Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IT’S OFICIALLY SPRING

Spring is here in all its glory. The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing and the flowers are blooming. And you know what that means…. time to sell tadpoles. Now most of you are probably thinking that no one could sell tadpoles because no one in their right mind would buy them. Wrong. We proved it.

A few years back when we first started going to the flea market, my son came up with the idea of selling tadpoles. This is how it all began;

We were going to the flea market selling plants. We had a few water plants to sell as well. We thought it would be a great kid-attractor to have a minnow in the jar with the plant and it was. Kids can spot a live animal a mile away. When families were walking by our booth, more often than not, the young children would see something moving in the jars and stop to see what it was. Most of the time, the parents stopped as well. The first step in making a sale is to get someone to stop so we were on our way to a sale. If the child wanted the fish, we would offer the plant, fish and jar as a combo. It worked.

Well the next week, when my son went to catch some more minnows, he caught a few tadpoles and he asked if I thought he could sell them. I told him he was crazy but let him try anyway. He brought about 20 and planned on selling them for a dollar each. He sold out. One lady bought about 5 of them. I asked her what she planned on doing with them and she said she was going to release them in her fish pond. A few weeks later, she returned and bought more. I guess the frogs didn’t’ like living in her pond so after they sprouted legs they hopped away.

I would say that over the course of that summer, we sold over a hundred tadpoles at a dollar a piece. Not too bad for frog spawn. Now here is the interesting thing. About 1 in 20 adults questioned, didn’t know that a tadpole turns into a frog. One lady wanted to buy one and asked if it would be ok living in a dish on her kitchen window sill. She said they were cute. I told her that it would live there for about two weeks. She then asked what would happen. I told her it would climb out and hop away. She couldn’t believe it.

Maybe I am just a great salesman. How does this sound? “Chia lawn.” You take a pot, put some dirt in it and sprinkle it with grass seeds and add water. When it starts to grow, you simple cut it with scissors. This is still a work in progress but I think I am on to something. I just did a google search to see if this idea was already taken and it isn’t. However there are some other great ideas out there that I am sure you won’t want to miss. Check this out. I thought it was a joke but it isn’t. Click HERE if you want to see a truly amazing idea. Joseph is my hero.

Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hee Haw, what a day!!!



It’s been an exasperating day. And it isn’t even half over yet.

Today started out like any other day but by the time I got to work, I was ready to chew glass. It must be “See how close you can follow Greg day” or something like that because no matter which road I was on, someone was right on my bumper. Now I don’t mind if people do that and then pass at the first opportunity but these people had lots of time to pass they just wanted to get up close and personal and blind me with their headlights. So in an effort to shake one relentless tailgater, I made a quick stop at a local gas station. I figured I could shake this fool and get a nice cup of coffee to calm my nerves.


So I got to the coffee counter and poured a nice big cup of Joe and then started looking around for the creamer. There in front of me was a big sign on the cream dispenser saying; Sorry out of order. No biggie, I can always use those little tiny tubs of creamer. Well guess what. Those were all gone. But wait, I have a third backup. So I reach for the dry, non dairy creamer but my hand brushed my cup and splash, there it goes all over the counter. I looked over at the checkout counter for help but there were 10 people in line and only one person working so I took all the napkins and wiped it up as best as I could. I didn’t do a very good job because they ran out of napkins and it was a large coffee.


So after paying I headed back on the road with coffee in hand. (Yes I got another cup.) And just as I get back on the road, guess what? Another fool gets right behind me. This one followed me for 10 miles some of which was a 4 lane road so he had no reason not to go around. For the last 5 miles, I slowed down and enjoyed my coffee.


Then I get to work and the day must have changed because now it is “whine day” and everyone is whining about something. By the time 9 o clock rolled around, I am thinking about going postal and I just had to get away. I went for a walk to calm down. I took a stroll around the cooling tower pond and this is what I saw. Needless to say, I am in a better mood after seeing this beauty but I still wanted to vent a little and get it off my chest.







Things have started to get better too and we are going for Chinese at lunch. Watch out all you can eat chicken wings, here I come.

Hope you are having a great day,
Greg

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back to the Restroom.

