Arizona

Arizona

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Date Night

She looks like a nice enough person, don't you think?

From the photo below, you wouldn't think my wife
had an evil bone in her body, would you?


But than how could she come up to me
and dump this pile of extra, unused maybe out dated phone chargers
and similar technological tools and say,
"Could you straighten all this out?"

As I write this the pile is still there.

Anyway, last night we headed out to Longwood Gardens
to help celebrate the fact that the open air theatre pictured below
has been the venue for artists of all kinds for 100 years.


It's pretty amazing.

 Last night we watched a performance by a local Mexican dance group.
They were fantastic.


Usually when you go to a stage performance at almost any location,
they have curtains off to the side of the stage
where the performers will go behind while they await their next act.
Do you know what I'm talking about?

At the open air theatre at Longwood Gardens
the "curtains" are replaced by these hedges pictured below,
and the performers run in between the hedges.

It's pretty cool.

After the performance by the dance group
we walked through the gardens to another location
where we caught the Folk music act
by a Brooklyn NY based group.


They were great.
I bought their CD.
10 bucks.
Can't beat that.




We wrapped up the night with a bit of salsa dancing on our back deck.

A pretty good way to spend a pleasant summer evening.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just Memories Are Left....

Last week I needed a piece of wood, a very small piece of wood to complete a project I was working on.
I wanted this piece to be different, old, something with character, something not found at the local Lowes.

I came across a company named Keystone Vintage Lumber. All they do is deal with reclaimed wood. I like the idea. 
( The wood flooring in our house came from an old Mill in Reading PA. but enough about how cool we are!)

Keystone is presently located in a building that in more prosperous times was melting steel and making fasteners.  Back in 1882 it was called Philadelphia nut and bolt company. In the early 1900's it became "Bethlehem Steel."
In 1985 the steel company closed and now most buildings sit vacant, except for a few businesses like my lumber company



I took a ride around the place after picking up my piece of wood, that was previously part of the structure of a mushroom house, and took some photos.


For some reason I find abandoned buildings like these very interesting........


I can't look at them without imagining what it was like there when the steel plant was in full swing, probably employing a good percentage of the people who lived nearby.

Imagine how many workers walked through this door in it's heyday.


And where did that door lead to...........

I wonder.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nixon on Nixon

Have you seen it?

The HBO documentary, "Nixon on Nixon"?
You do remember Tricky Dick, don't you?


Pictured above is my Dad ( on the left ) with President Nixon ( on the right ) and a national news correspondent ( in the center ) whose name escapes me. Yeah.....my Dad hanging with the Pres...talk about name dropping, huh? 

Let me preface this rant by saying I never thought I could be surprised again by what a politician did or does. I understand politics is a dirty business, even though I believe that most people who choose to serve their community, State or Country start out with good intentions.

After watching this documentary, and hearing for myself the voice of Mr. Nixon as he attacked various ethnic and religious groups or anyone else who basically got in his way, it is evident he left whatever good intentions he may have had at the threshold of the West Wing entrance.

This documentary plays the secret recordings from the oval office during Mr. Nixon's tenure as the big cheese of the United States. You hear his voice. This stuff isn't made up.

Let me be clear. Nixon was one LOW human being. While already knowing, before I watched the documentary, that politicians in general are a bit suspect, I was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY by what I heard. I went on line to search for a synonym for "low life," that would sufficiently describe this particular human being, and I was unsuccessful. Suffice is to say that Nixon "played dirty."

He routinely called FBI director J.Edgar Hoover to have him target a particular person. Hoover readily agreed.

The IRS was also a tool Nixon used against his enemies, which were numerous in his mind.

He went on a lengthy rant about Jewish people when Daniel Elsburg gave "The Pentagon Papers" to the New York Times to publish. I won't even repeat the derogatory statements he was making.

Hey you Catholics, don't feel left out, you were attacked too.

Women? Oh yeah, you too. Mexicans? Yup. The Kennedy's? You guessed it.

It goes on and on.

My interest in politics began during the Watergate era when I watched the hearings on TV everyday after school.

