The Gull Reef Club

Recent Comments:

12/23/2016 · 8:43 am· lordhelmet · Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve!
Merry Christmas to you and Mike as well as a Happy New Year!... | Read More

11/3/2016 · 1:30 pm· Jaime · See Something, Say Something, A First Hand Account
Sure doesn't, which in no way explains why the Cubs won! Interesting that we all woke up this... | Read More

11/3/2016 · 12:21 pm· LH · See Something, Say Something, A First Hand Account
No good deed goes unpunished. But at least the Cubs won.... | Read More

10/28/2016 · 6:42 am· lordhelmet · Official Release – Jaime 2.0
I already voted for Trump of course. He was my last choice in the primaries (I supported Kasich)... | Read More

10/27/2016 · 5:40 pm· Jaime · Official Release – Jaime 2.0
Thanks LH! Getting ready to vote for Hillary, right?!?! Hahahahaha. As you can see, I still... | Read More

3/8/2017

Help A Sister Out

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:43 pm

Today is International Women’s Day. Social media is informing me that many females are participating in protests to recognize this date. The encouraged protests are apparently to wear the color red and to not go to work or shop.

So help a sister out here – I understand that a lot of my fellow citizens feel a need to protest their government. While I usually don’t agree with the reasons, I understand it. Peaceable assembly and seeking redress are inalienable rights that should be exercised and often. But that is all centered on protests of the government…so why are women protesting their employers and not the government? It seems like they are missing the forest for the trees and/or shooting themselves in the foot. Can anyone explain this?

3/7/2017

Like the Indians

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:21 pm

I have one more George L. Smith State Park story for you that I forgot in my last post. Really, it’s not GLS-specific, but something that happened there. Truly, I’m sure I could have overheard a conversation like this in a lot of places.

Here’s the scene – Mike and my friend, Kim, walk to the rental station to pick out a paddle for her to rent. I stayed in my kayak on the water and paddled around the launch area while they did this. While paddling and killing time (I was mostly circling and practicing turns), I notice a group of young men approach the boat-rental area. I think there were about 6 or 7 of them and they all appeared to be early 20s in age.

The boat rental area is not very complex, but there is no one on site to explain anything (there is construction going on there so the actual staffed rental area was up a slight hill and around a corner). Of course, there really isn’t much to explain. There is a line of worn-looking jon boats, canoes, and kayaks. After you pay the staff in the rental office, you walk to the boats, pick one out and go. Seems easy enough…unless you are one of these young men.

This is what ensued as they approached the line of available rental boats:
Six to seven Dudes gather around a jon boat and inspect it, many of them scratching their heads and looking confused. They then group-wandered to a canoe and stared at that for a minute. Then I begin overhear things like, “well, which one is the canoe?” “They’re both canoes” and so on and so forth as they tried to determine what they had just rented and which boat to take out.

Eventually, one of them decides to turn the jon boat over – because clearly – that will help them see the difference. After turning it over, the same dude then stands in the jon boat in a sort of Washington Crossing the Delaware pose. His friends seem delighted, and I hear things like “So that’s the canoe?” “Are you sure that’s it?” Washington-Wannabe responds, “Yeah, I can stand in it. Like the Indians. It must be the canoe!” So they piled into the jon boat and paddled off (with a lot of strain & effort because you know, it wasn’t a canoe. Although, I suspect that paddling wasn’t going to be easy for them regardless of the boat).

It was a perfect coda to their story when we spot them later in the day at one of the other boat launches. This time all but one of our intrepid boaters have abandoned their jon boat in lieu of a four (small) person paddle boat. Their numbers and weight was far, far exceeding what the paddle boat could handle. They nearly tipped the thing and drown themselves. Meanwhile, they left one – just one – dude to paddle the jonboat. We have video of him nearly doing the splits just to get in the boat. I will spare him and refrain from posting it. He ended up getting on and not falling in. If he fell in, you’d have seen the video already. I love laughing at fools as much as the rest of you do.

