Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Today we came across some ocean clams. The weather has changed around here. Gone is the searing all day heat, replaced by lower to mid 80's, and cool evenings.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Today, Sunday, I decided to close my eyes, hop on the cycle and travel to Wauchula to Charlotte's Web biker bar with my friends from BFE. From left to right, we have Neighbor Tim and Carrie on his blue Harley. Dapper leather ivy league Harley cap, long sleeve t-shirt adorns Tim while Carrie has tight jeans, a low cut button down shirt exposing a cavernous cleavage...hey, it's my stress reduction so I can clothe people the way I want! Next is Ole astride his sharp red Kawi wearing his cool dew rag with the tail that flips up then down. He's got on his leather vest with the sewed-on patriotic symbols and cool saying. Great vest. I need one. Next we have Christopher on his ghostly Harley. Black pipes, black air breather sticking out rakishly from the right. Christopher is wearing his camo pants and long-sleeve T-shirt in anticipation of November fast approaching. He asks about my vagina. I say I'm fine. Rod arrives late as usual with Diane as passenger. Diane has decided to wear 2 rags in case she loses one on the Skyway Bridge, its a long way down to get it. Rod says he'll do his best to keep up. Rick and Jen arrive on their banana yellow Boulevard but they can only go across the bridge then have to turn around because of the kids. Ryan and Molly couldn't make it. It wasn't the right weekend. I wanted Stewart to join us but he's too busy drizzling over fantasy football.
Everyone is ready, Tim and I have our cigars, Ole has his cigs, and, oops. Cee Gee is coming along but can't ride with Christopher because he got a one-seater. She also says I am spelling her name wrong and tell her to relax, its my story. Now she'll have to choose between either Ole or me. She looks me over, then Ole, then diplomatically says she'll ride with Ole on the way there, and ride back with me. Evidently she prefers to save the best till last.
"Saddle up!" yells Tim, and then says to me, "You leading?" and I reply "Of course, you guys aren't really here, its stress management, remember?" I say I've been across the bridge and I have studied the map and so I'll be happy to lead.
I take off, Tim behind me followed by Christopher, Rick and Jen, and Ole and Cee Gee our tail gunners.
We head down 66th to 1st Avenue, a great one-way street that takes us to 34th Street. We stop at Citgo and gas up. We start to take off, but my bike won't start, it acts flooded. Neighbor Tim walks over and tells me to raise my kickstand (kawasakis won't roll if the kickstand is down). Bike starts immediately. I am embarrassed in front of my bikers friends and that doesn't help with the stress. Onto 34th again, passing the Kawasaki dealership, Southern Pawn, Ceridian, Knights Inn, on the left and a huge building with no identifying signs. Hmmm, I'll have to check on that sometime. I keep my eye on the rear-view and see Tim on my right and Christopher on the left, still laughing at the kickstand thing. I re-check on Tim and he is laughing too. Carrie is too nice to openly laugh but she is holding it in.
We get on I-275 South and onto the interstate and on across the bridge. Sunny, coolish and a weekend so there are a lot of pleasure boats out. I point to a freighter churning up toward Tampa. We pass the apex of the Skyway where a guy jumped to his death last week while his former wife he murdered lay burning in the trunk. Now heading toward the other side my friends are still following me, exhibiting a trust and faith in my navigational skills. We slow and I turn right onto the rest area so we can reconnoiter and say good by to Rick and Jen. Rick says he's sorry and next time they'll ride farther but gotta go today. He will return home and wash and wax his bike, which he does whenever he pulls it out of the shed, much like the firetrucks he makes in Alexis. Its a wonder its still got paint on it. But even then he can't match the fussiness of Neighbor Tim. Tim attacks bugs like a frog on steroids. He polishes chrome, wipes the tank and bags, and when he is satisfied, he does it all over again, then says he didn't. Jen hops back on with Rick and I can tell she'd love to go on. But the kids have to be fed and Logan has to study. Naturally he's grounded again.
The banana takes off back across the bridge (oh I forgot to tell you guys it costs a buck to cross and this is the last time I'm paying for everyone). We catch the Naples South route on I-75 off 275 and on now down toward Bradenton. There we catch Route 64 and, Oh no.
Bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go (mostly stop) on this road to Wauchula. It must be a traffic accident. Or maybe church just got out. I look in my rear view and hope I don't see angry faces. Cee Gee catches my eye and gives me a thumbs up, but then she never gets mad at anyone.
The traffic gets going and we come across Lake Manatee State Park. We stop on the right. Christopher says let's go in, (he loves these things), Tim wants to get to Charlotte's and have a beer, Ole wants to ride, just ride. We decide to get to Charlotte's so off we go. Just as we are leaving, Rod and Diane are just getting off the bridge and heading to I-75. It's OK, they'll catch up. Rod kind of babies that thing. Its a 30 year old KZ 600. He loves it. He coddles it. He pooches it.
Lots of bikes on the road today and only about half give the biker wave in return to ours. They must be from Illinois.
We finally arrive at Charlotte's. 78 miles from home. An hour and a half journey. We order a beer, walk out back to the beer garden and everyone says, "Hey, Mike! Glad to see ya." A cute heavy-breasted girl comes over and drapes herself all over me. It's my story and I can do anything I want. Tim says something funny and we all laugh. Carrie says to me, "Don't pay any attention to Tim." He must have said something about my kickstand, or my part about everyone saying "hi" or maybe that cute thang that has her tongue in my ear. He's just jealous.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Officials were concerned about damage to the effigy's groin area
Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris has fenced off a famous tomb to prevent lewd acts being performed on a statue.
The effigy of 19th Century journalist known as Victor Noir has long been popular with women visitors.
This is partly due to his reputation as a romantic figure, and partly because of the effigy's design.
Officials concerned about damage to the icon's groin area have erected a fence around the grave, and a sign prohibiting indecent rubbing.
Noir - whose real name was Yvan Salman - was killed by Pierre Bonaparte, a great-nephew of the Emperor Napoleon, after bearing him a challenge to a duel.
According to the story, he was due to get married the day after he was killed.
The statue shows Noir in a frock coat and trousers lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin.
The effigy has been held as an aid to love or fertility.
It is said that a woman who kisses the lips of the prostrate statue and slips a flower into the upturned top hat will find a husband by the end of the year.
The new sign warns: "Any damage caused by graffiti or indecent rubbing will be prosecuted."
In 2004 a fence was erected around the statue of Noir, to deter superstitious people from touching the statue. Due to the fake protests of the "female population of Paris" settled by a French TV anchor however, it was torn down again. So the deterioration of the statue continues.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have been a Mets fan since I was a kid. There are a couple of factors that I have expressed that made me a fan of this schizophrenic organization. One was an anti-Cub bias, another was a
The end of the Mets' season was full of emotional vignettes as players struggled to explain the biggest question surrounding this team: How could this have happened a second year in a row? Once again, just as they did a year ago, the Mets missed out on a playoff berth on the final day of their regular season."
The Mets had the league's highest payroll at roughly $140 million, and they clear $30 million off the books this off season. Still, with diminished enthusiasm inevitably leading to lower ticket sales this winter, the payroll is projected to decrease, leaving front-office officials with a challenge in retooling the roster."
9. Re-name Citi Field. Citi is one of the banking bad guys that were instrumental in the housing collapse and economic turmoil that began in October 2008. To hell with their money to buy naming rights that correlates to TARP money bailouts which is actually OUR money. Ideas: Robinson Field (after Jackie, the first black major league baseball player, who happened to have played for the Brooklyn Dodgers) or Flushing Field, which would serve as both a noun and an adjective for our team.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102 , The Good Die Young.
Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery: Here lies Johnny Yeast, Pardon me For not rising.
Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia: She always said her feet were killing her but nobody believed her.
Grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania: Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp filled with "R.E. Danforth's Non-Explosive Burning Fluid."
In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery: Here lies an Atheist , All dressed up And no place to go
Larne, Ireland - On a hanged sheep stealer: Here lies the body of Thomas Kemp. Who lived by wool and died by hemp.
On a coroner who hung himself: He lived And died By suicide
On a waiter: Here lies the body of Detlof Swenson. Waiter. God finally caught his eye. April 10, 1902
On a watchmaker: Here lies in horizontal position the outside case of Dear George Routleight, watchmaker, whose abilities in that line were an honor to his profession -- integrity was the mainspring, and prudence the regulator of all the actions of his life. Humane, generous, and liberal, his hand never stopped until he had relieved distress. So nicely regulated were all his movements that he never went wrong, except when set agoing by people who did not know his key; even then he was easily set right again. He had the art of disposing his time so well that the hours glided away in one continued round of pleasure and delight, till an unlucky moment put a period to his existence. He departed this life November 14, 1802, aged fifty-seven. Wound up in hopes of being taken in hand by his Maker and being thoroughly cleansed, repaired, and set agoing in the world to come. St Petrock's Church, Lyford, Devon, England
New Hampshire cemetery: Tears cannot restore her -- therefore I weep
On an adulterous husband: Gone, but not forgiven Atlanta, Georgia
Stowe, Vermont: I was somebody. Who, is no business of yours.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Made for $11,000 - $15,000 it has already made 33 million in limited release. It would also be advised to sleep with one eye open.....or maybe with both of them closed real tight.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
2. Getting cooler around here. Highs are still anywhere between 89-91 degrees everyday but evenings and early mornings are very pleasant.
