Saturday, December 29, 2007
January 31st-Feb 2, 2008
This is HUGE. You can find parts for practically any automobile as well as a huge car show and cars for sale. This is the 32nd event. It originally started in Nashville, GA and outgrew the town so it moved to the retired Airbase in Moultrie.
Friday, Jan 18- Sunday, Jan 20
World Congress Center
$6.00 Children 6-11
Children 5 & under free
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
On November 3, 2007, 44 year old Tim Fahey crashed while competing in the World Karting Association Road Racing Series event at Road Atlanta. Fahey suffered traumatic brain injury in the crash. He was initially treated at the Shepherd Center and is now being treated at Grady Memorial Hospital where he has been undergoing slow but steady rehabilitation.
Fahey is a resident of Cumming, Georgia. He has a wife, who is a school teacher, and two children. A job change just before the accident left him without a primary insurance provider. Despite the mounting medical expenses and the typical expenses of operating a household, his family has been encouraged by the support of friends and family. A fund has been established to aid the family. Contributions can be made at any Bank of America branch or mailed to:
Bank of America
201 W. Main ST.
Cumming, GA 30040
A CaringBridge.com website has been established as well:
Sunday, December 23, 2007
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The outdoor thermometer was showing 23F when I rolled out of the garage this morning, but at least the sun was shining :) Fortunately, when I arrived home last night there was a small box from Widder containing the pigtail harness for my recently purchased RoadKing. So, I quickly connected it to the battery and was amazed on how easy the RoadKing is to work on!
So, this morning I had the comfort of my Widder electric gloves to fight off a bit of the chill. It was a beautiful commute with a blue sky with a few clouds and sunshine. It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
Monday, December 17, 2007
26 degrees F when I rolled out of the house this morning. A fleece jacket zipped up my neck under my leather was just the ticket. The air rolling in under the helmet at my chin is a bit brisk, but it keeps the fog from my warm breath from fogging up my visor.
All of the motorcycles from last week are evidentally parked for the weekend as I have not encountered one other rider this morning. It's a pity as it's a great day for riding. The roads are dry from Saturday's rains and the sun is shining. I see a couple double takes from the car next to me as I sit out a stop light. A casual grin breaks underneath my helmet. Their heated seats might be cumfy, but I know their admiring a man that can withstand a little chill to enjoy a nice ride.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The last couple of weeks it was in the 30s and 40s in Atlanta, but since last Friday, we've had a warming trend that the weather-guessers say will be ending this weekend. So, until this past weekend, the number of other motorcycles out and about had significantly reduced to the point I could ride 60 miles and maybe encounter one other bike. When it warmed up over the weekend, you couldn't count the bikes on the roads around my home. But you can best bet that this weekend the majority of those motorcycles will be parked for the winter.
One bike that won't be parked for weeks on end sits in my garage. My love for riding doesn't end when the mercury drops. Atlanta has mild winters with temperatures hardly ever below 26, and we don't get the harsh and dangerous ice and snow that our friends in the North get. So why don't these other riders don some leathers and maybe some electric gloves and keep enjoying their motorcycles? I'm guessing for the same reason they only ride on the weekends instead of commuting. They're just riding for the show of it. Which would explain why they don't wear any protective gear.
If I'm stepping on any toes, let me urge you to consider full leathers, a full face helmet, and maybe even electric gloves and try riding some this winter. That favorite riding road will been abandoned and you'll have the whole thing to yourself to enjoy.
As for me, I'm looking forward to another good year of riding and commuting.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Last winter I pulled into a Krystals for a couple bite size burgers and a warm cup of coffee on a cold day. I ordered and the employee responded "we're out of coffee". I said "oh no problem. I'm dining in, I'll wait while you make a fresh pot." The gal then said "well we'll only make decaf." And I thought to myself "it's cheap! What I'll pay for one cup will cover the expense of the whole pot!" I finally got my cup of coffee and noted the corporate gripe line number on the door on my way out. I made the call and Kudos to Krystal corporate. Someone actually called me back and sent me a coupon for free food.
But it's not just Krystals. I have discovered its a trend. Despite it being below 50 degrees outside, a lot of places that normally serve coffee decide they don't need to have any made after breakfast. Come on folks as the mercury drops people get chilled and don't want to drink iced drinks with their meal. Its not rocket science here.
