Friday, December 2, 2016

Flashback Friday - Iliff Part 3

Iliff wasn't all studies and library.  There was time to shake the books and head out to see the local sights.  As my circle of friends grew I was able to explore the things that were pretty fun.  Actually, on weekends and days off from classes I think we covered the town and surrounding areas like a cold sweat.  None of us had much money so we found economical ways to get our kicks.  For instance, one time that I remember well and perhaps have mentioned before was a trip Jan and I took up into the mountains.  We had some wine, beer, and a small tray of cheese and snacks.  We found a pretty nice meadow up in the mountains with a small cool stream that ran through it.  We kept the wine and beer cool in the stream  and threw a blanket down and had a nice afternoon talking and looking at the beautiful vista.  Its was so much like some scene in a movie.    

I have no clue what was going on here.  I don't recall if it was my place or hers.  Looks like two beds were combined to make a big one but memory doesn't always serve one well after this long.

Jan over at my place.  That window behind her was a great place to see the snow coming down.  Two big roads, South University Boulevard and Iliff Avenue converged right out there and it was a pleasant way to spend some time.  

Strangely, this horrible picture was the only one I wrote notations on.  On the back it reads, "Picture by Hymie.  Jan in pain.  4/17/76"  Again, I have no idea what was going on.  

Polaroid film was expensive and to take these I either must have come into some new funds or I was just having fun.  Glad I did, though.

These are pictures I took from the passenger side of her car heading someplace.  If I had to guess, the top one may have been a side excursion either to Colorado Springs or Wyoming.  We went to both of those places; I don't remember why we went to Wyoming, but I think we had a car load.  We also took off once for Colorado Springs to see the Red Rocks amphitheater and just get out of town.  The bottom one may have been a trip to Pike's Peak.  Again, I'm not sure, I didn't have anything written on the backs.  Anyway, I love road trips.  

I've posted this picture before on the blog, so if it looks familiar, my apologies for being redundant.  We were headed somewhere, perhaps either Golden or Evergreen.  and stopped by this little bypass off the road to take in the snow but mild weather conditions.  The long hair reminds me of another Denver story.  See that hair?  Jan and I were downtown at a department store and we were both squatting down looking at something in the glass counter.  A saleslady approached from behind and asked, "Can I help you ladies?"

I recall my first plane ride: for Christmas break I took an Ozark Airlines flight to Peoria and then a train ride back.  Eddie Valverde was my buddy the final year and as you can surmise by his name he liked Mexican food.  We went somewhere that was supposedly one of the best in Denver for such cuisine.  Not being a fan of the stuff, I nevertheless liked a dessert bread that the name has escaped me.  Never had it since but it was really good.  You tore off a corner (it was triangular) and you pored a bit of honey into the cavity.  Yum.   

I had a roommate the second year.  Gary Thomas was a very nice older guy whom I liked a lot.  Genial, funny and we got a long just fine.  He didn't do much socializing - he had a wife at home while he was trying to start a new career.   The Calhoun boys went back to Mississippi,  the Filipino girl was never heard from again after my submarine accident in the Colorado River (don't ask).  Eddie Vee returned to California and is a businessman out there.  Jan and I talked by phone and letter occasionally after graduation but when I married, out of respect, she faded away.  

To one of the most often asked question directed to me:  no, I never went skiing.  You wouldn't believe the cost of one day of skiing when you add the lift pass, ski rental, outer clothes rental and add food and gas.  For us broke students we had to make do with other diversions.  

I'll be wrapping up Illiff sometime, most likely in January.  Stay tuned for the final chapter of a country kid on his own in the big city.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Eagle Lake Redux

My second trip to nearby Eagle Lake Park.  This is one of my wordless posts (born really out of laziness) affording the pictures to do all the speaking.  It is approaching the Fall and Winter seasons here - warm days, cool nights.  Time to get out of the constant artificial AC environments and get outside.

This lousy out-of-focus picture was included to display the difficulty of catching a dragonfly in flight.  Nearly impossible for an ignorant amateur.  I took almost 30 pictures of this guy buzzing around.  All were fuzzy.  This, butterflies in flight and barges moving at night are almost impossible for me.   

Thanks for walking with me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There Be Magic Here

Like a late summer morning mist that comes with the dew,  the Little Wizard glides smoothly along the low land of the room.  It makes the sounds of one who is contented - of past deeds or a deed yet to come, who knows?  A bubbling hum.  A contented hum. 

The little Wizard glances at you but also at something else, something shiny on the ground.  Too many distractions.  The focus wavers.  The Little Wizard seems to falter in its purpose - shiny or you.  You are not shiny.  You are known - you are the one who is always here.  But this shiny thing is new.  Or is it?  

The Little Wizard scans and thinks.  Ah, but I've seen this before.  Recognition then instant focus to something else.  The rustling Wizard turns to you again and says something that could only be gibberish.    

