Tag Archives: weather

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.

No snow, pricey eats and a decent flick

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, without a speck of snow to be found. This was a big disappointment to some folks in our neighborhood who were looking forward to a once-every-ten-years-or-so snowfall. The area west of Savannah got an inch or two, but we live to the east, closer to the ocean. We got a little sleet Friday night, but that was it. No Frosty the Snowman or Olympic bobsledding in our area. No hills either, so the sledding wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Mrs. Poolman and I celebrated St V’s day with reservations at Ele’s, a relatively new and very upscale restaurant in our section of town. We had been holding on to a gift certificate that Poolboy had given us for Christmas. The restaurant, Ele’s, was good, but I’m not sure it was worth the hefty price tag. I had a filet and lobster tail. The steak was good, but frankly, I did a better job with the lobster tails I cooked on New Years Eve. Ele’s normal menu is a little pricey for suburban Savannah, but this weekend, they had a special menu, and the prices were even higher. (A typical entrée was $35-60. The “dinner for two” special was $149.) In our little section, we saw two groups who were seated, and after they looked at the menu, got up and left. I’ve never seen that before. I hope the restaurant does well, but they may be pricing themselves out of the market.

We went home and ordered up the movie “A Time Travelers’ Wife” from On-Demand. Mrs. P and I both read the book a few months ago. (See my thoughts on the book here.) (November 3)

We really liked the movie, just as we liked the book. However, I think this is a movie for which it definitely helps if you have read the book first. As the main character, Henry, pops in and out of time, I’m not sure I would have been able to keep track of which Henry was on the screen, if I didn’t already know story from the book. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it could have been better. Read the book first, and then enjoy the flick.

Bad night

This was a rough morning. I am functioning on about three hours sleep, which is at least four hours less than I need to be on top of the game. It was not a good night.

The first problem was my own darn fault. I had two cans of Pepsi Max during the evening. The caffeine had me awake and alert.  Our dog, “Casey the Lab,” is weather-phobic. Lightning and thunder drive him around the bend. Even heavy rain and winds cause him to have an anxiety attack.  Last night, it wasn’t a major storm, but about the time we went to bed it started raining and the wind picked up. The darn dog would not settle down.  He kept panting loudly and pacing around our bedroom, with his nails making scratching noises on the new floor. Occasionally, he would try to jump up into bed with me. Then the power went off and that made him even crazier. Finally, around 3:30 am,  Mrs. P had had enough of it and went out to the family room to sleep on the couch. She took the big doofus with her.

She is not working today. I hope she can catch up on her lost sleep.

Life is full

It has been a cold week here on the Georgia coast, maybe not by Minnesota standards, but certainly by ours. Ugh!

It has also been a busy week to be back to work. One of our scientists died in a home accident late last week, and that has taken up a lot of time and attention.  That,  and all the beginning of the year issues, has made it a weird week.

We had what seemed like our first CCD class in months last night. We had a good turn out and the “little darlin’s” were fairly attentive and engaged. We covered the sacrament of Baptism, and next week one of our priests is going to conduct a mock-baptism and explain the steps and symbols for our class and probably one or two others. That plan prompted an interesting development.

When I first walked in the building, I saw a mother in the office, apparently registering her kids for classes. She also had a newborn baby in a carrier. At the end of class, I saw her again in the hallway and we started talking.  I asked her if the baby had been baptized yet, and she said that it was scheduled for the 31st. Half-jokingly, I asked her if she would like to have the baby baptized next Wednesday night during our baptism program. Surprisingly, she didn’t think it was such a bad idea. I pointed out that the lad would certainly have a lot of god-parents. When we parted, she seemed like she was willing to go along with it. We exchanged contact information. We’ll see if she still thinks it’s a good idea after she’s had the chance to think about it. If she and her family go along with it, it would be a gas.

I stopped by the home-improvement store earlier this week and ordered the laminate flooring for our bedrooms. Mrs. Poolman has set up an appointment with an installer who comes recommended by several of her co-workers.