What brings this back to mind it yesterday my wife and I stopped to get a slice of pizza while out Christmas shopping. We popped into one of our favorite pizza places and ordered. I asked the server "do y'all have any coffee". And I got this puzzling response, "I don't know. If Anthony was working we would." She goes to the kitchen and comes back to report they don't have any coffee. Ok, so the initial response indicated to me they own a coffee maker since Anthony makes coffee when he works. So, why wouldn't someone be motivated to say "I'll make a fresh pot and we'll bring you out a cup in a few minutes"??? Instead she just eliminated the option.
Come on folks a little customer service isn't too much to ask is it? Considering how much food is tossed out over the course of a day in most establishments, it can't be too much to ask to make a pot of coffee for a customer requesting a cup. When winter rolls in the sell of warm beverages typically increases unless the servers refuse to accomodate. If you go an inch out of the way, the customer will come back. It's a pretty novel idea :)
Saturday, December 08, 2007
(credit for song reference to Jackson Browne)
The good news...I now have a new fulltime job with a great bunch of folks. And...
I finally have the Road King I have talked about for the last year (or more lol). I made the trade Thursday afternoon. Rosie is a 2005 Harley Davidson Road King Custom, and I couldn't be happier. The differences are unending. I really like that she doesn't struggle going up a hill on the highway and the ride is like floating down the road - a very comfortable bike. As we are in cold weather, the fuel injection system is a huge plus as well.
The increased amount of lighting is also cool. The rear turn signals are combined with the taillight, so from the rear there are three red brake lights and running lights. From the front the huge headlight is accompanied by two running lights. It should be a lot more visible and that should prevent the cage drivers from running over me right? NOT. This morning on my ride to my discipleship group, I encountered a construction van that made a quick swerving lane change (no signal of course) into my lane (I was in the turn lane to get on the interstate). I had to make a quick manuever to avoid a hard collision. The quick throttle response helped in getting out of the mess. I'm convinced there isn't much we can do to prevent these kinds of things, so we have to be expecting it and have a planned escape route.
Happy riding folks!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
If you look thru the pictures you'll notice the orange floats that once marked the farthest point out into the water for the designated swim line are now sitting on dirt a good 20-30 feet from what is now the edge of the water.
Also you'll see what was once a submerged shell of a burned boat is now well above the water line as are a plethora of tires, concrete blocks, cans and bottles.
Irony prevails. I even saw "NO Wake" Buoys lying on dirt 30-40 feet from the water's edge.
Current estimates are that it could take as long as three years of average rainfall for Lake Lanier to return to its previous level.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Robert Craig Knievel was born in Butte, Montana on Oct. 17, 1938. At the age of eight, he was the Joey Chitwood daredevel show, and he decided what he wanted to do with his life.
Thru his teenage years and into adulthood, Knievel was into everything. He earned awards in ski jumping and ice hockey during high school. He admitted to having been a swindler, a car thief, a safe cracker, a holdup man. He served in the Army. He formed a semi-pro hockey team and was the owner, the coach, and a player. He worked in the copper mines, sold insurance, operated a hunting guide business, and opened a Honda Motorcycle Dealership.
But, Robert Craig Knievel was a stuntman and entertainer. Billing himself as Evel Knievel, he drew crowds. He began a solo touring trip in 1966 charging promoters $500 to jump two cars. By 1968, he had gained national recognition by steadily increasing the distance of the jumps. For New Years 1968, he announced he would jump the fountains at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He successfully completed the 151 foot jump but the landing went bad. He was in a coma in a hospital for a month after the crash.
At Wembley Stadium in London, he crashed while attempting to jump 13 double decker buses suffering a broken pelvis. When he couldn't secure the permits to jump the Grand Canyon, he moved his plans to the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. He attempted the jump on Sept. 8, 1974 in his rocket powered "skycycle". A parachute malfunction at take-off doomed the attempt, and he landed in the canyon.
On Oct. 25, 1975, Knievel jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio. In 1976, he attempted to jump a tank of sharks in the Chicago Amphitheatre. He crashed breaking both arms and suffering a concussion. While recuppurating from his injuries, he elected to retire although he toured for a while performing with his stunt performing son, Robbie.
On Friday, after a long struggle with Hepatitis C, a liver transplant in 1999, diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis, and two strokes, Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel died at his condominium in Clearwater, Florida after having breathing difficulty. He was 69 years old.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don't really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don't believe in God and they can prove He doesn't exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it's about who is smarter, and honestly I don't care." - Donald Miller
I found Blue Like Jazz to be a very refreshing read. Miller's writing style is personable and authentic. He isn't on a high rock preaching his belief's to those of us struggling through life. He writes from a vantage point of being open, genuine, and vunerable.
