Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Game of Tag!

I'd like to thank everyone who left such nice comments on my last post.  I have been sick these last few days so I have not been able to send out thank yous like I normally would.  I am feeling better now and am going to play one of those meme things going around because I was tagged by Mrs. Linklater and no one crosses Mrs. Linklater, LOL! 

Just kidding, Mrs. L. is a great lady and I have so much respect for the humor, insight and occasional rants I get to read when I visit her journal "Mrs. Linklater's Guide To The Universe."  One hint, though, about Mrs. L.  If she gives you the inside scoop to bet on an upcoming football game, run the other way.

To see how this game found it's way to me click on this link to her entry where I was tagged.  http://journals.aol.com/jevanslink/AskMrsLinklater/entries/2103

Okay, so here are the rules.  I must admit, I have no idea what is up with this little game, but it's simple, quick, and Mrs. L asked me to play.  So, here goes:

The rules are simple:

1) Go to your journal's archives.
2) Find the 23rd post.
3) Find the 5th sentence in that post.
4) Post that sentence with these instructions.
5) Tag five more people.

My 23rd post was titled "Running Late" and was posted on August 15,2005.


The fifth sentence was:

"In truth, I was only two minutes late, but that is not like me and I still felt the pressure I put on myself."

I'm going to tag:

Robin:  http://journals.aol.com/robinngabster/Thesearethedaysofourlives/

Dona:  http://journals.aol.com/delela1/BlueSkiesandGentleBreezes/

Celeste:  http://journals.aol.com/csandhollow/Mydayandthoughts

Carly: http://journals.aol.com/ondinemonet/Ellipsis/

Tina:  http://journals.aol.com/onemoretina/Ridealongwithme


Okay, that's six, I know, but Jimmy chose six and so shall I.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Judi's Artsy Essay

Before I get into the subject of tonight's post, let me just say that the recent natural events that have devastated such huge portions of The Gulf Coast  looms large in my mind.  I send my prayers to each and everyone affected by these storms and the horrible aftermath.

I was tempted not to post at all this week, but I will because tonight is the deadline to enter Judith Heartsong's Artsy Essay contest and I have entered every other month since I started this journal.  What propels me to enter each time is not the hope and chance to win a prize, even though it would be nice to do so, but the challenge Judi offers us to hone our writing skills and to learn more about our fellow journalists here in J-Land through the links to all the essays.  Though this contest I have been introduced to many journals I may not have discovered though any other avenue.

Judith Heartsong, Thank you for all the work you put into this contest every month and happy anniversary!  This community is truly a better place because of your presence, encouragement, and efforts.

I have copied and will paste the challenge for this month taken from Judi's own keyboard and then follow it with my entry.

If I could be any animal on Earth......


Tell us which animal you would choose to be and why. Use your imagination, your sense of humor, or keep it drop dead serious. Weave your essay into a tale, write it into a poem, illustrate it with photos if you choose.

Descriptive language and engaging writing is a must, and will earn you points. This writing exercise is about self-expression and communicating your thoughts and ideas in the way that you choose.


And remember as always: Descriptive,Descriptive,Descriptive:):):)


As dawn broke over the eastern horizon, I peeked out from my lofty perch. This was the day I was to learn to fly and I could hardly contain my excitement.

My mother had been nudging me for days now trying to get me to take that final leap, that total commitment, which would result in either the most exhilarating moment of my life or the stark terror of eminent death.

My feathers were fully developed and had taken on the coloration of my ancestors. Brown and white I was, with talons that grew sharper and stronger by the day. I was still a fledgling, however, and my muscles were mostly untested. They felt strong and yet I still resisted that leap of faith. It would be the ultimate test that would take me pell-mell right to the edge of adulthood.

All that was running through my mind was the child-like verse my mother had taught me.

Do or die,

Fall or fly,

It’s your plight

To take to sky.

Soar and dive,

Climb and hover,

Learn this skill

From your mother.

Keen of eye,

And strong of wing,

Surely you can

Learn this thing.

My mother had repeated this to me so often that it overpowered my thoughts and lived permanently etched in my mind. I knew the only way I could displace this ever-present inner chant would be to do the deed itself. Yes, today I would fly, or die trying. Which would it be?