I honestly wonder if they ever made it back home. Good luck fellas, you’re going to need it. Your future does not appear to have smooth paddling ahead.

2/28/2017

George L. Smith State Park

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:00 pm

Last Friday Mike and I rode out to the George L. Smith State Park for a weekend of camping and kayaking, with my friend Kim joining us for one of the days. This was our first time to this State Park, and I was impressed with how nice it turned out to be. We booked well in advance, which was a wise decision. Apparently this is a pretty popular weekend getaway for a lot of RVers in the middle Georgia area. Even though the entire campground was booked, it was quiet and peaceful. I would have liked it if the RVs were required to ‘go dark’ after 10p or so. The light pollution from them was a bit annoying, but not enough for us to dislike our experience.

The highlight of this campground is the sites are right on the water. We were able to launch our kayaks directly from camp. The water itself was so calm. There was virtually no current, and of course, no tide to contend with. The water is a ~400+ acre pond created by a millhouse. Because the pond was created by damning up a creek, the water is in a cypress forest. Paddling through tight trees gave me a great opportunity to practice navigating my kayak without the added struggle of current/tide. We didn’t get to explore the entire pond, so we will definitely be going back.

Being out that way, you really get a taste of the Georgia countryside in all its forms. For example, we inadvertently crashed a wedding that was either getting started or had just finished at the Park. The bride and groom were being given ‘pamphlets’ to ‘read later’. I think that was something religious, but not really sure. There is also the private RV park next to the State Park that features RVs bearing full sized refrigerators under their front awning as well as washing machines under an open sided, tin-roofed structure. It was…weird. Then down camp, there was the dude with the Molan Labe (μολὼν λαβέ) and ‘Straight Outta Clito’ decals on his truck (I had to look up that last one, too. No, it’s not obscene, so feel free to look it up yourself). I also heard this gem of a conversation from our NASCAR loving RVing camp neighbors, “Hey Ashley! You want a red hot dog or a beer sausage?” So people do eat those weird neon red/pink hotdogs I’ve seen in Kroger! I truly never knew. I also wish I got a nickel for every utterance of ‘might could” that I overheard that weekend as well. Totally would have paid for the entire trip…or to utilize the parlance, “I might could pay for this trip if ya’ll keep saying ‘might could’!”

All in all, our first trip to the George L. Smith State Park was incredible, and we will certainly be going back.

2/13/2017

Saturday Afternoon Hockey, By The Numbers

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:59 pm

Another Saturday has passed, so of course, has another Saturday afternoon Philadelphia Flyers game. Have you hockey fans noticed this, too?

It seems like every Saturday afternoon this season has a Philadelphia Flyers game. This observation irked me enough to run the numbers. Was I experiencing some sort of observational bias or was I onto something? Are the Flyers playing more Saturday afternoon games this season than any other team?

The short answer is: Yes. The longer answer is: Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers are playing a significantly higher number of Saturday afternoon games over other NHL teams*. In fact, of the 18 Saturdays that host day games, the Flyers have or will feature in 11 of them. The next closest team that appears on Saturday afternoon with any frequency is Boston with 7, followed by Buffalo at 5.

Here are is the Saturday afternoon appearance breakdown for the entire NHL:
Philly – 11
Boston – 7
Buffalo – 5
Colorado – 4
Minnesota – 4
Nashville – 4
Washington – 4
Winnipeg – 4
Columbus – 3
Dallas – 3
Florida - 3
Carolina – 2
Detroit - 2
Montreal – 2
NJ- 2
NYI – 2
NYR – 2
Ottawa – 2
St. Louis – 2
Tampa Bay – 2
Vancouver – 2
Arizona – 1
Chicago – 1
LA – 1
San Jose – 1

Interesting that some teams have no appearances – Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim – who am I missing? Ultimately, having this knowledge is of no real significance but it did confirm my perception that the Flyers were on a lot of Saturdays this year.

Also, spreadsheets are fun. /glavin.

*Saturday afternoon games are those that are played on or before 3p EST on a Saturday during the regular season. I used this to pull my numbers: 2016-2017 NHL Season Schedule by date and time (pdf).

2/8/2017

Old People Are Awesome Reason No. 2817

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:22 am

Just had an old lady leave me a voicemail. She was responding to a group email in which she was included. In her voicemail, she explained why she was leaving me a message rather than respond to the email, and declared, “I don’t have an email thing attached to my hip.”

Me neither, lady. Keep the voicemail coming. I love it.

2/7/2017

Where Are the Hippies?

Filed under: — Jaime @ 4:45 pm

Without getting into politics, I can admit that I wish that today’s modern SJWs (our era’s hippies, I guess) could write a song as half as good as they did in the late 60s/early 70s.

I’m not likely to listen to (most) SJW complaints, but I would listen to their music if it were any good. /she wrote while listening to Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Dirty hippies… ;)

2/1/2017

Uncle Sam Says So!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:09 pm

I like to read old newspapers. It’s my way of time-traveling and escaping from new news. Today I ran across this notice, linked here:
Subscription notice, The Hartford Herald, October 23, 1918

I’ve never heard of any system/law/regulation where the US Government was fining newspapers if their subscribers were in arrears (maybe it was a state or local law?). I spent a small amount of time poking around online to see if I could find more info on whether this was a law of some sort. So far, no luck, but as I said, I’ve not spent a lot of time looking.

I like history mysteries though so I would like to find out more. Do you know of the history surrounding this notice? Curiosity is getting to me.

1/21/2017

It’s January 21st

Filed under: — Jaime @ 12:56 pm

So of course my neighbor is mowing, well now trimming, his lawn.

12/27/2016

I Believe!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:25 pm

Hope everyone had a very nice Christmas. As I mentioned on the 22nd, we were going to be offline for that time, and we most certainly were.

Christmas 2016 was the most unique one I have ever had. For the first time in my life, we took a Christmas trip – to my favorite escape in the wilderness – the Okefenokee Swamp. Since we got our kayaks this summer, Mike and I have been gearing up to do an overnight camp that would require us to kayak in somewhere. We were supposed to have gone for my 2.0 birthday in October, but Hurricane Matthew had other plans for us. So it was now or never, and we chose now.

The trip was amazing. The highlight was the night of Christmas Eve. We paddled into Mixon’s Hammock, for which we had secured a permit to stay the night – just Mike and me and wildlife on a remote island in the swamp. The weather was ideal – upper 70s in the day and clear at night.

The Okefenokee has the darkest night skies on the entire eastern half of the US. The evening we were on the hammock was absolutely clear and we were able to lay out and stargaze. After we were out there for awhile and our eyes adjusted, I took out my binoculars.

Orion was overhead and clearer than I have ever seen him. It was the first time I have ever seen his full arch. I used that constellation to focus my binoculars since his belt is so easy to locate in the sky. Within a few seconds of my focusing, both Mike and I witnessed a very large meteor shoot across Orion’s belt. He saw it with his naked eye and I through the binoculars.

I immediately described what I saw to Mike, “It was red on the very tip, with a super bright yellowish-white light behind that and it had a blue/green tail.” It didn’t occur to me what I had just described until Mike gave me the classic raised eye-brow, which led me to blurt out “Santa!”

So now I know – Santa’s real. There is no way you can convince me otherwise. I saw it with my own eyes. I believe.

12/22/2016

Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:13 pm

After tonight, I’m going to be very busy and it’s pretty likely I won’t be online much, if at all. So in case I don’t get a chance to say it before then – Have a Very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Island, Jimmy Buffett

12/19/2016

Christmas in Dixie

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:58 pm

This year is our 16th Southern Christmas. I’ve not been back to Illinois for a Christmas since we left in 2001. For those of you wondering, I won’t be back…not at Christmastime anyway.