The majority of the book details his experiences at Reed College (a liberal arts school) in Portland, Oregon where Miller discovered how to interact and exhibit love to those around him who had curiousities about the Christian faith.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I've always heard about Mary Mac's Tea Room but somehow have until today missed the opportunity to give it a try. Today was the day. We exited off I-75 South at exit 249D - Pine ST, hung a left on North Ave, a left on Peidmont and a Right on Ponce de Leon. Mary Mac's Team Room sits at the corner of Ponce and Myrtle. Parking is in the rear. It is quite unassuming from the outside although I loved the recently repainted Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of the building. It has a few trees between it and the sidewalk, maybe a professional photographer could get a good shot of it (Steven - HINT). (note: I didn't take the pictures in this posting)
We were warmly greeted and quickly seated. The first thing that caught my attention was that the waitress gave us both a menu and an order ticket and pointed at the glass on the table containing two pencils. You actually fill out your own order. When our waitress realized we were visiting for the first time, she brought us a small "pot licker" serving of turnip greens and cracklin cornbread. Honestly I have never tried greens, but something stirred me to try the free sample and I was pleasantly suprised. If you happen to see my mama, tell her I ate my greens. Our gracious server also provided us with yeast rolls, cinammon rolls, and extra cracklin bread. And, I have to give it to them, they know how to make traditional southern sweet tea!
Mary Mac's has been doing things the same way since 1945 and I say, don't change a thing. The menu options are the same everyday and it contains the most extensive list of side items a southerner could ever ask. Take a peek: Lunch Menu
I had the Turkey and dressing accompanied by green beans and creamed corn. The green beans were good. The creamed corn was to DIE FOR. I gave my wife a taste and she quickly coveted by corn. Our gracious server offered to bring her out a sample. She actually brought her a full serving.
Conclusion: It might be a bit of a drive from above the Perimeter to Ponce de Leon for a good meal, but it is well worth the drive. I've eaten at a lot of southern diners in small towns across south Georgia, and in my opinion, they all aspire to be what Mary Mac's is. Make a point to give it a try. You'll be glad you did.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Now quit worrying about your IPOD and go ride your motorcycle!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
We pause to express our heart filled gratitude to those who are serving, those who have served and to those who have lost a loved one serving in the United States Armed Forces. You did not get to have a choice in the politics behind the fight. You simply answered the call to defend the country you loved. Thank you for standing in harms way when your country called upon you in a time of conflict. Thank you for your sense of honor above all. Thank you for your dedication.
We enjoy the civil liberties and freedom of this country and we owe a debt of thanks to you that we can.
Welcome Home, Soldier!
William Clay Davison was born March 1, 2007. Tragically he died from SIDS on July 25, 2007. In his memory, his parents established the Will Davison Memorial Scholarship Fund.
On Saturday, Nov 10th, the First Annual Ride for Will was held to raise funds for the scholarship. Bikes began assembling at 9am and by 11am there was a good crowd of men and women and their machinery. I was extremely impressed with the hospitality offered to the riders - coffee, cappachino, cokes, water, biscuits, you name it. These folks went over the top to make this an enjoyable event.
The ride left South Forsyth High School preceeded up Georgia 400, off towards Cleveland, Georgia and the arriving at Helen. Forsyth County provided some of the best traffic control I've seen for a ride literally giving us the exclusive use of GA 400 North on a Saturday afternoon. When we left Forsyth County, I expected the traffic control to end, but that was not the case. Each county we entered had their respective Sheriff's deputies blocking intersections and even the Georgia State Patrol had Troopers assisting.
Once arriving safely at Paul's Margarita Deck in Helen, we were greeted with a live band, numerous door prizes, 50/50 raffles, and a really good time. My helmet is off to these folks. It was quite enjoyable to participate in this ride.
After eating a nice lunch and visiting with some fellow riders, I snuck out after the door prize raffle completed. The weather was around 59F and it was too beautiful a fall day to be in the mountains and not on the bike. I made my way out on 17/75 to Georgia Sate Route 348 - the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway.
