Long Drought in Alabama and Southeast Continues

Drought in Alabama, Pond

The water in the pond is gone. The fish are easy pickings for the birds these days and the plants are all struggling too. We have been in this drought all spring (and really going back into the winter) and the pond has just slowly gone away. Here is what it looks like now.

This pond at one time was filled to the brim, which would make the entire pond about 10-15 feet deep in the middle, now you can practically walk across the pond.  You can just see the pipe going into the pond on the right.  That was completely under water and unseen last year and the total volume of water this little pond holds is enough to be visible on Google Earth, but not right now.

This summer we are having to go around and water individual trees to keep them alive.  A high pressure system remains over the southern part of the United States and just will not give up any ground.  So, we are left with these scortching clear skies every day.  No clouds, no rain, no humidity (which is really strange for the south in the summer), just a clear blue hot sky.  Eventually it will have to start raining again, but it doesn’t look like it will happen for a while.

Taking the First Amature Radio Test, What a Ham

I took my Ham Radio license exam, Technician class, about three weeks ago and passed on the first try (thank goodness). We have been waiting for my call sign to be issued and now it is official, I can finally use on the air KI4WLR.  I installed another antenna on the house and now we are just trying to figure out the first radio to purchase so I can put this new license to good use. The house is beginning to look like a NASA station of some sort. I can’t wait until we put up the tower. That should be a blast.

Along with the antenna installation we went ahead and got an ICOM 2-meter band radio to start off with.  The range of the 2-meter with the antenna installed seems to be very good so far.  We have been able to listen to people from north Alabama over to Atlanta and into Mississippi.  The 2-meter antenna sits pretty high on our property.  Our house is one of the highest points, the roof line itself is almost at the tree line, then add a 20 foot mast and the range from here is quite astounding (to me).

Don’t know what’s next but I am looking forward to the ride.

Ham Radio Test

Scott with Ham License

Antenna

National Polka Festival in Ennis Texas 2007

Blind Tiger

We are finally getting back in the swing of things here at the house (pun intended) after being gone over the Memorial Day Holiday. The weather here is so dry compared to what it was this year in Ennis, TX. Everyday we were there it rained and was basically soupy everywhere you walked. Thursday morning we left for Texas after dropping the dogs off at the Doggy Hotel. They seem to love it there. When we walked in both dogs just walked through the door to the kennel in the back without even saying goodbye. It was kind of funny.

We spent the night in Shreveport, LA at one of our favorite hotels. Dining that night was at a little local place called the Blind Tiger. The restaurant has this name because apparently when it was founded, during prohibition, the term “blind tiger” was used for establishments that had alcohol available in a back room, etc.

Friday evening we went to the K.J.T. where the King and Queen contest was being held and the first dancing of the weekend was to be found. We were not overly impressed with the band as they seemed to be highly unorganized and took very long breaks between each song they played. The evening held a pleasant surprise for us though as we visited with my extended family we found out that my cousin Lindsey was going to be competing in this year’s contest. It was a last minute decision on her part and finding a costume was apparently quite an ordeal. She was able to rent one though and she looked fabulous!!

Lindsey and Me

In the photo above I am wearing a top that I made to go with Scott’s new costume vest. Unfortunately we did not get a photo of the two of us wearing them at the same time. When it came time for the contest we all stood around one corner of the dance floor and whooped and hollered for her and her partner. They were such a perfect match and two of the best dancers out there. We were so excited when they won!

2007 King and Queen Polka Contest

Lindsey Competing

They Won!

2006 King and Queen

Saturday morning we made it to the parade route just as it was beginning. It was already drizzling when we arrived and the rain continued to get heavier until the parade ended. The street dance was called off and we really felt sorry for the vendors this year since all of their venue is outside.

Slightly Damp

We met my Dad again this year at the Sokol and made the rounds of the three halls throughout the day dancing and eating and dancing some more. We also ran into Joe again this year and I danced a couple of polkas and waltzes with him. He is a very good dancer, but the main thing he likes to do is spin in circles. So, when I feel like spinning I dance one with Joe and try to keep from getting dizzy. At least this year I remembered to bring more sensible shoes. Scott wore his new costume vest and I wore my costume from last years festival. Next year I will be wearing a new costume that I have already started working on.

One of my Czech dancing partners, Joe.

What the world looks like when you are dancing with Joe!

Dancing makes you hot!

Sunday we attended the Polka Mass at the Knights of Columbus. The songs throughout the service were done to Czech music and prior to the service the Choir, in costume, were singing Czech hymns. When service concluded we headed on over to the Sokol to hear Vrazel’s Polka Band and so I could enjoy one last set of dances with my dad for the year. I was sad to see this one end, but there is always (hopefully) next year.

We left the festival and went out to Mom’s place in the country. The property they have is quite secluded and completely surrounded by trees. Clearing the property has been something they have enjoyed doing and the area for the house is pretty much ready for construction to begin. There is a beautiful oak tree on their property that is just screaming for a tree house and I have been meaning to take a picture of it, so it is down below. This tree will be just off the back of the house when it is built so I wanted a photo pre-house.

Mother’s Day Now

Anyway, I gave mom her Mother’s Day present, a bit late, and she seemed to be pleasantly surprised. Then we gathered up our belongings and headed for their lake house to spend the night. We had a wonderful fire in the fire pit and Scott caught a very nice bass.

Happy Mother's Day

Scott's Fish

The next day we had a family get together/cookout. Everyone brought something and we had a nice visit with my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. On the last full day we had with Mom she and I took off early, ate breakfast at a diner and hit the thrift shops as soon as they opened. I came away with 11 pairs of shorts, several tops, and two pair of jeans. The guys loaded the trailer with the last of our storage stuff while we shopped.

My Grandmother, Nana

What the guys are best at…

Newest Additions to the Christal Houshold

The trip this year was much different than last years and I really can’t wait for next year! The reservations are made and the countdown has begun. Whoo-Hooo!!

a Blog by Scott Fillmer, Practical eCommerce Marketing Solutions

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Welcome to the Scott Fillmer site where you can find Practical ecommerce marketing across multiple sales channels. I specialize in eCommerce consulting, utilization of Internet resources, SEO, graphical/logo design, business content writing, and marketing for multiple sales channels. I have successfully sold a large array of products and services online since 1993 when I used Miva Merchant’s very first shopping cart release, and I now offer the information I have gained to you.

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