It blows me away to think about this, but we, the United States, actually had a President who resigned from office! He quit. Unbelievable!

Anyway, now that I have you all depressed.....

here's a hummingbird I captured off my deck the other day.



Have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Special Day

Yesterday was a big day in our family household
as we held a wedding shower for my oldest daughter Erin.

For a few hours in the afternoon
our house was filled with family, friends and some great food
all prepared by my wife and kids.

Here's a look inside....











 The day ended with my daughter Bryn accepting the ALS ice bucket challenge.



One of the 3 people she nominated for the challenge was me.
So this morning I had a very cold shower
all for a very good cause.

Below, daughter Erin
who will be getting married in just over a month, in Ireland.

Yesterday was a good day.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Selfish? I Think Not

I wanted to  begin this post by screaming,  "HEY STUPID PEOPLE, ROBIN WILLIAMS WASN'T SELFISH......" but I reconsidered because I know using caps and bold in the same sentence is not a good practice.

A strange thing happened to me last night that prompted this post.

I, my wife and my dog were out at the local park attending a free concert that the State Park holds each Wednesday ( my dog is partial to rock and roll but will listen to anything ) when what was a beautiful evening was ruined by the ignorance and stupidity of "an acquaintance" of ours.

About half way through the evening this acquaintance, suddenly appeared before us, and one of the first things she says is, "How about that Robin Williams?" I just assumed this was her awkward way of starting a conversation so I answered with the prerequisite " I know, very sad." As it turned out, she wasn't just making happy talk, her purpose of appearing at our feet like a jeannie out of a bottle was to spread her bigotry and stupidy over us like the blanket Rosie was laying on.

If you want to have me fully engaged in a conversation, say something to me like, " How could he have done that, he must not have loved his kids..." or something to that affect. As my wife and I calmly tried to explain out thoughts to her on the subject...."It wasn't his choice"......."Depression is a  sickness as real as cancer or any other disease" ......etc etc.

With each attempt by us to drain the stupidity out this person, she would look at us and roll her eyes, repeatedly saying she just didn't understand  "it". It, being depression, the word she was afraid to say.
When she finally exclaimed, "Do you understand why I can't understand this?"  I SPRANG FROM MY CHAIR, TACKLING HER..........
I'm kidding, just fantasizing for a second there.
My wife responded to her with, " No, I thought you were more intelligent than that."

Oh, and, did you know that all Koreans are bad people? I learned this also during my conversation with crazy lady.

Anyway, Katie Hurley who writes for the Huffington Post says all of this in a much more grownup manner then I can. "Suicide is a decision made out of desperation, hopelessness, isolation and loneliness. The black hole that is clinical depression is all-consuming. Feeling like a burden to loved ones, feeling like there is no way out, feeling trapped and feeling isolated are all common among people who suffer from depression." 
She goes on to say, "Until you've stared down that level of depression, until you've lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness... you don't get to make those judgments. You might not understand it, and you are certainly entitled to your own feelings, but making those judgments and spreading that kind of negativity won't help the next person. In fact, it will only hurt others."

Robin Williams was a very funny guy, and even a better actor in my opinion.

He was not a coward. He had a disease. A disease that isn't understood by people like the like the lady who interrupted my evening in the park last night. 

The Huffington Post article is here, and worth reading, again, in my opinion.




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Boasting Again.


Some people go to the beach on a Saturday.

Some go to a show or visit a relative on a Saturday.

Yesterday, I swept my garage.

My daughter spent her Saturday nudging the President.


That would be her holding the sign.

Proud Dad here, can you tell?

Here's an article about the event that appeared in the "Japan Times" on line.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/10/national/anti-nuke-protesters-bike-around-washington-anniversary-nagasaki-atomic-bombing/#.U-eSFlZofwK

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blow into this.

Last hitch when I was in the Houston airport, I was talking to a fellow crew member and he was telling me that when his wife picks him up at the airport, she has a cooler in the car with chilled cokes and a flask of Crown Royal.

Ok, she's well intentioned, but.......

