Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Lied...More Pics from Florida

Had a good scare with this thing that was floating in the waves...I yelled "Snake!" and was in Orlando before I slowed down.
Crass commercialism even at the beach.
Don't know why this is so strange. Maybe it is putting your mug on the banner.
Stormy but nice.
This guy was fascinated with something and certainly stood his ground.

Friday, May 29, 2009

News from England

One more example of "free will". I attempted to imbue the kids with a love of dogs. Missy was the embodiment of love, if not doghood, and that alone should have ensured an embracing of wanting dogs in the family. But, sadly, it would appear that cats are the pet of choice. Mackenzie has 1, Nancy has 2, and apparently Brendan and Karen have this feline, named Dizzy. I wonder if it meows with an accent? By the way, Brendan, you are looking a bit scruffy. Put the cat down and go shave. And email.
PS Karen: I am reading "The Art of Racing In The Wind" and love it. What a great book for dog-lovers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Florida Dining

The Floridian had the greatest Cuban Sandwich. I passed on the blackbeans and rice, but everyone liked them, too.
I had the Mexican pizza.

This was an upscale place. I had the tilapia and au gratin potatoes and cocoanut shrimp appetizer. This is the kind of place that doesn't serve butter with bread, cocktail sauce with shrimp or even give you a spoon. But good food and even greater company.
This was a great place for wings and scenery.
My thanks to my hosts for attempting to expand my culinary horizons.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Other Pics from the Trip

One of the things beachcombers do is sweep the ocean with their feet to ward off sting rays and find interesting shells. I found what appears to be a vertebrate from something.

Kenzie and Drew from the Pier in Downtown St. Pete.
From the Pier. A walkway to restaurants, shops and a pirate ship that, unfortunately was off on a sail.

Bumps are humps in Florida.
Kenze and Dad on the Pier.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day Two

Made a trip to Ceridian to see where Nancy works, met the kids for an afternoon at the beach. Supper at Carmelita's, Mexican joint. Good food, just wish I liked Mexican. See, they are trying to expand my culinary tastes: December was Greek. Maybe they should just give it up and take me to McDonald's or a steak house. The beach was fun. One of the pastimes is to look for interesting shells. I found my first unbroken sea dollar and, get this, a vertebrate from something. Pictures coming up.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day One - On The Beach

A bit stormy this afternoon but periods of sunshine. This was taken at Indian Rocks Beach and we saw a lot of interesting things. Good first day -- and hey! we went to Hooters with Kenze and Drew. I liked Hooters a lot. Really really liked it. Never been there before. Our fine waitress was Bulgarian or Czech and she had a lovely accent. I admire people who can overcome obstacles and display their ass, oops, attributes to make for a better society. It was great for a boob, doh!, I mean rube like me to see things not often available for residents of BFE.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Heading To Florida For Memorial Day Weekend

I am heading to Florida to see kinfolk over a long Memorial Day weekend. I leave this morning and return on Tuesday. I plan on walking the beach, having barley pops and a good cigar and dining at unique local restaurants (I hear I will be going to a Cuban diner). Also on my list is a neat little breakfast spot I went to last year.

During this trip I will still be able to act like an overwhelmed-tourist-from-small-Midwestern-village. I plan on milking it all I can. When I head down later I am sure the "kid gloves" will come off and I'll (gasp) have to drive on my own, or (OMG) fend for my self the mean streets of St. Petersburg.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Horse, The Chicken, and the Harley

On the farm lived a chicken and a horse, both of whom loved to play together. One day the two were playing, when the horse fell into a bog and began to sink.

Scared for his life, the horse whinnied for the chicken to go get the farmer for help!Off the chicken ran, back to the farm. Arriving at the farm, he searched and searched for the farmer, but to no avail, for he had gone to town with the only tractor.Running around, the chicken spied the farmer's new Harley.Finding the keys in the ignition, the chicken sped off with a length of rope hoping he still had time to save his friend's life.

Back at the bog, the horse was surprised, but happy, to see the chicken arrive on the shiny Harley, and he managed to get a hold of the loop of rope the chicken tossed to him.After tying the other end to the rear bumper of the farmer's bike, the chicken then drove slowly forward and, with the aid of the powerful bike, rescued the horse!

Happy and proud, the chicken rode the Harley back to the farmhouse, and the farmer was none the wiser when he returned.The friendship between the two animals was cemented: Best Buddies, Best Pals.

A few weeks later, the chicken fell into a mud pit, and soon, he too, began to sink and cried out to the horse to save his life! The horse thought a moment, walked over, and straddled the large puddle, Looking underneath, he told the chicken to grab his hangy-down thingy and he would then lift him out of the pit.

The chicken got a good grip, and the horse pulled him up and out, saving his life.The moral of the story?(yep, you betcha, there is a moral!)

