Monday, September 28, 2009

a miracle

It was Saturday and the neighbors were having a party. It was not a house party but an outside party in the backyard. As the day wore on, the party kept going and seemed to be growing. As night came the party was still going strong much like the Energizer battery bunny. And there was music the whole time. Lots of music. So loud that we could hear it inside the house. Where do people get speakers so big? Then it was time to go to bed and the party was still going. Would it never end? To call the police would probably turn normally good neighbors into bad neighbors. After all they were a married couple with young children. They were just getting a little exuberant with their party. What to do about the situation occupied our minds when it happened, a miracle. A cloudburst of torrential tropical rain. So much rain so fast that frogs would have drowned. The music immediately ended and we had peace and quiet all night long. An answer to our dilemma. A miracle! A small miracle, but definitely a miracle that it chose to rain right over our neighborhood at that particular time and a Noah’s ark type of storm.

The next morning I sat in the dining room having my toast and coffee looking out the east window which faces the neighbors backyard when I saw the mess. What a mess. Evidently, they just dropped everything and ran for the house and their cars. The rain had ended the party. Who is going to clean up this mess. Yeah, you are probably right. After all, that is why they say that a woman’s work is never done. I didn’t see who actually cleaned up the mess but hopefully the husband helped. And so how was your weekend. Any miracles? Lew

Friday, September 25, 2009

up, up, and away

Up, up, and away. This is the launch of the Delta rocket as seen from Orlando. It was a beautiful clear sky but with a bright sun to the east which is causing the glare on the right hand side of the picture. I got to see the lift on TV and then ran outside to get this picture. This was a good day. I had a visit from the Fed Ex delivery man and he brought me my repaired laptop. The laptop works just fine now and they didn’t format my hard drive in the repair process. They completed the repairs in short order. I really wasn’t expecting to get it back this soon. Each afternoon I have been doing shopping for Mary’s upcoming birthday. It is an important day for her since it only comes once a year. Now that I have my laptop back, I can start posting some blogs again. I typically compose them on the laptop and then transfer them to my desk-top computer which is the one that is on-line. I don’t like to take the time for writing blogs when I am on-line because I am busy doing other stuff related to my studies, which is usually looking up detailed meanings for medical terms. Gotta go, I don’t want to wear out the laptop because I just got it back. Have a nice day. Lew

Saturday, September 19, 2009

stuck kitty

Oh my gosh, poor Tammy is stuck in the railing. How will I ever get her out? Do I call the fire department and have them come and free the kitty? In reality, she isn't stuck at all even though it sure looks like she is. In reality she has real fluffy fur and is just one giant fluff ball. She actually passed right on through the rail in one continuous motion and she did it with ease. The camera froze the action at the right moment to make it look like the poor little kitty was stuck. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to get this memorable picture. She just has fun all day wandering around the yard chasing grasshoppers and lizards.
Oh yes, an she also likes to play with her lazy friend Tony. Tony is a feral cat who hangs around here. He likes to sleep on the stump of an old oak tree. He seems to like to twist his head around so that it is upside down when he sleeps. Tammy does the same thing. What a life these cats have.
Since we didn't go to Captain D's fish restaurant yesterday because of the emergency with the water heater, we are going to go today. But first it is off to the library to get some more DVD's to watch. Like anything else, some of the DVD's are good and some aren't so good. But speaking of the library, it is time to go. I want to get there before the DVD's are picked over and all of the good ones are gone. Have a nice day and treat yourself to something nice today, like a nice slice of pecan pie or sugar free popsicles. Take care. Lew

Friday, September 18, 2009

new water heater

The repairman came out to repair the old water heater and said that he thought that the water heater had a leak because the fiberglass insulation was sopping wet and he could feel a hot spot on the side of the tank. So we got a new water heater from the plumber. The old one was 10 years old. Now we have nice hot water. Evidently this plumber had put quite a few of these in because he was very mechnical in doing the replacement and it went one, two, three. He had it done in no time. And Mary has already decorated the top of the water heater with artificial flowers to pretty it up.

