Tag Archives: atlanta

Grandmother of the year!

This doesn’t require any editorial comment.

PALMETTO, Ga. (AP) — Police in Palmetto are looking for a grandmother and her boyfriend after her 13-month-old grandson ingested cocaine.

Authorities told WSB-TV on Monday that the baby was brought to Piedmont Newnan Hospital, then to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Doctors reported that the child tested positive for cocaine. The boy is expected to survive.

Investigators said warrants have been issued for the child’s 34-year-old grandmother, Ebony Daniel, and her 22-year-old boyfriend, Charlie Martin. Daniel and Martin have not been arrested.

I need a little recharge time

I guess I’m becoming a fuddy-duddy in my old age. Mrs. Poolman and I have been traveling or otherwise very busy for the past three weeks. Even our weekends have been full of either travel or out-of-town company. I really shouldn’t complain. Except for the event last weekend in Atlanta, which was work-related, these were all voluntary “play” events. We could have said “no.”

The last couple of work weeks have been busy too. Counting tonight, when I will read for a “Living Stations of the Cross” production, I will have been at our church for six of the past ten work-nights.

On top of that, Mrs. P decided now would be a good time to wean me off of artificial sweeteners. Since I practically live on Coke Zero and Pepsi Max, this also means cutting out caffeine. (I have never been a coffee drinker. My morning and mid-day caffeine hits have come from a 12-ounce can.)  So I feel a little like a small child who missed his afternoon nap

Tomorrow is Saturday. Both Mrs. Poolman and I are off. We have our income taxes and yard work on tap for tomorrow.  Then I believe a few people are coming over for dinner Saturday evening.

Sunday is looking like a low-energy day for the kid. Mrs. P is scheduled to work Easter Sunday. (Unfortunately, they can’t just send those preemies home with their parents and tell them to bring them back on Monday.) I’m scheduled to read at 10am Mass and then, of course, I’ll fix a nice Easter dinner for Mrs. P. Otherwise, I may let the rest of the world get along without me. A chair on the patio with a book in my lap sounds very inviting.  It’s time to recharge.

 

 

Sick, recovery and back to work

The last few days have been fairly eventful, at least from my limited, self-centered perspective.

On Saturday, I was a judge at the regional Ocean Science Bowl competition. It involved 16 high school teams from Georgia and South Carolina. It was actually a lot of fun. I was a “rules judge” so my amateur knowledge of ocean science didn’t hurt me. I had one minor conflict with the moderator on my team of judges. He interpreted a rule incorrectly and, at least initially, was not happy about being corrected on it. We discussed it, and when he actually saw the rule in question, he realized he had made a mistake and everything turned out OK.

Mrs. Poolman and I went out for dinner with some friends Saturday evening. It was “restaurant week” in Savannah, and many of the up-scale restaurants had fixed-prix menus. I was not impressed with the restaurant, even though it had an excellent reputation. The chef barely seared my steak that I had ordered “medium.” Once the food was laid down, the waitress did not appear again until it was time for dessert. She didn’t even ask why a perfectly good (but practically raw) steak sat, barely touched, on my plate.

I’m not a complainer. If I’m asked, I’ll answer. Otherwise, I’ll just remain quiet but take my business elsewhere.

I almost nev­­er fall victim to a “stomach bug” or other gastro-intestinal maladies. So I was very surprised to find myself spending most of Saturday night in the bathroom with significant eruptions coming from both ends. What do they say about “thinking you’re going to die, and afraid you won’t.” Ugh. Not a fun experience.

So I spent Sunday like a zombie, laying on the couch, napping and watching TV. I napped through the first half of the Super Bowl. I apologized to Mrs. P for being such lousy company. There are benefits to being married to a nurse. She took good care of me.

Dinner?

On Monday, I recovered enough to drive to Atlanta for today’s Board of Regents meeting and a “Coastal Georgia Day at the Capitol” tomorrow.  I’m off in a little while to meet some of my fellow “coastal Georgia” people for dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. Is it supposed to be ironic that the representatives of the Georgia Shrimp Association go to a Brazilian steakhouse when they come to the “big city?”

Whatever. I’ll report back on dinner tomorrow or later in the week.

 

 

 

 

An “attaboy” to AAA!

Hats off the the folks at AAA. They deserve props for help I received yesterday.

I had an off-campus lunch meeting. When I tried to start my car after lunch, it chirped a little and died. I looked at my headlight switch. Nope! I hadn’t left my lights on. I could have begged someone for a jump start, but I suspected there was something more wrong than just a drained battery.

We have had AAA service for several years, and I can only recall calling them on one other occasion. On that occasion, Mrs. Poolman and I had left a hospital in Atlanta where I had undergone a one-day procedure involving general anesthesia. I was still pretty groggy, but we stopped to get something to eat all the same. When we came out of the restaurant (What is it about restaurants?), we saw she had left the lights on and the battery was dead. She was very upset, but I wasn’t. She called AAA for a jump, while I just cranked back the passenger’s seat and went back to sleep. No big deal.

Jump forward to yesterday. I called AAA and they had someone there in a little over a half hour. The guy was fully equipped. He ascertained that my battery was not just drained; it was fully dead and ready for burial. He had a battery in his truck and had me fixed up and ready to go in around 15 minutes.

The price for the battery was a little more than I might have paid at an auto parts store, but not exceptionally so. It was worth a few extra dollars to have it done right there and not have to spend half the afternoon sitting around a repair shop waiting room.

Good job!

Science Bowl, Super Bowl, halubkys and a ‘suite” upgrade

We have been busy the last few days.

On Saturday, I was a “rule judge” for a regional competition of the National Ocean Science Bowl. This was a “college bowl” type competition among high school teams, and the questions were all related to marine science. Actually, it was kind of fun. Some of the kids had really studied. The teams were allowed to protest or challenge anything they thought went against the rules, and that is where I came in. We had two interesting challenges to settle. I enjoyed it, but our moderator, who was in the middle of each challenge, was taking the whole thing much too seriously. I hope the rest of her weekend went better.

That is, I hope she wasn’t a Steeler fan. The guys in black and gold lost a close one that they could have won, with just one or two fewer turnovers. Well, they made it to the big game, which is more than all but one other team can say. Next year.

A bright spot to Sunday was Mrs. Poolman’s effort at an appropriate Steeler Super Bowl meal. No wings or pizza for this meal. She made holubkys (also called golabkys).

Halubkys

These are a ground meat mixture, wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked with kielbasa, sauerkraut and a tomato sauce. Very Pittsburgh. Very good. Mrs. P also says, “A bit of a pain in the a__.”

Next, I was off to Atlanta for a two-day business trip. I got a nice surprise when I checked into my usual Holiday Inn. I had been upgraded to a suite.

Ain't it suite?

Actually, it’s two adjoining regular rooms, but one of them is furnished as a “living room.” Not too shabby. I guess it’s a reward for my brand loyalty. It’s too bad I’m just here by myself and don’t have anyone to enjoy it with.

Tomorrow evening, I face the “little darlin’s” of my 5th grade CCD class. Last week, we really read them the riot act about their behavior. It worked. Then again, we had only eight kids in the class. Also, some of the kids with the attention span of goldfish were not there. We’ll see how it goes. Our subject matter this week is the Ten Commandments. Last year, it took two classes to get through the single chapter because there was just so many questions and discussion. It was a lot of fun. Fingers crossed. Maybe tomorrow will also be as good.

Pets, snow and the BCS

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Two of our pets, Casey the Lab and Penny the Fearless, underwent surgery on Friday. Casey had a growth removed from his right-front paw, and Penny was spayed and declawed (front only.) Casey came home shortly after the surgery on Friday, but Penny was held overnight, so we picked her up on Saturday.

Both did very well. With the help of pain medication, the two of them spent most of Saturday curled up together on a pallet in front of the fireplace.

And people still ask us if our dogs and cats get along. Ya think?

*     *    *     *

I had originally planned to be in Atlanta for three days this week for the governor’s inauguration, the opening of the legislature and a Board of Regents meeting. Five to eight inches of snow sure changed those plans. It’s just as well. Now I have three open days I hadn’t planned on to get some things done.

We are cold and rainy here, but, fortunately, no signs of snowfall. Just as well — an inch of snow in coastal Georgia would shut the region down until spring.