"When You're Hung Like A Horse, You Don't Need A Harley To Pick Up Chicks"

Monday, May 18, 2009


FOR RENT: 1 BR home in small town 15 minutes from Galesburg. Newly redecorated. Stove, refrigerator, DW, W/D included. Newer 2 car detached garage. $375 a month. Security deposit. Pets subject to approval/additional deposit. For application and more information call 309-371-5251.
After discussions with family, I have decided to rent. Actually that was the original plan anyway when I bought it. Always liked the idea of supplemental income. Us old coots need all the income streams we can get. Now I'll have the pension, rent and selling my body to the lovely co-eds on Treasure Island beach.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fascinating Picture

These pictures were taken last Wednesday, May 13. This is a picture of our Sun. Now look at the lower left quadrant and you'll see a very small speck.

That speck is the shuttle and underneath the shuttle ia another small speck. And that would be the hubble telescope.

Stand By Me

Below is a link to a composite audio/ video of song whereby additional tracks were laid in by different singers and musicians from different places around the world. The song itself is that classic standard "Stand By Me" originally released in 1955 by The Staple Singers and released again in 1961 by the Drifters. This composite version is a real toe tapper."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Deal Fell Through

We thought we had a deal but guess we didn't. I'm staying around longer than I thought. Maybe I'll just rent.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Welcome to Tim's Lair, Civic Center, Community Center, Municipal headquarters, & BFE ThinkTank. Decor is decidedly biker, with a mix of Marine, where the beer is cold and women are hot.

Got a call a couple days ago wanting to know if I had time for a beer. And then I spied what was cooking. Look at those ribs and garlic bread!

Apprentice CG assisting Chef Timmy.

Chris bought these ribs, Tim cooked 'em, CG fixed the bread and I drank beer and ate.

Call me anytime.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Knox County Academy Reunion

Me, Bob Sheehan, Matt Warnsing, and Gay Johnson

The group that once manned the Knox County Academy met once again last Friday evening at Hammer's in Galesburg. With my imminent departure South, this represents the last time we will most likely be together. KCA was richly rewarding and gave me an opportunity to work with troubled kids again. I thank Gay for her perceptive recognition of talent when I came knocking looking for work.

Everyone has gone their own way since then. Bob is subbing for area schools although he made a great showing in the recent mayoral race. Bob showed infinitely more patience and ramrod dedication in dealing with troubled kids than he had a right to. He taught with passion and veracity and those students who failed to take notice are surely the worse for doing so.
Matt, photographer of lazy squirrels, and his wife teach. Matt, by the way, is one of the best teachers I have ever had the privilege to see. Calm, measured, with humor tinging his seriousness, he warrants a principalship and I hope he gets it soon. Just about the time you think teachers are overpaid, and just going through the motions after being beat down by paperwork and bureaucracy, along comes someone like Matt.
And then there is Gay, who works in the Knoxville school still doing something vague and unique. The groups' crusading leader, she led by example, and displayed an openness to ideas, and suggestions that was refreshing. Eternally bubbly, my friend and former Peace Corp worker made us all better by her presence. Good luck Principal/Boss, and thanks for a lot of laughs, thought-provoking conversations and a chance to do work that truly rewards the soul.

Bye guys.

Monday, May 11, 2009

House Is Sold


Well, looks like after only 12 days on the market my little dump in North Henderson has been sold. Of course, there are a hundred things that can go wrong, but as it stands now closing will be in mid-June, and my days here in BFE are numbered.

I have been offered an opportunity to be with my family in St. Petersburg, Florida so I will resign from Dick Blick sometime in the next couple weeks and prepare for a major change in my situation. It will be nice to be with family, but there are things I will miss here and will expand on that thought at some point.

I guess I just didn't get used to the isolation of BFE and after Missy died, it became more pronounced. I wanted to share things, which I did with this blog, but never could shake my need for Nancy. So, I will travel to Florida pretty soon and although living in a major metropolitan area is not my cup of tea, I believe we can all change and adapt. I am willing to give everything up I have been involved with for many years in order to share my life, my vision, my fears and human frailty with someone I have invested almost a lifetime with.

The blog will continue.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This is the front of my house in BFE. I got that Indian corn at Tanner's Orchard last fall. I was about to toss it out when I noticed activity when I went out the door. Looked all over the front area to see where nests were being built and spied this yesterday. Good luck little birdies. I'll try not to bother you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

For Florida (And England) Viewers: Scenes From Illinois

Nice sunrise cloud formation.

A deer in the field that just moments before crossed my path. Yeah, I know, its tough to see. It is the small shape just to the left of the clump of small trees in the foreground.

Rain, rain, rain. In fact rainiest Spring on record. Farmers are apoplectic. Seems we like breaking records: wettest spring, snowiest winter, coldest since recorded will be nice to see temps ranging from 84 - 89 degrees every day.

Another sunrise over a farm.

A lazy Galesburg squirrel. Photo compliments of Matt Warnsing.
Matt tells me this wasn't a zoom shot, that he actually crept up on this guy. Nice picture and thanks for sharing.