Monday, October 30, 2017
I heard whimpering in the aisle, stopped and turned back and saw a shelf of small turkeys being readied for the annual Thanksgiving feast. This little turkey had a tear running down her cheek.
"Please, kind sir, save me from my fate," she said. "It will soon be Thanksgiving and then it will be too late. Can you help me, please? Can you buy me so I don't die on Thanksgiving Day?"
Well, I've got to say I was moved and close to tears at this desperate plea. So, I bought the turkey and brought it home.
Then it hit me. Turkeys can't talk. It was just a ploy to get me to spend my money. So, I grabbed the turkey by the neck and sure enough there was a tag which said "Made in China." I tossed the thing into the garbage can.
But as I walked away, I swear I heard that whimpering again.
Just in case you're wondering, I've decided to skip Thanksgiving this year.
It seems like the right thing to do.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Saturday, October 28, 2017
I'm not sure what year Chevy this is but it's been lovingly restored. My 4th car was a 1955 Chevy Bel Air - a four-door hardtop. It took us from Minneapolis to Phoenix and back several times. The only problem I remember is the muffler blew out on Route 66 in Oklahoma.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
It's bad enough that global warming is causing the seas to rise but when a beautiful shed like this begins to sink, you're in double jeopardy!
Please note that I will be out-of-pocket for a couple of days but will return to photo blogging next week.
Wishing everyone a great weekend!
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
We ran into this by accident the other day. There were more vehicles for sale than my camera could capture, but this gives you an idea of what was going on. The site is close to and parallel to I-75 which means it gets a lot of attention.
But I wonder why these bucket trucks and cranes and other vehicles are not being used in areas devastated by recent hurricanes? Why not put them on a ship and send them to Puerto Rico?
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
This used to be a Sport's Authority store. A few years ago, Sport's Authority relocated and the building has stood vacant. Now, a new store has arrived, selling all things Halloween. There must be a lot of money to be made peddling Halloween merchandise.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Gainesville, Florida is about 40 miles north of Ocala. The University of Florida is located in Gainesville. People who attend or who have attended the University of Florida are called "Gators," for the alligator is the school's mascot.
To root for the Gator's various sports team is highly recommended for anyone living in the Gainesville area. Thus many, if not most of Gainesville's commercial establishments, exhibit item(s) to show their commitment to the Gators success in the world of college sports.
Some stores in Gainesville's mall, The Oaks, sell only Gator-themed merchandise. Macys, for example, has areas of the store devoted to Gator's merchandise. But Macys has taken this "fanaticism" to the extreme: At each point where the escalators meet the second floor, you will find a huge alligator holding up the store.
At first glance, that might seem silly, but in fact the staff, students and alumni of the University of Florida provide a great deal of financial support to boost Macys' bottom line.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
This very attractive mural is found on Main Street in downtown Deland. Deland, about 70 miles east of Ocala, is a city of murals.
Jill Cannady is the artist and the mural is the only line art, sepia-toned mural in the city. It was dedicated in 2010 and shows a diverse group of people in 1920s clothing interacting with one another.
It seems that Ms. Cannady meant to show how in the 1920s some people were left out of many conversations - specifically in this instance, women and blacks. Notice the men are involved in a game of chess while chatting earnestly among themselves.
Notice also that the women's faces betray their frustration at being treated as 2nd-class citizens.
Some people might say that little has changed in this regard since the 1920s.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Can you imagine this as a golf cart? It would be pulled by a horse, of course, or a jackass. The players would sit in the front of the cart with their legs hanging down. The golf clubs, encased in old canvas bags, would lay on the floor in the back of the cart.
There are a couple of problems, though. Coming up a steep hill, the golfers and bags might slide right out the back of the cart into the muck and mire, while the horse goes galloping off into the distance.
Or, when going down a steep hill, the golfers and bags might go flying off the front of the cart, bumping into the rear end of the horse, and the poor animal, not knowing what was going on, would be jolted into escape mode and drag the poor golfers and their clubs into the nearest pond.
Maybe this is why, up until relatively recently, most golfers walked the course?
Friday, October 13, 2017
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Highway 41 runs through the Everglades from Miami in southeast Florida to Naples in southwest Florida. Along that stretch of road you will find several restaurants - at least one of which is owned and operated by Native Americans. You will also find that frog legs are on each and every menu for they are considered a delicacy in that part of the country.
I've had people tell me frog legs taste like chicken. But that doesn't entice me. I've never tasted them. And if I want something that tastes like chicken, I shall buy myself a chicken.
It turns out that our new home in the Trilogy community is very attractive to those little green/albino tree frogs. They get up in between the wooden ridges on our lanai and sleep all day, pooping meanwhile on the lanai. In other words, they are inordinately pesky.
We've been spraying vinegar and water on them, but that doesn't do much good. So we're going to try some other solutions in the future. I must say, though, there aren't as many of these frogs as there were when we first moved in.
The frogs are harmless, but frightful when they jump from the top of the patio and land on your nose, holding on with those sticky little feet! And they are good in that they eat certain bugs and mosquitos. However, it appears that, no matter their benefit to the environment, they're going to have to go.
The question remains: How?
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Mojo Grill started out in downtown Ocala. After some success they moved into a building that had been a "Roadhouse Grill" a few miles east of town. Then, Mojo's opened another restaurant farther out on the east side in a building which has a English Tudor look to it.
We ate at the English Tudor building a couple of weeks ago. Incongruity is the word. The first time we ate at Mojo's was at their 2nd incarnation. It was very much a "roadhouse." The tables held metal buckets full in peanuts and you were invited to toss the shells on the floor. The food was OK but it was wild and very loud. Here's how one person described it:
"Funky, music-themed eatery featuring American-Mexican pub grub, including vegetarian options."
Now to incongruity. Imagine the inside of an English Tudor building and then look at the above photo. This is the Mojo out on the east side. Incongruity aside, the wait staff was very pleasant, and the food was good but the ambience was still a little too loud and wild for old folks like us.
We had a good time.
You can check out Mojo Grill here if you're interested.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
The Waterfront Inn is a rather special place in The Villages. Positioned along Lake Sumter, it offers an elegant hotel experience. Persons from all over the world stay here while checking out The Villages. Other guests are local - friends or relatives of current residents of The Villages.
The infamous sinking ship has been positioned in the waters in front of The Waterfront Inn for a number of years. During that time, it gradually deteriorated to the point where it really began to sink. Check our the black and white photo and you will see what I mean. That's when the powers-that-be stepped in and did whatever was necessary to keep it afloat.
The rusty old bucket, a shrimp boat, I believe, has become iconic. I'm guessing several million photos have been taken of it by residents and visitors alike. Heck, I've got about one million myself!
Saturday, October 7, 2017
This little canine was wearing a nice, gold necklace. I asked her where she got it, assuming it was a gift from her master or mistress. But no...
"I'll have you know," she said with just a touch of condescension, "it was a gift from Rin Tin Tin." Then she grinned, toothily.
"Oh, c'mon, Rin Tin Tin's been dead for years," I replied, backing away just in case she decided to punctuate this nonsense with a piece of my leg.
"Well, I guess I should explain. I'm a very old dog even though I don't look like it and many years ago, Rin Tin Tin and I became pen pals. I did a bit of commercial work and I'd see him on the set of one of his movies and we became good friends. Not long ago, I received this necklace in the mail from one of his descendants. Evidently, when his will was read, the executor of the will missed the paragraph where he gifted this to me.
"And he was a great jokester. Sometimes he would jump on top of actors in the middle of a sex scene and run away before anyone could catch him, barking happily the whole time." Then she stopped and put a paw up to her face, obviously in deep thought. "Damn that Rin Tin Tin! I'll bet this isn't gold at all. Look at it again."
So I did. "I'm sorry, my dear, but this is made of tin, and painted gold. I knew when I felt it that it wasn't real."
"Well, I'm not surprised, and I'm not angry. It's kinda nice just to think he thought of me before he died."
"How did he die" I asked.
"Exhaustion," she sighed. He jumped into the middle of so many sex scenes and had to run so fast and so far all that exertion finally caught up with him and his forepaws gave out and then his heart quit!"
"What are you going to do now?" I asked. "Well, I don't have a will, so I think that when I pass on and go to the Doggie's Happy Hounding Grounds, I'm going to get in touch with Lassie and we'll figure out a special trick to play on him." She stopped for a minute, then her eyes lit up,
"I've got it!", she exclaimed. "Rin Tin Tin hates tin! Something to do with his name, I suppose. That's why if the woman in a sex scene was wearing a gold necklace or bracelet he'd rip it off and carry it home and put it in a special hideout, an old Spam can. He knew no self-respecting dog or human would eat or even look in an old Spam can! And the woman, so involved in the sex scene and so surprised by Rinnie (that's what we called him) jumping on her that she never realized her precious jewelry was missing!"
"So, I'm going to ask Lassie to make a very special, one-of-a-kind post-humous lifetime gold achievement award using this necklace. Lassie loves to do that kind of stuff. Then we'll invite all the heavenly dogs to come to a big party in his honor and we'll have a true hero, a service dog, present him with the award.
"When he waddles up to get his award, we'll all start barking 'It's not gold, it's 'tin, it's tin, it's tin, Rin Tin Tin!' That will just curl his tail and he'll crawl to the back kennels (which are still pretty heavenly) and he'll mope for an hour or two, but some little pup will ask him to come out and chase balls and he's not very bright, so he'll come bounding out, his award in his teeth, barking 'Tin is gold, tin is gold, I'm tin, Rin Tin Tin, and I'm as good as gold'"
"Thank you for this scenario." I shook the little dog's paw. "You are truly delusional. So even though it's a good story I'm going to have to check it out the next time I see a Golden Retriever."
Friday, October 6, 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017
When Trilogy at Ocala Preserve is complete, there will be 21 miles of hiking and biking trails available for the residents. At the moment, I'd guess about 10 miles have been completed. We frequently do a quick 5 mile ride in the morning.
Along these trails are different amenities. At various places, the powers-that-be have installed hammocks for tired hikers or bikers, strategically situated amongst the trees to provide shade relief from the sun.
A couple of days ago we decided to try out the hammocks. Have you tried to lay down in a hammock lately? Our frustration was ameliorated by our laughter as we lay on the ground after having been unceremoniously dumped by a hammock.
But once we got the hang of it, we didn't want to leave. I'd say that was because we were so comfy but, well .... have you ever tried to get out of a hammock while retaining some sense of dignity? The crows were cawing and the squirrels were chuckling. Nevertheless, we dusted ourselves off, and with heads held high, climbed onto our bikes and rode down the trail in the general direction of home!
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
When we first moved to Ocala in 2004, we bought a home in Stonewood Estates, a nice subdivision filled with lovely, large trees - mostly water oaks. The problem with water oaks is that they are rather weak and tend to fall over in high winds. And Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in that side of town. Many water oaks surrendered to Irma's winds.
The photos posted above were taken a couple of days ago as we drove through Stonewood Estates and other areas east of downtown. In the first photo, you can see our former house on the right, hiding behind a garbage can.
The 2nd photo was taken down the hill from our former house and the 3rd photo was taken several blocks away. Removal of all this debris is going to take some time as Ocala, a city of trees, has numerous areas filled similar remnants of Irma's visit.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
This photo looks across a section of the Trilogy golf course to an area which is being prepared for home construction. That means a lot of dirt is being moved from on place to another.
I'm not familiar with most of the heavy equipment involved. Bulldozers are prevalent and those I can identify but there are other long and sleek machines that run back and forth at what appears to be 50 miles per hour, but is probably more like 25 miles per hour.
What all of that action does is stir up the dust and if you didn't know better you might think you were in the middle of a sandstorm.
I tidied up the photo with a Photoshop Action called "Illustration."
Monday, October 2, 2017
"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