Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Feelings

This Christmas season has been different.  I started out as I always do playing Christmas songs and trying to get more in the spirit as the big day looms. But something was out of kilter. I have read many journals in J-Land where the Christmas spirit seems hard to muster for 2006.


My heart goes out to those of you who are having a hard time of it. You will all be in my thoughts this Christmas morning.  My own worries pale in comparison to what others are experiencing and I hesitate to even mention them. I want to keep everyone in the loop, though.


We learned about ten days ago that our landlord’s father fell and broke his hip.  His father and mother are in their mid seventies and he feels the need to move them to Savannah so that family and friends can check in on them each week.  He will be renting the house to his parents when our lease expires at the end of February.  We will have to move!


So, amid all the rush and hoopla of the season, we have been looking at real estate with more of an eye towards buying this time instead of renting.  Yes, we have decided to start putting down some roots here in the Savannah area.  We’ve lived here ten years now, so I guess it’s about time.


With the added stress and time invested in looking at available housing, I have been behind in my shopping and had to play catch up with all my Christmas chores.  Finally, my shopping is all done and I only have to work until noon tomorrow on Christmas Eve.  I’ll finish wrapping all the presents when I get home.


Tonight I am going to push all of the thoughts of anxiety out the window and sit down once more with my guitar to share another seasonal song.  I hope you have a Merry Christmas come Monday and may all your prayers be answered.  Peace and Joy to you all!



Friday, December 8, 2006

Christmas Boat Parade

Are we all in the Christmas spirit yet?  This time of year provokes so many emotions on so many different levels; it’s hard to sort them out sometimes.  I start to miss family and friends I haven’t seen in what seems like forever.  I sit in quiet moments reflecting on Christmas Seasons past. 

I remember my mother, as I was growing up, always trying to provide us with a Christmas to remember for a lifetime.  She liked to get the tree up as early as possible and always tried to find something new to add to the decorations.  We would have holiday music on the stereo as we came home from school each day.  There was the planning of shopping excursions, lists being made, and something special always seemed to magically come out of the oven as we arrived.

I try and capture at least a little bit of that same feeling each year.  Time just seems to move faster as I grow older, though.  There doesn’t seem to be as many days now between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day as there used to be.  Did someone take some of those days off the calendar or did the world start turning faster? 

My mother was the type of person that liked to sing when she was happy in the kitchen.  Not by herself, but along with the radio when an old favorite would start to play.  As I got better on the guitar each year, I would pull out the Christmas sheet music and play while she puttered around singing to the tune I was playing.

Mother has been gone many years now, but every year I pull out the Christmas sheet music sometime around Thanksgiving and start practicing the old songs again.  This year has been no different.  It makes no matter that I am usually alone when I play the favored songs.  In my mind I am surrounded by family and good friends as we mangle our way through verse and note.  I still think about you Mom, and I still play our favorite songs.  God Bless You!

Christmas season on the waterfront is kicked off each year with a boat parade.  The boats are decorated like Christmas trees and, on the designated night, they motor by the viewing area in single file as each boat is judged for Most Creative, Best Overall Theme, Best Use of Lights, etc, etc… 

This was the first year our facility hosted the Thunderbolt Boat Parade, not to be confused with the Savannah Parade of Lights that was held the week before on the Savannah River.  This Parade is held yearly on the Wilmington River and meanders through the waterfront community of Thunderbolt and the surrounding area.  We really had a blast and will probably be hosting the event now for years to come.  I am not very experienced at using my camera in total darkness, so many of my shots did not come out at all and most are rather dim, but I put this collage together to give you the flavor or the event.

This next shot is one I took that afternoon because I did not think this little boat would show up very well in the darkness.  It does put a festive look to the little craft though, don’t you think?

Some of you asked about the crafts that Paulette created that were mentioned in my last post.  Her main endeavor this year has been with scented crystals.  It’s her thing, though and I am just on standby as chief gofer and bottle washer.  If she has any degree of success, you may hear more about this next year.

I’d like to end this on a lighter note and, in my attempt to get you into the Christmas spirit, I may just send you into a fit of laughter.  Let me just say now that I am not a professional singer.  This song I offer up as one of my favorite songs I used to sing with Mom in the kitchen chiming in.  Sister Jan and Cousin Lynn, if you are reading this and listening, I hope it evokes the same good memories for you as well.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, J-land; I will be posting again before Christmas.  See you all then.



Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is not just about big meals and good food;  It is a day to reflect on our blessings and to remember all that we have to be thankful for.  For me, this has always been a day to reflect on loved ones, family and friends, who touch our lives in so many ways.


My thanks today include the many friends and acquaintances I’ve made through this journal.  How lucky I am to live in an age that made this virtual community possible.  J-land has proved to be a community beyond the virtual boundaries where real and tangible friendships have been forged.   May you all enjoy the warmth of family and good friends today.  Yes, Happy Thanksgiving, J-Land.


I’d like to take a moment to right an oversight and give credit where credit is due.  When I posted my Halloween entry for trick or treat, I credited Donna at D’s designs for the graphic I used.  I forgot to give credit to Dona at, "Blue Skies and Gentle Breezes," for the Halloween theme colors and fonts used.  The instructions for the J-Land trick or treat series was to copy and paste the instructions into your post.  I was reading Dona’s journal at the time and copied and pasted from her page and completely forgot to give her a mention in my post.  Sorry Dona, it was not intentional. 


Just to make sure I don’t pull the same mistake again, my thanks to Donna over at, “This and That and Hockey!” for the graphic I used today at the top of this posts.


We have been busy at our household this fall season.  I spent an entire weekend cleaning out one of our two storage units, a holdover from the days when we lived aboard the boat we owned at the time.  I was able, with Paulette’s help, to consolidate into one unit and cut our storage expenses in half.


About that time Paulette decided to do some arts and crafts to sell this year.  That meant that I would be involved, of course.  We finished up just in time for the first crafts show we had booked into and have at least one more weekend of selling scheduled in the near future.  Yes, this fall has been a much busier season than I would have normally anticipated.


There have been a couple of interesting events at the marina since my last post.  The first one was an opportunity to get a few shots of the Coast Guard Cutter Anvil.  This is the tug and barge the Coast Guard uses to maintain the navigational markings in the Intra Coastal Waterway and in bays and harbors up and down the coast.  This work is critical to the safe navigation of these waters by commercial and recreational vessels.


This first shot shows the name on her stern.



The Anvil passes by here several times a year as it goes up and down the waterway.  I have always been just a little too late to get a good shot of her in the past, even though I really had wanted one.  The other day she stopped right in front of the marina to take some core samples of the bottom of the waterway in this area.  I was off to grab my camera in a flash and got a great series of pictures.  Here’s one more showing her in all her glory.



I have posted shots in the past of interesting things I have had to pull out of the water at the marina to dispose of.  I will probably never run out of these kinds of things to show and tell here.  A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a tree floating in the side creek part of our marina.  I couldn’t do anything about it that day due to the tide, current, and time of day.  The next day I looked for the tree and did not see it.  Whew, I thought, and started walking my rounds up and down the docks.  It wasn’t long before I spotted this tree again.  This time it was floating towards the dock at a higher rate of speed.  I watched as it hit a portion of the dock and immediately got wedged, half under the dock and half out.



I launched the tiny club work boat and got a line wrapped on the tree.  The boat was too small to pull the tree out from underneath the dock.  Thank goodness the tree lodged itself under the dock right next to our hoist system.  I was able to carefully dislodge the tree using the hoist motors.



We loaded the tree onto our work trailer and hauled it off to the back part of the property.  We’re going to let the tree dry out, then cut it up with a chain saw and stack it up for firewood.  Its a black hickory tree and will make fine firewood once it is dried.



Well, that’s about all I’ve got to share for now.  I’ll try not to let so much time elapse before my next post, but I’ve promised that before and life always seems to step in, presenting me with new situations that keep me away from the keyboard.  Take care and God Bless!  Oh, and once again, Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halloween Potpourri

I don’t know about the rest of you, but dealing with software issues is scary for me.  With that being said, here is my scary Halloween story.


I have been having software issues for a couple of weeks now.  I really enjoy getting my AOL for free these days, but I would almost be willing to pay three or four dollars a month to have that “Live Support” option returned.  I’m sure a few of you have felt the same since the “big change.”


My troubles seem to have started small with little annoying things happening like not being able to turn the computer off in the normal way.  Later, they escalated and when I got Emails with those cute video presentations, the presentations would never load and play. 


I cannot tell you how many times I clicked on the button that said click here to download the Adobe Flash Player 7 in order to see the video.  Every time I did this, nothing happened.  Well, actually the screen said that the download was successful, but I would click on the play video button in the Email again and got the same message as before.  Each time I would fiddle with my Internet Explorer settings and try again.  I would save the Email as new for days and try, try, try to get the #### video to play, but to no avail.


I got a notice on the screen this past week that one of my security software packages was about to expire and I needed to go to the link and pay more than I would at the local store to “renew” my security subscription.   Hmmm, I thought, in view of my other problems, perhaps it was time to review my entire security strategy.


I decided that I would no longer piece together a mish mash of different software for anti-spy, anti-virus, firewall, and so forth.  I would buy a total package from one of the major players and cover everything under one umbrella that would all expire on the same date next year.  The price of getting it all bundled together would be less than half of what it would have cost to buy each package separately.  Off to the store I went this weekend and was extremely pleased at the price I ended up paying for this total security package.


I spent my free time Monday uninstalling software and installing the new security package.  Everything went well enough and my computer now shuts down in the normal way and in a very timely fashion again.  What was the problem?  Well, it turns out that AOL does not support this manufacturer’s software so the security screen on AOL tells me that the firewall and antivirus software is not detected.  This was the point where I wanted to chat live online with an AOLtechnician or call them on the phone. 


I kept with it, though and got a screen up finally that told me that AOL does indeed detect that I have this security loaded and running, but since AOL does not support this manufacturer’s software anymore, it did not know the status of these programs.  At one time AOL offered security protection from this same company, then one day AOL said they no longer had an agreement with that company and that they were going with a different company for their free online security.  I guess the falling out between the two companies was not a nice one, LOL.


I finally found a way to verify that my computer was being protected even while using AOL and breathed a sigh of relief.  The next day AOL would not work right.  I could not access other journals and it took forever for AOL to recognize my password and sign me on.  Now, instead of doing the smart thing and asking other journal writers if they were having the same problems that day, I over reacted and uninstalled all of my AOL software.


I must have at least ten AOL software CD’s that I’ve received in the mail in the past couple of years.  I grabbed one and loaded it up.  Turns out it was a pretty old version compared to what I was running before I wiped AOL off the computer.  I was able to sign on quickly,but had other problems and AOL was continually sending me downloads trying to update this version for me.  I located a more recent AOL CD and removed the old program and installed the new one. 


Things are working pretty well again with all the features I’ve become accustomed to however, AOL is still taking a long time to recognize my password at sign on.  I’ll live with it!  Another day spent in front of the computer uninstalling and installing software.  Another day off burned up faster than one can say Dock Master.  At least I made it to my yearly physical in time Tuesday morning before starting the final round of software battles.


The good news is that I am the picture of health!  My cholesterol numbers were some of the lowest the doctor had seen and my PSA reading was right on target.  I have to lose some weight, but other than that I am good to go!  Whew!  I was so happy I even let them give me a flu shot while I was there.


The point of this post is to share this experience with others so they may better choose how to react if the same things start happening to them.  Had I asked some of the other journal writers about my AOL problems, I would have found out that AOL in general was having problems that day.  The problem with downloading the Flash Player 7 software was caused by some free software I had downloaded called Download Manager.  The very first time I downloaded the Flash Player, it was successful, it just would not install because of where the Download Manager program had store the installation file.  I was able to ferret it out with my file search tools and got it to install properly, but only after I got rid of the Download Manager program.


I ran the disk defragmenter program after all of this was done and my computer is running as fast as it ever has, I now have complete security across the board under one manufacturer with a common installation date, and my computer turns itself off like it is supposed to when I tell it to.  The exercise was not a loss at all.


Before I forget, I must tell you that the effort that Paulette and I put into her resume last week paid off.  In just one week’s time she has two interviews lined up both as a result of sending that resume out.  Way to go Paulette, knock ‘em dead and get that job!  I would just love to be a kept man.  Well, one can dream, can’t they?  LOL!


I had some pictures I wanted to share and tell you about.  I’ve taken up so much space just writing this time I think I’ll leave you with this pretty shot of one branch of the marina and post the rest the next time.  Happy Halloween everyone and don’t forget to set your clocks and watches back for the time change Saturday night at 2 am.