I just read the funniest story on a blog that I found through Jenny's blog. If you go there she will link you to her friends post and I guarantee it will make you laugh. It reminded me however of a bathroom experience that I had a number of years ago.

I was in a local hardware store one day and I had just finished a large soda when the urge hit me. I knew I would never make it home so I decided to go use the men's room. This was a very large orange hardware store and they are all the same so if you know which one it is don't say but the restrooms are all in the same place. They are in the back right behind the kitchen section. When you go through the opening to the restrooms, there is an employee break room right ahead of you and the men's room is to the right and the ladies room is to the left. That tells me what they think of their employees to put their break room between two bathrooms.

So by the time I get there I am about to die and know that I don't have time to even quit shopping and make it across the street to the Mc'Nasty's bathroom. I have to go NOW! Well when I get there the situation is bad. Really bad. There is a Hispanic man there and he has just waxed the men's room floor and it is closed until the floor dries. I looked at the man with my watering yellow eyes and he saw right through them. He said; "you go ahead and use the ladies room. I will watch the door for you." He was about to clean it next and the door was open so I could see that no one was in there at the moment. I wasn't in any condition to argue so I went in.

Now you have to understand how my brain works to understand what I am about to tell you and that is just about impossible so I will just tell you what I was thinking. I get inside and I remember that the door is propped open and I start thinking about noise from standing and I decide that it would be better to sit because that would make less noise. So that is what I did. I felt more secure. So just as I get started, I hear the janitor say; "you can go in, it's ok."

Now I am thinking; well thank God it wasn't just me. Another man must have had to go really bad too. So I hear footsteps and then the person gets in the stall next to me and I notice wow that "man" is has on some small pink sneakers. Now I am trying to finish as quickly as possible but then I start thinking I can't leave until she leaves and please God don't let her speak to me because I will have to remain silent or surely get arrested for being a perv. And I am also thinking that maybe she is there for some more important business and I am totally freaking out. But quietly mind you.

Well as luck would have it, I was able to wait her out and as soon as I heard her leave the restroom I gave her a few extra seconds and then ran out myself. The Hispanic man is now gone which is a good thing because I was looking to give him a piece of my mind. So if you want to hear another funny bathroom story, go visit Jenny.

Oh and have a nice day,
Greg

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just a few more

We have more flowers in bloom. They are blooming faster than I can take photos.

This is a Tunbergia that my sister gave me.




These pansies are a little late but they keep blooming.






One of the two white Iris' bloomed. The other should bloom tomorrow. They have multiple blooms so maybe I can catch them both at the same time.






We were supposed to get rain today but all we got was a lot of wind. That broke the pollen lose and I ended up having an allergy attack. I am inside for the night now. I am praying for rain tomorrow.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Public Restroom Etiquette

Is there such a thing? Who out there knows? I am thinking that some of you bloggers may know the answer to some of these questions. I have questions, you have answers. So let’s get started.

If you go into a public restroom and someone is in a stall (I will leave it at that) and also talking on their cell phone and you come in and finish what you came to do because that’s just how you are, you don’t linger in public restrooms, is it proper to flush while this person is talking on his cell phone? I mean if I were on the other end of that phone and I heard flushing I would be disgusted. I’m Just asking.<<<< (my version of I’m just saying)

If you are one of those people who feel the need to cover the entire bathroom stall with TP before you use it, what are you supposed to do with all that TP when you finish? Leaving it draped all over everything is the wrong answer because the next person to use the stall now has to deal with it. And did you really think that the germs would hold off until you covered everything? I’m just asking.

Should cell phones (the ones that take pictures) be banned from public restrooms? I mean I don’t want some perv. taking photos in there. If you saw someone in there with a digital camera out you would freak out so why not a cell phone? Smile you may be on candid camera or someone’s blog. Who knows.

Here is something that I am just dying to know. It is for those ladies that go into the gym locker room. Does your locker room have a TV in it and if so, is it on a sports channel? Why do they assume that because you go to a gym that you want to watch sports? When I get to the gym, if no one is in the locker room, I change the channel. Haha. I like to put it on something like the shopping network just to see if someone will change it back.

