When we went to bed last night our plan was to go for a bike ride on our single bikes and then get some breakfast at the Atlanta Bread Company. But this morning when we got up I suggested an alternative, eat at home and get in an early morning walk in Hitchcock Woods. We had a lovely 4.6 mile walk and had the woods nearly to ourselves. As a bonus the Kalmia were blooming nicely.
Later in the morning, swapping Miata for Sonata, we went out driving around the backs of local shopping centers trying to locate where I took the header image of this blog. I wanted to use the same wall and take a picture of the Purple Whale in front of it and rotate the two images. The one place I was sure was it, either wasn’t it or they had cleaned up and repainted the wall. Oh well. Later on we did find this cool blue wall and I may try and make it work.
For Sunday lunch we headed over to Firehouse Subs and as I pulled into a spot in front I noticed through the window a decent sized group of adults at a table. Almost in unison they turned and watched us park. I thought, gee, I know this a sharp looking car, but hadn’t anyone ever seen one before? When we entered the store the adults, mostly dressed in the same color scheme, had gone back to their subs and in the back of the dining area sat about a dozen 12 to 13-year old boys in baseball uniforms. There must be a tournament over at Citizens Field and they were eating lunch between games.
As we sat in our usual spot, the counter looking out over the parking lot, I realized why the adults all watched as we pulled in, a row over and two spots past where we parked, was an Indigo Blue Pearl Hyundai Sonata, with a dealer tag on the back. One of those folks recently bought an identical looking car to ours. Theirs was the Turbo Limited, so the only exterior difference was the 2.0T & Limited badge on the right side of the trunk.
After a while the kids were done eating and they all headed outside to wait on their parents. One of the kids walked over to our car and opened up the back door. I hadn’t locked the door because I normally don’t and I still haven’t gotten used to the whole radio fob in the pocket routine. Donna perked right up because her purse was on the floor of the back seat. She said aloud to me and the group of parents, “Get that kid out of our car.” I jumped up and opened the restaurant door and said to him, “That’s not your car. That’s your car!”, while pointing at the other Sonata. Poor kid, I think he was a little confused when he opened the door and didn’t see the stuff he was expecting to see in there. He was pretty embarrassed about it.
As a side note, I wonder if they asked permission to use the logos on their baseball uniforms from Major League Baseball? The were from Columbia County in Georgia and they called themselves the Mudcats. The C on the caps with a catfish inside, the lettering of Mudcats on the jerseys and the color scheme was identical to the uniforms of the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds in Zebulon, NC, the Carolina Mudcats.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1008
A couple of random photos from Saturday’s MMC Road Rally final destination, the Yacht Club at Grand Harbor on Lake Greenwood.
In the image above, near the center bottom, you will notice a nice round green spot. In an effort to ease some of the traffic on Whiskey Road (the slightly angled road along the right side) the city devised a cut through between Whiskey and Silver Bluff Road (on left). After a couple of years of planning, they started construction last year. They got the round drainage pond dug and partially filled, the single lane road around it completed and while they were finishing up the access approaches, part of drainage pond wall was determined to be unsafe. For the last 8 months there has been zero activity, so we figured they had abandoned the whole project.
On Sunday Donna and I decided we would place a cache on the inside of the circle between the road and the interior chain link fence. Last night we bought a small Tupperware container, covered the top with camouflage tape and filled it up with small goodies. I created a geocache.com page for it, but did not publish it yet.
Aiken’s Crater Lake
You are looking for a small camoed lock-n-lock container in an interesting area.
The city officials will tell you that this is here because they are attempting to relieve traffic congestion on Whiskey Road, but this location makes no sense for that. And what is taking so long to complete the project?
The real story is late one night a couple years ago a UFO crashed on this spot and created a round hole in the ground. It was deep enough to be below the water table and the site quickly filled with water. Roads leading to the site were built to allow truck traffic for bringing in salvage equipment so the recovered space craft could be whisked away to a secret location on the Savannah River Site.
Try not to stay to long searching at ground zero due to residual radiation…
We went back over there tonight to put the container in place and when we pulled up to the entrance of the circle road, it was blocked by lots of yellow heavy equipment. And on the side of the circle we were going to place the Tupperware, the asphalt of the road was already peeled up. I guess they finally got approval to fix this mess or maybe they are just going to tear it all up and fill in the hole.
