Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Retirement, Post Office Eddy!

What is the next stop for Eddie? He loves to travel and has expressed a yearning for exotic locales -- i.e. all aboard the Orient Express! -- though Mrs. Eddie is apparently not so keen on the idea.
Anyway, I will miss seeing his smiling face behind the Post Office counter. Today is Eddie's last day, so be sure to stop by and wish him well. (Thanks to "little bird" Chuck for the tip-off.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peace & Quiet II

I dropped by Bada Bing today to pick up this week’s stash - those french toast bagels are seriously addicting - and had a chat with owner Andrea about this and that. She allowed as to how business had pretty much come to a sudden not to mention screeching halt. Boy don’t I know it....

June/July/Aug. goes by in a blur. The phone is ringing off the hook and you are booking sandcastle lessons back to back and cranking out delicious bagels and bagel sandwiches like nobody’s business. The cash register is jingling, the bank statements are cause for a smile if not outright celebration and you drag your sorry ass out of bed each morning feeling all virtuous and productive but sort of wishing you had time to do something other than teach sandcastle lessons or bake bagels for a change.

Then suddenly school starts and (badabang!) you get that wish. That wish comes crashing down on you like a ton of bricks and the beach is deserted and the oven goes cool and for some reason that cushion you thought you’d padded pretty nicely back while the sun was shining is already looking flat as a week-old tortilla and you are wondering how the hell you are going to hold on until spring break.

The good news is that most of us do indeed figure out a way to make it through the slow times. And we might even discover (or rediscover) how nice it is to be able to enjoy the beauty and amenities of this purty little island without having to wait in line behind all those tacky touristas and their monster SUVs hogging all the good parking spots.

With any luck this rain will dry up in time for the upcoming holiday weekend and the SUVs will lumber back across the c-way and Andrea’s cash register will jingle and I will book enough sandcastle lessons to work off all those delicious bagels I have been consuming ...

And we will all do well enough to keep the wolves and hurricanes at bay for yet another season.
(So say we all.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wags Wake/Memorial Jam

I can't remember the last time I carved sand while weeping - but it was probably sometime around 6/15/98. I really appreciate those of you who came by to help me say goodbye...

I also want to thank everyone who sent or voiced condolences on the loss of my sweet old buddy dog -- the people who know from first hand experience that a dog is not "just a dog." And then extra special thanks go to those who have made donations to the Laguna Madre Humane Society in Wags' name. The animal shelter in Port Isabel is a most excellent place to go in search of a new best friend. And after I give Peach a shot at being an only dog for a while I suspect I will be back there looking for her next companion....


Monday, August 20, 2007

Dennis' Northwest Passage

SPI local Dennis Barrett recently documented a dirtbike ride to the Mansifled cut and back -- armed with a digital camera and a gps unit. He finds a "deer highway", Martian grass, some ruins and even fools the gp unit into thinking he is riding on water! It's a pretty interesting show - be sure to start at the beginning and click through to see the photo captions.

Check it out!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

just didn't want to evacuate

My longtime buddy Wags decided of his own accord to check out today.
I found him - still warm - curled up in the sandbox looking like he was just taking a snooze....

Matt and Raybo were there. We planted him in a hole recently vacated by a re-located palm tree, a spot where he will always be close to me and his original companion, the long-gone but never forgotten Dune Dog.

I have been trying to prepare myself for this day for a couple of years now. It didn’t help. Even though I know he would have been miserable in my non-airconditioned truck if/when I have to evacuate from Hurricane Dean's path, I can’t help wishing he could have hung on for just a little bit longer.
For purely selfish reasons.
Because I already miss him.

Thank you to everyone who ever gave Wags a treat, threw him a stick or fuzzied his ear. Because of you, that little dog enjoyed a long, happy life of the kind too many other dogs can only dream of.



Friday, August 17, 2007

In DEANial

Peach and I took a long walk, timed perfectly to enjoy this morning’s light show just before sunrise and rain -- parting shot from TS Erin or foreshadowing of Dean’s arrival in the Gulf?

