Why can’t surprises be pleasant?…

Why can’t surprises be like, “Congratulations, you’ve just won a million bucks’?

I suppose they are for some people, but not for me.

I returned to the room after breakfast yesterday morning, ready to start my day on the computer, but when I tried to turn it on … NOTHING. It had worked perfectly the night before, but now it wouldn’t even turn on let alone boot up.

To add to my woes, this was my main computer with all the updated programs on it – one, I had bought just four days before. I have backups of some of them, but the difficulty is that they are in Canada.

Fortunately, most of my files are in cloud storage, including – thank goodness – my bookkeeping files for 2016 income tax purposes.

Unfortunately, I am going to have to replace some of them – the ones I need now (like my Adobe Photoshop) for Christmas ads. It retails for $119 USD, which is about $140 CAD.

Meanwhile, my Surface Pro (the one that I had given up on a year ago) is filling the gap.

More next time.

December 4th, already!

It is amazing how fast the time is flying by, and soon it will be Christmas.

As cynical as I may be at times, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Christmas. It is that bright spot in an otherwise dark, winter season, that is brightened by candles and touches of colour to gladden the senses.

Mind you, I like the idea of going to Christmas dinner in my shirtsleeves, and white Christmases are best viewed on greeting cards.

After a couple of days of cool (60s) weather, we have bounced back up to 74 in brilliant sunshine. I’m wearing a light jacket, not because it’s cool, but because everyone has the AC cranked to ‘refrigerator’ levels.

The Waffle House has a regular gale blowing most of the time. Of course, for guys and gals working on the grill and serving it’s quite comfortable. For the rest of us, however, we are practically cleaning the frost off our glasses!

So there is always one fly in the ointment no matter where you go. The hotel restaurant is comfortable enough, but the young staff have the music cranked to ear-splitting levels. Fortunately, they all know enough to turn it down when I arrive.

I have assembled a few facts about the Area of Georgia I am in. For example, John F. Kennedy Jr. stayed in the immediate vicinity on his way to marry on Cumberland Island.

Hope you enjoy them.

Georgia Facts and Trivia

  1. Okefenokee Swamp encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals; moss draped cypress trees, and lily pad prairies providing sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife including several endangered species.
  2. Cumberland Island National Seashore contains the ruins of Dungeness, the once magnificent Carnegie estate. In addition, wild horses graze among wind swept dunes.
  3. The late John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his future wife stopped in Kingsland on the way to their marriage on Cumberland Island.
  4. Historic Saint Marys Georgia is the second oldest city in the nation.
  5. The City of Savanna was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.It sailed from Georgia.
  6. Ways Station was renamed Richmond Hill on May 1, 1941, taking the name of automaker Henry Ford’s winter estate.
  7. The pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach made a home on Blackbeard Island. The United States Congress designated the Blackbeard Island Wilderness Area in 1975 and it now has a total of 3,000 acres.
  8. On January 19, 1861, Georgia joined the Confederacy.
  9. The official state fish is the largemouth bass.
  10. In Gainesville, the Chicken Capital of the World it is illegal to eat chicken with a fork.



My, how time flies…

As of today, I have been in the south four weeks. It doesn’t seem that long, but I’m sure if I had to cope with ice and snow it would seem longer.

It is cooler today (63/43), but beautiful sunshine. Sunshine is definitely the captive of the south, for a day hardly passes without some. I have a sheltered spot on the south side of the hotel where I go to sit. It is warm and peaceful, and very good for working out plot lines.

My room faces more-or-less east, so I only get the the direct rays in the late afternoon.

Not far away is the King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base. It is a strategic base servicing the Atlantic Fleet, so there is quite a bit of activity. I haven’t seen it, personally, but I may find a reason to go in that direction before I leave.

Submarine hangars, for Ohio class submarines.
Submarine hangars, for Ohio class submarines.


 Sailors assigned to the guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) practice skills controlling the boat.
Sailors assigned to the guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) practice skills controlling the boat.

Another beautiful day for tourists

This weather and temperature (84) is ideal for me, but this drought is reaching hazardous conditions here in the south. There hasn’t been an appreciable rainfall since November 3rd or fourth, and in Tennesee the whole village of Gatlinberg has been wiped out.

Fortunately, rain is in the forecast for both Saturday and Sunday, but it remains to be seen how much it will deliver.

In preparation of this, the assistant manager, Kathy, dropped by a brochure from a restaurant across the highway that delivers. It’s Italian, but it has things like steak, etc., and at quite reasonable prices; i.e. most items are below $10.00.

It saves dodging raindrops.

I have a colony of Skinks (Gecos) living in the hedge outside, and the ‘head guy’ – a bold little bugger – is determined he is going to move inside whenever I leave the door open.

Generally they scoot when I move, but not him, so I have to get up an shoo him out the door. I don;t mind them inside – they were all over the place in Belize, but he’d starve to death in here.

Tonight’s tour of Georgia includes a peach orchard, and a pecan orchard; both of which are done harvesting. The peach is Georgia’s state symbol, but interestingly is comes behind pecans and blueberries in exports.

A peach orchard ready to be harvested.
A peach orchard ready to be harvested.
Another view of a peach orchard in bloom.
Another view of a peach orchard in bloom.
A view of a pecan orchard and pod still on the tree.
A view of a pecan orchard and pod still on the tree.

More next time.


Took $100 US from the box yesterday…

Care to guess what it cost in CAD? Would you believe $142?!!

Meanwhile, “Twinkle Toes” Trudeau is jetting around the world in ‘Canada One’, and tossing $1M gifts out the window.

It’s a partly overcast 73-degrees today, going up to 84 tomorrow. It is very dry, however, as we have not had a rainfall of any kind since the first of the month.

Laundry day, today. When travelling, everything I carry must fit on the walker. My philosophy is that it is easier to buy things than tote them around. Consequently, I pack two shirts, and wear one; two pants and wear one, and two jackets, etc.

Likewise, everything is nylon or light cotton, so when they get soiled I just wash them in the sink and they’re ready to wear the next day.

I have started writing again. Presently I’m at page 61 of 113, so the likelihood is that Part Two of COA finished before Part One is published. Such are the vagaries of having to depend on someone else – especially in this day and age.

If you’re in the market for a modest property, then I have just the one for you in today’s tour of Georgia.

The title that goes with it merely says that it is in “northern Georgia,” so I can’t tell you more than that – except it is to drool over. Moreover, the price tag is probably enough to give you a heart attack. 🙂

One more time with feeling…

[I had this all written once before, but at the last minute the computer screwed up and I lost the whole thing. Grrrr!]

It is cooler today (67), but it is forcast to be back in the mid-seventies – even an 82 – by Monday.

I also check the temperature in Orillia every morning. Glad the rain isn’t snow … Not yet, anyway.

A wedding party invaded the hotel last evening, and now I know why I never went through the nonsense. Mind you, when I was younger they still had some mystique about them. These days, from what I can tell, they are an excuse for a raucous drunk.

A batch of them took the room next  to mine, and, while they weren’t too bad, they kept me awake until 1:30 AM. The assistant manager then intervened and sent them all to bed. Being the ‘star boarder’ does have some privileges.

I haven’t done much writing the past few days. I guess I’m still feeling the disappointment of not having the novel published as expected, and missing the Christmas market.

I have some photos for you today. The first is the Old District in Savannah, Georgia, and the second is a menage of photos of the “Hermitage” plantation near Savannah.

“Towards the end of the American Civil War (1864) Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s men of the Union Army sacked the large main house of this plantation and it was never lived in again. Many of the freed Negro slaves and their descendents continued to live in the gray brick homes they had built themselves when they were captive slaves. They lived in the small brick homes for many years after the war into the 1900s as a freed people.

I believe the original house burned down, and the one you see in these pictures was built around 1902 by Henry McAlpin. Henry McAlpin’s 400-acre plantation was located on the Savannah River, just north of the city of Savannah–the heart of a rice-growing region. McAlpin was one of the wealthiest men in the South. He didn’t just rely only on crops for his livelihood; he manufactured bricks, rice barrels, cast iron products and lumber, too. Examining the site plan of the Hermitage Plantation reveals a variety of buildings and industries. At the Hermitage Plantation, like other plantations along coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the task system of labor organization was used.

The Old District, Savannah, Georgia.
The Old District, Savannah, Georgia.

More next time.