Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Old Marion Theater

The old Marion Theater in downtown Ocala is still in business. It went defunct a few years ago, was rehabilitated as a stage theater, but that didn't work out, and now it's back to its original incarnation as a movie theater; so far so good.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Fireplug in the Woods

Update:  Late news this evening describes how a Columbine-style mass murder attack, which was planned at The Villages Charter Middle School in The Villages, has been derailed.  Two teens have been arrested and are in custody and have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

A photo of the school and brief summary has been posted on our The Villages blog HERE.

The full story can be found in the Orlando Sentinel HERE.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Off the Top Barber Shop

P.S. Ask for Joel or Bill.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Brolly in the Sun

No, I'm not British, but I love the word, "brolly," which in British-speak means "umbrella," or something thereabouts.

This gentleman is holding a brolly. It is not raining, nor is it forecast to rain. The sun is shining and the gulls are pooping in the lake.

So, the question is, "Why?"

1. He has a brolly fetish.

2. He likes to hold something in his hand while standing.

3. It is remotely possible that it will rain in the next 24 hours.

4. It might rain next week.

5. A passing gull might unload on his head.

6. He thinks he looks handsome when holding a brolly.

7. He wants to look jaunty like the owner of this blog. (See profile photo)

8. His wife told him to hold the brolly while she went shopping.

9. He found it in the trash, saw that it was in good condition, and is testing it out. 

10. He doesn't have a clue why he's holding a brolly.

P.S.  I'm adding this after the posting:  while it had occurred to me he was using the umbrella to ward off the sun to avoid skin cancer, I simply forgot to throw it in the mix.  Some good friends brought it to mind.  So that would be No. 11.  I should also add that skin cancer is a huge problem here in Florida.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Shopping Dog at the Mall

So, I said to the dog, "What are you looking at?"

I spoke softly so as not to disturb his master who was busy on his phone. I don't know what he was doing but he could have been playing games as that's what I had been doing before the darn dog started to stare at me. 

The dog said nothing! Just stared. It was unnerving. Like he knew some of my deep dark secrets.

I resolved to stare right back. No dog can out-stare me. Well, except for a Doberman Pinscher. They can out-stare anyone.

The kids were in school so the mall was very quiet. Too quiet. As I said, the dog's stare was unnerving. I mean what did I do to deserve this?

The dog was cute, I'll give you that. I think he knew it, too, and that's why he figured he could get into staring contests in the mall. His owner probably thought he was especially cute as most parents do of their kids.

Well, cute wasn't gonna cut it with all this staring. After another hour I had come to the end of my rope. It was time for my "last resort."  I pulled a small business card from my pocket which I keep there for just such an occasion. It read "L & L Veterinary Services. We provide all the necessary vaccinations for your pet(s)," and then just below that in large print, "NEUTERING IS OUR SPECIALTY!"

I casually strolled over to the dog and dropped my hand containing the card in front of the dog's face. Oh boy, that dog stopped staring; he looked down at the floor and than slinked down into that silly little baby carriage and hid under a blanket.

I'm sure I heard a meek little whimper. 

I pocketed my card and went on my way. My work for the day was done.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

White Pelican Feast

Up until recently, I've never seen a white pelican in central Florida. Then, suddenly, they seem to be everywhere. In this case, a cabal of white pelicans (on the left) congregated over a prime fishing spot and made a splashy racket fighting for the goodies. To the right you will note several other little white birds (not pelicans) who appear to be watching in awe as the pelicans make idiots of themselves.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Come Hither Harry

"Come hither," she said, eyes gleaming.

"No, no, no!" I said. "I'm a guy! My name's Harry, not Heather!"

"I said, 'hither,' you idiot! That means 'come here'."

"Wha...you want me?"

"Oh, don't be stupid! You've got to be a hundred years old. I'm locked in this room and can't get out!"

"Well, I'm soree! I should be younger, heh? Just for you, heh?"

"Will you shut up and do something?"

"What? Isn't there a door somewhere?"

"No."  A tear dropped from her eye to her cheek.  "The window is the only way in and the only way out and it's locked."

"So, who locked you in there?"

"That's not important! My God, are you ever going to help me?" she asked, sobbing.

I said, "OK," took off my shoe, broke a glass panel, reached in, found a latch and undid it.

"What the hell?" I said.  "You could have done that yourself anytime you wanted!"

"True," she said smiling. "But what fun would that be? And now you know the difference between Harry and hither.  So, if a beautiful girl ever says to you, 'Come hither, Harry,' you ought to run away.  But first get your hearing checked.

Then she walked through an open door on the far side of the room. I never saw her again.