I often say that the only way I like snow is 1,000 miles away and in pictures. That has not changed. Yesterday was the perfect example of why I am here and not up there. It was in the mid-70s, slight breeze, and beautiful. We had the windows open as we worked on my Christmas village and some other things around the house. Meanwhile, I was occasionally tuning into the Packers v Bears game where, in Chicago, it was a ripe 3 degrees. Ouch. That is beyond cold and into the painful territory.

Dad always included the Alabama Christmas in Dixie album (er, tape) among the ones we would listen to every Christmas when I was a kid. I haven’t listened to it in years, maybe over a decade. Some of it is a bit cheezy, but the eponymous song will forever be one of my favorites.

Christmas in Dixie, Alabama

Here’s to wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Dixie!

12/12/2016

Mahmut Bells

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:00 pm

For as obsessed as I am with finding ‘weird’ music, and for Christmas carols, I can’t believe I haven’t posted this before now. It’s almost a decade old, so we may be able to consider this a classic, now.

Mahmut Bells (Turkish Jingle Bells) by Mahmut Abi

And sing this you know what!

12/6/2016

P&G’s Holiday Party Email Ad (Possibly NSFW)

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:56 pm

A long time ago (in internet years), I signed up for the Proctor & Gamble mailing list to get free samples, coupons, etc.* I never bothered to get off the list, so I still receive their ads from time to time. I got one today and am not sure what to make of it. You tell me what they are asking. I’m just not sure. As the title says, possibly NSFW:

P&G advert

*I have since revised my philosophy on this and refuse to sign up with companies who give out coupons, etc. in exchange for my personal info. I’ve learned my personal info. has lots of value, far more than a few coupons are worth. You should consider this too. Your privacy is worth more than fifty cents off on laundry soap.

11/29/2016

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Filed under: — Jaime @ 4:08 pm

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

-Sewer problems have returned? Check.
-Unnecessary family drama? Check.
-Douchebag backs into our car and blames his rearview camera (guess he didn’t have eyeballs & mirrors?). Check.

So who has the voodoo doll of me and what do I need to do to get you to leave me alone?!?!

11/28/2016

Your Commute Time May Be Delayed By the Civil War

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:11 pm

We were detoured on the ride home from work today…because of a found cannonball, left for us by the Confederates, apparently. Welcome to Savannah, my friends.

11/21/2016

Geek Gravy

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:05 pm

This is how Thanksgiving’s done, folks. This beautiful pot of stock will be gravy by Thursday.

Stock Pot

11/8/2016

Trolling on Election Day

Filed under: — Jaime @ 5:28 pm

Alright – which one of you wise guys gave the Democratic Party my home phone number? We’ve been subject to many, many pre-recorded voicemails since last night, including one from Jessie Jackson! Very hilarious. I suppose they may have just bought my info, but if that is the case, their desperation is showing. I don’t think I’ve voted as a Democrat in the general election since I moved here over 15 years ago. Oh well, they can spend their money any way they want I guess. It’s not like I ever answer my phone.

11/7/2016

Teach a Man to Feed a Fish and Round, Round We Go

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:58 pm

Mike and I went out fishing this weekend. This was my first time fishing as an adult. We ended up having some success yesterday and pulled in a couple of redfish. We promptly took them home, filleted, cooked, and then ate them. Sorry, no pics.

Maybe it was the euphoria of actually catching something we could eat, but it sure tasted like the best fish I’ve ever had. I’m excited to get out there again. Unfortunately, this time change came at the exact wrong time. I probably won’t be able to get out there again until this weekend – no fishing after work. Our fishing hole isn’t exactly easy to get to, and certainly not in the dark. Oh well.

I suspect this is the beginning of a new and interesting part of our lives. Probably going to be a good skill to know once Hillary wins, starts WWIII with Russia, and we have to live off the grid. Better keep practicing!

11/3/2016

False Positives

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:52 pm

Like so many of you (Americans, that is), I am mired in negativity, and I do pin some of that on this election. Which, if you think about it, makes little sense. Despite what the pundits tell us, this election is SO unimportant. No matter who wins, we all lose. So why be negative? Maybe because the idea of being a loser before the contest is even over pretty much sucks.

