Saturday, August 30, 2008

And so, I worry

I can't help but be drawn to the coverage of Gustav this week for a lot of reasons I've already explained. But now I have even more reasons. Kind of like when a storm has its sights set on NC, where I used to live, I know people down on the Gulf. And so, I worry. It's supposed to hit west of NO – at least that's the current track – but I worry. I know someone on the Texas Gulf too!

Most recently, a friend I just recently "found" again – after 15+ years – is living in Biloxi. I don't even know if he's been through anything like this before. There's a couple I know who grew up near NO. They were in college up here during Katrina, but they moved back, to teach and be part of the rebuilding effort. I'm wildly proud of them. Another friend of mine also moved to the Gulf after the storm and is part of the rebuilding effort. And then there's my Texas firefighter friend near Houston.

But mostly I worry about the Bridges, not to mention their family, friends and neighbors, who all live in and around Biloxi. They're in their 80s and hadn't been through anything like Katrina all their lives. It was almost too much for them but with the help of volunteers, they were back in their house less than a year after the storm. Not only do they not need to go through this again (who does, really?) but I'm not sure if they or their little house could take another hit. Part of what motivated me (and others, I'm sure) to go down and help was all those people I'd seen in NC who died waiting for their FEMA checks to come through and their homes to be rebuilt while they were stuck tiny FEMA trailers. We, I, didn't want that to happen again. 

And so, I worry. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008


It FINALLY started raining, so my shoulder actually is feeling better. However, I was flipping through the channels a little bit ago and there are TORNADO WARNINGS south and west of here. The hell? I hope they STAY south and west of here!

A friend of mine "gussied up" my blog for me and I also got on Facebook today. I'm now a social networking maniac, hahaha. But, I found someone who I haven't talked to in about 15 years, so isn't that what that's all supposed to be about?

Friday, August 22, 2008


So I've had a shoulder problem for almost two years now. I've been to no less than three ortho surgeons, none of whom could exactly pinpoint the problem, but all of whom were excited as hell at the prospect of operating. Well, to hell with that I say, if I'm going to spend the money and time and go through the pain, you'd better know in advance what you're going to be digging around in there for. 

After trying physical therapy and all forms of medications, it's just about down to a tolerable level, EXCEPT when there's any kind of storm front nearby. Let's just say I have a new reason to HATE hurricanes now. Stupid Fay. Wish she'd make up her mind and get out of here. But if I'm going through this much pain (to the point where I have an earache and my eyes feel like they're going to fly out of my head) it BETTER rain here so we can at least get something out of it!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I have a Myspace

Ever since I got this computer I've been wanting to get a Myspace page. But I've been waiting to find some pictures of myself since I was afraid if I made a page without a picture, people would think I was a stalker – or a cyborg. 

Finally though, it's done! And I have to admit the other part of the process that scared me was "inviting" friends. I have enough trouble getting people just to post on here, much less accept a friend invitation! But I already have EIGHT friends, including former coworkers, new friends and Captain Andy Hillstrand from FVA Time Bandit on "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. So, I feel special! Ha!

Anyway, (almost forgot) the link is Yeah, I know, but all the ones with my name were taken  (weird) and as soon as I figure out all the editing options I plan to show just how multifaceted I am. So there.

You may notice I also got pictures up on this blog – finally. Isn't Hobie just the cutest thing??? :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


So I tuned in to the NASCAR race, which is in Brooklyn, Mich., this week. In the intro on ESPN, they showed downtown Brooklyn, which brought back huge memories for me. When I was a kid, I spent every summer there, visiting my great uncle Paul. He was a sweet guy – when I see Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H, he reminds me of him. 

Didn't see the Dairy Queen where we used to walk every day and didn't recognize any shop names, but it looks like Brooklyn still has its Norman Rockwell downtown. It was nice to see it. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Get that old man off my television

I wish John McCain would stop using the phrase "my friends" when he talks. I am NOT his friend and I think that's awfully presumptuous! 

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's an ASP baton

The things you learn at a Citizens' Police Academy! 

I promised I wouldn't talk about work on this blog (much) but this is too good not to share. I was at the Citizens' Police Academy in Hogansville and the topic was deadly force. The instructor, a cop I know pretty well (thank God) kept talking about his baton, but he called it an ASP baton. Don't know what that stands for, but apparently it's the brand name.

But it sounded like something else! I passed a note to a friend of mine in the class, saying "It sounds like he's saying 'ass baton.' That can't be right!" 

Funny thing was, once the note was shared several others in the class had thought the same thing!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Reports of my retirement are greatly exaggerated

I wrote a column this week about my mom retiring from Wal-Mart. Huge news in Shrader-land, since the store has been my mom's life – and her second home – for almost 20 years. 

But the  headline on the column, which I didn't write, said "Leaving a job that has been her home," causing at least ONE, and probably MORE people to think I am the one who's leaving! By the time I saw it, it was too late to do anything about it.

Oh well, maybe it'll make people appreciate me more!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

In search of a connection

The neighbors' Internet has been down for the past day or so, which has made it interesting to get my stories e-mailed to the office. In fact, between the maintenance crew finishing the remodel of the duplex next door and the disabled Internet, I'm actually AT the office this afternoon. 

Regular readers will remember I'm actually hooked up to my neighbors' wireless with their BLESSING, I'm not stealing it! I talked to them at noon today and it's down for them too, but it's going to get fixed tonight.

This morning, though, I had to come to the office and put my last story in I wrote last night after the Internet died. Then when I finished a column my boss needed, I had to find somewhere in town to "hijack" a signal. This is where things get interesting – I went to the chamber of commerce where I'd been able to hook up before and it didn't work. So, I went out to the parks and rec building – I'd discovered Monday they have a free, public wireless signal, bless their hearts. 

It doesn't work from the parking lot, though, I discovered this morning! So I walked in with my laptop open, like the "Can you hear me now?" dude, and plopped down in the lobby. When the receptionist saw me I said, "Hi, I'm from the paper and I'm hear to hijack your wireless!" She laughed and said go right ahead! Their signal was working, thankfully, and I sent my story and went happily on my way :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


The house FINALLY is clean. Friday night, I finished the dining room, two closets and the living room. I've been using the trash can belonging to the empty apartment next door, so this is good timing. The new renter is about to move in, so now she can have her trash can! I've filled it and mine twice during this whole process, it feels good to purge. I also found some things I'd been missing. 

Today I've been resting my back and shoulder all day – the work wore me out!