Tomorrow is Saturday and that means "big breakfast". Mary is planning on fried eggs, bacon, homemade hash browns and probably some toast. When we went to the bread store earlier in the week they had gotten the pineapple preserves back into the store. We got a jar and I am looking forward to having some of it on my toast. My laptop computer is boxed up and ready to ship to Hewlett Packard on Monday. I will be glad to get it back after the repairs. It is a really nice laptop but just had a bad motherboard. Everyone have a nice day. Lew

sittin' and waitin'

Just a sittin' and a waitin' for the plumber to call. The thermostat had a wire connection burn out. There must have been some kind of short because as you can see below the fiberglass insulation was burnt black also.

Mary was the first one to notice something wrong. The circuit breaker panel was making a buzzing noise and then the circuit breaker for the water heater tripped off. Isn't it nice when safety devices work properly when they are suppose to. We went into the garage and there was a terrible smell of burnt electrical something. I removed the access panels of on the water heater and discovered the damaged thermostat. Fortunately it was early and the plumber is on the way to save the day. Pioneering families out on the prarie may have taken cold water baths but I prefer nice hot water. I guess that I have become very urbanized and very spoiled to the modern things in life. Gott go. The plumber called while I was typing this and he is on his way. The plumber should be here any minute. Lew

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This morning I was fooled by a streetlight. From where I sit in the dining room, I can look out a window to the east. The Chihuahua dog got me up at 5:30 this morning by jumping up, standing on his back legs, and pawing on the mattress. He had to go to the restroom and, besides, this is my usual time to get up. The dog goes out, and the cat goes out at the same time. And I start my toast toasting in the toaster (can you say that three times real fast?). Around 6:45 am I am sitting at the table in the dining room studying when I happen to look out the east window. The sky is turning gray which is the approach of dawn. I also see a bright orange light which I think might be the sun beginning to peek up over the horizon. It is hard to tell because I am having to look through the slats of the venetian blinds and the neighbors trees. I stare fixedly at it trying to discern what it is, when I finally conclude that it is one of those sodium vapor street lamps that give off an orange tinted light. I would have to wait a bit more for the real sun to come up.

What is the weather going to be like today? Typical summertime weather here in Orlando. Partly sunny with a chance of afternoon showers. Yes, here in Florida we say “partly sunny” and not “partly cloudy”. After all, this is tourist country with lots of tourists coming here to visit with lots of tourists dollars. And we don’t want to scare the tourists away with the pessimism of “partly cloudy”, but rather to keep them happy with the optimism of “partly sunny”. Remember that the cup is half full instead of half empty. And those souvenirs that the tourists but are inexpensive (not cheap). So go forth with a smile and have a fun day. After all, people come from all over the country to vacation here. To bask in the sun and swim in the warm waters of the Atlantic. What a great place to live. Are you smiling? Smile. Lew

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

beauty in simplicity

Sometimes there is beauty in just pure simplicity, like this small simple white flower. No flashy colors. No grandiose design like an orchid. Just a simple white flower which because of its small size I may have walked by many times without noticing.

Well, this time I noticed and stopped long enough to "smell the flowers" as they say and take a picture. The flower just fascinated me by its elegance. I am always amazed because the beauty of nature is everywhere. All I have to do is look.
Weather. Temperature. I watched the weather report on television. Here in Orlando and they said that the high today was going to be 92 degrees. Whereas, the high in New Smyrna they said is going to be only 88 degrees. Those coastal beach people have it made. Open the windows on the front of the house, open the windows on the back of the house, and just let that cool sea breeze blow through the house. This is what I use to do when I lived in San Diego and lived near the ocean. The ocean breeze was so strong all of the time. And the cold Pacific water with the Japanese current carrying the cold Alaskan water down along the coastline, made the air really cool that was blowing across its surface. I think that New Smyrna must have a similar thing to cool the air because the temperatures there always seem to be a little cooler than here in land-locked Orlando. However, with global warming and rising sea levels perhaps Orlando will be ocean front property one day and New Smyrna unfortunately will have joined the dennizons of Port Royal. Time will tell. All that I have to do is figure out a way to live a few hundred years to see it if it should happen. Everyone have as cool a day as possible. Hopefully it won't be too long before we will be complaining about approaching cold fronts and chilly weather. Lew

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I had figured that Lillian’s plant had run its course but to my surprise, now there are two flowers on it. I put some Miracle Gro liquid fertilizer into the pot and this was the result.

