/ =========================== BEGINS ======================= //>
That's right, I'm an "old-timer" approaching eighty trips around the sun and I've seen lots of surprising things come to pass in my time, not least of which is the ever growing sum total of accumulated human knowledge. One of the great imponderables. If you are one that follows my Blog you'll know I live on a palm tree laden tropical coral island just off the southern tip of Florida called Key Largo. It's just one of over a thousand "Keys" or Islands that make up the Florida Keys. Most of the Keys are uninhabited mangrove laden islands with the occasional white sandy beach onto which I get a running start towards the beach on my good old pontoon boat and hydraulically raise the outboard engine up out of the water so the speeding boat comes to rest on said beach. Having brought my lunch and daily newspaper, turning off my cell phone and with beer in hand I hop off into knee deep crystal clear water and tread ashore tying the boat off to the nearest palm tree. Now to quietly contemplate the aforementioned imponderable as I peruse today's Newspaper.
That's when it happened, an article on the Opinion page of the WSJ (Wed April 29, 2015) by Geoffrey A. Mann, "...There were five exabytes of information created by the entire world between the dawn of civilization and 2003..." Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at a conference in 2010. "...now that same amount of information is created every two days..." What the hell is an exabyte? It turns out that an exabyte is the number 1,000 followed by 18 zeroes. According to a paper by IDC (International Data Corp.) 161 exabytes of information were created in 2006 alone. That would be 3 million times the amount of information in all the books ever written with an expectation of 988 exabytes in 2010. Check this out Click Here.
...The movies I grew up with...
I digress, this is supposed to be about how different the younger generation experiences movies today rather than anybody over the age of say forty experiences movies. The longest “take” in movies of my generation could be no longer than ten minutes. That’s all the film a movie camera can hold. So directors, actors, cameramen etc. were used to working in no longer than ten minute segments, often less than that. Then a break as cameras were reloaded with new film and often big delays in setting up for the next scene as everyone not directly concerned would sit around and wait.
That is not how it works in today’s movies. The last manufacturer of photochemical movie film has ceased production and is available by “special order” only today. It’s all done with ones and zeros today as “digital” cameras have taken over. It may not seem significant unless you are a real moviephile so quit reading here if you think it doesn’t concern you.
A couple of weeks ago the internet past an historic moment. In one twenty for hour period more than fifty percent of all internet accesses were on some device other than a computer. Either a phone, a tablet, a phablet, a television, video camera etc., etc.. As these devices get more sophisticated the death nell for computers is sounding. Even Hewlett Packard, the great godfather of computers spun off it’s computer division just recently.
(Click Pic Above)
When I think movies, a vision comes to mind of John Wayne’s face thirty feet high and forty feet wide taking a slug of firewater as I sit in a dark theater munching popcorn in anticipation of the coming gunfight with a crowd of like minded kids on Saturday afternoon. In unison we sigh in awe of the gigantic forty foot wide landscape as a stern faced John Wayne and jovial Ward Bond road across the vastness of Monument Valley to save Natalie Wood from the Indians.
The shear epic size of the big screen made one feel you were in intimate contact with how close you were to the stoic John Wayne or vulnerable Natalie Wood. After the movie we would gather at our cardboard and wood plank clubhouse to discuss the values we had absorbed and re-enact the most crucial scenes with BB guns and western wear we laughed and argued over who was really the fastest draw. We bonded as friends swore blood oaths almost exactly as River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton did in the 1986 release of “Stand By Me”.
My grandson will never have that experience. I saw him watching “The Searchers” in bits and pieces on his Iphone as he helped his mother unload groceries from the car. He was watching it just to please me but had no real interest in the story or who these people were. He had that “totally bored” look on his face. Most movie watching by the younger folks these days are done in like manner, on a tablet or phone on the small screen as a distraction while multitasking some other job.
