I realize that stories of #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman are all over the place, and that my home state has a bad rap. But what did we do to piss off Mother Nature this time?
Maybe it’s just me. We moved back to #Floriduh in 1996. 1997 was the year of wildfires. We were evacuated from our house (which we had just moved into) 3 times. In all truth, my yard still hasn’t fully recovered. Then in 2004 it was the year of 4 hurricanes.
Ivan was probably the most powerful of the 4, but it didn’t come near us. Charley, on the other hand, went directly overhead. But it wasn’t all that powerful. Son-the-elder’s FLANG unit was deployed basically the entire summer doing hurricane relief all over the state. He had his picture in many local newspapers. They also provided relief for hurricanes Katrina and Michael, and probably more that I can’t recall right now.
We are not under any serious danger with “#9” just off the coast. It is expected to become a named storm “Humberto” sometime in the next 24 – 36 hours. The current track has it just off the coast, following in Dorian’s footsteps. As of this writing, no EOC activation has been discussed.
And the models have it moving further off shore, again, just like Dorian.
Luckily we had no big plans this weekend. Our god sons first birthday is today, and there’s plans for a small party tomorrow, and some wind and rain won’t bother that. Hopefully.
Since we are looking at yet another rainy weekend (Sunshine State?? I call shenanigans). Here’s a video about another rainy season. Enjoy! (And sing along too)
It’s been a bit since my last Stuck In My Head post, and even longer since a traffic rant. So I combined both. Consider this a 2-for-1 deal. Don’t say I never gave you anything either.
I guess the area is returning to normal after our near brush with Hurricane Dorian. Today’s traffic was much heavier than it should have been. When my work schedule was moved to a half hour earlier the traffic on the way into work became much lighter. On the way home, however, is every bit as bad. The 30 minute shift allows me to miss the school buses now. That’s a beautiful thing. There is a city bus that sometimes gets in my way. I can time that bus and avoid it most days. But as we all know, city buses are not the best at time keeping. Their routes can vary by up to 10 minutes or more. Even so, this particular bus only has 3 stops before it turns off onto a side road and is out of my way.
Usually, the first of two main problems I have on the way to work are yard crews. They tend to hog the left lane and travel way under the speed limit pulling their big trailers. And since I tend to regard the speed limit as a mere suggestion, they do tend to get my dander up. The second issue are the garbage trucks. I go right past their work yard to and from work. If my timing is off and I have to stop at the traffic light at the entrance to the yard, there will be 4 or 5 trucks in front of me. But that’s not as bad as it sounds. These guys (I say guys since I’ve only seen men driving the trucks) are much better drivers than the average moron on the road with me. They tend to do the speed limit, or just over, use their turn signals, and leave space between each truck for cars to maneuver. Their biggest problem is they aren’t the quickest thing to get up to speed. Plus, it’s hard to see around them.
Now, this morning, I didn’t have any garbage trucks, no city bus, no school bus, and only one yard crew. What I did have was some work truck doing 25 MPH in the left lane (the speed limit is 45 MPH – I’m usually zipping along at 50+ MPH) with about 10 cars behind like baby ducks following mama duck, and the usual folks in the right lane turning into various parking lots, and side streets, and doing about 15 MPH.
AARRRGGGHH!!! On my next vehicle, I’m getting the Photon Torpedo option. Just blow these jerks and their vehicles into subatomic pieces.
I can hardly wait to see what traffic adventures await me on my way home today. At least it’s Friday, well, at least it’s Friday on the calendar…
What does this have to do with a song? As one of my favorite DJ’s on SiriusXM, Earle Bailey like to say; “I hope this is the only traffic you get into today”.. And this song has a permanent home in my head. Enjoy!
Now, I am not all that picky an eater. At least, not anymore. There was a time when there were lots of foods I wouldn’t eat. The majority of those foods are no longer in that category. Liver, however, is still at the top of that list. Yet, I like haggis. I’m going to blame this on preparation and presentation. Not to mention the cultural impact of a dish like haggis. I had an open mind that I wanted to try it when we took our vacation in Scotland a few months back. (You did read those posts right? If not, here’s the first of the series.)
One of the things that Wifey and I enjoy at times, actually as often as possible, is appetizers for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is another fav. We like that the portions are smaller and there are several choices available to share. We usually go out to enjoy this, but last night I decided we’d do it at home.
Just your basic spinach and blue cheese dip and a shrimp stuffed portobello mushroom. Sorry for the lousy picture of the mushroom cap, but Wifey was elbowing me out of the way to start eating.
The biggest problem that I’ve come across as a “foodie” is a general dislike of “fast food”. I basically refuse to eat at the usual places, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, or even KFC. So, where’s a guy to eat a quick lunch? Arby’s is a passing choice, but even Subway or other sandwich shops are unappealing to me. I do my best to make enough dinner to bring leftovers for lunch, but there are many nights that we skip dinner entirely, or like last night just make “tapas” kind of dishes that don’t leave much for leftovers.
If you saw my post the other day (this one), I am happy to report that this morning I caught the little froggie and released her to the front yard. She (Wifey insists on calling the froggie a “she”. I didn’t know how to go about asking a froggie which gender he/she may be. I’m not even sure if froggies have a gender discrimination group or not.) had been hopping around under the kitchen sink for over a week, we first saw her last Wednesday, 14 August. There was a great chorus of froggies when I left for work this morning. I’d like to think they were singing my praises. Not likely, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I’ll leave you with this video that has no bearing what-so-ever on this post. But it’s my favorite Van Morrison song, and I heard it on the way to work this morning (after the froggies finished). I suggest you turn it up loud and let the music envelope you!
This last weekend was a bit tough, physically and mentally. Both Wifey and I had trouble sleeping which carried over into just being plain grouchy. Not to mention whatever the problem is with my back and/or legs was extremely bothersome all weekend. I have had 3 of the 4 tests ordered by the neurologist done, with the last one, an EMG, scheduled for tomorrow morning. I had an EMG before, and it’s not all that fun. It’s not painful, but not it’s not exactly comfortable either. Hopefully I’ll know more by the follow up appointment early next month.
Ont the plus side, the hole in the kitchen wall has been patched. So hopefully, no more froggies under the sink.
But I woke up feeling better this morning, so I thought I’d post a fun little video. I went looking for something by The Monkees first. The Monkees were my favorite band when I was a youngin’. I still listen to their CDs when I get tired of the radio. (Check out this post from some Monkees fun!) Instead of using a (silly) Monkees video, and I went slightly off-course. Which, of course, is par for the course for me. (Let’s see how many more time I use “course” in this post!)
I recently finished an older book by one of my favorite Florida authors, Dave Barry. For those that don’t know who Dave is (@RayAdverb on Twitter), he is a long time humor columnist. I grew up reading his column in The Miami Herald. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988.
The book I just finished, Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs made me wonder about the musical tastes of his readers. The basic premise is that Dave wrote a column about a particular artist, which I won’t mention so you can buy the book and read it for yourself. This opened a floodgate of responses, that went on for several columns. The book is the result.
Not surprisingly, there are songs listed that I totally agree with (see the chapter on Barry Manilow), some that I’ve never heard of, and some that I disagree with. It’s one of the latter that I want to talk about.
I will admit that the fact that the horse is not named at any time during the song (they do spend many days in the desert, and don’t let the horse go until after day 9), so there was plenty of time to name the horse. Even “Jim” would be a good name.. Obviously I’m talking about A Horse With No Name.
The band America has always been a favorite. A simple little acoustic group with good harmonies and simple lyrics. Well, may not simple lyrics. While Daisy Jane, Sister Golden Hair and Lonely People are straight forward, Ventura Highway is any thing but. And I won’t even get into Muskrat Love.
(Song writer Dewey) Bunnell has explained that “A Horse with No Name” was “a metaphor for a vehicle to get away from life’s confusion into a quiet, peaceful place”
Today would have been Julia Child’s 107th birthday (15 August 1912 – 13 August 2004). Wow! Where does the time go? My grandmother, Nanny, and I used to watch her shows often. But I must admit I much preferred Graham Kerr and The Galloping Gourmet. Most likely it was the accent. Julia was a bit hard for my young ears to understand.
As I have mentioned several times here, I am not a big fan of TV. The majority of sitcoms are boring to me, but that’s not always been the case. I enjoyed M*A*S*H, Cheers, Barney Miller, and even Big Bang. I thought Saturday Night Live was a great show, but it came on too late for me. I’ve never been a night owl. I’ve tried other shows, but usually after a season or two, I’m done with it. There are others I’ve enjoyed, such as Eureka and Warehouse 13, but they’re not on the basic channels; these two were on the old SciFi (now Syfy) channel, so their production values were better.
I will watch some sports, with the sound off since the majority of sportscasters are idiots. Seems they’re either wanna be players or wash outs usually.
But I do enjoy documentaries and science shows, even the “pop science” shows. Mythbusters is all time favorite of mine and my family.’s And this leads me to the major problem I have with American TV.
Narrators. Let’s use Mythbusters as an example (just one of many shows in this format). A TV show in America that is broadcast for one hour contains, usually, only 42 minutes of the actual show. The remaining 18 minutes are commercials spread out in breaks during the hour. Remember this point, I’ll be back to it in a bit.
In this format you’ll get about 20 minutes of the show before the first commercial break. When the show returns, the narrator will explain everything that has happened before the break. And this happens after every single damn break. Why? If you’ve been watching the show from the beginning, you know what’s going on. If you came in sometime after the show started, too damn bad. There’s this new invention called a DVR – learn how to use it. I’m so over “Before the break …”. What would be better would be to have all the commercials between each show and not interrupt the show itself. Hey – it works in Europe!
And that’s where I was going with the comment about multiple commercial breaks. But of course, American advertisers are greedy and hope that you’ll sit and watch their idiotic ads waiting for the show to begin. Again – DVR it and skip the damn ads!
Here’s another example. The Orville was one of the shows I enjoyed for the first season, then lost interest in the second season. One of the reasons I quit watching it was Fox (the network the show was on) went to what they called “limited commercial interruption”. It was anything but limited. As opposed to the usual 3 minute or so commercial break, they would have only 90 seconds or so, then right back to the show. What this created in my mind, was instead of maybe 6 commercial breaks, there would be about 10 breaks per hour episode. It was maddening. Just as the action heated up, BAM! some erectile dysfunction commercial would pop in.
I read that Seth McFarlane, the creator and star of The Orville, has moved the show to subscription streaming service Hulu to avoid that 42-minute limit to the show. I fully understand that reasoning and would love to support this endeavor, but I’m not paying for yet another service to watch a show I really don’t care for anymore.
Services I enjoy are CuriosityStream and The Great Courses. Yes, both are subscription, but to me they are worth it. My granddaughters love to watch the animal shows on CuriostiyStream, and I even saw granddaughter-the-elder watching a show about how babies are formed in the womb. This was about 2 months before her half-brother was born. Just the fact that at 9 years old (at the time) she had a safe place to watch something like this made the yearly fee well worthwhile.
The Great Courses are a little different in that they have lectures to watch. Some have only 2 or 3 lectures, others more than 20 on a single subject. I watched an amazing lecture series on King Arthur that granddaughter-the-elder wanted to watch with me. When she realized it was just someone talking about King Arthur, she lost interest. That was sad, but wow, what a series. I would love to keep watching lectures, but the cost is a bit prohibitive at this time. (See my post with the hole in my kitchen wall to understand).
So, where does this leave us? Well, I can’t say for you, but for me, this leaves me without any American television to watch. Currently, there are no sitcoms, dramas, or documentaries that hold my interest. And now that the women’s world cup football is over (that would be soccer for us Americans), there really are no sports to watch until the next olympics. So, I guess, I will return to my books and put in my earplugs while Wifey watches her shows, and bliss will continue.
So, I will leave you with this brief video of one of the TV shows I grew up with and still dearly love. The original Star Trek series. Fun Fact: during the episode “The Devil in the Dark”, we had 2 tvs die at the exact moment that Mr. Spock used his phaser on the Horta (the “devil in the dark”). I found it strange that 2 tvs would die at the same moment of the same episode years apart. But, hey, that’s tv, Baby!!
This is one of those songs that comes and goes at very random times. Maybe because so many people have recorded it.
This song is of unkown authorship and is considered a traditional folk song. It may have started out that way, even when Bob Dylan recorded it in 1961 for his debut album. But by the time that The Animals recorded it on 18 May 1964 it was transformed into a “folk rock” hit.
Lead singer of the Animals, Eric Burdon, tells the tale that the group needed a song to end their set while on tour with Chuck Berry, that was different. Not a straight out rocker that most bands were ending sets with. To do this, they took this song, put Eric in a single red spot on stage and rocked it some. The response was so positive they decided to record it over the reluctance of their producer. The song was recorded in one take, all of 15 minutes or so.
The Animals had begun featuring their arrangement of “House of the Rising Sun” during a joint concert tour with Chuck Berry, using it as their closing number to differentiate themselves from acts that always closed with straight rockers. It got a tremendous reaction from the audience, convincing initially reluctant producerMickie Most that it had hit potential, and between tour stops the group went to a small recording studio on Kingsway in London to capture it.
But, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (you were waiting for that line, weren’t you?). Back in the day when I was a worship leader in churches, we used to play around during warm ups by playing Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Sun. Since it’s a very basic song in A minor, and in 4/4 time, the basic melody and rhythms can accept many other lyrics.
For fun, play in your head Amazing Grace to the tune of Peaceful Easy Feeling or better yet the theme song from Gilligan’s Island.
And now that I’ve got that stuck in your head, my job is done here.
First a little back story. I was in the Air Force, stationed at Homestead AFB, just south of Miami. My family home was also just south of Miami, just not as far south. My parents had a 32′ motorhome that was used to travel around the eastern seaboard for vacations.
This particular summer, my brother and his wife were going
to join mom and dad on vacation. Their
plan was to go to New Orleans, then up into the mountains of North Carolina,
then to the Atlanta area, finally ending in Disney World where my brother was
to play in a company golf tournament. My
plan was to take some leave and stay at the house and basically party the
Of course, I didn’t tell them that. As far as they knew my
leave was not approved, which was a big fat lie. I can say this now since both
mom and dad have passed.
During this trip, they would call back to the house on a
semi-regular basis. Obviously checking up on me. I’m guessing my brother knew
what was up.
Everything was fine until the one evening they called, and I
was, shall we say, just a bit drunk. While
talking to my brother I let it slip that my leave had been approved. Plans were immediately set for me to fly up
to Greensboro, NC to meet them and spend the rest of the trip with them. I was
not too happy about this plan. The motorhome didn’t have that many sleeping
places. Dad was an emphysema patient and had a nebulizer in the back of the RV
where his and mom’s beds were. Having spent several other vacations in that RV,
I knew how loud that nebulizer was at 2 AM.
I wasn’t looking forward to cramped sleeping quarters and being woken up
at any hour of the morning.
In the end, it was a good thing I joined them. The new plan was for me to fly into Greensboro and rent a car, then drive to meet them at the campground, just across the state line in Greensboro, SC. Big problem. I was only 20 at the time. The minimum age to rent a car was 26. Even with a military ID, they legally could not rent me any vehicle. So, the family unhooked the motorhome and drove up to the airport to rent a car and pick me up.
I’m not sure who exactly rented the car, but I was listed as the primary driver. Following them back to the campground I noticed something very bad. None of the lights on the back of the RV were working. No tail lights, no turn signals, no brake lights, nothing! When we made it back to the campground and got everything hooked back up we started looking at what was wrong.
If I remember correctly (always a challenge), we found a bundle of wires that had been burned out. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Every single wire in the RV was brown. Not brown as in burned or singed, but molded in brown plastic. None of the usual red, black, and green wires. Everything was the same dull brown, from the front to the rear. It would appear that the previous owner rewired the RV with only one color of wire. We had no idea which wire was hot, neutral, or ground! That meant one thing. I was to follow, as closely as possible, the RV to Atlanta where we would park it in a friend’s driveway and rewire the entire motorhome. An entire weekend of vacation would be lost. But it was something very critical.
As I remember (again – we’re talking shaky ground here), we
fixed all the wiring and all the lights worked, and we took off for Disney for
that golf outing. That’s when the next issue showed up. And now, we’re up to date, and where are
somewhere around Duluth, GA.
As I mentioned dad has emphysema. While we were working on the motorhome, we could all see he was sinking into a major breathing issue. That’s when we made the stop at a local hospital to see if we could get dad breathing better, hoping a more powerful breathing treatment would allow him to continue with us. It didn’t work. He spent a night or two in that hospital (my brother thinks it was “Joan Clancy Hospital”). Then he and mom flew back to Miami, while my brother, his wife and I went to Disney.
But, that’s not what I cam here to talk about. While dad was in that hospital, my brother pointed out someone to me. Down the hospital hall was a young guy with a big beard and longer than usual hair. His room was the only one that didn’t have a name outside the door. We would see this gentleman walk up and down the hall, stop and chat with the nurses, and really look like he didn’t need to be there. Plus, he looked very familiar to us. It took me a little bit, but then I saw it. If it wasn’t Kenny Loggins, then it was a doppelganger! It looked just like him. But why was he in the hospital? To complete the conspiracy theory, once he realized we noticed him he didn’t come back out of the room while we were there.
Was it Kenny?
Doubtful. But it’s fun to look back and wonder.
All this finally leads to today’s video. The song was originally released on the 1976 album The Best Of Friends. The video isn’t the best, but I used this version for two reasons. The live version, while musically beautiful, is very boring. They just stand there nothing exciting. Second, the image of Kenny Loggins (the guy on the left) is who we saw in the hospital!