Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh Boy - Accumulated Snow Expected

Accumulated - To gather or pile up; amass. To mount up; increase.

Guess that means I'll be trapped at home if the temperatures stay low for a few days. Oh boy expected snowfall totals on channel 2 upcoming. They don't know. Guess is 1/2" to four.

Sunday temps
High- 40
Low- 25

Low- 29

Firewood supply very low. Some fallen Cherry trees I cut up a few months ago seem okay to burn. Finally found my moisture meters. Reading before rain the last few days was in a decent dry range. With all the moisture around it's risen a bit.

and about getting that critter ...what do you think?

I don't think my studio can handle a dog that loves to chew stuff up and run around...for now. Remember how much I complained about the Verizon wireless being so sloooow out west? Now it's running quicker than my dsl.

Look for a snow video if it actually does snow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Elvis Presley Graceland Tour Video

Not the boring same old stuff videos seen on YouTube...

A condensed version of what to expect with a $ 28.00 tour ticket.

Mild Winters in Georgia? Bah Hum Bug

Back to the little mountains. Yea, after seeing those monsters out west some of these local mountains are bunny hills. Winter nearing and end? Nope. Pipes frozen this morning, temperature under 20 degrees. Which leads me to think; what to do for next winter and how long?

The Keys are beginning to look good. Been thinking of a travel trailer anyway. Nothing huge, just enough for two...but this one looks like it can handle more than 2. Something like this may do the trick, but used, unless I can really hammer the price down. It's 27 feet in length and would be a problem parking on this property, unless I get the roundabout driveway done this spring.

There's a huge RV place on the way to Atlanta I may check out.'s cold

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Memphis - Graceland & Elvis

The visit to Graceland was interesting specifically the areas in the mansion where many gold records and awards are exhibited. Massive! No wonder he's called the King. And I had a chance to tour more airplanes. The Lisa Marie and a smaller jet. Check out those dated colors aboard the smaller one. And very cramped. I could not stand up straight.

Lot's of stuff stuck in time around Graceland. Remember this kind of kitchen flooring? It was a soft rubber backed low pile carpet that was glued. And yes the green shag carpet remains in the Jungle room both on the floor and ceiling. No pic, it's on video. Which by the way was forbidden along with flash photography as it damages fabrics over time.

How about this upholstered furniture? Pure white. How can you keep this clean? Bleach? Look for a video sometime next week. Home is only 6 1/2 hours away. Plan on leaving in the early AM. Looks like spring should be quite impressive at home. Nearly 30 inches of rain has fallen in January and February.

Oh, the Days Inn hotel room. Great deal. Across the street from Graceland. Best bed I've been in since home. This must be an oversized king bed. $ 70.00 night before taxes. Beats all the hotels I've stayed in during my trip, but absolutely no decent places to eat nearby unless fast food is a favorite. The area does get quite dark at night too. Must be do I say this? The local demographics are black.

Days Inn impresses me more each time I stay. New Mexico was a nice one to stay at too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

San Francisco Train Ride & Cable Cars

I tinkered with this one too much so the volume may not be high enough in some parts of the video. Eight hours is enough time spent...estimate. Currently in Memphis at the Days Inn across the street from Graceland. Yep, my return trip has changed quite a bit, but since when did I stick to a schedule?

I will probably stay until Sunday AM and may go back home, but it's still COLD! So much for those mild winters in North Georgia! Geeeesh, it will probably hit 20 degrees at night the next 3-4 days!

Note to self - Video quality hack in code.

Add &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 inside and after =1

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Arizona Snow Country East Mountains

Start of Trip Back East

I guess it's above the rim. Don't know the exact location but by the looks of it they must get some good winter snowfall. This is where I missed a turnoff that would have shortened my day by about 45 minutes. Instead I found my way into Showlow and Snowflake. The snow shown is west of the area at what seemed to be the highest elevation on Arizona 270?

Pretty darned cold in the area too. Note the temperature at 4 degrees shown below. Incidentally, 5246 is the total milege for the trip so far, until I hit Amarillo at 5PM CST. Now something in the range of 5855 with 720 miles covered yesterday.

Oh, here's a sign below. So it's Motel 6 for $ 36.00 in Amarillo. I'm happy, but should bring my own pillows from now on for these hotels. Looking at the weather for home, maybe I'll just stopover in Memphis (another 720 miles) for a few days and visit Graceland and surrounding areas. Winter weather has not left the Ga mountains.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pacific Coast Highway Video

I've been tinkering with some code within the Youtube video format to get better picture quality. Sometimes it works while other times it doesn't. Once again, if you can't view the video from the page....

use this link... but the quality isn't very good. More time to perfect it when I return home.

2/21/09 corrected.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

PCH - California Route 1 Trip

I've been wanting to do it for years and I wasn't about to let this unpredictable weather get in the way. The Saturday forecast looked pretty awful and a window of what appeared to be cloud free skies was visible at 9AM yesterday. I would be paying an extra night of lodging at the Holiday Inn Express because it was non refundable if I left early.

Was it worth it? You betcha. I had driven the PCH years ago from Long Beach to Laguna and thought I would see much the same. Pictures tell the story. It is so diverse. Rocky coastline, marshland, cattle grazing, areas of Redwood trees, high and low elevations, cliffs...plenty...even a hidden out of the way waterfall. I took so many pictures the fresh battery died on my camera.

Plenty of road signs like this. The highway may not be suited for some.

Stopping at least 20 times, there are many pull over areas for looking at the coastline. Picked up some great video too. Hopefully over the next few days I'll have something to show once I get the Frisco trip completed.

The seven hour trip covered about 250 miles making it to Carpenteria, just south of Santa Barbara. I would definitely like to do it again, but not alone, stopping over in Big Sur for a few days.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fisherman's Wharf Bushman

If it shows "unavailable video" try this link.

This is a good story. Walking about San Fran and the wharf area yesterday there were a share of pan handlers but this guy takes the cake. Not really a beggar mind you, but a creative way to make a few bucks. Ingenious and yet so simple. I wish I could have spent more time with him but I had a tight schedule.

I wanted to get back to Mountain View by 3-4PM (parked and rode the train) to avoid what could be some nasty rush hour traffic going over the mountains on CA highway 17 and back down the coast through Santa Cruz. More later on my day that included a visit with Google, the train ride into the Bay area and cruising the streets in the trolleys. Or as one person corrected me; cable cars.

He must have picked the idea up from an old Candid Camera program. Enjoy the bushman of Fisherman's Wharf video.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monterey Area

Made it to Monterey. Anyone there? Oh well, blogging on this trip keeps me busy in the evening and early mornings. It's actually Seaside where I am located. And fighting with this laptop. So many errors! I can't type too well on these things. Takes twice as long to correct. Then my fingers are a bit cold as there is a no smoking policy at the Holiday Inn Express.

So my fifth floor perch facing inland where Snoopy is moored has become my smoking section. A few manufacturer semis moved in this afternoon as well. Reports indicate tournament attendance may be down 15-20 % this year but the place looks busy to me.

Off to Mountain View (Google) today and San Francisco. Taking Caltrain from Mountain View into SF at 4th and King Street (end of the line) Catch a few trolleys and see some sights. Could get lost too. Hey the ball park is only a few blocks away.

Made it to Cannery Row in Monterey for lunch today and some misc tourist shopping. Left the camera in the truck. The spot was McFlys (no website) Reminded me of Marty McFly in Back to the Future movies but no relationship. Though I've only been in the area a day and a half, Santa Cruz beats Monterey as far as stuff to do, except for the golf this week.

ATT Pebble Beach Open Practice Rounds

Looking at the extended forecast around Carmel the past few days Tuesday appeared be the best day to make a visit. The rest of the week shows rain and more rain. However each morning I look outside in Santa Cruz the sun has been shining including today. The only nasty day so far has been Sunday. Carmel is about 38 miles south along the coast.

Cameras are allowed until the first day of the tournament and yesterday proved to be a great day for pics. I guess if I hung around the putting green I would have seen more celebs but I wanted more to get out on the course in case the weather changed. Ya never know up here it seems. Predicting weather looks to be more luck than anything. I may go one day later this week if it holds out. The 17th green bleachers would be my first choice for viewing.

More pics before the golf. Passing through artichoke country. Had breakfast at the Moss Landing Cafe where options include oysters or squid in the morning omelet. Sorry, not for me. But I did choose the local dish that offered artichokes, Italian sausage, cheese, and mushrooms.

Moss Landing Marina....

So now you know how artichokes are grown.... kind of looks like small pineapples on a leafy bush.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lousy Weather - Pebble Beach

Oh well, I've had some great weather most of this trip. Low to mid 70's in Arizona. Even Vegas had was nice, but this central California weather ain't much fun when it rains and temps hover around 50. Add in the wind and I'm not too excited about doing anything. Considering I've already seen some pro golf in Scottsdale two weeks ago, the actual Pebble Beach Pro Am is not a priority.

Seeing and walking the course is what it's all about. Today it's practice rounds and the Bridies For Charity Shootout where cameras are permitted. Weather expected to be in the mid 50's with sun. Heck, yesterday hail interrupted some of the early birds sharpening their game for the weekend.

More on todays events...

Birdies for Charity Shoot-Out: Along with more practice rounds, today's action will include the Birdies for Charity Shoot-Out at 1:30 p.m. at Pebble Beach. In the Shoot-Out, eight PGA Tour pros (four two-man teams) representing four charities compete in a "Scotch" format over five holes (1, 2, 3, 17, 18) for a purse of $40,000. The charities are Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services, Beacon House and SPCA of Monterey County.


Jonathan Byrd
Charles Warren
Brad Faxon
Scott McCarron
Steve Lowery
Parker McLachlin
J.J. Henry
Hunter Mahan

Sure, I'll put together another video.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Giant Sequioas - California Redwoods

Story has it, a fella bought three parcels of redwoods in this area over 100 years ago and planned on making a sizeable pile of cash by taking down all these giants...until his wife intervened claiming they must be protected. So as it goes, the giant Redwoods in Felton California on the central coast. Quite impressive, but pictures or video don't show the real thing.

Shivering since the trip up the mountain. Supposed to rain today, but it looks like sunshine from my hotel room...for now.

I may head down to Carmel and check out the practice rounds if the weather holds out. Pics and video above done with same Sony camera. Not as clear as the previous Santa Cruz video because of the format I uploaded it with. I gotta write those settings down!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Santa Cruz Wharf & Boardwalk

Better picture quality if you click on the HQ icon, bottom right of screen when initiated.

Why not some video instead of pics? More to see. All this was done with my small Sony DSC-H9 camera. No, not the mini I snuck into the Phoenix Open. Nor is it the larger one I got for Christmas. Staying at the Santa Cruz Beach Inn.

On my way to see some giant Sequoias today in Felton CA. Weather very good yesterday. Looks bleak for the Pebble Beach golf tournament.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Geeky Convention

Ah, found something I've been looking for. I didn't realize this was happening but I will be checking out the SMX Convention in Santa Clara next week. I haven't been to one of these events since Orlando in February of 2004. What did I learn there? Hard to say because it's been so long ago.

Actually most of what I learned about the web and making a living from it came from Webmasterworld (WW)...back in the days when many professionals weren't so tight lipped about how the web works and how to get a site ranked. At WW you can still pick up tips but it takes quite a bit of work wading through the noise. And like I tell many, if you want to learn the web you need the passion, followed by hard work. For me it's easier because I love the stuff. It's not like work.

Times have changed. Many shakers no longer visit WW. But these guys do the convention circuit as speakers. Many have very successful businesses as well. What I'm particularly interested in is where the internet is headed. It's constantly evolving. As I write some experiments at Google have folks shaken up, but I see it as a plus for those that have sites with good information and not those that build 1,000 sites on every topic they know nothing about.

You may know the type. It looks good when searching, but you click on the site and all that is seen are a few sentences of repititous garbage you've already seen. Better yet, the information isn't visible on the page until you scroll down. Instead, these rocket scientists want you to click and ad that is plastered in your face.

Okay, so you probably don't follow me. Things are changing for the better the way I look at it.

Oh, my California traveling schedule has changed. I'm currently in Santa Cruz and plan to be in the general area until February 14. Wharf (pier) pic below. I didn't take it, but will have some of my own pics.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Older Concept - A Money Maker

I've passed this kiosk along Las Vegas Blvd a few times this week on my way through the Venetian and into the convention center. No cameras? Hogwash. I can see some potential with this idea for a number of things.