It’s just another sign of how different the younger ones view the world today. Anyone can make a movie today. There’s tons of software available to do just that, you can even make a short one with your phone. (Click Here) What does it mean for the future of movies if anyone anywhere can push a few buttons and call it a movie? Personally, I think the day of the big screen movie is passing away so sit back and enjoy the apex of the movies influence in our culture as it’s importance begins to wane amid a plethora of mediocre offerings that will crowd out the real genius of folks like William Wyler, Martin Scorsese, Frank Capra, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Howard Hawks and so many others. In fact, just for fun you can cast your vote for the fifty greatest directors of all time (Click Here).
/ Hemingway //>
Remember, lift with your legs
That's right, I said it, there's a lot of guys around here that look just like Ernest Hemingway! In fact one of those guys on the right is actually him. Can you pick him out? The hard drinking, womanizing two fisted fighter is the stereo type of the "Manly Man" of my generation. He was known to use a machine gun on sharks to stop them eating his catch, and in 1938 established a world record by catching seven marlin in one day. Hemingway also spent a considerable amount of time from the summer of 1942 to the end of 1943 on his wooden fishing boat "Pilar", patrolling the waters off Cuba’s north shore hunting Nazi U-Boats with direction-finding equipment, his machine gun and hand grenades at the ready.
His 38ft boat "Pilar" was said to be the inspiration behind The Old Man And The Sea, Hemingway's most glorified work which won the 1953 Pullitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. It tells of an old fisherman Santiago who battles against a giant catch of a swordfish only to lose it to sharks. The Old Man was said to have been inspired by Hemingway's long-time first mate of The "Pilar", Gregorio Fuentes, who lived to 104 but died never having read the book. Hemingway has his arm around Gregorio in the pic just below.
Just above is Hemingway's 38ft "Pilar" as it was, just below is "Pilar" today in the Sports Center on Marathon Key...
It's so interesting how things work out. As I signed onto Yahoo this morning to check my Email before finishing up this Blog entry, there on the front page of Yahoo was my neighbor "Big" Mike MacDonald staring back at me! Here just below is the pic of Big Mike staring at me...
I'm gonna have to raze him a little bit today. The article is about how to retire economically. If you're interested in his point of view (and I recommend it) CLICK HERE. When you get there, scroll down the screen a bit and you'll see this very picture. While he doesn't look exactly like Ernie Hemingway, he's definitely got character. The article incorrectly states he lives on "...a 47 foot sailboat..." which anyone can see that is NOT a 47ft sailboat but a 25ft power boat and incorrectly states the marina fees include cable and WiFi (They do not).
When Cuba issued a stamp to honor the 1954 Nobel Prize winner it featured not a book or typewriter but a sailfish, the kind he used to catch here in the Florida Keys.
Well, better get the day started here as I'm getting ready to go up to S. Carolina for a few days and have lots of prep to do. I've been watching Tiny House Nation on TV and it's given me some good storage ideas to try out on the boat. Will keep you all posted... / Brown Line //>
I love to thumb through some of those old movie magazines just as they were published. Context of course is everything and these were written and published mostly in the war years. Those two wars changed everything. Men were tough and killing each other by the millions while women were almost a commodity, abused and subjugated to the authoritarian Hollywood System.
Flip through the pages by clicking on them and enlarge the page with the tools on the bottom right. You may also change articles by clicking on the names just above the reader. It starts off on Joan Blondell and just refresh the page to get back to her…
Hedy Lamarr | Errol Flynn | Betty Grable | Dorothy Lamour | Barbara Stanwyck | Norma Shearer | Myrna Loy | Rita Hayworth |
World War I didn’t do nearly as much material damage as WW II. No big European cities were laid waste, the Eastern and Western fronts ran mostly through forests and farmlands which were quickly returned to use at the end of WW I. Over sixteen million people died in WW I and another twenty million wounded. The psychological damage of such tremendous carnage was staggering.
Prewar Europe had been experiencing an age of enlightenment. Even Imperial Governments paid formal and often practical respect to the principles of constitutionalism, the rule of law and representative government. Confidence in these principles all but collapsed after WW I. Within fifteen years of the war’s end came Totalitarianism, a system that rejected liberalism and constitutionalism which had inspired European politics since the eclipse of the monarchy in 1789.
To Russia it came in the form of communism, to Germany in Nazism, to Italy fascism and Spain Francoism. All these forms of Totalitarianism spread from a common wound, the dislocation, death and carnage of WW I. Into this firmament was Hollywood born and reflected in the magazines you see above.Here is one of my favorite stars with some very educated legs. Miss Cyd Charisse.
To Hanker or Not To Hanker, That Is The Question...
And so it came to pass, a ‘Hankerin’ came upon me late Wednesday afternoon for an avocado, lettuce, tomato and Swiss cheese sandwich followed immediately by a strawberry yogurt parfait. At my age one does not ignore such ‘Hankerins’ and their indulgence often becomes the dominant activity of the day.
Lacking the necessary ingredients on site and in order to satisfy this particular ‘Hankerin’ would require an outing to the local purveyor of produce namely the Publix grocery store. On exiting said store in a state of anticipation of ingesting the newly acquired and perfectly ripe avocado, artisan’s lettuce and luscious beefsteak tomato I approached my car. With barely thirty feet remaining between myself and my parked car WHAM! A minivan plowed into the port side of my little unoccupied Suzuki.
“Damn! Look at that…” my ears heard my mouth exclaim. The drivers’ door of the minivan opened and out stepped a rather good looking portly gray haired gentleman of about fifty gesturing wildly with his left hand while holding a phone to his ear with his right hand speaking something that was definitely not English. (I’m pretty sure it was Spanish)
An obviously high strung excitable fellow that kept hurriedly walking back and forth between the cars, continuing to speak what was to me gibberish, rather too loudly on his cell phone with many dramatic exclamations and gestures. My preconceived characterizations kicked in and I imagined him to be an educated Cuban man exhibiting the ethnic qualities of the alpha male tourist speaking too loudly and passionately. I wondered who he could possibly be speaking with on the phone. He approached me as I stood there groceries in hand, and began explaining to me in staccato accented English exactly what had happened. I nodded politely and listened although I don’t think at this point he thought I was anything more than an interested passerby.
After several minutes of his explanation to which I was not paying much attention at this point, his head tilted to one side and asked “…Is this YOUR car?...” I spoke my first word to the gentleman and simply said “…Yep..” whereupon he unleashed on me a unending torrent of sincere heartfelt and very dramatic animated apologies followed by a continuation of the never ending explanations. All I heard was “…blah blah blah …it was all my fault..." and "…blah blah blah… I have insurance…” beyond that I really wasn’t much interested. Trying to help the poor fellow out I simply said to him “…I'm not sure you should say it was all your fault when the police arrive…”.
What had caught my attention and the reason I was distracted was the sliding passenger door of the minivan. It put me in mind of Big Fred’s funeral. 'Big' Fred Nickerson was a close friend in my youth and in light of today's 'political correctness' I find hard to physically describe his stature. He was, let us say vertically challenged and acquired his nickname by virtue of his enormous male appendage which brought him some enviable successes with the ladies after entering the entertainment industry via the Big Top. Big Fred was the first to coin the phrase '...size DOES matter...'. Having always wanted to become a circus clown attending Clown College in New York state for several years in the late '60s. On graduating he did indeed fulfill his life long dream by hitchhiking west taking up employment with the old Barnum & Bailey touring circus. Big Fred died an untimely death from complications following a faulty enormous exploding clown shoe incident some time shortly thereafter.
Big Fred hitchhikes west circa 1968
What put me in mind of Big Fred was on attending his funeral I noticed his vast number of friends and coworkers had all arrived in one little tiny car. The shear number of people that emerged from that little tiny car seemed to defy the laws of physics and was a magnificent tribute to Fred's chosen profession. At least ten minutes had passed since the impact and I now stood in front of the minivan driver acting as if I were listening and nodding my head in sympathy at the appropriate times while looking over his shoulder I noticed there were still people continuing to emerge one-by-one from the side door of the minivan. Enough individuals had already emerged to constitute a bonafide ‘crowd’ or populate a small south American village. There must have been some kind of internal 'pecking order' to the seating arrangements as we were now dwindling down to the old, the infirm and the very young still continuing to exit the vehicle. Which begs the question: ‘How many people can actually fit in a minivan?’.