Trick or Treat through J-Land

Want to play? Title an entry "Trick or Treat Through J-Land", then copy & paste these instuctions so others can play.

Visit as many journals as you can that have a
"Trick or Treat" entry & leave comments with your links.


(My thanks to Donna at D'sDesigns for the graphic I used above.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Flowing With The Tide

I like to do my posts every Monday or Tuesday.  Here it is again, though, another Wednesday and I’m just getting this down.  Oh well, at least I’m sitting here doing it and not letting it slide this week. 

I have an excuse this time.  I was helping Paulette on the computer.  I’d better word the rest of this entry very carefully or I might end up sleeping on the couch tonight, but here’s what happened.

Paulette wanted to update her resume on the computer and did not know how to access the program or programs that we use to do our resumes with.  More than that, she wanted me to instruct her on how to use the program herself so that I would not have to help her each time.  Sounds easy and a win – win situation, right?  Well, you forgot I used the word, “instruct.”  There was trouble brewing and I was going to be right smack in the middle of it!

There is one thing you may not know about me.  I was a part-time college instructor for a two year period earlier in life.  I taught broadcast communications at a small college in Florida in the mid 1980’s.  I was working as a producer/director at one of the local television stations at the time and taught to supplement my income.  Armed with these credentials, the task at hand should be easy.  Instructor… communications… okay, should be a snap, right?  Let me just warn you right now:  I am a trained professional, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Picture this:  Paulette sitting at the keyboard with me hovering over her shoulder.  I say put the cursor over the start button, she does and I hear “click, click!”  I say, “Why did you double click on that?  It takes a single click only.”    The gauntlet is laid!

Paulette is smart and she is fast on the keyboard, much faster than I am.  She held her ground with me getting louder with each exclamation and she getting madder.  It was a fierce battle with both sides making thrusts and parries, the ultimate objective finally being met.  I don’t know how, but we ended up with a new resume and kept our marriage intact.  It took most of the day!

With all the weird weather across the country these days, I was intrigued when I saw a weather front push through our area the other day.  I had my camera handy and snapped this shot of the leading edge of the weather system.

I mentioned in a previous post about our spring tides here in Georgia.  The reference was made in regards to the marsh grass that the spring tides wash into the marina.  We have been having much higher spring tides than normal and I snapped a few pictures to show you what a difference there is here between high tide and low tide.

When I lived in Florida, I got used to tides and tidal movement.  The tides in the Tampa Bay area averaged about two and a half feet to three feet high.   Here in Savannah, Georgia, our tides average seven and a half feet to eight feet.  Recently the spring tides have been running over nine feet and it makes for some dramatic pictures.  This first picture show the ramp from our sea wall to the floating docks going upward instead of the usual downward slope we are used to seeing.

In this next set of two pictures, I stood on the sea wall and shot the ramp first at high tide and six hours later from the same spot, I snapped one at low tide.  Look at the difference!


This next shot was taken from the floating dock shooting back at the shore line.  Notice we are shooting at a downward angle towards the shore… it makes for a very strange sensation.

There is a hole bored through the sea wall near the very top of it to allow fuel lines and power lines to feed through out to the dock.  This same hole allows the salt water to pour onto shore during the extreme high tide.

This next shot shows you the ramp as seen from the water side looking down the ramp back towards shore and then there are two shots side by side showing the angle of incline as seen from the side view.


These rare and extreme high tides draw a lot of attention locally and, as I said earlier, it is a very strange sensation looking up at docks you always look down at.  Just another peek into my little corner of the world, I hope you enjoyed it.  As the sun sets in this final picture, I post this entry and wish you all the very best until next time we meet.




Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The Great Safari of '06

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I have been having with the tripod I recently acquired, and my camera, now that I have learned how to shoot in the macro mode.  The camera tripod was an early birthday present I purchased a couple of weeks ago.


Yes, I said the “B” word.  I turned 55 since my last post.  I am now officially in the prime of my life.  I’m way over the hill.  I hit the ‘ole double nickel.  Yes, that’s my age, not the speed limit.  And the clich├ęs and the adages go one, LOL.  Honestly, I don’t feel any older but I guess I am.