I keep hitting refresh on the 5-day forecast graph and really hate the way it keeps looking like the monster is aiming itself directly at us. I keep running over my preparations list in my mind, trying to predict what else I will have wished I had spent this day doing should Dean set his sights on South Padre Island.

From Hurricane Dean Discussion Number 17:
It should be noted that guidance for day 4 and 5 is more uncertain today than yesterday.

At this point I would prefer to see Dean go pretty much anywhere other than where he appears to be heading, so I am going to interpret that as good news and hold off making more preparations for another day or two.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

weather predictions - still an inexact science

I am supposed to be on a plane right now - soaring through the skies en route to a well-deserved vacation on the west coast.

But here I sit, in my SPI office trying to wrap my head around the difference between the weather we are supposed to be having - ( “Likely Thunderstorms, Likely Rain Showers” 70%, with 19 mph winds) - and the actual conditions I just enjoyed on a pre-dawn dog walk - (starry skies with nary a hint of breeze.) promises “Definite” Thunderstorms by 10 AM. Looking at the radar, I wonder what alternate reality they are basing this prediction upon.

There were several sets of circumstances that contributed to the decision to cancel my trip this morning - most notably this guy named Dean spinning away in the Atlantic - but another was the the nice lady at Continental who told me late last night that my 5:15 flight out of Brownsville was very likely to be delayed or even cancelled altogether due to the predicted storm conditions. Sitting in an airport wondering when or even if I am ever going to get to my destination is very close to my personal vision of hell. So I bailed.

Maybe it will be storming like crazy on SPI at 10 AM, but right now it sure doesn’t look like it. And that makes me wonder about how many other people “voluntarily evacuated” SPI and their vacation plans for the weekend, based upon a weather prediction that at this moment appears to have no basis in reality. Like me, I reckon they are feeling a bit cheated. I was looking forward to a consolation prize of wind, rain, and drama!

At the moment it is looking like my plants aren’t even going to get a good watering.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Diane Williams in ICU

I just received word that Dianne Williams - property manager over at La Playa who also happens to be my neighbor here on Saturn St. - went into cardiac arrest this morning and is in critical condition in ICU. She has been ill with a cold or maybe bronchitis for some time and as I understand it the virus settled into her heart and has caused a great deal of mayhem there.

Since we are talking about hearts, let me tell you that Diane has one of the biggest in the neighborhood: taking in stray dogs and never turning away a friend in need. Her husband Stewart is understandably distraught and I was so shocked by his news I forgot to ask him which hospital she is in -- I will post as soon as I know where she is and when she is able to accept visitors. In the meantime, I hope everyone who knows Diane will pray for her speedy recovery or at least send positive vibes in her direction.

Update 8/15: I talked to Stewart briefly yesterday and,while Diane is still gravely ill in ICU at Valley Baptist, there is good news: she is off the respirator, her heart is working at 40% capacity and they are slowly peeling away the drugs that have been sustaining her. We are hoping she will be able to accept visitors as early as next week.

Update 8/17: Stuart says that Diann is doing quite a bit better. She has been moved out of ICU (visit her in room 311 in the South Tower) and is sitting up and handling mundane tasks such as signing checks. It sounds like they are going to install a defibrillator (?) to help monitor her heart but it could still be days before she can come home. Stuart says "I need this hurricane like I need a hole in my head right now." I couldn't agree more.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My happy, friendly neighborhood

Apparently someone in my neighborhood is so concerned about appearances that they took the time to complain about the small pile of buckets and busted up plastic form material sitting forlornly in the easement near my driveway where I presumed the big trash truck would come pick it up. Yesterday.

(Isn't the first Monday of the month big trash day?)

I put the stuff out on Sunday, Aug. 5 which directly proceeds the first Monday in August by my reckoning. But the stuff didn't get picked up. I don't know why and seeing how it is only Tuesday I thought maybe they were just running a bit behind or something but one of my civic-minded neighbors just couldn't wait to take it up with code enforcement instead of talking to me directly.

I think that is ... what's the word?
Ah yes:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

lost dog - south padre island

This handsome fellow was wandering around Blackbeards parking lot without a person or even a collar. Do you know who he is? If so, please contact me!

Update: The lost owner has been found and reunited with this sweet puppy. Don't you just love happy endings?