Showing posts from February, 2010

Train Depot

There's something amiss at the railroad depot. But I can't quite put my finger on it... I think this is a job for Shaggy and Scooby Doo.


I wanted some comfort food so I went with spuds au gratin. It's hard to go wrong when you combine cheese sauce, potatoes, and onions.

The downside is that I'm supposed to be on a diet and I ate slightly over half the pan---and it was supposed to serve 4! In my defense, they did taste awful good.

From both sides now

I went on a 7 mile hike along Morgan Creek today. Usually I'm about the only one taking pictures. But today was different!

In the next two pictures you can see me on the far side of the creek. The third picture below is the one that I took. As always, click on the pic to see it bigger.

Warming a Friend

I was hiking today in Eno River Park. Trying to drop a few pounds due to my doctor being insistent on that point. And lo and behold, I came across a friend I associate a lot more with summer hiking than winter.

At first I wasn't sure if the lovely snake was alive or not. There was a bad flood here two weeks ago and plenty of dead critters can be found on the banks of the stream. But when I touched him there was a very slight shiver evident. So I picked him up.

Once I'd held him for 30 seconds or so he started to warm up enough to show interest in his surroundings, namely me. Before he decided to make a snack of me---a little unlikely due to our relative sizes, but still---I figured I'd put him back down in a sunny spot where he'd stay warm for a little while longer.

And so there he is, making his way amongst some roots. But given the chilly temperatures---at least for a cold blooded critter like a snake---I doubt it'll be long before he's all curled up and dormant…

Happy Birthday

Yesterday Kim and I went out and did some shopping. The goal? To find her a birthday present.

She veered towards the practical and decided on a new phone system for her house so we went to Best Buy to see what they had. Kim's current phones are kinda old and the batteries only last around 20 minutes so they really do need replacing.

The phone we really wanted to get was out of stock. It had a feature that would allow it to ring when your cell phone was called. Pretty handy since often your cell phone is on the other side of the house and you can't hear it ring. But since it wasn't available, the phone we did end up getting was very pretty and had 2 satellite phones and an answering machine. We also picked up 2 blouses at Old Navy---and they were real bargains.

Now I'm not going to tell you Kim's age since that would be impolite but AARP is after her now.

After that we went to a mall and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. We shared a pizza and it was the most food …

Valentine's Day

Happy St Valentine's Day, everyone. I've managed to post this greeting a whole 20 minutes before the day is over. Yay!

As you can see above, the lovely Kim decided to celebrate the holiday by visiting with me. We went shopping for her birthday present among other things. But look below to see who she ended up kissing---here's a hint: it wasn't me!!

A Snowy Saturday (again)

Here in the lower elevation areas of NC we typically get snow once or twice a year. Rarely much accumulation. But this year we've had snow 5 days, I think, in the past 3 weeks. WTF?

Admittedly it's pretty but enough is enough.

The picture above I took just a few minutes ago. Just some invasive grass trying to get up onto my deck, now covered in a blanket of pristine snow. The picture below was taken early this morning before the sun was fully up. Isn't snow wonderful? (no)

I'm going hiking at 2pm today up in Hillsborough so no doubt I'll be taking a few pictures of the snowy trails up there. I just hope the dirt road heading in there isn't a quagmire of mud.

Saturday Revisited

I really like the symmetry of the picture below. I got lucky 'cause the ground was so wet that there were limitations on where I could stand to take pictures.

The "stream" that you see on the left if normally just a trickle if there's any water in it at all (and the water running to the right of it is what's normally the path). Just a few hundred yards further down the path the trail just disappears under the swollen grasp of the Eno River.

I tried climbing the hills above the river to find a ridge that I could use to go along the river but to no avail. The hills were very steep and there was just enough snow on the hills to hide loose rocks, logs, and holes and the such. I finally had to give up and return to the trail and backtrack. Drat.

Here's another picture of me. Note how red my nose and ears are. It was friggin' cold out there. I'd have worn a coat if I had any idea just how long I was going to be out walking around.

A Cold Day at Eno

I went hiking at Eno River Park despite the 32 degree weather, huge rainfall yesterday, and chance of snow.  I'm glad I did. It was quite beautiful despite the chill in the air.

Making it more interesting was that when I got there I was greeted by a park ranger who warned me that river water levels were so high that much of the trail system was under water and the suspension bridge was iffy. Yikes! The bridge is usually something like 15 feet over the water.

The picture to the left shows the bridge in the background (the thin horizontal line) and the space between the trees heading right is the submerged path.

Once I got there, the water was around 5 feet below the bridge but it had obviously been much higher the night before. Even so, the trail leading to the bridge was deep under water and a very round-about route up a hill was required to get to the bridge.

This is me up on top of Cox Mountain. I made it using the camera's self timer, just sitting it on the ground, and didn'…


I was a trial (free!) member for a few hours today. I rated something like 486 movies. Then their selection machine predicted 66 movies that I would like.

They batted zero for 66. Pretty poor performance, if you ask me. In addition it was supposed to be a 14-day free membership. Today is the 5th but they have my free membership ending on the 17th. If my math skills are up to the task, that comes out to be 12 days not 14.

I canceled my membership. So it was free for a whole two hours. Wheee. And on the cancellation questionaire they didn't have any of the reasons I didn't like the experience listed, and there were no "write in" places. I really wanted to complain about Netflix---as you can probably tell by this post. :-)

Maybe I should try Blockbuster's version of Netflix. Maybe they have a better way to predict my taste in movies over there. Amazon is pretty good at that sort of thing so how hard can it be?

Icy Hill

I wasn't able to drive home after work tonight, at least not quite all the way.

As you can see in this picture, my car is down by the road and not up by my house. :-(

All day we've been having either drizzling rain or freezing rain. And so the thick crusted snow that was on my driveway has been replaced with a much more icy mix. As a result, my car was only able to make it up the first 10-12 feet of my driveway before the front wheels just started spinning.

Just as well since I don't think I want to back down the hill in the morning if it's this icy tomorrow. I'd be too likely to end up in the ditch that's on either side of the driveway. Fortunately my car is a good 5 feet out of the road. I just have to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't slip backwards onto the road during the evening!

Monday Morning Snow

We've still got some snow around. Temps today are supposed to get above freezing but I've not seen that yet. There's still plenty of snow on my deck, as you can see.

It's very thick and crusty. In this picture I'm standing on top of around 5" of accumulated snow, next to the watering can on my deck. The crust is so thick that it can support my 210 plus pounds.

As you can see in the next picture, as I get closer to the deck railing, where the snow drifted a bit and is deeper---I break through.