Sunday, August 24, 2008

Glad TS Fay Came This Weekend...

My wife and I were sitting in the screened back porch yesterday afternoon, drinking tea and watching the trees move rapidly from side to side. The wind was changing directions frequently, so we were getting the breeze and keeping dry at the same time. We were trying to decide if we were going to cook the ribs outside or inside, and were weighing the pros and cons of each. Since the worst of the weather was not yet upon us, I was afraid that if we cooked outside, the wind may change directions, blow harder, rain harder, or all of it, which would make it impossible to grill. My wife was afraid that once we started inside, the power might go out. Little did we know that the power had already gone out for the third time that day. (She happened to look over her shoulder and notice the TV was turned off...something that the kids just will not do.) Mother Nature had turned it off and it would stay off until 9 pm.

We received 9 3/4" of rain in my neighborhood from Friday night until this morning around 8am when I dumped the rain gauge for the second time. (I dumped the first 5" out at lunch yesterday.) We needed the rain, and Tropical Storm Fay delivered it. I also lost a couple more of those expensive trees that I mentioned a few posts ago.

We live 3 hours from the Gulf Coast, and it always amazes me how much damage we receive although we are so far away. It really makes me think about the people along the coast. It also makes me realize that no matter what we sometimes think, we are not the ones that are in control.

I am glad that we received the rain, and I am glad that the electricity has been repaired. Most of all, I am glad that Fay paid us a visit this weekend instead of next. What a bummer it would have been to have waited nearly a year for football season, only to have been without electricity at kickoff.

In closing, I learned today that our local Tide player, Courtney Upshaw, will get to wear his high school number from last year.

WARNING TO THE OPPOSING TEAMS: #41 will knock you out.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pre-Season Game Day?

As I have said a couple of times on this blog, I am not a fan of the NFL. So, I must confess that I am considering having an NFL pre-season football party at my house just to get things rolling until the NCAA kicks off.

This time of year drives me nuts. I pace the floor, read the newspapers (internet and paper versions), and count down the days until that first ESPN Game Day airs. My wife is sick of my counting down the days until football season, as are my co-workers. I even watch the weather channel more than often so that I can get some kind of idea of when that first day of the fall smell will be in the air.

It only makes sense to use an NFL pre-season game to kick off an NCAA pre-season party. I have a few new recipes that I want to try on my smoker, and my buddies need to work on tuning their vocal chords for the real games that are a few weeks away.

What better time to have a fake football party but during a fake football game? Right? What do you think?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another dog story...

I installed a flood light with a motion detector on the corner of my front porch the other day. A few minutes after I went to bed that night, I could see light from that flood light shining through my bedroom blinds and got up to see what it had detected.

About the time that I peeked through the blinds it turned itself off so I got back in the bed. As soon as I laid down, the light came back on and I hurried to the window only for it to turn back off.

"I really need to adjust the setting," I told my wife. It was only staying on for about four seconds.

Again, the light came on again as soon as I got back into the bed and went off as I made it back to the blind. This time, I stood at the window and stared into the darkness waiting on the light to turn back on. After fifteen minutes, I gave up and went to bed.

As I walked into the garage to leave for work the next morning, something in the front yard caught my attention. I walked around to see what it was and could not believe my eyes.

Someone's dog, with a small chain for a leash, was tangled around one of my 8 month old trees. This tree was 6 1/2' tall when I bought it for $50, and had already grown to about 8' tall. It was bent over at about 2 1/2' above the ground I assume because the dog had been trying to free itself all night. I also assume this is why the flood light kept turning on. The tree is out of the range of the light, but a dog on a leash dancing around would be in range.

I ran towards the dog so that I could help him and try to save my tree before it was further damaged. I was not quick enough. The tree broke and the dog ran out of my yard dragging the upper portion of the tree.

The 8 months of growth that I lost ticks me off more than the money that the tree cost.