In an effort to distract myself and maybe you in the process, here’s some random things that have piqued my interest as of late –

*Halloween – We had 26 kids trick or treat at our house this year. I was quite surprised by the turn-out. I had suspected it would be lower due to the Hurricane debris still being all over and it being a Monday. Sadly, it seems we’re back to a 2008-style economy. About a 1/3 of the kids didn’t have a costume at all. That always makes me sad. They still got candy. Not letting our house get egged!

*Fishing – For the first time in my life I finally own a fishing pole and got my license. I really don’t know much about fishing, but really want to give it a try. The idea of being able to catch my own dinner is extremely appealing. Going to give it a shot this weekend. Wish us luck!

*SciFi – I spent some of my October free time reading some old sci-fi. I ended up reading two stories by Robert Sheckley, Seventh Victim and Warrior’s Return. They were both incredible and I highly recommend them. The wiki description of Seventh Victim is misleading, however. It is about pay-to-play murder games, but it’s not sensationalized the way Wiki describes.

Zooniverse and the Chicago Wildlife Watch. Zooniverse is a very cool website were citizens can assist scientific researches on a whole host of topics. I’ve been participating for a few years now and really enjoy it. Recently they started the Chicago Wildlife Watch. I’ve submitted 178 records so far. It’s something that I can do while I have a hockey game on or tv in the background and have a little time to kill. If I had children, I bet this would be a fun thing to do with them. Plus you have the bonus of being educational and promoting citizen-science. Check it out, it’s really cool.

Well, I hope I have distracted us all, even if only for a few minutes, from the negativity that surrounds us.

PS – Congrats, Cubs. I was really surprised to a) wake up this morning at all. I was certain the world was going to end overnight, and b) not see any pigs flying over head. Now let’s hope their fans insufferability doesn’t last too long.

11/2/2016

See Something, Say Something, A First Hand Account

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:17 pm

It was less than a month ago that I was waxing poetic about how wonderful my neighbors were after Hurricane Matthew. It didn’t take very long for things to return to normal and for me to resume having little to no faith in humanity. It’s not my neighbors who caused this, though, so please don’t think they are involved at all. My neighbors still rock. Other people who live in my city – not so much.

Here’s what happened –

Yesterday, Mike picked me up from work and we headed on our usual route home. We hit the main road that takes us toward our house, and once on this road, we encountered a suspicious driver. The person was driving a large pick-up truck towing a trailer with a log splitter on it. This person almost hit us and then almost hit a Cadillac that was driving in the lane next to him. At that point, I pull out my tablet to start recording this guy. He ends up crossing the middle white line 4 different times and swings back to the side of the road where he drove in dirt at least twice. This is all within 3-4 miles. We and the other drivers were giving him some distance because clearly something was wrong. Unfortunately, we did not have a phone on us at the time or we would have called the police immediately.

We continued to follow this guy to his destination, all while filming. We were truly concerned he was going to hurt himself, others, or both. When he finally gets to where he wanted to turn, he completely overshot it and had to do a 180 just to make his turn. We see he is turning into an exclusive, gated community. “Great!” We think. The security guard at the gate will be able to call the police for us. We were wrong, so very wrong. At this point is when things took a stunningly bad turn…

We watched as the guard just waived the driver in. That’s odd, we think, since the driver had a South Carolina plate. He shouldn’t be a resident of that community. How did he get waived in so easily?

We follow and pull up to the guard house. We informed the guard that the person who she has just waived in was either drunk or having a medical problem and needed police assistance immediately. She gets her hackles up and goes on the hard-core defense for him – like, immediately. “I know him. He’s a resident. I’m not calling the police on him.” What?!?!

We offer to show her the video. We explain that he could be having a stroke or something and could need medical assistance. We simply didn’t know what was wrong with the driver, which is why we wanted the police to come. They are the ones with the training and ability to figure it out.

