Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Saturday at Epcot

Saturday of our Disney weekend was fun, but tiring.

We started off by getting up early to hear the Wyndam time share sales spiel. (Aren’t we on vacation?) This was suggested by my sister-in-law who pointed out that the incentive was a $100 American Express gift card.

The one and a half hour presentation grew into three hours. The “no pressure” sales pitch turned into “won’t take no for an answer.” Actually, Mrs Poolman and I nearly got up, told them to keep their gift card and walked away. We didn’t though, and the gift card has paid for several good meals since then.

Mrs. P and I did cut a deal however. We both agreed that if either of us suggests sitting through a time-share sales presentation in the future, the other party has grounds for divorce.

After we escaped from the clutches of the time-share sales reps, we headed out to Epcot. Although we have been to Disney many times, I don’t believe I have ever been to Epcot. We started the same way you do everything at Disney, standing in line.

Get used to lines.


We got a “fast pass” to the “Test Track.”

This isn't us. Duh.

We tried to “fast pass” the “Soaring” ride, which everyone says is outstanding, but we were too late. We did all the usual “stuff”.  We shopped around some of the international pavilions for dinner and ended up at the Moraccan restaurant.

Cafe Tangierine

We had a variety of lamb and chicken combos and sandwiches and were quite happy with it. Their sides of tabouli and cuscus was were really very good. And for Disney, the price was not bad. Mrs. P’s and my total came to just $33.

Tomorrow – no time share sales pitch. We have the Animal Kingdom on the schedule.


A few more Georgia jokes

Tomorrow is the Florida-Georgia game, so I need to get a few more Georgia jokes out of my system. After tomorrow’s game, I may not have the opportunity again for a year.

There was a couple who were getting a divorced, so the judge said to
the child, “Who do you want to live with? Do you want to live with
your Dad?”

“No,’ said the child, “he beats me.”

“Do you want to live with your Mom then?” “No, she beats me too”.

“Well who do you want to live with?”

“I want to live with a Dawg fan,” said the little girl,. “Because they can’t beat anybody that’s good.”

*    *    *

A Georgia grad was hunting in the woods. He came upon a
beautiful woman laying naked in the grass. “Are you game?” He
asked. The women said “yes”. So he shot her.

*   *   *

Did you hear that they can’t have any more parties at Georgia?

The guy who knew the recipe for ice graduated.

OK. It’s out of my system…for now.

Go Gators! Let’s  make it 19 of the past 22.


Off to Mouseland!

We took a few days off last weekend to join Mrs. Poolman’s older sister and husband in Orlando. They traded with some friends —  a week at their mountain house for a week at the Wyndam Bonnet Creek Resort at Disney World. They had a three bedroom condo and asked us if we could join them for a few days. Of course we said, “Ah, yes!”

Windam Resort Bonnet Creek

Our condo

Mrs. P and I actually spent our honeymoon at Disney World – way back in 1976 when the area around the park was a tiny fraction of the development there now. And the only Disney developments were the Magic Kingdom and a few other small auxiliaries, like “River Country” which no longer exists. Even EPCOT didn’t open until around 1978.

We also lived in Orlando in 1979-80 when I worked for the ABC affiliate there. Poolboy was born in Orlando. So while it’s safe to assume we have some familiarity with the area, the tourist section of the area has change dramatically.

We drove down from Savannah on Friday and met B & D at the condo. It is rather high-end and very nice.

On Friday night, we treated our hosts to dinner at Bahama Breeze. This is a chain restaurant of the Longhorn Steakhouse – Olive Garden family, but it is very good. I wish they had one in Savannah. I had the shrimp and grits off the daily special menu and was very happy. Mrs. Poolman had a grilled chicken with mashed potatoes, a cilantro-cream sauce and cheese.

Grilled checken with cilantro crema

I had to taste it. It was heavenly. We will try to duplicate it at home sometime soon. Both our guests also enjoyed their dishes. I thought my brother-in-law was going to lick the plate, but he restrained himself.  The bill for four adults (without alcohol or tip) came to right-at $75. That’s not bad at all for a tourist area. Two thumbs-up for Bahama Breeze.