As I peel through the years and look back on that fateful day, that same feeling of tense excitement grips me and I can recall the events.

The day dawned bright and clear. The sky was azure blue as though a shimmering pool of water had become airborne and filled the sky. Little fluffs of white on the horizon hinted at clouds too distant to be of any influence on the day’s happenings.

Hunger had started to rear it’s head and I knew my mom would be back soon with this morning’s offerings. I hoped it would be a fish, my personal favorite. Since I had gotten larger mom would bring me a fish to tear into all by myself.

I could feel the warmth of the sun coursing through my feathers. I began preening myself as I waited for the morning meal. Looking up I saw my mother carrying a fish, as I had imagined she would, while closing the distance between us. She flew over a flat outcropping of rock and did something that startled me. She dropped the fish. Landing next to me on my perch mom was now empty-handed.

I let out a cry of both surprise and dismay as my morning meal lay flapping and dying on the flat outcropping of rock far below. I became agitated and started to run back and forth screeching in mom’s direction. That’s when my mom did something that got my full attention. As I passed close by, screeching my fool head off, my mom nudged me and I began to fall.

In a panic, I reacted out of instinct and with the little training my mom had tried to impart to me. I spread my wings and flapped and I could feel the resistance with each wing beat through the air as if I was trying to grab at a non-existent tree branch that would stop my fall. I gained speed in my free fall and I beat my wings faster, and then, as if by some form of magic, I was flying. I could barely contain my excitement and I started gaining altitude instead of losing it.

I saw a chance to land on an outstretched tree limb and I took it, stumbling clumsily as I grabbed for purchase with my untried talons. Bark stripped off when I applied too much pressure to stop my forward motion. I could smell the sweet, sticky smell of resin exposed under the surface of the tree limb where my claws had dug too deep, but I had landed. I was alive!

Oh, boy, was I alive. I looked down at the fish still flapping on the rocks below and I jumped with purpose this time and cleared the tiny limbs that shot off and out from the large branch I had just occupied. I grabbed at the air and found the right speed to flap that would keep my altitude. I circled and tried to glide in order to lose altitude slowly and it worked. Down and down I spiraled keeping the morning meal in the crosshairs of my telescopic sight.

I landed next to the fish almost as clumsily as I had just landed in the tree above, but that mattered not, as I triumphantly tore into the flesh and dined on my breakfast. With each mouth full I reveled in the fact that I had taken the plunge and survived. I had passed this test that was a right of passage to every one of my predecessors and I survived! I was, indeed, an American Bald Eagle!


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Final, final Horizon Post #1

As the evening news tonight was filled with stories that all would each be headline news in their own right, and all portraying catastrophe, war, economic failure, and low performance ratings, I come here to post my final entry in the Horizons series.

The Horizons series was created as a way to provide a diversion, if just for a moment, from world and national events. I wanted to expand your view of my world by showing you my horizons then take you to see what lies therein and beyond.

I invited any that wished to, to play along and show us a little of their world too. There were some takers and here are their links. My thanks to each and every one of them. There are some creative takes on this game and I enjoyed all of these efforts tremendously.

Helen http://journals.aol.com/madcobug/MyEverydayLife/entries/1260

Jimmy http://journals.aol.com/stupidsheetguy/TalkToMe/entries/1230

Ajoleblon http://journals.aol.com/ajoleblon/RANTINGSOFASIMPLEWOMAN/entries/258

Tina http://journals.aol.com/onemoretina/Ridealongwithme/entries/1714 

Nettie www.jerseygirljournal.com  




Now, one last play, for now at least. Here is the original picture of the horizon we are going to tonight. We are facing East.

Here is the same picture with the arrow showing what spot you will be transported to.

Here is what you would see as your new horizon at that location.

You are looking at part of a giant S-curve in the Wilmington River that is taking you between Wilmington Island and the Skidaway Island and heading out to Wassau Sound. In this part of the country a bay is referred to as a sound. On the other side of the sound is the Atlantic Ocean. The sound opens right up to the ocean and offers a route out to sea.

