Craig's List

I have been looking for some rudimentary dive equipment on Craig’s list and eBay.

Craig’s list is still the Wild West compared to eBay where the rules are whatever the seller wants and there are no consequences for behavior.

I found one guy loaded with dive stuff in good condition …his and her dive stuff. I asked if I could only buy the men’s stuff and he said no, I would have to take all the pink stuff, the small fins and small BCD or nothing.

Then I found a guy who lived an hour away willing to piecemeal his stuff but he said he would be out of pocket until Tuesday night of next week.

I hate that term “out of pocket” and why in the hell list something on Craigs list if you aren’t going to be around to show it.

I guess I’ll have to “cool my jets” (how do you like that term mister out of pocket) and rent down on the island.

By the way I did a head count this morning and I still have 12 chickens. It was their first night camping out.

State of the Chickens Message

Today we moved the chickens from a large dog kennel to a summer home made of a chain link dog kennel.

First thing is I tried to make it varmint proof by topping the kennel with hog wire. Then I put chicken wire on the bottom portion to help deter snakes and foxes.

Then I tarped the kennel for sun and rain protection.

I made some feeders and waters from Home Depot buckets.

Strung a few branches up for perches.

This summer I'll build a connecting coop for winter and nesting boxes for eggs.

Looks like we have some diversity in the group. It appears 11 of the hens are Rhode Island Reds and one appears to be a Golden Comet.

Class of 2010

Sunday's graduation picture.

Hobby Snobs

There are several activities that involve danger and technical knowledge that allow the field to become saturated with snobs.

One is equestrian, the other diving.

Horse people have their elite techniques, equipment, opinions, etc. To me they are just dangerous, below average intelligence animals that people are stupid enough to ride.

I now own three and they are my wife’s horses.

A new horse we bought yesterday is a black and white mare paint quarter horse. I am bored typing this now. However the transaction went on for 2 ½ hours yesterday while they talked excessively about every nuance of this animal.

I was looking around for some reliable bullets and a check book so this transaction could end.

Diving is hyped in knowledge of equipment and experience. Every trainer, instructor and dive shop owner is trying to up sale you anytime you walk in their store. After all one’s life is at stake in an unnatural environment and you deserve the best.
I would like my own buoyancy control vest and my own regulator. I would like a dive computer in the instrument cluster.

The price they ask and recommend would allow me to carry a Dell PC down with me. Add the other components, weights belts, hoses, etc and one is easily looking at $2,000. No thanks. I’ll rent.

I used some fins the other day that I liked and the dive shop wanted $189 plus I had to buy boots. Are you kidding?

I will study and become an expert and then buy used.

Golf and Scuba

I’ve had a pretty fascinating weekend thus far.

I played golf for Jesus Friday in a church fund raiser. I do this annually with my twin cousins who are a year younger than me. It is the only time I see them.

We share golf, a few beers and some laughs.

The guy I was paired with was so serious that it made the event a bit stressful. He took his game too seriously and coached us on what we did wrong.

My cousin came up to me and said,”Wreg, you have to get some water when the water girl comes around.” Huh?

Turns out that she was a smoking hot 20 year old and my cousin and I giggled like school girls.

The guy I was with said, “Hey…careful…I have a daughter that age.”

It ain’t your daughter and loosen up. We’re just two very seasoned middle aged guys having some school boy laughs. Big belly laughs are few and far between when one gets old.

Yesterday I spent 5 hours in a pool getting my scuba certification. I spent maybe and hour and 30 minutes under water.

I am much more comfortable with all the equipment and things such as a mask flooding or mouthpiece falling out while underwater.

I am also very sore today and have another 5 hours of pool time ahead of me today.

Just Down the Beach

Just down the beach from Off The Wall is Spratnet Beach Bar also at Cane Bay. Same hills in the background. Cold drinks and good food. I drank a delicious Bushwhacker there last winter after driving to the tidal pools. The drive actually took us up high in those hills over 600 feet on the GPS.

Release the Kraken

My new saying whenever I can get away with it is in my best Liam Neeson accent I’ll say, “Release the Kraken.” This works well when I let the dogs out in the morning. I always get a giggle out of Gigi.