So is there such a thing as Public Restroom Etiquette? If so, tell me any rules you know about.
Enquiring minds want to know. That’s me,

Ok here is a little tip for any male readers that may have wandered in here by mistake. Haha. Let’s say that sometime you get to the gym and realize that you forgot your lock. What to do, what to do? I mean someone might open your locker and take your towel or something like that. Well all you have to do is make sure your underwear are the first thing that someone sees when they open your gym bag. That way if someone does open it and sees the underwear they will immediately stop. Ladies you may not know this but it is against the law to touch someone else’s underwear. You think I am joking? I bet I could drop a pair of underwear on the men room floor and they will still be where I dropped them a week from now. It’s true.

I hope you found this information helpful.
Have a nice day,
Greg

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring has come to the Low country

For those who aren't from Charleston, it is frequently referred to as the Low country. I think that is because parts of it, including much of the City are actually below sea level. And they wonder why it floods when we get a little rain. But as I said, Spring is here, and I have the photos to prove it. My son and I with a little help from DW and my youngest son have been busy getting the plants ready. So without further ado, here are the photos I took today:





















Can you tell we like azaleas? The climate here is perfect for them and almost every yard has some.

Here is our forsythia. It is growing on a gazebo that I made.


Although my big pear tree didn't bear this year, my little one did.


Scarlet asked to see the full size of this maple tree. I pulled it up by hand many years ago and replanted it where it is.



The redbuds in the area are the best I have ever seen. Ours included.


The Dogwoods were looking good until that last cold snap. Oh well you can't have everything.



Ok you have to look closely to see whats in this picture. A friend of mine gave me some iris' a few years ago. They were supposed to be purple but a few turned out to be show white. I will have some photos of them blooming in a few days. These are the only two that are about to bloom and I think these are white.


I started about 200 tomato plants this year. What was I thinking?



And who could forget Lucy. She is still with us and has survived two dog attacks and one raccoon attack. Her two friends weren't so lucky.


The loquats were in full bloom during that last freeze. Looks like we will only have a few to eat this year.

Here is another photo of the forsythia.



Well that about does it for now. I hope you enjoyed the spring photos.

EDIT Alert:

Ok I have a confession to make. I had to start taking Benedryl at night so that I could get some relief from my allergies and get some sleep. Because of that, I am in a state of confusion most of the time. Those yellow flowers aren't Forsythia they are yellow Jasmine. We do have a yellow forsythia but it is a bush, in our back yard and has already finished blooming. Well it sounded good at the time. I also forgot to post a link to my son's blog who also has some photos of our plants. Sorry for any confusion.

Have a great day,

Greg

Monday, March 23, 2009

I got an award. Yea me.

Jenny over at Flutterbye Chronicles gave me an award.




I found her blog a couple weeks ago and now I am a regular visitor. In addition to having a great blog, she also has a great Sister in Law who just happens to be my blogging BFF. Now my son says that men aren't allowed to use the word "Fabulous" or BFF for that matter, unless you are.....well, you know, but I am going to accept it anyway. He will just have to get over it.

Thanks for thinking of me Jenny.

Two rules accompany this award(like I follow rules haha):

1. Confess 5 things you are addicted to.

2. Pass the award on to 5 deserving bloggers.

Five addictions:

1.Coffee, Some days more than others. Today coffee is the only thing keeping me going. My allergies kept me up most of the night and I am working on only 4 hours sleep. It's going to be a long day.

2.Blogging. I don’t mind admitting that I am totally addicted to it. I sometimes dream about blogging.

3.Taking pictures. If I had a dime for every photo I have taken over the years I would be rich. We have a huge drawer just full of photos. Sometimes I will have several rolls of pictures and when I finally get them developed I will find that they are several years old. I didn't say I was addicted to getting them developed, just taking them.

OK up to this point I have copied Jenny's answers but here is where we have to part ways. I have never heard of the book she is reading and I don’t get my nails done. LOL

4. Sunshine. After 20 years of living on a submarine below the ocean, without sunlight, I know I need it to survive. That’s why I get down on gloomy days and in the winter when the days are shorter.

5. Quiet time. I have to have at least a few minutes of peace and quiet every day or I go nuts. I like being around people but I have to have that few minutes of "me" time to stay sane.

Well since almost everyone I know has either done this or says that they don’t do these things, I will just invite anyone who wants to do it to fall in and tell all. So if you haven't done this already do it...NOW!!!

