Tag Archives: Florida

March 2015 Wallpaper

Remnants of an old wall at the end of Duval Street in Key West, FL
Remnants of an old wall at the end of Duval Street in Key West, FL

I said I wasn’t (necessarily) going to do a monthly wallpaper, but I keep remembering to do one so here is the third for the year.  No promises going forward!

Kathy & I got away to Key West for a few days recently and I’m still working on the photos.  I’ll have a few stories to share along with some pictures over the next few weeks.

Why I Do It

Many Tanks

We all have something we do to pay the bills.  For most of us that’s a job.  And besides the obvious reasons, like needing to make the house payment and pay for food, our jobs have things about them that sometimes make them worth getting up in the morning.  For me, one of the advantages is when a customer appreciates my work and takes the time to say so.

Window Reflections

Most of my time at work is what I call “widget based.”  We have certain goals – The Company calls them production goals although we don’t actually produce anything – and the jobs or tasks we do have a certain number of points assigned to them.  Every month our success (or lack thereof) is determined by how many of these widgets we do.


Of course I’ve been doing this kind of work a lot longer than most of the people I work with, and I remember a time when our primary focus was taking care of our customers, no matter what we needed to do or how long it took.  The Company says it still cares, and I suppose at the most basic level it still does.  But my job, and The Company’s method for determining how well I do it, is based on the number of widgets I do.  We don’t measure customer satisfaction, with me or anyone else.

Faucet and Awning

Sometimes though, while I’m sitting at my desk trying to figure out how squeeze out a few more widgets in order to earn enough points to keep my job, I get e-mails like this one from a customer who I made happy:

Hello Tom,

I received the renewal documents for the (loan).  We have both signed and I will be mailing them back today in the self-addressed envelope.

Thank you for believing and trusting in our company.  I did want to update you on the (balances) of these loans.  As of Friday, I paid off the remaining balance on the credit card and I also paid down $70,000 on the line we are now renewing.  Just wanted you to know.

Have a great week!

Thanks again,

So in this whole crazy world of business, even though I might not get any points from The Company for happy customers, I can still get points from the customers.  And I think that makes for good Karma.  And plenty of reason to go back tomorrow!

Palm Shadow

Something A Little Different

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

Most of my nature photography friends headed off to the mountains this weekend in search of fall color.  Based on early reports and a few “brag” photos I’ve seen online, fall is in full swing in the High Country.  Kathy & I headed a little different direction this year – actually a complete 180-degree direction – and opted for warmer climes, and for a good reason.  We headed to Amelia Island, Florida, primarily to attend the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, but also because October is a great time to visit Amelia Island.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

While the photographers up on the Blue Ridge Parkway were more than likely looking at morning low temperatures in the 30’s, we were walking around in shorts and sandals enjoying comfortable upper-70s with little humidity and mostly clear skies.  That in itself was a clear change of pace for us, and as far as I’m concerned (and Kathy agrees!) was a welcome change.  Fall is not necessarily all about fall color, and more and more I’m finding that colder weather isn’t necessarily my first choice.  Plus, what that heck?  A little change is good!

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

I don’t have any photos from the jazz festival itself because photography wasn’t permitted, but we enjoyed the music of a number of big name musicians, capped off by the jazz of David Benoit on Friday night and the sounds of Spyro Gyra on Saturday night.  The festival itself is pretty new, and even with these big name acts there were only about 400 people in attendance each night, so that made the who experience very pleasant.  That made the trip worthwhile even without all of the other things we were able to do.  We met up with some friends that live there and had a nice lunch with them, we ate some good food and drank some nice wine.  We had a nice relaxing time and even managed to get in a little photography.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

The main town on Amelia Island is Fernandina Beach.  We stayed right in town and could walk just about everywhere except the festival itself, which was a 20-minute drive but we only went there in the evenings.  The rest of our time was spent walking around town and the city marina.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

Fernandina Beach is a vibrant little town, with a number of interesting shops and some excellent restaurants.  We didn’t get to investigate the restaurants as much as we would typically do because of the concerts, but we did get to try several places and look forward to a chance to go back.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

This coming weekend we are doing something a little more traditional and heading up north to Roanoke, Virginia.  But we’re hoping to enjoy the town of Roanoke, the farmer’s market there and in general the sights and sounds of the area, mixed in with a little fall color.  Again, something a little out of the normal routine for us, but still something with a fall flavor.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

So yes, I’ll be putting the warm weather clothes away for a while.  At least until January, when it might just be time to head someplace warm again!

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida