Monday, July 26, 2010

two-car garage

How about this two car garage. But wait a minute! I think that you are suppose to drive the car in from the end which would make it a one-car garage. I think that there is some creative thinking going here by driving the cars in from the side. Now two cars can be parked where only on car could be parked before.

Yeah, I see it. The back end of the car sticks out when the car is parked facing in from the side. But what the heck, you can't have everything. Nothing is perfect. At least the rains will wash the back end of the car. What about the front end of the car you ask? How will the rains wash it? Just back the car in silly, so that the front end of the car sticks out. Did I give anyone any ideas? Lew

Sunday, July 25, 2010

military exhibits

I went to a community center near the house and there were people who dress in period dress and military uniforms from different periods of time. I take my hjat off to these people who did this because it was so hot and their uniforms looked to be made out of very heavy material. They were participating in an exhibition of military memorabilia. This is a picture of a Gatling gun that was on display.

Just crank the handle and fire away. As you can tell from the shine on the brass, the weapon is in superfine condition. Inside the community center they had countless items and artifacts on display.

Plus there were so many people in military outfits strolling around. They were very nice and would explain their particular uniform and answer all questions.

I think that the biggest exhibit was a patrol boat from the Vietnam war era.

There were so many pictures that I only included very few in this blog. I hope that you enjoyed them. Take care and go out and visit a museum this week-end. Lew

crazy cat

We have this cat that seems to love the heat. She is a long hair cat which I thought would make her even warmer. She prefers to be outside in the heat of the day instead of in the nice cool air conditioned house. She likes to lay in the garage which is even hotter.

She comes in to eat around noon-time and as soon as she is finished eating she begs to go back outside again. Plus she is very persistent, she will beg and beg with her meows until we let her out. Why on earth would she want to be out in that heat. We also have a little chihuahua dog and he can't waits to get back into the house. But not the cat, it's the heat that she prefers. She would probably love it at the beach on a hot sunny day.

The cat was suffering from fleas a few months back. The veterinarian gave (sold) us a teeny tiny plastic tube of a liquid medicine that we apply once a month on her back between her shoulder blades. No more fleas. It is a mini-miracle. We do the same for the dog and his flea problem is also gone. Everyone have a nice day. I just wanted to mention about the cat preferring the intensely hot summer heat to the coolness of the house. Does anyone have any ideas why this is so? Take care. Lew

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

attack of the caterpillars

Mary discovered that something has been eating on her Azalea plants. The plants were being denuded of leaves. All that was left was little stumps that looked like little spikes.

This bush was once covered with lush leaves. Whatever happened to the plant, happened quickly. We looked and looked but couldn’t find anything that could have done this. Then we looked some more and found the culprit. Caterpillars! About two dozen of them. They just seemed to blend in with the plant stems.

Looks innocent enough except for having a full belly of azalea leaves. We picked them off of the plant and took them to the other side of the yard and turned them loose on some wild grape plants. I got to photograph this one on a piece of white paper. But he was camera shy and didn’t like to have his picture taken. How do I know that? Because he reared up on his legs ready for a fight. I can’t help but wonder what kind of butterfly that he will pupate into. Maybe Seaside or Villager might know. Any ideas?

Just look at him. He is ready to do battle. After the picture taking, he joined his buddies amongst the grape leaves. Just to think that someday this caterpillar will metamorphose into a beautiful butterfly. Actually there should be around two dozen butterflies fluttering around the yard. Have a good day and keep an eye out for the nature that is all around us. Viva Gaia. Lew

Sunday, July 18, 2010

monkey see, monkey do

Since Seaside featured a car in their blog, I decided to do the same. Sort of like "monkey see, monkey do" or keeping up with the Jones's.

This is Mary at the Hialeah Speedway racetrack in Miami. She is posing with the winning driver of the main race. It was a lot of fun going to the races. These are the small town type races. I like these better than the big NASCAR races. With these hometown races you get to sit real close to the track and all of the action. And the roar of the engines as a pack of cars come by is amazingly loud. There is a similar track here in Orlando in Bithlo which is east of Orlando. I haven't been to this racetrack yet because it is such a long drive to it and I hear that it is so popular that the crowds are large. Next weekend try something different to do and go to a local race track. It will definitely be exciting. Have a nice day and a day free of tarballs. Lew

Friday, July 16, 2010

colorful tree

What a magnificent tree. The picture doesn’t do justice to the intensity of the color. This tree is several blocks from the house. Where else but in Florida would you find a tree of this beauty. Logan? No. Long Island? Nope. Orlando? Yes. Not only can you have a tree like this growing on your front yard, but you can work inside a tree if you like. This is a tree at Disney that I use to work inside of.

This is the Tree of Life and inside the tree is a large theater showing a 3D movie called It’s Tough to be a Bug.

Here is Mary posing at the entrance of a winding path that leads to the base of the tree and the entrance to the interior of the tree where the theater is. I always felt like the Keebler elves who make Keebler cookies inside a tree. Actually the picture of the Keebler tree printed on the package of cookies looks very much like the Tree of Life. Get a package of cookies and see for yourself. And then sit down with a glass of milk and eat the cookies (after being dunked in milk). Have a nice day and enjoy the cookies. Lew

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the fountain

Here is Mary posing in front of a magnificent fountain in Lake Eola public park. This park is soooo pleasant just to walk around and take in all the scenery and feed the scampering squirrels.

There is something about fountains with the sound of the falling water splashing into the water below that is calming and peaceful. But the main reason for having the fountain in this blog is to say that it is summer and there are beautiful fountains everywhere. But what about the throes of winter? Is the water frozen over with ice? Is there fallen snow piled high on the fountain’s centerpiece? Not here in Orlando. This fountain will look exactly the same and Mary and I will enjoy it’s beauty as we pass by it on our way to have lunch at a trendy sidewalk cafe.

I don’t know why but I am always mesmerized by the shimmering blue water. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go into this crystal clear blue water and splash around? It is so nice to be able to enjoy these activities, of a walk in a sunny park year ‘round. When those yankees up north are up to their “you-know-what” in snow, Mary and I will be relaxing having a casual lunch at the outdoor cafe watching the joggers and strollers pass by. Have a pleasant day. After all, it is summer throughout the nation. But old man winter with his snow and ice is coming (only not to Orlando though). Lew

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

atomic cloud

As I was sitting at the dining room table this morning (5:30am) having my coffee and toast (raisin toast), I was looking at pictures on my lap top. I came across this picture of an atomic bomb test in the Nevada desert. The picture looks like the usual mushroom cloud from an A-bomb blast. Then I noticed something that I really hadn’t noticed before. There looks to be a small tornado coming down out of the cloud just to the left of the cloud. If you have trouble seeing it, I have circled it in red in the picture below. By the way, if you click on the pictures you will get a magnified view. And if you click on the magnified picture you will get an even larger picture. It is amazing sometimes at the detail you can see when you do this. I do it all of the time with the pictures that Seaside includes in the blogs.

Curiously there are wispy filaments of perhaps a second twister trying to form between the darker one and the stem of the mushroom cloud.

This test must have been one of the ones where they used soldiers. I have circled them in yellow. Now known as Atomic Soldiers. I have circled them in yellow. They sure look awfully close to the detonation to me. I would be concerned about the fallout getting onto the soldiers. There is a movie called Nightbreaker which is an excellent movie about the soldiers being used in the atomic bomb tests. It stars Charlie Sheen and Lea Thompson. I highly recommend it. By the way, the atomic veterans of those tests have an association called the National Association of Atomic Veterans and is abbreviated to NAAV. They have a good website also, if you happen to be interested in hearing their stories. An excellent book is called Atomic Soldiers which details the experience of individual soldiers in these atomic tests. As for the tests in the South Pacific, Radio Bikini is a great documentary on the atomic testing there. All of these books and movies should be available at your library.