The Kraken makes appearances in many movies and is said to be a sea monster. There are many depictions of the Kraken with the latest in the remake of the 1981 movie Clash of The Titans.
Last night Gigi and I woke up around 3 for a brief conversation about the Kraken. We wondered if the Kraken was properly vetted and if so how much the vet bills would be. We wondered if the Kraken had heartworm preventative, immunizations, and was treated for parasites.

I would think one would want their Kraken to be in top shape whenever it was to be released.

Mental Vacation

13 days till I am there. This is Off The Wall at Cane Bay. Best damn pizza. I love the colors on the tables.

Planning The Fall

The NFL released our schedule yesterday and ours couldn’t be any drabber. The schedule is straight missionary style with all games starting at 1 PM. Nothing fancy here just get it over with is what the NFL is telling us. They don’t expect much from us with only one prime time game on the NFL network. We’ll show ‘em.

I got my fancy tailgate table last Saturday. It fits on the 2 inch receiver hitch and unfolds to two smaller tables that align to the right and left of the truck tailgate. This table along with my sub woofer will be a nice addition to the festivities this year.

Who needs 4 PM and prime time games anyway.

I’ve been studying my diver stuff so much I swear I’m getting the bends. It is a lot of crap to read for someone who swore off book learning as soon as I got my college degree.

Stuff in My Life

Friday didn't turn out at all how I had planned. I woke up with an old man creek in my neck so severe that I had to call off golf.

I called my massage therapist and she managed to work me in. My muscles were so knotted up that it almost made me sick to have them worked out.

I'm blaming it on IRS day and the office audit last week.

My pal and business partner came back last night from 10 days in St John. He checked his laptop instead of carrying it on board and had it stolen somewhere between St Thomas and Charlotte. Fortunately he doesn't keep anything of value on his PC except maybe some old porn cookies.

Today he went out and bought a new iPad to replace his PC.

I remember 18 years ago when he bought his first PC. It ran on Windows 3.0 and had a 40 MB hard drive and 1 MB of memory. The monochrome monitor weighed 50 lbs and it was as slow as steam off a dog turd.

Today he buys something a lot cheaper and thousands of times faster all about the size of a small magazine.

It did make him mad that his age was the next to the last category when he registered it with iTunes.

LB of Flesh Delivered

I dreamed Ludacris and I were tossing a football in a big open yard. Gigi’s mother leaned out of an open screen door and yelled,”Healthy snacks for everyone! They are blue cheese!”

I was embarrassed.

What the hell was that about?

Yesterday I delivered fruit of my labor to the Feds under threat of imprisonment. I had a good year so that made it a good year for the Feds.

Today it is golf Friday. I’m playing at a private club in Monroe, NC, home of the late senator Give ‘em Helms Jessie. Maybe old Jessie Helms played at this course.

Oh yesterday I got my Netflix player disk for the Wii. I ordered up a silly man movie and was entertained by a streaming movie for 90 minutes. All for $8.99 a month.

I didn’t have to move a muscle, go on any car rides, and not even picking up or dropping off envelops at my mailbox. This kind of defeats the purpose of a Wii but it is a nice conversion of a gadget.

Who Knows What I am Trying to Say....

I spent all day yesterday in an audit of my business. I get these once a year and they are stressful. The hard part if the prep…the mounds of documents that in their eyes relieves them of liability should anyone turn a nasty eye toward them. Plus it makes me the scapegoat and I have papers to prove it.

So most of yesterday I stand ready to explain anything the auditor has a question about.

I in turn studied for my diving class coming up in 10 days. I chose to knock out most of the written class time online.

So while I was contemplating underwater emergencies like running out of air at 50 feet I would occasionally be asked a question like, “I see you did 126 signature guarantees last year but you are missing one log entry in the signature guarantee log. Why is that?”

Who the hell knows….then I compose myself and scrape my feet, hat in hand and tell him what he wants to hear and promise I will put in systems for this to never happen again. He discretely hand me a doggie treat and I go bouncing back to my computer to study.

Next weekend I will spend two days in a pool doing my in pool stuff and then in early may I do my open water dives in St Croix and then I will be certified so that I can scrape barnacles off of your boat.

