Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Plans

It's "amateur night" at Island clubs. I hope they all do lots of business and have lots of fun, but Peach and I will be heading up the beach for a year's end bonfire with other SoBs. We will probably make it an early night -- want to be back home before the (predicted) norther rolls in. I am envisioning watching the fireworks from my favorite vantage point: my hot tub. Maybe with a glass of bubbly....

Hope to see everyone at the Polar Bear swim tomorrow. We may or may not be building a sandsculpture, depending on how hard that north wind is blowing. Happy 2008 - hope it gets off to a good start for all of us!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

coldest polar bear swim yet??!!

This is today's forecast for the first day of 2008:


High of 58 predicted for Jan. 1 --? This does not bode well for the 10th annual Polar Bear Dip. In fact, this could be the year the weather separates the polar bears from the teddy bears (and I am not sure yet which category I will fall into.)

As a side note, we hear that Dan Quandt suffered a stroke up in IN on Christmas Eve. Glad it was a minor one and hope he is able to return to the Island very soon.

Friday, December 28, 2007

longest lines yet getting back into the US today

The line leaving Matamoros today extended back on the bridge and over half the way back to Mexico.

Maybe it was the holidays. Compounded by being Friday. Or something but I have been hopping across the border a lot lately and today's were the longest lines I have yet seen. I think those pedestrians on the bridge were waiting two hours or longer to have the opportunity to be scrutinized by a grumpy border patrol agent.
We drove, and were very happy we did. We got back to the US side in less than half an hour after pulling out of Garcias.
Remember when conventional wisdom held that it was smarter to park and walk than to drive across? NO MORE. I have to go back to the dentist next week, and I am driving. For the first time maybe ever.

We even had an (admittedly shorter) wait to get back in at Progresso last week. I think returning Winter Texans are in for a surprise this season.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kemps Ridleys - Top 10 Wildlife Conservation Story of 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Berry Christmas!

Just got back from a wonderful return engagement on lovely Berry Island (off the coast of Ingleside, TX) where Kirk and I got a chance to spend a night on a deserted island together. Many thanks to our hosts/employers -- the Berry Family of Corpus Christi. They sure know how to throw a party!

If you find yourself on South Padre Island Christmas day, be sure and stop by the 14th annual Christmas brunch openhouse at sandy feet's beach retreat (aka Sandbox Inn) starting at 11 AM. Pick up your official invitation and view other Christmas goodness at my online Christmas Card. Everyone is welcomed - Feliz Navi-doo-dah!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Brutus Attains Royal Beast Status

I shot some footage of the ceremony and have posted it on YouTube - congrats to Brudy and his proud people - Mike & Nancy Marsden.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

a report from the border

After living within a few miles of inexpensive dental care for over half of my life now, I finally decided to take advantage of it. Right about the same time the feds decided the border is just a little too porous (seems like that ripple effect from nine eleven sure took its time getting here.) If you haven’t walked across the bridge to Matamoros lately, you are in for a nasty surprise.

Lines. Long (pedestrian) lines to get back into the US. Last week I was told that my passport was not enough, The Man wanted to see my birth certificate as well. When I was unable to produce that document , I was quizzed by the scowling officer on the city of my birth. It was very uncomfortable and I couldn’t help but wonder if I had somehow slipped into an alternative universe -- one where the Soviet Union won the Cold War....

Is it like that in Progresso too?

Friday, December 07, 2007

now i'm dangerous

I just got a spiffy little camcorder!
I suspect I will find other subjects of interest before long, but right now, my dog is the only thing moving around here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another good reason to winter on SPI

You gotta love it when the action 4 chief meteorologist in the VMS describes the next five day forecast as:

But that is not what I am blogging about today

The NYT has an article today about flu and why it is most prevalent in the winter. Turns out that flu virus stays in the air much longer when conditions are cold and dry -- heat and humidity are its enemies.

“By varying air temperature and humidity in the guinea pigs’ quarters, they discovered that transmission was excellent at 41 degrees. It declined as the temperature rose until, by 86 degrees, the virus was not transmitted at all.

The virus was transmitted best at a low humidity, 20 percent, and not transmitted at all when the humidity reached 80 percent.

The animals also released viruses nearly two days longer at 41 degrees than at a typical room temperature of 68 degrees.

Flu viruses spread through the air, unlike cold viruses, Dr. Palese said, which primarily spread by direct contact when people touch surfaces that had been touched by someone with a cold or shake hands with someone who is infected, for example.“


Monday, December 03, 2007

The SPI Libation League

Have you been known to ... imbibe spirits?
Are you old enough to do so legally?
Have you ever made your own beer and/or wine? Or even just _thought about making it?
Are you the type who finds the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition cause for celebration?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you might be a good candidate for the South Padre Island Libation League.

Please join us at our first meeting on Wed., Dec.5, 5:30 PM at the Sandbox Inn (117 E. Saturn Lane, upstairs.) Bring something to drink if you like - something you made or something unique - something you are happy to share small samples of with other members. The plan is to talk about beer and wine making techniques and equipment. Hope to see you there!

Tip of the hat/wag of the finger 12/3/07

God I wish the writers strike would reach a happy conclusion quickly -- I am so missing my daily shots of Stewart and Colbert! The pre-election season is gray and colorless without them..

Anyways, I am fond of Stephen’s “Tip of the hat/Wag of the finger” feature and have decided to steal it for myself.

A Tip of the Hat
... to Dorados for bringing back Sunday Jam Night back to SPI. Many area clubs have attempted this with varying degrees of success, though perhaps none more so than Las Ventanas (at the Bahia Mar) and that was so many years ago I am guessing that few current residents will admit to remembering it....

At any rate, I burrowed my way out of my cocoon last night and had a wonderful time listening to Third Coast (Jack Hartwell, Loose Reed and Capt. Alan Stewart) with guest performer Nancy Cook sitting in. Got to chat with some folks I hadn’t seen in a while and enjoyed some of the fancy Belgian beer (and German chocolate cheesecake!) left over from the special beer tasting meal Leah hosted Friday night. It was a lot of fun and I would encourage more folks to come out and support Dorados’ efforts to encourage local musicians. (Hey Strummers -- what do you think??!!)

A Wag of the Finger
... to whomever designed the beach walkover at access #16 for creating a new lake -- and rendering the new beach walkover utterly useless for days -- every time we get rain. I was under the impression that the parking lot was supposed to be raised as part of this project and maybe that will be discussed at Wednesday’s BOA meeting as there appears to be a mention of it on the agenda. Here is what it looked like this morning: