Sunday, January 31, 2010

Onto Sebring

We finished up our month in Southwest Florida and said good-bye to all the traffic and winter residence that showed up right after the first of the year. It's unbelievable the difference between December and January, I mean it goes from relaxed and quiet to get me the hell out of here over night, we managed to touch base with all our friends in the area so now we're heading to Sebring and the center of the state.

There are a lot of RV parks in Sebring and we're staying at Sunny Pines which is right in the middle of town, so far this week we managed to get our H1N1 shots which were free at the mall across the street. We took a bike ride on the tandem around Lake Jackson (12 miles), spotted a Bald Eagle, a couple of Sand Hill Cranes and a lot of nice houses on the lake. For some reason the water is very low this year all the docks are over land and the boats are just sitting on their bottoms.
We made a stop at the city pier, you can see from the picture that the water line is down about 100 feet and the Docks for the apartments is growing grass.

Cathy and I went to the lunch buffet at the Historic Hotel Jacranda in Avon Park which opened sometime in the 30's and was THE place to stay when you came to Florida, the dining room had a piano player that was pretty good and we ended up buying one of his CD's, found out that he stays at the hotel and plays here during the winter season then in the summer he plays at Kevin Costner's restaurant “Jakes” in Deadwood South Dakota.

Friday night we drove up to Lake wales for the Moonlight Concert at the Bok Tower Gardens, the concert is played on the Carillon in the tower. The Carillonneur “William De Turk” played 13 tunes over the course of an hour, this concert is held once a month during the full moon cycle, the pathway from the parking lot to the tower is lite with Tiki touches then you find a comfortable bench sit back and enjoy, the Tiki torches and full moon through trees made it a little spooky. Check the calender and if you're in the area during a full moon give this a try.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another day of Junking

Not much going on the other day so we went out for lunch and then did a little junking. About the third place we stopped we spotted a nice little Charleston S.C. Gullah Sweetgrass Basket.

The traditional Gullah style Sweetgrass basket is made in the South Carolina Low Country around Mt. Pleasant. The art form was brought to this country in the seventeenth century by West Africans, they were originally flatter and were used for carrying rice on the plantations.

On just about any day you can see them making and selling these baskets on Hwy 17, north of Charleston S.C.

From checking on the internet this basket is valued anywhere from $100 to $200, but we picked it up for three dollars ($3.00).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Naples Botanical Gardens

The cold spell has finally passed and it's pushing 80 so we decided to head down to the Naples Botanical Gardens. We were there for the first time back in 2007 and at that time it had only been open for about three years, they said that they had some grand plans for it so we couldn't wait to get down there to see what it was like now. The highlight before was their butterfly house, it was a long winding enclosed structure that was totally tree lined with a canopy of branches over head. It was filled with a wide variety of butterfly's, humming birds and a small bird similar to the humming bird called a honey suckle. Not anymore, they have a new butterfly house but their were only about ten butterflies in it, no birds, no hatching cocoons and it was about a third the size of the old one. The other so called improvements were that they paved most of the trails put in a fountain and some, I guess you would call sculptures. We walked around the entire gardens and their were very few different species of flowers, as Cathy described it, it was like walking around the hotel grounds at Disney World. All we can say is that we're glad it was part of botanical garden membership so it was free and all it cost us was a bit of our time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Staying busy in the cold

Just trying to find something to do while we're holed up inside during this global warming ICE age that we're experiencing here in southern Florida, so I dug out some old disk and decided to sort some photos. One had a bunch of photos of when I was with the Detroit Police Department, twenty-five years of Heaven and Hell . I joined up in 1972 a few years after the riots, about the time that the city started losing all its population and started it's slide to where it is today. Had a lot of great times during those years, met my wife Cathy through the department, and the bad times where I buried more fellow officers then I care to remember.
Like the TV show Naked City used to say “There are a million stories in the Naked City”, well in the Big D I think that I had close to a million stories all by myself.
There is a commercial for a new TV cop show that uses a phrase that cops have used for years to welcome a rookie cop to there first day on the job, “Congratulation, you just got a front row seat to the Greatest Show on Earth” and it was for all 25 years.
But before I let my mind wander and start boring you with dozens of old stories I better get back on track, and post two pictures I found showing my metamorphosis as a big city cop.

The first one is me in the summer of 1973, still just a little baby rookie cop getting ready to spread his wings and trying to look like a tough guy.

Now if you scroll down you will see the older, more experienced, wiser, understanding, kinder and a whole helluva lot tougher cop that I became in the late 80's.

That is All...........10-4....................... Over and Out

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cold weather or Computers-which do I hate more

The first week of Twenty-ten is just about over and we didn't do a darn thing, thank God for the Collage Bowl Games for we might have gone stir crazy. We did bundle up with about five layers of clothing one day and sneak out to the store for supplies to get us through this mini winter that we're experiencing down here in the frozen tundra known as Naples Florida. Yes I can hear everybody up north crying that it's ten below were you are, but it's suppose to be cold up north, I shouldn't be waking up to temperatures in the low to mid 30's. When it's this cold down here and you're out walking on the beach it's hard to tell if it's sand or snow, I got so confused that I tried to make a sandman but it just wouldn't roll up into a ball.

Cathy and one of her friends decided to spend the day at the Malls which meant that I got the house (RV) to myself, I decided to put a couple video classics in the DVD, or as she refers to them, stupid movies, well there ain't nothing stupid about Clint Eastwood. As I was watching the movie I figured this was a perfect time to do a bunch of updates on the different computer programs, everything went great for the first hour then I came to the Sprint compass card upgrade. It hung up the first try so I had to shut everything down and do a reboot, same thing for the second try, third times a charm, NOT, everything loaded up and was installing, with their little note that this will take several minutes. Well to me 30 minutes is several and I figured that it hung up again, time for another reboot, this time I figured that they meant several and 45 minutes were the same thing, wrong again. So now I've been at this for about two hours now and when I canceled the install it took every thing off the computer for Sprint so now I don't even have the old un-updated program. Cathy just got home and I'm trying to hide the fact the I've screwed up here internet connection and that she is now all alone in this world, no email no blogs just me and Clint, fortunately she's distracted with all the shopping bags. I'm ready to try anything right now so I unplug the cable from the USB port and plug it in to the USB port right next to it the old one and WOW. All sorts of little windows started popping up at the bottom of the screen, Found New Hardware-Installed, Found New Drive-Installed, Found new GPS-Installed, Found New Software-Installed,Found New Micro Chip-Installed, Found a Dollar in change under the cushion of the couch, all new systems now loaded and operational. All of a sudden I was back on line with the new updated program and everything was working perfect. And that my friends is how I became a computer genius.