It is doing so well and the colors are so intense. Has anyone else had any success with the seeds from the wedding?

Isn’t this just a gorgeous flower? It is such a struggle to get anything to grow so that when something does grow, I have a tendency to get all excited about it. See the bud in the picture above? Since the above picture has been taken, the bud has opened up and now there are three flowers.
With all of the rain, today was a stay-at-home day. However, Mary did go to Michael’s late this afternoon to get some art supplies that she needed. Her brushes keep giving out and have to be replaced. She wanted to drive her car to charge the battery and circulate the oil around inside the engine. Since she has retired, her car doesn’t get driven very often.

Tomorrow will be a busy day and we will probably eat lunch out. Tuesday we are going to the movies at West Oaks Mall to see the movie Whiteout. Mary has already received a coupon for a free popcorn which is a $ 4.50 savings. The movie is a mystery set in Antarctica. A good movie for hot weather. Maybe seeing all of the snow and ice will act like a placebo and make me feel cooler. The humidity was just so terribly high today. We are already getting days when the temperature doesn’t even reach 90 degrees but the humidity is still there.
Everyone have a nice day and enjoy this miserable rotten hot humid weather so that when the weather gets better we can all say “I remember that it was so hot this past summer and.........”.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

strobe effect

One day I took a picture in the garage and noticed that the blades in the fan were not blurred. The fan was running. I thought to myself, Wow, what a great camera I have. The speed of the camera is so fast that it "froze" the motion of the fan blades. This was really something. Then I started to wonder if it had been perhaps the stroboscopic effect of the flash from the camera that had actually stopped the blade motion. I went back into the garage and turned the fan on high speed and took a picture with the flash "on" is the one that you see above. Then I shut the flash "off" on the camera and took another picture which is the one you see below.
Sure enough, the fan was blurred. So what I have is a camera with a slow exposure speed but with a fast flash. I will have to remember this for future picture taking. If I want to freeze the motion of something, I will be sure to turn the flash on or get one of those fancy cameras with all those razzle dazzle things and large lens like Seaside uses. I learned something new about taking picture taking with digital cameras. Have a nice day. Here in Orlando, FL today is going to be a rainy day. Lots of rain which Florida is famous for. Lew

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Finicky squirrels

I put some barbeque flavored corn chips in the squirrel feeder and the squirrels wouldn’t eat them. I even left them there for several days. No luck.

But why, you ask, did I put barbeque corn chips in the squirrel feeder? Because I didn’t like them either. I removed the corn chips, cleaned the squirrel feeder, and put some rabbit food in the squirrel feeder. There are oak trees everywhere. Two in the front yard. A huge oak tree in the neighbors front yard. Just oak trees everywhere and of course, so too there are acorns everywhere. That may be another reason that the squirrels didn’t eat the corn chips. Their tummies were full of acorn nuts because of the bountiful supply. Have a nice day and if you happen to visit a park and there are some cute little squirrels there, don’t bother trying to feed them barbeque corn chips. Lew

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I went to get a picture of the marigolds because they are doing so well with all of this rain. They seem to be getting taller. And they are forever dropping seeds onto the dirt beneath them. Then something caught my eye. Something that wasn’t suppose to be there. An intruder! There was an intruder among the marigolds.

The intruders were toadstools. Growing and feasting on the wood of the dead tree stump. It is really amazing how rapidly they grow. Well, this was the blog that I was suppose to post today but I did a repeat post by accident.

How do you like the cooler weather? When I stepped outside this morning it was quite cool. In fact, almost chilly, but not quite. Was Lew right about the weather getting cooler in September? You bet he was. See why every year I celebrate September 1? Happy times of cool weather are coming.

