to the dive shop around 5:30 PM to rent the thickest wet suit they had. It was a 5mm full body. Then my dive buddy Bruce “Batman” and I drove to the quarry.

The weather was stifling hot in the mid to upper 90’s and clouds had moved into the area.

I started setting up by taking my equipment to the staging area. We hooked up tanks and hoses and starting putting on wet suits. I was wringing wet and very hot. I put on my gloves, hood and Batman zipped me up. Then the tank and BC vest and I headed to the water to cool off. It was no relief. The surface temperature was in the upper 80’s.

We waited for a few other divers to join us and it started raining while we waited.

5 of us descended to about 18 feet when one of the divers motioned to surface. Then he motioned again so we slowly made our way up. I wasn’t sure what was going on because we had a fairly clear plan of where we were going.

The visibility was so poor from low light and temperature drop was so significant that two of the divers opted out of the dive.

The three of us continued on to 71 feet. The water was very cold at 51 degrees and the visibility was poor. I couldn’t make out my dive computer at all except for depth and I monitored my air.

I am learning to be a slow breather which is good.

At our assent around 45 feet we did a decompression stop to help rid our bodies of nitrogen and again at 15 feet. In all the dive was 35 minutes.

When we surfaced the sky was dark and it was pouring down rain. Lightening was cracking nearby. Not being a big fan of random electrical discharges under a tin roof structure I decide to pack up and head home.

As bad as this may sound I found the dive exhilarating. I have a lot to learn.

Live and learn

Today I am officially on iPhone watch. The iPhone generation 4 is being delivered to homes and stores and I will buy one when I can find one. I’m not one to campout in line day before to snap up the first run…no I walk in and order one like a gentleman when the time comes on my terms.

This means I’ll be stopping by the Apple store daily until I can find one.

This afternoon I am going scuba diving at the quarry. I absolutely hate wearing a full wet suit but I have no choice in these cold waters. I almost panic putting the darn thing on and even more so when I put on the hood and gloves. Nothing but my fat cheeks protrudes and that is quickly covered in glass.

Folks tell me now that the water has warmed up into the 50’s like this is near tropical.

In one week and a day I will be heading down the road for the annual (since 1992) 4th of July camping at Jekyll Island, GA. I’m pretty darn excited about that.

Finally, and I haven’t mentioned it much here on the blog but my house has had a contractor working on the exterior for a full year. In a series of massive screw ups, fraud, and incompetence will soon come to an end for now. All the debris will be gone, the exterior will look nicer and I will be much more of a complete ass hole the next time I hire a contractor. I ended up spending twice as much money getting half my stuff fixed correctly. Live and learn.

The Horror!

I upgraded my iPhone yesterday to the new spiffy 4.0 operating system and wiped out my settings and my entire configuration to the hand held device. The restore failed to work as well.

Being a nerd helps in times like these so I rebuilt the settings and manually restored and configured the phone better than before.

I even set the font in geezer view size so I can see the darn email now.

All is right in my world now.

Bonus Question for a drawing for a free Carolina Panther Tailgate invite. When is a rope a line?

What I Did on Sunday

Most of yesterday was spent cleaning, organizing and packing the RV basement. In there is the boat, 3 nice lawn chairs, a refrigerator, vacuum, leaf blower, various water hoses, TV cable, life jackets, tools, grill and stand, outdoor lights, hot sauces, sound system, bug spray, boat wheels and I still have to put in the beach umbrella and dive equipment, plus a small TV.

The actual hull of the boat fits in the RV all folded up.

This Will Be an Unpopular Post With Potential for Bad Acting

Observations on the Gulf Spill

I’m just dealing with the facts as I see them. Don’t get the impression that I don’t want this hole plugged.

That was one hell of an oil find. No kidding BP knows how to find gigantic deposits. Not since I saw Jed Clampit shootin’ at some food have I see so much bubbling crude just by punching a hole in the earth. We know there is a bunch of oil down there and the cat is out of the bag. We also know how to extract this oil incorrectly thanks to BP. All we have to do now is ramp up technology to get at it safely because we aren’t going to be running our cars, planes, ships and making tires and plastics on solar power and wind mills. We need the oil for a long time to come.

We also have a long list of things that don’t work when responding to an oil disaster. Thanks again to BP and our federal government.

Why hasn’t the price of oil skyrocketed? The president has shut down oil production in the Gulf yet the price at the pump is stable to slightly lower. We actually ran out of gas here in North Carolina at any price after Katrina and it was all blamed on the Gulf not producing oil inventories.

BP is now burning off the oil at the source and everyone is angry. Isn’t this what we intended to do with the oil in the first place? Now that they are cutting out the middle man and everyone is pissed off. This idea seems to be working for newly released oil. I wish they had done this all along.

