Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Friday, August 31, 2007

My Family is Complete...


I purchased 4 more Shubunkins this week from Petco. My pond population is finally complete. I'm trying hard not to overpopulate the pond-- if I stop stocking the pond at this point, my fish should thrive.


I learned this week that the only physical difference between Shubunkins and Koi is that the Koi have "whiskers" (like catfish).


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gotta Get This One Off My Chest!



This container of body wash has been in my shower for over a year. I don't know where it came from- I didn't buy it. I assume that my former roommate bought it, and left it behind. I normally use bar soap, but I ran out a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I'd use up this liquid body wash so I could get rid of it and have one less container in my shower.

It bothers me on so many different levels. One of the things that bothers me (and you can't see it in this photo) is that the name of the body wash is "Softsoap- For Men". Every morning I see it- and I wonder "Why can't women use it? It's just soap?". So I finally decided to read the label today to figure out what makes this product more suitable for men. Nothing on the label gave me any indication that this wouldn't clean the female body just as well.

Another thing that bothers me is the big sticker on top of the container "33% more than 18 oz". So what? If they made a 36 oz container would there be a sticker announcing that it was "100% more than 18 oz"? All that sticker proclaims is a math problem, and who wants to do math in the shower at 4am anyway?

One more tidbit that the back label reveals: "It's perfect for home, travel, and the gym". I disagree-- it's not perfect for the gym. A body wash that's perfect for the gym would have a screw top. "Softsoap for Men" has a flip top made of flimsy plastic. If you threw this bottle into your gym bag, chances are the top would open and spill body wash all over your gym clothes. Also, I prefer to take a smaller container of body wash to the gym-- you know, the 1 oz size that you normally get at hotels. I don't want to lug a 24 oz bottle into the gym shower-- I only need enough body wash for one shower at a time when I'm away from home. Plus, every gym I've ever visited has a body wash dispenser in every shower stall. The same goes for hotels-- I've never been to a hotel that didn't furnish body wash, or at least a bar of soap. So why is Softsoap "perfect" for travel and the gym? In my opinion, it's the farthest thing from perfect.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pretty, but Dumb!!!

The Long-Awaited Cook Book...


The Flying Biscuit Cookbook is finally here! Our original cookbook sold out over a year ago, and try as we may, the original publisher would not return our phone calls. Delia wrote a second cookbook and sent it to another publisher. They took her money and vanished. So after lots of research on different publishers, she finally found one that seemed legit. The release date for the new cookbook is September 10th, but I received a couple of cases of them last week. The funny thing is that you can already find used copies of the book for sale online! I searched tonight and found lots of used books available! I don't understand this-- every copy of the book is in my office! How could there be any used copies out there? I guess someone from the publishing company or the printing company made a few extra copies and took them straight to Amazon!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fun with Photoshop!

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Pond at Night

video

Here's a short video, showing the new pond lights at night! Turn up the volume so that you can hear the sounds of the water!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Baby King

At the time that this video was filmed, King was a couple of months old. He's a big boy now, tipping the scales at just over 90 lbs! They grow up so fast!!
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Bragging....

The deal I struck with the Biscuit is finally starting to pay off! It took a few months for everything to fall into place, but believe it or not-- it's finally happening! I don't get paid commission on catering orders until we receive payment. Most of my big accounts are on a 30 day billing cycle, so it took a little while to get things going. But now the pieces are falling into place. This week I received payments on some of the jobs I did in July and the commission on those jobs will be enough to cover my mortgage- and I'll still receive my regular paycheck on top of that! As long as business keeps up, and my clients continue to pay on time, I'll be sitting pretty! I'll be receiving the equivelant of 1 month's mortgage every other week!




Forgive me for bragging about money--I know that it can disappear in the blink of an eye. I've lived a pretty humble life for the past 40-something years. I'm proud of myself and the work that I did to get to this point. I worked hard for it and I'm glad to know that hard work does pay off eventually!




I've come a long way from where I was a few years ago-- I remember a few years ago when I got a foreclosure notice. I took a loan from Beverly to save my house. This was probably the most humiliating point in my life. I come from a family that always played as if they were rich. No matter how dire the circumstances, we were well dressed and were taught to give the appearance that we were wealthy. Borrowing money from a new-found friend was out of the question. But I did it- I was desperate. Thank God for Beverly-- I'd hate to think where I would be without her help. Hopefully some day I can "Pay it Forward" and help someone else in need.

