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

6/8/2017

WTFH, 1st Edition – Is Your Dog An Ally of the Kaiser?

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:15 pm

For a few years now, I’ve been amassing research for my ‘WTFH’ project. I have finally found what I think is the perfect first edition for this series.

First off, I’m sure you’re wondering, what does WTFH mean? Well, I think you can figure out the WTF part. The H stands for History. I have been gathering news articles, illustrations, and advertisements that feature bizarre and unusual items from our American past. I get these mostly from the Library of Congress, but also other places that post historical newspapers. I have intentionally avoided the more controversial historic topics. I would hope that we’re all somewhat well-versed on that. My focus is the bizzare, the odd, the things that make you say WTF, History?! I’d actually prefer to use a better name for this feature, but until I (or you) come up with one, WTFH it is.

Without further ado, please let me present to you the following illustration I saw last night:

Is Your Dog An Ally of the Kaiser?

Dog Ally Kaiser (1917)

It is dated to June 1917, and I’ve seen it posted on various days in a few papers during this time period, mostly in Tennessee. Credit for this specific image goes to the Jackson County Sentinel, June 21, 1917, page 4. Direct link: LOC, Jackson County Sentinel.

Be sure that your dog is worth to you what he costs this country.

Just a slice of the odder side of American news history. Presumably, this caused you to pause and ask yourself – WTF was that I just read?

I anticipate posting more of these. I have at least 40 items in my folder at home waiting to be shared. If nothing else, I hope you to conclude, as I have, that our present is no more or less screwy than the past.

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… ;)

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.

12/12/2016

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?!?!

11/21/2016

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

11/3/2016

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.

10/16/2016

Official Release – Jaime 2.0

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:35 pm

Some call it 40. For me, it’s the launch of Jaime 2.0, better, faster, stronger. (na-na-na-na-na-na-na- naaaaah).

Had things gone as planned, I would be telling you about the great kayaking/camping trip we took to Little Tybee. Hurricane Matthew had other things in mind and that trip is just not going to happen this year. We opted instead to bike downtown, do a little shopping, and have a picnic lunch in Forsyth Park. Dinner was grilled lamb pitas with tzatziki sauce and fries. With Mike’s help, we made a coconut cream pie for dessert. The crust was too dry and salty. Gotta keep working on those. Mike did a fine job on the pudding center, although the recipe simply called for too much coconut (which is weird for me to even be saying).

Thanks for all the birthday greetings and wishes. It was nice to hear from everyone (and it not be hurricane related!).

9/27/2016

Debate 1: Trump v. Clinton

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:27 pm

After last night’s first presidential election debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I think we all need a little Citizen Kang.

Probably the BEST Simpsons episode (really, an episode within an episode) ever. Twenty years on, I still find myself quoting the classic lines:

I am Clin-Ton. As overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands.

It makes no difference which one of us you vote for. Either way, your planet is doomed. DOOMED!

These candidates make me wanna vomit in terror!

Kang: Fooling these Earth voters is easier than expected.
Kodos: Yes. All they want to hear are bland pleasantries embellished by an occasional saxophone solo or infant kiss.

Oh, no, am I still here? I don’t wanna serve out my term naked in a tube…

Kang: The politics of failure have failed. We need to make them work again. Tomorrow, when you are sealed in the voting cubicle, vote for me, Senator Ka… Bob Dole. [applause]
Kodos: I am looking forward to an orderly election tomorrow, which will eliminate the need for a violent blood bath.

Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.
Man1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.
Man2: Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.
Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away!

Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

9/16/2016

Mystical Arts of Tibet

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:53 pm

I visited the Jepson Museum today to see Mystical Arts of Tibet by the Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery. It was incredible to see it being made, grain by grain. Most of the monks were out to lunch, so we got to see it from a few angles. It will be gone Sunday, so visit if you can.

9/15/2016

Beta Test and Launch of Jaime 2.0

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:06 pm

Today marks the 1st day of the last month of beta testing for Jaime 2.0. Official launch date: 10/15/2016, 8:15a.m. EDT. Stay tuned!

8/22/2016

The Rogue Shrimp

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:16 pm

Not being one to shy away from a self-embarrassing story if I think I can get a laugh out of it, I have one I think you’re going to like.

Some background in case you’ve never actually met me – I am a small-sized human. Barely 5 feet tall, and a bit over 100lbs (some days more than others). I wear a children’s size 3 shoe and nearly all of my clothes are petite-sized or childrens. I have been called more “short” names than I can probably remember – midget, shorty, munchkin, elf, shrimp…you get the idea. Having dealt with this for nearly 40 years, I just roll with it. No reason to get mad over something I can’t change. Really, I sort of wear those names with a badge of (small) honor. It’s who I am.

So back to the embarrassing hilarity. Yesterday, Mike and I took our kayaks out for the first time on moving water – the Skidaway River. The weather was perfect and the tides appeared to in our favor. We made it to Burntpot or Burnpot (I’ve seen both on the maps) Island and hiked around a bit and had lunch. It was really quite lovely.

On the paddle back, we hugged the west side of the river to avoid the wake of motor boats, but still trying to stay deep enough so that our paddles weren’t hitting mud. About 2/3 of the way back, all hell breaks loose. I was innocently paddling and this wild, rogue Georgia shrimp jumped into my kayak with me – and I completely lost my mind.

The miscreant shrimp landed right between my legs. When I looked down to see what had jumped in my boat, all I see are two long antennae sticking out wiggling at me. I totally flip my shit and instead of simply tossing the shrimp out and carry on – I jumped completely out of my kayak. So now there I was swimming after my paddle and then back to my kayak where Mike had already grabbed it. I waded up to my kayak, because as it turns out, I was only in about two feet of water (with about a foot of mud under that). I look in my kayak and see that it is a teeny-tiny shrimp, not even big enough for eating. I toss him back into the water, and with the assistance of Mike, hop back into my kayak.

Mike said he overheard some folks on a motorboat that was passing as this happened say, “Did she just fall out of her boat?” “No, folks! That was intentional – I jumped out! I was being attacked by a shrimp!” I was laughing so hard after this that it was hard to paddle. It was just so ridiculously funny – the human shrimp freaking out over a real shrimp.

I am a little annoyed with myself because I really should be able to react to situations like that much more calmly. I don’t know what caused me to panic, but that is not cool. Gotta work on on that. Further, I am not bothered by shrimp- at all. I have no problems popping their heads off when I want to eat them, and while I’ve not used them for bait, if I had to, I’d have no problem popping them on the hook. Jump in my kayak and it’s a different story apparently.

While I had thought about blaming the shrimp and saying he extorted me out of the kayak (the Ryan Lochte defense), I figured it was much funnier if I just told the truth. I am an idiot sometimes, but I guess I learned something out of all this, so now not only do I have a hilarious story, I also hope I know how to react should something like ever happen again.

Watch out for them wild Georgia shrimp! They’ll get ya.

6/30/2016

Gull Reef Updates

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:32 pm

June started out as a pretty crappy (literally) month, but with each passing day has gotten better.

At the start of the month, we finally started to get bids for the new roof our house needs. As we were doing that, we learned we were also having a sewer drainage problem. We (ok, Mike) tried to initially fix it by the usual drain rodding, but that didn’t pan out. We feared it could have been a line collapse due to our house’s lines being so old and made of terra cotta. So the calls to professional plumbers began and we started to round up opinions on what was actually wrong and estimates to repair it. That process was awful and we learned that our repair was going to be anywhere from $1500 to $6000. Add that to the upcoming roof replacement, and we’re looking a lot of costs.

The plumber who provided the cheapest estimate wasn’t going to be able to come out for three weeks. With the impending Independence Day holiday and house guests set to arrive, we couldn’t wait three weeks. So Mike started digging. He dug for two days in upper 90° weather. On the third day, he found the problem. Fortunately, the line had not collapsed. It was, however, so packed with roots and other particulate, there was very little that was able to pass through. Lots of gagging, heavy rubber gloves, and hundred of flies swarming later, Mike removed over six feet of packed-in nastiness. He repaired the pipe (replaced with modern PVC) and we are free flowing again. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have him around. Mike is incredibly resourceful, and furthermore tenacious. Thanks, Mike.

Feeling like we scored one on the karma gods, we opted to have a little fun with the money we would have otherwise spent on the plumbing and invested in some used kayaks. We are now the proud owners of a Tsunami 120 and 125 Kayak. Mine is bright yellow, and given the shape of a kayak, it will appear that I am padding a banana. Going to have to get you some pics of that. I can’t wait to get out and try it out. Time to explore my beautiful home geography by water.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

2/8/2016

Sugaree 2000-2016

Filed under: — Jaime @ 5:18 pm

Queen Bee Sugaree has gone on to be with her Jerry. She was a tough old girl, and for awhile there, I thought she’d live to see twenty. The last of our Illinois cats. My heart breaks. We’re going to miss you, sweet girl.

12/31/2015

Commence the New Year Right!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 12:09 am

From the Savannah Morning News, January 1, 1880:

Original: Persistent Link, Digital Library of Georgia

12/16/2015

Signs of Adulthood

Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:39 pm

Went camping for three days in the Okefenokee Swamp, brought no ketchup. Never missed it.

The Gull Reef Club