Tomorrow is dental day for getting a crown. Getting a crown sounds a bit regal doesn’t it? Unfortunately it is not that kind of a crown. The best part of the whole experience of getting dental crown work done is when I am walking out the door. And the price! Well, we won’t even discuss that because it will make me deeply depressed. Thinking about the cost of the crown makes me depressed but talking about it makes me deeply depressed. And writing out the check to pay for the crown is something that I try not to think about. Do you know how many times I could go to Cicci’s pizza for the cost of a crown? Lots and lots. And the Golden Corral? A whole bunch.

Tonight was Vietnamese food night. Mary tried a recipe from the Vietnamese cookbook that she got from the library. The main dish was pork with vegetables and the side dish was fried green beans. It was good. I like Chinese cooking and the Vietnamese dish was like Chinese food. I like egg rolls at a Chinese restaurant but they are expensive. So once a very long time ago I went to a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet and had nothing but egg rolls. Lots and lots of egg rolls. Considering how expensive they are on the menu I think that I got my monies worth that night. For lunch we had turkey sandwiches which is traditional for a few days following a turkey dinner which we had on Sunday.

Have a nice evening and enjoy the sights of nature. Beauty is all around us. Today a lady bug landed on the front of my shirt. I thought that it was neat. I tried unsuccessfully to get a picture of it and ended up putting it into the grape vines where there are probably plenty of aphids. We have had problems with aphids in the grape vines in the past and lady bugs love aphids so the lady bug should be absolutely ecstatic right about now. Take care and carpe diem. Lew

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Three Musketeers

I saw these three different flowers in the flower garden and the name The Three Musketeers came to mind. The blue flower on the left is a mystery flower. Neither Mary or I know what the name is. Of course the flower in the middle is a periwinkle and the flower on the right is the hibiscus.

Isn’t the hibiscus absolutely magnificent. The color is so intense and rich. Mary commented that this hibiscus must be the type that grows low to the ground because it just doesn’t get any taller and it produces plenty of flowers.
This was a stay at home day, a mow the grass day, and for Mary a bathe the bunny day. It is terribly hot outside but it is September and I am happy because I have made it through another summer. It is like riding my bicycle over a hill. I struggle going up the hill but once I reach the top the hard part is over with and then I coast down the hill. August 31 was the peak of the heat hill and after September 1, I am coasting down the hill of hot weather to the cool days of autumn.
I cooked hamburgers for lunch on the grill today because that is traditional for Labor Day. Tonight we are having the baked turkey with cubed baked potatoes and of course cranberry sauce.
The rabbit seems to be getting a little friendlier. He lets me brush him now. There is a cardboard box in the dining room next to where I sit. The Chihuahua uses the box to jump on and then jump up onto the chair that he customarily lays on while Mary and I are in the dining room. The rabbit will jump up onto the box and wait for me to brush him with an old soft hair brush. He jumped up on the box twice this afternoon for a brushing. When we are in the dining room Mary brings the rabbit in so that he can run around. Mary blew up one of those thick skin sock-em balloons. We use those because they are very durable and the rabbit doesn’t break them. He likes to run in circles around the balloon. He will be sitting on the scatter rug and then run over to the balloon, run around it and back to the rug. After half a minute, he repeats the whole thing. He will keep this up for around 10 minutes. He really seems to enjoy it. He is not afraid of either the cat or the dog and all of the animals get along with each other real well. I hope that everyone has a nice Labor Day celebration. Lew

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Garden theater tour

This is the interior of the Garden theater. I got to go on a guided and narrated tour of the theater. I thought that the little lights in the ceiling representing stars was a nice touch. Then I noticed a cluster of stars in one spot on the ceiling. In this picture you can just barely see the cluster at the very top of the picture on the right side. Can you see it? Here is a close-up of it.

I asked the tour guide if there was any significance to the cluster of stars. She told me that the stars were suppose to be the little dipper. If you look at it from the correct angle it does sort of look like the constellation the little dipper.
The tour was very nice with a lot of historical information on the theater. We even got to go backstage where the dressing rooms are as well as the lounge areas or green room as they call it. In addition to the movies, live theater plays are performed here as well. They will be having the musical Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat this fall. I saw this production of Joseph and the Tehcnicolor Dreamcoat performed professionally in West Palm Beach with Sam Harris in the lead role. The production was very lavish in the costumes and the sets. Sam Harris was the very first winner in the singing category of the television show Star Search. The singing and music was great. It is a musical tale of a biblical story.

This is one of the two dressing rooms for the actors and actresses. In the reflection in the mirror is our tour guide who is dressed in a black blouse and white slacks. The other people are some of the members of the tour group. I think that there were around eight people all total. They are also looking for volunteers to help with the production of Joesph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. She said that they had around 100 volunteers already but that they needed more. Once you put in enough volunteer hours, you can see the production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat for free. Just give them a call to sign up for volunteering. The tour guide said that they will be using local talent for the actual production. It is a nice theater. Lew

Saturday, September 5, 2009

monster in the neighborhood

A typical Florida day, the sky is filled with white puffy clouds. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some pictures of the clouds like Seaside does. So out comes the camera and all of the wires spoil the picture. This picture is looking north. How about looking northeast? Maybe I will have better luck.

Nope! No such luck. There are wires in that direction also. But what is that beside the right side of the neighbor’s house.

Yes, it’s a monster truck. The type that runs over cars crushing them. He must need a ladder to get into that thing. What a view he must have of the traffic ahead. He can see over the tops of the cars and spot traffic tie-ups long before I could. I wonder what new tires cost? I shudder to think. Today it is off to the Garden theater. Mary is going to go shopping while I am there. She doesn’t get to drive her car very often any more and so it is good for her to drive it from time to time. Have a nice day. Lew

Friday, September 4, 2009

Kermit the Frog

Can you spot my little buddy? No? Look closer. Still closer. Try going to the magnification mode.

Yep, there he is. A little tree frog sitting on a leaf just as happy as frogs can be. I spotted him just by luck while in the front yard. He is in the gardenia bush. Hopefully he will eat lots of mosquitoes and anything else that bugs me. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun. When I worked at the hospital in Phoenix, I had a coworker, Anne, who just loved to make puns and as a consequence I got a steady stream of verbal puns with each followed by a laugh from her and a laugh from me also. She was very nice and had a really kind heart. The hospital was a Catholic hospital and all of the people there were very dedicated and caring. How else can you be when you are working alongside the nuns. Their order was the Sisters of Mercy. I use to do volunteer work for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Phoenix. They operated a nursing home. It was very rewarding spiritually to work with the nuns. It was also an honor. The same was true at the hospital and so we only had good, kind, gentle people there. We had a radiologist there, Dr. Matheson, and he told me once to treat every patient as if they were either my mother or father or brother or sister. I took his advice to heart and applied it on a daily basis. It was a sad day when I left for another job with the State of Arizona government. But the state job with Arizona was an adventure and incredibly fun. I got to travel all over the state of Arizona. What fun. Everyone have a nice day and lots of fun. Time to do my on-line jigsaw puzzle. Lew

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Garden theater

This is the Garden theater in downtown Winter Garden. Mary and I went there to see the movie Wag the Dog starring Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman. I really didn’t care as much as what was playing as I was about seeing the interior of the theater. This theater has been restored to its former grandeur when movies and movie theaters were at their heyday. I always loved those grand old theaters that looked like a palace inside. When was the last time that you have seen such plush ornately decorated carpeting like this in a movie theater?

The carpeting actually looked too nice to step on. They did a fine job in the restoration process. This is the inside of the theater.

The theater was so unique. From the stars in the ceiling

to the unique side balcony’s for the VIP’s to sit.

It was a lot of fun going to the theater. With the coming of the multi-plexes you just don’t see theaters like this anymore. Time to go, Mary is waiting for the movie to start.

They give tours of the theater on Saturdays at noon where they take you backstage and give a nice narration about the theater. I think that I would like to take this tour. It would make my trip to the theater complete. I wonder if seaside and villager ever went to this theater when they lived nearby? Have a great day and take the opportunity to see a movie in an old time theater every chance you get. Lew