*     *     *     *

The college football season ends tonight. Then we face a seven and a half month drought until the next kickoff. We’ll have the NFL to hang on to for a few more weeks. We’ll be rooting for the Auburn against the “fighting ducklings” in the BCS championship game tonight. As much as I have trouble believing that Auburn’s QB Cam Newton is really as naïve and innocent as his family tries to make out, we’ll pull for the SEC standard bearer – for better or worse. Let’s make it five SEC national champs in a row!

Adventures in car rentals

I had an over-night trip to Atlanta earlier this week. All of our institution cars were tied up, so I rented a car. It’s cheaper and better for all concerned than driving my own car and getting paid mileage.

Renting a car can be an adventure. The instrumentation and other gadgets on most cars work pretty much the same way, but there are exceptions.

The first time I got into a rental with a key-less ignition, I had no idea what to do. I had to get the rental attendant to show me how to start the darn thing.

Sometimes figuring out how the CD player works can be a challenge.

Hybrids can be different if you are not familiar with them.

This time, I ended up with a Chevrolet HHR. When I stopped to get gas on the way out of town, I encountered a familiar problem.

“How do I get to the gas cap?”

I looked at the gas cap cover and saw no “finger flap” to open it, so I started searching around the driver’s seat for a release switch. No such luck. It was still very pre-dawn, so I had trouble seeing anything in the dark. After popping the hood and the tailgate in my effort to find a switch, I was starting to get frustrated.

How about the owner’s manual?

No such luck. The rental companies remove them.

Just before pulling out my cell phone and calling the 24-hour emergency number, I took a chance and just pressed on the gas cap cover. Viola! It popped open.

I felt kind-of stupid for not thinking of that first. However, this is the first car I have driven that didn’t either have the little finger flap or a release switch.

Don’t you think it would be a good idea for the rental company to leave the owner’s manual in the car? Who would want to steal an owner’s manual for a car they don’t own?

Stupid question – I’m sure someone would.

A great visit

We had a great visit with some family this week. Of all the relatives on my side of the Poolman family, we are really only in regular touch with my father’s two siblings and their families. The sister, “C”, lives in Pittsburgh. She and Uncle J have five children, just like my parents. Since childhood, my siblings and I have probably been closer to that family than any other relatives. Dad’s brother, “D,” and his family live in Atlanta, and in recent adulthood, the Savannah branch (Poolman) have grown closer to them. However for most of our childhood they were geographically distant.

For Aunt C and Uncle J, Hilton Head Island is their regular vacation spot. They usually come down for a week or two in the summer and a couple of weeks in the winter. We are very flattered that they always want to visit with us as part of their vacation. We have had some great visits both in Savannah and on Hilton Head over the years.

This year, they wanted to come to Savannah along with their friends and vacation buddies, Tom and Jerri. I took a half-day off work Monday and Mrs. Poolman cleaned and cooked in prep for their visit. We took them out to Tybee Island and then returned tour house for extensive visiting and dinner. Poolboy and his GF joined us, as did Writer Princess and Son-in-Law.

It was a great time had by all. They are a lively, funny and rambunctious group. Uncle J is a great story teller. Aunt C is so admired, that it’s a bit of a family joke; for Mrs. Poolman and other females of the family,  Aunt C is the person they want to be “when they grow up.” Tom and Jerri fit the same mold. Not a dull moment. I hope I’m still as much a social-party animal when I’m at or approaching 80.

Uncle J did tell one story that made me wonder “What the heck is going on here?” Like most of the northeast, the Pittsburgh has been hit with massive snowfalls this winter. The weekend before Christmas (actually when I was up there visiting), Jack fell and dislocated a finger while out shoveling snow.

So I asked him this week, “What in heavens name, is a guy who is nearly 80 years old doing out shoveling his driveway? Can’t you hire a neighborhood kid to do that?”

The answer – “No!”

They live in an upscale suburban neighborhood. Apparently there are plenty of teen aged kids around, but none of them have any desire to get out and earn some extra money by doing a little manual labor. Their parents provide them with so much spending money, they have no need to get out and work up a sweat.

