What a Great Wedding

Got a new project. Our gravel driveway is getting a little bumpy as it settles, as tree roots grow, and as moles and armadillo’s dig into it. You’d think 4” of interlocking quartz chips would hold up longer than 20 years. My project is to fill in the dips with more quartz. I found I could buy bags of rocks at Lowes so added a Lowes stop on my twice weekly trips to Palm Coast for Nancy’s bridge game. Each bag is about 50 pounds so not fun to handle but manageable if I buy 5-6 bags each trip. My target is to have the project done by the fourth of July. The only negative, so far, is that the chips are bright white so the patches stand out. I’m fairly sure that as the Florida humidity attacks them, they’ll turn black or a moldy brown. Plus I can count on loads of falling oak leaves to help. Nancy’s eyesight problems are taking some of the pressure off me since I know the new color spots would bother her much, much more than it does me.

What a great wedding. Simon, Amy and all the folks putting it together did a fabulous job – best wedding I can remember. Met lots of new people and had a perfect opportunity to refresh friendships from years ago – particularly with Tina’s western families and with Simon’s old high school and college friends. Many were kids the last time we saw them and now they’re full fledged adults with families of their own. Wow. We met many of Simon’s co-workers who we knew in name only. The facility itself, the 4-H Coosa River Center, was was absolutely perfect. Most of the family stayed right at the facility in really comfortable, roomy accommodations. The outdoor chapel where the ceremony took place was perfect, the weather was perfect and the celebration party was perfect. I was bitten by the dance bug and had a ball. The highlight of that was dancing with Lindsay and Olivia. I do the old guy dances and they were sports enough to stay with me. Another highlight was Joey and Mark providing all the transportation services and making sure the whole trip was seamless. If we had to do all the airline travel things ourselves, I’m sure we would have opted to make the 10 hour drive instead. Congrat’s to all those folks who put it together – the hard work showed.

Easter Prep

This was a busy week. We’re sandwiching physical therapy for Nancy twice a week into our otherwise tight schedule. Between doc’s and bridge – not much real slack time. This week was a bit complicated at the end because of a major storm front moving through on Friday. Nancy’s bridge partner decided we should move the Friday game to Thursday to avoid the storm – turned out to be a good decision. We lost power for a few hours and the driveway was littered with large downed branches. It would have been nasty driving in the rain and then encountering the obstacles on the driveway.

Doing Easter this year at Tom and Tina’s. The head count is now at 12 including friends and family. We’re bring the salads which includes copper penny salad, a carrot based salad; Dutch coleslaw which, in my version, includes two varieties of cabbage, green pepper, and shredded carrots; broccoli, cheddar and bacon salad; macaroni salad. All of these incorporate fresh veggies (as in minutes from garden to kitchen) material from the garden. I think the only item we didn’t grow was the macaroni – still looking for a macaroni plant. We had a busy Saturday making all this – peeling, shredding, mixing – since they require overnight marination for best flavor.

I casually asked Nancy if she thought this wedding thing was a coat and tie deal and she surprised me by saying “of course it is” Oops. I haven’t been to a coat kind of thing in a very, very long time and I kind of doubted I had anything that came close to fitting. The only thing that could save me is that I had bought formal business clothes about 30 years ago on several different occasions in Hong Kong so there was a reasonable chance they covered a range of sizes. Sure enough I found a suit jacket that would work and luckily it was a neutral color. I also found a couple pair of slacks that could probably be tailored to take out a few inches in the waist. I did find a dark pinstripe suit that fits fairly well but wouldn’t work in the wedding environment. I think I last wore it at a funeral 15 years ago.


