Summer is here to stay, at least for a couple of months. The new pool is wonderful. The sand filter has done a great job cleaning the water. Right now the water is crystal clear. The pool came with a pool vacuum that works great cleaning up the bottom of the pool. The pool is so big I can actually swim a few strokes and I have been swimming on the bottom with my speedo goggles. The gas grill is also working well. We have been grilling and eating on the deck almost every evening. I took off Friday from work so we could go see the Virginia Parade of Sail that starts Harborfest this year. We got a great view from Point Comfort on Fort Monroe. There were over 50 ships in the parade with many of them sailing ships. I shot some great video which I posted to my other blog. We also had a free lunch with some ex NFL players that was hosted by Fort Monroe. After all that we went shopping in Phoebus, which is just outside the gates of Fort Monroe.

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Memorial Day Weekend

It has been a great Memorial Day weekend. First, the weather has been spectacular. Three perfect summer days in a row. For this area that is a rare thing and to be treasured. Additionally we now have a new three burner gas grill. The grill is the best one I have ever owned. In addition to three burners there is a side burner for heating something in a pan. I almost forgot that it also has a hanging basket inside for toasting buns, etc. We also have a brand new above ground pool. This pool is much better than our old one. It is 24 ft in diameter and 52 in. deep. It has a seriously big pump so it should be able to handle cleaning our funky well water which we had to fill it with. So now I expect to spend most of my summer on the back deck grilling and chilling. We also have a new neighbor in the area. We have been spotting a fox in the evenings and sometimes during the day. I think there may be more than one. They are red and about the size of a small dog. They are not very shy and will stop and look you in the eye. The main game for them must be the many rabbits we have around.

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100th Entry

This entry marks the 100th entry in my blog. It is hard to believe I found enough to talk about to make 100 entries. Things have been going pretty well except for my dental problems. I hope to have those resolved before the end of the year. It is a long process to have implants and I am anxious to have it over. I am really looking forward to camping out this spring and then my trip to Primm, Nevada for the amatuer rocket competition. I have been thinking about doing something else which I have wanted to do for a long time. As much as I hate driving I want to rent an SUV and drive to Texas with Teresa to take a look at some houses to buy for when we retire. I have not made a cross country trip by car since I was a child. I think it will be a great adventure to drive the back roads and see some of the small towns of America on our way to Texas. We will take our time and stay in small hotels along the way. If I plan the trip well I hope to see some historic and interesting sites along the way. I hope to see if there is any of the country and lifestyle of my childhood still remaining in the USA. I still plan on the great Alaska adventure but that is on hold until next year but I plan to stay busy this year traveling. Maybe the trips will provide me with enough material to write the next 100 entries in this blog. Stay tuned…

Spring Approaching

As the vernal equinox approaches my mind turns to outdoor activities. One of the first things I plan to do is camp at Medoc Mountain State Park in North Carolina. If the weather is good I plan on going this coming weekend. Checking the NWS web site it looks like the coming weekend down there will have highs in the low 70’s and nightime low’s in the low 50’s. I only plan on camping one night as my new camping equipment has only been used a couple of times and I am still familiarizing myself with it. I have never been to Medoc Mountain but from the description on its web site there should be a lot to see a do. I am eagerly awaiting the weekend and the trip. I really need to spend some time by myself and the ride down and back and the overnight stay should be just what I need. I plan to hike a lot and try my hand at outdoor cooking as well as take a lot of photographs. I will write up my adventures on my return.

Medoc Mountain

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Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings time was this weekend and the world did not come to an end. There had been a lot of coverage in the media about how DST was coming 3 weeks early and all the problems it would cause. The only problems it caused me was the loss of some sleep and having to set a few clocks in the house. All my computers handled the change without a problem. My Palm needed a patch to correctly handle the change but I am just going to manually change the time. I have not checked my Nokia 770 yet but I suspect its time may be wrong. So the biggest change is now I will be driving to work in the dark. No big deal as far as I am concerned. The day seemed very springlike with warm temperatures and sunny skies and a lot of the bulbs we planted have started to blossom. I will have to get my lawn mower repaired as I suspect I will be having to mow my lawn before too long. Teresa was out in the garden watering everything. She will be retiring in April so she will have a lot of time for her gardening. For myself, I plan on a few overnight camping trips soon and this July I will be heading to the Mohave desert in Nevada for the annual LDRS (Large Dangerous Rocket Ship) gathering. I am really looking forward to spending a week in the Mohave desert watching rocket ships blast off and exploring the beautiful scenery nearby including Death Valley and parts of California. And finally I just have to share this picture I found on the Internet. When I saw it it just made my day. I hope it will make your day as well.


Hoffler Creek

Saturday I went to Hoffler Creek for a guided birdwalk. Hoffler Creek is a privately owned reserve only a few miles from my house. It is one of only a few nature areas in an urban environment. The central feature of the reserve is a large lake. The walk lasted from 8am to about 10am. There were only a few participants but the guide and one other participant were avid and very knowledgeable bird watchers. They knew every bird we encountered and provided lots of interesting information about the birds. We were in luck as there were many ducks on the lake that morning. From what I can remember there were Gadwall, bufflehead, coot, and mallard ducks. We also saw numerous other types of birds as we walked the circumference of the lake.

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I have had an account on MySpace for some time now. When I first got the account I had a lot of fun setting the site up with a custom look and adding content. Then it was great to have people ask to be added to your friends list. I have about 25 friends right now. Some people seem to make it a point to add just about anybody to their friends list but I think that is unfair unless you are prepared to socialize with everyone on your list. Personally I don’t see how anyone can socialize in any meaningfull way with hundreds of friends as I see a lot of MySpace users having. I feel that I neglect some of the friends I have, in fact that is one reason why I was away from MySpace for a long time. But there were several friends who kept inquiring about me and so I finally went back to checking my page. So to make up for lost time and to repay all those who were so kind as to keep inquiring about me, I will be contacting each one of you to thank you. You know who you are Bev, Linda, Gloria, and all the others. I hope to  never neglect you again.

Birds and Bird Feeders

One of the things I have enjoyed this winter is watching the birds at my bird feeders. I have one feeder hanging from a tree and the other is simply a bowl in the middle of the back yard. The feeders attract many birds during the day including cardinals, blue jays, red-wing blackbirds, morning doves, carolina chickadees, and woodpeckers. A few rabbits have also made a visit to the ground feeder. It is fun watching the birds feed from the living room through the french doors or from the windows in the kitchen. I have learned a lot about birds; their behaviors, bird feed preferences, and social order. Doves seem to be very docile and tolerant of other birds, while cardinals are constantly fighting with each other. Blue Jays are fearless and intimidate all the other birds. Red-wing blackbirds always come in large flocks. Robins do not seem interested in the feeders at all. I guess they only eat worms and insects. Anyway, it is enjoyable to watch the birds feeding and I plan on buying a spotting scope so that I can view the birds up close.

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Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day and I did what I do every year, candy and a card. So tonight I have had about eight pieces of chocolate and tomorrow (or tonight) I will regret it. Not much going on lately except that I have installed WordPress on my web server and have started a new blog. The new blog is titled ‘The Mind of Tefft’. Sounds like not much to work with huh? But I hope that the new blog will differ from this blog in that the new blog will be less of a diary of my life and more a place for me to talk about the things that interest me. Things like current events, religion, politics, my hobbies, and whatever else may pop into my head. So it looks like I will be splitting duty between the two blogs in addition to trying to upload a few new pictures every now and then to my online photo album. It should be enough to keep me busy through the winter until spring where I can start to pursue my other hobbies like scuba diving, backpacking, and gardening.

Winter is Here

February has brought with it winter-like temperatures finally. It has been below freezing every night this week and tomorrow the high will be 34 degrees with a low of 16 degrees. We even had a little snow in the middle of the week. We have yet to see any significant snow but I am hoping February or March will bring some. We had my mother over for dinner last night. The menu included fried shrimp, baked potato, salad, and garlic rolls. Today is Superbowl Sunday and my Colts have finally made it to the bowl. It is almost halftime right now and as usual the Colts are driving me crazy. I have almost given up on football and the only reason I am even watching the Superbowl is because the Colts are in it. Ok, I have to admit the commercials are pretty good, especially the Budweiser ones. (Even though I hate Budweiser beer) Not much else going on except I have been reading a lot lately as I mentioned in my last entry. Right now I am reading ‘Gravities Rainbow’ by Thomas Pyhchon and listening to ‘Motormouth’ by Janet Ivanovich on my iPod while driving to work. Pretty boring life, right?