I've borrowed money and scraped by for so many years. I robbed Peter and payed Paul. I schemed and I dreamed, and somehow I arrived at this point. It's such a relief to know that all of my bills are paid- the multiple daily calls from collection agencies have stopped, too. I'm not rich, and I don't foresee ever being wealthy, but everytime I receive one of these commission checks I feel like I'm getting a silent pat on the shoulder and the words "job well done" ring in my ear.



Thursday, August 23, 2007

Finally!! The Thunder Rolls!!!!


The thunder is rolling. We even got a little rain earlier-- finally! I can't remember the last time it rained!!!! Hopefully there'll be some more rain later tonight. The sky is rumbling-- the ground is thirsty. The conditions are all right-- let it rain!!!!!

Yesterday the high temp in Atlanta was 104--- beating the high temp of 103 in 1908 . So much for the Global Warming Theory! It's just as hot today as it was 99 years ago!

I guess it's time to turn off the lights, crank down the AC, raise the blinds, open the windows and enjoy a good breeze, the sound of thunder and hopefully the music of rain beating on the roof.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Two Weddings...


August 19th, 1961: Harriet Diane Cantrell married Lewis Joel Burnett (my parents).


August 19th, 1928: Jimmie Catherine Whipple married Ernest Monroe Cantrell (my grandparents).


Happy Anniversaries!


Life on the Farm...


I was able to find 2 more Shubunkins at Petsmart today, so now I'm up to 5. I will stop when I get to 8, because I've learned that I should only have 1 Shubunkin per 35 gallons of water-- my pond holds somewhere between 275-300 gallons of water, so 8 Shubys will have to be enough. They aren't easy to find-- I've already bought out Petco and Petsmart. I need to find 3 more soon, so that they have time to get settled in before the winter hybernation period starts. There's a Petsmart on Ponce de Leon Ave in Midtown that I haven't checked yet. Maybe tomorrow.


I installed three pond lights yesterday. One is inside the pond shining up. The other two are outside the pond- one shines down on the water, and the other shines across the top of the pond and highlights the frog fountain and some of the surrounding plants. It's really beautiful at night. I'll need to schedule an evening garden party when the weather gets a little cooler, and after the Summer plants are removed and replaced with foliage that resembles live plants!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Shubunkins




I'm sure that none of my friends have ever heard of a Shubunkin.

It's a breed of goldfish-- in the same family as Koi. I am now the proud owner of three calico Shubunkins. They are the heartiest members of the goldfish family, and if they can't survive in my pond nothing can!
I like the idea of owning a pet that no one has ever heard of. How prentitious will it be when I tell people that I have 4 dogs and "several Shubunkins"? I can imagine Joel saying "My brother lives out in East Point-- he's a caterer, and he breeds Shubunkins!"
I vow to use the word Shubunkin in a sentence at least once a day. Before long, everyone will be talking about Shubunkins as if they know what they are. People will be impressed with my ability to breed Shubunkins, but secretly wonder what in the hell a Shubunkin is!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Was it Worth it?


Today is Wednesday. I've already worked 51 hours this week, with 4 more days to go. Thank God I have an assistant to do all of the catering deliveries for me, otherwise I'd be working around the clock!


Vacations are fun, but the paybecks are hell!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Clean At Last...


While I was out of town last week, the gas company decided it would be the perfect opportunity to replace the gas lines on my street. They dug up my yard, replaced the line, and then filledin the dirt and spread grass seed and hay. I don't have any delusions that the seed that they spread will actually become grass some day-- with the temps in the 100's and water restrictions in place. They weren't able to turn the gas back on because I wasn't home. They left me a note saying that "for my convienance", they gas would be turned off until I called to have my service reconnected. How thoughtful of them-- it's so convenient to come home from vacation to a home without gas-- no cooking, no showering, etc. I called the gas company within minutes of seeing the notice, and learned that they wouldn't be able to reconnect my service until Monday between 6pm and 10pm. They showed up last night at 9:55pm. By this point, I had gone 3 days without a bath. My last shower was at the Hilton Head gym on Friday morning. I was desperate to be clean-- I never enjoyed a shower more than I did this morning. Finally, I'm able to face the world again!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Entertainer Merv Griffin dies at 82















(1925-2007)

Grease 2


One of my birthday presents last year wasa portable DVD player. I've never had much of an occassion to use it, but I took it to Hilton Head with me last week. I discovered that it has a cigarette lighter attachment, so it's perfect for watching a movie in the car on a long drive. I discovered that Hilton Head Island is exactly 2 movies away from Atlanta! On the way down, I watched "Big Fish" and "The Lake House". On the way home yesterday I watched "Dream Girls" and "Grease 2".