Tomorrow, we will be sitting through a time-share demonstration and then off to Epcot.


Florida-Georgia game this weekend

In honor of the annual Florida-Georgia game, I need to get a few shots in. We will have our usual viewing party, but I’m not real confident we will be happy about the game’s outcome.

So for all my Georgia-fan friends,here is something to think about.

One old dawg fan brought his prized rooster to Jacksonville last season to show him off before the Florida/Gawja game. The dawg fan wanted the other dawgettes to see how talented the rooster was. He yells to the rooster, “The dawgs just scored.” The rooster started strutting down the sideline crowing as loudly as all the dawg fans had ever heard a rooster crow. His head tilted back and his eyes rolled way back in his head as he bellowed…..”cock a damn doodle dooo” ……after which he almost passed out from exhaustion. One of the bullpups excitedly clamorred, “Wow, what does he do if we win the game?” The proud rooster’s owner said, “When we wins the game, the damn rooster runs around in damn circles and tries to fly around the field while bellowing “cock a damn doodle doooooooo….”

“Hot damn,” said the excited bullpup. What does he do when we win two in a row??”

“Well, I don’t exactly know,” said the puzzled owner. “The rooster’s only 20 years old.”


A great turnout for our open house

We had a very full and exhausting Saturday a week ago.

We and all of our campus partners sponsored our annual open house event. Although three other organizations are involved in the project, it falls on my shoulders to organize, coordinate, publicize and trouble-shoot the event.  I have a ton of help so I don’t want it to sound like I’m a one-man-band. But the day of the event, it is very full, busy and tiring.

We had over 2,000 visitors throughout the afternoon. Here are some sample-pictures.

For the past six years, I have wanted to do nothing more the evening of our open house, than to go home, fix a drink, turn on some football and maybe order some wings or pizza. This year, we had two invitations to parties.  We had to pass on one of Mrs. Poolman’s friend’s 50th birthday party in favor of a dinner party at Writer Princess’s and Son-in-Law’s. This was their first event since moving into their house. Fortunately, they didn’t mind me watching the UF-Auburn game, although why I bothered, I don’t know. Ugly.

We went home and “crashed” early. We spent Sunday hanging around the house, doing laundry, yard work, etc.

Such an exciting life we live.

A lovely trip to Sapelo Island

It’s been a busy two weeks. Now it’s time to catch up.

Earlier this month, I had an interesting day-trip. I had been asked to address a “master naturalist” class being held on Sapelo Island. Sapelo is a coastal island about 40 miles south of Savannah. I was out the door by 6:30 am, just to make absolutely sure I was on board the 8:30 am ferry to the island.

I got to the ferry just as the sun was coming up and the view was almost worth having to get up in the dark of the night.

A beautiful morning.

Marsh near the Sapelo ferry dock.

Nearly ready to go.

The passengers on the morning ferry ride.

Sapelo Island is an interesting place. Even with the ferry, access is restricted. You have to be invited to go there, either because you are visiting one of the residents, or you have some business on the island.  I have been there before when I visited the old Gulluh-Geechee community of Hog Hammock. The occasion at the time had been to accompany a professor-linguist who was working with the local residents to translate some old recordings that had been made on the island in the 1930s. This time, I was headed to the University of Georgia Marine Institute. It is located on the old RJ Reynolds (tobacco fortune) property.

I and some of the other speakers were picked up at the dock in one of the open-air trucks.  I’m glad it was a bright, sunny day, and not storming.

Sapelo Island's answer to mass transit.

I met up with Don Gardener, the extension service agent who invited me to the talk. My talk apparently was well received. I was scheduled for an hour on the agenda, which is about three times our normal civic club talk. But the group seemed to stay engaged, and there were lots of questions. That is good.

While waiting to depart for the 230 pm ferry trip, I got to talking with Dorset Hurley, the research director of the Sapelo Island National Esturine Research Reserve. He had a little time on his hands, so he offered to take me for a drive around the south end of the island. Nice guy. The tour included the historic light house.

Sapelo Island light house

He also gave me with a great rundown of the kind of salt marsh research they are doing there.

The entire ambience of Sapelo is very laid back. One good example of that is what I was told to do in the event my expected “ride” back to the ferry dock did not arrive in time.

“Just take one of these pick up trucks. Drive it to the dock and just leave the keys in the ignition.”

Clearly, auto theft is not a major problem when you are on a small island and there is no way to get the vehicle off.

In any case, my ride showed up in time and I was on the 230 ferry for the half-hour trip back to the mainland.

Back to the mainland.

All told, it was a very nice day. Back to work.

The shoe’s on the other foot

We had an interesting conversation with our daughter, Writer Princess, over the weekend. Her in-laws were going to be out of town and so her 17-year old sister-in-law, Glenda, was planning on bringing a friend and staying with WP and Son-in-Law on Saturday night. Apparently, Glenda had several options, and the decision to stay with her older brother and his wife was her first choice.

My first question to WP was, “So what is her agenda?”

WP wisely responded, “I don’t know, but I’m sure there is one.”

As the conversation continued, WP made a number of comments like these.

“She probably wants to go somewhere that her parents wouldn’t approve.”

“She probably thinks we’ll be more lenient on her.”

“She got in trouble awhile back because she went to a party or something when she had told her parents she was somewhere else.”

“Her parents don’t really like the group she is running around with.”

Mrs. Poolman and I were busting a gut laughing. If you roll back the clock 11 or 12 years, WP would have been talking about herself. Although I didn’t know my son-in-law at the time, I understand he didn’t exactly spend every Saturday night in the library either. It’s ironic to see the two of them as the rules-enforcers and curfew keepers.

Fortunately, WP also saw the humor in the situation.  I haven’t talked with WP since then. I’m curious how the weekend went.


Day after day

It’s been a busy week. I have been trying to generate as much publicity as possible for our annual open house event next weekend. So far the omens are looking good.

My 5th grade CCD class is turning out to be a pretty good group of kids. They are rowdy and chaotic at times, but they are usually also engaged and involved. It’s been fun so far.

It is interesting to note what names are popular with parents at any given time. In my class of 23 kids born in late 2000 and 2001, I have:

  • An Alex, an Alexa and and an Alexis
  • Two Aidens, but with different spellings
  • Two Joshes
  • An Elizabeth and a Liza

And they wonder why I occasionally get their names mixed up.

Some of my former students occasionally stop by to say hello. I want to think it’s because they like me, but it’s probably because I usually give out cookies. This week, one of my students from last year’s class stopped by after class. She was wearing a scoop-neck top and what must have been some kind of push-up bra. I’m sorry, but cleavage on an 11-year old is just wrong. Whatever was that child’s mother thinking?

“Some assembly required”

This past weekend, I tackled a project I had been putting off for more than three months. My children gave me a new grill for Father’s Day. It has been sitting, unassembled, in the box in one of our guest rooms since mid-June.

I had been procrastinating for two good reasons.

1.) When I had any free time on a summer weekend afternoon, I wanted to spend it doing something more useful than poring over a set of directions – like sitting by my pool with a good book in one hand and a beer in the other.

2.) I knew it was going to be a pain in the rear. On that note, I was not disappointed.

A turn of cooler weather along with the fact that my old grill finally died prompted me to go ahead and get the new one assembled.

So while Mrs. Poolman was off at a baby shower, I spent several hours Sunday afternoon trying to transform a set of directions and a pile of unrecognizable parts into a functioning grill. Actually, it wasn’t really all that difficult. It was just tedious. If I had to assemble another grill of the same model again today, I could do it in around 30 minutes. But the first effort involved much time staring at diagrams and trying to connect the drawing with an actual part that was one of many spread around our family room.

At least twice, I missed a step and had to back up, disassemble the previous few steps, and pick up where I had missed.

When Mrs. P got home, the family room looked like a tornado had hit it.

It's not as bad as it looks.

There was lots of cardboard, plastic wrapping and Styrofoam. But the grill was assembled.  A few minutes later, it was out in the courtyard and ready to go to work.

In all its glory!

We had some very nice sirloin steaks for dinner that evening.  Not a bad reward.