If you pan the camera over to the left from the above shot, you will be looking directly at the shore of Wilmington Island and this huge structure is the Wilmington Plantation.

The Plantation is a condominium complex that was created from the old Sheraton Hotel. To create this condo project, they added three floors to the already existing structure. The old Sheraton Hotel was, in the fifties and sixties owned by the mob and many famous gangsters used to stay and gamble there. It was sold to the Sheraton chain and tried to make it as a legit establishment. The locally famous Thursday Night Sunset Parties were started here, as a way to draw more business and it seemed the entire town of Savannah used to turn out for these.

The hotel eventually went bankrupt and after lying dormant for years, it was sold to a developer who turned it into condos. They are very trendy units and Oprah herself has purchased one of the larger units. After the hotel failed, the sunset parties were moved to a bar and restaurant in Thunderbolt called Tubby’s. To this day Tubby’s is virtually overflowing during the Thursday Night Sunset Party.

I took these shots from a boat and was passed while I was snapping them by this sailboat. You can’t see it from this angle, but the boat was flying a German flag. I thought that was interesting.

This next shot is looking back towards the point where I snapped the original horizon shots, my point of origin, so to speak.

This is the final shot in theseries with an arrow pointing to the tower I was standing in when I took the first pictures and dreamed up this little game.

The response to this game has been overwhelmingly positive and I thank you all for the great feedback I’ve received by way of your nice comments. Thanks to you all and have a pleasant week. I’ll try and do another post Monday or Tuesday and who knows what that will be about?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Beyond The Horizon

Ahoy, mates! Well, I’ve had a fun morning sorting through all the pictures I took the other day and selecting which will be used in what I thought would be the final Horizon series of entries. I realized as I sorted things out this morning that I needed to do one more entry after this one.

There are three horizons I showed you I would go to in the original post. I would have to combine two in this entry to finish up and I don’t want to condense them, so I will try and do a final, final entry on this tomorrow night. Wednesday is Paulette’s Bingo night, so I should be able to snag the computer long enough to post again.

"Final, final entry." That struck me as funny, kind of like The Eagles’ Final Farewell Tour One that was shown recently on TV. When asked in a back stage interview why there’s a number assigned to the tour title, it was either Don Henley or Glenn Fry who said, "So we can do as many as we want. We’ll just change the number."

Okay, let’s get started. Here is the shot of my horizon looking south from our marina facility. The arrow shows you where I promised to go in order to show you what is there and what lies beyond if you were standing at that point.

This is the start of the Skidaway River as it heads south and is part of the Atlantic Intra-coastal Waterway.

Here is what you are looking at when you get to where that arrow is pointing. You are on the Skidaway River looking at the Skidaway Institute located on Skidaway Island.

Here is part of the first paragraph describing the Institute off of it’s own website:

The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO) is an autonomous research unit of the University System of Georgia. The mission of the Institute is to provide the State of Georgia with a nationally and internationally recognized center of excellence in marine science. This is achieved through the development of strong internal research programs across a broad range of subdisciplines. Research activities at the Institute are conducted onscales ranging from local economic and environmental issues to global processes and phenomena. In addition, the Skidaway Institute serves regional and state-wide educational and management needs for access to marine research facilities.

This next shot is of the south end of the property showing the public dock you can tie up to if visiting the Institute and showing a private sailboat an a mooring in the lee of the shore.

Here is a closer look at the research vessel "Savannah" The radio designation for such a ship is RV standing for research vessel. Every time this ship leaves the dock I hear on the VHF radio: "Hello all stations or any vessel! This is the RV Savannah requesting a radio check on channel 16, (said as one - six). Nine times out of ten it’s me who responds to the requested radio check. This ship conducts a lot of the work done on the Gray’s Reef Program.

Here’s a final look at the horizon stretching south from here. Around the next bend in the river is the little community of Isle of Hope. There is a marina there by the same name and the community is built around what used to be the officers’ housing area for an army post that once graced this landscape.

Now we look back north to the spot where I was when I took the picture of this horizon, (the first shot above with the yellow arrow in it).

You can’t make out much detail from this distance so I got a shot a little closer of the same vista for you to see. Notice the tower. I was on the top level of that tower when I snapped my first horizon pictures for this series.

I've heard from another who has some great horizon shots in their most recent entry.  It's Nettie, and while they are not in this exact format, you really ought to go and see them,  One is of the boardwalk and horizon and the other one is in the small box of pictures her husband shot on his latest trip on the fishing trawler he works on.


I’ll post my final set of pictures tomorrow night to finish this up. It will show the horizon in the direction that takes you out to the Atlantic Ocean. Take care and I’ll see Y’all then.

I had to come back this morning and edit in a new link.  Tina has completed her horizon entry and what a super job she did, too.  Click on the link and have a look, you'll be glad you did.  I'll post all the links of those who participated in tonight's entry.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Bring me the horizon


"Bring me the horizon!"

Captain Jack Sparrow, "Pirates of the Caribbean"

I had a great day today. The hurricane Ophelia churning off our coast has pulled all of the moisture out of the air and created a breeze for us to enjoy here in coastal Georgia. Our humidity this time of year hovers between 94% and 100% but today it was only 34%. It was a beautiful day and I was able to grab a boat and travel to my horizons and snap the pictures I wanted for my game.

Here is the first of my horizon game entries. I displayed three horizon shots because I see three horizons every day at work that I could gallivant off to if the mood should take me. Well, today it took me. I went north! Here is the shot as you saw it in my game start.

What lies in this direction is the quaint little town of Thunderbolt, Georgia. It is a small town on the outskirts of Savannah with it’s own mayor, city hall, and police department. It was, at one time, a sleepy little fishing village. There is much to do and see in this tiny town.

We are going to go where this arrow is pointing and look at the new horizon from that exact spot. We will look north.

This arrow points to where I was standing when I took the very first picture shown above.  We are looking back south again.

If you pan the camera to the right just a little you would see this shrimp dock.

There is still a shrimping industry in this town. This is one of the two main shrimp docks.

Just before you get to the shrimp docks if you are traveling from the south, heading north, you will pass Thunderbolt Marine. It is a shipyard that refits mega yachts.

There is a marina side to the shipyard that accommodates transient boaters who travel through this area. The building behind these boats docked there used to be a fabulous waterfront restaurant.

Traveling north again past the shrimp docks you will pass Condos on the shore with docks and another marina. The condos are a recent addition to Thunderbolt and not received well by the long time residents.

The final item seen on the horizon, stretching north, is the Atlantic Intra-Coastal Waterway Bridge separating what is known in this area as "The Islands" from the mainland. On the other side of the bridge is another shrimp dock and two more marinas, one with a shipyard attached. Just beyond the marinas is the cemetery where certain scenes were filmed for the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

If you traveled over that bridge heading east, you would eventually wind up at Tybee Island, well known as a resort beach community.

I will post the other horizon shots on Tuesday and end this game. I hope by expanding my horizons you are able to see not only what my community is like, seen from my vantage point, but a little about the surrounding area as I try and expand the horizon for you.

Three others have posted as I mentioned in the last entry.  They are great posts and stand on their own merit.  I encourage allto click on these links and visit them.  If any others post, leave a link in my comments section and I will come back and edit your links into this entry.  Thanks for stopping by everyone.

Jimmy http://journals.aol.com/stupidsheetguy/TalkToMe/entries/1230

Ajoleblon http://journals.aol.com/ajoleblon/RANTINGSOFASIMPLEWOMAN/entries/258

Helen http://journals.aol.com/madcobug/MyEverydayLife/entries/1260

A list of Sevens

I'm going to try and do two posts.  One right now and one when I get home after work tonight.  They both deal with games but I don't have time this morning to combine them or to post both now becasue one has to do with pictures I have to resize before I put them here.

Okay, I don't sually do the games that circulate in J-Land.  I enjoy reading and seeing them in the other journals, but I said in my last post I wanted to lighten things up for just a bit and three people have been kind enough to tag me for this one, so here goes.

Before I get into this morning's game, I want to thank the first two players to post for the Horizon Picture Game.  Click on these two links, they both did a super job and have great journals to boot!



