Tuesday, December 25, 2007

NOT a White Christmas here!

Cloudy, and low 50's. The rain in Georgia is marching this way. As of 8 PM there has been a light shower in the area a few hours ago. At least we have had 3 inches of rain so far this month. We won't make up the remaining 20 inches below normal, or at least I hope NOT at once. One of our recent rains was 2 inches, and it all soaked in. Then we had few very cold mornings with one morning in the upper teens.
For Christmas I have a little 4 legged visitor. Snoopy, a white with some reddish tan markings is a foster from the Newberry County Animal Control and Care. All of the other little dogs got fostered out for the holidays. I took him with me. He's listied as a Chihuahua mix, but naaaaah! It's more like Jack Russell Terror , I mean Terrier. He's a pretty good boy, but he needs to learns some manners. He learned SIT immediately. but he needs to learn other things. He's sleeping with Jolene. She accepts him, but she will NOT play in the house. He does. DOES HE EVER! But they both go a mile in the morning, and when I had more time to spare away from the radio station we've done 2 miles. He goes back Thursday or tomorrow if they are open. I worry about Jolene missing him.

I got a big surprise from the radio station. I got a nice bonus check in my regular paycheck. The nearly 30 years at Bellsouth they never gave us anything, and neither much at my other part time places. Yes, I am very grateful.

I am glad that Christmas is over at the radio station. Christmas music can get tiring over time. Well, there is next year.

See you all in a later chat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

80 Degrees in December ?

We've had a bit of rain a week or so ago. Enough that water is flowing very slowly in Sandy Run Creek. It had been dry for months. Trees were ablaze with color, but not have faded to bare limbs except for the Willow Oak in my yard. The leaves are mostly brown with some yellow, and they are falling like snow. Right now we are in a spell of record breaking high temperatures. They have been hovering around 80 degrees. One more day of that, and by the weekend we will be below normal again. On my walks with Jolene the GSD / Sheltie mix, you can tell it's winter. It's that "winter" smell. And the last few days you can smell the sap from the evergreen trees. It's beginning to smell a bit like Christmas.
We might even get some rain toward the end of the week. The chance is not great, but we need it. It seems we will end up 2007 well over 20 inches below normal in rainfall, and the bad part is, the latter part of 2006 was also dry.
Well, there's not much new out this way.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

BRRR ...turnin' C-c-c-c-cold

It's Wednesday night and it will be even colder than last night. Down on Alpha Martha, temperatures dropped to around 25 degrees. My older thermometer said 20. I am not so sure I believe it got that cold, but 25 seems right for here. Leaves were dropping like snow from some trees on the morning walk. This evening at 8:30 PM, the temperature had dropped to 38 degrees. BRRR! I guess I won't get to see pretty leaves on MY Sugar Maple, but I did find the Grand Daddy tree. It was down by the creek, Mechanics Creek to be exact. I have not seen one that big down here, but the wonderful red orange color gave it away. I verified what it was by taking a picture of it in zoom mode on my new digital camera.
Wow! You can get 8 megapixels pretty inexpensively now. I chose the i830 Polaroid as it has the most reasonable lag time. It's better than most, and for under $100, though the 1 gigabyte SD card for another $18 took care of that. I got another set of NiMh batteries to go with it. It does fairly well, as I took a picture of Jolene, and had an 8 X10 made and the picture was superb. I was actually blown away by the picture quality, and of course Jolene is a beauty herself! I don't know if I have mentioned her before, but she's a 45 pound mix of German Shepherd and most likely Sheltie. She was badly abused as a pup and also missed a good bit of puppy socialization time. She was terrified of men, and was so bad, that though Pets INC normally doesn't put down healthy dogs, she came close until I started working with her. When I moved out here in January I took her, as no one wanted her. I worked her hard to get better socialized. EVERY man we came across had to pet her, and we made many trips to Tractor Supply Company. That is one of her favorite places, and the staff there saw the improvement in her. She will never get over the puppy trauma, but she's a world better than before, and of course I'm the Alpha Daddy. I have to be the calm assertive leader, if only for her. No laughing from the Peanut Gallery, either! You could say I'm the “Jolene Whisperer” ! I think I am repeating myself a bit, I also took her to the radio station for a couple months, as when I brought her to Alpha Martha she showed some signs of separation anxiety. So after a 5 months I left her home for short times. Now when I go to WKDK to work there is no problem. Of course a radio is left on WKDK and she hears familiar voices, Heather Jimmy and me. Works for me, and she often is in a regal pose on “her sofa” when I come in.
On my walks, I see and smell the smells of fall. Because of the dryness, the colors this year are very muted. So far we have had just under 18 inches of rain this year. 50 inches is normal. It doesn't look promising for a break in the drought any time soon, either.
I am afraid the last of the 5 kitties have departed. The last one actually was Jolene's friend, and more social to her. I'm guessing the age about 5 months. A pretty, and talkative grey and white one. I haven't seen the little devil for about 2 days and that's abnormal for that one. I had named the cat Pat, for either Patrick or Patricia. I had just gotten Pat social enough to me to maybe pick the kitten up and carry Pat to the house. I am afraid a coyote may have had a snack, and Pat wouild have thought the coyote was a friend to play with.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The 18th

