Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chattanooga Freeze

Our week in Chattanooga is up and we really didn't do anything, Chattanooga is one of our favorite city's but the weather was just too dam cold to do much of anything. The day we arrived here it was in the upper 60's and sunny but after that the cold fronts came through. We had to disconnect the water lines each night, the coldest that I noticed on the thermometer this week was 23 degrees. We've already decided that next year when we head north for the birthdays in March we're going to leave the rig in the gulf shores area and do a two day drive north.

Our second favorite restaurant is in this area, when we tried to go to it last year it was closed for remodeling, that's almost always a bad sign, well it was open this year with a new name and owner, we tried it any how since it's up on top of Look Out Mt and there is nothing else in the area. The remodeling took all the character out of the restaurant, the prices doubled and the menu was very limited, it's very yuppie and if you only watch PBS and only eat vegetables then this might be the place for you but don't even think of taking any kids. I predict that it will be out of business with in two years.

On the good side our favorite Used Book Store McKay's moved about two miles down the road and this turned out to be a real good thing, they doubled their floor space and tripled the parking area. They take just about everything in trade, paperbacks, hardcovers with the jacket, Cd's, DVD's, VHS tapes, software and more, they offer you either trade value or cash, we always take the trade value which is about three times more then the cash and then we stock up on our books. We started going there about six years ago and the first time we took in a bunch of books and bought a bunch but ended up still having a credit (which never expires). We have never had to spend a cent out of pocket there, we pickup a lot of books and CD's at thrift stores and such and after we read the books or burn the music to the computer we just stick them under the couch until we get to a McKay's, the y have stores in Chattanooga,Knoxville and Nashville.

Other then that it was pretty much stay inside and watch the Olympics.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

T + 48 hours

What a fun week it's been, started off Monday morning sneaking into the dentist to get an abscessed tooth yanked out. This started a week ago when we first got in the area, the dentist wanted to do a root canal but after I explained that we would only be here a week he ruled that out because it would take a month, I said lets pull it and being a dentist he was dead set against that, so we came up with the idea of doing a little periodontal work and putting a hard coating on the tooth and wa-lah no more problems, so we tried that.

As we sat around over the week-end Cathy had here little bowl of M&M's next to here and I had my little bowl of pain killers next to me, don't know if it was just the timing or if their probing around with the tooth but I could feel the infection starting to get into my sinus's. Gave them a call and they called in a script for an antibiotic, take this and in two days no more pain, heard that before. Wednesday I accidentally bite down on the tooth and I received a new experience in pain, I instantly let out a scream, lightning bolts were shooting out of the top of my head and tears were gushing from my eyes, about 30 minutes later when the pain died down I called the dentist again and talked them into pulling the tooth only we can't get you in until tomorrow afternoon.

The first thing he said when he looked at the tooth was “Boy that's really swollen and infected”, da ya think. OK tooth is gone, keep taking the antibiotic's and here's a script for Davocet for the pain, we go fill the script do a little shopping and Cathy runs into Subway to get a sandwich to eat in front of me when we get home, yes she can be that why at times. I take two of the Darvocet and lay back to watch the Olympics, they don't work very fast and don't seem to work very good at knocking out the pain.

Didn't get to much sleep that night and in the morning I took a couple more pills and grab a seat on the couch, 30 minutes later I'm dozing off a little and just listening to the TV,when the visions in my mind turn to a bunch of cartoon type characters with the voices of the TV, weird. Pop my eyes open and everything is normal, close my eye again and the cartoons are back, about then I take a look at the script and decide to count the pills that are left. WOW according to my math I've taken 2 days worth of pills in about 22 hours, that may explain the cartoon characters dancing around in my head. I get the little machine out and blood pressure is good, pulse is normal.

Thank God that I'm a child of the 60's and know how to handle this type of situation, sit back relax and stay awake, about 3 hours later the cartoons were gone the pills were in the trash and everything was back to normal, now since Cathy was busy with her back to me the whole time doing research on the computer, the question is do I tell her or not. I figured I better tell her, cause as soon as she turned around and saw me dressed in Red, White and Blue striped bell bottom jeans, a tie dyed tee-shirt, head band, spiked hair and playing my harmonica she was going to start asking questions.

After a tender butt chewing she asked why I didn't say anything,(you have to understand that the grand kids call her “The Crazy Safety Grandma”, I explained that I knew it would pass and that she would have had 10 rescue vehicles in the park. Also that this entire episode was really her fault, had she checked the calendar this morning she would have seen that it is clearly mark that it was her day to watch me.

Think I got away with that one.

