Monday, April 27, 2009

Dimwits At Work

We have our share of morons in the construction industry. I have reputation for being intolerant of stupidity & I'm never ever bashful or reserved when I have to get in someone's face to keep idiocy to a minimum. (I can be loud & scary.) These guys in the picture above are rushing around trying to clean up at the end of the day. They've just set a bunch of steel bollards in concrete, all buried at least 3 feet in the ground. Hurry up & "Git 'R Done". Wonder when they finally realized that their van was trapped? If this happened on a Friday, you can bet they left everything behind to deal with on Monday, on the boss's dime. So much for planning.

Morons can be found just about anywhere. Here's a group photo of one bunch.

I rarely get political on my blog, so you may want to stop reading this post right now. Today I get to vent. Being the capitalist that I am, & considering what I paid out in taxes this year, it's my version of the entitlement mentality at work.

The economy is teetering on the brink, so, according to the guys in the picture, the fix is to spend trillions that we don't have. "Hurry up & Git 'R Done before we encounter public awareness!"

Do sensible people take this approach with their personal finances? None that I know of. When times get tough, responsible folks cut wasteful spending & make the sacrifices needed to enable them to take care of their obligations.

Following previous disastrous economic decisions & runaway spending, our politicians are compounding the problems by passing unheard of budgets & bailout schemes, pushing through oppressive legislation which will crush business & ultimately create debt that can't be repaid. This will result in hidden taxation & penalties that most uniformed people aren't expecting (& can't afford), while business failures escalate, government dependency increases, & state's rights & personal freedoms erode. (I'm in favor of protecting the environment but I don't like the squiggly lightbulbs, won't drive a tiny battery-operated car - oh well.) These actions will trap all of us behind the steel bollards, all cemented in the ground, for us, our kids & our grandkids to deal with later, 'on our dime'. What a plan! What's really motivating these careless decisions & votes? It's gonna get ugly, especially when folks wake up & get in 'Washington's face' for this idiocy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fountain of Youth

I was feelin' lots of aches & pains, the affects of aging, so I decided I needed to make a quick trip to the Fountain of Youth down near the middle of St Augustine. Deb grabbed her camera & out the door we headed.

Whew! I'm looking & feeling much better. Stuff really works. Shoulda seen me earlier.

For awhile I thought I was headed to the Indian burial grounds - like this guy. This is a picture from the burial grounds found on the site back in the 1930s.

The Fountain of Youth is a real place. Documents sent to the King of Spain pinpoint the location matching a marker placed in the gound designating its discovery in 1513

This is one of the fountains, but not where you get the 'go go juice' - that's inside, near some weak displays that should have been updated (or eliminated) long ago.

This is a statue of Ponce de Leon - During those days, life expectancy was typically 30 to 35 years. When old Ponce landed in St Augustine, he encountered the Timucua tribe. These people, the men & women, were all about 7 feet tall and lived, on average, for about 80 years, attributing their size & long life to the spring waters. Ponce was the tallest of his crew at 4' 11" and was already a shade past 30 at the time. So the little guy, after he claimed ownership of all lands for the King of Spain, (naming it 'La Florida', which covered most of the USA & part of Canada, up into Labrador) he loaded his ship with barrels of water from the spring that the Timacuans showed him. From that point on he used only the water from the spring for drinking, bathing, & food preparation. He lived to be 61, almost twice as long as most men in those days. He probably woulda lived longer. His death the result of a battle wound, an arrow to the thigh.

The Fountain of Youth is centered in a twenty acre park. Me n' Deb get in for free 'cause we're residents, but it's pretty inexpensive to visit. They have a small display at the spring itself where you get a dose of the magic springwater, then check out a small (& not so modern) planetarium that shows how Ponce & Chris Columbus navigated from there to here. This is followed by a visit to a big lighted spinning globe showing the travel routes for all of the major land discoveries from the late 15th & 16th centuries. Roaming throughout the park grounds are about 2 dozen peacocks. (They actually fly - I never knew that.) Haven't figured out their purpose, other than making guys like me wait around while my wife gets the 'perfect peacock pose'. I don't know how she does this. Looks more like a 'perfect peacock painting' to me.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Hands, Back, Legs, all killin me' (us). I think we need to move to a condo. We downsized the planting beds last year when we had about 4000+ square feet of sod put down - but there's still too much. Yesterday was spent planting Hibiscus, pruning Palm & Oak trees, planting new annuals, etc ... still leaving us at least a few days work for mulching (about 300 bags), & fertilizing the citrus & palm trees. On top of this, we planted new palms on the porches to replace Ficus trees that we lost during a bad frost. (We've even got trees INSIDE the house. Do ya have any idea what a pain that is?) Gettin' too old for this nonsense.

A landscape guy walked up to me in the front yard & asked if I'd be interested in getting a price from him for planting & mulching. (I probably looked exhausted. Crawling on all 4s with a shovel in my hand probably gave that away.)
Naturally, I said, "Nah, Thanks anyway. We always do this stuff ourselves."
"Looks like a lot of work" he said (& he didn't look out in the back yard!). He handed me his card & walk to his truck. (I think I heard the word 'dope' muttered.)
Deb thought I should let him gimme a price to which I replied "I'd never pay someone else to do something that I can do myself!"
To which she replied - "Does this mean you're getting rid of the lawn guys?"
I changed the subject. I ain't doin that stuff.

Here's a picture of some of what we planted. (This pic was taken just before I fell in the garage & cracked my head on the concrete.)

The good thing that comes from all this work? Deb gets to take some great photos. I think she should put her art 'out there' but she's just too shy - so I'm posting some of her pics (check out the Manatees from a post in early March). Guess you could call this post a 'nudge'. I think she's got some talent. Send letters & telegrams to tell 'er to get busy. Maybe she could make a few bucks at it & help finance this ongoing botany exercise.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Muse Is Loose

Can't believe I haven't posted on the blog for 2 whole weeks. Well, yes I can. I haven't been able to write anything lately. After a couple of weeks staring at a blank computer screen, the Muse FINALLY returned & I'm back to crankin' away on RECKLESS ENDEAVOR, the sequel to BAD LATITUDE. My Muse, his name is Mickey, smokes cigars. He's not related to that goody-two-shoes rodent in Orlando. Okay - so he's on the young-ish side & he's probably not gonna grow up to be a healthy Muse, but right now - at this very moment - I don't care. I'm finally getting some words down & the story is flowing faster than my two fingers can type. Sometimes I use three - thumb on the space bar should count as a finger.

I don't want to be rude, but I hafta cut this post short. Pop is gettin' very impatient waiting for me to finish describing ....

What? Okay! Okay! Sorry.

He just told me to stop blabbin' & get back to work. I left the poor old guy tuggin' on a stern line & he's a bit winded. I need to finish writing this scene so he can rest up for the next chapter. He's anothe cigar smoker with an attytood.

Sheesh, I tellya if he keeps complainin' like this, I'm gonna bump him off.