What are those vertical white lines (circled in blue) to the right of the mushroom cloud? They are rockets fired at the time of the blast so that the power of the shock wave can be measured by the amount of distortion of the trails of smoke left by the rockets. They can get an idea of the power of the bomb from this. Much like Enrico Fermi who dropped small pieces of paper when at the Trinity bomb test (world’s first atomic explosion) in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico. He estimated the power of that first bomb by how far the pieces of paper were blown by the shock wave and his estimates were pretty good.

But enough of the atomic history lesson. As close as I can come to a mushroom cloud is this beautifully shaped mushroom that is growing in the front yard.

I am not sure whether it is a mushroom or a toadstool. I can never figure out which is which. To be on the safe side I never eat anything unless it comes from the grocery store. To me it looks like the hamburger bun at McDonald’s.

It is amazing how quickly these appear after a good hard rain.

I was really surprised by the soil in this picture. It has finally sunk into my mind just how sandy the soil is here. No wonder we have difficulty growing things here.

And today is a day at the movies where I leave reality and lose myself in the fantasy world of the movie screen. As I watch the movie, I become enraptured by it to where I am no longer in my seat but up there in the scene fighting monsters and bad guys and saving the world and humankind once again. Then the movie ends, the lights come up and I am back in the real world of a movie theater with popcorn on the floor and empty drink cups in the holders in the arm rests. Time to leave and enter the heat of the afternoon sun in the parking lot. But as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say “I’ll be back”, I will return next Tuesday to once again save the planet. Films on the big screen of movie theaters are great because I can just lose myself in them. We are going to see the movie Predators. It is time to go so have a nice day and I promise not to give away the ending of the movie in my next blog. Lew

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Love Birds

Mary completed this painting yesterday. It is called Love Birds. The birds are so colorful that they must be from the Amazon jungle of South America. It just seems like all of the colorful birds are from Central or South America. Talking about Central America and South America brings to mind a discussion that a supervisor once had with me. He started off saying that there was North America, Central America, and South America. Why is it he asked that only North American called Americans? When you say I am an American, it means from the United States. Why wouldn’t a Central American also be called American? But instead they are referred to as Latin’s. It was a good point and I didn’t have an answer for him. He seemed annoyed by it. I guess that I would be annoyed also if I were from Central America and considered Latin instead of American. I was quietly annoyed with myself for not knowing the answer to a simple question like that. Now days when I am stumped by something I just ask Villager who usually comes up with an answer. After all, I wrestled with a question of a bush with yellow flowers that my mother absolutely loved but I had no idea the name of it and Villager came up with the answer which was Forsythia for which I am grateful. So have a great day whether you be North American, Central American, or South American because we are all Americans and all members of humankind. (Humankind includes both mankind and womankind. After all, we must be politically correct). Have fun today because it is the weekend. Lew

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baltimore Oriole

This is Mary's latest painting called Baltimore Oriole. It is very colorful. She works very hard on her paintings and puts in many hours on them. She has started once again on a reverse-glass painting which is a style of painting that is extremely difficult to do.

Supper was flounder which is a very ,mild fish. We also had macaroni salad made with Rotini which is a spiral shaped pasta. She used the Rotini that has spirals in three different colors. It is served cold and so is a good side dish on these hot and steamy summer days.

Today while working outside and listening to my MP3 player. One of the selections was Desiderata with nice calm peaceful background music. I really like the words of Desiderata and I use to have it hanging up in my study in Miami. They are good words to live by. They had a very popular planetarium show in the planetarium at the science museum in Miami. The name of it was Child of the Universe and ended with the music and a reading of the words of Desiderata. It was awe inspiring and made for a great finale to the planetarium show.

