Saturday, December 17, 2005

Another 92

Under chilly conditions, I shot a 92 today to tie my personal best. I had one birdie, a couple of pars and a bunch of bogeys. As usual, I had a couple of bad holes that really hurt my score. I dropped two balls in the water, but mostly played pretty well. I'm generally happy with a bogey. Gettting a birdie pretty much qualifies as a good round all by itself.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Coase family

Coase family
Originally uploaded by miner.
We were happy to hear from Charles and Eimer. They sent us this nice family picture with their children, Aisling (age 6), Sarah (almost 4) and Thomas (born in April). Lisa worked with Charles at Price Waterhouse in London many years ago.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cold day on the course

It was just above freezing when we teed off this morning. Strangely, there was no frost -- I suppose the humidity was too low. I'm sure Amnesty International would consider it cruel and inhumane treatment if the US government forced Guantanamo detainees to play golf with temperatures in the low 30s, but this patriotic American actually pays money to play under these conditions. Several players in our group decided not to play at all, and a few quit after nine holes. Honestly, I considered giving up at the turn, but incredibly I managed to get a birdie on Azalea 9 so I had to press on. It was a tough day, but I'm very proud of finishing with a final score of 98 with no penalty strokes.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ashley, Max and Michael

Ashley, Max and Michael
Originally uploaded by miner.
My niece and nephew, Ashley and Michael, with their new puppy, Max.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! This is a summary of our year. For more details you can read our earlier blog entries.

2005 has been an interesting year of change for us. At the end of
January, Steve quit his job at Apple. The long hours and monthly
travel back to California had worn him out so he decided to take a
sabbatical. He's been keeping busy learning how to play golf. Our
retired neighbors have been very supportive, inviting him to play with
them for a nominal wager, just to keep it interesting. Steve's best round so far is a 92. Not
great, but not bad for his first year of playing. He
continues to volunteer at the Calabash Fire Department. He has driven the tanker truck to a
couple of structure fires and got to man the
hose on a few brush fires.

Lisa has also been active with the fire department. She's
the project coordinator for a federal grant that provided a fire
safety house to use for public instruction. The
safety house should be delivered sometime next spring. Lisa's main
interest is landscape design. She has created some designs for local customers and
teaches a degree course in computerized landscape design at Brunswick Community College.

We've done a fair bit of traveling this year. First, we went to Turks
and Caicos for a volleyball vacation. Unfortunately, we were caught in
an ice storm in Atlanta and then our luggage was misplaced for
a few days, but Steve did manage to play a lot of volleyball once we
got there. In March, we did a driving tour in Florida with
stops in Orlando, Sarasota, Naples, Ft. Myers and St. Augustine.
We had a great time in Washington, DC, where we were fortunate to
go on a private guided tour of the Capitol with an aide to Senator
Elizabeth Dole. Perhaps our favorite trip was when we celebrated our wedding
anniversary in Niagara Falls and then spent a few days with our friend
Maureeen, in Toronto. For short get-aways, we've been to Aiken, Augusta,
Hilton Head, Charleston and Savannah.

We were pleased to have some visitors come to stay with us. Steve's parents were here for a week in May. Neill played golf with Steve for
the first time and we all had a great time exploring the area. Then in
August, Lisa's friends Richard and Lorraine, and their
children, Rebekah and Mathew, visited from England for a few days during
their US holiday (that's "vacation" for you Yanks). This is a great
place for tourists, so let us know if you'd like to visit some time. The beach is wonderful, the ocean is warm and we can usually find an alligator to show off.

Bertie, our Basset Hound, is still going strong as he approaches his
twelfth birthday. He won the Longest Ears contest at our vet's open house. Heidi, our pretty Belgium Malinois, is now seven years
old. (We used to think she was a mutt, but we've since figured
out her breed.) The dogs have some good friends in the neighborhood who always
say hello and even feed them dog biscuits as they take daily walks.
Not a bad life.

Let us close by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Steve and Lisa

and Bertie and Heidi

Monday, December 5, 2005

Another Personal Best

I shot a 92 in golf today, my personal best. My handicap is down to 26. I'm slowly making progress.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Night of a Thousand Candles

We attended one of our favorite Christmas events: The Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens. Pianist Rocky Fretz was the featured performer in the big tent where he played some jazzy versions of traditional Christmas songs. Other entertainment included Christmas carolers dressed in Dickensian costumes and a handbell choir from the First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach. The paths through the sculpture gardens were lined with candles and several ponds had floating luminaries, creating an enchanting effect. It's a wonderful event. Dinner and refreshments are also available. Fridays and Saturdays from December 2 through December 17.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bertie wins Longest Ears contest

Our dogs go to Seaside Animal Care in Calabash. Dr. Ernest Ward hosts an annual Open House with treats for the dogs and the owners. This year, Bertie won the Longest Ears contest. Fortunately, it was a category that did not require any talent. Our little boy is a champion.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


On Monday, I got lucky and won a bottle of fine Australian Chardonnay for being closest to the pin among our group of twenty golfers. I also had a nice chip in from about 15 yards out. Yesterday, I shot my personal best 93 in a round that had five pars and remarkably no penalty strokes. It's the first time I've ever managed to get in 18 holes without knocking one in the water or out of bounds.

Travel Update

I've been remiss in failing to keep our readers updated on our travels. During the last couple of months, Lisa and I have taken several short trips to various places within a comfortable day's driving distance. I've added a few back-posted entries to cover those trips. If you're a daily reader, scroll down in case you missed something.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Joy Bisby

We note the passing of Lisa's mother's dear friend, Joy Bisby, in Sheffield, England. "Auntie" Joy was like a surrogate mother to Lisa. She will be missed. Our condolences to Joy's daughter, Gillian and her family.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Along with our visit to Aiken, we also went to nearby Augusta, GA, home of the Masters Golf Tournament. (Tiger Woods, fellow Stanford alum, won the Masters in April with a dramatic chip-in on the 16th hole and a clutch birdie on the first playoff hole to edge Chris DiMarco for the championship.) As with many old cities, Augusta has been working on revitalizing their downtown area. We enjoyed taking a stroll along Augusta Riverwalk, and checking out the local shops and restaurants. The suburb of North Augusta, SC, is located across the Savannah River. We drove a ways out into the more rural area to have lunch at Mount Vintage Plantation.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Many of our recent trips have been to places near the coast with beach access. For a change of pace, we thought we'd look inland a bit and explore some places that have never experienced a hurricane. So off we went to Aiken, SC, best known for polo and The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. The historic downtown area has many restaurants and shops, but the town is big enough to have some real shopping malls, too, if that's what you're looking for. I played nine holes at The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation. Lisa rode along with me in the cart and took a few pictures. It was fun to play a nice course with lots of elevation.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Farm Heritage Day

Once again, we attended the Indigo Farms Farm Heritage Day, which features NASPIG pig racing. It's a lot of fun to watch the little piglets race around the track. They also had lots of vintage farm equipment on display. For history buffs, the main attraction was the reenactment of a civil war battle. The South happened to win this one. We celebrated the victory with an ice cream cone.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hilton Head

We spent a couple of days on Hilton Head, staying at The Marriott. We were late in the season, but had good weather and enjoyed our last chance to swim in the ocean. We also visited the world-famous Tiki Hut, a beach bar popular with local volleyball players.

Update: Tropical Storm Tammy (Oct 2005) damaged the roof at the Tiki Hut. Until repairs can be completed, bar manager Derek Cassidy says "We're going to go topless."

Friday, September 9, 2005


We had a nice overnight stay at The DeBordieu Colony on the South Carolina coast, near Georgetown. The ocean was still warm enough to swim in. They have lots of alligators in their ponds so you have to keep your eyes open when you're zooming around in a golf cart.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Savannah trip

We just got back from spending a couple of nights in Savannah. We enjoyed a nice afternoon at the beach on Tybee Island. There were a couple of dolphins swimming near the shore, but I didn't manage to get close enough for a free ride. After frolicking in the waves, we had ice cream cones on the pier. Just as we got back into our car, a huge downpour drenched the area. We drove around for the next 20 minutes in heavy rain, and were quite proud of our (unusually) good timing. We stayed at The DoubleTree Hotel in historic downtown Savannah. For dinner, we chose a local tapas restaurant called Jazz'd, which featured live Jazz. The food turned out to be pretty good, especially after a couple of martinis. The next night, we went to Churchill's Pub, mostly because I liked the name and we were pretty exhausted from touring around town. A pint or two of Guinness was just what the doctor ordered. On the way home from Savannah, we diverted up the coast to the Charleston area, and visited The Isle of Palms beach park. They have a very nice marina and beach there, and I'm sure we'll come back someday for a longer stay.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Visitors from England