Now we are going to have to find another spot for our cache.
The Sonata passed the thousand mile mark on its way to DD this morning in an intermittent rain.
If you stick around on a page here for more than 10 seconds you will notice that I have indeed added a photo of the Purple Whale to the banner. I cheated and just “photoshopped” it over the top of the Emperor. I’m not sure I like it for a few of reasons, 1) the sudden blast of blue in an otherwise maroon and gray page, b) the cars relative scales and iii) it looks photoshopped.
It looks like the only thing that can keep the Red Sox from beating the Angels is the rain. It is tied 0–0 in the 5th inning at Fenway and the tarp is on the field. Looking at the Weather Channel map the rain will taper off about 11:00 PM, so if they do play this I’ll be reading about it in the morning.
I guess I was right last night when I said the only thing keeping the Angels from beating the FRS was the rain because after the rain delay the Angels ended up wining the game in 13 innings at 2:38 AM this morning.
Today it would have been merciful if MLB had the 10 Run Rule as Los Angeles beat Boston 13 to nothing.
The Emperor got a workout tonight as we took it over to Augusta for the monthly MMC Dinner where a brief meeting broke out.
Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1008
We took Friday off and drove down to HHI for a “working” vacation geocaching along the way. We managed to grab 5 caches on the way down, not many, but they were quality caches towards our Georgia Geo Challenges as they counted for 3 counties and one DeLorme page. The second half of the day was rained out so we headed to Hilton Head instead of looking for the other two caches in 2 Georgia State Parks. We figured we would get them before heading home on Sunday. Of course when we made it to the condo it was sunny.
This turned out to be a good thing in two ways. First, it allowed us to take pictures of 4 of the 5 condos that needed updating, freeing Saturday morning for a nap. And second, we found out when we got home on Sunday, we would have never found the cache in Fort McAllister State Park because it had been moved and I still had the old coordinates loaded.
The whole time we spend on the Island we had beautiful weather. Saturday morning we got in nice long walk on the beach and for most of the return trip we shadowed a dolphin as it fed in the surf. The above mentioned nap. Takeout lunch from Gruby’s NY Deli on the balcony of the condo. The last set of condo photos was taken in between one set of folks checking out, the clean up and another set of people checking. DTCQ took us out for a nice dinner at the Skull Creek Boathouse where we ate and watched the Kentucky Derby on about 12 big screen TVs. (How is it that someone who lives in a horse town could have no clue that the Derby was being run that day?)
Sunday morning we got going early as we wanted to get to Skidaway Island State Park near Savannah when it opened. There was a bonus cache we were eligible to find that was tide dependent. It needed to be sought at low tide because you had to cross tidal marsh to retrieve it. Low tide this morning was 06:51, the Park opened at 07:00 and we made the trail head by 07:10. And although we were only like 30 minutes past the listed time for low tide, it was a little scary crossing the marsh. Being total landlubbers, we understood the principles of how tides worked, but were not too sure that the sine wave profile usually shown for tides was 100% accurate and wondered if it was more digital looking (i.e. on|off|on|off) and we might be washed out to sea at any moment. In spite of our worries we did make the find and get back to dry land safe and sound. To say the official State Park cache was a let down after the bonus cache is not an exaggeration, but it was still an awesome cache in its own right with marsh views, palm trees, Spanish moss and a close encounter with a white tailed deer.
We then headed home to the usual Sunday evening drudgery of washing clothes, grocery shopping and getting ready for the work week ahead.
Today we drove the Miata to work and for the first time ever it seemed small. Tonight the big car got a bath for tomorrow’s appointment with the optometrist for some sunglasses (windows are getting tinted.)
We took the day off from work today to run some errands, one of which was to go get the Sonata’s windows tinted. Because we were dropping it off and coming back later to get it, we had both cars on the move. Breakfast was at DD and as I looked back at the two cars parked in adjoining spots it really affirmed yesterday’s comment on the size of the Miata.
We killed the two hours while the Purple Whale got his sunglasses by doing a little local geocaching and we found 7 of 8.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1009
Because I have nothing to really write about, I present my favorite photo from each of the three days of this last weekend.
We went out for a short walk on the beach at dusk on HHI. This is looking back at the condo complex along the boardwalk from the beach.
We went for a longer walk on the beach Saturday morning and on the way back Donna decided to try out a beach chair in front of the Marriott’s Barony Beach Club.
