My photo
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, United States
A guy finding out if life really does begin at 50.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Well the 1st brood flew the coop about 3 weeks ago and I cleaned out the box. A week ago I checked and there was pine straw in the cup. Yesterday when I checked there were three Bluebird eggs. She was not in the box when I tapped so she may not be done laying yet. It was a cool 70 and rainy here today, so I didn't want to drive her off if she was sitting. I'll check Sunday and see.

The funny thing is I just put the box up for Gale to enjoy when she was here. It's just out from the front porch, so Gale could view it when sitting out there. I'm totally surprised that I had one brood already, and now on the second clutch of eggs. Bit early to start calling me the Bluebird man. I have to say I've been looking around for the pair when I'm outside. Now if I can just get some bats to nest in my Bat box I'd be happier since the mosquitoes are breeding a million times fasted than the Bluebirds are.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 15, 2009

20 Years, 165 days after I first had the dream...

It finally came true. Please, no wise cracks about my other dreams that went bust or were disasters. Accept that this one did and it is something I wanted and wished for since the 1st day I moved into my house 20+ years ago. I've always liked my house. I like the almost 2 acres of woods it's on. I like that the house can't be seen from the street. I like that it has a creek running across the property and the elevation changes. One thing though that I've never liked from day 1 - the driveway.

Most home owners take driveways for granted. I don't. Some people admire homes with beautiful gardens and manicured lawns, not me. I admire a good driveway. Others ooh and ahh over the Bentley or Rolls parked out front to show off. Not me, my heart flutters over the drive they are parked on. Over the years of admiring good driveways I've learned the good ones have one thing in common - they are PAVED! If your driveway is not paved, it might be a lot of things but it's not a good driveway! Sorry, that's just the way it is. I know this because I've had 3 not good ones. I've had one driveway that circled the house, one that angled across in front of the house, and one that winds scenically through the property, and I didn't like any of them for the same reason. They were not PAVED! After a few years, their crushed stone washed away and they each turned into a muddy mess. I replaced one with the next, and each time the replacement pleased me for awhile, but soon - too soon, I would start hating it just like the last one, as it turned into a muddy mess.

So after 5 years with the 3rd driveway - the scenic one - it turned into a muddy mess and I said enough. I called up David who cut the 3rd one in for me and had him come over. David's a good man. Grading is his business. But residential paving isn't, so someone David trusts recommended Champs Asphalt Paving which is located in nearby Wendell, NC. Anthony Champ worked with David and they made my dream come true! I'm now a proud home owner with a good driveway. It wasn't easy - it was mess but they stuck with it. Lesser men would have thrown in the towel and left. But David and Anthony didn't. I'm most grateful to them, and super happy with the result of their hard work.
LOOKY what I have! Anit she dreamy! Man, DIG those curves! Woooo Hahh!
See more pictures here: Driveway

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh Deer...

Don't tell Gale, but I went out to water those two plants she got me to buy while she as here (1st plants I ever purchased in the 20 years I lived in my house) and this is what I found was left of them. Some critter is now well feed on some exotic something another plant. Somethings like me having plants were never meant to be. The butterfly bush seemed to not suit their palates and is still mostly there. It was knocked over which is why I figured deer vs rabbits enjoyed the snack.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NC Transportation Museum

NC Transportation Museum
This was my 3rd trip to the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. The 1st trips was with Gale about 1992. The 2nd trip was with a friend, Charlie. I remember on that 2nd trip they said the round house was due to open the following June. Well the Round House opened in 1996. Time sure flies, gulp. I have to say I think they've done a good job with it.

I rode the train on this visit. A diesel-electric GC-30 made in 1963. Gale and I rode a steam locomotive when we were there my 1st trip all those years ago. The ride is worth experiencing the leg and seat room. Oh if airlines could match what trains provide. I was lucky enough to get to ride on the rear observation area this time which was a real treat.

The film at the round house and riding the turntable are a must do when you visit. I got a taste of how noisy it must have been when the shops were in operation. Some of the staff were repairing a engine in the restoration section. You can view them as they work behind a glass wall, but it's open to the ceiling. When you hammer (rivet?) on that steel it makes some kind of noise. It's a similar noise that some acid rock bands make - BUT LOUDER. I can just imagine how loud a power hammer forging a bar of steel with 70 ton blows must have been. One of the video display screen said folks in East Spencer knew when they were forging. The shops were open 24x7x365, so I bet there were sleepless nights a lot back then.

I enjoyed my visit, and can say that kids of all ages love trains. Look forward to visiting again when they finish the Back Shop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sad to see them go

Gale and JD finished loading up the Tahoe and are now on their way to JB's house in Florida and then on to Niceville, FL to see JD's family then on back to Houston. Gale like me returns to work on Tuesday. They seemed to enjoy their stay, I know I enjoyed having them. The weather was near perfect the whole time. We went and saw Star Trek (the prequel) at the IMAX in Raleigh and ate at '57 Grill Monday. We enjoyed both very much.
Before they left I got a nice picture of them. I hope the reason they are so happy and smiling in the picture isn't because they are leaving....
Posted by Picasa
Because they sure enough lit out of here, and I just did get a picture of them across the creek! :-)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bluebirds Getting Bigger

When Gale and JD got here a week ago Sunday we checked and we had 4 four bald chicks. We wanted to check yesterday but it was raining and cool here. Today was warm and sunny so we checked and I now have 4 chicks with gray feathers and white specks. This is probably day 9 after hatching, so they are about half grown.

I was surprised that they only moved a tiny bit as I remove the nest to take the pictures. I guess they just stay still until their parents return to feed them. The chicks poop a lot. The edges of the box bottom (not the nest) had piles of poop in them. I guess that's my job as monitor to clean up after each brood. I'm hoping they have a couple more broods this year.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Real Hidden Treasure

Yates Mill
Just a few miles from my house is Historic Yates Mill County Park. Yates Mill is part of the Wake County park system. As a citizen of Wake County I can say we have a real winner here. The park opened in 2006. The mill dates back to 1756 and the visitors center does a great job of explaining the function and history of the mill. The Mill is on the National register of historic places. It still operates on weekends and grinds corn. I signed up for a "Technical Tour" of the mill that happens this June. Looking forward to that. I'll be sure to post and share the pictures I get of the inside and the workings of the mill.

The park is a good place to spend a couple hours, especially on a near perfect day like today. Nice trails and walk ways. Super friendly staff. Gale and JD enjoyed the park as much as I did.