Monday, December 31, 2018
The Spanish Springs section of The Villages is divided by a large, 2-lane highway, known as Highway 441. It is an extremely busy road and would be impossible to cross without stop lights or similar devices. Thus, the planners constructed a large bridge to allow golf carts (the main mode of transportation in The Villages) to cross Highway 441 in relatively safety.
You would not, however, want to have had "one too many" drinks and then try to guide your golf cart up and over this bridge. Notice the tire marks? Evidently, there were a number accidents that "almost" happened, as is also suggested by the lean of the red cart in this picture.
One thing I've observed in my trips to The Villages is that the old folks living there drive golf carts at top speed. The streets compare to the Daytona 500. I've watched them come screaming down this bridge, hanging on with both hands, hair blowing, all caution thrown to the wind.
Friday, December 28, 2018
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
Wells Fargo, one of our country's more disreputable banking institutions, has a large presence in Ocala. This photo pictures one of the the Wells Fargo branches on Ocala's east side.
Initially, I took the photo because of the colors and the contrast between the commercial (bank) and Mother Nature (trees). But then I realized this is a rather poignant symbol of the Christmas season. The banks at this time of year are packed with holiday shoppers pulling money out of their accounts or applying for loans to obtain additional money with which to buy Christmas gifts with which to litter their living rooms on Christmas morning.
Scrooge, the bad guy of Christmas, has a point, I think.
Friday, November 23, 2018
I'm going to take a couple of weeks off ... but will be back. Best to all of you. If you live in the US, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Christmas and Hanukkah will be here soon. In Florida, this is the perfect time for golf and a lot of my friends will be out on the local courses. I won't be golfing, however, for several more weeks.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
For many of my readers, especially those who live in countries other than the US, freight trains are no big deal. But we don't see many of them in the U.S. these days because President Dwight D. Eisenhower, under pressure from the formidable auto industry and its supporters in Congress, determined that the U.S. should put its money into interstate highways rather that train tracks. Thus we chose to do down that road (a terrible mistake, in my opinion, because the U.S., through this decision, became a supporter of toxic global warming.
This train is rumbling through the small town of Wildwood about 60 miles northwest of Orlando. Notice how little graffiti there is.
If your dog is smelling rather rank these days, just give Barx and Bubbles a call. They will show up at your door with their mobile grooming truck and within an hour or so your dog will smell like new!
We used a similar service occasionally when our Golden Retriever, Haley, was still with us.
There are at least two of these mobile groomers in the Ocala area that I know of, and probably others of which I am unaware. I think it's a fine service but it is water intensive. Plus they use a generator so it's noisy as hell!
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The Oak House (see the header photo above) at the Trilogy Resort provides room for a number of activities. We'll be posting photos of the various spaces occasionally in the future.
The Great Room or Living Room is the focal point of the building. People gather here for games, learning activities, meeting other residents, craft shows, etc.
The bar (pictured above) is actually not in the Great Room but adjacent to it in the restaurant.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Monday, November 19, 2018
This is a true story. I was shopping in one of our local stores when I realized I was thirsty. So, before checking out, I located one of those small "refrigerators" used to keep soda pop cold. I reached in, pulled out a bottle of Diet Coke.
To my astonishment, I saw it featured my last name. No, I don't think there was anything sinister or other worldly about this. It's probably a marketing gimmick. But, strangely, I've not seen any other Coke bottles with personal names on them.
Whatever, the bottle occupies a place of honor on my workbench in the garage.
Sunday, November 18, 2018
The University of Florida is located in Gainesville. Gainesville is a good-sized city about 35 miles north of Ocala. The Oaks Mall is located in Gainesville.
The alligator is the University of Florida mascot. Gator Mania, in the Oaks Mall, sells all kinds of items related to the University of Florida's sports teams and all this stuff features alligators. As I recall, there are two or three Gator Mania stores in the Oaks Mall and UF gator memorabilia is also sold in a large open area of the mall. You can buy a ton of "Gator" tee shirts featuring a gator engaging in a variety of activities.
It's one heck of a money-making operation which I don't understand at all. A number of years ago, T-shirts were plain, without lettering or advertising. They were worn primarily as undershirts. Then some marketing execs got a bright idea. Let's sell T-shirts that advertise our junk and tell people they don't need any other kind of shirt.
I remember clearly the first T-shirts I saw with advertising on it; Coca-Cola I believe. And I was insulted. Coca-Cola wanted me to buy a T-shirt and advertise their product! How stupid is that? Now, if they want to pay me to wear one of their T-shirts, I'd take that under consideration but I'll be darned if I'm going to wear their T-shirt for nothing.
You can see how well that turned out. Common sense got flipped on its head and people ran out to buy shirts advertising somebody else's product.
