Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

I no longer do Halloween.  The last one I did was at the Burgess Bar where the theme was favorite household item.  I went as duct tape.  Not very scary and ultimately quite warm, as I recall.  I've got a picture of it around here somewhere, but that is not for today.  Like anyone I get the heebie-jeebies whenever I let my imagination roam.  The old haunted house routine is usually quite effective.  I was going to do my own YouTube-type scary movie video but couldn't round up the necessary hands to help me pull it off.  So, here we are, Halloween day.  The sun will be out and no respecting ghost haunts during the daylight hours so you are safe…until nightfall.  Here are some rather creepy home videos to get you started.  Have a great Halloween.  But be careful.  There are spirits about…


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Six Faces

Today is one of those days when very little composition is necessary.  Two people.  Mother and daughter with a phone camera.   

With these phones we are the most photographed and videoed multi-generational society ever.  And because photography is now free, future sociologists will have no problem piecing together everyday life in the world at this time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I tend to be linear on this page, chronologically speaking.  It's boring that way, but it works for me.  At any one time I may have a couple weeks ready in the bin and that number increases with my activities.  The newest post gets put at the end of the line.  I may have two or three weeks all queued up ready to go.   So the blog isn't always terribly current (except for Tidbit Tuesdays), but it's in its right order.  

Today, however, I break that usual policy and insert something that I saw Sunday (October 27th)  that kind of defies belief.  The pictures are poor, the subject is hard to see.  But, hopefully we can attempt to construct for you what we shall refer to as "The Car".  

Went to Bradenton on Sunday to the Robinson Nature Preserve which will be queued soon for your enjoyment.  A quick stop in McDonald's for breakfast seemed in order because 1) breakfast is always fun and 2) a long walk requires strength and stamina.    

Pulled in next to The Car in the back parking area where there was shade and got out.  I looked inside and saw the epitome of filth and squalor.  I went to college with a bunch of slobs but I never saw anything like this.  I'm no prissy slave to dusting or vacuuming but this was truly astounding.  Having cultivated a dust bunny or two in my time, I'm aware that sometimes cleaning chores get pushed to the side.  Inside bugs were crawling everywhere.  See the bag next to the cup?  Hell, see the cup?  There are three visible bugs in this picture.  

See the big bug on the window?

Below the water bottle up top and to the right of the cup below and on that thin white item was a nest of bugs swarming.  The heat combined with the leftover foodstuffs brought about this disgusting,  unbelievable car. 

There was no room for legs in the passenger area.  The passenger seat was covered completely and most of the driver's seat as well, although there was a bit of upholstery showing.  Food containers, open cups, you name it.

Now,  there was certainly no rush on my part to get back to The Car for more picture taking while enjoying breakfast.  I eyed the patrons leaving to size them up on whether they were likely suspects.  But then my enjoyment of breakfast lessened when I thought that perhaps it was an employee who owned the vehicle in question.  All I could think about was I hoped The Car was gone when I left which would rule out a McDonald's worker.  Sadly, The Car was still there when I finished.  All I could think about was who handled (or rather who microwaved) my sausage biscuit and potato round.  

I'm no refuse monitor, but when you are too lazy to dump your trash, and have bugs crawling all over your seats, windows, and dash, and need Terminix to probably cleanse your body, you need a serious intervention.  Lord, can you imagine what the apartment looks like?

The Robinson Nature Preserve?  It was exceptional and pics will be forthcoming.  Occasionally I saw a bug in its natural habitat.  

Have a good breakfast.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Been A While SInce I Visited the Vinoy

Summer in Florida is best spent inside.  (However, this year was hotter in the North than down here.) The heat can really get to you in June, July and August.  However, when Fall approaches it's time to head back out and it had been awhile since I'd been to the Vinoy Park downtown.  Long time readers know it is one of my favorite spots and there is always something to see.  

For relaxing, nothing else beats its.  Stroll around or hit a park bench.  Either way there's lots to see.

They say the 2nd happiest day of your life is when you sell your boat.  Man, wouldn't it be great in between those dates, though?

A woodpecker working on lunch.  It's funny.  I took about 15 shots of this guy and none are too crisp and well defined.  Wonder why?

This guy was looking for easy handouts.  These vermin are pretty tame here at the park.  Lots of people throw peanuts at them.

You'll notice that I usually take people's pictures as they are walking or skating away...I don't want bitch slapped.  Justin of Human Of New York blog (I highly recommend checking it out) walks around and takes pictures of people, but I haven't perfected my spiel yet.

Elegance in flight.

This guy's chest tattoo was interesting.  At first I thought it was an anatomical rendering of his chest.  

Turned out to be so much more interesting.  I'm not sure what all is going on but I like it.  

Can you spot the bird in the tree?

There he is.  Way up at the top.   That is a helicopter flying by and not a fish in his beak.

Kind of a neat 2-man raft, perfect for convenient fishing in the Bay. 

The now scandalously empty Pier.  The referendum to build the Lens was rejected by the voters, now we start all over again.  Meanwhile the Pier is empty and will be for another couple years until they come up with a new design.  

These guys just pulled up in their jon boat, threw out an anchor, walked in to shore and were not to be seen for an hour.  Don't know where they went, maybe lunch up town, but they seemed to be trusting.

Scavengers waiting for an opportunity. 

A great day for solitude, for reflecting, for being at the Vinoy.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Flashback Friday

Offices, I suppose, reflect their occupants, perhaps more so than anything else.  One's home may not have a room to reflect a single person and garage's aren't always the best vehicle either, although my old one on Grove Street sure gave it a good go.  Let's take a look at my old office at MDH and see what goodie's we can find.   

