Thursday, May 18, 2017

Agave Americana

A couple of weeks or so ago I blogged about Agave Americana. This post is to update the plant near us that is getting closer to blooming. Since we are headed back to Illinois on Monday it is unlikely we will be able to see the plant in full bloom. I did want to drive by today and see if there had been any change, and there had been. So without any additional comments here are the pictures.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

All the Facts

Anyone who knows me well and has met my dogs Rose and Lily know that I love my dogs. I treat them very well and do everything I can to keep them happy and healthy. Tybee Island does not allow dogs on the beach. I understand the reasons. People don't seem to be willing to clean up after themselves at the beach and dogs can leave reminders that no one wants to step in. The other issue is that the beach is often very busy and dogs can be unpredictable. You may think your dog would never bite. You may be right. Do you want to take the chance with lots of kids at the beach that it won't happen? I don't. When I went to the SCAD Sand Arts Festival on Friday I stood on the pier and took this picture.

First, there is a dog on the beach. Second, I think the dog must have been hungry because he appears to have eaten a large portion of the bottom of that girl's swimsuit. My initial reaction was to wonder where animal control was and why they or the police were not enforcing the no pets on the beach rule. A bit later in the morning another dog joined in the same group working on that sand sculpture. It isn't my place to enforce the rules and I am not one to run to the authorities and complain. I assume they know their job and would address the issue at some point during the day. I went by several times in my effort to get pictures of the art works in progress and the dogs were always well behaved and quiet.

They are the group in the background of this picture.

Both dogs are in the background of this picture.

Their work is coming along nicely and the dogs are still there and well behaved.

This is the last shot I took which shows one of the dogs and the completed art work. It was taken as I was getting ready to leave the beach and go have a couple of beers. As I walked past I noticed in the pile of personal belongings behind the sculpture a pair of vests identifying the dogs as service animals. What the disability of the owners were I have no idea. In a larger sense it doesn't matter. The dogs were on the beach doing their job. It was warm, the UV index was extreme and the service vests were black. Had the dogs been wearing them all day they would have suffered. My frustration and anger over their presence on the beach had been completely misplaced. To be completely honest I had been both stupid and wrong.

I said all that to say this. Our current president has done lots of things that appear on the surface to be very wrong or at a minimum stupid. There are many in Congress and the press calling for his impeachment and trial in the Senate. I think, given what I have seen and heard to this point, those voices may be correct. May is not a certain word and for this I want us to be certain. Let the investigation proceed. Let the evidence be presented. Let us all come to a point where we are not saying may but knowing for sure what has happened. I was wrong about those dogs. I want all of us to be right about this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Frog

Last Friday was one of the events I enjoy attending on Tybee Island. It is the annual Savannah College of Art and Design Sand Art Festival. Students and faculty from SCAD come out to the beach for a day in the sun to paint, draw, sculpt and display art works on the beach. Today I want to talk about the creative process. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I watch art being created, the process always amazes me. I don't understand what they see that I do not. It is clear to me that while artists and I live in the same universe their perception of it is quite different from mine. While I can stand back and appreciate what they do I cannot duplicate their efforts or vision. There were a number of groups working on projects. While I appreciate their collaborative efforts I think in many ways art is an individual effort. So today I want to highlight the work or one young lady. I tried to get to the beach early enough to watch as the works progressed. It required repeated trips up and down the beach taking pictures as the works progressed. In reviewing those pictures I realized I had not gotten a very early picture of her work. Perhaps she progressed into it rather rapidly or when I first walked by all I perceived was a lump of wet sand.

As you can see she is well on her way. It is already recognizable as a frog.

 According to the time stamp this is about 45 minutes later. The work is progressing nicely.

This is about 40 minutes later. She continues to work and add the details.

This is the view from the other side a few moments after the previous picture. I was impressed with the details in the leg and foot on this side. It is the last picture I got of her work. I wandered by those three times and took these pictures. She was focused on her work and seemed to pay little attention to the crowds wandering the beach that day. It was refreshing to see someone so completely in the moment working at something she clearly has a talent to share.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Distillery

Yesterday was Mother's Day so Tammie, Bailey, Josephine and I took Carol out for a late lunch. We ended up at the Distillery. Carol and I had been here before. Great beer selection and very good food. An interesting building with an interesting history.

The Kentucky Distilling Company opened in the building pictured above in 1904. The Temperance Movement was gaining traction and the ownership changed to the Louisville Distilling Company. They served the Savannah community until 1907. By 1920 Georgia had joined the rest of the United States and prohibited alcohol. The number of distilleries dropped from about 1,100 to only 33. Those 33 were allowed to produce alcohol for medical purposes only. The building became Freich's Pharmacy serving as a drug store, soda fountain and lunch counter until 1940. In 2008 the building became the Distillery Ale House. I found their approach to beer interesting.

Note the list of beers they do not carry. Of the list the only one that hurts my feelings a little bit is PBR.



Friday, May 12, 2017

Bambi- I'll Be Watching You

Let me start by saying I'm talking about deer not strippers. I've felt for a long time that man's rein on Earth is destined to come to an end. How soon? Well, that is a matter of debate for folks who are much smarter than me. The path we are currently on as the human race is not sustainable. The question is not if, but when and how we will meet our eventual doom. Eruption of the super volcano under Yellowstone National Park? Asteroid like the one that doomed the dinosaurs? A contest between ego manics with thermonuclear weapons? The failure of our antibiotics to control disease? A combination of those factors? The end is coming. Even if it doesn't happen to the human race it will happen to us as individuals. We are going to die. What does this have to do with Bambi?

Some of us die and go through the elaborate ritual of having a funeral, the casket, the burial in a cemetery. Some of us choose cremation and our ashes are scattered, end up in an urn on the mantel or in a shoe box in the closet. A few souls donate their bodies to extend our scientific knowledge. In order to solve crimes some folks allow their bodies to be placed in the woods and allowed to decompose naturally. It enables forensic scientists to determine when a body is found based on decomposition how long it has been there. It can assist in finding the time of death and locating possible suspects based on that information. Now for Bambi's part in this morbid story.

That is Bambi with a human rib hanging out of its mouth like a cigar. It is the first documented photograph of a deer grazing on human remains. This was one of those monitored experiments I was writing about earlier to determine the rate of human decomposition. I'm not sure about the rest of you dear readers but I personally don't care what happens to my body after I die. After all, I'm dead. Funerals and the rituals we have surrounding death are not for the dead, they are for the living we leave behind. Do I want to be a part of Bambi's rib buffet in Sutor's woods? Not really, but if that is how it goes, well, that's how it goes. Before we get to that point I encourage John and Beau to allow me to even the score. Deer ribs for dinner anyone? The circle of life completed.

Bambi, I will fight your quest for global domination. We thought you were innocent peaceful animals. It is clear in our language. She made doe eyes at me. He is gentle as a deer. Peaceful as deer in a meadow. Now we know the truth. We will be watching. Oh, and shooting.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

We Thought the Last One Was BIG

Last July 19th I blogged about the MOL Benefactor container ship visiting the Port of Savannah. That ship was just over 1100 feet long and held the equivalent of 10,100 twenty foot shipping containers. It came to Savannah after visiting the port in New Jersey and off loading some containers. Well, it was supplanted today as the largest ship to visit the Port of Savannah. The new BIG ship is the Cosco Development. The Development is the largest ship to have ever transited the Panama Canal. It is 1200 feet long, 158 feet wide with a capacity of 13, 092 twenty foot shipping containers. This ship is unable to visit the port of New York and New Jersey until the project to raise the road bed of the New Jersey Bayonne Bridge is complete in June. The Development is too tall to fit under the current road bed. The Port of Savannah is in the process of being dredged to allow ships of this size to visit the port. While that may seem a contradiction since the ship is here it is not. At this time the ship is able to navigate into and out of the port during high tide only. The completion of the dredging of the river and channel will allow the transit of those ships regardless of tide conditions. Here is a picture of this BIG ship.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Innovation

After Hurricane Matthew last October a couple of our granddaughters came over to help pick up sticks and organic debris in the yard. I was using the large paper waste bags. I was having trouble getting the bags open. They are deeper than my arm is long so I couldn't get the sides knocked out where they needed to be. This meant the bottom wouldn't lay flat and the bag wouldn't stand up on its own. Josephine and Bailey came up with an innovative solution.





Bag open, problem solved. It makes you wonder how many novel solutions to problems are ignored by adults because we are concerned about looking foolish.