Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pine Pollen

Spring has arrived in the Deep South. There are many trees, flowers, bushes and other flora in bloom. Shades of green are replacing browns all over. The weather is warmer, and rain is frequent.

One of the things that comes with the season is pine pollen. We have a lot of pines throughout the South, and they tend to produce a fine, yellow powder that coats everything. I look forward to opening the windows at home, enjoying the breeze and the temperate conditions that will only be with us for short while. Pollen challenges my patience, as I must dust every day to keep my home from looking like Miss Havisham's.

I am one of the lucky ones and I don't suffer from many of the allergies that others fight. I do get the occasionally stuffy nose and itchy eyes, but I know it is nothing compared to what some go through this time of year.

At least winter is gone.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday I'm in Love

Well, not really in love, let's be clear. But I am excited about the possibility of a weekend with Spring weather. It is supposed to be in the 70s from now through Sunday, with clear skies.

I am in the office today, but it will still be nice when I leave for the evening. I plan on dropping the top, putting on my sunglasses (yes, they are prescription because they have to be and I really dislike contacts and I cannot stomach the thought of corrective surgery), and then take the long way home to Little One.

We have plans tonight. Little One and I are volunteering to assist the skating club with helping ready the facility for the weekend's competition. I do enjoy volunteering. Most of the ongoing work I do is with blood causes. I manage the quarterly blood drives for my company in 3 locations, and I also help with Be the Match registration and getting folks on the National Bone Marrow Registry. Some anonymous donor several years ago saved the life of a family member (for whom I was not a match) and I will do what I can to return the favor.

Saturday will be spent at the ice rink. I am sure we will be tired when that is all finished, so we will probably just eat out and then crash. Sunday I hope to also spend outside. There is an off-chance that I friend and her kids my stop by for a bit on their way to the beach, so I hope we can make that get together happen, if only for a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Middle Age Crazy? Maybe...

"Today he traded his big '98 Oldsmobile
He got a heck of a deal on a new Porsche car"

To be clear, I have not now, nor ever, owned an Oldsmobile. I am not opposed to Olds but I just have never owned one. I did get a heck of a deal on an older Porsche car. In fact, last week, I pulled the trigger and purchased a 911 Cabriolet. It is a 996 model, for those of you who are Porsche-philes or just car buffs. For those who are not, it is a first generation of the water-cooled Porsches. Purists often prefer the older air-cooled versions.

I had been looking for a long time for one of these, and, in fact had about given up my search and had been seriously considering purchasing a 1988 Alfa Romeo Spider. A pretty car, but with none of the power or handling of the German car. I might even go so far as to say that Alfa has cleaner lines, but that is about it. The Italian roadster offered manual steering and an anemic 115 horsepower.

The little car I purchased is silver. It has a few miles on it, but not many considering it's age, and less than half what I have on the Saab, which is several years newer. I found the car in Charleston, South Carolina. A couple of weekends ago I made the trek to see the car. I took it for a spin around town in the rain. It was a delight to drive. I spent the next four hours examining the car, calling friends and experts with questions about it, and reviewing the service records that had been maintained with the vehicle. 

I walked away from it that rainy Sunday, determined that I needed a couple of days to do some additional research and really think about it. Two days later I made the purchase. That was eight days ago. It will be Saturday before I have the chance to return to the city and take possession of the car. 

I am looking forward to the trip. I have wanted a Porsche for about 30 years, when I first encountered the 944 Turbo. I came close after to college to buying a 928S4 (I bought a BMW convertible instead). But the desire to have a true performance car was always in the back of my mind.

Call it a mid-life crisis. Look at the me, the middle-aged guy in the Porsche and sneer and make snide comments. I really don't care. I will enjoy the car. I will enjoy the throaty rumble of the flat-six as i push the pedal on the right into the carpet and flick the car into some corners on some sleepy road in the Deep South.