Thursday, December 31, 2009

Head Hole Cleaning Day!

Anyone who lives with someone is sometimes asked to perform acts on another that they can't quite do for themselves.   I am sure you've heard...

Scratch my back!
Rub my feet!
Straighten out my haircut!

If you have a dog or cat, or any other pet for that matter, things may get more ... Intimate.  Add to it a dog who doesn't like what I call euphemistically, Personal Maintenance, and things get even more interesting.

Border Collies are widely known to be the most intelligent dog breed.  My dog speaks English.   She at least tries, and certainly understands more words than I expect her to.   I'm spelling things constantly, even when she's not around.

Border Collies do not like to have personal maintenance done to them.   Things like clipping toenails, giving them baths, getting stickers and burrs out of their feet are not a pleasant task.   It is more like Keystone Cops meet Cujo with my dog.  I've gotten snapped at while giving her a bath more times than I can count, and while she's never actually connected with me, its scary.  Having her snap at you in an enclosed bathtub while you're standing there naked will give you a new respect for Man's Best Friend.

My particular Border Collie is a leggy beast, with longer legs than I have ever seen on a Border Collie.  When she gets going, it is like watching a cross of a Giraffe and Scooby Doo trying to escape.  I just had to clean her ears out, and it is at least a three time a week job.  Tonight she had the Ear Cleaning Fluid poured into her one ear and she decided that she hated the process, she hated me, she hated the Florida Evening, and decided that she'd run into the house.   Since the ground was damp partly from the excess ear fluid and the evening dew, she got to the Florida Tiles and had to try to stop.  Her legs splayed and she skidded across my living room to a stop when she shook and rubbed her head into her dog mat.

I had to go after her because there was a second ear to do.   She saw me with the bottle of fluid in my hand and decided she wanted no part of me, outside, or anything else remotely human related and started to run off.   I say Started to because it was a Hanna-Barbera moment with legs moving very fast and no momentum happening to the body.  Just slow enough for me to grab her body and drag her out of the house to repeat the process.

Isn't Inertia a wonderful thing?

Life's all peaceful now.  Mrs Dog's ears are cleaned out for the day or two, and she's sitting quietly on her mat trying hard to ignore life in general in that lackadaisical manner that only a dog can do.

Until the day after tomorrow when it all starts over again.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Cyber Shopping Days at

Most folks are sitting at home this week.  There's a lot of traffic on the road, but not in rush hour.  I'm thankful for that since I'm still going to work at a regular hour.  It has been a real nice trip to work in the morning, few people, tunes on the radio and the snowbirds haven't even hit.

The malls are full, even though this is a recession.  Lots of people walking through the stores, picking up things, and hopefully getting the economy going. 

What I did was sit at home and look over the deal sites over the last weekend.   The house was quiet, the neighborhood was quiet, and I really didn't feel like going outside and visiting.  It was easy to go through the local area since we had a breather on Xmas and the weekend.  

I did manage to find a couple of buys online though.   The laptop is getting another stick of memory from since its getting cheaper.   I do some heavy duty tasks on the machine and they all seem to eat up memory.   Its only got 2gb now, so one of the sticks will get swapped out and I'll be able to do all the wacky stuff I like to do. 

Woot served up a TV card.   I don't have a big TV here, mine is still standard def, so I'd like to be able actually see what the fuss is about.   Since the laptop is not quite 720p by the description I've read, but it will be a lot cleaner than the old Sony I've got in the living room.  I'll plug this thing into the USB port and it will get any over the air HDTV signals it finds.  Since I'm about 10 miles from the transmitters in South Florida, I'll get all the local signals.  A $20 card is a lot cheaper than a big flat panel set that will end up bolted to the walls and its easier to work with.  

I'm finding these new toys or necessities, depending on your view, by surfing and skimming through their deals every day.  They have listings of all sorts of things from electronics to computers to watches and books.  I've been surfing it daily for months now, and I'm finding it fairly useful.  Both the memory and the TV stick were on the site.  

Maybe my wallet would be better off if I stopped, but Dealnews is a keeper.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Its all over but the fireworks

This week was always a strange one to me.  You're between Xmas and New Years.  Typically it is a week given over to family, visits, and eating way too much food that you don't need.  If you're not doing the holiday visit thing, it's quiet.

Utterly Quiet.

Have a pin?  Drop it!  DAMN that was loud!

But seriously, Living as close as I do to all the sights and touristy things, I can get out with a walk and be in a shopping district in short order, or hop on a bike or in the car and be at the beach in just a few miles.  If I choose not to do any of that and brave the snowbirds and the drunks, it's quiet around here. 

Oh sure, its Sunday, and tomorrow I'll be at work planning for a future on my Network with our people.  But for the most part, I'll be able to enjoy a quiet week even if I do go about my "normal life", whatever Normal is.

When you live in a city you find a groove.  Some may call it a rut and attempt to make things exciting by knocking you out of your groove, but for the most part you end up working towards your comfort level and equilibrium until you go on vacation.   South Florida is an economy built on Air Conditioning and Vacationers.   When you're a tourist here, its all shiny and new.  The reality is that you go home and wonder what it is like to move here and live a normal life.  I made that jump, and I'm finding my equilibrium again after a rough couple of years and it feels good.

Call it a rut, but its nice to look around and see the sun and the flowers and have a routine that has been slightly unsettled by this weird week where as many people as possible are taking of.

I'll be back at work with my feet up on my box under my desk, working on the network wondering where everyone went.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dog Walk? No iPod? No Problem!

I have to walk Mrs Dog three times a day.   I shoot for 3 miles total but she's not always into a long walk, and sometimes I am not either.  Around here that can mean that I'm outside for a minimum of 20 minutes for the mile, but typically I budget for 30 minutes on the early walks.

