As Georgia state parks go Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, Georgia is a bit different. Prior to driving up I scouted on the Georgia State Park website to ensure that I would be able to get a sufficient hike. According to their website four loops exist for hikers, which intersect one another; there are also equine trails. In essence I did all four hiking trails and the initial connector, making a convoluted cloud shape by taking the right fork every time I encountered a new trail loop. My cloud covered a little more than eight miles, which was more than sufficient given my lack of exercise due to pain these days; fortunately for me I opted out of the “Whale Tail Spur” which would have tacked on another 1.75 miles. What’s unusual about the hiking trails inside Don Carter is that they must be relatively new since there were fairly well-marked, but exist only on the Georgia State Park website, as well as the paper map I carried with me. When I had reached the far side of my big loop while on the blue trail I missed a turn. It was like hashing all over again, especially when I found an unfortunately placed bit of blue surveyor tape which hanging from a tree branch which had nothing to do with the hiking trail. I stopped, pulled out my phone and looked at the AllTrails app, Strava app, and REI Hiking Project app, none of which identified any trails in my vicinity. While the paper map I possessed and the State Park website showed the trails, neither could show me my relative position to them. Fortunately I backtracked and finally saw a blue blazing in a direction from which I had not been. The trails are nice, mildly strenuous at points, but don’t offer too much in the way of scenery.

On Friday evening I realized that after the process of taking my bum’s shower in the bathroom I inadvertently left my TSA-Approved squeeze bottle of body wash on the sink. Clearly Gainesville is far too distant to return to reclaim a bottle and soap which cost no more than $3, especially since I still had two empty squeeze bottles which were part of the four-pack I purchased a few years ago.

The rest of my weekend was boring. I made pizza on Saturday, and hung around the house all day yesterday. I did manage to put in a good hour on the trainer yesterday while watching soccer.

Cooking Pro Tip: The French call it mise en place, meaning get all of your goddamn ingredients in place prior to the start of cooking. If I had done so I wouldn’t had to have forgotten to add the four eggs into my batter prior to pouring the batter into the baking dish over the meat and onions that were already in it. Dumbass!

Busy week ahead, I am trying to make a schedule for myself so that I can stay focused and accomplish everything I hope to this week.

Wordle: three, my starter was LEAST (I was going to play TANGY or GRIEF, only to discover they’ve been solutions)
Connections: perfect, Yellow > Blue > Purple > Green

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52 Responses to 2024-02-05

  1. Steve says:

    Wordle in 3 after whiffing the first guess and only one letter in the wrong place in 2! After yesterday’s near disaster (a shaky 6) I’ll take it. Connections, one error.

    Late Thursday, we got word of my friend/coworker/resident coon ass Jude had a heart attack. They did open heart surgery on him Friday morning and his wife sent me a pic yesterday of him all smiles. Good news for sure.

    Friday, we modified the wash stall in the barn to add a gate and make some actual fence partition. Except for having issues attaching posts to concrete, it looks pretty good and should withstand the wild horses.

    Saturday was the long overdue memorial service for friends Brenda and Gordon. Gordon died Nov. ’20 and Brenda passed back in August. These folks were old friends and keystones in the Games. Gordon handed his responsibilities to Burt and me, so was grounds chair emeritus, but still a great resource and mentor. After the service, a glass was raised at the Marley.

    Sunday was pretty much a wash out.


    • Sally says:

      Sorry about your friends Steve and glad your friend/c0-worker had good results.

      Wordle in 4 starting with DANCE. 2 mistakes in Connections trying to get that green category so I switched direction. Blue, Purple, Yellow, Green.

      Fun hike with friends Saturday morning on the Vineyard Mountain Trails and then spent the afternoon marking and setting up the Red Top Mountain Trail Race for Sunday. Spent the night in the newly renovated cabins at Red Top. They just don’t have that cabin feel to me…way too big and sterile. The race on Sunday went well. After getting it all packed up a few of us went to Drowned Valley Brewery in Cartersville. They have some award winning beers and a lot of dogs! :). On my way home, I stopped in at Horned Owl Brewery to meet up with a bunch of hashers. Good for a lot of laughs.

  2. Jenka says:

    Was it a quiche? Based on the number of eggs and the other ingredients that’s what it sounds like.

    My weekend was good, albeit not relaxing. The movers delivered our kitchen stuff that has been in storage on Friday and I was up early Saturday putting it all away and making the inaugural meal (scrambled eggs and bacon for Finn). We also went to get mani-pedis and a late lunch/early dinner (dunch). Sunday we took Finn to his early morning swim lesson and then breakfast at the Majestic, then I finished unpacking and organizing everything. Then I spent all afternoon making a fish chowder and an Italian sausage pasta bake. Cooking is much harder on the body than it used to be!

    • No, it’s called an Impossible Pie, I think because the filling is supposed to start on the bottom and rise to the middle as it bakes. It uses a cup of Bisquick (I used the generic brand) to perform this feat. I doubled down on the Impossible name by using Impossible burger meat instead of bacon as called for in the recipe. I will make it again some day, to see how that comes out.

    • Barb says:

      Jenks – we always called it LUPPER.

  3. David says:

    Greetings from the “best laid plans” department. I was supposed to be checking in from Malibu this morning, but I read the tea leaves correctly yesterday and changed my flight to LA to tomorrow, although I expect to get word today that the Excel training class I’m supposed to lead on Wednesday is going to be cancelled. For those unaware, a weather system called an “atmospheric river” hit northern California and and has been grinding its way down the coast. I changed my flight to LA to tomorrow, but I’m highly doubtful that I’ll be on a plane this week. I did get in a big fight with the AirBNB host, who basically thought I was Chicken Little. I kept pointing out the newspaper reports and referencing what I saw on NOAA.gov to no avail. I have escalated my case to AirBNB. Even if I don’t get my money back, I made the right call to not fly into a literal shit storm. Malibu, among other places, was hit by tornados and flooding.

    My trip to Thomasville, Georgia was highly productive, and I’m really glad that I went. I had a lot of trepidation about going to rural Georgia, and this annual conference isn’t as well attended when its in the boonies. However, I quickly realized that I’ve been spending several years now forging relationships with professors that are starting to bear fruit. Everything moves *really* slowly in academia, but if you can play the long game and get in, then everything moves *really* slowly. I do have some validation for my Excel videos for college students concept as McGraw-Hill is actively trying to evict me from Kennesaw State in favor of their lower grade materials. I talked to their sales rep at the conference and in a friendly way told her “I know what you all are up to. I’m interested in talking to see if there’s a win-win solution here.” That message is now on it’s way up the flagpole. My end game is to eventually sell out to a publisher. I’m still pretty much in start-up mode presently, so I’m not really ready to talk to publishers yet, but I am going to do some outreach with Wiley, who publishes my QuickBooks for Dummies book. Never a damn dull moment. KSU is not unhappy with my product, so all is not lost. Even if McGraw-Hill does successfully bully their way in, it would be two years before my materials get dropped, so I have some breathing room here. I learned about another accounting professor conference near DC in May that looks very promising.

    I stopped at Buc-ee’s on the way back north on Saturday. It was pretty much a feeding frenzy, but I know how to get in and get out quickly now. I needed another pulled pork sandwich, and crack-laden fried apple pie.

    I was supposed to be home for 24 hours and then get on a plane last night. I spent all afternoon yesterday reworking my trip, which presently would be spending tomorrow night in downtown LA, teach on Wednesday, and then stay at a Marriott resort in Newport Beach (south of LA) until Saturday. The Hertz web site kept throwing wacky errors and also wouldn’t let me keep the low price that I had secured for my rental, but I was able to use Facebook Messenger to get the car rental reworked at the initial agreed upon rate.

    I recreated the “this is your brain on drugs” commercial this morning by making a fried egg sandwich for breakfast.

    • Steve says:

      I think discretion is the better part of valor for travel to the west coast at the moment.

      We have the crack apple pie on our shopping list for the next Buc-ees stop.

    • I missed all news about this weather. Sounds as if you made the right call.

      • David says:

        Given that Malibu, among other places, was hit by tornadoes and flooding, yes, I absolutely made the right call. Even if I somehow end up eating the rental, it’s just money, and much better to lose some cash versus land in the middle of a literal natural disaster.

        • Barb says:

          I (of course) know about all the weather out in CA since many of my customers are in the LA area. (and – I watch GMA or CBS Mornings, and they always cover this stuff)

          AirBnB I’ve decided for the most part isn’t worth it – as if you have to cancel, the owner gets screwed out of money, but AirBnB still gets their cut.

          Hope you get some money back.

          • David says:

            It was a really sweet looking place, oceanfront, and priced on par with a decent hotel room in downtown LA. I really wanted to be there, but I just couldn’t bring myself to risk flying into the face of an impending natural disaster. I listened to my intuition, and boy howdy I’m glad I did.

          • The luster of AirBnB has worn off for me. I just heard a funny joke saying that it’s a lie since there is no breakfast – and that’s the second B!

  4. Got my first bad cheap haircut. Oh well, it’s not like I am with anyone, or have anyone I need to impress.

  5. Barb says:

    I had a busy weekend.

    Friday night had dinner with friends after picking up my car – new tires are pricy – but were necessary. Alignment was off (which I knew) and it was finally time to get them replaced.
    Saturday went to a maybe newer park out in West Cobb (Kemp Park) with some friends for a walk – it isn’t worth the roadtrip if you don’t live out that way, but 2 laps around was a little more than 3 miles.

    Afternoon took us to the Mable House Arts Center to make some glass blowing hearts. We didn’t actually blow any glass, but it was a really cool thing to do – we can pick up our hearts today. (Mark – who isn’t working – I think will go get for us). The guy running the show was very fun, and we might some day schedule a group class at his shop & make some wine glasses (then maybe we will learn about the blowing part)

    Dinner after was in Austell at Wallace BBQ – I”M told its the best BBQ around, it was good, but – BEST? I’m not so sure. ITs right near Frog Rock brewery, but we were tired & not in the mood after a big dinner.

    Sunday took up to Lips – for Drag Brunch. Its a very fun outing, and not really over priced, at $40 for show, food & bottomless mimosas & bloody marys. Of course you need more cash to tip the Drag Queens. Had a little headache the rest of the day, I’m sure from the cheap bubbly used.

    • Steve says:

      Wallace BBQ is supposed to be some of the best. I think BBQ is kinda in the eye of the beholder. Depends on what you like and if that’s their specialty. Years ago, there was a place down by the federal pen- Harolds. Hole in the wall, roughest part of town, BBQ ok but their Brunswick stew was out of this world!

      • Though I only made it to Harold’s once, I miss the Brunswick stew.

      • Jenka says:

        I totally agree that BBQ, perhaps more than other cuisines, is much more subjective. People like what they like, and therefore like different restaurants. I’m a pulled pork gal myself, although as a yankee I don’t pretend to have much expertise about BBQ.

      • Barb says:

        Wallace has a vinegary sauce – which I do like.
        the Brunswick Stew was a little too blended for me – but it did have a decent taste.

  6. Well that sucks. I tried to make a purchase which required a credit check and no matter what I did to try to temporarily lift the freeze on my credit failed. Purchase denied.

    • I should have known I would be in for this level of aggravation when I placed a freeze on my credit.

    • Home again, where I am trying to calm down after getting so pissed off this morning. It seemed that everything I tried to do this morning required me to jump over walls. I succeeded at Lowe’s and Target, after getting angry with their payment systems; somewhat succeeded with the haircut though it’s not good; succeeded 100% at Apple Store; but failed 100% at T-Mobile thanks to the credit freeze fiasco.

      I am trying to get T-Mobile home internet for the Florida house, and if I like it will use it at the ITP Estate when the Florida house is sold. I all but had it in my hands when even after contacting all three credit bureaus, was unable to have a credit check performed by T-Mobile.

      • Steve says:

        Is that the $50 whole house service? I have to say I’ve been very impressed with it. Rare that we have any issues, and we’re so far out in the woods, I don’t know what tower(s) it’s hitting.

        Sorry you have locked yourself out of credit reporting.

        • Yeah, that’s the one though it would cost me $60/month since I don’t have T-Mobile cell service.

          Thanks. What’s additionally aggravating is that T-Mobile couldn’t tell me which service they contact, so I went through the rigmarole to thaw the freeze for each, and I still couldn’t get the check done!

  7. Steve says:

    Then we got in early. Still seems a bargain.

  8. David says:

    Well, AirBNB has fleeced me out of $900 for the Malibu rental that I canceled because I didn’t want to fly into the literal eye of the storm. Fuckers. Nonetheless, had I ventured to LA last night I would have ended up in the middle of massive flooding, tornados, and hurricane level winds, so I’ll just chalk it up as a life lesson and deactivate my AirBNB account.

    • Barb says:

      you can always dispute it on your credit card – just to make it a pain for them – and eventually I’m sure you will still have to pay, but might be able to prolong it – just to do it.

      • David says:

        Yes, I’m going to do that. I already tried, and I didn’t answer Amex’s questions the right way, but I’ll go through that gauntlet again and make better choices.

    • Ugh, that sucks. Don’t blame you for deactivating your account. I’ll echo Barb and advise you dispute the charge.

      • David says:

        As my friend Craig noted, AirBNB is a tech company and not a hospitality company. I will choose accordingly going forward. Money only goes in one direction when private equity is in charge.

    • David says:

      The goddamn governer of California declared a state of emergency. I’ve provided more info to AirBNB, hopefully someone with more than 2 brain cells reads what I sent.

      • Steve says:

        And if the house had fallen into the ocean, AirBnB would have still tried to fleece you! F’ers.

      • Somewhat reminiscent of the time I traveled to Florida for work and canceled my flight on a Sunday evening and drove the rental car back. I got in a bit of trouble with the company because I was only supposed to call the travel agency in times of emergency to which I told them that a hurricane shutdown an international airport, and asked if that was emergency enough for them?

  9. Debbie says:

    Wordle in 4. It took 2 guesses to find the right middle letter. One mistake in Connections. I was super chuffed yesterday to get the purple category first.

    I’m also ready to break up with Airbnb. Our rental in Ocala was subpar. It smelled of stale smoke, there was a water leak in the kitchen and it’s adjacent to a drag racing track. The hostess claimed not to know about the track, but c’mon! It was super loud and went on until 11 the first night. Thankfully, it rained out the next night. I gave the hostess private feedback on doing better.

    When I fed the horses last night, I discovered that two new cats have taken up residence in the shop. They look a bit more than half grown. Not friendly yet, but they are showing themselves so I think they’ll come around. I need to get them into the low cost spay/neuter clinic asap.

    I have been thinking about taking up hiking again, but yesterday we binged the Wild Crimes series on Hulu. The first season focused on Gary Holder, the serial killer that was killing hikers in National Forests. It was really well done and scary to think of what he got away with in on pretty well traveled trails. It won’t keep me from hiking solo, but I’ll be more mindful than if I hadn’t watched it.

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