"Crotty News" Postings for: March 2009 !

What? March Already?
I guess when you get older, time zips much too fast! This month's birthday boys & girls are: Ernie Liska and Joyce Rowe Pope (4th), Lucy Graham (6th), Tony Baroncelli (12th), Adrienne Wahlbrink (13th) and Granddaughter Alana (18th). The 17th is St. Patty's Day ! Begorrah! I think that Daylight Savings Time starts on the 8th. Tony & Janet's anniversary is the 15th, and Joe & Sharon's anniversary is the 24th! So ... Happy Everything To Everybody ! :-)

    Sunday - 01 March - It's going to be in the low 20's for the next 3-4 nights, so we're staying inside. Dale has had a cold for the past week. I am editing the digitial photos I took in January and February and will have them ready to upload to this website by the end of the week. I am trying a new system that allows me to edit pictures one time only. I previously edited them multiple times for different reasons (web site and making prints). Now I go through all the photos individually using Photoshop. That way they'll be ready to send to www.winkflash.com to have 4x6 prints made whnever they have a six-cents-a-print sale. Next, I run them all through Irfanview, a batch processor program which enables me to resize, enhance and rename numerous pictures all at once. Lastly I run them through Microsoft Photeditor, an old program but one which creates very small photo files that still appear clear on a computer screen. These ones I upload to the web site.

    Monday - 02 March - It was 22 degrees this morning and of course a bag full of plants and bushes arrived at our front door. I ordered them weeks ago from an on-line nursery, so I spent an hour or so potting them in the back yard and then moving them into the garage until this cold snap is over later this week. Now my fingers are aching from the cold - still - four hours later! Hurt! Pain!

    Now that Circuit City has gone bankrupt don't expect to find any bargains at Best buy! They wanted $24-$35 for a simple four-port USB hub, the kind I used to get for around $12, or less if on sale. I went to E-Bay and found an excellent one for $8 with free shipping. It arrived today and works perfectly. I'm sending it to Dale's cousin Alice in New Hampshire. She has an older computer with only two USB ports.

    Tuesday - 03 March - I finished coding the HTML to load the last two month's worth of my digital photos to this web site. I'll split February photos into two smaller files (easier for Kathy to download). Yesterday was the last day on my temporary 30 day license tag from Georgia. Good thing Dale noticed it or I might have gotten a ticket. Will leave the truck in the back yard until we get the new title and register it here in South Carolina. Tomorrow I pay the balance due on the truck, a deal I made with Jimmy Carter last month. It'll then take him some time to process the title in Georgia (truck purchased at auction for me) and send it to me so I can register it here in South Carolina. Looks like I'm back to driving the Corvette and the Chevy S-10 for a while :-)

    Wednesday - Friday 04 - 06 March - Sent the check to Jimmy Carter as Express Mail and he got it the next day just after noon. Didn't know that the Post Office could be that quick. Jimmy says he already had the title processed, so I should get it in a few days! My office desk has been piled high with DVDs that I converted from my VHS tapes, so I've spent the last three days on the computer making DVD covgers/jackets for them, storing the VHS tapes away in boxes, and getting ready to add the movies titles to our EXCEL data base. I think I'll take all the VHS movies that I made over the years from TV shows etc. and bring them to the condo in Florida. We have a common-use library room and I can put them there for anyone who wants to view them.

    Saturday 07 March - I did our taxes and submitted them electronically for the first time. Should be getting a nice refund sent directly to our credit union account in 8-15 days (so they say :-) . Good thing too, since we've decided to have the porch screens replaced with sliding, glass windows. Once they are installed we won't have to clean up all the dirt, dust and pollen that comes through the screens and settles on the couches, chairs, wealls, and everywhere! We'll also be able to use the porch all year yound. The window company owner showed us this morning and measured everything. He said that it would take about 4-5 weeks to have the windows custom made. It's been nice outside the past two days so tomorrow I am going to play in the DIRT! (Do yard work; plant some bushes; etc) !

    Sunday 08 March - There is a Car Show at the Market Common (old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base) today and Chuck has his car entered in the competition. We were supposed to meet them at the California Ultimate Pizza restaurant at the Market Common but since we were familiar with the one of US-17, that's where we showed up :-) Our friends from Maryland, Sue & Don Smith, were in town to check on their condo so we all had pizza and then off to the car show. Lots of 1920s and 1930s cars as well as a couple of 1953 - 1955 Corvettes, and newer cars made into hot rods. After the show they came back to the house and I gave them one of the three TVs I had jammed into my office. They are remodeling their condo here in Myrtle Beach and needed a TV. Glad that someone could use it!

    Monday 09 March - Friends have been telling me to join Facebook for a long time but I really didn't want to. Well, Tracey and our italian friends ganged up on me so I did join tonight. So far so good but there seems to be lots of places to post comments that I know nothing about. And if you don't knopw how to limit the audience, what you write ends up on everyone's screen :-) My e-mail address for facebook is barryec@sccoast.net.

    Wednesday 11 March - Tracey and Alana are flying to California to visit with Susan & Dany, so Dale got on-line and bought tickets to go too. She'll arrive at LAX on the 25th of March and meet up with Tracey & Alana at the airport. Comes back to Myrtle Beach on the 30th.

    Friday 13 March - Our TV company came out to check the weak digital signal we have been experiencing to our plasma TV. They determined that the splitters were all cheapies with huge loss of signal. They replaced them and redid all the wire connectors too, but the signal still wasn't good enough, so they installed an amplifier!! Now we have a really GREAT TV signal. For the past several days I've been transplanting lots of trees, flowers, bushes, hedges, roses, etc. that haven't been doing well in their old locations. Today I moved some evergreens that were to the left of our garage. I need extra parking space for my new Dodge RAM, so I will pour concrete there later this summer! I moved them (evergreens) and a crepe myrtle bush to the back yard, where I made a really nice garden-like area around a large pine tree but first I had to dig out the stumps from some large, dead wax myrtle trees -- that was hard and my back is aching today! I had to use the Chevy S-10 and a tow rope to pull the stumps and roots out. Then I ended up tranplanting a bunch of other, smaller plants, ornamental grasses, etc. The weather is cool so this is the time to transplant. Hopefully all these plants will survive! I also am planting some of my recent nursery purchases -- six pampas grass plants, hedges (ligustrum), eight red weigela and six pink weigela bushes. Then it will be off to Lowe's to buy some bedding flower plants that will give us some color until my seeds become real plants later this summer.

    Monday 16 March - Tom & Sue Peterson just left to go north to Beaufort,North Carolina. They had visited Savannah, Georgia and stopped by here on Saturday the 14th. They live on the North Carolina/Virginia border so they'll be home in a few days after doing some sightseeing. It's been raining lightly for the past two days, mostly at night, but today it's raining off and on, which will be good to keep everything cool while my transplanted bushes settle in to their new locations. I have to go to the local Dept of Motor Vehicles and register my new (2004) Dodge RAM. I received the title in the mail from Jimmy in Georgia. The 30 day license plates he gave me have expired so I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do about that, since in South Carolina they want to physically check the VIN number of any vehicle being registered for the first time. ... I'm Back! Got the license plates after making three trips for things I forgot to bring. No problem with not having the truck there for them to see. Got an e-mail from old friend Jerry Pradier (former USAF; we met in Italy) who now lives in Colorado. He has his own management consultant business, is publishing a book, and is a TV Star on one of the local stations! Good going Jerry!!!

    Wednesday 18 March - Dale and I drove the old Chevy S-10 to the rock quarry (Wake Stone Company) yesterday and we picked up just over a ton of "riprap". I started making low walls in the back yard and planted flowering bushes and other plants inside the walls. Got to go back for another load today. The quarry is 36 miles north of us, in Loris, on the North Carolina border. I am allowed to self-load my truck which is good because the little S-10 would probably be crushed if those huge loaders dumped a ton of rocks in its bed :-) It also enables me to choose which rocks I get, and I like to get ones with various veins of colors instead of plain black and white granite.

