Thursday, March 30, 2006

Long ago

My "bloggie" friend "Jellyhead's" recent post reminded me of long ago and far away, back when I was a child. We don't recall these times near enough. My dad died when I was 23, a long time ago. I didn't have near enough time with him. I am, however, blessed with many childhood memories. Dad used to read to us every night at bedtime. He like poetry, and we would always ask for "Casey at the Bat", a baseball poem that my brother loved. My favorite was the "Owl and the Pussycat". After all this time, I think I can still remember it. It goes something like this:

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
in a beautiful pea green boat.
They took some honey and plenty of money
wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above and sang to a small guitar,
"Oh lovely Pussy, Oh Pussy my love, what a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, what a beautiful Pussy you are!"
Said Puss to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
how charmingly sweet you sing,
oh let us be married, too long we have tarried,
but what shall we do for a ring?".
So they sailed away for a year and a day to the land where the bong trees grow,
and there in the wood, a piggy-wig stood,
with a ring on the end of his nose -his nose-
with a ring on the end of his nose.
Said Owl to the pig, "Are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?" Said the piggy, "I will!"
So they took it away and were married next day
by the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mints, and slices of quints,
which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
they danced by the light of the moon -the moon-
they danced by the light of the moon!

That was from memory, so I hope I remembered it all, forty years is a long time ago.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mo.. money

I got a big income tax return this year. I decided not to squander the money, instead I will spend it on stuff for my house. I bought this new light for the dining room. We had a perfectly good light and ceiling fan. We hardly ever used the fan, because it was too cool over the table. I like my food to be HOT when I eat it! I saw this light and I really like stained glass, so I got it. I also called the door man to install one of those decorative doors. Instead of buying a whole new front door, they cut out the center of the existing door, and put decorative windowpane glass in it. I have a small house, so I like to make it as unique and nice as I can. I have a lot more spring projects to keep me busy. More later, I am off to the home improvement store to spend more money!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Florida Aquarium

Yesterday we went to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. I am familiar with many species of aquatic life, living in a state surrounded by water, but I had never seen anything like this. This is a "Leafy Sea Dragon" It looks sort of like a sea horse with leaves! What an interesting animal. The leaves do not act as fins to stear the animal, but are just for camouflage. He moves by means of a tiny little transparent fin on his back. This animal is native to Australia. This is the first time I have observed one of them - I could have stayed and watched him all day. Facinating!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sweet 16

Today was my son's 16th birthday. I find it so hard to believe. Time has gone by in a flash. Wasn't he just learning to talk, walk, go to the potty? Wasn't that just yesterday? He is a wonderful son, I love him so much, I am so proud of him. I remember the first "joke" he told. He was about 2 years old, around Christmas time. He was looking out the window as we were riding in the car, he said, "Mommy, see those birds sitting on the wire?" "They are holding on with their foot claws, not their santa claus." That was the beginning of the wise guy comments! He is naturally funny. Today he had three of his teenage friends come to the house for a couple of hours. They sat around and laughed and joked and played video games. He was embarassed that I put up a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" banner, but I refused to take it down. They all had cake and ice cream, but we didn't DARE sing the birthday song!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Detective Sergeant Retired

I finally cleaned out my locker the other night. I have been retired since February 2004, so it was about time! I have just avoided going out there for a long time. I did not want to run into some of the people that opposed my disability retirement. You see, I got an "in the line of duty" retirement, and some people disagreed with that. The law in the State of Florida asserts that if you did not have heart disease when you started your law enforcement job, and you got it - then it is presumed to have been caused by the job, thus a line of duty disability. The retirement board fought me "tooth & nail" and I was quite put off by that. I was always willing to "lay down my life" if required for my job. It hurt my feelings that no one stood up for me. As long as I was doing the job, being on call 24-7, then they were happy with me. Once I was of no further use to them, they turned their backs on me. My fault too, a job is just a job, and you should never get so involved that you take things personally. When I drove out to the PD, it was like old times when I used to get called out in the night for a major incident. It was late, and there wasn't much traffic, it only took about 20 minutes to get there. I could not find the duty officer, so I drove around using my detective skills to find him (find the all night coffee, find the cop). Sure enough, he was at the all night store commiserating with the cops of the adjacent jurisdiction. It was like old times, everyone was glad to see me. I could fall right back into the cop shop thing very easily. My heart won't let me though. As I cleaned out my locker of change of clothes, bullet proof vest, various tooth brushes, hair brushes, soap, towel, shoe polish, etc., I thought about how prepared I always was for any situation - to stay there for days if need be. I should have been more prepared for the inevitability of an accident or disability. In thinking about any career, you should remember this little poem that I found;
Take your hand and stick it in a bucket of water up to the wrist, then take it out and the hole that remains is a measure of how you'll be missed!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

How about this?

