Sunday, February 28, 2010

PART 2 - "Homeless" in St. Pete

Here are a couple of local business people plying/flying their signs. All the signs have the same basic tenets: hard times, hungry, homeless, god-bless, vet, and lost job. The gentleman in the lower picture unfortunately uses hunger as a hook, but he certainly looks well-fed.

From a St. Pete Times article by Lane DeGregory:

A. Your sign is your voice. You have only a few words to get sympathy at a stoplight.

Scrawl your messages in magic marker on the back of a Listerine box or a pilfered "Home for Sale" placard. Highlight your words with crayons. End your pleas with three exclamation points.

Are you homeless? A vet? A single dad? A widow? Do you have an ailing mother or pet? All the above?

One guy parades his limping dog. Another says he sends half his money to his 2-year-old son. One admits he stays out just long enough to collect enough for smokes and a six-pack.

B. Two debates divide the panhandling community: Stay on one corner or float? Wheelchair or walker?

If you always work the same sidewalk, regulars get to know you. If you float from spot to spot, your face — and your story — stay fresh.

Some say wheelchairs increase people's pity. But if you're in a chair, you can't get to the cars. Wheelchair Dave, they say, did better with his cane.

"A lot of people out here aren't sincere," said Roderick Couch, the "disabled" ex-con. "That messes it up for the rest of us."

According to Couch, there are low-class panhandlers "who sleep outside and won't even clean themselves." And high-class panhandlers "who might even work a little on the side, so they don't really need your money."

"Me and Jazmine," he said, "we're middle-class. We believe in washing our clothes and our butts. We got morals."

Like everyone else interviewed, they have criminal records. He served time for stealing from the Spring Hill IHOP where he worked. His girlfriend was arrested for prostitution.

C. Though their signs say they're homeless, few panhandlers seem to sleep outside. Most make at least enough for a can of beer, a piece of chicken and a cheap motel room. The typical daily take falls between $60 and $100.

Couch and Saldana say they each collect about $80 a day, more than they would make flipping burgers or stocking shelves. They don't have to punch a clock, ask for a lunch break or pay taxes. "A while back, a woman gave us $400," Couch said. "Tell me where you can make that in a day."

Ogdee, outside the Bayshore Publix, sets his weekly quota at $800. His income has never fallen short in the four months he has held "Homeless. Anything helps. God bless!"

"I'm paid a week in advance on my rent," he said. "I got a load of food in my motel fridge."

He insists he's not panhandling. "I'm not asking for nothing. I'm just holding a sign."

So what does he call it? He laughs.

"Making money."

There are certainly programs, safe-houses, and soup kitchens to assist the hard luck citizen. But who wouldn't want to make $40,000 by standing on a street corner? Well, me for one. What price are you willing to pay to make a living begging?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Homeless" In St. Pete

Bums, or rather local entrepreneurs, heavily man (and woman) the busiest intersections of St. Pete and I assume every major metropolitan area of the country. You can't walk or drive a block around here without seeing them. The job/scam/endeavor has given rise to many discussions here amongst family about these people who stand and panhandle motorists. These women and men have been well documented by the local newspaper and gave us some interesting insights into their "profession".

This is an article from the St. Pete Times (Lane DeGregory) detailing the art of 'flying'. Flying is a term to describe holding a cardboard sign designed to get a passing motorist to give you money.


A. "After a while, you learn what works," said Roderick Couch, 28. He was in a wheelchair outside a St. Petersburg Wal-Mart last week, clutching a sign that said, "Disabled." The word was in quotation marks, as if the writer were crossing his fingers. Couch limps but can walk 100 blocks of U.S. 19 in a day. He hasn't worked since he got out of jail.

His girlfriend, Jazmine Saldana, 24, held her own banner: Homeless. No quotation marks, but maybe there should have been. Since the couple started panhandling in November, they have had enough money to sleep in a motel all but one night.

B. Panhandlers say: If someone else is waiting to fly a sign, you have to rotate out every half-hour. If you leave to get a drink, you forfeit your shift.

C. Though their signs say they're homeless, few panhandlers seem to sleep outside. Most make at least enough for a can of beer, a piece of chicken and a cheap motel room. The typical daily take falls between $60 and $100.

D. Ogdee, outside the Bayshore Publix, sets his weekly quota at $800. His income has never fallen short in the four months he has held "Homeless. Anything helps. God bless!" (For you guys without a calculator that comes to around $41,000 a year, tax free.)

E. "I don't need much. So I don't have to stay out here long," said Jeffrey Buzzard, 49, who lives behind a St. Petersburg church. In the back of his dirty camouflage shorts, he carries three signs. His morning pitch says "Layed off." His evening placard: "No work today." Like he tried. On Sunday, he flies: "Got God? Need daily bread."

Other professional panhandlers swear by the two-sign minimum. You have to watch the cars, switch it up. When Cliff Stewart sees an older driver at 22nd Avenue N, he holds: "Homeless Vet." For people who look like they party, he has: "Why lie? I need beer. God bless!"

God and beer. If you don't like one, he says, you're bound to like the other. And you'd be surprised how many people love both.

There are two schools of thought:

1. I give them what I might have on me, loose change. "There but by the grace of God go I."

2. I don't give them money and I think they are scamming S.O.B.'s who debase themselves by begging. Get a job like the rest of us.

Where are you?


Friday, February 26, 2010

There's No Blooper Like An Old Blooper

We only think of movie bloopers as a recent phenomenon due to DVD 'extras'. But they have been screwing up their lines all along. Here is a fascinating 1936 video with some funny and not so funny bloopers.

A collection of Warner Bros. movie bloopers from 1936, featuring Humphrey Bogart, Joe E. Brown, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Kay Francis, Leslie Howard, Paul Lukas, Barton MacLane, Fredric March, Paul Muni, Pat O’Brien, Claude Rains, and more

Thursday, February 25, 2010

O Canada - Thanks For Being Our Neighbor

This is a great piece with Tom Brokaw explaining Canada to the U.S.

After the US hockey team defeated the Canadians, this Canuck flashed this sign.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is a fake $20.00 bill Brendan got at work. It feels like real money and certainly looks like it too. Although I didn't have a real bill to compare it, to see and feel it you would swear it was genuine. If you notice the front of it, someone marked it with one of those pens and if it comes up black then the bill is real, but if it is yellow, then it is bogus.

Just by looking and feeling you wouldn't know this was counterfeit. Perhaps a little too yellow on reverse, but to the casual consumer, this would pass for real. The feel is just the same as ordinary bills. Remarkable job, and today's quiz:

"What percentage of currency is counterfeit?"


The U.S. government estimates that less than 1/100 of 1 percent of U.S. paper currency in circulation is counterfeit. Considering recent advances in printing technology and the obviously vast incentive to counterfeit bills, that's a pretty small number. In part, that's because the U.S. Secret Service thoroughly investigates all reported counterfeiting cases, and because there are harsh criminal penalties for counterfeiting or passing fake bills. Perhaps more than anything, though, counterfeiting is difficult because of the bills' security features, which are hard to reproduce but easy to use to verify your money's authenticity.

Real bill.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pot 'O Gold about 3 blocks away. By the time I got there it was all gone.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Countryside Mall

Yesterday Brendan and I went to Clearwater to the Countryside Mall to pick up some presentation material from their New York store and bring back to Tyrone Square Mall. It saved Mackenzie a trip and she needed a truck anyway.

(On the way up we saw a truck pulling a trailer and it had "Junk For Jesus" sign.)

Now I'm not the greatest mall goer. Quick surgical strikes for things is more my style, not walking endlessly seeing the same franchise stores that populate all malls. However, this one is rather opulent and features this neat ice skating rink. It was fun seeing the kids with their skates and helmets. They all knew how to skate also, never saw anyone fall down.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Do Yourself A Favor

Go out and check your tires to make sure they are OK. This past week Kenzie drove the 8 miles from her house to her workplace and discovered when she arrived she had a flat tire. Running her hand along the outer edge it seemed the tire was in great shape and had lots of tread. However, when Brendan (who was enlisted to change it) ran his hand over the entire tire he came back with sharp metal shards. The lack of alignment made this a very dangerous car to drive and we found out the other front tire was the same way.
We'll never know how long this was misaligned or what caused it, however, this town is riddled with "speed humps"; along residential roads and in all shopping areas. Many people will attempt to avoid running over them with both tires, instead trying to keep one tire on smooth surface. We were told at the tire shop to hit the humps straight on with both tires. Running over them with just one tire can get things out of whack. Now back to your regular programming.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yes, Virginia, There Is Winter In Florida

It does cool off nicely down here and the trees shed their leaves. Frankly my favorite time is winter in Florida. It is warm to cool and sometimes cold. That beats the endless searing heat of summer. I can understand the "snowbird" mentality. I never thought I'd like two homes, preferring one, but I can see it now. Especially when I train my cam over the snowy cold of Galesburg, this is nice.
For those interested in seeing what I have been seeing since I've been down here, this is the link:

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Copied from my VROC forum:


1. Most Blues begin with: "Woke up this morning..."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues unless you stick
something nasty in the next line like "I got a good woman with the
meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it.
Then find something that rhymes, sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest
face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got
teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a
ditch. There ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues
don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or SUVs. Most Blues transportation is a
Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor
pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues
lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults
sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the
electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or anyplace
in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical
depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still great places
to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues anyplace that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the Blues. A woman with male
pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the
blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting
is wrong. Go out to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places for the Blues:
a. Nordstrom's
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League colleges
d. golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you
happen to be an old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues?

Yes, if:
a. you older than dirt
b. you blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied

No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived
d. you have a 401K or trust fund

13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods
cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a
leg up on the blues.

14. If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues.
Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. nasty black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. Perrier
b. Chardonnay
c. Snapple
d. Slim Fast

15. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues
death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die.
are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken-down
cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while
getting liposuction.

16. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

17. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

18. Persons with names like Amber, Jennifer, Tiffany, Debbie, and
Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

19. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit:
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, etc..)
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
Examples: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jackleg Lemon Johnson.

20. No matter how tragic your life, if you own a computer you cannot sing
the blues.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


In my two decades + at the Mary Davis Home I received more from the kids than I could ever give. Their trust, humor, resilience, and struggle to improve their behaviors made it a great place to work. They also introduced me to Meat Loaf.

Meat Loaf has finished his latest album and it will be released in April. He is the only one I'd go almost anywhere to see. I have been to two concerts to see him and loved them both. Mark your calendars for April.

Never pushed to get it played much in BFE CC but this is the stuff I secretly sing to with a fake microphone. I can escape in this stuff better than anything else.

The iconic Meat Loaf album still remains Bat Out Of Hell and the three Bat trilogy CD's remain his best work, especially his collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman. He remains one-of-a-kind with soaring rock-n-roll operatic ballads.

Go to your iTunes and download the longest version of "I'll Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)", "Heaven Can Wait", "Paradise By The Dashboard Light", "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are""For Crying Out Loud" "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" and "Out of the Frying Pan (And into the Fire)". Start with those and if he hooks you, then go for more. A liitle "long in the tooth." Yeah, just like wine and art.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ahoy Ye Dumbass

This was in the St. Pete Times yesterday. Click on the article and it will expand so you can read it. It is another example of people doing dumb things. You would have thought last week's death of a para-sailer would have made people really think twice about sharks. Apparently not. Well, Captain Stump may think twice next time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Men Are From Mars...

This was forwarded to me by Neighbor Tim. It made me laugh out loud. I reread it and I laughed again. (I have been repeating to myself "...poor stupid Laurie" for a quick giggle.) Enjoy:

Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" offered by an English professor from the University of Colorado for an actual class assignment:

The professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new
form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair
off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right.

As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short
story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to
me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph
to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first
person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the
story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails
and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is
over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:
Rebecca (PINK)
Bill (BLUE).

(first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now
reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he
liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off
Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too
much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the

(second paragraph by Bill )

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now
in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the
neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had
spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he
said into his transgalactic communicator. " Polar orbit established. No sign
of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam
flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The
jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one
last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever
had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless
hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law
Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper
one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared
out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly
and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from
her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why
must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

( Bill )

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of
miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its
lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the
Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth
a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to
destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the
Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to
pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly
initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the
atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine
headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam , felt the
inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing
partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

( Bill )

Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose
attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.. " Oh, shall I
have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no,
what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle
Steele novels!"



( Bill )




( Bill )

In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.


A+ - I really liked this one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some pictures and a short video of Friday night's sunset here at Sunset Beach in St. Petersburg.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Personal Helicopter

A Personal Helicopter - Click here for funny video clips

Is this the future of single-person transportation? Well, the blades are too low, the seat too small, the range has to be almost non-existent. But I'd sure like to give it a try. Sounds like a weed-eater.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This is an old advertisement for the SSS, the Separate Sack Suspension devise. Wonder if this was a precursor to the jock strap? Don't know, and doubt if I will investigate any further. We'll leave this in the "Never To Know" file. Just want you to know that this blog has, within 48 hours provided actual coverage of the shuttle launch as well as the SSS. This blog never sleeps.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome Ava

One of my Galesburg buddies is Brian Storm. He and Michelle welcomed the arrival of a baby girl on February 1st. This is the site that has Ava's pictures and other information. Congratulations to the parents and family. And welcome to the world, Ava Otillia Storm.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Last Night Shuttle Launch

I set my alarm for 4:00 am Monday morning to see if I could get a glimpse of the last night-time Shuttle launch. I stood in the parking lot and trained the camera toward Cape Canaveral, about 152 miles away. The launch was scheduled for 4:14 am. This is what I got. The fun begins after the minute 22 second mark. My little inadequate camera didn't get much clarity. I didn't hear it, but my ears are a bit plugged due to a cold I had last month. The actual sight of it through the naked eye was an intense orange rather than the whitish glow of the video. I kind of wish I would have taken still of it rather than the movie, I might have had better resolution.

I occasionally went out in the country when I lived in Galesburg to see the various "big" sky-related events in years past. Often alone, in the middle of no where, sometimes in the cold, and getting somewhat spooked. Anyway I think it is fun and although this recording is really really lousy, the copy-and-paste link below is closer and far better executed.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Inane Inanity

1. Some good videos I've seen recently: The Perfect Getaway, A History of Violence, and Zombieland. Good escapist stuff. Best of the bunch, Zombieland all the way. Don't forget to see Paranormal Activity and Oscar nominated District 9. The Hurt Locker was very good, but The Road was a letdown. Good book but tough to transfer to the screen.

2. Avatar 3-D is the most awesome thing you will see all year, and maybe longer.

3. My buddy Gay Johnson was edged out of the Regional Superintendent of Schools job by only 90 votes. Good for her and I hope she tries again. I was so rooting for her.

4. That lady who does the Progressive insurance commercials is creepy. Her wild eyes, the 70's hair, her stupid banter. Everything is eerie.

5. I continue to find coinage in parking lots here. Another 10 cents this week.

6. I couldn't figure out why so many drivers stop far behind other cars at stop lights. It was explained to me as a measure to discourage car jacking.

7. The Saints by a touchdown this Sunday. Rooting for the Colts would be like rooting for the Yankees.

8. Up North you go to a dentist and they bill you later. Down here they get all your insurance stuff, then inspect and tell you how much before they fix it.

9. I am about to declare my independence! I don't think either party has my interests at heart. I also don't like the partisan slice-n-dice. Pelosi, Reid, Boehner and McConnell both give me the dry heaves. I am considering becoming independent. I like Obama, I really do, but this long-time liberal has become disenchanted with the the Washington way of business. Charlie Crist, Florida's governor, and a good Republican who has moderate ideas, had the audacity to hug the President when he visited last year is losing his election bid for the vacated senate seat. He gave the President a hug when he arrived with a bucket load of TARP money to a recession-wracked state. And now the conservatives want to boot him. A simple polite and civil social act now results in the kind of ads shown above. Reminds me too much of the fundamentalism sweeping the Arab world. Lop off a hand if you look at a woman kind of thing. A pox on Fox and MSNBC. Politics, and the art of compromise, only works in a centrist and moderate climate. To much "gotcha" politics and not enough legislating for the people. I'm taking my toys and leaving for a different sandbox. Therefore I'm kind of withdrawing my liberal card and taking a step back and let the big guys duke it out without me. When the environment changes and "stupid" leaves the equation, maybe then I'll gingerly get back in the mix. I'm not proseletyzing, trying to change minds about your political views, Hell, have at it. Just do it with out me. When I see a jar with a skull and cross-bones on it, I'm smart enough not to drink.

10. Speaking of stupid, how about Illinois' new Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate: Scott Lee Cohen won the spot on the ticket on Tuesday. He is a businessman (pawn shops) who was arrested in the past for domestic abuse (held a knife to her throat), beating up on his massage therapist girlfriend who just also happens to have been arrested herself for prostitution. He has taken steroids in the past (" was a difficult time for me."). His es-wife also accused him of rape, several affairs, and kicked in the garage door when he was locked out of the house. Frankly, sounds perfect for Springfield. Certainly no worse than some in Washingston.

11. My fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, was de-chartered at Iowa Wesleyan College for lack of members. Kind of sad. They say they have begun efforts for reinstatement but if you don't have the numbers why didn't they do this before deactivation?

12. The Mets play the Rays at the Tropicana on April 2 in spring training action. I did a ticket search and they came up with really good ones for $150.00! For spring training? I don't think I'll be here but that would be cool to see, but not for that price.

13. If Avatar wins Best Picture, it will be the highest-grossing winner ever.
If The Hurt Locker wins Best Picture, it will be the lowest-grossing winner ever.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kenzie's Birthday Bash at Three Birds

The birthday girl and Drew.

The usual suspects.

Neat looking monster concocted by the kitchen staff.

Sorry, but this is the usual pose for the Glory that is Brendan.

More birthday treats furnished by the staff of Three Birds Tavern.

You can do it.

Mmmmm. Sure looks good.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I feel a bit like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, but I see this playing out a couple times a week from my rear apartment window. These two seniors are are doing what countless millions do daily for their loved ones. This old lady is barely able to push this guy, presumably her husband, in his wheelchair, let alone help him maneuver himself into the car. He has lost a leg. She will put that board on the seat and then next to him and he'll slide on the board to get in the car. After that she will barely be able to get the wheelchair into the trunk of the car. It is a long process and I am amazed at what we do for each other, long after what we signed up for, in our youth, has ceased to exist. It is a testament to who we are and how we seek "to" love. These old guys are nearing the end and one must feel admiration for continuing the battle to make it through each day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I continue to love my Kindle, Amazon's
reader whereby you down-load

books. It makes

sense for me since I

don't need the feel
or smell of a book.

I read to learn or be

entertained and I am not

a bibliophile nor do I

require a library with my


Behold, An Ashen Horse

was an interesting novel

about a terrorist attack

on 5 American cities and the eventual response. The populist elimination of the Muslim faith on earth was the theme of the book and while entertaining was really over the top with its political leaning.

The Art of Racing in the Rain was something I read after Missy died so it has a place as one of my favorites. OK, I may read this one again. Moving, funny and ultimately uplifting, this was recommended by Karen, and I thank her.

A Ship's Tale was a neat little story about a group of men and boys who steal an obsolete sailing ship and take her from England to Ireland in post-World War britain.

I am presently reading White Sky, Black Ice about an Alaskan State Trooper investigating a murder in an Inupiaq village.

In the hopper are Bacalao, The Magicians, The Book Thief, When Crickets Cry and The Terror: A Novel.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You have had quite a year. As I step back and let someone else assume the role of protector and Defender of your Realm, know that I will always be your loyal and devoted servant.

Have a great day and many many happy years to come. The joy you have brought me is beyond human expression.