Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm a believer

Since this hot weather has been persisting so long I am now a believer in global warming. We are breaking records here in Orlando this week. Fortunately it is forecast that the high temperature will only get to 91 degrees today. 1 degree less than the record, 1 measly degree. What the heck, let's go for it. Let's at least tie the record of 92 degrees, after all it is only one degree more. And this is in the end of October. And to add insult to injury the humidity is back up making the heat feel even hotter.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a little frost on the window. And I kept telling Seaside that the weather gets cooler after September 1. But fear not for tomorrow is another day and it should be cooler.

A 10 degree drop. Yeah, I can go for that. I bet that it will be windy tonight as the cold front moves in. I think that I will sit in the front yard in my lawn chair and wait for it, that nice crisp breeze. I am just burnt out on the heat. Time for a change, a change in the seasons and a change in the temperature. Those of us living in sunny Florida, hold out for just one more day. Have a nice day wherever you may be and have some Chinese food for lunch as a treat. I am. Lew

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Mary and I went to see the movie Hereafter. It was better than I expected. It was real down to earth. What I didn't like was that there was 3 plot lines running at the same time and the characters in the plot line in France all of the actors spoke French with English subtitles. I know that having the actors speak French is suppose to lend a realism, but I find that reading the subtitles detracts from what is going on in the movie. It would have been better to have the actors speak English with a French accent. After all, in the original star trek series wasn't English spoken throughout the universe? I liked the scene of the tidal wave coming ashore at a beach resort. The special effects were great.

In this scene the tidal wave is coming down the street but it is hard to see in the picture. The aftermath of the tidal wave seemed pretty realistic also.

The tidal wave section of the movie resembled the tidal wave in Indonesia that occurred.

There are quite a few movies coming up that are pretty good so I think that we will be one of the movie theaters better customers. We are looking forward to the sci-fi movie Skyline.

It should be showing in the movies in a few weeks. I always like science fiction. Have some fun and take in a movie. I know that there are "big screen T.V.'s but there really isn't anything like the really big screens of the movie theater and excellent sound systems which allow me to just lose myself in the movie. Enjoy your favorite movie soon and don't forget the popcorn and soda. Lew

Sunday, October 24, 2010

a mother's love

The feral kitten Betty has begun exploring the garage with “the curiosity of a cat”. Here she is on the workbench in the garage.

She seems to be a sweet cat. The interesting thing is her enormous paws which Tammy also had large paws when she was a kitten. Look at the little piece of dried grass that caught up on her right shoulder. She is a long haired cat and so everything is going to get caught up in her fur. She will be just like a giant dustmop. We have the same problem with Tammy and Mary has to get all of the stuff out of her fur once or twice a day to keep her fur nice and fluffy.

The kitten has decided to take a nap while up on the table and is actually laying on some poles that are tree pruning poles. I guess that the washcloth looked soft to her. Her eyes are closed as she drifts off to sleep.

As you can see her mother Dolly is concerned about her kitten being up on the table. She stands guard while her kitten sleeps. Dolly still exhibits a mother’s love for her kitten by showing her concern. Dolly just kept sitting there looking up at the table for her kitten. It is sweet to see the interaction between Dolly and her kittens. A good mother. Have a pleasant day. Lew

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Hearse

Near to where I live here in Orlando is a used car lot. There on the lot was an old hearse, from a time when all hearses were black. This is done at this lot each year at Halloween time. They have it decorated on the outside with skulls and rats on the hood and roof. They even have a wooden coffin of the old-style on the roof with an arm hanging out. Even a black raven on top of the coffin which reminds of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven tap, tap, tapping.


A macabre scene for some but not super scary. What did send chills down my spine were two things. First, the fact that this was a real hearse that had carried untold numbers of the dead to their final resting place.

