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Showing posts from March, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

I feel sorry for the kids today.  Norah has started watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and they are horrible.  Sure, they aren't made for me, but supposedly Bugs Bunny wasn't made for my folks either.  But that's just the thing, cause I think the old cartoons were made for my folks, and today's should be made for me, too.  You telling me we kids had the wherewithal to know what was going on when Bugs mocked Hitler or Stalin, or Tojo?    Today's cartoons are so bland and safe, and litigiously clean that the only thing you can fault them for is the length they go to say nothing.  Gone are the jokes, the social commentary, the edginess that made us think Bugs was the coolest cat (or bunny) of them all.   

It must have been fun drawing not only for kids but for adults too.  what's worse is I'm not all that certain you can even find those great old toons anymore.  Quite a few years ago Warner Bros. cleaned a lot of them up and by clean, I mean sanitized rather than …

Life Lessons From A Gecko

This guy was outside my bedroom window for awhile last month.  We keep two bikes out there: the current Mrs. Blythe, sans seat, and Norah's.  Mine was stolen shortly after moving into Bedlam.  It wasn't tethered to anything like the bikes now, so it was my own fault.  Trusting Northlander. 

Anyway, this fellow, a Florida gecko, or anole or whatever these creepy things are that inhabit everything decided to make the seat stem his home.

Yeah, that's Greg the Gecko peeking up from the bike seat stem.
I couldn't help but admire him.  He had found what had to be an almost impenetrable fortress. I'm not sure what they have to worry about except maybe herons that are numerous down here, but I don't see them around Bedlam.  There are some feral cats, but I suppose the main thing might be human feet.  I see a lot of expired geckos on the sidewalks.  
Let's call him Gus just because its easier to type than gecko.  Gus, an astute member of his species, seemed to really t…

Flashback Friday

Today, March 27, marks the anniversary of Black Thursday at Iowa Wesleyan College when I was there.  It's not quite up there with the American one or Bastille Day,  but in our circles it was pretty profound.  Here is what happened.  
This was a period of decreasing school enrollment.  Couple that with the fraternities and sororities all having houses off campus, the school began looking for ways to minimize costs and maximize school housing. 
The previous year the school had mandated all Greek organization students back to campus housing.  They gave the three fraternities Hershey Hall, an empty old relic of a building that probably should have been torn down decades before.  The Phi Delts got floor 2, the Phi Tau's floor 3, and the Sig Eps floor 4.  The first floor of the building was a lounge, mailroom, storage and other non-livable area.  
The first part of the revolution was moving back onto campus.  We all threatened to transfer elsewhere and many of us actually followed thro…

Downtown On a Cold Spring Day

It was cold and windy but it was supposed to be Spring so a walk downtown might be fun.  Downtown was St. Petersburg, since I have not ever tried to explore downtown Clearwater.  But I will someday.  No, St. Pete was familiar territory and somewhat welcoming this Saturday.   

There are murals all over the place, this being an artsy enclave.  This is one of them I spotted on Central Avenue.

I don't know near enough about Bitcoin.  This was the first store I have seen that accepts it. 

A T-shirt for sale that, for me, says it all.

Another mural.

Kind of a classy liquor store sign.

I was taken by this architectural type picture with my iPhone camera and didn't notice the hand print on the column until I got home.  All the better.

The Dazzio Gallery is a quite nice place to visit from time to time.  It has classes for area people who want to do their work and get a little instruction as they go.  And when finished the artists can put up their work for sale.  Nice idea and maybe someday I…

Springtime At The Vinoy

It's no secret that Vinoy Park is one of my favorite places down here.  Lots of space for everyone, lots to see, and lot's of people living their lives.   I won't intrude on the quiet solemnity of the park.  You can see just about anything here; bustling civilization on 12 acres. A place to reflect, energize, and watch.     

There is a local character, a nut job actually, who walks the park with peanuts, tossing out at the squirrels.  He wanders the wide walkways calling out to his family uh, furry friends by name.  He has named all of them and yells out things like "Oscar!  You better come out, last chance for supper!"  Frankly I think he does it for the attention and the looks he gets from tourists, but I suppose he is harmless enough.  Just obnoxious.  

This guy was having trouble getting on his board after a few months of chilly weather.  He finally got on it but seemed to be awfully rusty.

I rather enjoy the ships that cruise into Tampa.  No such docking area i…

Tuesday Tidbits

This was in a parking lot in St. Pete.  My question is:  how does one get in it?  Or, rather, how would an old guy like me get in it?

Looks like one of the displaced moving into the Bedlam Estates right across the street.

Saw this girl walk in while we were at Chipotle last weekend.  Apparently there was some function in Clearwater.  Funny thing was, three Largo Police officers came in for lunch and the looks they gave her was such that I wish I'd had my camera out.  

But for sheer beauty its tough to beat this '67 Buick Electra convertible I spotted at Publix last weekend.  Sure, its paint was done cheaply (you an see the fanning above the right rear quarter panel), and there are some dents and bruises here and there, but it still retains its elegant lines and monstrous proportions.  A huge boat that I'd love to try to squeeze in my garage.  Oh wait, I don't have a garage. Drat!    

These caterpillars are all over the place down here right now.  

Listen to Miss Norah tell …

By Jupiter!

Last night, March 3rd, was a fairly uneventful night for sky watching.  The moon is racing to be full, and the smallest full moon of the year.  Here at Bedlam, I don't get too excited for ordinary nights like this.   But I did glance at my EarthSky email and they mentioned something rather interesting:  directly above the moon on this night will be bright Jupiter. And, if the sky is clear and you have either binoculars, a telescope or a decent camera,  you will be able to catch it and a couple of its moons.   

 This graphic shows where the planet and its moons were situated on this date.   You can see the moons Io and Ganymede were directly over Jupiter in their orbits.  

March 3rd

March 4th
Jupiter was still out the next evening so I took another picture to see the difference.In this view Ganymede has gone behind Jupiter and Callysto is rising.  

Some astro photographers have nice telescopes with camera mountings.  Some others even have the ability to mount their cameras as well as us…

Flashback Friday

Last week marked the 90th birthday of my mother. It's been a while since she was with us so it kind of surprised me to think of her as that age, had she lived.  To commemorate that event I am posting these pictures of her as a girl and young lady.  

Posing prettily.  An only child, Marj was pampered and spoiled as a child,  and she readily admitted it. 

This is Marj with her grandfather, who, as I understand, she adored.  This would be her mother's dad.  I'm sorry to say that I do not know his name, but perhaps he was a Wustefeld, since that was Mona's maiden name.  

Another picture like the above.  Could this doll have been a birthday present?

One of our responses to the kids when they wanted something back in the day was, "I want a pony."  Apparently Marj wanted a pony, too, and got one.  I have zero info on this picture so I don't know if this was hers to keep or just a one time ride.   She did admit to me that she was, for most of her life, spoiled and h…