Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lottery Ticket Fantasy

One of the things on my "To Do Before I Die" list was to buy a booklet of scratch lottery tickets. I don't know how much one would cost (or even if you can get one) but logic says somewhere in that buncle may very well be a big winner.

A guy, who writes a blog, thought the same thing but decided to spend $100. He ever asked his viewers to email him the amounts they thought he would win. To further this project he told his followers that he would donate any winnings to Project Hope. He even got some people to pledge additional funds or match winnings for the cause.

This was announced last week and he did it on Saturday, the 21st. He wrote today on his blog of his results. I'll reveal his winnings this week sometime, or maybe next. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Letters To Santa Cancelled


From Galesburg Register-Mail:

GALESBURG - Robert Darrell (Davis) Hardy, 84, died Thursday (Nov. 5, 2009) at Seminary Manor, Galesburg.
Mr. Hardy was born Sept. 2, 1925, near Carthage. He was the son of George and Iona Davis and stepson of Clarence Hardy. He married twice. Once to Mary Carlene Schullian in 1950 and Ada Powless in 1960.
Mr. Hardy was a member of Illinois Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union for 64 years and American Legion for 65 years. Mr. Hardy was owner and operator of Hardy Farm Tiling.
Mr. Hardy was raised and educated in the Bentley community. He later moved to the Golden and Colusa communities. In 1944 he entered the Navy and served in the South Pacific aboard the battleship Mississippi BB41. He was a pipe welder, steamfitter and farmer for many years before becoming owner and operator of Hardy Farm Tiling.
After retiring Mr. Hardy moved to a house on the Mississippi River near Gladstone. For many years he and his wife, Ada, wintered in South Padre Island, Texas.
Survivors include two daughters, Janet (Tom) Knapp of St. Louis Co., Mo., and Judith Schmidt of Troy, Mo.; one daughter-in-law, Dee (Curtis) Powless of Divernon; one sister, Betty Hardy of Carthage; one brother-in law, Gene (Marjorie) Thurman; two sisters-in-law, Doris Dopp and Violet Allen; six grandchildren, Christine Knapp, Michelle Spiker, Dawn Powless, Tina (Powless) Watson, Barbara Powless and JoAnn (Powless) Harvey; and four great-grandchildren, James Curtis Powless, Kaleb Anthony Spiker, Joseph Robert and Phoebe Elizabeth Harvey. He will be missed by nieces, nephews and good friends: Fred and Bobby Clark, Jan and Wayne Baker, and Pat Dunn.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father and stepfather; brother, Harold Ray; two sisters, Maxine (Bob) Gannon and Marjorie (Gene) Thurman; wife, Ada; and stepson, Curtis Powless.
Mr. Hardy was much loved and will be greatly missed by family, friends and neighbors. He leaves them with many fond memories.
Service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at Corman Memorial Home, 230 W. Penn Ave., Roseville. Pastor Michael Mayfield will officiate. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at Corman Memorial Home, Roseville. Memorials may be made to OSF Hospice. Please sign the guestbook at
Published in The Register-Mail on 11/10/2009


From USPS:

The United States Postal service has suspended the "Letters To Santa" Program that has been a holiday staple for children for decades. The Post Office has forwarded children's letters to Santa in the North Pole through North Pole, Alaska.

The 2,100 citizens of North Pole, Alaska take Christmas very seriously. Since 1954, they’ve volunteered for Operation Santa, a program of the US Postal Service which answers letters to Santa Claus. The program has volunteers all over the country, and many letters are routed through Alaska to get the special North Pole postmark. However, the USPS is discontinuing the practice of sending letters to the town of North Pole.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


Brendan gave me a military buzz a few days ago.

Here's hoping everyone has a great Thanksgiving doing whatever you do. Take a moment to remember loved ones and friends no longer with us; a moment to think about all the people stuck working, and a moment thinking about our military personnel based all over the world and in harm's way. Give a moment to think about how lucky your life really is, and then say "Thanks".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I bet you'll find this a damn good article.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Up Up and Away

To promote its new line of TVs Toshiba trekked into the Black Rock Desert with a helium balloon. Watch the result:

Facts about the shoot:

• The shots were taken at a staggering 98,268 feet above the earth using Toshiba's own cameras
• To reach the altitude required and to conform with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the weight of the rig had to be carefully managed to a weight of no more than four pounds
• Tied to the rig was a specially created full-sized model chair made of biodegradable balsa wood – the chair was made by a company called Artem and cost about £2,500
• Launch coordinates of the rig were - 119 degrees, 14 minutes by 40 degrees, 48 minute (12 miles North-East of the town of Gerlach, Nevada)
• The quality of the footage from the Toshiba IK-HR1S cameras was: 1920x1080 pixel count; 1080i @ 50hz; 100 Mbps
• The temperature dropped to minus 90 degrees when the chair reached 52,037 feet
• The chair took 83 minutes to reach an altitude of 98,268 feet where it broke and took just 24 minutes to fall back down to earth with the rig.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Having people stand on corners holding big advertising signs is a popular way to sell down here.

This is a lousy picture of what I was trying to get (but a good picture of the rear-view mirror trinket): a girl had just dumped her bike and people were coming over to help.

Publix is a big grocery chain (I've applied for work twice) and this one in Clearwater is being picketed. Odd that no others were.

Street begging is Huuuge here, too. Guys (and girls) set up shop at heavily travelled corners for 1/2 hour shifts. They scrawl something on their dilapidated cardboard signs and wait for the money. There was an article in the Tampa Bay Times and it was a very well written expose on this racket. Many are professionals with jobs who do this on the side. Low overhead, no actual work required and if you can come up with a snappy come-on line, you can win the hearts of drivers. One guy down here has a sign saying, "I won't lie to you, I want money for beer." Others use the military angle ("homeless vet"). The guy above is using his daughter ("single father with daughter". The newspaper article says it is very regimented, with seniority playing a big part on where you can ply your trade. We were driving by and came to a stop at the light. The other lane started moving and a car went by and someone yelled at the street beggar, "Get a job." and the beggar yelled back, "F_ _ k you!" The article said it is a very high paying endeavor as well. These guys make a lot of money throughout the year. I have been thinking about doing it. How's this? "Met fan can't find work and has to pay for daughter's wedding." Cha-ching!

This is a some type of rolling advertisement to help you get out from under your mortgage.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

At Hooters

Went to Hooters to see the Bears lose to the 49ers last Thursday. Also saw Mackenzie's engagement ring. As always Brendan is a camera hog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BFE Water Project

I understand the village of North Henderson is contemplating a major water renovation project. Here is what I envision for BFE. What do ya think? Maybe bring in a few tourists, perhaps stopping at the CC for a cold beer and soak up some flavor from the locals?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday Outing With Brendan

Brendan and I went downtown to his place to have Sunday lunch and watch some football. He had the day off and wanted to unwind with a beer or two.

It is a neat open bar on a huge deck overlooking 4th Street.

Plenty of TV's and an opportunity to do your Paul Newman impression with a pool cue.

It has an English flavor from the menu (bangers & mash) to its iconic phone booths.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shuttle Launch

Brendan and I came home just in time to head outside to see the Shuttle launch. Problem #1: have some idea of where you are in relation to the thing you want to see. Problem #2: Have all items necessary to record event.

I told Brendan to look in a general area I thought would be best. As we were walking back inside after deciding we wouldn't see anything, he points to an area away from where we were looking. There it was, a plume of smoke rising high into the sky. I didn't have my camera, so I rushed back inside to get it. Running back outside to see the quickly dissipating plume, I was unable to get a shot due to drained batteries. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Sadly, This Is All That Is Left

Friends, fellow-bikers, and former co-worker Jen McCutcheon of McCutcheon & Family was nice enough to send me a cool care package last week. Cookies, a sketchpad/notebook with sentimental value and Halloween Kisses. If you haven't had any of these look for them. The first year they made them Jen found some and then they were gone before we could buy any. Last year a few more found them because I would swipe one or two from the Retail Merchandising department treat jar. Then I got this from Jen and I looked all over for them this week down here. Couldn't find a single one.
I saved two. I'm hoarding them.

As you can see Jen, it is all gone. But good. Thanks so much.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First Part of Sunshine Skyway Trip

This is an edited version of my trip across Skyway from the St. Pete side over to the Florida mainland last week. Again, this is pretty repetitive and after a few minutes gets glaze-eyed boring, but in January you might like to pull this one out and dream. This is the first part of the trip heading from St. Pete going East. Again, it was chilly and windy from Hurricane Ida so it was kind of tough riding. I also found a video editor so was playing with it some.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Care Package

My Breakfast Club buddies, Pat and Rebecca, sent me a care package direct from Tanner's Orchard. Inside was a 12-pack of Apple Cider doughnuts. Believe me, they are the best. Also was a container of Tanner's Strawberry Jam, an essential for toast at breakfast. One of my life's disappointments is that Tanner's does not ship. Coffee and a cider doughnut is one of life's treasures. Thanks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stunning Picture by Tommy

Tom Harrison is a Knox County probation officer, former neighbor on Grove street, all-around great guy and fantasy football loser. He took this picture on what he called a cheapie camera. It has this great feature where you can single out a color and leave everything else black and white. I love this picture and wanted to give him credit for composition, shading, and truly eliciting a melancholy view of impending winter through the prism of fall. OK, it was all blind, dumb luck, but still a good one, Tom.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Michael and Alhanna who happen to be Canucks (Stewart tells me it has 1 "n"). A great deal of fun and passion left my life when these guys left a couple of years ago. Things change. Old guys have trouble with it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Come Ride With Me

I'm not sure why but I wanted a helmet cam so I could record my trips on the bike. Its a pretty cheap way to record trips and relive rides. I don't do a great deal of "in-town" riding but have begun to take trips out of town on Sundays. I've been to Parrish, Wauchula and I'm going to Palmetto real soon. Anyway, I got me a cheap little helmet cam and this is for my biking friends up North. This is from the East heading across the bay toward St. Petersburg. The Skyway Bridge is pretty neat (and I hear that you can go 105 under certain circumstances).

Not much is going to happen and I am still working on editing; you can add titles and music, but I gotta study that stuff first. This was a trial run and it worked fine. The toll guy noticed the camera and I told him to smile. Around the 5:45 minute mark there are some pelicans to my right and I worried a bit about a bird strike. There is also a pickup with "I Support the Pack" on the back that passes me with flags flying. Otherwise it is a little rough ride due to Hurricane Ida whipping up the winds. You can see some whitecaps in the ocean.

Viewing Note: Let the film buffer all the way through first. Push 'start' and then when it gets going push 'pause'. Then go have a cup of coffee, rake the yard, or check yesterdays football highlights on ESPN. Come back and push 'start' again when it has buffered all the way through.

You can also push the button just to the right of the speaker icon to make it full screen.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Best Way To Drive To BFE

This way you avoid the ruts, potholes, cave-ins, dips and crevasses that is most every road into BFE.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beach Scenes Last Saturday

A falcon (?) patiently sitting in the pines.

C'mon Baby, you can do it!

Kamikaze pelicans.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

She Found A Rock Upon The Beach

He beckoned her to the Beach last week,
To walk the sand at night.
On bended knee he did propose,
Tis like going toward the light.

He said you must be mine my girl,
To share my life and cares.
But first you must promise this,
To love me AND my Bears.

She swallowed hard and said "I'm a Blythe."
We all hate that dirty crew.
But love I will and defy my Dad,
Cause I love you dear, dear Drew.