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UNCLE JACK'S WEBLOG
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving to All
       Uncle Jack thought this was pretty funny so he thought he would pass it on instead of writing a gloomy post about the state of the world. Enjoy.

BAD PARROT

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and
an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.
John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed
the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior,
the bird spoke-up, very softly,

"May I ask what the turkey did?"

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


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This is what the sky looked like when Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. left Sonag at 6:30 Wednesday for the return trip to Charm City. It didn't make it any easier to leave.

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:02 AM

Comments [4]



Thursday, November 17, 2011
Rain delay
       It's raining in Nags Head this morning which gives Uncle Jack an opportunity to pause and reflect on his recent adventures. He and Mrs. U.J. have been taking the utmost advantage of a spate of spectacular weather to re-acquaint themselves with the joys of life on the Outer Banks after a four-month hiatus. The pictures will offer clues as to what they have been up to.

      


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Tuesday morning sunrise in Sonag. Definitely worth getting up for.

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Beach drivers having been taking utmost advantage of the newly widened strand. The "big foot" track in this picture marks the passage of the dredging company's "crab" which is still here, attempting to determine the whereabouts of sand lost to Irene.

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Tuesday was a lovely day for lunch on the upper deck overlooking Jennette's Pier. Large, comfortable rocking chairs make this an ideal place to spend a lazy hour on a sunny day.

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Uncle Jack loves fishing as long as he doesn't have to do it himself. The folks in this picture were catching fish as fast as they could take them off the hooks.

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Big box store lovers will be happy to learn that the new Lowe's in KDH is well underway. Others will remember the several acres of wild oak trees that once occupied this space.

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Debris-removal continues in Rodanthe. In spite of heroic efforts post-Irene, parts of the island still look apocalyptic many weeks later.

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The New New Inlet temporary bridge north of Rodanthe is narrow but serviceable. It will be a bottleneck next summer (if it's still there) but much better than nothing.

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Remains of the Old New Inlet temporary bridge (circa 1933) are plainly visible a few hundred yards to the west. History has a tendency to repeat itself on Hatteras Island.

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Another shameless plug for Uncle Jack's new book in the Kindle library which you can download and read right on your own laptop, phone or Kindle. For all the scoop on how to get it just Google "Uncle Jack's Outer Banks" Kindle edition. It's only $4.99.

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:13 AM

Comments [4]



Monday, November 14, 2011
Beautiful Sonag
       Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. are happy to be back in South Nags Head at last. Their trip from Bawlmer on Sunday was the fastest ever---until they reached the bypass where they encountered what appeared to be a serious wreck in Kitty Hawk followed by a major slowdown in Nags Head as workers picked up after the marathon. It took roughly as long to get from the Wright Brothers bridge to Sonag as it did from Norfolk to the bridge. He is not complaining, though, because their slow crawl down the bypass gave him a rare opportunity to observe the many business enterprises that have sprung up along that thoroughfare since he first traversed it in 1969. Somebody on the OBX Connection message board recently asked for suggestions about a new business that might be needed on the Outer Banks so he could move here and prosper. Uncle Jack's advice would be to drive the length of the "bypass" once with his eyes open and then forget about it. Cleveland is not so bad.
       The wreck on the bypass reminded him once again, as if he needed it, just how dangerous that cluttered highway has become to both drivers and pedestrians---even in the off-season. He has no idea what could be done to reduce the carnage in the short term. One long-term solution, which we seem to be rapidly approaching in the summer, is total gridlock in which no driver can inflict harm upon another because neither can move. This system seems to work very well in Baltimore during rush hours so maybe it could work here, too.
       Uncle Jack wasn't quite sure what to expect when he saw the beach for the first time after the ravages of Irene and the subsequent storms which were purported to have washed away significant quantities of the recently applied sand. He has to confess that to his unscientific eye the beach looks pretty much the same as it did the last time he saw it in Septmber, i.e. amazingly wide. He is sure some sand was lost to the storms but there's an awful lot left to keep Mother Nature busy for a while.
      
             


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Looking north from Ciltvaira street in Sonag toward Jennette's Pier, Sunday October 12.

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Plenty of room for this tree stump (and many more like it) on the newly widened beach.

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Looking south from Ciltvaira toward the Outer Banks Pier.

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Sunrise in Sonag, Monday morning. Pretty enough but not exactly awe-inspiring.

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:09 AM

Comments [3]



Monday, November 07, 2011
Falltimore
       Uncle Jack would much rather have been in Nags Head the past week to enjoy the northeaster but Charm City offered some compensation in the form of several days of crisp, sunny fall weather. Baltimore is a city of trees and when the leaves begin to turn it's a pleasure to be here. He and Mrs. U.J. have been taking long walks every day, camera at the ready, and the results are shown below.
       He is still trying to assimilate the fact that the Ravens beat the Steelers last night. He saw it with his own eyes but he still can't quite believe it happened. For those on the Outer Banks who missed the game because of power outages he offers his deepest sympathy.
       Mr. Sean Sabatino, Mrs. U.J.'s erstwhile grandson, is continuing to resist his entry into a troubled world, thus delaying their next trip to Nags Head for a few more days. Stay tuned for further developments.


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Picture 2

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Picture 3

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On the Loyola campus.

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Evergreen House, the JHU museum where Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. lead tours, is not quite evergreen in the fall.

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This blazing bush is in the back yard---designed by the famous landscape artist Frederick Law Olmsted over a century ago.

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Evergreen House rear view. It grew from 12 rooms to 48 during the 60 years it was occupied by the wealthy Garrett family of Baltimore.

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A tree in the upscale Canterbury neighborhood nearby.

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Uncle Jack's new Kindle book is selling like hotcakes he is happy to report. For all the info you need about the book and how to order it just google "Uncle Jack's Outer Banks" Kindle book.

posted by Uncle Jack at 9:24 AM

Comments [2]



Thursday, November 03, 2011
Kindling
       Uncle Jack has always been behind the curve when it comes to digital devices. He was eligible for social security before he got his first computer and his cell phone is downright embarrassing. All it does is make phone calls. He doesn’t have an iPod or an iPad or any of the facsimiles thereof (Oranges?) produced by other companies. Nor does he own a Kindle or a Nook or any other book-reading gadget, being one of those people who has difficulty conceiving of anything more perfect than the conventional book as a word-delivery device.
              This is about to change as a result of a recent discovery, to wit: as one grows older books become less than perfect as word-delivery devices and digital word-delivery gadgets begin to make more sense. Take the book he is currently reading, an 1100 page biography of Charles Dickens by Peter Ackroyd, for example. It is a wonderful book but it weighs several pounds and the print is so small he has to hold it up close to his eyes at all times in order to make out the words. This is not only exhausting but it makes it very difficult to eat and drink and read at the same time while reclining in his barcalounger which he is wont to do.
              He is acutely aware that there are now affordable solutions to his problem in the form of gadgets like the Kindle which make it possible for indolent persons with poor eyesight like Uncle Jack to sit and read and eat and drink all at the same time in perfect comfort. While he still loves books and will continue to read them as long as he can decipher the words, he is beginning to think that there might be room in his life for a Kindle.             
       He is in the process of convincing himself that a Kindle is exactly what he needs but he knows this will take a while. His Lutheran upbringing has made him reluctant to rush into things, especially things that cost more than a dollar or two, so he will have to undergo a period of self-denial before he can allow himself to indulge in a Kindle. Christmas will be along soon and will offer a perfect cover so he will wait. According to his childhood religious mentor, the Reverend Hokum, It is OK for Lutherans to be a little bit self-indulgent at Christmas.
              In the meantime he will continue to struggle with his Dickens book and hope that he doesn’t completely lose his eyesight before Christmas.
             


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Speeking of Kindles, Uncle Jack's new Kindle book is now available from Amazon. It makes a great gift for anybody who loves the Outer Banks and it doesn't cost much. Go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005VGOKKO for all the info you need to buy it.

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The new construction site at Johns Hopkins gets more bewildering every day.

posted by Uncle Jack at 8:56 AM

Comments [5]




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Uncle Jack lived in Nags Head for 35 years before he moved to Baltimore a couple of years ago. He still has a house in South Nags Head which he and Mrs. U.J. visit every chance they get.
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