Clockwise from top right:

1.  Mary Davis Home Appreciation Certificate
2.  Picture of me and Pat Johnson at one of the Mike Johnson Open awards ceremony.  
3.  IPCSA (Illinois Probation and Court Services Assoc.) Recognition Certificate 
4.  Recognition Certificate from American Heart Association (In relation to Mike Johnson Open)
5.  Putter given to me by the Johnson family for Mike Johnson Opens.

1. Upper center are my old cars.
2.  Right is a gag gift from Henry County Probation, regarding keys to city.
3.  The red chair was a carryover from the pre-remodeled MDH conference room.  
4.  The painting on far wall was don by Donna Johnson a renowned local artist from the Aledo area whose talents were struck down by a stroke. 

1.  Near picture above the bulletin board is kids from program and staff who helped with sandbagging during 2004 Flooding.  

2.  Next to it is a hand drawn gag picture of me sitting at my desk asleep done by Dennis "Swede" Nelson, a Transportation Officer, who has since retired. 

3.  Painting over computer was one I did of Kenzie when she was a little girl. 

The only thing of note here is the blue binder laying on the desk.  This was the program Bible.  It went with me to every weekly staffing and if I wasn't there, it went with whoever was running staffings that day.  It contained the names of program kids, detailed info on weeks at MDH and all votes on whether the kids passed stuck, or regressed.  

I still have that worn frayed blue binder and a few pages from my last staffings.  

It was a good office.  Counselors reported in once every week and we had some pretty good chats, and I enjoyed having them in.  I wanted to make it as homey and comfortable as possible because sometimes they may not have wanted to see me as much as I wanted to see them.  Sometimes I had to get on them a little, but mostly it was a great staff who were genuinely motivated to make an impact in their clients' lives.  They all made me look good as Program Coordinator.  I was lucky.   

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This And That

Various items that may be of interest, or not.

Bet you didn't know that each state has its own rules regarding resale of mattresses in retail shops.  In Illinois it is illegal to sell used mattresses in stores although it is OK in private transactions.  Florida allows it. From the looks of this store, however, I wouldn't by a key chain.  

This cute fellow was hanging onto the side of the exterior wall early one morning as I was taking the garbage out.

My son-in-law manning one of the machines at work.  When his Personal Training days ended when the gym was sold, he landed a job in Dunedin at Coca-Cola.  

I still babysit.  As you can see, we have a general policy of diapering convenience.  Every day when I sit for Norah it's Casual Friday.   She particularly enjoys being at the command center. 

This little guy was rushing along the sidewalk the other morning.  The picture isn't too clear, is it?  I need a macro lens for the camera that would really get in this snail's grille.  Funny about these things, though.  I slipped inside to do something breifly and when I returned, he was gone.  I looked all over and never saw him.  I guess they can speed up when people aren't around.

In keeping with what appears to be a wildlife theme, this little guy lives just outside the from door.  These Florida scrub lizards are all over the place down here.  We usually call them geckos, but they really aren't.  This guy is sporting a forked tail.  Now, in my best National Geographic impersonation, I sat on the steps for a long time waiting to get the right picture.  And then I only had my cell phone camera.  I thought I would grab him and run off to the circus where I would be famous for discovering a unique species.  Sadly, the forked tail is fairly common.  It happens when the tail experiences a trauma but doesn't fall completely off.  When it starts to regenerate, it looks like this.  

Ever wonder what it looks like underneath a pinball machine?

You just can't get this kind of stuff anywhere else.  

The bad news,  I'm going to keep posting.  The good news, it's free.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scenes from the Summer Market

For a few weeks during the summer, the Saturday morning Farmer's Market moves from Progress Energy Field parking lot to Williams Park in downtown St. Pete.  This is usually called Bum Paradise since this is the home of the homeless.  The cops come and sweep the place of the bums, needles and what-not to ensure a reasonable experience for vender's and customers.  

Kenzie needed honey so off we went.  

Bum Paradise, oops, sorry, Williams Park provides perhaps 10-20% the usual tents you would see at the normal Farmer's Market.  

Here you will still find the sellers of organic veggies,  the woodworking of retired transplanted Northerners and the loom-weaving hippies who never grew out of that phase.  

I'll bet this guy wasn't even born before Woodstock.  He's a hippie wannabe.  To be honest, I don't think we young hippie's ever made stuff on a loom.  C'mon!  

Oh look!  Let's get something from Taste Of Ethiopia.  This place is selling spices, dried carrots, lentils and vegan stuff.  When I think of Ethiopia I think of death, malnutrition and starvation.  

Carrying around a little smidgen of a red-head does have its advantages, however.  This guy gave Norah a free banana.  Breakfast and a show.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

  • A kind reader sent me an email this past couple of days regarding the Bugos-White building south of Alpha a few miles next to the old abandoned livestock barn.  Last Thursday's blog entry had a couple of pictures and when back in August I stopped and checked them out.  The reader told me that Bugos-White was a shaft mining company which existed  between 1941 and 1957.   Thanks, Jeff, for the information.

  • Mark November 9th on your calendar.  If you can, please consider attending the Benefit For Lisa Makeever at the Knights of Columbus in Galesburg, Illinois from 3:00 pm till 9:00.  Lisa and Dave are our old neighbors on Grove Street.  Lisa had an aneurysm this summer and is looking at more surgery.  They are great friends with mounting medical bills.  They and daughters, Mindi, Ashley and Tara have organized a silent auction, drawings, and fun to help defray their bills.  Lots and lots of cool things to bid on.  Wish I could be there.