Tag Archives: heat

A new routine and hungry gators

I need to get some exercise, but “darn” it’s been hot lately. So I’ve decided to change my daily routine.

I used to run for exercise, but in recent years the gout in my toe and my sore knees have put an end to that. Instead, I have been walking about two miles nearly every day, usually on my lunch hour. I have time for about a two-mile walk and a quick lunch at my desk.

I don’t normally work up so much of a sweat that I need a shower after the walk, but that has changed in recent weeks. Mid-day temperatures have been in the mid-90s most of the summer. So I tried changing my walk to the early evening.  It’s still hot, but I don’t have to worry about sitting around the office dripping in sweat afterwards. Yesterday, it was still in the mid-90s at 6 pm and the humidity was like a locker room. I was totally drenched in sweat, and not from the exertion. That’s ridiculous.

This morning, I set the alarm for about 40 minutes earlier and went out for my walk before the sun came up. I am not an early-morning person, so I don’t know how long this will last. They say if you do something consistently for 30 days it becomes a habit. We’ll see. The good parts are that it is much cooler. And on many days, if I don’t walk, I can cut my lunch break to 30 minutes and leave a half hour earlier. That has a draw to it.

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I remember very well my first introduction to a wild alligator. Fresh from Pennsylvania, it was my first or second day as a student at the University of Florida. I was walking across campus with one of the guys from my dorm when passed by one of the many ponds on campus.

He said, “Let’s check and see if Albert is out.”

I didn’t know what he was talking about, so he explained that Albert is the nickname for the UF mascot, Albert the Alligator, but was used generically to refer to all alligators.
I thought he was pulling my leg.

“Yeah, right. Alligators right in the middle of a college campus. What’s next? Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!”

Much to my surprise, there he was — a six-foot gator, just catching the rays at the water’s edge. I soon discovered just about every one of the very numerous ponds around the campus had a resident alligator. Lake Alice, on the perimeter of the campus, was a nature preserve with an entire colony of the reptiles. Not-too-bright students would feed them marshmallows. One crazy dude, “Gatorman,” would wade out into waist deep water to feed them.

All of that is just a long way of saying that I don’t get freaked out by alligators. I think they are pretty cool. However, I ran across this video today from a South Georgia state park, and it did give me the chills.

Supposedly those guys were in a 14-foot aluminum john-boat. They are as crazy as my old friend, Gatorman.

A nice break in the “action”

I’ve been off the grid for a couple of days. Mrs. Poolman and I both took a week of vacation. We went up to Folly Beach, SC, near Charleston, and spent several days at the beach-front Holiday Inn.

We had a nice time. The only problem is we picked a week when the area is having a record-breaking heat wave. We didn’t spend much time on the beach. It just isn’t that much fun when the temperatures are in the mid 90s and the heat index is 110.

Folly Beach is a funky little beach town.

Folly Beach's "main street"

It’s not a high-end resort. It is mostly cottages, surf shops and funky little restaurants. We like that. The Holiday Inn is the only serious hotel to be found. However, I did find another little hostelry a couple of blocks away. I wonder if anyone made a reservation expecting to get this.

The Holiday Inn

And ended up with this.

The HoLLiday Inn

So we visited downtown Charleston and drove through our old neighborhood from when we lived here. That part of town has developed so much, I was afraid I would have trouble finding the right streets.

There is a long fishing pier right next to the hotel.

The Folly Beach Pier

We walked out one night and saw the coolest thing. There was a large school of stingrays right near the pier. We went back the next day on the off chance they were still around and they were. The picture isn’t very good, but it gives an idea of the school.

A school of stingrays

Pretty cool.

We came back on Thursday. I had a state legislator scheduled to visit our campus. That took care of the afternoon. Friday was devoted to work around the house. Mrs. P and I painted the back hallway of our house. What fun!

Today is our anniversary. We were going to paint the family room, but decided to put it off for another day. I am reading at mass this evening. Afterwards, we are off for an anniversary dinner downtown. We are going to a restaurant that used to be one of our favorites, but we haven’t been there in years. More to come.

Thanks to my wonderful dogs — not!

My hat goes off to all those people who work construction during the summer. I was out in the sun for several hours today, repairing the gate on our wooden privacy fence. The heat just about knocked me out. I am definitely glad I don’t have to do that every day.

The repair work was needed because of our escape-artist dogs, especially the little one, Sammie.

The culprits

Actually Sammie doesn’t have the size to do all the work herself. I think she enlists her big brother, Casey, but there is little doubt that Sammie is the brains behind the caper. Casey does not have the initiative to plan something like this on his own.

My previous work has foiled their efforts to escape to the outside world. They have been concentrating on the double gate in our back yard privacy fence. I stopped them from being able to dig under it. Instead they have been working like little beavers – literally – and have tried to chew their way through the gate. This is the result.

When you have dogs who think they are beavers

Before you start feeling too sorry for the mutts, please understand they are not closely confined. They have the run of a very large backyard, lots of shade and water, and access to the garage through a pet door. Aside from the fact they don’t have air conditioning, they don’t have it very tough. The alternative would be to keep them crated in the house for ten and a half hours a day, and I suspect they wouldn’t like that very much either. They are relegated to the yard only the three days a week that Mrs. Poolman works. Otherwise they are house-dogs, spoiled brat house-dogs at that.

So I spent about $60 at Home Depot on supplies and four hours in the hot sun today, replacing the chewed boards. The tough and time consuming part were the two boards on either side of the gate opening that hold the hardware.  It probably shouldn’t have taken that long, if I actually was good at doing this kind of thing. Plus, I had to take breaks to cool-off myself, and many of the tools that simply became too hot to handle when left in the sun.

I topped it off with my own touch, a pair of brackets and a 2×4 holding the gate shut from the outside.

I stacked concrete blocks on the inside to deny them access to the gate. They have been able to move the blocks in the past, but maybe two rows both vertically and horizontally will help thwart their escape attempts.

I spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the pool and relaxing on the patio. It was a rest well earned, thank you very much.