Sunday’s walk was through the marsh at low tide in Skidaway Island State Park after a geocache. The grass was full of Marsh Periwinkles clinging to their stalks.
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1011
Spam most people know as the unwanted commercial comments on their blog, its counterpart is called ham to indicate legitimate comments. At least that is what Akismet, the plugin I use on this blog, calls it. So by corollary any email I get at work that might first appear to be spam may actually turn out to be ham.
Like the one I got yesterday that showed several interesting photos that could be purchased to cover up a dull garage door. Most of the ones in the email were of very large things stuffed into an attached car garage. A quick Google search and it turns out it is legit.
I checked the site and while interesting, most would be too over the top for my suburban neighborhood. There is even an option to make your own custom image. I think might be best bet, most of your neighbors know what the inside of your garage looks like, so you can take a picture of that and everyone will just think I left my garage door up.
Style Your Garage
Started up, went down, back up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1014
In honor of today’s date, when it was time to pay for our weekly groceries at Kroger’s, we had the option of three different very short check out lines and we chose number thirteen.
I’m not going to create a separate page for the mods done to the Sonata like I did for the Miata, because the second and quite possibly last mod for it arrived in the mail from South Korea today. The first was tinting the windows and this one is a home market badge that goes on the right side of the trunk to balance out the Sonata one on the left. It reads F24GDi. The 24 stands for the 2.4 liter engine, I googled to find out that the GDi stands for Gasoline Direct injection, but the F I have no idea about. Four cylinders maybe?
We rode the bus (AKA the tandem) to work today and nary a single black cat crossed our path.
An LOB PSA, there is probably tons of free porn on the net so there is no need to store it on your personal computer where it could be found and turn embarrassing when discovered after your demise. Advice the head of the world’s most feared terrorist organization could have used. Pornography Is Found in Bin Laden Compound Files
On a quasi-related note, Disney Trademarks ‘Seal Team 6.’ How long will it be before Disney lawyers demand that the Navy rename the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden?
Roger Ebert trashes the Thor movie. And in a stupid move by a smart man, he tries to explain himself to the trolls who commented in the original post.
We got up 2 early for a Sunday morning 2 drive a loop through Georgia today. We found 4 caches and DNF’d 2, but we made the most of that small amount of finds because by the time we were finished a little after 2:30 this afternoon we got to cross off 2 State Parks, 2 Counties and 2 DeLorme Pages of our Georgia Geocaching Challenges.
While slowing down a bit getting ready to turn off GA15 to hunt the Tignall Cemetery Cache I spotted a sign on the right hand side of the road that said “Covered Bridge.” So we made a quick turn and headed to the bridge. We both wondered out loud if we might have been here before, because way back in our early years in South Carolina we did chase down some north Georgia covered bridges. When we got to the bridge it didn’t look familiar, so we had either never been here before or had and forgot it.
Elder’s Mill Covered Bridge is a few miles south of Watkinsville, GA in Oconee County. It is a single span town truss bridge that spans Rose Creek. It is 99 feet long and was built in 1897.
The bridge wasn’t very wide and as a precautionary measure the state had erected an arch made of steel I-beams a hundred feet or so off either end. They serve the purpose as those metal basket things at the airline check in counters for your carry on’s, if it fits inside you can take it on board. If your car can fit through the arch it can cross the bridge. Me, being still a little unsure of the cubic volume of space consumed by the Purple Whale, was a little worried passing through the I-beams. We drove across and I made a K-turn to go back over the bridge while Donna jumped out with camera in hand to capture the moment.
My attempt at a more complex Wall-E papercraft was ill advised. There were so many little complex pieces that it overwhelmed my feeble skills, the Rubik’s Cube & BNL Cooler were more my speed. And so is Rommy.
Today was our semi-annual dental cleaning and I literally fell asleep in the chair. Because we are regular customers the plaque that does need removing usually comes off with little effort and with the light touch of the hygienist it is quite painless. Add in some of that infamous dentist office music and I think I caught a couple winks while reclined this afternoon.
The music was almost retro dentist office stuff, mostly 60’s & 70’s no vocal jazz and show tunes. When I asked if it was Musak™, the answer came back that it was satellite. The station is called Escape (which seems cruelly apt for a dentist office) and with the 3 months trial of XM that came with the Sonata we could, if we wanted to, listen to this very same sleep inducing station while driving around.
But probably won’t.
A few months back I moved into a new addition to our building. Today Donna got to move into the newly remodeled office space on the opposite end of the front office from where she was. Like those of us out back, every one up there got shiny new cubicles, with shiny new modular furniture inside shiny new short walls.
Several years back, when the company president made one of his quarterly state of the company addresses he told us that he likes low walled cubicles because they fostered communication, so now instead of the previous 60″ high walls everyone now has 48″ surroundings. Foster communication is corporate double-speak for I want to be able stand on one end of the office space and survey my row of minions like a proud farmers looking over his acres of rows of corn. What I have found out on the serf level is that fostering communications really means that you can hear everyone’s conversations, business and personal, every shuffle of paper and every burp and fart for a 6 cubicle radius.
More interesting is in Donna’s area, as opposed to mine, is that they installed alternating rows of 2′ x 4′ florescent light fixtures and the same size white tiles for the entire length of the 70′ long room. The effect is literally blinding. The carpet is a light tan/gray, the walls are a light beige, the cubical walls are light gray and the desk surfaces are light beige. The effect is somewhat akin to standing on the side of the planet Mercury that faces the sun. OSHA states the minimum lighting for office spaces is to be 30 foot-candles, they don’t list a maximum, but my guess is the title of this post is not too far off to what it is in this new area. By the afternoon, Donna’s eyes hurt so bad that she put on her sunglasses at her desk. Tomorrow she is taking in a visor…
The Purple Whale passed the 2,000 mile mark on the way home from the brightly lit cube farm.
As I was parking the tandem in the garage when we got home from work today I could hear the slightly muted beep of the answering machine. It was salesman Jerry letting us know that the Sonata’s South Carolina license plate was in and we could come get it whenever we wanted. Well, we wanted it now, so we changed clothes and headed over to Augusta.
The above picture does not show spiffy new SC plate because it was taken last weekend at Tignall Cemetery somewhere in Georgia where we DNF’d a cache. I ran it through an infrared plugin and then added the car’s color back in.
Donna and I led 4 other Miatas to breakfast at Ms. Shelby’s in Millen, GA for the May Edition of the MMC Monthly Breakfast Runs. We formed a short line of cars along 4 lane US 25 for the 40 miles south of Augusta, where we ate in the huge, but nearly empty dining room. Rudy and Patti were the first to leave the restaurant and it wasn’t until ten miles down the road back to Augusta before she realized she had forgotten them. It was as the last of us had paid our bills and I was leaving a tip, that anyone else (me) noticed the left behind item.
The four cars remaining took the slightly longer, slightly more rural, slightly more scenic two lane roads back to Augusta. As we traveled north the train of cars slowly shortened as folks fell off the route to do other things or head home. Donna and I continued on into the heart of the Martinez shopping district to return Patti’s sunglasses to her before heading home.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1015
Plan A was a bike ride this morning, but some early morning fog kept us off the roads. So we put Plan B into action, a walk along the Augusta Canal. Donna nd I were frequent visitors here back in the day when would come over with our mountain bikes. Today, we walked.
The trail along the Augusta Canal Tow Path is probably the last place left around here where we can take a walk along a path lined with a fairly high density of geocaches, with about 20 caches along it’s 5–1/2 mile length. We started our walk this morning at the canal head gates and walked a little more than a mile and a half of it. Some of the hides along the canal are really close to the water so as to be accessible by kayak as well as by walkers and cyclists. This makes for some tricky descents down the steep 7 or 8 foot drop fro the path.
I was wearing jeans and not my usual cargo pants so I had the small notebook I use to record finds and DNFs in my back pocket instead of a side pocket. When I went to log in find number three I noticed that I didn’t have the notebook. The wallet was still in that pocket, but no notebook. The last place I used it was at find #2 so we walked the couple a tenths of a mile back and scrambled down towards the water. It wasn’t there.
We turned to continue down the canal to get couple more caches and wouldn’t you know it, before we got back to cache #3, there lying on the ground on the path was the notebook. Back in the pocket it went. We passed the already found cache and made our way further along the trail to cache #4. Another scramble down the hill and number four was in hand. I reached for the notebook and it wasn’t there! The wallet was still there, but I did take the hint and stored the wallet in the knapsack for the remainder of the day.
We walked further down the trail to get one more cache and then on the way back we kept an eye out, but never did see that notebook again.
At one point along the trail there was a set of stairs that led down to the Savannah River and that is where the above photo was taken. I have never seen the river so glass-like.
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1017
Our Kroger store is almost finished with an interior remodeling. This is a stressful time for loyal shoppers like ourselves because our old familiar layout gets shuffled around as they fix one section then another. Trouble now is that they didn’t put everything back exactly where it was before.
I know they do this on purpose because the more time you spend in the store wandering the aisles the better the chance you will buy something not on your list. But some of the moves seem almost nonsensical. The little six packs of applesauce and fruit cups are now 2 aisles away from the jars of applesauce and canned fruit.
Tonight we were out because I needed a bottle of Cran-Raspberry juice and we found out soon enough that the bottled juice is not on the same aisle as the juice boxes. As we walked deeper into the store I began to wonder if we had missed it. As we got past the food and into clothes soap and light bulbs, I decide to ask someone. The next aisle was shampoo and body wash and luckily there came a Kroger employee, “Where is the bottle juice?” His reply, “Have you tried the juice aisle?” “Oooh,” I thought, “Wish I’d thought of that.” “Aisle 21,” he said. It used to be on like aisle 6, now it is nearly all the way on the other side of the store with the frozen foods.
Today in the span of about 50 minutes the Purple Whale got his new aquarium enclosure. Three young guys showed up in a dually hauling a 40′ long trailer and made short work of it. It is 12 feet wide and 21 feet long and it’s amazing how much bigger it seems than the 10′ x 20′ tarp style it replaced.
You might remember that about a month ago the tarp was pierced by a small tree limb, so we opted to go for something a little stronger than vinyl infused cloth. On Sunday we pulled down the tarp, disassembled the mild steel tube frame and donated it to my neighbor for him to put over his boat. Surprising how empty it seemed on that side of the driveway with the tarp gone.
What was also surprising was when I looked up, I could really see where that branch fell from and what I saw was that it was just the end of a much larger diameter dead branch. Yikes! If something like that fell, 14 gauge mild steel wouldn’t offer any more protection than that tarp did. Gonna have to call a tree trimmer stat.
We made a trip to Augusta after work and while we were there we passed a gas station that was advertising gas for $3.94 a gallon. This reminded me to check the gas gauge in the Purple Whale, it was below a 1/4 tank. Enough to get back in SC where the gas tax is smaller and gas is usually 10 — 20¢ cheaper.
We decided to fill up at our usual haunt, Krogers, where we get a dime off the price of gas because we are frequent shoppers. The sign on Pine Log Road said regular was $3.52 so it would only cost us $3.42 a gallon. As I was filling the tank I noticed that the price on the pump read 52 cents and I could have sworn that I hit yes when the pump asked if I wanted to use my reward points to save 10¢ a gallon. Then I did a double take, the cent figure did read fifty-two, but the dollar figure read TWO! Oooh, somebody made a mistake, somehow they shifted the decimal point one place to the right, so we got nearly 15 gallons for a little over 38 bucks when it should have been over $50.
Then I remembered the weekly flyer saying something about saving a dollar a gallon. Sure enough when I got home I checked on the Kroger site and there it was in pixels, redeem 1,000 points and save a buck a gallon, so no mistake.
Looking back up the canal at the headgates from a pedestrian bridge across the canal on Sunday. We were standing where we were, because there is a geocache right at our feet.
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1019
Warrenton — Milledgeville — Gray — Monticello — Mansfield
10 Finds — 4 GA Counties — 2 DNFs — 1 GA DeLorme Page
We rode our separate bikes over the DD on the west side of town for breakfast. We drove the Miata the Miata out to do a little grocery shopping and then we drove the Sonata to North Augusta for a BBQ lunch.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1022
The above photo is one of the nearly 30 Hyundai Sonata images I have collected from the web, that along with 10 of my own, form my current screensaver. Looks a little like a piece of H.R. Giger concept art for the movie Alien.
I added a photo gallery for the Sonata, but don’t bother to go look at it as there is nothing there that hasn’t been in a post over the last month.
I also added a page that displays the gas prices from all over the country via GasBuddy.com. As an interesting side, I live in a spot that has the lowest prices in the US. When we go on vacation this fall to see the giant trees in northern California we will be where the highest prices are.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1023