Thursday, July 30, 2009

Scenes From the Bike Path

This the right turn onto the path but I don't know if it is going north or west. I try to hit it every day. If I turn left and keep going I end up at Tropicana Field, but that is some 5 miles away, so I have a ways to go before I am at that kind of trip.

I go right by the Tyrone Square Mall where my daughter works.

Yes, Toto, we're in Florida.

The Pinellas Trail Bike Path goes over some main arteries.

And I want you to know it takes some major pedaling to get up these ramps.

A nice ride over some water.

Going past the KOA campground where they offer refreshments in their little convenience store, but I didn't bring any money.

We have our path and the cars have theirs. Surprisingly, there isn't a lot of traffic on this trail, although I haven't been on it much during the weekends.

One of my first purchases down here was a Trek Navigator 1 bicycle. Light frame, no kick stand, 7-speeds and fairly soft seat. I enjoy riding it. Here, however, are some things to watch out for on a bicycle:

1. Don't wear boxers under your shorts.

2. Do take water.

3. Don't go exploring the ditches - they look like homes for gators.

4. While the signs say no motorized vehicles, I saw a scooter today.

5. Its about a 50/50 mix on bicyclists who wear helmets.

6. I don't now nor will I ever wear spandex.

7. Bikes with internal combustion motors are faster and better.

8. Lookout Lance.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Update from Brendan

In a very brief phone call from Brendan (we were cut off after about 30 seconds) he said he was in Cannes, France. He and Karen are travelling Europe and have been to Monaco and Monte Carlo. That was it, then gone. He sounded happy and I heard Karen chirping in the background.
He then called his Mother a day later and they had returned but were planning a trip to Wales this weekend.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Inane Ramblings

1. Nancy was right, there are no flies in Florida.

2. At the DMV an old lady came and sat two seats from me waiting to get her license renewed. She said she hoped her business wouldn't cost more than $20, since she only had $22 until she got her Social Security and she used $2 on gas to get here. She was called to a desk close by and I heard that it would cost her $25.00. She told the guy she didn't have it and so I walked over and gave her the five. She was very thankful and when she left she stopped by to give me her name and phone on a piece of paper and it had IOU $5.00 on it. She said she could give it to me on the 3rd of August and that there are angels. Well, I say this not to get any attention for my good deed, but that there are people who mightily struggle month to month to survive. We should be thankful for every thing we have.

3. Speaking of DMV, they didn't accept my duly authorized birth certificate. Travis, the bastard, said it didn't have the "feel" of a certificate, nor the watermarking, nor the design on both sides. I told him that I got it from a courthouse county clerk's office and it had the stamp of the clerk on it. That wasn't good enough for him, and I said that I got it to get a passport, and it ought to be good enough to get a Florida driver's license. He didn't agree and sent me packing.
I walked home and called the Warren County Clerks office and they said to go back and give them their phone number, that they would surely like to talk to this guy. Armed with my number back I go and a lady went to two people cleeeaaaar in the back and returned saying Lori Richards said it was OK, and if I had any further trouble, just drop that name on them. I then went to the person who would do this (right next to Travis) and I got my license. Oh, by the way, Travis saw I was back and just walked over, looked at Richard doing his thing and then sauntered off without apology or further comment.

4. Still haven't been to the beach: looks like Sunday morning after breakfast at Gayle's Restaurant. Circumstances and schedules. Pictures soon, neighbor Tim.

5. I hear it has been chilly in Illinois. You're welcome to this heat. If you walk at all you lose your freshness in no time and end up being sweaty, or worse get crotch rot.

6. Took my second bicycle ride on the Pinellas Trail. A few more trips and I'll be ready for the Tour de St. Pete.

7. Turner Classic Movies is on basic down here. I love it.

8. Another funny thing happened at the DMV. My Illinois license had a glasses restriction. I had to take a vision test here and evidently passed it with flying colors. Thing is, I didn't have my glasses. So I guess I have found what Ponce de Leon couldn't. So, no glasses restriction. Wow. Another oddity, Illinois renews, what, every three or four years. I don't have to renew my Florida drivers license until 2017.

9. Stewart, my friend from Galesburg, offered me one of these beers when I stopped by to see him a couple of weeks ago. It is the absolute worst swill I have ever tried to force down. I can't believe he even offered this stuff to me rather than putting it in his new bike for fuel. I almost gagged with the first swallow and decided if I ever needed ipecac I'd buy a bottle of this stuff.

10. Call me old fashioned but I find this t-shirt kinda scary. I know I'd not likely want to date her.

11. The Chicago stations are blaring about how Mark Buehrle's perfect game is only the White Sox 2nd in history. Well, the Mets have never had a no-hitter let alone a perfect game. Speaking of the Mets, we are toast. Time to start focusing on football.

12. Is that report true? Morgan Freeman, God in movies, is dating his step-grandaughter, 27, and he is, well, 146. Eeewww.

13. Besides the obvious Freudian implications of this picture is the fact that it was a woman driver who drove the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile into this building.

14. This was posted on my severe weather page on Friday afternoon: a tornado watch in Mercer County. Sure wish I was at the NHCC as a spotter. A cigar in one hand, a beer in the other.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Must Watch This

Killed in action the week before, the body of Sergeant First Class John C. Beale was returned to Falcon Field in Peachtree City , Georgia , just south of Atlanta , on June 11, 2009. The Henry County Police Department escorted the procession to the funeral home in McDonough, Georgia .

A simple notice in local papers indicated the road route to be taken and the approximate time.Nowadays one can be led to believe that America no longer respects honor and no longer honors sacrifice outside the military. Be it known that there are many places in this land where people still recognize the courage and impact of total self-sacrifice. Georgia remains one of those graceful places.

The link above is a short travelogue of that day's remarkable and painful journey. But only watch this if you wish to have some of your faith in people restored. Please share widely.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bat Trick

I'm sure everyone has seen this by now, but it needs to be seen again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Addendum To Dear Tim

Truth be told I am mostly likely a "Moderate" straddling both political spectrums. On some issues a conservative slant might be a wiser approach, while on others I lean liberal. It is an honest person, who does not have all the answers, and may not accept force-fed sound bites from party heads, who reflects on the best of both sides. Neither side is all "right" nor all "wrong".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dear Tim

Dear Tim:

I am sorry I am of a liberal persuasion. You see, my parents sent to me Iowa Wesleyan College, a small Midwestern liberal arts college in the heart of liberal Iowa, during the Vietnam war. Above is my IWC ID card I unearthed in the move, and as you can see I am already turning into a long-haired liberal hippie radical. I took philosophy courses, and if you aren't liberal after that, then the sociology, theology and Modern Ethics courses were the clincher. I won't get into the bowling, tennis and piano classes I took as a senior after all my hours had been met.

My philosophy instructor and advisor was George E. LaMore, now retired, of course, who further pushed and dragged me into the liberal wing of things. He was rather renowned at the time for his leftist-leaning activist ideas that didn't always sit well with the Methodist church which apparently subsidized the school.

Then if that wasn't enough, a quagmire of a war deepened with Nixon, a right-to-the-right crook of a guy that made a lasting impression with me. Cronkite said it was OK to hate the war, and although I was far too busy at the library to participate in any marches, I went ahead and hated the war.

Then if that wasn't enough my mother was a liberal do-gooder who cared about the sick and homeless and if the Republicans didn't want to get their hands dirty with social issues, the Democrats would. Now I leave my father for the last. He and his father were zealous conservatives, my grandfather making no secret of his eternal hatred of FDR. (He even stopped by on our 16th birthday to give the sage advise: marry a good cook and vote Republican.) My Dad voted Republican in every election.....until his last one when he finally saw the errors of his life and finally, and with great glee from his family, voted liberal Democratic. (I will let others divine the meaning of his one and only Democratic vote and then his untimely death.)

So you see, Neighbor Tim, fellow debater, nice guy, open-minded (creeeeeaaaaak, a little WD-40 wouldn't hurt), and friend, I never had a chance.


Your liberal friend,


PS: What interests me more than the difference between us are the things that we share: love of country, love of soldiers who sacrifice so we can have our chats about our political beliefs, love of riding bikes, and the brotherhood of bikers.

Parents - Keep Your Kids In School

This is a picture of a sign in front of a house in Knoxville. Click on the picture to get a larger view of the day of the week that is written, but not written well. When I took this I also checked the other side to make sure it wasn't just a mistake, but it was written identically on the other side too. So, parents and kids, stay in school so you won't make a fool of yourself in front of everyone who drives in front of your home.

By the way, all mistakes in grammar and spelling on this blog are due to the computer and not the writer.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Week Update

Thanks to some medical advise here and back home (Thanks Dr. Tim) my medical affliction has been greatly relieved. I have regained full movement and no longer suffer the stinging and embarrassment of diaper rash.

This is the Floridian sandwich shop. Great Cuban sandwiches and black bean and rice side. I've mentioned it before but it needed repeating.

As I have told many people there is a city-wide back path right next to this complex. My friend Stewart in Galesburg offered a suggestion as to a bike to look for and I pulled the trigger yesterday on this cool Trek Navigator 1.

I have been driving around St. Pete a bit this week. It really isn't too bad. Not much worse than Henderson Street in Galesburg. My friends in BFE would probably like to know that I have not ridden my bike all that much but I plan to. Nancy goes back to work today and I will have long hours to pretty much do what I want. I may even try the Causeway bridge. As we were driving to the Kawi shop to unload the bike a few days ago, a couple of bikers pulled up nect to me and one of them looked at the bike and said, "I thought those things never broke down." I was pleased to tell him this one was just fine and that we were unloading it. He then proceeded to give me some tips on where to go and find nice roads for driving a cycle. I'll check some of them out this week and give a report.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Train Vs. Tornado

OK, I know this hasn't got anything to do with North Henderson, Florida, me, my homesickness or moving stuff in 92 degree weather, but it sure is neat. Things really get rockin' at the 1:00 mark.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Early Impressions Of Florida

Working on 36 some hours in sunny Florida and these are my early impressions:

1. Due to heat and moisture, I can barely walk due to a nasty rash in my nether regions due to the heat. I have been gelling and baby powdering the area, but with more to move and having to do it out in the sun, I'll probably need a wheel chair by night fall. We are going to the beach this afternoon. Wonder how the saltwater will feel on the affected area? Feel free to commence laughing.
2. Did I mention the ungodly heat?
3. I'm within walking distance of a grocery store, DMV, Post Office, Best Buy, the Mall, and DQ.
4. For all the talk about old people and Florida, I gotta tell ya, most of the people I see, particularly at this complex, are young.
5. Moving sucks.

Last Weekend In BFE

Marvin, Andrea and Richard in Burgess

Pool party in Burgess

Pat's Cookout in Knoxville
From left to right: Pam Webber. Becky Simmons and my old boss Randy Storm

Following the Penske truck in lower Tennessee

Rest stop in Tennessee

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We Have Arrived

We stayed in Murfreesboro on Monday and were able to make it to 15 miles outside Tampa on Tuesday when we discovered the lights in the Penske truck didn't work. We (I) wanted to drive through the city while the sun was up but we had to wait to get then lights working, and so I had to drive at night. Anyway, we made it just fine and had time to see Kenze and Drew before crashing.

Up this morning and trying to unpack. My cell is coming along nicely. Pizza tonight and I requested a trip to the beach tomorrow.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Last Inane Ramblings From BFE

Things I Won't Miss Living in BFE

1. Getting my Entertainment Weekly three weeks behind.

2. Getting to work/getting home after work in snowy weather.

3. Barking dogs.

4. The isolation

Things I Will Miss Living In BFE

1. Tim

2. Dave

3. Chris

4. Carrie, CG, Jen, Rick, Rod, Diane, Ernie, Richard, Ashley, Vincent.


6. The winds whistling through the grain bins.

7. The constant humming of the grain dryers.

8. My walks to the Post Office with Missy.

9. Our weekend bike rides.

10. Discussing philosophy, politics, views on the human condition with those mentioned above.

11. Looking at Tim's flag hanging on the garage.

12. The isolation.

13, The freedom to piss (anonymously of course) in my yard.

14, No waiting at the Post Office.

15. The summer storms.

16. Conservative vs liberal

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Once More Around the NHCC

Neighbor Tim's garage, aka, North Henderson Community center. Great place for a beer after work, a chat about anything from bicycle pinions to philosophy, truly, the hub of the city, manned by two great people.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Last Day At Blick

View from the parking lot.

Calendar in the Circulation department.

This was my cubicle after I had processed Fed Ex. I updated teacher emails here.

Stevie, the Fed-Ex Express driver.

Wednesday was my last day at Blick after 4 years. It was a pretty cool place to spend my afternoons. I was a department of one; officially in Circulation, but worked alone. This is what my boss, Lori, sent out on the company email:
"Mike Blythe, our faithful Fed Ex shipper since 2005, will be leaving Blick with today being his last day. Mike is moving to the Sunshine state. While we will sorely miss his dedication and great service, we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.
Mike is replaced by Stephen coursey. Stephen has previous experience in office management and parcel shipping and has been training with Mike over the last few days.
Please wish Mike farewell and welcome Stephen."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Party Pics

Tiki night in BFE

Community Center is Rockin'.

"Don't take my picture, you'll steal my soul!"

My buddy and friend Ole.

My buddy and friend Christopher.

"It's time to eat!"

Jen modeling our BFE ride T-shirts.

"You are the Man, Mike!"

(Thats not really what he said, but its my blog, and I make the rules.)

Tims father, Wayne and Barb Saline, and Tim's mom.

Tim's son Scott. Who invited the f#/^ing snake?

Carrie and fellow blogger and CG, my ride-mate for the day.

Ole and Rod

Vince, a real party animal.