Nobody knew it at the time, but that's probably when Gator Mania was born.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018
8th Street Elementary School is located in Ocala's historic district. It is a high-achieving school, with a diverse mix of students, operating from a beautiful and historic 3-story structure. The original school was built in 1914 but underwent a substantial renovation during the 2000-2001 school year and continues to offer children a wonderful place to grow and learn.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
I'm old enough to remember President Eisenhower and know that today's Republicans wouldn't give him the time of day. His biggest mistake was to opt for interstate highways instead of rail transportation. But he was basically a good person which we cannot say about the current occupant of the White House.
And hell yes, although quite young, I remember Harry Truman. He was feisty and yet did not beat up on people who were poor or different than he was. He didn't take any guff and when a certain general gave him a problem, like wanting to take the Korean War into China, ol' Harry relieved him of his position. Harry knew that to fight a land war against the Chinese was irredeemably stupid!
I would take either of these two over the orange-headed monster in Washington who oozes evil and terrorizes the world with his crackpot ideas and monumental lies.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Cleopatra is my cat. She has adopted me. She's very opinionated and very bossy. She makes her likes and dislikes known. One of the things she likes to do is play in plastic bags we bring home from the store.
In this case, she's telling me to leave her alone. I can have the bag back when she's done with it. I said OK, then went and got my camera. One of my likes is to take photos of her.
Friday, November 9, 2018
This morning dove was traveling through Ocala and decided to visit the Trilogy Resort. It was a beautiful, warm morning; the various exercise groups had not yet arrived to work out in the swimming pool and thus it was the perfect time for a morning dove to contemplate a quick bath before resuming her journey.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Heathbrook is a large outdoor mall in Ocala. Although built several years ago, it is just now beginning to take off and I think it will eventually be quite successful.
There is a small green area in the middle of the mall, which contains several beautiful oak trees and a statue of a horse. Some years back, I did a post on this statue. It celebrates the importance of the thoroughbred industry in the Ocala area.
The first thoroughbred farm in the Ocala area was Rosemere, which started up in 1936. But it wasn't until 20 years later when an Ocala thoroughbred by name of "Needles" won the Kentucky Derby that the thoroughbred industry came into its own. Within 10 years, the number of horse farms went from a handful to many hundreds. Today Ocala is known as the "Horse Capital of the World."
This is a statue of Needles, 1956 Kentucky Derby Champion.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
These two Pilgrim friends are waiting patiently for the arrival of Thanksgiving Day when their attire won't be so out-of-place.
The powers-that-be at City Daily Photo have designated the theme for November 1 to be "Friendship." You can check all the various takes on the theme HERE.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
On a hot afternoon, the Florida Longhorns knew enough to find some shade under the old oak tree. The Texas Longhorns, though, being dumb as door knobs, remained in the open, chewing grass, allowing the heat to sap them of whatever energy they might have had when they lived on a ranch west of Houston. Turns out they belong to the Conservative Cow Patty Party.
Monday, October 29, 2018
This is Ye Olde Witch here at the Trilogy Resort. She resides on the main road so gets a lot of attention which witches like on Halloween and even the days before Halloween.
Ye Olde Witch is supposed to be scary but she looks a lot like my olde aunt Gwendolyn who wasn't scary at all. I didn't even tremble when I took her picture.
I thought it strange, though, that my bike burst into flames when I arrived home!
Sunday, October 28, 2018
This is a beautiful road bike, made in France. Everything fits perfectly and that's probably why it exudes quality and elegance. The owner is seen most days riding the trails here at the Trilogy Resort. Sometimes he parks the bike here to take a dip in the swimming pool.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
I am back, at least temporarily. A variety of health issues have made blogging impossible for the past few months, but things are looking up now. I just don't know how long the present situation will last. It is good to be back and to see so many familiar blogs and friends still blogging away.
The gentleman in the first photo above is Jody. He's an employee of Flint Creek Outfitters in the Heathbrook Outdoor Mall. Flint Creek sells most everything one would need to spend time outside in the woods or the mountains or on a trail. Their goods are not inexpensive but are of high quality.
Jody works in the Flint Creek bicycle shop. He is a fascinating young man and is what's considered a long-haul bicyclist. His bike, pictured here, is just about ready for a long ride; it is loaded with water, food, a tent, all the utensils one would need, medical supplies, etc. When we met him, Jody was planning a 200-300 mile ride across Georgia and Florida.
Jody is also active in a religious group known as Church in the Garden which is for the "housed" and the "unhoused". They take their religion out of the building and put it into practice by providing food and clothing and haircuts and all kinds of other assistance for people in need, many of which are living on the street.
You can learn more about all of this here: www.weargloves.org, and www.dignityroasters.com.
Please Google Flint Creek Outfitters for more info on that operation.
The bikes you see in the last photo were, as I recall, made in Spain. They are quite expensive but exquisitely created.
"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