Lisa's friends from England came to stay with us for a few days. Richard and Lisa are old friends from their Oxford days, and Lorraine was Richard's girlfriend. They're married now, with two children: Rebekah, 7, and Matthew, 5. We were glad that they were able to visit us during their big trip to the States. Disneyland may have been the highlight of the trip, but Calabash was no doubt a close second! We had some nice days at the beach, in between thunderstorms. Richard and I played a couple of rounds of golf. I was thoughtful enough to offer Richard some sunblock while we were waiting on the third tee. I guess his hands were still a bit slippery as he teed off — the club flew nearly as far as the ball. The kids really enjoyed minigolf, playing three rounds in as many days. We also saw the alligators and other animals at Alligator Adventure, and sighted dolphins during our cruise on Sea Thunder. It was quite the "family fun" holiday, as they say.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Mary and Bridget



Carolyn sent us some pictures of our goddaughters: Mary (left, age 7) and Bridget (almost 5). Click the pictures for larger versions from Flickr.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Closest to the pin

Today, I shot a personal best 95 at our local golf course. I also managed to win the closest to the pin contest among the Wednesday group of seven foursomes by landing my tee shot on Magnolia 7 about three feet from the hole. The prize was an award-winning homemade bottle of Merlot (thanks, Bob). Even more importantly, I sank the birdie putt. My first birdie!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Update on Updates

There have been several back-dated posts lately, so scroll down if you haven't read the blog for a while. Someday, I'll get the hang of prompt posting like the real bloggers do. Until then, you get the late edition.

Update: lots of new pictures on our Homepage.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Steve Breaks 100

Tiger Woods is not the only golfer in the news. Yesterday, for the first time in my short golf career, I broke 100. I managed to get 3 pars and 10 bogeys on my way to a personal best 96. If things work out, I might end up on the Senior Tour someday.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Pictures from Toronto and Niagara Falls

I've updated our Homepage with pictures from Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Niagara Power Station

I forgot to mention our stop at the Niagara Power Project Visitors Center. It's a free exhibit center built on top of the hydro-electric plant on the American side a few miles away from the Falls. They're set up mostly for kids, but anyone who's interested in electricity or science would probably enjoy a visit.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Toronto and Niagara Falls

We thought it might be fun to go to Niagara Falls to celebrate our eleventh anniversary. Our old friend from Price-Waterhouse, Maureen, lives in Toronto, which is not too far away from the Falls so we decided to visit her on the same trip. We flew into Buffalo and rented a car. Since the weather was pretty good, we stopped on the American side of the Falls on our way to Toronto. Amazingly, there was a short line for the Maid of the Mist boat, so we jumped on board. It was a fantastic ride, right up to edge of the Falls. There's also a nice park area around the Falls on the American side so it's worth spending a bit of time walking around. We got to Maureen's place in time for dinner. It was great to see her again. She's embarked on a new career as a novelist. Watch out Danielle Steel! We enjoyed a few days as guests at Maureen's house. She took us out to the local Greek restaurants and showed us around town. We had a good time at the lakefront area and the renovated Historic Distillery District, which had a special dog show event over the weekend. My favorite tourist attraction was the CN Tower with the revolving restaurant, where we took in the spectacular view as we enjoyed lunch. On our way back to Niagara Falls, we had an afternoon stop in the little tourist village, Niagara-on-the-Lake, which had been recommended by friends. Then it was back to Falls. We stayed for a couple of nights on the Canadian side at the Doubletree Hotel. We loved the view from the Edgewaters Tap & Grill. For something a little different, we recommend Cafe Tu Tu Tango, which is a quirky sort of tourist place, fashioned after a Spanish artist's loft, but with silly cocktails and a variety of interesting appetizers. (They have restaurants in various tourist places like Anaheim and Orlanda, but I'd never heard of them before.) A magician walked around doing various tricks to entertain the diners. Of course, the highlight of the trip was viewing the Falls, especially at night. Happy, eleventh!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mom and Dad visit

Mom and Dad
Last week, Mom and Dad came out to visit us in North Carolina. We had a great time showing them around. Fortunately, we enjoyed wonderful weather for the entire week. On Mother's Day, we took Mom out to lunch at The Isles Restaurant in Ocean Isle Beach. That evening, we had a little cocktail reception at our house so that our neighbors could meet the parents.

The next day, we took a ferry boat ride to Fort Fisher and had lunch at Hula Grille on Carolina Beach. The highlight of Tuesday was a trip to Brookgreen Gardens with a picnic lunch. On the way home, we stopped for drinks at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe in Myrtle Beach. Then we grabbed dinner at our favorite Japanese steak house, Nakato.

