Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fall Foliage of a Different Sort

The Fall color outside is rapidly waning, but fortunately I have a job that allows me to work with plants all year. The greenhouse provides and endless source of subject matter.
Foliage shots are always a lot of fun for me and the variety of pigmentation found on leaves is astonishing.
The closer you get the more interesting things become.
You think he would tell his neighbor to not to scare of the next meal.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Feed Me Seymour !!!

What happens when an Agave gets gloriously out of control in the conservatory.

Feed me! Feed me! Feed me!
Feed me, Seymour
Feed me all night long
That's right, boy
You can do it
Feed me, Seymour
Feed me all night long
'Cause if you feed me, Seymour
I can grow up big and strong

Would you like a Cadillac car?
Or a guest shot on Jack Paar?
How about a date with Hedy Lamarr?
You gonna git it.

Would you like to be a big wheel,
Dinin' out for every meal?
I'm the plant that can make it all real
You gonna git it

I'm your genie, I'm your friend
I'm your willing slave
Take a chance, just feed me and
You know the kinda eats,
The kinda red hot treats
The kinda sticky licky sweets
I crave

Come on, Seymour, don't be a putz
Trust me and your life will surely rival King Tut's
Show a little 'nitiative, work up the guts
And you'll git it

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Excellent Holiday

I guess if I had to come up with a common thread for this Thanksgiving it would have to be 'catching-up'. I was able to visit with my parents, the neighbors, new friends, and catch up on the phone with three old and dear friends from the University of Florida that I hadn't spoken to in awhile.

My friends from UF and I are a little shocked at where the time has gone. A couple of us are pushing 40 and the others were not far behind. Where did the time go? Maybe this is the way it is supposed to be...If you are more or less enjoying life then perhaps time flies. I think it is probably better than it crawling by.

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. - Emily Dickinson

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Now if only the gym would allow creativity.

This video from YouTube caught my eye and made me laugh. For all of you who spend too much time at gym indoors. This group found a way to make your workouts a bit more exciting.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Peaceful Day in Western North Carolina

I just got out and enjoyed the weather today and took a few pictures of things that caught my eye.

Is it just me? or does this tree trunk remind anyone else of "The Scream."

Yes that is poison ivy! (Toxicodendron radicans)

Happy Thanksgiving Day (Late)

This picture comes from the The Museum of Hoaxes and it makes me laugh. Appropriate.

We had Thanksgiving early with my folks last weekend, but yesterday we got a second awesome dinner from our neighbors across the street. They also invited some other friends of theirs and everyone had a marvelous time.

The mother of one of the dinner guests attended. I guess she must be in her 70's, but it was hard to tell. Her name was Rosa. She was born in Cuba, but left as a young woman in 1955 for Florida. She lived, married, and raised a family in Florida over the next 49 years and recently moved to North Carolina to spend time with her daughter. She was a delightful guest and provided lots of insight into "pre-Castro" Cuba. It must have been a marvelous time to be there.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Going to the well one time too many...

So first, my DSL modem mysteriously died this no Internet for the biggie because my folks were up visiting from Richmond. I got ahead on my work so I could enjoy the weekend relaxing with them. We don't get to see them often enough.

Well, Friday night we all got ready to go to bed and Christine and I decided to watch a little TV downstairs to unwind. Suddenly, we heard a noise that sounded like the washing machine is filling up....but no one was doing laundry! The hot water heater...emergency pressure valve opened and let out several gallons of water all over the laundry floor. Then all three toilets in the house started to "run" simultaneously. The water pressure inside the house is usually 30 - 50 psi, but had risen to well over a 100 psi (the needle on the pressure regulator readout had gone all the way to the backside of the gauge).

We live in the mountains and share a well with our neighbors, so as we opened all the taps in the house (to keep the pressure in check) and began to clean up we called the neighbors to make sure they were aware of the problem...cause according to logic they should be having similar issues. The well is 500' deep and has an industrial strength pump. This setup is not that uncommon where we live. Well our neighbor comes over to help and says he is having no problem because he shut off the water to move a hot water you might guess he hadn't done quite that, in fact what he had managed to do is disengage our pressure regulator at the well head and leave his pressure regulator (off-line) operating the pump. we had it more or less figured out, but set up an appointment with plumbers in the morning to see what we could do to make sure this didn't happen case either of us wanted to do some sort of plumbing repairs or upgrades in the future. However, "nice neighbor" did not fully believe us and decided to repeat his engineering wizardry in the middle of the night and duplicated the problem again....leading us to have to all get up and turn taps on etc. at 2 a.m. I think after we spoke the second time he got it :-)

On a more fun note, the student's studying Forestry have a Timber Sports Team. As part of an opportunity showcase they put on demonstration for county high school and middle school students.
Many of the competitors wear this cool modern day armor so that they get to keep all their fingers and toes in the case of a mishap. As you can imagine, Timber Sports are not the most forgiving when it comes to injuries.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Essence of Pete

Googlized Spam

(THE LINK for your viewing pleasure)

MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05

Categories: Main dish
Yield: 8 Servings

1.00 pk Frozen hashbrown potatoes,
-thawed slightly (32 oz)
0.50 c Butter or margarine, melted
1.00 t Salt
1.00 t Pepper
0.50 t Garlic powder
2.00 c Shredded Cheddar cheese
1.00 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed
-(12 oz)
1.00 cn Cream of chicken soup
-(10 3/4 oz)
1.50 c Sour cream
0.50 c Milk
0.50 c Chopped onion
0.25 c CHI-CHI's Diced Green
-Chilies, drained
2.00 c Crushed potato chips

Heat oven to 350'F. In large bowl, combine potatoes, melted butter,
salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In another bowl, combine cheese,
SPAM, soup, sour cream, milk, onion, and green chilies. Add SPAM
mixture to potato mixture; mix well. Pour into 2-quart baking dish.
Sprinkle with potato chips. Bake 45-60 minutes or until thoroughly

MMMMM --- doesn't that just make you Hungry...for those of you with
Gourmet tastes you must try this one out.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Christine Photoshopped

Christine put up with me taking a few images this evening. I thought this one was particularly interesting and I spent a little time with it in Photoshop.

Late Autumn on Campus (Experiments)

I needed to get out from behind the computer and it was another great day, so I took a walk around campus and had some fun with my camera. I cropped the picture above out of a shot of some red leaves.
Photo of window outside the old grist mill. The window on the opposite side of the building interrupted the reflection.
Grist mill in motion. This resulted in a weird visual effect. The wheel came out looking warped. It is as round as a 100-year-old water wheel can be.
Finally a more traditional fall photo.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Eclectic Weekend

On Saturday (It was 75 F) I finally caught up with several projects that I had been putting off. First, I mowed the lawn, for what will hopefully be the last time this season. Then I assembled a crib for the new baby that my folks ordered for us (everyone has been so generous, we are very thankful and lucky). Finally, I fixed a connection to one of our gutters to the underground pipes that take the water away from the house and out into the backyard. The Indian summer ended last night and we awoke to the mountain peaks being covered with new snow....first of the season.
I saw this car parked at the gym today...all I can say is that this is very Bothersome. Who finds this funny in our world today ??? So many kids frequent the gym...I know the owner probably had no real malicious intent, but why even kid about stuff like this. I don't know too much about guns, but the one in the gun rack did not look like anything you would normally use for hunting game.
Finally, ever been driving along enjoying the view out the window and then splat!!! I am glad to see the birds are eating well :-)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Laughs

Most of you have probably already seen this, but if is good for a laugh on an otherwise disturbing election day. I say disturbing, because at least where I live, I had trouble finding any candidates that I felt like supporting. I hate when it comes down to electing the person who I feel will do the least harm...but more and more that is what I am doing.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mocha Latte Morning

There are still a few persistent leaves, but for the most part they are all on the ground. I took the dogs out for a frosty (16 F) but pleasant walk this morning and was treated to a nice ice show.
I'll admit it. I am fascinated by leaves. You would think I made my living off of plants or something?
Official winter is still off 7 weeks or so, but it is starting to feel a little more like it here everyday.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Yellow is a bright, cheerful color, often associated with happiness and peace.

In the English language, yellow has traditionally been associated with jaundice and cowardice. In American slang, a coward is said to be "yellowbellied" or "yellow."

Near the end of the 18th century, the color yellow was often associated with mental illness, specifically including insanity, and with other sorts of mental problems (e.g. depravity). Examples include The Yellow Book, The Yellow Wallpaper, The King in Yellow, and The Yellow Sign.

In China, yellow is associated with prosperity, and also a "Yellow Movie" means a pornographic film; contrast "blue movie".

Because it is similar to the gold color and precious metals such as gold or bronze, yellow is associated with coinage and bullion.

"Yellow journalism" was sensationalist journalism that distorts, exaggerates, or exploits news to maximize profit. The term came from Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal American, who engaged in sensational reporting during the late 19th and early 20th century, most famously during the Spanish-American War. The term was derived from the color comic strip The Yellow Kid, which appeared in both papers. - From Wikipedia