Saturday, January 26, 2008

Goldilocks Report

After our daughter’s recent guestbook comment* on We're Wingin' It suggested that she’s interested in the events of our lives, whether (to quote Goldilocks) it's too cold, too hot or just right, I'd like to explain how I am about the weather.

Goldilocks and the Three BearsWhether genetic predispostition or learned behavior is to blame, I share my mother's habit of always noticing if it's too cold OR too hot. What I really want is perfect weather in every way. That's just how I am.

My ideal weather would mean there would never be a need to run the heat or the A/C. That is what I consider just right. So chances are slim that you'll see anything on my blog about just right weather, but you probably will hear something about 100+ temps and temps that drop below freezing, because those are either too hot or too cold.

I feel qualified to give a Goldilocks Report because I had a golden shade of hair for many years before I stopped coloring it and allowed it to turn several shades of gray. I also feel I have a right to have a temper because I'm a natural redhead. These are the kinds of conclusions I draw — like I feel I am entitled to change my mind because it's a woman's prerogative. HA!

So what has this got to do with Goldilocks? Not a darn thing.

*Here's our daughter's guestbook comment, word for word:
"Reading about your day-to-day experiences serves as an important reminder of the tasks that RVers face to enjoy the creature comforts that many take for granted. You and Vicki have helped me realize that seeking knowledge about my parents' lifestyle choice goes a long way towards tuning in to their lives. Just glancing at your Guestbook is a testament to the inspiration your blog has been to others. By making the time and effort to help wannabees and fellow RVers prepare themselves, you've led me to a closer kinship with my parents — even when they're driving as fast as they can to get away from me. (Just teasing!)"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Photo technology at its finest

The olden days of snapshots and their not-so-fond memories:
  • Purchase overpriced film (or throw your money away on the budget variety)
  • Limit the number of snapshots taken to avoid "using up all the pictures too soon"
  • Take film to be developed (also overpriced), or mail it and wait a week or so for your prints to arrive
  • End up disappointed by improper exposure / lousy poses / poor print quality
  • And keep up with all those negatives!
I don't blame my daddy for having his own darkroom and admire his photography skills. And for those of you who didn't realize where I got my shutterbug tendencies ... now you know. :-)

Fast forward to the 21st Century:
What a life-changing device my digital camera has been! Now I can take a gazillion photos, plug them into my computer, save my favorites, then carelessly toss out the ones I don't like — all in less than an hour.

After investing in Adobe Photoshop software before hitting the road last April, several of the summer's "photo shoots" were taken with plans to combine multiple photos to create panoramas of the Midwest's magnificent scenery. Being confined indoors during the cold snap has been the perfect opportunity to learn this. I took several photos of Fairhope's fancy new Wal-Mart to use as guinea pigs:

Wal-Mart Supercenter · Fairhope, Alabama
Ta-Dah! My first-ever Adobe Photoshop panorama

Until I get the hang of blending the separate images to appear more natural, I'll focus on shutter speed and lots of overlapping to avoid different exposures between shots.

I’ve got several snapshots taken from the Devils Tower Golf Course overlook that I want to play with before I'm finished making panoramas out of last summer's photos. I've posted the results of several others behind the link below. As I add more, I'll hopefully get better and better at it:

Mae Dean's panoramic photos on flickr

And speaking of Wal-Mart Supercenter ...
A geocache was hidden in its parking lot. :-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Brrrrrrr Again!

A cold morning in Southern AlabamaThe balmy weather that greeted us when we arrived in Lower Alabama last week has turned rainy, cold and windy. After bringing our cranky indoor-outdoor thermometer in out of the rain, it's reading 26º. I'm relieved that's on the other side of the door, and that it's not even colder than our record low of 19º since moving into our motorhome.

Things seem a bit cozier after remembering last night's TV coverage of the Giants-Packers NFC championship game played in Green Bay. Although Wisconsin's sub-zero temps ranked it as the third-coldest game in NFL history, New York and the New England Patriots will be lots warmer at next month's Superbowl in Phoenix. Maybe our weather will be warmer then as well.

Cold hands: One of these Green
Bay fans foolishly forgot his gloves

Cold Green Bay fans
Photo Credit: Kansas City Star

Wendell has been checking weather in other locales such as Devils Tower, where we were last summer, and we realize that our weather isn't anything to complain about – but since neither one of us particularly likes cold weather, we're ready for it to warm up.

The low we experienced in Kentucky was 23º. Any of you Wolf Creek people want to comment back with a report on what your weather is like?

Previous posts:
October 29 · Brrrrrrr!
November 2 · Double Brrrrrrr!
January 3 · Triple Brrrrrrr!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Wharf

Palms at the resort's entranceWendell and I drove over for sightseeing and lunch at The Wharf, an up-and-coming Orange Beach resort located at the foot of the Foley Beach Express bridge.

Even though its entrance signs are somewhat obscure, this huge development is impossible to overlook. The place looked like you'd expect for a beach resort in January. Although the high-rise condos seemed deserted today, The Wharf's website indicates that they've sold quickly, and the place is bustling during warmer months. After witnessing how the Gaming Commission affected Mississippi's tourism, I naturally imagined that casinos would've attracted money-spending tourists year round.

Like much of the resort, we had the restaurant to ourselves. Johnny Rockets is a retro diner located beside the resort's huge ferris wheel. True to their 1950's theme, each booth had its own tabletop jukebox that required only a nickel to play a selected song. Would you believe that neither of us had a nickel? But no matter, since Fifties songs played the whole time we were there. Wendell and I both arrived hungry and finished every bite of the delicious Patty Melts with fries.

Orange Beach's newest luxury resort Mae Dean at The Wharf Did we order a smiley face with fries? The Southeast's largest ferris wheel

Check out the rest of today's sightseeing photos:
The Wharf on flickr

An eye-catching billboard along the way promoted Gulf Coast vacations: Florida is full. Check us out! Although I was unable to find anything more about that advertisement, I did discover recent news about another controversial billboard in the area:
3 Letter Word on Billboard Draws Attention
WKRG News 5 · Mobile
Leftista oil baron?
The Perpetual Vacationers: Redneck skyscrapers

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

SEC the Best

FOXSports columnist Mark Kriegel's coverage of yesterday's Bowl Championship Series includes a statement worth sharing by LSU running back Jacob Hester:

“I think the SEC is the best conference in the country. You can see it by all these non-conference match-ups. It’s not bragging, it’s the truth."
This is an LSU player – but not Jacob Hester
Photo credit: FOXSports
BCS Photo Gallery
BCS Highlights Video

Monday, January 07, 2008

Home Fit For A King

I heartily recommend the photos Boomer captured on a beautiful spring visit to Memphis. I haven't taken the tour inside of Graceland since Elvis' death, but I have stood on the mansion's front steps while Elvis was still alive (but not at home) thanks to a guard there allowing Wendell and Mother and me to do so. I sure wish I knew where the photos are from that long ago event.

Boomer's Graceland album on Webshots

I watched this as a slideshow,
but you may not have the time for that:

Memphis Photo Album
by Webshots Member Boomer01107

Speaking of long ago events ...

Before we met, both Wendell and I attended Elvis concerts early in his career. Wendell saw Elvis perform live in 1955 in a high school gymnasium in Ripley, Mississippi. In 1956, I had a ticket to an Elvis concert in Waco, Texas, while I was a freshman at Baylor University. This concert did not have reserved seats, and the line to get inside the coliseum was very long. When a second line was opened, I was fortunate to get a spot up front. Then when the auditorium was opened and fans scrambled for seats, I ended up on the second row! It was a real treat to be that close to Elvis during his performance.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Triple Brrrrrrr!

We're experiencing the coldest temps we've ever had since we have been living in our Airstream. The Arctic air has made its way to Mississippi, where our thermometer is currently reading a bonechilling 19º.

Wendell has been checking predictions further South in Natchez and Hattiesburg, where temps are just as low. However, a warming trend is expected in a few days. We intend to pack up and head that direction just as soon as our mail arrives.

For comparison's sake, the low we experienced in Kentucky was 23º. How about it, Wolf Creek people – what's it like there?

Previous posts:
October 29 · Brrrrrrr!
November 2 · Double Brrrrrrr!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pets’ Spirits

The Rainbow Bridge
The Love Chapter · 1 Corinthians 13
This story of the Rainbow Bridge can be reassuring to pet owners whose pets have died. When I say died, I am referring to the pet's physical body. To me, it is so easy to look at a body, be it a human body in a casket or that of a animal, and know the spirit or soul is no longer present in the body

I rely on a chapter in The Bible for my reassurance. The main point of the Love Chapter to me is – Love Never Dies. If you have experienced the unconditional love of a pet who accepts you just as you are, I think you have been allowed to see a glimpse of what the love of God is like.