Monday, August 29, 2016
Normally, I have nothing to do with Chick-fil-A as it is owned and operated by Dan Cathy, a right-wing religious kook who is a notorious homophobe.
But the dancing cow got my attention. He even posed for me. I mean, really, what else could I do? I was forced to take his picture.
Doesn't mean I'll ever eat at this place, though!
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
The first photo was taken in an Ocala strip shopping center. The second photo comes from The Villages. I wonder what the Indians are looking for; perhaps another option as to how the West was won?
The following comes from Wikipedia:
Because of the general illiteracy of the populace, early store owners used descriptive emblems or figures to advertise their shops' wares; for example, barber poles advertise barber shops, show globes advertised apothecaries and the three gold balls represent pawn shops.
American Indians and tobacco had always been associated because American Indians introduced tobacco to Europeans, and the depiction of native people on smoke-shop signs was almost inevitable. As early as the 17th century, European tobacconists used figures of American Indians to advertise their shops.
The cigar store Indian became less common in the 20th century for a variety of reasons. Sidewalk-obstruction laws dating as far back as 1911 were one cause. Later issues included higher manufacturing costs, restrictions on tobacco advertising, and increased racial sensitivity, all of which relegated the figures to museums and antique shops. Many also were destroyed during scrap drives for metal and wood during World War I and World War II.
Cigar store figures are now viewed as folk art and some models have become collector's items, drawing prices up to $500,000. Modern replicas of cigar store Indians are still made for sale, some as cheap as $600.
People within the Native American community often view such likenesses as offensive for several reasons. Some objections are because they are used to promote tobacco use as recreational instead of ceremonial. Other objections are that they perpetuate a "noble savage" or "Indian princess" caricature or inauthentic stereotypes of Native people, implying that modern individuals "are still living in tepees, that we still wear war bonnets and beads." drawing parallels to the African-American lawn jockey.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
On a recent excursion, we had occasion to stop for dinner at the Bahama Breeze in Tampa. Actually, the restaurant/bar is located on the causeway connecting Tampa to Clearwater.
The place was jammed with folks of all ages and everyone seemed to be having a good time although the photos don't show that as we arrived early, just before the big crowd. When we left there were no spaces available in the large parking lot!
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
City Light Church is another independent, fundamentalist, ultra-conservative "Christian" church here in Ocala (we have a number of these). It was started in 2008 by Ken Brown and his wife, Paula. So far as I can tell they have no affiliation with a larger body nor accreditation from a recognized institution; which means that they can preach and teach pretty much what they want with no accountability.
[Pastors or priests in the mainline churches (e.g. Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian) are required to complete a bachelor's degree at an accredited college and then usually must complete four more years of graduate training which includes a period of internship. That is followed by examinations which determine their fitness for ministry after which they are ordained by their church body to function as pastors or priests.]
The City Light website states Mr. Brown has attended a college, but there is nothing to indicate he has a degree from any institution of higher learning.
The church affirms all of the so-called "fundamentals" which became popular among certain groups in the early 20th century: The Bible is the inspired word of God and is without error; Jesus is God's son, born of a Virgin, who suffered a sacrificial crucifixion by which God will forgive all who confess Jesus is Lord. Jesus now lives in heaven with his father but will return in the end times to gather all of his followers and carry them off to heaven, etc., etc.
None of this is to say that City Light doesn't do some good work and maybe even help people. But everything they do is predicated upon the need to convert people to their particular beliefs so that they don't suffer incredible pain in hell for eternity as punishment for their sins.
The church building has seen several incarnations. I believe that prior to City Light, it was a museum of sorts.
You can learn more about City light here.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Not long ago, we were thirsting for a Dairy Queen Blizzard. If you've never had a Dairy Queen Blizzard, I would high recommend you buy one asap. But you can't fret about calories.
The Dairy Queen we visited is a rather dumpy building in a rather dumpy part of town but it does have this very cheery mural. What was problematic was that the mural was behind the building where it could not be seen from the road. That made no sense to me.
But the Blizzards...ah, they are to die for!
Friday, August 19, 2016
In Southwest Ocala, there are two subdivisions that reside side by side: Majestic Oaks and Bent Tree. They are, in fact, so close that part of one street belongs to Majestic Oaks and another part belongs to Bent Tree.
But where did the name, "Bent Tree," derive? It came from the tree pictured above which is really more majestic than it looks. It was the inspiration for the name, "Bent Tree."
Side note: At one time, we almost bought this house. The price was right, but it was in bad shape and needed some $50-75,000 worth of renovations. Unfortunately, the boys at HGTV were tied up, so we decided to pass. As you can see, however, it was nicely renovated by the folks who did finally buy it.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
This is a new Aldi store under construction and will be the fifth Aldi store in Ocala and Ocala's surrounding area. I had been told that Aldi was a Swedish chain, but that is not true. It was founded by Germans in Germany and has expanded to over 10,000 stores around the world.