It was a lesson of sorts. I think.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Tale of Two Kayaks

These two women arrived at the river with two kayaks. It was a package deal: each kayak came in its own package. They proceeded to unwrap the "packages" and laid out the formless kayaks on the ground. Somewhere in the package was a air compressor. After plugging the air compressor into a hole in the prone kayak it began to gradually assume the familiar kayak shape.

There were many other things to do in preparation for their trip down the river and the whole process was all new to me.  While I didn't stick around to see the completion of their tasks, I spied them out in the middle of the river later that day, paddling away! The kayaks looked quite elegant and stable and surprisingly unlike the rubbery masses that were spread out on the ground just a short time before.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


This couple was walking in the Silver Springs State Park when they stopped to check out the kayak rentals. They watched for some time, then turned around and walked over to the main part of the park. I don't think they took the boat ride or made any purchases. I had observed them on several occasion and they appeared to have had good time anyway; however, their son was a tad bored at times.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kayaks Out Of Water

You've seen them on top of cars, in the back of pickup trucks, on trailers of various types. You've seen them in the Gulf of Mexico, on our local lakes, floating down the Rainbow River and in the shark-infested gator-infested waters of the Silver River and its tributaries.

The ones you see above are but a few of the numerous kayaks for sale at Dick's Sporting Goods store. They're cheap. Buy one and head for the waterways. And remember, turtles won't hurt you, water moccasins will chase you and bite you (sometimes fatally), gators may come after you but they eat only once every 30 days (or so I've been told) and the occasional monkey will just laugh at you. Yes, there are some monkeys in the area around Silver Springs.

One other word of caution: If, when you're hauling your kayak to the boat ramp, you see a gator lurking in the bushes, don't stop and feed it popcorn.  Retreat quietly and quickly. Those suckers can run up to 35 mph!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Foggy Morn on the Stone Creek Golf Course

The day began cool and foggy. Arriving at the third hole, I noticed that the sun shining through the fog on these brush-top plants made it look like they were covered in snow or ice.

The second shot was taken a couple of hours later, on the tenth hole. Still a grey day, but the fog had lifted, leaving these pine sentinels to watch over the golfers who dared challenge the back nine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kayaking & Canoeing the Silver River Canals

This car and trailer came from Alaska.  I asked the driver "Canoe kayak in Alaska?"  He said, "Not in January, you idiot!"

Here is where paddlers enter and disappear

These brave folks were never heard from again.  

Gator infested waters.  Plus a few turtles.

There's strength in numbers.

I warned this guy not to enter that dark area.  But did he listen?  Nooooooo!

They just left the ramp and she's already needing Dramamine !

Monday, January 9, 2017

No Entrance/No Exit

These gentlemen are busy constructing a lanai (porch) on the back of the house. You can see the new wall and they're almost done installing a new window.

Looks pretty good...until you realize there is no way people can get to this lanai from inside the house unless you go out the front and walk around to the back. We checked closely, and there is no door from the house to the lanai..

Perhaps they intend to install a door in the future.  But until then, food and drinks will have to be hauled outside from front to back.  Weird.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Mobile Barber

Living in the 21st century, we share an affinity for convenience. Thus we have convenience stores/gas stations where we are able to complete several shopping tasks at one time. We have drive-through restaurants and banks and pharmacies and even churches. We don't like waiting in line and when we want something, we want it "now!"

One of the latest attempts to make satisfying our needs more convenient is this mobile barber. And I can see where a mobile barber would be of great value to a busy executive or harried housewife. Short on time but your hair looks like an unkempt Maltese puppy? Give the mobile barber a call. He or she will soon be at your doorstep or in your office with scissors and hair dryer in hand ready to make you look presentable enough to attend the Oscars!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Honk! Honk!

This silly goose seemed upset about something because he kept on honking and we could find no reason for him to do so.  Very noisy goose!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Crazy Cucumber

The Crazy Cucumber is a restaurant/bar combo located in the Heathbrook outdoor shopping mall. Its owner is a well-known restauranteur in town and has high hopes for the place. The night we were there, it was mostly empty inside (as you can see from the photo) but the tables outside were full of people drinking and eating and having a good time.

The service provided by our waitress was excellent. The food, however, was mediocre at best. One of our party ordered angel hair pasta from the menu but when the food was served, she got a plate of totally different pasta which lacked flavor and taste. A manager told us they were out of angel hair pasta.

It was quite incredible that they didn't offer other options when they realized they were out of a menu item, and instead plopped down a plate of unwanted pasta on the table as if that would be just fine.

We will not be returning anytime soon.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Birdhouse Community

We have numerous 55+ communities in the Ocala area. Well, maybe five or six. This is another kind of community, a birdhouse community. I do not know if it is a 55+ community. But, in Ocala, it's possible.
"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson