Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Special

This guy is really wasted. While I do not condone excessive drinking and I hope this guy didn't drive home, this is really funny to watch. Some people have witten about this piece that they are appalled folks find it funny, rather they should be horrified at the dunkenness. Relax. This isn't social commentary on the lives and people destroyed by alcohol. That is for another day.

This is just a funny short vid on a guy that had too much and is trying to navigate. Think Foster Brooks as a college kid. And be careful this weekend, you never know when someone will whip out their cell phone and start filming.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sand Surfing?




video

Interesting use of this kite/small parasail. Not sure what it is but this guy used it effectively. It was a windy day, probably the windiest I have seen it. Kites, raging surf and constant pelting of sand on your face. Still fun, though.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sights from the Bike Path

This is the impressive St. Stefano Greek Orthodox church. I noticed the gold dome and cross and was curious.
These guys were working on their sea plane. They were working on the engine and I stayed quite a while hoping they would take off. They never did, however, and carted away the propeller, apparently an important part of the mechanics.

I might be able to scrounge up enough funds to afford the boat in the middle.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Miscellaneous Stuff



Commercialism at the beach. We have seen the usual plane hauling the Geico banner but this was new last Friday.

Me and my posse at old Navy.


video


Widdo Itto Bitty Bishop Enjoying his first ice cream. Bishop, a large German Shepherd lapdog, belongs to Drew. Life is never the same after you discover ice cream. At least Bishop won't have to worry about brain freeze.



video

This passes for surfing around here. Its not exactly an exercise in catching a "big" one.



Vessel? This was a mile away from the beach.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Feel Sorry For Her But I Can't Stop Laughing




There has always been a kind of unreal aspect to fashion shows. First, no one in the real world ever buys these garments and secondly, there is a kind of man-eating swagger/pout and looks of hate on the models themselves. No one ever looks happy. This short clip is pretty gosh-darn down to earth. This lady walks like a true ball-buster. Enjoy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hello Dali - Part Three

Hallucinogenic Toreador
(This is Dali's work about bull fighting. The female in upper left corner is wife Gala who disapproved of the sport. You night be able to see the faces formed by the Venus de Milo statues and one is crying. There is a dead bull in the lower center you might be able to see as well. The blood coming from the nose forms a pool that symbolizes a lake that he loved near his boyhood home. A lady is on a raft which symbolizes growing tourism. The flies represent death and the markers at the top represent the fallen bullfighters. The green cloth is a tie and the red garment is a red cape. See the faces?)
Discovery of America
(The young man pulling the ship onto the shore was a waiter at the coffee shop Dali went to regularly. The lady on the large pennant is Dali's wife Gala. The many crosses symbolize the divinity of America and/or its ideals. The round orb at the lower center didn't sit well with Dali's patron and most prolific buyer of his art and he expressed as much to Dali. Dali told him when he understood what it was he could call with complaints. It was 10 years later while looking at an eclipse the man suddenly knew what it was and excitedly called Dali. "I know what it is! It is the place place of America and earth within the planets and how it may evolve through time." Dali responded by saying, "It took you long enough." And then he abruptly hung up on him.)

Ecumenical Council
(Again many things are going on here, too. Gala once again is the model for the kneeling figure. In the upper right corner he used an octopus to get the effect he was looking for. The central upper figure is God flanked by the divinity of Christ and a dove on the left represents the Holy Spirit, thus the trinity.)

While Mackenzie and I were dazzled by the weird, mind-numbing other-worldliness of Dali's surreal work, we ultimately loved the more traditional "masterworks". Huge, upwards of 14 feet high canvasses of classical works done later in his life, these took a year to do and are breathtaking. Paintings filled with all kinds of things going on: paintings-within-paintings, symbolism, hidden faces and objects. Most artists would have used a ladder system to paint such large paintings - not Dali. He cut a hole in his floor and raised and lowered the canvas with pulleys.
You all get an A for patience. Admittedly Dali is not everyone's cup of tea. It would have been interesting to hear a conversation between Dali and Norman Rockwell, two seeming opposites.
We are actually planning another trip soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hello Dali - Part Two






"Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy - the joy of being Salvador Dalí - and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things this Salvador Dalí is going to accomplish today?" Salvador Dali

"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since." Salvador Dali

"Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad." Salvador Dali

"I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait." Salvador Dali

"I have Dalínian thought: the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous." Salvador Dali

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." Salvador Dali

"In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob." Salvador Dali

"Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality." Salvador Dali

"So little of what could happen does happen." Salvador Dali

"The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant." Salvador Dali

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello Dali - Part One

Nestled next to the bay in St. Petersburg is the Salvadore Dali Art museum. Mackenzie needed to go to an art museum for one of her college courses and asked me to tag along. I am so happy she did. All I really knew about Dali was the weird handlebar moustache and his even weirder paintings like The Disintegration of Persistent Memory, or as we all know it, the melting clock.
I was so buzzed after going I am now a new fan of Dali.

Our museum holds the world's largest collection and how we got it is a nice story. A couple in Cleveland had bought many Dali's for their home and soon ran out of room. They built a place in Ohio near his business but it, too, began to be space prohibitive. They sent out a nationwide notice to interested cities if they would like to house the artwork. The one caveat was that the works could never be split up and/or sold. Many museums dropped out because of that stipulation except a visionary group here in St. Pete who took up the monetary challenge and was awarded the project. A new Dali museum is being built now and move-in date is around January 2011.

The setting is beautiful with scores of craft docked in the marina.



Dali was at the forefront of the surrealist movement. We are likely aware of his melting clock kind of artwork. However, he was also a classicist in the traditional way as we will explore in Friday's entry.



Here is a 5 minute video of Dali and towards the end some of his paintings which are bizarre, strange, eerie, ludicrous, beautiful images of dreams and nightmares.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Madness In The Land


WARNING! POLITICAL COMMENTS. DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE A BIRTHER, EXTREMIST, GLEN BECK'S MOTHER OR BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT IS THE ANTI-CHRIST


According to a new Harris poll 57% of Republicans and 32% of Americans overall, believe Barack Obama is a Muslim.

It also says 45% of Republicans and 25% of Americans agree with Birthers that Obama was not born in US and so is not eligible to be president.

38 % of Republicans and 20% of Americans agree that Obama is "doing many things Hitler did."

And 24 percent of Republicans, and 14 percent overall, agree that Obama "may be the Antichrist."

I don't quite know what to think of this, but I'll take a stab at it. I think it goes back to the economy. Everyday people like many of those listed above for extremist views are angry at the problems we all face by striking out at President Obama. They are decent people who have a need to make sense of their lives. 2 years ago they had a little money in the bank and jobs, but now they are barely making it and need to find a villain. Obama is black, has an Arab name, and is creating another government entitlement. "Armageddon" is used by the GOP to describe healthcare reform that, according to the unbiased Congressional Budget Office will help the deficit and many millions of people. These people, many who will wrap themselves in an American flag and say they are good Americans, then will turn around and spit on their representatives and despise their government. Gold bullion companies profit off of fear and seed companies sell "survival" gardens at exorbitant prices. There is a madness in the land. The townspeople armed with pitchforks are storming the castle. Where are the voices of reason? Where are the voices of calmness. Again, where are the leaders and statesman in this country who would stand in front of the rabble and say, "Stop your madness and go home"? This country will survive as it has survived past political burps. But what will it cost us?

Recipe for mature reasoned discourse:


1. RESPECT THE VIEWS OF LOYAL OPPOSITION
2. GET THE FACTS
3. REAL CHANGE DOESN'T HAPPEN IN THE FRINGE AREAS OF FAR-RIGHT OR FAR-LEFT. TRUE CHANGE HAPPENS IN THE MODERATE MIDDLE.
4. RECOGNIZE YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE ANYONE'S VIEWS BY HAMMERING YOURS.

5. EMBRACE POOP (PARTY OUT OF POWER). OVER TIME EACH PARTY WILL BE ON THE OUTS. IF YOU WANT A PLACE AT THE TABLE, LEARN THE ART OF COMPROMISE.
6. DON'T GET TOO WORKED UP, IN THE END IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER ANYWAY.

7.NEVER EVER LOSE A FRIENDSHIP OR THE CONTACT OF A RELATIVE OVER POLITICS.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Snake On A Sidewalk








A friendly fellow resident alerted us to the danger that lurked under this patio chair. It looked like a baby python to me (of course, I think all snakes look like pythons). I think we should have alerted McDill Air Force base over in Tampa to send a squadron of Hornets with Stinger missiles to make this a better and safer place to live. I mean what's the point of Homeland Security if you can't rub out a few slimy, scaly man eaters?
I wish I had a happy ending to this story, but, sadly, someone came and removed the Satan spawn and walked it down to a grassy area not far from where I live. Still alive and, I presume, still hungry.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fleamarket Art

The teeming masses at the Wagon Wheel.

Anything and everything is at the flea market. Underwear, parakeets, restaurant booths, you name it. I bought a new billfold for 12 dollars and a flat of strawberries for $7.00.







I'm not sure what you call these things. Art? Hmmm, no, I hope not. These are delightfully kitschy creations that I would have a hard time placing in my digs. Not sure how one displays these in a tasteful fashion.



There is even an area to rest your feet and have a bite to eat and dance.

We went back to the Wagon Wheel flea market last Saturday and one must truly experience this city wide huuuuuuuuuuuge mult-building flea market with hundreds of vendors and thousands of shoppers. Everything imaginable is for sale: new, used, treasures, junk and some are even alive, like birds. I know the Barton's from Burgess have attended one of these but you can't imagine the enormity of the place and the endless variety of merchandise. It is part garage sale, part county fair, and quite bizarre.




Thursday, April 15, 2010

Things That Make Us Giggle

OMG!





A Popeye squirt gun, when in the hands of a 9 year old is simply a cool water gun that none of your friends have. However, to an adult it seems to take on different connotations and becomes an object of humor.



Hey, I can't come up with gems everyday!



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Look Both Ways!

What are some of the admonitions Moms used to yell at us? "Look both ways when you cross the street!" "Don't run with those scissors!" Don't get too close to the TV set or your eyes will cross!"

Now imagine all those harmless safety rules with these Columbian kids who have to get to school in a really scary way.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Hell Of A Shell




On Sunday Drew and Mackenzie went to the beach and went into the water, which is still a bit chilly after winter. When you go into the Gulf you don't really swim, you stand and comb the floor with your feet to ward off stingrays and search for interesting shells.
Well, they came across this monster of a shell and it is quite a find. It is a rarity to find one this large. This ranks as a major beach event. Other people were coming up and admiring their find.
Now the long and arduous process of cleaning and polishing.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Inane Inanities - Spring Edition

1. With all of the talk about America's debt, it can't hold a candle to our debt during World War II. At that time the GDP was 25%. Today it is only 13%. And we are in 2 wars now. Its all relative.

2. Saw a great movie last night. It's a dog-lovers flick called Hachi- A Dog's tale with Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander. It is based on a true story of a Japanese Akita who loved his owner so much that he...sorry, you have to rent it. I won't spoil it for you. This is a direct-to-DVD movie that was graded A- by Entertainment Weekly.

Hachi: A Dog's Tale on DVD. Usually when you think of straight-to-DVD movies, names like Steven Seagal, Michael Madsen, and — of course! — Jean-Claude Van Damme come to mind, not Richard Gere. But don't let that stop you from seeing this G-rated canine sobfest, one of the sweetest films to not hit theaters in years.

3. Oak Meadows California 9000-student body school district has pulled all Collegiate Miriam-Webster dictionaries because a single parent raised objections that some words in the dictionary were objectionable, as in dirty words. I'm not making this up. Move over Rush, I'm heading to Costa Rica too. When dictionaries are deemed "DANGEROUS" it's time to move!