This domed shaped building is the planetarium which I visited very frequently to see the planetarium shows. I use to do volunteer work at the museum by helping to man the telescopes on the roof of the science museum giving demonstrations to visitors to the science museum. I did it both during daylight hours (sun viewing) and during the night when we usually had the telescope on the planets. By the way we had hydrogen-alpha filters for viewing the sun plus a mask over the end of the telescope to restrict the amount of light entering the telescope. There were usually several of us from the astronomy club doing this. I enjoyed it. Have a pleasant day. Lew

gazebo vs sun shade

This is sometimes referred to as a gazebo. But I think the alternate name of sun shade may be more appropriate. When I hear the word gazebo, I think of a small structure with a lot of lattice work on it. But it said gazebo on the box but I think that may be just some fanciful wording. I am just not sure what the actual name is for something like this. I am hoping that Villager might know and "clue" me in. We got it from a high end thrift store for only $10. This store had lots of used items that were really nice and most of them had a high price tag on them. It was almost more like an antique store or a store with collectibles. My definition of collectibles are low priced antiques from that are usually not more than forty years old. But this gazebo will work well for Mary who likes to sit outside and read. The sun doesn’t seem to bother her as much as it does me. The heat just seems to sap the energy right out of me. This sun shelter (gazebo) will keep the sun off of her with its shade while she is reading. We also plan on having barbeques out here with the barbeque sitting on the table in the foreground with the blue cover. But the barbeques will have to wait for cooler weather. But it should all work out really good for cooking when the weather cooperates a little bit more by cooling some. What about hurricanes, you ask? Yeah, we will have to take it down if a hurricane comes, even if it only comes near. Fortunately it disassembles fairly quickly. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get it apart. But for the price of $10, we just couldn’t refuse it.

You can see how thick the grass is in the picture of the gazebo. Well, it got cut today by Mary riding around both the front yard and back yard on her new ride-it mower.

She really zips around the yard with that mower: stopping, shifting gears to put it into reverse to back up, and then shifting gears again to go forward. She says that she drives it in low gear but she goes pretty fast with it. She really makes some super tight turns with the mower as well. She really likes the ride-it mower because it is easy to handle. Today she got a little bit too close to the bougainvillea bush and got stuck real hard by it on her hand. This bush is notorious for the length of its thorns and sharpness. Wherever you are, have a nice day and enjoy the days of summer. If you live in Florida, have a nice refreshing glass of lemonade. But if you live in Long Island, go to the nearest Nathan’s hot dog shop and have “across the board” which means one of everything: one mustard dog, one chili dog, one kraut dog, one cheese dog and so on. And if you live in Logan, then just got to the food court at the mall and walk past all of the eateries partaking of a free sample from each food vendor and you will be filled up for free. Enjoy life. Lew

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


When Mary and I went grocery shopping on Monday, she got some blueberries. They were quite inexpensive. It must be the peak of the blueberry season and thus the blueberries are plentiful. I know that usually they are expensive. I saw on the label that they are produced in Winter Haven, Florida.

They were really plump and sweet.

They were good to just eat plain by the handful but they wouldn't last very long doing that. So we decided to put them on our cereal in the morning.

Now doesn't that look like a nice wholesome breakfast? We usually have cereal on weekday mornings and reserve the week-ends for the big breakfasts. On Saturday's it is usually eggs and a meat and on Sundays it is usually pancakes or waffles. The strawberries are good on the cereal because they are fully ripe and sweet. When blueberries are not quite ripe they can be a little firm and really sour like a sour cherry. Where I grew up in New York, I found an apple orchard that had six sour cherry trees along the side of the orchard. It was common for farmers to plant a few fruit trees other than apple along the sides of their fields for their own personal consumption. Sour cherries are used for cherry pies because of their firmness and tartness which is probably why they add sugar to a cherry pie to cut the sourness and tart. I tried a number of times to eat those sour cherries right off of the trees but I just couldn't stand the sourness of them. I was like the Biblical locust plagues when it came to me feasting on the fruit trees in the summer. But the sour cherry trees were safe from me. So were the crab apple trees nest to the abandoned greenhouses. Those crab apples were just so hard. I don't know how long this pint of blueberries will last but we will keep putting them on our cereal until the last blueberry is gone.

Did you happen to notice the Star Trek glass in the picture?

