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Showing posts from September, 2009

More Scenes From the Bike Path

I found this nice small park area last time I went out on the bike path to the north. I try to go farther each time. This is a neighborhood park and really nice, clean and a bit of an oasis in the city.
Nice shady lane cuts the sun's heat.

Birds really seem to groove on the pylons in the bay. There is one on every pylon it seems.

Funny how the will to live keeps these shrubs clinging on even in the water. It is not very deep here but it seem incredible that these guys survive.
This is my boat. As you can see the previous owner has hoisted the white flag in surrender. Now if I can figure out how to get over there it's mine. Cap'n Mike Sparrow.


(Somone sent me this picture last week, but I forgot who. Thanks, Who.)

I always heard that ..."paranoia is nothing but a heightened sense of awareness."

Knew a guy years ago who was a probation officer in down-state Illinois and in a somewhat heated argument regarding some issue was told that he was acting like he was paranoid. He responded by saying, "Well you'd be paranoid, too, if someone was after you." Funny.

Kind of like the the joke about the masochist and the sado-masochist walking down the street. The masochist says "Hit me." The Sado-masochist says........."No."

"...The Day Will Be Hard."

On January 5, 1757, as the King was entering his carriage, Robert-Francois Damiens rushed forward and stabbed him with a knife, inflicting only a slight wound. He made no attempt to escape, and was apprehended at once. He was then tortured so as to have him divulge his accomplices or those who had sent him. This was unsuccessful. He was condemned as a regicide by the Parlement of Paris, and sentenced to be drawn and quartered, by horses at the Place de Grève.

Before the torture, on 28 March 1757, he said "the day will be hard".[cite this quote] He was tortured first with red-hot pincers; his hand, holding the knife used in the attempted assassination, was burned using sulphur; molten wax, lead, and boiling oil were poured into his wounds. Horses were then harnessed to his arms and legs for his dismemberment. Damiens' limbs and ligaments did not separate easily; after some hours, representatives of the Parlement ordered the executioner and his aides to cut Damiens' joi…

Guess Who Came To Dinner

Brendan arrived from England via BFE this week. Plans are to find some work, replenish the bank account, and, he and Karen plan to live in Australia for a year. Here he is commanding the table, and brushing away the paparazzi.
"Born as Bruce Reimer, one of twin boys to Janet and Ron Reimer, Bruce's penis was destroyed in a circumcision accident when he was 8 months old. His parents consulted Dr. John Money at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, who advised Bruce's parents to also have his testes removed and raise him as a girl. He was renamed Brenda and treated as female by his family from then on. Dr. Money theorizied that gender identity is largely the result of social learning, and believed that if Brenda never knew the truth of her birth, she would successfully transition to a female. However, Brenda's childhood and adolescence was difficult. She and her twin brother Brian were extensively studied by Dr. Money; both twins later alleged they were sexually abused by Money during some of the treatments. By the age of 14, Brenda was suicidially depressed and begged her parents to discontinue her treatment with Dr. Money. The Reimers ceased her treatment and finally told the twins the truth of Bre…

The Mets Season

This scene from Germany's "Downfall" has been playing a lot with all kinds of subjects. I'm sure you have seen some of them. I had no idea they made one about the Mets dismal season. I'm not sure I like the concept of laughing at a monumental killer but sometimes you put away your filter and simply laugh at the farce.
This is a poignant photograph of the effects of war. The weeping seven-year-old son of one of the six Italian soldiers killed in a bomb blast in the Afghan capital last week touches his father's coffin during a state funeral in Rome on Monday.

Movie Review

What would be your reaction if I told you to rent a movie that has history, violence, war scenes, Arab terrorism, an implied male-on-male rape scene, humor, stunningly beautiful to watch, great characters and has (at that time) an unknown as its lead? What if I told you it was also a buddy and road picture? What if I told you it got a 98% positive-review score at Rotten Tomatoes better even than To Kill A Mockingbird? Now what would be your reaction if I told you it won 7 Oscars including Best Picture? Now what would be your reaction if I said it was almost 50 years old? Are you still with me? Sound like something you'd like to see? Now what is your reaction when I tell you it is Lawrence of Arabia? Can't run away fast enough, can you?

I had the pleasure of seeing it again this week. I had a good widescreen copy and I have to tell you that it was an extremely pleasurable three hours. Why is it is has a reputation of stuffiness, of being a snooze-fest, of being something you wou…

Blick at The Beach

This is for my Blick friends.

Soldier's Pact

Barry Delaney kneels weeping as mourners gather at Barnhill Cemetery for the funeral of Black Watch soldier Kevin Elliot on September 15, 2009 in Dundee, Scotland. Private Elliot was killed during a rocket attack in the Babaji district of Helmand in Afghanistan. Delaney wagered Kevin Elliot that they would wear this lime-green dress to eithers funeral in case either one of them died.

I don't know what else to say.

Taking Leave

We stopped at the Pioneer in Kewanee on my latest farewell ride. Tim here displays his magical abilities.