I haven’t seen so much bad acting since I used to watch Mystery Science Theater. Politicians make bad actors. Henry Waxman needs to trim some nose hair. Folks act angry when the BP chairman goes for a boat ride but no one says squat when the President and VP play golf every weekend. We have the most golf playing President since Dwight Eisenhower and I don’t care. None of them have the power to stop this so let them R and R.

There will be plenty of time for punishment and regulation when this is fixed.

Spill Cheeker

I am a lousy speller so I rely on spell check more than most. I type out the sentence and red lines appear and then go back and correct whatever spell check caught.

What is strange is I then attempt to repair the word using as many letters as possible that I have already typed….like I am trying not to waste letters already on the page. It is wasteful in my mind to discard a typed word when it can be salvaged.

Day Off

Yesterday was a day off. Gigi asked if I could get some mahogany doors she found on Craig’s list and I said yes.

We talked to our contractor and he insisted he could work those old glass and mahogany doors into the remodel.

About noon I got a call from Diver’s Supply that my Spare Air filling valve was in so I ran over and got it. Now I can do my own refills on my emergency air tank.

Finally the compound had a very recent flyover by Google.

Upcoming Vacation

Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day. --Nicolas de Chamfort

As you know I am not really one to talk up a vacation so it may come as a surprise to you that in two weeks I head off to Jekyll Island for 10 days of fun.

We’ll take the RV and Origami II and this year I’ll take along the dive equipment just in case I can go offshore to a decent dive site. Of course we will take the tandem bike to ride the miles and miles of trails.

I stay in the exact same place in the Jekyll Island Campground each year. The entire campground is covered in a thick canopy of trees with one little opening there where I can pull in a Direct TV signal. So I reserve that spot on year in advance.

I also take along a 4000 watt generator because Jekyll Island has numerous power outages especially during the afternoon thunderstorms. It gets might stuffy in an RV with no power and temps in the 90’s with dew points in the 70’s. So I’m kicking back all cool watching TV while the rest of the world suffers with outages.

Never fear…I will continue to blog because while I will be in the wilderness the campground is completely wifi.

Before and After

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen.....

I just finished on of my favorite breakfasts….Old fashioned Quaker Oatmeal and a cold Diet Pepsi.

This time of year is unusually stressful. I have been dealing with my taxes…yes I flung a bunch of money at them and filed an extension last April 15. Plus I am renewing my business line of credit.

The line of credit used to be easy. I would ask, they would look at my tax returns and they would loan more than I would ever need.

Not anymore. I have to prove that I don’t need the loan and have to prove I could repay it 5 times over.

Yesterday I got to my office to find a certified letter from the IRS on my seat. I have never gotten goods new from a certified letter.

It seems the IRS wants to fine me $89 for not filing my business taxes. I did back on March 15 so I called them. They said that they received my tax return but it didn’t show up until March 28 and for that sin I must pay $89.

I asked what the postmark was on the envelope and they didn’t know. What they are going to do is pay someone more than $89 to research to see if the envelope had a March 15 postmark and they will write me again to let me know. That ought to keep them busy for a while.

Finally I just made another batch of Chipotle sauce for the fall tailgate season. I love that stuff. It’s not too hot and comes off like a strong BBQ sauce. It is great on burger and brats or most anything grilled.


Coming soon.

Been fighting the feds, the bank, the CPA and trying to make an honest living.

I Am Very Old Soon

I would prefer that every year my birthday fall on a cool date like it does this year ….the third Sunday in June. Father’s day and the US Open weekend makes for a guy’s weekend for sure.

I will turn 54 next Sunday. That is a young old person and an old middle age person.

My father and his father had massive and debilitating heart attacks at 56. It killed my grandfather in a week and put my father in a downward spiral until his death at 61. So you can imagine the death clock I have programmed in my mind,

Yesterday I was loading grain at the feed store. I was in the back of the pickup and some young buck was handing me the 50 lb bags and I was stacking. It was time for me to dismount and he had that panicked look like he was about to witness a train wreck.

“Sir… Need some help getting down?”

I jumped off the bed gracefully as I always have but it got me to thinking about my age and my perceived age.

I still feel good but am I kidding myself? Yes my back aches in the morning after any non normal exertion. My reflexes are not as keen. I don’t like to drive at night…never did but now I avoid it.

I didn’t feel well last night after excursion in the high humidity and heat of Saturday.

I have avoided many roles in life because I don’t have children. Never have I been the responsible father or the wise old grandfather that many of my friends are playing now. They were forced into roles that society dictates, behavior norms that I never had to follow.

