Sunday, October 17, 2004

Summer winds...

Summer has come to an end and I am in a bit of a funk. With the change in the season comes a change in my day to day life. Winter is when my business gets really busy and I have to keep my head down and plow through as much as a can in a day to keep from getting to far behind. It's cold, and worst of all it's dark.

In a week or two we will change the clocks and the darkness will arrive at 4:00 in the afternoon. That means that I will get to the office when it is dark and when I leave it will be dark. We don't have any windows in my office so on days when I don't have any on-site appointments it can get pretty oppressive.

Adding insult to injury, this is the time of year that my wife and I start to argue more. We both get a little stir crazy and then stupid little details that shouldn't mean anything to anyone become the focal point of drawn out struggles and frustrations. I am really starting to dislike the winter.

The good news though is that I have the pictures from this summer to keep me company while I wait for the spring. I look at these and they keep me focused on the things (and most of all the people) that I love.

Beej with her niece, nephew, and our four legged kids

Playing in a fountain in Atlanta, GA

One of the best digital pics I have ever taken. Right in front of my house!

Beagles need baths sometimes!

Turkeys in our back lawn!

Beej on a Geocaching adventure!

Griffen covered in mud (as he should be) while geocaching.

Our Beagle pup acts as if he was raised by cats :)

Spring makes itself known each year with new baby Geese. These greeted us this year..

...and then there is my little wife, who I wouldn't trade for anything. She is as happy as I have ever seen her standing next to her new Jeep.

No one could ever claim that I am not a lucky man.


Friday, October 15, 2004

In Memory of Jake the Dog

We've had the misfortune of losing a friend who was very dear to us, a yellow lab named Jake. Jake was the best friend of our very good friends Maggie and Charlie. Tonight we went to Maggie and Charlie's house to drink a toast to Jake, share some stories, and console our friends who just lost their four-legged loved one.

Jake was 12 years old, and lived a dog's dream life. Maggie and Charlie are quite possibly the best dog parents I've ever seen; Jake is quite possibly the luckiest dog to ever exist to have had such wonderful people in his life.

Maggie and Charlie used to bring Jake into work with them at the yacht rigging shop. All it took was a "Hey Snakey Jake!" to get him to come out, wag, grin and do that little dance that labradors do so well when they are excited to see you. Once the initial excitement wore off, Jake would be sure to lie down at my feet and give my ankle an affectionate lick as Todd and I discussed our latest rigging drama with Maggie.

Dinner at Maggie and Charlie's was always a blast with Jake around. Jake had a thing for smoked gouda. When we were having hors d'ourves in their living room around the coffee table, we had to be sure to guard the gouda. If you dropped the ball on guarding the gouda, all you'd see is a fuzzy yellow blur, and then the gouda would be gone. Jake would retreat to a corner of the room licking his lips at his latest score. If you happened to be in the kitchen during the gouda snatching all you'd hear is "Oh nononononononono Jaaaaake!" and you knew what happened, because it always sounded the same.

Here are some pictures of Jake the Snake. We'll miss you Jake. You were a good dog and a good friend.

You just know that he was fantacizing about gouda when this picture was taken.


Thursday, October 14, 2004


Some of you may know that Todd and I are really into Geocaching. It's a sport that people participate in world wide. It's basically a big, giant scavenger hunt. People will hide a cache (container with goodies in it) somewhere in the world, and post the latitude and longitude coordinates to it on the Internet at If you want to find a cache, go to this site, get the coordinates of caches in your area, plug 'em into your handheld GPS, and go find a cache.

The idea is, when you find the cache, is to take a goody and leave another goody. Usually there is a log in there too, so we write in the log, and some people even include a funsaver camera so you can take a picture of yourself to leave for the cache owner.

We learned about geocaching one night while goofing around on Google. Todd likes to search on random words he hears on TV, or words that I'll say when talking. On this occasion he searched on his pet name for me (no, I will not tell you what that is, it's kinda private, OK?) and we stumbled upon the Geocaching site. It was around 10 PM, and we called up a few friends, explained what we were doing, they were game for an adventure, so we all set out for Goddard Park around midnight with a backpack filled with beer, along with goodies for the cache, and our trusty GPS.

It's great fun, and we always get to see a new area in the Ocean State. It's an excellent way to explore a new area too. Here are some pictures from a cache we tried to find a few weeks ago. This was a multi-cache (cache contains a clue to another cache, which contains a clue to another cache until you find the one that contains the goodies) but we only found the first cache in the series of caches. This area was so beautiful, we may have to go back soon, and find the rest of the caches in the series.

We were at a park called George B. Salter Grove for this cache. This park overlooks Narragansett Bay in RI has a rock wall breakwater that you can walk out to and walk on. The first cache was out by the breakwater, so we had to walk on the rock wall to find it. There were people fishing off the wall, as well as swans galore. Dozens and dozens of swans! It was a cloudless day, warm, and just all around fabulous.

This is me, on the rock wall, on the way out to finding the cache. I think our GPS was telling me that we were about 500 feet away at this point.

Swans galore. Look at them all! You should have seen Griffen jump into the water to scare them. Swans don't scare that easily, I think they would have eaten Griffen if he got any closer to them.

They are pretty though, aren't they?

This is me, just after we found the cache. The cache itself wasn't all that exciting. It was just a small container that had the hint for the next cache in the series. Normally when we find just a normal cache, it's more interesting than that.

Cormorants on a rock, sunning themselves.

This is Nemo in the high grass. He's in his natural element in the high grass, as beagles are bred to flush rabbits out of the high grass so the rabbits can then be hunted. Interesting, the white tails on beagles were also bred in, so the hunters can see the dog when they are hunting.

So, that was my Cliff Claven moment of the day.

Wait up!! Waaaaaiiiiit! Griffen and Nemo are trying not to get left behind.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Under the Sea....

Todd and I went diving at Ft. Wetherill State Park in Jamestown, RI on Saturday. This time of year is great for diving in the southern parts of RI, and in Narragansett Bay, as the Gulf Stream shifts and carries with it warmer water, and the pretty fish that live in the warmer water.

On Saturday we took our newly acquired from eBay underwater camera. In the car on the way over Todd was loading the film and saying "I don't think we'll actually take 36 exposures. I think I would use up 12 at most...." Well, the excitement got the better of us, especially when I was carrying the camera. Me? Trigger happy? Yes, yes I am trigger happy with a camera and darn proud of it so cram it!

Anyway, here are the pictures that Todd has brilliantly photoshopped, to take out some of the siltiness of the water, so you can see us more clearly. We saw a lobster in its hole, a flounder floundering around on the bottom, some trigger fish, and loads of starfish. I love the starfish the best!

This is me, and man do my lips look huge around my reg.

This is a fish trying to escape my trigger happy ways. Yeah, keep trying, buddy!

Looks like there was a lobster fight and someone lost an arm. So, does that mean that in some restaurant somewhere in RI there may be a one-armed lobster on somebody's plate?

This is a lobster in its home. I spotted this one, and got Todd's attention. I pointed to the hole, and made a motion with my hand, not unlike the motion you make when somebody is talking to much. This apparently is our little signal for "Look! Lobster! Wow!"

I love me some starfish. I love how this picture is artistically off-center, too. We meant to do it that way, really!

More starfish. I wonder what the deal was with them, there were loads of starfish piled up together in different places on the dive. I've also been noticing them more and more when I look into the water from the docks at the marina. These guys were big, though. I'd say they were about 7" in diameter, though underwater things do look 33% bigger than they do on the land--much like they do in my rear view mirror on my Jeep as well.

This is Todd with a starfish. I love the kilroy affect of this picture, again, it was all very artisitic, and purely intentional.

A school of trigger fish.

So, that was our adventure. Stay tuned for more pictures soon!