4. How can you say you love America but be anti-government? Isn't that one of the great things about the US: 3 branches of government, our court system, and a 2 party nation? Perhaps a better way to ask the question: What does America mean to you? Now take away what the government provides. Does that change your outlook? For instance, if freedom is America to you, can we have it without the government entities of the armed forces, national guard, or the court system?

5. I haven't found any money in the parking lots this week. Belt-tightening in the Sunshine State?

6. Anything and everything tastes better on a grill.

7. Life, a 12 week series on the Discovery Channel is absolutely fun to watch.

8. I want an iPad.

9. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains is great TV entertainment. Boston Rob and Russell have been riveting.

10. Is aids still around? This seems to have been dropped from the media machines.

11. Funny people I know: Neighbor Tim, Stewart, Bros Mark & Phil and Marvin. Cherish the funny people in your lives, they sure help lighten the load.

12. Patriot militia groups have risen in the US from 159 to 512.



13. This is Spencer, an 8 year old boxer who I met last week. A great well-behaved dog who I would steal if I thought I could get away with it.

14. Did you hear about how that Mississippi high school handled the prom with the gay kids? As I understand it they had a fake prom off-site with the kids who were gay and those who have developmental disabilities. Meanwhile there was the real prom somewhere else and they didn't tell those who were invited to the fake gay prom. In essense, the gay and mentally/physically challenged were segregated from the other kids. I can't believe how that is wrong on many levels. Think about it.

15. I dreamed last night that Gay Johnson ran as a write-in candidate against Bonnie Harris for Superintendent of Schools. It was a good dream...and Gay won!

16. Heard Johnny Cash was in BFE last night as part of the Summer Concert Series. I think George Jones, Tammy Wynett and Roger Miller are also booked for future engagements. (Yes, its an inside joke. Sorry. I hate inside jokes when I'm on the outside.) There is a guy there who cranks his outside speakers and plays the worst god-awful music that was also bad 40 years ago. It plays all over town. It is annoying. It is a form of home invasion.

247

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Closed This Weekend



This website, after 676 entries, is closing.
On weekends.
See ya back on Monday.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

There is no doubting we like our phones. Or is it the camera that comes with it, or the apps that we play with? I got a new phone last week and I have to admit they have come a long way since those early cell phones 10 years ago. At that time we were just happy to be able to connect in case of an emergency. back then I didn't have one but was supplied with a company phone since I was on call throughout the month. Now, we can connect to the internet, our email account and Facebook. We can watch baseball games, check the stock market and play all kinds of games.
We have now reached the point at which phones are smarter than some owners. I didn't know how to answer my new phone for a week. And I won't even mention my total inability to deal with voicemail. I can't seem to get it to just ring. It seems to want to sound like a drop of water plinking into water for new messages. I've just about given up so if I don't answer, it's not that I am away, or ignoring; it's just as likely I don't hear it or know how to answer it. Huh. I can use it as a level, see what constellations are in the night sky, use it as a crazy 8 ball, flashlight, bar scanner, strobe light, it can tell me where i parked my car, police siren and a thousand other things, but think i can use it as a phone, now that's tough.
There was a time when a young man who had to spend time in Victoria's Secret would keep their eyes on the skimpy panties, colorful bras and pretty store staffers. Now we can get all that and more on our phones. This is Drew who must be checking NCAA basketball scores?
We went to Cody's for a birthday supper and before we were seated had some time to wait. In this picture there are 7 people. All the young ones, including the photographer, were busy with their phones.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

You Have Got To Be Kidding



This doof, and I honestly do not know if he is a Democrat or Republican, doesn't know how islands work!! He is Congressman Hank Johnson from Georgia. What a dumbass. And kudos to the admiral testifying for not bursting out in embarrassed laughter. Why do we elect these people or people like Blago who we elected twice? Wow.