Last to emerge just after the gang of children and what appeared to be the great great (great?) grandmother matriarch limping along on a cane was of course the flop eared family dog. They were all milling around and circling the entwined vehicles apparently discussing various dents, scraps and parts of my car laying on the ground right up until I had said the words “…I would not say that to the police when they arrive…”. Like a stone thrown in calm lake water the word “…Policia…” rippled out in all directions. All activity and dialogue came to an abrupt halt as meaningful looks were exchanged among the occupants, excepting therefrom the dog, who selected this exact moment to add insult to injury, lift a leg and piss on the left rear tire of my now crumpled car. Several small plastic parts floated away in the ensuing stream (no prostate problems there!).
I had been listening close enough to determine the drivers name was Alejandro, a foreign national driving an Alamo rent-a-car. I could see by the looks on everyone’s face the word “…Policia…” had entirely different meanings to this cross cultural encounter. My notion was more or less along the lines of Barney Fife (left) arriving to “…take control of the situation…” whereas their notion seemed to be more along the lines of a darkened subterranean room to include a water boarding interrogation by Heinrich Himmler (right) fondling some electrodes in anticipation.
My insurance agent’s phone number is on my cell phone and when I initially saw the impact it occurred to me his office is located on the second floor just above the Purveyor of Produce (Publix) in this very plaza. I called him and said “…Ralph, a minivan has just crashed into my car, what should I do now?…” good old Ralph insures one of my boats, my new condo and two cars and was happy to help. He said “…where are you?…” I responded with “…if you lean out your window and look down, that would be me standing in the parking lot…” whereupon he did and we exchanged a short friendly wave. Ralph said “…I’ll call the police for you and they should get all the necessary info…”. Hence we were awaiting Barney Fife's eminent arrival on the scene.
Within a very few minutes I spied Barney trying to sneak up on us unnoticed so as to survey the scene before making an entrance. I turned and said “…Ally Hand Dro, listen if any of your friends or family are not supposed to be here, now would be a good time for them to mingle with the grocery store crowd…” whereupon he momentarily stopped apologizing, glanced around in the direction I had indicated and he too espied Barney’s secretive approach. A short flurry of gibberish seemed to mean something to friends and family as they wandered off in all directions, whistling and looking up in the trees trying their best to give the appearance of, what looked like to me, wandering vagabonds..
Barney made his entrance looking like he didn’t really want to get involved either but did in fact get everyone’s info. He kept asking Alejandro where he lived, and Alejandro kept responding “…The Hampton Inn…” which seemed to irritate Barney. I don’t know if Alejandro was just being shrewd and did not want to say he was from Cuba or really did not understand what Barney was asking. I kept out of it.
That night, sitting on the back deck of the new condo watching the flaming orange sunset over Florida Bay, I bit into that fabulous avocado, lettuce, tomato and cheese sandwich like a fine wine connoisseur. My thoughts turned to the events those flavorful ingredients represented, Alejando the excitable driver, Ralph the insurance agent, Barney the cop, the multitude of nameless occupants of the minivan, Big Fred Nickerson, yes even Pedro the dog made it into that culinary delight and I was awash in satisfaction.
Tomorrow I feel there might be a ‘Hankerin’ for a steak…
KeyLargo's like Spring Break for Seniors. It looks a lot like the picture above from 1968 except for the age spots everyone has combined with a vast quantity of little Blue Pills that seems to turn the average geriatric male into a youthful superman. "God's Waiting Room" as it's often referred to down here, is flooded with Jimmy Buffet look-a-likes from Margaritaville celebrating each tropical sunset with verve and elan as if it were their last. In Other late breaking news...
Yes, I've reached the age where I can picture the person perfectly in my mind but their name often refuses to popup with the alacrity it once did. A typical old man's lament, I suppose. My generation is slowly and painfully yielding way to the next. The thought that Hillary Clinton will likely be our next president is evidence of the changing American values of the new generation, and why not?
