Mar 02

Snow Blind

Hyacinths in the snow

Snow blind — as in blind crazy. We had our quasi-annual snow yesterday. As you can see, we had a minimal accumulation. This has, of course, thrown everything into utter chaos and panic.

Here in central Georgia, even this little tad of snow means schools and businesses have closed. Those who have ventured out onto the (dry) roads are driving like their heads are on fire and their asses are catching. The theory is that if you hit ice, it’s better to be going as fast as possible.

It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

Nov 18

Closer to the Top

I was going to write a post saying that nothing was happening around here, but then things started happening. I’ll save that one for another time.

The first thing that happened was that I got a revision request from an editor on one of my short story submissions. I am thrilled by that, needless to say. This is a market that pays professional rates (3 cents / word).

Revision requests for short stories are very rare. The plain fact of the matter is that editors just do not have time to analyze every story for revision potential. To get one of these just really made my whole day, week, month, and year.

The comments that the editor made are insightful and valuable to my growth as a writer. She pointed out some fundamental flaws in the story that will help me a lot in my future endeavors. She also made some comments about the quality of my writing that make me feel all warm and snuggly inside. Pardon me while I bask in the glory of my own magnificence for a moment.

Speaking of warm and snuggly brings me to the second thing that happened last night during the Monday Night Football game. Our furnace suddenly decided to be a giant bumblebee. I kid you not, that is exactly what it sounds like. I am afraid it’s about to throw a bearing or a fan blade.

The repairman is on the way even as I write this, though, so maybe we can be warm and snuggly when the temperature reaches 24F tonight. I know that doesn’t sound cold to most of my readers, but for this part of the country, that is positively frigid. Especially so early in the season. Thank heavens for fireplaces.

Hope everyone else is feeling all warm and snuggly on this beautifully sunny, windy, and cold day.

Sep 02

Want to See Something REALLY Scary?

Check out the National Hurricane Center. Let’s be careful down there, or maybe I should say down here.

We’re far enough inland that we very seldom get anything more than a Tropical Depression. Fols in Florida probably better duck and cover, though. Hanna is projected to go towards South Carolina, but you just can’t bet on hurricanes doing what they are supposed to. She is wandering around lost just like Fay did right now, so anything is possible.

Ike and Josephine are too far away to tell right now.

Looks like we’re in for nasty weather, as the song says.

Aug 25

Feeling Fay

We haven’t had much trouble from Tropical Whatever-she-is-today Fay. We just caught the outer bands. Stiff wind and drizzle for a couple of days, and we’re looking forward to some pretty heavy rain over the next few as she turns to the northeast and circles around us again. We’ve had around 2 and a half inches of rain from her so far. Nothing like the 2 FEET that places in Florida and South Georgia have had. We count ourselves very lucky indeed.

Not much else going on around here right now. Work is a bear. We lost one of our part-time staffers recently. Since we operate right on the edge as far as staff goes, that makes things interesting for the rest of us. We have some good applicants for the position, though, so we hope to get that filled real soon.

Maybe something noteworthy will happen before long (something good, of course!). Until then, I’ll be around.

Jun 30

Respite

My wife and I ate our supper outside on the deck this evening. This is quite remarkable when you consider that this is June 3O in the Deep South. This is literally Mid-Summer down here.

We sure won’t complain, The relief from day after day after day of temperatures in the mid- to high-nineties, even into the low hundreds, and sixty-plus percent humidity is welcome. I wish it would last, but it won’t. We have plenty more heat before things turn around for good. Small reliefs make life richer.

At the same time we tried out out our new Vivitar binoculars/digital camera. Very cool. They only cost about $30US, and are definitely not high-end anything, but they give us a leg up on our amateur birdwatching. Since we can now get pictures (we hope!), that will help make identification easier.

All in all, today was a good day. I like good days.

May 21

Update

Jean reminded me that I had neglected to update everybody on conditions down here. Sorry about that.