3. Fantasy Football Update: One team is doing great at 2nd place and the other is climbing out of the cellar and is now in 8th place.
4. Been having a "Sons of Anarchy" marathon around here. Doesn't do much for the image of bikers or motorcycle clubs, but good fun fiction anyway.
5. Saw a trailer for "Paranormal Activity" and it received a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score. Ebert gave it 3 1/2 stars. Made for only $11,000 it could make millions for the producer/director and the only 3 people in it. Oh, and it was the producer's house they filmed it in, too. Looks scary. They'll probably keep it in select theaters till Halloween.
6. Been enjoying football Sundays at Hooters, which is just down the street. Beer is cold, good company and the waitstaff....well, it is Hooter's after all.
7. I am going to miss the fall season hum of the grain dryers at BFE. And Rod and Diane will have to go find someone else to scare this Halloween. While I'm doing the "missing this..." thing it will be 7 months since Missy died. Man I sure do miss her.
8. Did I see my twin and his wife spent last weekend in Branson? I didn't know that place catered to young people.
9. Looks like NHCC blog is up and running again. Good source of info for all things BFE. Carrie takes good pictures and Neighbor Tim helps out. http://northhendersoncommunitycenter.blogspot.com/ Funny and smart people and they have great posts.
10. Heard a story about a beer company out East that sold its product at a discount. It didn't sell. So they decided to sell it at 3 x's the price and people couldn't get enough ot it. Just shows you we look down at cheap stuff and have a bit of snobbery in us.
11. Things I was sorry about when I was up North in September: not stopping in Burgess and Dick Blick . Both have been far far far too important to me.
12. Mackenzie and Drew have been looking at houses. Hope they find one so Bishop can get a back yard.
13. OK, I wouldn't wish catastrophe on anyone. However, I was looking for a good blow around here when a hurricane was close to St. Pete. We haven't had anything this season and it would have fun to go to the beach when it was over. You can get all kinds of neat stuff strewn about after a storm. Got lots of sand dollars early on with a storm, but nothing resembling a really big storm.
14. Mackenzie has to do a critique of a movie for her English class. She volunteered to do Lawrence of Arabia.
15. I tried MGD 64 last week and liked it. Tastes good, less filling. I recommend it.
16. Got tickets to see "Paranormal Activity" tomorrow night.
17. Job front: nothing yet, still filling out online apps, and put my resume on Craigslist. Not even any interviews. Discouraging. How silly I was to just think there'd be tons of opportunity. Being unemployed is no fun.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Another view of Solarium
He designed exterior doors so he could open them by stepping on rock panel on ground. Both doors would open and close by themselves. This is the intricate mechanical works for the main entrance.
Beautiful inlaid mahogany floors.
A bicycle he modified so he could take his wife to church in Neponset.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Passing driver takes photo of Skyway horror - St. Petersburg Times
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This is a chain made from a stick that Fred carved. Click on the picture to get a closer look. Who has that kind of patience these days? There are also shells and knick-knacks he collected throughout his life.
These are clear block Fred had placed into the floor in front of the fireplace. This ensured that he could tell if the fireplace needed wood if he was downstairs in his workshop. He also had a firm rule that no more than 3 logs ever at one time burning.
Glass panels inside his and her bedrooms denoting whose bedroom it belonged to.
Monday, October 12, 2009
5 miles down the road I drive into Parrish. No bar so no cigar. But I see about 20 motorcycles just pulling in to a "Florida Railroad Museum". Sorry, done all my railroads. Been waitin', seein', hearin' railroads for too long. Enjoy Florida bikers, it may be cool for you guys, but I'm going to pass today.
On the way back I stop at the rest area to take my pictures, but I have to tell you, I'm not real proud of my cheap little Canon. The bridge pictures are terrible, and I apologize. It is quite a sight and these pics don't so them justice.
On the way back I got lost because I took the wrong exit. I didn't see an exit for the road I needed, and I took an exit that took me a couple blocks from Tropicana Field. After a call to my human GPS I made it home in good shape. Nice way to start the day and glad I did it.
I would have liked to have my Mild Ones brothers (and sisters) with me but until we hook up again, this will have to do.
A picture of the Skyway from a rest area at its base.
Guys with those cool Jet Skis at the rest area and simply walked to the concession area. It was real shallow.
Another pic of the bridge. Sorry, but my camera really suck at these and I don't know why.
My Kawasaki that hasn't been used very often down here in the Sweatbox. Click on the picture to see the BFE signatures on the side cover.
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Map of my trip. Click on "View Larger Map" to see a better picture of my trip.