One thing I do know is life is marching on and I do not know the end time. I decide years ago that I would try and drink up as much life experience as I could manage with out negatively affecting others.

I try to keep current with technology, music, politics, and explore new concepts in science not as a chore but because I like new things.

But at what point do I play the part of an old fool?

Mickey wisely told me something the other day and I confirmed it with my contractor. We were talking about jacking up a sagging house and Mickey said, “The house will tell you when you have jacked it up enough. You will hear it groan and creek but then you will reach a point where it says…STOP! You learn to listen for it.”

I guess I going to keep jacking life for now.

Yellow Tanks Abound

Yesterday I got home early to enjoy the heat…yes I like the stifling heat of summer.

I decide to paint the scuba tank yellow in the tradition of my swim trunks Yellow Boys.

It just so happens that my Spare Air tank came in yesterday and the only color available is yellow.

Assuming that I will be able to continue my walk among the land creatures with all these tanks I should be safe once I get in the water… and weightless.

Good Times

I have big doings this weekend. I plan to take my mower to my car mechanic to see if he can put on the mower belt. The logistics of raising that mower 3 feet to the truck bed without busting a gut will be entertaining.

First though I will drop by the office and sign a few papers between Asheville and home.

Then sometime tomorrow I will spray paint my scuba tank yellow. I have a blue boot and cap I ordered last week.

Then weather permitting I’ll continue deicing the 757…no I mean wash the exterior of my RV in completion.

Hopefully I’ll be cutting grass by late Saturday or Sunday.

And finally I won $3 in the Powerball lottery!

A Very Rare Late Thursday Afternoon Post

I have really been saving money with this Priceline app on my iPhone. Last night I stayed at the Doubletree Inn in Oak Ridge, TN. The going rate was $144 and they wouldn’t budge. I whipped up Priceline and got the room for $109. A savings of 24%.

Today Cedie and I walk up to the counter at Comfort Inn in Asheville, NC. The going rate is $89 a night. The clerk said she could not reduce the rate herself and I was welcome to book it on my phone for $59 which I did. A savings of 34%.


And now our main feature………

I take care of my stuff. I am a big believer in maintenance and keeping equipment fixed if something breaks.

So my riding mower that I bought from Home Depot 6 years ago is getting some age. It was made by John Deere. Last year I replaced the back tires, battery along with an oil change and blade sharpening.

This year I decided to resolve the gas odor, slipping belt and get an oil change and blade sharpening.

I called my usual place but they had new owners and a new name, STI TURF Care Equipment East of Midland, NC.

I arranged for the mower to be picked up. In a few days I got a call telling me that my oil had been changed and the blades had been sharpened, but……I had a crack in my gas tank and they couldn’t find a replacement belt for my mower.

Why in the hell would I want sharp blades and fresh oil if I can’t turn the blades and cannot start the motor without gas? They told me I needed to go to John Deere to get the parts which I did.

After a few days I get a call and they told me that the gas tank was on but they never could get the new belt to fit.

My mistake was I assumed they would at least put the old belt back on even if it slipped but no they didn’t.

They delivered back to me something that was once a mower and it now a slow go cart.

I called them back and they insisted neither belt would work even though the old one had been on the mower for 6 years.

So at least I have identified some idiots and if you are ever in the Midland area looking for a mower…keep driving.

A Day You Don't Get Every Day

I spent the afternoon with Micky-T and his bride the lovely Bicky.

What led to this is I needed to go to Asheville, NC to see some clients. And I always promised I would let Cedie visit East Tennessee Border Collie Rescue whenever I could because she was always their special girl and she consumed most of their medical budget saving her life one year. Plus I really wanted to meet Mic a blogging buddy and his wife so like the space missions of old I shot for all of them in a few days. After all they were all in the same general direction.

I arrived at the marina precisely on time at high noon. Mic said he would be provisioning Malihini. Cedie and I pulled in and called him to let him know I arrive and met Mic and the lovely Luca on the dock. Luca is a sweeeeet yellow lab.

Mic and I gave each other that stupid grin of two guys that knew each other so well from a blog and never met.

We talked for a while and shared a Southpaw Beer and discussed the origins of this fantastic boat Malihini.

Soon Bicky joined us and we were off down the Tennessee River having lunch.

What struck me was how nice this couple was, how passionate they are about life and how much they both loved adventure and the sea. Both are very talented individuals.

Mic is a Boatwright by trade and Bicky is a fantastic artist….although she denies this. I saw her work. Trust me she is good.

We mad our way to “The Bar” where I could see some of Mic’s handy work. Pictures don’t do this work justice. I kept rubbing the smooth wooden panels and the bar knowing that under my hands was solid mahogany, the wood of Gods. Words can’t describe the beauty of his work and the attention to detail. We sat and had a few beers and talked.