Yes, I've written about it before, but I'll never get tired of it. GA 348 is 14.1 miles twisting thru the Chattahoochee National Forest. And with fall foilage is beautiful. GA 348 dead ends into GA 180. Hang a left and follow it until it makes a right. Now you are on Wolf Pen Gap, Georgia's curviest road (including a sharp 180). Treat Wolf Pen Gap with respect. The shoulders are narrow and the edges have broken asphalt, but it is an enjoyable ride on a motorcycle despite the rider's skill level. You don't need to try to race it. Road Atlanta is down the road a piece.
180 leaves Wolf Pen Gap and the turns are a bit more sweeping and not as challenging, take a deep breath, smile and enjoy the ride. It deadends at Suches, make a left and GA 60 takes you to Dahlonega.
I gassed at Dahlonega and made the ride on to the house. The temperature was beginning to drop and the sun was beginning to set as I arrived home. A gorgeous day for a ride on a motorcycle and a good bit of money raised for a very worthy cause.
A common theory is that the first motorcyclist in history took his maiden voyage November 10, 1885 (I know I missed posting it yesterday, I was on a charity ride).
Who was the first motorcyclist?
(insert brief history jaunt...it is claimed I never have a short answer)
Gottlieb Daimler(born March 17, 1834) Daimler worked in a steam engine plant for several years before going to work with N. A. Otto to perfect the Otto oil engine at Gasmotoren-Fabrik in Deutz.
Daimler and Otto began to have their differences and in 1882, he left the company and teamed up with a friend, Wilhelm Mayback. They opened their own factory to develop a lightweight gasoline powered engine. By 1885 they had created the carburetor, a "dependable" ignition system, and a gasoline engine that was considerably faster than Otto's creation. There is a bit of controversy in who created the first motorcycle - Otto or Daimler. If you believe the claim that Daimler did, it is reported that this took place in November 1885 when he mounted the lightweight "banjo" shaped engine to a bicycle they name the "Reitwagen". The engine was 264cc, produced 0.5 horsepower at 700 rpms and produced a speed of 7.4 mph.
Some report this was on November 10th but no one can produce any real proof of the date. Some even claim November 1st. In any event, Daimler is reported to have commissioned his oldest son, Paul to try the pairing out. (Either he thought his son was a skilled bicyclist or he thought he could spare him as he had several other sons??) Paul Daimler was reported to have made several trips (some say that several equated to five trips) on the Reitwagen. It had been built soley for purpose of proving the reliability of Daimler's gasoline engine.
In 1890 Gottlieb Daimler founded Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, which produced the 1889 Mercedes and later merged to form The Daimler-Benz & Co. in 1926. Then after a few more spins of the earth became Daimler-Chrysler.
and now you know, the rest of the story...
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
As I rolled the garage door up at 5am, I was pleasantly suprised to find it was 59 degrees F. It had been 39 on Monday, so I was expecting more of the same. As I began my journey through downtown Atlanta and then down through the southside, it was apparent my plan of leaving early and missing the morning commute traffic had worked well. Then I read the message on the matrix board over the interstate that read "wreck 3 miles ahead, 2 right lanes blocked". Considering there are only 3 lanes going south, that has to be a bad omen. 2 miles later, I shut off the bike and put down the kickstand. After 10-15 minutes, I see cars starting, and we crawl past the wreck cleanup and resume speed.
A fuel-up near Macon makes for a good excuse for coffee and a bit of breakfast thanks to the folks at the golden arches. Back in the saddle and resume my journey south. As I approach Cordele, things all to familiar. I pass the Farmers Market Road exit where the race track is located that I spent 12 years competing. Just below Cordele I exit the interstate and the old familiar scenery comes into view. As much as this area may change, it will always look the same to me. As the road ends and I make my turn and continue south, I can see the cotton fields that symbolize home to me.
Another hour of riding and I cross the county line and see the country road where I lived for over a decade. It was dirt when we lived there, the county saw fit to pave it after we left. I pay a quick visit to an old neighbor and friend, but can't stay long. I've made this trip back to rural south Georgia where I grew up to attend the funeral of a close friend's mother. The 4+ hours of riding have given me plenty of time to think about what I have known of her life and what an example she has been to me and all those who have known her. Unfortunately she developed cancer and spent the last few years fighting a courageous battle. Until her last breath, she told anyone that would listen that God is still God and God is good.
On the ride back I marveled at how everytime I return to south Georgia it always seems like I've stepped back in time. Things operate at a slower pace and 30 years of memories play back thru my mind as if they were yesterday.