A habit I got into while skating was to listen to audio books, and that carried over to the dog walks.  At 610 in the morning there are usually very few people out, and I've got those things screwed into my head lecturing me on Roman History, telling me of Trantor with the Foundation Trilogy, or as of late P.G. Wodehouse's books on "Jeeves and Wooster".

Except there's a problem there... the iPod's batteries ran out.  Oops... better charge that.

Er, I'll get to that later... let me look at the new shiny object....

What's that outside the window?

How's the pool now?  Still draining?

Let me bake some biscuits....

You get the picture.   Ok, I can excuse myself for forgetting the charge one day.   No problem there.  Absentmindedly, I guess it really didn't mean all that much but I forgot all weekend.   No Jeeves and Wooster today.   Thing is that when you listen to your surroundings you start to hear the music of the city and the sounds of nature.   615AM can be amazingly noisy when those black crows start with their singing, or a flock of parrots wake up in the trees and lecture you.

I'm pretty good about taking the things out of my ears when I see someone so I can hear what they have to say, but when you don't wear the iPods in something you've become accustomed to wearing them in, it brings up how isolating those little earpieces are.   They're basically the electronic equivalent of a Cone of Silence, or a burqa... you're there, everyone sees those headphones and ignores your presence unless you make an effort at taking them off and they notice.

Maybe I should find a better place to listen to Jeeves?.... Probably not!  ;-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Holiday Gift from Sirius - No DJ Announcements!


At least on "The Strobe", their Disco Channel.

Ok, I can accept DJs in some limited amount.   Most DJs at any rate, as long as they're not that Tim Bauman who I just can't stand.   I've already done a rant on that one, he should be canned and go back to what ever club actually likes the guy. 

The thing is I didn't realize how annoying the DJs were on the radio until this weekend when Sirius gave the one that handles the Disco channel off for the day.   While I do like Disco, I don't usually just turn the stuff on and leave it roll for hours on end.   This weekend since there's been nothing more than an occasional "bumper" telling you that you're listening to The Strobe, It's been on since I got home on Xmas Eve.   Its Sunday morning, and I'm loving it. 

There were times when I couldn't listen to it like when I went up to Wellington and hit a dead spot on US 441 West of Boynton Beach coming home.   I guess the vinyl on the roof on the car was enough to make it too weak to get through, because I had no problems during the day when it was clear and the roof was off... But for the most part I've been listening to "Classic Dance, It's not just Disco, The Strobe, Baby" all weekend.

Yeah that was a bumper... But at least its not talking over the music.  

See in DJ Parlance, on the radio, talking over the beginning of the song is called "posting".  Stop it, please!

Everybody Dance... Doodoolooloo! Clap your hands! Clap your hands!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Dog Hour

iIn a sentence, if you want to meet your neighbors, get a dog.

No, seriously.   I've got a 47 pound furry alarm clock of a shelter dog, a Mc Nab Dog or a Border Collie.  She looks like the pic in Wikipedia for the Mc Nab Dog.  Someone in Central Pennsylvania went out and got this beautiful puppy, tried to train her, got her to do some basic obedience tricks, and promptly abandoned her at around a year.   She spent another 6 months in a shelter.   As such she's a very intelligent dog and quite fearful of other dogs.  I drove out on Thanksgiving one year, picked her up and she's been my constant companion, my shadow, ever since.   She was quite the handful and now that I've got her trained, she's an eerily intelligent girl who listens to everything that she hears in the house.

I'm happy I have got her.  But that's another blog posting....

The thing is that I've got a habit of putting on the iPod and listening to Audio Books while walking at 6:15AM with her.  Not bad huh, but so does everyone else in the immediate neighborhood, and we're all groggy.  I'm walking about currently listening to Jeeves and Wooster from P. G. Wodehouse and there's someone wanting to chat me up.   The distance of the normal walk is a mile, and if you want to keep a Border Collie, Aussie Shepard, or any other active breed, you simply MUST walk them often.   She gets three miles a day, three walks a day.   That should take about 20 minutes each.  Stopping to greet the dog friends as you must will slow that to 30 minutes even at 6AM.

The later walk after I come home or just before bed are another story.   I've learned that I can't toss something in the oven and have it ready when I get back or else I find myself with a cinder and getting to meet the local Fire Department.  The Dinner Hour walk has taken an hour and a half.  90 Full Minutes of trying to get home because some fool in a bar with two beers in him just has to meet my dog because he knows of one in the next town over back in Nebraska or Montana and has to tell me about it.

The evening walk is even more amusing because now the Dinner Hour greeters have had another three hours to have their beers, vodka, or wine and can be sloppy.  Put on your game face, this can be interesting!   The neighbors are fine, and usually social and brief.   Those folks on the other hand from out of town visiting the bars are now running across 5 lanes of traffic, squealing and screaming and slurring the words "Oh Beautiful dog, I have to pet him!".



Go home, get sober, and get lost.   Maybe some other day when you've dried out, ok?

Actually that happens about once every week or so, and luckily with my size and demeanor, I can shoo the drunks away like so many flies.  

Normally it is a pleasant way to see the neighbors, get caught up on the gossip and not be such a hermit watching the latest offerings on cable.   It never serves to be boring, and if you find yourself on a quiet night and the stars are out with the breezes off the ocean, you can always talk to Your Best Friend.  She'll smile back and keep walking.  

Just have the bags and flashlight ready, there's a dog litter law in this town!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Xmas, here's your sign!

No, this isn't some redneck joke.  This is about making folks happy for the holidays.

Here in Wilton Manors, there's a tradition of having a competition amongst the property and business owners for the best holiday display.   There are quite a few people who take part in the competition and you can see a few displays that are "spam worthy".  In fact I may get my digital camera out and try for some night shots with the tripod.  Its a great excuse to get the dog out and take her around town instead of sitting in the bouncy Poang chair and play Freeciv while ignoring the telly for the night.

The grand prize winner this year had multiple arches made of red and white lights over his driveway, the house and fence all done up in lights.   He even went to decorate the little mulched area by the signpost in front with white lights to dream up a scene of electric snow.  There was a 70 foot tall Slash Pine (Like the kinds you see all up and down the Eastern Seaboard with long needles) done up with red and white lights... all the way to the top.   I swear you can see it from the next county!

Last night (Monday, since I write these ahead of time) I and three others drove around in a minivan and stopped by the winners of the prizes.   While it was a bit cramped with my long legs folded up into a pretzel for most of the time, it was a fun and heartwarming an evening.  Everyone seemed to know of the house with the tree within a tree or the grand prize winner, and they all asked if he won grand prize this year.  It wasn't the house with the MOST lights, merely the one that we all said "WOW!" to. 

Kind of hard to beat a 70 foot tall red and white christmas tree!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Goodbye Priscilla

Around the corner, just near the beginning of my walk lived Priscilla. 

Priscilla was a 15 year old Samoyed.  As an older dog, she was a very quiet dog, possessing a quiet dignity.  She would be out with her owners while they would go about their business, and she'd go about her own.  A large dog of 15 still had business to do, but they do their own thing and do it slowly.   I was told by one of her owners that she'd take about a half of an hour to walk around the block and she'd do so smiling all the way.  After all, the Samoyed is known as the Smiling Dog.   The breed is known to be a free thinker, more independent than a trick dog that will entertain you.

Priscilla didn't resemble a dog so much as a snow white pillow that would lounge around regally as the world would go through its own paces.   After all, she couldn't move terribly fast so she'd be content with watching things go by.  I have a Border Collie, Lettie, who is terrified of dogs larger than she is and Priscilla was probably twice the volume with all that fur.   Priscilla would slowly walk over to Lettie and try to greet her and Lettie just wouldn't have anything of it.   Lettie would try to get as far away from Priscilla as my arm and leash would let her, and Priscilla would wear her down by merely slowly walking over like a Canine Tim Conway shuffling along.

I'd walk past their house with the large mostly glass front door and Priscilla would be watching back, lying on the floor and smiling.  She'd be there most of the day and night, and I had gotten to the point where I'd expect to see her, like an old friend.   Every time I'd have Lettie with me, she'd glance over and then avoid by picking up her paces and looking away.   Silly Lettie! that dog can't get to you let alone harm you!

Goodbye Priscilla, I'll miss you too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cinnamon and Honey

More Spam from Velma that I thought enough to post...

Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot. It will do what some call turning to sugar. In reality honey is always honey.. However, when left in a cool dark place for a long time it will do what I rather call "crystallizing". When this happens I loosen the lid, boil some water, and sit the honey container in the hot water, turn off the heat and let it liquefy. It is then as good as it ever was. Never boil honey or put it in a microwave. To do so will kill the enzymes in the honey.
Cinnamon and Honey

Bet the drug companies won't like this one getting around. Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.
Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada , in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists:

Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada , various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.

Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.

Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.

Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.

According to the studies done in India and Japan , it is revealed that if Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ' Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu..

Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increase and even a 100 year old, starts performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.

Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.

Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.

Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

People of South America , first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

You might want to share this information with a friend, kinfolks and loved ones. Everyone needs healthy help information ~ what they do with it is up to them ~ share with your email buddies!!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some really awful jokes!

These jokes were collected from some different sources.   I have a feeling they were around for many years before I came across them.   I thought I might just share a few groaners with you...

Q: Where should a dressmaker build her house?
A: On the outskirts.

Q: Why didn't the Skeleton go to the New Year's Eve Party?
A: Because he had no body to go with.

Q: How did the Human Cannonball lose his job?
A: He got fired.

Q: How do Snails keep their shells shiny?
A: They use Snail Varnish.

Q: What did the Beaver say to the Tree?
A: Nice gnawing you.

Q: Who is the most famous married woman in America?
A: Mrs. Sippi.

Q: What must you know to be an auctioneer?
A: Lots.

I told you they were groaners!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Can you spare change for Gas?

Here we are in the midst of the Republican Induced Economic Depression, and I don't think things are getting any better.  The Democratic controlled House and Senate haven't really done all that much to move things ahead either.  The President's hands seem tied up by everyone else's inaction...

So how can I tell?   Simply put, the last three consecutive times I've had to fill my gas tank, I've had someone try to beg some money from me for "gas".  Panhandlers used to be rare to non existant at gas stations, but this is three in a row.   A Trifecta of Poverty.

I will admit that gas is expensive.   I drive as gently as I can get away with in traffic as a result.   I have a Jeep that is rated at 15 MPG city and I get 18 in the city.  I do well.   Every time I pour overpriced petrol into the thing, and look at the gas prices I cringe.  The car is now 7 model years old and doesn't yet have 40,000 miles on it so I'll easily get another 3 to 5 years.   I won't be getting a new car soon.  That means that I'll be trundling along in the right or middle lane, coasting where possible and driving slowly to try to squeeze that last few feet out of the gas in the tank.

I know times are tough but why do I have to have someone come up to me and ask for money so he can "get home"?  Three times in a row, I'm wondering if the next thing we're going to have to worry about is being stalked every time we fuel up?  I'm especially surprised since this is the third different person and each time it's been a White Jeep Cherokee in three different gas stations that this has happened.  I'm not exactly an easy person to approach either being as tall and imposing as I have been told I am with that "Don't Mess With Me" look people think I've got.

There just has to be something else going on that I'm missing!  Somehow, I just don't believe that it will go for gas...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tim Bauman on Sirius XM Annoys Me to No End

Ok start Rant.

I have a Sirius Radio.   Generally I listen to it infrequently and I listen to a variety of stations.  There are times when its nice to listen to BBC World Service, Cutting Edge Trance, Classical Music, Swing, and other fringe formats that just aren't played here in the Miami Market.  I don't listen to it in the car because the portable I have is annoying to carry around, and I have a few Euro Trance DJs like Armin van Buuren and others who do podcasts.

Today, I had the Sirius radio on and the station I tend to listen to most, Area, was playing something a bit too mechanical for my tastes.  It reminded me of someone tossing some pots and pans inside of a 55 gallon drum and rolling it down a hill.   Sorry Carl Cox, I switched the channel to BPM.

BPM is a slightly less edgy version of Area.   Vocal Trance is what they call it, and while I could get it on various websites (try if you like and you'll find a lot of dance formats for free) I was sitting in the living room and had the Sirius radio on.

I'm listening to the radio for a while, and on comes Tim Bauman.  Apparently he has some following in NYC in the clubs but I find this guy to be one of the most annoying DJs I've ever heard.  For DJ Patter between the songs, he feels that we all want to listen to him go on about the girls in the clubs that are supposedly into him.

Delusional fool!

The first time I heard him start up on his "girrrl" patter, I thought who is this teenager who thinks all women are into him and why on earth should I care.   Then the music started again and I wasn't so concerned... the track ended and there he goes again, more "girrrl" crap.

First off, I don't listen to radio to hear an inane oversexed DJ "add" to the music by talking over top of the songs.   I don't care what you have to say Tim, SHUT UP!

Secondly, Sirius XM radio, Yes, I'll use the line "I'm Paying For It So I Want It My Way".  This jerk is yammering over top of the music I want to hear.  If I wanted to hear that nonsense, I would tune in 93.9 here in Miami and get my fill of Inane Patter, Bad Radio Bumpers, and 20 minutes of commercials an hour!  The format of the music is fine, BPM normally I can tune in and forget that I have a tuner button until the DJ fires up his damn mouth.   I went out of my way to get a new technology (I got a "Lifetime" subscription before the days of Howard Stern) so I could avoid the commercials I despise and found a station I could listen to with dance music without DJ interruptions.   Move the format back to that, DJ Podcasts are WAY too easy to find.  As a very long time listener to Sirius I have found my music disappear and come back too many times in channel shuffles.   It is Fringe Formats that made me and others come to Sirius, not the garden variety rock or country.   Shut the DJs up and let the music go uninterrupted.  It happened at least twice before, it can happen again.

Thirdly with iPod, Sansa Players, and the rest so easy to carry and the Sirius radio practically set in stone in the house or car, the Sirius is way down the list of things I prefer to listen to.  Having to listen to this moron between every track is like listening to an old radio show bang on about a toothpaste or soap, or the 1950s game shows that would have the name of the sponsor on camera the entire show.  It is annoying, intrusive, and unnecessary.

Just shut the damn DJs up and let us have our music, Sirius XM.  When someone asks me about it I generally tell them not to bother and cite the name of the one and only, thankfully...

Tim Bauman.

Can we move him on to his next gig flipping burgers, PLEASE?!?!?!?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Crackers

Christmas Crackers are a British Tradition.   They're a large cylinder about the size of the tube in the middle of a roll of Toilet Paper that are wrapped like a present.  Inside the wrapping are hidden a strip that you and someone pull and they pop with a small Crack from a tiny explosive charge.   The result is the crack that is about the loudness of someone clapping their hands, and then you can open your surprise.  

Inside their wrapping are gifts and surprises. You get to open these brightly wrapped presents and find a variety of things and almost always a paper crown so everyone gets to be king or queen for the moment.  

Isn't Democracy wonderful?

Depending on the price of the crackers, you can get some very simple and cheap gifts or some rather expensive ones.   Since I've never found a place that sells the nice ones, the gifts inside have been the quality of what you used to find inside of a Cracker Jack box.   Plastic Animals, Whistles, and Jokes. 

The idea isn't really that you find a diamond inside unless you are planning on proposing to someone.  The idea is to foster a good time with friends and family and to make your time more memorable.   A nice touch to bring to a party I'd say and they're uncommon enough that you can start a new family tradition easily.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Anticipating the Snowbirds

The Snowbirds are coming, the Snowbirds are coming!

You know who you are.  I was one too!

Snowbirds are those people in Northern areas who have had enough of the winter weather Back Home and decide to fly South to warm up for a little.  They usually come, spend and then return reinvigorated .

My own way of doing that was to drive South to Ft Lauderdale every second week of February and spend a week or two thawing out.   Usually by February, I'd have chapped hands and lips, a low grade head cold from the weather, and be pasty white.   I'd hit the hot tub that first night and not care.  Two day drive down, a week in the hot tub and two day drive back.  Every year until I had had enough and finally moved here.

With the snowstorms that have been all over the weather and the news lately, I haven't yet seen an uptick in the cars with Canadian and Northeastern license plates, but the parking lots are filling a little more at the bars and the drive home is a little slower each week.  It will be this way until April, so I guess the best thing to do is hope that they help the economy and try to stay "Off Peak" with my travels!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baking for the Holidays

I realize that this may sound a bit Olde Fashioned and perhaps a little Depression Baby, but I have been baking for the holidays for years now. 

What got me started was that I had a neighbor who was doing that in Philadelphia and thought it was a great idea so I begun to bake "Care Packages" and bring them with me when I would go on visits.   When times got tough, I merely made larger Care Packages and told folks, I'm sorry but this is all I can do.   I was ALWAYS told it was wonderful and they were grateful to have it.  Well yes I was told that, and you never quite know for sure,  but a box of about 5 pounds of baked goods fresh from the kitchen are very hard to dismiss.