The way it works is you sit on a bike with a green screen behind it. You're then video taped and a background is added through an editing program. I played with the idea a year ago, but haven't since. Wanna brag to someone that you've sky dived but you're too chicken like me? It can be done. Hollywood movies and TV news programs are done this way quite a bit thesedays.

The pictures stop there. The black guy made it a point to no pictures. Use your imagination. The backgrounds can be anything providing you have the footage. Want some video of you riding a Harley down the PCH(Pacific Coast Highway)? Shoot some video from the back of a convertible and green screen the riding part over the screen. Wallah. You're crusing the PCH without being there.

Cost here. $55.00 for a 2 1/2 minute DVD or an 8 x 10" still pic for $20.00. They had buyers.

If you're familiar with Whose Line Is It, you should get the idea. Here's a hilarious green screen clip.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ellijay Winter

Folks up here said they have mild winters. Looking at some numbers from Wunderground the past few years I was in agreement with them. However since I left January 10 the lows have been under freezing eleven of those days and January 16 showed five degrees!

With an adjustment for my little place out of the way by taking off another 4-5 degrees the numbers would be around 15 or 16 days under freezing. I'd probably be boiling water for hot sponge baths! I'm going to have to look into those frozen pipes a bit more.

Another cold front hits the area with a chance of snow today. Above pic.

I guess I timed it pretty well. Tempe has been the bright spot with wonderful weather, but I have seen some temps in the twenties when in Roswell NM. And the rain in North Georgia! So much for the drought. January numbers show over 18 inches in the Ellijay area. Imagine if one fifth of that was snow precipitation. One inch of rain equals a foot of snow...correct? 3.6 inches would be three and a half feet of snow.

Looks like it's cold all over. Bundle up if you're not out west today!

Vegas Weather today....high near 70.

Las Vegas Construction Pics

Vegas highrise constructionLooking around this place you have to wonder; will enough people actually come to visit all these new casinos? It's mind boggling considering some areas I don't recognise from only five years ago! No bother counting the floors as it seems all the new ones are up in the thirty or 40 story range. The Imperial Palace where I am staying is dwarfed by all the new ones at a mere 18 floors. I could hardly find it the other day and it was probably an icon on The Strip at one time.

Some of these monsters don't show any construction activity. Did somebody/everybody run out of money? That's the trend thesedays. How come the casinos aren't crying for a bailout? All sorts of bad news here.

Looking to the west side of The Strip where I am located there are blocks of highrises under construction (top photo). Has the party ended in Las Vegas? Who is gambling thesedays? Actually plenty from my view...but most people have been doing enough of it with their life savings in the financial markets. I wonder what they'll be saying ten and fifteen years from now? Or what will become of these white elephants?

Apartment buildings could be an answer. I'm sure many folks are looking at the rent option after getting tossed to the curb failing to keep up with mortgage payments.

Looking south from Harrahs...

Caesars Palace with another addition going on.

And the area of the gone Stardust Casino is a huge city block with a newish project called the Echelon. Estimated costs around $5 billion. Construction stopped last summer. Pic below shows what it is supposed to look like when completed. Click any image for a larger view.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

On The Road - To Vegas

Looks like some changes are afoot at the Hoover Dam. Maybe they call this thing a fly over? Anyway US 93 that runs from Central Arizona into Nevada is getting a brand new look at the dam. The first pic shows the existing two lane road that winds down into the dam area then exits over the mounatins into the Nevada side. Arrow indicates a new four lane fly over.

Pretty impresive structure, as is the Hoover Dam, but I've been through this area before so it was nothing new. Second pic shows the arch bridge under construction on the Nevada side with suspended cables providing support as well

And the bridge under construction with both sides gaining ground until a connection is made.

Welcome to the playground in the desert...

Lodging arrangements for the week is the Imperial Palace on the Strip. Not impressed but I didn't need anything pricey. Good thing I brough a coffee maker along. Thanks Brad! Heck, that flea bag motel in Cordele, Ga for $ 29.00 is better than this place. At least it had a fridge and a good TV cable selection. But then I suppose folks here don't want ya hangin' out in the room all the time. Go spend some dough in the casino!

Reason for visit? Surfaces flooring convention.