Tag Archives: University of Georgia

Set my turtle free!

I had the chance to go on a pretty neat science cruise the week after Thanksgiving.

It all started a couple of weeks earlier when I received a call from the director of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. It seemed they had a loggerhead sea turtle that had outgrown her tank. Because of the cool beach water temperature, they wanted to release her into the Gulf Stream and asked if we could help. I explained that we were not in a position to donate a free sea day on our research vessel. The going rate on the R/V Savannah is around $10k/day. However, in the past, we have helped other groups with similar issues when we had room on board an already-scheduled cruise going to the same area.

As luck would have it, we did have a cruise to the Gulf Stream scheduled, and the scientist who “owned” the cruise graciously allowed the Tybee turtle and her entourage to “piggy back” along. As long as we were going, we also invited the team of four interns from the UGA Aquarium here on our campus, just to give them the experience of an overnight science cruise. I got to go along to shoot video, photos and to generally coordinate with the turtle team and the aquarium interns.

We left our dock at a little after 9 am Monday morning and cruised all day, doing some real science along the way, to our launch point, 82 miles off shore, arriving around 7:30 pm. The loggerhead was lowered over the side in a shrimp basket and, once in the water, she took off without as much as a wave good-bye.

Most of us went to bed fairly early while the crew turned the boat around and headed home. The ten-hour trip got us back to our dock around 6 am.

Here is a YouTube video of the release.

Chasing Ice to Jekyll Island

I took a little “blog-cation”: for a while. I was feeling down with a cold-turned-bronchitis for most of January, and didn’t really feel like doing too much.

Mrs. Poolman and I had a nice weekend. On Saturday evening, we drove down to Jekyll Island (about an hour and a half from our home) to attend the screening of an environmental film “Chasing Ice.”  It was very impressive! Several folks from work were involved in the program. Also we are considering sponsoring a screening here in Savannah later in the spring. I thought it would be a good idea to see it first. The organizers from the University of Georgia did a great job. They estimate more than 700 people showed up for the reception, film and panel discussion. I guess there isn’t much else going on in the “Golden Isles” on a Saturday night in February. The film itself was also very good. Here is a trailer.

Go DWAGS!

I hate to abuse my Georgia fans on the day after their DAWGS blew a 16 point lead to lose an Outback Bowl they should have won. However, this picture says it all.

I wonder how many of my DAWG fans even “get” this post.

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.

 

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 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.

Friday ramblings

It’s a big weekend coming up at Casa Poolman. With both teams in the middle of disappointing seasons, the Florida-Georgia game isn’t quite the match-up it has been in the past. All the same, for those of us Gators who live with enthusiastically obnoxious Georgia fans all year, it is still a big deal. A bunch of relatives from Mrs. P’s side of the family will be coming up from Jacksonville for the weekend. We will host a fairly large viewing party Saturday afternoon. Should be fun. I’m cautiously optimistic about the game.

*    *    *   *

Speaking of sports, this is the only time of the year I occasionally listen to sports talk radio. I flip back and forth between the Fox and ESPN local stations. My question is this; is Brett Favre the only player left in the NFL? He is all anyone wants to talk about. The Vikings are 2-4. Who cares? Meanwhile, my “Stillers” are 5-1 with a major turn-around story from last year and you hardly ever hear them mentioned.

*    *    *    *

When I got home from work on Wednesday, Mrs. Poolman approached me and said, “I hope you aren’t going to want to kill me.”

That’s always a great way to start a conversation.

It seems that Mrs. P called our daughter’s mother-in-law to check on her treatment for an ongoing health issue. Before the conversation ended, Mrs. P had agreed to adopt one of MILs litter of kittens.

I’ve seen this coming ever since we lost Berta the Timid a couple of months ago, so this was no big surprise. The new addition is scheduled to be delivered today.

