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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Everhart 8 Spend 4 Days in 4 Disney Parks

Breakfast with Minnie
It has been 40 years since Lulu and I first took our students to Disneyworld. In 1974 - it was our first trip on a passenger jet when we loaded 150 twelve year olds up for that one day adventure of a lifetime. Yes - everything covered for $89 - we boarded a bus in Panther Valley at 5 AM - proceeded to our charter in Harrisburg - then flew non-stop to Sanford, Fl. By 10 AM - we were all in the Disneyworld. It would most likely be considered child abuse today to turn the kiddies loose in the Magic Kingdom - doing head counts in front of Cinderella's Castle every few hours - but we did it and there was no place else to go. We weren't fed a daily dose of CNN news and Internet reports of kidnappings. Ignorance was bliss. At 7 PM - we did a head count - and everyone survived. It was back on bus/plane/bus trip back to the Valley. At midnight - out chariots turned back into pumpkins - and since it was a school night - every kid promised me they would be at school the next day - and they were. 

In 1974 - Mom - Me - Dad - on our first jet ride to Disneyworld

When I reminded my second son about that $89 trip - he pulled out his iPhone - called up the inflation calculator and reminded me - $89 in 1974 - is equivalent to $421 today. It was a bargain but not that much of a bargain :-)   At the time my teaching salary was $8000 a year. 

The granddaughter loves the castle
A few years later - Lulu and I purchased our own bus and made 16 trips to the growing Disney complex. Sometimes we stayed in hotels - other times we enjoyed the campgrounds - even sleeping in the bus. Our own kids were born in 1977 and 1978 - and they joined in with my students. They loved being passed around the bus - letting everybody have a chance to entertain them. There were no seat belts - car seats - or air bags to protect anyone. We all survived. 

My daughter-in-law's first trip to Disneyworld
All the old trips drift into the background with these memories 

Thanksgiving Day With Our Friends - The Gross's

Max - Cassandra - Melissa - Els - Josh Gross - our hosts

The Norman Rockwell Turkey. This was cooked on a Weber grill.

Lulu and Melissa Gross are both library science professors at FSU. Melissa and her family are excellent cooks. Every Thanksgiving - their gift is to invite students and faculty that are far away from family - to enjoy a first class meal with them. Although Melissa and Josh have been very busy moving into their new home - they still made time to produce this wonderful event at their old home. 

About 30 people showed up - and everyone had a wonderful afternoon. The guests were interesting but the top draw is the meal. And the top of the top is the pies. Each one is better than the last. 

After the meal is over - everyone gets styrofoam boxes of whatever they want. After eating all that food - you must remind yourself - how great all this stuff will taste tomorrow when you take it home. It is hard not looking like a pig as you try to shoe horn 8 different pieces into this little boxes. But take it form me - they taste even better two days later. It is an afterglow that reminds me to be good - so I get an invitation next year. 

Pies too big for the eyes

Its Great To Beat The Florida Gators

The post game fireworks  were impressive - but it is even more fun watching the Gator fans leaving. 

Lulu and her new home - in Mom's World

It was a picture perfect day in Tallahassee - the day the Gators came to town. They were sure they were going to knock the undefeated Seminoles out of the post season playoff. It was 60 degrees under a perfect dark blue dome of a sky only interrupted by the Goodyear blimp circling overhead. 

Lulu was invited to the President's House for a pre-game party. She is a now a full professor in library science - certainly not on a career track to end up living there - but being both an alumni and faculty member - we feel like it is our house. 

They had lots of very nice food - a little pre-game music - and a coach did a little pre-game chalk talk. It is also our source for a fantastic parking pass right next to the stadium. 

The party was at noon - at 2 PM we were back at home where George and Joel Dawson picked us up in their van for the trip to the stadium. 

Traffic was horrible because on the weekend of a 3:30 PM kickoff - most of the people drive in at game time rather than spend $300 a night on hotel rooms. At 7:30 - there is also a big traffic jam because the Gators can drive home in 3 hours - again not wasting their money being fleeced by the local hotels. The owners of our old home have turned the guest house into a bed and breakfast. It is highly rated on - and they get $300 a night - two night minimum. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

FSU Volleyball Team - Best Ever


Friday afternoon we watched our girls end the best season FSU ever. They easily beat Miami 3 games to 0 - finishing the season 27-2. the girls were pretty sad here - singing the fight song after the match - for the last time. They now move into the NCAA playoffs and are ranked number 8 nationally.

As you can see - they are very pretty. It is also beautiful to see them play - they are well coached. They are outstanding students from all over the world. The big girl in the middle - Sarah Burrington is 6-5 - she is back again next year. The little girl (5-11) on the right is a senior an she set the all time FSU career record for digs.

They play in Tully Gym - a short 2 time drive from our home. The build hold 1100 fans - and admission is free. As a result the crowd is pretty gray.

Greenies Buy Green Christmas Trees - Take Them Home in Their Green Leaf Car - On Black Friday

For the past 2 weeks - we have been driving our electric car everywhere. Lulu's gas guzzling BMW has not seen the outside of the garage. 

At 4 AM - Black Friday - I opened the shutters just far enough to see Lulu backing out of the garage in the Leaf. She had her heated seat blasting along with Christmas Carols on the satellite radio. As she unplugged the charger - the battery gauge said full. I did not see her again until I got out of bed at 10 AM - I was surprised to see her back home. 

The Leaf was sitting in the garage - already plugged in - charging up. Lulu has "fueled up" the Leaf  more times that she has ever gassed up her own cars before. I guess an extension cord does not make your hands stink. And this was supposed to be "my" car. 

At 1 PM - we leafed to the last FSU volleyball game of the season. The Seminoles beat Miami 3 games to 0 - and finished the season 27-2. Next come the NCAA playoffs. 

After volleyball - we drove to Home Depot - looking for Christmas decorations. We found two Christmas trees - Norfolk Island Pines - in pots - that could be planted outside after Christmas. It did not take much convincing of Lulu to put them on our porch beside the front door. It reminded me of the old days - going out for a Christmas tree - taking it home with the tailgate open.  

Now if I can just convince Lulu that is all she will need.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two Teens Shot - Could Only Happen in Tamaqua PA

Two 14-year-olds are in critical condition after being shot by a hunter in the woods near Tamaqua. According to rescuers at the scene, a male and female, were shot shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday at a location on South Mountain, also known as Sharp Mountain, above the South Ward section of the community. Paramedics indicated the male was shot in the stomach area and the female sustained a serious leg wound. The male was airlifted to St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, and the female to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. The teens were shot with a single bullet from a .270 caliber pump action rifle. The hunter, Anthony Pascoe of Tamaqua, told police he had finished hunting for the day and decided to discharge the remaining bullet into the woods. He said it hit the teens who were unseen in the woods and he heard them scream and called police. The area, near the border of Tamaqua borough and Walker Township, is accessed via a dirt path leading from the intersection of Green Street and Anthracite Avenue. Tamaqua Police investigated and are turning the matter over to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Investigating officers for Tamaqua are Cpl. Henry Woods and Patrolman Thomas Rodgers. From The Times News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It Took 40 Years - But We Finally Bought A Real Electric Car

Nissan Leaf charging in our garage

In 1974 - when I was a science teacher back in Pennsylvania - I drove my first electric car. Lulu and I made the trip to the closest dealer - 5 hours away in Pittsburgh PA. Not only did I want one - I wanted to start a car dealership in my basement. I was so sure they would catch on - after all - the oil embargo had just pushed gasoline to 79 cents a gallon.

Citicar was made in Sebring FL

Lulu and I driving a Citicar in Pittsburgh in 1974. It went 25 MPH and had a range of 25 miles. It cost $2500. 

After 40 years of marriage and ownership of 67 cars - trucks - buses - campers - scooters - we finally bought a real electric car.

I have been searching for a battery powered car. We drove the world famous Tesla with its 300 mile range - 130 mph top speed - and lightning fast 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. But its $80,000 starting price could not be justified when we barely put 8000 miles on our cars in a year. Then - I went to the other extreme - for under $1000 - I could add the equipment to my golf cart to make it street legal. It needs headlights - taillights - turn signals - windshield - seat belts - and horn.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Basketball - FSU Versus Northeastern - $2 Tickets on - We Lost

Sent from my iPhone.

Posted after game - Noles lost by 3 to Northeastern of Boston. We did not look good.

The $2 tickets were not bad - right down on the court. We bought them on - right before the game at 6:30. We printed them out - then drove the Leaf to the Civic Center.

It looks like a long season coming. No big stars. We have 3 players over 7 feet tall and none of them can score over 10 points. To think just 3 years ago we were the ACC champs -over Duke and North Carolina.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

An Evening At the Palma Maria

Parm - Pete - Mary Ann - Lulu - Harry - Anna

We drove down to Orlando today because tomorrow we pick up the rest of the Everhart 8 for a 4 day Disneyworld Adventure. Lulu got a hotel room near the airport so we can pick up everyone early tomorrow morning. 

About 12 miles up the road from the airport is Lulu's favorite restaurant - The Palma Maria. So when I asked her where she would eat - she would have nothing else. 

It was busy at the Palma - but the 4 kids had time for us. I had my favorite - Chicken Parm. Add salad - wine - bread - pasta - and great conversation. 

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Great seats. 50 yard line. Row 3. Free.

This is My Hometown - Tamaqua PA - Photographed By Don Serfass

When Lulu and I owned The Tamaqua Paper - Don Serfass wrote articles for us. We should have handed him the camera. Don's pictures capture the beauty of our town. They are un-retouched - what you see is what we got. 

Homecoming Parade At Florida State This Afternoon

This afternoon - Lulu and I rode our scooter over to the parade route. It was a beautiful clear day with a temperature around 70. Tomorrow FSU plays the University of Virginia. Our Seminoles are undefeated this seasoned ranked number 2 in the nation. 
Osceola on Renegade led the way. They will in the stadium at 6:30 PM tomorrow night to plant the spear. 
The honorary leader of the parade was 35 year baseball coach Mike Martin. Our baseball field has already been named after him.I forget how many games he has won as coach - but never a World's Series.
This is John Thrasher - the new president at Florida State. On Tuesday he was also elected to the Florida Senate - where he says he will resign. The driver of the car is DeVoe Moore. He is a local multi-millionaire. Besides owning one of the finest collections of cars in the USA - he has given over $50 million to his alma mater - FSU. He is on the board and largely responsible for hiring Thrasher. He funded his own way through FSU with a pickup truck made up like a blacksmith shop - that he used to shoe horses. 
This big drum sits by the statue down at the stadium before every game for fans to enjoy. 
The belly dancing club loves to perform. 
Miss Florida USA

Thursday, November 06, 2014

FSU Womens Basketball Team Delivers Season Tickets To Our House

Left to Right - 6-2 junior guard Morgan Jones - Harry - Lulu - 6-2 freshman center Ama Degbeon from Germany - and 6-5 sophomore center Kai James. We look up to them all. 

One of the best sports bargains in Tallahassee is the Women's Basketball Team. Since Lulu and I are over 50 years old - they offer a season ticket that ends up costing about $2 a game. We only live about a mile from the Civic Center - and with our season tickets we can sit wherever we want.

This season FSU plays - Washington - Purdue - Florida - Temple - Massachusetts - Notre Dame - Pittsburgh - Clemson - Syracuse - Miami - Duke - Virginia Tech - Louisville - Tulane. 

Some of the players drove over today to personally deliver our season tickets. They were here just a few minutes ago. They had a really cool Mercedes van wrapped in Seminole colors. 

Check out the cool garnet and gold van

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I Took Betty and Chet To Wakulla Springs And Shell Point

We drove the BMW down to the coast at Shell Point. It was a pretty - sunny - day - about 77 - no wind. 

For the last 5 days Lulu's Mom Betty and her friend Chet have been visiting us. Yesterday - I took them on a tour to Wakulla Springs and the Gulf Coast.

Wakulla Springs is one of the world's largest fresh water springs. 250,000 gallons a minute comes up out of the ground and forms the Wakulla River which flows 10 miles to the Coast. The water is so clear you can see many animals in the river.

We saw 17 manatees and dozens of alligators.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Improved Civic Center - Saw FSU Beat Embry Riddle University

Just got home from Civic Cnter - first boys basketball game. We beat Division II Embry Riddle University of Daytona by 20. 

The "Renovation" is nothing spectacular. They replaced the seats with new garnet leather ones. They replaced the scoreboards and put better big screens up - clearer. 

The lights were brighter - they just cleaned the old ones. 

Not just me - but the sound system is still horrible.   They put a whole bunch of these ribbon light boards - and they are a horrible distraction. Some of them are down along the floor by the scorer's table - horrible horrible horrible.

They renumbered the arena sections now - not letters - but numbers. Sections 101 and 113 are at half court. 

The corner scoreboards are nicer - but nowhere can you count the team fouls - only the fouls of the players on the floor. 

I can't tell if the team is any better - they were playing Embry Riddle.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Energy Efficient Construction Pays Off At 1816 Seminole Drive

We buy all our utilities from the city of Tallahassee. Every month you get one bill. It covers - electricity - gas - water - sewer - garbage - fire protection - and runoff. presents pretty extensive track of your utility information. You can access it at This is our October bill for the new 3600 sq ft house. Add another 1000 feet for the garage that has a vent fan. It costs us $147 for electric - gas - water - sewer. We leave the AC at 75 - we leave a ton of LED lights on all night on the garage and porches. It has R60 insulation in the roof - and R30 in the walls. There are no penetrations in the 3/4 inch plywood roof. The six inch walls are filled with liquid foam insulation also. It has a Rennai gas water heater - gas fireplace - gas range. Breakdown of bill - electric $78 - gas $21 - water $13 - sewer $37 = total $147. 

Both the house and garage were constructed by Gary Shiver - he has been building homes in Tallahassee for 35 years.