I don't know anyone else that liked "Grease 2". It didn't live up to the reputation of it's predecessor, but I loved it. I probably loved it because it was so cheesy-- I've always loved B-movies! The sequel is a total flip-flop of the original.


Grease: Good girl Sandy falls in love with bad boy Danny. In order to catch him, she transforms into a spandex-covered bad girl.


Grease 2: Good boy Michael falls in love with bad girl Stephanie. In order to catch her, he transforms into a leather-wearing biker.


"Grease 2" takes place at the same high school (Rydell High), and supposedly is the school year following Danny & Sandy's graduation. It's strange that the entire teaching faculty is different. Principal McGhee and her assistant Blanche are still there, though. Frenchy and Eugene are in a couple of scenes, too.


If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. Of course, you'll probably hate it like everyone else, but there's a chance that you might enjoy it as much as I did!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Honey, I'm Home!

It's been a week since my last post, so I've got a lot of catching up to do, I guess! I was able to make arrangements for the damage from the fallen tree to be taken care of last Saturday. I didn't miss much of the vacation week-- just got a later start than normal. I was on the island by suppertime. The fence is still an eyesore, but it's functional for now, and the dogs are safe and secure in the backyard. I have a nice pile of mulch (the shredded oak tree) that I'll use in the front flower bed.

Anyway, back to the vacation-- I didn't get to sleep in at all-- and it was my choice! I purchased a 1 week membership at a nearby gym and set my alarm for 5am each morning. It was a small gym, but very upscale and a nice clientele. I worked out each morning with the local firemen, the policemen and the life guards, and was finished each day in time to meet Mom, Joel and Ashley at Java Joe's for our coffee hour and crossword puzzle race!




Due to the unusually high temperatures (it reached 100 degrees every day, and there was no breeze--not even on the beach), the tennis racquet stayed in the trunk of my car. Maybe next year!
Also, due to the unually high amount of jellyfish stings reported- going into the ocean was pretty much out of the question. I saw several people that had been stung pretty badly. I've been stung by jellyfish in the past, and it wasn't a big deal-- but these people were attacked by jellyfish-- tenticles wrapped around their arms or legs. I didn't want to chance it, so I spent most of my afternoons sitting by the pool, or shopping the outlet stores.

The new 2 bedroom/ 2.5 bath condo was incredible-- we had more space than we could use! We spent the past 26 years in a 1 bedroom/ 1 bath unit, so it was a real upgrade to have the extra bathrooms and closets and larger rooms this year. Angie and 2 of her friends rented our 1 bedroom unit this year and it worked out perfectly.

We ate well, too! I gained 7 pounds during the week! Seafood is my favorite, and I had it at least twice each day! On Monday we drove into Savannah and visited some friends that cooked a low-country boil dinner for us-- crab/mussels/oysters/crawfish/corn-on-the-cob/potatoes. She spread newspapers on the picnic table in the backyard and poured all of the food onto the papers and everyone dug in. Incredible!!!


It was a great week and I can't believe it's over already! I'm already looking forward to next year! Only 51 more weeks to go!






Friday, August 03, 2007

Just My Luck...


My vacation plans have changed in the last half hour. One of my trees in the backyard decided to fall on Hilton-Head-Eve. It's not pretty, but I'm thankful that the dogs weren't hit, the house wasn't hit, my car wasn't hit, and my new grill was within an inch of being hit. But, my fence was destroyed, the table set that Aunt Jane gave me is destroyed, and I have live electrical wires down in the backyard. I turned off the fuses going to the garage so maybe it's safe now? The tree missed my car by a couple of feet, but knocked down the power lines that run from my house to the garage.

In the morning, I'll call a tree removal service, an electrician and the fence company that installed my fence. Hopefully they can get it all taken care of and I can be Hilton Head-bound by Sunday morning. I've been saving up vacation money for a year now-- I was looking forward to buying dinner for the entire family at a nice restaurant. I'm sure that that dream has now gone down in smoke. Damni it! I've worked my ass off all year and put money aside so that when I was able to take a vacation, I could do it without worrying about every dollar I had to spend. Now all of my savings will go towards removing the damage that this tree did to my property tonight and I will go on vacation pennyless and broke, as usual. I guess I should look on the bright side-- my dogs and my home are safe, and my vacation fund is available to cover this unexpected expense. But with all that I have to be thankful for, all I can think is "this sucks!".

Thursday, August 02, 2007

48 Hours Away...






I can't believe that I will finally get a vacation! I'll have a week of sleeping in late, of having my Mommy cook for me, of being surrounded by the most incredible family I can imagine. A week of eating at my favorite restaurants, playing tennis with my brothers, swimming in the ocean with my nephew and riding horses with my niece.

We'll all spend a few days on the pier catching blue-point crabs, which we'll take home and turn into crab-filled mushrooms. We'll journey into Savannah and sit on the front porch of people that were actual characters in the book " Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil".
We've been going to Hilton Head for vacation for about 30 years now-- and each year we have a new adventure. One year we rented a Sari--a bicycle made for 8. We rode all around the island and had a great time. One year we went deep sea fishing and didn't catch a thing because some nerd hooked a sail fish that drug us through the Caliboge Sound for hours. One year we went on a murder mystery cruise, also in the Sound, and had a great time figuring out "who done it".

Every year always ends with a trip to Harbour Town-- dinner on the decks beside the yacht docks, followed by a stroll through the shops where we don't buy anything because it's too expensive, and dessert beneath the old spanish-moss covered oak trees.

And there's always a late night walk with with nephew at some point during the week. I take him down the beach to the Holiday Inn-- the most happening place in Hilton Head. They have a bar that is surrounded by a pool in a little island, and a bonfire on the beach every night. We usually sit in one of the deck chairs and vent to each other. We reunite during these chats and the world seems right as we walk back home afterwards, with our flip flops in our hand and the waves gently kissing our feet.
This is gonna be heaven-- I won't be setting the alarm for 3:30am-- I will be able to stay up past sunset. I'll be able to sleep in if I want to-- if I'm able to--- with a beach only a few feet away, I'll probably be up at the crack of dawn each day to get the best lounge chair!



Old Friends


While on a catering run today, I ran into an old friend. I was in the lobby entrance of Crawford Long Hospital when I heard my name being shouted. I turned around and I saw Joy Miller standing there.


No one would ever suspect that the two of us would be such good friends. You wouldn't imagine that we had anything in common. She's black, I'm white... she's in her 70's, I'm in my 40's... she's the front desk manager for an OBGYN, I'm the catering manager for the Biscuit. What could we possibly have in common?


We worked side by side as travel agents at Rosenbluth International Travel for 5 years. When Rosenbluth closed, we both ended up at Carlson Travel. We worked there together for another 2 years before they closed and we found each other again at ESC. We worked together for another year before I left for the Biscuit. ESC closed a few months later and she found herself in a new career at Crawford Long.


Joy is one of my all-time favorite people in the world and it was so great to see her today. I found out that she now lives in East Point, too. Something else we have in common!


We traded phone numbers, several hugs , a couple of kisses and promises to get together sometime soon. What a great chance meeting!




Lost, lost, lost!


Lost Item #1: I lost my cell phone near the end of last week. I never realized what a life line that little phone was. It's strange to think how of how dependent I am on it. But, it holds all of the phone numbers of everyone that I love and care about. Without my phone, I really can't contact my mother! It's a lesson, I need to write all of the important numbers in an address book and keep it at home. Luckily, my phone turned up today! I did my usual Thursday delivery to GA State and one of the guys in the class asked if I'd lost my phone, It turns out that I left it behind when I delivered and he held it for me til he saw me today. I kind of wish that he would've called me earlier in the week-- he knows where I work. But I won't go there. I'm just glad to get it back and can't wait to get it charged up so I can listen to all of the messages that I'm sure are waiting for me! I wonder what I might have missed out on? I'll know in a couple of hours when it's fully charged!


Lost Item #2: I lost my debit card on Tuesday. I didn't realize it until I went to get my haircut that night. When it came time to pay the bill, I reached in my wallet only to find that I was carrying everything but my debit card. Luckily I had enough cash to cover the haircut, but I felt like a fool-- standing there and emptying the contents of my wallet on the counter of the saloon.- looking through every item in the stack, then doing it a second and third time, as if it would magically appear if I looked through the contents again. I went to the bank Wednesday morning and got the card cancelled and ordered a new one. When this has happened before, I've always received a temporary card that works the same as an ATM-- you can get money out of the teller machine, but can't use it in a store or restaurant because it doesn't have the VISA symbol on it. But-- as luck would have it-- Bank of America started a new program this week-- as of Tuesday, they can now issue a temporary debit card as a replacement and this card can be used just like a Visa! What a relief!


All's well that end's well-- I've been reunited with my cell phone and I have a functioning credit card. Who could ask for anything more?