The school got away with not a whole lot of damage. A lot of trees down, and the state vehicles assigned to the school were all severly damaged. One building had a portion of its roof ripped off and the inside flooded, which dispossessed the CIS, Cosmetology, and Early Childhood Education programs.

The library excaped unharmed. I am now feverishly working on our long-overdue Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan. ACK!!! So many details! It’s already 9 pages and nowhere near done. My eyes hurt.

Anyway, the homeless departments have been relocated, and a lot of classes are now in our building. Couple that with the fact that the library is now the only open computer lab on campus. Our business is booming.

On the “writing is fun” front, I have made some progress. I have posted 5 stories in the Story-a-Day Challenge at Forward Motion. I may not make the 10 I signed up for, but it’s been a blast, nonetheless. Lots of creativity flowing over here. I also signed up for a critique group. It’s been a while since I did any critiques or asked for any. That should be a lot of fun, too, and do me a world of good. Maybe I can start selling some stuff more regularly. Maybe even get some prefessional-level sales? Gotta have your dreams.

Back to the weather: severe thunderstorms in the area last night. They knocked down trees and powerlines about 10 miles north of us. We did not get a drop of rain. I don’t know whether to be glad or worried. We’ve been barely missed so many times lately, I’m starting to think that we’re due for something bad. Maybe I’ll be glad and worried at the same time. I can do that, you know. I’m good at being paradoxical. 🙂

May 12

Spring Sprang Upon Us Tooth and Claw

More tornadoes came through Saturday night. I’m still waiting to see if I have a place of employment to go back to. An F2 twister came right down Eisenhower Parkway past the front gate of the campus where I work. Latest word is that we are definitely closed today and tomorrow. We’ll see from here.

No damage at the house. We were lucky again. Didn’t even lose power.

In the meantime, we are enjoying a truly wonderful Spring day today. Here’s a picture of the columbine we planted earlier this year. Enjoy.

Columbine

Mar 11

Winter’s Last Gasp

We had snow Saturday morning. About 5 minutes of something that reminded me of dandruff. Around here, that’s cause for great excitement and the event has dominated conversation for the past few days. Later this week, we’ll have highs in the 80’s.

Good Friday marks the unofficial start of Spring in Georgia. After Good Friday, we can plant fronst-tender flowers and vegetables with a reasonable assurance that they will survive. I say reasonable because the infamous 18-inch snowfall I have mentioned several times before occurred in March. The old-timers swear by the Good Friday credo, so I do too, and it generally holds true.

I know a lot of my friends and blog-buddies still have a lot of snow on the ground, so I’m sending you this virtual sunshine in an attempt to brighten your winter. I’ll offer to trade places with you come July.

Feb 18

Dodging Tornadoes

This time of year is always exciting down here in the South. We spent yesterday watching on the weather radar as a supercell storm raced up from the Gulf of Mexico, through southeastern Alabama and western Georgia and set its sights squarely on us. Oh, by the way, it was spawning tornadoes everywhere it passed.

It missed our house by about 10 miles then finally broke up into severe thunderstorms.

I don’t think I ever told the story of March 1, 2007, when I was chased by tornadoes all the way home from work. I’m still rattled by bad weather. Sitting in the crosshairs while a tornado-breathing monster bears down on me is not my idea of fun.

I’m glad we made it through, and my heart goes out to those who were not so lucky.

Feb 01

You Win 2, You Lose 1

Win Number 1:

Rain! Finally, a significant rain. Around 1 inch over the past 24 hours. That still leaves us about 6 inches short for the past year, but it’s a great help. I might be able to have a garden after all.

Win Number 2:

My short story “Rounding the Cape” is now online in the current issue at The Harrow.

And I lose one:

Got my first rejection of 2008 this week. Though I understand the reason why magazines have to use form rejections, I still loathe them. Oh well, time to get over it and get the story back out into the world.