As I enter the interstate and head north, I begin wrestling with a brutal headwind. The wind is strong enough that the little 883cc engine loses 10 mph ascending the hills on the interstate, and I have to pay close attention to maintain by lane and heading. Riding a bike without a fuel gauge, one learns to use the trip odometer knowing the approximate range for a tank of fuel. The trip down confirmed my range and I had planned my fuel stop in my head for the return trip. It would be 15-20 miles less than the range of a tank of fuel normally. But, the headwind has severely compromised my fuel mileage and a couple of miles short of the planned fuel stop, I feel the bike surge. I deduct it is running out of fuel. I allow it to surge two more times to get all the goody out of the main tank and flip to reserve. The engine smooths out, and I navigate safely to the fuel stop.
After refueling, and resuming my northbound travel, I can see the commuters leaving the metro headed south have gotten down to a crawl. The closer I reach the lower side of the perimeter, the slower the southbound travelers seem to be going. Fortunately for me, northbound seems to be moving well. Soon the familiar sites of Braves stadium, then the Varsity, and all that is downtown Atlanta come into view. After a few brief pauses in traffic, the upper perimeter comes to view. The sun is setting and the temperature is dropping. I certainly would have to stop and add another layer if I was going to be riding much later, but thankfully I am nearing my day's journey's end.
When I arrive in our neighborhood and round the corner, I see our garage door open and the light in the garage is on - silently welcoming me back home. I'm tired, a bit chilled, and glad to be home. Trips like this are bitter sweet. I'm saddened for the loss my friend and his family feel. At the same time, I rejoice with them that their family member is no longer suffering through the agonizing pain of cancer.
The trip also stirs a lot of memories for me, good times, sad times, dreams, hopes, dreams dashed, but all told the events that have formed who I am - my life story of the last 44 years.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
I had just about all but given up on the leaves turning, but they are and they're once again beautiful. Still doing the job search thing, I've been fortunate to pick up some consulting work here and there to get us by until I land another fulltime job. I was up this morning to get ready for a Sharepoint presentation that I was assisting with at Microsoft's facility in Alpharetta. Just before I was ready to don my leathers and fire off the bike, I got a last minute request to cover a client call for the firm that was putting on the Sharepoint gig. So I had a ride down a route that seemed terribly familiar as it was my original commute 6 years ago. Traffic was light as I missed the onslaught of commuters that had taken place 4 hours prior. The fall weather was cool but enjoyable and I got to enjoy the colors of the leaves surrounding the roads on my way to the client call.
After some running some diagnostics and an enjoyable telephone conversation with Dell's award winning support and service, I was on my way to Microsoft's offices. The ride was really familiar as they are located about 5 blocks from my most recent employer. There offices are located in a very picturesque park with waterfalls and a lot of beautiful natural landscape.
The ride home was in the thick of Friday Atlanta commuting traffic but no bother, the fall weather, the rumble of a V-twin, and the gorgeous view of tree leaves turning was relaxing and enjoyable.
Do yourself a favor, make some time to get out and ride. There are a slew of charity rides over the next 4 or 5 weeks, pick one and go. You'll be glad you did.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
- Lawrence of Arabia
Monday, October 29, 2007
So you are out on the road and you need to access the internet with your notebook pc. You cannot find a wireless access point within range from where you are staying, but your windows mobile device (cell phone) has good signal. Depending on your carrier and the build of Windows Mobile 5.0 on your portable device, you may be in luck.
Connect your windows mobile cell phone to your notebook pc with the USB cable that came with the phone.
On you cell phone, click start and find the Accessories folder and open it
Look for an icon that is labelled Modem Link or Internet Sharing (depending on your carrier) and click on it. (If your phone doesn't show an icon for Modem Link or Internet Sharing, you'll need to look into an application for your phone called pdanet).
Connection should show USB (some carriers also give you the bluetooth option)
at the bottom of the window click either Connect or Activate (which ever is shown).
On the notebook pc, you should see a device found notification balloon and then internet sharing device connected. You will then see on the phone where is shows Status - it will show Connected.
You will now be able to navigate the internet on your notebook. When you are done using the connection, be sure to select disconnect (or deactivate) on the phone as tethering can interrupt activesync downloading email to your phone.
Check with your carrier for any charges they will apply for tethering before using.
I hear that users with Tmobile service that have data service do not incur and extra charge for tethering and Verizon users are supposed to be able to use tethering without additional charges if they have the Data Unlimited plan. But again check with the provider first!