Thaaaaaaaaaaat's all Folks

Thursday, February 18, 2010

upate on twopf

Tobay I wnt ta th ddentis ad hd a abcst twoph puuld an ma muth ss bery sooor.

Cathy here, what Jim is trying to say is that he went to the dentist and had an abscessed tooth pulled and his mouth is very sore. He should feel better tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympics Opening Ceremony - just a thought

We watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics last night and thought that it was fabulous, the timing and precision of all the special effects were perfect, right up to the lighting of the Olympic Flame when one of the four towers failed to rise.

They called it a technical malfunction but I saw it in a different way. At military funerals they often do a fly over with fighter jets, normally it is a flight formation of four with one jet missing to represent and honor their fallen comrade. Last night one of the four towers failed to appear, I think that it was just the Spirit of the Olympics holding it down to honor their fallen comrade Nodar Kumaritashvile, who died that morning in the Luge crash.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Snow Day in Georgia

It's not that it's not cold enough for us here in St. Augustine, went down to 29 last night or the fact that we miss wearing long pants, sweaters,hats and coats but instead of packing up and heading south in search of global warming, we're going to be heading north.

The logical reason for us doing this would be that we're just plain STUPID but logic has nothing to do with this move. This move is made because of LOVE, for our grand daughter whose birthday happens to be the first week of March.

Now that I give this some thought I'm pretty sure I can blame it all on my daughter. You see she had enough sense to give birth to our grand son in August, a month when we are always in Michigan enjoying the summer, but then when it came time for the grand daughter's birth she had to have it in early March, she could have been a trooper and held back until at least May or better yet June, but nooooooooo she had to go wimp out and do the normal nine month thing and have the baby in March never giving any thought to her poor parents who would rather be in warm weather during that part of the year.

OK! I'm feeling a little better about this now that I know it's not my fault, we're heading up to Unadiila Georgia. This our home park (Coast to Coast) so were going to burn our free week, giving ourselves time to get accumulated to the colder climate one step at a time.

I've had a tooth that has been bothering me the last few days and last night it kept me up most of the night, so I do a Google search for dentist in the Perry area (about ten miles north and the only larger city around), check out their website, pick one that looks pretty good and give them a call. Tell them the problem and that we're just passing through and she tells me she can get me in a noon, GREAT. They call back 15 minutes later and say they had a cancellation and if I can get their by 10 they'll take me right in, This turned out to be the friendliest most helpful and professional dental office I've ever been to. I fell in love with all the ladies there, all of them pretty, funny, helpful and with their southern bell accents you just can't help yourself.

With this problem taken care off we decided to stop by the grocery and pick up a few think for the week-end, the store was packed people were running around like chickens with their heads cut off loading everything they could grab into their carts. We got our stuff and started driving back to camp when we heard on the radio that all the schools in the district were closed today due to snow, A SNOW DAY, we both looked at each other kind of weird because there was no snow on the ground, about half way home it started to sleet a little but no snow. Everybody in the store was in a panic and were stocking up for the inch of snow they might get this week-end. By the time we got back to camp (2PM) it had started to snow, take a look at the ten second video to see how much snow it takes to close all the schools in central Georgia.

If you don't hear from us for a few day it's because were trying to dig our way out from under all the snow.

video

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Peter Wolf Toth

OK! go find a big red marker.... no-no go find the bigger one, the biggest one you've got, now go to your calendar, the one that's on the front of the refrigerator and put a big red circle around February 5th, no come on now make it bigger. The reason we're having you do this is because this is the day we drove down to Edgewater, Florida and visited with the sculpture Peter Wolf Toth, famous for his series of carvings known as the “Whispering Giants”. These carvings are scattered around all fifty states and many provinces in Canada and even a few in Europe. The sculptures are large Indian heads ranging from 15 to 40+ feet tall, and during the last ten years of our travels we have tried to visit them whenever there was one in our area.

Click on the picture to enlarge and read

List of Giants and locations



.................Toth's Bio





A good place to find information on Peter Toth and see pictures of many of the Giants is at this website, CLICK HERE .
Contact Info: Peter Wolf Toth, 102 Arthur Ave/U.S.1, Edgewater, Florida,32141
386-795-0291 Email:peterwtoth@yahoo.com


Back to our story, we pulled up in front of his Home/Galley/Museum/Work shop and parked, and there he was sitting on a log and carving a small Indian face, we introduced ourselves and let him know that we were fans of his work and that we have managed to see about 13 of his carving so far and that we were looking forward to seeing a lot more of them. His yard is completely covered with sculptures which you will see in the pictures later. I had read his book and had a lot of questions for him which he happily answered, we ended up talking with him while he worked on a few different pieces for about an hour and a half. Now during this time Cathy is walking around looking at some of the smaller pieces with that buyers look in her eyes, she finally asked him what the smaller pieces sold for and I wish I had a picture of her face when he told her anywhere from $200 to $600 and that he had sold some for $30,000 +. After about a half hour Cathy kept gravitating back to one little piece, it was an Indian Chief head with war bonnet, it was about 14 inches tall and the wood looked different from the rest. Peter noticed her looking at it and told her it was one of the very few pieces that he had done out of Palm wood and that it was in the $200 range (of course she pointed out to him her relationship to this piece since our name is Palm), as soon as he said that I knew I might as well start reaching for my wallet. After another half hour or so in which Cathy kept looking back at the Palm wood Indian head, he finally shook his head with a little smile and told her she could have it for $100 and then added that if we didn't have the money on us we could go ahead and take it with us and mail him a check.
With Cathy cradling her new possession in her arms we said good bye got in the car and drove off into the the sunset, well it really wasn't a sunset, twenty minutes later it was an all day rain.




So Cathy and I are now the proud new parents of Little Chief POM-POM.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Camp Blanding - Florida ANG Museum

A little bit warmer and the sun is out so we're going to do a little road trip over to Camp Blanding. Camp Blanding was started in 1940 as as a training facility for the Florida National Guard, and it is still used for that today, but with the start of WWII the US War Department took over the camp and expanded it to 170,000 acres (property that was originally part of the J.C.Penney Farm) making it the 4th largest city in Florida. Many of the Infantry Divisions of WWII were trained here including the 1st,29th,30th,31st,36th,43rd,63rd,66th and 79th.


Probably the best known is the "Big Red One" because of the movie with the same name.










The museum is located just outside the main gate so there is no security to go through when you enter, it's a smaller museum but is set up along the time line of the camp and follows the different stages that it went through. During WWII, German POW's were housed here, they found that when they put the Navy POW's in with the Army POW's that they hated each other and were constantly fighting so they had to have to separate barracks one for the Army and one for the Navy. After the war many of the POW's returned here when the could and stayed to become US citizens.


When General Wainwright (defender of Bataan) retired he moved to the small town of Starke right near the camp, many of his military artifacts are on display here.


Memorial Park is located across the street and behind the museum, here there are many monuments dedicated to the different units that trained here at Camp Blanding along with many pieces of equipment on display. One of the unique displays is a replica of a “Fire-base” fortification as they used in Vietnam.




The museum is housed in an original WWII barracks that was used for visiting family members and VIP's. There is no fee but the do accept donation and there is a small museum store. We spent about two hours total to see everything but be sure to eat before coming here because the nearest restaurant is about 20 miles.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Two Washouts & Fort Matanzas

We started out today heading over to Palatka to hike around Ravine Gardens State Park to see the Azales but we ran into a few problems. Once we got there the Ranger at the gate told us that we would not be able to drive or walk around the 1.8 mile loop road because they were repaving it, but we were welcome to walk the trails. Since it's been raining like crazy the last few days we figured that the trails would be to muddy and the temperature was only in the mid 50's so we decided to pass.

Good thing we had a backup plan, take some back roads and head back over to the coast and go to Washington Oaks Garden State Park. No Ranger there so we put our 5 dollars in the self service box and drove into the park, well it's still cold but not as cold as the freeze a few weeks ago that killed of just about all the flowers, so we're going to call this another wash out. Sure is a good thing that we have a backup to the backup, if this doesn't work I'm not sure what we're going to do.

A few miles up the coast and we find it, Fort Matanzas National Park. Fort Matanzas was built on Rattlesnake island around 1740 by the Spanish, it's purpose was to protect St Augustine from being attacked in the rear by ships sailing up the Matanzas River. The name Matanzas means massacre in Spanish, it got its name from an event in the took place here in 1565 were 250 French soldiers were killed by the Spanish. You reach the fort by a park ferry which leaves the dock every hour on the half hour, a five minute boat ride and you're at the fort, we were allowed to spend about 40 minutes at the fort and could go where ever we wanted as long as you didn't climb on the walls. Re-enactors were there to tell us the history of the fort and what life was like for the soldiers the were assigned there. It was still cold but they had a nice big fire going inside the fort to take the chill off. The fort itself wasn't very big about 50 x 50 with a 30 foot tower, it had 5 canons and was normally staffed by only 5 to 8 soldiers.



Gauge for figuring out the canons elevation.







When we got back to the main land they pointed out that there was a nesting Great Horned Owl right at the visitor center, they blended in so well with the trees that it was almost impossible to see them.



So our backup to the backup saved the day for us, now it's back to the rig and try to stay warm for the night and figure out what tomorrows backup will be.