Mrs. P is concerned how the rest of our “animal kingdom” will take to their new sibling. I’m not worried. Sid the Tailless will give her a hiss and then put her on “ignore” to establish his alpha-cat status. Eventually, he will warm up.

The dogs, especially young Sammy, will think the kitten is a special gift just for them. Once the kitten gets over her initial fear and realizes that the dogs can be great buddies, everything will be fine.

We have been discussing names. I tried to get Mrs. P to go along with “Urban” (as in Urban Meyer), but she insisted that was not a great name for a girl cat. I think we are going to settle on “Penny” after one of the main characters in “The Big Bang Theory” TV show.

Such an important decision…

A big weekend ahead

This is Florida-Georgia week. This is a big deal in this part of the country. There are numerous stories of recent arrivals planning a big non-football event for the Fla-Ga Saturday, only to have no one show up at their party or event. It may be one reason Halloween parties aren’t that big around here. If you aren’t planning on having the game on, you won’t have many guests.

For the first time in many years, I am concerned. The basic background is this. For many years, prior to 1990, Georgia regularly “schooled” the Gators in the annual rivalry. However over the past 20 years, the Gators are 17-3. Even a blind hog finds an occasional acorn.

Having lived in Georgia for the past 18 years, we have enjoyed that run. Each year, Georgia fans have gotten in our faces and predicted their domination.

“This year you are going down. DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!”

And in 17 of the past 20 years, our friendly rivals have drowned their tears in large amounts of alcoholic beverages.

This year, UGA started off miserably, winning only one of their first five games, while UF won their first four. Since then, however, the “Poodles” have won three straight, and the Mighty Gators have dropped three in a row.

It has been our tradition at Casa Poolman to host a fairly large viewing party for the game. Being very ecumenical, we have a good crowd of the red-and-black crowd, as well as true Gator fans.

One thing about this year that is different. Fans of neither team are doing any trash talking. Neither team’s fans feel they have any real cause to stick their chin out.

I just hope we aren’t embarrassed on Saturday. I really don’t want to have to move out of the state.

Big weekend coming up

Around our house, this coming weekend is one of the big ones of the year. It is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, New Years in Time Square, or the opening of deer hunting season in Pennsylvania.  It is the Florida-Georgia weekend. In this part of the world, this is more then a football game. It is a social and cultural event. As should be obvious, we are big Florida fans, but we live here “behind enemy lines” in Georgia.

There is a lot of history here. My first Florida game was in 1971. For the next 19 years, Georgia pretty much dominated the series. Vince Dooley, Buck Belue, Hershal Walker and the like “schooled” the Gators on a fairly regular basis. In 1990 the field shifted. Steve Spurrier came to Florida and since then the Gators have one 16 of the last 19 games.

Fla Ga 2

In recent years, the rivalry has intensified somewhat. In 2007, a group of UGA players stormed the field to celebrate their first touchdown. UGA fans credit that incident for psyching the Bulldogs to win that game. Last year, Florida had the game won when Urban Meyer called two time-outs in the final minute of the game to prolong Georgia’s agony. Payback is hell.

I have noticed a significant change in attitude among UGA fans this year. For most of the 17 years we have lived in Georgia, the UGA fans have been delightfully obnoxious before the game. They have never lacked for overconfidence.

“This year you are going down! Down, down down!”

In all but a handful of years, those boasts and predictions turned into muttered excuses and threats of ritual sepaku as the actual game progressed. However, this year, Georgia fans are acting humble, actually sounding defeatist.

My Bulldog friend, Sean, told me last night, “For the first time in as long as I can remember, I don’t think we have any chance in this game.”

That worries me. I much prefer the obnoxious, in-your-face Bulldog, who later walks away from the game with his stubby little tail between his legs.

On the other hand, I am not cocky about the game at all. There are too many games in this series when the favored team is sent home embarrassed. The Gators are ranked #1 and are unbeaten, but they aren’t hitting on all cylinders. The Poolman isn’t making any grand predictions. Crow is not one of my favorite foods.

