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Monday, October 22, 2007

Kayaking the Wakulla River

I don't have much time to write tonight. Running around this week. Feels like I've been running around all month but took time to kayak the Wakulla River yesterday with The Wilderness Way.

It was FABULOUS!! Saw about a dozen manatees over the 2 to 3 hour trip. Best part, we dropped in and pulled out down river so there was no need to paddle against the flow. It was more of a float than a paddle but still loved it. The rain sprinkled slightly and it was refreshing (frizzing my hair, of course).

The Wilderness Way folks are great, too. Couple of them are graduates of the Wakulla Institute's Green Guide program I'm taking (which, by the way, I won't be able to take any classes until sometime in November).

The photos: Me, a self portrait; View from my kayak and some Wakulla River scenery.

Historic Photos of Tallahassee: Belongs in Every Tallahassean's Library

I had a chance to review Historic Photos of Tallahassee recently and loved it. It's a collection of 199 black and white photos gathered from the State of Florida Archives compiled by Tallahassee Historical Society president, Andrew N. Edel. Images range from the mid-1800s to 1970. The book's published by Turner Publishing Company.

With Christmas around the corner, it'd be a great gift for anyone who's called Tallahassee home or who's into Florida history. Better yet, Edel will be speaking at the Knott House this Thursday, Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The topic is Catt Love or Knott, discussing the 1916 governor election when W.V. Knott was defeated by Sydney Catts.

Edel will sign Historic Photos of Tallahassee. Read my full review of the book at Suite101. The event is free.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Class in Paradise: Green Guide Certification

I was bummed I missed out on kayaking yesterday, part of the Wakulla Ecotourism Institutes's Green Guide Certification (part of TCC). Happily, I was back in the swing of things today and back to class - Web pages/Internet Marketing today. I'm such a tree hugging geek, of course I loved the class! (I admit, I haven't attended a class I didn't like, but I really found the two Web classes interesting and useful). Anyway...

Jay Westmark of has been the instructor and he's showed us some pretty neat stuff. Even though I've been a devout user, Jay's classes are pushing me more towards WordPress. (Uh, oh! Is Google going to knock my PageRank for admitting that?)

I love the WordPress templates and flexibility but I also like making money through my blog (honestly, I don't make money from this blog, but my primary blog I do). So, just need to get my plan together and go from there.

Jay showed us some groovy Web marketing tips, too. Things which are easy and inexpensive (I'll be reviewing my notes and seeing what I can do about these blogs later this week). While Jay and his wife run, he also does Web design and Internet marketing for businesses in and around Wakulla, Tallahassee and I imagine beyond the Big Bend Area.

I think tomorrow's class is geology (no, Jay Westmark won't be teaching that class, I don't think...)

Before I call it a night, could you pleeeeaaaze drop over to my "work" blog, VFg3, and complete the survey - it's on the right hand side. It's a two click survey, trying to evaluate people's attitudes towards the going green movement. Much appreciated!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Conversation with Big Brother 8 Houseguest Zach - UPDATED

I had the chance to meet and chat with Big Brother 8 houseguest Zach Swerdzewski while he's been home in Tallahassee. You'll have to wait for the complete article but he's a terrific, energetic and genuine guy. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Big Brother Zach fans need to mark October 17 in their date book, that's when his Web site launches to sell his edgy surf gear and swimwear.

Stay tuned for the complete interview, which includes his thoughts about being on Big Brother 8 and what he's looking forward to.

Thanks for your time Zach!

Updated: Here's a link to the Part 1 of the interview, it focuses on Big Brother 8. Coming next week is the interview focusing on Dolphin Crash, which will now launch on Oct. 23.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This Weekend's Packed with All Sorts of Groovy Things to Do in Tallahassee

Okay, so it's nearing the second weekend of October and there are some pretty groovy events happening this weekend. These are ones which have caught my eye:

Bark & Wine Oktoberfest-Style - Leon County Animal Services, Oct. 12
Greek Festival at Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church,Oct. 12 & 13
Fire Arts Festival - Downtown at Woodward and Gaines, Oct. 13 (it's FREE!)
Historic Architecture Revealed - Knott House Museum, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. (and every Saturday in October)
CANpaign Recycling Rally (paying 40 cents per pound of aluminum cans) - Home Depot Parking Lot (3200 Capital Circle), Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Italian Cooking Classes - La Lanterna, Oct. 15 (visit La Lanterna's site for cost and additional class schedule)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm Lovin' Green Guide Classes - UPDATED with Photos

I've completed my first set of six classes/field trips in the Wakulla Ecotourism Institute (towards my Green Guide Certification) and am loving it! My fellow classmates are terrific, everyone is bringing their own special background and interests to the table (there's about a dozen of us). The instructors are incredible, too, and eagerly share their enthusiasm and expertise in their designated field. I'm enjoying learning about the geology and biology of this area.

Last Sunday was a field trip to Wakualla Springs State Park where Sandy Cook, Park Manager, spoke to the group followed by a tree identification walk in the park's hardwood forest. (I have photos but haven't had access to my home computer to upload them). This weekend the group's kayaking - I can always kayak!

I'm really glad I've enrolled in the program and am looking forward to learning more and eventually implementing what I've learned.
Photos added: Um, I really did pay attention, but can't think of the tree name! October is breast cancer awareness month and bikers supporting the cause were at Wakulla State Park. Saddleback Caterpillar - no molesting the wildlife, there's poison in those hairs!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Meet Tallahassee's Own Big Brother 8 Houseguest: Zach Tonight!

CBS's Big Brother is one of my vices. I saw it in the beginning and have seen it evolve over the years. This season, Tallahassee's Zach Swerdzewski made the final three - yeah! Tallahassee and yeah! Zach for putting up with Dick all that time.

If you're a Big Brother fan, come meet Zach at Barnacle Bill's tonight between 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Unfortunately, I won't be able to stalk, err, meet Zach, I have class tonight.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Welcome to Small Town USA

I'm dog sitting/house sitting for another six days for a woman I barely know. I met her while taking care of a friend's dog in her neighborhood. Upon moving to Tallahassee, I figured out pretty quickly to be somebody in this town, it's all about who you know and what your background is. It's not like Sarasota where newcomers are embraced into the community and can easily become a big fish in a small town. I've learned tradition and heritage are important to Tallahassee residents. Outsiders are looked upon as a curiosity. Who a person is seems to be dependent on where they went to high school and who their parent's are rather than the individual.

I've had my thoughts on this reaffirmed over the past couple of weeks. Had a discussion with a gal who was born and raised her but her parents moved here in the 1970s. People constantly ask where she went to high school and are disappointed when she doesn't reply with Leon. (Apparently the Leon kids are the wealthier ones? I'm still learning all this). Back to house sitting...

Came home on Tuesday to find a note posted to the door, one of the neighbors asked that I please give her a call but not to call after 8:30 p.m. No number was on the note but the client had left a list of neighbor's numbers. My plan was to take the dog out then head to class but thought this note meant there was an urgent matter needing tending to. While rounding up the dog, I called the neighbor. She informed me she and her daughter were on their way over to meet me and bring some soup over for my client, which is sweet and hospitable.

She seemed disappointed when I told her I was heading out the door and wasn't sure when I'd be able to have some free time to sit down with her. I'm a cut-to-the-chase person and not the chitchatting-type with strangers, which is why I'm an oddball here in the South. I'm guessing the neighbor's curious what type of person I am (all she knows me as is the "house sitter") and wants to make sure I haven't trashed the house (the client's in the process of moving so there isn't much in the house; has a great wood floor, could be a great roller rink or dance floor!) I'm tickled at her curiosity.

Tonight it's Wine Tasting and Cigar Smoking at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits at 1930 Thomasville Road. Tomorrow I have GOT to get to the gym (haven't been since Saturday). Saturday night is Club 3 at Lake Ella, a one-night nightclub for only 7 bucks. Sunday it's out to Wakulla Springs State Park for a field trip (I'm like a kid taking these eco-tourism classes). Last Sunday was a trip to the Wilderness Way for the kayak sale. Didn't find one in my price range but signed up for the sunset paddle on Oct. 21. Lunch and wandering in Apalachicola followed for the rest of the afternoon. It was nice, just wish more businesses would be open on a Sunday afternoon, after all, isn't that when most people have the time off?

Oh! And only a couple of days are left to join the Tallahassee Kite Runner Group - remember, if 100 members join, Tallahassee will get a free, private screening of the Kite Runner.