Monday, August 27, 2012

plane crash

Wow!   Look at this!   A plane crash into the side of the building.
Seeing the plane tipped at this angle reminds me of the planes going into the Trade Towers on 9/11.   Fortunately this is not a real plane crash.   The building use to be a nightclub and the plane may have been used as an attention getter since you can see it from the street.   It sure grabbed my attention as I drove by it one day.   This site is located in the southern part of Orlando on a street with a very colorful name, Orange Blossom Trail.   The nightclub has been closed for quite a while and as I understand there is all kinds of security and motion sensors within the building.   Don't try to enter the building.   But this is quite a site to see as people drive by and catch site of it out of the corner of their eye.   Any unusual sites where you live?   Tell me about it in the comments section.   Lew 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

On the chain link fence we have wild grape plants growing.   But mixed in with the grape vines is another type of vine that has pretty yellow flowers.   A very intense yellow color.   The bright sun caused the picture to make the flowers too bright.   I said that the flowers were an intense yellow but not quite this intense.
Perhaps this picture from the internet is better.
I managed to identify the vine as Bitter Melon.   What a funny name.   An orange color caught the corner of my eye.   It was a seed pod of the bitter melon vine.
What a strange looking pod with all of those bumps all over it.   Don't ask me why but it reminded me of the pods in the original version of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  
I know, too much imagination and watching too many science fiction movies.   But what do you think?   Do you think that they look at least a little bit similar?   Make me feel good and say "yes".
But that isn't all of it.   There is more.   One of the pods had broken open to reveal the seeds inside.
Inside the pod were these bright red seeds covered in sticky slimy stuff.   Why is it in sci-fi movies the giant ants or giant monster spiders are always drooling sticky slimy saliva from their mouth?   Well, the seed pod had lots of the same stuff.   Yuk!
Seeing those bright red seeds put me on the alert because in nature the color red means danger: like red fire coral, red sponges, and of course red velvet ants.
Doesn't the red velvet ant look pretty?   But the red color means danger.   What looks like an ant is actually a wingless wasp which has the largest stinger that I have ever seen in an insect.   I saw one in  South Florida once and thought that it was cute until I saw the size of the stinger.   Not something to be trifled with.   So in nature usually something that is red is best left alone.   So what about these red seeds?
I just let them lay out to dry.   I checked them in a few days and they were all gone but these three.
It looked like something had been eating on them.   And where had the other seeds gone to.   Insect fodder?
I found another seed pod and removed the seeds.
I found that the red coloring could be wiped off of the seeds with a paper towel to reveal that the seeds were actually white.   Do you see the seed in the foreground which still has some of the red stuff on it?     Pardon the pun, but could these seeds have been a sheep in wolf's clothing?   Do you see the three old seeds mixed in with the new seeds?
That is my tale of my experiences with the Bitter Melon vine.

Would you like to see something really wild and unusual?   Then you have to go back to my blog of November 26, 2011 titled   cannonball hole?
Have a nice day and feel free to make comments on the blogs and don't forget the blog about the cannonball hole.    Lew
UPDATE:   Remember all of those seeds that I had collected and cleaned?    Well, they are all gone.   Something has to be eating them.... I guess that I will have to put them into a jar with a lid to protect them.    Lew

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Royal Castle

It was a long time ago.  52 years to be exact.   The year was 1960.   I was living in Miami, Florida in my senior year of high school.   I had decided to go see the movie Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock.
Remember the scary old house up on the hill?   The theater advertised that they had a nurse on duty in the lobby to give medical attention in case anyone fainted from fright.   When I entered the theater, sure enough, there was a nurse in her white dress  uniform wearing her white nursing cap.   She was sitting at a small table in the center of the lobby with a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope.   Do you think that having a nurse in the lobby was an advertising ploy?
This was a time before multiplexes and all of the theaters only had one screen.   It was a nice theater and I liked going there.
Yeah, this is the way theaters use to be.  They were elegant and the curtains use to open to reveal the movie screen when the film projector started.   The name of the theater was the Trail theater.    It was called this because it was located on a road called Tamiami Trail that ran from Miami on the east coast of Florida to Naples on the west coast of Florida.   At the time it was the only road that people living in South Florida could take to get from the east coast to the west coast.   I parked my car behind the theater, walked around to the front and was on my way into the theater when I met a friend from high school.   He was on a date with a girl who was also from our school.   The girl was dressed really fancy and formal.   He asked me where I was going and I told I was going to see the movie Psycho.   He said that he was going to see the movie also but first they were going out to dinner.   I looked around and said where?   He said RC steakhouse.   Looking around again I said where is it?   I was looking for a fancy steakhouse.   He said Royal Castle.   RC stood for Royal Castle and since it was a hamburger place he called it a steakhouse.   Being gullible I had fallen for his RC steakhouse routine and so had his girlfriend.
Well, there was a Royal Castle next to the movie theater and that was where he was going for dinner.   In the picture below it was in the corner of the building with the white trim.   
I looked at his date and she just rolled her eyes.   She had been expecting a fancy steakhouse and had dressed for something fancy.   In the picture below I have drawn a red circle around where the Royal Castle had been.
You probably notice the Spanish writing on the marquee in the picture above.    Miami is predominantly Hispanic now.   They restored the theater and it is now a popular playhouse.   They really did do a wonderful job on the restoration.   So what did they serve at the RC steakhouse (Royal Castle)?   Well their menu was extremely limited and about the only thing that you could get was hamburgers.   Those little tiny hamburgers that they call sliders now. 
Can you imagine this guys poor date when the waitress set this down in front of her for her to eat in her fancy clothes?   What a disappointment it must have been for her.  
Actually their hamburgers were very tasty and extremely cheap (or should I say inexpensive?).  
I thought that Royal Castle was similar to White Castle restaurants for those of you who live in the northern part of the United States.   The names were similar:  Royal Castle vs White Castle.

And their hamburgers were similar.   The picture below is a White Castle hamburger.
The Royal Castles were great in that they were open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.   Plus they had their own emergency generators for when the power went out, like during and after hurricanes.   When the city was dark after a hurricane, you could always count on a Royal Castle being open and serving food.
There were hundreds of Royal Castle restaurants in the Miami area back in the 60's, but last I knew there were only two of them currently left open.   By the way, they also had eggs and grits (no hashbrowns) for breakfast 24 hours a day.   Now that restaurants call the little hamburgers "sliders" I wonder if there are any restaurants in your area that serves these little hamburgers (sliders).   Let me know (especially if you have ever eaten at a Royal Castle).  I will wrap up this blog because I know that it has been a long one.  I will leave you with one piece of advice, Girls, when a guy says that he is going to take you to a steakhouse and he uses initials instead of a name (RC steakhouse, BK steakhouse), don't get dressed too fancy.   Have a great day.    Lew
p.s.   Yes, I found the movie Psycho very scary.   But I didn't need to see the nurse in the lobby.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the good life

The good life.   Tammy is enjoying the good life.   It is morning and she is lying on the roof of the truck in the shade of the carport.   The roof of the truck for her is like Pride Rock in the Disney movie the Lion King.  
From a perch on Pride Rock or the roof of my truck the surrounding terrain is easily seen.   Tammy has everything that a cat could possible want, and then some.    She always seems to find life so fascinating.
As you can see, she is a long haired cat.   And she lives in Florida which is hot in the summer.   That is kind of tough when you have to wear a fur coat during the tropical August heat here in Orlando.   To stay cool when it gets hot she comes into the air conditioned house, lays down to get cool and then falls asleep.  
Didn't I tell you that she has the good life.   And what of her adoptive mother Mary?    Here is Mary at the Animal Kingdom Flame Tree Barbecue restaurant getting ready to enjoy some delicious barbecue ribs.   Living the good life just like Tammy.
It was a lot of fun and the barbecue ribs were great.   Are you living the good life?   No?    Well, you'll just have to come to Orlando and enjoy some barbecue ribs at Disney's Animal Kingdom.    Enjoy life to the max and take time to smell the flowers.    Lew

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hidden Mickey

This is a "hidden Mickey" on the planet Mercury.   I saw it posted on the internet but now I don't remember the site.   Being a fan of "hidden Mickey's" I started looking for pictures of the planet Mercury to see if I could find the "hidden Mickey".
These pictures can be enlarged quite a bit if you want to see if you can find the hidden Mickey.   I looked and looked but no luck.   Then I found another picture of the planet Mercury and looked some more.
Still no luck.   I hope that someone has some luck in finding the hidden Mickey.   Is there someone who isn't familiar with hidden Mickeys?   At the Disney theme parks they have the classical symbol of one large circle for the head and two small circles for the ears of Mickey Mouse.
This is probably the largest hidden Mickey that I have ever heard of.   It is an aerial photo of a field.    Being Florida, I would assume that the trees are orange trees.   Boy, I thought that I was the biggest Disney enthusiast.
But the hidden Mickeys are not always easy to find like this one at Epcot.
How about this one on a totem pole at the Canadian pavilion at Epcot.   Look real close.   Enlarge the image by clicking on it if you have to.
Can't find it.   Here is some help.
That hidden Mickey was tricky wasn't it?   That is all part of the fun in finding the hidden Mickeys.    Now that you have had some practice, try finding the hidden Mickey on the planet Mercury for me.
I wonder if the astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD would be able to find the hidden Mickey?
Did you notice that his sidekick is the Disney dog Pluto?   Hmmmm.    By the way, Dr. Tyson has a great radio talk show (StarTalk) that I listen to avidly.

I am sure that you will enjoy it.   Please let me know if you do find the hidden Mickey.   Like the hidden Mickey on the totem pole, once found then it will be easy to find again.    Take care and have a great day.    Lew