This glass has a picture of Mr. Spock on it. It was a gift from my daughter. She got me the complete set of four. After breakfast I was washing the breakfast dishes. I volunteered to do the breakfast dishes on week-days because Mary has to clean the rabbit cage and prepare a variety of foods for the rabbit. This is rather time consuming so I thought that I would try and help her out a bit. We both hop onto the computer after breakfast to check our emails. Mary does the dishes the rest of the time. I was trying to get the soapy sponge all the way down to the bottom of the star trek glass to thoroughly clean it. The sponge just didn't want to go all the way down so I just pushed harder when all of a sudden the glass broke giving me a nasty cut on my right hand. So take a long look at the glass because you won't be seeing it again since it broke and I had to discard it. I have to admit that the glass is quite thin and so I won't be trying to force the sponge down a star trek glass (remember my daughter got me four of them). I will use a special sponge glass washer with a handle from now on. From what I understand from Seaside that there are U-Pick-It blueberry farms in central Florida with absolutely huge blueberry bushes growing. Are there any U-Pick-It blueberry farms in Long Island? I haven't visited any of the farms here in central Florida yet. However, I did visit a U-Pick-It strawberry field south of Miami once. The strawberry plants were very close to the ground making the picking of the strawberries a back-breaking job. I have been very appreciative of strawberries ever since. Plus I have a great deal of respect for the field workers who pick the strawberries for a living. I am not sure what these field workers get paid but when it comes to picking strawberries I am confident that they are way underpaid because of the back-breaking difficulty of the work. In my opinion strawberry jam is way underpriced and is a great buy. Whenever I eat strawberry jam I feel much like Edward G. Robinson did in the movie Soylent Green. There is a scene where he relishes and savors the taste of some strawberry jam on a spoon. Edward G. Robinson was so good in the movie. He is a versatile actor and I think that I liked him best as Dathan, the chief Hebrew overseer in the movie The Ten Commandments. Now I know that he played a scoundrel in the movie but what a scoundrel his character was. Each time I watch the movie The Ten Commandments (and I have seen it many times), I always look forward to his scenes. I think that he is my favorite character in the movie. If you go to The Ten Commandments (movie) site on Wikepedia, there is only one photograph of an actor from the movie The Tenj Commandments. The rest are drawings of the other actors. And who is that one special actor? The only actor with his photograph? You guessed it; Edward G. Robinson as Dathan. Check out the site and see for yourself. And then check the movie out of your local library DVD section and watch the movie paying particular attention to the performance of Edward G. Robinson. Will I be going to a blueberry field anytime soon? I think not. It is just too hot here in Central Florida. But those of you in cool, cool Logan, Utah enjoy the cool outdoors. Have a nice day. Lew

Saturday, July 3, 2010

tenny weeny

As I was walking in the front yard, a small but intense color caught my eye. I stopped and looked and saw that it was a teeny tiny flower.

How many times had I walked by it and didn’t notice this little flower. Of course I went and got my camera. I laid a ruler on the ground so that others could appreciate just how small it was.

The camera with its close-up mode lets me see the flower as if I were a little ant standing on the ground next to it.

What wonders the little ant must see each day that we humans miss entirely. I know that the flower is blurry due to the magnification but just look at the intensity of the color. And yet it is so small and easily missed. Have a nice day and keep an eye out for the beauty that surrounds us each day but is oft missed. Lew

Friday, July 2, 2010


This is Mary’s latest painting which she calls simply Raccoons. She paints in oil and puts a lot of fine detail in her paintings. The monarch butterfly in the lower left corner is a nice touch. The hours that she puts into each painting is mind boggling. I just wouldn’t have the patience for it. To me raccoons always look like bandits because of the black mask across the eyes. And they are bandits in a way when on their nocturnal forays they decide to raid your garbage can looking for something to eat. They seem to adapt to living around people so well. I look forward to her next painting which is the colorful Baltimore Oriole. Have a nice day wherever you may be. Lew