I will do another post tonight with the first of my horizon game pics and end the game on Tuesday with the rest of my three horizons I presented. 

For today's game I want to thank:

Tammy http://journals.aol.com/memes121/RandomactsRamblings/entries/381

Courtenay http://journals.aol.com/courtenaymphelan/saturdaysix/

and Celeste http://journals.aol.com/csandhollow/Mydayandthoughts/entries/2173

Here are my answers for the game:

Things I Plan To Do Before I Die
l. I plan to visit Colorado and Alaska

  1. I want to see the great Pyramids of Egypt.
  2. I want to play music professionally again, for just a while or maybe part time.
  3. I want to see some old friends I haven’t seen in over thirty years.
  4. I want to meet as many of my J-Land friends in person as I can.
  5. I want to own one more brand spanking new car, hopefully a hybrid or a hydrogen powered vehicle.
  6. I want to live my life with love, happiness, peace, and goodwill.

Seven Things I Can Do

  1. I can safely operate and navigate boats of almost any size.
  2. I can play the guitar,
  3. I can sing.
  4. I can play the trombone.
  5. I can love and be loved.
  6. I can fix things (most of the time, anyway).
  7. I can build things.

Seven Things I Cannot Do

  1. I cannot east anything with a red spaghetti sauce without getting a little of the sauce on my clothing. I have tried for years and nope, can’t be done! (And I am NOT a sloppy eater!)
  2. I cannot fly
  3. I cannot watch anything or anyone suffer without trying to lend aid.
  4. I cannot intentionally hurt anyone or anything.
  5. I cannot use welding equipment.
  6. I cannot rebuild an automotive engine without help.
  7. I cannot build a house without help.

Seven Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex

  1. A sense of humor.
  2. A sense of adventure.
  3. I’d be lying if I didn’t say a pleasing appearance.
  4. A flirtatious glance.
  5. A nice personality.
  6. A good sense of self.
  7. A personal relationship of faith.

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. Darn it!

  1. Dang it!
  2. Yes Sir!
  3. Yes Ma’am!
  4. Paulette!
  5. Good Grief!
  6. "_____________" Standing by on channels 16 and 68!

Seven Celebrity Crushes

  1. Meg Ryan
  2. Helen Hunt
  3. Lindsay Wagner
  4. Sela Ward
  5. Morgan Fairchild
  6. Susan Sarrandon
  7. Linda Day George

This was fun, I hope you all enjoyed.  Have a great day and I'll post again tonight.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

New Horizons

The 2005 summer season is officially over. Our summer season at the marina is from Memorial Day through Labor Day. During the summer season, we increase the hours of operation. On the day after Labor Day we go back to winter hours. That means a normal workweek for me of anywhere from 40 hours to maybe 42 or 43 hours per week. This is a far cry from the 50 plus hours per week I end up working sometimes during the summer. Every day after Labor Day I take off and sleep almost the entire day. Yesterday was no exception.

I got a call yesterday afternoon asking me if I would work today as first mate on a boat taking some clients on a lunch cruise to Harbor Town on Hilton Head Island. I have never worked as a mate on a boat but I jumped at this chance to take a nice boat ride and get paid for it. Here are a couple of pictures of the boat I was to go on.


I arrived at the dock on time and got the drinks into the insulated box and iced down. The captain started the generator and we got the shore power disconnected. I saw that the refrigerator was stocked with wine and located the corkscrew and the wine glasses. We were ready to shove off and were awaiting their arrival.

As is often the case, the trip was canceled at the last moment. The low pressure system swirling off the East Coast of Florida is sending rain bands this far north already and foul weather was imminent at some point today. The clients did not want to gamble on this weather and made other plans. Too bad, I had my trusty camera with me and was ready to document the entire trip to share with you in this journal. Sieblond has an expression just right for this type of disappointment. Le sigh!

In an effort to keep our minds off of other things going on these days, I would like to play a little game. I don’t want to start anything regular, this is not about creating a group. This is just a onetime only thing I came up with that might be fun. I call the game "New Horizons."