Tim, Christopher, Ryan and Me at the Pioneer. If you go get the Squealer.
The McCutcheons', Christopher, Tim and Carrie at the NHCC.
Winging my way back to Florida.

Swimming With the Dolphins

Yesterday we went to the beach and saw this school, pod, group, whatever, of dolphins. They were out there most of the time we were. I thought I had a video of one jumping out of the water but I'm no Speilberg. You'll have to settle for this.

Burgess Illinois

Marvin and Janine Thirtyacre are my excellent friends and hosts at Burgess. Burgess is a hidden oasis of perpetual cold beer, ready snacks, friendly faces and instant laughs. Add Richard and Andrea to the mix and it is just about perfect.

Absolutely The Greatest Pizza In The World

While back in God's country brother Mark, Holly and I made a trip, nay, a pilgrimage to Mount Pleasant Iowa to soak up the academia of Iowa Wesleyan College, and to have a pizza at Jerry's. Best pizza in the world. I mean it, bring anything else on, and bring it from New York, Chicago or Italy, there simply isn't a better one than Jerry's. Mind you it has to be a sausage. I'm surprised at graduation our mortorboards weren't round and emblazoned with Jerry's logo. Just as important as the mandatory RSI program, or Phi Delta Theta's community service project, a night at the West Side, or listening to Merle Unkrich's boring pep talks about his good old days, Jerry's was a weekly investment in surviving another week.

Practically swimming in my anticipatory juices, I am allowing a quick picture before diving in mouth first.

And, there it is. The splendor, the smell, the single sausage dollop on each small square...very thin, very light, v…

Me And My Buddies On A Ride

Arriving at Ducky's Lagoon in Andalusia: Carrie, Tim, Rick, Dave (Ole), Diane and Rod. It was on this trip that an owl swooped in on Rod and Diane and his steely-nerved determination as a biker kicked in and narrowly averted a tragedy. That damn owl flew right in between the tires looking for a treat on the road.
On another run the following Sunday, we went to Keithsburg and Scooter's. At Scooter's that owl was stalking Rod and Diane.

From left: Tim, Rod, Diane, and Ole. This was a stop at Scooter's after Bloody Mary's at Tweety's in Keithsburg.


I saw this ad on Craigslist and thought it could revolutionize your hunting season. Hell, wearing this would put you in mortal danger any season. Hope all is well at the office, and next time I'm back we'll hunt up another Squealer. I'm thinking maybe a nice cold winter day when I can curl up in front of "Where the Red Fern Grows"...oh, I forgot where I was. OK, I'm thinking of a cool, 71 degree day where I can curl up in front of a good flick. Tell everyone in BFE I said "Hi!", especially my riding partner CiJi.

Tampa Rays Baseball Game and Post-Game Concert

This is Tropicana Field in St.Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Don't ask me why a Tampa team is located in St. Pete. We went to see them Saturday night play the Detroit Tigers. The Rays lost 8-6 but it was a good game and fun.

My first domed stadium and the first ball game I'd seen in maybe 15 years.

Pre-game warm-up.

We saw three home runs and 2 in the first inning.

If I worked here I'd want to sell the cotton candy. A lot lighter than the beer but I never saw him sell any.

After the game the Beach Boys had a concert.

Cruising Lake McMaster

That big shoe is mine as Captain Tim cruises Lake McMaster. He makes a comment regarding the trolling motor about halfway through this clip. The rule is "What happens at Lake McMaster stays at Lake McMaster", but feel free to ask him anyway.

Anyone Can Catch a Big Fish (Part II)

After a few of these Captain Tim quipped, "Anyone can catch a big fish."

Tim actually caught one by a dorsal fin.

We used crickets and dwarf wax worms. These teeny tiny fish took a few bites here and there with those crickets and left us without bait. The bobbers would bounce a couple of times then we'd have to reel in and re-load. This led Captain Tim to quip again: "Just like a blind coyote, eatin' from the hoof up."

If it hadn't been for the good conversation, excellent scenery, relaxing activity and the beer, it would have been a wasted day.

Regardless it was a fine, fun day and I'd do it again...with minnows or dew worms.

Anyone Can Catch A Big Fish (Part I)

Launching SeaQuest at McMaster's Lake at Snake Den Hollow in Victoria. Early morning, a day full of promise, and eager fishermen ready to grab a boatload of crappie, bass, and channel cat.

Captain Tim, amiable guide and expert angler.

The lake was quite beautiful, as it was a coolish, foggy day. Bare dead trees sprang out of the lake which lent an air of other-world mystery and eeriness.

First catch of the day: you may have to click on the picture to see it.
More tomorrow...

Sights and Pictures of My Summer Vacation

After I arrived last Tuesday I had some time to kill before I met the gang at BFE. I tried finding my aunt, who had broken her leg, at both Galesburg hospitals but she had been released. Thinking, erroneously, that I had all week to find her, I went over to Crappy's North to have a beer or two. It was terribly ironic that I found Amber, former bar wench, wearing a BFE Farewell Ride T-shirt that I had made up before I left for Florida. I also had to take a picture of open space, empty roads and tall corn.