Fashion Issue

I took a walk on the wild side in the garden. Cleaned out a row of broccoli which left me with a 12’x4’ row ready to plant. I had plenty of small tomato seedlings looking for a home in the garden. Nothing wild about that but I decided to center the tomato plants in the row, 3’ apart and then at the edges of the row plant a row of green beans on one edge and a row of carrots on the other. Like a vegetable border. I’ve never planted carrots this late in the season but I have the seeds and the space so why not give it a try. Supposedly planting carrots and tomatoes together is a good thing for both in terms of soil nutrients I’m just not sure they can handle the spring/summer heat. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I now have 8 tomato plants in the garden, 8 ready to go to the garden and 5 in large containers. The container tomatoes are varieties that can’t handle nematodes. I think we’re well covered with tomatoes this year. I probably should have cut way back since the freezer is over flowing with tomato sauce from this past season. If this last season is any indicator, I should have cut back on everything. We’ve been in veggie overload mode for the last couple of months and with George out of the picture, my biggest customer is gone. Ditto Nancy’s Crescent City bridge ladies since she dropped out of the Wednesday club. Funny the Crescent City ladies are all cooks that love fresh veggies – country girls – whereas her Palm Coast associates are wealthy city gals who wouldn’t know how to make a pot of greens if they had to. The crochet ladies are in between but there’s fewer of them and she only meets with them every other week, not enough to keep up with normal growth. Oh well, their loss is the compost pile’s gain.

It’s blueberry season again. Last year we bought 20 pounds which I guessed would last me a year. I nominally eat a handful every morning in my cereal and maybe sprinkle a few now and then in a cake or bread Nancy makes. My guess was close so there’s maybe 4-5 pounds still in the freezer. I called our blueberry guy in Crescent City and he said they were excellent this year. So I ordered 15 pounds. They’re $4 a pound if I pick them or $5 if they pick them. I opted for “them pick” instead of “you pick”.

Remember I mentioned having a baby pineapple on the way – update – make that 5.

I have a bit of a fashion quandary. Is it OK to wear a Guy Harvey shirt with a largemouth bass when surf fishing or do I need to have a saltwater fish? I’m mostly concerned about the impact on the fish rather than on the other fishermen and beach goers. I don’t think Guy has produced a Whiting or pompano shirt which are the fish I mostly catch but I have a redfish, a snook, and several deep sea versions. Catfish or shark would surely send the wrong message to both the fish and the beach denizens plus I doubt those are on the drawing board at Harvey headquarters.

New Place

I found a great application on my Mac. It’s been there for years but I never had an idea what it was or how useful. For those of you with Mac’s, it’s a symbol – horizontal lines – up in the right corner of the screen. Somehow I accidentally clicked it and as if by magic a partial screen appeared that had stock market info, weather info, and appointments that I’ve put into the calendar app. It even tells me what I have scheduled for tomorrow. The weather info gives me the current temps at any place I’ve loaded so I can monitor the temps in NY, Ala, Salt Lake, Chicago and LA at any given time. I look these up in the paper every morning but this is better because it’s in real time.  Nice job Apple.

The weather was marginal and the tides wrong this past Friday so I went back to the Waterfront Park walk to the Moonrise Brewery in Palm Coast. That’s about 1.5 miles each way so it’s a nice workup to the libation. Problem was that when I got to Moonrise, it was closed for a private event. Bummer but it gave me an opportunity to try a place a few hundred feet away called Farety’s Irish Pub. I had passed by Farety’s before because I like the craft beer opportunities at Moonrise but there really weren’t any good options so I gave it a try. Good selection of draft beer, friendly older people – I was amongst the youngest – a friendly bartender, and free clam chowder. I’m not a clam chowder person but I could tell by the reaction of other visitors that it was excellent. Maybe I’ll take Nancy since she’s the clam chowder lover. Anyway, I now have another option on Monday when Moonrise is normally closed.

This Boeing problem is exactly the problem I worry about with computer controlled cars. How does the car respond to a random sensor or combination of sensors when the sensor malfunctions? Think about all the sensor data that must be pouring into the car’s (or plane’s) CPU and then think about the programmers who wrote the code that tries to differentiate between real data and fake data from a sensor not working correctly. The old “garbage in, garbage out” quandary. But it’s happening at highway speeds on overcrowded roads. At least with planes, the pilots are trained on simulators and can nominally take over quickly. Not the case on the highway. And with planes, most of the time it’s all by itself up in the air – not with other planes a few feet away moving at the same high speed. So far it seems planes have minutes to figure something out but in a car at highway speed………………. And even if your car is performing perfectly – what about the car beside/ in front of/behind you?

The garden is at peak right now in terms of output. We literally can’t give it away fast enough to keep up. All of the winter stuff (except for the spinach which cratered last week) is peaking while the zucchini, eggplant and green peppers are popping out new produce daily. Just how much cabbage and broccoli can a guy eat? Ditto carrots and beets. The tomatoes are mostly done but even with them, I can pick a couple a day.