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Showing posts from 2016

Finally

There's something kind of nice when it is all over.

Breaking News

Having stumbled onto the carnage, I saw fur and blood in the snow.  A couple of the reindeer were vaporized by the collision with the saucer but a couple were laying, one lifeless, on the ground.  A couple of Santa's elves were ministering to the poor beasts; unfortunately dying eventually to the wounds.  I wandered over to one of the officers monitoring the scene and said I knew a guy in North Henderson who could use the deer meat for his chili. By his expression I wasn't certain if he was appalled by my comment or wanted the recipe.
"Out in the Woods I walked tonight, A whiz in the snow my bladder stretched tight. Off in the distance I heard such a rumble, A silver saucer in full-blown tumble."  
A sad end to a great holiday weekend.  The unfortunate collision between Santa's sleigh and reindeer and an alien craft resulted in many packages not being delivered, four of Santa's reindeer succumbed and were unable to be saved.  Besides Rudolph the other casualties were Donner, Blitzen and Vixen.  Santa was unharmed but was given a breathalyzer and Field Sobriety test.  The aliens were unharmed as well and ticketed for failure to reduce speed.  Unable to produce a driver's license, registration or proof of insurance they were taken to a local police station awaiting a preliminary hearing. 
Services for the reindeer will be announced at a later time.   


Merry Christmas

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.


"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. 

"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. 

"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' 

"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?



"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.

"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."



VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In …

A Christmas Miracle

Let's face it.  Holiday miracles really only happen in children's books and Hallmark channel movies.  But I think I witnessed a true miracle last week. See that lady in the above picture?  She is a homeless person; one of an army of such people who regularly navigate the underbelly of this land of paradise.  Alfred and I take a walk every afternoon.  It isn't far down the road to one of the main thoroughfares of Largo.  Sometimes we go into Wal-Mart just to get a few extra steps in (for me) and something interesting to look at (for her).  Nestled within the parking lot is a Burger King.  McDonald's is the other way but Alfred doesn't like their synthetic ice cream as much as she likes Burger King's synthetic stuff.  Our usual routine is to get a cup of ice cream and three cookies:  one for us, one for our crossing guard and one for Norah when she gets off from school.  See that little foot in the picture?  That's Alfred's,  we were in line, right behind…

Pinellas Fall Festival

A few days before my trip up to Northlandia the Pinellas County Fair was in full swing.  One of my wordless posts will introduce you to this fun time for kids and expensive venture for grandparents.  











And after a couple hours of feeding the ticket takers, navigating through the people and that ominous looking spot where someone barfed, it was time to coerce the wee one to accept that it was time to wander home.   County Fairs are similar pretty much wherever you go.  When I was a kid the one in Mercer County gave out cigarettes and live ducklings to kids of all ages.  Today with all the child rearing advances those days are long gone, and rightly so, but what remains is a sanitized remembrance of what once embodied a carney haven that enticed you to leave the dirt of the farm behind and walk into an enugmatic world of temptation.  Malone's Taffy is still made and sold at these places, but Freida the Frog Baby has been placed in the carnival closet, most likely never to see the blin…

Tuesday Tidbits

These two guys came into Chipotle the day I came up to Northlandia.  One in the lower picture was wearing a silver medal of sorts and both in running garb.  Both were splattered by various pastel colors.  Daughter Kenze told me they now splash finishers with chalk.  They didn't do that when I ran the Rhubarb Festival 3K.
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Teaching Alfred the joys and science of Popsicles.
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Ever wonder why many of the plastic headlight covers are foggy?  Me too.  It is surely an embarrassment to the automobile manufacturers.  Probably one of those lowest bid resulting in poor quality things.
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Nothing says "We Love Our Customers" quite like putting security bars on shopping carts so you scumbag thieves won't take them outside and rip us off.

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As Alfred and I were saying goodbye to Candy, our crossing guard who we came to rely on, who is retiring this week, a car went zooming by.  A cop parked nearby pulled them over in the parking lot at Waterboard.  She…

Santa Came A Little Early This Year

In 1996 I bought a new Ford Ranger pickup from Lakis Ford.  It was a basic model with no options.  The intermittent windshield wipers and radio were about the only luxury items.  I still have it and it still runs great.   It is in Northlandia at the Cabin in the Woods.  Twenty years later I got the itch to get another one.  I have been wanting to get something we could all go in on weekends instead of taking two cars.  I flirted with a Navigator up in Northlandia and an Expedition at a Mom & Pop used car place here but decided to check out a place in Holiday that sells Nissans.  