Aldi is a discount market, selling both name brands and its own brands. It is common practice for Aldi to charge customers for paper bags and ask customers to bag their own groceries.
I've shopped at Aldi's a couple of times and was not impressed. The stores here are smaller than our other supermarkets and thus Aldi has less to offer and I found some of their merchandise to be low-grade. Their "low" prices are not worth the aggravation of not finding my favorite brands, having to pay for bags and having to bag my own groceries.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Countryside Presbyterian Church is located in southwest Ocala. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is the largest and most liberal of the several Presbyterian denominations in the United States.
There's more on the church's website, here.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
I posted a fisheye view of this sculpture a few years ago. One of the folks commenting at that time said this about it: "The previous owner was a gambler and it is suppose to represent dice, a marker, and a ball from roulette. It was previously at an estate off of 11th ave but was donated to the college."
I'll gamble that is the truth!
Friday, August 12, 2016
We don't know who this guy is or where he came from. But we noticed, while waiting at a stoplight, that he was struggling to get out of some kind of white shirt. That's not an unusual thing for a man to do, but he was doing it on the sidewalk adjoining one of Ocala's major thoroughfares. And he seemed oblivious. Fortunately, the light changed to green and we scooted out of there before he finished undressing.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
There are two cats in this cage, Chester and Homer. I'm not sure if this is Homer or Chester. The cage is located inside a local pet store and there are a number of cats available for adoption. They are sponsored by our local Animal Humane Society.
That works out well for people who shop at the pet store and are lacking in cats. Notice, though, that this kitty seems to have something wrong with its eyes. I'd certainly want to have it checked by a vet before I'd take it home.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
The first three homes are located in the Historic District near downtown Ocala. As you can see, not all the homes in the Historic District are mighty mansions.
The second trio are representative of the homes you might find in any number of our subdivisions. The first is a home in our neighborhood. The second houses an avid golfer, as you can see from the lawn ornament. The last is a smallish home which backs up to the Summerglen Golf Course.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
This road runs behind our house. What's beyond the fence is a mystery. We think the road leads to a couple of horse farms. We believe, in view of the fact that this is central Florida and everybody and their dog has a gun, that it would be wise not to venture past the gate.
Please note: Yesterday AOL saw fit to try to destroy my ability to participate on the Internet, so I set up another email which you can use to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AOL finally fixed the problem, and email@example.com is back working so you may use that also. It's nice to have choices, though, so I'll leave the yahoo email active, too.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Walmart, in an attempt to bring in more revenue, is in process of opening 600 neighborhood markets in various cities around the country. The Ocala store, south on Highway 200, held its grand opening a few days ago.
This neighborhood market is substantially smaller than the other three Walmart stores in Ocala. Ocala's neighborhood market is about 42,000 square feet. It operates in much the same way as our traditional supermarkets. Although it showcases a wide array of products, it focuses on food and sundries and therefore does not offer very much in the way of hardware, automotive supplies, sporting goods, home goods, etc.
Additionally, it's reported the neighborhood markets will have better prices than their giant-sized stores and after a brief shopping spree at the Ocala store, we can say that was true to our experience.
I could mention that not all the shelves were stocked and that more checkout clerks are needed, but they've just opened and are still in process of getting things right. We'll check back later when the store has been up and running for awhile.
Following Walmart tradition, the neighborhood market does have a gas station in front, which many customers will find helpful.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Once upon a time a developer decided to develop some property in northwest Ocala. It didn't work out. A few structures stood for several years surrounded by the remnants of a dream.
Then a couple of years ago, a group named Trilogy (they have other properties in Florida and a few other states as I recall) showed up on this same property and now you have a development of sorts.
We couldn't get in to see the development or the houses. The girl guarding the gate said it was Sunday afternoon and no visiting was allowed. Well, could we see the golf course, we asked. No, that wasn't possible. How about the
clubhouse. She hesitated. I don't think there is a clubhouse per se.
We could see some homes from afar and I've read about a golf course where non-residents can play on Friday afternoons and Saturdays. No thanks.
Back near the entrance where you see that covered silo (1st photo), we found a wee lane that led to a courtyard with tables and chairs (2nd photo) and a outside sitting area (3rd photo). We also found a building. We entered the building. A young lady offered a lackadaisical greeting so we ventured further unimpeded.
Aha! There was a counter with some golf stuff. Seems that might be the clubhouse. Then there was a "restaurant" or cafe. A few people were eating and some guy was plinking out favorite tunes on an electronic keyboard. (4th photo).
That's it. We left. We will not return. Yikes!