There are a few sources of some very good recipes that I use.  If you are thinking about baking, a quick search online will turn up dozens of recipes, all of which are wonderful.   Remember, the Stay At Home Mom would do these recipes in some spare time and Mom was always busy in the days before the Heat-And-Eat revolution that we all have.  

My favorites are the old standby of the Internet Cookie Recipe.   I won't point you to it since its so very easy to find, but if you make it, a Stand Mixer will help and double the Vanilla... its a great basis for cooking.  The other thing I find people enjoy is the Peanut Brittle recipe that every school kid in New Jersey made in Christmas Chemistry Lab in beakers and Bunsen Burners.   I've made that just about every year and it is so simple that it is laughable.

The point is that you can go to a store, pick up a gift card, and take the easy way out.   Choosing a proper gift at a shop is a bit more difficult, but nobody turns down a box of baked goods!

And now you know how I plan on spending my weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Decaf Espresso

Why bother you say?

I say Self Preservation!

When I drink Coffee, I tend to drink a lot of it.  I have a series of mugs that I got here that are 16 ounces in size.  Rather a lot of anything.   I like to have two of them.   That would be 16 shots of Espresso.   After that you'd be hallucinating and looking for a ride to the local Emergency Room to visit with those less fortunate who are seeking free medical care.

So today, Saturday Morning I made some Espresso since I had the time.   I have an 8 shot, on the stove top espresso maker just like my Italian Grandmom would like.  Every so often I get a bee in my bonnet to have some Espresso and drink it like an American would drink their watered down coffee.   So to keep the Caffeine consumption down, I made it with 4 shots of a fine Kenya AA regular and 4 shots of a good but common decaf roast.   Turned out quite well actually!

After downing that, I'm Buzzing around the house and decided to set up some Blog Postings for later release... this being the first.

Then I made up the second mug, all decaf.   8 Shots of 4% caffeine Decaf (Typical Amount) means basically 1/3 of a mug of caffeine anyway and more than the normal taste.

Isn't that what life is about?  Beating the system and getting to have all the fun you can without harming anyone?  :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Having a Judgemental Christmas

In some cities, you feel like a number, lost in the crowd.   In a smaller city or town you sometimes get to be involved as a volunteer, make people feel a little better, and see some interesting things.

Wilton Manors is a surprisingly "Small Town" at times.  I had the pleasure of driving around the city this year this week looking at the neighbors houses.   Or rather not specifically at the houses but the holiday decorations.   I did get to see about a half of the city, every single street of it, every single home in the western third of the city.

I didn't see too many homes of the sort you get to see when you are sitting there at your email and get spam from friends and family with the "Ditto" next door.   On the other hand, some people are still decorating so I may still.   There were some folks that had put up just the same as they did last year.  There were ones where every light in the yard blinked in unison to some unheard piece of music coming out of a too small speaker stashed under a rock somewhere.

My personal favorites weren't the micromanaged and perfectly manicured homes that look manufactured and planned within an inch.   I liked the oddball homes with quirky displays.   The one that never fails to bring a smile to my face was the one that we all call "Inflat-o-land" because they put up this year about 25 inflatable figures of all sorts in a giant cluster, all on platforms.   It looks silly, just like the idea of celebrating the birth of Jesus by burning fossil fuels to power electric lights is to me.  So why not go outrageous?   I know I'm the odd man out but there's something amusing about seeing Snoopy and the Red Baron 10 feet in the air, flying over a tropical hedge coming very close to Santa Claus.

Another one that I spotted was a complete riot of lights.  There was absolutely no theme just more lights than you could possibly count in a small front yard.  Lights on the palm tree trunks.  Lights climbing the trees.   Lights on the grass.   The owner of the property was climbing the tree tying down more lights to the thing.  It truly looked like a lighting store vomited all over the yard, in a gloriously garish and bright display. 

I loved them both for their strangeness and incongruity and sheer expression of joy.

Austin Texas has a slogan on many a bumper sticker that says "Keep Austin Weird".   Looking at these homes makes me think "Keep Christmas Weird!".   It is an expression of individuality that always serves to please.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Virtually Safe Surfing

There are a lot of viruses out there on Windows.  If you are not using an anti virus program, you are probably harboring them as well as a trojan or two.

This isn't a primer on how to get rid of viruses.  I have already gone down that road.   There's a lot of different ways to clean a computer.   Most folks get frustrated that their machines have slowed to a crawl and go out and buy a new one.   If that's you and you have a laptop that us under a year old in that state, feel free to send it to me... oh and get yourself a Mac, they don't have the same numbers of viruses.  You won't be quite as compatible, and the software is more expensive, but as long as you stay in the Mac Environment you will be much better off.   If you're a casual user it frees you up from having to deal with all that virus crap.

On the other hand, if you're a little bit technical, you should look into getting a virtual environment and running a computer in a sandbox.   That is how I am writing now.   I'm looking at Firefox running on a virtual Windows XP program that is running on Virtual PC 2007 that is running on Windows 7.

Got all that?

I have done all this so that I can stay away from Viruses and Google's snoopy tendencies (They already know WAY too much about everyone and I'm moving away from Google's software) and do everything I need to.  When I am done, I click the X box to close the entire environment, tell it no to "Save State" and its done.   All the snoopy things are gone.   There's no connection to the main machine, there are no worries about viruses and illicit cookies, and I'm completely safe.

If you are really curious, and have an older Windows Machine that you want to save, you can create an image legally from your existing older machine (It is legal as long as you have retired the computer you image - like this one was), install free software like Virtual PC 2007 or VMWare Player, and you are good to go.   You just need to have an extra amount of memory over what you normally run on the computer.  

If I've lost you, find your favorite 16 year old geek and turn them loose on this and tell you what you want to get done.  Get the right software on the machine and you're safe.

I've obviously glossed over everything here, this is basically a very high level executive summary.   But that is how to do it.   It works well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blogging in General

I didn't think that I'd get into this.   It is kind of self-aggrandizing to sit in an easy chair and assume that people will want to read the blather that you spill out and write onto this and other blogs.

I know my sister likes what I have to say.  She reads this faithfully every day.   She's probably the reason why I have continued writing the blog.   I'm getting very few hits otherwise, maybe under 10 a day.  Its always amusing to me to see where people find this.  Searches in the various engines such as Google, Bing, and the others will send people to these blogs in curious ways.   When I started this, I wrote a few articles that get a hit at least three times a week, such as the ones about my chairs.  Reviews always foster interest because people want to see what someone thinks about a product before or after buying it.   It helps cut down Buyer's Remorse and makes for a happy shopper.

There's a lot of reasons why people would want to keep after this hobby of blogging.  A lot of times in this hectic life, people will never get a chance to "get out" what they have to say so they'll write down what they want on this virtual bathroom wall and be comfortable that someone will end up reading it and maybe get something out of it.   I have written quite a few recipes down and put a couple up on here, and the recipes get more traffic than my pictures.   To a lot of folks, especially in the office that I work in, someone who can cook well or bake is a fascinating thing.  

For now this is probably all I'm getting out of it.  I'm entertaining my sister, perhaps a few unseen people on an RSS Feed, and a random person here and there looking for a review on a chair or a mop or a wholesale club.

All I can say is I'm glad I can help.   Welcome, or come back again tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Large Pearl Tapioca

I like the stuff. 

Big lumpy vanilla tasting pudding.  The Pudding with "Eyes".  The problem is that just like anything else the stuff you buy in the store is never as good as how you make it at home.  I have to say though that with home made chicken dinners sold in the supermarkets, finding someone who makes Tapioca Pudding from scratch is a rare thing.  Its not the 1960s any more I guess.  I'll be the weird guy who bakes bread, makes Pecan and Peanut Brittle, and Tapioca pudding on the block.

The recipe is pretty simple.   Get the Tapioca Pearls and soak 1/2 cup of them overnight.   Lost you already didn't I?

Ok, now it's "Tomorrow", time to make the pudding.   Drain the Pearls, and put them in a sauce pan.   Add to the pan 3 cups Milk, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 eggs.  Turn the heat on Medium and constantly stir. 

Constantly.   Don't stop, but you don't have to be vigorous.  Just enough to break the eggs and mix all things evenly.

As the mixture cooks, on a medium heat, it will start to warm and slowly thicken.   It should take about 15 minutes but the last time I made the stuff it took 45.   There was some leftover water in the pan, and that slowed the thickening down.

When it is visibly thick, and beginning to look like it is going to tighten up, remove it from the heat and add 1 tsp of Vanilla.   I've also made it with Mango Extract and it was great. 

The trick is to pull it from the heat at just the right time.  It will be a judgement call.   If you go too long, it will end up like Jello and that isn't necessarily bad.  Not long enough and it will not thicken into a pudding and remain soupy.  If you cook it more than once, you'll get a feel for how it is done.  Serve in 3/4 to 1 cup servings.  Serves 4 to 6.

Or just drive down to Publix and get a container of the stuff.

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Spam Jokes from Velma!

I do like this one....

Subject: FW: Good, Critical Thought...

 A  woman in a hot air  balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a  boat below. She shouted to him, 
"Excuse me, can you help me? I  promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I  am." 
The man consulted his portable GPS  and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground  elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes  north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west  longitude. 
"She rolled her eyes and said, "You  must be an Obama Democrat." 
"I am,"replied the man. "How did you  know?" 
"Well," answered the balloonist,  "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do  with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to  me." 
The man smiled and responded, "You  must be a Republican." 
"I am," replied the balloonist. "How  did you know?" 
"Well," said the man, "you don't  know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are due to  a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep,  and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you  were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my  fault." 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Emperor has no Clothes or Shopping at a Warehouse Club

If someone takes a little time, you can find some amazing buys these days.   There are a whole laundry list of specific industry and market websites as well as many general purpose sites that are geared towards finding you the best price on a given item.   Many companies have websites that are designed to be the best in their breed and be better than their competition.   There are companies who make all their money by writing software so that the store can beat their competition by having a better experience for the web shopper.

So why is it that there are still stores that you have to pay to get into when the prices are really not THAT much better than the market price?  Here in South Florida, I have a GFS Wholesale Store nearby.  I shop that place before I go to the slightly more distant BJ's Wholesale club because the quality and some of the prices of the merchandise is better at GFS.  GFS is Free, BJ's costs me $40 to get in the front door.  Costco won't even let you on the sales floor without a card and are quite arrogant about that.   Those cards from what I can see are only there to give the shopper or Member a feeling that they belong to something special that others just can't get into.

Seems to me that I'd feel happier with a kick in the pants.

I have been members at Sam's Club, Costco, and BJ's.   I keep a card at BJ's simply because I can get the dog food there at a slightly better price than other places that I have found in the area.   Their quality is average, and there is a disturbing amount of mediocre "Berkley and Jensen" captive brand merchandise there.  Costco I was wholly unimpressed with and dropped it after a year.   Sam's Club was what I left for BJ's about a decade ago, and did so because it was inconvenient.

So is it worth $40 a year for dog food?  Probably not.   The BJ's on Powerline Road in Ft Lauderdale has Gasoline sold there.   That Gasoline irks me the most.  The thing is that while the local stores were selling gas at $2.61 a gallon the other day, BJ's was at $2.63 a gallon.   I know there is a lot of variance in prices in gas in any given area, but BJ's has this Member Price where you were made to feel special when you pay MORE than the market price.   If you are not a Member, and are there in an emergency (which is highly doubtful) you pay an extra 20 cents a gallon for the privilege of buying gas at a BJ's.   Yes, $2.83 a gallon for gas which was 22 cents a gallon more than the Mobil station just down the road.

Basically there are a very few things that I can't get anywhere else than BJ's but every time I go in there I feel like I've been taken advantage of.   There is another disturbing trend at BJ's with roving window salesmen.   You're in there looking at what ever overpriced item you are considering and some eager young person, and they are always young... ALWAYS, will swoop over to you and start to sell you things that you don't need.

BJ's you are becoming the Tivo of the Wholesale Clubs.  It used to be that you'd pay to get in the door, and feel good because you had higher quality than average merchandise and all was good.   Now you have merely average, mass market merchandise at a giant aircraft hanger of a store, no sales support for "complex items", not enough depth in the selection of the goods, and these annoying sales people wandering around throwing themselves in your path trying to get more money out of you.  Stop it.

Oh and those TV Sets at the end of the aisles with the constantly blaring commercials running really truly need to go away.  Give the sets to a needy school and give us all a break from that incessant advertisement.  I don't feel like a Member, I feel like I'm trying to dodge the homeless on a city street.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia July 2004 Picture

I had the fortune of living a block from where this picture was taken.   This is the corner of Highland and Germantown Avenues in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.   Taken July 2004.  Ok, I just repeated the title of the article.   I would walk through this intersection just about every day on the way to the train to work for 13 years.   Every time I walked through there, I looked around and thought how fortunate that I was to be in a neighborhood like this where people cared for things.

Interesting place though.  They were proud to say that this was like an English Country Town in the middle of one of the largest cities in the United States.   I'd say they're right.   I've a British Ex-Pat friend who lives in Key West, David, who has said exactly that.  The place looks like a Traditional High Street from the Countryside.   The lay of the land when you get off of The Avenue and walk southwest toward Fairmount Park gets more wooded and eventually full forest in the Park.

I moved away April 2006, have been away ever since.   I've had reports that the business district is suffering Bush's Depression much stronger than many other areas since this was a collection of One Off Shops that sold typically a superior level of goods.   Just before the crash, the place was invaded by Banks.   We all know what happened there, most of them had closed leaving their hulks squatting on prime real estate, and since they were modified to a Bank's purpose, it leaves me wondering what will eventually go in when the Obama Boom comes.  Now I hear that Borders Books is closing their store at the Top of the Hill.  The problem isn't that Chestnut Hill's Germantown Avenue is a bad place to do business, the problem is that they are a collection of independent commercial shops rented from various people and as such you end up with no cohesiveness and no "flow".

I hope it can go back to the One Off Shop era, it was a wonderful experience living that close to it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How I have learned to hate my Tivo

I bought the thing back a couple years ago.   When I got it, it was a great way to record shows and skip the commercials.  I was able to get a Tivo with a DVD burner so if it fit on a DVD I could burn it and keep it.  If it was bigger than a DVD I could span two discs and still keep it.  It let me set up what they call a Season Pass and record every episode of a show as long as I had space which was nice because I'd be able to walk away and let it do its thing. 

I got it knowing that they had no commercials, no spam ads on there, and basically let me do my own thing. So I got a lifetime subscription and went with it.

Six months later I got a Windows XP Media Center computer.   Basically this was what Tivo promised and did NOT deliver on.   The reason is that the Media Center Edition (MCE) has everything Tivo has without any pesky advertisements from Microsoft within the software as well as other ease of use aspects.

Knowing that MCE was out there and just a computer on your network that let you watch your TV anywhere on your network, Tivo had to act.   Tivo was a closed computer - more like a Cable Company set top box than a Computer that you could get things in and out of.  They added something called Tivo To Go that let you get your shows off of Tivo and let you watch them on a machine with a key.   Better than nothing but still annoying, slow, and very clunky.

So basically I have a Tivo that I don't use much and would not recommend to anyone but your stereotypical Grandma user, and a MCE computer that I use heavily.   When Tivo Dies, I'll happily toss it in the trash.   When MCE dies, I'll build another immediately.   Microsoft did it right, and I'm using a version two versions back.   You get all that wonderful MCE software free with Windows 7 so you don't have to fight with installs, its pretty much just there in Windows 7 Professional and above.  Tivo just gets slower and filled with spam ads while you fast forward and now they're whining with an ad in their main menu talking about genuine Tivo.

No thanks, Tivo, I've moved on and so has the rest of the market.   You're so 1996.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Impatiens Flower Picture

One Single Impatiens Flower.  That's what happens when you plant your flower box with impatiens seeds and you forget to cover the soil.   I've got a white cement planter that is covered with blue tiles, it looks like what Mom would have called a Foot Bath in size and it sits near the front door.   Impatiens seeds are small, almost like grains of salt or ground pepper. The day after they got planted, it rained and washed some of the seeds out into the grass and the rest to the low side of the planter.   It made for an interesting picture, and gave me an excuse to plant other things in that planter.    I know SOMEone would prefer that I stop putting weird things like wildflowers in that planter but, hey that's what its for right?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Facebook Holiday

I spent the evening of Thanksgiving night online.   Many people do and its quite common.   The thing that I didn't realize is just how much of my family was doing the same thing.

After the company went home, I parked myself in my comfy chair, warmed up the laptop and put on some music.  I checked Facebook as I do from time to time, made a comment on there about what I had had for Thanksgiving Dinner, and instead of watching a lingering football game or movie or some other thing, I got some work done.

At least that was the plan.   I did a little bit of research and noticed a red flag in the corner of the browser that was on Facebook pop up.   I went in and answered that message and basically found myself in a conversation with my sister, my cousin in Long Island, some of the family friends and some more of my local friends here in the City.

