Tag Archives: weather

Monster lizard ravages East Coast

During my career in TV news, I was fortunate, or unfortunate as the case may be, to be witness to all sorts of live, on-air screw ups. Many were funny, but some were not. But that it not the point of this post. In honor of all my friends and family who are digging out and trying to stay warm, here is a classic from my favorite radio news guy, Les Nessman.

In a deep and dark December

Mrs. Poolman and I are staying home this Christmas season. Both our children live here in town, so the most important family is right here.

This is Mrs. P’s year to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It takes a lot of the merriment out of her holiday. Unfortunately, they can’t just send those preemies and other sick babies home with their parents and tell them to bring them back on the 26th.  I’ll take care of Christmas dinner and hand her a vodka & tonic when she walks through the door around 7:30 pm Christmas evening. It won’t make up for having to work the holidays, but it will ease the unhappiness slightly.

We did make a trek north to visit some of my family in Pittsburgh earlier in the month. My father lives there, along with my youngest sister. We picked up another sister, Maggie, along the way and my brother, Dave, and his wife drove over from Mechanicsburg for the weekend. So Dad had four of his five children there for the weekend. The missing sister had visited just the week before.

We arrived in Pittsburgh just as the day-long rain was turning to sleet and ice.

This is the front of my Dad's townhouse. Brrrr!

This is the front of my Dad’s townhouse. Brrrr!

My car is not used to snow.

My car is not used to snow.

By Pennsylvania standards, this was not even a minor inconvenience, but Mrs. P and I were reminded of how happy we are to live in coastal Georgia. I am really glad that many of the people who live in the northern states enjoy it there. Otherwise, things would sure get crowded down here.

A busy day…

Today has been interesting, in two parts. This morning, we hosted a “state visit” by a group of roughly 65 VIPs, including the state Board of Regents, a bunch of university presidents and senior university system staffers. Most of these people have never been here so it was a pretty big deal.  I have been working to plan this event since mid-January and have fretted over the details and coordinating with the two other institutions in town. As it turns out, everything went very well. Everyone did what they were supposed to do and they did it well. No hitches and I heard nothing but compliments. Big load off.

Suits and dresses on the work deck. What's wrong with this picture?

Suits and dresses on the work deck. What’s wrong with this picture?

One of the cool things about my job is the opportunity to get out and take an occasional boat ride. This afternoon, I went along on one of our small skiffs to shoot some video for a promotional piece we are producing to market our research vessel.

Tough duty out on the water today.

Tough duty out on the water today.

The weather was gorgeous, roughly 80 degrees and sunny. We were out for about an hour which was just enough to sunburn my face. Duh. I did get one cool shot with my Canon point ‘n shoot camera. We frequently see dolphins around here, but it’s tough to get pictures because they don’t surface where and when you are expecting them. I did get this shot this afternoon, which was pretty pleased with.

A dolphin riding the bow wave of the R/V Savannah

A dolphin riding the bow wave of the R/V Savannah

Life goes on

It wasn’t a very exciting weekend around the Poolman house, but it was busy all the same. Mrs. Poolman has been in a death-struggle with a head and chest cold. I’ve just been trying to stay out of her way. Even in marriage, some things just aren’t worth sharing.

I started off Saturday by attending a program out our church on the upcoming change in the “Roman Missal. “ Starting the first Sunday in Advent (late November), the Catholic Church in the US will begin using a new translation of the original Latin Mass. Apparently, the general consensus is that the Church didn’t do a very good job in translating the Mass from Latin to English back in the mid 1960s. This move is an effort to correct it.

It will mean some slight changes to some of the responses and to the prayers most of us can recite without even thinking about it. No longer. I like some of the changes, but not all of them. Of course, the Pope didn’t ask my opinion. In any case, since I both read at Mass and teach 5th grade CCD, I figured I’d better make an effort to get up to speed.

Writer Princess and Son-in-Law were moving out of their one-bedroom condo and into a three-bedroom house. They are still staying close to us. They are roughly a five minute drive away, and right around the corner from WP’s best friend. Mrs. Poolman went over to help them move on Saturday morning. I check in after leaving the church session early and was dispatched to Home Depot for some blinds and to Popeye’s to pick up lunch. We spent several hours helping them move their kitchen stuff.  Mrs. P donated our collection of laundry baskets and beach towels to the cause, which was fine until Sunday afternoon when I needed to do three loads of laundry. Sigh.

I took a rare Saturday afternoon nap-on-the-couch, while half-watching the Alabama-Arkansas game. The Gators came on at seven and went to 4-0, beating Kentucky for something like the 255th straight time.

On Sunday, I was back at 9 o’clock Mass. I had received a call on Friday afternoon asking me to read at that Mass. The Knights of Columbus (of which I am a sometime member) were receiving an international award, and the Knight officers wanted as much of a showing as they could muster.

The rest of the day consisted of errands, laundry and a little yard work. Our pool temperature has dropped into the low 80s, much lower than Mrs. P likes for her soaking. We put our solar blanket back on in the hopes of pulling a few more degrees of heat into the water and maybe getting one or two weeks of pool time out of the season. Much will depend on the weather. It has been cloudy and rainy for much of September. If we get some good sun this week, I might be able to get the pool back up to around 90. Mrs. P would be most happy.