Have a great day,
Greg

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's a small world after all


We live on a little island just south of Charleston. It is called Wadmalaw Island and it only has around 2000 inhabitants. Most of the time, I just tell people that I live in Charleston because it is easier to find on the map. Our island doesn’t have a gas station or a grocery store. There is a very small general store that sells lunches and two businesses. One is the Tea plantation (the only one in America by the way) and the winery (Irvin house vineyards). As you may know, my wife works at the winery which is about a mile past our house. About a mile in the other direction is a small community (4 houses) that is being built by Habitat for Humanity. Most of the work there is being done by volunteers.

Yesterday at the winery, a couple stopped in that has been working on the Habitat project for the past two weeks. They came all the way from NY to work on these houses and were staying there in an RV. While they were at the winery they mentioned that today they were going back home to Alfred NY. My wife quickly picked up on the town name because that is where my mother is from. It too is a small town in the up state portion of NY. It has about 10,000 inhabitants now but was much smaller back when my mother lived there. In fact, back then, everyone in the town was either a relative or a really good friend.

After I got off work yesterday, my wife and I went up the street to visit this couple to see if I knew them or their family. When the woman came out of the RV, I almost died. She was the spitting image of my grandmother. I mean if they were side by side, you would swear they were twins although this woman was closer to my mother’s age. After introducing myself we compared notes and yes they knew some of my relatives. Remember the story a while back about “What happened to Luke”? In that story, I told about a young cousin of mine named Mike. Well this man was good friends with Mike and they even belonged to the same social club. Small world isn’t it. Now I am wondering if this woman and my grandmother may have been somehow related. A lot can happen in a small town.

Many years ago, we went to Alfred for a family reunion. Because there were so many people visiting the town, and only one motel (the Squirrels Nest Motel), some of us kids were going to stay in my cousins hunting camp which was just outside the town. It wasn’t hunting season and the place would normally be deserted. We planned on spending the night up there and then taking a nice early morning walk to see if we could spot any wildlife. And we did see some wildlife, just not the kind we expected.

That morning when we woke up, it was very foggy outside. We all headed down the dirt road being quiet so as not to spook anything that might be out there. As we walked quietly through the fog, up ahead we saw a car pulled off to the side of the road. My cousin signaled for us to be quiet as we approached the car. The windows were fogged up but not enough that we couldn’t see inside. My cousin went right up to the car and smacked it with his hand and said “morning Bob” (not his real name). The man and woman inside the car quickly grabbed their clothes and covered themselves. Then we headed down the road back to the camp. My cousin told us that the man was a prominent person in town (I won’t say who) and the lady was a waitress. They were both married but not to each other and had a total of 13 children. Talk about a small town scandal.

How is that for a small town story?
Have a great day,

Greg

Photo from Pixar

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18th, a day to remember.

It’s Wednesday March 18th and do you know what that means? Today is the first day of the spring Matrimonial Age Solstice in our house. For those that don’t understand what that means, today is the day when my better half’s age gets the closest to mine. It happens on the same day each year but it only lasts until July 27th when I again surge ahead. Yes I am talking about my wife’s birthday. Today she turns almost as old as I am but as she puts it, she will never be that old. So true.

I could give you a big rundown of her life but she is modest and so I will just say Happy Birthday Diane.” Tonight we’re going to party like its two-thou-sand-and nine”. Hold up, it is. Actually we will probably just have a quiet dinner at home and some cake and ice cream (Just for the children you know)

So here are some other notable things that happened on March 18th.

1. A man survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

2. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

3. A butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

4. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

5. A grenade was thrown into a kitchen in France and resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

6. A hole was found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

7. A chicken made it across the road and it was poultry in motion.

8. Diane was born.



So there you have it. 8 things that happened on March 18th.

Have a great day and Happy Birthday Diane,

Greg

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I have a confession. I don't know who St. Patrick is. If I had to guess I would say that he is the patron saint of green beer but I really don't know. Heck I don't know why they say patron saint for that matter. Isn't a patron someone who is buying something? That would mean a patron saint is a saint that is buying something so St. Patrick would be the Saint of buying green beer. It all makes sense now. So when is St. Matthiew's Day?

I just heard on the radio that they closed the schools in Savannah Ga today for the big celebration so he must have been someone really special. Anyone who lives around here knows that Savannah is the place to go to celebrate St. Patrick's day. That's why we stay away. I can't take seeing someone else get sick. Apparently Savannah is the place to get sick on St. Patrick's day. Sounds like fun doesn't it.

I also don't know why people pinch you if you don't wear green. But not wanting to get pinched, I did bring a green St. Patrick's day badge to wear. The real reason that I wore it today was to drive the guys that I work crazy. It is macho city where I work and these guys worry too much about being masculine. If you dare wear pink in to work, I think they take you out back and beat you. Just another guess but I would bet on that one.

Now as for the Biscuit recipe. Let me give it to you straight. Basically they are little omelets in regular biscuits. I simply made omelets with fried ham chunks, mushrooms and cheese. I made them about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long and then cut them into 3 inch by 3 inch squares and put them on lightly buttered biscuits. Man I could go for one of those right about now. If you make them today, make sure and add green food coloring.

Three hours until lunch time. I am never going to make it. Is anyone else hungry?

Have a great St. Patrick's Day,

Greg

Monday, March 16, 2009

TGIM

Thank God it's Monday. And we finally got some rain. They have been calling for rain for three days now and it finally started this evening. When I look out and see the pollen colored water puddles, It brings tears of joy to my eyes. It has been a bad couple of days for this allergy sufferer. And to add insult to injury, my home computer went down and I couldn't blog. We got it fixed today though so all is right with the world. I got my Income Taxes sent off too so I really have a reason to tear up.

Sunday was much better than Saturday. I started out making omelet biscuits for the family before we headed off to church. The service was a little different as our regular pastor was out of town. A much younger pastor filled in for him and it was.....lets just say a little different. The message was great but this guy is just a little to......how do I say this nicely? Energetic for my taste. Or maybe I am just getting to old to understand the younger generation. Oh that reminds me. Do you know if when cannibals eat preachers they get a little taste of religion? Sorry I heard that one today and couldn't resist. And did you hear about the silk worm race? They ended up in a tie. Oh I got a bunch of them.

Anyway. I am sorry that I haven't been visiting your blogs lately but I promise to make the rounds tomorrow. It has just been way too busy with taxes and work.

Have a great day,
Greg

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where is the love?

I know you have all been hearing about all this violence in the world lately but has it hit close to home where you live? It has here. Yesterday my son and I went to the Ladson Flea Market. He wanted to make a little gas money so we packed up a few plants and headed out. Despite the colder than expected weather he did make enough money for gas for the week. However during the day, tempers flared a number of times causing us to wonder if it was worth it to be there.

The day started out peaceful enough. We arrived there while it was still dark and I took my usual nap before dawn. No sense wasting that dark time. Just about dawn, I awoke to the sound of someone setting up beside me. It was a younger man and his wife and I had seen them out there before. They mostly sell odds and ends and a bunch of boat parts. Apparently he does boat repairs as his main job. Shortly after he got set up, he decided to put up a tent. It is a homemade tent and in fact he is trying to make it there on the spot. He is using PVC and a tarp and he keeps struggling. We offered to help but he angrily said no, he could do it. Well almost two hours and a pack of cigarettes later he gets the job done.

Speaking of cigarettes, the sight of the day was a woman wearing a leopard print mini skirt, flesh colored tights, a black leather jacket and high heels. Her hair was bleach blond with a pink streak in it. When we first saw her, I thought she was "smoking hot" but it turned out that she was just "smoking". Chain smoking that is. When she got closer I could see that she was about 50. I told my son that her look was a little too young for her and my son said "that look wasn't good at any age". I had to agree. Now back to my point.

Well after the struggle with the tent. This guy and his wife start drinking "coffee". Or at least I think that is what it was. They were making frequent trips to their truck and refilling their coffee mugs with "coffee". It must have been strong coffee because I noticed that the woman's speech was becoming slurred. Then the man's cell phone rang and he started a shouting match with who ever was on the other end. And then it happened. The man started dropping the F bomb. Not quietly by the way, he was shouting. And if he said it once, he said it a hundred times. People were going around our area and covering their kids ears. I couldn't believe my ears. Finally after about 20 minutes of yelling, he stopped.