Since the house was empty I was able to stay online and do a few things and keep up with some folks that I care about and almost never have time to visit with.  While Facebook can be otherwise annoying, this was certainly a novel way to keep up with family.   Certainly well spent time and I'm glad I got to chat with everyone.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wilton Drive at Sunrise - Picture

Having the dog wake me up at 6 in the morning has its benefits.   I get to watch the sun come up.  This particular morning, I was standing in the middle of Wilton Drive at NE 7th Ave in Wilton Manors and took this shot.   The clouds tend to sit just off the coast at that time of the morning, almost every morning and they are in the background of the picture.   I'm standing about 2 and a half miles from the ocean so we get to see them.  This Link is very close to the same view when the Google Street View cam came through so you can see it on a partly cloudy day.

I'll have other Sunrise pictures that I took on that morning up later.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Dangers of a Non Traditional Thanksgiving

Sometimes you just end up doing something a little different.

Thanksgiving was Roast Beef with Port Wine Gravy.  Wonderful stuff.   Along with the baby carrots and the mashed potatoes, it was quite a lot of food.   Excellently prepared, and quite a lot of it.

If you're going to make a meal, why go through the trouble of making just enough for one day.   I never quite understood the idea of working six hours for something that will be done in a heartbeat.   Today with refrigeration and microwaves, you can have the same meal, almost at the same quality, for days. 

After all the fuss of the meal, and the cherry pie afterwords, I was presented with a rather large mess that needed to be put away as well as approximately 6 pounds of well cooked Roast Beef.   Going through a flurry of plastic bags, I managed to Portion-Pack the leftovers and freeze most except one meal which I had today.  

Most folks complain about having way too many leftovers.  I'll be enjoying mine at work all week, and probably for the rest of the month for lunch.   The rolls soak up the gravy quite well too!  I guess instead of complaining they should try something else for the holidays.    I wonder if I could convince folks to try a christmas goose or ham....

I Doubt it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sunrise at the Shoppes - Picture

This picture was taken just at sunrise, and is a bit dark.   You're looking over the parking lot at the Shoppes of Wilton Manors.   This is pretty much Ground Zero for the City.   The place has a bunch of shops for the tourists to buy clothes, shoes, and the lot.   It also has a great Pizza place, independently owned Coffee shop, a couple of large dance bars and other things.

I find myself walking through there two or three times a day.   When you live here, and as close to here as I do, it is the 500 pound gorilla of the neighborhood.   Luckily it is always an interesting place to go and it does have the Poverello Thrift Store to snoop around from time to time.

This shop also was where the current Renaissance of the city started.   Poverello moved in to do their Good Work, the Alibi opened up and people started moving back.   Before 97, it was said that you could have fired a cannon down Wilton Drive and never hit a soul since all the shops closed.   The town was a No Go zone for Snowbirds like me, and now its gentrified and I'm here... walking the dog.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Facebook Annoyances

Maybe Annoyances is a bit strong.

Perhaps Facebook Peeves is more like it.

I'm on a couple of those Social Networking Sites.  Tagged turned out to be way too rude with people trying to hit on you every day.   What I did with was to merely go quiet.   I still have the account but I'm not really on there.   All I do is check it when someone inappropriate sends me something inappropriate.   There are a LOT of Nigerian Scammers there.

I'm on Linkedin, and probably should make that one a priority.  I'm lousy at professional networking so anything that would help would be welcome.   I have a very basic profile there and don't really use it.

Then there's Facebook.   Facebook feels much more "Legit".   So I have people who I genuinely care for who are part of the family, and people who I genuinely care for that I know here in town and in the City.   Facebook has a lot of games on it just like Tagged does.   Mafia Wars, Farmville, Beating Hearts and MANY more.   If you turn on all your notifications and have more than a few friends... you come home after work to pages of people doing mob its, planting fields, and having hearts that ... throb.

Its all very nice, but I prefer to play games in private.  I have a game called "Freeciv" that will take multiple months to play but I doubt much that anyone wants to know that I just conquered the Portuguese or the Antarcticans or some such.

What Facebook does, right, is to keep putting up games so people keep coming back - and they let people who really aren't all that interested "hide" them.   I come home, check Facebook like millions of others do, and simply Hide all of those games.   I'd much rather see what people are really thinking.  Way too much to do Off Line than take out a mob hit (virtually) on someone who I met 10 years ago at a party who thought enough of me to want to say hi to me again.

I'm not the only one who does it, I've just listened to someone tell me that he's just "hid it" to a notification about someone who bought a cow.

If you think this is about you, and you're a friend, you might be right.   But I do take things seriously so don't feel insulted.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Post, New Month, Last Picture

At least the last one from the Keys.   When you're driving along that ribbon of black top, you are wondering "Am I There Yet?" for quite a long time.   This is "There".   This is the end of Monroe County and the end of the Florida Keys.   Oh sure, there's places like Key Biscayne, and a few islands on the west coast with "Key" in the name, but they aren't "THE" Keys.   You're looking at the few feet on US1 that is in Monroe County, FL.   From this point onward, you're on the Mainland, and still in the Glades.   There is a sign for a restaurant, another saying chill out to pass in 2 miles, and the last one, to the left of that boat near the road is the sign announcing "Entering Miami Dade County".

I hit that spot, thought that this would be a good place to stop taking pictures and just drive.   I relaxed, turned up the radio, smiled at the sun and made it up to South Miami for a tank of Gas, and another 55 or so miles to home. 

This reminds me of the old jokes that people would say about going to visit a friend's house to watch their slide shows of their vacations and listen to their monologue.   Terribly boring way to spend a night, so I hope that this isn't as bad.

At any rate, I'm done with my Keys pictures.   There's other things to put up from around here, hopefully they won't be too dull.