Eating, praying and loving our way through the weekend

It was a beautiful weekend in Coastal Georgia. On Saturday, Mrs. Poolman and I set out to run some errands. The plan was to hit the suburban mall area for a couple of quick hits, and then head downtown. Mrs. P has wanted to visit a particular antique/junk store. She also wanted to have lunch at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in the City Market. It looked like a perfect day to sit out in the sun and have a giant slice of pizza.

The mall part of the day went fine, but when we got downtown, we ran into trouble. The area was just overloaded with people. I guess a beautiful day combined with the Savannah Irish Festival and the Savannah Book Festival brought in the crowds. We couldn’t find a parking space. Two garages we tried were both full. After spending over a half-hour in gridlock in one garage without finding a space, we ran up the white flag. We headed back out to the ‘burbs.

That evening, at Mrs. P’s request, we rented Julia Roberts’ “Eat, Pray, Love.” I knew it wasn’t my cup of tea, but you do have to compromise. I wasn’t into the movie that much, but I had a book to keep me busy. On the other hand Mrs. P was so entranced, she fell asleep a half hour into the flick. I’m glad she enjoyed it.

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!

Don’t sweat it!

It’s cold outside in Savannah this week — not by the standards of my native Pennsylvania, but certainly by local measures.

On the way to work this morning, I heard the police were forced to close one of the major roads in one of the less developed parts of the county due to ice. No, it didn’t rain. Someone left their lawn sprinkler on all night. That’s funny. Welcome to the South!

*    *    *    *

I was up dark and early this morning for a 7 am dentist appointment. Apparently something got confused, because they lost my appointment in their system. The front desk person looked like she expected some kind of outburst when she told me I would have to reschedule. I know some people who would blow a fuse over something like that, but for me, it wasn’t a big deal. The appointment was just for a routine cleaning, not a painful dental emergency. No sweat.

It reminds me of my old friend, Jim Ellis, who talked about the two rules for maintaining sanity.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. It’s all small stuff.

*    *    *    *

That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that bug me.  People who leave shopping carts unsecured in a parking lot is one of my pet peeves. I stopped at Kroger on the way to work to pick up a case of Pepsi Max (my go-to soft drink during the work day.) When I got back in my car, I saw the man in the row in front of me unload his shopping cart and just push it into the adjacent parking space, although there was a cart-corral just three empty spaces away. I said to myself, “You ____head. Just how lazy are you?” He couldn’t hear me since both his and my windows were both up. However, apparently his wife saw me and read my lips. She said something to him, and then he got out and moved the cart the twenty feet or so to the cart corral. I just backed out of my space and drove to work. Me say something? Never!

Sailin’ south for the winter

The campus where I work is on a coastal island adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway. Each fall,  starting in October,  we get to watch a migration that is as predictable as the birds flying south for the winter. In this case, the snowbirds drive their yachts south for the season. I can sit in my office and watch a parade of high-priced sailboats and motor yachts cruise on down the waterway. I cross a drawbridge over the ICW coming to work in the morning, and it’s not unusual to see four or five yachts lined up waiting for the bridge to open.

I’ve never owned a boat, and have never been a big “boat person,” although I did some sailing in my younger days. Still, seeing these boats pass by makes you wonder, “wouldn’t it be nice.”

Snap out of it!

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.

*    *    *    *

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.

Monday thoughts

It’s summer.  It’s hot and humid. We love it. Thank God, Mr. Carrier invented AC. I cannot imagine what this part of the country must have been like before it. That probably explains the short life spans.

Mrs. Poolman and I did the minimum amount of routine maintenance and spent the rest of the weekend socializing.

A big congratulations to my SIL, who got a big promotion to manage one of his company’s busiest stores in town. Until this promotion, he has been driving over an hour each way to his store in another town. Based on my experience with a long commute, I know this move will save them about $300 a month in gas alone.

We got a call from daughter, Writer Princess, Friday night around 8 o’clock. It seems they were up at their favorite watering hole with their group of friends to celebrate the promotion, and asked us to join them. We were tired and already settled into “kick back mode” so we passed on the invite.

We watched a movie on the Lifetime Network instead. (I know. Lifetime? You can just take away my membership card to the male gender now. However, I did watch some of the Band of Brothers on Spike TV Sunday night to make up for it.)

In any case, the movie was Rumor Has It with Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine. It wasn’t a great movie, but it was amusing. It was mostly a vehicle for Jennifer Anniston to be cute, and Kevin Costner to be cool. The basic plot is that Jennifer discovers the book and movie The Graduate was not entirely fiction and the family involved was actually hers.

The best part of the movie was Shirley MacLaine. When she first came on the screen, Mrs. P and I both looked at each other and said, “Oh my God, that is our friend Dana in 20 years!” The look, the mannerisms and the “kiss my a__” attitude added up to a near perfect portrait of our friend. It was hysterical!

After running some errands in the first half of the day, we had a float-in-the-pool day on Saturday.

On Sunday we were back to the beach. It was Poolboy’s 30th birthday. His GF planned his second, third and fourth favorite activities for him, the three Bs — beach, beer and bocce. Lots of his friends showed up and a good time was had by all.

My cousin-in-law and her two children are driving down from Atlanta today to spend the week with us. Her husband, my cousin, will be flying in on Friday to spend the weekend, and then they will all drive back on Monday. We’re looking forward to it. We like the adults, but we also really like the kids, a boy and girl, ages 9 and 7. Their parents have done a great job with them. They are a pleasure to have around.

Should be a fun week!