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Lake Stuff

Fun At The Lake

My buddy Mater posted some pics of him and his kids having fun at the lake. I liked them.
They’re great kids… and he’s a great dad.

Maters Little Man Jumping The Cliff!

Maters Little Man Jumping The Cliff!

Climbin' Back Up!

Woo-Hoo! A LONG way Down!


Jumpin' Off Cliffs Is Fun!

There Goes The Little Guy Again!

Dad & Son Enjoying The Rain At The Lake

Daddy & His Little Girl

A little Lower Jump For The Younger Kids

Hold Your Nose!

Bathing Beauties!

My friend Lori's little girl at the lake...

The Kids Love It!

Lori Doing A Little Wakeboarding

Another Cliff To Jump... But How To Get Up There?

Waterfall Cliff

The Kids Swimming Near The Waterfall

We Found A Way Up!


A Couple Houses I Can't Afford. :(

It's Not Really A Lakehouse If You Don't Have Your Own Helicopter I Guess.

That's An Awful Long Walk Down To The Boat!

Some Deer Showed Up In The Back Yard

Beautiful Lot For Sale For Only $185k

Doin' A Little Wake Boardin'

How About A Little Wake SURFIN'?

Surf's Up!

Relaxin' On The Lake!

Hi Girls!

Of Course Every Lakehouse Needs A Pool Right?

End Of A Day

I Sure Do Enjoy A Relaxin' Boat Ride. :)


I spotted one of these growing on one of the floats on Ivan’s dock on Saturday. Today I guess he pulled out a line and there were a mess of ’em. Anyone know what the heck these are???? 

What IS it????

ROLF: You swim in that water? Eat fish caught in that water? I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I hear that a lot of pod people lead perfectly normal lives.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

KRIS added his two cents:


JO: Animal, vegetable or mineral? I can’t tell if its a shell of some sort, or a seaweedy pod thing?

DOUG: Did any of you ever watch “Surface”? Me thinks the end is near…

TARA: I believe that’s a form of seaweed/kelp… which is just a large algae. =)

ME: Ew. I just like saying Ew.

RAYMOND: Maybe you should BBQ it!

MICHAELK: Looks like a phaeophyte of some kind, but we’re talking about freshwater, right? Most of the brown kelps are marine.

THERESE: Major ew. Don’t throw it back – nasty!!!

jenhudson: /shudder

Courtesy Of Ivan – A Breakthrough! http://www.villageoffruitport.com/bryozoan.htm

KRIS: Water boogers.

THERESE: Ew.  funny, but EW!

TARA: COOL! I didn’t know bryozoans did that! I would have loved to know about that when I was looking at them under the microscope last year.

ANDREW (Smith Lake Astronomer): I decided to spend some of our Alabama tax dollars and ask the pro…

Along with Bill’s pic of the rope on ‘s dock, I ask the following from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Smith Lake Representative Jerry Moss:

A friend has these odd looking “plants” growing on ropes that are in the water at Smith Lake <<Bill’s pic here.jpg>> . Can you ID this or direct me to someone that can, please?

His reply…

This is a common aquatic organism sometimes found in freshwater. They are called Bryozoans and you can find more info by doing a Google Search on your browser for Bryozoa
Good link here: http://www.millermicro.com/bryozoa.html
Jerry Moss
Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries


RICHARD: Slime in the ice machine!


From the referenced article:

“We looked, we guessed, we measured, and we used a pocket microscope. We e-mailed and Web-browsed for information, and we found it. Not fish eggs, not frog eggs, not insect larvae. They are Bryozoa, literally moss animals. Specifically, we have Pectinatella magnifica, each clump of which can grow to larger than a human head. We can hardly wait.”

Frozen In!

My buddy Ivan just called me from the lake.

I had had a tree stuck under the dock that needed to be cleared. It had floated downstream along with a bunch of debris after a heavy rain. I was going to drive down but he went over to check it out first.

He said there wasn’t a tree or stick to be found under the dock so I guess I don’t have to drive down there tonight. He DID say that the dock was FROZEN IN!!!

I can’t believe it. It’s got to be what? 3-400′ maybe 500′ across at this point? And he said it has ice from one bank to the other!

Since I bought the lot in 2003 I’ve never seen a hint of ice there… let along a FROZEN LAKE. LOL.

When he told me I first thought “well it must be broken up in the middle” but he said NO. No boat traffic has been through. It’s just a frozen across lake.

Here are some pics:


View Of Dock & Across The Lake - Ice All The Way Across


More Ice - Lots Of Debris On Shoreline


Crack Formed By Jumping On the Corner Of The Dock


Looking Up-Lake Toward The Marina


Looking Down Lake Toward Maters House


No Boats Going By HERE


Debris Covered Shoreline & Dock Two Lots Up-Lake


Another View Down-Lake


Ivan Tossed This 25lb Boulder Off The Walkway. Bounce.

Beats me how it froze.

I CAN say that in winter it’s pretty much shade there all the time. The sun doesn’t get up high enough above the trees on the West side (other side of lake from dock).

It’s pretty amazing. We’ve been going down there since 2003 and have never seen it do that. I guess it’s the cold for so long…

The depth should have kept it FROM freezing. It’s about 70′ in the center. It’s pretty deep there for being so narrow. That one big boulder Ivan said he tossed it from up on the walkway and it just bounced. LOL.

Boating – Sunday October 19, 2008 – Lewis Smith Lake

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  The lake – which is HUGE – was deserted.  The water was like a sheet of glass.  The air was warm.  The water was not warm but it wasn’t cold either.  I saw an occassional jet skier and one or two people water skiing and even swiming in the lake.

Ivan got a new Malibu ski boat and it was the first time we put it into the water.  Man this is the BEST time of year to be at the lake. :)

Weekend Plans and Future Dreams

Yay! It’s Friday! Ivan & I are headed to the lake for the weekend without Lara or his dogs… just a guys weekend. We are going to finish the walkway/stairs down to where the boat dock walkway starts. Here is a link to pictures of the process so far.


We have one more long set of stairs to build. I’m looking forward to getting down there and working. Here is a picture of Ivan’s house. I helped him with a lot of this over the last few years. I’m going to build this same house on my property on the top of the hill overlooking the lake. I’m not sure how we’ll build the big deck on the back yet… but we’ll figure it out. This is a view from the front. I will probably use a brown brick though and a darker shingle.

Here is a view from the lakeside. You can see that the level under the deck (the front door is on the second (deck) level) is another whole part of the house. It’s a complete living quarters with bath, bedroom and kitchen. I won’t have that. First off, my basement will be ony 7-8 feet in height, not 12 or so like Ivans. Second, I will save money by just leaving it unfinished. I’ll probably still put sliding glass doors in though and plumb it for a bathroom so I can finish it one day if I want to.

Look at this picture:

This is the side view of Ivan’s house. Up at the top of the hill of my lot, where my house will go, it isn’t as steep as this. My slope up there will be about where the yellow line is. I won’t be digging out this side of the property as it isn’t wide enough to put a wide driveway and garage. So the bedroom windows will not be there. There may be something up higher but we’ll see.

Here is the view of the lake from the second floor balcony inside Ivan’s house. This picture shows that thie deck wan’t built yet, but the tounge and groove cedar ceiling is installed.

I’m going to make some minor changes to the design on mine. For instance, the main bathroom on the main floor will not have a tub. It will be rearranged so that I can put my washer and dryer in there rather than in the basement. I also intend on not having a tub in the master bathroom. Rather there will be a HUGE walk in steam room shower. The upstairs bathroom will have a tub if anyone finds the need to soak in it. I intend to soak in my hot tub which I plan to put out back.

Another change will be ‘widening’ the balcony. In this picture you can see how wide it is now.

I intend on making it as wide as where the last step comes to the top… leaving no ‘landing’ sticking out. On the right (the wall) I want to make it all book shelves… wall to wall and ceiling to floor. This will almost be like a reading area. Also the roof will extend out another couple feet in front and the porch made a couple feet deeper.

I’ll post some more pictures later but this is just the jist of it. I hope to start this project later this year or early next year.

Lake Lot II

I bought this property last year.  I want to build a house up on top of this hill eventually… but I have to sell another property I own first in order to afford it.

I helped my buddy Ivan build his lake home (on the same lake – different location) back in 2006/2007.  We just build some stairs/walkway from his home down to the walkway to his boat dock.  My ‘hill’ is much higher and will require a lot more material (and muscle) to do.  We’ve been talking and since I’m not building yet, I think I may build the stairway down to the shoreline.  I have someone building a boathouse/floating boat dock/swim pier right now and when it is completed and installed I’m going to need a way to get down to it right?

We climbed around on the hillside this past weekend and took some measurements.  It just so happens that the slope of the hill is just about right to take the stairway straight down the hill!  That is a very good thing.  You need about a 36 degree angle to your stairway so that it feels like a normal stairway.  If you build it to match the contor of the hill and it is steeper than 36 degrees you’ll feel like you’re going to take a header straight down the stairs.  On the other hand, if you build it to match the contor of the hill and it is LESS than 36 degrees, you’ll feel like you’re walking down baby steps and it throws your ‘timing’ way off.  A good way to trip and tumble.

You may think ‘so what?  build the stairs at 36 degrees anyway’.  Well if you’re less than that on the hill you’ll be going into the earth… lol.  If you’re MORE than that you’ll end up 10′ off the ground when you get to the bottom.

What you want to do is keep the stairs at that angle and only a foot or two off the ground the whole way down.  To do that on a steeper hill you have to ‘zig-zag’ which translates into a LOT more work (muscle/time) and a LOT more material (money).  The material alone for this stairway will probably run 5,000 bucks or so…. so zig-zagging would almost double it! 😮

 Anyhow we played with it and I think we don’t want to go STRAIGHT down the hill.  Thats an awful lot of steps to walk up at once.  So we’ll go about halfway down, then land on a nice size 16’x10′ or so deck.  The deck will be a nice place to climb down to and watch the lake… and a good place to ‘rest’ on the hike up.  The view is fabulous from that location.  Then drop down a few steps off the other side of the deck to the ground again and continue to the bottom.  At the bottom I’m sure I’ll eventually put another small deck that you can sit on.  I’ll probably put a roof over the mid-level deck too eventually.

Here is a general idea of where the stairway will go.  I don’t know when we’ll get started with this project but I’ll keep my blog up to date.

Happy March…

I guess it’s time for another entry.  Not much going on these days.  Well actually I guess there ALWAYS is something going on.  Let’s see.  Last weekend I was down to the lake with my buddy Ivan.  I had helped him build his lake house a couple years ago so I have a key to go down whenever I want… which is pretty much every few weeks.  I’m usually doing things down there related to myself.  I own a lake property in Double Springs, AL which I am now selling.  I found another property in Crane Hill, AL (same lake) that I prefer to build on.  My first lot was in a convienent development right on a state highway, but there were some issues going on over there that did not please me.  Besides that, it is in an area of the lake up in the National Forest quite far from where most of my friends live.

 Anyway, so that lot is up for sale.  If anyone is interested you can see it at LOT 22 – LAKESHORE EAST ESTATES (plug).  I stopped by the Lot22 lot the other day and spread a 50lb bag of grass seed to try to get some more ground cover going.  It hasn’t rained much at the lake over the last few years, but of course we got a deluge of rain right after I put down the seed.  I’m sure the fish will love it. LOL.

If anyone is interested in looking at pictures of my new lot – the one I plan to build on – have a looksee: LOT 172 – CEDAR COVE ESTATES

When I bought the second lot I had the bank combine the mortgage from the first with the new one… they used the equity in the first lot as collateral.  I can’t start building my house until I sell the first lot though.  When I do I need to pay down the huge mortgage on the lots to 100k.  Then after I put aside some money for taxes I’ll have some cash to start building the new house.  Plus I guess I’ll be able to get a construction loan at that point.

I have an UMF (unseen magical force) trying to get me to buy a boat.  I have a new boat dock coming but I only bought it because I’ll need one eventually and the prices keep going up like crazy… I really, really dont need a BOAT right now though.  What I need to do is build a HOUSE.  And besides, the prices of boats will probably drop this year as gas prices rise to $4 (on their way to $5) a gallon.

Speaking of that I need to sell my airplane too.  It is a giant money pit and I don’t ever use it anymore… yet it still costs me 6-8k a year in maintenance.  It must go.  In the next few months.  That will give me money to pay off the balance I owe on my boat dock and also to add to what I’ll have to start the house.

The BIG news this writting is about my dad.  My dad has been having some issues with pain and chills and vomiting and other things for awhile now.  He finally got some tests done and two days before Babe passed away he found out he has a tumor on his pancreas.  Hopefully this is not cancer… but the doctor said that if it isn’t, it will be soon.  So it has to come out.  Now.

The procedure is a very complicated one that I dont know much about.  It’s called a Pancreaticoduodenectomy (or “Whipple Procedure” for short).  It’s a very complicated surgery that involves removing different organs from your body, doing what you need to do, then putting them all back.  The biggest problem is that multiple organs share the same blood supply.

He’s having it done at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa and the surgeon is supposed to be one of the best with a lot of experience in this procedure.  Still, its worrisome.  Dad isn’t ‘old’ by any means, but he’s still 70.  The surgery has a 10% mortality rate anyway and age probably makes it worse.  I’m also sure that the stress on him the last few months with having to watch his daughter pass away isn’t going to help either.

I’ll be flying down to Tampa on Saturday.  We’ll all hang out with my Aunt & Uncle who are visiting that week.  The surgery is Monday morning.  Please say a prayer for my dad if you will.

I will write again to let everyone know how it goes.  I need to get back to work now. :)

Here is a photo of my sister Babe, Me & my dad the night before I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, SC.  It was September 1977.  Babe was like 16 years old.  I was 18.  Dad was 39.  How about those glasses I’m wearing?  Cool huh?  And what about the purple flare pants, Playboy Bunny tshirt, leather sandals and dark socks on Dad?

Here is another one of me, dad & my ex-step daughter Faith in the hot tub one night in March 2001.