It’s a beautiful day at the marina and I finished my daily check list very early in order to go on a little photo safari around the property.  This shot above was taken not ten minutes ago just to give you a peek at how nice it is.  The temperatures are hitting the low to mid eighties for a high today and it will get down into the fifties tonight.  Here in southern Georgia, that’s a beautiful fall day.


I armed my self with camera and tripod and hopped into my golf cart to seek out the beauty hidden amidst the mundane.  I only had to travel about twenty feet from my dock shack to find my first target of opportunity.  It seemed hardly worth the use of the golf cart.

What you are looking at in this wide shot is an electric transformer, actually two of them, that supplies electricity to half of the marina.  Management decided to hide them behind these bushes which flower nicely and grow quickly.  Macro Man zeros in on his target!



Demonstrating his adept placement of tripod and the fact that he actually CAN center a subject in the frame, he goes in for the extreme close ups he has been stalking.



I got really carried away, so there are going to be quite a few of these in this post.  Sorry, but I threw in the very first shot above for those who stopped by just to see some boats and the water, LOL.



Here is a close up of the two blossoms.  For the next shot, I moved the tripod over and captured a vertical grouping of some of these flowers.



This next close up of the single blossom is one of my very favorite shots I’ve taken to date.



I took a few more shots for good measure and loaded my tripod and camera back into the golf cart and traveled to another far reach of the property.  Here, by a corner of a fence, is a grouping of orchid type lilies that caught my eye.  First the wide shot so you can see what I first saw before I once again became Macro Man.



Here are some close ups taken from the blossoms in this patch of flowers.






I decided to do some experimenting.  In this next shot, the flower is too high and I have to shoot up at it.  There is a bright background and because of this the blossom appears to be a little dark.  I turned on the flash option and pressed the shutter once more.  Here is the before and after.




I wanted to find a bit of autumn colors on the property, if I could.  I went to the other end of the main building at the marina and looked up to see that some leaves had changed colors in one of the trees.  I took a shot so you could get an idea of what the tree looked like, then, I zoomed in a bit.  Next, I went around the corner of the building and shot back at the tree with a different lighting situation and that produced quite a different shot, I think.





The last shot I will leave you with is one that I am really proud of.  I have admired the Spanish moss hanging from this one oak tree on the property for ages.  I’ve tried to shoot it a few times before and never felt I did justice to the subject.  I turned around after the last show of the changing leaves and realized I had never tried shooting the moss from this angle and snapped a shot that I think really captured the feeling of the old south.



The birthday celebrations were good. We had gone out to dinner for our recent anniversary, then a few weeks later for Sandy’s birthday.  I decided I wanted to stay home and order pizza, which we do not do very often anymore.  So, I had pizza, cheesecake and great company.  Now, somebody roll me over to the exercise equipment.  I have got to start working all of this off again!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Shipyard Tour!

It’s been an interesting week for me with a combination of some new discoveries, a lot of hard work, and new contact with a couple of very special people.  I’m going to share my new discovery first.


My camera has a macro setting on it.  I never knew that before.  I was reading the instruction booklet to learn more about using it as a webcam and camcorder and I stumbled across the instructions on how to use the macro feature.  Macro is just a term for extreme close up.  I recently purchased an inexpensive tripod for shooting some video so I’m all set to try the macro feature.  Here are two close up shots of some blooming flowers in the front of our house.




As you can see, I’m not an expert at framing, background, and subject matter yet, but it’s a beginning.  I was just happy that I could now focus on something that close up to the camera.


The hard work was because of a very busy weekend due to some great weather and the absence of my new assistant.  He had to go out to Wyoming to be the best man at his best friend’s wedding.  This was no surprise; he covered his need to be away this weekend in the interview process.  I had my high school part timer to help out, but he didn’t come in until 3:30 each afternoon and believe me when I tell you I was really running to keep up with it all.  I got through it and did not have even a single complaint, so all is well on the work scene.


The new contact with special people was great.  My sister, Jan, has two fine offspring whom I have lost contact with over the last couple of years due to career constraints, busy schedules, and very long distances between us. I had the opportunity to catch up with both Carrie and Evan and learn of all the happenings in their lives right now.  They are living out in Arizona at the moment.  Carrie is on active duty with the US Air Force and Evan is a food and beverage manager for a very upscale and popular restaurant out that way.


I learned that Evan has developed a vocal talent I did not previously know about and he is learning to play the guitar as well.  If I can ever get what I need in order to do some good video, I plan on exchanging tapes and tips with Evan.  He used to really enjoy listening to me play the guitar when he was a youngster.  If I can be of any help to him now, I would welcome the opportunity.


That pretty much sums up my week.  I have something else I want to share today, as well, though.  Not too long ago, I was given a tour of that big Ship Yard in Thunderbolt.  That is the yard that does the work on the mega yachts and I’ve posted some PICS in previous entries of the facility as seen from the water.  I always was curious as to how they moved those huge ships around on land to work on them and I finally got my answers.


Here is a shot of the work yard area of the facility as seen from the water.



They have a railway system that goes out on a pier.  The ship is maneuvered at the end of the pier over a platform that has supports and can be lowered into the water and raised up again with the ship resting on the supports.  This next shot shows the supports on the rail system without a ship on it.



This next shot is of the same railway system but with a ship.

You can also see one of the tractors that are used to pull the rail system with the ship on it.  This tractor has a front loader on it like a bulldozer.




There are some huge airplane hangar-like buildings that they take these ships into for certain types of work.  The different sections are called work bays.  They can move the ship off of the pier and into each work bay via a sliding track rail system. One work bay might be a paint shop; another one might be for mechanical work.  Here is a shot of the sliding rail.



The next shot is of a ship in the paint bay.



The last shot that I have to share gives you a feeling for all the activity going on at this shipyard.



So, there you have it, the Georgia Boatman’s dime tour of a real working shipyard.  I’m sure you can sleep better at night now that you are armed with all of this information.  Personally, I was thrilled to get the tour.  Until next time, I’ll see Ya on the docks!



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

VIVI Time Once More!

It’s been a very busy week for me and, as much as I enjoyed it, I am glad it’s over now.  We hosted the Leukemia Cup Regatta at the marina for the tenth year in a row.  I took my camera with me to work, but for the first time in a long time, I was not able to get away to shoot any pictures of the event.  We were hosting a big fishing tournament at the same time this year.  You know me, when there is something going on and I have my camera, I squeeze off a few shots.  That I didn’t get any shots at all should tell you just how busy we really were


Other than a couple more fishing tournaments, that is just about the last big hoopla of this year’s season.  We will settle into our winter routine in the coming weeks and I’ll have a lot more time to take pictures again.


It’s that time of year again here in J-Land, too!

The Vivi Awards will be held again this year thanks to the dedication and hard work of this year’s committee.  To put this together and pull it off takes some very hard work and all of the committee members deserve more than just a pat on the back in my humble opinion.  Thank you, to all who are

doing so much to make this happen again this year.


The Vivi Awards are a way of recognizing the excellence of our fellow journalists within the framework of AOL Journals.  The huge benefit each year to all is the exposure we all get to new journals, that is journals we have not discovered and read before.  There is so much talent here in J-Land and to be able to search through the recommended journals always turns up some great finds for me.


If you haven’t done so yet, please take the time to go to the Vivi Awards site and see all of the names that are being suggested this year.  Just click on the above link.  Go to these journals and have a read and be ready with your own opinions when the voting starts.


While I’m on the subject of new journals, I’ve been reading a couple lately that I only recently discovered.  One is an AOL Journal and the other is not.  The AOL Journal I refer to is “Comments On The Events Of My Life.”  Bill has had an extraordinary life and shares with us stories and photos.  He is a true American hero as he was one of the volunteers helping out at Ground Zero after the attacks of 9-11-2001.  His background as a former New York City police officer and a New York City fireman gives him an insightful perspective.  He just got a new digital camera and I am really looking forward to seeing him make that baby sing in upcoming posts.  Click on the above link and check him out if you get a chance.


The second new journal I want to tell you about is written by a Lady named Nancie who works for AOL and is in charge of Community Experiences here.  She has started a journal, “Hummingbird Mind,” in which she talks about becoming an Empty Nester and also updates us on new literary offerings as they appear on the scene.  Give her journal a read if I’ve stirred your curiosity.  You can find her by clicking on the above link.  If you visit any of theseor other journals you have not read before, leave a comment so they will know you’ve been there.  Even if you only say, “Hi!” all of us journal writers enjoy knowing someone has stopped by to scan our sites.