Now quit worrying about using your notebook on the internet and go ride your motorcycle.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
check the box "outgoing server requires authentication"
under outgoing server settings, enter your vtext.com user name
enter the password you set for vtext.com
You now can send email with your bellsouth account. It will be processed and delivered via Verizon's SMTP mail server. If you send email to someone who's mail server has spam software that examines header files, you may from time to time have email quarantined.
Now quit worrying about sending and receiving email on your phone and get out and ride your motorcycle.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A considerable amount of the Atlanta Metro population has been worried sick over their shrubberies, flowers, and yards with the recent drought and watering restrictions. Several have just put small buckets under their gutters to store up a little rain water to use during the weeks when it doesn't rain.
The city folks aren't familiar with an old fashioned remedy, rain barrels. There pretty simple to construct with a 55 gallon plastic drum. Connected into a gutter downspout, they make a good reserve of gardening water during dry spells. Put a faucet in the bottom and you can connect a hose and do low pressure watering.
Several sites exist on Al Gore's world wide web showing how to build one pretty cheap. For the lazy, several companies sell them for $150 and up. Google rain barrel and read to your delight or check out the City of Bremerton, Washington's site for instructions for making a rain barrel: Make Your Own Rain Barrel
Now quit worrying about the landscape and get out and ride your motorcycle!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Fall is in the air and one od the things that means is it is time to ride to Ellijay and buy a fried apple pie with a scoop of ice cream at R and A Orchards who are celbrating their 60th year of operations. I've been making the trip for many years since from friends introduced me to the whole deal back in 1987. And as seems the custom, we bought a gallon of apple cider for hot cider on cooler nights and my wife bought half a peck of rome beauties for baking an apple crisp and and apple pie.
I always wondered why Ellijay ended up the apple capital of Georgia. It seems in the 1920s when the cotton boll weevil killed the entire cotton crop for the county and left farmers devistated. Some had been growing apples as well and offset some of the losses on the cotton crop with the income from apples. By the mid 1920s, the county had given up on the troubles trying to grow cotton and turned its attention to apples.
Now days, Ellijay has 19 businesses selling apples on GA Hwy 52, 515, and 282.
On the return trip, we stopped in Dawsonville and finally tried a spot that has been recommended to me by several motorcycle buddies, Dogs and Hogs BBQ. Everytime I have ridden past it, I've always paid close attention to the wonderful smells from the smoker. So, it was good to finally get to sample their cooking. We were greeted by a line that was outside the door and lined along the building waiting to order. Standing in line, we wondered where we would sit as all of the plastic patio furniture inside were occupied, but suprisingly tables were available by the time we had food.
Dogs and Hogs cooks smoked bbq (apply your own sauce) and the flavor was good especially after I gave it a topping of their hot bbq sauce. We give a nod to another good place to eat in Dawsonville.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
When I changed jobs in March, I knew that we would not be able to take our usual summer vacation, but as the company I had been working for was struggling and things looked grim, I took the new job offer. We planned things out and realized it would be October before I had accrued a week of paid vacation, so we planned accordingly. The beach in October, you exclaim. Sure, why not? Milder temp and enjoyable surroundings with no crowds.
I was laid-off from the new job two weeks before the scheduled vacation (coincidence? I wonder). So with plans in place and no scheduled interviews in the immediate works, we headed to Myrtle Beach, SC. I-85 North, I-20 East, I-95 South, I think we drove every interstate that possibly exist in the state of Georgia and South Carolina and despite the directions were given by a family friend that owns a house in Myrtle Beach and despite that the South Carolina Welcome Center was also passing out directions to Myrtle Beach that matched, it sure seemed odd at times to be traveling west when the final destination was east. But after about 6.5 hours in the cage, we arrived.
I had never been to Myrtle Beach, despite they have an annual bike week event and the band Alabama has mentioned it for years. So, I was unaware that the name is actually and old spanish term that means Minature Golf. Evidentally city and county ordinances require a minature golf course every block. When you ride down Hwy 17 and realize how long the highway ride from North Myrtle Beach to Myrtle Beach actually is, the number of minature golf courses is staggering.
Not wanting to offend the city and county founding fathers, we ventured out and began to try to decide on which course was the one we should play. Despite staying on a really nice Golf Course, minature really is more our playing caliber. My wife settled on MayDay Golf in North Myrtle Beach. I am not sure how she made the final selection, but I do know she ruled out the molten lava flowing location just on appearance from the roadway at 35 mph.