On Wednesday, Dad and I played golf with a couple of our neighbors. Dad ended up beating the field by a single stroke. That evening, we enjoyed some seafood at The Twin Lakes Restaurant, located next to the Sunset Beach swing bridge, which crosses the Intercoastal Waterway.

Thursday was Lisa's birthday so we went to one of her favorite restaurants in Wilmington, The Pilot House on the Cape Fear river. We also took a trolley ride around the historic downtown, and later explored the Greenfield Lake area.

Friday was our last full day together. We went to our Ocean Club for lunch, with yet another spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. After lunch, we stopped by the Broadway at the Beach mall to see the Budweiser Clydesdales on their Here's to the Heroes tour. That evening, we celebrated at one of my favorite restaurants, The Parson's Table in Little River. It's a converted church building. The owner is an old Irishman who likes to sing traditional Irish songs during dinner. A good time was had by all.

On Saturday morning, we drove up to Raleigh, and Mom and Dad got on their plane to head home to San Jose.


Monday, May 9, 2005

School's out

Lisa finished teaching her Landscape Design II class (HOR 213) at Brunswick Community College. My parents are visiting so she made the last class a short one.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Washington, DC

We spent a few days in Washington, DC, as tourists. We stayed at Courtyard (by Marriott), near the Convention Center and Chinatown. They had a very nice VIP lounge with complimentary snacks and beverages. We enjoyed a couple of nice Chinese restaurants that were within walking distance, and had a few drinks at the excellent happy hour offered by McCormick & Schmick's across the street. The highlight of the trip was a guided tour of the Capitol Building led by Senator Elizabeth Dole's aide, Lauren, just for the two of us. We saved a lot of time by having an insider take us around. Definitely, try to make arrangements with your senator or congressman before you visit Washington. We took the Tourmobile to get around the Mall, with stops at the memorials and Arlington Cemetary. We missed out on going up the Washington Monument as the free tickets sold out immediately that morning. The Monument had just reopened to the public at the beginning of the month so maybe there was a lot of pent up demand. Next time, we'll probably get reserved tickets for a $2 service charge. We did get an excellent view of the Washington Monument from our plane as we arrived at Reagan National Airport so I don't think we missed much. We had a nice lunch at the Hotel Washington which has an excellent view of the Washington Monument and the White House. I've been on the White House tour before, and frankly I found it disappointing as they only let you see the section that's dedicated to tourists, so we didn't bother this time. The Capitol Building tour felt much closer to the action. The Lincoln Memorial is still one of my favorite sites, but I also enjoyed the Jefferson Memorial, which had been closed for renovations last time I was in DC. We did the usual museums and such -- some of them are trying to be a bit too "relevant" and flashy for my tastes. I'd prefer that the The National Museum of American History put more effort into actual history, rather than entertainment, but that's just me. The trip to the National Zoo was worth the walk to see the pandas. We also enjoyed the US Botanic Garden, which is near the Capitol Building.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Lee Boyd

Lee Boyd, our friend and neighbor from Sunnyvale has passed away after a long illness. We met Lee when he worked as the real estate agent who sold us our house. He retired shortly thereafter. (Maybe we were tough customers.) We were fortunate to have him and his wife, Marie, as our friends and neighbors. Lee taught Lisa how to make bread from scratch. We remember fondly "Pasta Night" at the Boyd's house. When Lee had problems with his Macintosh computer, he used to call us up and say "The ox is in the ditch". Lee was an active cyclist and golfer in his retirement. He had been a high school teacher, coach and referree. He knew people all over the county. He continued as a marshal at Silver Creek until his illness made that impossible. Interesting, he introduced us to another couple from California who had lived at Silver Creek and ended up moving to our area in North Carolina. We're now good friends. We all remember Lee as a great guy. We offer our condolences to his family.

The San Jose Mercury News published his obituary on 4/4/2005.

Lee Alfred Boyd Born March 9, 1930 in Lead, South Dakota lost his long and brave battle with leukemia on March 30, 2005 with his wife of 54 years by his side. He is survived by his wife, Marie, sister Deloris Grantman of Florida, three daughters, Linda Jarvis of Alameda, Beverly Pfeiffer of Vacaville, Judy Sloan of Redwood City and a son, Brian Boyd of Woodinville, Washington. He was a loving grandfather and friend to eight grandchildren and was devoted to his family and friends.

There will be a Rosary at Lima Family Mortuary, 1315 Hollenbeck Avenue, Sunnyvale at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 6 with Visitation from 5:00 to 9:00. A Mass will be at St. Martins Church, 593 Central Avenue, Sunnyvale on Thursday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Los Altos Hills. Memorials are preferred to the Leukemia Society, 675 North First Street, San Jose 95112.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Home from Florida

Last night, we stayed in Orlando and had dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, where we shared a table with a local family. The son was celebrating a birthday, and they gratiously shared his birthday cake with us. Nice people. Today, we take a long drive home to be with the dogs. A few pictures from out trip are available here.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Leu Gardens

During her planning of one of our previous trips, Lisa had read about some wonderful gardens in the middle of Orlando. The timing had not worked out last time, so we made sure to visit the Harry P. Leu Gardens this time. Frankly, I wasn't expecting anything special, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of our whole trip. It's a fantastic place. Admission is only $5.

Parkesdale Farm Market

shortcakeFrom the Sarasota area, we were heading back towards Orlando on Interstate 4. Lisa had heard of a great strawberry place so we got off highway to visit Parkesdale Farm Market. We were lucky to coincide with the great Strawberry Festival so there were all sorts of special events in the area. The world famous Strawberry Shortcake was definitely worth the trip.

Sunday, March 6, 2005


Our next destination was Sarasota. On the way up the west coast of Florida, we passed by Punta Gorda, where Hurricane Charley had made landfall last August. There's still a lot of damage throughout the area. We took a bridge from downtown Sarasota across to St. Armand's Circle, a tourist area on the Lido Key island. We enjoyed our lunch al fresco at Café L'Europe. After lunch, we visited the Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary, which cares for injured birds. It's a great place to visit if you like pelicans and other birds. For dinner, we found a little Chinese place that reminded us of old favorite Yu Shan in Sunnyvale (which closed some years ago).


We had a good time watching the pelicans feast by the pier in Naples. Beach access was surprisingly convenient with plenty of metered parking. Of course, we were there on Sunday morning which might have made a difference.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Ft. Myers Beach

Braving heavy traffic, we made our way to the beach for lunch. We found a pub with a view of the ocean (and more importantly, an empty parking space). We grabbed a table on the upstairs outdoor deck and enjoyed a couple of burgers and beers. What more could you want on Spring Break? Next stop: Naples.

Edison and Ford Estates

The big attraction for today is the Edison and Ford Estates, where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had adjacent winter homes. Edison even had a full laboratory there. Unfortunately, the gardens had suffered greatly from last year's storms. The museum had an interesting collection of Edison's inventions, and a nicely produced video about the inventor's life. In his day, he was probably the most famous man in America.

Ft. Myers

Last night, we arrived in Ft. Myers and discovered once again that many tourists like to come to Florida during the winter. We survived the rush hour traffic and managed to get to the Melting Pot just in time for our reservation.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Historic Bok Sanctuary

Getting off the main roads for a while, we went in search of Historic Bok Sanctuary. I don't think AAA has kept up with all the road work that's going on since last year's hurricanes. Our AAA "Trip Tik" directions left us a bit confused. Fortunately, we noticed some road signs that led us in the right direction. Bok Sanctuary is best know for its Carillon, a set of bells hung in the tower and played from a keyboard. The largest bell weighs nearly 12 tons. The tower is surrounded by beautiful gardens.


We stopped in Celebration for lunch at the Town Tavern, the same place we had enjoyed on a previous trip. Celebration is Disney's version of an American small town, and it seems to work pretty well. If you're in Orlando for the theme parks, it's worth a drive to Celebration for a change of scenery.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

St. Augustine

We explored St. Augustine today. Rain was predicted for later in the day, so we decided to do our walking around as early as possible. First up: Castillo de San Marcos, a fort constructed by the Spanish in 1672, but used at various times by the British and the Confederacy before finally becoming a National Monument in 1924 (then known as Fort Marion). By the way, there's a fairly large parking lot at the Castillo so it's a good place to start a walking tour of the city. We walked across the street to the old town area and rambled around the mix of shops, restaurants, and interested buildings until it started to rain. After a bit of confusion with the maps, we managed to find San Sebastian Winery, where we enjoyed an entertaining tour and some wine tasting. Good timing, considering the weather.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Trip to Florida

Today is the beginning of our trip to Florida. After a long drive, the first stop was St. Augustine. We arrived in the afternoon and had some time to enjoy a nice walk on the beach, though the ocean is still too cold for swimming at this time of the year. The Sunset Grille had an excellent happy hour. We were having such a good time, that we stayed for dinner.

All the posts for our Florida trip are being entered well after the fact, but we're back-dating the postings to the date of the event rather than the date of writing - the blogger's version of a time warp.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Volleyball in Turks

We finally made it to Club Med Turkoise in Turks and Caicos. Honestly, we're not big fans of the Club Med facilities, but this is where the Volleyball Vacation was so you have to live with the spartan accommodations if you want to play with the pros. Albert "Al-B" Hannemann is the pro beach volleyball player who organizes the trips. He brings along a few other pros to help teach, and drink, with the campers. We were stuck in Atlanta with two of the pros, and met a third in Miami, so we didn't miss too much instruction that first day. I had a good time playing with some old friends and lots of new people. My Apple buddy, Kevin, and I managed to win the Men's B doubles tournament, which entitled us to an exhibition game with the pros as our partners. The last couple of days were very windy so the volleyball play was not exactly pretty, but we all had a good time. I also got a chance to try the trapeze which was a lot of fun. We'll post some pictures soon.

Ice Storm in Atlanta

Delta Airlines called us last Friday morning (1/28) to say that the first leg of our trip to Turks and Caicos (from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta) had been cancelled for Saturday morning because of expected bad weather. Wow, that's the first time I've ever had a flight cancelled a full day in advance. They offered to book us on a 6 AM flight instead of our schedule 8 AM flight. After some consideration, we doubted that the 6 AM flight would ever take off either so we asked them if we could fly to Atlanta that afternoon to beat the ice storm, and then hopefully take our scheduled flight on Saturday morning to Providenciales (PLS). That meant spending the night in Atlanta, but it seemed like our only shot at getting to Turks on time for the start of my Volleyball Vacation. They let us rearrange our flights to use Wilmington airport (ILM), and we rushed off to get to Atlanta.

It got cold overnight, but I thought the plan was going to work when we saw planes landing at ATL on Saturday morning. In just a few hours, we should be on the beach. We got to terminal with plenty of time to spare. The roads were icy so many of the workers weren't coming in. They had cancelled hundreds of flights at ATL, but the international flights were still on schedule. They checked our bags, boarding time was 9:45 AM. But just before we were supposed to board, the airport was shutdown. Get back in line. OK, we'll send you to Miami this afternoon, and if all goes well, you can connect to PLS this evening. We board the Miami flight at around 3 PM. We'll have to de-ice so there will be some delay, but at least we're on our way. Then, we enter the Twilight Zone -- it took eight hours to get our turn to de-ice. At first, we were second in line. Then, we were seventh. Eventually, the pilot admitted that all the international flights were getting priority over us so we were now 17th. After around 7 hours of sitting on the tarmac, the pilot finally announces that his duty hours are just about up, and since several passengers have been grumbling, he's going to have to cancel the flight! But wait, the tower has decided to let us de-ice next so now we're going. Applause! It took a long time, but we finally got up in the air, landing in Miami at around 2AM. Luckingly, we had taken a chance and reserved a hotel room in Miami. We managed a few precious hours of sleep, grabbed some breakfast and took the shuttle back to the airport for a late morning flight to PLS. We were on the beach by Sunday afternoon.

Total travel time: 48 hours. Two cancelled flights, three actual flights, a world-record wait to de-ice, but we were finally there. But our bags weren't. We each had one bathing suit in our carry-on luggage. Good enough -- let's play!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Last Day at Apple

Today is my last day working for Apple. So long, and thanks for all the t-shirts!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Steve quits

Over the Christmas break, I decided to quit my job at Apple. It's been a great 7 years, but the travel requirements and long hours were starting to get to me. I'm not cut out for that bi-coastal lifestyle. My last day will be January 26. Then it's off to Turks to play beach volleyball and have some fun at Club Med. After that, I'm taking a sabbatical to learn how to play golf. Eventually, I'll probably get back into writing software for a living, but there's no hurry.

Happy Birthday

Bertie was 11 years old on January 20th. He's looking a little grey but still has his puppy-like moments. His Birthday treat is a trip to McDonalds for Chicken Nuggets. Congratulations Bertie. (Click here for a larger picture.)

Monday, January 3, 2005

Happy New Year

We celebrated the coming of the New Year at the Grandes Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach. The food was delicious and the music excellent. We all had a great time.

Click here for more pictures.