The next thing we knew he started cursing at his wife and she went and sat in the truck. But that wasn't good enough for him. He started throwing things at his own truck until she got out and left on foot.

There were lots of other violent things that happened but I will spare you the details. Lets all just take a deep breath and try to calm down. Please,

Have a great Sunday,
Greg

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"The Lizard Man" Truth of Fiction

The Lizard man lives and I can prove it.

Imagine yourself driving down a deserted road late at night, when suddenly, from out of nowhere something enters your field of vision. There up ahead illuminated by your one working headlight, you see the creature. It is like something out of a horror movie. It has the body of a man but a head and tail like a lizard. It stands there with that deer in the headlight look. You swerve to miss it, almost spilling your spit cup but somehow managing to hang on to your bottle of Jack Daniels.

Fear grips you as your car skids to a stop on the edge of the road. You quickly down a few more gulps of courage before backing up to verify what you think you saw. With doors locked you slowly return to the site where the creature stood. Was it a dream or did you really see the legendary Lizard Man? There is only one way to tell and that is to investigate. After another couple more swigs of courage you stagger out of your car to look for evidence. You see nothing but as you are looking around you hear the sound of something moving back in the swamp. To the untrained person this might be mistaken for a deer or some other vermin but you know better. It was the Lizard Man.

So where did this Lizard Man come from? Well first off does it make sense that there is only one? No no. In fact there is a whole colony of them living in South Carolina. They have been seen all over the state. Usually they are seen near swamps. And not just any swamp either. Usually after investigating you will find that these swamps also contain well hidden stills. And although no one really knows where they came from, we do know that they have been around about as long as prohibition. I am working on a connection here but so far I have nothing.

Wow talk about a coincidence. After starting this story yesterday, last night I was out in my back yard taking photos and I saw something moving off in the bushes. And guess what? I was able to capture the elusive creature on film. So you my faithful readers will be the first ones to see actual photos of the beast. Yes it is true. Check out these photos;


It is right there in the middle. See that dark shape? Sorry they are a little fuzzy. Isn't that always the case.



Ok this one is easier to see even though it is still a little blurry. It is on the right side of the tree and running to the right.



Now you have to see him in this photo. He is right there on the left side of the photo and running to the left. I need to be quiet so I can get a better shot.





Now this one is much clearer but as you can see, it is very shy so it is hiding behind that tree.



So now you have to believe me. The lizard man is real, and he lives in my back yard.

Have a great day but watch out for Lizard Man,
Greg

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Giant Spider Invasion (there back!!!)


Ok who remembers that movie? Did anyone other than me see it? It was back in 1975. It was about alien spiders that attack the earth. Fortunately their attack is foiled by a heroic policeman and his trusty scientist friend. The policeman was played by a very fine actor Alan Hale Jr. of Gilligan’s Island fame. You know….The skipper. And his scientist friend was played by Barbara Hale, who is known as the scream queen from the Perry Mason episodes. With an all star lineup like that, how could they go wrong? I really don’t know why this film didn’t win an Oscar. Anyway…..

This morning on my way to work, I had my eyes peeled for deer. I wasn’t about to let one of those crafty critters attack my car again. I did see a few but they know me now as the deer bumper so they stayed well clear. So I am driving under the nice big oak trees that line our road when I see it. It’s about the biggest spider I have ever seen and it is dangling by a web. I am guessing it is about 4” long. As it is hanging there, I drive into it and it makes a big thump as it hits the window. No bug guts, just a big thump. I thought my window would shatter but it didn’t. I am telling you this thing was huge and it reminded me of that movie.

So now I am continuing to drive and I start to wonder if that thing went back up in the tree after I hit it or is it attached to the roof of my car, just waiting for me to step out so it can attack my neck and leave fang marks like a vampire. Did I mention that I hate spiders? So I begin freaking out and looking at the windows for any sign that the 6” spider is out there. I slow down a bit and then make sure all the windows are rolled up tight. I turn off the AC so that it doesn’t suck the 10” spider inside. Pretty smart thinking on my part. I am concentrating so hard on this 15” spider that a deer steps out and I almost hit it. To me that would be better than being attacked by a 20” spider.