I’m off now to spend the rest of my day off experimenting with some sound and video equipment.  Who knows, I may have some very interesting (or not) entries in the coming weeks if all goes well.  Take care and I’ll see Ya next time!


Tuesday, September 5, 2006


I have a story I want to share with you about a film commercial that I was a part of years ago.  I have yet to find the pictures of that shoot, but in my search for them today, I found some of Paulette and I that were taken in 1989 during the period of our courtship.


I believe the pictures that I was searching for are now living in a box in our storage unit.  That storage unit is a ten or fifteen minute drive from here.  That’s a drive that I don’t want to make today so I decided to show you these pictures instead.  After all, these pictures live in a picture envelope that is stuffed in a drawer and are serving no purpose at all to anyone.  So, I wiped the dust off of them, popped them onto my scanner and I offer them up to you now as a glimpse into a period of our family history right about the time we were deciding to become a family.


This first shot is of me standing on the deck of the Halcyon sipping a drink as the sun falls over the yardarm.  Not that there ever was a yardarm on the Halcyon, but it’s a nautical phrase and it sounds kind of neat to say.



This next shot is of me holding up a grouper that Jack Cosgrove and I caught while trolling in the Tampa Bay ship’s channel on the Halcyon.  One of my very first entries in this journal was of that fishing trip with Jack, but the picture I used in that post showed Jack holding the fish.  To be fair, Jack hooked the fish.  By the time I got the boat into neutral and got down from the upper steering station to join Jack on the deck, Jack thought the fish had gotten off the line.  He handed the rod to me and I started reeling it in.  I, too, thought there was no fish on until the fish was reeled in close enough to see the boat.  Suddenly the rod doubled as the fish strained to get away.  Jack and I stood our ground and finally got the fish over the rails and onto the boat.



This next shot is of me holding up an eight and a half pound lobster that I caught while scuba diving with my pal, Ken Kelly.  We were about twelve miles off of Clearwater Beach diving from my twenty foot Wellcraft named Reel To Reel.  I stumbled across some pictures of the Reel To Reel today and may post one in a later entry for y’all to see.  This lobster took me three full meals to eat.  Lobster is my favorite meal right behind a good steak.  I had a big appetite even back then, so you know that this was a huge lobster.



The next two pictures are of Paulette and I as we were leaving the marina to attend a Christmas party in Tampa, Florida about a thirty minute drive north from where we kept the Halcyon docked.  It’s hard to believe we were so young.  It’s even harder to accept that we are no longer young like that, LOL!  Oh well, we are still young in our hearts and spirits and that is what matters, I guess.




Although Paulette and I were not married yet when I purchased the Halcyon, we were seriously dating and Paulette was very involved with me in the selection process.  Our lives centered on boating back then and we seized every opportunity we could to enjoy the Halcyon.  There was a little island in Tampa Bay near the shipping channel that had a perfect little cove on the protected side of it.  This little cove was perfect to anchor the Halcyon in.  We would pull up on Friday evening and drop anchor and not leave until mid day on Sunday.  Since the Halcyon had a generator, we had all the comforts of home right there at the island for the whole weekend.  This shot is of Paulette and I on the top deck of the Halcyon with the Island in the background as we motored home.  I’m sitting at the upper steering station and Paulette is right behind me sitting in a deck chair enjoying the breeze, the view and the taste of salt in the air.



I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the past with me.  I do think these photos look a lot better on here than tucked away in that drawer.  I found some pictures of film and video shoots I was on during my search through the family archives so I may show some of them soon.  Unfortunately they were not the shoot I wanted to write about today.  I’ll go to my storage unit in the next week or two and try and find the pictures I originally wanted to use today, as well.


In other news, everyone made it through the holiday weekend in one piece here.  We are still experiencing weather in the low to mid nineties and 100% humidity.  Science tells us that cooler weather is on the horizon, but it would be hard to prove to us right now.   As for me, well, I had the day off today and I stayed in the blissful air conditioning all day long.  It was a good day.  I got in a little guitar playing, took a short nap, and threw this post together.  It’s been fun, but I have some serious loafing to accomplish to finish out the day.  See you next time!