Can You Read This?

I Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!if you can raed tihs psas it on !!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I used to live somewhat in the country. I am two miles or so east of the interstate highway, and most of the population is west of the interstate, closer to the Gulf of Mexico. The area is beautiful, and I have live here over half my life. Lately, there is new development all around me. 800 acres of land around my small neighborhood has now been sold and is being developed. Once it was quiet here, now everyday I hear the sound of heavy machinery. They are building roads, moving dirt around, preparing lots for the new homes. I took a walk back into the new neighborhood the other day. It is amazing vast. I could see for miles back into what used to be a heavily wooded area. Every tree is gone, replaced by miles and miles of new paved roads. I am not against progress, but it is still kind of sad. Over 1,000 people a day are moving to Florida, so I guess we have to put them somewhere. I wonder what happend to all the animals that made the woods their home. There are foxes, opossoms, red-tail hawks, bob-cats and many other animals that have been displaced. I will take my camera next time I go, so I can post some photos.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Studying Australia

Studying other countries is my most recent hobby, probably because of Google Earth.

The questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humor.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV,how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?(Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs in Australia? Can you send me a list of them inBrisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?(Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-mer-i-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you
tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

I can't stop looking!

If you haven't been to Google Earth yet, you need to go there. I love it. I can't stop looking around. Flying all over the world, looking at places that I have only read about. I remember more about Geography class than I thought. Some of the places are vague, you can just see the basics, but other places are so complete that you can see cars and people on the street! I can see my house on Google Earth, that is amazing! Just plug in your address to the search and see what comes up. Tonight I went to Rome, Paris, Japan, Australia, and New York City. I get lost looking for landmarks that I know. Before I know it, it is way past bedtime and I am computer weary! If you feel closer to me now, it is because I "buzzed" over your neighborhood last night!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New doggie door

Over the past weekend I put a new doggie door in the back screen porch. They already had a flap to go out to the porch, now they can go all the way out by themselves. Now I hear the sound of "flap-flap" then "flap-flap" again and again, as they practice going in and out of their new door.

Buddy says, "I like it OK, but I would rather stay outside."

For the boys

“Come to the edge.”
“We Can’t, We’re afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And she pushed them.
And they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire 1880-1918

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

Metric recipe for disaster!

I am not the best cook in the world. I try to feed the family healty meals, even if they are not fancy. My son likes Shepard's Pie. The kind they make at school, not mine! I have tried several recipes that I have found in cook books and on the internet, but I cannot seem to get it right. While grocery shopping the other day, I found this Knorr packet to make Shepard's Pie and I thought that was a good idea, that maybe this would be the one that he likes. Last night I began to fix the meal and I quickly discovered that the directions were "foreign" to me. The recipe called for 450g of beef, 700g mashed potato, 300ml of water! I had NO IDEA what any of this means! A closer look at the packet showed that it was from Dublin, Ireland. How stupid are we here in America that we haven't made the conversion to metric like the rest of the world! I muddled through with the help of a conversion chart that I found on the internet. He ate it, but I could tell that it still wasn't up to the standard of the school lunch ladies!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Band decison

Preston told me this morning that he does not think he wants to go on tour with The Magic this summer. He thinks that it would be too difficult to do it all summer. I told him that he might look back on his decision and be disapointed that he did not go. He said that he will probably audition again next year. We talked about how far he had come in his exercising and strength training. He wants to continue to run and go to the gym. It has been a positive experience for him, and he got lots of good musical instruction while at the camps. I am a little disapointed because he would have traveled to a lot of places and learned to be on his own. On the other hand, he will be grown soon enough, and I would have really missed him this summer! He is still involved with his high school band, so there is plenty for him to do.