I am going to show you three photos of my view at work. I’ll use work because it’s a much more interesting set of horizons    than what the subdivision road I live on presents. If any of you decide to play, go ahead and use subdivision roads or any horizon you encounter on a regular basis in your normal life. Diversity is what we may end up with and that is always interesting.



So here is the game. Next time I post, (which will be next week according to my usual track record in this journal), I will have traveled to the horizons shown here and I will have taken a picture of the horizon at those vantage points. I will post those pictures here so, in effect, you will be able to see beyond my original horizons. I am going to show you three pictures because I work near the intersection of two rivers and that gives me three horizons I can look to and wonder what lies beyond. With each picture I will tell you a little something about the area I am taking the picture from and you will come away knowing just a little more about my world here on the coast.

I used a paint program to draw on the same three pictures to show you where I will go by boat to take my three horizon pictures this week. Here they are.



If any of you want to play, too, I’ll post your links possibly in an interim post to let everyone see your first shots. On Tuesday, September 13th I’ll post the new horizon set of pictures and the game will be finished. I’ll post a link to all participants in that entry so we can all go see everyone’s new horizons easily. Once again, this will be a one time only game, LOL!

One disclaimer! If the low-pressure system swirling off the coast of Florida strengthens and comes my way, all bets are off on this game and I will post the new horizons as soon as weather permits a safe boat ride to take the pictures.

If no one else wants to play, that's okay.  I'm going to have fun with it and I'll still share it with the rest of you.

Friday, September 2, 2005

In The Aftermath…

I didn’t want to do an entry on Katrina. That murderous storm has received enough ink as it is. I changed my mind, though, and here we are.

I sent out notices to many of my friends here in J-Land telling about my family ties to Southern Louisiana and of my sister, Jan, and her husband, Dave. Their home is in Slidell, a town on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain. In the letter I described their home on the Pearl River and the boat they keep docked in New Orleans on the lake.

After I sent the letter out, I went back and watched more coverage on CNN and MSNBC and any other station that showed new camera shots of the area. I saw so many who had lost everything, even their love ones. I listened to Jeanne Meserve’s tear choked account of the mass devastation she had witnessed. I saw the man who told of losing the grip he held on his wife when their house split in two, never to see her again.

As I watched scene after scene of mass destruction and pile after pile of debris, I felt myself closing in and retreating within myself. This has been my lifelong defense mechanism to protect me when reality becomes too harsh to bear. I seal myself off into a private world within, where nothing can reach me and, seemingly, nothing can harm me.

I realize, though that this story is not about me and I am trying to keep that inner door open and stop my mind from shutting down. This story is about those who have lost everything, the ones whose lives will be changed forever.

As many of you know by now, both sides of my family are from Louisiana. My mother’s side of the family is from Franklinton, about 75 miles north of New Orleans. Franklinton is where my brother-in-law, Dave, went to wait out the storm. He stayed at my first cousin Bill’s house.

Jan is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves and is on active duty at Ft. Polk, located in the northern part of the state. I was talking to Jan on Sunday before the storm hit as she drove north to return to the base. She described to me the traffic and the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty the looming storm was causing.

I have heard from Jan since the storm passed. Dave and the family members in Franklinton with whom he stayed made it through the hurricane without harm. They were without phone service and electricity, but safe.

On Wednesday, Dave drove up to Ft. Polk to stay with Jan. What should have been a four-hour drive took him nine hours to navigate.

The pictures shown on TV of the Slidell area tell a story of almost total destruction. The hopes of salvaging anything from their home remains dim at this point. It will be days, maybe even longer, before it’s safe enough to even attempt to survey their house and belongings.

This story is but a small byline in a tale of epic dimensions. As all of the individual experiences are pieced together, the account of one of the worst disasters in our nation’s history takes focus. In perspective, and by comparison, my family is lucky. They survived and have a place to go for shelter. There are untold thousands who are not as fortunate.

As the days go by, the stories of horror, destruction, and despair will multiply. Let us band together as a nation and offer our prayers and aid in whatever form we can to the survivors. Let us vow to remain steadfast in our strength and loyalty and help one another make it through this most troubling time.