We seem to live in an age of choreographed reality, and hers is the most Choreographed of lives. Also an age of the triumph of symbol over substance and narrative over fact; an age that demonstrates the power of the contention that truth matters only to the extent people want it to matter. Well, I better stop here before I get a good rant going and decry the fundamental dysfunction of the federal bureaucracy as it responds to it's own failures by demanding ever more power over the people it governs. Next thing ya know I'll be watching the news and yelling at the TV./ Brown Line //>
Maysixth, 1937 was the date. From 1919 until 1962, the United States Navy conducted its Lighter-then-Air Program at Lakehurst. Some of the largest machines created by men were launched into the air from the base at Lakehurst, which is also the home of the nation's first international airport. Thereafter, Lakehurst was known as "The Airship Capital of the World." In fact, it was.
Though most of the sites are gone, visitors to Lakehurst can still see Hangar One, a National Historic Landmark recalling the crash of the Hindenburg. The Borough of Lakehurst Historical Society conducts walking tours around the town, its knowledgeable staff pointing out interesting sites and telling stories of the past.
Old Saint John's Church was built in 1874. It was Ocean County's first Roman Catholic Church. Today it houses the Historical Society Museum. Small, but quite complete, the museum houses a collection of artifacts, books, and pictures which combine to illustrate the history of Lakehurst. Visitors can see charred remnants of the Hindenburg, as well as an array of items from the Navy's rigid airship program.
The Borough of Lakehurst itself was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 7, 1921 from portions of Manchester Township. Today, Lakehurst, as well as surrounding Manchester Township is one of the best-known communities in the northeastern United States for its extensive retirement communities. The development of these communities made the area one of the fastest growing communities in New Jersey during the period 1965 through 1988. Spurred on by this growth a successful effort was made by the community to manage and control the growth. According to the 2010 US Census, Lakehurst is home to 2,654 people today.
/ Brown Line //>
Thought to have been lost for decades, the two-minute feature Virginian Types: Blue Ridge Mountaineers documents the life of an isolated and long-vanished mountain community—Old Rag, Virginia—using a similarly long-vanished color process called “Pathécolor"—a stencil-based method that added artificial colors to black-and-white prints, something like the colorization of recent years. The earliest attempts to produce color films involved hand-painting the negative or tinting with dye.
The footage seems to have been shot just after Congress in May of 1926 authorized the creation of the Shenandoah National Park. Congress had stipulated that Virginia could turn over to the federal government only lands that were free of permanent inhabitants. Most residents of the Old Rag settlement were longtime squatters with no legal record of their holdings. As a consequence, an administration was installed to “relocate” the startled mountain folk, who reacted to the uprooting in anguished grief. Virginian Types appears to have been the one of the “last chances” to document Old Rag and its surrounding communities, as on November 1st, 1935 all remaining residents were given 10 days’ notice. By the middle of the month the last holdouts were led away in handcuffs.
The cabin structures seen in the footage—some having been built in the early 1800s—would be burned or demolished, ostensibly to restore wilderness but also to discourage reoccupation. All that appears to remain of the lost community is this unique film, echoing a place where “Life is ardent, pleasures simple…”Note: Chuck Kinder at Amazon (Click HERE) / Brown Line //>
Myopinions start right here and it seems I don't even have to be asked in order to offer it to you in an unsolicited overwhelming act of generosity on my part. Of course, now that I'm older and looking back on some of those opinions proffered in the past, it turns out much like the illustration above, I had my head up my ass (thanx to R. Crumb for the illustration). Many of them form the basis of the "Opinions I Regret" list, which I keep handy just in case one slips out while thinking about something else.
Since this is my movie blog and intended for themes of that nature, let us review someone else's "My Regrets" list, perhaps some of my favorite Hollywood celebs. One of my favorite on-screen ladies has always been Dana Delaney. I thought she was not only sexy but wholesome in an American kinda way.
Click any pic to enlarge
Yummy! She’s a stunner, but we all make choices we sometimes regret. I would be willing to bet that in her heart of hearts, Dana regrets turning down the role of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and City. That's right, Dana was first choice and was offered the role before Sarah Jessica Parker. Later, when questioned about her choice she very diplomatically said “…I turned down the role because I believed I wasn’t stylish enough…”. Hmmm…. I wonder.
Top of Molly Ringwald’s list may be turning down a movie like “Pretty Woman” and with an actress like Molly, it’s hard not to wonder if she ever wanted to kick herself for turning down what ultimately became a career-making role for Julia Roberts. In another twist of fate, “The Breakfast Club” star also refused the lead role in “Ghost” when it was offered to her. As a result, that part went to Demi Moore and became one of the most memorable films of her career (Click The Pic for more Molly).
An entire generation of kids grew up watching Molly in iconic 80s movies such as “Pretty in Pink” and “16 Candles.” She struggled to find good acting roles during the early 90s and missed out on a shot at Oscar glory by turning down two of the most famous roles in movie history. The French-speaking actress then relocated to Paris to star in a string of French films. We miss you Molly!
Guess who else tuned down the role of Vivian Ward the “prostitute with a heart of gold” in Pretty Woman (1990)? You guessed it, Miss Darryl Hannah. In subsequent years, Darryl has been asked many times whether she regrets her decision, but she insists that she’s glad she didn’t make the movie because she was unhappy with the tone of the script. Darryl has said that she thinks the movie is degrading towards women, and she wasn’t the only one who thought so.
Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer also turned down the role for similar reasons. This may be due to the fact the film was originally intended to be a dark tale depicting the harsh realities of prostitution in America. It was rewritten as a romantic comedy in what was possibly one of the greatest rethinks in Hollywood history. “Pretty Woman” is one of the most successful films of all time and has grossed more than $460 million to date. This is all the more impressive when considering that it was created on a budget of $14 million. The movie catapulted Julia Roberts to stardom and helped her on her journey to becoming America’s Sweetheart./ Brown Line //>
Non-traditional retirement life styles are of particular interest to me these days and I'm amazed at some of the ingenious and creative solutions of us old timers looking to minimalize our lifestyles and enjoy the next phase of this grand adventure, retirement.
Here in the Florida Keys (Key Largo) housing will be the big issue as any average waterfront home will cost between a million and 1.5 million dollars. Of course as a retired senior citizen, the banks are not rushing to make me a 30yr loan which means I would have to use all my own money to purchase such a home and tie up a major portion of my assets in one piece of real estate. Not a good idea.
Also there is the huge factor of hurricane insurance, taxes, maintenance and the peculiar type of construction that goes on here. In my opinion, the best investment one can make here in the Keys is a buildable lot, running around $350,000+/-. There only remain about 7,000 building permits available over the next ten years and about 12,000 privately owned buildable lots. Once they’re gone, the Keys will be “built-out” and no more homes will be allowed. This is a a very popular place to live with increasing demand.
The solution my wife & I decided to employ is Boat ownership. It's working marvelously well so far and is the first large power boat I've ever owned. For less than $100K we have a waterfront home with a fabulous view and can travel up and down the hundreds of Keys (islands) here in So. Florida at relatively limited expense. Our slip in the marina runs about $800 a month and includes water, electricity and weekly pump outs. Cable and Wi-Fi are extra but we can live in the Keys for around a thousand a month for housing which is within our budget.
Click any pic above to enlarge
Miss Myrna Loy was the subject of discussion at last night's gathering of the "Old Geezers" boat club. How the subject of Miss Myrna came up, no one seems to quite remember as one of the participants produced one of those handmade cigarettes and passed it around. For the first time since college (over forty years ago) I took a "hit" and, damn, it was as good as I remember. All were in agreement that Miss Myrna was indeed one of the top ten sexiest women of all time, but no one could seem to remember exactly how the conversation got started. Not an unusual event at our advanced age, but the smoke helped I'm sure.
Those pix of Miss Myrna (above) were all from an old single B/W photo and beautifully colorized by Klimbims. Look at the beautifully colorized shot of Marlene Dietrich just below...
