Monday, January 17, 2011


Home in Port Charlotte, current temp 60*
Heading to Pittsburgh, current temp 9*

I'm heading to the airport this morning and best not forget my coat.  I'll be teaching First Aid/CPR tomorrow then headed back to Florida on Wednesday.  Thursday I'm teaching an excavation safety class in Bradenton.  My son Ryan arrives for a weekend visit and the marine forecast is for fair winds and low 70's on the water.  We plan on launching the boat at least one day.

This past weekend was great weather in Southwest Florida.  We were in the mid 70's and clear.  I aerated my grass in the front yard (which means punch 2" holes in the ground to allow oxygen, nutrients and water to reach the root zone).  I also fertilized and watered it in.  The bermuda grass had gone mostly dormant during the brief freezes we had but now that we've had a couple of weeks of sunshine, it's trying to come back green again.  The front yard bermuda had spread and filled in very nicely last summer.  I ruined some of it by having the rip rap rock for the seawall dumped there but it will recover.  My plan is to renovate the back yard to bermuda this spring/summer.  Most of our hibiscus plants and my little coconut palms suffered some bad freeze damage, even though we had them all covered.  The hibiscus will recover but I'm not so optimistic about the coconut palms.  I think Port Charlotte is just a little too far north for coconuts.

A few months ago Kathy and I joined the local chapter of the Parrot Head Club, which is the Jimmy Buffett fan club.  The name of the club originally came from a parody of the name of the fan club for the 60's rock band, The Grateful Dead, who's fans called themselves Dead Heads.  We have been to a few local Parrot Head events and really enjoy the people, as well as the local Trop Rock bands that always play their events.  Well now Jimmy, himself, has booked a concert in Tampa in April.  All 28 of the Parrot Head clubs in Florida had to split an allotment of 300 reserved VIP seats for the show.  We figured we didn't have a chance to get those tickets so we tried, unsuccessfully, to buy tickets online last Saturday.  We were disappointed until we got an email from the club telling us we got picked for club seats!  Neither of us have seen Buffett in person but have always wanted to.  He will turn 65 next Christmas day.  He has released more than 30 albulms and has been touring for over 35 years.  There are over 28,000 Parrot Heads in 237 chapters.  Collectively they raise millions of dollars in charity work and donate countless hours of community service time.  The club motto is "Pary with a Purpose."

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