Meet my new (to me) used Nissan Pathfinder.  It is a 2007 model with a lot of miles but is in exceptional condition.  I'm giddy just thinking about it as I type this in Northlandia.  


This is the Maus Nissan sales guy who sold my current wife her Murano.  He got a hold of me and I was like a doomed fly in his web.  I kind of wanted a Navigator or Expedition type bigger SUV but they are more expensive an…

Flashback Friday

I have combined two Christmas gatherings for today's Flashback Friday.  Years unknown.  The first set the tree is nestled in the corner where the organ usually resided.  I was usually the picture taker in the family.  Marj had a little camera but it was usually up to me to record the events.  



This old Poloroid has not withstood time very well and as you can see is degrading a bit.  Like me. 



Phil showing everyone his new John Wayne biography Santa brought him.  Is that Jason in the corner?  Or Courtney?  I can't tell.




This is Phil and Jeanne's kid, Courtney.  I don't think they sent away for him like it looks in this picture - I think they got him in the usual way.

The Wombie and Courtney having a mind-melding session.



Herb, Phil and Jeannie.  


Fast forward or back for another Christmas.  This year the squat little tree is in front of the picture window.  

The Wombie doing his happy dance sitting down.

Your blog writer looking sleepy with all the activity.  Too much celebrato…

Time To Leave

Today I fly back to Southlandia.  It is cold and snowy up here.  But I'm a cheater.  I've had enough.  I'm the worst kind of Snowbird.  I catch a glimpse of the Dread, then high tail it back to warmth and sunshine.  These are the things I learned or confirmed this trip:


Not many things beats climbing into bed after being warmed-up by an electric blanket, especially when you tend to keep the thermostat low.I must remember to wear my boxers in the summer but my boxer briefs in the winter.  Doing nothing at all still counts as having fun up here.Don't buy scratch tickets in Illinois.  They just had a review and many of their games don't pay out: the worst of any lotto state.  It is a private firm and apparently are more profit motivated than other states.There is a reason the Midwest has a reputation for friendly people.Beer is colder up here in the winter.This will be a long stretch for me till I return.  Sigh. I had a nice white-knuckle driving experience.  Loved eve…

Keepsakes No More

No, this isn't Flashback Friday.  Remember I went to a bizarre oddities and antique shop a few weeks ago?  You mean you weren't paying attention?  Anyway while there I purchased these photos they had in a stack next to the cash register for a few pennies.  I wondered at the time how these family photos made it all the way to a strange little shop in Largo, Florida.   I don't know the answer to that but as we look at these little moments in time a certain sadness must surely creep into a viewing pleasure.  I'll explain a bit later.  Until then let's take a look at what I bought and why. 



The most obvious explanation for this picture is it represents heartland America.  What is more Midwest/Illinois/Seaton than a small herd of cows, a shed and corn?  Since I am firmly in the Northlandia nostalgia business these days stuck in Southlandia, these cows and that corn represent a different time - maybe even my days working for Uncle Ed.  Delving further, however, I wonder w…

Tuesday Tidbits

Here are a couple of innovations that didn't last in the car industry.  I have talked before about why they ever eliminated the small side window cars used to have.  and the rain vent/channel above the windows.  Here they are on my old Dodge.

The small vent window woulod let you direct some air in and you could control how much.  The rain channel would allow you to open the window without getting a lap full of water like today's cars. 


I was thinking of some more and came up with the side turn light.  It would allow you the ability to see where you were turning the car.  I wonder how many pedestrians were saved from getting hit.  

Maybe not as big of a loss as the other items above but definitely cool was this unique and innovative way to gas up your car.  No unsightly gas door on the side and certainly no gas stains running down the quarter panel.  All of these ideas are now gone from cars.  Too bad.  

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If you think Global Warming is some kind of liberal ploy to make mon…