I installed the flooring in the rest of the house several years ago. After that summer-long project, I told Mrs. P early-on that whenever we finished off the bedrooms, we would have a professional come in and do the work. I am lacking the skills, the proper tools and the patience to tackle that again, especially with all the measuring and cutting involved in doing multiple rooms with closets, doorways, etc.

So we are looking at an action-packed Saturday, with a memorial service, the job to pick up the flooring and the “estimate appointment” with the flooring installer. However, the pressure is now on to finish the painting in our bedroom. For two people who don’t have much of a life, we sure seem to be busy.

Humbug to winter!

If I ever had any thoughts that maybe I am missing out on that “winter wonderland” thing by living in Savannah, I was thoroughly dissuaded this past weekend.

I took a quick driving trip to visit my father and Youngest Sister (and family) in Pennsylvania. I picked up Middle Sister in South Carolina along the way. Mrs. Poolman couldn’t rearrange her schedule, so she stayed home and took care of the critters.

I drove to SC on Wednesday afternoon and Middle Sis and I took off Thursday morning for Pittsburgh. The weather was great, bright and sunny the entire way. MS and I talked the entire way, so the eight hour drive went quickly.

We had a good time visiting. While we were busy enjoying family, a major winter storm was wreaking havoc, mostly to the south and east of us. After dinner Friday evening, I took off for a Christmas party given by an old friend (same friend that we visited in NYC in September.) Randi put on a great party and I had a chance to reconnect with a number of old friends. I stayed to help clean up, along with several neighbors and some of the hostess’ friends who were staying at her house. When I walked out to leave, there was about two inches of snow on the ground. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself sliding down the road on the ice. When I was brushing the snow and scraping the ice off my car, I had to hang on to keep from sliding down the hill. I was parked facing uphill. I got about 50 feet and no more. So I hiked back up to Randi’s house and asked if she had a spare couch for a stranded traveler.

The next morning certainly was “winter wonderland.”

My car Saturday morning.

Actually, this is pretty.

Ooo, it's cold outside!

I’ve always told Mrs. Poolman, that heavy snowfalls may be beautiful, and can be enjoyable, as long as you don’t have to go anywhere.

Eventually the road crews came along with plows and salt and I was able to make it back to family, first to my sister’s and later to my Dad’s. What a pain in the rear!

Clear roads?

The plan was to drive back on Sunday. We were trying to get weather information from The Weather Channel, but surprisingly, they weren’t much help. They were so focused on the progress of the storm through the Northeast, especially DC, NYC and Boston, they barely mentioned anything in the rest of the country.

Bad berries to you, Weather Channel! You’ll get nothing but coal and switches in your stocking later this week.

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny.

The view off Dad's driveway.

Absolutely beautiful! After giving just enough time for the sun to work a little magic, we decided to chance fate and take off. The first half of the trip, especially through West Virginia was very picturesque, and fortunately the roads were mostly clear.

Somewhere in West Virginia.

The trip was uneventful. Again, MS and I talked the entire way and the time flew by.

All told, it was a good trip, with a short, but enjoyable family visit. For the future, I think I’ll keep myself in the south between December and March. For those of you who live through that all winter, I hope you enjoy it, because if you don’t the South doesn’t have room for all of you!

Recovery day

Our busy run of fall weekends is continuing. Yesterday, our entire campus put on a large public open house event. This is the fifth year I have been organizing it (with a lot of help from many others.) For the past several years, we have attracted between 1,700 and 2,000 visitors on a Saturday afternoon. Since this is “my baby,” I am the first one there in the morning and the last (or one of the last) to leave in the evening. It was a busy day.

Lots of stuff for kids.

Lots of stuff for kids.

The weather looked like rain the AM, but then turned into a hot sunny afternoon. Nice day for mid-July! What is that all about? 88 degrees is a very warm October afternoon, even for Savannah.

The early day promise of rain did not fail, but it did hold off until the event was nearly over. Cleaning up in the rain wasn’t a lot of fun, but it’s not like it was cold.