No, not gibberish, really.  Gibberish is the ability to phoneticize.  No, this is a trill mixed with a hum mixed with a gurgling.  The Little Wizard presses on with her incantation.  It takes awhile to formulate the combination of need, of thought and of sound.  Finally, the Little Wizard raises her hands like a maestro bringing the orchestra to attention.  What follows is the power of a magician to command, perhaps beckon, the elements about to the Will of the Wizard.  

But wee Wizards sometimes fail in the quest to put definition to Will.  Purpose to plan.  While their majesty is great, their function is young.  This Little Wizard has learned that patience and practise will eventually win the day.  Her power is present but the formula's escape her in the mist of newness and distraction.  The Little Wizard moves away to new conquests, new sights, new awes with a simple lesson left for her subjects:  All Great Things Do Not Always Start Out Great.  It Takes Practice, Patience and a Beginning.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

Remember a couple weeks ago I told you about this Roush I spotted in the parking lot here at Waterboard?  I'd never heard of it and after some research discovered a company founded by Jack Roush in 1995 modifying Mustangs and Ford F-150's into performance machines.   

Of course you remember: my readers have instant recall on all the fascinating subjects I bring up.  Anyway, I stalked the owner (actually Alfred and I were strolling the parking lot) and had a chat with him.  First off, he is a very approachable and likeable fellow, easily stalked.  He was more than happy to talk about his car and handled all of my questions superbly.  He also told me the car was under water and he and his wife just had a baby girl.  He mentioned it may have been bad timing to get the Roush.  

And, ready?  He said he is insured "inside and out" and offered to let me drive the thing.  At first I was quite ready to take him up on his offer.  I told him maybe for Christmas.  If he offers again I'll take the ride but he can do the driving.  


A week ago I went over to ABC Bicycles in St.Pete where I bought my bicycle when I first moved down here and was stolen at Bedlam.  I was checking some out to see if I wanted to buy another one, and after the browsing the current Mrs. Blythe, Miss Norah and myself had lunch at one of our old favorites.  It just so happened that it was 

Great place to get a sandwich or platter of fish and then grab some to take home.  Because it was a special occasion they had a guy at the keyboards entertaining the patrons.  It was fun to see Norah and the he flirting and exchanging smiles and giggles.  She even got to go up and draw a name out of a hat for winning one of the hourly prizes.


This is for longtime reader Tom up in G-Burg and Probation officer extraordinaire.  He is fond of our furry little friends in the trees.


Upstairs window decorations for the holidays.  So delusional.  So sad.  Endless blue skies.  Endless warm days.  This is no place for snow worshippers.


Not sure about Northlandia but down here some McDonald's are sprucing up for the Holidays by putting lights all over their buildings.  It's pretty cool looking.  Sorry about the above picture, it was taken on the go from the road.


Thanksgiving at Kenzie's.  The boys above went out for a coupel beers then back home to romp with the kids.  Note:  No one was hurt in the making of this picture and this should not be done at home without proper vigilence.

By the way, the young man above is being propelled to new heights by Brendan.  He is Liam and is the son of his girlfriend.  


This was handed to me recently by its author.  I have added it to my other sentimental keepsakes in my wallet.  By the way, it translates to :"Because I Love You So Much".  And it was not done by the current Mrs. Blythe but rather Miss Norah.  


CNN's round-the-clock coverage of Castro's death is embarrassing.  He hasn't been a player in a decade or longer, his brother is firmly in control and the guy he has appointed to succeed him will be just the same.  The idea that somehow this is the end of Cuban socialism is ridiculous.  CNN is myopic in its news coverage.  I only watch them now for news if I have no alternatives.


This is to remind you I will be in Northlandia soon for a couple weeks.  I will not be posting next Monday through Friday.  While I am gone you can either reread all of the over 2500 posts or just handle your withdrawal tremors with alcohol, ice cream or go out and protest something.    

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Odd and Bizarre

Specialty shops aren't new down here:  surf shops, organic groceries,  tropical plants, you name it. Somewhere in this vast maze of stop-and-go dullery you can find about anything.  And what you can't find you can get on Amazon or Ebay.  But last week I was amazed at this strange little brew of a place in not too far from me.  

I'm not sure the name truly does it justice.  Let's take a look.

As you pull in you are greeted by the police-style mock up outlines in the parking lot.  But you are still in "normal-ville".  But beware, you are about to leave city limits.

Bottles of medicines, some were known by me, many were not.  This old used bottle of Mercurochrome brought back some memories.  This was the miracle ointment every mother used back in my time before Neosporin.

Trays of dental equipment that most likely inflicted pain of some degree on its victims.

Denture plasters.

Here we have a priest's traveling communion case.

Shower sign in a military oriented corner.

A young person's straight-jacket. 

A human skull made up to resemble a certain German fuhrer.

A barrel of old radio transistors.  If I could figure out what I'd do with them I'd get some, just for the hell of it.  Maybe Christmas gifts?

A prosthetic leg.

An unsettling piece of art.  If anyone must have this for their collection of let me know and I'll run over at get it for you - I suppose it is still there.  

I'm simply not sure.  

This brought back memories of "Frida the Frog Baby, She's No Ordinary Baby" of Mercer County Fair  fame back in the day.

This wall hanging was intriguing just because those rascally ancient Egyptians were a pretty fascinating bunch, but then I looked closer.  

This looks to be like one of those medieval devices where you were placed for some type of punishment.  I'm not sure what they are called.  And I am happy about that.

Outside amongst the larger items was this wind chime-thingy hanging around.  Art?  Nightmare?  Everything is for sale here.  

It was a bizarre experience and I felt a little voyeuristic walking around.  But I got over it.  A strange little shop that certainly was worth stopping by.  A little different from Bath and Body.  I'm still haunted by that Egyptian thing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  The day means different things to people.  Certainly a day of feasting on good food is up there as is the meeting with family.  Football, maybe a beer or two and the fact we have a day off is part of the joy as well.  The entire staff here at BFE including the CEO,  General Manager, editorial staff, sales department, secretarial pool and maintenance workers wish you all a very happy day.   Remember, contrary to other lists, there are only three keys to personal happiness: 



Doing The Things We Enjoy

See those turkeys above?  They don't have smiles on their beaky faces because they don't have the above components.  See the turkey farmer above?  He has a smile on his face because he does have those three facets.  That proves my thesis.  Now, go have fun.

Oh, and by the way, we'll be taking the rest of the week off, returning on Monday.  That wiped the smiles off your faces, didn't it?  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

Firstly, I plan on being back in Northlandia on December 3rd.  Secondly, I'm not the least bit worried about the maintenance and aging fleet of Allegiant Air.  Thirdly, maybe I should  be.  

  • Allegiant has 86 planes.  42 of them broke down at least once in-flight last year.
  • Allegiant planes have had at least 77 forced landing due to serious mechanical failures.
  • Allegiant suffered 39 engine failures between January 2015 and September 2016.
  • Allegiant repaired important parts of their planes only to have them break down again 18 times last year.
  • Allegiant's planes are, on average 22 years old but only had mechanics at 11 of the 118 airports that give it hospitality.
  • For every 10,000 flights, an airline will have on average 3 unexpected landings.  Last year Allegiant had 12.

When Tampa Bay Times reporters asked Allegiant execs about this, they agreed with all the facts.  Even the CEO said it was unacceptable.  They talked of airline operations being under pressure.  And yet last quarter Allegiant's net profits were 56 million.  

(From Tampa Bay Times Investigative Report dated 11-1-2016.  If interested in more info go to TBT's website and type Allegiant in Search box.)


Bob Dylan is an ass for not attending the Nobel Awards ceremony.  He says he has a prior commitment:  what on earth is more important?  Geez.  What a jerk.  Definitely does not pass the Barstool Test. 


Remember when Facebook was people-oriented and a nice little platform to keep in touch with friends - to let them know what you up to?  


The UN military force was a bust in the Congo situation in the 60's, the Rwandan massacres in the 90's, and is a total failure today as 100 kids die a week in Aleppo.  Scrap it and start over.


My Cabin in the Woods.  

Since the election I have been like a crazed moth to a flame regarding TV news.  I sit, rapt, waiting to see what the Hell will happen next.  However, up in the cabin I have no cable, no DISH, or other means for 24 hour news.  I don't know what kind of withdrawal I will experience, but I am contemplating keeping busy: maybe building a house or writing a novel or becoming a neurosurgeon.


I got my flu shot last week, with no help from my insurance provider (boo Aetna).  If I get it and am hospitalized guess I get to forward the bills to them.  Morons.  Idiotic American healthcare.  And by the way, I am amazed at the number of people who do not get their shots based on erroneous information/myths.  


Last week I mentioned my irrational fear of having a nest camera trained on my livingroom/hallway.  It's night and I wake up and turn on the Nest to just check things out and I see something or someone coming don the hallway toward my bedroom.  I then mentioned that I turned the camera outside so I can see the weather.  This is what I found when I checked in this past week.  Some enterprising person or persons with too much time on their hands now that they aren't farming planting this "Scream" mask in front of the camera.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.   


Last Sunday I went to Serb Fest then didn't feel like returning to the cell quite yet so drove over to the Sports Shack for a couple beers.  

I'll be posting more on Serb Fest next week but it was wild:  English was not the primary language and this cassock-wearing Robert DeNiro look-alike holy man was wandering around.  I wonder if he was giving me a blessing?

My stop at the Sports Shack was nice, too.  It had a nice cool breeze rustling through the palm fronds, and beer I could pronounce.  The Bears game was on one of the dozen TV sets they had and was crushed when they lost.  Just crushed.   Then, reluctantly, moved on to the Waterboard to close out the weekend.  


And Finally, 

Found while going through some stuff I found at the old institution I was at, Bedlam.  Please Floridian parents: make education a priority.