Did you notice I used the word scrape twice today and off and of in the same sentence beside each other? This is getting kinda deep for me so I’ll stop for the day.

I Survived Without It

I am a technology nut. Just today at lunch I was feeling up a new iPad at the Apple store. That is one sweet device. The picture to the left is my blog on an iPad.

With my PC and iPhone I am plugged in to the Internet during most of my waking hours. I follow news, sports, weather, the markets and converse with friends and family via email and Facebook and my blog.

This may sound hectic but I find comfort in this connectivity.

But last Friday I had to surrender my technology to the old and ancient customs of golf. You see all electronic devices including phones and rangefinders and pagers and even cameras are banned from the golf course.

It felt strange at first….like I was holding my breath under water.

Did the miners get out of West Virginia alive? What is the temperature? Damn I can’t use my Masters app for the iPhone. What did the market do today? What…did someone say a plane went down with the president of Poland?

I got up so early and in so late that I didn’t have time to catch up with the world until this morning.

The world kept turning without me. I’ll be damn.

At The End of The Day

I walked and walked every day until my calves burned and kept walking. I could feel my body burning calories and processing water. Damn I have been sitting too much of late.

The Masters was perfection…the weather, the grounds, the staff and even the bathroom. I did a number one day and the stall was cleaner than back home. They had quilted toilet paper…top shelf stuff.

There were to guys in the bathroom directing traffic and announcing open stalls. The toilets flushed automatically. The sinks, soap and towels were all automatic.

I saw a guy taunt Tiger on his set up and two guards snatched him from the crowd. He is gone and privileges revoked for life.

There were tens of thousands of happy people all four days and I was one of them.

I had long chats with a CBS Sports sound man. He had interesting stories to tell. I talked to some officials especially one old fell who had an Appalachian State ball cap on.

I struggled to stay cool in the bright sun. My face and arms and legs are brown and my feet are white. Typical golfers tan.

I sat beside an old fellow that flew in for the day. Going to the Masters was on his bucket list. He had a great time.

Masters badges and the opportunity to go are rare. I hope I can do it again one day.

Almost Live From The Masters

Perfection. The weather, the grounds, the service, the food, the golf. Heaven should be this nice.

I saw a young man cleaning the pollen off of the freshly painted green water fountain. They are into the details.

Free parking. $1.50 sandwiches. $2.50 16 ounce beers. Very cheap by most any standard.

The first two days are just warm up. Saturday and Sunday get serious.

Sport Time

I wonder if Donavan McNabb’s mama will do some new Campbell’s Chunky Soup ads since he is a Redskin and not an Eagle. God I miss NFL football. Patience, less than 4 months grasshopper.

Wreggie turns a bit snobby and Wreginald his golfer alter ego will be attending The Masters (heavenly harp music) this year. The Masters is second to none in the sporting world except maybe some screwed up soccer match between Mexico and someone, anyone else.

The grounds are perfect as will the flowers and weather. Even if it rains it is done orderly and by old and ancient rules of gentlemen.

This is when I wish I had knickers and argyle socks.

This time I will take the binoculars. There are some awesome sights to see on the other side of the green. I shall look dashing in my Masters green wind breaker along with my gigantic green and white Masters umbrella. They are calling for an orderly rain on Thursday.

And finally I shall be stripped of all electronic gadgets. Nothing…. No smart phone, dumb phone, camera, no hollow leg of good hooch. Nothing except a pair of binoculars. Dems the rules.

In Vacuum News.....

I would be remiss if I didn’t update my readers on dirt removal in the Wreggie household.

We finally diagnosed the problem with the Roomba and no it wasn’t the fact that my mother in law tried to weigh herself on it. It seems the battery died prematurely and Roomba or Irobot will replace it free.

I miss that thing making daily rounds cleaning up after me. Plus with RV season coming up I need a full time robot cleaning behind the dogs. It is a big help.

We have finally bitten the bullet and purchased a Dyson vacuum. It is a Cadillac pet hair machine. I’ll believe it when I see it. It will have its work cut out for it for sure.

The shop vac is fine…thanks for asking.

Stuff I noticed

Guys in Vegas dressed like they just picked up their clothes off the bedroom floor. Women were dressed to the nines.