This is my late mother's birthday. A nice warm day, and I went in to Newberry early to walk a German Shepherd at Newberry County Animal Care and Control. Patti, well, she was more than overjoyed to see me. She was leaping around and trying to kiss me and jumping up. It took at least a couple minutes to get the leash on her, and AWAY we went. She has tons of stored up energy. She needs work, and if I could have run, I'd have worn some energy out.
On the early morning walk, I was looking at trees, and yes, I CAN tell it's fall. It SMELLS like fall. The Sweet Gum trees are changing color, either due to the season, the extreme dryness or both. Most oak trees have not any color showing. Some of the Winged Elm have dropped leaves and have yellow leaves also. The Sugar Maples I talked about earlier still show green. A very occasional Red Maple leaf is red. Some of the grasses that my grandmother used to call "broom straw" has turned brown.
The weather forecast is calling for rain, and I hope we get some. I hope the entire Southeast gets some substantial rain, as the drought is having profound shortages of water in many areas. Mechanics Creek is still flowing as of this morning. I have yet to see it flow much, but it has been that dry. Sandy Run Creek has run dry.
There is rain in Georgia, and I hope I get home and walk Jolene before it gets here. I don't like walking in the rain that much, and I can use an umbrella and Jolene doesn not get to.

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 15 ramblings

Fall is definitely here. The weather, however went from HOT to cold, and now on October 15 the temperatures are slightly above normal. That strong cold front that came through last week had virtually no rainfall with it. A couple mornings were rather cool with a skirting of near freezing, but only a hint of frost, however. Rainfall is only a slight threat later this week, and the long range outlook is for dryer than normal precipitation.
On the morning mile walks, it smells like fall. Leaves are falling from the trees but that's due to the extremely dry weather. My Sugar Maple has dropped leaves, but the ones on the tree have not a bit of color on them. This is a volunteer tree and up and down Sandy Run Creek road I can see an occasional Sugar Maple in the woods. Sugar Maple trees are not native, so someone SOMEWHERE planted some and the seeds propagated far and wide. While walking this morning I noticed the white flowered weed, I mean, uh, wildflower is blooming again. It has little white blooms about as big as a medium sized fingernail, and is round. I call these a “Micro” daisy. There's a yellow version that is blooming, but not as profusely as the white ones. They aren't as big and as abundant due to the dryness.
According to reports, the leaves are just starting to turn in the North Carolina mountains. I will be going to Black Mountain this weekend to Full Moon Farm and the last Howl In of the year. Jolene likes to go now, and she has a couple of boyfriends up there. She also is now socialized enough to enjoy all the different people she gets to meet.
I mowed around the radio building. There was a lot of grown up weeds, and I also stirred up a lot of dust. I also need to get in there and get the radio room cleaned up and set up for fall and ham radio stuff. There's a lot of equipment that needs to be restored. I need to replace all the capacitors in the Viking Valiant I that was originally Claude Ragsdale's. I remember him talking on it from his General Store in Blair, SC. That radio has not seen power applied in well over 30 years. Lets hope it does work after all the capacitors get replaced. I wouldn't dare fire it up without those new caps. I don't want to destroy the transmitter!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

This afternoon

Just a short note this afternoon. Something MUST be wrong. It is raining. It has been exceptionally dry here in the southeast. Right here we are 15 inches below normal. Some of the small Pine trees have died. The Sweetgum trees have started shedding leaves and turning color. Down on Sandy Run Creek road, Mechanics Creek has water in it, though it is flowing very slowly. Sandy Run Creek has dried up and the creekbed is dry to the bone. The weather forecast is the most encouraging I have seen in months. But the deficit can't even be made up with a tropical system. Maybe a few of them can help, but even a tropical depression brings the threats of tornadoes.
On tonight's walk with Jolene we had to hurry up. I saw the rain coming and she did her business, and back home we headed. The rain caught up to us as we headed back down Alpha Martha. At least there are a lot of trees and it did not rain very hard.
Right now, I think I will get ready for bed early. I'm getting up this week at 6:30 AM. WKDK is doing live remotes downtown, so I get to be back at the main studio. The remote broacasts are being done as we have our big OKTOBERFEST in historic downtown Newberry on Saturday. I guess that's great to have the event on my birthday.
Jolene is now eating. Of course I as the Alpha Pack leader eats first, and the she gets hers.

More tomorrow!

Here we are!

I decided to do a bit of an online blog after I started this month to do a "Pen Blog". Yes, writing on paper with a fountain pen. So my friend Larry Kollar said I should do one here. What about the name. Alpha Martha is the name of the small, narrow dirt road I live at the end of....somewhere about 5 miles north and west of the small community of Silverstreet in rural Newberry County, South Carolina. It's very quiet there, as I am the only full time inhabitant other than deer, coyote, skunks, rabbitts and fire ants.
I was looking for a new place, and with the help of my real estate agent, we found this place. We had looked as far east as Cassatt, SC and when we found this place, I knew this was it. I had wanted to move to rural New Mexico where my friend Stuart Norman lives, but I ended up some $20,000 short. Yeah, $20,000 for the solar array I would need as most of the land I looked out there does not have close access to main power. I may eventually buy some land out there after I retire for good....again. I think I have worked and retired from radio more times than Art Bell has.
I have an acre and a 1680 square foot double wide so calle mobile home with 4 bedrooms. White vinyl siding. I have a radio building out back for my ham radio stuff. I don't live alone, Jolene, my German Shepherd / Sheltie mix is there too. She is a Pets INC alumnus. She was abused and then thrown out into the woods near Alcolu, SC. She has her own Dogster page. When I first moved in she had some separation anxiety, so I took her everywhere, and to the radio station every day. She is fine now, and listens to the radio station every day. She knows everyone here, so she gets to listen to us while snoozing on HER sofa.
Every morning we go for a mile walk, and the same in the evening. It does us good, and especially me. The first time the mile nearly killed me, but now if I hurry we can do it in 15 minutes. It usually takes longer than that as Jolene loves to track and she gets to......when I let her.