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Showing posts from May, 2013

Flashback Friday - Toy Story

Babysitters worth their salt will be well versed with all of the Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks cartoon movies that kids like to watch.  By kids, I include big old senior kids like myself.    Ask me my reviews of Rio, Brave, Ice Age, Happy Feet, Up, or Tangled. One of my, uh, Norah's favorites is Toy Story III, and the other two which form a pretty nifty trio of Pixar animated magic.  The over-arching premise is that eventually kids give up their toys, they stop being kids and grow up.  The toy angst is to be abandoned by their kids.  In the end Woody, Buzz and their buddies do lose their kid Andy, but find someone else who needs the comfort and joy of toys.

Today's flashback is to show you guys that this big old kid never gave up all of his toys.  Sure, I don't have either one of the electronic football games we got for Christmas, or the pinball machine that got ruined in the Great Flood.  Gone is the panda teddy bear that I just had to have one Christmas.  One summer our grand…

Foggy Morning - Part 2

Back again for a few more pictures of an early morning trek on the bike downtown.  Yesterday the sun had yet to come up, but by now, we have light and fog.  














One of the city's many homeless, navigating his worldly belongings from wherever he took shelter during the night and heading over to William's Park, haven for the dispossessed during the day.



A stately old theater on Central Avenue.  Nice ornate art deco exterior with cool gold eagle emblems.




Remember Sealtest Ice Cream?  At one point it may have been about the only one available out in the sticks of Seaton and Aledo.  


Sandburg was wrong.  Fog may come in quietly, but cat's feet are most assuredly not stealth-like.


























Foggy Morning - Part 1

On another early morning trip downtown I took these pictures.  I won't comment because I'm too lazy and because I think they speak for themselves.  Whatever they say to you, I hope you enjoy them. 




































































Come back tomorrow for a few more.




Flashback Friday

This is the conference room at the Mary Davis Home where I was Program Coordinator.  The Counseling staff and I are about to have a meeting to determine the progress of kids in the rehab program.  We did this weekly and depending on the behavior we would progress them higher or lower on the 6 levels. 


The Counselors aways did a great job of adding up all the good and bad to properly place in a phased program a kid where they needed to be.  Every once in a while I'd have to put on the brakes if I thought a kid was getting out too soon, but more often than not, they were spot-on with their votes.  

The joviality of the group is probably because this is one of the last, if not the last, staffing I would conduct.  I had to keep these things moving along or I'd get a call from a lonely supervisor asking to speed it up so they could get their staff back so they themselves could wander back to the kitchen to sample the lunch fare.  


I don't much miss the management side, but I d…

Seeing Them Off

Sometimes you can't avoid Tampa, or The Dark City.  When your grandkids are hopping on a bus that in three days will send them to the land of Canucks and Eskimos, you make every effort to bid them farewell.  It could be a long time till we see them again.



There are rules regarding bus stations:  they are always in a less than reputable place in town, they are usually dark, old, lonely and cold places.  The cold refers not only to the temperature but the feeling of the place itself on your soul.  It is a place of departure, of anxiety, of nervousness, of feelings of dread, or hope, or joy, depending on where you are going and why.  But generally joy seems to be one of the rare feelings in bus stations.  

Today I see my boy, my baby I spent so much time with in G-Burg, leave for Canada.  Of course, he left me long ago, really.  He moved away once before, started growing up and began to forget what fun we had.  Now that was joy!  Perhaps the happiest time in my life was when Michael …

Fast Eddie and Michael

The two gentlemen above met me at a local brewery the other day.  The young man on the right is Eddie Johnson, a great high school friend who, sadly closed his eyes when the the camera flashed.  The younger man on the left is his son, Michael, who lives in Wesley Chapel, about 25 minutes from Tampa.  The elder Johnson was visiting from Peoria.  I had not seen them since 2002.  Eddie is a bit of a recluse by choice and stay-at-home-babysitter just like me.

Eddie and I used to cruise around back in school often heading to the Quad Cities to visit irreputable stripper joints if we could get in.  One such place was Pete's Midwest which didn't seem too worried about ages or who ordered their beer.  It was a sort of peek into the adult world for us both and I'm glad I did it with Eddie, because along with Eddie was a great sense of humor.

He drove a cool '62 Chevy and I guess my memory created something out of nothing because I thought it was white, but Eddie assured me it…

Tuesday Tidbits - Easter At Shawshank

For anyone interested, here are some pictures of Norah on Easter.