Much to our surprise, we found it to be one of the nicest landscaped minature golf courses that we have ever seen. Everywhere you looked there were blooming flowers, and well maintained shrubbery. I also have to commend them for the cleanest bathrooms of the entire trip. The State Welcome center could take a lesson :)
Of course we made the obligatory two to three walks on the beach a day and collected shells. We both polished off a couple of good books and we hunted down a couple of good places to eat. If you're ever in the area for Bike Week or whatever and you like seafood, drop by Captain Poo's Blue Marlin Yacht and Fishing Club in Little River at the Marina (North Myrtle Beach's best kept secret).
Bill Bryson is probably best known for his work "A Walk in the Woods" which chronicles his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail. "In a Sunburned Country" is Bryson's account of his time spent exploring Australia. And, in typical Bryson fashion, it is far more than a geographic or tour guide of the country. It is a hilarious narrative of an American's adventures traveling around the vast countryside. "In a Sunburned Country" is a delightful read that I would suggest to anyone.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Yes, that is your's truly. I served as a volunteer Firefighter/NREMT-I for several years.
Oct 7-13th is Fire Safety Week. This year's theme is Practice Your Escape Plan. I'd like to suggest that everyone do two thing this week:
1) test the smoke alarms in your home and consider replacing the batteries
2) review the information on the NFPA website regarding making an Escape Plan for your family and then practice that plan.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Zen on Hot Asphalt for a Biker on Business - NY Times By ALTON BROWN, as told to CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT
I'm thinking like Alton Brown...I'm skeerd
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
The 90 mile ride begins at the Publix Shopping Center in Free Home and ends at God’s House of Prayer in Ducktown. There will be one stop halfway. Ride coordinators ask that everyone be fueled before arrival.
There is a $20 minimum donation for those choosing to pre-register. $25 minimum donation fee on day of the ride. Registration begins at 8:00am. Ride begins at 10:00am. A police escort will be provided.
Riders can enjoy a complementary meal at the end of the ride as well as a 50/50 drawing, door prizes and auction.
For more information on the ride or to pre-register, President Name: Allen Boyd 770-893-4613
Vice President Name: Arch Campbell 404-427-7677
E- Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail Pre registration forms to; Allen Boyd 174 Lankford Dr. Marble Hill, Ga 30148
Make Checks payable to Set Free or J. C. Riders M. M.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Check out 3CX software based PBX for Windows....
The free version supports up to 8 phones (small office, small church, or even your home).
A 25 extension small business version supporting 16 simultaneous calls is available for $350, a professional edition (unlimited extensions and 32 simultanoeus calls) is $895, and the enterpise edition (unlimited extensions, unlimited simultaneous calls) is $1250.
Complete phone system: Provides call switching, routing & queueing
Purchase cost dramatically lower than a traditional hardware PBX
Scaleable - Unlimited extensions and phone lines. No proprietary expansion modules needed!
Web based configuration & status indication - Easy phone system management!
Unified messaging: Receive voice mail via e-mail
Auto attendant (e.g. 1 for sales, 2 for support etc.)
Reduce long distance and inter office call costs
No more expensive proprietary system phones: Use standard SIP phones
Eliminate the phone wiring and make moving offices easier
Sunday, September 30, 2007
16th Annual March of Dimes ‘Ride to Save Babies' Sunday, October 7th on the infield of Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, October 7th, 2007 - 10am -March of Dimes ‘Ride to Save Babies'- Atlanta Motor Speedway - 1500 Highway 19-41, Hampton, GA 30228
Tickets: $35 - Rider, $35 - Passenger
The annual ride comes to the high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time. Help save Georgia's babies while enjoying the ride on one of NASCAR's fastest speedways. Lunch by Buffalo's Southwest Café, guest appearances by 1988 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Bill Elliott, motorcycle stunt show, battle of the bikes competition, vendor village, hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, live entertainment and much more. For additional information, contact the March of Dimes at 404-350-9800 or visit
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
“Without adversity, without change, life is boring.” - John Amatt
"Adversity does not build character, adversity reveals character." - Sandy Dahl
"Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." - Arthur Golden
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." - African Proverb
"There is no education like adversity." - Disraeli
"Adversity is the first path to truth." - Lord Byron
"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken' away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21