Last night, we walked down the street to some friends’ house to watch the Florida-LSU game. The Gators put together a very conservative game plan. They also left some points on the field, but the defense was good enough to hold LSU to just a field goal, so the Gators remain undefeated. It wasn’t an impressive score, 13-3, but to go into Baton Rouge and beat the #4 ranked team on a Saturday night is impressive enough. I’m happy with the “W”, and on to Arkansas for homecoming next weekend.

Today is a recovery day. Slept late and took Mrs. Poolman out to lunch and ran a few errands.

I have a chest and sinus cold (bronchitis?) that just won’t go away. I’ll be calling the doctor in the morning to set up an appointment to get some antibiotics. I hate to be premature about it, but this has been hanging on for nearly two weeks, so I guess it’s time.

Rainy Friday

It’s Friday and it’s raining here on Savannah, again. You would think we live in Washington State.

"...the old man is snoring."

"...the old man is snoring."

Lots of people are saying, “Well, we need the rain,” but actually we are way ahead of pacing for annual rainfall right now. If it continues through the weekend, it will give me a good excuse to stay inside and get done a long list of tasks.

My niece’s wedding is coming up in a week. I have been asked to be the official photographer. I have done some family weddings in the past, but I’m a little nervous. This is the first one I will shoot on my digital SLR. This weekend I want to practice a little with my new strobe to make sure I have it “down.” I don’t want any surprises. I also have Photoshop Elements, but I have not taken the time to really get into it and learn all the nuances. I could afford to spend a few hours this weekend in front of the computer playing around and learning the program.

I do have a new flat-screen monitor that I picked up last night. I discovered my older, fairly small-screen CRT monitor (that actually dates back to a previous computer) really doesn’t do well for working with digital photos. The new one is very pretty! Thanks to Poolboy, Princess Writer and SIL for the Fathers Day gift certificates that paid for much of the cost.

I’m checking-in from work on my lunch break, so I gotta go. I am accompanying one of our faculty scientists to a talk at a local retirement home. Should be interesting. We’ll see.

Ciao!

Quiet weekends and hurricane season

We had a fairly quiet weekend, which was just great. I slept late on Saturday and then spent most of the rest of the day running errands on the far side of town. Saturday evening mass and then off to eat some seafood at a casual beach restaurant with two other couples. Sunday was spent cleaning up the yard and the pool, doing laundry and other equally exciting chores. We have such an interesting life.

As the summer winds down in this part of the country, there is a mix of emotions. You hate the see the summer end, but on the other hand the college football season is right around the corner. Around here, that is about as exciting as Christmas is to a small child.

Here on the coast, there is another issue that raises its head this time of year – hurricane season. Every day, people who for the rest of the year, are only casually interested in the weather make sure they check in on the Weather Channel or Weather Underground every day. Although they are thousands of miles away, cloud formations off the west coast of Africa are the topic of conversations in the aisles of the grocery stores. There is a little edge — a little anxiety — that sticks with you all the time.

When a storm actually does hit somewhere else, you have mixed emotions. “Gee, I’m really sorry you were hit by a hurricane, but I’m even happier it didn’t hit me!

Hurricane Floyd September 1999

Hurricane Floyd September 1999

It’s been ten years since Hurricane Floyd threatened this part of the coast before making one of those famous right hand turns and heading north to North Carolina.  The evacuation is legendary among Savannahians. It is fortunate we weren’t hit by a major storm in the ensuing couple of years. I know many people, Mrs. Poolman included, who said, “I’d rather sit here and suffer through a hurricane than spend another 23 hours stuck on the road to Atlanta.”

There is a local myth that Savannah is protected from hurricanes by the curvature of the coast. There is actually a little truth to the legend, but it certainly isn’t a bullet-proof shield. The rotation of the Earth tends to make hurricanes curve to the right (north.) They also feed off of warm water, and the north-flowing Gulf Stream runs about 100 miles off shore here. Both of those will give a storm a tendency to turn to the north, but they are only two of lots of other factors, most of which  I do not understand.

So as of this evening, we have a tropical storm in the Gulf that appears to be heading for Alabama, and another out in the Atlantic, heading who-knows-where.

I guess I’ll be joining everyone else watching the Weather Channel for the next two and a half months.