My life is nearly complete yet the ability to peel a perfect hard boiled egg the majority of the time eludes me.

It’s not necessary that people postpone happiness. Enjoy life now.

It annoys me that men that work with their hands and body are call working men. Hell I work but I do it with my mind and mouth. I flap my gums for a living.

The past few days I have been working with my hands and body. My hands are swollen and my back aches. I had to take my wedding band off. I can see why working men rarely wear a wedding band.

Spring Progress

Friday I took off for religious reasons and the market was closed so I turned to transitional spring things that must be done now.

With a bath tub full of spring chickens I decided to get on with the outdoor dog kennel chicken coop conversion. Basically I am taking a 10X10X6 chain link dog kennel and putting heavy duty wire mesh on top supported by a steel tube. This should help keep out predators like hawks and owls, foxes and coyotes.

Then, I tightly tarped the kennel/coop for rain and sun protection. Next I built a waterier and feeder using home depot buckets with lids and a round planter holder. 5 gallons of water and feed should keep grown chickens going. Finally I will need to run a tight mess addition around the skirt of this kennel for added protection.

This summer I will build warmer winter roosting facilities adjacent to the open kennel.

Instead of my usual flowers around the deck I decided on herbs instead. I planted mint for mojitos, rosemary, onion chives, and lavender. This stuff smells so good. I’ll toss in a few flowers for color.

The first alfresco event will be Easter dinner where I will prepare grilled lamb.

By sundown I was tired and sweaty and decided to sit up at the barn in the quiet and enjoy a few adult beverages. It was interesting to watch the border collies work as the horses came up for the night.

Life is good.

US Airways

I am a regular US Airways flyer for two reasons. Charlotte is a US Airways hub so the majority of direct flights to most anywhere are on US Air. Plus, I collect miles from US Air and apply them the only direct flight to St Croix every winter.

The planes are sparse, no power jacks, no movies/screens, an antiquated radio of sorts on an ancient double jack system. Basically you need to bring a book or iPod to be entertained.

One must pay for food and they always run out before they get to your seat. Bring your own food and your own bottle of water.

I have found the flight attendants are getting grouchier. We know the crew on the St Croix run and they treat us rudely. Kind of hurt my feelings last time because I thought we were family.

But alas I thought this was the general state of the airline industry. And after all it is transportation at 550 MPH and 39,000 feet.

I had the chance to fly on Continental last week and I was in for a shock. It was a brand new and unblemished 737. The seats were comfortable. I got a free breakfast…everyone got one. They had live Direct TV at each seat for $6! That included pay-per-view movies that cost me $4.99 on my Direct TV.

The crew was nice and professional. They stayed up and walked the isles for 5 hours making sure everyone was comfortable and well hydrated. They walked around with trays of water and orange juice.

This flight was a joy and I paid $156 to fly from Vegas to NJ and on the Charlotte. The Charlotte leg was equally nice.

Shame on you US Airways. I know better now.

One For The Ages

Okay so we went from cold snow, warm spring days, to 87 degrees yesterday in about 3 weeks.

Oh Wreg was a bit rusty on the golf course but I managed a few mighty shots and some decent recoveries. But it came down to one mighty whiff on my number 10 tee shot that caused some pain.

You see a tiny golf ball does offer some resistance when struck properly. It is the natural course of things. But when one misses the ball entirely, ones body compensates by augering into the ground in a mass of twisted back muscles and embarrassment.

Winter for me is like a long space journey. Even though I hit the gym regularly the old body has a lot of recovery to do from 6 months of relative inactivity.

But I managed a great time. I love warm weather.

Chicks after One Week

coffee and bananas

I just discovered this morning that my wife has a secrete stash of Edison light bulbs and plans to use them in defiance of federal law. There are piles of 40s, 60s, 75s, 100s and 3 ways all ready to use and throw off the light man was intended to have.

I’d guess we need a footlocker full in addition to take us to our dirt nap.

When I was younger I used to worry about getting enough coffee and bananas. I reasoned that because they were such an exotic items that any interruption in transportation would interrupt my coffee and bananas.

Looks like I’ll have plenty of both for the foreseeable future.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Girl Scout cookies and light bulbs would be threatened. The girl scout cookies suck now.