    Saturday 21 March - Carl & Jerry Klele drove up from Mt. Pleasant (Charleston, SC) for a visit and we went to the P.F. Chang's Restaurant at the Market Common. Dale had been there before but it was my first visit. Great food! Nice decor ! Afterwards we went to a huge car show (next to the Hard Rock Park). Very difficult to find a parking space. Hundreds of cars parked on the sidewalks for miles! Chuck had his car displayed there, along with about 3000 others! Never saw so many 1955-57 Chevys and T-Birds in one place. Also, hundreds of 1920s and 1930s cars, and a great collection of 1950s cars that we remembered from our teenager years ;-) Not one 1957 Plymouth though (we had a beautiful convertible "back in the day"). Unfortunately when we returned home there was an e-mail waiting for me from my cousin Jim Voss -- my Aunt Helen had died in California. Aunt Helen was my father's sister and she lived with her son Warren in Yorba Linda, CA. Cousin Warren had brought her to Michael's & Pei's wedding in Las Vegas a few months ago and she was the hit of the party.

    22-23 March - Planted five forsythia bushes to make a privacy screen on the street side of our house. Transplanted several slower-growing wax myrtle bushes to the far rear of the lot. I also made a few more trips to the rock quarry. My little Chevy S-10 has hauled as much as 1.35 tons of rock in one load which is, I'm sure, much more than I'm supposed to load it up with! The first set of walls is now almost done. I'll take pictures and post them to PHOTOS soon! "Spring has sprung" and the yellow pollen is starting to cover everything, including my new truck! The ornamental pear trees all around here are in full bloom, looking like white puffballs, and one of our neighbors has a huge pear tree in bloom. It's got to be at least 50 feet high and wide -- did not know that they grew that large!

    Tuesday 24 March - Had a doctor's appointment today and got my marching orders: either start exercising and lose weight or he's putting me on medicine -- baded on the increasing trend he sees in my lab results/numbers for the past year in several categories (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc). I've been lazy about starting back to exercise so this is the ole kick-in-the-rear-end that I needed.

    Wednesday 25 March - Dale flew off to Los Angeles this afternoon. Got a call when she landed at LAX. She was walking over to the Delta terminal to meet Tracey and Alana, but their flight was delayed so it'll be a while before she gets to Susan's house.

    Friday 27 March - I'll bet the sleeping arrangements are cramped at Susan & Dany's house :-) Apparently there was a huge crowd trying to get into the Griffith Observatory (very close to Susan's house) so they went to Melrose Place/Ave in L.A. instead. I think they are running around Venice today -- always a lot of interesting things to see there! I made two trips to the quarry in Longs, SC, so that I've have enouygh rocks to keep me busy this weekend (I'll be starting to make rock walls on the left side of the back yard driveway now). Went to Nico's restaurant with Karen & Chuck, and Robin & Booby were also there with haven and one of her little 7-year-old friends. Once again the Veal Marsala was outstanding. Rob, the owner, makes really good italian food. His family comes from the Bari Province of Italy, which is where our friend Katia lives (Locorotondo is in the Bari Province).

    Saturday 28 March - The weather bureau has been issuing notices of really bad weather for us this afternoon and evening, to include LARGE hailstones, thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes! I tried to fit the Corvette, the PT Cruiser and the Dodge Ram into the garage, or even partially under the roof/overhang for protection but ... NOPE -- not enough room!! So I spent most of the day burying the Dodge's hood, windshield and top under the many leaf bags I filled over the past week. Then I hung four tarps from trees and covered most of the truck. If we do get a hailstorm I hope I've protected it well enough to avoid damage. Our next-door neighbors asked me if I was trying to copy the Beverly Hillbillys.



    (More To Come - Keep Checking ! :-)











Love,     &nbs;       Regards,
Dad & Mom     &nbs;       Barry & Dale