In fairness, Congressman Johnson issued this statement after this comment:

"The subtle humor of this obviously metaphorical reference to a ship capsizing illustrated my concern about the impact of the planned military buildup on this small tropical island."

He says he is joking. Replay that and see if you can catch the humor. So now he tried to cover up this gaffe by lying.




Oh come on! You really have never wondered if the world is round or flat! She talks about feeding her kids but wants us to believe she never wondered about the earth!! OK, I give up. I'm running for office. I know how islands work and that the world is round.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FLIPPER

Went to the beach Monday night to watch the sunset. I filmed these guys on their surf boards paddling and noticed they were being led by a dolphin. You can see him 3 times in this vid. How cool would that be?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lenny Blythstra Returns







One of the many irretrievably personal items lost in the flood of 2008 in BFE was my Lenny Blythstra Cabbage Patch dolls given to me in the '80's. I was a big Mets fan and Cabbage Patch dolls were huge. They made one like the above dressed in a Mets uni. It came with a birth certificate and you had the option of naming your little guy (or girl). I liked a player named Lenny Dykstra who had had the nickname "Nails" because of his all-out hustle. As we later found out some of that was due to steroids, but that's another story. I named mine Lenny Blythstra.


Upon my return to St. Pete last week I received from my daughter a new Lenny sans Mets flag, but priceless nonetheless. Thanks Kenze.


Replacing my ball glove with Rusty Staub's personal autograph that I got in St. Louis might be a little tougher.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day





There are some days in the year that exude electricity for some reason. Christmas morning is one. No matter how old we get there is a tie to our childhoods that draw us back in time. Opening day for baseball is one of those days, too. The dream that this year will take us to the World Series sheds the years to a time when youthful naivete collides with hopeful expectations.

Here's to all the fans of baseball and the hopes of October.


Party at my place all day. I think I'll get to see about 4 games. We'll have snacks and beer. Drop on by if you're in the area.

By the way, I'm hoping for a better Mets finish this year. Couldn't be much worse than last year when we only won 70 games. Watch for a fast start out of the gate since Jerry's and Omar's jobs are on the line. I'm also hoping Ron Santo will learn English as a second language.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HAPPY EASTER


What are you looking at this for? Go hug your spouse, friend or pet. Go golfing. Go to church. Go to the mall. Go out to breakfast. Then lunch. Then supper. Wash your car. Go to a car show. Take a nap. Read the paper on your phone or internet. Take a bike ride. Put your outside furniture out. It's Easter. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gran Prix of St. Petersburg







Turn up your sound. This is a verrrry short (5 seconds) video of last Saturday's Gran Prix of St. Petersburg. It is a formula car race and was finished on Monday due to rain on Sunday. You won't see anything but you will hear some of the cars whizzing by down the block. The whole downtown area was bustling with activity. It was pretty crowded, with all kinds of activities.



General Petraeus was the Grand Marshall, no doubt the organizers were unaware that I was available. Perhaps next year, if I'm not busy.





Some country singer named Gretchen Wilson was in town for the Gran Prix. Never heard of her but this seemed like kind of a big deal to those I was with. She was setting up at the Jannus which was just down the street from where we had lunch. Pretty cool ride.

Friday, April 2, 2010


This video by Andrés Borghi of Argentina won the "Your Big Break" competition from 100% Pure New Zealand. The slogan for the competition was: ‘Capture the spirit of 100% Pure New Zealand – the youngest country on earth’. This video certainly conveys that idea!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ratatouille


Like I said, we went downtown Saturday and a lot of things were going on. We lunched at a burrito shop and as we were sitting at a sidewalk table a young lady rode up on her bike. Perched on her shoulder was her pet...rat?





She put her friend on the seat of her bike and gently applied a little pressure, and off she went into the restaurant.

He moved around a little, looking at us, and sniffing the great smells.


But he waited patiently till his owner came back with her burrito, and off they went. Something you might not see at the firestation at BFE on pancake day.