I’m sure Uncle J would be more than happy to pay a kid $20-30 (or whatever the going rate would be) to shovel/blow his driveway and walk  — maybe an hour’s work or less. Multiply that by a few more customers, and a teen could pocket $100-150 for a few hours work. “No, thanks. Don’t need it.” That’s sad.

Politics, Hotel Indigo, Superbowl and a great chili

It’s been a few days since I’ve had the chance to sit down and actually write something. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot to write about.

I took a trip to Atlanta last week with my boss and our business officer to schmooze with politicians. This is an annual Chamber of Commerce “kiss up to the state legislature” event. We drove up one morning and spent the day tracking down various state legislators, shaking many hands and asking them not to forget about us (or, even worse, cut us out of the budget.) The day ended with a big seafood-barbecue feast with multiple open bars. I stuck to Diet Coke though. I say enough stupid things when I’m sober, I don’t need my tongue loosened when someone may actually be listening.

We stayed at a Hotel Indigo in midtown Atlanta. I had not stayed there before, although it is part of the Holiday Inn family. I usually stay in HI’s because I’m a member of their points program. In any case, the Hotel Indigo was nice, if somewhat different from your standard business hotel. It’s a smaller, “European style” (not that I’ve actually stayed in a hotel in Europe) hotel. The rooms were smaller, but quite stylish.

From the hotel Web site, but a pretty accurate depiction of my room.

The bathroom was very small. I could have handled my “business” while shaving and brushing my teeth if I had wanted to do so. Altogether though, I liked it, and I’ll be back.

On Sunday morning, Mrs. P and I did something we almost never do; we went out for a nice Sunday brunch. We should really do this more often. On a Sunday morning or mid-day, we may go to our favorite Mexican restaurant or to a breakfast place, but almost never to someplace where, for instance, you might actually think about ordering a mimosa or a Bloody Mary. We went to our favorite seafood restaurant. I ordered the shrimp and grits and was disappointed. It was good for what it was, but it was very mild and creamy. I definitely prefer it with a little kick to it. (See the recipe in the Food tab above.) Next time, I’ll stick with my favorite, fried shrimp.

Over the rest of the weekend, we ran errands and continued the clean up and clean out process around the house. We finally got all the boxes and extra furniture out of our family room.

To celebrate, we had a few folks over to watch the Superbowl. It wasn’t a big event, just some of our close friends. However, everyone brought food and we had enough to feed a small African country.

Mrs. P made here white bean chili, which is fantastic.

White Bean Chili

I have trouble getting my imagination and taste buds around a chicken-based “chili.” However, if I think of it as just a spicy, chicken based bean soup, it’s easier to handle.  The recipe comes straight from a Southern Living Cookbook and I’ve added it to the “Food” tab at the top of the page. Give it a shot. You will not be disappointed. Be sure to make sure you include the shredded jalapeno-jack cheese when you serve it. That is an essential step that is not to be omitted.

A close “oops” call

I’ve spent a couple of days this week in Atlanta.

My meeting ended early on Tuesday, so I took the opportunity of the pre-rush hour traffic to make a run to the Crate and Barrel Store in Lenox Square Mall. About two years ago, I bought some cocktail glasses there that we really liked. Unfortunately, we sorta liked them to death. There are only two of the original six or eight remaining. Lucky me! They still had the same style of glass and they were on sale. Actually, I’m not 100% certain the ones I bought are exactly the same style as the remaining two. However, I bought eight replacements, so if they aren’t exactly the same, we’ll just have a whole new set.

When I went out to my car in the now-darkened parking lot, I noticed a car with its lights on parked to my side. There were two or three empty spaces in between us. I saw there was a guy in the driver’s seat with his head bent forward against the steering wheel, as if he was unconscious. He watched him for a minute or two and he was very still. The “good Samaritan” in me came to the surface. I had thoughts of a heart attack, stroke, etc. I walked over with the intent of knocking on the window to see if he was OK. As I got close to the window and was about to knock on the glass, I saw that he had his hands folded in his lap.

Oops!!! The guy was praying!

He was probably Muslim, but I didn’t wait around to ask.

As I was pulling out of the parking spot, I noticed the man finished his prayer and was sitting up in the car. I guess I dodged an awkward moment there.