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April 29, 2006

Flower bed Update

Just a quick post with a couple of photo (here and here) of the completed flowerbed. I hope to get some better shots this afternoon when the lighting is better.

Posted by Michael at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2006

House Beautiful

Finished the landscaping in the front yard last weekend. We now have a flower bed that stretches from the front door all the way around the front to the back of the house. We put in 5 rhododendrons and 3 holly bushes I think. We brought the flower bed out from the house a good yard so there is plenty of room for the shrubs and trees to grow. After having laid on 13 bags of pine bark mulch, most of the bed is nicely covered. I still need about 3 more bags to finish the job. We put down weed guard and edged the whole bed with fiberglass edging. It really looks nice. Tomorrow I will take a few pictures once it is done and post it to the blog. The pear tree and the dogwood trees are also doing nicely. I hope to be able to squeeze in some time this weekend to do something else besides yard work. The weather is supposed to be nice and I hope to go to Rawlings quary finally to do some diving. So for tonight I will have a beer and watch 'The Great Raid' on our home theatre system. Almost forgot, I want to do some shopping Saturday for backpacking gear. Still have a May date with my first test hike with the new gear. Almost forgot - two, my projected retirement date has been set for 8/30/2009. A little over 3 years and 4 months until retirement. New Mexico here we come...

Posted by Michael at 8:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2006

Yard work never ends

I think I have had to mow my yard 3 times in the last 2 weeks. I have a pretty big front and back yard and it takes some time to mow. I do not have a riding mower (at least not one that works) so I have to use a self-propelled Toro mower. The mower does a good job but it takes some time to do the front and back yards. Then I have to break out my gas powered weed wacker and have a go at the edging for another hour or so. So to add to that burden I of course put in a garden. Right now my radishes, cucumbers and squash are coming up. I have also planted flowers in the back yard. So now my girlfriend Teresa wants to landscape the front and back yards. To that end we have dug up (by hand) all around the front of the house. We pulled out the old shrubs and day lilies and are putting in some holly bushes and rhododendrons. I must admit that I think that once we are done the yard will look much better than it has. Tomorrow I plan on renting a tiller to do some of the grunt work. Teresa spent $250.00 (of my money) and bought several rhododendrons and holly bushes. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, with a lot of work and a lot of mulch, we should be ready to compete for 'Better Homes and Gardens' yard of the decade...

Posted by Michael at 7:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006

Gardening Update

Well, it looks like my garden is starting to grow. Despite a 4am temperature of 30 degrees the other day, my beets and squash are starting to sprout. I have not seen the cucumbers come up yet but I think they will. The flowers I planted in the flower bed out back are also doing well. If all goes well with the garden I will probably put another bed in so that I can grow some radishes, peppers, and beans. That should keep me busy for a while. On another topic, we are now considering New Mexico as a place to retire to in addition to Florida. I have started doing some research and New Mexico appeals to me on several levels. First the natural beauty of the state and the fact that it has 23 State parks is a big factor. The scenery goes from mountains to desert. Also, the cost of a house is much less than Florida. I was on a couple of real estate sites yesterday and I can get a much nicer house and a bigger parcel of land for my money than in Florida. Plus, as I told Teresa, there are no hurricanes or alligators. (I don't mind alligators but she does) More later.

Posted by Michael at 7:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2006

Vegas Revisited

I have just returned from the Gartner Group Portal, Content and Collaboration Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Summit was hosted at the JW Marriott Resort and Casino. As I was unable to book a room there I stayed at the Suncoast Resort and Casino. The JW Marriott was a much better resort but the Suncoast was not bad either. See the photo I took of the Suncoast pool. The summit ran for three days and it was extremely informative. The speakers were all outstanding and the tracks for the different areas of interest were great. I have to prepare a 30 minute presentation on the summit for my employer and I may try to post part of it here. But all was not work. I managed to revisit Red Rock Canyon and made a trip to the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. On my previous vacation to Vegas we stayed on the strip in the New York New York Hotel and we did not have time to go to Fremont Street. The experience was all I had heard it would be and more. I took many photos and some video footage. I will blog some more on the trip but right now I have other things to do. Oh, one other note, I received my backpacking cook stove and mess kit from REI in the mail. I have not had a chance to open them up and evaluate them, but I have most of the big ticket items I need for my backpacking trips coming up this summer. Another topic for a future blog entry.

Posted by Michael at 9:57 PM | Comments (0)