As an Old Timer I find today's national news to be scary beyond belief. I always thought the purpose of our Federal Government was to help spread the virtues of Truth, Justice and the American Way throughout the world. Times have certainly changed, the Federal Government seems to have now morphed into something else entirely under the auspices of Globalization.
The core belief of this new vision of the world is economic, not political. The new re-invented purpose of Government is the promotion of economic growth. The national interests, from about 1970 onward, have slowly shifted away from political philosophies into the economic health of the global economy which have replaced matters of war and peace as the major focus of our national leaders because economic matters have come to have greater effects on the countries they lead. The bean counters have taken over and are now running the Government.
Just in case you might have missed it in 1977, here indeed is the beginning of The New World Order and Globalization as we are beginning to experience it today.
Say Bye-Bye to Privacy, as I knew it. Real privacy is entirely gone having become an antiquated concept no longer needed in this new digital age. Those still arguing about it are mostly the old farts like me seeking to hang onto some semblence of the charm of privacy. The war on privacy is over and is indeed a casuality of Globalization. What you eat, when you eat it, where you bank, where you shop, your medical history, where you live, your children, your work, your marital status, your credit worthiness, what you buy and when you buy it and much much more are available to practically anyone. And it's going to get much, much worse...
Just above are the plans for the new digital age. I make no judgements about it. It is a fact the new generations will have to deal with as mine passes away. This is as it should be but the world I lived in was actually pretty damn good and I hope it all turns out well for the next generation. I would love to hear from you and let me know your thoughts on any of this.
Well let’s see, it’s been awhile since I updated the Blog so a lot has happened. As it turns out Retirement seems to suit me just fine and lots of happy going on around here. These geriatric days are action packed, yesterday I had to mail a letter AND put gas in the car on the very same day! This of course involved at least a hundred critical decisions and hours of preparation.
Yes, the pace has slowed down substantially from the days of frantic activity racing to put out one fire (crisis) before the next one started, but I seem to be handling the subdued pace very well. I meet with my friend John every morning at the Key Largo Wendy’s fast food for a bowl of oatmeal laced with cranberries and pecans with a side of breakfast potatoes to discuss the problems of the world. We agree on absolutely nothing. He (John) being a former University art teacher and life-long liberal and me being a life-long conservative business man.
He’s a very good man, although with a somewhat misguided point of view about the realities of life, and his wife Pam is still an active middle school teacher here in the Florida Keys. The discussions are lively, as you can imagine and we have an extended crew of transient attendees at the morning meal who join us and offer their own comments from time to time.
Then it’s off to the boat. Wanda’s office in the forward cabin has worked out very well and we’ve had no trouble getting on the net with our Hotspot. The GPS is fabulous as you can just put in your destination, like the Bahamas or the Tortugas and the GPS will plot out a course and show your boat on the chart exactly where you are at any moment. I also have all the paper marine charts and print out our course and note our location by hand every few hours just in case we lose the electronics.
My breakfast friend John has been quite an asset as he has lived here a very long time and even at the advanced age of 79 is still getting in the water. His wife Pam is a little tiny girl and showed us how to take the broken off end of a fishing pole and snorkel down to the bottom and tease the lobsters out from under rocks or wherever, and John grabs them and bags them and we haul’em up for dinner. Throw in a salad and glass of wine for dinner and life is good.
Day before yesterday I met Neal and Sandy at the Wendy’s. They are in a cab-over camper and I’ve been very interested in getting one exactly like theirs. I introduced myself and offered them a ride out on the water if they would show me their camper. As it turns out they are both retired and are volunteer hosts at one of the camp areas just south of Key Largo. You get to stay for free if you volunteer as a campground host. We spent the whole day together and had a wonderful time.
I sat on the bridge with Neal until we were in open water and I felt confident he could drive the boat with confidence. He learned very quickly how to read the channel markers and the GPS and it freed Wanda and I up to head to the galley and make some pasta for lunch. The good thing about pasta is you throw practically anything in with it and you got a meal.
We dropped anchor on the leeward side of Pigeon Key, drained the pasta and combined it in the frying pan with olive oil, garlic, basil some onions and had some teriyaki chicken meatballs on the side which heated up nicely in the microwave and some caper berries from a jar as another side. Fabulous!
They were from Kentucky and had been on the road since early December, we exchanged life stories until late in the afternoon. We washed everything up, hauled up the anchor and headed back to the marina in Tavernier. We headed into the fuel docks at the marina and refueled without incident and carefully nestled back into our slip at the marina. Reconnected all the power, water and cable lines while Neal and Sandy gave Wanda the extended tour of their camper. Phone numbers and emails were exchanged with promises of future outings.
The Florida Keys to senior citizens, is rather like a College Frat house to the young. Somewhere a Jimmy Buffet song is wafting out from a local bistro with the crowd singing along as an orange sunset complete with warm breezes and Palm Trees takes place. So if you get down this way, stop into the Key Largo Wendy’s at 8:00am and that will be me and John each trying to enlighten the other as to their wayward ways. What’s your view on that?
Ahoy there matey! Yes, it's been a while since the Daily Blog was updated (thanx for all the emails) but I've been busy learning all kinds of new things. For example I've learned that here in the Florida Keys we are much closer to the sun than most of the rest of our countrymen. Because of the curvature of the earth the further south you go towards the equator, the closer you get to the sun and in August it's a real roasting experience. Here's a picture of the sun
♥ Just kidding, I did NOT take this picture ♥... I took just yesterday.
So you can imagine what it's like when the humidity reaches 80% and the sun is blazing away at high noon. The water temperature on the bay side of the Keys reaches 90+ degrees and everything slows down to a crawl. Once in awhile the sun likes to give a little extra kick
♥ A little extra kick ♥... and temps really soar.
On a cooler note, we have three marine airconditioners on board that work very well and keep the temperatures below deck at a very comfortable level. I have the thermostat set to "Meat Locker" and live in fear that one of them might fail one day in August. As we are usually anchored out off some uninhabitated Key around dinner time, we both go over the side with our snorkle gear and wife Wanda uses a little broken fishing rod to tease lobsters out from under rocks and such while I bag'em and bring them on board. After a quick fresh water hose off we either cook up some pasta in the galley or take the skiff into the beach & BBQ it up + a bottle of vino.
As a safety precaution, I've purchased a SPOT personal tracker which I turn on when we leave the marina and it keeps a real time GPS track on us the whole time we are moving. The HELP button automatically calls TOW U.S. and gives them our position in case the engines quit & they have to send a boat to tow us in. The 911 button calls the Coast Guard in case of an emergency and again sends them our GPS position with a distress signal. We also have a VHF Marine radio on board and an EPIRB.
The reason I bring this up is this, SPOT allows my son in California to sign onto their web site (Click The Picture) and by entering a password it will show him on a map where we are at that moment and the track we have been traveling along, plus rates of speed and ETAs at various locations etc.. A nifty little device, particularly when we head out to sea alone towards the Bahamas or Nassau when we are out of cell phone range. It's a kind of "Help! I've fallen and can't get up" device for mariners and such.
We are in Key Largo at the moment and it's getting close to dinner time so I'll stop here for now and pick this up again tomorrow morning....
One does have to be careful
Have been watching Bond Movies all weekend & while the new ones are very action filled and darker, I'm still nostalgic for the times when the rakish Sean Connery started it all. Fatima Blush (1983 Barbara Carrera in Never Say Never Again) here on the top right, Pussy Galore (1964 Honor Blackman Goldfinger) and especially Dr. Holly Goodhead in Moonraker (1979 Lois Chiles) are just a few of my favorite "Bond Girls".
Of course no one could top Ursula Andress emerging from the water while Sean looked on in the original 1962 "Dr. No". I remember seeing the SF premier of that one and what a sensation it caused. Well so much for killing off the weekend with TV.Here are some of my favorite Bond characters in pix.
Click Pic Above for Main Menu