When we arrived to his home I got to see for myself the fruit of years of labor. Amazing…. This is one huge house.

I really don’t know where they fine the energy to do it all.

Thanks guys for a great day.

I Got My Money's Worth

I’ve been blinging out my scuba stuff and one thing missing was a signal whistle. I ordered this plastic one from Diver’s supply and they swore it was the loudest whistle in the world. It can be heard from a mile away. They are used when boat diving and in case you surface away from the boat you can signal your where abouts.

So I went by the mailbox and there it was. I opened it and this cheap looking little yellow whistle was in a blister pack.

I opened it and asked if it was okay to let her rip in the reception area.

I swear this whistle ranks right up there with a handgun in noise. My ears are ringing. I think I am building up to a headache.

Just Curious

I wonder if Anonymous is still lurking out there monitoring this blog for potential trespassers on Cumberland Island.

Still might try it. I'll go heavily armed with my turtle nest eating dogs.

Is that enough bait to call Anonymous out? You should be working for homeland security if you bite.

Spring Cleaning

This morning I continue to clean the RV until my back gives out. I swear washing that thing is like deicing a 757 jet. Yesterday I power washed the roof until some valve gave out in my washer arm.

Next it is time to take a brush and soap, then move to the inside for a spring freshen up. Then I’ll check all the mechanicals and declare it sound for travel.

Just last week I had a jack repaired that had been on order since last fall.

Lastly I will check tires, torque the hubs and lube the bearings. I will try and avoid the disaster on I-95 of last summer. If it does occur I will stay cool.

Found out what was wrong for the past two summers with my AC. The clutch was giving out and couldn’t keep up the demand when it really got hot. Not a problem this year.

Right now I am giving the truck a good cleaning. I have a road trip this week that takes me to East Tennessee and it will actually intersect with Micky-T. That should be fun.

My mama warned me against meeting internets people.

We Need to Laugh

I Am Impatient

People that wait 7 days to respond to an email bug me. Just stay offline if you can’t do better than that.

A person that doesn’t acknowledge an email that has a matter that needs acknowledgement bugs me.

Long quiet pauses on the phone are awkward. Don’t do it. If you brain works that slow make some notes.

Death of a Blog

I looked in my Google reader this morning and looked at the dozen of blogs I have followed over the years, most of which are dormant now. Some I really liked and some just never caught on to my fancy.

Terri has moved twice and I think Teresa has too. I don’t mind moving urls but I do mind seeing a once vibrant blog dry up and wither.

I’ve seen several people quit and then come back at a different angle and a new title. That’s fine. I like to see a continuance of what ever made you get out there and write.

For me….I guess I‘m old school now. I keep plugging away almost daily at my observations, my sick stabs at humor, my joys and low points.


When I was a kid I loved to run in the school halls in my socks on freshly waxed floors.

I have been doing a lot of education and study online. I learn and comprehend better if I read the test questions out loud.

I have been daydreaming way too much about the new iPhone release that is rumored.

Why do dogs have a little slit under their nose?

I sure could go for maybe three days back to back without torrential rain.

Help Me Please Guy

Been trying to see and buy some of this stuff for over a month now. This guy checks his email at 5AM about every 4 days and is always out of town.

I contacted him before I went to St Croix back in early may. Wonder why it’s not selling buddy?

Dude…if you want to sell your stuff be available for the transaction part of it.

Anyone see anything you want? I’ll pick it up for you if I ever get to see him.

Dive Gear - $1 (Shelby)

Date: 2010-05-05, 9:40PM EDT
Reply to: sale-ba4ab-1726710112@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Aqualung: Micra ADJ, LP Octopus, SEA 1st Stg, Environmental Kit, Yoke and DIN connectors. $250
Seaquest: XR2 Cryo/ octopus and 3 gage console (never in water) $300
Malibu RDS BC SZ L (never in water). $275
Oceanic Data Trans Plus dive Computer, Air integrated/hoseless, air/NITROX capable, Programmable. Mounted on lanyard w/ compass $150
Oceanic Mako Scooter w/ charger (needs new Batteries) $700
Spectrum Oxygen analyzer in Pelican 1200 case. $150
DUI FLX 50/50 Dry Suit (needs new seals) Polartec undergarment w/ booties $600
Wetsuit one piece 3mm (L) $50
Wetsuit Two piece 6MM (L) $75
Dive Skin (L) $15
2 Wenoka Knives, $20 ea
Dive lights Princeton Tec NIB (1) 8 cell (1) 4 cell $40 ea.
2 Used (1) 8 Cell (1) 4 cell $15
Other odds and ends
Gear belongs to a PADI instructor who had to quit diving for medical reasons.