Well I don’t see any sign of him but I know he may still be on top of my car. Finally I arrive at the gym and it is time to make a break for it. I crack the door open then immediately slam it. I was hoping to fake out the 25” spider and make him show himself. Nothing happens. So I swing the door open and jump from the car. After I am away about 10 feet I turn to make sure he isn’t following me. I am guessing that he went back up into that tree but I am not letting my guard down. I know that one day soon he will again try to attack me and this time I will be ready. I am thinking of getting a concealed weapons permit so I can have a gun in my car when he does attack me again.

You see most people would think it was a coincidence that this spider fell on my car but not me. I know better. Spiders are evil and this one is out to get me. They know I don’t like them and they don’t care for me either. As I see it, it is me or the spider and I will win this battle. Ok maybe I lost the battle but I will win the war. Did I mention that I am afraid of spiders? I am more afraid of spiders than I am of the Lizard Man. Oh I need to tell you about the Lizard Man sometime.

Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, March 9, 2009

March Madness

It’s that time again. Spring! And most people know that means March Madness. Of course that is followed by April insanity and “More of the same” May. Finally things begin to slow down in June and life returns to normal. Spring is my favorite time of year but it is the time when I am the most miserable. Not only do I not like basketball, there is evil out there waiting to knock me down.

The madness has already begun. As usual, I have begun my transformation from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. I do it every year for as long as I can remember. It is a curse that I was born with and nothing I do makes the transformation any easier. You see I have allergies. No I have really bad allergies. To tell the truth I have the worst allergies on the planet. I hate to boast but I really think it is true. I was tested some time ago and I believe I tested positive to everything that they tested for. Here are my worst enemies: Tree and grass pollen. And this time of year, they are all blooming.

Now those of you that have allergies are going to say; Have you tried this or that remedy and I have to say, yes, I have tried them all. If they make IT, I have tried IT. And just for our ex President Clinton, I will define “IT”. “It” is everything known to man. They are too numerous to mention but it is safe to say that none of them worked. The only relief I get this time of year is when I am asleep or unconscious. Now since my sinuses are stuffed tighter than a Thanksgiving Turkey and I sleep with a breathing machine for sleep apnea, I don’t get much sleep or relief. I did find that if I take about 4 Benadryl along with about a cup of Nyquil, I will pass out and then get some relief. However I can’t function the next day so that isn’t a good idea.

So all I can do is grin and bear it this time of year and have my usual fantasies. Yes I do have fantasies this time of year despite my pain and suffering. I have two predominant ones. In the first, I am a lumberjack that is out of control. I am sort of a Paul Bunyan type that goes through the forest cutting down tree after tree just so they can’t drop their evil pollen. In the end there are no trees left and so no pollen and all the allergy sufferers like me are happy. In the second fantasy, I am a chemist and I invented something more powerful than Roundup. I get in an airplane and go crop dusting over huge fields of grass and kill all the grass before It can spread it’s evil pollen. Happy fantasies aren’t they. Well they are for me.
So far today I am feeling pretty good. I am just a little stuffed and tired. I hope your day is going well too.

Have a great pollen free day,
Greg

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It ain't easy being me.

My job is not an easy one. It may seem easy but it is very difficult and unsatisfying. Every week I make up work schedules and every day the schedules don’t get followed. When I ask people why they aren’t following the schedule they make excuses and then turn the situation around and say things like “You didn’t ask us for our input." So I take that to heart and ask them what they want next week’s schedule to look like. I get no response from anyone. Ok I did get one response and it was; “I aint got time for this (insert bad word here).”

Every day at work, I try to do what is right and proper. I too make mistakes though no matter how hard I try. I actually like it when people point out my mistakes as long as they do it in a kind manner. Telling me that I filled out a form wrong is acceptable. Telling me that my work stinks isn’t. I like constructive criticism, not degrading comments. Give me something I can work with. Throw me a bone I can work with. (I love that saying)

It is frustrating and I don’t know what to do. Obviously I can’t do anything about them but maybe I can do something about me. Well today in my reading, I came across this passage;

Titus 2

6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

So it sounds like what I need to do is get my own act together so that when I give them constructive criticism they will have nothing to come back with. Well except maybe “So you think you are better than the rest of us don’t you." To which I will reply; “ No I am not perfect but I am working on being a better person. "

The truth is , I pray daily for guidance in my life. So I was surprised to see a new video at the gym the other day asking for the same thing. I knew nothing about this group so it was really interesting to hear the name "Carolina Liar." So being curious like I am, I looked up the name and guess what? The lead singer is from Charleston SC. Hey, he is from here and that is where the group’s name came from. I don’t know much else about the group or their other songs but I do like this one. It’s called “Show me what I’m looking for.” Don’t be fooled by the long hair and unshaven look. (remember what the Bible says about judging others)

Give it a listen. You might enjoy the message and the song.

Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The lord giveth and the tax man taketh away.

Well I am just about finished with my taxes. Lets just say the results weren't that good. I had hoped to break even but it looks like we will have to pay. I thought it was going to be better but when I got to the part where I get that new "tax break", I only got $150.00. Then in another section, they took away $5000.00 worth of deductions that I used to get. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out how much it helped me. Hardly the bailout I had hoped for. But at least we will be able to pay it without getting a loan. At one point, that is what I imagined we would have to do. So I am wondering. Did anyone out there, anyone at all see any relief from this bailout? Maybe I missed something. Can you claim cats as dependents? Tigger Tiger Cushing has kind of a nice ring to it doesn't it.

Well no sense dwelling on the issue. Lets just watch a short video that says it all.


video

And have a great day, They didn't take that too did they? Oh nooooooooooo they did.
Can we at least still smile for free?

Greg

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring has sprung

Well almost. It is supposed to be in the high twenties here tonight and then in the mid thirties tomorrow night but after that spring is officially here. It's just like the old saying goes about March; In like a lion, out like a lamb. And here is the lion to back it up.



OK Tigger Tiger only thinks he is a lion but that is close enough as far as I am concerned.


The plants know it is spring. This is the pear tree that I brutally cut back this past year. It has lots of new leaves on it but we aren't going to get any pears this year.




My Maple tree is blooming too. I need to take a full size photo of this tree. It is about thirty feet high. I pulled it up by hand out of our back yard about 25 years ago and planted it in the front yard. Wow has time flown.




The Camellias are in full bloom. They don't seem to mind the cold weather.





And sun is forecast for the next week here. Yea, bring on the sun. Come on, wake up sun. Apparently, the sun is asleep.



And finally here is the new flag that we got for our son. Can you tell which college he wants to go to?





I Hope you enjoyed the photos,
Have a wonderful day,
Greg

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Vacation Plans

I spent most of the weekend working on my income taxes. Now all I have to do is figure out which child I am going to sell to pay what I owe. I kept looking for those new tax breaks but there weren't any. In fact the one new credit that I heard about wasn't as much as expected. I think what really upset me was that final step where you can compare your tax return with the average American return. There are a lot of liars out there. No way do some of you pay that much to charity.

So what does this have to do with Vacation Plans you might ask. Well due to the outcome of my taxes we are going to have to make some changes in our vacation plans. Wow look, more change. We had a number of dream vacation ideas before we got bailed out but it now looks like we may have to step down a little. Here are some places we dreamed of going before all this happened:

Mount Rushmore, San Francisco, Grand Canyon, or possibly even Ireland to return to our roots. Well none of that is going to happen now but we have come up with some suitable substitutes.

Instead of going to Mount Rushmore, we may visit Mount Pleasant. It is just on the other side of the river. There isn't a big mountain there and in fact I don't even know why it has the word Mount in it's name. Maybe we can find out on vacation.

I wanted to go back to San Fran because I once visited there and loved Fisherman's Wharf. So instead of going there, maybe we can go over to the local seafood company and watch them bleach the fish that has started to spoil. That would be interesting and informative.

The Grand Canyon may be out of reach this year but Goose Creek isn't. It is where I work so maybe my family can join me for lunch one day and we will call that a vacation. Sounds fun doesn't it.

Well Ireland is definitely out for this year but all is not lost. We planted some Irish potatoes in our garden. When they come in, we will have a good old fashion potato harvest and experience what it was like growing up in Ireland.

See we can still have fun on a budget.

So what is everyone else doing for vacation this year? I bet you won't have as much fun as we will have. Carolina here we come.

Have a great Sunday,
Greg