Meanwhile, at the Poolman’s house, this has become one of our major party weekends of the year. We used to have tickets to the game, but lost our priority about ten years ago under circumstances too complicated to explain. So instead, Mrs. Poolman’s family comes to Savannah for a “house party.”  They are joined by a bunch of our friends, friends of friends, children’s friends, friends’ children, etc.

We’ll set up at least three TVs, inside and out. (Here is praying the prediction of dry weather continues to hold.)  The group is a good mixture of fans of both teams, and a ton of food and drink. Typically the Florida fans are in the family room and the Georgia fans out in the courtyard. The casual fans set up “beer pong” on the basketball court.  Mrs. Poolman is much more ecumenical than she has any need to be. She buys red and black napkins and paper plates to go along with the orange and blue.

This should be an interesting weekend. Go Gators!

It’s a wonderful Friday!

A couple of random thoughts today…

Mrs. Poolman and I went to a meeting at our church last night about an outreach project that should be interesting. It’s called the Interfaith Hospitality Ministry. Essentially, the way it works is that churches agree to provide overnight housing and meals for a small number of homeless families for a week at a time. Church members volunteer to provide food and be evening and overnight “hosts.” We are already signed up to be the overnight host couple for a night late in August. We’ve never done anything like this before, so it should be interesting. I’ll keep you updated.

*    *    *    *

In this part of the country, college football is a dominating presence. As the summer drags on, die-hard football fans are starting to froth at the mouth awaiting the beginning of the season. It is especially fun being a Gator fan in the heart of Georgia, the home state of what is arguably UF’s biggest rival.

56094106

Some of the annual silliness was back in the news today. A Georgia legislator has come out tying the political and legal “water wars” among Florida, Alabama and Georgia to the annual Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville (aka Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party or WLOCP).

The crowd split 50-50

The crowd split 50-50

He says it should be moved to Atlanta every other year, as leverage against Florida in the fight over water rights. Unrelated to the whole water issue, the fuss over the game-site has become a regular refrain among a minority of Georgia fans for several years. Florida fans think the whole controversy is hysterical and just giggle with delight when Georgia folks suggest it. You see, the WLOCP has been played in Jacksonville for something like 70 years, except for a two-year home and home series played when the new stadium was being built in Jax. It’s a big tradition and, actually, a fairly big money maker for South Georgia businesses.

Florida fans think it the controversy is funny because Georgia fans never suggested such a move in the 1960s, 70s or 80s, when UGA dominated the series. However, since Steve Spurrier’s first year as coach in 1990, the ‘Dawgs have only been the victors in three of the last 19 games.  So every time someone in Georgia brings up the subject, Gators just think “Sore losers!” Better you than us.

*    *    *    *

More parking lot woes…

I went to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch today (cilantro addiction). I often park in an adjacent vacant lot because it is shaded and it is (usually) easier to get in and out of. Of course, there are no parking lines in this lot. Most people either park around the perimeter or “head-in” in a double line down the middle of the lot with the cars in each line facing each other.

Today, I pulled into the head-in line and noticed that several cars had not pulled all the way up to the imaginary center line. I did –my mistake. When I came out I discovered some jerk in a 25 year old Grand Marquis had pulled in behind me. So I was completely surrounded by other parked cars, except immediately on the left side.

My car is the navy blue Accord in the middle. The late arriving Grand Marquis is behind it.

My car is the navy blue Accord in the middle. The late arriving Grand Marquis is behind it.

Many other cars had also not pulled completely to the center line leaving a space between the two lines of cars. Fortunately for me, there was just enough room for me to “wiggle” out of the parking space and no one had “plugged the hole” at the end of the line, so I was able to get back to work. Oy!

Dating back to the days when my late father-in-law drove one (badly), I’ve never trusted Grand Marquis drivers. Today is one more piece of evidence my prejudice is right.