The guard continues to refuse adamantly, and will not watch the video or call the police. She begins yelling at us to leave the property. At this point, Mike and I are simply stunned. Here we are trying to do the right thing. We’ve been told for 15 years that if we “See Something. Say Something.” We did, and this guard, who we errantly believed was charged with doing the right thing as her occupation, was shutting us down and protecting a potential criminal or hampering medical response to someone having an emergency. We were at a bit of a loss on what to do.

In comes a resident to the community. We ask her if she would call the police for us since the guard was refusing. The resident refused to help. First she tries to tell us that she didn’t see what happened so she didn’t want to get involved. We understand that, stated so, and offered to show her the video. She refused to watch it. She was so peckish and cowardly. The guard is now yelling at us to stop harassing her residents. We responded by telling the guard to call the police on us then. Whatever we needed to do to get the cops there. Chicken resident goes into the subdivision while we’re telling the guard to call the cops.

Another resident pulls up, this time a man. Well, he looked like man anyway, but I gotta wonder. He was a little nicer than the chicken lady, and was willing to listen to us, but then sarcastically asked, “Well, why don’t you have a phone?” Uh…not relevant. He, like the chicken lady, refused to call the police and went into the neighborhood.

The guard is now on the phone…correction – she is on two phones. One to each ear. I really don’t even know if she was talking to anyone or just doing it to avoid talking to us. As a bit of an aside, I want to describe this guard. She was female and dressed well (lots of bling and expensive looking hair). She had this little yappy shi-tzu in the guard house with her who barked nearly the entire time we were there. In the distance we could see her automobile – a sparkly, new, white Mercedes. We got the impression she had no formal guard training and was likely some resident who wanted to earn a little extra cash. I got a little loud at this point and just kept shouting to her, “Call the Police. Did you call the Police yet?” etc. She would interrupt her “calls” to tell us not to talk to her but that was about it.

As I was repeatedly asking the guard if she had called the police, a third resident comes on the scene. This guy came from within the subdivision, and seemed to roll up simply to get nosey. While we can’t say so for sure, we suspect that this guy may actually have been the driver of the truck or an immediate neighbor. I didn’t hear the start of the conversation between him and Mike, but I started paying attention to it when I overhear Mike tell the guy to back off. I turn around and start filming them. Mike later told me this dude chest bumped him. Dude is yelling at us saying that we had no idea if the truck driver was drunk or not. We agreed with him –which I think threw him off. He was expecting a fight. We informed him we had no idea but we had film showing there was indeed SOME sort of problem with the driver and the police were needed to figure it out. He really did not like the fact that I was filming him so he got back in his car and started to head back into the neighborhood. As he did so, he pulled out a little walkie-talkie and whispered something into it. Mike asks him if he was a fire fighter or law enforcement. The guy laughed at us and Mike said he said he was a cop (I didn’t hear him say that). I suspect he was not a cop or he would have been happy to show us his badge and push around his authority a little. I think he was communicating with whomever it was back at his house.

Realizing we were getting nowhere, and there were at least four people in this ritzy subdivision, including a uniformed security guard, who were more interested in protecting their own (a potential criminal or medical patient) than doing the right thing, we left and headed to the police department.

Much thanks to the SCMPD for their williness to listen to us and to follow up on this. Everyone at the Police Department was very helpful. They took a copy of our video, the tag information for the truck, and our information. They said they would go over there and pay the driver a visit (and hopefully the guard). As of right now, I’m not sure where things stand, so I don’t really want to post any of the video, in case an investigation was opened and is on-going.

Now I’m here on lunch, listening to Roger Waters remind me that ‘What God Wants, God Gets (God Help Us All)’ and wondering what the hell has happened to my fellow humans. Those four cowards we encountered at Richy Neighborhood sicken me. I hate them, and I hate hating. It would be now that I would like to curse those people and hope they all have someone dear to them die because of a drunk/impaired driver, but I won’t wish that. If karma wants that, karma will get that (karma help us all!). In the end, I know that we did the right thing by reporting this.

The Gull Reef Club