How many of the deceased had been driven to the cemetery in the back of this hearse. Second of my spine chillers was that there was a real genuine modern day casket in the back of this hearse. This was not a mock-up of a coffin like the one on the roof, but the real thing. Had this casket been used by the dead? I don't know but the thought sent chills down my spine. What tales this hearse could probably tell. Some scary thoughts in preparation for Halloween. But that is the bad part of Halloween. How about the good part. What good part does Halloween have? Well for kids it is candy. For adults Halloween means that Thanksgiving is not far off with the roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, and dressing. Oh, and let's not forget the cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving dinner would not be Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, both whole and jellied. Personally I like the jellied cranberry sauce the best. Enjoy Halloween with all of the trick-or-treaters knocking on your door because that fabulous turkey dinner is not far off. Lew

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today was the day that I fixed the Tiffany lamp. The lamp has a pull chain and the on-off switch on one of the bulbs worked intermittently. I had already replaced the bulb socket for the other bulb about 6 months ago. But now I couldn't remember exactly how I had done it. I just knew that I had a multitude of minor problems which made the replacement take a long time. So in essence I had to "reinvent the wheel" all over again and make the same mistakes as I had made the previous time. Each time I made a mistake I would then remember having done it the first time and I would say to myself "Oh yeah, now I remember that". The lamp is made out of cast metal and is quite heavy. The colored glass in the shade is real colored glass, not that cheap plastic stuff. Mary got a quality lamp. She had to special order it from a manufacturer who makes nothing but lamps.

Mary and I did our civic duty yesterday and voted in the early voting. I am sure that our candidates will win by at least 2 votes. Who did I vote for? I can't tell you that. You will just have to wait and see who wins and then you will know who I voted for.

The air conditioning man came today. The central air had been icing up "big time" on the coils in the air handler. He said that the freon was low and he filled it up from a large tank that he had. He also made a check of the coils in the air handler for leaks but didn't find any. He charged $ 147. I think that I should go into the air conditioning business. He said that he could check further for leaks but that it would cost $ 140 per hour and that it would take him 1 hour. I told him that I wanted to wait and see if the unit iced up again and if it did then we would go the $ 140 per hour route. Fortunately, the cold weather is coming and pretty soon we may not need the air conditioning.

Here is the morning dawn.

Does that look like the sun coming up on the left side of the picture? No, it is just a street light which keeps fooling me for a second or two each time I see it. I like the early morning dawn because it is a new day with a fresh start. Yesterdays problems are forgotten and I look forward to what new adventures the day may bring. Early in the morning it is cool and so peaceful with the stillness and the quiet. Have a great day and tomorrow get up a little extra early and step outside and enjoy the dawn. Lew

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Morgue

What a creepy place with all of these dead bodies lying around.

It gives me a chill just to look at it. And the blood. Just look at all of the red blood on the sheet.

I don't think that I can take much more of this. So ghastly. Mary decides to try and revive one of them.

Just look at how brave she is. She is actually smiling while she tries to adjust the patients breathing tube. Actually this is the simulated operating room at the vocational school called HiTech Institute where I taught x-ray for a while. They train surgical technicians for assisting surgeons during operations. And of course the patients are dummies. Did I have you going? A good picture of Mary. So is this one of her posing with a friendly skeleton.

I think that she would have been a natural for a career in the medical field. Nothing seems to bother her. Would you pose with a human skeleton? Happy Halloween. Lew

lava lamp

I have always had a fascination with lava lamps. They are not only fascinating with their bubbling "lava" but also mesmerizing watching the globs slowly rise to the top of the lamp and then slowly sink back down. I can just sit and watch them for long periods of time. My favorite is the lava lamp that has the red "lava" goop in the bottom and the clear liquid. The way the light makes the "lava" glow red is neat. I am confident that the creator of the lava lamp made a fortune. I think that nearly everyone has had one at one time or or another. I wonder how Seaside's lava lamp is working? Is it still giving massive lava eruptions? By the way, the lava lamp is not a toy of mine from my childhood but a toy that I got as a young adult. And I am still as fascinated with them as I ever was. A fun toy. Have a nice day. Lew

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is a cat next door. The picture is of a poor quality because I had to use my telephoto mode. The color of the eyes looks kind of weird. I think that it is because the image is of such poor quality due to using the telephoto at its maximum setting and then enlarging the picture as much as possible. It appears as though the image has started to break down due to pixelation. I think that the eyes are probably light green like Tammy's or gray. If I have an opportunity to get closer to the cat I will get another picture so that I can see what the eye color is. The coloration markings on this cat seem so similar to the markings on Tammy.

This cat is a short hair while Tammy is a long hair. Mary thinks that a calico cat across the street is actually Tammy's father.

What do you think? I know what I think, I think that I want a paternity test. LOL. By the way the feral kitten that is living in the garage is turning into a little butterball. She has a tremendous appetite and seems to be so healthy.

The feral kitten is a long hair like Tammy so I think that they have the same father. Have any stray cats in your neighborhood? Are they hungry? Have a really, really nice day. Lew

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Mary is attempting to make the weeds in the yard an endangered species by sitting on a low stool and pulling them out of the ground individually by hand. Since we are on well water we don't use the chemical weed killers. This is a very tedious and time consuming chore and the hot bright sun makes it all the worse. So we got this canopy so that she can sit in the shade while pulling the weeds. The canopy is not fastened to the ground and so she can move it around by moving each leg a short distance one at a time. This also is tedious and time consuming but usually she only has to move the canopy to the next adjacent patch of weeds. As I said, the canopy is not tethered to the ground and on a blustery day the canopy acts like a sail.

And we end up with this. The canopy doesn't go far because once it is upside down the wind can't catch the roof of the canopy. Mary and I go out and put the canopy back upright. If we know that it is going to be windy we will go ahead and turn the canopy upside down to prevent the wind from catching the material of the roof of the canopy and flipping it. As we come out of the heat of the summer months into the cooler temperatures of fall, we may not need the canopy. When that time comes the canopy is very easily and quickly disassembled until the next year. Because of the lack of rain lately the rate of growth of the grass has slowed way down. Mary is under the weather with a summer cold and so she won't be pulling any weeds until she feels better.
Have a pleasant day and enjoy the cooler weather. Lew

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today Mary and I went on the boat cruise on Lake Monroe and up the St. John's river. The weather was cool which made sitting out on the deck very pleasant. As the boat plied through the water, the forward motion caused a nice breeze. This is probably the perfect time of the year to go on the cruise. Mary selected the pork loin to eat and I opted for the meatloaf. It was a great cruise and we had a great time.

Tammy is spending more time in the house which means she gets bored. She just sits and has that bored stare to her.

To help alleviate her boredom Mary and I will play with her. In this case I am playing with her with a strip of cloth Mary made into a toy. Mary had also played with her with the cloth strip.

We buy her expensive toys but she prefers these simple toys like the strip of cloth or even a twist tie which is one of her favorites. On occasion she will look to see if we are around.

If she doesn't see us then she will be bad by stretching her claws on the furniture.

We get after her for it and she doesn't seem to do it as much as she use to. I see her using the trees in the yard more often now for the claw scratching. Unfortunately the couch has taken a bit of a beating as can be seen in the picture and May has ordered some furniture slip covers from Sears. This behavior seems to be universal among cats. Notice how long her tail is in the above picture.

Tonight we had a light supper because of the large meal on board the riverboat. Mary made tuna fish salad sandwiches. She saved the liquid from the can of tuna for Tammy which she absolutely relishes. No fussiness on her part with the tuna can liquid. She eats it all and licks the bowl dry. What about the dog?

Mary saved some of her roast pork from the river cruise for him and he also relished every mouthful and licked the plate clean. Yeah, I know that the pets are spoiled. Take care and have a nice cool day. Lew

Thursday, October 14, 2010

cat vs squirrel

Here is Tammy in her favorite pursuit, chasing the squirrels. Can you see her to the left of the driveway? That little black and white blob? Look closely. Here is a close-up to help you see her.

I guess that she thinks that by hiding behind the trash bag full of leaves that the squirrels won't see her. Even if she spots a squirrel she is going to have to run around the bag which will take time and the squirrel will long be gone up the tree. But there is one squirrel that doesn't run from her.

This squirrel is in the living room. One day recently Tammy just sat and looked at it.

Here she is at the foot of the couch looking up at the mounted squirrel on the wall. After a short period of time she jumped up onto the back of the couch and reached up with her paw and gently touched the squirrel. She sat on the back of the couch staring at the squirrel for a while before jumping back down. She hasn't displayed any interest in the mounted squirrel on the wall since then. Her world is one of exploring the front and back yards for anything she finds interesting. When it gets hot in the afternoon she comes into the air conditioned house and either sleeps or looks out the window from her special kitty shelf.

Oh yeah, and lets not forget munching on her cat food endless buffet. What a great life she has.

I am enjoying this slightly cooler weather. It makes working outside more pleasant. Mary celebrated her birthday yesterday. Her children who work will be coming over to the house this weekend for a birthday visit. We are going on a boat dinner cruise on Friday for her birthday. It should be fun. Have an enjoyable day. Lew

Monday, October 11, 2010

a study in black and white

Here is Tammy on her special window ledge with her toy mouse. A wonderful study in black and white. But there is another "diamond in the rough" as they say. It is Betty.

Doesn't the two of them look alike? They have a common mother Dolly and obviously a common father and so I guess that makes them sisters.

This is the mother of Tammy and Betty. In this picture Dolly is in the garage. There is a window in the living room that looks out into the garage. Mary is standing in the window and Dolly was looking up at her. I think that the father lives next door. I will try to get a picture of him. I wanted to post the two pictures of the cats because of their similarity in color patterns of their coats. Quite a study in black and white. Have a nice day and enjoy those things around you that most people seem to miss, like the beauty of the cats in your neighborhood. Peace be with you. Lew

Sunday, October 10, 2010

tree climber

This is Tammy trying to get a better view of some birds in the tree tops. She doesn’t climb trees very often because she is a little bit too heavy for that sort of thing and it is difficult for her. Climbing trees is a lot of work.

Usually the only thing that she climbs is a chair so that she can lie down on a nice soft cushion. She gets up off the chair when she wants to get a snack from her 24-hour cat food buffet. And thank goodness for the cat food buffet because she would have a terrible time trying to catch her daily food. Here she is camouflaged by some leaves which is not too effective for a black and white cat. She really stands out. Anything can spot her right away. Especially the red collar with the little bells on it.

When she tries to come down the tree it takes her longer than when she went up the tree due to indecision on just exactly how to get down. But with time she gets down all right.

Actually she spends most of her day outside exploring the yard, life seems to be such an adventure for her. She reminds me of myself when I was young, the only thing that I had to do was play and have fun. I didn’t have to worry how food was going to be put on the table, pay the rent, or put gas into the car. My parents took care of that. I just played and explored the fields (I even saw a wild rabbit once). So it is with Tammy. She doesn’t worry about anything except having fun. Actually, the feral cats are causing her quite a bit of stress, but that can be avoided by her coming into the house which is her safe zone. She seems to go to Mary when she needs some comforting and TLC. She is a great cat and gives us a lot of entertainment with her antics. Be kind to someone today. Lew

Saturday, October 9, 2010

big breakfast Saturday

This is the cake that Mary made. The icing is a cream cheese icing which is very rich and very sweet. She added M&M's to give the cake a lot of festive color. Plus the M&M's are an extra treat. It is a fun cake. A brightly colored and cheery cake.

We had it for dessert after a supper of scallops, mashed potatoes, and a salad. The brown and orange spots in the cake were included with the cake mix to give the cake a Halloween flair.

This morning for the "big" Saturday breakfast Mary made roast beef hash by placing it into her toaster oven which is pretty good sized and browning the very top layer of the hash.

We usually have corned beef hash but she decided to have the roast beef hash this time just for a different kind of hash. It was good. Mary puts a layer of hash on the plate and then places two fried eggs (over easy) on top of the hash. It is so good because when I cut through the egg with my fork, the yolk runs down into the hash and not a drop of the yolk is lost. We had english muffins on the side with butter and strawberry preserves. That's right, strawberry preserves, not strawberry jam or jelly. We had the good stuff, strawberry preserves. I was stuffed and we retired to our computer room to check our email. When we were finished with the computers we went outside and I battled with the grape vines up in the tree one more time and Mary pulled some weeds. I did some birthday shopping for Mary this afternoon and then we watched a post-apocalyptic movie called The Road. It was quite good but a bit depressing to see people reduced to starvation after the collapse of civilization. But it had a happy ending which is good. We checked the DVD for The Road out of the library so we got to watch it for free. Have a nice evening and those who have a "big" breakfast Sunday, enjoy and eat till you are full and relish every bite of a fine breakfast. Live life to the fullest. Lew

Friday, October 8, 2010


Last night for supper Mary made Hamburger Helper, the cheesy ranch burger style.

It was good. I wasn't too sure about the ranch dressing flavor but it was better than I had expected. You see, I am one of those very few people who actually likes the Hamburger Helper meals. We also had Italian style deli bread with it. The bread is uncut and so Mary has to slice it with a knife (nice and thick). There are all kinds of seasonings and different types of seeds on the top of the loaf of bread. With some butter (margarine) on it, it makes a great compliment to the hamburger helper meal.

Yesterday we went looking for a new tea kettle and found one at K-mart. The old tea kettle was too difficult to pour water from without the water dribbling onto the table. It just wasn’t a very good design. I am sure that out new tea kettle will do much better. We stopped at the Aldi's grocery store nearby and we got some canned cat food. I got some there once before and the cat loved it. She even ate the cat food after the can had been open for a while. This is a problem that we are having with the cat, she will eat the canned cat food when we first open it up. After a few hours she won't eat what's left in the can, even if we try giving it to her the next day. The cat food must be losing it's scent once it is opened. Open another can of cat food and she eats like crazy for about a third of a can, then nothing more from the can.

Halloween and fall is approaching and Mary is going to bake a Halloween funfetti cake today. It should be fun to eat with the confetti-like decorations that have a Halloween theme to them of bats and pumpkins.

It should be tasty and moist with pudding in the mix. Many, many years ago my mother would make my brother his favorite cake for his birthday. A mayonnaise cake. My mom would actually add mayonnaise to the cake batter. The cake was also a dark chocolate cake. I always thought that the dark chocolate cake was a little bitter but my brother just loved it. The only good thing that I found with the mayonnaise cake was the white icing that my mom would put on top of the cake and all around the sides, and in between the two layers of cake (a round cake). For my birthday she always made my favorite cake which was a yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting. Lots of milk chocolate frosting, Enough frosting to satisfy the sweet tooths of both my mom and I. So I am looking forward to the Halloween funfetti cake.

Yesterday I made reservations for Mary and I to go on a cruise on the Rivership Roamnce for her birthday. I scheduled it for next Friday which is two days after her birthday.

Her birthday is Wednesday, October 13. The cruises for Monday and Tuesday were sold out. Mary wanted to keep Wednesday open in case her children wanted to do something for her birthday like take her out to lunch. Thursday was a special cruise so that left Friday. The meal on the ship is strictly gourmet and the appetizer buffet bar is a lot of fun. The dining takes place in an elegant surrounding. The whole experience is very pleasant plus a nice relaxing river cruise with a nature talk on the bow of the ship as it plies through the water and live music in the lounge. And to make things even better, Mary gets to go for free because it is her birthday. She doesn't pay so much as a penny for anything. Of course I have to pay for my cruise which isn't much, $ 43. Isn't that great?

The weather here is great for working outside, which I will be doing this morning. This afternoon I will be going to Wal-Mart to get a black ink cartridge for my printer. I have been having a lot of trouble trying to refill a cartridge when it runs out of ink. I fill the cartridge with ink but it just doesn't last very long at all. I am not sure what the problem is but a new ink cartridge seems to take care of it. I saw my printer on sale at Wal-Mart for $ 29, about the same price as a new black ink cartridge. Have a nice day wherever you may be and enjoy this fantastic cooler fall weather that we are having. Lew