For a split second while he was telling me this story, I thought to myself, it would be nice if my wife picked me up with a chilled bottle of chardonay. Lucky for me, I'm not as dumb as I look, because I never did place that order.

Good thing, because last hitch as my wife was driving me home from the airport at midnight, we were stopped at a sobriety check point and proudly stated to the officers, "Hell no we haven't been drinking!" As we pulled away from the check point I shared the story with my wife of the guy who drinks Crown on the way home from his airport.

Another hitch goes by, and last night, as my wife was driving me home from the airport again at 1 am, we got pulled over by the State Police, AGAIN, where we stated with some pride, "Hell no we haven't been drinking."

Kids, let this be a lesson to you.

It's a good thing I'm not as dumb as I look.

Today, my first morning home....it doesn't get any better than this.

This view is much better than the view from a drunk tank!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stuff

I was thinking about cacti today.

Yes, it was a slow news day.
 Did you know that the first "arm" of the cactus pictured above took approximately 100 years to form?
I did not research that statement, it was just something someone told me once. I want it to be true so I'm putting absolutely no effort into disproving my own statement.

***

Did you hear that when Facebook recently shut down unexpectedly for a short period of time,
911 operators were flooded with calls, followed my police departments "tweeting", "Don't call 911 because Facebook shut down." 

Is that a sign of the times or what?

***

I"m reading a book called, "Into Thin Air", about a group of people who climbed Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. That baby is over 29,000 ft high. It's as high as airliners fly!! Why would someone want to do that? ( and don't tell me "because it's there." I'm so over that.) Interesting story though, worth the read.

***

My family is gearing up for a trip to Ireland at the end of next month. My wife and I were discussing the possibility of visiting Northern Ireland while we are there. Out of the blue last night I remembered a blogger buddy of mine named Claire, and to make a long story short, she mentioned to me, a few years ago, that her Dad was starting up a tour company that gives walking tours through Belfast. She said to me, if I ever found myself in Northern Ireland, to give her a call and she would hook me up with her dad. 
Sure, like that will ever happen.

So, last night I contacted her and guess what? She's hooking me up with her dad! Are my Blog Friends the best, or what?

***
And this...........

is the last sunset I'll be taking from the Gulf, for another 3 weeks.

I'm flying home United......just saying.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crab and Coffee

Today is Crab Cake Sunday here on the boat. Actually we don't have crab cakes every Sunday, but if I had my wish........

Today was what I would call a pretty good Sunday. Our boat has been pretty busy this hitch, making trip after trip with not much down time. We arrived here at anchor yesterday and we've been just siting here enjoying this great weather, thinking about going home as we are nearing the end of our 3 week hitch.


 So Chuck, our unofficial cook on board/deckhand made one of my favorite dishes.



Ok...so he over did it a bit on the crab cakes. In reality, they weren't as overcooked as this photo makes them out to be. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give the meal a 10. You know why?
Someone cooked today, and who am I to complain.


***

On the subject of food ( and drink), I came across this website yesterday called CoffeeDetective
. I can not express adequately enough the depression I am going through because I have learned that the coffee junkie who runs this site makes about $6000 a month, FOR TALKING ABOUT COFFEE !!!!

Really? I talk about coffee all the time.
It's 6:50 pm as I write this and I am sipping on a cup of Nantucket"s finest.
I've written of coffee and my love for that beautiful bean on this very blog many times.
I've photographed coffee.
On vacation I post photos of coffee.
I have a map of all the coffee houses in New York.
At home I grind my own coffee.

Why--didn't--I--think--about--starting--a--c0ffee--website?
I can talk about coffee till my pulse is at it's upper limit.

I need to start a website.
Baked beans!! Yeah, a website about baked beans. The different kinds. How best to cook them. 
Where to buy the best beans.
How to keep them fresh.

I'm going to check, but I bet someone beat me to the punch on the baked bean website.

With all this being said, if you are a coffee drinker and you're like me and always looking for the great cup of coffee, check out this CoffeeDetective site. I hate to say it, but it is quite interesting.