Time to sit a spell and enjoy family and friends

Christmas Card

Read my holiday post at View from the Mountain

See you in the New Year


"Written by fools..."

When you live in the center of the universe, variously defined as New York, Washington, or some place in California, I guess you have the luxury of being born with all the knowledge that you will ever need. Those of us on the edge of civilization need to make certain that we read only what has been approved by the editors from more civilized areas which are home to the main stream media. At least that seems to be the between the lines opinion of Joseph Rago, assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal, in an article, "The Blog Mob," that he wrote in today's WSJ. The article certainly isn't worth going out and buying the paper to read. It's and elitist article written by someone who has probably never gotten his hands dirty. I'm sure we'll be reading about it, since it is an inflammatory piece. I have posted a detailed reply to the article at my View from the Mountain site.

In areas that aren't covered by the main stream media, blogs and local websites provide a tremendous amount of information that fills in the gaps in our world. If you move into an area like the Southern Outer Banks, a blog with a local flavor can answer a lot of questions about the area. It is pretty easy to see if your opinion of the world syncs up with the blogger. If it does, you will probably like the same things. Actually the things which Rago went after don't even need defending. They survive because they fill a need and people use them. If no one read blogs, no one would bother writing.

The good news is that even though this was our "cold" day of the week, I think temperatures got into the mid-fifties so it wasn't too hard to take. I had my office window open until about 3:30 pm so I would rate the day as very acceptable especially since I seem to be recovering from my blogging injury.

I have posted an online album of some recent photographs of the Southern Outer Banks area. These are some of my current favorites. The pictures are located at my Picasa Web Albums site. The Picasa Web Albums site does a very nice slide show.

A blogging injury

It's hard to get injured blogging, but I might have managed to do it. Yesterday morning, I woke full of energy and ready for a busy week. I decided to go find a great sunrise picture. I left the house and eventually ended up Route 24 between the Swansboro bridges. Being the fool that I am, I immediately determined that the best pictures would be captured on the north side of the road. In spite of the speed limit being 35 mph by the bridges, people zip right along. Even 35 mph is pretty fast if you are on foot. I crossed over, got my pictures and headed back across the four lanes of traffic. Some traffic from the Swansboro direction looked to be traveling a little faster than I had first estimated so I speeded up a little.

About two strides from the edge of the road, I felt something pop and some intense pain. I could still walk so I didn't think I had broken anything, but I actually didn't have a clue what I had done. I headed home and by the time I got home, I figured out that it was my heel. I put some ice on it, and took a couple of Bufferin and hoped for the best. Getting around wasn't much fun yesterday, but I wasn't in much pain, my heel was just sore enough that I couldn't walk on it. I didn't exactly feel much like writing so I just tried to relax.

This morning it was a little better, but with the holidays coming, I figured that I needed to know what I was facing. I called a neighbor for advice, and then called the Cape Carteret Eastern Carolina Internal Medicine location. A very friendly lady told me to come on in since no appointment was needed. I had to wait a little while but it wasn't very long before a very competent nurse wrote up my history and a very pleasant doctor saw me. After examining my foot, he said that likely a bone spur had popped through a tendon. He had the foot x-rayed to be sure, and once the diagnosis was confirmed, he prescribed Aleeve for ten days to ease inflammation and a horseshoe insert for my shoe to protect my heel while it gets better.

I got several nice pictures that morning before my injury, but it's hard to say that they are worth the pain. Actually I glad that it wasn't anything worse. Last year my wife slipped on some black ice in Roanoke, Va. and ended up having surgery, two metal plates, and nine screws so I got off pretty easy.

It just shows how quick something can happen. At least it has stayed warm and dry so I didn't have to battle the weather. It takes me a while to get through a parking lot to a store. I am glad I did my Christmas shopping two weekends ago, though warm weather doesn't make it seem much like Christmas.

It's hard to believe that I have windows open to cool the house down at 9:00 pm on December 19. I even sat out on the deck this afternoon and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I hope we don't have to pay for this in March. The picture with the post is one of the ones I snapped the morning I hurt my heel.

Christmas is drawing close

This great picture was taken Friday morning behind our house. The older you get the faster the holidays seem to come. At twenty one bird watching didn't make much sense. Now it seems perfectly logical. I was back down to Wilmington today for more post licensing real estate training. Doing a new career at fifty-seven is not unusual, but it is a challenge. Getting up at 5:45 am for a drive to weekend classes in Wilmington has not been easy. It's a long day, and staying awake through a full day class takes some work. I am glad we will be finished well before Christmas.

There was fog on the road early this morning as the air was colder than the water. In fact I saw a lot of fog on Route 17 after I went through Jacksonville. Later as the sun burned the fog off, it turned out to be a wonderful day. On my way back home, I decided to take another ride on the new US 17 by-pass. I had taken it the night before and followed 17 over to 58 which took me home. It seemed to take maybe five minutes longer.

That trip had prompted me to get out my maps as I often do. As my post, "Wanderlust of the soul," indicates, maps are an addiction to me. The challenge of finding a better, shorter way, is always in the front of my mind. It seemed to me that there had to be a shorter way from Jacksonville to Bluewater Cove where we live. My normal route to Jacksonville goes through Swansboro and up route 24. The maps just didn't quite connect in a way that assured me that I could easily find way through the back roads from Jacksonville in the dark. Actually the Onslow County map did not even show the Stella road going all the way across the White. An incomplete map can never stop a real explorer so Sunday night I got brave and turned onto Piney Greene, which I took to Old 30 Road, which I followed to Smith Road which led me to the Belgrade-Swansboro Road. From there I turned onto the Stella Road which did cross the White Oak in fine style at the new bridge at Stella. There was a sharp left turn after the bridge and it was a quick two miles to Route 58. I actually made it back from Wilmington in under an hour and thirty minutes which was nice for a change.

I am looking forward to following the route again in the day light, It is nice to know that there is a back way to Jacksonville. It looks like Monday is going to a shorts and scandals day. I found out one other thing today that made me happy that we picked Carteret County as our place to settle. It seems that a huge container port is being planned for Southport. It will be bring jobs, but people were suggesting that it might also bring 8,000 trucks a day. I just left the Shenandoah Valley to get away from Interstate 81. I would have been really upset to find 8,000 trucks a day on my local roads.